Thursday, November 20, 2008

Celebration nation (scallops/arugula-raspberry/yogurt-tuna salad)

I am celebrating tonight! My friends don't know it, we have plans to have dinner and for no special reason, but I will be secretly celebrating my achievements in the last few weeks. So this means I am entering into rash city for the night (if you don't get that, it means that I will be eating foods that IF I had candida would make me feel crumby and break out). What I have discovered is that Candida cleansing is very difficult for me and for Chopper and going out to eat at all would be really hard if I actually had Candida. So I shall say a silent prayer for all those suffering, I pray to give them strength to rid themselves of this dietary hindurance (I know a lot of people and it really sucks), and I shall lift my glass to them this evening.

What are your achievements Persephone? What? Oh huh? Who me? Well, thank you for asking. I was very proud to have completed my first public speaking engagement last week. I covered the topic "Eating for Energy" and had a great turn out. I did not pass out, or stumble over words (too much), and by the end felt very comfortable in my place in front of everyone. I really had a good time and loved being able to share ideas and discuss openly, topics with people that are near and dear to me and effect all of us. Then, this week I started working with a few new clients that live right here on BI. This was big because last year I had gotten into traveling so much. And lastly I was told today that the Block Island Times would like me to be a contributing columnist on the topic of Health and Wellness. This is really exciting, it is another flower in my garden that I can tend to and watch grow (I realize I am no poet).

So tonight I am not cooking my own dinner and I will have a glass of wine or two. I will revel in the carbohydrates and avoid going overboard.

I have added a pole in the upper right hand corner. I'd like to see what you all think of this little diddy. I've had a hard time determining if this is of use or interest to anyone, please let me know what you think. Below I've included some more food pictures, mostly because they are just so pretty. I believe we should all definitely put value in, not only the taste and smell of food but also the appearance, texture, and the love.

Isn't this beautiful...pan seared scallops over green salad with avocado and roasted brussel sprouts

Looks like sweets. Frozen raspberries blended with organic non fat yogurt. It tasted really tart, but was nice and cold and creamy. Towards the end I sprinkled a little stevia.
I feel like I'm on a wimpy version of the Atkins diet. Instead of hamburgers no bun and chicken wings, I'm eating a lot of proteins like fish, eggs, etc., fats like avocado and nuts, and greens. Its all really good but definitely more straight up proteins than I usually do (I like to go the bean route) This is tuna in olive oil over mixed green and cabbage salad with red bell pepper , carrots, avocado and a little apple cider/tahini dressing. Colorful!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I see you Cherry Garcia

Tonight Chop and I went to the grocery store to look at the ice cream.  I know I should be eating lots of raw vegetables and that would probably make this much easier.  However it's freezing outside and the vegetables at the grocery store here are kind of gross.  Limpy, room temperature, squishy, dried out...ech.  We decided on scallops, brussel sprouts and salad, not too shabby.  Chop keeps picking up the most intensely sugared junk food and just kind of holding it for a little while, I think this is hard for him.  Tonight it was rainbow sprinkled Entermans donut holes and then a jar of hot fudge sauce, these aren't his typical go to's.  Aahhh its funny what the parasites in your tummy will beg of you.  For me its a matter of balance, I am not craving "sugar" sweet things as much as carbohydrates in general.  I feel like my diet right now is uber fats and proteins, again I need to be eating more raw vegetables.

Just cause I know you love them so much here's a picture of my healthy tongue...Big difference eh?  Nice and pink, no white film.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Got Celeriac?

So what day is today?? Today I am feeling the effects of this diet. I feel like I am eating large amounts of fats and proteins. So the story has been told that if you eat this way (healthy fats of course) you lose weight. I lost 10 pounds on the Master Cleanse and I'm maintaining that weight doing this candida diet, something I didn't expect. Despite the slimming attributes I am not crazy about the imbalance. I miss fruit, my smoothies, and bread. Someone commented the other day about any way of eating that cuts out fruits or carrots can't be great. I've always agreed with that long term, but this is to cleanse a particular problem, and everyone could use a good sugar cleanse every now and again.

I was eating a spoonful of almond butter today and feeling a little tired of all the heavy snackies when Chop reminded me that I could have green apple and still be kosher. So I went to the store, grabbed a green apple and happily smeared it with the almond butter. It was like apple dipped in frosting, it was amazing how sweet it tasted to me.

Talk to me you sweet sweet apple...
The brown rice and eggs which have been my breakfast since losing my fruit smoothies...
(looks pretty darn good doesn't it? Drizzled with hot sauce, since I started allowing vinegars, if you have Candida don't try this at home)

This has certainly gotten me into being a bit more creative in the kitchen. Without meat to fall back on and not wanting to eat too much fish, dinner sans carbs and beans is a little tricky. We had a bunch of celeriac root from our CSA (Community Sustainable Agriculture) share. If you're unfamiliar with this vegetable, it is the root of celery and has a mild celery flavor and the texture of turnip. I had never really prepared anything with it before, but it is allowed on this diet, and needed to be cooked so I went to town. Meal 1 was Cream of celeriac soup, this was flippin delicious, really rich and creamy but without a lot of cream (look for the recipe in the sidebar). With the other celeriac root I made a sauce, this was also really good. It was like a beschamel sauce but without all the flour and cream (a little cream, but nothing crazy, you could use soy milk for either recipe). I made them both at once because they had very similar ingredients and then tonight put the sauce over sauteed portabello mushrooms and onions with mache leaves (a really sweet delicate green) and baked tofu. Oh my could have been a cheesy toast cream of mushroom casserole, so good! So I'm happy with my little celeriac experiments.

Meet our new friend, Mr. Celeriac. He's ugly on the outside but with a little coaxing, his beauty really magnifies.

Here is the soup...

And the rich cheesy bad for you imposter... (sssh, its really just a bunch of health food)
Just rereading this post, I find it funny that I started out complaining about having to eat so many heavy rich foods and ended up begging for more. Isn't that just the way?

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Candida Cleanse diet is definitely harder than you may think at first. Its good to understand that it is only meant to be so limited for about 30 days to allow your healthy bacteria to trump the yeast (for all you poker players out there). Since Chop and I don't have Candida we may start to allow some vinegars and fermented foods as these are great foods for you in every other capacity. Still NO sugars, fruit, wheat, gluten, syrups et cetera et cetera.

So we went 3 days strict candida, 1 day rash city, and now we are back on track. This weekend was really great. I took part in a workshop that was a very beautiful and spiritual experience. Then on Saturday night there was a Native American Sweatlodge. Some people of the community with the help of a Native American spiritual leader (Carl Big Heart) built the sweatlodge and then he returned to facilitate the "sweat". I didn't know what to expect except that I knew it would be hot. This was a very sacred experience, one that words cannot describe. Native American tradition is deep rooted and is centered around Mother Earth and her blessings. The experience of the sweat was one of surrendering. Because of the intensity of the heat, the small space, and the darkness you had to surrender and just when you didn't think you could take anymore you were able to have a breath of fresh air and some water. I encourage anyone, if the chance ever presents itself to participate in a sweat lodge, even if you don't know what to expect, just show up with an open mind and heart, water and loose clothing.

Yesterday (day after sweat) we went to a nice brunch with friends, then had a great day of walks on this windy island. We had all participated in the sweat the night before so this gave us some time to reflect and talk about our experiences. It was a lot of fun
Now as for the food. Found out that Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds especially are actually really good for candida. I was worried that gourds and squash would be too sweet, but what is nice is that they taste sweet, but their sugar content isn't all that high. Tricky tricky, so they are great foods to eat to satisfy sweet cravings without leading to more sweet cravings. So I roasted my pumpkin and toasted the seeds, and used Stevia to sweeten it with a little cinnamon and nutmeg. (Stevia is an herb that is very sweet but does not turn to sucrose in your body, tastes sweet+doesn't raise glycemic index=sweet sensation! I know corny). The pumpkin was served with wild salmon and dandelion greens (also great for Candida). Dandelion greens are wicked bitter, sometimes they can be hard to eat. I tried to cut the bitter with a little citrus, unfortunately I used a little too much lemon, so they were bitter and sour. Hard to get down. Everything else was delicious. Those are our pumpkin seeds in the background.

For breakfast we've been eating either eggs over brown rice (if you've never tried...DO, its great) or juicing vegetable. Carrots are high in sugar so they are to be eaten in smaller servings and only raw as cooking brings out the sugars in them. So I threw a few in my juice, raw of course. The purple is from purple cabbage, then there was celery, green cabbage, lemon and a splash of aloe vera.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Indulgence Day

Sunday night. Day 4 of the Candida diet. Today both Chop and would be getting rashes up and down if we actually had Candida. We had a pretty fun/crazy/interesting/exciting weekend that I'm excited to write about tomorrow when I have more time. Today, the last day of this fun/crazy/interesting/exciting weekend we threw our caution to the wind and wheated/sugared it up for the whole day. Starting out at brunch at the 1661 with friends (which included, french toast, maple syrup, muffins, and fruit) and then a quick snack of pizza strips, we've decided to stick to the trend today and go for dinner at our favorite restaurant on the island on their last day open for the season. Tomorrow we'll be back on track for 6 more days. We've just added a rule whenever you veer off the diet, you have to add a day.