Have you seen the movie Julie and Julia? Or read the book? Julie Powell became an internet celebrity with her 2004 blog recording her yearlong adventure cooking every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I am taking on a similar challenge, only I am blogging my way through a very healthy cookbook! And I will learn to master the art of healthy cooking! The book is called Eat For Health by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. I will cook every recipe start to finish in four weeks just as they are laid out in the book. I will write about the recipes, show you pictures, and tell you how my SAD (Standard American Diet) eating, carnivorous husband likes them too. (See archives below.) He is behind me 100%!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 4/ Phase 1/ Week 1

Hello Everyone,

We are really enjoying this project!! Well...except for yesterday... My husband called me at lunch and said, "Everyone is going out to lunch and I want to go too. And I don't want to eat the lunch you packed. How do you feel about that?" And I said, "Noooooooooo!! Please!! This is important for us!!" I told him to be strong!! It's only Day 4 and he can do it!! He agreed to stay in and eat the packed lunch, but he said, "I don't like you very much right now!!" His digestion issues have not really been any better--in fact they are worse. So he is a trooper for sticking with it!! There is a healing process, so it is perfectly normal for it to feel worse now--but we are confident that it will improve. So here is what we had yesterday:

No recipe so we had fruitshake and oatmeal

No recipe--just leftovers (which we had a variety so it worked out great!)

Romaine, Spinach, and Watercress Salad with Fruit and Nuts
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Tomato Bean Barley Soup
First of all, let me say that I did not have high hopes for this meal but was pleasantly surprised! The ingredients for the salad dressing sounded kind of weird to me, but oh my gosh! What an elegant and perfect dressing. It will go great with soooo many salads. Definitely an "A". It was not too sweet, perfect consistancy--and so delicious. The Tomato Barley Soup was really warm and thick and very creamy. It sort of reminded me of a creamy risotto. Definitely creamier than soupier. (is that a word?) And since it reminded me of risotto I really wanted it to have mushrooms in it. Next time I will definitely add some mushrooms--like shitakes. Haze's comment (this is been his comment on practically everything so far) was that it "needs salt". It's sort of a joke now! Haze gave it a "B+"/ I say "A-"
Mango Riesling Compote
Haze loved the dessert--he gave it an "A". I did not like it quite as much--just not my taste (but hey, I ate it all!). But I was very happy he liked it. In fact, he liked it so much that he poured the rest over his oatmeal this morning!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 3 / Phase 1/ Week 1

Here is what I have learned in just 3 days. Dr. Fuhrman is totally and completely right when he says that the most successful people are the ones who jump in with both feet. For YEARS I have had one (or two) toes out of the water. And I can now see just what he is talking about. If you are on the edge, not fully committed--I recommend you try this even for a few days!! I am sold!! Here is what else I have learned--these recipes are totally satisfying when made into an entire meal--just like they are laid out in the book. A salad, an entrée, a few tasty side dishes, AND a dessert. This is a whole new eating experience for us!! Here is what we had yesterday...

(No recipe) So we made fruitshake and oatmeal

Orange Sesame Tossed Salad
Fast Black Bean Soup

If there was ever a time that I wanted to swear like Julie Powell it would have been yesterday at lunch. Due to a time crunch, I had to make lunch and pack it up and bring it to my husband's office. I also had to make a kind of gross and SAD hors d'oeuvre for a Christmas party to which I had already committed. AND the Fast Black Bean Soup is not fast--it's sorta fast, kinda fast. But not really fast. Anytime that I have to make fresh carrot juice in a recipe, it's not fast. Anyway it's a good thing the soup turned out tasty because I would have been really bummed!! Because we both kind of did not like the salad. It was too sweet (for us) and the dressing was kind of watery. But we ate it all up so it couldn't have been that bad. We gave the salad a "C" and the Sorta Fast Black Bean Soup an "A-"

Turkey Spinach Burger
Simple Bean Burgers
Sunshine Slaw
Hot Pepper Salsa
Baked Garlic Pita Chips
Dessert: Very Berry Ice Cream
Haze loved the spinach burger--I used fresh spinach and it turned out fine. The bean burgers were fabulous! I love veggie burgers of all kinds and this one was totally different and very tasty. The sunshine slaw was really pretty and yummy. It would be good too with half cabbage. I added a little apple cider vinegar (thought it needed some) (that's how mama makes it) and it was perfect! The salsa was better than any I think I've ever had. I again used the canned San Marzano tomatoes, plus some fresh. Totally satisfying and filling meal!! The Very Berry Ice Cream was a beautiful final touch. A+ for the whole meal!! Pictured below is the Bean Burger. Yum!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 2/ Phase 1/ Week 1

You know, I really wanted to call this the Jana/ Joel project--just like Julie/ Julia but I also wanted to be respectful to Dr. Fuhrman!! Oh well--it's still a good title! We are having lots of fun so far.

Here is the menu for Day 2...

When he does not post a recipe (like today he just had yogurt and fruit), we just decided to have a favorite Dr. F recipe on those days. So today I made my favorite Eat Your Greens Smoothie and Haze had the same oatmeal from yesterday.
Here is my smoothie recipe (it's a little different than his). This is for one serving:
3 oz spinach
1 T flax
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup water (room temp)
1-1/2 cups frozen berries (I love blueberries and cherries)
5 1-inch slices frozen banana
Blend in a Vita Mix (you have to have a Vita Mix for this--they are amazing and I use mine several times a day!!) in that order (spinach on the bottom) and blendsoooooooooo good!! it's like friggin ice cream for breakfast!!

Turkey Sandwich on whole-grain bread
with veggies, mustard, and vegan mayo
1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
Need I say that Haze loved lunch today! He is a turkey sandwich kind of guy. He normally has whitey, doughy wonder bread type bread and about a cup of mayo, but today it was on Ezekiel Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Bread, and he used a little vegan mayo. Overall he gave the lunch an A. I think it's good to have several different things to nibble on--it makes meals more fun! I don't eat turkey so I had a big salad and the rest of the sweet potato stew...YUM!

Raw Veggies
Tasty Hummus
Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
Very yummy and very filling meal. The hummus is really good! I used extra lemon juice (I just like it that way), and sprinkled some paprika on top to make it pretty. The pasta was soooooooo good. I actually used canned (no salt) San Marzano tomatoes (I had them leftover from the Sweet Potato Stew). The canned San Marzanos are a tad pricey--but really worth it.
Wild Apple Crunch
The Wild Apple Crunch dessert was heavenly. I cut the recipe to about 3 servings, I ate one servings and Haze at all the rest--he loved it!!
On to Day 3!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 1/ Phase 1/ Week 1

If you are a member of Dr. Fuhrman's website, you can also follow along there under Discussion Forums/ Cook To Live/ The Jana/ Dr. Joel Project.

So... I spent about 2 hours over the weekend planning my shopping list for the entire Week 1, and then about 2 hours at Whole Foods yesterday buying everything (except the meat items for the end of the week). I will freeze leftovers, otherwise I will make smaller amounts (it is only my husband and me). Hopefully I will not have to cook for the month after this! I will have a stocked up freezer!!

Here we go!!! Phase 1/ Week 1/ Day 1

Hello All! Well let me just say that Day 1 was spectacular! I am not new to this whole Dr. Fuhrman thing, so I am already feeling great. Haze however, had a headache pretty much the whole day (which is totally understandable as he is detoxing). But on the upside he commented that his stomach felt really good after each meal. He is normally uncomfortable after eating anything--so he is really excited about this!

Cinnamon Fruit Oatmeal
We started the day with Cinnamon Fruit Oatmeal which was hearty and filling for a chilly Colorado morning. It made the whole house smell like apple pie! Haze couldn't believe how big the portion was! He totally hates breakfast in general, but he ate it all and gave it a grade of "A"

Russian Fig Dressing/Dip
Whole-wheat tortilla stuffed with avacado and veggies
This makes a really nice and easy lunch. The almond butter in the dressing and the avacado make you feel like you are not just having "rabbit food." We had mixed fruit with it and it was very filling. We gave it a "B"

Tossed Green Salad
Spiced Tilapia
Chunky Sweet Potato Stew
Brown Rice
Braised Bok Choy
Dessert: Poached Pears with Raspberry Sauce
OMG!!! and HOLY COW was this a yummy and tasty dinner!! I cannot wait to make this again!! (I will have to wait 4 weeks though!!) It was truly restaurant worthy and most definitely worthy of a dinner party. Every element was perfect. I won't ever make one of these recipes without the other--it was an absolutely perfect combination. We both gave it an A+ Haze always claims that he hates sweet potatoes--but he totally chowed on the Chunky Sweet Potato Stew (I actually used a yam instead). It was awesome! Make sure you have enough liquid when cooking the stew--I had to add a little bit of water while cooking. Haze's only complaint about the meal was the lack of salt, but he ate it all like a champ. Next time I make it I will add the topping for the Tilapia only for about the last few minutes of broiling. The topping sort of got too well done and I had to flip it over half way so it would not burn. Other than that it was an absolutely delicious and beautiful dinner. I did not think I would like the Poached Pear with Raspberry Sauce--but tasted absolutely heavenly.

Hooray!! On to Day 2...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 0/ Phase 1/ Week 1

The Jana/Dr. Joel Project--Blogging Julie/ Julia style

Have you seen the movie Julie and Julia? Or read the book? Julie Powell became an internet celebrity with her 2004 blog recording her yearlong adventure of cooking every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I would like to take on a similar challenge, only I will blog my way through a very healthy cookbook called Eat For Health by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. It is a 2-book set, Book 1 is an explanation of this fabulous way of life, and Book 2 is a cookbook. So... starting December 15, 2009 I will begin this 4-week project! I will cook every recipe start to finish from Phase 1 to Phase 4 in four weeks just as they are laid out in the book--breakfast, lunch and dinner. And I will write about them. I will also tell you how my SAD (Standard American Diet) eating, carnivorous husband likes them too. He is behind me 100% (actually encouraged me) as he has some very uncomfortable illnesses that desperately need attention.

Please visit Dr. Fuhrman's website at http://www.drfuhrman.com/ for more information and to purchase these books.

So to begin Julie Powell style:

The Book:
Eat for Health Book 2--first edition, 2008. Author, Dr. Joel Fuhrman M.D. The book that helped us to shed millions of pounds, helped cure diseases, relieved depression, saved untold thousands of lives.

The Contender:
Jana Diedrich. Artist by day (and by night), floundering but hopeful food addict. 44 years old, no children, 1 husband, 3 dogs and looking for a challenge. Risking her marriage (no Julia Child cuisine for him), she has signed herself up for an inspirational and enlightening assignment, hoping to re-direct and commit to this way of life.

28 days, over 128 recipes. One woman and a "pretty ok" kitchen.

The Goals:
1. To help my husband with his severe stomach issues: Gastro Esophageal Reflect Disease a.k.a. GERD and Acid Reflux, and Collagenous colitis. To help him lower his out of control cholesterol, and to help him lose 25 pounds.
2. The Standard American Diet (SAD) just makes me feel depressed and joyless. I want to feel light and happy all of the time! My other goal--to rid myself of my sleep apnea.

How far will it go? Tune in each day for the next 28 days and see... This project starts now!!