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, January 2, 2010

Day 16/ Phase 3/ Week 3

Hello Everyone!

I want to start out first with a BIG thank you to Dr. Fuhrman for all of his hard work. The Eat For Health books are amazing--as are all of his other books. He has changed my life! I may have lost 6 pounds over the last 2 weeks, but I also lost a grand total of 39 pounds over the last year. Thanks to Dr. Fuhrman, and my wonderful trainer Jamie Atlas (see his link!) And also a big thank you for all of you reading my blog--and all of your wonderful comments! I feel great today!! But yesterday actually sort of started out kind of crappy...

Haze and I both did not feel well--we both had headaches. Maybe still detoxing? Hazes GERD is gone at this point, but his colitis has not slowed down at all. We were both really grouchy!! (especially him!!) Haze wanted steak, lobster, chicken and eggs for dinner and I told him "NO"!! Neither of us was excited about the dinner--it was called Thai Vegetable Curry and I thought to myself, "Ugh--I don't like yellow curry." Haze went to lay down in the bedroom while I started cooking dinner. I was standing in the kitchen reading the recipe and saw that it called for freshly-juiced carrot juice--and I just started to bawl my eyes out! It's not a big deal to make carrot juice--I swear it's not! But it seems like I've made carrot juice and cleaned out my fricken juicer like every day this week!! I took my melt-down to the couch to cool off and saw that there was a Bugs Bunny Marathon on TV which cheered me up right away. Yes I'm 44 years old, and yes Bugs Bunny still cracks me up!! (I mean seriously, it was The Rabbit of Seville) Anyway, I finished making dinner and we sat down to eat and were pleasantly surprised! Then while my wonderful and chivalrous husband cleaned the kitchen (and the juicer), I popped on to my blog here and found that I suddenly had like 900 hits for that day alone! I was linked to Dr. Fuhrman's own blog--and voilĂ , I'm famous!! Ha ha !!! Check it out:


Since this whole idea started from watching the movie Julie and Julia, I seriously think it's time that I contact Dr. Fuhrman and ask him who he would like to play himself in our upcoming movie, Jana and Joel. Kevin Spacey perhaps? Ha haha :O)

Dr. Fuhrman / Kevin Spacey

Anyway, the day ended on a high note and here is what was on the menu for yesterday:

Oatmeal and Fruit Compote
This was tasty and super easy to prepare. I soaked the fruit in soy milk, then made cinnamon and vanilla oatmeal to accomany the Fruit Compote. We gave it an "A"

Leftover Speedy Vegetable and Bean Soup
Raw Veggies and Leftover Dip

Mixed GreensTahini Dressing
Thai Vegetable Curry
I thought the Tahini Dressings was one of the best dressings I've ever tasted! It is definitely a favorite--creamy and very flavorful. It was wonderful on a simple green salad. I gave it an A+/ Haze said A-. The Thai Curry was waaaay better than I thought it was going to be. I loved the velvety base and thought it had tons of flavor. Plus it was really pretty. I do prefer a "burn your face off" red curry--I think I will try to make something like that next time--but I will definitely make this one again. I gave this a B+ (leaning towards A-) and Haze gave it a "B." He thought it needed salt--but still really liked it alot!

Fresh fruit
I had a banana which I gave an A+!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 15/ Phase 3/ Week 3

Hello and welcome to the start of Phase 3!! Haze has lost 12 pounds in just 14 days! HAPPY NEW YEAR!! It's going to be great!! I want to say thank you so much for the nice comments. I just could not be happier to be inspiring people! It makes this all worth while!! One comment I had was regarding my grocery bill. And what I planned to do was total up the bill after the 30 days is over. I have to say, I think it's going to be a little high!! But don't freak out when you see the total bill because keep in mind a few things:

A) I am doing this wrong!! This is not the way Dr. Fuhrman intended. I believe his intent is to show you beautiful planned out meals--"soup to nuts" as they say. And I must stress again how wonderful these meals taste when accompanied by the side dishes and desserts. Don't skip those like I've always done in the past! I think Dr. F put alot of time in making these meals harmonious. Entree/ side dishes/ dessert--they all go together like peas in a pod. But he also intended you to have leftovers!

B) I have tons of leftovers frozen away for after this project is over!

C) I am kind of a crappy and un-thrifty shopper. It's only me and my husband, and so I've never really had to "buy in bulk" and I admit I don't really shop at the cheapest place on earth. I mean, I'm sure you all have heard of Whole Foods! Not exactly bargain basement prices! But I am getting better at this shopping thing--and slowly learning!

D) While our grocery bill went up/ our restaurant bill is at zero!

E) There were alot of things that I had to buy the first week, that now I have. And they will last a long time. So that is why I want to wait until the end as the first week will be much higher.

Here was the menu for Day 1 of Phase 3:

Banana-Cashew Lettuce Wrap
I know, I know--this sounds weird. But it's really really good! I didn't have cashew butter, but I did have almond butter (remember to buy raw/ no-salt nut butters). I mean, what could be better than nut butter and bananas?? And the lettuce is just the "holder" for all of this. I kind of rolled it sideways--burrito like--and it was very good. We gave it an "A"

Broccoli Vinaigrette
Vegetable Garbanzo Wrap
Here is a perfect example of how Dr. Fuhrman planned these meals out perfectly. I would not have liked the Garbanzo Wrap nearly as much if I didn't have the tangy broccoli accompanying it. And part of my high marks for this meal was how completly fast and eeeasy it was to make! I gave it an "A-"

Tossed Salad with Dijon Pistachio Dressing
Speedy Vegetable and Bean Soup
I had a little trouble making this salad dressing--I was trying to make a smaller abount (I have a few extra dressings piling up in the fridge!). And it just doesn't work in the Vita Mix if you are making a smaller amount with this one. So we had some other leftover dressing and I will try this one again today. The Speedy Vegetable and Bean Soup was surprisingly good! Haze tasted it and said, "I could eat this every day." It is ultra healthy (keep in mind it's a Phase 3 recipe) but even with our taste buds still back at Phase 1--we both really enjoyed it. And it was our first taste of collard greens--which we both really liked. The only change I made (which I generally do to every soup)--is add half carrot juice/ half celery juice so it is not too sweet). It's warm and comforting--and very filling. We gave it an "A-"

Fruit topped with Strawberry Dressing
Do not skip the desserts! A tiny bowl of fruit with a sweet delicious dressing feels like you are eating dessert at a fancy schmancy restaurant. And like Dr. Fuhrman says--it completes the meal. We gave this an "A"

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 14/ Phase 2/ Week 2

Hi All,
Take a minute and scroll through this blog and just look at all of the wonderful food I have prepared and enjoyed over the last 14 days! I ate as much as I wanted, I did not measure any portions. I had dessert every day--I thoroughly enjoyed this food!! And in just 14 days I lost 6 pounds. And this food is not even considered Dr. Fuhrman's "Aggressive Weight Loss Plan." This is considered "Moderate." Ha! I am impressed!! Especially since they are the hard pounds to lose as they are part of the last 10-15 pounds. I weighed 129 this morning and just couldn't be happier. It was the easiest weight I have ever lost! Ok yes, I have had to shop, cook, and clean the kitchen about a million times--but again--I am doing it "the hard way" and there is an easier way! It's called leftovers!! So here is what was on the menu yesterday:

Vegetable Omelet
This omelet is really tasty--Haze prepared it and gobbled it all up. He gave it an A. I of course had the Eat Your Greens Smoothie--my favorite breakfast on earth!

Romaine, Spinach Salad with Fruit and Nuts
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Vegetable Burrito
A+ lunch!! The salad just couldn't be tastier. In the past a salad has always been lettuce and cut up vegetables. And sometimes I get tired of that. So it's nice to be allowed to eat a salad with yummy shredded fruit, currants, nuts--it's a nice change! When you read the Vegetable Burrito recipe it sounds like it will be sort of dull. But surprise! It is ooooooh sooooooo good and satisfying. It's a very simple recipe--and the lime squeeze is a must. I thoroughly enjoyed this meal!!

Veggies and Tofu Ranch Dip
West African Lentil Okra Stew
Haze and I were split on this meal. I loved the stew/ let's just say he did not love the stew. I gave it an "A-" and thought it was savory and yummy! I loved the creamy peanut butter base--loved all of the veggies. I made a few changes. I added half celery juice, some broccoli, and some butternut squash. I omitted the sweet potato. I also added a squeeze of lime when I was eating the stew--I really liked it alot! We were split again on the Tofu Ranch Dip--Haze gave it a "B" and let's just say I did not like it! But I think I will try making it again. Next time I will add less date, and mince everything green with a knife and then stir it in the white base. It was sort of unappetizing looking to me with all of the blended green. But I will try again!!

Yummy Banana-Oat Bars
Mmmmmmm yummy!! I had one shortly after they came out of the oven and it was heavenly! (Then I had another one later!!) You can't even believe how good a date tastes after not eating processed sugar for a few weeks!! I gave them an "A"/ Haze says "B+" There are only like 2 left!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day 13/ Phase 2/ Week 2

Does anyone know what Chili Sauce is? One of the recipes called for Chili Sauce--and the only ones I found had tons of sugar and salt in them. Anyway, we improvised! It's kind of fun to scroll through here and look at all of the tasty food I have eaten over the last 2 weeks--especially all of the desserts! This has been an amazing experience so far! I'm starting to see how much fun ETL/ Dr. Fuhrman desserts can be!! (Remember Eat to Live is another book by Dr. Fuhrman--and ETL is how his food plan is sometimes referred to). I've always said "no" to dessert when I am eating ETL. I have always thought I will lose weight first, then someday I will allow myself these desserts. But they are totally part of the plan--part of the path to losing weight. I got a little creative with the dessert today! See below! Menu for yesterday was:

Pomegranate Muesli
This dish looked kind of weird, but it was actually VERY tasty and sweet! It is served cold--but I think warm would be good too. I didn't have any canteloupe so I used peaches. Very good!! A-

Veggies with Caesar Salad Dip
Leftover Hearty Ginger Soup
Ok, we all know how I felt about the Hearty Ginger Soup--so I obviously didn't have that for lunch! I had some leftover Portobellos and Tahini Spread so I made the sandwich from the day before. I also made the Caesar Dip which is very tasty!! We gave it a B+

Red Pepper Salsa
Creole Chicken with Spinach and Brown Rice
Roasted Mixed Vegetables and Brown Rice
The Red Pepper Salsa was flavorful and very easy to make. We gave it an A-. The Creole Chicken was the recipe that was supposed to have "Chili Sauce" so Haze used some hot sauce instead. He thought the recipe was just "ok" (maybe it would have been better with the Chili Sauce?) He gave it a "B". The Roasted Veggies were kind of dry--there was another recipe back in Phase 1 called Steak and Roasted Veggies--I liked that one much better (minus the steak of course). I gave this one a "B-". Pics below are Creole Chicken and Red Pepper Salsa on top, and Roasted Veggies below.

Banana Walnut Ice Cream
We obviously have made this one before as you can see from the pics! It is soooooooo good--you just can't even believe how something that is this good can be so good for you. I got a little creative last night and made Banana Walnut Strawberry Date Ice Cream, (I added one small date). It is sooooo quick, so easy and soooooooooooo devine!! A+ + +

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 12/ Phase 2/ Week 2

Hello everyone... bon appetit! I received a comment from a reader who was curious about all of the high marks I was giving everything. She thought it was encouraging, but also wondered how I compared this food to the SAD (Standard American Diet) food I have eaten in the past. The comment sort of made me chuckle, first of all, because if you read below you will find a meal that I did NOT like!! And I was actually thinking yesterday (before dinner) that yes, I am really enjoying all of these meals--and giving them high marks. So I thought I would explain my thinking on the grading:

A+ Totally enjoyable meal--can't wait to make and eat again!
A or A- Will happily make again and it will be a staple in our house. Guest worthy.
B+ or B I know it's good for me and it tastes really good too--will be a good week-night meal
B- Will make again but I won't be that excited about it!
C+ or less Will probably not make again, or I will try to modify more to my liking

As far as my SAD meals, there were (and are) lots of things that I like but when "grading" food you have to take into consideration how you feel after eating them as well. Not just how good they taste sliding down your gullet! And after eating my favorite SAD meals I feel like I just ate a salt-lick, depressed, disappointed, greasy. And the next morning when I look in the mirror I see poofy eyes and no glow. Part of the reason I like to eat ETL is vanity!! I want to look rosey and healthy--I want to glow!! These ETL meals that I give an "A" to feel good before, during (sliding down my gullet), and after!! So here is what was on the menu yesterday:

Blueberry Orange Smoothie
This smoothie was on the menu in Phase 1, and it was not our favorite. So again I made my most favorite breakfast...Dr Fuhrman's Eat Your Greens Smoothie and Oatmeal for Haze

Tossed Green Salad
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Portobello Red Pepper Sandwich
Tahini Spread
WOWEE BOB was this a good lunch!! A+ all the way around. The salad is my favorite with Dr. F's Balsamic Vinaigrette. And the Portobello Sandwich was pretty easy to make and soooooooooooo delicious. It was perfect with the creamy Tahini Spread. And the combo with the salad was just heavenly. I kept piling some of my salad onto the sandwich and sopping up the vinaigrette with the pita. This is a must try!! Restaurant worthy and guest worthy!!

Green Velvet Vegetable Salad
Hearty Ginger Lentil Soup
Ok, here we go--let's start with the salad. We gave it a B. It was pretty decent. Neither of us like dill but we thought we would give it a shot. I think next time we will leave out the dill and add the tarragon instead and it will be much better! And...I don't want to discourage anyone from trying the Ginger Soup--it was just not my taste at all. It was waaaay too sweet for me. I took a few bites and then could not even eat it. Thank goodness for the leftover Vegetable Milanese in the fridge! I heated that up and suddenly it rose to an A+ in my book!! Haze, however, sort of liked the Ginger soup and ate it all up! He gave it a B!! He requested that it all be pureed (which I did) and then froze it in small containers for him to take for lunches.

Banana Pumpkin Pudding
This was sort of weird, and sort of good! I totally loved the spices, the consistancy and the coolness of it--but it was also very pumpkiny. I think if you love pumpkin--you will love this dessert! We gave it a “B”.

P.S. I also received a comment from a reader that said there is a No-salt version of Spike! Hooray!! I will definitely be purchasing some. And I did not add a whole bunch to the Cuban Black Beans (I know this because Haze made his usual comment of "needs salt”)--and I know I would love them without any of the salty version Spike. They were that good!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day 11/ Phase 2/ Week 2

Hello everyone,
Another day, another recipe or two! This is definitely getting easier as I go. It's always a fun surprise at dinner time because I have no idea what I am eating or what it will taste like (I haven't been tasting as I cook). So here is what we had yesterday...

No recipe--so we had Eat Your Greens Fruitshake (as always) and oatmeal.

Black Bean Hummus Dip
Raw Veggies
Gazpacho Summer Soup (that I turned into Gazpacho WINTER Soup)
I had to make some changes on this lunch. First of all, we have had this Black Bean Hummus before and it is very good. I added lime juice and cilantro for more flavor--it's quick and easy. But...we had some extra Cuban Black Beans leftover from the night before so I decided to just put them in the blender and make Cuban Black Bean Dip!! VERY yummy!! Also on the menu was Gazpacho Summer Soup. It's like 16 degrees outside right now!! We did not feel like ice cold soup--and so I made a cooked version of this soup. I used zucchini instead of the cucumber and just sort of sauteed everything and used canned tomatoes. It was fast and easy--and very good!! I served with guacamole. Very yummy lunch!! We gave it an A.

Seasoned Edamame
Turkey-Vegetable Meatloaf
Vegetables Milanese with Navy Beans
Dinner was good! The Vegetable Milanese did not look very appetizing--but it actually tasted pretty good. There was lots of flavor with the added dressing (fig vinegar, olive oil). This is a good dish for a cold week night--nothing fancy, but warm and filling. We gave it a B+. Haze really liked the meatloaf--he gave it an A-. The seasoned edamame were great because I accidently put Spike on them--which I did not realize has salt in it. I thought Spike was like Mrs. Dash! Oops!

Dessert:Chocolate Dip
Ok--you would not even believe the weird ingredients that go into this dip. Just to name a few: spinach, beets, bluberries (those are just the weird ones) but then you whip it all up and voilĂ ! You have this creamy concoction that tastes exactly like chocolate pudding! I could not find cocoa powder at Whole Foods, so I used Ghirardelli 100% Cacao-unsweetened (baking bar). I melted it and poured it in as the last ingredient with the blender going. We did not have any strawberries, so I made the Banana Walnut Ice Cream--and put the Chocolate Dip on top. It was really really good! We gave it an A!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 10/ Phase 2/ Week 2

Hello everyone! Thank you so much for reading my blog, and for the comments!! A few people were worried about the giant Christmas mess and my husband definitely helped to clean up!! The food was great but I was actually happy to get back on track yesterday in the Eat For Health book. Even though the holiday dinner was ETL (Eat to Live is another book by Dr. Fuhrman and so "ETL" is how alot of people refer to his high-nutrient food plan)--it was very rich because of all the nuts added to everything. There is a line in the movie Julie and Julia where Julie's husband is asking her, "Now tell me again, WHY are you doing this?" And she replies that she needs a regimen in her life. When I heard that I thought to myself, yes that is exactly what I need! A regimen! A regulated system--a daily routine. So that is where this idea was born. And I admit--I have more time than your average person as I work from home and do not have children. But Dr. Fuhrman even says in his book that this menu plan is just to show you all of the different and beautiful meals you can put together. He is not advocating that you make a different dish for every meal. Most of the time you will have enough for leftovers. But for me, committing to this regimen is really helping me to grow some really healthy habits. Lots of these recipes I never even would have tried because they did not sound good enough to me. But I am so happy that I did because I have a whole new cache of recipes that I will definitely be making in the future! So here is what we had yesterday...

Blueberry Nut Oatmeal
So breakfast was really yummy! We used Steel Cut Oats (because we had them on hand and wanted to try them). They were chewier than regular oats--a nice change. I also added cinammon and vanilla to this recipe. It was very good! We gave it an "A"

Raw veggies with leftover dips
Turkey/ or veggie on sprouted wheat bread
Lunch was tasty--no real recipe. I made a huge salad and used the leftover dressings we had in the fridge. We also made a veggie sandwich with soy cheese.

Walnut-Pear Green Salad
Cuban Black Beans with Brown Rice
Dessert: Fruit and Nut Bowl
Oh My!! This could be my most favorite meal in the whole book so far!! Cuban Black Beans with Brown Rice. WOW. A+++ It calls for tomato juice and tomato sauce--I had neither so I used low sodium V-8 in place. I also used extra extra garlic and some Spike (a no-salt seasoning), and the San Marzano variety canned tomatoes. We served it with guacamole spiced up with jalepenos. Soooooo friggen good. This is a MUST TRY!! The salad was really incredible as well. It was made with Dr. Fuhrmans's Pear Vinegar (or you can just use another fruity type vinegar), currants, pears (I used half apples), and it was really tasty. A nice "sweet" next to the Cuban Beans. A+ meal!! For dessert, the recipe was supposed to be Fruit and Nuts, but we made Jenna's Peach Freeze. We had had plenty of fruit and nuts with the salad and wanted something cool (I sort of added alot of jalepenos to the guacamole!!) All in all it was a great day!!

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