Stuffsoup – a little blog with a lot of "stuff"


Extreme Learning

Posted in Uncategorized by stuffsoup on February 19, 2010

I’ve decided my food needs an overhaul. I turned 40. My metabolism seems to be slowing. My 2 and 4 year olds don’t leave much time for extra workouts. It just needs help.  I shouldn’t really be surprised that I thought the best way to go about a food shift might be to join a small group of women doing a 30-day vegan cleanse… no caffeine, no alcohol, no sugar, no animal products, and no gluten. Hmm.

Perhaps a little background would help. When I was young, I recall having skates strapped to my feet and being pushed out onto a frozen pond to learn to skate. I also recall at least a couple of swimming “lessons” thusly done. I’ve done it to myself too. As a kid, I’d twist my legs into lotus position and move around trying to learn what it might be like if my legs had been amputated at the knee. Or, I’d close or cover my eyes to experience what it might be like to lose my sight. I signed up for a marathon so I would have to learn how to run. Now, I don’t pretend to know what it is truly like to be blind or amputated and I’m only a fair skater, swimmer, or runner but I did learn a bit.

As I talked with friends and family about this vegan cleanse, the reactions were pretty much the same… REALLY?? WHY? and finally GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. But, many, if not most, of them wanted me to keep them posted as I went. They were curious after all, even if they were never going to try this themselves or particularly because they were never going to try this themselves. I do sometimes need to jump in and “get dirty” to learn – and I do get pretty dirty at times.

That brings me to this blog. I’ve never blogged before and I don’t know what I’m doing, but since I seem to like extreme learning… here we go.

Day 1 – so far so good

Breakfast – 1/2 cup oatmeal with almond milk and agave (and it was good!) plus 1 lonely strawberry (the kids ate the rest) and samples of almond and rice milk

After workout – handful of almonds and rice milk with hemp protein (I can hardly believe I just said that)

Late lunch – 3/4 granny smith apple (one of the kids again) with peanut butter and a small bowl of naked air-popped popcorn and a small piece of watermelon

Dinner – black bean, brown rice, tomato tostada with lettuce and a handful of fresh carrot on the side

The good. I was happy with how much I liked drinking the rice milk (Trader Joe’s organic, original, unsweetened) on its own and the almond milk was lovely in the oatmeal.

The bad. I have to admit, I wasn’t very fond of the hemp protein, but the rice milk only had 1 g of protein and I had been doing an organic chocolate milk after workouts which had 9 g, so I thought it might be good to at least add half a serving from the hemp (2T). The stuff just didn’t stir in well.

The (almost) ugly. I almost finished off my daughter’s string cheese after lunch, but caught myself. And, what I had today probably isn’t going to be enough food, so I have to find more to eat!

So, does anybody have any good vegan crock-pot recipes?? or have any good ideas for snacks (besides the obvious fruit or veggies)?? I may be attempting some extreme learning here, but I’ll take all the help I can get!

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5 Responses to 'Extreme Learning'

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  1. Emily said,

    I’m proud of you keep it up. Want a partner in crime?

  2. Cristiana Christiansen said,

    Hey! great to start a path to a healthier life!! One good option is to try new types of food, so I’d say try some asian and greek options. I personally love the udon noodles(not sure if they are gluten free:)) in fish or miso broth and the famous greek salad. Almonds always help me when I’m hungry and on the run. Not sure if you have heard of site called epicurious, they always have wonderful and quite simple recipes, all kinds so you’ll have to find the ones that will be ok with your new diet. My friend, good luck and keep the journals coming!

  3. Allison said,

    WOW! I’m impressed! I can’t wait to hear more!

  4. Kim said,

    I like your style of writing!

    Good idea from Cristiana – http://www.epicurious.com has an advanced search where you can check a box for vegan!! I always get recipes from there and they’re always good (although I’ve never checked that box). Some of my most favorite recipes are from there.

    I have several crockpot cookbooks. Do you have one? How hard is it to take a vegetable soup recipe and make it vegan? Does it take a lot of thought about each ingredient, especially to ensure there’s no gluten?

    I’m definitely going to stay posted. Maybe you’ll inspire me to eat healthier.

    Here’s another idea that I have considered: there are local farm groups everywhere that will deliver food to your door. One option for this is the weekly vegetable basket delivery where you never know what you’re going to get. It will force you to try new vegetables and figure out how to cook them. Of course, it might also demand some research time!

    Oooh – and my favorite: chop up a bunch of random vegetables (root veggies and squash work well, but I throw in anything) and roast them in the oven with olive oil.

    Good luck!

  5. Kim said,

    Courtesy of the Las Vegas Farmer’s Market (on facebook):

    I love to grill Romaine hearts cut length wise. Add a small amount of olive oil and salt/pepper before grilling. Use a small amount of dressing. So Delicious. (Romain is great now)
    Dressing for the grilled Romain: Zest and juice from one lemon and 1 orange, Tablespoon of olive oil and Taragon. Drizzle over the top. Amazing. Thanks Rachael Ray~!

    Huh. Let me know if you try it!


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