Friday, June 29, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 13 - In Search of Fennel.

Today has been long and hard and I'm exhausted.

Made my breakfast and took a picture of it like a good resetter:

Strawberry, orange, apple, grape smoothie.

"What?", you say, "No picture of it actually as a smoothie???"  Yeah well I poured the deliciousness into my cup with a lid, loaded it into my big bag along with my gallon of reset water, my lunch and my purse, grabbed my ice water and ran out the door....leaving my phone on the counter next to the blender.

You have to understand...I am more attached to my iPhone than just about anyone I know.  I don't know how I got all the way to work without realizing I didn't have it...but I did.  And I was PISSED.

So when lunchtime rolled around I went home to enjoy my Microgreen salad with beets and avocado on it.

Yep, hauled it to work, just to turn around and haul it back again.

It's a well traveled salad.

And fortunately, because my boss is awesome, I was able to stay there for the rest of the day, working from my kitchen table/desk.

The Boy doesn't like to eat in the kitchen.  Given his druthers he will eat in the living room every time.  So my kitchen table has sort of turned into an office space, where I have to shove my laptop out of the way to sit down and eat dinner when it's just me.  Well the office-ness of the table expanded significantly today because my elbows simply won't take a half day of working on this laptop keyboard with this little mouse finger draggy screen thingy (a technical term) I dragged out some stuff I never threw away from the days of the home office with the desktop computer and actual desk.

Kickin' it Old School.  Word.

Yes the monitor is a bit far away for my old eyes but my ergonomic keyboard and cordless mouse make it all worth it.

I settled in to work the afternoon away, and actually got quite a bit done, paid a quick and desperately needed visit to the chiropractor, then I made a really bad do my grocery shopping.

I really only needed to zip in and buy a squash for tonight's dinner.  Nothing else would be really needed 'till Sunday afternoon.  But I opted to just get it overwith.  It seemed like a good idea as I was leaving the chiropractor.  An hour and a half and two stores later, when it was 7 pm and I hadn't even STARTED making dinner, not so much.

Fortunately dinner was very easy.

Acorn Squash with Garlic Tahini Filling 
and Brussels Sprouts.

This filling is AMAZING.  I will definitely have this again. Maybe even tomorrow.  I have leftover squash and it's already cooked.  I cooked the whole thing but only ate half.  So I'd just have to make more filling.

Tomorrow I'm working from home all day so I don't have to make lunch tonight.  I think it may be a sign that I work too much and cook too much when I look forward to the weekends so I can NOT pack my lunch and so that I can ONLY work during the day and take the nights off.

Hopefully a big push this weekend will get me on top of things for the first time in months.

A girl can hope.

As I was leaving the grocery store, starving and tired and frustrated by my inability to locate a frigging fennel bulb, I got a text message from a certain gentleman, just telling me that he's proud of me for sticking with this.  The timing couldn't have been better. I wasn't ready to quit or anything, because I've come too far at this point, but I was really hating the process at that moment.  It was a temporary feeling that would have passed with or without that text message, but it passed far more quickly because of it.  This is really worthwhile you guys.  SO worthwhile.  I'm learning so much, about food and what I like and how to properly fuel my body and how to cook.  I feel physically better than I have in ages, even though I'm exhausted a good portion of the time.  Hell my allergies are almost completely gone and my skin is better than it's been in years and my pants are falling off.  But it's hard.  Especially the shopping.  I hate the shopping.  With the exception of the Goddamned fennel bulb I am DONE reset shopping.  Yes I will buy many of these things again, but not all at freaking once.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 12 - Blog Over Lunch Post 101

After I posted last night I realized that was my 100th Blog Over Lunch entry.  I feel like there should be streamers or kazoo's or something.

Today I drank this:

Nectarine, apple, orange smoothie.

And I ate this:

Quinoa Lentil Pilaf and Tomato Cucumber Salad

And I ate this:

Roasted beets, coconut collard greens and quinoa.

The coconut collard greens were AMAZING.  I can't believe I've never tried coconut milk before.  I will be using MUCH of this going forward...if I can figure out how.  

Today I was washing my face and I noticed my skin is noticeably different.  I have a fairly clear complexion as it is.  I am 46 and postmenopausal after all, so while I'm still prone to the occasional zit I don't get routine breakouts.  Wrinkles are of greater concern.  But my skin has a much more even tone.  I'm far less blotchy and less pale.  Complexion improvement is commonly sighted as a side effect of the Reset, so yay!!

I wish I could stop working myself to death so I could figure out what other side effects I might be having.  My energy is about normal, but I think given the schedule I've been keeping I'd probably be dragging normally, so maybe if I wasn't flogging myself professionally I would probably be moving furniture or painting the barn (as if I could afford paint...I crack me up).  My back is killing me but I have no doubt that's from 12 hours a day at a computer then cooking another 2 hours.  I go to the chiropractor tomorrow, thank God.

I also wish I could do some yoga or go for a damn walk.  The only exercise I've had since I started this has been yardwork or hauling groceries in from the garage.  I know I'd be less achy, and my back would feel better, if I could sneak in a session of Les Mills Flow.  

But wishing isn't going to make it happen now is it?


I really need to find a way to sneak some actual LIFE into my wake/work/cook/work/sleep routine.

Adding that to the to-do list for tomorrow.  

Ooh!! It's time to sleep.  My favorite.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 11 - Hump Day

I am officially half way through The Ultimate Reset.  At the risk of sounding like the video link from yesterday, week one seemed like about three or four days.  Week two, and it's only halfway done, has seemed like two weeks.  And I don't know why.  I actually think I'm falling into a routine, and I like the fact that this week (and hopefully next) we can just make double dinner and take half for lunch the next day with a side dish, but I know at the end of week one I was thinking "wow...that was fast" and when I got home today nothing would have felt better than to nuke a Lean Cuisine and sink into an episode of Pawn Stars.

But I didn't, obviously.

Today I actually got up early, as planned, which was fortunate because The Boy overslept and I had to wake him.  Starting the day yelling at him, followed by making Microgreen Salad (LOVE to eat it, HATE to make it), and then getting yelled at by an irate employee for something I didn't even do....that makes for a cranky Terrie.

But at least today I was cranky because The Boy is an irresponsible teenager, I don't like to cook and sometimes people are asshats, rather than being cranky because I didn't eat enough and my blood sugar was in the basement.  And my breakfast was yummy.  Yummy enough to deserve TWO pictures:

Something I can consume in the car without killing anybody.

Lunch was the aforementioned Microgreen Salad.  With pine nuts, cashews and avocado.   

And, of course, jicama and creamy garlic dressing.

Yesterday, when I originally looked at tonight's dinner's recipe, my reaction was "15 ingredients?  Seriously?" But this was actually one of the easiest dishes.  There was about 20 minutes of cooking time, which allowed me to make the side dish for tomorrow's lunch and clean up a bit.  I ended up being done eating and had the dishwasher running by 7:30.  That has to be some kind of record.

Quinoa lentil pilaf with steamed broccoli.

My taste buds are definitely changing.  Used to be I really disliked broccoli, but this wasn't bad.  I taste things differently now.  In the past my taste buds were so overloaded with the chemically induced over the top flavors of the food-like products that when I ate real food it tasted bland.  I'm starting to taste the subtleties of things like broccoli or carrots.  Hell used to be I would gag if I tried to eat an apple, but the one I had yesterday was AWESOME!  I'm able to appreciate the natural sweetness of fruit, and taste the differences.  For example I'm surprised by how blueberries really aren't that sweet at all.  And even strawberries pale in comparison to a good green grape or apple.  I never noticed the differences.  Fruit was something I ate because I was supposed to, or because I couldn't have what I really wanted.  Something to fill me up without packing on too many pounds.  Now it's like candy, and that's awesome.  

Tomorrow's lunch is packed up and I'm enjoying the relative comfort of my living room.  I say relative because it's more comfortable than the kitchen table, but not as comfy as the bed which is where I really want to be.  I've been working at the kitchen table most evenings and those chairs are hard.  My elbows will hate me for it, and my back will probably not be too happy either.  I'm not exactly ergonomically postured here...but my heinie is happy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 10 - Day of Self-Destruction

You guys today has sucked.  Just all around, in almost every way, it has supremely sucked.  And I have responded to it's suckiness by indulging in self-defeating, self-destructive, stupidheaded tendencies as if it were my chosen occupation.  That's right...I spent the day fucking up like it's my job.

I started out by oversleeping.  Yes, I do this often on the weekend but during the week I'm pretty much a grownup.  But I hit snooze one too many times.  Last night I failed to pre-slice and pack my breakfast so I ended up with this:

Yes that's my car seat.  I took this at a red light.

 Yeah, a red light, that's the ticket.

I ate the apple in the car and figured I'd save the orange & kiwi, having one as a snack mid-morning, and another as a snack mid-afternoon.  I'm having a really hard time with the not snacking.  I've had it drilled into my head for so many years that we're supposed to eat every 2 to 3 hours.  

So I got to work and all heck broke loose.  Nothing out of the ordinary but a whole bunch of stress-making stuff all at once.  To be honest, a typical Tuesday.  But I then made a very stupid decision in my personal life, which I won't get into, and ended up melting down at work.  And I'm not talking about a quick little bit of waterworks, cowgirl up and get back to the work at hand, but I'm talking about a full blown snotfest, requiring multiple trips to the ladies room and a half box of kleenex, some of them belonging to my sainted boss as I was trying to act like I was fine while we talked about the proctological exam we call the 401k audit.

Well bless Bossman's heart, he asked if there was anything he could do for me, and I said I'd like to take lunch early (like two hours early) to compose myself.  Of course he said yes and I went to the car, with about a half roll of paper towels.  

See, here's the thing.  When my blood sugar drops, I temporarily cross the line into, I'm pretty sure, a diagnosable mental disorder.  

Clinically speaking, I lose my freaking mind.

I felt it happening and ate my orange as I was trying, pretty much unsuccessfully, to form comprehensible sentences to answer Bossman's questions, but it wasn't enough.

I'm pretty sure the blood sugar issue prompted the poor personal decision in the first place.  It is not like me to shoot off three emails to girlfriends asking "What should I do?" and then make my own decision on the fly before any of them can reply.  Then when I realized I effed up, the low blood sugar turned a "go in the ladies room, have a little, cry, fix your makeup and then fix your mistake" problem in to the end of the freaking world.

So...after 50 minutes of crying on the phone to my also-sainted boyfriend, here I was, in the car, red nosed and red eyed, having left work visibly upset mumbling "I'm taking an early lunch I'll be back in an hour"....I couldn't very well go back into the office and start warming up bisque and chopping up salad at my desk.  I needed to walk in and get back to work.

You can find just about anything you could ever want to eat within 1/4 mile of my office.  Seriously.  It's ridiculous.  Fortunately, at this point I didn't have the 'fuck it' attitude that would normally send me straight to McDonald's for a quarter pounder and a frappe.  I wanted to do this right, stay on track, just get something quick and easy.


My plan, honest to blog, was to get a nice fruit smoothie, but I wanted to make sure I got some protein in it to level out the blood sugar.  So I asked the girl behind the counter what they could do vegan.  Here comes the worst possible answer I could get....

"Oh we can make anything on the menu vegan.  We'll just replace the yogurt with soy protein"

Before I knew what happened, a fat, unhealthy compulsive eater took over my brain and said "Ok a regular peanut power shake with soy protein and one of these vegan peanut butter cookies"

If the rules are no refined sugar, no dairy, no meat, no alcohol, no caffeine, no preservatives and no artificial sweeteners, I had unwittingly wandered into the only place on the planet where I could consume over 1,000 calories at one meal without breaking any of those rules. Hell without sitting down or picking up a fork!!

I could have just gone to McDonald's and gotten a fruit smoothie, hold the yogurt, for a fraction of the calories and money.  And gone drive-through!!!

I'd love to say the cookie was gross......

What I will say is I felt like absolute shit after eating it.

So....back on the horse.  Focusing on the positive.  I made it 9 1/2 days without veering even one tiny speck away from the plan, and I will do the next 11 the same way.  Today I didn't eat anything that set me back addiction-wise, like a diet coke or frappe would have.  I didn't eat dairy or meat and spoil my vegetarian/vegan streak.  I just simply ate too much.  Moving on.

After work I had to drive to BFE to meet The Boy where he was dropping his car off to be fixed.  He got lost and was a half hour late.   So even though I didn't have to cook dinner, I STILL didn't get done eating untl 8:30.

Dinner was what I packed for today's lunch.  Sweet potato and roasted red pepper bisque with greek salad.

I needed a smile.

I have some shuffling to do in order to get back on track.  The recipe that was supposed to be tonight's dinner and tomorrow's lunch looks awesome, and also looks like a lot of work.  More work than I want to do at 9pm for lunch tomorrow when I could wait and double the recipe tomorrow night, when I can get an earlier start (God willing and the creek don't rise) and then have it for tomorrow's dinner and Thursday's lunch.  Fortunately we're allowed to switch meals around within any given phase.  Any lunch for any lunch, any dinner for any dinner.  And we're allowed to repeat and skip.  I have avoided replacing something I don't think I'll like with something I know I do because I want to try every recipe, but tomorrow's dinner and Thursday's lunch is supposed to be Hearty Vegetable Miso Soup.  I don't like vegetable soup, and I wasn't a big fan of the miso soup, so this does not bode well.  

So tomorrow for lunch I will repeat Day 8's lunch, which was a microgreen salad.  Then tomorrow night I'll have what I was supposed to have tonight and all will be right with the world....minus the miso.

And yes, I'm fully aware that the above two paragraphs read very much like this

And as much as I may regret this tomorrow, I'm not making tomorrow's breakfast or lunch tonight.  I'm going to go relax, watch a little TV, and I'll get up early to slice and dice, right after I EAT MY BREAKFAST.  Because when they say "fresh fruit plate", they don't just mean "eat an apple on the highway".  Lesson learned.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 9 - Hold the Pureed Meat

I just don't know where my days go.  I work the day job for 8 or 12 hours, work the night job a bit, spend two hours cooking and cleaning up and POOF it's over.

A certain gentleman is on his way over for a quick visit.  Driving 40 minutes to spend maybe an hour & turn around and go back, because it was the only opening we both had aside from 3am (keep it clean people) so this will be brief.

Breakfast.  Fruit.  

Prettier than yesterday.

Lunch, more of last night's beans & rice.  Even better after the spices had time to do the blendy thing.  With a microgreen salad.  I'm hearing reset peeps saying they're sick of the salad.  Not me.  I'm sick of making it, but not of eating it.

So good I ate half of it before I remembered to snap a pic.

Dinner was FREAKING AWESOME.   A bit of a pain in the ass to make, but really good.  Sweet potato and roasted red pepper bisque, with asparagus.

I was wondering what the difference is between soup and bisque, so I googled it. says: A bisque is a rich, creamy soup made with shellfish — specifically, bisque is traditionally made with the puréed meat of crustaceans, including lobster, crab, shrimp or crayfish

So by that definition (and the internet is never wrong), this was not bisque.  This was soup.   By any definition, it was yummy and I can't wait to have it for lunch tomorrow.

Bisque please...hold the pureed meat.

I haven't made tomorrow's breakfast yet.  Fruit it shall be but I do have a mango.  Never had one of those before, so it'll be exciting.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hello Week 2 - Goodbye 6 Pounds

I have been weighing myself every day.  Exactly like I'm not supposed to.  But it's hard not to, knowing that there is a steady downward motion on the scale.  I lost six pounds in seven days!!  I believe two of that was water (because I dropped 2 on day one) but the rest of it is real weight!

Yes, this is hard.  And yes, there are lots of benefits aside from weight loss.  I would almost be ok with doing this and not losing any weight (ALMOST) because I'm learning so much and I know I'm getting healthier.  But six pounds....that kicks ass!!

I have THREE fruit bowls in my kitchen.  And they're all full.  And I just got done ENJOYING a snack of jicama and hummus.  

Seriously, I don't know me anymore. 

There's a new supplement this week called Detox.  It's a powder that you mix with water.  The taste isn't nearly as bad as the alkalinize, though the texture is a little grainy & gloppy.  I had a heads-up on this from the support page (the support on this is awesome...daily emails, dedicated website and a facebook page specific to each week) so I mixed it in the blender. I hear a lot of complaining about how gross it is, but it's not that bad.

Breakfast from here on out is fresh fruit, which will be easy and can even be eaten on the fly.  So I threw some blueberries & grapes in a bag, added some cut up apples and headed to work.  I ate most of it in the car, but there was so much that I finished it at my desk.

Not my best photo. Needs red.  I'll do better tomorrow.

My plan was to work 'till 1:30, hit Home Depot for weedwacker string and Heinens for jicama & tahini and have dinner around 2:30.

Yeah right.

As I was heading to the check out at Heinen's I saw a glow toward the front of the store.  I heard angelic singing and harps.  

It was.......the salad bar.

No, I didn't cheat.  Well I obviously cheated on the food prep but I didn't get anything I wouldn't have had at home.  And the great thing is the healthy stuff is light.  It's all the crap that weighs down the salad causing it to be $10 at the register (yes, I have paid $10 for a salad for lunch).  Today I paid $3.19, which was TOTALLY worth the saved time and labor, then I came home and added avocado and homemade dressing.

$3.19 worth of not washing and chopping.

And yaknow, by the time I sat down to lunch, I was hungry, but I wasn't shaky and dizzy like I would normally be after 6 1/2-ish hours of not eating.  I credit the detox.  It's mostly fiber, and that's supposed to keep you full longer....or something.

After lunch I worked in the yard for an hour and a half, stripped and remade my bed and did three loads of laundry.  

My energy is off the charts....I have accomplished SO MUCH this weekend.  Granted, yesterday shortly after I posted how I wasn't that tired, I hit a brick wall and crashed...but that was 11 at night.  Crashing was reasonable.  And I shall crash again soon.

But I digress.

I wasn't too excited about dinner.  

Beans and Rice - Whoop Dee Doo.

But, as usual, it was really good.  The recipe calls for a very nice combination of spices which made it very flavorful, but not spicy.  Paired with steamed zucchini and green beans with lemon juice...seriously yummy and a LOT of food.

Starting this week the menu has an AWESOME feature.  Lunch is always the same as the previous night's dinner.  This means no more five recipe nights where I'm making three separate dishes for dinner then another two for the next day's lunch.  Not only was today's dinner easy, but all I had to do was make a salad to go with the beans & rice for tomorrow.  I was out of creamy garlic dressing so I whipped up a fresh batch and I was done cooking for the day.

Just for good measure I went ahead and threw my breakfast together rather than waiting till morning, which is another good thing about fresh fruit for breakfast.  So tomorrow, instead of cooking and eating, I get to do some yoga.  That's gonna feel really good.  My back is killing me from the yardwork.  Then I'll eat at work so I won't need a snack between breakfast & lunch. 

Nighty night!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 7 - A Whole Week Already?

It's Saturday, and even though I have almost completely checked off my mental to-do list, I feel like I haven't accomplished nearly enough.  But that's why we have Sundays' right?  

In spite of my best intentions to get up at the decadently late hour of 9am, I slept until 9:30.  Fortunately breakfast was easy.  Actually everything today was pretty easy foodwise, which is good because it was shopping day.

Oatmeal, yogurt and an apple.  And that pile of goop on top is ground flax seed and cinnamon.  Nothing gourmet about this meal, but it was good, and healthy.

It positively oozes goodforyouness.

As I took a picture of my breakfast The Boy, who has only been exposed to Mom-on-Reset since last night, asked what I was doing.  I explained that not only am I cooking all of this good for me food, I'm also taking pictures and blogging about it.

His response "I'd rather be fat than do all of that"

I would not.

Immediately after breakfast (The Boy had a pop tart if you're wondering.  There are no photos) we mowed the lawn.  While we were out there my neighbor came over, who is also The Boy's boss, and paid him for last week's work.  So when I came in from two hours of mowing (The Boy gets his part done quite a bit faster than me) he thought we would just run off to the bank to cash his first check.  "As soon as I'm done with lunch", I said.  "How long is that?", he said.  "About 45 minutes" I said.


But I suggested that he could earn an extra $10 if he gave the dogs a bath while I made my lunch and that shut him up.

Gratuitous photo of adorable, clean dog. 

Lunch was nothing new.  But I am seriously in love with this soup.  And a salad after a long morning on the tractor hit the spot nicely.

Zucchini cashew soup
Microgreen salad with avocado & greek dressing.

Then, so that The Boy would not hyperventilate from all of the sighing, I took him to cash his check, and hit Aldi's for what I could get on the week 2 list.  Came home, put that away, and headed out for Grocery Shopping Round Two to Giant Eagle.  I got all but two things.  I will probably be back at Trader Joe's tomorrow or Monday looking for tahini don't remember what else.

This all had me starting dinner at 7pm.  Fortunately I remembered to put my tempeh in the marinade between shopping trip 1 & shopping trip 2 so I could put in to bake as I was putting the groceries away.  Dinner was easy, which was really needed after the day I've had.

I put less Bragg's in the marinade this time and it was perfect.  Not too salty.  I had my choice of any veggie I wanted so I went with brussels sprouts, because they're awesome!  And brown rice.  A very satisfying, flavorful dinner.

Control-wise today has been the hardest.  Honestly I've been too busy lately to even think about eating anything I shouldn't.  If I'm hungry when I clock out at 10:30 at night I grab a healthy snack and stumble to bed.  But today, out running around, this is the time I'd run through McDonald's and grab and iced coffee or a Frappe for a pick me up and I really missed that.  And there were obviously quicker, easier things I could have made for lunch after mowing or for dinner after shopping half the day.  The Starbucks iced coffee in the coolers by the check out were really hard to resist.  I even had myself almost talked into the idea that a bottle of organic, unsweetened iced tea would be fine...but it wouldn't.  It's not on the list.  If I veer off the list for iced tea today, it'll be something worse tomorrow.  

The crazy thing though, I don't miss meat.  At all.  I miss the convenience foods, not for their taste but their ease.  I miss my iced coffee and frappe, not for their caffeine but for their taste.  They are my 'comfort food'.  But I haven't had red meat in six days, and I haven't had chicken in four.  And that's fine.  Do I think I'm going to be vegetarian long-term? No. I love me a good steak or pepperoni & sausage pizza too much.  But I do think the days of meat with every single lunch and dinner no matter what are long gone.  I don't need it.  

So here I am, it's 9:27 pm and I'm coloring my hair.  I really REALLY wanted to just be DONE but it was on my list for today so I'm doing it today.  Tomorrow I will work.  On Sunday.  This is really getting to be the norm, and that's not good.

So wow...this is the end of the 7th day.  A whole week.  It doesn't seem like it.  I'll weigh tomorrow and post my progress.  Truth be told I've been weighing throughout the week.  I'm going to get a week one progress weight tomorrow morning then ask The Boy to hide the scale from me until next week. Daily weighing is not a good thing.

But all in all week one has been good.  I'm really glad I'm doing this.  It's challenging, no doubt.  And week two is already a bigger challenge because The Boy is here.  Just fitting everything into the fridge is a struggle.  Watching him eat pizza will not be fun.  But I have it easier than most as he has offered to fend for himself this week so I don't have to cook double meals.  Then for week three he will be back with his dad.

I have to wonder how I would feel right now after everything I've done today if I were eating my normal diet.  I mean I have literally run nonstop for 12 hours, sitting only to drive, mow, or eat, and I feel fine.  I mean I'm tired but I wouldn't say I'm exhausted by any stretch.  In fact I'm a little concerned I won't be able to get to sleep as early as I'd like to get an early start tomorrow.  I don't want to have to take my lunch to work so I'll have to eat breakfast, go work 4 or 5 hours then high-tail it back home for my microgreen salad, followed by a trip to home depot and some more yard work.  

But now, time to rinse.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Ultimate Reset Day Six - I Was Wrong

You guys I'm tired.  Nothing went right at work today.  It was a long-ass day full of not right worky stuff. I forgot to bring my reset supplements, I didn't get to have lunch 'till 2:30, I am very ready for this week to be over.

The food was good though.

Breakfast was baked tempeh with avocado and steamed kale.  I wasn't as crazy about this tempeh as I was the smoked temphe from the other day but I think that was more about the marinade than the tempeh.  It was a little too salty for me, which is saying something because I salt the shit out of everything.

But I cut up the avocado in little pieces and mixed it in with the kale and it was YUMMY!!

Lunch, as I said, was at 2:30 and by that time the last thing on my mind was taking pictures, but it was quinoa salad and microgreen salad and I think we've seen enough pictures of that now haven't we?  I have to admit I'm pretty tired of making microgreen salad but I'm not tired of eating it.  I do, however, have to make more creamy garlic salad dressing tomorrow as I used up the end of it with lunch.  That recipe is a definite keeper.

After work I got to see The Boy for a bit.  He's "back home" from his ten day stay at his dad's.  I put that in quotes because 1) even when he stays with his dad he comes home frequently to shower and pick up clothes and 2) he's 17, so he's rarely actually home, it's more a question of who he checks in with and who sets his curfew.  

Even though he's my height and very much turning into a man, I still feel like he grew while he was gone, and matured a little.  He has a job now, just started this past Tuesday, so that could have a lot to do with it.  That or he's just tired from four days of hard labor and that makes him look older to me.

After a quick visit (if meeting him at the gas station to fill his tank can be considered a 'visit') I came home and made dinner. 

I don't mind telling you that I was NOT looking forward to this dinner.  I thought it was going to be a royal pain in the ass to make, three separate recipes, and also I didn't think I'd like it.  

I was wrong.  And I would like to say this again for a certain gentleman I know who says women never admit when they're wrong.  I....WAS....WRONG.  


Even after the gas station detour, and then another visit where he brought his (dirty) laundry home and chatted briefly, dinner was still ready by 7:10.  Given that I've been eating around 8 most nights, that's a win.  And most of that cooking time was actually spent doing things like sorting laundry and changing light bulbs while the oven did all the heavy lifting.

I don't like beets.  Never have.  To be brutally honest, they're blecky.  But in roasted root medley they're divine.  I don't like zucchini.  It's gross.  But in zucchini cashew soup it's sublime.  I've never had toasted millet.  I'd like to come up with another lovely adjective.  But it's just okay.  It's a grain.  Like rice or quinoa.  Not really any better than brown rice.  It was dry, almost the consistency of stuffing, but that could just mean I overcooked it.  But with a healthy dose of Bragg's Liquid Aminos and salt, it was good.

Trifecta of yum

The most exciting thing about my evening was that I'm off work tomorrow so I didn't have to cook tomorrow's lunch before I cleaned up the kitchen.  So I spent that time on the phone with a certain gentleman who now knows I WAS RIGHT when I said I was able to admit when I'm wrong.  I had this conversation in my comfy chair.  That was the first time I sat in it in a week.  

So now the kitchen is clean and I've enjoyed the sunset on my deck.  I find myself with two hours until The Boy has to be home and nothing to do.  Here is the adjective for which I was searching for a use earlier.....heavenly.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 5 - Nothing Should Taste Like Gum Except Gum

Well it's day five.  I have to say it's going fast, but that could be because all I do is work and cook. Seriously I've watched about an hour of TV all week, and that was baseball with The Guy.  I go to work, I come home and play vegetarian chef for a bit, then I work some more until it's time to sleep.  I really need stuff to slow down on The Day Job soon.  I'm feelin' crispy.

Breakfast today was AWESOME!!  It was rice cereal (aka Farina) with walnuts & maple syrup.  I can't say I've had any real sugar cravings but this bit of sweetness was very welcome and made my taste buds do a little happy dance.

Awesomeness in a bowl.

Lunch was quinoa salad, veggies and hummus.  As much as I love quinoa, the salad was kind of "eeh", but it brought me to the realization that I'm not fond of mint outside of, yaknow, mints.  I don't like mojitos, I bought some herbal "tension tamer" tea that smelled like gum in the teabag but made me gag when I tried to drink it, and now this.  You guys...nothing should taste like gum except gum.  I have spoken.  But the hummus was really good.  I mean really REALLY good.  I do like hummus but this stuff was beyond awesome and I have to wonder if I'm starting to experience changes in my taste buds as some reset participants have reported.  Apparently when you stop flooding your taste buds food-like products that are engineered to taste good (therefore getting you addicted and ensuring you buy more) you start to appreciate the natural flavors of real food.

Hummus from heaven and quinoa eeh.

When I did my week one shopping I only bought six jugs of water.  I hadn't yet done the math on how much I had to drink, nor did I take into account water for cooking, ice cubes, etc, and today I will finish my sixth jug.  So I stopped on my way home and picked up a few more.

This stop made me late getting home and any delay in getting home is stressful for me now because my main goal in life is to get done making dinner and the next day's lunch and get the kitchen cleaned up so I can blog, then work 'till I pass out.  So I was happy to get home, open my handy dandy guide and find that dinner was miso soup (am I the only one who hears this song in their head when the name "miso soup" comes up?), veggie strir fry and brown rice.

Quick and easy and I was sitting down and eating by 6:40.

I'm not gonna lie, this dinner felt light to me.  Even with kale instead of seaweed the miso soup is not my favorite.  It's kind of thin and brothy and easily separates.  I dumped a ton of salt in it just to feel like I wasn't drinking hot water.  The rice and veggies were good but nothing special, and I've come to expect special.

Oh well, every hit can't be a home run, or something.

After dinner I figured I'd throw lunch together real quick and be done with the cooking stuff for the night.  Fortunately I glanced at breakfast and realized that it will not only require cooking ( the morning for crap sake), but also required putting together a marinade from scratch and marinading for at least an hour.  So after making dinner I had to pretty much make breakfast (with the exception of the baking part) and then lunch.  But if the marinade is any indication I am going to L O V E my breakfast.

I got on the scale this morning and I'm down three lbs in four days.  I hear a lot of people complain that their energy levels are low at this point but I feel fine.  No aches or pains except the backache, which I still think is more a result of the fact that I spend 12 hours a day at a computer and two to three hours a day on my feet cooking and cleaning up.  It's not exactly a balanced physical regimen.  I'm really hoping to find time to do some yoga and walk the dogs this weekend.

But now, to work.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 4 - Like buying your dog a dog.



Ok sorry, I just had to get that out.  

Time to put 'em on.

Day four has been good reset-wise.  I'm watching some of the video diaries on the participant portal and I guess I have it easy.  Some people are complaining that they have no energy, body aches, mood swings (let's not talk about that up there, mnkay?). My energy is fine, my back is killing me but I still don't know if that's just because my back sucks or if it's the body aches people complain about.  Headache is, thankfully, completely gone.  Not really craving anything. Now if I could just clone myself I'd be all set.

Up at 6:30 (that's an hour before normal) for breakfast, though today was very easy and I could have slept 'till 7:45 and made it to work at my normal screaming-through-the-door-at-exactly-8:30 time.  

Fruit, yogurt and toast.  Even I can do that without whining.


I considered saving the yogurt for a mid-morning snack but I was really hungry.  I don't usually wake up hungry at all.  I heard somewhere that if you don't wake up hungry you're eating too much at night.  Could be.

I've figured out (I'm a real genius I tellya) that if I have a morning snack around 9:30 I can squeeze in the two hour wait before I take my pre-lunch supplements at 11:30 and have lunch at noon.  So at 9:30 I dug into my favorite part of my lunch (I'm not great at the whole delayed gratification thing) and ate every last bit of my lentil lime salad.  No picture, sorry. But it looked pretty much the same as it did here.

Lunch was nori rolls left over from last night (note...ALWAYS look ahead in the guide, because at no point did it say "hey dumbass...make a double batch because you're supposed to have them for lunch tomorrow too") and microgreen salad with my beloved creamy garlic dressing.

I actually ate half the salad before I remembered to take a picture.

I thought dinner was going to be quick.  Stirfry veggies, how hard can it be?  And really it wasn't, except it also called for a side salad (veggies to be a side for the veggies?  That's like buying your dog a dog) and quinoa.  I had never cooked quinoa before, only had it premade.  It's so easy to make and just as yummy as when my friend Trader Joe makes it for me.  I really hope The Boy likes it.  Maybe I'll tell him it's curly rice.

So it was another three recipe night (if you can call 'boil the quinoa' a recipe) followed by a two recipe lunch for tomorrow.  So dinner and lunch prep and cleanup was complete at 8:45.

Now I know why we're all fat.  Women have to work now and nobody has time to cook real food. Because seriously, I could not do this long-term.  Three weeks?  No sweat.  And I will definitely incorporate many of the recipes I've had so far into future meals, but you can bet yer bippy I'll be using bottled lemon & lime juice (my hands are tired from squeezing) and frozen veggies probably won't taste as good you see all those tomatoes up there on the left?  I cut them all in half!!  All of them.  

But also I admit I'm spoiled.  The stirfry recipe (yes, I'm that cooking illiterate that I needed instructions to stirfry) said to stir (and, yaknow, fry) for two minutes, then add more ingredients and do it for another five minutes and I was like "I'm supposed to just STAND HERE and do this for SEVEN WHOLE MINUTES???"  

How the hell did pioneer women have time to, like, bang clothes on rocks and make soap & stuff?

I got on the scale this morning and I'm 2.5 lbs down.  But I don't feel like it.  I'm a little bloated.  I think it's the beans. My beloved lentil lime salad has turned against me. 

I'm having no trouble getting the water in.  A gallon a day.  Well they call for 1 oz for every 2 lbs you weigh, so a gallon is actually more than I need to drink, but I'm getting the gallon in and usually a glass or two more.  That's the easy part.  It's the getting up during the night to pee that sucks.

And I'm not sleeping very well.  I hear that's common and when it passes I will sleep like the dead. That will not suck.

But for now I guess I should enjoy the fact that I don't seem to need much sleep, because there's payin' that needs done up in here.


Ultimate Reset Day 3 - Seaweed, bleck!!

Yes it's currently day 4...but I didn't have time to post a day 3 entry last night.  So here it is in a nutshell.

Breakfast. Yummy.  I could have just re-posted the day 1 pic but that's not how I roll.

Lunch. Lentil lime salad & microgreen salad with creamy garlic dressing.  I had to spread this out over an hour to get it all in.

Dinner was not my favorite.  I suppose I had to come across something I don't like eventually.  

Seaweed.  Not a fan.

Nori rolls with tempe & veggies, cucumber salad, miso soup.  The nori rolls were good, even though the outside is seaweed, the cucumber salad was good and reminded me of a cucumber dish my mom used to make, but the miso know it's bad when I go through the trouble of cooking something and dump it down the drain after one bite.  It wasn't the miso I had a hard time with, it was the seaweed. I can handle it on the nori rolls because there is enough rice, tempeh, veggies & stuff to drown it out.  But in the miso all I tasted was seaweed.  Next time I'll use kale.

Headache is gone.  All in all I feel good.  Today's food is great so far and it looks like tonight's prep isn't too extensive so I'll have time for a more typical entry tonight for day 4.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 2 - Ow My Brain

This will be uncharacteristically brief.  It's been a very rough day on The Day Job, followed by a much-needed trip to the chiropractor which caused me to be an hour late getting home, followed by making dinner and tomorrow's lunch then a bit of time on the The Day Job 2.0 (night shift).

You guys I'm whooped.

This was breakfast. Oatmeal, plain greek yogurt sweetened with a little maple syrup, a whole cup of blueberries.

That's a buttload of blueberries.

It was really good but WAY too big.  Since I'm used to snacking between breakfast and lunch, and this program only gives you one (optional) snack a day, I tried to eat all of the brekfast ended up very nauseated.   If this breakfast rolls around again I will save the yogurt and make it into a mid-morning snack.

This was lunch.  Greek salad with chicken and homemade Greek dressing.  This dressing was also really good.  Not sure if I liked it better than the Creamy Garlic dressing or not.  One thing is for sure, I'm done buying bottled dressings.

Yes that's a sharp knife.  Don't get betwen me and my salad.  I will cut you.

This was my afternoon snack...KIDDING...this WOULD HAVE been my afternoon snack if I wasn't doing the reset.  These are HUGE pieces of cake if you can't make it out.  I wasn't even really tempted though.  I mean it looked good but I have not endured 24 hours of pounding headache just to screw it up now.

EVIL cake.  Boo hisss..

And this was dinner.  This was AMAZINGLY good.  Black beans & brown rice with corn, salsa & guacamole in a whole wheat tortilla (it called for a corn tortilla but I switched it up...that's how I roll) and steamed kale with pine nuts.  The beans & rice weren't blah at all.  They had me add stuff.  Spices & such.

Invisible, secret, tasty-making stuff.

As I mentioned I've had a headache since yesterday afternoon.  I still blame caffeine withdrawal rather than the oxygenize.  It's steady.  Does not increase when I use the oxygenize.  I'm praying for relief tomorrow.  I'm kicking myself because I had cut way down on caffeine...right up until last week.  Sick, overworked and run down I needed a pick me up...well several of them.  And they came, more often than not, in the form of sugar filled coffee drinks with pretty piles of whipped cream on top, or creamy ones on ice.  My chiropractor, while trying to ease my headache (unsuccessfully) said that sudden withdrawal from sugar can cause headaches too.

I have earned this headache.  You betcha I have.

I have a slight backache.  Nothing horrible.  Some people have reported body aches, specifically back aches, on the reset, but mine could just as easily be the combined effects of nearly 24 hours sleep in 2 days, lots of stress, and lots of inactivity.  Who knows.

I had four massages scheduled to help me through any aches & pains.  I got a SMOKIN' deal.  Four one-hour sessions for $100.  But alas the money fairy skipped my house so I had to cancel.  This made me very sad.  But a gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do.

Sorry it's so brief, but I really need to get some sleep.

Oh but one more thing...while the rice was cooking for my dinner (rice takes A FREAKING HOUR PEOPLE!!...I did not know this!) I made tomorrow's lunch.  I licked the spoon and I can tell you it is HEAVENLY.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, if you're thinking you're up to the challenge of reclaiming your health, you can get all the details HERE.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ultimate Reset Day 1 - I Freaking Love Steamed Kale

Day one has definitely been interesting.  And challenging.  But also rewarding.

First, I overslept.  I'm still catching up on sleep from the trip, and feeling SO MUCH better (thank you z-pac) as far as the sinus infection goes, but still felt like I really needed to stay in bed when the alarm went off.  

I thought sleeping in might also make the day easier, because there are days on this program where it looks like you get a lot of food, but day 1 is not one of them, so I thought making the day shorter would make me less hungry.  What I didn't bargain on was that making the day shorter would make it really hard to fit in all of the cooking and eating and shopping I needed to do.

Something that will really take some getting used to is the fact that I can't have breakfast as soon as I get up.  I'm very used to stumbling blindly down the steps, letting the dogs out and feeding them, then making my Shakeology.  Not the routine with this plan.  First I have to drink at least 12 oz of distilled water, to which I've added Mineralize (himalayan sea salt), 10 to 15 drops of Oxygenize and down two capsules of Optimize.  

Then I wait 30 minutes.  

I used this time to dry-brush (more on that later), take a shower and record my starting weight and measurements.  I am not a fan of this weighing and measuring procedure, and was glad to get it over with early.  I found that I've gained 3 lbs since last I got on the scale, before my back went out and I got sick and all heck broke loose at work.

Post-shower I was faced with the daunting task of putting on my Ultimate Reset Bracelet all by myself.  Oh the tribulations I have faced.  You'd be surprised what you can do with your teeth if you really try. 

Pretty bow.  You know you want one.

Breakfast today was pretty easy compared with what I see ahead of me in the recipes section of the handbook.  Just a couple eggs, whole wheat toast and....wait what?  Steamed kale.  A green vegetable.  For breakfast?  That's crazytalk!!!

But I'm doing as they say, enjoying having the decisions taken out of my hands, I steamed some kale.  A "generous portion" to be exact.  This kind of freaks me out.  A generous portion?  And "2 slices whole grain toast"???  I'm used to being told how many ounces of everything I can have and how many calories the toast should be.  I'm giddy with the freedom.

My shiny new steamer basket.

I managed to cook breakfast without breaking anything, burning anything or crying.  You think I'm being a smartass but really the number of times I've accomplished this are few.  I'm not much of a cook, nor am I a morning person.  

Not disgusting.....

Yes, the book called for scrambled eggs...but if you're not going to let me have butter on my toast I need to dip it in yolk.  

As I sat down for breakfast I learned something...I freaking LOVE steamed kale.  No, I'm not kidding.  With a little's good!!!

After breakfast I tidied up the kitchen and ran the dishwasher.  And off I went to Whole Foods.

My iPhone thinks it's funny...I ask for Whole Foods it gives me...DONUTS?????

I found a very nice lady at Whole Foods who was able to help me find every single item.  Yes, I should have listened to my friend Heather who said I should have just gone to Whole Foods in the first place.  And now I know what jicama looks like, and that they sell quinoa in bulk there.  I love Whole Foods.  I just wish it wasn't so far away.

Back home and starving, it was time once again for supplements and to make lunch.  Ahh...a microgreens salad with cashews.  This should be easy...but have to MAKE YOUR OWN SALAD DRESSING???  What next?  Am I going to weave my own dishtowels?

Ok it wasn't that hard, and it is YUMMY!!!  And I found out I like jicama.

I might have licked the bowl just a lil' bit.

Then...I ran the dishwasher again.

Two hours later it was time for the part I had been dreading.  The green monster.  The green goop.  The green goblin.  Alkalinize.

I've heard not so great reviews of this.  It's super duper healthy, contains all sorts of natural stuff....and doesn't taste so good.

Before mixing...aint it purty?

After mixing...not much better.

I chugged it.  It's gross but it goes quick.  I'm told you get used to it.  Next time I will use less water and do it like a shot.

And before I knew it, it was time to make dinner.  Again, I thought it would be more simple than it was.  Baked salmon...what could be hard about that?  Well it's marinaded.  And the marinade is home made.  But again, not a huge deal, like five or six ingredients, and really REALLY yummy.  Add boiled potatoes and steamed asparagus and it was a really satisfying, flavorful meal.  

But while the salmon was in the oven, I made tomorrow's lunch.  It's a salad.  And it calls for a different dressing than the one I had today.  So I've made my own salad dressing twice today, but I now have two kinds of dressing in the fridge to choose from.

Oh yeah, and I ran the dishwasher again.

If I so choose I can have a snack of an apple or celery with natural peanut butter later but I'm honestly not hungry.  I'm tired.  And I have a headache.  Some people say the oxygenize gives them headaches but I had my first dose at 10:30 this morning and the headache didn't start 'till about 2pm, so I'm guessing it's caffeine withdrawal.

All in all I've been very happy with the food.  The prep has been labor-intensive but educational and that's part of the adventure and challenge of it.  Tomorrow's food looks even yummier and also a bit easier, though having to get up early enough to take supplements, make oatmeal and pack up food before work is, frankly, gonna kinda suck.  I'm hoping an extra half hour will do it.  Fingers crossed.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Ultimate Reset - Shopping Day

Today was shopping day for week one of The Ultimate Reset.  One thing about this program that I think is very well thought-out and convenient is that they give you a complete grocery list for each week, so you don't have to go through the recipes and make your own list.  Just print out each week's list from The Ultimate Reset Participant Portal and take it to the store.

So first I dug through my kitchen to determine what I already had and what I would need to buy.  In fairly short order I determined that I had very little of what I would need.  One can easily infer from this that I don't cook very healthy meals.  In reality...I just kinda don't cook.

A lot of the week one list consists of herbs and spices, condiments and oils.  These are things I will use throughout the three week program and beyond.   I had quite an impressive collection of jars in the spice cabinet, mostly dating back to days when XBF was here.  He cooked.

So I pulled out all of the little jars and I saw a whole lot of this:

And even a little bit of this:

And ended up with a whole bunch of this:

In the end all I found in my existing kitchen inventory that would be valuable this coming week was chicken breasts, olive oil, walnuts and a few frozen vegetables.

So off I went to my local Super WalMart.  I was able to breeze through large chunks of the store where I used to spend a lot of time.  This week (and hopefully going forward) I have no interest in the frozen food department except to pick up the few vegetables I was unable to find fresh.  Obviously I was able to bypass the snack food isle and, sadly, I breezed right past the alcohol isle.  My only interest in the meat department was in the seafood section where I tried unsuccessfully to find a salmon fillet.  I did, however, spend more time in the produce department than I ever have, felt like I was going to spend the night in the spice isle and and even hoisted six jugs of distilled water into my cart.

And home I went with my haul.

But even with this impressive array of healthy foods, I still had a short list of items I had yet to find.

Off I went to Trader Joe's.  I really wanted to go to Whole Foods but I thought I would be able to find what I needed at TJ's without burning the gas it would take on the 40 minute drive to Whole Foods.

I was wrong.

As I stood in the nuts and seeds isle a very nice young lady came up to me and said "Can I help you find something?".  I nearly hugged her.  I spent the next 20 minutes with this angel by my side helping me find what she could, and advising me where to go for the things TJ's doesn't carry.  I left with one exotic and expensive bag of food.

I don't think my kitchen has ever been so well stocked.  I have resorted to storing vegetables in areas of the refrigerator other than the vegetable drawers, because those drawers are full.  This is unheard of!  Look!  Those are bell peppers and carrots right out there in the middle!

For a plan that doesn't let you drink alcohol, there are a lot of bottles involved!!!

Even after all of this, there are still nine items I have been unable to locate.  I should have just gone to Whole Foods and saved myself the runaround.

Day one breakfast is very simple and I have everything I need for that.  For lunch I have everything I need except jicama. Apparently it's some sort of vegetable.  Who knew?

So right after breakfast I will drive 40 minutes for nine items....hoping Whole Foods carries them all.

I haven't even been out of bed 12 hours and I'm exhausted.  The z-pack is doing it's job...I feel SO MUCH better, but I'm still whooped.  Big day tomorrow!  Lots of new stuff to learn!  I'm excited.

Stay tuned....