Cold Oatmeal Isn’t As Bad As It Sounds

Day One of Wheat Free/Dairy Free life and month long detox.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a morning person. I just need some space in the morning to get myself together before I am functional and ready to face the world. I have a tendency to sleep late. I like breakfast; I need breakfast (and soon after rising). However, I don’t like to cook breakfast, especially not when I have to hurry to be somewhere…like work.

For years I relied on cereal or sandwiches or fast food. In my real food switch I have come to love and adore plain yogurt. Especially with my homemade granola. Especially for breakfast. It is quick, easy, and ooh.soo.gooood. Alas, yogurt and I have had to part ways. I’ve tried soy yogurt and coconut yogurt and may have those on occasion. I think the big lesson I need to learn is not to have the same.freakin.thing.every.morning. Variety is good, right?

Enter Overnight Oats.

So good I ate half of it before this picture was taken. Note the digestive enzymes in the background.

So good I ate half of it before this picture was taken. Note the digestive enzymes in the background.

Frankly, the thought of cold oatmeal grossed me out. I mean, ew? I barely like the stuff hot, but cold? G-R-O-S-S. I scanned blog after blog last night looking at overnight oats. I was heartened to see that almost every one I read said they felt the same way I did. Everyone was initially skeptical but was won over with the first bowl. I figured what the heck. If it was super gross, I’d toss it out and have grits.

In my little bowl (don’t be fooled, you don’t have to have a mason jar, I used a small bowl):

1/3 cup oats
1/3 rice milk (plus an extra splash)
6 or 8 frozen raspberries and blueberries
In the morning I drizzled on just a touch of honey, because honey makes everything better.

 

 

I have to say, I really liked it. Cold oats were good. Tomorrow I might try 1/2 cup of oats and a 1/2 cup of rice milk. I was hungry mid morning. I could see this being a good thing. I could add lots of things to this. Peanut butter would be good, especially Trader Joe’s PB that’s already on the runny side. Mmmm.

I was really worried about what I would do about breakfasts. This will go in the rotation for sure. Now that summer is quickly approaching I will go back to having smoothies too. What can I thicken smoothies with other than yogurt? I can’t have banana for another month either. Banana will be in the top 3 to be challenged back into my diet (along with tomatoes and maybe lettuce).

IgG Allergy Testing and Coming to Terms with Major Diet Change

I sat down with my new Integrative Medicine Doctor this morning to review the results of my IgG allergy test from a month ago. He had warned me at the previous visit that his suspicion was that dairy was a big part of my problem and probably wheat too.

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All that red? Yeah…that’s the foods I’m suppose to avoid now. The fabulous news is that I only had one number that was super high. Bad news: it’s my favorite food: yogurt. All of my individual dairy items are red (cheddar cheese, swiss cheese, cottage cheese, cow’s milk, casein, whey) but yogurt takes the cake at a reaction of .89. Anything over .20 is red and my doctor said really to avoid the foods over .25 for at least the next 3 months.

Oddly enough, the number two offender on the list is brussel sprouts. Really? Ok, that’s easy enough to avoid. They never were my favorite veggie, I only ate them for variety. Other veggies I will be bidding bon voyage to: green peas, cranberries, radishes, and squash. There is a large group that fall between .20 and .25 for me and I might cut them out totally, but may sneak a serving here or there for variety: asparagus, banana, carrot, cauliflower, celery (ick!), cucumber, lettuce, tomato, watermelon,  cherries (ick!), and lime. Thankfully many great summer fruits are all A-OK: peach, apricot, strawberry, blackberry, plum, and pear. Blueberries are not listed, so I may tread lightly with those. Lemons are also ok. Stoked about that!

Giving up dairy will not be that hard. I will mourn the loss of my morning yogurt. I will miss the occasional piece of cheese, but if I get to really wanting it, I can get Diaya. My dad has been dairy free since before I was born, it’s way of life for him. It will be a minor mindset change (and some breakfast rearranging 🙂 )

Now for the harder parts. Wheat and gluten ride the fence for me at .224 and .226 respectively. The doctor said I didn’t have to give up wheat; he did say he was surprised that my number was this low. He strongly urged me to give up wheat. I know I should. I really should. I will read Wheat Belly. Maybe I will make myself buy it this weekend for the extra incentive. I’m intimidated by having to learn to bake all over again. I have so much wheat based food here! I have an unopened loaf of Ezekiel Bread in my fridge. I can’t throw that out!! I have pounds of flour (AP, white whole wheat, regular whole wheat), not to mention a loaf of banana bread on the counter and whole wheat muffins in the freezer. It just overwhelms me to think about where to start.

To add insult to injury: no more almonds. At .291 It’s got to go for at least the next 3 months. This is a favorite snack and the only milk I drink. Now I need to investigate new milk again. I don’t drink much, but it is good to have occasionally. Rice? Hemp? Back to soy? I love nuts to snack on in general, but as of now, no more almonds, cashews, walnuts, or pistachios. Must rethink snacking too. Even though peanuts cross the line at .204 doc said I’d be ok to keep eating those. I think I’ll moderate my intake though.

Not to make this the longest blog post ever, but isn’t it weird that vanilla bean ranked pretty high too? Crazy!

I think my plan for now is to finish off the perishable dairy items in my fridge this weekend, and be dairy free by Monday morning. I’ll think about the wheat and nuts. I’d do about anything to feel better all.the.time about now.

Delayed Gratification

Do you know Chocolate Covered Katie? If not, you should. Healthy desserts? Many vegan? I’m in.

Sometime ago, I pinned this recipe for Peach Breakfast Bake. I have a not-so-secret love affair with peaches and more recently with nectarines. Seriously, my addiction to nectarines might be reaching intervention level soon. But they are a superfood! Not when you overdose, Becky. Anyway, I decided there was no way I was going to wait 45 minutes first thing in the morning for this bad boy to bake, so I popped it into the oven last night. Let me tell you that it took every ounce of restraint I had not to gobble it up and “Screw you Breakfast! You can have eggs!” It smelled heavenly and made my whole apartment smell heavenly. But I was a good girl and left it until this morning when I woke up with drool practically hanging to my knees.

As you can see, I put it over plain yogurt, but honestly, I think vanilla would have been better, and ice cream would have been best. I’m not opposed to eating ice cream for breakfast, I just don’t have any. The recipe says it makes 3 servings. 3 servings for who? Elves? Must be for people who don’t like food! I will admit to being a glutton who ate the whole pan. I tried to kid myself by only taking half, but I knew that wasn’t going to do it. My nectarine fetish kicked it the minute my tongue got a hint of that sweet goodness and I had to finish off every single crumb.

Now for my alterations:

-I only used 1 tbsp of brown sugar in the topping and no other sweetener anywhere else. Peaches are sweet.

– I used crushed rice chex since that’s what I had and it’s going stale anyway.

-I used 1 peach and 1 nectarine, again because it’s what I had. Probably could have used 1 more piece of fruit.

-No margarine for me (ick!) I used coconut oil. (margarine and soy “cheese” is where I start crossing hairs with vegans on the “healthiness” of lifestyles)

This recipe is a keeper. And seriously, go check out CCK’s other recipes. And nectarines. Eat more nectarines.

Tastebuds? Oh Tastebuds? Where Did You Go?

I had some serious running around to do this morning on my day off beginning early. As is not unheard of for me (but I am getting better-promise!) I stayed up a little too late last night and slept a little too late this morning. I rushed out the door bleary eyed with a protein shake and peanut butter toast in hand. By mid morning my eyelids were droopy, so I popped into Starbucks for a pick me up. Caffeine is a drug. No two ways around that, Boss. I am about a 100x better about my love affair with this drug than I use to be, but we do still rendezvous on occasion, and no, I don’t want to hear about the evil empire that is Starbucks.

Typically I am a coffee drinker, meaning coffee should taste like coffee and be black in color. This is much to my parents shock and awe as they have no idea how I developed such an eccentric habit as they do not partake in such nonsense. How did I develop this habit? Enter the Mocha Latte. In college it is cool to drink coffee, but I wasn’t so hot on the taste of coffee. Now this mocha latte thing, that’s kinda like caffeinated hot chocolate. I’m down with that. From there it was a downward spiral to my current desire for plain old Joe. Don’t get me wrong, I will admit fully to being a coffee snob. I have bean preferences, and not to brag or anything, but I do have a Gold Starbucks card. (Random fact time: The barista at the Robinhood Rd Starbucks told me that he’d never seen a card with just a first name on it. I told him that I was so cool I only needed 1 name. You know, like Cher or Madonna, or Prince or something.)

Probably the only gold card I’ll ever own. Maybe If I had one of the other kind I’d have a better camera and take better pictures, but then again, probably not.

Back to the point. I popped into Starbucks today for a fix to try and lift my eyelids a little after my morning of business. I decided, what the heck, live a little! Give me an Iced Soy Mocha Latte. I haven’t had one in months, and definitely not since I started on this real food lifestyle change. My mouth started to water in anticipation. Epic Fail. First off the dang thing was $4.92 for a tall. Four F-N dollars and 92 cents??? For a cup of expresso, soy milk, and a little chocolate syrup? Worse: It doesn’t taste lke I remember it. It’s so sweet I couldn’t even finish it. I guess my tastebuds have officially reset from clean eating. It tastes fake and overly sweet. Like a bad candy bar.

*Sigh* Next time I need my caffeine fix, I’ll stick with plain old coffee that always tastes like coffee.

Why is Talking About Food So Offensive?

Since I’ve changed my eating habits, I’ve noticed that people are really defensive about the way they eat. I mean, really defensive, like “I love God, and America, and Doritos!” kind of defensive. Now, I am not by any means a member of the food police. You can eat what you want. But if you comment on MY food, or ask about how I lost weight, then you have opened the door for me to tell you about MY dietary choices.

I saw someone the other day I haven’t seen in some time and the first thing she said was to ask me about how I lost so much weight. I told her the truth. I’ve added in a significant amount of weight lifting to my work out, and I stopped eating processed food. I told her that I eat clean, meaning that I eat food with minimal ingredients and no artificial additives. She looked at me like I had told her I had gone to the moon and back. Suddenly there was this awkward pause and she mumbled something about how that was “good for some people, I guess” and suddenly had to go. Oooook? What did I say wrong?

Food is so ingrained in our culture. It is a part of every celebration and every gathering. Every holiday has it’s own menu, even the Superbowl. When you start questioning something so personal to people as the way in which we connect to others, people don’t know how to react. Be prepared for some strange responses when you tell people you are eating clean and you explain what that really means. Not everyone is going to be supportive of this decision. Not everyone is going to understand your desire to go against the grain of American culture of consumerism that says ‘more is more’ and gluttony is good. Be prepared for some people to now consider you uppity or too big for your britches as my momma might say. The attitude may be that of “so the food you’ve been eating your whole life suddenly isn’t good enough for you?” or “you’re too good to eat the same food I do.” I’m not sure why it is so hard for others to understand that it’s not like that at all. We are all good enough to eat good food! We should all respect our bodies enough to treat them as the temples they are and feed them the best there is in terms of nutrition.

I had a business breakfast recently. I was really apprehensive about how this was going to go. I had scouted the restaurant’s website ahead of time and knew my choices were limited and I would be asking a ton of questions once I got there. However, it was a business function, and I didn’t want to come off as a total a-hole with the upper management of my company (including the CEO). Do I throw my nutritional values out the window for the sake of saving face with a company meal? Do I order black coffee only? Do I attempt to order eggs and start the round of questions to the waitress (beginning with: are they even real eggs?) I could deal with conventional eggs for the sake of this meeting…if they are actually eggs…and if they are fried in butter and not oil…and if there is nothing else on them…and I have no other side items. No other real options stood out at me from the menu online. It turned out to not be as big a deal as I was worried about, and the waitress completely understood when I asked if they were real eggs, even joking that she wouldn’t eat a “cardboard chicken” either. Whew. I did get a round of strange looks from my table mates when I started asking about what the eggs were cooked with. I just smiled and said thank you when my order was done like it was no big deal. I think learning to deal with meals and comments from others with grace will serve me well. All my apprehension was in vain. There was absolutely no commenting on how little I ate (I had had a light breakfast before I left home just in case I found the menu sparse), and there was only minimal kidding me about my pickiness in ordering.

When you make a lifestyle change like clean eating it will effect more than you realize. Food is on center stage in so many places in our culture. It is completely up to you how you handle those discussions with others in your life, but be warned that they will happen, and they may not go the way you think. On one hand, you never know who you will offend, but on the other, you never know who you might influence for the better. Keep a positive attitude about it all. Since we are talking clean eating, I’ll quote the old adage that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar 😉

Getting Past the Green in Green Smoothie

Hi, I’m Becky. And I am a Green Smoothie convert. I used to wonder why anyone would want to consume anything that looked like, well, you know what by choice and how in the world could it ever taste ok, let alone good. I am not a disciple of the green smoothie here to preach its amazingness to one and all and swear that you should have them every day and if you do they will make you slim and trim and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. I’m here to say They’re actually pretty tasty.

Hey! That smoothie is as green as I am!

Here’s a rough idea of what’s in mine:

1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2/3 cup soy milk
1/3 frozen banana (use more if you want-I like this smoothie on the tart side)
Handful of frozen kiwi slices -maybe enough to make a small kiwi
Handful of frozen mango pieces – maybe ½ cup maybe a little less

Pop everything into the blender and blend until you like the consistency. If you have a blender that’s as crappy as mine, you may need to add a little water, but be really careful or you will end up with something that resembles green slime-way too thin. And slime is not a smoothie 🙂 Although it is still just as tasty. *This can make a 20-24oz depending on how loosely you measure and if you add water!*

If you prefer not to see the green in your smoothie-just use dark colored berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, even strawberries with another dark berry).

I have zero recipes for my smoothies. I just throw in whatever looks good along those same lines. A green veggie, some yogurt, some soy milk, fruit. I will often have toast with butter or a very tiny smear of peanut butter on it along with my smoothie to start my day. I tend to sip the smoothie along until mid morning. Very filling, very nutritious, and very eye catching!