Mango-Banana Gelato

08/09/2011 2 comments

First and foremost, let me confess…

The sinfully rich looking creaminess you see above is not really gelato, and it’s not ice cream either.

Guys and Dolls…This is BETTER!

This is a virtually sugar-free, dairy free, healthy dessert that can be made within five minutes and will have your taste buds (and the little voice inside your head…or is that…just me? ;-)) convinced that you are sinning BIG TIME.

As you know from my juicing adventure, Sam and I have committed to eating healthier, which means getting creative and producing alternatives to typical desserts.  After dinner we either skip dessert entirely or have some fresh fruit plain, or with some vanilla yogurt.  Nevertheless, that doesn’t always satiate the craving for a sweet, creamy gelato/ice cream.

I guarantee that if you love gelato and ice cream the way I do, you will L-O-V-E this Mango-Banana (pseudo) Gelato.

It’s basically a mango and banana (already pre-cut and frozen) with just a little vanilla yogurt (I used soy yogurt) and a handful of walnuts pureed in a food processor.

I tell you, the mango and banana combination totally works! As Sam and I indulged last night, we kept commenting on how delicious our “gelato” was and how it easily competes with the real thing (like the one we had not too long ago), without all the extra fat and sugar.  I don’t know about you, but for us, it doesn’t get any better than that.

In the past I’ve pureed frozen bananas (I got the idea from here), which is really good on its own.  But of course, I had to take it to another level and added either mangos or (fresh, not frozen) strawberries to the frozen bananas with a little agave nectar, a few semi-sweet chocolate chips or sprinkled with cocoa powder.  However, this one is by far the best.  I can’t wait to continue experimenting with other fruits and nuts, nut butters, etc. (using the frozen bananas as a base for the “cream” factor).

You owe it to yourself, regardless if you’re trying to eat healthy or not (you can even have it for breakfast), to give this a try, and if you do, please feel free to share your thoughts.

My only concern now is, will my ice-cream maker feel lonely??

Thanks and have a great day!

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”  – La Rochefoucauld

Mango-Banana Gelato

Yields two servings

1 pre-cut frozen mango (skin removed)

1 pre-cut frozen large ripe banana (skin removed)

1/4 cup vanilla soy or greek yogurt

small handful of walnuts (or any nut)

To prepare:

Place first three ingredients into your food processor (or blender) and pulse continuously (scraping down sides as needed) until you start to get a lovely creamy texture, then add nuts and pulse for about 20 seconds.  By the way, the frozen pieces of fruit may clump up, and it’ll feel like it’s not going anywhere, but don’t lose faith.  Just continue to pulse.  I sometimes pulse in 10-20 second increments a few times and then as if by magic, it all comes together beautifully.

Enjoy!

SamCyn’s Juicing Adventure: Update

08/06/2011 3 comments

Wow, I can’t believe it’s two weeks since I embarked on my Juicing Adventure, and let me tell you, I feel G-R-E-A-T!  When I went for a run last week and stopped at the local Publix to weigh myself (just one week since I started this adventure), I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw I had lost FOUR pounds.  That’s approximately one-third of my goal of 12-15 lbs, already gone!

OMG! I was so ecstatic, surprised and pleased all at the same time that it literally brought tears to my eyes.  All I could think about was sharing the news with my husband.  So as hot as it was (trust me, it was HOT), I ran all the way back home with excitement to call him.  Needless to say, he was very happy for me.

Since day five, I’ve either had a veggie/fruit juice in the morning or a smoothie.  I no longer have big lunches like I used to.  Instead, I snack on one or two pieces of fruit throughout the morning and then I’ll have a small soup with salad or leftover dinner from the night before.

For dinner Sam and I have been eating either salads, or veggies with fish or whole wheat pasta, and we’ll either skip dessert or have fruit.  Oh, by the way, If by any chance  you think we’re depriving ourselves, you’re wrong.  For starters, we feel a whole lot better.  We are no longer clogging our system (on a regular basis) with highly caloric, sugar-laden, fatty foods that take an eternity to digest, which in turn cause lethargy and or indigestion.

We were however, a bit naughty…When we went out for dinner last Saturday, I had a shrimp cobb salad and Sam had the fish special, along with a glass of wine each.  Not too bad, right?  Then…Sam suggested we take a walk over to the  Italian gelateria/bakery just a few doors down from the restaurant (he obviously read my mind ;-)).

OH, MY…MMMMM!

We shared a small cup with one scoop each of chocolate and pistachio gelato (normally we’d each have a whole cup) and it was delicious, creamy, heaven in a cup.  It was sooooo good and I of course, was feeling soooo guilty.  But then I reminded myself that this isn’t about giving up all foods.

It’s about moderation and eating a good balance of (with a heavier hand on) low-fat, low-sugar, low-calorie, healthy and unprocessed foods.   I mean let’s get real, with such a cornucopia of foods out there to tantalize and satisfy all five elements of our taste perception: salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and umami.  In addition to the different textures; such as crispy potato chips, crunchy celery, tender steaks, chewy chocolate chip cookies, smooth peanut butter and creamy ice cream (just to name a few), I’m certainly NOT going to give any of that up in an entirety.

Though I haven’t weighed myself this week, I can say my clothes are starting to fit a bit looser and like I mentioned before, I feel soooo much better (Sam does too).  I am motivated and have the energy to workout, which I didn’t have so much before.

Making this change has been a win-win, no matter which way you look at it.  I pray for God’s continued guidance and strength in keeping us strong and focused.

By the way, I will be posting recipes of some of the yummy goodness we’ve been enjoying, shortly.

Thanks and have a great day!

If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want.
~Elbert Hubbard

Categories: Food, Healthy

SamCyn’s Juicing Adventure: Day Five

07/27/2011 1 comment

Day five has been by far the best day, thus far!

I got out of bed at around 5:45am (I was awake much earlier) to kiss my honey goodbye, then I checked my tongue and I’m happy to report, there was no white fuzz (AWESOME). Since I had to go to work, I started to prepare juice #6 for breakfast and lunch.

Because it was my first day back at work since I started this adventure, I was feeling a tad bit nervous.  It’s so weird, even though I’ve been juicing during the day for the past few days, I felt apprehensive about not packing any lunch and only bringing juice.  It’s like I felt “naked”.  So, I brought along some blueberries and strawberries as back-up.

I managed to get through the day, without eating any of the fruit.  I drank the remainder of my juice at around noon and then I went to Whole Foods Market and got myself a shot of wheatgrass.  Though not reliably substantiated, It has been argued that wheatgrass helps blood flow, digestion and general detoxification of the body.  For more information on wheatgrass, please see here.

OMG! All I drank was a 1 oz. serving and as soon as it hit my system…

POW!

It was as if I drank an 8 oz. cup of espresso.  I was wired (in a good way), I was ready for action and most of all, I felt no hunger.

That lasted for close to two hours and by the time it was quiting time, all I could think of was the veggie stir-fry we had planned for dinner.  I tell you, I couldn’t get home fast enough.

I basically tossed in a bunch of veggies into a large pan (I don’t own a Wok) along with some sesame oil and low-sodium tamari sauce.

YUM!! It was delicious! Sam loved it and said we should definitely have it at least once a week.  Mind you, there was no rice or noodles and yet it satisfied us both.  How can you go wrong when you have such a beautiful array of colors and textures from such guilt-free ingredients in every bite? As an end to our lovely meal we ate the blueberries and strawberries.

Well ladies and gentlemen, this post concludes my minimum of five days of juicing/eating only fruits and vegetables commitment and adventure.  It’s been a wonderful, eye-opening experience and I thank you for letting me share and I thank God for allowing me to survive it without any issues.

While I (and Sam, of course) do plan to continue this path of primarily eating fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains (minimum of 80% of the time) and exercising 4-5 days a week (like I used to), I will not be posting daily.

Instead, I will update you once or twice weekly and share any notable changes that may occur (like my return to my pre-wedding weight).  I will also share healthier and delicious dishes.  Although…I am likely to include some naughtiness…like dessert😉.

Oh, and another thing…I truly feel really, really great!

“Those who think they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”  – modified from : Edward Stanley (1826-1893) from The Conduct of Life

Juice #6

Yields about 2 quarts

4 granny smith apples

1 beet

5-6 celery stalks

4 medium carrots

ginger (approx. thumb size portion)

To prepare:

Wash all veggies, cut apples in half, insert into your juicer.  Enjoy!

Veggie Stir-fry

Yields approximately 4 servings

1 stir-fry veggies package (broccoli, snowpeas, etc)

3 garlic cloves

1 small onion

2 small yellow squash

1/2 red pepper

1 package of snow peas

1 zucchini

1 package of mushrooms

1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 1/2 tablespoons of low-sodium tamari sauce

To prepare:

Wash, dry and cut up all veggies.  Toss into pre-heated (very hot) pan with sesame oil and tamari sauce.  Stir all ingredients around for just a few minutes, serve and enjoy.

As mentioned in previous posts, I journaled and shared the past five days of this experience to make myself accountable.  I am not a doctor, or a professional in the field of nutrition.  Therefore, I DO NOT, I REPEAT, I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE TO FOLLOW WHAT I’VE DONE.  If you’re interested in fasting, detoxing, juicing, etc., please consult your doctor.

Thank you and God Bless!

SamCyn’s Juicing Adventure: Day Four

07/26/2011 1 comment

It was really tough for me to get out of bed on the morning of day four.  Basically, way before Sam’s alarm went off at 5:30am, I had already been awake for quite some time.  Normally, I would get up at 5:30am to make some coffee for us both.  However, now that we’re on this program, there was no coffee to be made and in addition, I had the day off.  Hence, why get up, right?

Well, that was a big mistake, because in turn it just made me feel really sluggish.  It’s like the more my mind shouted, “get up”, my body replied, “oh, but the bed feels so good”.  Finally, at around 8:ish my mind won the battle and I got out of bed.  Now, when I was in my twenties, that was considered early, but now that I’m a lot a little older it’s considered way late.

I checked my tongue and the white fuzz is pretty much all gone (yipee!).  However, I just felt awful, I had no energy and my mind was in a fog.  I thought to myself, this sucks, I’ve got to do something. 

So I made myself juice # 6.

I liked this juice just as much as juice #5, if not a little better (despite the beet).

Once I had my glass of juice, I was ready for some exercise.  Thus, I went for a power-walk and did some Pilates when I got home.  Wow, that made me feel a whole lot better.  I no longer felt lethargic and I was awake, which enabled me to go about my day taking care of the things I needed to do.

For dinner I baked some eggplant with onions and garlic, which I sprinkled with a lemon-olive oil dressing and served it atop some arugula and spinach.

Though the pictures don’t do this meal any justice, I promise, it was really tasty.  Just the smell of the garlic and onions was driving us (me) crazy.  My goal was to get the eggplant a bit crisp and browned, but instead it came out soggy.  I’ll have to research on how to get this effect.  However, If any one of you know, please feel free to share🙂.

In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.  ~Author Unknown

Juice #6

Yields about 2 quarts

4 granny smith apples

1 beet

5-6 celery stalks

4 medium carrots

ginger (approx. thumb size portion)

To prepare:

Wash all veggies, cut apples in half, insert into your juicer.  Enjoy!

Roasted Eggplant and Onion

Yields approximately 2-3 servings

1 medium eggplant

4 garlic cloves

1 large red onion

Lemon-Olive Oil Dressing

1 1/2 lemons, juiced (next time I’ll use just one)

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Approx. 4-6  basil leaves, finely chopped

Approx 4-6  parsley stalks, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

To prepare:

Preheat oven to  400 °

Peel skin from eggplant and slice into medium-thin pieces.  Slice garlic and onion into large chunks.   Spread on a two-quart baking dish, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and sprinkle over ingredients.  Bake for about 10 minutes, then at 500 ° (I was trying to get it brown and crisp) for about 5 minutes.

Serve over some fresh spinach and arugula, sprinkled with any leftover dressing.  Enjoy!

As I’ve mentioned before, I am journaling and sharing this experience just to make myself accountable.  I am not a doctor, or a professional in the field of nutrition.  Therefore, I DO NOT, I REPEAT, I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE TO FOLLOW WHAT I’M DOING.  If you’re interested in fasting, detoxing, juicing, etc., please consult your doctor.

Thank you!

SamCyn’s Juicing Adventure: Day Three

07/25/2011 1 comment

When I woke up on day three, I was feeling pretty good.  I had energy, despite not eating for over two days (60 hours as of 8:00am) and just like the morning before, my tongue had the white fuzz, which proves the process is working.

I did have a slight headache, so for breakfast (and lunch) I made juice #5.  I gotta say, I’m liking this juice the best.

This blend of fruits and veggies makes a great combination and the little kick you get from the ginger is a perfect eye-opener.

After breakfast, Sam and I went for a walk on the beach, and let me tell you, it was glorious.

(This is an old photo of us, but on the same beach)

We walked along the shore and let the waves crash on our feet, as our leg muscles got a workout.  The best part was when it started to drizzle on us…what a great feeling it was to have the raindrops cool us off, as they fell on our skin.  Each time we do this (which is not often enough) it reminds us why and how lucky we are to live near the beach.

Another thing that I’m reminded of on this journey, is how grateful I am for what we have.  The fact that I can say I haven’t eaten in over two days, all because of a choice and not because I have no other alternative, is truly a blessing.

As of the night before, Sam has asked when would I be eating something.  Despite the fact that I’m not passing out, or having any major issues (thank God), it would make him feel a lot more comfortable if I ate.   Therefore, I promised him I would eat a salad when we went over to my mother’s.

As soon as we walked in, the smell of garlic and spices from the chicken and beans wafted all throughout my mom’s place.

MMMMMMMMMM! Can you say T-O-R-T-U-R-E?

I’ve got to pat myself on the back, because as good as it smelled and yes, I was hungry.  I stuck to my juicing/fruits and veggies only commitment, and ate the awesome salad I made, while everyone else feasted on roasted chicken with rice and beans (and salad).

Normally, we would have had some type of dessert.  I certainly would have made something like this carrot-pineapple cake.

Instead, we talked about healthy eating (amongst other things), and the future cake that my mom’s friend would like me to bake for her (I was flattered).  Honestly, as delicious as it would have been to end the meal with a piece of cake.  I didn’t miss it.  My prayer and goal is to be able to resist these types of desserts on a daily basis and just enjoy them (a small portion) on occasion.

When we got home I unwinded with a cup of sleepytime tea, Sam had an apple and then we happily went to sleep.

Sugar is a type of bodily fuel, yes, but your body runs about as well on it as a car would. – V.L. Allineare

Juice #5

Yields approximately 2 quarts

4 apples

5-6 medium carrots

ginger (approx. thumb size)

1/2 a papaya

To prepare:

Wash all fruits and veggies, peel skin from papaya and cut in pieces, cut up apples, insert into your juicer.  Enjoy!

Day Three Salad

No measurements, I just tossed in the following into a large salad bowl:

arugula

1 cucumber

mixed greens

2 Haas avocados

1/4 red onion

spinach

2 tomatoes

I drizzled just a little bit of olive oil on my plate, did not add any salt or pepper and it was delicious.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am journaling and sharing this experience just to make myself accountable.  I am not a doctor, or a professional in the field of nutrition.  Therefore, I DO NOT, I REPEAT, I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE TO FOLLOW WHAT I’M DOING.  If you’re interested in fasting, detoxing, juicing, etc., please consult your doctor.

Thank you!

SamCyn’s Juicing Adventure: Day Two

07/24/2011 3 comments

Well ladies and gentlemen, yesterday marked day two of my juicing adventure and guess what?

I’m still alive. Praise God!

By the way, I am journaling and sharing this experience just to make myself accountable.  I am not a doctor, or a professional in the field of nutrition.  Therefore, I DO NOT, I REPEAT, I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE TO FOLLOW WHAT I’M DOING.  If you’re interested in fasting, detoxing, juicing, etc., please consult your doctor.

Understood? Ok, thanks.

Now, it’s hard to believe that on a normal basis when I’m having a meal, especially an unhealthy one, I have no self-control.  I can’t seem to practice discipline and moderation when it comes to cake, ice-cream, pizza, etc.  Instead, I “super-size” my servings as if it were going to be my last meal.  I’m not proud to admit this, but it’s true.

Yet, here it’s been over 48 hours that I have not had any food, just fresh fruit/veggie drinks, decaf green tea and lots of water and I’m feeling pretty good.

However, when I woke up I had the same headache from the night before, I felt a bit weak and I had white fuzz on my tongue (gross, I know). What does this all mean? It means, the detox is working and my body is on the road to becoming healthier.  For a little more info on this see here.

For breakfast and lunch, I made myself juice #4…YUM!

This juice was pretty good, I didn’t taste the beet as much this time.

For most of the morning, I did some housework while listening and dancing to music.  I thought I wouldn’t have the energy, but I did.

I sunbathed for a little while and then started to get antsy.  I could have gone out, read a book, watched tv, whatever, but I really didn’t feel like it.  I wanted to do something and do nothing at the same time.  Then I figured it out…I wanted to EAT.

So, I decided to call Sam to torture him a little (what are husbands for, right?).  Lucky for him, he didn’t answer, but I got him when he came home😉.

For dinner I had broth and Sam had soup.

It felt good and made sense to me to have the veggies in the form of a hot broth for dinner.   Sam on the other hand was not completely satisfied, so he complemented his meal with an apple and some strawberries.

We went for an “after dinner” walk, we then watched a movie and crashed.

The greatest wealth is health.  ~Virgil

Juice #4

Yields about 2 quarts

4 apples

1 beet

6 medium carrots

4 celery stalks

ginger (approx. thumb size)

1 navel orange

1-2 handful bunch of watercress

To prepare:

Wash all veggies, cut apples in half, remove beet stems, remove orange skin, insert into your juicer.  Enjoy!

Broth #1

I didn’t measure, I just threw in an approximate of the following into an large pot filled about 3/4 with water:

beet stems from juice #4

half a head of broccoli

half a head of cabbage

1/2 cup shredded carrots

6 cilantro stems

5 cloves of garlic

3-4  handfuls of kale

1 red onion

6 parsley stems

I boiled for about five minutes, let it simmer on low for about 30 minutes.  For the broth, I ladled soup in the blender, pulsed on high for about a minute, then poured through a sieve.

Categories: Breakfast, Food, Healthy, Juice, Recipe

SamCyn’s Juicing Adventure: Day One

07/23/2011 3 comments

Yesterday was day one of my juicing adventure and so far I’m doing okay.

Have I been hungry?!?

That would be a big fat YES!

I started my day at around 7:00am with a glass of warm water with 1/2 a lemon.

Then at around 10:00am, I made juice #1 containing the ingredients you see below.

Can you say, YUMMY?😉

Actually, it’s not bad at all…believe it or not, I’m actually into these type of things.  Sam on the other hand is not too keen on trying the veggie drinks.  However, he’s willing to try (what a guy).

I drank about half of the portion, drank some water and went out for about a two-mile walk.

At around 1:15pm I finished the remaining juice, and thought to myself, this is easy.

Then at around 4:15pm I’m feeling pretty darn hungry😦

I had taken a cat nap and woke up feeling just a little “pissy” because I was hungry and remembered that I couldn’t eat.

Anyone that knows me, KNOWS that I am not a happy camper when I’m hungry.

Still…I had no intentions of giving up (not so soon!).

So I made myself juice #2 consisting of these lovely ingredients and it was really good.

Come to think of it, I could have had this for breakfast since it’s a lot fruitier than the first one.  The strawberries had a strong enough flavor, that I couldn’t even taste the spinach (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Then I finished up some housework as I waited for Sam to get home.  Usually on a Friday night we’ll either order pizza, drink wine, watch a movie and finish up with dessert or go out to eat.

Instead we caught up on each other’s day as I fixed myself juice #3 and Sam had a couple of bananas and cereal (this is his way of joining me and it’s okay).

Juice #3 was not as yummy…I don’t like beets and unfortunately, even though I only added one, it still overpowered the other ingredients.  Nonetheless, I drank my juice (s-l-o-w-l-y) and tried to ignore the headache I had developed and the slight nausea.

At this point (it was around 8:00pm), it had been 24 hours since my last meal and at least 36 hours since my last cup of coffee.  As you may or may not know, if you’re a regular coffee drinker, and you stop drinking coffee – the caffeine withdrawal can cause the blood vessels of the head to dilate, leading to an excess of blood in the head and causing headache and nausea.

I knew this wouldn’t be a walk in the park, but it’s part of the process of detoxing and riding my system of the toxins that come in the innocuous looking form of; a nice hot cup of coffee with sugar and powdered cream(so bad), a couple of glasses of wine, bacon, pizza, sausage, burger and fries, cookies, frosted cake, etc., etc.

I think you get the picture.

So what does one do when they’re not feeling too hot? you go to bed, to sleep it off and pray that tomorrow is a better day.  Though something tells me this is just the beginning😉.

By the way, just thought you would want to know, drinking this much liquid will make you go to the bathroom A LOT!

p.s. I weighed myself and I’m at 161 lbs, which is about 13 lbs more than when I got married two years ago.  Gee, and I wondered WHY my clothes didn’t fit.

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.  ~Doug Larson

Juice # 1 (don’t have names for my juices, just yet)

Yields approximately 22 oz.

4 granny smith apples

6 medium carrots

3 celery stalks

ginger (thumb size portion)

Approx. 1/4 cup of watercress

To prepare:

Wash all veggies, cut apples in half, insert into your juicer.  Enjoy!

Juice # 2

Yields approximately 16 oz.

3 handfuls of spinach

1/2 a papaya

10 strawberries

To prepare:

Wash all veggies, hull the strawberries and remove papaya skin, insert into your juicer.  Enjoy!

Juice # 3

Yields approximately 12 oz.

2 granny smith apples

1 beet

4 medium carrots

ginger (thumb size portion)

3-4 handfuls of kale (next time I’ll use whole leaves, I think it’ll juice better)

To prepare:

Wash all veggies, cut apples in half, insert into your juicer.  Enjoy!

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