The world of technology has done so much to enhance our lives and further education, and we must honor that; and yet at the same time it has taken us away from our thoughts, conversations and connections with the physical world around us. I often find myself hardly interacting with anyone or anything throughout the day besides my virtual connections. And, although it can be a very positive thing, technology can also be a negative. So, as a part of my new daily regime of reconnecting to my inner self and improving the connections with my outer self and surroundings, I have taken a stance to disconnect for at least one hour a day (while conscious… sleeping doesn’t count.) Turn off, unplug and put away all that is technological, electrical and powered up: lights, phone, TV, computer. And not just silencing my phone… actually turning it off. It is hard at first but the more I do it… the more I look forward to that moment everyday. It has become a peaceful moment, a moment to collect, a moment set aside just for me with no interruptions, no email alerts, no phone ringing, no TV buzzing in the background, no Facebook notifications: just a simple moment to reconnect with the things that get cut off when I am always plugged in.
So I had a bunch of leftover Quinoa from the night before’s meal… so I thought why not continue on my quinoa kick!! Tonight’s menue choice:
Quinoa Stir-Fry with Vegetables and Chicken
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 medium bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 1 small can of water chestnuts, rinsed (optional if you prefer to use only fresh ingredients)
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 ounces grilled chicken breast, chopped
- 2 heads of broccolli, cut into size desired
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce ( I use Braggs Liquid Aminos as as a soy sauce substitute to reduce sodium and create gluten free meal)
Place quinoa in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook, undisturbed, until quinoa absorbs water, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and leave uncovered.
Meanwhile, steam the carrots and broccoli to desired texture.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, mushroom, ginger, garlic and water chestnuts. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Add steamed broccoli and carrots, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute. Add quinoa, chicken, and soy sauce (or Braggs Amino Liquids.) Cook for about 1 minute. Divide stir-fry among 4 bowls! Enjoy!
Today was another new beginning for me. As the new year came and passed, resolutions swirled around in my head… “Loose weight, drink less, diet, stop smoking…” The list could go on and on. When I actually sat to ponder all of my vices and my shortcomings I became very depressed and insecure in who I have become over the years. To tried to think of just one thing that I could resolve with the turning of the new year, I became unimaginably overwhelmed. But in the midst of quite a painful moment, it struck me. It isn’t about the vices, the bad habits nor the every single small flaw that encapsulates me. Its about feeling. How do I feel? How can I get myself to feel better? I need to stop making resolutions that ultimately one day I may break. I need to work on living a simpler, more meaningful and enriched life. And that includes working towards feeling healthier but still actually living! So… today it starts with dinner!
~ Kale, chicken, quinoa and red pepper salad accompanied by a honey lemon spritzer with fresh strawberries :)
- 1-2 cups kale, ribbed and stems removed
- 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked (I use vegtable broth to add flavor, but to reduce salt intake, combine with water.)
- 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast, baked and chopped into cubes.
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 red pepper chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1/4 – 1/2 avocado
In large salad bowl, mix the kale and olive oil and a some salt to taste. Massage with hands for a few minutes until the kale starts to soften.
For the dressing, stir together lemon juice, honey and a pinch of salt & pepper to taste ~ this is easier if you warm up the honey just a tad.
In a separate bowl, add cooked quinoa and chicken and sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning. Toss to mix.
Mix the quinoa and chicken mixture and red peppers to the bowl of kale.
Drizzle the lemon and honey dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
Makes 1 big salad
- few drops of honey
- 1-2 lemon wedge(s)
- 1 strawberry quartered
- 1-2 cup(s) sparkling water
Take cup of sparkling water and add a pinch of honey, squeeze in lemon wedges (add to drink or discard.) Add more or less to taste.
Add quartered strawberry.
So far… SUCCESS! Not as many cravings and caffeine headaches are subsiding. My body feels good… but not that different. Probably need a few more days to really start feeling any different. I am getting tired of having salads so today I am going to focus on finding some creative recipes that have a little more flavor. This is the chart that I am usig to find the foods I need to eat more/less of according to ph:
So, what happened to day 2? Well, day two was, how can I put this, the reset button day. I totally failed, due to lack of planning. Day 2 happened to fall on a Wednesday. Wednesdays are my longest day where I have very little time to make a lunch or stop by home. This particular Wednesday also happened to be my fathers birthday! Yes I am sure you can all see where this is going… cake… birthday dinner… not time to throw together a salad or fruit plate for lunch. All around it was a fail. But, I have come out on top! Now I know there are a few things that you can do before going into a cleanse or a day like my Wednesdays. Here are some tips that I thought of, of course after the day was over.
- If you have a busy day ahead of you, get up a little bit early to pack your lunch and snacks.
- If you have a party to go to, inform the host prior to the day of (a few days would be most gracious) so that they can plan accordingly or let you know if you should eat prior to coming.
- Throw some chai tea bags in your car or purse to have when you need a pick me up throughout the day or just something to keep your mind off cheesecake and coffee
- Take some time to research places in your area that offer gluten free, dairy free meals if you need to grab lunch on the go.
The positive of slipping up? I am human, and I believe that I grow from my mistakes. Being a first time cleanser I a sure I will have some slip ups.. but those are what will make me stronger in the end!
So far, Day three has been good but hard. I keep having cravings for dairy and carbs! These have been things I rarely, if ever, have been without. But there are plenty of things that can supplement that taste for you! Here is what was on my plate today:
- Wake up call: Chai Tea Latte with soy milk. Soy milk is one option for a dairy substitue. But there are plenty of other options… almond milk being one of my favorites.
- Breakfast: A full Avocado, sliced in half and eaten right out of the casing with a spoon. This is a great snack for on the go.
- Lunch: Baby spinach and beat salad with sunflower seeds, dress with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon.
- Snack: Artichoke hearts
- Dinner: Asian chicken salad… any kind of organic greens, organic chicken breast seared, carrots, red peppers, cucumbers, sprouts, cabbage and sesame seeds. Dressed with a soy sauce substitute and olive oil. Sesame oil is a great option too.
Today I also have started a 2-3 week cleanse. We will see how long I can go for. I am a girl who loves food… and not the healthiest food. I love pizza, hot wings, beer, burgers, burritos. You name it. But with new beginnings must come new routines and in efforts to heal my body… I need to get out some bad juju. Today is day one! The cleanse is not a liquid cleanse or a fast. It includes many actual foods… mostly raw energies. Vegetable, fruits, nuts and organic meats in small quantities. The main goal of this cleanse is to balance the PH in the system… therefore trending alkaline foods rather than acidic. Look these up, as some foods that you may assume to be acidic are actually alkaline: aka lemons and limes. For me this was a surprise. Anyhooo…. here is what was on the menu for today:
- Wake up call: Chai Tea (Coffee is out people… sorry)
- Breakfast: Hot water with fresh lemon juice and cayenne pepper.
- Snack: Fresh, organic almonds
- Lunch: Kale, baby spinach and beet salad dressed with a pinch of salt, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil
- Snack: Fresh Strawberries
- Dinner: Organic chicken breast prepared with pinch of salt, lemon juice and olive oil and a baby spinach salad dressed with olive oil.
Note: Olive oil in each course is but a drizzle to add taste. Do not over do the fats in this cleanse. They are healthy but to maintain the purpose of the cleanse you want to maintain moderation.