Wednesday, March 9, 2011


 Today was an eventful day!
We started off by noticing how not great we felt after yesterday's festivities. Indeed, we had had an alcoholic beverage last night, but I'm more inclined to say it was the chocolate we ate rather than the alcohol we drank, because both of us had a headache before we drank alcohol, and after we ate the chocolate. We both agreed we couldn't wait to start the day with clean, healthy, mostly-raw eating so that we could get back to feeling good as soon as possible!

 Breakfast was raw oatmeal:

 Which consisted of:
 1/2 cup of oats
 1 cup almond milk
 1 tablespoon peanut butter
 1 tablespoon chia seeds

For more information on chia seeds you can read the post I wrote about it by clicking here, or just read the following to find out what chia seeds do:

  1.  Helps stabilize blood sugar and prevent junk food cravings
  2. Helps you concentrate and improve your mood
  3. Fills you up
  4. Lowers cholesterol
  5. Builds lean muscle, builds strong bones
  6. Excellent source of Omega-3
  7. Loaded with antioxidants and phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, niacin, zinc and boron.
  8. High source of protein
  9. Gluten free
  10. Good for hair and nails
Okay, so thats a lot of goodness! When added to anything liquid, it has a gelatinizing effect, so it's great in smoothies, cereals, anything you want to thicken up. One time I made strawberry "yogurt" by mixing strawberries, almond milk, and chia seeds. It had the consistency of yogurt and I took it to work and ate it as a snack.

 The peanut butter we added to our raw oatmeal was hand-made from us at the grocery store:
We chose our peanuts out of the bulk bin, then put into a grinder, and chose the size and weight we wanted. What a great deal for organic, no-additive peanut butter! We got two flavors, and they are both delicious!

 Of course I still am drinking my wheatgrass shots every morning, more on them here.
Wheatgrass is so good for you because it boosts your immune system, increases your oxygen carrying capacity of the red blood cells, it helps rejuvinate your vital organs, its good for every gland, bone, and vital system in your body, etc etc. It helps with your metabolism, circulation, digestion, and it has 70% of all vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that humans needs. Wow!

 What does it do for me?  Well, I've been able to cut out coffee from my morning routine! I say "morning" because I am guilty of drinking a cup of coffee at 3 am when I'm at work. I always get the most tired at 3 am, (which just so happens to be when your body is producing the most melatonin, so the sleepy-feeling is heightened between 3 am and 4 am) so I am guilty of having one small cup of coffee at this time in the night.  However, I used to drink at least two cups in the morning upon rising, at least one cup before going into work, one cup around 11 pm, and then another cup around 3 am. To go from all this to just one cup (and not even every time I work) at 3 am is huge!

 How does it make me feel to cut coffee out of my life? It feels like the opposite of what I thought I would feel. I thought I would feel sluggish, unmotivated, tired, depressed. I feel more energized, more happy, more clear-headed. I feel confident in my ability to save someone's life and carry out the necessary duties at work without being jittery and scatter-brained like I would often feel after just two cups of coffee. So that's how I am at work, and when I'm not at work, I have enough energy to run 8 miles and then clean the house and cook dinner. In addition, there's no "coming down" feeling like I had after coffee, accompanied by the intense urge to lay down or take a nap, coupled with the bottom-less pit feeling in your stomach, riding alongside the I-need-to-eat-something-right-now-my-blood-sugar-is-40, and let's not forget the occasional heartburn coffee can give us. Really? Why do we do this to ourselves?

 Wheatgrass has been known to increase your mood because it gives us the essential nutrients we need, and would otherwise be lacking, and like I mentioned above, chia seeds can too. It's either one or both of these things doing it for me, because I can't remember the last time I cried (ask The Boyfriend what a big deal this is) and the best part about it is I'm not using drugs to be happy. I'm simply giving my body what it needs and what it deserves, and in return it is giving me a happy, healthy outlook on life.

 After breakfast we had to go to the health food store, where we picked up some staples like:
walnuts (at the grocery store they were 8 dollars, but buying bulk was only $2.30)
marinara sauce

Let's talk for a moment about why quinoa is so amazing.
Quinoa is pronounced Keen-wah and it is not a grain, it is actually a seed, related to the spinach family. When cooked, it is light and fluffy with a subtle flavor. It actually cooks and tastes like a grain, so it is easily used as a starch replacement (instead of rice or noodles).

  • Quinoa is a "superfood"
  • It is high in iron
  • It contains all 9 essential amino acids, therefor it is a COMPLETE PROTEIN all by itself!
  • It contains high levels of magnesium, which helps your muscles and blood vessels
  • It is a wonderful way to ensure you consume enough fiber
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • High in manganese and copper
  • Quinoa may be effective in treating breast cancer, diabetes, athersclerosis, and insulin resistance.

Quinoa is about as whole and complete food as you can get, because it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

It also acts as a PREbiotic, so it feeds the good bacteria in your digestive system. It is gluten free, so those with celiac disease can enjoy it, and it can be given to autistic children who follow the Body Ecology program for autism.

Quinoa cooks in 15 minutes and turns up light and fluffy. You can eat it in the summer by mixing into a cold salad, or you can warm it up in soup and enjoy in the winter! I've put it in cereals, salads, casseroles, and they even serve it on the salad bar at the hospital!

 Tonight, I made a lasagna with it. I originally saw this recipe here on Peas & Thank You, and I have to share the link because I simply adore this blog. This woman used to be a meat-eating lawyer, now she's a devoted vegan, wife, and mother of two young children. Not to mention beautiful!  Her pictures of this lasagna made my mouth water, and I just so happened to have a huge zucchini I was waiting to cook. Perfect timing.

Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna

1 large zucchini or 2 smallish zucchinis
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce (I didn't have any, I used pizza sauce. You can use tomato paste or sauce or whatever you have on hand)
1/4 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped. (I didn't have any fresh, I used the seasoning)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped. (I didn't have any. I omitted)
2 tablespoons dairy-free cream cheese (I didn't have any, I omitted)
salt and pepper to taste
1 jar organic marinara sauce
cheese (daiya is amazing)

 To make zucchini into noodles, strip off one side of the skin and then cut into thin slices. You'll want about 12 slices
Sprinkle with salt and then pat them off before you put in pan. The salt will draw the moisture out of the zucchini and prevent your lasagna from being too watery.

 Mix your quinoa, vegetable broth, tomato sauce, onion, and oregano in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. This will cook the quinoa.
 Once the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid, mix in cream cheese and additional herbs. Salt and pepper to taste. Try to taste it without eating the whole pan! It is quite incredible, but it does get better.

 Pour marinara sauce in bottom of lasagna pan and place zucchini "noodles" on top.
This picture was mid-layering. Cover the whole bottom of saucepan. Layer with quinoa filling. Pour sauce on top of filling. Layer with more zucchini. Then quinoa filling. Then sauce. You get the idea

Top with cheese, if desired.
This was my picture before baking

And after baking

And this is a picture from the original recipe:

 I would have taken a shot like this of mine, but we didn't wait long enough for it to cool. It smelled way too good and we were way too hungry.

  I have to say this was probably one of the best lasagna's I have ever made. The Boyfriend gave it an eyes-closed "mmm" and two thumbs up because his mouth was full.  Seeing as how we are trying to stay away from processed foods like pasta and processed filling like "vegan meat" and "vegan cheese", this was a great alternative. You could obviously add the vegan meat and cheese, we just opted not to because we feel better when we avoid such foods. We don't feel overly-stuffed or uncomfortable, and it wasn't too salty either.

 Workout today was a 5 mile run and then triceps, biceps and an ab workout.
I finished up my workout with some stretching on the foam roller. I wanted to share this short video because there was a time I didn't know about the foam roller either, but life is so much better with it! Watching this short video helped me know exactly what to do with the foam roller:

The Foam Roller is really good at getting the lactic acid buildup out of your muscles, resulting in less ache and soreness. I use it every time I'm at the gym and have noticed I'm not as sore.

 Being big on spinning and running, my IT band needs a lot of stretching, along with calves, quads, and glutes. I'm looking to purchase a foam roller so I can use it at home, but I might have to wait until next year's tax return, seeing as how this year's has already been spent on car repairs!

Speaking of car repairs, today was transmission fluid change, oil change, belt replacement, and tire replacement day! I had been putting the transmission fluid change and belt replacement off since November, so I knew I had to do it. All 4 tires just so happen to be bald, and it was conveniently time for an oil change as well! When I woke up and saw my tax return was in my bank account, I knew today was the day. That precious money didn't stand a chance :)


  1.  Have you ever used a foam roller? What is your favorite stretching exercise that works well for you?
  2. Do you like lasagna? Have you ever tried to cook it with zucchini?
  3. Do you hate spending 700 dollars on car repairs as much as I do? ; )  Or do you see it as a necessary evil and therefor don't really mind spending money on your car? 
Have a great night, everyone! I'm back to night shift tomorrow for the rest of the week, so it might be awhile until my next post. Wishing you health and happiness! Until next time..

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