Thursday, April 7, 2011

Veggie Pizza & Reader Challenge

 It was such a beautiful day outside yesterday, like it is today! Not a cloud in the sky

We went for a 5 mile run
It was tiring!
I have a long way to go before my half marathon!

 We took a visit to the Farmer's Market, where we picked up all these goodies for only 21 dollars!

Everything in a bag is 1 dollar. A bag of carrots, tomatoes, apples, green peppers, snap peas, oranges, all for just a dollar. The rest was between a dollar and 2.50. "Oh my, how inexpensive it is to eat healthy!" ;)
We were able to refill our fruit basket with lemons, bananas, apples, peaches.

We promptly washed and cut some of the stuff into pieces so it's easy to grab and eat.

If you are trying to eat more veggies, my recommendation is variety and availability. If you are hungry and open the fridge, you are less likely to choose something that you have to wash it and cut up before you eat it. Make it available, and have choices. If you have a choice between a milkshake or carrots, you will be tempted with the milkshake. If you have a choice between carrots, green peppers, celery or grapes, you are giving yourself options, but you can't go wrong with any of the choices. Eliminate the junk from the fridge and leave only the good things. Rotate vegetables out each time you go to the farmers market. Sometimes get grapes and cukes, sometimes get radishes and cauliflower. That way you never get burned out on the same veggies. Dips are also a good thing. Dairy-free, of course. Hummus, peanut butter, and french onion or vegetable dip made with dairy free sour cream are all tasty choices. Salad dressing is another nice dipping option.

Looking at all the veggies made us thirsty, so we juiced some carrots:

We are trying to juice at least once a day. So far we have met our goal! If you are interested in juicing, I encourage you to go for it. There are so many books and research behind the benefits of juicing. It has literally cured cancer. My favorite combo is one apple + two carrots.

 Then I had a blogger meet up! Andrea is a fellow health + fitness blogger and she lives right by me! We have been trying to meet up for awhile, but she's a busy lady. Last night we went to a place called Pure Barre. It was an exercise class where yoga, pilates, strength training, ballet and dance all meet together. Most of the girls were ex-dancers, so I was a little out of place, but I did get a great buns + thigh workout in. I liked how we utilized the ballet bar. Especially since I already ran outside, my legs were really feeling it!

For dinner, I wanted to make veggie pizza. A different kind, though.
Instead of marinara sauce, I would use hummus.
I first whipped up a batch of hummus:

Sliced up some veggies: tonight I used sundried tomatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, artichokes, and mushrooms.

And the "dough", or crust, is flatbread, and it is versatile. I could use it for wraps, sandwiches or pizza.

Spread the hummus on the flatbread and top with your veggies.

We sprinkled some daiya cheese on top and baked for 15 minutes. Nothing needed to be cooked, but we wanted the bread to crisp up a bit and the cheese to melt.
After 15 minutes in the oven...

This was so good. It was exactly what I had in mind when I thought of veggie pizza. It was different not using marinara sauce, but my body thanked me because I wasn't slamming water all night and then getting up in the middle of the night to drink water. I've always been sensitive to salt in the way that after I eat it, it makes my fingers puffy, I get thirsty, and bloated. I ignored all these things my entire life, just dealing with it and feeling uncomfortable. Now I know to listen to my body and avoid foods that make me uncomfortable. Tomato sauce, tomato paste, broth, marinara sauce, and a lot of canned foods have such a high sodium content. To think of how unhealthy I ate even when I was "vegan" makes me cringe now. We made enchiladas and chili all the time, sometimes once a week. It was delicious, yes, but the sodium that enchilada sauce packs is amazing, and chili is basically all sodium once you add the tomato sauce, paste, and canned tomatoes. Tomato juice used for chili has upwards of 1600mg of sodium per serving, and in the large can there were 6 servings. Multiply that by 6 and add all the other canned goods I dumped into chili and it was no wonder I felt so awful all the time! We feel worlds different now that we are eating more fresh, raw fruit and vegetables.

 I was reading someone else's blog and a reader had written in asking how to eat more healthy and not "fall off the wagon" so much. The author, who I think is a doctor of some sort, replied by saying that the reader should eat one pound of vegetables a day. Buy produce, cut it up, and eat it every time you feel hungry. Munch on it all throughout the day. I thought that would be a good challenge for myself, eating one pound of vegetables a day for a week and seeing how I felt at the end. This morning I weighed one of the smaller containers of veggies that we had cut up, and it was 3 pounds. It looks like an accurate portion of how many veggies I consume each day. So maybe I already eat more than 1 pound of veggies a day, and that's how I feel so much better and healthier for really the first time since I've been vegan. You can be can unhealthy vegan, as we all know. Since that challenge was foiled for myself, I thought it might be fun to challenge my readers.

 My challenge to you: Eat one pound of vegetables every day, in addition to other things you eat. Or just try it for one day. Find out what you like and what you don't like. Does broccoli make you gassy? Do carrots give you energy? It's a great experiment, and I promise you won't come out dissapointed. You will more than likely find that you aren't hungry for the junk and you start to crave vegetables. They are fat free, sodium free, and yummy! You should not be depriving yourself or feel hungry at all. When you are hungry, eat vegetables, and as many as you want. Snack on vegetables inbetween meals and with meals.

 If you try this challenge and let me know how it turned out for you, I will select a winner and send you a gift. No matter where you are in the USA, I will pay for postage and mailing. It will be an edible, healthy gift, and no I won't cook it, I buy it from the health food store. Your response should include how long you did it for, what kinds of things you ate, and how you felt afterwards. Post your comment in the comment section and I will choose a winner. Good luck!


Jess @ Veganomics-101 said...

thanks so much for visiting my blog and commenting so i could find your blog! you are inspiring! i love your recipe ideas and your 'about me' section. i must admit right now i am in the middle phase that you were in... i react the same way when people ask about my veganism... i go 'oh i'm just doing it for health.' your post and a couple other things lately have made me re-think how i act. thank you so much for that.

hummus on the pizza first, what a great idea! i make pita pizza for us but will have to try the hummus on there first,,, yumm.. i would love to do your reader challenge. it'd be fun to know who many veggies i eat everyday and have a challenge. i will have to find a scale or something... thanks, have a great day!

Andrea said...

Hey girl! Sadly, I don't have a bike...yet! I need to get one asap though so I can begin training, then we will go for rides for sure! I would love to have someone to go with! BTW, I've been packing my pound (I'm guesstimating it's about a pound) of veggies! :D

Michele said...

yay ladies keep up the great work! Let me know how long you do it for and how you feel afterwards! Jess - i dont have a food scale I just put it on my regular scale. a food scale would be more accurate but, i'm not going to go out and buy one, so I work with what i have :)

Mavis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mavis said...

soooo.... which farmer's market did you find those goodies? $21 AWESOME!!!!

Michele said...

Charlotte Regional Farmers Market in Charlotte, NC.. not sure what city or state you live in but most states do have co-ops or farmers markets! Good luck!