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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nutrition Notebook #2

I promise, my current food plan will not be the only thing I talk about here... but I appreciate how many friends have written emails with encouragement, questions, recipes, mockery... I love all of it. Yeah yeah, even the mockery.

Just so we're clear, I'm not necessarily turning pure vegetarian or vegan. I haven't bought a Vitamix. I'm not living off the land. Don't get me wrong, I am open to much (some?) of it -- but I'm also not planting my flag anywhere quite yet. This is a month-to-month process to establish a baseline for my cholesterol, and then go from there to figure out how I can manage my nutrition, blood chemistry and hormone levels. I also need to kickstart my metabolism, which appears to have been suppressed by one of my long-term medications. And daily soy lattes... (*sigh*)

The no-no's list is not pretty - for this month I'm not eating:
  • poultry
  • red meat
  • diet soda
  • sweeteners
  • soy
  • dairy
  • bread
  • crackers
  • cookies
And only 1 cuppa joe per day. After a month we'll measure my cholesterol, and go from there.

I'm not suffering. I am full to bursting after dinner especially. That could be because I have to eat a POUND of cooked vegetables. Hmm. Protein comes from nuts, beans and fish. Here's a list below of some of the things I've eaten these last few days...

2 Eggs
1 medium sized chopped onion
1 small sized chopped tomato
2 chopped green chili (or just a little hot sauce)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
A pinch of curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp olive oil

  • Beat the eggs thoroughly in a bowl.
  • Add the onions, tomatoes and the green chillies. mix thoroughly.
  • Add the garam masala powder, curry powder and salt. mix well.
  • Heat the oil in a non stick pan and add the cumin seeds.
  • Fry for a few seconds over a medium flame.
  • Pour the egg mixture and cook on both sides till light brown in colour. (reduce the flame) serve hot.
1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained)
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (I had to leave this part out...)
3 tablespoons sliced black olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  • Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30-40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm.
  • Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in a medium bowl.
  • Toss with the sauteed vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Serve warm.
Lunch is a BIG BIG salad each day, so I found this dressing. Poured it over butter lettuce, pomegranate seeds, diced olives, 1/2 avocado, 1 oz pistachios, diced green onion, 6 mushrooms. See, I'm not suffering!


2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey, more if desired (I used 2 tsp agave nectar -- not completely following my rules...)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, more if desired
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more if desired
1/4 teaspoon pepper (freshly ground if available), more if desired

  • Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and toast just until they begin to take on some color and become fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Roughly grind the seeds using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, or in a mixing bowl using the bottom of a measuring cup.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk in the oil, honey and lime with the cumin seeds until all of the ingredients are emulsified. Whisk in the salt and pepper, then taste and adjust the seasoning and flavoring if desired.
  • This makes a generous three-fourths cup dressing, which will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week.


  1. Um...I'm just going to say that the Vitamix has literally changed my life (I almost included it as one of our "things that brought us joy in 2009" in our Christmas card, but I thought better of it.

    I'm a total believer although I still have a hard time saying out loud that we spent 400.00 ON A BLENDER. That said, boy that thing blends like nothing you've ever seen! Incredible for all sorts of soups, hummus, pestos, nut butters...and smoothies of course. It can also help get part of those vegetables down in a different way. I'm often found throwing handfuls of spinach into my otherwise fruit smoothie. Makes it look a bit wierd, but tastes great! (I promise that I'm not a sales rep).

  2. Another sauce for the spaghetti squash can be found in this recipe:

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Xuxu-and Shrimp-with_Chile-and-Lemon-354968

    I use lime juice instead of lemon, and add a cup of pureed tomatoes. And you'll probably want to omit the shrimp...but I highly recommend chayote (it's the new broccoli!).