The Answer is No

Back when I still worked at Ye Olde Office Job, my tiny Finance Team had an ongoing joke about the answer to any question always being no. All three of us were/are abnormally nice people who tended to be overly accommodating of the needs of others, but in secret, when we were sure nobody else was listening, we used to practice bellowing with authority: The answer is no!

Need a spreadsheet made? The answer is no!

Donation amounts need to be tallied and reported at the next staff meeting? The answer is no!

Can we please mail out the charitable tax receipts by the end of the day? The answer is no!

Is it possible to– NO! The answer is no!

(Yeah, I know it’s not very funny, but to our simple accounting department sensibilities, the idea of being Make Believe Jerks to our coworkers never got old.)

Well. It’s been a year and a half since I left my day job, but I’m finding that dirty, two-letter ‘n-o’ word creeping back into my daily existence again, especially when it comes to food. My awareness of this sneaky phenomenon peaked when I read Kathy’s recent post, 50 and Fat– or 50 and Fit? (Weighing in on Mid-Life) and again when I encountered a brief aside about “Kimberly [Snyder] disapproving of cashews” in this post from Housewifing Around. Kathy spoke of her mother basing many of their conversations on foods that she either could not or would not eat, and something about that wagging-finger, “disapproving of cashews” comment burrowed its way into the rotten core of my soul and annoyed me enough to start writing this post. 😉 Is food really the enemy? Do I need to start being a real jerk to sustenance?

I disapprove of molasses!

Most Foods: The Answer is No?

I’m sure we’ve all encountered “revolutionary” eating plans before that promise amazing results but demonize major nutrients. There are low-fat diets, low-carb crazes, no-carb devotees, detox programs that require abstinence from tropical fruits, fermented foods, flours, refined sugars, and even mushrooms– the list is truly endless. I’ll guiltily confess that my youngest sister and I once spent two weeks fearing the sweet wrath of carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes on the advice of one fad diet book, and I’ve also gone for several months before, honestly convinced that one of the worst foods I could ever eat was a banana. For real. Obviously, a diet based on cupcakes and diet sodas is going to take you nowhere fast, but I’m highly suspicious now of any so-called “healthy” program that demands its followers to deprive themselves of fruits or vegetables. Apricots are not the devil in disguise, am I right or am I right? (Unless you have a serious apricot allergy, in which case, they probably are the devil in a squishy orange disguise.)


I started on the Beauty Detox Solution last year-ish, very much in love with the whole concept. (This again? Yes!) For once, I didn’t have to find vegetarian substitutes for the “lean chicken breast” recipes in Food Book #1, and for once, I didn’t have to omit cheese or milk from any recipes, either. (All of Kimberly’s recipes are vegan.) I didn’t have to worry about finding an acceptable stand-in for “cashew cream” desserts or soups– because, as you just discovered, Kimberly “disapproves” of cashews due to the high possibility of them containing toxic moulds. (Have I ever told you how allergic I am to cashews?) And finally, finally, I didn’t have a dietician or nutritionist recommending pounds upon pounds of tofu or soy to satisfy the vegetarian contingent of readers. (Seriously. Soy will not save the world. A girl can only pound back so much edamame before her very bowels transform into long tofu dogs. Go on: Ask me how I know this.)

Yes, these soups are homemade and vegan, but are they raw? Tsk, tsk!

The Beauty Detox Solution seemed to offer a seamless, well-researched solution to all of the questions I’ve ever had about what I eat. I didn’t need to consume 10 pounds of lentils every day after all! Low fat yogurt was not a requirement– huzzah! The BDS spokesperson was an impossibly beautiful woman with a blindingly large, genuine smile, and I gravitated easily to the idea of prioritizing whole foods and becoming the best person I could possibly be! In retrospect, this was the honeymoon phase. I was practically giddy with love!

Kimberly makes a lot of recommendations in her book. True, most of them are small and simple steps that can be incorporated over time to achieve optimal health, but if you were to make a list of everything she suggests to do in her book (which I did– don’t judge), it ends up being a pretty lengthy list. (Then you go and read her blog and find out you also need to install shower head filters, buy organic eco-mattresses for the best, most planet-friendly sleep, and possibly even stop touching money. After all, it’s disgustingly dirty and contaminated. The answer is no, my friend!)

Originally, the super geek in me (the one who loves to make spreadsheets and cross items off To Do Lists) was pumped to tackle each of these recommendations, one by one, until I emerged from the process as a Radiant Goddess of Gastro-Intestinal Perfection!

(Aside: I should try to rustle up one of my earlier fertility charts so you can see just how OCD I am about graphs. I recorded everything I possibly could about my body every day– temperature, heart rate, secretions, cervical position, dreams, bowel movements, glasses of water consumed, mood, moon phase, etc.– and then color-coded it all. A RAINBOW OF FERTILITY! The Gigantic List of Things to Do with the Beauty Detox Solution was right up my alley.)

Gradually, though, my love for the Beauty Detox Solution began to fade. I lost the spark. I no longer felt the good vibes. I just wanted to be done with food combinations and excited about eating spontaneously again. I was tired of being the person who needed to schedule 1-hour blocks of time before and after eating an apple, and don’t even get me started on eating out at restaurants. Me: Can you believe they put both pecans AND avocado on this salad? Clearly, they haven’t read The Beauty Detox Solution and don’t realize you shouldn’t put two fats together in one meal. And wait– is that extra virgin olive oil in the dressing? A third added, albeit healthy, fat? Don’t tell me that’s balsamic vinegar, too– crikey!

“NO!” was beginning to permeate every aspect of my life. Can I please have a cup of warm water with lemon juice right before breakfast (and not 30-45 minutes before)? Is it possible to put flax seeds on my oatmeal instead of on my salads? What if I feel like peanut butter on a cardboard-esque Wasa cracker? Are the omelet sandwiches I made on marble rye bread acceptable? THE ANSWER IS NO!!!!! Like a rice racist, I seriously considered tossing the (white) sushi rice in our cupboard before the thrift-conscious side of me won that particular battle. Penny pincher vs. white rice finger pointer-atter. Any food with a dates-base was suspect, and I often found myself spouting the words “But Kimberly says…” like a knee-jerk reaction to anything that contradicted her Beauty Detox bible.

Enough of that. I don’t care what the gorgeous lady says: this girl’s gotta give.

I’ve decided that, for me, simple is truly better. I need to relax! Dried figs aren’t going to kill me! After reading The China Study book, I’ve found my newest touchstone when it comes to food:

  “Eating should be an enjoyable and worry-free experience, and shouldn’t rely on deprivation… The recommendations coming from the published literature are so simple that I can state them in one sentence: eat a whole foods, plant-based diet, while minimizing the consumption of refined foods, added salt and added fats.” (p. 242, emphasis added)

So much easier, yes? Even looking at these words makes me breath a huge sigh of relief! It’s kind of painful for me to admit this (because I’m abnormally nice and don’t enjoy disappointing people), but maybe the principles of the Beauty Detox Solution aren’t as clear-cut fabulous as I first thought they were, at least for me. (Disclaimer: many/most of the principles still are great, but I’m no longer trying to combine them all into one and achieve super-humanness.) Maybe I can go on without eating meat or dairy but not feel so bad if I’m not regularly consuming raw sauerkraut, too. Maybe it’s okay for me to enjoy some non-sprouted breads every now and then or to put two types of seeds on my salads. (Such a rebel!) I should be able to enjoy hummus without hearing the words “beans are Mother Nature’s “oops!”” (because they naturally combine proteins with starches) echoing in my brain. Heck, I might even dip crackers into hummus and not fret that I’m messing up the sacrosanct food combinations even more. Whoa. Can you feel my diet rebellion picking up speed?

Maybe I’m weak, maybe I’m stubborn, maybe I’ve failed at Shimmering Goddess Lessons, or maybe I’m just cranky, but I’m sick and tired of organizing such a huge part of my life– eating– around the word ‘no’. I’d much rather say YES! to whole foods, YES! to fresh fruits and vegetables, and YES! to foods in their unrefined, minimally processed states. That’s it! No need to break things down into a million sub-rules or minor clauses. Just eat clean food. Period.

[end rant]

What do you say?

    Are there certain “diet rules” that really chap your ass?

Are you consumed by “following the rules” or “sticking to” a particular eating program?

Are you a serial wagon-falling-offer like I am, at least when it comes to food plans?

Are you one of those mystical beings who seriously only eats food for fuel and never gets caught up in emotional eating? (And if so, can you be my guru?)

PS: Lest you think that I’m just going on a rant to somehow justify a lack of weight loss or a general state of unhealthiness, the last time I checked, I was halfway back down to my pre-harbour weight. Yes: I’m ten pounds lighter than I was in December, and I’ve done this by embracing the KISS motto: Keep it simple, silly. 🙂

Holy Shiitake Stew!

My mom is serious about whole foods (the concept, not the store), and she doesn’t waste her time with single-serve portions. Ever. Even when she cooks just for herself, she prepares weeks of meals in advance. Bushels of gorgeous garlic bulbs fill every nook and cranny of her kitchen, and her fridge is always packed to overflowing with juicing carrots and leafy greens. (In fact, the first time Marty ever witnessed the splendour of her kitchen– with bags of organic grains peeking out from random cupboards and jars of decadent ingredients dotting every shelf (even local bay leaves!) — I suddenly made a lot more sense to him. The apple did not fall very far from the tree in this particular case, and it probably reassured Marty to realize that I am not the only person in the world who caresses bunches of kale in hushed reverence and admiration. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…)

Garlic worthy of adoration

I had requested specific items in advance of my mom’s visit: lemons, ginger root, turmeric root, a bit of garlic, and rolled oats. (We drink the best tea every morning, with fresh lemon juice, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne pepper in it, so we go through those ingredients like nobody’s business.) My mom did not disappoint. She brought us LEMONS! and GINGER! and TURMERIC! and 25 POUNDS OF ROLLED OATS!, along with enough garlic to keep the whole cast of Twilight far, far away forever and ever amen. Alleluia!

Gee, I hope you didn’t say ‘A’ lemon, because I brought LEMONS!!

What I wasn’t expecting was the mushrooms. Specifically, my mom showed up with what she termed a “dealer’s weight” of shiitakes. She wasn’t kidding. As I watched– breath held with cautious expectation– my mom unveiled a hefty-sized paper bag stuffed to the brim with mushrooms. Upon seeing these elaborate flowers of the forest ground, both of us emitted our signature, clan-patented squeals of delight! (Thankfully, Marty was on a bike ride at the time and didn’t have to deal with two nut cases culinary aficionados. We were free to be as enamoured with the fungi as we liked.)

Soft-core shiitake porn

Shiitake close-up. You’re welcome.

Not wanting to let even one of these beauties go to waste, Marty and I have enjoyed mushroom soup and shiitake-studded omelets for the past week. This evening, I also made us a variation of our regular mushroom soup and dubbed it Holy Shiitake Stew. Have some mushrooms lying around, shiitake or not? Here’s a beautiful, soul-warming, and vegan way to enjoy them. (Non-vegan boot-wearing is optional.) Bon appetit! 🙂

Holy Shiitake Stew

You Will Need:

– 1 Tbsp coconut or other cooking oil

– 1 large onion, coarsely chopped

– 3-4 carrots, sliced

– 3-4 celery stalks, sliced

– Fresh garlic to taste (I used 2 large cloves), thinly sliced

– 2 pounds of shiitake mushrooms, or mixed mushrooms to taste. Take 1.5 lbs of mushrooms and wash and coarsely chop them. The other half pound should be washed and cut into bite-sized chunks.

– 6-8 cups of water or vegetable broth

– Salt and pepper to taste

– 1 tsp each of thyme and curry powder

– dash of caraway seeds, if you’re feeling adventurous

How To Make It:

1. In a stock pot, saute onions in coconut oil over low heat. Cover pot and check on onions occasionally, stirring until they are soft and translucent (approx 5-7 minutes).

2. Add carrots and garlic to the pot, along with 1/2 cup of water or stock. Cover and let cook on low to medium heat for around 5 minutes, until carrots start to soften.

3. Add celery and another 1/2 cup of water or stock to pot. Cover and let cook on medium heat for around 5 minutes.

Just in case you need to see what the soup looks like at this point

4. Add 1.5 lbs of chopped mushrooms to pot, along with 4 cups of water or stock. Water will not cover the mushrooms at this point, but they will soften and reduce in size very quickly. Cover pot.


5. Cook mushrooms with the rest of the vegetables until everything is tender, stirring as needed. Add rest of water or stock, salt, pepper, curry powder, and thyme. Bring to a boil, cover, and then simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

Soup after 30 minutes of simmering, pre-blending

6. Meanwhile, saute remaining 1/2 pound of mushrooms in a pan with a small amount of water (and caraway seeds if you so desire) until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

7. After soup has simmered for 30 minutes, remove from heat and blend in the stock pot until smooth using a hand blender.

8. Add sauteed mushrooms to smooth soup mixture to give it some texture. Adjust seasoning if needed. Serve hot over a whole grain or with fresh garlic toast. Holy shiitake, it’s delicious! 🙂

Dr. Obvious Comes to Town: How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home

I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, especially when it comes to knowing things that have actual, real-world applications. I can go on and on about mostly useless trivia (god bless Master of Arts degrees), but I always seem to be learning basic things that other people have knownsince the 1980s… at least.

That said, Dr. Obvious paid a visit to our quiet, lakeside community recently, and I was flabbergasted to discover the following new (to me) facts:

1. It is possible to make vanilla extract at home.

This should not have been news to me, having descended from a woman who insisted on making her own ketchup, curry pastes, bread, and soup stocks. My mom endeavoured to make as much food from scratch as possible when we were growing up, but somehow, the thought that vanilla extract could also be made at home escaped me until very recently. I just assumed it was untouchable.

I use a ton of vanilla in my kitchen. It goes in my oatmeal every morning, flavours my weekly batch of almond milk, and features prominently in any cake or baked good recipe I test out (for scientific purposes only. Obviously.) Each bottle of vanilla extract runs around a hefty $8-$12 from the store, so discovering that I could make a schwack of vanilla extract– easily, by myself, at home, for a fraction of the cost of the store-bought variety– felt like the Secret of Life had been whispered sweetly into my ear. Homemade vanilla extract! Who knew?

Starting the process off by steeping vanilla beans in alcohol

2. Bourbon = Whiskey

The recipe I found online for homemade vanilla extract called for some bourbon. I ventured out to the local liquor store, post-haste, and scanned the aisles for the telltale “Bourbon” sign. None could be found! I saw signs for Wine, B.C. Wine, Beer, Vodka, Liqueurs, and all sorts of other spirits, but the Bourbon sign was conspicuously absent from the lot.

I felt certain that this was not possible– surely liquor stores sell bourbon… and scotch… and beer (at least if that terrible George Thorogood song has any truth to it whatsoever)– so I focused on the shelves more intently, pleading silently with the myriad bottles to point the way to the bourbon without me having to ask a clerk. (A thing you should know about me and liquor stores: I’m not a drinker at all, so I inevitably end up looking like a wide-eyed, probably underage kid whenever I go into one. It doesn’t help that I’m usually wearing a junior high-appropriate backpack. (Blame commuting by foot.) I’m a tad self-conscious about my lack of liquor store savvy, so I usually overcompensate and pretend I know exactly what I’m doing as I stroll regally through the aisles. This air of overconfidence, in turn, tends to make liquor store clerks suspicious– like I’m not of legal drinking age and/or trying to steal something. Guess how often I get ID’d at liquor stores? Almost every single time. Showing my ID isn’t a huge deal, but it’s awkward and embarrassing to know that the only reason I’m getting carded in the first place is because I’ve acted like a total freak.)

Anyway: bourbon. I lingered in certain sections of the liquor store, trying to locate a godforsaken bottle of bourbon. I knew it wasn’t vodka. I knew it wasn’t wine. Finally, I stumbled into the whiskey section and noted with confusion that there were bottles of scotch, rye, and Irish whiskeys there. Another awkward minute passed, and thankfully, I happened to read the blessed words “bourbon” on a bottle of Jim Beam. Yes! Bourbon!! I snatched it up (in retrospect, a little too swiftly) and then was promptly asked to show my ID to the clerk at the till. Next time I’ll know: bourbon IS whiskey. I might even escape the dreaded ID check– Thank you, Dr. Obvious!

Bless you, Mr. Beam

3. Vanilla is a ‘bean’ in the ‘green’, ‘yellow’, or ‘string’ sense of the term, not in the ‘mung’ or ‘kidney’ sense.

I felt so mature bringing home a bottle of Jim Beam bourbon. I win liquor store shopping! I laid it out on the kitchen counter when I got home, along with a clean jar and several vanilla pods.

The recipe calls for a ratio of 4 vanilla beans to 1 cup of bourbon, so I gleefully laid out three long vanilla pods and sliced them open lengthwise, fully expecting tiny “beans”– many more than four of them– to spill forth.


Vanilla pods are not like pea pods. No spherical pearls of sumptuous vanilla roll out of vanilla pods. For future reference: the long black pods are vanilla beans. Inside the pods, there are only sticky, smaller-than-poppy-seed grits. If you decide to make your own vanilla extract, use four long pods in every one cup of bourbon. (And, on that note, try to buy the vanilla pods in bulk. I bought my first few individually from Planet Organic and ended up paying more for 3 measly beans than I did for approximately 10 beans in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs. Lessons learned, Dr. Obvious– lessons learned!)

The difference between beans and seeds is duly noted

4. “Bourbon” Vanilla Extract can actually be made with vodka.

Be honest: you see a bottle of “Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract” at the store and automatically assume it was made with bourbon whiskey. I did, too! Alas, it was only after I purchased a gigantic bottle of Jim Beam Bourbon that I read more about vanilla extract online. Turns out that the “bourbon” part actually refers to the type of vanilla bean that is used, not the alcohol itself. There are “Tahitian” and “Bourbon” types of vanilla beans, and just about any ol’ alcohol can be used as a base to make your own extract. Just don’t use beer. I think that would be nasty.

I saw several people writing online that they’ve found vodka to be the best when making vanilla extract at home. (Apparently it is one of the most tasteless alcohols around and really allows the vanilla flavour to punch through.) I will happily attempt my own extract with vodka after I’ve guzzled down a whole liter of bourbon-based vanilla extract, but that could take a while… In the meantime, I’m waiting for my Jim Beam-based extract to mature and will definitely report back once I finally crack open the jar. 🙂

One week of sitting, with original Jim Beam bottle on left side for comparison

Two weeks of sitting… only six more weeks to wait!

To Make Your Own Vanilla Extract at Home:

1. Use a ratio of 4 vanilla beans (aka pods, not non-existent pearl-seeds!) to 1 cup of alcohol (bourbon or vodka, though others have reported delicious-tasting vanilla extract with a bottle of Jack Daniels)

2. Slice beans lengthwise and place into clean jar with alcohol.

3. Wait.

4. Gently shake your vanilla brew every couple of days.

5. Use as you would store-bought vanilla extract after 8 weeks of waiting. Patience is a virtue, my friends.

6. Marvel at all the money you saved, simply by putting vanilla beans in a jar with regular ol’ alcohol.

7. Thank Dr. Obvious for coming to town! 🙂

I started off with a modest 3/4 cup of alcohol and 3 vanilla beans, partly because I wanted to test this recipe out before making a gallon of it, but mostly because I had only purchased 3 vanilla pods in advance from Planet Organic. I assumed that 3 pods would contain 30+ seeds/beans inside, but I was so wrong. I’ve since ordered a giant sack of vanilla beans/pods from Mountain Rose Herbs, and I will be adding them to my mostly-full Jim Beam bottle in the next few days.

Smooth Move

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’d like to start this post off by shouting “Hello!! Guess what, everyone? I’m still alive!!”

[enter hollow-sounding echo] [enter crickets chirping]

Yeah, it’s me. Yes, I’m still incredibly busy. No, I don’t have enough clean underwear to last me through the weekend. Yes, I might have to buy some new pairs. Pronto. (Because wearing underwear inside out DOES NOT COUNT as clean.) Like Marty says: we– the childless by choice couple– seriously need an au pair. Or two. Stat!

Anyway. You’re probably all wondering how my Personal Beauty Detox Journey is going, right? (Admit it: sometimes you lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling, and desperately pray for some kind of a sign. “How is Dana doing?”, you wonder. [AOK] “Is her skin clear?” [Yep] “Do her pants fit?” [Kinda] “Is she still eating sauerkraut?” [Every now and then] “And cake?” [Sadly, yes] “Please, god– I have to know!” Don’t worry: I get it!)

Even though I was derailed for about two months on my Personal Beauty Detox Journey– gaining a total of 12.5 effin’ pounds!! (I know: seriously?!)– I seem to be heading back on track. [Fingers crossed.] [Knock on wood.] [Salt tossed over my shoulder for extra good measure.] And as of Sunday the 5th, I have actually taken the plunge and incorporated one of the major, signature tenets of Kimberly Snyder’s program: the Glowing Green Smoothie.

I have a thing with food textures, remember, and in my mind, green things are not supposed to be soft, smooth, or creamy whatsoever. (That’s why it took me 28 years to enjoy eating avocados.) I’ll admit I was terribly nervous about shoving a head of romaine lettuce, half a bunch of spinach leaves, some celery, and some fruit into a blender and then drinking it down. Being faced with nearly a litre of emerald green drink to down (every day!) did not seem like an obstacle I could overcome successfully.

But everything in my life started pointing me in the inevitable direction of the Green Smoothie.

First, I read Kimberly Snyder’s book, “The Beauty Detox Solution”. Did I jump right on the smoothie bandwagon after reading her incredibly inspiring book? No, but I did start incorporating some of her other suggestions. I was just a little nervous about all that blended green drink.

Next, I attended that powerful talk by Tim VanOrden. He was incredibly motivating and also talked about drinking Green Smoothies every morning. Did I head home that evening and triumphantly drag my Vitamix out of its cubby? Still no.

Finally, I happened to pick up a book called “Green for Life” at the local raw foods café while I was waiting for a gorgeous take-out salad to be made. I started thumbing through it mindlessly, and the few pages I read were what eventually convinced me to take the plunge.

I’ll confess it was mostly vanity that inspired me to make green smoothies every morning. Cough.

The author of “Green for Life”— Victoria Boutenko– talked about the power of green smoothies to a) regulate sleep patterns and nourish the body on less sleep each night, and b) potentially heal even lifelong sores on the body. Seeing as we are so busy at the Harbour these days, the thought of being able to rejuvenate on less sleep every night was very appealing to me. (Maybe we can build our way up to working 22 hours a day?? Heh.) Also, I’m ashamed to admit that I still have that nasty, not-so-girly foot affliction, so even the possibility of having it drop off effortlessly after many years of trying to get rid of it was enough to turn me in the direction of blended green drinks.

Yes, I started drinking smoothies because of a wart. Ahem.

I have to say, I am loving both my morning smoothies and the fact that I own a Vitamix blender. Seriously. I don’t think I could keep it up if I had to chop everything into tiny pieces and then down a still-grainy “smoothie” from a non-Vitamix blender. The first morning, I was paranoid about over-blending the smoothie (in case all the rapid-fire blending action caused the smoothie to heat up, which I would not have been able to tolerate.) So I didn’t really blend it enough. It came out kind of chunky, luke-warmish, and admittedly nasty. And yet I drank it down for the sake of my health and non-girly warts falling off.

The second morning, I declared to myself that I would blend the hell out of those vegetables, and guess what? My Vitamix rendered the greens, celery, apple, pear, and banana into a heavenly-textured confection. It was silky, it was fresh, it was just the right thickness, and it was delicious. Yes, it  took a bit of mental maneuvering to move past my mind’s alarmed insistence that This drink has vegetables in it!! DON’T DRINK IT!!!, but once I grew up and focused on how delicate and fresh the taste was, I was hooked.

I have been mowing through greens and fruits in the nearly two weeks since I started drinking the smoothies. I’ve also become emboldened in my smoothie making and experimented with other greens and fruits every now and again. In place of romaine lettuce, I’ve used dark kale leaves. Instead of spinach, I’ve tossed in generous portions of swiss chard leaves. I’ve used parsley sprigs, cilantro, raspberries, blueberries, and I even have some nectarines ripening to try them out in a future smoothie. All of the drinks have been divine. When I drink them, it’s like my body has been wandering in a dusty desert for months and is finally being quenched at some blessed oasis. Every one of my organs seems to sing when I drink the smoothie, and I’m beginning to feel like a bit of a super-hero because of it.

Is it a bird? A plane? No! It’s Supple Kidneys Girl! 🙂

Every morning, I consume about 750mL of the green smoothie, and Marty gets the other half. To my pleasant surprise, I have been fine taking out my morning staple of oatmeal and drinking the smoothie instead (after literally years of eating a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast). Marty, on the other hand, finds he still prefers oatmeal off the bat and then he has his smoothie later in the morning or early in the afternoon. I have lost a modest amount of weight in the past two weeks (2lbs), but I’ve decided to focus instead on the non-scale measures of my increasing health:

– I have been waking up before my alarm clock on most mornings and feeling refreshed on all of them

– My body feels cleaner, fresher, and leaner (even though I haven’t changed anything else about my eating or exercise habits– still eating sweets and actually exercising less, to my chagrin)

– My skin feels more supple and elastic

– My elimination has been more frequent and more regular

– I am craving more fresh and raw foods (but yes– still eating things like carob bars daily)

– I still have that stupid sore on the bottom of my foot, but I’m holding out hope that it will magically fall off in a few more weeks (or months– whatever)

My goal is to actually drink at least a litre of green smoothie every day. I could easily drink more as it stands, but I’m just being polite and sharing the yield with Marty! (To reach a higher target, I’d have to make two batches of green smoothie in the morning). They keep well in the fridge or freezer, and they don’t separate out or become nasty even after an hour or so of sitting in my travel mug. This has been a big step for me, but I’m so thankful that I’ve taken the plunge and also made more use of my expensive, fancy blender! It finally feels worth it! 😉