Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One week from today, on September 5th, I'm officially going insane.  Insanity workout insane.

Let me tell you, it's name doesn't tell the half of it.  I got Insanity last week, and knew from the previews that I would be in for the ass-kicking of my life.  All 63 days of it.

Check it out:


I read the meal plan, because I wanted to see if I needed to tweak my clean eating to get enough food and macronurtients, and I was surprised at how clean the plan was.  I'm doing my version, because I simply can't eat that much meat, but I'm making sure to get in tonnes of protein and lots of carbs.  I did the computations, and I need to eat a LOT of food!  It totally makes sense though--you work out ultra super duper hard.  I would think your workouts would suffer, as well as your recovery, if you thought you knew better and ate too little.  For anyone who is afraid of food and calories, but wants to do this workout plan, my advice to you is to leave your previous mentality at the door if you want to see results.  You simply will not get the desired results out of Insanity if you starve your body.

This week I've been testing things out, to figure out the food, and also to check out the workouts by doing a few rather than just watching them.  So, I did the fit test, and the first workout so far, and plan to do 1-2 more workouts before the official start day.

The fit test kicked my butt.  It's 10 minutes of going all-out in one minute intervals with a break in between, and I thought I'd die.  Then I did the first workout...  And threw up in my mouth a little.  Fortunately it was mostly my pre-workout drink in my tummy!  Was that too much information?  Well, as I post about this INSANE 63-day journey, you're likely going to get it as it is, so get ready for the truth!

After the first workout, I noticed something green on the floor.  Turns out I left my ass on the floor.  Why was it green?!  Because it was GRASS.

I'ma gonna DIE.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

As most people who know me know, I strive to eat as cleanly as I can.  That's not to say that I never have beer or wings or cake or whatever, but I try to eat the healthy stuff the majority of the time.

Those who know I try to eat that way, sometimes have the misapprehention that I can only have things like pizza very occasionally, because, well, pizza isn't exactly the healthiest. 

So what's a clean eater to DO?  Have pizza every few months?  Oh HECK NO!!  I can have pizza any time I like--I just make it myself!

Now you might be thinking, "Oh yeah right.  Healthy clean pizza.  Yum.  Not!"  But my friends, you would be so wrong!  Believe me, it's in the oven right now, and it smells divine!

A few tips and tricks before I give you the recipe--of course I'll give you the recipe!: 

*  Don't use crust high in saturated fat--use 100% whole grain pita rounds.  Don't open them up or anything, just use as-is.
*  Use decent-quality lower-fat cheese.  Mozzarella is relatively low in fat (compared to other cheeses), and if you can find a good one that's lower fat than that, you're golden.  I usually use Mozzaralissima, which just happens to be LESS expensive than my local store-bought brand.
*  Use lots of veggies!
*  If you like meat on your pizza, you may certainly still do so--just make sure to use lean meats like chicken, shrimp, smoked salmon, even sausage is fine, if you use lean turkey or chicken sausage.
*  Don't be fooled by pre-made pizza sauce.  There is easily 10x more sodium in the pre-made sauce, not to mention all the chemicals and preservatives.  Instead, buy a small can of tomato sauce, preferably no-salt-added, and season it up yourself! 

Clean and Delicious Pizza

1 whole grain pita--small for one serving, larg for two
1/2 cup grated mozzarella per serving
Tomato sauce (preferably no-salt-added), enough to cover the pita
Mushrooms and onions (or veggies of your choice--even fruit!)
Meat of your choice (or other protein source--I used tempeh.  You can get tempeh plain or in a variety of flavours), crumbled.
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Fresh ground black pepper
Dried oregano
Dried basil

1.  Heat oven to 350F.  Place rack in middle of oven
2.  Schmear tomato sauce on the pita--to your taste
3.  Sprinkle tomato sauce with seasonings
4.  Add shredded mozzarella
5.  Add vegetables and meat of your choice

Carefully put pizza directly on oven rack.  Make sure the edges are supported if you have a lot of toppings!

Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until the crust is as crunchy as you like it, the cheese is melted and the toppings are heated.

Remove pizza from oven when it's done, and let it sit for about 2 minutes.  It's much easier to slice hot pizza when it's not directly out of the oven!

Enjoy!  That's it!  Swear!

Don't feel you have to use the ingredients I used to make my pizza.  Go crazy!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A friend of mine, Wendy, has recently become VERY interested in learning all I know about preparing raw food.

It all started a few months ago, when I asked her if she would be interested in some of the raw flax crackers and raw granola I'd made a few days previously.  She tried them each right away, and went on and on about how amazing they were.

"If I bring you the ingredients, can you make the crackers for me?" she asked with her mouth full.  I assured her that I would, no problem. 

A few weeks later she called me and said, "I have the ingredients."  So of course I made them for her, showing her how to do it at the same time, though at first I didn't know what she was talking about, since she didn't tell me why she was bringing ingredients over!

This past week, she was scheduled to come over on Thursday for her first-ever entirely raw meal.  I said I wasn't going to do anything too gourmet, since it was her first time, so she may as well start off relatively simple--though no iceberg salads would be in sight. :)

On the Tuesday, I got a call from Wendy, saying "I have the ingredients, can you make the crackers for me?  And can I contribute (aka help) to making them?"  This time I knew what she was talking about, as it had been about 2 months since she got her one-month supply, so she was probably jonzing by then.

In between cracker-making days, she's asked me many many questions about raw food; what do raw foodists eat (it's a common misconception that all they eat are salads and vegetables in stick-form), do they have to give up decadent desserts, are they all vegan, etc etc.  I'm not a raw foodist myself, but I've done a lot of research on the subject over the past year, and of course have spend the past 2 June's mostly raw. 

As time went on and she learned more, her interest and excitement about raw food grew--to the point where she's now talking about getting a food dehydrator!  It's entirely possible that it's just because of her unholy love of raw flax crackers, but whatever--the uses for a dehydrator are myriad! 

So, when she was all enthusiastic about making the crackers with me, and also that she could make the corn tortillas for with our dinner on Thursday (with my oversight of course lol--she could NOT follow the recipes, even though they had like one line of instructions...), I let her go crazy.  And crazy she did.  At one point I had to mention that it was easy to drive yourself nutty trying to make the crackers super level and smooth, because you just can't get it completely perfect.  She looked up and answered, "Yeah, I can see how that might happen!" thinking it was pretty funny that it should happen to people...and then spent another at least five minutes going over the whole thing over and over and over...  She looked at the tray on the level on the right...then the left, spin the tray and repeat!

Eventually Wendy moved on to the corn tortillas, which are round...and which brought on a whole new psychosis!!  HAHA!

Anyway, two days later she came over for the Raw Dinner Extravaganza (ish lol).

We used the tortillas to make mini tostadas--take one tortilla, pile on fresh guacamole, pile on fresh salsa, and eat!

I'd made the tostadas before, so knew she would like them.  They're not very complicated--in fact the guacamole and salsa I made just before she arrived. 

I also made a side salad, which is pretty funny because all of it was plants!

Anyway, you can see the salad on the little square plates in the picture above left.  I used one of the blades I'd never used before on my spirulizer--the ribbon one.  It was SO easy!  For the dressing I mixed white vinegar, honey, and a tiny bit of sesame oil.  I meant to toss it in raw sesame seeds too, but then forgot.  Oh well, next time.  It was a very good salad though!  Wendy kept ooohing and aaaahing and twirling it on her fork and saying, "Look at how beautiful it is!"

For dessert, I made something I'd never made before--raw lemon cheesecake with a crust and everything!  I had a recipe, but I had to make a LOT less than the recipe called for--I didn't want 16 servings!  So I just went by the ingredients, and eyeballed how much I'd need by volume to make 3 ramekins, and did it by taste.  They turned out really well!  They were very rich, and were probably twice the size they needed to be.  Live and learn--get smaller ramekins!  Or one of those cool mini cheesecake moulds with the bottoms that pop out.  The cheesecake is on the right--for some reason it kept loading sideways!

Throughout the whole meal, Wendy went on and on about how amazing the food was, which was really great.  She even said that if she were to add raisins to the tortillas, she bet they would be as good as cookies.  I hadn't thought of that, but I think with a bit of tweaking, she may just be right!

It was very cool to show someone a whole new kind of eating that they'd never have tried otherwise.  I'll have to do it again!