Tuesday, 14 August 2012

end of week 3 and start of week 4

Wow, it's nearly a month into my challenge. I don't know about you but to me, the older I get, the faster time seems to pass.  Must have something to do with wanting to try more things, having more responsibility and never, ever, enough time!

This last week I've really been thinking about nutrients.  Am I getting enough? Am I eating the right balance of foods, am I not eating enough of the right stuff, should I combine some foods and leave out others?
It can feel a little overwhelming at times, and the plethora of information out there, although great, can also compound this.
I have found some amazing blogs in the process of my research though, and HOLY KALE and THE WELLNESS WARRIOR are among my favourites.  They are packed with good, practical information and some super duper delicious recipes.  

But back to me :) I guess the only way I'm going to be able to know if I'm on the right track, nutrients wise, is in how my body feels.
At the end of week 3, this is what I've noticed:

1. I'm really hungry after lunch and this leads to snacking non-stop until dinner.  At which time I'm bloated but eat anyway.

2. I've developed some dry patches on my face and have some minor breakouts on my forehead. NOT good.  This could also be due to my lady time approaching.

3.  My hair is falling out and it reminds me of the hair loss I had just after babies, except a little less intense.  But hair loss is hair loss and it points to something not being right.

All is not bad news though.  I still have the same energy levels and am still able to exercise as normal.

I'm sleeping better and I feel more calm in general.  

So, I'm thinking I'm maybe developing some kind of deficiency.  I'm going to make an appointment with a naturopath to sort out what's going on and to get some guidance around what I can do to rectify the situation.  After all, it would be completely silly that in the pursue of health I end up unhealthy!!
There are so many vegans out there who are healthy and great so there must be something I can do to fix this I'm sure.

In the meantime, I have purchased some liquid iron and I'm trying to squeeze in as much protein as I can at each meal.

It's been a super busy last couple of weeks for me so not enough time to play around with recipes, but here's one that I made for dinner tonight.

Mexican Quinoa Wraps

1 Tbs coconut oil
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup brown onion chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smokey paprika
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 vegan stock cube
1 Tbs tomato paste
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup red kidney beans
1 cup of water


Fry the garlic until soft and translucent.
Add spices and chilli and fry until fragrant.
Dissolve stock cube in water and add to onion mixture.
Add tomato paste and stir until all combined.
Add quinoa and cook with lid on for about 20 minutes or until quinoa grains are cooked (will look translucent).
Turn the heat off and stir in the beans.
Put lid on to keep warm whilst you make your salsa.

Avocado Salsa

1 cup avocado cubed
1/2 cup tomato deseeded and chopped
1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
1/4 cup coriander chopped
1 Tbs evoo (I used chilli infused)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together, being careful not to mash avocado.

You will also need some wraps and what ever other topping you will like to add.
I added some purple sweet potato that I had previously baked.

Assemble and enjoy.
Serves 2

I also have a couple of dressing recipes for you to try.  
As you know, I eat a lot of salads and to be honest, the same ol' dressing gets a little bit boring.  So here are a few that have been on high rotation over my veges of late.
Try them out and you'll have fun adding them to yours based on flavour combinations.

Green Machine Dressing

1 avocado
1/2 clove of garlic
Lemon juice
sea salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Place all ingredients in a bowl and whizz it up with your hand blender until smooth.
Adjust the seasoning to taste and either add more lemon or water depending on how zingy you like it.

I love this dressing on my kale salads and I get my hands into it so that every little bit of leaf is covered.
Today I had this with some crispy wholegrain flat bread which i spread with unhulled tahini and warmed in the oven.

Tahini Dressing

2 Tbs unhulled tahini
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp horseradish
sea salt and pepper to taste

Place ingredients in a screw jar lid and shake til combined.
Good on basic garden salads.

Balsamic & Curry Dressing 
Sounds weird I know but you will love it!

3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
3 Tbs evoo
1 tsp curry powder

Method as above

I use this dressing when I make a baked vegetable salad.  I will make some soon and post a picture because it really is delish.

Peas, love and mung beans


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