Clean Eating Brunch

Last weekend the weather was absolutely glorious.  I was feeling energetic and motivated to get my Sunday “church” walk going.  Every Sunday I head out early and hit the trails near my house.  It has become my ritual of sorts.  I love that I can simply walk out my door, up the street a bit and walk right into our beautiful forest in the city.

Once I got my pace going it wasn’t long before my ankle decided not to cooperate. I broke my leg just above my ankle a few years back and my strength in that area has not been the same.  I also think I may be developing some arthritis in there.  Some days it gets quite painful.  I slowed my step, being mindful of how I moved my foot and continued along. Soon my back began its typical ache; it has been giving me some problems again.  I lug around a traveling office now and it is literally a pain!   My slow walking pace became meditative and methodical.  With each physical adjustment I made a mental adjustment.  I reminded myself to go with the flow, enjoy the peaceful scenery and take the opportunity to enjoy it more fully. Well, even with my slow, sure pace I still developed a pain in my hip that hurt enough to stop me.  I took a seat on a fallen tree and just let the presence of nature soothe me as I sat.

I am not sure why I took this whole experience in such stride.  I am usually not so patient with my body when it ails me and slows me down.  This experience gave me a different perspective; one that definitely caused me some concern.  I sat on that tree and wondered what I would have done had I been somewhere different.  My new job keeps me walking all around the downtown/old town area of my city.   I have places to be and I have timelines to meet.  I walk up and down steep hills on my way to and from work.  All of these activities are much more difficult with pain strong enough to disable my walking abilities.

I have only recently accepted that I live with chronic pain even though I have known this fact for quite some time.  I simply do not like limitations in my body.  I have really tried to ignore it to some degree and power on.  I try to stay away from all the triggering foods that will create more ache in my joints.  I do kind things to my muscles and joints in the form of supplements, ointments, soaks and stretches.  I have become much more physically active even when I hurt, I still walk daily because I know it is the best thing I can do for myself. Still, in doing all these great things, I sometimes slip.  Even when I don’t,  I usually experience pain.

I am considering the elimination diet again.  Not because I am concerned I have an allergy to a new food, but because it makes me feel clean on the inside.  It feels somewhat like a detox for me.  Regardless, I know this is an option and I also know now is not the time.  For now, I am being more mindful of my food choices, making sure I incorporate anti-inflammatory foods in abundance.  I came home from my walk and made an amazing brunch.  This egg scramble and green juice concoction was filled with inflammation fighting ingredients.  Try it for yourself and feel great!

This weekend the weather will be fantastic again.  In fact, a little too hot for me!  I will be heading to the beautiful Oregon coast for the weekend where it will be a perfect 70 degrees with blue skies!  My Sunday “church” walk will look a little different yet still just as beautiful.

Egg Scramble

Saute’ 2 garlic cloves in 1 1/2 tsp of olive oil until softened.  Add 1/2 cup shredded kale and cook until just wilted. Crack 2 eggs into pan and scramble with a fork, incorporating the kale and garlic.  Cook to your desired consistency then add 1/4 tsp of cracked pepper to your finished dish.

Green Juice

Chop the following produce into chunks to add to your juicer:

1 beet (I used an orange beet)

1 Bartlett pear

3 carrots (mine were unpeeled)

2 celery stalks

3 good sized kale leaves

I recommend adding the greens last.  That’s just my opinion.  However you juice, enjoy this drink.  Your body will be happy you did!20150531_104347 (1) 20150531_110213

Perfect Plum Bread

I have been playing around in my kitchen a lot these days. I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of different dishes just for the fun of seeing what I come up with.  I have dared to stretch my imagination and use my creativity to adapt recipes that suit my dietary guidelines, or even more exciting: make up my own recipe!

I finally have time to use my kitchen as my playground all day long if I choose because I recently decided to quit my job.  There were a lot of factors that entered into this decision and many conversations with my sweetie before I chose to go bold and make my exit while I still had some sanity.  The new school year and the new kitchen brought new insights for me.  It became too difficult for me to knowingly compromising my morals on a daily basis. Additionally, I could no longer contain my repugnance at such a broken system.  I had too many concerns and no influence to create change.  The heaviness of it all made me tired and stressed every day.  For my own mental health and really, to say “this is not okay”, I chose to leave my job.  I left on good terms and I will continue to have connections to the people I worked with closely.  It was the best decision I could have made.  I was no longer happy in my work.  From the moment I gave my notice, I felt a lightness in my entire being. It continues into my third week of job freedom.  I have been healing my overworked body and enjoying a slower pace.  Physically, I feel so much better and have more energy. Mentally, I have more focus and definitely more calmness in my mind.

I am deeply grateful I have the option of quitting my job and explore other creative outlets for a while.  There are some new opportunities that have recently been presented to me and I am eager to network with like minds.  I feel excited for new discoveries.  And of course, I spend a lot of time in my kitchen.  So, let’s get back to that!

I purchased some plums at the local farmers market, ate a few then was going out of town so I just popped them in the freezer whole.  I had never tried this before, but I must say it was quite a successful freeze and thawed much like bananas.

I adapted this recipe from the “Eat Right For Your Type” Cookbook.  When I first began my gluten free life transition, I relied heavily on this book to guide me toward healthier choices for my body.  I made this recipe often and always received compliments on it so I wanted to give it a try again to take on our recent trip to Seattle.  However, this time I wanted to make it completely dairy and gluten free with no oats.  I did some substituting and came out with a really lovely bread that has a great texture and consistency, just the way I like a sweet bread to be.  The batter, which had a thick, gummy consistency going into the pan worried me at first.  My experience has been that means the end product will be dense and doughy.   However, it is moist without the gritty texture I often find in GF baked goods.  I was really happy with the outcome.

Here is the original recipe version from “Cook Right For Your Type”[author-Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo;copyright 1999] : 

Banana-Plum Bread

1 cup spelt flour

3/4 cup oat flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

5 Tbsp. softened butter

2/3 c turbinado sugar

1-2 tsp grated lemon rind

1 to 2 eggs, beaten

1 cup mashed banana

3 ripe plums, diced

1/2 to 1 cup walnuts, broken into pieces

I prepared it in the same way as the cook book describes except I used only 1- 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan and I sprayed mine with oil versus coating the pan with butter.

Here’s my adaption:

Plum Bread

1 cup AP Gluten Free flour {I used a brand called Namaste that I purchased from Costco}

3/4 cup almond meal

3 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp sea salt

5 Tbsp soy free Earth Balance spread

1/2 cup turbinado sugar

2 tsp grated lemon rind

1 egg, beaten

6 medium sized ripe plums (fresh, frozen then defrosted) or just fresh!, peeled and diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan.  Sift flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt into one bowl.  In another bowl, blend “butter”, sugar and lemon rind until creamy.  Beat in egg.  Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in three parts, mix until just combined after each addition.  Fold in plums.  Pour into prepared loaf pan.  Bake about 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on rack.  Slices very well.