December has been a crazy month so far with a lot going on at work, Christmas planning and just catching up on stuff! What little time I’ve had for writing, I’ve just been too tired and am actually looking forward to the holidays passing! I love Christmas and all the festivities around it, but I’m also looking forward to going to the mall and not taking my life in my hand while trying to park and traffic getting back to normal. Thank goodness for Amazon or I’d be one of those cranky folks wasting an entire weekend day at a packed mall carrying 43 bags! My mom and I actually went to the mall yesterday, we didn’t need to buy anything and found it fun to sip a coffee while watching the stressed masses rush by. A strange source of entertainment, I know, but it felt nice not having to be part of the madness and being able to relax while everyone around us looked frantic. It only took 20 minutes, 5 near accidents and a stand-off with a monster truck to find a parking spot :-)
After that life-appreciating experience, I moved on to Trader Joe’s to stock up for the week. Currently I’m somewhere between 65 – 80% raw and am happy at that, breakfast and lunch is typically entirely raw while dinner is either partially or not raw. It’s just too hard to serve a raw meal every night when it’s cold and I like to fix a meal that appeals to my non-vegan hubby as well. While I do not eat red meat, I’m not 100% vegan and do like seafood and goat cheese on occasion, though I try to make sure when I do eat meat, it’s environmentally sustainable, such as the fresh caught mussels we got from Costco over the weekend. I’ve found that buying better quality meats from more environmentally friendly sources at Whole Foods, Costco and Trader Joe’s is really not that much more expensive, especially when I plan and purchase for just that week. It also helps that I’m just not eating near as much as I used to cost-wise and many vegan meat substitutes are not only a better source of protein and fiber, they’re also cheaper. Also having more quality foods at home has made me enjoy cooking more and less tempted to eat out, another huge money saver.
Anyway, playing DVR catchup again, I caught a disturbing episode of Dr. Oz yesterday on diabetes where he randomly tested the blood sugar of 300 New Yorkers on the street and came across a handful of people with lethally high blood sugar levels and were completely unaware of it! It’s nothing new that diabetes is a massively growing epidemic and these people weren’t in great shape, but Dr. Oz sent one guy directly to the ER because his was so high. He just said he was always thirsty and felt dizzy a lot, but suspected his weight to be the issue and ignored it.
Not that I think I’m a high risk with an intensive exercise schedule and a diet mostly void of refined sugars and empty carbs, but it got me thinking about my fruit intake. I love fruit and eat quite a bit daily – frozen grapes, oranges, berries, apples, watermelon, banana raw ice “cream”, etc. But now I’m wondering if I should reduce my fruit intake and replace with more vegetables instead to further reduce my sugar intake, even if natural sources of sugars. That will be tough because fruits have been my go-to snacks for awhile. The challenge will be finding equally enjoyable veggie replacements beyond celery and carrot sticks.
I threw together a new salad dressing in the Vita-Mix the other night that was a success. I love the idea of using a vegetable as a base of a salad dressing instead or oils or a processed chemical nightmares that are most retail dressings. The Vita-Mix makes throwing together a new dressing so much easier and it’s a fun way to change up a salad and keep it interesting. I did a creamy tomato basil dressing that coated the salad nicely.
- 1/2 medium avocado
- 2 ripe roma tomatoes (or 1 medium/large)
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. fresh or dried basil
Blend ingredients in blender to a fine puree and serve either on the side or mixed into the salad. It made enough for a 4 serving salad and had a great creamy basil flavor that did not get watery.