Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Time to refocus!

A little recap of the past few days:

*Saturday: wheat-free, but heavy on other grains, low on fruits and veggies.
*Sunday and Monday: NOT wheat-free. Even went a little overboard perhaps.

I told you it was a little recap. ;) I will say that my weight has stayed the 2lbs down. It'd be lovely to see it go down more this week. I've slowly had weight creep up over the past 5-10 years, not a lot, but 10 lbs down from where I am now would be fantastic.

Today, I need fruits and veggies. I'm craving them. But I have realized I don't really have a focus anymore. I wanted to see if I could do wheat-free last week, ended up having 4 days wheat-free (wow!), so that's accomplished but I don't know where I'm going from here! What are my goals again? lol.

I still have a yearning to be high raw, at least for a while. I find myself often thinking of people who went 100% raw for a while and their allergies just faded away. I especially think of it when I'm rubbing my eyes lately due to something in my environment driving me crazy. :-/ Or when I would like to eat certain foods raw but can't. My body needs to detox.

I guess this helps give me a vision for the week: more raw, less processed. That's one thing I can say about lately is that there have definitely been fewer processed foods prepared by me. There's so much garbage added to them all that just removing them will probably make a difference.

What does this mean for today?

*Wheat-free again. Why not? It was much easier than I thought. I do have to set some limits on the other grains I eat, like the corn Tostitos in the house (I've been eating them with the Daiya cheddar as nachos and cheese; yum!).

*I've been having a hankering for Ani Phyo's Coconut Breakfast Cakes from this cookbook:

I've had them a few times before and really like them.

*Of course, that doesn't take care of my fruits and veggies situation. I have oranges, not sure if the bananas are ripe yet, there are some grapes... I just have to prepare things. If the bananas are ready, I'll make myself a nice green smoothie today. I can add a salad or two in, cut up some carrots and cucumber and eat that with hummus...

I have lots of great food in the house; I just need to take the time to prep and eat it.

I'm going to have to get more adventurous and really try some different recipes. I have a few raw cookbooks here. I just hate taking the time to prepare something and then I don't like it and have to figure out something else to eat. lol. Of course, it has also happened that I've decided to try a recipe, I've bought the necessary stuff, it's stayed in the fridge so long that I've forgotten which recipe it belonged to. *sigh*

Saturday, January 28, 2012

What just a few days can do

I was wheat-free for most of the day yesterday. Made a dairy- and gluten-free cake with a friend, a recipe from this book:

We made the Gluten-Free Basic Vanilla Cake. I hit a couple of snags, like using vanilla rice milk instead of just plain rice milk (didn't use almond milk because my 4yo niece is allergic to nuts and was going to share the cake with us and the vanilla rice milk was the only other alternative in the house), so the resulting flavour was very vanilly. And I undercooked it. And I didn't make the chocolate sauce for it and that would have been really, really good. In any case, I was a little worried because I don't think I've ever had gluten-free cake before, and this one was vegan on top of it, but it tasted good enough for people to come back for seconds, despite the mushy, undercooked middle! lol. It will definitely be one to make again. I really want to make the chocolate gluten-free cake, but I have to find sorghum flour first. Hm.

For supper, I had wheat, so later on, when I wanted a little something, I decided to have one of my son's double chocolate muffins that were left. These are the ones that the other day I realized I could have just eaten one after another all morning and never felt really satisfied. (Did I post that? I was feeling it, even if I didn't post it.) I had a couple of bites and it did not taste like it usually does. Did 3 days this week of mostly unprocessed and wheat-free food change me that quickly? It seems to have. I LOVE those muffins, but not last night. I finished because I didn't want to waste it, not because I wanted it. Confession: I had grabbed 2 because that's how many I usually eat since they're not huge. I put one back. That is not like me. lol. I really don't even want another one now. And then I felt blah afterwards. I understand a little more now how people get started on raw, feel amazing and don't want to leave it!

I like my sweets though. lol. That muffin was just totally unsatisfying, both in taste and in the stomach, so what to do now? I know: I'll head over to Rawdorable and find some raw recipes I can make. :) Of course, there is still a little cake left over from yesterday, too. ;) (Isn't that something? I would prefer the undercooked, gluten-free vegan cake over what used to be my yummy double chocolate muffins.)

Friday, January 27, 2012

A recap and Friday plan

Food tally for Thursday, a completely wheat-free day (do you realize that that makes 3 wheat-free days this week? yes, I'm talking more to myself than to you lol):

*nearly 1 litre of green smoothie

I don't think I had anything else during the morning. I need to get into a habit of writing these things down!

*full bowl of romaine salad with Italian dressing
*Amy's gluten-free bean and rice burrito with salsa
*a scoop of Rice Dream vanilla ice cream with a little chocolate syrup
*corn Tostitos and Daiya cheddar
*two celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins

*shepherd's pie (ground beef, corn, potatoes with Becel vegan/gluten-free margarine and almond milk)
*baby carrots

*a glass of strawberry almond milk

I think that was it. I'd like to sit down sometime and analyze some of these days of mine, figure out calories and nutrients. I suspect I'm not getting enough nutrients, which a multivitamin can help with, but it would be good to plan so that at least over the course of a few days, all nutrient counts are taken care of. (Does it show that I've thought to be a nutritionist/dietitian?)

Today, I'm all congested and coughing stuff up. Can you have detox symptoms when you're still eating some junk, like chocolate syrup? lol

Not sure what my plan is today. We're going to be making a vegan gluten-free cake this afternoon, but I was also hoping to make a vegan, but not gluten-free, lava cake. Hm... I have someone coming over who is attempting to go wheat-free, too, and who loves chocolate like I do--if today's a wheat-free day, it wouldn't be very nice of me to make a lava cake in front of her, now would it? ;) I'll go wheat-free at least until then. lol

A raw testimonial

I'm not raw--yet. I don't know if I'll ever be 100% raw all the time, but it's testimonials like this that definitely create a desire to work towards it!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Doing another wheat-free day

I decided to not do wheat-free yesterday and, naturally, ended up eating way too many grains over the course of the day (double chocolate muffins, yes, muffins, grilled cheese sandwich, can't even remember what I ate for lunch...) and, well, was rather gassy last night and a bit this morning. Ick. I do think it's likely to be related to my grains over-consumption, if not the wheat alone, so I'm going for wheat-free again today. I am, however, 2 lbs down from earlier in the week. Hard to say if it's due to a change in what I've been eating or just a natural fluctuation.

It is really hard to do an anything-free day without planning ahead, so here's my food plan for the day:

*green smoothie: I've made nearly a litre! and I relearned a lesson: never add stuff while the blender's still going... I might not drink it all this morning and keep some for the afternoon

*if I'm still hungry for breakfast, wheat-free cereal. I have Rice Krispies, Hemp Plus (not guaranteed to not have traces of wheat), gluten-free Crunchy Maple Sunrise, not sure what else.
*snacks, if needed: I have bananas, oranges, grapes, blueberries, pomegranate, a honeydew and a grapefruit. The trick will be to take the time to prepare any of them if I'm hungry; I don't want to prepare ahead of time and it not get eaten.

*large salad with an Amy's Gluten-Free bean and rice burrito
*if I need more, I can have some carrots and hummus
*snack ideas: cashews; almonds; make a little trail mix of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and raisins; celery sticks with hummus or with peanut butter and raisins

*eek! I'm not sure. I only have burgers and ground beef and don't have what I would need for wheat-free vegetable soup. I suppose we could have hamburgers (I have some wheat-free veggies burgers I could eat, then it'd be a vegetarian day, too!) and I would just go bunless and have another large salad. Or maybe I can find some sort of recipe for the ground beef, like meatloaf using Rice Krispies or something... And serve with potatoes.

Some things to figure out this morning, but it gives a kind of idea of how to have a wheat-free day. Figuring out a variety to maintain a week, or even just half a week, is my next challenge, I think.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

If only I could eat raw peaches...

This peach pie http://www.welikeitraw.com/rawfood/2012/01/mimi-kirks-peach-pie.html by Mimi Kirk looks absolutely delectable! I would love to try this recipe--but at the moment, I react to raw peaches. I hope that over time, as I remove problematic foods and chemicals from my diet, I will be able to eat something like this.

I should maybe have added elsewhere that my diet is currently:
*dairy-free (except for ghee--I don't react to that!)
*raw apple-free
*raw peach-free
*raw plum-free
*raw nectarine-free
*raw snap pea-free
*certain nuts-free (can't remember which ones at the moment; Brazil nuts? sometimes raw almonds, sometimes not)

The apple reaction started when I was pregnant with my son in 2000. It seems to be related to a birch bark allergy, and thereby things in the same botanical family (I think that's it?) also cause me problems. There are times when I can have a small amount and my mouth won't itch, other times not. I even have to wash my hands after handling the fruits and peas above because if I touch my eyes, they will itch like crazy. I have read in different sources how people have gotten over their allergies after changing their diets and removing toxins and problem foods. I hope I'll be one of them. :)

Daiya Cheese

I commented on someone else's blog (http://cookingglutenfree.blogspot.com/2012/01/easy-peasy-dairy-free-sour-cream.html) about Daiya cheese. I'd just like to talk about it here. :)

Daiya cheese is a dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free cheese. It comes pre-shredded in mozza-style and cheddar-style. I can not stand all of the other dairy-free cheeses I have tried that are soy- and rice-based. I've tried them all, I think. Not that there's a huge selection of truly dairy-free soy cheeses--so many have casein!

In any case, I do really like the mozza. It's great on pizzas and in lasagnas. You must use it sparingly; it can really overwhelm you as you go along and has even made me and a friend feel sick when we've used too much. Tonight, I tried the cheddar-style in a grilled cheese sandwich and it was GOOD! I was so excited: I haven't been able to eat grilled cheese in years!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oops, been forgetting food!

Yesterday, I had some almond milk with strawberry syrup in it. I just remembered that. It is, of course, giving me a craving for some now (I can't drink any kind of milk just plain; blech). I'm having a late-afternoon slump and that would do me some good. ;)

Day 2 of Wheat-Free!

I don't know how long I will go wheat-free. This was really one of those kind of wake-up-in-the-morning decisions and I'm not really prepared to do it long-term. So far today, I've managed to be wheat-free much more easily than yesterday; I just don't think that I can keep it up without more time to plan meals and shop accordingly.

Nonetheless, I have learned a few things:

1) First day is the toughest, but I made it through. I can do other wheat-free days over time and increase the number per week. (Oh, there's an idea! A wheat-free day each week, gradually building up. That way, too, my family will notice less when there isn't as much wheat being served at suppers. ;) ) My son even made double chocolate muffins today--one of my favourites--and although the thought has crossed my mind to have one, there hasn't been the huge pull like there would have been yesterday.

2) I have been eating A LOT of wheat and grains on any given day--up until now.

3) If I can do a couple of days wheat-free, I can probably do at least one full raw day. The idea has seemed extremely difficult, but given the wheat cravings I was having yesterday and managed to get through, I think I could do a whole day raw. And perhaps, like above, work at having one raw day a week and build it up. (Meatless Mondays, Wheatless Wednesdays, nothing starts with C to have Cookless --Day ;) .)

4) I seem to feel the need to eat less when I consume fewer grains. I'm also craving sweets less. Correlation? (I normally have chocolate chips or some other little sweet that I can find. I didn't have anything yesterday nor today.)

What I'd like to do right now is keep going with limiting my grain consumption and trying to increase my fruit and veggie consumption, but allowing some wheat--like noodles or garlic bread at supper. :D

My food intake today:

*green smoothie: fresh blueberries, a banana, baby spinach and water
*small bowl of Hemp Plus with almond milk

*leftover chili
*carrots and hummus

*a few roasted, salted peanuts
*celery stick with peanut butter and raisins (ha! figured out a way to get my peanut butter in! :D)

For supper, the plan is to have chicken with a sesame orange sauce, cooked veggies and rice.

Started today off with a smoothie

It's not pretty, but it tastes fine. Baby spinach, a banana, fresh blueberries and water.

I could clearly use a high-speed blender. ;)

Monday, January 23, 2012

I survived!

No, I'm not the least bit melodramatic. ;)

I survived a day of wheat-free. Here is what I ate today:

*bowl of grapes
*small bowl of Hemp Plus cereal (no wheat!) with almond milk

*rice and peas with raw baby carrots and hummus
*I was still feeling very hungry and was so tempted to go for a piece of toast or bread with peanut butter and jam, but I made a couple of eggs instead

Afternoon snack:
*craving for breads was HUGE. I even wished for rice cakes. Who wishes for rice cakes? ;)  Well, I really wanted rice cakes with peanut butter. I do like my peanut butter. :D I ended up making popcorn. That satisfied the grains craving! I also had a few raisins.

*not feeling that hungry by the time supper came around. Made some chili; family had it with pasta and garlic bread, I just had a small bowl of chili

Evening snack:
*a banana

Let me tally it up the fruits and veggies according to Canadian serving definitions:
*fruit: grapes and banana; only 2 servings; with the raisins, 2.5
*vegetables: peas, carrots and the tomatoes in the chili: 4 servings

Not bad. If I can get back into the habit of green smoothies, I'll be sure to have enough fruits and veggies each day.

The tought part: The memory of the intensity of the cravings is sitting with me hard. It's like an addiction! Part of me wants to go for a 2nd day in a row. At the same time, I'm very aware now of how habituated I am in my grain consumption. Or addicted. :/ I have to be careful to not replace the wheat with other grains. I easily consume 8 servings of grains on an average day; even by Canadian standards, I ought to limit myself to 6. Various things I have read suggest that if you are going to include grains in your diet, that is too much.

Ideally, I'd like to end up mostly raw vegan. Wheat seems to be the most problematic of the grains in terms of health, so maybe I should just keep going with it--or rather, without it. ;)

Doing a wheat-free day

I've decided I really, really need to do something about my eating habits. Becoming more aware these past  couple of days has really shocked me about what I'm eating. And the weight that has crept up 2 lbs in the past couple of weeks has helped in the awareness, too.

I have therefore decided that today I am going to go wheat-free. By doing this, I won't turn to those easy, convenient snacks and lunches--crackers, muffins, bread... This will force me to eat more fruits and vegetables, not let those go to waste in my fridge as they so often do. But what can I eat?

*green smoothie
*for fruits, I have: a honeydew melon, oranges, a grapefruit, grapes galore, frozen blueberries, raw blueberries, pomegranate, raisins
*for veggies/greens: lettuces of all sorts, celery, carrots, broccoli, maybe some cauliflower
*I also have some sunflower seeds, raw pumpkin seeds and some raw cashews

Other than that, I have brown rice and potatoes, both of which can be incorporated into lunch and supper. I may even have some rice noodles if I'm desperate at lunch, and Rice Krispies if I feel that fruit just won't be satisfying enough. Oh, and oatmeal. (I've got to stop finding non-fruit and veggie items to eat.)

I will track what I eat today and share later on! I think the Canadian recommended intake for women my age for fruits and veggies is 7 servings. I will do everything in my power to accomplish that! And not give in to wheat!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I used one of my forms in the Free Resources section to track what I ate yesterday. It was bad. :( The good thing about this awareness is that already today, I've had more fruit than I had yesterday. Awareness can be key!

I have grocery shopping to do later on. If I want to eat better and better each day, and guide my kids toward better and better eating, I might have to sit down and plan out specific snacks, salads and meals for the week. And then spend some time later on preparing certain things ahead of time so that I don't have the excuse, "I don't feel like prepping right now/I don't have the time to prep a healthy snack right now."

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Becoming Aware

I sat down this morning at my computer, my Twitter opened from last night. Right there in the middle of my page was a post from Karen Knowler with this quote:

"...become aware of what you are eating and drinking and what is driving that choice".

It stuck out at me in part because just last night, I was at a friend's house who was talking about just that, her journey so far this year to become more aware of what she is eating and drinking. And why. Was she eating because she was hungry? Out of habit? Because she felt like it?

I've been having similar thoughts lately. I need to become more aware. I have become more aware--more aware that a great deal of the time, I am eating because I'm tired and I feel like it, not because of actual hunger.

As I've said before, I don't believe in coincidences. So many references to this at once is a clear message to me that I need to become more aware of what I eat. So, I've prepared a couple of super simple, non-fancy food trackers that I have put in the Free Resources section.

I have a tendency of just eating throughout the day, so I'm starting with the food-by-time tracker. So far this morning, I've put my breakfast in and my reasons for my selection: "because I'm resisting eating fruit." I want to start my days off with fruit, and yet here I am, starting with toast. We'll see where tracking leads me in a few days! I'm sure it will help cut down on my recent cupcake consumption. ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Sign!

Yes, I believe in signs and tend to believe that coincidences are more than just coincidences. Too many things in my life have been "coincidences" for me to not really believe they are coincidences. But that's a whole other topic to cover.

I had made a request for a book at the library, I only knew it as "Getting Things Done", a book I thought might help me take better control of the gazillion things I have to do as a mother, homeschooling parent, dayhome provider, seeker of self-improvement, etc. I don't believe it's coincidental that the book arrived at the library just after I started this -Free blog. Why not? Have a look at the FULL title:

Can you get any more "coincidental" than that? :D

I laughed a happy laugh when I saw the "Stress-Free" part! So worthy of this blog and its intentions. :)

I read this book years ago but, for some reason, didn't follow through. Or tried to but didn't really get it or had to send the book back. I should probably order myself a copy. Having used a FranklinCovey planner and following planning guidance from both Stephen Covey and Hyrum Smith for years, I'm finding this past year or so that it's not "doing it" for me anymore. I'm eager to see if this book is my next step.

You can find a link to the book through Amazon.com and .ca in my Stress-Free Living section!

I'm now off to read my book. ;)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


This is a topic that might just come up fairly often because I'm so very good at it:


I put on one of my favourite pairs of jeans today and they are tight. Sure, they just came out of the laundry, but they're still not usually that tight. I tweeted that I needed to take charge of my food. And then, what do I do?

I ate 3 cupcakes.

Good grief!

Self-sabotage in full action. Why in the world would I eat 3 cupcakes after stating I needed to take charge of my food and being uncomfortable in my jeans? Especially cupcakes that seem to give me a particular headache after each one?

That's the $10 million-dollar question, I think. ;) Part of it stems too much from going with the flow: oh, I'm hungry, look! a cupcake, sure, I'll eat that. Then there's the "well, I don't know what else to eat, and it's quick and easy..." But there's more to it than that. I've got to either figure out what's at the root of this self-sabotage or just figure out a way to commit myself to what I want instead of giving in.

At least the cupcakes were dairy-free. :D

So, what do you think? Do you self-sabotage? In what way? What do you think would help you to stop?

EDIT: I should have entitled this post "Yearning For a Tight-Jean-Free Life". ;p


Welcome to this blog!

Changes will come over the next weeks as I learn to tweak everything the way I want it to be. For the time being, let this serve as an introduction to the site.

The idea for a "___-Free Life" came to me recently as I thought about all the things I would like from my life:

*a dairy-free diet
*a wheat-free diet
*a meat-free diet
*a processed food-free diet
*a clutter-free home

and so on.

At the same time, the shortened name--yearningforafreelife--also implies a sense of freedom to our days. This fits completely with my search for better time management and achievement of goals, which may very well show up here.

I'm surely not the only one out there with a blog like this. My site is probably nothing new. It's really for me and if others find their way here and we are able to support each other, that is great! But not necessary. It is as much a place of self-exploration as it is of sharing and support.

The vision I have for this site is one in which I share my goals, my struggles, my findings, connect people with resources and more. It will evolve over time as I do. ;)