Friday, April 22, 2011

The Groovy Diet

So finally after 2 years of agreeing to make my friends a list of reasonable meal plans, here it is!

I have compiled a list of meals that are reasonable for breakfasts, snacks, lunches and dinners. My general rule of thumb is to eat as many fruits AND vegetables that I can in one day, 5 being the absolute minimum. I try to make nuts, grains, and legumes a big part of my protein as well, and when I give into meat cravings, it is high quality wild fish, pasture raised eggs, or pasture raised meat that is organic. This brings a great appreciation to meat, and is good for the environment as well.

10 things to Keep in mind:

1. At every meal, have a fresh fruit or vegetable; your body needs fiber for absorbing fats and toxins so it can detox and shed pounds, and be sure to give your body variety by changing up at least 2 of your meals day to day. Also smaller more frequent meals will be better for your body, and will boost your metabolism as well, instead of 3 large meals.

2. Center your meals on carbohydrates like grains, potatoes, or starchy foods. These fill you up faster, give you energy, and will make you feel more satisfied. Avoid bleached wheat products, instead try spelt or whole wheat.

3. Eat Nutrient Dense Foods. Organic has a high standard – and means farmers will be putting nutrients back into the soil, putting more nutrients into your food. Anything that is not organic has probably been sprayed with harmful pesticides and will be toxifying your body.

4. The less processed, the better. (If it’s in a package, you’re compromising nutrients)

5. Eat on a smaller plate. Save leftovers for tomorrow.

6. Meat Substitutes like soy hot dogs are not any better for you. Soy needs a lot of processing and fermenting and isn’t meant to be a protein replacer, but a condiment in Asian culture. Other beans, for instance, Mexican beans are a lot safer for our bodies.

7. If our great grandparents weren’t eating it from the land, we’re not supposed to be eating it. (Examples: Sugar, Canola oil, soy, frozen TV dinners…) not good for us, so stick to traditional foods.

8. Limit alcohol to one-two days a week if you can. Try something good for you like organic red wine, as a healthier alternative to cocktails. Trader Joes has a bottle for $4! What a bargain.

9. Pasteurized juices are just sugar. The enzymes (which you need) have been killed. Fresh squeeze your own juices for the best juice. (I fresh squeeze 2 oranges every morning for my smoothies and it takes me about 30 seconds total for the whole process)

10. “Sprout” your grains overnight. Soak beans for at least 6 hours before they will be cooked. This will allow them to release the gases, and become a live food, where the nutrients start to increase. This goes for all grains, and nuts too. I soak RAW almonds overnight for oatmeal and almond milk. I also soak oats overnight so the cooking time is reduced by half the time, and it is easier to digest. Chia drinks sold in the stores are just sprouted Chia seeds, and fruit juice! Soups, beans, one-pot dishes, and sprouted ingredients can save a lot of time. If you are willing to make a big batch and store it for the rest of the week or next couple days as leftovers, try it and save some time in your week.

10 keys to eating good food and spending less $:

1. Grow your own food, even if its one chicken giving you eggs from the backyard, a tomato hanging basket on the balcony, or a children’s pool/plastic shoebox giving you hydroponic lettuce and herbs.

2. Shop at the farmers market. Its most likely picked that day or the day before, and rich in nutrition. Commercial grocery stores support countries on the other side of the equator and are picked when green, and ripened with gas. Support your farmer directly by taking out the middle man, and gain an appreciation for the land your food comes from.

3. Use food as your medicine. Garlic and onions are great for keeping your immune system up, as well as vitamin C in fruits. Vegetables with bright colors (ROYGIV) contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. Synthetic vitamins are usually called “expensive urine”. Use food as your medicine.

4. Can/ferment/freeze fresh foods to save for later, in the long run you save and have the advantage of knowing what goes into your foods. Sauerkraut only requires cabbage and salt, is eaten “raw and fermented” and has a long shelf life. I will post more of these recipes in the future.

5. If something is going to expire, use it. Hard loaves of bread can be made into croutons, old milk can be made into buttermilk pancakes, and old vegetables can be composted/ given to chickens. Food shouldn’t be thrown in a landfill by any means. Revamp leftovers into something else. Old pasta can be made into frittata, leftover stir-fry can be stuffed into wontons, and leftover boiled potatoes can be saved for tomorrow’s side at lunch with pesto. Invite a friend over; bring your lonely neighbor dinner; share your gift of food if you don't want to have a lot of leftovers.

6. Cook a little at a time if you’re just cooking for one. You don’t need to dice an entire vegetable up, just save some for later in a moist cloth in the fridge for the next meal.

7. Make your own granola, desserts, potato chips, meals at home, and so on… processing costs $$$ find the loopholes and pay the minimum for a little time each day.

8. Try pairing grains and legumes together. Hummus and Pita are a famous pair that when together form the same amino acid, tryptophan- the same as in Turkey that makes you satisfied and sleepy! Corn and Beans are a famous pair that even grown together, and eaten together form a complete protein. Beans and rice, are another famous one too. These will be key into making you feel more satisfied without meats at every meal.

9. Juicers or Blenders are great for turning fruits/vegetables into wonderful drinks! This is a great investment for those looking to have smoothies as a way to getting their essential fruits and vegetables each day. [side note: Cuisinarts choppers also have an attachment for shredding vegetables up quickly too if you want to prep you food fast]

10. Spend one day a week dedicated to shopping for your food, whether it’s the day you go to the farmers market, or the day you have off from work. Buying your vegetables, and cleaning them, trimming the strawberry tops off, washing your lettuce, spinning it and putting it in a sealed salad bowl for convenience will save lots of time throughout the week. I heard a story about a Midwesterner whose mother took every Sunday to make homemade pasta and dry it in the kitchen for the next weeks supply. Figure out your weekly meal plan and think about what variety of foods you will be getting in your diet. You will eat healthier and spend less on eating out at overpriced places, and prepping your food ahead of time so you can eat healthy on the go.

Here is the list of things you will want to avoid in a healthy diet. These foods actually have anti-nutrients and will do more harm than good. (Keep that in mind)





MEATS IN EXCESS- steer clear of too much beef and pork (ha, get it?)

PROCESSED FOODS- if it comes in a package, are there really that many nutrients?

DAIRY- avoid ice cream, sour cream, milk, and cold and melted cheeses.

FAST FOOD- pesticide sprayed, fried everything, if you go just know how to order the least harmful thing. every now and then I get a grilled cheese/veggie burger from in-n-out, but no more than 2x a year!


The exceptions:

-Coconut oil and butter for frying, or olive oil served cold for salads. Coconut oil although saturated, actually boosts your metabolism because it is a medium chain triglyceride. Butter is a traditional food we have cultivated for hundreds of years, and a much better ingredient than any modern replacement.

- Honey is OK as a sweetener... good quality local honey is everywhere, but beware of the little honey bear.

- I like Newman's own organic products (in a package), he make some good bagged spelt pretzels, if you must have a quick snack on the go. It is basically: spelt, salt, and water though... no harm done.

Plain yogurt and goat cheese is OK, in moderation.

Local, Wild, or Pasture Raised Meats, Fish, and Eggs.

To decode the menu:

If it has a (*) after the item, I will be posting the recipe shortly.

If it has a / symbol, it means "or" for example "almonds/walnuts" means "almonds or walnuts"

Here it is friends, Happy Eating!

Upon Rising:

Drink 1-cup warm water with lemon to flush the body of toxins and clean the system

Breakfast (pick one or two, depending on how big the portion is)

Acai bowl *

Yogurt with granola and fresh fruit (banana, berries, peaches)

Fresh squeezed Orange/ Apple Juice

Fresh Fruit Smoothie * no yogurt& honey. use ripe bananas and fresh OJ

Fresh Veggie Smoothie- beet, carrot, celery, fresh OJ, strawberries, spinach....etc

Alkalizing Green Smoothie- avocado, cucumber, parsley, lime, &spinach. yum!

Steel Cut or Rolled Oats w/dried fruit, almonds (soak overnight)- add flax and honey

Sprouted Chia Seeds Drink with Fresh Fruit Juice and Lemon

Miso Soup* and Brown Rice

Freshly made Almond Milk*

Sweet Potato/ Yam with coconut oil

Poached Eggs with Sprouted Wheat Bread/ oranges/ small salad

Quinoa with Lemon (simmer quinoa 20 min over stove, then + lemon & salt )

Asparagus and Poached Eggs

Vegetable omelet (at least 3 vegetables, accompanying onions)

Midmorning snack:

Herbal Tea

Trail Mix with lots of nuts and dried fruits (no candy, chocolate, or caramel pieces)

Dried Fruit (without sugar or sulfur, preferably)

Fresh Fruits like oranges, apples, pineapple slices, berries, bananas (on the go)

Raw Carrots, Celery, Beet, Apple Juice FRESHLY SQUEEZED

Baked Potato with lemon/ Bragg’s liquid amino/ coconut oil

Cucumber slices with Chili, Lime, and Salt

Banana- sunflower-seed butter sandwich [with sprouted bread]

Pita, Raw Veggies with Hummus

Lunch/Dinner meals:

Mexican- [when ordering tell the cook you prefer food not cooked in oil.]

Black Bean Burrito with rice, cilantro, lime, and salsa – no cheese

“Nachos” with black beans, avocado, onion, cilantro, salsa, and goat cheese

Black Bean Taquitos with avocado, onion, cilantro, salsa toppings

Side of Beans and Corn Tortillas with toppings [cheap meal!]

Pineapple tamales

Mexican Rice and Beans

Sandwiches- ask for hummus & avocado as a spread instead of “Vegenaise.”

Veggie Wrap with whole-wheat wrap

Veggie Sandwich (sprouts, avo, hummus, lettuce, tom, red onion)- sprouted bread

Pita Pocket Sandwiches- avocado, sprouts, lettuce, tomato, red onion, hummus

Salads- (read your salad dressing’s list of ingredients)

-Preferably, salads should be local, organic, and with homemade/house dressing.

Greek Salad

Spinach salad with orange juice/ orange slices, feta, red onion...etc

Red Russian Kale and Arugula Salad with groovy dressing*

Cucumber salad- Cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, parsley diced + ACV

Onion Salad- slice onions, marinated in parsley, lemon, evoo, shredded ginger

Caprese Salad- Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella, Basil Leaves, Tomato, Garlic, and Balsamic

Italian…avoid the melted cheeses and heavy cheesy meaty sauces and you’ll be just fine.

Pasta with steamed broccoli/ cauliflower/ zucchini in tomato sauce

Shredded Zucchini stir-fried in garlic and (evoo/butter/coco oil)

Garlic Bread with butter, parley, minced garlic on whole-wheat loaf

Pesto Pasta with cherry tomatoes

Pasta with Marinara Sauce

Pizza with goat cheese, garlic, tomatoes, spinach…(or veggie pizza, hold the mozz)

Make your own pizza… try goat cheese, walnut, dried cranberries, and apple pizza.

Eggplant Panini with avocado

Homemade Raviolis- pumpkin/pesto/spinach, etc..

Greek/Middle eastern… delightfully refreshing

Vegetable Kabob

Falafel Wrap

Tabouli Salad- couscous, tomatoes, mint, onion, lime,

Wild Rice with lemon and green onions

Greek Salad- romaine, olives, feta, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, avocado

Caprese salad/ sandwich

Veg Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves)

Japanese… for those sushi nights. (Avoid the rolls with mayo sauce all over)

Seaweed Salad

Brown Rice with lemon wedge

2-6 pieces of Sashimi

California Roll (without shrimp or imitation crab)

Miso Soup

Thai/ Chinese/Korean/ Vietnamese… spicy and kicks your metabolism up!

Chinese Stir-fry* with Rice

Coconut Vegetable Curry*

Pad Thai Noodles (Thai)

Tom Yum Soup (Thai)

Kim chi with rice (kor)

Vegetable Lettuce Wraps*

PHO (w/o meat) it’s cooked with beef bones which is good for hair/nails/hangovers!


Aloo Gobi* and Rice

Dal (Lentils with Curry)

Coconut Vegetable Curry*

BBQ options- bring your healthy foods with you to BBQs! Stay strong!

Grilled Vegetables like- corn on the cob, baked potatoes, grilled onions with lemon and tamari, zucchini (cut lengthwise down the middle)…etc.

Fresh Veggies and dip

Portobello Mushroom Burger

Grilled Fish with Rice and zucchini

Grilled Nopal Cactus, beans, tortillas, and toppings.

Veggie Burger- avoid soy, look for a mixed vegetable burger.

Grilled Pineapple

Vegetable Shish kabobs:

Baby tomatoes, pearl onions, baby bell peppers, and mushrooms, zucchini

Marinade for kabobs: shredded ginger, olive oil, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper. Soak for 30 min, & BBQ.

Soups~ my favorite medicine for healing and hydrating


Split Pea

Tomato Basil

Cabbage Soup*

Veggie Soup*

Tortilla Soup

Vegan Chili* with Cornbread

Bean soup

Home cooked potato side dishes~

Potato salad- (boil potatoes 1st) then dice, coat in EVOO. Then add Red Onions that have been soaked in ACV. Add parsley, salt and pepper.>

Baked Potato with Pesto (hold the sour cream, butter, and bacon bits)

Roasted Red Potatoes*- with rosemary, garlic, and coconut oil

Mashed Potatoes with Peas and Carrots* (grandma’s recipe)

Vegetable Quiche with mashed potato crust/ whole wheat

Homemade sauerkraut on baked potatoes

Desserts: avoid dairy/sugar/ loads of fat… try something w/ fruit or nuts

Apple Crumble (sliced apples baked with oat, cinnamon, honey topping)

Walnut Honey Baklava

Plain Frozen yogurt with strawberries OK

Oatmeal cookies with walnuts/almonds/pecans and raisins

Carrot Pulp Cookies (use left over pulp from juicing carrots)

Cacao milkshake- soaked almonds, cacao, dates, honey, carob, banana, h20.

Coconut milk ice cream- 1 can coco milk, carob, banana, and dates.


A sample day menu might be:

Day 1:

Rising: Warm Water with Lemon, stretch and breath deeply

Thought of the day: Be a better listener

Breakfast: 1 fruit smoothie

Snack: trail mix and freshly juiced vegetable juice

Lunch: Greek Salad

Snack: Herbal Tea, apple, and Hummus and Pita with veggies

(workout: do 50 sit-ups)

Dinner: stirfried vegetables with rice

Day 2:

Rising: Warm Water with Lemon, stretch and breath deeply

Thought of the day: Do a random act of kindness for someone, and don't expect anything in return.

Breakfast: Soaked Oats with Almonds, Flax, Cinnamon, and Honey

MM: Fruit Smoothie with spinach

Lunch: Beans and Tortillas with Toppings, and cucumbers with chili and lime

Afternoon: Herbal Tea, an orange, side salad.

(Workout: Walk everywhere or for at least 30 min.)

Dinner: Miso soup, sashimi, rice, and a california roll.

Day 3:

Rising: Warm Water with Lemon, stretch and breathe deeply

Thought of the day: Be grateful for all of your blessings

Breakfast: Fresh Squeezed Vegetable Juice or Fruit Smoothie

-Coffee/Tea here-

MM: Yogurt, Granola, Strawberry parfait

Lunch: Salad & Baked Potato with Pesto

Snack: Trail Mix, Hard Boiled Egg, and Toast with Almond/Peanut Butter.

(Speed Walk today, and go some stretches by the ocean/ in nature- take deep breaths and detox with each exhaling breath)

Dinner: Vegetable Soup of your choice & Whole Wheat bread

Day 4:

Rising: Warm Water with Lemon, stretch and breath deeply

Thought of the day: Make peace with imperfection

Breakfast: Fruit/ Vegetable Smoothie

MM: avocado on toast with tomato and lemon, and one apple

Lunch: Bean Soup/ Chili and Corn Tortilla chips

Snack: Hummus, Veggie Sticks, Pita

(Workout: dance like crazy to the radio while cleaning your room)

Dinner: Pasta with marinara, salad, and organic red wine

Day 5:

Rising: Warm Water with Lemon, stretch in bed or outside

Thought of the day: Tell someone today how much you admire them.

Breakfast: Vegetable Juice or Veggie smoothie

MM: apple, banana, and herbal tea

Lunch: Spinach Salad and yam w/ OJ on both

Snack: Hummus snack

(Workout- go on a run/ swim and burn some of those pasta carbs off. Then eat Tacos for muscle repair.)

Dinner:Fish Tacos with beans, mexican rice, onion, and toppings (omit mayo sauce), also cucumber with chili and lime

Drink lots of water, Breathe Deeply, and Eat Well for Longevity. Love and Peace, My Friends.