So what do you do when you have come to that part of your life where the reflection in the mirror is pretty truthful and you find yourself spending more time putting outfits together to camouflage the muffin tops? Or when naps are taken, more often than not, due to a lack of energy than for a pleasant rest? That was where I was 3 weeks ago. Truthfully, I’ve been in this position for the last 5 years. I have put on quite a bit of weight and all of it came from joyous events with delicious food and I have no regrets as far as that goes. I just feel like this is the season I have to really make some changes. Not just to lose a few pounds, eat a little healthier or walk a little more. Instead, I'm talking about making some lifelong changes. Changes that hopefully will take me well into being a grandmother and beyond. I know it's not going to be a cakewalk; heck, it took years to put this weight on! But for the first time in a very long time, I am motivated.
Though I am not one to join diet programs, I never fault anyone who is on them. You have to find what works for you individually. Enter this amazing and sassy little lady named Pat Miller. She is all of 5 feet 5 inches and at 72 years of age, she could run circles around you with her spontaneous energy. In fact, it was her energy that made me want to learn more about TLS, the program that I am currently on. She is constantly in the know about the latest medical information (trust me on this, I get an e-mailbox full every week) and she has a great way of making you feel like you are part of her family with her constant cheering and guidance.
As a part of this program, I get the privilege of a personal trainer. I have plenty of friends that have trainers and quite honestly, I never really understood what that was all about until I met Jeremy Robinson. He is so much more than a trainer. He specializes in a total lifetime fitness program catered to your specific needs. His goal is to make sure that each of us in our group comes to the realization that being healthy is normal and that while it may take time, it's completely doable. He is encouraging but uses just enough tough-love to make it a real love/hate relationship. He is incredibly careful with watching us and making sure we don't get hurt (which, if you saw me on some of these exercise machines, you would be concerned for my safety and understand why I need some guidance). I can already tell that his knowledge of how the body works and his personal touch with each of us is a key factor in this life changing journey.
So here I am, 3 weeks into this program, and I have already lost 11pounds and 5% body fat. Have I changed my diet? Well, of course. Has it been a challenge? Absolutely! It's been a challenge in both my cooking and my personal life. Did I survive my first week of detox? Yep, and I got the added bonus of detoxing some other things in my life at the same time. Do I feel a difference in my overall health? Yes! Plus, I love feeling so motivated. I'm going to take this lifestyle change slow and steady. After all, it's not about the pounds lost, it’s about the overall feeling of being healthy... I'm jus' sayin'!
On my first week of Detox, I had a long list of vegetables and fruit and pretty much nothing else. I created these recipes to keep me motivated. Give them a try and let me know what you think.
Garlic Cauliflower Soup
2 Cups Cauliflower Florets
2 Cups Organic Vegetable Broth
2 Tbs. Minced Garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a pan combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and lower heat to simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes until cauliflower is tender. Remove from heat and pour into a food processor. Whirl until smooth and thick. (If the soup is too thick for your liking, feel free to add a little more stock)
Vegan-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
8 Savoy Cabbage Leaves
1 Cup Mushrooms (minced)
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Cup Diced Eggplant
¼ Cup Minced Red Onion
1 Carrot Diced
1 Zucchini Diced
½ Cup Diced Golden Beets (red can be substituted)
2 Tbs. Minced Garlic
2 Tbs. Minced Fresh Basil
In a sauté pan, sauté the following: eggplant, mushrooms, onion, carrot, zucchini, beets, 1 tbs. of garlic and 1 tbsp. of basil. Sauté just until the onions are translucent and the veggies are soft. Set aside filling to cool.
In a food processor combine the can of tomatoes, 1 tbsp. of garlic and 1 tbsp. of basil. Whirl until completely blended as a sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Place cabbage leaves into a large bowl. Cover with boiling water for 3 minutes or until pliable. Drain leaves. On a flat, clean work surface place 2 tbsp. of filling in each leaf (this will depend on the size of your leaf). Gently fold the leaf to create a small parcel (you may need to use a toothpick to secure each parcel - just make sure to remove them before serving).
Place each parcel in a clean saucepan that has a lid. After all the leaves are filled and all the filling is gone, pour the tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer and simmer for 15 minutes.
Coconut Curry Beet Soup
3 Cups of Golden Beets Diced
2 Carrots Diced
3 Cups of Organic Vegetable Broth
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
1 Tsp. Coconut Curry Spice
Pinch of Cinnamon
1 Tsp. Minced Ginger
Salt & Pepper to Taste
¼ Cup Greek Nonfat Yogurt
*Garnish - Dried Unsweetened Coconut
In a pot bring the first 8 ingredients to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 15 minutes or until the beets and carrots are soft. Pour half of the mixture into a food processor and whirl until smooth. Add the yogurt and whirl again. Take the mixture and pour it back into the pot with the rest of the soup and stir. If too thick, add a bit more broth to make the consisitancy to your liking. Ladle into bowls and garnish with coconut.
Spicy Gazpacho Soup Adapted from Ina Gartens
In a food processor or blender combine the following:
1 English Cucumber Diced
2 Red Bell Pepper, Cored and Seeded
1 Can of Organic Diced Tomatoes
1/2 Red Onion Sliced
2 Garlic Cloves Minced
When processed to desired consistency, pour into a large bowl with the following:
3 Cups Organic Vegetable Broth
1/4 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 Cup Good Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper To Taste
Chill for 30 minutes and garnish with sliced avocados.
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