Thursday, April 10, 2014

Coconut Milk

My friend, Ku'ulei, shared with me a great new coconut knife she bought on  Amazon. Now mind you, I haven't had my own in the husk coconut for, I would say, years. Seriously. I mean living in the mountains where not a coconut tree is in sight, well, it isn't my first priority. But show me a kitchen gadget that you think works miracles and I am there. Like a bear. It's an illness. Don't judge. So what do I do? I go straight to Amazon, order the knife, and then proceed to find coconuts.

That's the beauty of friends in low places (as in ocean dwelling peeps). It was just a matter of days before 3 coconuts, unhusked, appeared on my doorstep. Or desk, in my case. And so it goes.

With knife in hand, and a handy dandy husband to do the husking (in true Polynesian style...with a pick axe), I began to remove the meat from the shell. And then what would any first time coconut milk maker do? Ask friends and go to youtube and google. And thanks to my good friend, Ku'u, and youtube, I was able to produce the freshest, most delicious-est coconut milk, made from my own hands. In a relatively short period of time. Thanks to my kitchen gadgets, the coconut knife and vitamix, and with the help of a milk bag, which is not technically a gadget but sort of is. I bought it months and months ago thinking one day I would make a nut milk (think almond) but didn't. Yay me again.

And now I have fresh coconut milk in my fridge (to add to smoothies) and in my freezer (to cook with).

Oh, and get this...I took the leftover coconut bits (oh and believe me, with a vitamix, it is little itty bitty bits), and dried them in a low temp oven (175 degrees) and I am going to turn it into coconut flour. Don't ask me what I am going to do with it, but I will do something. Because I can.

Coconut meat de-shelled

Throw it all in the vitamix

Add hot water and whirl away

Pour whirled coconut "milk" into the milk bag

Isn't it beautiful?

There is it! Three coconuts produced one pitcher plus about 3 cups I froze

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Week 1 - CHECK!

Wow. I have completed one whole week on ETL. No oil, sugar, salt. No meat, dairy, refined grains. And I didn't starve. I ate a lot.

True confessions: I went to a party, and saw ham. On the bone kine ham. I heart that kind of ham. On round one, I passed it. On round two I looked around, I grabbed a small piece, put it in my mouth. And chewed. And then felt guilty. And spat it into a napkin. And continued on my merry way. Then I passed the dessert table and took a piece of the haole brownies I made. And I did the SAME THING! Like I didn't learn my lesson the first time! Spat it out. Lesson now officially learned. I figured if I kept it up the next step would be bulimia and I don't want to go there!

In this first week, I learned that having a network of family and friends along for the ride is a great incentive. Being accountable to a like community makes a difference for me. I learned how to use soy curls and make coconut milk. I learned that prepping my own meals is way safer than eating out. And I learned that if I can do one week, I can do two.

Good luck to all in week two.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Day 2 - Oh Yeah!

Another successful day. For breakfast: Acai bowl with toppings (this time included pomegranate whatever those bits are called which they sell in the frozen fruit section of Costco. I have never ever purchases a pomegranate and have only eaten them on rare occasions, which does not include the most delicious pomegranate margaritas that Hilo Bay Cafe used to make).

I do need to stop eating so many nuts in the mornings but I just love them so! I try not to eat them at other times during the day. 

For dinner, I made a curry stew using potatoes, cauliflower, baby carrots, celery, onion, and a can of garbanzo beans. To this I added a can of stewed tomatoes, a can of coconut milk and then a tsp or so of curry powder, turmeric, and cumin. I put it in a slow cooker. It was delicious. Maybe next time I will add the coconut milk in at the end or a half hour before the end. It curdled a bit but the taste was still there.

So day 2 is complete. How did you do?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 1 - Soft Opening

You know, just like a new restaurant opening before the grand opening just to try things out? That's me. Today. For Eat to Live. Several of my friends are starting today but I wanted to wait until April 1. Except I want to ease into the ETL of tomorrow by ETL'ing today. Only thing different is that I am having a "last hurrah" this evening with a girlfriend of mine which may (most likely) include a couple margaritas. Oh yeah.

But I'll just make pretend tonight isn't going to happen and let you know that this morning I made a thick smoothie (using my magic bullet) using 1 apple banana, 1 packet of acai (from Costco) and coconut milk (also from Costco in a 2 pack 1/2 gallon box. Yum).  I poured that in a bowl (a bit too runny but I am still mastering the acai bowl thing) and topped it with mac nut bits, chia seeds, cranberries and goji berries. Yum.

For lunch I had romaine lettuce, a couple slices of tomatoes and sliced raw mushrooms. Enough to hold me over for an hour or so. Then I had a mountain apple and two cuties (the citrus fruit, people, don't get crazy).

For dinner, I had a couple of red potatoes, a few pieces of beets and made a delicious pesto dressing with pesto, dates for sweetness, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and coconut milk. It turned out yummy for an ad lib dressing.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Here We Go Again

I know, it's been a while. Okay. A ridiculous amount of time has passed. Good news: I can pretty much still fit in the same clothes that I bought after my initial ETL (Eat to Live) adventure. Bad news: my body aches. Sitting or lying down for a few minutes (or hours) and then getting up is difficult. I am battling neural foraminal stenosis (narrowing of something where my nerves are in my lower back) which means my lower back really hurts, my leg now hurts and sometimes my leg goes numb. I now have appointments at a pain clinic, a physical therapist and a neuro-surgeon. Yup. Good times.

I am convinced that eating plants will help my back. Or at least the aches and pains I have been experiencing lately. And don't think that I totally fell of the wagon and have been eating crap but I'll admit that I am not the 80/20 that I should be. I would venture to say I am 50/50. Not good enough for me.

Tomorrow is my "soft start" (I have a "date" with a bff that is sure to include a glass or two of wine). April 1 I am going full fledged eat to live until May 13 and then beyond.

To prepare I went grocery shopping to load up on fruits and veggies. I am armed with a new pressure cooker to assist in the evening preparations (and it doubles as a slow cooker too!). I have family members and friends who are joining me in my adventure (we are 11+ strong) so there is no way that I can not succeed.

Onward and downward we go.


S L O W   F O O D    F R I D A Y Wow. Has it been that long? Don't think I fell off the face of the earth due to my increased weig...