It is Day 9 of Cleanse Lite (CL) and in theory, I should be on Day 2 of three days of nothing but vegetables and maybe some white fish. But you know what? It’s Sunday (and isn’t that the day of rest? I say this with absolutely no disrespect, but if God took a break…) And the French toast I had brunch with Sean and some friends was spectacular. (The fact that Sean was at brunch on a Sunday is the result of a very rare couple of weeks off. (I think they miss him at the theatre, but he’ll be back soon, I promise!)
We walked to the Quay – long but nice walk – had iced tea the Great Wall tea Co., bought some wine at my new favourite wine shop, did some grocery shopping at the market… Nice normal things that I do all the time on my own. So nice to share that with my guy today.
As I had previously mentioned, I’m being nice to myself on CL. On Tuesday, we went out for dinner at one of my favourite places, Joey Burrard, and I had my Ahi Tuna Club. Cleanse calls for white fish but I had my tuna, and I had it without the bun and with no bacon. I also had a glass of red wine and poked at the chocolate sauce on Sean’s dessert. (Extreme will power was demonstrated considering that chocolate lava cake is a personal weakness.) We went to Earls on Friday and I had goat cheese on my salad (which as I have discovered doesn’t really count as dairy) and a glass of wine. But then I had a small hot fudge Sunday and that was definitely a cheat. (Gasp!) I suppose CL has turned into Yasmine Eating Even More Healthy Than Normal But With Treats Allowed at Dinner, but it’s been a good exercise in discipline for my breakfasts and lunches.
This has made me think of a food writer named Mark Bittman, who I first learned about a while back while watching a show called “Spain: On the Road Again” . When I read his bio, the thing that stuck out the most was that he considered himself vegan until 6:00 pm. I am going to go buy one of his books called Food Matters tomorrow. There is also a cookbook – because I really need another one. Really, I do. We are going to need another bookshelf soon… 😉 To be totally honest with you, I have no interest, whatsoever, in being a full-on vegan. I admire people that are, but I really like grilled chicken and I love me a good omelette or beef burger every now and then. (There’s also the fact that I don’t think I could give up my my leather jacket or any of my lovely leather purses and shoes.) But that doesn’t mean I can’t make the effort to find out where my food comes from try to only eat organic and fairly traded/treated products. At the end of the day, I just want to be a conscious eater and have a healthy body without depriving myself.
It’s been pretty funny to be in the kitchen at work and having people come peek while I am chopping vegetables for my salad and asking me questions about quinoa. People are so in awe of healthy eating – I’ve never been UN-healthy, but since January, I have noticed a difference in how I digest and feel when I eat a certain way. It takes a lot of prep, which is probably what makes some shy away. I went to a movie matinee with my friend Liss yesterday afternoon (we saw “The Help” – awesome movie based on an even more awesome book – see it/read it. It was painful to close whenever I had to get off the train. Best book I have read in a while.) and there was me with a healthy protein muffin, a container of snap peas, chopped celery and cucumber, and a baggie of these great multi-grain chips from a company called Food Should Taste Good.
Not going to lie, in that moment, I much rather would have had some of Liss’ popcorn, but I was good and I ate what my friend Alison would call my hippie food. I should mention that Liss is also a very healthy eater who believes in treating herself. We will be recipe exchanging soon because she has some fab recipes. In the world of the Alternative Baking Chronicles, I found and tweaked a recipe for the about the above mentioned protein muffins during the NHL playoffs that make a great breakfast muffin or afternoon snack. The original recipe was not totally cleanse friendly, so it became the below in several variations.
HEALTHY PROTEIN POWER MUFFINS
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose spelt or Kamut® flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup oat bran
- 3 tbsp ground flax seed meal
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 1/3 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (or raspberries; or 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/4 cup walnuts, and 1/4 dried cherries (my favourite!); or really whatever you like)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin or fill tin with paper muffin liners.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder and baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Mix in bran and flax.
- Whisk almond milk, olive oil, honey and vanilla in another bowl. Mix in quinoa. Add to dry ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon until just mixed. Fold in blueberries (or desired substitute).
- Divide batter into muffin tin (it will fill them right up). Bake for 25-28 mins. Tops of muffins should be slightly cracked and will bounce back when lightly pressed.