Cranberry Apple Cider Vinegar Detox

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Does blogging in your workout gear count as exercise?  I kind of feel like it does.  The intent is there, isn’t that what matters?  Plus strong fingers are extremely important these days!  How else am I going to ‘like’ my neighbor from third grade’s Facebook review of The Expendables 3?  Just recently, while complaining about my slooooow progress in the weight loss department, it occurred to me I haven’t really been…exercising much…at all.  I guess I was just kind of hoping a burning desire and a healthy diet would be enough.  My regular brain knows better, of course.  But my seemingly permanent post-baby brain fog sometimes hides the facts from me.  So I’ve started exercising daily (or as close to that as I can get).  It isn’t always easy to find the time with two kids, but I sneak it in whenever I can.  Luckily, babies enjoy napping at least occasionally and preschoolers can be distracted by a little QT with Jake and his Neverland pirates.  I must say I feel much better since I’ve been exercising.  I feel stronger.  I feel like I’m doing something for myself.  That can do wonders for your mood!  My kids deserve a happy mom, and I deserve some sweaty ‘me time’.  I’ll remind myself of that the next time I’m cursing Tracy Anderson, damn her eyes!

So let’s talk about detoxing, shall we?  It seems to be a popular enough concept.  While at a visit to a Naturopath recently, it was suggested that I do some liver detoxing.  I don’t have a lot of intimate personal knowledge of my liver, but I appreciate its efforts and will gladly do what I can to increase its efficacy.  The Naturopath suggested I drink a mix of apple cider vinegar and cranberry juice.  I already drink apple cider vinegar on a pretty regular basis, so all that was needed was a little tweaking of the recipe.  Organic raw apple cider vinegar is said to have many health benefits, including; weight control, immune system support, muscle pain relief, maintaining healthy skin, soothing dry throats, removing body toxins, etc.  Personally, I’ve found it to be extremely helpful with acid reflux.  I started drinking it during my recent pregnancy for that reason and haven’t had any reason to stop.  I make a large drink in the morning, and drink it throughout the day.  I’ve found it inhibits hunger if I drink it before meals.  It’s on the sour side, but I don’t mind it.  You can add some Stevia or honey if you simply must have it sweeter.  I’m not sure what effects my liver is experiencing, but it’s worth a shot!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c Pineapple juice
  • 1/4 c pure cranberry juice
  • 2 Tbsp organic raw apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs)
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • Filtered water

Put the juices, vinegar and cinnamon in a quart sized mason jar, then fill to the top with filtered water.  Put the lid on, give it a good shake, and it’s ready to go.  It can be sipped with a straw or transferred to a more portable receptacle.

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Here’s to your liver!

 

Sweet Potato Curry

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Today is day 29 of my Whole30 experience.  I can see the finish line from here!   You aren’t supposed to weigh yourself during the 30 days because that ‘defeats the purpose’ of what you’re trying to achieve.  Something like that anyway.  Out of curiosity (and because I’m a big time rebel who doesn’t care about the rules, man!), I stepped on the scale a few days ago and let me tell you…the numbers were not encouraging!  A paltry ONE pound lost after three and a half weeks of turning down many offers of desserts and all other manners of deliciousness.  Well, for the most part.  I may have had a very mini piece of my most favorite chocolate rum cake on my birthday.  But on my birthday!  When your age begins with any number higher than a 2, you deserve cake when that number creeps up yet another digit.  I wasn’t perfect.  Mistakes were made.  Overall, I feel pretty great about my choices.  I did not start over after my very infrequent indiscretions, so let it be said that I completed Whole30ish.  I’m comfortable with that.

I will say that my fat pants button up now.  Progress!  Just not in the realm of numbers I suppose.  Oh well, I’ll take it!  I feel my body may be hanging on to this layer of pudge as a reserve in case I decide to stop eating and starve my child.  As if not eating were a possibility!  (Also, starving my child.)  Even though I am almost done with Whole30, I don’t feel any sudden desire to dive into vats of chocolate and melted cheese.  Melted cheese simply does not have the right viscosity for swimming.  (Ooh, viscosity!  Somewhere out there my high school Science teacher is dabbing a single tear from his eye.)  I’ve felt really good during the last 30 days.  My energy level has been really consistent, and my digestion has been more than cooperative.  The only banned substances I feel like dabbling with are the occasional natural sweetener (raw honey, I’m looking directly at you) and a SWYPO here and there.  Paleo pancakes, to be specific.  It’s been really nice to kick the dessert habit, if only temporarily.

Here is a last-minute dish I threw together.  I love making Indian food, it just has a way of stinking up the place.  All those spices!  So delicious, yet so odoriferous. No matter.  Open your windows and whip this sucker up.  I decided to try celery root for the ‘rice’.  I had no experience with it previously.  The only thing I’d heard about celery root is that it helps in balancing your PH levels.  Who couldn’t use a little of  that?  It tastes like…well, it tastes like celery.  Listen, I was shocked too. But the flavor is a little milder than the stalks, so it’s perfect for use as rice.  The flavor won’t distract from anything you’re eating it with.

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I peeled this ugly thing and spiral-cut it with my spiralizer.  If you don’t have a spiral cutting device, I strongly recommend getting one.  It’s the easiest way to replace rice and noodles with yummy and wonderful vegetables.  You might also find yourself experimenting with veggies you’ve never heard of.  What fun!  After spiral cutting the celery root, I pulsed it in my blender until it reached the size and shape of grains of rice.

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Next, I put the celery root rice in a saucepan with some olive oil, and sautéed until soft.  I added a little salt too.  It should cook between 5-10 minutes, depending on how much you have in your pan.  Once the rice was ready, I set it to the side to concentrate on the sweet potato.  I cooked mine in the microwave for 7 minutes, after poking some steam vents into it with a knife.  If you are microwave averse, you can definitely cook it in the oven ahead of time. I will take the bad microwave mojo for the sake of time management.

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World’s largest sweet potato.

After the sweet potato was cooked, I scooped out the flesh and put it in my blender.  Next I added the coconut milk and some beef bone broth I had on hand.  You can use chicken broth, or if you like your curry pretty sweet just use water.  I blended until it reached a smooth consistency.  I put the sweet potato mixture in a  large sauce pan with some chopped up cauliflower and chicken thighs.  I would recommend chopping the cauliflower into very small pieces.  You can also use chicken breast or whatever meat floats your boat.  Chicken thighs are kind of a pain, but the meat is so much more moist and flavorful than breast meat.  But that’s just me. Add the lime juice and spices.

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The sweet potato mixture will thicken as it cooks.  If it gets too thick for your liking, add water to thin it out.  I ended up adding a few tablespoons of water by the time it was done.  Cook on medium-low heat until the meat is cooked through and the cauliflower is tender.  Serve over celery root rice, or actual rice of your choosing.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 celery root
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/2 c canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 c water or broth
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

This recipe serves 4.