Monday, June 28, 2010

Detox? No. Vegan diet? No. More Wholesome Foods....

After much thought and consideration, I've decided to revamp my diet - at least in the short term. This little diet change will last a few weeks, and is my attempt at being healthier and eating less processed foods. I can't afford to go all organic or all local right now (though I would eventually like to - especially when I have a kiddo or two), so for the most part all of my ingredients will come from my chain grocery store.

So what is this new diet called? Its not a detox, because that would probably entail making my own organic celery juice and eating it with paprika and organic lemon or something. Its also not a vegan diet, because although I will be eating mostly vegan stuff, I was put off by lots of the vegan recipes that I found. Many of them called for imitation meat and cheese products, and since I truly believe in eating real whole foods, I'm ruling those options out as well. I guess its just an attempt at eating a more wholesome diet, so I'm going to try to maximize my fruit, vegetable and whole grain intake. I'll eat some soy too.

Here are the rules I'll be following:

1. No meat
2. No dairy (except for yogurt)
3. No alcohol*
4. Very limited processed foods
5. No coffee

*I already plan to break this rule on July 3rd. I have plans to hang out with friends all day and watch a July 4th parade, and we're starting out the day with mimosas and bloody marys. If you think I'm going to cancel that, you're either crazy or you don't know me. Other than that, I plan to follow my rules.

Of course, the detox/vegan diet/etc. will all come to a close when I travel with my family to Ireland on July 17th, where I plan to drink and eat to my hearts content. I love trying new foods and travelling more than anything, so I'll pretty much be eating whatever I can find on that lovely emerald isle.

A lot of my recipes for the next few weeks will be coming from a lovely cookbook that I own called The Healthy Hedonist: More than 200 delectable flexitarian recipes for relaxed daily feasts, by Myra Kornfeld. Now doesn't that title just make you want to jump up and down with glee? This book is mostly vegetarian with lots of vegan recipes, and everything I've tried from it so far has been tasty. Recipe number one for me? Basic Vegetable Stock. I also cooked two other dishes, but I'll post those recipes tomorrow during my lunch break.

Basic Vegetable Stock

1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white and green parts, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stocks, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 garlic cloves, halved
1 zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup sherry wine (or use white wine)
10 parsley stems
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 quarts water (8 cups)

Warm the oil in a large pot. Add the leeks, carrots, onions, celery, zucchini, green onions and garlic, and saute about ten minutes over medium low heat.

Add the wine, turn up the heat and reduce for five minutes. Add all the other ingredients.

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes. Notice how most of the color has come out of the veggies in the finished product:

Strain the broth.

Allow to cool, and store in the fridge for up to one week. 

I'm going to be using this broth in a few recipes this week, so stay tuned! Notice that pink sticky note? I decided that if I'm going to be making lots of perishable sauces and such that I needed to devise a system of making sure that I eat my food before it goes bad (because nothing gets me more fired up than throwing food away!!). So I make my own little expiration tags, which helps me track the remaining life span of my creations.

Do you have any tips for me as I start this venture? Any favorite recipes? Things to eat? What should I keep in mind so that I don't become nutrient deficient? Any advice would be much appreciated by this vegan newbie!


  1. Dana! a). I am so stoked that I discovered your blog, and will openly admit to you that I passed a good amount of time yesterday reading and following your links; I love what you're putting out here!! :)
    b). I too am on a whole food kick right now, although I am mostly working on re-eliminating sugar and simple starches from my life. I am feeling like I need to give up alcohol as well, but ah! That one glass of wine after The Young Sir goes to bed is soooo cathartic right now that I'm being a little chicken about letting it go. That being said, I'm drawing inspiration from your conviction, so we'll see if I can get it together...

  2. Amelia I'm so glad you've dropped by! Yes that one glass of wine is quite hard to pass up, so we'll see how far I get with it! The food thing is what concerns me most right now, but I threw alcohol in there for good measure.
    PS. I've been spying on your family in your blog too. :)


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