Monday, January 6, 2014

Healthier Eating....

That is the theme for this new year! As most of you know, I suffered a stroke last November and am still recovering. My stroke was not an occlusion, however, but rather a hemorrhage in the brain stem. Therefore, during my hospitalization and all through recovery I did not have any dietary restrictions. I could eat the way I always did!

That was a problem!

I have always had a hearty appetite and a real sweet tooth. I enjoyed the many chocolates that were given to me during my hospitalization! But, combine that with not being able to lead an active lifestyle, and you get an extra 20 lbs!

That is not a good thing any time, let alone when you are already a good 25 lbs. what you should be. :(

With such a scare last year - and it's not over yet - do I really want to have other health problems on top of what I'm experiencing now, all due to being overweight? It's time I did something about it. I know many of you out there are saying a big hurrah! My husband is too. It's like a switch went off inside me saying "I'm ready to do this".

I am not following any diet plan. I'm not doing Weight Watchers as I've done in the past. I'm just making healthy changes to my diet that I can live with: drinking more water, movement! and eating better - cutting out a LOT of sugar and eating more fruits and vegetables. Eating processed foods was not really an issue for me, as I tend to avoid them already. I love to cook things with fresh ingredients - anything from a can or box is few and far between.

I saw an infomercial one day right before Christmas for the Nutribullet and I impulsively bought it! I hardly ever watch TV, and here I am sucked into the "it works on the cellular level" spiel. Needless to say, I was so frustrated when I saw it at Walmart a week later for $20 cheaper than what I paid! I couldn't return it since I'd already used it by then several times. AAARGH!

I can't say enough good things about this little machine! I have a blender, food processor and a juicer. So far, this is the best! It is stronger than the blender, pulverizing nuts,seeds and harder veggies like celery in just seconds. It uses every part of the fruit compared to our juicer, which spits out all the pulp, seeds and skins. This is so easy to clean, too! Cleaning the juicer is a pain in the you-know-what!

This is beginning to sound like a paid advertisement - but it is not. The bottom line is this: I'm eating more fruits and vegetables than I was before. I can usually drink a "blast (as they are called) for breakfast and lunch, with no cravings in between for extra caffeine (an afternoon coffee, some chocolate). If I have a little rumbling, I try to make better choice -raw veggies with hummus, a sweet potato, etc. Then I just cook normal dinner like I always do, BUT I DON'T HAVE SECONDS because I am still satisfied from my drinks and healthy snacks.

And just like that I've lost 7 lbs. That's not a lot of weight, but heck, if the changes I'm making have that as and end result in addition to being healthier than WOO HOO!

I have to say, one of my biggest obstacles so far during my recovery was joint pain in my left hip and knee. It was hurting so badly that it impeded my ability to take longer strides while walking. I even had a cortisone shot in my hip in the fall and was considering one for my knee real soon. I still have the joint pain in my hip, but the pain in my knee is GONE! I attribute this to the fact that I have been eating the right foods, especially the ones that help to eliminate inflammation. In fact, every day I have been having one "blast" specifically designed to help stave off the factors that trigger inflammation.

Can you tell I'm hooked? Those of you that follow me on Pinterest know that I've been pinning "blast" recipes like crazy. I look for interesting combos so I can incorporate many different foods, or the ones that I have on hand.

Now, I am by no means a health guru - I am not telling you to do what I do. I just thought I'd share because the Nutribullet and Vitamix are becoming more popular these days and many of you might be considering buying one. We are also becoming more educated and aware of how much we effected by what we eat. I'm telling you because, those of you who know me know that I am reluctant to change - in anything! But I love this so much, and I hope you do too. Try one with your blender or food processor - whatever -just make sure it can handle grinding the harder things!

Here are a few of my favorite recipes so far:

Dream Cream (from the Nutribullet book; specifically targets inflammation)
2 handfuls of spinach (we also use Power Greens bought at Costco; a blend of spinach, kale and      collards)
1/2 banana
1/2 avocado (a "good" fat!)
10 walnuts
filtered water up to the max line (about 1 cup - add more if it's too thick)

Sleepy Pie (from the Nutribullet book; to help you get a good night's sleep)
1/4 c cooked oats
2 dates
12 cashews (raw; not salted)
1 tsp cinnamon
almond milk (unsweetened) to the max line (about 1 cup - add more if it's too thick)

"I need more veggies today!" (from the Nutribullet website; pinned to my Pinterest board

 1 tomato
2 stalks celery (cut in chunks)
1/2 cucumber
1/4 c parsley
filtered water to the max line (about 1 cup - add more if it's too thick)
**A dash of hot sauce and/or salt and pepper is especially yummy on this one!

My first recipe on my blog involved a LOT of cheese!  I try to balance out what I eat throughout the week; focusing on good daily nutrition. I will continue to post yummy concoctions as I experiment.

There. I said it publicly. I'm making healthy changes to my diet.

This accountability thing is a bitch.


  1. Sounds good Danielle. Gives me a push to check out that Nutribullet!

  2. You go girl!!!! Congrats on the weight loss. I can't wait to try your smoothie recipes. I love my Vitamix. I've been having major joint pain in my hip and knee as well...left foot is still numb. I've been reading more about inflammation of the joints and really thinks it's sugar related. I really enjoy reading your blog and look forward to trying more of your recipes. I would pick out the mushrooms too! :-). Thanks for sharing your trials and tribulations with is. Keep up the good work. Oxoxoxox

  3. Brava on your weight loss! I've struggled my entire life with that yo-yo! I, too, love sweets and breads. Deadly curse! I've never been able to drink those veggie smoothies. Can't get past the looks when it's all blended but I'm thinking about trying it. I do make smoothies using the unsweetened vanilla almond milk and it's only 30 calories per 8 oz! I've been on Herbalife for awhile and love the taste. Keep up the great work! You're an inspiration!