Cleanse, Cleanse, Cleanse!!!

“Try for the next 24 [hours] to say yes to whatever lessons life is handing you.”
Today’s “Little Bird” message from the Brave Girls Club

Well, this morning (before even reading the BGC message) I finally said “YES” to the “Green Smoothie”.

Green Smoothie in Glass

I apologize for not posting in quite a while . . . some projects I’ve been putting off finally needed to be tackled, some health issues came up that I’m not yet ready to blog about, my few attempts at new GFDF recipes were frustrating failures that didn’t seem worth sharing . . . BUT, for the past week or so I’ve been “cleansing” on many levels and am starting to feel a bit better.

SO, this morning I decided . . . “time to try that Spring Green Smoothie you’ve been resisting”.

I used the Spring Green Smoothie recipe found here. (BTW, The Whole Life Nutrition® Kitchen site has LOTS of good info about cleansing and elimination diets . . . plus recipes!)

Also looked at this Parsley Juice introduction to “Hero Foods” after seeing Seamus Mullen on the Rachael Ray Show yesterday.

I don’t have a VitaMix, just a rather wimpy blender, so I halved the original Spring Green Smoothie recipe:

  • 1 pear
  • 1 apple
  • 1 kiwi
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 1″ piece of ginger
  • several handfuls of spring mix greens
  • water
  • dash of honey

I peeled the fruit, then cored and diced it.  I know the “smoothie gurus” would say to leave the peels on, but (1) the fruit I had wasn’t organic, so peeling makes me think I’m removing some of the pesticides, and (2) even the organic fruit is usually coated with “corn-based vegetable spray” (I have a corn allergy) . . . SO, I peel my fruit.

I peeled the ginger and cut it into four small pieces.

The fruit goes into the blender first . . . wasn’t sure this  blender was going to handle it, but eventually it worked.  Once the fruit was blended I added the greens and some water . . . and with a little patience and occasional mashing down . . . I ended up with this:

Green Smoothie in Blender

Had a small glass and was rather pleasantly surprised . . . The green slime didn’t feel as slimy as it looks . . . and though it tasted rather like grass clippings (no, I’ve never eaten grass clippings, but you know what I mean) . . . it was rather refreshing!

And I know, mine didn’t turn out the “Spring Green” color of the smoothie on the recipe page . . . probably because my Spring Mix contained some red/purple lettuce and I decided not to bother separating it out in order to use only “greens”.

Still not convinced it wouldn’t be easier to just eat a big bowl of salad  . . . but can see how making a big pitcher of this stuff and then drinking it throughout the day will be cleansing.

My “Life Cleansing Inspirational Quotation” is:

In pursuit of knowledge, every day something is acquired.
In pursuit of wisdom, every day something is dropped.
—Lao Tzu


Healing Food from Around the World

Apologies for the long gap between posts.  Still recovering from my “post-surgery incident”.  Still using yoga and food to help with that . . . and improving, slowly, but surely.

Last week I dined on my “Naked Fish Tacos” . . . which are basically pan-grilled fish coated in a chili powder rub served over rice and beans.  My favorite spicy bean recipe can be found here.  I topped it all with an avocado mayo that I mushed up.  Yum!  (These fish tacos are now a regular part of my menus and were inspired by the recipe here.)

Ethiopian Food Plate

For the past few days I’ve been wanting Ethiopian Food, so last night I whipped up Doro Wat (Chicken Stew), Mesir Wat (Spiced Lentils), and Spicy Green Beans (actually an Indian recipe, but reminds me of spiced green beans I used to get from an Ethiopian place).

Doro Wat (Chicken & Egg Stew)

Spicy Green Beans


I was reminded that in many cultures around the world, the signature dishes are already gluten-free, corn-free, and dairy-free.  I may not be able to travel to these places in person, but I can explore them through food.  I hope you will too!

[Guilty Admission:  I did cheat on my diet last night and ate store-bought injera bread, which in the US contains wheat and barley, rather than just teff.  I tried to make gluten-free injera, but was not successful.  Based on the bloating in my stomach after dinner, I’ll probably have the leftovers with rice instead . . . 🙁  ]


D is for Detox Diet

Apologies to anyone noticing the long gap between posts . . . One of the lessons of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (combined with being “highly sensitive”) is that you never know what minor experience might throw your life for a loop.  For me it was a simple, routine, colonoscopy . . . or rather the sedation they used during it.  The procedure went fine, but I’m STILL recovering from the Midazolam and Fentanyl they gave me.  Most people walk out of the procedure after about an hour, “loopy” but okay.  I was immobilized for two days and still having bouts of light-headedness and upset stomach almost a week later.

So two days ago I decided to take some measures to try to clear out my system.  For me this involves yoga (including meditation) and diet.  The yoga is helping my body (1) “ground” itself again, (2) work out any lingering “air” stuck in my GI track and/or absorbed in my system which might be making me feel like a giant floppy helium balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, and (3) coax my system into resuming normal activities.  The meditations involve visualizing healing and balancing my chakras (more grounding).

Many “detox diets” are floating around on the interwebs (i.e., ) but I knew that what I needed most was lots of water, fruits, and vegetables.  I also was craving SPICE (remember I was on a low-roughage diet for five days before the procedure, so now it had been over a week since I had anything tasty).  SOOO, I decided to combine the yoga with some spicy Indian dishes full of veggies, especially onions, garlic, kale, and ginger.  I also drank lots of green tea with lemon and ginger.  So far it seems to be doing the trick.  I’m not fully recovered, but I’m getting there.

No recipes to post, but below are some pics.  I should also emphasize that, due to my CFS, I never cook multiple-course meals all on one day.  Tuesday night I made Cauliflower-Carrot Curry and had it over Basmati Rice.  Last night I made some basic Dal to go with them and a version of Saag Paneer that uses potatoes instead of cheese (and kale instead of spinach).  The curry recipe I made up (basically sautéed onions, carrots, cauliflower, ginger, and garlic simmered in a little water with Penzey’s Sweet Curry Powder).  The Saadi Masoor Dal and Paalak Wallae Aloo (spinach/kale with potatoes) came from Indian Home Cooking by Suvir Saran.

Enjoy the pics!

Cauliflower Carrot Curry
Cauliflower Carrot Curry
Kale with Potatoes
Kale with Potatoes
Indian Home Cooking
Indian Home Cooking




Chicken Stock

My whole grains & lots of vegetables diet is on hold this week due to the required pre-colonoscopy “low roughage diet”.  A bit tricky when the recommended white bread and dairy products are off limits.  For me, the low-roughage diet translates to: banana for breakfast, puréed potato soup for lunch, a dinner of roasted chicken, rice, and overcooked carrots and some organic applesauce for dessert.  The good news is that after roasting the chicken on Sunday, today I get to make chicken stock!  (Which I will need for the day of “clear fluids only” just before the procedure.)

To be honest, my chicken stock recipe is just my veggie stock recipe with a chicken carcass thrown in, but for anyone who wants the details, here they are:

Chicken Stock

  • 2 Tbls canola oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 celery ribs, sliced (or about 2 cups of a combination sliced ribs and leaves)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • large handful of fresh parsley, coursely diced
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 1 chicken carcass (leftover from roasting chicken and removing the major parts)
  • 12 cups water

Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery in the oil until they start to get soft.  Add the garlic, parsley, pepper and herbs.  Stir until fragrant.  Add about half the water and turn up the heat to high.  Slip in the carcass.  Add the remaining water.  Bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer.  Cook for about 2-3 hours.  Cool.  Remove carcass.  Strain out vegetables.  Strain the broth through a cheesecloth-lined strainer.

Makes 2-3 quarts.


  • I follow the rule which says if a vegetable is too wilted for you to think about eating it, don’t put it in your stock either.  That doesn’t mean I don’t use stock to clean out the veggie drawer . . . just that I only use veggies that still have the will to live (if they’ve given up and started to go brown, throw them into the compost!).  I also do not include carrot peels or onion skins in my stock.  Some people do.  I don’t.
  • I also discard all of the stuff (meat, veggies, herbs) that has been turning into stock for 3 hours.  You’ve gotten what you could out of it. It’s in the stock. Don’t try to then use those poor overcooked things as the veggies and meat in your soup/stew.  Reserve fresh veggies and other meat parts for that.
  • I know you can buy meat parts specifically for making stock.  I just rarely do that.  One, I mostly make and use vegetable stock.  Two, the only meat stock I make regularly is chicken stock and the carcass works just great for that.  Besides, it gives me a great excuse to roast a chicken.  Yummo! (Feel free to add comments below about how to adapt this recipe to use fresh meat parts.)
  • I sometimes add a peeled, diced potato or two to stock.  Also a bay leaf.  Today I forgot them . . . it will be fine without them.
  • In case you need a great recipe for Roasted Chicken . . . I went a bit simpler this time, but that post contains all you need to know.




A is for Amaranth

Eat More Whole Grains!

We all know we should . . . and after 6 weeks of GF baking using mostly rice/tapioca/potato starches “Eating More Whole Grains” is an important part of my New Year’s path of Health through Good Food.

This morning I decided to have amaranth for breakfast.  (Technically not a “grain” but  just click on that link to all the nutrition info . . . it definitely counts in this category!)

First I tried popping it as recommended by Gluten-Free Girl.  Unfortunately, all that resulted was little pieces of amaranth flying all around my kitchen.  I probably should have watched this video from the Whole Grains Council first:

How to Pop Amaranth (with Kara!)

Next time I’ll try that!

Instead, after cleaning up the mess, I followed the directions on the Arrowhead Mills bag of Amaranth:

Arrowhead Mills Amaranth

Combine 1 part Amaranth and 3 parts cold water in a pan.  Simmer for 25 minutes.

What resulted was a creamy breakfast cereal reminiscent of the Wheatena/Malt-O-Meal I used to eat (long, long ago).  I stirred in some maple syrup and warm soy milk and am still feeling full hours later.  Even better, I know I got a breakfast high in fiber, protein, iron and many other nutrients.  (Unfortunately, I ate it without taking a picture first . . . SORRY! 🙂

For more on what to do with amaranth, check out