Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Blog Home - Please Visit Me There!

Hello All!

On the last day of 2012, I am announcing my move to WordPress. I have migrated all of my posts and comments from Blogger and have even written a couple of new posts.

Please join me at my new blog home: 

Here are links to the newest posts, too:

3. Here's another episode of What I'm Eating - Vegan Raw Food Delights

Looking forward to connecting with you on WordPress.

Blessings to you and your families in 2012!

- Kareen, RD

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Thursday

Happy Blessed Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Life can be overwhelming so I practice being thankful and content daily. What a better day to put my thoughts into words? Here's the quick and dirty list & then it's back to relaxing for me :)

1. Living with my husband full-time <3
 - For 18 months D and I only saw each other on the weekends. We lived in Arizona but he worked and lived in California during the week. I moved back to California in February after accepting a Clinical Nutrition Manager position at a new facility. It's been bliss. I love him.

2. Receiving a promotion
- Shortly after beginning my new job, I was promoted to Director of Food & Nutrition Services. What an honor and I'm thankful for the opportunity so early in my career! Since then I've worked 100+ hour weeks to open the facility and my sanity has been pushed to the edge but, by God's grace, I made it through.

3. Seeing family members
- My mom and dad came to visit at the end of April for 10 days and my brother visited in September for a week. Good times.

4. Celebrating six years of marriage
- I said it above but I'll say it again. I love him <3

5.  Surviving two moves
- We moved from AZ to CA over the course of a month on the weekends. Yuck. Six months later we then received a notice that the condo we were renting was being sold and we had a month to move. Yay. I'm happy that we found something we like at a reasonable price.

6. Taking control of my health
- I discovered raw vegan around this time last year and it's changing my health. I'm excited! Food has the power to heal.

Of course there's more but those top the list.

What's topping your thankful list?

- Kareen, RD

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pizza Remains a Vegetable

In an attempt to reduce the amount of pizza and french fries served in schools, the USDA wanted to increase the serving of tomato paste considered a vegetable to 1/2 cup. For the fries, the USDA proposed decreasing the number of allowable servings of starchy carbs. Congress has rejected both of those proposals. The tomato paste serving considered a vegetable will remain at two tablespoons and there is no change in starchy carb servings.

Here are a few articles on the topic:

The complaints of a tight budget are real and I believe that too points back to Congress. Why isn't produce as subsidized as other agriculture so that it's just as easy to purchase as dairy products, for example? 

I'm not vilifying pizza; I love it! I had to cut back earlier this year as my waist line grew. And now that I practice a whole raw food plant-based diet, I've found some tasty and healthier alternatives. Not all pizza is created equal but I don't think we'll see the whole wheat veggie laden variety in schools. 

I certainly believe in free choice with personal eating habits as long as there is actually a choice.

What are your thoughts?

- Kareen

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Healthy Taste of LA 2 - A Gastronomical Event

So sorry I've been missing these past two weeks. My computer crashed and at this point, we've chosen to wait until we can save to purchase it outright. For now, I'm using my husband's laptop but it's sparingly so my updates won't be as frequent. 

Let's move on to my incredible evening last night at Healthy Taste of LA 2 hosted at the South Bay-Redondo Adventist Church.

The event is the brainchild of Chef AJ and is a weekend featuring top vegan chefs and a keynote speaker. The speaker this year was T. Colin Campbell - a giant in the nutrition world and author of The China Study and star of the movie Forks Over Knives.

Last evening, guests were treated to a seven course meal - each course by a different chef. All the key ingredients for the makings of an excellent night <-- pun intended

Today, Sunday 11/05/11, the chefs will conduct live cooking demos and Dr. Campbell will speak again.
Unfortunately, we could not attend today. On the plus side, they are streaming the event live so I'll be watching throughout the day.

Course One by Ann Gentry from Real Food Daily. She was not able to attend last night but her offering was delicious!
Whole food plant-based sushi
Course Two by The Happy Herbivore aka Lindsay Nixon. She was so sweet and personable. It was a pleasure eating her food and meeting her. She made her delicious baked onion rings paired with BBQ sauce. This was the one picture I did not get but here's one of us together instead :)

Course Three by Chef Eric Lechasseur of Seed Bistro. He, too, was unable to attend last night but will be there today for the cooking demo. His raw crackers were so delish!

Lentil & Mushroom Pate w shiitake mushroom jelly
Mmm raw crackers!

Pumpkin Ginger Soup with another combination that I forgot. I know, bad blogger. It was all delish though!
Course Five by Chef AJ.

Another raw treat - kale salad! Yum!
Beautiful Chef AJ & I. She's fierce!
Course Six by Chef Eric Tucker of Millennium Restaurant.

Whole food plant-based gourmet delights
Between courses six and seven, T. Colin Campbell spoke and introduced the concepts of his new book. He is in the editing process with no title yet. I can't wait for it.

I had an opportunity to not only take a picture but also discuss the field of dietetics. He's inspiring!
Course Seven - Dessert!! by Chef AJ

Whole food plant-based German Chocolate Cake!
Also in attendance was Julieanna Hever, MS, RD author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. It was nice chatting with a fellow RD.

I left with a full tummy and inspired to keep pushing along in this journey. I will definitely return next year!

- Kareen, RD

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Juice it Up! Our Breville Juicer

Yes, this week was a health-focused one. D and I purchased a Blendtec blender and a Breville Juice Fountain Elite. We've been waiting quite some time for these appliances so I am thankful we were able to save up for them!

Do you need a high-speed blender and juicer for a healthy lifestyle? No, of course not! It's a choice we made and are excited to have these new appliances in our kitchen.

I wasn't expecting the juicer to arrive until next week but again, I was surprised when it came a mere three days after placing the order.

The juicer has a thicker manual than the Blendtec but there are a lot more moving parts. D had it up and together in no time, i.e. he did not read the manual :)

So pretty!

We went with apple juice as I've never tasted fresh apple juice. 

Ready to fire up
The juice was delicious!
Apple juice w a little lime
Making the juice is a breeze but cleaning takes more time - well, just the basket, really. 

Here's the culprit and its brush
D is continuing to experiment with easier ways to get squeaky clean but right now, it's time consuming. We're all ears if you have any suggestions!

I had promised to myself when I got a Blendtec or juicer, I would embark on another feasting journey. Not only did I start but D is joining in this time. We're on our second day but that's another post.

Happy and healthy weekend!

- Kareen, RD

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Blender Love – My New Blendtec!

My husband and I took the plunge and purchased a Blendtec Total Blender on Sunday from Costco online. The deal included not only the regular jar but also the Wild Side – normally a $100 value. I was excited for the Wild Side jar as it’s supposed to make smoothies in a whiz. I was expecting delivery in five to seven days so you can imagine my surprise when my husband opened the trunk of our car on Tuesday to this. . .

That sneaky guy opted for express shipping and didn’t tell me! I was a super happy camper that night!

The blender came with a DVD that covered a history of the company, recipe demonstrations and a brief overview of the blender. The user manual is essentially a ½ page - it's a VERY user friendly appliance.

We headed to Sprouts for smoothie ingredients and then I made this lovely concoction.
Strawberries, Mango, Papaya, Pineapple, Banana, Ginger & Lime
The delicious finished product! No tamper required.
D added a ton more ginger and lime juice and wowsers! What a spicy, tasty concoction.
I’m excited to play around with it more. D and I have big plans over the next couple of months with one more treat appliance that came in tonight! I'll blog on that in a couple of days.

What are some of your favorite blender recipes?

- Kareen, RD

p.s. follow me on twitter - @i_ameatingright

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kicking Caffeine to the Curb

My husband has been caffeine free for about two months now. It’s been a tough go – first with the very real withdrawal effects and then with developing new habits and overcoming the cravings. He reports his sleep quality is much better and he feels less anxious. I’m really proud of him!

I, too, drink coffee but have never considered myself dependent. I only drink about 8oz Monday through Friday and never crave it on the weekends. So when I made the decision to join my husband in his avoidance of caffeine, I didn’t think I would have any issues.


I’m dependent. Soooo addicted.

Here we are two months after my first statement of solidarity and I’m only now ready to give up my cup of joe. 

Even though my usual intake is about 8oz and it's usually done by 9:00 AM, I find myself tossing and turning at 10:00 PM unable to fall asleep. I’m tense, jittery and end up exhausted leading right back to the java juice the next morning.

A moderate amount of caffeine is considered 200 to 300 mg daily which is about 2 – 4 cups of coffee. Drinking more than 600 mg daily, ie. more than 4 cups of coffee or other sources (check the back of that Red Bull!) can be harmful and lead to insomnia, irritability, elevated heart rate  and more.

Check. Check. And Check. I’m clearly a lightweight. The heavy caffeine intake symptoms are what I experience. Logically, why would I continue ingesting something that makes me feel so horrible? Not only that, caffeine is the arch nemesis of IBS. My stomach is usually in knots for the entire week. No thank you. I’m done.

In addition, caffeine can elevate blood pressure, lead to ulcers and dehydration (it’s a mild diuretic) and stimulate stress hormones. I certainly don’t need more cortisol coursing through my system.

I’ve gone cold turkey since I don’t drink that much a day to wean down. Today I ingested a lot of sugar but I know the cravings will pass. I’m working to get to bed early tonight and tomorrow start practicing walking outside, stretching, deep breathing and increasing my water intake.

If you’re considering quitting or cutting back – good for you! You may choose to decrease your intake by a cup daily, switching to decaf or mixing decaf into your regular brew. Also beware of other caffeine sources such as chocolate and certain medications.

No headaches so far. I'll keep you updated!

Are you a caffeine lover?

- Kareen, RD