Friday, March 13, 2009

My Modified Eat To Live

Salad, salad, salad, is that all you ever eat for lunch? Yep, pretty much. But gosh darn, I like it!

Here's the salad-of-the-day in my two-tier To-Go Ware tiffin. I'm so happy that To-Go Ware has added little Sidekick containers to their line. The lids are stainless steel (no more crying over cracked plastic!) and they fit snug; I haven't had any leak problems. I used three today to hold black beans, picante sauce, and half an avocado to top my salad with at lunchtime. I love the way they all fit in the tiffin.

Shmoo has now proclaimed that he "only eats pears" and has stopped eating all other fruit. ("Who are you and what have you done with my son?") I tried to tempt him with some of this fresh pineapple, but ended up eating it all myself. I packed it in the smaller top container from the three-tier tiffin -- it can be packed and used alone for small snacks. And look at the pretty food picks I found to eat it with!

I've been feeling so good lately! I've been improving my eating style and getting back on track with Eat To Live, with the help of my wellness coach, a personal trainer (basically I need people telling me what to do at all times or I wind up face first in a vat of pudding), the support of my friends, and a lot of hard work.

Right now my slightly-modified Eat To Live food plan goes as follows:
  • A green smoothie for breakfast.

  • A small snack if necessary (usually a piece of fruit).

  • A big salad with different toppings, some steamed vegetables, and fresh fruit for lunch.

  • A snack if necessary (usually fruit and an ounce of nuts, or a slice of sprouted wheat bread with almond butter).

  • A big bowl of soup or stew, cooked vegetables, or a stir-fry for dinner.

  • beans are in there at least once a day, at lunch, dinner, or both.
What have I modified? Dr. Fuhrman advises people not to snack, but I find I get too hungry and fall off the wagon if I don't get those snacks. So I snack. I also use a bit of olive oil at times, and I sprinkle salt on something if it means the difference between enjoying it or hating it and feeling sorry for myself.

Apologies for all you non-ETLers out there who might find this post terribly boring. Hopefully I'll find someone else to pack a lunch for soon! Preferably someone who hasn't entered the terrible tweens....


Sindy said...

Turn down pineapple?? Kids are so wierd sometimes LOL! Those tins are so handy looking- and your meals sound a little difficult (especially if you're not in the mood for salad), but doable! Keep up the good work!

Rozmin said...

"I only eat pears!" How goofy! :-D No offense to your son, I describe all children's behaviour as "goofy," it's because they're goofballs that I love 'em. Kids crack me up.

bibliopook said...

Those sauce containers were the last straw - now I have to get some To-Go Ware.

I would love to read more about your ETL experience.

Aw, Shmoo! Doesn't he know about the millions of people who wish Momma Shmoo made their lunches every day? ;)

Kristen said...

I'm a vegetarian who's been having a lunch crisis lately ("what oh what can I eat that's NOT a cheese sandwich?"), and I'm so thankful for the ideas on your blog! I've been giving avocado a go lately, but I hate wasting food, and I find that I can never really use a whole avocado when I'm making a sandwich or something. Just wondering: what did you do with that other half an avocado?

Unknown said...

I've been following your blog for at least two years, and I didn't know you were doing ETL until very recently. I've been doing it myself since January with great results. I love hearing about your experience!

veggievixen said...

i don't know what my mother would have done if me or my brother had turned out to be a picky are a strong person!

best of luck with the eating plan. very admirable.

Nicole said...

I love big salads for lunch! Mmmm.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>Just wondering: what did you do with that other half an avocado?

I know what you mean about that other half of avocado! Here's what I do: my mom tells me that an avocado half won't brown as much as long as the pit is in it (I don't know if that's really true or just an old wive's tale). So I leave the pit in the other half, cover the avocado completely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it. The next day I take out the pit and I usually have to cut away a small amount along the sides to get rid of the part that's just a bit brown, and then eat it.

Or I share it with my husband. :-)

Laci said...

Oh Jennifer, yourn meals are so pure and down to earth! :) I see you can use the vitamix atleast twice daily, just for yourself! (How is the new machines running?) Do you still cook similarly (like from vegan lunchbox) for shmoo,- does he resent or apprieicate your "whole foods eat to live" food choices? It seems very admirble- imagine if everyone followed, what would the world (food industy) become of!? :0 Don't worry, the pear phase will soon pass- when I was about 6-7 I only finished these fruits: skinless fugi apples with cinnamon, and strawberries- hehe, I've defintly expanded m variety! ;)

Kate said...

Hey Jennifer, I've tried ETL off and on, and I can never get through the day without snacks either. I think if you tend to be a slower eater, it's just hard to take in enough calories of that kind of food at one sitting before you start to feel full. I, too, would like to hear more about your experiences with this lifestyle!

Scorps1027 said...

I was wondering if you were ever an omnivore? If so, did you find yourself not getting 'full' enough when you first became veg/vegan?

I'm an omni but I applaud your lifestyle/eating habits and I think it's wonderful how patient and openminded you are about Schmoo's eating habits. I enjoy your blog so much and it's given me a lot of ideas for lunches/dinners!

I've tried eating a salad for lunch and I don't find myself getting full enough without the addition of grilled chicken or cheese or croutons! What are some items you put in your salad that 'fill' you up? Beans seem like a great addition. What are some others? I'm wondering if omnivores do need more food than vegans to fill up because we're used to the heaviness that meat and cheese provide. It probably is a mental thing on my part that if I dont' have meat with a meal, I'm not as "full".

Emily Anne Carson said...

Yum yum! That morning smoothie looks delicious! Thanks for the ideas. :)

K said...

Just have to tell you, I just made the blackbean soup from your first edition cookbook. I figured it would make a great dinner on this cold dreary evening.
It was the BEST soup I have ever had. I am not kidding. I made a double batch and it is already gone. The only difference--I used green bell pepper instead of red (I didn't have any red on hand). Thanks again for making vegan eating fun and tasty!

Jennifershmoo said...

Wow, Karen -- thank you so, so much! You're right, that is a good soup, and I haven't made it in quite a while. Now I want some!

Jennifershmoo said...

>>I was wondering if you were ever an omnivore? If so, did you find yourself not getting 'full' enough when you first became veg/vegan?

Yes, and I know what you mean. Meat and cheese are very calorie-dense foods; sometimes you have to eat more plant-based foods to get that "full feeling". Really filling salad topper ideas: toasted pumpkin seeds, diced avocado, all kinds of beans (like, 1 cup or more!), tempeh, baked tofu, nuts, and cold cooked veggie burgers. I also like to have some cooked vegetables on the side like a bowl of steamed broccoli or asparagus or greens; somehow they seem more filling to me than cold salad.

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, Laci!

>>(How is the new machines running?)

Perfectly! I appreciated someone's comment in the Vita-Mix post to dry it on its side instead of upside-down, in order to keep water from entering the blade. We're doing that now.

>>Do you still cook similarly (like from vegan lunchbox) for shmoo,- does he resent or apprieicate your "whole foods eat to live" food choices?

Yes, he still likes veggie meats, cookies, pastries, etc. but doesn't really care for my Eat To Live cooking. All those vegetables! He'd much rather stick to "junk food vegan" cuisine. LOL

Katie said...

I have to say I love your blog and book. I've been reading for a long time. You're such an inspiration. I too would love to hear more about your ETL plan.

What other half of the avacado? I eat the other half with a spoon. Grapefruit spoons come in really handy for that. :-)

Your son is a goof ball lol. I'd love to have you as a mom!

ann marie said...

Ha! That vat of pudding has seen a few of my nose hairs, I tell ya'!

I've been considering hiring a professional nagger, but the bucks add up. I guess I should just call my mom and see if she'll do it for free....

Love the food pics, they are truly inspiring and helpful to those of us who lack imagination when it comes to food.

Amberlyn said...

You can make my lunches. I usually have Subway veggie delites most days. (of course I work there and get them free but I'm starting to hate them)

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting this. I just started with ETL and it's good to see what a typical day of food is. I don't think I can do it without snacking either. About 4 in the afternoon I have to have something. I had blamed it on nursing but my nursling is 14 months and not nursing that much anymore.

BTW I love the blueberry/pomegranate smoothie recipe you posted. I have had it just about every morning. Absolutely delicious.

chris said...

Hi K,
Try splashing some soy sauce on the avocado. I find that I can eat (and enjoy!)any amount of avocado that way. Happy experimenting!

netty said...

That sounds very healthy. It is a bit like the Food Doctors Diet in the UK.

My daughter used to change her mind daily what she liked and not liked. She did not eat tomatoes at home but at other people's houses. :)

Jennifer C. Valerie said...

Those tins looks so handy.

मन कस्तुरी रे.. said...

Hi Jennifer
Don't you feel like eating rice, chapatis or some staple?
We will feel starved and incomplete if we do not eat proper meal (Indian square meal - Roti, rice, veg and dahl(Lentil curry)) everyday.

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Mirkat said...

What have I modified? Dr. Fuhrman advises people not to snack, but I find I get too hungry and fall off the wagon if I don't get those snacks.

This is what I've done when I've done my own ETL. I really wish Dr. F would reconsider the whole "snack" thing--especially with people who are very active. Sometimes I think he's assuming very overweight, very sedentary.

This is what's leading me to consider Brendan Brazier's The Thrive Diet, Thrive Fitness, and Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life. Brazier is a vegan triathlete and he gets it that active people need to keep the tank fueled! Interestingly, the latter even has a blurb from Dr. Fuhrman: "Brendan Brazier’s Thrive will increase the micronutrient density of your eating style and enable you to live longer, live healthier and thrive."

Susan said...

I'm JUST starting the ETL way-of-life, so I don't find this post boring at ALL. :) I am almost dreading the thought, though, of having a salad every single day for lunch, so I'm trying to find more ways to eat veggies that aren't just cold pieces of lettuce/spinach topped with cold veggies with lackluster dressing. So far, tofu stirfy is the only other option I've found! I'll have to go back through more of your recipes to get some more ideas!

Thanks for your blog. It's really helpful to me!

Hennifer said...

Hoping you'll see this, I couldn't find another way to contact you

I saw somewhere in the comments somewhere that you said used the nutritional yeast flakes for the nacho cheese recipe? is that true for all your recipes? I ended up buying the powder when I made the goldfish and they tasted "strong" to me and I couldn't place the flavor. I say strong because I didn't dislike it but I couldn't place the flavor either. I'd appreciate any guidance. Thank you.

L said...

Hi Jennifer, I've been entranced by your bloggety blog for some time now and was actually wondering if you'd be interested in adding some of your cool lunch photos to the contest that's being run by the nonprofit Healthy Schools Campaign. We're hoping to gather some good entries from food bloggers; it's all about school lunch and school lunch memories. More info is at (The contest is helping us spread the word about the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, so that kiddies across the country can have their lunch hours filled with fresh healthy goodness.) have a great day!

Jennifershmoo said...

>>Don't you feel like eating rice, chapatis or some staple?

Not particularly, but I do eat some brown rice or sprouted wheat bread on occasion.

>>I saw somewhere in the comments somewhere that you said used the nutritional yeast flakes for the nacho cheese recipe? is that true for all your recipes?

Yes, I always use flakes. If you want to use powder use a lot less; you'll have to fiddle with the amount to get the taste you like.

Jenny said...

Your recent posts have really went along with what I've been trying to do lately. (I even got a personal trainer; wow, it makes such a difference. I actually sweat during workouts now.) Now you have me inspired to try ETL. Thanks!

Jenn said...

Great post, and no it's not boring! I don't even know if I've ever commented here before but thanks for your blog. It was one of the first ones I cruised when I went veg =) It's awesome!

VeganWoman said...

Excellent post. Very interested in the Eat To Live theory. thanks for sharing your experience.

Angelique said...

Wow, I haven't seen your posts in a while because I've been embracing a raw foods lifestyle and loving it. But today, I pop in, and voila, you're talking about salads and eating raw vegan foods and green smoothies. LOVE IT! I just love it when paths in my life cross and become synergistic. Best wishes on your journey and may our paths continue to cross! :)

Janel said...

Can you do another blog for your ETL experience? Demanding admirers, aren't we??!!

I just wanted to say a BIG thank you!! Your blog has helped me to return to a vegetarian lifestyle and now I'm trying ETL in order to eat more vegan. As an added bonus, I'm letting myself go nuts and buy the Hello Kitty bento..

Unknown said...

hi jennifer! first i would like to say how much i LOVE reading your blog, so much fun! and second (like those above me) it would be great to hear updates about your ETL program in the future! i have been wanting to try ETL, but didn't know if i should purchase the ETL book or the "eat for health' book. since you've read both, i was wondering if you would recommend one over the other? i already follow a meatless diet, but not vegan, so cutting out meat wouldn't be a problem. was there one book you preferred over the other? thanks and good luck with etl and the blog!

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi Amanda! I would suggest starting with "Eat To Live" -- it's shorter, cheaper, and will get you going on the program quickly.

On the other hand, if you like to take things one step at a time and learn more as you go, "Eat For Health" is designed in gradual stages that ease you into it. The basics are the same in both books.

Hope that helps! Good luck! :-)

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C.A. said...

Hi! Love your blog!
Have you read the book, The China Study yet? Fascinating research on plant-based diets vs. animal-product based and health.

katie said...

I just wanted to say good luck with ETL! I lost 50 lbs doing it and it totally changed my way of thinking about food. I ended up gaining 65 lbs back (darn twin pregnancy, LOL) back on ETL again and easily lost 45 in 10 months. Still working on the rest. I seriously adore ETL, it is amazing.

L.A. said...

Hello there. I am just starting the ETL diet now. I am coming from the Atkins side, where I would eat 6-7 times a day in order to boost metabolism and loose more weight. So I am trained to eat at least 5 times a day now and cannot break that. Is not snacking essential? Have you been able to lose weight while snacking?

Jennifershmoo said...

Well, I'm sure if you are reading ETL you understand Dr. F's reasoning behind saying no snacks. But it's all about taking on what you can and saving other changes for later. Maybe once you are eating those big ETL meals for a while, you will find yourself naturally cutting down on snacks.

"Have you been able to lose weight while snacking?"

Well, I don't have any weight to lose -- I'm just trying to eat as healthily as possible while maintaining the weight I have right now.

Good luck! :-)

L.A. said...

Hello Jennifer. Thanks for replying back to me! About the snacks - that was thing thing! I did read the complete book and did not get why snacks should not be had. What would be wrong with eating a fruit or salad in between meals? Also, the book makes no mention of what to drink. It just says not to drink fruit juice.

Jennifershmoo said...

As far as I understand the reasoning is that the body needs time to rest between meals so the digestion can function and the stomach can empty. But if I'm really hungry I figure my stomach is empty and it's time to eat! :-)

And drinking is pretty much smoothies and water! Although there are some fresh vegetable juice recipes in his latest book.

Anonymous said...

I do the exact same modifications as you for ETL! I don't follow a strict 3-meal-a-day schedule because sometimes I just get hungry at other times and know that if I let myself get too hungry, I'll make bad choices. I also use a bit of olive oil or vegan butter substitute for cooking and a bit of sugar when needed (for making the occasional batch of vegan ice cream, for example), and I add a bit of salt when the food is just too boring otherwise. Oh, and I have a cup of coffee most days of the week. But I feel great, have no blood sugar swings, and love the diet.