Day 8-Virgin Diet: 50/50 successful cooking trials, exercise fail however

The last day of the weekend, the first day of the second week of this elimination diet.  It was actually a rather busy day with lots of progress on many fronts, but not all.  Things got off to a bit of a rocky start, but in the end the day finished up pretty solid and satisfying.

I actually woke up from a series of very bizarre dreams that I don’t care to recall on the blog.  They weren’t weird in a psychedelic sense, more like those dreams where things don’t quite fit together right.  As a small insight into what I’m talking about, why would I be digging up an entire beach with a small shovel? I bring that up to say that I just woke up in one of those disjointed states.  I had some high ambitions for the morning: get some brief e-mails done, go for a run, make a shake with some kale added to it and then on to some real work and house chores.  Instead I kind of got bogged down with some e-mails and “work” work early on.  The whole post-run shake plan was going to have to change.

So, what did I start the day off with?  Did you guess a JJ Virgin shake?  For once you are wrong!  I was still trying to save that for after the run, so instead I had some bacon and an apple.  Just a little light something to hold me over until real breakfast.  Unfortunately the run didn’t begin until 10:15, which means that plan was quickly going out the window.  What was to be an “easy” three mile run turned into a hard and slow two mile run.  It’s incredible how a month off has caused such a profound degradation in my fitness levels.  I’ll just have to deal with that later.  I got home from the run with tight legs, being really wiped out and just feeling overall meh.  I had a small handful of grapes to hold me over until after I got showered up and a real lunch, which because things were still just cresting out of the dicey phase, meant an hour later.

Lunch was again a huge salad with the typical toppings.  With that I had some cups of hot water to warm up.  For some reason it’s just getting hard to stay warm recently.  That moved into the afternoon with more work, some house work, some lessons I needed to burn through for a Coursera class I’m taking and some culinary experimentation.  At this point I was finally hitting my stride, and the multitasking was really allowing me to task switch whenever one task got boring or frustrating.

The first culinary experiment was to make JJ Virgin “fudge.”  Being as the typical ingredients for a dessert product would include any combination of forbidden ingredients like dairy, sugar, eggs, corn and peanuts, she has managed to come up with a handful of potential stand ins for some indulgence periods.  This one was pretty simple.  You basically take a cup of nut butter, my choice is almond butter, two spoonfuls of your protein powder, some cinnamon and some chopped nuts.  You mix them all together and you have a thick batter you can spread into a square cake pan and then put in the freezer to cure.  She originally called for vanilla protein powder, but I decided to go the chocolate route instead.  Once it set up a little bit I had some, and it tasted like a really rich but not so sweet nut fudge.  That would make sense since 80% of the ingredients are nuts or nut butter, I suppose.  The upshot is, that would be a success.

The next thing I tried to make was some hummus.  As far as snacking goes the typical carrots and celery just aren’t cutting it on their own.  I need some protein and some more flavors.  I bought all the ingredients to make hummus on the first day of the diet.  Today was actually the day I got around to trying it.  Rather than try the recipe in the back of her book I searched the internet and found one with the same ingredients but with much more detailed instructions on how to put them together.  Just a quick search and I found what turned out to be the perfect recipe. After that I figured I’d move on to the dreaded quinoa pasta for a second try.

First thing I did differently was I made it in a bowl, not on a board.  Ironically this time I actually managed to not cause the wall of my little flour crater to collapse.  Still, it was nice having the insurance policy so that is what I’m going to do until I master this technique. I followed all the steps of the recipe and the ball of dough that came together seemed to be a bit tighter than the last time.  I let it rest for the required 20 minutes then tried to roll it through the machine.  Unfortunately it seems that the dough was having the same problems as the last time, only a little less so.  Unlike her pictures, each pass wasn’t making it better it was making it worse.  It never got to the point of getting any cohesiveness so I just cut the linguini style with the thickest setting.  Unfortunately it was mostly clumped together on the other side, but still a slight improvement from last time.  I did what I could to pull them a part and get a bowl of something that sort of looked like noodles.

I had already heated up my sauce from the night before and thrown the shrimp in so I had ten minutes to decide if I was going to try to use this not so great pasta or throw in the brown rice pasta.  I took one noodle and threw it in the pot of boiling salted water.  I fully expected it to just disintegrate.  To my surprise it actually held together.   When I pulled it out of the water and tasted it the texture wasn’t great (but not awful) but the flavor was really good.  I therefore decided to just try to cook it.  Unfortunately these noodles had started sticking together again, so that by the time I pulled them apart, which lead to lots of additional tearing, I had a pot full of what looked like spaetzle rather than linguini or some other pasta.  So something like this (picture courtesy of an interesting looking recipe I think I will try from Fat of the Land Blog):

Backyard Spaetzle from Fat of the Land

Backyard Spaetzle from Fat of the Land

With the sauce poured over it and some big shrimp prawns it was more than salvaged, it tasted great.  If I can get the hang of making that pasta this dish would be one I would eat regardless of which diet I was on.  It’s actually something that would fit into every one of the diets, even some renditions of paleo.  That doesn’t mean one should be eating this pasta on a daily basis or make it a staple product.  It is still something that can fit into lots of diet plans for the times you want to have pasta.

So, overall today went quite well.  I had hoped to get a few more articles published, but all the other things just took up more time than I had planned.  There’s always tomorrow for those articles anyway.