A Healthy Vegan’s Daily Food Photo Journal

Now that I’ve been home from Dr. Fuhrman’s Health Getaway for a good solid 4 days now, I’m starting to get back into the groove of daily life, but incorporating a lot of tips that I learned last week.

I’ve had several people e-mail me asking me to go into more detail about some of the things I’ve learned and I think I will do that over my next several posts. It was such a whirlwind last week of excitement and activity (you can read all of my related posts here) that I’m only now starting to think about what happened and recall the important information (fortunately, I took really good notes!).

Something that I had the chance to work on last week and am now committed 100% to doing has been getting away from any non whole-food sweeteners in my diet. This goes back to my sugar cravings that have plagued me for as long as I can remember. I’ve written a lot about my sugar addiction and my history of binge eating disorder during my adolescence, and it’s the area of my diet that is the most challenging for me.

Last week was the ideal environment to test a lower-sugar diet and I can say that my test buds are adapting. I’ve made two green smoothies so far this week with whole fruit being the only sweeteners, whereas for the past 6 months I’ve been using non-nutritive sweeteners. What’s the problem with using non-nutritive sweeteners? For me, it only furthered my cravings for sweets and it felt addictive. Before that, I was using dates which I will do in moderation in the future, but I was using lots and lots of dates.

In one lecture last week, Dr. Fuhrman said that one serving of a date-sweetened dessert of dish should contain only one date (I’m assuming he meant one large Medjool date). In my past, it would have taken 3-5 large Medjool dates per serving to achieve the level of sweetness I was used to.

For my revised green smoothies, I’m using spinach as the greens because they are relatively bland. I’m still using hemp and sesame seeds blended with water as the base:

After blending that for 30 seconds on high, I then added frozen fruit including bananas, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and mango. I topped that concoction with cinnamon, chia seeds, flax meal, maca powder and goji berries before blending:

My last step was to add the greens. I only had frozen spinach so I cooked that in the microwave and then added it on top:

This one didn’t have enough flavor for me, so I ended up adding some shredded coconut and unsalted peanuts to try and bump it up. I think adding some lime juice or a kiwi in the future might help. I might also try using some fresh fruit in combination with the frozen fruit. Nonetheless, it was cold and refreshing and I felt good about not using any sweeteners:

By the way, I’m a Libra and not an Aries; I was just using Alan’s mug. 🙂

That reminds me, there was a fantastic green smoothie served at the Getaway made from mangoes, romaine, almond milk and spinach. I’m gonna have to try this one:

I had a good workout at the gym yesterday morning but I wasn’t terribly hungry for lunch, probably because I added the extra fat to the smoothie so it was likely too high in calories for one meal. I tried to listen for my hunger cues (another important tip I learned last week) so I delayed eating until about 1:00 p.m. Even then, I wasn’t really hungry and ideally I think I would have delayed eating longer, but I’m still getting my head around the concept of only eating when I’m hungry. Why is this so hard for me? I think it also goes back to addictive tendencies and my melding of food and emotional comfort. Again, this is something I need to work on.

My lunch was a basic green salad with some beans, plus a corn tortilla (unpictured). This is an old picture, by the way, I forgot to photograph my lunch:

I did start to get a good appetite for dinner around 4:00 p.m. and I was happy about that. I decided to make a revised version of my Vegetable & Avocado Blender Soup that was inspired by a soup we had at the Getaway:

I started with a bag of frozen organic peas that I had defrosted in the fridge overnight:

I poured the package into the Vitamix and added the other ingredients including: broccoli, avocado, onion, garlic, tomato paste, almond butter, dried oregano, unsweetened soy milk, turmeric and parsley:

When I make these soups, I like to gently blend them in the Vitamix and then transfer them to a saucepan for heating:

I know, I know, it’s not a pretty soup, but topped with chopped onion and lemon juice, it’s delicious and so easy to make!

For dessert, I just heated up some frozen blueberries. My taste buds must be adapting to less sugar because they tasted really sweet to me:

All in all, it was a great eating day and I felt very satisfied but healthy…doesn’t get much better than that!

Here’s the recipe for the soup:

I hope you like this soup as much as I do. I would love to hear what types of soups you make in your Vitamix.

I’ll be back here on Friday with another post, see you then!

Note: this post has been submitted to the What I Ate Wednesday blog link-up party.



  1. says

    I really liked that mango green smoothie at the Getaway as well! It had such a nice light flavor! That soup looks yummy and so easy! I too have to retrain myself to eat only when hungry. I find for me to actually be hungry for three meals a day, I have to still feel slightly hungry after each meal. Basically never eating to the point where I feel full. I have to feel like going for a run after my meals! 😉

    Btw… I am a libra too!

    • says

      Btw… have you ever tried lucuma powder? It is a fruit dried and powdered. It has a nice mildly sweet maple flavor and can be used similar to carob. It is still a “sweet” flavor, but it is nice for certain recipes when you want a maple flavor.

  2. says

    Hi Carrie ~ I’m all about making things “fast and easy”, so I’m wondering why you cooked your frozen spinach and defrosted your peas overnight before putting them in your VM concoctions? :O)

    I think I would have just added them frozen (or washed away any ice particles under running warm water). Those extra (cooking/defrosting) steps seemed unnecessary to me…? What do you think? :O)

    • says

      Hi Carol! Great observations. I cooked the spinach because the package said to and I defrosted the peas just to make them easier to blend. 🙂

    • says

      Thanks for the comment, Rachel! It’s hard for me to cut back on sugar, but I think my taste buds are slowly adapting (it’s been almost 2 weeks).

  3. Oly Jacobsen says

    I love a good carrot soup, I usually blend it after it’s cooked, but I don’t own a Vitamix 🙁 For tonight I’m gonna make an onion soup.
    You didn’t get a salad before the soup? We usually do.

      • Oly Jacobsen says

        Oh, it was a very simple soup with
        4 yellow onions
        3 red onions
        2 leek
        2 cloves of garlic
        some fresh herbs, definitely thyme
        and some spices… and some water of course

        Afterwards your kitchen will smell strongly of onion 🙂

  4. says

    I love seeing what you eat on a typical day especially as you’re focusing on health which means a lot to me.
    Your soup sounds lovely. I’ve also been struggling to find a green blender soup that I like so I might give yours a try.
    I think I make my smoothies too sweet too as have a sweet tooth also but I think it depends on the fruit I use. If I use a lot of sweet fruit I don’t need to add any sweeteners in and like you I prefer to use whole fruits to sweeten my smoothies. I also used to struggle with bingeing but the more whole foods I eat the less I struggle.
    I know exactly what you mean about struggling to only eat when you’re hungry. If I was eating traditional meals I’d probably eat more than I need as I don’t like to get hungry when I’m away from the house, but for breakfast and lunch I generally drink green thickies that I drink in between activities so I don’t have a particular meal time. If I’m still hungry I take one with me when I leave the house. The main meal I struggle with is dinner as when my husband gets home from work we sit down and have a dinner together, so I often eat that meal when I’m not hungry.
    This week I’ve been doing a Green Thickie Challenge where I drink nothing but green thickies. My husband is away so I haven’t had to sit down for dinner. It’s made a massive difference and lost 4lbs so far despite eating until I’m full. I also logged a day of green thickies I’ve eaten on my green thickies challenge: http://www.greenthickies.com/green-thickie-challenge-no-1

  5. Caroline says

    Hi Carrie. I found your blog site through Dr. Fuhrman’s member center. You have a wonderful blog and thank you for your personal honesty in addition to posting such great recipes, especially the salad dressings! I usually have a smoothie for breakfast using a really ripe banana (great natural sweetness), frozen wild blueberries and other fruit (lately an orange and a 3-4 grapes) plus flaxseeds, raw spinach and cranberry or pomegranate juice (from Trader Joe’s, no added sugar). I have even added raw kale which believe it or not, you don’t really taste. This has the perfect level of sweetness for me. I tried watercress (awful taste, way too peppery) and romaine (too ‘green’) so am sticking to the kale/spinach until my taste buds adapt some more. One of my favorite breakfast recipes from the site is ‘Quick Banana Breakfast To Go’ but when I made it last week it tasted way too sweet for me! I couldn’t believe it, but I guess my taste buds have finally changed over to the ETL eating style. Small steps for me but it’s all about the journey right?

    • says

      Hi Caroline! Thanks for the comment and green smoothie recipe ideas! I think I will try adding kale soon as an alternative to spinach, but I’ll just have to be careful not to add too much too soon. 🙂

  6. Tyrene says

    I love reading your blog Carrie. I learn and dream at the same time. I would so love to see and hear Dr. Fuhrman in person. Since I’m way down in deep south Alabama, I can at least live through you, so to speak. 😉 I have been drinking Green Smoothies for quite a while now. I never started with any sweetener except fruit, but I can say that you do get accustomed to them. Sometimes depending on the fruit they may seem a little too sweet at times which I usually add Cinnamon to help. Thanks for all the recipes you share! Hey,…I’m a Libra also!! 🙂

    • says

      Hi Tyrene! I would love to get to the point where I find a green smoothie too sweet because then I could add more veggies. It’s taking time, but I do think my taste buds are adapting to no sweeteners other than fruit.

  7. says

    Carrie, I loved this recap of some things you learned on your getaway! What a good goal you’ve set for yourself too!

    I second what Vicky said about lucuma! Also maca and mesquite are good options- natural, yet nice and sweet! Plus, superfoods!

    I also recommend coconut flour= it’s magical 🙂

  8. says

    I’m so glad to hear that you had a good time at the dr. Fuhrman retreat 🙂
    The soup sounds delicious! I would probably add some water because I don’t like a very thick soup, but nevertheless I think I’m gonna try out the recipe.


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