About Us

Thanks for visiting Nutritious Food.   I originally started blogging as Orange Truffle in November of 2009 not really knowing my “Blogging Personality”.  After blogging for 3 months I decided to step back and reevaluate my reasons for blogging so I created this blog to better represent my food thoughts and passions.

What is my “Blogging Personality”?

Well I LOVE to cook, bake and eat, but with my new healthy lifestyle I am reacreating most of my favorite recipes into a healthier but still yummy version.   Also, I recently found my love for food photography so I want this blog to serve to both of my hobbies… healthy eating and food photography.

A little about me:

My name is Irfan.  I grew up in Massachusetts and graduated with a Chemical Engineering degree from University of Massachusetts, Lowell campus, in 2003.   I then moved on to pursue a graduate degree from Georgia Tech, in Atlanta, and graduated from there in 2006.    I met my wonderful husband, Raymond, while in grad school and have vowed to him to become a die heart Mountaineer fan (his undergrad degree is from WVU).   We have an English Setter, Sadie, who has helped me get over my dog fear/phobia.  I currently work for an Engineering Design company as a Process Engineer and enjoy my day to day challenges.

Over the years I have had my share of struggle with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) & weight gain.    I maintained a healthy weight while living at home, but once I moved away to GA and had to cook for myself I started a steady weight gain and by the time I graduated I had gained 20 lbs.    I got engaged in July of 2006 and had a new motivation to start getting in shape and losing weight.   Around the same time I was re-diagnosed with “chronic” IBS-D and my GI recommended removing 3/4 of my colon to allow a shorter residence time for foodin my colon.  At that point I decided to stop taking medication for IBS as they weren’t helping with the symptoms.   I visited a nutritionist who recommended that I eliminate meat from my diet.    I have to be honest that did not sound like an easy suggestion so instead I cut all of my portions in half and started working out 5 days a week.  By the time our wedding rolled around in August of 2007 I had lost 10 lbs.   Unfrotunately after the wedding I slowly fell back into my old habits and regained the 10 lbs plus some.   The real changed happend on January 27, 2009.   I went to work looking normal but about an hour after lunch I was bloated from head to toe.   I made an emergency appointment with my GP who told me that I am bloated because of my chronic IBS-D.   My Dr explained that IBS is a “disease” that the Dr’s don’t have a real answer for, they don’t know what causes it and what cures it and my best bet would be eating as fresh as I can with minimum preservatives, which meant nothing out of a JAR, CAN or a BOX.  After two months of trying that I realized I also feel uncomfortable after eating meals that contain flesh, so slowly I eliminated meat/poultry/fish/eggs out of my diet.  Now, I feel WONDERFUL, I no longer have the awful stomachaches, have more energy and best part my skin looks better.

In February of 2009 I started looking at details of my menu and making sure that I am eating balanced meals at every meal, which meant it containted healthy fats, protein, carbs and vitamins.   I also started reading more about food combining and since February 19th, 2009 have lost 24.5 lbs.

Here is how I changed my diet….

  • My morning starts with a glass of green juice.  NOTE: I wake up at 4:30 AM during the week, so the juice also serves as my pre-workout meal.   My staple green juice is; Kale/Spinach/Celery(2 stalks)/Carrots (2 med)/Green apple (1).
    • Other  juice combinations that you may want to try;
      • Kale/Apple/Lemon/Beet/Celery/fresh ginger(very small amount)
      • Beet/cucumber/carrots/ginger (very small amount)
    • NOTE: Try to juice mainly vegetables and use fruits to help adjust the taste of your juice.  Fruits, depending on type, have a lot of sugar and even though our body digest fructose easily it is better eaten with its fibers rather than as a juice.
  • I eat 2 – 3 pieces of fruit each day.   I only eat them on an empty stomach and in the morning.  I rarely have fruits in the evenings, with exception of bananas in my oats.
    • Fruits are very easy to digest through our digestive system, about 20 – 30 min to exit our stomach.   Other foods take up to 4 hrs to pass through our system, so if you consume fruits after you eat a meal the fruit sits waiting for its turn to be digested and while waiting, it ferments in our system and creates gas.  That’s one of the reasons a lot of people are bloated and gassy in the afternoon.
    • I personally don’t have any problem eating only fruits in the morning, but I understand that the sugars can have negative effect on some.
    • I usually have my first piece of fruit around 8:30 – 9 AM.  YES the juice does hold me over from 4:30 to 9 and sometimes even 11.    I eat one fruit at a time and wait about 45 min to an hour before I have the next fruit.
  • My lunches consist of leftovers from previous night, Almond butter/jam or honey sandwich on Ezekiel bread or a big salad.
    • I rarely use salad dressing or vinegar.   I don’t use salad dressing because of all the extra “stuff” on the ingredient list and I don’t’ use vinegar because it is fermented.
    • My dressing almost always consists of a healthy oil; olive, hemp, flax or walnut and lime or lemon juice.
    • If I have salad and some leftovers I eat my salad first wait a little bit then have the rest of my food.
    • I only eat sprouted bread.
  • I sometimes have an afternoon snack depending on the time I had my lunch.   I snack on one of the following;
    • Greek yogurt with 1 tbsp of hemp seed and 1 tbsp of flax seed.
    • Jocalat Bar
    • Handful of almonds with raisins or dried apricots or dried figs
    • Couple of dates with Walnuts
  • Dinner is the big event.   I spend the time and cook from scratch as much as possible.  Yes it can definitely take up a chunk of time, but Raymond and I make an event out of it and cook together and get caught up with each other’s day.
    • The only items that I use, on regular basis, which come from some sort of packaging are;
      • Pacific low sodium vegetable broth
      • Tomato Sauce (on rare occasions)
  • The only liquids I drink throughout the day are; my AM juice, water, tea (mostly green or herbal, occasionally black)
    • I never drink anything cold, I prefer warm liquids.   I usually get an odd look in restaurants because I ask for HOT water
    • I drink 2 x 1/2 my weight in ounces of water.
  • I never drink with my meal.   Drinking liquids while eating will dilute digestive juices and therefore will result in slower and incomplete digestion.
  • I quit drinking coffee regularly in March, I still have it once in a while.   There is nothing wrong with enjoying a cup of joe but be sure to wait at least an hour after drinking your juice, having a piece of fruit or taking vitamins as caffeine will destroy the vitamins.
  • I defiantly listen to my body and only eat when it tells me it is hungry and eat things that my body craves at the time.
  • I try to take probiotics supplement everyday.
  • I try to avoid Soy as much as possible but I do enjoy edamame on occasion.
  • I don’t eat store bought veggie burgers and I am constantly looking for a good homemade recipe.

Here are the questions that I received about juicing and my answers;

Q: Does the juice hold you over in the morning?
A: Yes the juice holds me from 4:30 to at least 9 but on some days until 11 AM.

Q: Can you juice in a batch and drink it later?
A: Even though drinking it later is better than not drinking it, it is better to enjoy your juice fresh.  But if you have juice ahead of time for later, be sure to put it in an air tight jar as it will oxidize and loose some of the benefit.  Think of a peeled banana or pear sitting around.. it turns brown.

Q: Was juicing a hard transition for you?
A: Yes and NO.  I have to be honest and admit that it took me a couple weeks to come up with a vegetable combination to enjoy the flavor.   Apple and carrot both help sweetening the juice.  I have heard of adding truvia to the juice but I like my juice as it tastes.   Changing my diet definitely took some time to get used to, but overall it was all well worth it.

Q: Is it better to drink the juice on an empty stomach?
A: Based on everything that I have read, yes it is better to start your day with the juice.  As you wake up your digestive system has, hopefully, rested for 6-8 hrs from digesting.  Starting your day with a glass of green juice would mean that your body will get tons of vitamins and minerals without having to do any work to break it down and digest it.

Nutritious Food