Eat Your Greens

Last January I posted Scared Straight which talked about my December 2016 Netflix binge-watching of health documentaries.  (You can read the article here. )  In early March, as many of you have read, I pulled the trigger and challenged myself to eating a mostly plant-based diet for 30 days.  It’s now January 3rd and I’m on day 307.  So I guess you could say it was a successful 30 day challenge.

It’s not been a hard transition, but there have been bumps and challenges.   Luckily many cookbooks abound, there are a lot of podcasts, blogs and Facebook groups dedicated to this type of eating.  It’s been helpful to have resources, places to go to have questions answered and get recipe ideas.   I think I picked a good year to adopt this way of eating.  It’s becoming more acceptable, more mainstream and, well, less weird.

There are a few things that make transitioning to this way of eating easier.  Here are some tips that you should know ahead of time.

  1.  Find an Expert.    Read the research and do some homework to figure out if this makes sense for you.  Some of the Gold Standards in the industry are Dr. Esselstyn’s research (http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/), Dr. Neal Barnard (https://www.facebook.com/NealBarnardMD/), Dr. Greger (https://drgreger.org/).  Check out Forks over Knives too (https://www.forksoverknives.com/).
  2. Find a Plan.  You can do this on your own but why re-invent the wheel?  Forks over Knives has a good plan, the No-Meat Athlete as well as Rich Roll all have planners and info to help beginners.  Just a caveat, I like to follow athletes that are plant-based because of the energy requirements for endurance sports.  Your needs may vary.
  3. Find Your Way to the Interwebs.  If you’re on Facebook type “plant-based eating” into the search bar and watch the recommendations pop up.  Not everyone will be your cup of tea but you can definitely get some great resources.
  4. Find People Who Cook Yummy-Looking Things.  Here are my favorites.  The Buddhist Chef, Oh She Glows, The Beaming Baker, BOSH!The Engine 2 Cookbook, Vegan with a Vengeance and VegNews (magazine).

So you’ve checked it out and still not ready to take the plunge?  Or maybe you just need to know what you can implement right now that will improve your nutrition but won’t require a complete  overhaul?  Or you have no desire to cut out meat or dairy but want to eat a little better?

If you do NOTHING else,  eat more greens, veggies and fruits.   What’s more? Double or even triple the amount you’re currently eating.  Fresh or frozen greens, veggies and fruits are nutrient dense, full of fiber and water and are low in calories.  You get a big bang for your buck.  So to speak.

Questions? Need more info?  Let me know.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

 

 

 

Advertisements

Vacay the Plant-Based Way

I just returned from a 4 day camping trip at the lake.  I love camping.  We water ski, tube, swim, hang out with friends and are able to unplug and relax.  Then there’s the food;  BBQing chickenor steak for dinner, dogs for lunch, eggs and bacon for breakfast, cheese and crackers to nibble…

Oh right.  That was last year.  After committing to a plant-based lifestyle earlier this year I had to completely re-think my camping strategy.  Because I not only had to feed myself but had to feed the family, who are NOT plant-based, as well.

So I did what I do best.  Planned it out and cooked most of the food at home to be heated up at the campsite.  And I kept it very simple because camping when it’s over 100 degrees doesn’t lend itself to standing over the stove or bbq.

  • Ground turkey tacos for the family, crumbled tofu for me.  I made each the same way; taco seasoning, canned green chilis, crushed tomatoes, a few chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a kick.  That was one dinner, maybe a lunch.
  • A huge batch of brown rice for the tacos.
  • Refried beans that I made earlier in the week.
  • Chicken apple sausages for the family.  Vegan burgers for me.
  • Salad fixings.
  • Sandwich fixings.
  • Bread for sandwiches, taco shells for tacos.
  • Pasta noodles for Jack.
  • Soba noodles with spicy peanut sauce for Brad and myself.  This would go over a salad.  Enough for dinner and lunch.
  • Cereal for me and the family, eggs for Brad.
  • I also grilled up 2 large pans of mushrooms, onions, peppers and sliced zucchini.  I thought this would be great on sliced baguettes for either lunch or dinner with avocado.
  • Chips, crackers, hummus, salsa, guacamole, nuts, raisins, etc.

So how did it go?  We all know that planning and the application can be two very different things.

We did have to do some food re-org for Jack so after at trip into town to the market we were set.  And we had one dinner disaster on the second night.  I made beans and rice and corn but it was hot outside and I just threw it all together in a pot so it looked and tasted like what I imagine prison food would be.

But other than that, all was good in the camping hood.

So what about the meat?  The bbq?  The lovely and delicious smells wafting from my friend’s campsites?  It smelled divine, let me tell you.

But what I’ve found at 118 days into this, is that even if something smells good, like a steak from over at Dave’s campsite,  I don’t have a desire to eat it. I have other very tasty options that make me feel good and that I really enjoy.  (Except for that crappy mush that I made the second night.  Bleh.)

So overall I consider my camping trip a success.  I mean, thank goodness that Lagunitas IPA is made from plants or else this would be a different post altogether.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂