I completed day 4 of my plant based living journey yesterday. I don’t think that this has been a very difficult row to hoe thus far and I am sure that with any way of living that there will be obstacles to pop up. This weekend, for instance, I am going out for dinner with family at a comedy club. Ordinarily, I would not feel challenged and would be ordering one beer after the next, a fried appetizer, likely chicken wings, and a salty and meat filled entre. Well, this is no ordinary day, this will be my 7th day of plant based living and, in keeping with the new journey, I have viewed the menu for the comedy club and have already chosen my menu. I will order the crudités, sans the ranch dip, and a large salad of greens with vinegar and oil and I will have fresh fruit, if it is offered there (couldn’t find it on the menu) for dessert. For drinks, I don’t want to feel left out, so I will order sparkling water with a lemon or lime wedge in a fancy glass. Problems and stress diverted in advance. This is what day 4 has brought to me, a sense of flexibility and discovering new ways to keep myself in check, without neglecting my social calendar and events that I have been so graciously invited to attend.
For breakfast on this day, I enjoyed a nice fruit salad and a 22-Day Nutrition bar (walnut fudge brownie). The fruit salad had fresh pineapple, fresh kiwi, and fresh cantaloupe – all ripened to perfection and tasted like summer feels to a kid running through a sprinkler. I enjoyed it a great deal. I ordered the walnut fudge brownie, but to be honest, I do not like chocolate all that much and would not order these again. They are dense, chock full of chocolate flavor and walnuts. The texture – again with the texture – is a bit off putting to me. It is quite dense and FULL of flavor. I liked it enough to commit to consuming the entire box until they are gone, but would also say that they are not my cup of tea. AH! Perhaps I should have enjoyed it with a nice cup of hot tea that I could have dipped it in ??? Something to think about with the future morsels I eat from this box. If I were rating these on a scale of 1 – 10, I would give them a 4. Definitely not anything to write home about. The fruit salad was good.
I was actually full and until lunch time. This plan does not give you a longing for food in between meals; there is definitely enough food prepared and consumed to keep my appetite healthy and satisfied. The book is a solid and great reminder that when you have hunger pangs, drinking a glass of water often keeps your real hunger in check. I find that I am often not really hungry, but thirsty. Could is be that all of this time I have been putting food in my mouth as opposed to actually satisfying a need for water? Maybe. In any event, it has been working to keep me committed to the three meals per day and the one snack. I have not always had the desserts because, as I have stated in prior blogs, dessert was never something that has been in my reality with any regularity. Desserts were always special occasions and now the plan calls for daily desserts, something that I may have to get more in tune with.
For lunch, I had a Golden Kale salad which I prepared the night before. I used fresh curly kale, golden raisins, walnuts, and apple slices. The dressing consisted of olive oil, apple cider vinegar and agave and was rubbed and massaged into the kale, adding the raisins and walnuts after the thorough introduction of liquids to kale, with the apple slices topping off the entire salad. It was a wonderfully filling meal, tasty, and I will add this to my permanent list of LOVED items from this 22 day adventure. I will give a word of caution to those of you who might be following along and thinking you would like to try some of these things…make sure that if you have not been following a plant based diet for your entire life that when you consume this particular salad that you keep in mind that your body may sound like the brass section of the orchestra tuning up before the symphony within an hour or two. You will not want to stray very far from restroom facilities and you may wish to be confined to your own space unless, of course, that is, you are of the school of thought “Where ever you may be, let the wind blow free” in which event, tune her up and let her rip! All kidding and evacuations aside, this was a wonderful salad and one I will make again and again.
Dinner was another winner! This time I actually got my husband to eat what I was eating and he enjoyed it. His suggestion is to remove the beans the next time we make it. I had to explain to him the necessity of the beans is for me to have adequate protein since I am living on completely plant based foods. Next time, I will make the beans on the side and enjoy them myself. In any event, dinner was a Quick White Bean and Summer Vegetable Pasta made with Quinoa pasta. The texture – yes, I am a texture whore, I know! – was not unpleasant. I chose a tri-colored quinoa pasta, the texture was a bit rough, but it was tasty and had the same consistency of whole wheat pasta. I did not mind it in the least, nor did my husband, which is saying a lot since he is of Italian decent and no one makes pasta like his grandmother! The vegetables consisted of eggplant, zucchini, red onion, Portobello mushrooms, diced tomatoes, and cannellini beans. I had an opened container of garbanzo beans from a meal the day before, so I used those instead of cannellini beans. Also, the recipe called for an organic marinara sauce, I don’t use premade sauces so I made a quick ragu using tomatoes, garlic, and a pinch of tomato paste. I also added fresh sliced tomatoes to the recipe rather than using canned stewed tomatoes. The entire veggie skillet was sautéed in vegetable stock as I try to limit my intake of oils, and I seasoned everything with dry basil, oregano, and thyme. Once the vegetables were fork tender and the pasta was done cooking, I married the two together in a find ceremony of healthy goodness. I tried to entice my husband to use the hemp parmesan, but he took one sniff of the container and declined…lol, you can’t blame me for trying!
I somehow missed my afternoon snack, which should have been almonds and golden raisins. I’m not sure exactly how that happened, except for the fact that I was not hungry or thirsty so I had no physical cue to have a snack. So, this is an area that I need to work on. Apparently there must be a reason to have three meals a day and a snack in the afternoon. Maybe it is to keep the body motivated to eat a lighter evening meal, I’m not certain, but I also do not want to interrupt a plan that seems to be working.
I also skipped the dessert on this night, which was raw macaroons. I just do not like the texture of coconut, most especially raw coconut, so I did not bother making these. I know that I need to try to get along with textures, so I will make an effort. For right now, however, I am content to stick to skipping the dessert. I wasn’t hungry in any event.
I am fairly impressed with the milestones that I have crossed, with the success that I have had, and with the overall non-complexity of this plan. Here is to me and letting go of preconceived negativity about how I will successfully complete these 22 days of plant based living! Cheers!