Day 6 has been completed with great and wonderful success! Not only were the flavors delightful on this day, the textures were beyond acceptable. I believe that a turning point occurred somewhere around dinner time…
The day began with a weigh-in. On day 1, I weighed in at 181.2, here on the morning of day 6, I weighed in at 176.2. Pretty pleased with myself I decided that I would embrace this day and make everything about it sparkle – no matter what was placed before me in the road – and I adjusted my attitude accordingly. As a quick aside – attitude since beginning the plant based living challenge has been mostly upbeat and positive – look at the law of attraction working, so everything else around me has fallen into synch!
For breakfast I enjoyed a wonderful old familiar morning ritual – rolled oats! A week ago I was eating oatmeal with cranberries and raisins every morning. It wasn’t boring, it was what I had grown accustomed to for the week day morning breakfasts to keep my cholesterol in check. Well! Let me tell you, on this morning I made Banana and Almond Butter oats! Nothing could have been tastier. At first I was worried that the equal parts of water and almond milk would never evaporate or become incorporated enough to turn the mush in the pot into any semblance of the consistency that I prefer in my oatmeal. Boy! Was I wrong? Oh hell yeah! This gave a new meaning to the adage “Patience is a virtue!” The oatmeal was outstanding, filling, wonderfully familiar yet somehow more exotic than in the past. I will definitely return to this satisfying, rib sticking, long lasting breakfast. The breaky of champions!Since breakfast was such a hit, I was honestly looking forward to lunch. In fact, I had been looking forward to today’s lunch since the night before, when I prepared it, because I was introducing myself to a new food – jicama (pronounced Hick-Ah-Muh). I was uncertain what it was, how to prepare it, what to do with it, how it would taste, what the texture would be like, and if I would like it. So, the night before I prepared a Smoky Avocado dressing and a jicama salad. The salad consisted of jicama, red cabbage, spinach leaves and romaine lettuce. The dressing had avocado, lime, smoky paprika, cumin and a few other spices. The dressing would rapidly become one of my favorites in the challenge recipes and one that I am certain to return to time and time again.
At lunch time, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually LOVE jicama! I believe that jicama is proof that the Goddess loves me and that Mother Earth has yielded this beautiful piece of itself for me, and only me! It is, to my palate, as if a white radish, an apple, and a pear were involved in some lovely coupling and the offspring of that beautiful wild night was named JICAMA…it’s crunchy like a radish, flashy like an apple, and subtle like a pear…if you have not tried jicama, please do not walk – RUN to your nearest produce stand or market and buy it! Try it today!My afternoon snacks have been a bit of a problem for me. Much like desserts, it has never been my thing. I understand the importance of ensuring 3 meals a day and a snack in the afternoon, so I have set an alarm on my phone to remind me that a snack is something that should not be overlooked. Today’s snack was a cup of almond milk with the challenge plant based protein powder. I will say that I am not a fan. Not because it isn’t tasty, because the nuttiness of the almond milk and the vanilla flavoring of the protein powder mingle well; I just do not care for milky products in the afternoon. Again, it harkens to childhood days of regimented eating of certain foods at certain times and I am breaking the cycle and learning to be more flexible in my choices. I am willing and open to making these changes; most especially in light of the physical manifestations that these changes have taken in my body and mind – all for the better.
This brings us to dinner…this was the most special meal of the meals that I have prepared and eaten thus far. I have not mentioned before, I am married to a carnivore – an Italian carnivore. He takes his meat very seriously and he is somewhat supportive and has stated that he will try everything but that I should plan meals to include an animal protein for him and he will utilize what I am eating as an entre as his side dishes. This is completely fine with me as it eliminates the need for me to prepare and cook two entirely separate meals which I simply am not going to do. Each thing that I have prepared thus far has been met with his nose upturned and the most heinous and atrocious expressions of disdain on his otherwise handsome face.
Tonight’s entre was Black Bean and Corn Burgers served with guacamole and leftover Jicama Salad. As I was preparing the “burgers” I went into one of those “Wayne’s World” dream sequences recalling the last attempt that I made at black bean burgers or, as I like to call them “Black Bean Dog Food Nast.” My prior attempt was a disgusting, mushy, ill-flavored blob that landed in the garbage can while I rushed around to make something palatable in its stead. I was recalling the prior directions which stated to “pulse” in the food processor the black beans and spices until they rolled together. They never “rolled together.” In reality, they mushed and got gooier and gooier with each pulse. I was fearful. In fact, I may have had a moment or two of downright anxiety. I took a deep breath, gathered my ingredients around me, and began. The instructions were very much the same, but the ingredients were oh so much more tasty. I pulsed. I looked. I pulsed again. I looked. My heart sank. The same consistency was present! Oh no! Quickly, I made some semblance of patties placed them on the foil lined pan and placed them in the convection oven. I made a quick guacamole topping and placed the jicama salad on the plates, hoping beyond hope that my colorful Fiestaware plates and the festive salad would hide the blob that was sure to emerge from the convection oven. And then — The Goddess Loves me – a beam from the sky shone down on me, every light bulb in the world lit up over my head, and I saw it – I saw it as it were lit up on Broadway – the temperature control on the convection over then read “BROIL!!!” So…I looked left and then right and then left again and I turned that knob and waited. I waited. I looked in. I opened the door, I flipped the burgers, I closed the door. I waited. I looked in. I opened the door, I flipped the burgers, I closed the door. I waited. I looked in. I took a deep breath, did a quick inventory of my good deeds, looked heavenward and prayed…I removed the burgers, plated them and gingerly headed downstairs for dinner.
My husband raised his gorgeous face, looked down at the plate and said “What’s that?” My heart sunk. I explained the menu. Smiled and said that the salad was the best I had ever had and he did it…he ignored me, took a bite of the burger…lifted one eye brow (never a good sign) and looked up at me and said “THIS IS FUCKIN’ BANGIN’” I almost fainted. He went on to say that if he had his own restaurant this burger would definitely be on his menu. He loved the guacamole and he loved the salad. He was not a fan of the dressing, but I didn’t even hear that part of his meal critique. I was on cloud nine the rest of the night!