This morning, day 10, I awoke to a smoothie made with 22 Day Nutrition Plant Based Protein Powder, frozen blue berries, coconut water, avocado, and cinnamon. It was quite tasty. No greens in this one, which is odd; thus far every smoothie has had greens of some sort in it. This was good. I didn’t think I would like coconut water. At first taste, I was right, but then something grew on me and I took another swig. It is quite refreshing. I may try more of it later on down the road, after the 22 days.
I don’t take any photos of the smoothies because, well, quite honestly, there is really nothing to take a photo of…smoothies are fairly boring to look at and well, maybe I should reconsider, but nah, I’m thinking not.
Lunch was another fear factor moment for me. I have never cooked lentils, nor have I ever incorporated any foreign spices, such as cumin and curry, in my cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I happen to think, and so do a few vocal others, that I am a fairly good cook. I love to entertain. I love to feed people and hear their reactions. It wasn’t until this challenge that I actually recognized how limited my palate was and how many spices were in the world that I was not utilizing, in some way, to enhance flavors. I have never ventured outside of my comfort zone which happens to be fairly diverse: Austrian, American, Puerto Rican, and, of course, if you have been paying ANY attention, Vatican style Italian. Now I have begun to incorporate Turmeric, Cumin, Curry, Smoked Paprika, and so on. It is lovely to experiment with the flavors and to learn new styles of preparing and cooking foods. It is interesting as well as lovely. I’m having fun.
Day 10 consisted of a lunch menu of Easy Curried Lentils with Avocado Croutons. I was intimidated by the curry, the lentils, and the avocado, but I entered the kitchen with the notion that I was going to make something new and exciting and that the flavors would be perfect! After a day at the garden center and planting some pops of color all over the front and back yards, my husband and I went inside to enjoy some lunch. He opted for left over BBQ from the day before and I set out to make my lentils. He was too impatient to await my preparation and plating, so he went ahead and heaped piles of pasta salad, potato salad and chicken on his plate. I set out to cook a masterpiece. The lentils took about a half hour to complete and the wait was well worthwhile. Lentils, in particular this recipe, is going to be staple in my home – especially my winter menu selections. The curry and cumin were beautiful in this dish, it was colorful and filling and something I will return to, I know, time and time again. LOVED this.
My afternoon snack was supposed to be hummus with veggies, but I opted not to have an afternoon snack on this day, I was simply too full from lunch and was anticipating dinner, which was a repeat of the Quinoa and black bean salad from last week. Only this time I actually utilized quinoa from Trader Joe’s freezer section. It was just straight up quinoa, nothing fancy, no flavors added, just a serving of quinoa. I’m glad I purchased this frozen side dish. I was beside myself having conversation about the texture of all of the quinoa that I have made thus far and I was slightly disappointed at my lack of knowledge of this seed, its nutrients, its uses, and generally anything about it. Since I had never previously consumed it, it was hard for me to tell if I was cooking it correctly as the texture, again, leaves something for my palate to desire. I learned that I was, in fact, cooking it correctly. The quinoa black bean salad was tasty and was also so large I could not finish it. I was still full from the lentils.
Dessert was also a repeat, chocomole. I was not in the mood for chocolate and so I did not have dessert on this day either. I find that my decisions on what and how much to eat are no longer based on my eyes being bigger than my stomach. They are now based on my actual contemplation and questioning of whether or not I am hungry. If I am hungry, I eat dessert or have another bite. If I am not hungry, I do not continue to eat, nor do I have dessert, I just stop and I have a glass of water with lemon to ensure that I satisfy any thirst and I enjoy what I am eating now instead of rapidly consuming something without enjoyment.
My observations today are that I am able to make choices wisely, I am able to enjoy my food without relying on it as a means for comfort or guilt but rather as a means to enjoy what is sustaining my overall happy life. I am also noticing that my attitude is changing in a positive direction and that everything and everyone around me is falling into place, either synching with my newfound attitude or moving outside of my sphere of influence. I am finding that people will either make negative comments about what they perceive a plant based diet to be in the guise of making suggestions that I see a doctor because plant based living isn’t meant for the human body, or to take supplement/vitamin thus and such because I am not getting all of the nutrients I need, or by simply rolling their eyes and making crass comments about how I will fail and return to meat eating as soon as the 22 days are over.
I think, for me, the thing is that I don’t mind if my world becomes smaller, or that people that once claimed to be my friends or to love me gravitate outside of my sphere of influence. I don’t mind one little bit.
My new mantra…
Everything happens for a reason,
people come and go with the seasons.
And in my life, I will have results and not reasons.
So be it.