This morning marked day 8, and I began the day by making banana pancakes with a cup of blue berries. Initially, I tried to talk myself out of making it because I had no baking powder…but rationality descended and I looked up “substitutes for baking powder” on google and found that cream of tartar and baking soda would do the trick. I happened to have both. So with ingredients in hand, I set out to make the banana pancakes. I am so glad that I did too! They were amazingly delicious and the berries added a wonderful touch. I don’t like syrup much so it wasn’t missed, nor did the recipe call for any syrup. It dawned on me that I could actually eat these on the run too, since they didn’t require any syrup to taste good.
The portion size was 4 pancakes and no one else was going to eat the batch that I made, so I decided to start an experiment. I decided to start freezing everything that was more than the acceptable portion suggested. I started with these pancakes. My intention is to freeze them and when I want banana pancakes again, I can remove the appropriate portion and place in the toaster so that I can have these “on the run” or as a quick breakfast when I want to avoid cooking something different, after the 22 days, of course! Below is the portion that I consumed this wonderful morning 8!
Today, lunch was to be a mango, kale and avocado salad. I was home alone today, as my husband works every other Saturday, and my house guests for the weekend were off visiting family and other friends for the day, so I was going to make and enjoy a beautiful and colorful lunch with my dog. I decided to make a ritual of preparing the meal and I intended to eat it outside, in the sunshine, while enjoying every morsel. Since I have never had this combination in a salad, I was more than looking forward to it. I carefully prepared my lunch and decided that the best option available to me to make this new meal a success was to pick a beautiful piece of Fiestaware…I know, I am obsessed with these dishes, but they are wonderful.
The salad was tasty, tangy, and creamy, the textures were wonderful and the salad was refreshing. I actually did enjoy this while sitting on my back porch stoop, watching my silly dog lying in the grass and enjoying the break from the long and brutal winter that we endured in New England. The winter seemed to have lasted all year long, even though it didn’t really kick in until January, it just didn’t seem to want to let go this year and allow spring…so this was a beautiful moment between mom and dog!
In the 22 Day Nutrition book, there is a chapter regarding lifestyle changes and socializing. I was very interested in that chapter on this day, as my husband and I had been invited, quite some time ago, to accompany my sister-in-law and her husband to a comedy show and to have dinner there. This invitation came long before I decided that I would embark on this journey and make it a permanent part of my life. I was hesitant about doing this so soon, yet I knew that I could not avoid living and being a social creature, so I reread the chapter and decided to set myself up for success rather than to predestine failure and wallow in it later. I went to the comedy club’s website and I read their menu. I decided that on evening number 8, I would enjoy my regularly scheduled dinner earlier in the day, at home. This would afford me the opportunity to eat according to the menu plan of the 22 Day Nutrition Plan and then I would reserve my afternoon snack of fruit and, instead, I would order a salad from the comedy club menu. I enjoyed a spinach salad with cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, without dressing. I could not identify the dressing, nor its ingredients, so I simply didn’t add it to my salad. I think, in the future, I will also prepare a dressing and simply bring it with me. The premise in the book is that if you preview a menu of any establishment, call ahead with any questions, and make yourself as informed as possible, you can succeed, socialize, remain a plant based eater, and everyone is satisfied. Well, I am here to tell you that it actually worked.
Rewind to earlier in the day, I prepared eggplant rollatini using cashew cheese. I was a bit concerned with the term “cashew cheese” but after reading the menu and the recipe, I got everything ready the night before and put on a positive face, setting out for success, and knowing that this meal would be excellent. A college professor of mine once told me “Shirley, when you are uncertain, just fake it until you make it” and I heard him proclaim that loudly in my head…so, thank you, Professor Robert Levine of HCC, you continue to be a part of my life today! I prepared the eggplant rollatini as directed, plated it, and guess what? A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! However, the true test was to be in the hands of my Italian husband, whose nose turned up at the very mention of some unknown foreign substance being called “cashew cheese” and his eye brows quite literally left his forehead when said foreign substance was claimed to be utilized in place of whole milk ricotta which is, apparently, made from the tears of Christ Himself and is touted as the holy and sacred cheese of Italians something in keeping with the holy and sacred cheese of mozzarella.
Again, we needed to be social creatures on this evening, my husband worked, so he came and picked me up and we were off to the comedy show (which was very entertaining) and he had made the decision to eat at the show rather than to come in and enjoy my amazing eggplant rollatini. When we got to the show, I had also made the decision that along with the directives in the book, I was not indulging in alcohol, so I ordered a refillable glass of club soda and a twist of lime along with my salad. My husband ordered the chicken BLT with a side salad and a few light beers of unknown labeling. Everyone seemed to have a great time. I drove us home and when we arrived, I got myself ready for bed but I could hear my man, in the kitchen, making a noise that I have only heard him make a few select times…it is a sort of low level hum, followed by a slight smacking sound, and then he appeared, in the bedroom doorway, gesticulating like a mad Italian with something on his mind and the inability to find the right phrase. Hands speaking in some unknown sign language, lips pursed, he finally outed with it “I gotta give it to ya, babe, that eggplant is pretty fuckin’ amazing.” Well, I almost died. He went on to say he only had a fork full, it was still cold, and tomorrow he would give it a warmed over try to make his final determination. (See Day 9 for details on the final word handed down by the Vatican, you would think!)
Over all, this day was a great success. I feel that out of the 8 days, this day contained three well rounded and tasty meals, all of which I will incorporate into my daily choices. Day 8 was a resounding success!!!