Vegan… Almost

I am proud of myself. I have committed to a planted based diet and have been going strong since July 27th. So far so good. It is definitely a lifestyle of planning. Sometimes I really don’t like to do that but I have certainly gotten better. 

Dragonfruit

What we eat is certainly a conscious choice. Obviously, this is still the beginning.  I am not completely free from dairy but I am much closer than I once was. I have posted about what dairy does to your body, which foods help which issues you may have but I wasn’t fully committed to transitioning to a healthier lifestyle. 

Today, I am excited. The goal is to eat better… period. Less processed food more plants and working towards no soy. That is a monster in and off itself. NuVegan Cafe is deliciously horrible. Damn them vegan wings. They are so good. But studies show that soy isn’t good for you and TVP is just as processed as everything else. 

Breakfast Scramble Cauliflower, Tomato, Avocado

There are flavors I miss, of course. I just deem my health more important than solely my taste buds. Please know there is absolutely no lack of flavor though! I have had some of the most delicious dishes and have created some pretty exciting and flavorful treats myself. Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast is bae right now… Vegan Sour Cream and Vegan Nacho Cheese. Next I need to figure out ketchup because it is my favorite condiment. Plus GMOs are real and they are in ketchup. ūüė¶

Vegan Nacho Cheese

I have always enjoyed switchin’ in the kitchen. I use to always sit in the kitchen while my grandfather cooked. I helped him do the grocery shopping and then we would make magical dishes for the family. I miss his s’ghetti and meatballs. I was the meatball former, anally trying to make them all the same size. 
I enjoy experiments in the kitchen… some have gone terribly wrong and others have been deliciously extraordinary. People think I can’t cook. But actually it is something I love to do.

It Tastes… Purple! 

Bidwell @ Union Market Cauliflower and Zucchini crust pizza with Tomatoes, Corn and Nasturtium

C’mon who wants to eat meat when you can eat flowers? The range of plants and vegetables in existence to eat are mind boggling. Then if you consider that our body understands the genetic make up of those vegetables and files them in the appropriate places in our bodies, I mean how amazing is that? I still find it fascinating. Our body recognizes and processes what we need to exist. 

Inside of a Red Cabbage – Beautiful, right?

There are more and more Vegan and Vegan friendly spots opening across the city. If you haven’t tried them you should. What would it hurt? You could stand some veggies… they do a body good. (Unlike those milk ads that have lied to us so many years.)

Check out these spots…

NuVegan Cafe

Khepra’s Raw Food and Juice Bar

Beefsteak (this place is next on my list)

Farewell (may contain wheat and gluten)

I am sure there are more and more popping up everyday. 

Send me your favorite spot…

Part 3 Health Trilogy – Food

thai-food2I love flavor! My favorite cuisine is Thai first and Indian second. My palate loves the comfort… so does my belly. My belly also has a tendency to retain that comfort. Which is no bueno. For this final entry (took long enough) of the health trilogy I would like to delve into FOOD! Mainly the good stuff, meaning the healthy stuff. Those foods that center around health and actual nourishment of the body,¬†the real purpose of food… the nourishment of our bodies. Sometimes with all of the delightful dishes that exist we forget.

There are certain things that the body can not identify so in turn it stores it to figure out what to do with it later. That is where we get fat and foreign particles in our bodies. But I have said this before so no need to harp on it. Ultimately, the food industry is a consumer based addictive profit center. Mentally I realize that, but living on this planet for 39 years it will take some time before I can undo a lot of the brainwashing. (I hope it doesn’t take another 39 years, YIKES!)

What should we eat?

Remember that pyramid with the grains and dairy and meat and so forth. You would probably do better to forget about that if you do remember. 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, pasta is not necessarily a good idea. That equates to sugar, sugar, sugar, and sugar because that is what it turns into in the body. Especially, since what is being passed as real or whole food is filled with preservatives and other agents that again our body does not recognize. Carbs are necessary but the goal is complex carbohydrates. Think about it. Nourishment should equate to energy. Sleeping should not be the next step after leaving the breakfast table.

Ok yes the food…

Vegetables

The more raw vegetables the better. You do not have to watch your waist with a plate of veggies. They are low calorie and high octane for the bodily engine we need to keep running. Here are a few of my favorites. ¬†As a kid I was the one who actually like Brussels sprouts. I kinda think they have replaced spinach as my absolute favorite vegetable. Kale was an adult discovery. I make a wicked pot of greens… Even my mama liked it so you know it was good. I remember my grandmother being diagnosed with high cholesterol. At the time the doctor kept emphasizing sweet potatoes. The latest health benefits associated with them now I can definitely understand why. Take a look at the benefits of these three veggies. (Not sure that¬†a sweet potato counts as¬†a veggie though.)

Color Rich

I recently learned that veggies that are prone to cause a stain on your shirt are the best for you to eat. Of course that got me to thinking about beets. I hated them growing up. I think that is because growing up they came from a can. We were not buying fresh beets. A couple of years ago I started ordering produce that was delivered from the farm to my porch. There they were… BEETS. YUK! I wasn’t about wasting money so I made a salad and looked up some other uses. Did you know they are a better sweetener than sugar? BAM… pop it in a smoothie! They are also good by themselves. Peel it, slice it, eat it!

beets

The key is shopping the peripheral aisles at the grocery store. Well that was the best advice years ago, it seems store managers got wind of that. Think anything NOT in a box or wrapped in serious plastic. There is so much more to talk about. Like the phytonutrients in vegetables, like Lycopene in tomatoes which is could possibly reduce the risk of prostate and other cancers. Or we could talk about how if dependent on insulin adding just 3 fresh string beans a day to your diet can help lessen your dependency.

As always I am not a doctor and do not recommend just starting something because I said it. Do your research and find out what works for you!

 

 

 

Prelude to Part 3 of the Health Trilogy

I bet you thought I forgot to post the third installment. No, no, no! My research is taking me far and beyond. I want to pare it down and bring it! But until then check this out. I went to my local grocery lady and “Tunas” were on sale. Let’s see if you can figure out what tunas are. Check out this video from Tastemade.

I am headed downstairs to try it now. Mason Jar in hand. (Don’t kill my vibe… I am holding on to the idea of summer/fall.) #DConlyhas2seasons

Health Trilogy part 2

Note: I am in no way a physician and do not prescribe to be. Please consult your primary care physician if you are considering lifestyle changes uses herbal or alternative medicines.echanacea

I love “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. I wasn’t able to see it on Broadway but the film was great. One part that sticks with me the most is the father’s obsession with Windex. “Put some Windex on it.” The solution to all ailments from acne to cuts and burns. I am not sure of the validity of his ideas surrounding this chemical but, I believe the best remedies are home grown. Our society is so quick to drug ourselves with over the counter medicines and injections that we never stop to think about cause and effect.

Over the years I have been fortunate to learn about homemade remedies and concoctions. My Great, Great, Great Grandfather was Dr. James Still, known as the Great Doctor of the Pine Barrens in NJ. In his book Early Recollections he talks about purchasing a scanty building in Vineland, NJ that he ultimately turned into a clinic and treated his neighbors with herbs. He was not a trained doctor but he used the knowledge he did have to heal.

Dr._James_StillOur biggest issue is our lack of connectedness to the earth. I admit I am no nature girl because I do not see eye to eye with insects. Bugs that fly, walk, crawl… FREAK ME OUT! I do know that there is importance in every living thing. We as humans need to ingest more life into our bodies. Vegetables and herbs are the best way to be healthy. So how do you know what does what? Many times your intuitive self tells us what is up.

We have the closest relationship to our bodies. I had a doctor try to grill me about what I felt was ailing me. He asked snidely, “Are you a doctor? Do you have a diagnosis?” Don’t worry I didn’t jump out the chair and pummel him, but he never saw me again.

My immediate thought is… ‘Have I had water today?”

Water is an important part of LIFE period. When I come across people that do not drink water it also FREAKS ME OUT! Dry skin… drink water. Ashy lips… drink water. Headache… drink water. True these maybe more complex symptoms for a larger problem but dehydration is real. Your body needs water because it is mostly comprised of water. REPLENISH!

I want a doctor who want to help me help myself not who feels they are in control of my body. If you put the right things in we get better results, doctors know these and we know this too.

Here are a few more ideas and resources to move you into healing what ails you.

Prescription for Nutritional Healing: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements

This book is the greatest resource to understanding just about everything in health. I believe I have three editions and I may need to get up on the next one.

Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss

This was written in 1939 I believe. It was part of the reason that I began using Apple Cider Vinegar with mother. (Mother is the good stuff that floats around in the bottle.)

Anything Related to Coconut can Heal You

Well that may be an exaggeration but if you check out Everyday Roots you may discover otherwise.

Herbal Teas are better than Lipton

If you are going to drink tea go for something that is nourishing to the body. Check out this list of herbs. There are some medicinal teas that are not so tasty but others that are. As always research the herbs to are interested in, especially the side effects.

So start with these and in part 3 we will talk about food stuffs that nourish the body.

 

A Health Trilogy – Part 1

My favorite season is Autumn. I enjoy the way the leaves turn colors the layering of clothes… it all brings me joy. Autumn also brings confusion in the Washington Metro area (bka DMV… I hate that term). You never quite know how to prepare for the weather here. Which tends to bring in some malaise, which later develops into a cold, which is later spread because folks just don’t know how to keep it to themselves.

blackwoman-with-flu

One thing I have always pride myself on is that colds usually miss me. “Ain’t nobody got time for that”. If I am attacked I run swiftly to the kitchen and whip up something funky. Literally, it is funky. It normally smells like I have been cooking all of the garlic cloves in the kitchen cabinet. I am a big fan of natural cures. I love researching home remedies. I do not even know if I have ever had a flu shot. I use food and herbs to cure what ails me.

My recommendation is to…

  1. First build your immune system so that germs have no place to settle and get comfortable.
  2. Second… avoid nastiness.

During this time of year it is hard. Especially, if you live in the world. Etiquette is a thing of the past. Plenty of folks sneeze or cough without covering their mouth; it is horrible. The best defense is a strong immune system. I am so excited because I just ordered Nature’s Sunshine Elderberry D3fense. It contains vitamin D3, elderberry fruit extract, echinacea aerial parts, willow bark extract, royal jelly and olive leaf extract. They all work together to add that needed boost to the immune system.

If you work in an office surely you dread the first co-worker who comes up missing. It is a high probability when you were in their office they were sick and highly contagious. Instead of being thoughtful and considerate they spread their germs everywhere and thus one by one co-workers go down. No one wants to take a sick day. It is like they hoard them.

Let me tell you… if I am sick you won’t get it from me. I keep it to myself. I certainly do not let it linger. My body responds pretty well to this flu cocktail. You know, the funky concoction I mentioned. If I feel a tickle in my throat I head to the Mexican produce spot off of H Street. Those little ladies have everything I need to stave off a pesky invasion of germs.

IMG_5400In part two of this series I will talk about the best places to find these remedies and what works best for you.

I NEED MUSCLE…

image

This works wonders… my elixir.

No… this is not an ode to Diana Ross. I really need to gain some damn upper body strength. What is really messed up is my flu and cold elixir is all prepped just needs to be ingested AND I CAN’T GET IN THE BOTTLE. Why? I have NO upper body strength. See it is times like this when the surface reason of wanting/needing a husband appear. “Babe, Can you take out the trash?” or “Honey, can you open this jar?”. UGH!!! I hate to say it but you know… I am old fashion and those gender roles come in handy… I am not going to lie.

Yeah… I know how to screw in a light bulb, take out the trash… I know where my sway bars are in my truck, I shovel my steps and side walk every year it snows, right out there with the men folk from my neighborhood. But dang it… if I didn’t have to I would be making greens and baking ish, doing crafts and artsy stuff. In this life, I believe we are meant to live in pairs. Noah collected two of each to take with him on the ark… I am just sayin’.

But as usual I digress. So I am all set to nip this scratchy throat in the bud AND I CAN’T GET IN THE BOTTLE! Which really sucks. I have been working around kids lately and they are germ infested because they think the know EVERYTHING. I need an immune boost. I think I am going to try coconut oil. It is good for may uses. We will see how this one works.