The Food Chain

9 Nov

So a couple months ago (so long!), I shared with you guys that I don’t really like to cook or even eat all too much and that one of my goals was to learn to love both of these things while Will was gone and I had free range over the kitchen and grocery shopping. Okay, well, let me back up a bit and let me further explain why I’m not always a big fan of eating.

When I found out I was struggling with low blood sugar, my doctor told me to eat a heck of a lot more. I was supposed to eat more substantial meals and to snack in between, eating something every two hours. Here’s the thing, I already ate until I was full before. I wasn’t starving myself and in fact, since I went to a nutritionist my senior year of college, I have a great knowledge of what I’m supposed to be eating and how my nutrients are being accounted for. I was getting three balanced meals a day with an occasional snack and I was full and happy with that. When I had to start eating more, it became work. Dreadful work. Have you ever tried to eat when you’re not even hungry? It’s awful. The food doesn’t smell good to you, the texture feels all wrong in your mouth, and it sticks in your throat all the way down. On top of being generally unpleasant, the increase in eating was having a minimal effect on my symptoms. Not worth it.

So when Will left, I knuckled down on my research and while I won’t force it all down your throat in this post, there’s a lot of convincing evidence out there that indicates whole-foods, plant-based diets can prevent and even reverse most degenerative diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and most surprisingly, cancer. (If you’re intrigued, there’s a really great documentary available through Netflix called Forks Over Knives that’ll give you a good place to start.) I started to think that if a basically vegan diet could help reduce the incidence of diabetes by naturally regulating the body’s sugars and digestion, it could almost definitely help me. Not eager to be medicated and/or miserable for the rest of my life, I decided to go vegan.

It’s been amazingly helpful and even fun for me. I don’t get pesky migraines from low sugar anymore, thus no more ugly nausea, thus greater energy and happiness. I sleep better, I focus easier, and I can deal with the stress of…well basically owning life all by myself.

Furthermore, I love my food and I love to cook it! It’s easy to clean because everything I use can be cleaned up with water (haha, no more salmonella threats!), I don’t have to worry about something being cooked thoroughly enough because the worst thing that can happen is something gives too much crunch or smush, and I’m using things I would never otherwise use like my zester and sifter and peeler. I know what you’re picturing, though–plate of soggy vegetables with some beans in there– and that’s not what it’s like. Sure, I was a little worried my food would be boring too at first, but then I found out how decadent and rich vegan meals can be. This is what my food looks like:

Stuffed squash with apples, cherries, couscous, almonds, and homemade honey-dijon.

Almost-raw and energy packed veggie and lentils salad with vinaigrette.

A curried vegetable soup with beans and brown rice.

I’m not eating meek little steamed veggies here. I’m using cumin and coriander, sunflower oil and balsamic vinegar, couscous and quinoa. My kitchen smells like paprika cream sauce and lemon zest. I’m love being a vegan because it means I go into the grocery store and really take stock of the exotic foods aisle. I’ve discovered how much saffron threads cost and how tamari tastes. I feel better, I’m doing the earth a favor, and it’s an adventure. For me, it’s the perfect fit.

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