A couple weeks into a kinder diet: a check-in
There are a bunch of new foods in my life: so which ones get the thumbs up so far? Yay for Vegenaise. It’s pricey, but so worth it. Real mayo is pretty sketchy, but Vegenaise has substance and flavor, and of course, is dairy-free! Big huge thumbs up for Whole Soy yogurt. Mmmmmmmm. Love. And oh my gosh, try Trader Joe’s Cherry Chocolate Chip Soy Ice Cream even if you don’t care at all about dairy. It is deLIcious.
As I dabble in the dairy-free cheese category, I’m not quite so dazzled. First we went through some products that were deceptive—we learned that just because a food says soy-based does NOT mean it contains no dairy (why? really—why?). So then we moved on to rice cheese slices and 100% dairy-free shredded cheese. I’m okay with them, but certainly not wowed. I’m tempted to let those slide in future. Dairy-free milk I can do. I’m loving all the different options: rice, soy and almond. I think I’ll stick to rice milk, though, since it’s one thing that’s NOT soy, and it’s made of such basic ingredients. It also tastes very yummy in my oatmeal.
Now we’ve expanded our “kind diet” to phasing out white sugar products, too. Whole wheat graham crackers: yum. Agave syrup: yum. I think our taste buds learn to wrap themselves around the whole wheat, whole grain, brown rice type flavors, such that the old-school, easy and cheap stuff simply doesn’t hold the same place on the flavor pedestal any longer. There is just such an amazing heartiness to the whole grain flavors. I swear I’m not brainwashed, I’m just really tasting things these days! Stay tuned…
Oy. The soy. Now that I’ve started to bring in a few non-dairy “dairy” products, I’m wondering if it’s possible we’ll be taking in too much soy. What to do? Even the vegan babysitter struggles with this dilemma. Now she tells me.
As usual, our answer in this household is moderation. We have decided to be moderate with our use of soy-based products. So if I use soy milk for my coffee and oatmeal, and have tofurkey and soy cheese on my sandwich, I might skip the soy meat product at dinner and just count on my grains and veggies to fill me up. Something like that. It’s working so far, and I’m enjoying the flavors of the new foods I’m bringing into the house very much. This isn’t just about buying soy milk instead of cow’s milk—it’s not so simple. Soy milk is far from perfect. This is the middle ground between cow’s milk and something like rice milk, which is basically shifting from dairy to grain.
This is good. I can tell already. I feel so amazing about what’s going into my body, and about the fact that animals aren’t having to give up their lives to sustain me. Every time I eat a slice of soy cheese, that’s a little less demand on the livestock industry. A little less need to cut down trees to give that livestock a place to graze. But I might switch to rice cheese next week.
Dig deep–in the dirt, that is–and you might just find a way to get in shape.
Everything is cyclical—we hear that all the time, but I do believe I am now witnessing it. I live intown, and have neighbors who have chickens. Gardens are flourishing (or languishing, but at least they have been planted) in front yards, back yards and anywhere sun gets there right here in the city. One of my neighbors is making a good side job of building garden boxes for city dwellers. The people have spoken, and what we want is wholesome, organic, do-it-yourself foods.
The reason I love this growing trend is, well, take this direct quote from my 3-year-old daughter yesterday: “I wanted more arugula.” I think it’s easy to look past the grammar issues to the word “arugula.” When I told my husband about it, he said, “I don’t think I even said the word ‘arugula’ until recently.”
Continue reading “Farm to table to…your best shape ever”
Here’s one of our favorite fast and hearty weeknight meals.
We love us some kale in this house, and what a powerhouse of a food it is. It’s got tons of Vitamin A, plenty of C, fiber, protein, iron, calcium…and it works perfectly in this dinner Mike and I make about once a week.
Kale & “Sausage”
- 2 vegetarian sausage links (such as Tofurky Italian Sausage), sliced (like coins)
- 1 small-to-medium-size onion
- 1 large bunch of kale, rinsed, pulled from stem, and torn into pieces
- Red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 T olive oil
- (Optional: We serve this over brown rice.)
Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Thinly slice onion and add it to the oil with about 1/4c water. Cover and let onion cook, stirring frequently. When onion is transparent but not browned, add sausage. Allow sausage to heat through, then add kale. Cover skillet to allow kale to wilt a bit–just a minute or two. Sprinkle red pepper flakes to taste, then salt and pepper. Serve over brown rice. Yum!
Being healthy means more than exercising–it’s about eating well, too.
If you really want your plans for your body to succeed, you have to consider every angle. So even if you’ve finally found a way to exercise two, three or six times a week, you still can’t ignore your diet. That includes dinner, parents! Stolen bites of the kids’ mac ‘n’ cheese do not count as dinner.
Mike and I love to cook–that helps. We love the grown-up time, when we can chat and chop and finally catch up on each other’s days. It was hard to keep up the cooking when we had Arabella, but we did it. So now that there are two kids, we are determined not to lose that nutrient-rich part of our day (“nutrients” being home-cooked food AND that grown-up non-TV time!). Our meals may be a little less glamorous than they used to be, but I promise–it is possible to make something more nutritious (and more glamorous) than cheese quesadillas and still get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour.
Continue reading “Who has time to cook?”