Welcome to Nature Maven's Healthy Eating Healthy Planet Blog

Welcome! If you're a vegan, you'll find support and suggestions you may be able to use here. If you're a vegetarian as I was when I started this blog in June 2008, reading my archived posts may be of interest to you. If you haven't gotten here already, I hope you'll consider trying the vegan way of life, too.

As I try new recipes, learn to eat in restaurants, entertain non-veg friends and make the changes necessary to bring my life into greater harmony with the planet, I share what I learn. And little joys and other thoughts get thrown into the mix here, too.

In March 2009 after starting to read The Engine 2 Diet by vegan firefighter Rip Esselstyn, I became fully vegan, to the best of my knowledge and ability, and I post entries here as I live and learn in this lifestyle. It's definitely a process of experience and discovery.

Please check out the Vegan News Headlines supplied by Google News Reader down on the right, and see my Blogroll for just a few of the choice blogs and websites I've found useful.

Friday, July 11, 2008

An Appetite for Health

As I complete the end of my first 5 days following the vegan suggestions of Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, MD (see previous post for info on the book and links), I am aware that my hunger is stimulated by carbs and dairy. We had lunch at a Panera Bread Cafe and I had a half a Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich of "piquant peppers, feta cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cilantro hummus on our Tomato Basil bread" (310 calories for half!) and half a fruit and greens salad they describe as, "crisp romaine lettuce, fresh strawberries, blueberries, pineapple tidbits, Mandarin oranges, pecans and our fat-free reduced sugar Poppyseed dressing," pictured on the left (100 calories). Tasted good, and came with an apple. But 5 hours later I was ravenous, more than usual. The bread and the feta (dairy) are the only things I haven't been eating this week. For dinner I suggested we go to our walkable southwestern restaurant where I envisioned a huge taco salad with lots of lettuce, tomato, guacamole, beans and no meat, plus the cheese it would contain and the fried tortilla shell I would partially consume, both items "off plan" but still vegetarian, if not vegan or low calorie.
But, the Universe had other plans for me. The estimated wait was 20 minutes, so we walked back home. I wracked my brain for what I could eat. My spouse had been to Fairway and had a beef and asparagus dish he planned on and a quart of gazpacho, but I hadn't brought any vegetables. I knew I could go to our local Italian place and bring back a huge green salad, but that meant more walking quite a distance or using the car, definitely not a green option. So it was going to depend on what we had on hand. At home I found a can of garbanzos, half used bag of celery, iffy bag of salad from last week, last of the shredded cabbage (red and green) and carrots, half a big tomato, and a whole onion. And there was a perfectly ripe avocado on the pass-through that I'd bought last weekend. Everything I'd need for a great meal:

* Small bowl of cold gazpacho, with tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, vinegar, canola oil, and herbs and spices

* Huge green salad with lettuce, carrots, cabbage, onion, avocado, tomato; plus 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, 1 TBS of ground flaxseed, and a dressing of 1 TBS tahini with juice of half a lemon and enough Bragg's to make it taste salty enough. I Love Bragg's. I recently found it at Vitamin Shoppe after my local Whole Foods had been out of stock for a month. I had bought my first bottle at a health food store in PA. It tastes like a low-salt soy sauce and is great for adding 16 amino acids and amazing flavor to your food.

* Main course: stir-fried shredded cabbage, onion, and thinly sliced celery made with a small amount of olive oil, with 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans, partially mashed for texture, and then steamed for a few minutes in water flavored with a little Bragg's, lemon juice and a few drops of tahini from the measuring spoon I used for the salad. It was so delicious my spouse had several small helpings.

*Dessert: my usual big bowl of fresh fruit salad, this time blueberries, melon, pineapple, and strawberries. I did have a small piece (1-1/2 inch square) of Whole Foods "homemade" granola bar, a healthy treat of seeds, nuts, oats, dried fruits, honey, rice syrup, and canola oil. I savored it slowly and enjoyed it a lot.

The bonus was the fact that today I was down 4 pounds from last Monday! I never felt deprived. Tomorrow I will shop and stock up on fresh, frozen, and canned things so I don't have a crisis next time. I also plan to bake a vegan cake. Keep you posted next time!

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