Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Weird Salad; Things I Probably Shouldn't Do But Will Do Anyway

Yesterday for dinner I made this great salad:

There was a bed of spinach, topped with sliced red bell pepper, canned pineapple, black beans, and Rawmesan. It sounds like a strange combo, but it was really delicious. I also like to put so many tasty things on my salad that I don't need to use dressing.

Here's my recipe for 30-second awesome beans:

1 can black beans
Barbecue sauce

Rinse your beans really well in a colander, so that they're clean. Put into your Tupperware (I used a repurposed glass jar) and add in some crushed garlic and barbecue sauce. Mix it up really well.

That's it! It's so delicious and really good for topping your salads and making them more filling.

In addition to my salad, I had some of these:
I love brussels sprouts! I didn't use any oil, and seasoned them with Chinese Five Spice powder and Garam Masala. Then I stuck them in the oven for half an hour on 450. I often do the last ten minutes on 500 but for some reason I didn't feel like it yesterday.

Now, onto things that I probably shouldn't do but will anyway.
When I started this blog, I was eating 100% raw. I noticed that it really didn't make me feel any different, and I think as long as I am eating mostly plants, no refined carbohydrates, and few processed foods, I feel pretty much the same. But I always want to be better and eat healthier. I realized recently that sometimes trying to stick to my self-imposed "rules" really stresses me out. So here are a few "naughty" things that I'm going to do and forgive myself for in advance.

1) Not buying 100% organic.
I totally believe in organic food - I think it's better for you, the environment, and the people who grow your food. And I will still try and do my best. But I realized recently that trying to buy all organic was making me miss out on a lot of foods that simply became too expensive for me to afford. I wasn't buying bell peppers anymore, because organic was about 3x as expensive.

2) Drinking Crystal Light.
I gave up Crystal Light for a while and I really found it hard to drink enough water. I just hate water, I'm sorry. I tried flavoring it a million different ways, and it never made me want to drink more of it. I also notice that I eat more when I'm not drinking Crystal Light, because when I drink the CL it makes me full. So, even though CL is full of chemicals and artificial sweeteners, I'm drinking it ANYWAY.

3) Using the microwave.
I try not to use the microwave very much, because it does remain to be seen exactly what it does to our food and our bodies. But I also realized that I would rather eat something healthy that I microwaved rather than not eat it at all.

4) Not cutting out caffeine.
The health community is pretty mixed on caffeine, and a lot of people think we need to dump it completely. I have done this many times in the past, and I've written about my thoughts on coffee. So I'll just reiterate that caffeine doesn't really affect me, and my body seems to feel the same whether I ingest it or not. And I like coffee and find the ritual relaxing, so I'm going to keep drinking it.

5) Eating canned and frozen foods.
This goes along with #1 - sometimes I'd rather eat foods in canned or frozen form than not be able to afford to eat them at all. Hence, the canned pineapple. Fresh pineapple is too freaking expensive. When I was really staying 100% raw I was stressed out about eating foods that were "dead" and enzyme-less. But you know what? I like pineapple, and I like it out of a can. So for now, I'm OK with that.

I've been really sick and I'm still trying to get better so what I need to focus on right now is eating lots of vegetables, getting daily exercise, and not stressing the crap out of myself. But here are some things that I know I do not want to do:

1) Eat refined carbohydrates and flour products.
I try and keep these to a minimum but I wasn't doing as well when I was sick. I have noticed that refined carbos make me gain weight almost instantaneously, and they don't fill me up very much. So I am re-affirming my decision to eat them only on very rare occasions.

2) Eat added fats and oils.
I do think I feel better on a low-fat diet, and I do believe that we get all the fats we need from our plant foods. So I'll be sticking with McDougall on this one.

I'll probably think of some more of these and post more later. But that's where I stand at the moment.

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