I’m on day 14 of a 28 day plant-strong diet. I’m eating no animal products, only whole grains, no oil, and no added sugars. Check out the documentary Forks Over Knives for the research and ideas on the benefits of this kind of diet.
The oil and sugar restrictions mean I am unable to eat most processed or packaged foods or go to a restaurant so I’ve been preparing every meal at home with fresh produce, beans, whole grains, and spices. It has been a real change from the way I eat at the end of the semester when things get busy and I have no time to plan and prepare meals. Then I start to rationalize using my loan money to eat out often because it’s a grad school expense. I thought this summer would be a good opportunity to experiment with a different diet since I have the time, and Nicasio is out of town so he can’t complain!
The things I eat look like this:
It feels good to know that pretty much everything I am putting into my body is beneficial. I think the main take-away of this is experience is that I need to eat a variety of vegetables and fruits so that they can work together to provide essential nutrients. It’s easy for me to get into a rut and just always put avocado and salsa on beans and rice, for example. But I realized that once you start to take control and get creative you can also add bell peppers, jicama, corn, etc to increase the portion and variety of veggies in the meal. And there is more than one produce market within three blocks so I have no excuse for not having the vegetables.
In the future, I think I will also seek out whole grains more often, and use them at home when I can. Going into this, I was already a hot cereal enthusiast so breakfasts have been pretty tasty with the hot whole grain cereals I have in rotation topped with fruit and nuts. I also have a couple cold cereals that don’t have added sugar.
The “no oil” aspect is certainly not going to stick with me since I do want to be able to eat at restaurants again. I haven’t even been able to cut it out entirely for 28 days. I bought a pre-made enchilada sauce that had oil in it, an oily veggie burger (on accident), and whole wheat pizza dough. It has been informative to see how pervasive oil is and start to have an awareness of it to limit my oil consumption. The main problem with oil is that it is such a high fat food that has had all the nutritious parts of the plant removed. And oh man, it’s in everything!
I have had a mental fixation on pizza lately. And pancakes. I keep imagining a steaming hot pizza made with refined flour crust and covered with melty dairy-tastic cheese. And a plate of fluffy, sugary, buttermilky pancakes from the restaurant ONE BLOCK FROM MY APARTMENT that makes the best pancakes ever. I guess I know where I’ll be on Day 29…
Oh, and I have to admit to my failures on Day 9 when I was not able to steel myself against homemade Montreal bagels and maple cake at a Canada Day party. I mean look:
There was even Moosehead.
I have no regrets!! The bagels were spectacular by the way. Thank you Antonella! I’d like to try my own hand at making them at the end of this thing.
Anyway, that’s what I’m doing these days to try to be a bit healthier. I’m also washing lots and lots of dishes. Oh man. So many dishes.