It is so easy for us to get frustrated with ourselves, our bodies. It is easy to forget that we did not get here overnight. It can also feel like we have been in "change mode" forever, when in fact we have only been keeping up with new habits for a short time (7 weeks in my case). I reminded myself of where I was before I started all of this. It was a much darker place without nearly as much hope and I was not doing anything to take care of myself. While I never had control over the illness or disease in my body, I have always had the option to have control over the part I play in taking care of it and lessening the impact of said disease. I didn't start taking that control until 7 weeks ago when I decided I was going to have to be the one to fix all of this. I have put in tremendous effort and changed my life and habits significantly. I do take real pride in that change. And, it is that change, that strength, that endurance, that gives me hope and faith in how far I can go. So it was a rough day for my body. Big deal. There have many more good days than bad ones in the past two months, and there will be many more great ones to come. There is absolutely no point in getting stuck. It does nothing but drag us back down like sinking into a deep pit of good ole' quicksand. I won't go. I won't. Not this time. I deserve better than that, and you do too. We've got this!
So, instead of boo-hoo-ing through my day, I continued to focus on my growth and health. This included eating good food, of course! I have some real goodies for you tonight!
I started the morning with a green smoothie to give my body a jolt of nutrition (my way of saying to my body, "Get up, slacker! You will not give up today!"). It was another smoothie of perfection. It tasted so good that I was holding the blender up to my mouth trying to let any remaining drops drip out onto my tongue before washing them away. I call this one "Mango Madness".
Mango Madness Green Smoothie
- 3 cups kale
- 1 cup light plain soymilk
- 6 prunes
- 1 cup frozen mango
- 2 cups frozen strawberries
- 1-2 tablespoons flaxseed
- Blend well in blender (VitaMix!) until there is a vortex in the middle.
- Serve and enjoy!!!
Even though I was home, I had already packed a salad to take to work for lunch today. So, that is what I ate here. My salad basically consisted of arugula topped with the Asian Inspired Ginger Scallion Quinoa I made the other day. I also added a simple dressing of 3 parts seasoned rice vinegar mixed with 1 part tamari. This salad was so yummy and tasted so clean! I think it will quickly become a staple. It also goes to show that you don't always have to go for the traditional salad. You can often just throw whatever leftovers you have on top of greens and create a nice meal! I can't believe it took me this long to learn that, but I am so glad I did!
Dinner, my friends, turned out even better than I had hoped for. One of the reasons I always thought I could not go vegan was that I love eggs ... especially egg salad. I found a recipe to adapt for Mock Egg Salad on the My Recession Kitchen website, but didn't have a lot of hope that it would be very good. Boy was I wrong (you would think I would learn since this keeps happening to me ...). This mock egg salad is awesome and totally did the trick. It satisfied my egg salad craving. It is also great because you can adjust the recipe for however you are used to making egg salad in your family so it has that personal taste. Again, this is another staple food I will be keeping around in my house for a quick snack or meal.
Mock Egg Salad
- 1 14 oz. block lite firm tofu
- 6 tablespoons reduced fat Vegenaise
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 3 tablespoons organic yellow mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed sea salt
- sprinkle of paprika for garnish
1. Drain the water from the tofu. Everyone has their own method for getting the water out of tofu (one of my least favorite cooking tasks). You don't have to get it super dry for this recipe - hooray! I just cut the block into three slices and press it gently between paper towels to soak up any excess water.
2. Put the tofu in a medium bowl and mash it with a fork (like you would do with the eggs for egg salad. Make the pieces about the same size as you would for that).
3. Add the celery and green onions and stir together.
4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together Vegenaise, mustard, turmeric, and salt.
5. Add mixture to the bowl with tofu, celery, and onions. Stir until blended.
6. Sprinkle with paprika to serve and enjoy!!!
I bet you are wondering where I got those amazing looking crackers in the egg salad pics, right? Guess what? I MADE THEM! I got a great tip from one of my readers, Elisabeth, to give these "Endurance Crackers" a shot after she tried the recipe from the Oh She Glows website. Thanks, Elisabeth!
By looking at the pics above, it is no shocker that these crackers are jam packed with nutrients. I mean, come on, their main ingredient is seeds! Let's start with the sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are brimming with Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, maganese, copper, trytophan, magnesium, selenium, vitamin B6, phosphorus, and folate. They have anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits from the high amount of Vitamin E. The phyrosterols inside lower bad cholesterol. The magnesium in sunflower seeds calms your nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. Furthermore, the selenium in these seeds improve detoxification and aid in cancer prevention! Amazing.
Next up, the pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas). Pumpkin seeds are bursting with maganese, tryptophan, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, protein, zinc, and iron. These nutrients may protect men's bones and promote prostate health. They also provide anti-inflammatory benefits for arthritis. Like sunflower seeds, the phytosterols help lower bad cholesterol.
Lastly, we get to cha cha cha chia seeds! I did not realized this, but the chia seeds that have now been touted as extremely healthy little seeds are the same ones we used as kids to grow chia pets! What?!?! I know! Now, this doesn't mean that you should drop by your local corner store and eat the seeds that come in a chia pet kit. These, my friends, have not been approved by the FDA. Stick with getting your chia seeds from your market or health food store. So why would we want to eat these little babies? Chia seeds are known to be a concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-alinolenic acid. These are great for reducing inflammation throughout your entire body, keeping your blood from clotting excessively, lowering the amount of lipids circulating in your bloodstream, inhibiting thickening of your arteries, reducing the risk of becoming obese, aiding in the regulation of food intake, weight, and metabolism, and preventing cancer cell growth. What else? These acids can also provide benefits for those struggling with depression, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, fatigue, dry/itchy skin, brittle hair/nails, difficulty concentrating, AND joint pain! On top of all of this, chia seeds are high in fiber and full of vitamins and minerals. We almost can't afford to not be eating these (Information in this paragraph taken from www.whfoods.com).
Despite being ridiculously good for you, these crackers taste AWESOME. They are salty, crunchy, and full of that perfect seedy taste I love. Once again, these will now become a staple in my house. And to think I used to think Triscuits were healthy. HA. They also went perfectly with the mock egg salad. Delish!
Endurance Crackers (adapted from Oh She Glows)
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup water
- 3 large cloves of fresh garlic, finely grated
- 1/8 cup fresh grated onion
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Herbamare (find it in the spice isle)
- 1/2 teaspoon kelp granules
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a medium-large bowl, mix the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds together.
3. In a small bowl, mix the water, grated garlic, and grated onion. Whisk well.
4. Pour the water mixture into the bowl with the seeds and stir to combine until the mixture starts to thicken. Add salt, Heramare, and kelp granules and stir them in.
5. Spread the mixture out on the prepared baking sheet with the back of a spoon until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick.
6. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and slice into crackers. I did mine in basic squares, but I am pretty sure you can get as fancy as you want.
7. Carefully flip the cut pieces over with a spatula.
8. Return to oven and bake for another 30 minutes, watching closely after 25 minutes. The bottoms will be lightly golden in color when done. Allow to cool completely on the pan. Serve and enjoy!!!
Lots of yummy treats that are SO good for our bodies today! See there, a good indication that I have every reason in the world to have faith in how far I can go ... as do you! Until next time, dear Gnawers ...Take good care of you!!!