Journey Back to Me

Lately, I’m been getting my health together. Nutrition is important in any kind of emotional recovery.

I am so elated with my life after leaving my past behind. One of the great things about thinking for your self is that you find your way back to your identity and the real you. When you shed the fear of people from your life, you can soar. I think of SOAR as Survivors Of Abusive Religion.

People from my old life ask me how I’m doing. I’m doing great.

Lately, I’m been getting my health together. Nutrition is important in any kind of emotional recovery. I am learning how to properly feed myself. It seems weird to say that but we’re all a product of our environment. I learned how to cook southern style with all the oil, sweets, fried foods, and veggies cooked to death. During this time of COVID-19, I’m sure everyone is considering what they eat, as well we all should.

My whole food plant-based eating is going well. I’ve even got my husband on board and in the last month I’ve discovered the following.

  1. It’s a myth that you need meat for protein. The differences are in the amino acid profiles. Protein can be taken in without eating eggs and tons of chicken and fish and without the negative effects that go along with animal protein. Instead of meat being the most important thing in your diet, it really should be sparingly or not at all. Our society loves and reveres meat and so the myth persists. Many articles talk about the quality of the protein better in the meat but that leaves out the negative after-effects.
  2. Oils are not necessarily healthy. I used to slather everything with olive oil thinking this was the “healthy” oil. But oil is simply another food that the food industry has promoted just like they promoted “fat-free” junk for years. Now, most people understand that fat is not an enemy. When I first started on this journey I said “no way can I live without oil”. But I’ve done it and my blood vessels have thanked me. We have endothelial cells that line our blood vessels and when we consume oils it not only messes with our gut bacteria but also the function of these vital cells is diminished. ( See this article on the subject).
  3. Fat is not evil. Whole-food fats are necessary for proper body function: nuts, seeds, avocado, nut butter, beans, but not oils.
  4. Keep veggies nutritious. One of my discoveries this month was making sauces out of cashew butter. That’s right. Cashew Butter. Cashew butter can be the base for numerous sauces and salad dressings. These sauces can make any veggie a delicious meal paired with brown rice or sweet potatoes. I use it so much now to make sauces. It is bland on its own, but that’s what’s great. You can make it taste like anything, Italian, Mexican, spicy, sweet–you name it.

Here’s my recipe for Ceasar dressing. It’s a tweak of a Fork Over Knives basic Ceasar Dressing recipe:

2 TBSP Cashew Butter

2 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar or to taste

2 tsp maple syrup ( the pure stuff, not the commerical pancake stuff)

2 garlic cloves ( or garlic powder)

Dijon or brown spicy mustard

Nut milk ( I like Oat milk, but experiment with what works for you)

and salt to taste.

This recipe makes a great creamy salad dressing with a tanginess to it.

Bon Appetit!

Creamy whole-food Ceasar Dressing

OMG! WFPB

One of the things I’m embarking on (re-visiting actually) is a goal of going plant based in my eating.

After getting myself together with a family move and getting my son settled in college. I’ve decided to turn my eyes on me for a change. One of the things I’m embarking on (re-visiting actually) is my goal of going plant based in my eating. I hate the word diet because it sounds so faddish and temporary. WFPB is WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED eating. It’s not a diet or the latest fad. Its just eating plant based whole foods.

I knew a guy one time who said he was a vegetarian, but he ate, fries, bags of cookies, potato chips, cake and finally my husband teased him saying ” oh, I get it, you just don’t eat meat”. But he ate everything else under the sun. I guess he told himself that he was being healthy not eating meat.

unhealthy but vegan/vegetarian allowed
https://www.peta.org/living/food/top-accidentally-vegan-foods/

I still don’t understand vegetarians eating tons of unhealthy stuff but I suppose any reduction of meat on the scale of things is better. Maybe. I guess. I don’t judge. Everybody is on their journey and it’s a process. But isn’t it truly the processed foods that are killing us? I watched Forks Over Knives years ago (currently on Amazon Prime) and tried it. Many of my ailments improved (and I have quite a few) but I slid back in to the meat dungeon after a while. It’s really hard when you’re a professed meat-aholic and you’re altering decades of bad habits. You have to be determined and get your mind focused until it becomes a part of you. I refuse to just give up on this.

Currently, during COVID shutdowns, I am taking in the documentatry “Foods That Fight Disease” which is a mixture of interviews with Dr. T. Colin Campbell, and other experts and cariodologists on the value of plant based eating, tips on avoiding disease and ways scientific journals keep us confused about what to eat. If anyone else has suffered the overload confusion, please weigh in below.

86 years young, Dr. Campbell does not label himself as a vegan or vegetarian. Wise man. He simply espouses whole food plant based eating as the most advantageous for health. He can talk because as a biochemist in nutrition,he authored The China Study, which is touted as the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted.

Dr. T Colin Campbell , Biochemist

This particular film is not for the faint of heart – 3 hours long – with cooking shows in between the interviews–you read that right. I haven’t finished the film. But I keep revisiting and getting more tidbits of info. The information on nutrition from these experts is really good.

I’ve been overweight for years and I’ve written about my struggles but this seems to work the best for me out of all the things I’ve tried. I really want to be able to improve my arthritis and mobility. That’s a big goal.

So today, I’m on my 3rd day of a juice cleanse to cleanse my palate. I know how to WFPB eat and I enjoy it. So hear goes to a better commitment. I just have to deal with the emotions that I’ve connected with eating meat and certain foods.

The way we eat is really is an emotional and societal thing. Here in the United States we equate meat eating with being American. What do you do at a baseball game? Eat a Hot Dog. What do you do at a football game? Grill kale and cucumbers? No! You tailgate. You put steaks, burgers, bratwursts or sausages on that grill. And who would dare have a 4th of July barbeque with just veggie? Sacrilege! Most of us would head to the nearest McDonalds after a BBQ like that.

You have to learn how to cook this stuff. I unfortunately grew up in a home where my mom would boil broccoli to death and barely season it and throw it on our plates. Telling us, “you better eat that”. I grew up hating veggies. But learning how to cook delish bean stews, Soups, great sandwiches and air fried veggies that smack with a dip has made all the difference. I can do this.