What do you think when you hear the word “diet”? Well, if you’re as food oriented as I am, you might start looking at the word critically and think:
- hmmm, four-letter word, as bad as “snow” in the spring or “fool” in the White House (oops, sorry, I was trying not to mention him, and I have a friend who actually gave up saying the president’s name for Lent!)
- ugh, the first three letters of DIET are D-I-E. That says it all.
- sigh, my tummy will scream out for attention and my taste buds will D-I-E for lack of stimulation.
Sounds Dire and Desperate, Doesn’t it? Oh yeah, Did I forget to mention that today’s blog post is sponsored by the letter D? Yes. D for Delicious, Delectable, Delightful.
I can say that because I am currently in the middle of a vegan cleanse. I’m not doing it on my own. The cleanse was organized by a friend of mine named Carol, who is a holistic health counselor. She’s fabulous and a well of information, support, and encouragement. Nevertheless, the task appeared to be daunting. The list of foods that are on the don’t eat list are nearly endless and include:
- refined sugar
Oh my! No cookies! No yogurt! No meaty soups!
I eased myself off of all of those food items slowly. I gradually shifted to a vegetarian diet and then to a vegan diet. This week, I have switched to a raw foods diet. It was not an easy adjustment, however. I closed my eyes and saw… French bread toasted with unsalted butter, fresh garlic, parsley, and romano cheese. I saw salmon, parsleyed new potatoes, and asparagus drizzled with butter and finely diced tomatoes. All right. I admit it. I live to eat. I love food. I love how it tastes, how it smells, how it looks.
I had to make the vegan cleanse taste good. And that’s where I would offer a few words of advice: Diets don’t work if they taste terrible. It’s not supposed to be a test of your endurance. The goal is to be good to your body and to give it what it needs, not to suffer by eating foods that you hate because they are Good For You.
I discovered that I could do just that. I could operate within the limits of the cleanse and I could enjoy my food.
Here are some of the foods that I’ve prepared during this vegan cleanse. :
- Vegetarian split pea soup: Last week, I made vegetarian split pea soup, which tasted great. I didn’t even miss the fact that I didn’t add a ham bone to the soup during preparation.
- Vegan pesto. It’s delicious. I cooked rice pasta and spooned some of the pesto on top of the pasta. I also steamed brussels sprouts and spooned the pesto on top of that. That was yummy. Now that I’m eating raw foods, I had to change my approach because, although I love crunchy food, uncooked pasta is a little bit too much crunch for me. The option that I chose came about by accident. I was peeling a carrot, and then I thought, what if I kept peeling the carrot until there was nothing left? I peeled and peeled and… well, you get the idea. I had a plateful of carrot peelings. I spooned the pesto on top of the carrot peelings. It was both colorful and delicious. Here is a link to a recipe for vegan pesto on a website that I love and just recent discovered, called “Food 52.”: link to recipe for delicious vegan pesto
- Raw food is good but what about breakfast? I love my hot cereal and… well… no cooking? Plus… what if I’m in a hurry? I usually just eat some crackers and cheese… and… what? No crunchy crackers and no creamy cheese??? I need help!!! I did a little online research and discovered the concept of soaking old fashioned oatmeal overnight in the refrigerator. This is kind of a free form recipe. For one serving, you put half a cup of the oatmeal in a container. Then you can add flavorings, such as raisins, nuts, cinnamon, and flax seed. You then pour in half a cup of some type of nondairy milk, such as almond milk, soy milk, or cashew milk. Just make sure that the oatmeal is covered by the milk. Cover and place your oatmeal in the refrigerator overnight. When it’s ready to eat, you can either eat it cold or let it warm up to room temperature. Also, when you’re ready to eat the cereal, you can add fresh berries. It’s a quick and easy meal that generates almost no dirty dishes.
- Avocados: They add the creaminess to your diet. My biggest weakness in food is that I want rich, creamy food. I don’t like overly sweet, and I don’t like bitter. I can’t digest deep-fat fried foods, so doughnuts don’t hold any appeal for me. But creamy. I can’t get enough of it. Avocados have that creamy texture that I seem to crave. I made guacamole. It was creamy and tart and tangy. Yum.
- Garlic: Vegan food or raw food doesn’t have to be bland. I like garlic. Some people will add lots of spices to give their food spicy heat. That’s not for me. But I do like garlic. I use quite a bit of it in my food.
- Colorful food: food that has vivid color packs a nutritional punch. When you are on this sort of diet, you’ll see lots of color on your plate, especially orange and green.
My question to you: if you were to do the “diet” thing, what foods would you include that would make you look forward to each meal?