Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Naysayers

I'm not really a resolutions type of girl. But I do like setting goals for myself, and making changes. After months of eating crap food, I decided that the beginning of 2011 would be a great time to change. I've given up meat for 1 month (but will probably stay on the veggie train indefinitely) and have put much more thought about what goes into my body. The best way for me to do this is to cook for myself, cut out processed foods, and only eat at "good" places when I dine out. So far, so good.

The only problem I've had with this is all of the naysayers. The people who ask "how are you getting protein?" "How are you getting iron?" "What are you eating?" Well, turns out plant based diets are FULL of protein and iron (read this and see for yourself). And you actually get more iron from greens than from meat. And I'm not an idiot. I'm not eating grilled cheese sandwiches and pasta for every meal. Adopting a new way of eating has really opened up my mind about food. Not that I've ever had a problem with cooking, or knowing what is or isn't healthy, but like everyone, I've had trouble staying on track before. Not this time.

The best advice I can give anyone who is trying to eat more whole foods (foods that are unaltered from nature. Well, except canned beans, tomatoes, frozen veggies and fruits...but you get the idea) is to shop on the outer edges of the grocery store. The only things you need from the aisles are spices, rice, grains, beans, etc. The outer edges are where it's at.

Anyway, here's what I had for lunch today. And it only took about 10 minutes to whip up.

Chickpea and Kale:
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch of kale, washed and stems removed
1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
juice of 1/2 a lemon
grapeseed oil (or olive), salt and pepper, crushed red pepper

In a medium skillet over medium heat, saute the onion in about 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. After a few minutes, add the garlic and saute til fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the kale and stir around. Add a little lemon juice if pan looks dry.  Once kale begins to wilt, add the chickpeas and the rest of the lemon juice. Cook until kale is wilted and beans are heated through, adding a bit of water to pan if it looks dry. Season with more lemon juice, salt and pepper, if desired and serve.

I'll be sharing lots of recipes about my new "diet" but a really good place to get some information and helpful tips on healthy eating is from the current issue of  Real Simple magazine (it's the February issue). It has great information about staying on track, eating whole foods, and a list of super foods that everyone should be eating.

So tell me, what are your favorite vegetarian friendly meals?

3 comments:

  1. Annie, I know that I am one of those people who asked the questions you listed above, and I asked the same questions of my vegetarian friend at work yesterday. I am proud of you for doing this, and I only ask questions because I am curious about whether or not I can do it. I have strong feelings/ opinions about where some of our food comes from, so I am strongly considering giving vegetarianism a shot- at least for a short while to see if it is something I could sustain. So, I will probably be asking you many more questions the next time I see you!

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  2. You can do it! And it will help you learn more about cooking (since I know your semi-new to it =) and I think you'd like it! I never used to be weird about where food came from, meat, dairy or otherwise, but I've quickly become more aware and have started to care. Ask me anything you want! But know that I am no authority on the subject, but have been doing lots of research on it!

    So, what will Josh think of the new diet? =)

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  3. Here's a yummy frozen banana bite recipe you might wanna try. I have the worst sweet tooth ever so I tend to fall of the healthy mountain unless I make "healthy" desserts. :)

    http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/06/frozen-banana-bites.html

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