Before I embarked on this 28 day plant-based diet I considered my diet to be pretty stellar. I had no problem with the amount of meat and dairy I ate and to be honest, I didn’t really notice it. I’ve experienced some odd things in days 1 &2 of my journey.
How I feel – I couldn’t sleep last night, I was tossing and turning, I was getting hot flashes then the chills, and I have had a headache for 2 days. At first I didn’t make the connection but after reading a few forums and asking around I think I am experiencing withdrawals from meat and dairy. My energy is low and I just don’t feel like myself. From what I have heard this will last a few days, then possibly some G.I issues then it gets much better. It amazes me that my body was in essence addicted to those foods and I’m wondering if that is necessarily a bad thing. Would this happen if I cut out all veggies and fruits? Is it what I cut out or is it that I cut it out cold turkey?
Dinner was a success – I was worried about preparing food but I actually whipped a little beans and rice bowl together and sauteed some veggies to throw on top. It was super easy and it tastes delicious. Of course, Corey ate it as a side to his HAMBURGER! He proceeded to sit there and tell me it was the BEST burger he’s made and that I would ABSOLUTELY love it! Really? Thanks honey!
Setting myself up for success – Despite feeling horrible I really want to complete this challenge and make it thorough the hard part to see if the grass is greener on the other side. I went to the store last night and LOVED what I saw in the cart. Everything was fresh produce and beans, nothing processed and nothing with a mother. I have found some vegan recipes that I am eager to try and I made a huge pot of quinoa for easy meals on the fly.
1 can of Eden Organic Cajun Rice & Beans
Handful of spinach; diced
2 whole carrots; peeled and chopped
1/2 yellow onion; chopped
Handful of mushrooms; chopped
Handful of cherry tomatoes; chopped
Optional – cayenne pepper, celery salt, garlic, coriander, etc.
1. Saute onions and carrots. (If you want to follow it Engine 2 Diet-style use veggie broth or cooking spray rather than oil to saute)
2. Start heating up your rice and beans in a separate bowl.
3. Once onion and carrots begin to soften, throw the rest of the ingredients (spinach, tomatoes, mushies) into the saute pan. (Add spices to your liking)
4. When everything is heated and cooked to your liking serve veggie dish on top of a scoop of the rice and beans.
Now honestly, I just threw this together with all the veggies I had available in my fridge. You can use whatever veggies or rice mixture you want. I was shocked at how good it was. It was so easy to do, I will make this either as a meal again or as a side dish whenever I’m in a pinch. By the way, I don’t even know if this would be considered ratatouille, I am just lacking in the creative department this morning.
I am not a huge fan of mushrooms in general but I love them when they are sautéed just right. I was looking for a recipe to use up the leftover polenta from my polenta lasagna and I came across this polenta with mushrooms recipe from Mario Batali. I adapted it a bit but I was pleasantly surprised and interested in experimenting more with mushrooms however the BF hates them with a passion I guess he can always fend for himself
Ingredients: (amount to your liking)
Pre-cooked polenta, sliced into rounds
1. Place sliced polenta rounds in a greased baking dish and place under the broiler for 5 minutes per side until crispy brown.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet and add mushrooms, onions, and balsamic vinegar, saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary, S&P and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
3. Place the polenta rounds on a plate and top with mushroom mixture. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan (and parsley if you have it/want it for presentation).
Lentils are a type of bean or legume that boast impressive health benefits. With only about 230 calories per cup you get a chalk full of protein, fiber, and other essential vitamins and minerals. I have been looking for a great recipe to try and I came across Chelsey’s post Old Lady Soup. Being that I have hardly left my apartment in a week and I am averaging a 7pm bedtime, I felt this recipe was had my name all over it!
(I added: thyme, turkey bacon, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and parsley to mine)
1. Begin by heating your olive oil in a large pot of Dutch oven. Add your onions and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Once your onions and garlic are tender, add your celery and carrots and heat for another 2-3 minutes.
2. Add your vegetable broth and lentils. Continue to heat on medium high heat for 15-20 minutes, then reduce to a simmer.
3. Meanwhile, heat your frozen peas in the microwave (or stovetop). Using a food processor or potato masher, puree your peas until smooth.
4. Add the pureed peas to your soup and stir until well incorporated into the soup. Add your spices to taste and continue to simmer on low heat.