Losing Weight on a Plant Based Diet – Enjoy your food!

I think this is key. Key to resisting cravings and not feeling deprived. When we eat things that feel like a luxury or an indulgence, but are also healthy, it’s possible to lose weight without a constant internal struggle with food.

Additionally, this strategy makes lifelong change much more attractive and do-able.

So, what types of food fall into the healthy indulgence category? I’m sure that depends on who you are, what your childhood foods were like, how you feel about spending money on food, etc.

Personally, Pomegranate seeds fall into the indulgence category for me. I don’t happen to live anywhere they grow (although I did at one time), and so they tend to be on the expensive side. So, buying and enjoying a few (or more 🙂 ) pomegranates in season definitely falls into the healthy indulgence category for me.

The same could be said for any fruit or vegetable that you enjoy, but for some reason tend to feel is too expensive, or whatever your personal road block is.

Kumquats are another fruit that I feel this same way about. I’d really like to grow some in a greenhouse or something because these are just plain hard to come by, but I love eating them!

Additional examples are: Artichokes, French sorrel, fresh off the vine tomatoes, and in general – picked at it’s prime produce.

Aside from eating our favorite fruits and veggies straight up, what else can make a healthy diet feel indulgent?

Main courses that we love! These of course will vary a bit depending on who you are. I love crunchy raw salads with great dressings. Like my favorite salad, and The Seasoned Chickpeas over Kale & Avocado Salad from the OhSheGlows blog (which, try as I might, I cannot find the link to).

And of course, fun desserts that are as healthy as can be. What works for you will depend on your particular dietary demons, but one recipe that I found enjoyable was Raw Chocolate-Swirl Cheesecake Bars. I used honey instead of agave in the filling, and found that blending really well was key, but these turned out to be delicious.

This is my new approach. In the past I’ve focused more on strict discipline, but at this time in my life I find the need for a better motivation to a healthy diet. I’ve realized that I, at least, need a positive approach that focuses on the good things still available rather than what I need to cut out.

Have you noticed this in your own life?

C

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Red Cabbage Salad

Last night we had a delicious salad made using many of the vegetables provided by our local CSA this week.

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It was so delicious that I ate all of the leftovers by myself for lunch.

The amounts are not too critical, just a close approximation will still be delicious.

1/4 to 1/2 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
2 three inch beets, peeled and grated
4 to 5 large carrots, or equivalent amount of smaller ones, peeled and grated
1/8th of a red onion thinly sliced
1/4 to 1/3 cup of black olives, sliced (I use Natural Values brand with no ferrous gluconate, so really they’re brown olives)
1 four inch pickle, finely diced (Bubbies)
2 french breakfast radishes, thinly sliced (three or four standard, or leave out)
1/3 cup un-hulled sesame seeds, toasted on the stove top
(I’m sure this would be delicious with chickpeas too. But, I was out, so that’s just a guess.)

Toss everything together except the beets, add those in last to prevent dying too much of the salad red.

Serve over quinoa, preferably cooked in vegetable broth, but would be fine plain too.

And drizzle with Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Garlic Dressing. Delicious!

C

31 Days of Menus: Snacks are important

When you plan for snacks during the week it helps prevent impulse purchases, gives you some energy to run on while you get dinner going, and keeps everyone from feeling deprived. You know the “there’s nothing to eat” mantra – translated as, “there’s nothing I can just pop in my mouth right this second with no prep.” . So, if you make sure there is always “something to eat” everyone is happy.
Some of my favorite snacks to have on hand right now come from the book Raw Energy.

I’ve mentioned in the past how fond we are of Kale Chips! That same link also lists more snack options, check it out.

Also, I’ve found that corn chips and salsa along with popcorn are good shelf stable items to keep around the house.

Currently we air pop our popcorn drizzle on some flax seed oil and then sprinkle it with sea salt and nutritional yeast.

What are your favorite healthy snacks?

C

How to Change Your Diet, Part 3 – Snacks

Just because people now days tend to snack a lot. And when you aren’t sure what to snack on it can be frustrating.

So, here are some ideas:

(You can check out Melissa’s post along these same lines by clicking here)

Popcorn – air popped with flax seed oil (Barlean’s is good), sea salt, and nutritional yeast
fresh fruit
fresh veggies
fruit juice/fruit smoothie popsicles – homemade without the additives and additional sweeteners
anything of the snack recipes from Raw Energy by Stephanie Tourles
dried fruit, unsulfered and unsweetened – a favorite here is papaya
nuts, preferably raw
leftover green smoothy 🙂
popsicles made from leftover green smoothie 🙂
quick peanut butter cups, or just peanut butter – unsweetened, just peanuts and salt.
kale chips – a current favorite at our house, recipe follows:

Wash and spin dry one large bunch of kale. (You’ll need a large cookie sheet/jelly roll pan) Tear the kale into appropriately sized pieces, 2 or 3 inches, and cover the surface of the pan. This takes an entire bunch of kale in the winter, but the kale I’ve gotten this summer has come in bunches large enough to double this recipe, so just use enough for a single layer that covers the entire pan – edges can overlap just a bit. Pour on about 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil and massage it onto the kale with your hands. (Or if you are a wimp about this sort of thing your could stick it all in a large baggie instead of actually getting the oil on your hands) Redistribute the kale on the cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt. If desired add some nutritional yeast, we do. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10-15 minutes, until desired crispiness is reached. You’ll want to monitor this closely after the 10 minute mark, because burnt kale is not a treat.
If you google kale chips, you’ll find a lot of variations on this theme, including raw (dehydrated) versions.

Now, I suspect that if you let these cool COMPLETELY, and store them in an airtight container they would keep quite well. But, I don’t know, because we have never even managed to let them cool completely, let alone try to store them.

Happy Snacking.

C

Ode to Blendtec

O.K. I’ve only had it for 1 day, not even a whole 24 hours. And I’ve only made a smoothy and soup, but I love it! Clean up is super easy, and if only my family was happy eating soup 24/7 we’d be set.
I just dumped in roughly chopped tomatoes, avocado, carrots, cucumber, some onion, vegetable broth powder, black pepper and 2 cups of hot water. And instantly, 4 cups of hot and tasty raw soup! My dh commented on how great he felt after eating it. And he’s not generally a soup fan. In fact, you’ll notice he commented on how he felt and not how the soup tasted, lol.
My favorite part is that it took me about 6 minutes total, start to finish including cleanup.

C