High in protein, fiber and iron, lentils are wonderful. The key to a great healthy whole food plant based sloppy joe is a combination of meat-free meaty textures and low sodium spicy tangy seasonings. 10 minutes is all it took and the leftovers tasted even better than it did first time around!
Use in sandwiches, on top of low glycemic index grains, whole grain organic pasta, in whole grain organic wraps, taco shells, or on top of salad!
It’s fine if you use only one type of lentil or bean, but for a meatier texture you want to use a combination of two different size cooked or prepared lentils/beans. Finely and coarsely chopped vegetables can also be great in the mix. Taste along the way to get it seasoned just how you like! (Something you can’t do that with meat!)
Easy and Delicious Healthy Whole Food Plant Based Sloppy Joes
-2 cups of black mini lentils I believe they’re called Beluga lentils. In this case they were already prepared with no added salt and so I just reheated them in the microwave I purchase them from Target.
-One can of red lentils already prepared no added salt I purchased them from Whole Foods.
-One small can of tomato paste
-A can of water using the can of tomato paste was in
-optional ingredients 1/2 cup of any chopped sautéed in water vegetables such as onion, celery, tomato, peppers, mushrooms and zucchini.
Here are the seasonings that you could possibly use any combination of
-Splash of apple cider vinegar
-Fennel to taste
-Garlic powder to taste
-Chili powder to taste
-Onion Powder to taste
-Garlic Powder to taste
-Oregano to taste
-Dried crushed red pepper to taste
-Turmeric to taste
Instructions: Combine all ingredients and simmer until heated. Do not overcook. Great as leftovers. Serves 4-6
The problem with having chronic illness and trying to eat healthy is that the chronic illness can keep you from being well enough to put together healthy food. I’m lucky I have a husband and some very helpful convenience appliances that make it more doable. Still there are times I need to do this on my own. Almost always I can barely make it across the room.
Best suggestions I can give is to always keep a covered container of greens and chopped veggies and fresh fruit in the fridge so all you have to do is dish up.
Busy day? Black beans on greens with melon
Cucumber Carrot Citrus Salad
Have canned beans that you can drain and use.
Whole grain bread (egg free is best) to make veggie open face sandwiches is good.
Batch cook on your good days. Even if you have one or two reasonable days a month, it can make a huge difference.
Here are other possibilities to have on hand with the right planning.
Frozen brown rice and a bag of frozen peas tossed together with light seasoning. Some raw carrots and a few grapes. No fuss meal
Homemade bean burgers made on a more doable day
old world pumpernickel bread is good to keep on hand. Topped with homemade bean burger from freezer
Here is a recipe that literally just happened today. I managed to toss together on a so-so day that is my norm. Couldn’t stand over a stove. Number of variations possible are limited only by your imagination. Took less than 5 minutes to toss together and then it got tossed in the oven where it baked while I sat on the sofa with my legs up and felt miserable (aka typical day).
Whole Food Plant Based Pointer: Using Parchment Paper means you can keep
Cindy’s Plant Based Mexican Bake Casserole
2 cups garbanzo bean flour ( Bobs Red Mill found with that line of products).
I tsp baking soda
2/3 cup salsa
2/3 cup water
1 cup of favorite Mexican friendly veggies (riced or finely chopped or chunked onions, peppers, tomato, cilantro, cauliflower, greens…corn and black beans)
Mexican seasoning of your choice…
Chili powder, cumin, turmeric, low sodium chili or taco seasoning. Curry seasoning is good too.
Possible toppings for after baked…
Shredded lettuce, Miyoko cheese, addition chopped veggies and or salsa….
Combine ingredients except toppings. Pour into lasagna pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 until cake like (approx. 20 minutes).
Serve in squares and top as desired.
Mine looks boring compared to how colorful you could make it look. It’s just what I had on hand.
Many people who have the physical diagnoses of fat disorders such as Lipedema, Dercum’s Disease are said to have trauma in their history. Many with eating disorders have a similar background.
I’ve come to know many, many people who are in this circle of physical health and emotional concerns with that history.
Trauma if left as it is, can make one’s life less than it could be. It can ruin a life. It can shorten a life. It can impact future generations.
Don’t throw away the power you have by allowing yourself to linger in a life that isn’t all that it could be.
I learned this mostly by taking myself by the hand and pulling and pushing myself forward. Sometimes through therapy sometimes in having my life move forward. all on my own.
Life has a way of taking that blank slate of a precious baby each of us once were and puts emotional dings, scrapes, dark marks and dents into our sense of self and world view.
Many of the world’s ills are passed down from one generation after the other. Humans are the most capable creatures we know of on the planet, yet we seldom seize our own power we have to heal ourselves. If we can’t heal up some of the junk we emotionally carry around, the world is having to live without all the positive we have to offer it.
If we aren’t careful, we can end up knowingly or unknowingly wallowing in the muck of other’s dysfunction and take on a confused toxic world view.
Is this really a social issue?
1 in 3 children are abused physically, sexually or emotionally by age 14. Then consider how many young adults are abused by significant others physically, sexually or emotionally in their 20’s 30’s and into the twilight years. It’s not uncommon for people to have layers of abusive experiences that puts them in a mental haze and inner physical turmoil that changes even their brain chemistry.
The important point I wish to make is don’t shy away from doing the work needed to rebuild yourself. Your value and my value is not based on the attitudes of those who in the past have harmed us.
I have had to rebuild myself and when I was up and running again, even though still in the process of repair, some people would say they didn’t know me anymore. I was nothing like the girl who would roll over and play dead on command.
Reality can be painful but it forces you to live where you have the most power in your life. Reality is where growth takes place. Where there is growth then life changing positive decisions can happen.
So if you haven’t done so already, find power and purpose in rebuilding in yourself what needs to be rebuilt.
There is no reason to apologize for believing every life has a place and deserves respect and dignity. You will be forced to include yourself in these ranks the more you understand.
Once you really learn and understand this and know that you are worthy,, you won’t settle for the dysfunction you’ve taken part in or subjected on yourself.
Be prepared because as an individual heals, those who are wallowing in the dysfunction will try to pull you back. Your health is too unsettling to their world and for them it’s uncomfortable. Pick and choose your battles. Sometimes you can maintain relationships and there are times when you have to walk away. Each situation is different. Forgiveness is fine, self preservation when based on what you know to be true, is a must.
If you have the feeling that in their eyes you are expendable, if they leave you feeling small and not worthy, and there is a long history of such behaviors and attitudes, it’s ok to walk away. They may raise a fuss through dysfunctional means, but that should only strengthen your resolve to not waste your time with them.
In our household. we take care of eachother. Doesn’t matter who the caregiver or the one needing taken care of is. We look out for eachother. Hey we are a family of adults making it work!
Anyone with a severe chronic illness or the caregiver of someone who is chronically ill, knows that self care is both a must and many times the hardest to provide oneself.
There isn’t anything more basic in self-care than good solid nutrition. The less hassle the better too. The less hassle. the more likely it’s going to happen. The less hassle, the kinder you are being towards whoever is responsible for making it happen.
When dealing with chronic illness, it can be our biggest weapon to ease our suffering and even in some cases reverse the chronic Illness. Good nutrition can help slow down some chronic condition’s advancement and prevent new ones from taking hold. It can allow our medications a chance to work better, or if lucky, it can replace the need for prescription medications all together.
Living off store bought frozen entrees with less than healthy ingredients like high sodium, animal products and non whole foods, for me would never help. Fast food will make most people’s health more complicated. So the sooner any of us in these sorts of shoes can figure this out for ourselves, the better.
With Dercum’s Disease, Fibromyalgia,and Lymphedema, Lipedema and Diabetes and low grade start to coronary disease, it has come down to me to figure this out. How to eat to not make things worse. What can be healthy to eat, inexpensive, and easy enough to prepare that my husband can manage along with all his other responsibilities. If it can be easy enough for me on a good day to prepare and toss individual servings in the freezer, that’s great too.
This week I am recovering from the Plant-Based Nutrition Summit last Saturday, and one grocery run on Monday. (Dercum’s Disease is like that, overdo it and you are down for the count. It doesn’t take much). Even a motorized scooter couldn’t save me from being a pain filled zombie on Sunday, part of Monday, and bed bound on Sunday and part of Tuesday and all day Wednesday through Thursday morning.
Yet unlike the past when this would start to happen, I’m not eating greasy cheeseburgers my husband is bringing home, or processed foods on white bread, or even sodium filled frozen entrees. We aren’t going broke from food either.
Now that we are established in a plant-based diet as a household, we have kept it easy to manage and afford.
The easy sandwich/pesto recipe:
Aldi sells frozen peas 79 cents a bag. Trader Joe sells Miyoko Vegan Crème cheese $5.50 a container. Broccoli is cheap everywhere fresh or riced.
in a freezer bag, we combine frozen peas and riced broccoli (or riced cauliflower). Keep it in the freezer. Defrost half per batch you are making. Place in food processor or high power blender, can be somewhat lumpy. In a bowl, stir in garlic, onion chopped or onion powder, some crushed red pepper if desired, and 2 Tbl of either Miyoko Vegan Cream cheese or no-oil hummus.
It will keep for a few days in the fridge and makes a great sandwich spread, or on whole grain toast in the morning for breakfast. Very good as a type of stir in for whole grain pasta. You can add basil and oregano and lime juice to liven it up. Put cucumbers on top of it or tomato. Add some shredded carrot to it.
Or forget the grain pasta and use a peeler or veggie noodle maker and stir it into veggie noodles for a 100% vegetable dish.
You Can’t Go Wrong With A Great Salad
Never underestimate the power of a good salad. Never over estimate how much it cost to eat salad. These days even Aldi can keep you fresh organic greens and other produce for very little money.
I try to follow the daily dozen rules of Dr. Michael Greger to keep my nutrition well rounded. Gone are the days of ice berg lettuce being sufficient. Now it’s 2 servings of greens a day along with a serving of cruciferous vegetables and two serving of “other vegetables” that are low glycemic index. Also I need to get two servings of fruit and a serving of berries. In addition to all that, three servings of beans/peas and three whole grain servings. One serving of seeds and nuts and I’m also suppose to have flax seeds once a day.
If I know I’m going to be down for the count in bed for several days possibly, I direct my husband or try to plan myself to throw together salads that will incorporate a little of everything to make a salad. Dark greens, riced cruciferous veggies of some type, brown rice or barley, well rinsed and drained black beans, sliced cucumbers and shredded carrots. I’ll put fresh fruit around the sides such as something easy to rinse and use like fresh blueberries and easy to peel like orange sections. Then just some lemon or lime juice.
Black Bean Burgers Too
The sandwich spread mentioned above and one or two varieties of salads that are kept on hand and prepared, can keep well rounded nutrition within easy reach. I also keep black bean burgers in the freezer that we make. There are many recipes online and in plant-based cook books. Here is one of my favorites
Roast a head of cauliflower in the oven and slice it when it’s cooled. Very easy to keep for a few days and eat from as needed. It freezes well too.
No Cook Over Night Oats
Overnight Oats are wonderful too. I’m not talking about the Overnight Oats you see on the grocery shelves. This is like a breakfast oatmeal and fruit custard without eggs though. No cooking involved either. You can find the recipe online by looking it up, but basically, it’s one part old fashioned oats and two parts non dairy milk of your choice, and a tablespoon or two of chia seeds stirred in. Oh and also you can put in the fruit of your choice, any amount you want.
I like using a one cup storage container to make it in and eat it from to keep the portions reasonable. I use berries, but apple slices are good too with some cinnamon mixed in. I tend to use more fruit than oats. So the oats and non dairy milk are a sideline, but that is just my preference. The chia seeds make a gel that helps to solidify the entire dish into pudding sort of combo, if you will.
The gelling process happens as it sits airtight/covered in the fridge overnight. When you get up, it’s ready to eat.
You can make a few of these overnight oats up at one time and eat off of them for a few days for breakfast. Adding nuts or sliced banana is good too.
Nothing wrong with some herbal tea, but you will find that eating this way will replace your need for caffeinated coffee. Your mind may become better focused and you will know you are doing all you can for yourself and those you care about.
Well nourished people are healthier and more content in life. Take care of eachother and help it happen.
Update July 5, 2018: I have found that I recover faster from my flare ups since starting Whole Foods Plant-Based oil free eating. So now I have to be smarter about physical activity so I don’t end up in a lactic acid attack on my muscles.
Dercum’s Disease you are a heartless wretched disorder, but nothing Plant Power can’t help to manage!
In painful moments of defeat I still remind myself of how much more hope and joy I have in my life since going Whole Foods Plant-Based (WFPB).
I am in tremendous pain throughout all of my tissue on my body and it’s because of the laws of Dercum’s Disease. Lactic Acid builds up in our muscles when we do anything physicial. Normally wouldn’t hurt anyone, but for those of us with Dercum’s Disease, it is extremely painful, EXTREMELY. I use to walk 3 miles a day and not know why I was getting fatter and feeling so sick after a brisk walk. I didn’t know I had Dercum’s Disease.
So I brazenly walked from my car into the mall to a close to the entrance store and then back out. For the last few years I have used a mobility scooter so that I can get out of the house and not risk the waves of lactic acid in my tissue. I wanted to see if I could enjoy the simple pleasure of being on foot for a short distance walk amongst other people. I also had left the battery of my scooter at home. I had no choice if I wanted to pick up a pair of pants that fit instead of falling off my hips. I could handle the over sized pants and skirts no more.
I had difficulty getting back to the car, I had to sit down. The pain was so bad I dreamt last night that I was in pain. The pain if I had to describe it is the feeling of something eating through your muscles, joints and connective tissue.
My husband helped me hobble to bed last night. I’ve been in bed ever since except when my husband drove me to get some CBD oil and fresh greens from Fresh Thyme.( You bet I used the mobility scooter.)
I actually heard myself whimper under my breath as I opened my purse to get my debit card to pay for it all. Just moving my arms and hands for that task put horrific pain through me. It was literally torture to just pay for my greens and CBD oil capsules.
There is no known cure for Dercum’s Disease and it is horrifically disabling as it progresses. But I am only 3 months into Whole Food Plant Based Eating. Anything is possible from here on in. I am not discouraged nor am I disheartened because I was told that I would be in the 300 pound range the rest of my life. It was just what it was. I look better than I have in a very long time. My mind is sharper most of the time. I am enjoying life no matter the pain level, much more. I am showing signs of everything being healthier in my blood work.
This is really 5 steps forward one big temporary step back. I’m still better off than before by eating a whole foods plant-based diet. Blood pressure normal, off blood pressure medication, blood sugars normalized, and against all odds lost 50 pounds. My LDL cholesterol is down 57% to a normal healthy level.
As much pain as I’m in, before taking the animal products out of my diet, it was much, much worse than this. I would crying on and off while sitting at home because I wouldn’t want anyone to see me like that.
So in closing, what I want people to know is,
1) Weight loss isn’t the only thing to worry about in one’s health that matters.
2) When you see someone using a mobility device in public, don’t judge. You have no idea what their health profile is.
3) If you have a chronic illness, embrace the improvements that are found, and just roll with what problems still remain. Rome wasn’t built in a day. In the mean time, the blessings are magnificent!
4) Stay the course. Self soothing with forbidden foods like chocolate has never worked. Stick with the foods you know you need to eat. It can shorten the duration of the severe pain and by reducing the inflammation it keeps the pain from being even worse. The wrong food can just add to your problems.
Thank you to Tim, my husband extraordinaire. He is the love of my life, a wonderful father, and he takes wonderful care of me when I am like this.
It is true that I have had some positive changes in my health since eating a plant-based diet over the last weeks. However I am still suffering from medically verified chronic illnesses. They range from the tragically common to the annoyingly rare.
I still get my butt kicked by them especially if I forget myself and become too active… Like having the audacity to go along for errands and using my scooter instead of walking, or walking across a small restaurant floor to sit at a table.
This is when, the busy world be damned, I double down in taking the best care of myself possible.
In bed I go. It can be days, weeks, months. Even in bed or wheelchair there’s no escaping the pain or the long list of other issues that come with it.. I’m rarely on my feat. It’s been years since I haven’t been in significant pain. Movement builds up lactic acid in my muscles which just makes it worse so bed rest is the best I can do.
There was a time that my poor husband would throw together something for me to eat or go through a drive-thru. The fat, sodium, and inflammatory qualities of red meat wood just make me sicker.
Over time I’ve gotten very good at predicting when I’m going to be bed bound. When I have one or few good days in a row I’m really bad about overdoing it because I want to make hay while the sun shines. It’s an easy trap to fall into.
If I focus on plant-based nutrition, I find I recover a little quicker and have more emotional energy to stay positive during these times.
We keep our weekly shopping list to what will be the highest nutrition and easiest to manage regardless of my being in bed or sofa bound.
We do buy a limited amount of processed plant-based foods like pre-made veggie burgers and crumbles, canned beans and frozen vegetables for cases of emergency.
It’s important to make and freeze some meals in advance. Tonight we made sure he put 18 homemade spicy black bean burgers in the fridge that in the morning my husband will grill up and toss in the freezer.
I give myself permission to heal any way needed. It’s ok to find joy as I do so. Joy is healing.
Because of the plant-based diet my frame of mind is more positive and my body is changing in positive ways. I know I’m also doing everything I can to have a quality life. Going to a plant-based diet has been the most positive medical experience I’ve ever had.
There is so much about having chronic illnesses that have no cure and few treatments that makes you feel out of control. Seeing positive results on blood sugars, hypertension,weight and swelling, from the foods you put in your mouth is empowering.