Lunch today. It was a “make it work” moment. I had to use what I had for the non dairy cheese sauce. It turned out great.
Fresh spinach with 1/2 cup of whole grain pasta with a whole food plant based sauce, peas and tomato. Fresh veggies including chopped broccoli. Garnished with a a fresh mandarin orange.
A healthy dose of B12, ample protein, iron, calcium, vitamin k, vitamin C, protein, Folic Acid, vitamin A, potassium, lipocine, phytosterols which lower cholesterol, B complex, copper, zinc and manganese.
Also contains lutein, kaempferol which is linked to decreased risk of chronic disease and cancer.
And lots of nitrates which promote heart health. Also quercetin which fights inflammation and heart disease reducing pain, and fighting stress.
But isn’t what is shown in the photo above and at the end of the article considered to be high carb?
See the two side photos? Looks to some I bet like a giant pile of high carb. But in honesty, it is a half cup total of half whole grain pasta and half peas. Then that little half cup you see in the photo on the left is put on top of a cup of greens and a cup of riced vegetables. Ta-Da!
Any food less than 55 on the low glycemic scale is considered to be low glycemic index. It means that it will release the natural carbohydrates into your system slowly and evenly.
Some of us are diabetic and some of us are not. For the sake of our endothelial cells which we need to keep our cardiac and lymphatic blood vessel walls strong, having a lack of blood sugar spikes is important.
Our bodies also need the nutrition of foods including fruit, grains, vegetables, greens, legumes. So a careful balance throughout the day of these foods are mostly naturally low glycemic index,
I have never counted a carb or calories in what I eat on this way of eating, but I have to be focused in keeping in mind how many servings of what foods I have during the day as well as serving size of the foods that I know for me will spike blood sugars if I eat too much of them. (because of my diabetes, others who are diabetic don’t even have to measure it out, it doesn’t bother them).
So for instance, I measured out 1/2 cup of the 100% whole wheat organic pasta combined with peas. The Glycemic index is an 20 for a half cup. Combine that with a cup of raw greens and that (3 glycemic index) And a cup of chopped cauliflower with carrots ( 3 glycemic index) And a half of a tangerine (20)
That comes to a grand total of 46. Couldn’t find the Glycemic index of a small sprinkle of sundried tomatoes but there is room for them.
Nutritional Yeast has the glycemic index of 0
Calories on this plate 400
Makes 4-6 servings
For cheese sauce,
In high speed blender blend until smooth:
-1 cup unsweetened plant milk (I went for one that has calcium, B-12, 8 grams of protein).
-6Tbl B-12 fortified Nutritional Yeast
-1/2 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder
-Two shakes of dried red crushed red pepper
-1/4 cup cannellini beans (optional, it just added thickness)
-additional fortified Nutritional yeast and seasonings to taste.
– 1/2 tsp or to taste of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar
1 Tbl of oil free hummus such as Engine 2 brand (it’s fine without it too).
With drained organic whole wheat or lentil pasta, in a 2 quart pan and on low to medium heat, pour the sauce over the pasta and stir frequently as the sauce thickens and clings to the pasta. Sprinkle additional seasoning on it if desired and stir in peas and whatever else you like.
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.