We keep a large container of deep colored greens, cruciferous, root veggies plus other veggies and mushrooms in the fridge. I make a fresh salad to keep at my disposal every 2-3 days. It’s just so easy to dish it out and eat it when busy.
So the trend of Breakfast Salads is right up my ally. The concept is to take the nutrition of the fiber and all those fresh vitamins and minerals and breakfast-fy them. Here is a way to add in some protein that may make whole food plant based protein sources more palatable in the morning. As the saying goes, the secret is in the sauce.
The Amazing Garbanzo Bean-Fresh Orange Salad Dressing
1 average size fresh orange, peeled and sections pulled apart.
1 cup of garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)
1/4 cup plant based milk (unsweetened and minimal ingredients)
1 tsp of rice or apple cider vinegar
a dash or to taste of any of the following
dried crushed red pepper
Simply process in a high power blender until smooth. Store in airtight container. Can stay in fridge for a few days without issue. Shake before using.
For the dressing you can get creative and use other fruits as well or instead.
For the Breakfast Salad itself, for the cereal layer, I use the recommendations of Dr. Esselstyn and stick with Ezekiel or Grape Nuts. Whatever you use, read the package. Keep it minimally processed and as few ingredients as possible. No added sugar or oil.
For the salad shown, I used spinach, fresh cauliflower, snow peas, celery, carrots, mushrooms and fresh sliced strawberries. Blue berries or sliced apples are great too with it. If you use apple, consider adding some cinnamon to the top.
It’s amazing how it doesn’t weigh a person down, and that fiber keeps you full all morning and with nice steady energy that can help keep you focus.
Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) eating isn’t nearly as difficult as some fear it to be. It’s simple, you get plants and you eat them. You try not to process them more than you have to you eat as much of the whole plant as possible and no oil or sugar and keep it low glycemic index and low sodium. In other words, just eat plants or a combination there of.
It’s all mental. I now routinely pop into my mouth greens with nothing on them at all. A little lemon or lime or squeeze half of an orange onto greens, sure. That’s a far cry from my youth.
I’m part of the original Golden Arches generation back in the tiny town in Ohio where I grew up. We were the first batch of youth in that town to have a McDonalds at their disposal. Getting food from McDonalds was a treat in those days. It was reserved for an occasional Friday night or after church on Sunday, or to celebrate something special. I remember fantasizing before I discovered boys, about being living at the McDonalds and being allowed to eat all the cheeseburgers I wanted.
Even mentally back then, food was a reward and part of the celebration and all of it was about meat and dairy and eggs. (it’s so stupid, but I remember the first time I had an egg McMuffin).
So you mentally have to give up that notion of the very food that has made you sick being worth it to you to eat. It’s all an addiction and you need to get refocused on living instead of contributing to an early death. You are hearing it from the horses mouth here. LDL dropped 57% in the first month while cutting my blood sugars in half, and no more blood pressure issues. Boy oh boy did I lose weight! After a few weeks people thought I had weight reduction /bariatric surgery.
I did it cold turkey. Others have to ease into it in their own way. In the end you just have to say, screw it and know that the anxiety you feel about eating plants is based on bad information. Face your fears and stop putting the animal products for a week and give it a try. Just eat the plants!
You acquire the plants and you eat them. What can be easier?
Black beans and salsa, whole grain tortillas, sweet potatoes, peas, lentils, greens of all varieties, squash, and on and on and on. Fresh, frozen, even sometimes canned if low sodium, it’s fine. You can combine those things as you wish, but try to keep the whole edible plant in what you eat. Let your body digest the whole plant. It helps to stabilize the blood sugars which impacts the condition of our endothelium cells on the walls of our blood vessels throughout our body.
Avoid using oil, salt, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and overly processed foods like white rice and white flour. Keep it to actual plants and low sodium herbs and seasonings.
To this day, I stagnate in my progress if I give in on the oil and sugar or I eat processed foods including processed vegan foods. It’s just not worth undoing the good that I’ve done over the last nine months.
And to my friends with chronic health conditions and those who care about them:
Try to remember that this is a wonderful tool and it’s possible to see some reversal of symptoms but not a guarantee of a cure. Even if you lose weight, losing weight isn’t the end all with some chronic conditions. It looks more attractive and it feels good to look good. BUT that doesn’t mean that the person is magically cured of all chronic issues. But I know in my case it sure has likely helped to add to the length and quality of my life.
Work with your medical team, remember animal products is a head game and not really necessary to survive and oh yea one more thing…
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.
old world pumpernickel bread is good to keep on hand. Topped with homemade bean burger from freezer
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
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.
It’s really important that you know you are a worthy human being no matter your size, genetics, or how even family members might treat you. I have spent several years in the online company of many wonderful people who like myself have had lymphatic challenges and will likely never be the vision of thinness (and in our society thinness is associated with health). I see every day in the comments from these dear people what they put up with from strangers, family members and even doctors.
Make sure that you do it for you and do not expect untrained medical professions, family and friends to respond as you would like. People are odd even the ones people love.. Don’t do it for THEIR approval. Do it because you know you matter and are worth having around even if they don’t get it. I see it too many times where someone feels their value is based on their appearance. You can’t keep the rest of the world from being like that, but you can control YOU from thinking that way.
I have suffered from lipedema and lymphedema from the time of being a child. A doctor working with my mom at a hospital saw a photo of my twin sister and I and stated that given the fact that my sister and I were so different in size, we would have made a great study in metabolism.
Of course what the doctor didn’t understand was that in reality was that I had more issues with the veins in my body allowing lymphatic fluids to not evacuate my body properly and so parts of me were swelling up.
I always had one leg that was larger than the other, and I was from infancy larger than my sister.
Always known as the “fat one”, I just hated it. There is always a tendency to compare twins so that made the comments more frequent and with no regard that I was standing right there. It was one heck of a way to grow up. Back then no one knew anything about lipedema or lymphedema. I was accused of not trying to control my weight by multiple doctors over the year.
Whole Food Plant Based eating that is focused on low fat, low glycemic index foods with no added oils or sugar has benefited everything. I look better now than I did when I was 29!.
How many women can say that?
I Look Better Now Than I Did At Age 29
The photos in the center are from when I was 29. The larger photos on tbe two ends are from the past week. I am now 56.
I Improved My Health And Appearance.
Below the center photo is me almost a year ago. Outside photos from now.