As I've mentioned, I'm going through a bit of withdrawal right now, of the restaurant variety. I haven't been out to eat in 11 days, and I'm jonesin' pretty bad. However, I've given up quite a few other thing in this time that, surprisingly, I don't miss nearly as much. Things like bread, oil, sugar, and salt, for example. You see, with the new school year starting (hello, Stress) and all the traveling I've been doing (which means eating out even more than normal), I've been feeling like I could use an extra boost of nutrition. Enter Dr. Fuhrman and his 'nutritarian' ways. I've been following the Eat for Health protocol and I must say I do feel better. As per the guidelines, I'm pretty much eating nothing but fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds. Whole grains are allowed in moderation and beans and greens are most welcome at any meal. This is basically how I eat at home normally, only you know those veggies? Well, I like mine with salt. That being said, I feel like my palate is more awake than ever and that I can continue a low sodium way of life at home for the foreseeable future. Hooray for that because, as I've found out (while trying to figure out excuses to eat salt), even vegan people like me with crazy low blood pressure are still at risk hemorrhagic stroke from high sodium diets. Doesn't sound like fun.
So, what have I been eating you ask? Well here's a pretty typical day in the life of this nutritarian:
Breakfast is most often sweet, and here we have a juicy ripe mango, fresh raspberries, and 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds all on top of a bed of spinach. I love hemp seeds with my fruit. So nutty and sweet and full of essential fatty acids. And the spinach? You don't even taste it with all the sweet fruit. Sneaky way to get those greens.
For lunch, I'm a fan of the big salad. Here we have a close-up on one of my faves. It's got the standard ingredients of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and sprouts, but then I add chickpeas (rinsed and drained from the can - 'no salt added' variety), fresh lemon juice and tons of spices. In this case, I used cumin, cayenne, sumac, and garlic powder. It was truly delicious and I didn't miss the salt at all.
I like a warm meal at the end of a long day, but I also like it to be super easy, and this is. It's simply butternut squash and rainbow chard. I baked the former and steamed the latter. Then I topped it with Dr. Fuhrman's "Caesar Salad Dressing." Made from raw cashew butter, roasted garlic*, a tiny bit of dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, and some unsweetened soy milk. It's divine. The nutritional yeast gives it a great salty cheesy nuttiness - just add a little pepper on top and you're good to go.
For dessert? What could be better than a big fat medjool date with the pit removed and raw cacao nibs shoved inside. Nature's perfect sweet ending.
So there you have it. This is definitely how I'll be eating at home from now on, but soon restaurants will be back in the picture. The hubby and I will be celebrating our 3 year wedding anniversary (and 10 years as a couple!) in NYC next week, followed in short order by my brother's wedding celebration. Much to look forward to, yummy vegan food included, so stay tuned.
*This is one of the best tips from the Fuhrman Getaway I went on this summer: Most people drizzle garlic with olive oil before roasting so it doesn't burn, but try it with a squeeze of fresh orange juice! You won't taste orange at all, only the sweetness it imparts as it caramelizes. You'll get perfectly roasted garlic if you take however many cloves you need, place them on a square of aluminum foil, squeeze some o.j. over the top, wrap up the foil, and throw it in a 350 oven for about 25-30 minutes. Yum.