April 11, 2011

My so called vegan life.

Oh, Hippocrates, you were so on to something.  This past year I've been illin'.  Just an overall not feeling well.  Tired, achy, unable to concentrate, exhausted, you name it, I've felt it.  After several rounds of doctors' visits and lots of exciting tests later, I've been given the diagnoses of Fibromyalgia and Adrenal Fatigue.  Great. 

After a little research I read that a vegan diet can help improve, if not reverse, the symptoms of fibromyalgia.  I just want to feel well I again, so I've decided to give it a go.  I figured I'd test it out for a while and if I feel better, then I will try my hardest to stick with it.  So I gave up animal products for Lent.

Giving up meat is not a big deal for me. I often choose vegetarian options at restaurants or at home.  I've slowly been eliminating dairy too.  I've long ago switched to almond milk instead of cow's milk.  The eggs on the other hand...that's tough.  Especially in baking, which I love to do.

This experience reminds me of when I first started a gluten free diet.  I took baby steps into the world of gluten free foods.  I ate rice for every meal for months.  I still remember making it day after day, white rice (!!!  See how much I didn't know back then?) with lots of butter and salt.  Everyday, I feel a sense of worry, what am I going to eat?  Salads get boring, I don't have enough time to make a good vegan meal, what can I grab really quick?, where can I eat out?  Those are the struggles I am facing, but I'm slowly overcoming them.

Making choices is becoming a little bit easier and I've experimented with things like egg replacer, coconut oil, and dairy free cheese.  The results?  Pretty tasty.  Here are some of my favorite vegan products I've been using so far:
 One of the first vegan recipes I made was a chickpea salad.  Similar to tuna, chicken, or egg salad, it's a great stand in for sandwiches, wraps, or just plain.  It goes a little something like this...

Chickpea Salad à la Betsy

1 can of Chickpeas, rinsed
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 roasted red peppers
½ green pepper
1 finely chopped scallion (green onion)
a drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, grind up the carrots, green pepper and onion.  Once well combined add the chickpeas and roasted red pepper and continue to grind until you get a chunky, soft mixture.  Drizzle a little olive oil and mix with a spoon.  Add salt and pepper if needed and serve however you like. 

My favorite way to eat this is, as mentioned above, with a Food for Life brown rice tortilla.  Warmed up in a skillet with a little Daiya mozzarella cheese, like a quesadilla.  Fill the tortilla with chickpea salad, top with fresh spinach and enjoy!

Yummy Chickpea Salad and Spinach Wrap!

    1 comment:

    Deanna @ The Unnatural Mother said...

    Good luck with your venture! Gotta try them they look good!!