Over a month ago, I switched my diet to an entirely whole-foods, plant-based diet. I was not strict, had dairy at times, and just yesterday I had a piece of sashimi, I have not yet started truly scrutinizing labels, but there it is.
And–dear G-d do I feel better. I’m not anti-meat. But, BUT, I know the way most Westernized societies consume animal products, and the quality of products they consume, is not sustainable. It’s also unkind. I don’t want to be unkind. Not to the animals, not to the planet.
I was a vegetarian for ten years, I did it all wrong. I ate a fast-food diet of fries and junk. I ate a fuckton of processed foods. Macaroni and Cheese, canned soups, bottled salad dressing. I gained weight, looked like crap, broke out all of the time. My hormones were INSANE. My PCOS went off the charts. My endometriosis was insanely painful. Again, hormones.
The last few months, I was eating a lot more meat. I was convincing myself that I needed more meat because I was preparing for the Boston Marathon, and damnit, I needed meat, right? Sure, I was feeling more sluggish, but HEY! Training for a marathon, here! Completely normal to feel tired! About three weeks before the marathon, ovary pain kept me up all night. It’s happened before, I know what’s going on when it does.
About a week before Boston, I had one of the worst lady months of my life. Severe pain, nausea, migraines, shaking instability, weakness. I started feeling really, really bad (passing-out, bad) about 3 days before Marathon Monday, so I went to get some blood work done. My hemoglobin was so low I needed to get a blood transfusion. My hematocrit was pathetic.
Or in my lady basket. Whatevs.
I couldn’t run. I was depressed. My PCOS had robbed me of the chance by deciding that April was cyst-rupture month.
Enter Rebekah Borucki and Danielle Diamond. *at once, a meditative three-way. 😉 They were starting a vegetarian challenge the very day I was supposed to run the Boston Marathon. It felt like as good a time as any. As good an idea as any. So I joined the #XenBliss challenge, and I am so glad I did.
In the group, there was a lot of talk about going completely vegan. While I’m about 90% vegan, I don’t foresee myself being 100% vegan. Occasional sustainable sushi, vegetarian-rennet based cheese, and humanely raised eggs/milk will probably remain in very small ways in my diet. Mostly in baking, let’s be honest.
While I previously watched many documentaries and read a lot of literature on the benefits of a plant-based diet, I never took it seriously for me. I mean, I didn’t eat much meat to begin with. I wasn’t being so bad on the environment–on myself.
40 days meat-free has me re-thinking my thinking. And I’m back to Michael Pollan’s famous quote “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Also, plantain chips are from G-d, and serve as proof that he loves us.
How’s my health now?
I’m back at the gym. My doctor is superduper impressed, and I feel AMAZING.
So I re-watched some documentaries, watched some new ones, read some new literature, and I’m educating myself. I’m not a nutritionist, and this is entirely anecdotal, but the environmental impacts are real, and I really want my kids to have a great earth to grow up in.
Plus, my favorite vampire was a vegetarian.
Just to let you guys in on what I’ve been watching, I’ve compiled a list of my favorites that are available to stream on Netflix.
For the recipe to go with this overly-preachy post? A salad that you WGAF that it’s vegan, because it tastes like a miracle.
Tex-Mex Mango Bean Salad.
Tex-Mex Mango Bean Salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: marinate/chill/6 hours
Keywords: vegan vegetarian
Ingredients (serves 8-12)
- 1 can rinsed kidney beans
- 1 can rinsed chickpeas
- 1 cup frozen, thawed peas
- 2 avocados, cubed
- 2 mangos, cubed
- 5 scallions, chopped (the whole thing, save the root)
- 5 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 5 stalks celery, chopped
for the dressing
- juice of one lime
- 3 tbsp recaito
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp avocado oil (or more evoo)
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce of your choice
whisk together dressing ingredients in the bottom of a large bowl
add all remaining chopped veg and beans to the bowl
toss and marinate in the fridge for at least a few hours or overnight.