Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Lenten Resolution

Winter is a time when I crave creamy, warm, thick and rich foods. As Spring approaches, I tend toward light, fresh, and healthy dishes. It’s the perfect time of year for Lent, six weeks of challenging myself to live my life just a little bit better. My Lenten goal this year is to tighten up my diet a bit. Veganism, while great for the planet and the animals, doesn’t necessarily translate to being good for your health. The more veganism gains attention and supporters, the more money organizations devote to vegan products. This means more vegan cookies, potato chips, and frozen meals; in other words, the processed foods that contribute to obesity regardless of whether they come from plants or animals.

To that end, I have committed the next six weeks to being the healthiest vegan I can. More practically, this means tons of fruits and vegetables, and whole grains rather than whole grain flours. I’m inclined toward this way of eating because I’ve had such positive results from it in the past. My weight loss, increased energy, perfect fingernails, improved sleeping and more can be attributed to eating this way. So what are we actually talking about?

For breakfast, I’m eating steel cut oats or thick cut oatmeal with vanilla almond milk, ground flax seed, walnuts and blueberries. Sometimes, I stir a spoonful of peanut or almond butter into the oatmeal and forego the blueberries. Other times, if I know I’m going to have plenty of whole grains with lunch and dinner, I might have a whole wheat english muffin spread with almond butter and sliced bananas. I’m also enjoying shredded wheat cereal with strawberries and almond milk.

Lunch time can be truly varied. If I’m working in the evening, I might prepare a dinner entrée for lunch instead. Lunch is also perfect for going out. Any kind of Asian restaurant where I can get tons of vegetables and brown rice is perfect. Eating at home typically means leftovers from the day before, or quick favorites like Channa Masala with whole wheat naan or pita bread.

Dinner is actually my most challenging meal because I eat late at night, and typically eat in my car. I’ve been relying on PB&Js, dressed up a bit with hearty whole grain bread, almond butter and cherry jam. But, for Lent, I know I need to up my vegetables with dinner. A bag of sugar snap peas, sliced cucumber, bell pepper, and carrot sticks goes a long way toward hitting that 5 servings a day. Making a big pile of sautéed spinach and arugula when I get home would also help. And if I am smart enough to plan ahead, I can make extra greens at lunch, and quickly reheat them to enjoy with dinner. Hummus and whole wheat pita sandwiches with veggies and arugula also offer an appealing alternative to my quotidian dinner. Six weeks is a long time, and things are sure to evolve, so stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Love hearing about your progress so far! Excited to hear more as you get through this 6 weeks.