Getting Started: Pantry and Fridge: Plant Based Diet

Omnivore’s Envy

rainbow salad (2)About the first thing that most omnivores, and carnivores say when you tell them you have just gone plant based, or vegan, is “I could never do that. Vegan food is so boring and limited.” Well, this salad is a salad that anyone would enjoy!

Seeing as we eat first with our eyes, this salad is very enjoyable. The combination of textures, with the cooked yams, rice, beans, celery, red onion, red, orange and yellow peppers makes it tasty and good.  Herbs and spices add zip to the flavor.

Since I have learned to make rice using the technique used in Persian cooking, my rice is never mushy. The Persian method leaves the rice al a dente and then continues to cook it dry. This makes the rice chewier and crisper. It has a much nicer bite in a salad.

salad with guacamole (2)Then I made half-as-fat guacamole. Two thirds of the volume of this guacamole is quickly cooked, and cooled frozen peas. It still had all the creaminess and just less fat. By adding lots of lemon juice the avocado will not go brown. I didn’t have any lemon juice or lemons in the house, but I had a bottle of powdered ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) which will do the same trick to keep the avocado from turning brown.

What is in my Cupboards and Fridge

Vegetables:
mushrooms
yellow pepper
red pepper
Yukon gold potatoes
yams
carrots
broccoli
asparagus
corn
peas
bok choy
cabbage
red onion
green onion
celery
leek
cauliflower
spinach
romaine lettuce
iceberg lettuce
green beans
zucchini
beets
tomatoes

Fresh Herbs
cilantro
parsley
mint
oregano

Grains Beans and Lentils
8 kinds of dried beans
3 kinds of lentils
quinoa
buckwheat
coconut flour
sorghum flour
tapioca starch
xanthum gum
sweet rice flower
white corn meal
sesame seeds
chia seeds
brown basmati rice
long grain brown rice
wild rice
aborio rice
flax seed
pumpkin seeds
slivered almonds
large flake rolled oats
brown rice pasta
barberries
and a plethora of other items.

Spice Drawer
My spice drawer has 35 spices (none of them are blends). No point of boring food. I love spice.

Living with Chronic Pain

The person who sold me on trying the vegan lifestyle believed it would get rid of inflammation and pain for me. It is not that easy. Diet may be a factor, but there are no panacea – one diet regime fits all solutions in life.

Some days my pain is fine as long as I am sitting. The second I stand I am in pain. But, sometimes my pain is worse at night – making me fatigued to boot. Last night it was about as bad as it gets. Doctors tell me that is a flair up of Fibromyalgia. But part of me wonders if it is food sensitivity.

Inflammatory ailments can be worsened by eating night shade plant products. These include potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and rhubarb. The higher the Scoville value of peppers, the more they cause inflammation. I did notice last week when I ate a lot of potatoes one day I had more pain. But yesterday I had Jamaican Roti. It was filled with potatoes and other veggies, but the heat of the sauce was over the top. I asked for medium ( I am a person who likes things hot) but it was away beyond hot. It was flaming. It seemed like a small bite was enough to make you throw flames like a dragon.

My body was racked with pain. Every muscle from head to toe felt like someone that wrung the muscle out like a wet dishcloth. It felt like I was run over by a truck…and my knees and back felt like I had been slashed with a jagged sword. The pain was so bad, you feel like you want to escape your body – and no pain killers bring relief. While anti inflammatory medications, such as Aleve and pain killers like Tylenol help a little, it is so little it is still unbearable. It is like taking Smarties and thinking it will relieve your pain.

I need to track my pain and pay attention to what I ate – to see if I can prevent nights like last night.