Getting back into the swing of things….plus a savory sprinkle to up your vegetable/pasta game!

I’ll admit it, I’m horrible at keeping up with a blog.  I have the best of intentions but the fact that it takes me forever to write a post coupled with fact that my intentions have not manifested themselves into fruition have made this an easy place to avoid.   I changed the direction of the blog a few months ago to try and create some accountability for myself in my fitness/weight-loss goals.   I’m a few pounds less than when I started but truth be told, it’s more from a recent stomach bug than any true loss.  I’m realizing that I need to figure out why, on some level, I don’t want to lose weight. Because if I really did, I’d do it.  I’d eschew the sugar, the snacking on high carb foods (I’m not carb hating, believe me.  I ADORE me some brown rice but when I snack on it to the tune of probably 400 extra calories, something needs to change),  and just get it done.  I have made some super positive changes; Starbucks is basically gone.  I had one a couple days ago and couldn’t finish it; it was too sweet.   I’ve increased my exercise.  But that’s about it.  I haven’t gotten into the mindset of someone with a goal who is focused on achieving it.  And I need to figure out why and I’m not sure I’m going to do it with a blog.  That doesn’t mean I’m not going to write about what’s going on, because I will.  I still think some introspection is necessary and writing it down sharpens the clutter in my brain.

 

However, while I’m figuring out my baggage, I do want to get back to being informative about nutrition and how to help people affect their health positively.  I’ll start off with just a little post about things I do to make my food taste delicious.  I used to love parmesan cheese.  I’d put it on rice, pasta, veggies…pretty much anything and when I went vegan I did miss it.  The thing I did learn however, is that cheese, all cheese is essentially concentrated salt and fat, neither of which is doing our bodies any good, so I tried to create some of those flavors in a whole food, plant based way and I came up with this yumminess.  IMG_5054

What we have here is about a cup of cashews (but any nut will work.  I’ve used almonds, walnuts, macadamias), about 3 heaping tablespoons of nutritional yeast, a shake of garlic powder and about 3/4 teaspoon of salt.  Whirl it up in a food processor (blender, nutribullet, what have you) until you have this:

IMG_5055

The chunks can be big or small, your choice, and then use with abandon on whatever your heart desires!  The nuts provide healthy fats, the salt is there but way less than you’d find in cheese, the nutritional yeast (nooch) gives a cheesy flavor and the garlic (or onion powder, I’ve done both) is for fun, you can definitely do without it.  I’ll put it on rice, pasta, sprinkle it over vegetables, there are so many options.

 

So, here I am, back again, planning on a more regular showing this time around.  Hope you’ll stay tuned!

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Jumping in!

I’ve been thinking about doing this blog thing for a long time now; I’m definitely late to the game.  For awhile I was content to read what others had to say, maybe comment (maybe not) but more and more I’ve been feeling like I have something to say, hence what you’re reading now!

My name is Elyse and I’ve been vegan for over 4 years.  Being vegan wasn’t something I thought I’d ever be, wasn’t on my radar at. ALL.  Soon, I’ll write about how I came to this way of eating and living but for now I’ll stick to why I started this blog.  When I started eating vegan I initially replaced all my favorite foods with vegan versions which, while delicious and lacking cholesterol and saturated fat, could hardly have been called healthy.  Over time, I started eating a less processed diet and moved to one very low in oil, sugar and salt.  I haven’t eschewed them completely but the use of them is few and far between.  Currently, I work in a busy emergency room and while I can’t quote exact statistics, I’d say a large majority of the patients I see have problems stemming from their consuming what is known as the standard American diet (SAD).   I’ve been trying, when the opportunity presented itself, to tell people about the benefits of eating plant based, of how to get their calcium, protein, etc. without meat, dairy or eggs but I’ve felt like I can only reach a few people that way, and I haven’t felt confident enough in my ability to express myself in a persuasive way.  To that end, I took T. Colin Campbell’s eCornell plant based nutrition course and I’ve just become a Food For Life instructor through the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (hereafter to be known as PCRM; I do not type fast and the less characters I have to go through, the better!).  I’m beyond excited to start teaching people through actual classes about how easy and delicious this way of eating is.  I’ll be back regularly with posts about various nutrition topics, about how I went vegan, and about classes I’m going to teach.  I look forward to “meeting” you!