Saturday, March 7, 2015

Dreaming of Eggs

I've been trying veganism for the last 11 days as part of my self-imposed 21-day vegan challenge and also familiarizing myself with different diets as I move through my IIN® course.

I have been enjoying being vegan and really haven't been struggling with it much. Eating tons of veggies, grains, nuts, seeds and some fruits, which are already regulars in my mostly vegetarian diet. I even turned some standby recipes into vegan forms and realized a lot of what I already eat is vegan.

So far I have really enjoyed the feeling that my body is not spending exorbitant amount of time and energy digesting, which has left me feeling very energized. I notice specifically when I eat meat everything slows down and digestion consumes a lot of energy. I'm also noticing flavors more. Unconsciously, I have also cut out any and all processed foods. Nothing I am eating right now comes pre-made or pre-packaged, which are rare in my regular diet anyway, but wow am I super sensitive to flavors now, especially salt. Another interesting perk, albeit TMI, my bowel are effortless. For lack of any better way to describe it, they just fall out. No effort, no pushing. It is really quite cool. As someone who's whole journey of food/body consciousness started because of my bowels, anything that makes them fall out, is really exciting (well aside from diarrhea kind of fall out, that's never fun).

As a whole veganism was working for me until 2 days ago. Maybe it is because I had a very stressful week at work or maybe I drank a few too many glasses of wine - to counter the stress, yes I know, not the best choice, but my TRX classes just didn't do enough. The last two days all I can think about is fat. I am craving fat. Specifically eggs, cheese and yogurt. They are all I think of. I bought some soy yogurt, to substitute my regular consumption of yogurt during this 21-day challenge, blah, so disgusting! Soy yogurt is nasty and I am dreaming of the day I can eat a large spoonful of tart, plain Greek yogurt again. Sigh.

Try as I might I am dying for that fatty mouth feel and taste. I even bought hummus and some salted cashews, thinking of getting my fat-fill from vegetable sources. I've even upped my EVOO use, which is already plentiful. Not helping. I wouldn't normally buy hummus, I would be more inclined to make it or just not eat it. Hummus normally gives me gas. And it didn't do much, except well give me gas. And the salted cashews sounded decadent and creamy, but even after eating the whole bag, completely put off by the amount of salt on them, I was parched and still craving fat. Humph :(

They say your body knows best and you should listen to it. So I am listening and today I caved. I made a gorgeous organic kale salad with caramelized onions, butter beans (creamy deliciousness), and a little bit of thinly sliced aged Parmesan with a balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below). And because I couldn't have another night dreaming of eggs, I pan fried an egg (in EVOO, still trying here) and put that on top. Oh. My. God. I think I just died. 

As you can tell I am trying still, my minimal egg and cheese was surrounded in veggies. And that's the thing. I am doing everything in my power to not eat animal protein. I am eating every few hours and eating all vegan foods, but still I am hungry and not satisfied, especially today. I think my body may be saying something.

We will see how my insane craving for eggs, cheese and yogurt goes for the next few days, if it doesn't let up even now that I have given in a bit today, I might be learning being vegan is not for me, and that is OK.

Kale, Butter Bean, Caramelized Onion & Parm Salad Recipe

Put EVOO in a pan and warm. Slice an onion thinly into half moons. Breaking apart the half moons as you put the onions in the warmed pan. Let caramelize, only tossing occasionally as you prep the kale.

Wash a whole bunch of kale. Hold the stem in one hand and the leafy part in the other and pull, destemming the kale. Chop the kale leaves small. Put in a bowl.

Go stir the onions. They should be starting to get color on them.

Massage kale with your hands. This will help break down the fibers and will make the kale less tough when eating it raw. The kale will decrease a bit in volume and become slightly darker green.

Open a can of butter beans (cannellini would work too), rinse. Add to your massaged kale.

The onions should be about done. Caramelize to desired brownness. So long as you started the onions first, they should be ready now.

Pour onions and oil from pan on top of kale and butter beans. Toss gently until well incorporated. Add thinly sliced pieces of Parmesan. Dress with EVOO, balsamic vinegar, a little bit of apple cider vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss and eat.

To make this vegan, remove the cheese. 

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