Happy Monday Shiny Happy People Holding Hands!
Yes, I’m an 90s chick & I used to kinda dig R.E.M.–don’t judge me! Anyhoo…Saturday was the last day of my 30-day whatever-you-wanna-call-it & I feel great folks! Honestly, this is not me trying to sell you ocean front property in Idaho. Real talk–I want to remember how my body feels right now the next time I drive past a Krispy Kreme and the light is on or it’s 11pm and I find myself in the kitchen thinking about chocolate. The major changes I made were: no processed food (something at this point I never eat), no refined sugars or starches, gluten-free, meat-free, dairy free, plant-based 75% of the time. Additionally, I limited my whole grains & drank around 32 oz. of green juice or smoothies and 75 oz of water every day & guess what happened…I lost 13.6 lbs and 10.5 inches!!! I am only 5 feet tall & I’ve never been larger than a size 6 so it’s hard to believe I could A) have this much weight to lose and B) lose so many pound & inches in a healthy way without feeling as though I deprived myself of one single thing. I had a few drinks, ate a little meat, even ate some…gasp…CARBS! Bananas right? But best of all, I feel awesome! My skin is probably the most noticeably improved area but my digestion is also better & I do not feel bloated or full all the time like I did before. I have way more energy & I’m generally a happier person overall. This just goes to show eating raw, plant-based, & vegan 75% of the time is totally doable. After the first couple days, not once did I crave or long for something I couldn’t have. And I still have 8 pounds to lose to get back to me but I’m not stressed about it because I’m eating right, I feel great & most importantly it’s becoming second nature. That is the BEST sort of lifestyle change–one that doesn’t feel much like a change at all. And we can all get there. Be patient with yourself & most importantly–set realistic goals. If what I just described to you–86ing refined sugars & processed foods, reducing your meat & dairy to 3-4 times per week, limiting grains to whole grains, eating meat only at dinner & incorporating green juices/smoothies–seems like way too much for you, start with nixing processed foods & add something else each week until you get to a place where your diet is 75/25. It may require discipline the first couple days of each new change but it should never feel impossible. If you are dreaming about cows & cupcakes, you may be transitioning too quickly. Remember, small steps will lead to lasting changes. It definitely helps if you embark on the journey with or have the support of a like-minded friend or loved one. I know this makes all the difference for me.
Speaking of like-minded friends…this week my good friend, who has recently taken her family vegan, and I decided we were going to try & start “co-operative” cooking together on Sundays. We would each pick a couple meals that could be made in advance, buy the ingredients for said meals & prepare them at one of our homes together. This way our kids could play & we could drink wine & talk smack, all while making some kick-ass food in great company. And the best part is, we each came with 2 meals & left with 4. Plus, it gives us the opportunities to try new things & spice up our rotation. She made an awesome red curry & a caponata (eggplant & other veggies in a sweet & sour sauce) & I made green curry, pesto gnocci w/heirloom tomatoes & asparagus, & a bulgar salad w/ figs, parsley & pistachios. (Ok, so that’s 5 and my math sucks). It’s so much easier to shop for just a couple of meals and start the week off knowing all you need to really focus on is your raw meals & green drinks. My life just got so much easier.
Now I’m going to give you the recipe for my rad Thai green curry for a lil’ inspiration. Loaded with fresh veggies, this coconut-based curry is mild in heat & sweetness. The sweet potatoes are high in B6, contributing to a strong heart, vitamin C & Vitamin D–plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and supports the thyroid gland. The eggplant makes a great addition to any dish because it takes on the flavor of whatever sauce in which it is used. More exciting, eggplant is also an important beauty food. It is found to be especially useful in fighting colon cancer & weight loss because of its high-fiber content. As an added bonus, it has a high water content, aiding in improved hair and skin. You won’t even miss the meat! So give it a go & I’ll be back soon with Juice Feasting 101-Part 3. Until then…
love & light,
THAI GREEN CURRY W/ SWEET POTATOES:
(serves 4-5 people)
One 13.5-ounce can coconut milk (do not shake can)
1/2 cup vegetable stock
4 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
4 teaspoons coconut sugar
6 tablespoons Thai green curry paste, like Thai Taste, Maesri, and Thai Kitchen, none of which have shrimp or fish paste
1 stalk lemongrass (optional)
1/2 cup diced (1/2 inch) onion
2/3 cup diced (1/2 inch) red bell pepper
2/3 cup diced (1/2 inch) peeled sweet potato
1 cup hericot vert (or regular green beans) trimmed & cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
2/3 cup diced (1/2 inch) Asian eggplant (regular works fine)
8 large basil leaves, cut into thin chiffonade (layer the leaves & roll, then slice thin)
Open the can of coconut milk without shaking it. Spoon 6 tablespoons of the coconut cream from the top of the can into a medium saucepan. Pour remaining contents of can into a medium bowl & combine with vegetable stock, soy sauce, and coconut sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Place saucepan of coconut cream over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble. Add curry paste & reduce heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until very fragrant, about 3 minutes; adjust heat as needed to prevent burning. Add onion, red bell pepper, sweet potato, green beans, & eggplant. Stir until vegetables are hot, 2-3 minutes. Stir in coconut milk mixture & lemongrass stalk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice to taste. Stir & mix well. Add up to 1/4 cup distilled water if the curry seems too thick.
To serve, place the curry in a warm serving bowl and garnish with the basil chiffonade. If desired, serve over brown jasmine rice or regular short grain brown rice. Enjoy!