Thursday, October 16, 2014

Doing well, for a change...

The other day I noticed that I have been fully vegan for a while now. That insight came as a bit of a surprise because I hadn't really planned to do that - I was following Mark Bitman's *Vegan Before 6* and thought I would continue with that the rest of my life - or until a really good creamy or cheesey lunch desert came my way. However, I found some web sites that had vegan recipes that were really tasty and so I wasn't having any trouble making a nice dinner for myself (my teens have no interest in any form of healthy eating and certainly aren't going to do anything I do). I found great soups for lunch and I stick with my two pieces of toast for breakfast (Ezekial Bread). So, easy peasy. I don't feel like I'm dieting, but I sure have more energy. I've had no trouble finding really tasty vegan food in restaurants so I haven't had to give up my lovely Friday night dinners out. 

I think that besides finding great recipes, my last health tests were bad enough to scare the meat eating thoughts right out of my brain. Just dropping meat gets rid of a great deal of fat intake and I have to do that or I might as well start saving up for my funeral. 

I thought Thanksgiving might be a problem, but even though the turkey and all smelled great, I didn't feel the least bit tempted - I made some vegan side dishes that everyone ate along with the turkey and that I used as my meal. So, maybe this will last. 

Three people have commented that I look like I'm losing weight. I know most people would be weighing themselves, but as chronic failed dieter, I don't go that route. Maybe one day I will wake up and find that I need to buy new clothes, and when that happens I'll assume some pounds are gone. 

I find that dealing with my chronic conflict kids is also much easier as I feel so much better. I have the emotional strength to not engage in their conflicts with me, and instead I stay calm, empathetic to their feelings, and I am quiet. My breathing keeps me thinking and my decision to parent from my heart instead of my temper remains firm. Of course, I will blow it on occasion, but that is better than doing so every time. I've noticed that one of my ragers is raging less and overtly seeking cuddles from me daily, and that's a huge change. The other temper dysregulated teens are unchanged, but now that I only attempt to change me, it just isn't as big a problem. 

Okay my friend - you are entitled to a better day - so grab onto that with all of your heart. 

And, here's a really nice recipe from my favorite vegan food blogger - Susan Voisin at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.



Spanish Rice with Black Beans

This is a mildly seasoned dish. 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green or yellow pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and finely diced (add more or less to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (fresh or canned fire-roasted, liquid reserved)
  • 1 1/2 cup black beans (or 1 15-ounce can), rinsed well
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder (or other pure, mild chili powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a deep, non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown. Add the pepper, jalapeno, and garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes. If it becomes too dry, add a little vegetable broth or reserved tomato juice. Check the flavor, and add salt and additional seasonings to taste.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 25 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
Nutrition (per serving): 172 calories, 11 calories from fat, 1.3g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 89.9mg sodium, 324.8mg potassium, 34.7g carbohydrates, 5.9g fiber, 2.6g sugar, 6.2g protein, 4.9 points.