Y’all know I’ve called myself a “lazy herbivore” for over a year now. I like to eat plant-based when I can but I also don’t memorize hidden animal products in weird ingredients and I like to enjoy the random office treat (because I work in a real estate office and THERE ARE ALWAYS TREATS) which is rarely vegan. I don’t like the word vegan because it garners a lot of anger and hatred. From MEAT EATERS and vegans alike, which is really weird. I also just recently bought a handmade leather item from a leather-crafting friend (a purchase I justified by looking at the global impact of buy that versus a synthetic/plastic item made in a factory in china) and things like that make me using the word “vegan” almost illegal.
ANYWAY! PLANT-BASED! LAZY HERBIVORE!
I wasn’t eating very well in the months since my weird bought of depression started after my 100K.
Wait. Speaking of that phase – I let me get back to that for one second.
The reason it took me awhile to get help was because I didn’t feel like I matched my friend’s experiences with depression at all. It was a weird sadness that I think I just described as “tainting everything” but that I was functioning fine (except for the over-eating) but I just felt BAD. In general. Well, Heather is going through the same thing and – of course – described it beautifully.
But a low buzz of sadness hangs onto every minute of my day like a soggy cotton sweater. I wake up almost every morning with tears in my eyes from having cried in my sleep. For no reason.
ANYWAY! I was eating terribly while I was wearing that soggy cotton sweater. And I cared a lot less about the whole “plant-based” thing because I was trying to make a shift in the negative energy I was feeling: Sadness, Anxiety, Overwhelming Dread etc. My Grief Recovery calls these things we fall back on: STERBs (Short Term Energy Relieving Behaviors). Food is my STERB. Basically, when I’m sad/stressed/whatever-bad-feeling – I know food will break that energy inside of me. It disrupts it for a moment, maybe not feeling “better” in a true sense but feeling “different” which my mind associates as “better” – so I go to the food. And from February until May I had kinda stopped caring even what food that was.
And holy SHIT I felt disgusting.
So, as part of all of the recovery I am trying to get back on track because I felt BETTER even on a BINGE day when I was eating plant-based. I bought the book I’ve heard so much about: How Not To Die and I’ve been trying to make note of the foods I’m eating throughout my day so I can just say, “Is this good for my mind, body, and soul?” for at least a moment as I write it down.
And – I’ve decided to try to eat salads.
See, I have this weird problem as an herbivore. My stomach is very sensitive to whatever it is on the outside of plants that sometimes makes you feel like you’re digesting rocks. I haven’t tested it thoroughly because the pain is debilitating, but basically things like raw broccoli, almonds (not almond milk, just almonds and almond butter), some greens, advocados…they cause me extreme pain and discomfort and so I cook the shit out of everything.
BUT! Fresh is so much better! Right?
SO. I’ve been playing around with salads for about a month now while I test out items and see if they don’t make me want to die. I started with spinach greens because they’ve never bothered me and then built/tested from there and NOW I HAVE THE RECIPE FOR KIM’S PERFECT SALAD.
Just to make sure you appreciate the effort that goes into this salad from someone who HATES ALL ACTIONS RELATED TO COOKING – I need you to know: Everything had to be cut by me. NOTHING WAS PRE-CUT. I mean, the Spinach was bagged but it was WHOLE. I even cut the tiny tomatoes! I CUT IT ALL.
- Carrots (peeled and cut fresh – no mini carrots for this girl)
- Baby tomatoes
- Kalamata Olives (I buy the whole pitted an then cut them b/c the pre-sliced ones seem slimier)
- 1/2 TBS of Chia Seeds (I’m scared about braving more due to my tummy issues, and that shit is EXPENSIVE)
- 1 microwaved and cut-up GARDEIN Chick’n Patty. I know a lot of people don’t like meat replacements but this one is just DELICIOUS and it adds a punch to my salad.
- About 1/2 cup of drained white beans from a can.
- Some italian dressing
Eventually I’d like to start cooking the white beans myself (Easy ideas?) and I’d like to make my own dressing (Easy recipes? I like Italian dressings with red pepper) to really seal the deal but otherwise? This salad is MY BOMB. I look forward to eating it every day. I don’t look forward to making it, it has stretched out my morning prep a lot…BUT! I think it’s worth it.
This week was kinda the first week I’ve gotten “on track” with my eating. I’m trying to not think about the 15-20lbs I’ve gained in the last few months. (Especially because I’m on steroids for a hideous bought of infected poison ivy and no one should sept on the scale when they’re on steroids.) I’m just focusing on tracking my health (water intake, food etc) and moods (I’ll talk about how I’m tracking my moods later) and just trying to really think about what I need when I am craving a STERB. Do I really need that bag of french fries? How will my body process that and how will it affect my mood? I have “alternatives” I’m trying to go to that will “disrupt the negative energy” like food does: Make an Eboost Water, Make a cup of coffee, walk around the building, stretch etc. Trying to disrupt that energy in a more HEALTHY way.
So far, so good. I mean, I have a kickass salad…what more do I need, right?
12 thoughts on “Plant-Based…Again.”
I finally caved and tried the over-hyped mason jar salad thing (google it if you haven’t seen it.) it takes me about and hour to prep 6-10 jars, and they will stay fresh and non slimy in my crappy fridge for up to 9 days. (Perhaps longer but that’s the oldest they’ve gotten.) I do t put the dressing in until I eat them, and I eat at home so I dump on a plate. It’s a life changer for us. It literally takes 30 seconds to make lunch.
I’d layer yours, top to bottom:
I think the key to freshness is the greens on top and as little added moisture in the jar as possible. (I.e., not wet greens.)
First, beans are super easy to cook in the slow cooker. I live in a high altitude and have to do mine a certain way or I would give you my recipe. Its just beans & water (and occasionally salt pork but you can leave that out).
Second, I’ve wondered since you got a steroid shot have your allergies been better? I get a steroid shot for my allergies every year and it helps me for about 6 weeks.
It sounds like you are getting back on track ((hugs))
Ooh! I have a question! I want to try more meat alternatives and I’ve heard you rave about the Gardein brand before, but my supermarket only carries the crispy Gardein sliders. (Something about calling them “chicken” with an apostrophe in it just … makes my eye twitch with rage, sorry.) Do the sliders taste the same as the crispy patties? I mean, they *should*, but I know sometimes things by the same company that *should* taste the same do not taste the same AT ALL, and I’m not trying to spend my money on something that tastes like spiced cardboard.
I’ll be honest: I have yet to meet a Gardein product I don’t like. So it would be worth a try but I’ve not tried those to tell you if they’re similar!
I agree that Gardein is awesome. We tend to refer to them as chicken-ish, beef-ish (because we have a vegan and a carnivore in my house).
The beef-ish tips are pretty awesome. I haven’t had the sliders yet.
I don’t know if your veggie digestion problem is the same as mine, but I figured out that if I take three Beano before eating the veggies that bother me most, I’m basically okay.
My two go to easy salad dressings that don’t contain any weird crap:
Lemon oregano dressing:
1-2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil (good olive oil makes a big taste difference but any will do)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Fresh and lemony and great on anything!
The Zoe’s inspired dressing:
1 tsp minced garlic (or garlic powder but Id lessen the amount)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 c canola oil
3/4 c olive oil
5 tbsp red wine vinegar
Life-changing bean cooking method:
My favourite salad is so fast and easy. One cucumber, chopped
One pint of grape tomatoes, halved
One can of chickpeas, rinsed
Mix in a big bowl with a big spoonful of Dijon, a generous drizzling of red wine vinegar and a bit of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. Yum.
Optional add ins to kick it up a notch: crumbled feta, avocado or even some cooked pasta to stretch it out for company lol.
I second the crock pot for beans. Chuck in there with some water or vegetable stock until everything is covered by a good inch, and a bit of onion or onion powder. Everything else is bonus: worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, oregano, bay leave, bell pepper, celery, garlic, etc.
I can’t tell you how much I love your “doesn’t contain any weird crap” caveat. I have seen so many recipes like “Eat Healthy! So Easy! Here is a list of crap you don’t have, can’t find, and have maybe never heard of!” I will probably try the second recipe you listed because I know what all that stuff is and — gasp! — I’m pretty sure I have all of it in my kitchen right now.
Yes, beans in the crockpot! Drain and freeze them ( 2 cups) in a zip-top bag. Navy beans, black beans, pintos, chickpeas, whatever.
Have you tried lentils in your salad? They take on any seasoning you like, last in the fridge, and taste good warm or cold.
A stick blender is my must-have tool for salad dressings. Smooth, creamy dressings in a minute. If you like creamy dressing (ranch, etc), add a blob of greek yogurt.