Tag Archives: vegetarian

Change is Good

It was one year ago that I decided to DRASTICALLY decrease my consumption of animals and animal by-products.  This opened my eyes to a way of eating that has changed me completely.  I have now settled into a “flexitarian” diet that includes real, whole foods in their natural state, and much less sugar and processed foods (and yes, sometimes meat). Through this journey I have come to see the Standard American Diet as revolting, lacking in nutrients, and in need of extreme overhaul.  Every day in my life, and in my job, I see adults and children who are grossly overweight and completely oblivious of that fact that the “food” they are eating is killing them.  “Mindless eating” needs to stop and “conscious eating” needs to begin.  My hope is that the movement AWAY from the Standard American Diet will gain more momentum in the new year!

I have been inspired by so many people, books and films over this last year.  I started by watching Forks Over Knives at the beginning of 2013.  Then I dared to watch Vegucated.  My husband and I started eating whole foods and cooking at home.  In the first month, I lost 10 pounds – I wasn’t trying to lose weight and was very surprised by this.  Then I recently discovered the brilliant book In Defense of Food and the incredible blog 100 Days of Real Food.  I have started reading labels (and have been truly shocked by what I’ve seen) and am now able to make better choices for us and our children.  I recently watched this passionate, fascinating TED talk by chef and activist Jamie Oliver and nodded my head furiously in agreement throughout it.

I am a healthier, and therefore happier, person today because of people who are on the forefront of this movement.  I welcome the new year and all the new discoveries it is sure to bring!

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Dream Weather

imageI had been waiting – no, desperate –  for the weather to change drastically.  Winter finally came to South Texas!  Yesterday the temps were in the low 40s and I was itching to run!  I hadn’t run since my trail race 2 weeks ago, so I was long overdue.  I layered up, poured hot water into my fuel belt bottles, and headed outdoors to the trails.

imageMy husband predicted I would see “five people.”  He was pretty much right on!  The trails were deserted.  I couldn’t believe more people weren’t taking advantage of this glorious weather!!  I finally saw another runner – a man – heading towards me.  He gave me a breathy “Way to go” as we passed each other.  I passed two bird-watchers.  Then a cyclist zoomed by.

imageI saw way more deer than people (Nature rocks!, I thought to myself).  I ran 4 miles and loved every minute of it.  I breathed more deeply than I have in two whole weeks.  I relished in the silent stillness.  My city never looked so beautiful to me.  I texted my husband, who was watching the kids at home, “You HAVE to get out here!”  So when I came home, we switched off, and he had the same glorious experience I did.

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“Cooking with wine” 😉

While he was gone, I made a pot of soup – a recipe my mom gave me.  It is so easy and it was perfect to end this day.  Enjoy!

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Black-eyed pea soup

Easy Black-Eyed Pea Soup (vegetarian):

Ingredients:

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 tsp minced garlic

1 bag matchstick carrots

2 stalks of celery, chopped

olive oil

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can Rotel tomatoes (spiciness to your liking)

2 cans black-eyed pea soup

2-4 cans vegetable broth (depending on how thick you like your soup)

2 cups of white rice

salt

pepper

dried basil

Directions:

Sautee onion, garlic, carrots, and celery in olive oil at the bottom of a large pot, until carrots are tender

Pour in tomatoes, beans, and broth and bring to a boil

Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions (or eyeball it if you’re experienced rice cookers like us!)

Once the soup is boiling, reduce to a simmer and sprinkle basil, salt and pepper to taste

Once rice is done, combine rice and soup in a bowl.

Close your eyes and savor!

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