Friday, October 18, 2013

What Plant Powered Means To Me (Right Now)

When I say plant powered, I mean a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle. I was hoping that changing my diet would help me feel better. I’m still not sure if it will help me, but I do really love eating this way. There's no harm in avoiding diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's. I don't know if you noticed, but it's the new craze. Everyone that saw Forks Over Knives (Watch it!) threw out their meat, dairy, and processed foods that very day. At least I assume they did. I didn't do that. I set a starting date for myself. The two weeks leading up to that date I gained about ten pounds eating everything I knew I would stop eating soon enough. I ate pizza, steak, blocks of cheese, and my favorite, hot wings. Not the smartest idea, considering our bodies become addicted to that junk. So my logic was, shoot as much heroin as possible before going to rehab. Genius. Oh, and by the way, that starting date was two years ago.

The title to this entry would imply that I'm keeping plant-powered on the hook: “I just can't be with you... right now”. Our relationship is very different from me hanging out with another lifestyle and keeping plant-based as my back-up. Our relationship is closer to an engagement. An engagement with huge psychological issues, because, here's the deal: I still like to sneak around with other foods. I don't have cold feet or anything. I'm hugely committed to this, but sometimes my body still wants what is bad for me. So after a long and stressful day at work, I don't want to snuggle with my dependable bowl of broccoli; I want something greasy and sugary to make me feel guilty and forget my day. Similarly, if I get tipsy, I may drunk dial an old booty call, throwing all control to the wind. Yeah, I'm looking at you Munchy'z.

The point is, I've had slip after slip. Strangely enough I still lost weight over the times I was at least mostly eating plant-based. I had a general splitting of ways once, when I started getting free food at a very physically demanding job. June 15th of this year I set out to start over, but with no splurges. I've done pretty well in four months. I had fish three times (my grandpa caught and cooked trout two times and I ate ceviche with my best friend on her birthday). I had some Bailey's one morning while watching the Seahawks. My intestines immediately regretted that since I'm quite lactose intolerant now. I also recently ate a snack brought back from China by a co-worker. I found out afterward that it had egg in it. 

My huge problem now is I still don't always eat healthy. Living in Spokane is almost worse because I have access to more vegan food now. Vegan restaurants still pile on the EVOO, which is refined fat in a bottle. I eat junk food, but it is vegan. I'd say my biggest issues are “healthy” chips and eating out. I try not to buy baked chips, but they sneak into my groceries sometimes, usually with the intention of sharing with others. I still am largely addicted to french fries. Overall, anything with fat and carbs in it are what I crave every day when I get home from work and every night when I get late night munchies. This all makes perfect sense:

1)                  My body is addicted to the fat.
2)                  My body craves the carbohydrates because my metabolism is out of whack.
3)                  Any time I'm low on energy or stressed out, I eat carbs possibly with added oil.

How I get out of this cycle, I haven't quite figured out yet. I’m fully aware of what I’m doing when I make that late night chocolate mug cake, but I'm taking one step at a time. It obviously took me awhile to get to this point (plant-based with some crap on the side). Don’t get me wrong, I eat healthier than most people, but I have to be even healthier than that to feel better. Every time I fall off the wagon, I get right back on. For example, I've never had a time where I ate a bunch of junk the previous night and woke up to continue my streak by just having doughnuts. I start all over again by eating oatmeal, making a green smoothie, and packing a salad for lunch. It's about progress and I think I will easily get to a point where I can get home from work and be happy with my sweet potato and tahini kale. Eventually, I will be fully married to a plant-based lifestyle and it won't have to worry about my wandering eyes.

Here’s the plant powered football snacks I made last weekend:
Deviled tomatoes Yum! 
Spicy hummus, healthy black bean dip, home baked chips and crackers
Nachos with normal greasy tortilla chips but with homemade cashew cheese
Pumpkin Pie Dip! Kid approved!

I’m not really a great photographer. Sorry for the iphone quality!

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