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Loving Plant-Based Nutrition

One thing we know here in Texas is beef. Smoked brisket, steaks, name it, we love it. Sometimes, though, we need a reboot on our diets to give our digestive system and wallet a break. The last few weeks I've been making plant-based meals for me and Mr. Man, taking a weekend break to enjoy a meaty meal or two, then resuming plant-based eating Monday-Friday.

Important side note: notice I didn't use the term "vegan" to describe our eating style. That word tends to incite negativity in a lot of people, as we immediately think of self-righteous individuals proclaiming how omnivores are destroying the planet and killing innocent animals. That ain't us! The term has recently become so provocative that Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram, Fully Raw Kristina to her followers, even posted a YouTube video this week about the Angry Vegan movement and why she refuses to partake. Not only is she a vegan herself, but she doesn't even cook her food, instead enjoying all meals in raw form in order to maintain their enzyme levels. Hardcore plant based living at its finest!

I thought y'all might enjoy a few ideas from a nutritional perspective of how we eat plant-based and feel satisfied. I'm not a salad lover at all, but after trying different cooking methods and learning about ways to consume complete proteins sans meat, I've been able to create hearty dishes that keep us feeling full.

Tuesday: I created an enchilada sauce and wrapped the goodness you see here into some whole grain tortillas, then topped them off with avocado/cilantro crema. The enchiladas were so filling that 1 serving was satisfying enough! The avocado provided healthy fat and Omega-3, the superfood kale gave us calcium, iron, vitamins A, C, and K, plus beta-carotene. The beans gave us soluble fiber, and the bell pepper provided phytochemicals and antioxidants. Sweet potatoes are loaded with cancer-fighting properties, antioxidants, and chlorogenic acid, a powerful anti-inflammatory. (Did I mention the deliciousness of it all?!)

Wednesday: I made vegetarian chili. Mr. Man was pretty unsure, but liked it enough to add Fritos and go to town! The beans added protein and fiber, bell peppers provided more antioxidants and phytochemicals, and tomatoes gave us lycopene, vitamins C, potassium, and phosphorus. Lentils which help treat high cholesterol and high blood sugar rounded the dish out, adding iron, manganese, and folate. (He even wants to put the leftovers on kosher hot dogs for chili dogs. Zero waste thinking!)

Thursday: I made a simple pasta with different colored cherry tomatoes, pecorino romano cheese, and parsley from our urban farm. While cheese isn't plant-based, I think the dish would've been remiss without the nice tang from it. In addition to what Wednesday night's tomatoes gave us, we also enjoyed their lutein-rich nutritional benefits, which helps prevent artery hardening. Olive oil gave us healthy fat and Omega-3 too.

Tonight I'm making a Mexican pot pie using the ingredients I have left over from this week: cilantro, bell pepper, onion, beans, and corn, plus plenty of spices. This weekend it's a free-for-all, meat-eating wise. Why? When you eat a strict diet, you remove the joy from cooking and your life. Why be held hostage to an idea of what you should eat, when you can simply enjoy what you want to eat? Listening to your body is key when it comes to holistic nutrition. Your cravings indicate the nutrients your body requires. This weekend I may or may not eat meat; either way, I'll be eating intuitively and allowing my body to tell me what I need to consume to honor it. As you can see, the plants you choose to consume are loaded with health benefits. Give veggies, grains, beans, and fruit a try for a few meals this'll be pleasantly surprised by how good you feel!

Till next time,

Dallas Farmer Gal

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