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Monday, May 28, 2012

Food Journal

Some people think it is really hard to eat vegan, raw or both. Yes, it may be easier to mindlessly order the #1 off the Wendy's drive through menu, eat it on the way home from work, and call that dinner. But I think most people agree that is the least healthy approach to food. Most people put more thought into their meals, at least most of the time. Dinner might be white rice, cooked on the stove or in a rice cooker, steamed broccoli (steamed in the microwave), and roast something or other- chicken, beef, whatever. This seems easy enough and sounds to me like an average meal for a busy American family.

But I firmly believe it can be even easier, AND more nutritious. I am not fully vegan or fully raw, but I would say I come fairly close a lot of the time. I have two kids under 2, I am working hard to start a business, and I have a hard-working husband. So, suffice it to say, we need easy like everyone else.

Here is an ideal food journal for me- this is what I ate this past Saturday.
(Note: Time is blurry because trying to eat with an almost 2 year old climbing all over you stealing your food and smearing what she decides not to eat all over the kitchen table and bench is... challenging.)

Breakfast around 8 or 9
Smoothie: 1 banana, 3 handfuls baby spinach, 1 1/2 cups almond milk, 2 tablespoons hemp protein powder
6 strawberries
giant cup of green tea

Snack around 11
Persimmon- I LOVE these odd fruits.
1/2 watermelon- blended with water into a juice, yum!

Lunch around 1
Salad: 3 handfuls Asian greens mix, half cucumber, handful blueberries, 1 tomato, sauteed shitake mushrooms, sprinkle of sunflower seeds, drizzle of pistachio oil, drizzle of balsamic vinegar. (The pistachio oil is a new treat for us- I found it at the farmers' market.)

Snack around 4
apple, spoonful of peanut butter

6 spring veggie rolls- super easy to make at home. You can find rice papers in any Asian market. Just wet them, roll various vegetables up in them, and dip in a peanut sauce. Mmmm. Mine were filled with carrots, yellow summer squash, and mung bean sprouts.)
About 1 cup homemade sauerkraut (so easy and quick to make at home!)

Later on I wanted something sweet so I had a few squares of 72% dark chocolate.

Now I know not everyone wants to eat like this. People have different wants and needs, but this is what works for me a lot of the time. Especially lately with the warm weather- who wants to fire up the stove if you don't have to? But these foods are so easy to have on hand and can be quickly thrown together. I only had to use my stove top for the tea and sauteing the mushrooms. There were no big pans to scrub clean- most everything was dishwasher safe, even. The only work involved was washing and chopping produce, and then cleaning the cutting board and blender.

One might say that this food journal only works when the weather is warm. While it is true that in colder months it might include heavier, denser foods, and more of it would be cooked, I still think it can be quick and nutritious, and heavy on vegetables. If in the winter a salad does not feel like enough to sustain, you could add a cup of cooked quinoa and steamed veggies. Grains like quinoa can be cooked on the weekend and then eaten all week, for ease and speed. If fruit like persimmons, blueberries and strawberries are not in season or they are simply too expensive in the cold months, you could have apples, clementines, kiwi, etc. Seasonality only helps when it comes to eating a varied diet.

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