I guess I noticed it on our two mile walk. The one we did later that day, not the two mile hike up a steep incline we did that morning. My knee wasn’t bothering me in the least. Ok, first of all, no one can ever tell me again that one needs lots of protein from animal sources for energy and working out. Goodness, we have so much energy we are hiking all over the place! That has been one really great result of going vegan. The other, is my knee.
I hurt it when I was seventeen, so…a few years ago. I tend to it with herbal concoctions and intermittent yoga to keep it at bay. The third floor apartment though was really doing my knee in. You may have noticed that I have been hobbling around more. This makes my back hurt then and I am instantly aged and grumpy! Well, my knee hasn’t hurt. And I bet it’s been two weeks. So yes, we know that animal products create or worsen inflammatory issues like arthritis, gout, and other skeletal issues, but what I am eating now is really helping. Between the two to four cups of homemade kombucha (glucosamine and B12) we are enjoying plus the quart of green smoothie each morning with the heavy dollop of coconut oil put in it, plus the nuts and nut butters in the smoothie and on bread, and the increased antioxidant intake from all these plant foods, my skeletal system is healing itself. And that, my friends, is an amazing thing to report so early in this experiment!
Here are some tips for going and staying plant based:
#1 Start the day with a great smoothie. For two people, put in 4 cups of greens of your liking such as kale, spinach, chard, collards, romaine, dandelions or other wild greens. Add 4 cups of fruit, a combination of bananas, apples, kiwi, mango, peaches, plums, grapes, cherries, pears, and a good amount of frozen fruit to make it nice and cold. Add a fat to make it bioavailable. A dollop of sunflower or almond butter, peanut butter or coconut oil, or a handful of nuts. Add spices like cinnamon or cardamom Sweeten with maple syrup or honey. Make more filling with a handful of oats (a good nervine for pain) added in uncooked. A good chug of coffee if needed! Fill the container half way with water or cashew milk or juice and swirl away in a good blender. Imagine that kind of healing power in a breakfast!
#2 When going out be prepared. When Doug wanted to go to Panera and have coffee and bagels I put his creamer and cream cheese in my bag. It isn’t dairy so it keeps rather well and then we don’t feel deprived. Seem silly? It’s not. We get our time reading, writing, sitting outside enjoying coffee and bagels together, we just add the creamer and cream cheese that is healthier for us.
#3 Try new restaurants. Gnarly Root, City O City, Watercourse, Leaf, just to name a few, are offering up creative vegan dishes.
#4 Get creative in the kitchen! Doug and I have been having fun creating veggie meats out of the Vegan Bean Book. “Chicken” made with chickpeas, wheat gluten, spices, and dipped in panko are baked and go from lemon chicken with pasta and mushrooms to burritos with lots of lettuce, tomato, salsa, and vegan cheese. We also make “chorizo” using black beans, millet, quinoa, and New Mexican red chile (our staple around here!). That went into a roasted sweet and new potatoes, corn, and green chili casserole with my homemade taco sauce and vegan cheese mixed in. The fresh vegetables look so beautiful to me.
We are fluctuating between three pounds, down and up, because muscle is heavier than fat, and where a woman is in her cycle, and water and waste all plays into the weight scale. But, we are feeling great. All the beautiful fluids and fats and antioxidants are making us look a little younger even. You know, I don’t think we are ever going back.