Two Weeks Vegan (cost, cookbooks, and the original nourishing diet)

 

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I was following what my friends were doing for awhile.  The Nourishing Diet, or way of eating (diet always seems to denote weight loss, but this was a lifestyle).  It fit our farm lives, fats, bone broth, nourishing whole foods.  I have never in my life felt more nourished than being vegan.  I am glad we went away from being vegan then came back so I could see the difference.  None of that after fat or grease or overeating ick feeling.  I feel like every cell in my body is being nourished as I consume a smoothie.  Kale, dandelions, or spinach, with apples, bananas, and/or nectarines, topped with frozen berries and a little maple syrup and coconut oil.  Oats (a delicious nervine) and cashews or almond butter or whatever speaks to us today.  The quart of nourishing juice revitalizes us and has to be more nutritious than any bone broth.

Doug has lost seven pounds.  All of our issues are less.  Not gone yet, but geez, it’s only been two weeks!  Less sinus issue for him, a lot less inflammation for me, minor detoxing (when we were vegan before we only needed a shower every five days, we never smelled), so a few extra showers and a few teen zits coming up here and there as we attempt to undue two and a half years of damage in two weeks.

I hear a lot that it costs more for healthy food.  I want to address this because a lot of people don’t do it because of this.  So, yes, an organic apple next to a conventional apple will typically be about ten to twenty cents more.  However, once I cut out all meat and dairy and most processed foods out of my grocery cart, you wouldn’t believe how much I saved!  I spent a lot on meat, especially grass fed, local meats.  Nuts are pricey, beans are not, organic orange juice is pricey, but we were buying that before.  We are consuming a lot of vegetables and fruits and whole grains.  And in the end, it’s cheaper.  We can’t just run willy nilly out to restaurants so we are eating at home a lot more.

I am inspired when I get into my kitchen.  I used to think I was in a rut before we fell off the bacon wagon but nothing says “rut” like “meatloaf or pork chops?”.  We are inspired to make vegan cheeses from creamy cashews and coconuts.  Veggie meats from organic wheat gluten (really, y’all, not all gluten is bad for you) and whole beans make a quick, delicious, protein and veggie filled replacement.  Dipped in panko and baked, covered in vegan gravy with mashed potatoes, you’d think you were back at the kitchen table on a farm.  And none of the icky, overate, too much comfort food feeling, just nourishment.  Salads, sandwiches, vegan pizza, or just fruit salad, anything we want.  We haven’t even missed meat.  If I do not have time to make something from scratch I can grab a vegan pizza from the frozen section at the health food store and embellish it.  Remember when the veggie stuff had so many ingredients and none of them were pronounceable?   Well, a lot of that has changed.  Stay away from Monsanto bought veggie products like Morning star, stick with Gardein, Tofurky, the smaller brands.  Just nourishment.

Here are a few cookbooks I am loving.  The Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester has great recipes like chorizo and veggie chicken plus a zillion more, and Thug Kitchen; Eat Like You Give a F*ck is the funniest cook book I have ever read.

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So keep up the good work, heal yourself and the world, kiss a cow, wave at a robin, and eat great this week.  Be nourished.

 

The Healing Power of Turmeric (and how to prepare it)

Turmeric has long been touted for its health benefits.  Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and circulatory herb.  It improves blood flow, helps with digestive issues, and pain.  It is what I call a supporting actor in many of my medicines.  It helps all the other herbs do their jobs better.

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I am not an advocate of pills.  Really, how many herbs can you stick in one little pill?  By the time you put in the other ingredients, and your stomach works its way through the pill you have practically zero plant medicine there.  Allow me to give you some ways to turn turmeric into amazing medicine that is accessible and bioavailable.

#1 Tea.  Oh, my favorite.  I usually just slice a bit from the end of a root and put it in my tea but while visiting my friend, Lisa, in California last week, she taught me a tremendous way to prepare turmeric.  Blend 2 Tablespoons of dried, powdered turmeric with 4 Tablespoons of water.  Add 1/8 teaspoon of ground pepper.  Pepper greatly enhances the bioavailability and effectiveness of turmeric.

Let’s face it, Folks, between pollution, pharmaceuticals, and our food system we all have some free radicals and inflammation to deal with.  So, every day I combine a scant teaspoon of this mixture with a Tablespoon of honey, a good squeeze of lemon, a basil or mint leaf, a chunk of ginger, and 12 ounces of boiling water to make it into tea.  Then I add a Tablespoon of coconut oil.  Wait, don’t let me lose you here!  It makes it taste ever more nurturing, the sweet creamy flavor with the spicy herbs, and the fat makes the antioxidants from the plants more bioavailable.  Delicious.

#2 Vinegar extract.  Place a 2 inch chunk of ginger root and a 2 inch chunk of turmeric root with a touch of pepper in a pint jar of organic apple cider vinegar.  Replace lid and put in window for two weeks.  Add maple syrup for taste and take a teaspoon a day or add to recipes or tea.

#3 Alcohol extract.  Do the very same thing but in a pint jar of vodka, rum, or brandy.  The alcohol is sharper but it sure pulls the medicine right out of the plants!  A teaspoon in a shot glass of orange juice is a scant amount of alcohol and a very effective way to transport the medicine.

No matter how you take it, turmeric is there to help you, as are all plants.