January 11, 2024

Three Things Thursday: Veggies

I feel like the past couple of weeks I've been pretty zealous about getting vegetables into my diet. Remember when I first became vegan and *everything* seemed foreign to me? I had no clue what I was doing, but I had to learn fast. And once I started cooking with new ingredients, my eyes were opened to an enormous world of food prepared in ways I'd never tried.

Cooking became FUN again!

Eventually, I fell into a pretty good routine, although I still liked to cook new recipes. And now that my main goal is getting in more vegetables, I've gotten to that "Ohmygosh, I want to try *everything*!" phase. I bought the "How Not To Die" cookbook (as well as the "How Not To Diet" cookbook) and I've loved all of the recipes I've made so far. Soon, I'll do a whole post on what I've cooked.

I'm just so excited to have that fun attitude back. I actually really enjoy cooking; a couple of years ago, I never would have said that.

My focus now is making recipes with lots of veggies. So, I thought I'd write three things that have happened or habits I've made in respect to vegetables...

1. I eat a salad before every dinner.

This was taken from Dr. Gregor's list of 21 tweaks for weight loss (proven tidbits that have been show to elevate weight loss). One of them is to start each meal with a "negative calorie" food--he suggests a small salad or an apple--that is less than 100 calories. So, even though I'm not a huge salad person, I know I can handle two cups of greens. I just add some spring mix to a bowl and top with a little of a dressing that I made (again from his recipe).

The reason for this isn't just "to fill you up" so you eat less dinner. There are studies that show there are several benefits to doing this (it would take a lot to explain here, so I suggest reading the book How Not To Diet. There is even a difference in eating before the meal versus during the meal.

This has actually been really great! I enjoy the salad, which I never though I would--maybe because of its simplicity--and I feel like it completes the meal. This is a habit I think I'll continue beyond the two week challenge between Jerry and me.

2. I sit down at the table for my dinner meals.

This has always been SO hard for me, especially when I'm home alone. I want to sit in front of the tv. However, I realized that I was spending too much time trying to figure out what to watch rather than just eating. Also, having the salad *and* my meal seemed like too many dishes to eat at the coffee table. Instead, I sit down and eat my salad and then my meal. And most of the time, I'm too full to even finish the meal. (All the fiber and veggies are so filling!)

3. I have never found it so easy to NOT snack at night!

This is something I never expected to happen. I eat dinner pretty early--5:00 or so--and I always worry that I'm going to be ravenous by 7:00 or 8:00 and then I'll go digging for more food. However, because of the filling foods I've been preparing, snacks don't even really cross my mind. If I'm very hungry, I might have a single date or a couple of prunes.

Overall, I'm so glad that we're doing this experiment! It's MUCH cheaper than I thought it would be, even when I count the new spices that I got. A whole week's worth of produce was only $50.

My very favorite meal so far was a sweet potato shawarma bowl--sweet potatoes, cauliflower, shawarma seasonings, on top of quinoa, with toppings of onions, cucumber, and lettuce. Drizzled with an amazing tahini dressing. This BLEW MY MIND.

Not all mine! Just the bowl on the left. I then topped it with the good stuff :)

And last but not least, I have to mention the taste of all these recipes I've been cooking. Because what good is all that without it tasting good? I will say that probably 7 out of 9 or so recipes have been very good! There were only a couple that I didn't like (and one of them was very overcooked).

This has been such a refreshing experience. I feel happy and excited to be cooking again!

1 comment:

  1. Can you share the shawarma recipe? Meal planning and that sounds good!


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