By Cat Wilson
Editor’s Note: Cat Wilson lives in South Bend and transitioned from a vegetarian diet to eating a plant-based diet over two years ago. She may be contacted at [email protected]
Keto says to count and restrict carbs, but eat meat and cheese. Sorry, there is a place for keto short term, or if you have epilepsy, which it was designed for, but the thought of consuming mostly meat and cheese as a mainstay is artery clogging and hard on the kidneys. Not to mention — where’s the fiber?
Plant-based says count plants. Variety is indeed the spice of life when eating plant-based, plant-forward, plant — whatever you want to call it, if it means your plan for each day is to consume fruits, veggies and whole grains in a variety of ways. Plant diversity keeps your good gut thriving and that is what we need to work toward a healthy life.
Dr. Michael Greger, M.D., has an app called “The Daily Dozen,” which is available to download on your phone. It is a fabulous reminder of what a healthy day of eating should contain. There are boxes to check off as you eat, such as beans x 3, berries x 1, other fruit x 3, cruciferous vegetables x 1, greens x 2, other vegetables x 2, flaxseed x 1, nuts and seeds x 1, herbs and spices x 1, whole grains x 3, beverages and exercise.
How could you possible fit all that in, you may ask — think about the basics of eating a pound of cooked vegetables and a pound of raw — bingo, combine them into a raw dish and cooked dish. A large salad could contain all the raw, plus flaxseed sprinkled on top, add some fruit and raw greens, stick a few celery sticks in there and beans on top if you choose — you just hit about half your daily dozen. Optionally, you could cut up raw veggies without having a salad and use a dipping sauce instead. Add some fruit and maybe a whole grain and, bam, you have lunch.
The pound of cooked is just never a problem for me. I combine about 10 different veggies and water sauté them, adding kale or any green at the end and make enough for several days at a time. It is my breakfast nearly every day. It’s a strange thing to look forward to, but I do.
Anything you do towards your health today is good — walk, drink water, go meatless today, have 10 different vegetables, eat three fruits – just do something healthy instead of damaging. Just a little can do so much.
I found this recipe at just the right time because my husband and I each bought a package of the large portobello mushrooms. I modified the recipe to this:
Mushroom Lovers’ Pie
1 pound portobello mushrooms chopped (or cremini)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
Cook down the mushrooms until tender and liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in soup, mustard and rosemary and season with salt and pepper.
Spread mixture into pie plate and cook at 350 degrees for about an hour.