Since we’ve switched to a whole foods, plant-based diet here at casa Forcie, I’ve noticed that other things about my life are slowly changing as well.
I think if I’d become vegan for ethical reasons, I wouldn’t have made it until now. I do have ethical concerns, but it turns out the real reason I’m sticking with it is pretty much my own survival. Specifically, I want to live to be old, and I want to be healthy enough to enjoy it. Hence: whole foods, plant based diet.
I’m not opposed to having animal products once in a while [as in, two or three times a year]. But I’m finding that every time we eat meat or cheese, we all get sick afterward. Our bodies don’t like it anymore.
That’s been surprising to me. Another surprise has been that no matter how badly you stuff yourself on healthy vegan foods, you’re only ‘overstuffed’ for about thirty minutes or so and then you’re back to your usual energetic self.
Another thing that the kids, Steve and I have all noticed is that we don’t get sluggish as much as we used to. Our minds are clearer.
The one downside is that whole foods means that the food you eat isn’t much different from it was when it came out of the ground, so you have to fix it. I’ve enjoyed figuring out how to make plant-based dishes that are full of savoriness [AKA Umami] because that is what keeps this enjoyable for me. It has to taste good or I’m not going to eat it.
Which is all fine and good except for two things: cooking everything from scratch, while better for my family and me, is also WAY more time-consuming than throwing a frozen pizza in the oven or slapping some ham between two pieces of bread.
I spent at least two hours preparing dinner every day, and since I’m also the messiest cook who ever lived, I spend one to two hours cleaning up as well [although cleanup is usually done the next day before I start cooking again…I usually have the kids ‘clean’ up after dinner, but they’re kids and they generally suck at it.
It’s one of those ‘choose your battles’ things, unfortunately. It ends up being less work to do it myself than to try to get them to do it. I end up choosing between having them clean up, after which there’s no time to fix dinner, or cleaning up by myself, fixing dinner, after which I end up spending four or five hours in the kitchen.
Depending on how I feel, I usually do one or the other.
Which is why I’m writing this now, because one of the changes I’m undergoing is that I’m learning to stop fighting the way things are and go with the flow.
The reality is, I will never spend five hours in the kitchen a day, every day, in order to make sure we all have healthy food. There will continue to be days when I fling my hands up and say, “Screw it. I’m NOT cooking a damn thing today.”
And I think maybe that’s okay. I think I might be able to plan a little and freeze leftovers that can be taken out and thawed and eaten once in a while. I also think we can have a baked potato night and the occasional ‘Dumpster Burrito’ night as well.
I tend to boycott fixing breakfast and lunch. I eat them both every day, but they usually consist of easy stuff like PB&J, apples and PB, oatmeal, or one of my homemade TV dinners [Green Giant steamer bag and a veggie burger or veggie chicken patty]. The TV dinners are fairly processed, but not as much as the ready-made ones.
OH! That’s another crazy thing. As my body adjusts to having healthy fuel, I seem to be drinking less coffee, tea, and soda. I still have all of those things, but I don’t crave them as much as I used to. It’s weird as hell to me that I really enjoy homemade lemon water these days. I even like it without ice. It’s basically the juice from half a lemon in a quart of water, sweetened to taste [right now, that means enough sweet-n-low to represent the sweetness of about 8 tsp of sugar or 2 2/3 tbsp. I may switch to honey or some other natural sweetener at a later date, but sweet-n-low has been around forever and it’s cheap when you buy it in bulk].
It’s late now, and I’m actually getting sleepy, so I guess I’ll continue this another time. I was actually going to talk about something else tonight but apparently I needed to talk about this right now.
This is me, going with the flow. 🙂