Bean soup

Kidney beans, tomatoes, chili paste, some leftover spagetti and spinach. – And some mixed vegetables I had handy in the fridge. AND ONE TOMATO FROM MY “GARDEN”!
Nice, hot and spicy! 😀

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Deliciousness

… for a short period only 😦


Sometime, someday!

Okaaaaay…


… so … you mean I am doing something right? … so … what is it exactly that I am doing right? Tell me, so I can continue doing that!

Actually! I failed the total-vegan try-out! Well, not failed perhaps, I got some AHAs and I realized several things during that week. Yeah! I gave up after one week… 😦

The “bad” things first!
I didn’t lose any weight at all. Everyone that starts going vegan, seems to lose weight already during the first week. At least a couple of pounds

Each day I got more and more frustrated. I got bored since I felt I ate the same thing all the time. No variations! No surprises!
At the same time as I stuffed myself with good carbs, since I was hungry way all the time, my stomach felt like I was at least 10 months pregnant. I also felt like I only ate beans. Beans, beans and beans! Cooking several times a day – and, beans…
So! Hungry all the time, ate and ate, felt totally stuffed! BEANS! Not fun at all. Boring

Well! Not quite true! I ate fruit and vegetables too. Salads and rice and lentil soups. But it was like I only ate beans and bread. And I normally like beans and eat lots of them! Almost everyday!

Everything was so dry! Nothing was creamy or soft. The food was tasteless, despite the fact I seasoned it quite well.

I missed the eggs, but most of all I missed the butter. Yeah! I admit! I missed the butter very much! And I missed the bean burgers I used to do. With an egg in the batter, fried in butter… they are sooooo delicious!

The positive about this week, was that I fully realized I already used to eat quite well! Maybe a little bit too much, but healthy food to at least 95%.  I never eat cheese at all, and haven’t done so for many years – nor any other dairy product. Exceptions from that latter are really rare and comes in very small doses. I only occasionally eat meat, poultry or fish, and then in not particularly large portions. I do eat a lot of fruit, veggies, tubors and such and also nuts and seeds. I avoid processed product, never white refined sugar. I sweeten my cakes and cookies with for example a banana, dates or other kind of fruits and berries.

So on the whole, I didn’t eat bad at all! I don’t! Except, I have eggs as staple food. And I use butter. And that was more or less the issue! Would be easy to let that go as well and learn a bit of new cooking I thought… wouldn’t it? HA! Little did I know!

White Bean Burgers

Forbidding versus allowing
The worst about this week was probably that I had forbidden myself to eat eggs and use butter. And the key word here is forbid! That made me keep on thinking about what I wasn’t allowed! Not to be able to fry food the way I was used to. I missed the taste of fried food, and it is NOT the same as when frying without fat! Neither in feeling nor in taste!

Of course there is food that doesn’t need any fat! I don’t need oil in my salads, nor when I bake bread just to mention a few examples. But on the whole, I realized I have to allow myself to eat what I want, and then choose not to! I can say to myself: “I can eat it whenever I want, but not now. I am the one who’s in charge here. No one else!”
I can allow myself to have a window open to eat whatever I want, even grilled sausages and pommes frites if I choose to! And then I don’t have to think about it!

But – at least for the time being, I’ll try to cut down on eggs and and use less butter. And learn more about how to cook vegan.

Food sensitivity
There are some issues though, that I can’t do anything about! Gluten, wheat, rye, barley! I can’t eat that. I become ill! And I am at present time testing if I can eat oats again, but sadly! It seems that I can’t! 😦
Therefore I’m also quite limited when it comes to vegan cooking. So many of you seems to lean on wheat! Bread, pizza, pasta, cakes…
Okay! There are alternatives! But they are so much much more expensive, and they don’t satisfy the hunger equally well. So! There it is!

When it comes to fruits and vegetables, there are some limitations. We can’t grow everything here, so things like avocados, peaches, nectarines, bananas, pineapples, et cetera, has to be imported. Many of these are also seasonal – and expensive. Bananas, oranges and apples are mostly okay. BUT! And the most awkward stupid thing – Swedish apples aren’t less expensive then imported ones! Sometimes they are, in the autumn! Yes! But that seems to be some kind of “drive”, to make people came and shop also other items. And let’s not talk about organic options. Bananas! YES! Even organic are “huge” here in Sweden, and affordable!

Avocados is not only expensive (mostly), the worst thing is they are also very unpredictable. Since they, as bananas, have to ripen on there way to us, they often comes here not thoroughly ripe. And even when bought ripe from the store, they may be too ripe, more or less black inside or with roots. Who wants to eat that?! And it doesn’t show on the outside! So I’ve stopped buying avocados though I really like perfectly ripen ones. But it’s too much of a chance. Why would I threw my money away on inedible food!
But I can find frozen, diced avocados … not unexpencive – but I don’t have to throw anything away.

So! To be honest! Money issues, and the fact that I can’t eat everything without being more or less ill, makes me have to choose my own way in this. Still let myself have the opportunity to sometimes eat meat, poultry or fish – in small amounts and rarely – cut down on eggs and butter as much as I can – and learn more about how to cook vegan so it will be easier for me to find alternatives to my diet.

Because I still think whole-grain vegan eating is the best thing to do. Both for the environment and for us people. Considering some personal differences in what we can and cannot eat, and what benefits us the most. We just have to find our own heathy way.


Bean-casserole

Simple enough – kidney- & brown beans with tomatoes, garlic, onion, sweet bell pepper, maize and Panang red curry paste, on a bed of mixed greens and basmati rice.


Cooking rice

Whatever the diet my body may benefit the most from, I’ll never stop loving rice.
I also have a small kitchen, which always seems to be messed up with … everything! Well! At least with anything that is connected with food. (And with my 27 inch iMac).

I hate to do the dishes when there are pots and pans, and I actually hate cook in a way that needs pots and pans. In plural.

In an effort to make things easier for me I bought a Rice-cooker, and yesterday I tested it for the first time!

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!

The rice tasted wonderful, and had perfect texture. I can also steam vegetables, AT THE SAME TIME,  and this first time I tried to steam some broccoli I had in the freezer. It was GOOD.

Apparently I can also use it to cook cereals, soups and steam vegetables only. I’ll certainly be using this cooker A LOT!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Satisfaction


Oven-roasted veggies with green pea and kale mash

Most veggies get delicious when roasted in the oven. No oil is needed, and you can spice whith whatever you like.

The green peas and the kale are mashed together in a mixer, and spiced to taste with grinded horseradish and seasalt. You might need a dash of water and oil to make it a bit smoother. 


Chickpea pancakes

Todays lunch… 


So! I’ve started to cook after a recipe! But I changed it a little bit, since I didn’t have all the ingredients. I don’t have garlic powder and onion powder. I have garlic and I have onions. So I chopped some of that and added to the batter together with mushrooms. Also chopped. Why do two things when you can do one only! 

The main ingredients here are chickpea flour and nutritional yeast. I wasn’t too keen on the taste at first, because of the yeast, but soon I got used to it. Maybe thanks to the mango lime chutney. 😉 But I’ll make these again. Absolutely! 👍

I ate two of them for lunch, the smaller ones, and got so full I was satisfied for several hours. I like that kind of food, that keeps me satisfied for a long time. Think I’ll have the left-over for breakfast tomorrow. With a banana.

The original recipe I found on Forks over Knives, the app. Or on: https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/chickpea-omelet/#gs.4NitHR0


Apropos recipes

Forks over Knives has a really good App with recipes. Search for it directly om App Store or via their homepage: http://www.forkesoverknives.com

Costs a bit to buy, but not much at all. And is well worth the money.


I won’t give up!

Nope! I won’t! I still aim towards at least 90% of total vegan.

I thought it would be easy, I only had to quit eggs, butter and oils, but it wasn’t. However, the first week was benefitting nevertheless. I learnt where the tricky parts are and what I need to do, to go further. First of all – learn more about vegan cooking. Get more recipes!

I can’t do much about the fact I can’t eat wheat, rye and barley. But hopefully – and probably – I can eat oats again when I’ve skipped at least the eggs for ever.

Why I say eggs here, and not fat, is because I think eggs with all that protein and other stuff that is provided for the growth of a chicken embryo, are worse for me health wise than butter. Okay! Butter is fat, but it’s only fat! Especially if I make ghee.

Before I go any further here, I must confess something. The day before yesterday, after I had given up, when shopping food I also bought a whole carton of eggs. 24 eggs! I also bought a small package of sliced salami, but I restrained my urge to buy anything else that comes from an animal. And yesterday, when I paid a hasty visit to Ikea, I bought two hot dogs (plain, no bread) and a cup of coffee on my way out. The cheapest “fika” we can get around here. Hehe… 😀 And no sugar whatsoever… HAHAHA!

Okay! I admit! I shouldn’t have done any of that, but I felt both relief and some kind of defiance inside me. Like: HA! You can’t forbid me anything! I can do whatever I want, including eating eggs, sausages and fat. HA!

Later yesterday, I checked my biking-log and got pepped.

I realized I had remembered wrongly the date of a specific event. Which in return had gotten me in the wrong direction.

In this log I enter how far I have biked, and some comment on where. I also, sometimes, make a brief comment on other things. Like, the weather, was it hard or easy to bike, did I meet someone, did I have a “bad day” or a good?

For Friday July 14th, I have written “ate the last two eggs”. I also remember the day I made this 2 hours long biking/walking tour along the seaside, through the forest/park. I felt so at ease that day! Like some burdon had left me. It was easy to walk along that 1,6km narrow path, and bike the rest of the way when the path was more suited for biking. In my memory I did this on the day after, on Saturday 15th, and therefore – I contemplated – the eggs per se had nothing to do with my muscle problems, stiffness, fatigue etc. I mean, at least no allergy or food sensitiveness. How could it, since I hadn’t experienced any positive enhancements during the period of two weeks when I finished the first 4 remaining eggs! (I had 6 eggs left when I made the decision to go totally vegan).

I had remembered wrongly! I had taken a bike-ride that Saturday, but only downtown for a while. This walk/bike trip was on Monday the 17th!!! So, first the period of fewer eggs, and then another 2 days without any at all! The newly energized I, could, after all, very well be due to the growing lack of egg residues in my body! After all, I used to consume 2 -4 eggs every day earlier!!!
(Can a lack of something grow? 😉 )

So! Yes! It was stupid of me to buy those eggs the other day, but understandable. I won’t be angry with myself. Just learn from it.

What I’ll do now?

Well! I’ll go a bit slower for the rest of these 21 days. I’ll keep the butter for the time being, only try to use less of it. And eggs I’ll avoid totally, but know I have the option to have some. Won’t forbid me! If something you’re used to is forbidden, it’s hard to think of something else. The eggs can be there as a Plan B if everything else seems hopeless! And meanwhile, I’ll work on gathering recipes with appealing vegan courses – that doesn’t involve wheat.

Actually! I feel really pepped to avoid eggs totally hereafter, so things that might appear harsh at the moment, might very well have been a blessing in disguise.


And the salami, did I eat it all?
No, I didn’t. It was a small package, 120 grams only, but I have eaten some of it, and put the rest of it in the freezer divided in servings of 3 slices. They can serve as a treat some times. 😀


I contemplate

For several days now, I have written this post – in my mind. AND as a couple of drafts. AND every time the post never stops! Words, words, words! Now I’ll try once more, let it be what it will be!!

Total vegan for one week now, well! – and a half… How has it been? How is it going?

The first days I felt energised. I walked and biked a bit more intense than usual for a couple of days, tried to weed between the stones on my patio – and then I crushed. I had overdone the exercising thing. But I think that weeding my tiny garden was the great fall. My back and around the hip got really, really stiff. Feels like big knots all over me. If a back can be uptight – then my back is!

However, that has nothing to do with eating vegan food, has it? And I couldn’t help but thinking – was that increased energy a mere coincidence? I have had bad days and good days before!

On the whole, I still consider eating vegan is a good thing to do, but there are some “buts” for me.

I have not lost any weight this week. Probably due to the fact I was almost-vegan from begin with. I can’t eat dairy-products without a protesting stomach so cheese and such, I haven’t had for years. I do get a lot of fruit and veggies, get the fibers I need, and when possible I choose organic. I’m used to, and love, to eat beans, lentils, green peas et cetera. Occasionally and rarely, I eat some meat or fish. I avoid eating processed food and never touch white refined sugar. Rarely, really rarely, I buy some cookie or have a piece of ordinary chocolate that is sugary, and I always think it’s way too sweet, but since I can’t eat wheat or anything at all with gluten, those occasions seldom occurs. I bake my own bread, cakes and cookies.

So what I had to do, was mainly to cut down on fat in general, skip butter and oils, and skip the eggs. I realized I eat too many eggs, and add too much fat in my cooking and baking. Also for the fat-reason I thought I had to cut down on nuts and seeds I also need to flearn mora how to cook the vegan way.

Total vegan is good, but here are some “buts” for me.

Since I can’t eat wheat or anything else with gluten, and vegans seem to eat quite a lot of wheat in different ways, I’m quite constrained by this. There are alternatives, but they don’t behave the same way as wheat when you cook and bake. And they are expensive!!! Many of the alternatives are really, really expensive compared to wheat!!! And Ibe a little limited economically as well. You see, if the alternative choices cost from twice to ten times more than the wheat (or even more sometimes), you just can’t stuff yourself with bread, pizza, pasta et cetera.

The cost of ordinary rice and maize/corn is reasonable, thank goodness. And now I won’t go into what kind of fruits and vegetables are available here, and what they cost. I’m tempted, but… Let’s just say, we can’t pick ripe avocados, pineapples, or mangos from the trees. Just to name a few.

So I ate as well as possible. Lots of veggies, tubers, rice and fruit. However, I soon got the feeling I stuffed myself with too much bread etc, though I actually didn’t. My stomach felt more than filled with that and not in a pleasant way. It was like a constant bread-taste in the mouth. After some time I was also bored to death with almost only eating beans for protein. Beans! Beans! Beans! I love beans, but not two-three times a day – every day!

I missed the eggs, but not even half as much as I missed being able to fry something in butter for dinner. One day I made bean-burgers in the oven. They were, honestly speaking, totally awful! I normally have one or two eggs in the batter, and then fry them in butter in an ordinary frying-pan. And they always taste really delicious!

I also got freaked out on having to cut down on the nuts and seeds. I got a bit… eh… paranoic (not the exact word I sought, but…), my mind twirled around with “did I add too many cashews in the salad now” and such… had difficulty to let that go.

Despite the fact I stuffed my stomach with volumes of valuable food – I got hungry quite soon after a meal. I kind of felt full and hungry at the same time! And it seemed like I cooked more! I didn’t want THAT to happen! I don’t like to spend that much time in front of the stove, and I hate the amount of dirty dishes it produces. Pots and pans, plates and spoons… ick! Icky-ick! (One reason why I like the idea of Raw Food. And I like salads)

The nice thing about this trial of mine, is that I realized (re-realized) that I actually eat healthy already. I admit I could reduce the amount of fat I use, and the number of eggs I eat, but I don’t have to leave them out of my diet totally! And I shouldn’t BOTHER about almonds and cashews and pumpkinseeds and sunflower seeds… Bothering and worrying about stuff is the worst thing one can do. That, can really hurt your health.

Yes! I’m going back to where I were. Almost vegan. After all, I have no diabetes, heart-issues or anything like that. I’m a little bit overweight – but not obese. On the whole, I’m healthy and don’t eat any medications. No drugs! (Did I mention I don’t smoke nor drink alcohol either?)

But if you are ill in someway, if you depend on daily doses of medicine to “stay on your own legs”, you really should consider going totally vegan. Maybe start with a juicing period? Or would it be easier to go slowly?

Check out the movie “Fat, sick and nearly dead” on Netflix. And there are others there on this topic. Really insightful ones!

The stiff muscles? I’m working on that issue.

 


What is Plant-Based Whole Food?

There are people out there, who can answer that question much better way than I can. Well, I could! But… 😀

Try this article for example!

https://eatplant-based.com/what-is-plant-based-whole-food/

This article gives you information on what to eat, links to other articles about health, videos and other suggestions where you can find more information.

The images below are not clickable. They are only screen-clips. You actually have to visit their site, EATPLANT-BASED, to get access to it all.

 

 

 


Already the sixth day

Before this decision, to take the last step to totally vegan – I was not some meat-eating, fast-food-eating slob that treated myself with candy, chips or McDonald-stuff. Yes! Earlier during my life, I have naturally had both sausages and hamburgers, french fries and sugary candy and cookies. But it has never been the main staple-food for me. It has been the “extra”, the scarcely eaten! And, I never ate such food as I grew up.

When I was little, we had only natural food at my home. We never used the word organic, everything was organic! Didn’t know of anything else! There were meat from the butcher’s, fish from the fish-store, eggs and milk from the farmers nearby, cheese, sausages and other stuff from the shop, and we had also veggies, berries and fruit.

We were living in a house outside the town which had a fairly big garden, and dad was – how shall I put it – a spare time-farmer. He came from a family of small farmers, and his parents – and their parents – and his siblings carried on with their own husbandry. A couple of cows, for the milk; a horse, for working in the fields; hens, for the eggs. The fields gave them potatoes… and I don’t know what more exactly, I was too little at that time to remember!

However, I think they must have had fields that gave them hay to the cattle, maybe wheat and/or rye. For the family they perhaps had – besides the potatoes – carrots, white cabbage, some apple trees for sure, and probably some kind of berries. I remember a huge cherry tree in one of my uncle’s garden. However, in this area where my dad’s family lived, life was mostly focused on producing milk, eggs and potatoes. Well, and meat. To simply – stay alive and go on with their duties!

My dad was born in 1910, so he grew up during two world wars, a fairly smooth post-war-fifties, and later the rise of industrialism. So there were huge changings in peoples lives during those decades. Not least here in Europe. A paradigm shift, I would say.

I knew nothing about fast-food in the fifties, we had none at home and I don’t think it even existed at that time. The “fastest” I remember, was when mum some time – not often – bought ready-cooked yellow pea-soup from the store, because that one tasted so good. Normally she cooked pea-soup herself.

Funny that pea-soup. When cooled it thickened and had been put in some bag (?), of waxed paper I think, so it was formed as a really thick sausage. When selling the soup it was cut in slices, and  the customer just had to point how big slice she wanted. Always a she. Never a he. hehe…

I think she also bought liver paté there, and sausages, and cheese. Yes cheese! And I remember once they had live crabs crawling around in a tank at the window. At least I think it was the same shop. Can´t be sure. I was so little she could well place me on the counter, and so little that I only have glimpses of memories from that time. The smell when you entered the shop. The pea-soup. The crabs. Sitting on the counter dangling my legs. All those things must have been extra ordinary. 😀

The time was, then, that house-wifes made all the things themselves. Mom cooked and baked. She preserved fruit, cooked jam and made syrup of the berries she picked in the garden or in the forest behind the house. In the forest she found mostly blueberries and lingonberries (cowberries, it seems that they actually and originally are called). Dad cropped mostly potatoes, but also sugar-peas, carrots, beetroots; strawberry, gooseberry, raspberry, black and red currant, green salad, parsley, dill… he cropped, and she cooked and in different ways preserved. And both had work to go to. Dad full-time daily, mom halftime. As I recall it, a couple of days a week. More as I grew older.

There was no internet way back then… no computers, hardly no television…
We had radio, and libraries – books!
And the nature, the forests, the fields, the lakes – all around

I don’t remember when, maybe already in the end of the fifties or maybe beginning of the sixties – she finally got a freezer. A big box that was installed in a room in the cellar. What a relief for her! No more need for the preservative-glasses and that huge special pot she used for this!

She baked a lot! All the bread we needed, and cakes and cookies. Way too much really, not healthy at all. Nevertheless, those were the times, and it’s understandable! World War two was ended, and with that the restrictions of butter and sugar. As time went by, especially sugar got more and more available, and also cheaper. Much cheaper!

In the south of Sweden sugar-beets took over more and more of the fields. Together with the industrializing and economic growth worldwide, corporations found new ways of earning money and I don’t think anyone at that time understood, what this would mean just a couple of decades later in meanings of health. And it wasn’t only the sugar-business that started to grow exponentially. Everything did!

Hence! Sugar drug addiction was on its rise.

My mom, as one of many, grew accustomed to have free access to cakes and cookies and ate it at least three times a day. 11AM-coffe! Afternoon-coffe! And a piece of sugary wheat-bread before bedtime. She really had a good time with that sugary wheat-bread.

Of course she eventually got diabetes type 2! And at a younger age than I am now. She then died at age 72 due to a stroke, quite obese, with diabetes, after a couple of minor heart-attacks and also at least one, possibly two minor strokes earlier.

Two years earlier my dad had died, also at age 72. He had gotten liver cancer. I was only 31 then. I wish I had had my parents around much longer.

I intend to live till at least 94, staying healthy all that time. And then, at the time of my death, I’ll just calmly fall asleep, smiling in the arms of, after making love to, the love of my life. Whoever that might be.

(Poor him. Hopes he dies to at the same time.)