Well, we did it!!!
I am so thankful to have this week completed. For me, this 1st week wasn’t as bad as I have experienced in the past. But for my daughters, I didn’t know if they were going to make it. Thankfully, they did!!!
The hard moments came from not knowing what would taste good. Trying foods that haven’t been eaten as the source of a favorite food group, like gluten free bread or almond milk, can be difficult on an over-salted, over-sugared, over-indulged tongue.
I am tremendously grateful for the daily help I received through inspiration and revelation, not only searched for, but also prepare specific foods for me and my family to try and actually enjoyed this week. . .
- I needed homemade vegetable broth without salt, onion or garlic, so I had to make my own in an instant pot. I can’t find parsnips in Costa Rica, so I used what I had, potatoes, and my family liked the smell of the soup so much they ate it, before I blended it, as their lunch. After I blended it, it thankfully still tasted good (my first batch was awful!). I added water to it, to thin it down, and then also added cooked broccoli, green beans and quinoa. I couldn’t even finish the bowl, I felt so satisfied.
- Homemade dry roasted almonds are a DELICIOUS snack! They are also pretty yummy as almond butter. I’m waiting to use it in a smoothie one morning.
- Homemade Gluten-free waffles with a chia egg were actually quite yummy and satisfying. They were a bit “wet/doughy but totally edible and fully cooked. We served them alongside some roasted baby potatoes and cooked mustard greens.
- I created a fun spin on this recipe for Vegan Shepherds Pie by substituting the tomatoes for a can of mushrooms (we needed a break from tomatoes). I then tried to season it like I do Irish stew. It really made a difference. And, the walnuts weren’t even detectable, but my family DID think meat was in the dish!
- But the HIT of the week was this fun “breakfast” that I was truly inspired to create from a bottle of açaí juice I saw at our “Costco”. I froze the juice into cubes, as well as the almond milk, and created these açaí bowls. But for the topping I was again inspired to try this AMAZING homemade (very easy!) granola. It tastes so incredible, I don’t think we need to buy cereal for the rest of this year. It is yummy to eat plain, topped with almond milk, or on the açaí bowls. I also made a chocolate almond crunch, by accident, and then no bake cookies, again by accident, from the same recipe. They too are yummy to eat alone or on top of the açaí bowls. Just be sure to freeze your bowls the night before so your cold treat stays frozen longer.
- And then for me, I found this smoothie that is helping me with my IBS. I do add wheatgrass powder, chia seeds, and flax seeds, to give it more of the long lasting nutrients that I need. So it isn’t maybe as tasty as it would be without it, but I think of what it would taste like and that helps. 😉
We are still needing more ideas for our “meals”. You know, the typical fare, Italian food, Mexican food, pizza, traditional meals. But for now, I feel we are being led to eat more whole foods for our meals, like last night. Our family dinner meal was a strange mix of gluten free waffles with real maple syrup, sautéed mustard greens, and roasted potatoes with a small side of ketchup and vegan mayonnaise as a dip.
I think we are needing to learn to like foods individually again, much like a child does when they are learning to eat food for the first time. We do miss the sauces and mixing of flavors, but I feel that this process is an important step in learning to accept healthy eating as a regular part of our lives.
So, are there any Health Benefits?
I thought you might like to know the health benefits each of us are currently experiencing, in contrast to how we felt only a week ago.
- Wendi – I have dropped another 2 pounds (17 pounds since Jan. 12). My arms are much more firm, as well as my skin. I feel more trim and the waistline in my pants has more room. I don’t see my stomach sticking out as much. The skin around my ankles is much more tight, not much swelling, and my feet aren’t as swollen, so my shoes feel bigger.
- Paul – I have lost a pound or two, but I haven’t seen any improvements to my health yet.
- GingerSnap – I have a desire to actually get out of my bed in the morning and use my day, instead of wasting it by sleeping too much. I have more energy. I have a desire to eat food in the morning, something I rarely did before. I also realized I snack a lot! I’m a munch mouth! I have a HUMONGOUS sweet tooth and a salt craving. But I also think food tastes much better.
- Curly Cook – I am less irritable but I think I have more eczema rashes (toxins bring released before the bad bacteria dies). I am struggling to focus when I don’t eat enough food. I am struggling to try the new foods, but when I do, I am able to study better.
- Joy Boy (he isn’t participating, but he is eating our snacks, treats and family meals, so he can give his feedback honestly) – I am more aware of my “bathroom visits” and I realize that I am doing better with those. I’ve noticed my health is better. I have more energy, and I feel more motivated to do things I’ve put off. I like how I know the food is super nutritious, and plant based, but it tastes almost normal. It’s not terrible, not at all. (He just doesn’t want a green smoothie. 🤢)
I look forward to this new week because we get to add the following foods in greater portions, and more frequently so we can know if we are allergic to them or help our bodies to better accept them in the future. (The bolder foods are the foods we will focus on re-introducing this week because I know them and I know they are available where we live right now.)
Borlotti beans (canned)
Red kidney beans (boiled)
Navy beans (boiled)
Split peas (boiled)
Green peas (canned)
A single portion of this FODMAP can be made up with any of the following:
Black beans – 1⁄2 cup / 105g
Peas – 1⁄2 cup / 75g
Haricot beans – 1⁄2 cup 88g
Split peas (boiled) – 1⁄2 cup / 90g
Re-introductory hummus – 4tbsp / 80g
Choose whichever options you like for this FODMAP and reintroduce as follows:
Monday – 1 portion with lunch
Tuesday – 1 portion with lunch + 1 portion with dinner Wednesday – 2 portions with lunch + 1 portion with dinner Thursday – 2 portions with lunch + 2 portions with dinner
So, here’s to Week 2. I look forward to filling you in on this next week, as well as the health benefits we are now experiencing.