I guess you could say I am coming out of the nutritional closet with this post. Since being introduced to CrossFit roughly 4 years ago, I took on the Paleo way of eating and I took it seriously. I like to say I will give most anything a shot at least once, otherwise, how can you know for sure what does and doesn’t work for you. How can you speak to something you have never given intentional time and effort to. Opinions are one thing and they can certainly be of value, yet there is more depth to living the experience. From my experience, I do believe Paleo nutrition is great…and it did not prove to be the end all be all for me. We all know different approaches work for different people and this happens to be the case here.
Several months ago I chose to take on a little experiment by shifting my nutrition to vegan for 30 days. Now, before you roll your eyes or curse the grain, open your mind and simply be with the rest of the message. What happened was entirely unexpected. I did not miss the meat at every meal or leave my plate feeling unsatisfied. Alternatively, I felt more energy, less cravings and even began sleeping better. I ended up losing some weight…(not entirely sure how much as I make it a point to not weigh myself often and that concept could supply a whole other post)…all while feeling like I was “cheating” in a way. After all, I had refrained from all grains, dairy and the rest for quite some time. Devil foods they were.
During that vegan trial and to this day I have kept my focus on loads of veggies first and foremost. I regularly throw in some gluten-free grains, mainly in the form of quinoa, beans are present on occasion and fruit is certainly in the mix. Now, since the 30 day vegan trial, I have added eggs back into my routine and I am not scared to order fish, seafood or any other meat when I am out or simply when I feel my body is asking for it. I say I am not scared because I have chosen to free myself of labels whether they are ones who choose for ourselves or they are imposed on us by others (again…more on that in a future post). I choose to eat healthy for me and my body. I choose to be in tune and listen for the true nutritional needs my body is asking for. This is a persistent practice and I am game for it. Fueling myself in this way has become a lifestyle in which I feel satisfied. I have little to no “junk” cravings and while there are still tweaks to be made I understand that is a part of life. Every time we tweak something we are again at a ground zero point with an opportunity to improve ourselves another degree and/or learn from a mistake.
In closing, here is a recipe I have made a few times and really enjoy from The Living Lean Cookbook by Mike Dolce.
Cashew & Mint Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup cashews, crushed
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup black beans
- 1/2 cup chickpeas
- 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup mint, chopped
- 1 cup cauliflower, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
- Cook quinoa according to package directions and set aside.
- Saute carrots and cauliflower until tender.
- Combine all ingredients in large bowl and serve.