Plant Based Eating

So I have been watching a lot of food documentaries as of late, and being generally interested in what the food I put in my body does to my body one documentary that seriously sparked my attention was Forks over Knives. All I am going to say about the film here is that it is about plant based nutrition, the food pyramid, and maintaining a healthy life style. So if you are interested in these topics I would recommend checking it out.

We all know fruits and veggies are good for you, and how important fiber and vitamins are to sustaining a happy body, and how important protein is for our muscles, but how do we go about getting them. There are so many lifestyle diets out there and it is hard to pick one or a couple of them that are going to work for your body type, because unfortunately there is no cookie cutter way to eat for everyone. Every person has a different body type, food sensitivities, allergies, and metabolisms and what may work for one person might be awful for another. That being said I would be hard pressed to find negatives about eating a balanced clean diet, but that is a discussion for another time perhaps.

For a while now I have been cutting back on meats. Trying to purchase them mostly direct from local farmers or even making my way down to the butcher shop. But I must admit I do still purchase chicken breast from Costco, it is just so cheap and in such large quantities it is hard to say no.

I wasn’t really raised on meat, so really my meat education as a child mostly consisted of chicken and perhaps pork from what I can remember. It really wasn’t until I moved in with my now husband that I started eating large quantities of red meat, and as delicious as it is I have to be honest my body isn’t always a huge fan of it. This introduction to veal, lamb, steaks and roasts was a tough one on my stomach but my mouth was enjoying it so much I ignored the digestive pains that occurred afterwards.

Now I am not saying I am going vegan or vegetarian for that matter, I do still really enjoy fish and I sometimes just can’t say no to an old fashion burger, but I do think I will be more vigilant in cutting out animal and animal bi-products, and doing my best to replace them with delicious veggies and fruits.

So for the next three weeks I have a bit more reign over the kitchen, and I will be attempting to drastically increase my plant based nutrition. I probably love vegetables more than a regular person so I don’t see that part being difficult, although I know myself and sometimes when super rolls around it is easier to toss in a handful of shrimp or cook up a tilapia filet for some protein, so it will definitely be a challenge.

Now I am not going 100% vegan over the next three weeks, but I am hoping to strike up a bit of a balance between vegetarianism and veganism during on week days and I will be a bit more lax on the weekend. Seeing I am still a meat eater I will probably still have the occasional hamburger, or shrimp cocktail, but I want to see if moving to a more plant based life style is something for me, and kind of becoming a week day vegetarian. I am very interested in seeing what it does for my eczema and other aliments.

Luckily for me I had completely stocked up on veggies and fruits at the farmer’s market this past Sunday. So yesterday I began my experiment journey by cooking up one of my favourit things…squash! I started out making this dish thinking I was going to make a regular warm salad with roasted veggies and spaghetti squash, and then inspiration struck and something completely different came out.

Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Untitled 6 servings – approx. 70minutes to make

Ingredients:

1 medium sized spaghetti squash
2 tsp peanut oil
1 tsp
oregano
1/2 tsp garlic salt
Pepper to taste
1 medium tomato diced
1 medium red onion diced
1 small orange pepper diced
2 large handfuls of baby spinach chopped
4 large brown mushrooms
1 large zucchini
1 cup chopped green or yellow beans
1 cup Daiya cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place whole spaghetti squash in a baking dish and place in preheated oven for 40 to 50minutes.

To check if the squash if done poke the outter skin with a knife, if the tip pierces the skin with little effort it has finished cooking. Using oven mitts or a drying cloth hold the squash and cut it in half, set it aside and let it cool.

While squash is cooling in a large pan cook heat oil, and add in all other vegetables. Once the squash is cool enough to handle scoop out the seeds and shred out the squash “meat” into the pan with the other vegetables.

Take an 9×13 casserole dish and spray with oil or pam. Place squash mixture into the dish and top with Daiya cheese. Place in oven and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.
Untitled

 

For something made up on the fly it was definitely delicious. I have some left overs for lunch and I am definitely looking forward looking forward to filling my belly with it.

And just a little note to anyone in the Ottawa area tomorrow, Lululemon is putting on their “big one” event on parliament hill. I know I talk about PHY all the time but tomorrow they are hoping to get 5 thousand people out to fill up the entire lawn, if you are in a position to join you should treat yourself to a lunch time of free yoga!

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