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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Plant-Based Eating: A Natural Progression

May 28, 2020 02:11PM ● By Shannon McKenzie

When it comes to food, I’ve always resisted diets, counting calories and monitoring nutrient content—which foods are high in fiber, vitamins, etc. This level of detail stresses me out, perhaps because in my mind it imposes rules, and when I set rules surrounding food, I’m more likely to break them. Or maybe it’s because I simply don’t want to give up some foods. I do have a sweet tooth, and I especially enjoy chocolate chip cookies as well as certain desserts and candy that contain dark chocolate. So I think it’s a little bit of both.

As an adult, though, one thing I have done is adopt a more plant-based diet. Fortunately, this progression has been stress-free and relatively easy, as I don’t feel like I’ve given anything up. My kids, and particularly my daughter, don’t mind either. I’m looking forward to making them the Vegan Popcorn ‘Chicken’ recipe, adapted from So Vegan in 5, by Roxy Pope and Ben Book, for this month’s Conscious Eating article, “Meatless Makeover.”

In fact our last several issues have included delicious plant-based recipes—including some with chocolate, like the vegan, gluten-free No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Bars in last December’s issue. But my all-time favorite Natural Awakenings recipe is from January, the Creamy Turmeric Cauliflower Soup. (You can find it on page 27 of the Charlotte edition and also online, in the article “Gut Check: Feeding the Immune System.”) The recipe was excerpted from The Complete Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Beginners: A No-Stress Meal Plan with Easy Recipes to Heal the Immune System, by Dorothy Calimeris and Lulu Cook. I’ve made it several times this winter, and I’ve found that it’s fairly quick and easy. I blend it in a regular stainless-steel blender (just be careful of the heat). But more importantly, it’s delicious—and my kids like it too. It’s a great soup on a cold winter day. I just decided I’m making it again tonight.

Deep down I know that I’m the one who creates the rules, and ultimately the guilt, surrounding what foods I eat. And I’ve learned that eating healthier doesn’t have to be about giving up food, but about the natural progression of letting new foods in and choosing to let some foods go.

Wishing you happy experimenting with new plant-based recipes this March.

 

Shannon 

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