Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Making of a Vegetarian

I've been following a vegetarian diet for three years.  The decision to stop eating meat was not one that I made consciously.  There were major changes happening in my life.  The end of a relationship, and moving to a new home were very stressful events.  As a result of those stressors my body went into a spontaneous detox.  For one week I experienced a severe sore throat, fever with chills, vomiting and diarrhea.  It was another week before I could begin to eat solid foods again.  To my astonishment I had lost the desire for meat, sugar and caffeine.  The consumption of any of those foods would cause an immediate negative reaction in my body.
Since then I've noticed that my body has adjusted, some what.  I can now consume small amounts of caffeine (one or two cups of coffee or tea per day), and even smaller amounts of processed sugars (one or two cookies, or candy). Ice Cream is a definite no.
Through this process I've lost about twenty pounds and I feel better than ever.  Do I miss eating meat?  No, not at all.  As a matter of fact I've developed a definite aversion to the smell of meat.  That applies to fish as well.  Last Christmas while having dinner at my sister's house I tried eating shrimp, which in the past was one of my favorite foods.  I found the taste and texture to be unappetizing.  Proving to me that I really am done with eating meat.
The challenge that I'm faced with now, is finding recipes that will give my body the protein that it needs.  Of course I do take supplements, particularly B-complex, to ensure that I remain healthy and strong.  But, food is the most important source of nutrients for a healthy body.
In this blog I will share recipes, thoughts and ideas for living a life in line with Mother Nature and her bounty. 
Below is one of my favorite soup recipes.  I hope that you will try it, and share your thoughts.  I look for recipes that are quick and easy to make, using the freshest ingredients I can find.  Try it out, and by all means let me know what you think.  Thank you!

Black-eyed Pea Soup

1 cup black-eyed peas
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
3 large ripe tomatoes, diced (I've found that beef steak tomatoes work best)
2 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 oz. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt to taste (optional)

* Put the beans in a pan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil and allow to cook for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat, keep covered and allow to stand for 2 hours.  Or, you can let the beans soak in cold water over night.  Drain off the water before adding to the other ingredients.
* Heat the oil in a large soup pot, add the onions, garlic and crushed red pepper, cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.  Stir in cumin, turmeric, tomatoes, stock, half the cilantro and the beans.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice and salt (if desired) to taste. Just before serving add the remaining cilantro.  Serve with your favorite bread and enjoy! 


1 comment: