Written by Kate Atrash
There are, in my humble opinion, few things more wonderful than an early morning cup of coffee with a healthy pour of half and half, so when I came across this recipe for cashew “lattes” (pinchofyum.com/cashew-coffee), I was skeptical. While other nut milks work really well in soups, baked goods, and smoothies, I’m not a huge fan of the way they separate—or taste--in coffee. And although cashews make a deliciously neutral base for homemade cookie dough balls (holy cow, these are terrific: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-raw-bites-recipes-from-the-kitchn-201531), I’ve always kind of felt that they’re sort of boring and tasteless on their own. Imagine my surprise, then, when I experienced the magic that results when you mix these two unsuspecting ingredients together.
The original recipe calls for a bit of honey and a sprinkle of salt, and this combo is, no doubt, delightful. I try to avoid the sweet stuff early in the day, however, so I simply add a quarter cup of raw cashews to my trusty Ninja before pouring in 12oz of coffee, and then blend for about a minute. That’s it—seriously. It’s amazing! Life changing, even. And I love knowing that I’ve finally found a dairy-free substitute that doesn’t feel like a sacrifice.
Vegan 101: Never ask a Vegan how they get enough protein.
Because it's well known in Vegan circles we get plenty of protein from plants. Vegans also know we get too much protein on a standard American diet. I ask you: does it look like vegan athlete Rich Roll needs a little more protein?
But folks, I had to ask the question, because for years I've relied on protein to be sane. Yes, to be sane!
Ever heard of sugar sensitivity? It's a thing. And I have it! The following excerpt is from the "Radiant Recovery" website:
Sugar Sensitivity describes a brain that is affected differently by sugar and refined carbohydrates. Sugar Sensitivity is inherited. What and when you eat changes your mood and behavior in a big way. You can be moody, angry, depressed, impulsive or feel high just from your food. You can crave sweets and become addicted to sugar.
Sugar Sensitivity makes you vulnerable to the effects of sugars. Sugar is a drug. It has the same effect on your brain that alcohol, heroin and oxycontin do. The drug effects of sugar are more intense in sugar sensitive people. Sugar sensitive people feel pain more deeply and often use sugar to help quiet physical and emotional pain. What you think is comforting you actually is causing a lot of problems.
Sugar sensitivity has three parts:
For much of my life I struggled with intense mood swings. And pretty hardcore sugar addiction. Until I found a way to stabilize through diet. Hallelujah, I'd found the holy grail! I was no longer a slave to my volatile moods.
The food program combines steps such as switching from white refined carbs to complex carbs, and including a good amount of protein at each meal. These steps have been reliable in stabilizing my blood sugar even into my 40's. So naturally, upon going vegan, I was concerned about finding plant sources for protein. www.livestrong.com/article/439936-potatoes-not-prozac-diet/
It's been 2 or 3 weeks into my vegan-eating adventure and I've had some serious blood sugar challenges. One day I ate 5 or 6 bowls of a plant-based soup and COULD NOT get full. And there've been mood swings again. Two or three of them recently. Folks, this ain't my first rodeo. I can identify a blood sugar mood swing in myself, my son, and many times in other kids and adults when I see one. The solution is to eat. Immediately!
Very interestingly, my vegan friends say it's actually fat, not protein, that I need to get satiated. Fat, not protein! That's not to say we don't need protein, but rather, I should focus on including good fats. So yesterday we made a huge batch of hummus, and also raw brownies - both chock-full of healthy fats. I am so excited to include these goodies into my meals today, and I'm sure hoping they'll provide the satiety and stabilization I'm looking for. I'll keep you posted... Until then, have a gorgeous day!
We're roasting poblanos, jalapenos, and tomatillos for a repeat of White Bean Posole Verde. The aroma is so good. And just look at them - aren't they gorgeous?
But what I'm really hot for this week is the idea of kindness. The simple beauty of kindness. The great power of it. One could say kindness is really all that matters.
Some dear friends suggested a Kindness Challenge: wake up each day and contemplate what I can do that's kind. I began the Challenge yesterday by visiting several former patients. I stopped by four homes and each visit was deeply enriching - both for my patients and for me. I still feel the joy from those visits in my heart.
Today was kindness-on-the-go. I made an effort to drive mindfully. I tried to be generous toward other drivers. I smiled as I signaled folks to go before me. And I was kind with myself too - remembering to relax and breathe as I navigated traffic.
Tonight we'll be enjoying this delicious, kind and vegan recipe. It's quite simple to prepare, and scrumptious to consume. Try it some time. And until we meet again, I wish you a beautiful evening.
Several years ago my family ate a vegan diet for twelve months. It was a good run, but ultimately we lacked the know-how to make it a permanent lifestyle. Having tried it before, I know there's more to consider than simply foregoing animal products: What are my new diet staples? I'm used to accenting all my dinners with meat - what now? I can only eat so much tofu and tempeh. Will I be satiated? What about eating out, and with family?
We shared a beautiful vegan potluck meal last week with some vegan-eating friends. The food was excellent, and I was able to garner a few tricks of the trade:
- Beans, beans, and more beans! bluezones.com/2016/06/10-things-about-beans/
- Plan on eating more often - a smoothie after dinner, for example.
- Think Fat when it comes to satiety. We need to incorporate good fats, like avocado, nuts.
- Accent your veggie stir fry with cashews. Or use almond butter as a sauce.
- May need to supplement B12, perhaps Vit D and Iodine. (Will have to explore this more).
Here's what we're making today. Let's do a double-batch; freeze half for a future day:
Hey friends, it's been a week since I left my job.
I'm still dragging.
Haggard, beat up, depleted.
I'm leaving Nursing for good.
Fare thee well!
First things first - piece Self back together.
I need Sun, Lemon Water, a Journal, some Sleep.
(What's ahead? Find a new way to make money, play Music like crazy, learn how to eat Vegan, ditch the perma-stress lifestyle and immerse myself in relaxed, easy mode. More to come.....