Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Eating Vegan...Sort Of

I truly believe that food is one of the most powerful forms of medicine there is.  Studies show that a plant-based diet is the best defense against diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

In my own efforts to fight cancer and live a healthy lifestyle, I try to eat a mostly vegan diet.  I limit animal products, processed foods, added sugars, and white flour while focusing on lots of veggies, fruits, beans, and nuts. 

 I say that I eat "vegan-ish" rather than labeling myself as an all-out vegan, because I certainly don't follow the hard-and-fast rules of the diet.  I do eat dairy, meat, eggs, and seafood in moderation (choosing organic, grass-fed, cage-free, etc. when possible), and I can't resist a good dessert!  Plus, I think it's important to enjoy meals with friends and family without overly worrying about which foods they will serve or restaurant they will choose.  I do the best I can 90 percent of the time and try not to worry too much about the rest!  You have to be somewhat flexible in life!

That being said, the majority of the recipes I will share on the blog will be vegan.  You can count on them to be quick and easy, as well, given that school is about to start and I will be a full-time working girl again. 

Since summer in Oklahoma is hotter than all get out, I have been loving recipes that don't involve turning on the oven.  One that I've made a few times recently is couscous salad.  I roughly follow the recipe below but mix it up depending on what I have on hand.

Summer couscous salad

2 cups cooked whole wheat couscous
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained
Fresh mint, basil, dill, oregano, or whatever you have on hand, chopped

For the dressing wisk together:
Juice of two large lemons
1/2 cup olive oil 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard (or more, depending on your taste)
1 tsp salt
Dash pepper to taste
It would also be great with corn, bell pepper, black beans, avocado, goat/feta cheese...the possibilities are endless!

If you are interested in learning more about the why behind plant-based eating, I highly suggest the documentary "Forks Over Knives" (available on Netflix streaming!) and the book "Anticancer: A New Way of Life" by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber.  Both are full of fascinating food and health related research, and I cannot recommend them enough!

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