The single most important thing to do when you want to eat healthy is to prepare your own food.
When I do research and go to the Supermarket or Coop to look at plant-based foods, I am very shocked at the amount of ingredients that are added to most of the products from Impossible Burgers, to Beyond Meat and all the various meat and cheese alternatives.
To get started, let me share that my current focus is an Ayurvedic diet aimed at overall health and wellness, with a focus on reducing inflammation and reversing some coronary calcium buildup in my left anterior descending artery (LAD or Widowmaker). The inflammation in my body is mainly due to three major injuries in the Army which left me with a Service Disability rating of 30% and no cartilage in my right hip. The mild coronary artery disease is part genetics, part diet, and part lifestyle, but as I approach 50 I am more committed than ever to eliminate the plaque through science and dietary changes.
This means I am focusing on a diet high in fruits and vegetables with no four legged animals and no birds to include eggs. Additionally, I will be eliminating all nightshades (which I actually haven’t eaten in years) and while I am allowed limited fish, I will not be consuming shellfish (my favorite) nor will I be eating tuna, swordfish or catfish. Furthermore, my diet does NOT include nuts. While I am permitted to eat seeds – sunflower, flax, pumpkin, hemp – I am not allowed to consume nuts, nut milks, or nut products. Lastly, there is NO gluten. This includes wheat, rye, barley and oats. However, I can consumer long grain rice, quinoa, millet, and amaranth. I was very encouraged when I reorganized my pantry and discovered that I already had most of the approved grains in grain and flour form.
The reason I thought it was important to share my current dietary focus, is because when you go to the market or health food store and start to look at the back of the packaging for most plant-based alternatives for meat and cheese, the majority of these items contain gluten, nuts and/or soy. That’s pretty unbelievable, here I thought I was going to commit to being more planted based and I’d simply be able to go to the “healthy” section of the store and grab something from one of the new popular alternative brands like Beyond Meat or Impossible Burger. Unfortunately, that’s not going to work for me.
The good news is that it re-enforces the topic of today’s post – make your own food. The only way to truly know what you are eating and how it works for your body is to understand the process by which the food was created and what raw ingredients are assembled to get the final product.
The reason I picked these two items was driven based upon what I wanted to eat next week – Adzuki Bean Tempeh stir-fried over mixed vegetables (next week I might try fermenting my own Kimchi) and Vegan Lasagna.
When I was in the market yesterday, I noticed the first ingredient in almost all the Tempeh was “vital gluten” or “vital wheat,” neither which I want to consume. Secondarily, most Tempeh is based on soy and while I am not technically avoiding soy, I am definitely trying to limit my exposure.
Dr. Nibodhi had actually mentioned that the local Whole Foods in Austin has one of the best Adzuki Bean Tempeh his ever eaten – so that’s what inspired my desire to make my own. I’ll let you know in a day or so how it came out.
As for the Sunflower/Pumpkin Seed Ricotti this is also a first attempt, but it’s currently sitting on the counter in a Mason jar with the probiotic, himalayan sea salt and some coconut milk. Again, I’ll check back later.
Thanks for your time today, and remember, the best way to watch what you eat is to make your own food.
Now go Do The Work Today!