Yes, it’s vegan—but it’s delicious and filling! And easy.

I’m over food labels. Sometimes I eat a meal that is “Paleo.” Sometimes my meals are “low fat,” and sometimes they are “vegan” or “vegetarian.” The most consistent characteristics about my food lately is that it’s real, seasonally appropriate (no watermelon in January!), and digested well.

The “low carb” reader may exclaim, “But that meal has too many carbs!  It will wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels!” Those with digestive weaknesses may say, “I could never eat that without severe gastrointestinal consequences.” Those who don’t cook and try to use canned beans and instant rice may think this meal “sounds bland and boring.” Those who are trying to lose weight will be confused because there are so many theories and opinions about weight loss.

If you’ve read my blog, you know I’ve tried a lot of self-experiments in regards to diet/nutrition. While a significant amount of weight came off naturally after giving birth last year, another significant amount lingered. Between nursing and not sleeping, my appetite was big, and eating helped ease the stress and tension of having a newborn and not sleeping. The food I ate was “healthy,” but I was eating often and a lot.

In an effort to eat more like the French people (and to raise a kid who eats well like the French kids), I have been trying to eat at meal and snack times only; no grazing in between. In order to do that, not get HANGRY, and still have energy to exercise, think clearly at work, and stabilize my emotions, I need food that is satiating. Nobody wants to see me hangry. Trust me.

Molly’s Mexican Bowl:

1 cup of cooked brown rice

1 cup of cooked beans (I like the small red chili beans)

Salsa (particularly Senor Fields Chipotle Salsa found at Whole Foods)

½ avocado (sprinkled with sea/Himalayan salt)

Mix all together and voila – Mexican meal bowl!

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Sometimes this amount of food is hard to finish. It always fills me up and gives me solid, stable energy. A meal without vegetables, you ask? Trust me, there are lots of seasonal vegetables in the mix these days. Miso tahini green beans and ratatouille are frequent choices in the summer as are salads with seasonal ingredients.

Interestingly, there were times in my life that I couldn’t eat this meal. I use to have GERD, and the rice and beans would have caused some uncomfortable gas and bloating.

I’ve healed my digestive weakness, and eat in order to support my constitution. I’ve also learned how to properly soak and cook whole grains like brown rice and beans so they’re better digested. In our household, we soak brown rice over night, and beans for 24 hours. We add a splash of apple cider vinegar to the soaking grains. Rinse thoroughly then cook with fresh water. We cook rice in a rice cooker. We put the beans in a slow cooker, cover with water, and cook on low for 24 hours. Add salt to taste after cooking.

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I recommend digestive enzymes to patients who are in the process of healing their digestive system and tend to get gas or bloating after eating harder to digest foods like beans. I like this full spectrum digestive enzyme by Pure Encapsulations.   The capsules contain a range of enzymes: lactase to help digest lactose, amylase to help digest carbohydrates, protease for proteins, etc. Once the system is strong, the use of enzymes is often no longer needed.

And the effects on weight loss? This meal has been a constant in my focused effort to shed the lingering pregnancy weight. I find that because it has a lot of fiber, protein, and fat, it keeps me full until it’s time to eat again. I’ve reached my pre-pregnancy weight and feel physically fit.

It’s also very easy to keep these items in rotation, and I eat this meal usually once a day, most days of the week. I haven’t gotten sick of it yet. Maybe the Mexican flavor reminds me of my days living in San Diego.

Let me know if you try this easy to make Mexican bowl and what you think!

You are what you eat.

In good health,

Molly

 

Hello patients, friends, and followers,

I have wanted to write to you for some time! I have so much I want to share and will try to do so as concisely as I can 🙂

Despite being diagnosed with PCOS at age 26, I was able to conceive in the fourth month of trying.   For 10 years, I refused Western interventions (namely hormonal birth control), relying on acupuncture, herbal medicine, and dietary therapy to address my underlying hormonal imbalance. Adding hormones to a hormone imbalance did not resonate with me during my early years of acupuncture school, and was certainly not an option when trying to get pregnant.

And, despite the “advanced maternal age” of 36 when conceiving and 37 when delivering, I had a very healthy and uneventful pregnancy (except for some world-class nausea in the beginning and some gnarly foot swelling at the end).

With the help of Jason, my doula, an amazing doctor, and the Hypnobabies program, I had a natural, un-medicated birth. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s a snow day! It’s a snow weekend! So far we have about 3 inches of snow; with 20+ more expected. I love it! We are hoping the power stays on, but while we have it, we hammered out some cooking. Simmering on the stove right now is a HUGE pot of vegetable soup. I’ve been making it a lot lately. It’s easy, it uses whatever you have on hand, and it’s good! It also is a good dish to eat in the winter, as eating warm soups in cold weather allows us to live in accordance with the seasons.

Always start with mirapoix (onion, celery, and carrot – these 3 ingredients should always be on hand, in my opinion).

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Read the rest of this entry »

I don’t completely avoid any food/food group, but pasta and wheat products in general aren’t things I tend to eat in large quantities. I was curious to see how Italians ate pasta, and my recent visit provided a lot of insight.

In the US some diets condemn pasta like they would trans fats or soda. The mantras of “the gluten will destroy you,” and “too many carbs will make you fat and give you diabetes” have permeated many of our belief systems.

Observe Italians, and it’s clear that pasta does not make (at least some) people obese.  I saw many slender people order, and finish a plate of pasta. . . with wine, cheese, and bread! “When in Rome”… Read the rest of this entry »

“Dry Needling” is a term used by physical therapists, chiropractors, and some medical doctors.  It is a procedure in which solid needles are inserted into trigger and motor points of muscle bellies with the intention of resetting the muscle, improving function, and decreasing pain. Since these needles are not hollow and filled with an injectable substance, they are called “dry needles.” That sounds a lot like acupuncture, right? In fact, these practitioners are using the same needles as licensed acupuncturists. Because they are billing the procedure as “dry needling,” they are able to get paid from insurance even though they are not licensed acupuncturists (L.Ac.).

I have several problems with non-licensed acupuncturists inserting needles into patients. Read the rest of this entry »

I’d like to share with you 3 recipes that I have been enjoying lately. I believe them to be crowd pleasers as well as nutrient-dense, relatively easy to digest, and delicious. Please leave comments with your feedback if you try these recipes!


Protein Pancake

You’ve heard me discuss the importance of including a warm, cooked grain with breakfast to ignite the digestive/metabolic fire (the spleen yang in Traditional Chinese Medicine terms). To include more protein for a heartier breakfast, try making this protein pancake. Read the rest of this entry »

If it’s Sunday, you can be sure that I will be cooking a big batch of vegetables. In the warmer spring and summer months, I make my version of a ratatouille, but in the colder months I like to make my version of Indian Vegetables.   Living in accordance with the seasons includes eating more warming herbs and spices in the colder months, and Indian cuisine has many.

One of the first things I took away at the start of my degree in Oriental Medicine is the idea that cooked vegetables are easier to digest than their raw counterparts. Cooked vegetables are recommended for weakened digestive systems, and over-consumption of cold, raw foods can damage digestive function.  If food is difficult to digest and /or one presents with a digestive weakness, access to minerals, nutrients, and vitamins is difficult. Cooked vegetables take less digestive qi to process, allowing ease of access to nutrition and energy.

When I weighed over 200 pounds, my constitutional digestive weakness and improper diet of refined grains and sugar, dairy, and greasy/fried food resulted in an accumulation of phlegm-dampness. During the healing process, and ever since, I’ve included as many cooked vegetables into my diet as I can, and it is a constant variable in my health accomplishments. Read the rest of this entry »