Mexican Bowl: Rice, Beans, Salsa, and Avocado

July 31, 2017

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

 

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