My Happy Medium

About 2 months ago, I started to experiment with a high-raw diet. Most of my meals from that period were undocumented because I had not yet started this blog. But if you look at my earliest posts, you would find that most of them involved lots of hearty salads, overnight oats, and raw fruit.

Lately, I’ve been reincorporating more cooked foods into my meals, from eggplant lasagna to roasted stuffed peppers. I think my body has really missed good, cooked food!

Why? It’s not that raw foods made me feel deprived or unsatisfied; in fact, it was quite the opposite. I think my biggest problem was that while raw foods are at their most “natural” state (i.e. still retaining their enzymes), oftentimes eating them would leave me feeling bloated and puffy. Cooked foods, while more broken down, are a lot easier to digest.

Some people fare very well on a completely raw or high-raw diet; for others like me, this is not the best choice. Each person eats differently to feel (and look) his/her best.

Believe me you, I also used to think that there was a miracle, one-size-fits-all diet. I certainly had my share of the low-calorie fad; for a short while, I even took this to the extreme. As soon as I saw that this eating style was getting me nowhere and realized how much I was mistreating my body, my temple, I reverted to eating “normally”. Although that low-cal madness lasted only a few months, I admit that I’m still struggling with some of the lasting damage to this very day. One lesson learned right there. (Sorry for sounding both preachy and vague with the personal details; I know you must all be curious, but I don’t really feel comfortable sharing the whole “story” at the moment.)

Anyway, I guess I just want to say this: only through experimentation and experience, not through following trends or reading blogs, can each person find his/her happy medium.

Reading Heather‘s post on what eating style works for her got me thinking. For now, I can stand firmly behind my decision to become a vegetarian. That one’s pretty much for sure. Being 100% vegan? Eh, I’m still playing around with that (recently I’ve been about 75% dairy- and egg-free). I also haven’t quite figured out the right balance of carbs, fat, and protein that works best for my body. But these past few meals have taught to me something in terms of the “doneness” of my food, that a plate with variety–some raw and some cooked–is my happy medium.

The proof is in the… bowl?

Yesterday’s lunch: leftover soba noodles over a massaged kale salad (kale, grape tomatoes, avocado, olive oil), with a dollop of hummus.

Little afternoon snacklet: Fage plain Greek yogurt, agave, cinnamon, and frozen strawberries. (went back for seconds)

Dinner last night involved me cutting open our garden’s first butternut squash ever!

Steamed broccoli and butternut squash with homemade pico de gallo, black beans with BBQ sauce, brown rice, scoop of hummus, and corn (it was not sweet corn! eeek).

Super Quick 2-Ingredient Pico de Gallo (yields about 1 cup)

  • 1 de-seeded tomato
  • 1/3 red onion
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dried herbs of choice

Mince the tomato and onion. Lightly process all in ingredients in a blender to keep the chunky texture. Adjust to your spice level with other ingredients, such as jalapeños, if desired. Enjoy!

This morning’s 8am post-run treat (so good that I can’t call it “fuel”): Green Titanic

See where the name comes from?? 😉

1.5 hours and a shower later, breakfast: Strawberry Shortcake overnight oats.

Leftovers for lunch: leftover butternut squash, beans, and pico de gallo, with jalapeño hummus and spinach-artichoke hummus,

all on a “bed” of carrot and zucchini sticks. Along with 2 yummy slices of whole grain bread (not pictured).

Snackie highlight: plain Greek yogurt with agave, cinnamon, concord grapes, frozen strawberries, and a handful of pecans+walnuts.

and later, a Chocolate Coconut Chew Larabar (frozen of course). No picture because I was too eager to dig in.

Dinner tonight included lots of roasting!

BBQ balsamic roasted eggplant and classic baked tofu, brown rice, side salad of spinach, carrots, and grape tomatoes.

Mmm… my stomach is happy and thankful. Nothing beats roasted veggies… so simple yet delicious (and easy on the stomach!)

P.S. If you’re reading this from Google Reader, come check out the site! 😀 I put up a new Recipes Index in the top menu and also installed some recipes in the form of drop-down menus! It’s still a work in progress, but I got some of the major recipes up, including overnight oats like I promised. Recipes from this post can also be found there.

Have a wonderful weekend! Remember to make your stomach happy, too.

9 Responses to My Happy Medium

  1. Andrea says:

    All of your dishes are so colorful — filled with so many different fruits and veggies! They all look delicious and sustaining. I like that you try so many different combinations of different foods and cooking/raw styles!

  2. So glad you are listening to your body – you sound very in tune with your temple. 🙂

    Everything looks amazing, especially the strawberry shortcake overnight oats and yes, nothing beats roasted veggies!

    Enjoy your weekend. 🙂

  3. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan says:

    Bravo for doing what works for you!
    What can I even say about all the food pics? DROOL.
    And why haven’t I ever thought of sprinkling cinnamon on my [coconut milk] yogurt?! Such a simple but brilliant idea.

  4. Jenny says:

    Your photos are beautiful, as usual. I agree that your body is a temple. Although I eat pretty well, I do really dumb stuff to mine, like not drink enough water. And it’s interesting what you said about adding cooked foods. I do feel bloated a lot, too (could be not enough water, ha! – or something else). I’m glad you’re doing what’s right for you.

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  6. I’m still figuring things out myself…. I went from eating meat at every meal, to slowly phasing it out unintentionally (just stopped craving it, stopped buying it, and therefore stopped cooking it!). But then I went to see my naturopath and found out that I was really low on iron…. I tried taking supplements, but I also decided to make a conscious effort to eat meat every so often. I’m now reading “Real Food” by Nina Planck which is really interesting as she provides another perspective. Then I might read Skinny Bitch since Caitlin from HTP praises it a lot as the reason why she ended up going vegetarian.

    I think for me, it’s just finding a good balance that works for me knowing full well that it won’t work for everybody else.

    PS. I am so in love with your food pictures. They are so colourful and make me happy. 😀


  7. nickycd says:

    Im very happy today as I discovered your blog! Your photos are amazing and your food creations are too. Im in the slow process of recovering from anorexia and you speak words of wisdom. Big fan!

  8. Those roasted eggplants look so good, and I like the addition of your tabs and your photo.

    It takes a while to become comfortable with what to eat, making your own choices personally and socially, and giving your body what it needs. There were plenty of stretches when I didn’t treat my body well, at all, and some times when I didn’t know how to. Ten years ago when I was your age, I started dabbling in vegetarianism because I knew deep down I didn’t want to eat meat, and at the college caf or even in my mom’s kitchen, there weren’t a lot of choices for me and it was hard to be healthy. I alternated between eating cereal, pasta, fries, and salads, and not eating much at all. You seem to be doing really well from what you show us here, I hope you continue!

  9. Pingback: Pumpkin Pie Meets Carrot Cake « VEGeneration

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