"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Vegetable Diet

 I was at the gym the other day and bumped into an old friend, and after exchanging news of our families we started discussing our workouts and "new year" diets.  She mentioned that she was on an all-fat diet.  Huh?
It triggered something familiar in my memory, I remembered reading about an all-fat, or carbohydrate restrictive, diet as a a method to put the body into a state of "ketosis", sometimes used as a way to control treatment resistant epilepsy.
It seems to me that the old Atkins diet, which is also carbohydrate restrictive, is another name for a ketosis type diet.  Do you remember that diet from the 70's?
I have other friends who follow the Paleolithic diet, which basically seems to be a diet in which only foods that could have been hunted or gathered by our Paleolithic ancestors are consumed.

Neither of these diets would work for me because I don't eat meat (Paleo) and if I had to become a cave person suddenly and go out and kill a wild boar or a chicken (did they even have chickens then?) I would not be very successful.

Eating a diet that restricted carbohydrates would probably have me fainting pretty quickly, never mind the fact that when I eat fatty things I feel... fat.  I guess it goes without saying that meat would be a large component of a carbohydrate restrictive plan?  As far as its effectiveness in treating epilepsy, well I'm just grateful that the type of epilepsy my daughter has is responsive to treatment.

So it's safe to say that I'm on The Vegetable Diet, and I have to say I really love it.  I feel good, I spend less money on food and my kitchen is filled with colour and joy.

Yesterday morning our deliveries from our local organic vegetable source began again, they take a two week break every year over Christmas and New Year's and I really missed them.
I have changed up my vegetable delivery a little bit, we're now buying lots of local vegetables as well as a few imported from the south (things like greens, which are not available here this time of year, though our cabbage is still local).   We were buying more things like bananas and apples, which weren't being consumed after Middle Rascal left home in September.

Once the vegetables are unpacked from their box I do a quick scan and immediately start menu planning for the week.  The goal is to use every vegetable by the following Monday, and while some items will have obvious uses, others require a bit more thought (and some recipe searches).

So excited to see these beautiful mushrooms!
Risotto with marsala and mushrooms is on the menu.
 The first thing I cooked with the vegetables was a big stew to have for lunch.

I sautéed a large yellow onion in olive oil, adding in a teaspoon of ground turmeric.  Then I threw in about 6 roughly chopped and peeled carrots, several new potatoes, half-peeled (only the bad bits) and chopped, and an entire bunch of spinach.  I threw in about a cup of red lentils for some protein.
 Saute all, then cover with water, adding in salt and pepper:
 Simmer down the stew for about 30 minutes or so, and you'll have a delicious and nourishing lunch.
So simple, and it keeps well in the fridge too.

What sort of diet are you on?  (If you had to give it a name that is.)  Do you have friends whose diets vary quite differently from your own?
Happy Wednesday to you,


  1. High carb, ( bread/rice etc) dairy and veg diet here, this looks very yummy - I keep forgetting your blogging again, will try harder!

  2. you're - hangs head in shame

    1. Tabs! Laughing about your head hanging in shame! I know for a fact you have an excellent diet. Can you imagine living without carbs? We'd both be wrecks! xx

  3. I don't have a diet. After trying unsuccessfully to lose weight for many years on doctor-recommended advice, I re-introduced fat (olive oil) and more meat into my diet. I don't eat bread as store-bought bread is cross contaminated with nuts and peanuts (allergens for me). I am allergic to rice, eggs, and seafood. I eat quite a bit of pasta. Someday I will start making my own bread. At the moment, I am eating lots of Western Canadian apples and cara cara oranges. I don't eat a lot of meat, mostly chicken and turkey, sometimes beef but try to avoid processed meat (and don't eat a lot of processed food). I have sour cherries from my trees in my freezer, I have lovely pears from my friend's tree also in my freezer. So I am a quasi vegetarian but I need some meat. Avocadoes have fat in them. The minute I said "nuts" (so to speak) to dieting I started to lose weight. I have had a folate deficiency twice and it is awful. I would not put my spinach in to cook fora long time but would let everything else stew and then add my spinach for the last couple of minutes to preserve its folate.

    1. Ann your diet sounds like a good one and I have heard before that when people stop "dieting" and start eating what feels right for them, they lose weight!
      I believe in eating fats, I think it's good for the brain and skin. I cook with olive oil and eat avocados when I can. Folate deficiency is no joke, you're so right. I've had so many pregnancies that I took folate supplements for a long, long time. Good point though about the spinach, a recipe like this I could easily add in the spinach for the last few minutes and more folate would be retained. I'm going to do that next time! Thanks Ann xx

  4. Hi Dani, we have been trying to keep to 'no white at night', but it's difficult in winter if we are having stews and casseroles etc. - I love some rice, pasta or potato to soak up a good gravy or sauce. In the summer we do much better, having a lean protein and salad and/or veggies for dinner. My lunches are either homemade veggie soup from the freezer, or leftovers from the night before, often made into a stir fry. I have often thought about trying out a weekly farm box, but I don't know if I"m organized enough to make sure that everything gets used up. I guess you get into the groove?

    Anyway, now that Christmas is over and all of the junk is gone (don't ask me where!), we can get back into a more 'clean' diet. Please keep posting your meals Dani, it's all good inspiration!

    1. Thanks Patricia! Yes I would say with a farm box you do adjust and get into a routine with it. I highly recommend trying it, I've been doing it for years. The vegetables will be super fresh and it is a great way to support the farm. The service we use (Pfennings Organics) actually supplies my local health food market so we're really buying from the source without the extra store mark-ups. They are also a lovely German family so I really enjoy supporting them!
      Your diet sounds a good one and I so agree, I love to have some bread, or pasta at night. I could never give up potatoes because my hubs and I are both part Irish and it is our Holy Vegetable ;)
      I think we all know what sort of diet makes us feel good, I don't think there's any harm in you having delicious carbs at night!
      Oh the junk of Christmas, ugh, potato chips are my weakness and there is still a bag in the pantry, hoping someone eats them soon! Thanks Patricia xx

  5. I enjoy your vegan/veg cooking. I’m wondering how you transitioned to this lifestyle. Can you recommend a cookbook for learning the basics of a balanced plant diet? Thanks Dani

    1. Marguerite thank you. I would highly recommend to you the website Oh She Glows
      The author has published more than one book but there are also many recipes on her site. For some of the thinking behind a plant-based diet I recommend the book How Not To Die. Catchy title isn't it? ;) The author is Dr. Michael Greger and he also has a website:

      We were able to transition fairly easily to this diet, I haven't eaten pork for decades and I realize now that being accustomed to avoiding pork makes it quite easy for me to avoid all meat.
      Meat was making my husband really ill and dairy was causing an acid response in my body so it just made sense for us to go plant-based.
      Good luck to you if you go down this road, it is the best thing we ever did in regards to our diet! xx

    2. Thank you Dani! I am reading Oh She Glows blogsite and also Forks Over Knives. I bought some nutritional yeast today. Fortunately, I’m a pretty experienced cook, so I can adapt a lot of dishes. Now if only the hubs would be on board.

  6. I'm just on the eat less saturated fat and try to eat more fruits and vegetables and less sugar diet. That's about all the restrictions I can handle!

  7. Hi - Thank you so much for the stew recipe - your post inspired my hubby & I to make a big pot of it over the weekend, to store in the fridge for lunches all week long. I am having a bowl now at the office - so warm, comforting, wholesome and delicious! It is a great step in the right direction towards our goal to eat more plant-based meals.