Poor Mckayla Maroney
As I watched the Olympics last night and saw Mckayala Maroney mess up one of her vaults, my heart sank for her, considering all the hard work that she had put in up to that point. My husband actually left the room because he couldn’t watch any more after Mckayla was unable to stick the landing on her vault. The commentator seemed shocked, and until the unthinkable became reality, he kept saying that Mckayla was destined to win, that she would be taking home the gold. Now, what does this have to do with vegan eating or any eating?
Making Changes and Going Vegan
Here’s how the Olympics and what happened to Mckayla has to do with you and anyone who eats. I had time to reflect on this and had to put it all in perspective.
Mckayla probably did that vault 1000 times and maybe it took until 1001 before she didn’t stick the landing and ended up on her butt (literally). No one is perfect. Yet if you practice, you can get closer to perfect but there will always likely be the 1001th time that you do something where it just didn’t go as you planned. (My yoga teacher says that we are perfect in our imperfection. I like this.)
Luckily, life is not the Olympics, you do not just get one chance every 4 years to win medals. and excel.
You Have Multiple Times Each Day to Practice Your Eating
If you want to adopt a vegan eating pattern, you have many options for the type of plan you want to follow: from no-fat added such as that promoted by Dr. McDougall, Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Furhman, Dr. Ornish, Engine 2, Forks over Knives, Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (aka PCRM, brain child of Dr. Neal Barnard ) or go for another version of vegan from vegan comfort food to vegan junk food. Read my books The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment and The New Fast Food: The Veggie Queen Pressure Cooks Whole Food Meals in Less than 30 Minutes. The choice is yours. The choice is always yours regarding what you put into your mouth and your body.
My goal is for everyone to get at least 10 servings (or 5 cups) of vegetables daily. I am not talking only about corn, peas and carrots but to include raw leafy greens, if possible and practical, cooked greens and all other colored vegetables, and some fermented vegetables.
Eat at least three meals each day to keep your blood sugar steady. Eat good and healthful snacks if you need them.
Eschew “junk”, or at least be conscious when when you choose it.
You get to practice each day to get it right. If for some reason things don’t work out, you pick yourself up and start again.
What is Your Goal for Olympic-style Gold Medal Eating?
What works for you to eat well? Do you need the gold medal? Or would you be happy with silver, bronze or just getting into the competition? (And no, eating is not a competition but I am using an analogy here so please humor me.)
I find that there are a few things that elevate my eating:
I like to batch cook so that I generally have something around to eat when I just don’t feel like cooking. I cook a batch of quinoa and brown rice (0r other grains) each week. I eat some and freeze some (carefully dating and labeling them).
I pressure cook at least one pot of beans and put some in the freezer, again labeled and dated.
I keep fresh vegetables around for more daily cooking and making salads. And regarding salads, I eat at least one salad every day of many different types. One of my latest is this one:
This salad has all kinds of greens, the black beans that I had cooked, part of a leftover baked potato, red pepper, tomato, onion and likely avocado. I added ume vinegar for my dressing because my goal is to eat, or use, fermented foods daily. Umeboshi vinegar is from fermented salty plums.
If I don’t use ume vinegar on my salad, I like to include sauerkraut, brined pickles or miso in my diet to be sure that my food is truly alive.
I also like a lot of variety in what I eat. I do not like to eat the same thing day after day as some people do. I am rather an adventurous eater so in order to stay interested, I like to mix things up but generally in a simple way.
One day my quinoa is eaten plain. After that it might become quinoa salad or make its way into a soup or as a base for a dish of vegetables and tempeh with tahini-miso sauce. The recipe for this sauce is so loose that I a make it up each time I write it. You can easily adjust it to your taste until it has gold medal flavor:
Enough for 1 serving (this can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled)
1 tablespoon tahini (I like Artisana raw, organic)
1 to 2 teaspoons miso
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon, lime or orange juice (optional)
1 tablespoon or more vegetable broth or water
Mix all ingredients until you get the desired consistency.
You can also add 1 clove of crushed or minced garlic and/or ginger to this sauce . It is very tasty so I limit how much I make at a time to conserve calories.
Do you have any comments (please post them below)? Did the Olympics make you feel more human or that you could never achieve what these people did? I realized that everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. Each day is a grand opportunity for something wonderful. Enjoy it.