The beginning is always the hardest. Breaking old habits, creating new ones, changing mind sets. Is it worth it? Absolutely! Does it still suck? Yep.
The last three months have been rough. I’m not going to sugar coat it…Mmmm, sugar…. In truth, the first two months made me want to quit entirely. Fatigue, brain fog and mad food cravings all worked against me to make me feel like throwing in the towel. I may have given up if not for the fact that I really didn’t have a choice. The pain I was experiencing was a direct result of what I was eating and I knew I couldn’t go back.
For the first month or so my nights were plagued by crazy dreams. In them, I was always binging on something that I wasn’t allowed to have in real life. Three nights in a row I dreamed I was eating cheese quesadillas. I had more than a few dreams about hamburgers. It was glorious and awful all at the same time! I remember waking up feeling like I had ruined everything, only to realize it was just a dream. It was equal parts hope and despair.
Three months in and my brain fog is finally lifting, my fatigue is gone and my cravings are gone, too. I actually sniffed pizza the other day and it wasn’t even tempting, just greasy smelling! I am dangerously close to having lost 30 pounds and my pain is almost completely gone.
The longer I stick with it, the easier it becomes. Shopping is faster and easier because I am familiar with what I can and can’t eat. I don’t spend my time pouring over labels anymore. If it has a label, I usually can’t eat it! Ok, while that might be a slight exaggeration, it’s not that far off!
I still do a lot of experimenting, trying to turn my limited options into taste sensations. I am having moderate success. I am also having fun…usually. The clean up stinks.
This weekend was wet and chilly, so I cranked up the oven and spent most of it trying out new recipes. Here is my favorite by far: Vegetable Fritters. Basically, savory chickpea flour pancakes packed with vegetables.
I served them with Vegan Ranch Dip, which is just Vegan Sour Cream mixed with a tablespoon or so of Home Made Ranch Seasoning. (Don’t add the salt called for in the Seasoning, though, leave it out entirely. The sour cream is salty enough.)
To begin making the fritters, I made my own chickpea flour. Just pulse dry chickpeas (found with the other dried beans at most markets) in the blender until it is a fine flour. Make plenty! (I love to use it as “breading” on cauliflower, but that’s another post for another day.)
Season the flour and add the veggies of your choice. My first batch was riced (AKA finely minced) sweet potato and cauliflower, diced yellow squash and fresh parsley.
I added almond milk (instead of water) and mixed gently to form a sticky batter. I placed on a hot griddle and cooked until golden brown, just a couple of minutes per side.
While that batch was cooking, I whipped up second batch, this time adding chopped red onion and yellow bell pepper in addition to the other ingredients.
I didn’t oil the griddle, but I didn’t have a problem with sticking. So long as I waited until they were browned, they flipped nicely. Rushing them does not make for pretty fritters.
My family gave them the thumbs up (my son a little less enthusiastically than the rest, but what else do I expect? Haha)
I love that I was able to add a quick, easy and delicious week night meal to my rotation.
I also wanted to say thank you to those of you who have commented or shared with me about your own inspiring journeys to good health. You are so encouraging! We all have our own paths, our own choices, our own perfect fit.
So whether you are Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, “just trying to get rid of some of the junk” or working up the courage to make a change, you can do it! We are all in this together. ❤️