In my efforts to consistently inch toward a healthier, happier life, I’ve been digging the roots of late. Root vegetables are where it’s at for nutritious, low-cost, rainbowlicious sustenance. The homely root ball above is the watermelon radish. But just look what happens when you slice a single radish on a bed of kale, cilantro, red pepper covered lovingly in a lemon garlic tarragon dressing with a dollop of beet hummus on top. You have just made yourself a $5 salad that looks fit for the finest of royalty.
Behold the roasting dish full of roots: Carrot, red potato, sweet potato, red beet, golden beet, covered with a chopped jalapeno, garlic clove, tarragon, oregano, lemon juice, salt/pepper, teaspoon of honey. Total cost: $12, enough for 4 meals. Parsnips and turnips are other roots I’ve included in a veggie roast. Often the last 15 minutes of an hour’s roast in a 325-degree oven, I’ll place chopped kale tossed in cumin on top of the dish for the crisp of a kale chip.
I’ve been on a 30-year journey toward being vegan, the lifestyle I’ve held for over a year now. Slowly, bit by bit I eliminated foods that made me feel yucky or made my asthma worse and consumed more foods that made me feel good. Convenient that veganism synchronizes with my closest held values.
I have learned by logging intake for over two weeks that I need to consume around 1,200 calories a day to be the weight I want to be. And that in an “average” day, I tend to hit below that bar. I wondered how is it possible to carry 50 extra pounds, walk 2-3 miles a day, eat only plants and limited calories?
So far, my logging-induced awareness points to enough days where that extra handful of almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, 500 extra calories here or there can be easily mindlessly consumed. That plate of pasta three times the size of a single serving. Thus far, I’m losing one pound a week and intend to keep logging my intake until such time as I, A) evaporate, or B) have enough portion sizes and nutrients memorized to remain aware without the scaffolding of the food diary.
Meantime, it’s fearless joyful celebration of the vast vegetable kingdom.