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In my last post, I outlined why I am changing my diet based on test results. Moving to a plant-dominant diet from an animal-dominant diet is quite a mindset change, and many people have asked me to blog the experience. Therefore, I will be posting what I’m eating and my counts for each week as I continue on this journey.
This week was a bit tough, with the extra goodies for Christmas floating around and me catching the creeping crud that was going around. It left me listless and with a fever. Nonetheless, I did track what I ate and worked hard to hit my goal of forty plant foods.
Let’s look at how I did.
The idea is that you want to go for a single serving of 40 color/type combinations of plant foods in a week to give you a good diversity.
You can consume fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, spices, nuts and seeds. Each color of the same type will count separately. So a red apple counts as one serving and a green apple counts as a second serving. Black olives would count as one serving, and green olives would count separately. White, purple and green cauliflower would each count if you eat enough to be a single serving of each through the week.
You can have more than one serving of any one plant food, but try to get at least a single serving over the course of one week. For example, I might have to take 2 Tbs of sesame seeds and spread it over 3-4 days to get the whole amount eaten, one sprinkle at a time. Or I might have a cup of coconut cream over several meals or drinks. If you eat enough in a week to count as single serving, you can count it in this challenge.
The main things to keep in mind are color and diversity.
I also aim to get several servings of resistant starch every week. Starches that are cooked, cooled then refrigerated, or certain starch flours are resistant. This feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Good examples are cold potato salad, overnight refrigerator oats, and cooked and cold rice pudding.
Week One Menu
Sunday Brunch– We were snowed in, so we slept in and hubby got up and made everyone a big brunch before we watched our church service online. He made bacon, scrambled eggs, toast from my homemade bread, grape jelly and hot chocolate.
This gave me oats, white rice and brown rice from the bread, cocoa and coconut from the hot chocolate and grapes from the jelly.
Sunday Drinks– I had two cups of turmeric and ginger tea.
Sunday Dinner– White Chicken Chili from my website. I substituted Northern Beans for the cannellini beans, because we didn’t have any. I substituted green chilies for the jalapeno as the kids aren’t big on heat. I left off the sour cream and cheese.
This gave me Northern Beans, carrot, celery, green chilies. cumin, chili powder, onion and garlic.
Monday Breakfast– Another snow day. Trey volunteered to make waffles so I didn’t turn him down. I topped mine with a little peanut butter. I also had two cups of turmeric and ginger tea.
This gave me white rice, brown rice, peanuts, ginger and turmeric.
Monday Lunch– Sauteed onion and kale topped with sesame seeds and chicken and sweet potato hash. We normally eat the hash for breakfast, but the leftovers make a great lunch.
This gave me kale, sesame, lemon, sweet potato, garlic, onion and red apple.
Monday Dinner– Taco salad served over tortilla chips because snow meant no trips to the grocery store for lettuce, which has been rather scarce lately due to recall.
I used my homemade taco seasoning mix on the ground beef, put it over the tortilla chips, then sprinkled everything else on top. We used navy beans at the request of one child who prefers them over pinto beans.
This gave me navy beans, corn, garlic, tomato, cilantro, green chilies, black olives, onion and chili powders.
Monday Snack – Two chocolate no-bake cookies. I substituted almond milk for the dairy milk, and rapadura for the brown sugar. We made a quadruple batch before the snow. This gives us some nice snacks, and allowed us to put a large batch into the freezer for Christmas.
This gave me oats, cocoa and peanuts.
Tuesday Breakfast– Yet another snow day, this time I got out of bed and got moving instead of letting others volunteer to cook. I soaked some raw, rolled oats overnight in almond milk. Served cold or at room temperature, this gives resistant starch which feeds the beneficial bacteria.
I topped it with a compote of a handful of frozen cranberries, seven frozen strawberries, a fresh red apple, and three dried dates. I just chopped up the fruit and simmered it over medium-low heat in about a half cup of water until the fruit was tender and mashable. I let it cool until warm, then put it over the cold oats.
Then I topped the dish with walnuts.
This gave me cranberries, strawberries, dates, red apple, walnuts and oats. There isn’t enough almond in almond milk to really count it.
Tuesday Drinks– I had hot chocolate in the morning and two cups of turmeric and ginger tea.
That gave me cocoa, coconut, ginger and turmeric.
Tuesday Lunch– The last of the leftover kale and a cup of burrito beans. I season my burrito beans more heavily than what this recipe calls for. The beans were served over a half-cup of cold, cooked white rice to provide resistant starch and one high quality hot dog.
This gave me kale, lemon, sesame seeds, pinto beans, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, tomato and rice.
Tuesday Dinner– Before the snow storm, we prepared a good bit of food in a single day, expecting the power to go out. It never did. So I pulled some of my quick chili from that prep session out of the freezer and put it over a baked potato.
This had dark red kidney beans, carrot, celery, tomato, onion, garlic, and white potato.
Tuesday Snack– a handful of plain potato chips. The kids prefer to take chips to their class parties. Because Tuesday was supposed to be their Christmas party and it was a snow day instead, I let them open the chips.
I also had a peanut butter bar. This is a recipe I’m developing and should have it posted to the blog soon. It’s a peanut butter cookie-style crust with a powdered-sugar and butter-based icing. It’s definitely a treat.
Again, this is about adding what you need and less about denying yourself everything that isn’t optimal. A little bit of junk is fine so long as you keep it all in perspective and don’t go overboard. This is more junk or sugar than I normally have in a day, but it was a high stress day and my period started early giving me a massive headache, so I decided to indulge.
I had white potato, coconut and peanuts.
Wednesday Morning– Wednesday is where things really fell off of the rails.
I had planned to have the second half of the fruit compote from Tuesday, served over cold rice pudding. But the earthquake combined with insomnia left me sleep deprived which resulted in a queasy tummy. Later, I realized I had a head cold virus and my period got ugly, bringing with it a repeat of the bad headache. My sinuses were pounding to the point even my teeth and hair hurt. All on the same day.
So I had toast with a little grape jelly, ginger and turmeric tea and hot chocolate, scattered throughout the morning and into the afternoon.
I had white and brown rice, grapes, ginger, turmeric, coconut and cocoa. All repeats.
Wednesday Lunch– Still off the rails, I had a hot dog with a little mayo and cranberry relish. And that was it. And I only ate it because a teen shoved it at me and insisted around 2pm.
I normally have a bad day or three when my period starts, so I give myself some grace. And this is also why I cook in advance and try to get food set aside in the freezer, for the days I can’t cook.
I had cranberries.
Wednesday Dinner– Even further off the rails. The kids heated up dinner from the freezer while I held down a recliner. We had pigs in a blanket (I had extras left over from preparing for a holiday party in early December), hummus, raw carrots and mayo/cranberry dip.
I had carrots, chickpeas, sesame seeds, lemon, garlic, and cumin. Overall, Wednesday was a bad food day.
Thursday Brunch– Slept twelve hours and I still needed to spend the day holding down the recliner. I ate the remaining fruit compote over cold rice mixed with coconut milk and a dash of salt. I sprinkled it with pecans.
Next time, I would do this over cold quinoa or another grain/seed I haven’t yet had in the week. But because I’m sick and we already had cold rice in the fridge, I went with it. Eating something was better than eating nothing.
This gave me cranberries, strawberries, dates, red apple, pecans, coconut and rice.
Thursday Dinner– Still holding down the couch. I put Belle in charge of this meal and told her to make whatever she wanted with the thawed ground beef in the fridge. She made another big taco salad because that is quick and easy. I just asked her to use a bean we hadn’t had yet in the week, so she chose pinto beans.
I had pinto beans, black olives, corn, chili powder, garlic, onion, and cilantro.
Thursday Snack– Hot chocolate, on which I managed to badly burn my mouth. Because I really needed that on top of everything else!
Turmeric and ginger tea. A couple of pieces of sesame candy, brought home by hubby.
I had cocoa, coconut, turmeric, ginger and sesame.
Friday Morning– The kids had a make-up day for co-op today, which meant I wasn’t in charge of anything and could sleep in. So I stayed in bed until my fever was back and I was aching from not moving around.
My tongue is still painful from being burned yesterday, so I didn’t do anything but sip on cooled hot chocolate and water. I focused on trying to get hydrated.
Friday Lunch– I drank more water and cheerleaded myself through getting down a coconut yogurt I didn’t want but that I knew I should eat. Hubby bought a few containers, hoping it would help me get something down. He’s concerned when I don’t eat. Still, today is better than yesterday.
Friday Dinner– I was beginning to feel a little better by dinnertime. We only eat out maybe twice a year in total. We had picked up Chick-Fil-A for my son’s birthday recently and they botched the order, so they had given us a voucher for a free order to make up for the mistake. Because I was sick and they were out so late running errands and doing business, he decided to use it and bring it home to me instead of trying to figure out food once they got home. I had one of their grilled chicken sandwiches on a gluten-free bun. The kids ate my fries.
Frankly, I didn’t care, I finally felt like I could eat but I didn’t yet have enough energy to fix it for myself. So I was willing to eat anything safe that they could give me. One kid pushed a plate of tacos minus the meat at me once the sandwich was gone, because they were concerned I wasn’t getting enough veggies while sick. 😀
At bedtime, they shoved another cup of yogurt at me, since I had been able to successfully eat everything else.
I had tomato, lettuce, white rice, corn, black olives, onion, pinto beans, coconut and strawberry
Saturday Breakfast– The fever has finally broken and I am in recovery mode. I got up late after sleeping in again and ate a cup of strawberry yogurt and a cup of hot chocolate. I’m feeling much better.
Saturday Lunch– We had a late lunch, as we didn’t really all get moving until 11am. I pulled chicken and dumplings out of the freezer and heated them up. I ate a double serving. My appetite is back, thankfully.
I don’t have a recipe for this, as I made it a few months ago from some leftover chicken soup before freezing.
This gave me white rice (in the dumplings), carrots, corn, celery, tomato, white potato, green beans, and English peas.
Saturday Dinner– Dinner somehow got forgotten because we didn’t eat lunch until 3pm, and Belle had a Christmas party at 5, so we didn’t really do anything for dinner. Instead, we snacked. I had carrots and hummus. Two small handfuls of red grapes, to make sure I reached a full serving of grape. A serving of plantain chips and a few slices of crystallized ginger.
I had carrots, chickpeas, sesame, garlic, lemon, red grapes, ginger and plantain.
Saturday Drinks– I’m still trying to get rehydrated, and tea is easier for me to get down than plain water. I made a quart of nettle, red raspberry and peppermint infusion. I keep a mix of 60% nettle, 40% red raspberry leaf and a dash of peppermint on hand in a 2-gallon glass jar, and make it as I feel I need it.
When I’m needing to get hydrated or shift fluid in my body, nettle is my go-to herb. Red raspberry is my go-to for encouraging hormone balance.
I fill the jar 2/3 full of herb in a filter, fill with boiling water, screw on a lid and allow to stand for 8 hours at room temp. Once it is done, I strain, dilute to taste, sweeten with stevia and put over ice, storing it in the fridge. I drink it as iced tea all day instead of drinking water. Drink within two days.
This gave me nettle, red raspberry leaf and a partial serving of mint.
Saturday Snacks– One no-bake cookie.
Considering that I was down with or recovering from a virus for four of the seven days, I’m very surprised that I met the goal. Next week, my focus will be on more servings of vegetables and fewer spices to meet my goal.
For the week, I ate at least one full serving of each of the following plant foods:
- White rice
- Brown rice
- Red grape
- Red apple
- Green chili
- Navy Beans
- Sweet potato
- Sesame seed
- Black olive
- Northern beans
- Chili Powder
- Pinto beans
- White potato
- Dark red kidney beans
- Green beans
- English peas
- Red raspberry leaf
I also ate a partial serving of: