Sunday, July 1, 2018

Making progress

Welcome back! At this point in the ImmunoCalm diet protocol, I've become a bit more familiar with my allowed ingredients and started having fun with presentation. I find when the food looks good, it tastes good! It's fun imagining what to do with these few ingredients and how to make them palatable. It has been said many people feel noticeably better after the first 7-10 days on the very limited diet, so I'm determined to stick to it.

Up first is a partial-win meal. Just before I started the diet, I'd begun a quest to conquer making my own hummus with a little mini-prep food processor. I had made a bit of progress and was starting to feel comfortable experimenting when I received the test results and had to set chickpeas aside for awhile.

Well, red kidney beans are red kidney beans. I don't know if you can roast them like chickpeas (maybe I should try that?), but I wondered if I could make them into some type of hummus. Seeing as how I couldn't have tahini or garlic, that made it tricky. I decided to try just kidney beans, olive oil, lemon juice, and a little salt.

The verdict?

It was fine! I use that word intentionally. My scale for taste goes something like this:

    can't stand it --> if I have to --> decent --> fine --> pretty good --> more, please --> amazing!

Spinach salad with red kidney bean hummus and homemade strawberry vinaigrette
Baked cod with a dash of salt on a bed of spinach 
Moving on, with the styrofoam taste and texture from the Wrapioca starting to grate on me, I was mildly interested when I heard about coconut wraps. Historically, I've never been a coconut fan. I faintly remember trying shredded coconut on some cupcake or other treat as a kid and firmly decided I did NOT like the taste or texture. When I was pregnant with our son, I tolerated the scent of coconut oil as a stretch mark preventing "lotion," but still didn't consume it.

In the past year or so, I dabbled a little with it in baking. I don't bake much (when we got married, my husband asked me to never bake so he wouldn't be tempted - suited me!). Then, when I faced the MRT results and my ImmunoCalm protocol options, I decided I should be an adult and give coconut (oil, milk, etc.) a try.

Gratefully, I've come to appreciate most of the options I've tried: virgin, expeller-pressed coconut oil (for baking) as well as organic, refined coconut oil (for roasting), coconut milk, coconut water, and now these turmeric coconut wraps from Thrive Market. They make eating a ton of veggies and beans for breakfast a bit more fun, and they hold together very well!

Thrive Market turmeric coconut wrap, sauteed zucchini, and red kidney beans.

Another ingredient I didn't have much experience with -- I'd maybe eaten it once or twice -- was bok choy. I wasn't really sure how to use it. I'd seen recipes for stir fries that call for bok choy, but I definitely can't make a stir fry right now with my limited ingredients (what's a stir fry without some coconut aminos and GF teriyaki sauce??). I came across a recipe for roasted bok choy, and decided to give it a try. To my delight, the leaves got super crispy and the stems were palatable with a little oil and salt. My 2-yr-old son even snagged some leaves and told me they remind him of kale chips (which he really likes). So, bok choy was a winner!

Sauteed shrimp and roasted bok choy
This process is getting more fun! Admittedly, there are meals and even days when I'm stumped on ideas and tired of spending so much time brainstorming meals and preparing ingredients, but then I just allow myself to repeat a meal from two days ago so I can take a mental break. I also use meal prep time to listen to some of my favorite podcasts like Christian Parenting, Just Enjoy Health, Parenting on Purpose, Risen Motherhood, God Centered Mom, Focus on the Family, Well-Fed Women, Balanced Bites, and the Healthy Moms Podcast.

Come back next time to see what became of these ingredients: green peas, strawberries, brussels sprouts, and a mystery food...

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