vegan week two

sorting it all out

roasted broccoli rabe and lemon on a bed of farro with butter beans

Here is as delicate a way that I can think of to say this: my gut is in transition.

After decades of enjoying meat, eggs and dairy alongside loads of veggies, fruits and grains, my digestive system is learning and adjusting to a new way. I didn’t know how “stuck” I was… until I was not.

I am learning how to fuel myself for optimal energy and health and it feels like my digestion is in the process of an overhaul. On some days, I tilt too hard towards fiber. I think that chia seeds need to be moderated in my diet. And in these cold winter days I lean towards “bready carbs” and don’t want to eat cold orange slices or chunks of melon or the crispy apple waiting for me in the bottom drawer of the fridge. I want root vegetable soup and things spiced with turmeric, cumin and cinnamon. Steaming oat milk kissed with a teaspoon of molasses and topped with grated nutmeg is a treat. I am enjoying whole grains- farro, quinoa, oats, brown rice- in ways that, in former days, would have made me feel guilty. It’s a new mindset and my insides are responding.

My outsides are less quick to respond. A year of anxiety and dis-ease and conflict and worry (Hello, pandemic. Hello, hard stuff at work) has left me with an emotional eating blanket of an extra 25 pounds. It feels awful and, truth be told, in addition to the work of lugging it around, the “how could you let this happen to yourself?” voices are pretty loud and persistent. That’s not helpful.

I started “running” this past week, committed to a couch to 5 K program that I have used before to jump start myself after not running for a while. In the first week it calls for three days of 1.5 mile runs (I’ve been doing 2 miles since that is the length of the road from our driveway to the big road and back) and two other days of walking. The “running” is kind of comical- a 12 minute mile- and it’s happening in the dark, with a jacket on and a headlamp and woolen hat with ear flaps and gloves and… oh, how I wish I could go back to the gym! (too scared of catching Covid there). Yesterday, I talked with a parishioner from one of our churches who mentioned that he has been a marathon runner for years. He asked me “what was your favorite marathon that you ran?” and we were off, talking about all of the cool races that we’d done in years past. It was energizing and motivating to remember that once I was an accomplished runner. (Bermuda was my favorite marathon.)

Today I set out on a two day work trip that will call for packing up lots of food- a lunch for work and then a dinner and breakfast and another lunch to tide me over in the hotel and on my way back home on Sunday evening. There’s lots of good leftovers from the week to take along (I made a killer roasted red pepper and walnut spread to go on pita, there’s some soup left, some quinoa tabouli, fruit and a coconut milk yogurt… all good to go)… but first, that “run…”

Published by audreycadyscanlan

mother. grandmother. wife. sister. bishop. priest. deacon. hiker. cook. writer. early to bed. up before dawn. I like to sleep in tents. anxious, persistent, frank.

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