Oh what a fantastic trip I had in Guanacaste, Costa Rica with Dr. McDougall, his wife, Mary and about 120 other McDougallers! We had daily outings of snorkeling, horseback riding, mud baths, hot springs, rafting, ZIP-LINING, PLUS bird, monkey, and iguana watching. Each evening Dr. McDougall spoke between 5:00 – 6:00 before dinner.
Meals, well there’s just no way to do them justice other than to say we ate a buffet of the rainbow at every meal! Fresh exotic local fruits and vegetables. Cassava, yucca, plantains, white & sweet potatoes, rice and beans. The difference for me was that I was used to Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live program with limited starches. Dr. McDougall’s take is all known successful civilizations with trim people survived on starches:
The most important evidence supporting my claim that the natural human diet is based on starches is a simple observation that you can easily validate for yourself: All large populations of trim, healthy people, throughout verifiable human history, have obtained the bulk of their calories from starch. Examples of once thriving people include Japanese, Chinese, and other Asians eating sweet potatoes, buckwheat, and/or rice, Incas in South America eating potatoes, Mayans and Aztecs in Central America eating corn, and Egyptians in the Middle East eating wheat.
What was my biggest take-away? Eat more whole starches! Eat it at every meal. Your plate should be 1/3 – 1/2 starch and the rest green and yellow vegetables. I asked Dr. McDougall if we needed to give up avocados and nuts…he looked at me and said, “Do you want to lose weight?” Sigh…OK, darn it! I’d already given up oil (99%), now I need to make it 100%.
All of this can be found in book The Starch Solution
I’ll leave you with a few pics of yesterdays meals (that I made) using guidelines from the maximum weight loss version of McDougall’s plan.
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
For a MUCH more in-depth chronicle of this adventure, fellow travelers in my group, Christine & Michael Yager have a really great blog post at: http://yagerfamilyblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/costa-rica.html .
I am so excited! Very shortly I will be embarking on a trip to Costa Rica on_one_of_Dr._John_McDougall’s_Adventure_Trips. http://www.drmcdougall.com/health/travel/costa-rica/
In fact there are a couple spots left if anyone is interested and has a current passport. Some the daily fun will involve horseback riding, wagon rides in the rainforest, kayaking, snorkeling, rafting, hiking, bird watching, canopy tours, and more.
In getting ready, I’ve been trying to eat cleaner (less vegan junk food-lol!) and doing another round of Eat to Live’s 6 week plan. A great resource is_Vegan_Radiance_on_Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vegan-Radiance/252309384840857 She’s got charts, grocery lists, recipes, and more. So much fun watching the scale slide down naturally with good clean eatin’.
Breakfast is usually a smoothie of 1-2 fruits, almond milk, 1 Tbs. of flaxseed meal and a handful of greens or oatmeal with fruit and flaxseed meal.
Lunch is a huge salad with beans (I have my lunch ladies at school trained to include more than iceberg lettuce.
Dinner is often a big bowl of vegetable soup made on Sunday in my fabulous electric pressure cooker Instant Pot.
The recipe can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.plantbasedjunkies.com%2F2013%2F09%2F22%2Fveggie-soup-magic%2F&h=nAQEq_xH4
It is so easy and so flexible! Throw whatever you have in–fill to the top–hit “the Soup” button. BOOM! Dinner in under an hour. Directions are there for cooking of the stove too.
One dish meals are just my style. It’s like soup & salad wrapped up into one dish. The original recipe can be found at Forks Over Knives. My twist (mostly due to missing ingredients):
1.5 c. green split peas
1 c. frozen baby lima beans
¼ c. barley
8 c. low-sodium vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 t. celery seed
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 t. poultry seasoning
1 t. basil
1/2 t. hot paprika
I cooked my split peas, lima beans, bay leaves, celery seed & barley in my Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) for 15 min. Let pressure out and add all other veggies and spices. Pressure cook for another 15 min. I added a few drops of liquid smoke when it was done.
Serve with some raw onion and chopped jalapeno pepper. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and chia seeds. Throw on some raw spinach & arugula mix (salad).
Today the leftovers were mixed with some frozen collards & okra, some black beans and some leftover breakfast veggies. Um, um, good!
Oh my, a new treat! Ever since I had Trader Joe’s Spicy hot chocolate (but they now longer carry by me) I’ve been looking for some more and look no further than my beloved Amazon.com! Equal Exchange Organic Spicy Hot Cocoa with Chili & Cinnamon.
Perfect for this morning’s snow day or for adding to some frozen vegan ice cream made with bananas. I simply added a heaping soup soon full to my mug of black coffee and splashed it with coconut-almond milk. Delish!
If you’re a hot and spicy nut like I am, use it place of cocoa in any recipe!