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Eating the Way Mother Nature Wants Me to: Lots of Veggies!

Jenn recently wrote a post on intuitive eating over on FBG, and let me tell you, it really struck a chord with me. I guess I’ve been eating this way for years and just didn’t know it had a name. Intuitive eating, for those who are new to the idea, basically means this: pay attention to your body and it will tell you what it needs.
So today’s WIAFD is all about veggies. No, I am not a vegetarian, but some days my body tells me I need to eat this way. Why? Well, maybe an overly enthusiastic workout schedule has left this ol’ bod feeling a bit worn down. Or too many late nights and missed hours of sleep have taken a toll on my immune system, or perhaps my digestive track needs a tune-up. Whatever the reason, I have learned to listen to that small quiet voice and take heed.
Basically I woke up craving a sweet potato, which is really weird, ’cause I never eat sweet potatoes for breakfast, at least not until now. Luckily, I had some, so I zapped that sucker in the microwave and doctored it up with a big spoonful of vanilla yogurt, a little maple syrup and a sprinkle of walnuts.

sweet potato breakfast

This gave me a healthy dose of beta-carotene, vitamin A and a decent serving of fiber; a good head-start on the day’s requisite supply of nutrients. But mostly it just tasted really good!
Still craving veggies at lunchtime, I put together a toasted bagel sandwich stacked with hummus, red bell peppers, red onions, tomato and avocado; baked kale chips and green grapes for the sides. Crunchy, colorful and downright delicious, but let me warn you they are a big mess to eat.

bagel sandwich

Bring on the vitamin C (and the napkins)!

I squelched a late afternoon stomach rumble with a banana smeared with Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter.
Can you tell this makes me happy?

Can you tell this makes me happy?

A dinner invitation from a neighbor took all the guesswork out of what to prepare for the evening meal. I was pleasantly surprised when she served no-noodle vegetable lasagna loaded with eggplant, zucchini, spinach and mushrooms. I felt like the universe was looking out for me. By the end of the day I’d eaten a rainbow’s worth of vitamins and minerals, especially those water-soluble ones that our bodies cannot store.
Vegetables have a lot going for them; they are low in fat and high in nutrients and very versatile. A diet that contains a sufficient amount of vegetables can help prevent cancer, heart disease and adult-onset diabetes.
Listen to your body; it will never steer you wrong. Like they say, “Don’t mess with Mother Nature!” She always knows best.
Do you ever go all veggie? Is it planned or does it just work out that way? What’s your favorite vegetarian meal? —Karen

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