Following my heart cath recently, I thought all was good. No need for stents. The doctor mentioned "one little problem" to discuss when I came in but ManO just heard no stent and I was loopy. All I remembered hearing was the nurses saying, "you can't beat genetics."
Turns out I have a 40% narrowing thanks to plaque in one of the branches of my heart arteries. I am very thankful it was found. But it wasn't what was causing my chest pain. Esophageal spasms are the culprit. But because of that coincidental pain, they found the silent time bomb just waiting to be 100%. I had time to do something about it. Ack! But PTL!
In order to keep cholesterol plaque at bay, reduce acid reflux, and lose weight, I decided it was a good day to save a life and go vegetarian. Thanks to a lot of wise counsel on Facebook, here from Kav and friends sending me cookbooks, it's easier than I expected.
I've had to withdraw from meat slowly as Kav advised. It's also really important not to go to just salads. The transition is doomed with just lettuce. You need enough protein, good fat (like olive oil or nuts), and carbs to keep you energized.You also can't go the other way. You can gain weight as a vegetarian because folks often still eat too much sugar and processed flour.
One of my first big experiments was for Cinco De Mayo. No day is worse for me. A day when wheat and corn products are in the forefront, everyone is having fun but me. This year was even worse. I couldn't find rice tortillas and there was the whole meat problem. But I cobbled together a solution.
Spring rolls saved the day and saved me carbs. Rice tortillas are 24 grams of carb. Spring roll wraps? SEVEN. So what began as a problem turned into a great lo-carb solution.Then the whole meat thing. That was a fairly easy solve thanks to ManO. I was just going to make spinach and cheese enchiladas with beans on the side. He suggested I add them in in order to make it seem like he got his meat. Another great solution and it let ManO feel like he had some say in the process.
It was rather ironic I used Italian marinara, Irish cheddar, Vietnamese spring roll wrappers and American veggies to celebrate a holiday that began when the Mexican Army beat the French.
I know you are wondering about the cheese. We'll see how it goes but I need to get extra calcium right now. Life is a challenge. But as I told a friend, if it came down to it, I'd rather have books than meat, books than meals. Make the meal pretty and I can survive.
AND I've lost almost ten pounds at a very safe clip so far without feeling starved.
Here's the recipe in easy steps:
Cinco de Mayo Enchiladas
1 package baby spinach
1/2 sweet onion
1 can pinto beans
1 package spring roll wrappers
1 lb or less cheddar cheese
1 cup and a half garlic spaghetti sauce or one can enchilada sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 1: Saute onion in a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Cook down spinach in onion/oil mixture until wilted.
Step 2: Rinse beans then add to veggies. Set aside.
Step 3: Following directions on spring roll wrapper package, wet the wrappers one at a time.
Step 4: Fill with two heaping spoonsful (see picture) of veggie mixture.
Step 5: Top with a sprinkling of cheese and fold/roll as directed. Save remaining cheese for topping.
Step 6: Set rolls in olive oil greased 9x13 pan.
Step 7: Brush tops of rolls with olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 until slightly browned. Remove from oven.
Step 8: Pour enchilada sauce or combined marinara sauce, salt and cumin (to taste) over rolls. Top with cheese and put back in the oven another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.
Step 9: Serve with a tablespoon of light sour cream and shredded lettuce.
So, have you ever tried to go vegetarian? What prompted the experience or what keeps you from going meatless? Any advice for newbies?