Ugh! I should have known with all this fresh air that my allergies would start to get the best of me. I love spring and the weather warming up, but I have a stuffy nose all day. I had read in a few places that some people were able to completely alleviate their sinus pressure and congestion after giving up dairy, but no such ray of hope has shone on me. I’m still hopeful, though.
I have noticed that I don’t necessarily have more energy, but I’m more motivated to get things done. While i would usually flit from one project to the other, eventually getting everything done after a couple hours, I get tasks completed much quicker, now. I’m also sleeping loads better than I used to. I used to struggle to get at least six hours of sleep, and I’m easily getting at least seven hours every night now.
One thing I’m fairly disappointed in is that the diet has not helped all that much with my anxiety problems. It has been rough this last week, and I feel overall happier, but my anxiety is still bothering me. I have found that it’s easier to deal with it comes up, but since it works in a big cycle, I’m still getting the same reactions from stressors and triggers. Overall, I would say there is some kind of positive improvement, but I really believe that veganism is not a cure for chronic mental illness, at least in the short run. Who knows. Maybe I will have an enlightenment moment before the month is out.
Meatless Shepherd’s Pie
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown or green lentils, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed veggies: peas, carrots, green beans and corn
- 3 pounds yukon gold potatoes, thoroughly washed
- 3-4 Tbsp vegan butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Slice any large potatoes in half, place in a large pot and fill with water until they’re just covered. Bring to a low boil on medium high heat, then generously salt, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until they slide off a knife very easily.
- Once cooked, drain, add back to the pot to evaporate any remaining water, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Use a masher, pastry cutter or large fork to mash until smooth. Add add desired amount of vegan butter (2-4 Tbsp), and season with salt and pepper to taste. Loosely cover and set aside.
- While potatoes are cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees F and lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish (or comparable sized dish, such as 9×13 pan. An 8×8 won’t fit it all but close!).
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté onions and garlic in 1 Tbsp olive oil until lightly browned and caramelized – about 5 minutes.
- Add a pinch each salt and pepper. Then add lentils, stock, thyme and stir. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Continue cooking until lentils are tender (35-40 minutes).
- In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the frozen veggies, stir, and cover to meld the flavors together.
- OPTIONAL: To thicken the mixture, add 2-3 Tbsp mashed potatoes and stir. Alternatively, scoop out 1/2 of the mixture and whisk in 2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder and whisk. Return to the pan and whisk to thicken.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Then transfer to your prepared oven-safe baking dish and carefully top with mashed potatoes. Smooth down with a spoon or fork and season with another crack of pepper and a little sea salt.
- Place on a baking sheet to catch overflow and bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes, or until the mashers are lightly browned on top.
- Let cool briefly before serving. The longer it sits, the more it will thicken. Let cool completely before covering, and then store in the fridge for up to a few days. Reheats well in the microwave.
Weight: 210.2 lb (-3.2 change)
Fasting Blood Glucose Level: 102
Blood Pressure: 116/76
Resting Heart Rate: 86
Total Calorie Intake: 1811 189/55/51*
*”Total Calories per Day” “Carbs/Fat/Protein” The ultimate goal is 1800 calories per day with a macronutrient split of 225/60/90.