wiaw # 6 and maple mustard simmered tempeh

Once again, I am amazed that it’s already Wednesday! Where does the week go? Usually I would have prepared a post for you all about my Tuesday eats and posted it this morning, but I was almost done making dinner when I realized I hadn’t taken a single picture. I had actually prepared a completely unrelated post for today. Doh! So this post is going to be a combination of yesterday’s (last snack and dinner) and today’s foods (breakfast, lunch and snacks). I hope no one minds!

Before I get into that though, I have news and a question for all of you!

The news is that I finally went to my doctor to sort out my digestive issues. I know, I should have gone sooner but I was determined to figure it out by myself. I finally accepted that while doctors aren’t exactly nutritional experts, they do have the ability to do something I don’t- blood tests. My appointment was just getting some basic blood work done so we would have a starting point. I received a call a couple days ago and was told I was anaemic. I was really upset to hear it because I take great care with my diet and I eat a ton of iron-rich foods, but it really explains a ton. I always felt so tired for no apparent reason and would get winded climbing up stairs even though I work out on a regular basis. I know there are individual differences in the ability to absorb iron so perhaps I’m just unlucky. I started taking some iron meds to help bring my iron levels back up and the changes were instantaneous!  I feel energized and awake as opposed to lethargic and heavy! My mind doesn’t feel foggy! It’s really amazing what something so simple can accomplish. Now I by no means want to take those iron supplements forever. They do come with a couple side effects and I would much prefer to get all my nutrients from a whole food source. But for now, I feel really good and will work towards not needing them. Does anyone else have experience with this at all?

And now my question: I am looking into doing a bit of a cleanse for the spring starting on Monday and I’ve been doing a bit of research already and have the beginnings of a plan. But I was wondering what kind of principles anyone else has followed while cleansing and any additional activities, etc. that you followed that were particularly helpful? I would appreciate any input! I am currently thinking about initially forgoing all grains, sugars (except stevia and dates) and caffeine and eating high-raw, but I open to suggestions!

Ok that’s enough about all that. Onto What I Ate Wednesday #6!

Pre-breakfast

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The usual lemon water.

Breakfast

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Green smoothie in a bowl! This one had a frozen banana, frozen peach, coconut water, spinach and Vega Vanilla Chai. Topped with coconut flakes, goji berries and millet-rice cereal.

Snacks

No real lunch today, I’m finding I have an easier time getting through work with one small snack and 2 large snacks/mini-meals.

Snack #1 was an unpictured pear.

Snack #2

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Quick guacamole and some Mary’s Crackers. This guacamole was something I put together last night when I realized I had no actual leftovers to bring. Just an avocado, 1 chopped tomato, juice from 1/2 a lime and some salt and pepper. Brought half to work and the other half is for tomorrow.

Snack #3

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Blueberry Larabar. I had never actually had this kind before but I loved it! Will buy again.

Another snack:

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This is from yesterday, a slice of my banana beet cake. Still so good 4 days later. Sad it’s gone now :(

Dinner

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Maple mustard simmered tempeh with a rice/quinoa blend and steamed kale topped with Bragg’s and nutritional yeast.

This was seriously good and super easy and quick- a perfect weeknight meal when you want dinner with minimal effort with maximum reward ;). Paired with leftover cooked grain and steamed greens, nothing to do except throw tempeh, carrots and some flavours into a pan and let it simmer for about 30 min. Even my “pastrami, ham, cream cheese and bagel loving” dad really enjoyed it (his words not mine)!

I didn’t get a great picture- forgot that I should actually be trying to make it look nice until after I plated it. All things considered though, not too shabby!

Maple Mustard Simmered Tempeh and Carrots (Vegan, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free)

Serves 3-4.

  • 1 block tempeh, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • coconut oil for sautéing
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the tempeh in a medium/large pan over medium heat until the tempeh starts to brown and get crispy. At this point I also broke up some of the tempeh pieces with a wooden spoon but that’s totally optional. I just like little bits of tempeh!

Once browned, add in the vegetable broth and let the liquid reduce slightly. Once reduced toss in the rest of the ingredients, turn the heat down so the water is at a low simmer. Cook covered for about 20 min or until most of the liquid is gone. A little liquid leftover is really good since it gets all over the rice/grain. Season to taste and serve!

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Well this ended up being a pretty long post. Hope you all enjoy the rest of your days!

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32 thoughts on “wiaw # 6 and maple mustard simmered tempeh

    • Yes this is definitely a step in the right direction! I have had the same diagnosis before (a few years ago when I first went vegetarian) and had hoped I could manage it without supplements. I hadn’t been thinking about it too much lately, so hopefully if I focus on it again I can make it work! For now though, bring on the iron pills, little energy bullets :)

  1. Everything looks delicious! As for the cleanse: do not forget to keep your mind healthy as well :) People tend to divide themselves into mind and body while I think everything’s combined. So try and meditate on your digestion system! Worked perfectly for me :) Good luck, hope you are doing well

    XO
    If you like to, check out my blog! I’d be honored :)
    http://fashionfoodfight.wordpress.com/

  2. It’s great that you’ve been able to find the cause for your fatigue; now you can start to feel better! I’ve had a few friends who found out they were anemic (one found out a YEAR after they initially tested her b/c the doctors forgot to read her test results!). I too have trouble with digestion; I’ve found kitchari (an ayurvedic meal for cleansing and helping digestion, while also providing complete, plant-based protein) to be VERY helpful. Some people will do a kitchari diet, where they only eat it for 7 days; I’ve found that if I eat it for lunch and the occasional dinner for a week, it sorts out my digestion completely – and it is very filling and delious – great news for a detox!

    • Hmmm I have made kitchari before and really enjoyed it, so I will try it again and incorporate it into the cleanse! I was really into ayurvedic eating principles for a while and found that it really improved my well being, but when I went to Ireland for a year, everything go out of whack and kind of forgot about it all till now! Thanks for reminding me :)

  3. I’m similar to you…. find it tricky to absorb iron effectively – it’s frustrating but good on you for getting yourself checked out. Knowledge is power :)

    • Thank you Shira! Yes it feels great! I have had this diagnosis before (when I first went vegetarian) and thought I had it under control. Guess not! So this is going to be my first step to better health and wellbeing :).

  4. Well done for going to the doctor and proactively managing your health! Unfortunately iron does often seem to be an issue, but it’s good you’re managing it now :) Yay energy!

  5. I am glad you got some answers to your issues (or some of them?). Aren’t spinach and broccoli high in iron?
    Your question about the cleanse couldn’t be more timely (as I am looking into one myself), I am curious to read the recommendations you receive and the path you take.

    • Ya, definitely a start. Really, being able to make any small change that leads to noticeable results at this stage is amazing :)

      Awesome about doing the cleanse! It will be nice to have someone to bounce ideas and experiences off of!

  6. I love when a recipe is posted and I realized that I have almost all of the ingredients to make it! All I need to get is tempeh…
    I’ve never done a cleanse, but good luck with yours! I don’t know how I could give up caffiene…I think it is a requisite that if you work in healthcare, coffee runs in your veins! That being said, I can’t wait to hear how you fare!

    • Haha ya working a cafe isn’t going to make the caffeine thing easy at all! But I quit caffeine cold turkey once for 2 weeks when I was working at a cafe 2 years ago and managed to do it! I had started to notice that I was drinking like 7 cups a day and it wasn’t giving me an energy boost anymore- a little problematic sounding no? It’ll be interesting to see what happens :). I’ll be sure to keep updating!

  7. Glad to hear that you are getting your health issues taken care of and that you are feeling better! Your food looks so delicious, you have some of my favs in there, such as the guac and gf crackers :) Yum!

    The cleanse you were thinking of is the exact same cleanse I did when I went gluten free. I cleansed my system entirely of the crap and slowly added back grains and natural sugars. I went 2 weeks grain free and all added sugar free. Then after two weeks I slowly added back gluten free grains (oats, rice and quinoa mainly). After two weeks of that I added back natural sugars like maple syrup, agave, etc. I focused on a high raw diet. My system was totally cleaned out and I felt great!! Hope that helps :)

    • Guac is amazing. Actually anything avocado is. I share your love of avocado on gf toast :)

      That’s awesome info on the cleanse, really close to what I was thinking! I might keep pseudograins like quinoa and buckwheat on the menu, but I like the sounds of yours- reintroducing things after 2 weeks like rice then 2 weeks later, the natural sugars. Did you use dates or stevia at all?

      • I was still drinking coffee at the time so I used stevia in that. I didn’t use dates but I rarely use dates anyway except in things like homemade Larabars so that wasn’t a big deal. I think stevia would be fine because it has a low glycemic index and maybe the dates sparingly? I think natural sugars are fine but I would try to limit them a bit just during the cleanse. For that month I rarely used added sugars. You could probably get away with adding them back after 2 weeks though?

      • Cool! Ya I think that’s the route I’ll go. I want to try and get rid of this massive sweet tooth I’ve developed. I’ve kicked it before so I know it’s possible. But it always creeps back in lol

        Thanks for the advice :)

  8. I totally love all snacks involving blueberries! Poptarts, luna bars (my fave), muffins, nutr-grain bars. You pair it with blueberry and I’m all over it… Just like I will be with that Lara bar soon :)

    I’ve been having stomach issues too, and the fact that you got it all figured out gives me hope for myself! Glad you’re getting better.

    • It’s true, blueberries are just so amazing! I’ve never actually had a Luna bar, probably time I do!

      Not everything’s figured out yet, still some digestive issues but this is a first step and I’m happy I’m finally able to make a change that has noticeably good results!

  9. Glad to hear you have an answer to why you weren’t feeling 100%. Knowing you, you will come up w/ some very inventive and delicious ways of getting more iron into your diet! Wish I could help w/ the cleanse – haven’t done one in years! But – I did the no sugar, no grains, no oils kind of cleanse.

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