Tuesday, January 30, 2007
The Weight Watchin' Vegan
Today's lunch box comes to you courtesy of my mom, Susan, the Weight Watchin' Vegan!
Shmoo's grandma switched to a plant-based diet two years ago exclusively for health reasons. It has certainly paid off: "My cholesterol has gone down, my blood pressure has gone down, my weight has gone down, but most importantly my arthritis has, for all intents and purposes, disappeared." The osteoarthritis in her knees and joints used to make her cry out in pain just walking up the steps to her door, and she was taking medication on a daily basis. I showed her some information from Dr. McDougall on diet and arthritis, and she decided to give it a try. "Now," she says, "my arthritis is practically gone. I'm never bothered by it."
Susan is also a member of Weight Watchers, which she says is easy to incorporate into a vegan diet. "The thing I like about Weight Watchers is I can eat anything I want to. I just have to count my points. And it's easier being vegan on Weight Watchers; you can eat more [than meat-eating Weight Watchers], and if your diet is already plant-based you're more familiar with healthy foods like vegetables and you know how to make them taste great."
Today her lunch features a big serving of Aztec Salad from Fat-Free & Easy(3 points), made with black beans, corn, fresh tomatoes, sweet peppers, and red onion. On the side are some tortilla chips (2 points), salsa (free!), an apple (1 point), and a ridiculously high-in-fiber Banana Walnut Gnu Bar (2 points). "That's a lot of food for 8 points!" she tells me.
Oh yes, and let me introduce you bento fiends to the lunch box: Susan packs her lunch in a Lunch on the Go container she found cheap at Bed Bath & Beyond. It's spiffy: two small lidded containers and a flat ice pack fit just so inside a larger container. With the coupon she had it came to about $7.00 -- proof that "you don't have to spend a fortune to pack a stylish lunch." That's right, Mom's an excellent tightwad. I wish I had inherited that, but I got the cooking genes instead.