It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic,
Of all things physical and metaphysical,
Of all things human and all things super-human,
Of all true manifestations of the head,
Of the heart, of the soul,
That the life is recognizable in its expression,
That form ever follows function. This is the law.
-Louis Sullivan, 1896
As I progress further down the road to good health, I can't help but notice a fundamental shift in my dieting. I no longer crave candy, or bagels or Woodchuck hard apple cider. I no longer have any desire for red meat, nor am I tempted by it when it is available. I have felt better and have more energy than I have had in a long time. The above quote is famous in architectural circles as a fundamental design principle, but lately I have felt that it applies to my life in an unanticipated way.
As I try to get healthier, run more, and train harder, I have gravitated to foods that have kept my stomach happy. I have a notoriously finicky stomach that can easily be derailed with one or two meals out of the ordinary. When I started running I felt the need to get that under control, or mid-run I'd often be sprinting home in fear of ruining my pants. I've started to figure out what foods I can eat that don't get me upset and, as I am finding out, they are mostly vegetarian and often vegan too.
In this instance, the form of my diet is being shaped by the function I need food to fill. I need the energy to exercise and to get through the day, but at the same time I need it to sit light and allow me to do the things I want. I have found myself eating less pasta, loads more vegetables at nearly every meal, and nearly zero meat at all (save an occasional chicken wing with friends, which did give me quite the upset stomach).
I know I've talked about my move to vegetarianism before, but I wanted to reiterate the profound effect that it has been having on my overall day to day "How do I feel?" Not only that, I feel like I can eat more and feel more full, with substantially less calories.
To back up this claim, I wanted to post a recipe that is quickly becoming one of Ellie's and my favorite dishes. It is a Vegan Bean Taco filling, and we usually get some tortilla to wrap it in for a pretty cheap and quick dinner. It is super easy to make, and provides quite the spicy kick.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 (14.5 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed,
drained, and mashed
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup salsa
|1.||Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, garlic, and bell pepper; cook until tender. Stir in mashed beans. Add the cornmeal. Mix in cumin, paprika, cayenne, chili powder, and salsa. Cover, and cook 5 minutes.|
It’s funny, as I too have become more and more vegetarian, at least in my daily life. Not gonna say I’ll turn down a giant burger or fancy beer when offered, but if I’m just sitting at home, I mostly live off of fruits, veggies, peanut butter, granola, and whole grain stuffs. Aside from just feeling better, it really does give you the energy you need to stay active. One thing to watch for though, is watching your caloric intake when you start piling on miles, I, know it’s not a concern right now as you’re beating yourself into fighting shape, but once you start planning for longer distances more consistently, it really is important to eat more carbohydrates. I was on a very low carb diet for a good chunk of last year, which caused me to get way too skinny in the early fall. Sounds like a good problem, but it was also affecting my energy levels negatively. Now I make sure to have a ton of healthy pasta pretty well every day, I like Barilla Plus as a brand. It’s more expensive, but has a bunch of benefits, aside from being all whole grainy and good. But hey, such problems are still a ways off, so keep up the good work!