I chatted about this briefly a few posts back, but over the past now fourteen-weeks I’ve been managing serious gastrointestinal health issues – this bizarre, almost dreamlike, progression from potential stomach flu to tentative diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. Although I’ve been assured none of this is ‘my fault’, pointing to a life spent sharing and encompassing conscious and mindful wellness, currently on two different ulcer healing medications and feeling completely betrayed by my body, it’s been really hard to stomach this stomach ache.
More a stream of consciousness than anything: I can’t help but put my diet in constant question, whether I should be so strict with my ‘veganism’ when my body is so obviously in crisis, trying to decipher why I feel so confused and lost at mealtime. I’ve always championed a life of emotional and physical balance and consciousness, and when it comes to self analysis it’s always felt like I’ve been doing the right thing. Energy levels high, attitude vibrant and bright. But when life so drastically changes, (perhaps you have a recent diagnosis or are experiencing imbalance in your emotional or physical self) and what once felt so right is no longer working, how do we reestablish a new normal without feeling guilt or like we’re ‘cheating’ on ourselves? Would a few sips of collagen rich bone broth, a few bites of locally sourced eggs, a nibble of macrobiotic salmon be worth the health gains if I am contradicting everything I so strongly believe in (or am I?). Over the past fourteen-weeks it been almost impossible not to question if I should consider being ‘less vegan’. It’s been this ongoing, deep seeded, terrifying and moral dilemma.
I eat plants to keep my body vibrant, efficient, strong, and healthful. I eat plants because I have an insanely massive moral issue with America’s food system. I eat plants for myself: because I want to and because it is a practice that works for me. No one is pressing me, and I think most importantly, I want to recognize and make so clear that if I missed something, I would eat it (or would I?). That being said, I am a firm believer in: eat food. not too much. mostly plants., that one-size-fits-no-one, that life is constantly in motion, that there is no one right way to live.
Perhaps I need to listen to myself.
Baked Pistachio and Mint Falafel [makes 25 balls]
Made with a protein rich array of pistachios, almonds, sunflower and sesame seeds, these moist, decadent, and flavor packed vegan baked falafel are the perfect addition to any mezze plate, pita pocket, or kale salad. I serve mine with a side of creamy chickpea hummus, lots of purple kale, a squeeze of fresh lemon, and a drizzle of tahini.
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds
1 cup raw pistachios
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
¾ cup raw almonds
¾ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 large portobello mushroom caps, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
½ large yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
½ cup fresh mint leaves, tough stems removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of one lemon
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 225 degrees F, rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine flax and sesame seeds. Set aside.
In a food processor fitted with an S blade, pulse pistachios, sunflower seeds, almonds, cumin, and turmeric until they form a course crumb. Add remaining ingredients and continue to pulse until mixture is thoroughly combined (this may have to happen in batches if your food processor isn’t large enough).
Using a standard ice cream scoop, or a large spoon, scoop mixture into balls (about 2 inches in diameter) and gently roll each ball in flax/sesame mixture. Transfer balls to parchment paper and bake for 40 minutes, or until crisp on the outside, but still moist. Serve and enjoy!
Nutritional Information [per serving = 1 ball]
100 Calories, 5g Carbohydrates, 8g Fat, 3.5g Protein, 2g Fiber, 1.4g Sugar