In college, my girlfriend’s best friend, Dana, was constantly dieting. She would lose a little weight, then gain it back. I never knew what I’d be seeing her eat next. Sometimes it was a solitary grapefruit, other times, some wacky diet bar, but more often than not it was a sprinkled doughnut, a chocolate muffin, or a greasy hamburger.
The most difficult thing to watch Dana endure during one her weird diets was the depression and guilt of breaking it. I could spot the defeat that filled her eyes when she ate a Twinkie, a Hostess Cup Cake, or a Chocodile. For Dana, eating had become a test of her will power. And her will power weakened with each test. It wasn’t her fault. Eating should be fun, healthy, and energizing.
When the ambulance skidded onto campus with its horns blaring, I was shocked. When I watched the paramedics running towards Dana’s classroom, my heart sunk. Hours later, my girlfriend told me that Dana blacked out and hit her head on the desk as she fell.
When we visited her at the hospital, Dana told us that in addition to a mild concussion, she had been diagnosed with adult onset diabetes. We were shocked. She was only 22 years old.
Years later, I saw Dana again. I hardly recognized her. She was slim, fit, and radiant.
“You look great.” I said.
“I feel great” she replied.
After catching up with her, she told me that she was a vegan. I asked her about how she got her protein; she laughed and said that protein isn’t an issue that she gets plenty from beans and greens. She certainly didn’t look protein deficient. She was glowing. I asked her if she felt hungry, like she did when she was on a diet. She said “Not at all. I eat all the time. In fact, I can eat as much as I want. It isn’t how much you eat, it’s WHAT you eat.”
That was the day I realized that Diets are DEAD. Calorie counting and portion restrictions don’t work. They create scarcity causing the irresitable impulse to crave and over-eat unhealthy, sugary, fatty foods. Eating healthfully doesn’t have to be a chore, full of miserable, tasteless meals.
For a few weeks, I’ve been following the guidelines for Engine 2 Meals. For those readers who aren’t familar with Engine 2. It’s a meal plan based on Forks Over Knives
, essentially vegan eating. It favors whole foods, shunning meat, dairy, and oils. You’d think eating that way would be very bland, but you’d be wrong. There are some absolutely delicious recipes in Engine 2. Here is one of my favorite, super easy summer desserts:
EASY,HEALTHY, SINGLE-OR-MULTIPLE-INGREDIENT, MAGIC BANANA ICE-CREAM
- Fresh, Ripe Bananas
- Fresh berries (or multiple ingredients such as cocoa, nuts, kiwi, mango)
- Peel and slice 2 or 3 bananas.
- Place slices on waxed paper and place in freezer for a few hours.
Place frozen bananas in a food processor or good blender. Blend and blend, mix and then blend again. The bananas will transform into ice cream. It’s a true miracle. Somehow, they become creamy and rich. Not only does the mixture have the wonderful consistency of ice cream, but it also has the same rich and creamy flavor–without all of the unhealthy fat, nasty casein, and excessive sugars.
Once the “ice-cream” is prepared, the sky is the limit for delicious flavor combos. Some people add cocoa or berries; others add tea, lemon juice, or other liquids. Just blend or stir them into the banana ice cream mixture.
For more awesome vegan recipes, check out Engine 2 Website or buy the book from amazon.