Quick Stir Fry with Black Rice, Shiitake Mushrooms, & Spinach
Well, March is over, and despite a few cheat days (like a certain gnocchi party, and a late-night visit to Krispy Kreme in Raleigh!), we have really enjoyed living by #marchwellness principles. I have loved making green smoothies a regular part of our morning ritual, and I unapologetically buy bagfuls of baby kale and baby chard at Trader Joe's. I've spent a lot of time at my favorite next-door juice spot, The Butcher's Daughter, and despite temporarily cutting out many things I love (like cheese and bread and sugar), I can honestly say that I never felt deprived. Eating healthy dishes like Gluten-Free Quesadillas with Black Beans, Avocado, and Chicken, Dijon-Roasted Salmon with Frisee Orange Salad, or Hearty Sprouted Lentil Stew was a pleasure – even for my meat-and-potato-loving husband![recipe:best-stir-fry-black-rice-shiitake-mushrooms-spinach-recipe]
But what about you?? I would love to gather stories from those of you who joined us for #marchwellness, even if it was just for a few days or a week. How did you feel? What was hard? What was great? What were your go-to dishes? Send me your stories and I'll share them on the blog in the coming weeks!
Thank you to those of you who rallied around us and expressed enthusiasm for the project, especially my fabulous blogger friends: Megan & Mike Gilger of The Fresh Exchange, who shared their healthy lifestyle tips for freelancers, Sara Forte from Sprouted Kitchen, who talked about her new cookbook and shared a delicious millet salad recipe, and Beth Hendrickson of Paper Doll Tales, who shared her secrets for healthy toddler tummies, plus a kid-friendly soup recipe chock full of veggies. And an extra big thank you to Megan Gilger for creating the very cool #marchwellness logo, and to my talented husband for creating the cool info graphic that accompanied it! It is such a privilege collaborating with such talented souls.
For me, giving up sweets was hard initially, but the sugar craving really died down after the first week. When I did crave something sweet, I'd have a handful of raspberries or have a piece of dark chocolate and I felt satisfied. On the few times I did cheat and have a dessert (like on my birthday!), it was amazing how bad I felt afterwards. I could feel my blood sugar level spike and then crash half an hour later, and I'd feel exhausted. Same with breads. We didn't totally give up gluten, but we pretty much restricted our gluten intake to sprouted 7-grain toast in the morning with almond butter. Last night, I made pasta for the first time in a month, as a "Happy-Easter- March-Wellness-is-over" celebration, and I instantly felt bloated afterwards. (Though it was worth it - ha!) The hardest thing for me was giving up wine, since I usually have a glass every night with dinner. A tradition I'll happily re-introduce :)
Rather than rushing out and buying all the things we avoided in March, we've felt so good that I really want to keep eating more or less the same way. We feel so much better eating lots of vegetables, fruit, grains, legumes, and fish – and largely avoiding processed foods. I did miss dairy, so I'm adding back in some cheese and some yogurt. I'm not lactose intolerant, so I'm not worried about eating it in moderation.
I wish I could say that living by #marchwellness principles magically cured Brandon, but alas, Lyme disease is much too complicated. Though he definitely noticed an improvement throughout most of the month, he's unfortunately dipped back down the past week. We're still hoping and praying he won't have to go on IV's, and we'll know more next week at his next doctor's appointment.
Just wanted to share with you all a pretty delicious stir-fry dish I created last month using leftovers. One night I made steamed black cod with stir-fried shiitake mushrooms and black rice. The next day, using the leftover mushrooms and black rice, I made a quick stir fry and added spinach and strips of roasted chicken. It was even better than the original dish! Hope you enjoy.