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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise

Using Your Bean

With this issue Vegetarians in Paradise continues the bean explorations of VOW, a diabetic who has discovered the importance of beans in her diet. In subsequent VIP issues VOW will enlighten our readers with the further Adventures of the Bean.

Adventures of the Bean #16
Playing It Cool at the Office

by VOW

Includes Recipe Below

Summer is here, and I'm freezing. I'm sitting here at the computer, wrapped in a sweatshirt, wiping my leaky nose so it won't drip in the keyboard. All around me in the office, I see fellow sufferers trying to generate body heat. Coffee consumption seems to skyrocket when the weather gets warm, and I'm not the only one who hugs my monitor seeking a little heat. When I really get miserable, I have a Cuddle-Up electric blanket tucked away in my work area. I pull that baby out, plug it in, and groan with relief!

I don't understand the arrangement that cranks up the air conditioner to uncomfortable settings in the summer months. The Chill Bill for our office must be astronomical, and yet we're always getting bugged to "save money." Hey, Everyone, how about we set the thermostat on 75? Right now, it feels like it's set on 65, and I joke to others about being able to see my breath.

I can gripe and gripe, but we peasants on the bottom rung of the corporate ladder don't have any sayso in the way things are run. So, I have to take care of myself. And isn't that the usual task in life, anyway? VOW

The first, and best solution is to get up and MOVE AROUND. I'm one of those people who has the metabolism of a rutabaga, and I'm always cold. Since I can't change my environment, I guess I'm stuck with changing ME. I'm making it a priority to take my breaks and use them for more than refilling my coffee cup, reading the paper, or catching up on office gossip. I put on my sunglasses, grab a floppy hat, and I go outside and WALK.

It feels so good to thaw out!

Activity revs up the metabolism, which will stay in a higher gear even after you return to your desk. And that's a good thing, for it helps to keep your blood sugars more stable. Burns a few more calories, too!

Keep some items at work: an extra pair of comfortable walking shoes, an extra pair of socks, a sun hat, even some sunscreen. In the cooler months, a waterproof jacket and an umbrella are nice to have. A little walk using your fifteen minute break period twice a day will clear your mind, make you feel better, show you a world outside of the office, and go a long way in helping your diabetes management.

And get you out of that icebox!

So, it may be summer by the calendar, but I still need soup! A cup of hot soup for lunch warms my innards, and I get to wrap my frozen fingers around the steaming mug!

This is a fantastic soup to fit that need! It's hearty, filling, and guess what? You can think "Thanksgiving in July," because we're making Punkin Soup!

"Punkin" Soup

(serves 10)


    2 cups (480 ml) dried lentils (or 1 cup (240 ml) dried lentils, 1 cup (240 ml) dried chana dal, (see note)
    4 cups (1 liter) stock, or more, vegetable or "fake chicken"
    1 28 oz. (794 g) can of pureed pumpkin
    1 cup (240 ml) celery, diced
    1 cup (240 ml) spaghetti squash, cooked, shredded
    1 cup (240 ml) carrots, diced
    1 cup (240 ml) turnip, diced
    1 cup (240 ml) onion, diced
    2 tablespoons raisins
    1 tsp. ground poultry seasoning (or to taste)
    1-1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or to taste)
    Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the lentils and place in a large cooking pot. Add the stock, bring to a boil, then turn heat down to simmer. Add the rest of the ingredients, and stir well. Cover and simmer until veggies are tender and lentils are cooked.

Makes about ten one-cup servings

Per serving:
191 calories
13 grams protein
1 gram fat
37 grams carbohydrate
16 grams fiber

You can add or substitute veggies depending on what you have on hand! This is a good "clean out the refrigerator" soup! I suggest you do not let the poultry seasoning overwhelm the pumpkin pie spice seasoning, because you want it to taste more like pie than stuffing!

Note: Chana dal is a lentil-type legume from India. You can find it in Indian specialty shops, and it looks like a teeny, tiny garbanzo bean. This food has the LOWEST glycemic index of just about anything else in the world (or so it seems!) and that means ABSOLUTE MAGIC for blood sugar control! It's worth the effort to locate it! Also be aware that chana dal will still retain somewhat of a crunch even after cooking. The texture contrast adds an even more interesting note to the soup!

Next Month: Christmas In August?

Click here for more Adventures of the Bean

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