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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 #18
VOW Peaks Around a Stack of Boxes*

by VOW (of course)

Oh, HI!

Let me clear off a chair so you can sit down. If I can find a chair, that is.

I have FANTASTIC NEWS! The VOW family is MOVING! Way back in Adventure #9 of "Using Your Bean," I shared the tidbit that Hubster and I had bought a piece of Heaven in Arizona where we hoped to retire some day.

We woke up one morning to find that "Some Day" was actually on the calendar! As the countdown to the move accelerates, we are getting more and more excited. Next weekend is the Yard Sale, and the week following that is when the Dumpster will be delivered to our driveway. I have the feeling the Dumpster will remove more of our accumulated accouterments than the Yard Sale will!

VOW Then, the movers arrive on November 10! Our last working day will be December 30. And the New Year will find us in Arizona!

When I was first diagnosed with diabetes in December 2002, I was emotionally and physically exhausted. My personal rut seemed to get deeper and deeper, and I was afraid that I'd never see daylight again. It took all my energy to roll out of bed and trudge off to work in the morning. I'd crawl home at night, knowing that the cycle would only begin anew with the prodding of my alarm clock. Sure, Hubster and I had purchased our land, but "retirement" was a word completely foreign to my vocabulary. How could I possibly look forward to something in the faraway future when I didn't even have strength to address the next 24 hours?

The diagnosis right after my fiftieth birthday was definitely a kick in the pants, but one I desperately needed. There HAD to be more to life than simply existing! The aforesaid kick in the pants gave me the boost I needed to see up over the edge of that rut I was in. Hey, there were OPPORTUNITIES out there! And they weren't going to roll into the rut with me, I had to climb out and GET them!

It's strange to say that diabetes was probably a good thing. How can a life-threatening disease be good? Within all of us is the power to take a THREAT and turn it into a promise. I chose to see diabetes as a ladder extended deep into that rut, and each rung on that ladder was a step I had to take by myself, to better health. Well, since I got a glimpse at those opportunities, I wanted to take those steps!

  • Diet
  • Medication
  • Exercise
  • Education
  • Attitude
  • Testing

Okay, folks. I haven't packed the pantry yet, so let me see if I can find something in my cabinets for a "I need something good to eat so I don't succumb to the siren call of fast food."

(Have you seen the can opener, by any chance?)

*Insert scrambling noises, rustling paper, yowling cats, and miscellaneous thumps*

I have quite a stockpile of canned goods, and I'm depending on them to feed me nutritiously and in the vegetarian mode until I get my kitchen up and running again. I feel more in control of my food intake if I bring a lunch to work, so I'm hoping that I can concoct soups and stews without too much effort.

One of my favorite ideas is to mix a can of vegetarian vegetable soup with a can of well-drained beans. The beans give more protein substance to the soup, and vegetable soup is a reliable, comfortable standby. The "add a can of beans" also works with tomato soup. Gone are the days when the only tomato soup available was the Mmm-mmm-good condensed variety. Check out any soup aisle to see a wide variety of different brands all touting luxurious versions of good ole tomato soup! I plan on trying several kinds, and "spiking" them with the aseptic-pack tofu crumbled in the bowl for extra protein.

And test-driving the spectrum will give me LOTS of good ideas for cooking up the bushels of tomatoes I plan on cultivating in my new garden! Homegrown tomatoes, bliss!

I am also working on cleaning out the freezer. I had some leftover tamale filling that I had planned on using at Christmas. I thawed it out, added some frozen corn and a couple of packages of cooked beans, and discovered a new soup! I will have to reconstruct it for posterity and post it in a future column, because it was so good! Keep a watch for a 2006 bean article entitled "Tamale Soup."

I gotta run. I'm missing a cat, and one of the boxes I just taped shut is making strange noises.

Blessed holidays and a joyous New Year!

Click here for more Adventures of the Bean



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