Check ins, Starch Solution

23 Days of Starch Solution!

2019 Update: See my Instagram for daily posts on my weight loss & body progress, food & recipes, and diet updates. See my Youtube channel for more detailed starch solution/diet updates and before & after photos!

See my Round Two of Starch Solution–a second month of daily food diaries!

Guidelines for my version of the Starch Solution:

  • Center my meals on starch: potatoes, rice, beans, lentils, squash, bulgur, oats, corn, etc.
  • Keep macros around 65-70% carbs, 15-20% protein, and 10-15% fat. (this generally requires protein powder and/or bars for me)
  • Focus on whole foods: avoid flours; no oils
  • Eat more vegetables (currently having small salads with lunch 3-4 days a week and a serving at dinner, but I’d like to get more)
  • No limit on fresh fruits (starch solution guidelines say 4 or fewer servings, but I’m not a fan of that!)

Photo Sep 11, 6 20 47 PM
My lifelong love affair with starch continues! This is a channa masala I made a few days ago

Starting today, 9/15, I’m planning on posting my food diaries of the next 23 days!

Back when I started this blog I would post them everyday, but because I don’t have nearly as much time as I used to, I thought I could instead give you guys snapshots of what I eat every once in awhile. I’ll either do food diary posts that have a day or two each, or do a weekly post with what I ate each day that week.

I’ve been an ethical vegan for a long time now: vegetarian for the last 9 years, 95% vegan for 3 years, and 100% vegan for the last year. Since February, I’ve been dabbling in HCLF (high carb, low fat) veganism on and off, and have been doing pretty well with it since I got back to school three weeks ago. However, I have been eating a bit too much processed food, especially homemade chocolate chip cookies because of too many bakesales and potlucks! Thanks to that and the heaps of stress I’ve been under–applying to grad school while working in 2 labs, doing an honors thesis, and taking a full courseload–my skin hasn’t been too thrilled with me, and my gym performance seems to be suffering.

They're just way too addictive
Dastardly little cookies…

I’ll be visiting my boyfriend in three weeks, so until then, I’m going to try following Dr. McDougall’s Starch Solution principles more closely than I have been. Not only do I already love starches, but his premises make sense to me–and I’m a very cynical/scientific person, so it takes a persuasive argument to get me on board with something like that. I won’t be super strict as I’ll still be including protein bars, Beyond Meat chick’n strips, avocados, and flax seed here and there, but I’m interested to see if I feel and look better eating his way… and I wouldn’t mind losing a pound or two either!

I’m also hoping I can simplify my diet and meal planning, because I’m currently a bit addicted to variety. However, on the weekends I’ll probably bend the guidelines and have some flours in pancakes and whatnot, and experiment with new recipes.

Also, I won’t be counting calories during the day–I’m going to be eating intuitively–but I will write down what I eat so I can put it in Myfitnesspal at the end of the day and maybe post it here! I love data, but I hate planning my day around calories, so this compromise has been working for me.

Thanks for reading!

Recipes

Recipe: Creamy Tofu Tikka Masala (Vegan)

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Ever since I went to college three years ago, the biggest obstacle to being 100% vegan was an Indian restaurant called Biryani house. My college town is teeming with vegan options, but this place had the absolute best food I’d ever tasted in my life. And that’s a big deal for me, because I’ve had the good fortune of eating at a lot of great restaurants.

I used to go there with friends a couple of times a month to gorge myself on their freshly baked aloo naan, perfectly spiced vegetable biryani, and most importantly, their decadent paneer tikka masala. Unfortunately, my vegan aspirations were dashed due to the fact that their tikka masala not only sported paneer (cubes of Indian cottage cheese), but was also likely drowned in heavy cream.

(Fun fact: my weight seemed to fluctuate along with how often I went there.)

When I finally got more serious about being 100% vegan last year, I had to stop going there. And as if to enforce my self-discipline, it actually closed a few weeks after my decision, for unknown reasons. A bittersweet moment.

Anyways, getting to the point: I’ve been trying to recreate that tikka masala for quite awhile now. After a few tries–all of which were delicious, but not decadent like theirs–I finally came up with a recipe that tasted almost the same. It’s creamy, spicy, much healthier than its restaurant counterpart, and most importantly, vegan. And I’m pretty darn excited about it.

Now to work on aloo naan recipes!

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Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 400-500g super firm tofu (the kind that is vacuum sealed instead of water packed, and has the density of a block of cheese–I use Tofu Yu. If you can’t find that, try freezing an extra firm block then thawing it out and using it as you would super firm.)
  • 80g cashews (a little less than 3/4 cup), soaked overnight or for a few hours
  • 15oz can of plain tomato sauce
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1-2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 + cup unsweetened almond or cashew milk (as needed)
  • Handful cilantro
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (more as desired)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika (more as desired)
  • 2 pinches of amchur powder

Directions:

1. Cut up the onion and garlic, and combine them with the tomato sauce in a large pan over medium heat. Add in the cumin, cardamom, coriander, ginger, nutmeg, cayenne, paprika, and amchur powder, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

2. While the sauce is simmering, cut your tofu into cubes, and fry until golden (I used a teaspoon of coconut oil, but you could also do it dry). Remove from heat once golden.

3. After 15 minutes, remove the sauce from heat. Allow to cool (if necessary; I didn’t have to for my vitamix) and blend with the drained cashews until smooth and creamy. Add unsweetened almond or cashew milk as needed to get it to your desired consistency.

4. Combine tofu with sauce in a serving bowl, and serve it with jasmine rice, naan, your preferred grain, or enjoy it solo!

Nutrition info: 

  • Calories per 1/5 of recipe: 230 calories
  • Carbs: 17g (3g fiber)| Protein: 15g | Fat: 13g

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Thanks for reading!

Miche

(Cross-posted from my recipe-only blog)