The Daily Beet

01 Jul Adventures with Ami: Dust & Cravings

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I am writing to you from the basement of our new house in St Louis.  It’s a 1927 brick bungalow and we are remodeling.  It’s the only dust free zone in the house at the moment.  If you have ever been in the midst of a renovation project, you know how long the process can be, how tiring and stressful it is, how much dust and dirt gets knocked around and how much you just can’t wait to be done with the whole thing.  This would be me this week.

I haven’t been keeping regular hours and I have been cooking as little as possible while I am without a kitchen all day.  Having a lot of room temperature food, easy to eat produce and very simple lettuce and tomato sandwiches have been my savior.  Having salads without dressing from take out places have been easy dinners for us the past two weeks as I have been keeping hours from 7am-10pm or so at the renovation project that our house has become.

I find myself craving this week.  Not craving junk as I might have once before finding Engine 2, but craving kale, hot soup, steaming baked potatoes heaped with chili and fresh cilantro.  I am craving some of my lentil sloppy joes and other things that I haven’t had during our kitchenless period the past 14 days.  Until now, it hasn’t even been a place you’d want to plug in a crock-pot.  We had all new plumbing put in, so I finally have water! Yay! Though you can take showers at our YMCA – I think they would frown upon us bringing our dishes over to scrub :D

I find the process of developing a taste or craving for healthy food fascinating.  Once I used to crave so much fat laden food, sugar frosted items and just plain junk.  If you are struggling with staying on plan, food cravings for things that are not plant-strong, hang in there! Stay strong.  Find the closest plant-strong food you can to satisfy your craving.  Is it salty or sweet? Hot or cold?  What could you substitute?  Would frozen fruit do the trick?  Would something spicy scratch the itch?  Take a moment to breathe and think about what you really want and how it will make you feel if you have it.  Will you feel satisfied?  Will you be able to stop there, just having one thing?

For me it’s a slippery slope with foods I know I have issues controlling.  I find it’s easiest for me if I just abstain.  I won’t tell you that it’s easy.  It is a process and it does take a while.  But it won’t be long before you think….wow, I sure could go for a  bowl of quinoa, kale and black beans right now!

That sounds really good to me.

The crock-pot will be in full force this week at our bungalow, my make shift kitchen set up in the basement while we wait for cabinets to be delivered and tile floors to be done.  The most simple fare possible can be amazing when you are plant-strong.  Keeping things simple is the key to success! beans, lentils, potatoes, rice and veggies, with some spices is all I need or want this week.  How about you?

What have you been craving lately?

Plant-strong foods or otherwise, tell us how you handle food cravings!

E2 Team Ami
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Ami Mackey
Ami Mackey

Ami Mackey is a food coach at Engine 2 Extra and has been plant-strong since 2011. She is also the Program Director at St Louis All City Boxing a nonprofit youth program. She earned certificates from eCornell in Plant-Based Nutrition & Fitness Nutrition from NASM.

  • Kathy F

    Ami – Thanks for sharing! I’ve also been marveling over the change in cravings. Now I long for steel cut oats with apples, any kind of bean dish, salads, and our homemade hummus or pesto (no oil). It’s hard to imagine I used to crave all of those sweets and fats. That being said, for those who are craving sweets but want to stay on track, the Banana Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies from Rip’s new book should do the trick. Yum!