Greek Salad & A Health Update

Yesterday I had someone ask me, “Why haven’t you posted anything recently?” It’s exciting to know that someone is reading the blog regularly and notices when I go a few days without a post.

So why haven’t I posted for a few days? Well, there are two reasons.

First, my weekends are for relaxing. This is the time I take a step back from my day-to-day activities and simply enjoy being with my husband, Josh.  We usually don’t do anything too out of the ordinary. We’re just together. And for us, that’s all we need.

Secondly, I haven’t been feeling well. My stomach has started to get upset again. Often. For those of you that are unfamiliar with my health story, here’s an abbreviated version:

Last summer, I started having some digestion problems. I would wake up most mornings feeling very nauseous. Sometimes this feeling would pass, sometimes not. I’d alternate between constipation and diarrhea. Other symptoms included: headaches, mouth sores, painful stomach cramps, gas, and indigestion. It was not fun!  Multiple trips to the doctor yielded no solution. I was eventually told that I had IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and my only solution was medication. However, I was not willing to commit to taking medication for the rest of my life. After consulting with a friend/nutritionist, and sharing my symptoms, she recommended that I try eliminating gluten from my diet and see if that helped. In conjunction with gluten, I also decided to eliminate dairy and meat. This decision came after countless hours of research and reading stories of people who were healed from their IBS symptoms after turning to a vegan diet. For 4 months I felt fantastic. All of my previous digestion problems disappeared and I felt AMAZING…full of energy and health.  Around the end of my 4th month eating vegan and gf, I started struggling with bloating and constipation. It became so uncomfortable, that I decided I should reintroduce gluten, meat and dairy back into my diet to see how my body responded. After doing so, I noticed several things: I no longer enjoy the taste of meat, I started waking up with an upset stomach again, and slowly all of my other symptoms returned.

Where do I go from here?

I’m not really sure. I’m going to start by returning to a vegan, gf diet. Only this time, I’m going to take a probiotic and multiple supplements. (I’ll do a follow-up post on what supplements are good for a vegan diet.) Hopefully the addition of supplements will balance out my digestion and eliminate my previous battle with constipation. I’ll keep you posted on how I’m feeling. Hopefully I’ll be back to my normal, energetic, cheery-self soon.

In the meantime, here’s a simple recipe that I’ve made several times over the last month. It’s perfect as a light, side addition to any summery meal.

Greek Salad (vegan, gf)

Original recipe by Ina Garten

Ingredients:

Dressing

-          ½ cup olive oil

-          ¼ cup red wine vinegar

-          2 cloves garlic, minced

-          1 tsp salt

-          ½ tsp pepper

-          1 tsp dried oregano

-          ½ tsp Dijon Mustard

Salad

-          Lettuce

-          Tomato

-          Red onion

-          Cucumber

-          Feta Cheese (For a vegan option, do not use cheese.)

-          Olives (I used black)

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl. Whisk the mixture to combine and then place in the refrigerator to chill.
  2. Wash and dry the vegetables. Dice them and place them in a large bowl. Top the salad with olives and feta cheese. Pour the dressing over the salad 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to marry.

TIPS:

*Since most people are familiar with making salads, I wasn’t specific on the amount of vegetables to use. Be creative and use your best judgment!

*You can add additional vegetables to give the salad a little more volume and make it a main course. Last night I added celery, carrots, green pepper and broccoli.

*Remember…for a vegan option, just don’t use the cheese.

Enjoy!

Lori

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3 comments

  1. Greek salad is perfect for summer.

  2. Lori, hope you feel better soon! Here are some thoughts/things that work for me when having stomach problems, even though I’m sure this is not new information for you.
    1. Can you be vegan but make an exception for yogurt? I feel like it is so good for you with the active bacteria. Is there another way to get this bacteria?
    2. When feeling bloated I always eat radishes/turnips – very good for digestion.
    3. I always try to drink plenty of water and also eat perunes – healthy snack and prevents constipation.
    This is enough – looking fwd to catching up w u in person soon. Miss you, hugs.

    1. Thanks for the tips Sona. I will try them and see if they help!

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