Dear Starfish Diaries, Health, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan Livin

Lessons Learned from 4 Weeks off Processed Foods, and My Roasted Chickpeas Recipe

A few weeks ago, I finished up a 4 Week Food Plan with the intention of cutting processed foods out of my diet.  For the first 3 weeks, I was writing weekly updates on my progress, and then, whether you realized it or not, I kind of let the subject drop.  That was intentional, because I kind of had a temper tantrum.  I’m ready to talk about it now.

Last time I brought it up, I was super frustrated.  I was off of artificial sweetener, added sugar, and white carbs.  I was well on my way to also cut out any snacks that were not whole foods i.e. fruits and vegetables.  However, I was still feeling bloated and uncomfortable after most meals.  My next plan was to cut out gluten as an experiment, with high hopes of feeling light and slim and bloat-free.  No dice.  I found myself eating pretty much 100% high fiber food, causing more discomfort, and when I went so far as to use a meal-tracker app, I threw my hands up with some choice 4 letter words.

That damn app.  Told me my fiber intake was too high, as were my sugar and carbs (a girl can’t eat an apple??), my protein was too low (quick side note- I have plenty of protein in my diet.  I’ve been medically tested.  Many people/apps/articles claim we need way more protein than we actually do.  And BTW vegetables HAVE PROTEIN.  Rant over.), and my sodium was all over the place.  I didn’t know which way was up, couldn’t tell the difference between how I felt versus how the app was telling me I should feel (am I hyper off sugar?  exhausted and protein deficient?  should I be rushing to the bathroom every 5 minutes?  WHAT IS REAL???), and I really gave up.  I went to the store and bought a bag of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos.

But a weird thing happened.  I ate like 2 chips and felt gross!  My body literally told me to stop eating them.  Then I went for a run, and when I got home I felt better.  Energized.  Less bloated.

So on to the next day, and I ate what my body craved.  Which, low and behold, was whole foods.  Sweet potatoes, fruit smoothies, even sprouted bread with natural peanut butter!  Without realizing it, I had turned a corner, and hit a reset button.  I was just so busy following rules and watching numbers that I had also tuned out from my body’s signals.

Well let’s just stop that immediately.

So now I’m eating what makes me feel good, and learning as I go.  The 4 weeks really did make a difference, as I’m not reaching for processed foods nearly as much, but I’m also not holding myself to a standard of perfection.  And gluten is safe for now- as long as I’m balancing my grains with my fiber and continuing to move my body I seem to be able to function without feeling like a big gas balloon.  Sexy, eh?

With that learning experience behind me, I’m having fun in the kitchen!  Since Doritos are no longer my jam, I needed a new salty, crunchy treat in my life.  Enter the roasted chickpea.

There are lots of ways to roast a chickpea (is that like the vegan version of “many ways to skin a cat?”), so I played around with the bajillion recipes on pinterest until I found my own combo that I liked.  Maybe start with mine and then do your own experimenting.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cans of chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans for the newly initiated)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning of your choice- I use a garlic and herb blend from Kissed By The Sun, but other options are garlic powder, cayenne pepper, etc.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place foil over a cookie sheet, unless you don’t mind having yellow-stained cookie sheets.

Drain and rinse chickpeas, and place in a mixing bowl.  Pour oil over the mixture and coat.  Add seasonings, and feel free to adjust measurements to taste.  Keep in mind that the saltiness will increase with baking.  Also beware taste testing prior to baking.  Sometimes you wind up having to open a third can.  Just sayin.

Once the chick peas are coated, pour onto baking sheet.  Be sure to drizzle all that flavorful goodness from the bowl onto your little friends.  Place in oven for 20 minutes, then remove and give a little shake to move them around.  Cook another 10 minutes, until they are golden brown but not burned!  Let cool (if you have any willpower, which I do not) and enjoy!

Store outside of the fridge for up to 2 days in tupperware or ziploc bags.  After that I can’t vouch for their crunchiness.  Mine are gobbled up long before that amount of time.

Enjoy your crunchy snack!  They are delicious on a salad, or all by themselves.  I’m obsessed, and I would love to hear how you like them.  



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