Example of a great meal for the vegetarian diet for acid reflux: arugula salad with extra veggies and avocado slices on the side.

Vegetarian Diet for Acid Reflux: Update #1

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Well, it’s been a week since I announced that I was going veggie. In other words, I’ve been trying a vegetarian diet for acid reflux management. Actually, it’s been about two weeks, but I waited to post about it just to make sure I could hold out that long.

I can say that I have managed to avoid eating meat even when it’s next to me on the husb’s plate. And even when I’m cooking it, or when I’m thawing it from the freezer. I can’t say that I haven’t craved that piece of bacon I lovingly add to his salad or wanted to gnaw on a burger as I walk by Barney’s, though.

What does keep me going are three main things: (1) eating several small meals a day, (2) prepping ingredients ahead of time, and (3) rising to the challenge of interesting, new, and delicious recipes!

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1. Eating several small meals a day.

A snapshot of my six meals in a day. Upper left corner: Breakfast is a bowl of granola, kefir, and strawberries. Upper right: Morning snack is a bowl of sliced bananas and almond butter topped with chia and hemp seeds. Middle left: Lunch is lentil pasta with collard greens and toast. Middle right: First afternoon snack is berries and a paleo brownie. Bottom left: Second afternoon snack is avocado toast, fried egg, and feta. Bottom right: Dinner is arugula and mini pepper salad with goat cheese.
What I ate in a day.

Turns out my strategy to stave off heartburn has also made it easier for me to ignore, or avoid altogether, meat cravings. As long as I ensure I get enough fiber and protein alongside veggies for their stomach-acid supporting enzymes, I don’t have issues with heartburn and I don’t get hungry for a juicy platter of meat.

I did slide a bit when I went out with a friend for a couple of hours. Because I abstained from alcohol and ordered a pot of tea instead (dude! My favorite bar serves high-quality loose-leaf tea in a pot!), I felt entitled to ordering housemade potato chips along with my tofu bahn mi. I felt the effects of deep-fried goodness again later that evening. Also, it turns out the green tea contained way too much caffeine and so the dreaded insomnia returned—hope my favorite bar serves decaf or herbal tea as well!

Lesson learned: I now resolve to stay vigilant toward the inevitable tendency to rationalize bad decisions. Eating several times a day keeps me from getting ravenously hungry and keeps me eating healthy and managing my vegetarian diet for acid reflux.

2. Prepping ingredients ahead of time.

Several small and medium-sized plastic containers with lids on a table.
My no-nonsense, unfancy containers for meal prep and leftovers.

I haven’t had to prep meals ahead of time much yet because:

A. The chicken and shrimp I cooked up the first weekend was enough for meals for two weeks (I froze them!) because only the husb will eat them.

B. We’re both going out of town this week (we have housemates who are sticking around, so I can say that publicly). Therefore, we’ve been eating up what’s left in the fridge instead of adding more stuff that will just have to be tossed out later.

I did also cook up some buckwheat and rice ahead, so those are hanging out in the freezer for another day.

3. Rising to the challenge of interesting, new, and delicious recipes!

Screenshot of weekly meal plan PDFs. Image links to the file download.
My weekly meal plans the last couple of weeks.

If you’ve been seeing my posts lately, I’ve been trying out some great vegetarian meals. I’ve also been using my weekly meal plan PDFs to ensure I get all my essential daily nutrients. Most of the vegetarian meals have leaned toward salads because of all the great fresh produce out there right now. I do have a non-salad recipe on the horizon, however.

Also, I’ve been asking for chickpea recommendations, and I have some solid ideas. I’m thinking chickpea June? Perhaps this is the beginning of theme recipe months?

In other news (related to my vegetarian diet for acid reflux anyway) …

I’ve been taking my allergy and acid reflux medicine along with my trusty digestive enzymes, which I also should credit with my current state of good health. I have to mention that I’m not enjoying the gastric side effects of the omeprazole, but they’re more tolerable than heartburn and sour mouth and nausea and … okay, I’ll stop there.

I also haven’t had any issues with mucus in about 10 days, and what a welcome relief! And today marks the first day I can take the smaller dose of Flonase, so wish me luck. Eventually, I’ll wean myself off these meds one at a time, though, so that I can finally figure out which has caused what.

I’ll be back with more updates on my vegetarian diet for acid reflux!

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