Fast Food Greens & Beans

I’ve been feeling a little “off” this week. I can’t pinpoint it exactly, at first I thought I was fighting a cold. Then, I blamed sleep disruption and then, finally, hormones. Whatever the reason, I am not used to not feeling my absolute best. Ever since I cleaned up my act roughly 15 months ago by eating a whole foods, plant-based diet, I have been full of energy, balanced and headache-free. That’s not to say I haven’t had the occasional health issue and I continue to battle my allergies. But a week of feeling icky? It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like this.

I don’t mean to whine, I’m actually feeling much better today and think I’m on the upswing. What it reminds me of is when I wrote about Changing My Health Destiny last October when I talked about my fear of getting sick like my dad was for many, many years. My dad passed away in December, about two and a half months after I wrote that post. He died alone because his mental and physical illnesses and his refusal and inability to help himself had driven away every single person in his life.

Sad, right? I have a reason to be scared of my health destiny but I’ve tried to transform my fear into motivation and inspiration that we have a role in our health and how we feel both mentally and physically. That’s always been my goal with this blog to communicate hope with the tools for success.

That being said, last night I just wanted something easy and simple for dinner. I had two bunches of greens from the farm stand and thought they would go great with beans and rice. I washed the greens (I used collard greens and dandelion greens):

Then I raided the pantry for my “fast food” components: diced tomatoes and green chilies:

I water-sauteed the greens for only a few minutes in a big pot:

Then I just added the tomatoes, chilies and beans. I also sprinkled some garlic powder and oregano on top:

I made a really simple topping of tahini mixed with lemon juice:

I scooped the greens and beans over brown rice and dinner was served: my version of healthy, fast food.

Do you worry about your health destiny? Are you taking steps to alter your course?

Have a happy, healthy weekend!




  1. says

    I think it is great that you’re working on your health :). I think that I could do some more, and I probably will in the coming years. It’s not that I don’t live healthy, I could just do some more and bring some variety in our diet. I won’t let my homemade cookies go though ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Gary H says


    I don’t worry much about my health destiny very much since much of it is beyond my control. But (as you have decided) that doesn’t mean I can’t exert some influence on the journey. I empathize with your feelings about your father. My father passed away in 2010. He had dementia. It fell upon me to manage his affairs in the last few years as I had the time and resources. I think I got to know him better in that time than in all the years before, which was a blessing. On the other hand, I had to see and experience things that no son should have to.

    I have adopted the ETL approach to lose weight and enhance my health/life in after retiring. It’s only been 5 weeks but I feel it is benefiting me already. You have a great blog. I appreciate your efforts.

    • says

      Thanks, Gary, for your thoughtful comment. It was nice that you had that time with your dad even though I’m sure it was difficult at the same time. Keep up the good work with ETL, the rewards are tremendous.

  3. says

    This looks so good! I wouldn’t have guessed it was so easy, just by looking at it.
    I truly believe that lifestyle makes up 80-90% of our health determination…so because of that, I really don’t worry about my health destiny. I just do whatever I feel is best for me at any given time, and trust that it will lead me to the best health I can have.

  4. Devon says

    Carrie- I can totally relate. My tipping point to start ETL was seeing my obese, diabetes type 2 mom at christmastime. The medication plus retirement (so NO activity at all) has brought her to the highest weight I’ve ever seen her. I did not want to go down the yo-yo dieting/guilt/overeat path that she’s been on my whole life. Here’s to healthy choices!

    • says

      Hi Devon, thanks for the comment. It is so hard to see loved ones making unhealthy choices, I just try to focus on myself and those around me who WANT to make changes. Keep up the good work!!!

  5. Susan Simon says

    I just made and ate this for dinner. Skipped the tahini sauce, added a bit of freshly ground horseradish, some Table Tasty and some Mrs. Dash spicy. Very good – had seconds. And I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. thanks!


    • says

      Thanks for the comment, Susan, I love hearing from people who try my recipes. I had my leftovers last night and enjoyed it even more the second time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Ginny says

    Hi Carrie,

    I too am sorry for the loss of your father. May you have beautiful memories of him always.

    We are only human, and I think that no matter how many greens we eat, we’re still going to feel off sometimes. IMO, it’s nice to allow ourselves those days, just as we do when we splurge once in a while (for me, it’s more like once a day :-/) on sugar or a sweet. I think sometimes our mind and bodies need a rest, even if we don’t think they do.

    It’s probably time for me to practice what I just said! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. says

    Sorry for your loss, Carrie.

    I have a history of health problems in my family, including addiction in a nuclear family member and cancer in another (my mom had breast cancer a few years ago). Oddly, I never worry at all. I think I’ve seen so much to the effect of lifestyle turning genes on or off that I try to remain optimistic. I do have a deeply addictive strain (my anorexia was an addiction, among other things), but I’ve learned to manage it with therapy and vigilance.

    It might also help you to hear that, when I do consider the likelihood of breast cancer or hypertension (again, in both of my parents), I am very calm. People like to decry mainstream medicine, but I do believe in its power as a “last measure” against extreme illness. It saved my mom, very efficiently, and now lifestyle helps her not to relapse. So it’s a combination of good choices and also faith in the miracles of modern medicine, which are our friends, not our enemies; we simply need to recognize their time and place, and do our best to avoid relying on them.

    Be well ๐Ÿ™‚


    • says

      Thanks Gena, I appreciate your kind and thoughtful words. I feel so lucky to live in a time when we can use a whole-foods, holistic approach to prevent disease as much as possible, but yet we have the benefits of modern medicine as a safety net. It is truly a remarkable time in human history. I so admire your dedication to becoming a doctor who embraces that type of approach and, who knows, maybe I’ll be one of your (healthy) patients someday! ๐Ÿ™‚


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