Vegan Dreams – Less plastic, More plants, More Fiber – Dr. Plastic Picker
 

Category: Vegan Dreams – Less plastic, More plants, More Fiber

Passion-fruit from my brother’s family’s suburban garden.

September 17, 2021

by drplasticpicker

This is passion fruit. In Vietnamese it’s called chanh da^y roughly in my Vietnamese translated to lemon of the vine or lemon of the rope/string. I’ve had passion fruit flavored processed food before, and I saw it plentiful in Peru – but I’d never tasted it. I never tasted it until yesterday. The smell of fresh passion fruit is sweet and sticky. It’s color is yellow and beautiful and it looks like there are a hundred little frog eyes looking at you. At least that is what I thought when I was with my mom yesterday. She had been gifted a big bag of passion fruit from my sister-in-law’s garden. She doesn’t like to eat it, but my father loves it. She was taking out the innards of the passion fruit, and this is what it looked like.

Looks like amphibian eyes to me.

My mom asked me if I wanted to taste it. And I told her I had tasted it a thousand of times. I really thought I had. I must have been confused in my modern world go-go know-it-all MD brain. I told her repeatedly. But then I stopped, and after looking at the beautiful sky outside of her house that sits above the ocean that I love – I came back in from the outside second story deck and said to her, “Mommy. Can I try some?” I tried it, and it was so sour! I made a very sour face, and I did finish them all and spit out the seeds and I laughed. I laughed and said, “There is no way I’ve tried it before. It is so sour???!!!” But it’s a wonderful kind of alive kind of sour. Isn’t that funny?

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The spices I had all along that I needed last night.

September 6, 2021

by drplasticpicker

Wow. Dinner was a complete and utter and delightful and healthy surprise. We had gone out to dinner on Saturday and had felt very, for the lack of a better word, heavy. We had gone to a nice family style high-end American-fare restaurant and we all had sandwhiches and various burgers and salad. The first bites were good, but afterwards all my daughter could mention was how much butter and oil there was on everything.

When our family moved toward a more plant-based diet and especially when I stopped drinking coffee with all that cream and sugar, my palate fundamentally changed. Without all the processed sugar that comes in pre-packaged foods, real food made at home and in general life became more real and flavorful and sweet.

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Easy Peasy Split Pea Soup: It really was free!

March 22, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I have been a Girl Scout Leader for seven years now. Seven years! The early years when the girls were young was actually really hard. I’m a pediatrician and not a teacher. They were really rambunctious and I felt like we were just giving them snacks all the time. Now they are 7th graders, and it’s easier. One of our troop members emailed us asking about doing a service project for homeless/shelterless people. In a very age appropriate way, she wanted to buy things for them that she thinks they need to ease their lives. And I felt like I’m finally the troop leader I need to be. Because indeed each of those girls are future leaders, and will help the world. Sometimes in the midst of planning badges and making time for meeting with other parents, I forget that. But this email reminded me, that Girl Scouts has always been a leadership program and about teaching them service. I was never good at crafts and sometimes did a haphazard job teaching them things. But I’m a leader and I’ve lived a life of service. I responded to this particular troop member’s email and it was very meaningful to me.

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View I will remember from our hike yesterday.

March 17, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I love to live for the early mornings. It’s 6am and I have my cup of coffee in my Unicef mug that my co-troop leader of Girl Scouts gave me years ago. It’s an image of kids holding hands of multi-ethnic dress encircling the mug. It’s been 1.5 years of being Dr. Plastic Picker, and I asked Mr. Plastic Picker last night how old my eco-avatar was and he said definitely at least two. I looked back at my blog post and indeed this blog is only 1.5 years. This is evidence that this journey has slowed down time. It seems like I’ve been this identity for two years, but it has only been 1.5 years. Is it possible? It seems I have been Dr. Plastic Picker for glorious decades.

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630AM post daylight savings. It was 530 equivalent a week ago. My body is on earth time!

March 16, 2021

by drplasticpicker

OMG my title is so witty this morning. I’m back at the kitchen table after having slept a blissful full night of sleep and realizing it was so deep and restorative. I did half of the YouTube video “Yoga for a Dull Momet” by Yoga by Adrienne, and ceremoniously threw up cell phone out of arms reach when I went to sleep. I was rewarded with a good night of sleep.

For me this journey as eco-avatar Dr. Plastic Picker has had unexpected benefits. One of the first things that miraculously happened is that my sleep improved. As a former research fellow at an NIH group studying sleep, I knew that sleep was important. I had read up on sleep. I had given advice on sleep. I had written about sleep. But I did not understand common sleep issues until I realized that I had them, and I never addressed them and they kept on getting worse. Getting our work iPhone and then becoming Assistant Boss and the barage of text and messages sent my sleep into dangerous dysfunctional category. But now my sleep is better after having picked up a lot of litter. I don’t think it was the litter picking that did it (although the exercise and having to concentrate on little bitty pieces of plastic helped), I think it was being outside under the sun and moon.

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$1 when made at home versus $3.50-$10 store bought

February 15, 2021

by drplasticpicker

Yes, this happened yesterday. I made chocolate hummus spread and also a jar of homemade peanut butter. I had texted one of our other pediatricians yesterday calling her off from weekend after hours clinic, and she texted me a picture of the special breakfast she was making for her family which including waffles with this delicious spread. I was intrigued. Hers was store bought which runs around $3.50 to $10 per container. My primary motivation is to reduce our plastic packaging and palm oil and most store-bought things contain both. It’s been fun to try to make more things at home, and it’s been so delicious. What I didn’t realize that after breakfast with this chocolate goodness topped on a banana, I would feel so full for most of the day.

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I do everything in the stand mixer bowl. Less mess. Ready for dinner tonight.

February 5, 2021

by drplasticpicker

Slowly but surely I’m getting to the 24 hour pizza dough rise. The original recipe was the bobbie flay recipe, but I’ve done it so often now and added my own variations that I feel like it’s my own. Plus I use it as a food waste recipe to use the last remaining bits of flour. Today was 4 cups of flour (2 cups of bread flour, 1 cup of wheat flour and 1 cup of all purpose flour), 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 package of yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and sprinkled rosemary AND thyme (the thyme is new). The sensory experience of kneading the warm dough in the relativeness darkness of the kitchen is very relaxing. It’s set on the kitchen counter covered near the cookbook area, covered with the pretty green beeswax wraps.

I have a full day of clinic today, and I may or may not have to show up at our Girl Scout meeting. Girl Sccouts is a whole other blog topic. But yesterday I wasn’t that helpful after clinic because I was tired still from the emotional elation of the UCSD Family Practice Grand Rounds entitled “Creativity, Wellness and Climate Activism.” I stopped by to thank Dr. AF for his honest and powerful presentation. But I’ve learned to self-care in a fundamental way. So last night I was napping on and off late afternoon, and then our tween daughter wanted me to toss the ball to her while she practiced volleyball. I was feeling tired initially but it was something important to her. So I self-elevated my mid-40s body off the couch, and threw her the volleyball again and again and helped her practice setting and spiking. I’m amazed that she likes volleyball, personally I’m scared of a ball hitting me. I think it’s because I wear glasses.

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My daughter shaped the pizza dough I made into a heart.

February 1, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I never expected Dr. Plastic Picker to be a rediscovery of my love for good food. We started the project at work called #kpkidsgoodfoodgoodearth and that is the crux of the issue, we need both. To save the planet, we have to change our food systems and our food supply. But the byproduct is that our food will become delicious, wholesome, plant-based and we’ll be healthier for it.

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Kumquats. Rediscovered and reimagined.

January 15, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I am really happy this morning. I am really happy because I have always had so many kumquats in my life. Kumquats are a citrus and the kumquat tree is relatively easy to grow. It bears these small little fruits that you can eat the entire thing including peel. My mom has given me kumquats. Friends have given me kumquats. We have a kumquat tree and my mother-in-law always has them in a square plastic container of food from the garden that we need to eat. She puts it in the center of our large kitchen island to prompt the family cooks to use that ingredient. There are always kumquats.

But we should appreciate our kumquats because through the power of Ecosia, I now know that organic kumquats are $10 a pound. Isn’t that crazy? $10 a pound when I’ve neglected previously gifted kumquats. I know kumquat trees are relatively cheap as I see them at the local home improvement stores a lot yet the organic fruit is $10 a pound. We have two kumquat trees in our front yard. We also have a lemon and lime tree. We always have fresh lemon and lime, and now kumquats.

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So pretty. Our beeswax wraps from Sustainable Republic. Not cheap but I think makes cooking more fun and plastic-free.

December 27, 2020

by drplasticpicker

Okay. I wasn’t sure what to blog about today or whether to blog at all. I enjoy the process of writing and it helps to order my brain. I edited a few of my past blogpost. Thanks for having patience with my grammatical errors. I reread old posts often and correct things as I go along. I was going to write a treatise about why one shouldn’t pay for financial advice, as I’ve never paid for financial advice. I would usually ask the person trying to give me financial advice, “What is your savings rate? What is your networth? If it’s better than mine, than maybe I’ll consider it.” Well, to be honest – I never said those EXACT words but I did say the essence of them. But I figured that blogpost was not kind and might alienate people, and honestly if people want to give other people money to give them advice about money – it’s actually not any of my business. It’s actually a carbon-free transaction assuming neither party starts flying everywhere around the world with their new found savings. But that was probably the reason they were in financial distress in the first place right? Hyperconsumption of prepackaged experiences. Hyperconsumption of things. Hyperconsumption of plastic experiences. Don’t even get me started on the wastefulness of the entire plastic surgery and beauty industry which is personified by the Kardashians.

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