Content warning for discussion of disordered eating and medically induced weight change.
Hello lovely Naked Vegan Cooking readers!
This is Greta, I am one of the founders of this blog and have spent a lot of my time and energy over the last few years campaigning and teaching around body image issues. When I started Naked Vegan Cooking just over two years ago I felt reasonably accepting about my body and wanted to share that with people. As a teenager I had had really bad body image and the type of eating patterns that border on disorder but are characteristic of many teenage girls. However when I left school and home for a gap year I discovered feminism and critical analysis of the media and an amazing group of people who didn’t think there was one ‘right’ way to look. I began to accept my body as it was and lose the desire to diet and alter the way I looked.
Things were on a good track, then just over a year ago, everything changed. I became very very unwell with a mystery illness that wrought havoc with my digestive system, I went into hospital, out of hospital, into hospital again. In all I was an in-patient for 4 months last year before being diagnosed with a rare stomach condition for which I am now having treatment. Meanwhile my weight went all over the place, first I dropped to under eight stone and was put on a 5,000 calorie a day weight gain diet. Then I was put on medication that caused rapid weight gain as a side effect, at the same time as a restrictive low fiber diet and needing to use a wheelchair due to my condition. This time I went up to over thirteen stone and also gained huge stretch marks. The changes to my body brought back up a lot of the body image problems I had started to get rid of, despite my initial dangerous weight loss being caused by illness, there was a small voice in the back of my mind telling me that this was the body my teenage self had been aiming for. Conversely the weight gain that followed made my body image plummet. It was not so much that I didn’t want to be larger as that it was not my choice, I couldn’t exercise and was unable to cook, so I felt an aching lack of bodily autonomy.
Looking to the present, my health and feelings about my body are slowly improving. I am back on a normal healthy diet and seeing small improvements to my health following treatment. I am also starting to cook again, with help from my housemates and the other lovely people from Naked Vegan Cooking. I have lost a small amount of weight and am feeling better about the rest of it now my life and health are more under control. Hopefully you will be seeing much more of me back on the blog, pushing for positive body image and tasty vegan food.
I want to share with you this easy burrito recipe that I cooked recently. It’s really delicious and doesn’t take too long to prepare.
Easy Bean Burritos With Kiwi Guacamole
Makes about 4 small burritos
1 can mixed beans (drained)
1 and a half white onion (one cut into rings and half finely chopped)
4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
6 mushrooms (sliced)
5 tomatoes (finely chopped)
A few good shakes of tabasco sauce (to taste)
A glug of olive oil
2 handfuls of fresh coriander (roughly chopped)
2 mild chillies (finely chopped)
Small gem lettuce (roughly chopped)
2 kiwis (finely chopped)
2 ripe avocados (chopped)
4 wraps (recipe is gluten free if corn tortillas are used)
(Optional extras to serve: vegan yoghurt and vegan cheese)
To make the guacamole mix together the kiwis, avocado, chillies, half the coriander a third of the tomatoes, the finely chopped onion and a pinch of salt.
Fry the remaining onion and the mushrooms in the olive oil on a low heat in a big pan for a few minutes. Next add the beans, garlic and remaining tomatoes and continue to stir and cook for about 10 minutes until everything is soft and well done. Add the remaining coriander and the tabasco sauce and salt to taste.
Gently heat the wraps under a grill for about 30 seconds until warm and then serve with the bean filling, kiwi guacamole and lettuce, plus the vegan cheese and yoghurt if you have them. It’s usually good fun to bring all the components to the table separately and let people assemble their own.