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It was early Saturday morning; a light mist hovered over the water and pier, the perfect day for bicycling. The San Francisco Bay Ferry slowed its engine as it pulled into the Vallejo terminal. The Bumble Bee bicycle club members gathered at the exit ramp, eager to get off and start their first ride on the Napa Valley Vine Trail. Although only 18.5 miles of the trail are finished, it will be a 47-mile walking and biking system starting at the Vallejo Ferry and connecting all of Napa Valley to Calistoga.
Johnny and Natasha walked their tandem bike off first. The saddle bags were filled with the makings of a picnic lunch.
Annie leaned over and tapped one of the bags, “Knowing you two, there’s deliciousness in here. What did you bring?”
Natasha laughed, “You know my brother, Harold. He made one of his signature lunches with plenty to share. He’s been vegan for a long time and makes a 266 low-cal Veggie Wrap that is so creamy and crunchy. He adds guacamole and hummus for a rich and spicy flavor. The carrots, red bell peppers, and cucumber give it that satisfying crunch, and the spinach wrap, lettuce, and cabbage provide the fiber which makes you feel fuller longer.”
“I hope there’s one in there for me! I love Harold’s cooking,” said Annie.
“Are you saying you don’t want the Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower Bowls we brought?” asked LJ. “I got up early this morning and made them so we would have a 430-calorie, fueling meal for the bike ride. I roasted the cauliflower in turmeric to benefit from its curcumin, which protects against inflammation. Not to mention, turmeric gives cauliflower a spicy kick.”
“Of course, I want the cauliflower bowl, sweetheart. I thought we were doing a potluck so everyone could enjoy all the dishes?”
“I thought so too,” said Kamela. “Hilliard made enough Vegan Cobb Salad for the entire club. We brought a dozen filled mason jars. All you do is shake it up to distribute the salad dressing at the bottom, open and enjoy. I love his salad because he includes tempeh bacon which gives the salad a savory and bold taste. It’s also added protein, the fuel we need for this ride, and only 423 calories.”
Alvin capped his water bottle, “That sounds perfect with my famous Chickpea Salad Sandwich. I used to make them for my kids before going to the park or a bike ride, and I realized the sandwich at 566 calories had a good amount of protein, healthy fat, and fiber to get them through the day. It got so I was making them for every team they played on. Their teammates loved them, and the parents were happy.”
“I heard about your famous sandwich,” Jacqui said as she joined the conversation. “I’m looking forward to having one. My experience is like yours. I made one of my favorite low-cal meals; Spicey Ramen Cup of Noodles. It’s only 366 calories. I would make several jars for lunch to last the week. Whenever I brought one to my office, colleagues asked for some, so I brought a couple of extras. I finally handed out the recipe and told everyone to make their own, use their imagination, and experiment with different additions.”
“That’s impressive, Jacqui,” smiled Michelle. “I made Tropical Vegan Summer Rolls. They are tasty and easy to carry. You can put anything in them and use various nut butters for a dipping sauce. My go-to ingredients are avocado, cucumber, mango, and leaf lettuce, which is a low 525 calories but high in potassium, the mineral that helps muscle contraction and keeps blood pressure normal.”
“We definitely need potassium for this bike ride,” said LJ looking at the group. “When it’s all said and done, we’re all pedal pushers looking for the next meal. Whadda ya say, let’s buzz bees!”
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.
The Food-as-Medicine philosophy is based on the belief that whole food is a traditional remedy with the therapeutic power to improve and maintain one’s health. The philosophy has been around for hundreds of years.Read More