Did you know that peas are legumes and packed with protein! This is great news for me as I love peas and generally depend on plant food as my source of protein. Protein wasn’t a hot topic for me until I began studying nutrition. As I’ve said before, I’ve never been a big meat eater. I’ve never enjoyed it all that much, even going back to my childhood years. As a result, I’ve always leaned more heavily on carbohydrates. However, now that I’ve obtained a deeper understanding about the needs of our body, I consciously make an effort to consume sufficient protein and ensure I obtain essential amino acids in my diet.
Not eating sufficient protein and leaning heavily on refined carbohydrates got me into trouble over the years. As I mentioned in my bio, for many years I suffered from unstable blood sugar levels which translated into mood swings, afternoon crashes and unclear thinking (which required a coffee or a sweet snack to pick me back up). I felt light headed or fuzzy brained when my blood sugar would dip, I’d become irritable and absolutely HAD TO EAT when I was hungry. And I thought this was normal. I honestly thought that was just how I was, and although these symptoms were bothersome, I didn’t feel that I had an issue that required fixing. We often do that don’t we? We develop certain symptoms such as PMS, low energy, acne, high cholesterol and arthritis, just to name a few, and we begin to believe that that’s just how we are and will always be. I have good news my friends, with proper nutrition our bodies can heal from just about anything. I have seen it first hand in my life, in the lives of my children, my extended family and now clients.
I am happy to report that after implementing a whole food diet my blood sugar is extremely stable. I can go for hours without eating! I can actually fast without fainting! I don’t experience any moods swings and I no longer crave sugar or coffee. I wake up full of energy and skip the coffee, simply because I don’t need it. Funny enough as my mom made changes to her diet I quickly saw a change in her as well. Like me, she would get edgy when a meal would be delayed, but that’s no longer the case. As soon as her blood sugar stabilized, so did her moods! It’s amazing to me that you can have symptoms your entire life and have them reverse just by implementing good eating habits. Whether you’re in your 20s or 80s if you’re willing to change, your body will too!
I recently tried split pea soup and absolutely loved it! I went home, experimented with a few recipes and made one that I really enjoyed. Since peas are the highlight of the recipe let’s discuss some of their benefits:
- They are packed with nutrients including, but not limited to, vitamin K, essential for bone support and protection; manganese, essential for bone formation and skin health through collagen production, as well as protection from free radical damage; vitamin B1 or thiamin is key for energy production from carbohydrates and fats; copper which provides anti-oxidant benefits, important for bone health and collagen production and aids in energy production by allowing iron into red blood cells; vitamin C which is a well known anti-oxidant that protects against free radical damage and is also required for collagen production; phosphorus which is essential for bone formation.
- High in protein, one cup of cooked peas provide 16g of protein.
- High in fibre, one cup of cooked peas provides approximately 16 grams of fibre.
- Have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. They are packed with phytonutrients, carotenoids, phenolic acids, polyphenols as well as omega-3 fats which are anti-inflammatory.
- They help stabilize blood sugar given their high fiber and protein content.
- 1 lb. dried split peas (approx. 2¼ cups)
- 10 cups of filtered water
- 1 cup cubed carrots 3-4 large carrots
- 1 cup cubed potatoes approx. 1 large
- 1 cup cubed onion approx. 1 large
- 2½ cups of cubed zucchini approx. 4 small
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- ½ tbsp. sea salt
- 2-3 tops of celery ( I like to use just the leafy part for flavour in this recipe)
- 1 tbsp. avocado oil
- Place all ingredients excluding the oil in pressure cooker or a deep stainless steel pot
- Bring to a boil over medium/high heat uncovered
- If you're cooking in a pressure cooker, once the mixture comes to a boil, cover and allow it to cook and whistle for five minutes
- If cooking in a pot, simmer for approximately 30 minutes on med/low heat covered
- Once cooked, add 1 tbsp. of avocado oil