Beans and Their Benefits
Since I started medical school, I chose to gradually take meat out from my overall diet for a variety of reasons. I guess you could call me a ‘flexitarian’, which is described as someone who eats primarily a vegetarian diet, but occasionally consumes fish/meat. There’s no dramatic backstory as to why I chose this; just decided to change up my diet. I have personally found that I feel better when I consume more fruits/vegetables/other protein sources vs. eating some form of meat everyday. Not to mention I have actually saved a LOT of money from not having to buy meat all the time. And if you’re familiar with the island grocery stores, they don’t always have the best quality meats in stock — sometimes not having ANY meats in stock. Don’t get me wrong — I love a good cheeseburger or pork chops every once in awhile, but for the most part I don’t eat very much. I discovered so many different kinds of beans and the different kinds of recipes I can create with them, and it’s amazing! Beans are also a GREAT food to meal prep with. They also come with many wonderful health benefits — check them out here.
Yesterday after studying all day for exams, I meal prepped a BUNCH of black bean and veggie tortilla wraps. I took inspiration from a black bean fajita burritos recipe (I couldn’t make the actual burritos because I checked the grocery stores for 2 days and they were out of bell peppers — but when they do get some I’ll be making those fajita burritos). For my substitute, I wrapped lettuce, cucumber, tomato, black beans, and shredded cheese in a whole wheat and flaxseed tortilla (AMAZING tortillas that my mom brought me when she visited me on the island at Christmas; got a few packs from SAMs Club and store them in my freezer). I wrapped them individually in saran wrap and stored them in the refrigerator for an easy meal. I have been absolutely obsessed with buffalo ranch dressing lately (brought 3 bottles of it with me back to the island for the semester) so I use that for the wraps to give it some flavor. I still have black beans left, so tomorrow when I can get to the grocery store and get some more vegetables, I am planning to make this black bean soup recipe.
I usually buy my beans dry, soak them overnight, and boil them the next day. Unfortunately I don’t have the luxury of a crock pot here on the island, so I can’t boil them overnight. It takes a long time, but I love prepping my own beans because it also reduces the amount of sodium I’m consuming, and also because I try to eat as naturally as possible and I don’t like eating from a can when I can make it myself. Some of my favorites to cook with are black beans, pinto, lentils, navy, and kidney beans. My siblings make fun of me because I love beans so much, but they are so versatile and you can do so much with them! I love eating them with potatoes, rice, pretty much any kind of vegetable… if you check out Pinterest, there are THOUSANDS of amazing recipes. Many of them are meal-prep friendly too, which is a medical student’s dream!
Originally published at islandmedstudentblog.com on January 28, 2017.