Back to My Shoots. Err, Roots.

Back to my shoots and roots, really. (Shoots = salad greens. Roots = RUTabegas, turnips, parsnips.) (Sorry Dad, I know you hate them. I will find a way to trick you into eating them some day!)

01 hot salad Back to My Shoots. Err, Roots.


While I was blog-break-ing I had a bit of an experiment. A failed experiment. I decided to eat lots of meat and lots of things that I don’t normally eat. Like McDonald’s salads and chili from Wendy’s.

But I felt like crap. At the beginning of my break I was tired of thinking about food, tired of trying to be healthy, tired of being different from the average American. But you know what?

I’m not the average American. And my stomach is not the average stomach (read about my IBS here). And my body is not the average body. I am not average in any way, and I don’t want to be!

So I am okay with being me, and with being quirky, and with loving vegetables more than any other food. I thought maybe I really liked having meat all the time. It certainly tastes good at first, but after a few days, or weeks, you start feeling heavy and sluggish. And you can’t poo very well.

So it was time to go back to my shoots roots basics.

Hot-Cold Salad

02 hot salad close Back to My Shoots. Err, Roots.


  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 2 cups of chopped parsnips, turnips, rutabega (Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli (frozen, TJ’s)
  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey (2-3 teaspoons each)
  • romaine lettuce and spinach base
  • your favorite dressing (optional)


  1. Heat ghee in a wok over high heat. Add the chopped root veggies and the grated ginger. Saute until they start to brown, then add the water.
  2. Let the water cook down and evaporate. Add the broccoli, sesame seeds, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and honey.
  3. Cook until the broccoli is done.
  4. Let cool slightly and serve atop fresh salad greens. I added bragg’s liquid aminos and Trader Joe’s raspberry dressing.

Serve with cheese from your dad.

03 cheese from dad Back to My Shoots. Err, Roots.

Meals like these are pleasing to both my stomach and my palette. I am satisfied, not overly full, and my IBS stomach is calm. I have been trying to be mindful and I’ve noticed some triggers recently.

(Maggie’s) IBS Triggers

  • Too much fat at once (especially nuts)
  • Too much meat at one meal (some is ok – great in fact, it makes me feel healthy)
  • Most grains (especially floury things)
  • Sugar (any sugar at all, really)

One thing that has been soothing for my IBS is ginger candy:

04 ginger chews chimes Back to My Shoots. Err, Roots.

These are “Chimes” ginger chews that are peanut butter flavored. They have 16 calories apiece which means only 3 grams of sugar each. They taste good, they are a nice distraction for my mouth (which is always needing stimulation), and they are actually good for my tum.


Have you ever gone back to your roots/shoots/basics? What did it mean for you?

21 Comments on Back to My Shoots. Err, Roots.

  1. Erin
    3 January, 2011 at 10:20 pm (4 years ago)

    YAY :)
    I love ginger candy too! Gin-Gins are amazing!
    Your cold salad looks so beautiful and, in my opinion, blows a meaty dish way off the charts!

  2. Becca
    3 January, 2011 at 11:20 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh. My. Gosh. I am so excited that you’re back!

    I just recently started blogging again after a several month break, too, so I totally feel you on taking a break to get your bearings for a while. Also, I eat ginger candy ALL the time – I think it’s awesome that it helps you so much!

  3. clare
    3 January, 2011 at 11:31 pm (4 years ago)

    Maggie I love the idea of the roots in the salad. I’m a hot-cold salad person (daily!!) too, but I’ve been stuck in broccoli/carrots/kale for ages. Glad for the new ideas.

    I’m wondering, does fish/seafood bother you like “meat” does? I wonder if it is protein or if it is something else about meat that bugs you.

    • Maggie
      3 January, 2011 at 11:34 pm (4 years ago)

      @clare: I actually think that fish/seafood are worse! I don’t know what my body is doing lately but it is telling me to take a break from all of it. I’m not sure why. Tofu seems to be fine (but I don’t like tofu much, ha – I’m eating it anyway).

  4. coco
    4 January, 2011 at 12:25 am (4 years ago)

    I’m so so soooo happy that you’re back! I missed you so much Maggie!!!
    I’ll back to my roots when I go back next week. Can’t wait! I’ll do the full recap next week. But I can totally understand what you’re saying. We’re just not cut for too much meat and conventional food.
    happy new year!

    • Maggie
      4 January, 2011 at 11:24 am (4 years ago)

      @coco: yay! i miss you too. i’m hoping we can have a fun weekend hangout again soon :)

  5. Eden
    4 January, 2011 at 1:44 am (4 years ago)

    O maggie I feel like I’ve been living under a rock (I sorta have been not blog surfing as much since my dad had the brain hemorrhage)! I am so happy to see you posting again!
    As far as my “roots” I dont think I have a clue as to what they are! iam assuming lots of veggies, fruits, avocados, and greek yogurt. O and chocolate anything…..because I’m a woman and that’s always in my roots!

    • Maggie
      4 January, 2011 at 11:25 am (4 years ago)

      @eden: i have been under a rock too! happy new year though and I hope your dad is doing better. hooray for chocolate :) I also need to get some greek yogurt. haven’t had it in ages, so thanks for the reminder!

  6. melissa @ the delicate place
    4 January, 2011 at 11:17 am (4 years ago)

    going back to my roots means not thinking so hard about macros and restraining my fat/protein ( i love my pork/steak/lamb/nut butters etc) but it’s very hard for me to digest. also, what’s very strange is that apples & bananas or any starchy fruit seem to cause spasm. someone told me it’s the fructose? also, ditto on the sugar. ouch.

    • Maggie
      4 January, 2011 at 11:25 am (4 years ago)

      @melissa: apples are fine for me but bananas are killer! i eat a lot of apples.

  7. limbo
    4 January, 2011 at 8:26 pm (4 years ago)

    Hi Maggie,
    This really really got me to thinking. My trouble is that I have to gain weight. How much oil and butter than will you have in one day? I am currently extremely constipated. Very painful. And I could cry. I have lower back pain, stitches in my ribs so severe (like my intestines are wrapping around themselves and squeezing). I feel horrible because I just keep eating like regular because I …I don’t know..habit?
    Also, I can’t exercise. Its been over two years. All I can do is a basic walk. I try to start the C25 k run program (I used to be a hard core runner), and I can’t even go 30 seconds. Oh , maggie, I’m lost and confused. And health profressionals just jerk me around.
    That salad looks awesome. I’m so convinced I MUST have protein with each meal. But , I could add cheese. The problem is that I also eat a lot of yogurt during the day. I just do. I wonder if its okay to have 1-2 cups of yogurt and an ounce of cheese per day?
    I also eat about 4-5 servings of fruit per day.
    So stressed and not at all happy :(
    I feel like I don’t deserve or shouldn’t have a ton of carbs if I can’t exercise. I mean , I am gaining weight (or trying). My body is completely exhausted – know anything about adrenal fatigue? I’m burnt out completely. And terribly stressed about it.
    I wonder if I should move more (my job is a ton of sitting). I just wake up and eat…no walking, etc (too dark outside). Is that okay? Just eating and sitting. And constipated. Sorry to vent. I’m just so lost and sad and I’m pouring it all out. So sorry.

    • Maggie
      4 January, 2011 at 9:15 pm (4 years ago)

      @limbo: I don’t know how much of anything I eat in a day, I try not to keep track. I’m sorry you seem to be feeling so bad right now :( I don’t know what to suggest. I don’t think most health professionals know what they are talking about. I think you should eat what you’re craving, when you are hungry. If you need to gain weight, eat when you’re hungry and then eat a little more. I don’t think it’s healthy (mentally) to measure how many servings/cups/ounces of what we eat and stress about whether it is the right amount or not. If it’s making you feel good, keep doing it. If it’s not, try something else.


      • limbo
        5 January, 2011 at 1:43 pm (4 years ago)

        I agree. SO many health professionals…all different opinions. A bunch of crap :(
        Unfortunately, this is another constipation day for me. I’m in tears and pain :(

  8. limbo
    4 January, 2011 at 8:27 pm (4 years ago)

    p.s…that is one serving right?

    • Maggie
      4 January, 2011 at 9:12 pm (4 years ago)

      @limbo: it’s actually less than one… I made another ;)

  9. limbo
    4 January, 2011 at 8:30 pm (4 years ago)

    oh,I think this would go well with squash and potatoes also.

  10. Kath (Eating for Living)
    10 January, 2011 at 5:17 pm (4 years ago)

    I can’t tell you how happy I am that you’re back now! I really missed you! :( But sometimes it’s a good thing to get away from it all. And it’s great that you have continued to find your way step by step!

    Actually, I’m also going a little “back to my roots” currently. I’ve had a microbiotic nutrition advice in December (I wanted to hear a different perspective, and some more about whole grains), and I’m carefully starting to eat whole grains again, brown rice and oats mainly which I’ve always loved (and missed). At the same time, I feel I want to cut back on meat. I still eat it, but not as much anymore, maybe one or two small servings a day (and no other protein because I don’t tolerate any). And I’ve also started to eat more fat. This really works for me! I don’t need too much (icky), but 1 or 2 spoonfuls with a meal are good. You know, I’m also a big friend of ghee! And almond butter. :)

    Your broccoli and root vegetable bowl looks wonderful! I think there’s nothing better than a bowl of fresh, tasty vegetables!

  11. Cindy
    11 January, 2011 at 5:34 pm (4 years ago)

    the one real thing that I know throws me into a dietary fit is sugar.

    bloaty, icky, mental fog…

    I don’t have your sensitve tummy but I do notice it when I am mis behaving.

    good for you and it’s your journey and no one elses.

    • Maggie
      15 January, 2011 at 11:35 am (4 years ago)

      @Cindy: yes, sugar definitely throws me into a dietary fit too! Have you read Sugar Blues? Fantastic book. My mom recommended it to me ages ago and I finally got it. I actually haven’t finished it yet but it’s amazing so far.

  12. glidingcalm
    21 January, 2011 at 6:54 pm (4 years ago)

    wow!! yummy!! That salad looks amazing!!! I would love to get more parsnips into my diet! I’m also always impressed by anyone that uses Ghee.

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