About Me

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Oregon, United States
Wife, mother, homemaker, teacher and aspiring writer. I love learning about health and sharing that information with others. But I am not a health expert, so please take any advice given on this blog at your own risk

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Plant-Based Christmas

I didn’t blog last week because we had some very sad news in the family. It’s been a difficult time, especially with the holidays upon us. But we're doing the best we can to keep life going as usual.

It's been great having our kids back from college. I can’t believe how easily they've adapted to our plant-based lifestyle. I think it helped that we showed them the Forks Over Knives documentary when they arrived here. Now they understand our reasons for doing this. 

Today on Christmas Day, we all cooked a meal together as we usually do, only it was completely plant-based. My husband made some garlic string beans and some cheesy mashed potatoes. We used shredded, Pepperjack cheese made by Daiya because it's casein and dairy-free. We've also used it successfully for making cheese Quesadillas. My son made some cranberry sauce using fresh cranberries, agave syrup, and lemon zest. He also made some vegan stuffing using a packet from Wholefoods. My daughter made a split pea soup from the Forks Over Knives Way to Health cookbook and she'll be making some banana and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for dessert. 

As for me, I made a lentil loaf from the Forks Over Knives Plant-Based Way to Health book. Since it was the main course and I hadn’t made this recipe before, we bought some back-up main courses from Wholefoods. As it turned out the lentil loaf was great and works well for a holiday meal. But it did take quite a bit of time to prepare. Perhaps this was because I only had a tiny food processor to grind such a large quantity of mixture. It's made from lentils, carrots, walnuts, onions, garlic, oats and seasonings. We all agreed that it was a great Christmas meal and that we didn’t feel deprived of anything. Although my daughter said she missed having my husband’s honey glazed ham!

Hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season. I wish you the very best of health and a happy New Year.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

End of Week 12: A Plant-Based Holiday Season!

Wow it’s already been 12 weeks on this plant-based diet! We said we would try it for 10-12 weeks and that time is over. But because of all the improvements to our health, we want to continue, even through the  upcoming holiday season!

My husband is starting to notice more changes on this diet. He's feeling more energetic, happier, and has lost nine pounds. As for me, something changed after our road trip. I’m struggling to lose the weight I gained. I’m also experiencing a return to the symptoms I had when my thyroid was elevated: cravings, an increased appetite, and insomnia. I just had my routine thyroid test done so I’ll find out soon enough if these issues are due to the thyroid. Other than that, I'm doing great.

As we approach the holiday season, I can’t help but look back on how different my life was this time last year. I was suffering from debilitating pain, chronic fatigue, mental fog, insomnia, a depressed mood, and life as I knew it had ended. I can’t claim that these health problems have completely disappeared, but they have substantially improved and I have my life back!

This year I’m actually looking forward to the holidays J  I’m busy decorating the house and preparing for my children’s return from college. I'm still trying to figure our what I'm going to cook for them, especially on Christmas Day. My daughter is switching to a plant-based diet, but my son loves his meat. I’ll also be hosting my first plant-based dinner party at our home and don’t know what to make for appetizers or desserts. I’ve found some wonderful recipes in Forks Over Knives: Plant Based Way to Health which I’ll be trying out this week. I’ll let you know how these turn out.

I’d better go now, I have so much to do!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Weeks 10 and 11: A Plant-Based Road Trip

Over Thanksgiving break, we went on a 2000 mile road trip to visit our children at college and to attend a wedding. We made sure we planned the food for the journey. We took along a cool box full of vegetables, hummus, pita bread, olives, a couple of wraps and some freshly squeezed vegetable juice. For snacks we packed fruits and nuts and for breakfast we took cereal and almond milk. The only things we regretted taking along were the olives and pre-cut apples because they left a terrible acidic smell in the cool box and in the car. Otherwise, it felt good to be traveling so many miles without having to depend on junk food for sustenance. We had wonderful weather on the way and enjoyed picnics with our food at scenic rest areas.

Once we got to our destination, we had to depend on restaurants for meals. We soon discovered that buffets were a bad idea because we would end up eating fried foods we wouldn’t have eaten had we ordered from the menu. Restaurant meals in general tend to be rich in oil, cream, butter, salt, sugar, white rice, and white flour. So we decided to have a couple more picnics using fresh foods from a local store. This turned out great and our children enjoyed it too. Our plant-based diet seems to be rubbing off on them as they notice the incredible changes in us.

However, on Thanksgiving Day, our kids were a bit apprehensive about what we would be serving them. Luckily we found a Wholefoods store that had a healthy food bar with both vegan and non- vegan Thanksgiving foods.  So we all got to choose our own meals to take back to the hotel room. We did it! My husband and I managed to have a plant-based Thanksgiving! And I didn’t even have to spend the day cooking it! When we went around the table to give our thanks, I said I was thankful to Forks Over Knives and this diet for helping me regain my health.

After Thanksgiving, we attended a wedding with three days of food filled events. Luckily it was Indian food, so there were plenty of delicious vegetarian dishes to choose from. Needless to say we ate too much and could feel our clothes getting tighter and tighter. At least we danced a lot on the final day! 

Well it was no surprise that when we got back home and weighed ourselves, we had gained weight. But I hadn’t expected to gain this much! In 10 days I had put on three and a half pounds and my husband had put on one and a half pounds. Luckily as soon as we returned to our regular plant-based diet, the pounds started dropping off effortlessly. I also noticed that my husband’s mood and energy level improved.

Well all’s well that ends well!