Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Moving to Wordpress

I just wanted to let everyone know that I have decided to move the blog to wordpress.

You can find me here

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bacon and Babies

I have tried SO many wonderful food slately and I apologize for not sharing it with you. But I have had this several times and finally took the time to take a picture to show you.

Eggplant bacon, who knew. When I ate animal product I would have never know anything like this even existed. It took me a while to get it just right and tonight I think I perfected.
Tonight I decided to cut it up and put it on a salad The salad included: romaine, red pepper, broccoli, shredded carrots, eggplant bacon, onion and tofu.

The dressing was from the appetite for reduction. It contained: cashews, miso, water, lemon juice, soy, capers, shallots , salt and pepper. This is a wonderful dressing and I have used it quite a bit the last few days. Another favorite way I use the dressing is to top my brown rice, tofu and steamed kale all mixed together with the dressing. Oh so good!

The babies were born! It was last week when my son was here. He took a peak in the basket and pulled away quickly. It was quite a site to see since my son is a 6' 4" football player. After he knew they were born he took a peak out the window quite often. I enjoyed the experience with him.

It was much easier to take these pictures when they were younger. I have to admit I am terrified of birds and have not been brave enough to go out there and look. The mom and dad birds are quite protective.

I tried to take the dog out there with me and I wore a hood and sun glasses and still did not have success taking a picture today. But they are growing quite quickly.

I have learned a lot about the birds by reading online. Hard to believe that they will be out of the nest in little over a week. If I get brave and get a more recent picture I will definately post it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I am going to be a Momma!

With a title like that I wish I had a way to know how many people had to open this to see what the heck was going on with me. No I am sorry to disappoint you that I am not pregnant nor is my daughter or anyone I know currently. Having said that. A few weeks ago to make the front porch look more inviting and have some curb appeal when selling the house we decided to fill our hanging basket with beautiful flowers. Little did we think that someone might like to use this for some thing else.
Can you see her in there. I had the zoom lens camera and was hoping to get a even closer shot of her but as I attempt to get closer with the zoom camera she was not liking it.

She is a very protective little mother. She is not happy when we are on the porch and I am not quite sure why she decided to pick the hanging basket closest to the front door but she did. As soon as she left the nest I could not resist taking a look. I could not quite see well and was afraid to get to close to the egg in the fear that my scent would cause her not to return to her eggs.

I just held the camera over the basket and clicked in the hopes that I would get a picture. It turned out fabulous. Aren't they most beautiful things you have seen.? Although it isn't really convenient having them there I am kind of excited awaiting the birth. I hope to be able to taking some pictures along the way.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cupcake Anyone?

Happy Sunday Everyone! We had know showings on the house and I was kind of glad. Although I know that no showing means no interested lookers it was still nice the same.

I always like the weekends because I have more time in the morning to make a delicious breakfast. Anyone who has read my blog knows I love Carbo blueberry pancakes and it was calling my name this morning. I had no bananas and at first I panicked... I always have a mashed banana on my pancakes instead of syrup. What was girl to do? I am not always good at looking out of the box and most times I probably would have ran right to the store to get a banana but this morning was different. I looked in the refrigerator and saw that I had a few strawberries that needed to be eaten.. I had a great idea I would make a strawberry topping. I chopped up the strawberries add a little maple syrup and set it on the stove to cook. This is the result....

Chocolate and strawberries is one of my favorites and this did not disappoint. As you can tell I got my good camera back out today and had some fun taking pictures today. Of course I had to take a few pictures of this guy.

I have truly been feeling more like myself these last few weeks and this has include me back in the kitchen which I have truly enjoyed.

My husband had a tuna fish sandwich for lunch today and it got me thinking about a recipe in this book...

My mom had gotten me this book for Christmas and I have been enjoying making some recipes out of it. Todays lunch was Tuno Temph Sandwich. I had everything in the house and I had planned on making it last week but I have been trying to be good about eating left over before creating something new. Today was the day. I had cooked with Tempeh before but have never simmered it before using. This recipe had you simmer the Tempeh in vegetable stock for 25 minutes before using. I have read some where online that this helps reduce the bitterness that tempeh can some times have.

This recipe also called for Kelp powder which I have used before which helps give it a more fishy taste. I didn't quite get the fishy tase from this maybe I will use more kelp powder next time but none the less the sandwich was quite delicious.

And quite pretty. I had this with a side of carrots and cerlery with a dill dipping sauce that also came from the book. I nice satisfying lunch.

I have had sweets on my mind for quite some times and have to admit they scare the heck out of me. But now that I am trying to find peace in my life I have to come to terms with the fact that it is ok to sweets once and awhile and to avoid it would be cruel and just not living. So I decided instead of making a cake that I would make cupcakes, mini cakes. I saw that abby had posted a recipe for Vegan cupcakes and I knew I had to have them.

So we went grocery shopping and I got everything I need to create Snickerdoodle Vegan Cupcakes and this....

I love Basil and have always had a lot of luck growing it. I have wanted to grow a garden so bad this year and have to admit I am truly disappointed that it won't happen this years with selling the house. So I decided to do the next best thing and will be making several pots full of veggies. The basil will be the start of a pot that I will have full of herbs. I am thinking of cilantro, dill, parsley, chive and thyme.

Ok back to cupcakes.

The only real changes I made to Abbys recipe is that I replace the 1/3 cup of oil and used Apple Sauce instead and I use 1/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour instead of all the flour being all-purpose flour. It was fun making the cinnamon and brown sugar swirl.

The smell that camesfrom these cooking in the oven was heaven. I have waited way to long to enjoy a litte of heaven. While the cupcakes cooled hubby and I took the dog for a walk. It wasn't as warm as yesterday and no sun. But it didn't rain and I enjoy all the time I can while hubby is home. Abby had a recipe for frosting but I just didn't want to have shortening in my frosting so I started to search blogs for another solution. And who else would provide me with that but my most favorite Vegan blogger of all: Oh She Glows
I made the Fluffy Almond Butter Cream Frosting

I wish I would have had a different tip to frost the cupcakes but I still think they turned out quite cute. I sprinkled the top with a little cinnamon and sugar mixture. I haven't tried the cupcake yet but I will say the frosting is cute good and I had a little too much of that. But life is worth living from time to time and the frosting was definately a part of it. I will have the cupcake as my after dinner treat. Hope you enjoy the pictures today.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Who said Vegan eating is boring? I have been SO enjoying my food and have really become to have peace around it. I finally just decided that my eating can be about what works for "ME" I can eat well and stay healthy and maybe, maybe losing a little but if I don't I know that I am perfect just the way I am.

I made this the other night and it was quite delicious. It was called cheezy macaroni with a side of broccoli. My new way of eating is to just make sure that I get a protein, carb and veggie with my lunch and dinner. This covered all bases.

I also bought Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and will like to feature of some of the recipes that I have tried. I had one tonight and hope to let you know how it was very soon.

I also have to start taking pictures with the better camera lately I have been just a little lazy to get it out and use it but the pictures aren't the same with out it.

Thank you for all who read and that you have been patient with me while I have begin to have peace in who I am.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Waiting is the "HARDEST" part

For some reason I thought that actually putting the house for sale would be the hardest part but I have to know believe that the waiting is. I some how feel like my life is on hold.
The house has to be picked up at all times and how do you really make any long term plans? I have been investigating taking a Nursing Refresher Course and they have one that starts up in August in Illinois. Just not sure where we will be in August. The big dilema is do I sign up for it anyway? I looked at Google and to drive to the school from wisconsin would be a little over an hour which I guess isn't too bad. The classes are only two days a week and only last until December. So at the moment I am leaning on just signing up and seeing what happens.
We have had about eight showing since putting the house for sale and have another one schedule for this week. So considering how the house market has been I find that very positive. Unfortunately, we haven't find the right family for our home or they haven't found our home.
I continue to try to stay postive and look forward to the day that my husband and I will be back to a normal life together.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

For Sale!

It is official the house went up for sale on Wednesday. I have so many emotions going through my mind these last few weeks and that is probably why I have been so absent from my blog. But there are so many wonderful supporting women in the blog world I need to be here for support. This is by far the room that I will miss the most. It is perfect! Why is it that you don't realize how wonderful things are until you have to leave them? Although there are thing I don't like about the house it has been our home for 15 years and it is where my children grew up. I know it is only a house and the memorize will go with me it is still tough. We have no idea how speedy of a sale we will have so we haven't given a whole lot of thought where we go once it sells. This may come back to bite us. Once we get back from my son's spring football game I think we will start looking. We haven't yet decided if we will buy another house or rent for now. For some reason renting seems more appealing at the moment. This will give us time to feel out the area we choose and give it a lot of thought in exactly what we want in a house next time around. We have done a lot of decluttering and getting rid of a lot of "stuff" and I hope to continue weeding out so that when it comes to moving time it won't be quite as bad. You have to remember we lived in this house for 15 years we have gathered a LOT of "stuff" (shit). I went and had a one hour session with Dawn Jackson Blatner yesterday and I have a new course of action on how I want to live my life around food. I am excited to begin to implementing so of this stuff and see where it takes me. I have come to realize that I have lost focus on the ability that I can do this any way "I" want and there is no right or wrong way. I have to continue to believe that I can do this all by myself with a little guidance from time to time. We have three showing today and am not sure what to think. But the house is clean and now we have to figure out what we are going to do for several hours with a 100 pound dog in tow. Could make for and interesting day. Hope everyone is well and I will continue to keep you update day on the progress here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Sorry for going MIA the last few days. I really enjoyed the time with the family and my son is here on Spring Break although we don't spend every waking moment together it is just nice knowing he is here.

My daughter and I went down to the Chopping Block in Lincoln Square on Saturday morning to attend Dawn Jackson Blatner's cooking class. If anyone is considering incorporating more plant based food into your diet you "HAVE" to get her book, The Flexatarian Diet" It is a wonderful book and I can't thank Abby enough for bring it into my life. I tell everyone about it.

We enjoyeds eating some wonderful vegetarian food Dawn prepared. I always leave her classes motivated to continue on my journey of healthy eating.

I wanted to show you what I made for my daughter to take home. I think I have talked about this before but I am going to talk about it again. I made her some homemade pitas. I remember when I made them for the first time I was so scared thinking they were difficult, I was wrong.

Pita Bread

1 1/8 cups warm water

3 cups all-purpose flour ( I use 1 1/2 cup white flour and 1 1/2 cup wheat flour)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

I put all the ingredients in my bread maker and put it on the dough setting and let it do all the work. Love that! When the dough is ready I turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll and stretch the dough into a eight inch rope. With a sharp knife, divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each into a smooth ball. With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 6-7 inch circle. Cover with a towel and let the pitas rise for about 30 minutes until slightly puffy. I put a pizza stone in the oven and turn the oven to 500 degrees. When the oven is ready put a pita on the stone and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Do not over bake because you will lose your pocket. Take it from me I know. Remove from oven and immediately wrap in tin foil. After the pitas have cooled removed from tin foil and store in refrigerator or what I do is I freeze them and take them out when I needed them.

Roll out the eight ball in to 6-7 inch circle and let rise until slightly puffy.

This is one that has come right out of the oven. Look how puffy it is? This is what will form the pocket.

Place it immediately in a piece of tin foil and let cool. Seriously these are so easy and well worth the effort. Now that I gave all mine to my daughter I need to make a batch for myself. I love have them in the freezer for a quick lunch filled with beans or I use it to make pita pizzas.

Here is the BIG reason I was MIA for a few days! There is nothing like having the whole family back together even if it is just for a very short time. I treasure the time together.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Busy Beaver

Has been a very busy day today but before I get into all the happening of today lets talk about last nights snack....
I knew that I had to use the Vitamix but I wasn't quite sure what to make so I just started throwing in stuff I had.
Chocolate almond milk, frozen strawberries, frozen bananas, cocoa powder and PB2. My first attempt I could not get it to mix and I was almost devastated but I added a little water and we were good to go. The result was fabulous take a look for yourself.

I love every last lick! I almost added agave into the mix but I have really been trying to stay away from as much sugar as possible so I felt that the strawberries and bananas was enough and I was right. Fabulous!
Today was another beautiful sunny day. I was side track from a phone call from a friend who needed a listening ear so I ate some blueberries and coleslaw while talking to her. After our conversation I was out the door for a good 60 minute walk. It really does feel good to be out doors again.
I started making a cake for my sons birthday on Friday and vegan treats for my daughter to take home. As I was going about doing this I started to nibble and it was a clue for me to stop and have a satisfying and substantial meal. So I made a nice big salad and added some "chik" nuggets in. Hit the spot.
Now you may be asking about the vegan treats. Here is two of the ones I made I have one more yet to make. I didn't even take a bite of these because I know where that will go and daughter won't have any to take home.

This recipe is from Oh She Glows These are called Raw Energy Cookie Bites and
I had just enough dates to make both cookies.

I also made a batch of cookie balls. I was trying to find the link for this recipe but I gave up. I think some times I just have way to many recipes. This is a easy, quick and simple.
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup dates
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoon brown sugar
Put everything in a food processor and blend. Couldn't be any easier than that. Don't tell my daughter I will tell her I slaved for hours making them. ha ha! I didn't get to making her the pita bread so I will do that tomorrow.
But all in all I had a very productive today. Now I am off to make dinner for me and hubby it is always a late dinner on Wednesday when he comes home. I ate the salad late so I am good.
Fried bean sandwiches! Yummy! I will post a picture of that tomorrow. This is actually a recipe we both can enjoy together. Love that!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Let it Shine, Let it Shine, Let it Shine

I knew it was going to be a good day when I was taking the train into work this morning and the sun was shining! There is something about the sunshine that makes me happy! So I made sure I took advantage of it and took the dog for a walk as soon as I got home from work today. I had to cut the walk short today but was able to get in a good 2 mile walk, felt SO good.

After talking with my Wellness Coach I had a plan of how I was going to tackle the next couple of days. Both my daughter and son will be coming home this weekend and I want to spend as much quality time as I can and no stress which can cause me to be a little on the crabby side and I do not want that for this weekend. So after my phone call I immediately did my weight training which felt great and then I head out the door to pick up birthday presents. (both my husband and son's birthday are this weekend (son on Friday and hubby on Sunday)

I came home and had thought about making a big dinner and I rethought things and figure it is just me while don't I just enjoy the evening and having a no fuss dinner tonight.

I had some In a Jiffy Spelt Veggie burgers in the freezer so I threw those in the toaster oven and toast up some Ezekiel bread. When everything was ready to go I just spread on some tomato paste and spinach. This is one of my favorite dinners.
I didn't want to forget about the veggies so I made a little plate along with one of my favorite hummus recipes. I remember when I made this for the first time I wasn't sure if I really liked it but now it is one of my favorite hummus recipes.
Black Bean & Orange Hummus
From Eat, Drink and be Vegan
2 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 1/2 tablespoons almond butter
1 large clove garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 teaspoon orange zest, grated
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons parsley, chopped (for garnish)
In a food processor, combine all ingredients (except parsley for garnish) and puree until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl several times. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with parsley.
Oh this is SO good! Love it love it! Let me know if you give it a try and what you think.
Are you ready for the big surprise? I can't hear you? Are you ready?
Isn't it beautiful? This arrive last night after I got home from Yoga and it was too late to play around with it but I am hoping to make something with it tonight that I can enjoy while I am watching Biggest Loser. I will give you a full recap tomorrow.
Have a great evening!
What is your favorite easy recipe that you go to when you want a quick meal?

I love having frozen veggie burgers in the freezer just a quick and easy meal. I also like to make salads or plain and simple left overs.

Have you gotten anything lately that you have been wanting for a long time?
The vitamix is one of the things that I thought I would never be able to purchase. Thank to my wonderful mom she say this on sale on QVC and I just could not beat the price. Thanks mom!

Do you feel happier when the sun is shining?
I feel so different when the sun in shining I am not sure if was because of the long and dreary winter but it was a welcome to see.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Breath Of Fresh Air

As I was riding home on the train this morning the sun began to shine! It was so wonderful to see. I have to admit I was getting tired of dreary days! So I knew what I was going to do when I got home. As soon as I arrived home went to the bathroom, laced of the sneakers, put the lease on the dog and we were off! Although it wasn't very warm out it felt SO good to be in the sun. I was feeling so good that I decided to take the longer route today. We went about four miles in less than 60 minutes! It was fabulous and I can't wait for spring.

When hubby and I were out grocery shopping this weekend I had remember I saw this wonderful gem at Whole Foods

I have seen them in the blog world and when I saw it I knew I just had to have it. So I casually told hubby about it. He was sweet enough to drop by Whole Foods. I didn't realize it was going to be quite so expensive and I wasn't sure he was going to be so willing to spend that much. But as you can see I have it! I really like it because it is glass there is just something about drinking out of plastic that isn't quite as appealing.

Well I finally decided to make something new tonight for dinner. After my walk and eating lunch I decided to whip this dish up so that it could marinate while I was off to Yoga. And this is what was waiting for me after a nice Yoga session.
I wasn't quite sure how it was going to be when I put it together but it was quite delicious and quite filling too.
It some time is nice not having hubby here so that I can experiment with new eats. I am sure he would not have given this one a taste.

I served it along with some steamed Kale that I sprinkle with a little bit of seasoned rice vinegar. It was absolute perfect. I may have had a little more after this was gone.
I got this recipe from the 21 days kickstart program that PCRM (physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) does a couple times a year. I have never actually followed the whole 21 day program but I did print all the recipes and menus.
Hoppin' John Salad
Makes about 10 1/2 cup servings
2 cups cooked blacked-eyed peas, or 1 15 ounce can black-eyed peas, drained
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup finely sliced green onions
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 tomato, diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 -2 garlic cloves, crushed
Combine black-eyed peas, rice, green onions, celery, tomato, and parsley in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, mix together lemon juice, oil, salt, and garlic and pour over the salad. Toss gently. Chill 1 to 2 hours if time permits
It was fabulous! I really liked it and I can't wait to have it again tomorrow for lunch. (one bad thing about being the only one that eats it) A lot of left overs and I don't like to waste left overs.
I received something very special in the mail today and I can't wait to show you. But it will have to wait until tomorrow since I want it to have a grand entrance!
Also would like to share with a few new books I have been reading that I have found quite interesting. But it is getting late and 5:00 am comes quite early and a girl needs her beauty sleep. So until tomorrow..... Have a great evening!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Just Breath

I must remain calm and focus on my breathing and know that everything will be all right. I made the "HUGE" mistake of getting on the scale today. I am still in shock and not sure yet what to do with the information. I have not weighed this much in quite some time. I am disappointed, confused and so much more. I truly have felt like I have been on the right path, The binges are almost nonexistent. I continue to feed my body with non processed foods. I have almost completly cut out white sugar and white flour. So what am I doing wrong?
So what do I do with this information? Do I just hope that eventually it will turn around? Do I go back into my controlling ways? Or do I continue to be loving and kind to my body and wait and see?
Although in the past I have wanted to take control immediately and make it better but as I sit here and think has it truly served me? I know I am so much more than a number on the scale but some how I wished that if I chose wisely what i put in my body that I could have it all. I could have a body that I could be content with and enjoy all the wonderful foods I love.
I sit here not even quite sure what move to make next. I feel like some times you can learn so much more in just the silence to just sit with it. So that is what I am choosing to do. I am not going frantically to another diet full of restrictions and exercise I am going to sit with peace and pray that I can find "MY" way. I will continue to listen to my body and my soul and know what it right for me. And if my body chooses to be heavier but yet peaceful and content then I want to embrace it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Eats and Emotions

Always start out with a positive right? Let's talk about my dinner yesterday. I just got done reading a book called "Veganist" by Kathy Freston and she had recommend Gardein as a transition food if you are considering gradually reducing the amount of animal meat you eat. When I saw this at Meijer I knew I had to get it. I had cooked a little of it last week in some spaghetti sauce and hubby said it wasn't too bad. So when trying to figure out dinner last night I thought I would incorporate it into dinner.

I cooked some onion and garlic in a little oil and then diced this "chicken" in to pieces added it to the onions and also added some black beans since I didn't think two pieces was going to be enough. I added cumin and some tomato sauce and let it simmer. I put this filling inside some low carb tortilla and topped it off with some homemade enchilada sauce and some vegan cheddar cheese. Cover with tin foil and baked at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

I didn't think it looked to bad but I have gotten use to this way of eating since I haven't eaten meat, cheese or dairy for quite some time. I think my husband had other feelings.

Since it was late by the time my husband came home I had eat a salad earlier to keep me tied over until he got home so I had two of these for dinner. Hubby said it was ok but would much rather have really cheese. sigh....I guess I just keep trying with him. Some how dinner didn't feel complete with out dessert tonight.
So I made hubby and me each on of these.....

I saw this on Averie's site and I have tried several of her other recipes and this was quite and easy so I had to give it a try. It did not disappoint. The recipe is as follows:
1 mashed banana
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup brown sugar
optional: 1 tb cocoa, 1 tb coconut flakes, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tb chia seed
For hubbys he had everything but the chia seeds he doesn't care for those. For me I had used brown rice syrup instead of the brown sugar and i forgot to put the chia seeds in. I thought it was perfect!
You just mix it together spray a bowl with nonstick spray put the mix in the bowl and cook for 2-4 minutes in the microwave! It is wonderful when you are just needing a little something. Fabulous.
That was yesterday today was a totally different day. I had to remind myself that this blog I was going to keep it real and that is what I intend to do. Today has been a very emotional day and I comforted myself with food. I am not happy about I know beating myself about it will not change it and I have to move forward the best I can. Did I fill my body with crap? No I can be proud of myself for that. Did I fill my body with so much food that I was sick and wanted to throw up? ( I have done that in the past) no. Was I able to stop before I was to full? yes So in doing this small check on myself I can walk away knowing that I did the best that I could and that I should be proud of myself for how really far I have come. It wasn't too long ago that I would have eaten to the point that I wanted to die reaching for any thing and everything I could. I am growing I am learning. It may not be at a pace that I want to but I must be kind and loving to myself knowing that I am moving forward every so slowly?
Are you an emotional eater? Have you use any strategies that maybe helpful when dealing with emotional eating? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Universe Speaks?

Have you ever thought that the universe can send you messages? Kind of like Karma? For example you start thinking about some one and then they call you or you have a night where you question why you are even on this earth and then the next morning you get two emails that prove you wrong. This is exactly what happened to me today. Yesterday my cycle began and with it came the wonderful emotions. Wonder why these emotions can't be positive? I sat home alone feeling down and out having the question "What am I doing with my life do I have a purpose?" This morning I received and up lifting email check in from Abby which was nice to receive and the other.... From Sheri, someone I didn't know existed until today. She had come across my blog and decided to drop me a note. Sheri I am sure you don't even realize by doing that one small thing how much it impacted me. When I started this blog it was just going to be a place that I could come to write my thoughts but little did I know that someone would want to read them. I guess I was wrong. I really enjoyed blogging so why did I stop? I guess once I realized that others where going to read it and I visited other blog mine seems so insignificant. I began judging my blog against others and with it sucked all the joy out of it. I guess that has happen in a lot of the endeavors I have attempted. My own fears have stopped me from doing things that I enjoy. What a wonderful realization. I can continue to pick and choose how I want to do things and if it people joy it wonderful if not that's ok too.
So I want to blog again. I love food and health which I could talk about for hours. Ask my poor husband, mmm maybe that is why he took a job that he is only home four days out of the week.
I plan on sharing some of the wonderful eat I have been enjoying and some of the soul searching I have been doing these days. It seems a lot of us women are heading down the same path: peace, happiness and self acceptance. There is a huge community of wonderful women in the blog world to support each and everyone of us on our journey if we are willing to reach out and share our experiences and a words of support. Who knew that one small email could make such a significant impact one someone? I know it happened to me.
Tonights dinner I made Vegan enchiladas. Not sure how the hubby will like this one but I was pretty proud of myself kind of winged it and put it together so I am excited to see how they turned out. I will post details of the dinner tomorrow.
Thanks for reading and inspiring me to continue on my every winding road. As we know roads are not straight and smooth there are many detours, dumps, curves etc... But the ride can be filled with wonderful things to see and people to meet along the way.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rambling Thoughts

I realized today on my walk outdoors (the weather is almost 50) that I have a lot of stuff going on in my mind and thought the best way is to get them all out to see. This post is not filled with facts but only the inner thought of my mind.

As many of you have followed my blog know of my journey. But at this point in my life I have to admit I am just plan old tired. Tired of the constant worries of what and what not to eat, how long and how hard to do cardio and how heavy and how many reps to lift. I am simply just plan tired. I am tired of pushing myself which in return has only in some ways pulled me even further away from a sense of peace in my life. I am ready for peace, content and joy. I think at some point on my journey my focus when wrong. At some point it became no longer about Kathi. I am ready now to love Kathi and that may be softer, larger , smaller..etc... I don't know and this point I am starting to only strive for a sense of peace. A peace that I am ok at this very moment because I am exactly has god intended me to be.

Another struggle I have been facing is finding a way to financial help my family. I am currently in a job that provides very little joy for me and part of me realize it but feels like there is no way out. Since my husband lost his job almost three years ago life definately has changed and not all for the worse. But it has also brought about additional stresses on our relationship. My husband had to take a job that wasn't ultimately a job that he loves but took it in order to help support his family. With this job he only is home three days out of the week. Although I consider myself a very independent women it does take its toll. I know that I have SO much to offer and share from my experiences and the passions that I have but the big question I continue to fall back on is how can I make a living at it? Its frustrating and I feel frozen. I realize that is not the type a person I am, I am doer but why does this one seem so much more difficult? I continue to brainstorm with Abby, my wellness coach and she has been a tremendous sense of support for me. But ultimately I have to be the one to do the work. I am so ready to live a full filled life and that will include doing some thing that I love. I have decided that I will keep my nursing license current and active and I do hope that some facility may considering hiring at some point. Little did I know that the fall I experience almost eight years ago would have such a impact on a career that I enjoyed.

I also want to increase my social support. I have a few wonderful and dear friend and I am grateful for them in my life but I feel like I have limited myself from others that could provide some much additional joy into my life. I have given great thought to starting a meet up group in my area for vegans. I want it to be called vegan 101 and it would be for new vegan or people considering the life style or just interested in learning more about it. If any one has any thought or idea on this I would love to hear them.

It feels good to have written just this small portion of what is going on in my mind. If doing this bring a small sense of peace for me it was well worth writing.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What's a "Complete" protein anyway?

As I continue to embark on this vegan lifestyle I continue to encounter more and more things that I have never really thought about before. This excites me to fill my brain with knowledge about the things our bodies need and what they are all about.

In this post I would like to continue talking about protein. Last post I talked about how much protein we need and examples of how to get it through a plant based diet. In this post I would like to talk about, why we need protein, what a protein actual is and can we get "complete" protein from a plant based diet.

With all the hype around the whole protein things I thought it might be nice to know why we need it. Protein is essential for many bodily processes these include building and repairing tissue. But protein is also used to make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. It is also a very important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. Plus, your hair and nails are mostly made up of protein.

So what is protein anyway? Proteins are made up of a long strip of a smaller components called amino acids. There are twenty different amino acids you need for good health. Of the twenty different amino acids only 12 are manufactured by the human body. The remaining 9 amino acids can not be made by the human body so it is "essential" for us to get them from our diet. That is how these 9 amino acids are also referred to as "essential amino acids".

When you hear the term complete protein being thrown around it is merely the fact that it also contains the essential amino acids. When we begin to label foods as being either complete or incomplete this begins to say that some protein are better for you than others.

All animal proteins are complete including red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and dairy. But it also complete with saturated fat, cholesterol, hormones, antibiotics, and unsavory things like E. Coli. Unlike vegetarian protein, animal protein is high in saturated fat, are very acidic, and lack phytonutrients, water, antioxidants, enzymes and fiber. Vegans will be happy to know that complete proteins can also be obtained through certain plants such as soy, spirulina, hemp seeds, amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa. Other plant proteins are only slightly incomplete. But these foods can be combined to make complete proteins like pairing beans with rice or corn. Other combinations would include beans and seeds, beans and nuts and beans and grains. So when you eat hummus and pita bread, nut butter and whole grain bread, pasta with beans, veggie burger on bread, split pea soup with whole grain bread and tortillas with refried beans you are eating complete proteins.

The next time you eat nut butter on whole grain bread not only are you having a vegan meal you have also having a complete protein that you need for a healthy body. As long as you're eating a variety of plant based foods you are getting a complete proteins.

Also a recent study shows that beans and grains don't need to be eaten at the same meal, so if you eat beans for lunch and rice with dinner you've gotten yourself a complete protein.
You may even spread your food combinations over a two day period.

Next time you have concerns about getting "complete" protein rest assured that if your eating a well balanced diet with or without animal products you are on the right track.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Where's the Beef?

Who doesn't remember that slogan? Living in a worl that has a high emphasis on eating animal products it is no wonder a big question from people when I tell them I am a vegan is : What to you eat? Where do you get your protein?

As I began this journey as a vegan I have filled a lot of my time educating myself on this lifestyle and I have to admit I find it fascinating.

One major concern for me has always been protecting my heart. Many of you may not know that my older brother, Mike, died of a heart attack at the age of 40. His death began a spark in me to change my life around and that included a healthy heart. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. It is NOT breast cancer. Among other lifestyle habits eating meat is a major contributor. Meat contains lots of saturated fat. Saturated fat elevates your blood cholesterol, and causes clogged arteries. Clogged arteries leads to high blood pressure or even worse a stroke or a heart attack. No meat is truly a low-fat food. Because saturated fat is marbled throughout the muscle, and the cholesterol is found in the cell membranes of the meat itself, trimming the excess fat off does help some but don't feel that your not consuming any excess fat. It seems that only a plant-based diet protects the heart. Dr William Castelli, director of the Framington Heart study, says a low-fat plant based diet would lower an individuals risk of heart attack by 85 percent. 85 percent! Now you can see why this diet really woke me up. We can change our chances of a heart attack. I don't know about you but I plan to be around a long time to see my grandchildren and maybe even my great grandchildren.

So how much protein do we really need? By what I have been reading the USDA recommends a daily allowance of about 0.36 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. And even some doctors says this is eve on the high side. So for an average 130 pound women that equals to about 47 grams of protein. The average American adult consumes between 100-120 grams of protein every day. A majority of that comes from high-fat animal products.

You may be asking yourself like a lot of people do, What do you eat Kathi? This part excites me and I could talk all day about all the wonderful things I eat and I hope to begin to share those with you. If your my friend on facebook I have began to post pictures of some of the things I have been eating.

Here is a list of some of the plant foods high in protein.

almonds 1/4 cup 7.4
black beans 1 cup 15
broccoli 1 cup, ckd 5
black eyed peas 1 cup 13
brown rice 1 cup, ckd 9
chickpeas 1 cup 15
Kale 1 cup, ckd 2
Lentils 1 cup 18
Oatmeal 1 cup, ckd 6
Quinoa 1 cup, ckd 6
Tempeh 1 cup 30

This is just a small sample of all the wonderful plant based food you can get your protein from. If you are eating a well-balanced vegan diet, meaning you are consuming a wide variety of high quality food like vegetables, greens, sprouts, legumes, tempeh, beans, nuts, grains and so on then you will certainly meet your protein needs.

So the next time you ask yourself, "where is the beef?" Think twice that animal products aren't the only way to get the protein you need for a healthy body.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gone Vegan

Yes you have read that correctly. This meat eating girl has gone to the other side so to speak! I have been SO inspired by several vegan bloggers that I have decided to give it a try. I have struggled to find peace with myself and I had to look hard and deeper for what it is "I" want to do with my eating. Not what everyone thinks that I should do. I reflected back and when I was eating the vegetarian diet a while back I felt like I looked and felt my best so at that moment it was decided.
I went vegetarian again back in August and haven't eaten meat since. I have to admit I do not miss it one bit. The vegan part start in January. Before that it was usually egg and cheese that I had in my diet. They seemed to be the most difficult to give up. But I have found the vegan cheese to help satisfy that.
I also have done a lot of reading on factory farming and the horrible conditions they animals have to endure just so that I can eat them. It weighed heavy on my heart especially when I really didn't need to eat them to survive. So it was decided then and there that I did not want to pretend any more that it wasn't happening I was ready to act. I have to say it gives me some small sense of peace knowing that I am making a small impact on that.
I have so much wonderful things to share about my journey on this vegan lifestyle and I hope to be able to share that with you in the next few post. I often get asked what do you eat and how do you get protein. By what I have been reading these are typical question most vegans are asked.
I look forward to sharing this journey with you and maybe even convince some of you to give it a try! Ok I am wish right?