Vegan… Almost

I am proud of myself. I have committed to a planted based diet and have been going strong since July 27th. So far so good. It is definitely a lifestyle of planning. Sometimes I really don’t like to do that but I have certainly gotten better. 

Dragonfruit

What we eat is certainly a conscious choice. Obviously, this is still the beginning.  I am not completely free from dairy but I am much closer than I once was. I have posted about what dairy does to your body, which foods help which issues you may have but I wasn’t fully committed to transitioning to a healthier lifestyle. 

Today, I am excited. The goal is to eat better… period. Less processed food more plants and working towards no soy. That is a monster in and off itself. NuVegan Cafe is deliciously horrible. Damn them vegan wings. They are so good. But studies show that soy isn’t good for you and TVP is just as processed as everything else. 

Breakfast Scramble Cauliflower, Tomato, Avocado

There are flavors I miss, of course. I just deem my health more important than solely my taste buds. Please know there is absolutely no lack of flavor though! I have had some of the most delicious dishes and have created some pretty exciting and flavorful treats myself. Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast is bae right now… Vegan Sour Cream and Vegan Nacho Cheese. Next I need to figure out ketchup because it is my favorite condiment. Plus GMOs are real and they are in ketchup. ūüė¶

Vegan Nacho Cheese

I have always enjoyed switchin’ in the kitchen. I use to always sit in the kitchen while my grandfather cooked. I helped him do the grocery shopping and then we would make magical dishes for the family. I miss his s’ghetti and meatballs. I was the meatball former, anally trying to make them all the same size. 
I enjoy experiments in the kitchen… some have gone terribly wrong and others have been deliciously extraordinary. People think I can’t cook. But actually it is something I love to do.

It Tastes… Purple! 

Bidwell @ Union Market Cauliflower and Zucchini crust pizza with Tomatoes, Corn and Nasturtium

C’mon who wants to eat meat when you can eat flowers? The range of plants and vegetables in existence to eat are mind boggling. Then if you consider that our body understands the genetic make up of those vegetables and files them in the appropriate places in our bodies, I mean how amazing is that? I still find it fascinating. Our body recognizes and processes what we need to exist. 

Inside of a Red Cabbage – Beautiful, right?

There are more and more Vegan and Vegan friendly spots opening across the city. If you haven’t tried them you should. What would it hurt? You could stand some veggies… they do a body good. (Unlike those milk ads that have lied to us so many years.)

Check out these spots…

NuVegan Cafe

Khepra’s Raw Food and Juice Bar

Beefsteak (this place is next on my list)

Farewell (may contain wheat and gluten)

I am sure there are more and more popping up everyday. 

Send me your favorite spot…

Part 3 Health Trilogy – Food

thai-food2I love flavor! My favorite cuisine is Thai first and Indian second. My palate loves the comfort… so does my belly. My belly also has a tendency to retain that comfort. Which is no bueno. For this final entry (took long enough) of the health trilogy I would like to delve into FOOD! Mainly the good stuff, meaning the healthy stuff. Those foods that center around health and actual nourishment of the body,¬†the real purpose of food… the nourishment of our bodies. Sometimes with all of the delightful dishes that exist we forget.

There are certain things that the body can not identify so in turn it stores it to figure out what to do with it later. That is where we get fat and foreign particles in our bodies. But I have said this before so no need to harp on it. Ultimately, the food industry is a consumer based addictive profit center. Mentally I realize that, but living on this planet for 39 years it will take some time before I can undo a lot of the brainwashing. (I hope it doesn’t take another 39 years, YIKES!)

What should we eat?

Remember that pyramid with the grains and dairy and meat and so forth. You would probably do better to forget about that if you do remember. 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, pasta is not necessarily a good idea. That equates to sugar, sugar, sugar, and sugar because that is what it turns into in the body. Especially, since what is being passed as real or whole food is filled with preservatives and other agents that again our body does not recognize. Carbs are necessary but the goal is complex carbohydrates. Think about it. Nourishment should equate to energy. Sleeping should not be the next step after leaving the breakfast table.

Ok yes the food…

Vegetables

The more raw vegetables the better. You do not have to watch your waist with a plate of veggies. They are low calorie and high octane for the bodily engine we need to keep running. Here are a few of my favorites. ¬†As a kid I was the one who actually like Brussels sprouts. I kinda think they have replaced spinach as my absolute favorite vegetable. Kale was an adult discovery. I make a wicked pot of greens… Even my mama liked it so you know it was good. I remember my grandmother being diagnosed with high cholesterol. At the time the doctor kept emphasizing sweet potatoes. The latest health benefits associated with them now I can definitely understand why. Take a look at the benefits of these three veggies. (Not sure that¬†a sweet potato counts as¬†a veggie though.)

Color Rich

I recently learned that veggies that are prone to cause a stain on your shirt are the best for you to eat. Of course that got me to thinking about beets. I hated them growing up. I think that is because growing up they came from a can. We were not buying fresh beets. A couple of years ago I started ordering produce that was delivered from the farm to my porch. There they were… BEETS. YUK! I wasn’t about wasting money so I made a salad and looked up some other uses. Did you know they are a better sweetener than sugar? BAM… pop it in a smoothie! They are also good by themselves. Peel it, slice it, eat it!

beets

The key is shopping the peripheral aisles at the grocery store. Well that was the best advice years ago, it seems store managers got wind of that. Think anything NOT in a box or wrapped in serious plastic. There is so much more to talk about. Like the phytonutrients in vegetables, like Lycopene in tomatoes which is could possibly reduce the risk of prostate and other cancers. Or we could talk about how if dependent on insulin adding just 3 fresh string beans a day to your diet can help lessen your dependency.

As always I am not a doctor and do not recommend just starting something because I said it. Do your research and find out what works for you!

 

 

 

Prelude to Part 3 of the Health Trilogy

I bet you thought I forgot to post the third installment. No, no, no! My research is taking me far and beyond. I want to pare it down and bring it! But until then check this out. I went to my local grocery lady and “Tunas” were on sale. Let’s see if you can figure out what tunas are. Check out this video from Tastemade.

I am headed downstairs to try it now. Mason Jar in hand. (Don’t kill my vibe… I am holding on to the idea of summer/fall.) #DConlyhas2seasons

Health Trilogy part 2

Note: I am in no way a physician and do not prescribe to be. Please consult your primary care physician if you are considering lifestyle changes uses herbal or alternative medicines.echanacea

I love “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. I wasn’t able to see it on Broadway but the film was great. One part that sticks with me the most is the father’s obsession with Windex. “Put some Windex on it.” The solution to all ailments from acne to cuts and burns. I am not sure of the validity of his ideas surrounding this chemical but, I believe the best remedies are home grown. Our society is so quick to drug ourselves with over the counter medicines and injections that we never stop to think about cause and effect.

Over the years I have been fortunate to learn about homemade remedies and concoctions. My Great, Great, Great Grandfather was Dr. James Still, known as the Great Doctor of the Pine Barrens in NJ. In his book Early Recollections he talks about purchasing a scanty building in Vineland, NJ that he ultimately turned into a clinic and treated his neighbors with herbs. He was not a trained doctor but he used the knowledge he did have to heal.

Dr._James_StillOur biggest issue is our lack of connectedness to the earth. I admit I am no nature girl because I do not see eye to eye with insects. Bugs that fly, walk, crawl… FREAK ME OUT! I do know that there is importance in every living thing. We as humans need to ingest more life into our bodies. Vegetables and herbs are the best way to be healthy. So how do you know what does what? Many times your intuitive self tells us what is up.

We have the closest relationship to our bodies. I had a doctor try to grill me about what I felt was ailing me. He asked snidely, “Are you a doctor? Do you have a diagnosis?” Don’t worry I didn’t jump out the chair and pummel him, but he never saw me again.

My immediate thought is… ‘Have I had water today?”

Water is an important part of LIFE period. When I come across people that do not drink water it also FREAKS ME OUT! Dry skin… drink water. Ashy lips… drink water. Headache… drink water. True these maybe more complex symptoms for a larger problem but dehydration is real. Your body needs water because it is mostly comprised of water. REPLENISH!

I want a doctor who want to help me help myself not who feels they are in control of my body. If you put the right things in we get better results, doctors know these and we know this too.

Here are a few more ideas and resources to move you into healing what ails you.

Prescription for Nutritional Healing: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements

This book is the greatest resource to understanding just about everything in health. I believe I have three editions and I may need to get up on the next one.

Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss

This was written in 1939 I believe. It was part of the reason that I began using Apple Cider Vinegar with mother. (Mother is the good stuff that floats around in the bottle.)

Anything Related to Coconut can Heal You

Well that may be an exaggeration but if you check out Everyday Roots you may discover otherwise.

Herbal Teas are better than Lipton

If you are going to drink tea go for something that is nourishing to the body. Check out this list of herbs. There are some medicinal teas that are not so tasty but others that are. As always research the herbs to are interested in, especially the side effects.

So start with these and in part 3 we will talk about food stuffs that nourish the body.

 

sondai Change my Life… Sugar Addict

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On August 1st I embarked on a lifestyle change with the help of a 30 day challenge. I can’t say I was totally 100% perfect on everyday but it was definitely a big step in the right direction. It is now the month of September and I see signs of regression. However, as an active participant in my own life I am heading them off at the curve. We are presented with choices everyday. Today is no different.
September 17th has always been one of my favorite days. It is my birthday. One thing that I always enjoy on that day is… cake. Well it is now September 18th and my body and that cake are at odds. Sugar is such an evil substance. It is a manufactered drug to enable dis-ease within the body. My head feels like I have been beat about the face unrelentingly. Ugh.
These effects me think of children. I saw a mother give her child a bottle of artificial pink lemonade. God only knows the amount of sugar it contained. After the little girl drank a significant amount of this surely addictively sweet substance she was off. Climbing on tables, spinning in circles, she was so clouded with this substance she could barely listen to instructions. You could actually see her trying to understand and process what to do. Her mother was threatening her, telling her to stop doing this and that. I wanted to explain to her – it is the sugar, she is hopped up on sugar!
I may have said this before but, look at the basic food groups. What foods are actually white? Think about it. Before processing. Califlour and the inside of a potato, and that is pushing it because both are not completely bleach white or processed white. Salt is pink or black, grains are tans and beige, flour is even brown or tan according to what you make it from.
Too much table salt can cause hypertension. Too much sugar causes diabetes. These are dis-eases within the body. When we eat processed food our body’s filing system gets confused. It has no clue what to do with things beyond vegetables, minerals, grains. It has to create pockets to store the unknown items.
I admit I have a sugar addiction. I struggle with it. August let me know I can ween myself away from it, but it does rear its head and it is tempting. Sugar attacks joints, creates stiffness in the body and robs the body of essentials. I have knee and ankle trouble that worsens when I eat anything with sugar.
So the battle rages on but knowing the effects and knowing the life I want… one totally outweighs the other.

Process vs. Whole

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Can someone explain to me why in the hell I would get on a diet plan that requires me to eat process foods versus whole foods? Think about it…

Done thinking? Good. Now answer this… which is better for you? I will wait…

Hopefully you said whole food. No. No. I am not talking about the market. I mean actual veggies and fruits and such. Do you know the reason why some people fail on those diets with the purchased meals? Because in order to maintain the weight that is lost you have to continually eat processed foods. There is no way to get off of it.

Foods that contain words that you can’t pronounce are usually not the best for you. Think about this… If our body has these organs to breakdown food the complexity of this task should not be made even more complex by the foods we eat. You eat a banana, your body says hey “I sense potassium lets break this down and send it to the muscles so they don’t atrophy. They will do the rest.” You eat a gummy bear it says, “Incoming. Not sure what this is. Send this to the fat storage we may need it for later… once we figure out what it is.”

Our bodies are an exact science. More often than not we turn them into science experiments. My goal is to get better. I work hard to stay on the peripherals of the grocery store. That is where the produce, grains and meats are. When you start heading to the center of the store the words are harder to pronounce.

I enjoy cooking. Creating new dishes from scratch. It feeds my creativity and my sense of silly, because I do pretend like I am on a cooking show. I won’t even lie. I buy fresh over frozen, dry over canned. The only isles that I venture to in the center of the store include the cereal isle for Wheaties, pasta and sauce on occasion and spices. I have to add flavor. I was reading the Weight Watchers site and spices were not listed in the caloric count. The intake on veggies was almost unlimited. That is because they are WHOLE not processed. I am certainly not an expert. But I do know that eating foods like a cucumber or an orange is better than a power bar or fruit gummies. I am not perfect, surely there are some unpronounceable items in my kitchen cabinets but the goal it 90% whole at the very least.
Eat better. Feel better.

Thoughts of Fried Chicken Running Through My Head…

The level of stress that are now my reality has thoughts of fried chicken running through my head. GEEEZ! I have been eating relatively healthy over the past couple of weeks. Because I have actually been cooking/preparing food. When I am in school I have the tendency to not eat right. I am actively trying to stop that habit. Today, was not a good effort in that challenge. The day is now half over and I have not eaten, taken any supplements or had any thing related to water. My stomach was growling a couple of hours ago but has since stopped. I know it thinks it is not going to get any food so it has resulting to fat storage. Not the best move.

 

Silence of the Yams…

Yum!

My grandmother had high cholesterol and high blood pressure.¬† I remember when I was in 9th grade she had to take pills for it but she would retain water because of the pills.¬† The doctor recommended that she eat certain foods and use Mrs. Dash. She did.¬† Her favorite daily delectable… a sweet potato for lunch. She would sit and scrape the inside and flip it until the orange flesh was completely gone. She would tell me “I could eat these for breakfast, lunch and dinner.” My grandmom died from Alzheimer’s a couple of years ago but I believe she is living through me because I most certainly have an obsessive affinity for sweet potatoes.

They contain vitamins B6, C and D. I have an issue with D… I am actually deficient, can you believe that? It also contains iron and magnesium. Also, it helps reduce homocysteine which is great for preventing heart attacks. “Vitamin D plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the thyroid gland.” (I should have realized I needed some since I am so drowsy lately.)
Normally who thinks about all of the details of whole food? We are constantly monitoring whether something has high sugar or fat or wheat or gluten. We need to consider the benefits of the whole foods we eat and eat more of them.
So for dinner… a raw salad of baby spinach, kale, cucumbers, red pepper, artichokes, grape tomatoes and salmon seasoned with lemon, salt, pepper and chives with a lemon and olive oil dressing.

All because I actually forgot to buy the sweet potatoes while I was at the grocery store.

There is Fruit at my Front Door

I ate two of the worst meals I could have ever eaten. Mainly, because of poor planning. The first… McDonald’s. You don’t even need to know what it was. If it was from there it really doesn’t matter what it was. Even their fruit isn’t good for you. The second was bourbon chicken and fried rice from what was known at a “Thai Kitchen”. I had to ask the lady what on that buffet that I was looking at was thai… There was no basil, no coconut. The only thing with any pepper was bland. How is that even possible? But again because of poor planning, I ate it. OH but I am also paying for it because in my half ass healthy way I have also been taking supplements… one called colon cleanse. (the nastiest stuff ever mind you) So at this point my stomach is on quiver. Have you ever had that happen to you? Your stomach feels like it is shivering from cold but it is really in shock because you put some nasty stuff in it. *sigh* I do that. Sometimes it is mindless. Sometimes I have a mental conversation that says “you should not eat the entire bag”… on the last bite.

And when I get this feeling (no not sexual healing) I always say… “I am never doing this again.” But I am here to tell you I have lied to myself with that story too many times to believe me anymore. Sad I know.

I was turned on to this delivery service maybe a year or two ago. My girl Charneice said she got organic veggies and fruits delivered to her door. I thought YEAH! I can to that too. So I did it. Then they went out of business. SO I found Washington Green Grocer a similar service of course different company. But then money got tight… I found myself with more veggies than I needed or wanted at one time. Remember, I am a single woman I do not need to cook for an army even though I seem to. I just got overwhelmed so I put my deliveries on hold. Well they are about to resume and I am excited and in need. Soon there will be fruit at my front door again.