Eating Healthy When Chronically Ill

The problem with having chronic illness and trying to eat healthy is that the chronic illness can  keep you from being well enough to put together healthy food.  I’m lucky I have a husband and some very helpful convenience appliances that make it more doable. Still there are times I need to do this on my own. Almost always I can barely make it across the room.

Best suggestions I can give is to always keep a covered container of greens and chopped veggies  and fresh fruit in the fridge so all you have to do is dish up.

 

 

Have canned beans that you can drain and use.

Whole grain bread (egg free is best) to make veggie open face sandwiches is good.

Batch cook on your good days. Even if you have one or two reasonable days a month, it can make a huge difference.

Here are other possibilities to have on hand with the right planning.

 

 

Here is a recipe that literally just happened today.  I managed to toss together on a so-so day that is my norm. Couldn’t stand over a stove. Number of variations possible are limited only by your imagination. Took less than 5 minutes to toss together and then it got tossed in the oven where it baked while I sat on the sofa with my legs up and felt miserable (aka typical day).

Whole Food Plant Based Pointer: Using Parchment Paper means you can keep

 

Cindy’s Plant Based Mexican Bake Casserole

Serves 4-6

2 cups garbanzo bean flour ( Bobs Red Mill found with that line of products).

I tsp baking soda

2/3 cup salsa
2/3 cup water

1 cup of favorite Mexican friendly veggies (riced or finely chopped or chunked onions, peppers, tomato, cilantro, cauliflower,  greens…corn and black beans)

Mexican seasoning of your choice…
Chili powder, cumin, turmeric, low sodium chili or taco seasoning. Curry seasoning is good too.

Possible toppings for after baked…

Shredded lettuce, Miyoko cheese, addition chopped veggies and or salsa….

Directions.

Combine ingredients except toppings. Pour into lasagna pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 until cake like (approx. 20 minutes).

Serve in squares and top as desired.

Mine looks boring compared to how colorful you could make it look. It’s just what I had on hand.

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It tastes amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Meat, Eggs and Dairy Lover’s Guide To No More Animal Products

 

How lucky for me that I puked my guts out. When I ended up in the hospital, deathly ill after over two days consuming a fish sandwich and I turkey sandwich Easter weekend 2018, I never thought of myself as lucky. Really though it gave me a good opportunity to walk away from meat, dairy and eggs and never look back.

Top row of picture were taken that weekend when I got so sick from meat. Bottom row taken several months later, still animal product free.

 

 

Had it not been for the taste and smell of those products repulsing me, I would have had a harder time giving it all up.  I’ve watched my husband long for an Arby’s Roast Beef and pepperoni pizza dripping with thick slabs of  cheese. He had a harder time, but he managed.  I could see it was a thought process for him.

So much about our lives have been wrapped up around animal products.

What holiday or family event doesn’t have animal products as the centerpiece of the associated feast? I can’t think of any.  Traditions, holidays, early childhood memories, all of that is very powerful.

 

 

So it’s a week before Christmas and you are trying to gain control of your health. With the guidance of your own doctor of course,  you have chosen to eat whole food plant based which means all  animal products, sugar and overly processed foods are banned.

Some people can go cold turkey in avoiding turkey and gravy over the holidays. They can even drive past a fast food drive thru and never get a burger, fish or chicken or even a taco with cheese. If they eat animal products it’s only because they didn’t know it was in the food they were served to eat (and yes that is going to happen  especially at family gatherings).

Then there are people who genuinely feel giving up animal products is like pushing away the love of their lives or an dear friend. It’s anxiety provoking.  The fear of living without animal products means for them that they break up with animal products in steps.  I call this the process of Burger and Human Uncoupling.

Would Shakespeare have written verses about the despair and feeling pulled between lusting for cheese burgers and possibly deflating backed up lymphatics and staying alive an extra 10-30 years? 

 

Ode To Animal Products: My Mind’s Tears I Weep For Thee

(spoken tenderly with great drama)

Verse I

“Oh Cheese Burger, Pepperoni, Chicken and Eggs…

In my mouth you delight, but  inflate my legs.”

Verse II

” So Cheese is dairy, so is yogurt and Butter.

I loved you before, but now must love another.”

Verse III

“Endothelium,  walls of arteries and veins you line.

So no animal products I eat or carbs refined. “

 

It’s only slightly an overstatement to say that for many  to give up that relationship with animal products is very imposing..

So let’s be reasonable. So much of this is mental. You have to have courage to turn away from all meat, dairy and eggs as well as processed foods. While it is for health sake better to just cut off all animal products, it may not be in the long run productive. You may be one of the people who may give up for good the first time you cave.  So if you must,  take steps to prepare yourself to gain that needed confidence that you can live without animal products.  Start introducing what others call “transition foods”. These are foods that can give you a sense of having some of the textures and tastes you are in the habit of eating, without them actually being animal products.

Vegan food has come a long way. Please note that I use the term Vegan food instead of Whole Food Plant Based. Processed vegan foods many times are not that healthy. I would never suggest eating processed vegan foods on a regular basis over time but there is no crime in using them initially on occasion. Will they make you blow up like a balloon if you have soy and or sodium sensitivities? Maybe.  before going 100% without meat dairy and eggs or not, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth it not to eat soy filled and high sodium foods. Read the labels and weigh it all out.

Another way to approach it all is if  you cease eating one product at a time and adjusting to that before removing the next product that is ok too. And like I’ve pointed out throughout this piece, eating processed vegan food at times in the start, is fine too as long as you keep your eyes open to it temporarily making symptoms for things like lipedema, lymphedema and other disorders worse.

And even once you make the clean break from animal products, don’t be stunned if you still feel the need for a burger sometimes or cheese. It’s ok to ocassionally indulge in a Beyond Meat Burger (sold in many stores and some restaurants) or Impossible Burger (served at White Castle, and some restaurants  and coming to stores in 2019). There are also several other brands of non animal product burgers you can indulge in.

Just make sure that the majority of the time, you are eating actual fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, fresh greens,  unprocessed grains,  fresh or dried beans, peas, lentils, and a few unsalted nuts here and there. Some flax or chia seed for good measure, and take a good B-12 suppliment.  Have some blood work done to see if you are lacking in anything else.

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Black Bean Chick Pea Salsa Burger w/ lemon spinach and Orange Sections

I am just going to drive this point home one last time… better to eat whole foods that are plant based, without added oils, sugar or processed ingredients. Try for example, bean burgers or use lentils in place of ground beef in sloppy joes. They are better for you than the mass produced, pre-prepared vegan burgers and so on. Let me tell you, it can be pretty tasty.

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Need a chance to wrap your brain around the notion of no animal products? Here are some suggestions.

Miyokos Cashew Based Cheeses

Beyond Meat Burgers, Sausage, Chicken and Crumbles

Impossible Burgers

Just Eggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Black Bean Burger So Luscious, It’s Sexy

My Ultimate Bean Burger Recipe

 

I’ve been making different bean burgers for several years. This is by far the best tasting and satisfying of my bean black bean burger recipes ever. You want to impress your beloved? This will do it. Now you can make these without the cashew cheese, but sometimes you have to jazz things up to keep your family interested. Miyoko’s makes their cheese with pure ingredients, just like we would make it here. ( I say we because my husband assists or full out cooks most of our food).

It’s so easy, it’s so delicious and relatively inexpensive,  If you don’t already have access to Miyoko’s delicious cashew cheese products, put in a request for your store to start carrying their line.

My Ultimate Black Bean Burger Recipe

1 bag of dried black beans (1 lb) cooked per directions and partially mashed

1/2 wheel of Miyoko’s Kitchen garlic and herb vegan cheese (they make it exactly as we do at home)

2 “eggs” worth Bob Red Mill’s  Vegan Egg Substitute (follow directions on bag) (or flaxseed)

1 cup almond meal or oat flour

Tablespoon or more of lime juice

To taste as desired:

-crushed dried red pepper

-turmeric , cumin, whatever you like

-onion powder or finely chopped

-salt

Directions. Think of this as making a meatloaf but messier. All the ingredients or soft so wash up those hands and prepare to get messy!  Once you have squished together all the ingredients,  let it set for 5 minutes so that it gives the egg replacer a time to thicken it all up. If you need to add more dry ingredients to make it meatloaf consistency, then please do.

Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper and without adding oil or “grease”,  form and place on the cookie sheet the bean burgers.

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They look like mud pies at this stage don’t they? Ready for the oven!

Bake in preheated oven (375 degrees) for 30 minutes, my oven has a turbo setting that allows it to cook both sides at the same time, if you don’t have that, consider making your burgers an appropriate size to be easily by carefully flipped half way through.

Burgers will be soft but crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. Allow 10 minutes before serving  or 40 minutes or so to fully cool before placing in the freezer. Consider putting wax paper between burgers for easy removal.

 

Moist on the inside but holds together. Easy to reheat in microwave or oven for up to  month.

Oh and this IS whole food plant based cooking. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. If the products you use are like you would make it at home, then there you are.

 

Here we have one of the black bean burgers taken from the freezer and reheated, placed on a bed of beet noodles and baby kale. topped with carrot shavings and  mushrooms.

 

 

 

 

My Top Weight Pic And The Kind Of Eating That Helped Me Lose The Weight

Yea, this is me at my Top Weight and how I look now. All it took was Whole Food Plant Based eating to get my act together.  Never boring eating WFPB! Never boring getting my health together this way.

Before After Collage 2
Disclaimer: While this has helped treat some of my health issues, in no way has it cured any of them. Also different ways of eating impact different people differently. Always work with a doctor and get your labs done frequently. It’s not unusual to need to take B-12 supplements. This blog is my story only and should not be considered medical advise.

I know I thought I had burned all the photos of me at my top weight. Came across it as I sorted through family photos to make copies of to send to a relative who had requested them.

So since I just took photos this week of myself now, I thought it would make a great lead in for the next recipe I wish to share. Take a gander at the difference and then look at the photo below of this luscious recipe for Cinnamon-Ginger Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash. Step by step recipe is below photo.  It’s amazing that eating so well can help so much.

acorn squash stuffed with apples and oats

So Simple, So Healthy, So Unbelievably Delicious.  One good size Acorn squash equals 4 servings.

Recipe for Cinnamon-Ginger Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Preheat Oven for 375 degrees

I am unable to stand for long or cut and chop things easily so I purchase pre-sliced apples.

Ingredients

1 bag pre-sliced apples with or without peelings on.

1 nice sized acorn squash.

To taste and optional:

Cinnamon, Ginger, Stevia powder (or sweetener of your choice), walnuts or pecans, dried cranberries or raisons.  A dab of Miyoko’s Vegan Butter (beware that fats are considered bad for your blood vessel walls).

 

  1. Take an acorn squash and cut it in half. removing all the strings and seeds in the middle.
  2. Sprinkle cinnamon, stevia, and ginger to taste on the squash halves. Bake for 40 minutes on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet or shallow baking pan.
  3. While baking the squash for the first time,  in a skillet sauté in water unsweetened apple slices, in water, cinnamon, stevia and ginger until apples are half cooked.  (you can also include walnuts or pecans, even chopped dried cranberry).
  4.  Filling the cavities of the two halves with the filling. Feel free to “heap it in”. LOL
  5. Sprinkle the top with any of the ingredients used already to layer in the flavor any way you want.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes. Cut each half in half.  There is so much fiber in this dish, just scoop it out of the skin with a spoon or fork as you eat it, or just serve the golden apple-y contents with the skin at all.

Look in the Archives for Other Articles on resources to share with your doctor to explore your options. Many of them you can find online or at your library.

 

 

Improved Health: I Have Arrived!

 

Take a gander at me last spring on the left quite a few pounds heavier than I am now. Then take a look at the photo next to it. Miraculous change! I suffer from Lipedema, Lymphedema and Dercum’s Disease.  In laymen’s terms, that means limiting calories and increasing exercise doesn’t impact the weight. The lymphatic system backs up lymphatic fluid into my tissue. I have large lumps of whatever throughout my body.

People with my issues typically look extremely bottom heavy, with large bat wing arms, and necks and faces that can swell up at the drop of a dime. It’s nothing to gain poundage in the double digits in a day’s time from the lymphatic back up. 11% of women deal with such issues. I was diagnosed at two different university clinics in two different states.

So most of my life, I avoided having photos that showed my hips and legs. This morning my hair still hadn’t been managed for the day so for the first time ever I asked my husband to aim the camera for the stomach on down.

See those leggings and boots? It’s common for those with my diagnoses to not even be able to zip up those boots. And compression leggings are a popular treatment for those disorders, but I would never allow myself to be photographed in them.  They are 3 sizes smaller than what I use to wear.

I’ve had people online and in person tell me, ” You are on the right track, keep going”.

Let me publically say that considering lipedema is only suppose to make a person larger and larger over time, I managed to make myself smaller inspite of it. So not only am I on the right track, I crossed the finish line!

Whether I stay at this weight or lose more, I am VERY SATISFIED. My labs are improved greatly,  and still am crippled by the combination of some of the disclosed and non disclosed disorders. But even during the stretch of days I am bed bound, my quality of life has greatly improved.

In the big picture people are having surgery done to temporarily reduce the lymphatic based “fat” in their legs and hips. Thanks to the way I am eating, that likely will not be needed. Also I’ve been taken off  medications because of my change in eating.

Whole Food Plant Based Low Glycemic Index, Low Fat,

No Added Oil, No Added Sugar

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Reality Of Trauma And Regaining One’s Power

Many people who have the physical diagnoses of fat disorders such as Lipedema, Dercum’s Disease are said to have trauma in their history. Many with eating disorders have a similar background.

I’ve come to know many, many people who are in this circle of physical health and emotional concerns with that history.

Trauma if left as it is, can make one’s life less than it could be. It can ruin a life. It can shorten a life. It can impact future generations.

Don’t throw away the power you have by allowing yourself to linger in a life that isn’t all that it could be.

I learned this mostly by taking myself by the hand and pulling and pushing myself forward. Sometimes through therapy sometimes in having my life move forward. all on my own.

Life has a way of taking that blank slate of a precious baby each of us once were and puts emotional dings, scrapes, dark marks and dents into our sense of self and world view.

Many of the world’s ills are passed down from one  generation after the other. Humans are the most capable creatures we know of on the planet, yet we seldom seize our own power we have to heal ourselves. If we can’t heal up some of the junk we emotionally carry around, the world is having to live without all the positive we have to offer it.

If we aren’t careful, we can end up knowingly or unknowingly wallowing in the muck of other’s dysfunction and take on  a confused toxic world view.

Is this really a social issue?

1 in 3 children are abused physically, sexually or emotionally by age 14. Then consider how many young adults are abused by significant others physically, sexually or emotionally in their 20’s 30’s and into the twilight years. It’s not uncommon for people to have layers of abusive experiences that puts them in a mental haze and inner physical turmoil that changes even their brain chemistry.

The important point I wish to make is don’t shy away from doing the work needed to rebuild yourself. Your value and my value is not based on the attitudes of those who in the past have harmed us.

I have had to rebuild myself and when I was up and running again, even though still in the process of repair, some people would say they didn’t know me anymore. I was nothing like the girl who would roll over and play dead on command.

Oh well.

Reality can be painful but it forces you to live where you have the most power in your life. Reality is where growth takes place. Where there is growth then life changing positive decisions can happen.

So if you haven’t done so already, find power and purpose in rebuilding in yourself what needs to be rebuilt.

There is no reason to apologize for believing every life has a place and deserves respect and dignity. You will be forced to include yourself in these ranks the more you understand.

Once you really learn and understand this and know that you are worthy,, you won’t settle for the dysfunction you’ve taken part in or subjected on yourself.

Be prepared because as an individual heals, those who are wallowing in the dysfunction will try to pull you back. Your health is too unsettling  to their world and for them it’s uncomfortable. Pick and choose your battles. Sometimes you can maintain relationships and there are times when you have to walk away. Each situation is different. Forgiveness is fine, self preservation when based on what you know to be true, is a must.

If you have the feeling that in their eyes you are expendable, if they leave you feeling small and not worthy, and there is a long history of such behaviors and attitudes, it’s ok to walk away.  They may raise a fuss through dysfunctional means, but that should only strengthen your resolve to not waste your time with them.

 

Find a wuiet Sunny spot in yourself where you feel safe.
Appreciate each stage of life
Hold close to good memories
Peace is the center of healing.

Movies: An Emotional Eaters Guide

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Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

Oh Bother! We have all been there. Today dysfunctional people brought me face to face with the desire for emotional eating. I didn’t succumb. Being physically disabled makes it hard because I can’t just go “walk it off”. That makes me feel more helpless so I have to be more creative. Dysfunctional people’s behaviors towards me shouldn’t control what I eat or how much. Aside of making sure I don’t allow myself to be pulled into other people’s dysfunction, it’s best to keep myself occupied.

None Of These Foods Are Worth Wrecking Your Health.

No! No! No! No! Just Tell Yourself No!

So I got thinking about the movies and TV shows I gravitate towards when feeling the sting of boundary challenged extended family members and others I deal with from time to time.

So here is my guide on entertaining means of diversions when you feel driven by circumstances to self medicate with unhealthy foods.

A) The Movie Stuart Saves His Family– Al Frankin helped to write and is the lead in this 1990’s take on the dysfunctional families and 12 Step Programs. His family is classically dysfunctional and most people can relate to the situations Stewart comes across. Harold Ramis directs and there is joy as people learn to live healthy lives of recovery from their dysfunctional families of origin, Stuart’s boss, extended family and so on. I’ve seen it many times over the years and it never fails to make me feel better. Watching Stuart “shame spiral” his way through the first initial crisis with a bag of cookies is a great reminder how futile it is. Available on Stars.

B) The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: This Amazon Prime series original is about a woman born ahead of her time. She is funny and intelligent. She is East Side New York from a posh circumstance until her husband leaves her and her parents decide to treat her like a child again with chores and curfews. Her escape is her sneaking out to night clubs to perform as the funny woman that she is. She’s a fish out of water willing to learn how to have legs. The one liners are endless and the show very well written. Very human characters but I warn you, when she chows on a pan of macaroni and cheese, you may have to fight the urge to make some for yourself. Just remind yourself, she is a movie character and won’t gain weight or swell up, but you may.

C) Matilda: I know it’s a child’s movie but there is so much about the movie that shows depending on yourself inspite of a dysfunctional family who doesn’t understand or appreciate you. Danny DeVito is really funny as his wife, Rhea Perhlman.

D) The Godfather: Yes it’s violent, but the writing and acting are so wonderful, the lines so memorable, it’s always a pleasure to see this work of art. Just be glad that Mama Corleone isn’t a real person and in your life, she would comfort you with a plate of meatballs and make you eat, diet or not.

E) Ruthless People: Bette Midler is so funny. It will make you laugh no matter what. As she celebrates her weight loss while in captivity,, you will think twice before chowing down during this movie.

F) Harry Potter Film Series: “The Boy Who Lived” Need I say more. The ultiment believe in yourself and see that there is power in love and never giving up.

G) Mystery Science Theater 3000 Admit it, when you see a bad movie, sometimes it’s as funny as any comedy ever filmed. Crow T. Robot, Tom Servo, Gypsy, Cambot, and Joel or Mike will say lines and sing ditties you wish you had thought of. Watch it enough and the next time you have an issue with dysfunctional people you will swear you hear the MST 3000 gang giving comic commentary as you deal with it. Also check out RiffTracks.

F) The Big Bang Theory : The great thing about a well written series is that you get to know the characters for their good and their imperfections. In this show the cast is funny and like old friends I can recall knowing over the years. It’s a pleasure to watch.

G) Musicals!: I started to list my favorite musicals but the list is too long. If you love musicals, there are decades worth to pick from. If you don’t like musicals, just pass.

H) Everybody Loves Raymond: The joys of dysfunctional family life and all problems wrapped up in 30 minutes. ( making it a real modern day fairy tale). Great way to encourage yourself to laugh at dysfunction instead of abusing yourself with food.

I) And you can always watch the same YouTube Video over and over again like this classic from Frozen

And remember….Let It Go! Let It Go! Don’t let the Fat and Processed Foods flow!

Self-Care Nutrition In The World Of Chronic Illness

 

In our household. we take care of eachother. Doesn’t matter who the caregiver or the one needing taken care of is. We look out for eachother. Hey we are a family of adults making it work!

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Anyone with a severe chronic illness or the caregiver of someone who is chronically ill, knows that self care is both a must and many times the hardest to provide oneself.

There isn’t anything more basic in self-care than good solid nutrition. The less hassle the better too. The less hassle. the more likely it’s going to happen. The less hassle, the kinder you are being towards whoever is responsible for making it happen.

When dealing with chronic illness, it can be our biggest weapon to ease our suffering and even in some cases reverse the chronic Illness. Good nutrition can help slow down some chronic condition’s advancement and prevent new ones from taking hold.  It can allow our medications a chance to work better, or if lucky, it can replace the need for prescription medications all together.

Living off store bought frozen entrees with less than healthy ingredients like high sodium, animal products and non whole foods, for me would never help. Fast food will make most people’s health more complicated. So the sooner any of us in these sorts of shoes can figure this out for ourselves, the better.

With Dercum’s Disease, Fibromyalgia,and Lymphedema, Lipedema and Diabetes and low grade start to coronary disease, it has come down to me to figure this out. How to eat to not make things worse. What can be healthy to eat, inexpensive, and easy enough to prepare that my husband can manage along with all his other responsibilities. If it can be easy enough for me on a good day to prepare and toss individual servings in the freezer, that’s great too.

This week I am recovering from the Plant-Based Nutrition Summit last Saturday, and one grocery run on Monday. (Dercum’s Disease is like that, overdo it and you are down for the count. It doesn’t take much). Even a motorized scooter couldn’t save me from being a pain filled zombie on Sunday, part of Monday, and  bed bound on Sunday and part of Tuesday and all day Wednesday through Thursday morning.

Yet unlike the past when this would start to happen, I’m not eating greasy cheeseburgers my husband is bringing home, or processed foods on white bread, or even sodium filled frozen entrees. We aren’t going broke from food either.

Now that we are established in a plant-based diet as a household, we have kept it easy to manage and afford.

The easy sandwich/pesto recipe:

Aldi sells frozen peas 79 cents a bag. Trader Joe sells Miyoko Vegan Crème cheese $5.50 a container. Broccoli is cheap everywhere fresh or riced.

in a freezer bag, we combine frozen peas and riced broccoli (or riced cauliflower). Keep it in the freezer.  Defrost half per batch you are making. Place in food processor or high power blender, can be somewhat lumpy. In a bowl, stir in garlic, onion chopped or onion powder, some crushed red pepper if desired, and 2 Tbl of either Miyoko Vegan Cream cheese or no-oil hummus.

It will keep for a few days in the fridge and makes a great sandwich spread, or on whole grain toast in the morning for breakfast. Very good as a type of stir in for whole grain pasta. You can add basil and oregano and lime juice to liven it up. Put cucumbers on top of it or tomato.  Add some shredded carrot to it.

Or forget the grain pasta and use a peeler or veggie noodle maker and stir it into veggie noodles for a 100% vegetable dish.

Pea Broccoli Spread
Broccoli-Pea Salad on No Wheat Rye
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Broccoli-Pea Pesto using same sandwich spread but adding basil and oregano plus a splash of lime

 

You Can’t Go Wrong With A Great Salad

Never underestimate the power of a good salad. Never over estimate how much it cost to eat salad. These days even Aldi can keep you fresh organic greens and other produce for very little money.

I try to follow the daily dozen  rules of Dr. Michael Greger to keep my nutrition well rounded. Gone are the days of ice berg lettuce being sufficient. Now it’s 2 servings of greens a day along with a serving of cruciferous vegetables and two serving of “other vegetables” that are low glycemic index. Also I need to get two servings of fruit and a serving of berries. In addition to all that, three servings of beans/peas and three whole grain servings. One serving of seeds and nuts and I’m also suppose to have flax seeds once a day.

If I know I’m going to be down for the count in bed for several days possibly, I direct my husband or try to plan myself to throw together salads that will incorporate a little of everything to make a salad. Dark greens, riced cruciferous veggies of some type, brown rice or barley,  well rinsed and drained black beans, sliced cucumbers and shredded carrots.  I’ll put fresh fruit around the sides such as something easy to rinse and use like fresh blueberries and easy to peel like orange sections. Then just some lemon or lime juice.

Black Bean Burgers Too

The sandwich spread mentioned above and one or two varieties of salads that are kept on hand and prepared, can keep well rounded nutrition within easy reach. I also keep black bean burgers in the freezer that we make. There are many recipes online and in plant-based cook books. Here is one of my favorites

 

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From Scratch Black Bean Burgers

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Roasted Cauliflower: Yum

Roast a head of cauliflower in the oven and slice it when it’s cooled. Very easy to keep for a few days and eat from as needed. It freezes well too.

cauliflower cooking pot delicious food
Skip the boiling or steaming. Just dry rub it with your favorite seasonings, bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. You will have a very slight satisfying crunch. Frozen riced cauliflower or broccoli is an easy alternative too. Let it defrost on top of  salad in the fridge.  Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

No Cook Over Night Oats

Overnight Oats are wonderful too. I’m not talking about the Overnight Oats you see on the grocery shelves. This is like a breakfast oatmeal and fruit custard without eggs though. No cooking involved either. You can find the recipe online by looking it up, but basically, it’s one part old fashioned oats and two parts non dairy milk of your choice, and a tablespoon or two of chia seeds stirred in. Oh and also you can put in the fruit of your choice, any amount you want.

I like using a one cup storage container to make it in and eat it from to keep the portions reasonable. I use berries, but apple slices are good too with some cinnamon mixed in. I tend to use more fruit than oats. So the oats and non dairy milk are a sideline, but that is just my preference. The chia seeds make a gel that helps to solidify the entire dish into pudding sort of combo, if you will.

The gelling process happens as it sits airtight/covered in the fridge overnight. When you get up, it’s ready to eat.

You can make a few of these overnight oats up at one time and eat off of them for a few days for breakfast. Adding nuts or sliced banana is good too.

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Photo by THE 5TH on Pexels.com

Nothing wrong with some herbal tea, but you will find that eating this way will replace your need for caffeinated coffee.  Your mind may become better focused and you will know you are doing all you can for yourself and those you care about.

Well nourished people are healthier and more content in life. Take care of eachother and help it happen.

Why do I eat a plant-based diet?

 

 

 

 

 

62 lbs Finally Gone. Spreading Awareness Goes Both Ways

So how goes it in your life? Did you have a good weekend?

Saturday, I got out of bed with one set of measurements, and came home later that day with a larger body. No I didn’t don a fat suit at the end of the day. It’s just another day in the life of someone with Dercum’s Disease, Lipedema and Lymphedema. Before taking on a Whole Food-Plant-Based Diet it use to be far worse. No complaints from me. In the end I still reached the lost 62 pounds mark.

I don’t get out much. Swelling up that bad is the price to pay for just walking out my front door to do literally anything. It’s painful. Saturday I was just too enthralled with the line up at our local Plant-Based Nutrition Summit to not attend the all day event. I would get around by way of motorized mobility scooter and figured if it got bad, I would leave early.

The St. Louis Plant-Based Nutrition Summit held at Washington University on Saturday, July 14th, 2018 was sold out and a very happening event. This was no small venue, it was huge with people coming from all over the place to hear some of the brightest and most revered minds in nutritional, science. I saw it as a chance to not only learn but to also share with others when appropriate, about the oddball disorders lipedema, Dercum’s Disease and Lymphedema.

All three disorders can add non-calorie based weight gain. Lipedema, 11% of women have it and it makes them look bottom heavy and the weight just can’t be lost easily through traditional dieting. Dercum’s Disease Disorder is also stubborn when it comes to losing weight. Additionally, Dercum’s Disease is associated with a long list of other health issues that can shorten your life. Things such as diabetes and cardiac issues.  Because it’s so rare, most doctors know very little, if anything about it. Yet Diabetes and Heart Disease would be explored at the Summit. So I brought some awareness business cards with me and my before and after losing 50 pounds shots, and a one sheet explanation.

So I figured while I got a couple books signed, I would thank the doctors and  slide to them some information on it all regarding the disorders themselves and how in my case the positive impact this way of eating has had.

Well I later swelled up big because of the disorders. The pain got worse and the lumps (Dercum’s Tumors) got big enough to be seen from a few feet away..

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Early in the morning and minimal swelling from not getting much sleep, but not bad.
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Please note that I used a filter to show more contrast so you see what my body was going through. Later that day, overdoing it brought out the start of massive swelling in my neck, and in my arms. Also notate where in my arms I look lumpy. Those are Dercum’s Disease tumors. My stomach started to swell up as well as my hips and legs. Lipedema rears it’s head. . I didn’t look or feel like this that morning.

As much as I wanted and needed to go home and get to bed I chose to stay. These doctors may not have heard of some of these disorders. If they had heard of any of them, they may not know that Whole Food Plant Based eating did the unimaginable, it helped some of my symptoms that I was told to give up on.

So I stuck it out on my mobility scooter and was first person in line for the book signing. The book signing was at the very end of the day.

Dr. Michael Greger was pleasant from start to finish, as was Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. I shared with them the information I brought with me.

Dr. Greger also made the point of saying that it was important for me to make sure those similar to myself know that eating like this has in my case, had a positive impact on some of the symptoms.

 

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You see Dr. Greger reviewing the information I provided them.
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Dr. Greger’s inscription after hearing of my success treating lipedema, Dercum’s disease using a Whole Food Plant-Based Low Fat Diet.

I went home and got in bed and stayed in bed through all day Sunday. My husband was fantastic serving me food in bed.  Roasted brussel sprouts and brown rice with watermelon were delicious!

brussel sprouts and watermelon

 

My body slowly on Sunday deflated. I stepped on the scale and since a week ago, another 8 pounds lost. 62 pounds gone now. 40 more to go.

It’s been a great weekend. I highly recommend all books written and any public appearances made by Dr. Michael Greger and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr.  If there is a documentary they are in, watch it.

The Inexpensive Delicious Foods That Took Off 50 lbs In 3 Months!

 

 

 

In the beginning of this chaper of my life, being diabetic, and with high cholesterol, high blood pressure,  fibromyalgia, Dercum’s disease, lipedema and lymphedema, I focused on general health and knew I had no desire for animal products. I was physically ill from them. Couldn’t even stand the smell of them. (thanks KETO).

In prior posts you can read more about my story, but the point today is that I want to share how inexpensive easy it is to eat this way.  I don’t feel like I’m giving up anything, as a matter of fact.

I’m excited about the food I eat for the first time in many years. It always looks colorful and fun. It tastes great. I don’t worry about what it’s going to do to me because I always know that my body is being nourished.  Let me tell you, a pound of dried peas or dried black beans, which I frequently use as protein sources, can be used in many ways and are significantly more cost efficient than the cheapest animal protein. Nutritionally they are superior to meat.

Yes, the stores do sell “vegan” products that replace meat, but look closely at the expense and the nutrition label.  Many of them have oils and fats that are not healthy. They are fine for every once and awhile, or in the beginning when you transition off meat, but your health and waistline can do without them.

Simple For Those Just Starting : THE VEGGIE OR BEAN BURGER

If you can spare a little time to make your own bean or pea burgers and toss them in the freezer, you will be set for tasty healthy “fast” food any time.

 

What you can do with homemade veggie or black bean burger ideas.

-You can add odds and ends of vegetables to your homemade veggie or bean burgers and enjoy it on rye (no wheat products please)  or a bed of greens and or brown rice/riced vegetables with your favorite topping: salsa, no oil-hummus, or  spiced orange sections.

-Crumble the burger and put it on a sprouted spelt tortilla with greens and diced tomatoes.

-Crumble the burger and make it a pizza topping.

-Sautee in water some mushrooms and chopped onion and smother a homemade veggie/bean burger with the mixture. Serve it with brown rice and some vegetables.

-Spice up part of the mixture to make a great sausage substitute. Make some egg-free buckwheat pancakes and serve them with berries with chia fruit spread and a side of a spicy black bean patty.

My husband is great in the kitchen and that is wonderful in my case because many times I am unable to cook due to disabilities. (Another reason we batch cook and put it in all the in freezer).  We keep it simple by keeping a good supply of both canned  beans and bags of dried black beans, salsa, egg replacement, and different non wheat flours such as oat, almond, garbanzo bean and so on.

We invested in a vitamix but a potato masher works too. You mash the beans and some salsa, egg alternative, seasoning and enough non-wheat flour to create  a soft meatloaf- like texture. 3-4 inch width and 1- 1.5 inch thick patties.  Allow them sit covered,  in the fridge overnight or for a few hours.

Bake on parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet for 25 minutes (flipping once half way through) at 375 degrees.  OR use a Gorge Foreman Grill and grill for four minutes. With either method, remove them from their cooking surface and allow them to sit for five minutes before serving or storing in freezer.

Sometimes we just toss some legumes on a salads and call it a day.

HAVE NUTRIENT RICH GREENS, SALAD VEGETABLES AND FRUIT READY TO EAT

I always have on hand:

-bags of  greens including romaine, butter lettuce, baby kale, chard, and spinach.

-fresh oranges and lemon juice

– fresh carrots, cucumbers

-Frosen produce including: peas, riced vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, berries.

There is always a storage container or two of already made salads (no dressing ever. Just lemon juice on them). Sometimes we mix with the greens, low sodium seasonings such as garlic powder,  crushed red pepper and even some orange slices and or berries.

The right plant-based foods that taste good and is easily accessible for people as they come and go, or if as in my case, when they can’t always cook for themselves, is the way to go.

Where do you get guidelines for the style of plant-based eating that has benefitted so much? Each resource has their own take on this style of eating. There is a great deal they are in agreement with. Much depends on your own health profile as to how to lean your diet.

 

Books and materials written by Dr. Neal Barnard from The Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine.

Dr. Caldwell B Esselstyn’s research and book

The China Study by Dr. Colin Campbell

Forks Over Knives documentary and books

Dr. Greger and his daily dozen check list

If you are in St. Louis over July 14th 2018, you can hear some of these fine medical professionals give presentations at the St. Louis Plant-Based Nutrition Summit being held at Washington University.Click here for details  

STL Plant Based SummitNothing on this or any of my blog pages should be considered a substitute for working with your own medical team for your health care. Get your labs done periodically and make sure that you talk to your doctor about  taking a recommended level of B-12 and Vitamin D.

I don’t make a dime off of this website or from anything mentioned in my blog. Just happy I found what works.