Hospitalized: Negotiating A Whole Food Plant Based Diet No Oil, No Sugar

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Having a hysterectomy was inevitable. My mother and twin sister both needed to have one done in their 40’s. I was in the 82nd percentile for having the same issues they did..  Here I was 56 and it was time for me. I knew a few years back that I was headed that direction with the need of repeated D and C’s, due to thickening uterus walls and bleeding that should never be happening. Seemed like a crossroads.

I found it a little depressing because like for all women, my uterus and it’s attachments had been a big part of my life for many years.  A pain in the neck, yes.  Just not sure how losing those parts would impact me overall.

Then I realized how ridiculous I was being and decided to be even more ridiculous but in a more fun manner.  We turned it into a celebration! We took this life event and made it our own.   I made a meme and invited my facebook friends to celebrate the end of an era, the parting of me from my uterus. We all got a good laugh out of it.

Uterus good bye

While laughing about it helped, I also wanted to give myself the best chance of being my healthiest going into the surgery and during recovery. Maintaining my whole food plant based diet has been very important as a tool to being my healthiest.  It’s the one thing I have control over.

One would assume that since a hospital is a place of healing that they would serve healthy foods. Reality is that in the mix are class one carcinogen. Translation would be to say that it’s the same as smoking cigarettes. Sausage is considered a processed meat so picture them being sold in cigarette cartons as well. Then there are eggs which I simply refuse to eat.

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Eek! Avoid The Processed Foods!

 

So seemed counter productive to have my uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and cervix removed and enduring a hospital stay to improve my health, but at the same time eat the typical hospital food offerings.

My healing depended on continuing to eat whole food plant based no oil, low fat, low glycemic index, no added sugar low glycemic index. So no white flour, no animal product and no processed foods.

I phoned  in advance the dietician responsible for the meals served to see what was possible. There were some great options they had available. They invited me to bring any shelf stable foods of my own to use with what they could provide. I took them up on their offer.

I brought in some foods from home including fortified nutritional yeast, brown rice, a pull top can of chick peas, an envelope of prepared, shelf stable baby beluga black lentils, and WASA crackers.  I used them with a modified version of a couple of their menu selections they prepared without oil and other items I asked them to alter.  I enjoyed delicious water sautéed stir friend vegetables with black lentils. Their pasta with marinara sauce and chickpeas, broccoli,cherry tomatoes and spinach with a side of orange sections was lovely.

Mercy Hospital even sautéed  vegetables for my breakfast

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Hospital dinner
Mercy Hospital in St. Louis Missouri water sautéed a mixture of vegetables and then I added black lentil and nutritional yeast to make it balanced. Very healing.

My surgeon, Dr. Cory Wagner did a wonderful job on my surgery and fully supports my eating Whole Food Plant Based Oil Free and Low Glycemic Index.  My labs were perfect for surgery and all went well.

I am now home and have a freezer and fridge filled with my favorite berries, greens, fresh vegetables, apples and oranges, homemade bean burgers, a shelf with my favorite crackers, rolled oats, garbanzo beans, black beans, lentils and dried peas.

As I continue to recover I won’t stop continuing to evolve as a healthier person. Each chapter of life is ours to safeguard and enjoy. We have power in selecting what we eat and to work with the world around us to make it happen.

I want to thank ‘St. Louis Mercy Hospital for being open to bending their menu selections to meet my needs. It kept my blood sugars level, my blood pressure healthy, and kept me from blowing up like a balloon.

I also want to thank my husband Tim for coming up to the hospital at night and rubbing my feet and making me feel like a special woman. He even made a special trip just to bring me an apple to snack on.

 

Thank you to my son Eric who held down the fort at home so well and gave me such a wonderful homecoming.

I love my family and I love my life, every stage of it and every challenge I come across. Lots of changes for the better. I am grateful.

 

62 lbs Finally Gone. Spreading Awareness Goes Both Ways

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Not KETO: Declare Your Independence From Unhealthy Foods!

In 4 months time between these photos. It took less than 3 months to lose the weight.

Life At The Speed Of Beans and Greens!

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Wishing You Each a fantastic 4th of July ! Declare your own personal independence from food that is unhealthy. Make sure you eat vegetables, fruit, grains and legumes! You would be amazed!

Will you be in St. Louis, MIssouri   July 14th, 2018?  Register for this  and learn how to change your life!  (Note, neither I nor anyone in my family affiliated with this event or it’s organizers and speakers. Make sure you work with your doctor in determining what is best for your health. I spread the word because for me, it’s been wonderful)                            STL Plant Based Summit

“Real McCoys” Saving Lives: Headline St. Louis, Missouri Summit

I’m partial to the “Real McCoys” in life. How about you?

The internet and entertainment industry have created many, many quasi-experts on everything from diet to business to life-focus and beyond.

Well, I am so impressed that the organizer for The St. Louis Plant-Based Nutrition Summit is pulling in some of the top “Real McCoys” of nutritional science.  We have a legend from The Cleveland Clinic, The Director of The Barnard Medical Center in Washington D.C. and part of The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.  some of these folks have been featured in well respected documentaries such as Forks Over Knives. and others. Every one of them highly respected in their field.

Check out this flier. Get the information on these folks and register for this event. Extremely impressive.  It’s on Saturday, July 14th in St. Louis, Missouri at the Washington University campus. St. Louis Veg Girl has outdone herself in putting this together.

It’s the highlight of my summer to be attending. Some of their work and words have, in just three months time,  improved the quality of my life and likely considerably extended it.

STL Plant Based Summit

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I am still on my journey, but look what I did with just whole, low glycemic plant-based no oil foods. Between the weight loss and the minimizing of inflammation, it’s been beyond amazing. Knowledge Is Power. I know I look forward to learning more at the July 14th, 2018 St. Louis Plant-Based Nutrition Summit.

  • No Money was exchanged in my publishing this write-up or any write-up in my blog.  I am not, nor is anyone in my family, associated professionally or related to anyone affiliated with the St. Louis Nutritional Plant-Based Summit.
  • Make sure you get regular labs and discuss your nutrition and medications with your physician. It’s not unusual for people  to need their medication levels adjusted in a positive direction when they are when eating like this.