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

Featured

Featured Image -- 717

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.

20190607_204630~26369685932540749836..jpg
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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ODE TO A CHOCOLATE BAR

” Whatever you did with that Symphony Chocolate Bar, get it and destroy it. Throw it out”, I told my husband as I saw the hurt look on his face.

I had asked him to bring it home to me as I laid in pain from Dercum’s Disease. I was weak and the request for the chocolate to be brought home came out of my mouth before I knew what I was saying.

I ate 4 squares of the chocolate bar, left 4/5ths of the oversized giant bar of chocolate in it’s wrapper for another time. My husband had taken it to keep it out of reach for me, at my request.

But I noticed something that wouldn’t surprise most savvy nutrition smart doctors. Eating just that small amount of chocolate created inside me a ravishing hunger to eat foods I had avoided for over a month. Sugary unhealthy foods rushed into my mind.

For over a month I hadn’t felt any need for sugary foods, not even chocolate. My cravings had gone from strong to non existent literally the moment I went vegan. So why in blazes did I open the flood gate again by having even a small bit of chocolate?

The pain I have from Dercum’s Disease is so strong so much of the time, and there is little that can be done about it. This time the pain was a doozy that landed me in bed for two days.

So yes, I admit it. I cheated and ate something with dairy and sugar in it.  I know much more of that chocolate bar awaited me just for the asking. I knew what I had to do.That chocolate bar was going to have to take the hit for this, and I knew that didn’t mean being eaten by anyone in our home.

My husband looked confused when I asked him to throw the candy bar out.

” You only ate four tiny bites. It’s not the end of the world.” he said.

I cut him off saying,”Please Tim, just do as I ask. It gave me cravings I’ve not had for weeks and I can’t go back to all that again.”

Being the dutiful husband he threw out the candy bar.

That was yesterday. Today I dined on cabbage soup, a veggie burger, and lots of salad. Back on track just in time to see pound 22 had rolled off me.  The experience of how close I could have been lost in old food habits was not lost on me.

Ode To A Chocolate Bar

Oh Candy Bar you are so sweet, through pain our paths did cross.

You slayed me with your darkened charm my logic was all lost.

Four bites I took like a maniac, who had forgotten her own way.

You were set aside for future plans but then my brain did say.

“That tasted good, now lets have lots more, I really want more now

You’ll do my bidding, I’m in charge, now don’t be proud!”

All this nonsense from candy sweet, I couldn’t let that stand.

“I’m in control, not you!.” I said.  I assigned my best hitman.

My husband did the deed alright, he tossed you out, chocolate bar.

I’m breaking up with you because my health’s  worth more, by far.