Keeping it Simple

Image result for food pyramid 1950s     When I first started this lifestyle (notice, this is not a diet) I was soooo overwhelmed!  I had grown up in a house that where meat, dairy, eggs, sugar were used all the time.  Food back then (man, that makes me sound old) was a lot cheaper.  Meat didn't cost an arm and a leg.  I remember eating halibut all the time.  Now it's 10.00 plus per pound!   This is what the food pyramid looked like when I was a kid.  I'm sure the meat and dairy industry had something to do with it.  Yikes!

     When I was in high school, I took Home Ec  and we learned how to bake goodies and had a restaurant at school where we served all the "wrong" foods that we cooked in class.  I loved that class, but it taught me to eat the wrong things, and I was chubby in high school!

     It wasn't until after high school that I started to thin out.  I had friends that I would go to the gym with, and I tried to eat healthy. Still there was always dating, going out with friends and binging on all the wrong foods for sleepovers and movie nights.

     Then I got engaged.  I slimmed right down because I wasn't hungry at all!  I fit into a size 12 wedding dress with no problems.  Okay, now I know what you are thinking, that size 12 is pretty big in our minds these days, but guys I'm 6 feet tall!  I'm not a little girl, and never will be.  Size 12 for me is awesome!  I chunked right back out when I started having a family.  I yo yo dieted a lot!

     Well, I sure got off on a tangent!  I started saying that when I started this, I was overwhelmed with the cooking style of this lifestyle.  It can be so overwhelming at times, and sometimes you just want to cook something fast.  I also have a ton of recipes on my blog, but really they are time consuming, and working full time at the hospital leaves me tired and I just want to do nothing.  Even though I eat right, and have a ton of energy, I just want me time.  12 hour shifts 3 straight days in a row, you understand right?

     Anyway...... what I'm getting at is we need to simplify our lives so we can enjoy life.  I do batch cooking with beans, rices, oats, and potatoes.  I also LOVE mexican food and always have salsa or pico on hand.  Instead of cooking all these fabulous meals, why not just throw all this stuff together! Beans go on rice with pico or salsa, beans go on greens with rice and pico, beans go with frozen corn, rice with pico or salsa.  Do you see a pattern here?  LOL   Will I tire of this?  I highly doubt it!  If I do, then I will have sweet potatoes with cinnamon (which I discovered yesterday for breakfast) OOOOOOO it is soooooo good  simple!  Find things you love to eat, and repeat.  

     Summer is here and there is too much to do outside than to be stuck in the kitchen cooking up fancy dishes.  It's my goal in the next couple of months to just keep it simple.  I won't be posting a ton of recipes this summer, as I'm just going to throw things together.

     If you have questions make sure to find me on my facebook page!  I love a good discussion!

Vacation! Continuation

     This past weekend we went to my son's graduation from college, and had to stay in a hotel as he and his wife live in this tiny, on campus apartment.  We love this trip to northern Idaho because the scenery is gorgeous!  It gives us a chance as well to relax from all the stuff that has to be done on the home front.  

     What do you do about the food!!!  How does one eat whole foods plant based?  Let me tell you, it's a bit of a challenge.  My son and his family eat this way as well, but this weekend was a free for all!  They just had a baby 2 months ago, and still are adjusting to that.  

     The hotel that we stayed in didn't have a breakfast bar (the last one did) so I bought a mini rice cooker from Amazon before our trip and I packed some oats and flax and cooked it in the rice cooker. We also took along a cooler and packed lots of fruit.  Most mornings when I first wake up, I'm not hungry so I eat a banana or some melon, and then by around 9:00 am, I'm starving.  However, we had to be at the stadium at 7:30 am, so I had to make oats early to hold me until we got something else. Let me tell you, it was a lifesaver to have that because at least I got one good meal, and we didn't have to stop at McDonald's for a gross egg mcmuffin!  

     After the graduation, there was a reception for students, parents and professors.  They had a spread of cake, and lots of cheeses, crackers and a few veggies.  I didn't partake of any of it because of that, and also it was hard to get to with all the people.  After that was done, we went to our church building to be with family to have lunch.  Pizza was on the menu, and by this time I was starving!  So yes I had some pizza and cake later.  Sometimes there are no choices, and for me I didn't want to make a big deal about it.  This celebration was for my son, not my diet.  I gained 2 pounds over the weekend, but now those 2 pounds are now gone, and I'm back on track.  

     We did go to a restaurant the next evening, and there were vegan choices, but I could have kicked myself because my wrap had cheese on it.  As I'm learning, I need to remember to be more vigilant of ingredients.  There is nothing I can do about the oil that restaurants cook with.  Dr. McDougall says you can talk to the chef, but there again bringing attention to myself is not really what I want to do, so I eat it and move on.  


Let's Talk About Poop!

     If you are squeamish about poo, don't read any further!  LOL  It's a part of life, or at least it should be!  Okay, this is where it's going to get personal.  How often do you poop?  Once a day, once every other day?  Two to three times a day?

     Before I started this lifestyle, it was maybe once every three days for me, and now...... 3-5 times a day!  And when it was so infrequent, it was so hard to pass!  Yeah, I told you if you can't handle the subject, just don't continue reading.

     In all seriousness though, pooping, bowel movements, are important!  I work at a local hospital, and when a patient doesn't have a bowel movement, stool softeners, prune juice are given and then if that doesn't work, they give a suppository or do finger stimulation!  YIKES!

     A lot can happen if we don't consistently have a BM.  Cancer for one is a big concern for many Americans.  According to Dr. Michael Gregor breast cancer in woman is cut in half by having a normal daily BM.  He says that chemicals that are in the colon can get into the blood stream and then reach the breast tissue.  He goes on to say that the acids that are not flushed out of our colon with plant foods can be absorbed and enter the blood stream.  Watch the complete video.

     Have you ever heard that if your gut is healthy, everything else is healthy?  This is what Dr. McDougall says about our guts, and this is so fascinating to me.
Approximately 28 feet of digestive tube, known as the gut and intestine, processes our foods into life giving nutrients. The first 23 feet, which include the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and small intestine mechanically divide the foods we eat, mix them with digestive enzymes, and then break them into microscopic particles ready for absorption into the body. The last five feet, known as the large intestine, or colon, works as a microbial factory. More than 400 different species of bacteria have been identified living in a single person. These bacteria are not distributed randomly throughout the intestinal tract, but are found in different numbers and kinds in different regions of the gut. The stomach and small intestine contain low numbers, the last part of the small intestine contains many more organisms. Within the colon their concentration reaches 1,000,000,000,000 (a trillion) per milliliter of feces. On the typical American diet one-third of the dry weight of the feces is bacteria. (On a healthy diet, dietary fiber dilutes the concentration.) Although the bacteria are the predominant microflora, protozoans, yeast and other microorganisms are also present.

     WoW!  From the time we put something in our mouths to the time it exits our bodies it either nourishes our bodies for good or bad.  Here are some reasons to have a healthy digestion.

Benefits of a Healthy Gut Microflora
  • Increase the natural resistance to infections from bacteria, yeast, and viruses
  • Prevent traveler’s diarrhea
  • Speed healing from diarrheal diseases and relapsing colitis
  • Improve digestion
  • Relieve constipation
  • Stimulate the immune system
  • Lessen symptoms of inflammatory arthritis
  • Suppress cancer development and growth
  • Reduce sex hormones
  • Reduce cholesterol and triglycerides
     Since eating this way, I don't get sick as often.  I remember every winter before becoming plant based I would get a horrific cold.  I sometimes now get a feeling of a cold coming on, but it will only last a day.  I had a super bad sore throat a couple of weeks ago, and thought oh boy here it comes, so I bought cough drops and such.  I woke up the next morning with not even a sniffle or a memory of a sore throat!  I know how we eat can help our immune systems.  I work with many very sick patients, and between washing my hand off, drinking a ton of water, and eating a stellar diet is why I'm relatively a healthy person.  I have had my challenges with kidney stones, blood clots, and arthritis, but since going plant based the kidney stones are non existent, I take an aspirin every day and am active to ward off a clot, and now I have really cleaned up my diet to hopefully help my arthritis.  I have also reversed my diabetes.  Life is good, and so is a good poop!  

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