These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

     Christmas is 12 days away, and I thought it would be fun to do an article on my favorite things.  Come January 1st, I will have been plant based for 3 years!  Over that time, I have bought several appliances, and my husband can a test to the fact that we have nowhere to put them anymore.  They are taking over our kitchen!  I will review 8 products and tell you which ones I love and which ones I could do without.  There really is only one that I could get rid of.  Sorry honey.  lol

     First up is my blendtec.  It was the first product that I bought.  I actually bought this one 5 years ago, and I have never looked back.  It has provided me with a lot of service.  I love this thing!  I bought this because #1 it was cheaper than a vitamix, and #2 it has an 8 year warranty on it.  I have used that warranty twice.  I had to get a new jar, and just recently I got a new motor.  So the thing will last hopefully another 8 years!  I went through many blenders until I finally bit the bullet and got something decent.  You DO get what you pay for.

     When I first started eating plant based, all the rave was an instant pot.  Jill McKeever on youtube raved about it.  You had to get one, it will save you time in the kitchen.  I bought the off brand at Walmart, and I was thoroughly disappointed.  So again I waited for the black Friday sales and picked a name brand up on Amazon.  This thing is the bom.come!  I use it for soups, rice and by the way, rice comes out perfect every time!  I also use it to cook legumes.  Did you know you can put dry beans in it, and 60 minutes later you have perfectly soft beans?  I still soak them over night, but they say you don't have to.  Old habits are hard to break.  This past Black Friday I bought another one.  Yeah, I'm pretty obsessed.  The other day, I got my batch cooking done in half the time.  Potatoes and rice cooked at the same time!  Wala! 

     Next I got an airfryer.  Now I got this to cook french fries in.  The big thing with this is you don't have to use as much oil.  You can get crispiness without oil however, if you want crispy you have to use a tiny big of oil.  I don't use any oil, so unless you burn stuff things really don't crisp up.  I think I could probably do without this one.  You can cook stuff in the oven just as well.


 Last Christmas I got a griddler.  I love this thing.  You can flip the plates so you can either grill or fry things like pancakes or french toast (no eggs) without oil.  Nothing sticks to it!  I cook hash browns a lot on the grill side.  I get the big box at Costco, and season them up and away we go.  Clean up is a snap because you don't have the gross oil build up, and you can just put the plates in the dishwasher.  By the way, you can get waffle plates for it on Amazon.


My tea kettle is awesome, and I use this thing most days.  The water heats up almost instantly, and it's great for tea, and I drink Pero.  It's a grain drink from Germany.  Love this stuff.  I will defiantly buy this again when it poops out. 


My food processor is use a lot!  I make hummus weekly.  You could your your high speed blender, but those things are kind of a pain to get stuff out of.  So I use my food processor.  I also make sauces and vegan cream cheese.  In the summer I use it a lot to make nice cream.  Love this thing.


 I don't even know what this thing is called, but in the summer months I use it a lot to make zoodles with zucchini.  Wait, it's called a spirilizer!  lol  I use it a lot for zoodles, but that is about it.  You can use it for cucumbers and carrots, but it's a pain to clean so I just chop those veggies.


Last buy not least I just got a juicer.  I have been juicing celery every morning for the last week.  My new goal starting in January is to juice celery every morning, and finally get off sugar.  I have heard a lot of great things about celery.  Have you heard anything?  I have learned that it is an herb not a veggie.  I have also heard that it is better to chew up your food, but to get all the benefits of celery and the quantity of what I would have to eat to benefit from it, I would have to eat a whole bunch every day!  Can you imagine!!!  Gag, that would be all I ate every day!  lol 

Without pictures some of my favorite books are:
The China Study
The Starch Solution
Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease
How Not to Die
Plant Pure Nation
To name just a few.
      As the years role by, there are always new favorites, and new things to learn.  Hoping you all have a wonderful Merry Christmas! 


Come On We All Have Challenges!

     It's been a while!  I just haven't been myself or up to much of anything lately. 

     What are some of the challenges you face everyday with eating this way.  What are some of the things you have overcome?

     This past year has been rough.  As most of you know I was diagnosed with APS antiphospholipid syndrome.  It is an autoimmune disease that I will have the rest of my life.  I will be on anticoagulants the rest of my life.  With the med I'm on, I don't have to be worried about the greens that I eat, but it's still a hassle, and I hate taking any kind of medication.  One of the reasons I started with essential oils.

     The challenges or the struggles that I have faced this year is fatigue and headaches.  I don't know if it's a side effect of the drug, or I'm just getting older.  Probably a little of both.  I have to make sure that I get enough rest, and eat right.  Along with fatigue though comes the hard chore of wanting to cook and eat right.  How do you overcome something like this.

     I have learned this past year, that when I'm feeling good, I have to batch cook.  Then I always have something good in the house to eat.  We always have rice in the house.  You can do anything to rice to make it taste good, and rice goes with lots of things.  Like my family says, rice is life.  Last week I made Spanish rice.  I have an instant pot, so it makes it super easy.
     2 cups of rice
     3 cups of water
     4 oz of tomato sauce
     4 oz of canned diced green chilies
     1 tsp onion powder
     1 tsp garlic powder
Put it all in the pot, and hit the rice button.  DONE!

     I also just made High Carb Hannah's Bliss Balls.

     1 cup of soaked for an hour dates
     1/2 cup coco
     2 cup oats
     Place it all in the food processor, and blend until it makes a dough.  Roll them in your hands and place them in an air tight container in your fridge.

     I will link the video down below and it starts at 3:10

  I actually doubled the recipe and added in some powdered peanut butter.  I get up at the crack of dawn, and I'm generally not hungry at all, so these little snacks will fill my tummy while I'm at work and can't leave my desk.  I usually eat a banana on my way.  These bliss balls are better than Lara Bars that contain oil, and lots of nuts.  Nuts aren't bad, don't get me wrong but a lot of nuts aren't good especially if you are trying to lose weight. 

     These kinds of recipes make life for me so easy.  I also made red lentil chili, (also in the video) and while it's a bit more involved it lasts for a couple of weeks to put in my lunches.  I only work 3 - 12 hour shifts a week, so it doesn't take much to throw stuff together.

     I love salads, but making a salad just for lunch sometimes can be too overwhelming, so I try to have a big salad already made up for the week.  Then if I want to add more to it like rice and beans, it's easy to do.  Same with the salad dressing.

     There is nothing worse than having nothing set up to eat.  It just sets you up to eat junk. It truly sets you up to fail.  I find that if I have good things in the house to eat, every week make sure I batch cook a few things, don't have junk in the house that I eat well, and stay on a lifestyle that is saving my life.  Truly saving me and my family.  At times I have cheated, but I feel terrible after.  It's just not worth it to me, and I cheat more often if my home is not prepared with whole foods.

     Have a great week!


Young Living Essential Oils

     For about 4 years I have wanted to start an Essential Oils business.  I have been extremely interested in them for quite some time.  It never really seemed like the right time, or I didn't have the funds to do so.

     My hubby got a really good job and things have come together for us.  So after he got his job, I purchased a premium essential oils kit.  It wasn't until after I had also done some serious research regarding these oils.  It truly amazes me how expensive pharmaceuticals are and the damage that they do to our bodies.

     Being in the medical field for as long as I have has taught me a lot.  Big pharma and doctors work together to keep us in the lap of sickness.  I do believe there are good doctors out there that want to help us though.  There are also some diseases that definitely need a doctors care.  I have a blood clotting disorder and will be on blood thinners the rest of my life.  There is no getting around this issue and I need my doctors help.  However, there are prescription drugs that are dangerous.  I have a friend that is over weight and because of it she has a bad back and just sore all over.  She is a young 32 years old.  She went to her doctor and asked if there was any medications that would help her lose weight.  Indeed there is!  Now she and her mother are on a drug that curbs the appetite and helps to loose those unwanted pounds.  The drug is called ephedrine.  It used to be in a drug called Fen Fen.  The FDA got rid of that medication because it was causing heart issues and death!  Ephedrine is still around and doctors are prescribing it for weight loss.  Here is the catch though, a person can only be on it for 3 months and then they have to be off of it for 6, and then back on for 3 etc.  It can't be good for you if you have to take time off!  Pure poison!  Learn how to eat, exercise and lose weight the good old fashion way.  Also birth control pills, that are causing strokes.  I could go on and on.

     How about the drugs we have in our medicine cabinets.  Tylenol, Ibrophen, antacids, etc.  They all have warning labels on them, they all have side effects.  These medications will help a myriad amount of issues from headaches, sore throats, body aches etc.

     Now Essential Oils can help with all the issues listed above, but they are made with plants!  It just made sense to me to use them for medicinal uses along with eating a plant based diet.  Why not!  When we apply medicines on our bodies and they absorb through our skin, they can help or hinder our bodies.  Have you even known anyone that wears a nicotine patch or a pain patch on their skin?  Our skin is the biggest organ, and absorbs may things through it including Essential Oils.

     Now I'm sure you have all seen "Essential Oils" at Walmart, Target, etc.  Please don't buy them there.  They are not pure even though they state that they are.  There may be 5% of the oil and the rest are fillers laced with chemicals.  Remember that's what we want to stay away from.  There are two good companies to buy from.  Doterra Oils, and Young Living.  I now work for Young Living, and I love their oils.  I will post my link to my website below if you want to know more, or purchase them.  Because I bought a premium kit, I can purchase my oils at a 24% discount.  If you would like to do the same, you don't have to sell them, just purchase and enjoy at a discount.  Good oils are expensive!  It takes a lot of plants to make the oils pure.

     I'm excited to start my journey with Young Living.  I wish I had know about them a long time ago.  Since starting them 3 weeks ago, I haven't had a Tylenol.  I used peppermint for my headaches, a good carrier oil (like coconut oil or almond oil) and panaway for body aches and I feel so much better.  I still have a lot to learn.  There are so many oils out there that can help us and our families become and stay healthy!

Environmental Reasons To Eat a Plant Based Diet

     My husband likes to go fishing, I know what you are going to say, but before y'all get upset, he throws them back in.  Never brings any home.  :)  Anyway,  himself and his buddy drive by this HUGE cattle farm.  Hundreds of acres of cattle.  My husband's buddy believes there are a million head of cattle out there.  Not one blade of grass grows in all that mess, no trees for shade, just lots of cows and lots of manure.  What a horrible place for any living thing to live.

     What is the impact of health to cattle that are raised in this environment?  They are fed an unnatural diet of grains and corn to fatten them up faster.  They then produce a lot of gas in their bellies called bloat, and then methane or greenhouse gas is produced.  They live in gross conditions where ammonia from their waste make it painful for them to breath because they develop chronic lung issues.

     Now what happens to the environment with all these cattle farms.  There is a very large environmental footprint to our world with livestock.  Water is at risk, deforestation, acid rain etc.  It takes 1.8 acres to raise 1 cow.  There is a whole website devoted to how they figure this out, and I won't go into it, hopefully you won't need this information.  I know I don't.  However, a farmer should have this much land devoted to 1 cow.  Now if you have a huge herd like my husband sees on his way to fishing, there are acres and acres of land, and even though the Simplot farm is huge, there are a million cattle on that field.  Livestock farming produces 18% of all greenhouse gases!  That is more than all ships, planes, trucks and cars combined!

     Meat production is highly inefficient, especially red meat.  To produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of meat it takes 25 kilograms of grain.  That equals 55 pounds not to mention 15,000 liters of water just to produce that 2.2 pounds of meat!!!!  That is insane!

     Because we feed grain to the livestock, it drives the cost of that grain up, making it harder to feed people.  When we bought corn the other day from a roadside vendor (it is delicious by the way) he was telling us that 90% of the corn that is grown in Boise is fed to cattle!  90%!  Think of all the people we could feed if we didn't have to feed livestock!  If we fed that grain to humans instead of livestock we could feed 3.5 billion people!

     Another big and important issue to this is the animal cruelty.  Factory farms are notorious for being cruel.  I won't get into this as it is heart breaking to me.  If you want more information regarding factory farming, there are a ton of youtube videos.  I for one cannot watch them.  Makes me sick.

     Speaking of sick, eating meat causes us to be sick.  Animals are given antibiotics to help with a myriad of diseases, and they also help the cows or livestock to grow faster.  It is estimated that 23,000 people will die every year due to antibiotic resistant bacteria.  You are correct in thinking that we have become antibiotic resistant because of the meat we eat.  Those antibiotics are passed on to us.  Also hormones.  I know that is why my daughter and many other girls start their periods early because of the hormones that are given to livestock.   I had a friend that could not take antibiotics because of this very reason.  She was sick all the time, with no help for her issues.  She has since died because of complications to cancer, but I will always remember the struggles she went through because of the antibiotics not working for her. I couldn't get her to go to a plant based diet as she was very stubborn.  Other diseases are causes by read meat and processed meat consumption.  Heart disease, diabetes, strokes and cancer.  The world health organization and the American Cancer Society has deemed processed meats to be carcinogenic.  Why it's still on the market just baffles me! 
     I have learned so much from the articles I have read!  There are so many risks to us and our environment.  Why not take meat off your plate!

https://theconversation .com/five-ways-the-meat-on-your-plate-is-killing-the-planet-76128



     We have always been told to eat our veggies.  My mother always had a vegetable with our dinners.  She even would make me eat parsnips, and cooked them a lot.  Later in life she told me that she didn't even like parsnips, but she knew they were good for me so there they were.  YUCK!  To this day, I don't care for parsnips. 

     Okay, but there are so many other veggies that are good for us!  Everyone is always talking about eat your greens every day!  Weather it's green salads, or great veggies like broccoli or green beans.  Why green?  Do you remember the old cartoons of Popeye?  He was always eating canned spinach from a can!  That in itself is No Bueno!  LOL

     Greens are AWESOME!  The contain iron, and for women that is an important mineral!  Also good for pregnant women.  It may also ward off high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer. 

     Greens can help you look younger.  It's always good to eat the rainbow, but greens in particular help us to look younger.  Greens are loaded with antioxidants.  They contain vitamins E and C, and help your skin to be healthy from the inside out.

     Greens help to maintain your weight.  If any of you are familiar with Chef AJ, she tells us to always eat greens for breakfast.  Ditch the cereals, bread etc.  Fill your tummies with greens and veggies for breakfast.  They keep you full longer, and helps you to stay away from unwanted carbs.

     Another reason to eat those greens, is it helps build and keep strong bones.  Vitamin K is abundant in green veggies.  Osteoporosis is a big factor in women's health, and greens will help that.  It will also help to give up milk as milk leaches calcium from bones.  Be careful when eating greens while on blood thinners.  Some blood thinners aren't affected by vitamin K, but Warfarin is, so always check with your doctor.

     Vitamin A is a very important vitamin in  your diet for your eyesight.  I wish my parents knew this, and maybe I wouldn't be wearing glasses.  You can slip important greens into your child's diet with green smoothies, or soups that contain important greens.  A lot cheaper than having to wear glasses down the road.

     Have you ever heard of folate?  This is vitamin helps with depression because it contains serotonin.   Serotonin helps our brains also with memory loss.

     Magnesium is an important mineral that a lot of people are short of.  It helps with sleep, helps to maintain a healthy heart, helps with muscle cramps.  Some other health issues with low magnesium levels are asthma, diabetes, and attention deficit.

     Last but not least, greens are hydrating.  They contain a lot of water.  It's important to stay hydrated especially in the summer.  Remember that your body is 70% water!

     As you can see eating greens is so important!  I guess Popeye had something!



     Have you ever been stressed?  Upset, uptight?  Nah you say?  You are lying!  This world is full of many stresses.  Working too much, not working at all, health concerns, kids, school etc.  Life is full of ups and downs.

     Last November I was at work.  I work at a rehab facility in Boise, and if I have talked about this before forgive me, but I do have a point that I will get to.  I was driving to work, and not feeling my best.  I have to leave a 6:10 so that I can start my shift at 7.  That right there is a stresser.  Anyway, I was feeling short of breath.  Much like when I had a pulmonary embolism 5 years ago.  I didn't think much of it, and continued on with my day.  Around 11:00 in the morning, my heart started to race, with more shortness of breath.  I went to talk to the charge nurse to explain my symptoms, and he took my blood pressure.  It was sky high.  He was very calm, and drove me to the ER, and after testing I found out I had yet another pulmonary embolism.  My hubby met me in the ER, and also had a calming effect for me.  After getting home my husband announced that he lost his job that day as well.  Yes it was the day from hell to say the least!

     Since last November things have pretty much stayed low stress as we were receiving unemployment.  Unemployment is not much at all, but it carried us through with my income as well.  Then in June our unemployment ended and we are living on savings.  So guess what?  The stress came back with the thoughts of running through our savings.  It will carry us until October, but then what?  My poor husband has been tirelessly filling out applications, going to job interviews etc. with little success.

     So what happens to your body when you are stressed?  For me I have gained weight.  There is a reason for this.  Our bodies are pretty amazing, and they do what they think is best for us.  Cortisol increases in our bodies, and makes us think we are hungrier than we really are so we eat more.  Your insulin levels rise and you crave sugar and fatty foods.  This is exactly what has happened to me.  I have been trying and trying to give up sugar, but with all the stress I just can't seem to get away from it.  I want comfort foods, something that will make me feel better.  Now I haven't gained a whole lot, but enough to make me sit up and pay attention.

     So what can we do to alleviate our stress?  It is such a hard concept to grasp, and something we need to work on continuously.  Many of you may not know that I'm LDS (Mormon)  We have a strong belief in God.  We have a strong belief in faith as well.  Faith is a hard nut to swallow as well, but at the end of the day what are you going to do?  I have learned through much stress that I just have to turn it over to God.  Give all my problems to him and then try hard to forget them.  Easier said than done, but with practice, practice, practice it can be done.   If we are doing all that we can, good things will happen with his help.  I truly believe that.

     There is still stress though, and the need for comfort food, so how can we alleviate that?  Pack your home with good foods.  Get rid of the junk, that way you won't eat what you don't have.  It's a fighting battle for me when I go to the store, to not purchase junk.  It's so prevalent these days!  I guess what it all boils down to is how bad do you want to be healthy, and how much are you going to fight to get it.

     Today we received some much needed good news.  My husband received an email asking him for an interview to get his old job back, now you might wonder why he would go back.  It's under a new owner, so we again are hopeful that everything will work out.  A lot of stress has been lifted.  Life goes on, and at the end of the day how you handle things will either make you healthy or not so much. 


     Have you ever had any friends that get upset about the way you eat?  Recently on Facebook I posted a YouTube video that was about hormones in dairy.  Dr. Klapper explains how cows are continuously kept pregnant and have been genetically modified so that they will continue to produce milk through their pregnancies.  It was an excellent video, chucked full of good information.  I have started to post to my regular wall to expose more people to a plant based lifestyle.  I also have a plant based group that I continuously post to because they are like minded people, but I want others to know about the dangers of animal products and perhaps more and more people will come over to this lifestyle. 

     However, one of my friends (boss at work) came unglued and commented that she was sick of seeing vegan posts.  I told her that I did not tag her in any of them.  They were not directed towards her.  She said, "well I'm tired of seeing them on my feed".  She went on to say that I needed to stop posting and to be careful because it confuses people.  Excuse me???  That is my wall, and I will post what I want to.  I told her to either unfollow me, or unfriend me.  I'm pretty sure she unfollowed me as she hasn't made any comments to other things since.  I would never ever say anything about someones posts even if they offend me.  She uses the "F" bomb frequently and I have never told her not to post that garbage.  That is her wall, and it's none of my business what she posts.  I just keep on scrolling, or unfollow.  Facebook has become it's own culture with a set of rules that are sometimes ridiculous.  I keep my facebook so that I can post plant based things on it, and advertise for my blog.  Otherwise, I would probably get rid of it.

     I have an idea of why people get so bent out of shape.  Vegans are notorious for getting in the face of people, and thinking their way is the only way.  Vegans are a kind of cult.  Their protests are awful.  I have nothing good to say about PETA except they don't eat animals.  They are in your face kind of group.  I'm not a "vegan"  per-say,  I'm a whole food plant based person.  I eat healthy foods so that I can be healthy.  I have however found out the cruelty associated with meat and dairy industries, but I don't protest animal slaughter houses. 

     Another reason I believe why people are so uptight with vegans, is they feel guilty about what they are eating, but don't want to give up their way of eating.  They don't want the information and know that what is said is correct and then have to make that decision to give up their delicious steaks, or milkshakes.  Whatever the reasons, I wish we could all just live in peace.  There is no reason to jump on someone for how they EAT!  Be respectful, and set an example.  Those examples go a long way, more so than ridicule. 

     On a side note, when I met my boss at work the following day, she was professional and fun to talk to at work.  There was nothing said about the incidence on facebook of which I was grateful.  I also strongly agree with sticking up for what you believe in.  Had she said anything, I would have told her this is not the place to have this discussion.  I didn't back down on the post.  I let her know that I will continue to post what I have learned and follow, and she could do with it as she wanted.  I have however, lost a couple of friends due to the posts.  That is their choice, and I hold nothing against them.  True friends wouldn't do that to each other. 

     If you are interested in the video, I'm posting it below.  Very informational.  


Grains (Millet)

     It seems while eating a whole foods plant base diet, someone is always thinking up new things to eat.  I find myself a bit overwhelmed with the fact that there is so many things to try out there, and not enough time to try it all.  I guess that's the beauty of this lifestyle is we never get bored.  Although, if you don't plan your week you could find yourself eating something you shouldn't because it's convenient.  This is why I'm always on the lookout for new things, and batch cooking saves me a lot of the time. 

     This week I bought some millet at the store.  Millet is a grain, and not a very familiar one, but I thought I would give it a try this week to see if we like it.  Someone on instagram posted their video by mixing coconut milk, pure maple syrup and millet in a pot and eating it up for breakfast.  Now my husband doesn't like quiona so I thought why not give millet a try.  I'm kind of burned out on steel cut oats.  (Also remember that quiona is a seed not a grain)

     Millet has a lot of advantages in this small little bead.  What are the benefits of millet.  Millet is high in starch, and we all know that starch keeps you full longer.  That in itself is a great benefit.  I get pretty hungry after eating cereal for breakfast.  Millet contains, B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium and fat.  Healthy fats so don't run away from millet.

     Millet is one of the best grains you can add to your diet to protect your heart, because of the magnesium content it lowers your blood pressure. 

     Millet like oats controls your cholesterol and also can help our hearts.

     Millet helps control diabetes.  Diabetes is becoming rampant in the US, but in other countries like India where they harvest and eat millet on a regular basis diabetes disease is low.  There is a 30% less rate of diabetes in countries that consume millet on a regular basis. 

     By consuming millet or grains in general they aid in digestion.  I don't know about you, but my digestion is top notch since going plant based.  Constipation is a big concern if you eat animal products causing troubles in your colon with cancer.  When you eliminate regularly it improves your digestion, helps you to retain nutrients that your have eaten, improves your kidney and liver health as well.  I don't know about you, but I hardly ever get sick which means my immune system is great! 

     Also consuming grains can help detoxify your body.  Millet along with many other grains have antioxidants that help maintain our body health.

     Millet can also help in asthma sufferers.  Less wheezing.  Wheat has the opposite effect on asthma sufferers, but millet doesn't have the same properties as wheat.  However, if you suffer from thyroid problems, it is advised that you check with your doctor first before you consume heavy amounts of millet.  I guess moderation in all things is important. 

     For the full article about millet go to this link.

Veggies for Breakfast?????

      I have been reading a book called The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss, Author is Chef AJ.  It's an interesting read.  When I first started this journey my plan was to lose a lot of weight.  At first I lost 30 pounds probably because I didn't know what to eat, and I was learning what I could eat.  Now a year or two later, I have figured out this program, and my weight loss has stalled big time.  I can eat vegan foods, but they still contain lots of calories.  Not necessarily good for me.  Now that I'm reading her book, things are starting to make sense.  You really have to cut out a lot in order to lose more weight.  You don't necessarily have to not eat delicious foods, but less calorie dense foods.  I wrote an article about it in a previous article, but didn't really come to understand it until now.  I guess listening to things over and over and studying information, it really start to sink in.

     She suggests to eat 2 pounds of non starchy veggies per day.  She is very thin, and eats 4 pounds a day.  I ate a pound of broccoli the other day, and my tummy didn't feel all that great.  It was cooked, and it still gave me a tummy ache.  I need to gradually eat more and more non starchy vegetables, so my body gets use to it.  It's important to eat starches to and legumes and fruit, but your big portions should be non starchy.  It may take some time for me to really embrace this.

     One thing that she does suggest is to eat your veggies in the morning.  It really is the easiest time to get that much in.  Face it, our lives are busy!  Before I started eating veggies, I would usually start with oats, and fruit, toast and peanut butter, but veggies????  This sounds ludicrous!  I thought I would try it, which is when I got a stomach ache.  I love broccoli with balsamic vinegar that I get at Costco, Dijon mustard and nutritional yeast.  I know this is going to sound weird, but it gives it a kind of meaty taste, and roasting it in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes insures that it will be chewy.  Today is the third day in a row that I have had veggies for breakfast, and I can honestly say I'm starting to enjoy them.  I have also found that for myself if I eat anything sweet in the morning, I crave sweets all day long.  This is also mentioned in her book.

     I'm not perfect at this.  This whole lifestyle is a learning curve.  Just when I think I have things figured out, I get a new book and learn something new.  I totally love this lifestyle, it has changed my life.  I'm grateful that my oldest son introduced it to me almost 3 years ago.

  Broccoli with the balsamic glaze, well what's left of it.  I forgot to take a picture at the beginning!  LOL

Steamed cauliflower and kale.  Important to get your greens in everyday!

Water sauted zucchini, onions, mushrooms.  Hashbrowns, with nootch, (nutritional yeast) and smoked paprika.  

Keto Diets, Are They Safe?

     Keto diets have been around for a long time.  Remember the Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet?  I have done the South Beach Diet.  It states that you can eat a high fat, low carb diet with success of losing unwanted pounds.  Does it work?  Yes it does!  How does it work?  By lowering your carbohydrates, it forces your body to go into ketosis meaning your body will burn fat or ketones instead of glucose, and your body needs that glucose to power your body and brain.

     I have tried every diet on the planet, and though it wasn't called the Keto diet, they are all one in the same.  High fat low carb.  Probably 4 years ago, I did this diet.  My hubby and kids were with me for it.  We did lose weight, but in the process didn't feel well at all.  How can something that the good Lord put on this planet to eat be detrimental to our bodies like fruits and vegetables, and in the long run what does it do to our bodies,  When your body doesn't have the glucose it needs, your energy levels are down.  You tire easily.  Also if you are eating a high fat diet in the long run your arteries will line themselves with plague (a gooy fat substance) that can cause heart disease.

     What do the plant based doctors say about these diets.  Dr. McDougall author of The Starch Solution, and The Healthiest Diet on the Planet, says when your body is in ketosis, you are sick.  You lose your appetite and thus you lose weight.  He says you can't stay this way very long.  You give up, and gain your weight back.  Another body builder was talking about if you need to lose weight fast, don't eat any carbs at all for 2 weeks, and you will lose.  He said it's mostly water that you lose, and what happens when you are done?  You gain that weight back and then some.  It's  a vicious cycle.

     In a recent study conducted in Finland, 2400 men were followed for 22 years.  They were broken up into 4 groups depending on how much protein they ate.  The lowest consuming about 78 grams of protein a day, and the highest consuming 109 grams of protein.  After that 22 years, 330 men were diagnosed with heart failure!  For me that is 330 too much!  It's like playing Russian Roulette.  You just don't know where that bullet will shoot you!  Incidentally, you don't need as much protein as some my think, and  this is another subject for another day, but this is a good video worth watching.

     Along with all the protein consumed on a Keto diet, your kidneys have to work harder.  Also that protein sits in your gut like a bomb and causes cancer.  Since going plant based, my digestion has never been better.  It works like a well oiled machine.

     Do you know anything about Dr. Atkins?  That diet is still around today, and I have seen some of his products in the grocery store.  Remember they are all processed foods.  Dr. Ornish who is a plant based doctor says it is possible to lose weight on these diets, he also says that it is possible to lose weight smoking cigarettes.  We all know that isn't healthy.

     Diets will come and go.   There will be consequences of good and bad, but diets don't work.  Eventually when you stop that diet you will gain that weight back, and also have some diseases to go along with those choices.  I'm so thankful that I did the research into a whole foods plant based diet.  It has changed my life, and the lives of my family.  I will never go back to eating animal products.  I still have processed foods, and I need to stop eating those as well.  It's a life long education, and the more I learn the more I see that a plant based diet is the best on the planet. 

     On a side note, I just had a friend tell me that she has been doing a keto diet for over a year, and has reversed her health issues.  That's great, but in the long run what is really happening in her body.  In a whole food plant based history, I know of no troubles.  I even had a cardiologist from Cornell University call me, and tell me that plant based diets or lifestyles are the best with no ill effects.  I think that people like this keto diet because they like hearing that they can eat all the wrong things.  All the fats, and animal products that yes taste good, but aren't good for us, the animals or the planet!



     The other day I was at the grocery store and was buying up their kale.  I buy a lot of kale because I have green smoothies.  The cashier asked so what's with all the kale.  I told him we don't eat meat, and kale has a lot of protein in it.  He wasn't really into listening, so the conversation ended there. 

     You can tell a lot about people by what they have in their grocery carts.  Please don't think from this article that I'm judging people in any way, but you really can tell what kind of people they are by what they eat.  At Walmart when I bought all that kale, there was a family with a mom and dad and children, all very large and over weight.  The dad was in a motorized cart, telling the kids what to put into the cart, all of it processed foods.  I thought to myself how sad that you are relatively young (middle 40s) and not walking through the store.  His ankles were huge.  I can't imagine the life they lead.  Now okay, he may have just had surgery or had a sprain, but those foods certainly were not going to help his situation. 

     How do I grocery shop you ask?  I stay out of the middle sections of the store where all the processed foods reside.  I do venture into where the soy milk is so I can make yogurt.  Or I do happen into where canned and dry beans are and sauces for Mexican foods, but for the most part I stay in the fresh produce isle. 

     Have you noticed how foods are marketed?  They are eye catching.  They market to children, with fun logos ie Skittles "taste the rainbow" or all the cereal boxes with Disney characters on them.  So inviting to small eyes.  I remember Frosted Flakes with Tony the Tiger.  Okay everyone, I'm almost 60 years old, and to this day I still remember his name, and how he used to say "They're Great!"  It has stuck in my brain all these years.  He is still on the box!

     Have you gone into the produce isle?  I have to be honest.  When we were struggling more than once in our married lives we would go to the store, coupons in hand and get things cheap!  All the wrong stuff I might add.  The produce isle seemed too expensive.  I couldn't afford that stuff for my family!  Well, since going plant based I have discovered just how inexpensive it is, unless of course you live in Hawaii, but that is another subject.  LOL  If you aren't buying all the processed, dairy and meat items, then living a plant based diet is relatively inexpensive.  It does cost a bit to get set up with spices and appliances, but once that is done you are good to go.  On average we (meaning my husband and I) we spend about 300.00 per month on groceries.  That might be a bit high though as some weeks we don't go to the store.  It all depends on how the produce holds up.  Looking back now, I wish I had understood what a plant based diet could have done for my family.  We do have some health problems that I'm positive could have been avoided.

     I have noticed that we buy about the same things when we do shop and that is a lot of potatoes, salad makings, and Mexican items like tortillas, beans and such.  Rice is another item that we buy frequently, and I try to buy that in big quantities then I don't have to buy it very often.  I buy Dave's Killer bread, and freeze it.  I do buy lots of frozen vegges so that if I'm too lazy or in a hurry to eat fresh I always have it on hand.  I also purchase vinegars, mustard and of course nutritional yeast for flavoring dishes and getting the vitamin B12 that is a must for vegans. 

     All in all grocery shopping is a breeze these days.  I must say though it's been a bit of a learning curve as we ate the SAD (standard American diet) all those years. 

     If you need help with grocery shopping, and you live in the Boise area let me know if I can be of service. 

     Contact me at or 208-640-3890       

Aging, Happens To the Best of Us

     This year I will be 60 years old!  WHAT?  How did that happen?  I never thought in a million years that I would be 60!  I thought I would be young forever!  Well..... much to my chagrin it's happening.  I have to dye my hair about every 6 weeks, I have really come to enjoy relaxing more, and I am having a much harder time losing weight.  I love sweets, and they go straight to my hips.  I have also noticed that I'm starting to look like my mother when she was old!  LOL  Well at least that's what I see in the mirror.  Others have told me that I don't look as old as 60.  How old are you supposed to look at 60? 

     Aging is a natural part of life.  It's inevitable.  We can't live on what ifs.  What if I were 30 again I would do it so differently, what if I were in high school again, I would have studied harder.  This kind of attitude gets us nowhere.  We have to take life by the horns and dig in to where we are now and if we need to make changes, then do it!

     I have noticed one thing, and that is by eating a plant based diet I have more energy.  I work a 12 hour shift 3 days a week at work and by the time I get home I'm a bit tired, but I still have energy to do things, although I know how important sleep is, so I try to relax and get the rest that I need for the next 12 hour shift.  I wonder how long I will be able to keep up this pace.

     I work in a rehab hospital, and we have 38 patients that have a myriad of health conditions and most of our patients are elderly.  We do have a sprinkling of young every now and again, but mostly elderly.  Most of our patients have inflammatory issues such as arthritis, chest pain, abdominal pains, rashes or fatigue.  All causes of inflammation.  What causes inflammation?  Animal products.  Here is a video my doctor Greger.

     I'm positive because I don't get sick more often, and my my knees aren't worse is because I eat a plant based diet.  I keep my inflammation to a minimum by eating this way.  Now I'm not by any means perfect.  I do fall off the wagon from time to time, not with animal products, but sweets are my nemesis.  I have noticed that my body hurts more when I do eat sweets.  Working on ditching the sugar. 

     How do we stay "young"?  We can't, but we can do things that help us age more gracefully.
I love this video by Dr. Ellsworth Wareham.  He didn't retire from being a surgeon until he was 95!!!  Lots of great advice from a man who has been there done that.  Knowledge is power, and the more we learn about how to care for our bodies the better off we will be.  It's my hope that I will see my grand children get married.  I was married as some would considered late.  (27).  So having my first 2 grands didn't come until recently, I have a ways to go until I see them married.  At any rate, my goal is to take care of myself so that I will age gracefully, and see wonderful things to come in my children's lives and grand children's lives.


     I have been following High Carb Hannah on YouTube for quite some time.  Probably since I started my own plant based journey.  I loved the way Hannah did her videos.  Always showing new recipes, and I bought a couple of her ebooks which I still love.  Well written, and yummy recipes. I also watched her and her husband in their tiny house, built off the grid and trying to plant a garden in Arizona.  I say trying, because it is pretty desolate where they live. 

     This morning I got on to see if she had posted, and she had.  I watched with anticipation what new found food she made.    Her and her husband have also been going on lots of vacations, and have vlogged their experiences.  I knew she had Costa Rica coming up, and I did really enjoy  her Hawaii trip.  It was beautiful what she posted.  She talked a bit about the foods she was taking with her on the airplane, and then she dropped a bomb.  She is going to Costa Rica to participate in taking a drug that will help her forget her past.  WHAT????? 

     The drug that she will be ingesting is called Ayahuasca.  Ayahuasca grows in the Amazon, and also in Costa Rica.  She refers to it as "plant" medicine.  She also states that it is the strongest hallucination!  One other thing she said that hundreds of years ago, the plant showed the Shaman how to make this tea to help people.  My mouth hit the floor!  Who believes this stuff!  She's a smart girl, or so I thought!  Now don't think I'm judging her.  I'm stating what she said on the video which I will link below. 

     Apparently she is going to a resort where there are medical doctors that help you through the process.  She also states that people throw up!  Why would you want to do this?  I hate throwing up when I'm sick!  Supposedly it helps you with depression, and addictions.  I'm sorry, but aren't we supposed to handle our trials with medical doctors, or essential oils, or holistically?  Group sessions where we can talk to other people and work through things? 

     Growing up, my parents relied heavily on the medical world.  I see nothing wrong with that, but as I have gotten older and I think wiser I have done a lot of reading about naturally curing myself like a whole foods, plant based diet.  This lifestyle can and has cured a lot of diseases not only with me, but many other people.  I was going to have a total knee replacement, but came across a doctor that used to be a medical doctor, but changed to holistic healing.  I had a couple of prolozone (ozone) shots to my knees, and I feel great.  I am opting not to have the surgery.  Everything I read about total knees and working in a rehab hospital has changed my mind about it.  Joints are just never the same and as good as natural joints. 

     I will link her video, and a couple of articles below.  I would say research it out for yourself.  To me a drug is a drug is a drug, no matter how you dress it up.  I never want to have a hallucination, something that isn't there, and there is no scientific evidence to show that it really works in the long run.

     Please be kind when replying to this article.  You may not agree with me, and that is your right.  If you do leave a comment use tack.

This Has Been Quite the Month

     This week I go in for a kidney stone removal.  I'm a little apprehensive.  Of course with any surgeries there are risks.  I am on blood thinners because I have a clotting disorder, so I will be on blood thinners for life.  The surgeon is keeping me on those thinners because the surgery doesn't involve any cutting.  They will just go up in side, grab those stones and out they will come.  The surgery is all of 60 - 80 minutes long, but I'm looking forward to being done and feeling better!  I have been in pain for over a month with these dang things.  I have heard it is worse than child birth, but given I have only had C-sections and so I don't know about the labor thing. 

     This past week I went in for pre-admission testing.  They didn't have to draw blood as I had a bunch of blood test a couple of weeks ago to find out what was going on with this clotting disorder.  Everything else looked good with my blood work.  My cholesterol was just right, as was everything else.  My blood pressure was normal as well. 

     My nurse said you are very healthy for your age!  I was so tickled that she said that.  There are some things that diet just can't fix like my APS (antiphosolipid syndrome) or clotting disorder.  It can fix kidney stones though.  I just need to drink a ton of water, which I have already started to do.  Once these bad boys come out, it's a gallon of water for me every day. 

     I have read articles that a whole foods plant base diet can cure so many issues.  MS, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure just to name a few  Are you willing to do what it takes to cure your diseases?  It's a trade off.  You either eat really clean and enjoy life to it's fullest without disease, or you eat things that might taste good for a second.  It's totally up to you! 

     I am almost 60 years old!  (How did that happen???)  At any rate, I'm a healthy 59 year old woman, who can see many more years to come, and feeling well enough to enjoy life. 

     Keep me in your thoughts and prayers this coming week!  I make the Calcium stones!  Look how jagged they are!  YIKES!
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     It's true that sugar is addicting.  I'm sorry to say that I'm addicted.  I have had a hard time my whole life being addicted to this stuff.  Growing up, my mother had a treat drawer for the grandkids, I was always in it.  My mother always made donuts for Christmas, because it was a tradition!  Can't sway from tradition!  We always had gum in the cupboard, and when I was 3 years old I climbed up on the counter to get to the gum, fell and broke my arm.  I don't remember the pain from that fall, but I do remember the cast.  I remember walking to the neighborhood store to buy penny candy, and eating most of it even before I got home. 

     When I was a bit older in school we had a field trip to the Wonder Bread factory.  We each got a little loaf of bread, and a bottle of chocolate milk.  I was pudgy in my junior high years, and didn't really start losing weight until I got to high school and got a boyfriend, I guess I just lived on love and stopped eating.  However, there was 7-11 across the street where we would go to get sugar in the form of sodas, and cheap treats! 

     As I got a bit older, and got married and had my family, sugar has always played a roll in our home.  It's a cultural thing in our church.  Go to an activity, have a treat.  I baked quite frequently for my family.  Always had cookies in the cookie jar etc.  I was helping my children to become addicted, and it worked!  My kids also have a sweet tooth.  Vicious cycle. 

     It wasn't until I became a plant based eater that I really learned the truth behind sugar.  I love to listen to Chef AJ.  She talks a lot about calorie density.  That woman eats a lot, and is thin!!  This past week, I listened to a webinar that was posted to Youtube.  I don't think it's available anymore as this is what she uses for her plan, and it's her business.  She talked in great detail how calorie density plays a huge roll in how a body loses weight.  She demonstrates how many apples you could eat compared to how many M&Ms for the same amount of calories.  I had heard her say it before, but for some reason it caught my attention this time.  She also talks how sugar can be so addicting.  There is a pleasure center in our brains.  When we eat sugar or complex carbs ie breads, pancakes etc it turns on our pleasure centers on with dopamine much like drugs.  The more we eat, the more we have to have.  Isn't that how drugs work?  Very addicting!

     I have tried several times to quit the sugar addiction.  I haven't quite yet figured out how to overcome this problem.  I don't have a problem with meat, dairy or oils but sugar is a whole different problem.  I know, don't have it in the house, but I still work full time in a hospital full of nurses that like to bring junk to our break rooms, and a nurse that has chocolate in her office.  I have NO willpower!  If it's in front of me, I sir-come to temptation.  Then I feel badly with stomach aches etc.  When I pack my lunch for work, I pack good things to eat but then the sweet tooth comes to bite me in the butt.  I guess it all boils down to what you want to do with your health with your weight.

     I do know that when my hubby gets a job, I'm going to join Chef AJ and her program for ultimate weight loss.  I have seen people that have had great results working with her.  We all have our crosses to bear, and mine is sugar. 



     Just a fair warning, this blog post is going to be a bit different than my entries in the past.  A lot has been happening in my life, and I felt so many emotions this last couple of days.  If I said I wasn't depressed, I would be lying. 

     As many of you know, I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons).  There is so much expected of us as members of his church.  At times it's overwhelming, for example 3 hours of church every Sunday, visiting members, sometimes meetings in the middle of the week.  My ward is so incredibly hard to get to know.  We have lived here over a year, and I have an acquaintance is all.  No one that I can really be friends with.

     When we moved here from Coeur D Alene, I left my dear friend behind that I loved like a sister, heartbroken to leave her.  I miss her everyday! 

     I work in a hospital full time, and I work 3 twelve hour shifts, and mostly 3 in a row.  This is so I can have multiple days off.  I have been learning a new job over this past 2 weeks.  I am a MA - CNA by trade, but my body is breaking down so I have decided to work at the front desk.  My heart aches because I love patient care, to get to know your patients has been such a blessing in my life.  I have seen so many sad cases and miracles as I have worked in the rehab hospital.  Truly blessed my life.  I will miss this work immensely!  However, as we age we can't do as much.  My knees are shot from years of abuse ie, skiing, water skiing and patient care.

     I have also had some challenges in just this last couple of months.  In November I suffered a pulmonary embolism as I'm sure you have read.  This was a devastating diagnosis.  Put on blood thinners, wakeful nights thinking I may not wake up, seriously frightening!  On top of that news, my husband lost his job.  Now I have that to worry about as well.  He is an older gent, and employers do look at that. 

     This past Saturday, I lost one of my dear friends to cancer.  She struggled with this for months, years....She and I had some wonderful memories, why would she be taken so young from her family that loved her, from her friends, and she was so talented in quilting!  She was a wealth of info when it came to sewing.  She had so many talents.  As I'm writing this, tears fill my eyes just thinking about all the great times we had together.  I met her just after we were married 32 years ago.  She became my fast friend.  I have lost too many friends to cancer, and while my husband is my best friend, he's not a girl!  There is just something about girlfriends you know?

     I don't tell you all this to depress you, but it is all kind of depressing.  I tell you this because life is a challenge.  Yesterday I didn't go to church because I was tired, and beat from the news of my friend.  I just needed some time to wrap my head around it.  I also began to think about my future or the week ahead.  Do I really want to wallow in self pity?  Do I want to sit in a dark house all alone and just watch endless hours of Netflix? 

     The answer to the above question, was at first yes!  Then I got to thinking that God really would be upset with me.  My ward is so difficult, but I know he wouldn't want me to give up.  He wants me to endure until the end.  He wants me to fight!  He wants me to be happy!  How can we attain happiness in our lives?  We can follow the Savior, I believe in his atonement!  He died for me!  He paid for my sins.  I must go to the church that is unfriendly because that's where I'm supposed to be!  I can learn more about the Savior, I can do this for me!!!  I'm not there for others, I'm there for me.  I can also be an example to those at church, and be nice to them.

     Another way to come out of the doldrums, is to count my blessings!  I have so much to be thankful for!  I have an amazing husband that supports my every whim!  He loves ME!  We have 3 great children, all who served as missionaries for our church!  One oldest son is married to an awesome girl whom I love dearly, and they have 2 beautiful little girls.  That in itself is so great! 

     Life is so hard!  We all have challenges, no one is exempt!  We are here on this earth to overcome our challenges.  We are here to see how we handle things.  We are here to prove ourselves to do what we know is right.  Life is too short to be sad!  The sun WILL come out!  Things always work out.  I need to have the faith that things will be fine.  It's an ongoing challenge, but I'm sick and tired of being unhappy!  It's time to find things that make me happy.  I need to serve others, to reach out to those that are in need, that way I forget about me and find happiness in serving others. 

     I hope all that read this are doing well.  I hope you are eating healthy and are happy.  Life is what YOU make it! 
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