01ReluctantVegan@Blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

43 Months A Vegan!! Before and After Pictures. Whole Foods Plant Based, No Oil #foodismedicine #oilisforcars #livingtheveggielife

Salad for 14+
My Assignment for Every Family Dinner
it·er·a·tion
ˌidəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun
  1. the repetition of a process or utterance.
    • repetition of a mathematical or computational procedure applied to the result of a previous application, typically as a means of obtaining successively closer approximations to the solution of a problem
    It is now 43 months since I went vegan. A few months after that I learned the difference between vegan and whole foods plant based and started doing that. Then I learned about cooking oils and quit doing that! Most recently I learned of the benefits of a diet rich in Omega 3's and low in Omega 6 fatty acids and jumped all over that. So in my current iteration I would say I'm a whole foods plant based no oil vegan who avoids Omega 6's and stresses Omega 3 fatty acids. The transition to this lifestyle is a process. I like to say I jumped into it cold turkey, and I did, but there is always more to learn and adjustments to be made. "A means of obtaining successively closer approximations to the solution of a problem." The problem being the best way to optimize my health through changes in diet and activity. So far, so good. 
     The medical issues that affected me 4 years ago i.e. hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, obesity, microhematuria (microscopic traces of blood in my urine), pre-diabetes, general aches and pains and lethargy have all vanished. POOF!! Any and all abnormal values in my blood work, urinalysis, physical exam and overnight sleep study are gone. No more medications needed for any of that. The only supplement that I take is a tiny, over the counter B 12 tablet daily. That and a Vitamin D capsule because I live in Michigan and summer sunshine is just too short a season to make enough on my own. My blood work shows that the level of both of those things in me now are on the high side of normal. I can run a mile in under 9 minutes and run a 3K race in 31 minutes. I'm bucket listing towards running 10K in just over an hour by the end of this month. I also bicycle 17K, swim 1 mile and play golf a little. Its making me feel younger at 62 than I did when I was 45!
     
The easy part is there are so few rules:
1) Eat only plants (fruits, veggies, seeds, beans and a few nuts)
2) Stay away from any oil including olive, corn, canola, coconut or anything else that ends in "oil". 
3) Eat whole foods. Processed foods tend to have less or no fiber and lots of additives. White rice, white flour, white bread and refined sugar all have the fiber removed. The fiber is the healthy part. 

The rest are details you can pick up along the way like I did.
Check out PBNSG.org for more information and easy recipes.

August, 2013
August, 2017





Sunday, July 30, 2017

Vegan Chipotle, Quinoa, Spinach Casserole! #WFPB #glutenfree #nutfree #kosher #pareve

I was watching a cooking video that includes a recipe for a Chipotle sauce. Having no experience with that particular pepper, it got my attention. It was described
As having a very spicy, smokey flavor. Sounded good to me! I love, love, love spicy food. Heck. They named an entire chain of restaurants after one pepper so let's see what happens, right? I ran right out and bought a can. I'm so glad I did! This came out so good on my very 1st try that I needed despiritly to share it with someone. I choose you!


Chipotle Spinach Quinoa Casserole
2 lbs fresh spinach wilted and chopped
1 large onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1lb extra firm tofu (optional. I like it!)
10 dates
4 TBSP’s  lemon juice
2 TBSP’s cumin
2 TBSP’s salt
¼ tsp smoked paprika
2 TBSP's dried parsley
2 TBSP's dried basil
½ cup nutritional yeast
2 chipotle peppers
1 can chickpeas drained
½ cup quinoa

    Put the tofu, chickpeas, lemon juice and peppers in a blender. Blend until creamy. You may need to scrape down the sides more than once.
    Put the spinach in a pot and pour boiling water over it until it is wilted. Strain out most of the water. Chop it up.
    Mix everything together thoroughly in a large bowl. Pour it into a 9 x 9 x 2 inch pain. Bake it for 90 minutes. Serve hot.




Wednesday, July 26, 2017

42 Months A Vegan!! Greener and Leaner! Before and after pictures... #foodismedicine #eatlikeagorilla

Breakfast
After 42 months and 110 lbs of weight loss, it feels like I have a handle on this whole foods plant based nutrition lifestyle.  It took time to get ready mentally. I knew very little about proper nutrition prior to making the switch. After 3 months of casually reading Dr. Joel Kahn's social media and then watching Forks Over Knives on Netflix, I understood why. At age 58, eating the Standard American Diet (SAD), I weighed 284 lbs had high cholesterol, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. Now, at 174 lbs, age 62, I don't.

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."   Hippocrates


When I read the early entries in my blog it amazes me how easy it was to make things complicated. It doesn't have to be. This is real, unprocessed, naturally healthy food.
In the interest of keeping it simple here are a few meal suggestions. Remember, if you get hungry between meals, you can eat all the fresh fruit you want. The same goes for vegetables as long as they aren't dipped in anything like the infamous Ranch Dressing.

BREAKFAST
1 Cup quick oats
1 Cup almond milk
1 Cup hot water
1 banana
1 tsp cinnamon

Add all of the above to a cereal bowl. Microwave for 2 or 3 minutes.
OPTIONAL: after it's cooked add 1 heaping TBSP of milled flaxseed for the Omega 3 fatty acids. Add strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or fresh fruit of your choice.
Have a cup of black coffee if you like. Sometimes I put vanilla almond milk or some pure maple syrup in my coffee.

MIDMORNING SNACK:  Fresh fruit of your choice or a fruit smoothie.

LUNCH
1 Medium or Large Greek Salad without feta cheese and without house dressing.
(Use red wine vinegar or balsamic with salt, pepper, agave nectar and dried onion flakes.
Includes beets, chickpeas and peppers.)
1 Sweet potato including the skin.
(Wash it and wrap it in a paper towel. Microwave it for 6 minutes. Let it cool for 5 minutes. It's still cooking until it's cool enough to handle)
Drink plenty of water or have more coffee or both!

MIDAFTERNOON SNACK:  Fresh fruit of your choice and 7 raw almonds.

DINNER
Medium mixed vegetable salad with oil free dressing similar to the lunch salad. Oil free whole grain spaghetti marinara and 2 ears of sweetcorn with no salt or butter (Wash them, wrap them in paper towel and microwave for 2.5 minutes per ear).
For dessert have a bowl of fruit salad or some watermelon.

EVENING SNACK:  Air popped popcorn, fresh fruit or fresh veggies of your choice.

That is a lot of food for one day!  You won't be hungry.

I thought you might like a little music video just to show you the huge variety of food choices available at any grocery store.
Courtesy of Green Beings.
CLICK HERE for the music video.

Before
After 2 years





















Now

Friday, June 16, 2017

Vegan Dinner vs 1/4 lbs Cheeseburger On A Bun #fulltummy #eatyourveggies #eatmoretoweighless

550 calories no cholesterol
I became a vegan to lose weight and keep it off. I didn't know what I was doing but learned quickly about whole, plant based foods. 
After 3.5 years and 110 lbs I'm here to tell you this works! I get to eat MORE food than I used to, never get hungry and no longer have to deal with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes or sleep apnea. 
     Take a look at all the food on that plate. It's all from plants, whole foods, high fiber, oil free with no processed sugar. That's spaghetti marinara with Barilla high fiber noodles, sweet corn cooked in the microwave 2 minutes per ear and a salad with romaine lettuce, kale, 1/2 an avocado, tomato, parsley, cucumber with dressing of drizzled red wine vinegar, agave nectar, dried onion flakes, lemon juice, a little salt and pepper. I love to eat and could barely finish all that food. Since no animal products are involved with this meal, it contains ZERO cholesterol.
Your body makes cholesterol all by itself. There is no reason to ever eat it.

550 calories 100 milligrams of cholesterol
Here is the same number of calories in the form of a cheeseburger on a white bread bun. Since it is on white bread, most of the fiber has been taken out. I could finish that in 4 bites. There is not enough food there to stimulate the stretch receptors in my stomach that make me feel full. Without that feeling, no matter how many calories, I would be craving more food.  More than half of it's calories come from fat! The only fiber is from the onions. I can feel my arteries and internal organs panicking at the thought of eating that!


So here's the bottom line:
1)  To lose weight, keep it off eat foods that are going to make you feel full with lots of fiber and no animal fat. Staying full means no more cravings.
2)  Maximize the health benefits of whole foods. Avoid processed food like white flour, white rice and oils. You may not think of cooking oil as processed food but it is. For example it takes 40 olives to make 1 tablespoon of olive oil. All the fiber has been processed out. There are 120 calories in 1 tablespoon with no nutrients in oils that you can't get from whole foods.
     Honestly, I never thought I would be able to do this and stick with it. Once I got started and quickly started losing weight I was all in. You will feel better within 2 weeks and the next time you go to your Doctor for a refill on your blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol pills don't be surprised if the dose has to be lowered or you get to throw them away completely!

2016 with Joel Kahn, MD

2013

Get started!






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To learn more, go to the website: www.PBNSG.org. They have tons of information and searchable recipes for anything you like.
I happen to be one one of the success stories.

You can also pick up a book for guidance and recipes like:

 The No BS Diet Book by Joel Kahn, MD.  Dr. Kahn is an interventional cardiologist who would rather teach you how to avoid heart disease than have to put a stent in you or worse after you already have it.

 Eat More Weigh Less by Dean Ornish, MD.  Dr. Ornish was one of the first people to develop a whole foods diet to help prevent and even reverse heart disease.

 21 Day Weight Loss Kick Start by Neal Barnard, MD.  Dr. Barnard founded the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

 Forks Over Knives  There are 125 easy recipes in this book to help you make good decisions with your fork before the doctors have to use their knives.





Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Spinach Casserole #vegan #oilfree #Kosher #Pareve

Spinach Casserole with Tofu and Nutritional Yeast
Sometimes all you have to do is use a different pan with the same basic recipe to improve it.
Well...that, and I added a few things.

Recipe
2 boxes of frozen chopped spinach
or 1 pound of fresh spinach - cooked and drained
2 stalks of finely chopped kale leaves
1 can of chickpeas - drained
1 box of extra firm tofu - drained
2 cups of nutritional yeast
1 large onion chopped
1/2 inch finely chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 T lemon juice
0.5 tsp allspice
0.5 tsp cumin 
1 tsp salt
2 pinches of ground pepper

Clarify the onion using 1/2 cup of water and a little salt. Add the garlic and spinach. Cook until most of the water is gone. In a large mixing bowl crush the chickpeas and crumble the tofu. Save 1/3 of a cup of the nutritional yeast to sprinkle on the top. Add all the other ingredients along with the onion, garlic and spinach. Mix it up thoroughly. 
Spread it evenly into an 8 x 8 x 2 inch pan lined with parchment paper or prepped with a little oil. This time I used just a tsp of oil and wiped it out with a paper towel. Sprinkle on the rest of the nutritional yeast.
Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes. Let it cool to firm up. I let it cool, covered it and left it in the refrigerator  overnight. 
Re-heat in the microwave for 2 or 3 minutes, cut and serve.

Here it is all plated with cauliflower rice mixed with a chopped red sweet pepper, carrot sticks, beansprouts with garlic sauce and garnished with parsley:

Dinner for my birthday!!  All the essential amino acids were there to celebrate.








Friday, June 9, 2017

Vegan Nacho Sauce. New and Improved!!! #dairyfree #nutfree #oilfree #Kosherpareve #addicting

I don't remember if I already published this but it couldn't hurt to put it out there one more time.
Cousin Ann in Austin, this is for you!!!!

Dairy Free and Nut Free Nacho Sauce over Cauliflower 

Vegan Nacho Sauce
4 Yukon gold potatoes
6 TBSP nutritional yeast
6 TBSP Tapioca flour
1 TBSP salt
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 TBSP lemon juice
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp Tabasco
Salt water to boil the potatoes

Peel and boil the quartered potatoes in salted water for 40 minutes. Save 2 cups of the starchy water.  In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients together to prevent clumping. Put the potatoes, 1+1/2 cups starchy water and all the wet ingredients in a blender. Pulse a few times to chop it up. Add the dry ingredients and  puree until completely smooth.
Pour it back in the pot from the potatoes. Over medium heat stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it thickens for about 15 minutes. Add a little more starchy water if it gets too thick. Set it aside to set up.

Monday, June 5, 2017

41 Months A Vegan with a Picture!!! #lifelonglearner #eatmoreweighless #eatlikeahorse

Lasagna, fresh spinach and mushrooms with homemade creamy garlic dressing
       It is now 41 months since I doubled down on my own life and became a whole foods plant based, little to no oil vegan. It worked better than anything else I've ever tried and without really working all that hard I've lost 110 lbs and kept it off. No more yo yo  dieting for me!
     That's a picture of my dinner tonight at the top of the page. No animal products and no oil at all.  The recipe for my lasagna has given me consistent results every time.
I did change one thing this time. Instead of letting the mozzarella substitute get thick and cold, I poured it on while hot and creamy.  It was much easier than trying to spread it over everything. Between that, the fresh spinach and mushrooms with creamy garlic dressing and the watermelon I left the table feeling very full!

     Last Saturday I ran in a 5K race for the American Cancer Society. My time was 32:09 putting me 1st in the "60 and over" category (the only one there over 60 was me).  When I got there the shirts were being given out. This was the conversation:
Phil: "What size are you?"
Me: "Medium."
Phil: "I only have large."
Me: "I'll take the medium."
Phil: "OK. Large it is then!"
Me: "Thank you."
That's me on stage after the race, second from the left, next to my new friend, Phil, smiling and swimming in my new, sweaty, size large t-shirt. We had a blast!
     If you are curious about the health benefits of a whole foods plant based diet watch the movie FORKS OVER KNIVES on Netflix or on your computer. It may be your 1st step in the pursuit of a much healthier, much more active life.