4.21.2014

simplifying my diet







One of the of the things I've been up to while stepping back from the internet has been simplifying my diet.  My diet was starting to get cluttered with processed foods like never before. When I first became vegan over 5 years ago, there were not as many pre-packaged vegan foods as there are now so I was actually eating healthier when I started.  I was not relying on as many processed foods as I have been as of late.  The explosion of delicious pre-packaged vegan foods was hard for me to pass up, so I didn't.  Well all that has changed now and I'm getting back to simple basics.


The Big Changes...

I'm eliminating anything white. White processed flours, sugars, white pasta, white rice, all oils. I'm adding tons more greens.  Replacing those empty flours with whole grains and nuts/seeds.

My day looks kinda like this...

Breakfast

green tea
slice of Ezekiel toast
smoothie (usually kale, blueberry, 1/2 banana, 1 date, unsweetened soy milk)
or
oatmeal, fruit, seed/nut combo


Lunch

very very large green salad (mixtures of lettuce, kale, cabbage)
tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, mushrooms (anything and everything that is fresh)
seeds or nuts
no oil/no sugar dressing
fruit

Dinner

soup or chili or steamed or roasted veggies or
quinoa, beans, lentils
a sugar and oil free dessert, usually fruit or a homemade dessert

Every day is like eating from a spa menu.  I've been on this for 3 weeks now and am really starting to see a difference in the way I feel.  I'm not getting those high and low feelings from food. I feel more even.  If I get hungry between meals then I make a fresh veggie platter or grab a piece of fruit or some nuts or seeds.  I've also been experimenting with delicious desserts that rely on fruits for sweetness.

You may be wondering the impact these changes will have on my budget.  So far so good.  The farmers markets are exploding right now with an abundance of fresh veggies and fruits and the prices are very reasonable.  Also, without buying all the processed foods any longer that should offset any costs for eating this way. Plus eating out is going to be even rarer than before because there aren't many restaurants that cook without the ingredients I'm eliminating.  And we are not even talking about the long term benefits of eating a diet so rich not only in vitamins and minerals but micro nutrients too.

Those Pecan Truffles up there are delicious and easy to make.  Just a few raw ingredients and about 15 minutes of your time.  I found them here at the Simple Veganista, a beautiful vegan site. Just pecans, dates, cinnamon and vanilla extract, I left out the pinch of salt.  I rolled mine in cocoa powder, which isn't necessary either but man are they good. Perfect for when you just want that little bit of sweet after a meal.

In a food processor combine

1/2 cup oats
1 cup pecans
1 cup dates
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pulse this all together until it becomes pliable.   I had to add 2 teaspoons of water to my mixture.
Form into small ball size bites.  I put mine on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for an hour or so and then transferred them to a container and keep them in the refrigerator.

My recipes from now on will rely on simple, fresh ingredients and less crap.  You in?


200 comments:

  1. We only eat meat once month as a treat, our diet is probably too boring and routine, I'd love to know what you're dressing your salads with.

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    Replies
    1. Would you consider doing a post on what you eat in a week?
      I'd love to know.

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    2. yes, tabitha i do plan to post salad dressings that are healthy and delicious.

      Delete
  2. Good morning Janet,

    Sounds like you are doing very well with your newer healthy way of eating. Since my daughter went vegan 3 years ago, we have really cleaned up out diet. It wasn't bad before, just not as good as it could have been. Also the issues with my husband's LDL have impacted what we eat. My husband (in teasing) will complain when we are eating too much vegan around here. But then he ordered a vegan cookbook from the library for me. (I already have 3 at home in my cookbook collection) He really is on board with it, but then yesterday we went to a Easter BBQ and he had his fair share of meat.

    I agree with the eating out issue, that is part of the reason we hardly ever go out. (the other is cost) One cannot control what restaurants put in your food, the biggest offender for us is too much salt. I think because I don't use a lot of salt in my cooking, we are both sensitive to it.

    Will have to try your Pecan Truffles, I have a similar recipe without the oats and instead of rolling them in cocoa you add a couple Tbsp. cocoa to the mixture and a pinch of salt. Killer.

    Linda
    xo


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    Replies
    1. oh yes linda, i'm cutting way back on salt too! sounds like we are on the same path.

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    2. Janet, just had to report that we got my husband's lipid profile results later today...his LDL dropped 34 points and his total Cholesterol 33 points in 4 months!! I guess all of our hard work is paying off, now his LDL is only moderately elevated. And his doctor was really pushing the statins and I said nooooooo. His doc also said only 10% of people can lower it with diet. Ha guess we showed him. :)

      Linda

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  3. The pecan truffles sound so good! Wish I had two or three to munch on right now.
    I don't eat much processed food at home, thankfully. My problem lately has been eating out. French fries are constantly calling my name! And then there's the expense of dining out which really adds up.
    This week is devoted to eating cleaner and staying out of restaurants!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. adrienne, i just read the other day that 7 french fries have 150 calories in them. 7!

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    2. Surely that is the oil? I love roasted chopped root veg but the olive oil definitely ups the calories…!

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  4. I'm definitely in! I always want to hear what other people who eat a vegan diet are cooking. I have narrowed my diet down to a complete root diet. If it doesn't come directly from the ground, in it's most natural state, I don't eat it anymore. and have never felt better in my whole life.

    Hope you're enjoying your break! xo

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    Replies
    1. oh i love that idea of a root diet. that's exactly what i'm trying to do sarah. :)

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    2. You're eating quinoa, beans and lentils - I didn't know they were roots?

      All those prepackaged vegan foods you were eating - I didn't see those on your cash receipts or on your workspace when you've previously posted - something doesn't quite add up here.

      Delete
    3. i think what sarah was referring to when she said the roots, was that she was eating as close to food in its natural state.

      you need to go back and look at my receipts and pictures b/c i was buying candy, chips, yogurt, vegan lunch meat, vegan cheese, etc etc every week.

      Delete
  5. I love this post! We have been vegetarian for almost eight years now and I completely agree and understand falling off into the processed vegan and vegetarian foods. They are so good and make cooking easier BUT they are still processed as you've said. Our diet and a typical day mirrors the one you've listed above. Really the only difference for me is I have oatmeal in the morning with fresh fruit and nuts and I add in my flax seed and chia seed for the day. I have a smoothie about mid morning, do the large salad for lunch, another smoothie in the afternoon and dinner such as yourself. I feel amazing. I wouldn't want to eat any other way.
    I have a recipe similar to your truffles from Alicia Silverstones The Kind Diet called Raw Balls. They are great, check it out if you can.
    Thank you again for this post and have a blessed day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. belinda i have not thought to have an afternoon smoothie. that's such a good idea b/c you can pack in so many nutrients into a smoothie. thanks for that. and i will ck out the raw balls. :)

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  6. Count me in, Janet! I have been eating mainly veggies and lean protein, along with whole grains (gluten free), and no refined sugars for the past several months now and feel much better than I did over the holidays/beginning of the year. I actually did a cleansing fast for the week prior to starting my diet overhaul, and felt incredibly renewed afterwards, too. I am always on the lookout for new recipes to try, so I am really looking forward to seeing the ones you will be sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i'm so amazed at how good things are tasting by not having them loaded down with sugar and salt.

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  7. lordy am i ever in ajj. thank you.
    i don't know why i have to get inspiration from someone else always.
    but apparently i just do.
    and you're the best! i love your simplicity. your pictures are always such an inspiration to me.
    i live a very simple life in every way. but eating has always been too processed for me.
    i know what's healthy. then why don't i do it? now i will. here's to good health and energy!

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    Replies
    1. thank you tammy j. we are in this together.:)

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  8. Last fall I did a really good job of eliminating white flour and sugar, lowering my gluten and carb consumption (including whole wheat, rice and potatoes), including healthy proteins and increasing my veggie consumption and it really made me feel more even-keeled and energized (plus I lost 10 pounds that I hadn't been able to lose for 4 years). Honestly, removing sugar and everything that contained a lot of sugar (like just about every "nutrition" bar) made the biggest difference to me. While I've kept to the increased veggie consumption, the sugar has definitely crept back in, and I feel the difference--way more sluggish, bad digestion, and uneven energy. This is inspiring me to get back on track!

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    1. sounds great jen. i think the best part is feeling so even all day long. i love that!

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  9. Janet, processed food is too easy and when something becomes popular (whether Atkins, low fat, vegan) there are all kind of products made to help you stay on that diet. Products that are full of bad stuff that you probably weren't eating before you went Atkins, low fat or vegan! And it's why diets fail. I think the best diet is the non-white diet (no sugar, no flour, no dairy, no potatoes). It's hard to eat processed food when you're not eating anything white! Good for you!

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  10. Hi Janet!
    I understand, why you would skip Tofurkey and vegan cheese etc.
    But why all oils and white rice? Both do no harm. Oils are essential. We need oils, unsaturated and also saturated ones.
    Please, explain why would you take such a turn in your diet.
    greetings,
    Paula

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi paula. i will be eating brown rice which i prefer anyway. but nutritionally speaking, brown rice far exceeds white rice in nutrition.

      i will get the fats/oils i need from avocados and nuts. i will use oils very sparingly in recipes though.

      i'm taking this turn in my diet to eat cleaner, healthier and simpler. :)

      Delete
    2. You just said you were eliminating "all oils" now you're saying you'll use oils sparingly!

      Delete
    3. Oh for goodness sakes! Really! Give it a rest. Your snarky comments are tiresome! Pea

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    4. Anon at 8:21, I really am on your side, really....but. She did write she was eliminating all oils, among other things.

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    5. dear anon, when i wrote that i'm eliminating all sugars and oils, i guess i wasn't clear enough. this is a process and will take a bit of time, but yes my goal remains the same. on the very tip of most of the food pyramids is room for ingredients used sparingly and that is where my oil will come in. i've pretty much got the sugar figured out but i'm still experimenting with getting food to taste good without the oil. for instance the other day i made potatoes, onion and peppers for breakfast and cooked them in a little water. normally i would have used oil. they came out good! so now i'm working on salad dressings w/o oil. sorry i'm rambling here but i suppose if we had guests over or our kids for bfast, i would use some oil. so hopefully i'll get this all sorted out soon.

      Delete
  11. this post is just what I needed to inspire me to eat more healthfully after a 10 day vacation with the kids and grandkids, much of it on the road, and including that famous park in Orlando, not known for healthy meals. on the way home I was dreaming of fresh salads and fruits. now off to stock up!
    Darby

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    1. oh darby i know what you mean about traveling. you realize just how unhealthy the food choices that are available when you are on a road trip are. thanks for sharing.

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  12. Good for you! I am not so pure, but we rarely have anything processed. I dress my greens at lunch with lemon juice and a bit of avocado!

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    1. sounds yummy wendy. do you blend the 2 together?

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  13. I've been through hormonal changes (thus, really bad mood swings) since I had my second son, and I was wondering if food can help improve it. I will have to look into my diet and see how I can improve it. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. yuko please google Super Immunity. it will really open your eyes to how important our food is to our health. i mean we all know it but sometimes forget or think we are doing ok when really we aren't. :)

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    2. I am going to check out the website! Thank you for sharing! ox

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  14. I'm in Janet, keep up the inspiring posts. Thank you.

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  15. Good for you J! I am in too! My sister has been here and she is addicted to salads and we have made so many! Will you use olive oil? xxx

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    1. i'm loving my huge lunch time salad. i will use olive oil only v sparingly.

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    2. But you said you were eliminating "all oils" !!

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  16. You are probably the most dedicated healthy person that I can think of!
    Just when I think you've honed your diet and grocery budget you become even more creative and develop a healthier regime. Bravo!
    I love salads and eat them once or twice a day, but I like a smattering of oil and vinegar on mine.

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    Replies
    1. thank you leslie.

      well maybe you will give some of the dressings i've been using a try. :))

      Delete
  17. Janet,

    I know for those who can digest all the fiber, your diet will reduce inflammation, brain fog, and cause weight loss.
    I did this exact diet via Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to live plan. It was great for a short time.
    After eight months I was in a very low place. I was weak, extremely cold all the time, not sleeping well, depressed
    and, constipated. (can't handle the fiber) The trouble for me is a weak digestive system.

    I was very low in all my B vitamins after eating like this, esp B-12. That was over 5 years ago. I still have
    lingering health issues from this diet stint. It lowered my metabolism so much, I now need thyroid meds to
    feel alive.

    To those of you who eat this way and, thrive. I'm jealous.

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    1. oh betty ann i'm so sorry to hear this. yes, dr. fuhrman and his super immunity book is awesome. were you taking vitamins while doing this? what is your diet now?

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    2. No, I wasn't taking any supplements. Dr. Fuhrman's book mentioned that you didn't need to supplement
      if you were eating a nutrient dense diet. Too, if you had been eating meat, your body would store enough
      of B-12 to last a couple years. Well, .....not my body.

      My diet is gross. But, it is necessary to have energy. I eat lots of white rice, white potatoes, and, refined gluten
      free grains. I do eat some meat, and dairy. I am not a fan of either but, without it I am sick. I do take supplements now. They help yet, not enough to forgo meat and dairy. I rarely have greens or, fruit. They
      are so hard on my digestive system. I love fruit and, big salads so I do eat them and suffer at times. :(

      Delete
  18. Count me in! Ate this way for a couple years. Little bit by little bit, I allowed processed "healthy" food back into my diet. Weight is now up and my energy is low. I've been thinking I need to go back to my old way of eating - timely post.
    Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. you are welcome julie. as i've said before, we are all in this together and helping ea other when we need it!

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  19. I decided last week to eliminate flour, sugar, pasta and processed foods so your post is very timely for me. Your foods always look so appetizing.
    I'm in!
    Betty

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    Replies
    1. what a coincidence betty! how are you feeling?

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    2. I already feel better and I'm looking forward to your recipes! I hope you have some salad dressings.
      Betty

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  20. Have you read Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease"? He totally avoids oils and has conducted studies to prove all oils are to be avoided to attain good health. A wonderful website called the "Happy Healthy Long Life" is written by a medical librarian who provides awesome recipes and health advice mainly based on Dr. Esselstyn's suggestions....And, yes, I'm in!

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    Replies
    1. i have not read it but i know who he is and his research in this field is amazing. what would we do without these doctors that look deeper than prescribing pills? i'm going right now over to the medical librarian's blog. thank you!

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  21. I could eat like this, but, it won't fly with my husband. And again, in this part of the country, I'm lacking access to all of the fresh veggies. I'm curious to see more of (or links to ) your current eating recipes, if you'd like to share. I will be trying the Pecan Truffles!

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    Replies
    1. mona i hear you. poor larry! first vegan and now this. i'm really just in the beginning stages of eliminating all these foods so we are in this together. i will be sharing!

      Delete

  22. I read Dr. Esselstyn's book "Prevent and Reverse heart Disease". I would call him one of the most extreme guys out there in terms of ABSOLUTELY NO OIL.

    Avoid oils. They injure the endothelium, the innermost lining of the artery, and that injury is the gateway to vascular disease. All oil is also empty calories.

    I heard something on radio recently re oil. Radio show with rep from local utility co was giving public advice about using home electric and water utilities. A question was asked about what's ok to put in electric sink disposals. The answer from the rep was that it's best not to put any food scraps down the sink.

    But then the rep said especially no oils or fats down the sink!

    Not a word about if oil and fat is ok to put in what is much more sensitive 'pipes' in the body. But it wasn't a health show (except for health of your homes pipes).

    About the last thing I understood was the notion of oil actually doing damage to our endothelial cells which line our arteries.
    I'm no expert but anyone interested can find many videos by Drs McDougall, Esselstyn and others on the internet. Save yourself. NO Oil!

    Oil isn't healthy. It has to be one of the worst junk foods, being 100% fat with hardly any nutrients. The poison is in the dose, and depending on how sick you are you may get away with using small amounts.

    Jeff Novick RD on the Mediterranean diet and olive oil :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfBKauKVi4M

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbALgjmZUek

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  23. As Michele said to Romy when she asked her of she had lost weight and Romy told her all she had eaten the past six days were gummy bears, jelly beans, and candy corn--
    God I wish I had your discipline.

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  24. Replies
    1. thank you jeannine but i don't see myself as that disciplined...probably more stubborn?!

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    2. As I see it, if you're stubborn it's a really good kind of stubborn! My hat is off to you :-)

      Delete
  25. I'm in! We have been eating too many meals out lately which has wrecked havoc on my diet, and my waistline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. all that travel you've been doing looks so fun but i know that you are probably craving simple, homecooked meals.:)

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  26. I love what you are doing. Fresh and green is always better. But I would make sure to have a pinch of salt - not the kind in the supermarket but check out a health store. It balances your minerals and you would be amazed how good you will feel. Another thing is some oil. Actually I prefer coconut oil - a most amazing health food, either liquid or more solid. Tastes wonderful and is a super food. I add it to smoothies. Does anyone else have that experience??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coconut oil is FAT, plain and simple. I emailed Dr. Esselstyn regarding use of coconut oil. I got a reply from Dr. Ess and this is what he shared…… "until I read solid, scientific research on the validity of coconut oil, avoid it. It is nothing but marketing hype.There is no research suggesting its health benefits. "

      It's fine to use it on hair or skin and I do.
      If you want to consume coconut, then either climb a tree and cut one down or buy from your trusted grocer, use a trusty hammer to open the fruit, and feast on the whole, plant based gift. But to use the oil, which is a processed food, and nothing but pure fat that will go from your lips to your hips, is pure marketing, sensational hype. Avoid it!!


      That comes from the physician with a 15 year solid research project on not only preventing, but reversing heart disease. My trust is with Dr. Esselstyn not the fancy packaging and mega marketing that abounds today!

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    2. Sometimes I would have "digestive issues" after certain meals. It took me a while to figure it out that it was when we cooked with coconut oil. So now I use it only on my lips like chapstick..

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    3. everything i've read backs up what anon is saying. also i've read that we are all eating way too much salt. even the fancy ones. all this info is a lot to process and put into action.

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  27. I have been vegetarian for 35 years but have been eating a very simple diet (similar to the one you describe) for a number of years now. I definitely do not follow any "rules", but what I've found (and suspect you might too) is that my palate has changed such that the only foods I actually feel like eating these days are fresh vegies, fruit, legumes, nuts etc. This can make eating out and travel a challenge but I rarely do either so manage okay, typically by ordering a meal from the side dishes selection. You won't regret it :)

    Spud.

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    Replies
    1. yes i've noticed the change already. when i was in europe last year that's pretty much all i ate, side dishes. a lot of my travel companions noted that my meals often looked better than the ones they had ordered. i remember one night at a very fancy restaurant we went to, our waiter handed me a special vegan menu. everything on it was 3x more expensive than the regular menu - so i just ordered sides off the regular menu. dumb.

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  28. I am in, as well. I, too, have been eating too much processed food (not sure all of it qualifies as food, though). Fresh and fabulous it is!

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    Replies
    1. exactly. it's not even real food by the time it's been so processed!

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  29. Im in! I also became vegan about 6 years ago, and at first lost lots of weight. I got lazy with the food and gained much of it back:( I also just started removing some of the bad/processed stuff! It will be good to have some buddies..
    Try blending tomatoes and mango for a salad dressing, or tomatoes and peaches!
    Christine

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    Replies
    1. oh will try the mangos and tomatoes. i have a lot of both right now. thnx!

      Delete
  30. Hi Janet! Did you always love fresh fruits and veggies in your diet, even growing up?

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    Replies
    1. i ate a lot of fruit growing up but i would say 90% of the veggies i ate came out of a can. we ate terribly!

      Delete
  31. I agree except for one thing. Coconut oil in small quantities is very good for you. Cold-pressed organic. It contains lots of enzymes that the brain needs, and has been found to improve the functioning of alzheimer's patients. It comes in jars in opaque white form, but becomes liquid as soon as you touch it, so at body temperature it is liquid. It actually lowers cholesterol and is good for the heart. I like to use a teaspoon to saute vegetables. Then there is hemp oil, which comes in tablets and has many healing qualities and is a cancer preventative. I don't cook with it, but take one tab a day. Never felt better.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry you have been very mis-informed.

      I saw an interesting video about coconut oil - a friend who is
      a nurse sent it to me and I was wondering about that too--then saw a discussion about it on Dr McDougall's
      message boards---people were asking Jeff Novick--McDougall's nutritionist--and below is his response.
      what Jeff says is about what I was thinking too - all that fat is just not good for you.. ketones etc.... No way would I want to try the coconut oil. but
      I have 2 friends who are taking it and thinking they are going to be Alzheimer's free because of it.... heh-heh
      read on:




      Ketones are not produced by coconut oil or by Medium Chain Triglycerides. They are produced when either caloric intake or carbohydrate intake is too low. Atkins style diets are ketogenic diets.

      Ketogenic diets have shown some benefit in certain diseases, like epilepsy, but because of their high fat, high saturated fat intake, they are only used short term and those on them have increased risks for heart disease, stroke, etc

      The consequences of a ketogenic diet on risk factors for heart disease are detailed in this study. This was in children with epilepsy who use this diet to control seizures so compliance was high. Though it reduces seizures, it increases their risk of dying young from heart disease a well known consequence of this diet therapy in children.

      Effect of a High-Fat Ketogenic Diet on Plasma Levels of Lipids, Lipoproteins, and Apolipoproteins in Children JAMA. 2003;290:912-920.

      Conclusions A high-fat ketogenic diet produced significant increases in the atherogenic apoB–containing lipoproteins and a decrease in the antiatherogenic HDL cholesterol. Further studies are necessary to determine if such a diet adversely affects endothelial vascular function and promotes inflammation and formation of atherosclerotic lesions.

      At 6 Months
      Cholesterol went up 58 points
      LDL went up 50 points
      VLDL went up 8 points
      non-HDL cholesterol went up 63 points
      Triglycerides went up 58 points
      apoB went up 49 points
      apoA-I increased 4 points
      HDL cholesterol decreased significantly


      This was posted on the healthy Librarian's blog over a year ago:

      RENOWNED ALZHEIMER EXPERT, DR. MURALIY DORAISWAMY: Last week, I listened to one of the top Alzheimer specialists in the country, Dr. Murali Doraiswamy, on People's Pharmacy. He explained the connection of dementia & diabetes & the negative effects of a high fat, sugar, refined carb diet on the brain. He does NOT recommend coconut oil (its benefit is for people who's brains are so damaged, primarily from diabetes, that they can no long absorb glucose to function--("diabetes of the brain")--& he also happens to be a vegetarian. J

      Dr. Murali Doraiswamy's interview: http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2013/09/28/919-avoiding-alzheimers-disease/

      Delete
    2. I discovered the cold pressed organic coconut oil not long ago. It is so versatile,
      the latest highlight:
      http://butterbeliever.com/homemade-chocolate-recipe/
      I agree, Lana - our body needs fat, of all kinds, also saturated fats.

      Delete
    3. Paula, you can get all the fat you need from a teaspoon of organic flax seeds each day. Oil is injuring your endothelial cells- even "light" coconut oil. Do you think it is ok to injure your endothelial cells "in moderation"? I don't. Moderation kills. Here is a quote from Dr Esselstyn's website:

      "NO OIL! Not even olive oil, which goes against a lot of other advice out there about so-called good fats. The reality is that oils are extremely low in terms of nutritive value. They contain no fiber, no minerals and are 100% fat calories. Both the mono unsaturated and saturated fat contained in oils is harmful to the endothelium, the innermost lining of the artery, and that injury is the gateway to vascular disease. It doesn't matter whether it's olive oil, corn oil, coconut oil, canola oil, or any other kind. Avoid ALL oil..."

      http://www.heartattackproof.com/qanda.htm


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    4. lana, paula, anon - i'm going to go with the heavy research that's been done. also, watching my dear friend Melinda battle her stage 4 ovarian cancer has really opened my eyes. she is on a very strict vegan diet, much like the one anon is talking about and she is doing so well. it is nothing short of Amazing.

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    5. Sounds a lot like Shell is back.

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    6. Janet, your comment on Melinda's diet is very encouraging...my best friend has a 37 year old nephew battling melanoma. It's spread to his bones and 2 tumors in his lungs now. (w/o treatment they gave him 6 months) However, he is trying to stay positive and wants to beat this. He watched Forks over Knives and has gone completely vegan. I will pass on Melinda's progress to my girlfriend. Glad to hear she is doing well.

      Linda
      xo

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    7. Yep, Anon @11:02 you are right. :-(

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    8. No, I hope it's Vickie. Smart and professional, not Shell.

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    9. Not this Vicki. I only read (and learn) here. I don't comment now. Thanks.

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    10. Ah, big hug back atcha, Janet. Your skin's thicker than mine, m'dear. I heart your blog so, so much. But you know that! (End of ever-so-brief comment but, oh, your garden! An oasis of tranquility; beautiful, beautiful; worth every blister.)

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    11. ah vicki, my skin is not as thick as you think. i think the comments that came your way really took the wind out of my sails. it's one thing to criticize me but not my readers! anyway i hope you are well and you are making your way through your parents things. i think of you often. x

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  32. Yes, please post more of your meals and healthy eating snack ideas...anxious to read about your dressings too..good for you for turning the table around and eating healthier

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm so glad you posted this recipe, Janet. Count me in. I've been eating pretty healthy lately, but I do need some good recipes to satisfy my sweet tooth. Thanks! I have one dilemma with this type of diet, though. Some weeks I work over 50 hours, and there just isn't enough time for me to do all the chewing necessary to support this type of diet. So I resort to eating a lot of sandwiches and things I can scarf in a hurry. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this problem. And it makes me wonder about the state of our world when we are so busy that we don't even have time to ingest a proper meal.That said, I am in the process of making some changes in my life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i thought you were going to say you didn't have time to prepare the food not eat it! lol

      ok, you can make your sandwichs/wraps just fill them with veggies instead of meat and cheese. or put all your fruits and veggies in a blender and take a giant smoothie to work, or make a huge batch of veggies soup on your day off and take it and sip it throughout the day? not sure of what you do for a living as to whether this would be possible but maybe?

      Delete
    2. lol! I know, it's crazy. When I read that you make extra large salads, I thought, that's me! I eat huge salads. And I wake up early to prepare them, but then get to work, and literally have 10 minutes to eat. I manage a small retail store, but never get a moment to set down. I'm not a smoothie gal, but I love the wrap idea. Thanks!

      Delete
  34. Hi Janet, I also read The Healthy Librarian's Blog! Here are a couple other healthy low fat Vegan recipe blogs you might want to check out:
    http://forealslife.com/blog/2013/7/11/vegan-jalapeno-ranch
    http://www.straightupfood.com/blog/

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks sue. i can't get her blog to open but i checked her fb page! thanks so much for the other rec's. i'm loving all this!

      Delete
    2. I just sent Debby (The Healthy Librarian) a msg about her blog being down. I signed up on Facebook just to get updates on my favorite Vegan Dr's & Recipe blogs. I still use Debby's website to look up some of her "Enlightened" recipes. She is really good at taking popular vegan recipes and tweeting them to be lower in fat.

      Sue

      Delete
    3. Oops....tweaking

      Delete
    4. Here was Healthy Librarian's response: Typepad, the provider, has been having problems for a week now. It was up early this morning. Now it's down. Aargh!! They're working hard to get it up. I appreciate your letting me know. Hope it's back soon. I use it for my recipes, too.
      Sue

      Delete
  35. Janet- You might want to try starting a small garden, you will save a lot of $$ if following a strict Dr. Fuhrman diet. I'm a member of his website...his eating plan is probably the best, but not the easiest for me to stick to. I now kind of do a blend of Dr. McDougall & Dr. Fuhrman's way of eating. Dr. Esselstyn's zero oil/nuts/avocados plan is really geared for those with heart disease.

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i think blending the 2 diets would be great!
      yes a small garden would be a good idea for many reasons.

      Delete
    2. I can't follow Dr. Furhman's diet 100% because I love my potatoes & rice. Dr. McD's diet is more centered on whole grains & potatoes...also including lots of veggies.

      Delete
  36. Love this post, and this way of eating! After my father in law had quadruple by pass at 70 and told my husband he had outlived all the men in his family, we went from vegetarian to vegan :). We mainly eat this way. My processed/oil containing foods that I still have in rotation are Vegenaise, Tofurky slices and hummus - all mostly for school lunches and snacks. I have good recipes for making these items oil free, but it is hard to remember to purchase the ingredients and make two batches of each every weekend. I go back and forth on whether this is an acceptable amount of oil containing foods or not. Make myself crazy! Some favorite websites that I didn't see mentioned yet are FatFreeVegan, HappyHerbivore and Engine2. Try the Kale Ceviche salad from Engine2 Janet, you'll love it! (avocado and lemon dressing). I love your blog Janet, I look forward to every post!
    S in Gold River

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks S. i will be missing my vegenaise and will prob use it v sparingly along with earth balance. thanks for the blog recs and the recipe rec. thanks so much!

      Delete
    2. Janet, do you have a Vitamix or Blentec blender? If so, you can make your own vegan mayo so easy without adding eggs or oils. I use a box of Mori-Nu Soft Silken Tofu, lemon juice, cashews, onion powder, a little salt...whips up in a a minute to a great mayo. I also use it daily for salad dressings & my husbands smoothies with frozen fruit.
      Sue

      Delete
    3. Veganaise has oil in it doesn't it? so much for eliminating all oils!

      Delete
    4. i've seen a few recipes for making your own mayo and will try it asap.

      Delete
  37. It's good to read this - I'm sure vegan processed is hardly better than non-vegan processed! :)
    Although a non-vegan, I rarely use anything processed at all if I can help it. We do what we can!
    Almost impossible to eat out, though, unless you want raw salad with no dressing, which hardly seems worth going anywhere and paying…!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. exactly. i was looking at our local restaurants menu's to see where i could eat and the prices are so ridiculous. i could make 18 salads for the price of one of theirs!

      Delete
  38. Forgot to mention but follow Happy Healthy Long Life-The Healthy Librarian on Facebook. You don't have to belong to Facebook. She posts there almost daily with all sorts of good stuff. She now posts much less frequently on her blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i just looked at her fb page. so glad you don't have to be a member to see it. i can't get her blog to open so this is good. thanks for sharing!

      Delete

  39. * Plant based omega 3 fatty acids are critical to your health so eat lots of chia, flax and hemp seeds.
    * Your body may be able to make some EPA and DHA from these plant based omega 3's if you are healthy and VERY careful about your omega 6 to omega 3 balance.
    * HOWEVER, vegans still may be at risk for EPA and DHA deficiency so you may want to take a daily supplement.
    * If you are a pregnant vegan, supplementation is extremely important for the development of your baby's brain, nervous system and retinas.
    * If you are not vegan and eat fish rich in omega 3, DHA and EPA conversion is not an issue but eating plant based omega 3 fatty acids still provides additional health benefits.
    [ pretty much anything from the oceans now is garbage so I would not eat fish if I wanted to...]

    http://foodsforlonglife.blogspot.com/2011/01/omega-3-power-seeds-chia-hemp-and-flax.html

    We've been putting 2-3 tbsp of flax seed in the Vitamix with our smoothie greens and fruit for flaxseeds high ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6.Ground flaxseeds are a good source of fiber, raises good omega 3s and the lignins in the shells help reduce the risk of hormonal stimulated cancers.
    The trillions of good bacteria in our gut can be thought of as an additional organ, metabolizing, detoxifying, and activating many crucial components of our diet.

    The formation of lignans from phytonutrient precursors found predominantly in flax seeds is one such example.


    flax and lignans
    http://nutritionfacts.org/video/flax-and-fecal-flora/

    Those who had the most lignans in their blood lived the longest and tended to live the longest disease free.

    http://nutritionfacts.org/video/flaxseeds-breast-cancer-survival-epidemiological-evidence/

    The healthy librarian says when we lower our intake of corn-fed meat & fish, and cut out vegetable oils, we don't need those mega-doses of omega-3's.
    But if you think you need more omega3 take a vegan supplement:

    http://www.devanutrition.com/vegan_dha_softgels.html

    ReplyDelete
  40. thank you anon for all these links and info. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so welcome.

      Healthy eating [ plant based eating ] has to become a part of your lifestyle --way of life - not something you just dabble in--if you want genuine health. But what could possibly be more precious or more important than the health of yourself and your
      family? You can't buy health, you have to work at it & actually the work gets to be easy and like second nature when you realize the benefits. I now can't imagine life any other way. I can never go back to eating fried foods, eggs, dairy, oil & meat.

      We live in a society where the norm is to be sick (and on pills)... people rather not know, not see, not change...
      But it's always a small group that make big social changes.
      I don't want to live to 90 or 100 but i want to be active and healthy and do everything for myself as long as i am alive!


      I believe that plant based eating (and living) is a call for a social change, it raises questions an ordinary person doesn't want to hear...

      It's about long term health for me. I am surrounded by too many people that are falling foul of western diseases and they can't see the link between what they eat and how they feel.

      So I tell people who decide to try going vegan this: if you ever get to wondering why you are doing it, look around you. See what folk are doing to themselves, and resolve not to end up there. 2 friends and one relative of mine now have dementia. My brother has gout. Other friends and neighbors have cancer, heart disease, arthritis and diverticulitis and hemorrhoids. Still others are over weight and have high blood pressure. I'm over 50 now so eating for health is what it's all about for me. Plus once you allow your taste buds to be cleansed of oil, grease, sugar and salt they will come alive and you will relish the plant based diet like you can not imagine.

      A wfpb no fat diet promotes health. With two thirds or more of the population overweight or obese and heart disease and cancer the number one killers it is obvious that something radical has to be done to preserve health, reduce medical costs and reinvigorate an increasingly sedentary population.

      If most Americans ate the way the Okinawans did from birth continuing that way would be fine. How many Americans have eaten that way from birth? Precious few.
      Why would it matter if you did or didn't eat that way since birth? Ask your arteries!!
      It's Dr. McDougall's position that he can advocate for the BEST way of eating for everyone. Not just what will suffice. That is his position . What are the best choices.


      When Rip Esselstyn was presented with a similar argument, that a small amount of animal foods don't effect health negatively, he said while that's likely true for most people he was a believer in keeping it black and white in favor of no animal foods because that level of minimal moderation is hard for most people. Personally, I agree with him and I like that I'm not contributing to the exploitation and inhumane treatment of animals.

      Delete
  41. Janet,
    Thank-you for inspiring me to simplify.
    Less is more. More greens. Less crap.
    pve

    ReplyDelete
  42. I'm in! Can't wait! ~ Catherine

    ReplyDelete
  43. Yup, here too.
    I started several months ago...Overall I feel great....though it makes it difficult when going out. Good thing most restaurants are able to comply with little changes.
    It isn't just about being gluten-free either...I can't have eggs, dairy, avoid sugar, corn, and melon (that is deathly)....it makes it hard....but the result is great.
    Nancy
    wildoakdesigns.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why is melon "deathly?" I am so naïve about all of this. Melon is 100% organic? :\

      Delete
    2. I don't get it either. Maybe some autocorrect-mode that went wrong?

      Delete
    3. It is probably allergies. My son can not eat most fruits. Bananas, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew and more cause his throat to tighten up.
      Jill

      Delete
    4. jill, spring fruits can make my mouth and throat itch too. not always but for some reason it does happen.

      Delete
  44. Put on your thinking caps people - oil is a PROCESSED food!

    http://www.drfuhrman.com/faq/question.aspx?sid=16&qindex=8

    cut the C.R.A.P. [ calorie rich & processed ]
    https://twitter.com/JNovickRD/status/375596280753295360

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zheiZX0_Z2w

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'm IN!!!! Can't wait for more recipes and portion sizes per meal. I want to be as thin as YOU! Thanks!

    Laura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. laura i highly recommend going to dr. fuhrman or dr. mcdougall's websites and see just how much food you can eat. it's so much and it's all good for you!

      Delete
  46. Once again, the adorable and smart Ann Esselstyn brings us the basics of this way of eating. Thanks to E2.

    http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=d34 ... 3bb05e6999

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. this is mcsv mailchimp website: bogus!!!!! Shame on Ann 11:32

      Delete
    2. the correct website is :http://planeat.tv/ann-esselstyn

      Delete
  47. I very much admire you and your thinking, Janet. And I love visiting you here on your blog. But I have to say that many of your recent posts are beginning to feel like you are practicing self-depravation. I think it's sad that you are whittling down so many lovely pleasures that there are in life. Yes, how wonderful to have your house paid off, but at what real price? It seems that every dollar you spend or every ounce of food you eat must be examined to make sure it meets some sort of minimal and unreasonable standards you set. I guess I just don't get it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you are right, you don't get it. :)

      i am living my life right now in what i consider to be pure luxury. im living my life now in such a way so i don't have to worry about my mortgage when i retire. i want to be able to go to yoga classes that i love so much, go skiing, take long walks and not worry whether or not my house payment is going to be made. i want a home that is beautiful and small and has just the right amount of things in it for me. i want to be as healthy as i can. not spending my days in the doctors office or in the pharmacy. nothing can guarantee any of this but taking the time to plan now and make adjustments while we are still earning a full income is a pleasure and makes a lot of sense to me. my idea of life's luxuries are different than yours and that's ok. mine is not about self deprivation at all but rather simplicity in everything i do whether is it my home, my wardrobe, my beauty routine or my diet.

      Delete
    2. I'm with you on this. This used to be a blog of style, now it's preaching and pomposity.

      The more followers and commenters Janet gets the more she becomes like some self professed preacher. Style? that disappeared long ago, around about the time the groceries began to be displayed.

      Who wants to read somebody elses grocery tab?

      Delete
    3. Hey I am with YOU Janet - I am not the anony that doesn't get it. I GET IT. Less is more and the more crap and stuff you have, the more it owns you. I admire you and you have inspired me to downsize and simplify. Nothing tastes as good as good health FEELS.
      Cheese was hardest for me to give up but I do not miss it at all now. Best to not eat ANY.
      Once people stop eating it their tastes will change and they won't even want it - but it will take some time. Cheese is really unhealthy.
      Dr. Colin Campbell claims in The China Study that the casein in cheese has been shown to turn cancer on and off like a "switch".
      I saw a talk by Neal Barnard and then I understood that I was addicted to it. I gave it up totally, and though I had some slight cravings initially,
      now I have no interest in it at all. I think this might not have happened if I had tried to give it up gradually,
      or I would have constantly made excuses to myself to have a bit "just this once".

      I'm glad I gave up cheese rather than give up health -!!
      MC

      Delete
    4. anon i agree with you in that my blog has changed just as i've changed. right now, as i'm just a few years away from retirement different things have become important to me. being debt free and as healthy as possible are high up on my list. i try to write about what i'm doing in my life so these changes are reflected here. i really don't mean to come off as pompous or an authority on these issues so i apologize for that.

      Delete
    5. Yes, blogs change and bloggers change, too. We all change. And not for the worse :-)
      Lets keep on moving!

      Delete
    6. Anon that doesn't get it: Why don't you just go away if you don't like the changes? I like seeing the grocery tabs. I find this blog very inspiring. Thank you Janet!

      Sue

      Delete
    7. The original comment in this comment thread offers food for thought. Is Orthorexia nervosa known in the States? In Austria and Germany it is becoming an issue.

      Delete
    8. Yes, orthorexia is known here. I think it's a valid conversation, but not one that belongs here. I feel she's made it clear that she's eating this way because she wants to, not that she's terribly afraid to do otherwise. Which brings me to the point of my comment. This blog has mostly been about finding the joy and pleasure in the ordinary *moments* of life. Clearly there has been a shift from vignettes of happiness to her mission to craft peace and satisfaction into the big picture of life. Even if that means she might be a Quaker by next year! What makes this blog so unique is how comprehensive it is in depicting someone's actual style of life. And lastly, while I already have my soapbox out of storage-Janet, I have never ever found you preachy or arrogant.

      Delete
    9. thanks for your kind words stephen. :)
      i had never heard of orthorexia before this comment so i googled. i think this is all part of the natural evolution of changing my diet to vegan. becoming vegan was a big step but one that i found pretty easy, esp over the last few years with all the yummy vegan products that are out there now. in my eyes i'm just simplifying by not using as many processed foods. it doesn't seem that drastic to me. :)

      Delete
    10. In my eyes the disfunction starts when "right" and "wrong" or "good" and "bad" are present all the time when all we want to do is eat ... something. Im my friends eyes I am an orthorexic.
      The more important I find it not to forget the FUN! Look at the paintings from the 16th and 17th century: people celebrating, eating, celebrating life.
      Lately what I get to read about food a lot is how unhealthy most of our food is. This is not fun.
      Speaking of diseases - not just a few commenters mentioned cancer in this thread - the diet is only one part of your health. Emotions play another big role.
      Janet, I am sure you are enjoying your new choices and having fun in the kitchen.
      And I am sure, you only forgot the ";-)" when you wrote this comment:
      "mona i hear you. poor larry! first vegan and now this."

      Delete
    11. i should have put that :) there. larry is really liking the food i've been making btw.

      Delete

  48. WHOLE food, plant/starch based diet is the human diet. Give your body what it needs and wants to thrive. It's not enough to say "I don't eat meat" if you fill your diet with meat replacements and processed junk. Cancer is not something we mysteriously contract, it's the proliferation of good cells gone bad which exist in each of us at all times. The question is will you give your body the tools to kill those cells naturally or will you feed the bad cells with things that help cancer grow? Also, it's not good to focus too much on single nutrients or compounds. Eat a wide variety of organic nutrients in their natural form.

    ReplyDelete
  49. @anymous 1:16 PM--If you don't like what you read here--move on. Who needs to read nasty comments like yours? Not me. Get a life.
    MC

    ReplyDelete
  50. I love Chef AJ !
    Chef AJ has followed a plant-based diet for over 36 years. She is a chef, culinary instructor, professional speaker, and author. With her comedy background, she has made appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, David Letterman, and more.

    In Los Angeles, Chef AJ teaches her popular Intro Class, which includes cooking instruction, nutritional advice, song parodies and flat-out fun.

    She holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University and is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.
    She lost a lot of weight and kept if off.



    you can put this yummy sauce on your greens or rice or potatoes :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5uz-VW ... e=youtu.be

    YUMMY SAUCE
    Ingredients:
    1 x 15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or 1.5 cups of cooked beans)
    Juice and zest of one organic lemon (if the lemon does not yield 1/4 of a cup of juice, then add more lemon juice)
    1/2 cup water
    2 Tablespoons salt-free mustard (I use Westbrae Stoneground)
    3/4 ounce pitted dates (approximately 3 deglet noor dates)
    1 clove garlic

    Preparation:
    Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If you are using a high-powered blender, you can make this sauce warm to serve over rice and veggies. It is also delicious cold massaged into shredded cabbage for "Yummy Slaw".

    Here is what 11-year old Evan from Maryland had to say about it: "It is so good! This recipe is amazing! I love the flavors, especially how it tasted over the veggies". His mother added, "This sauce is insane."
    MC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i will be trying that cheese sauce tonight for tacos.:)

      Delete
  51. So many comments- where do I begin. I guess with your initial question-"You in?" Definitely yes. I've battled cancer and am suspicious of so many things--plastic containers, chemicals and hormones in our food, pesticides. Since my diagnosis two years ago, I have had to learn so much and work at "cleaning" my diet. I haven't achieved vegan status as yet, but am working toward it.

    And as far as finances are concerned, you are so smart to work at paying down debt before retirement. I could use some of that cash now to make retirement living a bit easier. That said, retirement is still pretty great.

    There are tons of style blogs out there, some outstanding and some just odes to excess. Keep doing what you are doing, Janet. You are one of the only ones with style AND substance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kristien you are going to like an upcoming blog post i am planning.:)

      Delete
    2. Looking forward to it as I do all your posts.

      Delete
  52. Janet....I love the changes in your blog. You are so inspiring! I agree with others that if you don't like the new content, move on. Keep doing what you're doing Janet - I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Food is medicine.

    Your body is what you eat.

    You are your thoughts.

    Thoughts can become biology.

    Prevention is the ultimate intervention.

    Healing is different from curing.

    We are all composed of body, mind, emotions & spirit.

    What is good for our health is good for the planet.

    All of life is interconnected.

    Internal peace leads to healing.

    Eat peacefully......don't ingest animal flesh..it's ingesting suffering..keep your insides peaceful.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The most sensible comment that's appeared on this post.

      Delete
    2. I am copying this to use as a peaceful meditation. As Janet said, it is beautiful. "You are your thoughts," and "Thoughts can become biology," really spoke to me.

      Delete
  54. Janet, I like diversity, which keeps it interesting, and consider your blog a tutorial in conscious living!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Whole foods plant-based is supposed to be the healthiest. It is supposed to be normal. Instead, it is viewed as an extreme way of eating that can't possibly be do-able. It is very different for most people, and it takes a while to adjust. Not because it is hard, but because the current norm is so far off from what should be normal. It takes time to amass a set of recipes that fit your budget and your taste buds. It's a try and hit-or-miss kind of thing. Eventually, you have your set of recipes that you can make without looking at a set of instructions. You have your fridge, freezer, pantry stocked with all you need. And you finally get to be normal while everyone around tells you that you are extreme. But guess what; you win !!! Healthy eating is a self-rewarding behavior!

    You don't give up anything good, you only give up the bad stuff. You get to add all the good stuff that your body craves for good health and energy and brain function.

    After 3 1/2 years being vegan this is my new normal. I love my new normal.

    Life is such a precious thing and finding this WOE [ Way Of Eating ] has been such a positive life changer. I thank people like John McDougall, Nathan Pritikin, Caldwell Esselstyn, Dean Ornish and Colin Campbell who had the guts and determination to go against the grain of the medical-pharmaceutical complex to share their truths with us.

    And kudos to you Janet for sharing your way of life and your recipes so generously with all of us.
    MC

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi again!

    the discussions brings one - more - question to my mind: is going "raw vegan" an option for you in the near future?
    In Vienna it became a trend over the past year.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Janet, I just happened upon this post , and I admire your commitment to healthy (mindful ) eating.However I've always
    heard that to absorb the nutrients in a green salad the body needs a little oil - I'm not a dietician so I don't know if that's true..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi jan. i am in the process of getting rid of oil in my diet but that doesn't mean i'm eliminating fat. i think you are correct about the body absorbing more nutrients when there is fat involved. i'm using avocados and nuts for that job. :)

      Delete
    2. Yes - eat avocados and nuts and seeds - you can get all the fat you need from those. Oil is 100% FAT and oil is a processed food! Wasn't the main point of this post to get away from processed foods? Processed foods are killing us!

      Delete
    3. Eating greens with citrus acids - lemon/lime/orange juices or vinegar helps to absorb their iron, I believe.

      Delete
  58. Janet, I just happened upon this post , and I admire your commitment to healthy (mindful ) eating.However I've always
    heard that to absorb the nutrients in a green salad the body needs a little oil - I'm not a dietician so I don't know if that's true..

    ReplyDelete
  59. I am new to your blog and find it so interesting! Within this past week I went back to read through your whole blog from the very beginning. You have inspired me in so many ways. I am in the middle of my Project 333, decluttering my home, stopping shopping, and overhauling my eating habits. (I could only get through a few minutes of the Earthlings trailer) I am not a regular blog follower and it kinda makes me feeling like a stalker! I am looking forward to getting more posts from you and looking at the beautiful photos of your flowers, food, and home. I am never tired of seeing your home! It keeps me focused on someday achieving that simplicity and beauty that you have. Now if only I can get my 19 and 21 year old boys to move out I can get that white couch I've always wanted!
    ~diane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wow, you've been busy diane! getting adult children to move out is quite a daunting tast. lol , take it easy!

      Delete
  60. I find your approach to eating, yoga, gardening, walking, etc. simply peaceful......Why would anyone else even dare to criticize your choice to lead the lifestyle that allows you joy and makes you feel better than ever?.....I often laugh at the number of people who suddenly seem to care how I get my protein, etc. when they never cared before! I think they are uncomfortable with their own eating habits and feel the need to be critical...go for it, girl! I think you've created a wonderful new aspect of your blog and I admire your "change" but truly don't think you've "changed" much at all....you just have a new goal in your life and AWESOME for you!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Janet I really appreciate you and your blog. Thank you for sharing so many insightful tips. I hope you won't view this as a burden or an imposition, but would it require too much work to gather all of your recipes in a recipe or food section? Pea.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Here is what Jeff Novick--RD says about oil:
    ................................

    So, let's look at the impact of even a little oil on a large amount of salad and/or vegetables. Let's use a pound of steamed greens, which, for the record, would be about 3.5 cups ofsteamed kale.

    A pound of steamed kale is 125 calories and is 1.4% saturated fat.

    Adding 1 tsp. of oil would raise the total calories from 125 to 165 and 25% of the calories would now be coming from the oil. In addition, in regard to saturated fat, by adding in the olive oil, the side dish is now 5% saturated fat.

    Adding 2 tsp. of oil would raise the total calories from 125 to 205 and 40% of the calories would now be coming from the oil. In addition, by adding in the olive oil, the side dish is now almost 7% saturated fat.

    Adding 3 tsp. (1 TB) of oil would raise the total calories from 125 to 245 and almost 50% of the calories would now be coming from oil. By just adding 3 tsp. of oil to a pound ofveggies, almost half the calories now come from the oil. In addition, by adding in the olive oil, the side dish is now almost 8% saturated fat.

    In my personal and professional opinion as both a RD, a former chef and a frequent visitor of restaurants, a TB of oil, if not more, is what many people are using (or getting) per typical serving of food/vegetables, which as we can see, can have a huge impact. But, you actually may be betting much more. So, let’s do one more example with 2 TB of oil.

    Adding 6 tsp. (or 2 TB) of oil would raise the total calories from 125 to 365 and 65% of the calories would now be coming from oil. In addition, by adding in the olive oil, the side dish is now 10% saturated fat.

    And this is playing out in homes and restaurants every day under the mistaken guise that oils, like olive oil are healthy for you.

    For example, I was in an Italian restaurant a few weeks ago that is supposed to be known for its "healthy" food. One of the members of the party I was with was trying to order a "heart healthy" meal. She ordered pasta primavera with a plain tomato sauce and specifically requested it be cooked with "as little oil as possible." When the dish came out, there was so much oil in the plate, she asked for a second plate so she could lift out the pasta and veggies from all the oil and put them in a new bowl. After she did this, we looked at the remaining oil in the original plate and there had to be over 1/2 cup if not more, of oil left in the original bowl. A 1/2 cup of oil is the equivalent of 8 tbsp. Imagine the impact this would have had on someone trying to eat "Heart Healthy." Even though she removed the pasta she was going to eat from all this oil, we still have no idea how much oil was still left in the pasta, veggies and sauce.

    Instead of using oil, try sprinkling some balsamic vinegar and/or some lemon juice on your veggies along with some fresh herbs/seasonings. Balsamic vinegar has only about 5 calories per tbsp. and has no saturated fat. It will also add lots of flavor without adding any of the extra calories, fat and saturated fat that is in olive oil.

    This is a real win/win/win.

    It is time to clean up America's dietary oil spill.

    In Health,
    Jeff

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  63. Every time I see something about Clinton or somebody eating "off plan" once a week, I'm reminded of something that Dr. Esselstyn said several years back to the effect of: if you eat something in a restaurant with oil just once a week, you're going to damage your endothelium 52 times a year.

    I always think of that when I'm gazing at a restaurant bun or something else that I'm sure has some oil on it. Somehow once a week doesn't seem so bad until you add it up and realize that you have no idea what the consequences could be after years/decades of this so called moderation.

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  64. Always inspiring Janet! I so agree with the eliminating processed foods and the whole idea of keeping it simple. I must try your recipe for Pecan Truffles. A perfect little snack.
    xo
    annie

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  65. Part of the danger of using oils is that they are often rancid by the time they reach the consumer. Most of us are unable to detect this, couple that with manufacturers that add flavours, colors and even fragrances to the oils and it becomes more challenging. If we were to press our own oils and use the oil right away that would prob be okay for limited use. Pea

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    1. Maybe so Pea-maybe so. If you don't already have heart disease you might be able to use a little oil with no problems. But most people in the USA were raised eating the SAD diet.

      Stress tests don't tell you about the presence of vulnerable plaque.
      Remember Tim Russert ? Jim Fixx ? You are not "heart attack proof" unless your
      cholesterol is below 150. If you grew up eating the SAD diet & are still eating it and you are
      over age 30, you probably have heart disease.

      http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/576251

      MC

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  66. I know this is off topic but I remember you had an issue with the durability of vegan shoes and was wondering if you have ever tried Toms. I wear Toms 95% of the time. They have great arch support. I stick with the basic slip on in navy or gray as those are my base colors. I find they wear pretty well for a canvas shoe and they seem (to me) to be a little more appropriate with skirts than my Vans.

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    1. good to know. my friend swears by her toms too.

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  67. Janet,
    I love the range of topics on your blog because I think you have your priorities straight - friends, family, health, well-being, outdoors, simplifying. So many blogs are focused on excess and more. I find your blog to be refreshing and inspiring and down-to-earth; we all strive to be better, there are obstacles along the way, things we enjoy and don't care to give up, but I don't find you preachy or judgmental. You just try to do your best, share what you have learned and your experiences, and encourage others.

    Thank you, Janet.

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  68. Janet----This is a little off the topic but you are interested in good health, etc..... Have you considered "oil pulling"? Any opinion on it:) thanks

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    1. i have read about it but never tried it. have you?

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    2. No, but I plan to. I am researching where to purchase unrefined unprocessed raw/virgin coconut oil.

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    3. Oil pulling is very, very healthy and brings a nice routine to the morning. Only downside: you can not talk for at least 5 minutes. "Mhm. Mm. Hm. Mmhm?"
      :-)

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  69. Is this a good time to say how much I wish I were more like you ? (much more !! ) x

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    1. thank you sb. and i can same the same about you. :)

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  70. Janet,
    I am a brand new vegan and am inspired daily by you. I was wondering if you consider tofu a whole and simple food?

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    Replies
    1. congratulations! i do think tofu is healthy, make sure you get organic. ;)

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    ReplyDelete
  72. Janet, there is so much pleasure to be found in simplicity. I totally understand streamlining your diet and lifestyle to prepare for retirement. Who wants to retire in the future spending most of their time at a doctors office, or at home because you are too sick to travel? I don't and I know neither do you.

    I changed my diet to Vegan last year, 2 weeks before Thanksgiving and started with a lot of processed Vegan junk to get me over the hump of missing comfort animal based and processed foods. By January I ditched the Vegan processed and fell in love with a whole plant based diet focusing more on fresh fruits, vegetables and a large amount of leafy greens. But I was eating too much raw kale (thyroid issues) so I started cooking most cruciferous veggies and that has worked. My daily eating habits now consist of...a 32 oz breakfast green smoothie packed with a load of healthy stuff and Vitamineral Greens plant protein powder along with 2 frozen bananas and some other fruit: a 27 oz glass of some blend of veggies that I juice several times a week and keep in a gallon glass jug: an extra large salad of dark greens and topped with different veggies; at least one serving of some type of whole grain which is usually Whole Foods fresh baked Fourteener Bread because I cannot throw it out of my life lol(it may be non-vegan but oh well); 16 oz of Yerba Mate or some other herbal tea; one avocado which 1/2 is in my smoothie and the other 1/2 with my salad; 1/4 cup of raw almonds mixed with 1 tbsp of raw pumpkin seeds that I use to make my own fresh almond milk for the smoothie every morning; about 5oz raw coconut water is in the smoothie (I crack 1 coconut open every other day to use for 2 days); and about 3- 24 oz glasses of filtered water with lemon.

    For my salad dressings I squeeze lemons, limes, oranges, blood oranges, tangerines, or some type of citrus fruit over the salad and add 1 tsp of organic balsamic vinegar with a teaspoon of dill weed, a tiny bit of Himalayan pink sea salt and Papaya seeds that I have dried (I use them for my pepper)

    I occasionally will eat some brown rice or brown rice pasta with veggies and some steel-cut oatmeal with fruit, but I a simplified my daily eating habits to a routine that I can do now almost with my eyes closed and I feel so much better eating like this.

    EVERYTHING I buy is organic. I only use organic cold pressed oils on my skin and hair now for my beauty regimens...they work like magic.

    Since I have thyroid issues and am permanently hypo now, I had to see a nutritionist to help me because of 4 years of gaining weight. She is suggested that I increase my fats and proteins a bit by adding more beans, raw nuts, seeds, and avocados. I did and it is working out great. I do soak all of the beans and raw nuts because this makes them better for the digestive system.

    I have realized that the less processed my food is the better I feel. Once I was eating coconut milk yogurt to replace goat yogurt but I even gave that up when I ditched all packaged things made with some type of sugar. I gave up processed sugar.

    Keep up the change because it will bring you joy!

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    1. Very impressed, Elena! Especially with the information on how kale and other foods were impacting your low thyroid. Would be interested to hear what else you have learned regarding nutrition and your thryroid.

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  73. whoa thanks elena for sharing all this. there is so many great tips packed into this! yes, i will keep it up b/c i already feel so much better. thanks for the inspiration!

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  74. Hi Janet,
    I haven't yet read through all 193 (!) comments but I just wanted to say that I have also been re-evaluating my eating habits. My diet has been mostly plants for decades; but after reading The China Study and doing some additional research, I now realize that I need to take it to the next level if I truly want to reap the benefits of a plant-based diet. (I could not believe the energy surge I got when I drank my first green smoothie!)

    I'm also working on minimizing my non-food expenses in order to be able to retire early. So I'm enjoying your posts on living more simply while maintaining beautiful surroundings.

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  75. Hi Janet! Have you altered your homemade bread recipe or have you given it up while simplifying? Thanks ~ Catherine

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  76. hi catherine, it's so funny you ask that this morning b/c i just took my bread out of the oven. right now i'm using 2 parts whole wheat flour and 1 part spelt. i'm adding 1 t of salt instead of the 2. i can't imagine ever giving up this bread!

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    1. Lol! My mother and my sister swear that I have ESP! I thought you might find a way to make it even healthier. Thanks for sharing!




































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  77. Janet - You are definitely an inspiration. Thanks for posting your eating plans and recipes so those of us who are interested can start improving our health too.

    I've incorporated the plan you shared in this post into my menu planning for next week. I always track in MyFitFoods which provides an overview of the calories, carbs, protein, fats, sugars and sodium. I noticed that your menu falls in the VLC range and was curious if you are purposefully going the very low calorie route or if there are some other snacks or additions you might have during the day that bring you over 1000 calories.

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    1. thank you little edie. wow, that's interesting to know about the VLC range. I suppose that food in its natural state is just lower calorie than processed. i'm not trying to lose weight at all! i've read that i can eat all fresh food i want, eat til i'm full - which is what i've been doing. i have not lost any weight at all, so maybe it's about portion size? i'm not sure.

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