Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I'm thankful for my husband who cautiously gave me "Eat to Live" for Valentines Day and sincerely asked me to read and follow the book for 6 weeks. It takes a strong (or clueless) man to give his wife a diet book on Valentine's Day. But it ended up being a wonderfully romantic gesture of love as our lives have changed so much for the better.

I'm thankful for friends who have encouraged me, taught me to run, made me go to the Y, shared fabulous recipes and food ideas, and patted me on the back. I truely am blessed with dear friends.

I'm thankful for children, sisters, and a mom who changed over to a plant based diet - making my change all the more exciting and fulfilling. And I am thankful that they are proud of me. Again, I am so blessed.

I'm very thankful for every single comment on this blog. Thank You.

And, finally, after years of complaining and wondering what was wrong with me, I can happily say I am thankful for a wonderful body that has energy, works hard, wakes up early, thinks clearly, and feels great!

Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Love Your Food and Your Food Will Love You

Sometimes I can talk Roland into inviting a work associate (friend? peer? dude?)  home for dinner. This week was one of those times. Roland has been telling me how awesome this guy is for months now.

Prasad Kaipa. He works with Roland as a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership. He is also a professor at the Indian School of Business, and does Executive Coaching. He is a good photographer. He has a lovely wife and 2 beautiful children. And to my great pleasure he is a wonderful conversationalist who isn't at all afraid to talk talk talk. We talked about lots of interesting things but I want to share with you our conversation about food.

He is vegetarian and so he appreciated my meal of vegan lasagna, fresh baked french bread, big green salad, and apple sauce. We talked about how after a meal like that you feel satisfied but light. He told us that you must love your food and treat it with respect and care. He said when we eat the food meets 3 main needs: 1) emotional/spiritual edification, 2) physical/nutritional rejuvenation, 3) the elimination of that which is not of use. He said when we carefully prepare and consume our food with love it does a better job of meeting all 3 needs.

Eat with love.

I think this is why a bowl of watermelon is so much more satisfying than a bowl of cold cereal. And imagine the satisfaction emotionally and nutritionally of eating a watermelon you have grown and nurtured with tenderness.

He encouraged me to read a book called Messages from Water written by a Japanese researcher who studied the effects of music and words on the growth of water crystals. It is on my reading list.

He told us that 30 years ago only 20% of people in India ate meat and today 70% of people eat meat causing a huge spike in diet related illness in India. It's because they are adopting the standard American diet.

We talked about lots of other amazing things. I wish you all could have joined us. When he finally left Ike said he was a pretty cool guy. High praise from a 14 year old!

Links to Prasad:

Monday, November 15, 2010


I took a quick trip to Salt Lake City this weekend and put my daughter in charge of the restaurant choices. First we were going to eat at a raw food restaurant called "Omar's" (follow that link - it is an awesome web site) but they were closed. So we went to a vegetarian restaurant called "Sage".  The restaurant was actually vegan, it didn't say it was vegan, but I couldn't find single animal product on the menu.

We ordered and I had a whole grain crepe filled with pesto roasted veggies. Hannah had a colorful pile of steamed veggies with a delicious sauce topped with a nut burger. We ordered a side of mushroom escargot and carrot pate. SO GOOD. I am filled with regret that I didn't take pictures of our lovely food! For dinner we ate Indian food - The Indian Oven in Logan. You can always eat healthy at an Indian restaurant - except it was probably pretty high in fat. We ordered stuffed nan and an ugly spinach potato dish "Saag Aloo" that was ugly. Did I mention how ugly? But it was delicious. Lick the bowl delicious.

If you live near a big city (and even in a small one like Boise) you can probably find a delicious vegetarian restaurant or a restaurant that serves vegetarian food. Next time you want to go out for dinner skip Red Robin and be adventurous. If you aren't sure what to order, ask the staff - tell them you are new to this kind of food and unsure what you would like. They want you to have a great experience, veg heads love new converts, and will steer you in the right direction. And if you mention that you are eating vegan style they are more than willing to accommodate you.

The vibe in a vegetarian restaurant is laid back - easy - healthy. You leave feeling refreshed and nourished rather than full and tired.

Not sure how to find a vegetarian restaurant? Here are a few links that might help: - choose your city and search for vegetarian restaurants

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oh! The Weather Outside is Frightful!

It's cold and snowy.

The cold snow makes me want to bake and use ingredients like butter and caramel. But I feel blah after eating that kind of food and I want to keep eating healthy, especially as the holidays approach, I want to feel great!  So what to do when the comfort cooking urge hits? Put on some good music - right now I am liking "Lower Lights" an old timey hymn revival that you can really sing along to - and make rustic apple sauce.

It makes the whole house smell wonderful and satisfies that comfort baking/cooking/eating urge!

I had rome apples that were on the mushy side - perfect for:

Rustic Applesauce

  • 8-10 large apples - peel them (don't worry if it's not perfect) and quarter them 
  • Put apples in pot with 1/2 cup water (add more if needed)
  • Add cinnamon and nutmeg to taste 
  • Simmer (with a lid) until the apples are done. 
  • Break them up with a spoon into bite-sized pieces. 
  • Serve them hot. 

I had them for dessert and then again for breakfast and then as a mid afternoon snack.

Here is another apple idea:
I had a gallon of cider and boiled 2 quarts of it down into a thick syrup. It was so sweet and strongly apple flavored. I added 2 tablespoons of the apple cider syrup to the applesauce and it was wonderful. I also used it to flavor a sugar free apple pie I made last week.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

3 Meals In 1

I find this diet to be pretty heavy in the food prep department. Because of that I end up eating fruit and vegetables in their raw natural state a lot of the time. But I love to cook and have found that my cooking skills are getting better on this diet. Here is a recipe I made up this week that made 3 delicious meals!

It all started with roasted vegetables that was a meal in itself. Then I made a salad and a soup! 2 more meals!

Meal # 1
Roasted Veggies - I could eat this every week, all winter.

Not my picture. I usually forget to use the camera while I am cooking. I'll try to do better.

You want to make a lot of this so you have left overs for the other meals.
On a lightly oiled cookie sheet with a lip add:

Large Butternut squash (peel with peeler and slice into 1.5 inch cubes)
2 onions (peeled and quartered)
Lots of baby potatoes (don't peel, dont usually need to be cut as they are already small)
Garlic cloves
Carrots - lots
Any other veggies you have on hand (I included Parsnips (GOOD!) and brussell sprouts)

Toss with olive oil (I used a very very small amount - like 1 Tablespoon) and course salt and pepper. (I was very light on the salt - 1/2 t)

Roast at 425 for 30 minutes or until tender.  I roasted each vegetable in their own side of the pan and didn't mix them all together. When you serve it put the veggies all on a large platter but don't mix them together. Let them touch but keep them with their own kind. It looks rich and fancy that way. Serve with balsamic vinegar for dipping, salad and rustic bread. I served applesauce too.

Meal #2
Roasted Veggie Salad - there is something so yummy about the potato in this salad!

Mixed greens
cold roasted potatoes, brussel sprouts, butternut cut into bite sized pieces
sliced apple
toasted walnut
Balsamic vinegar (Amy's Green Goddess dressing is quite good here too)

Serve with toasted pitas and hummus

Meal #3

Butternut "Sausage" Soup - this was my favorite meal of all!

In a soup pot warm:

 4 cups vegetable broth
left over butternut, potato, parsnips, carrot, onion and garlic (about 4 cups worth)

When warm blend in smaller batches until smooth. Return to soup pot and bring to almost a simmer. While it is heating, microwave 3-4 MorningStar Sausage patties (if you have meat lovers in the house maybe add an extra patty or 2) until they are warm. Break them up into small pieces and add to butternut soup. Serve hot with leftover roasted brussel sprouts and toasted whole grain bread for dipping.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Do It To Feel It

Recently I was talking to a friend who felt like she should serve a religious mission. She shared with me how she felt like she should do it but she didn't feel "inspired" about it. She wasn't brimming with enthusiasm about the mission. Then she said once she started preparing, setting doctor appointments, interviews with her Bishop, and filling out the paperwork she started to feel it. She said,   

"Sometimes the feeling only comes after you do it. 
You have to do it to feel it."

Pretty smart for a 22 year old woman.

She is right. And I think it applies to taking care of our health. If you wait until something external motivates you it may be too late. But if you tell yourself that you want a healthy body, even if it means no more sour cream dip, fudge, or potato chips, and you start to do it, you will feel it. It is a positive cycle that takes on a life of it's own.

For those of you who are waiting for that big flash of inspiration I say:

You have to do it to feel it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

For Newbies

I've been getting quite a lot of email about our success on this plant based diet. I suggest that if you are truly interested in changing your health you read the book "The China Study". It will answer your questions. Another great book is "Eat to Live" (but the recipes in the older book aren't so good).

Also, I've added something new to my sidebar. It is a list of my selected posts, starting from the beginning, that have good information about this diet works (don't care for the word "diet" but that is what it is). If you are thinking about making big changes some of those posts might be interesting. Of course, I think every post on this site is amazing and you should read them all while you eat a green smoothie and some freshly picked apples.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Olympic Training Center

Roland and I got to hang out at the OTC (that's what we insiders call it) last week. He was speaking to a group and I went along to help him. What an inspiring place! We were surrounded by art work, sculptures, flags, murals and installations that celebrated being the very best in the world.

We ate lunch with the athletes in their dining hall. They pretty much ignored us.

Next week we get to go back and speak to another group. Can't wait!