Monday, September 26, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


This has to be the best time of year! My kitchen is full of fresh local produce. I am very happy about this.

I tried this recipe online and it turned out great. (here is the recipe) This is not completely vegan - I did use a little parmesan. And also olive oil. But oh. It was so yummy and healthy! I think I will make it again this week! This would be a good dish to make in advance and use your oven's time bake feature. It smells wonderful when you come home after a busy day to the smell of a hot meal! Here is my variation of the recipe:

Pesto Potato, Tomato, Zucchini Bake

Saute until olives are tender:
  • Small splash of olive oil (optional)
  • sliced onion - small
To make pesto process the following:
  • large handful of fresh basil (from my garden!)
  • large handful of spinach
  • 1/4 c of pinenuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • water - enough to make it smooth
Spread the pesto in bottom of pan - reserving 1/4 cup)
Top with sautéed onions

Layer sliced tomatoes, potatoes (sweet red ones are great) and zucchini (I used yellow and green) over the sautéed onions.

Spread the rest of the pesto on top of the layered veggies, sprinkle lightly with Parmesan, salt and pepper (I didn't use any salt), and pinenuts. Cover and bake at 375 for 1 hour (or more) until tender remove cover and bake 20 minutes more.

Serve with fresh melon and a quinoa salad. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I went to the Dr this week and she told me I am peri-menopausal. I was disappointed. I wanted to be in menopause and just get this whole thing over. But she said this could go on for 10 more years. I skipped my period in July (yes, I bough a pregnancy test, yes it freaked me out) and so I was hoping I was all done!

My mom had her hysterectomy when she was about my age, 47, but the Dr said because it was a hysterectomy we don't know at what age she actually stopped menstruating so I could last a long time.

She also said that changing my diet and lifestyle was awesome and most likely will help me avoid lots of the unpleasant parts of menopause (hot flashes, emotional ups and downs, foggy thinking, irritability, aches and pains). She was surprised and thrilled for me when i told her I rarely have hot flashes (maybe 8 in the last 6 years). The only hot flash I had since we started ETL last year was at Christmas (hello sugar!) and she agreed that a poor diet increases hot flashes.

I can't imagine how terrible I would feel right now if I hadn't changed the way I eat! Most recently I quit the sugar (again). No sugar for a week now. I don't even think about sugar now. I do have to be careful with the peanut butter (I feel great affection for p-nut butter) and bananas. I have been eating lots of fresh peaches - ahhh. so good.

anyways, the Dr cheered me on and told me she was proud of me. As she left the room she said, "I can't tell you how wonderful it is that you have made such a huge change! You have really made your life better. Good luck! Keep it up!" it was super satisfying. Later I heard her consulting with a patient in the hallway and tell her to eat more leafy dark greens. :)

I get my blood/urine test results back this week and I am looking forward to seeing the changes and also wondering what my B12 results will look like because I have been kind of tired.

The End.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

5 Days A Week

I set a goal this week to attend 5 classes at our gym. Today is day 2 and so far, 2 classes done! Yesterday was yoga and it left me a little sore but not miserable. Today I did the barbell class where I learned how to do the clean and jerk just like you see on the Olympics! Well, ok, I probably didn't look Olympic-like mostly because my barbell weighed a massive 9 lbs. But I can tell I am going to be sore tomorrow. Really sore.

The ladies in the classes are friendly and nice (and use MUCH heavier weights), quick to introduce themselves and say a few encouraging words when I tell them it is my first time in the class. Some even invited me back to the next class and I am totally accepting that invitation.

I have a theory that exercise makes it easier to eat healthy. People say it is because they don't want to eat junk after working so hard, but I think it is because of the good endorphins released. I just feel happier and more in control after I exercise.

Tomorrow I plan to go to a Zumba class, it will leave me all sweaty for a meeting, but that's ok. Right? I'm also considering a spinning class. I went spinning years ago and didn't like it, but Kelly tells me I should go and she is usually right.

I think I will sleep well tonight!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Starting the UP

via pinterest

Ups and Downs.

When I started the healthy plant based diet last year I worried that like any diet, career, relationship, long term commitment, I would have ups and downs. But after 4 months I believed I would only have ups! I felt so great and only wanted super healthy food and I was sure I would never be tempted by food again! It was a glorious feeling. Definitely the highest up of the whole life style change experience. Then slowly, quietly, almost invisibly, I started flirting with sugar and that led to the up and down part of the experience. I was a little embarrassed to admit it on this blog. But my goal with this blog was to be real about the whole experience and being real includes the parts where it didn't go as well as I wanted it to.

I dusted off the key board, thought long and hard about what has happened, and realised that I am happier when I take care of myself and feed myself the good stuff. So. I am back. You know how when you make a decision to do something and you can tell that it is going to really happen? That's where I am!

After a summer filled with local and international travel I am finally home to stay, at least until Thursday when I will be in LA for the day, but otherwise I am HOME TO STAY for 6 weeks. And guess what? 6 weeks is how long Phase One of Eat to Live lasts. Coincidence? I think not!

I went to the farmer's market on Saturday and loaded up on fresh local veggies. Breakfast was a green smoothie (with beet greens and carrots and the usual stuff) and a small bowl of garbanzo beans (hey, I like them. A lot.) and there is a huge salad on the menu for lunch and tonight we are having burritos, roasted green beans and beets, and local sugar baby watermelon (it really is amazing that anyone can grow anything here).

Oh, and I am SO glad that I started last year. SO thankful. SO filled with gratitude for all those wonderful people who encouraged me and nudged me along.

Are you ready for this up?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hot Yoga

Have you done hot yoga? Sounds like a terrible idea. I went to my first hot yoga class today. It was hot. Michelle, my running coach (she likes when I call her that) taught the class and it was amazing! I was amazing because I went to the class but I was not amazing in the class. Apparently everyone in the class can balance on their pinky toe. It was quite a talented group of very fit ladies.

I was inspired! I want to get good at yoga! So I will start going regularly (but maybe to a few classes that aren't so advanced) and build up to Michelle's class.

Hot Yoga seems like a terrible idea but it really is nice! Even in the summer but I think it would be especially nice in the winter. My goal, when I am back in town, is to go to the club 5 days a week and do exercise that won't hurt my foot: yoga, spinning, swimming...hmmm, what else?

I need to start posting regularly. After my upcoming trip I will start posting more consistently. I promise.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Joy Of Eating Clean!

It's just so awesome that summer is here! So many lovely things to eat. I look back at the bleak months of winter and how oranges were really the only treat that was in season. Now, there is so much to eat!

What I Ate Today:

Breakfast: Big fat bowl of watermelon before I gardened for 2 hours
Snack: Large (20 oz) green smoothie with lots of frozen blueberries
Lunch: Gabe's delicious veggie curry with garbonzo beans and wild rice
Snack: more smoothie (leftovers) and small handful of corn chips and large bowl of watermelon
Dinner: Large green salad with roasted veggies and hummus

For dessert: Strawberries and blue berries

Those green smoothies are like caffeine for me. They just power me up. I have been so super productive today, checking things off my list that have been there for weeks.

And I feel fabulous! This is the cleanest eating day I have had in months! WOW! I feel great! Exclamation Points!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Corndog Super Power

"If I could have any super power I would be able to shoot corndogs out my wrist, fully cooked, with mustard. Awesome!" - Ike, age 14 after his first corndog for a long long time.

You may wonder, is that why Robin hasn't posted for 7 weeks? Has she been on that new corndog/twinkie/county fair diet? Of course not. I've been around, eating my veggies and fruits and nuts and beans and seeds and grains. Lots of grains. Probably too many grains. And maybe too much fat and sugar. But I am back from my blogcation and ready to share with you all the enthusiasm I can muster up!

Roland and I hit the very first farmer's market this week and brought home a cooler filled with garlic scapes, spinach, baby greens, bok choy, head lettuce (a little bitter - but it will do), sweet peas, kale, and freshly laid eggs. Today I made a huge breakfast fruit salad with watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, and blue berries. Our 21 year old son is living at home with us and between him, Ike, and Roland you have to fight for the fruit! And the avocados!

Here is a delicious summer dinner for you:

Grilled veggies kabobs, fruit salad, green salad, roasted sweet potato fries, and grilled pineapple for dessert.

Here are all the kabobs waiting to be grilled. We fed 9 people with these delicious beauties.  My sisters helped make them:

These are  (some of) my sisters - they are both eating a plant diet and you will notice how cute and healthy they are! Bright sparkling eyes and vigorous health comes from all that spinach and kale!

Monday, May 2, 2011

One Last Gasp of Winter

It is snowing today. 


This is probably my favorite go to meal in cold weather and while I realize that most of you are basking spring sunshine I still have to share this meal.

If you've been here before you will know that I have posted several variations of this already but it never gets old and it is super easy.

Saute: (in lightly sprayed pan)
green pepper
4 leaves of kale stemmed and chopped fine

1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans (or what ever bean you have handy)
1 large can diced tomatoes (toss in some fresh ones too if you have them)
water as needed

Season to taste:
Chili powder
roasted paprika powder
balsamic vinegar
green onion

Serve with sliced avocado and limes. So good. My boys like to crumble tortilla chips on top and I like mine with lots of avocado.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Knowledge is Power

Through the nutritarian way of eating I've been able to kick my addiction to caffeine, dairy, and meat. But my addiction to sugar keeps raising it's ugly head. I've found that if I have absolutely no sugar for 5 or more days I completely lose my taste for sugar and a taste of sugary food turns me off. I much prefer fruit over sugary treats. But once I let myself have more than a few tastes I quickly spiral into cravings for sugar and it is super addictive.

So how do we get those cravings under control? I believe it comes down to 3 things Knowledge, Power, and Self Respect. 

When you experience a craving and you are in the middle of the overwhelming need to satisfy that craving it feels impossible to be rational about the craving. That's where KNOWLEDGE comes into play. Once you understand why you are experiencing cravings then you have the POWER to control that craving (in my experience it takes about 2 days to stop craving) until the craving is gone. Then you have the SELF RESPECT to care for your body and never subject it to that craving again. This creates a positive cycle that makes you feel wonderful!

Here is a wonderful video to help you get the knowledge you need to kick that sugar craving. Yes, it is 1 1/2 hours long and life is short but I think it is well worth your time to watch this video - or play it while you do some mindless task.

Thanks to my sister, Emily, for this link!

What has helped you kick your sugar addiction?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Headline: 14 Boy Craves Fruit! (experts baffled)

It's true! When we got home from our travels we picked up Ike and I thought he would be happy to see me but he seemed more excited about the bowl of cantaloupe in the fridge! Turns out that he missed all the fruits and veggies we eat around here. I was delighted! He didn't miss the green smoothies, because I make them really green, but after 2 weeks of no smoothies he can feel the difference the difference they make and now eats them without complaint.
Ike - making his messy Green Smoothie Face.

Yes, I did say "eat" the smoothie rather than "drink". That's because my smoothies are really green with nearly a pound of spinach and 5 - 7 leaves of kale, making about 3 servings of thick smoothie.

Ike also bragged to me that in his health class the teacher asked who gets more than 3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and Ike was the only one. And I will brag to you and tell you that at the allergist's appointment yesterday his symptoms were much improved (and this is high pollen count time) and his eczema is almost completely gone! The doctor asked what he thought the difference was and Ike said, "I eat better than I use to" and then went on to tell the doctor that he doesn't really like meat!

I was so proud.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Eating in Europe Report

Roland and I just got back from a trip to Brussels and Berlin. I blogged the details about it on my other blog but I was thinking about you while I was traveling and took pictures of some of my favorite meals.

Before we left I researched vegan/vegetarian restaurants on the Happy Cow website and found lots of great options for dinner. I found that in most cases the vegetarian restaurants are hip and cutting edge with food and the presentation of the food. Whenever I saw the words "Biologisch" and/or "Vegetarisch" I knew I was in for a delicious healthy meal.

I also found that most non-vegetarian restaurants had creative and satisfying options for vegetarians but they were loaded with fat and it was difficult to eat vegan. And then of course I had to try the Belgian Waffles and the German Strudel and the chocolate. That sweet tooth has a hold on me.

So many chocolate stores.

Roland said the only disappointing meal he had was a business dinner at a fancy underground restaurant in Berlin that was famous for their meat. He requested a vegetarian meal and received a plate of steamed veggies. Bummer. I think that was the night I ate at an organic vegan Indian restaurant - divine.

Of course, when I get around really good food I forget about my camera, and the last thing I want to do is stop eating and take a picture. But then Roland would say, "Hey, don't you want to blog about this?" and so what you will see are pictures of half eaten food, so you may not see how fabulous it looked before I attacked it.

 Lunch in Berlin at the Super Good Vegetarian Restaurant. Polenta fries with a savory dipping sauce.

 Super Good  again - My basil and tomato sandwich and Roland's Veggie Burger. Roland also had a mushroom soup that was fabulous.

 Breakfast at the Reichstag Parliament building. The only way I could get into the building was with a reservation at this restaurant. It was pretty fancy and I could totally visualize world leaders eating this excellent food. In Berlin the breakfasts like this were called "Fit for the Day" breakfasts.  I ordered them several times.

 Close up of the Reichstag breakfast: I ate the green breakfast salad so fast (see the balsamic dressing on the left side of the plate) that I forgot the camera. The red cup on the left is a very loose yogurt with a tart fruit sauce, the spelt crepes were filled with zucchini and green onion and drizzled with a balsamic reduction, a little cottage cheese with herbs, a honey pot for sweetening as needed, a fresh fruit salad, and what you can't see is peppermint tea and freshly juiced carrot/apple juice (they make the juice right there where you can watch). And bread, lots of bread with nuts and herbs. Excellent breakfast.

 Potsdam Lunch at Cafe KeiselStein - so fresh and satisfying. This tomato soup and chamomile tea hit the spot on a cold rainy day.

 Cafe KieselStein again - My lunch of crepes filled with leeks, zucchini, and white asparagus and a side of very fresh salad with a lemon mustard dressing (I am salivating as I type this).

Cafe KieselStein again - Roland's lunch of falafel, hummus, bean salad (huge beans!), grilled eggplant, salad (and one of my crepes - we share).

The charming street in Brussels where we had our first night dinner of salad, pasta, and vegetarian pizza with pesto sauce. And bread, lots of bread. I'm still coming off all the bread we ate. Oh, it was worth it.

I found that it was much easier to eat healthy vegan in Beijing. In Brussels and Berlin there was always butter, cheese, and bread at every meal and I was usually very hungry so it was hard to resist! In Beijing it was vegan - all the time!

Recovering from jet lag is so much easier when you are eating healthy. When we went to France I was eating the SAD diet and I remember how terrible I felt the entire time! This diet kept me cheerful and energetic and forced me to find some awesome restaurants that are off the beaten track.

It was a great trip but I was so happy to get home to my Green Smoothies! And I am looking forward to re-creating some of these meals here at home.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Food As Medicine

Probably one of the most amazing changes that we experienced when we switched from the SAD (standard American diet) to a nutritarian style of eating was the nearly immediate improvement in annoying on-going health issues such as allergies, colds, fatigue, aches and pains, high cholesterol and of course the obvious weight loss. My mom reported that her arthritis improved dramatically and she went off most her pain killers and cholesterol meds.

It really is amazing and you have to wonder why doctor's aren't recommending this to all their patients.

Here is a fascinating article about being obese in America and how one woman saved her own life. It really is worth reading.

Being Fat in America

Thanks to Sharon for sharing the link.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Vegan Bragging

We just spent 5 days with our 3 college kids (report here). They are darling and they are all taking good care of themselves. It was quite satisfying as they each complimented us on our healthy eating style and told us how they brag to their friends that we are vegans. We are not vegan. Vegetarian, yes. But not vegan. I would say vegan-ish. We mostly eat vegan but occasionally something will have egg in it or a bit of cheese and I will eat it.

We ate at lots of yummy healthy restaurants - college towns are famous for healthy trendy restaurants - and were treated to a few delicious healthy homemade meals. One thing that I am going to make is sweet potato hash browns: 

We ate quite a bit before I decided to snap a photo. Sweet potatoes, onion, and green pepper. Delicious. This was the same breakfast where I ordered the vegetable medley: 
It came with 2 vegan sausage patties and the sauce on this veggie dish was warm and comforting. I could taste a bit of cumin. It was a wonderful way to start the day and kept me full for a long time!

Here is a joke my son Gabe told me:

How can you tell if someone is vegan?
Don't worry, they will tell you.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Normal Dinner

During dinner the other night Roland asked me what I thought about the way we eat now. I looked at our meal of steamed broccoli, green salad, and Garbonzo Delight and laughed.

"You mean, the fact that this is a normal meal now?" I asked.
"Yes." - Roland
"I think its great that this is normal. No cheese, no meat, no sugar, and we are happy and satisfied at the end of the meal. We don't even think about it anymore." - Me
"I think it is great too." - Roland
"We have changed our lives for the next 40+ years! Oh, the adventures we will have!" - Robin
Roland nodded his head because his mouth was full. :)

You can see why I haven't written a book. My dialogue is not very interesting.

Anyways - I realised this at the grocery store the other day when I had to leave the produce department for bag of brown sugar. How long had it been since I was in the baking isle? A long time. I realised that this lifestyle is normal now. We no longer think about it - well, okay, we do think about it and talk about it (and I even blog about it!) but only because we are so happy and pleased with ourselves for having tried it and we like to pat each other on the back and tell each other how great we are.

Its very satisfying.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Garbonzo Delight

How does one name a recipe? I am tempted to put my name on every single recipe: Robin's Soup, Robin's Salad, Robin's Dessert. But it seems a little obnoxious and not very informative.

Here is our latest invention. I got the idea from watching Good Eats when he had a special on chickpeas (garbonzo beans). Ike thought it looked like a good treat and begged me to make it. It can be served warm as a main dish or cold as a salad (I had a bunch for lunch yesterday with an orange on the side). It's a little salty because of the olives and artichokes and peppers. And it is not low fat - feel free to eat it with balsamic vinegar instead. We named it Garbonzo Delight. (Tempted to call it Delightful Robin's Garbonzos!  but that sounds like I am describing something else...)

Garbonzo Delight

  • 3 cups chickpeas - cooked or from a can (Here are directions on how to cook them)
  • 1 medium zucchini - thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 1 leaf kale finely chopped
  • 5 artichoke hearts (packed in water) - roughly chopped
  • 4 pepperochinis - thinly sliced
  • 10 olives (your choice) sliced
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced


  • 3 T Veganaise
  • 1 T vinegar
  • 2 t dijon mustard
  • dash garlic powder
  • dash oregano

Mix the dressing and pour over ingredients. Mix and serve!

I made this with freshly cooked chick peas and served it hot. Oh! It was good. Because I doubled the recipe I have had it for lunch for 2 days.  I think it would be good with feta if you eat cheese. Also - perhaps a few pine nuts sprinkled on top!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Planter Fasciitis

Didn't the title of this post get you all excited!? Were you asking yourself, "Oh my! What could this be about? Looks super interesting!" 

Over on my other blog I posted about falling down due to my planter fasciitis. I have been complaining about here too and many of you have told me that you suffer the same pain.

Its so much easier to eat healthy when you can exercise and PF stops me dead in my tracks. But I have found a website full of PF exercises and have been doing them for 2 days now and I am starting to feel a little bit better!

For your PF pain here is the link: Heel That Pain!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Oatmeal and stuff

Some of you are experiencing spring right now. Here in the frozen tundra of Colorado we won't warm up until sometime in August and then a week later we'll have a blizzard. Not kidding.

So a warm breakfast is a must have for most of the year. My current favorite is oatmeal. Oatmeal lasts for hours - eat a bowl of oatmeal with a green smoothie and you won't even think about food for at least 4 hours. I use Coach's Oats (at Costco) with a dash of cinnamon topped off with a few crushed pecans (you can crush them right in your hand). Ike likes brown sugar on his but I am trying to transition him to honey. He is being a little stubborn about it. It isn't as easy as switching him to almond milk or whole wheat pasta. Roland is just happy to have a warm meal in his own kitchen. He travels too much.

He just got back from a trip to India and Singapore for 10 days - by the time he got home he had no idea what day or time it was. But thanks to his healthy eating ways he recovered quickly and reports that he didn't gain a pound. Yay!

Last night for dinner I whipped up an easy meal of spaghetti and salad.

Super Quick Easy Spaghetti Dinner :
Saute up 1 lb sliced mushrooms until they begin to brown. Toss in 3 leaves of kale (stemmed and finely chopped), add 2 patties of vegan sausage (morningstar is my fav) - crumbled, pour 1 small jar of Classico spaghetti sauce over all and heat until bubbly. Serve over whole spaghetti with a large dark green salad. 
Serve fresh pineapple for dessert! 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Smoothie Virgin

I've been distracted from the blog by work and by my master bedroom. I am redecorating and want it over quickly so all my spare time goes to the bedroom.

Ike has a friend staying with us this week (his parents are on a cruise) and all week long we have been gently teasing him about drinking a smoothie. Hey, he has been eating tons of vegetables, including brussel spouts, and vegan tacos and spaghetti and enjoying it all, so a smoothie is no big deal, right?

So, this morning I made a very mild smoothie with a banana, pear, apple 1 1/2 cup almond milk, 3 T flax seed, 1 cup frozen blue berries, and only 2 handfuls of spinach - it was one of the sweetest smoothies I have made.  I poured him a very small cup and he announced he would drink it. We were silent as he bravely took his first sip, made a face, and said it smelled like pumpkin and not in a good way. A bad pumpkin way. He tried to gag down the rest and I told him to not worry about it and eat his mango and vegan sausage instead. I was proud of him for trying.

I think Ike was proud of himself. He drinks a big, thick, dark green smoothie every morning. Its not his favorite thing to do, but he does it, and now I think he is proud of himself for being so tough every morning.

If green smoothies were pink everyone would like them.

I love them.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Junky Vegan

Oh! It feels so good to eat clean!

I have been a bit of a junky vegan lately. I've been vegan - but in a corn chip, Dr. Pepper, licorice kind of way. I blame it on the funeral and think it is a good blame. But I'm over that now and right back to Nutritarian Woman ( Ta Da!)!!!

What I ate yesterday:

  • Big old green smoothie
  • orange
  • Huge salad
  • leftover French Lentil Soup (I heart leftovers)
  • Banana
  • Hummus (lots) and cucumber
  • Apple
  • Quinoa Coconut Curry! (my own invention)
  • Pero

I was really hungry last night and not sure what I wanted. This is what I did (so yummy):
You can find this at the supermarket. My son, Gabe, told me about it. Good Stuff.

Robin's Super Simple Easy Quinoa Coconut Curry!

Spray pan with Pam. Saute 1 cup chopped onion and one chopped red pepper until tender. Add 1 cup light coconut milk (from a can), 1 1/2 teaspoon green curry paste, 1 cup peas, and 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa and stir until peas are tender/sweet. Try not to eat it all at once.

Ike even liked it.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I am the Unicorn

I feel like the unicorn after I exercise. And it is so much easier to eat well when you are moving your body! On Monday we joined Lifetime Fitness (tell them I recommended you so I can get more bonus bucks for training!). It doesn't open until May - but I am walk/running now. Still fighting with my feet about feeling good and trying to decide if I should just exercise through the pain or take it easy.

It's nice that the granny orthodics that go in my shoes make me look an inch taller. 
Yay for looking tall!

Dinner last night was French Lentil Soup. Recipe here.  I added avocado, of course. 

Champagne Mangoes are in at Costco - not organic at all - but oh so wonderful!

Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm Back! With lots of oranges.

So I took a week off the blog and now I have lots of exciting things I want to blog about. You should be gorging on citrus right now. I know we all miss watermelon and real tomatoes, but mother nature planned it so you can love citrus exclusively, not being distracted by cantalope or peaches.

I usually just peel an orange and eat it like candy. I used to smother my grapefruit with powered sugar but now I eat it straight or eat it mixed with orange. I can eat a pretty big bowl of this in one day. It makes me feel sunny and cheerful.

Here is a fun video on how to peel citrus. I don't cut out the segments - I just peel and chop. Make sure you use a freshly sharpened knive.

I got this one at Walmart 3 years ago for $30 and I use it on the JAHenkles knives we got as a wedding present 27 years ago - and it works great! A must have if you are constantly chopping up plants to eat.

Monday, February 21, 2011

When Things Don't Go The Way You Planned

Things don't always go the way you planned. When things don't go the way I've planned I feel disappointed. And, like many of you, I am an emotional eater.

Roland's father passed away on Friday and although we are happy that he is with his dear sweet Betty we feel sorry for our loss and are flooded with a large range of emotions. I have found that I want sugar very much. But I know it will make me feel sick and it will fuel a greater need for sugar.

In times of mourning it is important to be kind to yourself. This is not the time to fight the big battle. So, I am being kind to myself with food. Really kind. I'm being my own best friend to make sure I feel good. Rather than fight that sugar urge I am giving in with fruit and it works! It works much better than chocolate or Krispy Kreme! After eating a orange I feel refreshed and calm. After eating pineapple I feel clean and sunny! When have you ever felt refreshed, engergized, and clean after gorging on junk food? Never.

I'd rather go into this week of mourning/celebration of life feeling fresh and capable than feeling exhausted and distracted by cravings.


Week one of the 6 week committment = 5 lbs lost! Yay!

Friday, February 18, 2011


I'm not much for fake meat and my friend Angie warns me against too much soy. But this recipe is really good.
This meatloaf with a big green salad, and oven "fried" potatoes = real comfort food.

The only thing I did differently to the recipe was to mix the ketchup with some Braggs liquid aminos, some spicy mustard, and a few drops of agave nectar and spread that on the top. Ike loved it. 

Today my sweet baby boy (oh, he was such a cuddly baby!)
is coming home to visit Grandpa, who is not doing very well. Gabe has adopted a mostly vegan diet, (I am so proud of him!) and I plan to make this dinner for him tonight.

If you have a man in your life that would benefit from a plant based diet you might want to encourage him to read the E2 Book or at least checkout their website (lots of good recipes there).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One Year Anniversary!

Exactly one year ago February 16, 2010 Roland and I started the Eat to Live diet. We committed to each other to give it a good 6 weeks and at the end of the 6 weeks we could return to our previous diet of prime ribs, cheesy bread, and fudge.

I didn't start blogging about it until I'd been on the diet for 2 weeks because I was afraid I wouldn't like the diet. But I ended up loving the diet and wanted to share our discovery. I hoped that this blog would provide moral support I felt I needed. But as it turned out, I didn't need moral support, kale was doing the job just fine. I felt so great and had such amazing success and this blog was a great place to share the good news.

Six weeks later and we were hooked. We had no desire to go back to the SAD (Standard American Diet).  Now here we are exactly one year later.  We have relaxed our standards a bit, allowing a few processed foods and a little bit of sugar, but we are still vegan - strictly vegan. It feels normal now. I don't even think about it - I just do it!

We've changed what it will be like when we are 60, 70, 80 + years old. We are on a completely different road then we were a year ago. I used to think that a sedentary lifestyle, pain, and illness would be a normal part of our aging process but now I see that we have busy, active, exciting decades ahead of us! Oh! I am so glad I married such a fun, intelligent, sexy, clever, adventurous man!

So, how do you celebrate one year of success? Well, mostly it is like any other day of the year, bills beg, phones ring, food rots, carpools call. But Roland and I agreed to start all over again at day one. We recommit to the original 6 week challenge. If you don't know what that is run out and buy the Eat To Live book. It will be the best $16 you ever spent.

Join us on our 6 week challenge! Starting today (or tomorrow [actually we started yesterday]) we will follow the Eat To Live 6 Week Diet. Strict.

Who is in?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Let's Talk About Chili

Chili is a big part of my life. I make it about once a week and eat the leftovers for lunch a few times. At first I followed a recipe but now I just wing it with whatever I have.

When I make chili I follow a basic pattern. All ingredients are to taste/what you have on hand/how many people you are serving.

Robin's Kitchen Sink Chili:

Saute chopped onion, carrots and green bell pepper until starting to soften. May need to add water for saute.
Add other veggies, whatever you have on hand: mushrooms, peppers, asparagus, brussel sprouts, green beans, just dig through the fridge and toss it in.
Add 3 cloves sliced garlic and seasonings and saute until veggies are starting to get tender.

Seasonings I like include: chili powder, smoked paprika, oregano, fresh ground pepper

Then toss in a can or two of diced tomatoes, a drained can (or two or three) of beans (I like black beans, northern beans, and large kidney beans) and extra water if needed and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Right before serving I like to add 2 cloves garlic - minced or pressed, a large handful of frozen corn, and chopped avacado.

Sometimes I will add a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar for a little twang.

In this batch you can see that I added leftover brown rice. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Those Damn Girl Scouts

I always buy 3 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies from a darling girl scout in our neighborhood. If the girls scouts were hairy and stinky and surly it would be a lot easier to say no to them. This year I planned on taking them to a party or giving them to the teachers. But Ike opened the door and got the cookies first. He opened the Samoas. Have you had the Samoas? If not, please don't ever taste them or you will always feel like you need them. 

So I said I would have just one. One hour later they were all gone and Ike only had 2. 

I console myself by telling myself they were tiny cookies and only 15 in a pack. Eating a baker's dozen wasn't that bad, right?

I felt sick the rest of the day.

Here is a cute Valentine my BIL made for my sister (read her blog):

If you wear green today it means you want to be kissed!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


You've probably heard about the Abundance vs. Scarcity Mentality that has been applied to everything from everything to economic systems to interpersonal relationships. Well, I'm going to stretch it out a bit and apply to a healthy diet.

The Scarcity Diet:

I've done this diet so many times. The "I Can't" diet. I can't have that, I can't have this. I can only eat these few foods and only so much of them.

  • 8 oz sugar free fat free yogurt topped with 1/4 cup fat free granola
  • 6 oz of low fat soup topped by 1 tablespoon of fake sour cream
  • one cookie
  • 1 rice cake topped with 2 tablespoons cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup of low fat no sugar ice cream
  • 8 chocolate chips

Food is rare, it it limited, and lots of times it is fake. You better sit down and enjoy every bite because, honey, there are not very many bites. And they don't taste very good.

It only takes one "meal" to feel deprived. Along with that feeling of deprivation comes the distinct feeling of not being nurtured, a cold empty longing for comfort. Then you get greedy and if your 10 year old eats a rice cake with Nutella you might freak out and yell about needing every. single. one. of those cardboard cakes! For crying out loud.  After all, you are starving! Everyone must suffer! Heaven forbid he pours whole milk over your expensive diet granola (that tiny box will fill up exactly one of his cereal bowls). Heads will roll!

The longest I have made it on The Scarcity Diet is about 1 1/2 days. So my family and friends only suffer a bit before I dig out the Rootbeer Ribs and Cap'n Crunch and gorge, trying to erase the impoverished suffering I have forced on myself.

This poverty of food, of nourishment, never works. At least not for someone who loves food.

The Abundant Diet:

I love food. I use it to nurture. I use it to celebrate. I use it to show my family I love and care for them. I use it when I am upset, bored, lonely. Food is a big deal to me. The Abundant Diet works because I can have as much food as I want. An endless supply of food needs to be eaten. Everyday I need to eat at least:

  • 1 pound of raw vegetables
  • 1 pound of cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup beans
  • 5 pieces of fruit
  • 1/2 cup of starchy food (whole wheat bread, brown rice, potatoes)
  • nuts and seeds

Have you ever tried to do this? It's too much. Food is plentiful. Its spilling out out of my fridge and out of the fruit bowls (yes I have more than one fruit bowl now). I am full. I feel nurtured. I need to share it. Come over and eat my food! Please! I have too much!

I'm no longer measuring, weighing, counting. I'm just enjoying. My emotional needs are being met and my physical needs are more than being met.  I no longer crave food to make me feel better, to fill a hole, to comfort me. Food has become a joyful thing I do rather than a constant obsessive fight.

I am satisfied.

How are you eating: Scarcely? or Abundantly?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ahead of Oprah

Aren't we so glad that we were way ahead of Oprah on the whole vegan thing? I have to admit to feeling somewhat self-righteous as I watched her show.  I wanted to cheer each time a staff member said they were converted. Yay!

This is what I had for lunch yesterday and probably will have it again for dinner today.
Just lettuce and blueberries with balsamic vinegar. I've added sweet onion and avocado and that is pretty good too. Of course this isn't enough to keep me satisfied 
so I teamed it up with a steaming bowl of my tomato soup.

It feels wonderful to eat such a summery meal in the dead of winter. 

I'm going to Jason's Deli for lunch today. They have a muffaletta that is easily made into a
vegan meal. I can't decide between that and salad and their vegetable soup. 
Decisions decisions! 

I'm really shooting for a pound of raw and a pound of cooked veggies everyday this weekend.
 It's going to be a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Heel Didn't Hurt In This Picture

The Great Wall of China - June 2010

Remember my painful heel and how it stopped me from exercising? And did I tell you how Roland gave me a lecture about going to see the doctor?  I always do what he says :). 

The doctor didn't have a magic pill but he had a magic cortisone shot that reminded me of all 4 of my childbirths rolled into one 30 second moment. It left me sweaty and breathless - and not in a good way. It promises to fix my heel lickety-split. I can't wait to post sweaty breathless posts about how great it feels to exercise again! Hopefully in 2 weeks (or earlier!).

It has been cold. 

I've been drinking this:

I like it very hot with about 1/4 cup almond milk. 

Today I drank it while I read this article:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Testimonial III - Princess

If I get any more testimonials I will have to revert to arabic numerals because once we hit #4 I get confused on roman numerals.  But go ahead and send me more testimonials and I'll see what I can do.

Here is another wonderful testimony of a healthy vegan diet. This was left in my comments by a lovely woman who goes by Princess Singular. I think she deserves a big pat on the back and lots of sun shiny attention (especially because she is in Boulder where it is VERY COLD):
I started this journey in September, weighing 189 lbs and a size 20. Not sure exactly how much weight i've lost since I don't own scales and don't really need to go to my doctor anymore! I am guessing about 45 lbs. Today, when I went to try on pants at the mall I discovered I am a size 10!!....and if that didn't leave me in enough shock, the salesgirl asked me something I never thought I'd be asked "We have in some cute new pencil skirts, want to try one on?" I am still in shock. It almost seems "too easy" and anyone who has tried to lose weight on any plan other than Dr. Fuhrman's will know what I mean. It is such an enjoyable lifestyle (ok the first week was a little icky).....Just wanted to say thanks for your is, indeed, a huge help and support system. There is really no other blog like it out there. I live in Boulder, a really tough town to be "fat" there isn't a lot of support here because there are almost no overweight people. Your blog means a lot to me. Thanks so much!! 
Princess - Boulder is a vegan eater's dream! So many great vegetarian restaurants! I'm glad you are doing so well. Thanks for sharing your encouraging experience!


Also, Check out this funny post: Ladies, alone, laughing with salad.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Today was a snow day, not because of the snow but because of the cold! Our high was -4 and that was without the windchill! Tonight it will be -45 with windchill. Holy Frozen Cow.

As most of the US is cold tonight, here is a lovely soup to warm you up. I modified this from the Williams Sonoma Beans and Rice cookbook.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup:

This is a great soup to make on a snow day because it takes a little time and it makes your home smell warm and inviting and if you happen to whip up some whole wheat rolls to serve with it you will really have a treat.

Bring to boil and cook covered for 40 minutes:

  • 1/3 cup wild rice
  • 2 cups water

Use hot water to soak cashews for cashew cream and rehydrate mushrooms - one handful -  (from the big costco container) for 40 minutes.

While all the boiling and re-hydrating is going on spray a soup pot with Pam and saute:

  • 1 onion - chopped
  • 1 celery stalk - chopped

adding apple juice or white grape juice or vegetable stock if needed to keep from sticking


  •  3/4 pound of mushrooms - sliced 

to the saute mix until mushrooms start to soften and smell good - about 15 minutes


  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • re-hydrated mushrooms 

and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Prepare cashew cream while simmering:

Then add

  • 1 cup (or more) cashew cream (I added quite a bit more)
  • wild rice 

to soup pot and simmer for 5 more minutes. Season with pepper.

Garnish with parsley and serve hot! I also think this would taste wonderful if you added a bit of sliced green onion towards the end and tossed in a handful of frozen corn (for a sweet crunch) and topped it with toasted pecan bits. That is what I am going to do next time.

Ike and Roland added Red Hot to their soup.

Here are all the ingredients in one place:

1/3 cup wild rice
2 cups water
cashew cream (make as much as you want)
dehydrated mushrooms - optional (one handful)
1 onion chopped
1 celery stalk chopped
3/4 lb mushrooms sliced
3 cups vegetable stock

Possible Improvements:
handful frozen corn
sliced green onion to taste
toasted pecans for garnish

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Testimonial II

Another testimonial email. This one is from Linsey in Washington DC.

So, it's been a struggle, I'm not going to lie.  And, I am not as vigilant as you, but I made major changes for me and I am proud of that.  I got on the scale this morning and I've lost 10 pounds.  Of course, I had an easy 5 of empty DisneyWorld and Holiday goodies to lose, so it's really more like 5.  But, since my goal is 30, I'm a third of the way there.  WOO HOO!  And, I feel good.  I really do feel good.  I've finally worked out my childcare issues (I hope) so I can now start exercising with regularity too.  I'm hoping to turn some of this excess fat I'm carrying around in to muscle.  I'm also hoping to be fit enough to actually race in the race for the cure this year, instead of to just leisurely stroll with the masses.

Thanks for posting/sending all your positive thoughts and encouragement and recipes.  The recipes are key because the food preparation part is the biggest deterrent for me.  I'm so tired, the last thing I want to think about is making a "diet" friendly meal most nights.  However, I'm not as tired and that's fabulous.  School is actually making this easier too, because I've decided if I don't have it with me, I will not eat it.  So, I'm not snacking on crap and I'm saving money too!

You're a rock star and you have made a huge difference in my life.  Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you!


10 lbs is just amazing! It sure encourages you to stick with it! Sounds like it hasn't been too difficult. And she is already noticing other positive changes like more energy. Pretty soon she may notice softer skin, the ability to focus her brain power (important when doing graduate studies while raising kids, I've done that too), needing less sleep, easier periods. Those were only some of the benefits I noticed. Next she will start craving salads.

Linsey - I am really proud of you! Thanks for sharing your success. I know many people who are trying this and any encouragement helps a lot. Your "fresh convert" enthusiasm is quite contagious.

YOU, Linsey, are the rock star! 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hand In Hand

Did the title of this post make you think romantic thoughts? Valentine's day is about 2 weeks away so I'm not at all surprised if your thoughts turn to amore.

This post is about pain. My pain. I have a stabbing throbbing piercing sharp pain in my right heel that has stopped me from exercising the last week or so and after some frustrating reflection I've decided that its much much easier to eat a healthy diet when you exercise. Diet and exercise go hand in hand. My theory is that the good endorphins you get from exercise make it easier to choose chard over chocolate, and then the chard creates peace in your body thus encouraging more exercise - it is a wonderful cyclical relationship.

I ignored the pain for a week because sometimes when I ignore a problem it fixes itself or goes away. But this didn't go away so I made an appointment with our friendly podiatrist - a real nice guy - and hopefully he will give me a magic pill that will have me up and running soon. Literally running.

Not my picture but pretty close to how it looked.

Back to romance. Last night I was in charge of the chocolate fountain for refreshments at a church meeting. The recipe for a chocolate fountain is 10 cups chocolate chips and 2 cups oil, melted together. The chips were swimming in the oil. That's how they get the chocolate to flow like a water fountain - tons of oil. I filled my plate up with bananas, strawberries, and grapes and fought the urge to announce how gross the chocolate was because I didn't want to be a killjoy, and all those ladies were loving the chocolate fountain, and I love those ladies.

Happy Pre-Valentine's Day.