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