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The 90 Day Vegetarian Adventure Comes to a Close.

It was an adventure and an educational journey that revealed much about myself and how I relate to food.  The most surprising revelation is that I am not a true Vegan.  Rather, I’m a vegetarian who limits fat to 10 gms per day and I eat nonfat dairy products which eliminates eggs.  Adding dairy takes me out of the strict Vegan diet.

There are two main reasons why I don’t eat meat.   I truly dislike the way animals are raised and slaughtered by the large producers and after eating nothing but vegetables, grains and fruit, even the smell of meat bothers me.  I’ve never noticed before that each animal tastes like it smells.  Beef has a bloody, manure taste, chicken tastes like the henhouse and goat, well I’ve not had goat meat, but I can’t get some of the cheese past my nose nor the milk.

The physical results of the Vegetarian adventure have been encouraging.  I’ve lost 15 pounds and one dress size; my total cholesterol is lower ( I’m also taking a statin) and I have more energy.  My knee pain is gone but I have to credit that to a Kenalog shot and also I know exactly what foods cause me to develop a migraine.  When I began the adventure I didn’t have a clue as to what triggered the headaches.

So the adventure was well worth the time and effort.  I will continue with the low-fat vegetarian diet.  Low fat because genetic testing recommended it and it works for me.  I’ve also learned not to worry about what other people think or say.  My family is accepting and they are enjoying the new recipes, one of which will end this article.  The excitement of doing something new is over but I have confidence that this is a diet that I will be able to maintain over the rest of my life.  To all of you who have followed my blog you have my heart-felt thanks.  Reader response made a huge difference for me.  I will close this chapter with a new recipe, and keep checking the blog, I’m on to bigger and better things!

Stir Fried Green Beans

Five handfuls of whole Green Beans, frozen are fine

1 tblsp of Olive Oil

1 tblsp of Tamari 

1/2 tsp of Garlic powder

Wok for frying

Heat the Wok and add the oil.  When the oil is fragrant but not smoking add the green beans and sprinkle the garlic powder over them.  Stir fry the beans for 5 to 7 minutes then add the Tamari  and continue to stir until the liquid is absorbed.  Serve immediately, beans should be slightly crunchy.  Serves 4


90 Day Vegetarian Adventure – Day 90 Return to the Beginning

The last day of the adventure and I find myself returning to the Juice Reboot.  Halloween with its mini-candy bars just about did me in.  I am now craving sugar and chocolate again.  So, the remedy is to Reboot.  At the end of the 90 day adventure I’m dusting off the juicer and enjoying at least one day of fasting to break the addictions and get back on track to healthy eating.

Fall fruit and vegetables make delicious juices.  The fresh kale is still growing in the garden and apples are available from the orchard.  Plus carrots have been recently harvested.  The two recipes using these seasonal ingredients are as follows:

Breakfast:  1 stick celery, 1 organic carrot, 2 Golden Delicious apples.

Lunch:  1 stick celery, 1 organic carrot, 1 Golden Delicious apple, handful fresh kale.

Enjoy!  Send me some of your favorite juices.  I welcome your comments.

 


90 Day Vegetarian Adventure, Day 87 Carmen’s Shake

Here is a new recipe inspired by my granddaughter, Carmen.  She is just a year old and is being introduced slowly to adult foods.  Every morning Grandma makes a breakfast shake for me and she has to share it.   She is allergic to strawberries but bananas are safe so the following recipe is a shake that she loves and is good for her growing tummy.

Carmen’s Shake:    1 cup of soymilk, 1 banana, 1 scoop protein powder, a few drops of vanilla and a shake of cinnamon.  Place ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.  Share it with those you love.


90 Day Vegetarian Adventure – Cooking for Carnivores

The baby boy is home from college and he is building muscle for wrestling season.  My daughters and husband are looking at me with big puppy dog eyes when I mention cooking a meal with meat while he is home.  The truth is, they enjoy the vegetarian cooking but they never signed on to the lifestyle.  So, tomorrow I’m making Carolina BBQ for them.  The dilemma is, what do I cook for me?  Do I cave and go back to old ways of eating for one day? Or do I sit righteously at the end of the table with my cup of tea and pretend I’m not hungry?  Actually, I decided to make mushroom sliders with slices of onion and a homemade tomato based BBQ sauce.  The sides will be of course coleslaw with low-fat dressing and baked potato skins.  Pear sauce and nonfat molasses cookies for dessert.   The key to cooking for carnivores is to make my own preferences for vegetables just as important as their preference for meat.

Any of you have similar dilemmas?  Send me a comment or questions and we will talk.


90 Day Vegetarian Adventure – Day #65 Lower Weight, Lower Cholesterol

Since the 90 Day Vegetarian Adventure began I have not eaten any red meat, hot dogs, pork, dark meat poultry or eggs.  There have been isolated incidents where certain recipes have contained a small amount of ground turkey or chicken breast and full fat cheddar cheese.  Also, we live in an apple  growing area and cheddar cheese with fresh apples is a lunch that I have chosen to enjoy.  The only nonfat dairy that I want to add to my diet is yogurt, however, my food choices have been less than perfect.

You must be asking why I’m giving you the background.  Yesterday, I visited my Family Physician to discuss the effect of the imperfect vegetarian diet, supplementation, exercise and Statin medication.  I’ve lost weight according to the Doctor’s scales, and it’s been a lot of years since that has happened.  My Total Cholesterol reading is 34 points lower and my blood pressure is lower, in the healthy range.   Plus I’m fitting into one dress size smaller.  The combination of a vegetarian diet, exercise, supplementation and Statins is producing healthier results.


90 Day Vegetarian Adventure – Day 52 Sweet Tea

Growing up in the country during the fifties and sixties meant that every friends’ house had a pitcher of sweet iced tea in the refrigerator.  We drank iced tea with lunch, dinner and on very hot days, all day.  Everyone had their own recipe and a special pitcher in which to make it.  My mom was terrible at making iced tea so we used a pre-made mix or just drank milk and water.

Mrs. K on the other hand made the best iced sweet tea I have ever had.  She lived just up the road and her daughter was my best friend.  We drank the tea out of tall Tupperware cups and now when I drink sweetened iced tea it takes me back to those halcyon days.

Anyone ready to share their favorite sweet tea recipe?  Something the rest of us can duplicate?  Send me your formulas and I will reproduce them to the best of my ability.  I will taste test them in a Tupperware cup and publish the one that takes me back to childhood and Mrs. K’s kitchen.


Life’s Journey with Tea

Blogging about tea started me thinking about the memories that go along with certain teas.  For example, the first tea I remember drinking is called Cambric Tea, made from milk, hot water and sugar.  My grandmother used to heat the water on a wood cook stove and make this tea for me when I was a child.

Send in your comments about tea, favorite flavors, and memories associated with them.  More of our recollections tomorrow.


90 Day Vegetarian Adventure – Day 47 New Fall Wardrobe?

I forgot what I was going to blog about today, so I will give you an update instead.  Since the Juice Reboot at the beginning of the summer I have dropped almost 2 sizes in slacks and blouses.  This means that when I unpack my winter clothing most of it will be too big.  Unfortunately, or not, I do not hold onto clothing that doesn’t fit.  If I haven’t worn it during the past year, the item is donated to the local used clothing shop.  That means it’s time for a new wardrobe, yahoo!!

I also have a profile on Fitday.com and have begun entering my daily calories.  This is a great site for keeping track of weight loss goals and exercise.  Just want to make sure that I don’t regress into denial.  Believe me it’s easy to overeat and gain weight on any eating plan, just increase your calories past your activity level.  However, it’s much easier to stay within bounds when meat and high fat dairy are not on the plate.

I’ve been downloading and watching the “Heavy” TV series from Netflix.  Just like the “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” Documentary these shows greatly improve motivation.  Please send comments about how you motivate yourself to stay on an eating plan.  We accept all diets here, not just Vegetarian.  Though my personal results show that it is the plan that works for me.


The 90 Day Vegetarian Adventure – Day 40 The Great Frederick Fair

Normally, I love this time of year and one of the highlights of September is attending the Great Frederick Fair.  This is a county agricultural fair with something for everyone.  In past years I have entered baked goods, canned goods, artwork and photos for competition and a prize.  It’s good to know that I can bake prize-winning bread, brownies and pickle superior green beans.

However, this year is different.  With all of the changes in my schedule, I haven’t had the time or energy to make any entries.  Also, the Vegetarian Adventure has given me a different gastronomic perspective because most of the food sold at the fair is animal-based.  So, all of the lovely ham sandwiches, crab soup, full fat ice cream and gyros don’t call my name anymore.  In fact, I’m not even tempted to go back to the meat-eating orgy that the Fair used to be for me.

So, what am I going to do at the Fair this year?  Attend the Horse Pull on Friday night and eat a delicious bag of kettle popcorn.  Browse through the Farm & Garden building that is full of beautiful fruits and vegetables grown in the county this summer and pick up a free apple.  In this same building there is delicious local honey for sale.  I always buy honey sticks for the grown 20-somethings.

If I’m upping my fat intake for the day there are fantastic apple dumplings made by the best cooks in the world, Methodist Church Ladies.  And, sweet potato fries are always tasty and filling.  But, I guess that’s about it as far as the food will take me.

I love to look at the healthy, well-cared for, livestock.  It’s fun to watch the 4-H kids show their animals and to realize that each sheep, goat, cow and pig represent a lot of hard work to get them to this event.  The auctions are bittersweet.  I’m happy for the kids who get a good price for their animals but sad that the beautiful critters will end up in the freezer.

Then, there is the Household Building, where in past years I competed with the best of them.  This year I’m not even interested because none of my stuff is there.  That’s pretty childish, but it’s how I feel.

The free yardsticks, frisbees, key chains, erasers that look like cows, pencils, pads of paper and jar openers are all there for the picking.  The kids used to love getting Fair bags full of the stuff.  Only one college kid this year has requested freebies from the Fair, so I’ll wander around with my plastic bag advertising the local newspaper and collect for him.

This whole vegetarian lifestyle change has definitely changed the source of excitement caused by the Fair.  It has made me realize that I did go mostly for the food and now that fried meat doesn’t look or taste good anymore and full-fat dairy is not on the menu what’s left?  Just a different experience that’s all.  Still fun and satisfying, with a new, healthier perspective.


90 Day Vegetarian Adventure – Day 36 Help with the Reboot

For those of you who are rebooting your system with a juice fast.  Visit www.fatsickandnearlydead.com site for explicit instructions.  The 15 day fast is doable with a normal schedule, just remember that the first 2 days are uncomfortable.  If you feel really hungry and tired, eat raw or steamed vegetables.  Bake a potato, steam some kale, raw carrots, a fresh tomato, etc.  It helps if you can get your vegetables and fruit in season close to where they are grown.  A Farmer’s Market and local orchards are great sources.  Everything will taste better.  Also, if you want more juice recipes, just write a comment.  Send me a line, I’m listening.