Category Archives: plant-based

Healing by any means

No, this is not another ‘no longer vegan,’ posts.  It’s just a commentary on trying work around meds and supplements that aren’t exactly veg-friendly. 

It’s a struggle,  y’all.  Not sticking to my way of eating, but trying to find vegan supplements and meds.  I’ve found many that work, but not all are veg-friendly.   Does it make me less compassionate?   No.  It means I’m one of the many dealing with this.

If you choose to judge me based on this mindset, so be it. Step into  body on a high pain day(well, week)  and talk to me afterward.  I’m doing what needs to be done while I find the optimal balance.

Does it mean veg-friendly instead of certified vegan supplements?   If the veg-friendly products work best, yes.  Does it mean dealing with meds that have no vegan alternative?   Yes, unfortunately.   Does it make me sad?  Yes.

I need to keep it together while on the journey.   On days like today, that means healing by any means necessary.

Eating for real

Let’s be real for a minute. We know it’s better to eat at the table so you can put your focus squarely on your meal, but that isn’t always how things go. We eat at our desks, in the car, and while watching tv.  While protein shakes and smoothies are a great option for mobile meals, those don’t always do the trick.  My question is this:  what kinds of things do you reach for when you need something more but don’t always have both hands available?

When I need to eat at my desk, easy-to-eat fruit and nuts is one of my favorite combos.  Apple slices or strawberries with a serving of mixed nuts on the side makes me happy.

apples n nuts
Give me a Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Ambrosia, or Granny Smith and I’m a happy woman. 

When fruit isn’t what I’m feeling at that  moment, muffins make me smile.  Blueberry, oatmeal, apple spice, pumpkin or sweet potato muffins are blissful one-handed goodies that don’t always leave a mess on my clothes or keyboard.

blueberry-yogurt-muffins2
These Blueberry Yogurt muffins from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean and delicious, guilt-free, and quick.  Happy Herbivore photo.

You can never go wrong with a good old fashioned sandwich.  I make sure it’s not made with messy fillings so I don’t have to worry as much about a gloopy keyboard or stains on my tops.

sandwich
Nothing like a sammy full of holiday leftovers.

What are you favorite meals or snacks when you eat on the go or in the office?

Make your own non-dairy milk

Note: I received the Victoos Nut Milk Bag free of charge in exchange for my honest review. Anything I say is not influenced by the product. My views are my own and I will not recommend anything I don’t believe in.

I used to just kind of like milk. I had it over cereal and used it in recipes, but as far as drinking it straight, I wasn’t a fan. I found out later in life that milk did not like me. At all. It smiled in my face and kicked me in the back. Hard. Milk gave me gas, made me bloated, and gave me headaches. Any milk or milk product had the safe effect. As much as I loved my yogurt, cheese, and ice cream, dairy had to go. While that made me a little sad, it sent me on a mission to find delicious non-dairy alternatives that like me as much as I like them.

Non-dairy milk was first on my list. While I can find soy, nut, rice, hemp, flax, and coconut milks on store shelves, my budget does not always appreciate the hit when they’re not on sale or when I go on a baking binge. Learning to make my own was not difficult at all. For quick soymilk or cream, I add water and to a package of silken tofu and whip it until I get the consistency I want. Sometimes I want to mix it up. When I want nut, seed, or grain-based milk, I blend the item with water and go. while I get a smooth consistency, the milk usually isn’t as smooth as a store-bought product. This is where a nut milk bag comes in.

The Victoos Nut Milk Bag is a lightweight nylon bag designed for straining.  Just blend your nut, seed, or grain milk, pour into the bag, and strain.  Squeezing the bag will strain out all of the liquid and leave pulp I use in smoothies, oats, or in baking.  I haven’t tried drying the pulp out to use as flour yet, but that’s on the list of things to try later.

Cleaning the bag is a breeze.  I give it a good rinse if I need it again right away and toss it in the wash with kitchen towels if I don’t.  By the way, a nut bag is excellent for people who want to juice but don’t have a juicer.  Just blend the juice ingredients and strain through the bag.  If you want a Victoos Nut Milk Bag, snag one on Amazon while it’s a great price – just $8.95.

What non-dairy milk will I make next?  I’m thinking a coconut-flax milk might be lovely.  Why that blend?  Because I’m obsessed with making tofu mousse and yogurt and saving my silken tofu for those uses.

This goodie is inspired by an older recipe from Happy Herbivore.  I added blueberries to the ‘yogurt’ recipe to snack on as-is or on top of fruit salad for breakfast.  Want some?

Which non-dairy goodies are your favorites?

Flare week two

Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie isn’t feeling very friendly.   The frustration,  anger, sadness, and grump are strong in this one.

Frustration stems from an inability to control pain when it’s in an uncontrollable state.  My daily routine, relaxation,  and even meds only aggravate the pain sensors and make me stabby.

Anger comes from the same place as frustration,  but is magnified by the limited mobility, lack of meaningful exercise,  and fear of the flare continuing past week two.

Cue the sadness.  Once fear comes around,  the tears are sure to follow.  I’m only 46.  If this is what 46 feels like, what will 56 bring?   If I need assistance to stand now, I might need more assistance later.  And what if the degeneration speed increases with time?  How am I supposed to train when I can barely stand?  

Yes, it gets that bad sometimes.  It’s hard to tell when people see me smiling and pushing through.

Once anger passes, the general grump sets in.  Why are people calling me?  Why do I need to cook?  These dogs need to feed themselves.   Bah, humbug.

The longer the flare, the longer this cycle lasts.  I know flares are temporary,  but while living through one, logical thinking flies out the window.  And laughs at me.

Why do I share?  Because it helps keep me sane.  And to let anyone reading this know that the feelings are real and you’re not crazy.  Or alone.  Chronic conditions can do a number on your body, mind, and spirit.

If you need me, give me an hour or so.  I’m riding out the flare from my bedside workstation.   Thank you, flexible scheduling!

Peace.

Review: Ozeri WeightMaster Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Differential Detection

I try to avoid the scale. I know, weight is a measure of health (so they say), and there’s a scale hop required at every doc’s visit and one at the physical therapist’s office.  We always had a scale growing up and for some reason were expected to have one.  I didn’t have one during my single days and didn’t care, but for some reason just had to have one once the life with hubs, kids, and dogs started.  For some reason I felt like we needed one.

I hate the scale in general.  It mocks me when I think I look smaller and feel lighter.  It jumps out from under the bed and kicks me in the toe.  It calls to me when I ignore it for too long, taunting me.  Yes, I’m aware it may not happen that way, but it feels like it.

I had the opportunity to move on up to a prettier, less bossy scale and jumped at the chance. The timing was perfect because physical therapy was in full swing and so was my tweaked eating plan.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt to add something else new
to the mix, even if it was as intimidating as a scale. The Ozeri WeightMaster Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Differential Detection has a long name, sleek look,  and nice features.

See, I told you it was attractive.
See, I told you it was attractive.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package is how attractive the scale is. This baby is a nice-looking slab of
tempered glass with non-slip pads that are gentle on my hardwood floor.  It came with batteries (nice) and clear instructions on
setting up separate profiles for multiple users.  The Weight Differential Detection tracks changes from your last weigh in,
and averages of the last three and seven weigh-ins.  How cool is that?  I like this feature because I can accurately track my
results alone.  Granted I had to teach the family to switch between profiles, but that was no biggie – when they paid attention.

The WeightMaster accepts weight up to 400 pounds.  I don’t want to need that weight limit, but it’s nice to have that option.  It also measures Body Mass Index (BMI), but honestly I try to ignore BMI measures myself because it doesn’t paint a clear picture of health.
I do love the Color Alert Technology which displays a green light for a loss and red light for gain.  If I wanted to gain weight, I might find this annoying.  But I’m all about gains in health and losses in fat and pants size.

I almost bought a different scale, but am glad the Ozeri WeightMaster fell into my lap.  Not only is it accurate (compared to the doc’s scale) and attractive, it’s engineered and manufactured in the USA.  More companies need to stay here instead of trying to move out of the country (I’m  looking at you, Burger King). Ozeri stands behind their products with a 100% Hassle-Free Satisfaction Guarantee. Pick up the WeightMaster in (black or white) or check out Ozeri’s other scales.  I won’t get on the scale more often, but when I do, it will be the WeightMaster.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

August is here!

Yes, it’s a new month complete with a new tropical storm (hi, Bertha).  Kids are heading back to school, tax-free shopping weekend sales are starting,  and the thought of a quiet house between 8 and 3 pm is making parents giddy.

Sorry, kids.  Well, no, not really.

To me, the start of a new month is time to reflect on the gains of the previous month and set new targets for the current month.  Notice I said gains?  It’s my way of focusing on the positive.  In July I increased resistance, speed, and strength.  I hit a smaller size.  I wanted to shop for clothing instead of just grabbing whatever I thought would fit.  It sunk in that I need to eat if I’m going to succeed.  No more drastic cuts to calorie intake.   For August I want to increase my aquatic therapy sessions.  I want to wear a certain top and have it look good.  I want to improve on July’s fitness targets.  See, all positive and also realistic and attainable.   It took years to fall apart and it takes time to fully recover, heal, and thrive.

What are your August targets?  You can reach them.  I’ll be right here, cheering you on.

Happy Friday, all! What’s shaking?

So, what’s shaking?  The same old thing here, but with a little more happy.

If it seems like I’m extra happy right now it’s because I am.  I went to physical therapy as usual on Wednesday and was released as a pt client.  That means I’ve improved enough that I can start the work on my own.  While I plan to stay on as a wellness client (to use that fab Endless Pool), I’m also going to slowly get back to my old activity level.  Part of my ramped up activity includes more low impact bodywork, including PiYo.

piyo 3 day

I’m sure you’ve heard of PiYo by now because it’s the newest Beachbody release from Chalene Johnson – love her!  It’s a home version of the PiYo classes offered in clubs all over the place.  I need low impact workouts like Pilates and yoga so that I don’t hurt myself or slow my recovery.    As much as I love 21-Day Fix, even the modified movements are too much for me right now.  I’ll go back to it when I get the all-clear to do so.

There’s no shame in admitting that you need a change and moving on.  Never feel ashamed or let anyone tell you that you’re lazy because you recognize your limits and are working around them .  Do not ignore them for the sake of proving you’re not lazy.  It’s better to work harder and smarter than to go all out when you’re body is unable.   Trust me, I fell into that trap and did much more harm than good.  

Now back to my regularly scheduled message. 

PiYo has a six days on, one off weekly schedule.  Because I’m going to listen to my body, my plan is to start with three days of PiYo with one day of aquatic therapy each week.  I’ll train for a day and take the following day off.  On my rest days, I’ll still get in my usual five to ten minutes of gentle yoga and walking.   My eating plan will stay about the same for now with one exception.   Gluten has to go, doc’s orders.

So that’s what I’m up to.  If you want to know more about PiYo, my eating plan (regular and cheat day), or how I modify fitness and eating plans to suit my needs, give me a shout.   I’m on Facebook and all over social media.  Just look for Sherrie Thompson or WAHMinSC.  I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

This WAHM has moved!

Hi. all!  Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie is moving from blogger one post at a time.  Any new posts will publish here while the move progresses.  Expect more posts, recipes, reviews, profiles, interviews, and sharing.

 

 

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean is coming!

I’ve made no secret of my love for Happy Herbivore Lindsay Nixon.  I found the blog while searching for cleaner and lighter vegan alternatives for the food I love.  Her cookbooks are my go-to when someone asks me for healthy recipes and I’ve picked up her meal plans from time to time.  Her twists on Southern favorites are loved by the omni family, too, and as I’ve mentioned before, pleasing the man and boy is not always easy.

When Lindsay made the announcement about her newest book, I pre-ordered it (In March) and scored!  I receive an excerpt with 14 recipes and a bonus book.

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean includes more of the low fat,whole food vegan recipes I love and workout plans. If you pre-ordered,you’ve seen some of the goodness this book has in store.  The Meatloaf Bites and Carol’s Cabbage Soup are particularly yummy.  If you’re looking for something sweet, her Blueberry Yogurt Muffins are a delight.  Pair one with fruit or hash browns for breakfast, snag one for a snack with coffee or tea, or have it for dessert.  

For the blog tour, I asked Lindsay three questions about her her favorite forms of exercise and her advice for someone new to the clean plant-based way of eating.  

Me:  In your blog you mention snowboarding a lot.  Besides hitting the board, what is your favorite type
of exercise?

LN: I go hiking almost every day when it’s not winter. I also really enjoy yoga year-round.

Me:  That’s great!  I love yoga, too. Finding activities I love helps me look at exercise as fun and not a chore. Now on to making a change in general.  Do you have any advice for someone just making the change from a sedentary lifestyle and SAD to active and whole food plant-based?  Should he/she go all in or take it one step at a time?

LN:  I can’t recommend the meal plans enough!  Or my 3-day reboot or 10-day cleanse immersion 
 program. Every person is different. I find most people have the best success doing
 a 180-approach, just rip off the band aid, as I say. Other people need a more gradual approach. Make every meal you can a healthy plant-based one, and start walking on your lunch break. Start with 5 minutes if you have to, then add on. Then start walking in the morning before work. Little by little!

Me:  I thought I was a 180-degree person, but with the family I’ve found it easier to make gradual changes. Converting their favorite recipes is sometimes a challenge.  Have you converted all of your favorite foods into whole food goodness?  How difficult was it?

LN:  Yes! Some recipes proved more challenging than others but for the most part everything has translated quite beautifully and many times, I like the new healthy version way better.

Appreciate your time, Lindsay – thanks!

While I recover and figure out how to get into a sustainable workout routine, eating clean helps me keep on track.  If you want affordable, easy, clean, quick, and delicious recipes with wide appeal, check out the Happy Herbivore blog and books.  Light & Lean is going to be awesome!  Get a sneak peek on Amazon and keep your eyes open for more from me on the recipes.

 

Vegan Kickstart 2013

Yep, it’s that time again.  New year, new start and all the jazz.I’m doing another PCRM Vegan Kickstart this year but this one will be a little different.  I’m doing it gluten-free. 

The kickstart focuses on a low-fat, high nutrient plant-based plan.  It’s easy to go vegan while enjoying snack foods and fattier fare, but it’s not the healthiest way to do it.  You can trust me on that.  Unlike past years, the kickstart is ongoing,  A new group starts on the first of each month. I like this change.  If you join late you can always jump in from the start the following month and go from there. 

Check out the Vegan Kickstart on Facebook and main site for ideas on making it easier and to see what others are doing.  To see what I’m doing, check out my Independent Team Beachbody Facebook page, Vegetarian Examiner page, or Tweet with me.  I’ll share recipes, menus, and my exercise plan for the day. 

So, are you in?  Other plans? 

Until next time, peace.