Tag Archives: vegan

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?

One week into 21-Day Fix

Thank you, Autum Calabrese!  The 21-Day Fix is legit!



I’m proof that just about anyone can do the workouts and I had a good first week even with the modified moves and schedule! You know by now that I have to modify any program I’m on thanks to the crumbling spine.  I cannot (but can) belive I still had a successful week as far as weight and inch loss.

I made sure I ate my reds, greens,and blues every day without fail. Greens went into my smoothies along with fruit – even cabbage and broccoli.  I ate Soy Curls, tofu, beans, hemp seeds, and Gardein.  I counted oranges and teaspoons with nuts, nut butter, flax seeds and touches of oil in salads, oatmeal, and on bread. (Note:  Sherrie needs garlic bread with pasta!)  Starchy yellows included bread, rice, and oats.  When I ate Gardein as protein, I ate half to three-quarter sized yellows.  When I used beans as protein, I measured them in yellow containers and added more green to my meal.  My blues included homemade hemp and coconut milks.  I didn’t cheat last week.  I also didn’t eat on schedule thanks to a couple of crazy days.

For training, I alternated Upper, Lower, Total Body, and Cardio Fix with PIlates Fix and Yoga Fix to aid in my recovery.  I had a bad day on Thursday, so I did two short sessions with Tony Horton and a short walk.  Ten Minute Trainer is a great one for people short on time.

My results?  1 pound down and lost inches in my waist and hips.  Yes, inches plural.  I lost two inches off my waist and one off my hips.  I’ll take it!  I don’t usually care that much about the scale, but weighed in to prove that modification still yields results.

I cannot wait to see what the next two weeks brings!  I’m checking out Team Beachbody Club and Beachbody on Demand and will substitute a workout from 21-Day Fix Extreme, Focus T-25, P90X, P90X2, P90X3, Insanity, Asylum, RevAbs, Turbo Fire, or any of the other streaming workouts available on BOD.  If you like mixing it up or want to try a program before you buy, BOD rocks!

Here’s to another week of eating clean and training.  It doesn’t matter how you train – be consistent and go as hard as you can.  If you want to join me, just give me a shout.  I’ve got your back.

Note:  The images link to my Team Beachbody Store.  If you want or need support or accountability and don’t have a coach, pick up 21 Day Fix or any other program and I’ll be your coach.  You can join for free if you’re not ready to commit to a program yet and just need some help.  I’m here for you.

How not to go vegetarian

Switching from an omni to vegetarian way of life can be easy, but if you want to keep it healthy, don’t do what I did. Let my mistakes be your guide.

When I first made the switch, I replaced all meat with additional bread, cheese, and fat. I thought I could eat anything I wanted in large quantities because I wasn’t eating meat. Unless the cheese is made with vegetable rennet, it might as well be meat. And those calories add up. I lost weight because I was working out five days a week. The minute things slowed down, the weight came on.

Another big mistake I made was not eating more vegetables. I ate the same handful of veggies I’d always eaten, but most of them were either starchy or smothered in cheese or butter or both.

And don’t get me started on the sweets. I feel into the ‘woah, this is vegan?’ trap and tried everything. Lots of everything. I still try lots of vegan sweets, but not all at once.

If you have any questions about my missteps, feel free to ask.

Until next time, peace and good eats!

Ahh, chocolate! Thanks, Freedom Superfoods Organic Raw Cacao!

freedom cacaoHello.  My name is Sherrie and I have a chocolate problem.  I could eat it every day and never get tired of it.   I like it sweet, dark, mild, straight up or in recipes.  Cutting out dairy meant cutting way back on store-bought chocolate goodness and getting back into the kitchen for my fix.  That wasn’t a problem necessarily, but it wasn’t exactly the best thing for me to do.  You know, since I have that problem.

When I was asked if I’d be interested in trying Freedom Superfoods Organic Raw Cacao, I was not opposed.  Well, more than that.  I was excited; giddy, even.  I know that good quality chocolate has health benefits (it’s rich in antioxidants and minerals), but it seems this stuff is even better.  According to the folks at Freedom Superfoods, their raw cacao is alkalizing and energizing in addition its fiber, magnesium, potassium, copper, and iron that help keep my blood pressure and energy level on point.  It’s non-fermented, organic, raw goodness.

The first thing I did when I received the bag was make a mocha.  It was late morning when my shipment arrived and I needed caffeine.  I noticed how smooth and fine the powder was.  This was not the cocoa powder I was used to.   It blended perfectly into my mocha and made my chocolate-loving self smile.  I think the flavor did more to lift the afternoon slump than the caffeine.

Freedom Superfoods Organic Raw Cacao has adds rich dark chocolate flavor in anything its added to.  When you order a bag, Freedom Superfoods includes an e-book with recipes to try.  Instead of following their recipes, I used the raw cacao the way I usually use cocoa powder.  I mixed it into smoothies and oatmeal at breakfast, coffee and coconut milk for afternoon lattes and mochas, chili at lunch and dinner, and for dessert, everything.  I made raw banana chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup for topping and dipping, chocolate mousse, and, my current favorite, homemade coconut dark chocolate candy. Thanks to Angela Liddon (Oh She Glows) for that one.   she inspired me and sent me on a candy-making spree.

cacao ig
Coconut Oil, raw cacao, and maple syrup = vegan superfood candy bars!

The recloseable bag helps keep the cacao powder fresh until its all gone.  At this rate, I’ll finish it by the end of the year.  Yes, I plan to give chocolate goodness as holiday presents.   If you want your dark chocolate goodness throughout the day like I do, Freedom Superfoods Organic Raw Cacao is the way to go.  Check them out on Facebook and see why I love this stuff.  The company stands behind their products and offers a 60 day money-back guarantee.

If you’ll excuse me, I have a raw banana chocolate smoothie to finish while I work.  I’d share, but, you know, you’re not here with me.

choc smoothie
Cheers!

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.

Review: Yacon Syrup is delicious!

Hello.   I’m Sherrie and I issues with sugar.  By issues I mean a deep love of it. Too much of it at times.  According to my mom, I went after sugary goodness with a vengeance as a baby. Before I was two, I snagged my Easter basket and took out the chocolate bunny when I was supposedly napping. She said I was working on the jelly beans when I was caught.

See, I told you I had a problem.

I’m on the lookout for low-glycemic alternative sweeteners that will hold up in baking and have minimal aftertaste no matter how it’s used.  I like stevia, but hubs and the kids don’t care for it.  Right on time, I was offered a bottle of V3 Life & Food Pure Premium Raw Organic Yacon Root Syrup.  While hubs was skeptical after hearing the reported benefits, I was happy to give it a shot.

yacon syrupHave you tried Yacon Syrup?

It’s making the rounds as a fantastic metabolism-boosting weight loss wonder.  It’s another new-to-us food from Peru that’s reported to have amazing benefits.

V3 Life & Food Pure Premium Raw Organic Yacon Root Syrup is certified organic, non gmo, soy and gluten-free, and a delicious low-glycemic sweetener.  It contains prebiotics and probiotics that support healthy digestion, has only 13 calories per teaspoon, and reportedly boosts the metabolism.   Other reported benefits include increased fiber intake, lower blood sugar, and  weight loss.  The Dr. Oz Show aired a feature on yacon syrup in November 2013 after looking into the hype and conducting a 28 day experiment.   Of the 40 participants who completed the challenge, 73% lost weight and 68% recommended it as a weight loss tool.   I wasn’t interested in the syrup as a weight loss aid and only tried it as a low-glycemic sweetener.

v3 yacon syrup nutrition label

It tastes like a cross between honey and molasses and adds a richness that honey doesn’t have.  I enjoyed it in hot tea, unsweetened soy milk (hot, cold, and blended with cocoa powder), drizzled on homemade soy yogurt and berries, coffee with a little coconut milk creamer, and in my morning acv and lemon juice drink.  I don’t know if it had an effect on my metabolism, but I do know that the flavor definitely had an effect on me.  I will keep it on hand for use in recipes calling for agave nectar or honey without hesitation.  I have a few muffin recipes calling my name now.  Pumpkin spice muffins are good any time of year.

Get your bottle of Life & Food Organic Yacon Root Syrup directly from Life & Food’s shop or Amazon.  No matter where you get it, give it a try and let me know what you think.

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.

June already? What’s your plan?

Can you believe 2014 is already six months old?  June is already 11 days old?  Where did the time go?  Are you on track?  Anywhere close to where you wanted to be?  I’ll admit it,  I’m not.   And I won’t let it throw me much.  I’ll tweak my plans and go month to month.

My plan was in part inspired by a dream.  I’ve been back and forth to the doc and specialists (yes, plural) trying to finally figure out what all ails me.   It’s exhausting and frustrating and frightening if I K et my mind wander too much.  More so if I consult Dr. Google instead of waiting to for a specific diagnosis.   According to Google,  cold symptoms could be anything from a cold to a rare syndrome that would put someone just outside death’s door.  No one needs that kind of stress or fear without knowing what’s going on inside them.

So, back to this dream.  Of course I dreamed about a doctor visit.  I mean, it’s been at least 33% of my focus for a while now.  So, I’m waiting for the doc to walk in, and it’s Kris Carr!   You know, the woman behind Crazy, Sexy Cancer.  Her.

I was so in awe and blown away.  I think seeing her was a sign.  Not that a cancer diagnosis is looming, but that I’m doing the right thing by following up with the docs and working on healing.  Another round of physical therapy starts next today   My diet is cleaning up and even more greens are coming in.  My healthier cookbooks are my main kitchen inspiration and I’m eating to live.

There they are, two of my inspirations!
There they are, two of my inspirations!
One of my go-to's for healthy vegan eats.
One of my go-to’s for healthy vegan eats. Lindsay Nixon photo.
A fav dish from Crazy Sexy Kitchen.  Sherrie Thompson photo.
A fav dish from Crazy Sexy Kitchen.  This and the tahini dressing that is.
I'll hit the library more often than the bookstore for new inspiration.
I’ll hit the library more often than the bookstore for new inspiration.

I don’t want to just survive anymore.  I want to thrive, glow, and kick ass.

So, what’s happening with you?  Have any good dreams lately?