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Diary of a Southern Vegan

Hey all,

Sorry for not posting in a long time. I am going to refocus this blog so that it will be more recipe oriented and not so much just a expose on living vegan in everyday life. Life is too short, to be so self focused. I want to help those who are struggling with diet related diseases and with all of my job searching without any luck, by they way, I find myself right back where I started so many years ago. As  a passionate plant based chef, health is important to each one of us for a better life as we age. By the time we are in our 60-70’s our life is either really good or just getting by with chemicals.

I see what our food system is doing to our bodies everyday and most people have no clue what is causing their discomfort. The advertising…

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Diary of a Southern Vegan

Our bodies work systemically, so to treat just one area and ignore the rest seems like the wrong diagnosis and a failure in getting the whole body healthy. If you have watched the Gerson Miracle or Forks over Knives, then you know that the research shows that a whole foods plant based diet is the optimal diet for the human body. Animal products have a high endorsement from the USDA only because of the influences and subsidies going to these particular industries.

Fruits and vegetables are considered specialty items. Processed food is at an all time high. The quality of the processed food is not nutritious at all and you might as well be eating cardboard. If you read the side of the package and it reads like a chemical factory, then a chemical factory needs to eat it.

My favorite juice to drink every morning is the Carrot Apple…

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Tropical Storm Lee is still causing havoc in our area. The ditches are beginning to fill with the constant rain but it does make it a good day to lay around and finish up my Visual Basic assignments for unit 5. I am just 3 unit tests away from finishing my degree and I am looking forward to taking some time off and working on my blogs and creating cookbooks. Looks like I might need a Prow to get to work on Tuesday or Noah’s Ark.

How many of you out there cook your recipes from scratch? Did you know that if you buy your ingredients in their unprocessed state that it is cheaper on your grocery bill?

The secret to cooking from scratch is having a well stocked pantry. Granted I still buy my canned products of tomatoes and tomato paste as I no longer can food products for my families needs.  But by doing this you can get the flavors you want in the food you serve to your family rather than what someone else has created.

I have a collection of cookbooks to draw on for my inspiration plus recipes I have created from other media sources such as food network and several food blog sites.  The secret to getting the food on the table after work is to have a game plan in place when you get home. I have done food prep two ways. Mise en place which is everything cut and measured before I start to prepare the dish or prepping while in the process of preparing the dish. Both methods work well and it depends on what works for you.

I tend to have menus lined up on my refrigerator for the week and take a shopping list to the market with me, so I don’t purchase the items I don’t need. If you are focused in your pursuit of food, you will not be tempted to buy the impulse items on the end caps in the store. 

Basic pantry items include:

flour

sugar

tomatoes/tomato paste

noodles

spices

vegetable broth

etc.

With these few items you can make lots of food.  I will find a true list of good pantry items to have on hand for my next post.  Because I am a vegan, the pantry will take on a different character then the normal pantry. As long as you have the right ingredients to cook the meals that is what counts. Your purposeful planning makes perfect execution of any meal a breeze.

So when you find a recipe in a magazine or on the food network that strikes your fancy you can write down the ingredients and head off to the store to get the supplies and find yourself with dinner on the table in no time.

Contemplating the first day of Fall today. The weather outside is gorgeous with vivid blue skys and nary a cloud in the sky. The full moon shone brightly last night around 7 pm as I was driving back from Rousses after picking up 2 “Who Dat” reusable bags of groceries.  I did pick up a couple of rib eye steaks for my husband who has been craving meat and potatoes lately.

My husband will have grilled rib eye and loaded baked potato tonight for dinner. I am still contemplating what I am having for mine. I have leftover coconut tofu from a Thai noodle bowl I made for dinner a few nights ago. I could pair with a baked potato and a salad and be perfectly happy for the rest of the evening.

I also made a recipe of Cuban beans and rice. The beans were good and the added banana made them slightly sweet to the palate. Yum! I actually made a cherry pie for dinner this last weekend and boy did it go fast. Too long not baking and I miss it.

I remember in the fall growing that the apples were in season and that mean’t going out to the orchards to pick up several bushels for canning and baking.  My aunt Anna had an apple pie recipe that was out of this world and I can still taste it on my lips to this day.  I often wonder what she would think of my vegan diet. She and grandma were born in the horse and buggy days and new ideas were seldom given much credibility.  I have pictures of them working the dairy farm on Mica Peak just outside of Couer’dalene Idaho. Grandma was a good cook, too. She made some hearty meals for everyone and the portions were such that you could eat the leftovers for days to come.

They would have huge family gatherings at the dairy and the kids were destined to play outside until the meal was ready to be served. These gatherings were all the brothers and sisters and cousins, their kids and families. So crowds could be as big as 100 people or more. But there was always plenty to eat and no one left hungry.

Is your food diary working? What is your pattern of eating showing you these days? I sure had a wakeup call with mine. I have been noticing that I am eating a lot of grains and starches in my diet. So I have started adding more fruits and vegetables during the day for snacks. My digestive system likes this.

Are you looking into the lean meats and chicken breast for your daily bread? That is if you are still following the Standard American Diet. This way you can help stop some of the extra fat from clinging to your arteries. Little steps make the biggest difference in how you feel and what you eat has a lot to do with that feeling every morning.

Let me know what changes you are making to your diet to give you a longer life and more stamina.

Are you a Knight punching your joust at windmill or a dragon? My windmill and my dragon is health and well being, which translates to quality of life. Truly the easiest thing to do is to blame others for our shortcomings. But if you really look at yourself with out the rose colored glasses, you might find the answer to where the problem lies.

It would be fun, if we all sat down a few minutes a day and journalized our actions. If you did that you see what kind of activity you were putting your body through and what you were feeding it. The general concensus is that nobody really wants to do this. Why do you think that is? When you write down everything you put in your mouth and all of your activities during the day, you get a visual picture of what your body looks like. Am I wrong? This kind of truth is straight forward. It is just like taking a group picture and all of sudden you see yourself as the chubby friend in the picture. That visual will either make you take action to not be the chubby friend or send you into a feeding frenzy.

I keep my journal everyday because I want to see changes I am making in my diet and my glucose levels. Without the journal, when I went to see the doctor my words would be subjective for him, but my journal is hard copy proof of the changes I am making on a daily basis to get this right.

So do you want to shed a few pounds or maybe not take so much medicine for something that can be controlled by diet and exercise? I challenge you to set up a journal to keep track of your food and exercise activity everyday. You will be amazed at the transformation once you see what kind of calories you are putting into your mouth and how little activity you physically doing. This is your jumpstart to making a positive change in your behavior and extending your life a few more years.

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