Pay attention to the things you are naturally drawn to.
They are often drawn to your path, passion, and purpose in life.  Have the courage to follow them.
-Ruben Chavez

I am at conflict.  Like really feeling some kinda way.

Only two weeks into my journey, I promised myself that I would not to turn into a wacky extremest.  Hmm…  I am the only person in my household on this vegan trip.

No one is interested in a plant-based diet, so I have to cook two different meals, which isn’t new for me.  Right before I started training for my first figure competition, I began to eat clean (avoiding processed foods), so I cooked “clean” meals for me and regular meals for my family.

If you are not vegan, please; keep reading!  I am not trying to gross you out or offend you. I am sharing my private thoughts…that’s all.  You might have initiated some kind of change in your life and are facing a struggle with its execution.

To shift our behavior to more positive behavior requires some level of self-awareness and self-regulation (factors of emotional intelligence). Efficiently being aware of and managing our emotions can guide our thinking and our actions through the muddle and eventually achieve our goals. That’s what this post is about… me sharing my private thoughts with you and while sorting through conflicting emotions.  If this post helps one person, then it is worth my time and effort.

This blog is devoted to sharing insight on how to improve Health & Wellness (HW).  The food and beverage we consume impacts our physical, mental and overall well-being.

Chicken drumsticks

Ugh!

Anyways, while seasoning a pan of drumsticks for my peeps, all I could see where thousands of ill-health chickens squashed together in coop.

Then there’s the realization of the sheer volume of antibiotics and other chemicals that were injected… the thoughts produced feelings of guilt.  Yes. Guilt!

Why guilt?  Because I do the grocery shopping and cooking for my family.  If I prepare plant-based meals, they will be annoyed with me.

My 15-year-old son ain’t trying to eat plant-based…period.  Hubby and mom.  They enjoy meat too.

Knowing more about the effects of meat on the body, makes me feel bad.  I feel like I’m feeding them chemicals and contributing to future health problems.  I have to figure how out how to manage my unsettling emotions without passing judgment for their dietary choices. After all, other vegan family members have never judged me for sucking chicken off a bone or for eating a half dozen shrimp saturated in butter.  I’m merely trying to keep things in perspective.

Read More

Private Thoughts Of A Transitioning Vegan


Day 5 Of My Vegan Challenge

It is day five of my personal vegan challenge.   I fear that I will run out of plant-based meals or become bored with my options.  To prevent my fear from coming to fruition, I am fiercely planning meatless meals.

In addition to reading online articles about vegan diets, I unpacked Russell Simons, The Happy Vegan.   Two years ago I bought the book, but I never finished reading it.  Why I don’t know.

This go around, I am more focused, and I am enjoying the read.

A friend introduced me to tempeh.

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Tempeh is funny looking.  Not very appealing to the eye. It is a fermented soy-based vegetarian food that is common in Asia.  Tempeh is reported to elevate hormones levels and trigger breast cell production, so “if you have a history of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer,” you should talk to your doctor.

Anyways, while I do limit my soy intake, I decided to try it. Of course, I had to put my spin on it.  So without a recipe and using only the package instructions, I made a new and tasty dish.

First I melted Kerrygold butter.   Yes.  I know it’s dairy.  One thing at a time.  Meat first, then dairy.  At least it’s butter from plant fed cows.

Then I added minced garlic and the entire packet of tempeh (cubed).  Instructions said to add soy sauce and cook until golden but to avoid the sodium, I skipped that step. Instead, I added vegetable broth.  Then I tossed in a little red, yellow and orange peppers, 1/2 jalapeno, and then a serving (3 teaspoons) of hemp seeds.

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I let it simmer until the tempeh softened and I could split the cubes.  It looked dull, naked, and lacked color, so I added green beans.

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The Pot!

 

 

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My plate!  It was magnificent!

For dinner on Tuesday, I added Lima beans to my spaghetti squash…  Another good one!

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But on Tuesday, I also cooked curry and turmeric quinoa.

The ingredients:

1 cup of quinoa
1 Tbs of olive oil
1 medium to large size garlic clove
1 jalapeno pepper
1 regular size can of organic black beans (rinsed)
1 can garbanzo beans (thoroughly rinsed)
1 can of regular or fire roasted diced tomatoes or regular unsalted stewed tomatoes
1 – 1/2 cups of organic low sodium vegetable broth
3-4 Tbs of organic curry (estimate… add until the quinoa turns yellow)
2-3 Tbs of organic turmeric (estimate)

Add olive oil, minced garlic, and jalapeno to saucepan. Soften then combine remaining ingredients. Cook on high for about 5 minutes, then simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes.  If it dries out before the quinoa is soft, add a little more vegetable broth.

Enjoy!!  I found the original Mexican Quinoa on Pinterest at damdelicious.net.
If the curry is a little too much for you, try the Mexican dish.

I am doing okay this week and will continue to search for new recipes.

If you read my post, Why My Son Wants To Help His Grandmother, or This Happened Today then you know my son is trying to help my mom quit smoking.

A quick update.  Tailor continues to convince my mom to walk to the mailbox after dinner, but she is still smoking.  She has talked about smoking fewer cigarettes so only time will tell.  I give him an A for effort.

As I previously wrote, I failed at my first attempt at a vegan diet, but I haven’t given up.  Perhaps two years ago wasn’t the right time for me eliminate all meat from my diet. What I am sure about is that, although I failed once, it doesn’t mean I can’t take another shot at it.  And no.  I am not trying to convince anyone to become vegan, I am merely sharing my journey.  In a future post, I will write more about my decision to give up meat.

Modify. Adapt. Assess. Revaluate. But don’t give up on what’s important to you.

 


This Happened Today

In yesterday’s post, I shared a particular moment with my son showing his grandmother a compelling video of the harmful effects of cigarette smoking. Tailor is on a mission to help her win the war against tobacco addiction and, from the back seat,  I am cheering him on. Who am I to tell my son to leave his grandmother alone?  Nope.  I won’t do that. I am a spectator enjoying the parade.

Well. After dinner today, my mom and my son walked to the mailbox together. It took some coaxing on his part, but she agreed.

The walk to the mailbox was short but possibly the beginning of a change and the start of a new habit.  Their walk to the mailbox replaced mom’s after-dinner cigarette.

Grandchildren make the world

a little softer, 

a little kinder, 

a little warmer.


Why My Son Wants To Help His Grandmother

“Grandchildren complete life’s circle of love.”

 

For the fall semester, my 14-year-old has a freshman health class.  Tailor’s class is learning about the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes.  Nothing is more convincing than graphic images that show the deterioration of the human body.

fullsizeoutput_2354After dinner today he knocked on his grandmom’s bedroom door.

“Grandmom, can I show you something?”

She agreed.

The Top 40: Scariest Anti-Smoking Commercials [Part three] video undoubtedly left an unshakeable impression on Tailor. So much that he shared it with his grandmother.

Last week, he shared the video with me.  I sat and watched Part two and three. The video is striking and disturbing.  If you are a parent, watch the video and show it to your children. If you know a smoker, share it with them too.

My son is concerend about his grandmother’s health. She is 84 years-old.

For 68 lasting years, tobacco has infiltrated every aspect of her body.

He hears her deep and continuous cough… the loud rattling echoing from her lungs. My son notices her shortness of breath after only a few steps.  He wants to extend her life.

She quietly sat and watched the seven and half minute video. Below is their post-viewing chat.

My Mom:  Thank you for letting me look at the video Tailor.

Tailor:  Do you think the video will change the way you feel about smoking?

My Mom:  It’s not that easy to quit.  You have cravings…

She said goodnight to everyone and went to her room.

Tailor sat on the computer to look up strategies on how to help a smoker quit.  Monday, he’ll try one approach:  asking her to walk with him after dinner.

He knows there is a good possibility that she will shoot him down, but hubby and I encouraged him to try anyway.

In the shadow of observing the two, I realized how badly my son wants to convince his grandmother to quit smoking.  Just maybe he can do something that no one else has been able to do.

When the world says, “Give up.”

HOPE whispers, “Try one more time.”

 

Additional Reading

Smoking Facts

Youth Product Tobacco Use

How Cigarettes Damage Your Body

Tobacco Threatens Us All