Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vegan Roast and Potatoes Recipe

Vegan Sunday Roast and Potatoes Recipe

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Conquering Food Addictions

Update on Conquering my Sugar Addiction

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I am happy to report 1.5 pound weight loss this week!

I am very excited about my journey to overcome sugar addition.  I have found that as I avoid sweets I do not have the desire to binge on food seeking that 'sugar high' constantly.  I have noticed that with sugar or any other addictive substance it starts out fairly innocuous....but as time goes on your body wants more and more and more to get the same 'high'. 

It leads to horrible cravings, binge eating and other destructive behaviors.  Conquering an addiction is NOT easy.  As I watched my weight continue to climb due to binge eating on sweets you'd think it would have made me want to stop.....but alas it did not.  You have to come to a place in your life where you are so broken, so desperate that you are willing to do something very difficult and painful in order to overcome.  I wish we were not that way....but that is just how people operate.  We continue in self destructive patterns even though we know it is hurting us....and we do it for that 5 seconds of pleasure, at least in the case of food addictions.


Hubby and I had a date night on Saturday night and we went to one of my favorite very vegan friendly restaurants:  Ginger's Cafe.   They have an amazing menu including raw foods, vegetarian, vegan....we love this place and they also have yummy vegan cookies.  Try as I might I couldn't resist having a couple of bites of hubby's cookies. 

These cookies are NOT your traditional overly oily/sugary cookie.  They are lightly sweet, yes they have turbinado sugar so something I should avoid but I enjoyed a couple of bites.  I had a little guilt over it but I have continued to do extremely well in conquering my addiction.

Cooking Day with My Mom

Yesterday my mom came over to make her favorite granola and some cookies.  We made some delicious sugar free chocolate chunk cookies that were amazing!  My mom loved them!  It was a great day and I was able to handle the temptation of snacking continuously on the food we were making.....

It was interesting that after eating the sugar free cookies I did not have the desire to binge on them, in fact I only ate half a cookie and then I was fine.  I wanted to take a picture of the cookies but unfortunately, I did not get mom, me, my sister, my two kids and their friends ate them all FAST!

Don't worry though, I will be making them for my hubby when he gets back from his business trip...I will get pictures of them then.

Ramblings on overcoming addiction

There are some people who can just decide to change or do something, put their mind to it and never look back.  However, this is not the norm.  Most of us cannot just use our 'will power' to overcome addiction.  You have to have a plan that will work for you!  If the thought of giving up on desserts completely causes you to feel anxiety and stress it can lead to a short period of abstinence followed by a binge.  You have to create a plan that you can be happy with, and that plan doesn't have to look like anyone else' is individual for YOU!

The internet is chock full of expert says do X, the next one says do Y, the next one says do Z.....and on and on the internet advise goes.  So what do you do?  

The reality is, not all plans for overcoming addictions will work for everyone...take the good advice that feels doable to you and leave the rest.
  • Create a plan that feels very doable to you
  • Choose ahead of time what you are going to do instead of turning to food [take a walk, read, shopping, drink some tea, knitting etc...]
  • Find healthy substitutions for foods you just are not willing to give up
  • Make a plan for dining out, parties and other situations that may lead to eating issues

I decided that completely giving up dessert was NOT going to work for me at this point in my life...I have tried it and the results were disastrous.  Some people do recommend doing this and it worked for them, but it did not work for me.  So instead of feeling guilty or continue to try and force myself to follow someone else's path, I forged my own.

I found MANY substitutions for sweeteners that have little to no impact on blood sugar levels and do not feed candida.  Realize that we NEED blood sugar and therefore healthy whole foods are great...but as far as concentrated sweeteners go it is just too much sugar all at once.

I am the type of person that if I want something and no one else is doing it....I'll figure out my own way!  I've done it many times and I'm still doing it.  I want dessert but I also want to be I am finding a way to do it!  That is the attitude you need to get through and achieve the results you want!

Friday, July 5, 2013

First couple of days Sugar Free

Sugar Free on the 4th of July....My first challenge

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I created a completely SUGAR FREE peach cobbler so I could enjoy a delicious dessert on the 4th of July.
This amazing cobbler features fresh peaches, dried fruits, a touch of stevia and cinnamon and nutmeg.  I topped it off with a whole wheat sweet biscuit that I sweetened with lakanto and stevia.

***Most people HATE the aftertaste of stevia sweetened baked be honest SO DO I!  But, you can prevent that completely and I use very specific methods so that the stevia lends ONLY sweetness!

When I first started tinkering with sugar free baking I tested out some stevia only sweetened baked goods and they were....well to be blunt AWEFUL!  I threw the cookbook away, it was completely useless.  In my opinion just because it is sugar free doesn't mean it should taste disgusting.  So I set out to figure out how to make delicious desserts without using any concentrated sugars that taste amazing.  This was my first creation and my dessert loving family gobbled up the whole me if my hubby likes is a good dessert.

The ice cream on top was just a simple cinnamon banana ice cream which made this the perfect summer dessert.  Just as a warning though....for those who are afraid of carbs...this is not meant to be low carb nor was it meant to be naturally occuring sugar free....this dessert does contain dried fruits as a means of sweetness.  I will NOT use artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, nutrasweet, splenda etc...

On day one it was difficult not to have some toast with peanut butter and honey....I had fallen deeply in the trap of eating honey to sweeten things but it flares up candida as much as anything else.  It was also difficult not to eat a couple peices of my Panda Blueberry Licorice....but I did NOT give in!

I succeeded  on my first desserts, not even anything sweetened with stevia.  The 4th of July was a bit harder though.  It is a day we usually have yummy desserts and eat candy and treats at the fireworks.  I made this beautiful peach cobbler after dinner and that really hit the spot......then I bought some maltitol sweetened chocolate to take to the fireworks and I had two small bites that I completely savored and that was perfect!  I didn't touch any of the other candy!  Normally I would have about exploded if I couldn't taste the treats.....but last night I was calm.    So far so good!  I don't anticipate everyday being this easy but the past couple of days have been okay.

Great 4th of July Celebration

I had to share this adorable picture from the son C holding his cousin J during the Grand Finale!  He needs a little brother......I hope someday we can have a few more little ones running around the house.  He would make an AMAZING big brother!

Anyway, as far as the sugar free peach cobbler recipe is going into a collection of recipes that I will be offering.  I am going to be testing out a HUGE PCOS & Thyroid protocol on myself over the next couple of months and when it is finished I will be offering it to others.

I have realized that one of my biggest issues is that I do actually have chronic yeast issues from my  years of sugar laden eating.......It is frustrating to say the least but I am finally at a point where I am ready to just do what needs to be done.

2 days free of sugar......down .2 pounds!

Okay so it isn't a HUGE improvement in 2 days...I wish I could say down 2 pounds....okay I realize that is expecting a bit too much.  I am going to add some herbs to the mix and see if I can get this yeast problem more under control.....I may have to cut out even the dried fruit desserts for awhile but I'm going to experiment and see what  happens.

I also want to point out that I dont' believe sweets in themselves cause weight gain....for me it is that if I eat sugar it ends up that I eat too much because I can't stop eating it.  So avoiding them results in weight loss simply because it removes the tendency to overeat....and sweets also are VERY Calorie dense which also contributes significantly to weight gain.

Well, so far so good on the sugar free front......we'll see what the next few days bring.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Declaration of Independence and New Directions.....

New Directions

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directions on the blog, then I post that I am going to retire the blog.....then a month later I am back to posting!   What kind of crazy am I?

Okay, okay, I have explained before that I have felt so conflicted about which way to take this blog and I have tried new things and not liked the results.....retiring the blog was not right for me, I LOVE sharing my recipes and posting for my readers.   I apologize for my crazy, constant changing of my mind.....that is just me.

I am going to be blunt and for those of you who know me.... honesty is one of my strengths!  I do not beat around the bush, I will tell you exactly like it here goes!

I started this blog in 2008 as many people were requesting my recipes or my nutrition clients were wanting recipes and ideas for starting their new healthy lifestyles.  At the encouragement of many I started this blog.....I had a lot of fun creating recipes and in the beginning I only posted pictures of my creations not wanting to just give away all my hard work for free!

Many people commented and begged for I decided to start posting recipes and my readership shot up quickly!  That was great, but I still was not getting a dime for any of my hard work.  I thought, that is okay, it takes time.........a year later it was still the same...........another year and no change..............

I started creating ebooks:

Summer BBQ Recipes:  Potato salad, Vegan BBQ wings, Grilled veggie burgers, grilled corn on the cob, chocolate peanut butter bars, brownies, sunburger pasta salad.....and more!

Restaurant Style Chinese Recipes: Vegan egg foo yong, fried rice, General Tso's vegan chicken, sweet and sour tempeh or seitan etc.....

Zesty for Life Oil-Free salad dressings:  Honey mustard mango dressing, Ranch, Italian, Tahini miso.........

Fall Recipe Collection I & II:  Tofurkey, stuffing, Wassail, Apple Cider, Pumpkin muffins, chili, International award winning hot chocolate, pumpkin chocolate chip sweet rolls, carmel, scones, pumpkin pancakes, butternut squash risotto, pumpkin creme brulee, candied yams, 

Decadent Desserts: Chocolate swirl cheesecake, chocolate mint chip cookies, cinnamon rolls, apple crumble, chocolate mint pudding, Apple pie, chocolate peanut butter bars, chocolate chip cookies

Healthy Recipes for Kids: macaroni and cheese, pop tarts, doritos, chocolate calcium smoothie etc......

As much as I hate to admit this publicly......this was an abysmal failure.....4 years 2 sales!!!  Yep, it was pathetic.  I started an email newsletter and gained about 300 subscribers in a couple of months.....I offered sales, discounts, contests to win free ebooks etc..... nothing sales!

I got lots of unsubscribes and nasty emails when I would write an article that was controversial.....people accused me of spam even though I had a double opt-in process so as you can see there is no more 'sign up for the newsletter' link anymore.  Honestly, I couldn't handle all the hostility so I closed up shop on the newsletter.....People are MEAN!  There was no sense in having a newsletter when no one was interested in what I had to offer and all I got out of it was mean people...

I took the ebooks off the blog and these recipes are actually enjoyed by NO ONE! 

I am NOT a marketer......honestly I probably couldn't sell a heater to an Eskimo!  It isn't my talent, my talent is creating recipes and teaching nutrition......that is my passion.

I thought, okay I see all these successful bloggers out there and they don't just post recipes, they post health articles....I'll try that.

That did NOT go well......I wasn't expecting to make money doing least initially, but maybe if people started to respect my knowledge and experience and get to know me they might follow my blog.....wrong!  

I don't know if I have perpetual bad luck or what but my first two blog posts generated such hate posts that I decided to quit the health posts!    The internet seems to be FULL of angry people just searching for someone to be angry with for no reason.  If you don't like what I say go find a blogger that tells you what you want to hear and don't post your hater comments!

I am sensitive and I will NOT apologize for it!  I have deep compassion for others and I intensely feel their pain and I think that is a trait that is LONG LOST in our society!   You can call me a baby or whatever you want but my love and compassion runs deep, along with intense sensitivity and I just do not do well with angry people.

So, I went back to posting recipes........I posted a tutorial on How to cook Hashbrowns without oil.

I figured those who wanted to know would appreciate the post......NOPE!  All I received were a bunch of comments about how potatoes make you fat, they turn to sugar and get stored as fat and I was a complete idiot for posting this!

Seriously people?  If you think potatoes are bad for you....what are you doing reading a post about how to cook them?

I deleted the comments, they were not kind, they were not helpful, they were angry and hateful and not only that they were  full of grammar and spelling errors......Not to mention that they lacked any scientific support for the claims.  

I realize there are studies showing that potatoes contribute to diabetes....what they fail to recognize is these were not 'potatoes'  they were studying french fries and baked potatoes which often contain MORE calories from butter, sour cream, cheese and oils, that it isn't actually a potato they are studying.

You can't say I am going to take X AND Y drug and if I have a side effect it MUST be X drug!  

Anyway, that is not the point of this post.

Enough Rambling Already What is the New Direction???

Okay, I know.....I ramble!  The new direction is that I will not be posting all the recipes.....I have found that it just is NOT worth it!  I work hard and give out recipes for FREE??  Would you want your life's work to be valued at NOTHING????

My recipes are very good, I work hard, I have several degrees and certificates and I'm sorry but what I have to offer is NOT worthless!

So, the new direction is that I will be posting pictures of recipes, I will post some of the recipes but not all of them.....the recipes will be part of ebooks and programs that I will be offering.   If I don't sell a single ebook or program that is fine....but I value my work so I will not be offering it for free.

I Created Ebooks Followers BEGGED for!!!!  What Happened?

On facebook I made some comments about the misconceptions about fat, oils, carbohydrates, protein etc....

All the sudden I had 5 or so followers say they wanted an ebook about this.....they would buy it if I would write one!

Really???  Okay, I will write ebooks based on what my followers want...that will work!


This post had probably 10 I spent hours upon hours writing & editing this ebook....quickly got it up in The Peaceful Kitchen Store and what happened?  NADA, ZIP, ZILCH, NOTHING!

I offered a 10 day discount on the book for my facebook followers.......nothing. purchase.

Hubby and I Discuss My Abysmal Failure!

Hubby and I started discussing this because I wanted another opinion about what I should do.  I told him how many followers I had on Facebook....nearly 400!!!  Yep!

Then I told him when I post a recipe the most likes I have ever gotten is 22!  He said it would be one thing if you had 400 followers and had a product to sell and received 22 sales...but all these people have to do is push a button!!!!  If you are only getting 22 likes, you are wasting your time!

He is right.....he was very kind but also said....I don't want to hurt your feelings but if all they have to do is push a button and they aren't willing to even do that......its pathetic.

Okay, I get it.  I don't know what I am doing wrong...

He told me to stop posting all my recipes and hard work for free.  Post pictures, post a little recipe here or there but ONLY if I continue to enjoy doing it because if it is stressful and I don't enjoy it....I shouldn't be doing it.

I DO enjoy it, so I will continue posting and whoever wants to follow can follow but I won't be posting all the recipes for free.

My Declaration of Independence

What is this all about?  I have been fighting it for years.......fighting the knowledge that I needed to kick my sugar habit!

I LOVE sugar, I CRAVE sugar.....I can't even make it past lunch time without SUGAR!

There I confessed!  I am a sugarholic of the worst kind!

I fooled myself into believing if it was agave, maple syrup, turbinado, succanut, brown rice syrup, coconut palm sugar.......some 'Natural' kind of sugar it was okay!

It isn't!

Do NOT send me hate mail or posts if you don't like my comment....if you want to eat sugar, EAT IT and go find some blog that will tell you all the benefits of eating it but on this blog that isn't what you are going to hear so go somewhere else.....

I made it known in a previous post that I had PCOS....I have made DRASTIC improvements in my health changing to a plant based diet!  NO my PCOS was not caused by soy or a plant based developed at the age of 10 and I ate NO soy as a child EVER!  I drank I guzzled milk like there was no tommorrow!  Milk contains estradiol, estriol and estrone....the bioactive hormones.....and yes it contributed to my high estrogen levels.

Once I removed milk and meat from my diet I had a period within three had been THREE YEARS before that....and they came every 70-90 days getting closer and closer as the years went on so I knew I was on the right track.

However, I couldn't fully recover from my PCOS.....even 9 years later, although I was having regular cycles at 35 wasn't enough.....something was still wrong!

It is no big secret......I just REFUSED to accept it

I needed to kick the sugar habit.....I fought it, I tried to find any other way.....but the reality is...there is no other way!

The addiction worsened as I battled the idea of not eating sugar can I live without chocolate chip cookies?  Life isn't worth living without my chocolate chip cookies!

It dawned on me, I ask people to make HUGE dietary changes can I refuse to make the one last change I need to make?

I went through years of going off sugar, then BINGING and eventually it went from dessert twice a week to every single day....sometimes twice a twice a day, everyday.  This battle of trying to remove sugar from my diet actually led to a greater addiction than I ever thought possible!

It seemed that I would never be able to kick sugar for good....trying actually made the problem worse!

What did sugar do to me?

Let me start by saying that I DO NOT buy white sugar!  I was using maple syrup, turbinado, succanut, coconut palm sugar, brown rice syrup etc.....

What did it do?  Well......nothing at first.

Slowly I started having stiffness in the mornings and increasing sugar cravings.  When I would eat a particularly sugary rich dessert with coconut oil and sugar a yeast infection would set in.....
I would take herbs and the yeast infection would go away.

I would eat sugar and my teeth would ache.....I would put herbs on them, rinse with essential oils and it would go away.

Eventually the stiffness got worse.....I injured myself doing kettlebell swings pretty severely to where I could not even bend over and I never fully still hurts and is stiff.

My cycles started becoming farther and farther apart......45 days.....60 days.....75 days.....90 days...... eventually 6 months and  counting!!!!

Not only that my PCOS symptoms were increasing.....increased belly fat.....dark spots on my skin and others I won't discuss.....

I am not going to into all the details because as I said before people are mean and have their opinions.....but I KNOW for a fact.......sugar was slowly killing me!

Eventually I developed a systemic yeast problem!!!  When I would avoid any concentrated sweetener it would ease up....then I would eat even a low sugar dessert and BAM....symptoms return with a vengeance.

I am publicly declaring my independence from sugar!!!

It is time!  I am giving it up.......

I have decided that what will work best for me is to use dried fruit, stevia, lakanto and a few others to help me transition....

That may not be others approach but the cold turkey approach is what got me here....two desserts a day.

I know many people say you can't have fruit with yeast....but interestinly...I do just fine with it.  I think there is another dietary issue in combination with fruit that causes the issue but I'm not going to discuss it because I am not in the mood for mean people or arguing.  Do what you want, I'll do what I want.

I will be posting pictures and descriptions of my new recipe creations.....these recipes will be included in my thyroid & PCOS healing program!

You can watch my progress..........see what I am eating.........and follow my sugar detox....

I will be posting my Raw, Uncensored, experience of detoxing from sugar addiction..........Stay Tuned!

You will see details of my journey, pictures of what I am eating, and my progress.......

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Find it Hard to Eat Healthy While Traveling?

Eating Healthy on The Road

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One of the most common questions I receive is:

  'How do I maintain my healthy diet while eating out or traveling?'

Honestly, it isn't really very hard at all but before I start explaining I need to confess something.  I am insanely shy.....Yep.....I never ask for anything, I have never returned anything even if I couldn't wear it because it didn't fit, I could go on, but you get the picture, I am shy.  So if I can do can you!

Okay on to the eating out and traveling tips.  First I will detail what I did on my recent trip to Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  

**Please Forgive the Photos I took them with my cell phone as it would look to 'weird' for me to lug my huge SLR camera into the restaurants :-)

Day 1 Lunch

Costa Vida Veggie Salad

Costa Vida is an easy place to get a great healthy meal........We order the Costa Vida Veggie Salad, you can even get a whole wheat tortilla.  A delicious salad piled high with lime rice, black beans, leafy greens, guacamole, pico de gallo, mango salsa....YUM!

If you want a delicious, oil-free dressing on your salad....Check out the Costa Vida Copy Cat Mango Dressing recipe in the Zesty for Health Salad Dressing ebook in The Peaceful Kitchen Store

You can find Costa Vida just about anywhere so if you are in a pinch traveling and need a quick bite to eat this is a great option.

Day 1 Dinner

Veggie Pizza at a Hole in the wall local restaurant

Hubby was CRAVING pizza and we drove by this really dumpy local pizza joint and I said NO....let's look up online and find a restaurant that offers veggie pizza.  Hubby says he'll go in and ask about the ingredients, I stayed in the car pretty sure they wouldn't have anything.....well I was wrong.

We walk in and they do have veggie friendly pizza sauce and were very happy to make us a veggie pizza, they even had a veggie pizza, veggie subs and other veg options on the menu.  I was impressed for a tiny little town in the middle of Colorado!

They made us a lovely pizza with olives, mushrooms, onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic and NO cheese!  It was actually really good!  I couldn't get a picture because after 9 hours of driving and playing games on my phone out of sheer boredom, my phone battery was too low for the camera to work.

I think though that this is a great example of how even in some tiny town, population 400, you can find something!  You just have to ASK!

Day 2 Breakfast

Okay, I know I always harp on all my readers to GET A HOTEL WITH A FRIDGE!  Hubby has to keep the hotel rooms under $100 when he travels for work and has always been able to find one with a fridge, even in tiny towns.  However, people keep whining, I mean, telling me they can't find a hotel with a fridge.  Okay..... I decided to prove that you CAN do a healthy, cheap breakfast even without a fridge.

This hotel did not have a fridge but offered a continental breakfast.  I knew ahead of time the fruit options would be limited generally continental breakfasts offer bananas, oranges and apples...that is a start.  I planned ahead, found a grocery store on the way to the hotel before checking in and bought white peaches and raspberries which do not need refrigeration and lasted perfectly for the three days we were there.

Hubby got me UNSWEETENED instant oatmeal, banana, and apple juice at the continental breakfast.  I poured the oatmeal in a bowl with the apple juice, topped it with sliced peaches, banana and raspberries and viola cheap, healthy breakfast!

Eating healthy while traveling or going out to eat is NOT hard, you do have to plan a little bit but it isn't anything that can't be done.  I am not a good planner, I did NO prior planning for this trip, I decided to just go and find whatever food I could find to prove that you CAN travel, eat healthy with NO prior planning.  With a little planning you could probably do even excuses.

Day 2 Lunch


My son LOVES Subway, he absolutely LOVES the veggie sandwiches.  Hubby was off working today so my son and I were left to explore Glenwood Springs.  My son and I walked 2 miles from the hotel to Target and 2 miles back.....we were getting pretty tired on the way back and my son BEGGED to go to the subway by the hotel.  

Subways are EVERYWHERE, I don't care if it is a town with a gas station and two houses I guarantee they will have a Subway!   I ordered my sandwich......the employee will ALWAYS give you some sort of grief about the 'No Cheese'.....they may give you a confused look, clarify "you don't want cheese?", or make some snyde remark.  Regardless of the nutrition illiterate teens working in restaurants you can get a healthy meal.  

I got ALL The veggies piled high and topped it off with a splash of vinegar, mustard and black pepper.  Sometimes I get plain baked lays but today I just had the sandwich.  

Day 2 Dinner


Yep, you read that right, we went to Chili's and I am going to teach you how to find something to eat when someone else picks a restaurant and you can't find anything on the menu that fits your dietary choices.  I purposely chose a difficult place to find veg friendly food to help you out.

They had a yummy looking Carribean Salad on the menu but it was ONLY offered with the options of Chicken or Shrimp and none of their dressings are vegan.  No problem, the dressings are always served on the side to it is easy to pack a dressing in a small canning jar [they have really tiny jam jars you can buy] and put it in your purse.

I did not even have a dressing with me because like I said, I did this trip with NO planning to prove that it can still be done.  Although I would recommend at bare minimum have some prepared dressings with you, they only take 30 seconds to whiz up before you leave and you just pour into a tiny jar with a lid and you are good to go.  Need some oil-free dressing ideas...check out The Peaceful Kitchen store for the Zesty for Health Salad Dressings.

Anyway, I ordered the Carribean salad and asked for NO chicken or shrimp.  The waitor didn't even skip a beat and wrote it down.  I then asked for a side of black beans.  I topped my salad with the black beans and it was DELICIOUS!

A Lesson in Using the Restaurant Menu to Create A Meal


The Chili's Menu lists this sandwich....

California Turkey Club Toasted Sandwich

With turkey, applewood smoked bacon, avocado, Swiss, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and seasoned mayo on wheat Texas toast

Hubby and my son are vegetarians, they do have some dairy or eggs in baked goods when we are out to eat and they don't have as strict of healthy eating ideas as me so this is what they did.

They looked on the menu and saw that this sandwich had tomatoes, onions, lettuce and avocado.....they LOVE sandwiches with those ingredients.  So hubby told the waitor they wanted this sandwich with NO turkey and NO bacon.  The waitor didn't even give a strange look he just said, okay.

You can do this ANYWHERE!  Look at the menu and find ingredients listed....whether it be a pasta dish or whatever if it includes broccoli, bell pepers or whatever you can get an idea of what ingredients they have so you can create something suitable.

Example #2 for Chili's

ALWAYS Look for the  Sides on the Menu

Chili's has some GREAT sides:

Black Beans
Broccoli [you have to ask them not to prepare it with butter]
Corn on the Cob
Corn Tortillas
Flour Tortillas
Penne Pasta
Pico De Gallo

Okay so if we are just working with the sides on the menu we could create.....

Gluten free - Corn tortilla stuffed with avocado, black beans, salsa and broccoli  with corn on the cob on the side.  

NOT gluten free you could use flour tortillas

You could create a Mexican pasta using the penne, black beans, pico de gallo, avocado, and salsa with a  side of corn on the cob

Do you see how easy this can be?  I was just using the sides to create yummy food!  It is really that easy.

Outback Steakhouse Example

Okay, I don't regularly visit Outback Steakhouse......however, if someone else chose to eat there for some reason and I went...I could still find something.


We can again look at the sides menu.  You may have to ask some questions about chicken broth that may be used in cooking pasta sauce or rice pilafs etc.. or avoid them if you don't want to ask.

The house salad [no croutons or cheese]

Outback has vegan dressings:  mustard vinaigrette, oil & vinegar or the tangy tomato if you don't bring your own.

Baked potato with chives

Green beans
steamed mixed vegetables
steamed broccoli

Just make sure they don't put butter on them.

Just from the sides menu alone you can have a baked potato, steamed veggies and a salad with dressing.  You can also ask for a dressing on the side to top your potato....I usually bring my own tofu sour cream in a small jar but either way it works.

Day 3 Breakfast

Same as Day 2

Day 3 Lunch
V Cafe in Grand Junction

An AMAZING resource when traveling!!!  I always Check Happy Cow for Veg restaurants or Veg friendly restaurants while I am traveling.  

I had a delicious wrap filled with veggies and guacamole.  This was a fun little place we found on our way home.  I highly recommend searching Happy Cow for veg restaurants as you travel, we have found some amazing places that we never would have been able to find otherwise so check it out!

Hubby had the black bean burger on Ciabatta bread and LOVED it!!!  He actually wrote down the address so next time he was on a business trip he could come back.  They had really great food and it was very inexpensive as well.  

Tips for Traveling Healthy Style

  • Prepare a couple salad dressings ahead of time
  • Look at the ingredients listed in entrees on the menu to see what you have to work with
  • Look at the Sides to see if you can create a meal from them
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions
  • Check out before you go
  • Go to a local grocery store and pick up whole wheat bread, peanut butter, jam, fruit and even unsweetened instant oats if you have very few options available to you.
  • We even found oatmeal on a room service menu [just ask for no milk] and they often have fresh fruit as a side you can top it with.

Traveling while healthy doesn't have to be difficult, have a great time, don't stress about the food you can always find something!  Life isn't about food, it is about people and relationships so make memories and forget about the food.  If you have to eat a big bowl of fruit for lunch from a gocery store for lunch because it is all you could find....great.  Forget the food, make memories!

Monday, June 17, 2013

I'm Back with a delicious recipe for Chipotle Soy Curls and Chipotle Ranch Dressing....

Chipotle Soy Curl Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

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This delicious salad features Soy Curls smothered in a chipotle BBQ sauce tossed in a healthy salad of green leaf lettuce, cucumber, fresh tomato, grated carrot, millet, lenils, and onion.  All this deliciousness is smothered in a simple chipotle ranch dressing!

Where Have I Been?

I have been MIA the last couple of weeks, no recipe creation, very few facebook posts and no blog posts......  It was extremely difficult being that we were living at my mom's house, all four of us in a 10X10 room with just the bare necessities.

I am terrible at keeping track of my recipes at home, I knew there was no way I would be able to keep track of recipes created at my mom's house and so I put my blog on hold for a couple of weeks until we could find a house.  I am happy to report that we found a house and we are all moved in....YAY!  I resumed my recipe creation when my mom came to see our new house.  I offered to make her lunch, and so this recipe was created that morning along with some delicious homemade bread!  

I am Back to recipe creation and blogging and hope you enjoy the new recipes!

I have a few new things in the works that I think you will be really excited about!   I am trying to improve the blog, update the store front and add some amazing new products to the store as well as provide you with more features... Check back often as I will be announcing new and exciting things to come.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Decadent Vegan Chocolate Decadence Recipe

Chocolate Decadence Recipe

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My recipes and I can now be found @

I hope to see you there!   
I must apologize for the poor photo, all my belongings have been in a storage shed for over two weeks and so this is a cell phone picture....

Decadent is the PERFECT word for this dessert....creamy, rich, smooth chocolate heaven!   My husband has a favorite restaurant that he goes to frequently because they have really good veggie sandwiches and he always orders their chocolate decadence.....hubby is vegetarian so he does eat desserts with dairy or eggs at times....

He absolutely LOVES this dessert and so I set out to make a vegan version of this very popular chocolate lovers dessert.  The photo above is before the decadence had been chilled long enough, my family could NOT wait to eat it and so we ate it while it was still warm and the strawberry ice cream was melting quickly on top of it.

Hubby really enjoyed the dessert but it wasn't until he snuck back into the kitchen to get some more hours later that he started raving that this was every bit as good as his favorite restaurants chocolate decadence.....SCORE!

We are still living in the 10X10 room at my parents house......I cannot believe how absolutely frustrating finding a home to rent is.  We found a wonderful home in an area we loved and submitted an application...we were the FIRST ones to submit an application and then we find out they are going to 'collect' applications for four days and then just pick one....much to our dismay, we were not chosen.

We continue to call on homes only to have them rent before we even have time to make an appointment to see it or we have to sit and wait for them to collect applications and of course we are never chosen and end up back at square one.   It has been very emotionally draining....I hope we find a home soon.  Unfortunately while I continue to try and find a home my recipe creation will be hindered and my photos will be on a cell phone so hopefully you can bear with me until I can get settled.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Eating While Homeless............

Creating Recipes while Homeless

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Delicious, thin chocolate cookies filled with homemade vanilla ice cream....It is made with a cashew cream base.

Okay so we aren't technically homeless as in living on the street......however we have been alternating living out of hotels and at my parents house.  All four of us staying in a 10X10 bedroom!  We have been doing this for about 2 weeks now and I am praying we will be able to find a home SOON!

Unfortunately I do not have the recipes for this mom came up with the idea and I just quickly created it on the fly.  We even froze these wrapped in saran wrap and they were equally good several days later.   When we get settled I will take the time to recreate these delicious little ice cream sandwiches and post the recipe for those who are interested.

Dairy Free Sour Cream Enchiladas

You'll have to excuse my cell phone is all I have right now until we can dig my SLR camera out of the storage shed.  I made these at my mom's house on Monday night, they were really yummy!  I made them extra saucy smothered with TONS of my yummy cheese sauce!

Again, no recipe for this one, I have been cooking for 8 people every night we have stayed at my mom's and so I am just throwing things together quickly to get dinner done before everyone gets home from work but I promise when I get settled I will post a recipe for this one too!

Life has just been crazy, we have stayed in hotels, stayed at my parents.....we even considered staying in my brother in laws camping trailer until we could find a place to live.  It has been hard to create recipes and post on the blog while we have been so transient.  You'd think finding a place to live would be easy but rent prices have SKYROCKETED in our state and it is near impossible to find a nice place for a decent price...most places in our price range are in the ghetto and we just don't want to put our kids in a dangerous area.

You could buy a house here for WAY less than you can rent for so it makes finding a rental difficult.  Yes, I'd love to buy a house but due to a business loss three years ago we just can't buy a house yet so we get to pay the high rent prices.  We've noticed that rent is about 30% more than your payment would be if you bought the same house!  

So here we are looking for a SAFE neighborhood for our children with decent rent and of course the fact that we have two little doggies doesn't  help either!  So until we can get settled I may be posting more tips on eating out, preparing food with few resources etc.....

Friday, May 17, 2013

Vegan Taquitos Recipe......

Vegan Taquitos

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My recipes and I can now be found @

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A delicious tempeh, lentil, brown rice mixture with rich cheese sauce fills these delicious taquitos. We topped them with salsa and homemade dairy free sour cream but you can have them with whatever toppings you like!
A request to create a vegan version of taquitos.....Here it is!

I try to accommodate as many recipe requests as I can, sometimes I can do it quickly and other times it takes me awhile.  This recipe is so very simple and yet my family absolutely LOVED these!  Even K liked these and she generally does NOT like Mexican food at all!

I know I haven't posted in over a is a long story but we moved most of our things out of our house thinking we had to be out by May 1st.  I didn't pack up all of the kitchen and we packed suitcases and left mattresses on the floor.....once we had loaded up our things we found out that the renters had backed out!

Here we were with an empty kitchen table, no chairs, no couches.....nothing but mattresses, food and pots and pans!  We decided not to go to all the trouble to move back in only to have to move back out again when we found new renters.  We borrowed a card table and 4 old folding chairs from my parents and brought in two camp chairs for the family room.......We are literally camping out in the house!

Dinners lately have been very husband LOVES simple meals so he has really enjoyed it.  The really cool thing about that is.....we both have lost weight!    I've lost about a three pounds in two weeks!  So I guess if you want to lose weight my simple meal plan works really well!

I had the ingredients to make taquitos so I figured I would just make them the night after I received the request for the recipe.  They were super simple to make with my limited kitchen resources.  

Eating dinner is quite a feat these days.....the card table we have been eating on is EXTREMELY wobbly.  I remember this card table from when I was a young kid 25 years ago!  You have no idea how annoying it is to eat with a large 11 year old boy who cannot sit still for anything......which means the card table is wobbling all over the place while we are all trying to eat our dinner!  I will be so glad when we are able to find a new place, I will  not miss that card table one bit!

Luckily we found new renters and we will be moving out on Saturday....well moving the rest of the way out and then cleaning...... No we do not know where we are going to move to....if one more person asks me that question I am going to scream!  We don't do things like most people do.....nope.....we fly by the seat of our pants literally.  If you ask me if I have a plan I will invariably tell you no, so just don't ask :-)

I will probably be posting more about the simple meals we eat while staying at my mom's house or eating out.  I think it will be really good for many who are new to plant based eating to see how easy it is to find delicious meals anywhere!