Heart Healthy - Week 7/8




Our Path to a Healthier Life

Hello!  Thanks for checking back with us as we travel down this path for a healthier life!



Kyle has lost a total of 30 pounds in just 2 months!  He weighs in at 223 lbs!  He's thrilled and surprised that its coming off easy - just by eating a plant-based diet!  He has added running to his daily walk/run - 30 minutes (about 2 miles); but he is having some difficulty with soreness in his knees.  Not sure if it's from bursitis or what...   but he is still pushing some type of exercise daily!


Kyle had his June heart doctor visit and it went well.  The doctor was very pleased with Kyle's EKG and blood pressure.  His blood pressure was the lowest that it's been in YEARS!!  He has been on blood pressure medicine for over 15 years!  This news was awesome to receive!  


The heart doctor also suggested that Kyle drink daily 4 oz. of red wine.  So, we will look into that!  Also the doctor said it would be ok to eat fish, chicken and olive oil to his daily diet, BUT we won't be doing that right now!  Kyle will return back in July along with his numbers on a thorough blood test and talk about medication!



This week's top pick  

HEART HEALTHY RECIPE 

for a plant-based diet  is a


Basic "OIL FREE" Hummus





Here is a recipe for HUMMUS - very basic with NO OIL! Hummus is a staple food at our house!  It's a snack on crackers, a sandwich filler, a dip for veggies, a dressing for salad...  Even our boys like hummus - sometimes!!  


Here is a TIP in preparing hummus:  Microwave the beans and garlic cloves for 3-4 minutes together BEFORE combining with other ingredients in a food processor.  This little techniques makes a HUGE difference!  I'm guessing that cooking - melds the two together with their flavors and softens each before the processing part!  Try it!


This recipe is so good!  There are a HUGE number of variations for hummus - Kyle enjoys a Sun-dried Tomato or Hot Jalapeño hummus.  My favorite leans towards the Caramelized Onion or Sweet Potato Hummus!! 



 Basic "No Oil" Hummus

1 can Chickpeas (or Garbonzo Beans)
1 can Cannellini Beans
(save the bean brine)
2 Garlic cloves
1 whole Lemon; juiced
1 tsp. Cumin Powder
1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
1/4 tsp. White Pepper




Combine the beans together with the cloves of garlic in a microwave bowl - cook for 3-4 minutes and cool slightly.  Add all ingredients to a food processor - blend until smooth.  You may need more of the drained bean brine juice to get the right consistency for the hummus.  Pour the hummus into a serving bowl.  Serve with veggies, crackers - whatever you desire!  Enjoy!



A question we often receive from family & friends while following a plant-based diet is:  


"With minimal usage of salt in your diet - what kind do you use?"  



Himalayan Pink Salt or Celtic Sea Salt are my choices in cooking with!  Opting for less salt has been harder for me than Kyle. I am a savory or salty person!  I was able to  purchase the pink salt at a Walmart but for the Celtic Sea Salt - I picked up at a health food store!  If you're an on-line shopper - Amazon has both!  (I love Amazon!!)  Sodium is a big negative factor with blood pressure!  Salt is so bad for heart patients for many reasons - so cutting the salt is essential in healing and preventing heart disease! IF we use salt - these salts are our pick!


In our life style change to a plant-base diet, we've also minimized the use of SUGAR.   


Being sugar free has some disadvantages...  I recently went to take a friend to her doctor and "cheated" by eating a baby-size Bahama Buck's Snow cone! Kyle wasn't  there and wouldn't know... The snow cone was SO GOOD until it counteracted with the WORST headache!  It was so BAD that I will not cheat again!  SO!  My body has sent a painful message: that we are SUGAR FREE and it wants to stay that way - even if my head said "okay - eat the sugar"!
  



Next week will hold a big step for us - Kyle will have our family doctor draw up his blood and give us  the results... so excited but yet I'm hesitant for the news!  What if we've done all this for nothing?  




Ideal numbers are:  Total cholesterol under 150;  LDL (Bad cholesterol) to be under 80; Triglycerides to be below 150.   These are his goals, along with getting his BMI level to a 24.  



Here is a link to last week's progress - here!    And if you have just started reading this - this link will take you to the beginning - here!


Thanks for stopping by and letting us share our story!  Remember to hug the ones you love the most... until next time!

Heart Healthy Week #6



Week #6
Our Path to a Healthier Life

Hello!  Thanks for checking back with us as we travel down this path for a healthier life!


This week was our first week on official SUMMER break!  Kyle is doing great!  He has maintained his weight - and eating healthy with a plant-based diet (No meat, No dairy, No Oil and minimal amounts of salt and sugar!)  He was a bit disappointed that he only lost one pound - but I think he's doing fabulous! (This makes 24 pounds lost since April 12th)   We are trying yoga (our instructor via youtube is Adriene from Austin, Tx) and Kyle is still briskly walking 30 minutes (about 2 miles) a night.  We go, less than 2 weeks, to heart doctor and hopefully will be released to do more exercise!


Along with binge watching Netflix, making loooooong "To Do" list while it rains ...  We, in West Texas, have had rain for days now (5 days this week)...  but will NOT complain after being in a drought for 4 years...


 I've had the time to cook all 3 meals in a day and even found Plant-based Pizza, Tacos and Hamburger recipes - so all is well with us! LOL!  (Click on the word for a link to send you to the recipe that we used in creating these "comfort" foods!)  


So excited to find a pizza recipe - fixed each pizza to the eater's favorite toppings!  Then able to make "burgers" along with the boys' cheeseburgers on Memorial Day and then the TACOS - these were SO GOOD!  So we're not "left out" eating weird and different things from the other family members' meals!  This was a HUGE step forward!


This week's top pick  


HEART HEALTHY RECIPE 

for a plant-based diet  is for 

PIZZA DOUGH




Bread Machine "Healthy" Pizza Dough 

I adapted my old pizza dough recipe to a NEW healthier one.  It worked and tasted great!


1 Cup Whole-wheat flour
2 Cups Unbleached Bread flour
1 Cup Unsweetened Plant-based Milk
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Maple Syrup or Agave
1 1/2 tsp Apple Sauce
1 1/2 tsp Yeast


 Setting the bread machine on DOUGH - run it per machine's directions and then divide the dough into 2 portions / or 4 smaller portions.  Form the pizza crust - cook on parchment-foil paper directly on the rack after piercing all over, for 6 minutes - then add toppings.  Cook again for 6-8 minutes (no pan) and serve!

Yield: dough enough for 2 large pizzas or 4 medium pizzas



Vegan "Parmesan" Sprinkle

3/4 cup Raw Cashews
3 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
3/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder


Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse into a fine meal. Store in the refrigerator - lasts for several weeks.  


On my pizza, I cooked the onion, red & yellow bell peppers,  and mushrooms in vegetable broth, until soft before adding to the spiced tomato sauce - aka pizza sauce on the crust.  Kyle didn't want any veggies SO he had the vegan parmesan sprinkle and sauce on the pizza crust along with a large green salad on the side!



A question we receive from family & friends while following a plant-based diet is:  


"What do you DRINK ..."  



WATER...  Our bodies are around 60% water, give or take. It is commonly recommended to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (the 8x8 rule).  I will be honest - I still drink my Pak 'n Sak Unsweet Coconut Tea - but Kyle is faithful in drinking lots and lots of water.  He has tried several diet or health drinks - always watching out for the sugar and sodium levels of the drink.  Primarily, it's spring water that Kyle drinks!  





The  more that I read and study the Plant-based eating - the more I'm convinced that NUTRITION is critical for good health.  The main reason we are choosing to eat and live this way is for Kyle to heal from his heart attack and start a prevention toward heart disease.  We want him OFF of his medication - if, at all possible.  



We are finding that FOOD can be so powerful without all the side effects that drugs induce!  If we cut ourselves or break a bone, we take it for granted that the body will heal.  But we are finding that the human body can also heal from heart disease, weight problems, and diabetes  - IF we get away from the food that are causing the problem and taking advantage of the food that heal.


Again, I challenge you to study this issue, research it - find YOUR answers - you CAN control your health.  OUR goal for Kyle is to lower his cholesterol count down to under 150...  we have opted to eat from a plant-based diet and abstain from meat or dairy of any kind.   It's NOT easy - but it is working and we are learning that it IS possible!


Here is a link to last week's progress - here!    

And if you have just started reading this - this link will take you to the beginning - here!


Thanks for stopping by and letting us share our story!  Remember to hug the ones you love the most... until next time!





Heart Healthy - Week #5



Week #5
Our Path to a Healthier Life

Hello!  Thanks for checking back with us as we travel down this path for a healthier life!


This week, Kyle weighs 230 lbs!!  OMG!  That's ANOTHER 5 pounds gone - yahoo!  This makes 23 pounds total since April 12!  Kyle is looking and feeling so good!  His clothes are falling off - literally!  The last week of school each morning - I had to safety pin his clothes to stay on!!


This week's top pick  

HEART HEALTHY RECIPE 

for a plant-based diet  is for breakfast and it's 

PANCAKES


Here are the recipe for a Chocolate Pancakes along with a Healthy Fruit Sauce to use instead of a syrup! (Here's the link for the Banana-Flax Seed Pancakes - here!)


 Chocolate Pancakes  

I recently doubled the recipe and took these pancakes for the last day of school for our Faculty Retirement/Going Away Breakfast and received great reviews!  Serve with a splash of maple syrup or the FRUIT syrup or top with fresh fruit - your choice.  Enjoy!  

** Here's a link to the other dish that I brought to the breakfast - a Breakfast Burrito Bake.  Made it the night before and cooked it in the morning to take hot!  It is so good!

1 1/4 Whole-wheat flour
2 Tbsp unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Flaxseed; ground
1 Tbsp Mini Vegan Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1 cup Almond Milk; unsweetened
1 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Unsweetened Applesauce

Combine the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, flax, salt  & chocolate chips) in a medium bowl. Whisk until fully combined.  Then combine the wet ingredients (almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and vinegar) in a small bowl, and whisk well. This will create a vegan buttermilk for your pancakes.

Add the vegan buttermilk and the applesauce to the flour mixture, and stir until the batter is just combined. Let the batter stand for 10 minutes while it rises and thickens as the flaxseeds soak; it may nearly double in size.

Heat a nonstick skillet or electric skillet griddle over medium heat and mist with a tiny bit of nonstick spray.  Scoop the batter into 3-inch rounds. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the bubbles have burst in each of the pancakes and the tops start to appear dry. Flip the pancakes and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Yield: 12 pancakes.

Fruit Syrup

1 1/2 cups Fruit (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries...)
1/2 cup Orange juice or Apple Juice
Combine and bring to a boil for 4-5 minutes.  Emulsify or blend hot mixture to a liquid.  Serve over pancakes - refrigerate any leftovers.


A question we often receive from family & friends while following a plant-based diet is:  


"Where do you find Heart Healthy recipes..."  


AGAIN...  Forks over Knives - they have an app for your cell phone, a website with a HUGE variety of recipes  and even on YOUTUBE  - Forks over Knives videos of step-by-step instructions in preparing and cooking these recipes.  I do receive recipes via email also from Forks over Knives!  


Pinterest (of course!) has a lot - most VEGAN based recipes can be altered to fit - if looking for something specific. Grabbed a new book this week - "Plant Strong" by Rip Esselstyn.  He has 150 new recipes written here!  Excited to try them all!



 One of the most major comments that I receive from many of my friends are that they handle their diet with MODERATION.  This phrase is a favorite of so many -  "Moderation in all things"


We are finding out that this phrase may be doing more damage than anyone could possibly realize.  Take CHOLESTEROL - that's the evil that I want out of my husband's body!  MEAT...  has cholesterol!  I know, I live in TEXAS - WE EAT MEAT...  I love a good steak or I used too!  BUT, I'm learning that animal meat has cholesterol - animal products, eggs, milk and by-products - has cholesterol. So, if you eat meat or dairy - "in moderation"... it still can cause damage to you.


Fish & chicken have cholesterol (the healthy meat) - if you are trying to control your cholesterol and become heart healthy, you can not by eating any type of flesh, muscle or MEAT.  Our goal is to get Kyle off of statins - so we do not want ANY cholesterol going into his body!



Study this issue, research it - find YOUR answers - you CAN control your health.  OUR goal for Kyle is to lower his cholesterol count down to under 150...  we have opted to abstain from meat or dairy of any kind.  This is our personal goal and diet. It has NOT been easy - but it is working and we are getting closer to our goal!  


Here is a link to last week's progress - here!    And if you have just started reading this - this link will take you to the beginning - here!


Thanks for stopping by and letting us share our story!  Remember to hug the ones you love the most... until next time!

April 2016 Card Swap "Anything Goes...!!"



Hello!  Here are 
the April Card Swaps!

The challenge was
 "ANYTHING GOES..." 

- the card designer could choose any theme - along with any colors, design, embellishments!  
It's Card Swapper Choice 
this month!

Here's some awesome cards...

CHARLENE





PAM






MELISSA 






MARGIE




KIMBERLY





MARIA





  


Here is a link to the March Card Swaps  last month - cards with a BIRTHDAY theme.

Our group will skip the month of May and meet in June for a swap that includes a Red,white & blue color challenge  with a "POP" 3-D effect in the design.  Should be interesting to see what comes to this swap!  Be sure and check back!

Thanks for stopping by!  Remember to hug the one you love the most, until next time...

Heart Healthy - Week #4



Week #4

Our Path to a Healthier Life

Hello!  Thanks for checking back with us as we travel down this path for a healthier life!


This week, Kyle weighs in at 235 lbs!  He's so excited and shocked that its coming off so fast - just by changing his diet!  We do try to walk daily for 30 minutes (that's about 2 miles for us); but being the last days of school has really been hectic!  


We've had banquets to deal with - the solution is bringing in our own food!  I bring an extra container to take home for the boys to eat later (for example - brisket, baked beans and potato salad served at the All Sports Banquet) in exchange for Couscous Tex-Mex that Kyle loves! (Link for recipe - here)   It worked out just fine & didn't feel awkward or jealous because everyone else was eating! 



This week's top pick  

HEART HEALTHY RECIPE 

for a plant-based diet  is a

Black Bean and Potato Hash



Here is the recipe for the Black Beans and Potato Hash! (This turned out to be a pleasant and tasty surprise!  We both enjoyed this and had it again the next day for lunch - even the boys ate one and didn't gag...!)


Link for Salsa recipe is - here!  Here's another great lunch recipe for a soup here!  I cooked it in the crockpot and finished it up for a tasty lunch this week - very good.  Lotsa Vegetable Chowder at this link - here.


 Black Beans and Potato Hash 

 Served this with whole-wheat mini flour tortillas.  I splurged with a small amount of avocado  on my tacos!   Kyle added regular salsa to his!   


1 Onion; chopped
1 Garlic clove; chopped
2 small sweet potatoes;  peeled & chopped
2 tsp Chili powder
⅓ cup Vegetable broth
1 can Black beans
¼ cup Green Onions; sliced
Sriracha
Cilantro; chopped



 Sauté  onions in a skillet and with a tablespoon or two of broth over heat, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, add the sweet potatoes and chili powder. Stir to coat the vegetables with the chili powder. Add remaining broth and cook for about 12 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked through. Add more liquid 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time as needed, to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan.  Add the black beans, & green onions. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes more, until the beans are heated through.  Add the Sriracha - taste and adjust the seasonings. Top with chopped cilantro and serve.



A question we often receive from family & friends while following a plant-based diet is:  


"Do you take any vitamins?"  


YES!  Kyle has recently added a multi-vitamin to his daily dosage of pills.  I have always taken a multi-vitamin along with a probiotic pill.  We have added a Vitamin B12 pill!  We are starting to take daily a 500 mcg pill of B12.  Vitamin B12 is found in soil and is made from microorganisms that live in our environment.  The program does suggest that you should "PEEL instead of pill"... so this may be something that we change later!!


So far, after 4 weeks into this lifestyle change - the hardest for me is OIL!  


I'm a baker... to cook without OIL or to even find food on the shelf without OIL is very difficult!


 But all OIL damages the lining of our human arteries!  That's what we are trying to mend in Kyle!  We want him  to have healthy, clear arteries!  I have used some oil - but very SPARINGLY!  I always thought OLIVE OIL was a healthy oil...  it comes from a plant...  but it's squeeze out of an olive leaving the healthy fiber, vitamins & minerals.  The oil is then refined and concentrated down to be FULL of calories!!
 


 Did you know that  olive oil contains almost 4,100 calories per 2 cups?  That's 120 calories per tablespoon.  Do you know how much I have poured into my recipes from the past... GALLONS!  Oil's nutrient content is low, its saturated fat level is high and all that fat goes straight to your waist and eventually clogs up your arteries!  EEKS!  


YES!  We need fat in our diet - but you can eat nuts, flaxseeds that are ground, soybeans and green leafy vegetables to get healthier forms of fats instead of oil.  I am learning... it's overwhelming sometimes to think how much of the bad things that I have cooked for my family...  I have said this often - "I got Kyle into this mess, I'm going to get him out!"  And that will be accomplished by healthier eating - I hope and pray!  After 4 weeks - I'm determined more than ever that this is the thing for us to do and want to share with you!



Here is a link to last week's progress - here!    And if you have just started reading this - this link will take you to the beginning - here!


Thanks for stopping by and letting us share our story!  Remember to hug the ones you love the most... until next time!

Daily Bible Verse

Play "Bubbles"