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 get 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 get 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.  


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!

Heart Healthy Week #3




Week #3
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 weighed under 240 - he's 239!!  IT'S WORKING!  It really is working!  Even Dr. Neel notice Kyle's weight loss!  More about that in a sec...!  


This week, we traveled over the weekend for my niece's wedding - this proved to a bit tricky but we did okay!  Gone are the days that we can run to the Drive Thru for something to eat - how I miss that!  There just aren't a lot of healthy food -"Plant Strong" restaurants out there -  if you have one PLEASE pass it on!


This week's top pick  

HEART HEALTHY RECIPE 

for a plant-based diet  is for a "cheese" sauce from cauliflower!

CAULIFLOWER "Cheese" SAUCE



This recipe is now my FAVORITE recipe (today!)  I miss cheese!  I love, love, LOVE this sauce on EVERY THING! It taste like cheese - but healthy cheese!  We served it over pasta, then over steamed broccoli and small red potatoes, even mixed it with salsa and served with baked tortillas like nachos!  Here's a chickpea salad recipe that I layered with this sauce & made a tasty quick sandwich...  the link's - here!


 Cauliflower "Cheese" Sauce 

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 3 cups)
Unsweetened plain almond milk
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons minced thyme
¼ cup finely chopped basil
¼ cup nutritional yeast,
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste




Add the cauliflower to a large pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the cauliflower is very tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain the excess water and puree the cauliflower using an immersion blender or in a blender with a tight-fitting lid, covered with a towel, in batches if necessary.  

Add almond milk, if needed, to achieve a creamy consistency. Set the puree aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.  Place the onion in a large skillet or saucepan and saute' over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the onions from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic, thyme, and basil and cook for another minute. Add the nutritional yeast, nutmeg, and salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until heated through.  Add the onion-garlic mixture to the cauliflower puree and blend until smooth, adding up to ½ cup of water if necessary to achieve a smooth consistency.  ENJOY!


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


"What is Nutritional Yeast and where can I buy it?"  



This was a question that I also kept asking - because healthy recipes were calling for it over and over again.  It's something that you usually will find on-line or at Natural Grocers or a health smart store.  Kyle had an appointment this week in Amarillo - I had a long list of things to buy that I couldn't find in our small town!  Nutritional Yeast was one of the items on the list.  It had been described like "parmesan cheese" with a nutty, salty taste!  I was pleasantly surprised to find it fast and use it often!  It's back on my list to buy again when able.  

Kyle's  first doctor's appointment was a success!  We went to Amarillo on May 12 - just a month later after his heart attack.  He was 14 pounds lighter and felt good.  His SNORING had even stopped!  Dr. Neel noted that sometimes it just takes losing some weight to end snoring - who knew??  He was interested in Kyle's diet - said he could add fish & chicken - fresh not processed.  Also he didn't need to cut all caffeine either?!?  He is allowing Kyle to exercise with a daily brisk walk for 30 minutes - no running yet allowed!  


Over all - it was a good visit!  We go back in June.  Our objective is to get Kyle off of the blood thinner medication and the statins for cholesterol.  Also aiming for blood pressure meds to be included too -   


It's our hope and prayers that by avoiding all animal-based products - that Kyle's eliminating the major building blocks that contribute to the FAT or plaque formation:  fat, cholesterol, and animal protein in his veins.  


We want to lower his total cholesterol to a level that helps his body metabolize away the plaque buildup in his arteries.  Fruits and vegetables will help to heal the lining of the arteries, help the veins to relax and let more blood flow to the heart.  


This is our goal for Kyle in eating a plant-base diet so he can be healthy and see his grandkids!!


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 #2


Week #2
Our Path to a Healthier Life

Hello!  This is our 2nd week of beginning a plant-based diet to recover from a recent heart attack. 


 Kyle is noticing a difference in the way he feels & he's weighing in at 246.  That's 7 lbs. down and gone!   It has been hard to come home and prepare meals after work and then clean up!  Of course, as school teachers, MAY is here and very chaotic!    I am still waking up in the middle of the night to check on Kyle - this whole event has changed our thinking and lifestyle down to the core!  I'm convinced it's going to be worth the trouble!


This week, we have found a GREAT meal recipe and Kyle likes it - a lot!  He has been so good to stick to this diet!  I'm taking breakfast, snacks & lunch to school for us both.  Food prep is taking a good 30 minutes in the morning - so I've had to adapt with that change!  


  He's eating oatmeal most mornings with Chia Seeds & a variety of sliced fruit.  For snacks - fruit and vegetables (apples, grapes, carrots, melons...) and for lunch - we're eating a whole-wheat sandwich of tuna with ground flaxseed & spinach.


This week's top pick  

HEART HEALTHY RECIPE 

for a plant-based diet  is for a "TexMex" bean and corn mixture that you will enjoy in a variety of ways!

Healthy TexMex Beans & Corn


The basic start for a HUGE variety of vegetable mixtures is with a chopped onion & garlic sautéd with vegetable broth.  I have learned to chop, in a food processor, the onion and garlic cloves - sometime adding a jalapeno!  With adding no salt to our food - we've up the heat and spices a bunch in our cooking!

Created this recipe for a quick meal and BAM!  It's a hit!



TexMex Beans and Corn

1 can Black Beans
1 can Corn
1 can Pinto Beans
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Onion Powder
1-2 tsp. Ground Cumin
1 tsp. Chili Powder
1 Onion; chopped
1 Jalapeno; chopped
1-2 Garlic cloves; chopped
1 cup Salsa (link here for recipe)
Vegetable Broth
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Saute' the chopped onions until soft in the vegetable broth; add the chopped jalapeno pepper and garlic and stir well.  Add the drained beans, corn, salsa and spices - stir and bring to a boil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste - serve and enjoy.  

We have added this mixture to cooked couscous and served warm - Kyle's favorite!  Filled up taco shells; ate with baked tortilla chips - made a topping for a Polenta Pie and stuffed spinach flour tortillas for a burrito.


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


"How are you able to get the protein and calcium that your body needs if you are only eating fruits & vegetables?"  





This was the EXACT first question that I asked also!  My background (I thought!) was strong in nutrition! Hey!  I was in 4-H!!  We had a meat and 2 vegetables at most dinners along with drinking milk daily.  I raised my 3 boys with the food pyramid/myplate philosophy in maintain a healthy diet...  


My boys asked that exact question about protein and calcium also - they have the understanding:  if we don't eat meat and drink milk - we'll get so weak and unhealthy.   WOW!  How wrong that is - Protein is available in whole grains, legumes, fruit, beans, all colors of vegetables - all these plants are adequate to nourishing EVERYONE the protein  that a body needs daily.  Calcium is available in all these fruits and vegetables - as well!  Especially green leafy vegetables!  We are slowly changing our mind frame.  Our sons are not changing as fast as us!  Hey!  Kyle and I will be examples and they will see first hand of how great this works - so no pressure.  I'm cooking two types of meals now for them and for us!  We'll see how long I can do this!  Progress...  slowly!


This plant-base diet is important to our family.  It gives us hope that there is a future for Kyle.  That after having a heart attack that there is a plan to recover and prevent further heart disease.  YES!  My prayer life has improved and I hope that we are doing the right thing and making the right choices for him.  Kyle does have a family history of heart disease - we want to find a way to protect him and by changing our lifestyle is our plan and hopeful a positive solution.  


We have been asked if we have turned VEGAN?  Well...  I'm not sure of that!  Still doing research of what VEGAN really means - we just are eating fruits and vegetables towards a healthier lifestyle!  I'm still learning - so check back or better yet - tell me what you think about VEGAN and this new diet/lifestyle that we're doing?!?  


Was able to buy this book this week - RIP Esselstyn is the son of the Dr. Esselstyn who is the creator and found of the Prevention an Reverse Heart Disease book that involves a plant-based diet.  RIP is from Austin, TX and is a fire fighter!    As you can see - I'm reading, studying EVERYTHING that I can find on this lifestyle.  I want a positive outcome to all of this!


RIP has a super cool story to read and to be inspired by!  Check out the videos and all the articles on him and his whole family - there are plenty out on the web - do your own research and found out how to become healthy or a better YOU!  I dare you!


Here is a link to our 1st 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"