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  


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
Cilantro; chopped

 Saut√©  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!