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  


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 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!

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