#Vegan2016 – The Next 90 Days

Almost 3 months into transitioning into a vegan lifestyle. An update.

Vinny Sal says it must be his Catholic school upbringing that makes him feel guilty if he cheats on his vegan diet. He believes that is what has helped him to stay so disciplined.

I feel guilty too. Yet, my feelings of guilt are more feelings of exasperation with this darn Hashimoto’s disease!

#Vegan2016 – First 45 Days

The first 90 days I was feeling great. Lighter, in fact. I was sleeping better and I had more energy. When we went to visit my son’s college tour, I noticed walking around the campus and taking multiple stairs did not bother me. I was neither winded nor fatigued.

I learned that dairy I can never have dairy again in my life. And thanks to Daiya Foods www.daiyafoods.com and Earth’s Balance Vegan Soy-Free products  Vegan Soy-Free products  Vegan Soy-Free products  Vegan Soy-Free products  Vegan Soy-Free products  Vegan Soy-Free products  Vegan Soy-Free products  Vegan Soy-Free products  Vegan Soy-Free products  Vegan Soy-Free products  www.earthbalancenatural.com that has helped me become dairy-free. When I don’t have a lot of time to prepare vegan lunches, Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Burgers www.drpraegers.com taste great.

I must admit there were times that if I saw another bean on my plate, I was going to bean on my plate, I was going to choke the chef. But for the most part, Vinny Sal has found several ‘comfort food’ recipes that have been easily adapted to the vegan diet.

#Vegan2016 – Second 45 Days

In the last 45 days, I have noticed significant Hashimoto flare ups. My joints, particularly in my hands, hips, and feet are inflamed and ache. Although Vinny Sal and I are trying to keep to the NO Salt-NO oil-NO-Sugar, I have not been good about NO gluten. Unfortunately, I have to finally wrap my brain around all the science on Hashimoto’s which means I cannot have even a little gluten if I want to prevent autoimmune flare ups. I have been eating too much high protein whole grain bread and pasta with gluten.

Hashimoto’s sufferers often have bouts of extreme anxiety (usually at odd times of the day and night) if they are not receiving enough Selenium and other nutrients. I tried adding Selenium supplements and eating plant-based foods rich in Selenium, but to no avail. http://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/hashimotos-and-anxiety

Water bottle

My doctor advised me to stop ingesting caffeine. I have 1-2 cups of black coffee in the morning and then tea in the afternoon and evening. I don’t think I can give up caffeine totally, but I can cut back on my consumption. It has always been difficult to drink the recommended amount of water. So I repurposed a golf stroke bead counter as an 8 oz. water counter. I push down a bead each time, I drink 8 oz. There are 10 beads. I have been able to achieve six 8 oz. of water. Now, I need to become disciplined to use my new water gauge tool every day.

#New Hashtag – Next 90 Days

The next 90 days I will be modifying my diet to eliminate gluten, and continue to be diligent with our rule of NO Salt-NO Oil-NO Sugar. In addition to a plant-based diet, I will be adding two meals a week that include sardines and salmon (perhaps “clean” chicken, if necessary). Vinny Sal will continue to be #Vegan2016. My new hashtag is #Veganess2016 – plant based diet complemented with animal protein from sardines/salmon. Exercise! Exercise! Exercise!

Exercise! Exercise! Exercise!

Now that spring has sprung, there is no reason not to get outside and exercise. I writing a list of simple exercises I can accomplish in my everyday work life – take the stairs, park in the furthest parking space, etc. On the personal time side, I will be setting a weekend appointment with the pups to take long hikes at the local state park. I have always enjoyed mowing the lawn so Vinny Sal and I are investing in a walk-behind self-propelled lawn mower to mow our half acre lot rather than using a lawn service.

#Vegan2016 – #Veganess2016

There are too many benefits to a plant based diet to throw in the towel completely. Vinny Sal is losing weight and feeling great on the vegan diet. I’ll continue to modify the plant based diet to help manage my Hashimoto’s, and hopefully, I will start losing some weight too. The most important thing is better health – whatever that looks like!to a plant-based diet to throw in the towel completely. Vinny Sal is losing weight and feeling great on the vegan diet. I’ll continue to modify the plant based diet to help manage my Hashimoto’s, and hopefully, I will start losing some weight too. The most important thing is better health – whatever that looks like!

Until next time… Vegan You Can!

Writing Their Stories

I have been adopting rescued pups since 1993. Barkley LeRoy and Penelope (Penny) Louise were adopted on May 12, 2012, from Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan, www.rpsm.org.  Barkley and Penny are graduates of the inmate training program at the Coldwater Correctional Facility in Coldwater, Michigan. Both of them were awarded a Good Canine Citizen Certificate.

Penny’s story was documented in the “American Strays, The Series” in Detroit, Michigan by The World Animal Awareness Society, www.wa2s.org. Her story is told in the following three links:

Penny Goes to Prison Part 1 – Penelope’s Rescue – American Strays, The Series


Penny Goes to Prison Part 2 – Penelope’s Recovery –American Strays, The Series


Penny Goes to Prison Part 3 – Penelope Gets a New Home – American Strays, The Series


Dogster Magazine, http://www.dogster.com, featured in the Monday Miracle column, November 30, 2015:


The Detroit Free Press picked up Penny’s story from The South Lyon Herald, December 17, 2015.


Here are the latest adventures of Barkley and Penny on a recent Saturday afternoon in Ludington State Park, Michigan.  

Sniffing out stories

long field trip
sniffing out stories

two miles out










two miles

we found our story

the lighthouse



four mile hike
middle of sand dunes

their stories

at the park
they wrote their stories
on each tree

© 2016 All Rights Reserved

Sheri Prielipp-Falzone, The Insomniac Writer – The Blogging Owl


Please consider saving other pups like Barkley and Penny.  Help them write happier stories!


What Kind of Tree are You?

What Kind of Tree are You

When you reached a popular milestone in life didn’t someone inevitably ask, “Well, how does it feel to be (fill in the blank)?”  Perhaps it was your 18th, 30th, or 40th birthday – did you feel differently on your birthday than the day before?  How about your confirmation day when you affirmed your faith in front of the church – was it your expectation that you would somehow enter into this greater sense of spiritual enlightenment?  Did you think you should feel different somehow?

I know I didn’t feel any differently, but I did pause to think, “What now?”

If you are older than 40 years of age, you may remember the infamous Barbara Walter’s interview of Katherine Hepburn in 1981.  Katherine Hepburn had described herself as a very strong tree in her old age to which Barbara Walter’s asked, “What kind of tree are you?”  Ms. Hepburn’s answer was an oak tree rather than an elm tree so as to avoid contracting Dutch elm disease.

What kind of tree am I?  An oak, an elm, or maybe a maple?

There are probably over 100,000 types of trees around the world.  Trees are common, average, nothing particularly unique (unless you are an arborist).  Yet, there is one tree that stands out. The common, ordinary tree which hung our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Who his own self-bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes (you) were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 (KJV)

For some people, a tree may be a run-of-the-mill kind of thing; but for those who belong to Christ, it is the tree of life.  We may be feeling average when others ask if we feel any differently when we come to those milestones in life, but we need to take heart.  Average trees or as in 2 Corinthians 4:7 describes us as, “jars of clay,” however, we are ordinarily described, God uses the common, mundane things of the world to show His immense power and goodness.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)

 As a Christian, I know I have been given my mind, gifts, talents, and skills from God to exhibit His power, wisdom, creativity, and beauty. It is when I use those things that originated from God to shine the light of Jesus Christ that I feel different.  God used a common tree to give us His grace – the tree of life. 

What kind of tree are you?

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)