#Vegan2016 – For the love of scotch!

How can a person that eats leaves, sticks, and a few berries gain 10 pounds??

Vinny Sal and I started this vegan diet nonsense six months ago. Our transition to this diet was to lose weight and become healthier individuals. I went to my doctor today. I am absolutely livid!

I gained 10 pounds in 6 months!!

I feel like I have been on a starvation diet for the last six months. We eat fresh food with minimal vegan processed food. Both of us have cut down on sugar and eat no dairy (except for birthdays and for our anniversary).

For the love of scotch!

Perhaps my dad was right. Eat pork, smoke, and drink until you die at the age of 52 of heart disease – at least enjoy life until your heart stops beating.

I know I should take my hands off the keyboard and CALM THE (BLEEP) DOWN!

Keep Calm and Drink Scotch

It’s been a bad week.

Last Saturday, my left leg was swollen and it felt ‘funny’ so I went to the emergency room (alone) just to get it checked out. Turns out I have a blood clot in my left thigh. A “DVT” they call it – deep vein thrombosis.

√  No, I have not been traveling. (After today, I am thinking of a vacation in France.)

√  No, I have not had cancer. (How many times do I have to answer this particular question – I’m sure some doctor along the way would have told me if I had cancer.)

√  No, I do not have diabetes. (But, I would LOVE some cake! Thank you.)

√  No, I do not smoke. In fact, I have signs posted at every exterior door of my house and cottage that read, NO SMOKING!!

√  No, I have not had any recent “lengthy” surgery. (Not unless you consider a colonoscopy a lengthy surgery, but I am pretty sure it went quickly since I was very well cleaned out.)

Blah, blah, blah…

Hormonal…. Just a tad bit

I received a rejection email this week from a job I really wanted. SNIFF!

My youngest son is graduating from high school. His last day of school was today. SNIFF! SNIFF!

Now, I just feeling really old and obese! SNIFF! SNIFF! SNIFF!

Bartender! Scotch. Neat, please and make it double!


I need a puppy, Vinny Sal!

#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!

#Vegan2016 Death by Pizza

Over a month into #Vegan2016. Let’s focus on the positive, shall we?

In one month, I have lost 4.5 lbs. Now for most of you that may not sound like a lot of weight, but for me it says something about the vegan lifestyle. I have cut out 99% of processed foods – boxed, bagged, or frozen. Vinny Sal has been cooking with fresh, sometimes organic, foods for our meals. We subscribe to the S.O.S. Free vegan diet mantra – No Salt/Sodium, No Oils/Fat, No Sugar/Sweeteners. I would estimate we have achieved a 95% success rate.

So with a 95-99% success rate with our vegan diet goals for the first month, why only a 4.5 pound weight loss?

Hashimoto’s disease.

“Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system creates antibodies that damage your thyroid gland. Doctors don’t know what causes your immune system to attack your thyroid gland. Some scientists think a virus or bacterium might trigger the response, while others believe a genetic flaw may be involved.” – Mayo Clinic


“My advice is to eliminate sugar, processed foods of all kinds, gluten, dairy, corn, rice and other simple carbohydrates. Carbohydrates get stored in our bodies as fat. Instead, focus on eating lots of good meats and vegetables (preferably organic), and good fats like avocados, olive oil and coconut oil. Don’t count calories, rather eat until you are satisfied. After an initial week or two of withdrawal, your body will start to thank you. You will start noticing stomach aches, bloating, acid reflux and fatigue subside. You will also start to lose weight without trying.” By Dr. Izabella Wentz, Pharm D.


I have tried the elimination diet, the Paleo diet, but primarily, the “I don’t-give-a-shit” diet. None of these diets yielded one pound of weight loss. So 4.5 pounds is huge in my world!



Let’s be reasonable. I don’t believe there is a sane way to eliminate 100% gluten or oil in anyone’s diet, unless you want to a die a sad, miserable, lonely person. It’s about finding and choosing healthy alternatives.

I do believe that dairy, at least for me, is a health killer. I have a high sensitivity to all forms of casein. One month in and I don’t feel the aches and pains associated with my autoimmune disease. In fact, I have more energy which I contribute wholeheartedly to being dairy and animal protein free. Although eating traditional pizza is out for me, there are other healthy options that do not use gluten or dairy products. I may be sad for not being able to taste the rich, gooey-ness of cheese and pizza crust with assorted meat toppings; but I won’t be miserable. The lonely part? I’ve got that covered. I have Vinny Sal, who is traveling on this vegan journey with me!

With all this new found energy, I will be focusing on my exercise routine in the next 30 days. Okay, I don’t have an exercise program now, but I will have one!

Until next time… Vegan You Can!