#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 Fueling Balance


Last time I wrote on #Vegan2016, my focus has been on the positives since transitioning into the vegan lifestyle. Truly the most important positive aspect of this new lifestyle has been a change in my attitude toward food. After the initial weeks of literally cleaning the sludge out my system, I not only have a sense of being lighter (not weight-wise), but new found clarity in body, mind, and spirit.

Fueling the Body

I always thought my relationship with food was out of boredom and lack of focus. While I believe that is still true, I can no longer deny that I was seeking comfort too. Yet after almost five weeks into this new lifestyle, I rarely look at food longingly but as a necessity to fuel my body. I confess. On occasion I miss Mac ‘n cheese, as well as chicken, but I don’t yearn for them enough to give into temptation. Likewise, when I have been in situations with family or friends and strictly vegan choices were unavailable, I made the best food decisions possible and kept my portions to a minimum.

Fueling the Mind

Can the food we eat dull the mind?

“Early birds” feel most productive the first part of the day and their food choices become particularly important during lunch and throughout the afternoon. “Night Owls” feel most energetic later in the day and should pay attention to their breakfast choices as they can increase or decrease energy levels and influence cognitive functioning. For example, according to Michaud et al. (1991), if you are an evening person and you skip breakfast, your cognitive performance might be impaired. A large breakfast rich in protein, however, could improve your recall performance, but might impair your concentration (4). This illustrates the complexity of the relationships between food and mood and the need to find a healthy balance of food choices.” Posted by Sarah-Marie Hopf ’13 / In Fall 2010 / February 3, 2011 of The Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science


“If you wish to alter your current brain function or slow your brain’s aging you need to consume foods that target specific chemical processes. In truth, no one ever considers these distinctions when eating – we just eat what tastes good. Sadly, our brains powerfully reward us when we eat sugar, fat and salt; thus there is an oncoming epidemic of obesity-related illnesses. Food has both negative and positive effects and it all depends upon what you consume, how much you consume and for how long.” Gary I. Wenk, Ph.D. author of Your Brain on Food


Based on the above links from The Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science and Psychology Today, the short answer is, “Yes.” I can only speak for myself, but I can stay focused longer on a task, and I have greater clarity of mind since subscribing to the no salt-no oil (fats) -no sugar mantra.  My circadian rhythm, “body clock” has become more regulated too!

Fueling the Spirit

The easiest step and the most difficult step is the first step. All my attempts in the past to fueling and balancing the body and mind, has been laziness (give up all my favorite foods??), procrastination (there is always tomorrow, right?), and a sense of defeat before trying (Hashimoto’s disease: don’t even bother sister).

As a Christian, I know God speaks to me in my circumstances.

Psalm 127:1-2
Unless the LORD builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.

As a Christian, I know I can succeed with God’s help which means changing my focus of my body and mind to God. The clarity of changing the focus from the comfort of food to the comfort of Christ has brought a discerning spirit. The easy step was turning to God and the most difficult step is keep giving it all over to Him. For me, daily prayer and Bible study to pray out my anxieties, discuss my troubles with God helps me to keep giving everything over to Him.

“With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Fueling Balance

Fueling the balance in my life was taking the first step in coming to terms with my relationships – my relationship with food, my relationship with my thoughts, and my relationship with my heart, who is Jesus Christ.

I am looking forward to the next “steps” in my journey.

Until next time… Vegan You Can!