Archive | July, 2012

One-year-of-eating-this-way update and weekly meal plan!

29 Jul

As I was laying in bed last weekend, these 3 came and piled on me and I took a pic of my view. Oh how I love my crew!

Well, it has been one full year of eating lots of crucifers, no animal, and a general boatload of veggies!  I am AMAZED as I stand at one year through this natural journey at how much better I am right now than I was a year ago.  It is UNBELIEVABLE that veggies are doing what meds couldn’t do!

The past few weeks, I have been having regular fever and sores in my nose and general fatigue.  But overall, I am out of that long flare and am enjoying a little more of life!

I haven’t mentioned fibromyalgia on here yet. But I had a horrible bout with fibro pain in May, June and early July.  I have my suspicions why.  Here is the short of it: antidepressants can stop the fibro pain for some people.  I got off my antidepressant in May.  It wasn’t until late June that I read about the connection.  And all of the sudden the horrible pain I was in made perfect sense.  I probably have had fibro all along, but the antidepressant was masking it. And my body was going through withdrawals, which caused the extreme pain.  It has been VERY mild since early July.  I am thankful for that and waiting for my doc to squeeze me in to discuss it all.

MEAL PLAN! (Does this help anyone?  Should I stop?)

This week, we are tightening the budget belt.  So I am trying to stick to eating what we have and buying less expensive foods.

SundaySquash and potato hash browns , roasted broccoli,  fresh fruit, and I am going to make fresh juice!

Monday: Roasted sweet potatoes with Nutritious Eat’s chimichurri, green beans from our produce co-op, and fresh fruit.

Tuesday: Pad Thai (made with gf soy sauce and no egg)with Asian slaw (modifying with scant amount of oil and sugar and adding crucifers in the form of broccoli slaw) for us and Hokensons.

WednesdayVegan quesadillas (bean and cheese for kiddos) with slaw for me.

Thursday: Salad bar and leftovers

Friday: Pizza night!

Have a happy week!  Share any meal plans or recipes you have found!  How is YOUR health?  I know I have Lupus followers, as well as fibro, RA, Hashimoto’s, and diabetes.  I want to know how YOU are!  Or are you blessed with great health? Share!


NO MORE VEGGIES (and a recipe slipped in)!

22 Jul

I never want to drink a shake again. I am so tired of gagging on them.  I miss cereal and yogurt for breakfast.  And I am tired of eating my cruciferous veggies 3 times a day.  My hummus wraps and raw veggies get old!

So I had rice chex in almond milk for breakfast.  And within 10 minutes had a stomach ache and regret.  Guess my body is just used to the shakes.

I pulled myself together after crying and bemoaning my diet and grabbed some fresh tomatoes and okra I bought from a farmer’s stand and made stewed okra and tomatoes. So yummy!  Chopped okra, threw in a pan with salt and pepper (no oil) and stirred a bit, cooking.  Once it started to stick, added chopped tomatoes.  Stirred and cooked.  Added some balsamic vinegar and continued to cook until the okra was tender.  Tasted for seasoning.  I served with homemade socca bread.

This meal made me feel like I can continue and do this.  I may not like my shakes right now, but I don’t drink them because they are delicious.  I drink them because my body needs the nutrients.  Same with my other meals.

And while I am sick of not being normal and grabbing a burger with people and eating like I used to, I do like vegetables.  I do like the way they make me feel.  I do NOT miss that nasty feeling of having just consumed a greasy meal.

No meal plan for the week.  I will just work on making it through the week.  And I will continue to eat my veggies.

And I will like it!

A fabulous recipe and our meal plan!

16 Jul

Here is our meal plan for this week!  Use this to get ideas and post what you are eating to give ideas.

Monday: Black bean tacos on romaine (taco shells for the fam) topped with cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, and salsa, served with watermelon.

Tuesday: Vegan Shepherd’s Pie (modified a bit) with a green salad/fruit.

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Egg in the holes for the family (Girl’s night out!) with carrot sticks and fruit.

Friday: Pizza night with a salad.

And now…a YUMMY recipe!  This is a recipe from Ina Gartin that I adapted to make vegan.  You can substitute a package of pesto if you don’t want to make your own.  But it is hard to find vegan pesto already made!  This recipe makes a DOUBLE batch of sauce.  So you can easily double the pasta, peas, and pine nuts and voila!  A meal for another family! Or leave it in the freezer for a quick fix dinner!

Pesto, Pasta, Peas, and Pine Nuts


  • 1 1/2 pounds pasta, we use brown rice,(cooked)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups veggienaise or other vegan mayo
  • 3 cups frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • PESTO (or 1 1/2 cups packaged pesto):
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 9 cloves of garlic
  • 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups good olive oil


Place the walnuts, pignoli, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade OR a Vitamix (what I use). Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed.  Measure out 1 1/2 cups pesto.  Freeze or refrigerate the rest (cover with a film of plastic wrap).

Add that pesto back into the Vitamix or food processor and blend with  the spinach and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree.

Take half of that pesto/mayo mixture and put in a freezer bag.  This is another meal ready to go!  All you will have to do next time is make the pasta, defrost the peas, and add pine nuts!

Add the pesto mixture to the pasta (can be cooled) and then add the peas, pine nuts, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.

Feel free to add parmesan to the pesto mixture if you are so inclined and are not vegan.  I adore this how it is, but won’t lie…it is better with parm!

(This meal is NOT low fat.  It is high in oils. So please use this sparingly!  But I have increased the peas by double the original recipe and you get a ton of fresh basil, as well as frozen spinach.  So while it may not be perfect, it is SUPER good and has some redeeming qualities.)


Need to shed a few lbs???

16 Jul

Me, too.  Every single flare I have ever had has caused me to gain weight.  What is so annoying is that most people have unexpected weight LOSS during flares!    Not me.  So now that I finally feel that the 2 month flare has ended (phew!), I am ready to lose those extra pounds.  And let me tell you, I DON’T WANT TO!  But I should because my body will be it’s healthiest when I am at my healthiest weight.  So here I go.

Do you need to?  Want to join me?  Here is my plan of attack:

1) I will write EVERYTHING down that I eat.  No exceptions, no excuses.

2) I am cutting out all processed foods.  I will still eat hummus, if you consider that processed, and brown rice pasta, etc… But I am not going to let myself eat chips (yep, potato chips are vegan!) or other processed foods.

3) I am cutting out sugar again.  I will eventually add some back in for occasional treats.  But lately, I have just relaxed too much.

No rocket science there.  Just simple steps. I have recently heard from some people who want to get on board with healthy eating and don’t know how.  Start here.  Join me!  I LOVE company!  Write it in the comments, send me a private message, post it on Facebook…whatever! Just let me know.

Vegan Alfredo and meal planning!

8 Jul

I ate at the salad bar at camp pretty much every meal.  There were 2 date night meals that were amazing and they made me a grilled portabello with grilled asparagus/green beans and some delicious new potatoes.  But other than that, I ate from the salad bar.  While I am extremely grateful that I got to eat ANYTHING at all, while remaining under my dietary constrictions, (and am doubly grateful that there was always a cruciferous veggie on that salad bar)…I DON’T WANT TO EAT A SALAD FOR A LONG TIME!!!!  So I am eager to meal plan and have so many things I want to make that I can’t narrow it down!  It is fun to feel rejuvinated to cook again! And quite honestly, the kids tasted gluten free foods from someone else’s kitchen and didn’t like it all that much.  This encouraged me that even though they don’t love my vegan foods…they like it better than other people’s gluten free foods!

Our meal plan for the week:

Sunday: Potato and Pea Coconut curry over rice  Nevermind! Too tired and didn’t make it to HEB.  We are having vegan quesadillas instead and laying low.

Monday: Gretchen’s Spring rolls on rice paper!

Tuesday: Spanish brown rice with my black beans, avocado, and broccoli slaw.

Wednesday:  Pesto, pasta, and peas (and pine nuts!).  A recipe I adapted from Ina Gartin that we LOVE.  This week I am working on getting it to have less oil.  I will post if it is good!

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: Thai pizza

Saturday: A wedding (bride is gluten free)!

Last week, I made a Fettuccine Alfredo with roasted broccoli dish.  Having something so comforting is such a treat!  This is a very, very filling meal and a little but goes a long ways.  I don’t love all of the ingredients in this.  I wish it called for potatoes and not potato flakes.  I much prefer to eat veggies in their natural state.  And I am not a big fan of soy, but a little soy creamer won’t hurt us. I modified a recipe from  Last time I made it, Reid ate his whole bowl.  This time, Dani did.  You just never know with them and have to keep trying!

Alfredo and Roasted Broccoli Fettucini

Large bag of frozen broccoli

6 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 sweet onion, sliced

2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

4 Tbsp vegan mayo

1 1/3 cup dehydrated potato flakes (only ingredient: potatoes)

1 1/3 cup almond milk

1 1/2 cup soy creamer

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s)

4-6 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

A few dashes of cayenne powder

1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

Kosher salt, to taste

1 box gluten free fettuccini

1) Preheat the oven to 425.  Place broccoli on the pan and on the side, place the onions and garlic.  Don’t mix the broccoli in.  You may toss some olive oil and salt and pepper over the veggies and toss, if you desire. (If you are avoiding oil, then you can just skip that.  We  do use some oil.  The kids eat broccoli very well with some oil and yet won’t touch it without!  So I compromise and add some, as well as salt and pepper.) Start roasting those veggies and keep an eye on them for number 3 below.

2) Meanwhile, cook the pasta.

3) Roast the veggies until the onions and garlic are soft and browning some.  Remove them and continue roasting the broccoli until it is done.

4) While those are cooking away, grab your power blender (Vitamix) or a food processor, put in the roasted garlic and onions,  and add all of the remaining ingredients.  Blend away!  Taste, season.  Taste, season.  Make it taste like you like it!

5) When the pasta is cooked and drained, the broccoli is starting to brown and looks perfect, and the sauce tastes like you want it to, toss it all together!  You may not want to use the entire thing of sauce.  Just add about half, add all of the broccoli, and then taste and see if it needs more sauce.  I kept a few pieces of broccoli out bc the kids like it so much plain.


Our sweet girl got baptized!

8 Jul

We just returned from our favorite week of the year: FAMILY CAMP!  I have heard from many of you that it would not be a vacation for you to be hot and sweaty and a little dirty all week.  But for us, it is perfect!  We got to zip line, climb the rock wall (or miserably fail for the 5th time), wake board, ride horses (adults even got to do a breakfast trail ride), rope swing into the lagoon, slide into water, learn together, sing and worship together, pray together, hear some awesome teachings, watch our own private fireworks show, have date nights/kids crazy nights, play a night time game of Operation Infiltration, play pickleball, NAP!!! (me), play Foosball, eat dessert every night, laugh together, dress up like fools together, and make a ton of memories.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again:  it is the reason I have a job.  It is worth almost every penny I make.  I don’t get to spend my work money on clothes or other such items. But we get to go to Family Camp (and our house gets cleaned)!!!!

With Lupus, and especially my particular version of the disease, I have to avoid the sun.  This makes all of the above activities a little challenging. However, companies like Coolibar and Athleta carry clothes that are UV protective.  At all times at camp, I was sunscreened, wearing a hat, carrying an umbrella, and covered in the UPF rated clothing.  I may have looked silly, but I was there!  In the lagoon, I have a long sleeve, high neck shirt that I wear and had a big hat tightly secured to my head.  Sorry, I am too prideful I guess to have any pics taken of me like that!

Our favorite spot. There is a swing right here where Luck and I like to start our day, sans kids. We get to pray together and talk about whatever is on our minds. It feels like we are back in college when we sit here together.

This year, Daniella decided that she wanted to be baptized at camp. Baptism is something we feel should be the decision of our kiddos. We do not believe that their salvation rests on their baptism. And we do not think that our deciding for them is them acting in obedience to Scripture.  Dani has mentioned wanting to get baptized but really, really didn’t like the idea of doing it in a baptismal at church.  We really loved the idea getting baptized in a natural setting. And camp has been a place of such huge spiritual growth, it was just a perfect fit.  So my sweet Luck had the privilege of baptizing her.  It was beautiful!

Even though visitors are not allowed in to camp, my parents were welcomed in for the occasion.

It was a wonderful way to celebrate the 4th of July!