Tag Archive | plant based diet

Bread and Roses

Who doesn’t love bread? Warm, soft, airy bread with gobs of melted butter…?

Since adopting a whole food plant based no oil diet in 2012, bread has been a challenge for me. Most breads are made with oil, and the ones that aren’t tend to be dense and/or dry. I’ve tried a number of different breads and I’m not really a fan (nor is my family) of most of the “healthy” breads; perhaps I have just not found the right one…

I don’t have the time or energy to read the ingredients on every single loaf of bread at Wegmans. And it’s not just the oil, but eggs, “natural flavors” and all sorts of other questionable ingredients. (Remember the “yoga mat” stuff?)

In the search for a healthy bread, I just opt for doing the best I can. Whole wheat. Wheat. Multi-grain. Organic. Close enough. And sometimes, you just need a crusty loaf of white Italian bread or some kind of bun that’s totally processed. Bread is just one of those areas that I have conceded we’ll never be perfect.

I’ve considered making my own (see prior comment on time and energy…) but that also entails digging out the bread maker and finding space for one more kitchen gadget.  Then I found this recipe for a 5 ingredient bread… no bread machine, no kneading, no oil, no artificial ingredients. (I’m sure you’re also thinking “no taste”.)  It only took an hour to make (20 minutes for rising; 40 minutes to bake).  We ate it warm with a smidge of butter, and it was pretty good. Depending on what you are serving it with, you may not need the butter, but I felt like it needed a sauce or something. It was still a little dense, but it had a nice crust, was warm, and (best of all) healthy. There wasn’t a bite left, so I think it passed the family inspection. I think I’m going to try to tweak the recipe a bit…playing with the salt and maple syrup, and also trying some additional seasonings for a more savory flavor.

Bread and Roses 2

As for the roses… Just wanted to wish all of the Moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day weekend!  I hope you are spoiled by your loved ones and get to relax a bit. I’m hoping to sleep in and go to see Avengers: Infinity War.  🙂

p.s. Your history lesson:
As my followers know, I always use the name of a movie as my blog post titles (to align with the “lights cancer action” theme). When I was searching for an image, I found that Bread and Roses was actually a political slogan after being referenced in a speech in 1911 by Rose Schneiderman, and is most associated with a textile strike where women were appealing for both fair wages and dignified conditions.

“The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.”

IMDb: Bread and Roses (2000)


Lady Vengeance

I recently bought a new Isa cookbook.  As you all know, “Isa Does It” is my go-to book. My family loves all her recipes and they are easily adaptable to “no oil”. She provides great cooking tips and shares ideas for substitutions in many cases.

The new book is “Vegan with a Vengeance” and I’ve tried out a few recipes so far.

Ginger Pear Waffles were pretty easy to make and were quite tasty. I found the batter had a more powerful taste than the cooked product, so I might use a bit more ginger next time. I made the mistake of doubling the batter since the recipe said it made eight 6-inch round waffles.  I read it as “6 waffles” and thought I better make 12…  The good news is that we had leftovers for breakfast for a few days.

The Tempeh Reuben is a new favorite in my house!! I always say a recipe’s success is based on how much my son eats… He ate FOUR of these sandwiches!!!  Marinated tempeh (a new favorite), vegan mayo-based Thousand Island dressing, and sauerkraut on grilled pumpernickel bread. It was fabulous!  Highly recommend! I made this with some French fries from the air fryer and Ethan dipped his fries in the dressing – a very tasty dinner!

Creamy Red Chard Linguine was an easy pasta dish on a night where you need a quick dish. I used Merlot since that’s what we always have on hand and it gave the dish a great flavor. I did double the recipe and swapped out the Swiss chard for spinach. I have never used Swiss chard, so just went for what I knew everyone would eat (plus I had some extra spinach in the fridge). Next time: Swiss chard it is.

So I’m cooking with a vengeance and loving all these great dishes! Can’t wait to work my way through the rest of the book.

p.s. A quick shout out to Jean for a great “Tofu Demystified” class today!  I learned a lot and it was great to make some new friends!

IMDb: Lady Vengeance (2005)

Wholly Guacamole

I was so excited to hear on CBS This Morning (Saturday) an article about breast cancer prevention. I was even more excited when they included “eating a mostly plants based diet” as part of their recommendations.  (Ok, so I would have personally removed the word “mostly”, but in general, this is a huge step towards cancer prevention… and other disease prevention.  Word is starting to get out!)  I tried to find a link to the report but haven’t been able to find it.  I will keep looking and will post it if/when I do locate it.


New recipe!  At the recommendation of a friend, I tried a Sweet Pea Guacamole recipe today. This one is from the Happy Herbivore Light & Lean Cookbook and it was delicious.  It’s pretty easy to make… a cup of peas, an avocado, and a variety of seasonings (vegan Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, onion / garlic powder, hot sauce, cilantro) to taste.  In the blender or food processor until smooth.

Here’s a link to a similar recipe:  http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Sweet_pea-Guacamole-My-Recipes

I like to eat my guacamole with the Way Better Snacks brand of tortilla chips!  Their chips are made with sprouted grains and all natural ingredients.  Love them!



Wholly Guacamole (2012) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2357483/

In All Things Moderation

“Everything in moderation.”  How many times have you heard that phrase?  Or even uttered it yourself? I know I have historically been one to say that… about alcohol, about ice cream and all sorts of bad foods, about a lot of things, in fact!

But lately I’m reading and hearing a different take on moderation:  “Moderation kills.”

Dr. McDougall says in his book “The Starch Solution”:  “Have you ever met a smoker who quit by cutting down?  An alcoholic who sobered up by switching to beer, or having just one drink a day?”  Cutting down on portions of bad foods is one of the reasons diets fail; it’s such a slippery slope once you get a taste of all those fats and sugars and salts.

Food Babe even said on Facebook today “”Everything in Moderation” is a phrase you’ll never hear me say. I don’t eat toxic chemicals in moderation, when I can have the real thing.” (See her blog at: http://foodbabe.com/)

Eating poorly, even in moderation, results in progressive injury to your body (even if you are exercising and seem fit).  It may take decades for it to catch up to you… one of those “death by a thousand cuts” situations… but it will.  I know it certainly did for me.

I believe that a history of meats, eggs, cheeses, and processed foods contributed to my two cancers.  I no longer believe in “moderation”.  I can’t say I’m 100% perfect, but I’m closer than I’ve ever been. I am convinced that eliminating those foods from my diet have resulted in improved health and will increase my longevity odds.


In All Things Moderation (1914) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0374736/

Only When I Laugh

I survived the first five-day work week in what seems like forever.  The week flew by, although the day dragged.  Something must have gone awry with the time-space continuum or something, because that makes no sense.  While it was a good week at work, I was happy when the day finally ended.  On to a three day weekend!

After work, I spent some time with my favorite aunt, as my uncle passed away on Wednesday. I have not spent as much time with her these past few years and I am sorry to have to see her under such circumstances, but we did get to spend some quiet time alone, remembering.  I was also honored to help her select music for the memorial Mass on Monday.

From somber to hysterical, after that it was game night with my family.  I’m not sure why, but it just seems to get funnier every time.  We made a resolution to do this once a month, and so far, we are one for one!  We laughed until we cried, with so much of the hysteria centered around the boys… my son, my brother, and my husband!  For the record, it was Pictionary and Hedbanz tonight.  (Hedbanz was a new addition after Christmas… if you haven’t played it, I highly recommend it for some great laughs!)

It feels so good to feel so good!  I’m so happy to be able to enjoy this family time with energy and joy.  I know I’ve said it before, but what a difference a year makes.  The experiences of the past year or so have really made me appreciate the family time, as well as the laughs, more and more.  I was also glad to spend some time with my niece before she heads back to college.


At work today, we had our first “healthy team” meeting of the year and I set my goals as follows:  1) Continue to evolve in my whole food, plant based diet by expanding my repertoire of foods and recipes.  2)  Lose that “last 10” pounds (those pounds seem particularly attached to me and just won’t go away).  3)  Get more active (for now, by increasing my FitBit steps week over week, and come Spring, back to mountain bikes).  Our team has really had some awesome health results in 2013 and the support of the whole team makes it all so much easier.  By sharing our goals with each other, it keeps us all honest and on track.


Only When I Laugh (1981) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082853/

A Good Year

One year ago today was my final chemo treatment… Wow, did that year fly by, or what?  I am so grateful to be alive and well!  They say time flies when you’re having fun, and now that I’m having fun again, and trying to live my second (third?) chance to its fullest, maybe that’s why.

I thought I’d share the link to last year’s last chemo blog:


One year ago today is also the day I adopted my whole food, plant based diet.  It took me a while to get totally up and running, since I was so sick after chemo #6, but it’s when I officially gave up all beef, poultry, and pork.  I do still eat fish about once a week, but that’s it for “meat”.

Here’s a recent article, but it was really the linkage of animal protein to cancer (from T. Colin Campbell’s book, The China Study) that led me to this decision.


I have to say that I have not regretted it for a moment.  I understand this decision isn’t for everyone, but for me, it was definitely the right move.  I lost weight without counting calories or fat or points.  My skin glowed and my hair shined.  My cholesterol and triglycerides plummeted.  And I felt better than I had in ages.  It is SO worth the effort!

What a difference a year makes!


A Good Year (2006) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401445/