Monday, June 10, 2013

It's all about the plan.

My dad used to always tell the kids in our family over and over and over again:

"If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail."

He always used it in reference to, well, everything.  Everything from homework, to school dances, to Friday night hang out with friends, to planning church activities.  Never once did it cross my mind that that same phrase could be used in reference to a healthy lifestyle.


Eating and living a healthy lifestyle is completely about planning.  It's about thinking ahead.  It's about knowing those times when you are going to be so hungry that you just want to bite someone's head off.  It's about planning your lunch, your day, your week and beyond.  Because if you are planning ahead and preparing for those times, you can look at people, (especially those close to you, like your spouse and children) with a little more love and patience and not even bat an eye at all those foods that can turn into enormous temptations.

I have found that eating the plant strong way means that I am often, 95% of the time, thinking about food.  Thinking about my next meal and where I'm going to get it from.  How I'm going to prepare it.  What I'm going to do if I go somewhere and can't find something that suits my liking.  What can I feed myself that will also make my husband and kids happy.  These kind of thoughts are almost constantly going through my head.  So I really have to make sure that I am planning.  Because, yes, we live in a culture that really revolves around food.

To be truly successful with the plant strong way of life it certainly takes some prep work.  It's a fantastic idea to keep pre-chopped veggies in the fridge and close at hand.  Fruit is also another fantastic fast food to keep around.  You can pre-cook rice and quinoa and freeze them for another day.  Sometimes putting in a lot of time on one day can save you a LOT of time on the following 4-5 days.  For example: it's often a good idea to chop up a few extra things on the weekend or your free day so you can quickly throw together a plant-strong pasta, pizza, or stir-fry for a quick and easy week night meal.

I also like to keep quick "snacks" on hand.  Because, yes, even for me, there are times that I just don't feel like reaching for a stick of celery.  So I'll make a big batch of plant strong granola bars, or some energy bites to keep in the freezer.  I also keep a bag of "NO SALT" and very little oil tortilla chips (they do exist!  Just read the labels) around with some homemade salsa and refried beans.  These are all pretty much staples around our home.  We could eat them like there was no tomorrow.  

Eating plant strong does not need to be hard.  I recommend keeping it as simple as you can, just stick to the basics...but that's a post for another day.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Been too long!

Wow, has it officially been over a year since my last post?!  That is shocking!!  I think about this blog often and all the wonderful things I want to tell you about that I am learning, but to be honest, sometimes I find it kind of hard to put myself out there in the spotlight for public scrutiny.  It's true.  I don't like the spotlight as much as I like to pretend I do.

However, that being said, I feel like I have so much information I NEED to share with all you lovely readers.  I have been learning so much and I just want to shout it from the rooftops and tell people to wake up and take a stand against the food industry.  So, consider this blog my rooftop.

There are a few new changes you may notice, first of all, I have turned the comments off.  I love to hear from you wonderful readers but there have been some comments in the past that were a little less then kind and I want and need this to be a positive uplifting environment.  We all want to see each other succeed, right?!

Another thing, blog design.  I know what I want this blog to look like but I don't have the skills and knowledge to get it there.  Can any of you point me in the right direction for some help in this department?  Shoot me an email,  you can find it up above in the contact bar.  I've got big dreams and ideas here.  :)

I plan to get back to this blogging thing on a much more regular basis.  So, hopefully you'll be hearing from me again very soon!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Medical Proof

So, I have been doing a lot of studying lately-A LOT of studying and reading and I have so many thoughts bouncing around in my head that I really want to share with all of you.  And really, it's all about the medical proof of why you should make the change to a plant based diet.  There is so much proof out there, it is really just mind boggling to me that I haven't put two and two together until now.

I am sure you hear this everywhere out there, because I know I do (but then I'm also looking for it), that America is heading for a health disaster.  Our children may be the first generation to NOT outlive their parents.  And this is due to things like: heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and alzheimer's disease/dementia....all caused by our over processed, high fat, standard american diet.

Now I don't know about you, but these diseases all sound really scary to me....and yet, they are all preventable.  You don't have to experience any of these things if you choose not to.  I have pretty much every single one of those lurking in my family history charts.  I have always thought the chances were pretty dang high for me to come down with any number of those diseases.  Now I am beginning to be pretty confident that I won't because I am the only one in my family (aside from my brother and his wife, well done guys!!) who has decided to make a stand and make a change.

In cases like heart disease and stroke, these are in large part due to the amount of plaque that you have built up in your body.  Plaque is a waxy, fatty deposit that can build up in various parts of your body, including inside the arteries.  Once it builds up in the arteries, it can slow the flow of blood to the heart, cause a blood clot, cause something similar to a pimple and explode, sending the plaque to your heart causing a heart attack or to your brain causing a stroke.  (Obviously it's much more involved then that, but I'm no doctor, so I'll let you research that on your own.)

And where do you think this plaque comes from?  Animal proteins! Animal based products contain all the building blocks for heart disease: artery-clogging saturated fat, plaque-promoting dietary cholesterol, animal proteins raise cholesterol.

Plant based products do the opposite.  They discourage plaque build-up and promote the health of your artery lining because they contain healthy unsaturated fats, zero cholesterol (your body can make that on its own), friendly protein, and free radical-zapping antioxidants.  Not to mention that plants are nutritional powerhouses!

Do you know that in early 1900's, cardiovascular disease wasn't even in the top ten causes of death?!  Then by the time we reached 2007 more then 3,000 people were dying from heart disease EVERY SINGLE DAY!

And then there is cancer.  I am pretty positive that every single one of us has been effected by cancer in one way or another.  I know quite a few people that have lost the fight with cancer and several others that are currently fighting it.  It's a scary, ugly disease.  Now, I am no doctor, but in all this reading I've been doing I have found SEVERAL doctors studies about animal protein creating an ideal environment for cancer to thrive.  Meat protein creates an acidic environment that is also a breeding ground for cancer cells and growth hormones.  Not to mention the fact that meat and dairy products have very little fiber, which stalls the fecal matter in the colon for long periods of time which in turn can contribute to colon cancer.

Plant proteins practically repel cancer because, unlike meat which creates an acidic environment, plant proteins are alkaline making it almost impossible for cancer cells to take root and prosper.  I know about alkaline.  I grew up on the shore of Utah Lake.  We couldn't get ANYTHING to grow due to all the alkaline in the soil.

There is so much more I could talk to you about right now...I'll save that for another post.  But despite all the evidence that exists out there, America (I pick on America because that's where all the studies I read come from, but any western society is likely at the same risk) has yet to hear and fully digest the plant based message.  Because we have grown up in a society that is all about fast, cheap, and easy, people are afraid to embrace something that is new and different.

For a lot of people (I was one of these) plants are this unknown world that they don't know much about.  It can be scary to consider that you won't have any of your "normal" foods to eat, but once you dive in and give it a try, you will be amazed at the world you will discover.

And there is part of my soap box.  I've got so much more to come!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Do something FUN to stay fit!!

When it comes to being fit and staying healthy, a healthy diet is only one part of the equation.  You also have got to be active and break a sweat.
I don't know many people who are content with doing the exact same thing day in and day out.  Even though I'm sure they are out there.  The best way to do it is to make it fun!  Change things up a little bit.  Throw in extremes and get wild and crazy.  (It really is OK to do just that.)  :)

This is the rut that I have been in and I have been craving something exciting to do.  Then I found the Warrior Dash!  Oh. My. Goodness!!  This was so much fun!  I was able to twist my husbands arm enough to join with me (he's so good to support me in all my craziness!) and we had so much fun!

I was really nervous because I have never in my life done anything even remotely close to this before.  They have you sign a waiver before you run the race and it was the first time in my life that I signed a paper that said, "I'm aware I could lose my life."  I have two little ones to think about, so I walk on the cautious side of life these days, so that was slightly unnerving.  But the race was WAY easier and not nearly as extreme as I thought it would be.  I'm not even sore....which I'm a little bummed about.  DARN!!  (I actually really love that sore feeling after a good workout!) 

We will certainly be doing this again.  And I would encourage any and all of you to jump in and do the same.  This is a great way to mix things up and keep your fitness exciting!  Below you will find links to nationwide races that travel the country.  The Warrior Dash is one of those.  Check the links to see if one of these races is happening in your neck of the woods anytime soon.  You won't regret it!

I think I was a little too worried about all the I kept the mud minimal. 
My warrior husband!! 
Here are the three races that are on my goal list for the summer.  I can't wait to do another one.  If any of you out there are crazy enough to come and join me, we can make it a party!!

Warrior Dash

Foam Fest

The Color Run

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kale and Avocado Salad

I am not a huge kale fan.  Or at least I haven't been.  This salad may well be the beginning of a change for me.

I know that kale is super healthy and one of those super foods that are just oh so good for you, but that bitter taste is so hard to get past!  Sometimes even throwing it into a smoothie or juice can't even mask that flavor.

Today I consider myself to be one of the luckiest girls around.  While shopping at the health food store I picked up a bunch of kale and was throwing it into a bag and a lady asked me what I do with my kale.  I told her juices, smoothies, but that I'd like to learn how to do something savory with it.  Well, this lady introduced me to a miraculous way of eating kale.  Apparently the trick to eating kale is all about loving it properly.  See kale likes to have a good massage...just like the rest of us, makes sense, right?!  So when making this salad the more you handle it and break those leaves the sweeter it becomes.  And boy, did it become sweet!

OK, so here is what you do:

Kale and Avocado Salad

1 bunch of kale
1 avocado
juice from one lime
garlic powder
dried onion flakes

Take your kale and wash it, then break the leafy bits away from the stem.  It actually pulls away from the stem very easily.  Once it's all in the bowl get your hands in there and just start massaging it and tearing it apart.  Next add in your avocado-sliced, lime juice and your seasonings (and if you want, add in a little spinach) and then keep massaging it with your hands.  That avocado becomes like your salad dressing so mix it in there really well.  Then grab a fork and start eating and enjoy!  Hopefully you'll be just as shocked as I was about the flavor of this.