Archive for vegan

I’m Ba-ack! As Best I Can, Anyway.

I’m sorry I haven’t written in so long. I wish I could blame my absence on writer’s block, an early and fortuitous move, or being busy doing something I love, but I can’t.

Unfortunately, I have fibromyalgia. Pushing myself over the winter to work on the blog while trying to work on the house while transitioning jobs while doing the holidays while getting sick from the germs of being around new germ factories kids was too much. I crashed, pretty hard. I ended up being mostly bedridden, sick (still coughing), having to drop to 16 hours a week at work (and still sometimes calling out), and feeling so bad that I actually applied for disability (both disability and SSI were denied; I’m not appealing right now since I feel better).

But the bedrest and forced slow-down helped me immensely. I was able to start to recuperate. We went from eating whatever fast thing I could throw together to eating less-processed fast things I could throw together. *Quick meal tip: you can boil potatoes ahead of time with the skin on and then just scrape or rub the skin off when you’re ready to use it with either your fingers or a spoon edge. Even the big baking potatoes!

I’ve been able to go back to working five days a week, with 1 or 2 of those days being longer than 4 hours. I hope this holds up because the class I’m working in over the summer has two field trips each week starting next week until school starts.

Unfortunately, I also have ADHD, so when I started feeling better I was still too disorganized and scattered to work in “time” for posting. I finally just pushed over the edge this morning to get my foot back in the door.

I’m going to be posting more frequently, but no promises yet as to how frequently (due to being scattered, disorganized, etc). I plan to post on lifestyle “stuff,” which for me will mean posts on the following:

  • homesteading
  • decluttering
  • home management (possibly slanted for someone with chronic conditions that affect memory, as both ADHD and fibromyalgia do)
  • life management – I expect lots of trial and error here
  • vegan recipes – starting with simple smoothies (I make one for breakfast these days)
  • our animals
  • Kaida and her art
  • homeschooling
  • home repair/renovation or random building projects that I do. I’m not trained to build, but I like doing it so, why not? Don’t follow my building advice! Maybe just use my stuff as idea generators.

I’m probably forgetting a lot of what I want to talk about; my brain just stopped. I guess that my clue to wrap it up!

See you next time!

SQUIRREL! Just kidding! I remembered that I want to also post (and maybe even write about) interesting articles I find about ADHD, fibromyalgia, general health/nutrition, or maybe anything else… 😉

Psst! Did You Do It? Menu Planning, Of Course!


Menu planning is all the rage these days (did I just sound really old?). I’ve tried planning for a long time, but have usually still been flying by the seat of my pants. I’ve found that, with me not getting home from work until after traditional dinner times and frequently not “having” enough time on the weekends to meal prep, I’ve gotten further and further off course. No more! I vow this day to get back to the straight and narrow as quickly as possible, or as soon as we get through the leftovers in the fridge and get caught up on dishes. But I digress!

I’ve mentioned before that we’re vegan. That kind of limits our meal options (at least for a not-very-skilled cook such as myself). I also found that dental issues from grinding/clenching my teeth my whole life are limiting. Also, (surprise!) having a seriously limited grocery budget is a hindrance. So that leaves…

Beans, rice, and potatoes to the rescue! Also, oatmeal plodding along and bringing up the rear.greatveganbeanbook

I started by writing down a list of menu items I could make at least palatable and that my daughter, Kaida, would usually eat. This was not a huge list. I then divided that list over four weeks. I used an Excel spreadsheet. I planned out what type of bean, what flavor profile I was going for (different spices), what grain I wanted on the side, and what vegetable would accompany it. I used “The Great Vegan Bean Book” for recipe ideas for beans and “The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook” for potato ideas, though you’ll notice that my potato dishes are not really that hard. *sigh*

At first, I alternated having a bean dish and a potato dish for dinner, but found that I just can’t devote the time to cooking potatoes when we get home, mostly because of the peeling. My solution was to plan all the bean dishes for dinners, since they can go in the crockpot, and to use potatoes or sweet potatoes for lunches. Breakfast alternates between cold cereal with almond milk and oatmeal. About every other week, we have pancakes on Sundays and Wednesdays. I make a large batch on Sunday and then we just warm up the leftovers on Wednesdays for a mid-week break from the monotony.

This schedule has been working better for me. Last week, I actually used the slow cooker twice! I know it’s not five days, but it’s better than none! My problem now is figuring out leftovers. I guess I could freeze all of the leftovers for now. I have days/meals scheduled to eat leftovers in my finalized schedule, but we’re not quite there yet. Bedtime is horrendous, but that’s another post. 😉

This week is week 3. Tonight’s dinner is schedule to be what I call “sweet beans.” It’s pinto beans with garlic powder, pepper, brown sugar, mustard powder, and a little maple syrup. Sometimes some chopped sweet onion, if I think of it. I may try it with a prepared mire poix just to see how it turns out. I think it’s similar to some baked bean recipes, but I just kind of throw things in there. The menu says I’m supposed to make applesauce biscuits to go with them, but I will probably be too lazy to make them. I’m supposed to be making them Sunday evening during food prep time, but it’s not Sunday anymore so we’ll probably just have a slice of wheat bread instead. Broccoli on the side.

Lunch for today is supposed to be mashed potatoes. Ugh. I like mashed potatoes; I just don’t like having to peel them. Okay, I admit I actually don’t like to spend time cooking. Ooh! Maybe I’ll cheat and use tater tots!

Tomorrow’s dinner is supposed to be black beans with carrots, mushrooms, and cauliflower with curry seasoning with brown rice. I know chickpeas are more frequently used with curry, but we’re having homemade hummus tomorrow for lunch. I used it to make sandwiches on Tuesdays because I have to go to work earlier. Lunch is scheduled to use leftover veggies. We’ll see what’s still edible in the fridge while I try to get this schedule under preventreverseheartdiseasecontrol.

For reference purposes, the mashed potatoes I make are similar to the “Good Garlicky Mashed Potatoes” on page 138 of “The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook.”



The Good – Plants To Fight Diabetes

Following yesterday’s post on plants and heart health, how about learning how plant-based diets deal with diabetes?

How about prevention (1 minute 35 seconds)?

How about treatment (1 minute 31 seconds)?

How about reversing diabetes (4 minutes 12 seconds)?

Next up, Alzheimers. Stay tuned!

The Good – Plants For Heart Health

I know the last post had a long video about the health benefits of a plant-based diet and that a lot of people won’t have the time to watch an 84-minute video. How about less than 6 minutes each? Sound more doable?

How about 1 minute 16 seconds?

Also 1 minute 16 seconds?

Or 1 minute 29 seconds?

Dr. Greger has a ton more videos and information, but I think you get the idea. 🙂

The Good – What Eating More Plant-Based Does For You

I said I’d talk about the health aspects of eating a more plant-based diet, but honestly I am only going to be able to scratch the surface. There is so much research into the benefits of fruits and vegetables that there’s no way I could put even a fraction of the information in one post. So I decided to use a video! And an infographic. 🙂

Dr. Michael Greger of is a very smart, funny guy. Dr. Greger and his team read through every published nutrition-related research journal published in the English language and make short videos and blog posts to help educate people as to how what they’re eating affects them. He also puts out an annual talk detailing the most recent dietary research for the US’s top 15 killers.

Here is is his most recent talk. It’s 84 minutes, but he does have a shortened 17 minute version.


And now for the cool infographic:

PlantBasedBenefits REVISED