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Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Moment of Gratitude...

Thanks and Giving,
the perfect bookends for a day filled with Joy!

Happy Thanksgiving,
from our home to yours.

Our Love, Always,

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

What the Heck is TSP and Why is it in my Cereal?

On the heels of our 31 Day Journey into Beating Cancer and taking to heart a Whole-Food, Plant-Based diet, I just happened upon this article and it sent me back into research mode...

Mira Dressy is the Ingredient Guru and is a passionate proponet of Real Food.  She's a nutritional educator and emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle through Whole Foods.

She addressed the confusing debate over TSP, what it is, and why the CDC says it's hazardous to our health but the FDA approves its use in many of our foods...

Mira explains it much better than I could... here's a little excerpt of her findings:

"Trisodium phospate (TSP) is an industrial cleaning product used as a degreasing agent, mildew remover and lead abating agent and to clean interior and exterior walls before painting.

Because of its alkalinizing cleaning properties, TSP was used in dishwashing soap and laundry detergent until it was phased out in 2011 after the EPA found it was harmful to the environment.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also recommends to "Avoid All Contact."  The CDC lists these TSP ingestion symptoms:  abdominal pain, burning sensation, shock, or collapse.

If the EPA says TSP is hazardous to the environment and the CDC tells us to avoid all contact, why does the FDA allow it in our food and personal care products?

So, why is TSP used in our food?

TSP is most commonly used to reduce the acidic nature of foods, especially breakfast cereals, as it modifies cereal color and aids in the cereal's flow through the extruder.

TSP's other uses include:

* Added to meat to retain moisture during storage and cooking

* Acts as a leavening agent to "fluff up" foods like cakes, breads and baked goods.

* Added to cheese to help keep its shape and melting properties

* Used as an antimicrobial cleaner for washing produce.  Poultry is dipped in a TSP solution to potentially kill off bacteria.

Why should we avoid food with TSP?

Studies have shown that ingesting high levels of phosphate (the major mineral in TSP) can cause kidney damage, soft tissue calcification and removal of calcium from bones.  Chronic high levels of phosphate intake can result in osteopenia and ultimately osteoporosis.  TSP also irritates the stomach and intestinal lining as well as reduces lactic acid in muscles.

The FDA has approved 70 mg/kg of body weight as the maximm tolerable limit of TSP that a person should ingest per day.  For a 150 lb person, this translates to 4,772 mg/day.

With TSP in all of these foods, we have no idea if we're ingesting more than the maximum tolerable limit.  So just to be safe, stay away from all foods containing TSP."

Mira makes a logical case for avoiding foods with TSP, but in my research I found many conflicting points of view, including this from

"At the amounts found in food, both TSP and sodium bicarbonate are perfectly safe, as the FDA concludes:  None of the approved sodium phosphate additives are intrinsically harmful and their use in foods does not present a hazard when the total amount of phosphorus ingested and the intakes of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and other nutrients are satisfactory.  The current use of calcium phosphates in food processing is without harmful effects on the health of consumers and, in some instances, may be advantageous."

So, who to believe???

Then I found an article published by Jenny Ruhl that resonated with me... her clear explanations and the backing of many studies just helped me make up my mind... Her article is lengthy and long but so good.  Go here to read it in its entirety.  But for a glimpse at her findings:

"Phospate Additives Promote Hardening of the Arteries.

There is a disturbing link between blood phosphate levels and heart disease.  Many people eating low carb diets have a unique exposure to phosphates because they are added to so many of the meats you buy at the grocery store and order in restaurants.

Inorganic phosphates are 100% bioavailable.  That means if you eat 500 mg of calcium phosphate, disodium phosphate {or trisodium phosphate} that is added to processed foods or supplements, the whole 500 mg will be absorbed.  When it is, it will go into your bloodstream where it will raise your serum phosphate level.

We know from several well-conducted studies that there is a direct link between serium phosphate level and heart disease.  As a recently published review article explains, 'Higher serum phosphate levels were independently associated with coronary artery calcification, vascular stiffness, left ventricular hypertrophy and carotid artery disease.'

An interesting side note to the issue of high serum phosphate is the finding that rising serum phosphates will lower vitamin D production.  If you have abnormally low vitamin D levels when not supplementing vitamin D, this could be pointing to the fact that your serum phosphate level is unhealthily high." 

That was enough information for me.  In choosing a Whole-Food, Plant-Based diet, I will be avoiding TSP in my diet.  It is one more reason to love the transition to eating real food... I have come to believe that while the levels of TSP may not be alarming according to the FDA, I can make the choice to avoid even the chance that they might be...

Eating to Live takes on real-life challenges, and in this case helps me make wholesome changes that are backed by healthy principles.

For today, our homework is to start reading labels on everything that we put on our plate!  Check to see how many items you eat each day that contain trisodium phosphate.

Practicing mindfulness with you, each and every day!

In Grace, Always,

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The China Study Resource List

This 31 Day Journey has been filled with science and success, challenge and hope... We've covered a lot of ground on this Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet quest.

Dr. Campbell's China Study has rocked our view of cancer and our expectations in how we can treat it.  As he shares, "Controlling cancer through nutrition was, and still is, a radical idea."  Very true!

We have shared the successes, chronicled in posts, books and documentaries... hearing stories from real people with real health issues trying a real whole food diet helps makes sense of all the technical explanations.  Chris Wark believes that "Survivors trump science."  And I tend to agree!

Over the past month, we've read a lot of books,blogs and recipes...

Here's a list all in one place to make it easy:

The China Study

The China Study Website: Nutrition Studies

The China Study Cookbook

Stop Feeding Your Cancer

Ben Bella Vegan

Oh She Glows

Helyn's Plant-Based Kitchen

Forks Over Knives

Keep studying... Keep pushing... Keep asking the hard questions.

The Whole-Food, Plant-Based diet and the research that Dr. Campbell has done resonates deeply for me. There is so much more to share!

What if we can dramatically reduce our risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes just be changing our diet?  I'm all in!  Join me??  We're just beginning this journey...

And it is all Grace to be here with you.

My Love,

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Forks over Knives

We're winding down our 31 Day Journey...

And today I'm giving out a bit of homework!  But it's all good... this is the kind of homework you don't have to sweat.

Download the following video documentary...

Now watch it!

That's all.  No essays to write.  No questions to answer.

And best of all, no test to study for!  This documentary will wrap up our 31 day journey in the most beautiful way.

The Forks over Knives movie documentary follows the personal journeys of real people as they put Dr. Campbell's groundbreaking research to the test.  This documentary explores the claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that we suffer from can be controlled, and in many cases, even reversed by adopting a Whole-Food, Plant-Based diet.

If you are at all on the fence about the amazing science behind The China Study, do yourself a favor and study this documentary.  It will answer questions I don't even know how to ask... and it will give you the information you need to make an educated decision on all we've talked about this past month.

Can it be possible that our nutrition and diet choices have such truly profound effects?

Dr. Campbell believes this is truth.  Take a moment or two and be challenged by the Forks over Knives movie.  Then join the conversation! 

In Grace, Always,

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Eureka Moment...

Yesterday we took a look at the China Study and its effect on Pancreatic Cancer.

It was a hard post to share.   And for many, it may have seemed to be heartless and without hope. {Please don't give up... there is Hope ahead}

Enter Dr. Kelly's Eureka Moment...

After losing 4 of his pancreatic cancer patients, including his own brother, Dr. Kelly shared his all out preoccupation with pancreatic cancer...

"I was heartbroken, but his death focused my mind as never before.  I had studied every aspect accessible to me about cancer and I felt sure there was a fundamental difference between cancer of the pancreas and other cancers.  I reread everything I could about the disease, and scoured the Internet daily to make sure I wasn't missing anything.  I went to sleep thinking about pancreatic cancer, and woke every morning still thinking of it.  Then came my eureka moment, a flash of clarity.

As with so many eureka moments a simple answer proposed itself.  My deduction, based on all the published and known scientific facts, was that in cancer of the pancreas it wasn't the dietary animal protein that was most relevant, but rather the structure and function of the pancreas itself.  In the unique case of the pancreas, its own cells - and any cancers therein - have the ability to produce their own animal protein already fully metabolized and ready for use.  What I had overlooked was the fact that more than 90 percent of pancreatic cancers take place in the glandular cells of the pancreas and that the normal function of these cells is to produce the enzymes that metabolize the foods we eat.  The enzyme involved in metabolizing protein - the culprit we are interested in - is called trypsin."

Now, here the explanation gets more detailed, but stick with it, the a-ha moment is coming!

Dr. Kelly continues, "Trypsin is produced by the glandular cells of the pancreas and is stored there in an inactive form (trypsinogen) until there is need for it.  When we eat protein it is fed into the upper part of the small intestine, where it becomes active and thus capable of metabolizing the consumed proteins so they can be absorbed into the bloodstream and utilized by the body.  Trypsin is a very powerful enzyme and the reason it is normally stored in the inactive state is that it might otherwise begin to metabolize and corrupt the pancreatic cells themselves.  In fact, this sometimes does occur, in a non-malignant condition called pancreatitis where self-digestion results in inflammation and destruction of pancreatic cells.

Trypsin does not cause cancer.  But what my eureka moment suggested was that should a number of pancreatic cells begin malignant change - for whatever reason - the trypsin produced by these cells could trigger auto-digestion of the protein structure within the cell, thereby providing an endless supply of best-quality animal protein that would nourish rapidly replicating, rapidly metastasizing cancer cells indefinitely.  Small wonder, then, that it is virtually impossible to cure pancreatic cancer once the surgical option of removing a localized tumour is no longer feasible."

Did you get that??

Pancreatic cancer is basically self-digesting the patients body to provide itself with a daily smorgasbord of the best animal protein around... An animal-protein-free diet, like that of the Whole-Food, Plant-Based kind, won't begin to turn around or even touch this vicious cancer machine.

Pancreatic cancer is a parasite of the worst kind.  And if this cancer wasn't such a nightmare you could almost admire it's stealth-like adaptation to survive.  Except that survival for the cancer means certain death for our loved ones.

This cancer is a nightmare.

But back to Dr. Kelly's Eureka Moment.  He shares what this means to the future of pancreatic cancer treatment,

"I believe we have approached a critical border here.  If my deduction is right, we are broaching a broad range of new possibilities that might be of considerable importance in new treatments for cancers of the pancreas and stomach, and perhaps all cancers.  The role played by trypsin and pepsin (the enzyme in stomach cancer) in feeding the worst cancers has been too long overlooked because nobody has pressed the argument that a devastating association between animal protein and cancer growth exists.  Now that it is becoming clear that such a link does exist, these enzymes must come under renewed scrutiny.  It is my view that oncology experts should lead the field in reviewing the role of the anti-trypsin chemicals that we know exist naturally in the body, but I believe it is quite likely that the pharmaceutical industry will step up the pace, and hugely effective medications will result.

In the end, it may well be that all that's required to finally defeat pancreatic and stomach cancer, indeed all cancers, is an anti-trypsin and anti-pepsin medication available at the bedside."

This is a beginning.  And it is Hope.

So much of this resonates with me.  As we watched mom waste away from this terrible disease, I can now see how the cancer was feeding on her, in a horrible, agonizing way. 

Pancreatic cancer is a nightmare.  And it's hard to talk about these things.  Even harder to think upon them.

But this is where the Eureka Moments happen.  And it is moments like these that will lead us to a cure.

And that is the heartbeat of this journey.  We will walk it out together...

It is all joy to be journeying this road with you,


Monday, November 13, 2017

The China Study and Pancreatic Cancer

This is the hardest post to write in our 31 Day series...

While the China Study is revolutionary in scope, and has profound effect on diseases from hypertension to diabetes to cancers of all kinds.  It has not been able to crack the vicious hold of pancreatic cancer.

On this blog, mom and I decided long ago to only speak truth.  Even when it's hard.
So, this is the hard post... the truth about the China Study and pancreatic cancer.

Dr. John Kelly devotes a whole chapter in his book, Stop Feeding Your Cancer to the problem of the pancreas...

"It has been my fervent hope in this book to tell a personal story that accurately relates the importance of new finding but does not over-simplify the challenge of cancer.  All the case histories that have been presented highlight the close association that exists between the consumption of animal protein and the manner in which the patient's cancer grows.

There can be no exceptions to good scientific theory - or can there be?  The question many will ask is, 'What about pancreatic cancer?'  It's the one that makes most headlines because of its virulent, seemingly unstoppable nature."

Dr. Kelly goes on to share his experience with 4 patients under his care who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and who had agreed to follow the Whole-Food, Plant-Based diet.

His first case was a patient who came to him with possible gallstones.  Tests revealed the malignant lesion in her pancreas.  She underwent surgery, the surgery was deemed successful,  she embarked on the new diet and seemed to be recovering well.

Two months later a new lesion developed.   Her oncologist put her on a stringent course of chemotherapy along with the whole-food, plant-based diet.

Three months later she was dead.

Dr. Kelly shares his complete shock.  For he firmly believed that neither the original cancer recurring, nor a new tumour should have happened while the patient was on the diet.

A small part of his questioning was her full compliance with the diet. Hopefully she had been faithful to the new diet, but he shares, "The awful truth for the patient was that she got no second chance."

Several years later, Dr. Kelly received another pancreatic cancer case.  The 65-year old man was totally on board with the diet and determined to make it work.  What transpired in his case was completely unexpected.  On the night before surgery, he died from a massive hemorrhage at the cancer site.

Dr. Kelly statess that "if nothing else, this incident was a dramatic demonstration of the aggressiveness of pancreatic cancer; there was clearly no one to blame for what happened."

And yet, Dr. Kelly appears to have taken much of the blame, speaking of many sleepless nights, reviewing and reevaluating the study and pancreatic cancer in particular...

"I took comfort from the progress of the other patients in my trial, but the pancreas issue was never far from my thoughts.  I had to wait three years before another pancreatic case presented itself.  In fact, two showed up in quick succession.  There were striking similarities between the cases.  Both were males between 60 and 70 years old, both had extensive metastatic spread by the time of diagnosis, and tragically both patients were dead within a few months, the agony of their final weeks barely controlled by high doses of pain-killing drugs.  The last patient to die was my own brother, who was eight years my junior.

Observing a family member's death in such pain from this most vigorous cancer was a horrific experience.  The anguish seemed worse since he'd known all about Colin Campbell's work and told me he'd been following the animal-protein-free diet.  I do not know how disciplined he was with the diet but, knowing him so well, I suspect he was at least reasonably so.  I was heartbroken, but his death focused my mind as never before... I went to sleep thinking of pancreatic cancer, and woke every morning still thinking of it."

And if this were the end of our study, it would appear hopeless.  Completely, utterly hopeless...

I would not be sharing the China Study with you, my friends, if I did believe with certainty that it is the stuff of great Hope.

Indeed, it was the China Study that actually led Dr. Kelly to his Eureka Moment with pancreatic cancer...  It's a complicated, scientific thesis that is simply brimming with Hope!

Stay tuned as we delve into the science behind the role of trypsin and pepsin in the aggressive growth of pancreatic cancer.  Dr. Kelly is confident that we are reaching a critical crossroads in cancer research, and if his deductions are right, there is incredible Hope for the pancreatic cancer patients and all their loved ones...

More tomorrow!  Can't wait to share this exciting  new development!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Sunday of Thanks

Some People Dream the Dream
Some People Live the Dream
Some People Defend the Dream

God Bless the Defenders...

A Weekend of Thanks for the Veterans Among Us!

In Love and Gratitude,

Saturday, November 11, 2017

What I Ate Today...

Love this article from Professor Campbell's website, Nutrition Studies...

Easy Plant-Based Meal Prep for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

The author hits the nail right on the head with her opening statement:

"I do not like to cook.  And I judge a recipe by its length; if it's long, I'm not using it.  In other words, I place a high value on ease and convenience.  So I was grateful to learn plant-centered meals can be prepared easily.  This chapter provides guidance on how to make simple yet tasty plant-based meals."


That's me!  Short on time, long on good taste!

If you would like to get a whole lot of help with this Whole-Food, Plant-Based transition head on over to Easy Meal Prep Ideas...

What to eat for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner... easy, fast and delicious!

Eating to Live!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Helyn's Plant-Based Kitchen

Another Resource for the Whole-Food, Plant-Based Journey...

Helyn's Plant-Based Kitchen

Helyn loves gardening and hiking boots, sunsets and horses, a quiet country life ...she might be my kind of happy friend!  On her website she shares a bit more of herself :

"Besides cooking and blogging I love my two kitties, exploring the mountains with my sweet man,  thrift store shopping and working on home improvement projects.  My family is the fiber of my soul.  I love them unconditionally, infinitely and eternally."


Helyn has some amazing plant-based recipes on her website...

Helyn has the heart of a giver...

"When I was two years old, I wanted to be a nurse.  So that I could help people.  I hope, in some small way, that I am fulfilling that childhood dream of helping others live a healthier, happier life by sharing my plant-strong recipes and nutritional education with my readers."

Yes, Helyn, you are spreading hope and happiness.  You make the journey sweeter... So grateful for your dedication and hard work!

In Grace Tonight,

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The China Study: Center for Nutrition Studies

Yesterday we got to meet Professor Campbell.

Today we are taking a trip over to his website:

Nutrition Studies

Here you will find a wealth of information!  It is filled with encouragement, tips, and recipes for the whole-food, plant-based journey.

Plus a ton of articles on a huge variety of topics, from Weight loss to Cancer to Dementia to Success Stories...

Check it out!  Truly... I may not be able to come over and cook up an amazing Whole-Food, Plant-Based meal for you, but I can surely provide you with an amazing resource!

Professor Campbell is passionate about this work... he shares it well:

"The work we do strives to educate and awaken as many minds as possible, so that collectively we my choose the wiser path - one of whole nutrition, leading to whole health, and allowing us to live stronger, healthier, happier lives. Whole lives." ~ T. Colin Campbell

Amen and Amen!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Message from Professor Campbell...

You all have been so good to hang in with me and my ramblings on this 31 Day Journey!

I have shared from my heart the excitement and hope that The China Study has given me.  The courage to change our diet, to see the amazing power of nutrition in our lives.

But... it is so much better to hear it from the man himself!  Please take a moment and listen to Dr. T. Colin Campbell share his story in this powerful TEDx Talk:

Be encouraged today... No matter where you find yourself on this journey... there is Hope,


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Another Case Study...

The China Study is an amazing look at the unmistakable connection between our diets and disease, especially cancer.

But, if you're like me, sometimes it's all just scientific mumbo-jumbo.  What I really want to hear about are real-life success stories... Yes, you too?!  Well, we are in luck.  Dr. John Kelly shares a number of case studies in his book Stop Feeding Your Cancer.

We've already heard Melissa's story and Ronan's story... time for Andrew's story!

The following excerpt comes from Dr. Kelly's book, Stop Feeding Your Cancer:

"Andrew's case proved unusual because he was introduced to the China Study 18 months before being diagnosed with cancer.  He had suffered a heart attack when he was 60 and my reason for telling him about the book then was its sidebar claim that the diet was also efficacious in preventing coronary heart disease.  This claim was based on the theory that people prone to coronary heart disease had some sort of intolerance to animal protein that could cause the lining of coronary arteries to become inflamed and lead to the deposition of plaque.  A diet low in animal protein was also naturally low in cholesterol.  This was a novel approach to another major global health problem - indeed one that ranks among the most stubbon and prevalent in my own country - but I had decided not to push the curative theory in the same way as I was doing with the cancer treatment approach, as it appeared to me there was at this time insufficient proof available.

I told Andrew about the China Study and how it had been introduced to me by our mutual friend, the geneticist, Paddy.  I knew he had the highest regard for our pal, whom he had worked with for a number of years.  Andrew made the decision to start the diet in the hope of preventing further episodes of his coronary heart disease.  I felt encouraged, and looked forward to watching his progress.

Some 18 months after this coronary care chat, Andrew arrived at my office complaining of passing blood and a few suspicious pieces of tissue in his urine.  At first, I thought this issue might represent bits of kidney stones but as there had been no pain associated, this was far from certain.  I arranged an ultrasound of the lower abdomen.  This reported a "soft tissue mass" at the base of the bladder, which was a sign that Andrew had a tumour.

In the hospital tests that followed, the urologist discovered a large solid tumour in Andrew's bladder.  To the specialist's surprise, however, the tumour did not appear in any way aggressive and it proved possible to remove it without the need for open surgery.  Unfortunately the histology showed it to be a squamous cell carcinoma and the urologist informed me that these particular tumours were among the most aggressive and dangerous of all bladder cancers.  Virtually all of them carried a dismal prognosis and the standard procedure was to remove the bladder immediately to prevent the tumour from spreading.  In Andrew's case there was some advantage, however.  The urologist explained that he couldn't justify removing the bladder as - unusually - there was no evidence that the cancer had invaded the underlying bladder muscles.  It seemed a near miss, but was clearly a puzzling, complex situation that would require careful monitoring.

Andrew's upset with the diagnosis was echoed by my disappointment.  According to him, he had been on an animal-protein-free diet,  If the science was right, that diet should have prevented the cancer from growing.  When I discussed the matter further with Andrew, I heard his confession.  The diet he promised as a countermeasure to recurrence of his coronary heart disease had been, in his words, "an on-and-off affair."  I reeled a little, and re-evaluated.  I read again the urologist's reports.  Andrew's case had been unusual. The urologist was at pains to point out there were few, if any, cases of non-aggressive squamous cell bladder tumours in the medical literature.  Why had Andrew been the exception to the rule?  What was different in the course of his particular pathology?

I welcomed the consoling possibility that the diet contributed to his lucky break.  Perhaps even this haphazard engagement with a new food discipline had been enough to stop the cancer becoming aggressive?  Perhaps, had it not been for his diet, Andrew might have lost his bladder and perhaps his life.  We talked about it.  I told him of my suspicions, but he had partly made the deduction himself.  A new pep talk was not needed; he just smiled, shook my hand and exited my office with a bounce in his step.  He immediately resumed the diet, and has stuck to it.

Things have been going very well for Andrew.  Over the past 6 years his bladder has been checked every three months and the urologist, who knows nothing about the diet, is beginning to believe that Andrew's may turn out to be the exceptional case that defies the normal laws of aggressive bladder cancers.  Specialists go by the books, though, and Andrew's consultant still insists that the most likely outcome is that the cancer will return aggressively.  The clinical monitoring continues and I carefully follow every screening report.  From time to time, some of the reports I receive indicate areas of cancer in situ (non-active cancer lesions) and areas of leukoplakia.  Leukoplakia is a pre-cancerous condition in which a number of surface cells undergo a certain amount of genetic change, though not enough to make the onset of cancer inevitable.  In hindsight and with the benefit of observing Andrew's pattern, it seems likely that the small fragments of tissue that had passed in his urine in the first instance probably came from areas of leukoplakia.  The isolation of the bladder tumour seems unique, and uniquely interesting.

Andrew receives his three-monthly lab reports with a certain amount of equanimity but, I admit, he is not yet without fear of the cancer returning.  The monitoring helps his peace of mind.  I, on the other hand, have become quite confident.  Andrew's case remains for me an excellent example of the protective versatility of an animal-protein-free diet."

I am encouraged by this real-life case study.  Andrew's story is a road-map to Hope.  The China Study diet is something each of us can do... right now... without a prescription or a lengthy hospital stay.

Enjoying this conversation more than you know!  And more than excited about this Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet.

Sharing Hope Today!

My Love, Always,

Monday, November 6, 2017

A Tex-Mex Hit!

Happy Monday y'all...

Welcome to Vegan-cooking, Texas-style!  Forgive the paper plates... did I mention that we're in the middle of a log home build?  Amazing-crazy!  So, paper plates make life easier right now... and they definitely look good with some Tex-Mex Casserole piled on top!

The best Tex-Mex Casserole I have ever made... and it is Whole-Food, Plant-Based Delicious!!

If you're on the fence about this whole plant based food thing, please do me one little favor and make this dish.

It even fooled friends we had over the Lake Place {yes!} They never even suspected the 2 cups of fresh baby spinach tucked into the savory mix!

And it is so easy to make... Here's the recipe and a few pics to make it fun.

Ordinary ingredients that you can find anywhere... 
except for the Vegan cheese and sour cream...

Our local Kroger carries both in their Natural Food section...
 and they are surprisingly good!

So, here's the recipe, from the Oh She Glows Cookbook, 
courtesy of Angela Liddon:

Crowd-Pleasing Tex-Mex Casserole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Serves: 6
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika or ½ tsp regular paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1¼ tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground coriander (optional)
  • 1½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, if desired, and diced
  • fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 cup tomato sauce or tomato puree
  • 2-3 cups chopped kale leaves or baby spinach
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups cooked wild rice blend or brown rice
  • ½ cup vegan shredded cheese, such as Daiya
  • 1-2 handful corn tortilla chips, crushed
  • Sliced green onions
  • Salsa
  • Avocado
  • Corn Chips
  • Cashew Cream (or Tofutti Sour Cream!)
  1. Make the Tex-Mex Spice Blend: In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, and coriander (if using). Set aside.
  2. Make the Casserole: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a large (4 to 5 quart or liter) casserole dish.
  3. In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and jalapeño and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes, until softened. Season with salt and black pepper, if desired.
  4. Stir in the Tex-Mex Spice Blend, corn, diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, kale, beans, rice and ¼ cup of the vegan shredded cheese. Sauté for a few minutes and season with more salt and black pepper, if desired.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the crushed chips over the casserole mixture along with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Uncover the casserole dish and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, until bubbly and slightly golden around the edges.
  7. Scoop the casserole into bowls and add your desired toppings.

As you can see by the pictures, I didn't need a wok (good-old frying pan worked great) and I opted not to add the jalepenos... (just depends on how hot you like it!)

Hello, Delicious... !!!

Tasty, Healthy and So Amazing!

Angela Liddon has done an excellent job of gathering superb plant-based recipes.
Her website is a wonderful addition to your whole-food, plant-based file cabinet!

Check out Angela's website at

Tips for the Journey.
You can so do this!!

Love, Always,

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Where Do We Start When our Mind Goes Blank?

When I started looking seriously at the Whole-Food, Plant-Based diet, my mind went blank. Totally blank!

Like, what will I eat?  No cheese? No Burgers? No Ice Cream?  Not even Milk, so no cereal??!!  Exactly... Blank!  I couldn't imagine just eating salads all day (with no cheese or ranch dressing!  Hello?!)

That was my basic understanding of a whole-food, plant-based diet.  No fun, just salads, sad, sad, sad...

Was I wrong!

After commiting to the change, I started doing some serious research.

My world exploded!

There are so many amazing recipes out there... And today I'm sending you over to an awesome website to get you started.

Ben Bella Vegan

Go there now... you have my blessing {smile}

At BenBella Vegan you will find the resources and inspiration for an exciting transition to plant-based living and a whole lot of delicious recipes!

 Life is getting good...

My Love, Always,

Friday, November 3, 2017

Tips for the Journey...

So you're convinced... a Whole-Food Plant-Based diet has merit and you're ready to take the plunge and remove animal protein from your plate and fill it with whole foods, heavy on the plants.

But where to start?  Seems rather daunting... Yes?!  Yes!

Here are some smart tips to encourage success during the transition.  And it is a transition... give yourself a little grace and a lot of love.  Eating smart is wonderful but not always intuitive or easy!

Here is a quick excerpt from The China Study... encouragement for jump-starting the journey!

"Give it one month.

You've been eating cheeseburgers your whole life; a month without them won't kill you!

A month isn't enough time to give you any long-term benefits, bit it is long enough for you to discover four things:

1.  There are some great foods you can eat in a plant-based diet that you otherwise may never have discovered.  You may not be eating everything you want (desire for meat may last longer than a month), but you will be eating lots of great, delicious foods.

2.  It's not all that bad.  Some people take to this diet quite quickly and love it.  Many take months to fully adjust to it, at which point they then discover some new tastes.  But almost everyone will find that it's a lot easier than they thought.

3.  You'll feel better.  Even after only a month, most people will feel better and likely lose some weight, too.  Try having your blood work done both before and after.  Odds are, you'll see significant improvement in even that period of time if you've been eating the standard American diet.  (Since we made the one-month recommendation in the first edition of this book, several groups have organized relatively formal opportunities to use the diet for periods of 7-10 days only, with blood work done before and after.  My eldest son, Nelson, and his consulting physician have done it six times, for groups as large as 130 people.  Depending on what diet and numbers people begin with, it is possible to see total cholesterol drop by 100 points or more, LDL cholesterol by 50-75 points, and body weight by 5-10 pounds in as few as seven days.  Also, blood pressure generally decreases more than with antihypertensive drugs.)

4.  Most important, you'll discover that it's possible.  You may love the diet, or you may not, but at the very least you'll come away from your one-week or one-month trial knowing that it's possible.  You can do it, if you choose to.  All the health benefits discussed in this book are not just for Tibetan monks and fanatical Spartans.  You can have them too.  It's your choice."

Ready to try it?  If I could do it, than I am positive you can too!

More encouragement and some great recipes on the way... Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The China Study in a Nutshell

Hello Friends... We're back.    So hard to leave Millie, life is just hard.  There are no road maps for times like these... we are trusting her completely to the One who holds her in His Mighty Hand.

But the days don't stop... work and schedules and Log Home crews, they all call... and Millie would have it no other way (she said it's a mom thing, smile). 

So, to get back up to speed on our 31 Days of Healing... Beating Cancer, here's The China Study in a Nutshell!

Thanks to the Well and Good Blog for this great overview!

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Photo: Martins Zemlickis via Unsplash

1. American health statistics are scary.

You may feel pretty fit, but the country as a whole is, well, not so great. The researchers spend a lot of time citing frightening stats on obesity, diabetes, and heart disease that point to the need for an American diet shake-up. Americans also pay more for health care than any other country—and don’t have better health to show for it. It’s probably the one section of the book no nutrition expert would argue with.
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Photo: Pixabay

2. The conclusions are based on a lot of data.

They’re not talking about one small study on mice. After years of controversial lab results on animals, the researchers had to see how they played out in humans. The study they created included 367 variables, 65 counties in China, and 6,500 adults (who completed questionnaires, blood tests, etc.). “When we were done, we had more than 8,000 statistically significant associations between lifestyle, diet, and disease variables.” They also incorporate a wealth of additional research data from other sources.
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Photo: Pixabay

3. Animal protein promotes the growth of cancer.

The book’s author T. Colin Campbell, PhD., grew up on a dairy farm, so he regularly enjoyed a wholesome glass of milk. Not anymore. Dr. Campbell says that in multiple, peer-reviewed animal studies, researchers discovered that they could actually turn the growth of cancer cells on and off by raising and lowering doses of casein, the main protein found in cow’s milk.
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Photo: Pixabay

4. You should be worried about poor nutrition more than pesticides.

The food you eat affects the way your cells interact with carcinogens, making them more or less dangerous, the authors explain. “The results of these, and many other studies, showed nutrition to be far more important in controlling cancer promotion than the dose of the initiating carcinogen,” they state.
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Photo: Pexels/Kaboompics

5. Heart disease can be reversed through nutrition.

The authors share the work of other respected physicians that they say supports their own data’s conclusions, and some of the most interesting is on heart disease. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., a physician and researcher at the best cardiac center in the country, The Cleveland Clinic, treated 18 patients with established coronary disease with a whole foods, plant-based diet. Not only did the intervention stop the progression of the disease, but 70 percent of the patients saw an opening of their clogged arteries. Dr. Dean Ornish, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, completed a similar study with consistent results. But hey, this is actually encouraging—heart disease can legit be reversed.
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Photo: Pexels/Jan Vašek

6. Carbs are not (always) the enemy.

Highly-processed, refined carbohydrates are bad for you, but plant foods are full of healthy carbs, the authors say. Research shows that diets like Atkins or South Beach can have dangerous side effects. While they may result in short-term weight loss, you’ll be sacrificing long-term health.
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Photo: Unsplash/Webvilla

7. Cancer isn’t the only disease plants can ward off.

It’s not just cancer and heart disease that respond to a whole foods, plant-based diet, the authors say. Their research showed it may also help protect you from diabetes, obesity, autoimmune diseases, bone, kidney, eye, and brain diseases. Are you getting that plants are pretty miraculous by now?
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Photo: Unsplash/Jay Wennington

8. You don’t have to tailor your diet for specific health benefits.

Eating healthy can seem segmented—broccoli will prevent breast cancer, carrots are good for eyes, and by the way, did you get enough vitamin C today? “Nutrition that is truly beneficial for one chronic disease will support health across the board,” the authors explain.
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Photo: Unsplash/Monstruo Estudio

9. Animal-based foods are not necessary.

“There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants,” the authors say. Protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals—you name it, they’ve got it, along with major health benefits.
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10. The takeaway is simple: Eat plants for health.

“People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease. People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest,” the authors state. Whether you’re going vegan or not, they suggest putting as many plants on your plate as possible at every meal.