Taco Tuesday Hack

One of the questions I get most often is how much time I spend making recipes. Here is an example of a total meal hack to throw together for a filling lunch or dinner.

I headed to Trader Joes and picked up some staples (ingredients) and threw together these satisfying Veggie Tacos (about 8 tacos).

6” Corn Tortillas (White Corn, Water, Lime)

Fire Roasted Bell Peppers and Onions, frozen (Peppers and Onions)

Fat Free Refried Beans (Cooked Pinto Beans, Water, Salt)

2 Zucchini

1 6 oz package of sliced White Mushrooms

Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder

Heat up the frozen veggies and refried beans separately. In another steamer basket, cook the zucchini. Add the mushrooms to the peppers and onions, then add the zucchini once steamed. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Warm up the corn tortillas, assemble and eat!

These are plant-based approved and delicious with close to no fat.

More meal sharing and recipes coming as I get ready for my first plant-based major holiday, Thanksgiving!

Thanks for reading.

Susan

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#wfpb #wholefoodplantbased #wholefoodplantbasednooil #vegan #T2D #type2diabetes #reversingdiabetes #winning #foodie #hummus #tacotuesday #veggietacos #tacos

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What's On My Plate - October 24, 2017

What's On My Plate - October 24, 2017

The Boston Veg Fest took place last weekend and featured one of the plant doctors I follow, Michael Greger, who is also author of the transformational book, ‘How Not To Die’. His entire talk had me riveted, especially when he presented the data showing that the #1 causes of severe disability and death is no longer Cigarette Smoking, it’s now Dietary Risks! Our behavior is the largest predictor of our health, not family history.

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Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

This article does a good job of covering some of the benefits of eating plant-based, mentioning reversing and managing heart disease and some cancers, plus let's add on other inflammatory diseases such as Diabetes. Important to note, eating vegan doesn't mean you're eating healthy due to the processed and packaged foods (aka "products") with chemical additives that are labeled "vegan". That's why I recommend and coach people to eat Whole Food Plant-Based (WFPB) the majority of the time as it enables you to turn your health conditions around and drastically reduce or completely eliminate the medications you're taking. 

 

 

WHAT'S ON MY PLATE (Week of September 24, 2017)

Prepping and cooking food is one of the most important ways to stay on top of living a whole food plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle. To get set up for the week, these tasks typically happen on a Sunday or Monday evening for me. I like to mix things up and try different recipes because I do believe variety, and great health, are the spice of life!

With the cooler weather has come a hankering for Corn Chowder. It’s one of those things I’ve always loved while feeling guilty eating it. Luckily, guilt is on my list of negative and useless emotions that I’ve been putting behind me. After scanning my cookbooks and online recipes, I found Forks Over Knives to the rescue with its Easy Vegan Corn Chowder minus dairy, bacon or other unhealthy fats.

Aside from my taste buds, I also rely on a special taste tester who doesn’t discriminate against any foods 😊. The verdict came in as “really good” and “can’t believe this has no dairy in it”. It’s easy enough to prep and cook in under 50 minutes and is good in your fridge for 5 days, otherwise you can freeze it for up to one month.

Another recipe I made (not pictured) that earned a ‘thumbs up’ was the Breakfast Burrito Bake. I’m not sure about you, but when you get a taste of this casserole with freshly shredded potatoes in it, you likely won’t care what meal you eat it for.

Happy and healthy eating!

Susan

#wfpb #wholefoodplantbased #wholefoodplantbasednooil #vegan #T2D #type2diabetes #reversingdiabetes #winning #foodie

 

 

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REACHING FOR THE LIGHT

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I had to get to the ocean. The sound of the waves hitting the shore and the expansive sky surely would help me get things into perspective following a tough doctor’s appointment. Waiting at a traffic light, a man stood across the road trying to catch a ride. As I approached the inner voice chimed in, “pick him up”. With all my defenses worn down, and feeling like I was in a fog with red swollen eyes behind sunglasses, I pulled over and he climbed into my car.

Immediately he apologized for his shocked expression; a woman had never picked him up before. Jeff’s appearance was shaggy; longish hair and beard, semi-covering very weathered skin and he carried a worn backpack. That’s not what came into focus for me though; it was his bright blue eyes that sparkled.

Jeff mentioned he had a good day. He went to visit a few old friends from past haunts and after speaking with them, he realized he was better off than most. Despite being laid-off from his bridge-working job, he said he knew it would work out; it always had in the past. I smiled and said I was having an unusually not-so-great day and was going to walk the coast and figure things out. He listened and gently offered his companionship if I needed someone to listen.

Nicely declining his offer, I dropped Jeff off at his destination. He shook my hand thanking me for the ride and said he hoped to see me again. Then he closed the door, walking away with a bounce in his step.

The sounds of the ocean soothed my soul while the sky echoed the heaviness I felt; dark clouds barely moving towards the horizon. I spotted a feather on the walk which is my angel sign. Not that I needed it; Jeff presented as my angel. At that very moment the light shown through the dark clouds and lifted my spirit. Know that we are never alone.
“Every little thing gonna be alright.” - Bob Marley

Much love,
Susan XO

FIRE-WALKING THROUGH FEAR

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There is a saying that the “magic happens outside your comfort zone”. I not only agree with this, it’s the way I live my life. Coloring outside the lines, taking a different path and not always following the leader. I feel my way through life; it’s how I live while being my authentic self.

This means purposely putting myself outside this comfort zone to work through uncertainty, fear, doubt and various other emotions and situations that can make me, and many of us, feel uneasy. That zone is different for everyone. From spending time alone and traveling solo, to jumping out of a plane, and everything in between. What can be obtained by crossing that invisible line? Discovery of self! Here are just a few examples of what I’ve done and what it did for me. Maybe these will spark an idea for you:

1) Sitting alone in silence. This can help expand your mind and consciousness making space for brilliant and creative ideas to come to you, and help you work through other things that may be limiting you. I’ve had complete life changing epiphanies come to me, answers to lingering questions show up, and even the topic of my next book come into my head – all of these with such a deep knowing that I don’t second-guess myself.

2) Being 300 feet in the air and jumping out of a tree zip lining above a ravine in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. For a friend of mine, this was about proving to herself she could overcome her fear of heights. For me it was a celebration of life – like several shots of exhilaration with accompanying joy chasers.

3) Walking on fire (red hot coals and embers) and not getting burned. I did this a few weeks ago and it has forever imprinted on my mind that I can do anything! At one time I had kidded around saying it was an adventure to check off my bucket list… that is not the reason to do it! I will elaborate on why I did the fire walk in my next blog, coming soon.

Maybe your idea of a “fire walk” is different than mine – that’s perfectly fine! You too can find some magic by shaking up your routine. There is a school of thought that our comfort zones can shrink as we get older, which makes us fear more things. That’s all the more reason to try something new and see where it takes you:

• Set a timer for 5 minutes and sit alone in silence every day and see what comes up. If you can’t find peace at home, go sit in your car or in the middle of the woods, or wherever you have access to. When you’ve mastered doing this for 5 minutes, add 5 more and so on.

• Taking small steps still get you there. Take a new route to work. Run or walk in a new neighborhood or park. Shop your grocery store in the reverse direction. Take that class you’ve been thinking about or check out a Meetup.com group that shares your area of interest.

• Go on a day trip by yourself. Pick a town you always wanted to check out and hit the road. Then put yourself out there by talking to locals and find out where all the hidden treasures are, or even better, ask them why they like living there.

I’ll leave you with two ways of looking at fear: “False Evidence Appearing Real” or “Face Everything And Rise”. Which will you choose?

Susan XO

(Photo credit and feet provided by Tammy Lally. She was part of the “tribe” I walked across fire with.)

WHERE ATTENTION FLOWS, ENERGY GOES

As a writer, I’ve always had an affection for words, and more recently, memes. A friend posted one the other day that caught my eye and reminded me to write about how our thoughts become things.

The meme said, “What it a bad day? Or was it a bad five minutes that you milked all day?”. This perfectly captured what I recently witnessed happening with a friend (and I’ve been guilty of myself).

I’m running right on time and pull in to park by my friends shop at 3:00 p.m. on the dot. I see four other cars and I get the premonition that this won’t be a quick appointment. I walk in and the energy in the room just about sucked the life out of me. My friend runs over, hugs me and exclaims, “My entire day was ruined! My Dad was having a tough time this morning. For 10 minutes I tried to calm him down over the phone, and talk to the nurses about him. I’ve been running behind ever since.” She looked completely worn out, sad and exhausted.

The episode with her Dad happened around 8:00 a.m. All day, each time she told the story to everyone who came into her shop, she brought up all the sad and bad feelings, re-enacting what took place. In other words, she milked a bad 10 minutes for over 10 hours. Talk about a bad day!

Having dealt with similar situations with my Dad as he aged, I could completely empathize. The difference is in how we handle this kind of challenge or anything that sets us off on the wrong foot. I told her I was sorry about how her day started out and reminded her that he had so much more good moments than bad. And then gave her an extra big hug.

This is another area of myself I’ve been working on – examining how I ‘choose’ to react in these situations. (Yes, it’s a choice.) In the moment of something unpleasant happening, I still have fleeting moments of feeling sad, angry, and frustrated and then within moments I most often (hey, I’m not perfect, just a human in training) choose to change the storyline that’s running in my head. You can do it too! Here are a few examples to consider.

For the scenario above: After briefly mentioning her Dad had a tough time this morning, she could have then shifted to say how grateful she is that he is in decent health at over 90 years old, how excited he was to see her a few days ago, and then share a funny story about something he said during their visit. This would have completely changed the energy she was putting out into everyone’s else world and on her own. This technique can put a smile on your face, rather than the frown. You don’t feel dis-ease all day long. Get it?

When you’re driving and a car cuts you off: What feels better? Going into road rage mode, hitting your horn, giving them the finger, yelling at them, and then putting the pedal to the metal to cut them off and get even… (I may or may not be guilty of this on occasion.) Or, thinking how you feel sorry for that driver who may be struggling with life challenges (financial struggles, health issues, whatever) and hope that their day gets easier? Try it. Notice how road raging feels – you’re angry, your muscles tighten up, and your body goes into stress mode. Or, you send them off with good vibes and go about your day, happy as a clam.

We all have heard the adage, ‘life is too short’. Think about it. How do you want to spend the remaining minutes, hours and days of your life? Our thoughts do become things. Why not think happy ones?

Susan XO