On Being Vegan | Finding Health Through Plant Based Nutrition

On Going Vegan

.On Being Vegan

How I’m finding health through plant based nutrition

On Being Vegan

I am setting goals and experiencing empowerment these days! 

It feels good taking control over food and my health. It feels good working on something positive. It feels good expanding, learning new skills and learning new foods, new ingredients, new recipes, and new ways to cook and eat.

It is exciting discovering more and more all the good foods the Lord has provided over all His creation.

The color in this world seems to be exploding in front of my eyes.  Did you ever think there may have been a reason God made fruits and vegetables so lovely to look at?  I love walking into the grocery store seeing the colors of all the good foods I can eat!!!  

When you see and experience the good that is possible from eating healthy, real food as a proclaimed, dedicated vegan, you realize what you set aside is inconsequential compared to the joy and excitement of doing good things for yourself. I just don’t count the changes as discipline. I count the changes as blessings.

I don’t know about you, but I wanted those blessings.

Going vegan wasn’t actually that hard for me. 

I needed to lose weight.  Boy, did I need to lose weight! 

I’ve been on a low carb diet, thinking I was eating healthy, for close to a decade (or more).  Yet… while I found good weight loss for a while, I found myself having more and more difficulty with my weight.  I FELT like I was eating healthy and in fact, in many ways, I was. If you go back and see what I posted on my social media accounts, could see what I read, heard my conversations with my husband and kids, etc., you would know I ALWAYS have had health on my mind. 

I knew all about (and worked hard on) the ideas of macronutrients, micronutrients, nutritional supplements, natural cures, natural healing, all kinds of natural protocols, superfoods, gut healing, bone broth, green cleaning supplies, homemade olive oil skin sprays and coconut oil products, organic foods, and diets (specifically low carb diets or lower carb diets including the Paleo Diet, Keto or Ketogenic Diet,  Wheat Belly Diet, Low Carb High Fat Diets, cooking based on the Low Glycemic Index, using recipes for Diabetics, (I’m not diabetic but the recipes are lower carb many times), the Atkins Diet, etc, etc, etc.). 

I was also incorporating the Trim Healthy Mama meal plans idea too more recently.  However, I was so mentally disrupted by the idea of carbs that I loved the Trim Healthy S meals (the lower carb recipes) while shunning the Trim Healthy E meals (the ones that were a little higher in their carb count.  Tons of Trim Healthy Mama S meals (with few to no carbs and fat to satisfy) and no energizing E meals (with some healthy carbs and lower fat) is not how Trim Healthy Mama works its magic!  LOL 

Yea, I was a good carb watcher.  I told people we “watch our carb intake”.  In reality, I was obsessed with living the low carb life.

Yet, I started gaining weight throughout the years, and I started experiencing health issues. 

I wrote those two things in that sentence above – gaining weight and health issues – together in that sentence above, and in many ways they are connected.  Yet, in some ways, I’m finding them to also (I say ALSO) be two separate issues.  For the sake of simplicity here, I’m just going to combine the two issues here, and I’m sure that will make sense to many.

I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism 7 or 8 years ago, one of the “faces” of an auto-immune disorder, auto-immune disorders seemingly-exploding health issues for many today.  

Here came the Armour Thyroid prescription.  I felt OK with that at least, thinking my doctor was leaning towards the more-natural prescription treatment for those with hypothyroid disorders. 

Then, during one of those every-six-months blood tests and physicals I was enduring to monitor my under active thyroid, my doctor informed me he was seeing early stages of a fatty liver.  He suggested a liver detox and a period of taking Milk Thistle supplements. 

Oh, I’ve always been a big guru on health supplements, at least still at that time, and another supplement to clean out the junk my body was accumulating seemed good to me. 

Yet with the not-the-best-but-not-the-worst plan of action, I never felt any better, and nothing seemed to get better (or worse)… on paper anyway. 

I pretty much blamed it all then on an aging endocrine system, messed up hormones and, in all actually, that probably was playing a part in my life and health therein.  Unfortunately, I was accepting the concept that I had to grow older and thus had to deal with age-related deterioration.   (I’m learning now life doesn’t have to be the way I thought it would be.)

On Going Vegan

I pigged out on a recent breakfast buffet at a hotel during Christmas… and I did not gain a single pound over the trip thanks to the plant based food I ate!

Back to my thyroid diagnosis and my battle with faulty what-evers…. 

A small light came on and some change of thought came when a new thyroid test revealed my thyroid was actually producing the proper amount of thyroid hormones.  It was just that my body was not properly converting the T4 hormone from my thyroid into a T3 (an energy) hormone to be sent throughout my body, the rest of my body simply rejecting the hormones I actually had to use. (That’s called Reverse T3 or Reverse Triiodothyronine.)  No wonder I was still tired all the time!  

I said to my doctor…  actually I said to myself….  so why am I taking more of a hormone product (even though it was a natural hormone product) when I already have that hormone and just can’t convert it? 

I’ve GOT to get my body in better working order, I was thinking. 

I’ve GOT to start losing weight, and WHEN THE WEIGHT IS OFF, my body will start to heal itself, I was thinking. 

I’ve got a story to tell about how I became a vegan and some insight as to how to start eating vegan, how to become plant based, at least in the way I started.  I believe I have some learned lessons and insight as to how to get healthy eating habits and even now some about how to lose weight as a vegan. (I’m still getting there, but I do have some already to offer others.) I think I may have to save that for another day, or other days, more likely 

However, before I leave here, I would like to share with you all that you don’t need to lose weight and THEN start your journey to get healthy.  You can begin to heal yourself, heal your life and start getting healthier AS you eat more plant based food.  

But is that easy?

Plant based recipes and plant based products abound.  You can easily buy plant based products online or at your local health food stores (many in even regular grocery stores).  There are tons of recipes that are vegan and even recipes that are vegan and gluten free on Pinterest and in vegan cookbooks. 

You may be thinking salad, salad, salad, bananas for breakfast, lunch and dinner and salad for dessert… but really… being vegan encompasses the world of real, whole foods that abound on this planet. 

If you don’t believe me, check out vegan cookbooks.  There are tons of vegan cookbooks for beginners even to help you get started in a strong, plant based way.

Here’s one!  (Click to see more).

 

If you are thinking about starting a vegan diet, a diet that excludes meat, animal by products, dairy products, and eggs… or even if you are just wanting to move to a plant based diet somewhat to reap the health benefits that come with all those healthy foods, you should know veganism is not only healthy, it is actually fun… and exciting. 

Yes, the science for plant based nutrition and health through nutrition IS there.  God’s pharmacy is incredible! 

All science aside though, if you have been functioning on what many now call the “Standard American Diet”, you have perhaps come to overlook the beauty and taste… and joy… of eating of the abundance God placed on this earth for our needs (and enjoyment).  

What’s more, if you’re eating the Standard American Diet, my guess is that making a change to eating plant based foods, or at least eating mostly plant based foods, will open your eyes and expand your skills as well as desires.  Really!  

I am certainly not the only one who has come to discover how wonderful it feels to take a step such as my husband and I have.  Yes, my husband and I are both vegans and yes, we are both losing weight on a vegan diet (although I have a lot more to lose then he does).  I read a great article today that really reflects the great changes I have gone through since changing what I eat and changing how I live life in the kitchen (and elsewhere). 

As I read the article, I kept thinking…  I want to share my own joy with those I know. 

So here we are!  🙂 

It’s actually fun feeling more in charge.  

It is FUN getting healthier.  

And it’s fun to eat great food. 

It’s easier to do than you might think too.  

Don’t worry, I’ll have another post on that idea.

However, before we go….  

Here’s the article I saw today which I still want to share.

You can read it at the link here: 

EAT THE RAINBOW The philosophical case for going vegan is about pleasure—not preachiness

     -by Sandy Grant, Philosopher, University of Cambridge  

Going Vegan

I can not emphasis how great that article above is.  Please read it if you have the time.  (Link above)

As I mentioned above, I better get going, at least for now, but I will be back, and I will share some more about this topic with you (along with other topics, just like we always have). 

Blessings, 

Chris Abercrombie Stevens

Editor and Publisher of The New American Home 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)

 

See more vegan cookbooks at Amazon!

My Goals 2018 | Let The Life Planning Begin

Goal Setting - Where Life Planning Begins

My Goals 2018

Let the life planning begin! 

It’s a new year, and I’ve been busy working on new goals and hoping for grand achievements this year.  Whether you have a plan of action going yet or not in your life, let’s talk.

Goal Setting - Where Life Planning Begins

Goal Setting – Where Life Planning Begins

With the first days of a 2018 now in the rear view mirror of your life and new days on your horizon, may I ask if you have been setting life goals for yourself?  If so, what are your personal goals in life?  

Have you been putting your goals in writing?  Do you have a goal setting planner, or even just a piece of paper, to help you stay on track with the goals and wishes you hope to make happen this year?  

Have you thought about what you want to tackle in your life right now?  What have you been doing well already?  What do you need to improve upon?  

Have you thought about these things, or are you taking in the scene still and thus still getting ideas?  
It’s OK no matter where you are here!  Those are only questions to get you going.    

I guess I’m asking because I’ve been busy myself with some goals and life planning recently, and I’m so excited, I would like to share them with you in hopes that you might be spurred on yourself some too, especially if you haven’t quite completed your thoughts on any New Years resolutions, goal setting, or new goals in life to begin (or continue) this year. 

If you’re ahead of the game, congratulations!  I’m wishing you and your family well! 

If you are somewhere else other than ahead of the game (or standing around still LOOKING at the game board, lol), I’m hoping that perhaps seeing a normal gal like me start a life planning process might help you get started too. 

Furthermore, I figured putting my goals in writing, out there for all to see, would make me just a little more accountable to moving my own game pieces forward on this game board of life.

After all, I want to succeed in my goals in life!  Why not tell the world what those goals are and either get going on what I need to do in my life or face the music if I don’t.  I know I would rather get going and make life better for myself and others I love than face the music if I don’t make the changes I know I need to make.

So here we go: 

My personal goals for 2018 include: 

1 Lose 60 pounds on a whole food, plant based diet

This includes 30 pounds before my husband and I take a trip to the Ohio Amish County with my in-laws in the early summer and then 30 pounds after that time period. 

2 Write 100 blog posts on The New American Home with Chris Stevens before December 31, 2018

3 Write and publish 4 ebooks this year.  

I’ve got the topics already chosen but will keep those close to my vest for right now if you don’t mind.  🙂 

4 Start 1 niche blog this year and prepare for a 2nd one to start early 2019

5 Join a small group at our church with my husband

6 Set up a $5.00 per week automatic transfer from our checking account to a new savings account, ending the year (at any point this year, even the end if I so choose) with a $10.00 per week automatic money saving transfer 

7 Place $200.00 per month into an IRA / Investment account

8 Complete John’s breakfast, lunch pack, and morning send off; my shower, grooming and breakfast; and worship and prayer before 8:00 AM M-F.

9 Office Work and Family Finance time between 8:00 AM to 10:30 AM, M-F

10 Prep for a new blog post 10:30 to 11:00 AM

11 Take one class in social media marketing, 

The specific class TBD, but I’m thinking about either Public Relations Fundamentals or Integrated Web Marketing and Google Analytics, either good towards the Social Media Marketing Certificate I began at University of Texas in Arlington a few years back.

12 Learn how to invest and trade

Here is one of the books I am currently studying on how to begin investing in the stock market.

13 Read and discuss two books, together with my husband, this year

14 Do a Bible / Christian book study with my Texas daughter and daughter-in-law 

15 Go Fluoride Free in our entire home

This includes purchasing a water filtration system, a filtering water pitcher, filtrating water bottles for on the go, and shower heads that filter fluoride as well as other heavy metals from the water. 

16 Experience four 4-day water fasts throughout the year (spring, summer, fall, winter)

17 Have a salt lamp in every room of the house

18 Incorporate one green juice drink per day into my husband’s and my daily eating routine

19 Take our oldest grandson Liam on an overnight trip

I’ve got him thinking about what kind of trip he would have fun doing.  However, his mama has already told me that, so long as there is an indoor pool, he will be as happy as a clam.

20 Bless each one of our childrens’ families (Carrie’s family, Amy’s family, and Scott’s family) with a special fun event or trip this year, lodging, food, activity/ activities, etc courtesy of my husband John and me

21 Prepare for and enjoy a trip with my mother-in-law Jo and her husband Vince to the Ohio Amish Country, that trip to include a much longed-for trip to see my brother and his family in West Virginia and a special aunt I have in Ohio 

My husband and I are still trying to determine if we want to incorporate meat into our meals there, want to just be vegetarian, or stay plant strong, vegan (vegetarian, no eggs, no dairy, ie “vegan) while in the Amish Country.  That is very possible.  After all, as my husband remarked upon one of our discussions about this so far, there should be lots of great vegetables and grains to eat, courtesy of the Amish farmers!   

22 Help my husband John get an updated teacher’s certification for the State of Texas

23 Help set up a website, marketing plan, and social media accounts for my husband and son’s duo music group

24 Work on a VA Disability appeal with my husband

25 Buy most of our produce at Town Talk, organic when possible but will not insist on organic as a means of saving money on groceries

Town Talk is a discount salvage grocery store in the area where we live.  Salvage grocery stores are all over the country.  If you don’t know about them, do an internet search on “salvage grocery stores”, get the information you need to get to one, and you can save money on food… like big time!  

26 Begin buying more online, especially nicely-priced food items from my Amazon Prime account (Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Pantry); well-priced home goods from Amazon; and home, personal, beauty, essential oils, and natural grooming items from Amazon Prime and Thrive, and office supplies from Amazon

Experience all the benefits of Amazon Prime.  

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27 Pay off 4 credit card bills this year (all early)

28 Complete last payments of one unsecured loan and put that money towards investing in peer-to-peer lending as a lender ourselves

29 Trade in our small car for a little bit larger, nicer car

This will keep a car loan going for us, but hey, we are at least used to having a car loan, and we both feel this is the best option we have right now given all considerations in our life

My van will be on next year’s list, I’m sure, and THAT will be paid for in cash. 

30 Put a new tin roof on our back patio

31 Paint and tile John’s office

32 Lay an extended concrete patio from our back porch patio to our garbage can area

33 Plan and attend two festivals with my husband

These do NOT include the festivals I attend with him where his band plays. These are OUR trips! 

34 Visit our daughter Carrie and her family in Tennessee two times this year, once this summer and again early December or thereabouts  (time based on everyone’s schedule)

I hope that will be more next year, Carrie!  

35 Mail something special to my mother-in-law sometime this year… just because. 

36 Mail a birthday gift basket to our two granddaughters in Tennessee this year

37 Purchase a used but nice wooden playground for our grandchildren

38 Take each one of our grandsons (three, 3+ years old and older) on a date two times this year

39 Go on a romantic weekend getaway with my husband sometime this fall

40 Meet my husband AT THE DOOR every evening when he comes home from work.

Yea.  Yea.  Call me old fashioned.  I love being old fashioned, and I love my husband enough to make sure he feels loved. 

41 Write a daily to-do list on my beloved clip board at least 5 days a week

42 Develop my own process of personal organization, life planning, an organized housework schedule (daily, weekly, monthly, etc), and an organized home and garden timeline, the development and testing of such to be work on throughout and then completed sometime this year but then ready to perfect, write, and publish sometime next year 2019. 

OK.. Whew, that’s a lot!  So how do I get to my goals? 

First of all, I believe I’ve taken one first big step.  To make a list of goals is a great start!  (Yes, I’m patting myself on the back!)   

Although setting an overall life vision and yearly vision first helps many with setting up a life plan and then yearly life plan, I wasn’t organized enough in my thoughts yet to quite be there.  I’m planning on working on those areas better now though! 

However….setting goals, for ME anyway… was a great help in envisioning the life vision I had, at least for this year.  It was the beginning of this year’s life planning for me. 

My next step is coming.  I’m going to buy a life planner like this one. 

I chose one that has a daily life planner as well as a monthly life planner.  The goals as I have them above will require a lot of daily organization.  Lord help me.  I sure need some personal organization skills.  I need personal organization help!  

OK, so my goal setting now public, I stand fully accountable for working on goals and working towards a more organized life to be more successful in my areas of focus this year. 

Whether you are already great at goal setting or struggling with your own life planning tools and skills, I hope my own challenges and my transparency here help you all in some way. 

I need to go for now.  (Other work.. and fun activities…. await,)  We’ll talk again though soon.  

Blessings!  

Chris Stevens

Editor and Publisher, The New American Home