So, my purpose of creating this blog is to link to recipes from around the web and blogosphere that I have cooked  (and likely modified) and review them.  I have a culinary education, but I'm not a recipe critic.  I simply love to cook and explore new flavors.  I will make modifications to most recipes to suit my tastes and dietary needs.   I hope you enjoy the recipes I cook and review and I promise to always give credit to the original person who created or posted the recipes.  I'll include an original recipe of my own interspersed here and there. 

Disclaimer:  I'm not a food photographer, so my photos are going to stink.  Just fair warning! Suggestions for improvement are certainly welcome though!

Vegan, plant-based, whole foods...  Call it many things, but to me, it is a diet free from animal products, based on unprocessed plant foods.  Why such a change from the Standard American Diet (SAD)?  I'm a serial dieter, without a good track record.  I have finally found a diet in which I truly enjoy the food and have made a lasting, permanent change.  I've tried just about everything in the past, up to and including gastric bypass surgery.  At my worst I was just shy of 300 pounds on my 5'2" body.  Unhappy, unhealthy, and unfit to raise a young, very active, son.  I'll never say I'm sorry I had the surgery.  I do believe it was what I needed to get the weight off and finally know what it feels like to be a healthy weight.  However, it is not the magic answer.  After losing 150 pounds and keeping it off for about 4 years, about 50 pounds crept back on over the course of the next 3 years.  Bad habits made their way back into my life and a change was needed.   I turned to my old faithful low-carb diet full of animal fats, meats, processed meats, cheese, butter, and oils.  Only this last time, it didn't work - AT ALL!  Two months of religious low-carbing left me at exactly the same weight as what I started.  Then it happened... the light bulb came on.  My best friend started the Fuhrman/Eat to Live plan.  I was very skeptical at first, but once I saw the results and success he had, I decided to try it myself.  At first I was of the mindset that I would just try if for a while and see if I could lose some weight, and that I never intended to become a vegan.  Here I am, about a year later, and feel like I've made the full commitment and have no intention of ever going back.  I've lost 49 51 pounds and am full of energy and best of all, am totally in LOVE with the way I eat. 

I do not follow any one specific diet.  I have read lots about the plans of Fuhrman, McDougall, Esselstyn/Engine 2, etc...  I feel like I follow a plan similar to a combination of all of them.  The best way to describe my eating is plant-based and whole foods nutrition, with no processed foods, added sugars or oils and controlled amounts of added salt.  Many experts in the plant-based health movement advise to eliminate salt also.  I am not strict about that, maybe because I have no issues with high blood pressure or hypertension.  My recipes include salt or salty ingredients for a specific purpose - seasoning.  These dishes are not salty - they are seasoned. 

What started out as a change purely for weight loss and improved health has morphed into including environmental and cruelty-free concerns.  I do not preach.  Everyone chooses their own path and I respect that.  But once you embark on a vegan diet, your eyes are opened up to a whole host of other issues you never knew existed.  I leave it to you to learn and become more enlightened on your own, as I have.

I sincerely hope you find some yumminess in my posts and would love to hear from you about your own journey or comments on this blog.  Thanks for stopping by!

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