Saturday, December 18, 2010

Finding More Inspiration, a Healthy Vegan Dinner Party and a Contest!

Sometimes it's easy for me to lose sight of the things that made my weight loss possible. Hard to believe given the fact that I write this blog and all, but it's really true. Even sticking to a "high vegan" diet with almost no added fat or processed food, the opportunities to "fall off the wagon" come fast and furious. And the result of this loss of focus is, for me, weight gain. And that, my friends, has started to reverse itself (phew!).

How did I reverse myself? First, I signed up for and am participating in The Point of No Return program from What I quickly realized when I started listening to the program was that I was losing site of just how low calorie and nutrient dense I need to eat to be at my ideal weight. I woke up to the fact that I was losing site of what brought me so much weight loss success and energy to begin with: Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live principles. I also began logging my food again every day using the free Peer Trainer log--what an eye opening experience! It's easy to think you are eating really well until you see it on "paper."

Catching myself at this point inspired me to reread Eat to Live and Eat for Health by Dr. Fuhrman. Dr. Fuhrman has actually published a revised addition of Eat to Live and it's even better than the original. The only way to get the revised addition right now is by ordering it here. I've been browsing it as a vook, but I'm old school and I really just prefer the real thing, so I ordered myself a copy.

I also decided to join the Dr. Fuhrman Member Center online and to give up my Weight Watchers online membership. For me, the $44.95 for the first 6 weeks and $14.95 for every month after that is worth it. The site is far more useful and personal than the Weight Watchers site and ALL of the recipes are friendly to me (instead of a small fraction on WW). I also happen to love listening to the podcasts on whatever topic I have questions about. For example, I listened to the podcast on "Is it Possible to Overeat Healthy Food?" and found out that, yes, it is possible. The information contained in that podcast was vital to me and I made some immediate changes in my diet from that moment forward (can anyone say avocado? duh!). There's a lot more to the member portion of the website that I haven't even had time to explore, but from what I have already seen, it's probably incredible.

And what have I discovered so far? That I am simply just not eating enough of the right foods. The foods that are really low in calories and dense in nutrients--raw vegetables--ideally one pound per day. Cooked vegetables--also one pound per day. And that I am eating too many whole grains and starchy vegetables. In my zealousness to try all sorts of fun, no-added-fat vegan recipes, I forgot how vital it is to just fill up on the basics--salads, low calorie soups, low calorie smoothies and water sauteed greens. Even otherwise healthy foods can have a lot of calories, enough for me to gain weight fairly rapidly. So I've got to really get myself in check, and I'm pretty sure that these two resources are just the right way to do it.

A nice visual of Dr. Fuhrman's Nutritarian food pyramid.

Bluevado Pie. Just one of the almost 900 recipes available on the Dr. Fuhrman Member Center. What I love about finding recipes there is that each one is rated by the members (one to five stars) and comments are left with suggestions about changes or variations, so I don't have to waste money and time on recipes that just aren't that great. And of course, you know I love to add my two cents in after I have prepared each recipe!

So, to sum it up, I'm totally re inspired. Thanks for being on this journey with me!

Preping for the vegan feast.

Dijon Pistachio Dressing /Dip
A no-oil salad dressing from Thank you to the kind people over at Dr. Fuhrman for letting me publish this recipe!

1 1/3 cups water
1 cup raw pistachio nuts, unsalted
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
4 teaspoons Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest or Mrs. Dash seasoning
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 deglet noor dates or 2 or 3 medjool dates

Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.

Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Crispy Kale Casserole from

This is what the Crispy Kale Casserole looks like under the topping. It was very yummy and the leftovers were even better than the first time we ate it!

Ahhhhh, happiness . . .  a healthy vegan dinner.


What program or programs are you working that are working for you? Have you lost weight or gained energy? Leave a comment describing your recent experiences and get entered in a random drawing to win a free copy of the revised edition of Eat to Live. Winner will be announced on January 1, 2011.


Marla said...

That dinner, and the table, looks amazing!!!

Jessica said...

Wendy - I love reading your posts. What I have recently discovered is that not every person benefits the same way from the same manner of eating. I have been pretty vegan-esque for a few months (I do have a bad sweet tooth, so that is my downfall) and I went to hear Dr. Esselstyn the other night and was impressed with what I heard. Then I had a physical the next numbers were interesting. My cholesterol was fine - not the lowest it has been, but 70 points lower than the highest it was. My HDL's were up a bit -which is good, and my LDL's were really low - 49 - 100 points lower than 2 years ago, and 17 points lower than when I started the vegan thing in May of this year. However, my triglycerides were way out of whack - over 300. Highest in 2 years. Luckily, I had my weekly food log to show my doctor. As healthy and low fat as I have been eating, there was actually too much fruit and healthy whole grains. These are all carbs - complex and healthy, but carbs none-the-less. My doctor suggested that I add oil back into my diet and more nuts and avacado. My body needs fats and proteins so that it doesn't work so hard to process those carbs. Very interesting. Just another piece of continuing education on this journey. And - just because she knows that I care, even though she doesn't worry about my weight, she pointed out that I had lost another pound over the last 6 months - doesn't sound great, but she prefers a longer slower weight loss because it shows a real change. So, there you have it.

Meanwhile, I made the deep dish greens with amaranth and millet crust in the Clean Start cookbook and it was a huge hit with our company last night! Try it!

Wendy said...

Jessica--Awesome input!!!! XOXOXO

Kizuwanda said...

Hi Wendy! I have read through your whole blog the last few days - great stuff!

What is working for me now:

I am following a cross between E2L and
"Detox for Women" by Natalia Rose. The protocol (when I am on target) is a lite breakfast of veggie juice, greens powders or fruit, a lunch of a huge kitchen sink salad with no dressing or a very low fat dressing, and a dinner of steamed or roasted vegetables, cooked greens and beans. I may have a "Blendie" after dinner if I crave one. A Blendie is a thick frozen fruit and almond milk smoothie.

What I notice when I eat this was is an immediate increase in energy. I have a feeling of lightness during the day that is favorable. My thoughts are more clear and I tend to have a more optimistic outlook and LIKE people more. This is important because I work retail. I am never bloated and I have regular bowel movements.

If I am consistent with this type of eating I lose weight. My history is as a slow loser, so losing a pound a week eating this way is a big deal. Especially when you consider that I am not a large person (5ft tall, 115lbs) and that I do not have very much to lose, maybe 10lbs.

I used to be a member on Dr. Fuhrmans site but have not been since March this year. Coincidentally, while I was a member and regularly listening to the podcasts, I was at my lowest adult weight of 109lbs. Thank you for reminding me of all the good stuff available on the site!


Chris said...

I eat lots of salads. They almost always have a good amount (2T) of nuts and/or seed to help me feel full longer.

I love, love, love rice and beans or lentils.

I eat soup daily from about Sept.- April and then am more into smoothies (green) when it is warm.

Roasted veggies make me very happy- my favorites are cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, mushrooms and zucchini....just a tiny drizzel of olive oil and a little kosher salt.

I eat small amounts of the "bad" stuff every day or two. For me this is usally something with too much salt. And about once a week, I eat a full-out terrible meal in terms of fat and calories. This way, I get to eat all the stuff I enjoy, but isn't healthy, but just not too often.

There is no exact science to my eating plan. It is sort of the way I handle money too.....I am frugal, so if there is ever an item that really appeals to me, I can afford it. If I bought everything that caught my fancy, I'd be broke in a hot minute. I have a long term plan in my head and can usually curb the sort-term gratification that would lead me to eat too much junk and spend too much money.

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