Tag Archives: Exercise

Pantry Stew – Eating Healthy Economics 101

My husband’s a golf pro.  This means that we live kind of lean in the winter.  I spend the summer stocking up on pantry food, like beans, quinoa, brown rice and gluten free pasta:  stuff that can make cheap dinners to live off of in the leaner times.  I haven’t quite reached prepper status yet, but some people may think I’m a bit excessive.  Hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  Well, we still have a couple of weeks left until he goes back to work so right now I’m kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel for creative things to make that are still healthy and tasty.  Beans are definitely the way to go.  Come summer, we have our garden to eat from and, living out in the boonies, we have a lot of farm markets to go to as well for the things I don’t grow.  We have a large freezer that is still full of frozen veggies.

Here’s the economy of eating healthy:  you have to pick and choose what you can afford.  Thankfully, we have a ‘budget’ type of store around here, called Aldi’s.  They’re all along the east coast of the US, and I don’t know where else they are.  But, they just started selling a line of organic things:  canned goods like beans and tomatoes and broths (except they don’t have veggie broth), plus they have a limited amount of organic veggies.  If you’re one of those “I will only eat orgaclean-15-dirty-dozen-287x300nic vegetables and find extreme disdain with someone who doesn’t,”  you can stop reading here.  I buy organic when I can.  I try to buy the ‘dirty dozen’ organic only.  Other veggies, I stick to washing them really well and peeling them.  Once again, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  The way I figure it, if you’re eating healthy things, I think your body should be able to detox from the pesticides and junk that you’re getting from the non-organic stuff.  I try to eat non-GMO as much as possible, but really can’t afford to shop at the local co-op exclusively.  I just can’t with a family of 5 to feed on a limited budget.  And I won’t even go into my “shouldn’t ‘they’ make the good food cheap to eat so everyone will be healthy” spiel.

So, this was my pantry meal of the day:  a bunch of beans and chopped veggies.  Also, I need some good carbs in me.  Now that I’ve been feeling better for the first time in a long time, I started exercising.  I’ve been weight lifting (arms and upper body 3 days a week a legs twice a week) and walking every day (about 2-4 miles, depending on the route).  On the weekend,  do some sort of cardio.  Today, I did 55 minutes of Zumba (that I took out of the library).  This stew was very filling and fulfilling without feeling heavy on my stomach.  And it gave me some energy post workout.  Plus, it made a really big pot, so I’ll have some quick lunches this week.  Enjoy!

Pantry Stew

Pantry Stew


28 oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes

15 oz. Can White Beans, drained and rinsed

15 oz. Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed

15 oz. Can Kidney Beans, not drained

2 Cups Vegetable Broth

1 Cup Lentils

1 Cup Cauliflower Florets

⅓ Cup Almond Butter

2 Carrots, peeled and chopped

1 Zucchini, chopped

1 Medium Sweet Onion, chopped

2 Teaspoons Cumin


Combine all ingredients in a stock pot. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer on medium low heat for 30 minutes. Add more vegetable broth if it seems too thick.


Update – Eat to Live, Start of Week 3

Well, so far I’ve lost about 15 pounds.  I have to give God the glory for that.  When I started this diet, I prayed for wisdom on how and what to eat, and how much to exercise.  I’m still having a foot problem in my left foot that makes it hard to do much, so I can’t say that it’s by my own power that I’m losing the weight.  I’m actually surprised at how much protein I’ve been getting.  I wondered, maybe even worried a bit, that I wasn’t getting enough protein, but I took a day and entered everything I ate on myfitnesspal and I was very surprised that I actually got plenty of protein and stayed pretty low in fat, despite the amount of nuts I was eating with all the dressings I use and the nuts I add to recipes.

Okay, I have to admit that I used to think of vegans as being ‘way out there.’  What I’m doing now is good, though.  I highly recommend this way of eating to anyone out there.  And, I have to tell that doubter, that feels like they have to eat meat to get the protein to build muscle, that you don’t need it.  Back in the day when I was a vegetarian, I did eat dairy and eggs as well, mainly because I didn’t know you could possibly get enough protein from plant products.  One of Dr. Fuhrman’s philosophies is that what you eat should be nutrient dense:  nuts, dark greens, legumes.  When you think all the way back to the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were originally created to eat the plants.  Genesis 2:9 says, “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”  It was only after they were cursed that they were told to kill animals for meat (“cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;” – Genesis 3:17B).  Haha – I guess you could say that eating animals causes sorrow, ya know, with the killing and all of that.  Now, don’t get me wrong:  I don’t value the life of an animal over the life of a human.  I’m just saying that biblically, we were made to eat a diet based on plants more than animals and I think we’ve skewed that concept in our diet a bit.  Even in Old Testament times, killing the fatted calf was a once in a while sort of deal, not an everyday sort of deal.  Their diet was primarily plants and grains, and very little animal products (the examples of Daniel and Ezekiel are two that come to mind).  That being said, I’m totally on board with this.  You can’t discount the effects it’s had on me so far.  I haven’t been able to lose weight in about 12 years, since my second child was born.  I was constantly counting calories and never losing weight.  I tried lower calories, higher calories, low-fat, high fiber, high protein.  Nothing worked. Now, I’m losing weight and I’m feeling great.  I never feel hungry.  I haven’t been counting calories or anything.  It’s really quite amazing.

Here’s the run-down for yesterday and today:

Breakfast:  raspberry and kale smoothie yesterday and a mango/raspberry and kale smoothie today.

Lunch: Leftover vegan chili and salad yesterday

Dinner:  I made a recipe from my health book yesterday.  Here it is:

Crockpot Curry Veggies

Ingredients:Crockpot Vegetable Curry

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

4 Medium Carrots, sliced

1 Medium Onion, chopped

4 Garlic Cloves, minced

2 Tablespoons Curry Powder

½ Teaspoon Turmeric

5 Red Potatoes, cut in chunks

2 Cans Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1, 28 Ounce Can Chopped Tomatoes, not drained

1, 14 ½ oz. Can Vegetable Stock

2 Tbsp. Salt Free Seasoning

8 Ounces Frozen Petite Green Peas

1 Can Light Coconut Milk


In a skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the carrots and onion and sauté until onion is translucent.  Add the garlic, curry powder, and turmeric and cook 2 minutes more until the spices are slightly toasted.  Transfer vegetable mixture to the slow cooker.  Add the potatoes, chickpeas, tomatoes, stock, and seasoning.  Cook on low for about 5 hours.  Add the coconut milk and peas and cook 30 minutes more.

I’m a curry fan, so I really enjoyed this.  It is super filling, but it was actually a good meal for a spring evening.  It’s kind of light but still comforting type food.

Yesterday, my daughter and I walked about 3 miles as exercise.  Today, I’m going to walk about 3 miles and do an hour of yoga (I’m really loving yoga).  I’ve been having a lot of upper body aches and pains lately, but that’s pretty common for this time of year for some reason.  The chiropractor helped a bit yesterday, but I’m still getting some burning in my shoulders.  It seems to be fairly seasonal – in the fall and spring – so it may be related to allergies, I don’t know.  I’m hoping that if I stay the course, a lot of the aches and pains will go away.  I know my body is functioning better all over, so that may come in time.

Until tomorrow…..

Aw, Nuts

I’m really surprised how many uses there are for nuts.  This weekend, I stayed on track, for the most part.  We had company over for dinner on Saturday and I made lasagna.  So, for myself, I made a vegetable lasagna (no noodles – I’ll post the recipe this week) with a cashew ‘ricotta’ filling.  It was really good, and very filling.  Then for Easter Sunday, we were going to my mom’s house and she was making ham, so I made a vegan shepherd’s pie and for dessert I made a ‘cheese’ cake with raw cashews.  It was really amazing.  I never would have thought of all of these uses for nuts.  It’s amazing how much you can learn with a computer and just a little time.  Of course, I altered the recipes because, well, I’m a little OCD and that’s just how I roll.  At dinner I got adventurous and made my own dressing with cashew butter.  I’ll post the recipes tomorrow – I’m a little short on time tonight because I have a ladies homeschooling luncheon to get ready for.  Besides, I’ll probably be eating all leftovers tomorrow.  Here’s the break down for today:

Breakfast:  oatmeal made with whole oats, blueberries, almond milk, and flax meal

Lunch:  leftover veggie chili; salad topped with a little dairy free cheese and creamy sesame dressing

Dinner: vegan shepherd’s pie; salad topped with curry ranch dressing (I could drink this stuff)Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Dessert:  vegan ‘ cheese’ cake with strawberry topping


Exercise today was walking 3 miles in 41 minutes.  It felt good.  Tonight I’m going to do yoga when I’m done with getting ready for tomorrow.  Oh, yeah, I lost 3 pounds this past week – not as good as I thought I might do, because of how much I lost in the first week, but I’m still going in the right direction.  Until tomorrow…..

Working a Plan

Okay, I’m a little OCD (or CDO, for those of you who are really OCD and don’t like letters out-of-order).  So, I decided that the best thing for me is to make a plan, a schedule of exercising.  Today I walked 5 miles.  It felt great.  I really love to walk.  It took me about 1 hour and 10 minutes to walk the whole 5.  It was a pretty good clip.  That will be my Friday exercise.  I’m still working on what  to do for the other days, but I want to mix it up a bit.  I’ll probably do a lot of walking, though, because that’s what I like to do the most.

Here’s my rundown for the day:

Breakfast:  Oatmeal made of whole oats with almond milk, dates, blueberries

Snack:  Apple

Lunch:  Salad topped with kidney beans and Dijon date dressing; And, I came up with a Fuhrman  friendly, yummy, super easy and very filling vegan chili:

Vegan ChiliVegan Chili

28 oz. can chopped tomatoes

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 green pepper, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 Tbsp. Spike

1 Tbsp. Almond Butter

1/3 Cup Pumpkin Seeds

Directions:  Throw everything into a soup pot and cook for about 15 minutes.  Serves about 6-8.  It’s very filling.

Snack: banana with almond butter

Dinner:  Vegan/gluten-free pizza (I used a mix by a company called Namaste – it was pretty tasty, and it’s vegan, and it only has 1/2 teaspoon of oil in it) with mushrooms, peppers, onions and dairy free cheese (Daiya)Vegan Pizza

Dessert:  Yummy banana oat bar

I’m feeling a little hungry tonight, which is unusual, but I may need to increase my calories for the day if I exercise as much as I did today.  It’s too late to eat now.  My chili at lunch was very filling, so I didn’t eat much of it, so I may have not had enough to eat for lunch.  Oh, well, it’s good to go to bed a little hungry, right?  I think that’s a good thing, anyway.

Until tomorrow….

Trying to Keep My Focus

Okay, today I was a little sick of eating salad.  I just couldn’t bring myself to eat one for dinner.  I really wasn’t all that hungry and IStrawberry Banana Date Smoothie had a ton of fiber today, so I just felt salad-ed out.  I need to make exercise a priority.  I was extremely busy today and we just got home from our nursing home ministry and it’s 8:00 at night and I just don’t feel like exercising.  I need to find my groove for doing it.  I think I definitely need to do it in the morning, because once my day gets busy, the next thing I know is that it’s late and I’m too tired to exercise.  So, I guess my number one priority will be to go to bed earlier so I can get up earlier.  Okay, I put that out there.  Now I have to follow through with it.

Here’s the run down for the day:

Breakfast:  Strawberry Banana Date Smoothie (I added a couple of dates to my strawberry smoothie to sweeten it up – I was in the mood for something sweet this morning)

Snack:  Apple (felt like having a bagel, but ate an apple instead)Spaghetti Squash with Spinach Alfredo

Lunch:  I took my leftover cauliflower ‘cheese’ sauce and added some spinach and mushrooms (yummy); salad topped with black beans, a little dairy-free cheese, and Dijon date dressing

Snack:  banana with almond butter

Dinner:  I’ll call it Millet with vegetable gravy.  This was my first time eating millet as a grain.  I’ve used millet flour for baking bread, but never ate the grain.  I really liked it.  It was a little coarse textured, which I like.  I just cooked 1/2 cup millet with 1 cup of water and a teaspoon of Spike.  Then I took some mushrooms, broccoli, eggplant, and carrots and water sautéed them, added some Spike and water and thickened it up with a little arrowroot.  This is comfort food at its finest.  My family was having chicken and dumplings, so I felt like having some comfort food too.  It was really tasty.Millet with Vegetable Gravy

Dessert:  I had a yummy banana oat bar before the nursing home.

I’m enjoying trying different vegan recipes.  I feel so much better.  Now, if I can get the new cat to sleep somewhere else besides my chest tonight, I’ll probably have a better night’s sleep.  So, the plan is to go to bed a bit earlier and get up earlier to exercise.  I already know that I won’t have time tomorrow during the day.  We have company coming over on Saturday, so I have to prepare for that plus I’m making things for Easter dinner at Mom’s on Sunday, plus I’m making an Easter dress for my daughter, which is taking a lot more time than I thought it would, plus I have to think of food to make for myself.  On Saturday, we’re having lasagna for company, so I’m making myself a veggie lasagna, with zucchini as the noodles.  On Sunday, I’m going to make a raw cheesecake for dessert, but I don’t know what to make for myself for dinner.  I making twice baked potatoes for the fam, and I’m thinking that doesn’t really fit in with the Eat to Live diet.  Argh – gotta keep focused!  Maybe I’ll also make some twice baked sweet potatoes.  I haven’t made them in years.  It’s a Moosewood recipe.  Okay, I’m back in focus now.

Until tomorrow….

Staying on Track on a Busy Day – making somewhat decent choices

Today was one of those days:  I hit the ground running and didn’t stop until just now.  And, tonight in our kids’ club at church, I was playing guitar and the kids were dancing and going crazy.  It wiped me out.  So, I’ll get right to the run down for the day:

Breakfast:  Gluten Free Crunchy Flax Cereal (yes, it is as tasteless as it sounds, but it’s loaded with flax) with some almond milk and a bananabolthouse

Snack:  Green Goddess drink (even though Fuhrman says no juice, but we were out shopping and it was a better choice than, let’s say, chips.  It must be better:  it has Spirulina and chlorella in it, I think.)

Lunch:  leftover from last night – spaghetti squash topped with my cauliflower ‘cheese’ sauce and shiitake mushrooms;  salad topped with some dairy free cheese, pinto beans and Dijon date dressing

Snack:  banana with almond butter

Dinner:  grilled Portobello on gluten-free multigrain bread w/ grilled red peppers and onions;  salad topped with pinto beans and creamy sesame dressing

Dessert:  Yummy banana oat bar (even though I made some yummy looking cupcakes for our kids’ club tonight)

I was on the glider for 20 minutes and then danced with the kids while playing guitar for about 40 minutes.  I’ll be doing some yoga before bedtime tonight.  Until tomorrow…..

Having Fun with Vegan Cooking

Well, as I was making a very rich, homemade, mac n’ cheese for my family, I started to crave cheese.  Yes, I like cheese.  It doesn’t like me, though, so I don’t eat it. One of my favorite veggies as a kid was cauliflower topped with cheese sauce.  From thence came my idea for a vegan ‘cheese’ sauce to use in my Fuhrman friendly vegan alfredo.  I’ll post that recipe at the end of this post.  I was hungry this afternoon and I started to think it was because I had bread on my sandwich for lunch.  Once again, I was having the Portobello sandwich and have no gluten-free pitas so I used gluten-free multigrain gluten-free bread.  Anyway, I realized that I didn’t eat too much in the morning, no midmorning snack, and that’s probably why I was hungrier than normal.  It’s interesting how something as simple as an apple for a snack midmorning makes me eat less in the afternoon (make a mental note of that).  Not that I really ate more than normal in the afternoon, but I definitely felt like eating more.  So, here’s the run down for the day:

Breakfast:  oatmeal made with whole oats, pear, blueberries, cinnamon, flax meal, and almond milk

Portobello Sandwich 2


Lunch:  Grilled Portobello mushroom, grilled red peppers, grilled onions, and sesame ginger sauce on multigrain gluten-free bread; salad topped with chick peas and Dijon date dressing

Snack:  Banana w/ almond butter





Dinner:  Vegan ‘cheese’ sauce on top of spaghetti squash, topped with water sautéed shiitake mushrooms and onion;  salad topped with pinto beans and creamy sesame dressing.  Here’s the recipe for the vegan ‘cheese’ sauce:

Ingredients:Vegan Alfredo Sauce

16 oz. Bag Frozen Cauliflower

1 Cup Almond Milk

1 Tsp. Salt Free Seasoning

3 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast Flakes



In a medium-sized saucepan, add the cauliflower, almond milk, and seasoning.  Bring to boil, reduce heat, and cook cauliflower until done, about 8 minutes.  With an immersion blender, or in a blender, mix together the cauliflower mixture with the nutritional yeast flakes.  Blend until cauliflower is thoroughly pureed.  Makes 4 servings.

Dessert:  Yummy Banana Oat Bar (these ones I made with dried blueberries because I was out of dates when I made them – still very yummy)

It was another good day today.  I walked for 30 minutes and otherwise had a busy day.  I’ll do some yoga before I go to sleep tonight.  Until tomorrow….