Thursday, October 16, 2014

Doing well, for a change...

The other day I noticed that I have been fully vegan for a while now. That insight came as a bit of a surprise because I hadn't really planned to do that - I was following Mark Bitman's *Vegan Before 6* and thought I would continue with that the rest of my life - or until a really good creamy or cheesey lunch desert came my way. However, I found some web sites that had vegan recipes that were really tasty and so I wasn't having any trouble making a nice dinner for myself (my teens have no interest in any form of healthy eating and certainly aren't going to do anything I do). I found great soups for lunch and I stick with my two pieces of toast for breakfast (Ezekial Bread). So, easy peasy. I don't feel like I'm dieting, but I sure have more energy. I've had no trouble finding really tasty vegan food in restaurants so I haven't had to give up my lovely Friday night dinners out. 

I think that besides finding great recipes, my last health tests were bad enough to scare the meat eating thoughts right out of my brain. Just dropping meat gets rid of a great deal of fat intake and I have to do that or I might as well start saving up for my funeral. 

I thought Thanksgiving might be a problem, but even though the turkey and all smelled great, I didn't feel the least bit tempted - I made some vegan side dishes that everyone ate along with the turkey and that I used as my meal. So, maybe this will last. 

Three people have commented that I look like I'm losing weight. I know most people would be weighing themselves, but as chronic failed dieter, I don't go that route. Maybe one day I will wake up and find that I need to buy new clothes, and when that happens I'll assume some pounds are gone. 

I find that dealing with my chronic conflict kids is also much easier as I feel so much better. I have the emotional strength to not engage in their conflicts with me, and instead I stay calm, empathetic to their feelings, and I am quiet. My breathing keeps me thinking and my decision to parent from my heart instead of my temper remains firm. Of course, I will blow it on occasion, but that is better than doing so every time. I've noticed that one of my ragers is raging less and overtly seeking cuddles from me daily, and that's a huge change. The other temper dysregulated teens are unchanged, but now that I only attempt to change me, it just isn't as big a problem. 

Okay my friend - you are entitled to a better day - so grab onto that with all of your heart. 

And, here's a really nice recipe from my favorite vegan food blogger - Susan Voisin at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.

Spanish Rice with Black Beans

This is a mildly seasoned dish. 


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green or yellow pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and finely diced (add more or less to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (fresh or canned fire-roasted, liquid reserved)
  • 1 1/2 cup black beans (or 1 15-ounce can), rinsed well
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder (or other pure, mild chili powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Heat a deep, non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown. Add the pepper, jalapeno, and garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes. If it becomes too dry, add a little vegetable broth or reserved tomato juice. Check the flavor, and add salt and additional seasonings to taste.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 25 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
Nutrition (per serving): 172 calories, 11 calories from fat, 1.3g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 89.9mg sodium, 324.8mg potassium, 34.7g carbohydrates, 5.9g fiber, 2.6g sugar, 6.2g protein, 4.9 points.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

New book a while...

As always, I get nowhere slowly. I have now changed my eating to fully vegan and feel great, but my health tests aren't reflecting that at all. Maybe it hasn't been long enough, who knows. My body is just made for famine- it hangs on to fat no matter what. I won't stop eating this way despite the lack of weight loss because I feel better and its nice to do something good for the planet ie not eating animals and for myself ie not eating fats.

In my parenting life, I so often feel ineffective and unhappy - living with ragers will do that to a person - but at least this way I feel like something I do has an impact, albeit a tiny impact that no one really cares about.

I've started a new book on Conflict Resolution for Hazardous Families. I've taken a great deal of training in conflict resolution in the past years (certified as a mediator and as a conflict coach and a divorce coach) and I've found that a lot of it is presented as if both parties are neurotypical and have a choice in how they react. Well, our kids don't have much choice when their brains are altered by pre-natal exposure to drugs, alcohol and maternal stress hormones, and then the great follow up of neglect, abuse, changing caregivers, and finally - adapting to adoption by strangers. So, their brains are wired for survival through anger and conflict. They may mellow out over time, but it will be a long time - hence - my decision to write a book and follow it up with training for others who want to teach parents how to manage chronic family conflict. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

In the meantime, here's a great recipe from one of my favourite vegan sites: Planeat 
This is a vegan version of eggs benedict - its not something I would normally make - too much work and too complicated for me on a busy morning, but its a good recipe for a brunch or a treat.

Vegan 'Eggs' Benedict

Vegan Hollandaise Sauce
  • 6 pepper corns
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 80g silken tofu
  • 125g/4oz vegan margarine
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 4tbsp white wine vinegar
  • lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste

Scrambled Tofu
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ onion
  • ½ cup soya milk
  • 1 block tofu (200g or 250g) crumbled
  • 3 medium vine tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Muffins & Veggie Bacon
  • 1 packet English muffins
  • 1 packet vegan bacon (eg Redwoods)


    Vegan Hollandaise Sauce:
    1. Put the vinegar in a small pan with the peppercorns and bay leaf. Reduce the vinegar over a high heat until there is only 1 tbsp left. Strain the peppercorns and the bay leaf from this reduction.
    2. Put the silken tofu in a food processor with the vinegar reduction.
    3. Gently melt the marg so the solids fall to the bottom of the saucepan.
    4. Add the turmeric and turn the food processor on and slowly pour the marg on to the tofu with the motor still running. The sauce will start to thicken. When only the margarine solids are left, stop.
    5. If the sauce is too thick, add a little hot water.
    6. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a little lemon juice. Set aside to cool.

    Scrambled Tofu:
    1. Fry the onion and garlic on a low heat until soft.
    2. Stir in the flour, followed by the soya milk.
    3. Add the tofu, tomatoes, mustard and stir for 3 mins.

    Muffins & Veggie Bacon:
    1. Slice and toast two muffins and spread lightly with vegan margarine
    2. Grill or fry 4 slices of vegan bacon according to packet instructions

    To serve:
    Plate up two muffin halves on a plate, spoon on scrambled tofu, then top with vegan bacon and a dollop of hollandaise. Serve immediately.
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