The plant based nurse

My family's excellent adventure to better health!


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Engine 2 nationwide challenge, day 4, “I’m going to eat a ton of these potatoes, because I can!” -The Plant Based Husband

I was really tired tonight, and didn’t want to eat out since we just ate out yesterday. I stood in the kitchen and grabbed things out of the cupboard trying to come up with some kind of concoction. I wanted to make rice and beans, but I only had chickpeas and cannellini beans. So I gave up and left my fire roasted diced tomatoes, beans, and BBQ sauce on the counter and sat down to finish some work and watch you tube videos. I happened to be watching Potato Strong’s channel and I thought, BAKED FRIES, one of the easiest and most delicious meals on the planet! I was also dying to try the BBQ sauce we bought on our field trips to Whole Foods Market on our way home from Philadelphia the other day, so I crumbled up some tempeh and poured some Bone Suckin’ Sauce on top to heat it up to have on the side.

Next I sliced some Yukon gold potatoes and a sweet potato into wedges, no peeling required, topped them with extra spicy and Southwestern Mrs Dash, garlic powder, and onion powder, and sliced a yellow and green pepper and an onion and threw them around the potatoes on the silicone baking mat. The fries baked at 450 degrees for 30 min with no turning or fussing and while they were baking, I put a couple of handfuls of prewashed chopped kale in a pan with veggie broth and lemon zest and put some fresh broccoli in a pot to steam.

Potato fries going into the oven

Potato fries going into the oven

My husband came home to the aroma of potatoes baking in the oven and was excited and said, “I’m going to eat tons of these because I can!” He proceeded to tell me how he loves it when we eat a ton of potatoes and then laugh about how much we can eat. Yes, this is a romantic moment in the Hayes house, a couple of plant based nerds having fun eating potatoes and  laughing about how much we eat!

Have fun with your food and enjoy!

Engine 2 day 4


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Middle Eastern chickpea stew and Meditation

Yesterday was a very full day, but ended on a very positive note. My husband and I both had a very busy day at work, then he went to an MD appt and ended up with a flat tire from a huge pothole in the parking lot. I ran home after work to let the dogs out and warm up some supper while he waited for AAA to rescue him.

The Hawaiian BBQ tacos I made two nights ago was so easy to make that I had time to make some stew to have last night. I chose the Middle Eastern chickpea stew from the “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease cookbook.” The spices sounded heavenly and reminiscent of the Indian food we love to eat when we go out and fortunately, I had them all!

Spices for stew

The spices really made the stew and were spicy without overpowering the dish. Here they are in the pot bubbling together before I added the broth and dropped my cell phone into the pot trying to take a picture!

spices bubbling

This was one of the easiest stews I have made, not a lot of chopping or prepping, and once the spices, ginger, and garlic were done bubbling, you just add the veggie broth, lentils, a chopped sweet potato, chickpeas, crushed tomatoes, fresh OJ, and then some greens at the end.

soup on the stove

I let it sit overnight in the fridge after it cooled. It thickened beautifully and I had it for supper last night and lunch today. My husband also gave it two thumbs up, so it will stay in our repertoire.

stew in bowl

Thankfully, AAA rescued my husband last night before the meditation class we were planning to attend. Now that we have cleaned up our diet, we are trying to be open to learning about other ways to improve our health and mental and spiritual well being. One of our new friends that we met through our Engine 2 diet group, Bernie Kozlowski, teaches meditation and since my husband and I tend to get stressed about our work and have a hard time relaxing, we thought it would be a great idea. We love her and I knew we would love her class. Bernie lights up the room and is so warm and caring and the kind of person you want to be around. Her smile is infectious. It is quite appropriate that her mediation practice is called “Light your Fire Meditation.” She teaches natural meditation and it is very free form and not so structured or focused that it makes me more stressed. I think I may actually be able to fit meditation moments into my day and have already been trying to take some moments to breathe and regroup throughout the day.

Bernie did some wonderful exercises with us, including a gratitude meditation and a “do nothing” meditation. It was much easier to give myself permission to do nothing for 2 minutes when someone else was instructing me to do so, but I will keep trying to learn to let go and “just be” more than I have in the past. We are learning that the food we eat is really key and has improved our physical and emotional health and saved our marriage, but we want to continue to improve our relationships at home and in the community. Dean Ornish has written a lot about how important love and support are for our health and I think we all know this but we don’t always nurture our relationships like we should.

At the end of our meditation class last night, Bernie shared a translation of an ancient Sanskrit writing with us. It was translated by her mentor, Lorin Roche, author of “The Radiance Sutras.” This is sutra 99 and it really struck us. When my husband and I changed our lifestyle and began to feel better, we noticed we began to like and even love one another again and our world did begin to change in a wonderful way when we dared to love again. “If you want to know the universe, Dare to love one person.”

Sutra  99 2