The plant based nurse

My family's excellent adventure to better health!


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Engine 2 Immersions: Enrich, enjoy, and get your discount here!

Whether you’ve been eating a plant-based diet for years or you’re just plant curious, an Engine 2 Immersion could be just the place for you! I just returned from a magical weekend at The Esselstyn family farm in the Hudson Valley in NY at a 2Forks Event produced by Engine 2 and Forks over Knives. We heard incredible speakers with invaluable information about the why and how plant-based eating prevents and reverses disease. We heard inspiring stories of recovery and self discovery from illness and addiction and met athletes who have achieved incredible goals, all with the power of plants.

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If hearing from and rubbing elbows with the plant-based experts and celebrities isn’t enough to entice you, think for a moment about the delicious plant-based food you will enjoy without having to ask what’s in it or if they can make you a special dish without oil.

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For most of us, just knowing all the right information isn’t enough. A 2Forks Immersion will also give you the practical tools you need to continue your plant-based adventure after you leave. With cooking demonstrations and talks that will give you insight into why it’s so hard to do the right thing for your health since the wrong thing feels so right, you will head for home empowered to make good choices and take your health into your own hands, or should I say your own fork!

Perhaps best of all, you will spend time making new friends and maybe even catching up with other plant-based friends you have met on social media. I find it fascinating to meet the real people behind the online personas and meet people from all around the country and the world. The experts will graciously sign your books, answer your questions, and sometimes even sit with you to listen to the other speakers.

You will leave tired but inspired, educated, and nourished.

You still have two weekend opportunities for fun with Engine 2 and Forks over Knives  this year and one coming up next spring!

Dallas

September 30th – October 2nd 2016

Cleveland

October 28th – October 30th 2016

Pasadena

March 24th –March 26th 2017.

$50 Off Full Weekend Pass using code: BEETS50

2Forks Immersion – Seven Day Retreat 

Mago Retreat Center in Sedona, Arizona

October 3rd-9th 2016

Not only will 2Forks provide incredible plant-based meals to fuel you, but you’ll also experience a full menu of activities: hands-on cooking demos, yoga, hiking on one of the country’s “Top 10 Most Scenic Trails,” a stargazing party, bonfires, live music, plus a few other surprises.

$150 Off Immersion using code: BEETS150 

Visit 2ForksEvents.com .com to Register Today!

And remember to have fun with your food and enjoy!

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Get inspired again and again!

As I was cooking dinner tonight, I found myself watching videos of success stories on Dr. McDougall’s web site. He has posted inspiring stories from people who have changed their health and their lives through plant based eating. I never tire of reading about the transformations people experience when they begin to eat nutritious delicious plant based foods!

I think it’s not only fun, but important to stay connected by hearing these success stories and realizing we are not alone. It can be very isolating to eat differently than 99.5% of the population, especially if you are the only one in your house, your group of friends, or even your town who eats no animal products and craves kale.

If you are feeling alone and thinking maybe getting healthy is just too hard, find some healthy community online and reach out to find inspiration in unexpected places. My friend, Bobby Anderson, is a perfect example of someone who started eating a whole foods plant based diet to lose weight and improve his health and had a story that was so compelling, that he has inspired thousands of people with his success and determination.

I first met Bobby online in a Facebook group for people who are fans of Dr. McDougall and his recipes and advice on how to reverse and prevent chronic health conditions with plant based nutrition. Bobby was sharing how he made plant based meals in his 18 wheeler. I was immediately drawn to his story. People kept telling me all the time that the way I eat is too hard, takes too much thought and preparation, and is a diet of deprivation. When I saw how Bobby was cooking meals that looked gourmet in his lunch box oven, toaster oven, microwave, and Instant Pot in the cab of his truck, I was totally impressed and more importantly inspired! I encouraged Bobby, as did others online, to share his story because I knew it could inspire others.

Bobby started a Facebook page called “Plant-Fueled Trucker,” and almost overnight he gained hundreds of followers who were enthralled by his story. He is honest, straightforward, and kind, and his passion for plant based eating shines through all of his posts and photos. Recently, his story was shared with someone at NBC and three reporters traveled with him for three days to live his story and taste his food! If you have not seen this story that aired recently on the Today show, you can watch it at: http://www.today.com/video/this-long-haul-trucker-has-found-the-road-to-healthy-eating-480958531729.

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Since the Today Show interview, The Plant-Fueled Trucker’s story has exploded all over the plant based community. Bobby’s page has over 20,000 followers and the reach of his story is growing by leaps and bounds. He has had offers for interviews and I’m sure he will help thousands to realize that if he can regain his health living out of a big rig 4-6 days a week, maybe they can do it too!

When you think you can’t chop one more veggie or plan one more meal, think of Bobby and his commitment to get healthy and stay healthy and know you are not alone!

Remember to have fun with your food and enjoy!


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Drumroll please!..Meet Lanny Hoggatt, another plant-based rock star!

I “met” Lanny online at Engine2extra and he has been a great inspiration not only to many on the web site, but in his hometown and at his church. Despite his health problems from years of SAD eating, he is turning his health around and helping his family to make health improvements in the process. He recently started purchasing Forks over Knives books to handout for free to friends who need help turning their health around and he is enrolled in Rouxbe cooking school! Here is Lanny’s story, in his own words.

Jean I would love to share my story. Like most people I was on the SAD (Standard American Diet) and I became morbidly obese and became a diabetic. Then I went to see a psychiatrist because I was depressed they started giving me different meds. One of them had an adverse reaction with my diabetes and I ended up with super insulin resistance. My sugars ranged between 400 to 500 everyday for 10 years. I have a lot of diabetes problems because of it.

In 2010 I had a minor heart attack and my cardiologist told me that I had blockages. Then in all of 2014 I started having angina attacks and around October 2014 they were getting regular everyday especially after meals. Around the 1st of December I was sitting on the foot of my bed and started to have a real bad one and could not breathe. The pain ran threw my back and down my right arm but I managed to get it to stop with Nitro but I knew I was in trouble. On December 3, 2014 I went to the church and asked a brethren to pray for me. That evening I came across a movie called Forks Over Knives Streaming on Netflix and it changed my life. I looked at my dad and said Wow!!  Even the medicine bottles they showed in the movie were the same ones we were taking. I went on and discovered the Engine 2 Diet I’ve been on this diet now for about 7 months.

Since I’ve been 100% whole food plant-based diet now, no meat no dairy and no oils, my diabetes numbers are now running at normal levels I have a lot more energy. I’ve had to cut my insulin down from 300 units a day to 80 units a day and that’s just in the morning. My angina attacks went away my blood pressure is down to normal range. On the top all that off I have lost over 50 pounds 🙂

My Dad, was a lot worse than I was. In 2000 he had a heart attack and they did a triple bypass surgery and he started into renal failure. In June 2014 his renal labs came in very bad. His GFR was at 28 the doctor told him to go and have a shunt put in his arm for dialysis and the cardiologist told him that he could not have it done because his heart was too weak. Then in September 2014 dad was hospitalized and his heart function dropped to 25%. Wow. that was bad. Since dad and I started on this 100% whole food plant-based diet all of our doctors are amazed. Dad’s renal labs have improved and his GFR went from 28 to 37. The renal Dr. was asking all kinds of questions so I told him about Forks Over Knives and he went home and watched the movie.

Then his cardiologist was excited that Dad’s heart function jumped from 25% to 47%. He said wow! You have lost a significant amount of weight your color is back and he also wanted to know about the diet. They ran tests on him all the fluid around his heart is gone and the water retention is gone .I have to say it’s quite an improvement in 7 months 🙂 And to top it all off he lost 30 pounds also. 🙂

Lanny and his dad

Way to go Lanny! If you have a plant based success story you would like me to share, please let me know! It keeps me motivated to continue my own journey and keep sharing the good news!

Remember to have fun with your food and enjoy!


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Engine 2 nationwide challenge, day 6, and the calm before the storm!

This winter is going to be an eventful one for us. We have some MAJOR repairs that have to be done in our home to make it more livable and keep it from sinking into the earth! We have had problems with a leaky basement and swampy back yard almost from the first day we moved in. So now, we are finally able to do some repair work and have some excavation done to prevent further damage. We are also having some minor work done in the kitchen and spent some time this evening putting some of our staples and pots and pans in boxes so the lighting and painting can be done. We will be able to keep using the kitchen until they are ready to repair and refinish the floors in the living room and hallways and then the real fun begins! We will have to move out for a few days and my dogs and cat will have to be boarded . I do NOT look forward to being away from home and my kitchen and trying to remember everything I need for work. I am already anxious thinking about clearing out all the furniture and then having to put everything back. I keep reminding myself this is a good thing and we are fortunate to be able to have the work done. So, it will be interesting to see how we do with keeping our food healthy in the midst of this craziness while trying to facilitate an Engine 2 diet 28 day challenge group!

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      My back yard

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Lots of potty humor on Facebook today when my husband posted this!

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Let’s hope this works!

Tomorrow we have our first Engine 2 meet up and I’m really looking forward to meeting some new folks who are coming and getting to know one another as we team up in small groups to make some yummy dishes together. I spent a good bit of my day getting the recipes ready, making sure the ingredient list was complete and shopping for the event and for our food this week. This is my kitchen table full of food and equipment to take to the event at my church tomorrow. We’re expecting about 20 folks! Everyone is bringing some of the ingredients we need and we’ll cook together, enjoy our meal, and watch a video of Rip Esselstyn explaining the hows and whys of the Engine 2 diet.

A big mess

My food today:

Breakfast: Blueberry banana oats with spinach, grape nuts, and almond milk

Lunch: Leftover rice and beans with salsa

Supper: Salad with red wine vinegar, whole wheat penne with tomato sauce


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Support rocks and some interesting statistics!

I was very intrigued today when I saw a post from Julienna Hever, the Plant Based Dietitian on her facebook page referring to a report about vegans and vegetarians in the US. The statistics are based on a sample of 11,000 people and according to the Humane Research Council, only 2% of people in the US aged 17 and over are vegan or vegetarian.

percentage of vegansVeg stats

I find it sad that 63% of people who went back to eating meat disliked that their diet made them stick out from the crowd. I find it fun and exciting that we stick out from the crowd and are different! That is one of the things that actually attracted my husband to this lifestyle. When did anyone ever say that going along with the crowd was the right or wise thing to do?

I also was intrigued to see that 49% of former vegans and vegetarians said they had insufficient interactions with others who follow this path and 84% were not actively involved in a veg group such as a potluck group or online community. That just solidified the importance of all that we do on engine2extra.com, in our local Engine 2 group in NEPA, and in my friend Virginia’s Plant based eating group, P-BEG. Anytime we lend an ear to someone trying to begin this lifestyle or trying to maintain it,or break bread with them it makes a difference. I’m totally convinced that the more we reach out, the more success stories we will hear and the more long term successes we will see. If you would like to share what keeps you motivated to maintain your diet along with the 2%, please share it here in the comments or on my facebook page! I love stories!

Here is Robert Frost’s poem about choosing the road less traveled. This is one of my favorites. Remember, you are on a wonderful journey and keep sticking out from the crowd! It WILL make all the difference!

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

BY ROBERT FROST

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


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Great news from an old friend, and thanks for the love!

I was so excited today to chat online with an old friend from back in our Sunday school days who had some questions for me since she decided to take the plunge and dive into plant based eating last week. She has been eating lots of veggies, even for breakfast and has given up almost all meat and dairy except for dairy in her coffee in the morning and is still eating egg whites. I am always excited by these successes and don’t expect people to be able to change their diet 100% in the very first week. When I think back, I remember that I didn’t give up my half and half in my coffee for a couple of weeks and there were probably other things I took time to eliminate completely. My friend has already lost 10 lbs and is hoping to improve her high blood pressure. I’m confident that if she continues on this path, her blood pressure will improve. She has also noticed she has more energy and she said she is really enjoying her veggies! I hope to share her success publicly someday in my success stories series.

I also am feeling thankful today for all of the supportive people that are so positive and encouraging in the plant based community. Bobby Anderson, The plant fueled trucker was kind enough to share the link to this blog on his page today as I was feeling discouraged and a lot of new folks came to check out my page.

It is my dream to someday be able to incorporate my passion for plant based eating into my nursing practice or at least into a way to pay the bills along with being able to help people prevent disease or return to good health. I talk to people everywhere I go about this lifestyle as it has had such an amazing impact on not only my life, but that of my family. Recently, people have been asking my for my business card. I tell them I don’t have one because I don’t have a business! However, my husband and some of my friends tell me I don’t need a business to have a card with my contact information, so that will be the next step.

I feel like I’m on the verge of something, some exciting change or opportunity, but I’m just not sure what! Hopefully I’m on the verge of something good and not on the verge of insanity or some crazy delusion that something wonderful can come out of all of my excitement about better health through a nutritious and delicious plant based diet!

Thanks again for all the love today!

One of my plantstrong buddies, Lisa and me at Plantstock last summer on the Esselstyn farm!

One of my plantstrong buddies, Lisa and me at Plantstock last summer on the Esselstyn farm!