The plant based nurse

My family's excellent adventure to better health!


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A Shout out to PBNSG and MANY thanks to Engine 2!

Many months ago, I made a new friend through plant based eating and living, Paul Chatlin. We met online through one of his Plant Based Nutrition Support Group (PBNSG) members who found her way to my Engine 2 facebook group for my local Engine 2 friends. We have talked on the phone several times and since we “met” his group has grown to over a thousand members! Paul led a chat  on Engine 2 Extra and if you haven’t read his story about how he reversed his heart disease with the help of Dr Esselstyn, you can read it here at: http://www.pbnsg.org/our-start/.

His group really is a model for other plant based groups and I know of no other like it. He has large group events and has had Rip Esselstyn and Dr. Esselstyn come to speak in Michigan. He also has small neighborhood groups for people to meet for support and ideas.  He recently had the “culinary curator” for his web site call me to see if I would contribute some recipes for their site. I hesitantly said yes, knowing I really don’t have that many original recipes and don’t consider myself a “chef.”

I then realized that two of the 4-5 recipes they wanted could be ones I created for recipe challenges on Engine 2 extra, my Scrumptious squash with rosemary apples and Thai soup with kale, carrots and ginger. The other two are old standbys I make almost every week, chili and pasta sauce. SO, Thank you to Engine 2 and coaches Ami and Char for challenging us to be creative and use delicious, fresh, and simple ingredients to make good meals! The link to my recipes is at: http://www.pbnsg.org/recipe-collection/?tag=Jean+Hayes. Check out all the site has to offer and challenge yourself to try something you never thought you could do!

PBNSG Thai soup

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Engine 2 Nationwide challenge, Day 1, GET FIRED UP!

I’m excited to be joining in the Nationwide 28 day challenge for the Engine 2 diet! Engine 2 is not a weight loss diet, a gimmick, or a quick fix. It’s a whole foods, plant based diet and a team of supportive people who can help you learn to “cook, eat, and live in a way that’s truly healthy and will allow you to be your best you!” –Rip Esselstyn

I think the thing that attracted me to the Engine 2 plan is that it’s for real people who live in the real world. It can be tailored to your needs. If you like to eat simply, and make easy, no recipe meals, they have tips for you. If you love to cook and make great looking dishes to impress your friends and family, they have recipes and tools for you. If you are not even sure you like to eat vegetables, they will help you with how to ease into plant based eating and focus on foods you do like. You can eat out but need to learn to ask for what you need and yes, you can even have chocolate. However, I am still learning that treats are for special occasions, not for everyday.

If you don’t have any friends or family in your area who eat plant based and you need support to learn how to get started and how to maintain a plantstrong diet over the long term, Engine 2 even has an online support web site called Engine 2 extra. You can join for only $5.00/month and you can meet new friends who are just as excited as you about your new lifestyle, get coaching from knowledgeable and friendly support staff, share your journey in your personal blog and get meal ideas and tips on how to navigate social situations. It also gives me a place to go when my family tires of my plant based ramblings!

If you would like to learn more about 28 days spent learning to love  plants and how they can help you be your best you, stroll on over to Engine 2 and download the 2015 eBook with recipes, exercises, guidelines for easing into the plan or diving in headfirst!

I will be journaling my food for the next 28 days, the good, the bad, an the ugly, so here goes!

Breakfast: Steamed kale with blueberry banana oats, topped with grape nuts, a tsp of maple syrup and almond milk , and apple cinnamon herbal tea

Snack: 1 1/2 bananas

Lunch: Sweet potato topped with leftover rice and beans, salsa, and chipotle Tabasco, spinach with strawberry balsamic, and a honeycrisp apple which I ended up eating after supper

Supper: Engine 2  roasted red pepper hummus with 365 brand woven wheat no oil crackers, Happy Herbivore inspired Thai soup with veggies and tofu (Thanks to Annabelle and Rob for helping me make supper!), 4 cherries dipped in chocolate from a local shop. I think my excuse for buying these cherries was celebrating  wedding dress shopping with my daughter. I had been doing well avoiding sweets but they crept back in. Time to start over!

E2 challenge Day 1


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Hawaiian BBQ tacos, sinfully easy and delicious!

We decided to try some new recipes and new foods this week, so tonight I made the Hawaiian BBQ tacos from “My Beef with Meat.” It looked easy and we have never eaten tempeh so it looked like a win, win. I found some organic tempeh that only had a couple of ingredients, cultured organic soybeans, lactic acid from plant sources, water, and organic brown rice.

tempehAll I had to do was crumble the tempeh into a nonstick pan and heat it up with some tamari and bbq sauce. I like to make the bbq sauce from FOK but I didn’t have time, so I used Wegman’s organic bbq sauce. It is sweet and spicy, a little too sweet, but it’s an occasional condiment. The taste and texture of the mixture actually reminded me of the Eat loaf from The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease cookbook. The beans reminded me of cannellini beans. It was pretty tasty.

tempeh with bbq

Next I  baked some corn tortillas over the oven rack. I wasn’t sure how they would come out, so I also baked some in my tortilla molds. I had to adjust them as they folded too much just hanging them over a single wire of the rack. They had a much better shape when I spread them over 2 wires.

tortillasI decided we needed some extra veggies for the tacos, so I chopped some onions, orange bell pepper, romaine, and cherry tomatoes along with the cilantro, and would have loved fresh pineapple but the canned worked just fine. I had some leftover brown jasmine rice I reheated mixed with some salsa to have on the side, too.

taco spreadThis would be a great meal to have if you need something quick and easy to prepare. You could save some time by using prewashed lettuce or other greens and you can add or subtract whatever toppings you like. I have not made a recipe from My Beef with Meat that I did not love yet. Many of the recipes were created and tested by Rip’s sister, Jane Esselstyn, so they’re sure to be a hit.

Have fun with your food and enjoy!

Plated taco