Tagged: personally plant based

valentine pink milk with heart card

Healthy Pink Milk for Valentine’s Day

valentine pink milk with heart card Serve some pink milk to your sweeties on Valentine’s Day!  Just blend a couple of strawberries in milk.  (I used almond milk here.)  To make it sweet and keep it healthy add a dribble of agave or honey.  This is a great way to color your food pink without adding food colorings.

valentine pink milk on cereal Pour it over your cereal or enjoy it straight from the glass.  Or add blended strawberries to your favorite waffle or pancake recipe for another healthy pink breakfast!

valentine pink milk with heart card

And have a healthy, happy, wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Click here for details and video to make this Jar of Hearts I Love You card.


Enjoy!  Julie

blueberry oatmeal

Personally! 2 Plant-based Meals – ‘Homemade’ Chili and Blueberry Oatmeal

blueberry oatmeal

When my friends learn that we eat a plant-based  diet, one of the first questions they ask is, “What do you eat?”  This of course is always accompanied with a shocked look and dismay.  To most of us who have eaten a standard American diet our whole lives, giving up meat, fish and dairy can seem daunting, foreign and just plain strange!   I understand – I was a reluctant enthusiast.  It has taken me 20 years to realize that I – personally – feel better on a plant-based diet.

And most people can only think of the beloved foods they would have to give up.  So after “What do you eat?”, the next response is “I could never give up ____.”  You can fill in the blank with cheese, milk, hamburgers or pizza, etc.  The fact is I still enjoy most of these things in a plant-based fashion.

My definition of sacrifice is to give up something good for something better.  Think exercise.  When you get up early to exercise you may be giving up a little sleep but you are gaining so much more from your activity.  And really when you are motivated to improve your health and the health of your family it doesn’t long before your taste buds change and your healthy food tastes amazing.  Really!

Sometime later I’ll tell you about my reluctant conversion so you don’t make the same mistake I made of being sick for years when all I needed to do is change my eating habits.  Silly!  In fact, in the past three weeks I’ve lost 6 pounds while enjoying lasagna, burritos and burgers (all yummy and vegetable based), eating out and entertaining friends at my house.  I’ve not measured my food, or counted calories.  Yay!  Because, let’s face it, I’m not going to!!

So what is in the purple bowl above?  That’s my yummy breakfast. I started with the Better Oats RAW Organic Pure & Simple Multi-Grain Hot Cereal.  It comes in this great little pouch that also acts as a measuring cup to add water.  Just reading the ingredients makes me feel healthy – organic oats, barley, wheat, flaxseed, quinoa, and rye and evaporated sea salt.

Here’s the complete list from my breakfast bowl:
RAW multigrain hot cereal with flax
about 1 c. blueberries (mine were frozen)
chopped dates
chopped walnuts
and a drizzle of Agave syrup after heating
The cereal package recommends 2 minutes in the microwave, but because I added frozen berries I needed to cook it longer.

brussels sprouts greens

I wish I had taken a picture of this plant before I started cutting it up.  Seriously interesting looking.  These are Brussels sprout greens.  Until I saw this plant I didn’t realize how brussel sprouts grow.  Google a picture.  It’s quite interesting.  The sprouts grow up the stalk of the plant in rows, like a column.  Apparently you can eat Brussels sprout greens.  I didn’t know that until this plant came in my farmers market co-op order this past week.

I was told to cook Brussels sprout greens like you would kale so I added it to my soups and chili this week.  I learned that these leaves don’t cook down or wilt the way kale or spinach leaves do, so I chopped it small.


My easy ‘homemade’ chili started with store-bought vegetarian chili.  (Sorry I can’t remember the brand.)  It was not canned but rather in the refrigerator section at Costco.  In addition to lots of beans it had a ton of great veggies in it including mushrooms.  I always read the labels to make sure I know what I’m getting, but I laughed when I read heat and top with cheese, sour cream, etc.  I skipped that step!

This chili was a medium spicy and I knew my husband wouldn’t like it quite that spicy so I added a can of diced tomatoes in addition to the added Brussels sprout leaves.  I try to add more greens to everything I do, because you can never get enough.

I have so many stamping projects to share with you this week, it will be hard to decide which to show you first!!  So I hope you will join me this week.

I hope you had a wonderful and healthy weekend.  And thanks for letting me share my plant-based diet and my blueberry oatmeal and ‘homemade’ chili.

Enjoy!  Julie

Personally! – Keeping Healthy Food Simple

Earlier this year I was inspired by the post Five Life Lessons I Learned in 2012 from Kristi at Addicted 2 Decorating .  In her posts she occasionally shares  a glimpse of her personal life including her husband’s health issues and their effort for a healthier lifestyle.

My family has made major changes over the past year toward a healthier lifestyle, but I was determined to do better in 2013!  But I realized if I was going to make this a reality I had to keep my food simple.  I just was not going to make a gourmet meal every night!  Anyone else feel the same way?

So here’s a couple of VERY simple meals I’ve had this week and a couple of tips.

Sauteed Mushrooms & Onions on a Veggie Burger with Steamed Spinach

veggie burger with sauteed mushrooms and onions with steamed spinach

The veggie burger is store bought.  Simple.  Read your labels.  They are not all made the same.  This vegetable burger ingredient label reads like the description of a salad!!   The spinach is fresh and steamed in the microwave for about 1 minute.  That’s it.

healthy sauteed mushrooms and onions

I sauteed fresh mushrooms and onions in vegetable broth, no oil, no butter.  I added garlic and to keep things simple, I use the pre-minced garlic.  Did you know mushrooms and onions have great cancer-fighting nutrients?

veggie burger with sauteed mushrooms and onions

The bun is a multigrain sandwich round lightly toasted in the oven.  I did put a little vegan mayonaise on it for added flavor and moisture.  And I definitely should have added some yummy sliced tomatoes to this.  I also added mustard for a little kick.  I could have left of the veg mayo for sure.

It took about 20 minutes to get this meal on the table for my family.

And the good old standby Peanut Butter & Jelly with an Apple.

pbj and apple lunch

Again not all breads, peanut butters and jellys are made the same, so read your labels!  This is a great meal at home and especially when you are going to be out.  I had one day this week were I was out running errands all day from 9:30 to 5:30 and I packed this lunch to take on the road with me.

I have a what I think is an unusual way of slicing my apples.  I had a friend from Washington State, home of the apple, that makes fun of me for cutting them this way.  She says I’m wasting too much apple, but it takes me seconds.

I slice off the sides. Yes, to me an apple has four sides.  🙂 And then slice each side as thin or thick as I want.  I don’t like biting into apples so this is my quick solution.


how to slice an apple


how to slice an apple

I hope your are having wonderful success with your January goals!

Valentine and Six Other Stampin’ Up! Specials – Check them out now!

Enjoy, Julie

creamy vegan broccoli soup

Personally! – A Plant-Based Diet for 2013

Like everyone else on the planet, I have ‘lose weight’, ‘be health’, ‘get fit’ goals for 2013 which includes a plant-based diet.  I also have other goals for 2013 such as financial goals, so one of the new features you will see on my blog is the ‘Personally!’ series.  On Saturday, I’ll post a new ‘Personally!’ update that will include some of my non-stamping thoughts, projects and progress.  I hope you will join in and share your goals for 2013 and your struggles and successes!

Why am I including this on a stamping blog?  Because I’m hoping that we can encourage each other on our journeys to feeling better, being better and loving better!  I think life is a continuous improvement proposition.  So let’s continuously improve together, shall we?!

creamy vegan broccoli soup

For years, I have read about the benefits of a plant-based diet and on occasion I have pursued that eating regimen.  This past year my husband, a long-time Adkins fan and huge meat eater, adopted the plant-based lifestyle with fantastic results.  My daughter and her husband also made the change and look and feel fabulous.  Another friend and husband have made the switch with inspiring results.

For some reason, while I completely and utterly believe in the health benefits of eating wholesome & nutritious fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains, I struggle to make the complete conversion.  But I have had a measured amount of success this year making worthwhile changes to my eating habits and so I’m ready to jump in with both feet and truly give it my all!

Yesterday I made a very healthy Creamy Broccoli Soup!  It was yummy (despite the anemic picture above!)  I followed the recipe found here on allrecipes.com pretty closely with a very few exceptions.

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 5 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4-1/2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

I used peeled and diced red potatoes because that’s what I had on hand.  And I used garlic sea salt.  Next time I think I’ll had fresh garlic.  I don’t think you can ever have enough garlic!  Also, I simmered it for a lot longer than the recipe suggested.  Plus I made it in the morning and then reheated it for dinner, which worked out great.  Blending cashews into the soup makes it creamy without adding cream and cheese!

For cooking directions, go to recipe link.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR 2013?  Leave a comment and let’s inspire each other!

Enjoy, Julie