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Monday, July 29, 2019

Vegan Eats - YUMMY - and Current Projects

Lately I have been eating this for breakfast: spouted lentils, mixed with a handful of spinach leaves, a cup mixed berries, a tablespoon of hemp seed, and a sprinkle of raw oats. It is very satisfying, and delicious. With it I enjoy a cup of black coffee with a tablespoon of raw cacao stirred in, just lovely. This breakfast starts my day with 14 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber, 916 mg of potassium, 33% of my daily iron needs, a bit of calcium, almost all of vitamin C needs, and a nice hit of vitamin A.  All good! Some days I have overnight oats with berries and flax seed and spinach, again a very satisfying breakfast.

lentils and mung beans in various stages of sprouting

Later in the morning I have a kale, berry, banana smoothie with 2 tablespoons of Dr. Shultze Super Food, this gives me a great dose of daily vitamins and minerals.

Lunch is a salad of kale, red cabbage, bok choy, a tomato, some summer zucchini or cucumber, a bit of yellow or red bell pepper, sprouted mung beans, a pinch of raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds, kimchee, and a bit of date/dijon mustard dressing. It is so yummy, nutritious, and filling. I make the dressing, it is a cup of water, 12 dates, 6 tablespoons of dijon mustard and a sweet onion, blitz in the blender then store in the fridge, this lasts me all week.
Date/Dijon Mustard dressing

Delicious mega-salad!

In the afternoon I have an apple for a snack.

Dinner is a salad of collard greens, spinach, tomato, cucumber or summer zucchini, 2 teaspoons of spirulina, 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, kimchee and some date/dijon dressing, and with it a piece of toasted sprouted rye bread made by a German bakery, Delba. For dessert I usually have a couple of dried figs, they are wonderful.
So good and so nutritious.
A curiously strong, very dense rye bread, lovely toasted with a slice of tomato.

Sometimes I don't have a salad, but instead have a large bowl of fresh fruit, melon, strawberries, kiwi, pineapple and top it with flax seed or hemp seed, a very refreshing meal on a hot summer day.
Fresh fruit topped with hemp seed.

Throughout the day I drink water, and occasionally herbal tea, green tea, and hibiscus tea are my favorites.

Spirulina is essentially algae, it is dried and comes in a very fine powder, it is a very dark bluish green, it makes my salad look super dark green, and while I eat it my lips and teeth turn green, so I usually only eat it at home, it doesn't stain though. Spirulina adds a really nice flavor to a salad, some people add it to smoothies, personally I find it dominates the smoothie but not in a pleasant way. Spirulina is tagged as a super food, it is extremely nutritious, high in iron, and protein, it is considered the most nutritious of all foods.

One of our favorite places to go out to eat, which we do very infrequently, is Pizza Hut, they have a wonderful salad bar that we both enjoy and it meets my needs as a vegan and Dave's needs a non-vegan. Another place that I find affordable and vegan friendly is Subway, I get the veggie delite sub as a chopped salad, and if I wish I can have avocado added. I usually eat one avocado a week, eaten over two days, it is a good source of fiber and healthy fat, but a little goes a long way.

Our salad creations on a recent trip to Pizza Hut

We have gone out to eat at restaurants specializing in vegan food, but I am always disappointed, the food tends to be very expensive, even though it is a sparse serving of veggies and a bit of legume or grain, and always coated in oil and heavy (salty) seasoning. I don't add salt to anything I eat, so I am rather sensitive to it when it is added to foods I eat, it really stands out.

I am working on three projects at this time, foxy baby quilt and a crochet blanket for our soon to born 10th grandchild, and a London Double Decker bus print nap quilt to replace the very well worn one currently in use.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Little Break

Last Friday evening we packed up the car and left Indiana to visit my parents in Orlando. We had a great drive down, we arrived around three on Saturday afternoon.  Usually I do not do well with the long drive, it takes my several days to feel recuperated, this time I bounced back almost immediately. I think the culprit is coffee! On past trips I would drink coffee like a fiend, a cup purchased each time we made a stop, but this time I did not do this. On Saturday morning I had my regular cup of joe and that was it, just as I do everyday, and I drank water the rest of the day, just as I always do. I truly think the previous drives were hard to recuperate from because I was way overloaded with caffeine. Will test my theory further when we head back to Indiana on Friday.

Yesterday we drove to Daytona Beach, it was a beautiful sunny day, the ocean was amazing, it was breezy and the waves were quite strong, but a lot of fun. We sat in the sun, we played in the surf, we sat in the sun, we played in the surf, it was a amazingly relaxing day. We both got too much sun, and due to my hat and sunglasses I have no sun on my forehead and eyes, but lots of sun lower on my face, I was amused by my new look!

Today I am going with my mum to the quilt shop to select fabric for a baby quilt for soon to arrive grand baby number 10.  I am busy crocheting a blue and yellow striped shell stitch blanket for the baby while vacationing and riding in the car, it is coming along nicely.  It has been a few years since I last made a baby quilt for a grand child.

It is good to vacation, it is nice to have a week with no schedule, no "have to do" lists, it decompresses my spirit and makes me feel refreshed and renewed.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Big Sort Out

Wow what a whirlwind of activity has taken place in our home and how refreshing it feels. I started to de-clutter our home two weeks ago, I have now gone through almost everything and have donated four van loads of stuff to a variety of charity shops throughout Fort Wayne. I have a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.

My kitchen counters are clear of all stuff, my cabinets are organized and contain what we need, the drawers are neat and tidy, items are easy to locate. The pantry is pleasing to look in. My book shelves are a treat, all of our rooms look peaceful, tidy, calm. My husband caught the bug, he cleaned out his side of the closet and his dresser and end table, he is keeping everything picked up and put away too. Hubby is talking about sorting our the garage and barn, this will be quite an accomplishment, I will help, but he needs to lead the sort out as the bulk of the stuff is his and it is not my decision to make in regards to what we will keep, sell, donate, or trash.

Cleaning the house is so easy, there is no picking up to be done, simply dusting as needed, and vacuum as needed. I give the bathrooms a good wipe down each morning so they stay fresh and clean until the next deep clean. I have a few small areas to finish sorting, some shelves in my sewing room,  a few storage bins in the attic, some paperwork in a file cabinet drawer, and my sock collection, that is it. I cannot believe how much I got taken care of in just two weeks, and some areas I did twice!

All my closets are organized and I know where everything is, as there is a place for everything and everything has a place, what a wonderful feeling. And my basement, it is neat and tidy again :) I even tackled a lot of the attic, just a little more to go.

My concerns. I read that due to the "Marie Kondo Effect" charity shops this year have had record amounts of donations, in fact have received so much stuff that many have had to resort to renting storage space. And, I would think, the flip side of this is that as people are realizing they need less, and want less, they are perhaps not shopping as frequently at charity shops so they are maybe having a harder time shifting the overwhelming haul of stuff they have had donated. I hope that all the people who have rid themselves of excess possessions and stopped mindlessly consuming will continue to do so, it is good for them, good for their bank account, good for the environment, but it is not so good for the manufacturers and the retail outlets and I hope it doesn't result in people at the low end of the totem pole being laid off because less of the items they help produce are wanted. Knowing human nature, many who have had a good old clear out and want of life of minimalism will pursue it for a while but will find old habits die hard and unless vigilant will find that "stuff" will again enter their homes. I hope I am vigilant, I hope I continue to feel motivated by the peace and harmony created by a neat and tidy home, and hope this is a way of living that continues for the rest of our lives.

My best suggestion if you want to begin a big sort out, start small, decide to sort a book shelf, perhaps one kitchen cabinet, a bureau drawer, do something each day, baby steps add up fast and before you know it you are on a roll. The more you do the easier it gets. Watch some YouTube videos, The Minimalist Mom and Joshua Becker are both excellent and offer practical advice. A book on YouTube, The Joy of Less by Francine Jay - an excellent primer, listen to it as you purge areas of your home, she will motivate you with good advice and sound philosophy. Whatever you decide to do don't feel intimidated, just get going and I don't think you will regret it.


Monday, July 1, 2019


We have recently made a concerted effort to reduce the amount of plastic we bring into our home. Let me tell you, it is extremely difficult to do, and I feel our efforts to date have only made a minor dent in our consumption of plastic.

What we do:

I always take my own shopping bags with me, no matter what store I go to, they are not just for the grocery store.

In the grocery store I look for glass jars, cardboard or paper packaging, or cans when I need pre-packaged food. For example, marinara sauce, almost always is available in glass, the same with peanut butter. Ice cream, my husband is an ice cream addict, I only purchase the brands packaged in cardboard.

Being Vegan I purchase a ton of produce each week, thankfully many of my staple items can be purchased package free, and I never use the plastic bags that are available to put the items in. A lot of fruit can be purchased and it has not packaging, but berries and grapes are always in plastic bags or plastic clam shell containers. The plastic clam shell containers are eligible of recycling, so that is a very slight plus.

Household cleaners, they all seem to come in plastic.

With personal items I purchase soap that is either free of packaging, or packaged in paper or cardboard. But most other items we use are not in eco-friendly packaging.

I am pleased that it takes almost two weeks before we have a bag of trash to take out, but I am distressed that it basically contains only non-recyclable plastic.

Almost everything comes wrapped in plastic, is on plastic hangers, has plastic components and it is nigh on impossible to simply rid yourself of plastic. And I don't think I would want to, there are many benefits to plastic, it is light weight and very durable. I dropped a glass jar of strawberry jam one day when walking out of the store, the glass smashed and there was a rather hazardous mess created. If the jar had been plastic I doubt it would have broken. I am not sure we would want cleaning products in breakable containers, the damage caused by spills and breakage would surely negate the benefit of eliminating the plastic container.

I don't know what the answer is to all of the plastic waste that is generated, it appears that recycling is not the answer as almost none of the plastic is recycled and most is simply shipped to poor countries around the world to pollute their environment, which personally makes me feel sick.

What is the answer? I think we ALL need to do our part to consume less plastic, always opt for the most environmentally friendly packaging, and still recycle as some of the plastic is recycled. But don't fool yourself into thinking recycling is the cure all because it has become more and more apparent that it is not.