Thursday, October 28, 2010

Baked Oatmeal

I came up with this and then found a few recipes. It is totally vegan and taste awesome! It also stores well in the fridge so you can take pieces of it to work and zap. 

Okay ... from memory .....:)
*       Spray an 8 x 8 pyrex baking dish. If you go bigger, just double the recipe.
*       Dump in 2 1/2 cups Quaker Large sized 100% oats.
*       Add in a handful of raisins, cranberries or whatever dried fruit you like.
*       I cut up one peeled apple and mixed it in.
*       Add about one tablespoon sugar just for a little sweetness. Could use Agave or honey
        if you wanted. I use raw sugar.
*       About a teaspoon of cinnamon ... I just shook it until it looked right. I like more than some.
*       Add a handful of shredded coconut ... not required, but this added a lot more sweetness 
        so you are okay with the reduced sugar.
*       I used three cups of vanilla almond milk ... I would add a little more next time because 
        it was drier than what you got because I put a little more in the bottom of the dishes when 
        I packaged it. You can use any milk ... but I like the taste of the almond milk with this .... 
        Especially the vanilla. I thought it might be good with some unsweetened applesauce
        added too. I found a recipe that called for oatmilk too.
*       I sprinkled some granola I had on hand in the cupboard over the top. I used Grapenuts 
        last time and that worked well too, but not as sweet. You could also sprinkle a little more 
        coconut over the top if you like that taste.
*       Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to one hour. I went longer because I like it a little crispy on top.
You may want to add more vanilla as in pure vanilla ... a teaspoon at most?
It should be the consistency of a bread pudding ... if too dry, add more liquid in the bottom of 
the dish and let it absorb it.
Yummy for these cool mornings.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Welcome to my Journey!


Wow! So here I am starting on a journey that I always wondered about, if I could do it, but never realistically thought I could or would. I am working towards becoming a low fat vegan! My reasons for starting this journey are many, but the main reasons are my four gorgeous grand  kids and the fact that I want to be around to see them grow up into the superstars I know they will be. I’ve tried to go mostly vegetarian before, but always got derailed by one excuse or another. This time, it’s about me!

To be fair, ten years ago after having what at the time we thought was a heart attack, it wasn't, but I came home from the hospital to find that my partner at the time had cleaned out the cupboards and the fridge and loaded it with healthy veggies and food. We managed to eat that way for almost six months and then somebody gave us a gift certificate to one of Seattle’s best steak houses. That was like opening up the floodgates and we were pure carnivores from then on. We even did Atkins where we ate almost nothing but meat and cheeses. Sure, we lost a lot of weight, but my arteries were clogging up with cholesterol and triglycerides and that is one of the reasons for starting this journey now.

I am a very young 53 years old, my body doesn’t tolerate cholesterol drugs and my levels are higher than they should be. I have also just been diagnosed with an enlarged liver that could be a sign of cardiovascular issues. It’s time to take control if I am going to be around to see my grand kids grow up and there are more on the way! I have a good start because I was doing Clean Eating and lost over 80 pounds just eating whole, healthy foods, but now it's time to take the next step.

So, this is my journey. There are obstacles and challenges to overcome, but nothing is impossible. I travel sometimes for work and finding places to eat might be tough. My significant other thinks that a meal without a slab of meat, or even better something deep fried, just isn’t a meal. This lifestyle calls for absolutely no added oil, not even olive oil that we have been taught for years is good for us.  I’m up for the challenge. Hope he sticks around too! He might even find he likes some of the food I make ... and since I do the cooking, he might get hungry otherwise!

I have read cover to cover “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure” By Caldwell Esselstyn, the same book that spurred President Clinton into action on the same path. At the suggestion of a friend, (thanks Cory) I also downloaded and read “The China Study” by Thomas M. Campbell II. Both books talk about how populations who hold to a plant based, low fat diet, keeping their total cholesterol below 150 don’t suffer from heart disease, have much lower instances of cancer and in general lead healthier, longer lives. There is also evidence that this could fend off Alzheimer’s disease, the disease that my father was suffering with when he passed away. Why wouldn’t I do this?

So, this is my blog. I am going to talk about things I found that work or help me, recipes that I have tried and liked … or not, and just look for motivation. This is about my journey and me in search of a healthier life.

Vega Daddy (AKA; Kevin)