Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

1 bag Boca Vegan Crumbles (WFPB dieters, use lentils. They are great, too. I have done it.)

6 c. Mashed Potatoes with skins on, dehydrated from freezer on stove

1 can Kirkland Green Beans

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup ThriveLife celery, rehydrated on stove

1 can beets

2 shakes of onion powder

2 shakes basil

A few ground peppercorns

2 shakes rosemary

2 shakes dill

2 T Annie’s Vegan Worchestershire sauce (WFPB can substitute something)

3 T Grapeseed oil (WFPBNO can substitute vegetable broth)

2 shakes garlic

This is yummy!

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Vegan at La Puente Mexican Restaurant, Ogden

Great place for VEGANS!

My husband and I went to La Puente Mexican Restaurant in Ogden. I asked detailed questions, so you don’t have to!

Get the pinto beans that are not refried beans. They have them and will do that. Get a taco salad in a bowl, with no wheat shell. Get corn tortilla chips on the side for it. Get lettuce, cilantro, olives, fresh red and green bell peppers, tomatoes and avocadoes on it.

Their guac is vegan but it is easier for them to just get you sliced avocadoes for your custom order. The wheat flour tortillas are made with lard. The rice has chicken broth in it (just like Javier’s). The refried beans come sometimes from one supplier and sometimes from another (not made in-house). Some weeks, they get it from a supplier that says it is cooked in vegetable oil. Other weeks, they get it from a supplier that cooks it in lard. They know whihc supplie they get it from, so when you go, you could actually get refried beans if they got it that week from the supplier that cooks it in vegetable oil.

Enjoy!

I liked this place over Javier’s because Javier’s does not give me all those vegetables on my custom salad. They only give me lettuce and (not many) tomatoes. They also accidentally gave me rice on the side at Javier’s, which has the chicken broth in it. This La Puente made no mistakes and was happy to give me plenty of veggies! Yay for them!

When you go and you order, be sure to tell the host, the server, the manager, or whomever you see (all of them) that you are a vegan and want this vegan special you read about on facebook.

1- Get “O-Town Vegan Taco Salad” on the menu, please!

2- We are a large community (325 members on O-Town Vegan on facebook, I see) of vegans!

40 Year Old Utah Mormon Vegan Homeschool Mom with Large Family Trying to Get to a Healthy Weight

I have a large family. I have a large family for a Utah Mormon (not just for a city-dwelling New-York City resident or Hollywood movie star, because their definitino of a large family is not mine). I am vegan. I have been pregnant and breatfeeding for what feels like half of my life. I am 40. I wake up early, not to excercise, but to take my daughter to her early morning homeschool seminary class.

I try hard to eat right. I just barely skim the surface of having a habit of eating breakfast, lunch and dinner on time. I try to eat healthy foods, but it is tough to find time to prepare something healthy when our lives are so busy.

I try to find time to exercise. I just cannot find it. O.k., so I know where it is. It is right there when my husband gets home, gives me the chance to go to the gym, and I hear my preschooler bawling at the top of his lungs about his hunger, my husband says to ignore him, and I make him something to eat, following which my husband leaves and my was-gonna-be-tending-while-I-went-to-the-gym son throws a fit, begging me to let off on the homeschool assignments for the week so that he can play on the wii. The screaming, throwing things and bawling from the torture of the immensity of the assignments is so great that I do not go to the gym. I stay home and my husband gets back and tries go help us through the rough patch. Then I make a vegan dinner for only myself and am too exhausted (and it is too late at night) to go to the gym.

This is just one day in the life of the Utah Mormon Vegan Homeschool Mom with a Large Family who is trying to lose 30 lbs. and thus reach a healthy weight. I tell you, I am sick to death of all the blog posts and youtube videos I find with women who have 2 kids and send them to school during the day, then tell me how they lost all the baby weight in 6 weeks.  am also sick of all the “you need animal protein” lies out there, written by weight-loss gurus who are not vegan!

“Thou shalt not covet” the women who lose baby weight in under a year. Seriously, the toughest commandment out there. Arghhhhh!

I seriously cannot be the only one! I hate feeling alone. I do not expect to find someone just exactly in my situation, but a bunch of groupies close to it would be nice. A support group would help immensely. There have to be vegan homeschool moms out there with large families, and who also large bellies like mine that have not gone away when the baby is a preschooler!

If you are one and have found this post, please comment. I need a support network of women who know what I am going through! Advice about exercise would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

PhytoEstrogens in Soy vs. Estrogen in Cow’s Milk

Are you worried that if you went vegan, the estrogen in soy would be bad for you? I have good news for those of you who ar considering veganism. The estrogen is “PhytoEstrogen,” an estrogen only absorbed by plants. I have bad news for those of you not considering veganism. The kind of estrogen your body DOES absorb is found in great quantities cow’s milk! 

I have some sad news. Those pushing you to believe things about hormones which are not true, are a group of dairy farmers. Lies in the form of propoganda are tricking you. Here is an article with the truth in it:

Soy Myths and Misinformation

Try Vegan Milks

Try vegan milks. All of the nutrition and yumminess, none of the cruelty.

See this video

“Make Lunch the Biggest Meal of the Day” Weight Loss Plan

Here is some more about my new diet plan for losing belly circumference and weight.

It has been tough at dinnertime when my husband insists that he and the kids eat these fattening, starchy, unhealthy and very large dinners. Since my goals are different from theirs but I still want to feel like I am eating with them, this is what I did last night. I made a really healthy, light smoothie. I had a 1 cup serving of my very own vegan mashed potatoes because they wanted mashed potatoes. I had 3/4 c. of green beans because they were having them and they are healthy. I had a handful of pistachios because my husband was eating those. I had 3 slices of tofurky (a vegan replacement for turkey) and so did two of my kids. I had water and my 14 oz. smoothie. Some of my family had rice-a-roni with lots of butter and cheese on it, which my husband made.

I will say, it is tough on the will power to do something that is not culturally normal where I live (to make lunch the biggest meal of the day). However, from what I have read online and from what I could see while in Chile, it really does make a difference in helping with weight loss.

Having Lunch mid-day gives me lots of energy and I still feel full when dinnertime comes so that I do not feel the need to eat a lot. Having a siesta between 1 and 4 p.m. is also really great. Having a big lunch and a child who naps helps me want this. Homeschooling helps me to get it. It really does help me accomplish more in the morning. This is because I know it will be okay because I will get to “crash” in the early afternoon!

Here are some women discussing the “lunch as the biggest meal of the day” thing. I liked it. Baby Center lunch discussion

My New Weight Loss Plan: Chilean Lunches, Light Dinners and More Gym Time

I am really upset about my weight. I am making a new weight loss plan. The size of the middle of my body (belly and waist) is too great. I just recently learned that my nighttime acid reflux issue was caused by my habits of:

  • Skipping breakfast (because I was busy) quite often, or having a breakfast that was more like a light snack
  • Skipping lunch (because I was busy) quite often, or having a light snack for lunch at noon
  • Eating a medium-sized “Linner” (between 2 and 4 p.m.)
  • Eating a gigantic, very filling (and yet very nutritious) very late dinner (between 8 and 11:30 p.m.)
  • Going to bed within an hour or two of eating the late dinner

     Since I have at one time in my life, though about half a lifetime ago, experienced Chile style lunches, I am going to try that again now. I read online that this mid-day largest meal of the day style is great for nutrition, energy to accomplish more and weight loss, I am going to be doing this. 

     I have already done it for 2 days with success. I had larger breakfasts. The biggest meals of the day have been at about noon. I have had a snack between about 2 and 4 p.m. I have had dinner between 5 and 7:30 p.m. Dinner has consisted of fruits and vegetables, including a lettuce salad both nights. I have gone to bed at around 10:30 both nights. I have had no acid reflux in the middle of the night and no heartburn.

     In Chile, oatmeal was the most common breakfast food, but there was also a barley drink, milk and or or herbal tea and mermelada, which is jam.

     From what I remember of Chilean lunches, there were courses. There was first the light, brothy, healthy soup. Then there was the salad, consisting of Romaine lettuce and lots of veggies. Then there was the bread with the main course. It was very large and very filling. After we were finished eating, it was then polite to drink. It was a fruity or vegetable drink (such as mango or carrot juice). Finally, it was time for dessert, which I did not generally feel there was room for. Fruit, like a pear, was considered a dessert in my first home. That was a healthier example of dessert.

     At about 6 p.m., no matter where we were, we were fed. Nobody cared that we were strangers. It was time to eat. At this time, we were fed something like a snack-meal. This consisted of bread with mermelada or paté and barley drink with milk and honey in it. Sometimes we were given popcorn or a fruit instead. Sometimes, it was just dessert, such as a 13 layer whipped cream, cake, caramel and jam “torta.” Finishing the torta meant you still had room for more. The ony way you could get out of having more was to politely almost finish it, then say your stomach could not fit any more. In one area that I lived in, there was Alicia’s in Santiago, which had the yummiest single serve small pizza (peek-sah), and sometimes we splurged and bought it. Alicia was our good friend and became a member of the church while I was there. I promised to make her a logo but have no contact information that works. If her place is still up and running, you have to taste her pizza.

     At 11 p.m., it was time for “once,” (which means “eleven.”) This was also given to us no matter whose house we were in. To the Chileans, serving strangers was a special honor and privilege. At once, we were given the bread with paté or mermelada and the barley drink. Some people served large, thick crackers or bread, with cheese and sliced meat. Generally, one piece of thick, hearty bread was sliced in half so that it was like eating a sandwich.

     My diet plan is to have a big, healthy breakfast, a very large and healthy lunch, a healthy snack and a very light, healthy dinner. My exercise plan is to go to the gym more, work hard on house and yard care for exercise and ride my stationary bike whenever I can. I hope all of this works and I finally lose my large “middle” (belly or waist) and replace it with a medium “middle.”