Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Correct Me If I’m Wrong

The main moderator of an Engine 2 Facebook community is still saying the new cookbook contains ALL new recipes.

So, am I going crazy saying I recognize recipes in it that are from other Esselstyn books and they ARE all new, or is she trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes?

If I AM wrong and they’re ALL new, I better go see my doctor for a checkup ASAP.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Engine 2 Cookbook - Edited

Just a reminder, this is MY opinion. Yours may be different. You may have a totally different opinion. Please, no hate notes in the replies.

What can I say about The Engine 2 Cookbook? I know this book was just released today, but I pre-ordered it. My paper version is on a UPS truck but the Kindle version I was able to download as soon as I woke up this morning.

First off, I'm disappointed in a number of ways. The "coaches" on the Engine 2 Seven Day Diet Facebook community assured everyone that the recipes are all new. They're not. From "Our Hummus" which was featured in the original Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease book to the Sweet Fire Sauce that was in the 7 Day Rescue book, there are many recipes that are repeats. Many are exact word for word of the original ones, a few are the same recipe with maybe one ingredient different or a different quantity. For instance, a lot of recipes that call for red bell peppers now say "ancient sweet red peppers" with the plain red bells as an alternate.

The second big disappointment is the fact that Dr. and Ann Esselstyn did this great review of the book the other day on Facebook:

yet many of the recipes contain things people following the Esseslstyn Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease food plan can not eat, like nuts, seeds, and pure sugars, like maple syrup (and I didn't even look at the desserts yet!). Of course, people following the McDougall MWLP or AJ's UWL can't eat these, either, nor should any McDougaller trying to lose weight or handle a medical condition.

And once again, instructions in some of the recipes tell you to cook various foods until super crisp, hard as a rock. I have no idea how those people's teeth can stand things like Mestemacher bread triple toasted, or baked oatmeal cooked so firm you can "knock on the crust for luck," as one recipe in this book says.

Another peeve, a few of the 130 recipes aren't really recipes. For instance, Banana Butter on page 103 tells you to peel and chop a banana and spread it like butter on some of the various dessert breads. Really?? Fire Roasted Corn tells you to wet ears of corn and put them over a fire on a barbecue grill. Really?!?! Best Damn Fries tell you to cut Yukon Gold Potatoes into fry shape and roast them in the oven. Oh, come ON now!!!! Pita chips, corn chips, taco shells, roasted peppers - each its own recipe, each part of the count. We're now down to less than 100 actual recipes in this book. Maybe even less than 50 if you want to count only new, never before published ones.

Tex-Mex and The Acid Queen strike again. Yes, many of the recipe require sriracha, cholula, or other hot, spicy sauces or hot peppers. This was one of my complaints with early recipes by Mary McDougall, too. And you can see Ann Esselstyn's influence in all the vinegars and citric juices as ingredients in recipes. I'm not a fan of either. If you are, you won't be disappointed.

All these gripes and I'm only up to page 130 scanning this book on my Kindle! So far I haven't seen one recipe I would even attempt to make, but I haven't even hit the Salads or Main Dishes yet. I still have hope this book will redeem itself.

Okay, if someone was VERY new to whole food plant based eating and needed transitional meals and never bought any cookbooks or looked at any recipes on-line, this would probably be a good beginner's book. But even if you have a rudimentary knowledge of how to cook this way, or own any other Engine 2 book, you will be as disappointed as I am. 

Time to go get the laundry on. I'll study this more later and keep my fingers crossed that I'll find at least a soup or casserole that looks interesting and hasn't already been published elsewhere.

Later the same day . . .

One recipe that may have redeemed the entire book is the one for brats. When I first heard there was going to be a brats recipe I (wrongfully) assumed it would be another vital wheat gluten based one. I have loads of those going back to the 1970's. I was pleasantly surprised to see it's made with cannelini & pinto beans, rice and oats (think Jeff Novick and his Burgers and Fries DVD). And it uses rice paper wrappers for the "skin" part of the sausage. Unfortunately for me, just like when Shayda posted her famous stir-fry spring roll wraps on the UWL FB community (Sorry, you have to be a member for that link to work), I won't be making them as-written because I have no easy access to rice paper wrappers. Yes, I can order them from Amazon, but with the luck I have with fragile things and Amazon, they would probably arrive ripped to pieces and be unusable. At least the book offers a variety of flavorings for the sausages, but then again, so does Jeff in his DVD.

A few of the chilis look interesting, but familiar, as do the lasagnas.

I took a quick skim of the desserts section, and as feared, it's full of nuts, sweeteners, even tofu. There's a very unappetizingly named thing they call "Bear Scat" that's made with chocolate chips and fruit.

Am I still disappointed I bought this book? Yeah. Will I return them for a refund? Probably not. Right now I've been cooking very simple meals, but perhaps in the future I may look for more complex recipes again. I already own every other Essesltyn book out there, whether it's the father, mother, son, or daughter. Each book has something I can use, even if the recipes need to be tweaked to suit our family's requirements, which most resemble those of Dr. Esselstyn, thanks to my husband's past CABG surgery and my cardiomyopathy, and gluten-free and potato-free thanks to my auto-immune diseases. 

My recommendation requirements still stand. If you're a family in transition from the SAD way of eating, if you have no medical conditions, and if you were born into a family of tall, thin people like the Essesltyns, go for it and enjoy all the recipes as written. Enjoy the nuts, the maple syrup, the tofu! For the rest of us, there's a lot of tweaking and substituting to do. If you already own the other Esselstyn books and don't like repeats, do the Look Inside the Book feature on the bookstore web sites and take a peek at the table of contents or the index first and then decide. Like me, you may wind up buying it anyway.

Friday, November 24, 2017


If you love potatoes - and what McDougaller doesn't? - the you NEED to buy Jeanine Elder's newly release ebook, The Potato Reset.

Sure, she has a load of potato recipes on her YouTube channel, like:


or even

but the book has all those AND MORE!! French Toast potatoes? Yum! Over a dozen different sauces and dips? Salt-free spice mixtures to make? Almost everything here is even MWLP safe, too!

Really, everyone needs to get this e-book!

And you may as well grab it this holiday weekend while she's having a half-price Launch Weekend sale!! You can't beat it for the price of $12.50 if you want easy, low-cost, healthy potato recipes! Whether you love white, red, Gold, russets, or any of the varieties of sweet potatoes, this book is for you!

Oh, and she outlines her Potato Reset weight loss plan, too, an added bonus. :) You could already get the free 3-day version of that on her website, but the book goes into a little more detail. 

I'm sure a lot of you probably already spent over $60 to get Jill McKeever's Soy Curls books, so why not shell out just a little bit more money to get even healthier potato recipes.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Updated McDougall Holiday Recipe Guide Released

Dr. McDougall posted the following on his Facebook page today:

Holiday Meal Planning & Recipes (Updated) - Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away. Time to plan ahead. In this article, Mary has laid out a complete menu, shopping list, and time schedule so that you will be able to more easily prepare a successful meal to enjoy with your friends and family.
"This time of year, the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays frighten many people who eat a healthy diet. They wonder how to socialize with friends and how to prepare a meal in their home. These two days are supposed to be the largest feasts of the year."
This time of year, the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays frighten many people who eat a healthy…

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

No New Webinars Until 2018?!?!

Dr. McDougall's Health & Medical Center
The October 10, 2017 wildfires in Northern California destroyed our home and studio. The webinars will be postponed for the months of November and December. This will give us time to reconfigure our webinars and bring even more value-packed sessions to you.
All of the McDougall staff are well and excited about helping you discontinue unnecessary medications and other medical treatments and helping you lose excess body fat and regain your health.
The McDougall Program is alive and well and all 10-Day Programs and 3-Day Weekends are on as scheduled! Please consider attending one of these programs. To register for any of the live programs in Santa Rosa, please go to

You will find our past recorded webinars of value and they are listed here:

Please remember that the website is active and contains answers to almost every question that you might have. The SEARCH feature can be found at Just type any topic there and you will be given all the newsletters and videos in which Dr. McDougall discusses your request.

You are still encouraged to write to Dr. McDougall with your important questions at You will receive a prompt personal response from me.

We will keep you updated.
John McDougall, MD

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Even Riff-Trax (former MST3K Guys) Love Potatoes

We're MST3K fans from way back, and have followed the band of merry men (and 2 women) from Mystery Science Theater to Cinematic Titanic to Riff-Trax and back to MST3K. I get emails frequently from the Riff-Trak guys about special releases and sales. Today, I woke up to this. The subject header on the email was: Potato-Based Fuel and the Cheeziest of Martial Arts? It's time for a new riff!

Hey! It’s not Kill and Take The Afternoon Off to Catch Up on Reading, it’s Kill and Kill Again! So get off your lazy duff and back to work!
Who’s doing all this killing and follow-up repeat killing? Mostly Steve Chase, the world’s greatest martial artist. You wouldn’t know he’s the best from seeing his martial arts, but the movie tells you several times he’s the best, so he must be. The South African government needs him to rescue a scientist who’s been kidnapped and forced to create an army of martial artists to conquer the world.
And if you can think of a more efficient way to conquer the world, you can just keep it to yourself!

Oh, and also? The entire plot centers around making fuel from potatoes. So yeah, it’s your standard South African martial arts extravaganza based around root vegetable gasoline.

You’re gonna love it, and love it again, with Mike, Kevin and Bill!
Riff and Riff Again!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Message from Dr McDougall

Dr. McDougall posted this on the forums today:

Dr. McDougall Update

Postby John McDougall » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:36 am
Mary and I are well and with family.

All our material possessions are lost. The same for Heather's and Tiffany's families.

The McDougall Program (10-day, 3-day, etc.) is alive and well and continues with as few interruptions as possible.

Many people want to help us. Thank you.

But there are no official donation programs and any you may see are not authorized - do not donate to any of these.

We are humbled by the many offers of help. We may have many unexpected financial pressures, and if we decide to seek any help from you, our friends, we will let you know.

John McDougall, MD
User avatar
John McDougall
Site Admin
Posts: 491
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2006 11:08 pm

Fundraiser for the McDougall Family

As you all probably know by now, Dr. and Mary McDougall and his two daughters' homes were all wiped out in the fires at Santa Rosa earlier this week. All John and Mary were left with were the clothes on their back, one phone and one computer. Even their cars are gone. No word on the cat - people keep asking.

They're currently staying with friends, far away from the fires, after being evacuated from the hotel they were first brought to.

There's been a lot of talk on-line about fundraisers for them all, and on Wednesday, some said one was already up on GoFundMe, but that one is NOT an official McDougall fundraiser.

Jeff Novick announced:

The response to help the McDougalls has been overwhelming. 
I have been in conversation with the McDougalls, the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and many of the WFPB docs about setting up a go-fund me or something similar. We should know more later today or tomorrow the latest. 
As soon as we get it set up I will post the information and links here.
In Health

So, as of 6am EDT today, there was no official fundraiser set up. Keep watching the official McDougall forums for an announcement of one, not any of the unofficial McDougall Facebook communities.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

And Jeff Defends It

In a new post on the official McDougall forums, Jeff Novick, the McDougall program's own dietitian, wrote the following in a post defending the McDougall Maximum Weight Loss Program. He offers many quotes by Dr. McDougall, even links to the newsletters explaining the MWLP as-written.

Jeff said at one point:

The recommendations of Dr McDougall and myself come from not only a thorough review and understanding of the scientific literature on these issues, but also from decades of clinical experience working with clients in a closed residential setting.
However, in the last few years, people have come up with their own personal ways to improve the MWL program, usually based on their own short term experience. Most often, they do not have the understanding of the literature or the longterm clinical experience we do. In addition, we are not interested in promoting modifications to the MWL to produce short term results that will be unsustainable for most people. As Dr McDougall always says at the program, we are not here for instant results, we are here to get you to like the food and teach you a sustainable program. We could easily serve you an all (or mostly) vegetable diet and you would have better initial short-term results but it will be unsustainable. 
It is important to realize that any modifications to the MWL that are not in the above newsletters, or that do not come directly from Dr McDougall or myself, are not part of the MWL program, nor do we recommend them.

and later in the post he added:

People will often say, I was doing the MWL program but it wasn't working till I also did "X," to which they are often unaware that "X" Is already a part of the MWL program. On the other hand, people will often say they are following the MWL program and doing "Y" but they are unaware that "Y" is not part of the MWL program nor recommended. 

Before making adjustments to the MWL program, we recommend you give the MWL program with the refinements a fair and honest chance. 

Here are a few of the adjustments people make that are not recommended. None of these are new. All have been around for a long time and seem to get recycled every few years

- A predominately raw food diet
- Eating only raw foods till 4 PM
- Intermittent fasting
- Restricted feeding window
- Extended fasts to lose weight
- Smoothies 
- Juicing
- Basing their diet on non-starchy vegetables.
- Not including starch at each meal.
- Delaying the starch component of a meal.
- Eating only fruit for breakfast
- Eating only non-starchy vegetables for breakfast
- Excessive or extreme exercise
- Food Combining
- Meal Replacements
- Supplements 

In regard to added salt and added sugar, we recommend buying and preparing food without either and if any are to be used, to add them at the table on the surface of the food. If either one is troublesome and create uncontrollable cravings for you, then leave them out.

Clear enough? And to think, it doesn't cost anything to follow that food plan, and there's oodles of free on-line support on the official McDougall discussion boards!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dr. McDougall Disses MWLP

How did I miss this interview between Jeanne Schumacher, the woman who does the cooking videos on the McDougall website, and Dr. McDougall about the Maximun Weight Loss Program?

Once again, Dr. McD expresses his regret over writing the MWLP book, and even telling us all about the Mary's Mini!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

My New Obsession - Engine 2 Cheezy Chickpeas

I would eat these every day if I could, they're that good!

Here's the original recipe, written by Engine 2 coach Ami to the Engine 2 blog and also posted to the Engine 2 Seven Day Diet Rescue Facebook community:


  • 1 15-ounce can no salt added or low sodium chickpeas (do not drain and rinse!)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoons Bragg liquid aminos
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
InstructionsDrain the liquid from the canned chickpeas into a small saucepan. Add the Bragg liquid aminos, then whisk in the nutritional yeast and whole wheat flour until well combined. Simmer on medium heat until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add chickpeas and stir to cover.
Serve over cooked brown rice, baked potatoes, whole wheat pasta or your favorite grain – and load it up with some fresh or steamed greens!Servings: 2
Well, on the FB version, Ami doesn't mention this is 2 servings, and AFAIK, all of us there who were making this eat the whole shebang ourselves in one sitting, many saying they double it. 

Using homemade beans won't work with this, because you need the bean liquid - a.k.a. aquafaba - to make it work. Water or broth just isn't thick enough. 

Although the recipe calls for wheat flour, I use Mary McDougall's preferred flour for gravy, rice flour. Never a lump in her gravy recipes or in this one. 

One can of beans makes enough sauce for an entire pound of broccoli, as seen here:

This is what I've been having for lunch a few times a week. I have to restrict myself to that because other days we have beans or lentils for dinner, and Dr. McDougall does limit us to an average of one cup of beans or legumes per day. But if he didn't? Oh, yeah, this would be my every day lunch!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

What's the Big Deal About Air Frying?

I admit, I felt a bit jealous when the air frying fad started a few months ago and really wished our apartment kitchen wasn't so small so I could fit even the smaller of the Phillips, but after seeing how big even that was in Bed, Bath, Beyond one day, and knowing all our other storage spaces are totally maxed out, I walked away with a sigh.

That didn't stop me from joining an air fryer (low-fat vegan, of course) Facebook community, or drooling over all those new concoctions Chef AJ was posting pictures of everywhere. I clicked to the next post with another sigh.

I told myself I could clear out the closet that holds my sewing supplies to store one, then realized I still use that stuff, frequently. Crafting supplies? No, still use a lot of that, too. Um, under the bed? This is how desperate I was, thinking I could fit an air fryer under the bed!

I started reading reviews of various air fryers on Amazon, just in case we hit the lottery and can afford to move into a larger apartment, preferably in Florida again.

Now, those of you who come here often know I can be a bit of a crank at times, always crabby and complaining about something, major or minor. Grumpy Cat and Maxine are my heroes. When I read reviews on Amazon, I don't go to the 5 star ones - too many of them are fake or bought. I mean, I want to get in on being a Vine reviewer, they seem to get every single item in the store for free, just for a review! No, being the realist I am, I go right for the one-star ones.

And I saw the chink in the armor.

Even the best air fryers had complaints about them, from arriving broken to the timer settings suddenly while unattended. On rare occasions, a fire would break out, or the cooking food would become so smoky, the room's smoke alarms would go off.

OK, I can see how cooking greasy foods could do some of those things, so those bad reviews didn't turn me 100% wanting one.

But there was this one reviewer who asked what the big deal was about this appliance. Potatoes cut into fry shapes come out hard, burnt around the edges, and hollow on the inside. Vegetables cooked in it just looked and tasted charred. Other items were just so dried out they were inedible. I sat there and yelled at the monitor (My husband will vouch for the fact that I do this at least twice a day) and said "Well, what did you expect would happen? You're tossing vegetables into a 400ºF or higher oven with a fan blowing on them to make it hotter! Of course they're charred and dried out!!"

And that's when it hit me.

When people on the Ultimate Weight Loss community made a big deal out of oven roasting vegetables I tried it, and disliked it for the same exact reasons this man disliked the air fryer!  People asked about the caloric density of doing this, because as Jeff Novick explains in his Caloric Density video (Still free on YouTube), when you remove the water from a food you're increasing its caloric density. The reply was, if it gets you eating your vegetables (2-4 pounds a day), don't worry about the caloric density. That was the same response to flavored vinegars, an item Jeff had called Balsamic Crack. So now we're taking veggies, coating them in balsamic crack, and removing their water, causing a previously low caloric density to rise to astronomic heights! Is it still healthy? Well, maybe if you have never eaten a vegetable before in your life and this is the only way to trick you into eating them. But I would put this into the same category as making peanut butter and chocolate flavored green smoothies, an actual recipe I saw on the Eat to Live message board. I doubt Dr. McDougall or Jeff Novick would approve of either one.

But I'm OCD, and in the back of my mind, I still wanted to at least try one to see if I liked it. I know, an impossible feat, since I don't know anyone in real life who owns one, so I tried let the thought leave my head and filled it with nice steamed veggies with my healthy bean or oat based nutritional yeast cheese sauce or a McDougall gravy.

Then we had a heat wave. For about 5 days we had temps in the 90's. My son came home from work one day and didn't want his usual early dinner of pasta with marinara sauce. He wanted grilled cheese, so on the way home he stopped for a loaf of bread and package of cheese slices. No, he's not a McDougaller, a vegan, or even a full time vegetarian, even after the scare of his father needing CABG 4 years ago and his own ER trip with chest pains which turned out to be  panic attack. I made him fat-free vegan cheese from a recipe found on-line a few years ago, but although his father and I loved it, he didn't.

Anyway, to make his grilled cheese he needed the toaster oven instead of the toaster. Again, small apartment, infrequently used appliances stored in every nook and cranny we would find. The toaster oven was in the front hallway under Christmas decorations, so while he took his shower I dug it out and brought it to the kitchen, moving the Instant pot to the bedroom until after dinner. While setting it up and making sure everything was there, I noticed that on the front door of the oven it said it was also a convection oven!! 


I could finally find out what the big deal is with air frying, since an air fryer is nothing more than a miniature convection oven. That night after he had his dinner, knowing he was probably going to use it until he ran out of bread and cheese, I found a more convenient corner to temporarily tuck it into. The next day around lunchtime I put it on the table and plugged it in. I popped a slice of parchment paper onto the roasting tray and dumped some cauliflower on it, put it in the oven, set it for convection roasting, 400ºF, and set the timer to 20 minutes, because that's the time and temp Chef AJ said she uses for everything.

After 20 minutes I had warm cauliflower.

I put it in again for another 20 minutes. When the timer dinged I had hot cauliflower, but nothing browned, blackened or slightly crispy. By then I was really hungry and my sweet potato was getting cold, so I just ate it as-is, vowing to try again in the near future.

Today was that day.

Instead of using raw, cold vegetables straight out of the refrigerator, I nuked up some Brussels sprouts. While that was cooking, I took a Japanese sweet potato out of the refrigerator, sliced it in half, and once again put parchment paper on the tray and put the tray in the oven, this time setting the temp on 450ºF. The potato Chef AJ made the other day looked interesting so I thought I'd give it a try. At 10 minutes the edges of the skin were getting crispy, so something was happening this time. But at 20 minutes, I not only had crispy skin, but a really dried out potato.

Now for the Brussels sprouts. One thing I noticed with all of Chef AJ's veggies is that she coats her Brussels sprouts with the balsamic/mustard concoction, so I did that with mine. I keep a bottle of it in the refrigerator as a salad dressing so it was easy enough to grab, pour, and toss. Onto the roasting tray they go, and in the oven for 20 minutes at 450º again. At 10 minutes I shook the tray, turning them all over to the other side. A little browning on the side that was on the bottom, but not much. At 20 minutes, I shook them again, and again a little browning, but nothing like the dark, charred look that Chef AJ and others get with an air fryer. So I let it cook for another 10, 20 minutes for a total of 40 minutes at 450º.

It says "Convection" in that oval in the lower right hand corner of the door

So, once again, I say "What's the big deal about air frying?" 

I won't be wasting any more time or food on this idea. If you like air fried food, great! Even as a kid eating the crappiest version of the SAD diet there is, I would always prefer my hotdogs boiled instead of cooked on a grill. I preferred plain white bread and cheese sandwiches to grilled cheese. If my hamburger was crunchy on the outside I would give it to one of my brothers and ask for a hot dog or cheese sandwich. I guess air frying is an acquired taste.

My sewing and crafting supplies are happy.

Friday, June 2, 2017

What the Health - Updated 3June17

The movie, What the Health, is now available for free on YouTube. It was good - not as good as Forks Over Knives, but almost. My main complaint about it? Not nearly enough time with Dr. McDougall!

Sorry, folks. I just found out that YouTube's version is pirated, that it was not put there by anyone associated with the film. Sorry about that. I just deleted the link to it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Just Tired of It All

This morning I go to Blogger to moderate some replies that came in overnight, and find over 100 messages in the pending queue awaiting moderation going back a year or more that I was never notified of. The majority of them were spam, many not even in English, and were marked as such and deleted. A few were angry letters that were anti-McDougall, pro-other eating plans that were not WFPB no added S-O-S. There were even fewer from people who accused me of being too angry, too strict, too lenient, or other complaints. They, too, were deleted. The rest were approved and posted on the posts they were replies to, one from about 4 years ago. Funny thing is, I'm on the Blogger site at least once a week and I swear those old messages were not there. 

I had my opthalmologist appoint the other day, the one that had to be cancelled when I had the bronchitis back in April. I've had some weirdness in my vision going on for about a week and he said it sounded like migraine auras, but he said they shouldn't be happening every day, as mine are. But I told him  these look nothing like I've seen migraine auras depicted on Google Images or how my husband describes his own migraine auras. And I have no history of migraines, although my son does since early childhood. He admitted it would be strange to start getting them at this late stage of the game, and I reminded him my husband was in his late 50's when he got his first migraine aura. Each and every morning when I wake up, the top and bottom of my field of vision appear to vibrate or flicker, like an old time movie projector, for anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes. He asked about aspirin use, my blood pressure, and when I last saw my primary care doc for a check-up, and I told him I take a daily low-dose aspirin tablet, my BP is being controlled by low-dose fosinopril and stays around 110/60 to 130/80, depending on time of day and how stressed out I am, and I told him all about last month's doctor visit and lab results. He has no clue what else it could be besides the auras. If it turns out not to be migraine auras (scintillating scotoma is the official medical term), it may be something related to my auto-immune disease or something else, to keep an eye on it, and if it gets worse, go back to my primary care doc and see what he wants to do, maybe an MRI and a neuro consultation. Thanks, Doc. This is the guy who diagnosed my auto-immune problems and said to have my primary doc run the slew of tests. He's a very smart guy, in business 40 years now, and knows more than any other eye doc I had ever been to. If he doesn't know, I'm doomed!

Tomorrow is my dentist appointment, something else that was cancelled when I was still coughing. So it's 7 months check-up instead of 6 - he'll understand.

BTW, I still get laryngitis. That cough really did a number on my vocal cords. I may wind up at the ENT doc for this if it keeps up much longer.

A few days ago, Ginnie Messina's latest book, Even Vegans Die, was mentioned in the McDougall forums in a thread about Denise Minger. Back before I McDougalled I was already eating veg and had belonged to the Vegetarian Resource Group and got their magazine, and she was a steady contributor. I liked her recipes and read many of her books. Because she doesn't believe in being as low fat as Dr. McD does, I stopped reading her works years ago and also let my membership to the VRG drop. But her latest book does look interesting. I always felt like such a failure on the McD (and other WFPB) forums because I do everything according to plan and still get sick, still am not at a so-called "healthy" weight. She touches on all of these things in the book, according to the descriptions of it. I look forward to reading it. Hey, I'm in my mid-60's - time to think about the finish line, now that the race is almost over. My husband and I already revised our wills, powers of attorney, and DNR forms after his CABG surgery, and all 3 of us know where all the important papers are, who to call, and what to do in the even one of both of us do die suddenly. The only relative who needs to get notified (outside of our son, of course) is my brother. Everyone, even WFPB SOS-free vegans, die.

I may stop writing this blog. The only things besides medical updates have been links to videos. I haven't tried any new recipes in ages, because not only do I have a lot of food restrictions right now (gluten-free, nightshade-free, or at least greatly reduced, as well as WFPB no added S-O-S), but I'm just too tired to play around with complex recipes. I've been making a lot of rice or sweet potato and veg meals and add a sauce or gravy to go with it, like one of Chef AJ's, Mary McDougall's, or an Esselstyn one. On a bad day I just shake a little coconut aminos, watered down Bragg's, or nooch on top. My tastebuds still aren't 100%, and some foods I used to love before, like pea soup or carrots, just taste weird to me now. And even with eating cleaner, lighter, and less total calories, my weight is slowly creeping up again, regaining the pounds lost when sick.

We even stopped discussing a possible move back to Florida - it's just too much trouble to pack everything up again, move it all 1200 miles again, find an affordable place to live again, set up a new apartment or house again, and find all new doctors, barbers, stores, new job for our son, etc. again. We know that unless the owner sells this house (He has no plans to do so, as far as I know.), this is where we will be living when we die, and it's just so darn depressing to think that, but it's easier than moving, even if we do have to walk up three flights of stairs and go through winters being trapped in the house because of 3 feet of snow and 5-degree temps (with negative degree wind chills).

I'm just tired of it all. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Body Manifesto - Dr. Linda Bacon

Click HERE to go to Dr. Bacon's web site. I've been a fan of her books for years.

Linda Bacon, PhD

inspiring a global transformation to a more just world,
where all bodies are valued,
and supported in compassionate self-care

Friday, May 12, 2017

Webinar May 11, 2017 - Dr. Lisle

The sound is messed up and they know it. In fact, it was non-existent for the first 10-15 minutes, which is why this webinar is less than 40 minutes long and starts in mid-sentence. At least they kept trying and didn't just cancel it like they had to do so many times in the past recently. 

I really wish Gustavo would get himself a decent microphone to use in all these webinars, including the ones he does with Chef AJ, when he just follows her around and holds his laptop up to record things. Healthy Taste of Sacramento a few months ago was a total waste of money - even people with normal hearing complained you could barely hear the speakers, and people like me, with hearing loss, just sat there trying to lipread while Gustavo kept shaking his laptop around. Sad, because I really wanted to hear what the two Drs. McDougall had to say.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Another Free Cooking Webinar by Chef AJ

Title: How to Make Plant-Based Food for Parties!

For parties? Well, she was going to serve some of these items at her birthday party later that week.

Artichokes made in the Instant Pot
Mexican Lasagna
A 4-layered frozen fruit dessert, a parfait made in a springform cake pan instead of parfait glasses
Hibiscus tea using dried hibiscus flowers purchased through Amazon
Anja's (Cooking with Plants on YouTube) Smoked Paprika Cheese
Crackers made of blended frozen corn, spread out and dried in a dehydrator

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Happy World Qigong Day!

World Qigong Day is here again!

Lee Holden explains what "qi" is, and in this video, gives a brief history of qigong. Unlike some forms of yoga, it has no religious elements to it.

And here is a 10 minute "press release" talking about the celebration and showing scenes from past World Tai Chi and Qigong Days:

Digestive Tune-Up Webinar # 6 - Chapter 9

I can't find any video replay from April 20th, the week my husband was on vacation and we were out of the house almost all day, every day. Was it even held? I didn't think so until Gustavo says on this one that there were questions about last week's talk. Neither Gustavo's or Dr. McD's YouTube pages have it, so I'm going to assume it was never held for some reason. With all the technical glitches they've been having, I can't say I'm surprised if it was cancelled.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

What's Been Happening

My husband was off work from Good Friday until this past Monday. He first started taking a Spring vacation when the kid was in elementary school and had the week off, and just continued to take them even after he (the kid) was homeschooled, then in college and beyond. I was not looking forward to it this year, since I'm still not 100% recovered from that darn bronchitis. I still have the occasional coughing fit, my voice is still "off" and some days the laryngitis returns, and my strength is still only about half of what it should be.

But we had our schedule to keep, and every day we had somewhere to go, something to do. We had hair cuts, I had lab work, we hit some stores a half hour a half hour away and others more than an hour away, we had both cars brought in for Spring checkups, then wound up needing work done on one of them, then had an even bigger problem with it the day after we got it back. Of course, the garage couldn't reproduce the problem so have no idea what caused it or how to fix it. We now live in dread it's going to happen again.

One of the good (?) things that happened during vacation was my husband buying me an iPad Mini as kind of a get well gift, something to try make me happy again after going through these 2 months of coughing and extreme fatigue. It's my first Apple product, and my brain is as fatigued as the rest of my body, so of course I'm having problems understanding how different apps work and getting frustrated because the Apple mobile versions of various programs are so stripped down from the PC versions that I use. I've threatened to hit the "Return to factory defaults" button and return it to Best Buy a few times already, and have until next Monday to do so. I'm still not sure I want to keep it today, 10 days after purchase. My son is mad, because he's the one that suggested to my husband he should buy it for me, even though he (the kid) knew my objections to mobile devices for over a year now. The only reason I didn't already return it as this guilt trip I knew he would lay on me if I did and how disappointed my husband would be in "rejecting" his gift. I'd rather he spent the money on a VitaMix.

Another day we hit Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, usually an hour drive away, but thanks to roadway construction on almost every road between here and there, it took over 90 minutes each way. It wasn't worth the time or aggravation. The selection in both stores was awful, and almost everything I touched in Whole Foods was outdated, one jar of engine 2 sauce dated October 2015 - yes, 2015! It was the trip home, after being detoured for the third time in 5 miles, when the car started acting up, the engine revving at a high rate while we were stopped at a red light. Although in drive, the car wasn't trying to race forward - it was just making the revving noise. We got home, tossed frozen food in the freezer, refrigerated food in the fridge, and called the mechanic who worked on it the day before, who said to bring it right in. He kept it for 3 days, using it as the shop car all that time, and not once did it happen again. He blamed the car's age. It's only 25 years old! 

I got my yearly labwork drawn on Wednesday. Great news for a change when we went on Friday afternoon for the results. Here's just a snippet of it, but the most important part:

When I have the doctor's phlebotomist draw the blood at the office, my LDL and trig results had been high; but when I go direct to the LabCorp lab in town, I get results like these. Needless to say, I'm not having his phlebotomists draw blood ever again.

Both the student and the doc did their exams, and the doc was happy to hear how clear my lungs are, even though I'm still not 100% recovered from the bronchitis. He said it's going to take time. It's been 2 months, doc! My vocal chords are still inflamed and my voice is weak from it, and I still have a cough, but thankfully not as bad as before. I told him I'm still weak and fatigued, not even able to get through the grocery store without having to stop and rest every few aisles. "Keep at it" was his response. I was told to go and live my life, not come back unless I get sick again, that I don't even need to repeat labs next year. Office policy has changed and I can now request renew for my meds on-line, without having to make another office visit. Now if only the state of NJ would change their laws and let us get our own labwork without a prescription, I'd be a happy gal.

Toss in a trip to the laundromat, another to DMV, 2 visits to the local grocery store, one to Walgreens, and that's how we spent our April vacation. Hubby's next planned week off work is in August. He already made me promise not to drag him to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's again. I made him promise not to buy me any more electronics. Already that vacation looks better than this past one.