Friday, April 3, 2015

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Lentils may not be much to look at but they sure do make a satisfying stew! Enter John and Mary McDougall’s Lentil Vegetable Soup from The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss—deceptively delicious fare for such a down-to-earth recipe. Cooked last Saturday afternoon, the only thing I added was a little salt to taste, as none was referenced. I even had the fresh parsley garnish on hand courtesy of my own little herb garden! Cool!

I can’t say enough good about Dr. McDougall’s book. It's brimming with helpful information about why we put on the pounds (no, you’re not eating too much) and how to release the weight that plagues you permanently (and no, you never have to count calories!)  Not only is the concept of weight loss succinctly (and humorously) explained but it is also demonstrated practically via lovely, tasty recipes such as this one. Maybe the path to a fit and trim body isn’t as arduous as once thought...


The paperback pictured belongs to the Salt Lake County library and is obviously well loved. As for myself this is probably the third time I have checked it out from the system since first discovering it last summer. Maybe it’s time to break down and get my own copy?! In the meantime, I can always peruse the doctor's website www.drmcdougall.com for additional recipes, educational videos on every topic imaginable, and, (my favorite,) real success stories from regular people who found their health again simply by eating right.

Now it's your turn! Go treat yourself to a warm bowl of lentil vegetable soup. Enjoy!




Thursday, March 5, 2015

Elephants Never Forget



Me at Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus Protest, Sep. 24, 2014  SLC, Utah
What a fantastic morning!  I get on the web to check my emails and Facebook and what do I find but tens of press releases and commentaries stating that Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey just announced plans to remove elephants from their traveling circus performances!

"The Feld Family, owners of Feld Entertainment, Inc., the parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey®, announced plans today to remove Asian elephants from their traveling circus performances. Under the plan, 13 elephants currently traveling with the three Ringling Bros. circus units will be relocated to the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant for Conservation® in Florida by 2018. There they will join the rest of the Ringling Bros. herd of more than 40 elephants.  […] The circus will continue to feature other extraordinary animal performers, including tigers, lions, horses, dogs and camels." 
http://www.feldentertainment.com/PressRoom/DisplayPressRelease/75870/

This is incredible news!!  Unfortunately these changes will not be fully executed until 2018, nor are they removing all the animal features from their shows.  It’s not perfect, but it is certainly progress.  Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey is a leader in this industry.  I hope their example today will have an impact for good on other animal circuses, influencing them to make the same changes to their entertainment lineups.  Dare I hope?!

Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus Protest - September 24, 2014 Salt Lake City, Utah
As someone who has taken an active part in exposing the realities of elephants in entertainment, discouraging public support of such forums, this progress means worlds to me!  I feel proud to have played a part in this change!  A very small part, granted, but still a role, adding my presence to that of thousands of concerned citizens.  And I was but a recent convert to the cause.  I can only imagine how thrilled other animal activists must be—those who have carried this banner for years upon years, seeing little to no results—until today!  

 The real winners are the elephants.  May they find rest and peace as they are transitioned out of entertainment and reunited with the conservation herd.  I don’t know exactly what the conditions are like there, but minus the relentless rigors of training, touring, performing, cages, and bullhooks they are sure to be much more comfortable.

There is still work to be done here—the non-elephant animals in the circus deserve freedom as surely as their large, grey and scaly friends.  But today we must acknowledge a huge victory.  Maybe, just maybe, the country’s prevailing attitude toward animals is changing.  Are people waking up to what’s really going on and demanding something different—something better?  Compassion?!

They say elephants never forget.  Well, I will never forget this day… Today I celebrate progress!  May there be more of it in days and years to come.

Monday, February 9, 2015

No Preeminence

I have a goal to read the entire Old Testament--something I have never done before. I started last spring and now that very season is approaching again!  It's been a long journey but I'm not giving up!

Tonight I read some beautiful passages in Ecclesiastes 3:18-21:

I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

A MAN HATH NO PREEMINENCE ABOVE A BEAST??

[WE] HAVE ALL ONE BREATH?!

Wow, this is profound... 

Me and Penny at Ching Farm Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, Riverton Utah - Novemeber 3, 2012
I am so grateful to Father in Heaven for the scriptures--for the insight and clarification they impart!  The souls of our animal friends are just as precious as our own--we are all connected to each other!  We ought to give their precious lives the same consideration that we give ourselves.

The wisdom of Solomon--the wisdom of God--lives on.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Evolution


I haven’t blogged in years so it’s high time I post an update!  First of all, I am still vegan!  Actually, it will be my husband’s and my 9th Vegan-versary this April—YAY!  But I have changed…

Evolved. 

Over the past few years, as I continued to study the many materials of animal-friendly organizations and doctors, I decided to further widen my circle of compassion to include… me!  Somewhere along the way I began focusing on animal rights and environmental issues more and more, becoming less and less concerned with exactly what I was taking into my own miraculous body.  Of course, everything I put in my mouth was vegan—that was good enough, right?  Not exactly.  While my meals were certainly free of scrambled eggs, chicken wings, and cheese-laden pizzas, the foods I was replacing them with were not much better nutritionally: a lot of added oil, sugar, refined foods, processed junk and, in short, food-like substances.  Chips, soy cheese, and mock-meats are yummy but just as calorically-dense and/or artificial as anything. 

So there I was, successfully eating to save life on earth and, at the same time, failing to save my own!  I wished long and healthy lives on all my farm and furry friends—didn’t I deserve at least the same consideration??  Of course!  We all do!  Besides, it was my quest for health and fitness that led me to “vegan” in the first place—it was time to get back to my roots!  After another two or three years of personal research and experience I have found that a starch-based, plant-based, whole-foods (WFPB) diet is right on par: potatoes, rice, beans, pasta, squash, and every conceivable variety of grain, legume, vegetable, and fruit!  Who knew delicious could be so nutritious?!  And I can keep all my compassionate tenets while still properly nourishing my body—a win-win!  

My NINE YEAR vegan journey has been amazing!  I have grown so much in confidence and in truth.  I know that God has guided my feet aright and led me to good resources and good people.  Line upon line, precept upon precept, I know I am becoming the woman He wants me to be.  For these many blessings, and others, I am truly grateful.  Now I feel a strong desire to share all that I have learned—be a “food” missionary!  I’m not very good at it yet, but with my Heavenly Father’s help I know I can do anything! 

In closing, I want to direct you to some of the best resources I have found for compassionate, starchy, WFBP eating.  Each of these men have written books (which include recipes!)  And you can conveniently review their programs and lectures on the web and on Facebook.   

Love and success and continued learning to you!  Enjoy YOUR journey…

·         Dr. Neal Barnard, MD and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (www.PCRM.org)
·         Dr. John McDougall, MD of the Dr. McDougall’s Health and Medical Center (www.drmcdougall.com)
·         Dr. T. Colin Campbell and the Center for Nutrition Studies (www.nutritionstudies.org)
·         Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., MD of the Dr. Esselstyn’s Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Program (www.dresselstyn.com)
·         Rip Esselstyn and the Engine 2 Diet (www.engine2diet.com)
·         Michael Greger, MD of Nutrition Facts (www.NutritionFacts.org)
·         Forks Over Knives documentary – a classic! (www.forksoverknives.com)
(Update 6/2017) What The Health documentary (WhatTheHealthFilm.com)
(Update 6/2017) Eating You Alive documentary (EatingYouAlive.com)
(Update 6/2017) TrueNorth Health Center (HealthPromoting.com)