Weight-loss On A Low-Fat, High-Carb, Starch-Based Diet

In this video I talk about my personal experience following Dr. John McDougall’s program The Starch Solution, how I feel on the program, what kind of weight-loss success I’ve experienced (or not), and how I will be proceeding in the future.

For those who don’t know, The Starch Solution is a low-fat, high-carb, whole-foods, plant-based eating plan whose central focus is based on eating most of your daily calories in the form of starch. What, exactly, is “starch”, you may ask? Well, it’s NOT refined grains in the form of white bread, pastries, cakes, cookies, etc. Dr. McDougall defines starches as “whole plant foods” such as; potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, starchy squashes like butternut, acorn, and pumpkin, brown rice, corn, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, or any other whole grain. He does allow for some whole grain breads and pastas but mostly for those who don’t have a lot of weight to lose. These foods are the center of each meal. They are to be supplemented by other green, yellow, orange, and red vegetables and some fruits. Absolutely NO added fats or refined oils are allowed. And they prefer that you consume no caffeinated beverages, carbonated beverages, or alcohol. That is the essence of the program. Watch the video to learn more about my own experience following Dr. McDougall’s plan.

New Year and New Focus

Tracy and Daughter, Rome, Italy, December 2015It’s been far too long since I last wrote a post on this site, so it’s time for me to update you and talk about my new year and new focus.

A lot has happened since mom passed away two months ago…

A short week and a half after mom left us my daughter and I departed for the adventure of a lifetime. She turned 30 years old in November and as a surprise gift for her I spent the better part of six months paying for an 11 day trip for the two of us to Greece (her life-long dream) and Italy. It was hard to leave such a short time after mom’s death…but like I said, I had been planning and paying and getting all of the arrangements made for this trip long before mom died.

So, we went.

And in truth, it was a very good experience. It helped me divorce myself, mentally and emotionally, from the energy surrounding mom’s passing and I think that was really beneficial in helping me cope with my own trauma.

We returned home to Portland late on the evening of December 14th, so Christmas was right upon us. But arriving back home…my mother’s death really hit me hard. She was my best, life-long friend. We talked nearly every day the last few months of her life, and frequently years prior to that. It’s been difficult realizing that I can’t call her to find out how she is doing any longer.

So, I kind of became a hermit for a little while there. Not wanting to talk to or interact with anyone. Just giving myself time to be sad…and angry. Angry that something so cruel and so brutal could happen to my little mother. This woman who had always given generously of her time, talents, and emotions to everyone she knew. It made me mad at the universe…and if there is a God…at that being, especially.

Anyhow…moving right along…

I finally put up and decorated our tree just three or four days before Christmas, not really feeling motivated or interested to bake goodies or sing carols or much else. I literally just took the tree down yesterday, lol! It had to stay up long enough to make it worth all the effort it took to put it up!

For Christmas Jeff purchased the two of us a surprise 2 night/3 day stay in a beach-front cottage over my birthday weekend. So, we just got back from there two days ago…and it was glorious to get away and have no distractions of work or any other obligations. Just peaceful, relaxing time alone to refresh and rejuvenate. We both really needed that.

The weeks following Christmas and up until my birthday weekend we spent several full days in the recording studio at The Hallowed Halls with various artists recording tracks for our upcoming Largest Band In The World album! I can hardly wait to share these songs with you! We’ve pretty much decided to release individual singles, one-at-a-time, instead of waiting to release the whole album all at once. So, I will be setting those loose into the world as each one is finished being mixed and mastered. Very awesome!

Today I am preparing a jewelry display to take to Saint Franks Music where, in addition to the beautiful guitars, bass guitars, ukuleles, tambourines, amps, and other items musicians will want, Deanna will be selling my handcrafted pieces of wearable art. I’m excited about seeing what people are attracted to!

So, you’re probably wondering about my “new year and new focus.” True, it’s January 27th…so you might be thinking that I’m a little late to the party when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. But hold on to your knickers a minute! MY BIRTHDAY was just three days ago! So, it truly IS a brand new year for me! And in this 54th year of my life I intend to see and experience a lot of great things! Focus this year will be first and foremost on helping Jeff build our software development company, Code Hat Labs. Second in line will be continuing to work with him on our Hot Chops Music projects (two of the bands we have been funding, Just People and Ian James Band, are releasing the cd’s they have been working on this past year in the next month or few!) and five of our own Largest Band In The World singles will be ready to release over the next several months! So, exciting times!

In addition to all of that, I am working on a book about the history of Mormonism, and in my “free time” I will continue to make handcrafted art, jewelry, and pyrography projects.

At the top of my list, above everything else, is my focus on health and fitness…my primary passion in life. Especially so after watching what happened to my father and mother. So, needless to say, I’m motivated to become as healthy as I possibly can be! Central to my plan will be “consistently” following a high-carb, low-fat, whole-foods, plant-based diet. After reading The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall, and other similar books, combined with my own, personal experience with the way animal foods, fat, and particularly dairy products react in my body, I am ALL ABOUT cutting out all those kind of foods and focusing only on wholesome, plant-strong ingredients. I really do LOVE this lifestyle! It’s not difficult for me, AT ALL, to go without fat and animal products!

Thanks for listening in…I look forward to hearing about what is going on in your life!

Hugs and Blessings,

Tracy

 

Mother’s Day Gift

 

My mother’s birthday is in May. In fact, every 7 years her birthday falls on Mother’s Day. Not this year…it’s one day off. But it’s still an extra special time for celebrating mom!

For the last several years my mother has been struggling with some dietary concerns so this year, instead of trying to choose a nick-knack for her house (something she already has PLENTY of!) I decided to purchase a few items for that would be more practical for her.

I know that she has been trying to stay away from all grains, sugars, fermented foods (except unfiltered apple cider vinegar), and most fruits or anything else that would turn to sugar in her system (so no starchy vegetables or legumes, either). And I also know that she has been feeling pretty deprived, living on such a limited diet. So I wanted to offer her some foods that would help her feel a sense of satisfaction when eating, like she could have some treats that would replace a few of the comfort foods she has been going without,

Mom lives in a very small town in Utah, with only one good sized grocery store. And it’s quite a drive to get to a city that has a health food store where she can acquire specialty items. And even if she can somehow get to one of these stores…the prices are normally way over priced.

About six months ago I became aware of a great online store called Vitacost where I have been purchasing some great products at fabulous prices! So, I decided to order some of these products for mom and have them shipped to her for her birthday & mother’s day. Here is what I included:

 

Eden Organic Buckwheat is a whole, raw food that really isn’t a grain at all, but can be used in place of grains! It can be eaten both cold and cooked, or ground into a flour! They were having an awesome sale when you purchase two (just $3.49 each), so I sent her two of these (I’ll share my recipe for a tasty and filling, raw, cold cereal below, so be sure to keep reading!)

 

 

 

Bob’s Red Mill Unsweetened Shredded Coconut was also on special 2 packages for just $2.97 each. Coconut is an AMAZING food that I knew mom could do really well with. A special consideration, in addition to all of the nutritional, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial attributes of coconut is the fact that it IS high in fat. Something mom should eat more of since she needs to put on more weight. The unsweetened kind means no added sugars, which is perfect for her!

 

 

Blue Diamond is the brand of almond milk I buy at the grocery store here in Beaverton, Oregon but it’s hard for her to find it where she lives. This one is an almond/coconut blend, which I thought would be ideal! Here are some of the benefits listed on the website:

  • Soy Free • Lactose Free
  • All Natural
  • Made from Real Almonds & Coconut
  • 50% More Calcium Than Milk
  • Contains No Cholesterol
  • Kosher
  • The almonds are carefully blended with coconut, to produce a rich, creamy, non-dairy milk.

  • FREE OF: Dairy, Soy, Lactose, Cholesterol, Casein, Gluten, Eggs, and MSG
  • All Natural with Added Vitamins & Minerals
  • Contains Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs)
  • An Excellent Source of Calcium, Vitamin D & E
  • Vegan

And at $2.79 for a 32 ounce container (shelf-stable) I included two in her box.
Best of All Stevia is the brand I have been ordering from Vitacost for a while now and I’m really pleased with the all-natural, non-bitter sweetening power that comes in these little packets! The awesome thing about stevia, too, is that…not only does it contain no calories and no carbohydrates…it doesn’t spike your blood sugar, either. So it won’t aggravate conditions such as diabetes or candida infections. This, I knew, would be a great tool in her arsenal for feel-good and dietary satisfaction! I knew that mom had used stevia in the past so was confident this would be a good addition for her. And at $7.99 per box of 100 packets the pricing is very competitive!

The last two items I included in her box were unfiltered apple cider vinegar and coconut flour.

 

VitaCost Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is a great, lower-cost replacement for Braggs apple cider vinegar (with the mother). I have used Braggs for years now, but I’ve discovered that the VitaCost brand is just as good, and at a reduced price, it’s a real bargain! Plus I love the convenience of having them ship it directly to my door, along with my other grocery products! It was just $4.49 for a 32 ounce bottle! And this is something that mom can put into a glass of cold water for a refreshing pick-me-up drink or she can also use it with olive oil or coconut oil for a yummy salad dressing, or alone drizzled on cooked spinach with a pat of butter. Delish!

 

Last but not least, coconut flour is an amazing ingredient that I knew mom hadn’t ever used before, and I expected that this ingredient would really open up a whole new world of possibilities for her, when it comes to making foods such as muffins (I’ll include my versatile One Minute Microwave Muffin recipe below), pancakes, cookies, biscuits, and other baked goods! If you’ve never used coconut flour before and you are gluten/wheat sensitive or intolerant, or don’t eat grains for whatever reason, you will be blown away by what coconut flour can do for your baking abilities! A small container goes a L-O-N-G way, too, because it is SUPER absorbent! So you don’t need to use nearly as much as you use of other flours.

 

It was such fun for me to walk my mom through making her first 1 Minute Microwave Muffin over the phone today! Hearing the joy in her voice as she was smelling the delicious aroma while it was cooking, and then listening as she enjoyed eating her first bite of a “baked” good that wouldn’t negatively impact her health…was really an awesome experience for me!

Ok, so here are the two recipes I promised you…

My Raw Breakfast Cereal –

1/4 cup raw buckwheat groats

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup raw old fashioned rolled oats (if you skip this ingredient simply increase the amount of buckwheat and coconut to 1/3 cup each)

1/4 cup raisins (optional, but delicious if well tolerated)

3 or 4 packets of stevia

3 or 4 shakes of sea salt

about 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Coconut/Almond/or other non-dairy milk to cover

Mix all ingredients in cereal bowl, except milk. Then add milk as desired.

*Applesauce is also a really yummy addition to this recipe!

One Minute Microwave Muffin –

1 large, whole egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond, maple, or lemon extract

1 Tbl. coconut oil, melted

Put all ingredients in a greased coffee mug (I like to spray with Pam vegetable oil spray) and stir well. Then add:

2 Tbl. coconut flour or ground flax seed meal

3 or 4 shakes of sea salt

2 – 4 packets of stevia, to taste

Other seasonings to taste may include: cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, poppy seeds, etc. Think almond poppy seed, lemon poppy seed, maple pumpkin pie spice, etc.

*1/4 cup raisins, blueberries, dried cranberries, chopped dates, or other dried fruit may be added if desired and well tolerated.

Stir until all ingredients are well incorporated and the consistency is that of a muffin batter…not too thick. Add a little water or almond/coconut milk if mixture is too thick & dry.

Place in microwave for 1 minute. If center is still gooey then cook for a few more seconds.

Take out of microwave and invert on saucer. Muffin should pop right out of the cup! Slather with butter and enjoy!

*Full Disclosure – I am a Vitacost affiliate and make a very small percentage of each sale when you choose to click on any of the products above and buy them through the Vitacost website. This helps support my blog, which I really appreciate Thanks!

Please do let me know if you try the recipes above or make new versions of them! I’d also love to hear about your experience with any of these products and your recommendations for how you use them!

Blessings and Hugs…and Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!

Tracy

September 2013 Newsletter – How Does Spirituality Impact Your Daily Life?

Tracy April 29, 2014 - smAs a professional intuitive coach it is my job to work with people, on a daily basis, who are unsatisfied with some aspect of their life; relationships, finances, and health issues being the top three areas of concern.

This unusual career path has given me the unique opportunity to look into other people’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions to gain an intimate view of their fears, vulnerabilities, and problems. It is my job to offer insight and guidance that will hopefully enable and empower each seeker to find meaning and direction along their own, individual path.

Another aspect of my work, however, is acting as a teacher…helping my clients understand that we each have intuitive ability, to one degree or another, and assisting them in the discovery process of learning how to access this ability and apply it to bless and enrich their own lives.

In that spirit, I offer this month’s newsletter. I hope it will give you something of substance to think about and consider implementing to enrich your daily life.

 

 

Sitting TogetherHow Does Spirituality Impact Your Love Life on a Daily Basis?

I am frequently baffled by the number of people who come to me wanting to know if I can cast a spell that will compel another person to change their attitude or behavior so that they (themselves) will then be happy. Many times clients want to know if I can perform a “Love Spell” on the other person to make them fall in love with them. My answer is always the same…

The only person you can truly change is YOU. Yes, spells can be very powerful. Just like prayers can be powerful. In fact, the two are very closely related. But here is the key…the person the spell is cast upon must know about it and BELIEVE in it in order for it to have an effect in their life. Just as all the Masters of every great world religion has always said when performing miracles “BY YOUR FAITH”…are you healed, the blind made to see, the lame made to walk, etc.

Allow me to illustrate – Let’s say when you were a teenager someone older than you and whom you viewed to be in a position of authority came to you, looked you in the eye, and said “You are stupid! You are good for nothing and you will never accomplish anything in your life!” That person just cast a spell on you. They planted a seed in your mind. But whether it takes root and grows…has an influence on your future…or not, is completely dependent upon whether or not you choose to NURTURE that seed. Give it POWER in your life. So, yes, spells can be very powerful…but only on the person it is cast upon IF they a.) Know about it, and b.) Give it power to have influence in their own life. We can never COMPEL someone else to do anything they do not want or at least agree to do. Free will is an eternal law.

But what we CAN do is learn about a particular person’s wants, desires, interests…and then BECOME a person who would be more attractive to them. Listen to them, learn compassion, emotionally connect with them and genuinely care about who they are. This DOESN’T mean we should try to be someone other than who we truly are in order to “trick” another person into falling in love with us. What it does mean is that we can become more sensitive to them, as a person.

But the most powerful way Spirituality can have an impact on your love life is by helping you connect with your true Soul Mate. Most people just “fall into” a relationship…with someone who was never meant to be life-long partner. But many times our ego and pride, and more often than not, our HORMONES, get in the way… and we want to force something that really wasn’t intended. I will discuss this topic in more detail in an upcoming newsletter…

Until then, if you’d like personalized guidance from Spirit, feel free to EMAIL ME

or Order Services Here

MoneyHow Does Spirituality Impact Your Finances and Career on a Daily Basis?

I love to engage people when I’m out and about! I’m a very social person, so when I’m at the grocery store or talking to an employee at a business I’m frequenting, one of my favorite topics of discussion is how the person I’m talking to enjoys their job. More often than not the response I get is that they can’t stand their work. They can hardly wait until they get off…thank goodness it’s Friday, etc. I find it curious how many people feel stuck in a job or occupation that, if they are lucky, they find tolerable, but more likely, they really can’t stand doing. If I press for more information people are almost always ready and more than willing to share all the details of why they detest their job; their boss is a jerk, they feel taken advantage of, they have been passed up for promotion, they aren’t getting paid what they are worth, etc., etc., etc.

I can relate because I, too, have held positions in the past as an employee, punching a time clock, and bemoaning my existence “just to pay the bills.” Fortunately, it has been a long time now since either my husband or I have held a job working for someone else. Jeff and I have been self-employed for many years now and neither of us can imagine working a regular, 9-5 JOB any longer. Given that, I know first hand the difference between having the freedom to stay up as late as I like, get up whenever my body is naturally ready to wake, going to the movies in the middle of the afternoon…in the middle of the week and having the theater to ourselves, taking time off whenever I desire, determining my own value and charging what I am worth…versus forcing myself to go to bed at 9:30pm so that I can wake up to that annoying beeping of the alarm clock at 4:30 in the morning, living for the weekend and having to endure the masses of humanity at the events and venues we go to, scheduling time off, in advance, or skipping exciting opportunities if the vacation time is denied, accepting a per-hour rate of pay that is far below what I am worth and holding out for a pay-raise of a few cents or at most, a few dollars once a year…etc. The difference is night and day!

We’ve all heard the saying “Do what you love and the money will come.” And there really is truth to that expression. However, most people feel so trapped in the 9-5 rat-race that they become immobilized. They are so exhausted from doing all that they can just to survive that they don’t have the mental or physical energy to break out and do what they really love. And all of this has a direct impact on your spiritual life.

However, the key piece of that puzzle that most people are missing is that Spirit can help to define and clarify the path OUT of this trap! Making the time to simply consult Spirit on a daily basis…to get in touch with what you are superbly qualified to do…finding your true passion and “calling”…will change your whole experience and outlook on life!

And you CAN do it! But you must have the desire, first. And more than desire…you must have the BELIEF that it is possible to find your true calling in life.

And when you do that, your JOB will become your passion…and then your passion will lead you to the wealth and abundance you yearn for.

If you’d like personalized guidance from Spirit regarding your own Life Calling and finding your passion, feel free to EMAIL ME or Order Services Here

PrayerHow Does Spirituality Impact Your Health on a Daily Basis?

Most people think about the ways spirituality has an effect on their personal relationships, and some even make the leap to embrace the ways that our mindset and attitude/spiritual outlook can change our reality when it comes to money, profession, and what we manifest in the material world. However, few have given serious consideration to the ways that spirituality can have a direct impact on our physical health and well-being.

Granted, numerous people will come to me and ask if I will add them or their loved one to my prayer list to send positive energy when there is a serious illness…cancer, heart disease, surgeries, etc…in the hope that this positive energy will protect them from harm and even assist in the healing process.

Not nearly as many, though, think about pursuing the much wiser course of considering how spirituality can help PREVENT illness and disease before it sets in and takes hold of us.

The body truly is the “temple” of the soul. But rather than deify it, as some religions do, suggesting that it is evil or sinful to put anything into the body or do anything to it that would somehow corrupt it, making it an unfit house for the “sacred” soul aspect of our being, I prefer to think of the body simply as our vehicle in this lifetime. It is what enables us, as spirit-based beings, to travel…to come and go and have our experiences. The condition of the vehicle has a direct impact on the quality of our life experience. And so, in order to facilitate a Top Notch “ride”, it just makes good sense to take care of this vehicle, since it is the only one we have in a given lifetime. What that means is that, similar to the way you would take care of your automobile, you want to make sure you not only schedule regular maintenance and tune ups…but you also want to take the extra steps to properly fuel your vehicle so that you can increase your own longevity and prevent blockages, “rust buildup”, leaks, cracks in the fuel lines, overheating the radiator, dings in the windshield, etc. I think you get my analogy ;) So, from a spiritual perspective, this means taking time, each day, to carefully consider the care and maintenance of your body. Not only should you think about physical activity and exercise, but you should also give serious thought to what kind of mental stimulation you allow in (and out), as well as the quality of fuel you consume. When we take the time to make this a spiritual exercise, we bring in an element of awareness that is not present in the mundane world. There has been considerable research done to show the correlation between the beliefs you hold and how they have a direct relation to your physical health. Likewise, the kind of food you consume (think eating “clean” without any processed sugars, grains, or animal products) has a direct effect on your health, which then has a significant effect on how you are feeling, mentally, emotionally, and physically. And there is a very distinct correlation between how you are feeling in your body and your ability to tune into Spirit and receive the guidance and direction you need to move and act, in confidence, in your daily life.

Our access to “Higher Self” is definitely related to our state of mind…which is related to our physical well being…which is related to how we care for our body, mind, and soul. It’s a circular relationship. So, the more in tune we are with what we need to do to keep these other aspects of our being in shape, the more in tune we will be with Spirit…and vice versa.

On the flip side…taking the time to learn more about how to access Spirit, and seeking guidance on a regular basis, will help guide you to the best methods, practices, and nourishment needed in order to facilitate the overall health and wellness of the entire being. If you don’t already have a particular “practice” (prayer, meditation, self-hypnosis, consulting tarot cards, runes, i ching, a pendulum, carrying crystals, etc.) then you may want to give some serious thought and consideration to a new ritual that would work for you. Each person is different, so the tools and methods you adopt will need to be a good fit for you. I will discuss this in more detail in another newsletter…

Until then, if you’d like personalized guidance from Spirit, feel free to EMAIL ME

Raw Foods and Menopause

In 2000, at age 38, for the first time in my life I started experiencing some strange health challenges.

We had recently moved to a 20 acre piece of property we purchased in Central Oregon and were drinking the local, city water while waiting to put in our own well. Shortly thereafter I began experiencing muscle weakness in both of my arms and dizziness that became nearly debilitating…especially whenever moving from a horizontal to a vertical position, or when rolling over in bed at night. Kind of like an ear infection would affect your equilibrium. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that it might have something to do with the water I was drinking (strange that no one else in the family had these symptoms, though…) and I quickly started purchasing 2.5 gallon dispenser jugs of purified water to consume. The pain got better almost immediately. But the dizziness persisted…not nearly as badly as it had been before changing to the purified water…but it still clung to me, off and on, for several years afterward.

In late 2006 my younger cousin, Floyd, who was 40 at the time, was diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a softball. This had a significant impact me, both emotionally and psychologically. I desperately wanted to find a way to help him beat that illness. Combined with the fact that my father had suffered a double heart attack, several years earlier, at age 60 and was experiencing a gradual, but progressive, decline in his health, I was motivated to begin research on ways to heal the body through diet and nutrition.

This is when I found the Raw Food lifestyle. And without going into all of the history surrounding that (I’ve already written about that experience in detail on my other blog: http://tracyjprez.wordpress.com) I will say that over the next couple of years I followed that lifestyle with quite a bit of personal success. But it caused a significant challenge with my family, who did not embrace the idea of eating mostly raw foods, and this resulted in a fractured home-life, when it came to meals and food consumption. So, in early 2008 I gradually began eating more and more cooked foods.

During this same time frame I began noticing that my body was starting to experience some definite hormonal shifts. I wasn’t FEELING any different, but my monthly cycle was becoming sporadic, so I knew that something was changing. I hadn’t really experienced much weight-loss on raw foods during my first attempt following a high-raw diet, but most of my strange symptoms did go away, and I really LIKED the lifestyle. However, due to the situation with my family and other factors, I was lead back to eating mostly cooked food again. By January 2009 my weight was at an all-time high of 193 and I was feeling awful about myself. I’m tall, 5 feet 8 inches, so I can carry more weight than most women without looking especially over-weight. But no matter how you stack it, 193 is about 50 pounds more than I should weigh in order to be healthy. By this time most of our children had grown and were off, living on their own. So, I was in a better position to take a serious shot at Raw Foods again. And this time I did succeed in losing some significant weight! Between March and July I lost about 35 pounds and was feeling sooo much lighter and happier! I was energized and feeling more enthusiastic about life and this way of eating than ever before!

In November of 2009 I launched my online magazine, Eighty Percent Raw (www.eightypercentraw.com), fully convinced of the benefits of this lifestyle. Again, I’ve written all about that experience on my other blog: http://tracyjprez.wordpress.com. So, I will skip writing about all of that here, again. I want to get to the point of this post…

And that is this – Raw Foods and Menopause. Looking back on all of this upheaval and fluctuation in my weight and my health, with the symptoms that have come and gone in the process…I really think almost all of this can be attributed, primarily, to the hormonal changes my body has been going through. And I don’t think enough serious consideration, or discussion, is given to what havoc is really wreaked in a woman’s body, nor for how LONG, throughout the whole menopausal adjustment period. This isn’t like some short-term “condition” or illness that we go through and then get over in a couple of months. At least not in my experience. And if you are anything like me, you have tried all kinds of things in an attempt to force your body to cooperate with you to “fix” the problem. Well, guess what? Apparently the body wins. OMG! LOL!

Sooo…here is where I am today. I am returning to a high-raw foods lifestyle, once again. I am no longer experiencing debilitating joint pain in my knees (which always resurfaced whenever I would go back to high-raw or high-carb in the recent past…but, again, this appears to be related more to hormones and not to diet, as I previously believed) and my general health seems to be better than it’s been in quite a long time now. But I still struggle with the weight.

Raw foods is the one “diet” or lifestyle that helped me lose weight and KEEP IT OFF _without even trying_ for nearly two years. That is saying something, for me!

Here are some of the insights I’ve gained, so far as my own body and weight-loss and diet are concerned –

1. I can’t eat starches and lose weight (ie; cooked grains, legumes, potatoes, etc.)

2. I have to watch my fat intake. I can’t eat a lot of nuts, seeds, avocados, oils, etc. and lose weight (though, I was using eating lots of nuts, seeds, coconut, olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and olives with no problem prior to the major hormonal change, so I am going to be watching this)

3. Not sure if I need to be careful about condensed sweets like dried fruit, agave nectar (not currently using), pure maple syrup, honey, etc. So I will also be watching these. Also, not sure if I need to be cautious about high-sugar, high-starch fruits like banana, mango, papaya, etc. But I have my suspicions, so I am also keeping a close watch on what happens with these. *I _have_ noticed that I break out and get swelling and cracking around my lips when I consume much raw pineapple or watermelon lately… so I seem to have some weird food intolerance’s that I haven’t experienced before.

I would LOVE to have an open dialogue with other women who have had challenges going through menopause, especially where weight gain and hormonal symptoms are concerned. And I would particularly enjoy hearing from those who have overcome these symptoms and are following a high-raw foods diet & lifestyle!

Until next time…

Tracy

TRACY’S SANTA FE CORN SALAD

This is a great corn salad to take to a potluck or any family gathering! I have received sooo many compliments on this concoction that I feel pretty confident recommending it, if you are looking for a crowd pleaser that isn’t a dessert 😉 It’s quick, easy, and very nutritious, since it’s completely RAW!


Ingredients:

(for 1 LARGE main dish serving or 2 – 4 side dish servings)

2 c. frozen, sweet, white corn kernels, (run under hot tap water in a fine mesh strainer to thaw)

1 small or 1/2 lg. avocado, diced

1/2 small yellow onion, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

Generous sprinkling of; cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder (optional)

Drizzle of olive oil (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place all vegetables into a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir well.

Sprinkle top of salad with all of the seasonings. I go heavy on the cumin. I didn’t use chili powder today, but I do frequently and it’s delicious both ways.

Olive oil is optional. The salad is just as good without it and if you are trying to lose weight then the avocado provides plenty of fat. But the addition of olive oil DOES make a little more of a “dressing” for the salad. So, you can make it without, taste it, and then add it if you think you need it. This is a very forgiving recipe! Sometimes I also add sliced black olives and/or a couple of heaping tablespoons of commercial salsa. You can add a splash of Tabasco sauce or a sprinkling of cayenne pepper to give it and extra KICK!

Let me know what you think!

OMG! Home-Made Tofu Mayonnaise is a Total Revelation!!!

I have been following Dr. John McDougall’s program called The Starch Solution for awhile now, and I feel really good! This is a vegan eating plan, with absolutely no animal products or dairy of any kind. Additionally, he prohibits the use of refined oils and fats in the diet, which is something I have not been watching until now. So, I am still eating high-raw, but I LOVE that I can also indulge in some of my favorite, healthy, cooked foods, too, such as; baked white & sweet potatoes, yams, cooked dry beans & legumes, whole grains such as brown & other types of rice, quinoa, corn, and to a lesser extent; whole wheat breads, cereals, pastas, and the like.

I have to tell you, I am completely content following a vegan diet! Sooo satisfying! But getting the fat-free thing mastered has been a bit of a challenge, since I LOVE many of these foods…but I’m used to putting some form of fat in/on them; butter on rice, potatoes, or toast, peanut butter as a snack, in banana ice cream or on toast, and while I haven’t been eating bread or pasta for a LONG TIME now, when I _do_ eat bread I generally like to have SOME KIND of a spread on it. Honestly, I’ve never been much of a mayonnaise lover…but the one thing I really do like to use it on is a good, toasted tomato sandwich. So, when I saw Dr. McDougall’s recipe for Tofu Mayonnaise I decided to give it a shot. Keep in mind I have NEVER been a tofu or soy fan…so I was skeptical. But MAN! This stuff tastes just like the real thing! I kid you not! And it was such a cinch to whip up! I swear, less than 5 minutes from start to finish! It was a little thin, initially, but once it’s been in the refrigerator for a couple of hours it thickens right up!

So, I made this yesterday afternoon and remembered that it should be ready to use around dinner time. I decided to make up a toasted tomato sandwich for dinner to test it out. I paired it with a bowl of my homemade, fat-free, vegan Yellow Split Pea Soup (recipe to come!) and I was in heaven! The sandwich really hit the spot for me and I honestly could not tell the difference, in taste, between the Tofu Mayonnaise and the fat-filled kind. So, that really jazzed me!

Now, today I was contemplating what to have for lunch and realized I still had some pre-shredded cabbage and carrot coleslaw mix in the fridge that would likely be delicious made into a nice coleslaw using that mayonnaise as a base for the dressing. And, boy! Was I right?!? I put 4 Tbl. into a bowl, mixed in a little granulated sugar, Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, and some black pepper, tossed in the cabbage mix and VOILA! Devine coleslaw! If I’d had some crushed pineapple in the house, I would have tossed that in for an extra kick! But it was great just like it was!

So, I’m a convert! LOL! I give Dr. McDougall’s Tofu Mayonnaise a TWO THUMBS UP rating! Both on taste and texture. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

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