Category Archives: PLANT-BASED

TRANSFORMATION

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Heart disease is also 100% preventable. It is a life-style disease and if you have it, it can be reversed through diet and lifestyle changes.

February is Heart Health Month which coincides with Hallmark’s favorite “holiday” … Valentine’s Day. Quite obviously planned that way, I am sure.

What you may not know however, is that February is also the anniversary of my mom’s passing … from a heart attack. Do you see the theme here?

My mom.
My mom and a creepy clown.

She was 47 years old when she passed from a massive heart attack with very little warning. Two months prior, I had celebrated my 17th birthday and the joy of finally having a driver’s license.

My dad was turning 50 in early February as well and my mom worked endlessly planning a huge surprise birthday party for him.

She worked on every detail. She was so excited at who was coming and was busy buying all kinds of “over the hill” decorations.

It was also around this time, that I was making a more conscious (and vocal) effort to stop eating meat. Growing up I was never a huge fan of the stuff. There were a few things I would eat but I hated turkey and would always try and hide it under my mashed potatoes. 🙂

The party came and was a huge success. Two weeks later, she was gone.

The last photo of the four of us together - at my Dad's 50th party.
The last photo of the four of us together – at my Dad’s 50th party.

For those that know me now, that photo may be a bit of a shocker.

Me at 17 vs Me now
Me at 17 vs Me now

I’ve always admired the “success stories” that I see online of those who have been transformed physically that I guess I never really saw my own transformation until I revisited these photos recently.

Then vs Now
Then vs Now

Yet, the transformation that I love the most, is how my mind set changed after my mom’s passing. Whether intentional or subconscious, I made the connection between eating certain things and heart health.

The older and more mature I became, I would learn to research, read and understand the connection fully and more importantly, implement it daily.

Now it is a way of life for me. I can’t recall anything else and there is no other way I would want to live. Do you know why?

Peanut & Squeaker
Peanut & Squeaker

Those two blonde cuties right there. Having turned 40 not too long ago, it hasn’t gone unnoticed in my own brain that I am just now 7 years younger than when my mom left this Earth and more importantly my family. In 7 years, the Peanut will be roughly 16 years old herself. I am certain that history will not repeat itself.

How am I so certain? Because I am in control. I know that cholesterol only resides in animal products. Think chicken is a better choice? It contains the same amount of cholesterol as red meat. Eggs? One egg has as much cholesterol as a Double Whopper. Think about that. One egg!? And don’t get me started on oil (any oil) – it has the potential to impair the flow of blood to your heart significantly not to mention it is highly caloric and contains no nutritional benefits.

Don’t worry, I am not going to turn this into a “don’t eat meat or oil post” … (but seriously, don’t) instead, I want you to stop and think about what you are putting in your mouth in connection with how you feel on a daily basis.

I didn’t jump right into kale salads mind you. I went through a junk-food vegan phase. Sure, Frito’s and Oreo’s are vegan but let’s be honest, that is not food, not really. It took time.

And like me, you may still envision yourself looking a certain way when in reality, you probably do not look like your 17 year old self anymore. While we are at it, how are you FEELING?

Do you get out of breath easily? Is it hard to get out of bed? Can you walk a mile easily? Do you get leg cramps? Acid Reflux?  Sadly, heart disease does not often come with a warning. You don’t necessarily have to have high cholesterol or blood pressure either to have heart disease (my dad didn’t and he also suffered a heart attack).

There is a reason heart disease is called the silent killer. Sometimes the only warning that you get, is when you are having a full-blown heart attack and by then, it may be too late.

Don’t kid yourself. Everyone is getting older. Moderation is not “okay” anymore. As Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, the author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease has said, “If you eat unhealthy foods in moderation, then you’ll have a moderate heart attack.

I miss my mom every day. I often say: If I knew then what I know now, she’d still be here. Yet I might not know what I know now, if she hadn’t had a heart attack. I might still look like my 17 year old self, but with gray hair and quite possibly a few pounds heavier.

People often think Vans and I are so “fit” because we bike and run. That is only a small piece of the puzzle. When I was 17, I was playing basketball, softball and soccer – all year round and sometimes two sports at one time! You wouldn’t know it though by that photo.

Thin doesn’t equate healthy. I want you to look inside. I want you to really look. What is most important to you right now?

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Is it really worth jeopardizing your health, your life, your family to consume something that has the potential to stop the flow of blood to your heart? Forever?

Medication only masks the problem. It doesn’t fix it. Food, the right food (aka plant-based whole foods), can fix it. The right food, can reverse the damage that has already been done. The right food can allow you to see your children grow, walk them down the aisle and have grandchildren. The right food, can save your life.

We’re only given one heart … take care of it.

My heart belongs to these three right here.
My heart is no longer mine. It belongs to these three right here.

~Trailmomma

If you want more information, I urge you to please watch this video and read Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease or visit Dr. Esselstyn’s website.

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NEW VIDEO : CHIPOTLE BOWL WITH LIME CILANTRO RICE

Sorry, the blog has taken a major hit lately. It isn’t that I have not been running, I have … albeit drenched most of the time due to our increase in rainfall.

I hope to get back to blogging about running soon. I just haven’t found my rhythm yet.

What I have found however, is another recipe for my Instant Pot that I shot and edited for all of you.

I love Chipotle but what I don’t love is all the fat and oil that comes with it. Yes, even for the “vegan” food they serve, it still packs quite an artery clogging punch.

In the past, Chipotle’s Cilantro Lime Rice (my favorite thing about them) was made with olive oil AND lime juice. A quick check of their menu recently, I don’t see that they list “oil” anymore on the ingredients but something is “a muck” here as this is the nutrition content for ONE 8 oz serving of their rice:

Photo from here.
Photo from here.

So one serving (which I rarely see just one 8 oz serving in a single burrito or bowl – it is more like 2 right?) is 4 grams of fat and 210 calories with 38 of those calories coming from fat. There is also 345 grams of sodium. The numbers just don’t add up for me.

Here is the nutritional profile from Lundberg Family Farms of just 1 serving of plain jasmine rice (1 serving is 1/4 cup dry which makes about 1/2 cup cooked).

Photo from here.
Photo from here.

I am sorry, cilantro and lime or lemon juice doesn’t add THAT much to the fat and sodium content to make the Chipotle numbers work.

Anyway, my point isn’t to bash Chipotle. I eat there from time to time. What I wanted to share was my latest YouTube video!

I made another Instant-Pot video in my kitchen this week. I was short on time and decided to just record while I was making dinner. So forgive the glitches. This was a one shot deal, no do-overs, no retakes. 🙂

I created my version of a “healthy” Chipotle Burrito Bowl complete with Cilantro Lime Rice. The recipe is in the description of the video itself if you want to try it.

If you like it, please give me a “thumbs up” and share with friends. You can also comment here and tell me what other videos you’d like to see or if I should just hand over my camera now and say “forget it.” 🙂

I am just having some creative fun. I don’t plan to have my own show on the Food Network anytime soon.

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

 

 

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CREATIVE JUICES and A RECIPE

Hi there! Hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas and are planning to have a safe and Happy New Years as well. My holidays were great. I have been enjoying some family time and some time off of work.

In that time, I finally did something that I have been meaning to do for a while. I made a YouTube cooking video. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I use my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker quite often. I love it and cannot imagine my life without it.

I love it so much that I have introduced it to everyone that I know. I showed Stonegate a year ago, and then she got one and she since fallen in love and has spread the word to all of her friends. Everyone in my family has purchased one. I have quite a few friends that recently purchased one (thanks to some awesome Black Friday sales) as well as a few attendees from my plant-based cooking demos! Stonegate and I even purchased one for Burning Girl for Christmas so that she could discover its magic! And if you are wondering, yes, Pigeon even has one now too! 🙂 The whole Wolf-Pack. 🙂

So in an effort to share some the simplicity of this appliance (because it can be quite intimidating at first), I shot this video. I basically show you another way to use the Instant-Pot that is not typically known by many. I remember when I showed this recipe to Stonegate and Burning Girl, they were blown away.  🙂

So now, I am going to share it with you. Keep in mind, this is my first official attempt at a video. There were some technical glitches that my perfectionist self notices, but hopefully you don’t mind. I shot this solo with a three camera set up in my kitchen. It was kind of fun!

If you like it, please give me a thumbs up and share with anyone who has an Instant Pot or may be interested in getting one. Feel free to comment too.

If the above link doesn’t work, you can also click here: CHICKPEA CURRY IN A HURRY.

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

*I am not associated with Instant Pot at all. I get nothing from them. I simply just love this appliance and use it daily. 

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OCTOBER IS MY FAVORITE MONTH

Sorry I have been missing from posting here lately. I have been busy mostly because I absolutely LOVE the month of October and am jumping at any chance I have to be outside.

I love the changing colors!
I love the changing colors!

I apologize for being vague here, but I am juggling a lot “balls” in the air right now all related to various projects that I essentially have created for myself. I can’t help it, I love being busy!

Hopefully, when the time is right, I will be able to share more.

So in exchange for a vague post, I’ll just fill you in on some of the things I have been doing lately.

A few weeks ago, Stonegate, another friend and I created a relay team called The MOMsters and ran The Folsom Lake Ultra Trail 100k (relay) also known as F.L.U.T.

Some damn awesome mommas right here.
Some damn awesome mommas right here.

It was my first ever trail-relay and I was running a section of Folsom Lake that I have never run before.

Gorgeous!
Gorgeous!

The run was tough. My section was 25 miles, a lot of pavement and quite a few climbs.

Unfortunately, our team did not finish. Stonegate started her leg at 3 pm in the afternoon, when it was already quite hot outside. She mis-judged her fueling routine with the later start time and ended up not being able to finish her leg. She was pretty ill and I know for her, it was a very tough decision to make. As her relay team, we didn’t care one bit, we just wanted her healthy.

After that, I took a “me-day” from work and ventured to Santa Rosa!

I wanted to visit True North Health Center in Santa Rosa, the home of Dr. Alan Goldhammer and Dr. Doug Lisle.

2While there I saw a cooking demo which was great because I am hosting another plant-based cooking demo in a few weeks! I am kind of excited about it too. Hopefully I will do a post about that as well.

It was really interesting to see how someone else demonstrates certain cooking techniques to others.

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After the cooking demo, I visited the Savory Spice Shop and was in total spice heaven!

Smelled amazing
Smelled amazing

I bought some fresh herbs and spices to try at home.

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My time spent in Santa Rosa was brief but lovely. I had never really been there before (that I can recall anyway) and I can’t wait to go back.

THEN, I had a friend who I met at Plant-Stock in 2015, text that she was headed my way and was wondering if she could crash and visit for a few days with us. I was beyond excited to see her!

TARA!!!!
TARA!!!!

Tara is a bundle of absolute positive energy. She is a joy to be around and my girls had a blast with her. Hopefully they didn’t scare her from having children in the future! 🙂 My kids were pretty wired when she was here and in rare form. Squeaker was on fire and quite hilarious.

We made massive yummy salads every night.
We made massive yummy plant-based salads every night.

Unfortunately, Tara picked the worst weekend to be here because we had our first ever major storm. A weekend full of rain and wind which doesn’t make for great hosting and sightseeing.

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While she does run trails, Tara didn’t have storm weather appropriate running shoes with her so she wasn’t able to join Stonegate, Pigeon, Miss P, Pearls and I on our Sunday morning run in Auburn.

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We were the only ones on the trail and we had one helluva time!

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It was MUDDY and slippery but oh.so.much.fun!!!! We ran, we laughed and we all were in total complete heaven.

Running through the flood on No Hands Bridge
Running through the flood on No Hands Bridge

How often do you find a group of women like us who live to get muddy and soaking wet at the butt-crack of dawn on a Sunday? 🙂

These ladies rock!
These ladies rock!

So, as you can see, I haven’t been hiding under a rock. I’ve been out enjoying nature and all that October has brought with it thus far.

Like I said earlier, I hope to be able to share some of the projects that I have been working on lately with you or at least the status updates of those.

I am hosting another plant-based cooking demo later in the month for a small group of people who are interested in learning how to cook plant-based. I am excited to open my kitchen to them and to answer any questions they may have about the way that I cook.

Hopefully, down the road, maybe I can do more of these or even better, be invited to other people’s homes to  show them how to use what they have to cook and eat plant-based.

Until then, I am enjoying some family time and some adventures.

My mini me.
My mini me.

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

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THE PLANT YOURSELF PODCAST

Just a quick post today as it has been quite a week for me! I am currently heading to the Bay Area to run the Headlands Trail Marathon today! Woot woot!

If you follow me, you may remember that a few weeks ago, I attended Plant-Stock held on the Esselstyn Family Farm. It was my second year in a row attending and it was unbelievable.

While there, I was able to meet so many wonderful plant-based gurus, pioneers and just every day do-ers living the plant-based life! It was great.

One of the people I was lucky enough to chat with was Howard Jacobson, Ph.D. I knew Howard when I saw him because I listen to his podcast, The Plant Yourself Podcast. I also have read Proteinaholic by Dr. Garth Davis which Howard helped write as well as Whole, Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. another amazing book that Howard also helped write.

So I knew who he was but he didn’t know me other than he probably thought I was a super smiley perhaps overly creepy excited person who randomly walks up to people like Dr. Garth DavisJosh LaJaunie and Rich Roll with a super dopey grin. 🙂

Anyway, Howard and I chatted and he took my contact info. Fast forward he emails me and asks me to do his podcast! WHAT?! My initial thought was, “Tell him you’re a nobody. Tell him you don’t have some mega crazy transformation story.” But then, I thought it about it and realized, I DO have a story.

I am me and I do what I do, every day. Some days I inspire people. Some days maybe I don’t.  I know I have helped people along the way. I know I have people who “lurk” but are inspired none the less by the things that I post on social media or say on my blog or even the things that do in my day to day activities like running crazy ultra trail runs. We all touch someone.

I am just a girl who wants to share the plant-based message world wide and help as many people as I possibly can while at the same time, feeling stuck in an office job that is wonderful, but not fulfilling the true burning passion inside of me. Ah, if I could only make a living on doing what I am doing (blogging, running, photo-taking, recipe testing, laughing, loving, living) … aaaaaannnnd that’s a story for another day. 😉

The point is, we ALL have a story. We do and Howard captured mine on his Podcast. So, if you have some time and care to listen, you can click HERE or you can search The Plant Yourself Podcast on iTunes and find it there. Just keep in mind, this was my first time ever doing something like this … but, it is what it is and I am kind of proud of it. Enjoy!

pp

Happy Trails!

~Trailmomma

 

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