Choices Along the Way

Don’t you love it when you feel truly inspired? I do. During the year of 2020 inspiration took a backseat for many. It was predicted, and still is, to be a year of broken promises, unmet goals, and the year of significant weight gain. Most of us think that this would never happen to us. Right? Not true! Deep in the year of 2020, I slowly found myself becoming slack in the food choices that I was making. I became more sedentary. Oh sure, I still followed my vegan meal plan, but I wasn’t always making healthy vegan choices. After all, cookies can be vegan. Right?

The holidays can be a difficult time for many. It is commonly a time for over-consuming, and even if it’s vegan food, too much is too much! After feeling less productive and gaining a few pounds, I began to notice a change in how I felt, my energy level decreased, my bowel habits were not regular as they had been for years, and my clothes no longer fit the way I liked them to. I needed to take my life back! It was time to get back on track and to get up and move more!

Our memory tree. While carefully hanging each ornament on the tree. The memories of the past forty one years together only intensified my desire to delve deeper into taking control of my health!

My decision intensified early one morning a few weeks after Christmas. After rising early one morning I noticed an unusual and unfamiliar pain in my hip. I also noticed that I woke that morning feeling tired. I made the decision to get a grip and take back control of the choices that I made. I had had enough. I refused to gain the weight back and feel tired all of the time. I did NOT want to go back on medicine that I had been able to stop taking. I would Not do it!! I was upset with myself for becoming relaxed in choices and slack in my dedication to better myself, but this morning was the morning to regain control. I whispered a prayer for strength and guidance.

After drinking my morning coffee, reading some of my favorite Bible scriptures, completing my morning devotional, and praying, I found peace with myself and felt more determined than ever before. I was not going to fall into the statistics of overweight and unhealthy people that was being predicted as an aftermath of the pandemic. I would not allow the pandemic to take from me what I could control.

One of my favorite mugs!

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t easy to regain my full vision back and say no to the always full cookie jar. With five grandchildren coming and going a full cookie jar is expected. was inspired by the choices that I made along the way. Some days were inspired and I felt on top of the world, while others were a struggle with battling that inner voice that whispered, you’re hungry and one cookie or a few French fries won’t hurt. I found that by distracting myself from the inner thoughts, they soon left as fast as they arrived. Then additional inspiration arrived!

Our daughter had told me about her menu of high starch low fat diet and was feeling really excited about it. I was curious as it was clean, vegan, and filled with choices of food that I loved and often said no to because of the carbs. Doing what I do, I began to research this idea and discovered that it aligned with the vegan and plant based lifestyle. I was interested as I had followed a vegan diet for about two years. I had been a vegetarian for some time, and have clean eating advocate for years. I wasn’t and am not perfect, but simply a human…but I could do this! I started following Instagram sensation, Tabitha Brown and read Dr McDougal’s book, The Starch Solution, and was once again fully inspired! I felt like I had taken my life back.

This book is amazing!!

I cleaned the pantry out and tossed out a few unhealthy things that lingered in the crevices of the shelves. I cleaned the fridge and removed a lot of the bottles of oil based salad dressings, and bought whole grain brown rice, more oat groats, bran flakes, lots of potatoes and extra Ezekiel bread! I also added more fresh fruits and vegetables, and a supply of organic vegetable broth to replace the oil while cooking.

Round two of taking control and living by the choices I made had begun. I found it a bit odd to be able to eat so many air fried potatoes, rice, and oats. But, I will admit that the air fried potatoes with organic ketchup were a welcomed sight and addition to my plate! I followed the book and the plan closely as I wanted to see if this whole food plant based high starch plan was going to work! I had enjoyed the plant based diet for years, but didn’t allow myself to indulge in the starchy foods. To say I was excited was an understatement!

I had made it through the first few days with three meals a day and a little fruit for a snack, with no late evening or nighttime snacks. I made sure that I ate a meal that consisted of about half the plate being a starch, a large portion of the other half vegetables, and a small amount of fruit or a fifty/fifty of vegetables and starch. I made sure to take in eight full eight ounce glasses of water each day, spend time on the treadmill, used no oils, limited salt, and avoided processed or packaged foods. I watched as many encouraging videos about this new choice I made, read as much as I could get my hands on, and prayed faithfully. I was inspired, excited, and always full. I never felt deprived of food!

Before I knew it, two weeks had passed and I noticed changes had occurred in my body. Good changes were occurring already! I felt more energetic, slept better, my bowels regulated, my clothes fit better…it was time to weigh! I know weight is not the primary focus of health, but I needed to see the scale go down ten pounds! Stepping on the scale confident, yet nervous, I slowly opened my eyes and looked down at the number! And just like that…I had dropped five and a half pounds! Tears slowly trickled down my face. I was overwhelmed! I had lost five and a half pounds in two weeks eating more, eating potatoes and rice, and feeling full all the time! What!? I was pumped and had already met half of the goal I set for myself. My energy had returned and I felt good about the choices I made along the way!

One month later! God is so good! I have taken my life back, I am fully inspired, I feel detoxed, energetic, sleeping better, ready each morning to greet the day with less aches and pains, and I’m motivated once again. I have also discovered new dishes for rice, oat groats, potatoes of all kinds and that cooking without oil is not hard and very tasty! I can’t wait to share a few recipes and more moments in my life of eating clean, vegan, plant based and high starch dishes…all while feeling satisfied and healthy! Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. I love to hear from my readers.

Air fried potatoes, cucumbers and tomatoes, sautéed veggies, whole grain mustard and ketchup for dipping! Oil free and delicious!!!

For now, I’m off to do a grocery pickup and enjoy the views of the beautiful Kentucky mountains. God bless from the mountains of Kentucky!

Ice on the mountain tops this morning.