Running Girl is Back

Felt good to be back in the home gym with my running partner Nini who also did my squats with me afterwards. She took the initiative this morning to say she needed a run. I was impressed. I thought if a teen with autism and intellectual impairment can cover up the oatmeal she already made and spontaneously announce she’d rather run 🏃🏽‍♀️ now then eat later, the rest of us don’t have a lot of good excuses.

#PlantBasedGodsGrace

#TreadmillMom

#RunningGirl

Eating from our TRUE Heritage

This is not Nalida’s or Michael’s diet.

You don’t have to believe us even though we’ve had great health benefits (weigh loss and maintenance, elimination of the following: high blood pressure without meds, prediabetes without meds, GERD/Acid Reflux without meds, chronic pain without meds, etc.). This goes back to Eden. And if that doesn’t sway you, see the tons of peer reviewed research over at nutritionfacts.org and dr.fuhrman.com.

Being a vegetarian or pescatarian wasn’t enough because we were junk food vegetarians (and Michael a junk food pescatarian eating seafood) eating processed foods and the empty calories of oil (120 calories of pure fat with negligible nutrients per tablespoon versus whole fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, etc. with rich nutrients!).

Can’t go wrong with nutrient-rich, WHOLE plant foods! People like to joke about vegans but this isn’t about that. It’s about our health and eating close to nature, our traditional heritages which are Plant rich even when they included small amounts of meat, and the bounty of nutrient-rich foods God has put on this earth. There are whole industries profiting from our ignorance and obsession with meat, dairy, and processed foods while we are getting poorer and sicker.

The plantation diets the majority of us are eating now are NOT our heritage. Don’t be afraid to do your own research. Don’t let fear, addiction to foods/food-like substances, and/or spite stop you! You are worth it! Your families’ lives are worth it! Don’t be content to just go with what you’ve known when you see it killing you. I for one am tired of a family legacy of type two diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, obesity, etc. What about you?

#PlantBasedGodsGrace

#Woke

Greens Class

Greens Class Update:

Tuesday Afternoon

We had a fabulous class with the fabulous teens of the The Boston Project Ministries Summer Program! As predicted, they loved the green fruit smoothies. I think they surprised themselves with the raw kale though. Instead of doing a savory kale with light culinary coconut milk, I decided to do kale chips and it was a great choice for them.

They learned about de-stemming the kale as well as “massaging” it to get it tender. For one bag of triple-washed kale, we used only 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (in place of oil some typically use for this) to massage in the kale. Then we added onion powder, nutritional yeast, and a few sprays of Braggs Liquid Amino Acid. Before adding anything, they all tasted the kale raw and plain. They were all surprised that it tasted “salty” and asked if there was salt added. I explained that it was just plain kale and reminded them how we talked about salty and hardy greens. Even though kale is a hardy green, it still is naturally “salty.” They were surprised that they actually liked it! One student was very surprised that he preferred the prepared kale as a salad better than the baked kale chips. I told him how I sometimes prepare it that way and we just eat it as a salad instead of baking it.

We learned some interesting facts from the “A Taste Of African Heritage” (ATOAH) curriculum about different kinds of greens that we had not heard about. For instance, kontomire is a green used in stews in Ghana, West Africa and sukuma wiki is a popular green in Kenya, East Africa. We looked at a large map that I have of the African continent to find the two countries.

We also talked about the tradition of enslaved African peoples of using the liquid of boiled greens made for their enslavers as the base of soups and sauces and how that liquid was and is called “pot liquor” or “potlikker.” This African tradition of using the “potlikker” and getting all the nutrients boiled down from the greens continues today with peoples of the African diaspora and others who have adapted it.

Finally, we discussed what community means to us and the benefits of eating with family and as part of a community. We have a lot of work to do in restoring this and I hope I planted some seeds about that today. I told the students that we will have to have a special lesson where we all sit and have a complete meal together even if it is after the program because that is one component that seems to be missing for the most part based on our discussions today.

Next week’s lesson is on whole grains. I’m looking forward to discussion grains, other than just whole grain rice, such as millet, sorghum, teff, fonio, quinoa (technically a seed), and couscous (made from millet or wheat). We will be making a banana millet breakfast porridge! We will work more with grains during lesson 5 when we make rice and beans. We adapted every recipe to be SOS-free (salt, oil, and sugar free) and used whole fat sources or other liquids in place of oil.

As with last week, the students with their leader will make one of the dishes for the younger students of the program on Thursday and they may attempt both the smoothies and the kale chips this week. Last week they made the sunflower sour cream and told me it was a hit with the younger students who ate the dip with the raw carrots and sweet peppers I suggested pairing with it. Many asked for seconds!

We had a great time and I have a great group of students who are learning some plant based cooking skills and expanding their palates while learning about the benefits of eating foods from the traditional African heritage and expanding their palates.

———

Tuesday Morning.

Did my morning run and now prepping for the A Taste Of African Heritage Cooking class with the teens in my neighborhood. Today’s lesson is on Greens and the various types eaten across the African Diaspora. They already told me last week they’re excited for the green fruit smoothies. We’re going to prep some kale for kale chips too and if there’s time make steamed greens with light culinary coconut milk (if not, we’ll freeze the rest of the greens and cook them up for another lesson). Not seen are the perishable plant-based milks, greens, and frozen blueberries, strawberries, and tropical fruits.

#PlantBasedGodsGrace

Plant-Based African Heritage Cooking Class with Youth

Plant-Based African Heritage Cooking Class with Youth I REALLY enjoyed week 1 teaching neighborhood high school students plant based cooking using the A Taste Of African Heritage (ATOAH) curriculum with The Boston Project Ministries summer program. The African heritage diet pyramid shown below has less than 10% meat/fish and is predominantly plant based. The curriculum, however, is 100% plant based. Today’s class incorporated two lessons—history/heritage and herbs & spices. I had a great assistant who lead the movement portion at the beginning to get in a short burst of exercise then assisted with the class activities. Students learned about and discussed the traditional plant-rich diets of the African diaspora and how some of that heritage was lost during the periods of slavery, how fast foods, chemicals, and over processed foods have negatively affected our communities, but how we can reclaim our heritage and traditions to improve health outcomes. We talked about how we still have a lot of our traditional foods and just need to reclaim how we make a lot of them (boiled, steamed or roasted instead of fried and full of salt). It’s interesting to note that some dishes like Gumbo are traditional African dishes cooked and eaten in the south of the U.S. and also in the Caribbean. In fact, Haitians make a similar stew. I was able to briefly share my health testimony as well as my husband’s who was able to heal his high blood pressure and get off medication. Part two for today was all about herbs and spices! We heated up black peppercorn, cooled it then used a spice grinder to grind it up. It made the flavor more pronounced. We then made our own individual herb-spice mixes in small sandwich bags. The aromas were awesome!The most popular ones included nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, onion powder, parsley, and curry! We then heated up a three bean mix with some nutritional yeast and everyone added his/her own spice mix to their own bowls. They said that they have to get used to the no-salt but liked the flavors, but with two short sprays of Braggs Liquid Amino Acids, they thought it was perfect. Braggs is a great transition to a lower sodium, salt-free diet so I’m glad I brought some over. I’m looking forward to next weeks lesson on greens🌿. We’re going to make a savory greens dish along with fruit smoothies mixed with raw greens. Upon hearing “smoothies,” all the students got excited! They reminded me not to forget the bananas 🍌 🍌 and berries 🍓🍓!

Caring for Our Kids with Healthy Eating and Living

Parents, read this link at the bottom please. Notice what her cousin answered when she asked her how she was able to lose all the weight as a child: Her mother didn’t have anything in the house for her to fail. When I started my health journey in 2013, I got rid of ALL the junk food and replaced with fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, fruit sweetened bars, etc. I thought, why should I strive for health yet let my kids suffer in poor health? Yes I can’t be with them 24/7, especially when they are in school and may have something besides what we packed for them, but they are more educated on nutrition now and more often than not make the healthier choice. Plus, over the years they realized they simply FEEL better without junk food. See my page Plant-Based, God’s Grace: Nalida’s Journey to Health and Fitness (www.facebook.com/plantbasedgodsgrace). and do a search for “The healthy exchange program” we have for more information. You are NOT depriving your children of something good when you remove the junk. You ARE loving them to life with health-sustaining, life giving food! I’ve been there. Food addicts and junk food junkies often use the kids as excuses. We’ve lied to ourselves. I’m going to get the box of donuts and ice cream for the kids. The kids would love these new cookies and they deserve a treat. No. What our kids deserve is what we deserve and should strive for together as a family—a fit body to run and play without difficulty, healthy food to nourish their developing brains and bodies, and freedom from addictive food-like substances that damage their bodies and brains. Choose health promoting, life-giving food for yourself AND your children.https://www.facebook.com/IUseToBeU/photos/a.214584058673214.50586.185163131615307/831966356934978/?type=3

New Big Change The Film Trailer Out!

The new trailer for Big Change The Film is out!! My heart is so full and grateful for these incredible friends that have become family. Please support this project so that everyone can know that we can make the Impossible Possible and that change CAN happen for improved health, wellness, weight loss, and weight maintenance! T-shirts and contributions at www.bigchangethefilm.com.

Here is the trailer here: https://youtu.be/F_A_nypPJos

Link to Big Change The Film FB page post about release:

https://www.facebook.com/1161812663853117/posts/2021836994517342/

#TransformationTuesday—Exercise

#TransformationTuesday

At picture number one in 2013 I struggled to do a 15 minute walk video but it was at the very beginning of my journey. I’m proud of that picture because I was determined to really make a big change and I did. At picture number two I had already lost over 50 pounds and could walk for over an hour AND do other exercises. At picture number three I can run, walk, lift, etc.

#MoveAtYourOwnPace

#ItsALifetimeJourneyNotASprint

#PlantBasedGodsGrace

Today: Me holding my old XL shirt while wearing my size S (small) shirt. That was my old workout t-shirt when I started my health journey in 2013!

#TransformationTuesday