Journey Back to Me

Lately, I’m been getting my health together. Nutrition is important in any kind of emotional recovery.

I am so elated with my life after leaving my past behind. One of the great things about thinking for your self is that you find your way back to your identity and the real you. When you shed the fear of people from your life, you can soar. I think of SOAR as Survivors Of Abusive Religion.

People from my old life ask me how I’m doing. I’m doing great.

Lately, I’m been getting my health together. Nutrition is important in any kind of emotional recovery. I am learning how to properly feed myself. It seems weird to say that but we’re all a product of our environment. I learned how to cook southern style with all the oil, sweets, fried foods, and veggies cooked to death. During this time of COVID-19, I’m sure everyone is considering what they eat, as well we all should.

My whole food plant-based eating is going well. I’ve even got my husband on board and in the last month I’ve discovered the following.

  1. It’s a myth that you need meat for protein. The differences are in the amino acid profiles. Protein can be taken in without eating eggs and tons of chicken and fish and without the negative effects that go along with animal protein. Instead of meat being the most important thing in your diet, it really should be sparingly or not at all. Our society loves and reveres meat and so the myth persists. Many articles talk about the quality of the protein better in the meat but that leaves out the negative after-effects.
  2. Oils are not necessarily healthy. I used to slather everything with olive oil thinking this was the “healthy” oil. But oil is simply another food that the food industry has promoted just like they promoted “fat-free” junk for years. Now, most people understand that fat is not an enemy. When I first started on this journey I said “no way can I live without oil”. But I’ve done it and my blood vessels have thanked me. We have endothelial cells that line our blood vessels and when we consume oils it not only messes with our gut bacteria but also the function of these vital cells is diminished. ( See this article on the subject).
  3. Fat is not evil. Whole-food fats are necessary for proper body function: nuts, seeds, avocado, nut butter, beans, but not oils.
  4. Keep veggies nutritious. One of my discoveries this month was making sauces out of cashew butter. That’s right. Cashew Butter. Cashew butter can be the base for numerous sauces and salad dressings. These sauces can make any veggie a delicious meal paired with brown rice or sweet potatoes. I use it so much now to make sauces. It is bland on its own, but that’s what’s great. You can make it taste like anything, Italian, Mexican, spicy, sweet–you name it.

Here’s my recipe for Ceasar dressing. It’s a tweak of a Fork Over Knives basic Ceasar Dressing recipe:

2 TBSP Cashew Butter

2 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar or to taste

2 tsp maple syrup ( the pure stuff, not the commerical pancake stuff)

2 garlic cloves ( or garlic powder)

Dijon or brown spicy mustard

Nut milk ( I like Oat milk, but experiment with what works for you)

and salt to taste.

This recipe makes a great creamy salad dressing with a tanginess to it.

Bon Appetit!

Creamy whole-food Ceasar Dressing

Day 7 -WFPB Lifestyle

Whenever we change it’s a challenge.

So it’s been 7 days since I decided to go plant-based and the change has been good. My mobility is better, not perfect but it’s only been a week or so. Since I’m a researcher at heart, I’ve been educating my self about plant-based whole food eating. Man, I made it but this week was tough, mostly because of my ailments, it was difficult to stand such a long time to do all the prep required to be successful. My husband, bless his heart, stepped in to help me finish. But the prep was a monster. It is only because I’ve been so “convienced” out.

All the on- the- go foods:

Dunkin’ D ( America runs on this stuff? No wonder we’re in trouble)

and Burger King ( I’m dating myself –but I’ve had it my way too long)

and MickyDs ( I’m not lovin’ it)

It all has to stop somewhere.

This is going to be a lifestyle change and a good one because I’ve long needed to be more organized and routine oriented when it comes to my eating. It’s been a journey to get to this point.


I made two bean soups/stews (spicy black bean and thai lentil curry), roasted veggies, my own salad dressings,and thai peanut sauce. I ate great the whole week. I’m going for progress as I learn more about this lifestyle but I love what it’s doing for my joints, achilles heel pain, back pain, and blood pressure so far. I was shocked my heart rate was not elevated like usual.

Usually, my blood pressure is on the higher end. My blood pressure was great at 119/71 today. I’m convinced after seeing other people’s stories that what you eat can change your life.


Whenever we change it’s a challenge. What I’ve dealt with more than once is situational hunger. Picture this. I’m not hungry but because I’m in the car, passing fast-food restaurants, and got a little money, then a feeling courses through me. What kind of feeling? The feeling I should stop and get something. I know no one has fixed dinner. You’d think I was starving.

But also, I know I’m not going to throw the last 7 days of success down the drain.

I stopped by Walgreens and usually, that’s my snack place and my weakness. I rarely leave without a pack of M & Ms, Chips, Popcorn, or those awesome Butter Cookies Walgreens sells from local bakeries.

UUUGH! But I walked out today with just what I went in for–my meds.

Do ya’ll hear me?!

The fact that I’m in there to get MEDICINE! You would think that would slap me in the face and make me stop and think but it never did, or rather I choose not to stop and think, feeling I deserve some sweet-confectioned comfort in my life. My taste buds and the need to get a treat to relax with that evening would take over. Was I really that stressed? Was food the answer to my stress? No, it wasn’t, but it sure felt like it. Illusions.

It’s amazing how convincing we are to ourselves in those moments. Today, I succeeded, I left the store like I should have, without the goodies, but oddly I felt like I left the store empty-handed. I was left to ponder what was in my hand and why. We all tend to think “it’s not going to happen to me” until it does. I reminded myself that all of this was hard just because it was a divorce from bad habits. Habits I have to change.

I’m gonna need some new hobbies.

Changing Habits-It’s Tough

fruits and vegs

There’s one thing difficult about changing habits. Ugh! It’s the fact that they are HABITS. Things that are so deeply ingrained in our psyche and existence that they become second nature. I almost think that if I don’t continue my daily patterns of behavior, something is terribly wrong. Like the way I plop down on the couch when I come home and immediately get a plate of food and watch something. It’s my way of relaxing don’t judge. If anyone tries to break this routine, I immediately go into a defensive mode. “Wait until I eat dinner”, “I just got home”. Internally I am truly upset with them for daring to ask me to do anything other than the usual. It’s a horrible habit though. The routine is: girdle off, plate of food and the sofa.

My family laughs at me because this is such a routine that half the time the next morning I have no idea where anything is. I zone out after work.

I have deceived myself over the years into believing I’m really resting by doing this but I’m not. There’s a difference between just sitting and relaxing because I’m thinking about things I have to do–the other bad habit —overthinking.

New Habits

I’ve been changing my health habits and its been tough. One of my biggest problems in losing weight has been my ridiculous, helter skelter schedule and lack of organization in my eating. I never plan what I’m eating the next day. Sometimes breakfast, sometimes none. Maybe lunch or fast food and then dinner–glorious dinner, the golden calf of my day. I come home, sit and eat. Not a health based routine at all. My therapist recently did hypnotherapy with me and we discovered this complete disconnection I have with my body. We already uncovered my reasons for overeating and it had with the violence in my home growing up. It had become by coping mechanism for stress.

So I am trying to listen to and stay connected with my body now.

It’s telling me to get moving.

giphy exercise

So sorry body I treated you so badly all these years.

I’ve stopped the habit of coming home and plopping on the couch and eating the evening away. I’ve made dinner shorter and I make myself get up and do something else before bed.

That part. Really hard. Me no want to move.

couch potato

One of my friends has been into running. She’s so inspiring. I figured if she can have a great exercise habit, then I can give myself the same new habit. So for the last month or two I’ve been swimming at least 3-4 days per week (even after work sometimes), taking stairs and increasing my walking. My doctor was elated. Without medication mind you (because it kept making me sick), my A1C dropped almost 1.5 points. He’s trying to find a substitute drug to help me lower it even more. Hopefully I may not even need it by the time I finish making changes to my eating habits. If God gave me the good sense to eat right and exercise, I’m going to do what it takes to get healthy.

It’s just a matter of taking care of the body God blessed me with.

Not only that, I’ve been studying up on the Forks Over Knives way of eating for a few months, and I’ve been slowly making changes to my eating habits. I’m not totally there yet, but I’ve been creeping in that direction. Recently, since I already had my dinners delivered, I made the decision to change to a company that offered whole food plant based dinners.

Seriously, delivery dinners have been a life saver in terms of having a decent meal. It’s that crazy at my house. I made a big announcement “Fend for yourselves for dinner, mama is taking care of mama for a change”.


My son looked at me with total disinterest and my daughter who hates cooking just said “uh, okay”.

Oh goody. I thought I’d get complaints.

4 More Pounds Down. Yea!

One change I’ve made is eating fruit for breakfast. I decided to just go simple, and you know what? That little change recently helped me drop 4 more pounds. I learned this breakfast principle at a detox center I went to years ago in Michigan that followed the Ann Wigmore dietary principles of eating. It’s tough some mornings because of those horrible eating habits and the mentality that if I’m not knee deep in maple syrup, then I haven’t eaten the most important meal of the day.

I’m using Saturday mornings as my prep time for the week to eat healthier. I’m not a vegan, and I refuse to be a junk-food-vegetarian. I still love my occasional catfish and I have absolutely no moral qualms about meat and animals, but health-wise I see the wisdom in staying more plant based.

Happy healthy eating to everyone. Feel free to share your eating journeys in the comments below.