Lesson 1500 – Forks over Knives

 

Oh hurrah for the optimism that is January. After doing a little bit of reading from the Forks over Knives cookbook given to me at Christmas, I decided to go full-on vegan with a plant-based diet this week. I sat down and explained what I was going to do with the kids and they (somewhat reluctantly, at least at first) agreed to go along with it. For the entire week, we are going to try our hardest to not eat any animal products.

Our first dish was Tofu Taco boats. The kids were a little squeamish about the tofu, but I got extra-firm and I pressed the water out of it and so when it was finally sauteed with onions, corn and spices it tasted fine.

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Our next meal was right from the Forks over Knives cookbook – baked vegetarian ziti with faux cheese sauce. Again the kids wrinkled their noses at first.

“What’s faux cheese sauce?”

I had to explain that the “cheese” was actually made from mashed potatoes, almond milk, and nutritious yeast flakes. I know, I know, it sounds gross, but guess what? It “melted” on the ziti and it turned out to be tasty enough that not only did the kids have second helpings, but they also ate leftovers the next day. Win-win-win.

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Part of eating a healthy diet is also creatively using up leftovers. Another meal used the leftover tofu from the taco boats. We placed it on a warp with greens, a smear of garlic hummus, some sundried tomatoes and voila! A healthy vegetarian/vegan sandwich.

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All of these meals are not only part of a vegan diet, but they are also part of an anti-inflammatory diet. Something everyone with Lyme disease or a chronic illness should be eating.

“So what’s for dinner tonight?” asked one of my kids as he got ready to leave the house for school.

“Tonight is going to be Corn Chowder.”

“Oh yum!”

My kids have gone from wrinkling their noses to eagerly anticipating what they know will be a tasty meal. We’ll definitely be working our way through more vegan recipes – even when it’s no longer January.

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1499 – I’m one of those people

I wasn’t going to talk about this yet, but with all that is going on in Washington I feel like I have to.

Two years ago, because my mother was diagnosed with a very aggressive and rare type of skin cancer. I made an appointment with a dermatologist for a baseline examination. I figured – “Let’s see what my skin looks like now so that we can compare it to the future.”

All was well but because of my mother’s cancer I was put on a yearly schedule for checks.

This year, what I had thought was simply a mole on my face (that had been there for years but only recently started to look suspicious) was biopsied and it turned out to be cancerous.

Good news is that it’s basal cell cancer, bad news is that it’s a rare type of basal cell that acts like it’s malignant.

We have insurance. No problem right? Then let’s just go ahead take it out.

Except that because of the location (on the side of my nose) and because of the type of cancer, the Dermatologist surgeon told me that they will need to take a nickel-sized piece of full thickness skin out of my face. (Go ahead and hold a nickel up to the side of your nose and see what that will look like. I did, it’s not pretty.)

Because the hole will be so large, a plastic surgeon also needs to be involved.

Due to scheduling conflicts with the docs and changing of insurance, they are now saying that it looks like I’ll be having the surgery in March. Five months after the cancer was diagnosed.

And that’s with a good solid insurance plan and going to good doctors.

Because I’ll be going to two surgeons in two different facilities, this is going to cost us thousands of dollars out-of-pocket even with our insurance.

I’m fortunate. We can cover this.

If we didn’t have insurance, there would be no way (other than selling the house or taking the kids out of college – something I would never do) that we could afford the bills for two surgeons.

And who knows what is going to happen down the line? Once you have cancer, you tend to get it again.

Cancer is a pretty big pre-existing condition

If the current administration has its way, pre-existing conditions won’t be covered. People will have the option of going broke or living.

I am one of those people.

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1498 – Crooked little house

 

One of my favorite things I picked up at a craft fair this holiday season is this little clay crooked house.

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I’ve since lost the contact information, but it was created by a young mom who makes them for fun. She has a message that she wants people to hear.

Each house is purposefully made crooked to remind us that while none of us are perfect, together as a family, we all combine our talents and contributions to create our own special homes.

This decoration will be finding a permanent spot in our family’s imperfect-yet-perfect little home.

 

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1497 – Grandma Gatewood’s Walk

I mentioned this book on my Facebook page but I also want to let my blog readers know about it.

I recently had (yet) another birthday (don’t ask) and as per my request I got several books (is there really any other gift to give me?) As I’m still getting over this coughing crud, I had plenty of time to sit and read. (I can think of no better medicine.)

grandmaOne book in particular looked interesting and so I picked it up and started reading.

I was still reading at 11:00 at night when I finally coughed myself to sleep.

And then I got up the next morning to read some more.

The book – Grandma Gatewood’s Walk – the inspiring story of the woman who saved the Appalachian Trail – written by Ben Montgomery, is the story of Emma Gatewood, a 67 year old mother of 11, grandmother of 23 who, in 1955, decided to walk the entire length of the Appalachian trail starting in Georgia and ending in Maine.

Emma had spent most of her life in an abusive marriage where her husband would routinely beat her to the point of injury. Broken ribs, cracked teeth, bloody head – when her kids were finally old enough, she stood up to her husband and was granted a divorce. Continue reading

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Lesson 1496 – Find the puppy

Haven’t played this game in a long time.

It’s cold and damp, there’s a winter storm warning forecasting 3-5 inches of snow for tomorrow. Coughing is under control but there’s nothing in the tank – days are spent reading and napping – waiting for strength to return. A perfect time to hunker down and stay warm.

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Find the puppy.

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Lesson 1495 – 10K and a Twenty – Nashua, NH

 

10K and a Twenty

Sojourneying one step at a time

For my first mini-10K journey, I decided to visit the city of Nashua, NH located southeast to our town and considered one of the “big” cities in New Hampshire  (it’s more like a winding and very-active town.) Nashua is right above the Mass border. At it’s furthest end, it supports a large shopping mall where many come to take advantage of our “no-sales tax” merchandise (Live Free or Die) and at the end closest to our town, it simply looks like an extension of what we already have. Houses, land, trees.

The center of Nashua proper is the main street that runs through the old mill, downtown section, it’s where the major commerce is – restaurants, boutiques, bars, – The city has done a lot to revitalize the shopping area and by all accounts, Nashua has it going on. Very cool, very hip.

When Griffin and I completed our border to border walk this summer, we passed through Nashua, but as we were talking to the mayor, we didn’t have much time to look around. This time I took my time – that’s what walking allows you to do. Continue reading

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Lesson 1494 – Lyme Disease and the importance of diet

So let’s talk about Lyme Disease and diet.

I’d mentioned before that I did intermittent fasting (IF) –and while there are many ways of doing it, (don’t eat for entire days, eat under 500 calories in a day) to me, it means that once I’ve finished dinner I don’t eat again until at least 12:00pm the next day.

I drink teas, I drink coffee, and technically I “cheat” because I add the juice of half a lemon to water, but other than that – nada.

It’s actually not a tough thing to do once you get used to I, but it does take a little bit of planning. For the most part, you have to make sure that you have healthy, clean food in the house to eat once you break your fast (if you’re starving and all you have are Christmas cookies, guess what your lunch is going to be?)

I like doing this (in conjunction with an anti-inflammatory diet – no gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, low meats) because in a way, it’s a type of meditation for food. Continue reading

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