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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Give-Away and "Alien-Veggie"

Happy Anniversary to me.  It's hard for me to recall when I've been so happy about acknowledging a time-defined milestone.  This past month was my one-year anniversary of going vegan, and adopting a whole-food plant-based dietary commitment.

My achievements have definitely paralleled the amount of energy, time and resources I have put into this year.  Just in statistics alone, I have lost 36 pounds (total weight loss is a bit over 50 pounds but that includes the 14 I lost in the 6 months prior to adopting this food program), down nearly 3 pants sizes.  I will have new blood-work numbers to include soon also and I am anxious to see those, but for sure I know my blood pressure is consistently lower hovering around 107/77.

Best of all is the amount of energy I have, less sleep required and a massive improvement in my general sense of well-being.

There is a bit more to it than just the numbers and even the increased energy's the sense that I am no longer as much of a drain on this poor abused and over-taxed planet- a sense that there isn't as much damage being done by the fact of my existence (I do know that there is still damage though).  Best of all, I am happy that no animal (directly) has to die so that I can live.  That is something that never did sit well with me.

I look around at my sphere of influence and see others that have now adopted this way of eating, either totally or in some proportion.  Recently, my son has been eating more and more whole foods and this gives me endless joy.  As the father of my grand-daughter,  he has the power to directly influence the next generation.  He's already experienced noticeable health benefits and I am so proud of the choices he is making.

Yesterday while picking up my CSA pack at the farm market, a friend's husband said to me that he wanted to try this way of eating.  I thought, wow....this is just beyond cool to have a little bit of effect on getting someone to even THINK about adopting a healthier lifestyle.

It is so easy to be cynical in this world that is filled with so much despair and wrong-doing, and it is easy to feel that we simply cannot make a difference; that the job is too big, that we may as well try to move Mt. Everest with a teaspoon.  But I see the changes coming; I see awareness increasing; I see many of us, exerting a teeny bit of influence, and I see that effort sending out the proverbial ripple in the pond...and I see apathy falling away.  If ten million people all grabbed teaspoons, well, Mt. Everest would still be a job....but we'd be in it together, and some of that mountain WOULD get moved.  Are you in?

Alien Veggie.  That's what I'm calling it. 

Seriously, don't they look positively alien?  It's actually kohlrabi, and came in my CSA pack a couple of weeks ago.  I thought....oh no, I've managed to avoid aliens for all these years (although there was that one guy in my chem lab in college....) only to have to face them now.  I bravely grabbed knife and cutting board and whipped out the old "Joy of Cooking" to figure out what to do with these babies.  (Joy had nothing for me...).

Kohlrabi is a brassica, of the same family that kale, mighty kale and cabbages are.  In fact it is cultivated from wild cabbage.  My husband's cousin is married to the most wonderful German woman, (Hi J if you are reading!) and her vegetarian son, also fluent in German and also wonderful (Hi E!), told me that kohlrabi means turnip in German.  It's high in several minerals and vitamins and can be eaten raw or cooked....I like my aliens cooked, so went for a light water saute.  In case it was an utter flop, I did some baked zuccini slices and sweet potatoes for back up.
Then, I pulled out my secret weapon....Viv, the magnificient, and Lindsay Nixon's (The Happy Herbivore) never fail, Queso.  This stuff could make rusted metal taste good. 

You can find Lindsay's recipe for Queso, which she generously supplied to me, here.    {I got to thinking about this later and I think this is actually Averie's sauce that she uses for kale chips and I just heated it on the stove to use as a sauce---this will teach me to fall behind on my blog....maybe.  Anyway here is that recipe: , and this works wonderfully in many applications e.g. as a dip for veggies, from this planet or elsewhere.)

Aliens a la queso.  Let me just say, they were good!  Not super flavorful, but definitely a specific taste.  Think mild radish meets cucumber meets red potato....something like that.  Even my husband ate them.  I am now a kohlrabi fan, even though I still think they are from another planet.

Give-away.  Ok, in celebration of my one-year plant-based diet, I am giving away a gift basket, lovingly prepared by Karen of Crafty By Nature.  Included will be her vegan hand lotion, apricot skin scrub, and a few other items...I'll try to put a picture on here later if possible of what all will be in it.  We are trying to keep it all vegan and a few of her items do contain beeswax.

To enter, just leave a comment of what your favorite vegetable is.  That's all you need to do.  Winner will be chosen at random in a week or so. 

I know I don't have many 'followers' listed on here, but I check my stats a couple of times a week and am endlessly astonished, humbled and tickled to see people from so many countries that visit my blog.  I'd love to hear from you from time to time although I know everyone is busy.  Thanks for reading though!

And on your next visit to the store....pick up an alien or two....

Sue in Ohio....still celebrating my first year plant-strong!


  1. We like kohlrabi raw or even better sliced and grilled.

    It's hard to pick ONE fav veg but I could eat sweet potatoes every day if needed. I like them baked, cooled actually cold, cut in half, and use a spoon to scoop out the 'meat' like a kiwi.

  2. Hi Liz,
    I hear you on the sweet potatoes! I love them with black beans on top and maybe a little salsa.
    Thanks for entering!

  3. I too, love sweet potatoes, but have really enjoyed putting turnips in soups and raw on salads. Especially when those salads are made with fresh from the garden gourmet lettuces and chard! I love them all!

  4. I love red bell peppers! Raw, all by themselves. YUM!

  5. Carrots! Definitely carrots. I can eat them raw by themselves, in a salad, juiced, or pretty much any way not cooked. Not a huge fan of cooked veggies. Nom nom :)

  6. Just the basics here but will try new things. My fav is still tomatoes! Sue thanks for being a great friend and I love your blog!

  7. Thanks, Renae, Debbie, Kendra and Alicia.....appreciate hearing from you. (You are welcome, Alicia...if you need any tomatoes, have plenty in my garden!).