Five years of plant-based eating

Waffle recipe

Combine in a high-speed blender:

  • 1 small, very ripe banana, smashed
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup water or nondairy milk
  • 2 Tbs. ground flaxseeds or chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • zest of half an orange, if you have one

Cook for 8 minutes (or so) on your prepared and preheated waffle iron. Eat with fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup. Yum. (From The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook by Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn)

Going plant-based

Five years ago, when a bone scan revealed the first signs of osteoporosis, my doctor agreed with my choice not to take pharmaceuticals.* Then she recommended that I read The China Study and watch “Forks Over Knives.” The gist is that a whole-food, plant-based diet both prevents and reverses many chronic conditions. Jim and I were already mostly vegetarian and I credited his recovery from end-stage liver disease to the gallons of vegetable soup we ate each week. So, it was an easy sell.

Meanwhile, my friend Pat was in Florida, worrying about her risk factors for heart disease. She too resisted the idea of pharmaceuticals as the answer. When we visited her at Thanksgiving, she was like I need some ideas!

We watched “Forks Over Knives” together.

“I can do this!” she said when the movie ended and immediately started cleaning out the cabinets in preparation for her new lifestyle. I was impressed. I’d been easing away from dairy and eggs, but if Pat was all in, so was I.

We were liberated.


Liberated, yes. Since I’ve been on the topic of spirituality, it seems appropriate to say that the food we eat contributes to our spiritual wellbeing as well as our physical wellbeing.

That surprised me.

In harmony with ethical vegans, I felt uplifted by not having to participate in the carnage and cruelty of the meat and dairy industry. And my affinity for Buddhism felt stronger.

Like any sinner, I still enjoy a cheesy pizza now and then. And my abstinence from St. Louis’ Ted Drewes frozen custard lasted only so long. We are all just pilgrims aspiring to stay on the path.

*I did start taking vitamin D, which I was entirely depleted of

4 Replies to “Five years of plant-based eating”

  1. And I’m just about five years behind you but I’m mostly vegetarian now. Hardly ever have meat except when I’m having other people over and they want meat. I must say that I have noticed a yearning for greens an d a willingness to eat more wide ranging things since being off meat. I just don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen at night, so when I make something I go big and freeze some. I eat pitas full of Kale with balsamic vinegar…of course I get hungry after so have to complement with beans or nuts or peanut butter. Forks over Knives did it for me! Yes, I have cheese once in a while….but much more healthy than before!


    1. Woo-hoo! I follow the thinking of those who say starches are the key to satiety — so always having precooked potatoes in the fridge to add to meals or to snack on. I always throw some beans into my salads too. Check out Nutmeg Notebook on YouTube for good ideas on batch prepping.


  2. We did and are doing it together!! But you were and are my inspiration.


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