Almost a week of the Esselstyn Diet

2015-04-29 20.48.34This doesn’t look so bad for an essentially vegetarian diet.  Vegetarian with an Esselstyn twist that is!  The twist of this diet, is no oils -none!  No cooking oil, no oil in salad dressing and paying attention to packaging in purchases so as to not inadvertently buy a food group w/oil in it as can be found with canned beans and hummus in particular.


This was my creation for tonight. Left over steamed brown rice with beans and raisens and then cucumber, tomatoes and pomegranate seeds surrounding.   Quite good I must say.

I had an appointment at the VA this morning – fortunately I thought to make a sandwich to take with me.   Bread ok at least the one I’m using, Ezekial 4:9 sprouted grain bread.  I had a slice of bread a couple of hours after dinner with hummus spread on it, chia seeds spread out and then the bean rice concoction. Filled the appetite as well as the accompanying cucumbers dipped in hummus.

It take a little thought to stay true to the diet but the logic behind the diet appeals to me and the fact that it’s not about portioning or allowing the food to be a stress -at least no more of a stress than changing your diet with a complete and total makeover.  No Dairy, no eggs, no oil, no cheese, no ice-cream no milk …. can eat bread the Ezekial, or Aladdin’s pocket pita, etc flaxseed, multigrain, sunflower seed all considered good.

I’m on the road.  The weight doesn’t show it yet -think it’s time to hook up with the gym too!


Share your world!
Share your world!

What are your favorite spices?
Cinnamon & nutmeg.  Growing up on the island of Grenada these spices that are grown locally continue to be a staple in my life.  See my post here about Nutmeg & Grenada.


What object do you always have with you when traveling and why?Whistle
My shepherd’s whistle.  I have it with me at all times because my dogs are trained to respond to it.  Mostly to come or come quickly.  I wear my whistle 24 hours a day because I don’t ever want to be without it when it is most needed as in dogs coming!


What is one thing you love about being an adult?
I suppose tonight, watching parts of the White House Correspondent’s Dinner -I’m grateful to be able to understand the jokes and be able to laugh.  By the same token I sometimes wish I didn’t understand.

What item, that you don’t have already, would you most like to own?
I would like to own a home not to live in.  I love living on my boat but a home that could be rented out as a source of additional income for my retirement would be good.


Not into diets -but this one looks challenging enough to give it a go! (Esselstyn)

final product
final product

I’ve gained about 40lbs since my ankle surgery last July and that’s just not good for anyone especially someone who should be putting less weight on their feet not more.  Healing of this tendon transfer surgery means I need to go easy on the ankle and the added weight is not helping.  The lack of mobility for the last year was no help not to mention the last 3 years of challenges with the foot.  I’m definitely close to the goal of normalcy in walking but long story short, I need to lose weight!  If my scale is right I’m at 180 about 40lbs overweight at a minimum.  Ideally I would like to be under 140 lbs but will start with a goal of a 150.  I know my scale is slightly inaccurate but as long as I am using the same scale that hardly matters.

My basic lifestyle in general has been, no sodas besides an occasional social soda.  No alcohol and no coffee.  I eat breakfast on a  regular basis.  Kashi crisp cereal with about 4-5 tablespoons of raisins and a banana and milk, no sugar.  The other meals of the day have been hit or miss and rarely anything to brag about!  So 1 good meal a day for breakfast and the rest a joke.  Did I mention I don’t like to cook or even prepare food?

Yesterday I was speaking with my neighbour about a diet he did for the sake of his heart.  I don’t know how the subject came up.  I guess we were talking about heart stuff or something.  It was not meant so much to be a diet but rather a path to healthier heart.  I don’t have any fears regarding my heart and no abnormal indications in my blood work for concern so far but as he described the regime of this diet it made sense to me to I bought the kindle book and gave it a glance over.

I’m not going to get into all nitty gritty -mostly I’m just going to start trying to follow the plan.  No oil, no meat, no dairy but rather eat a plant based nutrition.  I’ve never considered myself a vegetarian but also i have found over the years that i don’t crave beef of any sort and if I am to eat meat it is either chicken or fish.  For this diet -no meat-not even fish!

I am going to give it as a good a shot as any but not go over radical.  This is a six week plan at which time I will 9if i’ve made it that far) either continue or modify.  If I make it to 6 weeks then no matter what i will be eating healthier than I currently am.

My first step in the process was a stop at a couple of stores to pick up the plant based diet foods.  Mandarin, limes, strawberries, blueberries, dried cranberry, balsamic vinegar, hummus, chia seeds,ezekial bread (made with sprouted grains), unsweetened almond milk,vegetable broth, papaya, cucumber.

My afternoon snack/did not eat lunch was the mandarin.

My dinner was a  toasted sandwich.  the bread with hummus and chia seeds with lettuce & spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms.  It was quite good.  I followed that with a small salad of mixed greens, mushrooms, sprouts, and the balsamic vinegar.  My dessert or latter snack was some papaya and strawberries.  For a drink I had a mix of green tea and hibiscus tea.

Overall day 1 good.  Will what the morning is like with the almond milk on my cereal -that will be an acquired taste probably!


A slideshow of some of my favourite recent pictures

A love of sunsets, my pups & my marina home is the essential subject of this video slideshow.

The first dog silhouette is of Boeing, my Australian Shepherd who passed away a few years ago.  An array of marina photos and sunsets follows.  The one bridge pictured within is the Richmond San Rafael bridge with Mt Tamalpais in the background.  The bridge is not visible from the harbour but a great sunset just the same.

The last two dog-sunset-sihouettes are of my current family members, Zulu (a 4yo catahoula) and then Sky (a 6yo Australian shepherd). The slideshow ends with a couple of stunning moonrises!

The background music is “Oh! Mio Babbino Caro” sung by Gianni Schicchi.  I’m not really an opera music listener but this piece of music inspired me to get the photos together and there is always the option to turn your sound off if the music doesn’t suit you.

Overall the slideshow is for me to remember special moments and images from the last several months and if they suit your taste you will enjoy as well.

Writing 101:Day Six: A Character-Building Experience

G_2Tough exterior, long and wild dirty blonde hair, surrounded by an aroma of a mix of incense and her favourite brand of cigarette.  Biker boots, jeans and t-shirts that usually have a pirate skull or similar.  With a vague resemblance to a biker gal and a sort of a swagger to her step, her pet pit-bull mix is always close.  This is the subject of my character study for she is a character like none I have ever met.

I made her acquaintance through a mutual friend. I had the needed extra bed as which aided in her visit to help her friend.  And so the friendship began.

Always willing and eager to help and with an insatiable desire to stay busy and be productive she can drive you nuts with her drive to be helpful.  Among her many talents is her skill as a seamstress and I by chance have a sewing machine!

She has a heart of gold and is someone who seems only know how to say ‘yes’ and ‘how can I help’.  She never says it like that and there will always be a million words to surround those phrases because she does like to talk and can talk a mile a minute.

I’m not finding fault her.  If anything, I find fault with myself for having held any preconceived notions about her.  Did I mention she has a heart of gold?  I can’t say that enough.  She is the dog whisperer of whisperers as well.  I think dogs know instantly that she is nothing but good and as characters and character studies go, well, she’s the best!


Today, write a post focusing on one — or more — of the people that have recently entered your life, and tell us how your narratives intersected. It can be your new partner, your newborn child, or the friendly barista whose real story you’d love to learn (or imagine), or any other person you’ve met for the first time in the past year.

Today’s twist: Turn your post into a character study.



Writing 101:Day Five: Random Letter (be brief)

fountain-pen-447575_1280You’ve just left on your trip thinking the worst and praying for the best.

I wish I could let you know about the letter that just came for you.  

I opened it hoping for the best.  Our prayers are answered.  Your son is fine and will make a full recovery.

This will be confirmed for you shortly when you arrive.  I wish you could read this letter now but I know you will be informed of the good news as soon as you see your son’s family.


You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

Writing 101 Day 4: (part 3)… other things gained

Continued from Part 2

As far as some things this experience has taught me.  Slow down!  Don’t rush!  I’ve had to move slower over the last few years.  I’ve witnessed the way those who don’t walk fast enough are rushed around and almost pushed aside by everyone in such a hurry.

Did I used to be like that?

I’ve been on the way to the checkout stand in a grocery store hobbling on crutches and using the shopping cart as my second crutch only to have someone in such a hurry rush to be in front of me -not realising or caring how much pain it was for me to even get to the line let alone stand in it.

DISParkingMy speed has finally picked up.  I can walk (without any crutches) into a grocery store now and don’t have to park in the handicapped spot to do it.  I have learned to be patient and gracious.  I want to think I always was but now, every time I pass someone who is moving slower, I make sure I am passing them with respect and care and certainly don’t place myself in a position to make their situation harder.

I know I am a better person for having had to slow down.  A loss of true mobility that I am seeing regained has given me appreciation and gratitude for so many of those simple things we take for granted.  The walks on the beach with my dogs is a highlight of one of the things my mobility and I enjoy but the grander picture of walking at all is something I no longer take for granted!

(Assignment from Writing101) – Part 3

Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.

This doesn’t need to be a depressing exercise; you can write about that time you lost the three-legged race at a picnic. What’s important is reflecting on this experience and what it meant for you — how it felt, why it happened, and what changed because of it.

Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.