Category Archives: Uncategorized

Plant Based Complete Protein Sources

An item or ingredient is a complete protein when it has all of the essential amino acids (those needed by humans from our diet).

Many other plants have several amino acids but need to be combined with another item to complete the mix for use in the human body.

This is a very simple list: ( and soy is avoided for allergy and other concerns)

1. Seitan – 21 grams per 1/3 cup. Of course I left out soy due to allergen concern and since seitan is ALL GLUTEN there are some allergy concerns.

2. Hummus with Whole whole grain pita 7 g with 2 tbs hummus

3. Peanut butter sandwich on wheat bread 15 g for 2 tbs PB .

4. Rice and beans 7g/ cup  (brown rice)

5.  Quinoa 8g /cup cooked

6. Buckwheat 6g/cup cooked ( no gluten not related to wheat)

CLOSE TO COMPLETE PROTEIN , but great for combining:

Chia seed and Hemp seed. 9-10 g/ serving

Nutritional yeast – 12g/ 3 tbs

Other seeds  7-9 g/ 1/4 cup
This is just a quick list but many of these can easily be included in 3 daily meals for an intake of 20-30 grams of protein per day.

Plus  a few charts from the web world-

How do you get enough protein on a plant-based diet?



Vegan cookbooks and Websites

i recently had a conversation with a friend about about easy Vegan eating.

I was inspired to look,at my cookbook shelves and memory. What books did I like and recommend and any other info( websites).

Long before I went vegan I read Dr Dean Ornish’s books and started experimenting with his heart healthy plant based recipes.

Later when I wa struggling with some pain and inflammation issues I learned of the evil of dairy as a food source and a few books helped with that 1st step to vegetarian diet.

Books I have and like:

Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook Hardcover – 2007

by Isa Chandra Moskowitz , Terry Hope Romero
Love this one. Lots of great recipes and tons of ideas to get creative with. Plus Isa Chandra Moskowitz has other great books and lots of web presence.
1,000 Vegan Recipes (1,000 Recipes 2009

by Robin Robertson

Another great one. Can get OCD ( I did) and start working through the book…. Also has. A newer book…100 BEST VEGAN RECIPES
Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year 2012

by Del Sroufe

The first book, FORKS OVER KNIVES has great info but this is all food. There is a great video/ documentary available,online.
Becoming Vegetarian: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Vegetarian Diet 2003. by Vesanto Melina , Brenda Davis 
Great getting started book, my first in this current situation. Was what I used to learn to be dairy free, and later carried it to the next step.

Becoming Vegan, Express Edition: The Everyday Guide to Plant-based Nutrition Paperback –2013

by Vesanto Melina , Brenda Davis

My (obvious ) 2nd book after the previous. Read and studied before I switched.

Have not read but seems interesting with good reviews.
PETA’S Vegan College Cookbook: 275 Easy, Cheap, and Delicious Recipes to Keep You Vegan at School 2016.     

But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner 2014

By Kristy Turner

Very interesting topic and also,comes with good reviews.
The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out 2014

by Angela Liddon

Another interesting book with lots of great reviews.
INTERESTING WEBSITES:   Lots of great fun, info and recipes.     Happy Healthy Life is a lot of fun and full of info.     Lots of basic cooking info as well as recipes and Nava Atlas has some good,books as well.

Hiding the Garden from the Deer

I have  loved gardening for many years. This year had the “opportunity” to try to outsmart the deer and grow some herbs on the patio. May create beds outside but need to investigate fencing / barrier options.

We had several 10″-12″ and bigger pots and put a good soil mix and planted seedlings (from Farmers Market, )

I bought the herbs over a 3-4 week period and they were planted in pots to accommodate their rots and growth needs. Mint all by itself, basil with oregano and another pot of basil with chives. Marjoram is growing nicely in another pot and parsley is in several as well,is in th front yard , sharing space with roses. The roses smell great as a result of their new neighbors.

I knew what we wanted to grow but I did a little research for best herbs for container growing and this was the first .

It has an interesting list and some fun suggestions. The patio is growing green and seems to be doing well. Of course the pics I took are crappy so,I will try again and attach them later.

If all goes well we should have enough basil for some pesto and and for some pesto to freeze. The parsley has already been used and will be harvested all through the season. The others are getting close to usable size.

I have done some container gardening in the past, next I will try with some fruiting vegetables like cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and peppers.

Here are a few things I am reading about veggies in containers:

This is a lot of fun and delicious as well.

Next experiment will be with sprouting indoors…start and eat in 5-14 days in many cases.


Springtime Planting and Planning: Never too Late to Improve the Soil

I live in Virginia and we have a nice heavy clay soil. In many locations it is very fertile and provides a good base for garden plants BUT it has many challenges that limit the productive capacity of the new garden(or old gardens still rooted in clay).

When I play ( and it is fun) in the garden and plan my future fun I do soil prep and soil improvement in the fall and during the season as crops are harvested and even as they grow.

Now first thing to address- I am a fan of building the soil WITHOUT tilling or turning the soil.  There is plenty of debate on this. If you choose the till and add to the soil that way it will work as well. 

I add the improvements to the soil and they get worked in by weather and worms or by me as crops are planted. I also like to use grass clippings and leaves as weed barriers around the plants in the garden. These break down and add organic material to the soil. Leaves add carbon and grass adds nitrogen ( much simplified) . These items can also be composted and when aged properly can be worked into the top layers and added to plants during planting or after the fact.

One of the great side effects of added organic material is the enticement of worms and microorganism  to join us in the garden. As they enjoy the grass and leaves and compost and manure they enrich the soil, add channels for water and air to flow to the roots. More on Worms and composting with worms later( vermicomposting) .

Some video information:

This video has a discussion of browns vs. Greens. Simply put browns are compostables  loaded with carbon (leaves, wood chips, mulch, paper, cardboard) Greens are loaded with nitrogen( grass, kitchen scraps even manure). When they both breakdown the compost and the soil is balanced nutritionally for plant use. He is layering to build a new garden bed but the same idea works when building a compost pile .

A few videos on composting.

A quick HOW TO:

New garden plot  make a “lasagna” of cardboard or newspaper,grass, leaves, manure, compost , wood chips and repeat. If you want to use this new plot/ bed right away you can add some bagged topsoil to plant the seeds or seedlings. If this bed is for,next season/spring you can build it up with layers and let the winter work it down and plant in it next spring.

Exiting garden bed/plot Add your amendments to the soil as you harvest in the fall or as you plant in the spring. Many can be added during the season. See the reference to leaves and grass as weed barriers.


Tis the season for Compost (prep for Spring Now )

Summer is over and a few crops remain…What is the most important thing to do after you have cleaned up the garden?

You now have plants and leaves and roots that were removed when finished and these can be the basis of new soil next season if handled properly, and composted. To compost these remainders you can:

  • chop them and work into the soil
  • burn them and put the ash in the soil OR
  • add to compost bin or pile

Now the naked garden can be left alone until planting but a better option is to add cut grass, chopped leaves, coffee grounds and food scraps – NOW and let them  work into the soil over the next 3-5 months.

Green manure crops may be planted to feed and improve and protect the soil. Many of the popular “manures” are legumes that capture nitrogen and fix it into the soil and the greenery that does grow breaks down quickly next season when chopped into the soil .


  1. It is “free” since you have plenty of material in the Fall- fallen leaves, cut grass, kitchen waste as well as newspapers and cardboard from Christmas gift packages
  2. it is simple, collect and pile ( you can get fancy and work the pile- it is recommended  for speed
  3. fill the pile and let it age and create new Young piles/bins

Tools or Supplies needed or suggested:

A) spot for the pile or bin

B) Material or barrel for bin, pile ( not required but helps a lot)

C) lawnmower to chop leaves and larger scraps (smaller pieces ,speed the process)

D) shovel or fork to turn the scraps and speed the process

More info  below.

Compost pile:

Hot Compost ( for winter and speed ):

Composters to buy:


Cheapskate Gardening- some Notes/posts

Cheapskate Gardening- some Notes/posts


* Gardening and maintenance- Misc thoughts-

* Watering and Irrigation ideas

Vegetarian and/or Vegan Diet and Lifestyle – Decision to Switch and Support for the Switch

        Several years ago while struggling with inflammation and the pain in my feet [plantar fasciitis] – I did a lot of research that led me to realize that dairy was a contributing factor to the discomfort and as a result of the information I decided  to drop dairy from my diet.

        This change had amazing results – in 5 weeks from the switch I felt relief from the pain that had bothered me for the previous 14 months. {I have been pain free in my feet ever since that time}

       In the year following the switch I started to think about making the switch all the way vegetarian. The original research also revealed some of the additional benefits of a plant based diet above and beyond the relief from inflammation that going dairy-free gave me.

SOME questions and concerns:

1] How would this change happen with my lifestyle?

2] What restaurants – that I regularly visited- would fit the diet?

3] What other restaurants would fit the lifestyle best? Did I like them and the food?

4] What about brown-bagging my lunch?

 5]  What about recipes and cookbooks?


The following websites and blogs are some that I visit regularly for info, entertainment and of course recipes.

From the site- “ Once upon a time, back in the year 1996, a food-loving, web-savvy, super-smart vegan saw a need for an online veg community. Not only did she want to share meat-free recipes with like-minded cooks around the world, she wanted to connect with others to discuss this burgeoning way of life”  This Is the basic story of the vegweb site. It is a lot of fun and loaded with tons of great information.

It is loaded with recipes, Community info, basic of veganism and a great blog.

The Vegetarian Resource Group has a nearly unlimited collection of info for new and long time vegetarians/vegans.  Come look and search and play. ( and be healthy)

From the ABOUT US page- The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public on vegetarianism and the interrelated issues of health, nutrition, ecology, ethics, and world hunger. In addition to publishing the Vegetarian Journal, VRG produces and sells cookbooks, other books, pamphlets, and article reprints.

I loved meatloaf in the old carni/omnivore days so this site lets me make some fun LOAVES with what I have in the pantry and fridge at any given time or to plan ahead for shopping trip.

This is a fun forum with a wide variety of sub topics including recipes, exercise, fitness, gardening and lifestyle. Join in and participate-share- ask questions.

As a lifelong athlete and now a 50+ fitness/health focused person I love the variety of conversations on this forum and the site.