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About Me

 

I don’t know if you’re anything like I am, but when I meet someone even if it’s only on their website, I like to know about them. I almost always go to the About Me section early on. So, if that’s the case with you, I will tell you a little About Me.

 

Being healthy is my number one priority. I just hate seeing so many sick and incapacitated people. Especially when it doesn’t have to be that way. A huge part of being healthy is what we put in our mouths. Healthy Foods equal healthy bodies and even healthy minds. That’s not to say that’s all there is to it, but it’s a very good start.

 

I’m Carol, a Health Advocate.

 

I am so blessed with unbounded energy (Thank you, God),  that this website is only one of the many things to which I devote my time. 

 

I am wife, mother of 5 beautiful children and Nani to 5 precious “Grands.” I’m a writer/author, blogger, business owner, model and I do television commercials. I teach cooking classes and am a healthy living coach. 

 

I care for my kind and gentle husband of nearly 49 years, who has been sick for the last few years, Patrick, our 46 year old son who has health issues, but he does live independently, and my 101 year old mother who is in a nursing home with dementia. She is content, compliant, non-complaining and pleasant.  I am grateful.

 

 

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My Mother On Her 100th Birthday

 

Major Change

 

Change is not an easy thing for anyone; however, I made a VERY MAJOR CHANGE in my life several years ago. And in my sixties, no less.  I changed my entire way of eating. I wasn’t ALWAYS a vegan. I’m Italian, afterall. I ate the good, old Standard American Diet that everyone else was raised on. What was even more difficult than that was that my family thought I had gone nuts. Friends did too. It was crazy, they voiced. Too radical, they said. Where do you get your protein? Where do you get your calcium? Even before I knew how to answer these questions, I was not deterred.

 

Do you feel better? This was another question I was often asked. Thank God I wasn’t feeling ill. I had no health problems. This might seem curious to some, but hold on! I changed my way of eating strictly as a PREVENTATIVE measure. I didn’t relish the idea of succumbing to the same diseases my relatives had, and if there was something I could do about it, well then, I certainly would.

 

My family background is rife with diabetes, cancer and heart disease. I reasoned that if I continued to eat what my family ate, I would get what they got. If I changed my way of eating, I would have a much better chance of not getting what they got. Not very scientific, I know.  But through my research, this is what I reasoned. In making the choice to become a plant-based-vegan, I have done lots more research and this is what the studies say: Good, healthy food = good, healthy bodies in return.

 

I have since gone on to become certified in plant-based nutrition through e-Cornell and The T. Colin Campbell Foundation. Not only has this validated my having made the right decision, it has increased my passion for helping others.  

 

Weight Control

 

I can tell you one thing. I have a huge appetite and can eat more than most people. I was full on many occasions but I was never satisfied. In an attempt to keep my weight in control, I purposely did not eat many foods: potatoes, pasta, bread, and fruit as starters. I LOVED bananas, but I wouldn’t dare eat a whole one because I might gain a pound. I know it was obsessive. But, now, I can eat any plant-based food I want and still keep the weight in check. Yea!

 

So, if that’s you: Not eating foods you love because of the fear of gaining weight, Stop! And take a good hard look at this.

 

Eating this plant-based way, I am now satisfied, eating more of what I NEVER ate, and eating not only better and healthier, but also all those foods that I liked and stayed away from for years. It’s a win, for sure! 

 

What You Can Expect as a Subscriber To My Site

 

I’m not a big sit-down-to-breakfast-kind-of-eater. So you probably won’t find a plethora of vegan breakfasts on the site. My favorites are a sweet muffin, a few of the smaller vegan snacks I’ve prepared, an English muffin with peanut butter and jelly (I absolutely LOVE peanut butter and jelly), fruit, a green smoothie, a small bowl of Irish oatmeal, or muesli. I’ve even been known to eat brown rice for breakfast with a plant-based milk and a little sweetener, like you would a cereal. 

 

I tend to eat more heartily as the day goes on. So you will see more lunches and snacks and dinner recipes than breakfast ones. 

 

Even though my site is about vegan, wholesome, plant-based food, I will also have thoughts about life in general. There will be meanderings, travel, thoughtful reflections and other life-related tips and thoughts.

 

You Will Read About Matters of the Heart, Home and Health.

 

Mind Health

 

I don’t watch much television, though I used to be a political junkie. However, I gave all that up many years ago because it was all just too negative. I only watch the news enough to keep myself informed, but I pretty much stay away from that too because once again, it’s just too much adverse stuff I don’t want invading my personal space.

 

I try to stay away from any sort of negative energy: people, places, things, etc. But sometimes you just can’t help it. There are those times when it does tend to invade my space. In those instances, my mind is working overtime saying, “Release it, release it.” Most of the time it doesn’t get a foothold in my psyche.

 

 

This is only a suggestion, but be careful what you feed your mind.

 

Be good to your mind; it can affect your body.
Be good to your body; it can affect your mind.

 

Favorite Things

 

Some of my very favorite foods are Pasta and I LOVE to eat. My mother said once that my Irish husband eats to live, while we as Italians live to eat. I enjoy looking at food, preparing it with love, savoring it going down and have even been known to talk about it after I’ve eaten it.

 

Other favorites are foods with nuts in it and anything chocolate. Fudge, brownies, deep, dark chocolate cake, oatmeal, cookies, vegan cheesy risotto, split peas, and yes, potatoes. Yes, you can have lots of potatoes on a plant-based diet. Some cultures exist primarily on potatoes. They are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It’s what you put on them and how you cook them, as in frying with oil, that’s the fattening part. So bring the potato back into your diet and shatter the “potatoes are bad” myth.

 

Other favorites are being with my precious grandchildren. Entertaining is one of my favorite things to do, preparing meals with love and sharing it with friends and family. A favorite thing that touches my heart is children’s laughter. 

 

Gratitude

 

 Gratitude is a HUGE part of my life.

 

A quote I once ran across says, “Each Day Offers Us  A Gift, If We Will Only Look For It.” Not sure who wrote this, but I LOVE it. I have typed it up with a pretty font, glued to a colorful backing and have given it to friends to use as a bookmark.

 

So each day, I look for a few gifts and add them to my daily gratitude list. I write them down. I can enumerate them in my mind, but writing them down is more meaningful to me.  Gifts and things for which to be grateful can be so fleeting and I would never think about them again other than the happening at the moment. But if I write them down, they become lasting in my mind. Besides, I can reread them and relive that moment that held meaning for me at the time.

 

If you’ve never done this, I encourage you to give it a try. Write at least five things a day in a notebook or journal, dating each day. It does the soul good.

 

One day my granddaughter, Kerigan, who was then about 9 or 10 years old, and I were enjoying doing a gratitude list together.  Then, we began talking about some of the things we love. I suggested we do a love-list. It turned out to be a special bonding time for us, and gave me a glimpse into her wise little mind –– a gift within a gift!

 

For example, I love lake living and fall days. I love a light rain. I love the smell of freshly mowed grass. I love waking up to the sun shining in my bedroom. I love a children’s choir. I love birdsong. Things like that. We each reached into the 100s. It was great fun for both of us.

 

More Stuff I’ve Done 

 

eating by booksI went back to college with five children still at home. They thought I’d gone straight off the deep end. Why, who in the world in their right mind would go to school if they didn’t absolutely HAVE to?

 

I’ve  been a newspaper columnist and have done freelance writing articles from people profiles to historical pieces to home design to articles on etiquette.

 

I have been a substitute school teacher and have taught etiquette/courtesy classes to children on a private basis.

 

My Family

 

myfamilyThis is a photo of my family and me but only 4 of our grandchildren. Gracie, our fifth one, hadn’t entered the scene when this photo was taken. At the time of this photo, my mother, Peppina, that’s Josephine in Italian, was 96 years old. Today, she is 101.

 

Peppina was a great inspiration to me in the kitchen and where I learned much of what I know today. And though my mother is no longer able to be in the kitchen with me, I have gathered a lifetime of lessons from her. Thank you, Mama. I am nowhere near what you would call a chef. I just absolutely LOVE to cook and have so LOVED being in my kitchen all these years. Afterall, it’s the heart of the home, isn’t it?

 

Friends-at-island-buffetI also love it for the “party that happens” when all is said and done. I love to have my family over for meals and we do this quite often. I have a large kitchen and here is where we all congregate.

 

How I Got Here

 

I had no intention of writing another book. I’d already written three in addition to the magazine & newspaper articles.

 

However, some things just sort of fall into my lap. I don’t actually plan them. They just happen and that’s how it was with this. Family and friends encouraged me to write a book now about vegan food. And before I knew it, that’s exactly what I did and how it happened. bookThe book is titled: You Don’t Have to be Vegan to Enjoy These Meals. And truly you don’t. People eat lots of vegan foods and don’t even realize it.

 

My Goal

 

I would love to touch your life as this path has touched mine. I want to help you know you can transform your health, your life and your weight. It CAN be done. When I first started this new journey of mine, I was really confused. After cooking and baking for years, now I didn’t know which way to turn in my kitchen. It was somewhat of a learning curve. As I was transitioning, I still had oil and vegan butter and vegan sour cream and such in my diet and my recipes. My goal was to eventually eliminate those completely for a more organic way of eating.

 

We all need fats in our diet for good health. But what I’m talking about here when I say eliminate oils, is the refined oils. Oils that are stripped from the whole foods have no nutrients and are all fat going to and clogging the arteries. Good fats – good. Refined fats – not good.

 

Just so you know, I did eliminate them from my recipes and going forward foods posted will not contain any of those items. So if you see those ingredients in the recipes, know they were before I took them out of my own diet.

 

So, now that my book was out, I found myself doing things I never dreamed I’d be doing like this website and my blog, because I want to help you realize you too can improve your life and your health.

 

Remember, Getting old does not have to mean getting sick. Our bodies are wonderful machines and given the right foods can actually heal themselves. 

 

I invite you to check out the content on my website. Watch my Youtube videos on food preparation, and find me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

 

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