Vegetarian Struggle



For years I was a vegetarian, sometimes vegan and not even thinking about it till after a while. This lifestyle was not hard for me except when I went out to eat, seems down here in South Alabama people want to throw a chunk of pork in every pot of beans or greens.

Last year I had no choice a few times and ate chicken, then that lead to more chicken and turkey.

Like drugs, hit it once and you are on it.

I promised myself I would not get back on meat and I would stop and for the most part I have.

BUT……

This past month has been hard on me eating anything. I could still do the fruit breakfast and a lite lunch but when dinner came and I had to cook one meatless meal and one meat meal I gave in and would just have the turkey burger, b-b-q chicken or fried chicken because I was exhausted from working all day.

Some nights it was even worst where I would have a bowl of cottage cheese with peaches and call that dinner.

And someone bought me a quart of no sugar added ice cream so that brought back acid stomach, yes twice I took zantac, and what we don`t always mention when we eat sugar alcohols, severe gas.

Today I have to go back, I have to resist the urge to be lazy and chop that lettuce, tomato and cucumbers. Toss all that bread aside.

I need to slice those mushrooms and carrots, make my lentil soup that is packed full of all that wonderful flavor.

I don`t need to rely on just that bin in the fridge filled with fruit to get me through the day. I will need to pop open those home canned beans and other vegetables.

Lazy and this animal product addiction is out the window. I must take control.

How about you, do you struggle to get rid of something that is bad for you?

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry



Stockpile Dinner – Making Dinner

April 24,2016

Having so much to do outside I had to think about what I wanted to fix for Sunday night dinner on a Saturday night.

Since Tony loves butter beans (large dried Lima beans) I washed and cleaned the beans on Saturday night and left them soaking overnight in a huge bowl filled with water, covered with a plate. Sunday I drained and rinsed the puffed up, double in size beans and put them into a large cooking pot filled with water, They cooked up in around an hour.

Last week before plowing the kale under for the new Spring garden I picked several bags full of kale, I had cleaned and put a mess in the refrigerator besides canning four quarts, so I put those greens into a large cooking pot covered in water, a dash of olive oil,salt, a small onion (chopped) and the juice of one half lemon and I let them cook till tender, around one hour.

Meat? Yes Tony is eating more meat that usual lately so I put on a beef roast to cook. I rinsed the meat, sliced it into two inch strips and added salt, black pepper, garlic and one half chopped onions and I let this cook on medium heat for two hours.

I Had canned potatoes back a few months ago and I opened a quart jar and added to the beef roast,plus a bag of baby carrots from the fridge and the rest of the onion. I allowed this to cook for another hour.

I made a small pone of cornbread to go with this meal.

The best part is I did not stand over this meal to cook it I put everything on to cook and would just check on it every now and then while I worked doing something else.

Now how is this a stockpile dinner?

Everything I used was from the stockpile except the beef roast that was purchased last week. Even the baby carrots I had bought at Aldi`s weeks ago, I have several bags awaiting, the onions were from Aldi`s and in the stockpile. The kale was grown in the vegetable garden. All the spices are in the stockpile.

What did you have for Sunday dinner?

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Junk Food And Fish

You would think that while I am out working hard labor I would forget about cooking and head out to eat but I don`t, usually I come right home and cook dinner. Then on my days I take off I would also cook at home but it was the opposite one day.

That was yesterday, I went out that morning and I bought two tombstone Pizzas and yes I cooked one and I ate to much, put the rest in the fridge. I went to pick up Tony and he wanted Chinese take out so I stopped there and he got “two” boxes, one for me and one for him, he ate and then late last night he wanted the other pizza cooked for him so I did. Not a good eating day for me or him. 🙁

Breakfast for me was a nice large deep red delicious apple and it was SOOO good!

After I seen that my blood sugar was thirty points higher than the past week of fasting blood checks so I knew I would have to be good today and with company coming it was going to be hard to please them and me so I did freshwater fish for our early dinner, Crappie, home fries and hand diced cole slaw. And for the guest a blackberry cobbler.

We all sat down in the dining room and ate, not a scrap left on anyones plate ,when it was dessert time I decline and so did Tony but the man took his and I swear I made him moan, he took a bite, then another and moaned 🙂 Before he tasted the cobbler he did not want to take it home with him but afterward he told me to wrap it in foil and sack it up 🙂

Soon I will take my night time blood sugar count, since I walked the dogs I hope its at a good number.

How have you been with eating healthy? Cheating like me or no?

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Thursday N Friday Night Stockpile Dinner

April 14th and 15th , 2016

For those who don`t know me, I have a stockpile and some is from using coupons and the rest I home canned or froze myself. This year I made the resolution to stop shopping so much and use up this stockpile.

Thursday night I did not know what I wanted to cook but I did not work at the rentals so I was not extremely tired so I went with a complete vegetable dinner. From the freezer.

Fried okra that I grew myself and I froze last summer. I just lightly floured it and fried it in hot canola oil till browned.

Sweet potatoes that I bought at Aldi`s for thirty three cents a pound and I precooked them and froze them, so all I did was microwave them for three minutes and added dairy free butter.

Turnip greens that I grew in the garden last fall, I picked and cleaned them, cooked them and then froze for a later meal so all I did was out them in a cooking pot and biol them till hot, I added agave nectar and salt with a drizzle of olive oil.

That was my dinner. But…

I added butter beans for Tony, I always cook plenty of beans and freeze them in meal size bags. I just heated them in the microwave till hot.

Friday night:

Since I worked all day I was very tired so I went to the stockpile and I got a jar of pork that I canned, for tony to have b-b-q sandwiches and I took a jar of chili I canned.

I drained the pork and put one part b-b-q sauce and one part ketchup, heated till hot in the microwave for Tony, served with bread and pickles ( that was a part of the stockpile as well).

I just emptied the jar of vegetarian chili in a bowl and microwaved for two minutes, added Texas Pete`s hot sauce that was a part of the stockpile as well) and I was one happy woman 🙂

Now that is how you live on a stockpile.

By Andria Perry
Photo by Andria Perry – Fried okra

Eating Healthy? How ?

I am often reading about diets, as @rextrulove mentioned in his last article, but I have discovered that people do not understand what health means, some think you have to live off lettuce or ” rabbit food” to eat healthy but thats not true at all.

I am a diabetic so I had to learn how to eat “low carb” and its not just about getting rid of sugar or breads.

I also have ups and downs with cholesterol so I tend to get rid of other foods in my way of eating healthy that will reduce those numbers down to be in a nice lower risk for clogged arteries and heart attacks.

But as far as just needing to loose weight I will pass on what the doctor told me, he said ” Eat as you normally would, dip your plate with food, then remove one half of that food every meal and you will loose weight.” Wanna know what? he was right! I did just that and I slowly lost pounds and now I have lost 11 pounds without doing nothing else but as he said. And I am not ever hungry.

When a diabetic eats we are to eliminate ” white foods” Meaning Flour, white refined sugar, white bread, pasta, rice and Irish potatoes and any corn products. Those are high on the list that will jack up the blood sugar.

Heart Patients and people with high cholesterol need to slow down on animal products, red meats and fried foods.

Is this hard to do, yes sometimes it is, especially when you used to live on double cheeseburgers and fries from McDonald`s.

I went cold turkey straight to vegetarian, I cannot lie and say I was perfect because I did slip up at times and say ” to hell with it” and stop by and get that double cheeseburger and fries. But I discovered after doing without , it did not taste as good anymore.

Now lets get to making better choices. The very best way to eat is for you to buy the food from the produce aisle and raw meat case and cook yourself. Boxed or frozen meals have hidden sugars and high amounts of salt ( not good for high blood pressure). But I know that some people do not know how to cook but cooking is now that hard to learn, just youtube what you want to make.

I cannot do any bread or sugar, it just jacks my blood sugar and I would rather do without than start using a needle daily to live.

For breakfast most people enjoy oats or grits, pancakes or waffles, biscuits and gravy but that is the worst breakfast to eat and will make you feel Blah.

Try – 2 Eggs scrabbled and slice a whole apple. you get protein and carbs for balance.

For lunch most people grab a burger and fries because its fast and you don`t have time to eat a meal, 30 minutes or less for most 9 -5 working people.

Try – Baked chicken sandwich and onion rings of you have to eat fast food, you get protein and carbs for balance.

Dinner is always easier because you have so many foods to chose so just use the rules of no white for carbs and use fruit and starchy vegetables for carbs. and for less cholesterol go with chicken or turkey, to get rid of all animal products would be best for the heart but that way of life is not for everyone.

What I have learned in my 50 years on this earth is , fruit is natural candy, nuts and seeds are natural protein, meat and dairy are protein from animals. Vegetables are starches for the most part but loaded with vitamins that keep the body and mind healthy and alert.

NOTE: Leafy green vegetables are high in vitamin K , if a person is on blood thinners limit your inatke so not to interfere with medication. Vitamin K is a blood builder.

Low in Iron? Eat all those greens 🙂

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Working – Cannot Eat

Diet Tip – Your pants will never be tight if your don’t wear pants.

Yes that was in my Facebook feed this morning and you have to admit that it is true.

There was no dinner last night. I did eat but it was not a planned meal.

I hear from people all the time telling me to limit this or that so that I will be healthy. Usually I can deal with it and move on but last night I just could not come up with a meal for me that was healthy after working hard all day. I think my brain was fried from thinking about work and I just could not focus on making ME a meal.

Tony was good with a couple hamburgers, I am not fond of hamburgers anymore, I do not like to smell the meat cooking but I don`t mind cooking it for someone else to eat.

I just settled for a can of Hormel Turkey chili for my dinner and I was not satisfied.

After about an hour and a half I went to Walmart and I bought myself a small container of cottage cheese, I wanted cottage cheese and peaches. So at midnight I was eating myself and serving of chopped peaches in their own juice and cottage cheese.

Last week I was told, lower your cholesterol and make sure to stay on a diabetic diet. For those who do not know what that type of diet is “Supposed” to be I will tell you what I am NOT to eat.

For the diabetic part of eating :

No Rice

No Pasta

No corn or corn products

No potatoes or potato products

No sugars

No breads of any type

NO flour products – Breaded foods

No oatmeal ( this really jacks the sugar level up)

For The cholesterol part of eating :

No meat

No cheese

No vegetable oil / corn oil

Basic – no animal products

Now you know why its hard for me to ” plan” my meals. Tony asked “what are you going to eat?” I reckon I will live in the produce section of the store, there is no place for me to go.

Yesterday I ate fruit and vegetables all day, this is going to take time to adjust to, I could not help but have that weal moment and eat cottage cheese.

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry – Peach tree blooms

Easter Dinner

Since I am only cooking for me and Tony I did not go big or a lot and we will have dinner late, while watching the walking dead, most likely.

Remember I bought meat for twenty six meals? Well you can make that twenty seven because I am eating chicken tonight.

The menu is simple:

Chicken and dressing

Homemade chicken gravy

Fresh snapped green beans with fresh cut Irish potatoes and diced ham. Smothered in butter.

My homemade cranberry sauce.

For dessert I am making a sugar free vanilla peach pudding.

First I put two chicken breast in a large pot filled with water and I cooked it for around one hour.

While that was cooking I made cornbread.

I allowed both to cool for an hour.

Then I put the dressing together by crumbling the cornbread and adding four slices of bread, and two eggs. I then added the chicken broth a little at a time till it was moist, not dry not to wet. I added a small chopped onion and two ribs of celery chopped. I sprinkled on salt and black pepper. I added a couple spoons of rubbed sage.
Picked the chicken off the bone and mixed in.

I baked the dressing for one hour at 350°

I cleaned the green beans and snapped them into pieces and cooked them with cubed ham till almost done, I added two diced Irish potatoes and I cooked ten more minutes, added plenty of butter and salt to taste.

For the gravy I heated a couple spoons of Canola oil and added a couple spoons of flour, I cooked till the flour was turning light brown. I added a couple cups of chicken broth, salt and black pepper and cooked till semi thick.

The pudding is Jello Pudding so just make as directed on the package, add very cold diced peaches, refrigerate till thick.

Not that fancy but so delicious.

What did you have for Easter dinner?

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Wednesday Night Stockpile Dinner – 3-16-16

Here we are, another Wednesday night and another meal from my stockpile. I actually did really good last week and I did not shop for anything other than fresh fruits and Bread.

Back a while ago I bought a ten pound bag of chicken legs and I separated the thigh from the drumstick, a few of those thighs I made ground chicken with the new meat grinder I bought last year and tonight that was the meat for dinner.

Now what was Wednesday night dinner from my stockpile?

Country fried chicken steak

Honeyed carrots

Sweet peas

Mashed potatoes

Brown gravy

First I want to say the carrots was not part of the stockpile, I actually bought this today when I picked up my weekly fresh produce.

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Now I did put the carrots on to cook first because they take the longest to cook, I put them in water and brought to a boil, covered and reduced heat but still allowed them to boil.

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I put the water onto boil for the instant Betty Crocker mashed potatoes, I put the potatoes into a bowl with salt and black pepper and added the boiling water till they were smooth. I set those aside on the stove top.

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I boiled water for the brown gravy and made that according to the directions on the package, I left on the stove top.

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I opened the can of Libbys sweet peas and drained half of the liquid. I then poured them into a bowl, added a couple spoons of butter and microwaved them for two minutes, stirred and let them cook two more minutes.

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Last made patties with the chicken, I put a little canola oil in an iron skillet and got it hot. I rolled the ground chicken into flour and out into the hot grease sprinkled with season salt, garlic powder and black pepper. Fried till golden brown .

And that was dinner from the stockpile.

I think I can do cost tonight:

Chicken 1/2 pound = .17 ( chicken was .33 per pound)

Carrots 8 ounces = .25 ( on sale .49 per 16 ounce bag)

Libbys sweet peas = .17 ( were on sale and used coupon)

Betty Crocker Mashed Potatoes , one pouch = .12 ( were buy one get one free and I used a coupon)

Brown gravy = Free ( they were on sale and I used a coupon)

Now how much was this dinner for two ?

.71 cents ! TA-Da 🙂

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Sunday Night Stockpile Dinner

After many days of eating or having to cook meat I could not do it yet another night so this time I cooked from the deep freezer, the food that I helped grow and harvest. The food that I chopped and put away for a cold Winter day or a warm Spring evening.

I did write down how much of each vegetable that I out in the deep freezer so that I would know how much I need for next year, if I ran out before it came back in season or if have way to much left.

Now what was for Sunday night dinner?

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Butter beans – I had bought these months ago and its the last twelve ounce bag left. I personally don`t care for butter beans anymore. I cooked butter beans everyday for ten years so I am not a fan of them anymore, I don`t hate them I just don`t want them but I would eat them if I was starving.

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Squash – Last year was the best year in a very long time for squash from the garden, I will eat squash but I am not crazy about it either.

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Cabbage – Tony grew these, all I did was water on occasion and clean, chop and freeze them. Cabbage is one of my favorite light green vegetables.

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Fried okra – My all time favorite. I can eat okra any way that its cooked but fried is my all time favorite. Usually I would eat a slice red tomato with my fried okra but tonight I skipped the tomato.

How I cooked Sunday dinner :

I soaked the butter beans for several hours ( while I slept this morning) and then I drained and refilled with fresh water, added a little salt, brought them to a boil. Then I covered them and cut the heat down to low and let them cook for a few hours, or till tender.

I took the slice okra straight from the freezer and tossed into flour, dropped into a skillet filled hot Canola oil and cooked till the flour was brown and the okra a bit dry.

The squash was ran under cool water to melt the ice that cover it, then I put it into a small cooking pot with butter, salt and pinch of sugar and 1/2 onion, cooked till tender.

I ran cool water over the cabbage to melt the ice that it was frozen into, then I put it into a large cooking pot and with water, salt, black pepper and olive oil and cooked till done.

AND I made cornbread for Tony!
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Easy and healthy.

What did you have for dinner?

By Andria Perry
Photos by Andria Perry

Saturday Night Stockpile Dinner

As most of you know by now I made a resolution to Stop shopping and to use up the stockpile.

One reason is so that nothing will expire and have to be thrown away, another reason is that I am out of room and I want to can what I grow in my garden this coming Summer, so I am using it up.

I don`t really have a stockpile of meat, I do have some deer in the freezer but not much canned, I do have about a case of canned chicken to make soups or dressing with. So when I say stockpile for the meats its from me buying a huge package for really cheap and freezing it in meals. This happens once a month or once every other month, it depends on the meat deal.

Just what did I make tonight? Pork Chops with potato salad and ” mock” pork n beans.
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Last month Tony found pork chops really cheap, I think it was one dollar and nineteen cents per pound so he bought several family packages and I put them in the freezer one to a freezer bag if large or two if medium to small. I am thinking maybe it was a pound of meat, three chops?

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The potatoes were instant and I had them in the stockpile, one egg boiled and the sweet relish was from the stockpile as well as the mayo and mustard.

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The Mock pork n beans is a recipe I used that @rextrulove wrote a blog about. The cost was little because I had the white bean and all the ingredients already. When I made a batch it was more than we could eat so I canned the rest.

Mom’s Mock Pork ‘n Beans Recipe

How I prepared dinner:

Pork chops in the oven at 400° for thirty minutes with garlic, season salt and black pepper. Flip after 25 minutes and coat with ketchup.

I prepared the instant potatoes according to the directions, making them just a little drier. I added a heaping spoonful of mustard, 1/3 cup of mayo, 1/4 cup of sweet relish and one chopped boiled egg. Salt and black pepper to taste. Sprinkled with paprika.

I just opened the jar of mock pork and beans and warmed.

I did have a small pork chop for dinner, I usual won`t eat pork due to cholesterol problems but once in a while wont hurt. Most days I am a vegetarian or I only eat poultry.

What did you have for dinner?

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry