Help! Need GF, Vegetarian, & Vegan Recipes / Tips on Reducing Sugar Intake/ Portion Control

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      Colitis and IBS run in my family. I had my gallbladder removed a few years ago and my digestive health has been, well, not great. The doctor advised me to avoid soy, wheat, dairy, and eat meat sparingly. I don’t have the time or the money to search for hours, days, or weeks for recipes that aren’t worth the time and money. Who wants to buy a bunch of ingredients for a recipe that winds up tasting horrible (I have been there)? I need some tried and true gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan recipes please. I’m also attempting to loose weight. While I’m not severely overweight, I’m carrying some extra pounds I’d like drop.

      I’d like to eat more like a vegetarian, but I have no idea how to go about it because I don’t know how much can be done with fruit and vegies. Salads get really boring after awhile and I can’t stand store bought frozen veggie burgers. YUK!

      Being brought up on a “meat n’ taters” and junk food diet, trying to get away from all those things will be difficult. I don’t expect to be completely purged of all junk food, but it would be nice to get to the point where I’ll only eat junk food sparingly. I think healthy eating should be mandatory school classes, especially here in the U.S. I was never taught to eat healthy so I don’t know how, as silly as it sounds. All I know about healthy is “Don’t eat junk food. Eat a salad.”

      I know it’s a laundry list. I don’t except and answer for everything. I’m hesitant and somewhat embarrassed about posting this thread because it’s so personal, but I thought REAL people (not people trying to sell you healthy) might be able to help, especially if you have personal experience with the subjects. Maybe it’ll help other people too.


      I’m a sugar addict and lately I’ve been consuming a lot more than normal (not sure why). I’m so tired, irritable, hangry, and suffering from mind fog all the time. Diabetes doesn’t run in my family, but anyone can get it these days and I’m terrified I could develop it if I don’t do something, but getting off sugar is what I’d imagine it’s like for a smoker to quit cigarettes. The only tips I’ve gotten on how to curb this sugar addiction is from people who’ve never experienced being overweight. “Just don’t eat it”, they’d say with an attitude. Yeah, right. It’s not that easy for some people, like myself. Plus, when you have other family members in the household eating yummy chocolate cake, how can you say no? After all, they say sugar is a drug. I don’t have any other bad habits like booze or cigarettes.


      By far my biggest nemesis of all is portion control. Somehow I feel like that stems from the sugar addiction. Any tips? I can eat healthy all I want, but it means nothing if I eat everything in one sitting. My parents brought me up on the, “Clean your plate! There’s starving children in Africa” guilt trip thing. It’s biting me in the butt now. I subconsciously feel I have to “clean my plate” and go back for seconds. T_T

      I’ve also been scanning some of the past posts for healthy food recipes and they’ve been a great start, but I hope everyone can help cluster all the healthy recipes under one thread. Feel free to post some links you think might be useful as well.


      Gluten Free
      Vegetarian or Vegan
      Budget Friendly
      Low on Prep/Cook Time
      Soy Free
      Low Sugar
      Low Sodium


        This is one of my favorites – it’s delicious, it’s cheap, it’s really easy, it makes a ton and freezes well, and you can skip the yogurt topping to stay really vegan! 🙂 My husband has Crohns and he can eat this safely (sans cayenne – he can’t have hot peppers).

        We’re not vegetarians so we make ours with home-made chicken broth and some chicken thrown in, but that’s easy to omit.


        Hey that is my exact diet give or take a few things! I’ll try and dig some stuff up for ya!

        I have been overweight and used to weigh 250 lbs. I know how hard it is to completely change your lifestyle. It takes alot of woork and alot will. You have to really want to change. I happily lost almost 100 lbs and as my lupus flared had to change most of my diet, but fear not! It is not as difficult to make meals fitting that description once you get the hang of it. I’ll get some stuff together in the next couple of days for ya.

        I am allergic to soy, am a vegetarian, avoid gluten for the most part and generally try to make a decent attempt at cutting the sugar. I think the type of sugar affects this too. I find natural, local honey to be much more satisfying than processed white sugar or stevia. One of the most important things is that with removing so many key components of a normal diet,you have to make good choices to be sure you get the proper nutrients. I take no vitamins and very rarely have any deficiency of any type at all. (of all my labs of the last year, only one has been slightly def and just in iron just below the border line) It is all how you eat and what you eat. Also, 4-5 SMALL meals can often do much better than 2-3 large meals with lots of snacking. Those “snacks”will tend to end up being much less healthy, and many small meals helps to keep a consistent blood sugar, which can help lower cravings. That includes sugar cravings.

        🙂 Hope I’ll be able to help plenty.

        Recently married to the ever lovable BiPolarBear (little John) |

        As seen on This is Life with Lisa Ling on CNN (2018) !
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          My sister is VERY gluten intolerant and she uses Bob’s Red Mill gluten free “Biscuit and Baking Mix” to make all kinds of bread or cake type items. Its a very versatile mix, tastes good, and isn’t gritty. A useful item to have in your pantry (although you may need to order it on-line if your market doesn’t stock it). She remarked that when using gluten free flour mixtures you must remember to let the mixture sit a few minutes before baking it because it takes longer for the wet ingredients to soak in thoroughly than it does when using wheat flour.

          A tip: She always carries dried banana chips in her bag as a snack for when she’s hungry and somewhere with no gluten-free choices.


            And in my own mostly non-dairy household we’ve found that the packaged Almond Milk (the stuff in the boxes, not in the dairy case – dairy case versions in my town are larger containers and more expensive) is what we prefer over the soy or rice milks. It doesn’t seem to matter which brand.


              Around Christmas time, my doctor told me I needed to lose some weight. I was almost at 170lbs, and for my height I’m supposed to be somewhere closer to 105-128lbs. I could really feel it affecting me too; I felt sluggish and tired and I would get weird head and body aches. I also wasn’t as flexible and I could tell my body just couldn’t move in the same natural range as it once had when I was younger (in a way that had nothing to do with needing to stretch). My blood pressure was apparently going up, and she was concerned.

              So I went with my mother to a single weight watcher’s meeting and bought some of their supply booklets and startup materials, which do cost money, but help to teach the basics about healthy living (portion control tips, exercise tips, which foods I can eat in unlimited quaintites and how much others cost me) and they helped me figure out what my allotted point count per day should be in order to effectively lose weight. I know this method isn’t for everyone; some people would hate to be mindful of what they’re eating all the time, but I have lost 25lbs now and I can see and feel the results and it’s great. If you can find a good leader and group to attend weekly meetings with, I could easily see it being a great way to help encourage you to maintain the new healthy diet and lifestyle you’re trying to achieve, and really I think that is the hardest part about making a change like this. It is so easy to slip back into old habits because they’re comfortable and tasty and easier, particularly when you’re surrounded everyday by people who don’t have to make these kinds of choices and don’t understand where you’re coming from.

              For portion control: try to invest in small, dark dishware. This might sound stupid, but you actually will trick your brain into believing that your portions are actually bigger than they are. Also, don’t let yourself get to the point where you are starving. If your stomach starts to get growly, drink some water and snack on some vegetables or fruit. This might seem counter-intuitive, but if you wait until you’re super hungry, then you’re likely to take too much or go back for second-helpings when you shouldn’t. When you’re eating, always eat a lot of vegetables (and/or fruit) first before you start in on carbs like pasta or rice and meat. The vegetables are lower calorie, will help your digestive movements, and will take more space as “filler” in your stomach so that you won’t need to eat as much as the other stuff. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water, just straight up water is the best (you can always flavor it with some of the crystal lite packs or something if the taste is too boring for you). If you’re dehydrated at all, that can often translate to your brain as a false sense of hunger. Plus it will help you to feel full faster.

              According to weight watchers, with a few exceptions, I can eat as many fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, or canned) a day as I want and they don’t count toward my point totals. This is because it costs your body roughly the same amount of energy to digest them as you gain from eating them; it works out to a net gain of zero. The main exceptions to the unlimited-veggies & fruits are: the food can’t have added sugar to them, can’t be cooked in butter or oil, must be unprocessed (so shakes and smoothies don’t count), and starches like corn and potatoes will count. You can eat them raw, or steam them or season them or cook them in chicken or vegetable stock and that is free. Most condiments (ketchup, mustard, barbeque sauce) and all herbs and spices are also considered free points, so you can use those with impunity for flavoring. Do watch out for your mayo and salad dressing though as these are surprisingly fatty. The program recommends you have 5 servings a day (9 if you’re 350 lbs or more) from fruits and veggies with a wide range of colors so as to get as many nutrients and vegetables from the mix as possible.

              Ack. I’m running out of time atm even though I have more to say. I’ll have to come back and post some more advice later. 🙂 In the meantime I hope some of this helps.


                Well, I have one recipe, one recommendation, and some musings.

                The recipe (I apologize, this does have dairy.)

                Several spoonfuls whole, plain, unsweetened Greek Yogurt (slightly sour, but rich and fairly easy to digest as dairy goes)
                A tablespoon of Chia Seeds (Superb, shelf-stable plant source of protein and Omega 3’s.)
                One sliced banana (or other soft, seasonal fruit. The sweetness will counterbalance the yogurt’s sourness.)
                Mix and eat. It’s a stone-simple breakfast. Adjust ingredients to taste. Add a tiny bit of sweetener or more fruit if the Greek Yogurt is too much.

                The recommendation, is to get a Vitamix. (or another high-end blender. Nothing so expensive as a cheap blender as they’re near useless so you’d have to buy a high-end one anyway) They aren’t cheap, but last I checked, they offered reconditioned ones on their site with a warranty. That’ll get you green smoothies, soups, sauces, etc.

                For green smoothies, I recommend spinach and banana as a nice starter base, as spinach is a mild-flavored green, and banana is sweet with a smooth texture. Beware of too much fruit, due to the natural sugars.

                Some people juice (like a green smoothie but without the fiber) and it’s a way to get super-concentrated nutrition, but IMO it’s far too concentrated for most people to handle easily.

                Regarding meat, (I apologize for any distress or irritation anyone feels due to my bringing up the M-word and hope it doesn’t start some horrid debate) some people like my aunt, do absolutely beautifully on a high veggie extremely low-meat (or no meat) diet (and there are all those lovely high-protein plants). Other people on such a diet, turn into twitchy space-cadets and start looking at dog food and road kill the wrong way… If you respond like the former, then more power to you, and enjoy! If you (like me) respond like the latter, you may need to introduce some high-quality, pastured, grass-fed organic meat into your diet. (it’s vastly different from the feedlot stuff, it even smells different)

                But the best thing you can do, is after eating something, keep track of your mood and energy levels for several hours afterward. Your body will tell you what you need.


                  I would recommend checking out the recipes link on the website I would also recommend anyone suffering from any kind of intestinal disorder, like IBS and Crohns, to read the article on this website


                    Try to get enough sleep! My consumption of sweet stuff definitely goes up when I am short on sleep, probably to supply extra energy. I believe somebody “official” recently did a study that confirmed this linkage.


                      I fractured my spine 2 years ago and my doctor wanted a lot of weight off me in a hurry but I wasn’t able to exercise. I also fully understand your sugar addiction as I have that too.
                      She first put me on a pretty extreme diet to get the main weight off then had me get a book called The Fast Metabolism Diet to maintain and drop the last bit of weight. It’s more a lifestyle change than a diet but it has several good recipes in it and allows you to change out the ingredients with other options if you don’t care for what’s in the recipes. It puts your body through 3 phases each week. Each phase has slightly different foods.
                      Phase 1 is two days of mostly whole grain carbs and fruits. Phase 2 is two days of mostly meats and veggies or vegan. Phase 3 is three days of a mix of the first two phases. The meats are all nitrate free though.
                      The gal that wrote the book actually explains WHY you eat the foods in different stages.
                      I hate to cook but the meals are easy to make or can be put in a crock pot. You can also make large amounts and freeze servings.
                      She teaches you about eating healthy and portion sizes. And the more weight you need to lose the more you can eat. This diet is also recommended for people with colitis and diabetes. It actually helps your body completely reset the metabolism.
                      It’s a bit expensive to start just because she wants all foods to be as organic as possible but once you have the initial grocery list done I have found it to be no more expensive than what my food bill used to be. My local Walmart carries 97% of everything I have needed.
                      She asks that you do her diet EXACTLY for 4 weeks. After that if you want to have the cakes or goodies you can. Just stick with her diet plan most of the time and feel free to splurge at parties or special occasions.
                      She also has The Fast Metabolism Cookbook which is set up in the proper stages and full of recipes.
                      Haley Pomroy is the author. You can get the book on nook although some of the charts are hard to read on the nook. She also has a website where you can ask questions if you need to.
                      I bought the actual hardcover books from eBay and then also have both books on my nook.
                      I’ve lost over 100 pounds and I can tell you without a doubt that when I stick to her diet I feel much better than when I don’t. When I just splurge I’m fine but if I splurge for a few days then I start feeling laggy and depressed. I have also noticed that the migraines I have suffered from since I was 2 have not come back since the second week I was on the diet.
                      Whatever way you choose to go. I wish you good luck!

                      Looking for:
                      "COSMIC SHIFT DRAGONS and KI-RINS" and the "OCTOPUS TANUKI TEST PAINT #1"


                        (I am so, so sorry in advance for this huge wall of text you’re about to read. I really hope though that this information will be helpful for you!!)

                        If/when I’m aware that I need something more in my diet, and sometimes just for fun because it makes me feel good about making healthy choices, I like to go to They have a lot of recipes available online, as well as a section on food sensitivities that might be helpful for you, and you can search for any vegetable/fruit/grain/bean in their search menu and be informed about health benefits of consuming said food.

                        When you look to get meat, try to opt for chicken or fish more than beef or ham. For ham, little pieces of a rasher can actually go a long way toward adding flavor to vegetables like green beans. Chicken basically you just need to cut off the skin and any excess fat or tendon-y things usually; going for the “white cuts” like breasts are supposed to be better than, say , thighs (although god knows I think the dark meat is much much tastier). Also, turkey is a great lean meat as well, I’d nearly forgotten since I can’t get it here! With beef, avoid cuts of meat that are fatty, and always be sure to trim excess fat from the meat. Lean cuts of beef usually include the eye of round, top round, bottom round (in either steak or roast) and sirloin tip side and top sirloin (steaks). “Choice” and ‘select’ cuts usually have less than ‘Prime,’ and it helps that you can usually visually tell what’s less fatty by looking at the marbling. For ground beef, you can usually find on the label the percentage of fat; go for the lowest you can find. Avoid eating organs like liver more than 3oz per month—organ meat is high in cholesterol. When in doubt, as your grocer/butcher for help, or if you’re at a restaurant your server should be able to help you select leaner cuts.

                        Since it seems like you’re supposed to avoid soy, I don’t know if you can have tofu or not, but if you can it is a great thing that you can easily mix into stir fries; it picks up flavor very well and is a good source of protein. If you can’t eat tofu, though, there are plenty of other good sources of protein available from a variety of sources: green peas, nuts and nut butter, beans, chickpeas, leafy greens, hemp, chia, sesame, sunflower and poppy seeds, almond, hemp, or rice milk, and unsweetened cocoa powder. Quinoa (which is often thought to be a grain because of how it’s consumed but is actually a veggie) is also a good source of protein, but I’ve heard that there’s some troubling things going on with its supply in terms of environmental impact, so maybe consider other foods first.

                        A lot of places and people,WW included, will recommend that you drink skim or low fat milk. I actually kind of forgo this rule because I don’t like the taste of low fat or skim milk. Instead I will drink the super fatty stuff, because I find it tastes better to me, and it also helps me stay feeling full longer. Mix in some hot cocoa mix to that and it’s truly fantastic. It’s important to remember that you do need to have *some* fat in your diet, and at least these are the food fats, and calcium is actually only soluble and usable for your body with fat. (Whodathunk.) I’ve heard that almond milk with protein mixed in is a great alternative for people with sensitivities to milk. Cheese and unsweetened yoghurt are also your friends—mix some unflavored yoghurt or labneh cheese with some olive oil (you can get the stuff garlic flavored, super yummy!) and voila you have a snack that gets you dairy and the good fats at once.

                        No dietary change can be successful without recognizing that you’re going to have times when you’re craving or need something that is “bad” for you. If you get the impulse you can’t shake to eat something, it’s better to indulge it a little (ex: I will have some McDonalds fries, but ONLY a small or medium size for the taste, and I will eat some other vegetables afterward to make myself feel full) than to let it build until you feel like your diet change is unsustainable. I let myself have soda on the weekends, only the weekends, and only in miniature bottles. I also usually let myself have one or two oreos a day, or piece of chocolate. This has helped me cut down on my sugar consumption without ever feeling like I’m “depriving” myself. It’s also not good to try to completely cut out sugars and oils, I think you probably already know that, but in case not, you do at least need some oils every day. The serving size for oils though are usually pretty small, something like 1 tspn, so just be aware of the amount of that you’re consuming.

                        I’m afraid that I really can’t offer any advice on consuming non-gluten products or gluten-free recipes since that’s not a diet I do. Where I live currently, gluten free products are much more difficult and expensive to get than in America, generally speaking. However, simply by increasing the amounts of fruits and vegetables you eat, you should be filling up on those more and eating a lot less of the grains that have gluten and wheat. When you do eat grains, try to make sure they’re whole grains as they’re generally better for you. Also, I know you mentioned that you don’t have time to go look for a lot of information for stuff: if you also find yourself hard-pressed for time to make food (I mean, seriously, who ISN’T busy) investing in a crock pot (also known as a slow cooker) is a godsend that will save you tons of time and possibly money too. I can stick a bunch of vegetables and broth and chicken and herbs in before I leave for work in the morning, leave it on low while I’m away, and come back to dinner pretty much ready for me to eat. Stir fries are also food dishes that are easy and quick to make. They’re likely to have soy as a main ingredient, but iirc Chinese thick soy sauce’s main ingredient is actually molasses, not soy, and can be substituted for molasses or even honey in a pinch, and you might be able to get away with substituting soy sauce for chicken, lamb, or beef stock.

                        I find that the best way to not consume junk food is not to buy it. If it’s not there for me to consume when I’m home, then largely I can’t be bothered to go get it even if I want it (and if I want it enough to go out and get it, then yeah, I let myself have it, because that’s clearly more than impulse talking). I know you’re probably thinking “well gee, if it was just THAT SIMPLE I wouldn’t need help” but hear me out, I have some tips that will hopefully help you to avoid buying it.
                        1. Try to plan out your meals in advance so you know what you need for any given shopping trip. This is actually really difficult for me, so if you struggle with it or can’t do it, don’t feel bad, but I know that this works for some people, and it would be helpful for the next step.
                        2. Go to your grocery store armed with a list of needed items.
                        3. Leave your debit/credit cards at home and only go with a set amount of money in cash for your trip. I know that America’s really not much of a cash-carry society, and if you’re talking about buying a lot of things maybe that’s more money than you’re comfortable having on hand at a time, BUT you cannot spend money that you don’t have, and if you’ve budgeted for your list already this will prevent you from deviating. (This seriously works for me when nothing else will.)
                        4. Avoid the junk food isles. Don’t even walk past them if you can help it; it can just be too tempting otherwise.
                        5. Never, ever, ever go shopping on an empty stomach. Not only does this usually result in people buying too much food, but they’re often impulsive things that you don’t really need or shouldn’t have.
                        6. If you have to, take someone with you who knows your goals and is supportive of your efforts and can gently nudge you into making the right choices without making you feel bad. If you still need those one or two junk food items that you need from the isles of temptation, you can ask them to go grab what you need so that you don’t have to be bombarded with all those temptations. (Caveat, do not send a child to do this for you as they may bring back goodies that have tempted them.)


                          Have you seen the recipes I have posted under the Food section at all? All of them are vegan and can be made gluten free. I have taken both nutrition and herbalist courses and studied health and nutrition independently for several years so will tell you a bit of what I know. *Note, this is will be long to read and not everyone will agree with what I am about to type but keep in mind the following is from years of personal research and has helped my health and those I know. If anyone has questions or concerns about any of the following please keep an open mind or contact me for more information.*

                          I am a healthy weight and have never struggled with serious illness and this is what I do if this helps you. The type of diet I stick to I like to refer to as the non dairy diet. First of all, humans are not supposed to drink cow’s milk anymore than cows should drink human’s milk. We were not designed to which is why we are lactose intolerant. Your body actually produces mucous when you drink milk as a side effect or trying to contain the foreign invader. For those who don’t think they react to lactose, it has been because they have just gotten used to it or don’t notice the negative effects. Milk these days though contains growth hormones and antibiotics which of course are not good for you and because milk is pasteurized it kills all the nutrients you would otherwise get in raw milk. A lot of people are not aware of this either but you actually lose more calcium digesting the protein in the milk than you gain from the milk so people who consume high amounts of dairy are actually at a higher risk of low bone density and osteoporosis. The best alternatives for cow’s milk are almond milk, coconut milk and rice milk. Avoid soy as it is controversial because it elevates estrogen in your body which can have negative effects like increased risk of breast cancer in women. Avoid cheese and ice cream as well. The only exception would be organic yoghurt once in a while because of the healthy good bacteria in it that you need in your digestive tract. Greek yoghurt is a high source of protein but is actually very bad for the earth as there is so much waste from the production of it that producers don’t know what to do with it so have it shipped away to be dumped which contaminates the ground and ground water.

                          As for meat, it is not as bad as milk if you buy organic or free range meat that is hormone and antibiotic free but certain meats are better than others. My one recommendation for everyone is absolutely do not eat pork. That means no bacon, ham or otherwise. Pork is a toxic meat. Pigs, especially any from factory farms live in filthy conditions and will eat anything they find off the ground including disease filled excrement which turns to meat on their bones. You also have a high risk of being infected with various worms, bacteria and viruses if pork is not cooked properly. Also do not eat deli meat as it contain nitrites to help preserve it, which are toxic to your body. The only meats I recommend are lean chicken, turkey and fish. If you like beef, eat it sparingly as red meat is more fatty and is more likely to cause clogged arteries and heart disease later in life. I eat meat once in a while for protein is I am on the go and cannot find vegan food but I mostly eat vegan and raw food myself.

                          As for gluten free diets, that is a more recent trend with people cutting wheat out of their diets and although I do not follow a gluten free diet myself, I rarely eat wheat products. I do not really eats breads or cereals except for pasta. You can buy gluten free bread and crackers and even get pasta made with quinoa or rice. I eat quinoa, rice, potatoes, oats and other ancient grains. For breakfast, I will sometimes eat an organic cereal with ancient grains or oatmeal with almond or coconut milk, honey or maple syrup and some berries or dried fruits, seeds and nuts on top which is good for you. Oatmeal releases energy slowly and helps you to feel full for a longer period of time than other grains. Oatmeal can also be good to have at night as it can have a relaxing effect or even make you sleepy before bed. Eggs are also a good source of protein to have for breakfast along with gluten free toast and some fruit and juice. Quinoa has a lot of protein in it and is great with stir fries or as a side dish. I like to stir fry a mix of fresh chopped veggies and either beans or chickpeas, mix in a sauce like teriyaki or curry and serve it over quinoa or brown rice. You can also make wraps with quinoa. If you can find gluten free wraps, you spread some humus on for protein, put in a mix of veggies and quinoa and a little olive oil and vinegar or a salad dressing for flavour. Or you can do wraps with big lettuce leaves. Or if you like burritos, again if you can find gluten free wraps, you can put on rice, beans, stir fried veggies, salsa and guacamole and wrap it up. (I posted recipes for salsa and guacamole if you want to make your own.) I love pasta myself and you can use rice or quinoa pasta and make a simple tomato veggie sauce for it. I chop up onion, garlic, carrot and celery and fry in a saucepan with olive oil for a few minutes, then add zucchini, mushrooms and red pepper and fry a little longer until a bit tender, then add a can or jar of tomato sauce or diced or crushed tomatoes, along with basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste and a little natural cane sugar and let it simmer for maybe half an hour and it makes a delicious sauce. I also posted a recipe where you can make pita pizzas, again if you can find something gluten free to turn into pizza crust.

                          In regards to fruits and veggies, of course, eat as many as you like. You can make salads but you can also cook veggies or make them into soups or juices. I love eating fresh vegetable soups. You can either buy nice veggie soups or make your own. One warning is that cans are not really good for us because either the aluminum in unlined cans or the plastic in lined cans can leach into the food so it’s best to buy foods in other packaging or glass. I like to buy organic or veggies soups or juices in tetra boxes. If you want to make your own you can buy a good blender to use. Vita-Mixes are expensive but look up Omni blender online which are just as good and half the price. My friend has a Vita Mix but after doing a lot of research I plan on buying an Omni blender myself. The one I use now which is a less expensive blender and does a pretty good job is a KitchenAid blender with 900 watts of power and it was on sale for $100 in the store. It is pretty powerful and does a great job, just takes a bit longer than a Vita Mix to make things really smooth but I like it for now. If you want to make soups, you just throw a bunch of veggies into the blender until smooth, pour in a pot and heat. You can eat with gluten free crackers and humus for more protein or add rice, potatoes, quinoa or rice noodles to your soup.

                          I also like to make fruit and green smoothies everyday which are also very healthy for you. I use Kale a lot as it is one of the most nutritious green veggies and contains a good amount of protein. I usually put in a leaf or two of kale, add a couple of cups of frozen fruit, berries or banana, some vegan protein powder, fibre, sometimes a little yoghurt, hemp hearts, chia seeds, ground flax, some nuts or seeds, honey and either juice, water or almond or coconut milk for the liquid and blend it up. Another good one is kale with apple, celery and mango. I also like to do smoothies without kale using berries, banana and pineapple. You can also do veggie smoothies or try adding spinach, beet or carrot to fruit smoothies for extra nutrition. Another good smoothie I like is a cup or two or almond or coconut milk, a frozen banana, some cocoa powder and honey for a yummy banana chocolate smoothie. Another good thing to add to smoothies is avocado or try making an avocado banana or avocado mango smoothie. Avocados are so good for you that you should try and eat one every day or add to salads or wraps or make into guacamole. A lot of people like to make fresh fruit or vegetable juices too if you have a juicer. I like that in the blender you get all the fibre of the fruits and veggies but if you drink fresh juices without the pulp, they actually will absorb into your bloodstream right away for a quick burst of energy versus the body taking time digesting all the fibre from a smoothie so if you want something for fast energy or cleansing, juicing is also a good way to go.

                          As for portion sizes, I was mentioning protein a lot above because portion sizes actually do not matter much. What matters is the type of protein you are eating with your meal. Typically if you meat, you should not eat more than a fist sized portion and the rest of your plate should be veggies and carbs like rice or potatoes. The veggie and carb portion should each be about the same size as the meat so you should have twice as much as the meat and if you are still hungry, eat more veggies and drink more water. The thing about vegan sources of protein though are you can eat more and feel more full than you would with meat. You could eat a salad for example with veggies, chickpeas, dried nuts or seeds, humus or quinoa and eat twice as much as you would eating meat and you will feel fuller longer, without worrying about getting too much fat from something like meat. Or you could add a small amount of meat or hard boiled eggs to salad for the best of both worlds. You will also lose weight eating more vegan foods though. My friend and I went on a completely vegan diet for a couple of months after watching the documentaries, ‘Food Inc’, ‘Food Matters’, ‘Simply Raw’ and ‘Forks Over Knives’ which I would recommend everyone watch. I kept up my normal healthy weight but because he needed to lose weight, he actually lost about a pound a day over the course of a month and looked so much healthier and had so much more energy from all the raw, live food he was eating. He mostly ate big salads, smoothies, soups and some vegan dinners like stir fries and the recipes I mentioned above and he could eat as much as he wanted and still lost weight. Being completely vegan does take planning though with your meals because if you get hungry in between and feel like snacking on junk food or other things, that can ruin the diet.

                          I absolutely avoid anything deep fried, flavoured chips, candy, chocolate bars, pop, coffee and alcohol and anything with MSG or Aspartame. MSG or Monosodium Glutamate is most commonly found in flavoured chips, canned soups, and crackers. Aspartame is found in gum, diet pop and other diet products. Both are excitotoxins which can harm nerves and damage brain neurons and can cause things such as brain tumours if consumed too much over the course of many years. Some great snacks to fix that hunger in between meals are nuts (try to get raw or unsalted), seeds, dried fruit, gluten free crackers or baked chips (lentil, rice and chickpea chips are good) with humus, salsa or guacamole, fresh fruits and veggies, salad, a smoothie, a peanut or almond butter sandwich on gluten free bread with banana, honey or jam, etc. If you like sushi, you can buy or make vegetarian sushi as well. When I get hungry, I always have a bag of mixed nuts I get in bulk at the store and I will eat a handful with some juice or water and maybe a banana and then am usually fine til the next meal since nuts have a lot of protein. If you like chocolate, the best chocolate to get is as close to raw as possible like an organic dark chocolate bar with 70% cocoa because the higher cocoa, the better it is for you. Avoid any chocolate bars that contain chemicals, a lot of sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Also raw cacao nibs are great for you as well although they taste strong and not sweet but can be added to smoothies and things as well.

                          Another tip is to drink a lot of water throughout the day to stay hydrated as some people confuse hunger with thirst. If you are not getting enough water, you will think you are hungry. Also if you drink a glass of water before a meal, you will eat less and stay full longer. Always try and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, not including other liquids. Even if you have a glass of juice or a smoothie or tea, still drink that much water and you will notice a huge difference with better digestion, less IBS symptoms and your skin will look better and more youthful. Of course try and drink filtered or spring water if you can as tap water can actually cause digestive issues and IBS symptoms. I learned this after suffering with IBS all through childhood. My biggest problem was simply not drinking enough good water. Another good thing to eat are dried prunes and apricots. Also eating nuts and apples are good sources of fibre. Another thing I do is add fibre to my smoothies or take in a glass of juice or water each day to stay regular.

                          As for supplements, even if you eat a really healthy diet, you would have to eat several pounds of vegetables a day to get enough vitamins and minerals in your diet since the soil these days has been depleted over the years. Also because of GMOs and environmental pollution and pesticides and herbicides, unless you eat organic produce, the chemicals on your food will outweigh the benefits. The best thing to do is take a whole food supplement for overall vitamins and minerals as the kind of vitamins you buy in the store are often made with cheaper synthetic vitamins that your body can’t even absorb. I take these ones by Doctor Mercola and they are of really good quality at a good price. This article tells you more about vitamins and these supplements. Also if you subscribe to Dr. Mercola’s newsletters, you get e-mails about all kinds of natural products and good health and medical tips from him. I also take other supplements including Omega 3’s, Calcium citrate, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Digestive Enzymes and Adrenal support as I have adrenal fatique from being under a lot of stress in my life the past few years.

                          Now for any digestive issues, you should take pro-biotics daily. Even if you eat yoghurt and especially if you don’t, you need these in your gut to help digestion. Other things that help increase your good bacteria are fermented foods or drinks like apple cider vinegar, lemons, limes, pickles, saurkraut, kimchi, kombucha, etc. I like to slice raw veggies and soak them in a little apple cider vinegar and then eat them. Or if you take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in mixed with water when you eat dinner, it will help your digestion and prevent heartburn. The reason pro-biotics are so important to build up healthy bacteria in your system and the reason sugar is so bad is because if you eat too much sugar, it feeds Candida Yeast in your body which is the enemy to healthy digestion. If Candida gets enough sugar it will multiply in your stomach to outnumber the good bacteria and start attacking your system. You can get all kinds of illnesses from too much Candida ranging from yeast infections to cancer. But if you take enough pro-biotics they will outnumber the bad bacteria to keep your body in check and healthy. Another good cleanser for your system is to squeeze a fresh lemon in a glass of water when you first wake up and add a little cayenne pepper and drink to flush out your system and boost your metabolism first thing in the morning. It’s also a good way to cleanse toxins from your system. As for all the things I have mentioned here which are just the most common things I can think of off the top of my head, I would say research the things I have mentioned and also search good vegan, vegetarian and gluten free recipes online because you can find tons of websites with great health and nutrition information as well as great recipes that way. Sorry this is so long but hope it is helpful and informative.

                          Looking for rainbow or pink & teal grab bags!


                            You are going to get a lot of advice, haha, as seen here. Diet is a deeply personal thing, and everyone has an opinion! I have done a lot of deep scientific study on diet and foods, and if I wrote about it here it would turn into a huge lecture. No one really wants to read that, I think?? Anyhow, I will keep it simple.

                            Most people will find that eliminating added sugars (such as added sugar in foods like baking, soda, any condiment [look at the label, condiments have gotten a lot less simple1], any prepared food, etc), and reducing naturally included sugars (such as in fruits) will find that over time they don’t have to worry about portion control, because carbohydrates.. especially the ones in simple sugars… make us eat more.

                            Modern wheat and grains are literally addictive. Unless one has celiac or similar disease, the gluten isn’t great for you, but the overall whole grain from wheat and other modern grains are damaging in the long term, and create a literal addiction in your brain so that you tend to eat more. To this end– ‘gluten free’ products are not necessarily helping you. If you are concerned about gluten, it’s best overall to avoid things loaded with grains and starches (most gluten free mixes rely on potato, tapioca, and sometimes rice starches). These are fairly empty nutrients and overall are best only as an occasional snack.

                            Add in fats and/or salts, and it’s bad news for addictive properties and overconsuming. Fat itself is not bad or evil, in fact it can be quite healthy to eat fats! But once you combine them with sugars and other carbohydrates, bad things happen in the body.

                            Here’s literal biology of cells in your body and what happens when one eats sugars/carbs. This is sort of dry, but it is literally what happens in your cells.

                            I hope this helps you with portion control. Eating meals made with more whole, real foods (stuff that isn’t processed until you personally cook it) is more filling, more nutritious, and is not addictive and habit-forming.

                            In the end, do what feels best and right to you! There is no One True Way.

                            That said, I will write some of my recipes up for you as soon as I can. 🙂 They don’t contain grains (and so are gluten free) but are not all vegan. Are you open to non-vegan options? I carefully source my products, such as my eggs come from my own chickens…

                            Volunteer mod- I'm here to help! Email me for the best response: nambroth at
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                              Thanks everyone! This is very informative info. Don’t feel bad about text length. I read it all and I’ve been taking notes.

                              Kiya – Thanks for the recipe link. 🙂

                              96037 – Thanks! Any help will be much appreciated. And congrats on the weight loss. That’s quite an accomplishment. No doubt it’ll help you in the long run. Whoo, I need to make a shopping list now.

                              Susie – Thanks for the tips. If I’m not mistaken, I may have seen that brand in one of the stores in my town. Hmmm, now if I could just remember which store it was. 😛 I’ve recently switched to almond milk. It’s pretty good and no bad aftertaste like regular cow’s milk.

                              Lasohaney – Thanks for the info. I’m taking notes and compiling a list of ideas. I’m almost at your past weight myself. I’m a bit on the taller side, but I think I need to loose about 50lbs to be at the proper weight for a woman of my age and height. I agree, falling off the bandwagon is just too easy if you deprive yourself completely of those little indulgences. That’s what get’s me every time. If I do that I usually last about a week, then after that I go nuts and overdo the treats. I made the mistake of going shopping on an empty stomach. Never doing that again. I don’t have kids right now so no worries about the begging for chips and cookies. XP

                              Kila26 – Thanks for the link!

                              Maplecarver – Thanks for the recipe/advice. I can always substitute the dairy with some other dairy-like ingredient.

                              Etruscan – I agree with that for sure.

                              StormDancer – That sounds like an interesting book and from what I can see it has good reviews too. I may have to make the investment in it. Eating exactly how the book says might be a challenge in itself but I’m willing to give it shot. Nothing else has worked with me so far.

                              Kim – Thanks for the education. I tried the banana avocado smoothie today with a dash spiru-tein powered. I love avocados, but never thought to make a smoothie out of them. It was really yum! That got me thinking, what do I have around the house I could put together? I ended up making a soup with boiled spinach/kale mix, mushrooms, onions, basil, and pepper in vegetable broth. It turned out better than expected. It tasted almost just like chicken noodle soup. The mushrooms replaced the chicken texture and the spinach/kale leaves replaced the noodle. I might have to add celery next time though instead of onions because they turn to sugar right? I don’t tend to drink plain milk. Has a bad aftertaste anyway, but I admit I love cheese. I’ve heard there are cheese alternatives made from other things like almonds and such I’d like to try. Some things aren’t readily available in my area. Unfortunately, Walmart is basically the only grocery store in town. 🙁
                              As far as tap water goes, yuk! The tap water where I live stinks, literally, and it tastes like it smells. It’s like they mixed stagnant pond water with pool water. Hence, I always drink bottled spring water.
                              Yeah, not a yogurt fan anyway. Greek yogurt is too grainy. With deep fried foods, I don’t tend to eat them too much because the side effects of not having a gallbladder. Some people never no it’s gone and then some people like myself, it’s a nightmare to go out to eat anywhere.

                              Jennifer – Sure, I’m open to non-vegan options too. 🙂 I do eat meat as well, though I need to cut back on how much I’ve been eating. I’d be happy to see any recipes when you have the time to get them together. Thanks!


                                Yeah. I mean, in a way, I try to think of dietary changes as being kind of like treating an actual addiction, and it’s totally possible to go into withdrawal, so even if your goal is to cut it all out eventually, it’s much easier to take baby steps and de-esculate by establishing “better,” more restrictive habits first and gradually escalating. (ex: Soda or alcohol only on the weekends and only so much for x weeks, and then maybe only Sundays and only x much for x weeks, etc). I know some other people have mentioned that many kinds of foods have a real, chemical addictive reaction to the human brain and other parts of the body. I’m by no means any kind of expert in anything, and I haven’t done the kinds of research that some of these other people have, so I would definitely bow to them as having more precise knowledge. I just think of all the people who try cold turkey to quit cigarettes or other addictive substances, and although I realize that everyone’s personality is different and some people really just CAN quit cold turkey (more power to them, that’s amazing!) I think for most people… it’s just very very hard to shake it.

                                I was thinking last night about another thing to do with portion sizes etc. I know a lot of people are like “don’t worry about portion sizes so long as you’re doing x y and z” and I’m not arguing against that because I’m pretty sure that was kind of my position too. (That advice about the fistful of meat / no more was really good advice though! I’m going to have to try remember that one myself, lol.) However, if you feel like you actually want to be able to visualize these things because that makes you more comfortable, maybe the best thing to do is invest in a good scale for weighing, a good set of measuring cups and spoons, and a handy guide for portions like this one that you can print off for free and maybe hang somewhere in your kitchen:
                                I’ve got to be honest and say that portion sizes are still something that elude me, particularly for vegetables and grains. We grow up going out to eat at restaurants that give us really lop sided offerings because of what’s cheap and what tastes good and also just… giant sized plates of everything because we always want more more! So I think almost everyone has a confused sense of “but no really, what actually IS a portion size? It’s surely not this whole plate.” My weight watchers book has introduced me to actual portion sizes for things, and of course snack bags will have their (usually ridiculously small) portion labels on the back, but what it’s so much more complicated when you’re talking about unprocessed foods. Anyway I’ve definitely found that the more I think about it and use my books, the more easily I begin to see and think and realize “okay, this is the correct amount of meat” or “no, this is too much pasta.” I’m willing to bet that as time goes by you will begin to be able to eyeball it, but having a scale and other measuring devices will help a lot in the beginning.

                                One thing I’m not sure if anyone has addressed or not (my apologies to everyone, I haven’t been able to go through all of the amazing advice here, there’s just so much although it’s all been well-thought-out whether or not I agree with it!) is that like… with eating… there are a lot of cultural, situational, and psychological aspects to it that you may need to take time to address. For example: when I am stressed or sad, I am a million more times more likely to want to head to McDonalds for French fries. And snacking at my computer or the movies is so thoroughly ingrained in me I often don’t even think about it. When I eat out, I have less control over my portions, and particularly when I go out to eat with friends we often make choices that appeal to the crowd and are delicious but don’t take into account practicalities (I went to 2 Chinese buffets and like 3 more other Asian restaurants with ginormous proportions when I went home to visit at Christmas time, for example). Holidays can also be a sticking point. So, the point I’m getting at here, is that you may have to compromise or change your other habits. Ex: Reduce the number of movies you go out to see, talk with your friends about your new dietary issues before going out to eat and/or relying more heavily on doggie-bags and avoiding buffets, stock your house only with baby carrots for snacking on, take up meditative exercise or running or something to combat stress levels.

                                Sometimes simple recipes are best.

                                I was referred to this recipe recently, and it’s great: (corn + diced tomatoes):

                                Also, if you like chicken, I love lemon pepper chicken which is SUPER easy and cheap to make:
                                Perhaps use some gluten free flour? Is that a thing that exists?

                                And you could do something like this recipe for vietnamese pork vermicelli, and just take out the vermicelli (the noodles), maybe go a little more sparingly on the amount of pork you use for each bowl/serving, and make it a really hearty salad with cabbage and lettuce and mushrooms and all kinds of herbs (hint, DO add the mint and the peanuts, and if you can, also use Maggi sauce on it if it doesn’t have no-nos for your diet in the sauce, it’s hard to go wrong!):

                                There’s also this butternut & squash pie that I have made before in the past and got a lot of compliments from other people on:
                                I’m not sure what would happen if you got rid of the pastry, but surely it couldn’t hurt that much? You could also get rid of the cheese if necessary for the IBS issues, however, I wouldn’t personally. There’s really not that much, and it’s more to add flavor than anything else.

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