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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Who We Are and How/Why We Became Vegans

Hi, we are Brock and Kim and we are vegan. Whoo! Feels good to get that off our chests.

Brock: Moving on...We are from Arkansas and we were married on 1/1/11. Kim is a 3rd/4th grade teacher and I'm well, I have many jobs...own my own mobile deejay company, Brock Entertainment, do social media marketing for a few businesses, lead worship at Keypoint church, work at a coffee shop, and whatever else I can get my hands on. I like to work!

The reason for this blog is to share our experiences with being vegan and how it has helped us. Reading the past posts on this blog from Kim you will see that we were once on the low carb diet meaning that we were HUGE meat eaters. I can't tell you how much we both loved meat and how much meat we actually ate. It was a lot. Right baby?

You are right! We were hard core meat eaters! I have had some form of meat at every meal since I was a kid. Trust me when I told my dad I was going vegan he was second guessing that I was his daughter! When Brock and I started dating I joined him on his low carb diet. Which I loved! I did lose weight and loved eating all that meat but it left us feeling sluggish and low on energy! Another down side to the low carb life style was having to cut out pastas, rice, potatoes, chips and salsa, tortillas, fruits, and basically anything that not meat or cheese! Not to mention switching to all sugar-free chocolates and candies...which if you didn't know, too much artificial sugar can leave you boated and gassy! No bueno!

So I am sure you are wondering why we went vegan?! Well it all started because we watched the documentary "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" on Netflix. (Watch it for free here: Once we watched that documentary we knew that we needed to change something. Brock was on high cholesterol medicine and we both have a family history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, and all sorts of other health problems. We both realized if we stayed on the track we were on we were headed for major health issues! So we started a juice cleanse! Nothing but fresh organic fruits and veggie juice 3 times a day made at home with our new juicer! (We purchased the Breville Ikon BJE510XL like they used on the movie "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" and we love it. Best investment ever!) We decided to try and do 21 days of the juice fast. Why? Because they say that it takes 21 days to break a habit and we wanted to break our eating habits. While we were on our juice cleanse we started to feel amazing and we knew that we were going to make some major changes once we were off the cleanse. We came to the decision that we would rather change our diet and lifestyle now instead of in a few years when a doctor would make us because of health issues. Plus, you have a better chance of not getting cancers or heart disease just based on what you eat. Seemed like a no brainer to us. We watched more documentaries (Forks Over Knives: and did a lot of research before we finally made the decision on becoming vegan. While on the fast Brock lost 15lbs in the 10 days he did the fast (I made him stop fasting because he was losing to much weight) and I lost 18lbs in 21 days. We have both been able to keep almost all that weight off.
I told Brock that if we were going to make these changes then we were going to go all in and not just make gradual changes. I cleaned out our fridge and pantry of everything that wasn't vegan. Then I went online to find a list of vegan pantry staples and headed to Whole Foods! (The closest Whole Foods is 2 hours away in Tulsa, OK.) Now this is not the normal way of switching to becoming vegan and definitely not the most affordable but we wanted to go all in all the way and not be tempted by something we didn't want to put in our bodies anymore. And so the journey began! We were now living in an all vegan household.

Now on to the questions that we get all the time. How do you get enough protein without meat? Where does your calcium come from if you aren't drinking milk? It's probably super expensive right? So, you just eat salads right or just fruits and vegetables? Or the statements..."Wow, I could never be vegan. I could never live without meat and cheese." LOL! All the questions and statements are funny. Why? Because we were the same way and asked the same questions and made the same statements. Why? Because we were so uneducated about health and what our bodies needed for healthy living...just like most of our country...we were fed the idea of the food pyramid and took that as truth and never bothered to do the research ourselves. We finally did the research!
So let us help answer your questions (Instead of posting lengthy answers that would be full posts of their own, we will post links to sites that have all the answers)...How do we get enough protein without meat? and Where does your calcium come from if you aren't drinking milk? and This link will tell you all that we eat as well. So it's probably super expensive right?  It is a little more expensive to get all organic food then the not so healthy version. We look at it this way, we pay a few dollars more now and save on our health care! We are in a health crazed fad right now though and the organic food is a little less than it once was, so that's a plus. You do save money because you hardly eat out. We might eat out once a week. It does take a little more planning though. We try and come up with a meal plan a week in advance because we have to go to the health food store to get some of our ingredients and we don't live right next to one. Once you plan your meals the task of making them is just like making anything else, some are super easy and quick and others are a little harder and take a little longer to make. It's just a different way of cooking because you don't use a lot of the same ingredients you are use too. It isn't hard though.

That's pretty much it. We are vegan and loving it. At the time of this post we have been vegan for 10 months!
We hope that you follow us on our journey and that through this blog and your own research you realize that the normal "American" way of eating is not as healthy for you as you once thought. If you are looking to make a change for your health or to lose weight you have to realize that a quick, fad "Diet" isn't what's needed, a complete and total change in diet is what will work. You can do it. It's all about your mindset. Take the challenge! Do a juice fast and see what happens after it.

(We will be posting some of our favorite recipes and much more in the days, weeks, and months to come. Also if you have any questions at all, at any time, please let us know and we will be glad to try and help you out with whatever your question may be. Thanks!")

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm back!!!!

I can't believe it has been 7 weeks since my last blog! I have been crazy busy at work and being married. I have tons of recipes to catch everyone up on. I am hoping to post a few recipes a week so I can fill everyone in on what I've been cooking and life being married the last few weeks. School is almost over! Only 15 more school days left! Can't wait to to have my summer and enjoy some carefree days! Tonight I made low carb pizza. I was at Target this past weekend and saw a boxed pizza that sounded amazing so I had to make my own version this week. Roasted red pepper with garlic sauce on a low carb tortilla with chicken, parmesan cheese, spinach, and goat cheese. So yummy! It definitely hit that spot!
Low Carb Pizza
1 Low Carb Tortilla Wrap
3 or 4 roasted red peppers pieces 
1 garlic clove
A drizzle of EVOO and White Wine vinegar
Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
5 spinach leaves finely chopped
2 ounces of cooked chicken chopped
1 hand full of parmesan cheese
1 hand full of crumbled goat cheese
Preheat oven to 350. Spread sauce on tortilla. Top with parmesan cheese. Then layer with chicken, spinach, and goat cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until tortilla is crispy. I used a whole wheat low carb tortilla and 10 minutes made it crunchy with out browning it too much.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chocolate Lava Cake with Berries...aka Low Carb Dream!

Its been way too long since my last post. It isn't that I haven't been cooking because I have...a lot actually! I just haven't had time to post recipes and talk about my day lately. I am seriously ready for summer! Today has been our first day of Spring Break and it has given me a taste of what is to come in about 2 more months...I can't wait to hit the gym in the mornings around 9 then come home lay out in the sun for a few hours then cook a healthy dinner and dessert! Summer time is the best!!!!
Today I got up and ran tons of errands then came home to cook a meal for my friends who just had a baby. I made them some Baked Ziti, Garlic Bread, Caesar Salad, and for dessert Peanut Butter Snicker Brownies with Peanut Butter Icing. None of which is low carb but all of which is delicious! After I dropped their meal off I came home and cooked a very yummy and healthy meal for Brock and I. We had baked chicken and steamed broccoli....then die for amazingly delicious Chocolate Lava Cake!!!!
So I don't have pictures of the Chicken or Broccoli but they are super simple to make and very healthy. For the chicken I just make them in little foil packets. Take a piece of foil and place a chicken breast in the middle. Cover with your choice of seasoning. We really like the spicy chicken seasoning. I sprinkle that on the chicken breast then take a tablespoon of butter and cut it in three slices and place it on top of the chicken breast with seasoning. Seal up the packet and bake on 425 for 30 minutes.
Walmart has started selling fresh broccoli in steamable bags! Its amazing! Poke a few holes in the bag with a fork, place the bag on a plate in the microwave for 3 minutes and bam...its ready! Perfect meal in about 35 minutes! :)
Dessert.....the good stuff! I am obsessed with reading other food blogs. One blog that I am loving right now is All day I dream of food. The lady who write this blog is a diabetic and has to eat low carb/ sugar free.  As sad as it is to have that disease she has totally made lemonade out of her lemons in life and has become an amazing cook for others who are diabetic or that follow a low carb sugar free diet. You should all definitely check out her blog! This dessert is one of her recipes. The only thing I might try next time is adding a little bit more splenda. She uses granulated erythritol and I substituted it for Splenda...I think I should have put more because it was kinda bittersweet. It was delicious but could have been sweeter. :)
Chocolate Lava Cake:
4 tbsp of butter, plus more for the ramekins
6 squares of Lindt 85% cacao chocolate
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp of granulated erythritol (I'd say 2 tbsp of splenda)
1 tsp of flour
Melt butter and chocolate together in a small bowl set on top of a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth.  On a medium size bowl beat egg, egg yolk, and splenda together until light in color and thickened. Add chocolate mixture and mix until combined. Stir in the flour. Divide the mixture between the ramekins, bake for 6 to 7 minutes. Sides will be set but center will soft. Invert onto plate and let sit for 10 seconds or so. Then lift ramekin. Cake will fall out onto plate! Serve immediately with whipped topping and/or fresh berries.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sometimes it doesn't go as planned....

Yesterday was Sunday...not just any Sunday it was time change day! Normally it's not a big deal. I really don't ever feel affected by the change but this time was different. Saturday night Brock had to deejay a fundraiser for the Arkansas Museum for Children. It was a nice, fun change from weddings, clubs, and parties. We got all dressed up and had a great time together. The down side to our fun evening was it was a late night. We got home around 1 am. By the time I was ready for bed it was way after 2. Brock reminded me to set the clock back...we had a discussion that went a little like this....

Brock: Don't forget to set your clock back before you set your alarm.
Me: I don't think I have to set this my alarm clock back it does it automatically.
Brock: No babe...your cell phone sets automatically not the bedside clock.
Me: Are you sure???? I don't know that I've ever set this clock. And I can't figure out how to change the time.
Brock: Seriously babe...just hit the hour button.
Me: There isn't one....just a time zone button.
Brock: Well set it on eastern time.
Me: Ok baby.

So not a big deal right?!? WRONG! I woke up, so I thought, late...6:20 on my clock (suppose to get up at 5:45). Ran in, jumped in the shower and I'm running around like a crazy woman. I go back in the bedroom to have this conversation with my sweetheart of a new hubby.....

Brock: Kim turn off the lights and be quiet...
Me: Baby you need to get up and start getting ready we are running late. Its 6:45.
Brock: No its not, your clock is wrong it's only 5:45.
Me: No baby remember the time change....
Brock: Check your phone, your clock is wrong, I am tired and you are making noise...Go back to bed! You are up too early!

Sure enough my alarm clock does set itself...and since I changed the times zone I lost 2 hours of sleep! Worst night of sleep ever! I only got like 3 hours and that was the first thing that day that didn't go as planned. Some things to know about me are I love plans and following them out and if I don't get enough sleep I am one grouchy girl!

Wondering why I have bored you with the time zone alarm clock story? Well our day Sunday was super busy. We had church Sunday morning and then lunch with our friends the Shane and Mendy Roth (and kids). Love them! We invited them back to the house to hang out while their son, Max, went to a birthday party a few blocks from our house.

We got home and picked up a little before company and I baked cookies. Shane has a gluten allergy and a dairy allergy so he can't eat a lot of stuff. I discovered this recipe back when Brock and I started our low carb lifestyle. These cookies are now Shane's favorite cookie....ever! (So he says!) These Peanut Butter Chocolate cookies are a delightful little low carb, no sugar, no dairy, and no gluten dessert! They are super soft and chewy. We drank an afternoon cup of coffee and ate cookies! So good. We decided to cook burgers and sweet potato fries for dinner. Well that was the plan...but just like my alarm clock problem we had some more bumps in our road. I made a list of things that we needed from the store which included an extra package of hamburger meat, 5 sweet potatoes and some medicine. Lets just say Brock tried and got 1 out of 3 correct. He got the right hamburger meat, but regular potatoes instead of sweet potatoes, and he got me powdered medicine instead of pills. Again he tried. So we just made regular fries instead. I decided to make gourmet burgers with my Italian seasonings with sauteed tomatoes and onions with a special homemade mayo sauce, and fresh shredded mozzarella. So Mendy and I start cooking. Cutting potatoes and making burgers. I go to put the burgers in the pan and start cooking them. All is good until...I go to flip them...7 out of 10 burgers just crumbled to it looked like I was browning hamburger meat for something other than making burgers. Disaster!!!! Needless to say dinner didn't turn out as planned. Instead of having hamburgers we has meat blobs on buns. LOL. Oh looked awful but everyone loved them! So I guess that is all that matters! And no I didn't take pictures of the meat blobs and regular fries. I don't have clue as to why the meat fell apart but we had fun and I realized sometimes things don't go as planned but that is ok! :)
I thought I'd share my cookie recipe and pictures of those since they were the one thing that actually went how they were suppose to that day!!!
 Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies
(adapted from baking bites)
1 cup of crunchy peanut butter
3/4 cup of splenda brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp of vanilla
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp of water
1/2 cup sugar free chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl mix together cocoa powder and water. In a medium size bowl mix peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Once well combined mix in chocolate water mix. Stir until all combined. Add chocolate chips. Drop by the teaspoon on a cookie sheet and bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Cool for a minute on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack. Eat them up!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Peanut Butter Snicker Brownies!

Tonight was our family bingo night and teacher bake sale at school. Our PTA host a family night with a silent auction of baked goods that the teachers make. The kids get so excited about buy the things their teacher has made or bought. This year it was no different. Tons of delicious baked goods lined the tables in the cafeteria for some friendly biding wars.
Leading up to the bake sale I was racking my brain trying to find something that was going to be some what easy to make but more importantly didn't need refrigerating and could be transported easily. Several months ago Snickers came out with their new peanut butter snickers squares. As soon as I saw them I told Brock not only had I died and gone to heaven that I was more excited to figure out what to make with them! These could be used in so many different baking opportunities! My options were endless! Three days later I was catching up on my favorite cooking blogs when I found a recipe using my God sent heavenly treats....that is right my Peanut Butter Snickers!!!! So hands down I totally decided to use this recipe when making my bake sale item. Needless to say they were a success, bringing in a grand total of $28.00!!!!
So with out farther ado I give your the most delicious dessert treat that has ever been.....well at least one of the best! :)

Peanut Butter Snicker Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting...
aka....a piece of heaven! :)
(Cookies and Cups)
1 cup of sugar (splenda)
2 eggs
2 tsp of vanilla
1/2 cup of butter (melted and unsalted)
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
2/3 cup of flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven 350 and spray muffin tins with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl stir sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Then add in melted butter. Mix well. Sift in cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt.
Scoop brownie batter into muffin tins. Press an unwrapped PB Snickers in the center of the brownie batter. Use the back of a spoon to spread the brownie mix across the top of the candy bar. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until edges are set and the center is no longer jiggly. Let them cool for 30 minutes before removing them from the pan.
While they are cooling go ahead and mix up the frosting.
Peanut Butter Frosting
1/2 stick of unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
2 1/2 to 3 cups of powdered sugar
3 tablespoons of milk
In a medium sized bowl with a hand mixer beat the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Slowly add in sifted powdered sugar and then milk. Beat until smooth. Fill a piping bag with the frosting and then decorate however you want! Feel free to pipe any extra frosting directly in your mouth....its that good!
Eat and Enjoy!!!! :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chocolate Walnut Blondies (low carb! )

I have a major sweet if that isn't obvious! I try to keep it in check and not make too many desserts. But today I thought Brock and I deserved a treat. We have been eating healthy all week and I have been craving some chocolate this weekend. So I made these yummy chocolate walnut blondies. They are very nutty and the chocolate gives them just the right amount of sweetness. They are also a quick and easy treat to make. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did! :)
Chocolate Walnut Blondies
(adapted from I dream of Food)
1 1/2 cups of walnuts
1 cup of almond flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup of melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup splenda
2 tsp of vanilla extract
10 drops of stevia extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of sugar free chocolate chips
Preheat oven at 325 and grease an 8x8 pan. I just used non stick spray. Chop 1/2 cup of walnuts and  toast them. Set them aside. In a food processor take the rest of the walnuts (1 cup) and grind them till they look like course cornmeal. Combine grounded walnuts, xanthan gum, and almond meal in a bowl and set aside. In a medium sized bowl melt 1 cup of butter (2 sticks). Beat melted butter and splenda together till smooth. Add in vanilla and stevia extract. Then stir in the almond flour mixture. In a small bowl beat all 4 eggs then pour eggs into batter. Stir till well combined. Add in toasted walnut chunks and chocolate chips.  Pour batter into prepared dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes till edges are slightly browned.  Let cool for 10 minutes in pan before serving.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chicken Pizza and Cheese Sticks (all low carb!)

I feel like our lives are so busy and we don't even have kids! I shutter at the thought of having to balance our crazy life style with kiddos! Hopefully we won't have any of those for a long long long time! Yesterday was the end of a long week and so I wanted something super easy and little mess but still hardy and full of flavor! So I went with Brock's favorite again and yet made another dish that is low carb for pizza lovers! That is right low carb Chicken Pizza. It was super easy and can be made however you like your pizza just use flattened chicken breast as your dough.
Chicken Pizza
 6 Chicken Breast (flattened to about 1/2 and inch)
salt and pepper
3/4 cup of tomato sauce (about a tablespoon or so per chicken breast)
mozzarella cheese (shredded)
Preheat oven to 350. Either grill chicken or cook it in a skillet. I did mine in a skillet with a little butter salt and pepper. Once chicken is cooked place in a oven safe dish. Spoon sauce on top of chicken then layer with favorite pizza toppings. Peperoni, jalapenos, onions, and cheese. Sprinkle with some oregano. Bake in oven for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Mozzarella Sticks 
(low carb)
12 cheese sticks
1 egg
splash of water
1/2 a bag of original flavored pork skins
Italian seasoning
Preheat oven 350. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Take pork skins and crumble them into crumbs. I used my food processor for this step or you could use a rolling pin and place them in a ziplock bag and crush them. Mix egg and splash of water together in a shallow bowl. Take cheese stick and dip it in the egg wash then roll in the pork skin crumbs. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Repeat until finished. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them after 8 so they don't complete melt together. You still want them to resemble a baked cheese stick. Dip in ranch or marinara sauce.