Challenge Preparations, Photo Food Journal & Diabetes Book Review

Hi and good morning!

Healthy Vegan Challenge Update:

I’m excited that so many of you will be joining me starting next Monday, February 25th, for the Spring 2013 Healthy Vegan Challenge. Your goals are up to you, but I really encourage you to be very specific with them; write them down, write a contract for yourself, tell your friends and start to make preparations. I created a Facebook event for the Challenge where we can connect, too. The point is for us to find accountability and support with each other as we work to make changes.

It’s going to be exciting, but I guarantee you there will be tough times when we will need to rely on each other for encouragement. Don’t forget, I’m not offering any health advice here, it’s up to you to make sure it is safe for you to be changing your diet or exercise routine. Please consult your health professional if you have any questions about that.

Photo Food Journal:

Today is Wednesday which means I’m posting a picture of everything I ate yesterday. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t indulging a little bit this week before making the changes I intend to make during the Challenge. I know this not the healthiest attitude, but I can’t help myself because I know I won’t be having anything decadent for two months. I started off with some leftover green smoothie with some dehydrated buckwheat groats that I stirred in for crunch:

Green smoothie with dehydrated buckwheat groats.

I then got to making some Spinach & Black Bean Brownies that I wanted to have for dessert after lunch. It makes me laugh to know know that in my former life of not eating vegetables, I would have been absolutely horrified by this picture of my brownie ingredients (by the way, my friend Jasmin has started adding some oats to her mixture to help hold them together. It worked great so I added 1/4 cup to the recipe):

Making Spinach & Black Bean Brownies.

Here’s the batter before baking, slightly green:

Spinach & Black Bean Brownie batter.

I ended up cooking the brownies at 300 degrees for an hour and then at 250 degrees for almost another hour to make sure they cooked through. Yes:

Spinach & Black Bean Brownies.

Lunch was some kale salad with a cashew sauce, topped with red onion:

Kale salad with red onion.

I deliberately had a small lunch so I could have the brownie, topped with my vanilla frosting (confession: I ate slightly a lot more than what was pictured here):

Spinach & Black Bean Brownie with Vanilla Frosting.

Okay, that itch is scratched.

I ended up working out yesterday evening as opposed to my normal morning time slot so my appetite was diminished for dinner. I made a small salad with some soup that I found in the freezer and had defrosted. It was some kind of curry with coconut milk:

Soup and salad for dinner.

Fresh mango and blueberries for dessert:

Mango and blueberry dessert bowl.Diabetes Book Review:

I wrote a review of Dr. Fuhrman’s new book on diabetes that was published on the Our Hen House site yesterday here. Please check it out and let me know what you think. I wrote about my dad’s tragic experience with diabetes in my review and I plan to use some of what I learned from the book during the Challenge.

You can enter to win a copy of the book by reading the giveaway instructions at the end of the review.

Dr. Fuhrman's End of Diabetes book cover.


I hope you have a productive rest of your week. I’ll be back here on Friday with some more thoughts on healthy changes, a giveaway to support anyone who wants to quit drinking coffee during the Challenge and a round-up of our Healthy Vegan Friday recipes. See you soon!


  1. Sara Russ says

    Where did you get those bowls? Too cute!

    Also, I ordered a sample of the Dandy Blend. I hope it is as good as it looks in the pics you post.

    Thanks for all of your hard work. I love seeing all of the recipes and reading your food blog. It is great inspiration!!


  2. says

    WOW! Those Brownies! Way Creative and Look AWESOME!
    Looking forward to the challenge! I hand wrote mine down like you did!
    Will there be a blogroll or linky???

  3. says

    Carrie, I’m juice fasting right now, so I should REALLY STOP LOOKING AT YOUR BLOG (temporarily, of course) — and yet I can’t. (Um, howzabout a black bean brownie juice?!) xo

  4. says

    Can I tell you how great it is to see that you do indulge a bit at times? It makes me feel more human to see others doing it and not feel so guilty ;p

    That was an insightful review you wrote. It’s unfortunate the “blood sugar” epidemic we are faced with today when much of it can be helped or even reversed with diet and lifestyle changes. I’m so sorry about your dad – I didn’t know he had recently passed. We have even more in common… it seems to be the not so fun stuff we have in common though.

  5. Judy says

    Thank you for being constant and I love reading your blogs. I am not on Facebook but I am going to try to follow EFL starting today.

  6. says

    Carrie I just read your review of the book and you have written it so wonderfully!
    My husband was diagnosed with diabetes earlier this year and has gone on a plant-based diet since. I hope it can help him reverse it 🙂
    Thank you for your marvellous blog 🙂

    • says

      Awww, thanks for your really kind words, Sandy. It sounds like Dr. Fuhrman’s new book would be right up your alley. Best of luck to you and your husband.

  7. Lilly says

    Your review was excellent. Thank you for sharing the link. I can’t afford to join he henhouse flock at this time, but maybe someday. Yesterday I was listening to a colleage tell about her daughter’s recent Type 1 diagnosis. I am giving Dr. Fuhrman’s diabetes book to her. So much hope and help in his words.

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