When Everyone Runs, Stand Still

We continue to feel surprised by the amount of folks who say we inspire them...
Whether it's due to the way we are with our kidlets and each other, the way we live, home education, being self employed or what food we eat... We are just us.

 One of the people who has inspired us is Donald Watson, we first read about him when Sime joined The Vegan Society in 1994 & since then we have thought lots about getting older & finding ways to stay as healthy as possible.

People around us are committing suicide with the food choices they make & either don't realise or don't care about the consequences. We've been told again & again by some of these folks that they would rather die young & eat whatever they want, than give up everything they love just to live longer! These same people believe we are denying ourselves to the point of misery just in hope that we'll live a few more years... Hahaha!

Being vegan isn't just about steering clear of fast food joints & eating rabbit food - it's about living with compassion. We choose not to eat animals or exploit them in any way & that gives us great satisfaction. 
Our diet is full of nutritious food, it tastes wonderful & makes us feel fantastic - that to us is so important!

Eating the right foods can help to heal us & I have proved this to myself. My health continues to soar & this makes us very happy! We are getting fitter all the time & Sime is already planning  The Three Peak Challenge for my 80th birthday! We're aiming to live into our 100s & believe we shall enjoy good health for many years to come... We know the kidlets will tell us off if we ever feel the need to venture down the beige route, but somehow we don't think that will ever happen!

Another person who we think has great wisdom to share is Ann Esselstyn & we have followed her principles for the last 5 months...

I am not a chef.  I don’t peel anything and if it looks even a little bit complicated, I don’t make it.  What we have found is that eating plant based  WITHOUT OIL is delicious, easy and  above all magical.

 Follow 8 principles and you may well find yourself becoming PLANT PERFECT!

1. Eat oats (Old Fashioned) for breakfast, any way you can as oatmeal, as a cold cereal as we do with alternative milk and fruit or in waffles or pancakes or just put  your cereal bowl with oats, banana and alternative milk and a table spoon of flax seed into your waffle iron and you have your oat breakfast in waffle form  There are delicious ways to use steel cut  oats too.  Oats help lower cholesterol and also reduce artery inflammation.  Find the breakfast with oats you love then eat it EVERY DAY!!!

2. Eat GREENS especially leafy greens as well as all the symphony of rainbow colored vegetables.  Cooked or raw vegetables are king!  Make leafy greens like Kale, collards and Swiss chard the nest on which you put your food, mix greens into your food or pile greens on the side of your plate.  Make kale sandwiches (see below), mix greens into soup, cook kale, etc. cut in small pieces into pasta 4 minutes before it is done, then drain and you have a meal in one (see below) or mix a bunch of greens into pasta sauce and spread on your whole wheat, no oil pizza crust and top with vegetables of your choice.  Never cheese.

3. Eat Beans and Lentils instead of meat and dairy.  All lentils are delicious.  Try red lentils in soup.  They cook quickly and make the soup a nice color.  Put beans in salads.  Hummus made without tahini or oil  has become our mayonnaise as a sandwich spread or dip for vegetables and crackers and even part of our favorite salad dressing.   Our main party dish is brown rice and black beans piled high with chopped tomatoes, thawed frozen corn, chopped green onions, water chestnuts, chopped cilantro, chopped arugula, chopped peppers, etc. and topped with salsa, low sodium tamari or if you don’t have heart disease with guacamole.  AVOID all the highly processed fake soy meats and any of the vegan cheeses, which have lots of oil in them.

4. Eat WHOLE Grains.  Be sure that the word WHOLE is in front of wheat or rye in the ingredient list.   If not then it is just white flour fancied up to sound impressive.  Check also to be sure that there is no added oil in the bread.  Ezekiel makes many wonderful sprouted grain products available in the frozen food departments of health food stores. The Ezekiel Tortilla wraps are excellent and useful for everyday or parties.  Fill them with your choice and then roll them up and bake them for 10 minutes in a 450 degree oven.  Delicious!  Use whole wheat pastry flour or barley flour in baking instead of white flour.

5. Eliminate oil! Empty all oil, even virgin olive oil out of your cupboards then you CAN’T use it.  Instead any liquid works.  Vegetable broth (no sodium), water, wine, beer, orange juice, carrot juice, vinegar all work in stir -frying.  Instead of oil in baking, use applesauce, baby food prunes, bananas.    Finding a salad dressing you love is a challenge at first but there are so many possibilities out there you will soon never miss the oil filled ones.

6. Drink WATER! You can’t go wrong with water.  You can flavor it with a splash of orange or apple, etc. juice occasionally.  Never drink juices!  And absolutely never drink pop, with or without added sugar.

7. Avoid sugar and salt as much as possible.   Save sugar for birthdays or special holiday treats.  Instead put grapes in your freezer for an amazing sweet treat or freeze bananas or mangoes and blend them in a strong blender for delicious “ice creams".  Look at the government label for the amount of salt in a product.  No added salt is ideal or aim for the salt content being equal to the calorie content.  Instead of salt add vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice or hot sauces.  You will lose your taste for salt before you know it.

8. Read Labels, especially the ingredients. You will be surprised that often proclaimed zero fat products have oil listed in the ingredients.  The government allows anything under 0.5 grams of fat to be called FAT FREE.

Ann's husband, Caldwell Esselstyn is the author of Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease. They are both in their late 70s, have been vegan for nearly 30 years & have a very active life.

We hope you'll enjoy reading about these folks & find them as inspiring as we do.

Kay & Sime


  1. My Dr told us that he has to deal with people who are killing themselves with what they eat...and nothing will change their attitudes.
    I think vegans should get a reduction in their life insurance policies the same as non smokers do.
    Jane x

    1. Hi Jane - That's a good idea, but it will probably never happen!

      Kay :)

  2. Thanks for taking the time to write up these guidelines. I'm sue others will find them as useful as I do, either when they're getting started or as a reminder of what we're aspiring to.
    As Scarlet said, giving up meat is the easy part, the rest comes in gradual steps.
    I would definitely agree about the salt. I have not added it to my food in any form for 15 years and avoid any hidden salt in the food I buy. Of course if you cook from scratch you can control this perfectly well yourself.
    Well done Kay and Sime, helping us in the right direction.
    I shall be checking out the products you mentioned :-)
    I did laugh at the thought of you going "beige", I shall come hurtling down the M5 with my tie-dye kit if that ever happens LOL

    1. Hi Kath - afraid the guidelines are Ann Esselstyn's (I just copied them) & the products are all in the USA - unfortunately we can't get healthy ready made tortillas over here... But I can say that cilantro is coriander & arugula is rocket. We've adapted her recipes from the book the best we can, but we just like her attitude about keeping food simple!

      Can't you imagine me with a perm & blue rinse, beige pleated skirt & brogues? And Sime with a pork pie hat, sensible beige trousers with matching beige jacket? Now that would be funny... ;)

  3. I wonder if those people who would rather eat what they want and die young have experienced the devastation of a premature death in their family.Surely they can't have, or they wouldn't have that attitude. I am one of those who has been inspired by the dramatic effect your diet has had on your health. My book should be with me within the next couple of days and I am busy collecting vege/ vegan recipes - baby steps but ones in the right direction.

    1. Thanks Scarlet - one of those people even has children too, which to us seems very selfish!

      We found the book so exciting, that I ended up reading it out loud over about 3 nights... It just felt like everything clicked into place!

      You know where I am if you need any more help.

      Kay :)

  4. We gave up cooking with oil last fall, other than using a smidge of sesame oil every now & then (and we're probably going to eliminate that eventually, too, once we can find a suitable seasoning replacement).

    So many of our co-workers give us that "I'd rather eat what I want and die younger" schpeel, which I just hate. We're not vegan for our health, but we still want to be able to enjoy our life as we age rather than be plagued with all of the health problems so many people we know deal with. So frustrating to hear that!

    Great post. :)

    1. Thanks Molly - We use miso & soy sauce if we want a savoury flavour & just a little water instead of oil.

      Kay :)


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Kay and Sime

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