My plant based journey started last year in May. I had been having all sorts of health issues with chronic inflammation and feeling down right awful! I had been previously eating a high protein diet and low carbs. At first I seemed to be doing ok with this sort of diet, but then it all changed.
We would buy a grass fed cow each year and several free range chickens. So my only meat was beef and chicken and occasionally fish or seafood.
My one doctor had recently gone on a plant based diet and suggested that I watch a documentary called “Forks Over Knives”. The plant based eating was helping him, he dropped around 70 lbs and was off his blood pressure medications.
I had actually been thinking about eating plant based as a few years before, my naturopathic doctor put me on a YACH diet for 7 days. Which is 2 Cups of plain yogurt, 2 Apples, All the raw Celery you want and all the plain Hummus you like and drink water each day for 7 days. Which I did and then after that, I went on a 21 day raw food diet and during that time I also did a Vitamin C cleanse. At the end, I had never felt better. But then I went back to how I was eating. And slowly I did not feel so great...
When you hurt all over and you have tried just about everything....well I just said I am going to give this plant based eating a try.. I was willing to try anything to feel better. My weight was not where I wanted it and it was quite depressing. I will add that I have also been wheat and gluten free for several years now and that has helped me tremendously!! The other thing that has helped me is I hardly ever have sugar and I do not eat dairy. If I do have dairy on a very rare occasion, I always feel sick from it......
I watched “Forks Over Knives”, then I watched another documentary called “What the Health” and soon I was watching a whole bunch of YouTube Videos on the benefits of Plant Based Eating.
And so my plant based eating journey began....I started a Pinterest Board on Plant Based Recipes and at first it seemed hard to come up with ideas of things to make. Pinterest is great for getting new and different recipes. Sometimes I don’t necessarily follow the recipes but just get an idea and then I am off and cooking.
I must say, eating plant based has been great for me. I am down 18 pounds and still have about 10 pounds to go, but feeling better!! And I was not even trying to lose weight just eating differently. In the last 13 months I have eaten some form of meat about 20 times and after I have eaten it, I did not feel that great and it messes with my digestive system in a not so good way....
People ask me about my plant based eating all the time and when I tell them, they almost always say.....Oh I could never do that.... If your body hurts or you suffer from headaches or other ailments, why wouldn’t you try it to see if it relieves some of your problems....if it does nothing go back to the way you were eating. But it just might help you feel better and get on the road to better health!
Here are some pictures of some of the plant based, dairy free, gluten free meals that I eat regularly. Why don’t you give it a try and let me know if you feel any better.
It is that first harvest of the year! I love when my herbs are ready to harvest. My husband and I both love to cook, he is a classically trained chef and we honestly use a lot of herbs and spices when we cook. Most of the herbs we use, we grow and harvest ourselves. It is one of my favorite hobbies. I love learning about the herbs, trying new recipes and learning about all the healing benefits and vitamins that herbs offer.
Today I harvested English Thyme, Lemon Thyme and French Thyme. (On the pictures below I labeled the French Thyme just “Thyme”). They are all different and each has its own unique flavor profile. French Thyme offers a flavor that is subtler than the English Thyme. They both have the same mint and clove notes but the French Thyme is milder in the flavors. The leaves are so tiny and tender and so tasty. I cut them put them on plates to dry at room temperature. Once they are dry I strip the little leaves off the stems and put them in jars for cooking. I always have enough of my own without buying it from the store!
Chives....the flowers are definitely pretty and they make a great chive vinegar that I use on salads. Rice Salads, Lettuce Salads. I put a little in my Sushi Rice. It is great to sprinkle a little on vegetables too! It has a very onion, garli, mint sort of profile and is a beautiful shade of pink. I cut the flowers just when the buds are opening. Cut the flower tops off and rinse them in cold water in a colander to get any bugs off.
Then pack the flower tops in a jar tightly and cover with white vinegar. I used a distilled white vinegar, but a white balsamic would be great to use. I think I will do that next time.
Then put a lid on the jar and place it on your counter to sit for 1-2 weeks. I put mine right next to my kombucha. Everyday give it a little shake..
That is it!!! When it is done strain out the vinegar and put the flowers in your compost pile. You will have a tasty chive vinegar that you can use and share a bottle with your culinary friends! Enjoy!
If you give it a try, let me know how yours comes out, I would love to hear from you!
A few years ago my mother and father in law were talking about selling their home and building a new one in a site condominium a few miles down the road from where they live now. The home would have been smaller, not as nice, and away from their twin daughters. Plus, my mother in law loves her flower gardens, and they really like their home.
I spent 20 years working in the land title business and saw this same scenario with other elderly people many times. I started crunching numbers and was showing my husband, Brian, what those numbers looked like. We took the estimated sales price of their home, plus all the closing costs and realtor fees. It was sad, because they would take all of their net proceeds to build their new home in this site condominium. It would be smaller and not as nice as where they live now. It would be away from their daughters.
I remember talking to Brian and I told him, “If I was in a position to have 2 of my children so close to my home, I would not want to move away from them.” Also, I am the type that I like to put down roots and make a place my home, and when I do, it is heartbreaking for me to leave. I knew for my mother-in-law, Dorothy, it would be hard for her to leave her home.
I kept thinking about it and talked to Brian. I suggested that maybe we could offer to move in with them and help take care of them. That way they could stay in their home.
We started talking to his mom and dad about it as well as praying about it. We felt like we should do it; that it was the right thing to do.
My daughter Charlotte and her husband Mitch and their son Emmanuel, (or as we like to call him - Manny), came to visit for Christmas. Charlotte is a talented artist who has recently illustrated her second children's book. (almost published, I will post a link to it once it comes available). Her first book that she illustrated was titled "Dunkin on the Move". Charlotte like me has a website for her art and is also doing a blog. We both want to be more consistent and intentional with our blogs but are having a hard time doing it. We are both a bit competitive….. okay a lot competitive, so we decided to make it a challenge between us two in posting new blogs. But right after Christmas, Charlotte texted me and told me she posted a blog…. How dare her get one out before me….just like her to get a jump on it…so here I go trying this year to be more consistent with my blog…
When Charlotte was here for Christmas she brought that pair of earrings (above right)…she had dropped it on the floor and they broke….well they are glass. If they hit tile or cement, there is a chance they will break, and this pair did. She was so sad as they had become one of her favorite pairs of earrings to wear. While she was here, I tried to fire them in my kiln, twice. I was trying to repair them. But glass has a memory…at least that is what my aunt taught me when I was apprenticing with her to blow glass. She told me every time a tool touches the glass it leaves its mark…..kind of like a scar.
More of HIM, less of me - MOHLOM
I would sign my letters with More of HIM, less of me…
When I ran into some very tough financial times with a business that I was partners in, when the real estate market tanked back in 2007, it rocked my world. As one of the owners you are the first to go without pay. And that is what my partners and I did, trying to help the business survive. In the meantime, since my income and my husbands, was wrapped up in this business we had to do something else to supplement our income. All I had was my art…. But could I make any money at it, that was the question.
I would draw with graphite and my focus was unborn children, babies and toddlers. But to complete a single drawing it would take me around 13 hours. Which was time consuming. I had to figure something else out to make money.
I had this kiln that a friend gave me years ago, a renter had left it in the house they rented from him. I had always wanted to do pottery and so I was excited to take the kiln. I moved it from house to house never plugging it in….
But now I wondered if I could melt some cullet in it. Cullet is the scrap glass from a glass blowers’ pipe. My aunt at the time was blowing glass and she gave me some to try. I had no idea what I was doing or getting into. I checked a book out from the library on kiln formed glass. I read it and read it over and over again. Taking notes.... and finally came the day, to try it out. It took me several tries to get something worth keeping. But I logged my times and temperatures in my trusty spiral note book and then had a guide to what wasn’t working……. I just had to figure out what would work.
It took many failures and almost but then I finally had a success! I was so excited. During this time I was trying to come up with a name for my new art business. I decided on MOHLOM. When I shared the name with my husband, he was not too thrilled. But when I explained it was an acronym for “More of HIM, less of me”……. then he loved it! You see that is how I would sign my letters. It was my hearts cry to have More of Jesus in my life. If I had more of HIM, then there would be less of me and that is a much better way to live life.
We started selling the fused glass at art and craft shows and sharing my story and love for the Lord! It provided us an income to put food on the table and make it through that very tough financial time. Fast forward…… we are now debt free and currently on “baby step 4” of the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Plan. Thank you Dave!!! I will share more about that later in another blog.
But right now…… I am so happy to be working on expanding my art and developing other mediums that I can add to my website and my art shop MOHLOM.
I would love to have you visit my shop and get to know me through my blog!
More of HIM, less of me,
Mary Catherine Jackowski
A picture from one of our local art and craft shows.
Mary Catherine Jackowski
MOHLOM is more than a shop or a business it is my hearts cry. MOHLOM stands for More of HIM, Less of Me. As I grow older that is my desire for God to fill me and overflow to those around me.