This site is dedicated to the review of the recipes in several vegan low-cal or low-fat cookbooks:  Appetite for Reduction, The Happy Herbivore, The Kind Diet, The 21-Day Weight-Loss Kickstart, Unprocessed and UnDiet.

You won't find their recipes here (unless I have seriously changed a recipe to fit my taste or allergies), but I encourage you to become a reader of the authors' blogs and websites and of course, buy their books! I will include some of my own recipes that I think others will enjoy on their quest to reducing weight or just enjoying a low-cal/low-fat plant-based lifestyle.

If you are new here, please read "About me 2/11" below this area.
Update 10/14/13
You can see my updated info at the "Fitness Goals" page. Basically, I've gained more weight. Time to get serious again.

Update 9/1/13
My journey to lose weight seems never-ending. Weight seems to come on if I even think about food. I've been looking into thyroid issues, experimenting with a vegan-modified Paleo/AIP diet and also dealing with a Silent Reflux problem and figuring out what foods might be causing or contributing to reflux as well as pain and inflammation. No real answers yet! Today I'm at about 166 pounds. I'm now 52, The Girl just turned 12 and The Man will be 54 soon. Grandma is still kickin' it at 89.

Update 5/3/12
I've decided to refer to my husband as "The Man" (non-vegan, early 50's) and my daughter  as "The Girl" (99% vegan, about age 10). If my mom gives her opinion on any recipe, I'll refer to her as "The Grandma" (age 88, non-vegan).

Here is my update on 3/2/12:
I stopped working on this blog sometime last summer. Just fell away from it. In August I attended the first-ever Vida Vegan Bloggers Conference in Portland and spent a week in Vegan Heaven. (Vegan corn dogs. Three vegan bakeries. Vegan donuts. Vegan pizza with "cheese.") Portland wasn't just vegan-friendly. It was a vegan orgy.

And I gained 10 pounds, up to about 169 lbs. (Maybe I saw 170, I dunno, I'm in denial.)

And THEN, I went to Raleigh, NC for a business conference and met up with two new vegan buddies from the Bloggers conference who showed me MORE vegan restaurants and MORE lovely high calorie vegan food. (Vegan chocolate cake, a vegan "chicken-fried steak" big enough to feed a vegan Paul Bunyan, and to top it off, a sinfully rich vegan "Sopapilla" which is essentially a fried cheesecake.)

Oh gawd.

After I got back, I joked I needed a Raw Cleanse.

And then I did one! Three weeks of raw food, three (or more) times a day! Almost all my meals are recorded here on this blog for that time period. It was OK, but I have to admit I think my photographs look better than most of the food tasted. But it DID adjust my taste-buds and I lost a little weight. Not a lot of weight, which was discouraging. But it was a solid 5 pounds that stayed off.

Then, I found out I needed surgery. (Long story short: they found a cyst on an ovary and the only way to make sure it was nothing was by taking it out. It was a benign type, it was removed, along with my ovaries. I was pretty much done with menopause anyway.) Surgery was supposed to be in mid-December, but it got changed to early January.

This puts me to today, in the beginning of March, 2012, ready for a change.

I'm about 98% recovered from the surgery, am moving around and feeling like getting back to my daily work (organizing) as well as this blog and cooking and photographing from the books. And now I really need to get my strength back since abdominal surgery knocks you off your feet for weeks and your core muscles come back very slowly.

My sisters are coming for a visit in May, and we could all stand to lose some weight, so we have thrown down a challenge to one another to make it happen by mid-May. I'm trying for 2 pounds a week, which would be 20 pounds and put me around 145. I'd be happy with 10, but let's aim high! 

About me (2/11)
My name is Margaret I am a vegan in need of losing weight, (I know, I know, it's hard to believe, right? An overweight vegan?) and I am undertaking the project of cooking from several vegan low-fat or low-cal cookbooks, reviewing the recipes here and photographing each recipe that I make as I go.

I am an almost 50 year-old mom to a finicky nine year-old vegan girl and a non-veg'n husband who does not eat beef or pork, but does eat dairy at home. (He eats fowl/fish when we go out.) I'll report on how they like the recipes.

I've been wheat-free (or nearly so) for almost two years now. I am not diagnosed with Celiac or have an allergy to it, but I have found that my intestines are much happier now that I eschew (instead of chew!) wheat or gluten. I also have a true dairy allergy (runny nose, major headaches) and gave up dairy long before I became vegan about 20 years ago.

I've become seriously bored with food and unmotivated to cook. Starting this project has really kept me going on trying new foods (I actually made a recipe with parsnips the other day!) and I'm having a blast photographing my productions.

I'm also in the midst of menopause. I mention that in case anyone out there is having some of my same issues and in case I happily find a solution to any of them through diet.
  • Migraines (new for me)
  • Weight gain (10 MORE pounds than the 20 I needed to lose before)
  • Warm flashes (not too hot yet)
  • General crankiness or irritability with everyone. I mean everyone.
  • Sudden waves of emotion. (Like I've been watching the last scene in Big when the boy's mother sees him again. I get weepy just thinking about it.)
So, thank you for coming along on this ride and I encourage comments about my reviews, the photographs, other posts, etc. (Keep it nice, please!) 

I love spreading knowledge, I love photography and I always have a great time creating blogs.

Enjoy and reduce!

Northern California

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or dietician and any changes in your diet should be run by your doctor. This blog, the posts and any information within is for entertainment purposes only. I do not take any responsibility for the information or recommendations within the books I am writing about!