Tag Archives: plantbased

New venture


I do apologise if this blog gets a little quieter in future. However I have been working on setting up a brand new website/blog all about the benefits of a Whole Food Plant Based diet.

Having been vegan for thirty years, and getting more and more interested and informed on the plethora of scientific evidence that this is the way of the future, I wanted to start putting my money where my mouth was, as it were. Actually, I have, for now, set up a free WordPress blog, so no financial investment at this time. However since graduating from the Centre for Nutrition Studies Plant-based nutrition course at eCornell, and even before that, I have wanted to do something concrete to help get the word out.

I know there are many resources out there, but each website, book or documentary adds a little more to the mix, and different approaches appeal to different people. Even if only a handful of people get the message via my new blog, and it makes a difference in their lives, then it is worth doing.

The yarn has been lying dormant for a couple of days while I played with Squarespace (professional but even though it is supposedly user-friendly I found it frustrating to set up), considered my options (do I want to commit to a monthly fee for a site which won’t be generating income, at least initially), investigated the WordPress options (from free up to $30 a month, depending) and just dived in to a regular basic blog because I just wanted to get started already!

Setting up the blog took a bit of time, getting the first two posts published, creating a new Facebook page, opening up a new Twitter account, and I needed to get out for a walk in the evening to burn off some of the tension of all that laptop time.

I’d love it if you were to check out my new website, Grains, Greens, Berries & Beans. Long name but I like the alliteration and the other options I considered were already taken. My youngest son helped with the logo that appears on my Facebook and Twitter profiles. I gave him my idea on paper and he translated it into digital!

I have so much information to share that it will take a long time to publish just what I already have planned, and of course new things are appearing on the web all the time. I hope to create a comprehensive resource for all things related to the Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle. I’m excited to get on with it.

Thanks for visiting.


WIP: Gypsy Flower Square sweater


Good morning, peeps! It’s such a beautiful day here. We’ve had lots of sun and blue sky this week. A few clouds threatened yesterday and even dropped about ten tiny snowflakes on me when I was walking for an hour, but it didn’t amount to anything.

Now that we have the new windows and doors, the house is so much brighter. No UV film to block out the much-desired winter sun. The extra window in the kitchen door is my favourite thing of the whole job – what was a dark corner is now filled with light. What a difference!

I took another photo of me with the new haircut that came out better. I sent it to my mum, but I will also share it here. I love the hair, but my face is definitely suffering the effects of my 54 year old hormones. It is reddened, partly spotty and partly flaky. Gah!


You may have seen the first part of the Gypsy Flower Square in my last post. I reached the end of the instructions for the square…


I absolutely love the stitch pattern in the last two rounds, especially as they are in my favourite colour.

After that, I had to decide what to do to make it bigger. This is what I did…


Some V stitches, some puff stitches. I’ve now used all the colours in the pack except for the petrol. I need to save that for the edges as I would hate to run out of it when doing the neckline, etc. Rather than make another square like this, I think I will probably do the back in stripes, as well as the sleeves. That way I can use up the colours more evenly.

Stylecraft Special DK held double and crocheted with a 6mm hook is so nice and squishy. Of course, one could use chunky yarn to start with, but the DK comes in 82 colours and the Aran and Chunky weights only in, what, 30?

Well, the square still isn’t big enough, so I will have to be creative and continue on until it’s at least 22 inches across. Gotta have some positive ease, especially in a bulky sweater. I really hope this will look great with jeans this spring!

I spent an intense couple of hours yesterday, starting to type up my thoughts relating to a new venture. Since I acquired my Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate, my plans are to set up a new website/blog helping people who want to transition to a healthier lifestyle. It will need to be written, rewritten, and tested (just like a crochet pattern!) before releasing it to the general public. I am excited about it!

Have an awesome day!


Knitting, crochet and courses


Whoopee! I am now a graduate of the Centre for Nutrition Studies whole food plant-based nutrition programme. I even have a badge for my blog, which is now in the sidebar near the top. It doesn’t fit in that well at the moment. I think it may be time for a renovation around here. I’ve been using the same WordPress template for, like, forever!

So that’s one FO! A finished course, for which I will get a certificate. I did the course partly for myself, partly so I could help others by educating them about healthy eating by not just giving them my opinion but actual facts backed up by actual science. And now I CAN!

The other FO is a crochet one which I whipped up in a little under an hour today.

It’s a cute lamb lovey, made from a kit that we sell at the store. It’s more expensive there than online, but I get a staff discount. And I’ve been eyeing these kits for ages. They come in many colours (always with three different colours/textures in one ball) with a different animal head or ball to go on top.

Rather than go with the crowd and knit a hat, I crocheted a granny square and added the lamb’s head to the centre. I was inspired by someone on Ravelry who has been posting photos of her projects to one of my favourite groups, the Colourful CALs/KALs group.

If you can’t find these at your local yarn store, they have them at Herrschners.ca. They are called DMC Top This knit hat kits.

What else? Ah yes…


Knittin’…..started these Baby Janes a couple of days ago. Haven’t picked them up since. But if I actually get them finished they will match the bubble gum blanket’s border and will make a cute set. It’s a free pattern from Red Heart – I found it at work in the yarn section.

And the caterpillar is coming along. I did  add some hexagons today, and as you’ll see from the photo I positioned the bits for the head and feet. Tonight I sewed them on because I was too impatient to wait until I had added all the hexes.

We had a very pleasant Sunday. A slow pace, a walk along the waterfront, a cup of tea at Chai Baba. And a couple of interesting new recipes, which the boys were very dubious about. Beetburgers (a beautiful colour) in buns with grilled pineapple (another idea from Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease cookbook) with salad, followed by lime custard tart. I used an unbaked crust idea from the Fat Free Vegan blog (because I couldn’t find the right ingredients for the original crust) which was made with rolled oats, dates and fresh orange juice. The filling was silken tofu with lime juice and maple syrup layered with fresh fruit. It was rather good!

Despite all the doom and gloom in the news (best not to watch) I hope you manage to stay joyful and positive and spread good news instead of bad. ❤





January WIP update


The time flies by! I just checked the date of my last post and it was 6 days ago! And I had forgotten I already showed you my stash flash, because I was about to post the photos…again!

Hmmm, guess my brain is all full up.

The Hungry Caterpillar blanket isn’t coming along as quickly as it should, but here’s the progress so far…


The first two (green) segments of the caterpillar’s body are now incorporated. I’m working right to left on each row, and this is row 4 of 9. The edges are curling a bit, which will all be fixed when I add the border. I could have used a 5.5mm hook, with hindsight, and if I had I could have used my Addi Swing hook. Ah well, too late now.

Have you heard the word “hygge?” It’s a word that’s being bandied about on the interwebz and it is a Danish word with a complex meaning that needs a bunch of English words to describe it! A friend and I have started a women’s group of the same name. We had the first gathering last night at my house. Just four of us for the first one, though I’d like to add a few more. One woman recently had a baby and brought him along. OMG, newborns are so tiny and cute. I asked her to give the caterpillar hat a trial run, because I was nervous about the size. It was PERFECT! So I guess I don’t have to make another one.

And funnily enough, Kathryn of Crafternoon Treats was talking about the exact same thing in Episode 24 of her podcast that I watched today.  Have you seen her podcast before? I love it.

Last night, one friend was knitting on a pair of socks, another was knitting a rat cave which she intended to felt, and I was crocheting a really easy cowl. I wanted something I could do mindfully and mindlessly at the same time! You know what I mean? You can concentrate and enjoy the lovely fuzzy feeling that comes with forming the stitches with the colourful yarn, and if you want to chat you can continue crocheting because every row is the same and easy to memorise.


This is Loops & Threads Facets. 100% acrylic, a bulky yarn in the colourway Capri Blue. This is a daylight shot but it still doesn’t do it justice. At the end of the first skein, I had a piece 20 inches long, which wasn’t quite long enough to join into a cowl. So as I was going to be starting the second ball anyway, I decided just to use up the whole of the second ball too and hopefully get a cowl that I can double up around my neck. I doubled the amount of pattern repeats across as my yarn isn’t anywhere near as bulky as the one used in the original design. Agnes Lace Cowl

Since starting this, I have become quite attached to it. Rather than give this one away, I may just weed out and donate some of the other older accessories I have. I might even make a hat to match (time to grab a Michaels coupon)!

Well, I must make some more progress on the blanket and also put a couple of hours in on my eCornell plant-based nutrition course. I’m at mid-point right now. Halfway through the second module of three. I am learning a lot and it’s getting me all fired up to share more with people about the health benefits of a whole food plant-based diet. I am cooking without added oil now and the kids are having to get used to dinners without fake cheese. Whilst we are keeping maple syrup in the house, once the coconut sugar is gone I won’t be buying any more. Ditto the white flour.

I am being a lot more outspoken on my personal Facebook page about animal rights at the moment. I’m sure some of my FB friends would like to/have blocked my posts but the truth really does have to come out. And it will, one way or another.

Hope you’re having a compassionate week.