Meet Retired Veggie Teacher, Jude

When I started this blog it was about juggling my life as a teacher and life coach. I was dealing with colleagues not understanding how I ate – WFPB – SOS free (whole foods, plant based – salt-oil-sugar free) as I was trying to get control of my cholesterol and health.  The years have come and gone since the inception of this blog in 2011. I retired from teching in 2019, I’ve slipped and slid food wise, but I still strive for fresh fruit, vegetables, and more dog walks.

My eating habits have evolved from omnivore, to lacto-ovo veg (with occasional seafood), to plant based.  When I’ve slipped, I say I’m a flexitarian.  The label isn’t important to me. My health is.  My children were vegan before I came on board.  Thanksgivings at my house have been Tofurky only for years.  I bought the Engine 2 book (Rip Esselstyn).  Great food, but I  wasn’t able to stick with it right off the bat.  Then I found Eat to Live (Dr. Joel Fuhrman) and followed his 6 week plan in the spring of 2011 and found success!    After that, I got involved with a 28 day challenge that Rip Esselstyn from the Engine 2 Diet sponsored and got hooked!  Finally, I discovered Dr. John McDougall (whole foods/plant based/no oil) and I didn’t look back.  One perk is that I was able to go on a WFPB Adventure in Costa Rica with Dr. McDougall and a group of like minded people! 

Honestly, I can really VEG–veg out that is!   My co-workers loved to look at some of my vegetable concoctions and say 1 of 2 things: Wow, that looks really fresh and yummy or What the heck is that?  The lunch ladies were trained to make me a killer salad with some sort of beans and a baked potato.  Now that I’m retired and less active, my eating habits have gotten sloppy and my couch comfortable, so help me stay plant strong with encouraging comments and helpful hints.

Eat to Live 6 Week Program looks like this:


*Beans should be eaten daily; tofu should be eaten less frequently.

LIMITED (do not eat more than one serving daily):

*avoid breads and cereals as much as possible


NUTS and RAW SEEDS are optional for obese or overweight persons while they follow this weight loss plan (ground flax a must).  People who have difficulty losing weight may also eliminate the starchy vegetable/grain.

*No oil, salt, or sugar 

McDougall Starch Solution looks like this:

*  to lose weight – cut all nuts and avocado, limit fruits to 1-2 a day, no juices or dried fruit, fill your plate half with starch and half with non-starchy vegetables & do some exercise.


See more links on my Resource page.

14 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    So send your encouraging words and helpful hints! I’m still getting the hang of WordPress! A bit different than e-Blogger’s Blogspot.

  2. 2

    Vicki said,

    You GO, teach! So proud of YOU! What n encouragement you are to me!

  3. 3

    This is a great blog and one I’m interested in following for inspiration.

    I’ve read so many books and watched documentaries about the value of eating a plant-based diet. And yet, I am having a heck of a time being consistent with it. It’s like my mind is playing tug of war with me. My husband is a meat eater, so I’d have to cook 2 meals. I know that’s a flimsy excuse because other vegan women in the same situation have been able to do it. I don’t personally know a soul who is vegetarian or vegan for some added support. I get support on-line through various sites, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. Social situations and family get-togethers are very tough and I usually don’t even try to eat differently than everyone else. I guess I care too much about what others think—always had a problem with “fitting in”. Any suggestions you can give me would be very well appreciated.

    • 4

      Jill in Chicago said,

      Hi Happywalker, is it possible to have your husband cook his own food/meat? (The ole “if you don’t like what I made, cook for yourself or go hungry”?)

      My boyfriend is an ominvore, and he knows that if I make dinner, it’s going to be (relatively) healthy and not include red meat! And 9 times out of 10, he likes the plant-based meals (and never once has he complained about my new way of eating!)

      • 5

        Hi Jill – he does cook his meals some of the time. I usually don’t eat any red meat, so he’ll cook a steak, hamburger or roast for himself while I make a non-meat meal. But he likes a lot of my specialty recipes like holupki, beef stroganoff, Swiss steak, and various chicken and fish dinners I’ve always made in the past. When I make them for him, I want to eat them too even though I know that eating meat is not healthy for me.

  4. 6

    Sparkle said,

    Jude is there no end to your talent

  5. 7

    Trial & error, persistence, making veg choices as often as I can. I refuse to beat myself up for a slip. I too, used to make several dinners. Now I live alone and that’s no longer an issue. I used to joke that I was going to write a book about how to adapt recipes for the vegans, how to easily make a veg meal but add a side of meat. It’s still on my mind to do it.

    Having support or at least friends/family how don’t give you a hard time constantly is important. Maybe you could look for a group of vegetarians to hang out with.

    I find it’s important to plan and think ahead about what food choices I’d make through out the day, especially if going to someplace with a big spread.

  6. 9

    Jill in Chicago said,

    I found your blog through Jonny O’s — you can do it, Jude! I’m rooting for you!

    I just want to share that the best advice I received while going through my own 28-Day Challenge was to not let one bad meal (or slip up) turn into a bad day, and not let one bad day turn into two.

    Also, I found it best to constantly be prepared with Challenge-approved meals and snacks. The worst was when I would arrive home starving and know I couldn’t wait 20 -30 minutes to make a meal (that is when I was most tempted to slip up!)


  7. 10

    Char Nolan said,

    I have been following your pal, Jonny O. I am a follower of the ENGINE 2 DIET, which I love as a plant-strong, vegan way of living. I’ve lost more than 80 pounds…and feel great.

    Good luck to you!

    Power to the plants!

    Char Nolan

    • 11

      Wow Char, 80 pounds is amazing!!! I have the Engine 2 book and will have to pull it out and take another serious look. I lost 40 lbs. last summer on Weight Watchers, had mucho stress in the fall, and regained 21. I would like to lose 45 lbs. right now and have been floundering. I quit WW and want to make a gradual but permanent change to vegatarian, then vegan. Did you follow Engine 2 solely, or add a twist of your own?

      Thanks for the inspiration!!

  8. 12


    Are you ready? 1 week to go. Your meal plan looks intense. Mine is simple…stop eating crappy food.

    I’ve never been heavier…I’m ashamed of myself. I can’t wait to dive in and win!

    Looking forward to having you on the wagon!

    Get ready to kick some a**! (censored out ofrespect for your kids)

    Get ready to get serious on V Day, next Monday.


  9. 13

    carbonbhoy said,

    Char great job on the weight loss. I went strictly Engine2Diet last January and have dropped 81 pounds so far between the diet, the exercise and determination…

    HappyWalker56 I’m also using and this helped me immensely… I would recommend either, or another ‘free’ calorie/nutrient/exercise tracker… I found out about livestrong after I was used to loseit… I do prefer loseit mainly because it was my first tracker, but highly recommend either one… my only ‘problem’ with livestrong was a lot of the E2 recipe’s were in the system at a set serving size (1 large pancake) and I would break a recipe up into 3-5 sevings depending what i was having with it (fruit/yogurt/syrups).

  10. 14

    Keke said,

    Jude, You’re an amazing and focused woman! How wonderful that your children are eating a healthy lifestyle as well. I have “Eat to Live” (Dr. Joel Fuhrman) but it is not easy to make large changes however I have made changes in my eating habits and am on my way toward a healthier lifestyle. Congratulations on being the featured blog!

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