_DSC0248I am a food lover. My love of edible goodies started very young. I remember the first coffee I had as a kid with lots of cream and sugar (Yes, my mom did give me coffee as a kid. When I asked her about it as an adult, she said it was only a touch of coffee, and mostly milk. Thanks Mom!). My parents also had multiple restaurants where I have vivid memories.  At my parent’s Chinese restaurant, my dad would give us butter knives and a case of mushrooms, and we’d get to work slicing them (ha, thanks dad for putting us to work! It didn’t stop there. My siblings and I worked at my parent’s Italian restaurant for several years as well).

My stepmother was also a very good home cook, and I asked her to teach me how to cook. And, that’s where I learned a lot of the basics of cooking. It wasn’t always fun. Her idea of teaching me to cook was for me to do all the prep work which included mincing the garlic, washing and chopping the vegetables, and gutting the fish. Then she’d come home and do the actual “cooking.” What I didn’t realize was how much I learned about food prep, cooking, and plating along the way. It was sort of like the Karate Kid method.

I dabbled in cooking in college, but it was mostly just to get food in my stomach. I became obsessed with cooking shows in my 20’s and food blogs in my 30’s.  I’d been thinking about starting a food blog for the last five years. But, I kept getting stuck on the name.  Finally, I started one called Living Room Recipes (livingroomrecipes.wordpress.com) this year. I blogged a few times on it. I think it’s okay, but I felt like I couldn’t find the right “voice” on it. I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to marry my two blogs.

For the past two years, I’ve been getting my cholesterol measured. It’s been over 200 each time. And each time I got tested, I thought, I need to eat healthier. So, I added more fish to my diet, some avocados. I cut out my morning donut. I ate more lowfat/nonfat Greek yogurt. However, my cholesterol refused to come down. My cousin Lawrence was following this crazy, vegan no oil diet based on “Reverse and Prevent Heart Disease.” He mentioned it on Facebook about a year ago, and he talked about it whenever we met up. We couldn’t really help since our paths usually crossed at Chinese banquets, and he couldn’t eat anything there. So, it was always in the back of my mind. During my recent cholesterol screening, my cholesterol reading came back at 249. Finally, I thought, I have to do something about this. So, I bit the bullet and bought the book. After following the diet (not 100%) for about 35 days, I got my cholesterol tested. My cholesterol level came back at 185. Hallelujah! So, I’ve decided to stick with the diet and blog about my successes and failures.

Just to note. I am not a strict vegan. I try to follow a vegan (low/no oil) diet from Sunday – Thursday. But, I allow myself more freedom on the weekends and holidays. Plus, I don’t want to be one of “those” people who are pain to eat with. So, I adjust my diet as needed.

I hope you enjoy my blog. And, I hope I keep up with it!


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