Bio: Mother of three adult children; healthy cooking has been a lifelong passion; been a runner since I was a teen -- from track and field, to marathoning -- until my knees screamed, "no more!" a few years ago. I had a few physical setbacks beginning in late 2012 (including two fractures in my ankle and foot, worsening osteoarthritis (OA) in both knees, surgery for removal of malignant melanoma, and two bouts of acute diverticulitis within a few months). I had gradually gained weight due to my inability to work out rigorously. Finally, after an acute bout of diverticulitis landed me in the hospital emergency room in late December 2013, I thought, "What's next?" A new year was about to begin, and I was tired of feeling generally unwell. The OA hurt so badly that it was even difficult to walk, and my knees ached all the time. My orthopedic surgeon gave me a corticosteroid prescription to reduce the inflammation, but of course it was a "band-aid" treatment for the problem, and it was impossibly harsh on the stomach. I was so frustrated. Fast forward to January 7, 2014 -- I stocked up and filled my pantry and refrigerator with everything I would need to begin a strict vegan diet (lifestyle, some say). That very day, I started this blog with two posts: one is a beautiful photo I had taken while up in Santa Cruz, CA visiting my son, and the other is a photo and recipe of my first "official" vegan Minestrone soup. I have tried my best to post photos and recipes of each and every worthy vegan recipe I have made since then, but it's not always possible due to time constraints. I do post most of the photos on my Instagram account (dlfpics), though the recipe is not always included there. If it's a recipe that seems to be well-liked, I'll post it on here within about 24-48 hours. May 7, 2014 marked the first four months of my strict vegan diet. I am proud to say that I lost 30 pounds (without any difficulty); my knees no longer hurt (I learned that for every pound of weight you lose, two pounds of weight is taken off each knee, which equates to a total of 120 pounds in my case); I feel energetic; working out at the gym is no longer torturous; I look healthier and younger (everyone looks better when they lose weight). So, all that said, I will continue my vegan lifestyle journey with great enthusiasm, and I will keep the vegan recipe posts coming!