Sunday, December 19, 2010

looking back

As the year comes to a close, one cannot help but look back and reflect over it's happenings.  I went through so many changes it is amazing to me.  A year ago at this time, I was struggling with knowing I needed to do something different in my nutrition, but not being sure as to what I WANTED to do.  I never saw myself as a vegetarian, let alone a vegan.  Yet I had a sense of a health crisis mounting against me.  I do not know why, I just absolutely knew in my heart that I was at a crossroads and if I didn't change something now, then later I would pay drastically.  You'd think that having this forewarning, I would have been eager to change my ways.  This is not the case however, and it was with a grudging attitude that I made my plans.  Like most things I do, I researched and used tools that presented themselves to me.  This came in the form of a high school classmate, Tess Challis, who wrote a beautiful, witty "how to become healthy" (which is vegan) recipe book.  The book is: Radiant Health, Inner Wealth by Quintessence Challis.  After much inner turmoil, and an admirable attempt by my sister-in-law's family to eat vegetarian for one month, I decided that it would not hurt me to dedicate 1 month to eating vegan.  Why did I go to the seemingly extreme of vegan?  Well, that was all part of my research.  I wanted to start all the way, and if I felt it wasn't worth it, I could add things back as I wanted.  I also included eliminating all unnatural ingredients and chose organic products.  Please understand, I ate (and lovingly enjoyed) all the bad foods one is warned against.  This was not easy for me and I am not someone known for my willpower.  I was going for total health, which included weight loss in my case.  It has now been almost a year since I've eaten meat and dairy.  I loved meat, i still do, but at this point in my life, I do not think I will eat it again.  Definitely not like I used to.  For me, the results of my one month commitment (that has lasted a year and counting) have been too conclusive.  Another book that I read months after starting my new way of eating, cemented in my mind that how I eat is the best for my health.  That book is: The China Study by T. Collin Campbell.  Not a book designed to start a diet fad that will earn the authors millions of money in a diet craze, but rather a book written by a research scientist who has devoted most of his life in the study of nutrition and it's effect on health.  He very simply tells you how to eradicate heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer growth.  I know the effect the vegan diet has had on my health.  I was once a slave to my allergies and often down with upper respiratory infections as well as hordes of "colds".  In this year, I have taken no antibiotics.  I have had 1 stomach flu, and have had 1 cold (just a couple weeks ago) that lasted only 3 days.  Hippocrates said "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food".  I find that this seems to be quite true.  I have had my failures this year, as well.  My finding out that Oreo cookies are "vegan" and potato chips and Fritos too, have made me understand that yes, there can be unhealthy ways to eat that still fall under vegan.  It is a continuous journey I am on.  I don't think there will ever be a moment that I cross a finish line and declare myself at the end of my total health quest.  But I am enjoying the trip and my success has out weighed my failings. Good luck to you on your journey, wherever it takes you.  Listen to your body always and you will not go wrong.  I wish you all happy Holidays and a wonderful and prosperous 2011.  Look for my blog on January 16th, which will be my 1 year anniversary!! :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

the whole darn menu!

Tomorrow I have a Dr.'s appointment and I'm hoping I get to be in a walking cast.  I'm not sure if this will happen or not, and rather than worry about it, I'd rather reflect on something more food!  Oh, yes.  The love of food has not gone away with my new eating lifestyle, but has evolved.  Gone are the days when I can sit down at a restaurant and order whatever I want.  Now, I'm lucky to get two or three actual meals to order and more often than not, have to have them alter a menu item to suit my needs.  Except in Chicago.  This summer (while I was on blog leave of absence) I took the South Shore into Chi town and visited my bestie from college.  We immediately went to dinner at The Chicago Diner.  It is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant that has been spotlighted on one of the many restaurant shows on The Food Network.  I'm not necessarily proud of what I'm going to tell you, but for the sake of honesty and understanding my true nature, I have to divulge the truth.  In the 3 days I was there, I ate at the restaurant 3 times.  Hahahahaha!  It's true, I swear.  I was so overcome by the ability to once again look at a menu and order whatever I wanted, that I had to do it.  Again and again.  Also, admittedly, it was a slight departure for my uber (I'm too lazy to try to find the little dots that are supposed to go over the "u" in uber....sorry) I ate a cinnamon roll that would make a Cinnabon lover cry.  Actually, I don't usually go for the real sweet stuff being a savory over sweet girl, however being the true rebel I am I did it because...well, because I could.  And we took home like three desserts to try too. So there!  Listen to  my rebel yell!!  Yikes!!   Excessive?  Definitely.  Worth it?  Well, that's for each of us to decide.  For me it shows a couple things.  One:  Just cause I've changed how I eat doesn't mean I've changed who I am.  I cannot be lulled in thinking I'm immune to unchecked rampant eating.  But knowing this makes me stronger and more guarded against it.  Possibly (I say this as I have no experience with the program) like the 12 step program....isn't admitting there is a problem half the battle?  I would say I definitely have a "more is better" problem.  Two:  Sometimes it's okay to be human.  I mean, right?  The pure joy I felt ordering from that menu was real.  I was so happy and felt like a restaurant loved me and cared about nutritional oddities that I could have cried.  It felt good and I was inspired by the creative offerings.  My favorite by far was the Radical Reuben.  (by the way, I had to look up how to spell that as I kept getting the red know spelling is not one of my strengths!).  Third:  In eating somewhat not healthy, it reminds me how great I feel when I do eat healthy, so that kind of reminder is a good thing!!  Anyway, long and short of it is I regret nothing, but I'm probably glad I don't live by it.  Man, but that Reuben really was awesome!  :)

I can't give an update on my weight until I get this stupid cast off.  I wish I would have checked before I broke my ankle when I was running 5 days a week...grrrrr.  However, I was told that I looked like I lost a lot of weight from some people I haven't seen since May, so let's hope that's true and not just people being encouraging to the chubby girl!!  Wish me luck for a walking cast!  Night all :)


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Living La Vegan Loca

Hi everyone!  Yep, it's really me, back from blogger oblivion!!  I cannot believe I haven't blogged since April. What have I been doing lately?  Am I still eating a plant based diet?  Kick back it's been a long summer....

First of  all, I am still living  la vegan loca.  Here's the cool part:  It's been almost 9 months now!  No slip ups.  No scoring a chicken leg and eating it behind the house.  I feel so much more comfortable about it now, especially the cooking.  I've gotten better ordering out as well.  It's amazing the difference between timidly asking what they have for vegans, as opposed to telling them what they can do for me.  I have paid way too much for poor vegan options for so long, that now I channel Gordon Ramsey and put my foot down now.  I am definitely in a routine in my meals.  I adapted this from the book "The Two Week Wellness Solution" by Tess Challis.  I find that this works for me.  My weight loss has slowed, but is steady I think.  The main thing is I feel I have achieved the healthy life style I was seeking.  My typical day goes like this:

Glass of water with fresh, organic lemon squeezed and 1 cup of whole, organic fruit.
If I'm still hungry, like after working out, I may follow up later with some cereal in almond milk.
For lunch I'll have soup and salad  or one of my many recipes (my favorites are from Tess Challis' books)
Dinner is stir fry or  beans.
I try to get 4 to 6 c. of veggies in a day.  Yes, I will even measure to be sure...that's how obsessed I am about it.  I try to keep 3 to 4 c. raw.

When I stick to this, my energy is high, I don't get ill and my body feels light.  I don't eat 100% perfect all the time.  I have a penchant for vegan smores by my favorite vegan, gluten free baker, Scarlet O'Cara.  I found her, as well as many awesome producers at the Purple Porch Co-op, although Cara has a stall at the Farmer's Market too.  Because of Purple Poch, I have been eating seasonally this year.

I quit writing in my blog after a particularly stressful end of school year.  I resolved to take the summer off, although I didn't realize it at first.  I kept thinking I was going to write but then I never felt like doing it.  I needed some down time.  May was getting a little too vegan junk foodish for me.  I was starting to notice an over all yukky feeling 'cause I wasn't eating enough of the right things.  June 3rd, I decided to start walking.  Up to this point I had incorporated no kind of exercise routine, but I knew I needed to.  I hooked up with some friends who had mapped out a walk that was approx. 4 miles that they walked every morning.  I went with them and did the walk and felt pretty exerted by the end.  Eventually, their lives got busy and stopped, but I kept going every day except the weekend.  By the end of June I could do the walk without breathing hard, so I kicked it up a notch.  I extended the walk to 5 miles.  I started to then add running.  Every day I walked, I strove to add more running than the time before.  By the end of August, I was walking 1 mile and running 4.  That is crazy for me!  I  got so good at it, that I could talk the whole time I breathing never got ragged.  It was in the mists of this exercise frenzy that I began to feel an itch to be even more active.  My sister-in-law had joined the South Bend Roller Derby, and it made me decide to join as well.  It appealed to that rebel, edgy side that I have lurking underneath my mini van driving, Stay-at-home-Mom, PTO President persona.  Little did I know this would be my exercise downfall.  I had been out doing it a couple times (learning- not the actual derby yet).  I am a decent skater, but I got my new wheels (sweet, red Reiddel Diablo's) and needed to break them in and get used to them.  I watched something on a roller derby site, where they recommend you wear them around the house as you do house work etc.  One day ( Mon. Aug. 30th) I was doing this.  I was on my cell phone & my dog was outside going nuts barking.  I couldn't see where she was and she has been known to follow and bark at walkers.  Without thinking (I was distracted), I forgot my skates and stepped out on the steps to my back porch.  All it took was that first step and I fell (did I mention how nice & rolly my skates are?).  My phone flew up in the air and hung up on who I was talking to and I landed on my left side and knew immediately that my ankle was broken.  After laying there a minute, I remember thinking maybe it's sprained?  Yeah, it was hanging and I could feel the bones sliding around.  Nope, definitely broke.  I tried to call my husband, no answer.  I tried to call my friend/neighbor, no answer.  I knew I couldn't crawl inside the pain was intense.  It was around 1:00 p.m. and my kids wouldn't get home until 2:30, so I was alone.  I had no choice; I called 911.  Long story short, I broke in several places my outside, right ankle bone and broke the inside one.  Both ligaments were torn and I fractured the back of my tibia.  A surgery to fix the bone with a plate and pins later, I am home.  Its been a little more than a month now, and I'm doing better.  Recovery has been long, tedious and depressing.  I cannot put any weight on my leg yet and I'm on crutches.  It looks like I'll be this way until November.  So now here I am and I'm back to just good eating.  Although, really my upper body has gotten a work out with the crutches!  I guess things happen for a reason and I've decided not to return to roller derby.  For no other reason than the recovery time and inconvenience of an injury like this, not to mention roller derby is quite dangerous and filled with injuries all the time.  Ah well.  I will have to find a different way to vent my impending mid-life crisis! :) 

So, that's living La Vegan loca.  I have funny stories in there...scenes from a shower, my trip to The Chicago Diner (before ankle break), I will catch you all up.  Hey, I've got a lot of time on my hands and you're my semi-captive audience.  Check back, more to come.

Monday, April 26, 2010

"You Paid How Much for Nettles?"

Okay, so I started off strong and have been fading out lately.  I can't believe the last time I wrote in my blog was April 5th!!!!!  Bad me.  Where do I begin?  I can't let you all miss a moment of my exciting world as a meat lover turned vegan (only said with a hint of sarcasm).  Where did I leave off?  Ahh, the composting.  Well I got my compost drum and my husband even put it together for me (very shocking since he told me to take it back)!  I still need to read the directions so I know what the heck I'm doing.  It has stuff in there, but I need to get some yard waste in there which would happen if I could ever work in my yard.  I fear this will be an on going theme in my blogging this summer.  Hey, it's not easy being green.  Had a big "duh" moment with my husband when he looked at me as I was making him answer questions to a quiz to find out which one is his dosha  (he's Kapha for anyone who knows what the heck I'm talking about and I'm Pitta) in Ayurveda, and he said: "I should have known you would be into weird things since you were an art major".  You think Rick?  I have ever been drawn to the left of center.  And he is not, so yeah we are an odd couple but balance each other out somewhat.  It's been a very stressful April.  HA!  As, I just wrote that I realized that our wedding anniversary is tomorrow.  It is 14 years of wedded bliss.  The year before last, we missed it altogether (both of us completely forgot) and didn't remember until May.  It's not that it's against out religion or anything to celebrate it, but we have been a couple for 21 years and forget that there was ever a time we weren't together.  It's true.  Sorry, Rick putting together my composting drum diverted me into reflecting on us!  I've had a lot of stress this month and had to deal with a lot of issues.  I'm unhappy to report I still have a salt craving during these times.  I wish I never realized that Fritos and potato chips are essentially vegan.  Notice I didn't say healthy.  So to distract myself from salty Frito badness, I got these homemade yummy, toasted sesame nori crisps.  I really want to figure out how to make them.  They are nori sheets, torn into "chips" and toasted with some oil, brown rice syrup, sesames, cayenne pepper (just a hint), nutmeg and salt.  I got them from a vendor at the Purple Porch Co-op that I joined.  ( Here's from their website: 
Welcome to the Purple Porch Cooperative (PPC), Michiana's online local food cooperative. The Purple Porch Co-op is a member owned food cooperative committed to growing a sustainable local economy. We connect people in Michiana who want local, organic or fair trade food with the local growers who produce it.

I love it!  I shop on line and then every Wed. I pick up the food and chit chat with the producers.  It's all organic veggies and fruit and the meat I get my family is grass fed and no hormones (that makes me feel a little better anyway).  There's a vegan & gluten free baker there, and she's awesome.  I stalk her goods and try to figure out how to do them on my own.  Hence, the nori crisps.  She's so nice though, she'd probably show me how to do it!!  The only thing is my friend's farm is a producer there.  One day she picked up my orders for me and noticed I had bought nettles from someone.  She made fun of me because apparently on their farm they have TONS of it growing all over and she never realized people use it.  She couldn't believe I paid $3 a bag.  Well, there you go.  I'm a city girl!!  So, Michelle don't be surprised if you see me wandering around your farm with long sleeves and rubber gloves (nettles sting) and a paper sack....just a warning ;).  Oh, there's a lot going on I have to fill you in on, but I'm so tired!!!  Oh, I'm still losing weight!  It's slower now than it had been, but steady.  I am now 225.  Getting there.  My clothes are what I notice.  It feels like more.  This is getting to be the weight I always stalled at and then gained back.  I can't wait to get past it and say: "nah nah!".  Also, I have not been ill since changing my lifestyle.  I came close twice, but managed to keep it away!  That's 3 months, and for someone who has allergies (although that's way better too) and 3 boys, that's a long time not getting sick. 

I promise I will write again soon, no more stress keeping me away.  Although, you were all probably saying it's safe to come out, Danielle hasn't been blogging!  Haha, I'm back!  It's not so safe anymore!!  I thought about stats as I used to do them and think that time is done.  I rarely have cravings anymore, my mood is better (except when I'm moody, lol) and my health is awesome.  Sigh.  We must keep on keeping on, and I'm entering a new  phase of my diet.  Stay's gonna rock!!  Goodnight all and be happy =)


Monday, April 5, 2010

First Eater Holiday

Technically this was my first "bigger" family eater holiday since becoming vegan.  I have run through a gambit of emotions that I've been reflecting on.  One thing is that I realize how exactly it's possible to be a chubby vegan.  There is a way to eat poorly and still adhere to being a plant based diet.  I experienced this as I was all busy preparing for Easter.  I really have to force myself to eat veggies.  I just don't naturally go for them, especially when I'm distracted.  I think I really noticed it because as I mentioned in my last post I was fighting off illness and maybe I was compromised by my low veggie consumption.  I was able to fight it off, I'm so amazed even my husband get it!  But as I got busy, I noticed my low veggie consumption and the high level of eating "junk" vegan food.  I'm getting better, but it's still a chore for me to get in the veggies...I don't know why.  I like them better now, but I still have to force myself to remember to get them in.  So anyway, potato chips are vegan.  I didn't say healthy, but there's definitely no meat or dairy in it.  I also found vegan donuts.  So like I said, you can be chubby as a vegan.  But eating that way causes a nasty chain reaction where you're caught in a web of constant hunger cause you're not eating nourishing food and you end up craving the junk that got you there in the first place.  One has to be ever vigilant, whether you're vegan or not.  I didn't have a hard time with the ham and foods that surrounded me.  I thought I would, but nope.  It smelled good, don't get me wrong, but I didn't want it.  We went to my Uncle's house, and one of my family members asked if I had to eat this way or could I eat meat for the occasion.  My first reaction is one of being indignant.  But I thought about it and it's an innocent question from someone who does not feel what I feel, think what I think or know what I know.  Yes, I CAN eat meat whenever I want, if I want.  But, No I cannot.  This is not a quick lose weight diet.  This is me now.  This is my lifestyle.  I thought about it and I chose it.  I do not want to eat meat now, not ever again.  I like meat, but I no longer find it a viable source of nutrition for me.  I'm done.  People have said they admire my will power.  But it really has nothing to do with that.  It takes me no more will power to not eat meat & dairy then it does for me not to throw recycling in the garbage.  I became used to it and am convicted it's the right thing for me to do, like recycling.  Do I have to recycle?  No, I could choose to throw it in the garbage can.  In fact it would be easier to do that instead of having two receptacles. But I know it's better for the environment so I choose to recycle.  Same with my eating habits.  Now lets move on to my not so noble side effect I've been having recently.  I have been greedy with my vegan treats with my meat eating family (except my kids who I'm trying to guide into a plant based diet).  As much as I'd like everyone to eat a plant based diet, I know that it's not feasible.  So it's been really hard when they eat my food beyond a taste.  Obviously, I bring dishes to share as my contribution, but for example I brought some vegan candy.  My father ate some and offered it to others!  They had a whole bowl full of their chocolates, but they had to eat mine too!  And it was 5 dollars for a bag!!  I know I should be encouraging and giving, but mostly I wanted to yell "get your carnivore paws off my treats old man!!!"  See?  Not so noble.  Oh, well I have to work on this.  No one's perfect after all.  And I can be rather territorial about my food.  Must be an instinctual response that I haven't evolved from fully! LOL.  Composting update- I have "asked" my husband if I can get a composting drum.  I decided that it would be the best method for me, despite cheaper ways of doing it.  It works faster (which appeals to my impatient nature) and it is more convenient for my yard.  I'll keep you updated, because big surprise my husband thinks it's dumb.  Let's check stats:

Hunger:  a little nutrition deprived hunger as I skimped on the veggies.
Mood:  pretty happy =)
Cravings:  No, except I found myself getting into a salty/sweet cycle of fat doom/
Health: I emerged victorious from fighting off the illnesses hanging about my house!!

Spring is here, and I couldn't be happier.  I will keep spring in my heart and embrace the ever changing needs of my body and mind as the season itself does.  Spring brings the promise of a better day,of a better me!  Be healthy my friends =)


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Say it with me: "Eating For Health"

Wow.  Whew!  I knew it was going to be a long week last week and I was right!  Kung Fu Vegan powers I'm fighting off illness ALL around me.  All 3 kids have been home sick with me.  Coughing, sneezing, snotting in my direction.  I have been trying to fight off illness.  I feel it there trying to take hold, but thus far unsuccessful.  I have been juicing over time.  Even my husband has been juicing for me!  It's little wonder I'm teetering on the brink of illness disaster.  Last week was stressful, but the kind I like.  I actually thrive on these kind of things.  Book Fair chaos, and it was huge too.  We had great sales and great events.  But Friday as we were closing up I noticed a cold sore on my lip starting.  Always a sign that my immune system is wearing down and I'm fighting something off.  Looking back over the week of eating, I'm not surprised.  I wasn't eating my 4 to 6 cups of veggies a day.  I was BARELY even eating breakfast, if at all.  Plus I had been eating out for lunch.  I had a cheese mishap one day.  I scrapped, but I'm sure I got some cheese in me.  So, hello cold sore!  I took that as my cue to catch up on my healthier way of eating and immediately got out the juicer.  Thank you Tess for your immune boosting recipes, cause I've been hitting them hard.  Nothing says Kung Fu to germs like garlic, ginger and a plethora of fruits and veggies.  So I felt better this weekend, even as my children started to drop like flies around me.  But, I still feel it hovering there..waiting.  I've been back to the plan, my modified diet from Tess' 2 week plan.  That is to say here's how I eat (and it's something that has become natural to me):  First thing in the a.m. a big glass of water with 1/2 to whole fresh squeezed lemon (I use my ancestral hand juicer).  Then I usually munch on 1 cup of whole fruit while I get my breakfast ready.  Breakfast varies with my mood.  This a.m. I had an organic flax & granola cereal with organic raisins thrown in with almond milk.  Then lunchtime I have 1 or 2 cups of veggies....somehow some way.  Usually raw, as that is how I prefer vegetables. But, again lunch consists of where my mood takes me.  I try and get another veggie in as a snack, but that just depends.  If I'm not hungry, I absolutely do not eat.  This has been a huge thing for me, and one that I still struggle with.  I know you should eat as consistently as possible, but I've been "listening" to my body and well, that's that.  If I'm not hungry, forget it.  Not listening to my body and blithely indulging in whatever food addiction I had has brought me to the sad state of health I HAD been in until this point.  I like now way better than then, so I will choose to listen this time around.  And besides, I am in no danger of starving or losing too much weight.  Really.  I could keep a small family alive on my fat for at least a season.  Anyway, I usually try to finish eating by 7 p.m. (usually...that didn't happen fair week) that way giving my liver time to do it's magic.  And I'm all about trying to be nice to my body now.  After years of abuse, I feel like I'm kissing a friend's butt that I have wronged somehow and has been mad at me.  You feel like orange juice?  Right away, no problem.  What?  You want asparagus?  I really don't care for that...oh, fine.  I'll eat it, but only because you keep reminding me of the time I ate food from 2 different fast food places in the same meal.  (yes, that is a true, sad story.....much darkness lies in my past! lol).  So, yeah.  That's what's going on.  Eating for health.  What a great mantra or me.  I've also been taking care of business in my yard.  I pruned this poor apple tree that I swear NEVER had a thing done to it.  Now, I want to coax it into baring lots of nice fruit for me organically.  Wish me luck, I have NO idea what I'm doing.  Thank God for the internet.  Also, I started to compost in the kitchen.  A friend (Thank you Tonya if you're reading this!!) gave me an extra kitchen composting canister that she had at her house not using.  Now I can plan my garden.  This is all new stuff that normally would make me shut down and not be able to do out of fear of failing (wow, I never realized this about I know where my son Owen gets it from) but I keep pep talking myself into doing it.  Who cares if I do it wrong, right?  The police won't come out and ticket me for the improper placement of carrots in my garden.  I just always want to know everything about what I'm doing and do it perfectly right the first time.  It's a madness, I realize that.  For me, I don't enjoy the learning process.  It would be so much easier if I could go see Lawrence Fishburn on "The Matrix" and learn by them downloading the info. in my head.  So, me being me, has to go crazy.  Do I start small and say master composting?  Oh, no.  I have to try: composting, gardening (organic), holistic medicines, food as medicine, making kombucha, making tofu, change my diet, change my activity levels, and change my life.  That's it.  Just that.  There is something wrong with me.  Now, I feel like I have to go because I should be reading a "how to" book or something.  Good grief.  At least I have great people around me and supporting me.  You are all awesome and I wish you nothing but the best life can bring you.  Let's do stats:

Hunger:  I had a bit of a hunger thing going on.  Not sure why.  I doubled up on veggies, because I noticed I have unspecific cravings when I don't eat as healthy.
Mood:  Better now.  Spring Break is about to start and it's beautiful out!
Cravings: Nothing specific, just hungry, but not knowing for what.
Health: Precarious.  Trying to fight off illness with all the arsenal at my disposal.

Sorry, it's been a while.  I wasn't at my best for writing last week and didn't want to subject you all  to ranting about book fairs and poodle skirts.  Don't ask!!  I'm back at it and am sure I will have many misadventures and hopefully victories to blog about.  Thank you.  Have a great night.  Be happy =)


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Staying Grounded

Okay, first of all I'm sorry it's taken so long.  Second, I apologize in advance, because it might be a while after this before I can blog again.  Monday begins the week long Scholastic Book Fair at my kid's school that I co-chair.  You wouldn't think that a simple book fair could drain someone, but we have lots going on during it: trivia contests every day, a gumball guess, a special visitor day, ice cream social & sock hop...  It'll be crazy!  Fortunately, I'm trying to plan ahead for my eating so I don't get stuck with food all around me but nothing vegan.  As the weather turns nice (although it's cold as I type this), my thoughts have been turning to organic gardens and lawn care.  I am wanting to really learn more and do these things (like compost) but have never done it and don't know where to start.  Anybody out there compost and can give me some direction?  There's literally 50 different compost drums you can buy!  It can be a little over whelming exploring these new directions I'm taking my life.  I become a little timid about trying something new.  Tess, who wrote "Radiant Health, Inner Wealth" (and if you've followed my blog at all, know she's my vegan mentor), has been blogging her first foray into making her own Kombucha.  This is so cool, something I would love to do, but lack the confidence to take that step into actually trying it.  I don't know where this fear is coming from.  I mean if you mess it up, you mess it up!  Who cares, right?  This is going to have to be something I need to work on.  I noticed it coming out more during all this "change".   I keep getting burned by hidden egg whites and hidden cheese.  I have become so disillusioned with restaurant salad dressing, that I'm starting to carry mine around!  I had a Greek Salad somewhere, and became suspicious later (the colon never lies!) that there was cheese in it.  When I went shopping later I looked at the ingredients in Greek Dressing and yes, feta cheese was in it.  I learned 2 things this day: 1. don't trust employees as to the ingredients, they have no clue (in most places...not all...but most!).  2.  Take more responsibility for the foods I eat.  Meaning, I can be mad at these places, but really it's my health and lifestyle choice that's slightly NOT mainstream, so I have to be more vigilant.  So, I pulled out RHIW and got busy making sauces.  I get so busy in my life I forget what a pleasure it is to make food.  Especially, food that is so good for me!  I think that this is a normal pattern. Life, like an undertow, can keep slowly dragging us off the course we want to take.  When we finally notice that we've drifted, we get back where we want to be.  So, now I'm going to be focusing on staying where I need to be as my life (this week in particular) tries to pull me away.  It's the little things that can keep us rooted.  Composting, bottling my own salad dressing, meditating to keep my ear turned inwards to listen to my body.  When I get too crazy from the busyness of life, that's when I don't hear my body as well or I misunderstand it's needs.  That's probably why I have been falling way short of my 4 to 6 cups of veggies a day.  I gotta keep in the moment.  And right now my body wants green (green= healthy) pancakes =).  Let's do stats!

Hunger:  had uncontrolled eating last night.  I put this down to not eating a balanced diet recently.
Mood:  Pretty good.
Cravings:  No, not really.  I kind of been wanting vegan sweets (I don't get them often, but sometimes I REALLY want one!).
Health:  Really good.  No illnesses since beginning this lifestyle. 

My goal this week is to stay focused and handle all the chaos around me.  I also, need to stay focused as I go about making more changes in my life.  I think if I can keep grounded it will help me be less frightened of doing what I need to do to make the changes that I want.  Be happy everyone! =)


Saturday, March 13, 2010

What Up My Vegans!!!

I went to a Vegan Meetup tonight!!  It was very nerve racking for me, because anyone who knows me knows I have a hard time doing new things...hahaha, which in retrospect is kind of funny considering how much my life has changed!!  I guess I have selective phobias.  However, Kyna (Michiana Vegans creator), very kindly offered me to ride with her (which is good or I doubt I would have gone).  So before I went I looked at my designer, LEATHER, purse and decided maybe I shouldn't take it.  My husband just laughs at me.  I imagined myself walking into the place saying: "What up my vegans!!!" (which I never would really say, but I think it's funny to picture) and them collectively gasping in outrage at my purse.  We smell the leather on you poser, GET OUT!  Now, remember, I became a vegan because of the health benefits.  Not that I don't care about animals, I do, but as an omnivore I never thought about it because lets face it, you can't know that stuff and happily keep eating whatever meat is in the grocery store.  So, I am only recently appreciating what being vegan means in other avenues besides the health.  I don't necessarily care what people think of me or that I need to be a certain way for them, but I do like to be respectful of others beliefs and since I wanted to friend these people I figured down playing my big leather purse might be prudent. (especially if they happened to be the blood or red paint throwing vegan kind).  As it turns out everyone was way cool and wouldn't have showered me in blood for my purse.  We talked for a long time and I learned new things from each one of them.  Yay!  Now I don't have to troll the Farmer's Market vegan baked goods stand for friends!!!  We are having another meetup in April and I look forward to it.  Only 4 of us went out of 16, but it was so worth it to meet the 4.  We all had odd ties to each other.  Two members live in the same apartment building, as in one directly over the other and they didn't know it ahead of time!!  Me and another girl both worked at the same vet clinic at different times and the other girl works with my sister.  Weird!!!  Meant to be?  Maybe!  Not to change the subject, but I am.  I have been attacked by egg whites and I am p.o.'d about it.  Stupid Morning Star chicken patties.  Then I investigated some more packaged foods I got "just in case".  3 more have stupid egg whites or milk protein.  Now I have to give them to some dairy eating vegetarians I know.  It's not cheap you know.  Now I will have to be more diligent in my label reading.  And the egg whites made me have gas =(.  On a happy note, my Sis, brother-in-law and parents are back from Florida so now I don't have to feed my sis's devil cat anymore!!  I did, by the way, hold a cheeto for her to lick.  Twice.  After she licked it, she then would hiss dismissively at me.  I feel so used!  And my parents failed to tell me they would have workers at their house while they were gone remodeling their bathroom!  My dad made me go feed his "outside critters" (this would be any stray, outside pet or wild animal in a 10 mile radius) while they were gone.  I pull up on Monday and the garage was open and a truck was in the drive.  I almost called the police, but 2 guys were sitting there not moving, looking at me.  I decided they were either incredibly stupid thieves or innocent hired workers.  Thanks Dad!  Tomorrow I will weigh myself.  It has been a while so I'm nervous.  I feel lighter.  But right at this moment I feel bloated from the accidental egg white and the big vegan cookie I just snarfed down.  Ah, well.  It is what it is.  You'll still love me no matter, right?  Ow, man, I totally burned my wrist on a 450 degree oven door the other day.  After I took a shower today, I was getting dressed and bumped the spot and it pulled off a layer of skin!  YUCK!  And it hurts.  Feel free to think this is a sad ploy for sympathy and attention, because it is....but It really did happen!  Okay, I want to spend some quality alone time with my hubby so let's do stats:

Hunger:  So not like it used to be.  I rarely get out of control eating rampages like I used to.
Mood:  Happy =)
Cravings: Nope, except I do love the bean curd Asian style.  Sigh.
Health:  Gassy, thanks egg whites!

My husband and I went to the kids school for Logan's "Living History" project and 3 people told me how handsome he is.  That made feel good, but I wondered if anyone says that to him about me.  Pathetic?  Maybe, but I want to be the hot wife.  Who doesn't?  But it did make me feel good, because 2 people told me they really noticed my weight loss and one even said I was radiant!! Thanks "Radiant Health, Inner Wealth"!!!! =)  Good night everybody, be happy!!!


Monday, March 8, 2010

A harmonious Balance

Ughhh!  I can't believe how important it is to stay up on stuff.  I turn around for one minute (okay, it was more like a couple of weeks..but it seemed fast!) and my potatoes have sprouted (and I don't think that's a good thing like beans), onions became strong (and I didn't even notice them pumping weights..haha), cilantro gone limp, toilet paper disappeared, dinners unplanned, laundry piled up, dishes gone crazy and me looking around to see who made the mess so I can blame them!  And then my darling of a husband (said with a hint of sarcasm) said we are having poker here this week!!  That would be HIS weekly game.  Maybe I should serve them a vegan feast!! I would if I didn't think they'd boohoo over it.  No, they want meat and meat they must have!  However, I am almost done with my frozen meat in the extra freezer.  Remember how Rick wants me to use it all up before serving vegan meals at night?  Yeah, it's stretching my imagination a bit.  And now I don't even really feel like thinking about meat let alone cooking it.  I still have a lot of ground turkey frozen in there.  I could make them turkey burgers.  I'm not going to worry about that right now.  First thing is first, I must plan, plan, plan our meals.  Otherwise I'll be eating my left over birthday cake for lunch.  I don't even want any today.  It's the most sugar I've eaten in 2 months and I can't believe how immune I am to it's sugary siren's call.  And that's not all, now I eat veggies I never would have eaten before.  It was so right that my tastes would change.  And before it was hard sometimes to eat all my servings of veggies, but now I can get a couple in with fresh juice.  That thing is so awesome.  And the dried up bits of waste is perfect for composting!!  Now I have to get a compost drum, especially since I want to start an organic garden this year.  I want to, but I don't know if it'll happen or not!  This will be our first spring and full summer in this house and I'm not sure what the yard is like yet.  I do believe it's very sandy dirt.  And we have a rather neglected apple tree I want to coax into giving more apples (organically of course) this year. It's times like this I miss Rick's Grandma the most.  She had the best apple tree.  And thinking of her makes me think of my juicer my mom found for me.  Do I still use it?  Heck yeah I do!  It's perfect for my morning lemon water.  And it's a nice reminder of where we came from.  Before the beautiful electric super juicer, there was just a simple aluminum tool, powered by muscle.  I love it really.  They sit side by side on my counter. Present meets past.  I like that.  I embrace both the old and the new, I think we can learn from them.  It gives me a nice complete harmonious feeling.  Am I getting to deep?  I think so for the time of night I'm typing this.  I get a little contemplative later in the evening.  Ahh, is that the gentle beep of a washer done?  Yes, I do believe it is.  Good, now the kids will have clean uniforms for tomorrow!! Hooray!  Score one for the bad housekeeper.  Hey, I was volunteering at the school.  Mon. after school is Spanish Club with the Kindergarteners and 1st graders.  I was creatively playing "around the world" and "red light green light" using Spanish words. However, occasionally I did slip with French.  I really don't know Spanish all that well, I took French in college.  That's when my preschooler Carter (he goes with me of course), who happens to be very good at languages, says: "Mom that's French, that doesn't count!".  Just so you know there's an actual Spanish teacher with 1/2 the kids and I'm just watching the other half until it's their turn or it's time to go home.  What does this have to do with eating a plant based diet?  Nothing! hahahahaha.  I think it's time for me to go to bed, I'm getting slap happy.  Let's do the stats:

Hunger:  I'm good.
Mood:  Good
Cravings:  None
Health:  A lot of sickness around me, I better juice!! =)

I am kind of an easy going, non structured kind of person.  So it's rather difficult for me to maintain the structure of the planned menus, although I do see it's benefit.  I do well for a while and then (like now) I fall off and revert to chaos.  If I could combine the two states of being, it would be nice and harmonious.  I'll keep working on that and let you know!! =)  Good night everybody, be happy!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

We've Got Juice!!

Wow, It's my birthday and I'm so high on juice...fresh juice.  BECAUSE I GOT A JUICER!!!  Yay!!!!!  My sis-in-law and in-laws went together and got me a high powered awesome juice-a-matic!  So I've been playing with it, concocting different blends, forcing my children to unconsciously consume  vegetables!!  Bwaaahaaahaaa (cue maniacal laughter).  And my sis-in-law made me a vegan birthday cake with vegan frosting!!!! It was very special.  And just when I thought my birthday was over, my friend brought me a present and got me a FOOD PROCESSOR!!!!  Can you believe it?  I about died, I wanted one so bad!!  And it's a really good one too!  Now I'm going to have to make some really awesome kick butt food for them all.  And juice.  It's just amazing the awesome people I have in my life.  Did you see my status on Facebook?  I fit into the "thinner" jeans now.  You know, they're the ones you DIDN'T try on at the store but thought you were safe because they are your size and then you get them home and find out they are actually like a size smaller.  Yep, I found a pair in a box marked: "can't fit right now" (notice I try to stay positive with the "right now").  They still had the tags on them, because like an idiot I didn't try them on (I'll do just about anything to not have to try things on with the 80 sided mirror and florescent lighting highlighting every fat dimple on me!!) and so of course they didn't fit.  However, I can now add them to my bonus jeans =).  Now I have to share with you a HAPPY restaurant moment (I have to add the good ones when they happen since I always complain of the bad!).  We went to Uptown Kitchen and they use mostly organic foods and had more than 2 choices for vegans and that DIDN'T include salad or going out in the back and eating grass!!  It was very good. Very healthy.  I think the happy restaurant experience combined with the sun makes me feel hopeful for Spring, for me, for the name it!!  Speaking of which (and I don't know what that means exactly but felt it was appropriate here) I won a free t-shirt online!  All you had to do was respond to a post on this vegetarian site and they'd choose a winner, but no one did but me, so I won!!  It says "No Meat Athlete".  I am totally excited about it!!  I'll probably work out more when I wear it (cause, you know, I have to live up to that kind of title), which means at this time next year I'll be a hundred pounds lighter and I'll be in People magazine's "They lost half their size" article and I'll talk about Tess and she'll become hugely famous and they'll tell Dr. Oz to hit the bricks because there's a new guru in town!!!!  Whew!  I love a long winded sentence =)  And if that wasn't crazy enough for you, I have plenty more coming don't you worry!  I also think I am quite addicted to exclamation points.  I can't really be expected to give them up, I mean I already gave up meat, eggs, dairy and caffeine for crying out loud!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I threw in some extra for dramatic effect).  My family, (sister, bro-in-law, mom & dad) went to Florida for my birthday as they do every year.  Now I have to take care of my Sister's devil cat.  She is the nutsiest cat around with ISSUES!!  I may have to hold a cheeto for her to lick.  No lie. And you can't turn on a ceiling fan because she freaks out.  So I better go to bed with these kind of responsibilities on my back!  Stats baby:

Huger:  I ate a lot today and didn't care.  Today is my birthday and tomorrow is not.  I had fun with a littl indulgence today =)
Cravings:  Nope!
Mood:  It's my birthday, how could I be anything but happy!
Health:  Great!!

I keep forgetting to buy batteries for the Wii Board so I can weigh in.  I'm not too concerned because I feel good and fit into smaller clothes.  Thank you all for reading my blog, I can't tell if people are or not except when they comment.  So thank you everybody who reads here and I don't know it.  I'm off to bed!  Good Night and be happy =)


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bonus Pants

Hello!!!  Long time no see right?  Well, I had a lot going on!  I had my son's birthday sleep over with a family party the next day.  Really busy!!  I couldn't write in my blog because there were 9 year old boys running all over my house shooting Nerf guns at each other.  It was a little distracting to say the least.  Anyway, remember the old fashion juicer I was getting from my Mom?  I LOVE it!  It makes me so happy to use it.  And I didn't even spend any money, which makes my husband happy.  Having a cooking low point right now.  Don't feel like doing it, so I been relying on my old easy things to make like, mushrooms, burritos, etc.  I did make "perfect Pintos" from RHIW (Radiant Health, Inner Wealth for those of you just joining me.  Written by my friend and guru of all things healthy & vegan, Tess Challis) and then made refried beans from them for Logan's "family" party.  Everyone liked them and some were impressed they were from "scratch".  I was amazed at how easy it was to do it, and it seemed so much fresher and better textured than from a can.  I really am getting into eating fresh.  Speaking of that, I STILL haven't weighed myself, but get this!  I had a pile of jeans sitting on the floor in the closet that I couldn't fit (too small) that used to drive my husband CRAZY.  I kept meaning to put them away, but never seemed to get around to it.  Well, I was in a panic for some pants and spied those on the floor and I thought: well, I'll give them a try.  I fit every pair!  Even better, there were these ones I never fit, (they were snug in the waist when I bought them) and they fit great.  Now it's like I suddenly have bonus pants!  YAY.  I like bonus pants.  Pants always seem to be the hard things to find.  Especially work out pants for the chubby girl!!  It's hard enough to get myself to do it, let alone in pants that my show every ripple and dimple.  If you've never been significantly over weight, it's hard to imagine the strain on your body from the extra pounds.  Try to imagine wearing a cloak that weighs 100 pounds and you get an idea.  People often think fat people are lazy, but in reality it is a lot harder for them to do what an average weight person does (again, imagine the cloak).  It becomes a vicious circle of not being able to work out because it's so hard and humiliating.  I will tell you this:  I have been really thin and I have been really heavy.  Life is way harder on so many levels for the heavy, but I do believe I am a better person now for it.  I have learned as much as I possibly can from this weight and I'm ready to now lose it again.  So with losing the little bit of weight I have lost and with my new way of eating, I have more energy now to exercise.  Trust me, cause it takes A LOT to get me to put on spandex pants and haul my large rump up on a tread mill!!  But I've been doing it.  It's been really different for me eating this way. I have way mor energy to do the things I want to do and I have been way more in tune with my body. It's been saying "orange juice" today.  The weird thing is, I know I must really need it for some reason (trying to ward off illness??) because when I drink it at any other time it will hurt my stomach.  It doesn't hurt my stomach when my body wants it.  Freaky!!  I love that I can tell what I need versus cravings.  And I really don't crave anymore either.  The feeling of control is empowering.  And the extra pants are nice too =).  Let's do stats:

Hunger: very manageable.  I had some extra hunger today, but I fed it and it went away =)
Mood: well, it was a full moon last night!! hahahahaha
Cravings: None!
Health:  I may jinx myself for saying this, but other than the poop attack during week 2 or 3 of becoming vegan (detoxing?) I have not been ill.  This could be a record, which is sad because I have a crush on my Dr. and like to see him!! ;)

Everything fits me again, so even though I haven't been weighing myself, it must be good news.  My husband hooked the Wii back up, but now I have to  find batteries for the board.  I promise to get the results to you soon!!  Sun is shining again, weight is coming off; yep, I think it'll be a great spring!  Good Night Everyone, Be happy =)


Saturday, February 27, 2010

It's Fermented You Know!

Wow.  I just spent all day cleaning 3 little boys rooms.  I don't think I want to remember it anymore, so I'm going to type out my vegan days and drink my Kombucha (It's fermented you know) while I do it!  So what's going on my Vegans???!!(and non-vegans, lol)  I've been neglecting again, but you'll forgive me I swear.  I've got it all tonight: tears, jeers AND fears!!!  So first, the tears: As I've stated before I REALLY want Birthday presents.  I know I'm not going to get them (which is tear inducing enough on it's own), but I like to daydream about them anyway.  While I was in said daydream, this time of a juicer as I used my  little hand juicer with the twisty thing and juice is dripping down my arm and making my sleeve sticky.  I had a flash of memory to my childhood. *side note* Anybody who knows me, knows I have an astounding long term memory.  Sometimes I mess up though, because I'll actually remember what I was thinking at the time.  For example, we had a conversation 1 year ago.  As we talked I thought you would look good in a hat.  I then might 1 year later remember you wearing a hat during that conversation, because I pictured you wearing it and it burned it into my memory.  Usually, I will remember that later though.  Okay, back to my childhood memory of me using an old timey squeezing device to juice a lemon.  So, I called my Mom to see if she still had this ancient tool.  She was skeptical but she went to check.  She had it!!  I am so psyched about using something my ancestors probably used.  *cue the tears*  Now, a long line of woman trying to squeeze that damn 1/4 cup out of a lemon can watch over me and be proud.  Okay, maybe not too sad (except of course no presents) but it is cool using old things that work great.  I love history and will get a huge kick out of juicing this way...and hey,  anything is better than sticky, soggy sleeves!!!  Okay.....on to the jeers!  Jeers go out to Hacienda for putting the dreaded cheese on my black bean burrito.  It wasn't a lot, but I was so mad!!  The waitress even wrote (I made sure) not to put cheese anywhere NEAR my burrito.  So, when I found it I was angry and said now I will have bad poop and it's all their fault!!  Okay, hehehe, I didn't really say that, but I implied it.  At least they took it off my bill.  I never really noticed what a call for concern it is not to eat cheese.  And I never really noticed how much is on the menu (never mind the meat too).  I actually had someone ask me when I explained I was following a plant based diet, "well, how do you get your dairy?"  "I don't get dairy" I replied.  "Do you mean calcium?"  I then numbered the many ways one can get calcium without milk, but she wasn't buying it.  Seriously, I get way more vitamins now than I ever did.  And really, I could lose 100 more pounds, so I don't think I'll be needing the IV drip anytime soon.  Let's round this out with the Fears now.  So, my oldest boy has been asking many questions to wrap his mind around being vegan.  Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), the stuff about milk freaked him out and he won't drink it anymore.  So I have to write a letter to the school so he can drink something else (if he's buying lunch).  I'm not upset about that, but I don't want to traumatize my children either.  Hey, I have an update!!!  My meetup group is meeting!!!!  And to my complete chagrin, the creator read my blog (yep, you know the one) entitled "Where's the Meet Up?" LOL.  Whew, fortunately she is really cool and laughed and even commented on my blog.  It seems that when I signed up was right in the middle of a bad time for her to be on and everyone else for that matter!!  Anyway, there will be a meet up and I'll keep you posted (now I don't have to case Farmer's Market for vegan friends).  And my buddy/guru Tess hooked me up with her cuz that's in town.  I am meeting some excellent people and feel quite lucky.  Well, I better put this thing to bed before my Kombucha high wears off!!!  Stat time!!!

Hunger:  Doing good, really trying to pay attention to what my body wants
Mood:  Why, quite chipper I must say
Cravings:  Not for old food.  Sometimes I will think of something like say scrambled eggs and think wow, I am never eating those again.  And I feel weird for a minute.  Although I never say never, because really, who knows?  But right now I am in the moment and the moment says no meat.  No animal product.
Health:  Good, surprisingly after the cheese incident.  It was fine, I think I saw it before I ingested it.

I worked out Wed. night!!  Now just cause I have a big fat butt, doesn't mean I don't know what I'm doing.  I rocked the weights out.  And I had some training in muscles and proper form etc., so I felt good and new what I was about.  I have decent muscle memory.  That doesn't mean I like doing it though, clearly.  But I liked how I felt so I'm going to try to roll this momentum out for a while.  I'll keep you posted.  Good thing was my hubby worked out with me and he lifts weights regularly and has great muscles to watch, so I didn't get too bored!! ;)  Ugh,I also forgot my inhalers and had a nasty little asthma attack!!  Okay everyone, I have to get some sleep so I can go to Logan's 9:00 a.m. basketball game and prepare to have 3 of his friends spend the night for his birthday.  I better stock up on the Kombucha.  (it's fermented you know!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You Could Win This Slice of Peanutbutter Bread!

Ok, let me set the scene for you:  everyone's at the table, I put out a steaming pot of chili and pass out 5 bowls.  Everyone gets chili (even the youngest two who are looking at it critically) and when I pass my bowl for chili everyone stops.  But Mom, my oldest says, this chili has meat in it!  I just smile.  Pandemonium!!!  Ewwwwww, this is vegan chili!!  You're trying to turn me into a vegan!!  Let's get this straight.  I followed Rick's rule of "cleaning out our pantry" and "using up what we have" , it just so happened that I had TVP in the fridge.  And no, no one staked me like a vampire for trying to turn them vegan.  Although, it did seriously sound like they might at the time!  Rick had to turn eating into this very odd eating/betting/game show dinner.  Carter if you eat 1 bean you can have peanut butter bread, do you accept the challenge?  Owen, Carter says yes to 1 bean.  Do you say yes to 2 beans and steal the peanut butter bread from him?  It goes on and on till it was up to 8 beans and Owen puked getting the last 2 down.  Sigh.  Just once I'd like a "normal" dining experience!! lol.  So it was a rocky vegan dinner together, but no meat was eaten!!  One of the hardest aspects to becoming vegan is the kids.  On one hand I've been raising my kids and serving them one way.  Now all of a sudden I changed.  Is it fair to ask them to do the same?  I know I'm the adult and it's my responsibility to teach them (I'm sorry it's so late in coming), but it's very hard.  Especially when they don't want to change.  My oldest is a little easier.  He is scientific minded and has been fascinated with my new info. on plant based diets.  Even Rick is fairly easy, although he doesn't buy into how bad milk is.  He will search for hours to try to justify his inability to stop dairy consumption.  And when he finds something, then he quits listening to all the mounting data to it's negative.  Whatever, I can't change him.  But it's killing me with the kids.  I can't in good conscience do it anymore!!  I will use up what we have, but change is coming like it or not.  I think back to when my kids were little and none of them liked milk (I never had either, I drank water at school) and I used to take so much abuse from people on them not drinking it.  Now I feel slightly justified, and a little smug 'cause we're ahead of the game (not really because we all don't drink milk but we all inexplicably like dairy products- go figure!).  I think what's important is that I'm explaining and showing them there is a different way of eating out there.  There is information out there that we are not hearing.  We, as a planet need to be more careful in how we are living our lives and at what cost.  I am not perfect (and trust me my kids see that too), but I can make them more aware.  They may not always eat vegan, but at least they'll understand what it means.  Who knows, maybe eventually we'll have a bidding war on vegetable eating?  I can only hope =)  Let's do stats:

Hunger:  ugh, no full!
Mood: good =)
Cravings: none. maybe a little salt, but nothing specific.
Health: pretty good! (still have pimple =P)

Well, it was nothing if not interesting tonight.  I can't wait to see what they say about the quinoa...mwaahaaha!!  Try to "steak"  (tee hee I'm funny!) count vegan, I dare you!!
Good night everyone!! Be healthy! =)


Monday, February 22, 2010

Where the Heck is the Meet up??

All right, whoooo!!  Check out how on it I am today (except for the fact I forgot to take my son to basketball practice, but that's another story!!).  I made two meals tonight, one for my family: Alton Brown's fried chicken (which I've had soaking in buttermilk for 24 hours) and for myself, my own creation:  I took leftover rice, sauteed it in a pan of olive oil & garlic.  added chili pepper, cumin, salt, canned diced tomatoes, onion & green chilies.  When that was all warm I threw in some canned black beans.  I cooked 2 red potatoes in the microwave and then cut them up put it all together in a rice burrito shell.  It was really good and I'm so smug!!  HaHa!  Another dinner challenge down.  Now you maybe wondering why the family had a meat meal since I was going to be making vegan meals.  Well, we're taking it slow.  And Rick wants me to use up as much as I can to save money and to use all the meat that's in the extra freezer.  It's a hard process, especially for kids!  We'll ease them in =)  So, I joined a vegan meet up group in Michiana.  But they don't meet!!  Heck, the creator is barely on there!  Really?  A meet up group that doesn't meet??  Sigh, I really need to find some local vegans to glean wisdom from.  My sis-in-law brought me vegan treats she found for me at the Farmer's Market!! (maybe this is where I can shop for vegan friends.  I can lurk around the vegan treat booth and strike up conversations with unwary vegan strangers!!  Sounds creepy?)  Isn't that nice?  I think my restaurant stories are bringing me sympathy treats!! Yay!  It's really rare that I get a "treat" of this nature.  Still no Wii set up, grrrr.  I really need to monitor my weight.  It is possible to be a chubby vegan, people really!!  I can still over eat on my vegan happy foods.  Hey!  I just noticed I don't have that whole seasonal depression thing going on!!  Alright then!  I contribute it to all the lemon I ingest now.  It's really hard to be depressed when you have lemons!!  Their yellow, they help weight control, they are sour but good in water and food, they are good for weight control- see?  what's not to love?!  *cut to a psychedelic scene of me dancing with lemons, like out of a pink floyd movie*  Yep, that's how weird I am.  I warned you.  You can handle it if my husband can!! hahahahaha.  Hmmm, anything else I want to ramble about?  You know I love a good ramble!!  Well, let's do stats:

Hunger:  Yes, I'm getting in a weird quasi-PMS mode where I want some heft to what I eat. Not eeling the salad right now!
Mood:  Oddly good today, despite the fact that I had to attend to the children for Spanish class.  (another story for another time).
Cravings:  Nope, just my Spanish rice & potato concoction.  I thought about it for a while.
Health:  Well, still have the nasty pimple on my chin, BUT took care of some grooming, like ridding myself of the little mustache I had going on and plucking my face and brows.  Not too shabby =)

Well, I'm getting better at this vegan thing.  My cooking comfort is coming along nicely.  I still am surprised that I am still vegan.  I never thought I could do it a day, let alone 5 weeks!  And let me reiterate just how bad I ate.  I was a meat & cheese glutton.  I still am in recovery.  I have to watch it all the time.  Habit is hard to break and then change.  One of these days I'll be cooking and I'll surprise myself when my natural instinct is to NOT lick the spoon!!  Good night ever body!  Be happy =)


Sunday, February 21, 2010

You know it's Tuesday if it's spaghetti!

Wow!  It's been a while!!  Sorry about that, I've been dealing with some stuff and couldn't get on (or was too tired to when I could!!)  So I was suppose to weigh in today, but my husband disconnected the Wii to mess around with cords.  I don't know why but it always seems like men have cords to mess with.  I'm kinda bummed because I feel thinner!  I'm branching out, spreading my wings, I flew away from Tess' nest and tried some different recipes AND even improvised!!  I must be getting more comfortable now.  I made an "egg" tofu salad.  It was so good and easy.  Even my husband liked it (remember- family vegan meals).  I got to say that Tess really got me ready for this adventuring in vegan foods.  Between her pantry suggestions and explanations, and eating with a weight control conscious structure throughout the day, she gave me some kick butt tools at my disposal!!  Any recipes I've looked at, I have about 95% of the ingredients called for.  Amaranth?  Oh, yes!  No problem.  My friend Tracy and I talked about how we were both afraid to use certain ingredients.  Mine was miso and tofu.  I would look at it in the fridge and cower.  But, not anymore!  Now if I could only be that brave with tempeh, phyllo dough and nori.  More mountains to climb, but I'm enjoying the challenge.  I'm really enjoying just eating and cooking in a new way.  I think I was in a rut.  You know it must be Tuesday if it's spaghetti!!  Still feeling great.  Had huge meat craving the other day.  I wanted a hot ham and cheese sandwich.  A big one.  I had errands to run at a couple of friends houses and I could've sworn they were cooking meat at each house.  They weren't, and after seeing my wild eyed look as I asked for meat, they hid their small children from me!!  So of course I didn't cave, but that night I had a crazy dream where I was hosting a Thanksgiving potluck.  And all these random people were there, some I knew some I didn't.  I put on my plat what looked to be a huge biscuit, but browner and taller.  I was told it is an African muffin and there's ham and cheese in it.  My mind raced with thoughts:  I should put this down, I really want this and (my favorite) Well, maybe it's okay since it's Thanksgiving!  Anyway, I ate it and felt guilty.  Then I woke up and still felt guilty until I remembered I didn't really eat it.  I was fine then, no more ham & cheese cravings.  I had another suckarific (it's an industry term) restaurant experience.  This time: Bob Evans.  And now I know what Bob does "down on the farm" because it's all over their meat drenched menu!!  Wow, eating out stinks.  I'm going to have to move to the west to get any kind of vegan love, because here in the heartland (and now I know why it's called that- heart attack central!) if you don't want a side of meat with your meat with cheese on it, then you have to eat grass in the back yard.  Okay, I MAY be exaggerating that slightly, but come know it's true!  I didn't (of course) realized it till I became vegan, although I always was slightly horrified when someone mentioned being vegan, because I couldn't imagine what they COULD eat.  Now I know why.  Anyway, to help combat anymore meat cravings I re-read all the medical analysis of meat based vs. veggie based diets.  That always kicks the meat cravings to the proverbial curb.  And sometimes I tell it to my husband too (who at least pretends to listen), just to cement it in there.  Well, my birthday is 2 weeks away and I've been dropping STRONG hints to my husband as to what to get me (kitchen toys!  food processor, pressure cooker, juicer...) unfortunately, he just pretends to listen (see above) and has the prize for being the worlds worst present gifter.  It's true.  One year (a very memorable Christmas) he got me a water britta filter, a microwavable egg cooker (!!!!) and a space saver drawer for between your washer and dryer.  Wow.  Nothing says love like an egg cooker!! =)  I don't really care, it's just fun to see what he comes up with.  I try to keep my expectations low and that helps.  I know I'm suppose to be exercising, but I still haven't.  I keep thinking about it though.  You know how people who change their life always starts training for marathons?  Well, I'm going to start training to participate in the Olympic sport of Curling.  Yep, I'm good at sweeping and I have a lot of cleaning to do so there you go.  When I sweep my floor I can count that as training for the Olympics and therefore it's exercise!!  Hahaha, count on me to find a loophole to get out of it!  Hey, you don't get this chubby without a bag of excuses!!  Well, I better go.  I'm getting tired.  Let's do stats:

Hunger:  manageable
Mood:  Honestly, volatile crabbiness!  Hide the kids!!
Cravings:  Just the ham and cheese day
Health:  Pretty good, except a big fat pimple on my chin....hmmmm, PMS?

Well, my goal is to add some exercise into my day (real not my curling idea), and to eat more veggies (always a challenge for me).  I usually make one of Tess' dressings and dip cold veggies in it and that gets them in.  I just have to do it more!  Good night everyone, I missed you.  Be happy =)


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

not the stir fry!!

Well I didn't blog last night because I went out to dinner with my mom & Dad & sister and brother in law.  We went to Yesterday's which takes forever to eat.  We had reservations for 7:00 and we weren't done until 10:30!!  On a Monday!!  Wow, did I have a sad, sad vegan night out.  I looked ahead of time and chose 1 of 2 meals that were anywhere close to vegan.  They really should call the restaurant Meat R Us because it's clearly what they specialize in and there's not many meatless options, at least not swimming in butter and draped with cheese (all of which looked delicious mind you).  So I chose vegetable stir fry (mental shake of head).  Not always the greatest choice when not somewhere that specializes in stir fry like, say, an Asian restaurant.  First, happily (as I was starving) I ate the bread and it was sour dough so that was fine.  They even rounded me up some olive oil and herbs to dip it in.  But my meal came and it had gigantic peppers of the rainbow about the size of my hand in there. I'm not a huge fan of green peppers.  The other colors I can deal with if small, but not this hand thing. (remember I don't really enjoy vegetables? welcome to my hell!!)  Then, as I was eating I found a sticker left on a carrot stick (they were huge chunks of all the vegetables).  So while I waited for my meal to be fixed my mom & husband kept passing me their mushrooms to munch on.  Especially since they both picked what I WOULD have gotten had I still been eating meat.  Well, I was so hungry it didn't occur to me that MAYBE they were cooked in butter!! (more later on that).  They brought it back and really by this point I wished they hadn't bothered because I wasn't enjoying the flavor of peppers and heavy bottled teriyaki sauce drowning the rice and veggies.  So then dessert comes and everyone picks these insanely large items and all I get are 5 huge strawberries and some chocolate sauce (non-dairy).  My stupid berries were $11.00!!!  Rick's pie was less!  By now my stomach started to hurt (mushrooms in butter!!) and it was a miserable drive home (in the blowing snow!!).  All night, all I could think about was how bad I felt after eating just a little butter; I can't imaging what I'd feel like if I had grabbed my sister's cheesecake and stuffed it down like I'd wanted to!  I felt stuffed, but in comparison I barely ate compared to the rest of them.  I definitely have gotten used to eating less.  Or I can listen to my body better, one or the other or both!!  Man that was a disappointing night out, for me not worth the money at all.  I do find I eat out a lot less now.  Probably for this reason.  Well, I should do stats since my dumb dog broke my vase!!

Hunger: no, stomach not right since mushroom debacle!
Mood: not too good. vase =(  grrrrrr.
Cravings: no.  I got an eyeball full of meat and cheese, but I survived.
Health:  Stomach not good!!  No more dairy!!!!

Clearly this was a good restaurant, just not too vegan friendly.  That's fine, I don't expect to be catered to but it would be nice to have a place to go to!!  Good Night Everyone, be happy =) (or not if you're trying to glue a vase back together)


Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm Going to Lacinato Me Some Kale!!

I am still obviously new to the whole vegan thing and especially with cooking with new and different herbs, spices and vegetables.  In RHIW, Tess talks about "Lacinato Kale" and this is what she recommends you to use in her recipes.  Also, in the same recipes she cuts the kale into thin ribbons.  When I went to the grocery store to get my ingredients, I needed to buy kale and I bought kale.  In reading the recipe again I saw the Lacinato and didn't remember seeing it in the store.  For some reason I got it in my head that "Lacinato"  must be a fancy cooking term for cutting into thin ribbons.  "Must be an Italian word" I thought to myself.  (Tess I hope you're reading this!!)  A couple of weeks later, I was in a better produce dept. at another store.  And there I saw it: Lacinato Kale.  So I bought it for my recipe and later decided it was a better kale than the other one.  But I still laugh to myself that I thought it was a cooking term.  It's the absurd things like that, that keep me going. I love to laugh and have no trouble laughing at myself.  So, today is WEIGH IN DAY (said with a crazy deep computerized voice).   I lost 4 more pounds!!  YAY!!!   I still haven't started working out...I know, I know!  I need to and I will, but I'm just glad that some of the weight is coming off.  it makes it easier to be able to work out.  It really does seem like a reward for me.  I didn't become vegan to lose weight, I did it for health.  But seeing the weight fall off of me has been inspiring and a visual measurement of becoming healthier.  Another thing I've been doing is learning a little more about the unhealthy aspects of meat and dairy.  I have been coming under fire from some people (I can never figure out why people get mad at me for not eating meat or dairy anymore) and it's helped me knowing some facts so I can explain myself better.  Sometimes it's not worth it.  I can't help though, wanting to pass on what I learned.  This is some scary stuff that I can't believe I never knew.  Ultimately though people just do what they've always done and don't really want to change.  I try to respect that.  Man, if they had a taste of what I feel they'd change too.  No Valentine's candy for me this year, but I did make yummy vegan chocolate chip cookies (Thank you Tess).  It's nice having some comfort foods now and then =)  Let's do stats:

Hunger:  Needed some substantial foods today.  I went for my go go meal of portabellas & onions with tamari.  It feels "meaty" to me.
Mood:  Good!  I was a little tired today.
Cravings:  No, not really. 
Health:  Well I had a headache because the sun was so bright and I had no sunglasses, but that went away.  Good, Good, Good.

A month down.  I in the beginning committed only a month to myself.  But it wasn't long into it that I knew I would stay vegan indefinitely. I read back through my blogs over the month and I cracked up about the montage.  Now I have that behind me and I feel like I'm really enjoying every minute of this and the month went by fast.  I don't need a montage any more.  Good night everybody, be happy =)


A Month in Retrospect

Tomorrow will mark one month since I've been living a vegan lifestyle.  I want to reflect on what I've found this past month.  I thought I would be saying how hard this has been for me and it's been only by this well of  focus and determination I've been able to get through this.  But that is not the case at all.  I've said it before that I knew with every fiber of my being that I needed to do this.  I felt that my health was declining, not in any big detectable way (other than the obesity) but in small measurable steps like blood pressure increases and heart burn and an overall feeling of toxicity.  I fought becoming vegan and put it off and even as I planned on doing it, I didn't expect me to be able to do it or even WANT to do it.  I focused on my old "favorites"  and really noticed how my body felt after eating and did it taste as good as I thought it would?  The 1st day was a little difficult, if nothing else because I was not used to cooking vegan.  It didn't take but a couple of days before the energy started to jump up.  Tomorrow I will weigh in, but I have lost so much fat off my stomach it's amazing.  Everything is better, mood, energy, ability to listen to my body, focus, patience...  even my sex life (ah, you guys came this far with me, you can handle it!!!).  I could go on for a while.  I feel great.  It's amazing how much more positively I look at the world now.  I do not miss meat.  I rarely have cravings for my old foods anymore and if I do, they pass quickly.  I only wish i would have done this years ago.  But I don't dwell on that.  Things happen the way they are supposed to and my time is now.  My husband and I talked and he agreed to having me make vegan meals for all of us.  I told him it's killing me to feed them, the people I love, food that I find toxic that I won't eat anymore.  I'm not asking them to change over night, but at least for dinners.  I have to be a teacher to my children so they may have a healthier, longer life.  I can do this now.  I feel way more comfortable in my vegan skin.  I was a little self involved this month; I kinda had to be.  But I feel my vegan Kung Fu powers flowing and can now multitask again.  I still have ups and downs.  I can still have eater moments or days, but it's so much more controllable now.  I've learned to tell the difference between a need and a craving.  I am in tune with my body once more.  I am eating to live not living to eat!!  I thought I had something wrong with me, that I couldn't stop eating.  I couldn't tell I was full until I was about to puke.  (Tess suggested this, but I had already thought) I think that the foods I used to eat were so empty of real nutrition that my body kept wanting more and I kept giving it the wrong things.  I am not a scientist, I have not the info. to defend against an argument.  I only know what I feel and what I see in the mirror.  That's good enough for me and apparently my family.  Let's do stats:

Hunger: appropriate
Mood:  Happy
Cravings: None
Health: Ass kicking good!!!

I read an article many months ago about the kid from California who was the youngest to sail around the world by himself.  I was amazed by his outlook on life and his plans for himself in non- conventional ways.  He said: "Do something hard".  His message was don't sleep  walk through life.  Challenge yourself, dream.  I've always kept that in the back of my head and the desire to do that, something hard.  I finally am doing it.  I completely changed my lifestyle.  I am doing something that is challenging me and making me a better, stronger person.  It feels good.  I now pass that gauntlet to you my friends:  Do something hard.  Whatever it may be.  You will love yourself a little bit more and maybe even surprise yourself.  Good night everyone, keep dreaming =)


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wow, take a picture. I think I'm full!!

I've noticed that when I go to restaurants the easier places to go are either Asian restaurants or Mexican.  They usually have food I can work with.  Most other restaurants have 1 or 2 "vegetarian" dishes and inevitably one is always stir-fry of dubious freshness.  Tonight I went to a Mexican restaurant and I got a black bean and rice burrito which was really good.  But when I asked for no cheese or sour cream sauce, the lady looked at me like I was nuts and said: "well what are you going to have on it?"  I don't see why this should be so shocking, I mean haven't they had people in there before who is watching their fat content, let alone a vegan?  I guess people for the most part are shocked and concerned about what I can and can't eat.  I joke with my friend who has birds that a seed bell she bought for them as a treat is really a treat for me.  And I really think some people picture that.  I know I did before becoming vegan.  Now, I'm truly amazed at what I can eat and what I don't miss anymore.  I've even gotten better drinking water out.  I would never drink water at a restaurant 'cause I just pictured it as a slew of contaminated chemicals which it probably is, but less so than the diet pop I used to drink.  Anyway, I really noticed that I eat a lot less than I used to (except for all the chips I ate cause they kept us waiting and I was STARVING).  I got the smaller size rather than the large and I felt full after eating it.  Not so the case before.  I never could tell when I was full and I'd just keep on going until literally I was about to puke from being so full.  I wonder about that now.  Why can I tell I'm full now, but I couldn't then?  I really did try too.  I knew I ate too much.  I knew I needed to stop, but I couldn't tell when.  Maybe it's like an alcoholic not being able to stop drinking when they've had enough.  I really wonder why that would change now.  I've heard many things like there's a link to people not knowing when to stop eating because of a bacteria or lack of bacteria.  I don't know.  I suppose it could be plausible.  I will just enjoy the fact I CAN stop now.  Ah, feels good to be back in control of my body!  Let's do stats:

Hunger:  Not too hungry today until dinner.
Mood:  I'm good =)
Cravings: No, not even at the restaurant
Health:  Feeling lean and mean...(see mood) hahahaha

Just a follow up on the last blog.  I cleaned my kitchen good (I had to for my husband's poker night) and think I'm ready to get into the cooking groove again.  Going out to dinner tonight helped that as well.  Oh, I'm so mad a whole loaf of my sprouted bread sprouted mold!! grrrrrrrr.  Ha, thought I'd better get that off my chest as well!  Good night everyone, be happy =)


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cooking blues

I missed a blog for the first time since becoming vegan.  Even Mon. when I had to get stuff done for the PTO and was up till 1:30, I did my blog!  But alas, yesterday I was too tired.  I fell asleep on the couch at 8:00 and staggered my way up to bed later.  I guess it's okay, I mean I'm not being graded on my blog right?  Gosh I hope not because I don't always check my spelling, grammar and etc.!!  I've been a little lazy about cooking lately and I'm not sure why.  There are perfectly fine frozen vegan meals out there, but I usually like to have fresh foods.  I just haven't wanted to cook so much.  I wonder if I'm getting beaten down by cooking 2 dinners a night?  Often, I'll make my husband and kids their food and then look for something easy for me.  And it's not that I'm feeling blah about the vegan food, because I'm really excited to be learning a new way to cook.  I just haven't been able to make myself do it recently.  It could be the messy kitchen.  It could be I get frustrated when I don't have all the ingredients I need for a recipe.  I don't know.  Maybe I'm in a little slump.  I'm still doing fine and my energy is outstanding, I just don't want to cook.  I really think it may be time to try to transition the men folk into eating a couple vegan meals a night.  I don't know how it will go, they may need PB&J back up.  That might help take some of the 2 meal dinner pressure off of me for a while.  It can get crazy, because some of the vegan recipes, I have to read closely w/ multiple steps.  And even worse I can never think what to make the men because I'm ambivalent to the meat.  Unfortunately, when I feel overwhelmed I shut down.  Maybe that's the problem then, I'm feeling cooking pressure!  Plus, I have all those fresh foods starting to wilt that I feel like I have to hurry up and cook something with.  Not a lot of room for flexibility and I am not very structured.  Well, I talked it out  with you and I think it must be the double meals getting to me.  And possibly the strict menu shopping & planning.  I better think about some strategies for this, as well as strategies that were suggested to me on how to get my kids eating healthier.  I better watch T.V. and think on it =)  Let's do stats:

Hunger:  No, I ate good today, although too many almonds?  A lot of juice at dinner.
Mood:  Happy but tired.
Cravings: yes, a little.  The guys wanted omelettes for dinner and I love eggs!  Gee, no wonder I don't feel like making myself food.
Health:  Hey, I'm doing good!  I'm dodging illnesses left and right with vegan, kung fu movements!!

It's funny how I didn't know what my problem was in the beginning of this blog and by the end figured it out.  Sometimes you have to talk it out to see it.  Thanks for listening!! =)  Good Night everyone be happy!!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Shaping Dumplings??

So I was thinking tonight as I watched my children eating, I feel guilty for what I've been feeding them!  I've really been sort of self-involved these last 3 weeks and now it's time to start spreading what I've learned to them.  This is great and super awesome parenting, but there's just one problem...Okay, maybe three: Logan, Owen and Carter.  Tonight I absolutely made Owen and Carter eat 2 carrots (pieces, let's not get crazy!) and broccoli pieces.  They acted like I was poisoning them.  Logan at least ate a salad.  Then I was trying to explain the whole organic and whole foods idea and their eyes glazed over and a little bit of drool came out their mouths.  And when I tried to read to my husband out loud from the Whole Foods Enyclopedia, they kept interrupting me and when chastised by my husband, they looked blankly at me like they blocked my voice from their hearing.  blah, blah, blah ,blah vegetables.  That's all they hear.  I was horrified thinking about what path we may have started them on.  Is it any wonder though?  I mean I just followed the ways of my family and they theirs, and so on.  It truly is hard breaking from the mold and then to have to break out your husband and kids too.  I really am trying with the kids.  My husband, he's like me a product of our early environment.  But the kids, we are responsible for them. If we don't teach them, then who knows if they'll ever get it.  Look how long it took me for crying out loud!!  I don't even want to read THEIR blogs someday.  I could tell Owen and Carter were not happy about the vegetables by the way they were gunning for me while playing Uno.  That's okay.  I'll be the bad guy if it means I can get those kids to eat anything remotely healthy!  I am slowly phasing out some things I used to buy.  I just cannot do it anymore.  I cannot let my kids  eat what I know is so bad that I won't touch now.  And I'm starting slow, like junk processed foods.  I'm not even talking about meat yet.  But we've been talking about them eating some vegan meals.  We are still talking.  But that's good.  At least we are talking about it.  I just want to shape my kids eating habits to be healthy.  I don't want to shape them into dumplings!!  At least I have the tools now to help them.  At least now I know what to do.  I never usually dwell in guilt.  Guilt is just an indicator you either have to apologize about something or change something.  To dwell in guilt is really couter-productive to getting on living your life.  So, signal received, change....coming.  No more guilt.  See how that works?   Good grief, are you all tired of me dronning on my philosophies to you yet?  Well, really my blog is a dumping ground for the things I think about.  Sorry!!  (I do A LOT of thinking, hahaha).  Oh well, reader beware!  You may get caught in the cobwebs of my brain =).  Ugh, I'm tired.  Let's do stats:

Hunger: controlled
Mood:  Great, till Spanish class with the K-garteners and 1st graders.
Cravings: None
Health:  Headache (after Spanish class...what did I expect?)

I forgot to mention I have TMJ.  I can get mega headaches just from a change in weather and pressure.  I haven't been effected for a while.  Maybe new diet helps?  I don't know it can't be worse though!!  Good Night everyone, you're all awesome =)  Be happy!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl, Super Big Butt

As I watched the Super Bowl Game tonight, I reflected on past super bowl eating experiences:  Huge steaks, chicken wings, frozen mystery snacks upon snacks, nacho cheese buckets, and lots of pop!!!  The year that takes the cake would be the one that sparked a horrible gall bladder attack.  Nice.  Tonight, I had a grilled portabella sandwich with a side of creamy adzuki beans (from RHIW) and a few organic corn chips and salsa.  I splurged with a scoop of organic coconut milk mint ice cream.  Wow, what a huge difference from the past.  Even the Ice cream was more like a couple spoon fulls from a pint that I normally would eat the whole thing.  I haven't really been eating sweets and it's amazing how you kind of lose the need or tolerence for too sweet of foods.  Based on my past Super Bowl game eating frenzies I'm not surprised I got a super big butt.  And Super Bowls of past is just one example of my many opportunities to over eat.  Sadly.  I think I was in some serious denial, like oh yeah I ate a  ton of food, but I had water instead of pop so woohoo I'm healthy!!  I honestly think I was on my way to SERIOUS health problems.  Being vegan is not right for everybody, I hope my friends and family know that I do not look down on ANYBODY for their personal choices.  This is about me and my body's needs right now and the whole experience of my journey.  I'm finding it to be a total mind, body & spirit overhaul.  I am too happy with myself to think badly of others.  It's so much easier to love others when you love and are kind to yourself.  So, weight loss for the week: (drum roll) 3 pounds!  Total weight loss for 3 weeks vegan: 24 pounds.  Weight loss doing 2 week weight loss cleans: 14 pounds.  Thus ends the 2 week program I was trying for Tess' book (which I get to be in so everyone buy it, lol).  I am going to continue with it, as it's very easy to do and I basically have made it my routine now.  So far, so good friends!!  I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to be part of the group for the book.  I met great people (Tracy!!) and actually learned a new way of life for me.  I was a little lucky having just become vegan because doing the 2 week program actually taught me how to eat as a vegan and I lucked out that it is a healthy doable way to live.  For example I could have learned an unhealthy way to be vegan (yes, you still can eat unhealthy even as a vegan).  Wow, a second chance after I lived SO unhealthy before.  I'm groovin' on it right now, thinks are great and I've never been more positive.  Let's do stats:

Huger:  Nope, I have to admit I splurgd just a little today.  Good late breakfast burrito w/ scrambled tofu and facon, no lunch, and my dinner I stated above.
Mood:  So happy =)
Cravings:  No, I may have a moment like oh, that donut smells good, but it passes quickly.
Health:  So good.  I missed taking my allergy pills for a week and didn't have a reaction.

I'm happy I can control my celebratory meals now.  I hate not feeling in control of my eating.  I'm getting it back, which is a very liberating thing.  No more super big butt!! YAY =)  (well, getting there)  Goodnight everyone, I'm sending you love =)  Be happy!!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

No animals were harmed while typing this blog!

I have to be honest, I never really thought much about what happens to animals to become food.  Let me clarify that, I never LET myself think about the animals.  It was just easier for me to let myself  believe that my steak came from a steak orchard where they hand picked and wrapped my porter house somewhere in Michigan.  The truth is I do love animals and I do care what happens to them, so it was easier to disassociate them from the foods I was eating.  Not very clever true, but self-preservation non the less.  My sister-in-law (Shannan) and I were talking about how we both at different times have thought about meat and said yuck about it.  We both agree, it's not because we are now suddenly soap box vegans, but we have grown accustomed to the healthful feeling without meat and the "lightness of body and spirit" we both feel now.  Now, meat is "ick" to me.  Which is weird as I can still remember the taste of meat and still like it.  I allow myself now to think of the ramifications our food industry has on animals as well as humans.  It's pretty scary and if ever I had a just reason to say ick, it's now.  For those of you following my blog daily, you know I was mentally pre-planning my snacks today since I had to be at the school.  It went well!  Even though I had to get up at an ungodly time of 6:00 a.m. (which was actually 5:45!!  My husband had set the alarm fast to help protect himself from over-sleep).  Some how I managed.   I totally fell asleep while typing and I couldn't figure out what the heck I was talking about just now!! LOL.  Whew, probably should do stats:

Hunger:  Only when and where it should be.
Mood:  Great!  Husband and I are doing great, probably do to my good mood.
Cravings:  None!  Maybe a little sweet.
Health:  Really good.

Again, I think I'm just more aware now.  I'm not going to start throwing red paint on peoples fur coats (half are probably fake anyway), but I am way more aware now.  I feel like I'm learning so much every day and it's changing the way I think and do things.  The ripple effect spreads!  Good night everyone!  Be happy =)


Friday, February 5, 2010

pioneering with pancakes

I felt quite the cook today.  It's funny how that can really depend on our mood.  For example if my kitchen is messy, and it often is, then I feel too stressed out to do a lot of cooking.  But when the kitchen is cleaned and the stars are all lined up right, then back up give me some room because I can cook up a storm.  So, I find I have come to find some dishes that I rely on when cooking is not in my stars.  For now, It seems to be sauteed mushroom and onions and garlic.  I love it, I could eat a whole plate of that. Another is a quick tostada.  I'm still going through RHIW for recipes and trying new things.  Today I made a miso dressing!  Yum, it is so good.  Luckily, I have been saving all my glass bottles so it has a container.  It is totally fresh and organic and I love thinking I made this from "scratch" makes me feel so pioneer!!  In fact, I was thinking that very thing when I was eating the multigrain pancakes one day.  "this is probably closer to the pioneers pancakes than to our current ones".  There's something satisfying about that.  I have some beans in the pot soaking for tomorrow, dishes are done.  Why does it make me feel so homey?  I almost feel like running upstairs and grab my knitting...almost!! (there's a lot of stairs and I'm tired).  No cravings really today.  I think I may have to try out some desserts, I do have a little sweet tooth.  I think I'll wait till after the 2 week weight loss cleanse is over on Sunday.  Uggghhh, I'm so nervous about this weigh in.  Last week I had the diarreha and this week I have my period, I always gain weight and am hungry when I have my period!!  I don't want to disappoint anyone, least of all me!!  But like I said yesterday, this is a long road.  I can't be all weird about it now.  I'm just putting this out of my mind.  Tess is so nice and understanding, I don't think she'll be mad at me no matter what happens.  I just hate letting people down.  Everyone keep your fingers crossed for me...oh, why did I eat that dumb Taco Bell?!  I have to go to the school tomorrow for an open house for new families so I have to be prepared!!!  I will take some fresh snacks and a health bar.  See??  Pre plan, pre plan, pre plan!!  Now, up till now I haven't done any exercise.  I'm going to throw the excuse out there that it was hard enough adapting to my new eating lifestyle without throwing exercise in the mix.  But, it's getting easier and I think I'm ready.  I think I'd like to get back to Yoga again.  The teacher I had, Teiji is wonderful.  She has a studio built behind her big farmhouse.  It's really beautiful there.  Oddly enough, becoming vegan has given me some similar feelings I get when doing yoga.  Peaceful, relaxed, nicer...a conicedence?  Maybe, but I doubt it.  I think it happens anytime you're working on your physical, emotional and spiritual well being.  Hmmm, let's do stats.  My computer is being slow and it drives me crazy and makes me feel like I have to pee!!

Hunger:  Not as bad, I controlled it better today
Mood:  Happy =)
Cravings:  No, nothing I couldn't contron, maybe a little sweet tooth!
Health:  A little tired but feeling fine.

I've got to keep it together these last couple days of the program.  I want to finish strong.  I think I will keep following this program, maybe not as strict, but pretty close. I find I do well on it.  I'll let you all know how goes with the exercise and yoga.  Love to you all!  Goodnight and be happy =)