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.