.W.E.L.C.O.M.E.

This is going to be a self awareness blog consisting of recipes, talk about workout, and inspirational ideas. I am leaving it open to the public because I hope it will become useful tool for others, and I really hope to meet like minded people to talk about this stuff with! Jump right in reading, or start at the introduction.  Again, welcome. 


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

moved!

So I moved! 17 hours drive and 1000 miles away from home. For the first time since my freshman year in college, and I feel like college doesnt really count because it was sort of temporary? This is my home now. And its a house. I am very excited.

Things that were cool, were that I got to listen to podcasts ALL the drive. It made a difference keeping me awake wise, listening to a calming voice rather than loud music. I think I read somewhere on MSN one day that loud music can actually make you MORE tired. Anyway, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's  Vegetarian Food for Thought Podcast is pretty gosh darn amazing! It gave me a lot to think about and to talk about with omni BF. He is definitely getting way more supportive!

Things that I wanted to share were my awesome on-the-road meals. Things I picked up with my old job were salsa or pico de gallo just poured over bagged salad mix, super easy and under 5 bucks! or tortillas and hummus with a veggie grill pack for filler? super awesome good stuff. I think eating raw veggie stuff for the 2000 mile drive made all the difference (also tons of bananas! at least 2 a day) and yoga at EVERY stop. and in the airport.... people did look at me funny LOL

I am exhausted but I feel like I am excited for the meshing of my life with my omni- love. He is getting more supportive of the vegan-ism which is good... he even grilled my tempeh for me on the opposite side of the grill :)

pictures soon! I promise :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The key to savory oatmeal

eureka I've got it! I should totally post a picture of my creation but its not very pretty right now, maybe next time :) when I plate it up all on purpose. right now its in a tupperware!

savory oatmeal, ive blogged about it before it has become an obsessive passion. its quick its super tasty and i like to believe its not too horrible for me ;) I made myself oat milk when I was sick, didn't even realize they sell the stuff? oatmeal, its my purest form of comfort food from childhood.

the key... wait for it... is GARLIC. yes garlic and oatmeal.

variations of the last week:
spring salad mix, hoison, garlic
Kale, onion, hoison, garlic
miso, asparagus <- not so great until I added the garlic!

the bottom line, as long as you got a veggie and a garlic your oatmeal will be fantastic. I am particular to the leafier veggies, like kale or the spring salad mix (you know the one with spinach and dandelion?) what i generally do is cook up the oatmeal and sauce and keep it in the tupperware in my fridge. When a snack attack hits, I heat it up a second time all microwave style, and mix in the fresh leafies, they wilt while *I* enjoy!

bon appetit!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekend Thoughts

Several things I am excited about right now!

1- My newest Vegan toiletries purchase! My plan is to use up what I have in my freezer and make-up stock and then replace everything with vegan alternatives. Recent purchase was deodorant, super nice smelling and fun! I am proud of my ingredients checking prowess so I took a picture even :P plus I think pictures make blogs more fun!



As far as food is concerned I am the fridge is emptied already, freezer and pantry might take a bit of time. I gift to my dog (who is not complaining ;) ) or I suppose once I move in with the boyfriend I can cook whatever for him, or donate to my family. Its hard, morally, to allow myself to do this because I don’t think that they should be eating this crap either, but I cant justify throwing out anything that is “useable”.

The boyfriend will be visiting for the first time since the switch, and I am excited to see how he will receive my new fridge “where’s the cheese?! What I can’t make an omelet for breakfast?!” But I have some pancake recipes and oatmeal all ready to go :D I think it will go well once he realizes that he will still be well fed, even if I don’t buy his beloved bacon.

2- VEGA! I am so excited about the shake mixes. I bought the natural to try the flavor, and it was most fantastic. So, I bought all the other flavors to sample (before committing to a bigger tub of whatever) when I went to the Chicago Whole Foods on Sunday. Obviously fun picture of my purchase (can i rotate these? lets pretend its sideways for artistic purposes)-


I am starting to realize I do need to still focus on my “diet” even if I am eating good whole foods. This protein myth (which I flipped out about before) is a little engrained in my mind if you can believe it! The more protein I try to find, the crappier I felt. I was OVER DOING IT. wait what? I posted on veggieboards the other day about supplementing and someone reminded me that even if it is plant protein it STILL is protein, and it STILL can slow down digestion. For duh, me, why did I think it was different?

Anyway more self aware, that’s why I started this J I will use my protein powders because theyre fantastic, but then I need to remember- nuts, peanut butter, tofu, tempeh, don’t also over do these things! 3000 calories of vegan is still too much for little me!

Cheers to starting to figure out a balance! Thanks for listening to my thoughts today, they were many!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

more books and crackers

So, I'm getting ready for a relaxing night of reading and movies. BOY am I bloated and uncomfortable today. Not sure what thats all about, didnt sleep well at all last night because of stomach pains :(

Anywhooo I picked up from the library today:
Old McDonald's Factory Farm (already through half of it and I got it at lunch :-O) By CDC
and
in defense of animals, the second wave by peter singer (I am super excited about this one, I've read quite a few of his utilitarian arguments in a contemporary moral philosophy class I took in undergrad and remembered how much his style hit home in my logic mind)

Super sad to give back the Vegan Freak book... I might have to buy a copy just because I loved it so much, and it seems that its a pretty unique genre? Either animal rights, or vegan diet, but they really connected why they have to be one and the same on an emotional, almost instinctual level. Awesome book. just fantastic. Vegan Freak.

Also, has anyone else discovered "mary's gone crackers"? i would have to say my favorite part is the disclaimer on the box about the contents. ALL the flavors of cracker are amazing, but apparently there are more products which I will HAVE to try now that I've discovered it... aaand they carry the original flavor at my local Costco in BULK! woot!

Monday, May 17, 2010

An overdue hello!

Hi :) its been a while! I have been developing my life theories and going through some hardships, but I am at a point that I want to shout from the rooftops how happy I am to be 'seeing the light' and BEING (not becoming) vegan! Its been quite a while since I've had animal product, and chocolate is STILL my weakness, though now its dark chocolate, and I am reading the labels to make sure its vegan dark chocolate.

I've found a great vegan mentor in the author of veganstrong.blogspot.com, she is so fantastic and is always ready to help me find references to satisfy my wanderlust!

Things I have read so far (by her recommendation) are:
http://www.amazon.com/This-Crazy-Vegan-Life-Prescription/dp/1557885389/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274136267&sr=8-3
http://www.amazon.com/Diet-New-America-John-Robbins/dp/0915811812/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274136343&sr=1-1


and by my own picking:
http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Freak-Being-Non-Vegan-World/dp/1604860154/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274136363&sr=1-1

I am so excited about their podcast?!





I'll probably eventually evaluate all the readings that I am doing. I think these are three very different genres and I am happy for the order in which I read them. I really enjoyed diet for a new america as an introduction to animal rights. It really REALLY set me off... and the thing is, you can say its "propoganda" and "a bunch of crazy emotional hippies", but here is my problem... its the truth. what?! I say it cause I saw it. On a farm, in a van... I saw those poor pigs, with NO TAILS. I thought it was too crazy to be true, but then I saw it.

I cant unsee, I cant unknow... there is no turning back now! if anyone has any recommendations for podcasts, reading, forums, and is reading my blog in passing, let me know! otherwise I am just going to spew fun philosophy cause thats my thing right now :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Savory Oatmeal, and v-day adventure results!

Oatmeal there have been so many times when I talk to someone about my love for oatmeal and they look at me like I am crazy. What with SALT?! You go to the store and its maple syrup this, apples and cinnamon that, and plain. Why not a sun-dried tomato corn option? Anyway- I also love how it thickens soups! Today I discovered a new favorite for lunch: 90% kale, cauliflower, a scallion, 2 tsp minced garlic, salt & pepper, 2 tbs oatmeal= a.m.a.z.i.n.g.n.e.s.s! Garlic and oatmeal. Go ahead look at me like I'm crazy ;)

V-day adventures
Vegan chili pizza, we made our own crust- made all the difference!
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Chocolate peanut butter pillows (from the PPK advertised book) The boy toy likes crunchy peanut butter, which I didnt have, but I had peanuts, so I adorably put one whole peanut in the center of each! too cute :) whoever commented on the PPK to freeze the centers before attempting to roll in the chocolate was so right! I even had to take a break from rolling the chocolate part bc my hands got too warm!
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snow hiking last- but not least, the dog and I had to go hiking bc I couldnt find the ski boots, but the trails are super gorgeous and the workout is great with all the snow! Its just that she's figured out now, that since the water is frozen, she can run across the creek .. and onto the road! Doh!
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's!

Yay Valentine's Day! He sent me edible arrangements :) He is so adorable he listened! I was talking about how cool they are, and that I wanted to send my friend one. He got me "sugar free" chocolate dipping sauce since I have been talking about eating healthy. He is so cute, and it was SO gorgeous. <3 love love love <3

I had to take it apart to get it home, but I took TONS of pictures. Lets see if Blogger works this time. Well, its not letting me upload pictures...I'll try photobucket...grumble I am proud of me, only 5 chocolate covered strawberries! (thats where 10% of my non-vegan diet comes from I am pretty sure)


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On another note, PT guy says I have to stop running so much. I only ran a little over an hour total last week. *sigh* back to the yoga drawing board. He has me incorporating some awesome moves though. I might try cross country skiing with the dog this weekend, there is a part of the ice age trail we hike, but hiking apparently is very similar to running :-\ Maybe if it isnt swollen next visit he will let me run! *Goal!*


I am still in love with PPK. They have this new book out with vegan cookies? I might try the chocolate peanut butter pillows (link) this weekend. I love my sexy man, and he has been putting up with a lot, so I was thinking to "thank" him with an envelope of baked goods. Besides, I can't keep them around when they look so good! 
 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

80 percent

 Long time no talk. I have been doing pretty well considering certain outside circumstances. I need to get back into working out, but I need to let my body heal. Stupid body. haha. I have definitely noticed a difference in how I feel. Despite emotional binge eating and disrupted sleep patterns, I think that my food choices have been better and therefore I have come out of this a little better that I would have. I am proud of me for that! I wonder if there is any literature out there about PMS/PMDD and vegan vegetarian diets? I cant google anything up that looks serious.... 

Food wise, I think that the macro thing is interesting, but it is going to be too difficult to tackle at this point. I managed to stay vegan 90% of the time this past week and I think thats pretty awesome and a good goal to maintain, vegan 80-90% of the time. Not too much pressure, its ok to slip up. Try new recipes.

Things I have learned:

Tofu! man did you know about the pressing thing? I had no idea you needed to drain it. That would explain why things haven't worked out between me and tofu before. I tried a spinach lasagna bake with tofu. Turned out super well, really easy. Just layered tomatoe sauce, some aldente noodles, spinach DRAINED that I mixed my seasonings into (typical italian blend + onion and GARLIC!) and I crumbled the tofu into this layer. A little bit more sauce, then adorably arranged some mushrooms on top. TADA! I ate it all week :)

Today I plan on using my left over tofu. A curry green beans with barely. I will take pictures and update this post because what is a post without pictures?!

Also I an im love with theppk.com! I found these jam drop cookies, super easy, super delicious! I made strawberry, raspberry, and apricot types. The recipe said it makes 16, I ended up with about 40 baby adorable cookies. It is right that you should be careful about over filling, it will boil over and burn! You also have to make sure there is enough jam for sweetness purposes so I think that takes practice. I used what I had on hand so I did:
1/2 c. almonds
1/2 c. hazlenuts
1 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar free maple syrup
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. olive oil

super easy to remember!

I did take pictures of my "Accidentally Vegan" moment. Where I took my kashi meal (I stock up my fridge) and added some broccoli's at mid-microwave cook time- to feel better about the pre-fab. And voila! SUPER good filling lunch. Nevermind, blogspot is having issues siiiigh. I'll update :)


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Troubled Waters

This weekend has been tough. I thought I was most of the way there already, so why would completely vegetarian almost vegan be an issue? 2 weeks into being more aware of my diet, I really crashed today into a sweets binge. I have been missing something from my diet to have had such a horrendous eating day. I am almost ashamed to blog about it.

I think it might be protein. Protein gives you a different more sustained energy than carbohydrates, which is better for energy dip controlling (blah blah blah we all know.. haha). Looking back on these past weeks: I ran out of soy milk and tofu early last week. So, its been maybe a couple of servings of beans total. Oops.

I had issues leaving the house due to my back, I felt bad spending money, I wanted to avoid the processed meat replacers. I.. I... excuses! I need to take care of myself! I caved and bought some of those boca (vegan) and morning star burgers (spicy black bean) tonight, as well as replenishing my stock of soymilk and tofu (on sale?!). I boiled a huge pot of beans to jar and have available for the week. Go me! Hopefully next week will go better.
 
I found some interesting articles on how to make sure you get enough protein and how protein is available in plant form (a discussion of incomplete vs complete and complimenting proteins). I liked this article because finding protein was one thing I was worried about when I started cutting out yogurt and fish. Especially because I like to work out. I super liked this graph I found article at savvyvegetarian.com (I'm a visual person :P):



Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bikram and Beans

Yesterday I finally made it to my Bikram Yoga class. It was fantastic! Definitely what I needed. The schedule didn’t turn out as anticipated because my back seized up on Monday and I needed to take care of (i.e rest) that. I am planning on sticking to yoga for a while. My runner’s knee is acting up because I am walking weird due to the back issue. 
The great things about the class:
  • I sweat A LOT. Got a lot of those toxins/pain relievers out of my system. I wore long sleeves and pants on purpose to create more sweating. Most people in the class did not (as an fyi).
  •  I got a deeper stretch into the muscle that has been seizing. I had to be very careful and come out of a few poses to make sure I didn’t end up hurting myself. (yay self aware!)

The “downside”:
  • Not like typical yoga. The poses are more balance poses, slow and deliberate. I sort of wanted a tight stretch of my IT band and I didn’t get that during the class
  • Plan to shower and change after class! Last time I went it was in May so I just went home to shower. It was 15*F outside... my mistake…

Usually I do yoga at home, using different DVDs as guidance or a book. This is actually the first time I bought a mat, so I better start going to classes more often! I am excited to see what other Bikram classes this studio offers during my introductory unlimited yoga trial period.

Oh! Also I made navy beans! I didn’t realize how much work beans are (new cook in the kitchen!). I soaked them for 2 days (longer than usual soaking) and thought it would be like 45 minutes to done? WRONG, 2 hours later, still crunchy-ish beans. Here’s my new “go get em” plan, soak and boil MANY beans, then jar the cooked beans. If you jar them right away and put them in the fridge while they are still hot the air seal will form. I have a jar full of semi-crunchy, perfectly seasoned and stored beans in my fridge for use when I need a quick dinner supplement. :)

oh and I realized I said that those cookies were vegan, embarrassing. I don't think that OTC chocolate is vegan most of the time because it involves a butter base. I'll do better next time. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday-Scapades

I baked baked baked all Sunday. I am not usually a baker, but I'm starting to love "healthy" baking because I can substitute and edit recipes. Anyone who knows me, will tell you- I cannot follow instruction :-P

Protein oatmeal bars (these are a work in the making) 

3.5 cups quick oats
1.5 cups powered non-fat milk
5 scoops vanilla protein powder 
1/2 cup sugar free maple syrup
1/2 cup maple syrup
8 oz silken tofu
1/4 cup fruit juice
2 egg whites
2 cups chocolate chips
bake 40 minutes at 325 *F 
makes: 18 bars in a 9x12

I edited the recipe I found on eHow a lot, and it still needs some work. I didnt like using sugar free maple syrup, because the ingredients list is horrendous (length and content). So I compromised, because the real maple syrup ups the calories like crazy. This recipe should yield close to 200 calories, 12 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fat for each bar. In the picture, I used old fashioned oats, I changed the recipe to reflect my lesson :)

Banana Fun Clumps (my own creation) 

3 bananas, mashed
1/3 cup vegetable shortening 
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup chopped prunes
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup chocolate chips
 20-25 minutes at 350 *F 
makes: about a 20 depending on the size 

Let the dough sit for ~30 minutes before you start to form the balls. I balled up about 1/2-1 inch size balls and lightly patted them down. I covered the cookie sheet with aluminum foil. 


Now, none of these fit into my new semi macro diet (though the cookies are vegan) so I didn't keep any. I am going to hot yoga tonight to help purify what is ailing me. I think I remember Brikram is an Indian form of yoga, done in a sauna. It helps your body sweat and eliminate toxins. I like it a lot but I haven't had time to get into it regularly. There is a local place running a new years special- "20 dollars unlimited 2 weeks yoga". So I am going to hit that up! I might try a "detox" massage on Wednesday I will keep all of you updated as it goes!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Introduction

Hi :) I am trying to find a balance this year. I am a high energy high anxiety type girl and I thought I had a good thing going. I was running pretty far and pretty often, eating what I wanted and still shedding pounds. I have a fantastic boyfriend, great dog, stable job. Then the 2009 holidays hit! :O

Now I am not one for "new years resolutions" and "going with the crowd" so I guess, this blog will be the search for something that is a balanced ME this year. Things that pushed me to this recreation were:

  • recurrent runner's knee
  • a back injury
  • gaining 4 lbs over the holidays
  • becoming embarrassed of my chocolate binges (thats when you know something is weird, when you don't want to tell anyone what you did!)
  • frequent constipation (TMI! sorry!)
  • I shouldn't be falling apart at 23!

Here is the plan, you can follow along as you please and I promise to post fun inspiring pictures, because I think they help me when I read other people's blogs.

  • get back into running, HEALTHY.- I have PT on Monday, I am suspect of my shoes -_-
  • get into another side sport, for balance (eh? eh?) - potentially yoga
  • be more conscious of my diet- Currently I am looking into some macrobiotic ideas, vegan, and whole foods. 
  • learn to project a positive attitude onto others, even if I am emotionally exhausted.- I wear myself on my sleeve and anyone around me usually gets my anger/sadness/frustration taken out on them. Its a circle, because then they get upset with me... etc, etc.