Thursday, February 28, 2013

The ball is finally rolling

I'm really getting used to this vegan thing - but the challenges of being vegan are still present - I'll get to that in a minute.

Last night I got home and made Vegan Tofu Tostadas from Two Peas and their Pod (link in recipe name) -- this blog is LEGIT. And the tostadas were even more legit. Vegan or not, these things are delicious.

Jeremy isn't the biggest fan of tofu - which is understandable. A lot of people don't enjoy the texture. I personally really like it and find it strangely comforting, so I didn't have a problem with the amount of tofu in the recipe, but I knew Jerms might not enjoy it quite so much. Then I remembered that we had Field Roast Mexican Chipotle vegan grain sausages in the fridge (Thanks, Whole Foods), so I chopped one of those up and threw it in the pan to saute with the veggies and tofu. I love Morningstar "Chicken" patties and black bean/veggie burgers, etc, but I think this is the most I have ever enjoyed veggie/grain based "meat" products. It was REALLY tasty. So if you see Field Roast at your store, I recommend you try some (again, vegan or not)!

I'm not a huge fan of "cooking spray" so I used olive oil on the corn tortillas rather than cooking spray, but I think next time I'd do as I was told - the oil completely soaked the tortillas and made them tough. I definitely used too much. Still tasty, though. I think I would also add black beans just because I pretty much add black beans to everything I can. Oh, and we'd run out of chili powder the night before, so I just used taco seasoning instead. Because really, what isn't better with taco seasoning?

We finished them off with chipotle flavored Tabasco sauce and they were delish. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone who is willing to try it! Here's the final product:

I finished off the night by finishing off the peanut butter cookie I'd picked up at Robek's during lunch the other day. I threw all the cookies in the freezer, which I love...frozen treats = more time to savor them :)

This morning the fridge was still devoid of cucumbers (I told it to grow some overnight but it clearly did not listen) so I went back to the sprouted grain bread with Trader Joe's salted crunchy peanut butter - which is really good, I feel the need to repeat that.

On to the challenges of being vegan -- whenever we have a meeting here that lasts through lunch with a vendor who is visiting from out of town, they will order lunch into the office and have it delivered and set up outside our meeting. So, that was the situation today, and they ordered from a place called Champagne Bakery that is just obscenely good in an entirely non-vegan way. Their cookies are works of art, and we all know how much I appreciate a good cookie. And their sandwiches are served on these baguettes that are so inappropriately good. Anyway, I'm obviously unnecessarily torturing myself/you right now. So I get out of my meeting to get lunch and I'm all excited, thinking that obviously they'll have some sort of vegetarian sandwich There were none. Or if there were, they were gone before I got there. And in all likelihood, if the sandwich wasn't centered around meat, it would have been centered around cheese, which I can't eat either. So I move down the line and luckily, there was a green salad that had no dairy (plus a vinaigrette option) and a large, fresh, delicious fruit salad. So I loaded my plate with greens and fruit and grabbed a bottle of water. Diet Coke, while vegan, is also something I'm staying away from at the moment, so just had to turn around and walk the other way, in the opposite direction of those lovely lovely cookies and pastries that were sitting at the end of the line. It's like the cookies and the Diet Coke were grouping themselves together to call out to me like, look, your one stop shop for not making good choices for yourself anymore. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that eating cookies and drinking Diet Coke are INHERENTLY bad choices. I could never say that and still be who I am. But for me, right now, I feel like it's a better choice to steer clear of them and load up on more fruit and veggies. So yeah. Sometimes, being a vegan straight up blows.

Not sure what's for dinner tonight. Jeremy has had a couple of friends unexpectedly drop into town so I think he'll be going out to dinner with them. Which means I'll probably make the "buffalo" cauliflower dish I've had my eye on that Jeremy was not thrilled about trying. Or maybe chili leftovers. Or maybe this is boring for other people to read. But I definitely see another vegan cookie in my near near future...

Hope everyone's having a great week and is ready for Friday and the weekend! :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day I'm tired of's Wednesday.

Yesterday ended on a high note, vegan-wise. The chili (you can find the recipe here) was really tasty. Jeremy added more of the spices than the recipe called for, due to the fact that we'd heard it was bland. I topped mine with some nutritional yeast (which is inactive yeast flakes that have a nutty/cheesy/salty taste to them and are actually quite nutritious) which tasted good. We also cut up an avocado and shared that to top our chili. Overall, I'd say the recipe was really good, but I'd add more quinoa next time to increase the body of the chili.Also, the prep time that is called for in the recipe (10 minutes) is only applicable to Iron Chefs. I cannot chop that many vegetables in that much time. It probably took me 30 minutes of chopping to get everything ready, and then I had my super helpful sous chef opening cans, rinsing beans, and measuring spices on the side. So - allow yourself a bit more time, and make the quinoa ahead of time as well.

(While I'm at are the black bean quinoa burgers we made the other night).

THENNNNNNN after dinner we watched Pitch Perfect which arrived on Blu Ray from amazon yesterday (I loved it so I bought it for keeps). Have you seen that movie? If you haven't, please do so immediately. It's actually hilarious, and the songs are awesome. AND, for my fellow wahoos, the Hullabahoos are in the movie! I actually shushed Jeremy really aggressively at the point that they said "From the University of Virginia, the Hullabahoos!" and he may have gotten mad for a few minutes...haha. During Pitch Perfect, we enjoyed our vegan Red Velvet cupcakes from Sprinkles...they were SO GOOD! Honestly, they may have  been better than traditional Sprinkles Red Velvet cupcakes. They use coconut oil (which you can taste) and a tofu based frosting (can't taste that) and the cake is super moist. Yum! I'll definitely be buying those in the future.

Last night before bed I decided to give chamomile tea a shot at relaxing me and making me sleep well, and it actually did help I think. I felt relaxed before bed and slept relatively better than I have been sleeping generally. So that's a win.

This morning I was not feeling like juicing (also didn't have any cucumbers left) so I had a piece of my sprouted grain bread with Trader Joe's salted crunchy peanut butter for breakfast (their natural PB is better than Whole Foods, IMO). The lovely people from Kong brought  lunch for us today and I ordered a sandwich with roasted red peppers, hummus, arugula, tomatoes, and cucumbers. It was delish! I think the amount of oil in the bread really helped, but it was a welcome break from my spinach salad doldrums.

Speaking of which, Molly Laufer shared this blog with me as another resource for vegan recipes, as well as sending me an email full of her favorite vegan recipes that I could make! How awesome is that? Thanks again Smolls! :)

So, lessons learned so far:
  • Being vegan requires a lot of forethought 
  • Being vegan is a lot easier with support from your friends :) 
 As of now, I still say that I'm "trying" veganism instead of self-identifying as vegan. I'm not sure I'll ever truly be vegan...but probably more likely Vegan with Benefits as Sarah says. 

A special HELLO to Molly and Annie Vaughn who are likely reading this together around 3 am ;-)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Days 8 and 9

So, both yesterday and today I've woken up feeling a little more like I'm down/dragging than I had over the past week. Is it because of all the sugar I ate the night before? I don't know. But just an observation.

Yesterday I had juice for breakfast again. I don't know why, but I had a much harder time than usual getting it down. I finished it, but it took some work to make it happen. Salad for lunch again, but feeling bored with the salad by now as well. Need to start planning ahead and packing my lunches so I don't get so bored with the take out options I have. In the afternoon, my boss's boss (Tracie) had her birthday, and people had brought in Sprinkles cupcakes. I hadn't broadcasted my newfound veganism around the office, so there weren't vegan options, and Tracie said if I didn't eat a cupcake I was fired, sooooo I had a carrot cupcake (I mean, twist my arm, honestly). I confessed to Jeremy and he had a beer as his special treat last night :) So like I said...not like, awkwardly vegan. Just sort of vegan as much as possible. For dinner we had these black bean quinoa burgers I made from a recipe out of Runner's World that was actually pretty darn good. The only thing that was bad was the fact that I dropped 1 out of the 4 patties I made on the ground in the living room and so didn't have much to eat. Luckily, Jeremy had made an awesome salad, so I had that.

After dinner, I still wasn't satisfied, and I had eaten all of the vegan cookies over the weekend, so I had a piece of sprouted grain bread with earth balance soy spread and raspberry jelly for dessert. Then I had a handful of bagel chips. Then I had a few handfuls of peanuts. So, needless to say,  yesterday I did not do a great job of keeping myself satisfied with enough protein and fiber. Something to work on.

Today I had juice for breakfast AND lunch (will explain). Breakfast was spirulina, cucumbers, carrot, celery, and ginger. Not sure why, but easier to get down than yesterday. Then I went to work for a meeting, and then I went to the dentist, where I had 3 teeth drilled and filled and 3 sealants replaced. I go to the dentist every 6 months.  I had not been behind in my dental treatments. Apparently the past 6 months my teeth just decided to GIVE UP. So anyway, that was THE WORST. After that, I clearly didn't want to eat solid foods, so I went to a local juice place and got juice for lunch (kale, spinach, apples, lemons, celery and cucumber). Also pretty tasty. They ALSO had vegan cookies! Yay! So I got 4 (what? back off). Peanut butter, chocolate chip, double chocolate, and pumpkin! I broke into the peanut butter cookie for my 3 pm snack and I'm going to throw the rest in the freezer tonight.

So then I go to my 3:30 meeting and they had - get this - 6 DOZEN SPRINKLES CUPCAKES. What? Like, were they specifically trying to torture me? But then - remember, I work in California - they announced that a dozen of those cupcakes were VEGAN RED VELVET. Sooooo don't be surprised that I helped myself to two of those cupcakes to take home and share with Jeremy tonight. Pretty exciting, right? So now, considering that I knocked everyone down in an attempt to get to the box first, everyone in the office knows I'm trying veganism, and I imagine those vegan cupcakes will make another appearance sometime soon.

I keep announcing, though, the superiority of Georgetown Cupcakes to Sprinkles every time we have them (I don't start the conversation, I promise) and now everyone is curious. Considering that I probably won't have a visitor from the east coast anytime soon, I looked into shipping options. They will ship them here overnight via FedEx for $29/dozen plus $26 shipping for the 1st dozen and $15 shipping for each dozen thereafter. So I said I'd ship them in for my boss or my counterpart's birthday, and then they remembered that my birthday is coming up. I told them not to order them for me (and I sincerely hope they don't), but who knows, maybe we'll have a bit of the east coast here for my birthday!

Anyway, up to bat tonight is the vegan quinoa chili recipe I found on Pinterest (my saving grace). Kelly and her husband Ryan already tried it and said it was a little bland, so we may need to spice it up a notch. We'll see! :) Hope everyone is having a good start to their week.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Day 7


Last night for dinner Jeremy and I ventured out to "Veg-n-Out"...a local (North Park) restaurant specializing in vegetarian and vegan cuisine. We were both excited to try a restaurant that specialized in meat-free dishes; I think we (I) thought that it would offer us some exciting new ideas, etc. Anyway, it was a little disappointing. I had a vegan chili dog with a side salad and Jeremy had a vegan burger with two different side salads. Neither of us felt as good/light after leaving that restaurant as we did after eating other vegan meals. I think what bugged me was that the meals were based on vegan imitations of meals that would normally include meat. Why not just have meals that are vegan solely because they do not include animal products? More on that later.

We finished the vegan cookies last night.

Today was our agreed upon "cheat day" if we were feeling it.

I slept in then had a piece of sprouted grain bread with peanut butter for breakfast before taking the dogs on another long walk/hike on the trails. For lunch, Jeremy and I headed to the local farmer's market to hit up the Green Truck for some fast vegetarian/organic food. We both had the breakfast tacos - scrambled eggs on corn tortillas with cheddar cheese, chipotle sauce, arugula, avocado, and...I can't remember what else. Maybe that was it. Anyway, it was ridiculously delicious. I don't think I realized how much I missed eggs. I didn't think I'd miss eggs as much as I do. And cheddar cheese? Omg. I don't care what people tell you - vegan cheese is NOT THE SAME AS NORMAL CHEESE. It's just NOT. So anyway, it was obscenely delicious.

We ate them on the way to the dog beach in Coronado where Mugsy ran around stealing tennis balls from other dogs and Ronin ran away from us almost all the way back to the car (about a quarter mile away) because he knows that the beach is the place where Jeremy throws him into the ocean against his will. So that was a big failure.

After that, we made our grocery list for the week and went to Sprouts to pick everything up. I think we did pretty well - we got a TON of fruits and veggies (fresh, canned, and frozen) along with other items such as hummus and pita chips. It was way less expensive than I anticipated it being, and while Sprouts was out of control busy, it was manageable because we split the list up by sections of the store and then divided and conquered. Teamwork, high five!

We had a snack of edamame in the late afternoon while watching the Oscars red carpet and then I made this dish for dinner and we LOVED it. (For those of you who don't want to click the link, it's "spicy quinoa" in avocado bowls). I didn't make mine quite as pretty as the picture - I just made it into a salad. But it was delicious nonetheless! And I think my favorite part honestly was the cashew "sour cream" made by putting a cup of cashews in the food processor with some apple cider vinegar and water. It was actually really tasty. And while it tasted nothing at all like sour cream, it was still a nice accompaniment to the meal. So if you're looking for a good salad (vegan or not)...use the recipe in the link. Lesson of the day - taco seasoning makes everything taste better.

And then, to cap off "cheat day" I had a bunch of Thin Mints. Because really, how could you pass that up? I think it'll be interesting to see how I feel tomorrow compared to days after eating 100% vegan.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Day 6

So last night I got home from work and ate another vegan cookie (or two)...they are so good!

For dinner, Jerms and I decided to order delivery. We used to order delivery seriously like every night. But trying the vegan diet has helped us cook at home more because we need to plan ahead to make sure we have vegan options. Luckily, there is a lot of Indian food that is also vegan, so we ordered Indian delivery. Jeremy had a cauliflower dish and I had a chickpea dish. Since we've discovered that naan is not in fact vegan, we ordered roti, which is a vegan whole wheat bread that is baked in the tandoor. We also had basmati rice, natch.

After dinner there may have been more cookies consumed. I'm beginning to think that discovering these vegan cookies was a bad thing.

Today I got up late after sleeping in a bit and juiced before taking the dogs for a long walk in the park. My juice consisted of 1 cucumber (it made a ton of juice) and I think 3 large carrots. Also, 1 tsp of spirulina. I'm really having a hard time with the spirulina powder. Honestly, it does not taste bad at all. It kind of tastes good. But the idea of eating/drinking algae is really hard for me. So I've taken to closing my eyes and just throwing the juice back.

For lunch we decided to go out so we went to Burger Lounge. Molly Laufer originally introduced us to Burger Lounge when we visited San Diego in the summer of was love at first bite. Just please come visit us in San Diego and we will take you to Burger Lounge. The funny thing is that the item I've always ordered there -- the quinoa burger -- is vegan! So we had a quinoa burger that we split between ourselves, a vegetable salad with lemon vinaigrette, and french fries (yummm!). I decided to have my Diet Coke fix today instead of tomorrow because it just looked so darn good when we got to the restaurant. And honestly...I love Diet Coke, but I'm not sure I like the way it makes me feel anymore. So I dunno if I'll continue drinking it in the future. I'm sure I'll still have the occasional DC...but it probably won't be a regular thing anymore -- not that it really has been in the past few weeks, but ya know.

Anyway, it's great to know that we can still get a meal at a favorite San Diego restaurant while staying committed to veganism.

On the way home from Burger Lounge we stopped to run a few errands, and one of our errands was to find the Sprouts grocery store that Brian and Kathy told us about. It's super close - about 5 or 6 blocks from our place (but over a couple of major roads AND major hills so I'm not sure we'll be walking there anytime soon). I am so excited that we found this market - it's like Whole Foods in terms of offering but more like a chain store in terms of prices! AND they have a ton of bulk bins offering everything from roasted almonds and candy to ground flax seeds and almond meal. Awesome selection and we're looking forward to going back there again soon. It makes me wonder if this is what the Central Markets are like in Texas? I haven't ever been to one so I really have no idea, but I wonder? Sarah could tell me I'm sure!

Last night we watched the documentary Forks Over Knives (streaming on Netflix) and I thought it was really informative and interesting. Focusing more on heart disease than cancer this time, and less of a focus on animal cruelty. While I certainly appreciate the animal cruelty angle of the argument, I don't necessarily want to watch documentaries on it because honestly it just makes me extremely sad. Anyway, I recommend the documentary if you're looking for something good to watch. Also, found a ton of exciting vegan recipes while cruising Pinterest! Soooo look out kitchen, here comes some variety in vegan cooking!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Days four and five

OK so you know most of what happened, picking up where I left off...

I went home after work (it took me an hour to get home. Yep, an hour to go about 12 miles...thanks, SoCal) and started making the sides we were bringing to Brian and Kathy's for our dinner with them. Jeremy made roasted red potatoes with garlic and fresh rosemary, and I made roast brussel sprouts. They both turned out well and I was able to eat them for my dinner w/o lamb and feel full. I felt impressive because Kathy said sprouts intimidated her so I was able to tell her how easy it is to make that was fun.

We had an awesome time over at Brian and Kathy's but it was really funny because I had told them that I was trying veganism for a spell, and Brian kept offering me things that aren't vegan. He certainly wasn't doing it on purpose, but I couldn't tell if he forgot I was vegan or didn't know those things were not vegan. For example: rice krispie treats (butter), a glass of milk (um, milk), and ice cream (um, cream, haha). The worst thing to turn down was the rice krispie treat. I wasn't too torn up about the glass of milk or the ice cream (don't get me wrong, I love ice cream, I'm just very specific about it), but the rice krispie treats just looked SO GOOD. But I held strong! For now, haha. But honestly, the only reason I could withstand the temptation was because I knew I had a special treat waiting for me at home:

Jeremy went to Whole Foods yesterday because he knew I was craving cookies and found vegan cookies for me! And let me tell you -vegan or not - these cookies are delicious. I think I might have forgotten, momentarily, that vegan does not mean fat free or calorie free, and I ate either 3 or 4 cookies before I looked at the nutrition information and realized I had just consumed more than half of my recommended daily allowance for fat. Whoops. So, vegan cookies are unfortunately just like regular cookies - they taste awesome and they're not the greatest things for you. Oh well.

Today I have had:
breakfast: juice...carrots...cucumbers...celery...ginger root...spirulina powder
lunch: spinach salad with candied walnuts, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, balsamic vinaigrette

Also, I just want to reiterate that I am not trying veganism to lose weight or the sake of vanity. I am honestly trying it for reasons that have nothing to do with weight. And I'm listing all my meals here for two reasons: 1) I want to be able to look back and say "hmmm, i felt good on friday, what did i eat on thursday that could have influenced that?" and 2) I want to show that being vegan isn't as scary as people might think and there is a wide variety of foods that one can eat while trying a restricted diet for other reasons.

And, as Lizzy pointed out to me yesterday, Gooey Brownie is in fact, vegan. So, ya know, gold star for veganism and gooey brownie there. 

As for how I'm feeling - I feel well. I feel less tired/more energized. I slept well last night - better than I usually do. Jeremy and I built 1 cheat day/week into our diet and said it would be Sunday, but Jeremy used his cheat day yesterday at Brian and Kathy's place. I used mine kind of accidentally when I ate the non-vegan naan (Paul made the joke that it was naan-vegan which was quite clever), but I still plan on potentially having a Diet Coke on Sunday. As for whether I'll indulge in other dairy products? I dunno, honestly. It's kind of unlikely. I just don't miss them THAT much (I say after just finishing my lunch and not feeling hungry...wait 'til hunger strikes again and I'll be scaling a mountain of cheese). And with those new cookies, I'm kind of set for the time being. But Diet Coke...I miss you. 

On a different note entirely unrelated to veganism, today I went back to the CA DMV for the 2nd time to try to register the Thundercat here. I offer you a piece of advice: if you ever move to California, either keep your plates registered in your state of previous residence for as long as possible, or buy a new car here. And if you choose option #1, be very careful to never get pulled over (or if you do get pulled over, be prepared to lie about what you're doing in CA and how long you're staying).

There are a number of things you have to do when you move across the country. But by far - registering my car in the state of California is the hardest of all those things. I have still not been successful.

Luckily, Jeremy has volunteered to complete the process for me next week. But seriously. California is on thin ice.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

day three-gan.

Currently blogging off my Blackberry while waiting for my car to get inspected so can go back to the CA DMV tomorrow and hopefully get CA plates successfully this time (I already have the license). 

Anyway, "15 minute Smog Check" is not living up to its name so far (I ended up waiting about 1.5 hrs). So on to being vegan. Its not easy. Yesterday blew. I was hungry and headachey all day and had cravings way worse than the first couple of days. 

Breakfast: juice...cucumbers, carrots, oranges, ginger root, celery and spirulina powder stirred in. 

Lunch: baked sweet potato with cinnamon and vegan chili from a local restaurant called the green spot. Not awesome but not awful either. 

Snack: got super hungry at work towards the end of the day. As you can imagine, the vending vegan options at work are limited. I was tempted to go with oreos (yes, they're vegan) but ended up going with peanut butter granola bars instead. 

Snack 2: got home, ate about 1/2 c of corn chex cereal and almond milk. The almond milk was weird - my first time trying it - but again, not awful. 

Dinner: quinoa, 1/2 of a fresh avocado, roasted brussel sprouts, and sea salt 

Dessert: I still wasn't satisfied after I ate a piece of California style sprouted grain bread with earth balance soy buttery spread and black raspberry jam. 

So yeah. This morning (day 4) I didn't want juice, so I ate a banana and ran out the door, which I now regret as I've been waiting at this car service place for over an hour and its taking up my lunch hour. Sigh. 

 After the 15 minute smog check place actually took 90 minutes, I ran over to a local Indian place to get takeout for lunch. I asked what they had that was dairy-free, and the guy behind the counter was super helpful and answered my questions. The good news is that the chicpeas, lentils, and rice I got were delicious. The bad news is that the naan I got was also delicious - and, as I found out after wolfing it down - not vegan. I didn't think about it because I figured most breads are made with yeast, water, and flour, but I kept chewing on the bread and thinking about how delicious it was and how I was going to eat naan all the time while vegan, and finally I was like "I should check and see how you make naan just in case." And I saw that  most of the recipes online used dairy. So finally, I called the restaurant and asked if their naan had dairy and they confirmed that it's made with milk. 

I feel sad. I know I'd only been going for a few days, so it's not like I broke some year long streak or something, but I guess if I was going to break vegan, I would have liked for it to be on my own terms rather than by accident. I wouldn't have broken vegan for the naan if I had known it had dairy in it. But that said, it also highlighted an important lesson of sorts, which is that if you're going to take on a diet like veganism, it's important to not be too shy to ask questions about what goes into your food. Which I guess is an overarching lesson for everyone, that it's better for all of us if we know what goes into our food. 

I was talking to Kelly yesterday about how funny it is that Oreos are vegan and she was like "Yeah, of course they're vegan...they aren't made with real food. It's like eating your sofa." Which is so sad when you think about it. So much of what we eat is not real food. Anyway. Just food for thought (pun intended). 

Oh, and as for an update on how I'm feeling overall: I do feel better. I just feel lighter. Literally and figuratively - I've lost 6 lbs since Sunday (which I know seems like a lot, but I think a lot of it was water weight rather than "actual" weight). But again, I guess I shouldn't really be keeping track of that considering that I am not doing this to lose weight, but rather just to feel healthier overall. 

Tonight Jerms and I are going over to our neighbors Brian and Kathy's house for dinner. They're making lamb. I am telling them that I've given up meat for Lent (not such a stretch) and so I won't be eating the lamb, but Jeremy is going to do it "so as to not be rude" aka "because he wants to eat meat." 

So, lesson of the day: Being vegan is hard enough when you're just going about your normal life - but what if I were traveling? Whew. I can't imagine.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

veganism day 2

breakfast: juice made of 2 oranges...a bunch...head?...of celery...3 or 4 cucumbers...ummmm...about a 1" piece of fresh ginger...and a tsp of spirulina powder. There may have been more ingredients but if there were, I've forgotten them. I did specifically look at the like, 5 lbs of organic carrots I bought yesterday and then decide I was too lazy to open the bag and juice I know there weren't any carrots in there. So yeah. That was my breakfast. The spirulina powder was hard to dissolve in the liquid. And it didn't taste anything like you'd expect. It just tasted savory.

lunch: same as yesterday...spinach salad with fresh berries, candied walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

dinner: well, first, I came home from work and wolfed down like an entire cup of mixed nuts. That was probably not the best choice I've ever made. Then for dinner, Jeremy made brown rice pasta with grain/tofu sausage and marinara sauce. The pasta was definitely strange. I mean, compared to "regular" pasta. The texture was different as well as the taste. And my favorite marinara sauce is made with butter, so that's out the window.

I've been reading a book all about a couple of sisters who start their own chocolate shop and now I want to eat an entire chocolate shop.

In terms of how I feel...I'm tired tonight. I've had kind of weird headachey pains all day but haven't taken any Advil because it's all the way over there and I'm lazy. But I didn't feel tired during the day at all the way that I have in past weeks. I feel much more alert. Soooooo we'll see how this continues.

Jeremy says: "Still vegan."

The pasta cranked his blood sugar way up after dinner, but it was pretty consistent throughout the day otherwise. He had a smoothie for breakfast (which he says tasted good) and had a quinoa bowl for lunch. He says he feels agitated. He also gave up alcohol, which I guess I technically did too, but considering that I don't drink anyway, it doesn't really make any difference to me.

Today we learned the awesome news of my college roommate Austin's pregnancy! "Peanut" is due in September. Yay for Austin, Nick, and their puppy Cooper :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

So I'm a vegan. For now.

Yeah I haven't updated this blog in a long time. Whoops etc. I have something to say now, so hi.

I have been reading a lot of books regarding veganism, juicing, detox diets, well as watching documentaries on Netflix. Basically the idea of the corporatization of the American food industry and the effect that the American food lobby has had on the standard American diet. It opened up my eyes quite a bit. So I'm going to try veganism for a while.

Jeremy is trying it with me, which is awesome considering that watching him eat a cheeseburger for dinner while I'm eating veggies could potentially be catastrophic for my willpower. Also, we think it'll really help his blood sugar levels.

I've never been a huge meat eater in the first place. I mostly order it when we're out to eat because I don't particularly enjoy preparing raw meat personally. So I've always been teetering on the edge of vegetarianism, but sort of by accident. So now, I'm taking it a step further and committing to it with intention. We'll see how it goes.

I've been juicing for a while now - buying the prepared juices at Whole Foods (100% veggie juices, mostly green veggies) before our stuff arrived out here and I got my hands on our juicer again. Since then, I've been juicing in the mornings for breakfast...some combination of the below:
bell peppers
fresh ginger

It hasn't tasted bad at all so far. I honestly enjoy it. And then I take the pulp from the juicer and dump it in the garden in the backyard. Apparently the soil loves it. When you take your first sip of green juice, you think it tastes like grass (and it does). But then after a couple of weeks, you're really looking forward to it. It's quite interesting how adaptable your taste buds are. And I think my body was sort of like, I can do something with this. Keep drinking it.

If you're interested, I'll talk to anyone who will listen to me about it. The books I've read are:
Eat to Run by Scott Jurek (a world class ultramarathoner and vegan)
Born to Run by Christopher Mcdougall
Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr (the idea of using diet to lower your chances of heart disease and cancer...draws a lot on The China Study, which is one of the most referenced nutritional studies ever performed, basically clearly showing the link between consumption of animal protein and cancer prevalence)
Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing for Life by Cherie Calbom
The Juicing Bible by Pat Crocker
The Big Book of Juices by Natalie Savona

The documentaries I've watched:
SuperSize Me (who hasn't?)
Food Inc (closed my eyes for 90% of it)
Vegucated (same as above)
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (very interesting, mostly about juicing)

There's another called Forks Over Knives or Forks Not Knives or something that I want to watch as well. Haven't gotten around to it yet though.

So anyway, yeah, today was day 1 of veganism. I juiced a bunch of veggies for breakfast, then had a spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and candied walnuts for lunch, and 2 vegan veggie burger patties with tofu mozzarella (weird) and sliced avocado for dinner. Dessert was a frozen banana mashed up with chunky peanut butter and cocoa powder - which was actually REALLY GOOD. I didn't think it would be, but it was. Even if you have no interest in veganism - you should try that just for kicks. It's really good.

Tomorrow I'll try spirulina (algae) in my juice for the first time. It's supposed to be a superfood. We also bought raw bee pollen at Whole Foods tonight, along with two different kinds of tofu/grain sausages, almond milk, and almond yogurt.

So yeah. I'm not sure how long this is going to last. But we'll see. It'll be interesting, at least.

And yeah, you might as well say it now. She moved to California, and now she's a vegan.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Oh and I've been off Diet Coke/caffeine for the past two-ish weeks. I had one yesterday at brunch because I was just REALLY craving it and I figured why not. But trying to cut it out generally.

But don't worry - I'm not going to be a preachy vegan. And I'm not going to say we can't go to restaurants together because they won't have vegan things there. I'm sure I'll still occasionally eat meat, and I'm SURE I'll still occasionally eat dairy (CHEESE I LOVE YOU DON'T LEAVE ME). And honestly, I'm not a die-hard egg fan, but I am a die-hard fan of things that are made with eggs (um, cake?). So again...we'll see.