Thursday, August 16, 2012

Been a while, lets get back on track!

It's been a while since my last post.... I know. I'm lazy! Ugh!
I have to admit though, I've just been enjoying life for a change. Since I quit the restaurant back in April, I have been so much happier and I have had a ton of free time! It is so nice to be able to just go do whatever I want and not have to worry about slaving away   working at the restaurant. Still loving my newish job (6 months in September! Whooo!!)  I haven't been puting a whole lot of time into antiquing and repainting lately, but thats partially due to the fact that it has been so ungodly hot, and umm, I am always broke (lol). I've been nannying of a girlfriend a couple times  month which has been quite helpful but that is going to slow down here soon, and now that the weather seems to be cooling off.... (in August...weird) I'll try and pick it back up with the antiques. I was scouring craigslist yesterday and found a TON of stuff...too bad I couldn't get my hands on any of $$$ >____< oh well...  I have 2 desks that I need to get done (one is almost there) so that will help with getting me on track.

So my Kitchen & Bath Design program starts so soon!! I am getting really excited for this, and yeah, ok I'll admit it is going to suck being back in school, but, thankfully its all online (and I can do it....) and I can still keep my regualr job, plus its only a year so I'll be done next spring. This is definitely the next step for me, and seeing as a Bachelors just isn't good enough these days, getting some professional credentials under my belt will help I think. I still need to do the LEED thing, but I have plenty of time do to that, however most likely it will be after I finish this KBD program. I am definitely working towards becoming more career focused from here on out because I have to be able to find a decent job when I make that big move back to Seattle.

OKAY!! Now back to the Veggie stuff....had to get life out of the way first :)

So yeah....I feel likeI'm kind of at a stand still with the Vegan thing. I have gotten comfortable with being like half  Vegan.... I'm not going to lie, I am still working on building up my will power and sometimes I just don't have time to prepare my meals properly, or I just "couldn't be arsed"  (my new favorite saying) to deal with it. It has been a struggle for me, because no one I know personally is Vegan. My roommate respects that I am trying it, though she doesn't think it is necessary. We do meals together, and sometimes when we want to share, its just easier to eat what she is making (convenince is a killer I tell yah....) or going out to eat sometimes...ugh. It is getting difficult. Plus, I love buffalo chicken wings :( I really have to just start to try a little harder I guess. I will openly admit that I like the idea of being Vegan and I feel better when I have been sticking to it at least 50% of the time. I totally fell off the boat last weekend, and honestly I felt like crap. My body was in total mutany against me and I knew exactly why.

I just have to work on my commitment level a bit, and start looking for more recipes to try. I love my Happy Herbivore stuff...and I bought the Kindle versions of both books, but I think I need a paper copy, because honestly, a cookbook should be tangible and I like to flip through and look at all the pages. Can't really do that on a Kindle.  I love how easy Lindsay at HH makes things so easy and not weird. Yeah, I have to go to the "health food" store but thats fine. A great thing about the new HyVee here in Madison, is it has a small but bountiful "health market" which is basically a mini Whole Foods  in my opinion, and I love it. I still wanna try and check out Trader Joe's at some point, because I am sure I will be able to get a few things a little more cheapl there, and the Whole Foods is kind of a hike, which I don't mind but thats only when I need something specific.

And also, thanks to HH and Twitter I found a new blog to follow which I think will be a huuuuuge help for me, because this gal has lots of great reference material, and frankly, it sounds like we are in the same boat! Gonna have to try and have a nice chat with her one of these days (perhaps) This is the link to her blog not sure how to do the linky things -- I would definitely recomend checking it out!

So...with that all being said, I suppose it is time for me to get back to work 'eh? :) Good thing I am great at multitasking

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I haven't been keeping up with the blog lately, but you know how life gets in the way and blah blah blah. Working 2 jobs was becoming too much, and it left me little time for myself, let alone blogging and cooking. I finally quit my job at the restaurant, for many reason, one mainly to have more time for myself and to be able to prepare healthy meals. As I am still learning, its taking a little extra time for me to prepare meals.
Last night, I kind of had a break down. Converting to being vegan is SO damn hard, it really is. I think that the cutting out the meat part is totally a no brainer for me. That has been relatively simple. Its the dairy part, specifically cheese and sour cream based dips that has been the challenge. I really feel like for me to see the results that I want, I can't do this bit by bit. I want to do it all at once. I kind of feel dirty knowing that I ate cheese or pigged out on french onion dip and chips (like I did last night) or ate a frozen pizza (like I did 4 days ago).
Curbing the cravings is so hard and filling up on veggies can be hard too. I ate the crap out of some baby carrots yesterday, mainly as a snack, but they just didn't really curb my appetite for more than an hour so so. I'm trying to drink more water, but I can only handle going to the toilet every 15-20 min for so long. Last night I went to the store to get stuff to make this really yummy looking Crispy Sweet & Sour Tofu recipe and I got ticked off in the parking lot (5:30 pm grocery trips are a BAD idea in my book). Of course I was starving when I got there, and angry, so after I found all my healthy goodies, I got that pang for chips and dip. So what did I do....bought chips and dip. And cookies for work (and cookies for home). Cookies almost totally destroyed, along with the dip and chips. You can not imagine how crappy I felt after that, and so far most of today.
Tonight, I WILL go home and make that S&S Tofu, because it sounds really great. And I'll have to make sure I have something ready for tomorrow, because I have a CPR class right after work...gonna be a long day, so I need to be ready for it.

Hopefully, I will be able to beat these cravings of mine in the future, because they really suck.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I have to admit, I've been doing this yo-yo Vegan thing for almost a year now. I fell off the wagon after a week the first time around. Whoops. Now that I'm back home, I've been able to make it work a little better.
I found this incredibly helpful blog that has really made things easy for me. I still don't have the time I need or that I would like to really put 100 percent into it, however I'm also realizing that going 100% is not going to happen over night. I've made a lot of small adjustments, and so far it has been working well. I fell off the wagon for a few days because of a work pot luck, and a night drinking with friends, but I am now back on the right track!
Until I have more time to prepare meals, and figure out which things will keep ok being prepared ahead of time, I'll be sticking to Amy's Kitchen meals for a while. I'm sure most, if not all the ones I have eaten are not vegan, and that is ok for now. I'm doing my best and putting your best foot forward is what is important.

Tomorrow evening, my meal is going to be a semi experimental one, of a pizza that I have edited, from the restaurant I work at.

Truth is, I absolutely love mushrooms. We have this amazing mushroom pizza at work, but unfortunately its loaded with cheese. I decided to have a go at making this myself, but I had to prep. We use 4 different types of mushrooms, but I started with two (and I don't recall what they were). I bought them presliced, added some minced garlic, sea salt, olive oil and crushed red pepper, tossed it all together, and roasted them in the oven for about 15 min @ 425* F.

They are in the fridge now cooling, and I will be using them tomorrow. I haven't decided if I want to use a whole wheat pita or a wrap as my "crust". I also picked up some Daiya vegan mozzarella cheese. This will be my 2nd time working with vegan cheese. The first was almost a year a go when I made Mac & Cheese (from the Skinny Bitch book). I didn't really notice it because it was melted and mixed in. This is going to be a totally different experience since its going to be an actual pizza. I am excited to try this out!

I plan on hitting the gym tomorrow also after work. I got a membership to the Y almost a month ago, but due to working nearly 70 hours a week, it was virtually impossible to go. So tomorrow, I will be there, exploring what they have. Then I'll make my pizza, and share photos :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Well, it seems I got just a little side tracked! I thought I'd be off for a couple weeks at most, not 4 months! Anyways, I am back! :)

I fell off the Vegan bandwagon for a while there, for various reasons, and I am yet again working on getting back on the right track. Since my last meanderings down Vegan Lane, I have picked up some more good information and tidbits. Mainly blogs and books.

I've picked up a copy of Alicia Silverstone's ebook (for my Kindle) "The Kind Diet".  I just happened to catch the end of some tv talk show, Tyra or Oprah, I can't remember, and Alicia was on talking about her book. Initially I looked into it, and decided to wait because I was broke. I randomly popped onto one day to look at ebooks, and this book happened to be their "deal of the day" and at $2.99 I really couldn't say no. I started looking through it, and I'm a little skeptical. I need to try out some recipies and see what happens. It seems a little wacked out, but that could be due to my lack of knowledge of certain vegan staples at this point. I've also not had much of a chance to play with Kim Barnouin's book that got a while back either. So I've got a good book collection going, and I have also found some AWESOME vegan recipie blogs that I'm stoked about trolling for good food recipies :)

My bestie is also blogging about her raw/vegan adventures, so I'll be trolling her blog as well. You should too ( :)

thats all for now. gonna go troll and make a shopping list. I need to make it work. NOW.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tofurky? YES PLEASE!

Ah, so a bit has happened since my previous blathering about this becoming Vegan thing. Last night, again, I ate my feelings (ugh). But on a positive note, I worked very hard the rest of the week to eat as proper as I could.
I have since come to the conclusion that going hardcore vegan right off the bat was not quite the right way to go about this. I need to do it in baby steps so I can learn. I was actually inspired to do this slowly by the author Kim Barnouin (who also co-wrote "Skinny Bitch"). I got a nice Kindle version of her book since the Skinny Bitch era, and it was nicely put that working a Vegan day into your week and increasing them slowly will help with the transition. For me especially. I'm broke. I'm having to replace 99% of the kinds of food that I eat with this new way of thinking.

So for now, I am doing a Vegetarian/Vegan hybrid until I can fully immerse myself and understand everything there is to understand. I am doing my best to find Vegan foods, but sometimes I might pick up something that has umm, egg whites in it (like my Broccoli pancakes!) or something with some kind of cheese (like my veggie burgers). I DO feel the guilt, but I have to tell myself that it is ok, because I am still learning, and I am trying. Besides my little binge last night, I avoided meats all week. I have to say, when I was stuffing my face (out of self pity) I felt terrible. I knew I would hate myself for it in the morning (and I did).

I wrote myself a grocery list while I was bored yesterday, and today I took my happy ass to Whole Foods and shopped. I went with a $50 budget, I spent 53 and some change. Not bad :) And some of the stuff I won't need for a couple more weeks so its a win/win situation. Or, just Winning! (in the case of Charlie Sheen) Ha.

So on the list was some fake deli meat. I saw a lot of the Tofurky brand, so I figured that would be a good place to start. Unfortunately I was just a bit nervous due to my bestie telling me that Tofurky was "gross". But, I decided to try it anyways. I mean, everyone has their own sense of taste so I might as well try it. So I picked up the "peppered" flavor, because I really love me some cracked peppercorn!

The Verdict:...........

Holy OMG. I think I am in love. Peppered Tofurky is a WIN in my book! YES! MY taste buds are pleased!

I didn't have anything to put on the sandwich besides some Miracle Whip and baby greens I picked up. Can I just say, Miracle Whip is by far much tastier to me than Mayo, and its calories are so much lower. I need to find me a vegan version, or I will just have to keep eating the regular stuff.

And with that said....The journey continues

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Our First Vegan Dinner....but I kinda cheated

Alright, so tonight was the night. My roommate and I's first truly vegan meal! We did our shopping trip together on Monday night at Whole Foods, because there was no way we were going to find like 90% of the items needed to prepare this feast. I have to admit, the vegan Cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese were a little frightening. I didn't really know what to think of that, and honestly when I was preparing the meal, I did not even sample them. I'm going to save that for another day. But, I digress. I think the thing that bothered me the most about the cheese was the fact that the packaging proudly proclaimed the fact that "It Melts!" Umm, I would hope so? That is what cheese does right....?

The majority of the cheese sauce was actually pureed butternut squash and soy milk, which by the way is going to be the beginning of my own recipe creation of some squash soup. I love squash soup! And while I was pureeing the squash for the mac & cheese, it dawned on me that it could make a killer soup base! I probably won't be able to do this until next week, but I can wait.

When this dish was finally ready and out of the oven, I was looking at it and got a little frightened. I didn't know what to expect. It smelled good and it looked good, but was it going to taste good?
To give you a little idea of what it is that we ate, here is a photo :)

The recipe came from the "Skinny Bitch in the Kitch" cookbook. I have to say I absolutely loved it! It tasted great. I have to admit that my mind was trying to convince me that it was "weird" and trying to get me to not like it. I was still carrying some of the uneasy feelings about the fact that the cheese wasn't real. I know that this is just something that I am going to have to adjust myself to, but I think it is going to be more enjoyable that I thought. The one thing I did cheat on was the "wheat bread crumb topping". I forgot to grab them on our shopping trip, and honestly, I couldn't have been bothered to drive in 30 min of Chicago rush hour traffic just for bread crumbs, so I just used saltines instead. Yes, they were not organic or probably even vegan, but like I said before, this is a process, and a slow one at that.

On a side note, I did mention in a previous blog about that "weird situation" that I had a couple years back. It was involving a vegan, who did not inform me of their vegan ways until after I moved in. Hey thanks guy. Needless to say, that only lasted 3 months. The dude was just weird to begin with and the whole thing made me uncomfortable. But luckily there was no lease involved and I was free to go whenever I wished. But seriously the food this guy ate....WTF? It was pretty gross in my opinion, but then again I do not like beets. I think this dude really needs to get a new cookbook or something because if he ever wanted to try and get people to be vegan, they better not see the crap he was eating. Hell, maybe he was not the type of person that likes food for its flavor, but just as a source of sustenance. Either way that dude needs a clue. I would have never thought that I would become a vegan, especially with that weirdo experience. But anyways, first vegan din-din was a total success!

Facing My Fears

They say that on the road to recovery, the first step is to admit you have a problem.


I love food. I love junk food. LOVE it. I'm pretty sure I have problems with portion control. I will eat mindlessly - eg. reading a book while eating, watching tv or a movie while eating, eating because I am bored, eating because I am angry or upset; you get the idea.

I happened to stumble across a website, something like Food Addicts Annoymous, and I started to read it, and I realized that I was fitting into a lot of the symptoms. I will list the ones I found most relevant to ME:

-Do you think you cannot control your intake of food, especially junk food or high sugar foods? (Yes)
- Have you tried different diets or weight loss programs, but none has worked permanently? (Yes)
-Do you find yourself feeling depressed, hopeless, sad or ashamed about your eating or your weight? (Absolutely YES)
-Do you find yourself eating when you are upset or reward yourself with food when you do something good? (Yes about upset, on occasion as a reward)
-Do you eat in private so no one will see you? (ALL the time. I HIDE. I feel shame in what I am eating)
-Do you avoid social interactions because you feel you do not look good enough or do not have the proper fitting clothes to wear? (I don't avoid situations, but I do feel the other effects)

 I could go on and on about this. Actually writing this down and facing it is kind of making me feel a little sad but at the same time, its making me feel like I want to go out and get my favorite treat of Sweet & Spicy Chili Doritos and a tub of sour cream. Then I will proceed to hide in my room and stuff my face! :( I will not! I am actually whipping up my first Vegan meal tonight and I am excited.

Also, I kind of finished off the carrot cake bars.....whoops. That shouldn't have happened, but I was bored. I need to find a way to curb that, but I'm not sure how. How do I stop eating when I'm bored?! UGH!

Anyways, so there you have it. I'm a little bit of a food addict. Now that I have admited I have a problem, and I have made it public, what is next?