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?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Breakfast of Champions!!


Yes, it is a giant beer glass. NO, there is no alcohol in this wonderful breakfast smoothie! (Oh how I wish I could get away with a few shots of rum in it tho!) I just don't have a glass big enough to contain this smoothie of epic proportions ;)

This is pretty much the smoothie I have always made for myself (when I was in the mood). I made one small adjustment to it however, and that is going with Soy yogurt instead of regular dairy. I have to admit, I was a little nervous about even  trying the soy yogurt. I opened the container, and it was a light tan color.....ummm, what? I thought yogurt was bright bleached white?? Not this kind!!

I tried a little bit of it, and you know, its not that bad! Its a little tangy at first but it pretty much tastes like normal yogurt. I have to say the calories are quite a bit higher, but I am alright with that. I just used a vegan dairy free soy yogurt which is probably 100% more healthy for me anyways. This whole "low fat" "fat free" thing to me is a load of bull. Don't forget, we do need fat in our diets, just not at the rate that we Americans typically like to stuff into our faces. (YES I am one of them, but not for long).

I don't really have a recipe for this, I just eyeball it. I used equal parts of yogurt and orange juice (not from concentrate!) one whole banana, and a bunch of frozen fruit. I love pineapple so I always use gratuitous amounts, and strawberry. Today, I used frozen and a few fresh ones that Samantha (my roommate) picked up over the weekend. I have some mango and orange fruit that I picked up last night, and I'm thinking I should probably prep and freeze them for my Thursday and Friday smoothies. Tomorrow, I am having Broccoli Pancakes!

Here is where I am going to bend the rules a little.

I am honestly slowly easing my way into this "Vegan" lifestyle. It's a huge change for me, the girl who loves a nice Medium Rare steak every now and then. Honestly though, I am right on board with cutting out the dairy from my diet, because honestly its awful for you (but that isn't want the dairy industry wants you to believe!) I've noticed that when I do not consume dairy products for a while, and then I decided to have a big ass bowl of cereal, that the next day its kind of unpleasant for me. I've never had lactose intolerance problems but I believe that they are slowly manifesting in me because I don't typically eat a lot of dairy to begin with and an adult body doesn't really need it anyways. So basically, dairy is out the door for me.

Eggs. Oh eggs. Now this is where I am bending the rules a little. I don't necessarily love eggs to the point of never ever giving them up. I do find that they help satisfy my hunger, and for a fairly decent amount of time. I can say that I am not going to go out and buy some tomorrow, but I am also not going to turn my nose up just yet at a product that may happen to have eggs in it. Hence, my broccoli pancakes that I am having for breakfast tomorrow. They have eggs in them, but that is the only "naughty" thing that I "shouldn't" be eating. So for now, I will try to avoid eggs, but like I said no snobbery here just yet.

And one last thing regarding things I will not give up.


That's right. I'm sticking to my guns on this one. Honey is here to stay. So all you really crazy vegans who think I may be blaspheming the vegan community by making this statement, go find a rock and kick it. I am totally on board with no meat and dairy thing, especially because of the animal cruelty issues, I do have to say how in the hell does a bee fit into this? I'm pretty sure you can't torture a bee. I'm pretty sure that you can't force a bee into bee slave labor. Bees want to make honey!!! That's just what they do! If bee farmers are bad people for giving the bees a place to make their honey where it keep them safe and happy, who cares?!!

Ugh, this reminds me of the weirdo vegan living situation I found myself in a while back. But, I guess I have to save that for later.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The thoughts racing in my head

Last night on my two and a half hour drive back from Madison, I had a lot going on in my mind. I really was upset about work (what's new), I was thinking about all the things I have to do this week, and most importantly I was thinking about shopping to stock up my cabinets for new food items. I then realized as I got a little closer to Chicago, that I honestly had not eaten much. We got some breakfast pre-meal, and I just didn't really eat anything after that. I just wasn't that hungry. Meh, whatever.

So by the time I hit the suburbs, I was really starting to get hungry, and guess what popped into my head? "Damn Gina, I want some chicken nuggets! OH! And a fish sandwich!"

Now of course, I tried to talk myself out of it, but in the end, I caved in. I got my Chicken Nuggets and my Fish Sandwich. I stuffed the fish into my face while I was driving the last 15 minutes to home. The nuggets I saved for when I got home. Damn that fish was good (damn you probably just gained a pound from eating it!).

Well, I came home and was pretty exhausted, so I got into bed, ate my chicken nuggets and started reading my copy of "Skinny Bitch" while stuffing my face full of McDonald's at 11:45 p.m.

Did you know that a good 98% of the clothes I have in my closet in various boxes and bags, I can not wear? Do you know how sad and unacceptable that is? It's terrible. It's a classic case of "holding onto your clothes because you are going to lose the weight to fit into them again" syndrome. No, no, no, no, no. This has to stop. Hell, I even have done some Goodwill shopping with my friend Kelly, and found something I liked, bought it and told myself "Oh you can just lose weight and be able to wear this". BULLSHIT. It's a lie that I will tell myself forever if I do not act now and change this.

I am going to be 30 in just shy of a month. I have never been thin at any point in my life. Chunky at best, but right now I feel like a cow. I admit, most people have a hard time guessing my weight, because of my height (it helps hide it) But, I don't want to have to hide it. I don't want to have anything to hide. There was a point in my life when I was about 30-40 pounds from the weight I want to be. How did I get to that point? A lot of reasons, and only  one I am proud of. I feel like I have been cheated out of a lot of things in life, because of my weight struggles. I remember one night at the end of a party during my raver days, a girl came up to me and told me that I have a really pretty face, but I could be a lot prettier if I just lost some weight. A total stranger!!!! Well, okay bitch, thanks?? She then proceeded to inform me that my outfit didn't match. Since when does it matter at a rave if your outfit doesn't match. Ugh, either way, that memory has been burned into my mind and will stay with me for a long time.

So where do I go from here? I need to face my fears. I need to admit to my problem(s). I am fully ready to confront this demon, to be humble enough to publicly admit my failures and my fears and do something about it. It's all part of this healing process.

I am ready.

The Beginning

A few years ago, well more like 6, I heard about this book "Skinny Bitch". Yay, one more diet fad to come along and try to suck everyone in. Well, not exactly. I picked up my copy at some point during my 5 year stint in Seattle, and was not really sure what to make of what I read. I felt slightly offended, and a little like I was being bullied. I thought about the words that I had been assaulted with made a very halfhearted attempt at this crazy lifestyle change and quickly forgot about it. Later on as a birthday gift I was given the next phase of the book, "Skinny Bitch in the Kitch". I was pretty excited about it, and then pretty much forgot about it the next week.

About a month ago, in preparation for my move, my (now previous) roommate had handed me both of my books. I didn't even remember loaning them to her! Whoops! Ever since they returned to my possession, I never put them away. They have always been somewhere that I could see them, always in my line of sight. There has been this little whisper in the back of mind since my books have been released from their closet prison, telling me that now is the time! I have to admit, the first time I read "Skinny Bitch" I felt like I was being herded, and having an opinion and lifestyle forced upon me. I do not like being pushed around (by a book no less) which is part of the reason why I gave up in the past.

I have been thinking a lot lately. I have been thinking about making this lifestyle change more than I ever thought I could. I've been thinking about how I want to approach everything I do with this journey. I think it might be slightly cliche, but yeah, I'm going to blog about it. I feel like it will be a sort of therapy. I'm not going to hold anything back. I'm going to be honest, open and blunt. I will have my funny moments and my serious moments. I will probably want to give up, hell I might not even make a post for a couple weeks (however that is something I want to avoid). The point of this is to hopefully provide me some motivation, but also to rant, rave and bitch about the new foods I will be exploring. I've even got my roommate Samantha on board with this which is pretty cool. If we are both eating the same kind of foods, it will be easier to stick to. So here's to the beginning of this crazy journey.

Hope you can bear with me, and maybe even learn something new from it.