Guest Posts Needed! Open Call

It has occurred to me that during my awesome amazing trip to Hawaii, I probably won’t want to blog very much. I’ll be taking pictures, and drinking mai tais, hiking up to waterfalls, kayaking… and walking my first half marathon. Blogging about it will of course always be on mind, but actually blogging itself, will probably be last on my list f things to do.

That said, I’m looking for a couple of guest bloggers to pop on over, say something inspirational or share a recipe, or be snarky and witty or a combination of all those things, or something else entirely. I’m looking for at least 4 posts during September 14th- 21st.

Topics can include:

  • Why running in the heat sucks
  • Tisket a-tasket: Are there really baskets?
  • Green Eggs and Blue cheese: I don’t know where I’m going with this
  • Your Success Story
  • Your Favorite Vacation
  • Planning and achieving your goals
  • Finding motivation when you’re scared to move forward
  • What you know now, you wish you had know 10/15/20/30 years ago (depending on your age, of course… and how long it took you to learn that particular lesson)
  • How NSV’s helped you achieved SV’s
  • What do you eat/drink on vacation? Do you let yourself go or do you stay on plan? (secret: I’m planning on letting myself go!)

If you’d like to make a contribution, email me at lilyfluffbottom@yahoo.com, or leave a comment with your email address so we can work something out.

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Run For Good 5k 2011

The Run for good 5k on Saturday was a lesson in discipline. These last few weeks have had me slacked off and scared to achieving success through exercise. On Friday  the day before the race I went to happy hour.

And got drunk.

The next morning I did not awake bright eyed and bushy tailed. There was nothing I could bribe myself out of bed with, just the knowledge I had spent 17 dollars I didn’t really have to attend a race i didn’t really want to go to. Before the last minute arrived, I called a cab and made my way to the start line.

I did not research the course. If I had, I probably would not have gone. It was 2 laps of 1.5 miles around downtown. I used all my energy (mind you, I was already running on empty) for the first lap. When I realized I had to make a second lap I wondered if I should just stop and go home instead.

I didn’t. I kept pluggin’ along. I tried making a game out of the songs that played. I would walk one song, run one song. It varied a bit, but I think its safe to say I jogged at least half of the race. The sun was out, and bearing down on my face, and every step felt like lifting dead weights, not to mention I was starving… and hungover. Finally the finish line appeared and I sucked up every last ounce of muster I had and ran through it.

47:57. I’m getting better all the time.

They had a pretty sweet (if small) expo after and I snagged as much fruit as I could hold in my hands, and promptly devoured it. A lady walked up to me and offered me congratulations and said something I never thought anyone would say: “I tried so hard to keep up with you, but I just couldn’t, there at the end. Good job!”

Run for Good, indeed.

Run For Good 5k

website

 The last race I completed was the Alaska Run for Women Five Miler… I think. Either way, I wasn’t really planning on doing one the month of July… that is until I saw Groupon offering half off registration costs. The only thing that really bothers me about this is: I really want to register online but it won’t accept either of the numbers issued on the Groupon Coupon (ha! it rhymes… I wonder if they did that on purpose) and it makes me nervous to do same day race registration. But that’s what the Groupon Coupon tells me to do, so that’s what I’ll do. I guess.

I figure doing this 5k will be a good thing to see where I’m at, if I’ve improved any, or if I need to start working out harder. I’ve been kind of slacking the last two weeks, not going to lie. I’ve made some serious improvements in my ability to run outside… I just don’t do it enough. Whats enough, anyway? Maybe I’m just psyching myself out.

*The Groupon Link is a referral code for me. I apparently receives monies if people buy through that link. I can’t imagine a world where that happens.

Keeping Vegan

After completing w5d2 of c25k

My second weekend as a card carrying vegan went pretty well. I ate a lot of cereal and soy milk for breakfast. One day for lunch I had a delicious veggie sandwich with roasted red pepper hummus. On Saturday, I made this pretty awesome Veggie Tofu Pot Pie. The orginal recipe calls for things like red carrots, and sweet potatoes. I live in alaska. We don’t have things like that. We do have organic vegetables, so I figured that was a good start.

In the parts where the recipe calls for sweet potato in the mix, I used two small red potatoes and roasted them at the same time as the rest of the vegetables. I forgot the liquid for the tofu, so I spilled some Alaska Summer beer in the pan about 10 minutes after I put the cubes in the oven (same time as the other vegetables; different pan) and mixed it around a bit. It worked well enough.

For the dough, it calls for roasted pumpkin seeds and more sweet potato. I replaced the seeds with slivered almonds, and threw in a small Yukon Gold potato that I mashed with some agave syrup. I don’t think it worked out nearly as well as the sweet potato would have, but upon tasting it, I nearly forgot. It was savory and delicious. I was a little worried when I pulled it out of the oven because it smelled quite wheaty.

Sunday night I got it into my head that I would make pizza for dinner, and then realized that I had no yeast. I looked up a no yeast pizza dough, but couldn’t find much in the way of good results. But I tried one anyway. Instead of making it a vegetable pizza, I decided to go with cinnamon sticks. Very early in the process, I made two large errors:

1) I put the “butter” on before baking.
2) I put the cinnamon sugar mix on the butter before baking as well.

I also added a bit of sugar to the crust make it taste more “desertty”, and two tsps nooch for the nutritional quality. Gotta get that protein where I can, right?

It turned out quite cardboardy and healthy tasting. I then spend then next hour trying to figure out how to make a chocolate frosting without powdered sugar, because nothing says NOT HEALTHY like chocolate frosting.

I couldn’t.

So I went to the store and bought some, and the frosting turned out to taste quite good. Unfortunately I believe there was some fiber in those bars because my stomach was begging for me to call it a night.

All in all, being vegan isn’t nearly as difficult as I’d assume it’d be. I’ve said no to all sorts of random unhealthy delicious items because they all generally include milk. Its been kind of life changing. Think of all the calories I’ve said no to, simply because they don’t fit within my diet?

What I am noticing however, is I’m looking for all sorts of ways to include those extra calories back into my regular choices of food… thus the chocolate frosting. I’m not as hungry as I was last week, so thats good. I think I just needed the adjustment.

BBQ tempeh wings- YUM

I’ve made two forays into tofu and both times I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much I didn’t detest it. I’m still not ready to say I like it, but not hating it on contact is a pretty good start. I’ve even tried tempeh for the first time, To learn it is quite delicious and will highly recommend that you DO NOT eat the entire 8 oz. block yourself. Especially before Harry Potter.

This week I’d like to make a concerted effort to eat the kelp noodles I bought. They scare me because they’re clear, they’re referred to as kelp, and even though the package states they have a neutral flavor, did I mention they’re made of KELP?

Have you ventured into the realm of kelp noodles? Any ideas as to what the heck I should do with them?

Getting hit by a truck!

I woke up this morning- okay. Let me rephrase that. I tried to wake up this morning, but felt as though I’d been hit by a truck. It caused me to be an hour late to work, which would have been fine (I mean, not really) except that I was the only one coming into the office before noon. In affect, my office couldn’t open on time because I couldn’t get there on time.

It wasn’t until nearly noon when I realized I hadn’t had any coffee, and remedied that immediately.

For breakfast I had a bowl of kashi go lean crunch (the only cereal I had left!) and some soy milk with a banana. Lunch consisted of Spicy Black Bean Poop Soup (cause it looks like poop!) with some triscuits. I snacked on a chocolate chip larabar about an hour ago.

And now, time for shopping! I’m running out of food in my house, and being able to prepare proper meals makes sticking to my guns a lot easier. Today’s shopping list includes:

  • Fruit
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cereal
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Bananas
  • Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Olive Oil
  • Soy Milk
  • Raw Cashews
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Tofu

I think for my weekend meals I’m going to test drive this really awesome vegetable tofu pot pie recipe I found. If it turns out as awesome as it looks, I’ll be making it for next weeks lunches and/or dinners as well. Things like this tend to refrigerate well, so I’m hoping it’ll cut down on my need for stopping by the store every night and picking up a $4 avocado (because they’re huge, but also because its just a really expensive grocery store!)

Also, my cats are out of food.

Has it been a week yet?

At some point in the near past, I announce my switch to veganism for a month. I feel like its been forever since that announcement, but I believe it has actually only been one week.

So far, its been pretty awesome. I’ve had some issues stabilizing my bloodsugar (I go from ‘hungry’ to ‘dying of hunger’ pretty quickly) but its also been really nice to be spending so much time back in my kitchen. I love cooking. I love eating. Its a win/win for me… until it becomes unhealthy that is.

I’ve done some amazing things this week; I ate tofu for the first time (since the last time!) and actually liked it! I’ve made my own almond milk. Several recipes I’ve tried have turned out fantastic*. Kale chips are my new go-to snack.

Unfortunately I’ve been so excited to eat my food, I haven’t photographed any of it. The one meal I did manage ( quinoa pasta with nooch tomato sauce) was just a useless cellphone picture.

I’ll try to be better in the future.

Today I made an executive decision: instead of changing my work schedule for a day to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two – the Midnight Showing, I’d decided to keep my schedule the same so I can work out in the morning. The movie will still be there this weekend.

If you’re interested in incorporating some vegan meals into your diet, I highly recommend the beautiful food porn website, www.findingvegan.com.  Seriously, awesome stuff.

*I was going to upload a picture of some amazing chocolate pancakes I made with homemade strawberry syrup (that was maybe 300 calories all together- omg, so amazing!) but alas, the picture will not upload. Perhaps another day.

My Beginnings

Growing up, all I wanted to was to get out of Oregon. I grew up just outside of Portland. First in Tigard, then moved to Sherwood, followed by Tualatin just a few short years later. Each move was a cathartic release from the pressures of being me, but also left me even more isolated than the move before it. For a long long time, it was just me and my mom.

Me and my mom, Summer 2010

When I was 18, I enrolled myself into a womens college in Virgina. With $25 in my pocket, I took a 4 day train ride to a state I’d never been in, to a school I’d never seen, with no place to stay that first night (as far as I knew) and learned just how self sufficient I could be. I only attended for one year.

I spent the following summer in Colorado Springs with my cousin and uncle. That was a lesson in tyrannical depression. I fought valiantly to return to my school, even without any support from my family but ultimately, when I found out my best friend who was stationed in Anchorage Alaska, became pregnant it seemed only logical to move up there and help out with the baby.

A month after I moved up to Alaska, we had a falling out and we haven’t spoken since.

The Sleeping Lady, 2011

Alaska is the place where I found myself, where everything started making sense. I often talk about leaving here, but it finds a way to get under your skin. My friends are here, the family I’ve created for myself is here. I’ve found my niche.

I enjoy traveling. This year I went to Ohio for a friends wedding, and last year I visited Oregon and my mother- we drove down to California and back up the hwy 101. I visited my cousin in Colorado just before she went off and got pregnant and married, and my grandfather just before he passed. In a few months I’ll be heading to Hawaii for the first time, doing my first two races outside of Alaska.

Vegan Month day 3

Every single morning I wake up and crave food, I instantly start chanting internally “I’m vegan now, I’m vegan now, vegan vegan vegan. No dairy, no eggs, no meat, no *gulp* cheese. No animal by products. Must be aware. Be aware. I’m vegan now, I’m vegan now.” 

Not going to lie, its kind of been a struggle. I keep asking myself, “Okay, I can’t eat that, what do I eat?” And come up with blanks.

Luckily there is this amazing website called finding-vegan.com which is like a RSS feed of vegan recipes online, in picture form. It is simply the most amazing website I’ve stumbled upon (quite literally- I love stumbleupon.com!) since icanhazcheezburger.com.

Iz ok..  we're Veeganz.

Lunch is Thai Kitchen: Thai Peanut Rice Noodles and sauce. I hope it tides me over til tonight. I’m making cornfritters for dinner/tomorrows breakfast.

I usually buy coffee and a pastry on fridays as my “reward” for making it through the week, and for making it to work so early (its the only day I work 9-5). Until I become more comfortable in my veganism, all bets are off, so no more coffee shop stops for me.

Tomorrow night I’m going to figure out what to do with my tempeh for dinner.           

Struggling with Mindful Eating

When I started this blog, I had no real weight loss goals; I still don’t. The idea was to eat mindfully, and just be aware of what was actually being consumed.

Through the progression of my blog, I’ve calmed down on taking pictures, and documenting everything. I’ve started and stopped counting calories numerous times. I’ve stopped really mindfully eating.

What I mean is, when I first started, I would sit around, wait until I got hungry, and then eat. I would make sure the screen was off, the picture was taken, and I checked in to see just how hungry I was. Half way through my meal I checked in again.

I don’t really do that anymore.

It was effective: I slowed my roll on binging almost immediately. Sometimes it was really difficult to figure out why I was trying to find something to eat when I could clearly tell I wasn’t hungry. But the biggest thing that happened was, I would allow myself to become so hungry I thought I would pass out before I was able to remedy it.

Then slowly the screens stayed on while I was eating. The checking in didn’t happen because my general eating habit stayed “relatively the same”, it was routine to eat the same 4 items every day. It became mindless again.

So, where am I at now?

Eating Mindfully helped get me back on track, and in touch with myself. Its been a great tool to help put me back on even footing when it comes to eating. However, if I were being honest with myself and my blog, I have a number in the back of my head that I want to get to, and maybe one or two lower than that. If I were being honest, I don’t believe eating mindfully is going to get me there; at least not on its own.

If I don’t want to count points or calories or making silly rules about when and where I can eat certain food groups (because, lets be honest: I tried that too and have failed miserably at it) then what am I left with? How do I get to where I want to go?

To be honest, I don’t really want to change. Or I do, but not from what I’ve said I’m going to do, but actually be consistent in doing what I’ve said I’m going to do. I need constant urging “this is why you do what you do”.twit

The punishment for reverting to old ways is staying fat and getting fatter. Plain and simple.

I want to move forward and try something new. Some new, and short term, just to prove I can. (can you see where I’m going with this?) Based on the way I feel physically when I don’t drink milk, or consume dairy products, I’ve decided starting on July 5th, to eat the vegan way for at least one month.

Yesterday, (the 5th) I had watermelon and black bean tacos with avocado salsa, and then a bowl of special k red berries and chocolate soy milk.  For this month, I’m going to try to get back into photographing food, and blogging it.

Today I’ve had a left over taco and kale chips. It’ll be interesting to see how my body adjusts. Wish me luck!