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?

How to " " in " " days!

I hate those. You know the ones. The “How to lose 10 lbs in two weeks*” or “I lost 25 lbs in 12 weeks*!”

source; plz dont click. You’ll hate yourself later.

*Results vary because we paid and photoshopped these people. But srsly, it WORKS!

They’re so… uninspiring, and yet I always think, “Well, if they can, why can’t I?”

I make up some crazy plan in my head to do the same thing. I pick a day to start and then the next thing I know, I’m eating a carton of ice cream.

Wait, what? That wasn’t in the plan!

Ads, commercials like that always make me feel so lousy about myself. Its hard to explain to people why I never watch TV (like I’m the weird one) but its because we are bombarded with these images on a minute by minute basis.

I want the easy way out of this body I’ve created for myself, but I know it took a lot of effort to get here, and its going to take a lot of effort to get out of here. I’ve finally made that commitment, a true commitment, no matter how many restarts, or setbacks, upsets, or long hauls. One day I’m going to wake up and realize I achieved what I set out to do: lose weight and get healthy. If it takes 10 days or 1000, it will happen.

My plan, the rules, my goals… they’re all the same thing ultimately. They’re going to help lead me down my path of health and weight loss.

Setting smaller goals like:

  • Drinking enough water
  • Eating salad for a week
  • Tracking my calorie intake
  • Lifting weights three days a week

These are a lesson in discipline. I can’t tell you how much I hate making salad at home. I don’t mind eating it, but making it just kills me every time. Tracking my calories sometimes is easier than others. The more I do it, the more little changes like these I make to my everyday life, the easier its going to be to make healthy decisions in the future.

The rules including:

  • Photograph everything
  • No eating in front of moving pictures
  • Be aware of serving sizes and stick to them
  • Find an exercise program and do it (in this case, c25k)

These are a lesson in accountability. I still do all of these things on some level because sometimes I need a little extra accountability. When I started this over a year ago, I had no idea what I was eating, or how much. I wasn’t exercising. I was making decisions based on whether or not I wanted to climb my stairs. That’s what incapable looked like to me, what it felt like. I never wanted to be the person who couldn’t get upstairs in her own house, but I was well on my way.

Me; Whittier, Alaska 2011

My plan is to be healthy, to be capable, and to succeed in reaching my goals, whether they’re completing c25k by August, eating salad every night for a week, or shopping in the all the other stores at the mall.

I have never declared what weight goal I’m trying to attain, nor what size clothing I’ll be happy in once I get there, for a reason. I just want to feel happy and normal in my own skin- to be able to run like the wind, to say, “hey, I want to climb that mountain over there!” and then actually be able to do it. Whether I’m 240 when that happens or 130 or anything in between, as long as I’m living my life to the fullest, then I’ve succeeded.


lI am super excited that it is Friday, and I have a three day weekend. While I don’t have much in the way of plans, what I DO have is a new attempt to get back on track. Solstice is a pretty big deal up in Alaska, as some parts of it actually have a full 24 hours of daylight, so I’m hoping to enjoy some of those festivities tomorrow. I think Anchorage pans out at about 20 hours of light or so, but it never actually gets “dark” those other four hours. More of a twilight blue sky. It has definitely made sleeping the last couple of weeks nearly impossible. Sunday I’m hoping to talk one of my friends with a car in to going to the Whittier Tunnel for the March of Dimes walk. The March of Dimes is having a Fun Walk through the tunnel, and with Whittier being on the other side, I just have to go. Its beautiful there.

Next week I’m going to start it off by renewing my early gym experiences and challenging myself to go even earlier than I used to so I can spend more time there. Hopefully I’ll also be able to convince my supervisor that I need to change my Monday schedule to come in later so I can go to the gym in the morning. What I’ve learned about myself these last two weeks is: If I don’t do it first thing in the morning, its not going to happen. In that, I am a product of my Mother.

I have less than 90 days before I go to Hawaii. A lot can happen in three months, and I intend to make the most of it.
My goals for the next three months:

  • Be more proactive at tracking my food, and trying to stay within a calorie budget being accountable about it.
  • Work myself up to two-a-days because I really want to be the kind of person who does two-a-days.
  • FINISH C25k training, and rock it!
  • Remain uninjured
  • Stop eating out, thus saving ALL of my money since that’s ALL I spend my money on these days.
  • Feel Awesome.

Weekly Goals


I thought to help keep myself on track a little better, I’d make a list of weekly goals. I’m usually pretty good about obtaining short term goals, so we’ll wee how this goes. Its important not to overwhelm myself, but if I can stick to a few general ideas, then I think it’ll be a success.

The goals this week are (drumroll please!):

  • Complete week 5 of c25k 
  • Get in at least one session of weights at the gym
  • Eat salad for dinner every night
  • Walk home from work every night
  • Use my brand new Polar ft4 during each workout
  • Track my food intake

I just realized my schedule is going to be a little off than usual because the film festival is starting to warm up again, and I’ll be programming for a second year. The meetings start this week, and pretty soon I’ll be knee deep in documentaries. I’m going to have to create a fabulous new workout program I can do while watching all these documentaries. I can’t be sitting around all summer! I’m going to Hawaii in September!


Roommate Drama Averted- And Other Things

A little update on the roommate drama: Saruman has since spoken to the landlord, and has calmed down about the whole situation. Saruman just needs to not ever get anxious about anything ever again, and we’ll be fine, methinks. (Like that’ll happen!)


Yesterday I resumed my regularly scheduled gym workout, and redid w3d3 of c25k. I feel very confident that I am ready to move up to week four, which involves running for 5 minutes and walking for half the time. The only thing I’m really worried about is how high my heart rate creeps up, because I just don’t know whats considered normal. I mean, they have those little guides for you on the sides of the machine, but… cookie cutter numbers can’t always be one size fits all, right? Or maybe they can. Anyway, I think today after work I’m going to just go ahead and buy a heart monitor.

 I can feel myself getting scared. Hawaii is sneaking up quicker and quicker each day. I don’t feel anywhere near ready as of today to complete a half marathon. I guess I just feel like I should be further along than I am at this point. Perhaps even though I am very much enjoying the process, and this journey that I’m on, I see little changes everyday, I am still really caught up in the “finale”, aka Hawaii. I’m afraid September is going to arrive and I’m still going to be where I’m at today; kind of able to jog, but only on a treadmill underneath a fan, for 5 minutes at a time. I also think part of it is I’m not really “tracking” my food intake right now, and when that happens it feels like cheating which brings on malaise which turns into anxiety about totally controllable things, such as how much and how well I exercise and whether I’ll be ready or not.

And since this post is kind of all over the place cause I’m ADD like that, I would like to share this post by Monika Runs: 26 Reasons I love Marathons. I have not run or walked a marathon yet, but have participated in several 5k’s recently and I have to say all of these things hold true for me. I stumbled upon her blog looking for the tripping hazard picture. I think I am going to read a little more thoroughly now.

W3D2 C25K

This morning, I got up, slowly, and with less enthusiasm than I’m previously accustom to these days, hastily stretched my body and booked it to the bus, with 2 minutes to spare. I walked my away across the giant mall parking lot, and into the gym. I hopped on the the very last (or very first, depending which way you’re counting) in the row elliptical, and did a random set for 10 minutes. Usually, I do the Cardio option, but I wanted to mix it up a little.

After I finished the elliptical, I moved on to the row of treadmills and hopped on one of those. I started Week3 Day 2 of c25k, and just went for it. In the beginning, and then again towards the end, my lower back/hip on the left side started feeling a little pinchy. I’ve never had a pain there before and since it happened when I was walking, not jogging, I figured it was just a bit of alignment being thrown off. I sure hope its not anything too serious. I stretched when I got home, and I feel fine now. But I think at this point I really do need to take days off from the program in between days. Usually I do this same routine every Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday. From now on, I’m going to give myself a break in between days. I’ll still be going to the gym, but on Wednesdays I’m going to do the circuit training instead.

So it shall be written, so it shall be done.

Friend Makin’ Monday

I saw this little meme on All the Weigh, a blog I started following recently and decided to participate, because… why not?  

FMM: Everyday Things

1) What is your favorite part of an average day? 
  I really enjoy my walks around the block to get me out of my office and give me a chance to decompress. Sitting at my desk for 8 hours a day really gets tedious after a while.

2) Is there one food that you eat every single day? 
  Water. Okay, thats not food. There are several different foods I could eat all day everyday, such as avocados, cashews and chocolate milk. I don’t however because they inhibit my ability to eat mindfully.

3) Are you an early bird, or do you prefer to sleep in late? 
  I’m kind of in between. I prefer waking up early and having an early start, but I don’t actually like it. If I sleep in I feel as though my whole day is gone.

4) Share one thing that you’re looking forward to doing this week.
  Hmm… I’m looking forward to redoing w2 of c25k with my new breathing techniques to see if it makes it any easier. I was searching through my blog last night and realized I never advanced beyond week 2, so I’d love to be able to accomplish that.

5) What’s for dinner this evening? 
  Chili! I made it last night and haven’t had a chance to actually it yet! I did taste it yesterday however, and it was delectable. A post for that, coming soon!

I hope you all have a good week!

My Blog

I changed the header and color scheme of my blog tonight, and I must say I think it looks quite pretty. I love the brown and pink and cream color scheme. Its my favorite. My room is that scheme too.

I also updated my “about me page” (the link  can be found just below my header) with links that update new readers about my varied journey thus far. It was very interesting to me to see how many times I “started over” this last year. I think I never counted it as starting over before that implies giving up. I never gave up, I just gave in. Or maybe I didn’t report as much progress as I should have. But mostly I think I just had a really hard year, and every step backward taught me something new about myself. Lessons I am now taking with me and truly learning from. I went to the gym 5 days this week. It was all I could do to keep myself from working out today,. I’m addicted to the endorphin rush.Though I will be honest, I haven’t weighed myself the last couple of days. I’m just so happy to be out of the 300’s!

I also think a lack of some blogging is due to twittering. its a lot easier to write about small successes as they happen then sit down and write a whole post about it.

Today I made banana bread and chili. Its actually chilling’ in my crock pot because I haven’t had time to let it do anything other than cook. I was going to share my pictures of making chili with you, but my phone hasn’t uploaded the picture yet.

I think I found some good pointers for controlling my breathing while running, so I’m going to put those into effect this week repeating w2 of c25k, and see if I will be ready to run 3 minutes next week. Cross your fingers!

Todays lunch

I made Quinoa Puttenesca for lunch today. This recipe was modified from Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes… it included capers. I don’t know what they are, and to be perfectly honest, I intend living the rest of my life without discovering their nature. I replaced them with feta.

It also called for white wine which I didn’t have on hand so I replaced that with vegetable broth. It’s quite tasty. I like the contrast of the quinoa with the olives and cheese. It was a nice change from regular pasta. I do love me some kalamata olives, and this was my first time actually cooking with them. Its been a long time since I’ve had quinoa and I forgot how much I enjoy the nuttiness and the crunchiness. Like little globes popping in your mouth with every bite.

I was in quite the rush today. I went to the gym this morning, after waking up and dreading the idea of getting out of bed. It was a great experience! I finished W2D1 of c25k. I also did 15 minutes on the elliptical cause I love that thing. Though, there was this lunk there that hopped on the treadmill between me and some other dude, even though there were plenty others available, and then kept looking at our progress and making faces. He would just stare until I looked over at him. It was frustrating because I was doing awesome! I kept my heart rate in check and didn’t give up even when I was running out of time to catch the bus, and this guy is going to pass judgment on me for what? His own damn ego? I’mma throw a stick on his treadmill next time!

So I’ve got about 4 more hours of work left before I go home, and my body is deliciously sore, and my tummy deliciously sated. All and all its been a pretty good day. Going to hit it hard tomorrow, and then Friday is my friends birthday. We’re going to the museum and I don’t know what else but it should be a good long day!

Aaaannd, I’m back!

So last week was a week of misery. I was sick. I don’t go to docotors unless I’m already dead so I can’t tell you what I was sick with, but I have it cornered off and mushed under lots of OTC’s so hopefully it will forfeit and I can go back to my regularly scheduled c25k.

Monday of course I will not be working out, due to a full day or work and school. Tuesday on the other hand, I can absolutely see myself heading off to the gym first thing in the morning. Depending on how I feel, I’ll keep the workout short. I don’t want to wear myself out before I’m 100% again. Though this begs the question, do I do the elliptical, or the c25k? Usually I do both. Perhaps I’ll throw a new machine in to mix it up. I did just get some new music which I’m very excited about.

On friday (and possibly thursday night) I’ll be celebrating my friend’s birthday, so I defintely want to get in as many workouts as possible this week. Who knows what kind of food and drinks I’ll be tempted into consuming.

So considering that I took all of last week off, and allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted regardless of my rules, I actually managed to lose .8 pounds, putting my current weight as of this morning at 297. I finally broke back into the 200’s!

I can’t wait to start moving again. This being sick thing is a lame. Do you have any goals for this week?