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?

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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.

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!