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!

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”  If you lose today, win tomorrow. In this never-ending spirit of challenge is the heart of a victor.”  -Daisaku Ikeda

 This has been a very very long morning. I didn’t eat very well last night. I made spinach lasagna, and became so ravished while waiting for it, I ate 5 string cheese, a small bowl of sauce with cheese, about a cup and a half of ice cream (but out of the container, so it could have been more or less, and then a handful of regular cheese. Then finally, two piece of lasagna, which reaffirmed that I don’t like ricotta cheese.

Old picture. Still relevant.

I left the lasagna in the oven over night… and this morning. If it hasn’t gone bad yet, it will be by the time I get home, so its probably for the best. The only tasty part about it was the jar of sauce, and cheese on top. The noodles weren’t quite done. I was impatient. (It didn’t finish until nearly 11. I can’t eat that late. Its no bueno.)

On the bright side, I went to the gym yesterday morning and kept a 3.5-4.7 pace for 20 minutes (thats not really keeping a pace, is it?) on the elliptical, hopped on the treadmill and ran 1 minute 5 times at 4.5, and walk an additional 20 minutes at 3.0. I’m definitely ready to be a runner. Every day I wake up and all I want to do is do more.

It looks like I had a calcium attack. Everything I ate last night was dairy related, which is interesting to me. Really, I was looking for the mix of sauce and cheese, and carbs, I think. It’ll probably happen again. I’m not gonna beat myself up about it.  I wonder if that morning workout had any affect on my near fatal need for dairy that evening however. I should be better prepared for such events in the future.

Mini Road Trip!

I had a fabulous weekend. Considering that my new roommate that came in on Wednesday locked herself in her room over the weekend and is leaving for home tonight and has made my house feel super awkward since her arrival, it was fantastic.

http://maxime4009benard.piczo.com

On friday, walking home from work, there were two moose blocking my way so I called my neighbor to pick me up (I was literally just half a block but there was a sow and a calf and well… its icy and I didn’t like my chances). She pulled up, and I slipped getting in to her car. I caught myself “breakdance style” but still partially slid under her car. I thought for a moment I might have sprained my wrist.

Eating wise, Friday was not so good. I had gone out to lunch and gotten a salad. Just before dinner I had a long conversation with my roommate, trying to convince her to stay. She wasn’t having any of it. Went to Spenard Roadhouse, grabbed some alcohol and a burger with avocado and tots (which they’re FAMOUS for) then headed off to Sugar Spoon where I got a 12 oz. skinny chai latte and a slice of chocolate crumble cheese cake.

Downtown Anchorage

That meal of course is what prompted me to go to the gym on Saturday, which I left feeling awesome. I am excreting awesomeness even now. I did realize as I was walking down the stairs that my thigh hurt a bit, it took me a while to realize it was from the fall the day before. That didn’t stop me from 35 minutes on the elliptical and 20 minutes on the treadmill, 5 of which I spent RUNNING. Awesome. I can’t wait til its the whole 20 minutes! I bought some apple juice, and a protein shake and went to town on both of them once I got home. 

Then I cleaned around the house for a bit, before going to see Narnia: The Dawn Treader. I’m not really into the Narnia fandom, and haven’t seen the second one. It was in 3d and I couldn’t understand why, but other than that I really enjoyed it. For dinner I had rice and bean tacos with gaucamole. It was nice.

Sunday I did a lot of laundry, watched a couple of movies, and then finally went on a mini road trip down to Portage Glacier with my neighbor and her friend. The drive from Anchorage to Girdwood is one of the prettiest drives in the country. I become so awe-inspired every time I get to go, and I feel honored to view the majesty of Alaska. Surely there are prettier places in Alaska, but that this one is so accessible just adds to its beauty, I think.

I came home, made vegetarian stroganoff (which I couldn’t decide if it was good or not… I didn’t go back for seconds.) finished doing some laundry and hit the sack. It was exactly how a two day weekend should go. Busy, but relaxing. Fun, with a side of cleaning.  And somehow managed to lose some weight. Quite impressed!

Accidental Shepard’s Pie

 For dinner tonight, I thought I would make Shepard’s Pie, vegetarian style. As I started cooking the ingredients, one by one, I added them to the pot, until it was time to make the mashed potatoes. I reached into my cupboard for the instant flakes, just to shake the box and realize it was nearly empty. There wasn’t nearly enough to make 1 serving, let alone enough for an entire casserole dish. Lucky for me, the yams/sweet potatoes (I can never tell which is which- these had the dark skin) from thanksgiving that I forgot to make were still good so I threw them in the microwave.

This was really my first time making sweet potatoes for something that didn’t involve brown sugar so I was kind of worried how they would turn out. I also don’t think I had ever microwaved them before, so that was an experience.  Once I peeled the skins, I mashed in a two tablespoons of butter, a half cup of almond milk, salt pepper, paprika, poultry seasoning, and garlic powder. I’ve never tasted such a savory potato. So good.

I threw a bit of cheese on top (I had to restrain myself- it was so hard to not pile on three cups worth, but I did it!) and baked it for 30 minutes. I don’t know if this is how you’re supposed to make it, but its how I’m going to continue making it, that’s for sure!

Recipe:
Preheat oven to 375f
1 bag vegetarian meat crumbles
1 cup corn nibbles
1 cup peas
1 cup broccoli
1/2 cup random veggies you think would be awesome. Go ahead, and surprise yourself. Beans, maybe?
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 packet of onion soup mix
1-2 tablespoon french dressing
salt and pepper to taste

3-4 yams/sweet potatoes
2-3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika to taste.

Mix the first list, cook thoroughly, adding the cream of mushroom and soup mix towards the end. Feel free to experiment. Mash the potatoes and what not. Spread the filling into a casserole dish, top with potatoes and spread evenly. Top potatoes with cheddar or perhaps a mozzarella blend. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy. Try to keep yourself from having seconds.

Flexitarian

I loved being vegetarian back in 2003. I ate healthy(ier) all the time (most of the time…. lets be honest here.) and felt lighter and cleaner. I think that first month I lost 20 lbs without trying. Of course that stopped pretty quickly, and I wasn’t ever able to get it much lower, and eventually it creeped up again. When I moved to Alaska in 2005, I was unprepared for how erratic my emotions and my life would be come, and in the dead of winter I started eating meat, quit my job, and started smoking ciggarettes- all within 72 hours. I always swore once my life was more “settled”, I would go back to vegetarianism. I never imagined it would take nearly 6 years to get there.

My old plan for vegetarianism was this: dairy and eggs were GO; meat, gelatin, fish, or pans inwhich meat has been cooked without being cleaned were NO GO. This was held in place by my super power imaginiation. Let me take you on a journey.

It was early December, 2003. We had just celebrated Thanksgiving at my uncles house in Washington, and now I was eagerly awaiting Christmas. My mom had made steak and potatoes for dinner that night. For weeks,( I had been considering the pros and cons of vegetarianism, but I wasn’t sure if I could make the leap.) I was watching tv while eating, and as I brought another bite of steak to my lips, suddenly I was transported “tunnel vision style” to a open field of golden wheat. In the middle of the pasture there was a cow, dead and on its side. As you walked closer to the cow, you could see there was a giant hole that took up most of its stomach. In the whole, there were ants and maggots and flies everywhere, crawling in and around the giant open stinking carcass.

Behind me, I hear a rustling. I turn around, and a farmer complete with farmer tanned arms, dirty blue jean overalls, sraggily wiry hair, walks up, and spits his chewing tabacco into the cows stomach. With a pitchfork, he stabs the cow in the open wound with all the spit and bugs and rotten flesh, and pulls out a hunk of steak. That steak is the one that was currently being masticated by me.

I promptly put spit out my meal, and decided in that moment I could never eat meat again. Anytime I was tempted, I thought back to this scene and instantly had no wish to put it anywhere near me or my mouth. It worked for 3 years. True Story.

Back to Now:

So, this time, meat is off the table. I’m not going to worry about chicken broth, or meals cooked next to meat. No milk this time around. Cheese is okay, but regular cow milk is not. It makes me feel icky. Also, if I wanna eat a hamburger once every couple of months, that’s okay. If when I go out to a restaurant and I want some chicken, thats okay. Not every time. Shouldn’t be the first choice, or the only choice. Its more about listening to what my body needs and right now it needs to be free of most animal products.

Also, I Zumba’d today. 20 minutes. Not a lot, but better than nothing.