Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 4 Continued and Day 5

Yesterday after lunch I was feeling really tired and took a nap.. when I woke up it was dinner time and I just wanted something really SIMPLE. Sometimes after a lot of complicated food a nice bowl of rice or something similar is nice and easy on the bod. I woke up pretty hungry and didn't want to make 50 minutes to make rice so I had some toast instead with buttery goodness- earth balance buttery spread. Seriously this stuff is so yummy and I *almost* feel like I'm eating something really naughty when I use it on something. Later on I made some vegan peanut butter cups from The Kind Diet book... This is something I have made many times and can consistently make WELL. haha. Its a crowd pleaser! Everyone I have made it for has absolutely died over it. Reeses peanut butter cups can not hold a flame to these! They are rich and sooo decedent! My fiance wanted me to make him some for the week (Yes! Can u believe it!? Requesting vegan food!!!) so he actually went and bought the supplies and all I had to do was put it all together. I of coarse couldn't help myself and had a couple too :)

Day 5
Almost at the one week mark. Today I woke up feeling really energized and decided to go for a run.... On the treadmill. I'm not crazy. I did a little over 3 miles. After running I had the BEST organic grapefruit EVER. I drizzled the top of agave nectar (Similar to honey. sweeter then sugar so you only need a little bit. 100% natural it comes from a plant. 100% vegan unlike honey.) I also had a small side of tofu hash that I made the day before. Its pretty much ground up tofu, seasonings and herbs, and lots of veggies.. I made it with green pepper, onions, tomatoes, olives, and peas. Once its almost mixed up you could easily mistake it for scrambled eggs with veggies. Tofu is a great choice for protein because it undergoes much less processing then other protein vegan fare (Like soy "chicken" pattys and other meat substitutes). For lunch I was out and about and running right on time. I stopped in chipolte and got some chips and guac to get me by :) yum! Chipolte is one of my new fav restaurants since going vegan because almost everything is organic and if you are going to eat meat you can feel better about it knowing that their meat is from free range farms where the animals are treated more humanely. You can learn more about the company in Food Inc. or by reading their mission on their website. If you are going to eat fast food- this is one of the best choices out there HANDS DOWN.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Yummy Weekend!

Finally got to the grocery store.. $86 at whole foods.. but I got a lot of staples that will last me a long time like umeboshi vinegar. Yeah, read on.

Day 2
Breakfast consisted of Ezekiel bread with peanut butter again because I'm obsessed and love peanut butter and could pretty much eat it all day long. haha. So glad that is not off limits anymore. I attempted to make my organic coffee howeverrr I, like an idiot, left the silk creamer OUT the day before! ug! Bad news bears. After leaving for work without my appointment book (This is what happens when I don't get my coffee in the morning!) I stopped at starbucks for a tall soy pumpkin spice (the one in hc still has the flavor!!) latte. I didn't plan too well for the day as far as finding time to eat but then a client surprised me with a slice of vegan chocolate mousse pie and LUNCH WAS SERVED! haha. The dessert was absolutely delicious.. not my usual 'lunch' but it was perfect timing on this day when I didnt have a chance to even nook something in between clients. After work, it was dinner time so my fiance and I went out for sushi. I am completely obsessed with sushi. A former addict of the spicy crab roll I have now switched to avocado, sweet potato, carrot and cucumber, etc. I also loveeee miso soup and its totally vegan thank goodness so I had that too. I have no alcohol tolerance so I ended up drinking 1/2 of a glass of wine and feeling like I shouldn't operate heavy machinery before my fiance finished the other half in..well..3 seconds. Me+ Alcohol are just not best buddies. More like acquaintances that get along well in small doses. I pretty much went home and went to bed right after that.. well after eating a SMALL ! Yes small! Vegan cupcake. Not the most healthy vegan day with the TWO desserts.. I should probably limited to one a day :/ Oh well- my 3rd day is better!

Day 3
Surprise, Surprise the morning consisted of Ezekiel toast and peanut butter. Still haven't purchased a new creamer but at work I did have some chocolate almond milk in my refrid so I mixed a bit of that with the coffee from the lobby. Not bad! I'm turning into quite the barista! I only had a half day so I came home for lunch and had a chicken soy patty open faced sandwich (one soy patty, one piece of Ezekiel) and a big slab of hummus on top! yum! Later that afternoon I went to whole foods with my fiance and we found our early mini dinner in the hot bar! WE LOVEEEEE Mediterranean platters and they had all the stuff to make one... felafel's balls (if you haven't tried yet, you must!) hummus, cute little mini pitas, a cucumber relish (WITH WHEAT BERRIES!! WHAT A GREAT IDEAAA!) and a yogurt dill dip (which he ate but I of coarse passed on) We made our platter and ate it when we got home from the store. Sooo good! We also order this platter a lot at Juniper 61 Here is what our platter from Whole Foods looked like (minus the yogurt dip haha)
This was taken with my camera phone so not sure how good it shows up but yummm this was so good. We ate this at like 4pm and then started to make dinner. I convinced my fiance to make dinner from my favvvv vegan book The Kind Diet We also had a bet on how much it would cost to make the dinner since we pretty much had NOTHING and had to buy all the ingredients. We did the whole dinner for around 40 bucks (less then going out to eat) plusss it fed 3 people and my fiance and I both packed Tupperware of it for lunch during the week. Divide that many meals by 40 and it not so much. He estimated it would cost much more so I wont the bet..and by winning he has to make a vegan dinner with me AGAIN next weekend :) He is a BIG meat eater..your typical guy.. but it meant sooo much to me that he was willing to make this dinner with me especially when it involved ingredients he was non familiar with. But guess what? He really liked it!! Have I converted him to a vegan? Absolutely not. But could I see us making this again. Absolutely. Here is a photo of our dinner (again, cam phone til I get something better to take photos with!!)
Its pecan crusted seitan with rustic pasta. What is seitan!? Well, its kind of like tofu in that it takes on the flavor of whatever you marinade it in, etc. but it is extremely close to the texture of meat. You can make it takes like chicken or ground it up like hamburger..wheatever. Its extremely versatile and it has a TON of protein. I can almost guarantee you could throw it in a dish and people wouldn't ask what it was and would just except that it was some kind of meat. The dish was probably the best one I have ever was just sooo yummy. We put the seitan on top of Rustic Pasta, also from the kind diet book. I didn't think it would be as good as it was! Even my fiance said he liked the pasta the best! We used whole wheat angel hair pasta which works really nicely with the dish since it has a nutty flavor. The "Sauce" was made by combining onions, celery, CABBAGE (yes it sounds weird- my fiance LOVED it- he wanted more cabbage in it!) garlic, olive oil and its sauted on the stove top. Then you add 5 TBS of marinara.. again I thought this was weird. Its just for some soft tomato flavor..but its NOT going to turn it into a tomato SAUCE.. then you throw in the cook pasta and mix it all up and the setain goes on top. This is just a cliffs note of the recipe- you can google for it or better yet BUY THE BOOK!! Its awesome and you wont regret it! We had a late dinner- 8pm or so and then we each had our dessert that we bought from whole foods- his wasn't vegan but I managed to find a vegan oatmeal cookie there so I thought WHY NOT! and bought it. IT WAS AWESOME! I enjoyed in with a small class of almond milk. Yum! I forgot how good oatmeal cookies are :)

Day 4
And that brings us to today.. day 4. This morning I decided to change things up a bit and had some oatmeal with a drizzle of 100% maple syrup. Its more expensive then the kind I grew up putting on my pancakes but its worth it because its totally natural.. no sugar or weirdness added. Whole foods "365" Brand has a great organic one I use- its about $10 for a glass container of it but it should last you quite awhile unless you are making a dessert that calls for a lot of it. Maple syrup is a great replacement for white sugar and you can also buy a maple sugar which is just maple syrup in crystallized form.. make sure to check ingredients. This can be pricey too.. about $13 for a cylinder but again its natural, unprocessed, and should last you a long time.

For lunch, I couldn't help myself- I pulled out the left overs from last night..maybe about 3/4 cup of pasta and a small chunk of the seitan on top. Its JUST as good reheated. I will definitely be making this again!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Myth Busters

There are many myths about being vegan..or should I say misunderstandings. I KNOW because up until a year ago I knew practically nothing about veganism. I read The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone and everything changed for me. I highlyyy recomend this book. Out of all the books I have read on the subject- and TRUST ME its a lottt- this is by far the easiest read. Alicia talks to you like you guys are best girl pals and totally non judgemental and understandings to the pitfalls one might face when trying out the vegan life style. Would I tell Alicia that I have been strictly vegan for 350/365 days a year- ABSOLUTELY. I wouldnt feel like I have to lie about it or be ashamed becuase she admits herself in the book that she has fallen off the wagon too. The thing I discovered and that she writes about in the books is that after you do go off you feel like "why did I do that?" and not in a self loathing way but in a "that was silly. It wasnt even worth it" way. It seems weird to think about.. When I thought of giving up icecream I thought my life would be over. I used to eat icecream EVERY night. Yes, Every Night. I would almost always do the light/low fat/gelato/skinny cow/ versions to keep it part of a lower cal plan, but nonetheless it was an every night affair that I wasnt sure I was ready to give up. In the last year I have probably had less then a pint of icecream total...when I was going through a TUB or MORE of it every WEEK before. And guess what? I dont even miss it! And when I do crave it (extremely rare) I have found an awesome vegan version. Its called Good Karma and its an icecream made from rice milk. The carot cake is my absolute favorite and it has chunks of real carot cake IN the mix! This moreeeee then does the trick for the craving. Infact its right up there with some of the hagen daaz splurges I used to have.

The misconception I plan on tackleing in the next couple weeks involves weight loss. Its one of the number one questions I get asked about! (next to- Where do you get your protein?) There are 2 misconceptions on both sides of the spectrum and I plan on disproving both of them.

1> Becoming vegan will make you GAIN weight! Pasta, Bread, CARBS CARBS CARBS... No lean protein like chicken or tuna.. its a recipe for disaster.

Why This Isn't The Case: Trust me, I was worried about this at first too. As someone who used to use the Atkins Diet to drop inches before a modeling gig or a vacation, the thought of eating rice, pasta, etc. on a regular basis scared the crap out of me. But the yo yo dieting up and down the scale buisness that would result from starting and ending the Atkins diet made me willing to try something else. More about this in a bit....

2> Of coarse you lose weight going vegan- all you eat is vegetables and fruit! What else is there? There is no variety and it's so limiting.

Why This Isn't the Case: I can honestly say that I have tried more NEW foods and branched out MORE since I have gone vegan then I did when I ate meat and diary. I felt like my whole life consisted of coming up with new ways to make a chicken breast! Now I get to enjoy foods that used to be "off limits" like PEANUT BUTTER, AVOCADOS, and even CUPCAKES! Yes I know it sounds crazy- and I was skeptical too- but I eat more of the foods I like now and try so many new foods like whole wheat pasta with grapeseed oil and herbs, LENTILS, Hummus, Juiced Fruits and Veggies, almond butter, kale, swiss chard, sweets made with maple sugar and brown rice syrup, even seaweed! (One day at a time.. don't get too uneasy!) It was actually quite a fun process trying new things and making new recipes. Going vegan opens up a whole new world of foods and trying to spice up that dead bird becomes a challenge of the past.

Since going vegan almost a year ago my weight has stayed within 3 pounds every time that I step on the scale..that is about a 1.5 pounds in in either direction. On no other 'diet' has this ever occurred. I have completely stabilized and I literally do not count a single calorie or carb anymore. I eat what I want and I dont gain weight! I havent been able eat that way in years.. everything was about how many calories I had left for the day. For me, this journey has been absolutely liberating and has given me an amazing sense of freedom. If I could see Alicia herself in person I would just give her the biggest hug- probably sob like a baby- and thank her so much for writing this book. Its changed my life.

NOW- I'll stop the mushy stuff- I've decided to challenge myself a little bit. Like I said, I pretty much eat whatever I want to maintain my weight. To lose is just as easy- be a little more conscience of what you eat and add a little working out and the pounds will melt off. With spring coming up and some trips Ive had planned I would like to lose some weight anyways so I'm going to start with a small goal- 5 pounds- and record the journey of losing them so disprove the misconception of gaining weight or not being able to lose weight on a vegan diet. At the same time I will disprove that you have no variety on a vegan diet and only eat fruit and veggies! I weighed in this morning and will weigh in a week from now and record the results:)

9:30 am (yeahhh I slept in) : 1 piece of Ezekiel Toast (a bread with no four but instead made of sprouts, millet, and lots of other good the frozen section at sendiks) with peanut butter... Melty goodness. + a big cup of organic coffee (Rainforest Blend from Sendiks) with 1/2 cup of pumpkin spice soymilk (made by Silk, also at sendiks)

---super busy at work so didn't get a chance to eat til afternoon---
3:30- Amy's Organic (available at sendiks) Rice Noodle Mac and Cheeze. YUMOOOO! This mac has been called "heavenly" by my non vegan friend. The 'cheese' in it is made mostly from tapioca but makes the most amazing creamy cheesy sauce. You would never know by looking at it that it wasn't real cheese... creamy, stringy, amazing goodness. Make sure when you look for this that you find the rice noodle one.. the others are only vegetarian and not vegan. Let me also say this stuff isn't low in cals.. but that's the great thing is you don't have to obsess over those freakin things anymore and you will still lose weight.

--more work!----

8:00pm- Vegan Cupcake! Made them yesterday. If you want to make the best vegan cupcakes ever you NEED to buy the book "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World" , It will change your life :) The one I ate today I call "Breakfast In Bed".. it tastes like the most amazing butter and syrup covered Belgian waffle you could ever dream of.

8:30- Arrived Home. Need to go grocery shopping. Out of everything!! Ended up eating a bowl of corn with Earth Balance Butter (soy- non dairy- tastes JUST like regular cow butter) sea salt and pepper... still hungry.. made a bowl of organic cinnamon applesauce.. will have to get you the brand because it could quite possibly be the best applesauce I ever had. YUM.

This weekend I'm off to whole foods to stock up! This week I will be making veg chili and tempeh sloppy joes! (more on tempeh in the blog about the 'joes once I make them)

I'm super excited to track everything and try these new recipes! I promise my dinners this week will be more exciting then corn and applesauce but I had to make do tonight! ;)


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I haven't blogged in awhile but the Oprah show was to air a Vegan episode yesterday and it got me all fired up again and wanting to talk to people about vegan ism. I was SO excited to hear that she was going to be going vegan for a week, along with almost 300of her staffers. I think it is SO COOL that that many people were willing to try what may seem like an "extreme" new diet. I think its SO COOL that they were OPEN TO IT! That also tells me that there are a lot of people out there who are maybe not feeling their best and are looking for a change that could make them feel better...that even if there was a CHANCE that a vegan diet could 1. give them more energy 2. help them lose weight 3. make their skin GLOW that they would be willing to give it a shot.


... What is not cool is that no one in Wisconsin got the chance to watch this episode. Good old mother nature dumped down a shit ton of snow and the residents of the beer, cheese, & meat state missed their opportunity to hear about if this worked for them!!

I personally wrote to the Oprah show today after searching endlessly on the web for the episode. You can view CLIPS of the show HERE: ...and can I say I LOVE lisa ling! I just think everything she covers is fascinating..maybe its her voice.. or the way she acts questions.. but I just love her!!

In this clip they compare giving up fast food to an alcoholic giving up alcohol... ITS ADDICTIVE.
Here Kathy Freston helps a newbie vegan create a meal for her family. Isn't Kathy amazingly gorgeous. YES THAT IS A GLOW MY FRIEND!

In my letter to Oprah I encouraged them to air the episode again its its entirety. I imagine that this episode is going to get a lot of media buzz. Veganism is becoming a trend. Its popularity is soaring and the word is spreading.

I am approaching my almost 1 year mark that I decided to go vegan. Have I cheated at all in that 1 year. Of coarse. Not on any meat or fish but I have had dairy on occasion. Being vegan is not about being perfect. Ive said it before and I'll say it again. But if out of 365 days I have been Vegan 350 days..then that is a HUGE improvement from where I was and that is a lot of dairy and meat that I havent purchased.. and therefore a lot of companies that lost my dollars. Every time you purchase things in the grocery store or every time you order at a restaurant you are VOTING. If you think about it that way then you can feel good knowing that you are making a difference. Even if you just adopt a meatless monday.. over the coarse of a year..or five years..thats a lot of Mondays! Start small like Oprah and her crew did and just SEE how you feel.. give it a week. Give it a few days. A few meals. Why not try it and see how you feel? Make some new recipes. Try Juicing. The process can actually be fun and invigorating!!

Ive decided to start blogging again. It will help me keep on track..continuing to make healthy choices and continuing to answer questions people may have etc. THere are so many misconceptions out there. A year ago I never even knew exactly what veganism was and now I have read enough books on it for fill a library and have had a gazillion conversations about it with people who are curious ;)

Stay Tuned.. and if Oprah Re-Airs and I dont let you know PLEASE LET ME KNOW!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lots and Lots of Updates

Updates In No Particular Order:

1. I have started Juicing.
For my birthday I was given a juicer- which I have wanted for sooo long! I dont know why but I didnt open it up right away. I think I was ehhh im not really sure how to do this. I know I WANT to try it but I'm confused on what to mix and how much to make and blahblahblah and finally i was like this is redic! Im taking this thing out and Im making some juice! OMGGG. It is amazing!!! I now use it almost EVERY morning. In the book skinny bitch (see update #2) it says the best thing to start your day with if fruit bc its the easier for your bod to digest. When I juice I use a couple kinda of fruits (mangos are my fav and then I use either blueberries, strawberries, a pear, or an apple) and I throw in a TON of greens.. spinach, kale, swiss chard,etc.) The amazing thing is all you taste is the fruit! Its SO GOOD! Im gonna branch out more too but adding diff veggies but for now the mango blueberry is my fav :)

2. I read the book Skinny Bitch.
Heres my quick review: It basically told you everything the book The Kind Diet tells you except way bitchier. Im already vegan (which the book says is the way to become skinny) so a lot of it was stuff I already knew. Im glad I read The Kind Diet first bc Alicia talks to you like a fellow girlfriend and the authors of Skinny Bitch talk to you like a pathetic fat ass. The only thing I really took from it was the idea of eating fruit in the morning first thing. In The Kind Diet Alicia touched on factory farming and the horrible treatment of the animals on 99% of the farms these days but she did so in a way in which you could continue reading through the section...In Skinny Bitch they go into such grotesque detail I had to skip over the part about the factory farming. I get it- its a horrible industry that I do not want to support. Thats part of the reason Im vegan. I think 80% of people who have read SB had to skip through that part too making it pointless to even touch on it. They talk about extreme cases leading the readers to think "that's just so extreme that it probably only happens on rare occasions". In other books I have read when they talk about factory farming they talk about the EVERY DAY things that go on- although horrible, not as extreme. (Cutting off the birds beaks with a hot blade, disposing of male chicks they don't need, and leaving animals in tight confined spaces)I think this is enough for most people to understand how horrible factory farming is. In conclusion, if you are thinking about becoming vegan or learning more about it go read The Kind Diet. If you are already vegan, eat a piece of fruit in the morning and save $14.95.

3. I went hiking for the first time today!
Im trying to get back into working out more. I used to run 5 miles a day! Right now Im up to almost 3 and a half but its more like every other day or on 2 days off a day. The treadmill gets boring so I decided to take a friend up on an offer to go hiking. I really liked it! We did 3 miles and it includes some steeper hills and rougher tarain! We are doing it again next week so at least once a week I think I'll be doing this. We'll see! Heres a photo I took on the trail :)

4. My new favorite dinner
Awhile back I found this AWESOME vegan meatballs. Being vegan I have to especially watch my carbs because so much vegan food has carbs. Sometimes I would eat the vegan meatballs with just some spaghetti sauce over them but go noodle-less. THEN, I found a recipe that used spaghetti squash instead of pasta and my new fav food was born! Its super easy too. Just bake the squash and scoop out the insides with a fork when its done cooking. It scrapes out like angel hair pasta! It doenst have much flavor so it takes on the flavor of whatever sauce you put on! I use Muir Glen organic sauce (every kind I have tried is SO good!) and I use Nates Zesty Italian meatless meatballs. Heres a pic:

5. I found the best vegan cheese

Its called "tease" and they just started carrying it at Whole Foods! I bought the cheddar and the mozzarella. The cheddar is GREAT for macaroni because it comes out like Velveeta and once you add a little salt its the closest you are ever gonna get to that yellowy comfort food! I haven't tried the motz yet but Im sure that's good too. Follow Your Heart also makes a good motz. Heres a pic of my mac and 'tease': I used whole wheat pasta - of coarse- and it was awesome.

6. I'm loving Amys Organic foods
My favs now include Lentil Soup, Low Fat Veg and Barley Soup, Veggie Loaf frozen entree, and I'm still in love with the cheese-less pizza which subs caramelized onions for the cheese. YUM!

7. I took a cooking class at Cafe Manna
So fun! I went with a friend and we learned how to make 4 things- guacamole walnut potato skins, sweet potato cakes, pumpkin gnocchi, and Carmel apple fudge. It was so fun and we sat with some really nice women. We got to try everything too. They do one a month and its totally work the $40. Check out their website for info on upcoming classes

8. I had a birthday party and served vegan food
I had my bday this month and at my party there was vegan and non vegan food. I didn't label it but lets just say there are some vegan lovers in my group of friends and they prob don't even know it :) I'll have pics of the food posted soon. The sweet potato phyllo cups were my absolute fav! A massive amount of earth balance and veganaise was also consumed :)

Thats all for now...more recipes and pics soon! :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

a salad you will crave

Salads. Im either in salad mode or out of salad mode. I either want them every day OR I refuse to order them or eat them at all. Lately I have been CRAVING and EATING a ton of salads. The one I made today was especially amazing! Its arugula, mandarine oranges and walnuts with my newest fav salad dressing- Asian Ginger Plum by Wild Tree. Over the top I stacked strips of soy chicken which is just a soy breaded chicken patty that I cut up. Heres the thing with soy 'meat' products- If it tastes the same (or at least similar), does not harm any animals or support factory farming ie the abuse of animals, and is less fat, colesteral,etc then real meat WHY WOULD YOU NOT EAT IT INSTEAD!? :)

Its a SIMPLE easy change that you can make that will not only make you healthier but will also be a kind decision for the animals. If you are not veg/vegan yet this is a great way to transition into it OR even just to say "hey on mondays (or whatever day) im not going to eat meat. I'll replace all my meats with soy meat products." Even one day a week can make such a huge difference. The average american eats 98 animals per year. Every day you take away from that takes away from the number of animals and from the dollars that support factory farming. Remember, 99 percent of all of our animal food now comes from factory farms. When we buy/consume this food we are supporting their mission. Thats why I say even a day, even ONE MEAL, makes a difference. For some people going all veg/vegan is not something they want to do but giving it up for one meal/day/couple days a week is something I think everyone could do :) THink about :) :)

OHHH && HERE ARE SOME PIGLETS :) They almost look like little pink puppies all toppled onto eachother. They were at the state fair and were sooo cute.. unfortunetly we can all pretty much guess where they will be headed :( They will most likely have about 4 months of life.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mock Tuna Sandwich

I used to love tuna salad sandwiches but now that I am vegan I have given up all fish. One thing I remember about tuna though was that its taste varied from sandwich to sandwich sometimes tasting fishy enough that I couldnt eat it. With this sandwich you can get that same tuna flavor but in what is an even more DELICIOUS way b/c this sandwich is crunchy! The mock tuna mix I got from Whole Foods in Milwaukee. Its main ingredient is chopped almonds followed by celery, onions, dill, kelp granules (to give it a more seafood flavor but I didnt taste it much), and other seasonings. I added a little veganaise to the mixture and made an open face sandwich with it using a slice of whole wheat bread, topped with arugula leaves, and then the mixture. SO GOOD and the crunch is amazing! :)