Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Last Meal

Well, kind of my last meal. Remember how this vegan thing was going to be 3 weeks long? I’m going to make it a two week deal. I have a few reasons why. So, please, before you go” A-HA! YOU COULDN’T DO IT!” please see my reasons below.

#1 The 21 day part of this cleanse came from Oprah. I never really knew the significance behind the 21 days, I was just listening to Oprah.

#2 Eating vegan somewhat goes against my journey into “clean eating.” Now, you definitely can eat clean as a vegan, but it is more of a challenge. Clean eating is eating as close to the earth as possible, with as little processing done to the foods as possible. Like I said, plenty of vegans do that, but for me, an omnivore and proud of it, I’m finding myself veering towards the more processed foods.

#3 I’ve definitely got the idea of what this cleanse is all about. I won’t go too much into details, but I will say I’ve become more regular than I already was (3 times a day regular!).

So, all those little reasons to say, today was my last full day being vegan. It was a really great two weeks…a lot more in tune with my body, what goes into my body and what causes certain reactions of my body. I will definitely continue to eat as little food that comes from animals, and of course my kitchen is stocked for a vegan for the next few weeks. Actually, I will most likely continue to eat vegan for the foreseeable future, however I know I won’t feel guilt if I slip.

For the last vegan day, it was pretty delish. I had a banana and peanut butter on Ezekiel bread for breakfast, a delicious tofurkey wrap, complete with vegannaise, vegan “cheese”, avocado, water chestnuts and romaine. Mmmm it was delicious. I also made some homemade pita chips AND homemade hummus. Ahhhh heaven. Dinner was a baked potato with a dash of garlic and olive oil, and a salad with veggie chicken. Mmm. I plan on enjoying some Rice Dream ice cream here in a bit, too.

It was a great two weeks, but I’m officially off the cleanse. Stay tuned for the next part of this journey…the definition of clean eating and how I do with THAT. Woo wee, could be a doozie! :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

vegan slacking

OK, I know I am 9 days (minus 2 meals) into this vegan thing...and I am SLACKING! I'm about halfway and can tell you this...I MISS CHEESE!

The first few days I wasn't able to cook in my own kitchen, so while I was eating vegan, I wasn't really cooking vegan. That changed last night. I finally went out and gathered the ingredients for a real meal, PLUS finally did the big shopping to replace some things in my pantry. I would have loved to have done this BEFORE I started the cleanse, but time and money made that impossible. It isn't like it costs a lot to do all of this, but for some of my recipes, I had to stock up on the staples. For example, replacing honey with agave nectar, or meats and cheeses with tofu and other soy pretenders.

So, that spring roll recipe I posted a few days ago? Yeah, I made those last night. Welllllllllll, actually, I made an egg roll version. I couldn't find rice paper ANYWHERE, so I bought egg roll wrappers and had to end up cooking the rolls. Which, ended up working DELICIOUSLY! Instead of putting avocado IN the roll, I made an avocado-vegainaise dip for the rolls. MMMMM. So good. And I ate them again for lunch today. :) I did not get a picture because it didn't turn out pretty...but if I attempt them again and make them prettier, I totally will...

On the menu tonight? VEGAN PIZZA! You know what this means? CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE! Well, pretend cheese. That is OK with me...I sampled tastes pretty much the same. I whipped up some homemade pizza sauce, threw on some red, green, and yellow peppers..and viola! It's baking as I speak! :)

As far as feeling different with this whole vegan cleanse...I'm not quite sure. I can tell I'm less bloated, but still eating some packaged food, so that is where I fall short. I am, however, visiting the restroom at least twice, sometimes 3, times a day. That's as best as I can say that. :) I am definitely not drinking enough water and working on fixing that.

I haven't been working out (ack!) but I did lose 3 pounds since I started this cleanse. That is exciting. Part of my problem is being home all day and not working...and that will be changing soon, that is great! I was initially going to post my weight on here as a motivation for me to um, ahem, not be that ridiculously fat...but I chickened out. I took a small step towards that and shared the number with a close girlfriend...but sorry blog probably won't know that number until I lose some poundage. In the meantime, I'll just have Jen hold me accountable. :) I can at least tell you how much I'm losing...

I am still struggling with wanting sweets alllllllll the time. I've bought some vegan-friendly stuff...and losing the self-discipline battle. If anyone out there in blogland has suggestions for self-discipline with food, that would be helpful...thank you. :)

Oh look, dinner is ready....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

1 down, 2 to go...

After one week of a vegan diet, I’m about to quit it all for some CHEESE! Just this morning I was jonesing for dairy…but, I CAN DO THIS.

I must be honest. I have not been vegan 100%. In the past week, out of 21 meals and about a dozen snacks, I’ve been 94% vegan (I did the math). I went out for some friends’ birthdays at Benihana. I contemplated ordering a vegan dish, but really…who goes to Benihana and has their meal prepared in the kitchen? So with that meal, and a sushi dinner the following night (yeah, I almost went with the vegan rolls, but I didn’t….so what? ) So in this one week, 94% accuracy…that’s a passing grade! Woot!

And just FYI…I will be partaking in a fondue night this upcoming Saturday. It’s been on the calendar for months and I shall not miss my first time to fondue!

All that to say…it really hasn’t been THAT challenging to eat vegan. Once I stocked my kitchen with the appropriate food and reintroduce myself to a little activity called cooking, it’s been cake. Well, not actual cake. HA! I definitely slacked with sharing what I’ve been eating, but you’d get tired of reading peanut butter and jelly, hummus, rice, stir fry, etc. I’m going to actually cook some full meals now that said kitchen is stocked.

I want this space to not only be inspiring to others, but helpful, too. Now only will I have guest bloggers occasionally, but once in awhile I’d like to share winning recipes. Today’s recipe that I am trying…spring rolls! I had no idea Ellen DeGeneres was vegan…but she shared this recipe on her show and I think I can do this!

Spring Rolls

2 oz dry black bean spaghetti or buckwheat soba noodles cooked according to package. Drained and reserved.

½ cup cilantro, loosely packed and roughly chopped
½ cup scallions, thinly sliced
10 basil leaves, chiffonade or minced if necessary
20 mint leaves, chiffonade or minced if necessary
½ cup purple or regular carrot, grated
¾ cup cabbage, thinly sliced
½ cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced, about 2" long
½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced, about 2" long
½ yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced, about 2" long

Toss above ingredients together in a bowl and reserve.

1 firm avocado, halved and pit removed
1 package spring roll wrappers


Find an undamaged sheet of rice paper and dip it into warm water for about 15 seconds or until the sheet is pliable.

Place the sheet onto a wooden cutting board or large ceramic plate. Place about one ounce of filling onto the rice paper, off-center, closest to you.

Using a spoon, scoop out a ¼-inch thick wedge of avocado and set it onto the filling.

Pull the bottom of the rice paper over the top of the filling then fold both sides over toward the center (like a burrito).

Gently pulling toward you, roll the spring roll up toward the top.

Cut spring rolls in half and serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce

The juice of 1 lemon, 1 lime, and 2 tangerines
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
¼ tsp minced raw garlic
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
¾ cup reduced sodium soy sauce

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and reserve cold

Yields about 15+ spring rolls

Read more:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day 3, part 2

OK, someday I will lead a normal life again, able to cook more than I am right now...but in case you are wondering what I ate the rest of the day...ta da...:

Breakfast recap-oatmeal
Lunch-hummus and veggies
Snack-smoked almonds and dried fruit
Dinner-baked potato with a drizzle of olive oil and garlic, and a cup of apple sauce and cinnamon

I'm. So. Full.

Vegan-Day 3

Well, I haven't killed anyone yet. Whew. I'm actually not STARVING, like some diets I've tried. I hesitate to use the word diet, as I've been very clear that this is a temporary cleanse. However, regardless, I'm not starving.

I didn't feel well yesterday, so yet again, I didn't have a ridiculously off day when it came to food. I had hummus and pita chips for lunch and a cup of rice and apple slices for dinner. I still need to get my pantry better stocked. So far today I've had oatmeal. Aye, but the day is young.

I spent some time researching becoming Vegan yesterday. While I should have done more of that BEFORE this whole circus began, it certainly doesn't hurt to learn while I go. And I tell ya what, Google can find you some great stuff. Of course I won't be vegan-greedy...I will share!

I Googled "vegan tips and tricks" and found loads of blogs. One site is kind of a pet site of Peta. I Can't Believe It's Vegan is really about stumbling across food that is vegan-friendly on accident. This will MOST definitely help me when I hit the grocery. HOWEVER, some stuff shared goes against the practice of "clean eating," which is what I plan to do post-Vegan. (Don't worry, if you don't know what clean eating is, I'll explain more later--just think food that is good for you, processed little to none, and doesn't leave much of a footprint on the environment.) Still, this site is a great reference...especially for snacks and some brands. Check it out!

I hope to dazzle you with a special menu tomorrow; something you can be proud of! :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 1

Ok, like, I’m going to be, like, totally like Cher from Clueless and like, tell you everything I ate today.

Ha. I can’t even take myself like that. I do, however, want to share with you the food I ate. The vegan cleanse started today. It will only last 21 days, but I think it will be a nice introduction to a different food lifestyle.

Breakfast: Larabar (cinnamon bun…it was OK) and a spoonful of almond butter

Lunch: side salad and fruit cup from Chick-Fil-A and half a Larabar (cocoa mole-ew)

Snack: hummus and veggies, fruit chiller (ice, fruit, juice-not sure if the juice was 100% vegan, but I’m sure I’ll make other mistakes!)

Dinner: homemade pop corn and another spoonful of almond butter

Now, that is not what I will be eating every day. Today was kind of a different day…out and about shopping and then I had to do something quick for dinner. I hope in the future to share better recipes that are balanced.

I’m completely exhausted, but I am charged thinking about getting all Betty Crocker on my vegan butt tomorrow. :-)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Ugly, The Bad and The Good

OK, let’s just go ahead and put the cards on the table. I’m the token fat girl within all of my groups of friends. Don’t do any of those fake gasps, this isn’t news to me and it shouldn’t be news to you. Anyway, with this title comes…resentment. Yes, I believe that is the best word to describe this situation. I don’t have a healthy diet, and for the most part of my 27 years, have not really worried about what I ate. There were times that I said, ‘OK Kelly, this is outta hand, time to get it together. ‘ But, that didn’t ever last long (God willing, with this blog, I can fix that and get healthy, fat girl forever or not.). While I throw food caution to the wind, my friends and family around me have always been on the quest for healthy eating. So much so, to the point of my resentment. I would think inwardly, “Gosh, I’m fat and happy, and they are OBSESSED. They can’t really be that happy” or “JUST STOP TALKING ABOUT FOOD ALL THE TIME!” I would get sick of my sister or some of my friends just going on and on about calories, fat, intake, carbs, weight, pant size, etc, etc, etc. Sometimes I would join the conversation, especially if I was on a health kick. Other times I would wonder what they thought of me. I was obviously the one of the group who should give a dang, but I would be the one gleefully ordering a burger and fries. I would catch myself wondering if inside their minds they were thinking that I needed a salad. I mean, we all have our inner thoughts, but girls can be ruthless sometimes, thoughts expressed or not.

Well. Turns out there are a few kinds of food obsession. I might have made them up myself, but they are still completely legit. Swear. Instead of going from good to bad, I will go from bad to good…just to shake things up. Before we go any further, I want to give you an explicit definition of what it means to be obsessed:


v. ob·sessed, ob·sess·ing, ob·sess·es

To preoccupy the mind of excessively.

The Ugly

This would be the extremes of being obsessed with food…and in either direction, really. First and foremost, those with eating disorders. I’ve had friends that have struggled with anorexia and bulimia. Man, THAT is self discipline, for sure. However, on the other end of the spectrum are those over eaters. I would fit in here. Either these people are always obsessed with where their next meal is coming from (sad to say that’s been me before) or get caught up in eating and just eat to eat and eat because something tastes good (again, me). Either way, over or under eating…UGLY. And not just physically…but the mentality.

The Bad

This was hard for me to define. Middle ground is always less exciting, eh? I came to the conclusion, with the negative connotation of the word ‘bad,’ that a bad food obsession would be those who may be obsessed with others’ food intake in a negative way. That’s just mean, read BAD. I would love some input from you if you have any thoughts on BAD food obsessions.

The Good

OK, that’s what this blog is all about: the GOOD food obsession. I’ve realized over the last few months as my heart has been preparing for this, that a certain amount of obsession is needed to lead a healthy lifestyle. You need to know what you are putting in your body, but not so much so that you are a caloric calculator. Attention must be paid for a balanced diet. However, I want to be careful so I don’t become “that girl” and move into the ugly realm again. Everything is good in moderation. Food and obsessions. : -)

All that to say, this is my disclaimer for the next 21 days: I’m about to attempt a vegan lifestyle. I apologize for any food-heavy chatter. But thank you in advance for supporting my newest obsession.

Discussion: Feel free to post some comments on healthy food obsessed habits! Or maybe share how you have been obsessed with food.