Pita

February 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Yeah, so I cheated.

I went grocery shopping on Tuesday. That’s the day the health food store gets their weekly bread shipment, according to my sources, so I popped over there after class to stock up on vegan-friendly groced goods. Problem- I was rushing. I knew I wanted pita chips and hummus for a snack so I went over to the chip section, but couldn’t find my usual brand. I found an alternate but it was…wait for it…$6/bag! Now, in case you didn’t know, let me just make this clear: I am in Graduate school. Thusly, I am on a tight (tight!) budget.

I kept looking. A few minutes later, I found the bread section, and lo and behold, there are another brand of pita chips. Still not the brand I usually purchase but much more reasonably priced, so, relieved, I threw a bag in my cart. I paid for my purchases and went home.

I spent an hour making Tabouli (okay so, I wasn’t super involved. It took an hour to refrigerate after dumping it in a bowl and adding water…) and once it was ready, it was 2pm and I was STARVING. (again, very dramatic. I would have been fine.) So I grabbed my pita chips and realized: They were parmesan. Blerg!

I still ate them. I admit it. I’m going to finish the bag. I have been reading labels like crazy for the last 12 days, and trying to avoid the smallest bits of animal product, but I am going to eat these parmesan flavored pita chips. They are almost gone.

 

Editors Note: The above blog was written January 12, 2012, during the month I was a very reluctant vegan. It was accidentally not published, thusly is being published almost a month later.

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Moving

January 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

So I moved back to school yesterday.

Very bittersweet. I love seeing all my friends, but I was surprised at how homesick I was. It didn’t help that written comprehensives were looming in the near future. I had a hard time sleeping, which made me very anxious. But more on that another time. The bright spot: My test is over! And in two weeks, I’ll know the results.

Food. Oh food. All I want to do after taking my test is go out and pig out. But alas, that’s not happening. Which makes me sad, but also makes me realize: I reward myself with food. It’s  cheap and temporarily fulfilling. I look forward to good food, and I enjoy good food. And this is not necessarily a bad thing, but the key is Moderation. I think drastically changing my diet has made me realize I lack the moderation needed. It has also forced me to look for other areas of reward. Painting my toenails, watching an episode of HIMYM, or going to the mall have all been areas I’ve enjoyed the past 9 days, but without the added snacking. And that feels pretty darn good.

I’ve been out to eat almost every day since beginning this diet, just because of a lot of family and friend celebrations occurring. Panera, Ruby Tuesdays, and BD’s Mongolian Barbecue were all good experiences. Olive garden was a bit tricky, but I worked it out with the Red Sauce and Mushroom Ravioli. Is the Ravioli made with egg? I don’t’ think so, but I did not get a definite internet search about it, so it’s possible. But hey, at least I tried. I’ve found less enjoyment in the food, however I have realized I’ve found more enjoyment in the company. Not to get all philosophical, but isn’t that what it’s about? 

My menu options are drastically reduced, but I have yet to find a restaurant that isn’t accommodating to my dietary preferences. I am also full at the end of the meal, and mostly satisfied. (Exception: eating the vegetable side platter at Ruby Tuesdays. Not that it wasn’t delicious, but girlfriend needs more protein…) And instead of stuffing my face, I feel good at the end of the meal, not overfull. And I still get to see the people that I love, and interact with them in a meaningful way.

My snacking varies day to day, but I will say that it has been happily reduced overall. I don’t reach for pizza rolls or cereal at 10pm at night. At the worst, I did have a chips and salsa binge. But overall, this area is so much better that this diet is already worth it to me. I will, ahem, delicately state that my digestive system needed some time to get use to my new, healthier, eating style, but I am basically acclimated at this point. Tip: Avoid over-fibering your diet right away. Ease in slowly.

FYI: I’ve decided to stop blogging what I eat here, because truthfully, it’s pretty darn boring. I’ll keep you updated if I try something absolutely awesome, but otherwise just assume I’m eating tons of veggies, lots of soy, and some occasional dark chocolate. 🙂

Chocolate

January 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

I found them!

Vegan chocolate. They are called “Chocolove” bars which is appropriate as I LOVE them. Although I’ve eaten two in the past two days, so I think that I will not buy them again for awhile. The point of this vegan month was to get healthy, and vegan or not, I don’t think eating giant chocolate bars is especially healthful.

So far the past few days have been good. More eating out than I expected. PF Changs yesterday for the hubs b-day, and Panera with my mom and sister today. Both were very pleasant experiences, although Changs accidentally gave us the steamed pork instead of the steamed vegetable dumplings, so that was a bit of a shocking bite. Our server was very apologetic however, and we weren’t charged, so yay for free appetizers! I had the Mediterranean vege sandwich without feta cheese at panera, and coffee with soy milk. Both were delightful.

Little more snacking than I would like. Hummus and pita chips have become a close friend these past few days. I think with a more normal school schedule come Monday I will hopefully snack less. I have been trying to control it more today, and I think it’s going better.

Overall I definitely feel better. That’s what’s shocked me the most. It’s only been 4 days, so perhaps it’s more psychological than anything, but regardless I’ve found that I really like how I feel.

Next stop: exercise!

Day 3:

Breakfast: Bagel with soy butter

Lunch: Soy burger with vege chips

Snack: Peppermint chocolate bar, red pepper hummus with pita chips

Dinner: Ma Po Tofu and steamed vegetable dumplings at PF Changs

Day 4:

Breakfast: Strawberry/Banana/Oatmeal smoothie

Lunch: Panera sandwich with chips and coffee with soy

Dinner: TBD…

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Two

January 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Day Two of Vegan-ism

And it’s going slooooow.

I crammed 5 cream puffs in my mouth right before midnight on December 31 as a last goodbye to dairy. And then away we went.

Day 1 was good. I googled vegan eating out, and found out that (although abysmally small) there is a selection . This enabled us to eat Taco Bell for lunch (7-layer no cheese or sour cream), so small victories there. I’ve also found this diet is forcing me to cook more- It took me an hour to whip up some stir fry for supper, but it turned out pretty decent. Although I will say rice noodles are very easy to overcook..

Day 2 has been a bit harder. I got way too much enjoyment out of eating my chocolate flavored calcium chews. That was what I missed the most today: the chocolate. Upon some googling I found certain chocolate brands that make vegan dark chocolate. Guess who’s going shopping tommorrow?

I’ve realized over break that I’ve let myself become lax in my eating habits. I knew this, but I didn’t’ get the full effect until today. I’ve found myself walking past the table 2 or 3 times just dying for something to stuff something in my mouth. It’s almost a boredom issue: I have some downtime that I don’t know what to do with, and I walk into the kitchen. It’s a conditioned response that I’m now trying to break. It’s working, and that makes me feel good. The constant snacking leaves me constantly full, and I’ve realized now that the feelings gone how much better I feel without it. I feel satisfied, but not stuffed to the brim. It’s nice to wake up in the morning hungry, and not with a “food hangover” like before.

So I meant to document my food choices each day, more as a reference for myself than anything else, so I’m going to fill in Day 1 and Day 2 now.

Day 1

Breakfast- Flax seed bread with soy butter and grape jam

Lunch- 7-layer burrito no cheese or sour cream

Snack- honey roasted peanuts and dried apricots

Dinner- Stir fry vegetables with rice noodles and stir fry sauce

Day 2

Breakfast- Oatmeal with brown sugar and cinnamon

Lunch- Subway vege sub on whole wheat bread

Snack- guacamole and corn chips, vege chips, dried apricots

Supper- Indian lentils with veges over rice and chocolate coconut milk

And there it is. My food so far. The chocolate coconut milk was a godsend today. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. 

Eggs

December 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Fun Fact: There is such a thing as nutritional yeast flakes.

I know this because I now own them. I am not sure what they are used for, but they are in pretty much every recipe of the vegan cookbook I’m using. There are also such products as egg replacer powder, coconut milk creamer, and vegan hamburgers. These things are all in my kitchen.

We went shopping yesterday in preparation for the new year. My mom and sister have decided to go on this food adventure as well, so we all went halfsies on certain products (see above) in order to save some money. Because one aspect of this journey that should be documented is that this stuff is Pricey. It also took twice as long because of having to label read everything, like some crazy obsessive crackpot. Trying to weed out all milk derivatives AND nut products (allergy) was an adventure. I was That Guy in the aisle in front of you blocking all the oatmeal products frantically searching labels for caseinate or whey. I hated myself just a little bit.

Also in preparation for this exciting new month, I had pizza and cheesecake for supper last night. Just because I still can. (After typing that sentence I googled vegan cheesecake. I think maybe I’ll just forgo this over the next month.)

But, I digress. I am now (semi) prepared. 1.5 days and counting…

Beginning

December 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

So I’m attempting to become vegan

I’m not sure why. I think this is one of those things that happen when I have too much spare time. I form this idea in my head of how I should better myself, and make lofty goals. And then I start school/clinical again and find that I don’t have the resolve I once had. This is why I asked for a sewing machine for my birthday in September (after summer break) and still don’t know how to use it.Image

However…I’m resolved to attempt this. Mainly because I want to see if I feel any better. Lately i’ve felt sluggish. Granted, my exercise level has decreased drastically with the beginning of the colder weather. Hopefully this will pick back up with my gym access when I get back to school.

But I shall chronicle this probable disaster here. I’ve prepared in the only way I know how: google. I’ve decided that with extra vitamin intake and a general meal plan, I probably won’t become anemic and die. Which is always a good thing. But i’ll keep you updated.

But, in summary, New Year’s Resolution #1: Become Vegan.

Where Am I?

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