Monday, January 18, 2010

Holy, fly by!

These last couple weeks have gone by SO quickly.

I've spent the last week taking care of a sick boyfriend. He had the flu, HARD. It was a week full of no sleep, rushing through work, no workouts. Yea, I'll admit it! I was a total fail!

Being around someone who was very sick, I thought that I would get it...? We were both very surprised that I didn't get down, once. The boyfriend said that it was maybe because of the foods that I eat. I thought about it, and my diet mostly consists of the following:

Breakfasts: some type of light carb (usually oatmeal or quinoa) with fresh fruit. Weekly I buy:
*a pineapple
*and raspberries. I learnt a long time ago, that no matter how expensive raspberries are at different times of the year, I must buy them. When I don't feel like eating any fruit, the raspberries always catch my eye.

Lunches are always salad's. If you had read my old blog, you know that I despised salad. I very rarely ate them, and when I did, I always said that I didn't enjoy it and had to eat something else after. Since I've been buying so many more fruits and vegetables lately (who would have thought a vegan buys so many!?? haha) I have found many salad's that I enjoy. The boyfriend even took a salad to work one day last week. (One day is a good start, I think)
I didn't like salad's before because I don't like lettuce. I don't like fruits or vegetables that don't have much taste, and I think that lettuce and spinach are the two most tasteless foods out there. Instead, I have started using kale, bean sprouts and pre-cut coleslaw mix. The coleslaw mix has to be my favourite. I don't know why I didn't think of it before.
Do you use a lettuce/spinach alternative?

There will be another post very soon (I promise that I will start posting more, with pictures, showcasing all the deliciousness that I have been filling my body with on a regular basis.) The boyfriend has been asleep for the last hour (I think he's finally feeling better, so I am taking advantage of the quiet night on the couch, and catch up on all the girl shows that I taped this week. The Bachelor, here I come! This show is so corny and catty and embarassing really, but..alas, I love it)

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Thoughts On The First Week...

WOW! January 8th already? Where has the first week of 2010 gone? I hope the rest of this year doesn't go by so fast. Okay, well, maybe the next month because in exactly one month and two day's I will be 25! (YAY...EEK..I'm not sure yet!)

So, it has also been officially one week since becoming completly vegan. This is what I've figured so far.

*I don't miss cheese (well, yet anyway)
*There is no alternative for cream cheese either (we had already concluded that there is no actual cheese replacement) Soy Cream Cheese...I didn't like it one bit.
*I am obsessed with oatmeal, but tired of it at the same time (more about this later)
*Too much soy milk makes my tummy hurt
*Sleep is so much better when your stomach isn't full of dairy
*Tea is my friend
*Tofu is limitless
*85% Dark Chocolate is the most decadent dessert of life

Let me tell you, breakfast has always been a challenge for me. Even when I was still eating everything. I like it to be quick, easy and not involve a lot of effort. Since 3 or 4 day's a week I start work at 5AM, it needs to be fast. Otherwise I won't get a chance to eat until 9:30. So, it also has to have a lot of staying power. When I was still eating meat and eggs, I would make "Egg McMuffins" in the microwave (heat egg in small container for 45 seconds, stir, put a piece of ham ontop, continue cooking for 1 minute. While that is cooking, put a english muffin in the toaster, put it all together with a piece of cheese) I would eat this while I got ready at 4:30am, and then eat an apple or banana on my drive.
Once I stopped eating eggs and meat, I always went for the small bagel with cream cheese, some tomato's and cucumber (more of a lunch, but always kept me full) Well, since I have no option for cream cheese anymore, I have eaten oatmeal every day for the last couple of weeks. (I stopped eating most cheeses during the month of December) Well, I still *love* oatmeal, I am getting so bored of it.
I see so many bloggers fancying up their oatmeals, but I am a creature of habit and can not get away from brown sugar, slivered almond's and a banana. Going back my previous post, the thought of adding anything new gives me anxiety.
So, while I still love oatmeal, I must find another quick, early morning go to breakfast.
Your idea's are more than welcomed right now.

The rest of my meals have been wonderful. It helps that I am a planner and know what I am going to eat for dinner everyday. If I didn't, I most likely would eat cracker's for dinner. I hate coming up with plans at the last minute.
I must get into the habbit of taking picture's. I just went through my camera and took...1 picture this week of my meals. The picture that I did take looked delicious. However, my camera cord has gone missing in the Post-Christmas Clean, so I will have to find that.
My boyfriend is usually pretty good at trying new things with me. The only thing he has said no to so far is brussel sprouts. So one night we had roasted veggies containing carrots, snap peas and brussel sprouts, and I had to pick his out before we ate.
I love how versatile tofu is. I like to usually eat it fairly close to it's regular form. It's just all the spices and things that have made it delicious.
This week, I (we) have tried
*chili, lime and basil (Thank you, Whole Foods)
*chunks tossed in a tex-mex bread crumbs and pan fried (with probably a little bit too much oil)
*baked in the oven smothered with homemade "Cream" (Soy Milk) Mushroom Soup. This, let me tell you, was the most delicious thing I may have EVER tasted in my life. There will be a recipie with pictures next time we have it. (Probably VERY soon)

Well, I'm off. I should probably take the Christmas tree down. It's completly undecorated, I have just been to busy to actually take it apart.

Before I go, two of my most favourite blogs that I follow are running the Disney Marathon this weekend. Check out Caitlin, and Meghann and wish them luck!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Day I Tired New Things...

I think there is going to be a lot of "trying new things" day's in the next few month's. I'm kind of sceptical about it. I really like finding new vegetables, fruits, protien's and things that I like. But it's the "trying" part that get's me. I have no problem's purchasing and cooking new items. But it's the act of putting the fork to my mouth that really terrifies me.

Let's quickly rewind back to yesterday. Food choices weren't the most rounded, as I was exhausted and had SO much to do.
Breakfast started with a bagel with jam. I was running late for work, so this was the quickest and easiest thing to eat.
Lunch came, and I decided to have the breakfast that I had planned on. I had a quick bowl of oatmeal, with sliced almond's, brown sugar and banana. There is something about eating oatmeal in the winter that makes it taste SO much better.
I love all the combination's of oatmeal that people try. I'm excited to branch out on my normal "fruit and nut" oatmeans. Tomorrow I plan to add some White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter to it.
The boyfriend and I had an afternoon packed full of Rockband, LuLu Lemon Shopping, Whole Foods, and having dinner with his son. So I quickly snacked on a homemade vegan Orange Cranberry Cookie (that I instead shaped into bars) They are so delicious. I made them for our Christmas Party the first weekend in December and have made them twice since. I love me some dried cranberries.
We tackled all the shopping we had to do (walked out of LuLu with only 2 item's, that is a miracle in itself) had a wonderful time at Whole Foods, then came Rockbank time. BF's son Kobe just LOVES Rockband. He can not play at all (he's only 5) so we play together. Basically I hold the guitar, and press the button's, and he just dances around between my arms. But he always wants to do "..just oneeeeee more, PLEASE daddy?" so our Rockband games always go forever.
I just made a super quick dinner. Meat and tomato ravioli with garlic bread for them, and whole wheat pasta with sauteed zuccini and red pepper for me.
On the side?
This is where I tired something new.
Garlic Bread (soy margarine) with Earth Island Vegan Gourmet Soya Nacho Flavour Cheese.

The boyfriend picked it out at Whole Foods because of the "It Melts!" selling feature. (Oh, marketing, how I love thee)
The verdict?
It was really good. However, not made for "garlic bread" It indeed does melt, but not under the broiler like I had assumed. It melted when I put it in the microwave, and turned into a cheese dip of goodness that would be delicious with some tortilla chips or something.

I also purchased some other "first time" goodies at Whole Foods that I will let you all know about as I try them.
I am sitting her munching on a Peanut Toffee Buzz Cliff bar as I write this post. I am hungry for breakfast (it's 10:30am. I like to sleep in on Sunday's) and I am going to try some coy cream cheese that my boyfriend so lovingly bought for me yesterday. Except, just like I mentioned..the thought of putting it in my mouth is what kind of terrifies me....

How do you deal with trying new foods? Can you just cook it and try it?

Friday, January 1, 2010

The New Year Has Come!

Happy New Year to you all!
I hope that you are proud of everything that you did in 2009 and are looking forward to 2010 and thinking about all the things that you can accomplish this year.

When I started reflecting on last year, I am very proud of the year that I had.

I changed jobs into something that is more fit for me, and have never been happier to go to work. Each morning I wake up with excitment to get to work and see what the day brings. Sure, there has definatly been some ups and downs (especially at the end of the summer, when after 4 month's I was promoted and found myself in quite the situation of uncertainty) but all in all I am so happy with the change. There is so much room for growth and opportunity for me that I giggle with excitment when I think about it.

I did a lot of "deep down" thinking this year and made a lot of positive changes to myself, in my actions and in my beliefs in life. While I have no regret's about the first 23 years that I was on this Earth, I wasn't really "myself". I was who I thought I wanted to be, and had friends that I thought I wanted to have, relationships that I thought I wanted to last. One day I was just sitting around on a day off and thought to myself "Stop. This is really not what you want. Yes, you are enjoying the lifestyle that you are living, but are you truly happy with it?" And the answer was no. I knew that I had more aspirations, goals and belief's in life that I was not living up to. I sat and made a list of what I wanted in life, and who I wanted my reflection of myself to show, and made the changes necessary for that. I lost some friend's along the way, but the ones that I kept and the new ones that I made are built on a much more solid foundation. Instead of finding people that I wanted to party with, I found myself in a sea of people that are so inspiring to me, and consistantly strive to be the best person that they can be, and want the same thing for me. (Two of the strongest relationships that I build happen to be 2 people who I know are reading this right now, so I just thought that I would take the time to mention how special and important you are. Not a day goes by that I am not proud of everything that you have done in life, where you have been, and where you are going.)

Another big thing that happened for me this year (and is the basis of this blog, really) is my transition into making myself healthier on the inside, foodwise. In May I became a vegetarian. No, I was not thinking about it prior. I literally woke up one morning and said "I am going to be vegetarian." Why? I'm still not quite sure. One of the reasons was that I was tired of basing everything that I ate around MEAT. I was that person that would say "Yes, well, I am going to have chicken tonight...but what else?" I was stuck in a total food rut. I ate (basically) the same thing every day. It got boring. I needed something new.
Becoming vegetarian was not as hard for me as one would think. I spent grade 8-11 as a vegetarian, so I had a lot to go by. I had read multiple books, read many online articles and had experienced so many food choices.
For the past 7 month's, I have never felt better in my life. I have more energy, get sick a lot less, and do not sleep for 12 hours at a time like I did before. When by body is lacking in something, and I start to feel "sluggish" I can counteract it with the food choices I make. Before, I would just continue to make "bad" choices and assume that something was wrong with me.
Now, when I'm tired, I know that I need more protein. When my body feels like not moving, iron is the answer. When my brain isn't thinking straight, I head straight for the potassium.
Many people have assumed that I did this for animal rights, and yes, while that is such a positive thing that has come out of it, that wasn't the reason for it.
Now, after doing so much more reading this year, veganism just seems to be the next step for me. I just want all my cells in my body to be clean, and not full of things that don't need to be here. That is the main reason.
I am not worried about this transition as much as one would think. I gave up most dairy and other animal by-products in the last few months. The biggest one that I was not able to give up was cheese.
In fact, I may have indulged in half of a small cheese pizza lastnight as my "final supper". Yes, I enjoyed every minute of it. No, I am not sad to give it up. I am looking forward to finding new things to fill that "comfort food" void. As Ashley mentioned to me the last time I saw her, there is no replacement for cheese, I am excited to look for new things. It will be starting with a trip to Whole Foods tomorrow morning. My boyfriend has decided that while, he is no where near ready to give up meat (Who am I to even ask someone to do that?) he would like to expand his pallet as well, and is very eager to try things with me.

I think I will leave the rest of my rambles for another day though.
Where do I plan on going with "New VEGANnings"? I'm not quite sure yet. I think it will mostly just be another "food blog" But will also be full of my successes as well as cries for help as I transition into this lifestyle (That I am SO excited for)

2 things before I go.

1. I leave you with some of my goals for this year. (I do not make resolutions, as people tend to break them. I just set goals for myself)
-to become less dependant on processed foods. I must start to make the time for myself to cook, eat and enjoy food the way that it was ment to be.
-learn to knit (I have always wanted to do this, and have tried, but failed, to teach myself on multiple occasions)
-give up this smoking thing once and for all. I have done VERY well in the last 4 month's, and have maybe had a total of 7 cigarettes in 4 months. However, I just need to find something to kick the habbit in times of high stress
-read one book per month that will make me smarter. I am a very intellegant person, but my brain is very limited. If it doesnt have to do with math, science or english, I don't think about it. I believe I am going to start with Creating Chaos. My friend read it in December, and it seems to be a good place to start.

2. I promised a give-away to one of you that became me FIRST readers of this blog. I origionally said that that winner would recieve a copy of How It All Vegan. However, I have recently finished reading In Defence Of Food and Food Inc. and fell in love with both of them. These are the books that stemmed me into reading one book per month. SO, the winner will get a choice!
And the winner is....(random drawing)
Amanda, Another Prior Fat Girl
Amanda also just reached her GOAL WEIGHT just a few day's before Christmas. Congrats Amanda! Your transformation is breath taking. You look fabulouso!
You can e-mail me at and leave me your address as well as your choice of book and I will have it sent to you next week! (As well as a CONGRATS ON GETTING TO GOAL gift as well!)

May you all have the best year of your lives thus far in 2010.