Thursday, January 31, 2013

My last day.

Today marks the last day of my month long challenge.  So I decided to come here and detail out the good the bad and the often hilarious.

The best part about being vegan is also the worst part.  I have not been truly "full" in a month now.  Everyone else will get up from the table and say things like I won't be able to eat again for a week and I just look around and think well I could eat that amount again and still not be full.  I kind of miss the full feeling but then again it has been extremely nice to not feel so weighed down.  I have found a lot of creative ways to make dinners that my whole family can eat.  Two nights ago I made personal pan pizzas but used portabella mushrooms as the pizza crust and skipped the cheese and meat on mine, but added just a ton of veggies like artichoke hearts, onions and peppers.  Joe said one of the best compliments by saying Wow even normal people would think this was good. :-)  Last night I made coconut Thai shrimp over rice, so I just skipped the shrimp, and again with just a ton of veggies in it.

I've never really had greasy skin but I have noticed that I don't have grease on my face at all now, even when I sweat. I can only attribute that to not eating fat, specifically animal fat.

I don't really get the shakes when I haven't eaten like I used to.  In fact there have been numerous times in my life that I have had to excuse myself and go throw up before a meal because my head is spinning so bad from the lack of sugar in my blood.  I have to give this credit to not eating processed sugars, although I am sure this is one that I accidentally cheat on more than I realize with condiments and such.

I do have to say that I have tried a ton of diets/life styles and this one has to be the hardest to follow.  Sometimes it feels like there is nothing on the menu I can even eat, and when I do find something and just absolutely butcher it down to ranch and so on, it feels foolish to even order anything.  Luckily my Mom and I's favorite place to eat lunch is Souper Salad which (since it is a salad bar) is great because I can find a ton of things to eat. This also happens to be the life style that I have been made the most fun of for but also had the most amount of people saying that they would try it...truly an odd combination.

As far as the what the future holds.  I am going to continue with several meals a week for the whole family that are vegetarian, simply for heart health I think it is a good idea to give up some of that meat.  I don't believe that I will be going back to eating the way that I was, although I am just about ready to pass out at the thought of eating a buffalo wing for the Super Bowl.  I will continue to eat less meat and dairy although I won't be as strict as I was this month.  Of course we will have to see how my body responds to this and whether or not it becomes apparent that it would be better to eat vegan most of the time.

I love feeling light and clean which this diet definitely does for you, so there will be huge parts of it that I keep up with to feel better over all.  Hopefully my body will respond slightly better with the weight loss part.  To date I have lost probably 12 pounds which isn't that great considering I had gained 7 of that in Indiana for Christmas.  Eating amazingly well for a month and losing 5 pounds is not great but I am sure some of this has to do with house hunting, the wedding and what not.  The added stress that these things have brought on has undoubtedly added some additional hurdles for this poor diet.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

We put in an offer!

So we put in an offer on that home we liked.  Fingers crossed because we offered less than they asked for but we will see what they say. :-D

If you want to snoop around here you go.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

3 Days

Since I know you are all waiting around with bated breath...3 days, no salt, no booze...and no ring! :-D

I mean as you can see there will probably be some kind of permanent mark but oh well.

The house hunting continues although we had a second showing yesterday on a house that we really like and we're all pre-qualified and everything but man oh man does the stressful part start now.  We have to sell this one to have the down payment for the next one but we don't want the next to be sold out from underneath us so we want to start selling ours soon but don't want to be homeless.  Ugh!

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Ring Diet

Anyone reading this knows that I am a completely neurotic person, so it should come as no surprise that when my wedding ring arrived on Saturday after ordering it (without trying it on I might add) I couldn't help but attempt to put it on to see what it looks like.  Well the problem in this story is that the day before we had done all that house shopping so I had a few cocktails Friday night.  Drinks make me swell, so when the ring wouldn't go on I was bummed but didn't think much of it...after all I was swollen.  So then in the afternoon when I finished cleaning the house and such and my hands felt much smaller I decided now was the time to try that blasted ring on.  Well it went on with the slightest push but...and wait for it...won't come off. :-(  I mean won't come off after soaking in ice water or using oil, lotion, soap, Windex ..I have tried it all.  And since I was now panicking while pulling my finger it was very angry at me.  I spent the next few hours debating on my decisions should I just have this brand new platinum ring cut off my finger, or perhaps the other way around  cut off the finger spare the ring...or worst case scenario would the finger just fall off.  I decided on the taking of water pills and trying like mad to lose any additional weight I can, water weight, fat weight, muscle weight anything that could possibly allow for this ring to pop off my finger.  I have given up all salt and can't drink...since after all drinking makes me swell.  Effectively I am now a sugar free, salt free, sober, vegan...boy if that's not a turn on, I don't know what is.

That is one angry fat finger there, but isn't it a beautiful ring?!?!?

It looks much better this morning but still won't come off.

Friday, January 18, 2013

I totally cheated!

I totally cheated but for what I believe is an absolutely fantastic reason!  We went out to Carabba's last night for dinner to celebrate our 7 year anniversary!  Holy cow!  So I splurged and had steak and chicken. :-)

Can I just give a shout out to people that are looking to buy a house?!?!  We have started house hunting to see if we can find that "perfect" home, I have to put that in quotes because there are no perfect homes which I also have to keep reminding myself.  Today we had 8 houses to walk through all the while my Mom laughed at us dragging two toddlers in and out of people's homes...we look insane yelling at the kids to not touch anything and take off their shoes.  Actually currently I must admit I feel a little insane.  Our homes today varied by over $200,000 so as you can imagine there is quite a difference from bottom to top and it just makes everything harder. I need a drink.

Look at this amazing bunch of flowers Joe brought for our anniversary...he even put it together himself. :-D

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fun new recipes.

In my quest to find things that I can eat other than re fried beans, I have found some fun variations on classics.  Like take for instance last night I made a Italian dish with noodles, mushrooms, capers, squash, zucchini, artichokes, basil and spinach and then in a separate pan I made spicy sausage in a Alfredo cream sauce.  So everyone else ate everything mixed together and I just ate the veggies and the noodles.  Or the night before I made a vegan red chili that I ate with lettuce, tomato and onions and everyone else smothered a burger patty and topped the whole thing with cheese and sour cream.  That's what I call a win-win. :-)  I also made Chile rellenos the other night with a fiesta rice so I just ate the rice which had beans and a bunch of other veggies while the girls and Joe at the cheese stuffed peppers and the rice as a side.  I am debating on what I want tonight which is always the hardest part, then when I get my mind made up the cooking part is always fun. It's like Anne said you end up making numerous variations to one meal but then at least I still feel creative and we all eat together.

Monday, January 14, 2013


So I've been quiet on here for a bit and let's just be honest it's because I didn't want to be negative but here goes.

First off let's talk about the elephant in the room (in this case that happens to be me).  I always gain weight when I travel and Indiana over Christmas was no exception to the rule.  With that being said I have been on this diet for 14 days now and haven't even lost the Indiana weight I gained, which normally goes away within the first week back home naturally.  I can't be exactly sure what's happening here, I haven't cheated with even a starburst and drastically reduced my alcohol intake so really I should be losing just based on sugars and booze.  But no instead I am still carrying around a couple of the pounds that found it's way to my ass in the midwest.  By no means did I want to try this diet because I thought it was the most magnificent chance to lose the greatest amount of weight but co'mon...I figured out my calorie intake for the other day and please keep in mind I am not trying to make these numbers this low but since I can't have an entire shelf of condiments due to sugar and veggies just don't have a lot of calories in them....I consumed all day 750 calories.  For a near 6 foot tall, near 200 pound female I should have forced my body into a panic that dropped weight super fast that first week or so and then attempted to rebound by burning muscle.  I am a life long dieter so I definitely know the drill but this is completely baffling. 

Secondly probably in part because I am not losing ANY weight, I feel like crap...near tears all the time.  And hungry with really unnatural desires for cheese...meat I could actually care less about but cheese is an all consuming thought in my mind most days. We went to the boat show yesterday with my folks and had a wonderful time followed by an early dinner at Pappadeux's.  For anyone that has not eaten there it is arguably some of the best seafood on the planet.  After mulling over the menu I finally just brought the waitress over to my side of the table and started the conversation with I am on a vegan diet and I need some help putting together a matter what the cost is.  Noodles, olive oil, broccoli, spinach and garlic was served 20 minutes later it a big bowl by a waitress who then asked so is this like a double dog dare you are doing or something?  Nope I just choose to eat the worst of the menu (with the freaking noodles probably having egg whites in them) and pay too much for it.  I sat uncomfortably close to Joe so I could smell his food.  Don't get me wrong if I felt awesome either with a lot of energy or weight loss or whatever I am sure I wouldn't be so cynical but this is just complete crap.  I am the fat girl at restaurants ordering like a marathon runner.  **Sigh**

Monday, January 7, 2013

Weekend and stuff...

Some fun things that I have noticed since starting this diet.  First off it took me just over 3 hours to get groceries since I still have to read the labels on EVERYTHING and sadly as it turns out most things I read would have sugar, eggs or milk in them.  So my cart wasn't full and you heard a lot of sighs but it was nice to get some additional items that I could eat.  All natural peanut butter is nasty...sorry had to say it.  After I stirred for what felt like an hour I stuck a spoon full of oil and dry chunks of flavorless peanut paste into my mouth and if I hadn't have been starving I would have spit it out.  Ummm wow, a far cry from the Jiffy that I am used to.  Which actually scares me even worse...what the hell have I been eating for so many years.  I was super excited to make vegan buffalo wings for the football game on Saturday night but after spending all the time breading the cauliflower and baking it I would have just preferred the raw veggies dipped in hot sauce, Joe was a good sport and tried a couple...but wasn't a fan, now keep in mind the breading had to be whole grain with hemp milk and canola egg-free mayonnaise, it was an odd form of wall paper paste and got even weirder when I baked it.  I am super proud to say that the only kind of cheating that I have done is having a couple of beers for the last week which is a lot different than the normal 45 beers I would be in, and it's not really cheating since they are vegan but frowned on by the book.  But like yesterday snowboarding all day all I had was the drink in the morning, one at lunch and one before we left. 

Secondly I find it interesting that when anyone hears that I am trying this vegan thing out they always that sounds so hard...but then follow it up with, OMG I would love to try it.  Which of course I answer back, well it is hard but if you wanted to try it I can't think of a better time than right now.

And last but not least while up snowboarding yesterday we were stopped for our lunch break and Helen is trying out the Paleo diet so she was custom ordering a sandwich without the bun, dairy products or sugar anything and I was desperately trying to find something on the menu vegan and sugar free when I settled on some of the fries that Helen couldn't eat from her plate.  All of the sudden the rest of the group got up and went outside to smoke except for Helen and I and now Dave.  We both looked at him and realized that he is trying to quit dawned on me in that second that Helen and I have it easy, we had to try harder to make food work with us but both still got to eat and hang out mean while Dave had to watch everyone do exactly what he wanted to be doing but couldn't.  It definitely changed my perspective.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thought this was too funny...

So there was this post on Pinterest a while back that had a picture of how the recipe should look and a picture of how the recipe DID look, and the actual pictures were hilarious like you couldn't even tell that they were the same cookies and such...with a caption below it that said "Nailed It!".  Made me laugh out loud since a lot of recipes end up looking all crazy.  I bring this up because of today's lunch, I had leftover veggies from last night's Chinese experience and was extremely eager to eat them apparently so much so that when I went to take them out of the microwave I spilled them all over the counter-floor-and my stomach.  I have literally never been so sad to spill leftovers.  Instead since I was completely starving after cleaning everything up I came up with what I have pictured below.  Half can of vegetarian re-fried beans, half can of no salt tomatoes and four different types of hot sauce...every kind that I could find that didn't have sugar in them.  Look at that pile of glop I made myself!

Nailed It!


Ok so I was typing out answers to Laura's and Anne's comments to the last post when I realized I was near a page deep so I just decided to write out a whole post instead.  I did actually buy The Kind Diet book when we got back to Colorado and am about half way through reading it.  The unfortunate part about this book if you haven't read it is that it makes entirely too much sense.  I was hoping that it would be something that I would only kind of respect or admire but then quickly go back to my old ways but in reading it I am sure that when my 30 days is up that I will feel infinitely guilty if I decide to just eat "normal".  The other thing that I am noticing is that vegetarian recipes look spectacular and vegan ones don't, I am hoping to spin up my own cooking creativity to make some good meals that the whole family will enjoy.  I think the part about the vegan recipes that I don't like is that they are trying to be something they are not, I don't like eating fake food so when I look at something that is pressed into a chicken breast looking shape it kind of freaks me out.  So I am leaning more towards just the fruits and veggie side currently and am not eating any processed grains to start with while I go through the detox phase, I am thinking I will probably add in whole grain tortillas, breads and potatoes eventually. 

Like last night I made a chicken dish with spicy Chinese sauce and vegetables, so I cooked up the chicken threw it in the oven to stay warm and sauteed carrots, onions, broccoli, edamame, pineapple, tomato and garlic in peanut oil. De-glazed the pan when I was done with a mixtures of white vinegar and Chinese mustard added in some crushed red pepper paste and soy sauce with a touch of agave.  I threw my veggies over some whole brown rice and the girls and Joe added their little chicken nuggets to theirs and we all got to eat about the same food.  I am super impressed how easily Joe will eat new things that I make like edamame beans especially if I make them spicy and the girls are just amazing they eat anything and with a smile on their face.

Day 3 is making me really miss hot food, there is a ton of food that is vegan that is just cold...veggies and fruits and such so I find myself missing warm food.  Which I am sure is not the actually heat of the food that I am missing but rather the string of the melted cheese and the sizzle of the steak.  Well and also I am still battling this cold which makes me wish for comfort food.  My stomach is still really puffy and bloated but hopefully the edamame beans are kicking some ass in there.

On a side note number one, I will try and take some pictures the next time I make something that looks appealing so I can post pictures.

And on a side note number two look what Mom finally let the girls open this morning and lace up.  Thank you Aunt Anne, the girls LOVE them.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Eve Resolution

Every year I try really hard to come up with a thoughtful and useful New Year's Eve Resolution.  Aside from the normal lose 100 pounds, drink less (ok so I have never actually said that one) but you get the drift.  So this year when I was talking to Laura and Carole about eating and specifically about eating better it hit me that perhaps I could make that my New Year's Eve Resolution.  While us girls were talking about eating we happened to be referencing a book called The Kind Diet, in our house we already try and eat non processed organic foods so when I was reading further into the book I decided it would be a great fit for something to try.  Here's the kicker, it's a vegan - sugar free diet.  If anyone reading this wants a good laugh Google Vegan Recipes real quick, the bacon looks like an emery board.  Starting yesterday I am a sugar free vegan (whining) poser for 30 days.  I thought that 30 days was enough to give it a fair shot and see how I feel and then decide where to go after that, maybe I will love the way I feel and stick with it...maybe I will like the vegetarian side (which seems less like something out of a Nazi prison camp) or just maybe I will go back to eating steak day 31.  Who knows until you try right?  I have been trying really hard to find a partner in crime to do this with and whenever I mention vegan they instantly all say no.  With that being said I will probably just use my blog to vent or celebrate as this experience unfolds, I will as always attempt to stay upbeat but I also want to be brutally honest so just in case I feel awesome at the end and shout from the roof tops I can relate to others that want to try it.

Day 1 of my "experience" was yesterday, the boys were supposed to go snowboarding so I could eat my veggies by myself all day and drink my rationed amount of coffee that I am completely addicted to with almond creamer in it...yeppers tastes about like it sounds...death.  But no instead they all wussed out and decided that a high of 10 degrees wouldn't be the best snowboarding weather and sat around all day asking what I could and couldn't eat and then making fun of my answers.  It was like playing a board game with a ton of laughter.  When lunch time rolled around we decided to go ever tried to eat vegan at a bowling alley?...I had a Greek salad minus the feta cheese and chicken, essentially I had lettuce, tomatoes and vinaigrette.  Although I am positive the dressing had sugar in it which is why I only used a little so I didn't feel as bad.  That evening when Adam volunteered to smoke chicken halves in a peach glaze he was kind enough to pick me up a portabella mushroom that I stuffed with zucinni and onions.  And I made a Qiunoa and veggie salad with homemade vinaigrette (this I know did not have any sugar in it).  The boys all ate my salad and even made comments like this is good and everything, although I have got to hand it to you that Qiunoa is some pretty crazy stuff had the leftover "fish eye" salad for lunch and am still picking it out of my teeth.  I watched as everyone around me sucked down the beers and I did indulge in one pint but other than that just sat around hungry with a which I can't tell is from the diet shift or being sick.

Day 2 the oddest thing I am noticing is that my stomach is distended like an Ethiopian starving child sponsored by UNICEF.  I don't believe I am actually starving so instead I am choosing to believe that the leftover meat still in my system is fighting with the newly introduced veggie track and causing a serious ruckus in my guts.  Hopefully broccoli will prevail and that pork chop won't crawl back out of my throat but who knows.  I stay optimistic.

Oh yeah and here's some pictures of the girls bowling for the first time with Daddy...boy do we miss him today.