Archive for the ‘Vegetarian/Vegan’ Category

They just keep coming!

Yesterday I posted the long and pending list of celebrities expecting in 2011 and as if she didn’t want to be left out, my lovely vegetarian favorite Alicia Silverstone came out today with news that she too, is also expecting her first child in the upcoming year. Holy guacamole! I feel as if every week (almost every day it feels like!) another celebrity (or person we know) is confessing to doing the baby dance. I wasn’t kidding about that baby boom! Here’s to Alicia and her future vegan baby!

Nicole Richie; Organic Mama

I absolutely adore Nicole Richie. I full fledge have a girl crush on her. Massively. I love her boho style, her relaxed demeanor, her lifestyle, her wit, her family and her kids. She is my celebrity soul sister. So of course I only love her more now since discovering that she had an elephant at her winter themed wedding. (Elephant = my favorite animal. Winter wedding theme = what I was planning before we ended up doing a destination wedding.) This girl! I need to meet her. I want to personally tell Nicole Richie she is the beez neez.

As many of you know I am a vegetarian and I love kids. Naturally I plan on having vegetarian kids (at least until they can decide if they want to eat dead animals or not with their own free will). So I thought it was pretty cool that Nicole Richie is doing the same in her household. (It helps that her husband Joel Madden is a vegetarian.) As if I didn’t already love this girl, I love how she is raising her kids. Nicole has revealed she uses chlorine-free, non-toxic and hypoallergenic diapers for her children, and refuses to use baby wipes and instead uses cloth and water. She grows her own vegetables in her garden and purees her own baby food. Everything in her household is organic, down to the clothes, food and diapers. She also doesn’t feed her kids dairy. On The Talk, she also shared, “We don’t use battery-operated toys, we don’t use plastic… Sugar is obviously a big no-no.” She went on to share, “I was at a birthday party and there was a cupcake with all this pink icing and there was a blueberry on top of the cupcake. Harlow looked at it and her eyes got so wide and she was like ‘Ohh,’ and I was like, ‘Oh boy, here we go,’ and she was like ‘Blueberries!’ So I went to the kitchen and got her a whole thing of blueberries. And she was happy.”

I give it to her. It’s hard today to be able to live this kind of lifestyle but she’s doing it. It also helps that she has oodles of money, more than I’ll ever have but hey, still I give her props and can only hope I’ll be a kick ass mom like her one day.

Look at these guys-the cutest family ever. For more pics go to Nicole’s blog.

Still hanging on!

Back on November 15th I started on my lifestyle change and took a little quiz to determine my level of health. I had scored between a 4 and 5, which is not so healthy since the ideal number was 10. Now that I have been on this crusade for almost a full month I decided to retest myself. By drinking more water, making a conscious effort to eat more fruits and veggies, and by eliminating alcohol I am now at a score of 7.

Although that is not perfect, I do feel better knowing that I have moved up on the health scale. My goals had been simply to consume more “good things” (fruits, veggies, water) and less “bad things” (salt, alcohol, white carbs). How did I go from not having any fruit and very little veggies to getting the day’s needed amount? Well I sprinkled berries on my cereal in the morning, had bananas, oranges, apples and grapes as snacks instead of my usual chips, candy, etc., added additional veggies on top of my salad at lunch, had 100% vegetable soaps in veggie broth, and added steamed veggies into my daily diet. I also started drinking 100% (anything less doesn’t qualify as a veggie serving) vegetable juice. That is really gross, but it works if I know I’m not going to be eating a veggie anytime soon.

My biggest accomplishment was eliminating alcohol from my diet. As an alcoholic I was drinking almost daily, with a couple days of complete binge drinking. Although I’ve only been completely sober for 13 consecutive days, it as made a difference. My husband thinks my skin looks better and I am really enjoying the non-hangover lifestyle.

So what’s next? My goals now will to be to try to control my sweet tooth. I say try to control instead of eliminate because there is no way for me to eliminate sweets. I won’t lie to myself or to you…I cannot give up treats. I love, love, LOVE desserts. But my problem is that I emotionally consume treats. If I’m bored I find myself wanting to bake (doesn’t help that it’s the holiday season!), if I am sad I want chocolate, If I am stressed I want candy…It is terrible. So my goal is to consume these devilish goodies in moderation as well as finding other ways to relieve my emotions. So much easier said than done, so I need to get even more specific: I will only consume one treat a day and never go back for seconds. (I have a big problem with going back for more.) I know from a nutritional stand point, a treat a day is still pretty bad but I need to be realistic. Right now I am consuming probably 5 treats a day, easily. Sneak a piece of chocolate here, another one there, try a cookie here, have a hot cocoa there, a piece of pie after dinner…see there’s 5 servings of delicious badness. I’m also going to try to have “good treats.” Meaning maybe instead of a Oreo McFlurry I’ll have a yogurt parfait, or instead of a piece of chocolate cake I’ll have a banana split. Seriously anyway I can be healthier without giving up my desserts I will try.

As for another way to handle my emotions? I know what’s next. EXERCISE. Shudder. I know this because time and time again I hear from numerous sources that working out is the best way to cure boredom, create endorphins, decrease stress, etc. I know, I know. But really, giving up sweets and working out? One thing at a time please! After I can control my sweet tooth I’ll tackle exercise. If reading my blog hasn’t yet told you, I am a seriously, professional lazy person. The best lazy person you will ever meet. I can sleep for hours if you let me. I can wear the same sweatpants for days. I have no idea how to even begin to incorporate exercise. So that will definitely be a task to conquer…later.

Have a great weekend!

 

The Substitute Teacher Returns

A few months back some of you may remember I blogged a recipe I tried out for vegan cupcakes. They were affordable, super easy and healthy to boot. Well I did it again, only this time with chocolate chip cookie brownies! I did the same thing I did last time, just buying a premixed box but substituting the “bad” stuff for the “good” stuff. I used Betty Crocker’s Supreme Bar, Cookie Brownie mix which isn’t the healthiest, but with the substitutions a lot of fat, cholesterol and what not is eliminated, and some
good nutrients are added. When we substituted the egg we saved ourselves 80 calories of fat, and 340 mg of cholesterol! (The flax seed mixture has no cholesterol in it at all.) Plus like I have mentioned before in previous postings, flaxseed is really good for you. It contains a lot of fiber, lignans (which are natural antioxidants) and omega 3 fats. Not only did the flaxseed have no cholesterol but it also has been proven that flaxseed lowers harmful cholesterol already in your body. And obviously substituting anything for butter is going to be healthier.

For anyone who is worried about the brownies tasting different, have no fear because they taste exactly the same. The vegetable spread tastes just like butter, and the flaxseed egg substitute tastes like nothing. You aren’t missing anything by not having the egg because the egg is actually used
for taste, it’s just used as a binder. My husband ate the brownies and he definitely could not taste a difference.

You need:
Betty Crocker’s Supreme Bar, Cookie Brownie mix
For brownie batter: 2 tbsp water, 1/2 stick or 1/4 cup of Vegetarian Spread melted (I use Earth Balance), 2 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water to make one egg substitute
For cookie dough: 1 tbsp water, 1/2 stick or 1/4 cup of Vegetarian Spread softened

1. Heat over to 325 degrees. Grease your pan.
2. Stir the brownie mix with 2 tbsp water, melted spread and flax seed egg substitute in a bowl until well blended. Spread in pan.
3. Stir the cookie dough batter with the tbsp water and softened spread. Once a dough forms, drop teaspoons (or chunks like I did) onto the brownie batter.
4. Bake. Here is what it comes out to:
8″ x 8″ (shiny metal or glass): 50 mins
8″ x 8″ (dark or nonstick): 43 mins
9″ x 9″ (all pans): 42 mins
11″ x 7″ (all pans): 40 mins
13″ x 9″ (shiny metal or glass): 35 mins
13″ x 9″ (dark or nonstick): 27 mins

I would even check it before the suggested time, just to be sure. Also follow directions. The first time I made this I used a 13″ x 9″ for 35 mins because thats what it said on the box – however I used a dark pan – and ended up making a nice brick. Sigh. It was pretty devastating. My whole house smelled like fresh treats, but there were none to enjoy since biting into the brownie may have cracked my teeth.

Enjoy and have yourself a pleasant Tuesday! 🙂

Good Friday!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Friday today, because I did. Today was full of awesome.

First things first. My “lifestyle change” goals are still on track! I’ve been swapping alcohol for water and eating healthier this week and it’s already made a tiny difference. I got into my skinniest skinny jeans today which of course made the rest of the day really that much better.

I also was at an elementary school today assisting teachers in 5th grade, 2nd grade and my absolute favorite…kindergarten. The kids have next week off so today they celebrated Thanksgiving. The little kids are sweet enough on any given day, but today was even more unbearably cute because they had a little Thanksgiving Feast, complete with paper construction bonnets and pilgrim hats. I had a permanent smile on my face all day. Then as I walked down the hallways and looked at the artwork on the walls, I laughed as I found “Don’t eat me” turkey’s some kids made.

I got out of the school early and went to eat a early dinner at Big Bowl and was pleasantly surprised to find out that they have a new vegetarian and gluten free menu! This totally rocked my world! I already love Big Bowl, and had a few signature vegetarian meals that I always ordered but now there’s a whole menu! There’s new appetizers and entrees. Here are some of the new entrees:
Cilantro Salad – cilanto, pressed tofu, roasted peanuts and sesame dressing

Crispy Tofu – chiles, fresh ginger, soy-sesame dressing

Unfried Rice – jasmine rice, wok tossed with fresh ginger, spicy Fresno chilies, shiitake, bamboo, Sichuan vegetable, pressed tofu with sunny-side up egg.

Lucky 8 – eight types of vegetables such as green beans, spinach, napa cabbage and tofu with sesame soy sauce. The complete eight will depend on what’s local and seasonal at the time.

I tried the Unfried Fried Rice. Two thumbs up! And because I’m trying to cut my extra calories, I boxed half of the meal. I actually pushed half of it on one side of my plate and didn’t touch it. This is like a first. Second accomplishment? Passed on the alcohol again! Oh so good. Third accomplishment? Passed on dessert!

My aura is so positive right now, I just had to share because maybe I can pass it on to you! Here’s to accomplishing goals and little kids! Love!

Have an amazing weekend!
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”  -Winston Churchill

Gobble Gobble!

Thanksgiving is in exactly one week from today. I love Thanksgiving, even if the message is hugely skewed and a little
fabricated. The intent is good and it comes down to the start of the Winter Holiday Festivities and family time. The one time of year that I actually do genuinely feel some type of love and warmth towards everyone. I love the holidays! This will be my first holiday season without meat, and I’m prepared to be ridiculed. Bring it on, I don’t really care.

What I do care about are the poor turkeys that are being fattened up right now as I type this. Fattened up on shit they normally wouldn’t even consume to become big, plump feasts that Americans who already are fat don’t need to eat. Why do we use a holiday like Thanksgiving, where we are suppose to give thanks for our bountifulness, to consume even more food than normal while there are countries in poverty? Makes sense back in the hay day when food was scarce and one had to hunt for their family’s turkey feast, but nowadays it’s just a tradition for families to pig out together then all crash from their tryptophan (the reason why you get so sleepy after eating turkey) overdose then have a Thanksgiving hangover the next day.

Look at those poor baby turkey’s. 😦

Pretty much every family out there is going to be purchasing a turkey in the next week, so where do you think all these turkey’s come from? First off they are so obese from what factories feed them that they can’t naturally reproduce. They are almost all conceived through artificial insemination. Then they are raised on factory farms in large incubators and separated from their mamas. Then when they are a couple weeks old they get moved into windowless sheds with thousands of other turkeys and this is where they spend the rest of their lives. They get pretty stressed out, so in order for us to keep them from killing each other in these crowded sheds we cut off their toes and beaks without pain relievers.

How do we get them nice and plump for Thanksgiving? They are drugged and genetically manipulated to grow as large as they possibly can as quickly as they can. In the 1970s the average turkey weighed 17 lbs. Today they weigh 28 lbs! For anyone who thinks this is normal (to fatten and kill turkeys) take into consideration that they are so unnaturally large that they often die from organ failure or heart attacks before they are even 6 months old. They are suppose to live for 12 years.

Please eat organic turkey this Thanksgiving, or better yet don’t eat any. I may not be a perfect eater, but I’m really not going to be a vessel of dead turkey this Thanksgiving.

 

Victory!

I went to the Wild game. I had no beer. I had no pretzel with fake cheese. I settled for water and popcorn! I did good. 😉
On another interesting note: They sell veggie burgers and veggie kabobs at the Xcel Center! Totally awesome.