Friday, May 31, 2013

Vegan Kickstart, Day Fifteen

Food: Day 15, Vegan Kickstart

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Fig and Mint Leftover Huevos Rancheros

Snack: Orange slices

Dinner: Tempeh Sloppy Joes and Summer Pasta and Bean Salad with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

Not much to share food-wise yesterday.  Oatmeal w/figs & mint did not sound appetizing to me, so I ate leftovers from the day before. Same with lunch.  I'd planned on making the dinner menu but once again, Chip and I decided to have happy hour/dinner at Quarterdeck where our friend Artie plays.  I drank a couple glasses of wine and ate my usual Portobello Mushroom on Ciabatta sandwich, but instead of fries I ordered a plain baked potato.  Chip had nachos so I used some of his salsa and guacamole to doctor up the tater. Delicious! That was my big "splurge" for the week, thoroughly enjoyed it and moving on.

Fitness: My house is 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, about 2,400 square feet, most of it white ceramic tile.  With 4 adults, 4 cats and 2 dogs walking on it, you can imagine how quickly it gets dirty!

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Lucifer the Lap Cat

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Jezebel "helping" with the laundry
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Jackson, clearly distraught by the number on the scale
(When there's nothing else to share, pet pics!)

Ideally it should be swept/mopped every single day, which is what I did when I lived here full time.  Kristyn does her best but she works too much to stay on top of it, so when I come home I take over the floor chore.  With my trusty Cuban mop and a bucket of hot water & vinegar, I tore through the house, brought the tiles back to a beautiful shine and worked off a few calories in the process.  I also deep cleaned the kitchen, did a few loads of laundry, etc., boring haus frau stuff. I was just finishing up when Chip came home and suggested happy hour (see above). I was more than willing to put down my mop and get all dolled up for Date Night.

Personal: Now that my car is repaired, I need to run errands.  Library, pet store, Whole Foods.  I need to find a new tv series to watch while on the treadmill, any suggestions?

Have a great day, TGIF!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vegan Kickstart, Day Fourteen

Food: Day 14, Vegan Kickstart

Snack: Apple or other fruit

Dinner: Kickstart DIY: Beans, greens, and grains

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Huevos Rancheros

Breakfast: First of all, the Huevos Rancheros was sooo much better than the original tofu scramble! I added some onion to the mix, lessened the amount of turmeric, and the followed the Huevos Recipe as directed.  Shown open-faced here, I rolled it in a whole-grain tortilla to make a breakfast wrap.  Delicious! I decided not to make the hashbrowns, might try them on a weekend when I have other folks to share with.

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Chickpea Salad
For lunch, I chose to serve the Chickpea Salad on Ezekiel bread, apple slices on the side. While this tasted nothing like any meat-based (tuna, egg) salad I've ever had, it was very tasty and a nice sandwich filling.

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Dinner was DIY, so I chose a Forks Over Knives recipe, Italian White Bean, Kale & Potato Stew. For convenience sake, I attempted to adapt it for the slow cooker. I sauteed the onions, garlic, etc as directed, then dumped everything except the kale into the crock-pot. That cooked all day, then when dinner time rolled around I added the kale in the last few minutes before serving.  I added a can of tomato puree since the mixture looked too dry to withstand all-day cooking.

Italian White Bean, Kale and Potato Stew photo c8cef846-7c5f-4d98-a161-268a97173484_zpsf62f6be6.jpg
Italian White Bean, Kale & Potato Stew

Once again, sorry for the less-than-perfect pictures; this stew tasted much better than it looked! Supposedly the recipe only serves six, but my crock-pot was almost overflowing so I'm thinking these are very generous portions.

I'm really surprised at how few cravings I have on the Kickstart. I haven't had any "white foods" other than a little potato here & there, and I'm seriously not missing them! I guess it's true, once you get the crap out of your system you no longer want it.  The only trouble I'm having is at night when I want something to snack on when reading or watching TV. I need to prepare a raw veggie platter and have that at the ready for those moments. 

Food Journal:

 Fitness: I put in 30 minutes on the treadmill, burned a few calories...

Weight:  Happy to report that I'm down another 1.4 lbs this week, 7 pounds total! Further proof that this way of eating is right for me. I think I could've done better, need more treadmill time.

Personal: Today's goal is to continue with the cleaning/decluttering of this house, also have a couple of errands to run.  After days of constant rain, the sun is trying to peek out through the dark clouds, maybe I'll be able to sneak in a Loki walk before the inevitable afternoon showers.

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vegan Kickstart, Day Thirteen

As you can see, I completely skipped Day Twelve. Since it was a travel day, I ate leftovers and Chip ordered Chinese food for dinner.

Food: Day 13, Vegan Kickstart: 

Breakfast: Vanilla French Toast and Kickstart DIY Smoothie 

Lunch: Spinach, Beet, and Orange Salad with whole-grain bread or pita

Snack: Edamame

Dinner: Jamaican Stir-Fry

And as for Day Thirteen, only halfway followed it as well.  I had good intentions, but Life got in the way. More on that later..

My plans for today included a 8:45 appt for my yearly mammogram, followed by a Whole Foods & library run (two of my favorite places on the planet).  Once again, today's menu is intended to be eaten on a weekend, and I didn't have the time nor energy to cook breakfast. I ate a bowl of (whole grain, high fiber) cereal and coffee, figured I'd get back on the plan at lunchtime. Ran out to my car, turned the key and..pfft..nothing. Dead battery. sigh. Rescheduled my mammo, called Chip who said he'd give me a jump at lunchtime (ooh, that sounds fun!) but in the meantime, housebound.

C came home, provided the promised service, and while he ate lunch I ran to the grocery store, grabbed ingredients for the rest of the day. Except for edamame, 'cause that's just a weird snack in my opinion. Anyway, by the time I got home with the groceries, I was starving! I popped the beets in the oven, cut the oranges, and then heated up a bowl of leftover Sweet Potato Chili to tide me over.  When I finally got around to the salad, it was soooo worth it!

Spinach, Beet and Orange Salad photo c5123d82-ed8a-42f8-aba2-0bb2011bf0a4_zps621e76a8.jpg

Before going vegan, my only interaction with beets was either in a baby food jar (which my kids hated) or the pickled variety found at a salad bar. Neither were very appealing. I recently discovered that they could be wrapped in foil and roasted. Oh. my. goodness. What a difference in taste, not to mention texture! In this salad, they are paired alongside the citrusy-sweetness of navel oranges and topped with a ginger-agave dressing, perfection!

Jamaican Stir Fry photo b75cde53-a882-4b29-9572-dbbe5bc88eb8_zpsf5a45ef2.jpg
Jamaican Stir Fry
I was less than thrilled with dinner. The stir fry tasted as bland & boring as it appears. Little flavor & spice, seriously lacking in color. Blech.

Even with the substitutions, I still met my goals:

Fitness:  It's post-dinnertime here and I haven't done much in the way of fitness.  I may hop on the treadmill later or take Loki for a walk, will see how it goes.

Have a great evening..

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

It's been a very nice holiday weekend so far.  Chip and I spent some time at home, catching up on chores as well as relaxing with Loki.

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We went to the movies yesterday, saw the latest Star Trek, quite good. I'm proud to say I brought my own popcorn so as to not be tempted by the theater stuff; have you guys tried this Skinny Pop? Really tasty!

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Afterward we took a walk along the Daytona Beach Boardwalk, our own little "Coney Island" complete with amusement park.

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I'd already made Day 11's dinner, Sweet Potato Lentil Chili, so it was waiting in the crockpot when we got home.  Yum!

Sweet Potato Lentil Chili photo 20130527_111059_zps961fff93.jpg

This morning we went to our beach, absolutely gorgeous day! I could've sat there reading and sipping my iced tea for hours but, alas, Chip has to work tomorrow so we had to head back south.

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I haven't been following the Vegan Kickstart 100% but still sticking to the basic premise of low-fat, plant-based and have stayed well within my Sparkpeople daily goals.  The scale says I'm doing just fine. :)

Hope you're having a wonderful holiday weekend, see you tomorrow!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Vegan Kickstart, Days Nine and Ten

As expected, Friday was a total bust.  Between shuffling animals in & out of bedrooms, "supervising" the crew of men demolishing my bathroom, dealing with lack of running water for several hours, and packing for the weekend away, little else got accomplished. I ate leftovers from prior day's meals, packed up what wasn't consumed and brought it along in a cooler. When dinner time rolled around, we were on the road fighting traffic w/the other hundreds of people who'd also decided to leave town for the holiday weekend. Groan. The drive took about an hour longer than usual; when dinner time rolled around, I was very happy to have that little cooler filled with "my" meals so I didn't have to succumb to fast food. We got home in time to unload the car, take Loki for a quickie walk, shower and climb into bed. Zzzz....

I'm sure Day Nine's meals were yummy, might go back to them another time but for now, moving on to Day Ten. 

This morning I got up early (5:30) and started planning my day. Since I'm never one to leave fresh foods & vegetables behind, the refrigerator here was bare. First up, a grocery store run.  I decided to loosely follow the Kickstart menus, filling in with leftovers when possible. I had a little  at happy hour, still ended up a bit low in calories but I am full and don't want anything else. 

Food: Day Ten, Vegan Kickstart

Breakfast: Fruit Salad and whole-grain toast with apple butter

Lunch: Leftover Pita Pizzas or DIY veggie burger

Snack: Carrot and apple Tossed Salad

penne al forno 

I'm not sure who calculated the serving size of the Penne al Forno, but it made a HUGE amount! No way is it only 4 servings, I am dividing it into 8 and that's still a generous plateful! The flavors were very good, love the addition of garlic-stuffed olives, but overall a bit dry; next time I'd use more sauce.  Chip wasn't impressed, said he wasn't accustomed to having so many veggies in his pasta, but he ate a little bowl anyway. The collards were, well, what can you say about greens? They're good for you, so you eat past the slight bitterness and strong flavor.

Here's my food journal:

Fitness: Loki and I took a couple of short walks but nothing too intense. Still feeling kinda blah, hoping some extra sleep will help.  Off to bed with a good book and a cup of sleepytime tea.  I'm such a party animal! Goodnight.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Vegan Kickstart, Day Eight

Food: Day 8, Vegan Kickstart

Breakfast: Apricot Oatmeal

Snack: Frozen mango tropical fruit chunks

Dinner: Cuban Black Bean and Potato Soup with steamed or fresh spinach tossed salad

Today was a decent menu day, nothing to rave about. The apricot oatmeal was pretty good, shared it w/Kristyn and we both enjoyed it but doubt we'll make again. I like oatmeal but it's not my favorite breakfast food.  

Miso Soup, Hummus Sandwich

Lunch: as I've mentioned, I try to limit my consumption of faux meats and processed foods in general, so I had a hummus, sprout and tomato sandwich on Ezekiel Bread for lunch.  Accompanied by another bowl of miso soup, it was delicious.

Dinner was gonna be a challenge.  Our friend Artie is a singer/songwriter who has a standing Thursday evening gig at a local sports bar.  We try to catch him whenever we're in town, such was last night's plan.  He plays from 5:30 - 8:30, so we'll typically eat dinner there. Their veg-friendly menu options are quite limited, I end up having the same Portobello Mushroom-on-Ciabatta-Sandwich w/fries every time.  Well, obviously all of that white bread and fried stuff isn't going to help my weight loss efforts, so I needed a new plan.

Earlier in the day, I prepared the Cuban Black Bean and Potato Soup, put it into the crock-pot on Warm.  I'd decided not to drink at the bar, but I did have one small glass of chardonnay at home before we left. We headed out to see Artie, where I ordered a Pecan Crusted Chicken Breast Salad, sans the chicken, ate about half.  I drank club soda with a splash of cranberry juice. Big NSV for me, avoiding not only the crappy bar food but also the alcohol. I feel great this morning, worth every bit of willpower!

Tropical Salad with Fat-Free Raspberry Vinaigrette

Non-Alcohol Cocktail

When we got home, dinner was waiting for us.  I hate eating meals so close to bedtime, but this was the best I could do under the circumstances.  The soup was ok, but still not the authentic black bean soup this South Florida girl is used to having. Sorry, no pics as it was too dark by the time we ate. Here's my food journal:

Fitness:  I was feeling a tad under the weather yesterday, was not as active as normal. No treadmill time, will need to make up for that today. I still managed to burn a few calories..

Personal: Today will be interesting. The workmen will be here at 9 am to complete our guest bathroom renovation, I'll be busy shuffling 4 cats and 2 dogs into secured areas to ensure everyone's safety.  We are traveling to Ormond Beach for the long weekend, will be packing up and car and heading north this evening.  Since I don't want to leave a bunch of food here to spoil nor completely re-stock the Ormond house just for a few days, I'll probably rely on leftovers and fill in where needed. Not sure what that will do to the Kickstart, we'll see..

Have a great day, TGIF! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Vegan Kickstart, Day Seven

Today's menu was..weird.  First of all, the calorie count was super low; if I hadn't supplemented with a couple of extra snacks and a bowl of soup at lunchtime, I would've only consumed about 600 calories! Considering that most of the other day's menus were in the 1,200 - 1,400 range (perfect), this was a surprise and I can only conclude that they expected one to add more veggies, etc? Either way, here's what I ate:

Food: Day 7, Vegan Kickstart

Breakfast: Tofu Breakfast Scramble

Lunch: Artichoke Hearts and Tomato Salad  & Cannellini Beans, Miso Soup

Snack: Fresh berries Frozen tropical fruit, leftover hummus w/baked blue chips & raw vegetables

Dinner: Israeli Couscous with Carrots, Peas, and Red Wine Vinegar with Seared Cauliflower with Garlic and Tamari   Leftovers

Worst Tofu Scramble EVER
The Tofu Scramble breakfast was seriously the worst scramble I've ever eaten, and I've had many versions. The only seasonings were salt & turmeric, so in essence it was a bunch of mushed-up yellow tofu & potato. Gross. Kristyn doctored up her portion with some Sriracha & soy sauce, I choked mine down and moved on.

Artichoke Heart & Tomato Salad
Artichoke Heart & Tomato Salad, Miso Soup

Lunch was tasty; the salad reminded me of my "famous" Triple Bean & Artichoke Salad, albeit w/o the fat. Next time I'll add more seasonings, though, as it was a bit bland.

As for dinner, I honestly didn't like the idea of chilled couscous, so I decided to eat leftover Ratatouille & brown rice from the prior night.  

Overall, this was not my favorite day on the Vegan Kickstart, but every meal can't be a winner, right? I'm trying to disconnect from food a bit, thinking of it more as fuel and less as fun, so many an occasional flop is good for me.

Here's my food journal:

Fitness: I logged another 30 minutes on the treadmill, about the same speed as yesterday but it was slightly easier this time.  Fitbit says I burned 559 calories through exercise.

Weight: So, here's my little announcement: I have lost my first 5 pounds, 6 to be exact. Woo-hoo!! That is just the motivation I need to keep going! I don't see much of a difference, body-wise, except that my tummy might be a tiny bit flatter.  I can't remember, how many pounds equals one dress size? I'm thinking ten? Looking forward to that.

Personal:  Last night was a bit rough craving-wise. I cooked Chip a separate dinner of pasta, "chick'n" cutlets and Italian bread. I swear I could hear the loaf of white stuff calling me, begging me to have a butter-smeared slice..with a glass of wine, of course. I'm proud to say I ignored the siren song, and this morning's weight loss is my reward.

Tonight we have plans to join friends for Happy Hour at our local watering hole.  This is a Thursday night routine when we're in South FL, several of us get together to see a mutual friend sing/play guitar.  Typically I'd have a couple glasses of wine or beers, dinner would consist of a portobello mushroom sandwich with fries.  Of course I'd wake up feeling like crap on Friday morning, bloated and filled with dieter's remorse. I am thinking that I'll avoid all of that this time, perhaps eat a snack before we leave and have dinner when we get home..and as far as the alcohol..well, maybe a glass of club soda with a splash of cranberry juice? I'm hoping that the pride I feel on Friday morning will be a good substitute for the Thursday night wine buzz.  Wish me luck.

Sorry I don't have more photos to share; again, the natural lighting in this house is so limited, it's tough to get a good pic.  Hopefully I can take some better ones tonight.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Vegan Kickstart, Day Six

I think today's menu was, once again, meant to be eaten on a weekend when one might have more time for cooking, and perhaps someone to share meals with.  On a Tuesday, I typically have the former, but not the latter, so I made some adjustments.

Food: Day 6, Vegan Kickstart

Breakfast: Chai Spice Pancakes and Facon Bacon  (not a fan of faux bacon)

Lunch: Orange and Fennel Salad Tossed Salad and Portobello Fajitas

Dinner: Oven-Baked Chickpea Ratatouille with Always Great Brown Rice

Dessert: Summer Fruit Compote 

I was a bit leery of the pancakes, not accustomed to breakfast food being quite so spicy/savory, but with a drizzle of maple syrup and some strawberries, scrumptious! I must've been too generous in my pouring because I only got 2 large pancakes out of the mix; I ate one, saved the other for Kristyn.

Chai Spice Pancakes

As for lunch, I like fennel but my grocery store was out of it and I didn't feel like running to Whole Foods, so I just had tossed salad w/the Creamy Avocado Dressing I made yesterday.  The fajitas were good but next time I'll leave out the roasted red pepper as I didn't care for them in this dish, and I'll spend a few calories on some guacamole.  

Portobello Fajita

I was a bit hesitant to try the dinner selection since I don't really like traditional ratatouille (cute movie, though, btw), but I was pleasantly surprised. A little bit of brown rice goes a long way when accompanied by this hearty topping, very tasty & filling.

Oven-Baked Chickpea Ratatouille

I wasn't quite sure what to "do" with the dessert, having always seen compote served over something (ice cream, etc) and not on it's own, so I just had a bowl of (frozen) tropical fruit instead. At the end of the day, I found myself low on calories so I added another snack serving, leftover tortilla chips & mango salsa from yesterday.

Here's my food journal:

Fitness: After a long absence, I got back on the treadmill and logged my usual 30 minutes. I wasn't quite able to get back to my normal speed (between 3.5 and 4mph) but a steady 3.2 wasn't bad after so many months of near sloth-like activity! The earbud/extension cord combo worked perfectly, what a pleasure to hear every word of the tv show w/o shaking the walls. Kristyn and Jesus were awake and could hear a little of the treadmill noise, of course, but not a bit of sound from the tv. Success!

Weight: I am weighing myself daily, and the numbers are going down little by little.  Tomorrow's my official weigh-in day and I should have a nice little announcement to make.  *smile*

Personal: Despite it being that time of the month, I have had no uncontrollable cravings and no crazy mood swings.  This is very unusual for me, and though I hesitate to give so much credit to the "diet," nothing else has changed in my life. Can it be that better food + more activity = a shift in hormonal madness? 

I spent a good portion of yesterday cleaning out my closet & dresser drawers.  Since we don't live here full time anymore and my daughter certainly doesn't clean my room for me (how cool would that be?), those areas of my home have been sorely neglected.  Every time I opened my closet or dresser drawer, I was confronted with articles of clothing that no longer fit.  I have jeans ranging from my size 6 (2005) days up to size 12 (2011), tons of size Medium tops, and we won't even talk about the drawers full of cute lingerie that I haven't worn in years.  It was so freakin' depressing, I have literally been living out of the suitcase I brought down from the Ormond house. Well, no more.  I tore through that room yesterday and packed up every single item that doesn't fit right now. The stuff I want to keep is contained in two Rubbermaid bins, the rest is being donated.  When I lose enough weight to fit into a smaller size, I have those bins of beautiful clothes to "shop" from.  I already feel lighter/happier, not being forced to look at the sad reminders of my weight gain, my failure to get and keep the weight off. Needless to say, my dresser and closet are empty.  Today's task is to wash/dry/fold/iron everything that fits me, and get it put away.

Off to make breakfast and hop on the treadmill, Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Vegan Gypsy: Vegan Kickstart, Day Five

I have to say, this was my least favorite of the menus thus far.  It's not that I didn't enjoy the food, just that there wasn't enough of it planned out for me. I didn't bring home the prior night's leftovers since they weren't OP, which would have left my lunch a bit scanty. A cup of miso soup is just not gonna cut it! As for dinner, I am not comfortable "winging it" at a Mexican restaurant just yet, nor do I tend to dine out on Mondays.  Not the fault of the program as they don't know what day of the week it is, probably assumed I started on a Monday which would make Day Five a Friday, right? Anyway, no big deal. I tweaked the menu, adding ingredients from other days, and came up with this:

Day Five:

Breakfast: Smoothie Day: Green Glamour Smoothie

Green Glamour Smoothie

Lunch: Leftover DIY from last night or Miso Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms, Hummus & Veggie Sandwich on Ezekiel Bread

Miso Soup & Hummus,Veggie Sandwich

Snack: Mango Salsa with Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips or raw veggies

Mango Salsa with Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips

Dinner: Kickstart Dining Out: Mexican Quick Black Bean Chili, Tossed Salad w/Creamy Avocado Dressing

05.20.13 dinner

My food journal looked like this:

Overall, the meals this day were, eh..just okay.  The Green Glamour Smoothie was pretty good, the Miso soup was excellent, and the Quick Black Bean Chili was decent but nothing to write home about, prefer my own tried & true version.  The Mango Salsa was delicious, light & fresh, and the only thing I missed about traditional tortilla chips was the salt!

On the fitness front, I've been struggling with a little logistics issue. Though I have my own "cave" where my treadmill is set up, it happens to be right next door to Kristyn & Jesus' room.  I like watching tv while I walk, but in order to hear the sound over the treadmill, I have to blast the freakin' volume to the point where it can be heard all over the house. Since I want to work out in the morning, and K & J work mostly nights, I just can't bring myself to disturb their early-AM slumber like that. What to do? I turned the professionals for assistance: Laura, because she's an awesome inspiration to me and knows a thing or two about exercise, and my Mechanical Engineer Hubby. Turns out, there are solutions to my dilemma, various cordless headsets and ear buds, but they all come with downsides.  Most of the new Bluetooth-type headphones are not sweat-resistant (eww) and the older versions are bulky and not suited for workouts.  Also, there is the cost factor. I can't justify another $100 personal expense right now, it's just not in this month's budget.  So, what to do? Thanks to this site, I discovered an "old school" solution: an extension cord which runs from the headphone jack in the tv to my regular everyday earbuds. Maybe not as fancy or pretty as the other options, but it'll work!  Once I decided, I got Chip on board and after a quick run to Radio Shack & a 5-minute installation: problem solved! As soon as I'm done with my coffee/blogging I'll be hopping on the treadmill, guilt-free. No family members will be rocked out of bed by my mindless tv. Woo-hoo!

Oh, and a quick peek at the scale revealed another little loss. Apparently this calorie-counting/exercising thing works. Imagine that?!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Vegan Kickstart: Day Four

Well, today was Day Four of the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, and I've gotta tell you, it was a bust. Oh, don't worry, I didn't run out and devour a cheesecake or anything, but I wasn't exactly on plan either.

The morning started out great, my usual coffee & the cereal/plant milk/fruit as suggested.  Sufficiently fueled, I then joined Kristyn & Chip in the garage where we proceeded to clean and organize it, top to bottom.  It took four solid hours. We're not dirty people, I promise, it's just that w/us traveling and away from home as much as we've been, we've allowed the clutter to get out of control. We took a quick lunch break and I made sandwiches from the meal plan, but I didn't bother mixing up new hummus, just made used Ezekiel bread, leftover hummus from the other day, sprouts and tomatoes. No soup, back to work. It was delicious!

When everything was spic & span, we loaded up in the car and headed to an animal rescue fundraiser, where I drank two Mich Ultra beers, about 150 calories. On the way home we stopped at one of Chip's favorite restaurants but unfortunately there are very few healthy (vegan) options. I settled on a bowl of pasta w/tomato sauce and a side salad. I did the best I could under the circumstances, moving on...

The good news: My Fitbit says I did pretty well in the exercise department, apparently deep cleaning burns a helluva lot of calories, anybody need a maid? *wink*

Having a cup of herbal tea, off to relax with the hubby...have a great evening!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Vegan Kickstart: Day Three

Hey, I just realized that Friday's post was my 100th! I didn't even realize, how cool is that? Other happy stuff that happened today...

The scale showed a one-pound loss. While not my "official" weigh-in (that's on Thursday) I was pleased to see the numbers moving in the right direction!

Chip bought me a (used) treadmill from Craigslist. My main/other treadmill is at the house in Ormond, and it's just a pain in the butt to trailer the thing back & forth.  And honestly, I need the indoor exercise option more down here since it's so freaking hot and there's nowhere really nice to walk outdoors.  I'm so spoiled by the beautiful park near our OB house, and of course the beach just ten minutes away. But, hey, working with what I've got here!

"new" treadmill in my Mom Cave

Oh, and he also brought me a guy, right?


Today's Menu:

Breakfast:Green Apple Oatmeal

Lunch: Blue Corn Chip Salad 

Blue Corn Chip Salad
Blue Corn Chip Salad - this thing was so huge, 
I ate half at lunch, the rest a couple of hours later

Snack: Red or Green Bell Pepper strips

Bell Peppers w/Hummus
I used a little hummus as a dip
 Dinner: Quick Black Bean Chili with mixed green salad

While I'm sure the chili is delicious, and though I do love black beans, having them twice in one day isn't appealing.  We are meeting friends for dinner so I'll likely be having a veggie burger instead.

I asked Glenn for a review of the veg food he's tried so far, and he nearly waxed poetic over how good everything was. Needless to say, I'm thrilled! I am hopeful that he'll continue with it once the 21 Days are over.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Vegan Kickstart: Day Two

Today's menu was really simple and enjoyable, a welcome reprieve from all of the cooking I've been doing. 

Breakfast: Cereal, plant milk (your choice), and banana and berries. Since I'm not normally a cereal person, I had to run to the grocery store before breakfast, so I just grabbed a banana to tide me over.  I chose Wholefoods 365 - Bite-Sized Wheat Squares with almond milk, pretty tasty but nothing photo-worthy.

Lunch: Hummus and Sundried Tomato Wrap and cup of leftover Curried Tomato Lentil Soup (leftover from yesterday's lunch)

05.17.13 lunch

The cool crispness of the wrap was a nice compliment to the spice of the soup, great combination. I never knew making my own hummus was so easy, why bother with store-bought?

Snack/Dessert: Ginger Banana Smoothie.  I decided to save this for after-dinner dessert, delicious! I love ginger but never would've thought to put in a fruit smoothie, brilliant! I was kinda hungry in the mid-afternoon so I had a big tossed salad with 1/4  cup of the baked chickpeas from yesterday. 

Dinner: Moroccan Bean Stew with Sweet Potatoes with side of Couscous
Just as yummy the second time around, and the couscous makes it such a hearty meal.

Sorry for the lack of pics today, have been catching up on household chores, running errands, etc. Hopefully tomorrow will hold more photo op's. I'll leave you with this, my food log for the day, in case you're interested in the nutritional analysis for the Kickstart.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Vegan Kickstart: Day One

I hesitate to share a pic of last night's Moroccan Stew with Sweet Potatoes because the photo doesn't do it justice. It's not an especially pretty stew (are they ever?) and unlike the Ormond house, the lighting here stinks! But it was so delicious, so please look beyond the image. Everyone liked it, from the vegans (Kristyn & me) to the omnivore (Chip) to the fledgling vegetarian.  Glenn ooh-ed and ahh-ed his way through every bite, said he he enjoyed it immensely.

Moroccan Bean Stew

So, today was the first official day of the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart.  Since I had already done the shopping for the first couple of days, I was prepared and ready to roll once breakfast time came around.

Green Apple Oatmeal Ingredients

Breakfast, Day One: Green Apple Oatmeal. I used Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk as the liquid, adding a few calories but between that and the sprinkling of Saigon cinnamon, it tasted almost like apple crumble! Surprisingly filling, and just over 200 calories. What a deal!

05.16 breakfast

Lunch, Day One: Balsamic Zucchini Sandwiches and Curried Tomato Lentil Soup. Now, I am not a big fan of balsamic vinegar. Not sure why, it just doesn't tickle my fancy, so I substituted red wine vinegar instead. Oh, my, goodness, this was sooo yummy! All around wonderful soup & sandwich combo, and let me tell you, I was stuffed afterward!

05.16.13 lunch

The rest of the Day One menu included a snack of Oatmeal Banana Bites and Fettucine with Grilled Asparagus, Peas and Lemon for dinner, with Baked Marinated Chickpeas. Knowing Chip's lack of affection for peas, along with the fact that we are going out to meet some friends this evening, I decided to forego the Fettuccine recipe.  I did, however, make a batch of the Chickpeas and plan to enjoy them as a snack or a salad topping later.  As for the Banana Bites, I honestly don't think I need any baked goods in the house right now. If I have a craving for something sweet, I'd rather go for the actual banana or other fruit. 

If you're following along and have made any of today's recipes, I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Quickies and My Ex-Husband

April 1984 - barely a baby bump of Kristyn

That got your attention, huh? Well, it's not exactly as it ex-hubby #1, Baby Daddy to my first born daughter, is still a very big part of my life even though we've been divorced for 25 years.  He lives within walking distance of my home down south, enabling him to spend lots of time with Kristyn.  Not only is he one of my closet friends in the world, he's also an awesome daddy and, when needed, excellent pet sitter.  We have an unusual situation here in that..hope you're sitting down..he and my current hubby are best friends and have been for 40 years.  Yes, you read that right. I'll spare you the long soap-opera-ish story, but if you're bored curious enough, you can read about it at my old blog.  Anyway, Glenn and Chip are best friends. Glenn and I are exes. My kids love them both.  We're one big messy, happy hippy family, and it's all good. Very good.  But I digress..

Glenn & Chip, still crazy after all these years

Without invading his privacy too much, I'll tell you this: Glenn has some health issues that have caused us all a bit of concern, and he is making some lifestyle changes in order to combat those.  This past week he made the announcement that he's decided to become (mostly) vegetarian. Well, knowing how much this Italian loves his sausage (the meat, get your mind out of the gutter!), we were understandably shocked! Then, thrilled. And then, being the control freak ex-wife that I am, I started planning.  Knowing that the bachelor won't cook a lot for himself, Kristyn and I put our heads together and decided to help.  Since his doctor wants him to limit white, starchy foods (yay!), we're going to introduce him to some healthy grains he's never tried, such as quinoa.  To his advantage, Glenn is a huge veggie lover so I honestly think the transition will be easy as, well, spinach pie! My dream is that he becomes like Chip (in this one area only) and is a vegetarian at home, indulging on an occasional dinner out.

So, with all of that in mind, you're wondering...ok, where does the Quickie part come in? Here goes: since I'm trying to lose weight and could use a bit more structure, I've decided to go back to the basics with Dr. Barnard's 21-Day Kickstart, or what I refer to as Quickstart.  All of the basics of a plant-based diet are covered here, including menu plans, recipes, etc.  I am going to follow the plan as closely as possible for the next 21 days, sharing meals/recipes with Glenn as much as he wants.  I doubt he'll want to spend every dinner at our house, but even if he just gets a few "doggy bags" per week it'll certainly be better than nothing.  As Chip and I will be "home" for at least a month, it seems like the perfect timing!

Now, the Quickstart is really for new vegans so if you haven't switched to a plant based diet, this is a great opportunity for you to do so! I'll be posting/reviewing the recipes as I go along, should be a wonderful experience for all of us.

I'll be shopping and planning this afternoon, will start the Quick Start with the first dinner recipe tonight: Fettuccine with Grilled Asparagus, Peas and Lemon. Hope you'll join us on this new fun-filled challenge!

Note: Due to unexpected time constraints this afternoon (damned flat tire!), I'll be making a recipe from Day Two of the Kickstart, using what I have on hand.  Pop back in tomorrow for a review of the Moroccan Bean Stew with Sweet Potatoes.