Monday, December 14, 2009

Following up

So, I mentioned earlier last week on how I can sometimes abuse sugar. After day three of eliminating sugar from my diet, I felt less puffy and dehydrated. Drinking enough water and eating healthy foods will always help my body find it's natural balance. Our bodies are very intelligent machines. Although, sometimes my mind isn't intelligent enough to put down my 15th cookie.

Most likely, I will never give up sugar completely. On a daily basis, I don't eat it that much and am aware of what I eat that does contain it. I love to bake and share what I make with my family and friends. Baking is a big part of who I am. Heck, it passed from my Mom, She's a pastry chef! I will, however become more educated on using other sugars and experiment baking with them. If you have any tips or recommendations on different sugars; agave, barley malt syrup, maple syrup, etc. and how the work baking, feel free to leave me a lil' note!

Love your body. Love what it does for you and treat it well.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day Two

The first three days of anything are always miserable.  Giving up alcohol, quitting smoking, starting a new work out routine or in my case, shutting out sugar.  I've given up multiple things in my life, temporarily and premaritally.  Well, nothing is really permanent, but eventually it becomes a lifestyle.  I don't smoke any more, and would never ever dream of putting a cigarette in my mouth - ever.  I am a vegan and will never go back.  Transitioning to new and healthier lifestyles take time can be tricky.  I was a vegetarian for years on and off.  After watching a PETA documentary, I knew I could never eat meat again.  It was so disturbing.  Paul McCartney said, "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian."  It is so true, too.  After my initial wake up call, I did some more reading and started researching recipes.  It will be three years in January that I have lived a vegan lifestyle.  I feel as if once you become educated on any topic, in this case, vegetarianism/veganism, responsibility is involved. I know the effects of factory farming, on our environment, drinking water, the poor conditions animals live in for our consumption.  How, after seeing suffering animals, envionrments trashed, natural water ways polluted could one agree to eat meat.  A lot has to happen and be damaged for meat that is delivered to your market.  How can one think that the meat they eat is healthy?  How can you, as a consumer, know that the animal wasn't diseased, injected with antibiotics or hormones?  Were you at the farm?  Most people I know throw a whole loaf of bread away when they see a little bit of mold on the heel.  If you fall into that category, ask yourself,"how can I eat meat from a chicken that had disease in its life?"  I guess, since most people don't see where their meat comes from, or even have a clue how far it travels, it doesn't bother them.  To round up my rant, I feel as if being educated on vegetarianism, is a responsibility.  I am a world citizen and see the bigger picture.  Knowing this, it is my duty to leave this world a better place; for me and my sisters children to live happy and healthy lives.  

I've never felt healthier eating a vegan diet.  I limit processed foods and eat a balanced whole-foods diet.  When I do put crap in my body, I can tell immediately.  Sugar, hydrogenated oils, HFCS, alcohol, etc.  I do try to limit these things are much as possible, but some days it's impossible.  Even after I over indulge in homemade chocolate-chocolate chip cookies, I look at tomorrow as a new day to try again.  Every day is a gift and a new day to try and do better.  Not just eating; being a better listener, being a conscious driver, being a better student, or being less of something or nothing!  Don't get too down on yourself if you slip up!

One thing that I've learned in life is to be gentle, especially on yourself.  Speaking of gentle and delicious, I made up a healthy and easy miso soup yesterday to help ground my belly after my sugar binge.  Miso is great for your immune system.  It's fermented and has plenty of B vitamins, vitamin E and helps to maintain nutritional balance through its active enzymes and bacteria.  Something I defiantly needed!  

Miso is easy to soo easy to prepare.  I followed the directions on my paste package, added some vegetables and *poof!* healthy soup!  It is ready in seconds!  Don't boil miso, the heat kills any fermented goodness.  Just a tip!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sugar, We're so over.

Dear Sugar,

Oh, Sweetie our time is up.  You've seduce me for years.  Your multiple personalities, refined, brown, in the raw, natural...  We've had quite the run.  Our initial interaction is beautiful, there is excitement and hope.  Hope that you wont leave me wanting more and more of you.  After one taste, sure enough, I only want more.  After you're usually gone.  I then raid the pantry, scrape under my fingernails and bark at people until I get more of you.  It's embarrassing.  You don't make me a good person.  Each time is the same.  We get together, party hard and you leave me with heart ache.  Not to mention a nasty stomach and head ache from hell.  We've been on and off for over 3 years and I've had enough.  I love you, to the point where it begins to hurt me.  The last two days we've been on a crazy binge of each other.  This morning, I woke up with a head ache, puffy eyes and with a monster stomach ache that would come only from you.  You hurt me sugar.  You will always spike my blood sugar and leave me to crash, alone.  I'll remember our good times, Sugar.  But, I have to do what I have to do, and I'm moving on.  

Best Wishes, 

Do not end up like this!  Tell your friends, family, children and dogs to beware of the awful effects of sugar!  Don't let sugar happen to good people!! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sex, drugs and chocolate?

Hell yes.  

It's my party and I'm going to eat the whole slice.  I'll be drooling chocolate in my sleep tonight.

Blame it on finals, blame it on hormones, blame it on my birthday.  Whatever.  No shame here!  

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Presto Pesto!

On Sunday, Minnesota's liquor stores are closed.  I usually don't even think twice about it.  But, tonight I could have really gone for a nice glass of red to accompany my edamame pesto.   A glass of Syrah would have been just lovely to accent the spice of the pesto.  Oh, I miss Wisconsin!

I was inspired by the PPK's recipe. Mine has less ingredients, but was still flippin' delicious and not to mention very healthy.  

Edamame Pesto
3/4 cup edamame thawed
a generous bunch of fresh basil
2-3 garlic cloves 
splash of balsamic vinegar
salt & pep to taste
1 chili pepper - crushed or sliced with a scissors or knife

Toss edamame, pesto and garlic into your food processor.  Process until a thick paste.  With the processor running, splash in the balsamic vinegar and about 1/2 cup water to thin.  Finally, add the chili pepper and salt n' pep.  If you're not a huge fan of spice, you can completely omit the pepper.  Buttt... for those of you living in the midwest and are beginning to settle into winter, I highly recommend it!  

I sautéed some spinach, mushrooms and peas to plate with the pasta.  But really, you can serve this speedy sauce up with any thing that tickles your lil' belly.  Try to get a glass of wine rockin' with this dish, you'll fall in love, again.  

Thursday, December 3, 2009

a post for Therman

'It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight, rising up to the spirit of our rival, and the last known survivors stalks his prey in the night, and it all comes down to survival.' 


Yeah, yeah, go on-- Call me cliché citing "Eye of the Tiger" two weeks before finals.  If only Sylvester Stallone would carry my back back home for me.  Pretty sure it weighs a ton!  The seatbelt light in my car blinks non stop when it sits passenger side.  I want to buckle it in just to make that annoying light stop! 

I have not posted in a while since I've been knitting... uh, I mean, studying for finals.  For the first time in my crazy and longwinded college career, I'm enjoying being a student!  It's hard to imagine and explain.  I'm not fearing finals, any speech I have to give or papers I have to write before the end of the semester.  Catch my bluff and I will make you some chocolate cake. :) It's all going to be over soon enough.  In no time I'll be curling up by the fireplace in Oshkosh with a book of my choice, and a nice mug of cocoa. Mmm. 

I've been eating this sandwich pretty much all week.  So delicious and healthy.  Toasted whole wheat bread, hummus, avocado, tomato and spinach.  Simple and fuels the brain!  Go make some sandwiches.  And, as Therman Merman would say, "How 'bout some samwiches?"