Saturday, April 30, 2011

Be gentle

   That's what I have to tell myself gentle.In my thoughts and words to myself.One of my resolutions this year was to go slower and give baby steps the respect they deserve.After doing Physio on my hip most of last year, I learned that the body makes remarkable progress with gentleness and kindness.I came from a place last year of not being able to make even simple movements with my hip joint.The progress I made was slow but it was made with gentle kind moves.That is a contradiction~ I think ~to the way we live our lives now.I know with mine.I want things to happen now!! I had been doing great with my journey up until two weeks ago when I started thinking this isn't enough."I want more weight loss,I should be able to give up cream in my coffee, I think I should run, I think that I am not doing enough."
  That's exhausting and self defeating.We are our own worst critics.I read in a blog that she gives her crazy critical voice in her head a persona.I thought that was a fantastic idea.A way of saying stop and shaking those pessimistic and unhelpful thoughts the boot.Mine is "The Hulk".Because some days it rears it's ugly head and I feel like a different person on the inside.So I will use this to turn off the behavior.Address that I am behaving like "The Hulk" and tone down my inner green.
 So yesterday after an exhausting night of not sleeping( pretty much the whole week).Josh has been sick.I just really thought "be Gentle".Yes I would love to run and get really busy on the weights to lose more weight.But my hip is screaming at me too slow down.It's time to listen.Stretching has helped immensely.So one of my favorite things to do is Yoga.But, I haven't been consistent.So last night the computer room got a clean up.I brought my mat upstairs and brought my DVDs out.I did a wonderful evening workout and my tension was better.I felt stronger and my hips thanked me for it.So I think it's time to listen to the small voice in my head going " slow down and enjoy the journey."I will get there but it's not, just magically going to happen.It requires faith in myself, consistency, and some thankfulness to this body of mine that gives me so much!!

The gorgeous Tara Stiles
   This is a quote from my vision board   "Your body is a gift, and you're fully responsible for it's upkeep.Instead of condemning it for what it isn't, try to accept it for what it is and reward it on a daily basis with proper food, exercise, and gratitude." Moreno

  On a lighter note I made Thai Coconut Soup last night.It was so delicious.It just put a smile on my face.I was proud and it just makes me laugh at how we limit ourselves because we "think" we can't make exotic foods.I am so over that. I have really noticed that ..this is going to sound strange...I just can't help myself ..that foods from different cultures smell alive.See told you.Seriously!! I think it's the fresh foods and just not being processed.This soup had the most amazing had this zip of lime,the creaminess of the coconut milk and the punch from the Thia seasoning.I am even beginning to really like tofu.I know awesome!! It was from the lovely talented Colleen Patrick -Goudreau.Color me Vegan on page 229.This is one of her new ones.She is showing how to add and prepare all the colors of plant based cuisine to perk up your plate.Gorgeous book and am looking forward to trying more recipes.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter and Sporks

   I hope everyone's holiday weekend was wonderful!! We had family,food and sun.Amazing! I had chosen some of the recipes I wanted to do ahead of time.The were from Colleen Patrick Goudreau's books.The Vegan Table and The Joy of Vegan Baking.The first one I had to do the night before.I had to work so the dish had to be at my in laws without me.Roasted Brussels sprouts with Caramelized onions and Toasted Pecans.So very yummy!! In the morning for breakfast Potato Latkes.( With these I would make them smaller next time.) Then a fabulous Apple Pie.I also made her Apple Crumble.(I didn't have a picture of this) Fantastic!! All of these recipes I would make again.Did I miss meat...Nope!! I enjoyed the plates of veggies and desserts.I tried to slow down and just enjoy the moment.
  I also wanted to bring up the best thing ever.The Spork sisters.I introduced them on the last blog. I found out for a cheap 7.95 a month you can bring them into your home to teach you vegan cooking.AWESOME!!! They have one course every month and when you become a member you can watch their archives. They are charming,funny but most of all FULL of knowledge.I can't tell you how much I loved watching and learning from them.So if you want here's the link~spork sisters. Check them out for the price of a magazine I thought it was so fun!!!
  I hope everyone is getting some sun and just soaking it up.It is so gorgeous and amazing this time of year.We are just starting to see the beginning of leaves.We even got some pussy willow branches today.I love spring!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

nights and days

  So I haven't posted in a couple of days. I was working and cleaning my house (I would much rather be blogging).BUT, I did take some pictures of my "advegtures" the past couple of days so I thought I would share.
  I have been making some quick meals.I just want to show everyone how easy vegan cooking is.
  So stuffed peppers are my go to meal.They are easy and I can make extra for lunches.For this one I did basmati rice,kale,chick peas,green onions,kalamta olives,and some lemon juice.I just mix,stuff the peppers and they go in the oven at 350 for about half hour.I do cover them in tin foil so the rice doesn't get hard.(This was one of my learning curves:) I just check to see if the pepper is slightly tender to the touch if not pop it in for a bit longer.
  Stir Fried rice-I keep a big batch of rice on hand in the fridge for those " I need something fast" moments.So this one I just looked in the fridge and asked which veggies did I want.So in went mushrooms,snow peas,green onions,and I had left over tofu from the night before.Then I just toss in the rice to warm it up and put a little Bragg's on top.It was so yummy!!
  The last picture is from the day that my sister came over with her girls and Japanese exchange student Misaki, we did our Easter eggs together.I had taken a Vegetarian Canadian Living cookbook out of the library.This was super great and I got to use some of my fresh Rosemary.Yippee!! This one had tomatoes,rosemary and balsamic roasted in the oven.Then you add kalamata olives and fresh basil.It was wonderful and fresh. The best thing was I was spending time with my sister and picking her culinary brain.She went to culinary school so I thought who better to teach me some knife skills.She also showed me how to depit those olives WAY faster.So there in the afternoon I was learning,laughing and spending time with someone I love.It can't get any better than that.
   My next post is going to be about a wonderful women who teaches raw food courses in town.I had her come to my house and teach my family about smoothies and juicing.So stay tuned.I am going to leave with a  YouTube video.It's two sister that are vegan and they are so bloody cute.They talk about what you should have in your pantry.I really enjoyed it and they were so excited to share.So enjoy and Happy Easter!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

3 month results!!

  And here it is the post we all have been waiting for (okay me).My 3 month results.I was REALLY nervous.I kept thinking what if the results are going to be depressing!!Scales can control my entire day..if I feel good or bad. I had to think that weight loss was NEVER the reason I wanted to do this( I was hoping though).So this post is going to be about numbers, how I feel and where I am going.

So first the numbers:
    My weight is down 11 pounds.It has been this for about 4 weeks.I have plateaued so I did make the decision that I HAVE to be more consistent in my workouts.

   I ALWAYS measure in inches because the scale may not move but,your body mass still will.I am a firm believer in this. So I really struggled what to share-but you all have been there for the journey so far.So what the heck. .I think waist measurements were my biggest mover.Okay I measured my waist in three different spots...smallest part of the waist was 35 now 31.5  ( -3.5)at my belly button was  39 and now 34.5 (-4.5) at my c-section scar was 40.5 now 39 (-1.5) hips was 45  now 43.75  (-1.25)

I was really happy with my numbers I do have some work to do but, the focus was changing the food the past three months.

So blood pressure.This is the one that made me wake up.I had high blood pressure in my pregnancy so the odds were very high that it would always haunt me.Add the genes into that equation and I couldn't bury my head in the sand any longer.I have heard this saying alot recently "Genes are the gun but, food is the trigger". I knew from my research that I could make the blood pressure go down with food alone.My blood pressure in January when I knew that it wouldn't get better without changing something was  132/87 -not super high but it had stayed consistently there for a while.And this was a worry.This morning I did it and it was......................115/78 how crazy is that??? Frigin awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! I was hoping for the normal 120/80.Never thinking that it would be below 120.Fantastic!!!This has made me one happy lady.( and just to note when I was at my healthiest is was always 120/80..never this awesome)

  So how do I feel....
AWAKE...I can't even tell everyone how tired and blah I felt before doing this.I feel energetic and I want to do things.Not lay on the couch or feel like I am pulling a freight train at three o'clock in the afternoon.I knew a plant based diet would suit me.I just never thought that I would feel so good.I WANT to get up in the morning I don't feel like crying when Josh gets up at 6.Seriously~ I would read that people would feel better and I would think how can that be?Now I know!!
    I have less highs and lows.There have been times of stress or anger.But to be honest I don't feel as weepy and angry. I feel stronger!!
    One thing I DON"T feel..deprived.I honestly thought this would be WAY harder. Giving up what has been on my plate at EVERY meal !! I thought that giving it up would be so difficult.On any diet in the past I have always missed something.Like it was a sacrifice and I would want it for my cheat meal.Then I would just end up eating it again.It totally blows me away that "I DON"T MISS ANIMAL PROTEINS!"

So where do I go from here.... I am a big believer in goals.I think the mind can accomplish so much.And I can be honest and feel confident when I say " I know this is only going to get better!!"
  I found this cute little summer L.L Bean dress for 10.00 at the Hospice House resale store last week.It's an eight.That is my next 3 month goal.For those that know me I carry my weight in the hips and thighs.I need to lose 4 inches off my hips.That is going to require consistency and some hard work on my part.Lots of walking and considering my hip flexor injury last year where I couldn't even walk a block last spring.I am going to enjoy being outside and not take for granted that I am so blessed I can get outside.Lots of walking lunges-yikes- and legs workouts.
   Continue trying new recipes and different cultural foods.I am loving trying new things and for the first time I want to try even if it doesn't turn out.I want to do some baking.I have some recipes lined up.
   Get even better with fruits and veggies.Right now I am consuming at least a minimum of eight a day.Now considering a few months ago I would have thought "Did I consume any today at all?" That is spectacular!!
    The next 3 months I will go to the doctors and have my B12 and iron levels checked.I also will share my cholesterol levels. I don't have one now but I want to know where they are.
  Get my grocery bills down.Continue to plan and get better at not storing so much.Buy more frequently.This is going to be hard for me as I shop for 2 weeks.But, I need more fresh items.So this will be an experiment.

 So this has been remarkable for me and I will continue on this path.I hope to get my guys eating more plant based foods.Honestly though I had to get me on board first and this will trickle down to them.I hope you will be inspired to try something new or check out a blog.Before I started this I was not willing to change.I am feeling like a new person and for the first time in a long time I feel like I can make changes and not falter.I think anyone can make these changes and I NEVER would have thought it was possible.Now I KNOW it is!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The mint made me do it!!

 It all started with a lovely mint plant at my local grocery store today.Then I found two of my FAVORITE spring plants..pansies! How could I walk away?
   I thought I would plant them inside-it's to cold for the little guys. Then I started thinking (and this is where I get into trouble) "Why not see if the local greenhouses have their herbs out." I can let them get a head start and start using them now.
     I took Josh with me and he is my herb guy.He chose two types of always makes me laugh that he knows and LOVES parsley at 5.We ended up with rosemary,sage,oregano,thyme,flat leaf parsley and curled leaf parsley.
   My living room smells amazing and I am looking forward to a few sprigs here and there.Josh already said "Mama can I eat some parsley" and sure enough he popped some in his mouth and said"Oh this parsley is SO good". He makes me laugh!!
                       These are our babies! Freshly planted

Monday, April 11, 2011

My old evil enemy

  My old archenemy is back-SUGAR!! We go way back..back to my crime fighting sugar days. We have battles ALL the time...sometimes he wins.Okay- he wins ALOT!!Right now he is winning.I was putting up a good fight.I thought I was strong enough to resist his sweet whispers in my ear "just one donut"  his promises he would hurt me anymore "that sugar filled chocolate bar is going to be so good".Sugar is a big fat liar!! He's addicting..some scientists are proving more powerful than some drugs.Just one bite and he's got me!!

 So what am I going to do..put my cape back on and wonder woman his butt right back out!!!So cold turkey's the only way.Emotions are to be dealt with and handled promptly.No thinking that sugar is going to be my sidekick..he is not welcome anymore!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

my best is better

"It's nice to know that each day my best is better than the day before"
 This is a quote from a great blog by Katie called nourishing flourishing she talked about how's "she's over feeling guilty for not being perfect"...can't we all relate?Her post today was about what she was grateful for this past week.It made me smile and think of all the things I am grateful for this week.When she said the quote above it struck a cord with me just to know I am making changes and moving forward everyday...and I am grateful for that!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Some of my favorite things

  Look out Oprah here I come!!!( If you could hear right now~ their would be evil laughter).So I promised in my previous post to share some fun and interesting finds from the past few weeks.

                         It was fast (but cooked a bit slower so the whole thing heats right through...see I'm learning) I liked the taste and I just had it with some rice.These meals are great in a pinch.

  Now these are dangerous.My sister said to try them.These are super delicious!!! I have to portion them or I could get carried away...okay I did get carried away.So next time I won't bring the whole bag with me.
  This was such a great pizza.The caramelized onion.Super good!!
  Basil..oh how I love thee!!! This little beauty has been in alot of recipes lately and I am in love!!!
 This was worth the $7.00 I paid.I would never have known that this was not dairy.It's tiny and mighty!!!

 Cinnamon-I have just added this to my shakes.I learned from hol-fit blog that 1 tsp of this beauty adds 1.4 grams of fibre and iron and calcium.(I KNOW-CRAZY!!) It's an amazing antioxidant and keeps the blood sugars under control.On hol-fit blog she also taught me the fire hydrant push up.Wow- it's effective.She has a great blog and lots of information.

I am going to end with -hopefully-attaching a YouTube presentation of Colleen Patrick-Goudrue making bacon tempeh.I thought it was great and I will be making that soon.
  So these are just a few things that I have recently added to my life.I have enjoyed them! I was really glad to find a ice cream replacement it was one of the few dairy product I was really missing.I am learning with so many blogs out there that people really want to share.So seek out the information and someone will let you know what they think or what their experience has been.
  In one week I have been eating darn close to Vegan for 3 months.So next week I am going to post my "How it's going so far".I am so excited!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

An Asian Delight!

  Okay I LOVE this dish!!! It was easy to make,messy to eat,refreshing and so VERY good!!! Can you tell I liked it?LOL

 This was from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau on pg 200.This woman is now my hero!! Now I can't post these recipes because they aren't mine but this dish was worth EVERY Chinese food take out order I have ever placed!!Buy this is amazing!!!
  Recipe stats...72 calories,3 grams of fat,5g of protein,8g carbs,2g fiber and my favorite 0g CHOLESTEROL!!!! Not only are my taste buds saying "yipee",my heart is saying "Thank You!"

  Wednesday I am going to share some of my new favorite things and some thing I have learned.So stay tuned.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Oh what a night!!

  So Friday I had my best friend over for a Vegan dinner.I was really nervous she is an amazing cook.The recipe I decided on was from The Vegan Table from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.It was superb.It was Tuscan White beans with Sun Dried Tomatoes on page 194 and Garlic toast made with Earth Balance butter.We HAD to have wine ...we love our wine:)

  I loved the white navy beans they were tender and perfect for the dish.The zucchini surprised was really great in this dish.What blew me away was how colourful and nutritious this dish was.Sun dried tomatoes, an onion,zucchini, many veggies and they went so well together.The spices- ground sage (rarely do I make anything with this lovely's wonderful) a hint of red pepper flakes (for that zip) and fresh basil (I adore the aroma of this will be in a pot this year on my deck)

Time to show you some pictures....
   I served it over spaghetti, in Colleen's book she suggests polenta as well.Lucky for me my friend Maura was able to talk to me about cooking polenta.I have never cooked with it myself.I have had the pleasure of eating it at one of Maura's dinner parties.So we ate our lovely meal,enjoyed alot of wine (too much...forget it... what am I saying...There can NEVER be too much wine) and talked.(What always amazes me~we never run out of things to talk about..we live next door and walk alot.But,we ALWAYS find something to talk

  That's what food is to me.That is why it is important to me to figure out how to make Vegan food work.I NEED my friends and family and food is a way to connect.I just want it to be healthy.The evening ended up being so much fun.Now those wonderful memories will always be tied to that dish.

  I have to say one of the surprising things about my advegture so far~ is cooking.I have always wanted to cook great food.But, I found myself cooking the same old,same old.This journey right now is fantastic.It is challenging me to try new things,try new recipes and just take a chance.What the heck it's new and I'm learning.
  This is Colleen's book it was 21.95 Canadian.I think so far it has been worth every penny. If I think of all the fast food I was buying...dinners and lunches at the mall.I would easily spend about 9.00 at every meal for myself.1 family meal is for sure 25.00 or more.I have been able to get dinner and several extra meals out of all the recipes I have tried so far. I am very excited to try some of these meals for Easter.Yesterday I was able to pick up The Joy of Vegan baking by Colleen at the library.I want to give some of the recipes a try.Right away I seen Mediterranean Olive bread.Holy Mama this looks so freakin good!!

So on to the next advegture!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy April!!

 April..spring!! yeah.....I LOVE spring.To me it is the best the birds are chirping,the grass is getting green,the trees birth new leaves.It is just beautiful and amazing after the record breaking year in snow!!!
                                 Lady's favorite!!

I was reading a post on perfectly flawed woman this morning.It inspired me to think of spring and love the earth this morning!! You should check it out.Happy Spring!!