Oy. A rough one.

Today was a rough day, all around. Thanks to an upstairs neighbor who decided to sing/screech at the top of her lungs until almost 1 in the morning, and a baby who woke up multiple times, my 5 AM wakeup call was a no-go. The alarm went off and I almost started crying. So, I didn't get out of bed, and when the kid got up around 7, brought her in bed with me to see if I could steal a few more winks.

The tiny one is apparently growing fangs, and with a potential food allergy (her tum was not doing well today. Either from the bit of pancake I fed her yesterday or the blueberries from this morning) I had nothing but screaming and really disgusting diapers to contend with for most of the day. She didn't nap, which means I didn't eat anything, save a handful of baked potato crisps, until 8 this evening.

I did make it out on a walk, a couple of miles to the school and back and froze the whole time. The kid was sufficiently bundled, but I misunderestimated (man, does anyone else miss g.w. bush? jokes!) my cold tolerance and was pretty miserable.

I did by a set of free weights today for Vegs and I to use. I hate lifting in the gym. It's so crowded and I hate using the weights/benches that everyone uses and doesn't wipe down. So, now we have a set of dumb bells that goes up to 25 lbs. It was kind of pricy, but I think worth the investment, especially since they don't take up much room, and now we have a wide selection of weight options (5-25 lbs).

I'm looking forward to getting my crap together tomorrow and getting my house clean, exercising, grocery shopping, basically turning human again. I still feel pretty good, but will feel much better when things are in order. I'm trying to accustom myself to the fact that there will be days like this, and plan accordingly (for instance, I will be cleaning as much as I can tonight so that tomorrow isn't so overwhelming).

Breakfast
Coffee

Snack
Potato Crisps

Dinner
Salad
Pasta w/ spinach, eggplants, kalamata.  This meal was actually pretty awesome. It was leftover from lunch with Kiera last week (I made a new salad, ok?) The pasta is mostly veggies, w/ pasta thrown in at the end. Do you know about herbs in a tube? I'm obsessed. Not as good as fresh, but since I manage to only ever let fresh ones go bad in my fridge and die on my counter, it's a good solution for me. I love the basil (it's my secret for delicious homemade pizza).
You can get it at just about any grocery store that has a decent produce section. I look forward to trying the ginger version (I hate when ginger gets old and looks like a dead grandma's hand in the fridge...is that just me?) 
I'm also a huge fan of this vinegar. I get it at Siegfried's in SLC. It has a very light flavor, not super-vinegary, just tart enough to give you a bit of pucker, and has a nice, herby taste. I love making quick pickles with it (I'm kind of obsessed w/ quick pickles since New Year's) because it's not as tart. I use it w/ a tiny bit of olive oil, salt and fresh-ground pepper as a salad dressing (I really hate bottled dressings). If you can make it to a European food store w/ imports, try and find this or something similar, you will not be disappointed.

Not Dead. Not Sad.

Just needed a break. Enjoying it. Down 2.2 pounds. FINALLY. Longest 2 pounds of my life. Back tomorrow.

Something is up...

Or rather not up, nor is something down. My weight remains the same. Doubleyou. Tee. Eff. I'm about to punch eating in the face. I know I shouldn't weigh myself every day, but the neurotic within has to be abated. No to the thing. How is this possible? I mean, I have been having the occasional treat, but I am staying within my calorie limits. So help me, I am going to lose it here. I'm giving myself one more week of my own attempts, and if things don't start changing, I'm bringing in the professionals. Seriously, I am pretty sure with the five-hundred and some odd friends on facebook (seriously, we're all just besties) a few of them have to be trainers/nutritionists/dietitians that can hook a sister up, right?

Regardless of the poundage plateau I am feeling really, really good. I feel happy and have more energy than I've had since, I don't know, high school? I am high on exercise endorphins, people, and it feels so right. Yeah, I've been having bad days here and there (which I'm guessing are largely hormonal. Where in the hell is my lady flow?) but the bad days at this point are on par with some of my best days during my real depressive bouts. I don't know how I can't feel good, I eat a whole foods-centered diet--lower case, mind you (I'd say no more than 20 percent of my total food intake is processed) and I exercise almost every day, short of the stagnation, things are very, very good.

Want to know one of my favorite exercises these days? It comes from the bar method, and they call it "back dancing". Spend your evening doing this, and your booty will thank you.

Eating was weirdy today.

Breakfast
Leftover pasta bake
Coffee w/ almond milk and Stevia

Snacks
Raisins and roasted mixed nuts

Dinner
Leftover burrito from the other night.

Bland, but teething baby equals not much time for meal making.

In love with essercize.

Thank God for my workout this morning. First off, I think that doing the bar method saved my knee, because when I got to the gym this morning I had absolutely no knee pain. It makes sense, the combination of strength and flexibility. So, of course, I hopped on the treadmill (which later turns into a bad idea) and did 2 miles, including, including 5 minute run intervals. I felt like a freaking superwoman. Then, I did the elliptical for 15 minutes. I ended up burning about 500 calories in 45 minutes, and let me tell you, that is swear-wording awesome.

It's incredible how good exercising makes me feel, and what a difference it makes in my day. Today was one of those rough days in parenthood, and if I hadn't worked out this morning, it would have slayed me. But because I had come home and showered and got my house in order I had enough sanity to cope with a day of hardcore teething/no napping/endless shrieking. I broke into tears once, but had I not exercised this morning, I probably would have called Vegor to come home from work.  It makes me feel so in control and I really love it. I don't love waking up at 5, but once I'm up and going it doesn't seem too bad.

When I have a good workout, I also feel a lot more in control of my eating.

Breakfast
Go Lean Crunch (Sunflower knockoff brand) and almond milk

Lunch
Garden wrap, honeycrisp apple w/ peanut butter

Snacks
The last of my Chocolove bar (sweet Lordy this is good)
2 Wasa crisp breads w/ baba ghanoush and cucumbers (maybe the best snack, ever).

Dinner
Veggie Pasta Bake. Super easy, super delicious. Kind of made up on the fly, and totally modifiable based on what you have on hand. I did the following

1/2 package organic penne pasta (the brand from Costco is delicious)
1/2 package extra-firm tofu
2 cups spinach
1 eggplant, diced
1 package sliced mushrooms
red pepper flakes (to taste)
salt and pepper  (to taste)
Italian seasoning, about 2 Tbsps.
Cashew Cream (I made this by putting 5 cloves of garlic in with a half cup of cashews soaked in 1/4 cup of water for 15 minutes. Put in blender or food processor for a couple of minutes, until smooth)
Vegan Parmesan (combine nutritional yeast w/ almonds and sea salt...adjust according to your taste preference. I used 2 to 1).

Parboil the pasta, then mix everything together (crumble the tofu) and top w/ vegan parmesan. Cover with foil, bake @ 375 for about 35 minutes, remove foil and either continue baking for 10 minutes, or just put under High broil for a few minutes.

It's awesome. You're welcome. (Does it feel like I'm back to my old self? I feel that way.)

Better late than never?

I am supposed to be getting up to go to the gym in 5 hours, but I like the habit of posting every day, even if it is brief, so, a quickie.

I need to go to the gym every morning. It forces me to get out of my pajamas, shower, and start my day at a reasonable hour. When I don't go (like today) I am not motivated to do a damn thing, so my house and my persona are just a wreck. I eat way too carb-y, and I just feel grossballs. I did eventually workout today (I did the Bar Method while Evie watched, fascinated), but because it didn't start my day off, it feels like it didn't count.

Eating was weird today. Nowhere near enough veggies, and didn't actually eat until about 1:00.  Used the filling from last night's burritos in 2 corn tortillas for breakfast (decent) and then tried to make a weird calzone w/ it for lunch (gross). I bought some of the Dreyer's all natural fruit bars last night at Sunflower, and for some reason, I thought they were all fruit. Well, about halfway through my coconut one this afternoon I thought, "Man, this is way too delicious to be ok." Sure enough, first ingredient? Milk. Cream was on the list somewhere too. It actually ended making me feel pretty sick, so I don't really have any future dairy temptations on the horizon. I made a pseudo-Masaman curry for dinner. It was average. Way too many calories from the peanuts, I'm guessing. Looking forward to tomorrow and my workout, though it very likely won't be a run :(

Also, I'm totally over the 30 days posts. One, I already post every day, and two, the prompts were really pretty lame and depressing.

30 Day Challenge: Day 3

"Something You Have to Forgive Yourself For"

I really, really need to learn to forgive myself for the damage I have done to my body. I can get pretty angry with myself sometimes, for letting myself get this big, for getting so unhealthy, for not taking care of my health. While I need to get on track with these things, the negative attitude I can have doesn't do anyone any good.

I've never participated in bad body-talk in front of another person (well, okay, maybe my husband). I remember in high school, or with college roommates,  getting so angry when girls would talk about how "fat" they were, or how they hated this or that about themselves. It always devolves into a vicious self-hate spiral, and almost a competition w/ other women over who can hate themselves more. We have enough garbage coming at us all the time, we don't need this, too.

It's always especially frustrating when I ever only feel this way about my own body. I love to see bodies in all shapes and sizes, but won't accept my own? That seems to be a bunch of crap. It's something I really fight against, and really don't want Evie to ever have to battle, so I really want to move past this negative habit before she gets old enough to catch on to any of my body-image issues (isn't it sad that we get so much of this passed down to us from earlier generations?). I want to be genuinely happy with my body, with how strong it is, what it can do, how healthy it is. I want to get past the negative talk and on to the positive.

Back in the swing of things

I've gotten so used to being on a schedule that I forget that when I let things go haywire, I start feeling like a crazy person. Today everything is back as it should be. House is clean, moms and babies on schedules, food clean and healthy, workout taken care of, and I feel good again.

There's a really good chance that my IT band is causing all my knee pain, since when I called my mom to whine and complain she mentioned that pretty much every person in my family has the same problem. I guess I need to make a date with a foam roller to start stretching this baby out, as it had me in misery for most of the weekend.

I was actually relieved that there were no treadmills when I got to the gym this morning, because the fire in my knee was screaming at me not to run. I opted for the elliptical instead and had a great workout. I always feel like a wuss on the elliptical for some reason, maybe because it's no-impact, but I burned more calories in the half-hour I was on than I would if I had done my run/walk. I'm glad to have an option, because until this knee problem is fixed, there's going to be no running for this guy. 5k goals are being postponed indefinitely, and that's ok, as I never really intended to run a race, just wanted to be able to go that distance. I am just happy to be exercising and feeling it.

I bothered to take pictures of my food again today (it really does keep me focused) but now can't be bothered to find the cord, so, just know that I did what I was supposed to. I spread my meals out over the day, and that really seemed to help. Knowing there was a small meal in an hour  rather than waiting 3 or 4 for a large one does much better for my psyche. Plus, this way I actually feel like I'm having snacks!

Breakfast
Go Lean Crunch w/ almond milk (unsweetened vanilla)

Morning Snack
Green Shake (though I love the name "Jedi Juice" that Meggie uses). It had almond milk, orange-pineapple juice, spinach, rice protein powder, frozen fruit, spinach and chia seeds.

Lunch
Veggie Wrap--the standard: baba ghanoush, spring mix, sprouts, red bell pepper, cucumber

Dinner
Veggie burritos. I basically just threw a bunch of stuff in a sautee pan w/ salsa, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and lime. It had boca crumbles, hubbard squash, red potatoes, grape tomatoes, black beans, and corn. I added a little sour supreme, and it was awesome. I will probably have the filling on a salad tomorrow for lunch.

Evening Snack
1/2 serving (3 squares) Chocolove's dark chocolate w/ cherries and almonds
1 Honeycrisp apple w/ 2 Tbsp. Almond butter

I also drank 3 32 oz mugs of water today. See? Back on track!

30 Day Challenge: Day 2

"Something you love about yourself"

I am a really good mom, and I really love that about myself. I think being a mom takes all the things that I'm good at and combines them into one perfect job.

For me, being a mom is about being patient, being silly, having a big heart, being a problem solver, loving to snuggle, being attentive to someone else's needs and wants, being giving (among other things, obviously). I think other things I'm good at will really be important as Evie gets older, too. Things like being a good listener, being open-minded, being kind, and having a sense of humor are going to be part of the mix the more she grows up.

I wanted to be a mom for a long time. It's the only thing (short of marrying Vegor) that I've known that I wanted to do. Everything else I've done, from jobs to education to hobbies I haven't had a real passion for (I guess I'm just not a passionate person), but being a mom, I am wholly devoted to it, and I love that part of myself.

I had to share our dinner from tonight. I stole the recipe from The Kitchn, where week before last they focused entirely on vegan cooking. I've never made anything like this and they turned out really well. The only thing I would change is making sure everything but the tofu is well-chilled instead of room temperature.


2 (8-inch) baguettes
Do chua (pickles)
1 cup julienned daikon
1 cup julienned carrots
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
Tofu
6 to 8 ounces extra firm tofu (half a standard package)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 bulbs lemongrass, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
Spread
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
Optional: Maggi seasoning sauce or soy sauce
Additional fillings and garnishes
1 medium cucumber, sliced lengthwise
1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, sliced
Small handful cilantro
For the do chua (pickles)
In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, vinegar, and water. Add daikon and carrots and toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Drain completely before using. (Note: The measurements given are guidelines; feel free to adjust the sugar, vinegar, or salt to your own taste.)
For the tofu
Cut tofu into 1/4-inch thick slices and press between clean kitchen towels or paper towels to rid of excess water. In a shallow dish, combine soy sauce, vegetable oil, sesame oil, lemongrass, and garlic. Place tofu in dish, gently coat slices with marinade, and arrange so they overlap as little as possible. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Cook in a skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp on each side.
For the spread
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and cilantro. Add Maggi or soy sauce to taste, if desired.
To serve
Slice baguettes lengthwise, leaving one side as a hinge. Spread mayonnaise on top and bottom halves. Arrange fillings and garnishes: cucumber, do chua, tofu, jalapeño, cilantro.

Weigh in #4

One month in today. I lost exactly zero pounds this week, which aggravates me to no end. I guess I just have to amp it up. I knew this week was going to be tough, but I had really hoped that I could hit that ten pound mark. I'm so close. 1.4 pounds away from losing ten pounds this month. That's okay. I will lose ten pounds in February!

Today was also a measurement day. I have lost 10 total inches since starting this a month ago. I have updated the charts and pictures on the "Before" page.  I was glad to see a decent number in inches so that I didn't want to punch myself in the face.

This next week I am ready to be back on the intensity wagon. I let myself get a little bit run down, and I think I have ways to remedy that:

1) Eat every few hours. I have been trying to eat as much as I can in my 3 meals a day to make my calories go further, but I think that's leading me to be tired and starving by the time I get to the next meal. If I can eat every 2.5 to 3 hours I won't be so obsessed with when I'm eating next, and can actually function.
2) Exercise for one hour every single day. That doesn't necessarily mean that I will go to the gym every day, but on the days that I don't I will walk, do a video, etc. On days when my gym workouts aren't an hour I need to make up for those lost minutes in the same way.
3) DRINK WATER. I don't know why this is so hard for me. When I used to have an office job, I used to drink nearly a gallon a day, easily. Now that I'm at home all day (and getting up to go get a drink isn't a break from staring at the computer) I don't drink nearly enough.
4) Fewer calories from grains. This means higher protein meals and more veggies. I need to remember that my plate needs to look like this:

Too often, the carbohydrates are taking up the lion's share of the plate, and I know that is contributing to my slowed weight-loss. 
5) Eat. I know I need to be eating. When I've been hopping on the scale mid-week, and my numbers are higher than I want, I'm really tempted to just drink coffee all day, but I know that I need to be putting lots of good foods in my body to make it do what it's supposed to do. 
6) Cook. This week was just too sluggish. I survived on leftovers and easy to make meals which meant I was rarely getting the things I needed.

Better work this next week!

30 Day Challenge: Day 1

"Something you dislike about yourself"

Uh-oh. With today's rotten attitude, this has the potential to go downhill, quickly. Rather than dwell on a bazillion things that I could go off on for days and days, I'm gonna just say that I don't like my negative attitude.

I really don't. I think that somehow, in the past 7 or 8 years, I've cultivated this persona that is just a royal bitch, and that's really not who I am. Unfortunately, it's now something that I rely on a little too heavily, and so it makes it more difficult to cultivate new relationships, because I think people automatically assume that I'm mean. I think part of it, too, comes from that old cliche of not being a bitch, but being shy. I'm not necessarily shy, but I feel really awkward having conversations with people I'm not really close to. I do great if there are other people to riff off of, but if I have to go it alone, I don't know what to say, or assume the other person wouldn't want me bothering them, so I just don't say anything, which comes off as bitchy.

Granted, I am a hater (something I do really dislike about myself) and I suppose a lot of that justifies the perception that I'm mean, but I've really tried to cut down my hating for things and people that really deserve it. I've tried to become more patient with people who have different likes and ideals and realize that I'm not always right (it is hard). But that's something that goes on internally, so it's hard to show people that I'm trying, or that I'm changing. It's not like you can broadcast it. No one believes a facebook update that says, "hey everyone, i'm not a bitch anymore." That would make things too easy.

I guess it can only come down to my individual relationships with people, I can stop dwelling in the negative and start emphasizing the good things in life. If you have any hints on how to be whatever the opposite of a bitch is, please, let me know!

It's not that I don't like it...

Blogging, that is, but rather that things have become rather monotonous and boring 'round these parts the last few days. Eating nothing but leftovers, not really leaving the house...basically, I'm bored by my life, which means writing about it is boring, which means bored readers. Delightful, no? Maybe it's a day of Evie just yelling (she doesn't cry, she yells, loudly), of being banana-barfed on, of no natural light, a messy house and not doing anything but lay around that has me feeling so gross, but I just feel like I'm in the doldrums. Thank God there is only one week (and a couple of days, but they don't count) left in January.

Bird warned me of this, that I might get worn out, that I would lose momentum. I'm trying really hard to not do that, but when I face my pile of cookbooks and know that next week's workouts have five-minute intervals I just want to give up, throw in the towel and be done. I won't, of course, because I know that what I'm doing has lead to me feeling better than I've ever felt, like ever, but you know, sometimes you just have to bitch and moan.

Tomorrow is a weigh-in. It is also my first day of taking measurements since starting this. I really, really hope that I have some good numbers to keep me going. I need an extra kick in the butt right now, motivation-wise. I know clothes are definitely fitting better, which helps, but seeing the actual numbers move down would be a huge boost to my confidence right now. Man. Wouldn't it be grand if I were just PMS'ing? My hormones are all jammed up right now which isn't helping a damn thing...

I'm thinking of doing one of those "30 days" prompts, just to give myself something else to think about besides what I'm eating and how many calories it has, and how long I have to be on the treadmill (I also need to start cross-training so I don't lose my ever-loving mind). Yup. Too eff-bomb lazy/tired/unmotivated to think of topics myself. Stealing them from the internets. Don't even care enough to reference them, because where ever I stole them from stole from somewhere else too. Bless you, Google. Maybe you'll want to as well, so, here goes the topics list:

Day 1: Something you dislike about yourself.
Day 2: Something you love about yourself.
Day 3: Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 8: Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like {poo}.
Day 9: Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11: Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12: Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough days. (write a letter.)
Day 14: A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15: Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16: Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17: A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18: Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19: What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20: Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21: (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22: Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23: Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24: Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25: The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26: Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27: What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28: What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29: Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30: A letter to yourself: tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself.

Perhaps I should lay of the coffee

Every time I drink coffee, I neglect to eat the following meal. Whoops. Today, it didn't seem to do much damage, as in, I didn't go crazy come dinner time, but really...I need to start trying to do small meals every two hours rather than just three meals a day. If anything, I can just split my meals in half and spread them out.

This morning I asked Vegs, "So, you know how I'm self-obsessed?" as a wise husband, he sat there, not saying anything, just waiting for me to finish the sentence. "How come everyone's not awake by the time I get home from the gym (at 6:45)?" Not like, everyone in my house. No, like, everyone in the WORLD. How come the world doesn't wake up with me??

I bothered to wake up at 5:10 this morning, and did a 45 minute workout. I did my standard C25K workout TWICE! Yes, I know. I kick all sorts of ass. Unfortunately all that ass-kicking really took a toll on my knees today and I'm trying to figure out how to remedy it. Perhaps a swim tomorrow? Ha. I do need to start doing some lifting workouts a few days a week, and maybe that will help. I liked the longer workout, and definitely need to stick with it.

Breakfast
Tofu scramble on Dave's bread, toasted
Baba Ghanoush

Snack
Iced Americano w/ soy milk (mmmmmmm...)

Dinner
Tofu Massaman
Brown rice
Egg rolls
Sticky rice w/ mango
(Takeout from Bangkok Grill)

Remind me to tell you about my TV obsession

Seriously. I have a lot to say about fat TV shows, especially this episode of "I Used to be Fat" on MTV (don't give me no talking-tos about my MTV viewing habits. I have no shame). Fat TV really pisses me off. But the eyelids are heavy, so it shall have to wait. Must get up for the gym, you know. Hoping to get in a 45 minute to 1 hour workout tomorrow.

Breakfast
Tofu Scramble on Dave's bread (toasted)

Lunch
A repeat of last night's taquitos, minus the salad

Dinner
Veggie roll from Sunflower, snacked on too many crostini and baba ganoush and treats at a get-together.

Snack
a few pieces of Chocolove's Cherries and Chili dark chocolate (amazing. Worth every calorie.)

What lies beneath (hint...it's tofu scramble)

Apparently I can't even have one tiny little treat (or six cookies) because when I weighed myself this morning I had put on three pounds. I'm guessing it kind of has to be water weight because there's no physically possible way that I ate enough to gain three pounds overnight. But, still. Eff that noise.

The unwanted poundage means I felt more than motivated on the treadmill this morning. I did my 3/3 runs and did an extra interval. I think I'm going to have to up my workouts to at least 45 minutes, if not an hour. 30 minutes is just barely starting to scratch the surface.

I wore a pair of my pants that fit today. I thought they were going to be too tight, but they actually were pretty comfortable. I looked a bit like a Sundance catalog rich bitch (ie; my ideal lifestyle) and had to get used to being actually dressed, but I really liked feeling put together in the end.

Breakfast
Cup of coffee w/ almond milk

Lunch
I combined my two current culinary loves: tofu scramble and garden wrap sandwich. I had one, and it was more than enough to keep me full until dinner, plus, I definitely needed the protein. So, it's basically what I had for breakfast yesterday plus baba ghanoush, sprouts, spring mix, cucumbers and red bell peppers. DE-EFFING-LICIOUS.

Dinner
I think that dinner was possibly gluten-free, though I'm unaware of whether Boca crumbles are GF or not. It could easily be adapted to be GF, though, and it was so good.  I made a big salad with spring mix, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, red bell peppers, and cilantro. The dressing was just salt, pepper and the juice of 1 lime (it was a big salad). Then I had 4 taquitos that were super easy to make and really tasty.

Vegan/GF(?) Taquitos
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup Boca crumble
2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
Mexican hot sauce (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 lime
4 white corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 425
Combine everything but the tortillas and cook through (I used the microwave for 2 minutes, but you could use the stovetop). Mash everything together with potato masher or Magic Bullet, whatever you want, to the consistency you like. I left mine fairly chunky and it worked well.  Soften the tortillas in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  Divide the mixture and spoon into the center of each tortilla. Roll closed, bake for 10 minutes or until crispy/golden brown. I squeezed some lime juice over mine right before I ate, and it was awesome.

The filling is obviously pretty easily modifiable, I think sweet potato would work well as a replacement for the crumbles, maybe quinoa...so many options! I will definitely be making these frequently as they were so easy, so tasty, so filling, and pretty low calorie, as 4 of them are about 360 calories. 2 with a salad is more than enough (I ate the other 2 a few hours later, mostly out of boredom and trying to hit my 1200 calorie mark).

If you make them, let me know what you think! And plan to see recipes a lot more frequently!

Cookie Party

If it is four p.m. and I haven't eaten lunch yet, the rule is not that I get to eat cookies. I do not have enough self control, and even though they aren't bad per se, I still ate about six of them today, and thus dread looking at the scale come Sunday. I suppose this is reason enough for me to work hard on the treadmill tomorrow morning.

Managed to walk about 3.5 miles today with Bird, pushing strollers and chatting. I use the C25K app for my treadmill workouts, but for anytime I am walking outside, I use Runkeeper. Vegs uses it to track his trek to work and back everyday. I like that it shows how far I've gone and how quickly I'm going. If I could marry my Iphone in a legal polygamist marriage, I would, based almost entirely on how on track it keeps me w/ my weight loss goals.

My feet have been hurting a lot lately. Like all the bones are crunching together, which leads me to beg for foot rubs and toe-knuckle cracks from my husband. I've been looking up ways to gain strength and flexibility in my feet and hope some of theses exercises work so I don't hobble every time I get up. I know it's entirely from having so much weight on my teeny-tiny tootsies, but don't they know I'm working on it? I should probably work on doing non-weight bearing exercises on my non-run days, but I'm an impact kind of gal, much to the chagrin of my knees and feets.

Here's the embarrassing food consumption for the day:

Breakfast
Tofu Scramble wrap w/ spinach--amazing! Use the previously posted tofu scramble recipe, put on tortilla of your choice, (I use Tumaro's garden spinach & vegetable), add fresh, raw spinach, and copious amounts of hot sauce (I prefer Tapatio, but we only had Cholula. Still satisfying). And you're welcome.
Green tea w/ pomegranate. Coffee is a little too intense for me, caffeine wise, so I've taken to drinking tea in the mornings, and this is pretty bonzer. I think it's Celestial Seasonings. Go forth and drink tea, young friends.

Lunch
Cookie Party!!! Seriously, I ate way too many cookies today. I made them on Sunday and they were kind of weird. I used a chia egg (3 tablespoons water to 1 tablespoon chia seeds....I do not recommend this. Use flax eggs instead) and pumpkin to replace the oil. They ended up being really--chewy, in a gluten-y kind of way. Not pleasant. But, I through them in the freezer for emergencies, and today, I done spent my rainy day cookie fund. They were much better frozen. Too much better. I think I shall toss them on the morrow so I am not tempted, because when I don't have treats in the house, I do really well.

Dinner
Bird's polenta and butternut squash. You need to eat this, like, now. I don't use cheese or butter, but it still tastes pretty damn good.

Pantalones

First of all, I nearly broke today doing my new workout. It goes a little something like this: walk for five minutes, run for 90 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, run for three minutes, walk for three minutes, repeat. Shouldn't be that hard, but last week's longest running intervals were only 90 seconds. Buh-rutal. It actually wasn't so awful, and it's far more mental than physical for me. I think my body could be running about five minutes at a time right now, but my brain only thinks I can do about 2.  I try to keep from looking at the time for as long as I can, and that seems to be about 45 seconds. Then, time slows down to a near halt. I feel like I'm running through pudding and that it will never end. Alas, I soldier on, and made it through my whole workout. It felt great to be done, and I am definitely going to try and get in some extra runs this week so that I can be ready for the fresh hell next week has to offer.

This is my post-workout, "what in the hell did I just do to myself?" face. As you can see, I'm wearing lipstick. I accidentally wore some the first time I went to the gym (it was the closest thing to chapstick in my pocket) and then I decided I liked wearing lipstick to the gym. It makes me feel like a fancy lady. I also like to dress as sluttily as is comfortable, as I think it makes the old people uncomfortable.

In super-awesome, dance around your living room with your shirt off news (this is what I did, anyway. Mostly for barf related reasons, but still rather excited), I have pants that fit! And, excuse me, but NO, I didn't buy new pants! Well, I guess I did, but it was way back when I was pregnant and lived in this magical little land where I got to breastfeed and the pounds just melted away, instead of me gaining more weight after having the baby. So, yeah, I bought a pair of jeans and a pair of linen pants from the Gap last fall and have never been able to wear them. Not only have I not been able to wear them, I couldn't get them near buttoning, let alone a full zip. Guess what??? PANTS FIT(ish)! They are certainly more snug (snugger?) than I'd like, and I'll probably wait until I lose another five to ten pounds, but, I can button and zip and walk and I didn't even have to do the freaky skinny thing where you lay down to try and zip them up. They just zipped.

I think my food diaries are going to be much more boring/functional from now on, unless I make something really awesome, in which case I will post the recipe and will keep them all archived on a recipe page.

Breakfast
Leftover homemade veggie pizza from last night

Lunch
2 Garden wraps
1 bunch green grapes

Dinner
Aloo Mutter
Aloo Paratha
Rice
Peshwari Naan (I'm guessing not vegan. Definitely had honey, possibly had dairy)

Weigh in #3

Down 3.5 lbs!  This means I have lost 8.6 pounds in the last three weeks. Exercise is really helping move things along a bit more quickly (thank God).  15 pounds until I'm back to pre-pregnancy weight (yeah, not only did I not drop any weight when I had the kid, I actually gained 5 pounds), which means 15 pounds until I re-pierce my nose!

Tennis, anyone?

I busted my ass on the tennis court tonight to earn myself a sorbet from the coffee shop down the street from my parents'. Worth every bead of sweat.

It was actually so much fun. I think my dad got a little impatient with me, so I'm glad there was a ball machine to take over for him. The irony in the fact that I was a varsity tennis player does not escape me (nor for you, Kristina). Seriously, I'm horrible. Everyone else in my family is good to great and I never got past below average. Mostly due to laziness, and not being good at sports being my subconscious rebellion against my parents (Let me edit that. I'm not bad at sports, I'm just good enough to not look like a complete jackass in some instances). The same goes for skiing (which I fully intend on taking up next year. Cross-country and downhill. If winter wants to eff me, I'm going to eff it right back).

I had a lot of energy today and was really looking forward to playing tennis w/ my dad, but had to wait until almost six, which meant a lot of obnoxious kicks and squats and punches. When I get hyper, I want to exercise, no matter what, so I will just move and move, annoying everyone around me.

I went grocery shopping today, and I love the way my kitchen looks (beyond the disaster that is my pantry. Perhaps if I get it cleaned next week we'll have a few before and after pics. Wouldn't that just be the most exciting thing in the world). I love how healthy I eat, and that my house reflects that. My fridge is full of veggies and whole foods, my cupboards full of healthy grains and beans and cereals and spices. Very few processed foods, very few treats.

For lunch, I made a wrap after grocery shopping. I totally forgot about wraps! The awesomeness of a sandwich, less about 100 or so calories! I used baba ghanoush, sprouts, spring mix, bell peppers and a boca chik'n patty. So amazing.

Dinner was Tony's Tacos, yet again. I knew it was coming. I had rice and beans on tortillas, with a little guacamole. But the real treat of the day? Raspberry sorbet. I seriously worked out today so I could have some. I like the idea of earning treats, however, my body hasn't really processed much sugar in the past few weeks, which means I feel like balls now. That's okay. I enjoyed the treat, and now I won't need one for another week or two.

Weigh-in tomorrow!

Wherein I nearly murder myself on the treadmill

Do you know what's worse than working out at six in the morning? Trying to run at 9:30 in the evening when you are completely sapped of any energy whatsoever. Fuh my existence, dudes. But you know what? I sucked it up and did my whole workout and cursed myself in every second for sleeping in this morning (because sleeping in until seven was really worth the hell this day has been. Blech.) and vowed to not let that happen again if I could help it.

There were no extra intervals run, (though I did do one interval worth of sprints) I hobbled through my walks, but I put in my two miles.

I realized today why I felt so crappy (beyond the fact that it's just the most garbage-y time of the year and the sky is like Satan's fart). I really look forward to my runs because it is the only time in my life where I get any alone time. I can just put my headphones on and listen to whatever I want, as loud as I want and think about whatever I want. There is no possibility of a screaming baby, no sink full of dishes, no errands to be run, no meals to be made. The time is mine and I really need it.

I managed to salvage my day of eating by just having some polenta and broccoli for dinner (which did me no favors on the treadmill). Really, my only bad meal was my half-binge on falafel, because breakfast was rice cakes with hummus, sprouts and red peppers. I've been scraping the bottom of the barrel, food wise, and am really looking forward to stocking the kitchen.

Thanks, everyone for your support and commiseration. Knowing that people are supporting me in this really does keep me going.

Stupid January

Seriously, January is the worst month. Especially if you happen to live in Utah along the Wasatch Front where the air is so thick with pollution you practically have to dig through it. It is a dark gray-ish brown and there are health advisories against going out in it. Awesome. We usually combat it with a trip to Palm Springs in mid-February, and I cannot wait.

The gray is especially awful today as I slept through my alarm (thanks to a Little Miss So and So who decided it was awesome to wake up at 3:00 in the morning) which means I missed my morning workout. It is now very evident to me that I need exercise every single day to feel okay. I am going to try and go when Vegs is done with work. I would just go for a walk w/ the kid, but the 19 layers of smog is keeping me inside.

I'm becoming so much more aware of how my emotions play into my weight. For example: not enough sleep, no workout, gray skies, lonely times = me wanting to eat a deep fried bucket of everything, followed by 97 milkshakes. I'm in need of a grocery shopping excursion, so the house is pretty much empty of anything edible, so I drove and drove and drove (because, hey, if you can't beat the polluters, join 'em. I don't really mean that, but clearly that's what I've done) in search of something to eat. I finally settled on a falafel sandwich and some dolmades from a local Greek drive-through. I was proud of myself for not indulging my desire for a whole cheese pizza or nineteen cupcakes from The Chocolate, but still not thrilled with my choices. I ate the dolmas first, thankfully as they were the lowest cal option and filled me up, then I got about 2/3 through my sandwich/side of rice and was done. So, I guess at least when I'm eating my feelings I am being slightly more conscious about it. If I could see the border of any of the clouds I'm sure I would find a silver lining.

We move on. I'll try to cook something healthy with some greens in it for dinner, and I'll try to go to the gym when the kid goes to sleep tonight. But January can still bite my ass.

Hooked on Exercising

Going to be brief so I can go to bed (I feel very obligated to post every day, which is a good thing). I woke up at 5 this morning so I figured I should really go to they gym. I'm motivated like that. Seriously, though, I am really starting to love working out. Even though the workout was tough this morning, I felt so good when I was done, and was looking forward to doing more throughout the day. I am also glad that I did this extra workout because I took a sneak peek at next week's workouts and realize I will be doubling my run times (which slightly terrifies) so I can certainly use some endurance boosters.

Exercising is making me feel so good (as is eating healthily) that I am turning into a different person. Normally, I'm kind of a bitch in public, but I feel so good that I want to do things like smile at people and ask them how they're doing, wait and hold doors open, etc. I love this, I really, really love this.

No pictures today (use your imaginations to create poorly-lit, somewhat gross food photographs) but here's a quick rundown of the meals:

Breakfast
3 rice cakes w/ almond butter and strawberry jam

Snack
Banana
Raspberry Sorbet (they called the owner of the company who claimed it was vegan. I'm willing to go on the testimony of a stranger for something as delicious of this. Made by Yellow Snow Ice Cream, served at the coffee shop down the street from my parent's house)
Chips and Salsa

Lunch
Potato w/ olive oil, salt and pepper

Dinner
Saag Aloo w/ brown basmati rice
Chocolate-covered pretzel (I found some left-over in the freezer. Definitely not vegan, but I had some spare calories and I'm apparently having a treat problem).

Looking forward to my run tomorrow and maybe some yoga?? I got a DVD from Netflix on yoga for fat folks (basically modifying positions to accommodate girthiness) I hope it's fun! I really like doing yoga, but sometimes it's hard to do w/o modifications, so I think this will help.

Exercise Queen

Let's talk about the fact that I'm kicking ass at the gym. Today, even though the running intervals were hard, I ran an extra one and did sprints on two of them! I really love the way I feel on the days I exercise, and really need to start doing it every day. I took Evie in the stroller on a walk today since the air quality was supposedly ok, which means I did a total of 4 miles today, and I still might do Bar Method. Yeah, like I said. I'm awesome.

When I was on the treadmill this morning the woman next to me was walking almost as fast as I was running. We both looked like idiots, I think. Speed-walkers really scare me, like their hips are going to pop out in any moment. Still a lot of denim, and the apple-eater was reading TV guide. I'm obsessed with gym characters.

I spent the morning watching The Biggest Loser and I Used to be Fat (on MTV). While I was impressed with the girl on the MTV show's ability to lose 90 lbs. in 4 months, I felt really sad for her in the end. Knowing from personal experience, when you're overweight as a teenager and then get a moderately hot bod, you suddenly get "hot confidence" which is great, but it can do a couple of bad things. One, it can make you really shallow, where all you're concerned with is your looks, and two, you turn into a bit of a hussy. I think it comes from not having male attention during those formative years of puberty and then all of a sudden you feel viable, so you seek that confirmation from men, and it can get a little out of control. The end of this particular episode had the girl going to a halloween party in a bustier, thigh highs and a tight skirt. Now, I'm no fan of sexy Halloween anyway, but there was just something particularly depressing about this. I don't know if they do this on the weight loss programs, but I really think it's important for people to go through some sort of emotional therapy when they face extreme weight loss. Primarily because there are usually issues that caused people to get there in the first place, and if the weight loss is going to be permanent, the emotional issues have to be fixed, too.

Because I exercised so much today, I had all kinds of calories to play around with. my breakfast was small, as I planned on making a green shake a bit later, but, you know, best laid plans and such and such. Three rice cakes with Justin's chocolate peanut butter and Costco's organic strawberry jelly.

For lunch I ate the rest of last night's pizza, only I made it a billion times more awesome by adding spinach, broccoli, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes. Yeah. You want to be my mouth. It was like 650 calories, but ever so delicious, and I knew I had calories to use. Yet another motivator to exercise!

I've really sucked at making dinner this week. After my two tofu disasters I just haven't felt up to the challenge. Tomorrow. I swear. Vegs ate some kind of Tony's pizza or something, and I had my standard lunch sandwich, and a Trio bar (I really loved having those calories to work with), and a fruit strip.

I really hope I can keep this motivation up. I've been kicking ass for almost 3 weeks, and I want to stay on this trajectory. I have to say, the fact that I'm doing this well during hell month (known to the rest of you as January) bodes very well for me.

The Night of the Pizza Miracle

I was dreading dinner tonight. I actually had a pretty good meal planned (butternut squash saag) but had also forgotten that we had omnis (look how cool I am with my vegan lingo) coming over to watch Treme and have dinner. I have no problem testing out new foods on Veg because I know if it's disgusting that I will just be done eating and he can always have a Hot Pocket. When there are guests involved, I really only like to serve something tried and true, or at least something that seems uneffuppable, and tonight I didn't have any of my staples to make anything "safe". Beyond that, Evie had been fussy all day and was getting worse by nightfall, meaning actually making dinner was just about an impossibility. So, I said a prayer to the Internet Gods of Pizzadom and we ordered Papa Johns. I ordered something everything-y for the omnis and a veggie w/ no cheese for me. I didn't bother to look at the calorie count, and I just hoped I wasn't going too crazy when I started injecting the pizza directly into my veins.  We haven't had takeout pizza in a really long time, partly due to my foray into veganism, but mostly because my homemade pizza is so (insert hyperbolic statement of deliciousness here) good. Tonight, though, the big Papa did not disappoint.

When I bothered to plug my food into MyFitnessPal later on, Cheesus Crust himself offered unto me a miracle. I ate three slices of pizza. I was hankering for another, but thought better of it, and I'm glad I did, because when all was tallied up for the day I had four calories left. A grape. I didn't go over, but I came right up to the edge. I'm like that sinner in the wagon race or however that old parable goes. You know the one where the moral is to not let boys go up your shirt?

I committed this morning to taking pictures of everything I ate, including snacks, because not taking a picture of them has not made me feel as accountable, and I definitely needed to change. I didn't get one with dinner, but I'm glad I set that as a rule for myself because I was really tempted to snack like crazy today. When I'm stir crazy I get the boredom hungries and I've been housebound for 2 days now (stupid Utah County having air as bad as LA).

The bad air reminds me of another point. The inversion in Utah really sucks. I would love to be taking Evie for walks in the stroller every day, but I can't because I just can't concede to let my baby breathe air that's so horrible. I mean, I don't let her huff mufflers, so why would I let her breathe Orem oxygen? Once it clears up, though, I would really like to get outside a lot.

Now for the borings.  Brekkie was leftover coconut butternut squash with a few handfuls of spinach mixed in. Not very breakfasty, but I knew I needed something to hold me over until lunch since there aren't many healthy snackables in the house right now. It did exactly what it needed to, and was actually really good. I wish I would have added some spinach last night, even.

Lunch was a repeat of yesterday's, but with an orange instead of an apple. Possibly my favorite lunch.

Four o'clock hit, and I was starving. Because I didn't get a chance to exercise today (thanks to a 5 am wakeup from the tiny one and her general non-consent to nap) I didn't have a lot of wiggle room with calories, so I microwaved a bowl of veggies and put some Soy Vay teriyaki sauce on them. Delicious!

I'm really looking forward to getting to the gym in the morning, though I'm sure I won't feel that way tomorrow. I love the way I feel on my workout days, and I get to have snacks! Glorious snacks!

New Week, New Workout

One of the things I love about c25k is that it pushes you at the most perfect rate. The beginning week was walk 90 seconds, run for one minute. Toward the end of the week I could feel my endurance kicking in and I was ready for more, this week as I started the new workout, which is 90 seconds of running to two minutes of walking, it pushed me to my exact limit. I try to make a point of doing sprints in my last interval, and I can tell that I'm getting stronger and faster.

A note: While I commend anyone who gets their ass out of bed to be at the gym by six in the morning, I have to admit, I'm puzzled by the large amount of denim present at ORC. I mean, if you're committed enough to wake up that early and get to the gym on an icy morning, aren't you committed enough to go get a pair of four dollar sweats at Wal-Mart? Multiple people rocking jeans. Very weird.  Also, an old lady who sits on the bike and pedals pretty slowly while she reads a church book and eats an apple. Old people gym-goers are the best.

Eating was much more on target today, though I should have had a more substantial breakfast, because it threw off my hunger pangs for the rest of the day. Breakfast was a measly couple of rice cakes with some Justin's chocolate peanut butter and a smidge of agave.  I should have followed it up with a mid-morning green shake, but after yesterday's disaster I'm a little hesitant.

Lunch was the best meal of the day. I'm beginning to really love lunch. I always eat when Evie has gone down for her afternoon nap, so the house is quiet and I can sit there and really take my time. I'm so much more conscious of how full I am, whether I'm hungry or thirsty, and I'm very rarely disappointed with my meal. Today's lunch was a Boca Spicy Chik'n on Dave's with hummus, spring mix and spicy sprouts, I also ate about 2/3 of a Fuji apple. It was so good, though the toast kind of rubbed my mouth raw.

After lunch was when things started to go a bit haywire. I was starving (and granted I still had about 1,000 calories remaining for the day, so I'm probably still ok, though I didn't bother tracking) so I ate a bowl of rice krispies with raisins and almond milk (not filling, plus, full of HCFS. Boners.) then I ate a bowl of butternut squash with lime juice. By the time I got around to actually making dinner I wasn't starving.

Dinner was a bit of a disappointment. It's so hard when you're trying out recipes for the first time (and, subsequently, jacking with those recipes) and not knowing what to expect. I made Cajun barbecue tofu, which was the real failure, butternut squash coconut rice and collard greens with pineapple. I was pretty pleased with the latter two, but the tofu was a real bummer. I'm still messing around with different techniques and today tried thawing and pressing frozen tofu. It's just not for me. This is probably the fifth or sixth time I've done it in my life and I've never been pleased with the results, so I guess I know now to stop trying.

I only ended up eating a half bowl (the picture is Vegs') because I was so turned off by the tofu, which means I was hungry about an hour later. I put a little agave and cinnamon on brown jasmine rice and added almond milk. I would have been content with just that this evening. Oh well.

Today, Evie turned 5 months old. I can't believe how quickly time is passing. And yes, I know every parent feels this way, and I also am aware that I started that sentence with a conjunction. We celebrated her near-half year with some peas mashed into her cereal. We know how to party.

For Shame

Sometimes I wish I weren't such a good cook, because it's hard to turn down my own delicious creations. For example, I made guacamole for our tacos tonight, but guess who ate almost the whole bowl before dinner was ready? This gourmand. I cannot express to you how delicious this guac was. It could be largely due to the fact that I had perfectly ripe avocados on hand. Normally by the time I get to them they have started turning black, or they are not quite ripe, so they're really hard. Not tonight, friends. I mashed three of them (and I definitely ate at least 2 by myself) with minced shallots, cilantro, lots of lime juice and a little chili powder. Face melter.

I didn't put any on my tacos, since I'd eaten like 30,000 calories worth by the time dinner hit, but they were delicious, nonetheless. I tried to copy the tacos they serve at Sage's, and I think they turned out pretty well. Marinated sliced baby 'bellas, carrots, onions and celery in lime juice, blue moon ale, chili powder and a little Bragg's. Then just dumped it all in a pot and let it cook for a while (until the celery and carrots had a little give but were still crunchy). Put this and some baked tofu (in the same marinade) on white corn tortillas and squeezed a lime over it with some cilantro. Amazing.  This made up for the rest of my day's crappy eating (breakfast was the Sunflower brand Kashi, which I discovered had milk in it. Boners. And lunch was a churro from Costco. Health Queen, right here).

The big news of the day, of course, was the weigh in. 3 pounds down from last week! This brings the total down to 5 lbs. in 2 weeks. Not bad. I'd feel very good keeping this pace up.

Weekends are really hard for me. There's no schedule which means no order, which means it's difficult for me to stay on task. I need to put some kind of agenda on to my weekends to help me feel more on top of things (even a scheduled workout would help) because I have a feeling if I treat every weekend like this one, I will end up putting back on any weight I may have lost during the week.

Slow Saturday

I've decided to take it easy on the weekends. I tend to be a little intense at times and I burn myself out. I will still watch my calories, but I'm not going to be as strict with myself, take pictures, record my calories, etc. We so often eat out on the weekends that it just becomes annoying and I don't want to annoy you or myself.

Today I had a green shake (disgusting. I must figure out how to combat this rice protein) for breakfast and then snacked at my mom's house on a banana and the most delicious brownie I have ever eaten. I am a good vegan cook, but my sister is an amazing vegan baker. Every baked good she makes just melts my face off (she's a pretty amazing cook, as well. She made tons of meals for me when I was on bed rest).

Because it has been so highly recommended by our friends Kristina and Jacob, we decided to try Tony's Tacos in Heber. It did not disappoint. There was very little on the menu for me to eat (and I'm not even sure it was vegan, I just asked them to hold the cheese. It could have been, and likely was all cooked in lard. It was so good I didn't care). I had rice, beans and guacamole. I topped it with their housemade salsa and ate it with chips and a Dos Equis. It filled me up enough that I haven't had anything since, and probably won't.

Tomorrow is a weigh in. Since I consistently exercised this week, I'm really hoping to see some loss. I can't be disappointed if it's only a couple of pounds because mathematically that's exactly what it should be. I have to continually remind myself of this.

I thought of a new reward for myself: when I get down to my pre-pregnancy weight (which is about 15 lbs. from now) I'm getting my nose pierced again. I really loved having my nose ring, I've had it for over 5 years, but when I got my c-section I had to take out all of my jewelry and by the time I thought to put it back in it had closed up. I thought that I wouldn't care, but I really miss it, and I'm excited to get it back.

Whoops!

Fair warning, I'm posting this from my phone so it could be all sorts of jacked up.

I made it to the gym this morning, and though it was a struggle to get out of bed, once I got there my workout was great. I think I kind of scare some of the old people there because I kind of dancerun (and I have tattoos).

I ate really grapevine today, tried doing a protein heavy green shake that was pretty awesome, and for lunch did tofu, broccoli, potato and kalamata olives. It was ok.

Dinner turned into a royal eff job, though. I am not great at restaurant eating, yet. Too much fried stuff (tempura and tofu) and I'm sure I went over my calories today. I'm not going to beat myself up for it, I will just do better tomorrow.

Posting from my phone sucks. Nevermore.

Spanish boots of Spanish leather

Oh, Bobby Z. You always do it for me.

Did you know that I'm a bit of a moron? Maybe I'm one of those geniuses that is so busy being smart that I make really stupid mistakes in real life all the time...no? Well, it was worth a shot.

I like getting called out on my own bullshit. I really do.  A lot of people tend to be a bit intimidated by me (lousy pseudo-confidence...) and since I'm a master arguer (watch out law school?), people rarely confront me, so when a friend of mine asked me why I was rewarding my vegan lifestyle with a pair of leather boots it kind of threw me for a loop. Not because I didn't want to be called out on it, but because I felt like such an idiot for not making the connection. I mean, sure, I know leather comes from animals, but I didn't know it in the same way I know about meat. Kind of like how I just figured out vegetables a week ago. It's a learning curve here, people.

It's not that I don't care, it's just that I don't think beyond the surface a lot of the time. So I think, "ooh, cute boots!" or, "pretty purse!" and leave it at that. Because it's not gross and raw and fleshy, it's easy for me to forget (especially when it's out there on the interwebs, not smelling/feeling like leather) that some poor moo cow got shot in the face to make my vest (what, you don't don leather vests?)

In all seriousness, I hadn't considered the leather question. I haven't considered a lot of vegan lifestyle questions, as I've been so focused on the diet aspect of it all. Yes, it was Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals that put me over the edge, but, ultimately I'm doing it to lose weight. I can't be a vegetarian or responsible omnivore and eat the way I know I should. I'd like to indulge in a little goat cheese or ice cream or pizza now and again, but when I eat those things, I like to do it in mass quantities. So, veganism provides me with enough strict guidelines that I end up making healthy choices by default.

I'm not a perfect vegan. I ate ham at Christmas (confession!), but I felt really guilty the entire time. I also had a bite of Vegs' Big Mac a few weeks ago (it was awesome), but something has switched over in me that won't let me eat meat without it being morally problematic (plus it gives me a gut-ache. Could just be my conscience, though). I suppose the rest of my life will gradually switch over as well. Will it last forever? Who knows. Maybe after I eat healthily for a long time I'll want to add eggs or dairy back in. Maybe I'll want a steak. I just know that right now I feel really good about what I'm eating, in every instance, and I've never been able to say that before.

Basically, I'm glad I got thrown into having to think about all of this. Not being in school has thrown me a bit, and I've stopped thinking about things as much as I might have in the past, stopped letting myself be challenged, stopped searching for more answers. I like not knowing right now.

The pregnancy scare

So, I'm late. Which, in my pre-baby life was pretty normal. In fact, it lead to many post-pregnancy sobfests, but I've been pretty regular since we had the kid so it kind of freaked me out a bit. I'm definitely not ready for a second, yet. I woke up really, really tired and nauseous, which means no gymtime for moi. Don't worry, I'm merely getting back on my effed up cycle.

The problem remains, that I feel kind of garbage-y. Since I'm eating super-healthily I think there are a few things that could possibly be wrong: One, I psyched myself out about the possibility of being pregnant and thus pregnancy symptoms (also known as how I spent the last few years of my life); Two, I'm not eating enough calories and my blood sugar was low; Three, I have a touch of the flu;  Four, I'm not getting enough sleep; or finally, it's just a fluke.

I took a two hour nap with the baby and that seemed to help immensely. I'm betting on a combination of two and five. I fall asleep by eleven, but waking up at five and then exercising and eating about 1400 calories a day will take its toll on you. So, on the days where I wake up early to exercise, I'm going to make sure that I get a nap, at least a half hour. For right now, that shouldn't be problematic, since the wee one goes down for a couple of hours in the mid-afternoon. I'll see if that helps before upping the calories.

I seriously struggled today, so was glad to have leftovers packing the fridge. That tofu scramble got me through the morning on a couple pieces of toast, and I stood over the sink wolfing down leftover spaghetti around 1. I should have taken a snack w/ me grocery shopping, as that always wears me out, but, I effed up.

I started the first day of our weekly meal plan with a bang for dinner, though. Sweet Mother. Red Thai tofu with red bell peppers and eggplant on top of pineapple Thai rice.  First of all, I can't believe that I ever hated tofu, as it is pretty much my favorite thing now. Second, I love having cookbooks to inspire my meals, but man, I don't think I have ever, ever followed a recipe. These both started out of Appetite for Reduction but I made quite a few jumps along the way. I did use fresh pineapple for the rice (awesome) at the suggestion of the cookbook, and am glad I did. I only used half of it, so the other half will be used in pineapple collards later in the week (served with jerk tofu and butternut coconut rice. I know, you want to be me). Yes, that entire plate is full, no, it is not a dinner plate. I like eating off of smaller plates, tricks the brain, you know?

Did you know you can dry fry tofu? It's pretty much the best thing ever. Sure, it lead to me setting off the smoke alarms in my apartment (I'm just glad I didn't set them off for the whole building), but I kind of think it was worth it. Had I just had the heat down a little bit when I added the soy sauce (and maybe added a little veggie broth, too) I wouldn't have had the problem. You basically cut the tofu into little cubes and just toss it in a pan that has a little non-stick spray in it. It gets all crispy along the edges, and when you coat it in the sauce. Well, your house might sound a little porn-y with all the moans of deliciousness.

Lazy Bones

Let's talk about my morning. I woke up at 5 to pee, (because you needed to know that) but I was so happy that I had another half hour to sleep. While I slept, I dreamt that I had woken up and had checked facebook on my phone, but that it was 6:15, which meant it was too late to go to the gym. I was so happy. Something about yesterday just took it out of me, and I was relishing in my old ways. But then, painful miracle of miracles, my damn alarm went off and it was only 5:40. Lucky me. I haul my drowsy self to the rec center, and find myself without a treadmill, or even an elliptical. I had to wait five minutes before some old dude got off an elliptical, and got 5 minutes into a workout when someone got off the treadmill so I was able to do my c25k workout. I did pretty much the exact same thing I did the other morning, though it seemed a bit harder thanks to the overwhelming tiredness. I fortunately have the best playlist to get me through the runs. How can you not want to move to old school Outkast, Girl Talk, The Black Keys, Jay Z, Cee-Lo, Rihanna, etc.? (

When I got home I felt much better, and since the kid was still sleeping, I was able to get some cleaning done (don't judge, I waited until her second nap before I got my stanky self into the shower), and I finally feel somewhat caught up in my house. I still have to attack the office, but beyond that, everything is under control, which makes me feel in control.

For breakfast I made the most delicious tofu scramble known to humankind and made a breakfast sandwich. I pretty much just used the recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance, but sans mushrooms, plus fresh thyme. Here's the recipe if you don't want to bother with the book.

I added Lightlife's Smart Bacon which is possibly just a step above Beggin' Strips for dogs. Let me assure you, I was fully aware that it wasn't bacon (I'm not as stupid as a dog). It did provide a nice crunch and some saltiness to the sandwich, but I certainly wouldn't eat it plain. I put it on Dave's Awesome bread (duh...I swear most of my calories go there. If calories were stock in the company, I might own it by now) with a little veganaise and my entire face melted with an orgasm of deliciousness. Seriously, people, I thought about how good this breakfast was all day long. I even had leftovers on a slice of toast later on in the afternoon as a snack. The best part? under 500 calories!

For lunch, Bird treated me to a delicious sandwich w/ baba ganoush, avocado, sprouts and, get this, miso mayo. I know. I tried my hardest not to lick my plate, it's that good (definitely an indulgence, though, at 90 cal. per tablespoon).

Dinner, I knocked it out of the park again (sports metaphors? what is happening to me?). I pretty much took every vegetable we had left in the house (tomorrow is grocery day) and put it in a red sauce to put over pasta. Included: eggplant, artichoke hearts, broccoli, grape tomatoes and onions. Here's a little trick for you: you can make any bottled tomato sauce taste amazing with a few additions (faster and so much easier than making it from scratch, plus Classico's original doesn't have any sugar in it). I always sautee some minced garlic in it with some Italian seasoning. Here is the real trick though (or like, four real tricks): add a couple splashes of balsamic vinegar, tomato paste (from a tube), a squirt of basil paste (I have a penchant for condiments in tubes, ok? and parentheses, apparently), and nutritional yeast. It is so amazing. It's a little sweet, a little sour and a lot savory. This particular sauce is up there as one of my favorites.

I should add, my meal was probably 25 percent pasta and the remainder veggies/sauce. Stupid pasta is where all those calories hide. I should probably use whole wheat pasta, but the organic stuff from Costco is just so good (and the organic whole wheat is not...Vegs is not a fan, though it doesn't bother me).

I have amazing food planned for the next week, thanks to my new cookbooks. If I get a few more workouts in, I think I'll have had a hell of a week (in a good way).

Tired

I was a little bummed to not make it to the gym this morning, but sleep was no bueno last night, and waking up at 530 sounded like a nice slice of hell-pie (have you had that before? it's pretty much awful) so I thought I would sleep in with the kiddo, but guess who decided to wake up at 6 this morning? Combine that with an impromptu visit from my mom and you get absolutely no exercising (though hauling the tiny one in her massive car seat to and fro is a bit of a workout).

Food today was mostly leftovers, and for that I am grateful. You shall have no pictures, because repeat crappy iphone pics of food you've seen before is both gross and boring. You shall however, get a super gross picture of my half-eaten dinner.

Breakfast? Green shake. I love that they hold up for 2 days so I only have to deal with the mess once.  Lunch was leftover chili w/ some green onions added.

Dinner, though visually unappealing, was super good, and not bad on the calorie count. Baked tofu with spicy barbecue sauce (straight from the Sunflower Market bottle). I marinated it in Braggs, liquid smoke, chili powder and a little olive oil. I made Vegs some potatoes, but I opted for broccoli polenta, which was another bonus discovery. Polenta itself is pretty doable, calorie-wise, but I added a cup of broccoli and some nutritional yeast. So good and SO FILLING.

I had enough calories left over that I was able to treat myself to a strawberry Trio bar. Not a bad way to end the day.

Tomorrow, I must get to the gym in the morning, it's weird how I'm getting so hooked on the healthy lifestyle that I really miss exercising after only one day. I also need to clean my house, which is an utter dump right now. I'm also planning on getting my meal plans for the next week done. I've been winging it this past week, and it will be much easier to keep things under control. I just got 2 great cookbooks, and I'm so excited to delve into them to plan. Check out Veganomicon and Appetite for Reduction, both by my favorite cookbook author (vegan, anyway) Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Hopefully I'll get it planned, which will make sharing recipes all the easier.

I really appreciate all the support I'm getting here. It honestly helps so much knowing that there are people rooting for you, and it makes me much more conscious of what I'm doing, knowing that others will be hearing about it. Love you all!

Couch 2 5k

I woke up at 5:30 this morning and hauled my ass to the gym. It was dark and a little scary (I hate going in underground parking when it's dark) but once I was on the treadmill, it was great. I'm kind of in love with my C25K app (has my life of fatness been a lack of iphone? possibly. Yes, I am obsessed...and apparently a little braggy) because it integrates with your playlist and then tells you to run when you're supposed to run and walk when you're supposed to walk. That means I don't have to pay attention to the timer on the treadmill which means I don't wuss out so quickly.

I did the whole workout, which had me go about 2 miles and I ended up doing a sprint for the last running segment. I felt awesome, and felt good all day long. I wasn't tired, in fact I had more energy than I normally have, but I'm certainly ready to get to bed now (which is great, since I've struggled with sleep lately).

Breakfast? Return of the greenshake! Seriously, this is the best breakfast, ever (at least in terms of health. The actual best breakfast is the french toast at Pete's Lunch, but I digress). It's super healthy, super easy, and super filling. I had one around 8:45 this morning and was fine until lunch, which wasn't until about 3. This one had 2 cups of spinach, orange juice, mixed frozen fruit and chia seeds.

When I finally made it to lunch, I opted for leftovers, yet again. I had more of the Israeli couscous salad topped with hummus and a few extra kalamata olives. I think I could drink kalamata olive juice with a straw. I love its briny deliciousness, which is pretty gross (the straw drinking, obvs).

I made a kick-ass chili for dinner in the slow cooker. It had kidney and black beans, brown rice and butternut squash. I had a big bowl and two pieces of Dave's Awesome Bread, toasted. Since I did it in the slow cooker, I didn't really measure anything (because, apparently, those two things are mutually exclusive?) which means I have about a year's supply of leftovers. The rice really bulked up, so I'll probably have it tomorrow with some sauteed spinach and maybe baked tofu.

Thanks to my workout, I ended up with a pretty decent calorie deficit, and I'm wondering if I should eat a little bit more before going to bed so I can be above the 1200 calorie mark, since I read today that going under 1200 effs with your metabolism and can slow weight loss down. Maybe I need a little treat...

Weigh In #1

Sure enough 2 lbs. down, exactly. I can't pretend I'm not a little disappointed. I really wanted to see a four or five pound loss, but I have to remember that this is for real, not some fad where I drop 20 then put on 30 (story of my life, thus far).  Slow and steady wins the race...

Food was meh today. I stayed within my guidelines, it was just unimpressive. Probably because one of my meals was at the Olive Garden. I had cappelinni pomodoro (or something. like I'm going to google it) and some minestrone. I also had 3 breadsticks, which I'm sure have butter on them, but I don't even care today. It's crazy to see how many calories one could consume if they weren't paying attention. The breadsticks made up a good portion of my caloric intake for the meal (good thing I didn't eat breakfast so I had some wiggle room), and normally I wouldn't give them a second thought. I'm glad I've become more conscious of feeling full, as well. I had them take my plate when I was about halfway done with my pasta because I had reached the point where I was comfortable. I knew that any more would make me fuller than I would want to feel. Old Me would have eaten about 6 breadsticks, a few plates of salad and most of a chicken alfredo. Gross. Gross. Gross. I can't even conceive of eating that many calories in one sitting now (hell, even over the course of a day).

They've been talking about how putting calorie information on menus (especially in fast food places) won't be much of a deterrent in people choosing unhealthy items, but it really would for me. I don't see how it couldn't. Also, I'm blown away by what most people conceive of as a reasonable amount of calories/serving size, and that I was, until very recently, one of those people. I do know that now that I am aware, it makes all the difference in the world to me if I know what I'm getting into, calorically speaking.

Dinner was a quinoa burrito with boca crumbles. Nothing much to speak of.

Tomorrow I start waking up early to go to the gym, which I just need. I wonder if I really will be able to do a 5k in 9 weeks (so sayeth my iphone app). I would really like to be able to just run this spring, be past this walk/run b.s. (though I realize it is an integral step in being able to do what I want to do...it's just I want everything now)!

New Year, New You

I've been saying this for two days and I think it's hilarious. I feel like I'm just a walking women's magazine cliche. New year, new you. So damn stupid.

I am really glad that I started this endeavor before the new year so it didn't feel so "resolution-y".

Yesterday wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I didn't get a chance to eat breakfast, lunch was a boca chikn sandwich and then picking at everything I was cooking all day long. Dinner was, well, a feast. I made mass quantities of mediterranean food and it was ridiculously good. Especially the spinach pie and baklava. Everything I made was vegan, and with the exception of the things I made with phyllo dough, rather healthy.

I've gotten used to eating less and being more conscious of being full. Normally I would have eaten so much last night, but I kept things really under control (okay, I probably had a piece or two too many of that baklava).

Today, it felt really good to get back on track. Because I didn't drink last night (save a glass of champagne. Tradition!) I didn't feel awful this morning, which meant I didn't need a heavy, greasy breakfast to soak up the booze. I have really become a fan of Wasa crispbreads and almond butter with a little bit of fruit. This morning I realized how much my eating habits have changed when I realized I was full and didn't finish my meal, which is really not something I'm accustomed to, especially when it's something so light.

Lunch and dinner was the exact same meal (twice). Leftovers from last night turned into an amazing salad. Mixed greens, falafel, israeli couscous, baba ghanoush, tzatziki, toum and turnip pickles (I made pickles! Super easy and super delicious!). It was so filling and pretty light on calories. I may even treat myself to a piece of leftover baklava.

I haven't exercised in a few days, and think I'm going to try and do Bar Method tonight (I've finally cleared a space in my bedroom for exercising). On Monday, now that Vegs is going back to work, I'm going to try and get to the gym at 6 in the morning before he or the kid are up and at 'em. It's imperative that I exercise in the mornings so that I can know what my caloric intake should look like, I don't fare well living in my own debt (ie; eating and then not exercising).

This is going well. I know it hasn't even been a full week yet, but, this doesn't seem out of control, in fact, I feel really confident and good about it.