Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This Month's Mishaps

I did very well this month. There are only two mishaps to report.

1.) Who would have thought so much candy has animal products in it?!? I ate Wine Gums on three different occasions over a two week period before I remembered to check the label and found out they had gelatin in them. Oops.

2.) This one was of my own choosing. The kids were making smores out at the lake. On one occasion I decided to take one milk chocolate covered graham cracker and eat it.

All in all, I would call this a very successful month.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Vega Smoothie Photo Contest

I don't know if there is anyone out there reading this blog, but if you are I would love some help with a photo contest I entered. It is one of those where the photos with the most votes win. I have my eye on the blender prize, which means I need to come in somewhere between 2nd and 11th. Voting goes until August 15th, 2010 and each email address can vote once every 24 hours.

If you would like to help me out by casting a vote for my photo, you can go to the Where Will Your Smoothie Take You contest page and this link will take you straight to my photo. Thanks and smilies to all.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Local Veg Resources

It was my anniversary the other day. My lovely husband, who by the way is not a vegetarian, nor does he even agree with the idea of it, gifted me with a gift certificate to a local vegetarian restaurant. He researched it and came up with the idea himself. I'm not sure that I even knew about this particular restaurant. The restaurant is called Padmanadi and it is in Edmonton, Alberta.

I am very excited to try it out and while checking out the restaurant's website, I got even more excited when I found a link to a local vegatarian/vegan group that I also had not come across before. It looked like there was quite a bit going on, like monthly vegatarian pot-lucks, so I emailed and asked about volunteering. They emailed back quite quickly and sounded very excited to have me join in, so I will let you know how that goes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Home-made Individual Pizzas

These can be a little messy to eat, but they are one of my favorite yum-factor meals. This is also one of those things you can make at the end of the week when you have lots of odds and ends veggies. The pizza in the picture below was made without vegan cheese (and tasted just fine), but I think I enjoy it just a touch more with the vegan cheese on the top. The pizza below has a crazy assortment of veggies. Let's see if i can remember them all. There are pineapple, mushrooms, green onion, garlic, jalapeno peppers, red bell peppers, mushrooms, black olives,an assortment of beans, parsley, and kale. There might be a couple more.

To make the pizza, you just cut up an assortment of veggies, grab a pita and spread some tomato sauce on it. Layer up your pizza with whatever you want. With this pizza, I drizzled a little more tomato sauce on the top because I didn't have the vegan cheese, but normally I would sprinkle some vegan cheese on the top. This is a very casual meal for me, so I don't really bother to remember a set temperature on the oven or cooking time, but this time I put it in at about 285 degrees and left it in for about 20 minutes.

Fresh Fruit Salsa

Here is a picture of my fresh fruit salsa. It is one of my favorite things to make because it is easy to remember what goes in it and quantities are not really that important. You take one mango, about 1/4 of a pineapple, juice of half a lime, about a quarter of a red onion and either some parsley or cilantro (probably about a quarter cup), and you have got yourself a salsa.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dogs and Vegetables

This is only slightly off-topic. It is about food after all. I am calling this a vegetarian success story, even if it isn't a human story. Read here about Bramble, a vegetarian dog who is entering his 28th year of life, and in the running for the world's oldest dog. Unbelievable.

You can also read here about what Alicia Silverstone feeds her vegetarian dogs.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tea Tip (for Two?)

I have yet to try this, but thought it sounded like a good idea. The tip is to add a bit of cold water to your white or green tea (just enough to cover the leaves in your cup) before you add hot water. This is supposed to give a better tasting cup of tea and prevents the leaves from being "shocked".

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I always find it very interesting when life (or situations) intersect in unexpected ways. I am currently reading two books, one food related and one that I thought was not. The food related book is entitled Twinkie Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined) and Manipulated into What America Eats(Steve Ettlinger). The other book, Sleeping Naked is Green(Vanessa Farquharson) is a journal of sorts where the author tries to change something in her life to a way a little more "green" every day for a year. There is an entry describing her frustration in deciding whether to buy local pesticide laden produce, or non-local organic produce.

As best-selling food author Michael Pollan has pointed out numerous times, our collective knowledge about what to eat has fallen by the wayside, leaving us with food pyramids, dieticians, fat camps, and entire books devoted to deconstructing the Twinkie...

One expects the Michael Pollan reference, as I am not sure that I have read anything about food without his name popping up, but the Twinkie book reference was definitely unexpected. Does anyone else get as terribly amused with these kind of coincidences as I do?

Friday, July 2, 2010

That's so SAD

I find it really sad funny that the acronym for Standard American Diet is SAD.

Successful, Healthy Me

When I read the book that started me eating vegan food, The Kind Diet, I read about people who experienced amazing health changes in their lives. I also posted a couple of days ago with links to some more "success stories". I was reading a blog with another such story just yesterday. Underneath the story, one of the comments posted was from a lady who was a little sad that she didn't seem to have experienced any major health changes once switching to a vegan diet. I gathered from the nature of her post that she also didn't have any health challenges before changing her diet. When one already seems healthy, a switch in diet maybe won't do anything profound, but it is possible that you might miss what does happen because it is small or maybe you weren't paying enough attention to that kind of thing. I find that a lot of time, the bad things are much more noticeable than the good. You are likely going to remember the day you threw up and felt like you were going to die as opposed to the day you just felt really great.

My first thought when I read the comment was, "oh, me neither". Now that I have had a day to process that thought, I feel a little differently. This morning I went for a run for the first time in two years. I often will start running every year around June, do it 5-10 times and then quit until the next June. I have had asthma since I was 12 years old. I have always needed an inhaler every time I exercise (and when I am exposed to allergens and sometimes in cold weather, but otherwise I don't need it very often). Today I didn't need my inhaler. I have always developed an extremely red and flushed face every time I exercise. I returned from my run to day to find that I was slightly pink in some very minor areas of my face, and otherwise I looked completely normal! The first time I go out running for the year, I can usually only make it once around the track and then I walk once around, and I continue alternating walking and running for about 8 times around the track in total. The second time I go running I can make it 2 times around and then one walking, making it about 9 times around the track. However, I have always felt like my legs were going to fall off and like I might get nauseous if I didn't stop. I really had to push myself to keep going. Today I did two and a half times around the track with then a half track of walking (x2). I never once felt like I had to push myself. I did not feel nauseous at all the entire time. I can't imagine how good it might feel the second time out! I definitely could have gone longer but I didn't have the time.

While I was running, I was thinking about all these things and I realized a few more. For about the past year or so, I have been waking up in the middle of the night coughing uncontrollably and gasping for air. It is really awful and scary. I asked a couple doctors about it and they thought it was acid creeping up to my lungs from my stomach while I was lying down (basically glorified heartburn). It was probably happening about 3-5 times a month. I have been eating almost entirely vegan for 6 weeks (?) and this has not happened once. I also realized that I have not used my inhaler once since I changed my diet.

I am feeling like I have a success story afterall. Yay me.