6 posts categorized "Vegan Life"

09 January 2013

Veganism: Why I became a Vegan



I realized I didn't do my post on when/why I became a vegan so here goes. I'm challenging myself to keep my post to a minimum of 600-700 words, most of the time:) I don't always want to read really  long posts let alone readers being subjected to my banter so I'll be working on that. Some stories are just long based on what's being discussed so those will remain but in general posts I'll try to keep it light.


Ok 500 not including the above LOL.

Anywhoo so in January 2012 I decided out of nowhere to become a vegan. One thing that I'd come to learn about myself as it pertains to losing weight and getting healthy, is that I have to get with the kid in my head that feels like they're missing out on something by cutting back. You know the she got more than me kid that we all were at some point in our childhood. Why does she eat like a hog but only way 100 pounds! Why did so and so get a better metabolism than me! I was fine with this baked chicken breast until I saw so and so with their cheesesteak with salt, pepper onions ketchup pickles and mayo, boy does this portion look way too small I won't get full! Etc Etc Etc. So one of the best ways to overcome that for me, or so I felt at the time,   is to cut out the feeling of depravity, I chose to do so by adapting a vegan diet and focusing on foods I naturally love that just so happen to be good for me too.

For me this worked and I'm not sure how I got to veganism, but I'd always been on the edge of vegetarianism anyway. As much as I loved meat I had somewhat of a love/hate relationship with it. When I was younger eating dinner one day, my sister decided to describe the life of the chicken I was eating at the time. And let me tell you, my mom made some bangin fried chicken so she didn't cause me to stop eating it LOL but it did the job of grossing me out and for many years to come. Then with beef, more specifically hamburgers if I'd have a burger with even an ounce of red in it I couldn't eat it. Essentially the understanding that I was eating something that once walked never sat 100% well with me although taste wise I still loved meat. So I guess out of curiosity I began to eat at some vegan/vegetarian restaurants every now and again (while still a meat eater) so after awhile it would become a norm for me to buy a veggie burger over a beef one.


When it came time for me to truly commit to eating healthier and getting the weight off, veganism was the obvious choice. Well there is a little bit more to that, I figured if I focused on a plant based diet I'd naturally gravitate to the healthier choices. Yeah that's how I got to veganism vs. vegetarianism, I was seeking to focus on a plant based diet. And so I started I'd say mid- week that first week of January and was off and going with it, wasn't having a hard time food choices and satisfaction wise, but my body was like whoa what are you doing to me! I still need to grow in getting all of the nutrients that I need (to this day) as well as eating large enough portions and while eating a spinach salad with strawberries and almonds (mmmm) is pretty much the norm for me, eating lentils and quinoa and taking supplements was not, just wasn't something that was a part of my normal diet so I had/have to make some adjustments.

And I'm very close to the 700 count so I'll leave you with this:)  And I think I'll make this into somewhat of a series so that  I can share more about veganism, how you can get started if interested and vegan books and blogs out there that will aide you immensely.


Until next time!

03 January 2013

My new toy- Ninja Master Prep

So I went to Target on a mission earlier this week to buy my magic bullet and to my dismay, Target was all out!!! I stood in front of the empty self for about a good 10 minutes trying to figure out why the didn't have what I wanted, and how to rectify the situation. Also to look about a good 10 times more to ensure I wasn't overlooking it but nope they were out. All of the time that they lived there, this day they decided to be sold out. Mind you it was after Christmas so I knew exactly why yet this somehow wasn't completely acceptable to me.


I needed to get something then and there that day so that I wouldn't spend the gift card I'd received on something else and end up putting off this purchase any longer than I already have. I looked around and saw the Ninja, at the same price as the Bullet I thought this may work but I wasn't too keep about buying something for the same price without knowing much about it. In the end I got it remembering how good Target's return policy is. Got it home and let it rest until the next day when I'd go grocery shopping. I did a ton of smoothie prep once I got back from the market, I also made chickpea burgers, raw truffles and vegan mayo with my new Ninja (which reminds me, still have to get that vegan post up!) I fell in love on the spot. I wasn't able to make my smoothie until the next day when I had everything frozen and when I got the opportunity to do so I wasn't disappointed.


One thing that I love about the Ninja that I wouldn't have received if I purchased the bullet, are two containers, both with blades. So I have a big container for bigger jobs and a small one for smaller jobs. I can use it as a blender, chopper, and food processor and I can utilize the containers as containers by utilizing the lids that came with the product. NinjaproThen another thing I like about this product is the fact that the blades are removable, which I've found makes for very easy clean up. The power that you see pictured at the top is also removable which allows me to use it on either sized container. And the blades are uber sharp, proven via my first boo boo when I was trying to clean it a little bit too well.


I took this pic from amazon, my Ninja is black but it's the exact same otherwise. Since I was in such a hurry to get this all purchased and do smoothie set up I didn't get any pics of what I did with it. I'll do a post when I do my meal prep for next week. I've never used the Bullet to compare, I wanted to get it because I'd always heard good things about it and I wanted something that would be easy to clean and allow me to do a smoothie a day if I chose to which is why I was disappointed that I couldn't get the Bullet because of all of the extra cups. Yet I'm happy with this purchase and glad they were out of what I really went for that day.


With that said I've already fallen off from what I'm seeking to do. I decided to get it in starting next week, this week is harder because I just got back to work from holiday vacay so I'm doing overtime. Tuesday night, the night I would have utilized to prep for the week I was sick, my guess partially due to the healthier changes and partially due to not getting in enough nutrients with my change. So this weekend I will be sitting down, writing out my exact needs based on the calorie count I've already shared with you guys here and I'll be prepping my meals for the entire week next week. On a good note I've been doing okay portion wise, made some foul choices due to availability but still stayed within a good range of calorie intake. Oh and as I knew it would be, it's difficult doing my smoothie a day in the morning so next week I'm committing to doing one a day at Dinner time. That fits right in with me being tired when I get home anyway but I'll still need to prep in this area for my daughter so I'll get that balance I need as I commit to the changes.


That's all for now folk, as a reminder or for anyone that did not see the post, I'm committing to losing 28 pounds via clean eating and so I needed a new blender to get in a green smoothie a day, a part of what will get me there. I've learned that much of the success of my current 40 pound lost is not begin on that scale, allowing my lifestyle change to truly develop in to a lifestyle. So with that said I'll be weighting myself once a month on the 5th of the month, at least approximately according to my daughter my scale is broken which isn't a bad thing but I'll wait until the 5th to test it to avoid the temptation of getting on in event it is just in need of a new battery as I suspect. And in between time I'll continue posting my progress and what I'm doing here on the blog.


Tata for now!

01 January 2013

Happy New Year Everyone!

New year images


I hope that everyone had a blessed/safe celebration last night into today. And my prayers go out to each person reading this that God would keep and direct you throughout this year.


I'm a bit late with this post today as I've been under the weather all day long. As I mentioned in my last post, I don't typically do resolutions but I do find the new year to be the point in time in which my new beginnings begin so to speak and so last week I started drinking a green smoothie a day. It's been feeling so good planning and focusing on healthier eating that I've also jump started eating cleaner. What I'll need to work on, and this also happened last year when I became a vegan, is getting in enough calories. I'll typically eat three meals a day and snack when I feel hungry. Well after my meals it seemed as if hunger just would not subside and it dawned on me that I need to watch out for that again because I'm eating 3 meals of intentionally healthy foods and I say that because I try to eat healthy or balanced for the most part always yet the past couple of days have been nothing but healthy so my body missed some of the calories and fat it needed. Today I just woke up extra late as well, drank a smoothie and tried to figure out what else I'd eat with it. By the time I figured out what I wanted it was too late I was starving and then I don't think I got in enough yesterday so that carried over into today then my body is likely detoxing due to all of the healthy. So long story short I had a lovely migraine today that was quite sleep inducing but I'm thankful because I'm headed in the right direction and getting back to a healthier me. And I've realized, part of my reason for switching to veganism was due to wanting to adapt a  healthier eating plan without having to focus on calories fat etc. And that's with eating a healthy vegan diet in mind. I've learned that I still have to put in that effort in order to get in enough vs when I use to keep count to ensure I wasn't getting in too much.


It's for that reason that I'm not focusing in on losing 28 pounds and doing the meal planning/counting calorie thing. Within the year I've adapted enough that this won't have me feeling deprived, it'll just be the work of doing it. I'm considering planning by the month because it starts off well then ya just get tired of it, I do at least but I'll stick with weekly for now and grow from there:)


I'm excited in the short period I've re-invited green smoothies back into my life daily I'm already noticing the difference. Sickness aside I love how healthy eating benefits kick in rather quickly and I think that'll be the biggest benny for me on this journey.


I did some calculations and if I eat a diet of 1367 calories a day I can lose 2 pounds weekly, that'll allow me to lose yet still stay in a healthy range. If I do this, I'll get to goal by April 5th. This calorie count seems pretty low to me the lowest I've done I think is 1700 BUT I've also lost 40 pound already so that's why I was given the number that I was and so what I'm thinking is aim for this but if I wanted to I could eat 1867 and still lose 1  pound a week. My focus will be more so on not being hungry than trying to lose x amount of pounds but if I can survive off of the 1367 than I will go with that number. Not interested in getting back into diet mode and part of my success from losing this past year is that I wasn't putting in this type of focus so will absolutely seek to balance it all out.


That's it for now folks, I'll be back later in the week to speak on my vegan experience, more on what I'm doing to lose and the Ninja that I brought when Target didn't have the Magic Bullet I went to purchase and I'm so glad they didn't because I love this thing!

Grace & Peace, oh one more thing I don't plan on weighing myself not until about a month so I'll blgo about experience but will have an update on what I've loss thus far let's say around Feb 2nd.


27 December 2012

A Smoothie a day keeps the Dr. Away

Hi Everyone, hope you all had a great Christmas. I still cannot believe it's that time of year already and the day has come and gone and we're headed towards the new year!

Now I'm not typically one for new years resolutions but I've noticed for some odd reason when I "get it together" it's typically done at least to some degree of permanent change, in January. In January 2012 I decided to become a vegan which I'll post a blog with an update on that topic some Magicbullettime next week. My focus for January 2013 is to get back to drinking a smoothie a day, a nice habit I picked up when I became a vegan last year but got out of the habit of when my old individual blender had to be thrown out, well the cup part of it. So I'm on my way to Target shortly to invest in a Magic Bullet. So happy I can do this right now thought I'd have to wait a few weeks but was blessed with a Target gift card so I'm going to make that move.


With my old blender I'd take everything with me to work and get ice from the cafeteria, I think this time around since I'll have the extra cups, I'll set everything up for the week and make my smoothie to take with me then eat something an hour or two after  I get to work.


One of the reasons I'd decided to become a Vegan was for the purpose of losing weight. Figuring if I made a lifestyle change vs trying to focus on what I will or will not eat than I'll be successful and I was right but again I'll speak more on that experience next week. I will just add that I've lost 40 pounds thus far without feeling as though I was trying to lose, and now I feel comfortable with setting a short term goal of losing 28 pounds, that will get me out of the 200 mark. I'm still avoiding the diet mentality/feeling but I am making more conscious efforts so that the weight isn't coming off as slowly as I've been allowing myself to lose it. After losing the 28 I'll then think about rather I'll continue focusing or if I'll get back to eating what I what while making healthy choices. The difference is by me focusing I'll avoid certain foods and ensure I'm only eating x amount of calories and fat. Since my lifestyle change there are things I'll naturally gravitate to that are healthier which again was my goal but there are still plenty of fattening options out there that the old me loves to gravitate to so giving myself the needed balance to get to the end goal.


To make it official, I'm pulling out the old school tracker to keep up with my results, well old school to me, not sure if people are still using it:)



Lastly let me say I didn't lose 40 pounds this year but over several. I'd loss some weight a few years ago but gained most back, kept off about 15 and then loss 25 this year so still not too shabby but as it relates to changing my lifestyle vs dieting I am losing slower. Yet those 25 again was without a concious effort and strickly based off of choices. I've gained small amounts of weight back and just weight myself the other day to see what I'd gained and came to find I'd lost about 8 pounds so this needless to say is working for me and I'll explain what I've been doing next week!


*Sorry about any typos, don't think typepad is catching everything and I have to run, will update any later!!*

28 February 2012

NYC Vegetarian Food Festival

So I've decided to go to this festival in NYC at the very spur of the moment.  I hope to take plenty of pics to share here on my blog and of course I'll write about the experience and the foods I was able to test out.



31 January 2012

One month vegan!

Well sorta, last night I ordered Papa John's and I wasn't able to separate my order so that half was cheese and half without, not on-line at least so after starving while already sick I decided to just get the thing.

I'm eating a vegan diet for health reasons, it's not a law for me, I had to remind myself of that yesterday when I tried so very hard not to get that pizza. And the thing about it is, I couldn't even taste the cheese! But again it's not a law for me. I primarily want to give up cheese because for one it can be a migraine trigger for me and two, the more I read up on any animal product that we eat, the more turned off I am from eating it. Now if I don't find a suitable vegan mac, I will just have to make that exception for a lifetime!:)

Yet I can honestly say I'm enjoying what I eat. What I have learned is that I have to be uber prepared with food at home so that I can stick to a vegan diet. If I'm left with limited choices, I will eat what's available. The longer I eat a vegan diet, the more problematic that will be for me so my primary focus is being prepared. I knew I'd be out all day on Saturday at the mall with the kid. So I called myself planning ahead and stopping downtown at one of the vegan restaurants that I adore to get me a yummy vietnamese hoagie. Well they don't serve lunch on weekends just brunch so I purchased a very tasty masa cake which was suppose to have re-fried beans and mango salsa, but instead it had black beans, tomato sauce and mango salsa, still good and healthy but now what I'd planned. Then for dinner I figured I'd stop at one of my favorite restaurants in the city and try out their vegan mac and some stewed tomato's on the side. But what do you know, they served up the last helping right before I got there! And being this isn't a fully vegan restaurant, my options suddenly became very limited. But I  purchased the delicious vegan "pulled chicken" sandwich and a side of fries. It was then that I realized I hadn't gotten in as many fruits and veggies as I'd planned that day, still vegan but not the healthy vegan I'd like, primarily at days end.


Then Sunday posed another challenge, I'd eaten a kind bar and banana for breakfast which was wonderful, took another bar to church in case I got hungry again prior to eating lunch/dinner. Ate that after church and still was pretty hungry. By the time I ate dinner, after going to the salon with a sis from church I was starved!!! And there was Chili's I'd remembered Chili's served a black bean burger but wasn't sure if they still did and when I looked at the menu I didn't see it. Starving to pieces at this point I was close to accepting the pasta dish with or without the shrimp but I scanned the menu once more to find that I could substitute any burger for a veggie burger (score!) And it was either insanely good or I was just that hungry! Had that with fries again not the healthiest day. Which leads me to my pizza day, typically I'd do my food shopping on Sunday, since I got home so late I'd decided to do it after work on Monday. Well who knew I'd end up sick and unable to make it to the market! I was determined to work with what I did have at home, remembered my new mandolin that I purchased and my sweet potato fries. Did not work for me at all!! At least not in the oven. OK so there are tortilla's and the sun-dried tomato pesto you brought, do a pizza with that the kale you have some tomato and onion. I was really excited because I knew I'd enjoy the taste plus it'd be healthy.....didn't see the fact that this SDTP was Spicy!!! Not even sure that it's listed now that I say that!!! I hate spicy especially to the degree that this pesto was so that led to the pizza with cheese purchase.


Again moral of the story....be prepared!!! And I'm on the go alot so I simply have to adjust by always having food with me. Either healthy snacks or lunches and dinners. Just because I'm out doesn't mean I HAVE to purchase food. It'll save money in the long run too so once I make this new adjustment I think I'll be just fine on my vegan journey.


And my stomach has not appreciated this cheese one bit so I'm grateful for it's help in letting me know what it does and doesn't like!