Saturday, October 30, 2010

One like this

My three year old has a fascination with taking pictures. It doesn't matter where I hide the thing; sooner or later I'll here the mechanics of the camera and the giggle of a cheery little girl. When the pictures eventually make their way onto the computer, her snapshots are usually things like the floor, couch or bookshelf and more often than not, have a blurry little finger in half the frame. But then, every once in a while, I'm stopped in my tracks by something like this:
It may not mean much to you. But to me, this captures something important. (And not just Miss 3's other fascination of shoes!) 
You know those times when you look at your kid and wonder to yourself where the time has gone. When you beg for it to just slow down a bit, perhaps even stop for a while.
She's not going to be my little chubba forever. She's growing quick and if I don't pay better attention, I'm going to miss it. 
Oh, my baby.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Mama's Salsa

In a blender mix:
1 onion, roughly chopped
26 oz tomatoes with juice (Pomì)
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
2-8 fresh jalapeños-adjust to desired spice level 
(can also use pickled jalapeños)
salt to taste
Blend until it reaches desired consistency.


Along with leftovers galore, here are some highlights of my meals:

Ezekiel 4:9 (Low Sodium) Toast topped with Almond Butter, half a banana, a drizzle of Agave and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Tex-Mex Soup
Serves 6-8

You'll need:
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded, if desired & minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
Pomi Chopped Tomatoes2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder 
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
26 oz chopped tomatoes in juice
(I recommend Pomì. Their packaging is BPA-free.)
2009_01_08-better-than-bouillon.jpg1/2 prepared salsa 
1 quart vegetable broth
1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed & drained 
(Eden Organic is also BPA-free.)
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 15 oz can whole corn kernels
To garnish:
Avocado slices, chopped fresh cilantro, sliced green onions.

Sauté the vegetables in olive oil on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if desired. 
Add the spices and rice and stir about 1 minute to toast the rice. 
Stir in tomatoes, salsa, broth, beans and corn. 
Bring to a boil and reduce heat, cover and simmer about an hour. 
As always, enjoy!

The Accidental Vegan

Oh my. Is it too soon to say Mission Accomplished? Maybe. But hot damn! I think I've stumbled upon something freakin' awesome! Since Sunday I have adhered 100% to a Vegan diet. Not one single slip-- unless the barista splashed a little leche into my Soy Latté. In three days I have lost an entire pound and not felt hungry or deprived in the least bit. I told Jackson I might stay Vegan forever and not just to spite him!
In reality I probably won't cause let's face it, sometimes you just want a burger. I absolutely believe discipline is necessary to lead a healthy life but you only get one of 'em and I'm not about to miss out on the amazing variety of food this world has to offer. But in the meantime, it seems a Vegan diet is going to help me accomplish some goals that I have lost focus on, namely caring for and respecting my body. Because really, that's what this all boils down to. If you respect your body, you will nourish it. You will keep it fit. You won't want to feed your body junk if you if you truly care for it.
This is my "issue". That feeling of general inadequacy and doubt. It's cliché, but I can honestly say that I don't like looking in the mirror. It doesn't matter how many times my husband tells me I'm beautiful or how many compliments my Mother in Law gives me. In my head, I'm not enough. And nobody can change that but me. So by changing the way I care for my body I will change the way I feel about it. By putting in the effort to bring my body to a higher level of wellness and strength I will learn what I am capable of. I will learn discipline, confidence and so much more. This is why I'm here.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Sorry, apparently my photos don't care to show themselves. I'll fix it ASAP. I also failed to mention that the tofu recipe from last night looked like it could serve 4-6, maybe more, especially if you serve it with some brown rice. Have a lovely, slushy day!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day One

I guess I should start with the yucky part. Starting weight: 147.4 It's been fluctuating between that and 150 for way longer than I'd like to think. And I'm 5'2" so that's not good. If I was brave I'd give you a snapshot of my cellulite and jiggles but I want you to keep reading so I won't scare you away just yet. Anyway, day one of veganism was not bad at all. I did all my grocery shopping and meal planning yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to find that many items I already buy are actually vegan! I had to make a couple substitutions of course but not nearly as many as I had expected. Luckily, the Mr. has been surprisingly encouraging about this experiment and was quite patient while I skimmed the ingredient list of every item that made its way into my cart. 
I suppose you're wondering... "What did you eat?" 
Breakfast was 1/2 cup Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets (basically the same thing as Grape Nuts but with a variety of grains and none of the crap), cooked on the stove for a few minutes with some vanilla soy milk until it got soft. Throw in a spoonful of agave, some sliced almonds and half a banana and you, my friend, have a meal that will hold you over for hours!

Lunch was a
Boca Vegan Burger cooked on the stove then chopped up and tossed into mixed greens and topped with Annie's Goddess dressing.
So good! I've never been a fan of veggie burgers but this one actually tasted great. And okay, I snuck a couple of the Mr.'s fries from his lunch. But I made sure they were cooked in canola oil that had not been used for anything else!

Dinner was delightful and a new one for me. I was a little nervous mostly because it contains tofu and my previous ventures with tofu have not turned out so hot.
I call it Mama's Vegan Tofu Slop. *Just kidding. How about:

       Tofu and Veggies in Peanut Sauce

Take 2 packages Extra-Firm Tofu, slice open the pack and drain the liquid. Those suckers are like sponges so you're going to have to get as much liquid out as you can or you will have a very smokey kitchen. Here's a trick I learned. First slice your tofu into quarters lengthwise then slice again into about 8 sections the other way. Then get a cookie sheet and layer it with clean dishtowels or if you must, paper towels. Put each little piece of tofu on the towel and top with another towel first, then another cookie sheet. Then put something on top to weigh it down like some cans or a pie weight. Whatever you have around. Let it sit in your fridge like that for a couple of hours if you have the time or at least 20-30 minutes. 
Once you're ready to get cookin', heat a large skillet with about 3 Tbsp Canola Oil at about medium heat. Lay each piece of tofu down in the skillet (try to do this before the oil is too hot so you don't get splashed and burned) and let it cook for a while, until it starts to turn gold on one side. Try to leave it alone for the most part while you get your veggies ready but flip a couple of pieces periodically to check on their progress. When it starts to look like this: 
it's time to flip it all over.
While your tofu is browning up slice or dice a red bell pepper, about a half pound of mushrooms, 3 carrots and two onions and sauté in 2 Tbsp Olive Oil until the veggies are soft and the tofu is ready for them. Once the tofu is golden on both sides, add a can of Light Coconut Milk and a couple big spoonfuls of peanut butter and stir until PB is mixed in thoroughly. Next, add in the veggies with your tofu and season with a little salt and pepper if you'd like. 
In the same pan you used to cook the veggies add a tiny splash of olive oil and sauté head of Bok Choy that has been sliced. (Use the leaves and stem.) Once it's hot and wilted, add it to the tofu-veggie concoction and mix it up. Right after you do that, pour about 1/4 cup of water into the veggie skillet to deglaze the pan then add that water to the tofu mix. Peel and mince some fresh ginger and mix it that in as well. You don't need much, just break off a chunk about the size of two garlic cloves. Stir until it's nice and bubbly and you're done! 
***This is delish served on top of brown rice and sprinkled with fresh cilantro, lime juice, Sriracha hot sauce and if you have them, chopped peanuts. 
Just so you know:
I HATE mushrooms. Can't stand them. And Mr. hates tofu. So I compromised by adding both so we could pick out what we didn't like and everyone was happy. Definitely a "do-over."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

21-Day Vegan Quickstart

I found this free app for my iPod called 21-Day Vegan Quickstart. Veganism isn't something I've necessarily wanted to try (though vegetarianism is) but I feel like my health and wellness in general needs a jump-start, so why not? So this app is a week's worth of meals that you can then mix up as you choose for your 21 days. I don't plan on following it exactly, mainly because a lot of the recipes seem very "light" and let's face it- vegan or not, I'm a hungry Mama Bear. Flipping through my recipes I came across quite a few vegan meals that I plan to try and think will go over well with my carnivorous other half. (shhh!) I'll do my best to adhere to a vegan diet for at least 21 days and see how it goes. I'll keep track of my weight, how I feel, etc. here so keep checking on my progress. I definitely feel more accountable by publishing my goal, even just to my one (for now) reader. *wink wink*
Here goes nothin'!

Who I be.

I am, perhaps, the most indecisive person I know. Ask me something; you’ll get a different response most of the time! Some call that flaky or fickle. But the real word is unsure. As in, unsure of myself. In my head I can do great things: My garden is lovely, my house is, well, a home. I take care of my body. My daughter has a patient, creative mother. My husband has a wonderful, badass wife.
I am all these things, some of the time. I’d like to feel that when I’m not, the world won’t come crashing down. My husband loves me, I know he does. My daughter will grow up just fine and love me no matter what, cause at the end of the day, I’m still her mama. She still wants a kiss and a cuddle before bed, regardless of how many projects we did or didn’t do. 
But I’d like to be confident at the end of the day that I truly did my best and know that if I didn’t, come sunrise, I’ll have another chance.

Promising a rockstar blog:

must get creative juices flowin...