Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Recipes are hard

I have something to admit. I feel as though I should simply get this off my chest. I had posted previously that Elisha and myself were going to make one of Silverstones recipes. Well in all reality that was the goal. We went to Whole foods with the "The Kind Diet" in hand. First of all, we are such novices at the vegan grocery items. It takes us a long time to locate the foods we desire. Honestly I did not know half the items needed in the recipe. We had to ask a Whole Foods expert his advice. Eventually with some hard work and determination we got what was needed and checked out. By the time we were driving home, the fire was no longer lit under us. Elisha and I discussed how we were too hungry to make a new recipe from scratch. I wish I could tell you we made a delicious dish. Nope,too lazy. We decided to try for this coming weekend...stay tuned. This blog has more cliffhangers and drama than the "Hills". - Reins

And the Academy Award goes to...

So there are a few people/things I would like to thank for helping me stay on this vegan journey
1. Trader Joes- you have made being vegan a lot lighter on the wallet. Even though you don't carry as many items as whole foods or sprouts, the items you do have cost far less and I love you for it!
2. Pita Jungle and Green- you make going out to eat easy for me since so many other restaurants have no options for me
3. Morning star "chicken"- you are delicious to the taste and you are packed with protein just like the real deal
4. Alicia Silverstone- your book and blog are inspiring to me
5. The China Study- this is the book that has made me decide to stick with veganism ( at least for now). If you are contemplating going vegan I recommend this book. If you think going vegan is just plain crazy that is ok too. After reading this book I think that being vegan is the healthiest choice for me. However, I don't plan on being a die hard. There may come a day when I just need some cheese pizza or frozen yogurt and I will have to give in to the urge. But the other 98% of the time I will eat vegan. So I guess I am 98% vegan.
6. The fans- thanks for all the supportive comments on the blog. It is always nice to feel supported when doing anything in life
7. Reins- she is the person that got me started on this healthy kick and she is a die hard 100% vegan- you go girl! Without her I don't know how long I would stick through this, but having each other makes it so much easier. We used to be the type that would get together and just love to eat junk food ( yes we still love junk food) but now we get together and come with healthy meals to make or try. We won't be giving up our tsoynamis, I mean come on nobody is perfect.
8. Fruit Leather- you have helped me survive no sweets for my first week. And can I just say i missed treats on the weekend, however, I ate less than usual on the weekend and was very proud of Reins and I for sticking it out. We thought about making chocolate covered strawberries but we stayed strong.
So the winner of the vegan support academy award goes to Reins! I love our moments together!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Joker continues

My sister told a little story to me. I will now tell you. I guess it is pay it forward story style. It goes a little something like this... Elisha was at our parents house on Friday afternoon. She was waiting for me to arrive. Joker and Elisha started having a little conversation about her last day of veganism. Joker said a little something like this "Are you glad it is over? I wish Reina would be done with it." Elisha asked Joker why. "Well I just want her to eat fish or something." I guess Joker is not getting over this fish thing. I imagine if a genie granted Joker three wishes, me eating fish would be one of them! I will not be eating fish any time soon. Sorry Joker. You have to move on. On a vegan note, My sister and I are going to be trying some new recipes from Silverstones book this weekend! I am personally not much of a cook. Should I be wearing a hair net in the kitchen? - Reina

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fruit is my Candy

Going on day 3 of no sweets, which isn't hard for me during the weekdays but I think it will be a challenge once the weekend hits. The good news is I am a fruit lover! SO anytime I feel my sweet tooth kicking in I munch on a piece of fruit, or better yet, I make a soy milk fruit smoothie--Yums! If you are interested in a refreshing treat just blend up a cup of vanilla soy milk with frozen fruit and it is delicious. I mean its no Jamba Juice but they add frozen yogurt and sherbet to their smoothies so....Also I have been getting in my daily salad this week so hopefully my health is increasing as a write this. I guess Pop Eye the sailor man was right about the power of spinach!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Being Vegan Can Transform You!

I feel that being vegan for the last month has opened my eyes to a few things. For one, it has made both Reins and I become a little more natural. I don't mean that we don't wear make up and gave up showering. What I mean by natural is that we prefer to use items that aren't infested with chemicals. Here is a list of the few natural items I have switched over to:
1. Shampoo and Conditioner ( which I purchased at the local sprouts)
2. Deodorant- I bought some deodorant that is made with natural oils and goats milk at the Farmers market on main st
3. Toothpaste- Trader Joes has their own line of natural toothpaste that is cheap and is fluoride free
In addition to becoming more natural, Reins and I have decided to take the diet to the next level. Drum roll please....We are giving up sweets for 4 weeks! This is going to be really hard on us because that means no more tsoynamis on the weekend :( but it will be great for the body. Sugar is the devil and I am such a sugar addict so this is going to be harder than doing vegan for me. By the way I am no longer vegan since Saturday, I have begun life as a flexatarian. Saturday I had some ice cream and a chicken sandwich from chick fila and Sunday morning I woke up with a burning stomach ache, I think it was the ice cream and other junk that caused the acid stomach, yuck. Today I am back on eating healthy and today is also day one of no sweets. Oh chocolate how I will miss you! Luckily I have some fruit leather to get me through the cravings.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sister Sister

Do not let this blog title fool you ladies. This post is not about that 1990s Disney sitcom starring Tia and Tamara. I would like to take this opportunity to discuss my sister Elisha. We are bff forever and do not need the necklaces to prove it. We have had a great time together on this vegan journey! She was a bit skeptical when I first told her I was going to try the vegan way. I am glad she decided to try it out with me. Who else is going to discuss the Tsoynami menu with such excitement as if it was the newest installment of a vampire book series. Speaking of vampire books. Yeah I have seen the Eclipse trailer and am feeling great about it. I am not afraid to say Team Jacob. Using the word "team" may be overdone,but in this case it is a must so... Back to my sister, I know her vegan full throttle is coming to an end. However she is still all about doing Green Saturdays with me since I will be continuing vegan circa 2010. We are actually getting matching tattoos that say "Veganaise changed my life". It is very sweet and a beautiful memory that we can keep with us. SIDE NOTE: The tattoo is a joke mom. I do not want you to panic and start saying" ever since this vegan thing you have wanted to get all inked out" . Rest easy momma -Reina

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Food Controversy

So lately I have been reading up on nutrition and watching some documentaries about it too ( Thanks to netflix for all of the watch now documentaries!) and I have concluded that what is "healthy" is controversial. For instance, there are plenty of studies done that prove low fat dairy promotes weight loss. However, most of these studies are backed by the Dairy industry, so who knows if they can be trusted? Then there are studies that have been done that actually link drinking milk to osteoporosis. Meat is one of the only foods that has vitamin B12 and that is a complete protein ( means it contains all nine essential amino acids). Vegans have to eat select food and food combinations to ensure they attain all the amino acids. So that seems like an argument for eating meat. On the other hand, there have been studies done that show people with cancer and other diseases have been cured following a vegan diet that is full of fresh fruits and veggies. Everything seems so contradicting. If I had the funds I would back to school and study nutrition for fun and knowledge. So this is what I have to say about the matter. If you want to eat meat, then eat it. If you want to be vegan more power to you. Reins and I have noticed there are a lot of negative attitudes towards veganism and the thing is most vegans stop eating animal products because they love animals and care about the environment. Vegans are caring, what is the problem with that? Lay off people. Go Vegans! Cheers to you Reins for living the kind life.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mystery Solved

I guess if I was not a dental assistant I could possibly be a detective. Let me explain... A few posts ago I discussed the matter of our Green restaurant neighbors partaking of a Tsoynami that I could not take my eyes off of. I was so curious and really wanted to know the Tsoynami flavor. Yeah curiosity killed the cat,but I am human so it's fine. Not that I do not feel bad for the cat. I am vegan. Animals like me,and even sometimes tell me their secrets. It is nice. OK back to my detective work,so I have been studying the Tsoynami menu for possible clues to this mystery. In my mind the obvious choice was the Eclair flavor. It seemed to have the right ingredients to what I was searching for. I knew if I figured this out, my life would somehow be complete. Elisha and I went to Green on Monday. I had discussed with her that I felt in my heart I needed to get the Eclair flavor. Elisha and I ended up splitting the Eclair Tsoynami and it was indeed the "one". It was exactly what I saw the neighbors eating a week ago. Mystery solved. I feel great about it!The grass seems greener,the flowers smell better,I can run faster and jump higher. -REINS

Monday, March 15, 2010

Final Week

So we have made it to the end of our month long vegan diet. Friday is our last official day. Reins is going to stay vegan for life, she has become a convert. I am doing a flexatarian diet ( which means I limit my dairy and meat to once or twice a week). So the good news is that we will be continuing the blog, hope your not sick of us yet. I have been reading this diet/health book called Eat to Live and I really enjoyed it. I am going to try to stick with the diet recommendations from that book. Which means I need to fill up on fruits and veggies all day long, I can have grains/starches at one meal a day, one serving of nuts a day( preferably raw) and aim for one cup of beans a day. You can have dairy twice a week and meat once a week. So my goal is to follow that routine. Which means I plan on eating myself some salad every day this week in additions to lots of other veggies. By the way Green has a bbq/ranch salad that I loved. Thank you for vegan ranch--yummy! And a shout out to Amy for introducing me to the Eat to Live diet, you look amazing! I used to live to eat but I am trying to turn that around and eat to live. Hope that I can fall in love in with salad just like Romeo and Juliet fell in love with each other. Except instead of love at first sight, I am hoping for love at first bite!

Friday, March 12, 2010

If your vegan than your weird

Last night Josh and I were talking about where to got eat on our date for tonight. ( Our Friday night dates always consist of the same formula of going out to eat, going to the mall or something like that to walk around and then coming home to watch a movie or play video games. Its only been four years and we are already so boring) We were discussing our options and I was asking Josh what he felt like eating and he went off about how he wanted chicken wings and he was over this vegan thing. He thinks its weird how much time I spend planning my meals and trying to be healthy. He hates that I have to ask the waiters questions about ingredients in the food I order and he doesnt like how much healthy food costs. He has been so supportive up until this point and I suprised by his little outburst. Well here is what I have to say about it: eating healthy does cost more and takes more time and planning but its something I really want to stick with. And even though I only have one vegan week left, I am still going to be limiting my dairy and meat. The conclusion: I am weird!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

This might be a message of hope and love

The time has come... PMS and cravings have arrived. I worried about how it would all go down with the vegan/PMS combo. Well I took a trip to SPROUTS and got some vegan chocolate chips. They taste really good as a matter of fact. I almost got some Ginger snaps that are vegan friendly,but decided against it because I knew my hand would be in that bag constantly. Just writing about the ginger snaps has made me gain a few pounds. Great. Anyways I have been using the vegan chocolate chips for dipping strawberries. The past few nights have been magical with those chocolate dipped strawberries. I will miss them when the time ends. Sometimes when you love something you have to let it go. The love will flourish if it is meant to be. I love you chocolate strawberries. I hope to meet again next month. - Reina

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Did someone Fart?

Yesterday when Johsy came home from work he walked in the house and when he came to greet me the first thing he said, " Have you been farting a lot, it smells in here?" ( Sometimes he can be so sweet) And the answer to his question is NO. It just so happens I had been eating cilantro hummus...and as I've previuosly stated in other posts hummus has a stench. Eating healthy yet fragrant foods is all part of the glamorous vegan life. Onions, garlic, hummus are all part of my routine. So I warn you next time you see me you may need to keep your distance from me.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The observation of a Mom

Tonight my mom and I were making dinner. I had just boiled some wheat organic noodles and was draining them over the sink. That is when the debacle of March 9, 2010 6:30 p.m. happened. Half of the noodles fell into the sink. This annoyed me and the phrase "son of a b" came out of my mouth. Yeah I used foul language. Sometimes in the line of duty it happens. I am not saying it is a good choice. My moms reaction to me was the best! This was her reply to my less than honorable language, "Reina ever since you decided to go vegan you have been using more swear words." I of course just started laughing and telling her that was the greatest thing . I reiterated that I am just the same as always. Most of the time I use good nice words,sometimes bad ones. I expressed to her that I must blog about this. She said "At least I gave you some material." Yes she did. -Reina

It takes a while to get there

Reins and I are on week three of our journey. Positive changes I have noticed are: my appetite is slightly decreasing and my cravings for junk food occur less often. I still have a lot of growing up to do as a vegan though. I am working on increasing my veggie intake and hopefully I will get to the point where I am consuming as much greens as a cow does, but it will take some time. I still haven't figured out a daily routine that gets me my protein needs. I did start incorporating a protein shake that I have in place of dinner, but even with that I was short a few grams of protein yesterday. However, I feel like by the time the month is up I will finally have this diet down. My goal next week is to eat a big salad every day (I am becoming so responsible) . I have concluded that I haven't lost any weight is because I need more veggies and less whole grains and starchy veggies ( sweet potatoes are my fave). Once our month is up, I plan on being a flexatarian-I will eat meat and animal products a few times a week but not regularly. Reins and I both have total food brains, we think about food all the time. For example, when February came around I kept thinking about chocolates because I love myself a box of chocolates for valentines. Now my food brain is thinking about how to incorporate veggies and protein. I like the change of gears. Yes we still think about junk food too, but mostly just about tsoynamis from Green ( what flavor am I going to try this week...). any way if you have made it through all my rambling, my point is a change this big takes some time and effort, but I am confident I will get the results I want. Till next time.

Monday, March 8, 2010

No,I am not staring at you,just the food on your plate

I am not going to lie, I love looking at the food on peoples plates when dining at a restaurant. I like to visually see what food looks good. I really enjoy plate stalking at Green, because there are so many endless vegan options there. I can not help myself. While waiting in line to order, I will look at your food. That is just how I live my life. This weekend my sister and I were once again at Green. We actually went twice on Saturday,but that is really nobodies business. Anyway while eating our food,Elisha and I noticed our table neighbors Tsoynomi. It looked very delicious and nicely decorated with soy whip on top. I had the urge to ask the kind neighbors what flavor it was. I mean it really is a compliment,but instead of saying "I like your blouse" you are saying "I like your food". It is a win/win situation. I feel great about solving the mystery,and they feel great because they order food choices that intrigue others. The reality is I did not end up asking them about the Tsoynami,and I am still wondering about what flavor it was to this day. I guess you can put it on my list of regrets. There is a saying that life is too short to have regrets. OOPS! - Reina

Salad Envy

Yes this is another post about salad, but give it a chance. So Friday night Josh and I went out to eat at on the border. They have a salad that I could eat that sounded yummy; it had a fat free mango citrus vinaigrette dressing. I have not been into eating salad lately and was looking forward to having a new yummy meal with healthy greens. Plus, I got to enjoy chips and salsa and some fresh guacamole. Josh ordered a chicken taco salad, which looked delicious! Our meals came and I was ready to dig in. I had so much anticipation and excitement for my salad. I put a bite in my mouth and experienced total disappointment. The dressing on the salad reminded me of Fat free Italian dressing. I overdosed on fat free Italian dressing while doing weight watchers. It has no points, so I used it on ever thing and to this day I can't stand the way it tastes. Yuck! However, I spent 10 bucks on this salad so I tried a few more bites, but I just couldn't handle it. As I watched josh eat his salad filled with creamy ranch dressing, I felt a little envious. It was the first time on the diet that I really wanted to be able to eat something that I couldn't have. Lucky for me, the chips and guacamole were yummy and made me full. I have got to get this salad thing down. One step at a time, I will get there!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Protein Power!

Debbie downer is gone! I have made up with the vegan diet and we are back to being friends. I was having a stressful moment and I took it out on MR. Vegan, but I apoligized and we decided we would remain together for the next 2 weeks. So as you read yesterday I have been concerned that I am not getting enough protein. So I tried really hard yesterday to eat foods that had protein and I ate 50 grams! I was still a few grams short, but its just good to know that I can do this. I have also decided if I really want to loose the weight than I am going to have to eat less vegan cookies ( bummer). I am going to allow myself one to two treats a week, which is what I did on week one of this diet. This week the vegan cookies were needed because I was having a mood emergency. Just a side note, do not eat cookies before going to bootcamp because you may feel like vomitting every time you do a squat jump or wind sprint. Week 3 is all about being positive, eating protein, getting more salad and saying goodbye to weekday treats!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sob Story

Warning: This post is just me going on a rant and complaining so you may not have too much fun reading it!
I have been so moody and frustrated this week! For one, I have not lost any weight on this diet yet (oh man) for two I have not been feeling great either. I have had a major headache the last 2 days (not saying the diet is to blame, headaches happen) and my stomach has been crampy throughout the day because I have to poop like 50 times but I refuse to do that at work. Josh has been experience my moodiness and being very sweet to me. Yesterday when I was done with bootcamp, I walked in the door and smelt cookies ( one of the best fragrances ever!). Josh had made me some vegan chocolate chip cookies, which did help me feel better, but won't help me with the whole weight loss thing. So ended up eating 3 cookies and a grapefruit for dinner. I tell myself that it was ok because the cookies were made with whole wheat flour, oatmeal and peaunut butter instead of butter...I need this one, ok. I am beginning to wonder if I am doing this whole thing right because I just dont feel myself lately. I am having difficulty getting to sleep which has never really happened to me before. So I am wonndering if my body isnt getting engough nutrients. When I read the Skinny Bitch diet they said that people don't really need that much protein so I haven't been worried about it...till this week. So I went back through the book and did the math equation they gave which said I needed a minimum amount of 56 grams a protein a day. I would consider 56 grams a buttload of protein. I dont even think I got that much before I went vegan. So today I have been keeping track of my protein and between breakfast, my snack and lunch I am at 21 grams and I dont think I will be eating 35 grams of protein for dinner. Whats a vegan to do? Josh wants me to give it up, but we are almost half way there and I am no quitter. I will give it some more time, maybe my body is just detoxing, who knows. Heres to hoping next week brings a better mood and a lower number on the scale.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I am not mature quite yet...maybe later

Salad. It should not be complicated at all...unless you are me. I am a girl who likes a salad at restaurants. Yeah that is right,the kind of salad that has more calories than the hamburger. Well with going vegan and all,I have tried to be better about eating vegetables. I wanted to get more involved with healthy salads as well. I thought it would be no big deal. I thought wrong folks. Sunday I was at my parents house and decided to have a nice salad. I wanted it to have lots of greens and such. I topped it off with an organic raspberry dressing. OK now picture this,my first bite reminded me of a child taking cough medicine. I was groaning and saying how yucky it tasted. Honestly I was just trying to get through it as fast as possible. I knew I needed to eat it,but the taste! Oh that awful taste! All those greens shaped like leaves! It still haunts me as I write this. My parents were just watching,and laughing at me while I chomped on the darn salad. Today I decided it was time to try again. I CAN NOT JUST GIVE UP. What does not kill you makes you stronger,and possibly may make you dry heave if it tastes like grass. My salad today consisted of mainly romaine lettuce with bell peppers and cucumbers. Serious greens were in there as well,but not overwhelming. I took the first bite and...it was an absolute success! I was into the salad! I guess the moral of the story is that I am growing up and getting more mature day by day. Also I used the word SALAD a ridiculous amount of times in this post. Try to play a game with it and count how many times I used that word. Yeah that is a dare and not a threat. I am vegan after all. -Reina

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The opinion of a Joker

I am going to tell you all a little life experience I had yesterday. There are of course two sides to every story...on this blog you get my side. The experience is as follows- I had just gotten off the phone with my bff Amy. We had a great convo and I was in a lovely mood. There I was sitting on my parents couch minding my own vegan bussiness,when my dad(I CALL HIM JOKER) comes into the room. He just blurts out of nowhere "I think you should just eat a little bit of fish sometimes". I am not sure why he brought it up,but you never know with Joker. I replied "Well I probably will not be doing that. I do not want to eat fish or meat". Joker than brings out the big guns, "That is not what the scriptures say to do". I guess since I am now vegan,it is providing me with a one way ticket straight to Hell. I am just hoping that there will be soy ice cream and pita burritos,maybe even some veganaise waiting for me when I arrive. Truth be told,I have not tried veganaise yet. I just simply like saying the title. Anyways, that is my side of the story and I am sticking to it. Sidenote: most likely being vegan does not send you to outer darkness. Love, Reina

Food Temptation

The upside of veganism is that it has taken away a lot of the food temptation I experience. I always try to be calorie concious and eat well, however, there are moments when I just give in and eat some junk. Over the Holidays I gave in way too many times and it is still haunting me. Moving on. So when josh brought home this huge goey carmel brownie and offered me a bite, I knew it wasnt vegan so I passed. A few days later when he came back from his friends with homeade bbq pizza and talked about how yummy it was and that I could have some I also passed. If its not vegan than I dont do it. It actually makes giving up things easier. There is no thought about how much I want to eat the brownie but I shouldnt because its not healthy but it is so tempting... I know I cant have it and I dont have to worry about the food temptations and it is so freeing. With the vegan diet it is all or nothing. Reins and I have been doing our vgan adventure for one week and so far I have enjoyed it. I weighed myself today and still no progress ( what the Frac) maybe I will have to give up my tsoynami's but I just dont think I can. Hopefully week 2 brings some better results!