Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Confession

So I have a confession. After two months (ish) of “Vegan Mondays” I’ve had a revelation. I don’t care. I don’t care enough to be vegan. There. I’ve said it. I do think animals are made to be eaten. I do think meet is yummy. Heck I even think responsible hunting and fishing is an okay practice and would do it myself if given the chance. What I do care about is industrial farming and other non-sustainable food practices. I also care about the fact that meat is so expensive and that many animal products aren’t particularly healthy but I don’t care enough to stop eating them totally. I think being vegan, or at least vegetarian is great and if it’s for you, all the power to you. I think we can ALL benefit by eating LESS meat but I just don’t see myself not eating any animal products at all. I recently found a post talking about having a “plant based” diet. THAT is me. Plants, grains, legumes, those are the bulk of what I eat. I still like reading about veganism and trying vegan and vegetarian recipes but avoiding all animal products just isn’t for me. I’m still planning on observing Vegan Monday’s at least to some extent. I said at the beginning that I wouldn’t necessarily be militant about it. I have found that I’ve not been doing well with prioritizing blogging about my meals but for the most part I have stayed vegan on Mondays and I will continue that. But I’m also not going to stress if I decide to have something “not approved.” So there’s my confession. Plant based, but not vegan.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Vegan Monday: 1/52

I have a dozen other ideas for blog posts but somehow this is the only thing I'm staying on top of. Hopefully I'll get to the other ones soon.

Verdict for today: planning is everything, and this is getting easier.

Turkish Coffee - black
I almost slipped up and made regular coffee but I remembered before it was too late
Toast with peanut butter and jam

Homemade Butternut Squash soup
I actually made this last week but ended up not eating it so I froze it for today. It was literally roasted squash, a carrot, some onion, garlic, a dash of olive oil and water. Not as spectacular as when I make it with my homemade chicken stock but still warm and filling. One of these days I will make vegetable stock so I have it on hand.

Pom Tango tea from DavidsTea
Hard cinnamon candies
The snacking is definitely the hardest. Especially after Christmas. I have a ton of junk food left over but most of it has milk chocolate or other milk products so I can't eat it. Soon that will all be cleared out and I can really get on track.

Green Onion Cakes
My friend Amanda posted about these last week and I've been looking forward to them for days. They're pretty easy and just something fun to try. I halved the recipe and still have a bunch for breakfast tomorrow. This counts as my "one new thing" too since it was a new recipe!
Salad: greens, yellow pepper, tomatoes, green onions, black beans, navy beans and balsamic vinegar as a dressing.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Vegan Monday: Take two

Being prepared is key. Knowing this was coming made it much easier to plan for and get mentally prepared for. Because I am only doing this one day a week at this point it's just a matter of deciding what I eat today and what I eat tomorrow. Decisions I make all the time, but now with a bit more structure.

Red River Cereal with maple syrup straight off a farm in Waterloo
a naval orange
Turkish coffee - black
I mentioned before that not having milk in my coffee is likely going to be one of the hardest parts of this challenge. However, I received some Turkish coffee from a friend who visits Turkey often so I just planned to drink this instead since it is intended to be drunk black. I'm still working on learning how to make it properly but it definitely gave me the kick I needed!

Two Barley, Wild Rice & Cranberry in a White Tea & Honey Dressing
Leftovers from a last minute purchase for a potluck I attended yesterday. I realize most Vegans don't approve of eating honey but I I figured that was one concession I was willing to make.
1/2 an avacado
a handful of Triscuits
a pickle

Popcorn made with grape seed oil
Brazillionaire black tea from DavidsTea as well as Organic White Tea
In-shell Sunflower seeds

Roasted Veggies using this recipe
Except I used butternut squash, carrots, mushrooms, onions and a few grape tomatoes. Gotta use what's in the fridge!
Vegan Potato Pancakes

So today the vegan thing went really well! I already have some recipes lined up for next week and I also found a restaurant within walking distance of my house. Maybe I'll check it out one of these weeks. Tomorrow though? It's all about the cheese ;)

ETA: I'm aware that aside from the salad at lunch there was a pretty distinct lack of protein in my diet today. That's largely because I wasn't home and able to prepare the dried beans I like to use. I'll definitely focus on remedying that next week.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Vegan Mondays?

I go back and forth on the idea of vegetarianism. I think there are some good reasons to embrace that kind of lifestyle but I like meat. I don't eat a LOT of meat, I am a student after all and meat is expensive. I was reading the (now defunct) blog God, I Love Paris because I read her book this summer and really enjoyed it. She has dabbled in Vegan Mondays and I'm wondering if this might not be something good to try. Vegetarian or Meatless Monday's really isn't an issue. I used to joke that I was more likely to have a "Meaty Monday" because it seemed like it was the one day I'd actually eat meat. But vegan? Once a week? It's worth a try. If only to be more mindful of what I'm actually eating. What I like about Amy's approach is she doesn't beat herself up if she does slip up. She just notes it and moves on. So, if I was to try and implement this for the new year, that gives me two Monday's to practice. Today and next week. Neither are really ideal since I'm going away over Christmas so I'm frantically trying to eat up the leftovers in my fridge, many of which contain meat or meat products, but in the spirit of Amy, I'll just list things and move on. So here's what I've had to eat so far today with the "non-conforming" items bolded:

Pumpkin Breakfast Quinoa (actually vegan since I didn't eat it with yogurt)
Coffee with 2% milk (this will be hands down the hardest switch.)

Brown Rice California Rolls from Trader Joe's (this was kind of a snack while I was shopping in the US and then I had actual lunch when I got home an hour later)
Quinoa Bean Salad (quinoa, black beans, navy beans, yellow peppers, tomatoes and avocado)
Buffalo Chicken Roll-ups (leftovers: chicken, cream cheese and hot sauce in Pillsbury crescent rolls because I saw something similar on Pinterest and the crescents were on sale)
Christmas Cookies (butter and eggs)

Chocolate Chai tea (I'm thinking chocolate disqualifies it?)

Roast chicken (leftovers)
Roasted potatoes
Steamed Carrots
Steamed Brussel Sprouts
Dill Pickles
Cranberry Jelly

So essentially none of my meals were meat/dairy free but I could definitely do it. We'll see how next week goes.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Happy Easter!

Lent seems like it's the longest period of time ever and then suddenly, it's over! This was only my second time participating and it went way better than last year. Let's review what I committed to:
So this year I'm doing candy. All small wrapped hard or soft candy, chocolates, chocolate bars, you name it, I'm not eating it. Just cutting out very identifiable sugary sweets. 

And I did! Did I give up sugar entirley? Not by a long shot. I still had dessert every night on the cruise and I still baked at home but I didn't eat ANY hard or soft candy, chocolates, chocolate bars etc. Candy is EVERYWHERE and it was good to be aware of it. It was actually a lot easier to pass up than I thought it would be and a lot easier to avoid than cheese was last year.

I think my biggest accomplishment was giving up Candy Crush. I deleted it off my phone and never looked back. The withdrawl from that was HARD. I ended up surfing Pinterest a lot more than usual initially but after awhile even that went back to normal. I will allow myself to eat candy again but I won't be re-downloading Candy Crush so that's a big accomplishment.

I did start using Instagram a lot more www.instagram.com/agent_713 but it's because I was participating in the rethinkchurch.org's 2015 Lent photo-a-day-words challenge which I have found to be deeply rewarding.

Lent is supposed to be a period of reflection on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and on Easter we celebrate the sweetness of his resurrection. As I re-introduce (limited amounts of) candy, I will savour that sweetness and be reminded of the joy that only he brings.

Happy Easter everyone.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Lent 2015: The one where I give up candy

Hello blog world. I'm fairly sure this is the longest I've gone without blogging but hey, summer is coming right? Anyway, just thought I'd check in and record my plans for Lent this year. I never really followed up on last year but the bottom line is, it went well. After the first slip up I willingly had cheese just a handful of more times. Twice on pizza I got for free (which was a rule I set before I started. As a student I don't refuse free pizza and I got it twice last year during Lent. I wasn't about to pick off the cheese either so I just ate it.) Another time friends of mine who own a deli brought a bunch of different cheeses for me to try and obviously I couldn't say no. So yeah, cheese a handful of times in six weeks is way better than all the time like normal. Of course I made up for it in France ;)

So this year I'm doing candy. All small wrapped hard or soft candy, chocolates, chocolate bars, you name it, I'm not eating it. I developed a nasty chocolate addiction last year and I need to kick it. Late last year I was toying with the idea of giving up sugar entirely but that turned out to be WAY harder than I thought it would be so I'm starting small. Just cutting out very identifiable sugary sweets. 

Here's the hard part though. I also have a horrible addiction to Candy Crush. The game on your phone? I only have a handful of games downloaded including that, Candy Crush Saga and Words With Friends. Well I'm not giving up WWF but I DID delete both Candy Crush and Candy Crush Saga from my phone. That's a big deal because I'm on something like level 406 in CC and it's going to be weird to not have it to zone out with. That's the thing though. It's like candy. I'm very mindless when it comes to eating candy or playing the game and being more mindful is what this is all about. 

I'm going to replace the desire to play Candy Crush with reading scripture and the desire to eat candy with praying. I know that sounds pious but isn't that what Lent is all about? I've been doing a lot more of this anyway so it shouldn't be too terribly difficult but getting rid of those two candy addictions in my life will force a reminder to keep my mind on what is most important. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Three Three

All day I've been trying to figure out how to capture what it means to be thirty three. I feel like it's not much different than turning eight, or thirteen or any other age. With a summer birthday I was often at my grandparents house in Edmonton for my big day. I remember waking up on those hot summer days, stretching and then remembering BAM! It's my birthday. I'd lay there for a bit and wonder if I felt any different. Any older. Not really. Then I'd get up and look in the big round mirror. I didn't look any different than yesterday either. So then I'd shuffle out to the kitchen and the only thing that made the day different was that Grandma would give me a big happy birthday hug and each person, as they woke and found their way to the butter yellow kitchen, would add their good wishes and hugs. 

That's pretty much the same as today. It as just another day. I swept in the morning, did some dusting, and let a parade of repair people through the gates. And periodically throughout the day I'd check Facebook where I always had a host of new birthday wishes waiting. They're coming in from all over the world and in multiple languages. That is how I know I am loved. The fact that these people took a few seconds out of their day to send me some good wishes. I appreciate each and every one. 

I don't feel any different today. Yes 33 is closer to 35 which sounds closer to 40 but this next year is going to be exciting. I'll be graduating in June and starting, as Meredith and I decided "the third half of my life." More chapters in this book of life. Bring it on.