January 4, 2011

Back to Basics

It’s been a while since I have posted anything, and it really has to do with many factors.  I didn’t see the point in being a vegetarian – maybe due to laziness, budget, environment, etc.  BUT that does not change my respect for vegetarian/vegan lifestyles, and it does not change my eating habits completely.  I still enjoy vegetarian/vegan dishes a lot, and I like knowing that I have broadened my tastes to include these dishes.  I can go for weeks without eating meat, but I just don’t want to hold myself to the standard of definitely not eating meat.

What I still definitely want to do is try to balance my meals.  I still need to make big changes to eat healthy, and I knew that vegetarianism would never calm my cravings for oreos and ice cream.  My main goals starting this year are to cut down on cheese (this will be very hard), cut down on portions, and cut down on sugar.  Note that I am saying ‘cut down’ and NOT ‘cut out.’  I no longer wish to cut anything out, but I have to cut back on things I know are bad for me.  In order to keep with my goals, I want to keep better track of what I’m eating – therefore this blog will hopefully hold me accountable.  If I eff up though, eh, stuff happens right?

Breakfast

For the past few weeks, I’ve been religiously eating oatmeal for breakfast – the awesomely sugary, filled-with-empty calories variety aka Fruit n’ Creme.  I decided to buy some old fashioned oats and raisins to try and improve a bit upon my breakfast.  But today, I had no desire for breakfast really.  I had a handful of Parmesan Basil Wheat Thins (sooo yummy) and less than 1/4 cup no-fat cottage cheese.

Lunch


My typical work lunch: tomato soup and diet soda.  I also had some vanilla chai tea beforehand, as you can see in the corner.  It kept my desk smelling wonderful the rest of the day, actually. :)

Snacks

I made a batch of peanut butter cookies last night and actually wound up eating some of those for my dinner, and I brought two of the leftovers for dessert.  I also brought a gala apple, and drank some more vanilla chai tea later on.

Dinner

By the time I got home, I was pretty hungry.  I had a little of my mom’s sloppy joe meat on 1/2 a whole wheat tortilla.  What I really wanted was an egg and turkey bacon sandwich, though!  But seeing as I had no turkey bacon or bread, that was a no go.  So I baked some battered mushrooms and chicken fry things…I only ate one mushroom and about 5 chicken string things.  I chopped up a carrot and tomato for a salad with spinach that came out pretty good, but the tomato was a bit mushy.  Someday I’ll get the hang of salads…

And that’s that for today.  Not too healthy, not too junky – so I’d say it’s a good day, for me at least!  Be back tomorrow!

August 4, 2010

Semi-tarian: Compromise or Copout?

So I haven’t been able to update much since I’ve been busy with work and classes. But, I’ve taken a lot of notes about my no meat lifestyle.

My first note is really a question to myself. Why be a vegetarian? Yes, I care about animals. Yes, I want to watch out for my health. Yes, I want to be able to digest food easier. No, I don’t crave meat a lot. But as I ponder over my own reasons, I realize how easily I can refute them (not that I want to).

I can’t seriously claim to be a vegetarian for animal rights. I think they have rights and are adorable, but I still mistakenly eat gelatin and other animal byproducts at times. The only way I think I could watch out for animals is to be vegan – which I am not willing to do.

As for health, I still fall into old habits of eating junk. I definitely changed my habits concerning veggies. I eat way more fruits and vegetables than before, and that is mainly due to vegetarianism research. That research includes the blogs listed in my blog roll – they helped immensely. But really, if I have gotten any healthier the past month, it’s from researching what I eat – not cutting out a part of what I eat.

Initially I thought my digestion would improve with a vegetarian diet, and that has happened to an extent. I still go through phases where I eat intense amounts of cheese (which I’m not willing to give up), and that creates problems for the stomach as well.

It’s very true that I have not really craved much meat while banning it from my diet. I did not think I was missing out on protein at all, I consumed plenty through beans, yogurt, vegetables, etc. But that doesn’t mean I’ll never eat it again, unfortunately. I am dumb at times, and I am perfectly capable of getting tipsy and scarfing a chicken wing, or caving into peer pressure and eating a burger.

But! I still want to focus on eating mainly vegetarian. I realize I want to stop focusing on NOT eating meat. I want to focus on eating as many fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and animal-friendly foods as I can.

That’s where I begin to ponder the idea of a semi-tarian: one who eats partially vegetarian. Is it a copout? Or is it reasonable?

More coming on this idea soon…

July 22, 2010

Want More Vegetarian Recipes?

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July 21, 2010

Semi-Homemade Pasta: Sandra Lee Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me

I’ve posted recipes on websites before, only to be yelled at for not making everything from scratch.  So if you’re looking for a recipe that you can spend hours on, I’m sorry.  I don’t have that kind of time, and I don’t feel like making all that mess.

Last night I made some pretty good pasta with premade sauce and, of course, premade noodles – I will never make my own noodles.  I may dabble in sauce making sometimes, meaning I combine premade sauces or add italian seasoning to stewed tomatoes.

So here’s my semi-homemade vodka pasta, it’ll go great with some Riesling…or beer.  Everything’s pretty great with beer.

What You Need:
Vodka Sauce, any brand (but I really like Classico, it has tomato chunks)
Whole Wheat Rotini
Spinach, fresh or thawed
Red Pepper Flakes
Salt
Mozzarella Cheese (optional)
Feta Cheese (optional)

What to Do:

Bring water to a boil in a pot.  Add a bit of salt.  Put in as much pasta as you want, I don’t measure servings.  Add some red pepper flakes to let the noodles absorb the spice.  Let the pasta boil until it reaches the texture you want (I prefer letting the pasta get super soft, otherwise whole wheat pasta can taste a bit too grainy).  Throw in as much spinach as you want and let it sit with the pasta for a while.  Drain the pasta and spinach, then place back in the pot.  Add the vodka sauce (again put as much as you want; I put tons).  If you’d like add in some grated mozzarella and/or top it off with feta.  (I like the feta.)

This dish is very similar to Noodle & Co’s Penne Rosa, which has tomatoes and mushrooms as well. 

*** Vegans can adapt this recipe, I think.  Make your own vodka sauce with stewed tomatoes, soy milk, vodka, and spices.  You can experiment!  If you have the time…

July 20, 2010

Vegetarian Hot Dogs: Gross or OK

Veggie hot dogs almost made me quit being a vegetarian today.  They. are. gross.

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July 12, 2010

Veggin’ on a Budget

I’m sure a lot of young adults can relate to this topic. Sure in college it’s understandable to eat ramen noodles or mac n’ cheese day after day – it’s understood that you have no money. But after college, it can still be somewhat of the same story.

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July 9, 2010

Breakfast of Champions, Lunch of Bad Salad Dressing

I went on a grocery binge yesterday and bought a ton of fruits, veggies, and breads.  So today, I decided it would be good to prepare an energy-boosting breakfast from some of my new groceries.

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July 7, 2010

French Toast by Bethenny Frankel

Okay, I hate to admit it, but I love Bethenny Frankel from Real Housewives of NYC.  She’s really not even a housewife; I admire her for her work ethic and most of all, her recipes.  Bethenny is a natural foods chef who specializes in coming up with meals that leave you guilt-free, and she includes a lot of vegetarian recipes on her site as well.

This one is for french toast, my favorite!

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July 7, 2010

4th of July: Mosquito Attack Day

I am still recouping from a crazy 4th of July weekend.  My biggest worry was that since this is the season of grilling meat, I would easily give into meat temptation.  Luckily, that did not happen.  Here was my basic menu for the holiday:

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July 2, 2010

Great Starting Kit

 

Vegetarian Times has an awesome starter kit for those wanting to go vegetarian, or just eat healthier in general.  It mixes in vegan tips, too, which actually gets confusing at times.  But there are great pointers for how to balance meals to get enough protein, calcium, and other nutrients from your diet.

Vegetarian/Vegan Starter Kit

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