Friday, bloody Friday

A new day, a new…illness? Just a week after I was sympathizing for a friend who woke up with a fever and body aches, I found myself in the same situation.

1am: Wake, chilled to the bone and feeling *off*. Go back to sleep.

1:30am: Yeah, something isn’t right here. This is DEF a fever. Sure, it’s cold in SoCal right now, but not THIS cold. Too tired to change anything. Go back to sleep.

2am: Crap I’m freezing! And I feel like puking! I guess I should help this fever along and warm up. Put on second pair of pants and hoodie, go back to sleep.

2:30am: Don’t puke. Don’t puke. I will never eat protein ice cream again. Go back to sleep.

8:20am: Wake up. Feel good! Man it’s HOT in here! Oh well.

So to summarize, I helped my fever do it’s job and I feel fine today. But man that had me scared! I have so many things to do in the coming days that I CAN NOT be sick.

Ice Cream

As a vegan, I’m DETERMINED to mimic EXACTLY the deliciousness that is So Delicious Coconut Milk ice cream, so to that end I have purchased a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. Once it arrived my head started swimming with ideas and ratios and ingredients…how much xanthan per quart? Light or full fat coconut milk? How sweet should this be?!
But I ended up fashioning my own recipe sans coconut milk at ALL because I realized that I did not have the correct ingredients on hand :(

This was what I consider a (tasty) fail.

  • SILK Vanilla, soymilk 2.5 cups
  • Oil, canola 2 tbsp
  • Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened 3 tbsp
  • Arrowroot flour 2 tbsp
  • Agave 2 tbsp
  • Rice Protein 4 tbsp
  • Trader Joe’s Soy Protein Powder 2 scoops
  • Stevia to taste

Blend, heat to low simmer, chill in fridge, pour in ice cream maker. Cross fingers and hope for a winner….taste….become a little upset but delight in the flavor resembling a fudgecicle from your days gone by.

I’ll continue my experimenting….but I’ll have to find more convenient times of day, because my (intolerant and problematic) sister flipped at the sound that the machine made. In my defense, she did not have to be using her laptop on the kitchen table. Other rooms were available, and it just wouldn’t be cool to make ice cream in my bedroom.

Other Vegan food ventures….

Brussels sprouts, how I love thee. I will eat of your gas-causing deliciousness until you are no longer sold for .88 cents/lb at Henry’s.
My mother and I (the vegans of the household) must go through at minimum 10 lbs of Brussels sprouts a week. I think I could eat them for breakfast. My personal favorite way to imbibe is with Sabra hummus, but marinara sauce comes in a close second.

Confessions

Being a vegan, the #1 question I hear is about protein intake, and for years I paid no mind. I’m still not sure if it really matters how many grams I get per day, but I’ve recently given into the scare tactics that my muscles will slowly eat themselves as I train for my half marathon if I don’t get at least 80g per day. That being said, I ADAHHH (that’s how I say “adore”) rice protein powder, and TJ’s vanilla soy ain’t too shabby either. I have a stock of hemp protein, but the lower protein to calorie ratio always causes me to lean back to a blend of rice/soy. I use both in every smoothie that I make, every bowl of oat bran I consume…its become an addiction, but if Brussels sprouts and vegan protein powders are wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

I’ve tallied my protein intake from the last week, and I have eaten an average of 84g of protein a day. Thoughts? I’m not running GINORMOUS distances yet, so I don’t feel as though my intake should matter a ton….And although I feel like I should jump on the protein train like HEAB, it feels like an oxy-moron for a vegan.

Strength

Since taking a Pilates class from a SUPER teacher here at a community college, I’ve become more (MUCH MORE) aware of how un-muscular I am, and how weak I feel. I’ve noticed this topic going around the blog world, and I don’t want to miss out on the movement to increase strength training instead of/ in addition to cardio. I may be able to incline train for hours, but if I have no core strength and I can’t complete 20 push-ups, I’m not exactly in the shape that I truly want to be in. I don’t want to be “skinny-fat.”

 

My own personal goals regarding strength training:

  • Progress to 20 push-ups “triceps” style. (Elbows held in against ribs) I can do 13-14 right now.
  • Complete Pilates Mat II this spring semester. Mat I was hard enough, but I want abs of steel! Plus, this teacher doesn’t play. She had us doing pushups from our *toes*. This ain’t your grandma’s Pilates class!
  • Do more body weight exercises. Squats, lunges, pull ups (right.), *push-ups*, planks…and any other unique body weight exercises I come across.

    What are your strength goals for the coming months? Lets get buff for summer, and bare arms!

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How NOT to start a blog

Hello!

So, with all of the food blogs that I read, I WAS inspired to start my own….but I didn’t give it enough thought. I’m of the mindset that mimicry is the greatest form of flattery – but it doesn’t quite work that way in the blog world.
I’ve decided that it will take time to get my own style and voice for blogging, but I’m willing to try. It could be a really slow start, but I think it will be worth it.

For right now, I’m going to list the things that I did/ discovered in 2009.

1) I kept running. After running 2 (slow!) 5K’s with my family, I had a rough time getting back into the flow of things, and I wasn’t motivated, especially with whatever undiagnosed hip issues that I’m having. But I signed up for 2 more races, completed them, and now I find myself registered for a HALF MARATHON!!!

2) I cemented my decision to major in French. I’m the WORST decision maker EVER. If you give me too many options, I FREEZE. I have similar problems in grocery stores. If the wall of shiny products is too tall or crammed, I have to stand there for minutes, overwhelmed before I decide on anything.

3) I tried new foods. Kale chips always eluded me. I wasn’t a fan of nutritional yeast. Oat bran? What? Pumpkin IN my oatmeal? But all of those foods have somehow fought their way into my favorites list.

4) I fought some of my old fears. I have a secret. Well, not after this, it won’t be, but …..I’m KJ, and I’m afraid of  driving. Not sure why, how, from whence this came….but I really don’t like driving. I still don’t. But I didn’t give up, and I drove a couple places BY MYSELF.

What I hope for in 2010:

1) Complete 1/2 marathon!!

2) perfect my treadmill desk. I’m using it as we speak!

3) become fluent (more fluent?) in French.

4) Learn more spanish.

5) Master Pilates Mat II

6) Make more friends. I’m a pretty closed off person (due to shyness), but I’m trying to chip that away (a little!) and be more welcoming.

That’s all for now! But I promise to find my OWN groove in this blogging world, readers or not.
Happy 2010!

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Whoo. I love these!

Thanks to Gena and Kelly, I found this little gem of a blog activity and decided to take a whack at it!

Rules:
1) Copy this list into your blog or social networking site profile, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out or italicize any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment on this post linking to your results.

1. Molasses
2. Cactus/Nopales
3. Scrambled Tofu
4. Grilled Portobella Caps
5. Fresh Ground Horseradish
6. Sweet Potato Biscuits
7. Arepas (?!)
8. Vegan Coleslaw
9. Ginger Carrot Soup
10. Fiddlehead Ferns
11. Roasted Elephant Garlic
12. Umeboshi
13. Almond Butter Toast
14. Aloe Vera
15. H and H Bagel NYC
16. Slow Roasted Butternut Squash
17. White truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Freshly ground wasabi
20. Coconut Milk Ice Cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Orchard-fresh pressed apple cider
23. Organic California Mango
24. Quinoa
25. Papaya Smoothie
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet or Habañero pepper
27. Goji Berry Tea
28. Fennel
29. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
30. Radishes and Vegan Buttery Spread
31. Starfruit
32. Oven fresh Sourdough bread
33. Sangria made with premium fruit and juices
34. Sauerkraut
35. Acai Smoothie
36. Blue Foot Mushrooms
37. Vegan Cupcake from Babycakes NYC (NOT YET! I hear they’re coming to LA though!)
38. Sweet Potatoes and Tempeh combo
39. Falafel
40. Spelt Crust Pizza
41. Salt and Pepper Oyster Mushrooms
42. Jicama Slaw
43. Pumpkin Edamame Ginger Dumplings
44. Hemp Milk
45. Rose Champagne
46. Fuyu (aka persimmons)
47. Raw Avocado-Coconut Soup
48. Tofu Pesto Sandwich
49. Apple-Lemon-Ginger-Cayenne fresh-pressed juice
50. Grilled Seitan
51. Prickly pear
52. Fresh Pressed Almond Milk
53. Concord Grapes off the vine
54. Ramps
55. Coconut Water fresh from a young coconut
56. Organic Arugula
57. Vidalia Onion
58. Sampler of organic produce from Diamond Organics
59. Honeycrisp Apple
60. Poi
61. Vegan Campfire-toasted S’mores
62. Grape seed Oil
63. Farm fresh-picked Peach
64. Freshly-made pita bread with freshly-made hummus
65. Chestnut Snack Packs
66. Fresh Guava
67. Mint Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (I MUST MAKE THIS!)
68. Raw Mallomar from One Lucky Duck, NYC
69. Fried plantains
70. Mache
71. Golden Beets
72. Barrel-Fresh Pickles
73. Liquid Smoke
74. Meyer Lemon
75. Veggie Paella
76. Vegan Lasagna
77. Kombucha
78. Homemade Soy Milk
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Lychee Bellini
81. Tempeh Bacon
82. Sprouted Grain Bread
83. Lemon Pepper Tempeh
84. Vanilla Bean
85. Watercress
86. Carrot you pulled out of the ground yourself
87. Vegan In-Season Fruit Pie
88. Flowers
89. Corn Chowder
90. High Quality Vegan Raw Chocolate
91. Yellow fuzz-free Kiwi
92. White Flesh Grapefruit
93. Harissa
94. Coconut Oil
95. Jackfruit
96. Homemade Risotto
97. Spirulina
98. Seedless ‘Pixie’ Tangerine
99. Gourmet Sorbet
100. Fresh Plucked English Peas

I couldn’t think of anything on that list that I wouldn’t eat, but man, I really need to expand my vegan horizons!

 

Tip of the day:
For those of you worried about sugar intake and very sweet fruits, try eating them a little less ripe than normal. I eat bananas when there is still just a tad of green left on them, and I eat pears when they are very firm.

___________________________________________

Over at Runner’s Kitchen there is a attractive looking recipe for Megan’s Maple-Cinnamon Apple Crisp, which could easily be veganized by swapping coconut oil and agave for the butter and brown sugar, and I would take it one step further and de-glutenize it by using a gluten-free flour such as brown rice, or Bob’s Red Mill.
Delish! And definitely on my to-do list for this weekend! :D

xoxox

KJ

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Voy a hablar de …..

Hola chicos!

Today was my long (LONG) day at school, and I must say that it really took it out of me.

I woke to my current repeat breakfast (yes, it was pumpkin oats. I must finish the can of pumpkin somehow!), and watched The Biggest Loser with my mom while sipping green tea. I’m completely addicted to TBL and was destroyed when they chose ______ to go home, instead of ________.

I started watched TBL about…4 or 5 seasons ago, and I am now a loyal audience member. The stories never cease to be inspiring, and sometimes some real hotties  join the show. I <3 mike. Still. To this day. It’s my crazy random TV crush. Sue me.
While I don’t love the never-ending drama, and I sometimes find the tear-fests a bit scripted and disingenuous, I love seeing real people, dealing with real issues, and changing their lives. So many people in this world are so afraid to change, and never make that first step into something better. The newest path is always the scariest, but sometimes you’re so low, you have no where to go but up.

After sleeping  paying attention for 3 hours, I was starved and very, very sleepy. I had snuck an apple in during the 10 minute break to tide me over, and I’m glad I did because I think I might have eaten the desk otherwise.
Lunch was PB&J (you’ll be seeing a lot of these for school lunches!) and some carrots.

Once home I whipped up a coffee concoction and flipped through textbooks absentmindedly while watching last night’s ANTM (the southern gal is my fav!), followed by a fresh Honeycrisp apple doused in coconut milk PBU.

Dinner is on my mind, but before I get to that I have some blog work to do (because I’m a noob and this is a MAJOR work in progress, it won’t be fancy too soon (or maybe ever!) along with some majaahh studying for a midterm on Saturday : (

I’ll be one HAPPY girl once that is over.

____________________________________________________

What is the best diet epiphany that you’ve ever had?
Mine was when I realized that you cannot expect to diet yourself down to the weight you want, and then go back to eating the way you were before. This is more aimed at junk food eaters (Moi, several years ago.)
I had this idea in my head that I could lose weight and then go back to eating the way I was eating before: the way that caused me to gain weight in the first place!
I know I’m not the only person on the planet who thought that way.

It wasn’t until I educated myself on calories in vs. calories out, and basic human nutrition that I realized how simple the equation was.

If something wasn’t working for you before, why would you expect it to work for you later?

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Have yourself a merry merry hump day

Well, today was one of those days.
I ate my usual oat pumpkin concoction for breakfast, then got all ready for a workout.
I did 35 minutes on the treadmill with my friend, the weighted vest, equipped with 6 extra pounds of punishment. I switched the incline back and forth from 8% to 10%, speed 3mph.
After that I figured I might as well fill out a full hour of butt-beating, so I hopped on our recumbent bike and pedaled away for 25 minutes. I really love working out, but only because of one factor – music. I exert myself more with fast tempo songs!

 

After that I showered and watched The View (for Valerie Bertinelli!), studied/ caught up on Google reader (Ok, more blog reading than studying :x) then prepped a simple lunch of Brussels sprouts + tofu + hummus.

I caught up with my mom afterwards, who had just made some popcorn with stevia and cinnamon, so I happily stole some of that as well :) What can I say?

 

Then I headed off to Pilates.

I guess my body doesn’t like hour long cardio adventures in such close proximity to Pilates class, because I felt SO WEAK today. The open leg rollbacks were nigh impossible, and my legs were shaking through all the seated movements (saw etc.). My body is adapting to Pilates, but at it’s own pace. When I first started this semester, I remember thinking that I’d NEVER be able to complete a rollup, because my abs are that weak. But it only made me more determined to work on my strength once I discovered how absolutely feeble I was. I began working the rollup with a towel under my back for a “boost”, and now I can do them slowly and deliberately.
I’m one of those people who becomes very, very determined if something is presented as a big challenge to me. A history teacher once told our whole class that no one was going to be able to get an A, because he graded so hard. Well you bet your butts that I worked my tail off and I GOT that A.

After Pilates I headed off to market to refill my bar stash and get some “vegan candy bars” for Halloween gifts. I got a larabar variety that I’ve never tried before, along with a Clif Builder’s Bar that I had the chance to sample at the Disneyland 5k that I completed in September.

bars

Am I the only one who considers these bars a huge treat instead of a supplement or meal replacer?

I also got:
A bag of lentils
an eggplant
Kashi Honey Sunshine (I had a coupon!)
a 3 lb. bag of organic gala apples for $3
Honey crisp apples were $.77 cents / lb!!!! I got a bunch.
Brussels sprouts
Green lettuce
bell peppers
pears
Garnet yams ($.77 cents/ lb too!)

The cashier thinks I’m crazy already, because I buy such huge quantities of things like oat bran, apples, cocoa powder, lentils, brown rice, bananas…

I just loaded up the fridge, and now I feel a nap coming on.

xoxo

KJ

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Day one.

(Preface: I have highly odd taste buds, and will pretty much eat whatever vegan foods you shove in my face. My recipes will probably reflect my nuttiness.)

The day started as all truly good days do – with a hearty bowl of pumpkin (coffee) oat bran!
I’ve never liked eating hot breakfasts, so I made it the night before and stuck it in the refrigerator overnight. All I had to do this morning was toss a bit of cereal on it (I’m obsessed with toppings!), some dairy-free milk, as well as a smidge of unsweetened applesauce that I’ve been trying to polish off before it goes bad. The last (Costco-sized) jar that I had in the fridge had long gone past it’s expiration by the time I remembered it’s existence in the back of the fridge, only to fire it’s lid off in my face when I tried to open it. Note: old foods explode and try to kill you.

Pumpkin (coffee) Oat Bran à la KJ
1/3 cup oat bran + 2/3 cup water
1/2 scoop Trader Joe’s Vanilla Soy Protein powder
1 Tbsp Now Foods Rice Protein Powder
1/2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp instant coffee
vanilla extract
TONS of cinnamon
4 tiny scoops stevia
1/3-1/2 canned puréed pumpkin

I’m sure you could make this in any order that you want, but I prepare the oat bran first, then add in everything.

Lunch was a bit less exciting, but every bit as delicious! I packed a PB&J on whole wheat with a very special and very treasured Super Fruit Spread from TJ’s. The peanut butter was from my beloved Costco (when are they going to sell a Kirkland crunchy variety?!) I also bagged some chopped carrot sticks, but I just wasn’t feeling hungry today, so I skipped ‘em.
I ate the aforementioned lunch on campus, because that’s the way my Tuesdays and Thursdays go, and I typically have 15 minutes or so (!!) to eat it.

After drowsing my way through my final class I finally headed home with 2 thoughts in my head:

1) Gossip Girl
2) Frappuccino

Preferably at the same time.

I vita-mixed a few ice cubes with 1/2 cup soymilk, 1.5 cups water, vanilla, instant coffee, cinnamon and stevia, and plopped my bootay on the couch, prepped for a good 45 minutes of GG.

 

Wasn’t the episode fab?! I’m totally not digging the Serena/Carter side story, but I love all things Dan and Olivia. I’m not ashamed in the slightest to admit that I love me some Hilary Duff. She is one of the few spawn of children shows who hasn’t flipped out and been too vocal.

 

Dinner consisted of steamed Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, mushrooms and tofu doused in hummus. YUM. I have recently discovered that hummus makes a better dressing than dressings. I want to have a hummus baby.

 

Dessert was consumed while watching 90210 absentmindedly. I enjoyed 3 sliced miniature gala apples under a big plop of the end of my Pbu stash(NO!!). It was amazing, and I’ll do it again, believe me. Now I’m off to study and prep for tomorrow’s breakie!

 

On the agenda for Wednesday is a morning treadmill workout including my weighted vest, an afternoon Pilates class, a grocery-replenishing trip at a little place that I consider God’s gift to me, and more studying. I have a mid-term on Saturday that permits a whole sheet of notes, front and back, and lets just say that I WILL be taking up the WHOLE front and back. I will beat this exam!

Have a happy hump day eve!

 

xoxo

KJ

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A blog is born!

Hello bloggy world!

I decided to make the jump and take the time to create my own blog, instead of merely lurking on all of your blogs!
I’ve been a dedicated GoogleReader user for the past few months, and I’m hooked. I read over 100 blog entries per day, most of which are food-related, some vegan, and all awesome.

I’m KJ. I’m a student right now, and I’ve been a vegan for almost 4 years now (my, how time flies!)
I became a vegan when I was 17, after doing a lot of research and discovering just what goes on in the slaughterhouses and dairy farms, as well as how animal products can affect our bodies negatively. I’ve never turned back, and I’ve never been healthier or more satisfied with the food our good Lord gave us!
I love perusing foodie blogs for weird and ingenious ideas and recipes, and my oh my, foodie blogs NEVER fail to deliver!
I dabble in various forms of exercise, such as running, biking, hiking (!), incline training (the bomb) and the occasional swim. I love to dance, although my skills are severely lacking!

 

I started this blog with a bit of intimidation because all of the blogs I follow are so fabulous, but I can say honestly that I don’t aspire to have thousands of readers per day. I hope to develop this blog into something that I can be proud of, but I have no intentions of making it a full-time job!

As I get started I know that I have SO much to learn, and I’ll be very sparse with pictures for awhile, until I can put them up without too much embarrassment, but I promise that after I get the hang of this I’ll be way more generous with the photos.

I almost feel like my life isn’t exciting enough to share, but who knows?!  One man’s boring is another man’s …..treasure?

Bring it.

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