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When I first started this blog, I had just started my own “experiment“. I was going vegan for 6 months, to see if I could lower my cholesterol. I was already a vegetarian, but I though I’d see what veganism would do! Sadly, it didn’t change my numbers. My total cholesterol is 290, which is actually higher than it was a few months ago. (Not by much, but still!) My HDL (the good cholesterol) did go up, but my LDL (the bad) is still so high that the doctor said I really had no choice but to go on medication. Since my weight is fine, they said there wasn’t much else I could do. Sad.
However, veganism opened up a whole new world for me! I tried all sorts of foods I never would have tried. Nutritional yeast, soy yogurt, coconut milk, falafel, indian food… It’s not like these foods are for vegans only, I just hadn’t pushed myself out of my food comfort zone to try them !
I also did extensive research on veganism, and I read so many great books. Eating Animals, In Defense of Food, Food Politics… and I learned a lot about the meat and dairy industry.
I’ve been a vegetarian for the past 5 years or so, and I’m definitely not going back to eating meat. Although I’m going to slowly incorporate dairy and eggs back into my routine, I have a feeling I’ll still be eating mostly vegan, because honestly, I just feel better that way
So what do you think, can I still keep my blog even though I won’t *technically* be a vegan?
Thanks again for all your supportive comments. Veganism might not have been able to lower my cholesterol, but it definitely took me down a healthy path
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get my cholesterol checked yet, but I have appointment for Thursday morning! I can get it checked at work, and they give me my results right away, so that’s awesome! I’m dying of curiosity!!
Last night, I was hanging out with my friend Stephen, who moved here from Ireland about a year ago, and I discovered that he had never had banana bread. What?! Never?! I know. It was crazy. So of course, this had to be fixed. Thankfully I had ingredients at hand! Here’s what I used:
Vegan Banana Nut Muffins
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Sprinkle of granola (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Mash the bananas in a big bowl and add the syrup, applesauce, & brown sugar until it’s nice and mixed. Slowly stir in the rest of the dry ingredients and then fold in the walnuts. (Don’t mix in the granola, although that could be cool…) Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray and add a spoon full of batter to each muffin cup. If you want, you can sprinkle a little granola on top. (I like to use Galaxy Granola) Bake for 9-11 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean, of course!)
These are moist and delicious! Even Stephen (who is jokingly skeptical about “American” food) came back for seconds However, he still hates peanut butter, and that just seems CRAZY to me!
I hope you’re all having a great week so far! It’s been rainy the past couple of days, but the weather is still warm, so I can’t complain too much!
First of all, thank you guys so much for your wonderful and supportive comments! My choice to eat or not eat dairy and eggs is still up in the air, but I’m thinking I’m going to slowly add them back into my diet in moderation. Tomorrow I’ll try to get my cholesterol checked and we’ll see what happens!
Last night (Saturday) I was hanging out at my neighbors apartment, and we decided to stay in and cook! (Seriously, that might be my favorite kind of Saturday night!) Since my exposure to Indian food has been quite limited, they decided to expand my horizons!!
There was a variety of foods on our menu, noodles, basmati rice, and a chickpea dish. There was lots of cooking going on in the kitchen, and I just watched the magic happen!
The finished product: Curry noodles w/ mushrooms, Basmati rice, and chickpeas. YUM! Seriously, this was so good. It was really spicy, but I love spicy food, so it was right up my alley
These guys know how to cook! And of course, no dinner would be complete without a mug of chai tea
Made with soymilk, of course!
Have you ever made Indian food? All of this was “naturally vegan” (although apparently it’s common to add chicken to the chickpea dish.) I’m hoping the boys will be nice enough to teach me some of their skills!
I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Hopefully for my next post, I’ll have my cholesterol results!
This little experiment originally began back in May. May 19th to be exact, a couple months before I even started blog. I decided to try veganism because I have high cholesterol, and even though I’ve been a vegetarian for years, I thought a vegan diet might help get my numbers down. I’ve only gotten my cholesterol checked once, and that was about two months after I went vegan. You can check that update here. Sadly, the total cholesterol didn’t budge, however my good cholesterol went up a bit and the bad cholesterol went down a bit.
So next Friday, it will be 6 months. I’ll get my cholesterol checked, and we’ll see what happened. I’m not going to lie, I’ll be a little disappointed if the numbers haven’t gotten any better. If they haven’t, then I think I’ll just go back to being a vegetarian. If they have gotten better, then I’ll have to make a choice of what to do next.
Regardless of the numbers, since going vegan I’ve been doing a lot more research on food, the food industry, particularly the meat and dairy industry, and let me tell you, the more I learn, the less I want to eat meat & dairy. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to eating meat, simply because I don’t like it. I don’t have a taste for it. But dairy products… I don’t know.
We all have our personal opinions of what is “best” so I’m simply trying to decide what best for me. What’s best for me, might not be what’s best for you. But I’m thinking it would be best for me to go back to eating dairy products. I think for the most part, I’ll still eat a mostly vegan diet. I feel better when I eat more fruits and veggies, and my tummy is a little sensitive to dairy products anyway. (I never drank milk or anything even before the vegan experiment.) But their have been moments where I’ve had to go with a more “unhealthy” choice, simply because the “healthy” choice was vegan. (Think giant bagel that happens to be vegan, vs. light yogurt.) So for me, I think I’d be able to strike a healthy balance that would include dairy and eggs.
I guess I’d have to change the blog to LizLivingMostlyVegan
Official decision to come later… Lets go back to some food.
Check out this NYC pizza! (Mine is the half without cheese!)
This pizza was so good! I may or may not have eaten 2 monstrous slices
Last nights dinner was quite “green”… I know you’re supposed to eat lots of different colors, but I guess last night I was feeling monochromatic!
Good thing the pepper and carrot sneaked in there for some balance!
Do you usually have a multicolor plate, or do you tend to stick to one or two hues?
So we successfully made it to Manhattan last night! I haven’t been to NYC since high school, so it’s been fun getting to explore the city. The girls and I went out with some friends from an ad agency here, and they took us to Dos Caminos for some of the worlds best guacamole, to Sweet Revenge for cupcakes, and to a “speak easy” for drinks. Quite a night, that’s for sure! I was a bad food blogger, and only took a picture of the cupcake, (which wasn’t vegan, so I didn’t partake) but it looked amazing! The picture doesn’t do it justice!
For breakfast this morning, I had a Full bar which I’d never tried before.
I didn’t love it, but it was pretty good. I suppose it did it’s job of keeping me relatively full, but I also ate it with a granny smith apple! Have you guys tried these before?
I had a delicious veggie pita for lunch, with some split pea soup from Cafe Metro.
The pita was stuffed with sprouts & avocado, which are two of my favorite things to put in a pita. I love the creaminess of the avocado and the crunch of the sprouts. YUM! What’s your favorite thing to put in a pita?
The “what does a vegan eat” question gets asked even more when traveling. It could get a little tricky this week, but I’ve never been somewhere that I couldn’t eat ANYTHING! So I’m sure it’ll be fine Do you guys have any tips/tricks for traveling? (I’m sure if you’re vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose intolerant, or just a generally picky eater , you’ve got some good tips to share!)
Anyways, I’m heading to Manhattan today… so updates to come!
But since I’m a little behind on posting (oops) let’s back up. Yesterday I was at the grocery store and I passed this interesting little bag of deliciousness…
Has anyone seen these Mr. Wheat snacks? It’s sort of like Moon Pop but it has a little more flavor. (There we’re four different varieties, I decided to try the honey flavor!) So these little cakes are sort of like rice cakes, but the hint of honey ads a nice hint of sweetness. Now let’s be clear, these aren’t exactly snack-right-from-the-bag-tasty. They certainly aren’t like eating a potato chip or anything, but with only 120 calories in half the bag (which is a pretty big bag) it’s a low calorie snack that ALSO manages to back in 4g of fiber, and 3g of protein. I had mine in place of crackers with some vegan chili, and it was a nice crunchy addition to my meal. (But seriously, a serving of these is a lot of munching, so I only had a few of the cakes, which clock in at 16 calories each.) I also tried them topped with some Better’n Peanut Butter, and that was pretty tasty too I’m not sure if these will be a snack food regular, but they certainly were different!
I also had a delicious mug of soy chai tea from my lovely friend/neighbor. (I love having friends in my building!)
This smelled so good and tasted amazing! I’ll have to post the recipe another time, because he hasn’t shown me how to make it yet
Have you ever had Chai Tea? Do you have any other winter-drink favorites?
I’ll be posting from NYC later! I hope you’re all having a good start to the week!
Ok, so it’s not new. Actually, I have no idea how long it’s been around. And until I entered the blogosphere, I had never heard of it. So what is it?
First of all, let me just say, I know the same sounds a little… strange… but let me assure you, this stuff is like magic! Not only is it a main ingredient in vegan mac n cheese
but it also gives a nice cheesy kick to snacks! How about some cheesy popcorn?
Nutritional yeast is loaded with vitamin B12, so it’s especially great for vegans
Have you tried Nutritional Yeast yet?
It’s been a pretty good week this week. I’ve been working out consistently & sticking with my no snacking after 8pm challenge. Oh, and this week I finally tried squash on my salad!
I suppose it’s hard to see the squash in there, among the peppers, chickpeas, black beans, onions, and spinach… but let me tell you, it was the star of the show! It feels good being a *reformed* salad hater!
Have you tried anything new on salads these days? I’m always looking for something new to spice up my greens!
Hello friends! How is your week going? I feel like mine is flying by, but it’s going well, so no complaints!
First, let me say, I am in no way against night time snacking! However, I personally needed to dial back the midnight munchies. What would start out as an innocent snack would turn into a night in front of the tv, going back and forth from the kitchen to the couch. Not good! So for me, I’m going cold turkey! And so far, it’s going great, because I’ve been eating more during the day.
Yesterday I did the abs class at work, with my friend Eric, and then we did upper body free weights. When I got home from work, I still had plenty of energy, so despite the somewhat chilly weather (it was only in the low 50s!) I went for a nice 4 mile run. It felt amazing! Instead of coming home from work starving and tired, I came home ready for a workout! Thanks to all that movement, I burned 2,700 calories, according to the bodybugg!
And now, for an important announcement:
Up until this evening, I pretty much thought that peanut butter and chocolate was a combo that could never be beat. I mean, have you tried Averie’s vegan peanut butter cups? But today… I added something else to the party…
And let me tell you, this was a life changing experience.
Ok, sorry for the drama, but seriously, get out your blender and make this NOW!
Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
- 6 cubes of frozen soymilk (I use Silk Light)
- splash of non frozen soymilk
- 1 frozen banana
- 2 packets truvia
- 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
- dash of sea salt
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
- 1/4 tsp guar gum (optional)
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
Throw everything except the peanut butter in the blender and pulse until smooth. (If you don’t have a vita mix, you might need to chop the banana, and add the ice slowly…) Top with a tablespoon of peanut butter and dig in. It’s rich, satisfying, and, oh yeah, that whole giant bowl of ice cream (it makes about 2 cups) is only ~200 calories + peanut butter. (I don’t factor the peanut butter in, because sometimes I use PB2, sometimes I use Better’n Peanut Butter, and sometimes I use Dark Chocolate Dreams!)
What do you think? What’s the best PB& Chocolate (optional, + banana) combo you like to eat?
Ok, I admit it. I’m a big night time snacker! It isn’t really a huge issue, because I don’t normally snack during the day. The problem is, by “saving” my daily calories for night time snacks mean that I’m saving my fuel for a time in the day when I don’t need it!
Yesterday, I went on an afternoon run, a couple hours after my breakfast. I wasn’t hungry, but wasn’t overly full, and it was the perfect balance for my run. I ran 4 miles, which is a lot for me! (I haven’t been running much lately.) I realized that a lot of times, I work out on very little fuel, and its no wonder I get tired! But in order to maintain balance, I need to move my meals around.
So my new goal is no snacks after 8pm.
Now I have to be realistic, and know that some days I don’t get HOME until 8pm, and I’m not going to skip dinner just because it’s after 8! The point is that most of my night time snacking is just… well, snacking. It’s not like I need the energy right before bed! So I’m going to try to eat more during the day, and see if it helps my workouts!
How do you guys feel about bedtime snacks? Do you usually eat something before bed? Do you prefer your snacks during the day? Or do you just skip snacks all together? (I don’t think I could skip them!!!)
My mom and I are a lot alike. A LOT alike. I realize this more and more everyday, and I’m not complaining, because my mom is pretty cool, and I can only hope to be as amazing as she is! But one thing we differ on is the practicality of dinnerware
Growing up, we had plain dishes. Every dish matched the others, and that’s how my mom liked it. She knew a lot of the “stylish” dishes, would be out of style before you knew it, and then you’d have to get new dishes! I remember I would beg for a brightly colored bowl, or that odd shaped ice cream dish. Every so often, she’d give in, and then we’d have a bowl or a plate that only I would use (Mom, that multicolored ceramic bowl is STILL my favorite chip bowl!!!) So despite all of our likeness, I just had to buy this bowl when I found it at TJ Maxx last night.
How cute is that?? This is actually the middle size of a 3 bowl set. They were on clearance, and too adorable to pass up. Mom, I’m sorry for the impracticality of these bowls, and I know they’ll never match anything else, but you have to admit, they’re pretty darn cute
What do you guys think? Do you dishes match, or do you just have a random assortment of favorites?