Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

This has pretty much been me for the past week:

Only I wish I looked this good while sick.  I got some cold/flu/upper respiratory bug that pretty much knocked me on my behind for a good solid 6 days or so.  I’m still not feeling 100%.  I was really bummed too because I had some delicious food in my fridge to prepare but I just didn’t have the energy.

I do have some exciting news though!  I’m going on a little vacation to Colorado in about a week.  I’m going to be going with my Dad, Stepmom, and Grandma, to visit my Uncle and his family who live there.  I’m excited for several reasons: 1)  I haven’t been on an actual vacation since I went to visit Andrea last summer, 2)  I haven’t been to Colorado since…..2002? and 3)  I’m interested to see how difficult it will be finding healthy vegan food while traveling with my very non-vegan family.  I’ve been making preparations – I’ve already come up with some things I’ll be taking and some backup ideas, and I plan to document my experience for this very blog.  For the next few days, though, I’ll probably just be laying on my couch popping Vitamins B, C, and D and eating more of this stuff:


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In my quest to make the ultimate green monster nutritional smoothie, I have come up with the following deliciousness. This smoothie is amazing and really tides me over most of the morning at work. It’s basically my breakfast, but occasionally I’ll have it for my snack. And I know Brendan Brazier is a big advocate of smoothies. He advocates that we drink good sound nutrition to help with digestion so our body doesn’t have to work as hard to convert our food to energy, so bonus. Here’s what I have so far. Please feel free to suggest changes.

2 handfuls of spinach
6 to 7 frozen cherries
3/4 banana (I always end up eating 1/4 of it, don’t ask)
2 teaspoons organic chia seeds
2 teaspoons organic ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons L-Glutamine (love this stuff and really helps with my Crossfit training)
1 tablespoon dark chocolate peanut butter (nectar of the gods, I swear)
2 tablespoons rice protein powder
1 scoop Amazing Grass chocolate green superfood (love love love)

Here it is. Taken with my cell phone at work, so not the best quality. Yummy in my tummy.

What do you put in your smoothies?

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I filmed this video last night, which is why I say it’s the beginning of Week Three.  I tried to keep it short but failed, sorry!

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Week One is almost over!  Here is an update on this week’s experience so far.  I’ll be back later with some vegan product reviews.

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My favorite thing about Fridays?  A plain bagel with peanut butter!

There is a story behind Bagel F’in* Friday (*hey, my parents read this blog). 

Before I lost weight, I used to get a bagel from our cafe here at work almost every day (the bagels come from Breuggers).  My favorite combinations were: asiago cheese bagel with plain cream cheese, sesame seed bagel with veggie cream cheese, or plain bagel with peanut butter and jelly (or banana slices).  When I started trying to lose weight, I cut out the bagels for the most part, only having one once or twice a week.  Then I got to a point where I started to think I could never eat a bagel again if I really wanted to be healthy.  Those bagels + cream cheese were around 500 calories and rarely kept me going until lunch time.  They were also costing me about $10/week!  So I had a long bagel-less stretch there for a while.  It was a dark time.  When I became vegan, in my research I discovered that Breuggers actually has several bagels that are vegan (Baked Apple, Cinnamon Raisin, Cinnamon Sugar, Cranberry Orange, Everything, Garlic, Jalapeno, Onion, Plain, Poppy, Pumpernickel, Pumpkin, Rosemary Olive Oil, Salt, and Sesame!)  Most commercial bagels have non-vegan preservatives, Panera’s bagels have L-cysteine, etc.  And honestly, I missed my bagels!  I decided I would have a bagel 1 day per week – it seemed like a good compromise (for my waistline and my wallet) and Friday just happened to be the day I usually got one, therefore Friday became Bagel F’in Friday.  I bring my own peanut butter and sometimes jam or a banana, other times I save my fruit for a snack before lunch.  During breaks our cafe is closed, and I don’t always have a bagel every week or necessarily on Friday, but it’s still a fun way to think of an occasional treat.  You don’t have to give up foods you enjoy to be healthy!

On to yoga.  The last term of yoga classes just finished up and a new one started this week.  I took one class per week last term, on Wednesdays, and this time I signed up for two.  I’m going now on Mondays and Wednesdays, and I also hope to hit up Free Yoga at Gray’s Lake as many times as I can this summer.  My favorite pose is still Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana):

but I’m also getting a lot better at balances, like Tree Pose (Vrksasana):

and twists like Marichi’s Pose:

In other health-related news, I woke up this morning feeling a little stuffy.  I don’t know if it is a cold or allergies.  I often credit veganism with keeping me illness-free for over a year.  Except for one or two bouts with seasonal allergies,  I haven’t been sick since the end of December 2008, which was also the last time I took a sick day from work!  I’m off to visit my family this weekend so let’s just hope it was a fluke.

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I had some firm tofu to use up, so I made this delicious Broccoli and Black Olive Frittata last week.

The recipe is from Vegan With a Vengeance and I followed it almost exactly so I don’t feel comfortable re-posting it here on the blog.  Fortunately, if you don’t own this book, the recipe is available via GoogleBooks, here.  The recipe is on pages 14-15.  I left out the thyme because I don’t care for it and used some oregano instead.  The topping is Daiya shredded vegan cheese – this is a fairly new product and I just recently tried it.  It’s probably the closest to real cheese I’ve tried yet and it even melts!  I’ve tried the cheddar and mozzarella flavors and I enjoyed them both.

Another new (to me) thing I recently tried is Kombucha.  Kombucha is a fermented drink that contains active cultures, probiotics, and healthy “balancing” enzymes.  It is naturally fizzy from the fermentation and a lot of people think it tastes like vinegar.  As someone who loves vinegar, I didn’t expect this to bother me.  This is the kombucha I tried for my first taste:

Most people say they don’t like it at first and then the flavor grows on them. My experience was kind of the opposite: I thought it tasted pretty good at first, kind of like a fizzy yogurt soda. As I drank more, it started tasting more fermented (it can even have a small alcohol content from the fermentation process!) and I could only drink about 1/4 of the bottle at once. It took me about three days to drink the whole thing, but it didn’t lose any of its fizz and tasted the same. It’s not cheap – this bottle was $3.49 at my co-op – but I can see myself trying some of the different flavors once in a while.

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