Sunday, May 31, 2009

Confession Time

...because who doesn't love a good revealing discussion of personal things on a blog? I know I'm a big fan of reading about more than just food in other people's lives! Veganism is only one facet of my existence, and I want this blog to reflect my life rather than just my food, so I'm going to start talking a bit more about my quest for a healthy lifestyle, rather than just my experiments in the kitchen (believe me, there will be plenty of that too!).

Before I get into all that shenaniganifery, let me apologize to my 1 loyal reader (hey, roommate Amber!) who chastised me for my lack of updates since returning home for the summer. Sorry. It's not that I don't cook anymore, but as soon as I get home from interning (an hour and a half commute each way, don't get me started on Northern Virginia traffic) I'm exhausted and either forget entirely to photograph my latest culinary adventure or just simply don't have the patience to set up a decent shot. I just want to eat and go to bed! I've become horrifyingly lazy in these last three weeks which leads me into my newest adventure...getting healtheir!

If that seems like a fairly broad statement, well it is. Not that I'm totally unhealthy now, but believe me, I need to do a good amount of work before I'm in decent shape. See, I was never an athletic girl--I was a choir-singing, dance-team member, drama kid. And while all of those things allowed me to have a great amount of physical activity, as soon as I graduated high school a problem set in. I never learned how to "work out"...I just didn't have the discipline that someone who ran track or played soccer had to do a daily workout and frankly, I just didn't care all that much. After I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, I fell over the fine line between sickness and health and basically let myself go, until I made the transition to vegan (almost exactly a year ago!), when I started caring about what foods I put into my body. Now I try to eat healthy (most of the time) and work out sporadically (a few times a week), but I'm not pushing myself very hard. I'm not trying to work out more to lose weight, actually, I'm perfectly happy with my current weight, even though my BMI tells me I'm techincally underweight, but I don't trust a chart, I trust my doctor who tells me I normal for my height and build.

What good is an online calculator, anyway? All they do is make people obsess more about their weight and focus less on achieving what's healthy for them (sorry for the rant.) Now, my next step in this quest for self improvement is to get on a regular workout schedule...despite my hectic work schedule. I'm not starting off super-ambitious because I don't want to get burned out, but I definetly need my ass-kicked a little bit.

Who better to do that ass-kicking than miss Jillian Michaels herself? I just did the first workout of her 30-day shred, and I was definetly sweating. I am going to do the 20-minute workout each day and either a 20 minute jog or 40 minute walk, depending on how ambitious I'm feeling.

Sorry for that super long blog :) I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weekend weather.

PS: T-minus 15 days until I hop the pond for my study abroad trip in SCOTLAND!


Friday, May 8, 2009

Post Finals Week Diet

...begins right after this post.

Congratulations to me and every other college kid, we made it out alive! Sure, we may have blown off our last few exams and those concluding paragraphs on our term papers, but the important thing is that we finished. Who needs good grades when you can have summer vacation?!

So, due to the fact that I have to clear out my entire apartment so I can bring everything back to the Parent's Casa (PC), I'm pretty behind on picture taking. So I'm presenting you all with a few more of my finals-week foods/procrastination techniques. Also: be prepared for some epic baking posts in the coming months as I experiment with different styles of cooking to suit my family's many different food allergies/requirements. My mom's gluten-free, my sister's severely allergic to soy, rice, peanuts, tomatoes, and all orchard fruits, but my daddy'll eat anything I make :)

Annd now onto some peectures. First off, Terry's Favorite Almond Cookies from Veganomicon, which is basically one of my favorite cookbooks of all time. I slightly modified the recipe because I never have everything on hand at the same time and was too cheap/lazy to run to the grocery store for a few random ingredients. I also added in a tablespoon or so of peanut butter because, well, that's just how I roll.


Yum. Obviously there's a reason why these cookies are "Terry's Favorite"--but they'd also be "Monica's Favorite" if there were chocolate chips in them...just sayin'.

Now, while shopping at Kate's Natural Products for some vitamins, I saw, shining like a beacon across the counter, Vegetarian Times on sale for only $1.99! Yes, it was the March issue, and it is now May, but that's besides the point. I don't usually get to buy them because I can't justify spending $4.99 for a magazine, so I was pretty darn excited. I flipped through it (procrastination~) and decided to make the Banana and Black Bean Empanadas...because that was the only recipe in the whole magazine for which I already had all the ingredients on-hand. And they sounded intriguing. Banana's and black beans? Weiiird flavor combo, which I'm all about.

They see me rollin', they hatin'

Fork you!

Golden pillows of peace and justice.

With all said and done, they were quite delicious. The little trepidation I felt about the banana-black bean combination was eased as soon as I took a bite of the crumbly golden crust...but my roommate who also tried one didn't dig it so much. So, I'd only make these for the fairly flavor adventurous on your list.

What are these little cruchy critters crawling upon the pages of my textbook?


Animal Crackers! Ahhh, the bulk foods section at my grocery store never ceases to amaze me. Life is good.