Monday, October 22, 2018

Day One What I Ate!

I started my day yesterday with this delicious smoothie. It wasn't too chilly yesterday so I didn't even have to force myself! This had banana, frozen mango and strawberry, hemp hearts, maca powder and goji berries. Since I haven't had a smoothie in a couple of weeks, this tasted really, really good!
Later on I made this celery pear and ginger juice. I've been reading about the benefits of celery juice so I picked up a package to add to my juices. I've seen people drink straight celery juice which is super hardcore. I definitely need fruit in my celery juice!
I don't drink La Croix often, but I came across a machine that dispenses La Croix right next to a soda machine(!!) and since I'm cutting out a lot of things I love, I decided to treat myself! I had this while watching the finale of The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. You guys I don't do horror, gory, violent or slasher movies. I've never seen any of the classic horror/slasher movies and I never, ever will. I don't know what made me give this series a try, but you guys it's sooooo good! It isn't a slasher flick or gore porn, although it definitely has moments that make you jump or scream or both if you're me. It's more about trauma and pain that we carry with us unresolved and how it haunts us. I related to a lot of it. It's creepy and suspenseful and definitely great for this time of year!
For dinner I made this delicious smoky and cheese-y split pea and potato soup. I used smoked paprika, cumin and liquid smoke for the smokiness and nooch for the cheese factor. I haven't had split pea soup in awhile, I forgot how delicious and filling it is!
I also had a pear for dessert. And I also ate two Brazil nuts for the selenium. I feel really good so far. I actually always notice how great I feel when I eat really simple foods. I feel a little less lost today because I've done so much research. Which is not to say I think I'm an expert, but I do feel like I have a somewhat solid plan for healing. And I know this might sound corny, but I was watching a video where someone was talking about how they healed themselves, and she said that she loves herself enough to give her body what it really needs, and that love helps her to not have bad things like gluten and whatever else. Self love is something I've always struggled with. I've never needed someone to be abusive to me, I do that quite nicely all on my own. So I see this as a chance to really heal myself in many ways, and show myself the love that's it's always craved from me.

Do I blend in??

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Last Tango with Tofu

I had to have tofu for dinner last night! I decided to make sweet and sour tofu, which is something I've actually never eaten. I've had friends get sweet and sour dishes and the extreme color of the sauce always terrified me! And, I've seen versions with pineapple and that is and always will be a no. I don't know why I decided to try this last night but I'm glad I did. I used this recipe. I did leave out the bell peppers because I firmly believe that bell peppers should NEVER be cooked. Unless it's roasted red pepper and they're blended into something. Anyway, the sauce is super simple and I was surprised by how tasty. I will miss you tofu.
Today starts my elimination diet of sorts. I feel silly calling it that because I don't really know what I'm doing, I'm kind of winging it. I know I will be continuing to avoid gluten, and I will also be cutting out soy and raw kale, spinach and broccoli. I will be adding Brazil nuts for selenium, pumpkin seeds for zinc, sea vegetables for iodine and cutting back on caffeine. I'll also be adding a daily meditation practice along with more yoga and longer cardio workouts. It takes people with hypothyroidism longer to burn calories. Of course! I have been doing so much research and it's very overwhelming if I'm being honest. But I'm excited to keep learning and I am definitely dedicated to healing myself.
This chair belongs to Afro. If I ever sit in it, she circles the chair meowing frantically, scratches the back and will even jump on the back of the chair and hover over me to let me know I am not allowed!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

More Vegan Options from Quorn and Boca!

I stopped at Smith's yesterday to pick up some yerba mate to replace my green tea in the morning. As I was doing my hypothyroidism research, I came across an article telling me I should avoid green tea. Apparently the plant that tea is made from accumulates fluoride over time and fluoride can displace iodine which is very important for thyroid function. Green and black tea are made from older leaves which have the most fluoride. So from now on it's yerba mate, white and herbal tea for me. Caffeine is not something I should have at all, but until my schedule changes I need a little help in the morning. Anyway, I saw two new to me vegan products!!!
I knew Quorn was getting more vegan friendly, and I've seen these on Instagram and Twitter but never in real life!  These look just like the classic kid's lunch staple. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing, but it's definitely exciting!
I also noticed these little cuties! I didn't even know Boca was in the falafel game! They have original and chipotle. I checked both flavors and they are vegan. They also aren't too expensive at $3.49 a bag. I love that Quorn, Boca and Morningstar Farms are making more vegan options.
I decided to treat myself to these seaweed crisps. Sea vegetables are the best source for iodine. These were really, really tasty. Salty, spicy and sweet.
I'm trying to enjoy all the tofu for now since I don't think I'll have it for awhile starting Monday. This is Singapore noodles with some baked tofu. I used this recipe. The sauce is all sweet and salty and a little spicy from the curry. Yum can't wait to eat the leftovers!!
My little sunbathing beauties! Actually Joan is trying to figure out a way to annoy Roxy enough to make her move! It didn't work, Roxy is stubborn and loves the sun, just like me!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Change is Coming

Something that I really love and appreciate about Salt Lake City is that no matter where you are you can just look anywhere and see beauty in the mountains. Yesterday was a particularly beautiful day with fluffy autumn clouds.
I've had these veggie gyoza in my freezer for some time now. I got them on my last trip to the Asian market. I decided to have some with this Asian salad kit I picked up.
I wanted to have these this week because starting next week my meals might look a little different. I'm going to be on somewhat of an elimination diet for a little bit. Ever since being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I've been doing my best to avoid certain foods like gluten and caffeine and processed foods. But if I'm being honest with myself I do cheat more often than I should. I've been feeling more sluggish than usual so I was researching diets for hypothyroidism and natural remedies and all of that and I was surprised at the foods that I shouldn't be eating. Like raw spinach, kale and broccoli. I eat at least one of those raw daily. Apparently when raw they contain goitrogens when raw. A goitrogen is a substance that disrupts the production of thyroid hormones. There are so many things to learn, and different information so it's all a bit overwhelming, but I really want to feel better. I've got a list going of foods to eat and not eat, and things I want to eat more of like sea vegetables for iodine, Brazil nuts for selenium and pumpkin seeds for zinc. I'll be doing other lifestyle upgrades as well. Mainly meditating more. Apparently meditation, breathing exercises and yoga are very good for hypothyroidism. I go in and out of having a meditation practice so I'm going to really make myself include it in my daily routine. Here's to thyroid health!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Parks and Recreation

I decided to take a walk around Liberty park yesterday. It was a nice fall day and the crisp air felt great on my cheeks. Unfortunately the leaves aren't all that pretty this year, they're mostly just turning brown an falling off the trees.
I guess you can't see it that well, but the mountains have snow already!. I'm sure skiers are very happy and hopeful about this winter.
All these beautiful geese provided me with all the beauty I needed! There are so many geese at this park.
Excuse my finger being in the way,(dork) but aren't ducks the sweetest? I hope all the humans that visit Liberty park are nice and respectful.
In food related news, I made some tofu bacon yesterday. I used this recipe. I only had firm, not extra firm so I didn't get it sliced as thin as I would have liked, but it still was excellent and I will definitely make again! I've used it two ways, one in a sandwich and also in a salad!
My downstairs neighbor cooks what smells like ten thousand pounds of bacon at least once a week and this smelled SO much better!!! It's sweet and smoky and satisfying!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hump Day

My favorite afternoon pick me up! Orange, carrot and ginger juice. I always feel a burst of energy after I drink this combo. And it's getting to be that time of year when everyone starts getting the sniffles and breathing and sniffling allover the place. Especially if you ride public transportation!
I made this outstanding, creamy and thick Alfredo sauce that is oil and nut free, and also super low in fat! You'll never guess what the base is??? Oatmeal!!!!! I know, crazy right! Actually a few expensive vegan cheeses and vegan cheese sauces are based on oatmeal which makes it more annoying that they're so expensive! But back to this sauce, I got the idea from my favorite YouTube channel, Team Broccoli! Here is the video with the idea/recipe! It's basically just oats, plant milk, miso paste, garlic and nooch. And salt and pepper of course. This is obviously lower in fat and calories than cashews, not to mention a million times cheaper!
Awhile ago I found these Dr. Praeger's hash browns on a serious WooHoo sale. I used to always eyeball these, but never got them because budget. I finally got around to trying them and I'm super glad I didn't pay full price. Flavor wise they easily get a 10/10, but when it comes to texture a six or seven if I'm feeling generous. A lot of the potato chunks are under cooked. I'm not really a fan of al dente potatoes! I have two more boxes so maybe those will be better?!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A Booch, A Meal and A Cat!

My third batch of homemade kombucha won't be ready for another two or three days so I've been having to buy it. It really hurts to pay store prices now! I remember I tried humm kombucha once in Seattle and it was a little dry for my taste. I forget the flavor. But I am a sucker for grapefruit and this was under two dollars so I decided to give them another chance, and boy am I glad I did! This is light and grapefruit-y and not too sweet and not too dry which is exactly how I prefer my booch. Apparently this is a seasonal flavor so unfortunately it won't be around for long. If you see this flavor I highly recommend trying it!
Last night I was craving potatoes, tofu and salad so that's what I had! I picked up this garlic and herb seasoning from the bilk spice section and I swear it is the best thing ever on potatoes. In my serving days I remember people ordering salads with ranch and Italian dressing. I always thought it was weird because in my pregan days I hated ranch. But now as a vegan Just ranch has come into my life and I love it. So I tried that combo on my salad and it's super delicious!! Those people weren't so weird after all!
This bottom shelf in the bathroom has become the hot spot for napping around here, especially with Joan and Kiki. Joan loves it because she's kind of hidden and nestled away so it's perfect when she needs alone time!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Getting My Juice Back

I feel like I've been in a bit of a rut in the kitchen lately. I'm still cooking, but I kind of make the same things or versions of the same thing. I go through phases where I'm just super creative, and then it's like I lose all the juice. Well, this weekend I discovered my new favorite vegan cooking channel on YouTube, The Happy Pear. I learned of them from The Vegan Mouse. The Happy Pears are twins from Ireland, and they are brimming with positivity and enthusiasm, and they make mostly simple dishes. They also use everyday ingredients that are affordable and easy to find at most grocery stores. They don't even use vegan meats or cheese, they will make their own cheese if necessary. And their food is bright and vibrant and you just want to eat it all.
I say all of that to say that those brothers inspired me to make my first ever Korma last night! I used this recipe for the seasoning and method, but I used potatoes(of course) and red lentils because that's what I had on hand.
I think the only time I've had Korma is in one of those tasty bites meal packet things which I always find disappointing. This version is so much better. It's rich and tomato-y, a little sweet and a little spicy. Really, really delicious and my apartment smelled AHMAZING!
I tried the Brew Dr. kombucha yesterday. I would definitely buy this kombucha again. I feel like the flavors were balanced, the cayenne didn't totally mask the ginger and lemon. Kiki just wanted to say Hi!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

More Beige Eats!

I needed a quick breakfast yesterday so I decided to go old school and have peanut butter toast. I have a bunch of hemp hearts in my freezer so I sprinkled some on top and it was really tasty! The nuttiness of the hemp seeds complimented the peanut butter really well!
I drank the last of my home brewed booch the other day and my new batch has a few more days of fermenting so I decided to try this brand and flavor. I'm a big fan of lemon-y spicy booch so I'm excited to try this!
I've been really struggling with the season change this year. I normally don't have such a strong reaction and I should be happy with cooler days after the summer, but it's hard to enjoy fall when I know winter is coming. I'm trying to remind myself to live in the moment, but sometimes dread is hard to get over.
I made a nice soothing miso soup with kale, rice noodles and tofu. This was the perfect simple dinner after a long day.
I had two squares of this last night. It's all right. It's pretty dark for my taste, but I like the addition of the salt.
They say it might snow tonight!!! I am less than thrilled, it's only mid October!!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Some Food I've Eaten plus Cats!

Still having juice over smoothies. This is ginger, spinach, orange and apple. This has a ton of spinach yet tastes like orange juice. I love it!
I made some avocado and tofu rolls the other night. I sliced them a little thicker than I should have, but they held together well so I was happy. Now that the weather is cooler and I sometimes feel sniffle-y, I find wasabi to be really refreshing. I feel all cleared out and awake after I eat it!
The cool weather has me wanting to bake and have my apartment smell all cozy and sweet. I made these oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.
I used these enjoy life mini chocolate chips for the cookies. It was my first time using this brand and I give them thumbs up. I used this recipe, just using oat flour and adding chocolate chips.
I had so much chili leftover it was kind of overwhelming, so I froze some and then used some to make this vegan chili mac and cheese! This meal was super hearty, and also felt super autumnal and like it would be great while watching a football game.
Because of the way my windows face and the trees we don't get a lot of sunbeams in here, but when we do the girls love it! Here is Afro trying to make herself fit!
This is what I found when I came to bed last night. These two are some of the sweetest cuddlers I've ever known. They always make me smile and remind me that there is sweetness still in this world!