Sunday, March 31, 2019

Back On a Normal Day of Eating

Even though my vegan keto experiment is over I'm still experimenting with higher protein. So I picked up a few protein powder packets to try in smoothies. I'm not a fan of protein powders at all, but last week I picked one up at Target and I was surprised when I didn't hate it.
Yesterday I decided to add this Sprouts protein powder to my smoothie and see how I liked it.
I used an acai packet, blackberries, raspberries, hemp hearts, walnuts, mango and the protein powder. It wasn't bad, but people who like protein powder would probably like it a lot more. It definitely had a nice vanilla flavor, it's just that protein powdery chalky feeling I don't like.
I definitely missed my orange carrot juice last week! Sprouts had cuties mandarins on sale this week so it was meant to happen!
This is the worst picture of such a delicious dinner! Cauliflower gnocchi from Trader Joe's with a cashew basil cream sauce and a salad with balsamic vinaigrette. This was so delicious! Basil compliments the gnocchi so much.
I found Roxy just lounging like this the other day! She looks like she's had one too many drinks and barely made it to the couch!!!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Ms. Potato Head

I went to Sprouts and Trader Joe's yesterday and before I show my haul, I wanted to say that I stuck with my vegan ketoish experiment for seven days, and I'm not experimenting any longer. The first couple of days I felt great,and I didn't really feel deprived but days five and six were pretty bad. I wasn't craving sugar or any kind of junk food, instead I was seriously craving fruit and lentils. I'm uncomfortable with any plan or diet or whatever you want to call it where I'm denying myself fruits and lentils, but cramming in fatty things.
I've also noticed my thoughts going into obsessive territory surrounding food and weight and all of those things. So I'm just going to continue to do my best to eat a normal, well balanced diet. I'm still going to have no processed sugar because why not? I'm not craving it so why have it? And now that I'm having fruit I shouldn't even need it!
Live probiotic soa,blackberries,raspberries,ataulfo mangoes(!!!!), cuties,raw cashews,fuji apples, hibiscus flowers,powdered ginger,vanilla protein powder,basil

One day last week I picked up a vanilla protein powder at Target an put it in a smoothie and I was VERY surprised that I didn't hate it. So I decided to try Sprouts brand and Vega. I don't know what I'm doing guys, I'm just trying stuff, ya know?
Carrots, coconut milk,tofu, potatoes(!!!!) dish soap,vegan mayo, kombucha,red onion, romaine,lemons, avocado

The Hellman's vegan mayo is from Smith's. I forgot to get vegan mayo at Trader Joe's, and Smith's seems to have wiped their shelves of all of the Just condiments. They used to have the mayo, ranch and thousand island. I'm kind of distressed about it to be honest. Just mayo and ranch are two of my favorite condiments!
I have to say thank you a million times to Ttrockwood for suggesting this flavor! I love humm kombucha, their hopped grapefruit is one of my all time favorites, but for some reason I was scared to try this flavor. I don't know what I was scared of, I love coconut and lime. But you said you loved this flavor so I picked one up and it is so freaking refreshing! I woke up to snow yesterday morning after a few sixty degree days so this taste of summer was needed!
All I wanted last night was POTATOES!! I just made some chunky wedges and seasoned them with lemon pepper, garlic powder, nooch, and salt and pepper. I also made the last Dr. Praeger;s burger I had in my freezer just to get it out of there! Served with pickles and vegan mayo, Carolina gold BBQ and a little A1 for dipping. Potatoes, I'll never leave you again!!
I also had a Fuji apple for dessert, and between no sugar and not having fruit for a week it tasted like candy!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Life is Getting Sweeter!

I made some chia pudding for breakfast yesterday. I made it with unsweetened vanilla coconut milk, and defrosted a few frozen raspberries and blueberries overnight to add on top. You guys, even after only five days without processed sugar this tasted so amazingly sweet! I was worried that I was going to have to force it down, but this tasted like a real treat!
For lunch I had a huge salad with Romaine, iceberg, sunflower seeds, red onion, cucumber, avocado and of course pickles. I used an olive oil vinaigrette.
This has become one of my favorite meals! Quartered Brussels sprouts, garlic and tofu cubes tossed with olive oil, tamari, salt, salt, pepper and nooch. I also used a little crushed red pepper this time. Seriously though, a little tamari or soy sauce takes roasted Brussels sprouts to the next level!!
My food has been pretty boring lately but I'm just trying to keep it really simple. I was watching a vegan keto video on YouTube yesterday and the person said that if you're not fully committed to keto meaning weighing food and counting macros and testing if you're in ketosis, then you're not doing keto! While I thought this person was a little snooty I can't disagree. I'm not willing to buy a food scale, weigh food, download an app so I can count everything to see if I'm doing it all right. So, if I don't lose any weight, or feel amazing I definitely won't blame keto. I never cared for labels and I usually stay away from groups so I'm okay being over on the edge just flirting with keto ideas. Ha!
This was like a strange afternoon nap/ meeting around their favorite box! It's been warming up during the day and they like laying by the window when it's open. Fresh spring air!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Day Five of Whatever I'm Doing!!

I picked up some soy curls at Natural Grocers and I couldn't pass up a strawberry lemonade booch! I haven't had soy curls in awhile, and since I'm experimenting with more protein I figured these will come in handy. The kombucha is delicious. I love humm kombucha, their hopped grapefruit is one of my favorite flavors. The strawberry lemonade tastes like a less sweet strawberry lemonade. I will definitely buy this again!
I made some soy curl tacos with iceberg lettuce as the taco shell. I just sauteed the soy curls with some Trader Joe's taco seasoning for a few minutes. Easy Peasy. I added some avocado, red onion and hot sauce. Absolutely delicious. And I didn't even miss a taco shell!
So today is day five of my vegan keto experiment. I wouldn't say I have a keto flu, but yesterday and so far today I feel a little sluggish and I have a slight headache. But other than that I feel pretty good, an I'm very, very surprised I'm not struggling more. I normally eat a lot of carbs, especially potatoes and rice so I guess I thought I would have more cravings or be grumpier. I'm hoping that by tomorrow my body will have adjusted, and I'll be back to normal, or maybe even better!
Another day, another cuddle for Kiki! As you can see, Joan appreciates that Etta took the cuddle. She prefers to just be cuddle adjacent!

Monday, March 25, 2019

More Riceless Dishes!

I started my day with another smoothie with raspberries, blueberries, avocado and peanut butter. I also used some coconut milk this time which helped with the tartness a little After my smoothie I roasted some Brussels sprouts while I was cleaning. I tossed them with some tamari, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and nooch. I also had some cucumber with an olive oil vinaigrette. This really, really hit the spot. All of a sudden I can't get enough Brussels sprouts!!
For dinner I just kept it simple with Thai green curry soup with edamame, baked tofu an scallions. Normally I would have this with rice or rice noodles, but it was still tasty on it's own. I'm surprised at how easy it is for me to live without rice! I thought I would be struggling a lot more because I have rice a couple times a week, but so far it's okay!
I had decided to avoid processed sugar for a week before deciding to flirt with vegan keto, so I had picked this bar up. It's sugar free and the keto approved! Extremely dark is an understatement in my book. This tastes almost exactly like baking chocolate!! Susan you would LOVE this bar! She is definitely dark, angry and very pissed at the world!!
This is what went down at my place all weekend! It's been grey and dismal and Kiki is making the most of it. Of course Afro doesn't seem to mind at all!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

More Stuff, Sunday Edition!

I saw this flavor at Natural Grocers and I had to try it. I'm a big fan of Brew Dr. but I usually like fruit or ginger flavored kombucha so I was a little nervous. No worries though, it's great! It almost has a root beer or cream soda vibe to it. Really tasty!
These are one of my favorite veggie burgers ever! To find them on a WooHoo sale makes them even better!
I decided to try the mozzarella shreds since I like the cheddar so much. I'm happy to report that the mozzarella shreds are just as tasty, even right out of the bag!!
This smoothie taught me how sweet bananas really are! Since I'm experimenting with vegan keto/low carb no bananas for me this week. So this smoothie got it's creaminess from an avocado which made it nice and creamy, but not sweet. It was still good, just tart. I think this is the first smoothie I've ever had with no banana.
I had less than zero urge to cook last night. So I went for a super easy meal. Butter lettuce salad with sunflower seeds, pickles, violife mozzarella and two Yves burgers on top. This hit the spot, and I felt very satisfied after eating this!
Today is day three of my kind of keto experiment. I'm basically eating very little carbs and upping my protein and fat. So far I feel good. I don't feel sluggish or tired or anything like that. And so far I'm enjoying the food and I don't feel like I'm lacking anything. I feel like I might start to crave a potato at some point this week, but so far so good.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Trying New Things

I've mentioned on this blog that I have hypothyroidism, which isn't serious, but one of the symptoms is weight gain, or difficulty losing weight. I definitely struggle with the difficult part. I feel like I've been trying to lose the same twenty pounds for over five years.
I told myself this was going to be the year that I find a way to drop these pounds. I'm tired of feeling helpless over something that should be so easy to fix.
I've decided to try something crazy. I never thought I'd ever be typing this, but I'm going to experiment a little this week with vegan keto!!! Any keto traditionalists will hate me because I'm only experimenting, dipping my toe in. I've been thinking about this for over a month, and I just want to try it. From all the videos I've watched keto can force people to be a bit micro-managy about food, and I definitely don't want to live like that. So for a week I'm going to just decrease my carbs and up my fat and protein. I mean it seems like people lose weight when they cut carbs so why not try it. I'm also cutting out all processed sugar for a week. That's something I've been wanting to do for awhile, and since sugar is a carb it make sense to try it this week!
I will be eating A LOT of green veggies and tofu. I went to Trader Joe's yesterday and it's pretty darn green!!
Mint green tea, iceberg lettuce, sunflower seeds,lemons,Brussels sprouts,onion, Romaine lettuce,butter lettuce,cilantro, green onion,kombucha,avocados,
Cauliflower gnocchi,frozen blueberries,tofu frozen raspberries,black olives, same booch(ha ha) coconut milk, peanut butter

I'm kind of embarrassed to even be admitting this because I have rolled my eyes SO many times at the keto trend. But this weight was put on many years ago when I was very unhappy, unhealthy and lost. I was drinking and smoking way too much, and making pretty bad and self destructive decisions. I've come a long way and I just want to fully shed that part of my life.
So I'm going to experiment with the low carb thing a little and see how I feel, how my body reacts and what they hype is all about.
This was my dinner last night. I tossed some Brussels sprouts and tofu with a little coconut oil, garlic and tamari and roasted for about thirty minutes, and then had that with a salad. I drizzled the whole plate with a spicy peanut sauce and added some sunflower seeds on top. I didn't even miss the rice to be honest with you. I definitely know I'll be having this again!
There is so much activity going on outside. Spring has made the birds and squirrels much more active, and since the tree right outside doesn't have leaves yet, you can see it all! Joan goes insane, chattering and being a bad girl with claws on the screen! We're working on that issue. The branches are so close to the window!!

Friday, March 22, 2019

What I've Been Eating plus Cats!

I've been trying to eat less sugar, but yesterday I was feeling the blues and I needed gummies! Finding vegan gummies is really difficult sometimes! I don't know what made me read the ingredients on these because every single other gummy by this brand has gelatin, but for whatever reason the sour heads do not. I liked these a lot better than sour patch kids, they weren't as in your face sour and they had no weird dyes.
I tried so hard to get Etta to look up at me but she is just not cooperative when it comes to pictures! We are so alike in that way!I've still been on the salad for breakfast train. I added some Violife shreds to this one, and it was so tasty! That's something I appreciate about the violife shreds, they taste good cold. I would never add daiya or FYH shreds to a salad, that would ruin my lettuce!!
Another week, another curry! Red lentil, potato and tofu curry.With tomato paste and some mushroom powder for extra umami flavor! I know I eat this a lot, but I crave it. It's definitely one of my favorite meals.
I treated myself to this booch along with my vegan gummies yesterday. This is one of my favorite flavors and brands of kombucha. When I see it on sale I have to have one!
The pink sweater forever remains!
I love Cherry anything so I was excited when I saw that Natural Grocers had the cherry Forager cashewgurt. It's so good!!! Really great, natural cherry flavor.
More Tom Yum soup for dinner. I'm so happy I found a vegan Tom Yum paste. It makes it so easy to have this delicious soup anytime I want. Yesterday was a grey, dismal day and this woke up my senses and hit the spot.
These two have the right idea when it comes to grey, dismal mornings. Just cuddle up with your best friend!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Spring has Sprung!

This is a new to me flavor of Live kombucha. I've been a fan of their kombucha and probiotic soda for quite some time. It's pretty good, I wish it had a stronger raspberry flavor, but overall still tasty.
This has been my favorite yogi tea for over five years. It has a nice light flavor, and I swear my skin does glow when I drink it! I feellike at this point my dry winter skin needs all the help it can get!!
Flowers are finally starting to pop up, and there are just more signs of life everywhere. Spring is definitely my favorite time of year. Everything smells so clean, and I love the crisp mornings.
I made japchae last night and I used the baby bok choy greens! I just sauteed them with the garlic right before I added the noodles, sauce and tofu. I like them! I will definitely buy bok choy again, you can never have too many greens in your rotation!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

New and Improved Hummus and More!

I went back to Trader Joe's yesterday to exchange that thin, runny Buffalo hummus. The customer service person agreed that the horrible texture is too much. He also said the avocado hummus is really weird too. So avoid both of those flavors if you don't like runny hummus!
I chose the cilantro jalapeno hummus because it sounded really, really good and I've never tried it! I tried it when I got home and it's AMAZING! Don't let the jalapeno scare you, it's not really spicy. I also picked up some baby Bok Choy. I've never had Bok Choy, baby or not!! Crazy right? It scares me to be honest. When I see people eating it steamed it looks slimy and weird.I'm gagging just thinking about it! My mom ruined steamed veggies for me. I can't think of a single vegetable I'll eat steamed to be honest. If steamed veggies are my only option, I'll wait till I have more options. I'm making japchae this week, so I'm going to use the greens only in that, and I'll use the weird bulb part in juice.
I also picked up these random items. While at Natural Grocers last week I forgot Nag Champa which was the whole reason I went there! They had Live Kombucha on sale for $1.69 a bottle too!! I've never seen the raspberry flavor! I also love the Tuscan Bouquet bath salts. It makes my bathroom smell soooooooo good! Even the day after my bath it still smells like a Tuscan Bouquet!
I decided to try the Explore Cuisine edamame spaghetti. I don't know why, it's double the cost of gluten free pasta and triple the cost of regular but I wanted to give it a try. So I made some baked tofu and peanut noodles using the pasta. I will say that the texture is much better than other bean pastas, but it tastes so strongly of soy it's distracting. I know I'm in the minority because bean pastas are all the rage, even with non vegans but I am just not a fan.  I would just rather eat regular less expensive gluten free pasta with some actual beans. Beans are one of the cheapest foods out there, but yet bean pastas are the most expensive pasta. Weird right?
Afro's favorite spot, the corner of the couch with her favorite blanket. This was a rare moment when no one was crowding her and she had the whole corner to herself!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Violife For the Win!!

English cucumbers with balsamic vinaigrette and a little black pepper is one of life's little treats. I think balsamic was meant to be paired with cucumbers! This is one of my new favorite snacks!
I'm a big fan of Violife's smoked provolone and mature cheddar slices, so I was excited to see the shreds at Natural Grocers. I wanted to make some mac and cheese yesterday so this seemed perfect!
When you open the bag you are not assaulted with a weird smell like when you open a bag of daiya. The shreds are also very dry, and almost fluffy? This is hands down my favorite shredded cheese I've used. I tasted some right out of the bag and it's GOOD!! It tastes like the cheddar slices, only shredded! Makes sense right? With daiya I definitely notice a difference between their farmhouse blocks and shreds.
I saw a recipe for Buffalo "chicken" mac and cheese and couldn't stop thinking about it. I used baked tofu for my "chicken" and it was great! The recipe I saw drizzled some vegan blue cheese on top which looked nice and I'm sure tasted great. Vegan ranch would be nice too. But it was also nice with no sauce! I used soaked cashews and Violife for the mac and cheese and I just baked the tofu and tossed it with Frank's red hot sauce. This was very comforting and delicious. I've made vegan mac and cheeses with quite a few different cheeses and I definitely think Violife is my favorite!