Thursday, November 5, 2009

THE BIG MOVE TO WORDPRESS!!

Hi everyone! Listen, ever since I did my food blog on Wordpress, I've been sorely disappointed in the lack of blog helps on Blogger, so I've imported all of my posts and moved over there. This blog will not be updated anymore, but I will be posting over at:

http://innermonologueofamadwoman.wordpress.com

Same title, same stuff, just a MUCH better and easier format.

Also, I noticed upon importing my posts that I missed SEVERAL comments from people...I've replied to them on Wordpress and I'm reallyreally sorry about that:(.

I would also request that, if you like reading my blog, that you'd subscribe to it and/or follow me and/or add me to your blogroll. I really love blogging and want to turn it into something worthwhile, so I'm going to work diligently on that and would love to see that people are responding.

I love you guys and hope you'll all make the trek with me over to my NEW HOME !!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Meh, Meh, Meh!! :(

No good reason for the title...almost all of today was really awesome. I've just managed to get myself in a bad mood...probably because I realize that I'm not going to get my MITs list done today. I just end up getting home relatively late on Wednesday and it's hard to decide that I'm going to clean the living room when it's 8:15 and I haven't eaten dinner and promised myself that I'd do yoga tonight. I'm still going to give yoga a shot...Joey will probably go to bed at 10, so I'll try to get some time in for it then, but I'm afraid that I won't be able to get my mind into it right, so we'll see. If it's an epic failure, I'll let you know...I might have just set up unrealistic expectations on myself for today, so I might not bother with it and will just do some in the morning.
Mommy, srsly...quit taking pictures of me...
Foodwise, it was a good day; I made an awesome breakfast...I did 1 egg plus two whites scrambled with onions, peppers, and diced tomatoes and topped with about 1 TBSP of cheddar cheese, eaten in romaine lettuce wrappers:). I did the same thing with veggie stir-fry last night and I think I'm really liking the romaine as a venue for my eats. It's healthier than anything carby and gives a nice crunch.
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I wasn't feeling anything prepared for lunch, so I just took a bunch of fresh veggies and Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (yum), a banana, and some salad that I ended up eating at Caribou with Mom and Dad...
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Dinner was pretty simple...1 cup brown rice with 2 TBSP cheddar and some hot sauce, together with a little microwaved cabbage with 1 tsp EVOO, s&p and a little rice wine vinegar. I love cooked cabbage!!
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So, I guess you'll find out tomorrow whether or not I tried the yoga tonight or in the morning...either way, I'm going to give it a try!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November Challenge: Back on Track Month!

Here's a shot of the Babykins:)

Skulls and Scorpions bring joy to my day:)

I woke today feeling pretty refreshed, surprisingly; showering in the evening seems to work better for me as it gives me extra time in the morning and I don't feel quite so rushed. Now, if I could just get in the habit of pre-packing my lunch and laying out my clothes, I'd be in business!

Today was my first conscious foray back into the world of dairy (actually, it was last night, but apparently it wasn't conscious since it didn't occur to me until after I'd typed the previous sentence...). I had an omelet made with 1 egg and 1 white, diced green peppers, and a veggie dog. It was soooo good! I'm still trying to figure out how to reconcile eggs and dairy with my ethical beliefs about the egg and dairy industries....it may take a while.

I was already planning to do this, but since Caitlin over at Healthy Tipping Point already gave it a name, I will be participating along with others in her Back on Track Month. Basically, we're just taking the month of November to refocus and get back on the healthy eating/exercise/stress management bandwagon. After seeing how much better I felt after the Challenge last week, I was ready for a month of "clean living" to gear up for the holidays!

This month, I'm going to seek to do the following:
  1. Get to the gym three times per week. This shouldn't be trouble...Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday are pretty open for me since I gave up the band.
  2. Yoga twice a week...this is something I've been wanting to try for a while.
  3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator every day. I only travel upstairs/downstairs two or three times per day anyway, so I'll climb the stairs from now on.
  4. Drink 8 glasses of water every day. I've been slacking here because of how much we've had to do at work. It's good for my general health and to prevent kidney stones!
  5. Eat whole, real food, not processed food.
  6. Reduce junk food consumption (chocolate, chips, pasta, "white" grains, calorie-laden beverages, etc).

I'm really excited about starting yoga. I've wanted to so badly since I started reading Heather's blog, and when Angela posted about it today, I couldn't resist. I printed the guide from Yoga Download that she referenced and plan to give it a try tomorrow since I won't be able to hit the gym.

In case you haven't noticed, I've shifted to writing more about food and fitness; I'm trying to focus the blog more toward things about which I'm pretty passionate. I made a list in my mind and came up with:

  1. Shelli
  2. Healthy Living
  3. Frugality
  4. Knitting

So, that's where I'm going right now...it could change at the drop of a hat, I guess, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to offer some insight and info!

By the way, check out my articles on Post-Halloween Sales and the joy of Pumpkin Seeds!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Vegan Challenge in Review and upcoming November Challenges...

How about a little snowy eye candy for you? As long as the office is closed so that I don't have to drive in it, I love weather like this. Everything looks so pristine and silent when you wake up in the morning and look out across the white blanket of snow. It's the perfect morning for warm coffee and a good, hearty, home-cooked breakfast.

So, I went MIA for a few days, which I was expecting because of the big project that I had to do, but it's done and all is well! So, I finished the week out at about 95% vegan. Some of my non-vegan indiscretions included: 1 cookie, a few pieces of chocolate Halloween candy, 2 marshmallows, and maybe 4 individual serving containers of non-dairy creamer (which contains a milk derivative).

What did I learn? First, I don't need cheese to enjoy food. I love cheese...so much so that I could have it at every meal, but going a week without it made me realize that it's really not that important. Next, dairy makes me feel worse, not better. I can definitely tell you that my stomach has been less upset this week that I went vegan. And, I lost three pounds also!

Would I go vegan 100%? Probably not at this point...as far as my religious reasons for vegetarianism go, I don't believe that veganism was necessarily prescribed by God originally, so I don't feel obligated in that way. However, I'm pretty deeply convicted about factory farming and the cruelties that are done in the dairy and egg industry, so I suppose I'll have to find a way for my ethics to meet with my purchases...perhaps finding someone who has chickens that I know treats them well? Or maybe trying to buy milk at a farmer's market or looking into which brands treat their cows well?

What's important, though, is that it's a learning process; if I didn't learn anything other than the fact that cheese is not a necessity to make food better, then the week was worth it. That's one more lesson that will keep me on the path of eating whole, clean, nutritious food, avoiding processed "junk" and enjoying what God gave us to enjoy.

Yay for Joey and me...we hit the gym tonight after work! Step one down:)...now just to go back tomorrow and we'll be on the way to starting a habit!

Stay tuned tomorrow for information about my upcoming challenge for November!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wordless...Thursday

Vegan Challenge was less fun today, but still going along. Here are some pics from the day:

Spooooky...mine is the scary one:)

Roasted Pumpkin seeds:

Psychadelic kins. We tried to make her go to rehab, but she said, "no, no no."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Operation Temptation Resistance (and a little knitting)

Hi guys! I almost didn't post tonight; I'm pretty exhausted. I was doing fine today until I read a blog that someone posted about a cat they'd lost recently and put a very sweet poem at the bottom. It made me think of Puss and I ended up crying the whole way home, so by the time I got to the house, I just wanted to rest.

Dinner was Chinese takeout tonight...don't fear, though...I did my research and found out that General Tso's sauce is vegan, so I got General Tso's tofu. It came with broccoli and white rice. I may or may not have had a couple of Utz reduced-fat potato chips too....and now some coffee with soymilk (which I am currently drinking).

So, how did I manage to keep myself mindful of my Vegan Challenge today in the face of all of the wonderful treats and goodies? Check it out:

This morning, after I had about 1 tbsp of peanut butter, I took a nice ink pen and drew the word "vegan" on my wrist. It worked like a charm, and got a couple of comments, too. Someone actually thought it was a real tattoo...hehe.

I had a 100 calorie popcorn ball at work that my friend gave me; I checked the ingredients and it qualified, and I also discovered that Ruffles potato chips are vegan, so I had a few of those...skipped my oatmeal, though, because of the other stuff.

How about some real knitting content finally? I'm working on a Cowl from an easy pattern that I found on Ravelry...it's got a very simple quasi-lace pattern (I don't know if it's lacey enough to qualify as "real" lace, but I'll take it!)

Like that it's on top of my MITs list? MITs stands for "Most Important Things." It's my relatively short list of things that I need to get done today. I think that this may finally be the day that I get it all done! Anyway, here's a closer shot of the knitting:

It's a simple pattern, just a yarn over, slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over, and knit one. Not tough and really pretty:)
Now for the treats that I had to resist today....isn't this the most adorable cake you've ever seen? My friend Erin made it...she's for hire, so if you're looking for an event cake, let me know and I'll get you in contact with her!


Check out the rest of the table of goodies...there were chips and tortilla chips, two kinds of dip, brownies, cookies, and cupcakes.

I had a salad with some homemade tamari dressing (1 packet soy sauce, a splash of red wine vinegar, and a drizzle of tamari), which I think needs some tweaking. I'll be working on that in the morning.

Lunch was processed, but vegan....Trader Joe's rice noodle soup bowl...the spring onion flavor. It's instant and salty and wonderful...I knew I'd need a favorite if I was going to let the cake pass me by. I had some hummus/cabbage and 1/2 an apple for a snack.
There's been a ton of schoolwork this week...I got what I needed to done...got one more thing due Friday, which I'll get done tomorrow.

No Shelli pic tonight...I need to take some more. She's been a little antisocial tonight.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Epic Dinner Win!

First, join Joey and me for our Frugal Challenge: No-Heat November! I know it sounds crazy, but we've done it for the last two years (actually, we leave the thermostat set no higher than 62 all winter long), and neither of us have gotten frostbite or hypothermia. It's a great way to save on your electric or natural gas bill!

Food-wise, the entire day has been an epic win! Breakfast Part 1 (I always divide breakfast into two halves) was some chopped cabbage and Sabra hummus...followed by a travel mug of coffee and soymilk.

At about 10 am, I had 1/2 cup oatmeal with 2 TBSP Jif Natural PB (which is sweetened with molasses, which is definitely vegan)

And lunch, my friends, was this:

A GIGANTIC salad with Romaine Mix, cabbage, black beans, and the rest of the pico de gallo that I got on Sunday. No dressing, just pico-y goodness:).

I had a serving of raw almonds for my afternoon snack, but was DYING for some candy around 3. EMSI came by the office and dropped off Halloween treat bags for us, which had a Reese's cup and a mini-tootsie roll (both definitely not vegan) and a small pack of Twizzlers. Thanks to VegNews and their listing of Vegan Halloween Candies, I found out that the Twizzlers were vegan and I tore into them!

We hit Trader Joe's on the way home so I could stock up on tempeh, tofu, and hummus, and then hit the Teeter because I had to get a treat for our office's Halloween Snack Party tomorrow (which I found out about this afternoon). This one's going to be a huge test for me; I'm relatively sure that nothing is going to be dairy/egg/animal product free, so it looks like I'm going to be staring at everyone while they chow down. I've come up with a pretty good way to remind myself to resist the treats, though, which I'll share with you guys tomorrow. I got some tahini at the Teeter too...expensive, it was, $8.50 for 1 lb, which in our house is obscene, so I'll have to use it up. thankfully, Heather did a whole week on the stuff, so I should be all set with ideas!

Which brings me to my EPIC dinner win:)...I was reading The Fitnessista today and saw that she'd done something pretty unconventional with her sweet potato. It looked pretty good, so tonight I took two small sweet potatoes and "baked" them in the microwave. The first, I topped with 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce (I had Wal-Mart Garden Veggie Sauce), some nutritional yeast, garlic and onion powder, crushed red pepper flake, and a little cayenne. Holy cow was this incredible! I will absolutely be doing this again, and often. On the second, I put a little ketchup, hot sauce, cayenne, garlic and onion powder, and crushed pepper flake...it wasn't as good, but I'd used up the last of the spaghetti sauce. Gina, if for no other reason than this recipe, I love your blog (but I loved it anyway, so I guess that's kind of irrelevant)!!

Shelli got into the "special 'nip" last night....