EFTB

battling the bulge with a vegan diet and exercise


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Five-Day Juice Fast: Day One

Day one: complete!

I live-tweeted my day’s experience with the six different juices @tofubelly and on the EFTB Facebook page — add me on both to get live updates and see my reviews of each juice.

5-day juice fast

I learned a lot about myself on day one.  The greatest realization?  How frequently I think about eating.

Within the first couple of hours of the juice fast this morning, I can’t even count the number of times my brain went to food.  Planning out my meals and what I’d eat for lunch and dinner, only to remember seconds later that — wait, no, I’m on a juice fast.  Throughout the day, I retrained my brain to stop making constant food plans.  If nothing else, I think this juice fast will do wonders for me in helping me to quash my overactive food brain.

The other major shock of the day (and if you’re squeamish, read no further):

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Welcome, New Vegans! And Thank You, Disneyland!

First, I have to say how pleased I am to see so many bloggers on WordPress who are trying out veganism!  Whether it is for 30 days as a resolution or a permanent change,  there has been a sharp increase of people showing interest in switching over to a vegan diet and/or lifestyle these days.  And whether it’s for health reasons, environmental reasons, animal cruelty reasons, or some combination thereof, I find the increased awareness and willingness to give veganism a try very heartwarming and inspiring.  Every beautiful and healthy vegan meal in place of a less-healthy animal-based alternative makes a difference.  Thank you, brave people, for making me smile.

And then there’s Disneyland.  If you know anything about me, then you know that even the mention of the happiest place on earth makes my heart jump.  There’s nothing quite like Disneyland that can inspire a slowpoke like me to run a half marathon three years in a row.  And there’s nothing quite like Disneyland that can reinstate my faith in dining out at non-vegan restaurants.

That’s right, dear readers: sometimes being vegan is tough.  And, as any vegan can tell you, most of those tough times involve dining out.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ordered a bean burrito and discovered that it contained cheese, or a salad and found a stray piece of meat (blech).  Or how many times I’ve gone to a non-vegan restaurant with my omnivore friends, sat down, and felt my stomach drop after a long search of the menu yielded zero vegan (and sometimes zero vegetarian) options.  Worse yet is when I’m forced to out myself to the waiter as a vegan, ask if there is any way the kitchen can throw together a simple salad or pasta for me, …and, many times, be rejected.  

But Disneyland made me smile on numerous occasions yesterday, and not just because it’s awesome.  First, thanks to my friend and fellow Disney enthusiast, Lisa, I knew that Carnation Cafe had a Vegan Burger right on the menu, ready for me to order.  It was SO GOOD.  Yet another reason to make me want to get back to Anaheim ASAP.  Love it!

vegan burger

Vegan burger from Disneyland’s Carnation Cafe — complete with their own homemade veggie patty (yes, that’s edamame in it!) and vegan chipotle mayo.

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Welcome Back, Healthy Eating

After months and months of eating like crap and sitting on my butt, I’m finally ready to get back to eating healthy and exercising regularly.  (It’s about time.)

First, I finally checked out my local 24 Hour Fitness after, oh, just six months of living in the area.  It was awesome — but more on that later.  Because last night, Jamie and I made a healthy and delicious dinner jam-packed with super foods.  And I photo-documented it (:

Image

Salad to be — washed and hand-shredded organic Italian kale and red chard.

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Mmmeals twofer: veggie medley soup + vegan chili

My husband made an astute observation about me the other day: “You love soup.”

My initial reaction was to be “contrarian” and protest.  Soup has never been one of my favorite foods, by any means… or has it?  I sat and thought for a long time before my years of soup cravings, soup creating, and soup eating all sunk in.  Perhaps I do, in fact, love soup.  I mean, as you know from reading this blog, I’ve written soup-centric posts not once, not twice, but three times.  Still, there is always room for variety and improvement!  I’m constantly trying new combinations of vegetables, beans, pastas, and spices to make yummy soup that isn’t just the same ol’ soup.

I usually make one large batch of lunches each week and put them in Tupperware so that I can grab them and go before work.  Last week, because we had more veggies than normal and to be extra efficient, I made TWO large batches — soup and chili!

Without further ado, here are the recipes for each, which I think you’ll find satisfying, flavorful, and easy on the waistline!

Veggie Medley Soup

This Mmmeal makes four servings.

Ingredients:

  • about 8-10 cups of water
  • 1 entire large celery (approx. 15 stalks) (100 cal)
  • 5 medium carrots (150 cal)
  • 1/2 an entire bok choy (40 cal)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (100 cal)
  • 1/2 cup couscous (300 cal)
  • 3/4 cup pasta (210 cal)
  • salt, pepper, and herbed poultry spice to taste (yes, herbed poultry spice is vegan!)

Cooking Utensils You Will Need:

  • 1 large pot
  • 1 large pot lid
  • 1 stirring spoon
  • 1 large knife for chopping
  • 1 vegetable peeler
  • 1 stove

Directions:

  1. Fill the large pot with 8-10 cups of water and place on the range on high heat.  (Continue with the recipe, but when the water begins to boil, turn the heat down to medium to allow the ingredients to simmer.)
  2. Wash and chop the celery into 1/2-inch pieces.  Place celery into the large pot.
  3. Peel and rinse the carrots and chop into 1/2-inch pieces.  Place carrots into the large pot.
  4. Wash and chop the bok choy in half the long way and then into 1/2-inch pieces.  Place bok choy into the large pot.
  5. Add soy sauce, salt, pepper, and herbed poultry spice.
  6. Place lid over the pot and allow vegetables to simmer on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Add couscous and pasta and stir.  Allow soup to cook for 5 more minutes.

TOTAL CALORIES PER SERVING: 225 calories.

Vegan Chili

This Mmmeal makes five servings. Continue reading


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Vegan controversy? Try this.

UPDATE: The President of Tasty Bite reached out to me and apologized!

With all of the vegan-related controversy in the air a couple of days ago, I thought I’d offer up my two-cents on the VegNews-using-non-vegan-photos-of-food-and-passing-them-off-as-vegan ordeal.  Shady?  Yes.  Am I outraged?  No. Continue reading


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Mmmeals: chicken stir fry

I’ve recently decided to start making resolutions for myself.  Hey, it’s almost the new year — might as well get a head start.  One resolution of mine involves really stepping up my level of dedication to the things I want to accomplish.  I’ll write more about that later, but one of those things is cooking and the other is being healthy.  Thus, my chicken stir fry Mmmeal was born.

This Mmmeal makes 2 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped carrots (52 cal)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts (31 cal)
  • 1 large green bell pepper (33 cal)
  • 1 cup chopped onion [about 1/2 medium onion] (64 cal)
  • 1 large can chopped mushrooms (90 cal)
  • 3 minced garlic cloves (12 cal)
  • 2.5 pieces Tyson frozen chicken breast tenderloins (125 cal)
  • Pam spray butter (0 cal)
  • Garlic salt (0 cal)
  • Pepper (0 cal)
  • Dave’s Insanity Sauce (0 cal)

Cooking Utensils You Will Need:

  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 large knife
  • 2 large frying pans
  • mixing utensil
  • stove
  • 1 1-cup measuring cup

Directions

The Chicken…

  1. Place large frying pan #1 on the stove on medium-high heat.
  2. Place frozen chicken breasts in large frying pan #1.
  3. Spray chicken breasts lightly with Pam.
  4. Sprinkle pepper on both sides of chicken.
  5. Allow chicken to cook for approximately 20 minutes or until it is cooked all the way through (no pink left), flipping occasionally.

The vegetables…


  1. Place large frying pan #2 on the stove on medium heat.
  2. Chop onion until you fill the 1-cup measuring cup (approx. 1/2 medium onion).  Stir occasionally throughout.
  3. Dump the chopped onion into large frying pan #2.  Lightly spray with Pam.
  4. Chop large carrots until you fill the 1-cup measuring cup (approx. 2 large carrots).
  5. Dump the chopped carrots into large frying pan #2.
  6. Sprinkle vegetables lightly with garlic salt.
  7. Mince three cloves of garlic and add to frying pan #2.
  8. Measure 1 cup of bean sprouts and add to frying pan #2.
  9. Open large can of chopped mushrooms and drain; add mushrooms to frying pan #2.
  10. Chop one large green bell pepper into long slices; add to frying pan #2.
  11. For spice, add about 3 drops of Dave’s Insanity Sauce.
  12. Allow to simmer on medium heat for about 25-30 minutes, or until vegetables are hot and browning.

Hot sauces that can be added to make the stir fry spicy.

Putting it together…

Pour vegetables into two large bowls.  Slice chicken breasts into long strips and mix them in equally with the vegetables in each bowl.  Serve.

The entire recipe is 407 calories, but I reccommend you split the dish into two servings.  Therefore…

TOTAL CALORIES PER SERVING: 203.5 Calories.

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