Archive for the ‘non-diet’ Category

Flirting with Veganism

July 30, 2008

I didn’t mean to. It just…happened. Yeah, right. THAT’s what they all say.

I believe people of vegetarian beliefs fall into 3 different doctrines.

The casual observer does not eat red meat and sometimes stays away from chicken and pork. And they usually do eat fish–although they might insist on wild caught. I’ll call these folks the Christmas and Easter attendees.

Up a religious notch are the Ovo-vegetarians. In addition to refraining from all meats they will stay away from eggs and baked goods containing eggs. Ovos = Sabbath Observers.

And Third:
Ovo-Lacto-Vegetarians, or Vegans are the Ultra-Orthodox of veggie-philes. (Think: attend Church EVERY day.) They abstain from all meat, eggs & dairy. As far as I can tell they eat a LOT of soybeans!

What does this have to do with me?

I’ve mentioned before that I am LDS. (You know. Mormons? The ones Dooce makes fun of daily.) We abstain from whole areas of generally excepted foods. Notably: Coffee, Tea, Tobacco, Alcohol. (Generally: habit forming stuff, so yes, illegal drugs are out too). But we are also encouraged to use good judgment when it comes to meats and grains. Basically there is a season for all things.

For years I’ve tended to eat less meat in the summer. With the heat and plenty of local farmer’s market finds I gravitate to salads and pastas and my favorite: Avocado/Sprout-O-Rama sandwiches. Plus, I’ve been lactose intolerant since I was a teenager. I don’t drink milk and had started taking Lataid in order to keep up with my nightly bowl of ice cream habit. However I still had bouts of irritable bowel and needed Zantac sometimes weekly. And recently I found out that I am mildly allergic to egg whites. (Enough about my bowels, eh?)

Last summer I read both Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Vegetable Miracle, and Jane Goodall’s, Harvest for Hope. Kingsolver had been a vegetarian and explains why she returned to a meat eating diet. Goodall is a vegetarian, (vegan in fact) and while she doesn’t preach her creed, she makes it very clear that our food supply is in trouble. Especially meat that comes from factory farming.

And this summer I read this book. It’s title might offend some and they keep using a certain word a lot of folks do not appreciate all through it-(don’t click the link if that might be you). And finally that was it.

It started out small. I was going to cut out processed sugars for a month.

{Everyone repeat after me ‘STAY AWAY FROM high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)’.}

But it was hot so I wasn’t eating a lot of meats anyway. I can’t have much dairy, so no biggy there. And I haven’t needed Zantac since dropping my egg eating.

For one whole month I accidentally converted Vegan. I was sa-aved! I didn’t drink any soda (water only-the hardest part for me!). I kept slipping (sinner that I am) and did eat cottage cheese and products (like whole grain breads) made with eggs and dairy. And at restaurants I opted for Salmon dishes.

And I lost 10 pounds! Yes, you read that right. I did not add any extra exercising, I finally lost the last pounds from my last pregnancy. (That was 4 1/2 years ago!)

Now? No. Not a practicing Vegan. The conversion didn’t take. Not saved. The weight loss did. But I still don’t eat a lot of meat. I love my yummy salads. And I will go for a whole week or so making an extra effort to stay away from meats, eggs and dairy. And I totally feel better that week?

It’s still the water that kills me. I don’t love drinking it? I make a big jug of herbal tea instead.

Has anyone else read the offensive book? I love the premise of it. To NOT put CRAP in your body Girls! (They use a different word). I quote from it a lot (not the profanity though). My favorite is: Soda is liquid Satan Girls! And they REALLY hate diet soda, don’t even go there with them!

My vegetarian salad can kick your turkey sandwich’s butt!

April 24, 2008

I made the bestest salad yesterday. And I calculated the protein. Don’t ask why. I just did. It had over 9 grams. According to the Hillshire Farms sliced turkey package…there’s like 5 or 6 grams in the amount I would normally eat on a sandwich. So there!

I have been staying away from refined sugar lately.
No soda, (diet or not).
No white anything. Bread…pasta…rice…jeans
I use ‘Sugar in the Raw’ to sweeten my herbal tea.
And I found a lovely fruit preserve naturally sweetened with grape juice. It is wicked good on whole grain pancakes and in oatmeal.

Seriously, for several weeks I had no processed sugar. And guess what? Normal food started tasting like cotton candy! Really. Ask my neighbor, I keep pestering her with stories of my bizarre lunches. One day I was having leftover whole grain pasta with some beans and sweet potato thrown in and I covered it with stewed tomatoes, warmed it up and I thought someone was pulling an April fool’s joke on me it tasted so good? I couldn’t get over it. Like candy? The best part of course, was losing over 5 pounds! I haven’t been able to loose any weight for 3 years…not with exercise, not by eating lots of protein, my butt never changed one single ounce. I also changed a few other things in my diet, (Okay. So I nearly went Vegan for a month–I’ll save that story for another post), but still this was pretty shocking to me.

Here’s my saladtastic (I know–enough of that, right?) recipe:

Big stinkin’ huge handful of mixed greens (none of that iceberg stuff for me).
1/2 of a cooked and chunked up Sweet Potato, I nuke mine for 4 minutes on high.
1/4 cup cooked bulgar wheat (You are whining about this aren’t you? Turns out bulgar is fabulous, has a ton of protein and sort of takes on the flavor of everything around it–so just try it! I can tell no one is eating this because spellcheck thinks I’m trying to type vulgar!)
1/2 of a gorgeous (as Deana would say) green pear, sliced nice and thin.
1/4 Cup white beans (straight from the can, no warming these up you baby).
Handful of pistachio nuts, maybe 1 1/2 Tablespoons, but who measures nuts? (don’t answer that).
Handful of sliced almonds, again just throw some in.
The same handful of dried cranberries.

I like a sweet dressing on my mega salad, just a smidgen– poppy seed or strawberry vinaigrette. I hate the idea of ranch on it, but if you must you must, if it will get you to try bulgar, then fine- pour on the fat ranch! Not that this salad doesn’t have fat in it, it does, the GOOD kind.

And please, substitute lots of different ingredients at will. How about whole wheat pasta instead of the bulgar? Or try black beans? Or any number of fruit and nut combinations. My mouth is watering at the thought of adding a nice avacado, not too soft, just the right firmness, and ripeness…..and

PS. Funky Finds giveaways starts today…off you go. See button at left.

Would you like to try…

March 28, 2008

Blueberry Nut Oat Bran Muffins?

I made up a batch of these after kids had gone to bed a few nights ago. I changed the recipe a little. I was looking for a terrific oat bran recipe where I could use my frozen blueberries (I froze them myself-so no extra sugar/syrup) and bottled pear sauce(I helped make this at a local cannery). I followed this recipe from with only a few changes.
I used 1 cup pear sauce (it’s more liquid-y than applesauce), and I substituted whole wheat pastry flour for the white flour. Also instead of the oatmeal topping I used a bit of Grape Nuts cereal. And believe me, once these come out of the oven…you get over the fact that they are made with OAT Bran! (I ate 3 on the spot–so much for healthy). I froze about half of them and they were yummy after thawed.

Overall. Your kids will hate ’em. (Oh darn, more for me eh?) But they are sweet enough and have an okay texture in a ‘bran muffin’ sort of way.


  • 1 1/2 cups oat bran (seems like a lot, but persevere!)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (changed to ww.)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I would cut this down next time, the pear sauce has sugar added)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/8 cups applesauce (I used pear sauce)
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (I was out of this, used vegetable)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 ounce chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup low fat granola


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper muffin liners, and spray liners with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the oat bran, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, blend the applesauce, egg substitute, canola oil, and vanilla extract. Thoroughly mix the applesauce mixture into the flour mixture. Fold in the blueberries and pecans. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle batter with granola, and press granola lightly to make it stick.
  3. Bake 18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

My oven is funny so I cook muffins at 375 deg. But a little tip…heat oven to 350 deg. and then up it to 375 when you put the muffins in the oven. (Something about the burst of heat activating the baking powder–Alton Brown tip).

Remind me to blog about my latest non-diet, diet. These muffins? Totally fine to eat with all that bran and whole wheat and fruit and brown sugar. (I’ve lost 4 pounds in under 2 weeks–and believe me these were 4 pounds that have eluded removal for 2 solid years. And they came off with no extra excercising!)