Monday, January 04, 2016

Vegan Monday: 1/52

I have a dozen other ideas for blog posts but somehow this is the only thing I'm staying on top of. Hopefully I'll get to the other ones soon.

Verdict for today: planning is everything, and this is getting easier.

Breakfast
Turkish Coffee - black
I almost slipped up and made regular coffee but I remembered before it was too late
Toast with peanut butter and jam
Banana

Lunch
Homemade Butternut Squash soup
I actually made this last week but ended up not eating it so I froze it for today. It was literally roasted squash, a carrot, some onion, garlic, a dash of olive oil and water. Not as spectacular as when I make it with my homemade chicken stock but still warm and filling. One of these days I will make vegetable stock so I have it on hand.

Snack
Pom Tango tea from DavidsTea
Hard cinnamon candies
The snacking is definitely the hardest. Especially after Christmas. I have a ton of junk food left over but most of it has milk chocolate or other milk products so I can't eat it. Soon that will all be cleared out and I can really get on track.

Supper
Green Onion Cakes
My friend Amanda posted about these last week and I've been looking forward to them for days. They're pretty easy and just something fun to try. I halved the recipe and still have a bunch for breakfast tomorrow. This counts as my "one new thing" too since it was a new recipe!
Salad: greens, yellow pepper, tomatoes, green onions, black beans, navy beans and balsamic vinegar as a dressing.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Vegan Monday: Take two

Being prepared is key. Knowing this was coming made it much easier to plan for and get mentally prepared for. Because I am only doing this one day a week at this point it's just a matter of deciding what I eat today and what I eat tomorrow. Decisions I make all the time, but now with a bit more structure.

Breakfast
Red River Cereal with maple syrup straight off a farm in Waterloo
a naval orange
Turkish coffee - black
I mentioned before that not having milk in my coffee is likely going to be one of the hardest parts of this challenge. However, I received some Turkish coffee from a friend who visits Turkey often so I just planned to drink this instead since it is intended to be drunk black. I'm still working on learning how to make it properly but it definitely gave me the kick I needed!

Lunch
Two Barley, Wild Rice & Cranberry in a White Tea & Honey Dressing
Leftovers from a last minute purchase for a potluck I attended yesterday. I realize most Vegans don't approve of eating honey but I I figured that was one concession I was willing to make.
1/2 an avacado
a handful of Triscuits
a pickle

Snacks
Popcorn made with grape seed oil
Brazillionaire black tea from DavidsTea as well as Organic White Tea
In-shell Sunflower seeds

Supper
Roasted Veggies using this recipe
Except I used butternut squash, carrots, mushrooms, onions and a few grape tomatoes. Gotta use what's in the fridge!
Vegan Potato Pancakes

So today the vegan thing went really well! I already have some recipes lined up for next week and I also found a restaurant within walking distance of my house. Maybe I'll check it out one of these weeks. Tomorrow though? It's all about the cheese ;)

ETA: I'm aware that aside from the salad at lunch there was a pretty distinct lack of protein in my diet today. That's largely because I wasn't home and able to prepare the dried beans I like to use. I'll definitely focus on remedying that next week.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Vegan Mondays?

I go back and forth on the idea of vegetarianism. I think there are some good reasons to embrace that kind of lifestyle but I like meat. I don't eat a LOT of meat, I am a student after all and meat is expensive. I was reading the (now defunct) blog God, I Love Paris because I read her book this summer and really enjoyed it. She has dabbled in Vegan Mondays and I'm wondering if this might not be something good to try. Vegetarian or Meatless Monday's really isn't an issue. I used to joke that I was more likely to have a "Meaty Monday" because it seemed like it was the one day I'd actually eat meat. But vegan? Once a week? It's worth a try. If only to be more mindful of what I'm actually eating. What I like about Amy's approach is she doesn't beat herself up if she does slip up. She just notes it and moves on. So, if I was to try and implement this for the new year, that gives me two Monday's to practice. Today and next week. Neither are really ideal since I'm going away over Christmas so I'm frantically trying to eat up the leftovers in my fridge, many of which contain meat or meat products, but in the spirit of Amy, I'll just list things and move on. So here's what I've had to eat so far today with the "non-conforming" items bolded:

Breakfast 
Pumpkin Breakfast Quinoa (actually vegan since I didn't eat it with yogurt)
Coffee with 2% milk (this will be hands down the hardest switch.)

Lunch
Brown Rice California Rolls from Trader Joe's (this was kind of a snack while I was shopping in the US and then I had actual lunch when I got home an hour later)
Quinoa Bean Salad (quinoa, black beans, navy beans, yellow peppers, tomatoes and avocado)
Buffalo Chicken Roll-ups (leftovers: chicken, cream cheese and hot sauce in Pillsbury crescent rolls because I saw something similar on Pinterest and the crescents were on sale)
Christmas Cookies (butter and eggs)

Chocolate Chai tea (I'm thinking chocolate disqualifies it?)

Supper: 
Roast chicken (leftovers)
Roasted potatoes
Steamed Carrots
Steamed Brussel Sprouts
Dill Pickles
Cranberry Jelly

So essentially none of my meals were meat/dairy free but I could definitely do it. We'll see how next week goes.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Happy Easter!

Lent seems like it's the longest period of time ever and then suddenly, it's over! This was only my second time participating and it went way better than last year. Let's review what I committed to:
So this year I'm doing candy. All small wrapped hard or soft candy, chocolates, chocolate bars, you name it, I'm not eating it. Just cutting out very identifiable sugary sweets. 

And I did! Did I give up sugar entirley? Not by a long shot. I still had dessert every night on the cruise and I still baked at home but I didn't eat ANY hard or soft candy, chocolates, chocolate bars etc. Candy is EVERYWHERE and it was good to be aware of it. It was actually a lot easier to pass up than I thought it would be and a lot easier to avoid than cheese was last year.

I think my biggest accomplishment was giving up Candy Crush. I deleted it off my phone and never looked back. The withdrawl from that was HARD. I ended up surfing Pinterest a lot more than usual initially but after awhile even that went back to normal. I will allow myself to eat candy again but I won't be re-downloading Candy Crush so that's a big accomplishment.

I did start using Instagram a lot more www.instagram.com/agent_713 but it's because I was participating in the rethinkchurch.org's 2015 Lent photo-a-day-words challenge which I have found to be deeply rewarding.

Lent is supposed to be a period of reflection on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and on Easter we celebrate the sweetness of his resurrection. As I re-introduce (limited amounts of) candy, I will savour that sweetness and be reminded of the joy that only he brings.

Happy Easter everyone.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Lent 2015: The one where I give up candy

Hello blog world. I'm fairly sure this is the longest I've gone without blogging but hey, summer is coming right? Anyway, just thought I'd check in and record my plans for Lent this year. I never really followed up on last year but the bottom line is, it went well. After the first slip up I willingly had cheese just a handful of more times. Twice on pizza I got for free (which was a rule I set before I started. As a student I don't refuse free pizza and I got it twice last year during Lent. I wasn't about to pick off the cheese either so I just ate it.) Another time friends of mine who own a deli brought a bunch of different cheeses for me to try and obviously I couldn't say no. So yeah, cheese a handful of times in six weeks is way better than all the time like normal. Of course I made up for it in France ;)

So this year I'm doing candy. All small wrapped hard or soft candy, chocolates, chocolate bars, you name it, I'm not eating it. I developed a nasty chocolate addiction last year and I need to kick it. Late last year I was toying with the idea of giving up sugar entirely but that turned out to be WAY harder than I thought it would be so I'm starting small. Just cutting out very identifiable sugary sweets. 

Here's the hard part though. I also have a horrible addiction to Candy Crush. The game on your phone? I only have a handful of games downloaded including that, Candy Crush Saga and Words With Friends. Well I'm not giving up WWF but I DID delete both Candy Crush and Candy Crush Saga from my phone. That's a big deal because I'm on something like level 406 in CC and it's going to be weird to not have it to zone out with. That's the thing though. It's like candy. I'm very mindless when it comes to eating candy or playing the game and being more mindful is what this is all about. 

I'm going to replace the desire to play Candy Crush with reading scripture and the desire to eat candy with praying. I know that sounds pious but isn't that what Lent is all about? I've been doing a lot more of this anyway so it shouldn't be too terribly difficult but getting rid of those two candy addictions in my life will force a reminder to keep my mind on what is most important. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Three Three

All day I've been trying to figure out how to capture what it means to be thirty three. I feel like it's not much different than turning eight, or thirteen or any other age. With a summer birthday I was often at my grandparents house in Edmonton for my big day. I remember waking up on those hot summer days, stretching and then remembering BAM! It's my birthday. I'd lay there for a bit and wonder if I felt any different. Any older. Not really. Then I'd get up and look in the big round mirror. I didn't look any different than yesterday either. So then I'd shuffle out to the kitchen and the only thing that made the day different was that Grandma would give me a big happy birthday hug and each person, as they woke and found their way to the butter yellow kitchen, would add their good wishes and hugs. 

That's pretty much the same as today. It as just another day. I swept in the morning, did some dusting, and let a parade of repair people through the gates. And periodically throughout the day I'd check Facebook where I always had a host of new birthday wishes waiting. They're coming in from all over the world and in multiple languages. That is how I know I am loved. The fact that these people took a few seconds out of their day to send me some good wishes. I appreciate each and every one. 

I don't feel any different today. Yes 33 is closer to 35 which sounds closer to 40 but this next year is going to be exciting. I'll be graduating in June and starting, as Meredith and I decided "the third half of my life." More chapters in this book of life. Bring it on. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

#32 Watch all the movies on the AFI Top 100 list

The American Film Institute has published a number of Top 100 Lists. #32 on my list of Trucs a Faire is to watch all of the ones on the "100 Years...100 Films" list. That's the original list and even though it was published in 1998 and there has since been updates, that's the one I'm going with because it's the one I was referring to when I started my list in 2006. I don't watch a lot of movies in general and rarely during the school year so I tend to make the most progress on this list in the summer. I think I have a note somewhere on when I watched these movies but that doesn't matter so much. The point is, if they have an X beside them, I've seen them and some of them, like "The Sound of Music" I've watched multiple times. My most recent viewing was of "The African Queen" and I was pleasantly surprised. It's a pretty simple story but quite enjoyable. I'll try and remember to post updates of my progress from time to time. For now, as of July 28, 2014 I've watched 43/100 movies on this list.

# MOVIE YEAR
X 1 CITIZEN KANE 1941
X 2 CASABLANCA 1942
X 3 THE GODFATHER 1972
X 4 GONE WITH THE WIND 1939
X 5 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 1962
X 6 THE WIZARD OF OZ 1939
X 7 THE GRADUATE 1967
X 8 ON THE WATERFRONT 1954
X 9 SCHINDLER'S LIST 1993

X 10 SINGIN' IN THE RAIN 1952
X 11 IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE 1946
X 12 SUNSET BLVD. 1950
X 13 THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI 1957
14 SOME LIKE IT HOT 1959
X 15 STAR WARS 1977
16 ALL ABOUT EVE 1950
X 17 THE AFRICAN QUEEN 1951
18 PSYCHO 1960
19 CHINATOWN 1974

20 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST 1975
21 THE GRAPES OF WRATH 1940
22 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 1968
23 THE MALTESE FALCON 1941
24 RAGING BULL 1980
X 25 E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL 1982
26 DR. STRANGELOVE 1964
27 BONNIE AND CLYDE 1967 28 APOCALYPSE NOW 1979
29 MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON 1939

30 THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE 1948
31 ANNIE HALL 1977
32 THE GODFATHER PART II 1974
X 33 HIGH NOON 1952
X 34 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD 1962
X 35 IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT 1934
36 MIDNIGHT COWBOY 1969
37 THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES 1946
38 DOUBLE INDEMNITY 1944
39 DOCTOR ZHIVAGO 1965

X 40 NORTH BY NORTHWEST 1959
41 WEST SIDE STORY 1961
42 REAR WINDOW 1954
43 KING KONG 1933
X 44 THE BIRTH OF A NATION 1915
X 45 A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE 1951
46 A CLOCKWORK ORANGE 1971
47 TAXI DRIVER 1976
48 JAWS 1975
X 49 SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS 1937

X 50 BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID 1969
X 51 THE PHILADELPHIA STORY 1940
52 FROM HERE TO ETERNITY 1953
53 AMADEUS 1984
X 54 ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT 1930
X 55 THE SOUND OF MUSIC 1965
56 M*A*S*H 1970
57 THE THIRD MAN 1949
X 58 FANTASIA 1940
59 REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE 1955

X 60 RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK 1981
61 VERTIGO 1958
X 62 TOOTSIE 1982
63 STAGECOACH 1939
64 CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND 1977
65 THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS 1991
66 NETWORK 1976
67 THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE 1962
X 68 AN AMERICAN IN PARIS 1951
69 SHANE 1953

X 70 THE FRENCH CONNECTION 1971
X 71 FORREST GUMP 1994
X 72 BEN-HUR 1959
X 73 WUTHERING HEIGHTS 1939
74 THE GOLD RUSH 1925
X 75 DANCES WITH WOLVES 1990
76 CITY LIGHTS 1931
77 AMERICAN GRAFFITI 1973
X 78 ROCKY 1976
79 THE DEER HUNTER 1978

80 THE WILD BUNCH 1969
81 MODERN TIMES 1936
82 GIANT 1956 X
83 PLATOON 1986
84 FARGO 1996
85 DUCK SOUP 1933
X 86 MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY 1935
87 FRANKENSTEIN 1931
88 EASY RIDER 1969
89 PATTON 1970

90 THE JAZZ SINGER 1927
X 91 MY FAIR LADY 1964
92 A PLACE IN THE SUN 1951
93 THE APARTMENT 1960
94 GOODFELLAS 1990
95 PULP FICTION 1994
96 THE SEARCHERS 1956
X 97 BRINGING UP BABY 1938
98 UNFORGIVEN 1992
X 99 GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER 1967
X 100 YANKEE DOODLE DANDY 1942