Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday

Food Journal:
9:30am- smoothie, 2 pieces of Ezekiel toast (1 w/ Earth Balance, 1 w/ Tofutti)

11:30am- raw broccoli w/ hummus, 1/2 of a whole wheat tortilla pizza, pear

4:00pm- small smoothie (leftover from this morning)

5:30pm- brown rice, black beans and corn, over romaine lettuce w/ pico de gallo, homemade tortilla chips, 1 fruit leather

9:30pm- 1 tsp black beans, 1 tsp pico de gallo, 5 baked tortilla chips, pear

11:30pm- 1/2 of a left over calzone from last nights dinner (I was super hungry at night! I know it's because I didin't have a big breakfast or lunch and then I had a hard workout late at night)

Workout Journal:

Yoga Meltdown Level 2
Strength Training (biceps, triceps, shoulders, back)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday

Food Journal:

9:30am Breakfast- smoothie (water, Complete, frozen mixed fruit and berries), 2 slices of Ezekiel toast (one with Earth Balance and the other with Tofutti Cream Cheese), water and Juiceplus

11:30pm Lunch- brown rice, beans, pico de gallo, water

2:30pm Snack- dried mango slices, broccoli and 4 melba toasts (crackers) w/ homemade hummus (yummy)

5:30pm Dinner- homemade calzone (whole wheat pizza dough, tomato paste, artichoke hearts, black olives, broccoli, spinach, bella mushrooms and vegan cheese)

I snacked on a small bag of dried mango during the evening over the period of a couple of hours.

I also drank a lot of water ALL day. I do that everyday.

Workout Journal:
Rest Day

I chose to rest today. I really want to workout but I need to give my body a little rest day. I feel kind of anxious but I will take this time to do my baby's nails and read a book.

I made some homemade hummus today because the hummus they sell in the stores are not clean. They all contain oil. I thought it turned out really yummy and is great with some fresh raw veggies for a snack. You can even bake your own pita chips and snack guilt free.

I am sharing my recipe in case you want to try it out. I am going to try different ingredients and see what I can come up with. I also made homemade calzones today. It is basically like making a pizza so it was easy and really good.

_____________________________________

Artichoke Hummus

2 cans of garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can of artichoke hearts (in water not oil)
1/4 cup of lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
3 garlic cloves
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Add all of the ingredients into a food processor, add the water of the artichokes in little by little until you reach your desired consistency. I used the whole can of artichoke water. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to your personal taste and mix again. Enjoy with your favorite raw veggies, pita chips or in a wrap.

_____________________________

Veggie Calzone

premade whole wheat pizza dough
artichoke hearts (drained and roughly chopped)
black olives (drained)
sliced portabella mushrooms
tomato paste (I like to season it with garlic powder)
broccoli florets
fresh spinach leaves
vegan mozzerella cheese (thinly sliced or shredded)


I made 2 calzones with one package of pizza dough. I made 4 calzones so I used 2 premade pizza doughs. They were pretty huge calzones.

Divide your premade pizza dough into your desired size for each calzone. Roll out your ball of dough like you are making a pizza. Spread a thin layer of tomato paste over the whole surface of dough. Add your veggies and cheese to only one half of the pizza round. Fold over the other side to cover the veggies. Use a fork to push down the edge. Put on a non stick baking sheet and bake in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.


Enjoy but be careful not to burn your mouth like I did...LOL! The contents are hot and bubbly.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday

Food Journal:
9:30am Breakfast- smoothie (water, berry blend, peach slice, mango slice, 1/2 banana, Complete protein powder)

10am-1:00pm (during Wellness class)
Snacks- dried chayote squash, dried zucchini, hummus w/ broccoli, cauliflower and celery, 6 brown rice crackers w/ hummus and sprouts.
Lunch- barley and beans soup, polenta grain bread w/ Earth Balance
Dessert- spice applesauce cake w/ pineapple and u/s coconut
Lots of water

4:30pm Dinner- 2 black bean patties w/ romaine lettuce, tomato, organic ketchup, green chiles and Tapatio, a few baked sweet potato fries, water

6:30pm- 1/2 pear

8:00pm- 1/2 banana

9:00pm- (after workout snack) kashi cinnamon shredded wheat w/ soy milk

I attended my Wellness 101 class and we got to sample a lot of different healthy goodies. We always get to snack on dehydrated fruits and veggies when we are at Vanessa's house (my Wellness Coach). She loves to dehydrate anything she can get her hands on. I personally love apples and the chayote was yummy today. Dehydrating is a good way of consuming raw veggies, it helps you get all of your nutrients which are often lost when cooked. I realized that dehydrating makes the flavors of the food more intense. I love it!

We learned a lot about perservatives and the affects of milk in the body. It is so sad to me that so many people are not aware of these affects and continue to become victims. So many diseases are attributed to the consumption of dairy, including childhood diabetes, allergies, asthma and osteoporosis.

Workout Journal:
Yoga Meltdown Level 2

Great workout this evening. Jazzy tried to do it with me but it was definitely challenging for her. There is one pose that really makes my shoulders sore and I was in a lot of pain yesterday. I thought I tore something in my shoulder. Today I woke up feeling good so I was able to do the DVD again. I think I love level 2 more than level 1.

I love how yoga makes you tap into your spirit and mind. You have to be mentally strong to hold some of those poses. They can be torture.....but I love it. No pain no gain right? :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Feeding A Small Baby Cow

I had to look over my food journals for last week and this week. I had to write down my food intake so that I can share it with my Wellness Coach. OMG! I realized that I eat enough to feed a small baby cow. I don't eat big portions when I eat but I eat a lot. DANG! I definitely noticed that I am eating too many "treats". Like I said before I have to limit those only to once a week not everyday.

I do eat when I am hungry and I have been hungry quite often because I poop (sorry) a lot. As soon as I eat within 15-20 minutes I am in the bathroom. I know this is too much info but I am being honest.

Since I am eating more often I think I need to eat more veggies, less grains and definitely less sugary treats.

You can be a fat vegan. I don't want to be one....LOL!

Food Inc.

http://www.pbs.org/pov/foodinc/photo_gallery_watch.php


This documentary will be avaiable to watch until midnight on 4/28/10. It is worth making the time to sit down and watch. It is important that as consumers we are conscious of where our food comes from and how it gets processed. This will help open your eyes to a whole other world.

Tuesday

Food Journal:
9:30am Breakfast- smoothie (berries, mango, peaches, banana, water, Complete protien powder, a splash of almond milk:). water and JuicePlus supplements.

11:30pm Lunch- whole wheat coucous and a few veggies w/ a few pieces of Tofurky, and pico de gallo. 1/2 c apple crisp from last nights dessert.

4:00pm Snack- pita pizza (whole wheat pita, vegan cheese, pico de gallo), pear

6:30pm Dinner- 17 bean soup w/ whole wheat couscous

9:00pm- 2 Milano cookies (PMS breakdown:)


Workout Journal:
30 minutes Zumba

I worked with one of my instructor DVDs. It was a great workout. I was sweating like a little piggy in my room. I turned up the music really loud because I like to feel like I am there. I also like to feel the beat of the music. When I was teaching my class that was one of my favorite parts. Having the BIG speakers blasting set the atmosphere for a great intense workout. I can't wait to start teaching again in September. I love it. It makes you feel strong and sexy. ;) I love shaking my hips and rotating my waist....LOL!

My food was not bad today. I was craving something sweet and my hormones are really all over the place too. My cycle is coming and I totally feel it. It is more important then ever to sleep well, eat well and exercise during this time. If I don't then I feel out of control and get major attitude and feel depressed.

I slept really well last night so I was not sluggish today. I was asleep by 11pm and woke up at 8am. I have to do that more often. I got a little down on myself today because my belly looked big. I know it is PMS but I was sad thinking I am not doing enough. I definitely know I have to eliminate the goodies on a daily basis. I can maybe have one every week but not every day. I will work on that.

Monday, April 26, 2010

French Toast

Fruit-Stuffed French Toast
(serves 4)

Sliced whole-grain bread (about 8 slices)
1 cup Soymilk
1 Tbsp. Flour (may use corn starch)
2 tsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Rum extract (may substitute vanilla)
8 large Strawberries, sliced (more for garnish)
2 Bananas, sliced
2-4 Tbsp. Maple syrup, to taste
1/8 tsp. Coconut extract

Cut the bread into heart shapes, if desired. Whisk together the soymilk, flour, sugar, nutritional yeast, salt and rum or vanilla extract. Dip slices of bread into the mixture to coat well, but do not soak. Heat an oiled, non-stick skillet and fry until golden brown and crispy on both sides.

While the French toast is cooking, mix the strawberries, bananas, syrup, and coconut extract together. When the toast is done, serve with fruit mixture between two slices of toast and more on top.

Note: Nutritional yeast is used as an egg substitute.


This recipe was found at http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/
Check it out for some more really yummy, healthy, low fat recipes.

Monday- Powerful Things Are Happening!

Food Journal:

9:30am Breakfast- oatmeal w/ splash of almond milk, honey, cinnamon and 1/2 banana. daikon carrot tea. water and JuicePlus supplements

11:30pm Lunch- brown rice, veggie chili, pico de gallo, pear and water

4:00pm Snack- pita pizza (whole wheat pita bread, crushed tomato, vegan mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts, black olives, tapatio), a few homemade tortilla chips and pico, 4 oz cup of smoothie

7:00pm Dinner- whole wheat couscous, sausage and veggies (Tofurky Kielbasa, green and red bell pepper, portabello mushrooms, broccoli, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion, sauteed in Earth Balance butter, sprinkled litely with vegan cheese)

8:30pm Dessert- homemade apple crisp

My Wellness coach recommended I let Jazzy try this almond milk by Silk. I bought some yesterday and Jazzy tried it. She loved it. She is not a milk drinker anyways but it is handy to have in the fridge just in case she wants some cereal or we need it for something else like smoothies. I basically just wanted her to taste how yummy it was. I highly recommend it. It has 90 calories per glass. Of course since I must refrain from nuts I can't drink it but I used a little in my oatmeal this morning :). It has a wonderful creamy texture and is slightly sweetened with vanilla. It was only $2.99 at my local healthy food store (Sunflower Market). I hope you go out and buy some. YUMMY!!!!

For Dinner I adapted one of my favorite dishes my mom used to make into a vegan entree. It turned out great and Jazzy loved it. I also made some veggie soup for the week and it was hilarious. My kitchen looked like I had a fight with a tree....LOL! I experimented with the greens I bought yesterday. They were mustard greens and turnip greens. I didn't particularly enjoy the taste but I pretty much eat veggies even if I don't like them. But I knew my mom wouldn't like them so I let them boil in the soup for a while and then I removed them. The nutrients are in the soup broth and I will eat the greens myself for lunch tomorrow.


Workout Journal:
Yoga Meltdown Level 2 (Jillian Michael's DVD)

Wow! I feel so amazingly proud of myself after todays workout. I was curious to try level 2 today. I was a little intimidated but didn't want to underestimate my power and strength. I was able to finish the entire workout with a couple of variations. I pushed myself with many of the poses and it felt amazing. I was not able to do "the crow" pose but I did the best I could with my feet on the ground and my elbows on my triceps. Eventually I WILL do it! I still have a lot of weight to support on my little arms...LOL!

Although this workout is low impact it is extremely powerful for shredding and strengthening your body. My body was forced to be a temple of strength while holding some of these poses. I could feel my muscles burning and my fat melting...LOL! It was amazing. When I wanted to give up in the middle of holding a pose I tried to go somewhere else in my mind. That made me also exercise my mind as well as my spirit. Determination is a powerful key to living a healthy lifestyle and achieving amazing life changing results. I made my muscles work for me and I know it will pay off.

Strong MIND.....Strong BODY!!!!

Today is usually my Zumba class but I have decided to stop them for the time being. There is some drama going on with some of the women that attend and I don't want to be a part of it. I feel bad that the vibe is tense and awkward. That is not what I intended for this class. I really wanted us to connect with ourselves and one another. I was okay with continuing class during this drama and I have for the past 3 months but an incident happened this weekend that made the situation a little worse. I felt it was best to stop the classes until things get resolved or atleast everyone can be in the same room and act civilized and mature.

It is pretty sad that as grown women we can't put our differences aside and accept one another despite our indifferences. We don't have to be best friends but we can still love each for the awesome powerful beings that we are. We all have short comings and crosses to bare.....no one is perfect.

Open and Ready!

This post may sound strange to those that are not conscious (spiritually awaken). I felt the need to share this because I believe it is directly related to the new lifestyle I have chosen to live.

To be conscious is to be aware and awaken to the power we have as spiritual beings. We acknowledge that we are one with the Universe or God (whatever you chose to call it....it is all the same in my book:) and that we have the ability to change our world by accessing that power.

Many times we get caught up in the "world" or the illusion of "reality" because we have been brainwashed to believe that we are only what we see. We don't understand that there is something much deeper than the surface level of things. We conform ourselves into the image (translation: mindset) of this world. We buy into the illusion and therefore become a product of it.

We accept what others say to be truth because we have not tapped into the truth that is already within us. God created us and He spoke us into existance, so we are built by faith. Faith is the spoken, unadulterated word of God.

In my personal journey to become all that God created me to be....to become more awaken and conscious of my power...I believe God lead me to become Vegan. Not just for the health factor but to become more conscious of myself and the world.

I have noticed since I have refrained from consuming animal flesh and processed (adulterated food products) that there is a free flowing energy coming from me. I am more intuned with my surroundings and I don't partake of things that are not truth. I don't crave the need for drama or want to be around it. I am sensitive to the needs of others and have more compassion.

It is like the arteries of my heart have been unclogged and God's love is flowing freely through me. It is an amazing feeling and I am so grateful that I have learned to be obedient to God's spirit. If I wasn't obedient I wouldn't have this opportunity to reach my full potential.

We are a manifestation of God. The bible says that God is love. God is also unlimited and full of power. With Him all things are possible. So I can never reach my full potential unless I am aligned with Him. My heart must be open to receive His direction.

I don't know in my carnal, human mind all that God has for me but I know it is BIG. Not because I am more special then anyone else but because I am called and chosen. The bible says that MANY are called but FEW are chosen. Few chose to answer the call. If my arteries were clogged....if my heart was closed I wouldn't have been able to hear and discern His spirit calling.

I am open and I am ready....GLORY TO GOD!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday/ Sunday

Saturday-

Food Journal:
10:30am Breakfast- small smoothie (blueberries, strawberries, mango, soy milk)
1:00pm Lunch- 2 pieces of veggie pizza, chips w/ mango salsa
4:30pm Dinner- taco salad (soyrizo w/ blackbeans, romaine lettuce, mango salsa, tofu sour cream), homemade baked corn tortilla chips, chocolate fruit smoothie (added u/s cocoa powder)
8:30pm- Boca burger (Boca veggie patty, 2 slices of Ezekiel bread, veganaise, 2 pickle slices, 2 slices of avocado), 2 fudge strip cookies


No Workout

------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday-

Food Journal:
9:30am Breakfast- smoothie
12:30pm Snack- dried edamame
3:30pm Lunch- veggie chili over brown rice w/ mango salsa and Tapatio
5:30pm treat- piece of dark chocolate
7:00pm Dinner- a little more veggie chili with brown rice

No Workout

I have taken this week off from working out. I did workout two days but did not do any intense cardio. I am glad to be back tomorrow. I am finding out what works for me and what my body responds best to. As for my diet I am going to fine tune a couple more things. I know I need to eat more veggies and less fruit. Although fruit is healthy it also contains a lot of sugar. I have a lot more pounds to drop (40 to be exact) so my fruit intake will have to be a lot less until I reach my goal and then I can go back to eating things in moderation.

I bought some new veggies that I have never tried before. I am going to make some veggie soup tomorrow for the week and add my new veggies. I bought mustard green and kale. They are both great for you. Green veggies are the best to help shed the fat and reach optimal health.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Why Cows' Milk is Unhealthy

Forks Over Knives - Movie Trailer

This will be one of the most powerful movies yet! I hope this opens the eyes of the nation and they become more conscious of what they put in their bodies. It just makes me cry thinking about the BILLIONS of people who suffer with diseases that are 100% preventable and most are curable when a strong plant based lifestyle is adopted. It is time that we wake up and make a change.....our life.....our nation....this WORLD depends on it.



Friday- New Tools and A Field Trip :)

Food Journal:

11:30am Breakfast- Smoothie, 2 slices of toast w/ tofutti and a slice of avacado (I know, I know. I am trying to get rid of my last avacado), daikon and carrot tea, plum

2:30pm Lunch- brown rice, black beans, veggie stirfry, 4 tater tots, pear

6:00pm- piece of chocolate (dark chocolate w/ cherries and almonds)

7:30pm Dinner- 1 piece of vegan cheese pizza, 2 pieces veggie pizza (homemade)

11:00pm- a small glass of wine (Barefoot- Moscato)

Workout Journal:

40 DVD (No More Trouble Zones by Jillian Michaels) Using 10 lb and 3 lb weights.

I bought a food processor today. I have a list of things that I need to buy to make life a little easier in the kitchen. Since almost every meal I make now is homemade and from scratch (no processed food) there are a few appliances that would be nice to have.

- slow cooker (my mother in law has two so I am going to take one from her:)
- dehydrator (to make healthy snacks like dried fruits and veggies)
- coffee grinder (to grind up flaxseed)
- juicer (to make fresh unprocessed fruit juice for Jazzy)
- julienne or mandolin slicer for making potato chips, and slicing fruits and veggies
- steamer
- new knives (that cut....mine are not good)
- new pots and pans (no teflon)
- glass jars for pickling and storing dehydrated food
- a couple of new utensils, like potato masher, avacado slicer, lemon squeezer

These are just some of the things that I would like to have right now but I will buy them little by little. I also needed a good pizza pan since I make pizza atleast once a week...mostly on fridays. I bought one today. I will buy another one later. It worked wonderful. I also bought a rolling pin which made things easier today too. I bought some wooden spoons because I currently have plastic ones which are not good. Plastic releases toxins when they are heated. I bought some wooden ones that are nice and sturdy.

I also went on a field trip to my local health food store. I just browsed around looking at things. I read about a lot of health foods but don't really know how much they cost or what they look like. I found this easy recipe for non dairy ice cream today and one of the ingredients was arrowroot. Arrowroot is used to thicken things. It was pretty pricey for a small 10 oz bag but I will make good use out of it. I also bought some brown rice syrup to sweeten the ice cream with since it is all natural and healthier then refined sugar.

Little by little I am trying new things and seeing what I like and what I don't like. I am excited to try some new recipes next week. We will see how it goes.

I am drinking a glass of wine right now and my eyes are getting sleepy. I also have my ice cream maker churning right now in my room which is making so much noise. I think I might have to turn it off and finish making it tomorrow. :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday

Food Journals:

9:30am Breakfast- smoothie (banana, water, soy milk, complete protein powder, blueberries, strawberries, mango), 2 slices of Ezekiel Sprouted Grain bread w/ Tofutti cream cheese, daikon carrot tea

4 JuicePlus supplements

11:30am Lunch- veggie stirfry, brown rice w/ tapatio, and a pear

4:30pm Dinner- (Sweet Tomato) BIG salad, 2 bread sticks, lemon lava cake, chocolate muffin, 1/2 bowl of pinto bean and brown rice soup, 1/2 bowl of split peas and potato soup. (I was stuffed to the MAX!!!)

9:30pm Snack- 1/3 cup of black beans w/ tapatio and a few tortilla chips

No Workout.


I have been taking JuicePlus and I feel great. I have more energy and I crave more fruits, veggies and water. I highly recommend these supplements. They are a great addition to your healthy lifestyle. They have helped improve many diseases and sometimes even eliminate them completely. They are completely natural and only contain the best fruit and vegetable ingredients.

BUT I have been so tired lately because I fall asleep too late. I have a goal to go to bed by 11pm every week night this week. I want to see if there is a difference in my eating habits. I know that because I stay up late and eat snacks late at night I am preventing myself from losing weight. We will see what happens.

Since my sleep time will be 11pm I am aiming for my last lite snack to be at 8pm.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Some of the DANGERS of fish

Here is some helpful information about fish that might make you reconsider consuming it or maybe just make you more conscious of what kind to buy.

These days fish contain mercury and other industrial toxins. Coal-burning power plants are releasing toxins into the air, which then fall into the ocean. Bacteria consume mercury, which then is consumed by little fish and is concentrated up the fish food chain. Smaller fish and seafood like salmon, cod, shrimp, and trout have lower levels of mercury, while swordfish, tile, mackerel, and tuna have the highest. But they ALL contain mercury, which has been shown to damage the brain, kidneys, and lungs and is particularly dangerous to pregnant women and their growing babies.

Farm raised fish are pumped full of antibiotics, farmed salmon were found to contain levels of industrial toxins called PCBs 16 times higher than their wild counterparts, so neither choice can be considered clean.

If you chose to consume fish purchase only wild salmon and other wild fish, NEVER farmed fish! Wild salmon feed on krill which naturally turns their flesh pink/red. Farm raised salmon, because they eat un-natural feed, have grey colored flesh. They are given Carophyll Pink, a vitamin/ pigment product to redden their flesh.

An additional concern is that disease and parasites are rampant on salmon farms, necessitating the use of antibiotics in the fish, which still does not take care of all the disease. Farm raised salmon can also be covered in sea lice, which burrow into fish and feed on skin, mucous and blood.

(Some information was adapted from The Kind Diet)

Note: Consuming animal protien that contains antibotics has made many humans antibotic resistant. Imagine having a horrible infection and dying because you are resistant to antibotic treatment. Be conscious of what you are consuming.

Wednesday- Things are coming together and I am excited.

"The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease." -Thomas Edison

Food Journal:
Breakfast- 1/2 PB&J sandwich (on my way to class), cup of daikon carrot tea
Snacks- (during class) fresh papaya with lime, dried apples, dried cucumber, dried chickpeas
Lunch- taco chili w/ brown rice (served at our class). smoothie (water, almond milk, spinach, flaxseed, brewer's yeast, frozen blueberries, strawberries and banana, complete protein powder)
Snack- edamame crackers, small smoothie (blueberries, strawberries, mango, banana, water and soy milk)
Dinner- stirfry w/ brown rice (bok choy, green beans, green onions, celery, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, nori flakes and organic low sodium soy sauce), veggie eggroll
Snack- Organic tortilla chips, mango salsa and tapatio
1/2 of a dark chocolate bar

No workout. Abs only (250).

I learned so much great information today at my Wellness class. I wish I could save the world by sharing all of this information. I am so excited and passionate about this knew found knowledge I have. I still have sooooo much more to learn but I am so open and hungry for it. All of this information is scientifically based so it is not spectulation. One of the studies that this class is centered around was performed over a 40 years span. I am totally amazed at some of things I am learning. I wish more people knew and cared enough to make changes in their lives. As you can see the American health issues in this country have escalated. It is no coincidence that our diets have also changed to more fast and processed foods. There IS a direct link between the both of them.

One thing I found totally amazing is that mother's milk (human) contains a chemical in it that soothes the baby and is addicting. It has a similar affect like morphine. This is not unhealthy to the baby but it is a good explaination why many babies have trouble weaning from breastfeeding. God definitely knew what He was doing when He created mothers milk. It is a beautiful thing.

My Wellness coach and mentor told me that in order to lose weight I needed to stop eating avacado, nuts, nut butter (peanut, almond butter) and of course oil. I don't consume oil now except in the occasional processed food items which I know I must eliminate those too. Although avacado and nuts are healthy fats they are high in fat and need to be temporarily eliminated until I reach my goal weight. Once I reach that weight I can add them back in my diet in moderation.

I am okay with not eating nuts and nut butters but the avacados are tough. I am totally commited so I will kiss them good bye for now. I have to really be strict over these next couple of months. I have only the summer to get my body ready for my new job. I will be teaching Zumba at the Wellness Center and I want to be a good representation of this healthy lifestyle that I am trying to promote. I have about 40 more pounds to shed and I know I can definitely achieve it by September. Thank you for your support this far.

Jazzy had some school friends come over tonight to practice their talent show routine. I made them some healthy smoothies and they loved them. They also snacked on Edamame crackers. I felt good giving them these snacks instead of cookies, chips and soda.

Today was an amazing day. I am excited to watch Food Inc. tonight on PBS at 9pm.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Everyone Should Have The Same Rights!

I originally chose to become vegan because of my health. Then I began to read about how animals are treated and it just solidified my commitment. Although I have never been a heavy meat eater or milk drinker, I was not aware of the animal cruelty that is involved in providing these foods to us. I was DEEPLY saddened when I read about the common everyday practices that many farmers subject animals too. Not only is it cruel but it is down right disgusting. I have listed only SOME of the things that shocked me and brought me to tears. I am not an animal lover but I do believe that every living creature should deserve the right to live happy and without senseless pain. We are all God's creatures...

- Cows, who are meant to roam, are confined to a stall carpeted in their own waste.

- Sixty-five million pigs are raised in confinement factories where they never see the light of day until they are trucked to slaughter.

- Female chicks have their beaks ground off with a hot blade at 1 or 2 days. Wings, beaks,and feet are still routinely clipped even in "free range" chickens. Wings that were meant to flap....never get the chance.

- Animals birthed to only be used for meat (cows, pigs, chicken) are pumped so full of growth hormones (which you eventually consume and have been linked to prostate and breast cancer)that they can no longer support their own weight, their lives are pure torture.

- Female cows are kept pregnant so that they can constantly lactate. The mother cows are pumped with hormones to make her produce 10 to 20 times more milk. This puts tremendous strain on her udders often causing a horrible infection called mastitis, which makes her udders pus-ridden and bloody. She is then given antibiotics to treat the infection. Finally, she gets milked but not by soft gentle hands. She is milked by a machine that is so rough it causes the blood and pus from the mastitis to go into the milk. Oh YUMMY! And after 2-7 yrs of this wonderful tortured life she is sent to slaughter. (normal cows should live 20-25 yrs)

- Once the baby cows are born they are separated from their mothers. Baby boys become veal and baby girls become milkers. For 6 months the baby boys are chained to little veal crates, not allowed to stand up, fed synthetic formula, and then slaughtered.

- In 2000, a videotaped was leaked out of workers at an Iowa Beef Processors Plant (now known as Tysons Foods) in Washington State. Cows were routinely "stunned" with devices that didn't work. They were left to experience their painful end with sensitivity and consciousness intact. The video showed cows being skinned alive, kicking for freedom as there legs were cut off. (That just makes me want to cry).

- Also in 2000, a video showed footage of pigs in a North Carolina pig factory being kicked, stomped on, and killed by blows to the head with cinder blocks. Pigs who did not measure up to their industry standards were picked up by the hind legs and bashed against the floor, a practice called "thumping".

- More than 95% of eggs sold in the U.S. come from birds confined in wire battery cages so small they can hardly move. They are laying machines that are sick, abused and often starved. After all of their hard work they end up so spent that their meat can only be used for soups, chicken pies, and pet food. The rest of the hens are in such bad shape by the end that they are beat to death, gassed, or thrown live into wood chippers.

- Hens are needed more then roosters so male chicks are routinely disposed of in one of two ways: they are either thrown into dumpsters full of other baby chicks, left to suffocate, or they are put, live, through meat grinders to be fed to other livestock.

- The inside of a slaughter house is not the cleanest place. When animals are eviscerated, it's not unusual for their bowels to be punctured (workers kill up to 330 animals an hour), leaving all sorts of intestinal bacteria splattered on the meat and skin. A USDA report published in 2000 estimated that a staggering 89 percent of U.S. beef ground into patties contained traces of deadly E. coli.

- Factory-farmed chickens are so unclean due to the results of birds being housed in ridiculously crowded conditions. Gerald Kuester, a former USDA microbiologist, says. "The final product is no different than if you stuck it in the toilet and ate it". Ewww...How about a nice piece of chicken breast?

- Livestock feed is routinely beefed up with slaughterhouse wastes like blood, bone, viscera as well as the remains of euthanized cats and dogs. The drug used to kill these pets, sodium pentobarbital, survives the rendering process, so it gets passed in the feed as well. What livestock eats is just as important as what you eat because what they eat eventually ends up on your plate too.

Hopefully some of this information will make you think twice before you eat that burger or omelet. If you are going to eat them please just consider where your sources are coming from. Try eating organic kosher meat or animal products. Although, the animals are still killed and treated unfairly in some cases, at least as your body is concerned you are not consuming unclean meat and dairy products.

Note: Even eating one or two plant-based (vegan) meals a week will make a significant difference in the world and lives of these animals. Do your part and not only will you feel better doing it but your body will thank you.

(Information was taken from The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone)

Tuesday- I Made The Tea

Food Journal:
"He who does not know food, how can he understand the diseases of man?" -Hippocrates (460-357 B.C.)

Food Journal:
9:30am- 1 cup of Weight Loss Tea (daikon, carrot, ume plum and nori)

10:20am- PB&J sandwhich (no sugar all natural strawberry jelly, no sugar/ no salt PB on sprouted whole grain Ezekiel bread), a few dried apple slices (unsweetened/unsulfured)

2:00pm Lunch- (AMAZING!!) 2 whole wheat flour tortilla burritos w/ cuban style black beans, spinach, avacado, mango salsa, tofu sour cream, broccoli slaw and Tapatio
*I truly enjoyed my meal after a nice workout. There is nothing better then yummy healthy food. WOW! I am going to call these my Lean, Green, Bean Powerhouse Burritos.

4:30pm snack- little bit of veggies (yellow squash and green beans) in marinara sauce (about 1 cup)

7:00pm- a few dried apple slices

8:00pm Dinner- about 1 cup of veggies with marinara and a few pieces of gnoochi (balls of pureed potato) ( I wasn't really hungry but I had a little so I wouldn't be hungry later in the night. I usually get a munchie attack late at night so I was trying to avoid that:)

You might notice that I put the details of what I eat on my food journal. I do that for a few reasons. For one, if anyone is reading and wants to try what I am eating they can see the details.

I also want to keep track of the details because I can nail down food allergies and keep track of how my body reacts to what I am eating. If I am bloated or feel sick after a meal I can look back and see exactly what I ate.

Another reason is if someone reads this and sees that I ate a PB&J they might think "Oh I can eat that and lose weight?"...LOL! Yes, if you chose the right ingredients to make it. Like you can see I use organic naturally sweetened jelly (no sugar or fructose corn syrup), unsalted/ unsweetened PB and good nutritous bread. I also don't slather the condiments on my bread. I use a very small amount of it. Remember you can still eat what you love with healthy ingredients to replace the sugary, processed options.

Workout Journal:
Yoga Meltdown

My workout was nice today. I really enjoy having this variation in my workout routine. This is the first time I have done yoga and this DVD makes me feel strong and powerful.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday- A New Me Is Emerging

Food Journal:
9:30am Breakfast- PB&J (Ezekiel sprouted grain bread, no sugar strawberry jelly, no sugar or salt peanut butter)
12:30pm Lunch- (Lunch and Learn) 2 No Fish Tacos, 1 lettuce cup with Soy Ceviche, Blueberry Sunshine Smoothie (blueberries, orange and banana)
3:00pm- dark chocolate
5:30pm Dinner- 3 No Fish Tacos (portabello mushrooms, mango salsa, romaine lettuce, tofu sour cream, tapatio and broccoli slaw on a corn tortilla)
8:30pm Dessert- Smoothie (strawberry, banana, mango, pineapple, 1 cup of harvest blend juice and water)

Workout Journal:
20 minute walk (low intensity)

I am taking a little break from intense cardio this week. I know that added stress on the body (even intense exercise) can prevent the body from shedding excess weight. I decided to take this week off and only engage in low and moderate intensity workouts. I will keep my food the same. Since I am eating pretty clean I shouldn't gain any weight. I should actually lose some weight.

I bought all of the ingredients I need to make the Weight Loss Tea from The Kind Diet. I will start drinking it tomorrow morning. Wish me luck!

Entering New Territory

I went to my Vegan Lunch and Learn today and was introduced to some super yummy recipes. We had "No Fish Tacos" and "Soy Ceviche". After pigging out on those wonderful dishes we got to enjoy a yummy smoothie for dessert. The smoothie has frozen blueberries, frozen banana and oranges.

I was inspired today by this wonderful class and made the tacos for dinner to share with my family. I love fish tacos and even those these did not contain any fish they had everything else that a fish taco has in it. I have to say that so far this is my favorite dish. I even made homemade tofu sour cream to put on them. I have tried to make this cream before but it turned out horrible. This time is was a success and I enjoyed eating it.

I also made some yummy mango salsa (more like Pico De Gallo). The salsa went wonderful with the tacos. I also made a yummy banana, strawberry, mango and pineapple smoothie for dessert. YUMMY YUMMY and YUMMY! Jazzy helped makeup a broccoli slaw. I like cole slaw but can't eat it because of the cabbage. I found a broccoli slaw mix with just shredded broccoli and carrots. We made a homemade dressing with Veganaise, lemon, ume vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic powder and agave nectar. It turned out really good and I put it on top of my tacos.

So today after my lunch and learn I had to stop by Whole Foods to look for some items I need to make my Weight Loss tea. I was looking for Umeboshi Plums, Nori, organic Diakon and carrots. I felt so awkward and out of place in that store. I usually shop at Sunflower Market, Trader Joe's and Fresh and Easy. It was a little scary for me because this is only the second time I have been in that store.

I found everything I needed with a little bit of exploring. Although I don't plan on going there very often...only for specialty items...I did enjoy my little trip into new territory. I almost didn't go because I was a little afraid of looking stupid in there but nobody even cared or paid attention. I realized I am the only one who is holidng myself back from exploring new territories.

Even though this may seem a little silly I really feel I accomplished something new today that broke some of my insecurities and fears. Today's trip into Whole Foods opened my mind and heart to new possibilities. I know that if I step out even when I have some fears and insecurities, I can accomplish great things. I can begin to see some of my goals and dreams manifest.

After years of struggling with insecurities and fears that have kept me a prisoner of my own mind, I am learning to embrace life. I am becoming more conscious and confident and it feels good. I had a wonderful day today. I feel empowered and I am proud of myself.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday/ Sunday

Saturday
11:00am Breakfast- cinnamon shredded wheat w/ soy milk
2:00pm Lunch- a bowl of lentil soup (green lentils, squash, corn and black beans)
4:00pm Dinner- Sweet Tomatoes (salad, 1 pizza stick, 2 bread sticks, pasta w/ marinara, piece of lemon lava cake, 1/2 chocolate brownie)
11:30pm- small bowl of lentil soup, apple

Note: I know I ate some non vegan foods such as a pizza stick and chocolate brownie and probably the lava cake but it's okay. I am still new on this journey and I am allowing myself some room to wiggle.

Today was a busy evening. We went to church at 5:00pm-9:30pm and then went to hang out with some friends until 11:00pm. It was a pretty late evening. I didn't have time to workout.

I haven't told very many people about me being vegan now. I know some will question my decision and I don't want to have to defend myself right now. After I have taken my wellness 101 classes I know I will be better informed and ready to fight...LOL!

It was hilarious because as we were passing by McDonald's on our way to church Jazzy said "killers!". I asked her why she said that and she said "because they kill people with their fake processed food". The funny part was that after church my really good friends asked me if I wanted to go to McDonald's to have coffee and talk. UMMMM! That was hard for me because the smell of the food makes me sick.

I decided to go anyways and hang out with them. I didn't eat or drink anything from there. I had my bottle of water with me and a box of healthy cookies for Jazzy. I didn't want her to be tempted with any of the food. She actually said that it made her disgusted watching her friend eat "chicken nuggets". She did admit that the fries did tempt her....LOL!

So while we were there my friends ordered some food and asked me if I was going to eat. I said no. One of them asked me why and I had to let him know that I was vegan. I didn't want to say I don't eat that nasty stuff and offend him. Anyways, I didn't end up having to defend myself because they respected my decision.

It was pretty cool and I felt great because I wasn't even tempted a little bit.

No Workout.
-------------------------------------------------

Sunday

9:30am- 1/2 smoothie
1:30pm- chocolate chip kids energy bar (Z-bar)
3:00pm- a few baked pita chips, a few dried mango slices
4:00pm- 2 soyrizo tacos (corn tortilla, soyrizo, pico de gallo), Caesar salad
8:00pm- dried (unsulfered, unsweetened) mango slices
9:30pm- 1 soyrizo taco

other late night snacks: dried apple slices, baked pita chips

No workout.

Today was a busy day. We were at church from 10:30-2:00pm and then we went back at 5:00pm til 8:30pm. I didn't really have time to eat meals. I did some healthy snacking and ate a good late lunch.

I made soyrizo today with diced sweet potatoes and spinach. It was very good. I know the soyrizo has some oil in it and I have to find a new way to have the same flavor without oil. I am excited for tomorrow because I will be attending a Wellness Forum Lunch and Learn. We are going to learn how to make South of the border FISH tacos (not really using fish???). I hope to learn some new yummy recipes.

I also start my Wellness 101 classes and can't wait for that either. I will be taking them for the next 4 Wednesdays. I love learning and sharing.

I got some nice compliments this weekend which made me feel good. It is nice when others see the difference in your appearance and validate your hard work. I don't need personal validation but when people notice your hard work paying of it is a nice boost. So I had one friend comment on how he noticed my complexion was better and my skin was clearing up. Another friend commented on how she notices me losing weight. I usually wear dark colors to cover up and hide but today I wore a white jean skirt and a lime green top. She said that with the dark colors she couldn't tell but with what I was wearing she noticed. She said that she notices it in my face too. That was a nice feeling and I am even more motivated to keep pressing forward.

I feel great and can't wait to keep learning and getting stronger. WOOOHOOO!!!!
Thanks for following my journey. LOVE YOU!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

For My Prima Iris

Weight Loss Tea (From The Kind Diet)
(1 serving)
1/2 cup grated (into a pulp) carrot
1/2 cup grated (into a pulp) daikon
1/4 umeboshi plum
1/2 drops shoyu
1/4 sheet nori, ripped into small pieces (optional)

Bring the carrot, daikon, umeboshi plum, and 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucpan. Reduce the heat, and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the shoyu and simmer for 2 to 3 mintues longer. Add the nori, if using. Drink hot.

Drink tea every day on an empty stomach for 10 days. After 10 days, drink it three times a week for 3 weeks. If you want to continue, a couple of times a week should do the trick; do not drink it every day after the intial 10 days. Too much can make you weak and demineralized. Wait 3 months before repeating the intense 10-day program again.

-Daikon is a natural diuretic. It is a member of the radish family. It looks like a huge white carrot.
-Umeboshi plums are super-sour pickled plums.
-Shoyu is the Japanese word for soy sauce. It is important to use a shoyu without sugar, alcohol, or chemical preservatives. Shoyu is made from soybeans, salt, and wheat.

I personally have not tried this tea yet but I will be starting it on Monday. Prima, if you want to wait til I try it I will let you know how it goes.

Is More Really Better? How To Find Balance.

Sometimes we go crazy over things. If we hear that drinking a smoothie is good for us, we drink one every day for good measure. If we hear blueberries are good we eat a whole quart. We read an article about a certain food and we get obsessed over it.

When we only listen to our minds saying "this is good for me", we stop listening to our bodies. The body requires variety and has different needs within a day, a season, and a year. By eating whole grains and vegetables, your intuition will become stronger and you will be more attracted to things that support your health.

Instead of saying "this is good for me I should eat it every day", ask yourself, "Do I feel like having this today?" and really listen to your body. Although this may not happen overnight, trust that it will happen. Your intuition will become stronger and you will become healthier and live an overall more balanced life.

(Adapted from "The Kind Diet" by Alicia Silverstone)

The Great Soy Debate (from the Kind Diet)

These days, many people giving up dairy are making a wholesale substitution of soy products for dairy products, eating soy milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream and tofu throughout the day. Plus, most every processed food on the market contains soy or soy byproducts, so add them to the mix and the soy meter shatters.

But why is that a problem? Isn't soy good?

Yes, but too much of even a good thing is still too much. You see, one of soy's amazing qualities is that is contains plant-based estrogens called phytoestrogens. In small quantities, phytoestrogens have a positive effects; studies show that they are protective against breast cancer and are helpful for postmenopausal women. In moderate amounts, phystoestrogens are also fine for men. However, there is speculation that an excessive amount of plant-based estrogens may affect fertility in both men and women, interfere with reproductive development in boys, and exacerbate thyroid problems.

Before getting all crazy, keep in mind that Asian cultures have used soybeans or tofu in moderation for millennia without exhibiting these problems. In fact, their breast cancer rates and problems with menopause are much, much lower than ours. And let's not forget that soybeans lower cholesterol, help to prevent osteoporosis, and can alleviate problems associated with diabetes.

The answer, as in so many things, is moderation. It's good to eat tofu and tempeh a couple of times a week; and miso and good quality soy sauce, in small amounts, are great as well. As you transition to a plant-based diet, feel free to indulge in processed soy products like soy milk, soy cheese, and soy ice cream for a while. But as you embrace whole, unrefined foods, and your body gets cleaner and more balanced, it's best to regard processed soy products as occasional treats.

(From "The Kind Diet" by Alicia Silverstone pg. 61)

Friday

Food Journal:
9:00am- 1 piece of wheat toast w/ earth balance (soy butter)
11:30am- plum, apple, a few tortilla chips w/ 1 tbsp salsa
2:00pm- squash w/ fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, corn and a corn tortilla. fruit leather.
5:00pm- all natural bunny graham cookies (like teddy grahams)
6:00pm- (homemade) Lentil soup
8:00pm- Lentil soup, fruit salad

No workout. Rest day. My body is sore and needs a rest. Abs only.


Okay, so I noticed my tummy has been a little irritated and bloated. I know my cycle is going to be starting in a week or so and this starts to happen but I think it has to do with some of the food I am eating. I have always tried to avoid wheat and corn because I am apparently allergic to them according to my blood type.


I am going to start avoiding them once again and go back to my non gluten, wheat free and corn free lifestyle and see what happens. Like I have said before listening to your body is extremely important. There are certain foods that our bodies have a hard time digesting and can cause discomfort.


I am also going to try rice milk instead of soy milk. I heard that was better for you. I love almond milk but many of them have oil in them and I am trying to avoid consuming oil. Although I basically only use soy milk to wet my cereal I want to try something new. Soy milk is better then cow's milk but it is also highly processed and should be consumed in moderation. I know there is some controversy regarding the consumption of soy so I am going to write a separate blog about it with information that I read in "The Kind Diet".

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday- Yoga kicked my butt

Food Journal:
9:00am Breakfast- Kashi cinnamon shredded wheat w/ soy milk, waffle w/ earth balance and strawberry jam
1:30pm Snack- Protein shake (protein powder, water, frozen papaya, pineapple, mango, strawberries and banana), a few pita chips
4:30pm Late Lunch- 2 whole wheat tortillas filled with veggies and salsa, tortilla chips and salsa
7:30pm Dinner- small salad (mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, pumpkin seeds and vinaigrette), a few fries (from Jazzy's plate), a few chips with pico de gallo, 3 glasses of water w/ lemon
Dessert- banana bread dessert (shared with Jazzy)
11:00- a few pita chips and water

Workout Journal:
Yoga Meltdown

Today's workout was very hard for me because I had to do it in a little space in my room. I didn't really have too much room to be free with my movements. I am going to try to do this DVD 2 times a week but not on consecutive days. I was tired today and my muscles were extra sore from yesterdays workout.

I had dinner tonight with one of my family members that is visiting from California. We ate a Caribbean restaurant and there was NOTHING on the menu that I could eat. There was a sundried tomato portabello and veggie sandwich but I was not in the mood for bread or a sandwich. I really wanted a salad. They has a small side salad that was vegan friendly so I ordered that. I also ate some of Jazzy's fries. She has been craving fries and has had then the last two nights. I had to help her eat them...LOL! They are vegan but they are also fried....NOT GOOD. We also shared a dessert that mainly consisted of banana bread. It had a scoop of ice cream with it but I only had a tiny spoon of that. I most ate the banana bread and fresh cut bananas. YUMMY!!!

Anyways, we had a wonderful time catching up with my cousin and her fiance. They just got engaged over the weekend so that was special. I also went to visit my grandma today and that always brings me joy. I love her sooooo much. I had a great day with my family.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday- Rug burns on my elbows ;)

Food for thought:
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new!

Food Journal:

9:00am- protein shake (soy protein powder, soy milk, strawberries and banana) (the soy protein powder I use has veggies and fruit in it. It smells like grass...ewww but it is yummy with fresh fruit in a smoothie)

12:30pm- brown rice, stirfry w/ salsa (leftovers from last nights dinner)

2:30pm- unsweetened hot acai berry tea, a few pita chips

4:30pm- veggie burger w/ avacado, steamed veggies, water w/ lemon, a few (about 10) shoe string fries (from Jazzy's plate;) (from BJ's restaurant)

9:30pm- Kashi cinnamon shredded wheat w/ soy milk (I don't ever drink the milk. I only use it to wet my cereal), vinegar and salt almonds

10:30pm- wheat tortilla w/ black beans and salsa ( I was still hungry thanks to the intense workout)

I noticed that when I don't eat a big breakfast I tend to eat more during the day and later into the night. I also workout at night which also makes me eat later at night. Even if I am tired I am still hungry and get extremely nauseous if I don't eat. That is why I woke up really nauseous this morning too because I went to bed hungry. I have to work something out. I need to workout earlier in the day and eat a bigger breakfast.

Workout Journal:

30 min DVD - level 1 (Yoga Meltdown -By Jillian Michaels)

OMG!!! Words can't even express how amazing I think this new video I bought is. I HIGHLY recommend you buy it. There are two levels and both are amazing. I did level one today and was sweating like a pig. I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE IT SOOOOOOOO MUCH! It makes you feel powerful and strong.

I bought this video because I was not in the mood to do any intense cardio. I was in the mood for doing something with low intensity and easy on my joints. Well even though there was no jumping around this video was anything but easy. It was an amazing and challenging workout. I can't wait to work up to level 2.

Like I said I can't even express how much I love it. WOOOOOOHOOOOOOO! Do you get it now? Can you see how excited I am? ;)))) I got rug burns on my elbows from doing the dolphin pose but I still loved it...LOL!

The dolphin pose starts by being in an ab hold (on your elbow and balls of your feet while holding body parallel to the floor) with your hands clasped. Then you pushed your tail bone up towards the ceiling and hold for a few seconds. Then you come back down into ab hold and repeat about 8 times, ending with the dolphin pose (tailbone in the air) and holding it for 15 seconds. OMG! That was torture. I definitley need to invest in a yoga mat unless I want some more rug burns.

Food For Thought

Daniel 1: 8-9
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.

Daniel 1: 11-17
Then said Daniel to Melzar whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,

Prove they servants, I beseech thee, ten days: and let them give us pulse (vegetables) to eat and water to drink.

Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenances of the children that eat the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.

And at the end of ten days their countenances appeard fairer and fatter (better looking, qualified, select, firm, plentous) in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.

Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse (vegetables).

As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them before Nebuchadnezzar

And the king communed with them: and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.

-----------------------------------------------

This scripture really touched my heart because of Daniel's conviction to stand firm on what he believed in. Just as God spoke to my heart concerning becoming vegan. I did not become vegan due to a trend or for vanity purposes.

Those of you that have followed me from the beginning know that I started this journey because I desired to become disciplined. I knew that this journey was not just about weight loss. I knew that my journey was a spiritual journey for me.

I prayed to God and asked Him to show me what I should do to achieve optimal health and this is the path that He lead me to. I know many don't understand and some may have things to say but I will stand firm on my beliefs.

God has been revealing so much to me spiritually and I have been gaining so much wisdom from some amazing people He has placed in my life. I am not awaken to all the answers yet but I am learning and becoming more conscious each day.

I have always seeked God's wisdom above all things. My hearts desire is to follow His will for my life and have the opportunity to share what He has taught me through my life's journey.

One thing that I am certain of is that HE has directed me down this path. It is about much more then eating vegetables. It is about being one with God, more conscious of my true being and eating things that are powered by the "son".

Being powered by the "son" means eating those things that are of the spirit not of the flesh. That might be a little deep for some to understand but I am convicted by it.

I can't even begin to articulate in words what that revelation means to me. I can just say that through all the trials I have been through the spirit of God has sustained me. My emotions "my flesh" tried to have control of me but I surrendered my heart and allowed God to take control. I now have more peace and a greater understanding of my purpose.

I am not moved by every storm that comes my way because I know that I am in the will of God. Everything that I encounter in life is for my growth not for my distruction.

So in my relentless journey to become disciplined and more in tune with myself and God, veganism has become my lifestyle.

I am still learning and my understanding is growing each day but so far I feel great. Right now I am going through a detoxing stage as my body is healing itself from years of abuse. This has also translated into somethings that have been going on in my personal life. I am learning to release some toxic relationships, thoughts and intentions as I move forward in my journey.

Things may not always be easy but I know that this life is not my own. I have been created by God to bring glory to Him. This body is His Temple and I will continue to seek His face for wisdom on how to keep it sacred.

Thank you for staying with me along this journey. Love. Peace. Joy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

MY definition of vegan:
Being one with the Earth and eating things that are powered by the sun.

This is what I am recieveing in my spirit regarding my transition into veganism. I have so much to share but I know that now is not the time. I am still learning and awakening to this deeper level of consciousness.

I have a tendency to get a little deep in my thoughts and some people may not understand what I am talking about. When the time is right I know I will be given the opportunity to share what God has given me along this journey.

Although some may not understand I am definitely one who stands for what I believe. We each have to stand by our convictions and believe in what is deep within our hearts.

Tuesday!! OH Naughty ME :))))

I ate a lot of naughty things today. It was okay though. I haven't been feeling well since last night. I think it is part of my body detoxifying. I also pushed really hard yesterday with my workout and felt like I wanted to puke...LOL! I kind of didn't recover from that. I wonder if my sugar dropped our something. I don't know but I enjoyed eating some naughty things today. It made me feel better...LOL! :)

Food Journal:
8:30am- 1/2 PB&J sandwhich (I woke up extremely nauseous.....I needed food quick)
9:30am- steelcut oats w/ soymilk, cinnamon and agave nectar
10:30am- 1/2 cup veggie stew w/ a few pita chips
2:30pm- brown rice, black beans, shredded romaine lettuce, salsa, beets, and lemon juice
4:00pm- small baggie of baked Doritos, a piece of "vegan" dark chocolate w/ almond and cherries.
5:00pm- soy mini ice cream sandwhich
7:00pm- 1 cup brown rice, 1 c stir fry w/ soy sauce, 3!!!! veggie egg rolls (not all at once:)
8:00pm- blue berry muffin, tiny taste of a cinnamon roll (my mom brought these fresh baked goodies home from work. They don't have preservatives but I know they contained some naughty ingredients and lots of empty calories. OH well they were yummy.)

Workout Journal:
40 minute cardio circuit training DVD

Today's workout was very intense for me. I pushed hard to complete it without modifications. I also used 2 lbs dumbells (not used in video) for added resistance and calorie burn. I was not feeling well and at the end I had to do some modifications for a couple of exercises. I was still proud of my workout and determination.

Thanks for checking on me!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday- Detoxing My Life

Food for thought: "Creativity with food may not be a natural talent BUT it can be learned with the smallest bit of encouragement and the right raw materials at your fingertips."

I read this quote at Sweet Tomatoes (Soup Plantation) and it was inspiring. I do find that I am more creative now with food. I like to find great cookbooks and try out new recipes. I also enjoy adapting some of my favorite non vegan dishes into vegan dishes. Today I made one of my favorites "beef stew" but without the beef. It turned out really yummy. I came home from Zumba and the pot was almost gone. I had a little more before someone ate it all. I tried to hide the leftovers in the back of the fridge but I have a feeling my brother will find it..LOL!

Food Journal:
9:30am Breakfast- PB&J on whole wheat bread (PB has not salt or sugar, jelly is low sugar and all natural)
1:00pm Lunch- black bean patty, bok choy, cherry tomatoes w/ lemon and sea salt
Snack- pita chips (in a dixie cup at Fresh and Easy)
5:00pm Dinner- 1/2 veggie stew w/ 1/4 c white rice
8:00pm Snack- almonds (smokehouse jalapeno...love love love them)
8:30pm- 1/4 c veggie stew w/ 1/4 c rice, natural fruit strip (like a fruit roll up...from Fresh and Easy.)

Workout Journal:
Zumba class (1 hr: warm up, cardio, cool down and stretch)
After my normal Zumba dance routine I had the ladies do some squats. We did 60 pulsing squats. (It is not a full squat up and down.....you hold yourself in squat position and pulse up and down slightly, keeping constant resistance on your leg muscles.) We also did 2 sets/20 reps each of girlie pushups. I totally felt that puke factor going up the roof with that little circuit training routine. WOW! My hip flexors and bootie are definitely feeling it today. My chest was also on fire from the pushups.

Lots of thing are changing in my life right now. Although naturally they may seem the same my perception about them keeps changing. I have so much going on but yet I feel strong deep within. My mind and my emotions may try to get the best of me at times but through those weak moments I grow stronger. New words of empowerment are birthed through me and I become more conscious of my strength and my destiny. It is hard at times to walk through life when so much is pressing you down but I have learned to rise above and stay connected to the promises God has made to me. People may not understand, at times I don't even understand but I am dedicated to achieving God's will for my life.


Not only is my body detoxifying, healing and renewing itself through this new vegan lifestyle but so is my mind and spirit. It may be scary and shaky at times but I am confident that the end will be even greater then the beginning. Thank you for taking this journey with me. LOTS OF LOVE <3 <3 <3

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday

Food Journal:

12:00pm Breakfast- steel cut oats, agave nectar and cinnamon. 1/2 bagel w/ tofutti cream cheese and a slice of avacado

5:30pm Dinner- portobello mushroom burger on whole wheat bun

7:20pm- cinnamon applesauce cup

9:00pm- 1 piece of wheat bread w/ PB&J (I wanted something sweet:)

10:00pm- tortilla chips w/ salsa

No workout today. Rest day! I did some house cleaning and organizing.




Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday- Lost 2 more lbs.

Food Journal:
11:30am Breakfast- steelcut oats w/ agave nectar and cinnamon (no soy milk so I used water), 1/2 bagel w/ tofutti cream cheese
2:30pm Lunch- brown rice w/ black beans, pico de gallo, alfalfa sprouts, vegan cheese, beets and hot sauce
3:30pm- scoop of mint chocolate chip gelato (not vegan...made my tummy hurt from the dairy)
4:30pm Snack- rice and beans chips (chips made out of rice and beans:)
7:00pm Dinner- sandwhich and pasta salad (sandwhich- tofurky sausage link, sauteed onions and mushrooms, avacado on a toasted whole wheat french bread) (Pasta salad- brown rice pasta, lemon juice, Goddess dressing, tomatoes, red onion, green olives and cucumber)

Workout Journal:

40 min DVD (No More Trouble Zones) I alternated between 10 lb and 3 lbs weights. It was an awesome workout. I really concentrated on my muscles.

I was curious and weighed myself this morning. I am trying to only weigh myself once a week. At times I get nervous that I will gain weight back so I weigh myself more then once. That is not good but sometimes it helps to keep me in line. I was surprised to see that I lost a little more then 2 lbs. My scale is not digital so I don't know the exact weight.

I haven't been working out a lot but my diet has been pretty clean as you can see. No eating animal protein is really helping me shed my unwanted pounds pretty quick. I am also avoiding processed food as much as I can as well. I am really excited about this new lifestyle. I can see my goals getting closer now.

I have struggled with my weight for the last 10 plus years and it was so discouraging. I have teeter tottered at the same weight for months and I am finally under that weight for good. It feels good and don't see myself going back.

This new lifestyle has really been good for me. Now I just need to get back to my strict workout routine and I will be awesome. I am looking into some new workout routines to help me achieve the results I am looking for. I know P90X is good and now there is a new program I saw called INSANITY. They both cost the same amount. I think I want to try the INSANITY program because you don't need any extra equipment like a pull up bar. We will see.

I know that our body changes the most when we push it beyond our limited mind. I also know that we can't keep doing the same routines on a daily basis and expect to see the results we want to see. Of course we can lose weight but to see true body tranformation like muscle toning and definition we have to confuse our muscles and push beyond our comfort zones.

We also can't workout really hard and eat poorly. I know I have said to myself "well I worked out hard so I can eat this one time" or " I don't eat like this all the time" or " I will burn it off later". I know we can burn off the calories but why take two steps back? Why workout really hard and then put crap back in our bodies. I personally don't want to do that. We can still indulge in our favorite foods with healthier options. It will take effort but I think we are definitley worth it. :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday

Food Journal:
9:00am Breakfast- 1/2 banana
12:30pm Snack- soy protein shake (protein powder, water, pineapple, apple, strawberries)
Lunch- 2 chicken wings, 1 small piece of supreme pizza (I was at my mother in laws and she had nothing else to eat in her fridge. This was not vegan and my tummy really hurt me after): 1/2 cup dry cereal (clusters w/ soy and flaxseed)
Dinner- 2 pieces of homemade VEGAN pizza (whole wheat dough, artichoke hearts, olives, mushrooms, spinach, vegan cheese, tomate paste)

No workout.

I had a very emotional day. I have been dealing with some personal things and today I lost it. I couldn't keep it together. I went to my mother in laws to be away from everything and just be alone. Nobody was there so it gave me time to have some peace and not be bothered. I am doing a little better right now. I do have a headache from allergies and crying so I was not in the mood to workout.

I wasn't really in the mood to eat very much today. I wasn't really hungry. BUT I invaded my mother in laws fridge and saw a box of Pizza Hut pizza. It had 3 pieces of supreme pizza left and some wings. OH MY! I don't know what came over me but I ate some (1 piece of pizza and 2 wings). It tasted good but I paid for it after. My tummy really hurts me. I won't be doing that again.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday

Food Journal:
9:30am Meal 1- steelcut oats w/ water (did have any soymilk), agave nectar, banana and cinnamon.
12:30pm Meal 2- brown rice and baby bok choy
1 No Pudge Brownie
6:00pm Meal 3- Tuscan pasta
Update:
I got a little hungry at night and ate 1 banana, 1/2 a bagel w/ tofutti cream cheese and a See's chocolate lollipop. That was over a period of 4 hours.

No workout today. Abs only. (I did 300 crunches- various types)

Jazzy and I went to the library. I checked out 3 vegan cookbooks. There are some really great recipes in there. I can't wait to try some out and let you know how they taste. Being vegan is truly yummy. I made Tuscan pasta for dinner tonight and it was very filling and delicious. EVERYONE including Jazzy loved it. Jazzy rated it an 11. YAY! Below is the recipe for the pasta dish.
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuscan Style Pasta

Ingredients:
1- 14 oz. can of diced tomatos
1- 15 oz. can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 tbsp of fresh chopped rosemary
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch half moons
1 small eggplant, cut into cubes
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb penne or other short tubular pasta (I used organic brown rice penne pasta)

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat add the zucchini and eggplant and cook until slightly softened, about 2 mintues. (I do not use oil. I sautee veggies with water. You can use olive oil if you would like). Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in rosemary, tomatoes, chickpeas, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes to blend the flavors.
2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Drain and place pasta in the pot with the sauce. Toss gently to combine. Serve at once.
Serves 4.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday - Feeling good and on my way

Listen to your body and feed it what it wants. There is a difference between your mind and your body speaking. Don't give into the temptation of sugar and unhealthy snacks. Our bodies are naturaly designed by God to run effortlessly with proper nutrition. If your body is craving unhealthy snacks then maybe it is time you do a cleanse or start eating more fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains. Clean healthy food that comes from the earth has the power to heal your body from disease, low energy, insomnia, unhealthy cravings and many other things.

I am personally learning how to listen to my body and feed it what it craves and not what I think it needs. Sometimes too much of a good thing is unhealthy. If my body is craving fruits then maybe my body is trying to correct an imbalance. Something in that fruit will set me back on track and I will be on my way. Work with your body NOT against it.

"I have become convinced that the most overlooked tool in our medical arsenal is harnessing the body's own ability to heal through nutritional excellence" -Dr. Mehmet Oz

Food Journal:
9:30am Meal 1- 1/2 onion bagel w/ tofutti cream cheese and a fruit soy smoothie (soy protein powder by JuicePlus, a piece of banana, 3 frozen strawberries, fresh pineapple and water), 2 JuicePlus capsules (provides healthy dose of fruit and veggie)

11:30 am Meal 2- mini black bean patty w/ zucchini

2:00pm Meal 3- healthy PB&J (no salt and low sugar), tortilla chips and salsa, a couple of organic apple slices

5:00pm Meal 4- 2 soyrizo tacos, harvest grains, beets
Dessert- No Pudge Brownie w/ walnuts (yes it has egg whites in it. I did use soy vanilla yogurt)
Snack- homemade tortilla chips, 1 tbsp salsa, water

Workout Journal:
30 Day Shred Level 2 with 10 and 3 lb weights
-AND-
Weight training (biceps, triceps, shoulders)

I had planned once again to go running this morning but it was extremely windy. I didn't want to breathe in all of the pollen in the air. I also wanted to do 2 DVDs but after that level 2 workout, I was done. I did a little weight training and felt good.

Iris- How do you like those walking pushups in level 2? How about those jumping lunges and traveling pushups in level 3? They are challenging for me but I love them.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tuesday

Food is more than fuel. It is a powerful source of healing.

Food Journal:
Breakfast- 1/2 piece of toast with Tofutti cream cheese, 1 waffle with Earth Balance and strawberry jam.
Lunch- brown rice, black beans, zucchini, pico de gallo, guacamole. water
2 maple cookies (the sugar gave me a headache and made me feel so yucky)
Dinner- black bean guacamole burger, sweet potato fries
Jazzy and I shared a dark chocolate (no milk) candy bar. We took little pieces from it and ate it throught a 4 hour period. It was yummy. :)
Snack- apple slices, chips w/ salsa (I was hungry because I ate dinner early)

Workout Journal:
30 Day Shred (level 3 with 10 lbs weights:)

Updated Pic

Picture 10/8/2009



Picture 04/6/2010




My progress has been slow but steady. I have only lost 20 pounds. My body compostion and shape has changed which is great. The biggest difference in my journey has been my knowledge and dedication. My eating habits have changed and I am proud of that most of all. I am looking for change that will last for a lifetime.

I feel stronger, lighter and I definitely have more endurance. I am also more at peace with myself and feel more confident. I still have a long way to go to achieve my goals but I am going to get there. The pressure is off. I just need to keep pressing forward and eating properly. As long as I am eating healthy clean food I don't need to obsess about my calories. That is so liberating.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday

Diet (noun): a way of living, or thinking, a day's journey.


Food Journal:
Breakfast- oatmeal w/ agave nectar and soy milk, two pieces of whole wheat toast w/ tofutti cream cheese
Snack- tortilla chips w/ hummus
Lunch- miso soup with bok choy
Treat- 1/2 soy mini ice cream, 1 maple cookie
Snacks- roasted almonds, pretzels, hummus with a piece of broccoli, fruit smoothie (at the JuicePlus meeting)
Dinner- naked veggie burrito (rice, black beans, guacamole, lettuce, pico de gallo, hot salsa, veggies)


I weighed myself today and I lost almost 5 lbs this week. That is amazing considering I started my cycle this week and was on vacation. This vegan lifestyle really is amazing and helps keep your body burning and digesting food efficiently creating a great opportunity for quick weight loss. I am only on week 3 and I feel amazing. I haven't even been that strict but I am getting great results so far.


I feel lighter, have better energy and moods. I am excited to see what happens as I learn more and keep moving forward. So far so good! :)

I atteneded a JuicePlus information event tonight at my new friend and "mentor's" house. She may not know I think of her in that way but I am truly inspired by her and I am motivated by her passion for this vegan lifestyle. She has blessed me with the opportunity to take her Wellness 101 classes starting on the 26th. I am super excited to learn and help teach others. She also wants me to teach my Zumba classes when she opens her new Wellness Center.

God is definitely lining things up according to His plan. I am not sure of everything He has but I know it is BIG and it is on it's way. You all know how very passionate I am about my health and how much I desire to be able to help others. This will be an amazing opportunity to do that. I am totally excited.

Be KIND!

I highly recommend this new book that I bought while on vacation. It is called "The Kind Diet" by Alicia Silverstone. It is so amazing, informative and organic. Organic to me means natural and unadulterated....pure. It really awakened my spirit to become more conscious of our planet as a whole. Being vegan means more then eating veggies. It is about being conscious of your body, mind and spirit and how it is aligned with the whole earth. Every decision we make affects more then just ourselves.

Many of us are ignorant about the affects our food choices have on the planet. We don't realize that animal cruelty runs ramped. We don't understand what it took to make the hamburger, those eggs or that milk we consume. We don't understand how heavy we are treading on this earth and how that will affect our children and generations to come.

Human disease is not the only concern. The destruction of our planet is also equally important. The manifestation of human illness and death is a manifestation and reflection of the condition of our planet. We can't ignore one and address the other. They go hand in hand.

I am extremely excited about this new journey. I pray you stick with me and maybe you will be inspired to make some healthy and conscious changes of your own.

I may be starting a new blog soon. I will keep you informed.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Breaking The Curse

I was reminded during my vacation why I am so motivated and passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. While visiting some of my family members we discussed the health issues of some of my relatives. My family suffers from diabetes, high cholestorol and obesity. Many of my family members died from these diseases and others struggle with the complications of them everyday.

All of these diseases can be prevented. Although many say they are hereditary I don't believe it. We can have a greater risk of developing these diseases but they are definitely preventable. What is hereditary and more dangerous then the diseases are the eating habits learned and carried on through generations.

I remember my grandma and how she cooked. I remember the things my mom used to cook and make me eat. I remember drinking gallons of sugary Kool-aid and dozens of greasy homemade flour tortillas. My mom used to also make pig skins in tomato sauce. I used to hate it but I was always forced to eat it.

It was no wonder why I struggled with obesity. It is not the only factor that lead to my poor eating habits but it did influence my life. I was not educated about proper nutrition until I seeked the knowledge myself.

I am EXTREMELY passionate about being healthy now. I am so excited to learn everything I can. I want to be able to teach others and maybe even help save the lives of some of my family members. I know many of the diseases they face can be reversed. They can also be prevented for future generations. Proper nutrition and exercise is the key to this transformation and breaking this generational curse.

I am deeply saddened when people don't take care of themselves. Many don't care and many don't believe there is hope. I know there is hope and I want to inspire them to care. I don't want anyone else to die knowing I may hold a cure. Thinking of that just makes me cry.

So many people suffer at the hands of ignorance. Knowledge is power and I want to help empower others to live the best life they can. They deserve it and are worth it.

It is crazy when I hear people say "well I love chips and I won't stop eating them." Are chips, cookies, fried foods, soda and other toxic foods so good that they are worth years of your life? Does that cheeseburger really taste better then living a healthy disease free life? Is that piece of cake worth getting hours of dialysis? Is that pork chop worth experiencing a heart attack?

I understand that not everyone wants to eat vegetables all day but becoming educated about food and your body is super important. Once you have the knowledge then you can make an educated and well informed decision about the lifestyle that you want to lead.

For me I have chosen vegan because I prayed for this lifestyle. I asked God to lead me and He put this opportunity before me. I know this is for me because I adapted to it with ease. It may not be for everyone and I understand but don't be ignorant or lazy about your life and body. Take the time to pray, read and empower yourself. You are definitely worth the time.

Wednesday Thru Sunday

I have been gone on vacation and I must admit that it was really hard to stick to my eating habits. Not because I wanted to eat non-vegan food but because not every place has food to accomodate my new lifestyle. I did rather well but did eat a little bit of animal protein. It was really special to see my family support my new vegan lifestyle. Everyone did their best to ensure I had some of my favorite treats and also took me to restaurants that had vegan friendly options on the menu. It really meant a lot to me to have people understand and support me.

Here is a little run down of what I ate while on vacation.

Wednesday- (traveled to California)
Breakfast- steel cut oats
Treat- tall skinny vanilla latte w/ soy milk (I was really sleepy. I only had 4 hrs of sleep)
Lunch- (Soup Plantation with my cousin Iris :) large salad, breadstick, pizza stick, soup, blueberry muffin, flavored water
Dinner- veggie footlong sub from Subway, chips with guacamole
Dessert- chips ahoy cookies (4)
Workout- 15 min treadmill, 15 min elliptical, 20 min weight training (at the hotel gym)

Thursday- (drove to Chula Vista)
Breakfast- 1/2 of a mini muffin, apple (hotel breakfast)
Lunch- fish taco, rice, beans, chips and salsa
Dinner- (El Torritos with my cousin Lynnette:) veggie fajitas, corn tortilla, ice water
Dessert- 2 pieces of dark chocolate
No workout

Friday- (Disneyland)
Breakfast- oatmeal w/ honey
Treat- tall skinny vanilla latte with soy milk
Lunch- veggie burger with fries
Dinner- cobb salad (shared with mom. It had blue cheese, bacon and chicken. I did not eat the chicken but couldn't really avoid eating the bacon and cheese it was mixed in.)
Dessert- piece of carrot cake (shared with mom, daughter and brother)
Workout- walked around Disneyland ALLLLL day from 11:30am-11:00pm. I was extremely tired and sore.

Saturday-(hung out with my family at my cousin Annette's house:)
Breakfast- 1/2 bagel with butter
Lunch- snacked on veggies and pita chips with hummus, fresh fruit, and yummy lentil soup
Treat- tall skinny vanilla latte with soy milk
Dinner- (with Dad and Jazzy) veggie burger w/ avacado, steamed veggies (no fries), water
No workout.

Sunday- (drove back to Vegas)
Breakfast- 1/2 of a pan dulce, coffee w/ hazelnut creamer
Lunch- (Panda Express) fried rice, steamed veggies, pink lemonade
Dinner- (Qdoba) rice, black beans, grilled veggies, pico de gallo, hot salsa, lettuce (naked veggie burrito)
While driving home I did eat some Easter candy. I was really hungry and didn't have any snacks. The candy actually made me feel really sick. YUCK!

While traveling this week I snacked on a lot of dried edamame and protein bars. I snacked on lots of fresh fruit while at Disneyland. I did my best to pack some healthy snacks but did eat some things that were not so good. Overall I know I did a great job. Tomorrow I am back to my vegan lifestyle. I enjoyed myself BUT I am so happy to be home.