Saturday, September 25, 2010

Vegan Delight

One day until the PCRM 21 day Vegan challenge is over for me.  I promised myself that if I lost 5 pounds I would continue on with my Midwest Vegan Quest.  Surprises abound.  I have not lost 5 pounds but I have lost a few and I have enjoyed the food immensely.  Ive decided to keep going!  Im going to keep myself on track and continue to enjoy the wonderful blogs Ive found and the great recipes at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's recipe link

I must admit that I did eat non vegan for one weekend when I visited home for the hometown festival.  However, it wasnt much of a cheat as it was the BEAN FESTIVAL!!  Ha.  Seriously, that 3 bean casserole is delicious but flavored with a small amount of hamburger and bacon.  Im going to try to find a recipe for a vegan version.

Ive been cooking up a storm and am making some relatively great recipes of  my own making so my next step in this Midwest Vegan Quest will be to start posting my recipes on this journey.  I cant say that mine ever look as beautiful as some of the other food bloggers out there but hey, its just the beginning.  Rome was not built in a day, eh?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Second Day and Food is Good

Time constraints are playing a definite part in what I am eating.  I made enough steel cut oats for several days as they warm in the microwave quite well.  For a quick and easy meal I combined a can of Brooks Chili Beans and a can of corn with peppers.  Added a teaspon of Apple Cider Vinegar which I have found to add to that sweet/sour combo I love.  Topped with raw onion and Kroger store brand hot and sweet jalapenos and that took the dish from a 5 to a 10 for me.  Completed this dish with a side of Polenta that I made for the first time.  I found inspiration from the PCRM website's recipe for Grilled Polenta with Rosemary.  I altered it for simplicity's sake.  First, my corn meal from Honeyville makes yummy Polenta.  Second, used my Rosemary/Garlic blend store bought spice mix.  Delish.  Must admit I fried it in pieces in Virgin Organic Coconut Oil.  I will interested to hear how the PCRM and my friend Bill's peers feel about Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.   My circle of friends use Coconut Oil for the health benefits and I started to use it myself after reading up on it.  Ive gotten mixed messages from different groups so the jury is still out.  Dinner was with friends at Skyline so I got a bean burrito deluxe for the veggies and left off the dairy items.  It was the best I could come up with at that joint.  Snack a very tasty organic apple from the local Organic Produce coop that I just discovered.  I actually really have enjoyed the food I am eating.  No problem sustaining the Vegan challenge.  We will see how I feel in a week. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 1 Vegan Challenge

PCRM's 21 day kickstart
I plan to weigh myself today and keep track weekly of any weight loss. 

First day menu:
Today’s Meal Plan and Recipes
Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal : 
Ive altered and had my steel cut oats that I purchase from my favorite online supply source  The steel cut oats are delish and offer a chewy consistency I like.  For a flavor craver I suprisingly like my oats rather plain with a heavy dose of Vanilla Almond Milk(used to use Fat free half and half pre Vegan Challenge)  Im used to sweet so I used Agave Nectar and some Splenda.   It's very good with fresh strawberries and nuts also but I think my growing up a Cream of Wheat girl gave me a taste for the plainer version I like.

While the rest of the days menu sounds pretty good I have not shopped for all of the ingredients and I have some of my own African Groundnut Stew from the freezer to use up before I start loading up on new productions.
Lunch: Couscous Confetti Salad and Carrot and Red Pepper Soup

Snack: Toast with apple butter and banana

Dinner: Hoppin’ John Salad and Kwick Kale

Dessert: Alicia's Crocodile Crunch
Today's celebrity tips are from Alicia Silverstone.  Have to say that she looks good these days.  I can recall a chubby stage for her and I wonder when she went Vegan.  I bet that weight came off when she adopted the lifestyle.

Cravings have not set in yet although in the true fashion of preparing to give up something I find myself thinking of the contraband in the refrigerator I didnt ditch.  Fam will eat it.  I have enough will power to ignore. :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One Day to PCRM Vegan 21 day Kickstart and Esselstyn's Whole Foods line

Well, there is just one more day until the 21 day Vegan Kickstart I'm participating in from PCRM(Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine).  This brand new blogging all alone begs the question: if a tree falls in the forest is there anyone there to hear it?

Today I am searching for Vegan prepared food sources.  My love of restaurants and good food combined with my lack of time due to family and business means I need to set myself up for success by finding outside sources to supplement my own cooking.  Pragmatically I can not cook full time and I am trying to find ways to head off my restaurant food cravings.  Enter the search for prepared foods. I found this little announcement for the new store brand Whole Foods will be carrying a new line based on the Engine 2 diet  and decided to post it as I recognize the author's name from my dear online vegan friend Bill's emails. So Dr. Esselstyn's son is doing quite well for himself ;)   Dr. Esselstyn must be very proud of his son and his success with the diet values his father and mother no doubt instilled in him. I believe I've seen an interview of mom and son at some point in my past years so I will definitely be trying the line as this could offer some great support in a Vegan Hurried Life. Is that an oxymoron? I hope not.

The restaurant guide link at PCRM's kickstart site is not working for me but I did find when I searched google and Cincinnati Vegan restaurants that in fact we DO have a few. But, I'm not hopeful as the menus don't sound nearly as good as the restaurants on both coasts. Note to self(since Im the only one listening..ha): Get camera ready to take pictures of yummy stuff I make.  Has to be rewarding to see your creations online and hope they inspire others.  As soon as I figure my way around the blogosphere I will definitely be handing out some attaboy and attagirl posts.
I am COMPLETELY impressed with the foodie blogs that have delicious and beautiful vegan offerings. I am positive I could fall easily in love with Vegan eating if I had time to play in the kitchen. I can see my niche may be forming. The Midwest Guiltless Gourmet Easy Vegan that too much to ask?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

21 day Vegan Kickstart

Today is the first time Ive ever blogged.  Ive enjoyed reading other people's blogs but never took the big dive myself.  I'm giving a shout out to the dude at for inspiring me to actually blog.  While Ive only read his blog a few times it helped me to realize that I needed to change the way I'm eating to change the way I'm feeling.  I also figured out that it's a lot easier to go Vegan in the Big Apple or on the West Coast than in the Midwest.   At least for people who enjoy restaurant eating as much as I do.  I have a Vegan online buddy in California and he is a true champion for the plant based diet.  He has shared his enthusiasm with many including me and here's hoping that it finally sticks!  Here in the Midwest, at least in MY neck of the Midwest, there are not any Vegan restaurants.  We love a good steak and good ribs around here.  We eat our Skyline chili with meat.  You can have it with Beans but forget leaving out the meat.

Ive begun blogging today because I'm taking the Vegan challenge from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine here:   I thought I would post and blog about the experience in the hopes that others who do not have ready access to delicious Vegan restaurant fare may join me and we can begin to get healthier together.  I do love restaurants and I love great food.  I am a pretty good cook and I hope that I can make the effort to make delicious appetizing Vegan meals for the next 21 days.  I am going to use the resources of PCRM and some great Vegan cookbooks I've purchased to try to approximate some of the yummy NYC and West Coast restaurant fare Ive been reading about.

Lastly, I've been trying to eat healthier for the last five years.  I believe that I always felt a little demoralized because no matter what email or blog I was reading the people had ALREADY acheived great results in the form of weight loss.  This is a chance for me to share the struggle from the "ground up" so to speak.  So, if you are reading this and you have some good information to share with me or with others please post and please link.  Forgive me if I do not link properly.  Im a newbie for sure.

Thanks for reading and here's to a journey towards health and wellness:  My Midwest Vegan Quest