Monday, November 17, 2008

weekend food and my vegan weight gain

As I sit here huddled in front of a space heater drinking a huge mug of hot tea, I must finally acknowledge that winter has come to my town.  It snowed today.  Snow!  The thing about winter is this:  I combat cold weather with heavy meals.  And It's starting to show.  Michael calls this my winterfat.  It's time for me to admit to myself though, that I've gained 10 pounds in the past 6 months and most of it has been since October.  Bummer!  My fattypants are now just 'pants'.  Which honestly, it doesn't look that bad.  But I don't have any work fattypants and I can't afford to buy new ones.  So I think it's time for me to tone down on my winter eating, haha...  Seriously, guys, I popped a button on Saturday.  I take this as a sign.  

As such, I am trying to eat a little lighter.  The meals you are about to see are the end of my overindulgence.  Yeah, I'm still probably going to be cooking warm winter meals, but my goal is to eat smaller portions of the heavy stuff and fill up on veggies.  Plus, I really have to start exercising, even though I hate it.  Great!  Please gimme some love on this front, because I need motivation.  Pronto.  I mean, I'm weighing more now than I have in about 3 years, and I really just wanna tone up.  And fit into my pants again.  What are exercises that you guys do at your houses (sans equipment) to stay in shape?  There is a gym in my office building, which I will use about 3 times a week, but what else can I do at home?  Is there an exercise video that you swear by?  One that is sort of fun and will trick me into wanting to exercise?  Just curious.  

Anyway, this being a food blog and all, you probably wanna see some food.  Here you are:

First up is some biscotti that Michael made last week: thing i'm not going to be eating for awhile

They were so good.  I didn't help him at all, either.  'Cause I'm a jerk like that.  No really, I get really pushy in the kitchen sometimes, and this was one of those days, so I just left him to it, and he did a wonderful job.  The recipe is from Vcon, but I really can't be bothered to look it up right now.  It's supposed to have macadamia nuts in it, but he put almonds in there instead, which was a wise (and less expensive) choice.  Chocolate + almonds = bliss, yes?  Especially lovely when dipped in a cup of coffee.  

Next is evidence that I do eat salad:
i love veggies.

Except that this was totally cancelled out by eating an excessive amount of croissantdogs.  Bah.

And then!  I got a request last week for a curry!  I haven't made a curry since before October, because we were a little burned out on them.  This one has loads of spinach, carrots, peas, and tofu.  Oh, and coconut  milk.  Foiled again!

Served with brown basmati rice:
creamy yummy yum yum yum

Saturday I cooked dinner for my 2 brothers and their families.  Before I show you the food, let me show you what was on the fridge at Jimmy's (my oldest brother) house.
broc!  hilarious!

No, but the truly crazy thing is that my nephew, Charlie, drew the picture on the left on Election Day (Nov 4, as if you didn't remember).  The photo on the left was in the paper on November 15.  What!  My nephew is psychic!  Cool.

So anyway, this is what I made.  It's the casserole with a gross name that tastes totally delicious.
i made way too much food.

I don't know why I made so much, but Michael and I ended up taking almost an entire casserole dish of the stuff home with us, which we ate.  Believe me, this stuff never goes to waste.  And it was a hit, I think!  My oldest brother seemed a little skeptical about the 'brown bits' and the 'white stuff', and weirded out by the amount of soy in the thing, but nobody could deny how totally rad it tasted.  I don't know if any of the kids ate it.  They were in a separate room with open access to a trash can, so it's anybody's guess.  So...all in all, success!

My sisters-in-law contributed some loverly bread rolls and a totally rockin' salad with homemade dressing.  Here it is all plated up.
you'd think our family was italian, no?

Look at my brother's supercool beer glasses.  That's his name, Jimmy.  Awesome!

Last night, I found a stuffing recipe.  We based a meal around it.  The rest of the meal was great!  The stuffing kind of sucked.  But I admit to that being my fault since I added excessive amounts of fresh sage to it.  Bad idea!  Oh, also, it was mushy.  I like a dry stuffing.  So at least I know what not to do on Thanksgiving.  Practice makes perfect.  The veg with dinner was yummy though.  We found baby artichokes on sale at the store on Friday ($1.49 for a HUGE package of them, whaaaat?).  These were fun and tasty, but the instructions on the package as to how to prepare them freaked me out.  It stopped calling them 'baby artichokes' and just started calling them 'babies'.  Weird!

Sauteed up with some onions, spinach, grape tomatoes, and white wine.  So good.  We were also feeling in the mood for tempeh.  I didn't feel like inventing a marinade, so I used the basic broiled tofu recipe from Vcon, but used tempeh (boiled first) instead.  It was seriously good.  It's amazing to me what soy sauce, garlic, and lemon juice can do to something.  So easy!  So good!  So...yeah!
sunday dinners are the best

So now I'm off to reheat my tea (it goes from boiling to ice cold in 10 minutes in my apartment) and think of what I can eat for dinner that isn't going to make me any fatter.  I really want some lentils.  And squash.  Those are ok, right?  Jeez.  Now that I actually cook things from scratch, I have no concept of how much fat and calories are in things anymore.  I used to know the calories/fat of everything in my cupboard when I was omni.  Not that that was healthy either, you know.  I'm just saying...sometimes I miss knowing what the hell I'm eating, dietary info-wise.  And no, I'm not going to spend an hour on some website feeding in every ingredient of a recipe to find out the nutrition breakdown.  I'm just gonna use my common sense, ok?  Word.


miss v said...

girl, i hear you. my first three months of being vegan i just wanted to learn to cook everything vegan. which basically resulted in me eating everything in 3 months that i had eaten my entire life (only veganized). the best thing i learned was to keep a lot of raw veggies around. so if i wanted to eat, that was it. i didn't have the option of making something fantastic. (oh! by the way, i thought i was the only one who loved carrots and mustard!)

i'm sure you are adorable and cute and skinny. and your meals rock, so i'll certainly miss seeing them.
but i've put on like 5-10 pounds this fall too... which i'm bound and determined to lose by xmas! so i'll look forward to seeing your new awesome lighter meals... :)

Virginia said...

10 pounds? i wouldn't stress it. just try not to gain anymore if it makes you uncomfortable. cut back on sweets, eat more veg, and it will probably come right off. i would like to lose 10 pounds as well...i am told that it isn't needed but it is needed for ME. as for exercises, for free you can get some heavy cans or something and do squats using them as weights. and there is always exercise dvds, running around your neighborhood, etc.

see, that's the thing with sage. i am always scared to use it because it is one of those spices where it is very easy to use too much and then you are screwed because it overpowers everything.

oh and the bread i made is from vegweb, i answered you in my comments so i am letting you know in case you didn't check back!

everything looks great though! i would be kinda freaked out about baby artichokes being referred to as "babies" as well...would make me feel like a gremlin in a cave or something about to snack on children.

Anonymous said...

Mmm, all this food is making me hungry! Don't even stress weight loss. Just fill up on veggies and eat a little less, you'll be fine! =)

Anonymous said...

Meh, ten pounds doesn't look bad, I'm sure. Your brother only noticed because he's a brother and taht's what brothers are for, haha.
Here's what I use for calorie counting:
They have calories for basically every food in existence!!!

Gina said...

Your babies look delicious!!

Hehe, sorry I couldn't resist, I think I found that way too funny.

Everything looks delish, especially the curry, yum!!

I love to work out, if you ever want any advice drop me an email :) Personally, I have a hard time motivating myself to work out at home, unless it is outside. If you want to "tone up" you can easily do it with gym access 3 days a week and some walking. You could obviously do it all at home too! Really though, working out is my thing, let me know if you want to chat.


Give kettlebells a try. You can buy them at target along with a workout DVD. I've been doing the workouts at least 3 times a week and it feels so great. You sweat ALOT, but you have such a sense of accomplishment. If you don't know what KETTLEBELLS are, jut google it. They are basically cow bell shaped weights. I HIGHLY recommended them. It takes about45 minutes to do a completely workout. But they do carry a 20 minute express dvd on Amazon.

Anonymous said...

oh the pitfalls of food blogging! So many people I know, vegan or not, have gained weight once they got into food blogging...
I know before I blogged about food I rarely made cupcakes or cookies, etc., but I find myself making more "fun" meals (not just sweets) especially because I'm inspired by the great looking food on everyone's blog!
I'm a runner, and all you need for that is some shoes, but that's not for everyone. There are some great DVDs that are good for home, and if you have access to a gym there are probably some great cardio classes (lifting weights is important, but you'll burn more calories doing cardio).
Email me if you want more info - 10 lbs is frustrating, but totally doable!

Anonymous said...

I love the Broc Obama drawing!
Your food looks awesome, as usual. I'm craving pasta bake now thanks to your noodle casserole pictures :o)
I have nothing to offer on the exercise front cos I avoid it like the plague~the closest thing I get to exercise is playing Wii games and doing housework!
I managed to lose 8lb during MoFo by eating dessert as a meal, not after one (I flatly refuse to give up baked goods!).
You'll find what works best for you and you'll ditch the 'fattypants' in no time >:o)

Sal said...

I feel your pain chick! I had to sign up to weightwatchers again to try in an effort to lose some poundage - I want to ditch my fattypants too!

But I hate salad and I love baking!

I know how to cook lower fat, I've just been lazy. It does look from my blog that I only make chocolate cake! hahah but I don't really!

allularpunk said...

thanks for the love, interweb friends. this is all in the wake, too, that my town is the fattest city in the nation (google huntington, WV and see what pops up). i just don't want to contribute. and while i am far from obese (thank goodness), i know that gaining weight is a slippery slope and hard to stop once it starts. i'm going to try my best to be more active and just cut back on portions. i know from experience that if i 'give up' foods, they will be all i want. everything in moderation. perhaps i'll buy myself an exercise dvd today!

jessy said...

shit, i gained some weight when we became vegan, too! about 5 pounds within like 3 months. and then some. but i've started running, and that really, really helps. well, running in combination with eating a crap-load of veggies and smaller portions of the stuff that was make'n me gain some weight. and no, i never thought of myself as a runner, in fact - had you asked me before about running i would have laughed at you! hard. but then in february my friend suggested we do a 5K together (3+ miles, something like that) and so i used this program (which at first seemed really silly 'cause i was like "omg, this is just too easy!") and now i'm addicted to running! i just finished an 8K this weekend and in the spring i'm do'n a 10K. me, the anti-running runner! ahahahaa! also: yoga rocks! you should try that, too! and lift weights for some strength training twice a week, too! i love do'n that. it's fun to challege youself and such. w00t! but anyways - on to the food. 'cause it all looks soooo good...

okay - i think your nephew's psychic, too! what an awesome kid. and that casserole, ooooooh, that casserole. it's so awesome! hooray for some tasty salad and more of your sister-in-law's perfect rolls! yay! i bet everyone loved the hell outta your dish! yay! the curry looks fantastical. holy batman, i love coconut milk. mmmmmm! hooray for Michael make'n some tasty biscotti, too! i get pushy in the kitchen as well. i can't help it. that's a good idea to just leave 'em alone and let the boys do their thang. i'll remember that this thursday when dan's make'n his meal. :) your salad totally has me wanting to grow some sprouts now so i can put some on my salads! sorry the stuffing was kinda wet - i'm with you, i like a drier stuffing. i hope the one i'm making for thanksgiving turns out okay though. perhaps i'll do a test run this weekend just to make sure. good idea, Jessica! the artichokes 'n veggies & the tempeh sound so so so so goood! i'm totally gonna have to pull out Vcon and check out that recipe. w00t!

oh yeah - and don't worry about pop'n a button. i actually split a pair of jeans. no shit. yeah, it was nuts. so until you're split'n pants, you're good.

Kristin said...

Right there with you... despite hiking all summer. My mom seems to be super in love with Wii Fit. I haven't tried it though. I have a recumbant exercise bike for winter and yoga dvds.

Maybe we should start a new vegan bloggy trend. December Month of Vegan Exercise and Low Cal cooking. DMOVEALCC. Ok, we need a better name. We could only post about cooking when we also post about what exercise we did for the day and then encourage each other.

dana said...

Exercising at home? I dance! Like an idiot! (With the blinds closed)
Nothing makes you feel better and is more fun than burning calories to your favorite songs. No routine or special steps. Just jam and jam hard :)

aTxVegn said...

I want to lose 5 lbs myself, but it's so hard with so much yummy food around blogland. And for some reason, losing just 5 or 10 pounds is really hard!

Your "babies" made me laugh. Today I was reading a cauliflower recipe and it freaked me out because it said to stab holes in the hearts and plunge the heads into boiling water!

Vegan_Noodle said...

I think mofo made us all gain a few pounds in October!! I've found that taking brisk walks is the best exercise and the one that I'm least likely to skip cuz I'm not in the mood. Eating lots of veggies sounds like a great way to get started!!

Georgia said...

Hey don't stress about the weight - brothers are super good at picking up on those sort of thing - Just think of it in kilos - its only a little over 3kgs - not so bad - I put on about 4-5kgs after the wedding - its living with nat who is really keen for me to try to veganise everything (and bake him lots of goodies). I am slowly losing it again - but I think that is because I am just stocking the fridge with muchable veggies.

I try to walk everywhere - its too hilly to cycle here but to save on petrol I walk to town and work and uni. If its a little too far I bus most of the way and then walk. I guess with the snow and winter coming on that doesn't help too much :(

You will be fine.

Glad to see you getting back into the curry - Nat also requested a curryless period - I think I will make one tomorrow night - I miss them.

Katy said...

Oh man, I totally understand about the weight gain!!! Seriously, I'm right there with you. Watching my husband eat huge portions and never gain an ounce, whereas I eat a cookie and gain three pounds. Damn men and their high metabolisms! :)

If I can't get to the gym, I keep a few free weighs in the living room. I also like the turbojam dvd's, but they're kind of expensive. But it's fun cardio!

Also, I almost starting laughing out loud when I read about the artichoke babies being referred to as babies. Normally, I appreciate a good laugh, but I'm in class, so I have to maintain my composure!

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