Thursday, July 30, 2009

Who cares what today's topic is, I'm still freaking out about the caffeine...

I'm not a particularly addictive person. I crave change more than routine and I am usually the voice of moderation. I'm glad I don't normally chug a pot of coffee in the morning because getting over tea is bad enough. I had so little yesterday that I could feel the comings on of the caffeine withdrawal headache when I woke up this morning. I drank lots of water, sniffed some clear my head, and still needed a little fix. So I filled a big mug and only let the tea steep for about a minute. I want more, but I'm not going to do it. The little bit helped and I think I'm going to make it.

Otherwise it's going fine.

No animal products; check. Come on, I have to make it sound like an accomplishment.
No gluten; check. French fries with Tabasco ketchup isn't exactly "cleansing," but it's gluten free. Brown rice is my friend.
No sugar; check. Not counting the sugar in ketchup. It's a condiment!
No alcohol, check. Went out to a pub and had club soda. Hence the french fries for dinner.
No caffeine, well, I've significantly cut down. I think I can make it a whole day this weekend.

I'm really glad I posted that I'm doing this. Thanks for all your support. Without it, I'd definitely be guzzling giant vats of tea and slamming bagels. So thanks.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Giving up caffeine

Day 2 of Quantum Wellness: giving up caffeine.

I know I'm addicted to caffeine. I usually enjoy several cups of black tea a day starting with first thing in the morning. I already know I get a wicked headache if I don't get caffeinated, so I'm not quite ready to tackle this on a weekday. I do need to be useful and productive at work. So I'm testing out some cutbacks.So I did have the usual cup of black tea this morning and I've been experimenting with some herbal teas since then. The Get Charged from the Republic of Tea does have a nice pick me up. I also have some Ginger Peach White Tea that I'll try this afternoon when I need a fix. White teas do have caffeine, but a lower dose than black or green teas. I also like adagio teas, and they have some really nice herbal teas and flavored decaf black teas like strawberry.

Hopefully less everyday caffeine will make it easier to go cold turkey this weekend. Giving up cheese was WAY easier than this.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lunch in the oven

Today is my Dad's birthday. He would have been 61 if he hadn't died 5 years ago of metastisized colon cancer that had spread to his lungs. Although no one seems to really know what causes cancer, there is plenty of research that shows that diet free of animal products can reduce your chances of getting it. Check out the China Study or Crazy Sexy Life for more information about vegan diets and cancer.

Enough of the depressing stuff, here's my tribute to Dad's favorite summertime dinner, "lunch in the oven." I don't know where the name comes from. It's just what we always called it. It does come from the oven, but we usually had it for dinner.

I'm not sure if Dad would have liked the veganized gluten-free version of "lunch in the oven," but here it is anyway, and I think it's pretty freakin' awesome even with the weird rice bread.

Lunch in the oven:

2 slices of crappy white bread (or some lovely gluten free rice bread)
4 slices of fresh summer ripe tomato
Sprinkle of vegan Bacon Salt
2 slices of vegan cheese (whatever is closest to American cheese)
4 slices smoked tofu fried in a little canola oil

Toast bread. Top with tomato, sprinkle on bacon salt, top with vegan cheese and tofu then broil until cheese is melty. About 5 minutes, but check it often.

Cut in half and enjoy.

Quantum Wellness Cleanse

Quantum Wellness Cleanse Motivation: I figure if I say I'm going to do it to the whole world (OK, the 12 of you who actually read this,) I'll be more likely to actually make it...
If Oprah can do it, so can I. Kathy Frestone's Quantum Wellness Cleanse.

21 days of no:
Animal products - ha, easy!
Alcohol - not too difficult
Sugar - good thing I don't take sugar in my tea
Caffeine - what, no tea?!?
Gluten - yeah, that's going to be a test. I really want to make some setian wings now.

Since I've made it to noon today, today is day one. The recipes in the book look pretty good. I'm off to buy some freakin' gluten free bread for what I was going to make for dinner tonight. More later...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My lip stuff is da balm!

It's cool when you find a friend on facebook you've known since you were three. It's even awesomer when you discover that she's a lip balm making goddess! Brea at My Lip Stuff offers a HUGE selection of lip balms to satisfy every lip balm addict (that would be me.) The original formula contains beeswax, but she's also got a fantastic 100% vegan formula for all the vegan puritans. I'm smacking the "Get Fresh" right now. It's pretty sweet. There are a few charity balms, including some stop animal testing balms. There are seasonal balms in case you need a special one to go with your Easter bonnet (it's lavender.) Options are endless, and you can customize flavors and labels . So next time you need favors for a wedding, shower, or vegan cupcake party, you can make up your own special lip balm!

I got the 100% vegan and natural sample pack of 7. I'm going to give away three of these bad boys, so send me a comment and tell me what your favorite lip balm flavor is, or let me know a flavor you think should be made into a lip balm for a chance to win an awesome vegan lip balm!

Peace out.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Attack of the Giant Zucchini!

The annual attack of the giant zucchini has already begun across America. You love it, but what are you going to do with it all. You can certainly sneak attack your neighbors by gifting them some zucchini, or you can make something with the zucchini and give them that.

A few years ago a neighbor brought over a lovely zucchini soup. When I asked for the recipe, she said (paraphrased) "Just saute some onions and the zucchini in some broth and then add some buttermilk. Sometimes, I add curry powder."

Cooking with the curry powder will make your house smell like an Indian restaurant, so if strong exotic smells aren't your thing (or your husband's, parent's, roommate's, or apartment neighbor's,) you can skip it or add it when serving.

This soup is good hot or cold, and with a quick sub for the buttermilk, is so easily vegnaized. This giant zucchini came fresh from my mom's backyard garden and the onions are from the farmers market.

Curried Summer Zucchini Soup

2 cups unsweetened soy milk
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar

1 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 giant zucchini, cut into bite sized cubes
2 Tbs curry powder (optional)
4 cups vegetable broth or water
Salt to taste

Mix soy milk with vinegar and set aside.

Heat the olive oil and saute the onions and zucchini about 10 minutes. Add the curry powder if using, and cook another 5 minutes until the zucchini starts to soften. Add the broth/water to cover the zucchini and simmer until zucchini is fully cooked. Add soy milk mixture and heat another minute or so if serving hot. Adjust seasonings to taste.

You can also puree all or part of the soup for a thicker texture. I left it chunky and I'm having some now, then I'm off to the beach!

And check out this super giant enormous zuke. Thanks Tara via Guava for the giant veggie link.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Red, white, and cupcakes!

Vegan cupcakes are better than fireworks.Golden vanilla cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes take over the World, and the butter cream frosting from the Red Devil cake in Vegan Table.

I'm skipping out of work today. Now I'm off to the beach. Have cupcakes, will travel.