Sunday, April 26, 2009

Where have we been!?

Alright, I've been very ungood in the food department, but I've decided to try again and even posted it on my main blog.

I've revised my 4 points, but most are the same. I realized if I continue to go out to eat, no matter what I'll be heavier and less thrifty. So here are my new guidelines:

1. EAT A VEGAN DIET! Always remind yourself that heck yes, above all food-wise, you're a vegan and you make the choice not to eat dairy. That you do it for the animals and the planet and your health. That there is plenty to eat without eating dairy. If a very strong craving comes, make some vegan version of what the craving is. I am highly convinced now that cheese and chocolate both contain some sort of addictive compounds. But I know a pretty good soy cheese recipe and also a pretty decent brownie one. Possible biggest nutritional difference between vegan cheese/chocolate? Can't get them in the drive thru or convinence store, have to make them from scratch or buy them premium at select stores or online. Those are definitely mindless stops to keep from consuming too much.

2. EAT LOTS OF FRUITS AND VEGGIES. Lots! LOTS AND LOTS! :-) Various health and nutrition organizations around the world recommend 5 to 10 servings a day. Aim for 10! Grab fruits and veggies when hungry in-between meals, and add them to everything at meal-times. Focus on eating plenty of the three S's: Smoothies/sorbets, Soups/stews and Salads. At other times, fill half your plate with your meal food (corn bread and beans, rice and stir-fry tofu, whole grain pancakes or waffles and veggie sausage) and the other half with veggies or fruits.

3. EAT FOOD YOU MAKE YOURSELF! No plastic packaging, no drive-thru, no preservatives. Just fresh and healthy real food! Cheap, too. Even unhealthy food made at home tends to be healthier than what comes from the world of convinence, 'cause it's fresher and purer and I'm not as likely to deep fry. :-) So if you really want fries, don't say "no!" and then binge later, say make it at home! And serve it with half a plate of carrots sticks and apple slices. :-)

4. EXERCISE!!!!!!!!! It's the most important step for anyone trying to be healthy.

I also went shopping today after church. I don't have the exact total but I think it was about $50. That includes two plastic containers, 24 washcloths and a kitchen timer. Produce includes fresh: mangos, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, avocado, jicama, zucchini, apples, kale, collards, romaine lettuce (total for those things was $16). Frozen strawberries, jar of pimentos, bar of organic dark chocolate, box of orange spice tea (yum!), english muffins and corn chips.

Today's food looks like this:

Breakfast: oatmeal with soymilk, flaxmeal and a banana

Snack: Corn chips (but I only had 2) and an apple

Lunch: Leftover tofu with veggies in black bean garlic sauce over white rice and a mango.
Snack (planned): Popcorn, orange slices and cucumber slices
Dinner (planned): Mini tostadas with low fat refried beans, vegan cheese, salsa and lettuce with steamed zuchinni
Snack: Dark chocolate-chunk walnut cookies with a smoothie
I also went on a 1 hour walk today, hooray!
The picture at the top is my fridge, I have so many veggies I need to use up this week!
Tomorrow meal plan:
Breakfast: oatmeal with flax, soymilk, banana
Snack: Orange slices and walnuts
Lunch: Leftover tostadas and zuchinni
Snack: Apple and almonds
Dinner: Texas caviar (black-eyed pea salad) on bread machine bread, steamed broccoli with sunflower seeds
Dessert: Dark chocolate chunk walnut cookies with a smoothie. :-)
Breakfast: Oatmeal with flax, soymilk, and banana
Snack: Apple slices, carrot sticks, corn chips with salsa
Lunch: Leftover Texas caviar on bread machine bread with steamed broccoli and sunflower seeds
Snack: Mango and popcorn
Dinner: Ratatouli type soup with eggplant, zuchinni, onions, tomato, kale and white beans with bread machine bread.
Dessert: Oatmeal raisin cookies and a smoothie

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Update - Guilty Confession

Well, I haven't been very good about posting daily, have I? Oh well. At the beginning of this week I thought we were going to have to do a major run to the grocery store since we were pretty low on food after our three day trip to CA. As it turned out when I got home and actually looked at what food we had in the freezer, we were able to get by most of the week with just a quick trip on Monday for coffee creamer and ahem, Chinese food. I made a meal plan for the week and we stuck with it, mostly. Granted, yesterday we ordered pizza but I've eaten leftovers for lunch every day this week. I have gone to McDonald's and Starbucks once each though. BUT the McDonald's trip only cost $1.07 and I got a FREE latte and a Fruit Parfait (not too bad, could have been the cinnimon bites) and yeah, Starbucks was bad, $5.15 but I used the $5 Chris had in his walled and 15 cents from the car. So overall, none of this money came from using the bank card. I think that means it doesn't count, at least as much. I have gone out and walked two or three times this week. Once I walked up to the cafeteria with Jenifer when she wanted to go. She bought a soda and I didn't (because I didn't have any cash at the time) but it was a good walk and the weather was nice. Today it's raining so I probably won't be walking much. Oh, and a confession, I bought some discounted Easter candy on Monday so I've been eating that this week. Thankfully, Chris finished that off yesterday so no yucky chocolate for me today! We are definately eating leftovers tonight since we ordered pizza yesterday. I hope this weekend and next week will be better (as far as healthier.) I guess that's it for now.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Diversions :-)

Something I'm always needed to learn is that I'm not going to be Mother Theresa or Leslie Sansone or Brenda Davis overnight, or possibly at all. And that's OK. Every step I make in the right direction is a great step, and I should acknowledge and appreciate it instead of always focusing on the bad.

Today I had oatmeal with blueberries and soymilk for breakfast.
I grabbed a diet dr pepper on the way to work, but just the drink, no snacky mcsnackersons.
For lunch I brought leftover deliciouso lentil-corn-salsa-cucumber-greenonion-carrot tacos for lunch. I actually mixed the filling with the salsa in one Tupperware, and put the tortillas and raw veggies in the second. Then at lunch I heated up the filling and the tortillas. Two people came into the breakroom and drooled over my lunch!! They said "You always have the best smelling food" YAY!

THEN I got a diet soda (just the drink, no snackies) at around 3, and at 4 I ate a bag of Baked Lays. I was hungry on the way home so I went to Wendy's drive-thru for some unhealthy food, BUT, when I got home I started making chickpea-kidneybean-brownrice-spinach-tomato pilaf. It smells great! So yeah, I had a little nasty junk after work but most of the day went really well and I'm so happy a couple of people at work admire my healthy foods. YAY!

You might think I didn't make split pea soup for dinner ahead of time. WELL, I put the split peas and spices to boil last night at 9 and fell asleep. At 10 I woke up to the smell of burnt popcorn/split pea soup. SIGH! I left the mess and by the time I cleaned up most of it once I got home from work, I wasn't very excited about split pea soup. Even less than normal!

On a side note, I'm reading Mindless Eating by Brian Wanskin and loving it! Check it out!

Healthy Eating on a Vacation

I don't know if it's even possible to eat healthy while on vacation. Basically, I was sort of bad. I ate a lot of pasta and carbs. Also, I am not used to eating a full breakfast every day, but I had a good time and that's what is important, right? I am totally tired of fast food though. Also, Chris bought two cookbooks while on our trip so I hope that means he'll be more motivated to cook, which is good, if I can convince him to cook frugally. As far as going grocery shopping every week, hmm, might take awhile to get into that routine. As of right now, we don't really have anything in our fridge that is edible (due to being gone for three days) so I have to think of something to make for dinner. Let's start with today's list of food/shopping purchases:

Breakfast: croissant from home with four berry jam, OJ, and coffee
Lunch: Went to Target during my lunch time and grabbed a box of lean pockets (2 in a box) and some half price candy (I KNOW BAD ANNA) and a Coke Zero total: $6.67
Dinner: Hmm, who knows. I suppose I could stop at the Super Target on my way home and get stuff to make pizza. We have pepperoni and pizza sauce at home, but I am not sure about the cheese and we don't have any mushrooms. I would like to wait until Chris gets home to go grocery shopping for the week, but that might not be a possibility since he'll probably be at work late, as usual.

I guess this means I'll need to come up with a meal plan for the week as well. Wish me luck!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Menu plan

OK here is the menu plan I've come up with.

Breakfasts (make double or triple when possible, for busy days):
I like to have a big serving of soy for breakfast, it's also a great time to get in oats and flax!

Oatmeal w/ frozen berries, flax meal and soymilk
Oat flour/flax waffles with fruit and soymilk
Tofu scramble on corn tortillas
Hash brown potatoes with crumbled homemade soy sausage
Polenta squares with fruit and soymilk
Low fat-low sugar homemade granola with dried fruit and flax, with soymilk

Dinners (make enough for dinner AND lunch the following day!):
I really tried to get in a lot of soup, every other day! It's healthy, filling, and you can throw all kids of veggies in that you have on hand.

Tacos - lentils, taco spices, veggies & salsa on corn tortillas

Split pea soup w/ roasted herby potatoes

Curry - chickpeas, tomatoes, veggies (cauliflower and peas!), curry powder, over brown rice

Chili - pinto beans, textured soy flour, tomatos, onions, peppers, chili spices, with polenta squares

Spaghetti - whole wheat noodles, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, onions, peppers, spices, soy crumbles, always serves with green beans :-)

Black bean chipotle soup - with tomatoes, carrots, cumin, onions, peppers and celery.. sooo good, serve with brown rice or polenta squares

Brown rice, chickpeas, green veggies (broccoli!) and tahini dressing

Minestrone soup: onions, peppers, celery, carrots, tomatoes, green beans, squash, brown rice, an Italian herbs.

Black beans and veggies (and possibly Spanish rice) on corn tortillas

Vegetable stew, chock full of potatoes, carrots, celery, corn, peas, beans, mushrooms, caramelized onions in a thick broth

Veggie burger patties (homemade), carmelized onions and mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and corn

Multi-bean soup with celery, carrots, onions, peppers, tomatoes and potatoes

Veggie lo mein: whole wheat spaghetti, mixed frozen stir-fry veggies, cabbage, soy sauce, sesame oil, mustard, molasses, and chili paste

Chickpea soup with brown rice, onions, garlic, green veggies and nutritional yeast


Unfortunately I may I have to quit my job in order to have time to cook.

Maybe not so unfortunately. :-)

Bad bad baaadddd!

OK, the last few days have been chaotic and bad. Apparently I didn't commit to being frugal and fit as much I wished I had. Instead, I lived my normal soda-chip-chocolate-fast-food routine. I am determined to break out of this. I used to be very healthy (though calorie-obsessed). I want to be a whole-foods-vegan. Not a junk food vegetarian. It's a huge deal for me. I also want to exercise (walk!) everyday.

Though I have no intention of making this a religious blog, I recently went back to church for the first time in 7 years. I went to confession, too, and feel very happy about my faith now. Fuller and happier than ever before. I promised God at Easter that I would start treating my body better. No more junk, no more chemical food, no more fatty food or overly processed crud. Knowing that a healthy body can be a more functional body means I'll be better able to serve others and love my neighbor, and that's what life is all about, really.

So, I think the best thing to do is a menu plan, and then just DEDICATION to it, to making healthy whole foods for myself and my family (my husband, for now. My pets eat their healthy food compressed into doggie and kitty kibble). There is a difference in thought and action, and I think action is what I'm missing.

This morning I decided to take action and make whole grain (whole wheat-oat-flax) waffles without oil and with just a little sugar. I also made soy sausage patties from scratch (textured soy flour-oat-flax-spices-whole wheat flour) and cut up some fresh strawberries. It was all very delicious. Now we're going to walk (WALK!) our doggies on a trail downtown. I think things are looking up.

Updated to add:

We walked about 3 miles until it starting pouring down rain. Came home and I had a delicious Amy's California veggie burger for lunch on Ezekiel bread. We got out of church last night (yes, my Athiest husband came with me!) at 11:30, so we stopped by the store for something quick, yet not frugal. But we did get 2 1/2 meals out of $10 worth of whole, healthy foods, so that's not too bad! Amy's California burgers contain bulgur wheat, vegetables, oats and walnuts, and Ezekiel bread is made with sprouted grains, which is so cool. I hope someday to learn how to make sprouted grain bread as I find it utterly delicious and healthy! I also had strawberries, a banana and half a pickle for lunch. If I'm still hungry later I'll make some air pop popcorn or applesauce. If I get really hungry I'll eat some extra veggie sausage and waffles from b-fast. My goals for today are to tackle dinner for tonight and tomorrow, so I have something in the fridge after my long long day at work tomorrow. I'd also like to make up some more waffles since I've got the waffle iron out, and save them for tomorrow or Tuesday. (I leave for work at 7 AM)

Tonight's dinner plans:
Lentil tacos (lentils, taco seasoning, tomatos) on corn tortillas

Tomorrow breakfast:
Waffles with strawberries and soymilk

Tomorrow's lunch:
Lentil tacos

Tomorrow's dinner:
Split pea/carrot soup with herb roasted potatoes

My food plans are to work towards eating like Miss Happy Herbivore -- very different than my hershey's chocolate/cheese/chips/soda filled life of the last few months. I love the simplicity of how she eats and how she doesn't have any arbitrary "rules," just tries to eat as healthy and whole as possible. I also want to walk everyday, at least a little. I think with that combination, my weight is bound to drop to a more comfy level. :-)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Menu planning and today's eating

Today's eating isn't going very well at all. It's a joke at work that since we work really long hours 4 days a week, on our free day off all we do is sleep or veg. It's been one of those days off for sure! I can save I've done the following important things:

Grocery shopped
NOT purchased/eaten any food outside the home besides the 1 grocery trip
Recorded grocery purchases
Cleaned the bedroom and bathroom
Cleaned out the fridge
Put away clean laundry

My other two really important goals are to make dinner and make a menu plan. It's currently 5 PM. I need to pick my hubby up from work when he calls, and then go to a staff meeting at work for an hour. I'm planning on making split pea soup and roasted potatoes for dinner tonight, so I should probably start it in 30 minutes.


Russell called while I was writing the last paragraph.

I went and got him, brought him home, and immediately had to go back to work. All that traffic and having to go back to work made me very grumpy so I stopped for CHOCOLATE, CHIPS and a SODA! ($3.49)

Then the meeting lasted til 7:45 and I stopped and got beans, rice, tortillas and corn chips on the way home! ($15, but enough for three servings)

Aiy yie, this is why my size 10 jeans ripped up the butt! :-O

Weight and Groceries and Food

This AM I weighed: 176.4

(For reference, highest weight ever, August '04: 189. Lowest adult weight, after The Great Weight Loss, June '05: 148)

Groceries, 04/08/09:

Fruits and veggies:
1 bag frozen spinach $1.29
1 bag frozen broccoli florettes $1.47
2 lbs fresh strawberries $1.94
3 mondo Texas grown yellow onions $1.68 ($0.50/lb)
3 small lemons $1
3 lbs bananas @ 0.44/lb $1.42
3 calabaza squash (similar to zuchinni, $0.89/lb) $1.47
3 cucumbers $1 (I now notice I was rung up as having two heads of iceberg lettuce and 1 cucumber, for a total of $2.72, cheated out of $1.72 by not watching close enough!)
1 celery $0.89
3 garlic heads $0.60
3 28 oz cans diced tomatoes ($1.04/can) $3.12
2 larger cans tomato paste ($0.79/can) $1.58
2 cans mushroom spaghetti sauce $1.88

Whole grains:
big bag Texas grown brown rice $2.29
2 large canisters oatmeal ($2.15/canister) $4.30

2 1/2 gallons HEB soymilk ($2.59/each) $4.98
2 lbs dry red beans ($0.94/lb) $1.88
3 lbs dry pinto beans ($0.64/lb) $1.92 (actually, I only bought 2 pounds - cheated out of $0.64!)
2 lbs garbonzo beans ($0.94/lb) $1.88
15 bean soup mix $2.16 -- I sooo could have put this together for cheaper, but whatever.
1 lb lentils $0.89 (HA! Actually got 2 lbs, must of mistaked it for pinto beans. Cheated them out of $0.89!)
2 lbs split peas ($0.79/lb) $1.58
2 lbs black beans ($0.99/lb) $1.98
2 lbs great northern beans ($0.89/lb) $1.78

apple cider vinegar $0.86
bottle canola oil $2.89. I really want to cut down on oil usage, so we'll see how long I can make this last. :-)
2 taco seasoning pkts $0.66
2 chili seasoning pkts $0.66

Non food:
diet dr pepper $1.39 - only 1 for the whole week... I'm going to be having some serious withdrawal.
aspirin $3.50
shampoo $1
tax $0.20

Total: $57.85

Eaten so far, 4/08/09:
1 1/2 homemade mini tofu pizzas on whole grain flat bread, with red bell peppers, artichoke hearts, eggplant, and mushrooms (For reference, Russell ate 3 1/2 last night and took 3 to work for lunch)

1 peanut butter sandwich on sugar-free sandwich bread (left here after my parents visited)

My Turn

Those sound like good rules. Chris and I usually try to shop for a couple of weeks at a time, but going weekly might be better since we usually run out of something every week anyway. So here is my attempt at some rules:

#1 Make a list/plan for meals and shop weekly (STICK to list and do not deviate!)

#2 Walk everyday at work. It's not like anyone would notice if I took a 10 minute break anyway

#3 Take lunch everyday. I've gotten better at this since I don't have a lunch buddy anymore, but occasionally I run out to get something because I'm sick of leftovers.

#4 REALLY, REALLY cut back spending on fabric and misc crap I don't need. And I mean REALLY.

#5 Try to write down foods eaten and items purchased (either here or in OCD journal)

Here is my food spending report for yesterday:

$1.08 at Sonic on cranberry slush

~$6 at Sonic (later) for dinner and dessert

Signing off for now.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009


OK the idea is this: I need to save money and lose weight.

Who doesn't?

I decided on a few rules to try for awhile, and adapt as necessary. The idea is to be thrifty and healthy, since pretty much living off junk food and restaurant food is neither nor. My sister Anna wanted to try something similar, and do a joint-blog, so I thought, why not? I'm not sure if she's following the same rules as me, though.

Ruthie's Rules (for now):

#1 Grocery shop for food once a week.

#2 Record the prices of the food you buy. This will be the basis of the price book. The idea is to spend LESS each week, if possible.

#3 Eat the food you buy, and only the food you buy, from the grocery store. No extra bag of chips from the gas station, no "I'm too tired to cook" dinner from the Chinese place, no fast food for lunch.

#4 Record the food you eat, because the simple act of writing down the food you eat makes you consume less calories. Check it out! I've counted calories before and have no desire to do that again. Food journaling seems like a happy alternative. :-)

#5 Sweat a little everyday. Exercise is what getting fit is all about. And it doesn't have to be expensive, you just have to do it (and write it down!)

Alright, that's the idea. :-)