Squash soup — a review

January 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I was chosen to be a tester for Urban Vegan’s latest cookbook. I am so honored!

The first dish I did was her Insanely Thick and Comforting Squash Soup. Well, the title is correct. It is also insanely easy!

Throw everything in a pot and wait for it to cook?

Easy peasy.

The ingredients are readily available at any grocery store, and it was so yummy! Even my boyfriend loved it, and he is a huge meat and cheese eater.

I think using an immersion blender instead of ladling it into a regular blender is easiest, but it wasn’t that difficult.

My only complaint is, it tasted a lot like the potatoes instead of the squash. Maybe it’s the difference in frozen vs. fresh. It also said 4 servings, but they are more like four appetizer servings. It makes about two large dinner servings.

Here are some more delicious photos!

Vegans, diets & a love for food

January 4, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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When I was diagnosed with IBS about three years ago, I thought my life was over.

I liked to cook but I never gave food a second thought. Now, food became the enemy.

Well, here I am, three years later and a total foodie. Vegan foodie, that is. But I have walked into a dilemma that I just can’t shake.

I have gained a considerable amount of weight.

Now, when food was the enemy, it was a miracle to get through the day without getting nauseous, gassy, bloaty or other disgusting digestive perils. Food was just getting me from point A (waking up every day) to point B (going to bed every night.) I didn’t care what it tasted like, as long as it was bland and my body didn’t reject it. I had a large revolving list of “no” food. I wasn’t worried about weight gain (so much), I was worried that I would never be able to enjoy life again. Food was my everything, but in a bad way.

The ultimate food enemy, especially for a vegan

Then I became vegan and food became enjoyable again. Slowly, I fell in love with the different ways I could make my now safe foods and I was embracing more vegetables than I ever had. I didn’t count calories, fat, salt, fiber, etc. I ate to my heart’s desire and when I was hungry. I experimented (cautiously) and tried new items on menus. If I felt like carbs all day, every meal, then gosh darnit, I ate it! If I felt like a big bowl of pasta at 1 a.m., down the hatchet.

But I have now figured out, about 1.5 years later, that this food love is making me … possibly larger. I have a tummy tire and flabby arms and legs. But see, I have always had this since IBS. I exercise too infrequent. I have been a size 10 for about 4 years now, yet I am having difficulty with clothing when I go out to buy it, despite all the clothes fitting me fine at home.

What has bothered me is, my mom said I should be losing weight on this vegan diet. How could I have gained?

Well, I blame my nocturnal schedule, my birth control pills and my love for a 1/2 of box of spaghetti noodles at 1:30 a.m. most nights (or toast or anything carb-related.) Oh, and again, that infrequent gym sessions.

Well, a friend of mine recently told me about her diet wonder with Weight Watchers. She lost 26 pounds in 3.5 months. WHA??? First I thought, “you go, girl!” Then I thought I wanted the same results. But this is Weight Watchers! I am vegan! And I spend enough money as it is on weird vegetables and products, along with expensive visits to Baltimore to indulge in vegan food love. I must spend every waking moment on food and all my money on it, too! (I spent $300 on groceries alone in December, and that’s not including vegan eateries or the $32 on my Discover from the day before Christmas.)

Then I started getting concerned. I have worried about my weight since 5th grade, when I wouldn’t wear shorts all summer because I hated my thighs. I always wanted to go on a diet but could never make myself. I wanted to be down a good 20 pounds for the past 5 years. The closest I got to that was last winter, when I was training myself for an indoor triathlon and did doubles every day for about a month.

So, last week when my friend told me her success story (and I could see it in her FB photos. She is adorable!), I couldn’t help but fret my life away as time ticked closer to the new year. Was I really going to do it, once and for all, and go on an official diet? Was I going to banish carbs finally from my eating habits?

Well, after today, I decided a big, fat NO!

I am not going on an official diet.

Being vegan is difficult enough and I have already eaten my fair share of salad and battled with temptation to eat animals and their byproducts. (but why do the restaurants have to make them smell so good?!?) I am just going to rein in my carb overloading, eat less fatty foods (oils, nuts, etc.) and try to eat a better balanced diet. That doesn’t mean I won’t indulge from time to time, but that term is key.

And I am going to kick it hardcore at the gym. HARDCORE. I want to be healthy and I want to run a better 5K in April.

I am not giving up my love for food, just because I might be a little round for a vegan.

 

Me eating yummy soup and fries at Cafe Chocolate in Lititz

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