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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Week in the Life

So many folks have asked about what we eat and how to ‘fix’ (that’s a southern word for prepare) it that I’ve decided to chronicle our cookin’ and eatin’ activity for a few days just to give you an idea. So.. here we go. We’ll start with the Thursday after our Wednesday post. Just pretend you’re reading my most intimate diary….

Thursday June 5
Big Solid had his usual scrambled egg whites, two vegan biscuits and two slices of vegan sausage, plus coffee with Wildwood Creamer (the closest thing to Half and Half I can find). I had my usual avocado and tomato sandwich plus my Peet’s French Roast Coffee brewed at double strength with the Wildwood Creamer.

          Big Solid and I met a couple of old friends/colleagues for lunch at a local restaurant called Char. I tucked a half cup of cooked Boca Crumbles (seasoned with vegan Worcestershire and Liquid Smoke) in my pocketbook JUST IN CASE. Sure enough, while there was a vegetable plate offered, all of the vegetables were prepared with meat fat or butter. The server said she could steam me some broccoli; that was not exactly what I had in mind. So, the old standby salad without cheese was pretty much my only option. Red Wine vinaigrette on the side and a glass of unsweet tea.  Big Solid had a fried chicken tenders salad with flour tostada shells (and I ate one of those). We had such good times talking with our buddies that I didn’t mope about having <sigh> yet another salad. Thank goodness for the crumbles that added some protein and substance.

Side note:  after we left the restaurant, we swung by Whole Foods to pick up some of their jalapeno/cilantro hummus. I tell you, that stuff is like CRACK!! You cannot get enough of it—so we bought two boxes. I suspect that when I get my Vitamix (if I’m not too old to remember how to turn it on), I’ll learn how to make it and save some $$ (or not).

          Thursday night at the ‘Swanagans’ is always HAMBURGER night and Happy Hour begins after the dogs have been walked and fed. My happy hour consists of bourbon, diet coke (I know, it’s the only time I drink a soda) and lime.
Big Solid usually has a martini. We love the Simple Truth meatless patties. So, that’s easy and I don’t have to fret about fixin’ something wonderful. We have oven-roasted fries as well. We had a blackberry cobbler using the berries that I got from my Amorphous Gardens CSA. Used my LAST ‘Better Butter’ stick to make the dough and slapped that sucker in the oven.Blackberry cobbler is supremely southern and we damn near ate the whole skillet. So, calories were out the roof. Oh well.

Late Night Snack
          Since we over-indulged in the cobbler, we did not continue the eating frenzy by having a late night snack. I did hear Big Solid in the kitchen later in the night with the tell-tale sounds of the peanut butter top being unscrewed and the cracker paper rattling.

BS went to the gym for a 50 minute stint on the treadmill. I was a slug and stayed in, did 5 loads of laundry, changed sheets, mopped the kitchen floor twice, weeded the garden (it’s a really little bitty garden), moved the hammock so the mowing person could get through, went to pick up yet another medication for the animals….let’s see…nope that about does it.

Friday June 6
Breakfast was a repeat of Thursday…we are consistent if nothing else and it’s easy. Big Solid is not a pancake eater, so those are out (even though I LOVE them). So, we just KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) it. I did change up my avocado sandwich and had it on pumpernickel bread instead of whole wheat…wow!

For lunch, Big Solid had the Kiki’s Kick-Ass soup, oven roasted potatoes and a slice of pumpernickel. I had a marinated tempeh sandwich on whole wheat.  All left-overs. Waste not..want not.

Well, Friday night is Date Night for us and we usually go to one of our favorite haunts…Kathryn’s Steak House. Yes, you’re readin’ that right. We’ve been going there for Date Night for years and when I became plant based, they were kind enough to let me bring my own food (seitan steaks, Boca Crumbles, tempeh, seitan short-ribs, a salad dressing I make—you get the picture). This is Big Solid’s night to break out and have either chicken or tuna. Tonight he had chicken and fries. I had a big salad with mushrooms and tomatoes with a topping of spicy crumbles. And, of course, we had a toddy.

Gym time for Big Solid and me. Treadmill time. Big Solid does intervals on the treadmill for 50 minutes and I do a 50 minute routine of increased speed and incline. At the 45 minute mark, I hit a 15 min mile at an incline of 13. Cool down the last 5 minutes...

Saturday June 7
Breakfast was the same as usual. No surprises here.

I had made some mock chicken salad using chickpeas (cooked from dried and not canned), chopped celery and reduced fat vegan mayo.  Very very tasty. So between the soup and the sandwiches, we had a right yummy and light lunch KNOWING that we would have a heavier supper.

The first Saturday of each month is designated as “Supper Club” month and we meet our BFFs, Jesse and M.E. Dees.  We always go through the same process the week prior to our supper…’where are we going this month?’ We’d decided on Provisions 1908 but when I went to make reservations, they were booked until 8:30. NOT.
So, we agreed on another favorite of mine (it’s all about me) -- Anjou. Chef Darrell always manages to create something special for me when I call ahead, even though they do have a vegan option on their menu. This time was no exception—I had an absolutely stunning vegetable lasagna (with no noodles, YAY!).  Big Solid had the salmon which he loves. Jesse and M.E. had non-plant based meals. We had a great time together, as we always do. They have been our closest friends for many, many years.

Saturday morning is Yoga Flow for me. It’s a very rigorous and demanding 75 minute class.
Usually about half-way through, when sweat is pouring off my face and my muscles are quivering, I am thinking “WTF am I doing here?” At the end of the class, I am both empowered and strong. I love it.

Sunday June 8
Slight but significant interlude in our eating regimen!
For a while now, Big Solid has been unhappy with his weight. I think he looks great, but I completely understand the self-image issue. He’s lost some but he would like to lose a bit more. He’s been toying with the idea of the 5:2 plan—fasting two days a week (not consecutively). The Dees have been doing that for a pretty good while now and it seems to work well for them to maintain their weight after losing. So, we did some research and found the Day On/Day Off regimen to be one we wanted to try. Basically, you fast three days a week (not a total fast but limited to one meal at around 500 calories, preferably mid-day to early evening). So that’s what we said we’d try—starting Sunday.

Morning was not a big deal…we did have coffee. We also had liquids (green tea, water) during the day. Went to the gym for a slow 45 minute treadmill. But, I can assure you that by the time late afternoon rolled around, we both could, as Big Solid puts it, ‘eat the ass-end out of a ragdoll’. We had black lentils, boca burgers (no bread), and brown rice. It was ABSOLUTELY delicious! We were so full that the thought of an evening snack was just that—a thought. So, our first fast day went just fine; we survived.

Monday June 9
Back to normal eating with Big Solid’s biscuits, egg white and fauxsages. I had cereal for a change…Fiber 1, Bran Flakes, almond milk and Louisiana strawberries.

Big Solid polished off the soup and had a Boca burger; I ate most of the leftover vegan lasagna that I’d had at Anjou and was surprisingly full.

I fixed sautéed cabbage, two seitan Andouille fauxsages and two seitan Brats, sautéed zucchini and yellow squash with baby leeks from our CSA this past week, oven roasted new potatoes (also from the CSA) and toasted pumpernickel. We had a drop-in guest who is vegan, so we enjoyed her company and happy to have food to share.

Both of us went to the gym and hit the treadmill for about an hour. I did intervals of 5 minutes at a 3.5 MPH pace with little incline followed by 5 minutes of 4 MPH pace at an include of 8 or 9. Last 5 minutes are always a cool down time.

Tuesday June 10
This will be a fasting day…so nothing to report.

I am not sure how long this fasting regimen will last but we are going to give our systems some time to acclimate.

It’s a yoga day for me. The class is a flow class and we are working toward a Yoga Mala, which is the completion of 108 Sun Salutations done in sets of 27. Right now, we are at 27 only and then finish the class with inversions and relaxation. Big Solid hit the gym and the treadmill.

This little glimpse into our eating lives is certainly NOT glamorous or epicurean perfection; but it IS how we put things together to eat without excess preparation (well, sometimes) or labor intensive recipes.  I do enjoy those times but on a daily basis, it's really quite easy to adjust to a plant-based regimen and NOT spend a fortune or all of your time in the kitchen.

This week’s nod goes to Vegan Richa ( They have some absolutely incredible recipes that I am very eager to try.  It’s a relatively new find for me but the pictures, narrative and design of the website as well as their FaceBook page certainly lends itself to further notice.  Just the recipe for the salted caramel pie was enough to lure me in.  Just GOTTA try that one.

See you next week! Have a spectacular time 'til then.

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