March Round-up!

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Okay, here’s the big round up for March. It’s been a good month.

Major Cheats: 7

  • Chicken sopes and chips and salsa from Junior’s
  • Shrimp fajitas and a cheese dip
  • Spinach artichoke dip and some fried calamari and a piece of a California roll
  • Basil fried rice (had lots of egg in it)
  • Famous Dave’s. ‘Nuff said.
  • Roast beef sandwich. That one looks pretty weird on this list!
  • Apple turnover and a small piece of Marionberry coffee cake

One better than last month! I’d also classify that fried rice and the apple turnover breakfast as minor cheats, but cheats nonetheless. What’s weird is that I really thought I did worse this month, but I actually did better. Fewer cheats felt like more, so I guess I’m getting more accustomed to not having meat.

Things I Didn’t Count:

  • A tiny bite of a doughnut
  • A yogurt sauce at Venti’s
  • Fish Sauce
  • Condiments
  • Other incidentals
  • Butter in a few dishes (two fried rices we made, and probably that General Tso’s fake chicken)

I don’t even think I had a bite of Celine’s meals this month that might have contained meat. Again, I expected this to be worse. Weird.

Pounds lost: 1

Maybe. The weight loss has slowed to a crawl for now, but I’m okay with that. More important than losing weight, I’m seeing my blood pressure drop, which is a much better number to see going down.

Favorite new things we’ve made:

Favorite things I’ve had somewhere else:

  • General Tso’s “chicken” from Marco Polo
  • Kung Pao Tofu from Marco Polo
  • Basil stir fry with vegetables and a veggie egg roll from Thai Lotus
  • Portobello mushroom burger and fries from Slow Bar

Overall Impressions:

Not much has changed, it’s just getting easier to maintain this diet as I continue. I don’t think we were as adventurous in our cooking this month, but I think that’s a combination of getting some favorites in our repertoire and also not having as much time as we’d had before because of finals for Celine. On the other hand, I found some great eating out meals, and Marco Polo continues to win in that category (at least in Salem). Having choices when we go out is a very nice thing.

  • Breakfast: Granola bar and a banana
  • Lunch: A bean bowl with kale, brown rice and beans with a peanut sauce from Blossoming Lotus
  • Dinner: Roasted asparagus and brown rice, some Quorn nuggets
  • Snacks: Corn chips, pita chips and hummus, handful of cashews
  • Drinks: Coffee, water and a beer

Tuesday food

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Just food right now, but I’ll do a March wrap up post tonight.
  • Breakfast: Granola bar
  • Lunch: Pasta with marinara sauce and a Ceasar salad from Willamette Pasta Co.
  • Dinner: Vegan burrito from Taco Del Mar
  • Drinks: Coffee, water

Jack Bauer Power Hour

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Well, 24 seems to be pulling out all the stops these days. In the last three episodes we’ve seen three of their favorite tricks in a row. 1) Someone blows up CTU, 2) there’s a mole at CTU and 3) there’s a political plot against the President’s wishes. Oh, we also got the “Chloe is smarter than everyone else, stay out of her way!” storyline last week. Next week it looks like we get two more old chestnuts, “mole is interrogated by Jack Bauer in a way only Dick Cheney would approve of,” and “surprise appearance by a character you sorta thought was dead.”


Don’t get me wrong, 24 is as good as it has been in a very long time this season, and I’ll take anything over the last two stinker seasons. I’m definitely enjoying this year far more than I had hoped, and I’m going to be more than a little sad to see it go, even if it is a shadow of its former self. In a way, it’s kind of nice to see all of the old tricks make an appearance one last time. I do hope that since it’s all over when the clock runs out this year that they will do some truly shocking things as we wind the year down. Will we finally see Chloe bite it? Will we actually see Jack die (unlikely since they are planning a movie, but you never know)? Will the terrorist rip off a mask at the end to reveal Tony Almeida? Will Kim randomly die in a car crash in LA, an event totally unrelated to the actual terror plot?


I’m really pulling for that last one.
  • Breakfast: Granola bar
  • Lunch: More cabbage and potato soup (better the second day)
  • Dinner: Almost the last of the cabbage soup
  • Snacks: Hummus and pita chips, tortilla chips and bean dip
  • Drinks: Coffee, water

Sunday

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Well, after yesterday’s flurry of productivity, today was a completely opposite experience. Celine and I ventured out this morning for some baked goods (yes, a pretty obvious cheat for me because of the butter in the pastries), and then we came home and watched basketball for the rest of the day. And what a crappy day of basketball it was. I have no interest in seeing Duke win a national title this year, that would just be the final nail in the coffin of a terrible season. In fact, if they win the NCAA and we win the NIT, that could possibly be worse than us losing the NIT. I can see the signs at Cameron next year already.

Tonight we made an easy cabbage and potato soup to use up some things we had around the house. We used this recipe, which was really good! We added a bit of chili powder to this to spice it up, and that made a big difference. Not enough to make it taste like chili powder, just enough to add some heat. We also left out the random green pepper that she adds in the video because hey, that’s not in the recipe and I’m not going back to the store again. Not sure it would have helped at all anyway, but we might try it next time. Celine thought this needed some fat in it (like bacon, or maybe some chicken broth), but I liked it just like this.

  • Breakfast: Apple turnover and a tiny slice of Marionberry coffee cake
  • Lunch: Leftover Kung Pao tofu and some brown rice
  • Dinner: Cabbage and potato soup with two slices of whole wheat bread
  • Snacks: Pita chips and hummus, and a few bites of Coconut Bliss vegan ice cream (it’s really good!)
  • Drinks: Coffee, water

Weekend catch up

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Really productive day today. We’ve exercised, worked in the yard all day, gone to the grocery store and made some food for the week. I know I’ve been posting mostly food for you, but I do have a couple of things for you today.

First, this is an interesting article that talks about a scientific study showing that high fructose corn syrup causes more weight gain than the same amount of regular sugar. And not by a little. Another great reason to avoid the stuff if at all possible (and sometimes, it’s really not possible to avoid it).

Second, I hope you are watching Jamie Oliver’s new show, Food Revolution! Sadly, we have not watched it yet, but I plan to remedy that tonight. If you are behind like we are, you can watch the first two episodes online at that link.

Finally, in my own personal health news, I saw a relatively normal blood pressure reading for the first time in months (maybe years). My blood pressure has consistently been in the 134/90 range, although I’ve seen it higher, like 145/98. That’s not good obviously, especially for someone my age (I’m 33). But today, after almost three months of eating a mostly plant based diet, my blood pressure was 119/85! Now, that bottom number is still a bit high I know, but that is a pretty dramatic improvement, especially considering how stubborn that number was in the past. I haven’t really lost any weight this month, but I’ll take that lower blood pressure over a couple of lost pounds any day.

Thursday:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with brown sugar, walnuts and dried cranberries
  • Lunch: Vegan garden burger and tortilla chips
  • Dinner: Baked potato with fake sour cream and a wee little bit of butter, and a salad
  • Snacks: Don’t remember
  • Drinks: Coffee, water, beer

Friday:

  • Breakfast: Granola bar
  • Lunch: Roast beef sandwich and some wheat berry salad that a co-worker made
  • Dinner: General Tso’s “chicken” from Marco Polo. This wasn’t real chicken, it was a soy meat substitute. I’d never say a meat substitute tasted like the meat it was impersonating, but this stuff was really good. Better than tofu or any other fake meat I’ve had.
  • Snacks: Chips and hummus
  • Drinks: Water, coffee, and 3 beers

Saturday:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with walnuts, brown sugar and dried cranberries, and a vegan cookie
  • Lunch: Vegan garden burger and a salad and some chips and salsa
  • Dinner: Veggie stir fry similar to the one we did the other night
  • Snacks: Pita chips and hummus
  • Drinks: Coffee, water, gin fizz

Wednesday eats

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  • Breakfast: Odwalla bar and a banana
  • Lunch: House curry with tempeh from Sweet Basil
  • Dinner: Dinner salad and some onion straws from a local restaurant
  • Drinks: Coffee, water, beer and a margarita

Lost is weird

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Well, today was a great day, despite Lost continuing its weird descent into some sort of twisted version of Job from the Bible. It was a beautiful 60 degrees and sunny in Salem today, and we’ve been eating some great food. Celine is done with her semester and is currently enjoying a week long spring break, and that means more cooking. We’ve had two great dinners this week, and almost all vegan. We did use actual butter in the fried rice recipe below, mainly because I promised Celine we would use everything we already had when we started this diet. We had butter in the freezer, so we need to use it up. We’ll be making both of these dinners again.

Monday:

  • Breakfast: Granola bar and a banana
  • Lunch: Sweet and sour tofu from a grocery deli
  • Dinner: Linguine with Garlic and Oil from the Mark Bittman book. This was super good.
  • Snacks: Chips and hummus, roasted corn and black bean salsa, a modified Bittman recipe
  • Drinks: Coffee, water and a beer

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with cranberries, walnuts and brown sugar
  • Lunch: Leftover linguine with garlic and oil from yesterday
  • Dinner: This awesome fried rice recipe, a recommendation from a friend at work (thanks, Jennifer!). We didn’t have the seven spice though, but we’re ordering it for next time around. This was still awesome, even without it.
  • Snacks: Roasted corn and black bean salsa with chips, a bite or two of vegan ice cream
  • Drinks: Coffee, water and a beer

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