woensdag 21 november 2012

Day 5?

I had a few busy days so I haven't posted daily as planned. I'll keep it short:

I'm still eating vegan and I don't have any issues with the foods. The recipes are yummy and easy to prepare. The only thing is: it needs planning and time. I found out that preparing my lunch the evening before works best. I often make a double batch from a dinner and then change it up a bit for lunch by adding some veggies, salad or some carbs. Lots of people believe that eating vegan costs a lot of money. I've noticed that I spent a lot of money on some basics (seeds, nuts, oils, supplements, super foods, etc) but that the weekly costs only consist of veggies and fruits. Furthermore I spend way less on lunch and drinks at work as I don't buy any sandwiches or drinks anymore. I actually think I spend less money on foods than with my previous vegetarian diet. I must say that I am 'freestyling' a bit, I don't just eat recipes from the VFF book. I use the basic principles and mix it up with ingredients that I have in stock. I replace nuts with other nuts, veggies for veggies, etc. But I keep to the principles of eating low carb at night, eating breakfast daily, eating vegan, and not eating after 19.00.

I went to sport once this week. I'm planning to attend a Zumba class tomorrow night so that's 2 times in one week, my goal :)

I drink a lot of matcha shakes, water and green tea. I sometimes spike my water with some fruits, freshly squeezed juice or some organic apple sauce. I always drink tea without sugar so that's not a problem at all. I drank some coke this week, but am quite satisfied with how little. From today on I am sticking to the non-coke plan.

Yeah that's hard. I still smoke, but I smoke about 10 cigarets a day, sometimes less, not more. For now I am happy about that, but I still want to reduce it until I quit smoking.

I haven't stepped foot on a scale yet so I don't have any results thus far.

Next few weeks
I like eating this way and hope to continue it for longer as the prescribed 30 days. I am not sure I'll be eating vegan for 100%. I must say I have broken the cycle of eating tons of cheese, and I don't want to go back. I still eat gluten free and I notice so many changes in my body. The stomach aches are gone, I have more energy, etc. So yeah I do want to make these changes for a long time, but I think I'll eat cheese at dinner parties etc., but not at home or work. I haven't quite decided yet, I'll figure it out in the next couple of weeks. I have some dinner parties and in 2 weeks I'll be taking a weekend-trip with some colleagues and I'll see how eating vegan turns out then.

That was my recap of the first few days, time to go make my salad for lunch tomorrow ;)

zaterdag 17 november 2012

Day 2

Day 2

Well, yesterday was a very very busy day at work. For breakfast I had a banana-choco-matcha smoothie and that was filling and gave me an energetic feeling. I had it at 6am and it lasted me until 10am. I had a fruit salad for a snack and didn't have time to lunch until 1.30pm. I had my zucchini spaghetti for lunch. At night I was still quite full so I only had some mixed vegetables (mushrooms, paprika, zucchini, eggplant, onions, pumpkin and garlic) for dinner. I didn't have anything to eat after 7pm. I drank a lot of water and green tea. 

The smoking challenge is a little too much for me at the moment. Not-smoking makes me want to eat, the VFF challenge makes me want to eat less and healthy. I don't want to make things too complicated so I think I'll stick to the VFF challenge for now. 

Sports: I walked for about 2 hours with my lovely dog. 

Well that's it for now, I'm quite proud of the healthy foods :)

vrijdag 16 november 2012

Recap Day 1 VFF

Day 1 Vegan for Fit

I was very excited to start day 1, but it didn't start out the way I planned it. I had my breakfast (Smoothie) from super foods, but when I walked my dog I had to vomit... I didn't think more breakfast was a good idea so I had no breakfast at all. For lunch I took some gluten-free crackers with avocado, my stomach could handle that ;). After work I went to the bio-store. I bought some Pumpkin, white Almond Butter and I found some popped amaranth. I also went to a specialised tea store (Tee Gschwendner) and found some Japanese organic Matcha tea :).

As Afternoon-snack I had a Matcha-Latte (without the coffee). I understand that some people have trouble adjusting to the strong flavour of Matcha but as I'm used to chlorella I found the Matcha quite good.

For dinner I had some Pumpkin chips with a self-made salsa dip. Loved it and my stomach could handle it.

Soda: Ok, I'll admit it.... I had half a glass...
Cigarets: I had about 10 cigarettes left this morning, I smoked them, but won't be buying new ones.
Sports: none, other than walking my dog. Normally I have Zumba at thursday nights, but as I am not quite healthy yet I decided to stay home.

Summary of day 1
Foods: certainly managed them all vegan and without sugar :)
Drinks: matcha-shake (good), water (good), coke (not so good)
Cigarets: Not so good, but normally I smoke about 20-25, so a lot better.

The planned foods for tomorrow 
Breakfast: Popped amaranth
Snack: choco-matcha-shake
I precooked my lunch: zucchini noodles with tomato-vegetable-sauce
Snack: fruits
Dinner: not sure yet but I think I'll try the zucchini-canneloni.
Cigaret: none ;)

I plan to make those wonderful amaranth-pancakes this weekend, they look so lovely! I also have a birthday-party with dinner, so I am quite nervous as how that turns out....

donderdag 15 november 2012

Vegan for fit and other challenges!

Day 1....
There it goes... it's day one of the VFF Challenge! The book encourages to set goals that are realistic enough and can be achieved in 30 days. Other health challenges are also encouraged, so I am proud to present my list of challenges:

1. Vegan for fit
No sugar, no soda, no carbs after 16hr, all-vegan, all organic. That's the challenge! It also means thoroughly thinking about what you put in your mouth. Theoretically I can munch on vegan cookies all day, but that's not as healthy as it's intended to be. I will use all the recipes in his book, but will adapt them to be gluten free and soy free and I'll use whatever I have in the kitchen. I am not buying white almond butter when I still have brown almond butter etc.

2. No smoking...
I have been trying to quit smoking since I can remember... It costs lots of money, is unhealthy and when I think about it there is no good reason to smoke....other than the fact that I am addicted to it. But how about having a few awful withdrawal-weeks instead of awful years of smoking...sounds logical.. As I have way lower stress-levels as compared to a year ago, I feel up for this challenge. It will also approximately save me 1900 euros a year....! That's a crazy amount of money to blow up in the air... And I'll save about 2 lungs as well ;). So here it goes...no smoking for 30 days but actually for the rest of my life... Somehow it's not logical to eat as healthy as possible, detox your body from all toxins in other foods and than infuse your body with toxins from smoking. Also, I found out that cigarets are not vegan at all! They contain animal products and they perform horrible animal experiments on animals to test their cigarets. So no more cigarets for me!

3. Sports
I have actually been sporting a while now, but lately I have been too occupied with other things. So it's back to doing Zumba twice a week! And of course I'd like to do even more but the challenge is to do sports at least twice a week. I love Zumba, it always makes me smile, it's good for the body and mind!

4. No soda, no caffein!
Well that's actually part of the VFF challenge, but for me it's a separate goal as I am a soda-junkie! Cola, red bull...yummy! But so unhealthy! So according to the VFF challenge I need to drink 2 L of water and 1,5 L of green tea every day. I won't measure it exactly but I'll try to keep up with that. No caffein means no caffein from coke and red bull, matcha tea is also stuffed with caffein but is a superfood. I'll drink that when I can find it somewhere.

The ultimate goal
Is of course to look like one of these (girls then, no sex change operations here ;))

The measurements and goals
Well I'm not going to publish my weight or the width of my hips here... but in 30 days I will publish my results. My goal is to lose 5kg in 30 days, I'd like it to be more but I think 5kg is more realistic. I will not weigh myself daily but try to do it a maximum of once a week. That's actually quit difficult as it's so tempting to weigh myself daily.

So there it is written-in-stone or at least published on the internet... my goals! Now I really need to keep myself to them or otherwise I'll be publicly ashamed ;). Tomorrow (or maybe tonight) I'll publish how my first day went!

woensdag 14 november 2012

Sick :(

Well I didn't start with my first day of the Vegan for Fit Challenge as I got ill! So this is a very short post... I'll be back when I'm better and started with the first day of the challenge. Meanwhile my fruits and veggies are still in the refrigerator as I can't eat. Just water, which is vegan ;). I'll be back!

maandag 12 november 2012

Course and Vegan for fit Challenge

Well I'm back from the course! I actually got back saturday night but didn't have any energy to write anything until now. I had a very nice lazy sunday and started work again today. The only thing that wasn't so nice is that I didn't have any fresh fruits or veggies yesterday as all shops are closed on Sunday here. But today I went to the supermarket and bought me some yummy fruits and veggies.

The course
I loved it! I met some lovely people, had tons of fun and learned a lot. Normally I have trouble concentrating, but maybe because of all the healthy foods (and omega-3-plant-acids) which are good brain-foods, I could focus and concentrate so much better! The topic of the course was knee-surgery and knee-implants. The only thing that bothered me during the course was the fact that we had to learn doing these surgeries on cow bones!

I was totally not expecting this as we normally learn surgeries on 'fake bones' made out of some kind of plaster-plastic-mixture. But this particular surgery involved cartilage-surgery, and we needed cartilage to learn it on. I considered not doing it, but I thought about it and had some other thoughts:

  1. the cow wasn't slaughtered for this, it's only a rest-product from slaughter for meat (ok this argument sucks and is also used by meat-eaters for other crap
  2. I do need to learn this and don't want to fail the course
  3. If I don't do it they will throw the bone away unused anyway
Well, I decided to do it, but hated doing it so much I was distracted. It is just so strange for a vegan to use a part of an animal for something. I hated it, but I learned from it as well. Totally strange situation.

The foods during the course
I had some vegan and some non-vegan, definitely all vegetarian-foods. The first day I had a big salad for lunch (carrots, lettuce and cucumber, boy can cooks be uninspired when it comes to vegan-salads...). For dinner we went to a restaurant and I had a salad and some pasta with veggies, as a desert fruit with yoghurt, I only ate the fruits. The second day we had some cheese-dish for lunch (Käse-Spätzl), for dinner a salad as appetizer and some pasta with veggies as main dish. For dessert we had cocos with fruits. The third day I had a sandwich with camembert (the other option was goulash-soup which of course wasn't an option. For dinner I had a salad at a restaurant during my travel back home. So yeah not quite vegan. I noticed that my body really hates eating gluten and non-vegan foods, so I am happy to be home and vegan again :)

The Vegan for Fit Challenge
As I wrote before, I am starting the VFF Challenge as of tomorrow (I ate vegan today but needed to do some shopping before starting the challenge. In short, the VFFC is a book from a vegan Chef called Atilla Hildmann (I hope I spelled that correctly) and is focused on weight loss by using a vegan low-carb diet. The main points are (but hey if you are german: buy the book, it's cool!):
- eating vegan
- omitting all sugar (replacing it by Stevia or Agave Nectar)
- no carbs at night, only for breakfast and lunch
- no unhealthy carbs (white flour, white rice and pasta)
- sport
- no eating after 7pm
- making everything fresh, no preproduced products
- drinking a lot of water and green tea
- drinking matcha tea

There are tons of recipes in the book, but as I have so many ingredients left, I'm not planning on following only the recipes in the book. I will also make it gluten and soy free. So I will sometimes use different nuts or nut butters, oils etc. until I have used all the other organic vegan produce I have left. But I'll follow all the rules, just maybe with some different ingredients. I'll also remain eating my superfoods (bee pollen, maca powder, raw cacao, chlorella, spirulina) and will take my supplements as before. I will refrain from most produced products. My main goal remains weight loss and health. I guess this challenge for me is about eating a healthy vegan diet. It's so easy to eat a junk-vegan diet full with cookies, bread, pasta etc. Also it's easy to eat a junk-vegan diet meanwhile drinking a lot of coke and red bull (hello me). So that's it, a healthy diet for me as of tomorrow. I will post a (mostly) daily update here!


dinsdag 6 november 2012

Course and sucky sucky cheese and gluten

Usually when a vegan post concerns a course, it is about a spiritual/yoga or a vegan cooking course. Well I'm not that lucky but I am excited about leaving for a work-related course tomorrow. It's always good to leave work behind for a few days. So as of today I won't be going back to work until next monday!

The only thing I am concerned about is the food.... When I decided to eat a vegan diet again I decided not to concern myself with vegan (always vegetarian of course) foods when I'm out for dinner, or at a party. However, the more I read, the more I get into it, the less I want to eat anything else. Yesterday I had lunch with a friend and had a big goat-cheese salad. Although goat cheese has always been my favourite in the cheese department (and I ate a lot of cheese...), I felt bloated and unhealthy afterwards. I  had the (sorry yet to the nasty part) worst stomachache, diarrhea and gas the rest of the day! I thought about it and one of the following must be true a) cheese is bad for human beings, b) maybe I am lactose-intolerant? c) maybe your body can't digest cheese so easily after not eating it for a while (but that seems strange as my body never needs to remind itself how to digest an apple), d) all of the above.

I have always had stomach/colon/digestion problems. However, when I eat vegan I don't have them at all (only when I eat soy, I know my body can't handle that and I have been tested allergic for soy). When I was 16, I was tested positive for celiac disease (gluten allergy). As a student I didn't much care for the dry gluten free bread and expensive-pasta and started eating gluten again. I always knew it was bad for me but didn't think twice about adopting a gluten free diet again. When we handled celiac disease in medical school I felt a pang of guilt but forgot about it afterwards. Then I read 'the crazy sexy diet' from Kris Carr, and she not only talks about the health benefits of a vegan diet, but also about gluten intolerance and how it effects your body. She listed about 10 symptoms of celiac disease, and yeah I have to say I have 9 out of 10 (except the fact that most people become skinny from the disease, why o why is that the only thing that didn't happen to me.... :( )which isn't that strange as I have been diagnosed with it. How unhealthy can it be to just deny a disease? Well apparently very unhealthy, as it is known to give a 30% increased chance of colon cancer and causes many vitamin deficiencies etc. So I guess it's time to accept it for what it is and stay the hell away from any gluten.
That means a vegan, soy free and gluten free diet. Which sounds worse than it actually is. Luckily veggies and fruits don't contain any of them. But a lot of vegan products and recipes contain soy or gluten. I am happily in love with rice- and almond milk. Rice, quinoa and rice-noodles are all gluten free and inexpensive. And there are so many gluten free products in the market at the moment! I found an organic gluten free brand which I am quite happy about.

But how can I obtain such a diet in strange surroundings? I emailed the course directors secretary and she told me there are lots of fruits and veggies available during the day. We have two dinners in different restaurants and I assume that they will serve a buffet which usually contains rice (probably white rice but hey I'll take it over anything non-vegan) and a salad bar. So I am hopeful, but packed lots of snacks, fruits and gluten free crackers to take with me.

I guess it's time to go packing. I'll be back on sunday and probably won't be posting until then. Have a good and healthy week!

maandag 5 november 2012


It's been awhile since I had a completely free Sunday, with nothing to do, no shifts or sleeping after shifts... and I loved it! I thoroughly enjoyed doing stuff without actually having to do something. First I needed to do something about my home...it was in desperate need of some cleaning... but I actually enjoyed it while dancing to some music. I took a very long walk with my dog, did the laundry and all that other stuff I tend to do on Sundays when I have one...

But I also did some cooking. As a result of my enthusiastic-I-am-vegan-again-let's-buy-anything mood I had lots of fresh fruits and veggies that needed some attention.

Carrot cupcakes
First I baked some glutenfree-soyfree-vegan carrot cupcakes. I browsed some recipes on the internet but couldn't quite find what I needed so I decided to try and bake something of my own with some inspiration from different websites (sorry but I can't quote as I have no clue where I got it from, but try google and vegan carrot cupcake and you'll find some recipes). I used the following ingredients (measurements are an estimate, I didn't really measure anything):
1 cup of shredded carrots
1 cup of cranberries and goji berries (or you can use raisins or any other dried fruit)
1 cup of buckweith (don't know the English word...) flower
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of dates
100 gr walnuts
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of orange juice (freshly squeezed)
A bit of shredded coconut (you can omit that, I just had some leftovers)
1 cup of chopped walnuts (I pulsed them in my kitchen machine, not for too long, no walnut flower!)
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder
1 tablespoon of ahorn syrup

First I cooked the water with the chopped dates, cranberries and goji berries and the cinnamon and ginger. I let it simmer for a few minutes. Then I shredded the carrot and poured the warm mixture over the carrots and let it cool off.

I then mixed everything together with the walnuts added at the last moment. I baked them at 190 C for about 40 minutes (a bit too long). I tasted them and they are a bit dense but taste GREAT :). As you may have noticed, there is little fat and no sugar added, only natural sources of sweetness and deliciousness.... The recipe yielded 9 cupcakes, enough for a week (or maybe less....)

Pumpkin and sweet potato chips
For lunch I ate some pumpkin and sweet potato chips, yummmmmmy! I had read about these chips before but never made them. As I had some of both the pumpkin and the sweet potato but didn't want to use them all for the curry I'd make later, I decided to have some for lunch with a sauce of vegan mayonnaise and mustard. I'll definitely make these more often! The only mistake is that I used too much oil for them, so they were a little soggy. I drained (yuk...) them and let them bake a bit more (oven about 200 C, I had them in there for about 30 minutes). Good to know for next time!

Vegan Pumpkin Curry
Last time I was vegan I made a lot of curries. As I had so many vegetables I decided to make one again, and a lot of it so I can put some in the freezer for shifts etc. I baked some onions with ginger and garlic in some coconut oil and then cooked the vegetables (cauliflower, pumpkin, sweet potato, green and red bell peppers, spinach and carrots) in coconut milk. I added some spices and other stuff: orange juice, cinnamon, tahin, tamari, rice vinegar, salt, curry, kurkuma, and pepper. I also added half a package of quinoa for some good amino acids. I think I had too much tasting and smells from cooking as I had a very small bowl for dinner and was super stuffed afterwards. 

Well that was my sunday... time flies by unfortunately. Have a good (vegan) week!

zondag 4 november 2012

Loving the animals & Zucchini pasta

Well, I picked up my dog yesterday (part-time dog as I share him with my ex), and I always feel much better when he's around. As I was cuddling my dog and meanwhile looking at facebook messages I came across the following picture:

Well that's some common logic! I looooove the picture as it exactly states how I feel these days about animals! There is no good reason to slaughter these lovely animals, we don't need them to survive and we surely don't need them to have a healthy and lovely meal.

Today I ate:
Breakfast: Smoothie (almond milk, raw cacao, maca powder, bee pollen, hemp seeds, banana)
Lunch: none actually, not so good
Dinner: Zucchini pasta with bolognese sauce (onions, garlic, basil, mushrooms, grilled paprikasauce and sun-dried pesto (self-made) with a splash of bio-red-wine, topped with some nutritional yeast  (which is actually better as parmesan!). Adapted recipe from the vegan for fit book.
Snack: Vegetarian sausages with bread, pickles, ketchup and fried onions

I bought this funny little kitchen helper (only 6 euros) that makes zucchini into spaghetti easily. It's nice without all the extra carbohydrates and it's a nice way to get some easy raw veggies! And it tasted yummy!

I went to the birthday party and my friends were so lovely as to buy me some vegetarian sausages instead of the regular ones. There was some milk-traces in them but the gesture was so nice and so were the sausages ;). I didn't tell them yet from my change to a vegan diet, and I don't care when I eat something once in a while which isn't 100% vegan.

Today I drank a few glasses of coke. This Dutch store the Albert Heijn, sells coke with stevia instead of sugar or some carcinogenic aspartam. I love coke, it's one of my weaknesses. After I get back from my course next week (more on that later) I want to follow the 30 day vegan for fit challenge. It's a nice transition period at the moment, eating vegan but not a 100% healthy. Of course I'll post updates about that later!

Have a nice Sunday and think about some lovely animals, vegan hugs!

vrijdag 2 november 2012

Eating in my shift

I hope that this blog will help me in the next few weeks to remain enthusiastic and successful in continuing a vegan lifestyle. That's why I wrote a new post so quickly, albeit a quite short one as I just finished an 18-hour shift. Before my shift I went to the Bio-store and bought myself a copy of Vegan for fit from Attila Hildmann, a German vegan Chef. I am quite excited about the book as it looks wonderful and the recipes aren't stuffed with Soy (I don't like it and am allergic to it). I can't say much more at the moment as I haven't tried the recipes and didn't read the book yet. It's a shame that the book can only be bought in German, but maybe some day it will be translated.

So what did I eat yesterday?
Breakfast: Smoothie (2 glasses) from frozen strawberries, purified water, banana, superfoods (bee pollen, maca, chlorella, hemp seeds, chia seeds, raw cacao), and some biological apple-sauce for a taste of sweetness. 
Lunch: left-over tortilla pizza with a salad (romaine, tomatoes, cucumber, paprika with a dressing of hemp oil, tahini and balsamico vinegar).
Dinner: zucchini soup (onions, garlic, vegetable stock, 2 zucchinis, nutritional yeast and raw cashews pureed together) with gluten-free bread and self-made sun-dried tomato tapenade. 
I had some biological cookies, raw cashews and some fruit as snacks. I drank water and green tea. 

Tonight I have a friends birthday party. I will stuff myself before that with some delicious vegan foods so I won't be tempted by cheese or other non-vegan produce. I will also refrain from drinking alcohol as I learned that most wines and alcohol are cleaned with gelatin! I have some biological-vegan-wine, but lately I'm not in the mood for alcohol and I don't really drink that often anyway. 

I plan to make some delicious and healthy vegan snacks (muffins etc.) tomorrow so I can start the week with a stuffed freezer. Also I have another shift this Monday so I need to be prepared.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Vegan again

Well it's been awhile since I've written here. Lots of things changed in my life and I wasn't able to keep up the vegan lifestyle (I remained a vegetarian though). But I'm back again :) I started eating vegan again since about a week. The reasons? First of all, I cannot get my head around eating animal products. I love my own animals and I wouldn't eat them, so why eat other animals? The way animals are slaughtered is disgusting, and why should they be slaughtered in the first place? Furthermore I am a 1000% convinced that it is indeed very unhealthy to eat animal products not only the flesh (a.k.a. dead bodies), but also the milk (you don't drink from your mothers tits anymore so why should you drink from an animals?), and the other derivatives of animals such as cheese, gelatin, etc. I read the book 'crazy sexy diet' and my old vegan vibes started up again.....so here I am again... a proud vegan :)

I've also read up about superfoods and am incorporating them in my diet as well (see the articles of David Wolfe). I use them mostly in my breakfast-smoothies and in salads. I use Maca, Raw Cacao, Spirulina, Chlorella, Bee pollen (it can be disputed that they are not vegan, but for now I decided to use them), and Chia seeds. Furthermore I take supplements: vegan vitamins, omega-3-fatty acids (plant-based, not the fatty fish kind), and Spirulina tablets.

I have been doing this for a week now, and I must say the healthy benefits are incredible. I have gone from an ever-tired-sleeping-on-the-couch-every-night-person to a person with lots of energy. I even notice that I need less sleep. I am starting to lose weight again and I feel better in many more ways.

I'm reading a lot about the topic of healthy vegan foods, but also about the vegan lifestyle. I'm not going all the way with my lifestyle. For instance I have leather seats in my car, I'm not going to sell it because of that. I will wear my leather shoes, but won't be buying new ones when they are worn out. I'm not throwing out my animals as some vegans say that keeping animals is not allowed in a vegan lifestyle. I'm not changing the foods my cats and dog eat, I can't change their diets suddenly.

For now I am happy with the way I eat. Although I must say there are some things I do not like. It takes a lot more time to plan my meals and to prepare them before I go to work. The costs are another thing, it is indeed expensive to buy all-organic-vegan-produce. But I had to stock up again, and for this month I only need to buy fresh veggies and fruits. I also bought a water-purifier and superfoods that last for a few months. I'm happy that there is a market twice a week where a biological farm sells its produce for fair prices. I spend about 20 euros a week on veggies and fruits and I eat a lot of them at the moment.

Yesterday I made some yummy vegan pizza tortillas (from the book skinny bitch in the kitch) and I made some zucchini soup to take to my night shift today.

My biggest anxiety at the moment is that I start all enthousiastic but won't be able to keep it up. But for now I'll try to keep it up for a lifetime :)

Vegan Hug