Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Veganism: Day 16

Current weight: 172 lbs (woot woot)

This whole vegan thing is getting much, much easier. In fact, I'm thinking at the end of this whole 60-day stint, I'm going to give up meat permanently (with the exception of salmon, for reasons I will explain below). I haven't actually written about the veganism thing in a while, so here's a brief catch up:

1. Eating out when you're a vegan SUCKS. So cheese is on everything. Literally everything. Every salad, every side dish, every entre has cheese. And if there isn't cheese, there is some form of meat. And if it's not meat, it's butter. And if it's not butter, it's another form of dairy. You get the idea. My diet has consisted of basically salads. And sometimes bread, though you have to be careful with bread because you never know what sort of dairy product may be lurking in there.

So that blows. I'm pretty sure Vickie is ready to beat the shit out of me because I sound like one of those high-maintenance southern California bitches when I order.

2. Cooking on my own has become much simpler. For the first week, I basically didn't eat because I didn't have time to cook. That's something I would put out there for all you would-be vegans: you have to actually have time to prepare a meal that is vegan. Many salads were consumed in my kitchen these past 16-days. And if not salads, I would throw a boca burger on the stove and heat that...with a salad. Tonight I'm attempting this BBQ-ed tofu thing with this pepper salad my mom used to make (minus the feta cheese). After I go to the gym, of course.

3. Tofurkey tastes like, well, what I would imagine fake turkey rolled in cardboard and sprinkled with death would taste like. But tofurkey on a sandwich is FANTASTIC. Particularly with "veganese" (vegans answer to mayo) and vegan cheese. I put some BBQ sauce on mine for a little added kick, and so I don't have to taste the tofurkey. Also, loading up on spinache lettuce is good, too. Ah, I love lunches.

4. My friend Tiffany introduced me to Sunshine vegan burgers, which are also gluten-free. They are quite tasty, though I would like to point out that the big warning label on the box that says "don't burn" isn't there for decorative purposes. If you're considering painting your nails while the burger is cooking, I would highly advise against it.

5. It's time for me to disclose areas where I've cheated in the past 16 days:

--I had salmon ravioli (I'm not entirely sure if there was cheese in it or not) yesterday. We went to Grape Escape, normally known for their amazing salads, and they were out of everything. Literally, everything. I felt sick after I ate it, which may be my body's way of telling me no.

--I ate Guidos on 4/20. I hope this is self-explanatory. I also ate about a pound of strawberries, some edamame, chips and salsa, graham crackers, rice milk ice cream and possibly a salad.

So on a completely different note, I went to the doc today to get the results of my blood work (I have insurance so I might as well get a physical, right?). Apparently, in addition to losing 20 lbs since January, I am extraordinarily healthy with the exception of a few minor details:

1. I have a low HDL cholesterol count. While my "bad" cholesterol level is very low, having a low HDL level can lead to heart disease. So this is why I have to eat salmon, which is fine, because I love salmon. I also need to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Okay, will do as soon as my knee quits killing me.

2. For whatever reason, I had a higher than acceptable white blood cell count, which is why I had blood drawn again today so they can see if it has gone down. Fun, fun.

So that's my update! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Salt Lake City Half Marathon

So I have been running half marathons for almost two years now. I've never really taken training that seriously because, really, the thought of running 13 miles for fun in preparation for running 13 miles in a race is, well, fucking insane. Usually I would get up to 7 or 8 and call it good. I'd finish the race in a reasonable amount of time (well, reasonable for someone who hates running, not so reasonable if you're Jillian Michels) and vow never to run again, only to be sucked back in a few months later in an effort to lose a ton of weight.

This year I told myself I was going to run Robie Creek, and I was actually going to adequately prepare for it. If you're unfamiliar with Robie Creek, it's sale's pitch is "the toughest half in the northwest." They're not fucking around, either. It's essentially a 13.1 mile hill climb, culminating with what I'm sure are a ton of dead people at the top of the summit. When it became blatantly clear that me, myself and my knees that we are so not cut out for such a demanding task, I registered for the Salt Lake City half marathon. If Robie Creek is a vertical climb, Salt Lake was the exact inverse: a downhill sprint. YES! Right up my alley. Plus, we had actually been running distances for several weeks leading up to this race, so I was feeling very good.

So I wrangled up some friends, and we took a road trip down to Salt Lake to run. Katie and I ran the half and Tessa and Kristin ran the 5K.

First off, I love road trips. I especially love road trips when you have a ton of people who are equally as judgmental, hilarious and full of wit like you are. We had a fantastic time on the way down to Salt Lake, and I'm going to laugh uncontrollably every time I hear the word "algorithm."

Katie and I got up at the butt-crack of dawn (wait, it may have even been BEFORE the butt-crack of dawn) to catch the public transportation to the start of the race at the University of Utah.

A) I hate public transportation and B) I hate it even more when bitches get on the train when there is CLEARLY no room and force me to get closer than necessary to the smelly dude standing a mere millimeter away from me. I wanted to bitch-slap one of the really, really hard.

So Katie and I ran this race, and I have to say, for the first half of it, I was feeling amazing. We were cruising along at what can only be described as a break-neck pace, and I was fine until I hit mile 9 and started to feel the pain in my left leg that I was hoping would go away before the race. I'm fairly certain I tweaked my sciatica a few weeks ago, but me being me, I just tried to ignore it. Around mile 11, the pain became almost unbearable, and I started to hobble myself on the side of the road. By mile 12.5, I decided I had had enough of this shit and sprinted the rest of the race. The pain wasn't going to get any better, so I might as well run the shit out of it.

I finished the race in 2:20, which is almost 20 minutes faster than I finished the last half marathon I did. I was so completely elated, I almost forgot about all the pain I was in.

Another great thing about half marathons is you get a medal at the end of it.

We drove back to Boise that same day, and I vowed to finish my next half marathon (Avenue of the Giants on May 2nd!) in 2:15.

That was until I injured my knee last night in my indoor soccer game. Soccer is fun because you get out all this pent up aggression; soccer is not fun when you get hurt. I'd prefer to be the one doing the hurting. I'm really, really hoping I didn't tear my ACL again because the tennis season just started, and I was so, so excited about this race coming up. :(

Anyway, stay posted! I go to the Ortho tomorrow to find out if I'm screwed.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day Five (and Sick of Sarah!)

Vodka is vegan...right? Oh what a fantastic night. If you have never heard of Sick of Sarah, check them out! (www.sickofsarah.com)


Plus, they totally all signed a napkin for my sister, who was super-sad to not be able to see them.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Veganism: Day Three

Vegans: you have it rough. I'm not even kidding. You can't eat ANYTHING! Oh. My. God. I'm really feeling for you here. All this time I just kept calling you a bunch of tree-hugging, liberal hippies who didn't know your ass from a piece of meat, but shit, I'm sorry! I don't know how I'm going to sustain myself on your diet for 60 days.

Let's see--for breakfast I had this fantastic gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free blueberry waffle. And by fantastic I actually mean fantastic, for once. It was quite tasty. With some vegan butter on top.

Because I'm a total moron, I forgot to pack a suitable lunch, so I had a bag of carrots, an orange and a soy yogurt. Needless to say by 6:00 p.m. after class, I was about ready to scrape off roadkill on the side of the road and eat it. Instead, decorum prevailed and I went home and made Tessa's famous bean soup. Quite possibly the simplest recipe ever and quite tasty:

1 can garbanzo beans;
1 can kidney beans;
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 can tomato (I like mine with the jalapenos in it. Gives it a little kick)
1 package taco seasoning (make sure it is vegan)

Mix in large pot and heat. Mmm...mmm...

Normally I eat this covered in cheese and sour cream, but tonight I ate it...plain...

Today was supposed to be my BodyFlow night at Gold's, but my ankle is swollen to high hell, so I'm going to take some pain killers and go to bed. Maybe I'll do a sit-up or something before.

On a different note, I watched "The Virgin Suicides" tonight (thanks, Netflix, for recommending another real winner). Save your time. What a crap movie. Sophia Coppola, that's -2 for you (one for that crap movie and another for "Marie Antoinette." Seriously, Kirsten Dunst can't act unless she's playing a dumb, blond cheerleader).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Veganism: Day One

Weight: 179 lbs.

I debated whether or not to include my weight on this blog, but since I'm actually trying to lose weight via veganism, I thought it was appropriate to track my weight and share it with whomever is out on the Internets reading this.

I went to a party last night and shared with all my friends my quest towards skinniness via food deprivation and my intent to start today. So my friend drove me to Wendy's and demanded that I order a double cheeseburger. And since I always give into peer pressure, I ordered it. And ate it. And it was the most delicious cheeseburger of my life, probably because I knew it would be the last one I would be eating for a while.

So I officially started the vegan diet today. As I mentioned, I planned on continuing to drink milk; however, I feel as though if I'm going to do this thing, I need to go balls out. So I drank the rest of my milk this morning and went and bought (vomit) Soymilk. Vanilla. Light. Gross. This morning I woke up around 9 and had a bowl of Cheerios with (regular, tasty, oh-so-glorious) milk and cleaned my house.

One of the good things about me is that I try to keep myself busy so that I don't have time to just sit around thinking about eating or watching t.v. After I cleaned my house, I went to my soccer game, which was an hour-and-a-half of hell because we had no subs for 2 45-minute halves; then I had to go to my parent's house to help them flip some board or something and then I went grocery shopping. So basically, it's right around 6:37 and the only thing I have had to eat today is that effing bowl of cereal and half a bottle of water. I'm extremely irritable right now. But I am snacking on some chips and salsa, and should I get the motivation, I will go make myself a salad. I did pick up this weird salad at the Co-op, which was the only vegan thing they had at their little pre-made dinner counter, with edamame, spinach and tofu. And you guessed it, it tastes like ass. Sick. But I should probably continue to eat it since it's green. And it was expensive. Trader Joe's, please come to Boise!

So I guess today doesn't really count since I sort of forgot to eat. But I did go to the grocery store to pick up my "vegan" food, and I didn't realize there was so much meatless stuff. Not to mention cheese that is not really cheese but masquerades as cheese and is made from vegetables and soy? Huh? Not entirely sure, but we'll see. There's also vegan butter, vegan mayo, vegan turkey meat that is not really turkey meat, vegan yogurt and these cute little vegan chicken nuggets. Aw, how sweet. I think tomorrow I will make myself a smoothie since I did buy a ton of fruit, which could be one of the only positives about this whole insane thing.

One of the things I'm not going to like about this whole vegan thing is being lumped into a category with "those people." You know the ones I'm talking about:

Hippies. Fucking hippies. I'm with Cartman on this one (and if you haven't seen that episode of "South Park" I suggest you watch it. It is highly entertaining and describes my feelings perfectly towards hippies). I am still a quasi-Republican and do not plan on bathing myself in patchouli or dreading my hair or not showering. Even if I will be buying my groceries in the same aisle as these nimrods. (Not to say that all hippies are nimrods. I'm slightly biased after living amongst them in the hippie-invested lands known as Humboldt County).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's Time for me to Fess Up.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love television. And movies. Almost to the point where it is some sort of sick obsession. Well, not really an obsession as just kind of sad. I've noticed a direct correlation (inverse relationship? I sucked at statistics) between the amount of television I watch and the temperature. As the temperature goes down, the number of hours I spend stretched out on my couch watching my giant television goes up. And when you live in Idaho, that's A LOT of hours of t.v.

Christmas break was spent watching the entirety of "Battlestar Galactica." That's right. Every. Single. Season. From start to finish. By the time I watched the last episode, I was so emotionally drained and torn from reality that I sort of forgot my own name. Is Earth real? Are we all just people from other planets that were destroyed by Cylons? Why do I now have so many MORE unanswered questions about the universe?

I promised myself after that (and a good 10 lbs gained) that I would not be sucked in by any more television shows. It was okay to have one that I had to watch every week, but never again would I park it in front of my television for hours on end, losing entire days watching a show that only distracts me from my actual life and makes me forget how much I hate interacting with people sometimes.

Oh, how quickly I break promises to myself.

I blame Target.

I'd watched "Bones" a few times on TNT over the years, but I never really got into it. The whole premise seemed slightly odd, the acting was a bit over the top, and the story lines were highly improbable. Still, it was an entertaining show and really, what else do you need?

Until one day in February. I was at Target buying face-wash when I happened to meander through the electronics section. And they were having a special on Seasons 1 and 2 of "Bones." Both seasons for $24.99. A total steal! So I bought it. And went home. And watched it. And watched more. And more. Until I was through the first season. And it had only been a week. Shit. I was hooked.

I bought season 3 and my sister bought me season 4 for my birthday, which happened to coincide with spring break.

Do you think I moved from my couch that entire week (when I wasn't at work)? No. No I did not. I got through THREE SEASONS of "Bones" in a week. And subsequently failed an Intermediate Accounting III test because I did not study and instead watched "Bones" (my professor did not think this was a good excuse. I told him at least I was being honest).

There is something so, so wrong about that.

So officially being caught up, I'm now able to watch the show in real time (Thursdays at 7:00 on Fox). And I'm hooked. It's not like I have a class during that time or anything. Wait, shit. I have cost accounting. Oh well. It's not like he takes attendance.

So my obsession with "Bones" is due to several factors:

1. Emily Deschanel is way hot. I mean, really hot. And I noted during tonight's episode that she TOTALLY has knees like me. So now I like her even more.

2. David Boreanaz is pretty hot, too.

3. I feel super, super smart after watching "Bones." Like I have any clue what a neural foraminal stenosis of the C6 vertebral body is. But I can say it. And that's all that matters.

4. I feel comfortable admitting that I can probably kill someone and get away with it. Not that I ever would. I pass out when I see blood.

5. I'm so obsessed with the relationship between Booth and Bones. It's like Mulder and Scully, all that pent up sexual tension. It drives me NUTS. I watch every week to see if Booth and Bones are finally going to...bone...ha ha.

So tonight's episode totally did it for me. I'm not going to insert any spoilers. Just know that if you like "Bones" and if you're obsessed with their relationship like me and you DID NOT watch the 100th episode, get your ass to your computer now and watch it. I cried. Because I've become emotionally attached to characters on a fucking television show.

This is a judge-free zone.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My 60-day stint with (quasi) veganism...

Why one should not drink: a few nights ago, my friend, dear bottle of Riesling and I, had a date. We sat on the couch and enjoyed each other's company while we watched "Bones." Well, then of course I had to invite Riesling's other friend, other bottle of Riesling, and a fun time was had by all. I woke up the next morning slightly hungover and trotted on my way to work.

I always check my email in the morning because no one comes into the office until 8:30. I logged in and had an email from Amazon thanking me for my recent purchase. Recent purchase? Huh? I open the email and, sure enough, I had purchased a book entitled _Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet_.

I stared at the email for a good 10 seconds, trying to comprehend just what the hell I was thinking, when another email popped up. I opened this one. Oh God. It was worse than I thought. Another email from Amazon thanking me for my recent purchase of _The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes: Amazing Cookies, Cakes, Muffins, Pies, Brownies and Breads_ and _The 30-Minute Vegan: Over 175 Quick, Delicious, and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking_. I guess if my drunk self is going to become a vegan, it is going all out.

Now anyone that knows anything about me is aware that my diet is anything but "plant-based." In fact, quite opposite. If we were living in dinosaur-times (the Triassic to Cretaceous period), I would have been a T-Rex or a Raptor, not a Brachiosaurus. A German T-Rex. You get the drift.

But then I thought to myself, "self, maybe this isn't a bad idea." Maybe this is my subconscious (albeit somewhat impaired by alcohol) telling me, "self, you need to be a vegan for your health. You need to be a vegan for the environment and the cute little cows and chickens. Do it!" (It could also be due to the fact that I was watching "Bones" and I'm fairly certain I had just read on google that Emily Deschanel is a hard-core vegan. God I hate google).
(Haha, they totally had a picture of her buying lettuce. A very hot picture of her buying lettuce).

Thus, my decision to embark on what I'm going to call "Sarah's 60-day Stint with (quasi) veganism." I use the term "quasi" because no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to give up milk. I love milk. Plus, I don't want shitty bones when I'm an old lady of 45.

So beginning on Sunday, April 11th, I am going to attempt to be a vegan. I'm going to be documenting the food I eat, my reaction to said foods, my daily disposition as I go through meat-withdrawls, and I'm also going to track my weight loss, because if I do not lose any weight while half-marathon training and on a vegan diet, then I am going to tell Jillian Michaels to shove it, some people are just big-boned.

So please, stay tuned!