31 Day Vegetarian

In an effort to keep me more honest about what I’m shoving into my face, I decided that for all of January, I would become a vegetarian. I’ve flirted with the idea before, but could never get over the fact that to be a vegetarian, you can’t eat meat. Like, EVER. And, well, I love me some meat. I just don’t eat it very often. And, when I do eat meat, I make every attempt to ensure it comes from a good home (i.e. cage free/hormone free/antibiotic free/free roaming/grass-fed/etc). I don’t buy chicken or beef from the big companies you would typically associate with those foods, mostly because of how the animals are treated. Generally, when I buy beef, pork or chicken, I purchase it at a farmer’s market, Whole Foods or Outpost – places where I know where the meat came from. I wasn’t always like this, but then I started doing some research and of course, watching films like Food, Inc. solidified this choice for me.

So, here I am. Day #1 of vegetarianism. So far, so good. I almost screwed up, however, at 12:30 this morning while at a New Year’s party. There were bacon-wrapped water chestnuts as an hors d’ouvre and I had been eating them earlier in the night. Luckily, even a slightly intoxicated Amy was able to catch herself before eating it! I’ve been ok so far, but I’m sure that’s because I’m at home and I bought a bunch of vegetarian-friendly foods to aid in the transition to meat-free living.

Happy New Year!

For brunch, I had some leftovers from last night – crackers, beer bread and pizza dip.

For dinner, I had the veggie pizza you see below. MMMMMM (do you see a pattern here? Obviously, pizza is my weakness).

Day 1: Veggie pizza on Naan Bread

Day 1: Veggie pizza on Naan Bread by amykant

Here’s the recipe for my Veggie Pizza on Naan Bread:

Ingredients:
  • Whole Wheat Naan bread, pitas, tortillas or pizza crust
  • Veggies
  • Tomato paste
  • Cheese (I used fresh mozzarella and a little bit of a cheddar jack blend)
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Place crust on pizza stone, cookie sheet or pizza pan. Put a couple of spoonfuls of tomato paste on the crust and spread around. Top with veggies. I used spinach, carrots, broccoli and tomatoes. Then I sliced up the fresh mozzarella (about 3 small balls) and placed on the pizza. I topped with a sprinkle of the shredded cheese blend and baked in the oven for 10-15min (until cheese begins to brown).
I’ve done so many variations on this in the past. One of my favorite veggie mixes to use is broccoli slaw. MMMMM.
I won’t be posting blogs every day with updates, but my plan is to tweet using the hashtag #31daysofveg and to post pictures daily to Flickr. I’ll do a wrap-up post each week here, but if you’re interested in my daily adventures with vegetarianism, you’ll wanna follow my Twitter feed and check up on Flickr.

Inspire & Inform: Overeating and sleep

Since I first began this journal one month ago, I have been collecting massive amounts of information and inspiration from across the Internets. I can’t keep all this goodness to myself, so I’m sharing it with all of you.

  • 4 Must-Know Restaurants Secrets: Check out this fabulous article with the four restaurant secrets you need to know, including: Don’t get too excited, start small, remember the server is a salesperson and don’t get supersized. (Via For the love of skinny). Make sure you read the section on bargains – not only will this save you from gaining weight, it will also save your wallet!
  • Catching up on lost sleep a dangerous illusion: According to this article, “people who are chronically sleep-deprived (hmmm, like someone who works at 5am?) may think they’re caught up after a 10-hour night of sleep, but new research shows that although they’re near-normal when they awake, their ability to function deteriorates markedly as night falls.”

Staying up for 24 hours straight is bad enough, but the study shows that if you do that on top of having gotten less than six hours of sleep a night for two to three weeks, your reaction times and abilities are 10 times worse than they would have been just pulling an all-nighter…

…research has shown that staying awake for 24 hours in a row impairs performance on par with legal intoxication with alcohol (for driving), and six hours of sleep per night for two weeks causes a similar level of impairment as staying awake for 24 hours.

  • The Real Reasons We Eat Too Much: The #1 reason on this list is “you don’t sleep enough.” I can attest to that! Working the shift I do (5am-2pm), you often find yourself eating to stay awake. I used to fill myself with unhealthy, high sugar foods at work to keep me from falling asleep. I know this is not the solution. It’s unhealthy to be eating all those processed foods.

Speaking of sleep… today I picked up an apnea link machine from the sleep center at Community Memorial Hospital.

The apnealink is a screening device for sleep disordered breathing. Basically, this li’l ditty can help my doc decide if I’m at risk for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). I’ll be sure to take pictures and blog about this experience tomorrow. I can tell you now, I am NOT looking forward to having the tubes in my nose or the stupid machine strapped onto my chest, but whatever. We’ll see what happens.

And now, for your inspiration:

Weekend away not so great for the new me

I got back from visiting my friend Holly in St. Louis late last night. I had a great time catching up with her and all my STL friends, but the weekend was not necessarily kind to my new lifestyle.

I tried to eat as healthy as I could (getting a salad instead of fries, a grande latte instead of a venti, etc), but I still made some poor choices. I was on vaca though, so I get a free pass, right? Right?

So I’m home now and working on my food/exercise plan. I’m hoping to join a gym this week and today I spent a small fortune on veggies and other healthy goodness from Whole Foods.

Here are some of my ideas…

  • Go vegetarian or vegan approximately 1/3 of every month (just to switch things up a bit)
  • Eat mostly organic or natural foods (no artificial fillers, preservatives or other yuck)
  • No more fast food
  • Cut back on eating out
  • Pack lunch the night before
  • Meal plan a week at a time
  • Make better choices
  • Still enjoy my favorite foods, just less of them (PORTION CONTROL)
  • Continue drinking lots of water
  • Do yoga with my #fitmke #wlc buddy at least twice a month
  • Go to the gym 2-3 times a week (working up to 4-5x/week by April 15)
  • Workout with a partner 1-2x/week
  • Try some workout dvds (yoga, pilates, 30 day shred)
  • Run a 5k in 2010 (RUN… not walk)
  • Keep a food diary and work hard to have a balanced diet
  • Buy new gym shoes and workout clothes
  • Not be afraid of the scale… which means I need to change the batteries.

I’ve also joined DailyMile… you can follow me here. I tried SparkPeople but I think it might be too much for me to keep up on.