Tag Archives: Vegetarianism

Resisting temptation

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Temptation

Six days left of the 21-day sugar detox, and I’m quite proud of my progress. I’ve managed to avoid sweet and carby temptations for over two weeks now – though it’s not so easy when they get handed to me on a platter!

The cute vanilla and white-chocolate cupcake pictured above is from a work colleague’s birthday tea. My friend and I who are doing the 21DSD each took a cupcake… not to eat but to freeze at home, in readiness for this coming Sunday when the detox ends.

Shew. I haven’t been so close to sugar in weeks. I held it close and inhaled the sweet creamy scent…

But since I’m so close to the end I didn’t want to spoil my good streak. So I snapped a pic and hastily stashed away the cupcake in the freezer.

A marvel of self-control.

:mrgreen:

Seriously though, this detox hasn’t been as hardcore as I expected it to be. In fact, once it’s over I think there are quite a few lessons I can take away and principles I want to adopt on a more permanent basis.

For example, I’ve discovered that I really don’t need sweetener in my tea. With the possible exception of some rather earthy herbal infusions, most of my teas are palatable enough without honey.

I’ve also realised that although carbs do have a place in my normal diet, I can happily reduce the amounts I eat and still feel full. So I can enjoy a warm bowl of oats on a winter’s morning – but it doesn’t have to be a big bowl, or every morning, or sweetened overly much.

I’ve learnt that there are many other fine flavours to be enjoyed other than just ‘level-10 sickly sweet’! So I’ve started looking at sweet treats with new eyes now. I feel drawn to flavourful, healthier, freshly baked, homemade treats rather than store-bought ones packed full of unnecessary extras.

I’ve been surprised at my resistance to my old cravings. I think the beauty of the 21-day sugar detox is that by telling your brain that ‘it’s just a detox, not a diet’, somehow your body relaxes and doesn’t feel so deprived anymore 🙂

On the downside, though, I would be happy not to see meat for the next month. Cutting out carbs has made me increase my protein portions, which isn’t so appealing to someone who was never much of a carnivore in the first place. Hmmm… methinks that once this detox is done, I should give that month of vegetarianism another shot…

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Vegetarianism: take two

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Last week a friend treated me to brunch at a lovely restaurant called Gingko (yes, check off another one for Goal #70).

Gingko: The second restaurant for Goal #70

Of course, I used it as an opportunity to work on Goal #42 as well, and eat something I’d never tried before. I ordered a shrimp, avo and ricotta frittata (shrimp being the novel ingredient for me). Here it is:

Shrimp, avo and ricotta frittata

Shrimp, avo and ricotta frittata

Gingko is a lovely restaurant with seating outdoors in a leafy garden. It was a beautiful spot for catching up on some girl talk over a good meal. The food is mainly organic and mostly vegetarian or vegan, although they do cater for carnivores too.

Seeing the amazing menu, I started thinking about my weak attempt at vegetarian eating. And I think I can see why I failed at meeting my goal of going vegetarian this past month.

It’s because I didn’t remind myself of the reasons I had for putting such a goal on my 101 list in the first place.

People choose a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for many different reasons; it could be for religion, better health, animal rights, saving the planet or just saving the ozone from all those noxious bovine gases!

My reasons for wanting to try out a relatively meatless diet are simple and personal:

  1. I believe taking a break from meat for a month would be a good detox for my body.
  2. I need a push to improve our diet coz I don’t think Ninja and I are meeting our 5-a-day quota for veggies and fruit.
  3. While I’m still learning more about the treatment of animals raised for food, I want to distance myself from known cruelty as much as possible.
  4. I’ve got about 4 extra sticky kilos that I just can’t seem to shift, so I’m hoping reducing meat will help with weight loss.
  5. I want to try vegetarianism in order to challenge myself to experiment with new recipes and ingredients.

If I’d kept these points in mind, I might not have given up on this goal before the month was out.

Another reason I think I failed to stick to the plan was that it was too strict. From some articles I’ve been reading online, it seems that many vegetarians eventually turn back to include some form of meat in their diets – mainly for health reasons. I certainly don’t want to become anaemic or anything, and I need to be careful because I have low blood pressure as it is. So instead of cutting off everything at once, perhaps I’d have more success if I revised the rules a bit.

I’d like to try for Goal #36 again in the month ahead, but here’s how I’ll play it next time:

  • Include chicken and fish, but only free-range chicken and wild-caught, eco-friendly fish. That way hopefully I’m only choosing creatures that had a fairly healthy and stress-free life.
  • Eat no pork, beef, lamb or other red meat.
  • Include eggs and dairy as before.

It’s easier for me if my ‘month of vegetarianism’ runs from one grocery shopping date to the next, i.e. the 25th March to 25th April. So I’m starting it today.

Off I go now to do grocery shopping and fill my basket with more goodness for the greater good 🙂

Twilight saga and strange veggies

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This week I’ve crossed off two more goals on my 101 things in 1001 days list 🙂

I completed Goal #24 by reading all of the Twilight books, loaned to me by my MIL:

Goal #24: done!

Goal #24: done!

This was one of those fun, random goals on my list. After reading each book I watched the corresponding movie, which complemented the books well. Of course, I now have that beautiful song of Christina Perri’s stuck in my head too.

I’m not exactly a Twihard, and I’ve discovered it a few years late, but on the whole I’ve enjoyed this series. It’s not that the writing is the best I’ve ever read (it’s definitely not). And there were a few things I didn’t agree with, such as Bella’s lack of concern for her soul (being a Christian, that just jars for me), the suggestion that good works should get a person to heaven, and the silly undercurrent of feminism in some places. But I was impressed at how ‘clean’ the series was, considering prevailing modern morals and all. There are also some universal truths about guys, girls and relationships that are cleverly explored in the Twilight saga.

In a way it’s almost like the girly version of some of the Marvel comic superheroes that Ninja and my guy friends are always going on about. It’s also refreshing to have a heroine like Bella Swan who’s not perfect; I’m sure part of the series’ popularity stems from the fact that so many fans can identify with her. I don’t know if I’d consider myself a fan per se; I’ve got the movies on my shelf and now I’ve read the books, but that’s about it. It didn’t consume me in a teenage daydream the way Jack and Rose from Titanic did back when I was a teen… hehehe. But I suppose if there have to be Twilight teams, if I’m not hopelessly too old for teams, I’d probably be Team Jacob. What can I say – I’ve always had a thing for wolves 😉

Anyway, I’ve also completed Goal #46 by cooking the last two of my 5 new veggies I’d never cooked before. I’ve posted previously about the Swiss chard, patty pans and purple carrots I’ve tried. Last week I also cooked brinjal (aubergine or eggplant) for the first time, and the other night I steamed some pak choi.

Goal #46: Brinjals

Goal #46: Brinjals

I’ll post separately about the delicious moussaka I made with the brinjals. Here’s a pic of the pak choi… I must say, neither Ninja nor I enjoyed it much. The white parts at the bottom were quite sweet, but the rest was bitter. Maybe steaming just wasn’t the best way to cook it?

Goal #46: Pak choi

Goal #46: Pak choi

It’s been fun to stretch my tastebuds and culinary skills with this simple little goal. I suppose it’s similar to Goal #42 (Eat 5 things I’ve never tried before), but what I had in mind for that goal wasn’t necessarily veggies, or me cooking them myself. I’ll be on the lookout for other interesting things to try out for that goal.

Speaking of food and stuff, wowwee… this ‘month of vegetarianism’ has not been easy. Even though I don’t eat much red meat in general, cutting out chicken and meaty snacks such as dried or cold meats has been tough. In fact, yesterday I caved in to the best dried beef sausage ever… and blew my vegetarian month in three mouthfuls. Sigh. But hey, though I haven’t managed to stick to it this month, it’s not the end of the world: my deadline for my 101 things is only in 2015. Better luck another month 😛

Is this cheating?

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Six days into my new diet for March, and I’ve faced quite a few temptations already.

In terms of going vegetarian, so far I’ve been tempted by bacon with breakfast, chicken, ham on pizza and savoury mince. But I’ve only caved in to the chicken (a small piece of breast meat) at Sunday lunch, because I didn’t want to offend my folks (yeah, I’m a real people pleaser that way). So I guess I’ll have to extend my month of vegetarianism to include April Fool’s day 😛

Staying away from sweet things has also been tough (What’s wrong with me?! It’s only been six days!). It was scorching hot today, so I made myself a banana-soy milk-frozen yoghurt milkshake. Is this cheating? Here are the ingredients:

Ingredients

As you can see, the frozen yoghurt is the Slimmer’s Choice version. So I’m really hoping that counts as dieting! Unfortunately I couldn’t find the soya milk in the reduced-sugar version, but hey… I get points for not using full-cream cow’s milk, don’t I? No? Ahh man.

Banana-soy milk-frozen yoghurt milkshake

As for my other ‘rules for March’: I haven’t baked yet; the food diary is filling up each day; I did have some vegetarian pizza (What? You say that’s cheating too?!); I’ve been sticking to my exercise routine; and I have thought about reducing salt and sugar, without, er, actually doing much about it.

Progress, I think.