Saturday, December 19, 2009


Today was a serious craving day ... I have a feeling it is a hormonal thing, but for whatever reason I could not stop thinking about PIZZA.

Saucy, carby, veggie filled, cheesey, PIZZA!

Over the weekend P and I hit up Whole Foods and managed to find a vegan, cheese free frozen pie that looked like it had some promise. How bad could an oragnic whole wheat pizza topped with marinated organic shiitake mushrooms, roasted red peppers, sweet onions and marinated artichoke hearts be? COME ON, that sounds fantastic. But he was still skeptical due to its costs and size but I convinced him to give a whirl.

And tonight, after a long day at the shop, it was all I could think about.

So when I got home I ran to the freezer, pulled that bad boy out and fired up the oven. And then the magic happened. I remembered I had bought myself a treat.

I have been on a vegan cheese quest for sometime now and had all but given up until I read about Vegan Gourmet Cheese Alternative and when I spied it on the shelves of Whole Foods I had to give it a go.

So I grabbed it from the fridge, got to shredding and topped the already fabu looking pie cooking in the oven.

And 20 minutes later I AM IN SHEER BLISS.

The Pizza is UNREAL. The veggies and crust are delish and my god, I have found a vegan cheese that is to DIE FOR. Its melty, gooey and tastes JUST like mozzarella

AND - P LOVED IT! Another score on the vegan menu for me!

Pardon me while I finsih enjoying my new found best friend ... Oh cheese, how I had missed you ...



Listen to the Pig

Dan Piraro from masterfully made this really awesome video. It's a talking pig that explains why eating meat is bad for you.

Moby the Vegan

Moby talks about veganism and how tough it can make touring in foreign countries. He shares tips for maximizing storage space and keeping things spontaneous in a small city kitchen

VEGAN. For the People. For the Planet. For the Animals.

People everywhere are making choices more connected with their values. We are simplifying our lives, buying less and living more because we know that the Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone'...

Chocolate Almond Oatmeal

As much as oatmeal one of my staple breakfasts, is a fantastic source of fibre and protein and a high energy and filling way to start your day, sometimes it needs a little kick to make the morning really start with a bang.

And since I don’t drink coffee anymore this is a great way for me to get a bit of a caffeine jump start too.

Chocolate Almond Oatmeal

1/3 cup steel cut or old fashioned oats (NO instant!)
1 cup soy milk
10 vegan chocolate chips
Handful slivered almonds

In a small saucepan, bring oats and soy milk to a boil
Turn heat down to medium and stir continually for about 2 minutes or until almost all the milk has been absorbed
Add in chocolate chips, stirring to melt

I top with a bit more soymik and almonds


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

LaRocca Skincare

The more I investigate and research my options for cruelty-free vegan products, the more I am surprised by who is and is not willing to take a stand against animal explotiatin in the name of the all might buck.

This was one of those suprising ones:

Sourcing materials from only ethical manufacturing practices, LaRocca Skincare does not use synthetic fragrances, DEA, TEA, parabens, PABA, urea, phalates, nylon, aluminum, or animal-derived ingredients.

A friend to animals, LaRocca Skincare has stated that it will never test on animals, and it has signed PETA’s statement of assurance that it will never use animals for product testing or use ingredients derived from animals. It proudly uses PETA’s cruelty-free bunny logo on its Web site and products

Meet Your Meat

Heartbreaking and sometime hard to watch, but it is the reality and there is no way to deny it.

I urge you to take the time to to watch this video and think about what it means to you:

Find out more at

Dear L'Oreal

I just wanted to send a quick note to say THANK YOU for introducing the new EverPure cruelty-free vegan line. This is wonderful news for all of us animal lovers who also take pride in our appearance.

I hope that these are but your first steps toward and a indication of your intentions to apply your new ethical philosophy to your entire product line and that L’Oreal will continue to step up and sign PETA’s statement of assurance.

Happy Holidays

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fructose = THE DEVIL

I found this article both scary and interesting. Its amazing what companies will do to save a buck.

It's even more proof that processed food is evil.

Scientists have proved for the first time that a cheap form of sugar used in thousands of food products and soft drinks can damage human metabolism and is fuelling the obesity crisis.

It has increasingly been used as a substitute for more expensive types of sugar in yoghurts, cakes, salad dressing and cereals. Even some fruit drinks that sound healthy contain fructose.

Experts believe that the sweetener — which is found naturally in small quantities in fruit — could be a factor in the emergence of diabetes among children. This week, a new report is expected to claim that about one in 10 children in England will be obese by 2015

Continued here:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Brrrr – It’s time for Chili!

Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

I have been making this chili for a long while now, and it all started as a “what the heck do I do with all these cans of beans” experiment. An experiment that turned out so well its now one of my all time favourite winter dishes.

I’ve served it many ways, au natural, sided with a few slices of hearty sprouted whole wheat bread or a few vegan cornbread muffins, over rice or mashed potatoes, but no matter how you enjoy it, you can always count on its warm and comforting goodness.

Over the years I have been asked for the recipe but have always been a tad hesitant to give it away (its my baby we talking about here PLUS it such a simple recipe that I fear all the awe and wonder of its greatness would be lost if people only knew how easy it really was …), but in the seasonal sense of sharing and caring … here it is, in all its glory.

Happy Holidays – Enjoy


1 onion, diced
1 tbsp safflower oil
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 can tomato soup
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp paprika
2 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 ½ tsp oregano
2 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 medium yam, peeled and cubed
2 cups frozen corn niblets

Over medium heat, sauté onions in oil until clear and set aside

In a 6 quart crock-pot combine tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato soup, and all spices. Stir to combine

Add in onions, beans, yam and corn

Cook for 3- 4 hrs or until bubbling.

Excellent for dividing up into single servings and freezing for a quick and delish dinner on a blustery winter night.

Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette

Another simple and quick, yet flavourful dressing.


1 cup EVOO
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
5 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lemon pepper mix

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake, shake, SHAKE!

Let sit for about an hour so flavours can fully mingle and become acquainted with one another.

Kitchen Gadget Bliss

As much as I love to roll my sleeves up and get into it, sometime endless chopping, mincing and dicing makes this gal go MAD. I decided it was time to stop the insanity and get some help.

So while I am not in the position to hire a "sous-chef de cuisine", I opted to go the more economical route and purchase a budget friendly handy, dandy food chopper.

Now, I live in a very tiny condo where kitchen space is at a premium, so I needed something that would be up for the tasks at hand, yet take up very little working & living space, so …


The madness has ended, the onion tears have stopped and the culinary escapades are back in full swing. And all thanks to little guy:

Everything from dicing veggies, mincing parsley and dill to chopping chocolate and nuts is now SO easy.

Thank you Black and Decker One-Touch Chopper - THANK YOU!

Now back to the kitchen …

Basic Tomato Salsa

Quick, easy and super tasty!


2 tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving

NOTE: When seeding jalapeno – WEAR GLOVES! Those feisty little seeds will get under your nails and cause you days of fiery agony


This is a spin on the tried and true Rice & Lentil Loaf I’ve been making weekly, but I felt it needed a bit of spicing up, literally. So here we go:


1 ½ cup uncooked Basmati Rice
2 tbsp Cumin
2 tbsp Curry Power
2 cups Red Lentils
3 ½ cups Water
2 tbsp safflower oil
1 large onion, diced
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup carrots, diced
1/3 cup mild salsa

Preheat oven to 350

Combine rice, cumin, curry powder and 3 cups of water in rice cooker. Stir to incorporate spices and set to cook.

Sort and rinse lentils. In medium saucepan combine remaining water and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer & cover. Cook until all water is absorbed, about 5 minutes

Heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat in large skillet. Sauté onions until clear and set aside

Add remaining oil, carrots, peas and corn to hot skillet and cook about 4 minutes, stirring constantly

When lentils are cooked, mash with potato masher in large bowl. Add in onions, carrots, peas and corn, stirring to combine

Once rice is cooked, add into lentil and veggie mixture, stirring to combine

Firmly pack mixture into a lightly oiled loaf pan, topping with salsa

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes

Let stand at least 3 hrs to cool completely before removing from pan (it will fall apart!)

Enjoy over a bed of fresh organic spinach with a good douse of Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mark Bittman on what's wrong with what we eat

A fascinating lecture ...

A billion bottles of pop a day globally ... damn

"Eat more plants and less other stuff - live longer"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I love a good Mex meal, but this takes salsa in a new direction, and I just cant get enough of it.

Another gem from the Wild Rose Detox Recipe Book.

I really enjoy this tossed with fresh greens or spinach or stuffed into a whole wheat pita with some cumin and paprika sauted tempeh ... mmmmm


1 medium cucumber, diced
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
3 green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 TB fresh dill, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
2 TB lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix everything together

Refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving

if slaughterhouses had glass walls

Music legend and activist Paul McCartney delivers a powerful narration of this must-see video. Watch now to discover why everyone would be vegetarian if slaughterhouses had glass walls

Find out more at

And this former Beatle just keeps getting sexier by the minute:


We have a unique opportunity to protect Canada’s oceans before it’s too late. A conservation plan including a network of marine protected areas in the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area can help turn things around. But we need your help to make it happen.

I AM FISH from David Suzuki Foundation on Vimeo.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Chickpea Squash & Yam Patties

WOW – A little bit of heaven in this dish.

I first got a taste of this slice of fried veggie heaven last week when my friend Melissa brought some in to school for me to check out (I have been swapping recipes with a few friends over the last little while and some fantastic things have come of it), as she had just started the Wild Rose Cleanse and this was one of the dishes in the book.

So I decided to make this my first attempt at cooking with squash (yes I know, 30 yrs old and never cooked a squash of any kind – sad) and dang, I’m glad I did!

These babies were SO good even P asked for seconds – That right there is a Gold Star.

Now, while I’m not doing the cleanse right now, the recipes she passed my way are so crazy yummy I am heading out to pick up the cookbook this weekend.

And I have to share the love …. Enjoy


• 1 1/2 cups mashed chickpeas (16 oz can)
• 1 cup of squash grated (I used acorn but you can use any variety: banana, butternut, pumpkin spaghetti)
• 1 cup potato grated yam (or sweet potato)
• 2 tbsp fresh diced green onion
• 2 tbsp fresh diced parsley
• 1/2 tbsp dried dill
• 1/2 tsp cumin
• ½ tsp red pepper flakes (more if you like it hot or less if you don’t)
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
• Safflower oil for frying

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl.

Add flour and use clean hands to work mixture together. Don’t over work it or it will not keep together.

Form patties in a size of your liking and fry in medium heat pan until browned on each side.

NOTE: The patties can crumble when hot if not careful. Let cool before serving

SERVING SUGGESTION: Bed of organic fresh baby spinach with a drizzle of EVOO, 2 patties on top

Friday, December 4, 2009


Learn more about these issues and how you can take action on

1. Stop drinking sodas and other sweetened beverages.
You can lose 25 lbs in a year by replacing one 20 oz soda a day with a no calorie beverage(preferably water).Eat at home instead of eating out.

2. Eat at home instead of eating out.
Children consume almost twice (1.8 times) as many calories when eating food prepared outside the home.

3. Support the passage of laws requiring chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards.
Half of the leading chain restaurants provide no nutritional information to their customers.

4. Tell schools to stop selling sodas, junk food, and sports drinks.
Over the last two decades, rates of obesity have tripled in children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years.

5. Meatless Mondays—Go without meat AT LEAST one day a week.
An estimated 70% of all antibiotics used in the United States are given to farm animals.

6. Buy organic or sustainable food with little or no pesticides.
According to the EPA, over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the U.S.

7. Protect family farms; visit your local farmer's market.
Farmer's markets allow farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer.

8. Make a point to know where your food comes from—READ LABELS. The average meal travels 1500 miles from the farm to your dinner plate.

9. Tell Congress that food safety is important to you.Each year, contaminated food causes millions of illnesses and thousands of deaths in the U.S.

10. Demand job protections for farm workers and food processors, ensuring fair wages and other protections.
Poverty among farm workers is more than twice that of all wage and salary employees.


Food Inc.

Yet another moving and informative documentary that I feel EVERYONE needs to watch.

This has cemented and reaffirmed my decision to overhaul my personal diet & lifestyle and become a budding animal rights activist:

Adding this to my recommendation list, along with:

The Future of Food

Fast Food Nation

Friday, November 27, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Seitan - The Vegan Wheat Meat

Wheat gluten, also called seitan (pronounced (say-tahn), wheat meat, gluten meat, or simply gluten, is a food made from the gluten of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch dissolves, leaving insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which is then cooked before being eaten.

Wheat gluten, although not as well known, is an alternative to soybean-based meat substitutes such as tofu. Some types of wheat gluten have a chewy and/or stringy texture more like that of meat than most other substitutes. Wheat gluten is often used instead of meat in Asian, vegetarian, Buddhist, and macrobiotic cuisines. Simulated duck is a common use for wheat gluten.

Drooling yet ...

I don't expect you are, but I have to say, some of the recipes that I have been coming across with this ingredient have been more than mouth watering.

Instead of searching for this elusive product all through the isles of Whole Foods, like my co-worker Janelle did this past weekend, I think I am going to attempt to make my own. The recipe for pan seared seitan with mushroom gravy I found looks dead easy and if its even 1/2 as tasty as the author makes it out to be, I'm bound to enjoy.

Plus I like the idea that you can flavor the gluten during the kneading process by adding herbs and spices of your choosing, like blending in paprika, cayenne, fennel, garlic, and Italian seasoning for a "sausage" flavor.

Mmmm, there goes the good old imagination ...

Homemade Faux Meat

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
3 1/2 cups cold water
7 cups vegetable stock

•Place the whole wheat and unbleached flour in a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine both types of flour.

•While stirring, gradually pour enough water into the flour to form a sticky dough that can be kneaded. Knead for 15 minutes.

•Cover the dough with cold water, place in the refrigerator, and keep submerged for at least 30 minutes.

•Transfer the dough from the bowl to a colander and place it in the sink.

• Under cold running water, carefully knead the dough, rinsing out the starch and bran.

• After several minutes of cold water rinsing and kneading, the gluten will start to stick together. Alternate between room temperature water and cold water rinses while continuing to knead the dough until it has a firm, rubbery texture.

•In a large pot, bring the stock to a boil.

•Pull pieces of gluten into small billiard-size balls. Drop the gluten into the liquid, one piece at a time, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

•Cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the pieces.

•Store in the refrigerator or freezer, submerged in the broth.

Makes 1 1/4 pounds

Here goes nothing :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Bee Debate

So, I have been struggling with the Bee Debate with myself for a little while.

As it is an animal product, and I have made the choice to abstain from using or eating any animal products, I believe that that also extents to honey.

But now I am starting to wonder about beeswax.

This all came up when I went to grab my Burt's Bees Lip Balm and was stopped in my tracks when I (for the first time) took a long hard look at the name ... Burt's Bees ....

My mind started going a million miles a minute.

Where am I going to draw the line?
Why have I made this choice?

I decided to hit up good old Google. (For reals, does anyone remember what life was like before Google?)

A ton of hits came up. All stating the same things.


After some more surfing I came across this statement:

If you are thinking to yourself, "But I'm a vegan for health reasons" or "I'm a vegan for environmental reasons," read on. Unlike the word vegetarian, the word vegan specifically implies moral concern for animals, and this concern extends to all areas of life, not just diet. If you do not believe in animal equality, please consider referring to yourself as someone who doesn't eat animal products, as one who follows a plant-based diet, or as one who follows a vegan diet. Or, continue to educate yourself about veganism, and perhaps you will choose to practice veganism. Additionally, anyone who eats honey, yet refers to herself as a vegan, makes life difficult for other vegans--it's like having someone who eats fish and calls herself a vegetarian. When a vegetarian comes along, it is much harder for her to explain that fish is not acceptable for vegetarians.

Clearly I have some big questions to ask myself and have some even bigger answers to come up with.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


It's truly amazing how a few simple ingredients can make a scrumptious lunch.

2 slices Silverhills Bakers Squirrelly Sprouted Whole Grain Bread
1/2 organic avocado, mashed
Organic alfalfa sprouts
6 slices organic vine ripe tomato

Good whole food really does taste better than anything else

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What the ... HUH?

That was my reaction to the scale this morning ...

What the .... how is this possible?

Is this thing right?

I am gonna go out and say yes, its right because it weighed Mr P correctly the other day so if that's the case ...

then WHOLLY CRAP I'VE LOST 10 LBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I knew my pants were getting baggy and the belt notches were getting smaller but really, 10 whole lbs ....


I guess all the working out and wholesome eating is really paying off.

And I even got a compliment on my skin today - Umm, that NEVER happens. But I have to admit, since losing the dairy the skin is really cleared up and even, dare I say ... glowing.

I had heard of these side effects of changing my diet but never honestly expected to see them.

What a pleasant surprise.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Meat Kills

And I quote:

Men who eat a lot of red meat and processed meats may have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than those who limit such foods, a large study of U.S. men suggests.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute found that among more than 175,000 men they followed for nine years, those who ate the most red and processed meats had heightened risks of developing any stage of prostate cancer, or advanced cancer in particular.

Overall, the researchers found, the 20 percent of men with the highest intakes of red meat, which in this study included beef and pork, were 12 percent more likely than those who consumed the least to develop prostate cancer. That's after a range of other factors, like smoking, exercise habits and education, were taken into account.

There was a stronger connection to advanced prostate cancer -- with that risk being almost one-third higher among those who ate the most red meat versus those who ate the least.

When it came to cooking methods, the only one that was linked to prostate cancer was grilling/barbecuing, Sinha's team found.

The finding is in line with the theory that meats cooked at high temperatures may be particularly linked to cancer because the cooking process produces certain chemicals -- including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines -- that are known to cause cancer in animals.

Blog Roll

Here are a few of my new fave site - Cant get enough of these babies:

Immunity & the Digestive System

Read a great article today in the Common Ground, a Western Canada monthly magazine dedicated to health, wellness, ecology and personal growth, about how to boost your immune system up and kick the flu to the curb:

The strength and effectiveness of your immune system are directly controlled by 80 percent of your digestive system’s ability. In other words, if you eat well-balanced nutritional foods and you do not have any digestive issues affecting your body’s capacity to properly digest those nutrients, proteins and enzymes, you should have a very strong and impenetrable immune system with which to fight off pending viruses, bacteria and pathogens.

On the other hand, if you tend to binge on low-nutrient fast foods, junk food and food items with high sugar content – candy, bread, pop, alcohol and juice – on a regular basis, your digestive system has nothing to offer your immune system for support. Consuming even less than 10 grams of sugar shuts down your immune system for four hours.

Not only was the above interesting, I found this little tidbit also intriguing:

Dairy: Less than six percent of the population has the digestive enzymes to digest dairy. In most cases, dairy causes stress in the digestive system; it creates mucus, clogs sinuses and for many people, shuts down their immune system as their digestive system figures out how to use it.

One more kick in the ass for the Milk Man ...

You can read the whole article here:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

MMMM Lentils

Until today I have vever really dabbled in the lentil world.

In reality, I was actually kinda scared of them. I had no idea how to cook them or what to use them in.

Until now. I have to say, that what follows could very well be the yummiest thing I have ever made. I am about to email this recipet to my MIL so that she can make it for me for Christmas dinner (she is freaking out over what to make me - Freaking out!)

I took the basic recipe from here and tweeked it to my tastes.


1 1/2 cups ggreen lentils
3 1/2 cups water
2 small or 1 large Onion, chopped
2 cups brown basmati rice, cooked
1/2 tsp. minced Garlic (optional)
1/3 cup + 1/3 cup Hot or Mild Salsa, divided
3 tsp of chili powder
3 tsp of cumin
3 tsp of crushed red peppers

Preheat ovento 350

Rinse and sort lentils.

In medium saucepan, bring lentils and water to a boil for 3 - 4 minutes, then reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes or until most of the water has been absorbed.

Sauté onions and garlic in oil (I use refined coconut oil) until clear and soft.

In a blender or food processor puree lentils

Combine lentils with onion, garlic, rice, 1/3 cup salsa, chilli powder, cumin and red pepper flakes

Firmly press mixture into a well oiled loaf pan and cover the top with remaining salsa.

Bake for 60 minutes. Let cool in pan for at least 2 hrs! Otherwise it will crumble.


Or you can call me a Strict Vegetarian, whatever you like, the decision has been made.

For the last 12 days I have not consumed flesh, dairy or eggs, nor will I in the future.

I feel liberated, empowered and proactive.

I feel light, energetic and aware of my body.

I know and I feel that this is the right decision for me.

Alicia tells us what made her switch to a kind diet.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Naturopath Visit #1

Tonight was my first visit with my new Naturopath, Dr. Sanjay Mohan Ram. Actually, this is my first ever visit to a Naturopath.

I decided that I wanted to make the appointment after talking to a few vegan friends who advised me that it would be best to start off this new life of mine on the right foot.

So off I went. I had noticed that there was a Naturopathic Clinic in the same complex as the walk-in clinic that I have visited and so I booked myself an appointment.

I was nervous; I’ve never been to anything other than my lifelong GP and walk-in clinics.

Was this gonna be a flakey herb touting Dr, the likes of a Seinfeld episode? I had no idea what to expect.

But I was very pleasantly surprised. My Dr is super nice and very strong on the eye contact.

After asking me about a zillion questions, from when I went to bed to what kinds of poop I had (for real, he asked me if it sank or floated), we got down to it.

Why was I there, he asked.

I told him that I had recently switched over to a strict vegetarian diet and that I wanted to make sure that I was doing it safely and that I was going to be healthy and strong.

He told me that from all I had advised him on that it would appear to him that I was one of the lucky-duckies that benefits from a meat-free diet and that I should be happy about this and not concerned about removing these items from my diet … so long as I got the nutrients and vitamins that I was going to be missing from meat and dairy elsewhere.

He loaded me up on a variety of stuff: multi-vitamin, folic acid, B12, B6 and probiotics.

He gave me a kick-ass recipe for a morning protein smoothie and insisted that I start my day with this to ensure my energy and protein levels were adequate for not only my everyday needs, but for the long haul and to ensure that I would continue to lose weight.

And that’s when he gave me the only bad news of the night …

He advised me I have to shed 30 lbs to be in a healthy, active weight zone.


And sadly, he’s not on drugs. Shedding 30 lbs would put me at the low end of my BMI range. (I’m a shorty – 5 foot nothing so lets not all freak out quite yet ok?) BUT he did also say that for someone of my height to be 105 lbs would mean that I would need to be “ripped” (not that being ripped is a bad thing, just not sure how possible it is for me … )

Looks like Momma’s got some work to do.

POP QUIZ: Did you know that if one does not get enough protein in their diet they can actually gain weight? That was news to me.

So overall it was a great visit. He noted that he wished all his patients were like me “proactive and easygoing” – That was a nice little ego bost.

I may have left there $260 lighter but I left with enough pills to sink a ship, a monthly iron and vitamin shot schedule AND my mind fully set at ease.

And never fear, my health plan will FULLY reimburse me - SCORE

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


This is what my BF said to me when I annouced that I was becoming vegan.

No comments about the meat, milk or eggs. Nope, his first concern was that I was going to ban his sacred cheese from the house.

I had to laugh. It was so very him. If ever there was a cheese addict, its him. The man can pack away a brick of the orange stuff in a week. I'm fearful for his insides but I promised not to preach ...

But he was interested as to WHY I was banning the dairy from my bod. So I sent him here:

1. Osteoporosis

Milk is touted for preventing osteoporosis, yet clinical research shows otherwise. The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study,1 which followed more than 75,000 women for 12 years, showed no protective effect of increased milk consumption on fracture risk. In fact, increased intake of calcium from dairy products was associated with a higher fracture risk. An Australian study2 showed the same results. Additionally, other studies3,4 have also found no protective effect of dairy calcium on bone. You can decrease your risk of osteoporosis by reducing sodium and animal protein intake in the diet,5-7 increasing intake of fruits and vegetables,8 exercising,9 and ensuring adequate calcium intake from plant foods such as leafy green vegetables and beans, as well as calcium-fortified products such as breakfast cereals and juices.

2. Cardiovascular Disease

Dairy products—including cheese, ice cream, milk, butter, and yogurt—contribute significant amounts of cholesterol and fat to the diet.10 Diets high in fat and saturated fat can increase the risk of several chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease. A low-fat vegetarian diet that eliminates dairy products, in combination with exercise, smoking cessation, and stress management, can not only prevent heart disease, but may also reverse it.11 Non-fat dairy products are available, however, they pose other health risks as noted below.

3. Cancer

Several cancers, such as ovarian cancer, have been linked to the consumption of dairy products. The milk sugar lactose is broken down in the body into another sugar, galactose. In turn, galactose is broken down further by enzymes. According to a study by Daniel Cramer, M.D., and his colleagues at Harvard,12 when dairy product consumption exceeds the enzymes’ capacity to break down galactose, it can build up in the blood and may affect a woman’s ovaries. Some women have particularly low levels of these enzymes, and when they consume dairy products on a regular basis, their risk of ovarian cancer can be triple that of other women.

Breast and prostate cancers have also been linked to consumption of dairy products, presumably related, at least in part, to increases in a compound called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I).13-15 IGF-I is found in cow’s milk and has been shown to occur in increased levels in the blood by individuals consuming dairy products on a regular basis.16 Other nutrients that increase IGF-I are also found in cow’s milk. A recent study showed that men who had the highest levels of IGF-I had more than four times the risk of prostate cancer compared with those who had the lowest levels.14

4. Diabetes

Insulin-dependent diabetes (Type I or childhood-onset) is linked to consumption of dairy products. Epidemiological studies of various countries show a strong correlation between the use of dairy products and the incidence of insulin-dependent diabetes.17,18 Researchers in 199218 found that a specific dairy protein sparks an auto-immune reaction, which is believed to be what destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.

5. Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is common among many populations, affecting approximately 95 percent of Asian Americans, 74 percent of Native Americans, 70 percent of African Americans, 53 percent of Mexican Americans, and 15 percent of Caucasians.19 Symptoms, which include gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, and flatulence, occur because these individuals do not have the enzymes that digest the milk sugar lactose. Additionally, along with unwanted symptoms, milk-drinkers are also putting themselves at risk for development of other chronic diseases and ailments.

6. Vitamin D Toxicity

Consumption of milk may not provide a consistent and reliable source of vitamin D in the diet. Samplings of milk have found significant variation in vitamin D content, with some samplings having had as much as 500 times the indicated level, while others had little or none at all.20,21 Too much vitamin D can be toxic and may result in excess calcium levels in the blood and urine, increased aluminum absorption in the body, and calcium deposits in soft tissue.

7. Contaminants

Synthetic hormones such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) are commonly used in dairy cows to increase the production of milk.13 Because the cows are producing quantities of milk nature never intended, the end result is mastitis, or inflammation of the mammary glands. The treatment requires the use of antibiotics, and traces of these and hormones have been found in samples of milk and other dairy products. Pesticides and other drugs are also frequent contaminants of dairy products.

8. Health Concerns of Infants and Children

Milk proteins, milk sugar, fat, and saturated fat in dairy products may pose health risks for children and lead to the development of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and formation of athersclerotic plaques that can lead to heart disease.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants below one year of age not be given whole cow’s milk, as iron deficiency is more likely on a dairy-rich diet. Cow’s milk products are very low in iron. If they become a major part of one’s diet, iron deficiency is more likely.10 Colic is an additional concern with milk consumption. One out of every five babies suffers from colic. Pediatricians learned long ago that cows’ milk was often the reason. We now know that breastfeeding mothers can have colicky babies if the mothers are consuming cow’s milk. The cows’ antibodies can pass through the mother’s bloodstream into her breast milk and to the baby.22 Additionally, food allergies appear to be common results of milk consumption, particularly in children. A recent study23 also linked cow’s milk consumption to chronic constipation in children. Researchers suggest that milk consumption resulted in perianal sores and severe pain on defecation, leading to constipation.

Milk and dairy products are not necessary in the diet and can, in fact, be harmful to your health. Consume a healthful diet of grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fortified foods including cereals and juices. These nutrient-dense foods can help you meet your calcium, potassium, riboflavin, and vitamin D requirements with ease—and without the health risks.

World Vegan Day

How very appropriate that I find this today. Sure a few days late but its still November right?

World Vegan Day is 1 November.

This marks the start of World Vegan Month

Here is a great video my GF sent me in honor of World Vegan Day and it really taps into all the reasons that I have comitted to making my life a low-impact vegan life.

Find 12 minutes and watch it:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pledge to Be Veg


I wanted to let you know about the Pledge to Be Veg at

I'm excited to try healthy, delicious foods and help save animals from the horrible cruelty of the meat industry.

Would you join me in pledging to try a vegetarian diet for 30 days? You will be sent links to delicious recipes, restaurant reviews, and product recommendations as well as the 'Top Six Tips for Making the Switch'.

To take action on this issue, click on the link below:

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Ever since I mentioned to people that I was thinking about making the change from meat-eater to non-meat-eater the opinions and comments have been flying at me from every direction.

I accept this.

But this one pushed me over the edge.

This was just posted to my Facebook page. This came from the wife of my oldest friend:

There are many things to keep in mind, this is a very complex and dangerous decision you are making, as we are omnivores and need a wide variety of foods to stay healthy.

Soy inhibits the production of new brain cells - organic or not, this is a dangerous food and many health food stores have stopped carrying any soy products as a result.

Meat is not intrinsically bad for the environment or your health. Develop a relationship with a local organic farmer, question them about their methods and see their farm. We buy all our beef and pork from a wonderful farmer nearby and the difference from store bought meat could not be greater.

My biggest worry, Erin, is that you are extremely misinformed about nutrition. Iron, for example, is only easily absorbed from heme sources - animal based in other words.

Non-heme sources like the ones you mentioned do not have a form of iron that can be absorbed. It is vital to consume a food with a high vitamin C content or a heme source of iron at the same meal. Not vitamin C tablets - Health Canada is continually reminding us that vitamin supplements do not work at all - vitamins out of the context of food do not do anything - you should know this from the Michael Pollan book.

In fact, soy, whole grains and many vegetables actually inhibit absorption and should not be eaten at the same meal with iron rich foods. and

A great deal of research should be undertaken before a radical diet like this to avoid serious health issues.This research should not just consist of vegan propaganda but real health authorities."

First off, lets be clear - I, in no way, solicited this advice NOR am I stoked with the insinuation that I taking this decision lightly or relying on a single source of information. I got books and website coming out my ass these days and there is a lot to read and consider

As a general life rule, I choose to keep my opinions to myself until asked (and let me tell you, I HAVE SOME) and it really chaps my ass when others don't.

If I have a pet peeve its getting aggressive UNSOLICITED advice. When I ask for it - GO TO TOWN, until then KEEP YOUR TRAP SHUT!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tempeh … Where Have You Been All My Life?

Why, why, WHY has no one ever told me how incredible tempeh is?

I am soooo excited that I have found this bad boy. It’s amazing. Like tofu it takes on the flavour of whatever you add to it and therefore is incredibly versatile.

Last night I started to play with it but today it all came together.

For lunch I decided to make a wrap. Again, I am all about ease and quickness and the wrap fits this mold. Plus there are no rules. Whatever you want to toss into the wrap you do.

I started by slicing my Yves 5 Grain Tempeh in to 5 thin pieces and coated it with the following EVOO mixture

2 tbsp EVOO
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp chilli power

Into a medium preheated pan it went for about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown.

I took the pan off the heat at that point and got to making up the wrap

1 large whole wheat tortilla
Red pepper hummus
Fresh spinach
Fresh bean sprouts
Fresh cherry tomatoes

Within no more than 8 minutes I had a crazy yummy and super filling lunch.

The red pepper flakes gave the tempeh some heat, while the cumin and chilli powder gave it a nice spice and all the fresh veggies gave the whole wrap and crunchy and refreshing feel.

This baby is gonna be on the lunch menu from now on.

Skinny Bitch

Just picked up Skinny Bitch and Skinny Bitch in the Kitchen.

Only on page 23 of Skinny Bitch and already it is tweaking something in me.

With chapter titles like Sugar is the Devil & The Dead, Rotting, Decomposing Flesh Diet I can't wait to really sink my teeth into this read.

I know there has been a lot said about this book, both good and bad, and when I first picked it up a while ago and gave it a skim at Chapters one afteroon I thought it was a bit aggressive, but looking at it now with its brutal honesty and frank language it speaks to me.

Case and Point:

If you can't take one more day of self-loathing, you're ready to hear the truth: You cannot keep shoveling the same crap into your mouth every day and expect to lose weight.

Full review to come when I get to the back cover, but meanwhile, you can check out the Authors on the Today Show.

Drama over the 'Posh Spice diet'

Six Pillars of The Compassionate Way

From the Americal Vegan Society:

Abstinance from animal products
Harmlessness with reverence for life
Intergirty of thought, word and deed
Master over ones self
Service to humanity, nature and compassion
Advancement of understanding and truth

These are the Six Pillars of the Compassionate Way

Thursday, October 29, 2009


a Sanskrit term meaning to do no harm (literally: the avoidance of violence - himsa). It is an important tenet of the religions that originated in ancient India. Ahimsa is a rule of conduct that bars the killing or injuring of living beings. It is closely connected with the notion that all kinds of violence entail negative karmic consequences.

This idea keeps popping up as I read more and more about becoming vegan and it is resonating with me on a deep level, as I have always believed in karma and the idea of "what goes around, comes around".

This concept was the cornerstone of Ghandi's indian culture and if it was good for Ghandi, then its good for me.

And in keeping with this theme, today I FINALLY I finished reading In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan (which I started reading back in MARCH - yikes!) and tonight I started to read: Becoming Vegan: the complete guide to adopting a healthy plant-based diet By Brenda Davis, Vesanto Melina, and both have this common ideal running through them.

This analogous theme is giving me even more reassurance that my decision to become a non flesh eater is not only a healthy one, but also a cosmically responsible one (as flaky as that may sound).

Moving on from my empyrean ideals, tonight I took my first steps into to vegan eating, making myself a super tasty and surprisingly filling meal.

After the gym today I hit up the grocery store and stocked up some tofu (firm), tempeh (Yves 5 Grain), soy milk, and loads of veggies and headed home, not really sure what I was gonna do.

But I was starving and knew whatever it was it had to be fast & tasty.

I decided to make kabobs since they are easy and met the fast requirement. I recently had some over the Thanksgiving weekend at a friends place where they had used crimini mushrooms and I fell in love. I am not normally a mushroom fan but these little guy totally won me over.

So I chopped up a red and yellow pepper, a good chunk of red onion and cleaned off a few of my newly purchased crimini mushrooms, and got to skewing.

Then chopped up about 1/3 of the tempeh it into cubes, and seasoned it with some S&P, cumin and paprika.

After a drizzle of EVOO and a sprinkle of S&P, oregano and thyme, on the grill the kabobs went and into a fry pan with a little EVOO went the tempeh.

About 8 minutes later I had one of the most delish diners I have had in a long while. And MAN, I am stuffed.

It would appear that my first attempt at playing with soy based products was a total success!

I am stoked for more adventures in the kitchen and plan to take on a Spicy Lentil & Rice Loaf this weekend (as suggested by veganvirgin), as well as a batch of my Almost Famous Veggie Chili, perfect for this now very typical Vancouver fall - RAIN RAIN RAIN.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

To Vegan or not to Vegan ...

This is my question.

I have seriously started comtemplating making the switch from an almost fully veggie diet (I don't eat any red meat as it is and consume very little white meat and fish otherwise) to a full boat vegan diet.

Vegan diets (sometimes called strict or pure vegetarian diets) are a subset of vegetarian diets

YOU’RE CRAZY LADY you may say but hear me out.

I have friends who are living both modified and full vegan lifestyles. While some have been committed to the way for years, others have just made the change but all are very passionate about their decisions. And the more I read up and research the subject, the more I understand their passion and the more I too become interested.

I have been scouring various websites, such as:
(Who comments: “My energy levels have been up and I am even sleeping better”, just like I was saying about my past week of being almost dairy free!)

Yes, I know I keep going on about my mini-cleanse and how I am feeling and all that, but it is really amazing to me to feel these changes and to see that I am not missing most of my dairy foods (eggs, cheese, milk = easy / yogurt = HARD!)

Add in all the facts pointing towards how a diet like this is conducive to a healthy and long life and the environmental benefits to such a lifestyle/diet I don't really see a down side.

Do you? What are your opinions?

That's all for now, I gotta do some more reading ...

The Relapse

We all dread it ... the EVIL RELAPSE!

It happens to the best of us and while I am back on the wagon and feeling great, I am a realist and know that these things can happen, even when you are focused and have your eye on the prize.

After reading this article, I got a little scared:

6-Step Plan for Preventing Diet Relapses

When researchers looked at the successful weight losers in the National Weight Control Registry, and compared them to some who’d regained back some of their weight after one or two years, they found that even a small weight gain was hard to reverse: those who’d regained the most weight were the least likely to be able to take it off again.But I kept reading and got to the good parts:

If you can’t seem to face the scale and have stopped weighing yourself, it’s time to do something. First get on the scale and confront the reality. Start weighing yourself every day, at the same time. A growing body of research supports daily weigh-ins as a method to avoid weight gain or regain

Now have some new perspective on the situation and am armed with some tools to keep relapsing at bay in the future.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Updates & New Reads

First off let me just say – I AM SO SAD ABBY IS OFF BIGGEST LOSER. That woman is amazing and for me a true inspiration.

Ok, so now that that’s out of my system lets get to it:

I have officially finished my sessions with my trainer - SAD SAD SAD :(

BUT - in our last session together something clicked in me - I have no idea what it was or why it happened but I have a renewed determination and drive at the gym.

Maybe it was the reality that I was now going to be on my own.

Maybe it was realizing that this is all about me and no one else.

Whatever it was, who cares, right, because in the end it's all about me sticking to my plan and reaching my goal.

GOAL = 120 lbs for 2010

So, Mr. Kiwi gave me one last ass kicking, handed me a workout program and said goodbye.


Um hello, do I even need to tell you how scared I was at that moment?

But the moment passed and since then I have been kicking my own ass, spending 3 hours a week at the gym, sweating it, pumping iron and killing the cardio.

I also made the decision to really try and kick start things and committed to changing my diet in a rather radical way.

I had been thinking I wanted to try a detox or cleanse, but after researching them I decided it was not for me.

I am not a heavy drinker, I am no longer a smoker, I don’t eat processed foods.

So instead of relying on herbal laxatives and supplements, I opted to go back to the GI diet plan of eating only LOW GI foods, started drinking mass amounts of water, added a B12 complex vitamin to the mix and ditched wheat, sugar, caffeine and most dairy (I'm still hanging on to my plain skim yogurt but am looking at soy alternatives).

And DANG I feel amazing!

I have crazy amounts of energy and am no longer lethargic or find it hard to get out of bed.

I sleep like a baby and right through the night, no something I have done in, well, years.

I am more focused and clear thinking.

I feel like a new person!

And BONUS - I have had NO cravings. Sure, I had a moment of wanting when a classmate brought in a Starbuckers and the smell wafted over to me, but it didn’t make me run to the coffee shop. Instead, I brewed myself a steaming hot cup of organic tie kwan yin oolong tea and sipped myself into heaven.

I did have a few minor headaches in the first few days, mostly later on in the afternoons, but nothing at all serious or even Advil worthy.

And the proverbial icing on the cake = I LOST 4 LBS IN 5 DAY!!!

My jeans are notably baggier in the bum and hips and I even got a " looking good Erin" compliment at school today

I don’t see myself falling off this wagon, but I am still not going to count my chickens before they hatch.

I don’t want to jinx this.

But enough about me. Here’s something I wanted to share with you:

My GF posted this site on her FB page, as she is starting her journey into a new healthy lifestyle and I gotta tell you - LOVE IT!

Its written by a Holistic Nutritionist who’s aim is to make others “aware of the benefits of good nutrition, the range of conflicting information available to the consumer is often confusing”

I suggest you check it out.

Happy Healthy Living

Monday, September 28, 2009

Reality Check 1 Million

Really, when am I gonna get this? Why do I keep fooling myself. What is my issue?

Here's what I'm talking about:

Today at my training session I got a nasty reality check. It hurt but I guess he knew that's what I needed ...

My amazing trainer David (who is a great combo of patient and drill sargent) told me under no uncertain terms that I have to start being accountable and start actually working hard if I want to see results. He called me out on not working out as much as I should be, eating shitty and being just generally lazy.

OUCH! The truth sure has a nasty sting to it sometimes.

BUT he's right and as much as that may suck, its the truth.

I have a goal I want to achieve and I am no where near it. And you'd think at this point I would have realized that my powers of visualization are not as strong as I think. No matter what I may think, I cannot WILL things to happen. I'm good, but not that good.

So, his instructions to me were this:

1) Make Goals: He wants to see a 1 month goal, a 3 month goal and a 12 month goal.

OK, that's not so bad ...

2) Keep a food diary: I have to track everything I put in my mouth AND he want to see it every time we meet up.

UGH ...

3) Work out MORE: I have to amp it up to at least 3 workouts a week, and that DOES NOT include our intense 1 hour sessions once a week

Double UGH

OK, well I guess its not all the unreasonable.

So I started when I got home. I grabbed a small note book I had and jotted down the days food intake. And honestly, today was a good one. No excess sugar, no junk food, minimal carbs ... but not a lot of protein or water.

And here is what I had for dinner: Sauteed purple yams with light salt, grilled pork tenderloin a la Phil, grilled red pepper strips and some coconut basmati rice.

So I guess Day 1 went OK, room for improvement but overall - OK.

Let's see how tomorrow pans out ...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Biggest Loser

** UPDATE **

Hawt damn, my girl Shay lost 17 lbs in a week!!! And Dan hit 12 lbs - WOW!

Rock ON - Rebecca lost 18 lbs ... you go girl!

Abby ain't no slacker either at a loss of 15 lbs. Woman, you have a strength I wish I knew ....


** UPDATE **

Good gawd, now Mo got me going, geeps I need some tissues ... and what?! Shay is 43 yrs old physically but really only 29 ... Jesus ...

Feeling real good about my 135 lbs frame right about now ...


** UPDATE **

Phew! She's back and Jillian is well up in her face tellin' her like it is!

Oh and Bob is so hawt when he's kickin' ass.


** UPDATE **

WTF! Shay just bailed on me ... she best be back after the commercial break ...


I am about 45 minutes into Season 8 of the Biggest Loser and am already crying ...

The stories the contestants told at the start were heart wrenching, BUT none of them used them as excuses, just as their histories and as reasons why they are committed to changing their lives. For some of them, its now or never ...

I'm cheering for Daniel and Shay to lose the most and my heart is with Abby.

Oh and I am still fully in love with gay-face Bob :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009


For the love of god, what is the world coming to?!

I just spent an hour grossly pouring over this site:

You MUST check it out ...

Personal Faves:

Tempura Bacon: Bacon strips battered in Panko bread crumbs then deep fried and served with soy sauce

The Baconcad: An avocado filled with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon

The Fat Bitch: Cheesesteak topped with two mozzarella sticks, french fries, bacon, tomatoes, ketchup, mayo and marinara sauce

AND the Ultimate Winner:

The Spamsicle: Deep fried Spam slice on a stick

EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW is all I can muster ...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I have always, and this come to no surprise to those that know me, have LOVED Kelly Clarkson since the moment I saw her on AI (and let the record show that that was the one and ONLY time I ever watched the show).

Sadly, since her fame she has become just one of a long line of women who are constantly criticized and analyzed for their fluctuating weight and body shapes.

I, for one, commend her for continuing to be a "normal" girl and for not falling prey to the image issues and body dismorphia that Hollywood seems to press upon their subjects.

Case and Point:

Kelly Clarkson admits her size fluctuates in the September issue of Self mag. “My happy weight changes,” the American Idol champ says. “Sometimes I eat more; sometimes I play more. I’ll be different sizes all the time.” Clarkson, 27, says she doesn’t care though. (In June, she admitted she was tired of hearing “the fat joke” because she’d accepted her curves.)

“When people talk about my weight, I’m like, ‘You seem to have a problem with it; I don’t,” she explains. “I’m fine! I’ve never felt uncomfortable on the red carpet or anything.”

And that is why this bugs the SHIT OUT OF ME!

Kelly Clarkson may not have an issue with her weight, but a digitally slimmed-down image of the singer on the cover of Self magazine is causing waves online.

Lucy Danziger, editor-in-chief of the women’s health magazine, is speaking out in defense of “retouching” the 27-year-old singer in order to make her “look her personal best” on the September issue.

“Yes. Of course we do retouching,” Danziger writes in a post on “Did we alter her appearance? Only to make her look her personal best.”

Calling Clarkson “the picture of confidence,” Danzinger writes, “I think this photo is the truest we have ever put out there on the newsstand.”


Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Figured It Out!

I have come to a realization as to why my weight is being a bitch.

When I shed 10 lbs earlier this year, I am now convinced it was because of one major change I had made in my life:


Sure I worked out a bit, but at the end of the day it was the lack of Mary Jane and hence the lack of munchies that I am sure is what shed the weight and inches.

And since I have re-quit smoking I have already lost 4 lbs!

Now of course, that could just be water and bloating leaving my system as I have been cycling, but whatever, weight it weight and the way my pants fit is all I care about.

Let's hope this keep up and I see even better results once I start back at the gym tomorrow.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Take a Hike

Going for a hike today - I figure its a good way to start getting back on track with the fitness issues ....

P and I are about to head off to Squamish to take on The Stawamus Chief, a 2,000-foot plus granite monolith off the Sea to Sky Highway.

I've been wanting to do this since I moved here and nows the time.

Let's hope I make it

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by compulsive overeating in which people consume huge amounts of food while feeling out of control and powerless to stop.

A binge eating episode typically lasts around two hours, but some people binge on and off all day long. Binge eaters often eat even when they’re not hungry and continue eating long after they’re full. They may also gorge themselves as fast as they can while barely registering what they’re eating or tasting.

The key features of binge eating disorder are:

  • Frequent episodes of uncontrollable binge eating
  • Feeling extremely distressed or upset during or after bingeing
  • No regular attempts to “make up” for the binges through vomiting, fasting, or over-exercising.

People with binge eating disorder struggle with feelings of guilt, disgust, and depression. They worry about what the compulsive eating will do to their bodies and beat themselves up for their lack of self-control. They desperately want to stop binge eating, but they feel like they can’t.

According to the National Institutes of Health, 2 percent of all U.S. adults suffer from compulsive overeating—making binge eating disorder more common than bulimia or anorexia.

Unlike other eating disorders, which primarily occur in women, binge eating disorder also affects a significant number of men. Binge eating usually begins in late adolescence or early adulthood, often after a major diet. But most people don’t seek help until much later when weight gain from their binge eating is causing health problems.

Emotional Eating and Food Addiction

It’s common to turn to food for comfort: unwinding after a long day with a hot bowl of soup, for instance, or digging into a pint of Rocky Road after a fight with your significant other. But when eating becomes the main strategy for managing emotions and dealing with stress, it can develop into an unhealthy and uncontrollable food “addiction.”

Signs of Emotional Eating

Using food to:

• fill a void in your life
• feel better or cheer yourself up
• calm down or soothe your nerves
• escape from problems
• cope with stress and worries
• reward yourself

People with binge eating disorder suffer from this psychological food addiction. Like the alcoholic that can’t say no to a drink, they can’t say no to food. Often, their binge eating is triggered by a depressed or anxious mood, but they may also overeat when they’re tense, lonely, or bored. They eat to feed their feelings, rather than their bodies.

The problem is that emotional eating doesn’t solve anything. It may be comforting for a brief moment, but then reality sets back in, along with regret and self-loathing. Emotional eating also leads to problems of its own—including weight gain and obesity.

Unfortunately, weight gain only reinforces compulsive eating. It’s not that people with binge eating disorder don’t care about their bodies; they agonize over their ballooning weight. But the worse they feel about themselves and their appearance, the more they use food to cope. It becomes a vicious cycle: eating to feel better, feeling even worse, and then turning back to food for relief.


Back to the Begining

Well I'm back to being fat.


Its not like I don't know how it happened ... I know exactly how it happened.

Its called eating crap and sitting on my ass.

I think I have to admit that I have may have a binge eating disorder and some serious body dysmorphia issues at play here ...

Like last night: I binged on 2 MASSIVE Big City cupcakes and 2 bowls of Cherrios - AFTER eating a big roast beef dinner with potatoes, Brussels sprouts, corn, peas, carrots and gravy ...

Motivation is gone - Depression is kicking in ...

I have to shake this off and get moving again ....

Is this the way its always going to be?

Me, fighting my body and eating issues for the rest of my life, only to reach a goal and then fall off the deep end and end up back where I started?

I don't remember it being this hard before ... Before I was able to just DO IT.

A friend recently commented that maybe I should have my thyroid checked, or that maybe I just need to realize that now since I'm over 30, that this war is now just going to get harder and harder ...


Monday, June 29, 2009


I am not currently a parent, but I do plan on attempting it sooner than later.

I have many friends who have started families over the last few years and I love to see their small face, see how fast those little people grow and how unique they each are. It makes me realize that YES I do want to me a MOM, I just have to get a few more things in order before I am willing to move into that part of my life.

And I am not a stupid girl. I know that since I am over 30 I will be facing a different set of challenges when attempting to conceive and throughout any pregnancy than those in their 20s, and as such have started a daily multi-vitamin & folic acid regime and (obviously) have been watch my weight and overall health more closely.

Today this appeared in my inbox and it made me really think. Things have certainly changed since my Mom was getting ready for me to arrive:

Pregnancy Weight Gain: New Guidelines
How Much Weight Should Women Gain During Pregnancy? Maybe Less Than You Think

More and more women are now overweight or obese when they get pregnant—leading to greater complications for these moms and their babies. In response, the Institute of Medicine recently released new guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy.

Although no one is advised to lose weight while pregnant, many women are now being told that they shouldn't be gaining more than a few pounds over the entire pregnancy.

May 28, 2009 -- Pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant? Then you need to know about new guidelines on how much weight to gain during pregnancy.

Those new guidelines were issued today by an Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee of doctors, nutrition experts, and public health researchers.

It's the first time the IOM has issued pregnancy weight guidelines since 1990, and in the past 19 years, America's obesity boom has only grown.

But the new guidelines aren't just for women who are overweight before pregnancy. They're for women of all sizes, starting with a prepregnancy checkup that addresses weight, diet, and exercise -- and a discussion about using contraception, too, until overweight or obese women reach a healthy weight.

During pregnancy, many women gain "substantially more than we would like," IOM committee chairwoman Kathleen Rasmussen, ScD, PhD, tells WebMD.

"It is important for women to gain within [the new guidelines] and if possible, it's important for women to begin pregnancy at a good weight," says Rasmussen, who is also a Cornell University nutrition professor.

New Pregnancy Weight Guidelines

Here are the guidelines for pregnancy weight gain, based on a woman's BMI ( body mass index) before becoming pregnant with one baby:

Underweight: Gain 28-40 pounds
Normal weight: Gain 25-35 pounds
Overweight: Gain 15-25 pounds
Obese: Gain 11-20 pounds

For more on the new guidelines, as well as how much protein is recommended for a healthy pregnancy, CLICK HERE

Overdoing Pregnancy Weight Gain

Gaining too much weight during pregnancy may be risky for the mother and the baby.
"The risk for the baby is being born too large, which can result in birth injury for the baby or may result in a cesarean section for the mother," Rasmussen says. "The risks for the mother of gaining beyond the guidelines are risk for cesarean section or risk for excessive weight retention postpartum."

Eating for Two?

Talking with patients about weight and pregnancy can be difficult, says Melissa Goist, MD, clinical assistant professor in the obstetrics-gynecology department of the Ohio State University Medical Center.

Goist says many people aren't aware that there are limits on healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

"I think people still feel like pregnancy is fair game," Goist says. "You only need 300 extra calories per day to actually maintain a pregnancy."

So if you think eating for two means doubling your calories, forget it.

"If you think about the normal diet of maybe 1,800-2,000 calories, depending on the size of the person, 300 extra calories is a sixth of that. So that's barely like eating anything," Goist says.

To Read the Full Article CLICK HERE

Death By Waxing

OK, so I am a long time fan of the Brazilian Bikini Wax.

Sure, it’s not for everyone, but for me it gives me confidence and peace of mind.

BUT after reading this little gem this morning, I may be heading to the Salon next time with a different perspective:

Beware the Killer Bikini Wax
Brazilians can go from sexy beauty habit to scary sickness faster than you can say 'yowza!'

All Jennifer (not her real name) wanted was a smooth bikini line. But within 24 hours of getting a wax at a reputable New York City salon, an infection crept in. She developed a fever of 102, chills, and pain in her left thigh. "I thought I'd caught a cold," she says, "but after five days, the pain was worse."

Her doctor diagnosed her with cellulitis, a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection of the skin and the underlying tissue. Jennifer spent the next 15 days in the hospital hooked up to an IV that pumped her full of antibiotics and heavy-duty painkillers. She also had surgery to drain the infection. "One doctor said I could have lost my leg!" she recalls. "It took me months to recover physically and emotionally from the whole ordeal—a steep price to pay for a little vanity."

While there are no reliable stats on waxing-related complications, Jennifer's experience wasn't unique. This past March, the state of New Jersey nearly banned Brazilian waxes after two women landed in the hospital as a result of them (one of the women filed a lawsuit against the state cosmetology board). And in 2007, an Australian woman with type 1 diabetes almost died of a bacterial infection she got after a bare-it-all wax.

What makes them risky? "Pubic hair is there for a reason—to protect the sensitive skin and mucous membranes in the genital region," explains Linda K. Franks, M. D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the New York University School of Medicine. "Getting a wax literally strips away that layer of protection."

Waxing can also pull off tiny pieces of the skin's outermost layer, creating a portal through which bacteria can enter the body. What's more, the process creates inflammation, which can trap bacteria beneath the skin. All of this sets the stage for skin infections (including staph), folliculitis (infection of the hair follicles), and ingrown hairs.

"Anytime you compromise the integrity of the skin, you're going to increase your risk of infection," Franks says. She advises people who have diabetes, chronic kidney or liver disease, skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, or weakened immune systems to avoid waxing altogether. For everyone else, there are simple ways to ward off danger:

Choose a facility carefully

Before you make an appointment, drop by to see how clean the place is, or ask a friend to recommend a salon she trusts. Be sure the cosmetologist or aesthetician you choose is licensed by your state and has received training in Brazilian waxing, says Rosanne Kinley, past president of the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology.

Ask about the wax
"Hard wax is best. It's gentler and adheres to the hair, not the skin," Kinley says. "Speed wax, which is soft and sticky, is applied with a roller applicator, and while it's fast and easy, it's more painful and more likely to tear skin." Sugaring, a natural method that's kinder to the skin than waxing, is a good alternative. Look for products that are chemical-free; Shobha ($22, contains nothing but sugar, water, lemon juice, and glycerin.

Keep an eye on hygiene
Before beginning the process, the practitioner should scrub up or (at least) apply hand sanitizer. Double dipping into the wax is taboo because it introduces bacteria into the pot. "The waxer should have brand-new spatulas available for each swipe to your skin," Kinley says. To prevent burns, she should check the wax's temperature on the inside of her wrist before applying it to your skin. If you don't see the practitioner taking these steps, speak up.

Prevent irritation
For a few days following your wax, apply an over-the-counter topical antibiotic cream and an anti-inflammatory 1% hydrocortisone cream to the area, says Bruce Robinson, M. D., an associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. This will ease irritation and help ward off potential infection.

Know the signs of infection
Check yourself with a hand mirror (look for inflamed ingrown hairs, rashes, or raw, open sores or cuts). "See a doctor ASAP if you develop redness or swelling in the area, an itching or burning sensation, peeling of the skin, or a fever," Robinson says.

Source: Woman’s Health Magazine