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