Tag Archives For: engine 2

27 Feb, 2014

The husband’s dilemma

/ posted in: FamilyFood

My poor husband is having a crisis. He met with the dietician on Tuesday to help him with his meal planning. He was nervous before the meeting. He kept referring to her as The Vegan High Priestess who was coming to get him.

He wanted me to be there to protect him. I’m not sure how I was supposed to do that. It turns out that I sat off to the side and sewed so I didn’t make eye contact with anyone. I did this because the dietician told him everything I had told him. He was realizing this too and he wasn’t happy. It is bad enough when your spouse is right, let alone when she is right about what you don’t want to hear.

He could have one of the easiest vegetarian/vegan transitions ever. He lives with a long time vegetarian who likes to cook. I’ve offered to cook for him but he is fighting that. I think he knows that it will be definitely healthy with no cheating if he agrees. When she gave him a list of pantry staples he read off a few unfamiliar things.

“Ground flaxseed”
Me – “In the refrigerator.”
“Nutritional yeast”
“Beside the stove.”

“I think I’ve only had tofu in soup.”

“You’ve had it blended into more things than you realize.”

“Oh…. um, I did not realize that.”  (In a hopeful voice) “We don’t have a pressure cooker!”

“It’s in the basement.  I don’t use it much.”

He was unamused but she was cracking up.  He started referring to her as my evil emissary.

She was pretty firm with him that because of his multiple health problems and his desire to lose a significant amount of weight that cutting all animal products would be best.  He was willing to go vegetarian but he is not at all happy with that advice.  I think he knows she’s right and that’s why it is upsetting him so much.  If he didn’t believe her he’d just blow it off.

Most of my recipes are on my iPad now but I pulled a few old cookbooks out of the cupboard and put them in the bathrooms.  (That’s the best place to put things that you want to be looked at.)  I told him to pick a few recipes that sounded good to him and I’d make them.  He told me that he couldn’t use ANYTHING in the one book because it was vegetarian and not vegan.  I told him to find something he liked and I’d make it work.  So far he hasn’t told me anything.  He’s still pouting.

After she left he defiantly ate a few spoonfuls of tapioca pudding he had from the deli.  I think he expected me to yell at him but I just told him that he was free to do what he wants with the information he had.  I think that ruined it for him so he put it back.

I’m making napoleons tonight for dinner.  They are portabello mushrooms marinated in balsamic vinegar and then broiled topped with roasted peppers, mashed potatoes, and a balsamic reduction.  He’s had it before.  He likes it.  It is vegan.  Poor baby.  I’ve already told him that we are having minestrone soup, cornbread, and salad on Saturday so he could see just how he was going to suffer and be deprived.

I also pointed out that I’ve now lost 10 lbs in the last three weeks eating like this.  He huffed.  I think he’ll like it once his body starts to adapt and especially if he starts losing weight.  He is an all or nothing kind of person.  He wants foods to be either totally off limits or he is allowed to eat it all.  A plant based diet is good for that.  He can have all the vegetables he wants.  There isn’t any calorie counting or portion sizes.  If he can break the habit of pouring vast quantities of parmesan cheese on everything then he will be home free.


25 Feb, 2014

Springdale Utah food

/ posted in: Food

I headed out of the city at the end of the convention to go to Zion National Park. I was staying in Springdale which is the town right outside the gates.

I really liked this town. It seems to exist solely for tourism but it isn’t tacky. There is no mini golf with flashing lights. This is a town that knows that the attraction is nature and they aren’t messing with it.

I was concerned about eating. I had researched the town on Happycow.com. This is a directory of vegetarian friendly restaurants. It mentioned a few places. I need to go post some updates on there. This town seems to be competing for vegans. There was a restaurant directory in my hotel room and each ad prominently said they catered to vegans. One Thai place that was on happycow claimed to be 23% vegan. I thought that was very precise of them. I wanted to go there but they were closed.

I ended up at The Spotted Dog on Thursday night. I had a garlic mushroom appetizer that has probably made me permanently immune to vampires. My main course was spaghetti. Decent but not amazing.

After hiking on Friday I went to Oscar’s Cafe for lunch. I loved their menu. They had an icon for vegetarian meals and an icon for meals that were easily made vegan. There were 6 or 7 vegan items.

I had a bean burrito that was very good.

17 Feb, 2014

Slice of Vegas at Mandalay Bay

/ posted in: Food

This restaurant drew me in with a big sign outside announcing that they had a vegan menu.

They certainly do. I’m not used to having choices on a menu. I was paralyzed by indecision. I ended up having the meatless meatball sub with daiya mozzarella and sweet potato fries.

It was really good. Then they offered me cake. I shouldn’t have had cake. It was way too much food but it was so good. I didn’t like the peanut butter icing but I’m not a peanut butter dessert fan.

08 Feb, 2014

What if my family doesn’t eat what I eat?

/ posted in: FamilyFood

I get variations of this question a lot when I talk about what I eat.  I’m lucky.  The husband knew what he was signing up for when he met me.  We eat very differently.  We’ve been this way from the beginning so we’ve always cooked mainly for ourselves.  We also have different schedules so he usually eats dinner before I get home from work.

There have been times though when I’ve been in charge of cooking for omnivores.  There was a month when we had Z here and one of the husband’s nieces.  I actually had to feed non-vegetarian people.  Here’s some things I learned.

1.  Use vegetarian and healthy food as the basis for all meals…

I planned meals with the idea to make something that I would eat that could be added to by the omnivores if they wanted to.  For example, make spaghetti with a meatless sauce and then cook meatballs on the side that could be added in.  Make casseroles and then portion out the part that you are going to eat.  Mix in some store bought rotisserie chicken in the part that the other people are going to eat.  Make pizzas half with veggies and half with meat.

2 …unless they are going to cook it themselves.

I scheduled in meals that the kids could make themselves.  Kids need to learn to cook so they don’t starve (or rely on takeout) when they get older.  Hamburgers or hot dogs are a good starting point.  I had a veggie burger.

I’ve been vegetarian long enough that no one wants me to try to cook meat for them anyway.  Besides, I won’t do it for ethical reasons and also because I won’t eat it I can’t taste the dishes to make sure they are seasoned correctly.  I hosted Christmas this year for my family.  I had a big vegan spread.  I told the husband that if he wanted any dead bird on the table he had to order it pre-cooked and go get it.  It worked out fine.

3.  There is nothing wrong with only offering healthy food.

This one is aimed mostly at kids and not spouses.  Neither kid that was here was used to not having junk food available in the house.  Guess what?   Neither one died from a lack of junk food.  Oh, there were wailing and lamentations.  I’m mean.  I don’t care about their feelings.  These were captive children without driver’s licenses or jobs.  They didn’t have a choice in what they ate.  I figure my job as parental figure isn’t to make them happy.  It is to make them into the best adult members of society that they can be.  Turning out junk food addicts isn’t in anyone’s best interest except processed food makers.

I gave in one day because we were going to a lake and I told them they could each get a bag of junk to take with them for the day.  I ran into my trainer while checking out with an armful of chips.  Yeah, not worth it.

When Z is here now we make sure there is plenty of fruit available if she wants something sweet.  That’s as good as it gets.  She still hasn’t died.

4.  Don’t be preachy and have a sense of humor about your differences

You aren’t going to change anyone’s mind about their diet by harping on them.  I do my thing and answer questions if asked but otherwise don’t try to influence the husband.  He’s into healthy, high quality food too and sometimes slides dangerously close to vegetarianism.  He’s on a slide right now.  He’s not happy about it.  I think deep down he knows that he should but he doesn’t want to make that leap.  Last night we went out to dinner and he had his usual extra meat side dishes.  Afterwards he despondently put his head on my shoulder and whined, “The meat didn’t even taste good.”

I patted his back and said, “It’ll be ok, baby.”

Today I was at work and got an email that my order of 2 large All The Meats pizzas was ready to be delivered.  I texted him – “All the meats?  Way to shove all those vegetarian feelings deep back in the closet where they belong!”

He answered that they were for the contractors working on our kitchen.

I typed.  “It isn’t yours..you are just holding it for a friend…”

He replied, “Yes, officer.”



08 Feb, 2014

Dessert smoothies

/ posted in: Food

Sometimes you just need chocolate. The problem with most diet plans is that they are written by men and they just don’t get this. Chocolate is a basic food group.

This is my go-to snack if I need something quick and sweet. It is fast, it is easy, and it tastes great.

Blend the following ingredients in a blender.

  • banana
  • almond milk
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • a date
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (optional)

I like this smoothie consistency but if you can freeze the banana to make it more like a milkshake.

06 Feb, 2014

Aspirational Jeans

/ posted in: FitnessFood

I discovered a dangerous website.  It is called ThredUp.  Have you seen this?  It is an online thrift store.  The really dangerous part is that you can filter your search to designer brands.  That’s how crazy cheap hardcore of a thrift shopper I am. If I’m going to pay $20 for something I want the merchandise to be amazing.

I ordered some designer jeans.  I never heard of the brand but they retailed for over $130 dollars new.  I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around paying that much for a pair of jeans.  Of course, until I became horseless a few years ago jeans were what you wore to clean stalls so why would you pay big bucks for them?  I just wanted to try on some fancy jeans so I ordered a few pairs.  I figured I could always return them.

I put on the first pair and suddenly understood the appeal.  I looked in the mirror and thought, “These jeans make me look like I lift!”  I do lift so I don’t think it is all the jeans doing but my butt doesn’t look all squat-defined in my cheap jeans.  I figure that when you are over 40 if your butt is just in its normal place and not all saggy then your squats are doing a magnificent job and let’s not get greedy.  These jeans close but are just a bit too tight to be worn out in public.  So these are going to be my goal jeans.

I didn’t have a firmly defined goal when I signed up to blog for the Engine 2 diet this month.  Now I do.  I want to wear these jeans comfortably in public.

I have another pair of the same brand in the same size that I can’t zip.  Ah, the insanity of women’s sizing!  I’m keeping them though because the first pair is amazing.  These will be my aspirational jeans.  I want to fit into them too.


03 Feb, 2014

Engine 2 Challenge

/ posted in: Food

I’m starting the Engine 2 Challenge today.  If you aren’t aren’t familiar with Engine 2 it is a plant-based, no processed food, low sugar, and no oil diet.  It seems like an easier version of Whole Life that I do in the fall.  I like the structure of a diet challenge.  It keeps me on track.

So, for the next 28 days I’ll be posting about food and cooking and making better choices.