Cheating for Cookies

I walked into the law library today on my way to Income Tax class, and there were Tim’s cookies. Tim is a reference librarian at Oklahoma City University School of Law who often makes cookies from scratch for the students on special days. Today is Constitution Day! While most people think it is just another Tuesday, law students everywhere are looking at displays on the Constitution and the rights It provides for Americans everywhere.

But Constitution Day is not the point; Tim made cookies. He made chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and his favorite, the snickerdoodle. The first time, I just walked by them, thinking about taking a cookie, but holding out. The second time, I lifted the lid, but walked away. The third time, I took a cookie. I took a bite out of that cookie, and before I could chew a rush of flavors hit my mouth. But they were not good flavors; salt, dairy, egg, and milk chocolate. I spit it out and gave the rest of the cookie to my friend Erin. Don’t get me wrong, the cookies are delicious. I have always loved one of Tim’s cookies! But, last week I gave up refined sugar, and that was the first time I tried to eat some since. One week doesn’t seem like a long time; it doesn’t seem like long enough for your taste buds to change/heal. Skinny Bitch says once you stop putting crap into your body, your taste buds heal and develop the ability to distinguish the flavors. Today, that proved to be true. I am not proud that I gave into the cookie desire.. but I am happy to find out that while my mind wants it, my body does not.

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Vegan on the Run!

One of the things I have to keep reminding myself is that while something may be vegan, that does not mean that it is healthy. Last night we had everyone over and made pasta and played monopoly! It was a wonderful evening, but at the end Michael opened up some of our dark chocolate bars (which were vegan.. and the few pieces I had were delicious.) But today, I want sugar. I spent the morning playing with the dogs, and forgot breakfast. So on my way to sit through 8 more trial team auditions I grabbed rice cakes (which did not fill me up). Gable Gotwals had a wonderful slew of snacks available, all of which had refined sugar, except for the baked lays, whose label said sugar, but not refined sugar. I moved past the sugar craving (for now), but I was starving, so I grabbed a bag and opened it them up. I had about 10 chips before I slowed down and actually tasted the chips. They. Were. Awful. They were so salty my tongue hurt.. I looked up the ingredients in the chips to see how healthy “baked” chips actually were.

This is what I found:

“Now let’s look at the ingredients label for the baked chips.  The potatoes used are dried so they aren’t even fresh potatoes!  No information on how the potatoes were dried is provided.  If the potatoes were dried using a very high heat, which is likely, then acrylamide would be formed just like with the fried chips as the lower temperature baking occurs after the drying process!

Tricky, tricky, eh?

Baked Potato Chips

In addition, corn starch, corn oil, and soy lecithin are used and since they are not organic, there is a high likelihood that these ingredients are from genetically modified (GMO) sources.

Given that GMO corn is linked to liver and kidney damage in rats, these are not the innocuous ingredients food manufacturers would have you believe.

In addition, sugar and corn sugar (aka, high fructose corn syrup) are stealthily included which means that while you are getting less of the unhealthy vegetable oils in the baked chips, you are getting in return ingredients that are perhaps just as bad!”

. . .

I might as well have had Oreos, at least those are delicious. My other “healthy” option was fruit chews, which are notoriously unhealthy. Once I left, I headed to school to work at the library. I was still starving, so naturally I started considering my options. I had about 5 minutes to find food, which limited me to fast food. Since I made a 30 day pledge on GoVeg.com, I did not want to break it based on convenience. Early today, my best friend Stacie told me a story about her cousin (who is vegetarian-ish?) who still eats fast food french fries from certain restaurants. I thought about that as an option but french fries are the devil, and I get addicted to them quickly.

mcdonalds2

In fact, I am pretty sure french fries are scientifically addicting, at least McDonald’s French Fries are! In fact, after further research McDonald’s fries cannot even be called vegetarian, so I am glad I did not go down that road! Instead, I had Michael bring me a bowl of pasta up to the library so that I could eat clean food and study in peace. He brought pasta, vegetable sauce, spicy tofu, blueberries, raspberries, and a la croix, which was way better for me than anything I was going to find at a fast food place.

Skinny Bitch Book of Vegan Swaps does provide a few places that have vegan options on the go at popular chains! Including:

Subway – Veggie Delight Salad, Vegan Breads: Italian White, Roasted Garlic, Ciabatta, and Hearty Italian

Baskin Robbins – Sorbet Flavors

Chipotle Mexican Grill – Custom Burrito Bowl, Taco, or Salad, but no pinto beans (made with lard/bacon)

Johnny Rockets – Soy Boca Burger “Streamliner”

Taco Bell – Many Items sans Cheese; Veggie Fajita Wrap

Let Them Eat Cake!

It took all of my will power last night not to stick my finger in the frosting of a cake. I don’t really even like cake. In fact, if you put a vanilla cake with vanilla icing in front of me a month ago, I would have said “no, thank you.” Chocolate cake is a bit of a different story, but even then, it is not my favorite dessert (ice cream). Last night, Michael & I went over to my friend Erin’s house to watch the Tech vs. TCU game. When we got there she had cooked pork tenderloin, mac & cheese, salad, and cheese bread. Other than salad, none of these things are my favorite foods. I’ve never really liked pork tenderloin, even though my dad made his stuffed; I did like it when it was battered and fried at home though. Mac & Cheese has always been my enemy because I can’t make it. It seems super easy, I just can’t do it. It always comes out weirdly liquid or overly cooked? Then there is bread. I hate bread. I hate bread soooo much. I wouldn’t even touch bread until I was 18, and I had to eat something on volleyball trips. Secret: I have never (ever) eaten a roll (ever). The point is, last night I wanted to try all of these things (not the bread)! It is the idea that you cannot have something that makes you want it. Skinny Bitch addresses this issue and says (something to the effect of) you can have it, you choose not to, and that is how you overcome the urge to eat it. I would tell you more, but I let a friend borrow my book so she could read about the horrors of cheese (she’s already vegetarian).

Anyway! Instead of eating all of those things, which contained something I did not want to consume, I made vegan nachos! I looked at a bunch of recipes, but in the end I used what I had in my kitchen, plus a few extra ingredients from Whole Foods! They turned out really well! (All Ingredients = Organic) I used Amy’s Low Sodium Medium Chili, Pinto Beans, Black Beans, Corn, Red Bell Pepper, and a vegan taco mix from WF veggie section which had onions, cilantro, and other goodies. I cooked the chili, beans, and corn together, put it on top of chips, then the veggie mix, then the vegan cheese, then the bell peppers. I used a vegan cheese that I had heard is to die for, and it was delicious.

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After nachos, I wanted cake. I did not have cake, but I wanted cake. So I thought I would add a few vegan cake recipes on here so that next time I can make my own cake to bring!

Vegan Golden Vanilla Cupcakes

Vegan Golden Vanilla Cupcakes

Vegan Cookie Bars

Vegan Petits Fours

Petits Fours

Organic Co-Op

So today is hump-day! Time for an update! I have held true to my elimination of refined sugar from my diet! I had a dinner party Tuesday night for Turner Inn (law school inn of court) and they served Big Truck Taco, which meat-eating Caitlin wasn’t really a fan of anyway, but everyone loved it. I stared at the food for a second wondering what I was going to eat. My trial coach suggested nachos, so that is what I ate.. Not vegan, but still vegetarian. However, my body was not pleased with cheese, even though it has only been about a week since I had eaten cheese; my stomach hurt for the rest of the night. This experience only solidified my desire to eat clean. Other than Tuesday night, my week has been pretty tame; lots of fruits, salads, and tea.

My main reason for choosing to eliminate refined sugar this week was because last week (when I was not eating meat,) I would eat snacks that were not healthy – like cookies full of sugar. I think the reason I want to get refined sugars over with is that I want to stop craving sweet things. Monday night Michael wanted a popsicle. Earlier, we purchased organic frozen fruit popsicles from Whole Foods for dessert, but Skinny Bitch says you can’t have something because you need it, only if you want it. We have a bad tendency of always needing something sweet after dinner, which is a habit I would like to kick! After letting the craving pass, he realized he really didn’t want the popsicle, thus (hopefully) retraining his mind not need something sweet after every meal. However, there is always a 50/50 chance that he ate that popsicle without me knowing. 🙂

As of yesterday, Michael and I are officially part of an organic co-op in Oklahoma City called OKC Organics. We bought a year membership to this co-op, which gives us access to $35/bag of organic fruits (4) and vegetables (8) once a month. Skinny Bitch says organic fruits and vegetables are important because they are grown without pesticides, so organic food keeps you from worrying about all the chemicals that you would be ingesting. Michael and I have always shopped at Whole Foods, but we don’t necessarily buy only organic food. I always kind of assume that Whole Foods is watching over me and make sure that pesticides aren’t in my food, but Skinny Bitch has the right idea because you have to know exactly what you’re eating to be able to control what goes into your body. Yes, organic food is more expensive, but you’re going to waste that money anyways – going out going out to dinner and buying frivolous things that you don’t need – when you could be putting money into your health and your body. It is hard to justify not doing so when you know you only get one chance.

Over the past few days I’ve been searching for wonderful vegan recipes on Pinterest while I wait for my Skinny Bitch in the Kitch book! I wanted to share a few with you! I have linked the pictures and the titles to the websites which have ingredients!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins - Easy Recipe at averiecooks.com #vegan #pumpkin #muffin #recipe

Mushroom Chili 

Mushroom Chili - VeganJumbo Stuffed Shells

Jumbo Stuffed Shells made without dairy? Oh yes, it's true!

Kahlua Hot Fudge 

Vegan Kahalua Hot Fudge | via minimalistbaker.com

Vegan Cupcakes

Vegan Cupcakes

I found this on Pinterest, but it linked to a german site, so I had to translate! I wanted to keep it so I could try to make them, thus you also get the recipe!

“Today’s cupcakes are so 🙂

4-5 tart you need
  – 2 bananas
  – 750ml blueberries
  – A few coconut flakes

and the ingredients for the base:
  – 12 Medjool dates
  – 4 tablespoons of coconut flour
  – 1 handful of tiger nuts
in a food processor (S-meter) process until it “crumbs” are.

The “crumbs” then knead with your hands into balls and flatten into a ring.
It then come the banana slices.
Then mix in the blueberries Vitamix and IMMEDIATELY pour into the rings on the banana slices. This must happen fairly quickly, because the mass is fixed very quickly.

Shortly before serving, a few faithful and grated coconut on it with a knife, loosen the cake from the ring.”