It’s so easy …

It’s SO easy …. to be Vegan or Vegetarian.  It’s not as hard as people think it is, even for someone like me, who wants 4 things in a dish:  simplicity, flavor, healthy and cheap.  Yes I love to ogle at al the wonderful recipes I see, but let’s face it – a lot of times I simply don’t have the time or all the fancy ingredients on hand.

So tonight for dinner I made this incredibly creamy almost cheesy like “cream” of broccoli soup.  Cool thing is, there is no cream and there is no cheese.  Actually there isn’t a lick of non-dairy items at all in this soup.  No tofu stuff. Nothing.

It also was perfect on this crazy cold and snowy day today.

I made a huge pot – because we in this house – just love leftovers and the more I can make the dollar stretch – the better 😉  So you can halve it, third it, quarter it -or triple it 🙂

8 russet potatoes – peeled and diced
1 large vidalia onion diced
Minced garlic (however much you like, I used a teaspoon)
Frozen broccoli (I actually used I believe 2 lbs as it came from a bulk store :-)!)
1/3 c Rolled oats (not instant)
8 cups of Vegetable Broth
Salt/Pepper to taste

I dont use oil, so I sauteed my onion and garlic in water till softened.  Then added 8 cups of vegetable broth and my diced potatoes and oatmeal.  Cook until potatoes are tender, about 25 – 30 minutes.  Then add in broccoli.  I left a few cups out of the bag to add back in, as we like pieces of broccoli too 🙂  Cook it for a few minutes till tender.

I pureed this in batches in my Vitamix leaving just a little bit of liquid in the bottom of the pot to quickly cook the remaining broth and then added the blended soup back in.

You may need to add a little extra water in as this soup is tremendously thick. The key ingredients are the potatoes and oatmeal to make it super thick and almost cheesy like.

Of course you can add cheese when you serve it.  I didn’t garnish mine. It was perfect the way it was.

This was actually supposed to be last night’s dinner – however I walked away from the pot and forgot about it and it burned. So as I state the obvious – keep checking the soup! 🙂

xoxo,
The Meatless Diva

 

 

V.P.F. Challenges

Vegan Power Fitness (VPF) Challenges.

Awesome!

What’s it all about it?

I am teaming up with VPF and I am ready to take on some challenges! (I think.. :-p haha just kidding – I am!).

How it’s going to work?

I will be receiving various exercises from VPF in which I will attempt to do as many as I can, even if it’s just 1 rep.  I will post the exercise – how many I did – either some video or photos and some commentary on how I felt after doing it.

I am going to set some goals for myself (numbers to hit) and will continue to work and push myself to hit those numbers, no matter how long it takes.

Why?

Well, who doesn’t love a good challenge, right?  I also couldn’t think of a better way to push myself, build strength, endurance, (and all the other added benefits from each exercise) with encouragement and motivation from not just VPF but from all of my readers.  And if I can do it, so can anyone.

I have my first challenge ready for tomorrow.  Should make for a spectacular post, I am sure!

So now that I have acknowledged this, I will not be backing down 🙂

Unless I am given 20 push-ups in which case I shall just run screaming in the other direction. Just kidding!

Much Love!
xoxo,
The Meatless Diva

disclaimer

Deep Fried Abs – w/ a Side of I Got Served

So let me start off by saying, this week has been a great week of working out for me.  I finally started getting in some good strength training, both at home and at the gym.  Yes – both places – simply because there are some pieces of equipment in the gym that I don’t like using, like the corny ab weight machines. Thanks, but I’d much rather work my abs at home.  Which in fact I did.  Read on 🙂

Saturday after a great cardio session – I got home, dug through some workout videos and found one I figured I’d give a shot.  First time using it actually. It’s called Totally Ripped Core and its by Bob Harper. Go ahead and laugh all you want, it’s cool.  This video – is pretty hard core, especially if you are a beginner or haven’t worked out in awhile.  And if you are advanced, well you are just awesome and don’t need this. lol.  Anyways. I am a fairly strong person, with my greatest strength being right in my legs. I have fairly decent balance. AND I can make it through all of his videos without quitting (though some stuff I can’t do, YET but I still push through) So with that being said, I hit play.

I quit the video in 20 minutes. I seriously deep fried my abs, that’s I had muscles in that area I wasn’t aware existed until Saturday.  It was as if someone lit a match to them. And right when I hit stop was  great point too as I could no way in hell do the next move either and I wasn’t about to try it at that point. But that’s ok, I will be completing the video as I plan to do a review on it for all the Harper junkies 🙂

Needless to say, on the arc trainer the last two days, my abs have been balling their eyes out. Which was also awesome ONLY because it’s good to see how I am utilizing my core area on that machine. YAY.

So today at the gym, I got in some great sets on the weights.  I worked my arms/shoulders today. Sweet, right? Wrong. I am getting ready to hit the row machine (its a weight machine, not a real rowing machine, lame.) Now before I got on this machine, there was an old lady on it before me. And I mean old, at least in her 60s (no offense to anyone!). I clean off the machine and now I gotta set my weight. I look down. This lady had it set at 60. 60 freaking pounds — holy moley lady! She saw me look at the weight, gave me this look of “Yah baby, I gotta going on” and strutted her stuff over onto the next machine.  And there I was, at 40.  Yah she served my ass cold! lol

And OMG. I felt like such a wuss too! 😛

But it was awesome, I tell ya. A woman at that age rowing that weight, was really an inspiring and defining moment for me. Of all the other older woman I see there on the weights, no one was pushing like her. I think she was kicking everyone’s butt. Not to mention I also have watched her on the other equipment and she’s just a pure powerhouse.

I think I have found my new motivation.  And If she can do it, there’s no reason I can’t.

Let's Do This!

Except by the time I got to that machine, my arms were spent! 😛 But 40 was cool for me, still cranked out some great sets.

Till Next Time

xoxo,
The Meatless Diva

Your 5 Beauty Foes and Woahs!

I am doing my best to keep all of my posts upbeat and not somber, but this is one that I think should be written because if you are not aware, do yourself a favor and get aware! 🙂

Often times people make fun of the way I live.  People throw in their “cute” little digs at me. Think I am “weird” or some type of weed smoking hippie ( Scary yet true fact: I don’t do drugs – I am 100% goofy and silly all on my own but that’s a whole other post!). I always hear “OMG how can you NOT eat meat?” or” OMG how can you NOT get your nails done?” and 9 million other how can you not questions.

These are your 5 beauty foes and possibly woahs for those who don’t already know about these ingredients.  Guys, you really don’t know what us women go through to look good 🙂

The original article I read is no longer available but here are the 5 ingredients to watch out for which you can read here on here Shine.

  1. Phthalates.  These can disrupt the endocrine system and have been linked to health concerns with early puberty and liver cancer.  They are also known as plastercizers.  YIKES! So where can you find them?  All over actually. Do a little research, you will be surprised.
  2. Triclosan: Where can you find this? In your anti-bacterial products.  It can harm your thryoid and encourage drug resistant bacteria!
  3. Formaldehyde:Biggest place you find it? Nail products.  it is known potential carcinogenic. Banned in some countries.
  4. Sulfates:  Another possible carcinogen.  Found where ? Can be found in toothepastes and hair products as well as other items.
  5. Parabens: These are found in a variety of products as well and have other names they go by.  They are known to mimic estrogen and have been linked to breast cancer.

After reading this article, I literally cleaned house.   I threw out literally hundreds of dollars in lotions, nail polishes, make-up and hair products.  I had for awhile given up hair products with Sulfates in them (thanks to my dad who constantly reminded me over the years to get SLS free products).  But I never imagined all the crap that was in my make up and nail polishes.  Things we don’t think about when we get our nails done or buy that awesome chocolate smelling lotion.

So am I crazy?  Was it a bit extreme that I threw out all my stuff? Maybe.  But we often forget that our skin is our largest organ and that we do absorb some chemicals in through our skin.  And knowing that, was enough to make me more all the more conscious about how I treat my hair, skin and nails.

And so while those who take their digs at me, make fun of me for living such a simple life to them, remember this.  Knowledge is power 🙂

xoxo,
The Meatless Diva

Temptation Highway

That is what they seriously need to rename the main road around the corner from me.  You see, most people think I am being “dramatic” when I tell them how hard it is to eat healthy here and how many food joints there are near me.

So this morning I finally grabbed the camera and took some pictures of the road:

In less than a 1 mile radius – 3 Chinese places – 1 is a buffet.  1 is take out /eat in and the other is a Sushi joint. We got McD’s, Taco Bell, Mighty Taco – Only thing missing – Arby’s and BK BUT we do have a Pizza Hut.  There are several diners on this stretch as well.

Next stretch down, There was I believe less than one mile 4 pizza places, no lie. Not to mention hot dog joints as well and with that part ending with a Friendly’s.

And among all that – ONE supermarket. 🙂

Here are a few of the photos I took:

Looking down the road

Don’t mind the reflections. 🙂  Or my awesome blacking out stuff.
I could walk to one of the DD locations. It would take only 2 minutes in the car.

As you can see, temptation is everywhere. I haven’t even photographed the good streets – I am talking where you can eat the best damn wings in the world!

Any one of these places are easily accessible by foot too. Which is why when walk – we go the opposite direction 😉

  Next time you are out try and become more aware of food places that surround you and hopefully you can make better choices!

What kind of food places are near you?

xoxo,
The Meatless Diva

Move Your Ass Monday !

My first official post to start off this blog, by the way. Awesome!

Anyways. Today is Move Your Ass Monday (for me anyways).  I had my first day at a gym and it’s been 15 years since I been to one, probably a little longer. I have to say, prior to today, I have totally been anti-gym.  I never felt comfortable being around the “meat-heads” (no offense guys) and the ridiculously rail thin girls (no offense ladies).  In an environment like that, I don’t care who you are, at some point you start to feel a little self-conscious 🙂

However, lately I have been wanting to join one for basically one reason. The weather. Which by the way is horribly unpredictable sometimes here. I love to bike and walk – 2 things I don’t want to do on rainy days and cold days or snowy ones for that matter.  So after a cry baby battle with my boyfriend of “I don’t want to go” Everyone is going to stare” ordeal – I went. I loved it. Can’t wait to go back again.

I know, crazy. I have made such a big deal about not going to a gym, that after today I was sorry I hadn’t gone sooner.

What I love about this gym? No one cares. Yep.  That’s right. No one cares about your size, your gear and how much you sweat.  People there just do there own thing.  Everyone’s there for one reason – getting fit/staying fit.

I now realize that everyone (no matter your size) gets the first day gym jitters. It’s always nerve-wracking never knowing what kind of people you are going to encounter, or like my biggest fear, not knowing how to use machines!  Although that had to have been the stupidest fear of them all, because all you do is get on and move and the machines do the rest. So silly of me!

So I did a simple workout using three machines.  Had to go easy – I was a bit on the anxious side and didn’t want to over do it.

It was an easy 42 minutes (I know awkward time- long story short – the bo overworked himself too quickly)

Treadmill – 15 minutes.  D
Eliptical – 10 WOW i loved this machine by the way.  First time ever using it – I could been on it all day 🙂
And finally the recumbant for 12 minutes as by the time I got there – legs – jelly. though I did manage almost 3 miles in 12 minutes so I was extremely pleased.

Tomorrow I am definitely bringing the headphones so this way I can really work it with no distractions and do my thing 🙂

xoxo,
The Meatless Diva