Sugar, Spice, and Everything Veggie!

Ahh some wonderful health reflections....eep!

So for some of you veggies like myself who grew up in Polish households, perhaps you can commiserate with my constant desire to eat meat. Ok, maybe not constant, but on a quite frequent basis, I continually have to translate my meat cravings for an iron-rich veggie source. Problem: I was never really a salad girl, so what do I do about it now?!

Well, apparently I over-sugar myself. One of the big reasons that I went vegetarian is the overwhelming evidence that (if done correctly), being veggie is the way to go if you've got diabetes....and I was almost there!

The glycemic index diet is a good guide, but I'm hesitant to listen to something that tells me to eat a "deck of cards" worth of chicken rather than a banana. I'll add some peanut butter and call it a day.

I was so happy to meet Kim Barnouin in person! Ms. Skinny Bitch herself was definitely skinny, but there was nothing bitchy about her at all! She's definitely low maintenance, and encourages everyone not to judge each other...um perfect?

Their book was a significant factor in my decision to go veggie- and now more so for me to give up animal products when I can-which is quite often! I just need to moderate the diabetic-non-friendly-stuff!

TWO WEEK UNTIL NEW YORK! :) I've decided to try to cook Indian food..until then the Trader Joe's options sound good to me! :)

CHICAGO DINER ON SATURDAY- introducing friends to seitan and the like....exciting :P


I'm so excited!

So I work everyday this week...NOOOOOO! It's frustrating when you nanny and you have another job, because sometimes people don't see he childcare aspect as being a job. It is definitely a job, peeps! However, kids are so wonderful, and the babies bring down the stress level. Take that decaf-nonfat-latte-overly-rich-rude-suburban customers!


Anyway, some new discoveries! My sister (the one who calls me a yuppie) is always joking about how often I go to Whole Foods. It's right by work, and I almost always need food, so it's just convenient. So like a blissful Jewish mother, I am so pleased to find how many coupons they have! My latest purchases have included Back to Nature products- the ones that I got were vegan (on accident)!! I was so pleased, as one of the treat boxes is their Classic Creme, basically a healthier Oreo cookie. SUPER bad for you, but I've been needing a mental health break, with all of the transitions in my work schedule and school schedule! I first discovered some of the Back to Nature stuff through a family I babysit for, one of the BEST ways that I've gotten health food ideas. Hopefully, I'll make an awesome mom one day who passes on good food to the nannies!

After all, it was through Kelly, the Food Allergy Mama herself, that I first discovered soy milk, and now I have it just about everyday! Her book is still a baking staple for me- she's coming out with a new vegan book and I am SO STOKED!

Onto my latest veggie news: I am so excited for friendly times this week! On Wednesday, one of my best friends from home is visiting me in the city! Ms. Dana is just amazing, and we've been writing letters (with ink and everything) to each other all throughout college. Just wonderful, and she's coming with me to see Kim Barnouin at my school! After reading Skinny Bitch a little over a year ago, I was struck by the logical nature behind keeping your body more pure by getting rid of meat. I will be unable to contain myself! Dana and I will more than likely be baking, too! I was thinking Babycakes NYC's blondies...in honor of Dana (the very non-stereotypical blonde- I LOVE HER!)

Talk about a crazy veggie time! Kim has a very cool website, Healthy Bitch Daily, which gives lots of cool eco-tips. I purchased 7th generation's laundry detergent the other day, to see if it would be any good, so I feel like I'm at least getting back to some of my green roots as well!

My other best friend Caitlin is visiting with her wonderful crazy friend Suzette! Their meeting the boyfriend, and we're visiting The Chicago Diner.I'm so excited! I also just subscribed to VegNews, so that will be an exciting subscription to start getting as well! After all, the chic Vogue needs a companion. I wonder if steak-eating Anna Wintour would ever consider seitan....


Not-feeling-so-good- Being Vegan & sick!

Hey everyone-
In addition to new nannying experiences (with the cutest baby in the world!), and subscribing to the Savage Lovecast, I have found myself in a predicament- I'm sick again!

I was already sick in January, so the idea of me being all-stuffed-up-getting-everyone-else-sick twice....not so good! My diet has been relatively ok, except for the occasional "whoa! too many carbs!" pre-diabetic business, but I think this is all linked to one thing: STRESS.

Ugh, that awful "s" word that hurts EVERYONE. My boo Travis got the heaping venting on my part, when he felt the desire to really share his interest in raw food. And I snapped! Yuck, no one wants that. I am still trying to eat what I can to be vegan(ish!), but when I am feeling weak, that's when the light foods sorta move away, and I make way for the dairy and egg. Just for a brief period of time though!

Babysitting has also reminded me of how little time I have. Luckily, I do have a home in which I could cook something for myself if I wanted, but rarely do I take the 5 minutes to think about what I should make for myself. In addition, I have night classes, which means little time to prep for din-din.

I've been surviving on Amy's vegan organic burritos, and new Nature Valley Dark Chocolate + Oat granola bars.

And now, Dayquil.

Time to rev up the engine by maybe taking some yoga...and multivitamins!

I hope you all are in good health! I am so happy with my new nannying job, so I hope those of you who are in stressful work positions find a way to relieve the stress! EEP!

Much love <3

P.S. One of the authors of Skinny Bitch is coming to school- yes!



Did you know the Jason Mraz is a raw foodist with an avacado farm? If you've seen him w/ out a shirt on...it's not a big surprise!

I mentioned Ani Phyo's stuff earlier, but without a link!

She's fanastic, and I highly encourage checking out her YouTube channel as well! (She just recently friended me on Facebook-yes!)



Ahh Valentine's Day...It's my favorite! So many people get depressed, and whine and cry about not having a significant other, but even in my mostly-single-dominanted years, I loved this holiday. I just bought Super Natural Cooking, about a month and a half ago. Included in this beautiful, made from recycled paper, cookbook includes 2 major, holy crap I wish these could be made vegan desserts...panna cotta, and chocolate mousse! Delicious, now I just need some creme brulee! Mi amour and I decided to have a Valentine's Day in this year, and we'll more than likely be vegged out w/ some romantic candles and dark chocolate. What a wonderful year to have such a supportive boyfriend, who definitely TOLERATES my nagging about food.

He took me to The Chicago Diner, and upon one of my best friend's recommendations, tried the Country Fried "Steak." Amazing! Heartland Cafe, also in Chicago, has a delicious BBQ Seitan Sandwich. Pulled pork used to be an absolute favorite, so it was so refreshing to have a veggie version.

My craziness has escalated into my classes. During our mundane discussions about ourselves in my lab class, I mentioned that I had an extensive knowledge of speciality dies and would be happy to help anyone with questions. So, a girl that I used to work with pulled me aside after class and said that her grandmother was just diagnosed with celiac and was anxious about not baking bread anymore. BABYCAKES TO THE RESCUE!

I am very excited that I am getting more connected to the vegan lifestyle, even though I am not vegan myself. More posts to come...including a trip to NYC! :)


Why being vegan is made easier by being in Chicago!

Hello all,
Amidst making coffee, studying, watching children, and occasionally applying to graduate school, I have indeed been researching the vegan lifestyle, as well as the eco-lifestyle.

The transition has been incredibly strange for me. Throughout the past year, the amount of time that's past since I gave up meat...cold turkey (hehe), I've felt like more and more people have switched to a veggie or moderated veggie lifestyle.

One of the best things about Chicago (and I suppose any urban city) is the amount of cheap European/Mexican markets. My friend Travis and I frequent our local Morse Market, and we're able to stock up on not only cheap produce, but ORGANIC produce. Trav is also experimenting with the Raw lifestyle, which means nothing heated over 100*F to help preserve the food's natural enzymes. I've also read some of Ani Phyo's stuff (and subscribed to her podcast), and in addition to ameliorating some of my dairy-based habits, I've made a larger effort to incorporate some of the raw foodist's dream foods. She makes a peach cobbler on her show that makes me want to convert...or move to Georgia?

My boyfriend and I decided to celebrate a bit of an earlier Valentine's Day, and he took me out to the Blind Faith Cafe (of which I've blogged about before, when first experiencing Ratatouille!) and I had the BEST pasta dish ever! It had sprouts, broccoli (a generous heaping amount too, none of this "Noodles and Company" mostly pasta bullshit), and handmade pasta and tomato sauce....with cheese. My chai was milk based as well, but my boyfriend without realizing it ended up having a completely vegan meal. AWESOME! He's so supportive, and even though he gets a little anxious about what would happen if he had a vegan girlfriend whom he had to introduce to his McCain-lovin' crowd, at dinnertime he's willing to try some animal-free dishes.

*Note about Blind Faith....they're awesome...but don't try the Rice Dream Latte, or any milk alternative latte, without an extra shot of espresso- that's just my coffee snobbery opinion*

So, overall, I've subsided to a 75/25 vegan diet. If I had the time/money to go all the way, I probably would. I think the reason that people are leaning towards this (especially in Chitown) is that it's so much better for the environment, and because it just makes you feel better! Anytime I eat dairy, without my probiotics or zinc supplements, my face BREAKS OUT. Acne is not a fun thing, kids, and when in college...dairy, meat, and alcohol (and stress..duh!) are all super fine contributors. Gross. I'd rather have a "easy, breezy, beautiful Cover Girl" face (a phrase I've gotten accustomed to using during the support group I lead...Travis says I'm getting gay-er everyday!)

There's lot of networking food sites, like Vegan Chicago, but I prefer just a simply yelp.com search.

I'm going back to NYC in March for spring break, and my awesome friend Scott (omnivore extraordinaire) is also looking into getting some vegan/ vegetarian cookbooks. Kiss Me, I'm Vegan is a wonderful blog, as well! Ms. Wolf (Mrs?) has been essential in helping me be less-cruel to animals and find cheap places to eat vegan in NYC (which will be crucial considering how much this veggie girl spent the last time she was there!)

WEEEEE! I hope everyone has a magnificent Valentine's Day. As I always say, don't be bitter on V-Day, eat bittersweet chocolate :)