Posts tagged ‘garden’

Return from vegan wonderland.

I’m back from the Let Live Conference in Portland!  We got to see some amazing speakers, went to demos, made great new friends, made the news, and ate.  And ate, and ate, and ate.  I lost about eight pounds in my first seven weeks on the dollar menu.  I was away for eleven days, and gained about half of it back.  Oops.

Obviously, losing a pound a week doesn’t seem like a very sustainable diet.  If I continued losing that much weight, I’d consider this experiment a failure.  However, up until a few weeks ago, I worked for a very beloved veterinary hospital, whose clientele expressed their love with food.  The kind of foods I would generally never go out of my way to eat were always available, for free.  Every holiday at the hospital was like living in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, and I was Augustus Gloop.  In the year and half that I worked there before going vegan, I gained at least fifteen pounds.  The fact that I would finally take it off doing this blog was expected, and definitely welcomed.

Thanks to this blog, it’s also occurred to me how flippin’ ridiculous it is that most people who want to lose weight are willing to spend extra money to do so.  Why would you spend more money to consume fewer calories?  I have never been hungry on this diet, unhappy with my meals, or wished that I had more energy.  And believe me, I have way more experience with diets than I care to think about.

When I was in high school, I weighed about seventy pounds more than i do now.  People are always shocked to hear this, and immediately want to know what my secret is.  Well, here’s the secret:  I ate less, and exercised more.  Growing up, I watched the women in my family go on and off of expensive fad diets, and I even did things like Slim-Fast, and Jenny Craig with my mother.  But I always gained the weight back.  One day I weighed in at 215 pounds, got pissed at myself for getting so fat, and decided it was finally time to reevaluate my eating habits.  I cut my portion sizes, and started going for leisurely walks around my neighborhood, with Elliott Smith on the Discman.  It was easy.  I went from a size 16 to a size 6.

I flew home from Portland on Tuesday night, and got back on the dollar menu on Thursday.

Week 8 (July 1 – July 7)

  • high fiber cereal $2.29
  • almond milk  $1.69
  • kasha barley $3.39
  • salad mix  $1.99
  • dried mango  $1.69
  • baby carrots  $1.49
  • garbanzo beans  $0.99
  • 5 bananas  $0.95
  • cilantro plant  $3.99
  • soy chorizo  $1.99
  • broccoli florets  $1.99
  • peeled garlic  $1.99

Total:  $24.44

I’ve never tried growing herbs before, so this whole cilantro thing could be disasterous.  The plant wasn’t much more expensive than a bunch of cilantro, though, so I figured I’d give it a shot.  If there are any gardeners out there, feel free to tell me what to do!

I think this is also the first time I’ve cooked with barley.  I was jonesing for some quinoa, but the barley was cheaper, and nutritionally comparable.  And the moment I opened the pan full of fluffy goodness, I was immediately glad I went for it.  So far, I’ve used it in soy chorizo/veggie bowls, and salads:

Yesterday:  Barley on the left, homemade ultra garlic hummus on the right.

My new friend barley and I are going to go see what we can do for lunch.  Feel free to toss me some suggestions!

Follow us on Facebook:  Vegan Dollar Menu


July 1, 2010 at 9:12 pm 2 comments

Day 24-27

I started a garden!  I had tried gardening once before, but it didn’t work out well for me.  I was about seven years old.  I was growing a pea plant – this was also around the first time I heard of Gregor Mendel, and I remember feeling like I was doing serious science.  So I had my pea plant in a little pot in the backyard, and one day I saw that it had grown a pod.  Score!  I noticed a small tear at one end of the pod, and I was disappointed because I figured I probably shouldn’t eat it.  So I started to tear the sucker open, and there was a big black spider inside.  In retrospect, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a spider to just be hanging out inside a pea pod, for all I know it could’ve been a caterpillar or something, the point is it was a creature with legs and it was traumatizing and it ruined my gardening experience.

So about two months ago, I got baby zucchini and aristocrat squash plants from the market.  The zucchini plant (pictured) gets bigger every time I look at it, and there are about three zucchinis that are almost ready.  The aristocrat squash is on suicide watch – it’s roughly the same size it was when I bought it, and it can’t seem to decide whether it wants to live.  It’s gone from green to yellow and back again, grown mushrooms at least three times, and attracted pests.  It’s finally grown two blossoms, but I can’t imagine that it’s big enough to support any fruit.  I really don’t know anything about gardening, so I just give it sympathetic looks and hope that it will be okay.

Day 24 – Monday, May 24
Morning:  Blueberry flax muffin.

Afternoon:  Scrambled tofu and potatoes, and a pear.

Evening:  Sliced cucumber with Russian dressing.  Top Ramen with sliced portabella mushroom.

Day 25 – Tuesday, May 25
Morning:  Oatmeal.

Afternoon:  Fried rice with tofu and green onion.  Also, I ate the mudpie.  (See previous post.)  I was in super serious study mode over my political science exam, and I was kinda freaking out.  I didn’t know what to do, so I ate the mudpie.  It happens.

Evening:  I had a blueberry flax muffin before class, and a tortilla with salsa after.

Day 26 – Wednesday, May 26
Morning:  Scrambled tofu and potatoes.

Afternoon:  Leftover fried rice, and blueberry flax muffin.

Evening:  Beans and rice, and a packet of mixed nuts from Whole Foods (almonds, walnuts, dried blueberries and cranberries, dark chocolate).

Day 27 – Thursday, May 27
Morning:  Oatmeal.

Afternoon:  Beans and rice.

Evening:  I made a blueberry banana smoothie after work around 4pm.  For dinner, I made a packet of Ramen with tofu (crumbled with a little curry powder) and green onion, and threw a small amount of leftover white rice I had from yesterday.  I wanted to use the other half of my portabella mushroom, but it was going a little nasty.  I also wanted to use one of my zucchinis, but by the time I remembered that it was too late.  I added a little soy sauce and Sriracha, and reduced the broth almost completely.  It was pretty tasty, and I have leftovers for work tomorrow.

May 27, 2010 at 9:50 pm 1 comment


To prove that I can feed myself tasty, ethical meals for cheaper than a fast food dollar menu.

Recent Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 39 other followers