Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vegan Eating in KC: FUD

On our way to our fabulous Branson vacation, my husband and I stayed over in Kansas City on Friday night. he agreed to try out a vegan restaurant with me while we were there. The restaurant we went to was FUD.

I cannot remember the area or neighborhood this place was in, but it was cute, lol.

We got there about 7pm which was good because the place was small and still almost full. We sat in the window very close to another, older couple, and TJ asked them what they recommended. The guy said dessert!! LOL. He said everything on the menu was good, though.

Ater those people left another, younger couple, sat by us and I think they were on their first date :) They admired our food choices and we admired theirs lol.

I had an Electrolyte to drink which was fresh juice, sparkling water and agave syrup.

For dinner I had the grilled cheese, which was cheese sauce and very tasty (and of course it is not dairy cheese!!)

TJ chose nachos with shredded jackfruit in the style of shredded chicken

Jackfruit is a specialty of this restaurant. According to the waitress it is a very big ungly fruit that tastes like banana and coconut. However, they get it canned and it has no taste, but will take on the taste of what it is cooked with (like tofu does). It has the texture of shredded chicken or shredded beef!!! It was awesome!!

For dessert we had the cashew ice cream sundae which had carmel and chocolate sauces, goji berries, blueberries, pecans and cacao nibs
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Delicious!!! Oh, we had it on a vegan chocolate brownie as well!!

This was the first vegan restaurant my hubby had ever been to and he liked the food :)

I recommend going here if you are in KC, but you will need cash as that is all they accept for payment.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Coming Soon...

I know I have been getting this blog a little slow in going, but I am back from a 5 day vacation and only working 1/2 days for the next month so there will be posts about vegan restaurants in KC and veggie finds in Branson, MO as well as pimping out the blog itself! Also hoping to have some recipe posts soon. Hang in there with me!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How I Became a Vegetarian

This may be a little long. And some of the stuff I talk about may be disturbing and gross.

Last year I was diagnosed with high cholesteral and was over 200 pounds and looking to make some changes. My college friend, Carrie, of Carrie on Vegan recommended I read Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Furhman. I read it and made some changes. I gave up red meat for 2 months and limited my chicken and fish. I lost 25 pounds. After a trip to California in the summer I fell back into old habits and gained 15 pounds back.

One of my New Year's Resolutions for this year was to eat healthier (and exercise). I started and was losing about 5 pounds a month (my goal). I was still eating meat, though. The Carrie decided to host a healthy vegan eating challenege group on Facebook. She opened it to anyone who wanted to make some healthy changes. I joined because I wanted to add more vegetarian meals to my diet and limit the chicken and fish. And cut out red meat for the durantion of the 8 week challenge.

I did all this, but then so much more!

Most of the members were vegans and started some good information about the veagn lifestyle and some documentaries they had watched which helped them make the switch. In the back of my mind was the idea that I did not want animals to suffer to be my food. One of the films they talked about a lot was Earthlings. Although I knew this would be a very traumatizing film to watch, something kept telling me I HAD to watch it. Someone told me it was on Youtube. I watched parts 1 and 2 and that convinced me to not eat meat anymore. Most of our meat comes from animals raised on factory farms. They are kept inside very small stalls and not allowed outside to roam or anything. They are overcrowded and just look miserable. The killing is not humane either. It is not a quick kill. They slit their throats while suspended upside down and left to bleed out. This is not an isolated incident, this is the industry norm. Here in Kansas you see cattle grazing in fields and chickens running free, but this is the exception. Not sure if they kill them quickly with the air compressor to the head, but even that seems incrediby harsh. So I gave up meat, pork and poultry, right then and there.

That left fish, dairy and eggs. I asked for reasons not to eat fish and the big thing for me is the fact that many have mercury in them and come from polluted waters. YUCK. No, thank you. I was only eating eggs from my friend's chickens who roam free and getting dairy from a local dairy.

Then I watched a documentary called Milk Facts. Again, most dairy cows are kept in big barns in small stalls and grain fed, not free to graze for grass or anything. Also, they are not milked by hand, they are hooked up to machines. This was the case at my local dairy (the machines, not the no grazing). Also, milk is a byproduct of cow's blood and it is intended for baby cows to drink, NOT humans. It is also not all that healthy for humans. People argue that it has calcium. Where do you think the calcium comes from? It comes from the greens that the cows eat. Plants!!!! Grass and spinach and other good stuff. The cow is just the middle man (or middle cow!!). So that is how I gave up dairy.

Another member of the group suggested I watch yet another documentary called 101 Reasons To Be a Vegan. I highly recommend this one as the guy presenting uses humor. It reinforced why I gave up meat and dairy and gave me the reason I needed to give up eggs. Do you know what they are????? A chicken's menstrual cycle. Unfertilized eggs. Get it??? Chicken periods. YUCK. (and btw, honey is bee vomit).

At the end of the challenge I did have some cheese again, but it made my stomach hurt so that is gone for good for me now. I also had the rest of the eggs in my refrigerator, but they did not taste good to me anymore.

So now I am a committed vegetarian :)

So, why not a vegan? Well, eating wise, I am a vegan since I do not ingest any animal products, but vegan is also a lifestyle and a vegan does not also wear animal products, like leather (or use it). Being a biker's wife I do have leather boots and a jacket. I also have a couple of very expensive purses I still like to use and a pair of Jimmy Choos. I will not buy leather products anymore, but I also will not give up what I already have. I know you can argue against this, but this is just my choice for now.

So that is how I became a vegetarian.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Healthy Vegan Summer Challenge 2013

The fabulous Carrie, of Carrie On Vegan is hosting another healthy eating challenge on Facebook starting tomorrow, May 6. If you would like to join please see this post for information.

I participated in the Spring challenge and it changed my life, literally. I joined with the intention of just eating healthier and incorporating more vegetarian meals in my diet and I ended up making the committment to become a full on vegetarian!! I swear I will have that story for you soon! For this challenge I have set myself some new goals. They are..

1. Follow the Eat To Live plan for the 6 weeks.

2. Exercise at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes, including one hike or "trail" walk.

3. Lose at least 10 pounds to get to 165 pounds.

4. Document what I am eating in my new food diary and on the ETL website and document my exercise on the ETL website.

5. No salt, dairy or eggs.

Last year I read Eat To Live on the recommendation of Carrie who knew I was trying to lose weight and lower my cholesterol. I loosely followed it for awhile. In preparation for this challenege I reread the book and highlighted important stuff I can refer back to easily. The only time I will relax on the challenge is during our Branson Vacation, but will be sticking to it as closely as possible. I bought a couple books to help me

I started my exercise goals on May 1st. That evening I decided to walk down to our mailbox (it is not at my house, it is in a bank of them at the entrance of our neighborhood) and back. I got outsode and decided to run a bit and was feeling pretty good, even went up a hill and decided I would keep running. Then I tripped and fell!! I skinned both of my knees pretty bad, but made myself keep going to the mailboxes, though just walking, no more running. I did it then walked back home. Discovered I had a small tear in my pants and that upset me more than anything!! I skipped Thursday, but on Friday went to the gym and used the treadmill for 1 hour. I almost stopped at 30 minutes to switch to the stationary bike, but kept with it and this is what I ended up with A personal best!!!

I have been working on losing weight since the first of the year. I was at 190 pounds. I have since lost 15 pounds so I am at 175 (actually 174 as of this morning lol). My goal is 5 pounds a month so I am behind one month, which is okay. My goal for this challenge is 10 so I can get to where I originally wanted to be at the end of May. Hopefully I will lose the next 5 for June as well. I am also going to document my eating and exercising daily. I bought a food journal and am also going to try posting on the ETL website everyday. Same for exercise. I am hoping this will help to keep me on track.

Finally, I am cutting out all salt, dairy and eggs. This means also foods made with these ingredients. I am going to be vigilant about reading labels and if I am offered something and I do not know what is in it I am going to politely decline. I did give up eggs and dairy previously, but have been lax on that the past 2 weeks. But now I am getting serious. Especially since I have committed to the vegetarian lifestyle.

Have any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Welcome To My New Blog!!!

Welcome to Little Veggie on the Prairie!!! I started this blog to talk about my journey as a Vegetarian. In the coming weeks I will be adding pictures and gadgets and other stuff to liven up the blog.

So, what kinds of stuff will I be talking about here??? Well, I'll tell you! First of all, I will tell you how and why I decided to become a vegetarian and the steps I am taking to become a full on vegan. I will also use this place to post recipes and where they come from, eating out as a vegetarian, book reviews, thoughts on being a vegetarian and anything else related to the vegetarian lifestyle!

If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments!!! However, I do not allow anonymous comments due to spam. It is that or word verification and I like that even less!!

Looking forward to sharing my journey with you!!