Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another post about how I never cook

It's very rare that I do more than use my rice cooker. I just had to share how I get through my days as not just a vegan, not just a vegan who doesn't cook, but as someone who does the seemingly impossible job of being a vegan who doesn't cook and is trying to lose weight.
It's easier than it sounds.
The products that I recommend here are just some of the foods that I eat regularly. I also eat a LOT of fresh produce and healthy things like brown rice and oatmeal, so don't assume that I eat nothing but processed vegan junk food after reading this! :-)

I have a few products to thank:

Bird's Eye Steamfresh vegetables- I cannot recommend these too much. You can find these in the freezer section. Frozen vegetables don't go bad, but even if they did they wouldn't in my house. Lately I've been guilty of eating a bag of vegetables almost daily.
Put the entire bag in the microwave for five minutes. That's it. You're done. You have a big bowl of steamed vegetables ready to keep your stomach full and happy. Zero WW points, too. Unless you want to add a teaspoon or two of extra virgin olive oil, and then you add points for that. (a great way to get in ALL your vegetables serving and healthy oils at once, something I do for a late-night snack often).

JIF (or Skippy, or Kroger generic) Natural peanut butter: I have always loved peanut butter. It is one of life's little pleasures. Sometimes a tablespoon of peanut butter (2.5 points) is enough to please me, sometimes I need 2. But usually 1 tablespoon with a banana or an apple makes a GREAT and very filling breakfast.

Another idea: Melt a tablespoon of peanut butter with 2 tablespoons of light karo and use as a syrup over some dairy-free frozen waffles!!! A-Maz-ing.

Old El Paso (or Taco Bell, or Kroger generic) Vegetarian or Fat Free Refried Beans: I love refried beans!!! For lunch, I will sometimes eat a half cup of these (1 point, 4 points for a whole cup, Evil WW Math) with some salsa (and sometimes a tsp of EVOO), spread on some Wasa crispbread or a flour tortilla.

Full of flavor, fiber, and protein, but not high in either fat or WW points, refried beans rock.

Wasa High Fiber Crispbread: I cannot give this stuff too much credit. I eat this in the morning with peanut butter, in the afternoons with refried beans and salsa, and in the evenings with pizza sauce and Daiya "cheese" for mini-pizzas. These are tasty, crunchy, low point, and very filling. Mostly I enjoy how crunchy and low point they are, since I am a recovering chip-a-holic.

Amy's Roasted Vegetable Frozen Pizza: This pizza is possibly the most delicious thing on this earth, vegan or not. Please, go try it. I'm not joking or exaggerating, it's the best food on Earth.
The ONLY downfall of this delicious delicacy is that is costs at least $7.00 for one relatively small pizza. :-(
So I have this once or twice or month, or more if someone else buys one for me. Also,
<-----not a low-point food if you eat the WHOLE thing in one sitting.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron

I'm sick of my life revolving around losing weight. Yes, it's a big part of my life, but since in the long run it will be a short one, I need to start thinking about other things. Like my future.
Yes, I'm excited that in my future I will be thin and beautiful. :-) But what will this thin beauty do with herself?
My brother got me the book "The Artist's Way" for my 24th birthday. I'm coming up on my 26th in a couple of months, and I just now decided to go for it.
It's a 12-week program that encourages all artists to unblock their creative sides, and to nuture their inner-artist.
I used to call myself an artist. I have a few paintings up in my house that I painted and look at with pride.
I'm finally ready to get back to it. I've put my life on hold for long enough!
It's nice to have something to focus on that has nothing to do with weight loss or my job or my boyfriend.
Nope, this is ALL ABOUT ME and MY ART.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Exercise... a habit?!

This has been a crazy week for me. Lots of stuff going on, mostly family-related. Sad things, scary things, time-consuming things. Which I am happy to do, because I love my family!

In the past I would have let this family stuff be an excuse to skip exercise for as long as possible. Not anymore! Now I make time.

My mom, who needs at least a little "me-time" every day right now, is still meeting me at Curves every day after work for a 30 minute workout. It's good and distracting for her, and wondeful for me, too!

And my evening cardio sessions? Yes, they have gotten both later and shorter, but I am still committed to getting in a good cardio workout every day.

Who knew? I have finally made exercise not just a priority, not just something that I enjoy, but a real habit. And it feels great.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Progress Pictures!

The before pictures are from May 2009, and I weighed in at 220 pounds. The "40 pounds gone forever" pictures are from yesterday, weighing in at 178.6 pounds.

Progress Pics Coming Soon!!!

I have finally put the pictures from my camera onto a picture CD, so sometime this week (hopefully tonight) I will be uploading some progress pictures.

I will describe them now, so you will be prepared.

I'm wearing a pink sports bra and size 20 jeans. The "before" pictures are from last May, me at 220 pounds. The "40 pounds gone forever" pictures are from yesterday. Wearing the same outfit in all pictures, for best comparison.

I didn't realize what a difference there was until I saw these side by side. Looking forward to sharing these pictures with my blog.

There is a lot of skin showing, so if you get embarassed by that (maybe my brother who follows this blog) you probably shouldn't look... But I am mostly covered. Like I said, sports bra and jeans. Not a bikini, not naked. But because I was pretty large in the "before" shots, to me, they seem shocking.

You be the judge! Either way, they are getting posted this week.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A couple of changes... the blog. I switched the title from ''Leah's Transition to the Kind Life" to "Leah: the Kind Weight Watcher" because I have recently started to combine The Kind Diet (TKD) with Weight Watchers (WW).

I wanted to be honest with myself and with my followers and readers. I feel that right now I need the accountability that comes with WW, though I will continue to be true to the principles of TKD.

:-) Enjoy.

Friday, July 9, 2010


I am so fickle. I go back and forth with everything diet.

One month I desperately want to eliminate all processed foods and "eat clean", the next month I want to eat like a "naturally thin" person would, and then I just want to eat junk food only. Then the cycle starts over.

Why must I be so fickle with dieting?

The one thing that I am 100% committed to is eating vegan. No meat, dairy, or eggs will make appearances in my diet.

I long to be a natural, clean-eating vegan, a la "In Defense of Food" and the Superhero chapter of The Kind Diet. But I usually end up being a half-healthy, half vegan junk food-eating vegan, a la "Skinny Bitch".

I am happiest with my diet when it includes some processed vegan junk foods every day. Eating things like potato chips and oreos makes me feel like I am NOT on a diet. When I eat chips or cookies regularly and STILL LOSE WEIGHT I feel victorious over the dieting industry.

But I feel better physically when I abstain from those things, and eat mostly whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, and healthy oils.

I spent a long time trying to manipulate WW into a "happy medium" that will suit my needs, but I figured something out:

Weight Watchers, when followed correctly, is a happy medium. I eat mostly healthy foods, with a few points left for some vegan junk food. I feel great, because (outside of dairy), I am meeting all of the Good Health Guidelines. I don't feel deprived, because I am still eating something "naughty" every day. (Usually baked french fries and redvines, my newest favorite low-point vegan snacks!!)

Hurray for Weight Watchers!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


It has officially been ONE YEAR since I quit smoking. Well, the anniversary was yesterday, but I wasn't near a computer then, so I will make the announcement today.

One year ago, cigarettes ruled my life. I spent all of my extra money on cigarettes. I spent all of my free time on cigarettes. I spent all of my non-free time thinking about when I would be able to take another cigarette break. I used cigarettes as an escape from family, friends, life, and love.I was completely dependent on them.

In late May/early June of 2009, I joined Weight Watchers. "to get healthy" was my number one reason to justify the cost.

I still smoked. A pack a day minimum. I was being a hypocrite to myself. No way was my reason for losing weight truly "health" if I was still a pack-a-day smoker. To truly justify my newfound quest for healthy, I would have to do the one other thing that I had tried many times and never been successful at: quit smoking.

Yes, quitting both binge-eating and cigarettes at the same time was hard. Emotions that I had been avoiding with both food and cigarettes emerged for the first time in half a decade, and it wasn't always pretty. But would I go back to overeating and smoking? Absolutely not.

One thing that I've learned this year is that I cannot change the past. It is something that is obvious, but that I haven't ever really had a grip on: I cannot change the past! Yes, it would have been better if I had never gained 80 pounds. It would have been better if I had never started smoking.

But losing weight and quitting smoking are HUGE accomplishments. And for the first time in years, I can say this: I am very proud of myself.

And by the way, for any current smokers who may be reading this: I have lost almost 40 pounds since quitting smoking. Would it have been more had I kept smoking? I can't say for sure, but I can say that I gained 80 pounds as a smoker. So while it may seem like a good excuse to keep smoking, "I'll gain weight if I quit" doesn't have to be true. You can quit if you want to! If you need any help and/or advice on how to quit, or tips, or whatever, don't hesitate to email me (not that I am claiming to be an expert, just someone who has been there).