A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

I now twit, er... or tweet. Anyway, you can follow me on twitter @Aeon1202

Friday, February 26, 2010

Recipe Share

I've gotten at least one offer of late to share vegetarian recipes among my friends who are all trying to improve / maintain our state of good health. I know how important it is that we not get bored with what we're eating by eating the same things over and over, variety is the spice of your healthy-diet life.

To that end; if anyone wants to email me recipes that they've found particularly delicious and / or helpful in their own personal journey - I will cook and share them as they come in.

Just email them to: azaria23@hotmail.com

Or if you've got one of my other email accounts, heck knows I have enough of them, and prefer to send there - feel free. I will cook your recipe, give it a try, and then post it to the main page (with credit to you, of course).

If it's a meat-oriented recipe I'll probably just post it, or get Ted to try it if I can, because of my lacto-ovo-pescatarian-brothavarian-vegetarian state (oy). However recipes with meat are welcome as well, being health friendly is the only qualification.

I'll of course be posting good finds of my own as I go along.

I just had french toast for breakfast on a snow day - um, that one doesn't count...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Say wha..?

“I’m a level 5 vegan—I don’t eat anything that casts a shadow.” – The Simpsons

I admit that labeling my diet isn’t necessary but after a recent encounter with a vegetarian who informed me that “people who call themselves vegetarian but eat fish really piss me off” I decided I wanted to quantify what I’m doing and why.

I’m a Lacto-ovo-pescatarian-vegetarian.

Say that five times fast.

To explain; a Pescatarian abstains from all meat and animal flesh with the exception of fish and shellfish (shrimp beware!) A Lacto-ovo also eats eggs and dairy products. Thus, I’m both.

I’m also allowing myself meat broths because of my love of soup; but sadly I couldn’t find a classification for that. I’ll have to make one up.


All I know is; it’s complicated. The Vegans (who eat nothing that ever possessed a ‘face’ or came from anything that ever possessed a face) disdain the Vegetarians for their exploitation of animals in consuming their milk and eggs. The Vegetarians disdain Pescatarians for killing the little fishies. I even had a friend tell me she once met someone that stated that if you claim to be a Vegetarian but the smell of cooked meat so much as entices you – then you’re not truly one of us.

Dang, these people are harsh.

All I want is to loose weight and have a healthy heart and no diabetes. I love the animals, I even love the little fishies, but I also really really love being at the top of the food chain.

I am the worlds most deadly predator. Fear me!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Planning Ahead

Since I generally have the time for it on Sundays I'm planning ahead by making safe, healthy and easily storing foods I will then have handy during the week.

Today I made my Tuscan Tuna Salad (canned tuna, cannelloni beans, scallions, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper). I absolutely love this recipe; it's a great no-mayo alternative to regular tuna salad that has so much wonderful color and flavor. I had to share some of the tuna with Wish - he was giving me cow eyes.

And I also made a new kind of hummus - I tried red beans in it for the first time. Not bad at all; a bit of a bite to it but I like it. Very creamy. My "Eat More - Weigh Less" book has a lower fat recipe for spicy hummus sans olive oil that I'm eager to try out. I'll whip that up next weekend and let you know how it is.

I've also got plenty of leftovers set aside for myself. Some home made pizza, rice, cooked vegetables etc. and so forth.

So far this vegetarian thing isn't too bad. I had french toast for brunch with fruit and a cottage cheese side. I bought myself some fresh brie (I love brie) thinking I'd have that, a few crackers and an apple as an afternoon snack - but found when I got home that I was too busy cooking stuff for the rest of the week to eat it.

Dinner was fajitas... black re-fried beans, Spanish rice, Mexican stir fried vegetables and chicken. Pretty easy for me; I just cooked the chicken separately and skipped eating it (and the rice, but I hate Spanish rice so that was no hardship).

Taking it one day at a time!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Meatless - Day 2

Dinner tonight was tilapia fillets - baked in a pouch with mixed vegetables (red peppers, asparagus, sweet onion and baby bella mushrooms), seasonings and some butter and served over a bed of rice. When doing a tilapia fillet I've found that 20 minutes at 350 degrees bakes it to a perfect, moist flakiness. We also had shrimp cocktail* as an appetizer.

Two days with no meat, and I'm still alive so far. I just seem to be consuming a lot of sea creatures instead.

I also managed to watch Ted eat yodels with milk for desert and haven't had any. Yay me!

P.S. *When making cocktail sauce I highly recommend "helluva good's" horseradish. It's blow-your-head-off strong.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Where's the Beef?

There’s this great scene in the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” where the heroine of the story tries to inform her Greek Aunt that her Non-Greek FiancĂ© is a vegetarian. She has to finally explain the meaning of this alien word; that the man doesn’t eat any meat. To which her Aunt responds:

“He don’t eat no meat?!” and abruptly brings the entire party of a hundred some odd guests to a screeching, horrified standstill.

Obviously without the crowd involved, I would say this somewhat approximates my husbands horror-struck reaction to my telling him that I was going to try becoming a vegetarian.

This causes a problem for Ted in several fronts; for one thing he and my stepson consume a diet that consists of about 50% animal products on Ted’s part and closer to 80% for Kyle. On top of that – I do most of the cooking. So if I’m cooking without meat, what are they going to eat? I’ve already been given the hairy eyeball for my forays into vegetable-over-rice dishes that feature things like portabella mushroom as the star ingredient rather than steak cubes.

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, I know it isn’t – and I really love meat. I’m probably going to wind up cooking separate entrees for Ted and Kyle and myself – which is going to no doubt be a pain in the butt. However, I need to do something to jump start my flagging motivation and I’m thinking this 10% dietary fat plan might do it.

It’s pretty simple; consume no more than 10% of your daily calories as fat calories. The un-simple part is this is virtually impossible to do when one is eating meat one or two times per day – meat has huge volumes of fat. It also means limiting things like nuts, cheese, *sob* butter, chocolate… you get the idea. I can have as many fruits, vegetables, grains and beans as I like. Sounds good – but I admit I’ve never successfully managed to satisfy a desperate craving for cookies with fruit, no matter how much fruit I eat.

You know those successful dieters who give beatific smiles and say things like; “I really do love my apples as much as I used to love chocolate! I don’t feel deprived at all!”

Yeah, I want to hurt them. Bad.

I’m going to start small… phasing out red meats which are the worst offender – and moving onto the paler things like chicken and pork. I will continue to eat meat products such as eggs, cheese, milk, and for the moment – chicken broth. This is because 80% of the soups I make use chicken broth and I’m not sure how to phase it out, but I will be experimenting.

I started today; oatmeal with sliced almond for breakfast, Chinese veggies and basmati rice with a big pink grapefruit for lunch and tonight is home made pizza. Considering all the nuts and cheese going on today I’ll probably miss the 10% mark but I’ll input it all into the Daily Plate tonight and see.

The real trick is of course restaurants; places like Red Robin where I’ll have to watch everyone around me eating big, beautiful hamburgers. I don’t know how I’m going to handle that right now – although considering I only eat at such places once in a blue moon it can’t hurt to have ONE burger every couple of months or so, can it?

All I know is I have to do something different to re-motivate myself and get moving again, and this is going to be it – at least for now.

Into the vegetarian abyss…

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fun with the Spine

I visited a Chiropractor for the first time in my life on Tuesday. I’ve long been afraid of them because I have no desire to have my back or any other part of my body ‘cracked’. I don’t even crack my knuckles. Plus I’ve heard countless stories of people going once and then needing to go every week indefinitely thereafter because the treatment wears off somehow and leaves you hurting again.

This one was referred to me by a co-worker who had a bad knee injury repaired and who assured me that I would not be asked to return for an indefinite number of adjustments. Plus she has a PhD (from what I understand not all of them do). So I figured I’d give it a try.

She quite nice; with very bright red hair and a gentle, slightly granola personality. She did about a hundred pushing, pulling and pressing diagnostic tests, asked a ton of questions and uses a variety of clicking and pounding devices that feel like a really deep massage – it actually felt really good, especially right after she’d finished.

She theorized that my problems now are stemming from a change in gait I experienced after breaking one leg and badly spraining the other two years ago; causing a walking over-compensation that’s resulted in imbalances over the years. Also I’ve got a funny walk to begin with because of the juvenile hip displasia I was born with.

Makes sense to me… and anyway she’s the one with the PhD so she’d know better than I do. She thinks she can have me fixed up in three visits or so, so I have two more appointments before I’m done.

Even without the poundings I do feel a lot better these days, I’ve realized if I compare how I feel week to week I do see slight improvement each time – it’s just so slow that it can’t be seen daily. So overall; good news.

Also no excuses – at no time has it ever been logical for me to stop exercising. Sitting on my butt in my office chair all day is a lot more harmful than any treadmill, elliptical or weight lifting device could ever be to me.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Gamer Mecca

In August my family is taking the pilgrimage to Nerdly Gamer Holy Land – also known as Gencon Indy.


My husband has already started replacing the words of that Beastie Boys song “No Sleep ‘til Brooklyn” with “No Sleep ‘til Indy”.

My stepson already informed me that he plans to sleep in the computer gaming area; at which point I explained to him some of the stereotypical people you see at gaming conventions; one of which I call “Asleep-in-the-Corner-Guy”. This is the rumpled, slightly smelly, unwashed young man you stumble upon collapsed in the corner of a convention room, surrounded by people, sound asleep – because he’s run out of juice and generally can’t afford a hotel room to sleep (and bathe) in.

I said to Kyle that under no circumstances is he allowed to become Asleep-in-the-Corner-Guy and additionally, he has no excuse to be, since he has both a hotel room and two people there looking after him.

Teddi simply reiterated to him the 3-2-1 rule of conventions. In a given twenty four hour period you must get: a minimum of three hours of sleep, two meals, and one shower.

Con stereotypes are a bit like my gym stereotypes. In addition to Asleep-in-the-Corner-Guy you generally see Shouty-Gamer-Guy; the dude playing an RPG who feels the need to shout over everyone else at the table. Mystical-Fairy-Girl; little girl, big sparkly costume. Too-Much-Flesh-Too-Much-Flesh; is the guy or gal of size whose showing more skin than anyone wants to see. Cup-Runneth-Over; I can stray into this category myself if I’m not careful, but generally involves a generously boobed woman in a corset. Then there’s the obligatory Chicks-in-Chainmail and Dudes-in-Superhero Garb.

I could go on and on. And on.

As for me, I’m looking forward to the LARPing and costuming. I’ve found that I do better with set goals in mind, so right now my goal is to fit into a better costume by then – I’ve got between five and six months. Theoretically I could be forty of fifty pounds slimmer by then, at least – that’s the hope.

Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with my current Steampunk costumes; I’d just like something less, well, big. Okay fine - I’d just like a body less big to wrap them around. My current figure may lend itself well to corsetry but they’re still easier to get into when you don’t have a ginourmous butt.

So “costumes costumes costumes” is my new mantra. I may start sticking pictures of rockin’ Steampunk garb to the front of my pantry and fridge.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

South Beach

My parents have started doing the South Beach diet and they’re doing really well – both of them hit the gym four or five times per week and have each dropped over ten pounds.

I had read the SB book at one point and liked it for its heart healthy emphasis, but I don’t remember it being as similar to Atkins as it seems to be now. My folks are eating a lot of protein, particularly a lot of eggs.

As a low-to-no animal protein person I keep looking for good legume recipes to send to them instead, but I’m not sure if they’re supposed to be consuming that much bean on their plan.

I’m very firmly anti-Atkins diet, which is why I have slight concerns – but overall they’re both happy with their food, the results and feeling good, so I’m happy for them. I know that Atkins swamps you in animal fats and puts your body into a state where it sort of eats itself alive, but SB with its heart health emphasis can’t work the same way. Can it?

Is anyone out there more familiar with it than I am? Feel free to sound off here.

My own developing plan is similar in a sense that I’m focusing more on what I eat rather than how much (beans, glorious beans) but I’ve got the added avoidance of animal fat if possible. The stuff is a really hard habit to kick… like cheese. And I’ve got a developing jerky addiction to contend with now. It’s salty, chewy, has almost no fat and is very low calorie. But of course, I’m pickling myself in salt. Argh.

Also having a lot of trouble controlling my cravings for sugar. Could that be some form of seasonal defective disorder? I’ve never felt that I get the blues in winter, I’m okay with the season rotation, but I can’t seem to keep my hands off cookies right now.

And no, a piece of fruit does not help.

Anyway, in the spirit of beans – here’s a garbanzo salad I’m enjoying right now:

Garbanzo-Bonanza Salad

3 cans of garbanzo beans, thoroughly rinsed
Small package of crumbled feta cheese
A small dark green leafy like baby spinach or baby arugala (several handfuls)
A handful of chopped fresh basil
A handful of chopped scallions
A cup of kalamata olives, cut in half or chopped as you prefer
A package of grape tomatoes, halved or quartered

Combine all of the above; then make a simple dressing by combining three or four tablespoons of EV olive oil with the zest and juice of a fresh lemon. Add two teaspoons of kosher salt, one teaspoon of pepper, one teaspoon of sugar – whisk thoroughly and pour over salad.

Toss and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


A few people have noticed that I’ve been blog-absent for a couple of weeks (and thanks to those who did). I haven’t posted since school began; I’m taking a class on writing and editing for magazines at Arcadia and planning to apply to become a graduate student there.

It was exciting and scary at first; the scary has worn off and now it’s just exciting. It’s also a lot of work – but all good work that I love doing; even the reading. Well, especially the reading.

I also couldn’t help but notice two things in class; one – that I’m the oldest student and two – that I’m the heaviest. I know these things aren’t important and yet my brain still can’t help but pick them out and consider them despite the fact that no one has made me feel at all uncomfortable on either account.

At the first class during the getting to know you period; I admitted to them that I’m a blogger and my professor inquired as to what my blog was about. I said “health, cooking, nutrition, weight loss and life as a plus sized person.” In my mind I was imagining all these skinny kids looking at me and thinking; ‘seriously? A health blog? You’re the fattest person here…’

Of course I’m also sure that not a single one of them was doing any such thing – it was just my poor self esteem kicking up on me.

Three weeks in I’m pretty comfortable there and speaking up more every class. It’s also fascinating to learn about the future of magazine writing and where we’re probably headed. Print is far from dead, it’s just changing with the times and going digital – like everything else I suppose. It gives me a lot of hope for my future as a professional writer.

At any rate that’s where I’ve been and what I’m doing. No excuse to neglect my blog (or my eating plan) though I have been doing both.

Must clean dangerous foods from the house.

Also I started back at the gym again on Monday – I’m doing the elliptical again. Heck with it, my leg is still mucked up anyway I might as well use the equipment I like. Also seeing a chiropractor on the 9th.