I am making a valiant effort to let go of the past, focus on the now and dream of the future. And in an effort to keep with that, I have decided that rather than summarize the past year of my life in which I did not blog, I would just pick up where I am now. And, hopefully, for any outsider readers, the bits will all fit together and make some sense. So, where am I now? Well, after living with my girlfriend in Portland, OR for six weeks, I have finally (to the surprise of many) returned to the East coast.
My return was met with a lot of excitement, shock and curiosity from everyone around me. Apparently that is what happens when you plan to be gone for 19 days, stay for 45 and come back thirteen pounds thinner and vegan. Everyone wants the lowdown on life in Portland, my new lifestyle changes and where I am going from here. And the little one? Well, she just wanted to know what kind of "cool stuff" I brought back with me and if we could go play together.
The adjustment back to home life hasn't been too bad. While I miss my girl unbelievably and can't wait to be with her again, I am so glad to have my family and close friends back within an arm's reach. If anything, the biggest adjustment I have had to make is with my food choices. Unfortunately, living in a town, as opposed to big city like Portland, limits one's options for closely located vegan-friendly foods. And so? I have taken up cooking! I am really quite proud of myself for taking on this cooking adventure, as in the past, I have never cooked more than french fries and nuggets for myself. Now, every night, I throw together dishes full of whole grains, fresh produce, and newly discovered meat alternatives. And because I am so proud of the progress that I have been making, I have taken to photographing some meals to share. You will find a few recent food creations below:
Whole grain pasta with stir-fried tofu, green bell pepper, tomato, red onion, and vinaigrette.
Vegan chili cheese fries. The cheese sauce is a corn starch mixture because I did not have the nutritional yeast needed for the Post Punk Kitchen cheese sauce that I originally wanted to make. The chili is a vegetable chili with Smart Ground's veggie protein crumbles mixed in.
A simple spinach salad with homemade dressing made from honey, white rice vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and scallions. The salad was a mix of whatever looked good in my fridge. Strawberries, blueberries, grapes, almonds, red onion, tomato, and sunflower seeds.
A similar stir fry to the one I made with pasta. This time with some soy sauce and cayenne pepper to make it a little bit spicier.
A quick spinach salad lunch. This time with toasted 9-grain bread croutons.
The best part about cooking is that I always have basic leftovers (rice, pasta, tofu, smart ground) to make into something new the next day. Though my family has taken interest in my cooking, they have yet to try any of it. So for now, I am cooking for one.
Aside from my dietary changes, I have also taken up running again. It is difficult with the state's humidity but I have found that 8PM is bearable enough. I am working to build up my distance running again and hopefully will be able to run a 5k in the near future. Here's to health!
Until next time..