Best Sources of Plant Based Protein

31 03 2012

A handy, dandy chart for when people ask you questions…because if you are eating this way, they will!

Tasting the Agony of Defeat

30 03 2012

So the local blog awards were held last night and succumbed to the very stiff competition. With just three months of this page being in existence, I think it went as well as could be expected. The fact that it was nominated in three categories made me proud. But victory is so sweet and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to win. It does motivate me to work harder for next time. Things that we truly want should not come easy so that when we obtain them, we really savor it and appreciate it. I was very glad to see some of my friends win. Both those that did and didn’t are passionate about their craft and are inspirations to me. I made a few new friends as well and I look forward to reading their work.

So I came back home a beaten man. What to do? Bag of potato chips? Pint of ice cream? No!



In a suit and tie no less – because one should be professional at all times. I curled until I could curl no more.
As some of you may know, I dabble in the arts. Being of Italian descent, I thought it would be fun to audition for a local series about “the mob” (more info coming in the next several weeks when I’m allowed to discuss it). Ironically I was offered a part as a Russian Mob enforcer. The problem here is two-fold. I need to figure out a Russian accent pretty quickly. That is doable. The other issue is that the headshot I used to get the part is a bit dated. I weighed at least 60 pounds more at the time. But now, I’m the incredible shrinking man. So hitting the weights hard and regularly is imperative. I need to be lean, mean and hulking!

Da svidaniya comrades!
For now,

I See You But I Don’t Know Who You Are

29 03 2012

Tonight I will be attending the Best of the Valley Blog Awards for Northeastern Pennsylvania. It’s exciting to see that this little labor of love which is only a couple of months old snagged three separate nominations. I don’t expect to win anything but it really is an honor to be recognized alongside my peers, many of which I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for.

Events like this always cause me anxiety. In the past, I would try to pick a seat I could fit in comfortably although that is becoming less of a worry as my journey chugs along and I continue to lose weight. The other issue that I don’t talk about much is that I am face blind. Face blindness is the inability to recognize faces, even those I see semi-regularly. Sure I know my family, my friends and my every day co-workers but I’ve seen neighbors that live next to me in local stores and have been afraid to walk up to them for fear that it might not be them. In fact I still can’t say for sure if it was them or not. I’ve had co-workers from other offices that I used to work with daily who get bent out of shape if I see them outside of work and don’t acknowledge them. I’m sure it seems quite rude but it’s just my brains inability to recognize you. It’s nothing personal. Even watching movies or programs on television is a nightmare. If there are multiple people with the same hair color or style, I am done for. I cannot distinguish any of the top stars from each other. In my daily life I end up focusing on hair, distinguishing features, body movement and mannerisms to help me determine if someone is who I believe they might be. This often leads me to feel more socially awkward than I already am.

I used to think this was a normal experience for everyone but in recent years I have come to learn that it is an actual phenomena that1 in 50 people suffer from some form of. Some people can not recognize their own children. I’m lucky as my symptoms are not that severe.

So if you see me out and about and I don’t acknowledge you or I seem perplexed, just reintroduce yourself. I know it’s weird but it is what it is.

From Fear of Dying to Joy of Living!

28 03 2012

Bill Clinton is probably one of the best known vegans on the planet right now. He is actually reversing his heart disease with a plant based diet. This is a CNN video interview with him and a separate interview with his doctors:

A little more about a 21 day immersion plan to switch to a plant based diet:

A Week of Eating Plant Based

27 03 2012

Enough people have asked me what a typical week of eating plant based foods looks like so I’m going to give you a rough example of mine. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m a creature of habit so this may not offer enough variety for some. But truly, your week’s menu is only limited by your imagination. With the internet, it’s never been easier to go plant based. There are tons of sites for recipes out there. Eat the plant based foods that you like and start building from there. Eating this way, takes time. On a sunday night, it can take up to 90 minutes to prepare veggies to have for lunch that week. It can be a pain but it is worth it. Don’t forget your B12 supplements!

Breakfasts – Cheerios! There are healthier cereals out there I am sure but I’ve always liked these since I was a little guy. I can eat them dry on the go or with coconut milk (I have the unsweetened stuff, try it for a week, you will get used to it). Organic Steel Cut Oats is another option. Raw vegetables or grilled / sauteed zucchini (one of natures most perfect anti-inflammatory foods is the perfect way to start the day). Breakfast is a good time to have fruit. Many mornings I will have a veggie wrap….with mustard!

Lunches – Wraps – I love them (although I admit it’s getting a little old lately). A raw veggie salad with a mustard and balsamic dressing (I go through an amazing amount of lettuce each week). Cabbage, broccoli rabe, lentil or split pea soup. Vegan pad thai or another one of Dr. McDougall’s packaged vegan meals (found in many health food aisles in the grocery store, I try to limit the processed stuff but this doesn’t seem too bad and low sodium options are sometimes available). Sometimes hummus or baba ganoush. Stack of tomato slices with layered basil (I most often go oil-less). Broccoli slaw.

Snacks – raw veggies (peppers, string beans, carrots, cucumbers and/or celery (a negative calorie food). Fruit – an apple a day…., seeds and nuts. Dry roasted edamame (I live on this stuff – high in protein and fiber but not fat). Dry roasted chick peas and similar snack foods can be found at your local Wegmans, Whole Foods or health food shops. Vegan pumpkin muffins, homemade vegan fruit bars.

Dinners – Vegan stuffed peppers with ground soy “meat”, brown rice, quinoa, beans, corn and tomato sauce (make 4 at a time and get several meals out of it). vegan tacos or taco salads. Soups and salads. Black beans (or other) with hot sauce and liquid smoke (a great simple, quick and tasty way to get your protein and fiber). Pasta is an awesome treat when eating this way (just check the labels). Grilled veggie sandwich on crusty italian bread (I’m limiting my bread but this is too good to pass up once a week). Veggie burgers or similar products like chik’n nuggets, hot wings, etc.(read the labels) about once a week for a little variety. Veggie stir fry. Sautéed veggies in veggie broth.

Give it a try for three weeks and see how you feel. I’m willing to bet that if you go completely plant based for three weeks , by the time you are done you will have lost weight, and feel a whole lot better with increased energy and well-being. And if you find that it is not for you, at least your body will be thankful. You can do totally do this, if you put your mind to it.

besides, you don’t want to eat this anymore, do you?:

Listen to The Body

26 03 2012

And so begins week 14 of my switch to a plant based diet. This week I lost a pound which brings my total weight loss through diet and exercise to over 56 pounds. Not bad considering I went out to eat three times during the past week.

Well after three and a half months, I guess it was bound to happen…I’ve grown tired of eating wraps nearly every day for lunch. Are you like this? I find something I enjoy and I eat it nearly every day for weeks until I finally burn out completely on it. Unfortunately this comes at a time when I have 3 packages of wraps at home and plenty of vegetables already made for the week. I’m just going to have to power through and come up with something new and interesting to have for lunch next week.

Physically things are going well. I continue to have increased energy and require much less sleep than I used to. My daily vitamin regime has been cut to 2-3 days a week. I’m taking a lot less supplements. With all of the healthy food I’m eating, I feel like a lot of this stuff could be overkill. I’m trying hard to let my body be my guide. If my body feels like it needs extra vitamins, then I give it some. If after two weeks or three weeks I feel like I need a little fish, then I give it some and then return to a plant based after that. Last week I had a small piece if chicken for the first time in over 3 months. It was not at all enjoyable and I did not have more than the initial bite. I find it interesting how my taste has significantly changed.

As I wrote about several days ago, losing a significant amount of weight can mentally put you through the ringer. It seems like this will be the hardest part of this process – working through some of the issues I had been attempting to cover through my overeating. A few of which I didn’t even know existed until now. I’m thankful for the free therapy that this blog affords me. Writing on a near daily basis is very beneficial. It helps many buried things bubble to the surface. I just need to be still and listen.


Achieving Your Dreams is Only a Matter of Physics

25 03 2012


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