30 October 2011

Week of Eating Like Past Michelle

The first half of last week was crazy busy, and the second half consisted of napping for several hours followed by staying up all night. It also consisted of the worst eating I've done in a while; it was interesting to revisit Past Michelle's regular eating habits, and I definitely noticed a decline in overall feelings of health and well-being as a result.

Over the course of the week I ate one and a half large Panago pizzas all by myself (Note: Peanut likes pizza too.), an entire batch of scones (more on that later), spent two nights alone with nachos, salsa and Curb Your Enthusiasm, and ate at McDonalds TWICE, eating my first Chicken McNuggets since I was a teenager. I blame the latter on the fact that I'm currently working on a project that involves a lot of fast food imagery.

I also celebrated my two-year anniversary with Jay, which ALSO consisted of nachos, and this pretty wonderful bottle of wine that I brought back from the Okanagan: a rosé called Hush (2010) by Dirty Laundry. It really lived up to my memories from the tasting. The winery, despite all its hokiness, makes a fine rosé. (See near the end of this post for more about Dirty Laundry.)

Last night's Shindig cask ale; the best by far
Oh I also made it out to SHiNDiG again, and the cask ale was R&B's East Side Bitter. Best SHiNDiG cask ale ever! I drank this earlier in the year at Eat Vancouver. It is pretty great. I need to find a bar that has this on tap, and install myself as a regular.

Today I've made a long list of vegetables to buy at the grocery store. Good riddance, Past Michelle!

23 October 2011

Weekend o' Food

Pan Am and a can of pea soup. With chopped zucchini and frozen corn. Pretty good! Pretty, pretty good. (What else have I been watching?)

The Jade Peony
I drank The Jade Peony at D&M's 40th birthday party: cucumber-infused gin, lychee liqueur, lime cordial, soda.

Tortilla soup by Rose!


Café Montmartre's chocolate orange crêpes: worth not resisting.

1/8 of a Bleating Heart.

Fed by vegans at 1 am. I learned exciting things about coconut oil.

First attempt at scone-making....hmmm. They don't look as attractive as other scones I've seen, but judging from some random YouTube videos, I think this dough was a lot wetter (which will probably translate into less dry and therefore more delicious -- I will report back later), resulting in a bumpy surface. I may have to eat these all tonight and try again tomorrow.

20 October 2011

Early Grey Meat Lovers

"Early Grey" homemade ice cream designed by Mauve Pagé yesterday, followed by meat lovers' pizza in the company of one of my favourite vegetarians.

18 October 2011

Mmmm caramelized BBQ saucey tofu

Post-diet dinner. Seared tofu with BBQ sauce; lentils, zucchini & onion. Mostly still on the diet. Except afterward I ate MILK CHOCOLATE.

17 October 2011

Bandidas Brunch

Bandidas margaritas
In celebration of not being on the 4-Hour Body diet anymore: brunch at Bandidas! (Also in celebration of Jesse's birthday.) Featuring ginger margaritas and breakfast soup with tortilla chips and feta cheese!

Breaky Soup

16 October 2011

4-Hour Body: Day 13

Capers! Where all your chocolate cake dreams come true.
In the midst of my binge day yesterday, in between eating chocolate cake and an almond pretzel pastry, a slice of cheese pizza and beer and cookies and milk chocolate... it dawned on me that the idea of binging is a ridiculous one. I already (usually) have fairly good self-control, so encouraging binging behaviour just seems wrong.

And so with that, I decided to quit my diet, yet continue following it, but instead of having a day of enormous cheating once a week, I will just cheat whenever I want to, but on a very small scale.

Dog with great eyelashes, just chillin on the floor at Brewery Creek.
And so rather than go into minute detail about every little thing I ate on the last day of my diet, here is a photo of a dog with lovely eyelashes, who was hanging out at Brewery Creek.

And a video of Tally Ho! who started off Thor Fest II.

15 October 2011

4-Hour Body: Day 12

Good morning bad typography mug.
Breakfast: bowl of leftover chili. It was too dry so I added a whole can of tomatoes to it last night and now it is delicious.

Breakfast #2: coffee

Snack: red pepper with lemon dill hummus

Lunch: leftover steak and roasted vegetables from Wednesday; a couple glasses of lime-water from the local movie studio café, where we spotted Sam Neill :O and then IMDB'd him to figure out who he was.

Snack: espresso; a couple handfuls of cacao nibs and two dates (in response to looking at photos of a chocolate cake. CHOCOLATE CAKE)

Dinner: leftover chili

Also: two glasses of Pinot Noir, a tiny bite of a Gold chocolate bar, and the crust off of Jay's Pizza Garden pizza (SO GOOD)

Cheating: It happened in the above sentence. At least I didn't eat a chocolate cake (as I will be doing tomorrow).

13 October 2011

4-Hour Body: Day 11

Weird chili time
I started the day off, a sick day, with some good old cheating. It was probably the last day those leftovers would be edible, and that curry was so good, it seemed wrong to let it go to waste.

Breakfast: leftover prawn curry with rice; coffee

Lunch: E3Live; leftover savory green smoothie from yesterday. The redeeming feature of this otherwise depressing smoothie (which I decided to try in order to avoid consuming sugar-laden fruits) is the spiciness from the peperoncini, a hot pepper that I have to continually keep Googling to make sure I am spelling it right.

Snack: handful of white mulberries from Ayoub's; half an avocado with Worchestershire sauce

Dinner: some kind of chili, I guess? Made of onions, garlic, jalapeño, tomato, food-processed cauliflower and broccoli, mixed beans and Yves Italian veggie ground round

Dessert: handfuls of white mulberries and roasted pistachios from Ayoub's

How I Cheated: I ate rice. And I guess those mulberries qualify as fruit. I also haven't exercised in a while but I blame this on being sick.

What's Gonna Happen? I think this diet is actually working. Old pairs of jeans seem to fit better. (This is basically how I measure my weight.) But I can't keep up this depressing vegetable and bean charade forever. I think what I will try to do is to eat this way four times a week, and the rest of the time, I will still usually try to eat healthy of course, but won't deny myself delicious white things such as bread, rice and spaghetti. I will also try to choose wine over beer more often. In fact I suspect beer drinking has been the main culprit in my weight gain over the past couple of years. I blame Jay and his microbrews.

12 October 2011

4-Hour Body: Day 10

Being at home as I am on Wednesdays always throws off my routine and I end up eating weird things at weird times.

Breakfast: black bean & salsa leftovers from last night; coffee

Snack: 5 cashews, leftover from yesterday

Breakfast #2:
Lentils & dry cottage cheese, no seasoning: really gross

ISO Femme Creamy Vanilla Sky Protein Smoothie (What does Creamy Vanilla Sky taste like? It's tastes like weird fake sweetener.): It's as gross as it sounds, but mixed with cacao powder it's somewhat better.

Lunch/Dinner: Steak with roasted peppers, broccoli, green beans and lentils

Dinner/Snack: Savory green smoothie: can of tomatoes, a couple handfuls of spinach, 3 stalks celery, 2/3 peperoncini, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 bunch parsley & lemon juice

Exercise: walking from Emily Carr to Mauve's car

4-Hour Body: Day 9


Breakfast: E3Live; spinach, lentils, peas, corn, red pepper, salsa & dry cottage cheese

Breakfast #2: coffee

Snack: avocado with hot sauce

Snack #2: celery sticks with spicy hummus

Lunch: Saturday's leftover tempeh & coconut-peanut sauce, with peas, corn & cilantro. I ate too much of this and as a result I never want to eat it again. It was so unbearably bland I was tempted to quit the diet after lunch. Which brings me to some light cheating:

Afterwork Snack: giant London Fog and pomegranate- & vanilla-glazed cashews from Starbucks (which are really good!)

Dinner: black beans with red pepper, jalapeño pepper, tomato, garlic, extra chunky hot salsa, cilantro & lime juice

How I Cheated: Everything I ate from Starbucks: milk in my London Fog and sugar in my nuts

Wow, those black beans really saved me from hating this diet. When all else fails, eat black beans and salsa. Now to start planning my Saturday cheat day. I WANT SOME PIE.

11 October 2011

4-Hour Body: Day 8 (Cheat Day)

$30 piece of plastic
Breakfast: spinach, lentils, red pepper & cottage cheese (You're supposed to start a cheat day with the usual high protein breakfast; also, drink a glass of citrus juice later before beginning your binge)

Exercise: Bickram yoga (90 minutes). GOOD RIDDANCE HOT YODA! Err yoga. Today was the end of my 7-day pass, which I used three times. I may go on to do more yoga in the future, but it will be some time before I return to Bickram's (if I ever do). I prefer my sweat to come from actual exertion, not artificial atmospheric conditions.

Ayoub's saffron nougatSnack: water with lime juice; three pieces of saffron nougat from Ayoub's

Breakfast #2: vegan zucchini chocolate chip muffin and an Americano with cream from JJ Bean; a piece of toast with butter

Lunch: E3Live; Hawaiian Pizza Garden pizza slice

Snack: two more pieces of nougat

Mini-Pre-Dinner: leftover prawn curry from last night with basmati rice

Dinner: a giant, delicious, vegan Thanksgiving dinner, with several pale ales, coffee & Kahlua and two servings of upside-down pear cake with Coconut Bliss ice cream

Weird, but I wasn't even all that into binging on junk food today... I was more interested in just eating normal foods that I missed like bread, rice and pizza. Though I guess I was also saving space to accommodate the enormous Thanksgiving dinner.

10 October 2011

4-Hour Body: Day 7

Ayoub's on Denman
Normally I would have been allowed to have a cheat day by now, but I have Thanksgiving plans for tomorrow, so I'm saving it for then. So, ONE MORE DAY TO GO until cream puffs and chocolate chip muffins and other deliciousness.

Breakfast: lentils, spinach & fried eggs

Breakfast #2: E3Live; coffee

Snack: a couple spoonfuls of leftovers from Friday; spoonful of all natural peanut butter

Snack #2: box of raisins

Exercise: a two-hour walk through Stanley Park with Sonya

Snack #3: handful of raw pistachios from Ayoub's

Snack #4: a few spoonfuls of last night's burrito mush leftovers

Snack #5: cauliflower and spicy hummus

Dinner: prawn curry (prawns, onion, yellow pepper, hot pepper, oyster mushrooms, curry paste, coconut milk, ginger, lime & cilantro) with chickpeas

Dessert: handful of cacao nibs

two glasses of red wine; more pistachios


09 October 2011

4-Hour Body: Day 6

Breakfast: lentils, orange peppers, parsnips, cauliflower & cottage cheese; coffee

Exercise: Bickram yoga (90 minutes). I like how I feel several hours after doing yoga, but I remain ambivalent about the ridiculous heat.

Snack: handful of cacao nibs

Lunch: tempeh with coconut-peanut butter sauce with parsnips, cauliflower & lentils

Snack: wheatgrass juice

Dinner: burrito mush (minus the burrito) by Jay: black beans, avocado, tomato, orange pepper, jalapeño, cilantro & lime. Served with the last of the parsnips & cauliflower

Also: two and a half glasses of red wine; handfuls of peanuts and half of a Palm Bay Key Lime Cherry Spritz

How I Cheated: That extra half glass of red wine and of course the Palm Bay drink. (I blame the latter on thirst; my only options at the Zoo Zhop were that or beer.)

07 October 2011

4-Hour Body: Day 5

Morning #5. #4hb
Breakfast: lentils, peas, parsnips, cauliflower, orange peppers & cottage cheese (seasoning: sage, pepper, onion powder, ground mushroom spice)

Breakfast #2: just coffee

Snack: gala apple

Snack #2: carrots, broccoli & cauliflower with lemon dill hummus

Lunch: black beans & salsa; espresso

Snack #3: cottage cheese

Snack #4: avocado with hot sauce

Snack #5: carrot & celery sticks with spicy hummus

Szechuan Squash!
Dinner: delicata squash, orange peppers, chickpeas, parsnips, cauliflower & ground peanuts with Szechuan peanut sauce, on a bed of green beans with a glass of red wine

Exercise: none

I was surprised how good dinner was! I originally intended to try to use my Spirooli to make noodles out of the squash, knowing nothing about squashes, such as the fact that they are filled with seeds -- not the best to try and force through little noodle-making holes. So instead I seeded the squash and sliced it up and sautéed it in butter. Then added the peppers and sauce, and a couple minutes later the chickpeas, parsnip & cauliflower couscous (because I have so much of it left over) and some ground peanuts.

According to this diet, I think only spaghetti and acorn squash are ok (other squashes are much higher in sugar); you are also not supposed to overdo it on the chickpeas and peanuts (not to mention almonds, cashews, hummus, etc.). Nevertheless I don't think you can say that this dinner wasn't healthy. Everything is relative. I think it was as healthy as it was tasty.

4-Hour Body: Day 4

Mexican slow carb lunch
Breakfast: scrambled eggs, spinach & lentils with yellow peppers & ground flax seed; coffee

Breakfast #2: espresso; green smoothie: spinach, date, strawberries, banana, cacao powder & maca powder

Snack: celery sticks

Lunch: black beans, salsa & avocado with parsnips & cauliflower

Snack: espresso; carrots, broccoli & cauliflower with lemon dill hummus; Medjool date

Inter River Bike Park
Dinner: yesterday's leftovers (veggie ground round, mixed beans, spinach, onions & yellow peppers with parsnips & cauliflower) with a glass of red wine

Also: two more glasses of red wine at the Biltmore; handful of cashews

Exercise: brisk lunchtime walk to Inter River Bike Park (40 minutes)

How I Cheated: I had one glass of wine too many (the book recommends a limit of two per day). I also had a couple sips of Jay's beer because it was coconut-flavoured so I had to know what it tasted like. (It tasted o-k.)

05 October 2011

4-Hour Body: Day 3

Breakfast: spinach, yellow peppers, onions, lentils, black beans, chickpeas & cottage cheese; coffee

Snack: last night's leftovers; broccoli & cauliflower with spicy hummus

Snack #2: avocado with Worchestershire sauce; coffee

Lunch: green smoothie: spinach, date, strawberries, goji berries, banana, lime & maca powder

Dinner: Yves Asian Veggie Ground Round, Unico Bean Medley, spinach, onions & yellow peppers with parsnip & cauliflower couscous*

Also: Medjool date

Exercise: Bickram yoga (90 minutes), during which I almost fainted

*"Parsnip & cauliflower couscous" is actually just parsnips and cauliflower, chopped and then pulsed in the food processor until they become roughly the size and shape of couscous. I tried this with turnips as well when I was experimenting with the raw food diet, but I think parsnips taste better. You don't have to cook the couscous either -- just eat it raw with a stir-fry or whatever you'd usually put on couscous or rice.

How I Cheated: I'm surprised by my lack of cheating thus far. Of course it is only day 3. If I get technical, I did eat fruit again, and I'm just assuming the veggie ground round is ok, though it contains some wheat protein further down the list of ingredients, and now that I just checked it again, well it contains flour and sugar as well. Dates are really high in sugar, but also are really effective in fighting chocolate/dessert cravings, so I have decided to approve of them.

04 October 2011

4-Hour Body: Day 2

Green smoooothie. Feat. maca & cacao
So far this diet is fairly easy. I was already in the habit of making green smoothies (I'm ignoring the fact that fruit is frowned upon), I've discovered that eating just black beans and salsa is really delicious, I get to drink red wine, and I know that in just a few days I'll get to cheat and eat whatever I want. I've been feeling good too, and pretty focused.

Breakfast: E3Live; lentils, peas & onions with scrambled eggs; coffee

Breakfast #2: coffee again; green smoothie: greens+, maca powder, cacao powder, dates, strawberries, banana

4-Hour Body: Day 2Snack: Medjool date

Lunch: black beans & salsa

Snack: broccoli & carrots with lemon dill hummus; Medjool date; peanuts

Tiny Lunch #2:
more black beans & salsa

Dinner: Sunrise sesame ginger "tofu n' sauce" stir-fry with chickpeas, onions, zucchini & yellow peppers on green beans with a glass of red wine

Exercise: walking to and from the grocery store and around Park & Tilford Gardens at lunch (30 minutes)

I've already started planning my day of gluttony. So far I want some Oreos and a chocolate chip muffin. (Direct result of product placement in a book, and the smell of fresh-baked muffins that lingers mysteriously in the air outside my work in the morning. [I think it wafts across the creek from J.J. Bean.])

How I Didn't Cheat: I skipped SHiNDiG this week, which means I didn't drink a beer, but which also means no review of the weekly cask ale. SORRY TO LET MY PUBLIC DOWN.

4-Hour Body: Day 1

Yesterday I started the 4-Hour Body diet. I directly blame this on seeing myself in the Bickram yoga mirror on Sunday. (I secondarily blame Sonya, who gave me the 4-Hour Body audio book.) So, for the next while, however long this lasts, I will post what I eat ALL DAY, every day. I will also, at the end of each post, include How I Cheated, because I don't expect to be following the diet all that strictly.

Actually I'm not even finished listening to the audio book yet. What I'm doing right now is just based on the first chapter. Key points of this chapter include avoiding all white carbs (eg. bread, pasta), constructing all meals of protein, legumes and veggies (no grains), and taking one whole day off a week, when you can indulge in anything you want. Sound healthy? I don't know. The author of the book is not a doctor, "nor does he play one on the internet." Allegedly having that day of indulgence once a week stops your metabolism from slowing down due to the lower caloric intake during the rest of the week. (Did that make sense?) The indulgence kicks it back up again. And there is supposed to be some exercise happening somewhere in there, but I haven't got to that part yet.

Anyway. Here's what I ate.

Breakfast: E3Live; lentils, eggs, tomatoes & spinach; coffee

Breakfast #2: green smoothie: spinach, dates, goji berries, strawberries, banana, lime & maca powder

Snack: broccoli & carrots with lemon dill hummus

Lunch: black beans & salsa

Snack: black plum

Dinner: zucchini spaghetti with Szechuan peanut sauce & tomatoes, with lentils, peas & onions

Also: some peanuts and a glass of red wine (red wine is the only alcohol you're allowed to consume on this diet.)

Exercise: walking from vet to vet at lunch, in pursuit of flea medication for oversized cats (about 20 min.)

How I Cheated: Fruits (except for tomatoes and avocados) are not allowed on this diet because they are so high in sugar. However, I refuse to give up my morning green smoothie -- it took me a long time to get into the habit of making them, and I don't want to lose that habit. HOW BAD CAN STRAWBERRIES AND BANANAS BE FOR YOU. The Szechuan peanut sauce is probably also cheating due to its sugar content, but I am ok with that.

03 October 2011


Zucchini Spaghetti
Despite Friday-night pizza, Saturday-morning bratwurst, and a Starbucks doughnut I forgot to mention, at some point I tried to be healthy on the weekend and ate a bunch of zucchini spaghetti.

Z-pasta II
And then some more. And then I took things a step further on Sunday and did Bickrams yoga in the morning. By late afternoon I couldn't really move and had to eat a lot of ibuprofens and the only thing I could make was tomato soup, the old stand-by for when I'm sick or otherwise incapable of functioning.

Tomato soup; too delicious to photograph before it disappears.
It was so good that I ate it all before I could photograph it.
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