Saturday, February 9, 2013

Adventures In Tofu

I am so very proud of myself.  I ate tofu yesterday.  OK, that's really not something spectacular of which to be proud.  What makes me proud is that I cooked it.  It was not just the tofu in my hot and sour soup from the Chinese place across the street.

I like to cook, so tofu shouldn't be such an accomplishment for me.  But 90% of my cooking falls under traditional American-style meat-eater.  And my vegetarian cooking, aside from salads and pasta dishes, was all Indian.  Since the doc put the kibosh on the spices, I had to venture outside my comfort zone.

I made a delicious vegan soup yesterday using tofu and vegetable broth.  I'm going to have to look up how to make the broth - this was my first time EVER using packaged broth, and it made me feel more than slightly inadequate.  I pan fried the tofu with some Tastefully Simple Rustic Herb seasoning and a smidgen of the Italian Garlic Bread seasoning.  I added this to the broth with some barley and "California Medley" (cauliflower, broccoli, and carrot) veggies.  It needed salt and pepper, but it was so yummy and very filling.

The butternut squash I made for the side was not so yummy, but that was my fault.  I burned it, and then ate it anyhow.  I never made squash before.  So now I needs more water if I am going to cook it on the stove.

Today I did have meat.  Some turkey meatballs.  I'm not going to just throw out the meat I have.  But I am not buying anymore.  The spaghetti and meatballs was the perfect meal for tonight.  It's been cold in the North East USA.  Between the soup last night and the spaghetti tonight, I'm nice and warm.

Someone told me that this switch to semi-veganism would make me lose a ton of weight.  I said "not likely".  I know (via the interwebs) plenty of fat vegans.  I don't care about getting skinny, but I do care about staying healthy.  I think adding so much more fresh food to my diet will help a lot in that regard.

What is your go-to food when it's cold out?  If you were to give up a certain aspect of your diet (meat, sugar, dairy, whatever), what would you miss the most about that aspect?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Reluctant Vegetarian

[TMI Warning]
For the last year or so, I have been having problems with my stomach.  I have problems with reflux and gastritis.  I've also had more than my share of nausea and vomiting.  I've always been the girl who would rather sit there and feel horrible than throw up and feel relief, so the fact that I have barfed more times in the last 12 months than the last 12 years is more than somewhat alarming.

[end TMI]

After the last endoscopy, the GI doc gave me a list of foods I shouldn't eat if I want my digestive tract to calm down.  There were not many foods on the "safe" list.  No: coffee (regular or decaf), caffeinated tea, mint tea, mint, dairy, fat, oil, gravy, tomato products, coconut, pineapple, citrus fruit or juice, onion, garlic, fatty meats, chocolate, or spices.  Did I mention no chocolate?  

I can have all the plain rice or pasta I want.  But really, who wants pasta without sauce of some kind?  No cream sauce, no marinara, not even olive oil and garlic.  The doc did finally relent on the olive oil, but in minimal amounts.   No cheese, no ice cream.....

However, I want to get better.  So I started making changes to my diet.  As it turns out, vegetarian with a strong vegan bent seems to be what makes my stomach the happiest.  Dumping milk was easy, after the first sip of soy milk.  I was surprised at how much better it tastes.  And by how much less flatulent I am.  (sorry, more TMI)  Almond milk is equally yummy.  The vanilla varieties are a little sweet, but have their places.

Then I tried the Boca burgers....and was surprised again!  They are yummy.  I just got the plain ones, but it was good.  

This week I am trying more veggie based foods.  I'm not sure about giving up eggs and yogurt though.  I like baked goods way too much, and yogurt helps my belly in ways that other dairy products do not.  We'll see how it goes.

Anyone out there have recipes for things they like?  The only caveat is that I don't like mushrooms; the texture grosses me out.

Monday, January 14, 2013

It's Time to Bust Out the Thesaurus, or: New Year's Resolutions

I owe you all an apology.  I do, after all, possess a degree in English, albeit literature and not writing.  I have been reading my old entries, and have discovered that I use the word "exhausted" far too frequently.  I am exhausted.  This, that, or the other is exhausting.  I get tired just reading the blog.  For this, I sincerely apologize.  The only thing that should have exhaust is my car.

On the plus side, I think I have gotten to the bottom of my tiredness.  Aside from how taxing it is to try to blend in, I am probably a little anemic.  I will be talking to my doctor at the end of the month about it.  I have been on acid blockers for the past year and a half in an effort to stop wanting to vomit all the time.  (tiredness and nausea: not always caused by pregnancy.  Who knew?)  My last scope indicated more inflammation rather than less, so we're changing what I can eat in a drastic way.  This makes my diet pretty boring, even for an Aspie.  To shorten the story up a little, what it comes down to is that long term use of acid blockers can cause malabsorption of vitamin B-12, which can lead to anemia, which causes tiredness.

I'm combating that with supplemental B-12 and iron.  To deal with trying to blend in wearing me out, I've ceased trying to blend in.  Like me or lump me, I'm me.  Mostly people let me be now, so it is working out so far.

The other egregious error I noticed in my reading is that one day I posted that things are getting better all the time.  This was mostly a play on the Beatles song, but also a reflection that things were getting better at that time.  However, the very next post was about how things don't ever get better if you have Asperger's.  Class, can we say contradiction?

I also didn't mean for it to be so very negative sounding.  I just meant that currently society isn't at a place where it is ready to accept spectrumites as they are, although we are rather vocal online about it.  I wouldn't change my diagnosis for anything.   While there are certainly difficulties, I think being an Aspie gives me a unique perspective on the world that neuro-typicals do not have.  I would just like to see us get to the place where what the wider world knows about autism and Asperger's is more than feeling we are something that needs to be cured.

I didn't really make any New Year's resolutions.  I think they are dumb.  However, I am going to work on the quality of my writing.  I hope you'll stick with me as I try to grow.  Thanks for hanging with me this far!