Why Do I Put Myself in Pain?

It is a beautiful Sunday morning and the weather is absolutely gorgeous.  I live in sunny Florida and it has been super hot.  A better way to put it is that it has been smoldering here.

Why Pain1

Now that it is starting to cool off, I have no excuse not to get back outside and exercise.   I have not done any physical exercise for months and I have not written a blog post for a year.

That is crazy for me to even write because I love blogging.  I have been blogging, but on a different blog.  You see I started my own social media agency and that is all I’ve had time for.  One thing I noticed is when I was blogging here on LizForADay I lived better.

That sounds even crazier but it is so true.  So I decided to jump back on the band wagon.  Blog and get back to my healthier state.  I think the weather has motivated me.

If that makes sense.

Now Why Do I Put Myself in Pain?

Why Pain2

The title of this post was inspired by my urges to eat food that I love, but actually cause me physical pain.  I’m sure I’m not the only one in the world that does this. Currently I noticed that:

Eggs makes my stomach hurt.

Ice Cream makes my stomach hurt.

And chocolate makes my stomach hurt.

You would think that a vegetarian would know better, but nope that is not the case.  So today I’m a vowing to stop torturing myself and make better choices when it comes to eating the foods above.

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 10.30.40 AM

I started compiling some vegan & vegetarian recipes that I would like to try on Pinterest.  You can join me there if you like at http://www.pinterest.com/smartofficehelp/vegetarian-recipes/

I love Pinterest. You should try it if you haven’t already.

That’s it for today.

Are there any folds that are painful for you to eat?

What is Tofu? I got a Tofu Infographic and a Tofu-riffic Recipe to Share

What is Tofu? Tofu infographic to the rescue! :) Inquiring minds want to know.  Tofu has eluded my plate since…well forever.  Like most, I really haven’t thought much of those big blocks of white, mushy looking, whatever.

I gotta to tell ya that most of my vegetarian and vegan eating is really one big experiment.  Although it is an experiment, I’m still committed to the “no flesh” lifestyle.  That includes no fish.  I’ve finally given up the fish.

I’m continuously trying new recipes and really enjoying the ride.  Being an non conniver has really opened up a gazillion food options for me that I’m really loving.

I love to cook, so there is no issue with me whipping my own meals up.  I much prefer to make my own food rather than to go to a resturant  or a mystery kitchen.  Sometimes a woman has to do what a woman has to do though.  Lots of social events are at those marvelous places and & I refuse to miss out on the fun. :)

There are a ton of tofu recipes in the veg/vegan universe.  But before I took the leap I needed more information. I needed to know, what is tofu?

Hence the tofu infographic and I LUV infographics.  :) Enjoy! This will answer the question of what is tofu.

What the Hell is Tofu?

Now that is alot of great info.  Everything you wanted to know in one shot.  I would kiss the infographic creator if I ever met him.  Maybe not…that could go a lot of different ways…nevermind that last statement.  :)

What is tofu
My Tofu-riffic Scramble. Looks like eggs huh?

My Tofu-riffic Scramble

(made before I found the infographic).

1/4 block of firm Tofu

1 TBS Tumeric

Optional ( You can use whatever you have in the fridge)

Roased Red Peppers

Leeks

Onion

Carrots

Mushrooms (I used baby bellas)

Salt & Pepper

Alright, it does not get any simpler than this.  You decide how much of each veggie you would like.  Veggies go a long way so you don’t need much.

Now – Fire up a pan and stir fry all your optional ingredients.  Once they are soften, crumble and throw in your tofu and Turmeric.  Once you feel your tofu is heated, you take it off the stove and plate it up.  That’s it.

[hr color=”light-gray” width=”50%” border_width=”50px” ]

I ate mine with more veggies which I lightly blanched, kale, carrots & cauliflower. The bacon looking item on the plate is hickory smoke tempeh.  I was surprised by the amazing flavors and egg like texture.  It was a winner for me.

I actually made some other tofu recipes and they came out FANTABULOUSLY! :)  (Shock & Awe) you say?  Yes they came out great and I will definitely be keeping tofu in my fridge as a staple for now on.

Your Newly Converted to Tofu

Lizzy :)

What is Tofu Questions:

Have you tried tofu?

What is your opinion of tofu?

Quick, Easy & Super Scrumptious Beet Chips

Beet Chips
I didn’t know I loved beets.

I know what your saying.  Really Beet Chips?  YES.  Lately I’ve been trying different things in the kitchen.  I had the hair brained idea to try foods or should I say vegetables that I wouldn’t otherwise have eaten in the past.

My Beet History…Really there wasn’t one.

As a kid I pretty much lived in what is now referred to as a food desert.  My mom only cooked a limited variety of food.  You know the whole meat and potatoes thing.  It was not until I grew up & moved away that I had access to the huge variety of vegetables that could be had in the US.  I was fed some over cooked, boiled to death beets a couple of times when I was young.  Let me tell you I was seriously unimpressed. Forget about beet chips.

Fast forward to today.  I now have access and the want to go and experience all there is to know about all the elusive veggitti out there.  (Yes I know that was a serious run on sentence and that veggitti is not really a word.)  English was never my best subject.  (Don’t tell all the foreign people I know.) Work with me people. :)

So today I made Beet Chips. I was inspired by the Food Network of course.  Beets must be in season right now, because there are tons or recipes out there.  Here is what I did. Baby steps and Simple are the key words here.

This is one medium beet root on the cookie sheet below.  Yeah it looks like a lot.

Ingredients

1 Beet Root – You can make as many as you like

Enough olive oil to coat the beet chips

Salt

Thats it!

Preheat your over to 425°

Beet Chips
Lay um out.

Step one is to cut the beets in to thin slices. Make sure you keep the leafy part.  It is also edible.  I used it in a juice, but you can also cook them.  Beets without the stems are also available for purchase in any store, but wheres the fun in buying them without the leaves.  Maximize your purchase folks.

Beet Chips
Oh Boy

You can use a mandolin or a food processor, but I just used a knife.  It was easy to cut.  If you don’t want your hands to turn red use a glove.  The juice from a beet is no joke so be careful where you cut them and protect whatever you are wearing.  I had an apron on. Don’t worry if your hands turn red.  It washes off pretty easily.

Next place beet chip slices on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.  I used unbleached parchment paper which you can find in any health food store. Make sure you place the beet chips flat and don’t overlap.

beet Chips
Lay all the beets flat.

Lightly oil all the chips. Don’t go overboard.  I find beets are pretty juicy even in chip form.  A little goes a long way.

Beet Chips
Time to season.

The color is absolutely beautiful.

Lightly salt your chips.  You actually could use other flavors to spice it up.  For this inaugural journey, I decided to just use salt.  Next time ,may be a different story.

Now you can place an additional cookie sheet on top to help them lay flat.  I didn’t, but I may try it in the future.

Place them in the over for about 15 – 20 mins. Keep an eye on them.  You don’t want them to burn.

Beet Chips
All Done.

They don’t look like much but they had a lot of flavor.  I tasted one, and then another and before you know it, I ate them all.

Now I am impressed.  They were actually good. This was a great snack.  There are many more ways I would like to try beets.  The beet chips were a hit for me. I give it a huge thumbs up.  I have expanded my pallet today.  Yeah! :-D You got to try them.

Of course I wanted to give you all a bit more info on Beet Chips…I mean Beets.  :)

It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Magnesium and Potassium, and a very good source of Folate and Manganese.

Read More http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2349/2#ixzz2ZD3cng4R

Beet Chips
Provided by Justaddgoodstuff.com

Go out get you some beets.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

Your Beety Lizzy :)

Beet Chips Question:

Are beet chips already on your menu?

Other that beet chips, what are some other ways you incorporate beets in you diet?

FD268

[author_box avatar=”yes” style=”pink” author_link=”yes” ]

FD240 – TGIF, Daily Mile & Lots of Thanks…Oh Easy Lentil Soup

TGIF Actually, Thursday, is my Friday.  TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) is such a wonderful saying.  This has been a hectic work week and an awesome workOUT week for me.  I have been on fire when it comes to my workouts.  Just the fact that I am doing them consistently is mind blowing.  :) For those of you just joining the LizForADay community I am off on one day and that is Friday.  Oh joy! :)

TGIF reminds me to give thanks…..

I have so much to write about and so little time to do in.  Hey, I wanted to give a shout out to all my new and returning readers.  I also wanted to Thank you all for all the supportive comments that you leave.  I luv, luv, luv comments.

I am trying to get back to my blog reading schedule, so I apologize if you guys don’t see me commenting on your blogs.  I coming back I assure you.  I can never get enough of blog reading.  :) As a matter of fact, I keep adding more blogs to my reader.  I love bloggers.  They are a wealth of GREAT info.  :)

TGIF

Thanks to all the newbies here joining LizForADay. I appreciate your presence.

TGIF reminds of the goals….

Those goals that I haven’t had time to reflect upon and set.  I will leave that for another post.  I am trying to get completely back into my routine and it is tough.  I want to make sure the goals I set are within my success range, if that makes since.

TGIF reminds me that it is time to relax …

And focus on my mind and my body.  I will most likely workout on Friday (today), but I will definitely not be working.

Daily Mile TGIF
My workout for last week & next week. (Click to Enlarge)

I used my time today to schedule my workouts for next week.  That works great for me. First thing that had to happen today is for Miguel & I to make a trip to the post office.  We are working on down sizing.  I don’t think I was too successful at that.  Oh well….

TGIF reminds me to make sure my Daily Mile is updated.

[otw_is sidebar=otw-sidebar-23]

I inadvertently had two Daily Mile accounts.  I couldn’t figure out why my widget was not moving.  Thats all fixed.  I would love to have some friends on daily mile.  It is like having workout partners or should I say workout buddies.  I like buddies better.

TGIF reminds me to prepare for next week.

TGIF
Lentil Soup

I believe mentally preparing for the chaos to come helps me to keep the stress down.  I can prepare some meals, even when I don’t have a kitchen.  Today I am making some vegetarian chili.  Some I will taste, that goes without saying and I will put the rest in the freezer for another day.

Someone asked me what I eat as a vegetarian.  Believe me I ain’t starving.  Here’s one of my go too meals.

TGIF Super Easy Lentil Soup Recipe

(Keep in mind, I use a lot of dried ingredients because I don’t have access to fresh.  Feel free to substitute)

Ingredients

1/2 cup Chopped onion
2 tbs Olive Oil
1 tbs dried Carrots
1 tbs  of dried celery
1 tbs Minced Garlic
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp dried Basil
1 diced tomato
1 cup of Lentils
8 cups of Water
1/2 cup of dried spinach
1/2 cup of dried corn

Saute the onions in the same pot that you will cook the soup.  Once they are soft throw in everything but the spinach.  Cook for 1 hour.  About 45 min in, throw in spinach.  DONE!  It is that easy. Lintels don’t need any soaking either.

Let me tell you, you can’t go wrong with this recipe.  You can put in anything you like or leave out what you don’t like.  I like a lot of corn personally.  Don’t feel like you have to be married to a recipe.  Make it your own.

This turned out to be extremely tasty. You can eat it with rice, quinoa or with some crackers and soup.  I also like to flat pack it in Ziploc bags to save space in the freezer.  I give it a thumbs up and call it a win.  :)

If you are interested you can check out my Vegetarian Chili Recipe.

That’s it for today folks.

Have a Fantabulous Weekend World!

Your Thankful Lizzy :)

TGIF Question:

What does TGIF mean to you?

What is your favorite go to meal?

FD127 – Play with Your Food, Be Happier & Easy Quinoa/Black Bean Burgers

Liz’s Quinoa & Black Bean Burgers

I love food.  I am definitely a foodie.  I not only like love to eat, but I love to cook.  Over the years I have learned to experiment.  Unfortunately the family had to suffer thorough my food failures and at the same time they have benefited from my food successes.  The above picture are some great quinoa black bean burgers that I decided to throw together.  Yes that’s right I love throwing food together, so to speak (not visually speaking). I do like my food to look good.

If I didn’t tell you that these burgers were vergetarian, would you have known?  I think not. Not from the picture.  Anyway it is worth experimenting with food.  As long as you don’t burn the house down, why not go for it.  I do it all the time.  Most of the time, I end up with some great concoctions.  More times than not, I sort of forget what I did and I spend the rest of my life trying to replicate some fantastic recipe that I whipped up on a whim.

In the end I am usually happy with my choices.  It is nice not to be confined to what is considered the normal meal of meat and potatoes.  Since becoming a vegetarian, I have become so much more food aware and my food choices have actually expanded exponentially.

I thought it was time to post a recipe from my limited collection of what I have been able to do with limited resources.  Imagine what I could do if I had a real grocery store.

As you can cooking and eating makes me happy.

Liz’s Easy Quinoa & Black Bean Burgers

Black Beans – I used dried beans and cooked them ahead of time in my crock pot
Quinoa – 1 cup cooked
Onion
Green Bell Pepper
Sun dried Tomatoes
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Cumin 1/2 tablespoon
Egg Replacer 1 tablespoon
Panco Bread Crumbs 1/2 cup
Flour 1 tablespoon

You will notice that I did not put amounts for some of the ingredients.  That’s because I really didn’t know what to put.  I kind of threw everything together to taste.  However you will need to first mix the Quinoa and Black Beans together along with the onions, bell pepper and sundried tomatoes. Mix 1/2 of the mixture in food processor until everything is blended together. Don’t blend it into submission.

Next mix everything together in a bowel. Form your patties. I made mine big, but small slider type sizes would work well also.  Brown on each side in a pan over medium heat.  All you need to do now is fix it up just a you would do a regular burger and enjoy.  There is on going wrong with this one. Your really don’t even need bread. You can add whatever you like.

Remember to play with your food and enjoy these fantabulous burgers.

You Lotus Lizzy :)

Fantabulous Day #106 – Mornings, Meditation & Oat Groats

Oat Groats

I try not to miss breakfast if at all possible.  Although I currently have an aversion to getting up early I do love mornings.  It always seems to be so peaceful and in my mind the air even seems to be still.  I always say the air has not been stirred up yet.  It is nice and quite at that time.

Although, it does not take long for the chaos to begin.  I think my mind starts racing the moment I awaken.  I am already thinking of what must be done at work before my rested eyes open.  Then it is pretty much on.   So I immediately I try to do a little meditation.  I really am not good at meditation.  Not at all!  I could use a lot of help in that area.

I guess this is where a good routine comes in.  I make the bed, take a shower (on non-workout days), listen to some informative podcast while I get ready, do my nails (yes I do my nails in the morning), eat breakfast and last but least I do a little cleanup.

My favorite and most filling breakfast is Oats.  I use to eat Quaker instant oats.  That was before I discovered oat groats and steel-cut oats.  Sometimes these oats are referred to Irish oats.  Once I had these, I never looked back.  They are more labor intensive that regular oats, but well worth it.  I usually cook a batch that will last all week in my crock pot overnight.

Of course you can put anything in them.  Today I added a small banana, honey, blueberries and cinnamon.   MMMMM.  I switch up what I add, but this is still my choice for a quick breakfast.

If anyone can give me some advice on meditation practices I am all ears.

No work out planned today.  It is muscle-building day (rest day).

Have a Fantabulous Day
Your Lurvly Lotus Lizzy :)

Fantabulous Day #106 – Mornings, Meditation & Oat Groats

Oat Groats

I try not to miss breakfast if at all possible.  Although I currently have an aversion to getting up early I do love mornings.  It always seems to be so peaceful and in my mind the air even seems to be still.  I always say the air has not been stirred up yet.  It is nice and quite at that time.

Although, it does not take long for the chaos to begin.  I think my mind starts racing the moment I awaken.  I am already thinking of what must be done at work before my rested eyes open.  Then it is pretty much on.   So I immediately I try to do a little meditation.  I really am not good at meditation.  Not at all!  I could use a lot of help in that area.

I guess this is where a good routine comes in.  I make the bed, take a shower (on non-workout days), listen to some informative podcast while I get ready, do my nails (yes I do my nails in the morning), eat breakfast and last but least I do a little cleanup.

My favorite and most filling breakfast is Oats.  I use to eat Quaker instant oats.  That was before I discovered oat groats and steel-cut oats.  Sometimes these oats are referred to Irish oats.  Once I had these, I never looked back.  They are more labor intensive that regular oats, but well worth it.  I usually cook a batch that will last all week in my crock pot overnight.

Of course you can put anything in them.  Today I added a small banana, honey, blueberries and cinnamon.   MMMMM.  I switch up what I add, but this is still my choice for a quick breakfast.

If anyone can give me some advice on meditation practices I am all ears.

No work out planned today.  It is muscle-building day (rest day).

Have a Fantabulous Day
Your Lurvly Lotus Lizzy :)

Fantabulous Day #102 – Liz’s Day Off, Zombie Long Run, Compression Sleeves, Protien Power & Homemade Chili

liz's day off
Compression Sleeves

Well Friday is my one day off.  I try to maximize my time in a positive way of course.  Check out those legs.  That is me wearing my new compression sleeves for my long run.  This week was 4.41 miles.  I am rebuilding after my vacation slow down.   I used my Zombie run App my phone.  As you can see I am also wearing my new kicks as well.  I  really like WordPress because it is so easy to upload my pictures.

Liz's Day Off
Hemp Powder

Then once I got back I drank some protein powder for muscle recovery.  My body does not do well at all with Whey, so I steer clear if I can.

Liz's Day Off
Vegetarian Chili

I had some homemade chili going for din din.  It is very Easy to make.  See recipe below.  My options were limited here so I have to go extremely easy.

Liz's Day Off
Flat Packed Chili

Because my fridge is so small, I have to flat pack my leftovers.  This is a great way to store soups and strews.  I use small bags so I can practice much-needed portion control.

Easy Vegetarian Three Bean Crock Pot Chili
Yields approximately 8 servings

Ingredients  – Note:  amounts are approximate, I eyeball a lot.

Kidney Beans – Dried 1 cup
Pinto Beans – Dried 1 cup
Black Beans – Dried 1 cup
Onions – 1 medium
Bell Peppers – Yellow, Green & Red – 1/2 of each colored pepper, medium
Garlic – 2 cloves or 2 tbsp of minced garlic
Tomato Paste – 3 tbsp
Tomato Powder – 1/4 cup
Cumin – 2 tbsp
Chili Powder – 3 1/2 tbsp
Parsley – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1/2 tbsp
Pepper – 1/4 tbsp

Night Before Prep – Soak Beans in water.  Use lots of water because the beans will grow as they soak. This will essentially take the some of the gas out of your beans.

Morning of Rinse beans and put in regular pot.  Cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cook for 10 min.  This will kill any bacteria that may have decided to evade you beans over night.  Transfer to crock pot.

Let your beans cook on low for about 4 to 5 hrs.  This will also help to release the gas.  Don’t add any additional ingredients until this point.  Add onions, garlic, & all bell pepper.

Remember – Do not add any salt or any acid containing ingredients until the end.  You risk making your beans tough if you do.

At about hour 7 or 8 add all other ingredients and you are ready to chow down. I like mine with crackers.

MMM.  It does not get any simpler than that.

Send me some of your favorites.  Vegetarian please.

Enjoy

Your Lotus Lizzy

Fantabulous Day #101 – Life is Good, Good Friends & Good Eats, Easy French Toast

I really enjoy my time off.  It use to be a time when I would work even when I should have been relaxing.  Now I try to do meaningful things with my the time I have for myself.  I think that keeps me centered and relaxed.  Some of those things are working out, chatting with old friends and blog, just to name a few.

Yesterday I got in touch with a high school friend.  I was so happy.  Her name is Yolanda.  Yolanda really was the only real friend I had.  I did not like school at all, but I enjoyed the time I spent with Yolanda.  It was great to find out that she is thriving in her life, just like I am.  She looks so happy and beautiful in her pictures.  That is so awesome.  My cousin Linda, you may remember she was my crew for my last 5K, she is more like my sister but she was also my friend.  I have to give her an honorable shout out.  I love my peeps. :)

I woke up this morning in really good mood.  I started my dinner, chili.  I soak some beans last night and I plopped into the crock pot this morning.  I should have some fresh homemade chili by this afternoon.  Now it is time for breakfast.  Extremely easy French Toast.

Liz’s Extremely Easy French Toast

1 Egg  or Egg Replacer
Milk, I use soy milk
Vanilla Extract – a dab
Your favorite bread

You heat up your pan to medium and melt just enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan.  Mix all the above ingredients and dip the bread very quickly on both sides.  Drop in skillet and brown on both sides.  Add more butter on top if you like.  That’s it.  It is ready to eat.  I like mine with cinnamon sugar or you can use syrup.

Enjoy!

Your Lotus Lizzy :)

Fantabulous Day #70 – Are You Nutritionaly Starving? & Vegaterian Calzone Recipe

  This is one of my recipe successes.  Vegetarian Calzone, made with love.  I have found that I if I want to have the proper foods, I have to make them myself.  Of course I love to cook.  I am faced with a dilemma, that being where I live at.  I am working an living in Kabul, Afghanistan at about 6000 ft above sea level.  Oh did mention I live on a small compound that I am not allowed to leave, reside in a small room that I am also not suppose cook in.  That means no access to go to a store or restaurants myself.

In these situations I have learned to be creative.  I request assistance from some of the local guys that I work with to get me fresh vegetables.  I have a small oven with a stove on top that only works on high.  So far I have not burnt anything up.  Thank God for that. 

For all you carnivores, no offense, this is actually a great dish.  You could add meat if you wish.  It is pretty clean except for the dough.  I made that myself also.  I am so proud of myself.  I never made any type of pastry by hand and it came out perfectly.

So if you would like to try your hand at this recipe here ya go:

FYI – I kind of eyeballed the ingredients.  It is that easy!

This will yield 4 nice size portions.  2 for pigs like myself.   



Dough
1 cup of self rising flour
2 tbs of regular flour (for high altitudes0
3 tbs of butter (cold)
Water

Cut the butter up in to small pieces.  Cut butter into flour with a fork.  Add small amout of water.  Mush everything together until you can form a ball with the dough.  Let it rest for about 15 min in the fridge. 


Filling

1 Tbs Olive Oil
Minced Garlic
Chopped Tomatoes
Chopped Green, Red, Yellow Bell Peppers
Chopped Onions
Chopped mushrooms – Whatever you have available.
Oregano
Basil
Parsley
Salt
Pepper
Crushed Red Pepper
Black Pepper
Salt
Cheddar Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
( You can throw in the kitchen sink if you like.  This is a great way to use whatever you have on hand. )

Heat the olive oil and saute the peppers, garlic, onions and mushrooms.  Add the tomatoes last and season to taste using the above seasonings.  Always add the herbs in last.

Combine.

Preheat oven to about 375 degrees F.  If you are at a high altitude like me crank it up to 425 degrees F.  Put a small amount of oil in the container you will be using.  Cut the dough into four parts and roll out.  Wait for filling to cool before adding.  Add the filling to one side and add lots of wonderful cheddar and mozzarella cheese.  Fold over the dough and pinch close.  Brush the tops with olive oil.  Cut slits into the top to release the heat so your masterpiece does not explode.  Cover with foil to keep from burning the tops.

Cook for about 15 to 20 min.  Longer for use mountain people. 

You can let it rest or chow down once it is done.  Of course I chowed down.   

If you have some fantabulous vegetarian recipes (Easy)  I would love to hear from you. 

Your Lovable Lotus Blossom
Lizzy