Sunday, December 12, 2010

Lucky Gal

I've got an incredible new job, working with amazing people at a health company that truly helps people in need.  I feel very blessed.  People there are genuinely interested in creating better health for what I would call the disenfranchised.

The snow is keeping me from running outside, because I am a baby, so I run indoors.

I might write more eventually, but lately I've just been enjoying READING other people's work.

Take care all :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fall Running

Well I am back after an incredibly long hiatus.  I recently moved to Chicago, joined a sketch comedy all-ladies group, and am trying to keep my head above water juggling work, theatre, and everything else....which is pretty normal.

That being said, I am still loving being a vegan, and happy to say that I am smoke-free which is helping my running quite a bit.

Now, THAT being said, I want to start discussing better ways to fuel our exercise.  I've noticed that though my mileage has picked up a bit, I haven't yet determined how to fuel properly before/afterward in a way that sustains me.

Typically, after a run, I am very hungry.  But, as Brendan Brazier tells us, it's not smart to just inhale a large meal.  Our bodies are recovering and we need to provide them with something easily digestible that goes straight to our muscles so that, rather than expending energy on our digesting food, the energy is sent to work on on repairing our muscles.

So this week, following my longer runs, I am going to experiment with having a Vega shake to see how I feel after that, because thus far my energy level has been dropping like CRAZY after I run and eat lunch.

Take care all!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Prodigal Daughter of the Blogosphere

I have been remiss and not posted for way too long.  But I'm making a comeback!

In regards to being a strong vegan runner, I have conquered my achilles tendon issues as well as some chain smoking tendencies that popped up after I quit my anti-depressants (lordy, I sound like a mess!--but I'm not--just human).  I have begun running again, starting out with a modest 1 mile run and walking.  I feel great, and my body is responding well.

More to come!  PCRM's 21-day kickstart is beginning, so I will be posting on that, as well as on a non-vegan wedding I'm a bridesmaid in this coming Monday. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Good LORDISA the BEST BROWNIES EVER: Fudgy Wudgy Blueberry Brownies

When I tasted the other-wordly richness and deliciousness of these supernaturally powered brownies, I felt like flying and singing the praises of this dessert to anyone who would listen.

It was worth purchasing Veganomicon solely to get this recipe.  If all the other dishes are even remotely as good as these fudgey, luscious, orgasm-inducing brownies, I'm set for life.

A happy vegan am I :).

Please do yourself a favor and buy this book!

One of my roommates turned his nose up at the concept of blueberry brownies, VEGAN ones at that, but he was the first to try them, and not only did he love them, he went back for seconds.  For the following days that those yummy treats remained I very rarely ever saw him or my boyfriend without brownie in hand.  Success!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

What do you do after watching a terrifying movie like Se7en?

Why cook yourself up a single serving of comfort food!  I like to call my supper tonight Hodge-Podge Pasta.  Now, I'm not knocking your average marinara sauce, but sometimes a lady needs to add some fiber and protein to an otherwise deliciously carbo-loaded meal.  When that happens, turn to your leftovers and raw vegs.  (Methinks this blog may be turning into vegan cooking for one, which I am perfectly comfortable with).  

To avoid leftover pasta (which you may end up gorging yourself on at 12 am...which I of course would never do...cough cough) buy yourself a pasta measurer.  I got mine for 99 cents at my local Goodwill.  You can easily measure single, double, triple servings--do it up your way!  This way you're not going to bed with a full belly.  I used egg-free angel hair spinach fettuccine.  Pair this dish with some crusty bread (or whatever you have on hand--I have sprouted grain bread right now) and top that off with a dollop of hummus instead of butter for a lighter load.  Or hell--grab that earth balance and go to town.

Cook it.  Set aside.

3/4 C no salt added marinara sauce
1/4 C black beans (from last night's dish)
1 tsp minced garlic
a few fingerfuls of black olives (from last night's dish)
a few broccoli florets
some diced red onions
coupla shakes of red chile pepper flakes
black pepper and salt to taste

Nothing hard here...Just toss it all into a pot and cook 'til the veggies get soft.  Once that happens, throw that pasta in, stir it around 'til it gets all hot and lovely, then serve it up and dig in.

...and maybe grab a second piece of bread.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Off the Heezy Inventive Thai Pasta

Hey all!  It's been a long time since I posted, but I promise, this simple, affordable one-serving wonder makes it all worth it.  I recently moved to Chicago--literally yesterday--and tonight decided to cook up something tasty, cheap, and good for me.

Now, I call it Thai, but in all honesty it's just an almond butter dressing with some Asian influence.  My boyfriend enjoyed picking at my dish so much he insisted I call it Off the Heezy, and when a carnivore endorses it, you know it's got some yum factor. The ingredients are scaled to one but feel free to double, triple, sixtuple...?  Tweak it and enjoy!

Thai Sauce:

1 Tbsp Creamy Salted Almond Butter (Trader Joe's is a delicious, affordable brand)
1 Tbsp Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
1/4 tsp minced garlic (again, Thank you Mr. T. Joe)
1 tsp brown rice syrup (for a bit of sweetness)

Cook up some pasta or rice (I used penne), steam some broccoli, throw in a couple fingerfuls of black olives, then toss with the sauce, and you have this lovely dish:

For dessert, I think...dark chocolate covered cranberries?  Yes, please.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Seitan Kibbe with Couscous Pilaf, Sumac Salad, and Avocado-Tahini Dressing

...sadly folks, no recipe, this was prepared for me BUT I figured I'd blog about it to inspire any of you incredible chefs out there!

Currently, I'm in Delafield, Wisconsin, a short drive away from Milwaukee and an even shorter one from Madison.  Last night, my beau and I drove to Milwaukee to meet Jeremy's father and his father's lady friend to listen to some music and grab some dinner.  The restaurant chosen was Roots : a hip, inventive and pricey restaurant, but with excellent food.  Roots is a member of the Slow Food Movement that advocates locally grown foods, the celebration of local cuisine, family farms, and a movement away from fast food among MANY other things (besides, well, eating slower).  Though they still support eating meat, at the very least they're against factory farms.  They're easy to find on the net--check 'em out!

I looked at the menu before I left, and with few but interesting, complex choices, I assumed there wasn't much if any vegan fare.  On the contrary!  When I asked our lovely waitress if either of the two entrees that seemed vegetarian were vegan, she said BOTH were!  She recommended the Seitan Kibbe, and I went for it, choosing to start the night off with a lovely red wine and a house salad.

True to form, the pace of the dinner moved slowly, and we were there for about two to two and a half hours, and had a LOVELY time.  The starters to the dinner were great--rather than bring out bread for the table, the waitress brought us "snacks," three little bowls filled with MORE vegan choices: various pickled vegetables (so yummy and clearly made there, with broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, green beans), chickpea nuts (first time I've had them--loved the texture, would have personally toyed around a bit with the spices and gave them a kick but hey, not everyone likes spicy!) and perfectly popped popcorn!  What healthy treats to bring out beforehand!

The salad I had was seemingly very simple but delectable, with some really fascinating tastes.  Greens can be so complex...

Finally, the Seitan Kibbe entree.  Though I took zero pictures last night (it felt like it would have been rude) I found great pics online quite close to what I actually ate (though of course the presentation at Roots was much fancier, though these photographers did a great job!).

Let's start with the was delicate and light.  However, I have never seen couscous with such large balls (as seen left). But I loved it.  Perfect consistency.

The seitan intrigued me.  I was almost ready to send it back when she set the plate in front of me, it looked SO much like some sort of roast.  By itself, it was good, but not blow-your-mind incredible.  My beau gave it a go and said that it was seasoned well (and knowing my beau, this implies he didn't like the texture).  But for a veg-head like me, the texture is familiar.  And, when I combined all the lovely tastes of the dish--the couscous, the yummy and not overwhelming avocado-tahini sauce featured on the side of the plate and not dressing the dish, the sumac salad which consisted of unknown yet tasty spices flavoring cukes and onions, and the seitan, I was quite, quite pleased.  As you can see above, I'm having difficulty finding an adjective for the concept of lightness and unassuming...ness?  But everything in the dish was simply a team, and nothing overpowered anything else.  

I left the restaurant having had not just food but an experience, so it seems that the Slow Foods Movement achieved it's goal with me last night:).

Now, unfortunately I must include a bit of a caveat.  I left last night satiated but slightly uncomfortable, and as time wore on my digestive system was PISSED.OFF and I won't lie, I looked prego.  I can't help but think it was because I ingested such large, concentrated sources of wheat gluten at one sitting (seitan=vital wheat gluten).  Which makes me wonder if I have a sensitivity to wheat, something I've also wondered in the past.  Either that or it simply was too much gluten at once.  I may have to try an elimination diet....

Keep on keepin' on with grace, peace, love, and wellness:).

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Great and Gentle Beast

Hello all!  I just returned from a lovely vacation to my beau's family's home in Cocoa Beach, Florida, and I must say it was incredible.  Though lounging gets difficult for me (I'm a bit restless and fidgety as a rule, so the concept of a vacation takes a couple days for me to really commit to it and adjust) I fell in love with the beauty of the area.

Along with that, I was blessed to witness so many creatures!  I saw upwards of ten manatees at a crazy close range and got to watch them play and feed and swim for two hours!  I also saw pelicans, a turtle, and a few porpoises VERY close.  Seeing all of these animals not only reinforces my beliefs when it comes to eating humanely, but it puts my actions into a practical realm that I can see.  Being vegan is wonderful, but when you get to witness firsthand animals that are affected (for instance, sea animals affected by overfishing, global warming affecting their habitat, etc) your purpose is renewed.

I looked up manatees (who are veg-eaters too!) online, and thought I would share some information with you all from

West Indian manatees have no natural enemies, and it is believed they can live 60 years or more...A high number of fatalities [aside from natural causes] are from human-related causes. Most human-related manatee fatalities occur from collisions with watercraft. Other causes of human-related manatee mortality include being crushed and/or drowned in canal locks and flood control structures; ingestion of fish hooks, litter, and monofilament line; and entanglement in crab trap lines. Ultimately, loss of habitat is the most serious threat facing the approximately 3,800 manatees in the United States today.

Tragically, of the manatees that I saw, almost all had some sort of scar on their backs, clearly caused by the propellars of boats.  It's tragic.  They do not understand that boats are not friendly creatures, and people are too careless.

Finally, in observing so many majestic creatures in Florida I couldn't help but be sobered by remembering the disastrous oil spill.   Please visit: to see plenty of links that will direct you to sites should you wish to donate your time, energy, and/or money--and please please do!

With a fully belly from a delicious salad of spinach, tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, red onions, and a yummy piece of ezekial bread with hummus on top, I sign off and wish you all wellness, happiness, and peace:).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mad World

So I tend to have a bit of an obsessive nature.  Recently I discovered the television show Mad Men on my Netflix, and it's all been downhill from there.  I stayed up until 4 in the morning last night watching this show.  Despite needing to wake up to feed the dogs and oh, I don't know, go to work.

Back to Mad Men: despite its vintage subject, it deals with issues highly relevant to today.  One most intriguing and personal subject is the role that women play during this time period.  Now, before you roll your eyes at me and say, ho hum Landree, it's a gosh-darn television show!  It's not like real life!  I must say that I listened to an NPR feature on the show, and though they say it's a little rosy colored and formulaic, it's actually fairly true to the times.

If you haven't seen the show, women play the role you might anticipate during the late 50's, early 60's: subservient, meek, self-deprecating, FOCUSED ON PLEASING MEN.  I.E. serving them, GETTING one if they don't have one already, pretending to be virginal if that's what men want, pretending to be a vixen in the sack if that's what men want...they are being shape-shifters, even with their friends, though we see moments of truth both with their closest women companions and with their husbands (though again, with their husbands, their true feelings are veiled and presented in watercolors, easily washed away if the husband responds negatively). 

Though women have made great strides along the way here til 2010, something about the show scares me: I find the messages that these women are receiving and believing to be extremely prevalent today.  However, they're now delivered in a much more subtle, cloaked way; thus, we find it difficult to detect when we're being told who to be.  Go through your day, ladies, with a conscious awareness, and see how often we're being told what an ideal woman is.  Everything plays a part: most obviously, the media, but even things like our friends, family, and our religion.  With all these subliminal and forthright messages coming at us, it's difficult to even trust our own intuition, as it is so colored by our society and culture.

This relates to Veganism.  Though all the women whose blogs I read are clearly choosing this lifestyle for a cornucopia of EXCELLENT reasons, as are friends in my personal life, it's clear that other women choose it as a means to an end: THINNESS.  And what does our society tell you being thin brings a woman?  Success and happiness, pure and simple...and what makes a woman successful?  We all may believe different things but I know that within my circle (meaning socio-economic status, city, country), I'm still being told success means finding a man and mothering my own family.  Along with having an incredible career and spotless virtue.

Does it matter that these goals are what bring a person to such a beautiful way of life?  Do the ends justify the means?  I have found that once choosing this lifestyle, the reasons for maintaining it grow in depth and expand in reasons.  At the same time, I can't help but foster anger and outrage at the manner in which we women are encouraged to fulfill certain roles in our culture, making drastic life changes to achieve what is considered "ideal".  To include a disclaimer, I'm not denying that men have their own set of rules and messages that make it difficult for them too.  But fact of the matter is, my paycheck is still less than his and looking at the other discrepancies, I'm noticing a lot of less. 

In this case, less is definitely not more.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nutty for Coconut!

I sure do love coconut. It is delicious and healthy and works in both savory and sweet dishes.

A friend of mine at recommended cooking rice with coconut milk, so I gave it a shot the other night. I used organic light unsweetened coconut milk and simply replaced the two parts water with two parts milk (minus a quarter cup, so I just used water to make up the remaining necessary liquid), threw the one part brown rice and two parts coconut milk into my rice cooker, flipped the switch and forgot about it!

I made a big batch, about 4.5 cups. The resulting rice was moist, with a stickier texture, and not only that, but it has remained moist and perfect even two days after its original cooking. I'm so pleased! Normally my leftover rice is dry and stale, but when cooked in the coconut milk it retained incredible moisture.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think!:)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Taking a Nap...

I've been having a bit of a hard day. But God and the Universe look out for me, helping me to keep things in perspective, stop being so hard on myself, and find joy in the small things.

For example, after finally giving up on being productive, I got into my obnoxiously bright pink robe and headed upstairs to lie down for a bit. Before I did, I decided to check out a few vegan blogs I subscribe to, and lo and behold, found TWO posts on the subject of happiness alone.

Along with that, one of the dogs I nanny, Cleopatra, a very large and chubby dog with the sweetest eyes who very rarely ever jumps onto my bed, climbed up and settled down for a nap too.

Stay tuned for my own post and pictures on things that make me happy, and thank you all for being such beacons of light and love!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Hey friends! I was going through some old pictures on my computer (not that old, I just gave myself a digital camera from my birthday this year, but you get the idea) and for my boyfriend's birthday, I made him the most DELICIOUS CAKE I have ever made.

*cue dusting off shoulders*

It's called Triple Chocolate Fat Pants Cake, and the recipe can be found in Babycakes NYC, a baking book I HIGHLY recommend. Instead of making chocolate chip cookies to go on and in the cake though, I caved and bought some Newman's Os, making kind of a cookies-and-cream cake. Needless to say, the cake was devoured at Jeremy's birthday party! And I had no problems bragging about it hehehe, not to mention telling everyone who would listen that it was Vegan and gluten free.

In Babycakes NYC, the recipes are often gluten free and use natural sweeteners like raw agave nectar, and incredibly nutritious coconut oil which has gotten a bad rap for its saturated fat content. For more nutritional info on coconut oil, visit my dear friend's blog here:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Ok, so I haven't been able to start running yet, but that's ok--my chosen profession (acting) is keeping me PLENTY active. I'm touring a show currently which keeps me on my feet and doing heavy lifting, not to mention running around like an animal for an hour:). I'm staying fit!

I just wanted to take a moment to review one of my favorite new products!

Primal Strips A+
Yum Yum Yum...these vegan jerky snacks are absolutely excellent. They provide a nice burst of protein--10 grams!--are low fat (2 grams) and are easily transported (important when you're on the go like me most hours of the day, seven days a week). Not only that, but I chose to review these in honor of Earth Day because they are packaged in biodegradable plastic! Healthy and compassionate for the bod, the planet, and animals. What more could you ask for?

Keep fighting the good fight!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Can't run the half-marathon because of my achilles tendons. The injury is too painful and once I am allowed to run, I'm only allowed to begin with one milers--clearly, with only 1 week before the race, that is impossible, especially if I want to avoid injuring myself further.

This is pretty disappointing, however! I refuse to let it get me down or set me back too far. Instead, I'm going to be diligent in my time off and work those muscle groups whose weakness helped cause the injury in the first place, so that I can come back better and stronger than ever!

Once I AM back on the road, I will begin another training program, with the goal being 13.1 miles again.

I know I can and will.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I have injured myself. Kinda. I'm in danger of REALLY injuring myself is more appropriate. My achilles tendons are incredibly tight, on the verge of snapping, if I don't make them more flexible and strengthen them. In the meantime, I'm not allowed to run, only cross-train. Of course I find this incredibly stressful, considering that I've topped out at 8 mile runs and the half-marathon is in one month. Plus, I am doing an educational tour, meaning a ten hour day at the very least. I'm pretty exhausted. I'm sure I'll be better tomorrow, I've only had about five-six hours for the past two nights. In fact, after I type this, I'm lying down.

I feel overwhelmed right now.

Thing is....I'm ridiculously competitive with myself when it comes to running...huh. Maybe how I ended up in this predicament in the first place;). Regardless, I will complete the 13.1 miles.

In other news, my vegan diet is finally paying off. I was able to not drink coffee today. That is HUGE. Actually, it was more that I sensed that drinking coffee would make me feel worse, and lo and behold, I believe it HAS been making me feel worse. I did have some green tea later in the morning, but still. Anyone who knows me knows that this is kind of huge. I've tried quitting it in the past, but never have I felt physically READY to. I just always knew I needed to for my optimal health.

Cheers to that.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ode to My Ass

The following post was borne of a conversation with a fellow actor. Apparently the majority of white women (in his opinion) hate their butts and take whatever measure to mask them, minimize them, etc.

My assistant director and I today were discussing the various parts of our bodies that firm up quickly once we begin a more regimented exercise routine, and the other areas that take their good old time to shape up. For her, her arms immediately tone when she pays attention to them. I could work on my arms for months and they're still puny and nothing to write home about.


After running for several months now, I have decided to sing a certain body part's praise that has been developing nicely: My ass. I noticed lately that my pants and even my undies were fitting differently. At first I did not think anything of it; my weight has not changed, so maybe it was just my drier?

Oh no.

As I walked past the mirror at the gym in my sweats that are now a little tighter in a particular area, I realized:

My ass has gotten BIGGER and BETTER.

Now, there are definitely parts of my body that aren't my favorite, but my BUTT?!?! I love my butt. It powers me through runs, keeps me cushioned on chairs, helps create a nice waistline, and, let's be honest, it's a nice handful to grab for our partners! What's not to love? And now it's even stronger! Yay!

I encourage everyone, men and women, to pick one part of their body that they love today and be proud!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A First

I ran my longest training run ever yesterday: 8 miles! It felt pretty good! Around mile 6.5 or 7, my legs started getting pretty sore, but not in an unbearable way, so I kept truckin' along. It was fun, and pretty easy, to be frank. I mean, I was tired, but I could do it.

Let me also make it clear that there has been no sneaking of cigarettes which made the above possible; had I continued to smoke one or two a day I'm sure that my lungs would have refused to cooperate. On that note, I actually had a dream last night that I took a drag on someone else's, and in the dream I met up with my boyfriend and was nervous that he would find out because he kissed me-ha! One of the biggest motivators for me not even occasionally indulge is the fact that he's diligently working to quit right now, and I don't want to make it harder for him.

Additionally, I've been lifting and doing ab work twice a week. This may not be earth-shattering to anyone else, but getting me to lift and do crunches is pretty monumental. I run because I LIKE to run. I don't LIKE to lift. Therefore I don't do it. But I need to...

During my run, I tried to follow Brendan Brazier's advice: when you run longer than 60 minutes, you need to replenish your glucose stores and hydrate. I took this teeny little three ounce bottle of water with me (I don't have any fancy endurance runner equipment yet) and Luna Sport Moon Energy Chews. There were several in the little pack; I only ate one and decided I didn't need anymore, especially since the night before I had waaaay overindulged in sugar and fat, resulting in both a sugar coma that very morning and acid reflux that made me feel like I was going to vomit for much of the run. When I actually use them in earnest, potentially on my ten mile run this week, I'll write a review. My initial reaction, however, was Yum gummy candy. So take that for what it's worth.

Following the run and some stretching, I drank Vega Chocolate Protein Powder. It really helps with my recovery, insuring that I don't feel too sore or exhausted afterwards, or the next day. Brazier expresses in his book Thrive that after a strenuous workout, it's important to choose foods that are easy to digest with the nutrients being as instantly accessible as possible. To put it simply, have a liquid meal instead. Options include Vega (or another healthy meal replacement drink, but be careful, many of them are full of crap and fillers and junk sources of protein), nutritious soup, maybe a smoothie. If you eat a concentrated, heavy meal, your body's blood will go to your stomach to aid in the digestion process as opposed to the muscles that need that blood in order to repair themselves.

I also discovered by running past a window and seeing my reflection (I enjoy seeing my reflection in a window at some point during a run because it helps me correct my form) that I am in dire need of a good sports bra. I was bouncin' all over the place. To be fair, I was wearing Champion's Small, and maybe I should've been wearing Champion's X-Small, which I also own--it's just much tighter, though it keeps me controlled, and it's not UNcomfortable. Once I start purchasing some new gear I will review that in my blog as well.

Lately, by keeping track of my calories I've been doing really well weight-wise and nutritionally, and being a vegan has given me more energy than usual. I still need to get off the coffee train, which I know is keeping me from achieving a purer form of energy and health, but baby steps. Right now, I'm just proud that I am proving myself right: I can be an endurance athlete and a vegan!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Holy Cabooses

Wow. It's been awhile since I've updated. Here's the skinny....

Well, my training has capped at 6 miles for my long distance run, though this week I am scheduled for 8. We might make it seven--I feel as though a 3 mile increase in mileage (the week also calls for a 5 miler and two 3 milers) is a little steep and am surprised the training log suggests it since it's almost a 20% increase and you're typically supposed to stick to a 10% increase to avoid injury.

Nevertheless! I soldier on. Certain things have been hindering my performance lately, 90% of which have been my fault. For instance, smoking...more than a teeny bit. I've begun having 1 or 2 a day and this is no good. I can feel it in my chest, and not only that, I feel my limbs becoming sluggish much earlier during runs since the oxygen is not being transported as well nor am I taking as much in. This ends tomorrow, thank God. Not only that, but I think smoking just makes me stupider in general. It's starving my brain for oxygen. Addictive natures be damned...

Another issue I'm having is a decrease in meds, causing shifts in my body and energy. I'm much more tired and my body hurts just in general. It's a rough process but it's not forever.

Review for
This is an incredibly useful website for not only monitoring your caloric intake, but also the nutrients that you're taking in and how MUCH you should be taking in given your lifestyle and your calorie needs/goals. It's grrrrreat! Along with that, it has so many resources and records of all sorts of foods making food journaling incredibly simple. Plus it's just fun to see if you've met your protein/fiber/carb intake.

Along with that, the website offers many articles on nutrition and exercise.

My one complaint, however, is that often when you type something into Livestrong's search engine, several website options come up, most of them advertising diet gimmicks. It's obnoxious. Other than that, hey, I enjoy it.

Review for Trader Joe's No Salt Added Marinara Sauce: DELICIOUS! I have noticed that my sodium intake is often way over what I actually need for the day, and skeptically purchased No Salt Added Marinara Sauce for those quick convenience meal times. Mind you, I LOVE SPAGHETTI SAUCE. I could eat it plain. I love it even more than I love ketchup. That's saying something. Clearly, the bar was set high for ol' No Salt. But I was highly delighted when I used it last night, and found that I enjoy it even MORE than regular bottled sauce! Not only that, but it didn't leave me with that I'm-craving-something-sweet-and-need-3-cups-of-water sensation.

My one complaint is that it does have added organic evaporated cane juice. Unnecessary, and I'd rather not have an extra blood sugar spike if I can avoid it.

Review for Trader Joe's Meatless Meatballs: Yum Yum Yum Yum Yummy Delicious.

Review for Trader Joe's Brown Rice Penne: I like it. Don't cook it too long however or it becomes irredeemably rubbery. As it is, it still is a bit rubbery when cooked but still tasty and not too chewy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

False Fatty Alarm

Nope. It was water weight. I'm ridiculous.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fatty McFat


I haven't posted in a LONG time. No particular reason for it...I just didn't have any gems of knowledge to share. My mileage has peaked at 6 miles but I gotta start workin' it, I only have about two months before my race! The only problem is the snow...I can't even drive out of my driveway to get to a gym to run on a treadmill let alone run outside with this insane weather.

But on to the title of this post....

I have no idea how it happened. And I have to believe that this is water weight from being on my period (though usually that breaks once my period STARTS). But according to my scale I am FOUR POUNDS UP.

Now, technically, I KNOW that this impossible. I did indulge a little more this week--two evenings, to be exact. This is completely normal for me when I PMS. In fact, I had better control over my eating than I normally do this time around. And calculating my excess calories, I know that it's possible that maaaaybe I ate 3500 (1 pound worth) of extra calories, maybe, if I way overcalculate, maaaybe even 2. I'll go that far.

BUT FOUR?!?!?!?!

I'm not going to lie. I'm concerned. I have been a vegan now for over a month. Is it making me pork up? Sometimes certain diets are just not the best ones for your body. And looking back, when I've gone vegan before, my weight was always stubborn, but as soon as I added some extra protein back in (eggs, dairy) I dropped.

Now granted, any other woman who said she was up four pounds and was freaking out, I'd say come on, your worth is not tied up in your weight, it probably is water weight gain, etc.

But I'm an actress.

And no matter how you spin it and say it's about the art, and it IS, but commercially, I have to be thin. And actually I'm probably a little stout for industry standards--my BMI is absolutely healthy and so I am happy with that as a woman--but realistically, I know that my agent might find me more marketable 5-10 pounds lighter.

I feel defeated and upset and even a little betrayed by veganism, as ridiculous as that may sound. I didn't go vegan to lose weight. Not at all. Veganism for me is an ethical choice. But I am in a career where this matters.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

She works hard for the money...

Hey guys! I hope you're all doing well! I successfully completed my longest distance thus far in my training, five miles, on Tuesday of this week--woohoo! Life is starting to get insanely busy, with my two jobs and rehearsing in the evening, AND preparing for upcoming auditions...geesh. It's going to make it very difficult to get my runs in, along with COOKING instead of buying food out. I really need to save money, though, so I have to be as careful as possible. By the end of May, I hope to have about 4,500 saved.

Speaking of money...
Being a vegan can sometimes be expensive, but familiarizing yourself with certain options can make it incredibly affordable--maybe even moreso than vegetarianism/meat-eating!:

1. Shop at Trader Joe's. Organic products are incredibly cheap there, almost always less than you'd be able to at stores such as Whole Foods. I think their Organic Extra Firm tofu is something like 1.79! I also found raw agave nectar there for maybe 2.99, which was amazing.

2. Buy bulk grains. Big bags of brown rice are cheap. If you're interested in more expensive grains like quinoa or kamut, go to whole foods where they sell it in bulk. Buying it in those boxes in the natural foods section is way too pricey...
Your other option is shopping at a place like Costco. I'm not a member there, but the people I live with are, and they buy tons of quinoa cheaply.
Speaking of bulk, buy your specialty flours or even regular flours this way too, and nutritional yeast.

3. Veggies Veggies Veggies! These bulk up your meal and can cost very little. Try to do organic when you can. Sometimes these are priced ridiculously high, but just last week I got an organic bundle of both spinach AND kale, and they each just cost me about a buck.

4. Beeeeeeeeeeans....yum. Dried beans! SO CHEAP! UNLESS you buy them, again, in the natural foods section. I bought some dried fava beans out of desperation last month, in a small bag from a brand that does a lot of specialty flours, and boy did it cost me a lot.

5. Get creative. This is something I'm now learning myself. Invest initially in a variety of spices. This way, you can start with a typical base: grain/veggies/beans or tofu, and then jazz it up with different spices.

6. Keep convenience foods to a minimum. Vegan convenience foods are great, but unless you're making a lot of money (and I'm an actress...I don't) frequently buying them is going to drain your bank account.)

Does anybody have any other suggestions/ideas? I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Wonderful Day

I haven't written in a full week! Sorry about that...

I've spent the entire day with my sweetheart. Hence the title.

I did not increase my mileage this week; my knees began to hurt last week and I want to avoid injury. So I capped my two long runs at 4 miles to be safe.

Today's workout was amazing. Despite having an upset stomach all day, as soon as I started to run I entered into a meditative state. I ran the fastest I've run so far, and though I was planning on sticking to two miles because of my tummy, not only did I run four, but I did a little bit of weight training and ab work today (which I rarely ever do...I run because I love it. Toning stuff bores the hell out of me even though I know how beneficial it is.)

This coming week's long run is five miles.

I'm feeling incredibly grounded and vibrant as a vegan. I incorporate a lot of "superhero" foods (see The Kind Diet) such as kale, quinoa, brown rice, sprouted grains, etc, everyday. That has made a significant difference. The previous times that I've gone vegan, I didn't feel well at all, but that's because I was eating way too many convenience foods; even though their calorie and fat and fiber content were fine, they were so heavily processed that their nutrients were less accessible to my body. My overall health suffered because of this. I didn't understand it then and blamed the vegan diet, going back to vegetarianism, but now that I'm more educated about nutrition, I am able to live wholesomely and energetically completely veg.

Barbara's Shredded Spoonfuls with Trader Joe's Organic Whole Grain Drink

Organic Apple

Leftover Dinner from last night (recipe below--deLICious!)

Workout (see above)

Banana + Trader Joe's Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter

Tofurkey + Tofutti Cheese on Sprouted Grain Bread
(way processed but I'm at the bf's house and didn't want to open my new groceries to cook, since I have stuff at home that needs to be used first.

Landree's Sweet, Savory, and Fat-Free Tofu Stir-Fry
(keep in mind that I did not measure ingredients...turns out, as a cook, I just use my intuition. If anyone has further questions, just message me and I'll be more detailed.)

Saute onions and kale in vegetable broth. Once these are mostly cooked, add the kale. Add more broth as needed. Turn heat down and add these delicious items:

Raw Agave Nectar
Minced Garlic
A bit of Chili and hot sauce
Soy sauce

Serve over brown rice or quinoa, or just eat as is if you're wanting something grain free.

Babycakes NYC (vegan and gluten free baking book)
If you don't have this baking book yet, even if you're NOT a vegan, BUY IT. Not only are the two recipes that my beau and I have made been delicious (the chocolate cupcakes and banana bread--we added carob chips to the bread), but they're genuinely good for you! The sweetener is raw agave nectar, and you use virgin coconut oil, which makes each dessert exceptional. My favorite was definitely the banana bread.

Monday, January 18, 2010

It's My Birthday!!!

So it is my birthday! I'm 25! Last night, I had a big birthday party with my friend Kris whose birthday is also today, and it was a lot of fun. Not going to lie, I think I drank 2.5 Long Island Iced Teas....I'm amazed that I didn't vomit. Thank God my boyfriend drove me home.

I'm pretty nauseous today hahaha. I ate lunch even though I probably shouldn't have.

BUT I wanted to post what I've been eating Wendy, since I got your comment, and I love getting ideas too! I'm going to be better than about posting everything:). Plus, it does keep me accountable. Today will probably have some indulgences since it's my birthday!

So Far Today:
1/2 piece of vegan chocolate cake (hehe for my birthday):)

Brown Rice angel hair noodles with peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and hummus...yum
half a banana with half a tablespoon of almond butter
coffee with organic whole grain "milk" and stevia

Aloo Mater (peas and potatoes in a tomato sauce)
Basmati Rice (white)
1/2 piece of naan (white)
2 pieces of fried veggie appetizer

And THEN I had a vegan chocolate cupcake!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I'm really proud of myself today.

I have struggled with depression in my past, pretty hard-core, but have been doing really well. That being said, there is usually a stretch of days every month where chemically I am just ridiculously down and have trouble doing anything.

I really had a rotten day yesterday, and because of that I felt even more rotten when I woke up today. But EVEN SO, I forced myself to go and run 3 miles. Woot.

Also, I've developed a really strong intolerance to wheat sadly. It gives me really bad cramps, my face gets super flushed, and I have trouble breathing. Weird. In any case, I'm trying new products, and for breakfast this morning I had Barbara's Original Puffins. Yum:)

Monday 1/11: 4.1 Miles woohoo!!!

Tuesday 1/12: 3 Miles

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Today was a day of rest, AND my first day of training for a program called Girls on the Run!!! It's a wonderful program that teaches girls to feel great about who they are, encourage and respect one another and their differences, contribute to their community, AND run a 5K!!! I feel so blessed to be a part of this, and I can't wait to start working with the girls.

As far as my health is concerned, I got some recent blood tests back, and apparently I am in excellent health! Even my iron is good (take that doubters!:)). Thyroid's a teensy bit low but not awful.

Now, onto training reflections. In Brendan Brazier's book, Thrive, he talks about wanting to be an Ironman and researching how other professional athletes achieved their success. What he noticed was that training was pretty similar across the board; however, what people ATE could often be very different. And so he surmised that if he could create a diet that speeded up and shortened his necessary recovery time, he could train more, therefore gaining ground on the other athletes.

With an incredible amount of information, he turned to a completely plant-based diet, and has had amazing results. One thing he mentions that I decided to address in MY training this weekend was the pre-run snack as fuel, and the post-run snack to help the muscles recover. Running anything up to an hour is considered Level 1 intensity by him; he suggests consuming simple carbohydrates for immediately accessible energy; something high in glucose, which goes straight to the liver to be used for immediate energy. He also suggests pairing glucose with fructose, found in high amounts in fruits like bananas, papayas, etc. Fructose burns just a bit slower, so the two will help you with short bursts of energy (like a 30-60 minute run.)

Following your workout, rather than fasting, you should within the first 45 minutes, and something again that is easily digested because your body is already fatigued and needs to expend energy on muscle repair, not on digestion, so again, simply carbs (again the healthy kind) are the way to go.

I tested out this theory, and after both my friday and saturday runs, I ate a simple handful of raisins (a high source of glucose). Despite feeling ready for a nap, after consuming these raisins my body felt so refreshed. On Saturday, I took it one step further; I didn't have a banana handy, but I went with an apple and a couple raisins for breakfast, and was able to run the farthest I've run all week! And, again, I followed up with raisins afterwards, and my body feels excellent today. The only thing is, I think that rather than doing this as a breakfast thing (just having an apple for breakfast) I need to plan my workout for later....only eating an apple for breakfast, though it fueled me really well, left me way too famished after having not eaten for 12 hours, ya know?

3.1 miles

3.75 miles

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Milk is for baby cows, not Landree. I'm sorry cows:(.

I woke up feeling like a truck ran over me.

It's amazing, you don't necessarily notice a huge difference in the way your diet makes you feel until you compromise. Then you realize how much better you actually DID feel.

Dairy is not my friend.

When I woke up today, my head felt as though it weighed 100 pounds, my fingers felt swollen, my tongue felt caked...

Really attractive.

But eating breakfast and drinking plenty of water got my body back on track. The bloat disappeared early evening and I felt back to normal.

Healing Foods of the Day:
Kale, cauliflower, carrot, onion, and chickpea soup (lunch)
Black bean soup (dinner)

I love soup. I could eat it every day. And as Alicia Silverstone points out in the Kind Diet, soup is wonderful for your body. Very easy on the digestive system. I always feel more at peace and fulfilled after a tasty bowl of soup.

** editing my other posts to simply point out the healing foods that I have eaten that day, I deleted my workouts! They'll be back tomorrow:).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Girl's Gotta Eat!

EAT.WHEN.YOU'RE.HUNGRY. I was RAVENOUS all day, but I had made the mistake of weighing myself and being really satisfied with where my weight has been consistently, and so I thought I'd be really restrictive...cue me eating ice cream (the non-vegan kind...I messed up:/). When you don't eat when you need to, and eat things that satisfy, like healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, walnuts), complex carbs (quinoa, brown rice, millet), VEGGIESVEGGIESVEGGIES, and sundry other good things, you will eventually cave and eat something crappy but convenient.

In other words, preeettty sure it's not an allergy to corn. We can rule that one out. Didn't have any corn products and had the same reaction to eating the pasta tonight. I sure hope it's not an allergy to wheat. Guess we'll experiment with soy and wheat now.

Healing Foods of the Day:
Eggplant, peppers, mushrooms (dinner)
Brown Rice, Mixed Vegetables, Impromptu Cheeze Sauce (lunch)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Oh Soy!

Hello friends!!! Good news: Today was a little easier energy-wise. My body is slowly repairing from the abuse. But something that I have been more and more aware of: I think my body has a sensitivity to soy. And to corn. This evening, I had one tortilla chip and immediately felt bloated. And then along with the tofu, my stomach was not a happy camper. In Brendan Brazier's book, Thrive, he talks about the most typical foods (including those listed above) that people have sensitivities to--not full-blown allergies--but sensitivities, enough that they cause us discomfort but small enough that we don't realize the cause or what is making us feel consistently lousy. As a result, I am going to be much more mindful of these products in what I eat, and I'll report on the results.

Healing Foods of the Day:
Unsweetened Rice Milk--with a whopping six grams of fiber per cup and only 45 calories, this is a delicious best bud for your cereal, adding even more sustaining fiber to keep you going until lunch (or your mid-morning snack!)

Vegan Grated Topping in Parmesan by Galaxy Foods...
BUY THIS!!! The flavor was so similar to parmesan, and a lovely addition to my pasta. So tasty I wanted to pour it on with a vengeance. But my common sense took over and thus generously sprinkled my noodles, instead of drowning them in a deluge of deliciousness (oh yeah alliteration).

Zevia in Root Beer...
Fine. Very sweet, so if you are used to artificial sweeteners this is a great substitute. Seems a little more spicy than regular Root Beer. Overall? Despite its higher than diet soda price, I will purchase it again. It satisfied my craving for pop, without any excess calories or dangerous chemicals. Cheers!

Monday, January 4, 2010

It Can't be Nashville Every Night...

Ms. Silverstone says something really important in her book...without the direct quote handy, she creates the rule of "no guilt" when it comes to being a vegan. Sometimes we slip up. Sometimes we don't take care of our bodies like we should. Maybe we can't resist that piece of cheese pizza, or that ice cream sundae (notice what my temptations are? Definitely fatty dairy haha). Or, as you'll read in a bit, we indulge in too much alcohol, or bum a cigarette, or throw away that pop bottle instead of recycling... And too often we beat ourselves up and create the negative cycle of screw up, berate oneself, then screw up again because we have weakened our faith in ourselves.

I started to do that today. After yet another night of carousing last night involving too much beer, I woke up today exhausted, with a headache, and a little nauseous. I then went on my usual workout and could only do, again, two miles; very frustrating because prior to Christmas I was running 4.5 easily. And so of course, the self-flagellation began...thoughts like "If I had not been so unhealthy over the holidays and committed to wholesome behavior I would not be behind right now"..."It's my fault that I don't feel in top shape"...and the like filled my brain.

And then I decided to stop and give my thought patterns a 180. Rather than dwelling on the damage that I've done and the lack of work I've put in lately, I decided to turn it around and use that as motivation to take care of myself better today, and tomorrow, and the next day.

Clearly, I need to pick and choose when to go out in the evenings with my friends. As much as I love these people and have crazy fun each time, my body cannot handle drinking a few times a week. My constitution is way too sensitive, and then my actions make me feel crummy the whole next day.

BUT *big sigh* this blog is not about someone who has already achieved Atalanta status. Rather, it's about a woman who wants to become strong and empowered and feel as healthy as that Greek Goddess of running. I am an average jane. And that's why I feel like writing about this journey is important. So that others who may want to join me so that we can encourage one another recognize that none of us are superhuman, we're ordinary people working towards extraordinary things. And so, like The Tragically Hip sing, "It can't be Nashville every night." Every day can't be perfect. But we can make a greater commitment to ourselves, each other, and our world with every new day.

Healing Foods of the Day:
Ezekial 4:9 Sprouted Grain English Muffin (breakfast)
Also, just a little shout out to local restaurant Indigo Cafe:

For dinner this evening, my boyfriend and I went out to a restaurant called Indigo Cafe, and I have to rave about a DELICIOUS vegetarian sub (minus the cheese) with TONS of marinara sauce...I love me some tomatoes.

So Delicious Agave Sweetened Mini Fruit Bar (raspberry)
SO YUMMY!!!! Holy cow! The consistency was very creamy, like ice cream, and the flavor was very full--both sweet and tart, perfectly raspberry. And only 70 calories and fat-free! Very light and satisfying after my carb-heavy day (let's be honest!).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Here we go! Day 1

Hello there! I am a 24 year old (soon to be 25!) woman living in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am self-employed as a regional actress (definition: I make some money by acting but still have to keep part-time work).

The goal of this blog is to document my journey towards being a successful vegan female long-distance runner, leading to the longest distance I will have ever raced: The Flying Pig Half-Marathon in May. This blog will follow my journey, what I eat every day to keep myself well fueled, the workouts that I do, and simply how I am feeling.

Here's some history on me. I grew up in a family of meat eaters, and not just meat eaters, but busy ones who typically turned to processed convenience foods. As a result, I ate a lot of crap. I rebelled around 8th grade and tried to become healthy, but with so much information out there, leading a truly wholesome lifestyle is boggling. Thus started a really distorted relationship with food and with my weight and how both related to my identity.

Fast forward to age 20: I decided to become a vegetarian. Working in Philadelphia, I encountered so many vegans and, not knowing what a vegan even was, did some research and found myself horrified by the crimes committed against the environment, animals, and our bodies by the meat and dairy industry. I wavered between veganism and vegetarianism for the past five years, but have been more consistently vegetarian, mostly out of laziness but also because I just did not know how to do the veganism thing in such a way that I felt strong and healthy.

Which leads us to now. I have read sooooo much on the topic of veganism, and finally feel equipped to commit to this thing, due almost entirely to Alicia Silverstone's book, The Kind Diet, as well as a great 12-Day Program book by Dr. McDougall. Unfortunately, I have been met with a lot of negative scrutiny: Where do you get your protein? Grumble grumble HIPPIE grumble LIBERAL...

So I've decided to prove those in my family (who, let me clarify, I do dearly love and know they have my best interests at heart) and my select friends who scoff at the idea that one can be both vegan and live a vibrant lifestyle--and not only vibrant, but super athletic!

Healing Foods of the Day:
raw cashews and raisins

Quick and Easy Meal:
Brown Rice covered in "Cheeze Sauce" with a bag of frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots that I threw into the sauce
--This was really tasty! I adapted a recipe for the cheeze that I found online because I didn't have any veggie broth, and I think I preferred it this way. It was milder, not as salty.

Veg Impromptu Cheeze Sauce:
2 cups plain rice milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
garlic to taste
dollop of mustard
sea salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Heat the rice milk, then set some aside to dissolve the cornstarch in it. Once that is done, add the thickening mixture back to the whole, then throw the rest of the ingredients into the pot. Once the nutritional yeast has dissolved, turn the heat to medium low, add the frozen veggies, and heat until they are cooked through, frequently stirring. SO easy, and yummy! The cheeze was creamy, and the flavor did not overpower the dish. I prefer using the rice milk to vegetable broth. It tasted more like a creamy cheese sauce without the dairy cruelty.

Suggested Reading: The Kind Life by Alicia Silverstone