Vegetarian != skinny

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Initially, I would have disagreed with Dr. Bernards assertion that “the average person loses about 10 pounds after switching to a vegetarian diet, even without watching calories and fat grams.” When I became vegetarian, I stayed at pretty much the same weight for a number of months. Of course, this was as I was still eating a lot of processed foods and easing into cooking more.

After about six months, I dropped a couple pounds, mainly because being vegetarian for me no longer meant eating Boca Burgers three times a week. I was cooking a lot more and started buying cookbooks with the same fervor I buy CDs.

About a month before I got married, I really started to notice a change in my weight. Now, after a month-and-a-half, I’m down from 140 to 132. I didn’t think I changed my eating habits much—most of the change, I think, came from the stress of the final days in the wedding countdown. I dropped six of those eight pounds in August and two since. My weight seems to be holding steady where I am.

As the article mentions, if you’re a junk-food vegetarian, you’re not going to magically lose pounds because you stop eating meat. And, really, that shouldn’t necessarily be the goal. I’ve never had any real weight issues, and having a few “extra pounds” is no big deal to me as long as I feel good.

I guess the point of all this is: if you eat whole foods more often and cook for yourself a lot and eat a varied diet rather than meat substitutes every day, you’ll shed a few pounds without having to count calories. That or you could follow Laze’s Diet Plan. ;)

Vegetariana

Tonight Huyen cooked up some tempeh burgers from Nava Atlas’ Vegetariana. We hadn’t tried any variations on the recipe before, but this one turned out really well and made enough for lunch for the next few days. They were a nice consistency and had just enough spice to compliment the naturally smoky flavor of tempeh (tempeh is fermented soybeans, for those of you that haven’t tried it).

The book itself is a great read. It has a nice little history of vegetarian cooking and is smattered with quotes from famous people as well as illustrations by the author herself. Nava considers Vegetariana, her first cookbook, originally published in the mid-1980s, to be her baby, since her touch is prevalent in every part of the book.

Smoothies are on the way…

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With some of our wedding money, Huyen and I made a trip to Bed, Bath, & Beyond and picked up the blender that was on our registry. I’ve been psyched to get a blender because I’ve been itching to make smoothies all summer.

We got the blender last night, and in the last 24 hours, we’ve made three smoothies. :) We were prepared for the first one or two smoothies to come out kind of nasty tasting until we got a feel for what worked well and what didn’t. Surprisingly, though, all our experiments (no recipes) have turned out well. We’ve prepared one for our breakfast tomorrow, though, that will be the real test, as I got a little risky, throwing in some pomegranate juice and peanut butter in with yogurt, blueberries, and strawberries.

Fruitarian parents spared jail

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Baby death parents spared jail

In the UK, a fruitarian couple was feeding their baby a strictly fruitarian diet. There’s a lot of controversy surrounding fruitarianism, as it’s an extremely limited diet that almost certainly does not provide the necessary nutrients when followed strictly, especially for infants. Unfortunately, this couple learned the hard way, at the expense of their child’s life.

In my opinion, the judge was too easy on them, claiming that the death of their child was punishment enough. They consistently went against doctor’s orders. They knew the risk they were putting their child at and must have noticed how malnourished their daughter was. A sad case…

Tortellini in sour cream sauce with tomatoes and leeks

While visiting my parents this past weekend, I was looking through my mom’s cookbooks. I was surprised to find among them a copy of Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, which she presumably bought when my sister became vegetarian in her early teens. I borrowed the book from my mom and made one of the simpler recipes from it the other night, Tortellini in sour cream sauce with tomatoes and leeks.

The end result was really good. I even substituted non-dairy sour cream with great results (there was cheese in the dish, so it wasn’t a vegan dish). It was nice and hearty and the sour cream sauce coated the tortellini nicely. What really made the dish, though, was the sauteed tomato and leek mixture that topped each serving. For such a simple dish, the variety of flavors and textures was surprisingly complex.