What this is all about...

Monday, August 30, 2010

My sweet husband

As many of you know by now, my husband is not big on the vegan food.  (Or, as he calls it, "weird food.")  However, we had a date night on Friday and he surprised me by taking me to a new vegetarian restaurant called Treehugger's Cafe.  (I know, they totally stole my name.)  He proudly informed me that he "prepared" by eating a big lunch, just in case they didn't have anything he would like. 

Lo and behold, they did have chicken on the menu.  In fact, I think they had more options for an omnivore than a vegan.  Almost everything had cheese or some other sort of dairy in it, but our server was great and was able to modify my sandwich to make it vegan.  I had a portabella mushroom sandwich on tasty whole wheat artisan bread and vegan coleslaw that was surprisingly super yummy. 

My dinner, picture taken with my cell phone:

My husband had a chicken sandwich of some sort and fresh-cut french fries (which I had a few of and they were delicious).  I also got a smoothie, which I was not happy with.  Every smoothie on the menu had dairy yogurt in it, so they modified it for me, but it was completely watered down and from what I could tell by the giant chunks of ice in my smoothie, they really need to look into getting a new blender.  Plus, it was $5.  Five bucks for a watery smoothie?  Live and learn, I guess.  (Another area restaurant charges $6 for a Tofutti milkshake--however, their dairy milkshakes are about the same price.)

Today marks the anniversary of our first date--eight years ago!  Aww.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back on the Crack

Oh, dear.  I have fallen off the wagon big-time.  I did such a great job during my 30-day challenge, felt great, lost some weight....but once those 30 days were up I fell right back into my old habits.  I have been totally overboard on the sugar.  I've been really stressed out with work and starting school and have been hitting the sugar like crazy.

It's actually so bad that I think I may have a candida overgrowth.  I can imagine what's going on in my body...no refined sugar or flour for a month, things are humming along rather nicely...then my system gets a double shot of the white stuff and stress.  I did some research online on candida overgrowth (a lot of sites call it an "infection," but I prefer to think of it as a "yeast party") and I have a lot of the symptoms.  I won't go into detail, because many of the symptoms are quite embarrassing--however, I will cop to the "sensitivity to fragrances and/or other chemicals," "sinus inflammation," and "cravings for sweets."  (My husband will probably be quick to point out the symptom of "cognitive impairment.")

There are also a lot of crazy candida detox diets on ye olde internets, but I will not be doing any of those.  (Seriously, cutting out absolutely everything except meat, eggs, and low-glycemic veggies?  Hmm, what would I be able to eat?  Lettuce?)  I am thinking about going back on my sugar detox, as one month was not enough to learn my lesson (I can just hear my husband now), and also watching the amount of vinegar I eat, since I do love my balsamic.

However, I've found that it's really hard to be vegan and completely sugar free.  And I have been doing fairly well on the vegan side of things...in fact, I've stuck to my goal of only eating meat with my family--this week I haven't eaten any meat since Sunday.  And in the long run, I think it's more important to not eat animal products than it is not to eat sugar.  Maybe someday I'll get there....when I'm out of grad school, my little boy is older, and I have my own chef....(kidding on the last one, but seriously, what busy young professional mother doesn't want her own chef?  Hmm...maybe once my little guy is old enough to use the stove and knives I can make him my own personal chef.  The kid does love to cook with me.)

Speaking of my little guy...a few days after he pondered the fate of lobsters at the grocery store, I pointed out a cricket on the sidewalk to him.  And do you know what my sweet little boy did?  He lifted up his foot to stomp on it!  I was horrified.  I yelled, "Nooooo!" and moved him away before he could follow through.  My husband about died laughing at the look on my face.  We are going to have to have a serious talk entitled, "You Only Squish Inside Bugs, Or Yell For Mommy And She Will Capture It And Take It Outside."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Eucalyptus Oil: Not For Sissies

My previous experiences with essential oils have been to study them whilst at the health food store, sniff several, ponder if I should purchase any, and then eventually put them back and go on my merry way.  I have a list of several that I know I would use, but let me tell you, the sticker shock on the lavender oil is pretty severe. 

However, I've been dealing with this sinus-y cold-type thingy (my poor little guy is so stuffy that he's been snoring louder than Daddy) and don't want it to turn into a sinus infection.  Usually my only defense against sinus infections is a combination of my neti pot, Flonase, and prayer, but I decided to oomph it up a little and get some eucalyptus oil for steam inhalation.  

This stuff is potent!  I put a few drops in my steamy bowl of water, tossed a towel over my head, leaned in... and started coughing.  It's not an unpleasant smell, but it's very sharp and menthol-like.  I had to stir the water a few times and then I was okay.  I was going to put a few drops in my son's bathwater, but since the smell alone made my eyes water and skin burn a little, I decided against actually having it touch his skin.  I will tell you, though, this stuff works.  It really helped loosen up everything in my sinuses.  Followed by my neti pot (which has helped me so much in the sinus infection department--I used to get sinus infections 5 to 6 times a year and since I started using the neti pot (or "doing pot," as my husband likes to joke) I haven't had to go on antibiotics at all) my sinuses felt totally clear.

Ye Olde Tummy has now decided it hates nutritional yeast.  Sigh.  I've been wondering why Tummy got angry when I ate that faux boxed macaroni and cheese (called macaroni and chreese, I believe), and now I understand.  I may experiment with a few different brands, though, because I really want to make this macaroni and "cheese" casserole.  I made this totally awesome burrito-type-wrap thing last night--extra firm tofu cut in cubes, cooked in olive oil, sea salt, pepper, minced onion, and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, along with baby portabella mushrooms sauteed in olive oil, in a whole wheat wrap that had melted Daiya faux cheese on it.  It was total yum.  I probably didn't even need the Daiya, but I have an open package and wanted to use some up.

Tonight is my first grad school class!  Eeeeeek!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Product review time

Several weeks ago I posted about ordering new personal care products from Aubrey Organics, and I wanted to hold off on reviewing them until I could see what they did for my skin over time.  Well, let me tell you, I can say without a doubt that they are awesome.

A little background...most treehugging redheads are fair with sensitive skin, and I am no exception.  I have a mild case of rosacea, weird combination skin, and anywhere from mild to severe acne (caused by the rosacea, according to my dermatologist, but I think my skin just thinks it's still a teenager).  I have tried a slew of skincare products, ranging from prescription-strength topical acne medication (made my skin totally freak out) to topical medications for rosacea (the sulfur smell in one made me so nauseated I had to wash my face about seven times to make it go away, and the last one I tried made my sinus issues flare up) to a wide variety of over-the-counter products, ranging in price from Neutrogena to Clinique.  Nothing has ever really worked.  If it took care of one problem, it exacerbated another, and most of them had fragrance that gave me a migraine.  However, one day I was surfing the internets and I came across reviews absolutely raving about the Vegecol line of skincare from Aubrey Organics.  I looked at their site and was very happy to see that they offered a travel set of trial sizes for their products for under $10, and then I found another site that carried it and offered free shipping, and I was sold.

I bought the Vegecol with Aloe Facial Cleansing Lotion, the Vegecol with Aloe Alcohol-Free Facial Toner, and the Vegecol with Aloe Moisturizing Cream.  My first thought upon using the cleansing lotion was, "It feels like I'm slathering my face with butter!  It's never going to get clean like this!"  However, it rinses clean (I use a washcloth because I'm so used to the "squeaky clean" feeling you get from the conventional products with SLS and the like) but doesn't make my skin immediately tight.  I instantly fell in love with the toner.  I've never been able to use toner because it burned my skin, but this uses witch hazel and is very mild--and it actually tones my skin.  Imagine that!  The moisturizing cream was a bit weird at first--I was a little put off by the bright yellow color--but it goes on nicely and feels good on my skin. 

My skin looks really good.  (Well, good compared to before.)  My redness has gone down considerably, and I have a nice glow that isn't oil or sweat.  It doesn't do much for preventing breakouts, I think, but once I have a breakout it heals it very quickly.  I ran out of my samples and had to go back to Purpose while waiting for my shipment to arrive, and my skin flipped out.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone who has the same issues I do--and Aubrey Organics also has different skincare lines for different skin types (all with the trial sample). 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tofurkey: Thy name is NEMESIS!

Last week I blogged about how much I love Tofurkey...yeah, not so much anymore.  It seems that while I love Tofurkey, Tummy down there does not and has been punishing me quite soundly.  Tummy doesn't seem to like a lot of things and lets me know about it, quite rudely, I might add.  Among Tofurkey, Tummy hates: orange juice, peanuts (well, really any nut that isn't an almond), peanut butter that hasn't been cooked or baked, eggplant, an excess of tomatoes, uncooked onions, and most packaged, processed snack foods.  In fact, just looking at a bag of Lay's potato chips makes Tummy get very, very nervous.  Oh, and dairy and eggs, of course.  I don't remember how Tummy feels about beef or pork, since it's been about 10 years, but Tummy has started to get a little pissy about poultry.  (Tummy, like Elmo, consistently refers to Tummy's self in the third person.) 

Eek, this has been a stressful week.  Classes start next week and I will be a college student again for the first time in 8 years!  I went to an orientation lunch on Tuesday and tonight there is an orientation reception, so I've been meeting a lot of people.  There's a good mix of different people in my program--some who are young professionals like me, some who are straight out of undergrad, and some who are older professionals with teenagers at home.  I had a woman ask me how I balance school, work, and having a young child...I told her I had no idea because classes haven't started yet!  I think I should be okay, at least this semester.  My class has a lot of reading, which I'm not afraid of, and only one paper.  As long as I utilize my lunch hour responsibly--i.e. reading my course materials instead of reading fiction...

I also had to pull off a fairly large event yesterday...it went pretty well, despite one attendee throwing a hissy fit about parking (no, dude, I will not pay your parking ticket because you forgot to read my email in which I TALK ABOUT PARKING) and it being approximately 1 million degrees in our outdoor reception tent.  I also wasn't thrilled with the caterers, who told me they could definitely do a vegan wrap (for me) and a gluten-free vegetarian wrap (for an attendee)...and then all we got was some lettuce.  They will be getting an email from me, make no mistake.

I received the results for my bloodwork, and everything looks good...except my vitamin D level is super low.  I've been going back and forth about what kind of vitamin D to supplement with--the D-2 is totally vegan, but a lot of research has shown that the body doesn't utilize it very well.  D-3 is not vegan, since it's made from wool, but I found "vegetarian" D-3...so I'm not quite sure what that means.  I haven't been able to find a suitable explanation on how vegetarian vitamin D-3 is produced.  My doctor was very specific, telling me to supplement with 5,000 I.U.'s of vitamin D-3 for 12 weeks and then lower it to 2,000 I.U.'s for maintenance, and since I live in a northern climate, it's really important for me to supplement correctly.  Does anyone know anything about this?

I was quite impressed that my iron level was the highest I think it's ever been--and I've only been eating poultry a few times a week.  Must be all those leafy greens.  (Which, by the way, Tummy adores.)

Monday, August 16, 2010


I am not a breakfast-food person.  My normal breakfast through the week is raw almonds and raisins eaten at my desk (or, if traffic is really bad, in the car), and sometimes oatmeal in the winter (also eaten at my desk out of a cup).  On the weekends I'll have some toast or fruit.  A lot of traditional breakfast food is heavy on the dairy and eggs, and would always upset my stomach, even when I was younger--makes sense since I discovered my intolerance to both of them.

I really like vegan muffins, but I haven't had pancakes since I cut dairy out of my diet.  I came across this recipe by Angela on Oh She Glows for vegan spelt pancakes and they looked so yummy and simple that I decided to make them for Sunday morning breakfast for my boys and me.  I omitted the protein powder and maca powder since I didn't have them and doubled the recipe.  They were tasty, my friends.  I've never used spelt flour, nor have I ever put cinnamon in pancakes, but they turned out wonderfully--light and fluffy and flavorful.  My boys had a different opinion, however.  My son liked them at first, but then decided that they had "crust" on them and wanted toast (with the crusts cut off, of course) instead.  My husband started eating them and informed me that he didn't like cinnamon, and didn't I know that after all these years?  Well...no.  I remembered that he doesn't like lemons except in pie and lemonade, but I didn't know about the cinnamon.  Then he said, "Well, they're good, once you get used to the cinnamon..."  Pause.  "These are whole wheat, aren't they?"  Yes, darling, they're whole wheat.

Anyway, more for me!  I put some Earth Balance spread and real maple syrup (first time having real maple syrup instead of the fake syrup) on my cinnamon-licious pancakes and had a party.  I will have to try to find some protein powder, because I need a hit of protein in the morning. 

We went to a local corn festival this weekend and I was highly disturbed by the food offerings.  I know it's a fair, but seriously, deep-fried Oreos?  (They also offered deep-fried Twinkies.)  They did have corn, however, and it was tasty (and not deep-fried).  I ended up winning my little guy a goldfish.  He was so excited.  We then had to buy a bowl and food, and I'm not sure how long the fish will last, and I'm not sure what we'll do if the fish kicks it.  As my husband said, "I think he's still too young to understand the circle of life."  Which then prompted a discussion about Elton John and The Lion King.

Maybe getting the fish as a pet prompted this...  My little guy and I were at the grocery store yesterday, and by the seafood counter they have a tank of live lobsters that people can buy.  We go to this grocery store once a week at least and sometimes pass by the tank more than once since it's on the way to the bathroom, but this is the first time my son really noticed it.  He said, "Are those lobsters?"  When I answered yes, he said, in a fairly neutral tone, "People eat them?"  Eek!  I said, "Yes.  But we don't eat them because Mommy thinks it's mean how they're treated."  He looked at them thoughtfully and then said, "I think it's mean, too."  Then on our way back from the bathroom (we're always at the furthest point from the bathroom when he declares he needs to go) he stood at the tank and watched the lobsters for a few minutes.  He didn't say anything else about it, but I wonder what he was thinking in that little head of his. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tofurkey: The Other White Meat

To be honest, I have been afraid of trying Tofurkey.  I used to eat the Yves faux-lunchmeat when I was a vegetarian, many moons ago, but it wasn't very good so I had to hide the taste with Miracle Whip and lettuce.  However, sandwiches are really easy for me to make and keep me from visiting Marvin behind the grill in my cafeteria at work, so I gave in and grabbed some of the oven roasted-flavored Tofurkey at the grocery store.  When I was on my no-sugar challenge, I concocted turkey roll-ups--turkey laid thinly over a whole wheat tortilla (Vegenaise for me, plain for my little guy) and rolled up "like a map" (according to my son).  I subbed Tofurkey for animal turkey and voila!  Super deliciousness.  Even better when you warm up the tortilla first.  My little guy loves them...I might try the Tofurkey on him.  Or maybe add a veggie.  Tofurkey kale roll-ups?

This morning I went to my doctor's office and had blood drawn for routine bloodwork.  I figured that if I'm going to be changing my diet, I should check to make sure everything is in good working order so if I start feeling crappy, I can rule out anything that was already going on.  I've been doing research on supplements and vitamins and all that, and was pretty surprised to find out that I may already be deficient in B-12 since I eat so little animal products as it is.  My son (who eats the same amount of animal products that I currently do) drinks fortified soy milk, so I'm not worried about him (except this winter we are all taking vitamin D supplements), but I wonder about myself, especially since I'm showing some signs of B-12 deficiency.  Veganhealth.org has great information on B-12, as well as other vitamins and minerals.  The other thing I'm concerned about is my iron level.  I was very anemic when I was pregnant with my son (so anemic I developed pica and had an insane craving for ice--luckily I did not crave dirt or anything else), but my iron levels returned to normal after his birth.  I really don't want to take an iron supplement if I don't have to--they really mess up my stomach. 

I was so excited to find out that they completely remodeled one of the dining halls on campus and they are making more of an effort to have an array of vegan options.  In the cafeteria closest to me, the only thing they have that's vegan most of the time is broccoli.  I'll be eating dinner on campus once a week this upcoming semester so I'll have to check it out.  I wonder what it'll be like going to a dining hall so long after I've graduated from college...should be interesting.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The 10th thing I've learned...

Last week I talked about the things I learned from doing my no-sugar challenge, and some of them were no-brainers.  However, the one thing that the challenge made me realize was that:

10. I really want to become a vegan.

After reading delicious vegan blogs and lurking on The Kind Life forums and doing more reading and doing a lot of thinking, I know that living a vegan lifestyle is a goal that I want to attain.  However, while I'm 75% there already, going the final step and cutting out all eggs, chicken, and turkey will be difficult, especially since I need to think of my two guys, their wants and needs, and my own time constraints with working full-time, going to graduate school, and spending time with my family.  I don't have the time or resources to constantly be in the kitchen.  So, instead of jumping right in and making this another "challenge," I've decided to do this gradually, which will allow for some experimentation and trial and error. 

The first thing I'm doing is removing meat from my diet when I'm by myself.  Meaning, when I'm at work, when I'm at school, when I'm home alone (okay, that never happens).  That will cut my meat consumption down about 50%.  The second thing I want to do is to introduce meatless meals to my two men at home (this is where the trial and error will come in).  I'd love to find several meals that all three of us will enjoy that are vegan, or have easy non-vegan options (cheese on a salad for my husband, for example).  Neither one of my guys are adventurous eaters, however, so it may take some sneakiness on my part.  My husband reads my blog, so I will have to post in code or something.

Along with that second step, I'm going to continue trying new recipes and new foods to add to my diet.  I was a vegetarian (still ate dairy and eggs) for a long time, but I wasn't a healthy vegetarian.  I need to learn how to cook kale correctly, and incorporate more beans into my diet, and figure out what to do with that kombu I bought at Whole Foods last week.  I need to research supplements, and probably get bloodwork done to make sure I'm not deficient in anything.  (Okay, I left myself wide open there.)

I think this will give me a lesson in flexibility, as well as one in patience--two things I believe I still need to learn.  

Oh, and frozen bananas + coconut milk + a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder = deliciousness in your blender!  


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 30: What I've learned

Today is the 30th and final day of my no sugar challenge.  I am proud to say that I only cheated once...and I learned a lot about myself, my eating habits, and what I want to do for the future.

Here's a list of the things I've learned:

1. Most processed food has (processed, cane) sugar in it.  Even if it's vegan, even if it's labeled as "healthy"--it probably has sugar in it. This whole process was a huge eye-opener, making me read labels in different ways and really making me examine what's in the food I eat.

2. Even if a food doesn't have sugar in it, it doesn't necessarily mean it's good for you.  Lay's potato chips don't have sugar in them...but they still make my tummy freak.  Alicia's chocolate peanut butter cups don't have sugar in them...but they are still filled with fat.  In that vein....

3. Everything in moderation.  I've discovered that even though I successfully cut out sugar, I still have a tendency to binge on other foods if I feel deprived.  In the beginning of my challenge, I used salt instead of sugar.  Your mind wants to compensate.  I may have been cutting my sugary calories, but I noticed at the end of my challenge that I was eating way more fats than I usually do.

4. I am an emotional eater.  The challenge really made me realize this.  I had time to contemplate why I wanted something, because I had to make it instead of simply open a package.  "Why do I want chocolate peanut butter cups?  Did I not eat enough fats today?  Or did I have a bad day and want to reward myself, or make myself feel better?"  Emotional eating is difficult.  People use food to reward themselves, and they also associate certain foods with happy occasions, such as birthdays, parties, and getting together with friends.  One of my closest friends and former college roommates would make this amazing ice cream cake for birthdays.  I clearly remember summer evenings as a child, sitting on the front porch with my family and eating Dairy Queen.  You can tell yourself over and over that food is simply fuel, but it's much, much more than that.  It's emotional, social, even spiritual.  Recognizing that and asking yourself, "Why do I want to eat that?" can really lead to some self-awareness.  Even if you eat it, you know that much more about yourself.

5. Eating whole foods helps you listen to your body better.  When I read Alicia's book and she talked about feeling "lighter" once she cut out animal products and simple carbs, I was skeptical.  Then one day, mid-challenge, I had to run for the bus, and I felt like I was flying!  This was even before I started going to the gym.  I started paying really close attention to how I felt after eating certain foods.  I realized that people into macrobiotics don't tout brown rice for nothing--it really does help you feel more balanced.

6. Even if you eat well and exercise, you're shooting yourself in the foot if you don't get enough sleep.  I need those eight hours.  My body needs to rest and heal, and my mind does, too.

7. I really miss ketchup.  I thought I'd miss ice cream more, or chocolate...but I could sub smoothies and grain-sweetened chocolate if I really wanted it.  There is no substitute for ketchup, people.   

8. I still need to eat more veggies.  I am doing great with getting enough fruit and protein...but I'm only getting about 4 servings of veggies a day, mostly in the form of baby greens salad.  It's more than I used to get, but I need to ramp it up a bit more.  I might try green smoothies (if I could get my little guy to drink those, that would be fantastic!) with a wheat grass powder or something.

9. What I eat definitely affects how I feel.  When I cheated with that delicious frozen lemonade, I felt it the day after.  I was super grumpy because I was craving more, and extra exhausted.  Not eating sugar, however, has helped me out--my son caught a summer cold and I didn't catch it from him.  This child gives me ALL his germs.  He has never once gotten sick without me getting the same thing.  My immune system is definitely stronger when I eat unprocessed foods. 

I'll talk about number 10 in my next blog, and also some of my goals....stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 29: Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater...

Yes, it is true.  I cheated.  Not with soy ice cream, or vegan buckeye bliss bars...but with lemonade.  Yes, lemonade.

Let me explain myself.  Over the weekend we went to Cedar Point, and it was hot.  And sunny.  And as a redhead, I don't do hot and sunny very well.  And while the restaurant we were at had a halfway decent salad bar (ugh, iceberg lettuce), I was starving.  I was starting to wilt.  And the little guy wanted lemonade, and it sounded soooo good.  I needed something cold with something my body could convert to glucose to get me through the rest of the day.  They had a stand with iced lemonade (pretty much an Icee, but made with lemonade) and we all got some.  And people, it was delicious.  It was so cold and tart and lemony...it was worth cheating.  Totally worth it. 

However, I was incredibly grumpy after the initial high, so that definitely showed me exactly what refined sugar does to me.  (I wish I had known all about this stuff in middle school, when I had mood swings so badly you would think I had multiple personalities.)  But I do miss lemonade, so I'll have to think of a way to make it au naturel.

So now that that unpleasant confession is out of the way, let's talk cupcakes!  I made Alicia's Favorite Cupcakes from The Kind Diet this weekend for my best friend's birthday party.  A disclaimer: if you are the type of person who doesn't like a giant mess in your kitchen ::cough my sister cough:: don't make the frosting with your child.  I think it took me longer to clean the cocoa power from all over the place than it took to make the actual frosting.  For the cupcake batter, I pretty much followed directions.  I tried to use coconut milk instead of soy...yeah, don't do that.  Once you put the apple cider vinegar in, the coconut milk starts to completely separate into chunks and looks pretty gross.  Luckily I had soy milk on hand, so I just used that.  I used a little more apple cider vinegar than the recipe called for, because I have another recipe that is similar and that one calls for one tablespoon of ACV rather than one teaspoon.  I really liked the whole wheat pastry flour--it doesn't have as dense of a texture as regular whole wheat flour, so I'm going to try it with muffins (Skinny Bitch in the Kitch has an awesome muffin recipe).  The cupcakes baked and rose very nicely--I have pictures and will have to post them once I upload them.  The fudge frosting was awesome.  I didn't have soy milk powder, which Alicia says you don't really need.  If you don't like super-chocolately-almost-makes-you-cough frosting, use the soy milk powder to cut the fudginess down.  Also, don't eat the frosting with a spoon.  Just don't.  Major tummyache ahead. 

My little guy was so excited about these cupcakes.  In the morning he went to the kitchen and pulled them off the counter (luckily they were already in a container) and brought them into the bedroom, waiting for us to leave.  When we got to the party, they had a giant bakery cake it was announced approximately 15 times that the cupcakes were vegan...and no one touched them.  My best friend, always willing to try things, had one, but mostly it was me and my son (my son hated the frosting, so he just had them without and he was happy).  I thought they were pretty good.  I make another kind of cupcake (it's my go-to recipe) with a ton of sugar, and they literally make my teeth hurt.  My best friend she liked my usual kind better, but my husband tried them and said he liked Alicia's better.  I'll have to make them again and try them out at my niece's birthday party.

I finally ate kale!  It was...chewy.  It needed to cook longer.  I also made tofu squares--extra firm tofu cut into little squares, with onion powder, turmeric, nutritional yeast, and sea salt--and it was, hands down, the best tofu I've ever made.  I usually get the tofu in the aseptic boxes, but they were all out of that kind at the grocery store, so I tried the Naysoya brand that was packed in water.  It had a great texture (instead of the slimy white mass that looks and feels like white Jell-o) and was just worlds better.  I will be getting that from now on for my sauteing needs.  I have pictures of that as well. 

I've missed the farmers' market two weeks in a row and my husband joked that they're going to put up "Missing" posters soon.  Tomorrow is the last day of my challenge and I will be reviewing the month to see what I've learned!