There’s WHAT in a Ding Dong????

Ding Dong

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Today I was absolutely disgusted to learn that there is beef fat (or animal shortening…sounds even worse!)  in Hostess Ding Dongs!!  Ugh!  I am however extremely happy that I have not had a Hostess Ding Dong in many years.

It proves that I definitely need to be looking a little closer at the labels of everything I buy.  Beef fat???  Really???

Here’s the whole ingredient list:

Sugar, partially hydrogenated vegetable and/or animal shortening (may contain one or more of: soybean oil, cottonseed oil, palm oil, beef fat, lard), enriched flour (niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin), water, cocoa, skim milk, corn syrup, eggs, mono- and diglycerides, starch, whey, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, monocalcium phosphate), salt, sodium caseinate, lecithin, cellulose gum, polysorbate 60, artificial color, artificial and natural flavors, sorbic acid

Read those labels people!!

Time Flies When Your Becoming Veg!

It’s been a bit since my last post but I can explain!  This blog’s orginal purpose was to chronicle my journey into the world of clean eating.  On my way to clean, I discovered I actually wanted to be vegetarian.  There have been several times in my life when I had said, “I wish I liked veggies more so I could become a vegetarian but I’m a meat eater through and through!”  For some reason, with 40 fast approaching, becoming veg really hasn’t been difficult at all.

I have eaten so many veggies that I swore I would never touch…mushrooms (see my mushroom soup post), tomatoes (as long as they’re roma/plum, I put them on everything!) and even eggplant.  I made a summer ratatouille with fresh picked eggplant, squash, etc. that was absolutely fabulous!

I can’t even begin to describe how good I feel (except for this wonderful cold my 6 yr old brought home and shared with myself and my 9 month old)!  I have lost 10 lbs. in 2.5/3 weeks…without even trying.  I eat 6 times throughout the day so hunger is no issue.  Due to the loss of my gallbladder (medical mistake) over 3 years ago, I have a history of horrible attacks of bile salt diarrhea.  These attacks can be absolutely debilitating, leaving me lying on the floor of my bathroom writhing in pain.  It made being able to go out to dinner with family or friends almost impossible.  I have had no such attacks since beginning my veg journey.  My system has made adjustments, yes, but nothing like the attacks I would have.  It’s nice to be able to go out and enjoy a meal without fear of having to make a mad dash back home.

I haven’t done this alone and I owe a lot of thanks to many websites, bloggers and tweets from various people and organizations that have helped me in this learning process.  For anyone who is looking for support while becoming veg/vegan, I highly recommend visiting the Happy Herbivore.  The recipes are easy but fabulous and Lindsay makes learning fun!  This is my number one source for recipes and newbie information.  I have even taken an HH e-course and am excited to take more.

I love that all I have to do is turn on my computer and the world of vegetarianism is right there for me to explore!

Make Your Own…

I am finding that I love making my own pizza. Especially since I don’t have to worry about making the dough from scratch. Our local grocery store has begun carrying whole wheat pizza dough which has been a godsend.

Tonight I put pesto with Basil and Olive Oil, plum tomatoes thinly sliced and a small bit of mozzarella cheese (still trying to quit the dairy…baby steps!) it was so easy and delicious. It’s also very nice to know exactly what is in/on my family’s pizza.

Anti-pasto Style Penne

Tonight I needed something quick, easy and clean. Borrowing from a myrecipes.com recipe, I made some Organic Brown Rice Penne pasta and mixed in a chopped sweet orange bell pepper, sliced kalamatta olives, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. So good!

Greek Pizza

Tonight we ordered out in order to avoid the madness of pre-Hurricane shopping. I finally bit the bullet and tried a pizza where I would have to have tomatoes. Slices, not little tiny chopped bits. We ordered a Greek Pizza with oil, feta, tomatoes, spinach and oregano. Delicious!! And yes, I ate every tomato. This will be one that I make on my own in the future but I’ll be using whole wheat dough and organic ingredients.

Fell off the wagon…hard!

Picture of an authentic Neapolitan Pizza Margh...

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Last night I wanted to make a nice Marguerite Pizza in an attempt to get over my repulsion of tomatoes.  All day I had thought about the Whole Wheat Dough, the organic sauce, the big chunks of fresh mozzarella and very thin slices of tomato.  Upon arriving home and discussing dinner with my husband, he decided he had to have meat. I had deprived him enough and he demanded meat on his pizza! After some consideration, I decided that I needed to compromise with him so that he would continue to eat the mostly vegetarian meals that I had been preparing lately.  Off I go to the store!

As I am walking through the store trying to find all the organic and “good for me” ingredients I can, I decide that I will brown up some sausage for hubby’s pizza. That was my downfall!  Having been a serious, devoted meat-eater for 39 years, I just could not handle the smell of that sausage.  Now mind you, I did partake at the family clam boil this weekend also. So, in my first two weeks of trying to eat more veggie, I have slipped twice with major guilt after.  It seems once the yumminess and feeling of comfort recedes, I am left with guilt!

Do carnivore converts fall off the wagon on their way to vegetarianism?  Do they stumble on their way to all things healthy? I don’t know about others but I certainly did.

Black Beans and Rice

Tonight I threw together a quick Black Beans and Rice. Sauteed onion, green onion and garlic. Threw in a cup of long grain wild rice with some basmati mixed in. Let that brown a bit then added 2.5 cups of organic reduced-sodium veggie broth and let simmer. Once most of the broth had been absorbed, I threw in a can of organic black beans. Salt, pepper and some cilantro and it was dinnertime!

My husband dressed his up with some organic southwestern corn salsa and mung bean sprouts.