Monthly Archives: September 2009

What I’ve been up to

Hey guys!

So my camera batteries died yesterday morning, boo. I have literally no pictures to share with you right now but I did want to tell you what I’ve been up to the past couple of days.

Yesterday, I went back to work feeling much better from the cold I caught over the weekend. Thank goodness for healthy eating, rest and vitamin C. I swear, it works wonders.

I also ate a piece of cake! A co-worker of mine celebrated 30+ years of service, so there was a small celebration. Wait, I did take that pic with my cell! I tried to take more throughout the day but they were all crappy and blurry so this is the only one.

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The cake was huge and it had a section of the book “Ethan Frome” written out on it. Someone spent a lot of time on that!

I know this cake had to contain eggs and dairy so it was sort of a sayonara to such things as October 1st is tomorrow. It also held me over so well (I ate it after lunch) that I was not hungry again until dinner time :)

I also took a nice hour plus long walk with a friend last night, first real exercise I’d had in a while. It felt so good. I’m off work today (had a dr. appt earlier) and think I’m going to check out some of the Exercise TV programs I saw the other day.

I’m really feeling yoga today so it will likely be something like that.

I’m also currently baking some Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate brownies that I’m taking to girl’s night tonight. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, or if you are just looking for some really great animal-free recipes, Happy Herbivore is a must!

If they taste half as good as they smell and look, we are all in for a treat later.

Tomorrow is the big day, the moment of truth. I’ve definitely been able to eliminate meat from my diet with absolutely no problems. But dairy has been showing up in interesting places and I’m also concerned with inconveniencing my family and friends a bit.

But this is a change I really want to make, for my health, because I don’t want to put anything in my body that I’m not completely confident in.

And I know eventually the inconveniences will fade and it will become my way of living, second nature. Here we go…

Hope you are having a good day too!

p.s. Today I also tried the new Starbucks VIA instant coffee. I got a sample a week or so ago when I stopped there with Mom. I have to say, it was quite tasty and I liked just being able to add hot water to it instead of loading up my coffee maker. Definitely convenient. I may have to look into it, at least for the weekends ;-)

Just okay

Thanks everyone for all the get well wishes, I really felt them! I am doing a little better tonight since I’ve had the day to rest and catch up a bit. I also opened the windows in the apartment because we had a beautiful Fall day today, so I got all the “sick” air out of here, ha ha.

For lunch, I had a Boca vegan burger on an Ezekiel English muffin with Sabra Chipotle hummus and spinach plus a carrot and hummus on the side.

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Yeah, it’s the same as what I had for dinner last night. But at least I opted for the muffin this time instead of toast. These are so good. I have a few left but I will definitely be buying more.

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So dense, chewy and soft at the same time. I love them!

For a snack, I had a Nature Valley bar. I need to space these out better…I won’t pack one in my bag tomorrow.

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As I was making dinner, I remembered something awesome I saw at the grocery store this weekend. Remember my big rant about Josh’s choice of margarine? Well, check this out:

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Notice the difference? What does that say?

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That’s right! They FINALLY removed the hydrogenated oils so that they are no longer falsely claiming to be trans fat free! And now I can let my husband enjoy his margarine in peace. I won’t be eating it though after October 1st because it contains buttermilk. I’m so happy for Josh’s arteries.

For dinner, I made myself baked tofu, Brussels sprouts (Vitamin C!) and a piece of wheat toast. Unfortunately this brand of whole wheat bread I buy for Josh had honey in it. I will have to decide if I’ll eat it anymore after October 1.

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For dessert, I had some Carrot Cake non-dairy ice cream. I also had some last night after blogging. It wasn’t as good as I remember it being, so I don’t think I’ll buy it again. But the cold did feel good on my throat.

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I think I might just be “over” ice cream type things? What? Who am I? I am sick though, we’ll see. Ha.

I’m probably going to grab another snack at some point and then go upstairs and watch “Dancing with the Stars”! I saw a pic of Chuck Liddell on Twitter earlier and he is looking trim. I guess that dancing workout will do it for you.

Have a great night everyone, thanks so much for the sweet comments, keep ‘em coming, ha ha.

Sick day

Hey guys, I am so sick! I hate feeling this way but it is important for me to get some rest and get healthy. So I stayed home from work today.

I work in a department with a lot of people and the last thing I want to do is spread this around. The University that I work for has been urging us to stay home if we are sick specifically for that reason.

I did everything right but I guess whatever Josh had just overpowered me.

For breakfast this morning, I went to town on some oats with 1/2 a banana and peanut butter. I had so missed “real” oatmeal, but I still have some of that 5 grain stuff left ;-)

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I also had some coffee with Almond Breeze. Then mid-morning, I snacked on the other half of the banana from this morning (it was huge) and some more peanut butter.

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I wish I felt better because I discovered today that I have Exercise TV! It’s like having an entire collection of workout DVDs on demand, at your fingertips. I’m most excited to try some of Jillian Michael’s programs and lots of yoga and dance programs.

Many of the programs are short, so I was thinking I might try one in the mornings just to get the blood flowing and wake up :) But when I am feeling better and can breathe through my nose again.

Hope you all have a good day and staying germ free!

13 months

That is how long I made it in between colds. I slept really well on Friday night and then Saturday morning I woke up feeling amazing! Rest is the best.

But then I tried too hard. I did a 3 mile walk, went to the grocery store, cleaned and then this cold reared it’s extremely ugly head. But let’s take a step back.

Saturday morning, I had some 5 grain cereal with peanut butter and banana.

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I also stopped on the way and got some coffee at a gas station with some International Delight creamer, which I learned contains caseinate so it is not vegan. Sad :(

After the walk, which was great, I snacked on a Nature Valley bar. I’m really getting hooked on these. Is that bad?

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For lunch, I had the last serving of the falafel I made along with a big carrot and creamy Italian dressing to dip it in. And ketchup :)

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I snacked on some nuts (about 1 tbsp left in the jar) and half a PB sandwich in the afternoon. I tried to take a nap but when you can’t breathe through your nose it makes sleeping interesting, at least for me.

Luckily, I had an easy-going girl’s night on the agenda! Getting out of the house for a while actually did me some good I think.

We had dinner at Penn Station where I got an artichoke wrap with no cheese or mayo and added mushrooms. And fries sounded so much better than chips!

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After dinner, we went to a book store and then stopped at Starbucks where I got a tall soy chai tea latte. It was so good! This may be my favorite now. I’m still bummed that the pumpkin spice syrup contains milk.

At Court’s house, we watched some TV including the season premiere of Saturday Night Live. I wasn’t too impressed but at least U2 was the musical guest. Next week is RYAN REYNOLDS! I need to write that boy a letter to thank him for all my blog stats ;-)

I drank lots more tea and had some chocolate too. The 60% Ghirardelli has milk fat, boo!

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This morning I woke up feeling just okay but definitely still sick. I only had one thing on my mind when I woke up…PUMPKIN.

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My stores have been out of this stuff forever, but I managed to find this HUGE can lurking on the shelves over the weekend. How can pumpkin be out of season? I thought they kept it year round. I’m sure I will use this though, so no harm.

I made something I hadn’t had in forever…pumpkin oats!

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This bowl contained 1/3 cup quick cooking oats, 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup pumpkin. Topped with chocolate chips, peanut butter and pumpkin pie spice. Oh how I’ve missed you. And it’s totally vegan hooray!

Coffee with Almond Breeze was also in order.

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It wasn’t my best use of judgment, but I snagged two pumpkin muffin “bites” at church because I got hungry. This cold has increased my appetite, it’s crazy. But it was just a snack so I left it at that (just not sure about the contents).

For lunch, Mom so kindly offered to get me something, so I chose Panera because I was so in the mood for some soup!

I got the black bean which I ate with the French baguette. That filled me up for a while but an hour or so later I got hungry again so I went back for lunch part 2, half a Mediterranean Veggie sandwich.

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I totally forgot to ask for no feta! But I ate it anyway, still got a few days until October 1 and I’m learning from each experience ;-)

I took a 2 hour nap (hooray) and then snacked on another selection from Nature Valley.

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I still think this is my fave flavor. Good thing, I bought a whole box of them ;-)

My diet has been rather carb-heavy but I’m chalking that up to sickness and what my body is craving, perhaps for more energy to fight off this cold. So I’m just going with it for now and when I start feeling better, things will even back out.

For dinner, I made a Boca vegan burger with spinach and hummus on whole wheat toast with carrots and more hummus.

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The hummus was a new selection for me from Sabra which I found at Kroger this weekend on sale for $3!

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I couldn’t really tell how hot it was but it seemed to make my nose run a bit so it must have some kick. What I could taste of it was very good and a nice change from my usual plain hummus.

Time to drink some more fluids and hit the hay early. I’m doing what works for me which is NOT taking cold medicine or any yucky stuff that just makes me feel worse.

I rely on rest, fluids, healthy food, and a vitamin C supplement (500 mg per day) plus lots of hot tea and soup to nurse me back to health.

Hopefully it will be even longer than 13 months before I get this again :)

Good night!

So excited

Happy Friday everyone!

I am so excited about going vegan next month. I have received a ton of support, not just here on the blog, but on Twitter also! You guys are so awesome, you have no idea :)

I also learned today about this little thing called Vegan MoFo III that I learned about from Happy Herbivore and Andrea at Care to Eat.

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It stands for The Vegan Month of Food. Basically, for an entire month (October), bloggers from all over the country will be doing a vegan challenge and writing about it! I’m excited to be participating and also to have so many vegan blogs to refer to.

Now onto what I ate today…

For breakfast, I had a tasty green monster. This has to help fight off a cold right?

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So tasty. I’m so glad they are back in my life. I’m not sure why they went missing in the first place? ;-)

On the way to work, Mom offered to buy me a coffee, so I got a soy latte. Aren’t moms the best? I forgot to take a picture though!

I snacked on half a PB sandwich mid morning too. I don’t know what it is but when I get sick with cold like symptoms, my appetite goes up not down. But I’m going with it.

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Lunch was another Kashi meal I hadn’t ever tried. They actually have quite a few vegan options it’s just a matter of finding them in the store. Luckily, I stumbled upon this one last time.

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It was way better than I expected. I think the white beans were what did it for me. Perhaps if I ever make myself pasta at home again (it’s been a while) I could add them.

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I liked how it was lots of veggies and just a little sauce. Sometimes too much sauce can give me heartburn! I would definitely get this one again.

I got hungry a few hours later but had no interest in the snack I brought. I had been drinking hot tea all day (alternating with water) so I was looking for some crunch in my life.

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This was good but I think I liked the apple one better. This totally hit the spot though.

Right as I was getting ready to leave work, I actually got hungry again! So I had the yogurt I had snubbed earlier.

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I’m so glad I took a rest day. I am feeling a lot better than I did this morning so I’m hoping an early bed time will help even more.

For dinner, we went to Taco Bell. As I mentioned in my last post, Josh was surprised because I never want to go there. I ordered two of the vegan options off the menu that I’d read about earlier.

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Fresco Bean Burrito (beans, pico de gallo-I think, wrapped in a tortilla) and cinnamon twists. This meal was pretty decent especially for fast food.

Josh ate some tacos and burritos and he was happy :)

I had one of my favorite snacks tonight too!

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We are now watching “Saturday Night Live : The Best of Will Ferrel” which I  had forgotten how funny that was. Once it’s over, I’m going to bed.

I’ve got an early wake up call to do a walk for the American Heart Association tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, I think we’re going to get rained on but I’m still going to do my best to get down there.

Have a great night and a wonderful tomorrow!

Decisions, decisions

Happy National Hug a Vegetarian Day! If you have a veggie friend, give ‘em a nice squeeze today and if you are a veggie, ask for them :)

I’m still feeling a bit under the weather today but not too bad. I’m taking the day off from exercise, staying hydrated and also drinking some really great herbal tea called Gypsy Cold Care from Traditional Medicinals. I swear that brand is the best stuff ever. It was what made me realize back in August of 2008 (the last time I was sick!) that I didn’t benefit from cold medicine at all (it actually makes me feel worse) and that lots of hot tea and vitamin C were what worked for me (for a cold anyway). So, I’m hoping if this is just a cold trying to come on, it will be true again.

So onto what this post is REALLY about.

Today I made an official decision…I am going to, officially, 100% start eating a vegan diet on October 1st. This is not going to be a one month challenge as September sort of has been. I’m hoping to keep it this way for good. I’ve been told by some that I “will never go back” once I really start and I can see how that would be true.

I mean, really…I don’t like meat and it makes me constipated and feeling run down. But I thought I had to eat it for protein. Dairy makes me bloated and gives me gas. But I thought I had to eat and drink it for calcium and Vitamin D. Eggs never fill me up when I eat them for breakfast which is rare anyway. So really, this is not a hard sacrifice to make. It makes so much sense, I can’t believe I never fully realized it before. Now that I have the knowledge and the tools, I can do this the right way.

I know many people make this decision based on animal cruelty and unethical practices of the various industries, and I totally appreciate that. While it is not my #1 motivation, I am glad that by choosing this diet, I’ll be aiding somehow in that fight as well.

What will be a challenge and a sacrifice is continuing to check labels and research products and restaurants to make sure they can accomodate me. I’m actually having dinner at Taco Bell tonight, which in the past would’ve sounded completely gross to me and I’ve turned my nose up at it to my husband several times (sorry honey). But, I recently read the “Food Facts” (under the Our Food tab) statements on the Taco Bell website and also found some options on this Vegan Eating Out website too.

I’ll also have to let my girls in on the news so we can plan our Wednesday night potlucks accordingly. I don’t expect everyone to change everything for me, so I know there may be times when I have to peel the cheese off or skip dessert and that is okay with me. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone. Luckily, our friend Margie is a vegetarian so our meals are always meat free :)

Anyway, this is my decision and I know why I am doing it. This way of eating is not for everyone. What matters is that you find what works best for you and not to settle for anything you think you “have” to do.

Happy Friday :)

No, no, no!

I have been freezing old in my office all day long and now I’m at home feeling a little sniffly. I DO NOT WANT TO GET SICK.

Or should I say I WILL NOT GET SICK! There, now we’re good.

So, breakfast this morning was some 5 grain cereal with peanut butter and banana. Sorry I’m so repetitive this week, I’m certainly not tired of anything yet ;-)

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Snacked on some more nuts, surprise! Ha ha.

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Lunch was something I hadn’t had in a while which is always fun! Sweet potato with black beans :)

It’s like Halloween on a plate!

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This is so very plain and yet so very tasty. I do not need or want to put anything else on it. Yum.

Today, I did have some tea and chocolate! I’ve deemed it the perfect after lunch treat. Peppermint tea especially.

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Afternoon snack was another regular this week:

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Which provided the perfect fuel for my workout today!

We did 1 mile on the treadmill since it has been raining here ALL DAY LONG with no signs of stopping any time soon (so we’ll likely be on the TM tomorrow too, boo).

We did 1:1 walk/run intervals because it just seemed hard to run today. But I did 1 mile in 15 minutes and felt good about it.

Then we hit up the weight room and did some chest presses on the bench, which today hit a milestone for me – 20 LB DUMBBELLS BABY! So cool.

We also did squats, back extensions, flyes, seated rows, and lots o’ abs. Three sets of each exercise and we were spent.

Dinner was leftover falafel with veggies. Just one more serving to go – wish I had some more hummus though, that’s all it’s missing.

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And I have to say, I was SO PROUD of Josh for trying something new himself. Josh is very much a meat man and when he made me a grocery list this week, it had both hamburgers and ground beef on it. Nuh uh, I said.

So I asked him to sub out one for turkey. Because really, no one needs to eat that much red meat. So he agreed to try TURKEY BURGERS!

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He just ate one by the way – this is also an improvement. I am so proud of him!

After dinner, I was still a bit hungry so I had a piece of whole wheat toast dry. Who knew dry toast could be so perfect? I like keeping things simple these days.

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I’d better get off here, blow my nose and go take some Vitamin C. I also believe I’ll hit the hay early tonight.

Take care of yourself, stay healthy!

Mind over matter

Tuesday night, I mentioned that I wanted to go for a run in the morning, since I knew it was unlikely that I’d be able to “fit it in” later in the day with my schedule the way it was.

The night before, I laid out my clothes and packed my lunch so I would save time in the morning.

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Like my Cartman tooth fairy in the background? Ha ha.

When I went to sleep that night, I thought there was no way I was going to be able to get up and do it. Or if I did get up, it would be raining. You know, excuses.

Well, I DID IT! I got out the door, warmed up, ran the course I had planned out in my head, and then cooled down for a total of 25 minutes (and around 2 miles total). All before breakfast!

Speaking of which, a green monster has never tasted so good…cheers!

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It felt so good to start the day off that way. Might have to keep this up?

Mid-morning I snacked on some soy yogurt and Ezekiel cereal. Starting to become old news ;-)

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Lunch was leftover falafel and red potatoes. Finally zee red potatoes are finished :)

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Mid-afternoon, I snacked on some carrots and hummus. I had some tea too but no chocolate today. See, not everything has to be everyday :)

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Wednesday is usually the highlight of my week because it is when us girls get together for a girl’s night potluck dinner. This week, Courtney had the main dish and she made an amazing looking baked ziti!

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And Aleta brought some amazing looking warm bread :)

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And I brought broccoli, hehe. Figures.

Since I’m not really eating dairy these days (I haven’t really told anyone yet unless they happen to read this since I’m still experimenting), I peeled back the cheese a bit and scooped out some pasta.

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It was delicious, as was the bread that I went back and got another piece of!

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Lots of carbs stuffed me and made me a little bloated. I remember now why I don’t usually eat much pasta. But everything tasted great!

Dessert didn’t thrill me too much. First, this was a sour cream Angel food cake which tells me it is not vegan (which I knew already). And I think it would’ve been better with something on it?

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I probably should’ve just passed on it but I gave it a try anyway for some reason. Oh well, hopefully dessert night next week will be better.

It was a really good night with the girls too. We watched the “Dancing with the Stars” results show and thank goodness, Chuck Liddell is going to be around another week!

We also watched that new show “Glee” which was pretty cute. But I’m trying not to pick up any new shows. I think I could actually live without television most of the time ;-)

I have another long post coming up of today’s activities, so don’t go too far!

Technical TV difficulties

Good evening friends! Right now I should be watching the new 90210 but that channel decided to go all wonky here and they are showing “The Golden Age of Country” infomercial…what?!

Anyway, no big deal, perhaps it is God’s way of telling me not to waste time on television, ha ha. I hardly watch anything now, so why not just stop it all?

For breakfast this morning, I had a nice bowl of 5 grain cereal with peanut butter and a sliced banana. Perfection.

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I’m so excited I figured out that close-up setting on my camera, I can tell a big difference in my pictures now :)

Mid-morning, I skipped my walk (busy and rainy out) but snacked on some more soy yogurt, just plain this time.

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This was pretty good but I like the strawberry better. I still have four more to eat before September 29th so expect to see these a lot!

Before lunch, I hit the gym for another workout with my girl Farrah. First, we ran a mile outside (sweaty and humid) that was totally awesome…I told her “I must’ve eaten my Wheaties today” because it was the best one mile run I’d had in a while. I felt fast and it felt easy. I think I’m getting the hang of this again.

Afterwards, we came back in and did lots of weights, focusing mainly on triceps with a bunch of bicep, shoulder and lat exercises worked in. We also did a few ab moves too. I love how our workout is different almost every time!

For lunch, I had leftover tofu from last night (left) and leftover Baba Ghanouj with pita from Sunday’s lunch at Zaytun’s (right). So so good.

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I think I’ve died and gone to Heaven!

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Lunch was definitely my favorite meal of the day…or was it?

Later in the afternoon I had some tea and some mixed nuts that totally escaped the camera, oops!

After work, I was supposed to meet my friend Candy for a walk but she had to cancel due to injury. I hope she heals soon, she said she should be good to go in a couple of days.

But it worked in our favor because right at about 7:00, when we would’ve been a mile from home, a huge rain/thunderstorm rolled through. Thank you Lord for lookin’ out ;-)

For dinner, I decided to try something I’d never made at home before:

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I picked up this box over the weekend for $2.99 at Kroger. It seemed a little high at first but it was totally worth it because I have three more servings in my fridge for the rest of the week!

I followed the instructions on the box for broiling instead of frying because that just made more sense to me. I’m not a fryer!

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My plate with some leftover red potatoes from dinner last night. Would you believe there are still more left than this? I definitely bought too many at the store this weekend :)

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Dipped the falafel in hummus and the potatoes in organic ketchup. It really doesn’t get much better than that. The falafel was good, just a bit dry, I think I could’ve added more water to the mix. But they were still delicious and I had to pack the leftovers away before I ate them all…just kidding.

I did some household chores in a jiff because I thought I had to hurry to watch 90210 at 8:00 but since it never came on, I’m free to just relax the rest of the night. Along with some tea and dark chocolate.

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Here is the chocolate I eat. It’s vegan and pretty low in sugar. And this box has lasted me forever, totally worth it. One “coin” has 30 calories and one is usually enough for me…bonus!

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I might hit the hay early and try to get in a run before work? We’ll see! Hoping it’s not raining at 6 a.m. tomorrow :)

Good night all!

Cold and flu season

Good evening everyone! Thank you for your comments on my previous post on how I got back on track. I appreciate all of you guys! :)

I hope this post finds you having a glorious day and in the best of health.

Over here in our household, we have a sick dude. Josh is coming down with a cold or something, his sinuses are a mess and he’s feeling icky and  lethargic. I hope he feels better soon. But I’m kind of avoiding him so I don’t get the germs.

I haven’t had a cold or any illness since August 2008 and I don’t want to break that streak. I thought I was coming down with something about a month ago, but I fought it off.

In the spirit of cold and flu season, I got my flu shot today!

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Complete with a Tweety bird band-aid. Ha ha! I look kind of scary though.

My work offers flu shots for free, so I jumped at the chance. I guess I have been getting flu shots every year for the last 5 or 6 years. I got the flu a couple times as a kid and once as a teenager and it was miserable enough to convince me I had to do it!

I am not sure yet if I will get the H1N1 shot, if it is even available to me. It’s just so new, I’m afraid of what could go wrong. Hmm…

Do you get a flu shot? Why or why not?

For breakfast this morning, I fueled up on something that has been missing from my diet for quite some time…THE GREEN MONSTER!

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This GM contained: 1 cup of unsweetened original Almond Breeze, 2 big handfuls of spinach, 1 frozen & chopped banana, and 1 tbsp of peanut butter. Yum yum. Oh, how I had missed these ;-)

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Mid morning, I ate some nuts and then took a short walk (to get my shot).

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Lunch was some delicious leftover chickpea curry, which might have been even better today!

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After lunch, I had my usual tea and dark chocolate. Then I went to go take my first Exercise Science exam, eek. I think I did ok, but I could’ve done better. Oh well, something to improve on!

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For my afternoon snack, I had some Stonyfield O’Soy yogurt (small package from the 6-pack) with some Ezekiel golden flax cereal on top.

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I chose the small containers because I got 6 for $1.99! Plus this little bitty thing already has 13 grams of sugar, wow.

It was tasty though and I’m comfortable with including it in my diet for now :)

After work, I hit the gym hoping to get in a run but all the treadmills were taken! I guess that is a good problem though. At least people are using them.

I ended up doing 30 minutes on the elliptical and it definitely gave me a run for my money! Afterwards, I stretched for almost 15 minutes and it felt so good to take the time and really take care of my body.

When I got home, I was so hungry, so I snacked on some more nuts (no picture). Then I got to work on dinner.

Josh and I had some red potatoes at a cookout on Labor Day and ever since then I’ve been craving them and he was open to trying them at home :)

I drizzled 1 tbsp of canola oil and sprinkled salt and pepper on top of the potatoes.

I had a hard time figuring out the cooking part. I cooked them in the oven at 425 for nearly 30 minutes but they weren’t quite done so I ended up microwaving them for a few out of impatience.

But once they were done, they were good!

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In typical Josh and Sarah fashion, he had chicken and I had tofu.

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My plate when it was all finally finished!

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Afterward, I had a piece of dark chocolate.

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I’m off to watch “Dancing with the Stars” which is not a show I usually watch but I have to this season because Chuck Liddell is on! He is one of my favorite UFC fights. I just watched his first dance and it wasn’t too bad…I hope he can hang on a few more weeks :)

Aaron Carter looks good too, he was looking a bit rough there a couple years back, I’m glad he seems to have gotten himself together. It was cool to see the old Backstreet Boys in the crowd too!

I better get back to the tv. I also have a cup of peppermint tea in my future.

Good night all!

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