Monthly Archives: October 2009

Day 31: Not the end

Happy Halloween everyone! Did you get scared yet today?

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For breakfast this morning, I had a very Halloween-appropriate bowl of pumpkin oats :)

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I finally figured out what was missing from my previous attempts at re-creating the pumpkin oats that I loved so much last year…raisins!

I also took a lot of people’s advice and used vanilla extract and cinnamon :)

Even though I’m still not feeling too hot today, I went for a walk this morning. I felt good for a while but then I started getting chills again and have basically had a headache and sore throat for two or three days now. So maybe it wasn’t such a good idea!

Today is also Day 31, the last day of the Vegan Mofo III. I have been vegan, officially for 31 days. Even though I have had a few bumps in the road, for the most part, it has been really easy and enjoyable.

I love the foods I am eating now more than I ever have. So I won’t be ending this anytime soon. I will, however, be ending the use of “Days” on my titles, thank goodness ;-)

Tomorrow is World Vegan Day! I’m also planning some more mini-challenges for November that I can’t wait to get started on, in addition to Pile on the Miles.

After my walk, I snacked on some plantain chips that I found at a local health food store here in town called Amazing Grace. I saw a lot of other cool stuff there that I wanted to get but I’m going to have to save for another trip.

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These were so good (and addicting) and reminded me of the ones I got in Nicaragua last summer :)

For lunch, my mom treated me to some Great Harvest. I got the veggie sandwich on Nine Grain bread with Sun Chips on the side. I couldn’t get a good picture so I just said forget it.

Note: the Nine Grain bread contains honey, which is not vegan, but since I am vegan mainly for health reasons, I did not sweat it so much. However, I did purchase some unsweetened whole wheat bread to take home with me which does not contain honey :)

I had to stop at the store to get Josh a lock for the new gym he is going to starting on Monday (hooray) and I picked up some Halloween candy while I was there (oops).

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Oh my these are good! I like them better than regular Dots flavors and I’m glad I only bought this one box and that they are seasonal ;-) I just had one serving. Josh got pumpkin cremes (they look like candy corn only pumpkins).

I feel bad that I didn’t buy any candy for the kiddos but I just couldn’t find anything I felt okay about handing out. Considering I was an overweight kid, and I got a lot of cavities, it’s a sensitive issue for me. I’m thinking next year I’ll get some “healthy” candy or maybe some stickers?

Later in the afternoon, I got hungry so I snacked on some Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal with some new hemp milk I got.

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It was different. I’m not sure what to think about it yet but I will keep trying it. It’s definitely lower in sugar than most milk alternatives. I might use it in some recipes too.

Yes, I ate honey again. I got this box of cereal for free because Kashi sent me a coupon. I probably won’t buy it again because keeping cereal in my house has proven dangerous before. But like I said before, since I am eating vegan for health, it’s not a deal-breaker for me right now. It is something though that I want to think about for the future (of my vegan life).

Anyway…for dinner I got to try another new thing.

Spaghetti Squash!

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I remembered reading about how to cook a spaghetti squash on Tina’s blog earlier this year and luckily it was easy to find it again.

I followed her instructions exactly and found picking out the seeds to be the most time consuming part!

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But once it was done and ready to eat, I knew I had something great!

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I love the fact that I’m eating a vegetable instead of pasta! There’s nothing wrong with spaghetti but it’s one of those things I don’t eat too often because it sits so heavily on my stomach.

I heated up a cup of Emeril’s pasta sauce with some chopped spinach.

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I found this sauce to be a little watery but I think it was the spinach. Then I put it all together.

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It was a bit of a different taste than spaghetti but it was still very tasty! It’s definitely a good substitute. I think I have been converted!

There was also enough for another meal, which I saved in the fridge.

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Two meals and the squash only cost me $1.18!

I just snacked on some more Dots and plantain chips. I’d better go brush my teeth and go to bed soon ;-)

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It stinks to be at home on Halloween but I need my rest because tomorrow I AM SEEING RENT!

We are heading up to Cincinnati in the morning to see the matinee performance featuring two of the original cast members. Not bad for my first time seeing it, eh?

I’ve already picked out an awesome place to have dinner after doing some research and consulting with some awesome vegan friends on Twitter. Hopefully I will be feeling better too.

Good night, blog friends. Hope you have a safe and happy Halloween! And be sure to check out my Major Coupon Giveaway – just 6 more days to get in :)

Day 30.3: We finally hit a home run

No, I’m not referring to the World Series, ha ha. Although Josh is a Yankees fan, the title of this post refers to where we had dinner tonight.

But first, I got hungry around 3:30 so I had my last Ezekiel muffin with some almond butter and blueberry fruit spread. Yep, almond butter made a come back!

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When Josh got home, I totally had Ramsi’s in mind but we are experiencing quite the windstorm right now and there is rain coming, so neither of us wanting to risk being that far away from home and parking far away then getting stuck.

So we saved it for a not-so-rainy day!

Instead, we decided to go to P.F. Chang’s and then Josh had the seriously genius idea to get take out instead of eating at the restaurant. Not only did it save time, it saved money too.

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I got my favorite dish there, which I loved before I went vegan, Stir Fried Eggplant (right). Josh got Cantonese Chow Fun (left).

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I had the entire dish over half the container of brown rice (Josh had the rest). It was delicious!

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I’m glad we ate at home because a quick search on Google told me that fortune cookies are NOT vegan. They contain eggs. Darn. I didn’t really like them that much anyway!

I also checked online and saw that P.F. Chang’s has a ton of vegan options, so we’ll definitely be going back. :)

I have one more So Delicious ice cream sandwich left in the freezer so I’m thinking that might be in my future. I didn’t buy any more desserts at the store today because I know if I don’t have them, I won’t “need” them.

I did not exercise today (other than grocery shopping) because I’m still feeling under the weather. I’m hoping it clears up soon but I have a feeling it’s just the beginning :(

Have a good night. And don’t forget to get in on the major coupon-age going on here!

Tomorrow is Halloween…don’t get too scared!!!

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Day 30.2: Suzie’s checkup

I just realized how funny it is that yesterday I got my blood work and everything done and today Suzie got hers (and some shots, which I thankfully did not have to do)!

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Of course, she did great and everything is perfect. She’s a happy healthy doggie, I’m so lucky :)

When we got home from the vet, Suzie took a nap and I snacked on some peanuts.

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I decided that since I already have the day off, I might as well run some errands today that I usually do on Saturdays. Which means grocery shopping time!

I ended up going to Meijer and Kroger because Meijer had some great sales going on and Kroger is just right down the street so I saved some gas.

I kind of chuckled a bit at Meijer because they played the “X Files” theme song and music from “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” I can’t believe tomorrow is Halloween, it really snuck up on me this year.

Anyway, I got all this stuff for $50!

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Lots of new stuff to try this week, I can’t wait. Kept Josh’s stuff in the picture just for fun ;-) Don’t you love how I sat the ground beef on top of the tofu? Ha ha.

When I got everything put away, I was majorly hungry so I heated up my leftovers for lunch, which was the exact same meal I had for dinner last night.

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I took Suzie for a short walk and checked the mail where I found this awesome package from my favorite vegan, Carrie :)

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I m so excited to try some vegan-friendly beauty products, especially that soap because now I can stop using Josh’s. Oops!

I feel laundry dishes a nap coming on, so I’m going to sign off for now. Hoping to find somewhere good for Josh and me to have dinner tonight that won’t break the bank.

Don’t forget to enter my awesome coupon giveaway before next Friday!

Have an awesome Friday!

Day 30: Get up and give away

Happy Friday!

Actually, yesterday was like my Friday since I am off today. Unfortunately, I’ve still got an icky throat and my nose is running. But at least I’m not at work :)

I took off today to take Suzie to the vet, so I’m sure it will be a more exciting day for her than me! If the fact that she woke me up at 6 is any indication…

For breakfast this morning, I used up the rest of the pancake batter from my Spiced Banana Pancakes only this time I turned them into waffles!

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This batter was really tricky both as pancakes and waffles and I think next time I will tweak it a bit to see if that doesn’t help. They look messy but they sure do taste good :)

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I covered my waffles in peanut butter and light syrup. Speaking of peanut butter, check out my latest Examiner article on the subject.

Now for the other part of this post…GIVEAWAY TIME!

Need some coupons?

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Now that I eat vegan, there are a lot of coupons in my stash for products I will not purchase in the near future, so I thought they might as well get to someone who will use them!

This stash includes coupons to Whole Foods, Horizon organic dairy products, Stonyfield and a ton of manufacturer coupons that have been in the Sunday paper the past two weeks.

To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me your best money saving tip for grocery shopping!

To receive additional entries:

  1. Re-post this giveaway on your blog (and leave another comment with the link to your blog).
  2. Re-tweet about the giveaway on Twitter (and leave another comment telling me you did so).

Entries will be accepted until midnight next Friday, November 6th! I will announce the winner in my first Friday post.

Lots of the agenda today, better get to it!

Day 29.2: Warding off sickness again

I had a really basic but delicious lunch today!

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On the left is an Ezekiel muffin with peanut butter and pumpkin butter. I put them together for a minute to carry it back to my desk and they sort of combined ;-) Also some mixed veggies on the side.

I had a meeting the rest of the afternoon, during which I started to feel kind of weak-ish. I also started getting a sore throat and I feel some pressure in my ears. Nooooo!

For a snack, I had some carrots and PB.

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Then when I came home for dinner, I knew there would be soup.

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I heated up half a can of Health Valley split pea soup, which I haven’t had in forever. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) it was outshined by this messy but tasty wrap I made!

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I grilled some green peppers, zucchini and onion on my George Foreman and then added them and some sprouts onto a whole wheat wrap and then threw the entire thing on the Foreman for a couple of minutes to toast it.

The spicy salsa topping made my nose run!

Even though I’m somewhat under the weather, I am really excited because in a few minutes, I’m leaving to have my first blogger meet up!

Kim and I found each other through Tina’s blog and we actually have a lot in common in addition to the fact that we live in the same city :)

We are going to a local coffee shop that I have never been to before, which is always fun. So, I’d better get going!

Be back later…

Day 29: Good news and World Vegan Month

Hey guys!

Thanks for all the well-wishes for my health assessment today. Thankfully, I received all good news.

Let this post serve as a testimony to healthy eating and exercise because I haven’t always had numbers like these.

  • Blood pressure: 104/76
  • Total cholesterol: 125
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol: 65!
  • HDL (good) cholesterol: 49!!!!!!!!!! (this is a huge improvement from my 34 this time last year, hoping for even higher next year)
  • Triglycerides: 56 (normal range is 50-200)

In order to get my HDL cholesterol to come up, I’ve been doing a lot of different things over the past year.

  • I have maintained my weight and I do not smoke.
  • I used to eat tuna or salmon at least once a week (back when I still ate seafood), I took fish oil capsules for a while, and I’m always on the look out for products containing Omega-3’s (including a bottle of canola oil I had for a while).
  • I’ve eaten lots of oatmeal, fruits and veggies.
  • I’ve also used ground/milled flax seed in both my smoothies and oatmeal.
  • I’ve also focused on getting more healthy fats in my diet by cooking with healthy oils, eating plenty of peanut butter, nuts and my good friend the avocado.
  • I try to enjoy a glass of red wine every once in a while.
  • I’ve kept up with my aerobic exercise.
  • I’ve taken calcium supplements.
  • I’ve remained very much anti-trans fat, avoiding it at all possible costs.

My body fat percentage and measurements were also down but those numbers above are the most important. With heart disease being the number one killer of men and women in the U.S., those are numbers we all need to know!

Stepping off of soap box

Breakfast this morning, eaten so gladly at 9 a.m., was oatmeal with sliced apples (cooking the apples with the oats is the way to go) and some PB.

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I was also pleased to learn that I inadvertently celebrated National Oatmeal Day which is October 29th every year! Woo hoo :)

In vegan news

Vegan MoFo III is coming to an end in two days. After almost 29 days of eating vegan, there is no way I am going back now. I have never felt better! I’ve also had little to no digestive issues in this past month. I’ve tried a ton of new recipes with many more on the agenda. I’m feeling so confident in what I am putting into my body. But what will help me stay motivated?

World Vegan Month

That’s right…Vegan MoFo (October) comes to a close just as World Vegan Day (November 1) and World Vegan Month are approaching!

For more info, check out my friend Carrie’s Examiner article on World Vegan Month :)

Happy Thursday!

Day 28: I hate fasting!

Let me explain…I have a health assessment first thing in the morning (well, at 8:30) so I haven’t been able to eat or drink anything other than water since 8:30 tonight!

Actually, it hasn’t been too bad and it has actually given me some perspective. I should stop eating earlier in the night. I should have a cut off time, unless I am really stomach-growling hungry.

Anyway, today started off with oatmeal.

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This bowl contained 1/3 cup oats, 1 chopped apple, sprinkle of cinnamon and a tablespoon each of pumpkin butter and peanut butter. So yummy!

Speaking of oatmeal, I was recently accepted as the Louisville Healthy Living Examiner and published my first article last night!

Please check it out: Eat oatmeal every day

I had some pumpkin spice coffee when I got to work and some nuts later on in the morning when I got hungry again.

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For lunch today, I heated up my leftover chickpea curry from last night and threw them on a top of a huge salad with a little bit of Italian dressing.

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It was so delicious! Best lunch I have had in a while, I really need to get back to big salads, at least until the weather gets really cold ;-)

My afternoon snack had me trying a new type of yogurt, which is always fun. This time it was So Delicious, but with a twist.

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I have never tried Agave anything, that I am aware of, so I was really excited. I tried it by itself first and then threw on some Ezekiel cereal for some crunch.

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Verdict? I loved it!

It was sweet but not overly sweet like some of the other soy yogurts out there. I would definitely buy this one again and I’m going to have to check out the other flavors.

It still had 19 grams of sugar (gasp!) so I would not eat it every day but it would be nice to have once in a while.

After work, I hit the gym solo and did 3.25 miles on the treadmill in 40 minutes, including a cool down and a minute between miles. I think my running is really improving! I always do better outside but I just didn’t feel up to it with the dreary weather and lack of a partner.

When I got home from work, I was starving, so I had a piece of whole wheat bread with peanut butter and pumpkin butter (I think I might be obsessed)!

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Then, I took a nice hot shower (nothing like it after a tough sweaty run) and got my stuff together to go to Courtney’s for Girl’s Night Potluck.

For dinner, Margie made this delicious VEGAN lasagna (you must get me the recipe girl) and we had salad and bread on the side. Yum!

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I went back for seconds on the lasagna and bread. Margie used vegan cheeses and the dish contained spinach, tofu and lots of other yummy ingredients.

For dessert, I brought these cookies, which I read all the ingredients for and I’m pretty sure they are vegan (not all from this brand are).

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I promptly ate two of them since it was nearing close to 8:30!

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Eh, they were pretty good but nothing I would get again. Unless I was taking them somewhere…at least I could share some cookies with people that had decent ingredients.

Well, that’s all I’ve got. Wish me luck tomorrow, I get to find out what changes I’ve had since July as far as measurements and stuff. I’m not expecting anything but it will be nice to have some new numbers.

I also can’t wait to see if my HDL cholesterol has gone up any. No matter how healthy I have gotten, I’m still struggling to get my good cholesterol up in the acceptable range. It pretty much hovers around 35, the highest it’s ever been was 50 and they tell me 60 is where I need to be, at least!

Good night friends.

Day 27.2: Bookends

Hey guys!

Well, as I mentioned in my last post, I left my camera at home today so all I have for you is the meals I had at home today…breakfast and dinner. The beginning and the end :)

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I tried a new dish for breakfast today. I took a page from Mama Pea’s book and microwaved a chopped apple for 1 minute. Then I added 1/2 cup of Ezekiel golden flax cereal, 1/2 cup rice milk and 1/2 tbsp peanut butter.

It was pretty tasty but for some reason this did not hold me over very well. And by some reason, I mean the fact that it isn’t oatmeal. This would be good on a smaller scale for a snack though maybe.

The rest of the day was not much to write home about except for the massive amount of tortilla chips I ate at work! I swear, if there is one food I am defenseless against, it is those salty crunchy buggers.

After work, I hit the gym for a 2 mile run (indoors, boo rain) and some upper body weights and abs. I was less than motivated earlier in the day but once I got started and finished the workout, I felt GREAT.

For dinner, I made an old favorite: Chickpea Curry!

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I used water this time instead of soy milk and I added 1 cup chopped frozen (thawed) spinach and 1/4 white onion chopped. Plus some garlic and of course, a massive amount of curry paste!

When I got home, I had snacked on some bread already, so when it came time to eat dinner, I wasn’t as hungry, so I had a small portion with the rest of the bread. I can’t believe Josh and I finished off the loaf in one day (it was mostly me I’m sure)!

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Yummy!

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For dessert, I had a So Delicious “ice cream” sandwich. It was even better than last Wednesday, I think because I let it thaw a bit ;-)

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Confession Time…I HATE DISHES!

I mean, look at the how terrible I let things get before I break down and do them.

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Wow, that is embarrassing!

I’m posting that picture to shame myself into keeping up with the dishes. Perhaps that can be a November goal?

Josh, for his part, empties the dishwasher every day so there really is no excuse (other than I hate it). I tried to make it more exciting for myself by getting this natural dish soap!

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What household chore do you hate?

I also took some time out yesterday to enjoy the flowers :) This pic came in handy on a nasty rainy day like today!

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Good night!

Day 27: Hooray for giveaways!

I have left my camera at home again today, so instead of boring you with talking about my food and no pictures, I wanted to take the chance to share some awesome giveaways with you!

First up, check out Dinner at Christina’s for a great dairy-free (“Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living by Alisa Fleming of GoDairyFree.org) and vegan cookbook (My Sweet Vegan: passionate about dessert by Hannah Kaminsky) giveaway!

Also, check out Cooking For a Vegan Lover, where you have a chance to win some awesome goods from Pacific Natural Foods, including Almond or Oat milk, an Ice Tea, and a coupon for 1 Free Pacific Natural Foods item!!

So what are you waiting for? Check out the blogs, re-post, Facebook it and Twitter away :)

Happy Tuesday!

Day 26: Making adjustments

I just realized that today is exactly ONE MONTH UNTIL THANKSGIVING!

This has made me realize that I have been indulging in some things lately that I don’t usually and it’s time to make some adjustments before we get into the holiday season.

To start the day off, I had some healthy, filling oatmeal with apples, cinnamon and peanut butter for breakfast.

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I decided to give the Pumpkin Spice Silk another try so I heated up about 1/2 cup and then poured coffee on top of it.

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BINGO! This tasted great and what a more affordable (and vegan) way to enjoy pumpkin in my coffee :) Next I’m going to have to try Mama Pea’s version!

Snacked on some peanuts for the first time in a while (for me).

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Then for lunch,  I had leftover Vegan Refried Bean cakes which I turned into a sandwich with some spicy mustard!

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I also had some carrots and a new type of hummus on the side.

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I picked this up at Whole Foods over the weekend. Once again, it was just okay. I’m going back to the good stuff after this ;-)

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After lunch,  I went to class and tried not to fall asleep. I managed but I still yawned quite a bit. Exercise Science is an interesting field to me but we’re still making our way through all the body systems and I’m finding it rather dull.

Later in the afternoon, I snacked on some soy yogurt.

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This stuff was way too sweet and made me realize that I have been consuming more sugar lately than I am used to. There’s one adjustment I’d like to make. I need to find a good brand that has lower sugar. Some are better than others. And I definitely need to stick to plain and put my own stuff in it.

After work, I went for a 4 mile walk. I had it on my “agenda” to run tonight but it was one of those days where I walk just sounded like a better idea. I really enjoyed it and my legs are definitely still tired!

For dinner, I was having a major bread craving, so I made this ciabatta loaf I picked up at Kroger (take and heat):

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I also made a nice salad of Italian style greens and a drizzle of Italian dressing.

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Then I heated up some leftover Hot Tamale Vegetable Pie with a side of bread :)

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All together now…

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I’m so glad I took the time to figure out what I wanted and made a healthy and enjoyable dinner. The only thing missing was some good wine, but that is another thing I am trying to keep to a minimum. I am secretly hoping somebody brings some on Wednesday at Girl’s Night :)

With just one month until Thanksgiving, what goals are you hoping to work on?

I’ve also decided to join Caitlin, Bobbi, and many others in the Pile on the Miles challenge that begins on November 1st!

While I have no goal of winning this thing, since there are some really dedicated runners in this group, I do want to make it a goal for myself to get in lots of miles, either through walking or running, between now and Thanksgiving.

This is why I love Mondays, ends of months, and beginnings of new ones. Let’s get to it!

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