Monthly Archives: November 2009

Case of the Mondays

Sorry for the lack of posting lately! It’s definitely been one of those days.

But hey, I’m feeling good and healthy, my Christmas tree is beautiful, my house is clean…it’s all good.

This morning, I had banana oats with PB for breakfast. Surprised?

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All I keep hearing about from people today after this Thanksgiving holiday is that they are going to “go on a diet” or “not eat” for a while. What the heck?

Don’t do it people, it won’t work! Love yourself more than that. Please.

I skipped my usual Monday Starbucks run this morning because I was so full from breakfast (perhaps that’s where I went wrong, ha).

Eventually my appetite caught up and I snacked on an apple and Dark Chocolate Dreams.

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I had soup planned for lunch but the bowl I brought to eat it out of fell onto the floor of my cubicle and shattered :(

I searched high and low at work and there were no spare bowls to be found. So I had to buy lunch today, which totally sucked (I hate spending money unexpectedly).

I decided to go to Einstein Brothers Bagels because I’d never been there before and it was one of the closest places to go (since it was cold outside and I was trying to avoid it).

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I was frustrated and hungry when I got over there, always a deadly combination.

I ordered the “Veg Out” sandwich, which cost me $6.35! I could’ve got a bag of bagels, an onion, tomato, cucumber and head of lettuce for that much probably.

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I don’t know what the sauce was (reminded me of a chipotle ranch) but I’m pretty sure it contained dairy and it even messed with my stomach a bit. I hate that because I didn’t know sauce came on it. Silly me.

This tasted alright and was filling but the high price tag (and the red onions) left a bad taste in my mouth. The bagel also did not work well as “bread” because everything fell out with every bite I took…very messy.

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For $6.35, I could’ve at least gotten a whole meal at Subway. Will remember that next time (hopefully there won’t be one).

I snacked on some more Dark Chocolate crack Dreams and then called it a day. Since I was seriously craving soup, I decided to take it home and make it for dinner!

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Dr. McDougall’s soups rule! I still have two more to try after this.

This Roasted Pepper Tomato really hit the spot and made my nose run a little ;-)

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The tortilla chips were a nice touch!

After dinner settled, I went for a really freakin’ cold walk with my friend Candy and then hit up Target to see if they had any good deals. I got a fleece and some more warm pajama pants for $20.

My in-laws early Christmas present came at the best time! :)

When I got home, I felt hungry again and even though I’d had my fair share of chocolate peanut butter, I’m apparently not tired of chocolate or peanut butter, individually.

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I’m so glad Monday is over and I can’t wait to try again tomorrow. Really though, today wasn’t too bad. Could always be worse, right?

I should’ve expected a rough transition coming off a five day weekend, ha ha!

How do you deal with a case of the Mondays?

First three are the hardest

I woke up a little bit earlier this morning to do some shopping!

Strangely, it’s like no one knows about the new Target out where I live. Because from 9-11 this morning, I had plenty of room to roam :)

Before I left, I had oats with banana, wheat germ and peanut butter.

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After doing some shopping (mostly for myself, I had a gift card) I came home and had my leftover falafel and sweet potato fries from last night.

I had to work really hard to get up the motivation to run today. After sitting on the couch for a while I finally made myself get up, put on my gear and head out the door.

It was a beautiful day for a run, I think the high today was 62! The first mile or so, I was breathing kind of heavy but I just kept at it and eventually everything leveled off.

For me, the first few miles are always the hardest. Once I get past three, I am on cruise control. It is the strangest thing. So when I got to that mark today, I kept going.

I did 5.75 miles in an hour. I felt really good toward the end and knew that once training starts, it won’t be too difficult to gradually increase my mileage. I’m so excited!

I downed a few glasses of water and then busted this open to put together a snack.

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Some out of the jar, some on toast!

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Oh, it had been too long. Thank goodness for that Target gift card :)

Hope you are having a great Saturday!

Unproductive

Here I sit on Friday night and I feel like I got absolutely NOTHING accomplished today. But you know what? Sometimes we just need days like that.

I woke up this morning at the late hour of 8:40 a.m. (seriously that is late for me) and made some breakfast:

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Pumpkin oat bran with raisins, chocolate chips and PB. Seriously, you think I would be tired of chocolate chips by now. Nope!

I met my mom for coffee and read some really cool vegetarian magazines at the bookstore where I got some ideas of things to buy and places to shop for some vegan goodies. Plus it was nice catching up with my mom since we didn’t see each other at Thanksgiving.

For lunch, I ate some vegetarian baked beans and brown rice but didn’t take a pic since it’s the exact same thing I had for lunch yesterday!

Suzie got a bath and did this most of the afternoon:

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Before I went grocery shopping, I started having a mad craving for some falafel and made a stop at Shiraz Mediterranean Grill which has my absolute favorite falafel (so far).

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I nixed their sauce and added my own hummus. I also fell for their sweet potato fries and finally decided to try some!
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But I gauged my hunger and knew I couldn’t possibly finish all of this food in one sitting, so I put one of the falafel balls with the veggies and pita plus half of the fries in the fridge for another meal.

Here’s my actual plate:

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It was delicious!

After dinner, we watched the movie “Year One” which wasn’t as funny as we’d hoped it would be. Thankfully we only got it because we had a free rental from the Redbox.

Dessert/Evening snack was my favorite, you guessed it.

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At first I was kind of bummed that I didn’t exercise today (other than grocery shopping) but I think I needed today since I ran a 5 mile trail run on Wednesday and did a very challenging yoga program yesterday. My arms and shoulders are totally sore today!

So I’m thinking a run is in order for tomorrow. Probably going to wait until later in the day when it warms up a bit. It’s freaking cold out there tonight, I think we’re getting down to 32, boo!

I’m not a fan of cold weather. But I can appreciate the need for seasons. Sadly, I held out as long as I could…we turned on the heat tonight. We’re only going to use it when absolutely necessary but tonight I was freezing.

Hope wherever you are, you are warm and comfy!

Good night :)

A different kind of Thanksgiving

Hello friends! I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving :)

Before we left for my in-laws house, I did the 33 minute Yoga Sculpt program on Exercise TV after hearing Caitlin rave about it. It was insane! I was shaking and sweaty by the end of it.

I’d started this one before but gave up on it, but since Josh was in the same room, I think I made myself finish it this time :)

After that workout, I needed a snack to refuel!

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Then it was time to head out for dinner!

I didn’t take any pictures at dinner because it was a pretty special time and I didn’t want to spoil the moment and be like “Hey, care if I take pictures?”

But here’s what I had for dinner:

  • A delicious three bean salad made by my stepmother-in-law
  • Corn
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Mashed potatoes (which were made special for me without milk or butter!)
  • 2 little rolls that I spread with my own Smart Balance Light
  • Cranberry sauce

I stopped eating when I was full and the food was put away after we ate so it was nice to not even have the temptation there.

We watched some football and at one point everyone (but me) was asleep! See what happens when you don’t eat turkey? Ha ha.

Several hours later, we finally had dessert. I brought my leftover Chocolate Crescent Wraps from Wednesday night.

This Thanksgiving was unlike any other I have ever experienced. It was the first one I’ve celebrated with my in-laws, my first one as a vegan, the first one I can remember that I did not eat too much or feel like taking a huge nap afterward.

In other words, while Thanksgiving was a special time with family, when it came to everything else, it was just an ordinary day. That’s what I liked most about it.

Thanksgiving Day

Tonight, I will be celebrating my first Thanksgiving as a vegan. My first without turkey, dairy, butter, eggs, etc. I am grateful to have family that respects my wishes and is preparing some things for me to eat.

It’s days like today that make me feel so good about my decision :)

For breakfast, I fueled up on my favorite meal. Oat bran with banana and peanut butter. I used 1/2 cup of oats this time to hold me over longer.

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Suzie spent most of the morning doing this!

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We are out of coffee at home and I had been drinking tea but today, I had a major coffee craving. I felt guilty for doing it since they have to work on Thanksgiving, but I went through the White Castle drive thru!

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I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’d ever had their coffee but man, it was good! I can see now why they have “America’s Best Coffee” or some sign like that.

I went and visited with my mom for a bit since we are spending Thanksgiving with my in-laws tonight. When I got home it was lunch time!

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I used to eat these all the time when I was younger but I hadn’t had them in forever! I heated up a cup and threw them on some leftover brown rice.

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Yum! I didn’t include any other veggies because I’m going to be having a plethora of them tonight!

I think I am too sore from yesterday to go for a run today so I’m thinking yoga, some strength training and a walk with the dog is all I need today.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I am very thankful for this blog and the friends I have made because of it. Have a great day :)

Oh, what a night

Last night’s girls potluck got off to a rough start.

While something was reheating in the oven, it caught on fire! Luckily, we were able to call the fire department, Court broke the glass to get the fire extinguisher out, and I put the fire out.

And he didn’t go down without a fight, but we were able to get the cat in his carrier to take him outside and away from the fumes.

It was crazy for a while but we were all grateful no one got hurt (just a few scratches) and there wasn’t much damage to the home, only a mess to clean up. The oven got the worst of it.

Since the main dinner course was covered in extinguisher dust, we ended up going out to eat at Penn Station. I got the artichoke sandwich with added mushrooms and no cheese and some fresh cut fries (the best).

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Luckily dessert survived and we greatly enjoyed it when we got back from dinner!

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These are Chocolate Crescent Wraps :)

It was a practice recipe that I made to get ready for the FoodBuzz and Pepperidge Farm 1,2,3 Puff Pastry contest that I have to make an original recipe for. I’m still trying to figure that out but in the mean time, these were a hit!

I got the puff pastry sheets with a free coupon from FoodBuzz and once it was thawed, I cut it into triangles.

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Then I laid on the chocolate chips (I used regular since I didn’t have mini).

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I spread a little Smart Balance light on the rolls instead of using the egg mixture the recipe called for.

Just a little time in the oven and voila! They were yummy.

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It was a crazy night indeed but we feel lucky that things didn’t go much worse, which they could have. I also think it sort of made us all come together and help each other out a bit, which is exactly what Thanksgiving is all about.

My first trail run

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

I was blessed to be off work today so I took full advantage. I slept until 7:45 (that’s late for me) and got the day started with some pumpkin oat bran.

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Complete with some raisins AND chocolate chips…because I just couldn’t choose.

In lieu of coffee (because I’m out at home), I had some stash green tea :)

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In one of my favorite mugs!

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Although now it reminds me of the poor chicks in Food Inc. Moving on…

Since I knew I was going for a run today, snacking was crucial. For a pre-run snack, I went ahead and “tried” one the dessert I made for tonight.

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I’ll post more about that later!

Then, we hit the trails at Seneca Park for an awesome, fun and challenging 5 mile trail run! The trail itself was 3.1 miles so the rest was around the track and back and forth to the car.

I was a little nervous on the trail, but thankfully I did not fall! And I liked being unfamiliar with the course because I couldn’t tell how far we were going which is a good thing since I like to psych myself out. There were some really challenging hills on the course too, so this course was great for me – I stink at hills. I can’t wait to do it again!

My legs were feeling it by the end of our run, but they felt GOOD. We stretched and then headed back home where I proceeded to inhale this banana with PB.

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Then I soaked in the tub for a while, listened to some indie rock on Pandora, and then finally got an appetite for lunch.

I started with some salad + hummus:

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Then I heated up leftover brown rice, stir fried veggies and black beans from leftovers this week.

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I think this dish was inspired by Heather’s husband CD who likes to refuel with stir fried veggies too! But I can see why he eats it – it hit the spot and was perfectly filling too!

I had a few chocolate chips after lunch :)

I watched some Dr. Oz since I’m never home to watch his show usually Cutie Bob Harper was on there too. Yay! Then I felt like I needed a nap, so why not? 

I slept for 2 hours!

I’m getting ready for girl’s night potluck now but I felt sort of hungry so I snacked on some mixed nuts to hold me over.

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And now I am feeling some more tea (it’s getting cold here) so I think I’ll get to that. See ya later!

Have you ever ran on a trail before? What did you like or dislike about it?

Peanut butter power

I’m so glad you guys enjoyed my review of Food, Inc. I can’t stress enough that you should see the movie yourselves and also just get out there and research more about food and where it comes from. This is stuff we need to know.

For breakfast this morning, I made oats but didn’t feel like pumpkin or banana so I just threw on some raisins, peanut butter…and chocolate chips!

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It was great :)

Mid-morning I snacked on an apple and peanut butter.

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For lunch, I tried a frozen meal from Amy’s Kitchen. I was feeling like Indian food today.

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This dish tasted really good, my only complaint would be the size.

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I should’ve paired it with a salad or extra veggies. It was a decent meal though and it lasted me a couple of hours.

Later, I had some peanut butter…

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And carrots + hummus:

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Finally, I felt satisfied and I went for a 3 mile run around campus then did some ab work. On the way home I snacked on some mixed nuts to hold me over for dinner.

When I got home, I went for a 3 mile walk with another friend. My legs feel good and it was fun but I am tired!

Luckily while I was out for my walk, I was able to cook up a batch of brown rice in my steamer/rice cooker. I totally forgot the steamer has that function too.

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When I got back from my walk, I sautéed some vegetables on the stove.

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I sprinkled the veggies with chili powder and hot sauce. Then I threw half the batch on a cup of brown rice and chowed down.

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I threw on some more hot sauce once I mixed it all up. I like the flava.

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Now I’m relaxing on the couch, catching up with blog reading and Facebook. I think here in a bit I will have some toast with peanut butter and chocolate chips, as if I haven’t had enough peanut butter today!

Josh even pokes fun at my nighttime snack now, it has become such a routine.

What about you? Do you have a favorite go to night time snack?

Food, Inc.

As you guys know, I watched “Food, Inc.” the other night. Actually, I have watched it twice now because I wanted to make sure I absorbed as much as I could. I think if I watched it again, I’d likely pick up something else I missed the first two times.

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Anyway, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the movie, “Food, Inc.” is a film that explores the relationship between our food supply and the big corporations that control it all. It also tells the stories of farmers who are forced to borrow money and not make much in return. And a woman fighting for stricter government standards after her son died from E Coli.

There’s so much more to it than that but I thought it would be better for me to stop there and just share my thoughts with you:

First, I became a vegan for health reasons as I’ve mentioned several times. But this movie was really the first time I had watched something that showed animals being led to their deaths. I was horrified.

What really got me was the assembly line of baby chickens. This happened in the first five minutes of the movie and I cried. There were a few more instances like this in the film but it wasn’t the primary focus, in case you were afraid to watch it for that reason.

Here are some things I learned from the film that I didn’t know before:

  • Even if you don’t eat fast food, you are still eating meat from one of the “big” companies (4 companies control 80% of the beef in America)
  • The average American eats 200 lbs of meat per year!
  • There are only 13 slaughterhouses in the U.S., where all of the meat here comes from.
  • Cows are meant to eat grass but they are fed corn because it is cheap and makes them fatter quicker.
  • The FDA has reduced it’s number of inspections over the years, big time!

I really enjoyed the commentary by Michael Pollan. I have not yet read his books but he came to visit my workplace a year or so ago and I got the chance to hear him speak. The man knows a lot about food!

I also had an “Oh, great!” moment when I saw the farmer from McLean County, KY. I didn’t even know the place existed but I looked it up and it’s more Western KY, like where Josh’s grandma lives.

Anyway, that guy seemed to care more about making money than anything. It was sad. Especially considering it’s in my state.

I also found it disappointing that the big companies all declined to be interviewed for the film. I would have liked to hear their side of the story but I guess if they won’t even comment, then I just have to assume what they are reporting on in this film is true. They obviously have something to hide.

I already don’t eat meat but one thing I could stand to do more of is shop at Farmer’s Markets. The “season” is coming to a close soon for most markets but I found one here in Louisville that is open until mid-December so I thought I would try to get out there before it closes.

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I also remembered a market that I’d been too with my parents a few times which has a lot of local goods, so I think I will make a trip out there as well.

Next summer, when all the markets are back open, I hope to get all of my produce from there!

It will be a gradual process but I hope to also convert some of my purchases to organic. I’d been hesitant in the past due to cost, but since I avoid meat and dairy products in order not to consume hormones or antibiotics, why not hold my the food I do eat to the same standards?

I really enjoyed the film and it really made me think and realize that while I care a lot about being healthy and vegan, I need to be more conscious of where all of my food is coming from and what is in it.

“You can change the world with every bite.”

Have you seen this movie? What did you think?

There is so much more to it than the little bit I covered here. I hope you will rent it and see for yourself. Have a great day!

Short work week

I can’t believe Monday is already over and I only have to work one more day this week, woo hoo! Sorry for those of you who have to work more than that though. I’ve been there.

Breakfast this morning was oat bran (cooked with water) with peanut butter and a sliced banana. Simple and delicious.

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It was also quite filling! My mom took me to Starbucks this morning (becoming a Monday tradition!) and all I could bring myself to drink was a black coffee. But I really enjoyed it, which got me thinking…that is how I prefer it ;-)

Mid-morning I snacked on some carrots + hummus, always a good thing.

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Good snack, bad picture.

Then for lunch, I tried another soup from Dr. McDougall’s!

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I was pretty impressed at how much soup this was, my bowl almost wasn’t big enough!

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This was my favorite one so far! Look at all the veggies:

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I would definitely get this one again! Lots of veggies with barley and lentils mixed in. Pretty filling too.

I snacked on a grapefruit after Exercise Science class which was very interesting today, all about overtraining.

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I normally don’t eat this much fruit in a day but my mom gave me this a while back and I wanted to eat it before it went bad. It was delicious!

I also had a second snack later in the afternoon which was like a homemade trail mix with mixed nuts and raisins. I think next time I’ll add a few chocolate chips too (sorry no pic).

After work, I hit the gym for a quick upper body training session. It was one of those days when I only had 30 minutes to work out and I could’ve easily just blown it off but instead I made due with what time I had!

  • Warm up: 5 minutes walking on the treadmill
  • Chest presses: 20# dumbbells, 1×12, 1×8, 1×8
  • Military shoulder presses: 15# dumbbells, 1×10, 1×8, 1×8
  • Bicep curls: 15# dumbbells, 1×12, 1×10, 1×12
  • Tricep extensions: 20# dumbbell (1), 1×12, 1×8, 1×8

For dinner,  I had a repeat of last night’s black bean burger only this time I had a potato and salad with it (sorry no pic again, I was lazy today).

After I ate, my friend Candy came over for a walk. We did 3.3 miles, which I know for a fact thanks to Map My Run, a really great website for mapping distances.

How do you determine distances? Do you use a website, a Garmin, pedometer, etc?

I was feeling pretty hungry tonight so I snacked on two slices of Ezekiel 7 grain bread with peanut butter and chocolate chips. I’m good now!

Hope you had a good Monday friends :)

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