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Very exciting weekend ahead

Wait, what blog is this? Who am I? Where have I been? Ha ha!

Sorry for the sporadic posts about who knows what all the time. I feel like that’s the new purpose of this blog. It’s no longer a food only blog, no longer a chronicle of my past weight loss or the many races I have ran, but instead just random — just like my life :)

This weekend there are some very exciting things going on that I felt the need to tell you about.

First, today, the very first Trader Joe’s is opening in Louisville (first for Kentucky too)!

Image courtesy of Cardinal Cam blog

Notice the teeny sign at the bottom and then check it out in the background :) If you are interested in seeing what it’s like right now, check out Ashlee’s photos on or search #traderjoeslou on Twitter.

I’m waiting until Monday to go because I saw the pictures of the line this morning for the grand opening (you would have thought it was Black Friday) and my good friend Mari says to avoid that place at all costs on the weekends. And when Mari tells you something, believe her ;)

Another cool thing going down this weekend is the Mighty Kindness Harvest Hootenanny at the Louisville Nature Center (across from the Zoo).

It’s a free community festival featuring all sorts of things — music, art, crafts, food, coffee, workshops, yoga, massage, etc. I will be there with the Louisville Vegetarian Club selling vegan baked goods and of course, promoting a plant-based diet.

Photo courtesy of Louisville Vegetarian Club Facebook page

There will be trick-or-treating, food trucks (can’t wait to eat Morel’s again!), and so much that there’s no way I could contain it all in this post. You will just have to come!

However, since I am not above a shameless plug (or two), I have to tell you my friend Kristin will be there selling her crocheted goods and jewelry at the KB&T booth :) You can also check out her esty site if you can’t make it on Saturday.

Photo Courtesy of Kristin's mom :)

Last but not least, on Sunday from 5-7 p.m. my church, Hunsinger Lane Baptist, is having a Fall Festival! And I’m in charge!

 

There will be a lot of stuff for kids as you can see above so if you or anyone you know has kids, bring ‘em on out! We will also have adults there hanging out and socializing. I’m hoping to make a lot of new friends through this event. Everything is free! This is my first year being the director and I have learned a lot already and have a lot of ideas for next year.

As you can probably guess after reading this post, I have taken a day off on Monday to recover (and make that inaugural trip to Trader Joe’s)!

Have a great weekend :) What are your plans?

The Happy Herbivore cookbook giveaway!

I really enjoyed being a part of the Happy Herbivore “blog book tour” and being able to have Lindsay answer some questions for me and my blog readers. You can read the interview here if you missed it!

Now, I am really excited to announce that one of you can win a free copy of The Happy Herbivore cookbook for yourself!

This contest will run until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 4th and to enter all you have to do is leave a comment on this post!

If you are one of those that likes to get multiple entries, here are some other things you can do (if you already do any of these things just leave a comment for each one saying “I already…”):

There you have it, five ways to enter! Already own a copy? Enter anyway and if you win, give it to a family member or friend :)

Note: Open to U.S. and Canadian residents only per request of the publisher.

I will choose a winner randomly and announce it on Tuesday morning!

Good luck :)

Falafel Friday

When I was getting ready to leave work, I was completely stumped about where to get some food for dinner.

Josh and I had decided earlier in the day that we’d go to separate places and get takeout since our diets and favorite foods are quite different ;-) He got pizza…surprise, surprise.

But where do I go? I went to Twitter and asked my near-Louisville friends to get their ideas. They both mentioned Shiraz!

Now, I just ate there two weeks ago but what the heck ;-)

I thought maybe I would try something different but on the drive there, all I could think about was falafel and sweet potato fries!

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Next time, I SWEAR I will get something different, ha ha.

I usually eat the whole order of falafel but since I have made a commitment to be more in control of my portions for the Pound for Pound Challenge, I divided the falafel in half.

I also decided to skip the hummus this time. But I did eat all the sweet potato fries since there weren’t that many. Using my small dinner plate helped!

It was delicious!

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I’m perfectly full but I foresee some form of chocolate chips & peanut butter in the next couple of hours!

Now it’s time to watch “The Hangover” and hopefully not fall asleep on the couch before 9 p.m. :)

Enjoy the weekend!

Day 5 : Back to “normal”

Check out Ms. Jessica’s giveaway of Tropical Traditions coconut oil!

Today was Monday, which meant back to work and the start of a new week! But it is also the first day that I have felt back to “normal” after being sick a little over a week ago and then having my period right after.

Since both can mess with your appetite, cravings, etc. I am glad they are both outta here :)

Breakfast this morning was pumpkin oats. I used the last of my pumpkin can so I won’t be having these for a while. They were good but I still can’t figure out what’s missing. Perhaps my tastes have changed?

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This bowl contained 1/3 cup oats (cooked with water), 1/3 cup pumpkin, a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice and some Skippy Natural PB.

Mid-morning, I enjoyed some new tea the in-laws gave me:

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And some mixed nuts to snack on.

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For lunch, I had some leftover black beans and barley, which I wasn’t too thrilled about at first, but I found some salsa in the fridge which I think gave it the perfect touch. I ended up really enjoying it!

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I got back to Exercise Science class after missing last week, so that was good to get caught up. I’m really enjoying everything I am learning in this class but I’m starting to think I won’t be able to stick through getting another 4 year degree (I already have 2).

So I’m thinking after this semester I may just get my personal training certification and then go back to school later if time (and money) permits. I really want to get to work!

After class, we had a baby shower for a co-worker who is so cute it’s ridiculous. I’m so happy for her. There was also some good food. I just snacked on some tortilla chips and salsa (plus more chips).

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I knew I had to get a run in sometime today and it was going to have to be after work. Luckily, I hopped on Twitter and saw a few others who had either gone for runs or needed to. So that inspired me to get it done!

I did one of my favorite paths near my neighborhood with no time in mind. After I was done, I came back in and looked it all up on Map My Run.

It says I did 2.85 miles in 25 minutes! That’s an average of 8:46/mile! Holy smokes. I’m not sure how accurate that is but I’ll take it.

My time also isn’t exact. I left the house at 6:03 p.m. and reached the front door again at 6:28. So it’s a guesstimate. I even walked for a few minutes including a warm up and cool down so I was quite impressed with that.

I do think I am getting faster, as my 1-mile runs with Farrah have proven. I texted her after this run to tell her I wanted to go fast again tomorrow but she wisely told me to wait and see how I feel tomorrow. Ha ha.

After the run, I did lots of stretching including pigeon pose to keep my hips from getting tight and lots of downward facing dogs. I love yoga.

For dinner, I made some baked tofu which I am now confident in keeping in my diet for the time being. Thanks again to those of you who commented on my soy question in a previous post. I really appreciate the feedback.

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I’ve decided I’m a big fan of mixed veggies. It’s just the right combo of starchy and green. I think I just like mixes in general instead of just having one veggie on the side.

I’m currently watching “Dancing with the Stars” hoping my man Chuck Liddell makes in another week!

I also snacked on this and perhaps a bit more PB :)

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I think I will have some tea and call it a night soon. Hope you had a great Monday!

Cleaning out MySpace

Good morning bloggies!

I decided today to cancel my MySpace account since I now have the blog, Twitter, and Facebook to keep me occupied and lately I’ve been plagued with nothing by spam and friend requests from people I don’t know, so I figured, why bother?

While I was “cleaning it out” (aka copying all my pics and other stuff I want to save) I remembered the “blog” feature on there and I found a few things I wanted to save from that too. There were two in particular that stood out to me and I felt were worth repeating here on the blog, over a year and a half later!

Here ya go :)

1-18-08 Happy Annivesary to Myself

On this day, January 18th, of 2007, I officially (in writing and everything) took control of my lifestyle and started living healthier. I can’t believe it has been a year already. So much has changed that now, not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually, etc. I’m having a hard time remembering how I was before; I guess that is a good sign!

For anyone who wants to start living a healthier life (don’t diet, don’t get surgery, please!) you can do it and you can do it all on your own. You don’t need diets, doctors, surgeons, whatever. You just need yourself and the people or things in your life that give you strength. I’m always happy to offer advice and support, I’ve been where you are!

Well, I had planned to write a longer, more intelligent blog on this topic but I think I waited too late in the day when my creative juices (fueled by caffeine) have dulled. But alas, it was worth mentioning.

Happy 1st anniversary self, here’s to many more :)

Sarah

1-29-08 (My discovery of the various forms of oatmeal!)

In my quest to eat things less processed and more whole/natural, I decided to buy a can of oats instead of my usual flavored instant oatmeal packets. So with that and needing to use up the rest of my skim milk this week, I have had oatmeal for the last few days and I am having way too much fun experimenting with different fruit and flavor combinations. Here is what I’ve had so far:

Saturday – 1/2 cup of oats, 1 cup of skim milk (cooked in microwave) and 1 tsp honey, 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (290 calories)

Sunday – same oats & milk, plus 1 medium chopped red apple, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (335 calories)

Monday – same oats & milk, plus 1 tsp honey and 1 medium sliced banana – My 2nd favorite so far! (355 calories)

Tuesday (today) – same oats & milk, plus 1 box (about 1/4 cup) raisins and 1 tbsp semisweet chocolate chips! YUM! (430 calories)

All of these made a huge bowl of oatmeal which is very filling and nutritious. I think tomorrow or the next day, I will try some combination with peanut butter. And there’s a recipe for oatmeal in my Biggest Loser cookbook that has orange juice in it, so I may try that too. But so far the chocolate one has been the best :)

p.s. 1-30-08: Tried oatmeal with banana and 1 tbsp peanut butter, pretty good tasting and very filling, but still not nearly the awesomeness that is the chocolate and raisins! YUM.

p.p.s. 2-5-08: I tried the oatmeal with banana and peanut butter again, only with 3/4 cup milk instead of a whole cup. It was much better (chunkier) and I could taste the peanut butter more this time around! :) I’m thinking of calling it my Elvis Oatmeal, for those of you who are familiar with The King’s favorite sandwich!

p.p.p.s. 2-7-08: Yet another update! I added a teaspoon of honey to the apple & cinnamon oatmeal and that made it much better.”

Haha, I loved reading about the first time I tried banana PB oatmeal — it obviously stuck more than I thought it would!

Have a great day friends :) Thanks for indulging me on this little stroll down memory lane.

p.s. Don’t forget to enter my Musselman’s Applesauce giveaway — contest ends at 11:59 tonight!!

Financial health is important too

If there is one thing in my life that I let bother me a little too much at times, it is our current financial situation. Luckily, my husband is a rock and always tells me “everything will be okay” and I’m finally starting to believe him :)

In fact, we are doing much better than when we first got started together 4 years ago. We’ve payed off one car (2nd one will be in November), settled all of his credit card debt and consolidated mine, and we’ve managed to keep a budget so that we are able to pay all of our bills on time and still have a little bit of fun here and there.

But we have no savings!!

For people who want to buy a house and raise children someday this is just not acceptable. Not to mention dangerous because we all know those “emergencies” (i.e. broken down car) are going to happen, it is inevitable. Unfortunately when this has happened in the past, we’ve had to rely on money borrowed from our parents and/or credit, eek!

One day I finally thought to myself…”If I could be as disciplined with my finances as I am with my healthy eating / exercising, we’d be in good shape.”

This past week, we were on a tight budget at the grocery store. We managed to get everything we needed for the week for $35 when we usually spend $50-70/week on average. What I did was write out exactly how many meals/snacks I needed and then went from there. No extras. I even bought shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent and dryer sheets because we actually needed them. So really, we spent less than $30 on food items!

So, I said “Why can’t we shop like we’re broke every week?” Ah ha! Total light bulb moment.

Then today I saw a comment from Kath on Twitter about budgeting and she referred me to SELF’s “Save Like Me” blog. Let’s just say I have been taking notes!

When a person first begins a new healthier lifestyle, they may list some behaviors that they want to start adopting to help keep them on track: drink more water, exercise 30 minutes a day, take the stairs, etc. So in that same spirit, here are my new steps for the improvement of my financial health:

  1. Only buy what I need at the grocery store each week – This is tough but it is a must and the place I could see the most improvement. Some people buy shoes, I buy too many jars of peanut butter that I don’t need. I need to go with a list and stick to it. Josh has also agreed we can shop more than one place now to get the best deals!
  2. Put at least $10 in savings every pay day and don’t touch it – I can put it in, but it almost always comes out. I’m serious when I tell you there is $0.00 in there as I type this. If I had actually stuck to this, I could’ve had at least $260 in there from last year!
  3. Redefine what counts as a “necessity” - We would all love to have Starbucks every day but it is just not financially responsible. Like the Save Like Me blog writer says “If a designer latte costs about 100 times what it costs you to make a cup of joe at home, think about it: would you pay $1,000 for a pizza?” I believe this should also apply to dining out…sometimes I feel like I’ve paid $10 for something I could’ve made at home for under $5.
  4. Save some fun money – Josh and I have not gotten new shoes, clothes or other things we actually need in ages (hello, a haircut!) because we spend all our money eating out or on other forms of entertainment. We need to establish some sort of fund that will allow us to get what we need when we need it. Did I mention we haven’t gotten each other birthday, Christmas or Anniversary gifts but maybe once since we’ve been married? Yikes.
  5. Realize we are not perfect – This isn’t going to change overnight. It took us years to get where we are now and it’s going to take even more to get to where we want to be. And every now and then we’re going to spend too much on something we shouldn’t. But hopefully through this exercise we will be more conscious of our financial habits and make some healthy changes!

Thanks everyone for reading this non-food/exercise related post! There will be more changes, this is just a start.

Do you have any tips for financial health? I’d love to hear them!

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