Category Archives: changes

Update on goals

I decided to kick my caffeine habit on Monday, May 24th and I am happy to say that so far, so good.

I still drink one cup of caffeinated tea per daybut that is significantly less caffeine than I was consuming (19 mg caffeine vs. 90). I have only had one minor breakdown where I was literally falling asleep at my desk and had to have a cup of the “real” stuff.

(Image Source)

But once in three weeks is pretty good, no?

I wish I could say it is helping me sleep better but that has actually taken a downturn (hence falling asleep sitting up). I’ve been up every night past 11 (sometimes 12) and then I’ve been waking up every morning at 5 or 5:30 to work out before work.

I can function well on 6-7 hours of sleep normally, but when I start going under the 6, it becomes a problem. I need to work on this soon because not getting enough sleep can cause a whole lot of problems! It seems like it’s hard to fit everything in and still get enough sleep but somehow I have to do it.

I also gave up drinking diet sodas and I think now that I have found enough other drinks to enjoy, it’s not so hard to resist them anymore. I haven’t had one since May 8th! Josh even has a 24 pack of Coke Zero in our house where I can see it and I’m still not tempted.

A diet soda here or there isn’t such a bad thing, but I have no moderation. I would drink that entire 24 pack in just a few days. Then the artificial sweeteners wreak their havoc on me. No good for me, so no thanks!

If you read my fitness blog, River City Fitness, then you know that I have been taking Body Pump classes regularly the past two weeks (this week is the 3rd). Since I am in a regular weight training program now, I am trying to pay more attention to what I eat after my workouts, including adding more protein to some of my meals and snacks.

I’m also learning a lot thanks to this summer “Nutrition in Athletic Performance” class that I’m constantly cramming for taking right now. I’m also having a lot of fun, eating healthy, hanging out with friends, not worrying about my weight and just enjoying life.

So that’s what’s going on right now. How about you?

Have you given up something recently? How is it going for you?

I’m not ready

So, here we are. The 10th of May, right? Sigh.

I started a 30 day challenge on May 1st in order to eat as few processed foods as possible. While the organizer of the challenge said it shouldn’t be hard or impossible and if you need to “bend” it a bit you can, I still tried too hard to outdo myself.

Plus, I really miss hummus, chocolate chips, and pancakes. And organic ketchup, salad dressing and Smart Balance. I need to not overeat any of these things but I don’t want them out of my life totally either.

I was a little embarrassed to say this at first but to be totally truthful with you — I’m just not ready for this challenge!

May is a very busy month for me and I just came off of a week of Derby, birthday celebrations (mine), wedding, graduation parties and Mother’s day. These were challenges I realized ahead of time and I tried to plan around them but got a little overwhelmed too.

While the rest of the month won’t be quite as crazy as the past week, I just don’t think I am ready to take on this challenge fully. Perhaps in June? Or maybe never!

I just can’t handle the pressure of another challenge right now. I’m going to keep eating as few processed foods as possible and do a lot of reflecting on where I want to go next with my goals.

I learned quite a bit on this one week I participated in the challenge though:

  • I’ve been reading ingredients and labels like a mad woman! I should be doing this all the time.
  • I need to get back to meal planning so that I don’t get too repetitive and bored with what I make. I also need to keep trying new foods!
  • I need to check out restaurant menus ahead of time and see what vegan-friendly dishes seem the least processed and most nutritious for me.
  • I love fruit! I had been keeping fruit to a minimum due to sugar content but now I’m enjoying a few servings a day and getting more variety. Plus the natural sugars in fruit are so much better than those added in processed foods.
  • I can keep processed soy products (like tofu) to a minimum. I’ve really enjoyed focusing more on veggies and beans to bulk up my meals.
  • I won’t buy anything with ingredients I can’t pronounce or that should not be in a product (for instance, I just want “peanuts” in my peanut butter).
  • I want to make my own foods as much as possible (like homemade bread, nut butters, milks, salad dressing, etc).
  • I love drinking coffee and tea “black” or just using an unsweetened nut milk for “creamer” but I have a caffeine habit.
  • I don’t have to buy canned soup, frozen meals or burritos at all!

This one week of the challenge also helped me realize some goals I have as far as changes in my daily diet go. I think these are the changes I wanted to make originally and used the challenge to try and help me get there.

But let’s just take the challenge part out of it for a bit. Here are the Big 5:

  1. Break the caffeine addiction
    What started out as 1 cup of coffee a day at work has turned into 2 and that doesn’t count the weekends when I can have the equivalent of 4-6, thanks to the coffee maker and Starbucks iced coffee. I’m not sure how I’m going to do this yet.
  2. Eat 100% whole grain
    For me, this means oats, oat bran, brown rice, whole grain couscous, other whole grains, and only homemade whole wheat bread. I don’t even want to buy store bought bread anymore, it’s just not as satisfying. I also don’t miss whole grain pasta now that I’m back in spaghetti squash mode. So I think I’m done with that too.
  3. Limit to one alcoholic beverage per week
    Alcohol should be a treat and not a daily indulgence. We visited a winery over the weekend and I chose not to buy a bottle because I don’t enjoy it as much if it’s readily available to me all the time. For me, it should be a treat enjoyed only while out with friends or having a girl’s night potluck 🙂
  4. No diet soda, ever!
    The stuff makes me feel like crap, plus all those chemicals give me nightmares (not literally but just the thought of what they are doing to me). Why do I torture myself? I am working toward nipping this in the bud. Pom + Seltzer is helping 🙂
  5. Eat only the best foods
    Basically, I want to eat a healthy vegan diet, full of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, legumes and whole grains. I still plan to keep processed foods to a minimum, but I can’t eliminate them totally yet. I will buy organic and local when I can and I’m hoping to try lots of new recipes soon. I want to eat what makes me feel good, only when I’m hungry and also be an environmentally-conscious consumer.

This is not a challenge and I have no time frame in mind, but I will be working hard toward achieving these goals every day.

I love Mondays! They make me feel so inspired and it’s a new day to work toward a new goal. I feel a little bad that I’m “quitting” this challenge but I’m still planning to keep it in mind as I make my own changes.

What changes do you hope to make in your diet?

Calories revisited

This past week or so, I have been feeling really good about my food choices. I also feel like I have found a healthy balance again (i.e. not eating an entire loaf of French bread and box of cereal in a few days).

I feel like I’m back in control!

Therefore, I have decided to back off of calorie counting for a while. I had started doing this at the beginning of the year (January 4th) after overdoing it over the holiday break and especially when I began the Pound for Pound challenge in February.

Sure, it took a few months and a few setbacks to get here, but I’m in a good place again now and don’t feel the need to do it anymore for the time being at least. Personally, I think its okay to go back and forth with anything health-related that you do, depending on the situation.

No decision I make on here is forever.  I’ve changed my mind about my diet, about running, and a lot of other things over the past three years. There are things I don’t anticipate changing that sometimes do. I remember saying on my blog that I could never be a vegetarian, ha!  And I actually like to change things up from time to time, I think it goes with the seasons and keeps things exciting for me.

I shared a lot about my personal experiences with calorie counting back in February 2009.

You may also remember, I last gave up calorie counting (and weighing!) in May 2009 and did great until the summer when things got out of whack.

I went back to what I knew would work — food journaling and accountability — in September.  Then, in October I did a 30-day vegan challenge which is now responsible for my new way of living!

Even though I’m taking a break from counting anything, I’m still going to use my journal red notebook to plan meals, jot down notes and thoughts about my eating and workouts but there won’t be any numbers on there for a while. I just don’t need to spend time adding them up and would rather use that time for finding new recipes to try out!

I believe the best thing for me to do is to listen to my body for hunger cues, eat only when I am hungry and fill up on nutritious, whole foods.

But for me, it’s hard to do this all of the time and there will be occasions when I get out of “harmony” with my body, which is when I usually go back to tracking but only temporarily while I get balanced again. I know there are arguments on both sides of calorie counting, but I think it is up to the individual, their situation, and what is healthy for them.

For me, it is helpful to see how much I have “let go” and to become aware and focused on healthy eating. It’s also interesting to me to see how my body needs more certain days and less on others. It’s never the same! It is also one of the tools that helped me lose 70 lbs. But I know a lot of others out there, like fellow blogger Meghann, who were successful with weight loss and did not count calories.

So if you don’t need it, then don’t bother with it. It does get old sometimes and doesn’t give you the whole picture in terms of nutrition. And while this didn’t happen to me this time, calorie counting can also become an obsession and cause you more stress than it will help you.

So I’m not giving it up completely, I’m just taking a break from it for a while. We’ll see how it goes.  I’m confident that with my vegan diet, blogging regularly again, and a renewed focus on more whole and less processed foods, I can do just fine. I’ll still pay attention to the calorie counts of certain foods but I won’t keep a tally.

And by “do just fine” I mean I will be able to stay positive, energetic, balanced, and either maintain my weight or lose a few pounds. I did pledge to lose 10 pounds through the challenge!

This is just my story and my experience. I’m not trying to give anyone any advice other than search inside yourself, learn from your experiences, treat your body well and stay positive always.

Saying goodbye to moderation

First, I cannot thank you all enough for the most supportive comments ever. Sometimes when I write such personal posts as this one, I don’t know that anyone even reads them but I should know by now, you all are the best and always have my back 🙂

It was also interesting to read that so many of you are going through the same thing or have at some point in your journey. I think sometimes I try too hard and forget that I am human and I need to keep in mind who I used to be and where I came from.

In my last post, I mentioned making some changes. I’ve said before that being vegan has been amazing for my health, my body, and my soul as well. So there won’t be any changes there. In fact, I feel like I’ve gotten quite “used to it” and when I am doing everything the right way, I feel the best I ever have. So now, how do I get back to the “right way”?

This isn’t anything too drastic, just a refinement of what I’ve already established as my personal food philosophy. I will also be making some life changes and blogging changes (I need to be on here more!), but I’ll save those for another post 🙂

  • Get control of my carbohydrate intake (from grains): I love carbs and as a runner, I need them, but the amount I’ve been eating lately is too much and could lead to inflammation and excess body weight (since anything not used by my body goes to storage). I also need to make most, if not all, of my grains WHOLE and cut back on the refined, more processed ones.
  • Eat more veggies: including some big salads for lunch or dinner. This will be easier now that the weather is getting warmer because my body usually craves the cold, crisp veggies. Lately I’ve just been heating up a serving of frozen vegetables with dinner and skipping them otherwise.
  • Make protein a focal point: I am usually good about eating beans, tofu, or a veggie burger with a meal but I need to be more intentional in making sure that I am getting enough protein in my diet over the course of the day. Protein not only makes me feel more satisfied and promotes muscle recovery, I’ve also noticed that when I let it slide my immune system pays for it — like now.
  • Need dessert? Eat fruit: Last night, I had a really tasty pear for dessert and it made me realize that fruit would make the perfect dessert. I really don’t need all the dark chocolate and peanut butter all the time, or the bagels/oatmeal that I put them on. Even though I try not to eat too much fruit because of its sugar content, I’d rather eat fruit for dessert than have 1 or 2 servings of something heavier that I really don’t need at night. Like I said, I don’t have a moderation button.
  • Absolutely NO: diet sodas, cold cereal, tortilla chips, jelly beans, or other “red light” foods or drinks in my house. I have to admit that I can’t control myself and moderation is not in my vocabulary, so they need to just be gone. I do okay when I’m out somewhere and they are in the room with me, as long as I don’t start consuming them. There is no “just one” or “just a few bites” for me. I realize that now.

I had an awesome lunch yesterday at North End Cafe (post about that coming later) with my friend Kim and we both talked about our desire to eat more fresh, less processed foods as much as possible. I can’t wait to start going to more Farmer’s Markets.

I’ll be honest and tell you that right now, I don’t even want to buy bread from the store. I would rather make my own. I know it takes time and effort but at least I would know what was in it. And I feel like if I had to take the time to make it myself, I wouldn’t eat it all so fast! I would make it last.

So I’m brainstorming ways that I can eat more whole foods that are as fresh and non-processed as possible. I also want to buy more organic when I can afford it. Any tips?

What is something in your diet that you would like to change or improve?

900 posts

Wow. When I started this blog in May of 2008, I never would’ve imagined writing 900 posts. But that’s what this one is…number 900!

I think it is appropriate, in post number 900, to say that I am doing some serious brainstorming regarding See Sarah Eat. I’m talking design, features, possibly self-hosting, etc. I’m ready to take this blog to the next level. It has been amazing (and exhausting) for me to go back and look at old posts here recently, because so many things have changed (for the better) over the past year and a half.

The early days:

  • I used to write pictureless posts about what I ate that day.
  • I used to obey the food pyramid!
  • I used to post the calorie counts on almost every meal I ate.
  • I used to take some really ugly fuzzy pictures!
  • I wrote this: “I could never go 100% vegetarian because its just my personal belief that excluding anything or eating too much of one thing just doesn’t work for me in the long run and that goes for all foods, not just meat.” Uhh…
  • Thought I was lactose intolerant, only to realize I’m not. Or am I?
  • Went through “phases” where I thought low-carb was a good idea.
  • I was (and still am) an emotional eater.

Some of my favorite posts from the past 19 months:

And now:

I can’t wait to see what happens over the next 900 posts. Thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for reading, commenting, and for being my friends. I can’t say it enough…I love this community! I don’t know where I’d be or what I’d do without it.

I’ve got so much more to catch you guys up on but I am beat (ran 4 miles after work) and it’s time to hit the hay! Good night 🙂

Day 15: Leftovers & reflections

Good morning!

I bet you can’t guess what I had for breakfast today 😉

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If you guessed, leftover pumpkin pie pancakes, well you know me pretty well then!

Today is shaping up to be a good day. A positive attitude can really enforce this too. This morning, I woke up late (had trouble sleeping due to racing thoughts) and got stuck in some traffic on the way to work. Plus the weather is rather dreary, it’s sticking in the 40’s and has been raining for the past several days now.

But…I’m going to have a good day. Why? Because I said so. When you get all caught up in the negative aspects of life, even the little things – especially the little things, you can really ruin things for yourself. Why bother? In the long run, none of that stuff really matters anyway.

Reflections: My first two weeks as a vegan

I can’t believe it is Day 15 already! These first two weeks have flown by. I sort of experimented with vegan eating throughout the month of September but I took it up a notch October 1st to coincide with Vegan Mofo III, an entire month of vegan food.

I have had a couple of mishaps along the way, mostly with food ingredients, but I have learned a lot and I think I’m definitely getting into my groove two weeks in. Especially now that I am making some awesome recipes out of Vegan Planet. I have one other “vegetarian” cookbook at home to look through but I also am seeing a lot of online recipes that I would like to take a shot at. Plus a ton of other cookbooks are out there too!

I’ve also revealed these intentions with most of the people closest to me. On Saturday, while visiting my husband’s extended out of town family, Josh said “She’s vegan now. No meat or dairy, it doesn’t agree with her.” I thought it was so cute. It’s good to know he supports me and understands why I am doing this.

The challenge is still on but I think I am doing pretty well and I can’t wait to see how this plays out beyond the month of October. I am also looking forward to researching some recipes for the upcoming holidays, as I plan to make these my first animal-free holiday celebrations in 28 years (well, I guess I didn’t eat turkey or ham when I was a baby, but you get the idea). I have to thank you all again for the love and support, I couldn’t be doing this without you!

Operation Beautiful

I posted another Operation Beautiful note yesterday, in the bathroom of another gym that I use here on campus. I’m really enjoying this and I can’t wait to do more and more 🙂


Have a blessed day! And bless someone else while you are at it 🙂

Day 7: I’m not hungry, I…

Hello friends!

After my last post, I did a lot of pondering and my head is overflowing with thoughts right now. I find that is the best time to put them on the blog 🙂

So, let’s talk about today’s eats so far.

This morning, I had a great green monster made with 1 cup Almond Breeze, 1 sliced banana, 1 tbsp wheat germ, 1 tbsp peanut butter, a few handfuls of spinach and a few handfuls of ice. It was tasty!

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But it made me soooo cold. I’m going to watch the weather forecasts but I’m afraid I may have to retire green monsters for the Fall/Winter. However, I want to make it a personal challenge to sneak some greens in by using other methods (like Heather’s green oats, for example). I’m all about following the seasons.

For a snack, I had…you guessed it…more nuts.

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After this snack, I got up a did a 15-minute walk. It is on my “schedule” to run today but that’s not going to happen. I am too sore from yesterday’s workout, so I think two short walks and perhaps some yoga when I get home are good enough for today. Yep.

Lunch was something I should never do. I learned a long time ago that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches do not fill me up. However, I’m a girl on a budget this month so I thought I’d give them another try.

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With some mixed veggies, I felt pretty satisfied after I ate. But two hours later when I got back from class, I was more than ready for my snack!

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I also had some hot chamomile tea.

After this, I really got to thinking about hunger cues and realized it was time to check in with myself again. Me and myself had sort of gotten out of synch when I got sick last week.

A little while after enjoying my snack, I thought “Great. I’m hungry again. Time to go to the bookstore and get a snack.” It had almost become an automatic response. So I waited a while and thought it through. Am I really hungry? Or is there something else going on?

After some water, another 15-minute walk, and lots of talking to myself, I came to these conclusions (for today):

  1. I am not hungry, I am bored. Bored with work today (need to get focused) and bored with my food. PB&J as good as it is, doesn’t fill me up and is rather boring. Especially when I ate it for part of my dinner last night. Bored could also be replaced with dissatisfied.
  2. I am not hungry, I have a sore throat. Sometimes I can mistake thirst for hunger. I have been experiencing a sore throat the past few days due to the ever-changing temperatures in the Ohio Valley. So I think I am mistaking a need for more fluids as hunger. I’m looking forward to grabbing a throat drop and some more tea when I get home!
  3. I am not hungry because I am not feeling anything. When I am truly hungry my stomach will growl. That is not happening at all right now. It’s true that there are times when we need to eat even when we are not completely hungry, but sitting at your desk for two more hours before you get off work is not one of those times.
  4. I am not hungry, I’m addicted. When I got sick last week, water tasted like absolute crap to me, so I downed lots of fizzy beverages which have been known to be a culprit when it comes to “faux hunger” in my case. Artificial sweeteners trick my brain into thinking it needs more food. So I’m kicking them to the curb, yet again. Yes, today is the first day so it obviously carried on beyond my sickness.
  5. I am not hungry, I’m tired/sore/etc. There are a million other things going on in my life that sometimes make me want to eat. That is why it is so important to be in touch with yourself, at all times. Today, I am feeling tired and sore. Another day, I could be happy and energetic. All of those feelings are not hunger. It’s easy to get it all confused.

What about you? Are there times when you know you aren’t hungry, even though all you can think about is eating something? What do you do?

For our Girls Night Potluck dinner tonight, I am making minestrone soup. I made it this morning, using a pre-packaged mix…something I will NEVER do again. Live and learn, right? Hope so.

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This package looks innocent enough, in fact, I made this back in September 2008 and thought nothing of it (other than it was good and convenient, as we had experienced a bad wind storm earlier in the week). That was because I was not eating a vegan diet then.

I’m a bit disappointed in myself because while at the store over the weekend, I had all the ingredients to make Courtney’s taco soup, but I chose to save money and get this soup mix, which was on sale for $2.99. Not much less than the ingredients for the other soup, but still less. Unfortunately, I compromised more than I knew. I even glanced at the ingredients looking for certain offenders. I must’ve been blind that day.

**How could I have missed chicken fat and beef stock?!**

Don’t just assume because a soup has no meat in it that it doesn’t have animal products. Lesson learned. Going to take and eat the soup anyway, but I’ll be more careful from now on.

I’ve sort of had to compare this transition into vegan eating to transitioning into a healthy lifestyle. I didn’t do it overnight. Lord knows I made a ton of mistakes along the way. Lots of ups and downs. I’m not perfect. But I’m learning! 🙂

Day 6: The running munchies

Okay, so it’s time I did some re-assessing here. The thing that drives me crazy about running is the major appetite that it gives me, which in the past, led me to overeating a lot of sugar and carbs which led to weight gain and hence, a hiatus on running to calm things down.

I want to find a happy medium. I am not going to be running any marathons, I’m pretty much a short distance gal these days. I love me some 5Ks.

But I don’t want to have to give it up completely just because it makes me ravenous (or tricks me into thinking I am). I want to nip this in the bud before it gets out of hand. So after I tell you what I ate yesterday, I’m off to do some research.

Breakfast yesterday was a banana PB oats!

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I used 1/3 cup Almond Breeze and 1/3 cup water this time and it did make them taste creamier and added a little flavor so I think I will do that from now on. I should’ve tried that with my pumpkin oats before they ran out. Oh well!

Snacked on some nuts mid-morning, this is becoming rather redundant but I love them 🙂

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For lunch, I had leftover tofu and some broccoli.

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Then I still felt hungry so I raided the leftover snacks from the day before’s baby shower and took a few crackers (checked the ingredients on the box first). Pretty good!

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A couple of hours later, it was workout time! Farrah and I ran around 1.25 miles in 10 minutes. We actually sprinted a little bit because we were trying to beat a train that was coming 😉

After our “warm up” we went into the gym and did a quick strength routine, including:

  • Squats
  • Dead lifts
  • Tricep pushdowns
  • Dips on the bench
  • Seated rowing machine
  • Leg lifts (front, side, back)
  • Abs
  • Back extensions
  • Tricep kickbacks

Whoa, no wonder I am sore today. Whenever I reflect back on what we did I am amazed because it doesn’t seem like that much at the time. We even cut off early because we were both pretty sweaty and tired 🙂

When I got back to my desk, I snacked on a Nature Valley bar (last one).

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I love these and they are vegan but I need to reduce my intake of processed snacks for a while (again). But they will come in handy if I’m ever stuck at a gas station needing a snack 😉

I also had some of these evil things, thank goodness they are gone now.

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It’s this kind of stuff that running makes me crave. But I don’t keep them in the house so I should be okay from now on. Tortilla chips aren’t too bad but I have trouble keeping it to one serving if you know what I mean.

I had a Pampered Chef party to go to after work and so I packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I ate on the road.

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Most of the Pampered Chef recipes for the cooking shows include meat, mostly to showcase their baker that can go in the microwave, so I knew I had to be prepared.

They ended up making a pork tenderloin salad but the host graciously suggested they keep the meat separate. What a sweetheart! I didn’t even ask 😉

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The salad contained some sort of salad mix, red onions (which she sliced with a gadget I so need to get), thawed frozen corn, and a dressing she made using ranch dressing and some seasonings from the Pampered Chef catalog. I know ranch dressing is not vegan, but I used a little bit anyway. I’m still working on getting this whole lifestyle down, so please excuse me for now.

I also had a nice plate of veggies and a few chips. Thank goodness they were some hungry kiddos running around so I couldn’t go back for more chips!

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What’s funny is there was this awesome looking cake and I had zero interest in it! Usually desserts get me big time but not last night. Hmm…I’ve noticed I’m craving the salty stuff. Why is that?

When I got home, you guessed it, I was hungry…or so I thought?

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I thought I was done after this but my stomach started growling around 10:30, which is way past my “cut off” eating time, so I had another snack.

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Let’s just say I learned a lot today. I didn’t do anything wrong and I’m not disappointed or anything with myself. Nope. Not one bit.

I just want to change some things and get out of some ruts. I think I am officially “over” the chocolate chips and PB snack. For real. Hello burn out! And I really don’t like the bread that I bought. I mean, it tastes good but it’s too flimsy and I’d rather spend more and get better quality (like Ezekiel English muffins, yum).

Time to make some lists and get some recipes in the queue, this girl wants her whole foods back! And let’s try a few new things too 🙂

Thanks for reading…have a great day.

Day 4, Part 2 : More soup & salad

For dinner on Sunday, we went to Cracker Barrel, which I quickly learned was very vegetarian/vegan-unfriendly after some quick searches on the internet. Just Google “cracker barrel vegan” and see what you get!

Apparently they cook a lot of their veggies in meat juice (some with ham) and rumor has it, they put lard or some other animal products in their biscuits.

Not sure what to believe, but since Cracker Barrel is known for their “country cooking” I should’ve guessed it would make my life a little challenging.

Luckily, the soup of the day was vegetable! I don’t know if any animal products snuck into this but it didn’t seem like it to me.


I also had a tossed salad with fat free Italian dressing on the side. Sadly, the little bugger was mostly iceberg, but the tomatoes were good so all wasn’t lost.


It was then I realized I had soup and salad TWICE yesterday. Oops!

After dinner, we went to my in-laws house to watch the WWE pay per view. My husband and his dad are HUGE fans and I used to be moreso when I was younger but I pretty much just laugh at it now. At least John Cena is kinda cute though 😉

I’m much more of a real wrestling girl. Love me some UFC!

I wasn’t quite full from the meal so I snacked quite a bit when I got home a few hours later. There is definitely something to be learned from every experience. Doing research ahead of time helps but I think I should’ve packed a snack or eaten a little before dinner perhaps. Live and learn!

Snacks were some PB/chocolate chip toast and 1/4 cup 5 grain hot cereal with more PB. I have to pace myself on this PB or its going to run out too fast! Remind me to buy 2 jars next time.



I think I may have overloaded my stomach with something yesterday because I’ve had some distress off and on. Perhaps too many grains (I also had some all natural crackers at CB – which was surprising) at once when I’m not used to having that many.

I was glad to have remained vegan (I hope) for another day but I was definitely challenged. I also realized I am relying too heavily on convenient foods and I want to cook more veggie-centric dishes.

Things to plan and look forward to!

On the other fronts that I mentioned last week, I am doing okay. I tend to get a little unfocused on my goals when I have too many so I am just taking things one at a time.

I just have to be intentional in doing little things here and there. I really need to go post an Operation Beautiful note, I’ve been wanting to do that forever. Now that it’s on the blog, I have to do it right?

Hope you had an awesome Sunday!

Day 4 – Lazy Sunday

Not only I am sleepy today but my legs are sore from all the walking I did yesterday, so I’ve decided today needs to be at least somewhat lazy for me.

I’ve still got laundry going in the other room but I’m sitting here with my feet up and thinking of taking a nap once this post goes up 🙂

For breakfast this morning, I made pumpkin oats.


I don’t know what it was but this bowl just didn’t blow me away. I think it might be the pumpkin, honestly. Perhaps I got an old can or it just tastes better when it’s in season?

Or maybe I need to cook them with some non-dairy milk instead of just water? Hmm…

This bowl contained 1/3 cup oats (cooked with water), 1/3 cup pumpkin, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp chocolate chips, 1 tsp pancake syrup and 1 tbsp peanut butter.

I also tried another Starbucks VIA product today that I got as a sample while I was there yesterday doing the taste test.


This Italian Roast was okay but I definitely prefer the Columbian, so I am glad those are the ones I purchased yesterday with my coupon. These are something I probably won’t make a habit out of since a pack of 3 normally costs $2.99 but I’ll definitely use my coupons first!


Spiked with some Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla.

For lunch after church, my parents, Josh and I went to McAlister’s Deli, which I hadn’t been too in a long time.

I ended up getting the Pick Two combo of half a Greek salad (with no feta) and a cup of the vegetarian chili. It was delicious.



I’ve been doing some thinking and research about soy. I’ve heard a lot of things on both sides, that soy is beneficial, helps prevent cancer, good for bones, etc. But I’ve also heard that soy is dangerous, can not really cause cancer but aid in it, and also screw with your hormonal cycles.

As a woman who has struggled with irregularity of my cycles for as long as I can remember, anything that messes with that jumps on my radar. We’re talking late periods, no periods (for months at a time), heavy, light, painful and not so much. Two are hardly ever the same which makes finding the cause pretty impossible. Since there is not a clear, definitive answer that I know of about soy and it’s relation to this, I don’t know that I will do anything other than be aware.

I don’t need to become so reliant on soy since I have decided to go vegetarian and now vegan. I think I do okay with my non-dairy milks (other than Almond Breeze which does contain soy) but it is in so many other products I use that I think I need to start paying more attention.

What do you guys think? Are you a fan of soy or do you avoid it? Why?

Thanks as always for your feedback and I hope you have a great Sunday!