Category Archives: coffee

Not really Fall

If you asked about weather preferences, I would be the first to exclaim that I am totally a warm weather person! I hate being cold, so cold that no matter how many blankets you throw on or cups of tea you drink, you can’t shake that shiver.

But this year, it’s just been HOT. We hit the 90’s in June and hardly looked back. While that is okay for the Summer months, here we are getting ready to celebrate the first day of Fall and it’s going to be 96 degrees.

So as much as I love Summer and dread Winter, I need a happy medium!

Even though Fall has yet to really arrive, I’ve been getting a head start on my favorite Fall flavors.

001I actually found this tea on our trip to Brown County back in July, I’ve been saving it for a while! 🙂

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I also found some Pumpkin Spice coffee at one of my new favorite places in the world (haha): World Market!

Pumpkin spice coffee!

Sadly, even though I’ve been enjoying my pumpkin beverages, I have yet to actually make anything with “real” pumpkin. But it’s still early. Heck it’s not even really Fall yet.

Side note: has anyone been able to find Libby’s pumpkin anywhere? I’m still on the hunt. Whole Foods brand organic pumpkin just isn’t the same 😦

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Feeling squashy

I started off Wednesday with some more oatmeal. I have had the same thing for breakfast almost every day this week!

Hey, if it ain’t broke

I’ve been alternating between sprinkling a tablespoon of milled flaxseed and raw wheat germ on my oatmeal. Both have great nutritional benefits (see links)!

Along with green juice, I have also been enjoying homemade iced coffee with unsweetened coconut milk 🙂

I snacked on some natural almonds.

For lunch, I had another Sunshine garden herb patty inside of a pita pocket with a tomato slice and salsa verde.


The tomato I used was purchased from Huber’s Farm, which is located about 45 minutes away from me over in Indiana. I felt good about making a semi-local purchase, but I was still sure to wash and scrub the tomato as I’m not sure what might’ve been on there.


I also had some cauliflower to round out my meal!


For “dessert” I had a new to me fruit: a champagne mango!

Since I didn’t bring a knife to cut it with, I just bit right into it.

The skin had a little bit of a funky taste, so I ended up peeling it back and eating the fruit inside. It was so good! It had a slightly different taste than a regular mango and I found this one to be much juicier and sweet than most mangoes I’ve had.

For my afternoon snack, I had a Larabar. One of my favorite flavors!


Then I went home and took Suzie for a walk instead of going to the gym. It was a good choice!

I was hungry when we got back so I had some raisins, which is what I was craving 🙂

Then for dinner, we headed over to Beth’s house for our weekly girl’s night potluck. On the menu this week: Squash!

Beth made a delicious dish of summer squash baked in garlic herb tomato sauce. It looked very simple but was bursting with flavor.

Between this dish and my beloved spaghetti squash, I can declare: I LOVE SQUASH! I love how it is technically a vegetable (?) but you can make it the main component of your meal. It is quite versatile since there are so many varieties of squash and ways to cook them.

I also had a side salad with diced tomatoes and onion with Annie’s natural goddess dressing and some warm, soft and chewy Meijer bakery bread, which I have absolutely no willpower to turn down 😉

For dessert, Margie brought a lovely rice milk treat.

I have had this brand before and their ingredients aren’t too bad and the sugar content is moderate, which I think being made from rice milk helps that. I thought it was pretty good too!

I enjoyed this while we watched New Moon. I never read the books but it’s fun to watch the movies and find out what everyone is obsessing about, ha ha. From an “outsider” perspective, I thought the second movie was better (but a little long), since the first one just made me laugh.

Do you like squash?

30 Whole Days – Day 1

In my last post, I discussed how I have decided to go forward with a 30 day whole foods challenge started by Happy Herbivore.

As I was preparing for this challenge, I couldn’t help but think it’s amazing how much my personal food philosophy has changed over the years.

I first got “healthy” in 2007 by making lots of lifestyle changes (drinking water, cutting out fast food, exercising, etc.) and lost a lot of weight in the process. But it wasn’t until later that I learned about things like artificial sweeteners, which prompted me to switch to a “crap free” approach to eating.

Then in late 2009, I decided to give vegan a shot after going back and forth with vegetarianism for over a year and now here I am. This challenge is just a reminder that I need to eat whole foods and not rely on processed stuff, no matter what my diet preferences.

I feel like the first day went really well!

For breakfast, I had oats (cooked with unsweetened rice milk) with banana and Krema natural peanut butter (which is made of just peanuts).

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Then I went out and did some shopping with my mom where I enjoyed a black Starbucks coffee (which I haven’t done in a while—I’d gotten hooked on their soy milk).

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I didn’t feel the need for a snack so I just ate lunch when I got hungry. I made some leftover vegetarian baked beans poured on top of a sweet potato and some leftover green beans.

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And later, I snacked on an organic Pink Lady apple before heading to a Derby party.

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I was a little nervous about the party food, but I have to say this challenge has given me more will power, at least today!

I snacked on lots of veggies with salsa and some fruit.

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And since everyone else was eating BBQ and chicken salad, I brought my own black bean burger which I laid on top of salad greens and topped with more salsa 🙂

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While the salsa was technically processed, it was all natural and was a lot better choice than some of the other dips or dressings I could’ve used.

I snacked on a few banana slices and carrots while we were there. One thing I didn’t plan on was the one cup of Coke Zero I had. But I think I’m getting over it – my stomach got upset and I got a headache after I drank it. Hmm…I had water the rest of the time!

When I got home later tonight, I felt hungry and knew I was low on grains for the day, so I had a small cup of oatmeal with peanut butter and some peppermint tea.

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I’m sure I am going to face more challenges, but one day in I have to say: so far, so good.

Oat bran in a jar

I haven’t done oats in a jar in forever and last night when I saw how little was left in this particular jar, I decided it was about time!

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It ended up being oat bran in a jar! I cooked 1/3 cup oats with 1/3 cup Silk almond milk and 1/3 cup water. I totally meant to add flax but I forgot!

Topped with a sliced banana 🙂

004Do I even need to say how good this was? Great way to start off a relaxing morning at home (I took off work today)!

006I enjoyed two cups of coffee with more almond milk before getting started on my errands and chores for the day.

I got pretty hungry by 11:30, so I went ahead and made lunch. I had a little bit of everything I was craving, including lots of leftovers!

007Leftover falafel (with hummus), couscous, asparagus and sweet potato cornbread.

After lunch, I wanted something sweet and this ripe, juicy pear was just the ticket 🙂

009I’m hoping to get Suzie outside for a walk soon because it’s so pretty out and I need my Vitamin D.

Tonight, Josh and I are going out to dinner (not sure where yet) and then we are going to a friend’s house to play some board games – can’t wait!

Hope you enjoy the day too!

On a kick

I have been on quite the green smoothie kick this week!

Today’s combo included: 1 cup Silk almond milk (1/2 plain and 1/2 vanilla – ran out of plain!), 1 frozen banana, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tbsp peanut butter, and 2 cups of spinach. I have enough spinach left for one more, so I expect to have another one at some point tomorrow 🙂


Don’t look at my dishes! It was 5:45 a.m. when I took this picture, ha ha!

Mid-morning, I snacked on a Primal Strip. The name was no joke, this thing was HOT and SPICY!


I also had some coffee with the very last of my coconut milk creamer. I love coffee, not just for the wake up but I really like the taste. I have stopped drinking it black because it was staining my teeth and I read that adding creamer to make it lighter helps.

For lunch, I had leftover falafel on a bed of lettuce, carrots, and topped with hummus. This was delicious and didn’t upset my stomach in the slighest. Must’ve been something else going on the other night.

I got hungry for lunch around 10:45 this morning, so that is when I ate it. I am guilty of preconceived “meal times” so this is hard for me to do but I’m so glad that I did.

I also had a crispy Gala apple to finish off lunch. I didn’t get hungry again for over 4 hours!

This afternoon, I decided to take a break and run an errand. While I was out, I picked up a McAlister’s unsweet tea because I was thirsty and wanted something besides water. It was tasty!

Now I am snacking on some yogurt + granola before I leave work to go to the gym.

Then I have plans to meet a group of friends for dinner tonight at Tumbleweed. One of our mutual friends is visiting from out of town, so it will be nice to catch up with him. Enj0y your evening!

p.s. I have a “special” post coming at you later tonight. I’ve decided to make a change, for now (no, I’m not changing my diet, I love eating vegan). You’ll see!

Easter 2010

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” (1 Peter 1:3, NIV)

What a beautiful day!

I decided after the 10-miler yesterday and being a special day and all that I should have a special breakfast this morning. Which usually means…pancakes!

I called on the Pumpkin Pie Pancakes recipe from my Vegan Planet cookbook. The last time I made these, I substituted a lot of ingredients but this time I stuck to the recipe for the most part, only substituting applesauce for oil.

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I also cut the recipe in half so I wouldn’t have a lot of leftovers. They were so very good. Dense and yet still fluffy. I think the Silk almond milk helped too!

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I topped them with Dark Chocolate Dreams and sugar free syrup (trying to use it up) and had blackberries and coffee on the side 🙂

When we got home from church, I was really hungry and knew we were having a late lunch so I snacked on some mixed nuts.

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Lunch was nothing too special, except of course for the company. Anytime I have a disappointing restaurant/food experience, I always remember what my friend Carrie says: “So what if it’s not the best meal you’ve ever eaten, going out to dinner isn’t really about eating anyway, it’s about socializing, you can eat when you get home.”

We went to Our Best, which is a lot like Cracker Barrel with their southern style country cooking. Today was buffet style which was kind of disappointing because they usually have more veggies to choose from on their “regular” menu, but I just went with it.

I started off with some salad and a roll.

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When I went back through the line, I was sad to see the only thing really “safe” for me to eat was corn. My husband yelled at me from across the room not to eat the green beans – they were cooked in meat juice, he found out for me.

So corn, more salad and another roll it is!

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Believe it or not, I actually got pretty full. It wasn’t the best or most diverse meal ever, but I felt blessed to celebrate with our families, which definitely made it a special day 🙂

After lunch, I did some serious grocery shopping and since it was so warm and sunny outside, I said what the heck to another…

027 I am an addict. I need to at least start making these at home to save some money, right?

For dinner, I made a tasty Indian dish I found at Whole Foods.

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The only thing I dislike about products like this is that they aren’t as big as they look. The box said 2.5 servings but it was really more like 1.5 once I cooked it.

However, it was very good! Spicy, just the way I like it 😉 And still cheaper than an Indian restaurant.

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I had some leftover peas and 1/2 of a Greek pita (I’m multicultural today) on the side.

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As I am blogging, I am enjoying a POM spritzer, which is just POM wonderful juice and some seltzer. I’m going to write a longer post about POM at a later date since the company sent me some free samples 🙂

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Time to do some housework, homework and soak in the tub before going to bed. I’m still not too sore from the run yesterday, just some tightness in my quadriceps.

Hope you have had a blessed and beautiful Easter weekend 🙂

Race day again!

Good (very early) morning friends 🙂

I am up and at ‘em getting ready for my 10 mile race this morning. It is already 62* at 6 a.m., it is going to be quite a warm race day!

I fueled up with some oatmeal since that seemed to work pretty well for me before the last race I ran.

001This bowl contained: 1/2 cup oats (cooked with 1/2 cup almond milk + 1/2 cup water), 1 tbsp milled flaxseed, 1 tsp agave nectar, one sliced banana and a tbsp of PB 🙂

I also had some coffee to wake me up at this ungodly hour (for a weekend at least)!

002  Even Suzie is like “What the heck, Mom?”

004 Now it is time to get ready!

003 Thanks everyone for all the supportive well-wishes and advice. I am going to go out there, have fun and enjoy the weather for this race (since it is normally in the 30’s)!

Hope you have a lovely Saturday. For a race recap, check River City Fitness (and Twitter) later today!

Starbucks run

Even though it was 60 degrees already when I woke up this morning, I really wanted oatmeal for breakfast 🙂

This bowl contained:

  • 1/2 cup oats (cooked with 1/2 cup Silk Almond milk and 1/2 cup water)
  • 1/2 of a HUGE red delicious apple (some pieces were cooked, some added after)
  • 1 tbsp milled flaxseed
  • 1 tsp Agave Nectar (made such a difference in the taste!)
  • A few sprinkles of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Natural peanut butter

This was one of the best bowls of oatmeal I’ve had in a while. Maybe because I haven’t had it as much lately? Absence makes the heart grow fonder…

After breakfast, I started off my day with a dental appointment. It wasn’t that bad but I definitely felt like I “deserved” a treat afterwards 🙂

The only time I ever order a VENTI from Starbucks is with their iced coffee. I added soy milk to mine, of course. But that’s it.

I also picked up a snack while I was there because I was pretty hungry even after that nice bowl of oatmeal (it had been over 4 hours though).


I love the new snacks at Starbucks! These pomegranate-vanilla cashews were a little pricey ($2.50) but honestly, so worth it. At least today it felt that way 😉

These were sweet, crunchy and just what I needed to get me through my mid-morning hunger. I was just going to eat half the bag (one serving) but I waited a few minutes and I was still hungry so I went ahead and finished it (the whole bag = 300 calories). All better now!

Giveaway Alert!

If you want to win some So Delicious coconut milk-based desserts, be sure to check out Heather’s Blog and mention that I sent you 🙂

Eating and drinking locally

For dinner tonight, I got to meet an old friend and some of our other friends at Ramsi’s Cafe on the World, one of the BEST places to eat in Louisville.

I almost got the sloppy falafel again but I decided to branch out and try something new since they have so many vegan options there.

This time I got the roasted vegetable panini.

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This sandwich ROCKED! It contained portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, squashes and red onions, topped with vegan basil mayonnaise and vegan cheese served on homemade Cuban bread.

The only thing I think I would change about it is leave off the (vegan) cheese. Even though it was vegan, I just don’t really like eating cheese if I don’t have to. I loved the vegan mayo though!

The avocado spread that came with it was delicious too. Oh yeah and those potatoes. Great meal, I was very pleased 🙂

After dinner, we walked next door to Heine Brothers, one of our local coffee shops. I got their pumpkin pie latte with soymilk, which I was happy to discover is vegan (the syrup at Starbucks contains dairy!) after I inquired about it on their website earlier this week.

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This was so tasty! I think I liked it better than Starbucks (gasp). Plus I think I just love the fact that both places I went tonight were local.

OH! I almost forgot to mention the totally awesome 4 mile run I had today. Yeah. The weather was perfect and I felt great!

The one thing I noticed I am struggling with though is breathing. If I could keep it steady and regular, I wouldn’t have as hard of a time. It comes and goes but right now I feel like I’m gasping for air a lot.

If you are a runner (or aspiring runner), what is your biggest struggle? Body aches, fatigue, breathing, or something else?

No day but today

I just realized how hilarious it is that today is not only the day my rent is actually due (yes, I paid it) but today is also the day I get to see the Broadway play RENT for the very first time!!

We are also settling in to more Fall-like weather this week with highs in the 50s-60s and lows in the 30s-40s and best of all, no rain in the forecast! The leaves on the trees are all red, orange and yellow – it’s just beautiful. I’m very appreciative for the Fall. Now winter? It can just stay away.

I started my morning off early since my internal clock thought it was 7:30 (really 6:30) and I even forgot to set a few of my clocks back, oops. But it’s always better to forget this one than the Spring forward which would make you late!

I first made a huge cup of coffee to jump start my day.

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Then I enjoyed a nice hot bowl of oats with chopped apples, cinnamon and almond butter.

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Ahh, I cannot wait to see the play. I am still sick but I’m looking forward to the road trip with my 2 best friends and the play so much that I’m not letting it get me down.

I leave you with a video of one of my favorite songs from Rent (video is from the movie version). I honestly don’t have a favorite because I love them all. I’m so excited!!!