Category Archives: dining

Lunch at Cumberland Brews

This past Saturday, we had our monthly community meeting for the Louisville Vegetarian Club at a local joint, Cumberland Brews.

Photo courtesy of Cumberland Brewery Website

We had a really great discussion about how to eat “vegan on the cheap” and also how to apply that to other things we consume besides what we eat (clothing, beauty products, cars, etc). I learned a lot and it was great to hear where other people are coming from. Refreshing.

We also got to eat some really tasty food!

On the recommendation of my friend Karen, I ordered the veggie burger (which is a falafel patty!) with no cheese and some fries. The lighting was not the best but here’s a small glimpse.

CbIt came on a bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion and a mushroom, plus some guacamole I happily smothered on top. Would you believe I ate everything on that plate. It got messy, but it was so good.

Once again, I am very thankful for the LVC. If it weren’t for our meeting here, I would maybe never have known how delicious the food is (I’m not much of a beer drinker). I will definitely be going back again someday!

Cumberland Brews on Urbanspoon

Happy date at Simply Thai

On Saturday evening, my husband decided he would rather go out to eat instead of cooking at home, which I wasn’t too happy about at first.

But I decided it would be a nice date night for us, just one problem…we have the hardest time finding new places to go eat that suit both of our dietary preferences! I’m vegan; he likes meat and not many vegetables. Go!

Luckily, after much research, eye-rolling and heavy sighs, we found Simply Thai, a small local Thai restaurant (Voted Best of Louisville!) with plenty of dishes for both of us to choose from. Josh pointed out that almost everything is vegan, unless you add meat to it 😉

I got the Pineapple Curry with Tofu, level 3 spiciness (on a scale of 1-5).

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The taste was perfect. Sweet, spicy, creamy and delicious. I need to make this at home 🙂
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Each dish came with white rice, which isn’t my first choice, but I happily stirred some into my dish as I ate it.

As you can see, it was just awful…ha ha.

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For dessert, we had a BOGO coupon for Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, which luckily had some delicious Strawberry sorbet for this vegan wife to enjoy (he had cake batter ice cream). 🙂

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I haven’t had sorbet since I had a tooth pulled back in December (and could only eat mushy foods) so it was a nice treat.

While I think it would be awesome if my husband ate the same way I did, since that is not happening anytime soon, it was nice to have a night out that satisfied both of us.

Does your partner eat the same way as you? Or is it a challenge to find places to go together?

Simply Thai on Urbanspoon

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

R & R

Hello! I hope wherever you are that you are having a great day. It’s rather rainy and cloudy here, perfect day to stay in the house catching up on rest and relaxation!

I’m rather sore today so exercise of any kind is the furthest thing from my mind 😉

Last night for dinner, we went to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate our friend Beth’s birthday. I started off with a couple pieces of bread (no butter) because I was hungry by the time we got there!

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For my dinner, I ordered the Fresh Vegetable Salad with no cheese. It came with Asparagus, Green Beans, Tomato, Cucumber, Roasted Beets, Apple, Edamame, Radicchio, Romaine with Pomegranate Vinaigrette.

This was an “appetizer salad” but man it was huge!

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Here is a pic of me and some friends at dinner, including the birthday girl on the right 🙂 I look like I have something coming out of my head, no? Check out the huge salad bowl!

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I ate the whole thing 🙂 It was delicious and I wasn’t too full when we left either. Lots of friends ordered some amazing looking cheesecake, but I am just not a fan, even before I stopped eating dairy.

We had another birthday party to get to, but I managed to stop at Starbucks to pick up a tall soy pumpkin spice latte! This is only my second one so I think I am doing okay at moderation!

While hanging out with friends and watching the UFC (which was so disappointing-yet another guy I like lost) I snacked on some tortilla chips.

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I was proud of myself for passing up dessert at the restaurant and not eating any birthday cake either. But honestly, I did not want it and the pumpkin spice latte helped too I’m sure!

I also had some peppermint tea before bed. It’s my favorite!

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This morning, I woke up and made some hot cereal with peanut butter and sliced pears.

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Now that I’ve had a day or two to think about it…I do prefer almond butter! I never thought I’d say that in my life. But MaraNatha did it for me. I’ve heard Barney Butter is good too but I can’t afford it (the one place in town I can find it has it selling for $9 a jar)!

I drank some coffee with Almond Breeze and a second cup black. I got a bit hungry at the end of Sunday School and I forgot to bring a snack so I had a blueberry muffin to hold me over.

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I have no idea if it contained dairy but I’m almost sure it did. Oh well.

For lunch, Josh, Mom, Dad and I went to Zaytun’s Mediterranean Grill, which was so exciting to me as this is my favorite type of food. This was my third time visiting, as I have been once with my friend Aleta and another time with Mom.

I ordered a vegetarian platter that came with hummus, Baba Ghanouj and falafel. Doesn’t get much better than this!

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I ate all the hummus (with 4 pita slices) and 2.5 of the falafel balls (I made Mom try some). Josh got this really huge meaty gyro, which he said was okay. I was proud of him for trying it though. He’s just not as into it as me 😉

When we got home, I ran a couple of quick errands and then had a piece of organic dark chocolate for a snack.

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I’m doing my best to stay off my feet today but I think it’s time to switch the laundry around so I’d better at least do that, ha ha. Hope you have a great afternoon, be back later with dinner!

Bringing it all back home

We woke up this morning later than normal after our late night from the concert 🙂

I was going to get up and work out. I did get up but my body felt tired and sore so I said oh well and just headed down stairs to the breakfast bar.

Same thing different day. Why mess with a good thing?

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After we checked out of the hotel, we were on a search for Al’s Italian Beef. Josh has been looking forward to eating at this place possibly even more than Gino’s, where we ate on Friday.

The first location we checked was closed due to “technical problems” and the second location, near a college campus, was closed on Sundays! We were about to give up when we checked a third location…score!

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Josh was very happy to try this massive beef sandwich with provolone.

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He said it was literally the best beef sandwich he had EVER had in his life. He can’t wait to come back to Chicago.

He also had some fresh cut fries..I tried a couple, they were pretty good. But I had fries last night so no more for me today!

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Believe it or not, they had something Sarah-friendly! I ordered the veggie wrap with no cheese.

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The veggies were fresh and there were lots of ‘em. This is the way to do a veggie wrap! It included lettuce, tomato, olives, red onion, peppers, mushrooms, regular onion and I think that’s it. I know some of it was their homemade relish. Yum 🙂

I also cracked up at the cups…can you see the message on the bottom?

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“Caution:Beverage in this cup may be cold. Duh!” Ha ha.

After lunch, we walked across the street to use the bathroom at the original Gino’s East! Josh said this will be the street he comes back to next time for sure 🙂

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We got back in the car and headed back home 😦

I napped and read some magazines in the car, including this article that caught my interest in the September issue of Shape (I think).

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More on that later…

We stopped at a gas station and picked up some snacks and drinks for the rest of the ride home (it takes us about 5 hours). Actually I just grabbed drinks and snacked on some more popcorn that I brought from home.

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Josh got a huge stick of beef jerky…

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And some Doritos which he said come second only to his Pizza flavored ones. Ew. We are so different, ha ha.

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One thing we did have in common…

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His and hers Coke Zero. I swear I’m quitting again tomorrow!

When we got home, I knew I had to make a list, sort the coupons and go to the store. So I ate some dinner because I was hungry and you never want to go grocery shopping that way.

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I had a Boca vegan burger with tomato and mustard in a pita pocket with some romaine salad with raspberry vinaigrette. It was a nice light meal that fueled me through my errands.

I snacked on some Cheerios with soymilk later on.

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It is time to get to bed so I’d better call it a night. Back to work tomorrow. What a weekend!

Hope yours was fun too 🙂

Hello…hello…hola!

We are back home from Chicago now! Part of me is glad to be back home and getting on my regular routine but I also feel a great deal of sadness because I love big cities, including Chicago, and I would love to live there 😉

I was going to post last night but we didn’t get in until 3 a.m.! The concert was great and there were lots of other adventures throughout the day and night. But let’s start from the beginning shall we?

I got up at 5:30 a.m. to get in a workout before breakfast. I hit the hotel gym and did 30 minutes on the treadmill. I alternated walking and running, gradually building up my running minutes and then cooled down for 5 minutes. It was an awesome way to start the day!

After showering, we all headed downstairs to check out the continental breakfast. I thought it was a decent spread for a moderately priced hotel (we stayed at a Hyatt in the suburbs). Josh wasn’t real thrilled with it though.

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I was hoping for some instant oatmeal and hot water…bingo! I brought my own almond butter from home and also picked up a banana from the breakfast spread.

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Just like being at home!

I also had some complimentary Seattle’s Best coffee in the hotel lobby. Who needs to pay for Starbuck’s when you can get Seattle’s Best for free? I did laugh at the sleeves though. Seems like a contradiction?

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Once we were done eating, we headed into the city to line up for the concert at Soldier Field.

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We got there at 9 a.m. and yet there was already quite a line!

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We set up camp and started finding ways to pass the time. It was neat seeing what all the other people were doing too. Hydration though, was the key to everything.

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I ended up drinking over 3 liters of water yesterday!

Mid-morning I snacked on some almonds. This was my last pack 😦 I need to get some more!

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Josh and I went for a walk to look for some food for later in the day, which if I had to guess, was about a mile each way. I definitely got exercise in that day!

We decided to eat a really late lunch to hold us over during the concert so I sort of grazed throughout the afternoon.

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By the way, that Odwalla bar above rocked my socks. It was vegan technically (I checked the ingredients) not vegan as it contains calcium carbonate but it only had 7 or 8 grams of sugar, the lowest of the Odwalla bars I’ve seen.

For “lunch” or whatever it was, I got a veggie dog (a stand actually had them!) and some Sun chips. I didn’t get to photograph it because I had to pick up our stuff and move up in the line and my camera got buried in the bottom of my purse and my hands were full.

It was actually really good though. I couldn’t tell you what was in it but it did the job 😉

We finally got into the stadium around 5 p.m.

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What a show! I’m not quite the huge U2 fan that Courtney is (haha) but I had a good time and got to hear a lot of the songs I’ve loved since I was much younger and some new ones too. I can see why the people line up so early, they sounded fantastic…flawless. We were close too!

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After the show, it was hell getting out of the place. That many people all trying to leave from one exit, eek!

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When we finally got to our car and started heading back to the hotel we were STARVING. With it being so late at night, we didn’t have many options, so we hit up Steak ‘n Shake. I’m pretty sure I haven’t been to one of these in years, definitely pre-blog days if not even longer ago.

I ordered the grilled cheese sandwich with french fries. It wasn’t perfect but at least I could keep the meat out of this meal. I was tempted to get a milkshake too, but I managed to talk myself out of that and it was a good thing because this filled me up fine.

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Tragedy struck here though. Before we got our food, I went to the bathroom (since it had been about 8 hours since I’d gone!) and while I was flushing the toilet my wedding ring slipped off my finger (its been too big for too long) and went right down the drain!

I still can’t believe I did it. It’s gone. I was really frustrated and sad but that was mostly due to being hungry and it being so late at night. I’m okay now but I’m still upset at myself for it happening. But my husband has lost 2 so he just patted me on the back, ha!

When we got back to the hotel I had a piece of dark chocolate and some tea and finally hit the hay. It was long, it was hot at times, there were some really interesting people and things but all in all it was a great day. One for the record books 🙂

Coming up next…the last day in Chicago and making our way back home!

Full of pizza

Happy Friday evening to ya! I don’t think I have blogged this much consecutively in forever. It helps being out of town and away from usual distractions. And having wi-fi at the hotel…

Anyway, before we headed out for dinner I snacked on some popcorn.

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Then we walked around the hotel for a bit to find where everything was. I’ve managed to avoid sodas so far, quite proud of myself. It helps not having vending machines, which annoyed me at first but I’m glad now, ha.

We had a great dinner at Gino’s East tonight!

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This is the suburban location in Schaumburg, IL. We learned that each location is actually a franchise so they don’t necessarily have all the same things as the downtown location that Josh saw on the Travel Channel a while back.

The inside of the place was pretty cool, lots of writing and spray paint on the wall. Lots of names of people who have visited I’m guessing? They were not very busy either, for a Friday night especially.

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The menu was quite extensive but we knew we’d be getting pizza since it’s Chicago and a pizza place. Duh!

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Josh ordered some garlic bread to get us started…

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I just had one because it looked too good not to try.

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I also got a mini salad, which I promptly picked the cheese and croutons off of. I had fat free Italian dressing on the side.

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Courtney and I shared the Vegetarian pizza on thin crust. It looked quite large but somehow…somehow we finished it all!

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Holy dairy overload. I think I will try a cheeseless pizza soon.

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It was pretty good though. It had mushrooms, green peppers, yellow squash, tomato, asparagus, and normally eggplant but Courtney is not a fan so we left it off.

So not vegan but I’m thinking that I’ll use September as experiment and be more “serious” come October. That’s my story anyway.

Josh got a small regular crust pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms. I tried to get a pic of the whole pie but the guy served him a piece right away 😉

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Josh took that one himself! I was proud. He said he enjoyed the spiciness of the tomatoes but he also added some red pepper because nothing is too hot for this guy. He ate the whole thing!

We had a very good waiter and our experience was quite pleasant. If you are a pizza lover, like my husband, I highly recommend it.

After dinner, we did some sight seeing. We tried to go see a movie but tickets were $11! I have never paid that much to see a movie and I wouldn’t be starting now.

It was a pretty theatre though.

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Leggoland!

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That’s Josh trying to see if it comes apart. Haha.

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We also went past a Jamba Juice but after looking at their menu, I wasn’t too impressed. We don’t have those at home and I was hoping for a special treat but everything sounded way to sugary for my tastes. Oh well.

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Then Josh discovered a GameWorks. Uh oh.

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When we finally got back to the hotel, I had some tea to settle my stomach (pizza has expanded I think) and warm me up a bit since I got kind of chilly outside.

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Well, I’ve got an early morning tomorrow. We are going to be waiting in line outside of Soldier Field ALL DAY for U2 tomorrow. My friend Courtney is a major fan and she has waiting all day on more than one occasion for me before to see Goo Goo Dolls so I owe her one.

Plus, it is going to be an amazing show. I’m sure I will have plenty of pictures to share. Good night!

On the road

Hey guys! We are about to leave for Chicago as soon as Josh gets home! Going to make this one quick 🙂

Thursday, I used up the last of my oat bran 😦

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So delicious though. But I have a new hot cereal that I tried this morning so I will tell you all about that later.

Mid morning I snacked on the other half of the banana and some more almond butter. I didn’t get a walk in due to a meeting. It’s alright though because I drove to work that day so I got to walk the just over a mile from my car to my building before work!

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For lunch, I tried another Amy’s Kitchen Burrito!

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This one was vegan, made with beans and rice and contained no cheese or dairy products.

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Score! This one was great and it did not dry out or anything in the microwave. It reminded me a lot of a Mexican-style bean burrito only much healthier 😉 I would so get this one again.

Had some veggies too 🙂

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I had some more tea and dark chocolate after lunch.

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Apparently I like the Kroger Private Selection brand sometimes!

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My real afternoon snack was more carrots and hummus 🙂

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After work, I met up with Farrah for a 1-mile run and a very challenging weight routine. We have decided shorter and harder is more effective! My muscles were shaking when we got done. And then I walked the 1+ mile to my car 🙂

When I got home, I was starving and we were meeting my dad for dinner on his birthday. So I snacked on the last of the Stacy’s!

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For dinner, we went to Shane’s Rib Shack, which my family apparently loves because this is at least the third or fourth time they have been mentioned on the blog. But since I decided to try vegan it was nearly impossible to find anything that sounded good for dinner.

I reluctantly ordered the grilled chicken salad. It tasted okay but as usual the meat got stuck in my teeth and afterward I did not feel very full. That’s another “beef” I have with meat…it doesn’t fill me up the way grains and veggies do!

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When we got home, I was still hungry so I drank some water and then made myself a little snack 🙂

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I almost went for the Cheerios but the more I thought about it, this was what I really wanted. A whole wheat pita pocket with almond butter and chocolate chips (vegan).

I loved it, it satisfied me perfectly and I had a cup of chamomile tea while packing and hit the hay at a decent hour to get up early this morning and get some errands done and drop Suzie off with my parents. I’m so going to miss her this weekend 😦

But she’s in good hands!

Oops, gotta go now, “see” you guys later!

Sleepy Saturday

Well, I think we can almost officially call this Fall now! The leaves are turning, the weather is cooler (at least in the morning and evening hours), Starbucks have Pumpkin Spice lattes back…IT IS FALL!!

I’m so excited because I think this is becoming my favorite time of year. Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of winter but perhaps I can be creative this year and find a way to enjoy that season more too 😉

So, where to begin! Oh yeah, let’s start with how Friday went down…

Breakfast was plain oat bran with banana and almond butter. The jar is almost empty so you know what that means…oats in a jar soon!

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Then mid morning I snacked on more banana and PB after a 15 minute walk (this was half, the banana from this morning was huge):

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For lunch, I had one of my favorite vegan convenience meals!

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I don’t want to become dependent on these but it got me through this time 😉

YUM! Just as good the second time around…

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After lunch digested, I went to the gym for a 40 minute treadmill workout with Farrah. We did walking and running intervals until we reached 3 miles…went something like this – 5 min walking warm up (2.5 mph), Run 5 minutes (5.5 mph), Walk 2.5 minutes (3.8 mph) – repeat run/walk sequence 4 times – cool down walking for 5 minutes. In the run sequences I did 6.0 for the last minute a few times.

It was awesome! I felt like I could’ve pushed it more but I didn’t because I want to honor my body and not reach those limits as I’m not a competitive athlete or anything. My body thanked me by not being sore and I wasn’t too tired either.

Snacks were some REAL dark chocolate (no milkfat in this piece):

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Some almonds…

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For dinner, I convinced Josh to go to Shalimar, a really great Indian restaurant here in town. I ordered what I’ve seen Gina eat several times…Baingan Bartha!

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I had mine over some rice with garlic naan on the side. I think this dish was vegan, no? It was just peas, eggplant and sauce I think. Geez, it was so good. I ate most of it, but not all.

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Even though I felt pregnant (with a food baby) for the next couple of hours, I still managed to eat a serving of ice cream (not vegan trying to use it up):

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Then we watched a couple of bad movies (The Mummy Dragon Emperor something or other, dumb and Valkyrie which wasn’t too bad actually) and I snacked on two sheets of graham crackers (these need to leave my house like now) and a couple of marshmallows.

Then I had some tea and went to bed 🙂 Zzzzz…

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Hello Saturday!

For breakfast, I had two very non-vegan Eggo waffles with PB and banana. I decided to have fun and make a waffle-wich!

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On a Pokemon plate no less. Haha. Close up of the yummy goodness…

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On the way to meet my mom for a nice walk at the park with Suzie, I grabbed a tall soy latte from the ‘Bucks. It was tasty…I think there soy latte feels like a treat even though it’s fairly low in calories! I resisted the pumpkin spice latte for now 😉

At the park, we walked around the track twice which is about 2.4 miles, plus walking to and from the car, we got a good workout in! So did my silly dog.

For lunch, we went to Mimi’s Cafe, which is easily my favorite restaurant. While perusing the menu though, I couldn’t help but think how hard it would be for a vegan to eat there.

I ended up getting the veggie burger with fresh fruit. I only used half the bun as it was huge and not even close to whole grain.

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This was pretty good and definitely filled me up. But I can’t eat veggie burgers all the time…

I think I might write to the company…not to complain, but just to find out their suggestions for vegan menu options. Other that a garden salad with no dressing…that’s what I’m finding on the websites out there – that’s not a meal!

I also had some delicious unsweetened raspberry tea 🙂

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Before I went grocery shopping, I popped a piece of real dark chocolate. Now that I am back home, I’m thinking it is time for a nap. I’m going out with some girls to Ramsi’s tonight…I see falafel in my future…and it is beautious!

Have a great day friends!