Category Archives: exercise

See Sarah Run

Hello friends!

Sorry there hasn’t been a post here in a couple of weeks. I promise I have some really good things in the works and plan on posting something food-related this week!

But in the mean time, I thought I’d let you in on some news, just incase you don’t follow my other blog, River City Fitness.

I AM RUNNING (regularly) AGAIN! 🙂

After being on-again, off-again with running so much over the past two years (ever since I finished my first half marathon in April 2008), I finally feel like I’m back in the proper shape and frame of mind to be a consistent runner again. This summer, I really got into walking again and enjoyed that immensely. I also did Body Pump pretty regularly. Farrah and I also ran a few short races just to say motivated.

But as the summer drew to a close (even though the weather hadn’t yet) I was ready to move on to a new goal. I needed a new challenge. I was encouraged by the 15k that I ran most of when I didn’t think I had it in me.

Farrah, my friend and trainer/training partner, put together a running schedule that will take us from October 2010 through April 2011 (when all the big races happen around here). It was a little slow going at first, but now that I don’t worry about speed or beating any old PR’s (yet), I am really enjoying running again. I don’t beat myself up if I have to switch a day, or shave a mile off one day and add it to another.

I am making this work for ME.

In the month of October, I ran 78 miles! Just a few months ago, I never would’ve thought this was possible. Especially not when you consider 13.1 of those miles was the Louisville Half Marathon which we ran just two weeks into our training (recap coming soon).

We had signed up for this race months ago and didn’t expect it would go as well as it did. I finished in 2:30 and wasn’t even sore! I dare say it was…easy.

So, what’s different now? Why is running coming so easily (again) to me now than it has the past two years?

  • I don’t worry about time. In fact, during races, I don’t even wear a watch.
  • I embrace the beauty that is walking breaks. It actually helps my endurance and makes me run faster.
  • I realize what a mental game it is. Sometimes your mind is your worst enemy. I talk to myself more during runs now (and I pray)!
  • Like I mentioned in my 15k recap, I have no agenda. I just want to run, and often, because it makes me feel good. Races are just a good way to have fun and get some new scenery 😉
  • I’m not trying to get better, I’m good enough already.

I have read so many blog posts and articles lately about people who run even though they hate it. I guess they want the challenge or to lose weight or something. But I’m here to tell you, if I hated running, there is NO WAY that I would do it. I think that is just counter-productive. Why do something you hate?

Not every run is great, that is for sure, but overall I love to run and I love the way that running makes me feel — good. That is why I do it.

I also would not run regularly if my body was not in agreement. I have been very blessed to have never been injured as a runner and for the past month, the only time I have felt really sore was after a strength training session! If your body is trying to tell you something, listen to it. Don’t force yourself to run if it hurts.

Now I am looking forward to keeping up with running during the colder months (if they ever get here) and then venturing into some races next Spring. I haven’t yet decided if I will do the Kentucky Derby Festival mini or full marathon just yet. But a marathon is becoming more of a possibility these days. So we’ll see.

If you want to run or used to run and are struggling to get back into it, here is my advice:

Sometimes you just have to take a step back, wait and be patient (it could be a long time too). Don’t expect to be the same runner you were two years ago. Don’t expect every run to be great. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else or even to yourself in the past. Stay positive. Just embrace the fact that you CAN run (when you can) and enjoy it. 🙂

You can follow my journey over at River City Fitness and keep up with my runs over at Daily Mile if you are so inclined. Thanks for the support!

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?

Day 6: Happy Birthday to me!

Hey guys! Sorry I am so behind on my updates, this week has been crazy and today is no better! Luckily things are about to slow down 😉

Thursday was my birthday and it was a happy one indeed!

For breakfast, I had oats with banana and peanut butter. I forgot to photograph it, so here is a “recycled” photo.

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Mid-morning, I snacked on more grapes. I’m loving these!

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Lunch was leftover spaghetti squash with the veggie chickpea sauce I made on Tuesday night 🙂

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And an orange!

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Then later in the afternoon, I finished off this bag of edamame before heading to the gym to lift weights, using the same routine I did on Tuesday.

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For dinner, we went to Ramsi’s Cafe on the World, which is one of my favorite vegan-friendly places here in Louisville.

Mom treated me to a glass of Chardonnay which was great, I hadn’t had any in a while!

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Then we ordered the hummus appetizer, which I was so pleased that many of my relatives tried…and liked! 🙂

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For my dinner, I had the Roasted Vegetable Masala. I divided this huge portion in half and took the rest home to have for lunch the next day!

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It was delicious! I loved the sweet potato, carrots and all the other veggies inside, plus it was just a little spicy. Almost as good as going to an Indian restaurant.

Everyone else really enjoyed their food too and we had excellent service. I’m so glad everything worked out so well 🙂

We skipped dessert at the restaurant, but later on at home I wanted something else, so I made myself a little birthday treat!

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How cute is that? 🙂

I had a great birthday and I know that 28 is going to be the best age yet!

Early workout

Since I skipped my run last night, I decided to hit the gym first thing in the morning!

By 7:15, I had gotten in  a 3 mile run, which works out not just for my schedule but believe it or not, the weather has been a bit on the hot side!

Before I left home, I had half a pita with almond butter.

Even though I trying to just eat enough for my workout, I was kind of hungry still, so I had half a banana which did the trick.

Sorry it’s so dark, it was rather early this morning!

After my run, I refueled with this delicious Odwalla beverage that I will be buying again in the future (when it’s on sale, ha ha).

You gotta love a drink that tastes like a fruit smoothie, yet in addition contains things like wheat grass and Jerusalem artichokes. Plus no added sugar! Love it.

Today was another day without coffee. I don’t know what has gotten into me but I just don’t want it. Hmm…I did have two cups of tea though.

And some edamame for a snack later in the morning.

For lunch, I had leftover refried beans from last night on a salad, only I totally forgot to bring the rest of my avocado! I was so bummed. But luckily I found some leftover salsa in the fridge which helped spice things up a bit 😉

Finished off by a juicy delicious orange. I have found that eating a piece of fruit with lunch not only makes lunch more filling, but totally satisfies any sweet cravings I get so there isn’t a need to hit the vending machine or go on the hunt for chocolate.

When I started writing this post, I had just finished eating my afternoon snack. This is my last soy yogurt for a while.

I bought a bunch of them when they were on sale but I’m doing a challenge in May (details soon) that this will not fit in with because of the added sugar.

That being said, the peach flavor was really good! I believe this was my first time having it, in a while at least.

Are you doing any challenges in the coming months?

I’ve got one lined up for May that is food related and I’m thinking up one for June that is fitness related. Challenges really help keep me motivated and focused on my overall goal, which is to live the healthiest and happiest life possible 😉

Big coffee

Good morning! It’s big coffee time 🙂

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Thanks everyone who has entered into my Musselman’s Giveaway so far. You have until 11:59 tomorrow night so keep ‘em coming!

For breakfast, I did have more than a enormous mug of coffee. Enter some Ezekiel toast with peanut butter (which I measured today) and banana.

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I still haven’t decided what all to do today but exercise is making its way in there somehow. And perhaps a trip to Kohl’s?

I’m thinking either cycling, body pump, or just going in there and running on the treadmill and doing some weights on my own. We’ll see!

Hope you have a great day 🙂

DOMS and Vegan Week

The green monster challenge is still going strong!

Today was the coldest day of the week so far. I woke up to 40 degree weather and the high today is only getting up to 53.

I did get a bit chilled after drinking the GM, so I had some hot tea afterwards. Problem solved 🙂

Nerd Alert

I have been studying Exercise Science this semester and I felt like a huge nerd when I got out of bed this morning and realized I had DOMS = delayed onset muscle soreness. This is what you feel usually 12-24 (but sometimes as late as 72) hours after a workout.

I did a killer weight/strength routine yesterday, so I expected it, but this time I was more prepared with how to handle it.

Assuming you didn’t injure yourself, one of the best ways to deal with this soreness is to keep moving. I sit in a chair in a cubicle at work all day and I’ve noticed that if I sit all day (after a hard workout the day before), I’m even more sore when I leave work than I had been before I got there!

So, in order to prevent that, I went for an easy 1 mile walk this morning (from my car to work since I drove today). Then at 10:00, I took a break and walked over to the bank to make a deposit. I also have an errand scheduled for 3:00’ish.

Another good thing to do is gentle stretches. Every hour or so (if I’m paying attention to the clock), I have sat up in my chair and stretched out my arms, shoulders and back. My favorite stretch is to reach your arms behind you, clasp your hands and gently pull back your shoulders and sit up as straight as possible.

I feel better already! And now I should be able to do an easy run later today.

Vegan Week

It’s been really fun to see all the bloggers (like Mish) who are trying eating vegan for a week. And tomorrow is the big day for the ones who are going Vegan-4-a-day. I wish you all much luck!

I first experimented with vegan eating back in September, when Lindsey announced on her blog that she would be eating vegan for a month. She has since continued the diet and so have I, officially since October 1st.

For me, going vegan, although it was a slow transition, was actually easier than I thought. I have said before that my primary motivation for giving up animal products were health-related. Meat has always made me constipated and wore me down, but I thought I needed it for protein. Too much dairy made me bloated and gassy, but I thought I needed the Vitamin D and calcium, so I just went along with it.

I also have extremely long cycles (we’re talking 40+ days, “normal” is 28) and thought perhaps being more aware of what I was putting into my body, where it came from, and what was done to it before it got to me could somehow play a part in getting things back on a semi-normal track. I haven’t been able to find much research on this, but I figured it can’t hurt.

I have always been irregular (and started having periods at 9 years of age) but it has become more noticeable now that I am more aware of my body and since I’m planning to have children one day down the road. I also have two other things going “against” me are that I lost a significant amount of weight and I’m a runner (when I was training for my first half, I would skip periods for 2-3 months at a time).

But most of us know by now that a lot of animals are injected with antibiotics and growth hormones and whenever we eat them, we might as well have been too. Having that in the back of my mind is one of the things that made giving up animal products even easier. I have enough problems with my own hormones, I don’t need their’s too!

My Transition to Veganism

I’ve never really loved meat, so that was the easiest thing to give up. It was easy to come up with alternatives to get protein like beans, nuts, tofu, etc.

I relied on dairy mainly for calcium and protein (and to soak up granola, ha ha) so once I learned all the various ways I could replace that with other foods, I was good to go. I do take a calcium supplement (that contains calcium, Vitamin D, magnesium and zinc) though, just to be safe. Every now and then I like to spread butter on a piece of toast but luckily I have found alternatives that I can use (like Smart Balance Light).

I only really used eggs for protein and even though I thought I would miss omelets, I really haven’t. They never filled me up as well as a hot bowl of oatmeal anyway 🙂 I go back and forth with honey because that is mostly an ethics issue, but since I like to keep things low in added sugars, I do avoid honey when I can.

The hardest thing for me has been reading labels and educating myself about the animal products that go into certain processed foods. However, this has just reaffirmed in my mind that in general, I need not eat so many processed foods. The weeks I stock my pantry with whole grains, beans, fruit, nuts, etc. and my fridge with fresh veggies, it’s so much easier because there aren’t even any labels to worry about!

The second hardest thing has been eating out at restaurants. I know what places have vegan options for me (or at least vegetarian options that can be made vegan). But when I’m at the mercy of other people, or it is my husband’s week to choose a place, that is when it becomes challenging. The worst are places like Applebee’s and Buffalo Wild Wings that have zero vegan options. But I just go with the flow and feel good knowing that at least I tried my best with what I’d been given.

The last hardest thing about going vegan is explaining your diet choices to people and dealing with their reactions.

I have been blessed to have a very supportive husband, who pretty much announces to everyone that his wife is vegan, and my family and closest friends who have been dealing with plenty of my dietary experiments and changes over the past (almost) three years, are always accepting of me as long as what I’m doing is good for my health.

I still occasionally get snide remarks, weird looks, and the like from others, but now I think I understand where that is coming from, and how personal a person’s diet is, and therefore I no longer let those bother me. I chose to be vegan. I feel amazing and I’m happy about it, whether everyone else is or not 🙂

Thank you, Dr. McDougall

Yesterday when I got home from work, I found a lovely package waiting at my door.

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The people from Dr. McDougall’s sent me this lovely package of their soups, which are all vegan! Several of them are gluten free as well and they all come in eco-friendly packaging that is BPA free.

They also sent me this really huge bowl and a placemat/napkin set!

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For lunch today, I decided to try the Chunky Tomato because that’s what I was in the mood for 😉

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I thought I’d eat the entire container but there is more in there than I thought, so I put the rest in the fridge!

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I had a slice of Great Harvest unsweetened whole wheat bread on the side. I think it just might be my favorite bread ever.

The soup was pretty tasty. There were lots of chunks of tomato in it and I loved the flavor. It did not taste like canned soup at all, which makes sense because…it’s not.

I can’t wait to try the other flavors.

After lunch, I took Suzie on a walk for about an hour and now we’re both back home chilling on the couch watching, what else?

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I think I’m obsessed. The movie is different from the play but I like them both and it’s the only thing I have on DVD 🙂 Plus I think the movie has a few features that make it unique and fun, like the dream/dance sequence in “Tango Maureen.”

It is a beautiful day here, I’ve got all the windows open and the breeze is blowing in. Who knew it’d be in the 70’s in November? I’m telling you, the weather here in Kentucky is so unpredictable. We can have all the seasons in one week.

When Josh gets home from playing disc golf we’re going to have dinner at Waffle House. We’re such an old married couple sometimes.

Breakfast yoga

Hey friends!

I set my alarm to get up 15 minutes early this morning, so I could do some yoga! I took a page out of Angie’s book and decided to use a print guide from Yoga Download as my base and then did my own flow. It was great!

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I used the Morning Flow #1 program and did each move on the pages for a count of 5 breaths. It took me about 25 minutes to get through it all and I felt awesome (and very hungry) when I was done.

This is apparently what I look like at 5:45 am!

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I had also used my cable box to find a “Meditation” music channel to set the mood. So much better than listening to a computer talk at me.

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Suzie kept getting in the way and head-butting me when I was in down dog. She’s so cute though!

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We’ve had Suzie for one year as of today. I can’t believe it’s been a year already, she really is the love of our lives and a testament to how a dog, rescued from a shelter, supposedly with training problems and anxiety, can really thrive and overcome it all. All dogs need is your love, patience and a routine. Even though we have given her a better life, she has truly been the one who has made our lives better.

This was her just 1 year ago, look how scared she was 😦

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It was also neat to look back at my blog from a year ago. My pictures were terrible! And I was also attempting the South Beach Diet again, eating lots of sugar free pudding, ick. So glad those days are over 🙂

After my morning yoga flow, I toasted up some Great Harvest cinnamon chip bread for breakfast.

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I chose almond butter and blueberry fruit spread this time, just to change things up a bit 😉

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Yum…

I still have a ton of apples left to use, so I think some baking is in my future. Anyone have any good vegan recipes that involve apples?

Happy Wednesday 🙂

Day 26: Making adjustments

I just realized that today is exactly ONE MONTH UNTIL THANKSGIVING!

This has made me realize that I have been indulging in some things lately that I don’t usually and it’s time to make some adjustments before we get into the holiday season.

To start the day off, I had some healthy, filling oatmeal with apples, cinnamon and peanut butter for breakfast.

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I decided to give the Pumpkin Spice Silk another try so I heated up about 1/2 cup and then poured coffee on top of it.

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BINGO! This tasted great and what a more affordable (and vegan) way to enjoy pumpkin in my coffee 🙂 Next I’m going to have to try Mama Pea’s version!

Snacked on some peanuts for the first time in a while (for me).

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Then for lunch,  I had leftover Vegan Refried Bean cakes which I turned into a sandwich with some spicy mustard!

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I also had some carrots and a new type of hummus on the side.

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I picked this up at Whole Foods over the weekend. Once again, it was just okay. I’m going back to the good stuff after this 😉

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After lunch,  I went to class and tried not to fall asleep. I managed but I still yawned quite a bit. Exercise Science is an interesting field to me but we’re still making our way through all the body systems and I’m finding it rather dull.

Later in the afternoon, I snacked on some soy yogurt.

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This stuff was way too sweet and made me realize that I have been consuming more sugar lately than I am used to. There’s one adjustment I’d like to make. I need to find a good brand that has lower sugar. Some are better than others. And I definitely need to stick to plain and put my own stuff in it.

After work, I went for a 4 mile walk. I had it on my “agenda” to run tonight but it was one of those days where I walk just sounded like a better idea. I really enjoyed it and my legs are definitely still tired!

For dinner, I was having a major bread craving, so I made this ciabatta loaf I picked up at Kroger (take and heat):

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I also made a nice salad of Italian style greens and a drizzle of Italian dressing.

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Then I heated up some leftover Hot Tamale Vegetable Pie with a side of bread 🙂

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All together now…

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I’m so glad I took the time to figure out what I wanted and made a healthy and enjoyable dinner. The only thing missing was some good wine, but that is another thing I am trying to keep to a minimum. I am secretly hoping somebody brings some on Wednesday at Girl’s Night 🙂

With just one month until Thanksgiving, what goals are you hoping to work on?

I’ve also decided to join Caitlin, Bobbi, and many others in the Pile on the Miles challenge that begins on November 1st!

While I have no goal of winning this thing, since there are some really dedicated runners in this group, I do want to make it a goal for myself to get in lots of miles, either through walking or running, between now and Thanksgiving.

This is why I love Mondays, ends of months, and beginnings of new ones. Let’s get to it!

Day 23.2: LLRR

Apparently, you Ladies Love Ryan Reynolds! 🙂

This morning, I snacked on some peanuts but totally forgot to take a picture because I waited until I was really hungry to eat them.

Then for lunch, I had my last (free) Five Star Foodies artichoke burger. I’m going to be buying some soon. Thanks again Valerie!

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On an Ezekiel muffin. Those two were made for each other. Well, I think Ezekiel muffins were just made for everything actually. I still need to try the bread, waiting for a sale though. I also had some mixed veggies on the side. I think I declared my undying love for those last week but now, I’m ready to move on. What can I say, I get bored (with food) easily.

After lunch, I had another killer workout with my good friend/trainer Farrah.

Today is technically a running day but since we missed yesterday, we decided to do a short run (2 miles) and then do some upper body weight training + abs instead. We did each move for 1 minute (about 25-30 reps), then went partially back through the routine a second time. The moves in italics got done twice.

  • Chest presses
  • Seated row machine
  • Upright rows
  • Tricep dips
  • Bicep curls
  • Military (shoulder) press
  • Lateral raises
  • Front raises
  • Lots o’ abs – we save abs until the end to really fatigue the muscles and it works!

After that workout, I was starving, so I came back to my banana and peanut butter snack, woo hoo 🙂

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I’m really enjoying the Jif Natural. It has a couple more ingredients than most natural PB’s but the taste is good and it was on sale for $1.88 at Target last week, which I could not pass up.

So, I have a lot to be excited about today. For one, it is FRIDAY, hallelujah! Can I get an amen?

Also, I am having dinner with my husband tonight at Spinelli’s, which is pretty much one of his favorite places in Louisville because they have pizza and cheesesteaks. Luckily, after consulting with my fabulous “Vegan Yoda” Ms. Carrie, I found out that I can get the veggie stromboli without cheese because the dough and sauce are vegan, woo hoo! It is always a blessing to find a place where we can both eat and be happy 🙂

You may remember me mentioning that Josh joined a gym back in August or September that wasn’t open yet. Well, it is on schedule to open on Halloween, which is next Saturday! I cannot wait for my hubby to get started on his workouts, so he can start feeling better and improve his health for the long-term.

He is usually so tired in the evenings after a long day at work but he believes (because I have told him) that getting some exercise will actually give him more energy 🙂

He’s going to rock it, I can’t wait. He also says he is going to go “hardcore” with healthy eating, which is good too because they do go hand in hand. While it is totally fine with me either way, in case you were wondering, Josh says that he will “Never, ever, be a vegan.”

LOL. Yeah…we’ll see…