Category Archives: vegetarianism

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

Meat free: One year later

Wow, a year has flown by!

Prior to September 2009, the vegetarian (and later vegan) diet was becoming more appealing to me for a number of reasons. I started to notice more how I felt when I ate meat and when I didn’t. I had been an “accidental” vegetarian off and on because when I just ate what came naturally, I was usually not putting meat in my meals.

But, nothing was ever official until September of last year when I decided to take a “gradual” approach to refining my diet (read: “To vegan or not to vegan”).

You may also remember this post, on September 10th, when I ate at Shane’s Rib Shack for my Dad’s birthday. It was the last time I ever ate meat!

A few days later, after a fun trip to Chicago to see U2, I realized that this was going to be a great change for me and I wanted to go a step further to eliminate all animal products from my diet. It was just going to take time and baby steps in order to get it right.

I did not go vegan until October 1st, but I am definitely celebrating my year of meatlessness today. I wasn’t sure at first if this would be a permanent change or just an experiment, but after feeling as great as I do, learning things I have learned and living healthy and happy for one year without meat, I know this is the way for me. I don’t need meat and I don’t want it.

I also recently read a quote that my friend Carrie posted on Facebook that made me happy too:

“As a vegan, you personally save the lives of approximately eighty-three animals a year, reduce your carbon output by an average of 3,000 pounds, and conserve 1.4 million gallons of water a year.” – Jolinda Hackett

Today is once again my Dad’s birthday (hooray for another year of life) only this time we are having dinner somewhere other than Shane’s Rib Shack, which still remains a family favorite.

At least I can fondly remember that place for the time when one chapter of my life ended and another began. 🙂

Eating Animals

This past weeked the Louisville Vegetarian Club met to discuss a book we are reading: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Many refer to this book as a “case for vegetarianism” but I’ve also heard some criticize it saying that while it does give good information, it doesn’t go far enough in making that case.

Since I am still new to the whole animal abuse side of vegetarianism/veganism, I thought it was a good introduction into some harsh realities that I wasn’t aware of prior to reading the book.

I like how Foer’s inspiration for writing this book was that he was about to become a father, therefore responsible for what another human eats. That thought has crossed my mind quite a few times in recent months, as I do plan to have children someday.

We know more about food today — what it is and where it comes from — than our parents did when we were children. I’m also glad that I turned my life around and got healthy before I had children and I have enough knowledge now to get them started off on the right foot, nutritionally.

I haven’t finished this book yet, so this isn’t a review. I just wanted to share that while my intentions for going vegan were first motivated by health, I continue to read and educate myself on the other issues as well. I find that I am constantly amazed and shocked at what I am learning about the way animals are used and treated in this country.

And once I know things like this, it’s impossible to turn those images off. And there is no way I could ever go back to eating them.

As a group, we came up with the following questions/discussion topics (we=Americans):

  • Are our desires more important than those of the animals we are eating?
  • Are we being selfish?
  • Do we eat animals because we feel superior?
  • In closing: As long as we keep eating meat, we are advocating factory farming.

The superiority thing really interested me because I am a Christian and in church you always hear about how we as humans are to have “dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)

Opinions will vary, but when I hear the word “dominion” I think of power. Authority. Ownership. Some translations will say “reign over” or “be responsible for.” In this same chapter God also provided seeds, plants and fruit trees for food. Green plants for the animals too.

Personally, I believe God entrusted us to take care of the Earth and the animals that live here with us. Take care of them. I do NOT believe this means we are to abuse this responsibility.

Have you read the book? What did you think?

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 🙂

Reflections on Day 1

Day 1 of my October Challenge went very well. I call it my October Challenge, not because it’s just going to last through October, but because this is a life challenge that merely starts in October. I find the beginning of the month, especially with Day 1 of that month, is the perfect time to start something new or recommit to something you’ve missed doing.

Yesterday, I enjoyed a lot of great vegan-friendly foods (goal #1):

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I also made myself stay off of email and Facebook as much as possible (goal #5). As convenient as technology can be, sometimes we can become too relient on it and it can drive us mad. For me, I just don’t need to be absorbing all this information about people’s lives (from the important to mundane) all day long like it’s my job. I really need a break! I care about people, especially my closest friends and family and want to know what is going on with them but I can still limit that to before and after work (if I even feel like it then)!

In fact, since I did that, I had what I thought was quite a wonderful TELEPHONE CONVERSATION! with my best friend last night. It is sad that our society has become more email and text message oriented. I mean, my husband texted me from one floor down? What is that? Ha ha.

I also had a great workout yesterday that left me energized (goal #2). I ran a mile with Farrah, which we both noticed we did rather quickly because when we got back we still had a minute left (so it was 9 min/mile)! Then we did lots of weights, including the following:

  • Incline bench presses
  • Incline bicep curls
  • Lateral raises
  • Chest flyes
  • Preacher curls
  • Military shoulder press
  • Abs, abs, abs!

I am quite sore today but it feels good! It had been a week since we’d last worked out, woo hoo. It feels so good to be healthy again after that cold sidelined me for a bit.

Sort of tying in with goals # 4 and 8, I decided that October was NOT TOO LATE to start “Read Through the Bible in One Year” even though I had missed the previous 9 months. So I printed off the sheet and ended up reading Isaiah 62:6-65:25, Philippians 2:19-3:3, Psalm 73:1-28 and Proverbs 24:13-14

At first, I didn’t think too much about it but the more I read the more those verses really spoke to me about issues I am dealing with right now. The Psalms passage especially hit me because it’s exactly what I’ve been hearing from a lot of people in my life right now…they have been good, they believe they have done as God wanted them to and yet they suffer and are unhappy, while others are out there “seem to live such painless lives” and are rich and prosperous. Basically, the point is to check your heart. Why are we worried about other people? We need to be concerned with ourselves and our intentions. I really suggest reading those verses if you are struggling with that issue.

God’s timing is never wrong, I’m telling you. I was meant to start that yesterday and I look forward to what else I will learn from this. 🙂

After dinner last night, I decided all I wanted to do was go upstairs and watch TV. So I put on my pig pajamas and did just that! I should’ve taken a picture of those 😉

I don’t watch very many things anymore, so I sort of just flipped for a while and ended up falling asleep! My husband says he yelled for me and texted me (yet didn’t get up off the couch to check and make sure I was still alive?) but I was out for the count. I woke up at 9:30 to let the dog out and then back to bed I went. Guess my body needed some extra rest (goal # 3) so I’m glad I allowed it to.

So, making efforts toward 5 out of my 8 goals for the month is not too shabby, huh? I’m so glad that I made out a list that I can refer back to now. It really helps me stay motivated!

I have a really great weekend coming up that I can’t wait to experience and share with you. I hope you all have a blessed day and whatever you are striving to do in your life, I hope you reach for it even more today 🙂

Love you all!

What I’ve been up to

Hey guys!

So my camera batteries died yesterday morning, boo. I have literally no pictures to share with you right now but I did want to tell you what I’ve been up to the past couple of days.

Yesterday, I went back to work feeling much better from the cold I caught over the weekend. Thank goodness for healthy eating, rest and vitamin C. I swear, it works wonders.

I also ate a piece of cake! A co-worker of mine celebrated 30+ years of service, so there was a small celebration. Wait, I did take that pic with my cell! I tried to take more throughout the day but they were all crappy and blurry so this is the only one.

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The cake was huge and it had a section of the book “Ethan Frome” written out on it. Someone spent a lot of time on that!

I know this cake had to contain eggs and dairy so it was sort of a sayonara to such things as October 1st is tomorrow. It also held me over so well (I ate it after lunch) that I was not hungry again until dinner time 🙂

I also took a nice hour plus long walk with a friend last night, first real exercise I’d had in a while. It felt so good. I’m off work today (had a dr. appt earlier) and think I’m going to check out some of the Exercise TV programs I saw the other day.

I’m really feeling yoga today so it will likely be something like that.

I’m also currently baking some Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate brownies that I’m taking to girl’s night tonight. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, or if you are just looking for some really great animal-free recipes, Happy Herbivore is a must!

If they taste half as good as they smell and look, we are all in for a treat later.

Tomorrow is the big day, the moment of truth. I’ve definitely been able to eliminate meat from my diet with absolutely no problems. But dairy has been showing up in interesting places and I’m also concerned with inconveniencing my family and friends a bit.

But this is a change I really want to make, for my health, because I don’t want to put anything in my body that I’m not completely confident in.

And I know eventually the inconveniences will fade and it will become my way of living, second nature. Here we go…

Hope you are having a good day too!

p.s. Today I also tried the new Starbucks VIA instant coffee. I got a sample a week or so ago when I stopped there with Mom. I have to say, it was quite tasty and I liked just being able to add hot water to it instead of loading up my coffee maker. Definitely convenient. I may have to look into it, at least for the weekends 😉

Take a load off

Whew, my dogs are barking! In case you have never heard that expression, it means my feet really hurt, ha ha. My great-grandma used to say it all the time. Sitting down to right this blog post is the first chance I’ve had to take a load off!

I got up early this morning and made myself a delicious breakfast of waffles with peanut butter and a faux sausage patty.

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This is the last of the Eggo waffles and Morningstar Farms stuff. I won’t be getting them again since I know they contain dairy ingredients (among other weird ones I can’t pronounce).

I also made myself a big cup of coffee with soymilk but only ended up drinking half of it…who am I?

Then I met up with my aunts at the Zoo for a nice 4 mile walk. I was glad to start my day off this way since most of the evening is going to be spent sitting down at a birthday dinner and the UFC pay per view later on 😉

When I got home, I sorted through some coupons and make a grocery list before hitting the stores. I picked a good time to go too – our big in-state rivalry football game was this afternoon and I try not to get all caught up in the hype. I try to avoid conflict and be peaceful, haha.

I got hungry while at home, so I went ahead and ate lunch since we all know grocery shopping in that condition is not the way to go 🙂

I had Muir Glen organic savory lentil soup and it was delicious! It did not photograph very well though.

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This soup had a lot of sodium! But I’m not sensitive and I try to keep products like this to a minimum. As you can see I also had a whole wheat pita pocket on the side.

I spent almost 2 hours grocery shopping! I had lots of coupons and I went to two different places to get the best deals. I only went over my $50 budget by 12 cents, but I think next week I’ll be way under because I got so much today!

When I got everything put away, I was hungry so I had some mixed nuts.

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I swear, when I’m really needing a snack, nothing satisfies me like nuts. I don’t know if it is the protein, fat or the combo but they are perfect and I love them.

Can you tell I need a nap now? I’m about to get right on that.

We are having dinner at The Cheesecake Factory tonight for my friend Beth’s birthday! It’s only the second time I have been there and the first time since going vegetarian 🙂

Hope you all have a great Saturday.

What to call myself?

I recently read Caitlin’s post on labels and it got me thinking…what am I?

As most of you know by now, I have been doing research and experimenting with veganism for a few weeks now, thanks to Lindsey’s inspiration and fueled by my own off-and-on interest in the “diet” side of the lifestyle. I decided to take on this challenge for health reasons and for all the great things I’ve heard about the positive “side effects” of the diet, though I do care about animals and our environment. That is just not my #1 motivation. To me, it’s an added bonus, something that is additionally benefitting from me choosing this lifestyle for myself.

Just about every day, I Google “Is (fill in the blank) vegan?” and I’m surprised at the amount of information out there on the subject. Just about everything I have come across has been easy to figure out so far. But I found one thing in particular hard to get around…honey.

I have known for a long time that “true” vegans do not eat honey but I wondered if that applied to me? I don’t use it, as I am generally a low sugar eater. I don’t keep honey in a jar in my house. But I’m finding it difficult at times to avoid products that already have it in there. Since my primary motivation is health, will a little honey here or there really hurt me?

Then I thought to myself…why not just leave that part out? I’ll do everything else. Can I still be considered a “vegan?” Do I even care about having a label?

But, I went ahead and Googled “Can you be a vegan and eat honey?” I clicked on the first link that came up.

[Source – http://www.vegetus.org/honey/honey.htm]

Vegan Nomenclature : If you are thinking to yourself, “But I’m a vegan for health reasons” or “I’m a vegan for environmental reasons,” read on. Unlike the word vegetarian, the word vegan specifically implies moral concern for animals, and this concern extends to all areas of life, not just diet. If you do not believe in animal equality, please consider referring to yourself as someone who doesn’t eat animal products, as one who follows a plant-based diet, or as one who follows a vegan diet. Or, continue to educate yourself about veganism, and perhaps you will choose to practice veganism. Additionally, anyone who eats honey, yet refers to herself as a vegan, makes life difficult for other vegans–it’s like having someone who eats fish and calls herself a vegetarian. When a vegetarian comes along, it is much harder for her to explain that fish is not acceptable for vegetarians.”

While I know this particular source is just one person’s opinion, I am sure that it is shared by many throughout the vegan community. Honey is apparently a quite controversial topic. I also found this really interesting article on Slate.com called “The Great Vegan Honey Debate” written By Daniel Engber. 

Here are some good tidbits from that article:

“There is no more contentious question in the world of veganism than the one posed by honey.”

“You either eat honey or you don’t; to debate the question in public only makes the vegan movement seem silly and dogmatic.”

And probably my favorite line from the entire piece:

“That may be the most important lesson to come out of this debate: You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

The Bottom Line

  • I totally respect why ethically-motivated vegans avoid honey. I tend to do it myself as a person who avoids sugar and sugary products, though it’s a different type of motivation.
  • I will strive to avoid honey in the same way I have been, but I won’t go out of my way. Obviously, foods like “honey roasted peanuts” “yogurt with honey” or “oats & honey granola bars” will be easy to spot and I will do my best to not purchase those products. Also, this is a point where it comes in handy not to eat many processed foods to begin with!
  • I do not care about labels personally; I don’t fit neatly into boxes, figuratively speaking. But when someone asks me how I eat or why I am not eating something, I want to have an answer for them that is both accurate and respectful.
  • As of today, I am a vegetarian. If I choose to adopt the vegan way of living and make it permanent, I will refer to my diet as vegan, but not myself. I will however, allow myself to be called “labeled” a vegetarian. That is a name I am comfortable with since I don’t plan to eat meat or seafood again for the foreseeable future.

So, there you have it. I am a vegetarian that eats a semi-vegan diet. I avoid eating meat, seafood, eggs, butter, and dairy products. I am working on reading labels and finding those animal-derived ingredients that get snuck into some seemingly vegan foods, including all the hard to spell ingredients like calcium carbonate. Okay, so that wasn’t too hard to spell.

*I also want to make it clear that I am doing this for myself because I want to. And you should eat whichever way it is that works for you or that you are passionate about.*

I also reserve the right to change and evolve over time, as should you. When I first started this blog and throughout the months that have followed, my diet has gone through various changes. I’m sure this won’t be the end of it as I continue on this journey of healthy and balanced living.

I’ve been interested in vegetarianism and veganism since I was a teenager, experimenting with it from time to time, including on a few occasions over the past two years, but I’ve been going about it the wrong way due to my lack of knowledge and understanding. But now that I am informed and I am motivated, I am finally ready. Ready to experience everything that eating an animal free diet has for me. Ready to experience new foods and try out some new recipes. Thanks for allowing me to share that with you.

Have a great weekend!

Prioritizing

Happy Thursday y’all! Thank God it’s almost Friday, right? Thank you for all the great comments on my last post about the Bittman article! I appreciate it.

For breakfast this morning, I had two Eggo waffles, a Morningstar Farms patty and some canned pears that I drained and rinsed (can you tell I’m trying to use stuff up)?

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I debated over whether to put something on the waffles but in the end I just ate them plain and enjoyed it that way 😉

Mid-morning, I snacked on some mixed nuts and took a 15 minute walk, yay!

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For lunch, I reluctantly had the leftover Lentil Rice and Veggie Bake that I made for girls night this week. It was actually kind of better today or perhaps I was just really hungry 😉

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Yes, I threw some Brussels on there! I love them and they are high in Vitamin C! That is especially cool with cold and flu season upon us.

After lunch, I had some fruity tea and a piece of dark chocolate. Sorry recycled pic here, the other one disappeared!

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For my afternoon snack, I decided to give soy yogurt another try. I’ve been doing some research and it is hard to find non-dairy yogurts that are also low in sugar! I’ve found one brand that I want to look for next time I’m at Whole Foods but for now, this one had to do.

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This little container has 18 grams of sugar. This made me realize I need a priority? What is going to take precedence? Sugar or the fact that this is non-dairy?

I’ve long said I would not choose “junk” in favor of avoiding meat or dairy products. There are a lot of restaurants where the only vegetarian or vegan options would be French fries. I’m sort of in a pickle here. Ooh pickles…I digress.

But for now, the soy yogurt was good and I won’t eat it everyday so perhaps it can remain a part of my diet? I also don’t want to overdo soy products. This does have some good points though.

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To “bulk” it up a bit, I added two tablespoons of Ezekiel golden flax cereal. I did just a little bit first to try it.

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But it was totally yummy so I threw the rest on there and went to town. The yogurt was so creamy and just a bit sweet, not terribly overwhelming like some of the fruit flavors. I’d get it again.

After work, I got to take an hour long yoga class. It was pretty simple, for beginners, but I enjoyed it immensely. I left there feeling relaxed and peaceful which is my favorite thing about yoga.

Our teacher was also really funny! She was an older woman and she made the funniest little jokes during our practice. She said her instructor once told her that if you don’t breathe during your asanas, your brain will freeze, ha ha!

The class was great and when I got home I was STARVING! So I hurried up and made dinner. On the menu tonight…TOFU!

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I got a small package of Silken Extra Firm tofu (Mori-Nu), drizzled some canola oil on it, sprinkled on some seasonings and baked it in the oven at 425 for 25 minutes (a bit longer since it’s Silken).

On the side I had some mixed veggies, a pita pocket (plain) and some ketchup for dipping the tofu. It was so delicious!

I’m enjoying a nice cup of peppermint tea and a piece of dark chocolate. This kind that I have, it is vegan and it only contains 5 grams of sugar per 3 pieces! Thank goodness I don’t have to make a choice there 😉

The cool thing is that this is MY diet so I can decide. I hope you do the same for yourself. Good night!

Take me to Santa Fe

Happy Monday blog peeps!

It was a good day…went by fast and I got a lot accomplished. Plus some good eats too 🙂 Have I mentioned before that I don’t mind Mondays, ha ha.

I drove to work today since I was meeting friends for dinner so I parked in the same lot and walked just over a mile into work. Great way to start a beautiful day!

Breakfast this morning was the 5 grain cereal I told you about last week, topped with some blueberries and almond butter. I’m going through this AB too fast, I may have to slow down a bit before it’s all gone!

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I drank some coffee with non-dairy (supposedly right) creamer which must’ve kept me full because I completely skipped over a morning snack. But I still took my 15 minute break walk!

For lunch, I had another vegan Kashi meal. I’ve had this one before and I still like it, but Mayan Harvest Bake is still my fave 😉

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I need some recipes stat. Gotta stop relying on these convenience foods. But they are okay once in a while.

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After lunch, I enjoyed some English Breakfast tea with a piece of real dark chocolate. And a calcium supplement!

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I had class today and once again, I started nodding off. I don’t know what this is but I’m trying to figure it out so I can fix it. I think the room is just too warm, rather than it being something I’m eating 😉

I ended up eating both of my snacks over the course of the afternoon.

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The last of my popcorn!

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And my last mini Larabar 😦

After work I walked the 1+ mile back to my car and got ready to meet my friends for dinner, which I also walked too (just 5 minutes from the car). We went to this little place right near work that we heard had cheap Mexican food that was better than Q’Doba.

Santa Fe Mexican Grill

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And I mean it’s a small place 🙂

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We all shared some of the chips and salsa.

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The chips were good but not the best I’ve ever had. But I had a good portion of them with some salsa.

For my entree, I had a Vegetal (veggie) burrito Mexican style.

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It contained guacamole, beans, rice, onion and cilantro. I asked for no cheese 🙂

The burrito was so good! The guac was tasty and the thing was just stuffed with goodness. I love having beans and rice together. It was huge when it came out to the table so I cut it in half to keep me from eating it all. It worked too!

I can’t wait to have the leftovers. My bill? A whopping $5.30! I left a good tip since the food was so cheap.

When I got home, I enjoyed some more tea and another piece of dark chocolate.

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Just FYI, I don’t count a piece of dark chocolate as “dessert” as you know I’ve limited that to just one day a week (Wednesday most of the time).

To me, desserts are things like cookies, cupcakes, ice cream, etc. Things that need to be kept in moderation for sure, in my case.

I’m excited that on the day I chose to take the vegan thing easy, I did it…rather easily! I think. Not sure about that creamer earlier today, haha.

Hope you all had a great day! It’s time for me to catch some z’s.

Later y’all!

p.s. RIP Patrick Swayze 😦