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Day 2: Headache & lots o’ bananas

I woke up this morning with a really bad headache that is just now starting to go away as I write this (8 o’clock at night). I think I got overheated in my sleep or I’m really sensitive to weather changes (it’s been hot, humid and rainy today). Or perhaps a combination of the two.

But I ate a good breakfast before lying on the couch and going back to sleep for four more hours! Yikes, I must’ve needed it.

Pumpkin Raisin Oats

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup plain almond milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp raw wheat germ
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1-2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • Heat almond milk and water on high until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir in oats. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often, until desired consistency is reached.
  • Add in pumpkin and stir for an additional minute or so, allowing pumpkin to heat up. Remove from stove, stir in wheat germ and top with raisins and peanut butter.

When I woke up from my really long nap, I was ready for lunch. But first, I had to walk Suzie who got REALLY wet from the monsoon going on outside.

Poor wet dog!

For lunch, I had my last Gardein “chicken” breast. It’s technically processed but it expired before the end of the challenge, so I decided to go ahead and use it up.

I had it on top of whole wheat couscous with some Brussels sprouts on the side. It was hard not to sprinkle salt or add Smart Balance Light to the veggies, but they tasted just fine without!

Before I went grocery shopping, I snacked on a banana.

I also picked up a black coffee while I was out. I didn’t want to send myself into caffeine withdrawal while I already had a headache! But it made grocery shopping quite relaxing! I may have to do that more often ;-) 

For dinner, I decided to work with these two ingredients.

I drained and rinsed the beans well before adding them to the pot with the tomatoes. I heated them over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.

While the beans + tomatoes cooked, I heated up some mixed veggies in the microwave.

I poured a portion of the bean mixture over some whole grain brown rice that I made in the steamer/rice cooker.

It was a weird looking plate of food but it sure tasted good!

In this challenge, it is suggested that alcohol be enjoyed in moderation, so I went ahead and finished off the half glass that was left in a bottle I got last week.


I’m not going to buy anymore wine for home until the challenge is over, but I do plan on enjoying a drink on my birthday 🙂

For dessert, I made banana soft serve with a twist!

I made the regular banana soft serve recipe and when it was just about done, I added a handful of blackberries and blended it for a few more seconds.

It wasn’t as thick and creamy as the bananas alone, but it still tasted great!

Day 2, in spite of a possible migraine, went pretty darn good too. Hope all my fellow challengers are feeling strong 🙂

Unintentional three-day weekend

Today’s breakfast featured the following:

001I usually prefer to use Libby’s brand, but I’ve had a hard time finding it so I picked this up at Whole Foods instead.

I was going to have a green monster this morning but I woke up not feeling so hot and decided what I really needed was a nice bowl of pumpkin oats 🙂

This bowl contained 1/2 cup oats cooked with 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup pumpkin stirred in, pumpkin pie spice, 1 tbsp flax, and topped with raisins, walnuts and all natural peanut butter.

It was so delicious.


I still felt bad so I decided to stay home from work and slept until after 11 a.m.! I must have needed it.

For lunch, I had an Amy’s non-dairy burrito and a romaine salad with vinaigrette.

I hadn’t had an Amy’s burrito in a while and it was really good!


I must be fighting off an illness because my appetite has been insane today! After lunch, I had a pita pocket with peanut butter and chocolate chips.


Then I took another nap on the couch with the dog and woke up REALLY hungry again, so I had another pita pocket with some hummus.


When it came time for dinner, I had only one thing on my mind…baked beans on a sweet potato!

And whole wheat couscous!

Then afterwards, I started to think about dessert. I finished off the chocolate chips earlier in the day but remembered the many frozen bananas that resided in my freezer!

Banana soft serve!!!


I am still amazed that this is ONLY bananas! But after a few bites, I decided to add some peanut butter 😉


I’m still not feeling so great and think I will head to bed early. I’m hoping it’s just allergies and the crazy weekend I had that just ran me down a bit.

Hopefully, some rest will help and I can get back to work tomorrow!

Tax Day

Thursday was an interesting day, which started with me mailing our taxes at almost the last minute (well, 10 a.m. at least)!

And also an old fashioned, cooked on the stove top bowl of oats 🙂


Not only do they taste better, but they make for a better presentation too!

When I got to work, I had some tea and mixed nuts.


Then I had one of the best lunches ever! I hadn’t had this in a while and I recently saw Caitlin enjoying it, so I decided to add it back to the rotation 😉


While I think vegetarian baked beans are my favorite, this works well with black beans, pinto beans, etc. Veggies + protein = ❤

And I enjoyed some ripe, juicy strawberries too!


For my afternoon snack, I tried some new sun dried tomato hummus with carrots.


I ate it all, but it left a weird aftertaste and I’m not sure that I really liked it that much. But oh well, I tried something new 😉


After work, I went to the gym and ran 2 miles.

So far I have only missed one day of running this week, so I feel pretty good. I’ve been taking lots of short walks at work too to get my Vitamin D!

For dinner, I went with Indian. Pre-packaged Indian, that is!

012 013I thought I checked all the packages well at the store but that dang rice contains milk! 😦

Just shows that even at 7+ months into this, it’s still easy to make mistakes and stuff slips in. It still turned out to be a nice dinner.

It wasn’t the best I’d ever had but it was pretty good. I also had some broccoli with Smart Balance Light for some more veggies.

After dinner digested, I took Suzie to the dog park for a little bit so she could get her exercise too! She loves it there. I’m so glad we got her signed up.

When we got back, I was really craving non-dairy ice cream, but instead of spending a lot to get some high calorie, sugary treat, I made a much healthier version…Banana soft serve!

I just threw one frozen banana in the food processor.

Then processed until it got creamy, stopping to scrape the sides a few times.

I topped mine with almond butter and chocolate chips! So much better than processed, store bought ice cream 🙂


I watched “500 Days of Summer” which was cute but also a little depressing. It was a beautifully shot movie though, made me want to live in a big(ger) city 😉

I got hungry again later that night, so I had a small cup of oat bran with almond butter and chips.

Do you wait until the last minute to do your taxes?

I don’t usually wait until the last day but we had to pay state taxes and I had to wait until we got the money together for that!

Say chreese!

It has been raining ALL DAY here. But even though the weather is nasty, I’m feeling rather inspired tonight. I’m telling you, I’m generally a happy person but I think this vegan diet has made even more cheerful.

For breakfast this morning, I made a nice pot of stovetop pumpkin oat bran!


Mid-morning, I snacked on a new product that Bianca sent me in a very awesome and thoughtful care package. I was so excited to try it!

I left my camera at home so I couldn’t take my own picture, but the strip pretty much resembled beef jerky, only a slightly different texture and tasted a lot better (to me).

I usually don’t bother with a lot of “fake” meat stuff but the taste and 10 grams of protein was totally worth it! I loved the barbecue flavor too.

Here’s the rest of my stash:


Don’t worry, I’m sending her some good stuff too 🙂 I’m so excited to try everything!

My stomach started growling for lunch at 10:45, which surprised me – that’s two days in a row now! But I listened to myself (and Carrie) and ate anyway. My body is more important than waiting for an “appropriate” lunch time.

For lunch, I had leftover black bean burger on a slice of Ezekiel toast with broccoli and lots of hummus on both. Sorry for the lack of picture, it was delicious.

After lunch, I got a massive chocolate craving and somehow managed to find Green & Black’s at the bookstore, who knew?


This was my first time ever trying this and I was impressed. I ate half and saved the rest for another rainy day 😉

My pre-post workout snack was another Clif bar…chocolate chip peanut crunch. It was just okay, I won’t get it again though. The regular chocolate chip is so much better!

Since it was raining, I ran/walked 1 mile on the treadmill and not any more because I just wasn’t feeling it. But it was a good warm up before I went and did some weight training.

  • Lateral pulldown machine (50-60 lbs) – 3 sets x 12
  • Chest press machine (30 lbs) – 3 sets x 12
  • Bicep curls (15 lb bar) – 3 sets x 20
  • Tricep presses (12 lb bar laying on balance ball) – 3 sets x 15
  • Calf raises (holding 15 lb bar) – 2 sets x 25
  • Lunges (with bar) – 2 sets x 15 each leg
  • Crunches on balance ball – 2 sets x 25

It felt like I really didn’t do much at the time but when I wrote it all out just now, I can see how much I did do 🙂

I was so excited to make dinner when I got home! It featured another new product (thanks again Bianca).


I showed this to Josh last night and he said he wanted to try it! I was floored so I knew I just had to make it ASAP.

I followed the recipe, using water and then I added a spoon of Smart Balance Light when it was done cooking.

The rest of my dinner included Mama Pea’s Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpeas (I’m stalking her this week!) and some cauliflower.


The Mac & Chreese (I laugh every time) was pretty good! Josh even said “it wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever had but it’s not the worst either.” I expected him to make a face and spit it out but he didn’t, he ate his entire serving!

It gives me hope that he might try some more vegan stuff in the future 🙂

I think I would like to try another flavor next time to see what it tastes like. The texture was a little different and it had a slight aftertaste but other than that, it was good. Much better for my tummy than real mac & cheese!

Dessert was the other half of my banana soft serve with the usual toppings.


With the colder weather, lots of yummy treats in my pantry and the urge to hibernate, I have decided I need to re-implement a “cut off” time for eating at night.

Unless it does appear that I am truly hungry, I won’t eat anything after 9:00 p.m.

It’s 9:35 right now and I’m totally fine. Going to have some tea before bed. Good night 🙂

Bunch of geniuses

Last night for dessert, I made Gena’s banana soft serve. Gena = Genius!


Then for breakfast this morning, I opened up this enormous can of pumpkin.


I grabbed the huge jar at the store when I saw it because apparently there is a shortage.

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Pumpkin oat bran with chocolate chips, WALNUTS, and peanut butter. Genius.


My parents took me out to lunch after church and since Josh (who is not a fan of Mediterranean food) was at a meeting, I took the opportunity to talk them into going to Shiraz so I could get my favorite falafel!


Genius. Thanks Mom & Dad!

I was pretty full after that and didn’t eat again until dinner, when I made Mama Pea’s black bean burgers. Talk about a genius!


I made these once before, but this time I used the red onion the recipe called for and barbecue sauce (which I subbed for the Worcestershire). I also made the whole recipe this time and have plenty of leftovers. Genius.

I steamed a side of broccoli and made a slice of toast, putting Smart Balance Light on both. Organic ketchup on the burger.


This was seriously good, I enjoyed making it and eating it.

In lieu of exercise today, I ended up cleaning my entire apartment, even vacuuming both floors and the stairs too! Genius.

It really feels so good to have so much done and to have everything in order before starting a new week.

Now I’m watching the new Robin Williams special on HBO. So far it’s just okay, but in general he is a comedic genius, in my opinion.

Tina is a genius for showing me this snack via her blog several months ago.


A great end to a pretty awesome day. Good night!

Day 18.3: At long last

I definitely got a work out in today! I went to town on my apartment, cleaning both bathrooms, polishing off all my wood furniture, dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping…whew! I feel good and tired at the same time 🙂

When it came time for dinner, I didn’t feel like a salad again…ahh! I’m going to have to take one for lunch tomorrow!

I also was pretty hungry since I hadn’t eaten since lunch so I didn’t have the time to really prepare a recipe either, so I made a quick meal out of stuff in the freezer.


Five Star Foodies artichoke burger on Ezekiel muffin with some frozen mixed veggies.

I got the veggies at Target at not only were they cheaper than Kroger brand (89 cents vs. $1.19) they tasted better too! I’ll have to remember that.

Just a few short minutes ago, I embarked on a recipe I had been planning on making for some time now and I finally got around to it.

Any guesses?


Contents: Two frozen sliced bananas. I put them in the freezer last night.

If you guessed Gena’s banana soft serve, you are correct!

At first I thought, with the one ingredient and easy preparation method, something was going to go wrong. But I was pleasantly surprised when I started the food processor.


It really does look like ice cream!


Creamy, sweet, bananas. I will never eat ice cream again. And this is so much cheaper than any non-dairy brands. Bananas are one of the cheapest fruits at the store!

Not to mention the only ingredient is bananas so there is no worrying about artificial ingredients or too much unnatural sugar. I love this!


Mari, you have to try this! LOL.

It tastes so good and I feel good about eating it because it’s just like eating a banana. Since I used two in this batch, I only ate half of the end product and put the rest in the freezer for another time.

I can’t wait to make variations of this like adding cocoa powder, not to mention the topping possibilities 😉

Another great day on the books. I’m really pleased with all my meals and choices today. Each day I learn a little bit more about how to listen to my body and obey my hunger cues.

I’m also enjoying this ride into veganism and while I have had challenges, I’ve certainly not been really frustrated or derailed in any way. I appreciate all the tips and support on this journey, it means a lot to me.

Have a good night everybody, thanks for reading! Got a run and some good meals planned for tomorrow, can’t wait 🙂