Blog Archives

Better veggie burgers too

I hope you guys enjoyed my post about healthier baked beans! I always get excited when I can find better and healthier alternatives to some of my favorite convenience foods 🙂

Another case in point…veggie burgers!

You may remember a post I wrote a while back about the deceptive nature of the processed veggie burger. They appear to be healthy (they are certainly better than meat) but they contain some really funky ingredients. Also frustrating for me, was when I went vegan, I found out that most of the frozen veggie burgers sold in supermarkets are NOT vegan friendly 😦

I prefer to make my own “burgers” at home, such as Mama Pea’s Black Bean Burgers, or these awesome chickpea patties. I’ve even tried both recipes out on the girl’s at our potluck and they get rave reviews!

But there are times when making your own veggie burger is just not an option and you want something quick and tasty, but still healthy. I have a solution!

Sunshine Burgers are soy free, dairy free, wheat free and gluten free! This particular Garden Herb variety has an outstanding list of ingredients:

Organic cooked brown rice, organic ground raw sunflower seeds, organic carrots, organic herbs and sea salt. That is literally it!

So far, I have enjoyed one over some rice and topped with salsa verde…

And another time over a leafy Romaine salad, topped with artichoke and garlic hummus!

Sunshine has six different flavors, including a very lovely falafel burger, which I’ve had on many occasions 🙂

At my Whole Foods store, they are $3.99 for a box of three. This is just slightly more expensive than brands like Boca or Morningstar, which contain 4 burgers for the same price.

But, the taste is so much better and once again you just can’t beat that nutritional information and healthier ingredients list. Your body is worth an extra 34 cents per burger 😉

I can’t wait to try the other four flavors (especially the Breakfast Patty)!

Note: I purchased this product on my own and was not paid to do a review by the company. I’m just so impressed with this product, I had to share it with you all.

First day of March

I love the beginning of the week and the month for many reasons, but yesterday was exceptional! I wish I’d posted about it last night but I ended up falling asleep on the couch before 9:00 🙂

I started the day off with a delicious green smoothie. This combo contained: 1 cup plain soymilk, 3 cups of spinach, 1 frozen banana, and a generous tablespoon of peanut butter.

A few weeks ago, Heather shared with me that she has made smoothies in her food processor before and had them turn out okay.

My blender is giving me trouble, so I gave the food processor a shot today.

It took a little bit longer for all the spinach to blend, but it didn’t get stuck and I didn’t have to add water to get it to start blending again. Success!

Mid-morning, I had some black coffee and nuts. Then I went to my Pound for Pound weigh in and got some measurements done too!

Lunch was leftover baked tofu that I made on Sunday night (just sprinkled on garlic powder, curry powder and sesame seeds) with some cauliflower that I roasted in the oven (sprayed with cooking spray, salt and pepper).

Oh yeah and a slice of whole wheat toast 🙂 I think this was even better leftover than it was the night before!

Later in the day, I started to get a sore throat (pretty sure it’s the constantly changing weather), and you know how it is when water just doesn’t feel good? I got the only other option I had (I was too warm to drink tea!).

I’m still doing good only having these once a week. Any more and I just feel “weird” and if I ever drink more than one in a day, my stomach hurts. I really need to just give them up already.

I snacked on some yogurt before my awesome 6-mile run after work!

Then I re-hyrated with some Powerade Zero.

This is definitely not my first choice, since it contains sucralose (aka Splenda), but I suppose it’s better than real Powerade with contains HFCS.

I’m just trying a few different things out to see how they work with my body. I’m definitely going to try coconut water next, per your all’s recommendations!

For dinner, I made Barilla whole grain spaghetti with a garden combination sauce. I added in my own red onion, green & red peppers, plus a Boca vegan burger for some protein.

After my dinner settled, I was doing some house work when the hunger monster struck, also known as my 6 mile run catching up with me! So I ate some of my favorite stuff in the world 😉

One slice of whole wheat toast with PB & chocolate chips.

Then 1/4 cup oatmeal with more PB & chocolate chips. This did the trick. I swear nothing fills my stomach or “sticks to my ribs” quite like oatmeal!

And yes, I stopped eating by 9:00. It helps that I got full and comfortable, then fell asleep on the couch!

How was your Monday? Any goals for the month of March?

The man loves wings

Happy weekend everybody! I’m so glad it is finally here. I have a lot of fun stuff going on that I can’t wait to get it going.

Anyway, this morning, I got to have something awesome…oats in a jar! Well, really it is 5 grain cereal in a jar, ha.



Yum yum yum.

A few hours later at work, I took a short walk and ate some mixed nuts.


I have found that it is totally motivating to get out for a quick walk when you have errands to run. This morning, I made a trip to the mailbox to get some bills out…goodbye paycheck 😉

Before lunch, I met up with Farrah for a nice workout. I ran a mile on the treadmill to warm up and it was brutal, so much harder than running a mile outside. So weird.

Anyway, after the run we did some weights and strength training. Let me see if I can remember it all (everything was 2×12, except abs which was more):

  • Cable crossovers
  • Bench presses
  • Seated row machine
  • Dead lifts
  • Pushups
  • Squats w/ dumbbell
  • Lunges w/ dumbbell
  • Abs, abs and more abs (rocking horse, regular crunches, side crunches, partial sit up with dumbbell, and standing side-to-side dips with dumbbells)

It was an awesome workout and I am sure that my legs will be sore tomorrow!

For lunch, I got to try something new…a Boca Vegan burger on an EZEKIEL ENGLISH MUFFIN 🙂


Topped with some tomato and spicy mustard. This muffin was delicious…so dense and chewy. I think I’m in love. Good thing I have five more in the freezer.

I also had some veggies and hummus on the side.


I totally had some tea (peppermint, my fave) and a piece of dark chocolate after this but forgot to photo it again, ha ha.

For my real afternoon snack, after another walk to the bank this time, I had something I hadn’t had since a little salmonella outbreak a while back.


Oh how I love thee. Unfortunately, thee has a lot of sugar, so this is a special treat. It felt so good to be reunited though 😉

For dinner, Josh and I decided on Buffalo Wings and Rings because Josh was in the mood for wings (shocker) and they at least have two vegetarian selections as opposed to one or zero at most wing places. It took FOREVER for us to come up with this, I hope in the future it is not as challenging to accommodate both of us.

We have been there two times before, both when I was still eating meat. So this would be my first time trying out their veggie choices.

I decided on the Veggie Greek salad pita. I didn’t even think to ask but apparently it comes with feta cheese, of which I picked most off.


The homemade Saratoga chips were pretty good. But I don’t think I will get this pita again. It had way too many olives and wasn’t really all that filling.


I read on the menu their veggie burger is not just a patty so perhaps I will give that a try if I find myself here again.

Even though it was a bit of a letdown for me, Josh really enjoyed his wings. I believe he got atomic ragin’ cajun?


When we got back home, we started watching the movie “Adventureland” which was honestly sort of depressing at times. I thought it would be funnier, oh well. I had a snack about half way through.


Toast with almond butter and semisweet chips. Just what I needed 🙂

I’m off to make some tea and then hit the hay. Be back soon!

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?


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!



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



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!


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



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?


“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 🙂


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).


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.


Josh got a huge stick of beef jerky…


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


One thing we did have in common…


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.


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.


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 🙂

Recent product reviews

I have been making it a habit of mine to try more new products these days but unfortunately (or fortunately?) that has left me with quite a backlog. Anyway, without further ado, here is a round of recent new products I have tried and what I think of ’em:


Near East Whole Grain Wheat Couscous – Original Plain

I decided to try the original plain flavor first just to get an idea of whether or not I would like the product. I have had couscous before but I had been on such a big brown rice kick lately that I had almost forgotten how many other great whole grains there are out there to have with dinner!

This product was very easy to make 1-2 servings of at a time, which is good for me because I have not gotten Josh to eat it just yet.

Its also fairly inexpensive, I believe this box cost me less than $2 and that equals 4 servings.

I liked the addition of olive oil (which you add yourself before cooking) because I’m always looking to get more healthy fats into my diet in hopes of raising my HDL cholesterol, I can’t wait to get that checked later this year, I’ve been trying very hard!

It cooks very quickly both in the microwave and on the stove…


The taste is great too! Its very light, fluffy and flavorful even for being just the original plain version. I will definitely buy this product again but first I think I will try some other varieties/flavors 🙂

Up next…

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Boca Savory Mushroom Mozzarella patties

When it comes to veggie burgers and patties, I typically chose Boca brand because its 50 cents cheaper than Morningstar (my grocery store doesn’t have much variety) and they typically have fewer strange sounding ingredients than some of the other brands out there (or so I thought). I previously did a post on Veggie Burgers that opened my eyes a bit to these fake processed meats.

I went into this one with good expectations. But I have to say, as much as I do like mushrooms, the flavor of this burger was way too strong for me. I prefer fresh mushrooms rather than mushroom-flavored things. But nevertheless, I trekked on getting through two more and they were pretty good, just not one that I would buy again.

In preparation for writing this post, lo and behold, I have another reason to not buy this product again. Check this out:



We all know that’s code for trans fat. I thought I could trust the Boca brand but it makes sense now. Processed foods are just bad in general. Even the ones that are less processed than others often have a few choice ingredients that I’d rather not consume. So I think this has sealed the deal. I want to make my own burgers and not buy this crap anymore!

That being said, I’ve seen some products on VeggieGirl’s site and a couple of others that would be better so I would definitely give those a try.

That’s all for now, much more to come so stay tuned!

Birthday dinner & Challenge day 3

Thanks everyone for the lovely birthday wishes 🙂 I had a great time all day yesterday and I still get to do it once more this weekend with my best girlfriends, its going to be a blast!

I am also happy to report that I have not counted a single calorie in three whole days! I have tried to in the back of my mind but every time I start, I tell myself no and I’m able to shut off that voice in my head. I’m also having a lot of fun learning to be intuitive.

Day 3 started off with a green monster and a small cup of high fiber flax cereal. I made the smoothie with kale this time and 1 cup of Almond Breeze plus a banana. I’m sorry to say that either the banana was not ripe enough or the kale was just too bitter, because it wasn’t that great to me. I was able to drink it and it kept me full for a while and I definitely felt good getting the health benefits, but I probably wouldn’t make this one again 😦

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Like my new glass?! I found this at Kroger for $1.25. I originally got it for parfaits but it works for GM’s too 🙂

Since it was my birthday, I treated myself to a Heine Brothers coffee at work with skim milk. And mid-morning I had some honey roasted peanuts. Before I was supposed to leave to meet Farrah for a run, I had an orange because I wasn’t hungry but I felt a little weak and knew it would be a couple hours until lunch. Worked like a charm!

We warmed up for 3 minutes on the treadmill (stupid rain!) and then ran for 15, including a sprint (for me) at the last minute at 6.5 mph. We did almost 2 miles and it felt really good to run and stretch afterwards. I’m liking this training program and the fact that we’re focusing more on short distances,  I definitely made the right decision on that.

For lunch, I had a Boca veggie burger with organic American cheese on a whole wheat English muffin with spicy mustard and tomato. Plus some carrots, cucumbers and another flavor of Sonny & Joe’s hummus (review coming soon). I’m loving the fresh veggies still!

I ate lunch pretty late (for me) and I was pretty hungry when I did eat, so I didn’t feel 100% full when I got done. I contemplated making a trip upstairs to the vending machine for some chocolate, even had money in my pocket heading up there, then I talked to myself (haha) and realized I didn’t really want that.

I had some water and tea, then about an hour later, I had a strawberry Chobani with about 1/4 cup of Kashi Summer Berry granola. Yummy snack alert!

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For dinner, my husband, parents and I went to Cafe 360 located in the Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, which to me has some of the best food in the city. This place is also a hookah lounge, but we did not partake. I have to say, as a person who hates smoke, the other people in the restaurant with hookahs, did not disturb us at all.

We ordered the bruschetta as an appetizer. It was different than others we’d had before. The one on the left was smeared with some sort of mushroom pate and the one on the right was some kind of herb cheese that sort of reminded me of benedictine spread. I had a couple bites of each kind just to try it. It was good but I don’t think I would get it again unless someone else wanted it. They have many other apps on the menu!


Speaking of which, they are remodeling their kitchen right now so the menu was limited. A lot of the stuff I had checked out ahead of time wasn’t on there but I managed to find something that sounded pretty good…the vegetarian club. All sandwiches come with either fries or potato salad, so I opted for the latter.


I killed the potato salad, but only ate half the sandwich (saving room for dessert) which is cool because now I have lunch for another day this week!

The verdict: I would love to try this place again, hopefully with a bigger menu. The wait staff was very helpful and friendly, answering many of our questions about the menu items. I wasn’t too impressed with the veggie club, it was basically a club sandwich without the meat, but the potato salad was fantastic. I will try something different the next time. The prices cannot be beat either, I think my whole meal was $4.99? Its insane how inexpensive this place is, I love it.

For dessert, we went to one of my favorite frozen yogurt places, Ce Fiore!

I got the single Green Tea with M&M’s, kiwi and blueberries. Perfection in a cup.


Their frozen yogurt is not what you usually expect, its very much yogurt, so therefore it tastes like frozen actual yogurt, not really sweet like ice cream. My mom didn’t know what to think at first, but it grew on her. My husband tried a sample and hated it, as it usually goes with things I really like (that are healthy). Geez.

But I happen to love it! I think a small is 90 and then you just add the toppings (not that I’m counting). The Green Tea flavor is my favorite, but I really like them all. I can’t wait to go back there again a few times this summer 🙂

I went home and sat on the couch with the dog and watched “The Business of Being Born” on Showtime. It was very interesting, I got instantly hooked! I didn’t realize just how much goes into having a baby in a hospital vs. at home. While viewing, I had a couple of spoons of The Bee’s Knees with a Coke Zero. Hey, it was my birthday 😉

Hope you all had a good hump day!

p.s. Courtney over at The Hungry Yogini is having a huge Lipton Tea giveaway, so head on over there and get in on that action!

p.p.s. Meghann is giving away some yummy raw goodies from Blue Mountain Organic store, so check that one out too!

Better mail those taxes

Tomorrow is April 15…have you mailed your taxes yet? We had to pay state this year, so I just mailed mine yesterday, bummer. I always remember tax day though because its my parents’ anniversary. They will be celebrating 35 years tomorrow, yay Mom and Dad 🙂

Breakfast this morning was oats (made with coconut milk and water), with flax & pumpkin (and some cinnamon-instead of pumpkin pie spice-trying something new) stirred in, and topped with nuts and PB. It was fabulous, a little lighter of a portion than usual so I wouldn’t get too full for the gym and could eat a mid-morning snack. If you’ve noticed, I’m trying to get back to my 6 small meals a day to try it out for a while. I’m one of those people that gets bored or burnt out on a routine easily, so its good to change things up every now and then.


My workout was somewhat light today because I’m experiencing some soreness and pain in my hamstrings and glutes, the area right between them. And my inner left thigh. It hurts a little bit to walk, so I knew it would to run. I rode on the stationary bike for 20 minutes, which felt really good, then I did some ab work and upper body weight machines. I so plan on playing volleyball tonight, as long as my leg doesn’t feel as bad or worse by tonight.

Lunch and Snacks preview


For lunch, I have a Boca vegan burger, wheat bread (one piece, trying to make it last!), brussels sprouts and an orange. I wish I had some cheese! I didn’t buy any this weekend because I’m still waiting for Kraft 2% slices to go on sale 😦

For snacks, I have a Chobani yogurt and a banana nut Pure Protein hot ‘n healthy oatmeal square that will most definitely be making a trip into the microwave.


Happy Tuesday! I’m so glad Monday is over 😉

Busy Wednesday

I have a full schedule today but most of it is pretty exciting so I’m not too worried. I have a meeting this morning at work and then at lunchtime, I’m attending a stress management class as I mentioned in my last post. Then I get to register for Fall classes and have a chat on the phone with my health coach (which my employer requires for health insurance discounts).

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but I’ve decided to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health Education, which is why I am taking classes now. It was between that and Exercise Science but I just know as much as I love exercise, my passions lie more with people and healthy lifestyles in general, not specifically only exercise. I already have two Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Art History, so why not have a third, right? It just shows you how when your life changes, so do your passions and interests. Going to school part-time does make it take longer, but when I eventually do get there, I know it will be worth it.

When I was standing in the kitchen this morning, the only thing that sounded good to me was a smoothie even though its 32 degrees outside! Luckily, its getting back up to 60 today and the rest of the week too. I decided to try out one of my new Spirutein packets I got at Whole Foods over the weekend:


I decided not to add any fruit to this because I wasn’t sure how a banana would match well, but now that I have had it, I think it would be great. I’m also having two servings of fruit that I brought with me to work and I’m taking strawberries for dessert at girl’s night. So I think I’m covered! The package of this mix says not to use a blender “for best results” but I can’t stand the chalky or not completely mixed up way of drinking these, so I threw it in the blender with 1 cup of skim milk and 2 handfuls of ice. Perfection! Its creamy like a milkshake, just how I like it 😉

I decided to pair it up with a scrambled egg (1) topped with a sprinkled of Kraft Natural mozzarella cheese (seriously the best I’ve had) and stuffed into a pita pocket. This breakfast was a little smaller than I’m used to (370 calories) but it was very satisfying nonetheless.


I’m glad the Easter card I got in the mail from my cousin made an appearance 😉

Lunch Preview


For lunch today, I have a Boca vegan burger with sprouts, spicy mustard and shredded mozz cheese on whole wheat bread; carrots w/ hummus; and an orange. For snacks, I have an apple and cheese stick; and an Oikos yogurt with honey and See Sarah Eat granola to mix in 🙂

New focus

Good morning!

I woke up with an amazing sense of pride today…our hometown girls, the University of Louisville Lady Cards are going to the National Championship game! I will be sure to tune in tomorrow night. I love living in Kentucky sometimes, but only for stuff like that. There’s plenty that I dislike. Such as when I was out walking the dog at 6 a.m., I was in awe of the weather here in Kentucky. Yesterday it was 75, today it’s going to be 40 and drop to the 30’s before 5 p.m. We might even get snow! Ugh.

Breakfast this morning was an old standby, pumpkin-raisin+pb oats, only this time I used almonds instead of walnuts and it was White Chocolate PB. I have to say, this bowl didn’t do it for me. I’m full and definitely got some nutrients (this bowl also contained flax) but I’m usually more impressed with this. I think it might’ve been the skim milk, when I’ve made this with 1%, it’s been unbelieveable. I also think it’s time to try some new recipes! I will be checking blogs today to get some ideas, especially from Kath the oatmeal queen haha 😉


For lunch today, I packed a Boca veggie burger with 2% cheddar cheese and two pita pocket halves with some sprouts and habanero ketchup. On the side, I have a nice apple and some carrots and hummus!


Speaking of hummus, Diane from Sabra Dipping Company, sent me a coupon to try one of their containers of hummus for free! I chose the Greek olive hummus because it was a flavor I’d never had and I love me some Greek food. I’ll let you know how it is after lunch today, for those of you who haven’t tried it. I think I’ve seen this one on Jenna‘s blog before.


I’m planning an after lunch workout that will probably be a quick run and some weights + ab work. I will update on that later.

Afternoon snacks are Oikos plain (with oatmeal squares-in the yellow container) and a mini Larabar for during class tonight. I may or may not need the Larabar since I’ve got some high protein yogurt and I’m bulking it up with some fibrous cereal. We shall see!


Happy Monday!

First day back

Breakfast this morning was really simple and was exactly everything I was craving: waffles (Kashi 7 grain), peanut butter (PB&Co White Chocolate Wonderful), banana, turkey sausage and skim milk 🙂

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The white chocolate wonderful was pretty dang good! I was afraid I wouldn’t like it, but after my PB&Co letdown in NYC, I bought some last night at the store. I can’t wait to try it again with oats!

For lunch, I packed up a Boca original vegan burger with 2% cheddar cheese, whole wheat bread and spicy mustard. On the side, I had carrots and an apple. For snacks, honey roasted peanuts (mid-morning snack) and a Horizon fat free blueberry yogurt (afternoon, grabbed it on sale last night for 49 cents).

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The yogurt was decent, but I have definitely become a greek yogurt snob. Except for when it comes to Stonyfield fat free French vanilla 🙂

After work, I went to the gym OUTSIDE and ran. I started off walking for 5 minutes and then jogged for a couple until I got to the track near my work. Then I ran two laps, which I determined was 1 mile judging by time. I walked for 2 minutes, then did a 4:1 ratio of running to walking. I really am thinking about using this method for my longer races because it doesn’t slow me down at all and it certainly helps my endurance. I ended up running 3 miles on the track, plus whatever else I did on the way to and from (45 minutes including warm up and cool down).

I did end up going into the gym for about 15 minutes to stretch and do some upper body weights (chest presses, should presses, bicep curls, tricep extensions) and ab exercises (the same two I’ve been doing for a week now). I am loving strength training again!

For dinner, we had chicken breasts and I had half a sweet potato with cinnamon and smart balance and a mini bagel. It feels so good to be slowly getting back to a normal routine and way of eating. I know I didn’t do too shabby over my trip but I was definitely missing out on some of my normal eats 🙂

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Yes, there is a chunk missing out of this plate, I dropped it a while back. I have broken so many dishes and glasses since we got married 4 years ago, we’re about due for some replacements!

I know a dessert / snack is in order but I’m not sure what yet. Whatever it is will be had during the ER finale. I quit watching the show last year after they pulled a stupid storyline that I hated, but I want to watch it go out because I watched it for so many years prior. I have a feeling its going to be oatmeal squares 🙂

Update: Yep, Oatmeal Squares + skim milk it is!


Hope everyone had a great day! Be back tomorrow.

p.s. I know I haven’t mentioned coffee on here in a while, but I wanted to let you know I still drink 1 big cup of it (black) every morning at work 🙂 After having Starbucks just one time over my NY trip, I have to say, I much prefer just plain ol’ coffee or some with just a bit of skim milk (when its available) so I think I will stick to that for a while. I guess I like to keep things simple.