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Bring Back Summer!

The weather has taken a turn for the cold here and the only thing keeping me warm right now (besides the dog on my lap) is fond memories of the stuff I did (and ate) this summer.

One of those things was a really great meal at local restaurant Cafe 360.

You may remember I ate at this place for my birthday dinner last year, pre-vegan, but definitely vegetarian-curious. It was under construction, dark, and they had a limited menu at the time.

But this time, I met a friend for lunch and we sat outside in the warm sunshine on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and plenty of good food to choose from.

I started off with the Spinach and Strawberry Salad which is listed as “vegan” on the menu (so helpful).

142 This salad was huge but so fresh and tasty, I devoured every last bit of it, except for the dressing, which I just drizzled on top a little bit.

I also had a cup of what was, to this day, the best vegetarian chili I have EVER had.

143 They even claim on the menu: “Our vegetarian chili will tempt non-vegetarians, trust and give it a try!” Trust me, they are absolutely right.

It was so flavorful and loaded with veggies, not just the same ol’ boring beans and tomatoes. I can’t remember everything that was in it, but the summer squash was a nice touch!

I can’t believe it took me this long to post about it, but I definitely need to go back to this place soon, for the vegetarian chili alone 🙂

In the mean time, let’s hope it warms up again around here soon. I’d really like to have some fall before we go straight into winter!

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!

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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.

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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.

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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!