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Vegan cookout

In my 17 months as a vegan, I have been to many, many potlucks, a cookie exchange and other gatherings surrounded by food. It’s so nice to go somewhere and not have to say “what’s in this?” or “can I eat this?”

But it wasn’t until this past weekend that I went to a vegan cookout! And it was so much fun 🙂

Saturday was Derby Day here in Kentucky but the Louisville Vegetarian Club decided to have an “alternative” cookout held at Tyler Park here in Louisville. This event was sponsored by Tofurky and Rainbow Blossom (a local health food store) who both donated food items!

What a beautiful day it was!

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And the food was yummy too!

Tofurkey!

Tofurky brat on a Rudi’s hot dog bun with relish, mustard, ketchup and some organic tortilla chips with Athenos roasted garlic hummus 🙂

And of course, the rest of the crew brought some really delicious food to share!

Yum

Carrie‘s black bean quinoa and Seana’s vegan macaroni salad

Somebody knew my birthday was the day before and made this amazingly decadent chocolate cake with ganache and strawberries 🙂

Cake!

Thank you Carrie 😉

I also had some spicy pasta salad a la Karen and these insanely addictive peanut butter chocolate chip blondies. Let’s just say I did not need to eat the rest of the evening!

I have to thank everyone for coming out and for sharing some truly wonderful dishes. You guys are so wonderful and I’m so glad to have this group in my life 🙂

Happy Labor Day

Well, I can honestly say that instead of resting on Labor Day, I well…labored!

I got up with the dog around 7:30 (she let me sleep for 8 hours!) and ate some breakfast while listening to the storm outside.

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Cheerios with blueberries and soymilk.

When the rain passed and I was able to take Suzie out, I was overwhelmed with this feeling of appreciation. Even though the weather was stormy, cloudy, and dreary, I found it beautiful. I felt grateful for God’s creation, for the seasons and found the beauty in what is normally thought of as ugly weather. Wow. I don’t know where that came from but it was rather cool.

I drank a cup of coffee with soymilk and then got right to work on organizing my downstairs closets! Oh now I remember what I did yesterday…I organized my kitchen! All the stuff in the cabinets now is in better working order and it will be so easy for me to find what I am looking for and have what I use frequently close by.

Mid-morning, I snacked on a banana with PB!

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I went and ran some errands and came back starving! I quickly reheated my chickpea curry from yesterday and enjoyed that for lunch.

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Then I got to work cutting up vegetables for a cookout we went to today. I have to say, it takes a bit of work, but buying and cutting up your own vegetables is SO MUCH CHEAPER than buying one of those silly pre-cut veggie trays. I love it.

By the time we got to the place today, I was zonked. I had been working my butt off all day on stuff around the house. Even as I type this, my legs are so tired. So I guess I should not feel guilty for not working out the past two days…because apparently I have!

At the party, I got a mix of everything. I was pleased to see all the veggies choices.

dinner

Pasta salad, caesar salad, green beans, baked beans, red potatoes (the best thing on the plate!), celery, cucumber and carrots with Italian dressing.

Everything was so good and with the exception of the caesar dressing and pasta salad (which I think contained eggs), the meal was pretty vegan-friendly. I had a few people ask me about my transition to this new way of eating so that was nice to have others taking an interest.

We also had a few people remark at how differently our plates were filled between Josh and me. I should’ve taken a pic of Josh’s plate which contained a hamburger, chicken (both on buns), red potatoes and some other pasta dish I did not try. At least we had the potatoes in common 😉

I wasn’t going to eat dessert and I even tried to fend it off with some ginormous grapes. These were tasty!

fruit

But then my willpower dwindled and I got one of these. I think they are called Hello Dollies or something like that. I had one at Christmas, that was the last time. I’m not even a big fan of coconut but this was good.

dessert

I also ate an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie (store bought) which was not that great and made me realize it was time to pack up and go home 🙂

We ate dinner really early so I think that threw off my hunger clock. We got home, I walked the dog and did several other things to try and distract myself. But I got pretty hungry so I snacked on some popcorn.

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Check out the ingredients. Good stuff and good for you!

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I need to buy some sea salt…

Oh and these too. Then I really cut myself off.

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I think I’m going to implement a few new “policies” for myself to keep some of this late night snacking under control. Here are a few things that I think will help me.

  • Go upstairs – the kitchen is on the first floor and I’ve found that if I’m further away, I’m less likely to go back.
  • No eating after 9 p.m. (or two hours before bedtime) – this is a good rule that many weight loss successes use.
  • Dessert only 1 time a week – It’s not that I can’t eat anything after dinner those other 6 nights, I just need to not eat sweet stuff each day. The day will be Wednesday with my girls.
  • Weeks go from Monday to Sunday – I’ve always mentioned how Monday is the start of a new week. It’s also the day I weigh in.

I’m also looking forward to more vegan research and experimentation this week. I’m not 100% positive but I think the meals I have planned for tomorrow are totally vegan.

Stay tuned!

Good night everyone 🙂