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Big coffee

Good morning! It’s big coffee time 🙂


Thanks everyone who has entered into my Musselman’s Giveaway so far. You have until 11:59 tomorrow night so keep ‘em coming!

For breakfast, I did have more than a enormous mug of coffee. Enter some Ezekiel toast with peanut butter (which I measured today) and banana.


I still haven’t decided what all to do today but exercise is making its way in there somehow. And perhaps a trip to Kohl’s?

I’m thinking either cycling, body pump, or just going in there and running on the treadmill and doing some weights on my own. We’ll see!

Hope you have a great day 🙂

Baked oatmeal

Wow, I am absolutely amazed at the response of my last post. Thank you guys so much for your honest and insightful comments.

I really enjoyed reading all of them, I think that is the most I’ve ever had on one post 🙂

For breakfast this morning, I had some Ezekiel toast with peanut butter and banana slices. What? I didn’t have oats? You’ll see why soon enough.


I felt like a “special” coffee today and so I did my part to support local business. Just a black coffee but so much better than Folgers today.


Oh yeah, and some almonds.

Like the past two days, my appetite for lunch came way early again today. Guess I’ve moved to the 11:00 club now? Even people at work are like “wow, you are early.” Ha ha.

Leftover curry rules!


A little while later, I had some peppermint tea and the other half of my chocolate from yesterday.


I ate a Clif Mojo bar before I went to go work out, but I forgot to take a picture of it. Hmm…my favorite.

The weather was insane today and like I posted on Twitter, I wasn’t sure I could handle the major winds that made it feel like it was 22 outside.

So we decided to stay in and ending up doing a really great hill workout on the treadmill, walking at various inclines for 2.20 miles. Afterwards we did some stretching which will hopefully get out legs ready for a run outside tomorrow!

So back to why I ate toast for breakfast…I made oatmeal for dinner!

Baked oatmeal that is. It was my turn to have main course for Girl’s Night Potluck this week, so I decided on a breakfast theme, since it’s my favorite.

This was the first time I had ever made it even though I’ve ordered it at restaurants before. I used this recipe but made a few modifications of my own.


It sure did look good. But then I got to thinking, there are five of us girls and we all eat pretty good, so I felt like I needed to make more to take with me.


Banana oatmeal saves the day! I cooked up two servings of oats with water and a banana (cooked with it to make it marshmallow-like) and sprinkled some brown sugar on top.

It’s funny, I think everyone might’ve liked this one better 😉

Here was my “breakfast for dinner” spread:


Baked oatmeal, banana oatmeal (with PB, I just can’t do it without!), potatoes with ketchup…


Peaches and Cascadian Farms granola (which was really good, my first time having it). And some OJ to wash it all down.


I went back for more potatoes and baked oatmeal. The recipe was perfect. I would definitely make it again and I can’t wait to try other variations.

We watched “Glee” and made homemade ornaments (well, the girls did, I supervised) and then called it a night. I really enjoyed all the food tonight as I am such a big fan of oats and breakfast in general.

Ah, it’s late (for me) so I’d better get to bed. Hope you had a good Wednesday.

Have you ever made or tried baked oatmeal? What did you think of it?

I really liked it but it was more like a dessert to me than a breakfast dish. I had leftovers though, so you will likely see it again 🙂

My heart is changing

Within the first five minutes of watching “Food, Inc.” I was in tears. But I feel like before I can do a full review of the movie, I should watch it again. That’s the beautiful thing about owning it on DVD 🙂

My vegan friends on Twitter also alerted me to the movie Earthlings so I need to watch that too, although I’ve heard that will be difficult, emotionally.

For breakfast yesterday, I had an old favorite:



Oh it was so good to have oat bran again. I love my oats but I prefer oat bran. Something about the texture or something. Check out this post I did on the two a while back.

After breakfast, I went mall walking with my aunts and did 3 laps  3.6 miles. I had wanted to do more but I thought I had a long day of errands and I didn’t want to wear myself out early.

But then the day got crazy! Josh broke his glasses and they were his spare pair so we had to make an emergency trip to get some new ones which took a few hours out of the day.

I have to say though, his new glasses are HOT. Wish I had a pic for ya 😉

Thankfully I had snacked on some nuts before we left home but when it was time for lunch, I was starving! We went to McAlister’s Deli where I got the veggie with no cheese or dressing and some regular Sun Chips.

A couple hours later though, I was hungry again so I broke out a new purchase from the store on Friday:


Finally! It was on sale for $3.99 which is still more than I like to spend but it’s usually almost $6 so I knew it was a good time to try it out. With some peanut butter of course.



Really good! Not as good as the English muffins, but hey, what is?

Last night, at our church, we had a Thanksgiving Missions Banquet. Everyone brings Thanksgiving-type food in massive amounts and we get to hear a program about the missionaries from our church and the work they are doing. It was quite a night!

I made a salad for my table consisting of romaine lettuce, carrots, and red, orange and yellow peppers. I also made my own salad dressing for the first time: a homemade vinaigrette!

Somehow I managed not to photograph any of that 😦

But here is my dinner plate:


It wasn’t perfect but I did the best I could. I don’t know if the sweet potatoes had butter on them but it didn’t taste like it. The green beans and corn were fine, but the stuffing may have contained a meat broth (since my friend Beth told me she had the hardest time finding one at the store that didn’t). Also not sure about the rolls, they may have contained eggs and/or dairy.

I sort of felt bad at first for compromising my diet a little bit. Of course it made my life a little easier, but it also frustrated me that I couldn’t have done better. It honestly made me feel a little guilty, especially after seeing that movie.

But I’m not perfect and I’m still new at this, so I kept that in mind and enjoyed my night.

I skipped on dessert since I knew there were no vegan options, but my mom sure did have a beautiful birthday cake…Happy Birthday Mom!


I did have a cup of decaf though 🙂 And a slice of cinnamon toast with PB and chocolate chips later in the night.

We headed home after the banquet to watch the UFC pay per view at our house. Thank goodness, one of my fighters FINALLY won. The losing streak has ended at last!!

Last night was sort of practice for Thanksgiving for me. I didn’t realize how much there is to consider. Vegetarian is easy, just don’t eat the meat. But when you think that stuffing has meat broth, mashed potatoes have milk (and sometimes butter), desserts have eggs and dairy. Yikes.

Whatever your diet may be, how are you going to handle Thanksgiving? Are you looking forward to it or is it making you anxious?

Day 30.3: We finally hit a home run

No, I’m not referring to the World Series, ha ha. Although Josh is a Yankees fan, the title of this post refers to where we had dinner tonight.

But first, I got hungry around 3:30 so I had my last Ezekiel muffin with some almond butter and blueberry fruit spread. Yep, almond butter made a come back!



When Josh got home, I totally had Ramsi’s in mind but we are experiencing quite the windstorm right now and there is rain coming, so neither of us wanting to risk being that far away from home and parking far away then getting stuck.

So we saved it for a not-so-rainy day!

Instead, we decided to go to P.F. Chang’s and then Josh had the seriously genius idea to get take out instead of eating at the restaurant. Not only did it save time, it saved money too.


I got my favorite dish there, which I loved before I went vegan, Stir Fried Eggplant (right). Josh got Cantonese Chow Fun (left).


I had the entire dish over half the container of brown rice (Josh had the rest). It was delicious!


I’m glad we ate at home because a quick search on Google told me that fortune cookies are NOT vegan. They contain eggs. Darn. I didn’t really like them that much anyway!

I also checked online and saw that P.F. Chang’s has a ton of vegan options, so we’ll definitely be going back. 🙂

I have one more So Delicious ice cream sandwich left in the freezer so I’m thinking that might be in my future. I didn’t buy any more desserts at the store today because I know if I don’t have them, I won’t “need” them.

I did not exercise today (other than grocery shopping) because I’m still feeling under the weather. I’m hoping it clears up soon but I have a feeling it’s just the beginning 😦

Have a good night. And don’t forget to get in on the major coupon-age going on here!

Tomorrow is Halloween…don’t get too scared!!!


Day 29.2: Warding off sickness again

I had a really basic but delicious lunch today!


On the left is an Ezekiel muffin with peanut butter and pumpkin butter. I put them together for a minute to carry it back to my desk and they sort of combined 😉 Also some mixed veggies on the side.

I had a meeting the rest of the afternoon, during which I started to feel kind of weak-ish. I also started getting a sore throat and I feel some pressure in my ears. Nooooo!

For a snack, I had some carrots and PB.


Then when I came home for dinner, I knew there would be soup.


I heated up half a can of Health Valley split pea soup, which I haven’t had in forever. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) it was outshined by this messy but tasty wrap I made!


I grilled some green peppers, zucchini and onion on my George Foreman and then added them and some sprouts onto a whole wheat wrap and then threw the entire thing on the Foreman for a couple of minutes to toast it.

The spicy salsa topping made my nose run!

Even though I’m somewhat under the weather, I am really excited because in a few minutes, I’m leaving to have my first blogger meet up!

Kim and I found each other through Tina’s blog and we actually have a lot in common in addition to the fact that we live in the same city 🙂

We are going to a local coffee shop that I have never been to before, which is always fun. So, I’d better get going!

Be back later…

Day 28: I hate fasting!

Let me explain…I have a health assessment first thing in the morning (well, at 8:30) so I haven’t been able to eat or drink anything other than water since 8:30 tonight!

Actually, it hasn’t been too bad and it has actually given me some perspective. I should stop eating earlier in the night. I should have a cut off time, unless I am really stomach-growling hungry.

Anyway, today started off with oatmeal.


This bowl contained 1/3 cup oats, 1 chopped apple, sprinkle of cinnamon and a tablespoon each of pumpkin butter and peanut butter. So yummy!

Speaking of oatmeal, I was recently accepted as the Louisville Healthy Living Examiner and published my first article last night!

Please check it out: Eat oatmeal every day

I had some pumpkin spice coffee when I got to work and some nuts later on in the morning when I got hungry again.


For lunch today, I heated up my leftover chickpea curry from last night and threw them on a top of a huge salad with a little bit of Italian dressing.


It was so delicious! Best lunch I have had in a while, I really need to get back to big salads, at least until the weather gets really cold 😉

My afternoon snack had me trying a new type of yogurt, which is always fun. This time it was So Delicious, but with a twist.


I have never tried Agave anything, that I am aware of, so I was really excited. I tried it by itself first and then threw on some Ezekiel cereal for some crunch.



Verdict? I loved it!

It was sweet but not overly sweet like some of the other soy yogurts out there. I would definitely buy this one again and I’m going to have to check out the other flavors.

It still had 19 grams of sugar (gasp!) so I would not eat it every day but it would be nice to have once in a while.

After work, I hit the gym solo and did 3.25 miles on the treadmill in 40 minutes, including a cool down and a minute between miles. I think my running is really improving! I always do better outside but I just didn’t feel up to it with the dreary weather and lack of a partner.

When I got home from work, I was starving, so I had a piece of whole wheat bread with peanut butter and pumpkin butter (I think I might be obsessed)!


Then, I took a nice hot shower (nothing like it after a tough sweaty run) and got my stuff together to go to Courtney’s for Girl’s Night Potluck.

For dinner, Margie made this delicious VEGAN lasagna (you must get me the recipe girl) and we had salad and bread on the side. Yum!


I went back for seconds on the lasagna and bread. Margie used vegan cheeses and the dish contained spinach, tofu and lots of other yummy ingredients.

For dessert, I brought these cookies, which I read all the ingredients for and I’m pretty sure they are vegan (not all from this brand are).


I promptly ate two of them since it was nearing close to 8:30!


Eh, they were pretty good but nothing I would get again. Unless I was taking them somewhere…at least I could share some cookies with people that had decent ingredients.

Well, that’s all I’ve got. Wish me luck tomorrow, I get to find out what changes I’ve had since July as far as measurements and stuff. I’m not expecting anything but it will be nice to have some new numbers.

I also can’t wait to see if my HDL cholesterol has gone up any. No matter how healthy I have gotten, I’m still struggling to get my good cholesterol up in the acceptable range. It pretty much hovers around 35, the highest it’s ever been was 50 and they tell me 60 is where I need to be, at least!

Good night friends.

Day 25.2: Recipes and Nightmares

I promise this is my last post for the day, it’s crazy trying to catch up two days in one!

For dinner tonight, I made another recipe out of Vegan Planet, this time it was the Hot Tamale Vegetable Pie.


I got my ingredients together. I used black olives instead of pimientos because I had them and wanted to use them up instead. I also used a yellow onion instead of red for some variety.


Throwing it all together was pretty easy! First veggies…


Then adding the tofu-flour-seasonings mixture.


Going into the oven, I was impressed at how easy this was to make and hoping it would turn out well.


While this was cooking, I started watching “A Nightmare on Elm Street” one of my all-time favorite horror movies. It doesn’t scare me like it used to when I was a kid but I still enjoy watching it.

I’m looking forward to the remake they are doing that comes out next year but I also get nervous when they do this because something always changes. We’ll see!

When it came out 35 minutes later, it looked pretty good! I let it cool for 5 minutes or so.


I tried a slice with some salsa on top to test it out.


This was pretty tasty! I loved all the veggies and the chiles and salsa made it pretty spicy. It was a bit on the crumbly side so I think I would bake it a few more minutes next time.

Apparently, I was pretty hungry because I went back for seconds and added an Ezekiel muffin on the side 🙂


I still have two more servings to have later in the week, I can’t wait!

For dessert, I’m having So Delicious peanut butter zig zag. It’s almost gone and I have a couple other frozen desserts left. I will be taking a break soon in order not to get burned out.

Dessert should be a real treat, which for me means not having it every single night. But tonight is okay 😉


Off to finish the movie!

If you are a fan of horror films, what are some of your favorites?

Day 23.2: LLRR

Apparently, you Ladies Love Ryan Reynolds! 🙂

This morning, I snacked on some peanuts but totally forgot to take a picture because I waited until I was really hungry to eat them.

Then for lunch, I had my last (free) Five Star Foodies artichoke burger. I’m going to be buying some soon. Thanks again Valerie!

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On an Ezekiel muffin. Those two were made for each other. Well, I think Ezekiel muffins were just made for everything actually. I still need to try the bread, waiting for a sale though. I also had some mixed veggies on the side. I think I declared my undying love for those last week but now, I’m ready to move on. What can I say, I get bored (with food) easily.

After lunch, I had another killer workout with my good friend/trainer Farrah.

Today is technically a running day but since we missed yesterday, we decided to do a short run (2 miles) and then do some upper body weight training + abs instead. We did each move for 1 minute (about 25-30 reps), then went partially back through the routine a second time. The moves in italics got done twice.

  • Chest presses
  • Seated row machine
  • Upright rows
  • Tricep dips
  • Bicep curls
  • Military (shoulder) press
  • Lateral raises
  • Front raises
  • Lots o’ abs – we save abs until the end to really fatigue the muscles and it works!

After that workout, I was starving, so I came back to my banana and peanut butter snack, woo hoo 🙂

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I’m really enjoying the Jif Natural. It has a couple more ingredients than most natural PB’s but the taste is good and it was on sale for $1.88 at Target last week, which I could not pass up.

So, I have a lot to be excited about today. For one, it is FRIDAY, hallelujah! Can I get an amen?

Also, I am having dinner with my husband tonight at Spinelli’s, which is pretty much one of his favorite places in Louisville because they have pizza and cheesesteaks. Luckily, after consulting with my fabulous “Vegan Yoda” Ms. Carrie, I found out that I can get the veggie stromboli without cheese because the dough and sauce are vegan, woo hoo! It is always a blessing to find a place where we can both eat and be happy 🙂

You may remember me mentioning that Josh joined a gym back in August or September that wasn’t open yet. Well, it is on schedule to open on Halloween, which is next Saturday! I cannot wait for my hubby to get started on his workouts, so he can start feeling better and improve his health for the long-term.

He is usually so tired in the evenings after a long day at work but he believes (because I have told him) that getting some exercise will actually give him more energy 🙂

He’s going to rock it, I can’t wait. He also says he is going to go “hardcore” with healthy eating, which is good too because they do go hand in hand. While it is totally fine with me either way, in case you were wondering, Josh says that he will “Never, ever, be a vegan.”

LOL. Yeah…we’ll see…

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 🙂

Day 16: Oops, my camera!

Today was a crazy day! First off, I woke up at 6:50 when I originally had my alarm set for 5:45. But somehow I managed to walk the dog, throw everything together, take a shower and get to work just a few minutes late.

I pretty much just laughed at myself and decided to not let being a little bit late take away my sunny disposition 😉

I had to eat breakfast at work and as I was preparing it, I realized I left my camera at home, ahhh! Luckily, my cell phone pics aren’t too bad (it’s what I used on my blog for a long time when I first started out).


5 grain cereal, peanut butter and banana. This and a HUGE cup of coffee helped perk me right up 🙂

When I finally started to get settled into work, I had to walk over to a meeting about open enrollment for our insurance. It sort of gave me a headache but I am grateful to have insurance and it was a nice 10 minute walk to get over there too, so I didn’t mind!

Since I had breakfast so late (for me), I didn’t eat again until lunch, which was another artichoke burger on an Ezekiel muffin with sugar snap peas. It was the easiest thing to throw in my lunch bag in a rush!


Not long after lunch, it was time to meet Farrah for a walk/run. We did our same 0.25-mile intervals and increased our running intervals up to 7.0 mph for the last mile (we did 3.2 or so in 45 minutes)!

At one point, I had a huge pain in my side and then I got kind of nauseous toward the end. So I’m glad we didn’t go any longer or I would’ve had to slow down for sure. I think I’ve found my threshold!

Not long after I got back from my workout, I had yet another meeting to go to!

Finally, I got to snack on some soy yogurt that was quite a treat (and on sale for 59 cents).


The sugar content of the Whole Soy & Co brand does not thrill me but it was still a good snack. I just wouldn’t eat it everyday.

I also spent a good part of the day trying to figure out where the heck Josh and I would eat dinner tonight. We couldn’t be more opposite! I’m vegan and he eats meat. I love veggies and he pretty much avoids them (except corn and potatoes). Yikes!

In order to save money, and our sanity, we went to the mall where I was able to get Panera and Josh was able to get Sbarro. He swears when his gym membership takes effect next month, he’s going to clean up his diet. It cracks me up when people wait to start eating healthy to coincide with their new workout routine. I guess because I started with one thing first, I just can’t imagine trying to start them both at the same time.

At Panera, I got the You Pick 2 of garden vegetable soup (which I saw listed on Vegan Eating Out) and the Greek salad with no feta (and a whole grain baguette). I’m not sure about the dressing, oops. I didn’t use much of it.


And finally, I am at home reunited with my camera!

I tried to get creative with a snack later and melted some chocolate chips and dipped some leftover bread in them. I’m so glad this bread is gone now 😉


I’m very excited about tomorrow. A new Target opened near us and I hear they have an expanded grocery section (still not quite like Super Target) and I think I’ll do some of my shopping there in the morning!

I wrote out the ingredients of a few new recipes I’m going to try this coming week and I can’t wait. It really does keep things exciting by trying new things more often 😉

I’m going shopping early tomorrow so I can come home and watch the Texas vs. Oklahoma football game tomorrow. Josh is a HUGE Texas fan so there will be some craziness at my house for a while.

Good night friends!