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Day 5: Let the celebrations commence!

Even though Wednesday was the day before my birthday, I still got to start celebrating early 🙂

Reason number 5,682 why I love my sweet, sweet husband:

He had heard me complaining about how terrible my blender has been lately and here I thought he never listened? Ha ha. He showed me! Check out the beautiful new green smoothie maker:


And good riddance old friend. You’ve worked well the last 4.5 out of 5 years but it’s time to retire now.


Anyone know what to do with old appliances? Can they be recycled?

Of course I celebrated my first birthday gift with a delicious green smoothie. Just look at it go!

I even spoiled myself and used the dispenser!


Result: A yummy, creamy, delicious green smoothie (1 cup almond milk, 1 frozen banana, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter, three handfuls of spinach).

I made sure to send my husband a message about how awesome this smoothie was and how much easier it is to make in a shiny new blender. I’m so spoiled!

Mid-morning, I had some tea and grapes.

Then for lunch, I sort of threw together a new combination. One thing I realized about this challenge is that even though there are a ton of recipes out there that I could use, I love being forced to come up with my own based on what’s in the pantry. It makes me so creative!

Chickpeas on top of a sweet potato, drizzled with salsa verde! Definitely interesting, but totally delicious and filling too. I also had an organic apple on the side 🙂

I snacked on some almonds before heading to the gym for an awesome treadmill run. Wow, those are three words I rarely put together, ha ha.

Then I went home, showered and got ready for girl’s night. I am so lucky to have such good friends who make me feel special!

For dinner, Margie made what is probably my favorite food ever…FALAFEL!

A pita pocket filled with lettuce, diced tomatoes, hummus, and falafel balls topped with tahini. Yesssssss!

Note: this meal is technically not challenged approved, but still very healthy, delicious and special because it was my birthday. I thoroughly enjoyed it, which goes back to that comment about enjoying stuff more when you don’t eat it every day.

I had this plate times two!

For my birthday dessert, per tradition, we had some pink bubbly!

And some yummy vegan cupcakes that Courtney made herself!

She was not happy with them, but I thought they were delicious. Sometimes things can look funny but actually taste great. Plus when a friend makes something special for you, it tastes even better, am I right?

She used this recipe, including a special strawberry glaze that was full of sugar but oh so tasty!


I enjoyed my birthday dessert, very very much 🙂

Thank you girls for giving me such a special night! I love you all 🙂

On a kick

I have been on quite the green smoothie kick this week!

Today’s combo included: 1 cup Silk almond milk (1/2 plain and 1/2 vanilla – ran out of plain!), 1 frozen banana, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tbsp peanut butter, and 2 cups of spinach. I have enough spinach left for one more, so I expect to have another one at some point tomorrow 🙂


Don’t look at my dishes! It was 5:45 a.m. when I took this picture, ha ha!

Mid-morning, I snacked on a Primal Strip. The name was no joke, this thing was HOT and SPICY!


I also had some coffee with the very last of my coconut milk creamer. I love coffee, not just for the wake up but I really like the taste. I have stopped drinking it black because it was staining my teeth and I read that adding creamer to make it lighter helps.

For lunch, I had leftover falafel on a bed of lettuce, carrots, and topped with hummus. This was delicious and didn’t upset my stomach in the slighest. Must’ve been something else going on the other night.

I got hungry for lunch around 10:45 this morning, so that is when I ate it. I am guilty of preconceived “meal times” so this is hard for me to do but I’m so glad that I did.

I also had a crispy Gala apple to finish off lunch. I didn’t get hungry again for over 4 hours!

This afternoon, I decided to take a break and run an errand. While I was out, I picked up a McAlister’s unsweet tea because I was thirsty and wanted something besides water. It was tasty!

Now I am snacking on some yogurt + granola before I leave work to go to the gym.

Then I have plans to meet a group of friends for dinner tonight at Tumbleweed. One of our mutual friends is visiting from out of town, so it will be nice to catch up with him. Enj0y your evening!

p.s. I have a “special” post coming at you later tonight. I’ve decided to make a change, for now (no, I’m not changing my diet, I love eating vegan). You’ll see!

Frying vs. baking

I woke up an hour and a half late this morning! I don’t know what happened, but I set two alarms for tomorrow 🙂

I had to rush breakfast, so I had a quick leftover pumpkin pancake with almond butter and a glass of GoodBelly.

001But somehow, I managed to find time to stop at Starbucks before work (okay seriously, last one for a while)! I also walked the mile into work this morning.

002 Snacked on some yummy vegan jerky later in the morning. Then went outside for a 15 minute walk.

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For lunch, I had some leftover Indian food mixed in with some peas and a salad.

004 Plus a pear! I’m seeing a lot of green here 🙂

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Late afternoon, I snacked on some yogurt and granola. I noticed after eating this, I wasn’t completely satisfied, which happens a lot with this particular snack. I may have to make it a breakfast option and bulk up the contents 🙂

006 I took another walk before my snack and then walked the mile back to my car this afternoon. In total, I walked for 65 minutes today. See, it adds up!

I had plans to run after dinner but once I got in cooking mode, I decided it could wait. I also took the opportunity to slow down and enjoy some wine!

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This was just okay, definitely not the best I’ve had, but I will drink just about any wine. Sometimes you have to try something more than once.

For dinner, I had falafel on the menu!

008 The last time I made falafel at home, I baked it but this time I took a leap and drug out the deep fryer (one of three that we have and never use)!

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The balls came out looking really good. I sampled one to make sure 😉

010 I enjoyed my falafel with some hummus, pita and asparagus. I swear, fried falafel is so much better. I mean, I knew that but I’m glad I finally took the time to make it this way tonight.

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I had another half of the pita with hummus and one more ball (5 total)!

I usually don’t eat fried foods but if I’m going to eat falafel once in a while, this is the way to do it!

I also tried a new drink with dinner, which I randomly picked up at Fresh Market this afternoon.

012 It was just okay too. I like tea unsweetened but this was almost tasteless. I need to just make a pitcher of tea at home myself!

For “dessert” I had two spoonfuls of dark chocolate dreams.

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I’m having some pain in my lower right side and I’m hoping it’s nothing serious. Ever since I had my gallbladder out in 2003, at the ripe age of 20, I’ve been paranoid that I’ll need my appendix out some day. Silly organs we don’t need, why?!

I’m hoping it’s just a combination of the fried falafel, wine and asparagus, which I won’t do all at once again, ha ha. We’ll see!

Falafel Friday

When I was getting ready to leave work, I was completely stumped about where to get some food for dinner.

Josh and I had decided earlier in the day that we’d go to separate places and get takeout since our diets and favorite foods are quite different 😉 He got pizza…surprise, surprise.

But where do I go? I went to Twitter and asked my near-Louisville friends to get their ideas. They both mentioned Shiraz!

Now, I just ate there two weeks ago but what the heck 😉

I thought maybe I would try something different but on the drive there, all I could think about was falafel and sweet potato fries!

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Next time, I SWEAR I will get something different, ha ha.

I usually eat the whole order of falafel but since I have made a commitment to be more in control of my portions for the Pound for Pound Challenge, I divided the falafel in half.

I also decided to skip the hummus this time. But I did eat all the sweet potato fries since there weren’t that many. Using my small dinner plate helped!

It was delicious!

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I’m perfectly full but I foresee some form of chocolate chips & peanut butter in the next couple of hours!

Now it’s time to watch “The Hangover” and hopefully not fall asleep on the couch before 9 p.m. 🙂

Enjoy the weekend!

7 years ago

On Friday the 12th, it was seven years ago that Josh asked me to marry him!

(I haven’t been able to wear my engagement ring for a long time, but it looks something like that one, ha ha)

It’s hard to believe it has been that long but then sometimes, mostly due to all the changes I’ve made in my life, it seems like a lifetime ago!

Anyway, Friday was an awesome day in terms of food. I was off work for a dental appointment so I got to take my time with breakfast 🙂

Oat bran with PB and banana.

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Then before I left for my appointment, I had a good lunch of leftover vegan meatloaf in a pita pocket with cauliflower and a tangerine (yay, vitamin c)!

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After my appointment, I was able to get in a really good workout and then came home to snack on some “homemade” peanut butter crackers.

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And a vitamin water, which tasted okay but I didn’t care for the ingredients (like Sucralose and a few others I couldn’t pronounce, never good).

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Luckily, I also enjoyed a nice cup of tea as well!

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Friday night, I went out with Courtney for dinner and a movie!

We ate at Shiraz Mediterranean Grill, which no matter how hard I try, I can’t resist the falafel!

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I ordered mine without the tzatziki sauce (contains yogurt) and they graciously offered hummus instead 🙂

I also had some sweet potato fries but managed not to photograph them, so sad 😦

After dinner, we went to see the movie “Leap Year” which was cute but sort of silly. My favorite parts were definitely the ones taking place in Ireland 😉 I thought Matthew Goode was a hottie in this movie!

I also had some Twizzler nibs during the film!

Friday was definitely the highlight of my weekend. You’ll see why soon enough 😉

Unproductive

Here I sit on Friday night and I feel like I got absolutely NOTHING accomplished today. But you know what? Sometimes we just need days like that.

I woke up this morning at the late hour of 8:40 a.m. (seriously that is late for me) and made some breakfast:

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Pumpkin oat bran with raisins, chocolate chips and PB. Seriously, you think I would be tired of chocolate chips by now. Nope!

I met my mom for coffee and read some really cool vegetarian magazines at the bookstore where I got some ideas of things to buy and places to shop for some vegan goodies. Plus it was nice catching up with my mom since we didn’t see each other at Thanksgiving.

For lunch, I ate some vegetarian baked beans and brown rice but didn’t take a pic since it’s the exact same thing I had for lunch yesterday!

Suzie got a bath and did this most of the afternoon:

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Before I went grocery shopping, I started having a mad craving for some falafel and made a stop at Shiraz Mediterranean Grill which has my absolute favorite falafel (so far).

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I nixed their sauce and added my own hummus. I also fell for their sweet potato fries and finally decided to try some!
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But I gauged my hunger and knew I couldn’t possibly finish all of this food in one sitting, so I put one of the falafel balls with the veggies and pita plus half of the fries in the fridge for another meal.

Here’s my actual plate:

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It was delicious!

After dinner, we watched the movie “Year One” which wasn’t as funny as we’d hoped it would be. Thankfully we only got it because we had a free rental from the Redbox.

Dessert/Evening snack was my favorite, you guessed it.

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At first I was kind of bummed that I didn’t exercise today (other than grocery shopping) but I think I needed today since I ran a 5 mile trail run on Wednesday and did a very challenging yoga program yesterday. My arms and shoulders are totally sore today!

So I’m thinking a run is in order for tomorrow. Probably going to wait until later in the day when it warms up a bit. It’s freaking cold out there tonight, I think we’re getting down to 32, boo!

I’m not a fan of cold weather. But I can appreciate the need for seasons. Sadly, I held out as long as I could…we turned on the heat tonight. We’re only going to use it when absolutely necessary but tonight I was freezing.

Hope wherever you are, you are warm and comfy!

Good night 🙂

13 months

That is how long I made it in between colds. I slept really well on Friday night and then Saturday morning I woke up feeling amazing! Rest is the best.

But then I tried too hard. I did a 3 mile walk, went to the grocery store, cleaned and then this cold reared it’s extremely ugly head. But let’s take a step back.

Saturday morning, I had some 5 grain cereal with peanut butter and banana.

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I also stopped on the way and got some coffee at a gas station with some International Delight creamer, which I learned contains caseinate so it is not vegan. Sad 😦

After the walk, which was great, I snacked on a Nature Valley bar. I’m really getting hooked on these. Is that bad?

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For lunch, I had the last serving of the falafel I made along with a big carrot and creamy Italian dressing to dip it in. And ketchup 🙂

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I snacked on some nuts (about 1 tbsp left in the jar) and half a PB sandwich in the afternoon. I tried to take a nap but when you can’t breathe through your nose it makes sleeping interesting, at least for me.

Luckily, I had an easy-going girl’s night on the agenda! Getting out of the house for a while actually did me some good I think.

We had dinner at Penn Station where I got an artichoke wrap with no cheese or mayo and added mushrooms. And fries sounded so much better than chips!

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After dinner, we went to a book store and then stopped at Starbucks where I got a tall soy chai tea latte. It was so good! This may be my favorite now. I’m still bummed that the pumpkin spice syrup contains milk.

At Court’s house, we watched some TV including the season premiere of Saturday Night Live. I wasn’t too impressed but at least U2 was the musical guest. Next week is RYAN REYNOLDS! I need to write that boy a letter to thank him for all my blog stats 😉

I drank lots more tea and had some chocolate too. The 60% Ghirardelli has milk fat, boo!

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This morning I woke up feeling just okay but definitely still sick. I only had one thing on my mind when I woke up…PUMPKIN.

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My stores have been out of this stuff forever, but I managed to find this HUGE can lurking on the shelves over the weekend. How can pumpkin be out of season? I thought they kept it year round. I’m sure I will use this though, so no harm.

I made something I hadn’t had in forever…pumpkin oats!

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This bowl contained 1/3 cup quick cooking oats, 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup pumpkin. Topped with chocolate chips, peanut butter and pumpkin pie spice. Oh how I’ve missed you. And it’s totally vegan hooray!

Coffee with Almond Breeze was also in order.

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It wasn’t my best use of judgment, but I snagged two pumpkin muffin “bites” at church because I got hungry. This cold has increased my appetite, it’s crazy. But it was just a snack so I left it at that (just not sure about the contents).

For lunch, Mom so kindly offered to get me something, so I chose Panera because I was so in the mood for some soup!

I got the black bean which I ate with the French baguette. That filled me up for a while but an hour or so later I got hungry again so I went back for lunch part 2, half a Mediterranean Veggie sandwich.

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I totally forgot to ask for no feta! But I ate it anyway, still got a few days until October 1 and I’m learning from each experience 😉

I took a 2 hour nap (hooray) and then snacked on another selection from Nature Valley.

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I still think this is my fave flavor. Good thing, I bought a whole box of them 😉

My diet has been rather carb-heavy but I’m chalking that up to sickness and what my body is craving, perhaps for more energy to fight off this cold. So I’m just going with it for now and when I start feeling better, things will even back out.

For dinner, I made a Boca vegan burger with spinach and hummus on whole wheat toast with carrots and more hummus.

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The hummus was a new selection for me from Sabra which I found at Kroger this weekend on sale for $3!

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I couldn’t really tell how hot it was but it seemed to make my nose run a bit so it must have some kick. What I could taste of it was very good and a nice change from my usual plain hummus.

Time to drink some more fluids and hit the hay early. I’m doing what works for me which is NOT taking cold medicine or any yucky stuff that just makes me feel worse.

I rely on rest, fluids, healthy food, and a vitamin C supplement (500 mg per day) plus lots of hot tea and soup to nurse me back to health.

Hopefully it will be even longer than 13 months before I get this again 🙂

Good night!

No, no, no!

I have been freezing old in my office all day long and now I’m at home feeling a little sniffly. I DO NOT WANT TO GET SICK.

Or should I say I WILL NOT GET SICK! There, now we’re good.

So, breakfast this morning was some 5 grain cereal with peanut butter and banana. Sorry I’m so repetitive this week, I’m certainly not tired of anything yet 😉

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Snacked on some more nuts, surprise! Ha ha.

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Lunch was something I hadn’t had in a while which is always fun! Sweet potato with black beans 🙂

It’s like Halloween on a plate!

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This is so very plain and yet so very tasty. I do not need or want to put anything else on it. Yum.

Today, I did have some tea and chocolate! I’ve deemed it the perfect after lunch treat. Peppermint tea especially.

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Afternoon snack was another regular this week:

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Which provided the perfect fuel for my workout today!

We did 1 mile on the treadmill since it has been raining here ALL DAY LONG with no signs of stopping any time soon (so we’ll likely be on the TM tomorrow too, boo).

We did 1:1 walk/run intervals because it just seemed hard to run today. But I did 1 mile in 15 minutes and felt good about it.

Then we hit up the weight room and did some chest presses on the bench, which today hit a milestone for me – 20 LB DUMBBELLS BABY! So cool.

We also did squats, back extensions, flyes, seated rows, and lots o’ abs. Three sets of each exercise and we were spent.

Dinner was leftover falafel with veggies. Just one more serving to go – wish I had some more hummus though, that’s all it’s missing.

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And I have to say, I was SO PROUD of Josh for trying something new himself. Josh is very much a meat man and when he made me a grocery list this week, it had both hamburgers and ground beef on it. Nuh uh, I said.

So I asked him to sub out one for turkey. Because really, no one needs to eat that much red meat. So he agreed to try TURKEY BURGERS!

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He just ate one by the way – this is also an improvement. I am so proud of him!

After dinner, I was still a bit hungry so I had a piece of whole wheat toast dry. Who knew dry toast could be so perfect? I like keeping things simple these days.

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I’d better get off here, blow my nose and go take some Vitamin C. I also believe I’ll hit the hay early tonight.

Take care of yourself, stay healthy!

Mind over matter

Tuesday night, I mentioned that I wanted to go for a run in the morning, since I knew it was unlikely that I’d be able to “fit it in” later in the day with my schedule the way it was.

The night before, I laid out my clothes and packed my lunch so I would save time in the morning.

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Like my Cartman tooth fairy in the background? Ha ha.

When I went to sleep that night, I thought there was no way I was going to be able to get up and do it. Or if I did get up, it would be raining. You know, excuses.

Well, I DID IT! I got out the door, warmed up, ran the course I had planned out in my head, and then cooled down for a total of 25 minutes (and around 2 miles total). All before breakfast!

Speaking of which, a green monster has never tasted so good…cheers!

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It felt so good to start the day off that way. Might have to keep this up?

Mid-morning I snacked on some soy yogurt and Ezekiel cereal. Starting to become old news 😉

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Lunch was leftover falafel and red potatoes. Finally zee red potatoes are finished 🙂

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Mid-afternoon, I snacked on some carrots and hummus. I had some tea too but no chocolate today. See, not everything has to be everyday 🙂

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Wednesday is usually the highlight of my week because it is when us girls get together for a girl’s night potluck dinner. This week, Courtney had the main dish and she made an amazing looking baked ziti!

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And Aleta brought some amazing looking warm bread 🙂

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And I brought broccoli, hehe. Figures.

Since I’m not really eating dairy these days (I haven’t really told anyone yet unless they happen to read this since I’m still experimenting), I peeled back the cheese a bit and scooped out some pasta.

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It was delicious, as was the bread that I went back and got another piece of!

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Lots of carbs stuffed me and made me a little bloated. I remember now why I don’t usually eat much pasta. But everything tasted great!

Dessert didn’t thrill me too much. First, this was a sour cream Angel food cake which tells me it is not vegan (which I knew already). And I think it would’ve been better with something on it?

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I probably should’ve just passed on it but I gave it a try anyway for some reason. Oh well, hopefully dessert night next week will be better.

It was a really good night with the girls too. We watched the “Dancing with the Stars” results show and thank goodness, Chuck Liddell is going to be around another week!

We also watched that new show “Glee” which was pretty cute. But I’m trying not to pick up any new shows. I think I could actually live without television most of the time 😉

I have another long post coming up of today’s activities, so don’t go too far!

Technical TV difficulties

Good evening friends! Right now I should be watching the new 90210 but that channel decided to go all wonky here and they are showing “The Golden Age of Country” infomercial…what?!

Anyway, no big deal, perhaps it is God’s way of telling me not to waste time on television, ha ha. I hardly watch anything now, so why not just stop it all?

For breakfast this morning, I had a nice bowl of 5 grain cereal with peanut butter and a sliced banana. Perfection.

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I’m so excited I figured out that close-up setting on my camera, I can tell a big difference in my pictures now 🙂

Mid-morning, I skipped my walk (busy and rainy out) but snacked on some more soy yogurt, just plain this time.

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This was pretty good but I like the strawberry better. I still have four more to eat before September 29th so expect to see these a lot!

Before lunch, I hit the gym for another workout with my girl Farrah. First, we ran a mile outside (sweaty and humid) that was totally awesome…I told her “I must’ve eaten my Wheaties today” because it was the best one mile run I’d had in a while. I felt fast and it felt easy. I think I’m getting the hang of this again.

Afterwards, we came back in and did lots of weights, focusing mainly on triceps with a bunch of bicep, shoulder and lat exercises worked in. We also did a few ab moves too. I love how our workout is different almost every time!

For lunch, I had leftover tofu from last night (left) and leftover Baba Ghanouj with pita from Sunday’s lunch at Zaytun’s (right). So so good.

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I think I’ve died and gone to Heaven!

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Lunch was definitely my favorite meal of the day…or was it?

Later in the afternoon I had some tea and some mixed nuts that totally escaped the camera, oops!

After work, I was supposed to meet my friend Candy for a walk but she had to cancel due to injury. I hope she heals soon, she said she should be good to go in a couple of days.

But it worked in our favor because right at about 7:00, when we would’ve been a mile from home, a huge rain/thunderstorm rolled through. Thank you Lord for lookin’ out 😉

For dinner, I decided to try something I’d never made at home before:

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I picked up this box over the weekend for $2.99 at Kroger. It seemed a little high at first but it was totally worth it because I have three more servings in my fridge for the rest of the week!

I followed the instructions on the box for broiling instead of frying because that just made more sense to me. I’m not a fryer!

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My plate with some leftover red potatoes from dinner last night. Would you believe there are still more left than this? I definitely bought too many at the store this weekend 🙂

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Dipped the falafel in hummus and the potatoes in organic ketchup. It really doesn’t get much better than that. The falafel was good, just a bit dry, I think I could’ve added more water to the mix. But they were still delicious and I had to pack the leftovers away before I ate them all…just kidding.

I did some household chores in a jiff because I thought I had to hurry to watch 90210 at 8:00 but since it never came on, I’m free to just relax the rest of the night. Along with some tea and dark chocolate.

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Here is the chocolate I eat. It’s vegan and pretty low in sugar. And this box has lasted me forever, totally worth it. One “coin” has 30 calories and one is usually enough for me…bonus!

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I might hit the hay early and try to get in a run before work? We’ll see! Hoping it’s not raining at 6 a.m. tomorrow 🙂

Good night all!