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My favorite things about Fall

I love Fall.

Do you call it Fall or Autumn? I never say Autumn but I like how it’s spelled. Either way, it’s one of my most favorite times of year.

The only bad thing about Fall is that it means Winter is just a little bit closer. But, except for the snow/ice hazards and the extremely bitter cold days, I have learned to appreciate that season more as well. But let’s not jump the gun. I’m here to talk about Fall because it’s what’s almost here!

I started this post about a month ago when we had a break in our seriously hot weather. But then it got hot again and didn’t feel like the right time to be talking about Fall just yet. Even though it was 94 yesterday, it seems that the cooler weather is just about here to stay and it is almost October so I did not want to delay any further!

I’ve also been thinking about Fall a lot because I work on a college campus and once the semester finally started, the students came rolling in and the restaurants and coffee shops went back to their normal hours (read: later than 2 p.m. and places that have been closed all Summer are finally open!) and there will be other exciting events going on here between now and the Christmas break.

Most days, the mornings have been on the cool side, cool enough as my friend Carrie said “to have a cup of hot tea in the mornings again!” She’s right about that. It’s also been darker in the mornings when I go out to walk Suzie and it’s been getting darker earlier at night. As much as I do love my daylight, it’s sort of cozy when it gets dark early and that makes me want to go to bed earlier, which is a good thing for me.

I have been feeling inspired 🙂 Change is good.

Fall means a lot of things to each one of us. But I think we can all agree that it’s generally a fun time of year. Now I just thought I would share a few of my favorite things about Fall with you 🙂

1. P-U-M-P-K-I-N!

Seriously, as soon as I see this stuff, I’m stocking up again! It’s been too long!

My pantry last Fall

I like to bake with it, put it in my oatmeal, make soup with it, pumpkin dip with ginger snaps, you name it. I’m also excited about pumpkin spice tea and pumpkin flavored coffee (not the syrup but the actual coffee flavor) and anything else coffee shops, cafes  or companies come up with to entice me into trying something. If it says pumpkin on it, I will probably at least give it a second look.

2. Art fairs, charity walks, outdoor events, etc.

Such as the St. James Court Art Show!

St. James is the event that really kicks off the Fall for me and it’s just a little over 2 weeks away. It also has the most unpredictable weather! I believe this picture is from two years ago, while last year we were in shorts! You just never know 😉 But I’m kind of hoping for a chilly morning this year, just not too cold!

The Louisville Walk for Farm Animals

I am one of the co-coordinators of this year’s Walk for Farm Animals (Farm Sanctuary)  on October 22nd and I am really excited about all that we have planned! Last year, we had a decent turnout and raised a good amount of money through our walk and a bake sale that we had beforehand. I’m looking forward to topping all of that this year! If you would like to sign up to walk or donate to my walk page, click here (thanks!)

Mighty Kindness Harvest Hootenanny

The Hootenannies take place in the Fall and in the Spring (on Earth Day) and it’s another time of rather unpredictable weather. Last year’s Fall Hoot was absolutely freezing and then the Earth Day hoot this year kept a lot of people at home because of rain/storms. Hopefully this time we will have a better day. I will be working at the Louisville Vegetarian Club booth this year and I hope my friend Kristin (pictured above in the hat and sunglasses) is there selling her goods again too 🙂

Fall Road Races!

While I haven’t decided to run any races this Fall (yet), I am going to be supporting my friends Farrah (pictured above on right) and Chloe in the Louisville Marathon on October 16th! I know it sounds corny but it’s long been a dream of mine to be on the sidelines cheering for someone else 🙂 This will be the first marathon for both of them and I can’t wait to see them cross that finish line!

3. Haunted Houses and horrors!

Courtesy of Nightmare Forest Louisville

I don’t scare easily but I do tend to jump at loud noises! My husband and I love the Halloween season. Soon we’ll be busting out our collection of horror movies and lining up on a Friday night to go through some scary forest, hotel or whatever attraction we choose to visit this year. We are also big fans of the Danger Run, even though we usually end up arguing and get lost at some point. All in good fun!

4. Football (sigh…)

I'm bummed he's not playing 😦

Never in my life did I think I would include this on a list of my favorite things about Fall. But the truth is, I do enjoy watching some football. It gets overwhelming when there are several games on in a week or when my husband is in the basement yelling at a particular team and I can hear him two floors up.

He’s not the only one who does this, but I just don’t like it when people get so mad about a game that they say terrible things to a team they claim to be a fan of and they just plain ruin my good time! But most of the time, it’s enjoyable to root for your favorite teams while spending time with family and friends over some chips and salsa.

We used to host Monday Night Football at our house every year but since we just moved and aren’t quite unpacked and my husband’s work schedule is a bit unforgiving (he wakes up at 4 a.m.!) we have decided not to do it this year. I kind of miss it already but hopefully we can get some people together for a game sometime this season!

I’m sure there will be some other adventures that I’m not even aware of yet but I will leave it at that for now. We are still settling into our new house and hopefully someday I will finally sit down and do a before and after post on some of the rooms we have redone and how the place looks now that we actually live here 🙂

What are you looking forward to this Fall? Anything not on this list that I should check out?

I love Mondays

Yes, you read that right, it is not a typo or even sarcasm. I really do appreciate Mondays more than the average person.

Courtesy of Google Images

It’s kind of funny to read Facebook posts on Monday mornings. People recovering from a busy weekend and heading back to work are groaning and complaining that Mondays are the worst days ever. While I was pretty busy myself this weekend and had to get up for work this morning too, I still find myself inspired and excited about Mondays.

For one thing, Monday is the day I feel most motivated to work out. I tend to indulge a bit on the weekends, not just with food but with relaxation and naps. So on Monday it’s time to get back to the grind, either outside or in the gym (90 degrees outside today = gym for me). Starting a new week off with a workout means I am likely to keep it up the rest of the week and feel really good about myself too. Today, I plan to hit the stair master for a bit and then perhaps do some weights or an ab workout.

I also tend to eat the healthiest on Monday. After a weekend indulgence, my body craves fresh, whole foods and lots of water, which is exactly what I give it. I also like to spend more time cooking dinner on Mondays because I don’t have anywhere to be that evening, unlike Tuesday – Thursday evenings and most of the weekend. Tonight, I will probably make a standard Monday night dish for me of whole grain pasta with organic garden sauce, add some veggies, chik’n strips, nutritional yeast and have a salad on the side too. Sort of like this one:

I also like Mondays because it’s one of the only evenings during the week that my husband and I spend the whole time together. We usually have dinner and then watch a movie or catch up on some tv shows we’ve recorded on the DVR, then flip over to WWE Monday Night Raw and watch as much of that as we can stand before having to call it a night because we’re old and have to go to bed early, ha ha.

What about you? Monday fan or not?

Off to a great stop?

So I merged my two blogs back in May, in hopes that I would feel less intimidated and overwhelmed by the concept of updating two blogs regularly and that I would be able to get back to blogging here on a regular basis.

*Crickets*

What happened?

I guess you could say life happened. Josh and I are in the process of buying our first home, which, if I ever get my blogging mojo back, I hope to do several posts about. The process of getting buying a home is a post in itself and then this condo we are hoping to close on soon needs a lot of work so I hope to do some before and after posts to share 🙂

But another thing that happened was last summer. I had a lot of stuff going on and I just lost that urge to blog all the time. Frankly, I got tired of it. And for the past year, off and on, I have been toying with a name change, a change of focus, and many other changes for this blog in hopes that it would inspire me to get back here and write some great posts again.

Well, nothing has been nailed down as you can see. But I have been reading other blogs regularly again and I am inspired to see so many that are not limiting themselves with a certain “topic.” I always thought since this was called See Sarah Eat and I established it as a food blog that it had to stay that way forever. Luckily, I have gotten over that (even letting a certain food-driven ad provider go) and I do now feel like I can talk about anything pertaining to my life or my experiences and not “worry” about whether or not it fits in here.

This is my blog! I can write whatever I want! I am changing, life is changing, so it’s only natural that my blog should follow me. Not to say I will never write about food or weight loss again, I will, just not all the time. I actually do have a couple of recipes to share. But there’s also so much more to life that I want to discuss.

Why do I always put so much pressure on myself? I’m so silly.

Anyway, that’s just an update. Hopefully it won’t be another month before I come back here. In the mean time, here is a picture of me with Louisville’s own Morel’s Food Truck, which I finally visited at Abbey Road on the River, a Beatles festival that was here in Louisville over Memorial Day weekend.

Photo courtesy of my BFF, Courtney 🙂

The guy who runs it is actually a dude I went to high school with. Pretty cool, huh?

Back to one

If any of you follow River City Fitness, you may have seen yesterday that I have decided to go back to one blog only. I don’t know why I thought I could keep up with two separate blogs when I have enough trouble keeping up with one sometimes!

Anyway, everything I do will be over here now. Food, running, yoga, life, everything. I no longer feel the need to define my blog or have it live up to it’s name all the time. It’s just my blog, about me, and eating is just one thing I do 🙂

I have no plans to delete RCF but everything from there has been moved over here so there’s really no need to visit that page anymore. What held me up from making this decision for a long time was the fear that I’d lose my Race Recaps page, but it’s here too!

Thanks for all the support, I hope to be back to regular blogging soon! In the meantime, you can ‘Like’ this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter if you are so inclined.

Thanks!
Sarah

Lunch at Cumberland Brews

This past Saturday, we had our monthly community meeting for the Louisville Vegetarian Club at a local joint, Cumberland Brews.

Photo courtesy of Cumberland Brewery Website

We had a really great discussion about how to eat “vegan on the cheap” and also how to apply that to other things we consume besides what we eat (clothing, beauty products, cars, etc). I learned a lot and it was great to hear where other people are coming from. Refreshing.

We also got to eat some really tasty food!

On the recommendation of my friend Karen, I ordered the veggie burger (which is a falafel patty!) with no cheese and some fries. The lighting was not the best but here’s a small glimpse.

CbIt came on a bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion and a mushroom, plus some guacamole I happily smothered on top. Would you believe I ate everything on that plate. It got messy, but it was so good.

Once again, I am very thankful for the LVC. If it weren’t for our meeting here, I would maybe never have known how delicious the food is (I’m not much of a beer drinker). I will definitely be going back again someday!

Cumberland Brews on Urbanspoon

Guest post: Kim’s meatless year

Hello friends! While I am still gathering my thoughts and photos on what to post next for myself, please welcome my friend Kim! Kim is a foodie and blogger who has recently decided to go meat free for an entire year and document her journey in a new blog: Meatless 365

I know many of you who read my blog are vegetarian or vegan, but I just ask that you keep an open mind and respect another opinion that may be differing from yours. I know you will 🙂 Thanks!

Hi!  My name is Kim Davidson.  Sarah and I have been friends for about 2 years now and she has been such an encouragement to me.  I am a writer, cook, and photographer in Raleigh, NC. In addition to Meatless 365, I also post recipes, writings, and photos at my regular website, Kd316 and you can also follow my Tweets @kd316.

Sarah sent me a few questions to answer in this post, so here it goes!

1. What made you decide to go meatless?

Honestly, I woke up one day and said, “what would make people go meatless for a year?” and posed that question on social media forums.  Got a bunch of answers, but mostly: “for real? You gotta be kidding me!”  So, that really challenged me.  I said, “I can do this!”  And after that initial moment of pure will power, I knew it would be a challenge for me, a chance to spice up my kitchen, and get me excited about cooking and eating again.  Sometimes, you just get bored – even someone like me, who loves being in the kitchen!

2. What are you hoping to gain from going meatless for a year?

A new love for my kitchen and things that grow in the ground.  A new love for my kitchen: sometimes, even though I love meat, I get bored with the same things.  So, I want to try new healthy things and healthy foods in different ways.  And, things that grow in the ground: I don’t want to survive on processed foods for a year either (granola bars, etc).  I want to get natural foods in my body to help me feel and move better!  I know there are so many vitamins and minerals and other good “things” in foods that grow in the ground, so cool how God made things that would help us live better lives!  I also want to strengthen my food photography skills.  I would love to write for food magazines and use my photos to bring out the brilliant colors in vegetables and food.  There is beauty in food.  As Emerson said; “Beauty is God’s handwriting.”

3. Do you think at the end of 365 days, you will continue to abstain from meat?

I have already considered that; and I probably won’t.  But, I will eat meat a lot less than I do now (or did), but I don’t feel any food is BAD for you, but just eaten in moderation.  I will hopefully have found wonderful recipes to keep eating and trying new recipes in the years to come.  I like bbq, steak, and bacon too much to cut it out entirely for the rest of my life, and I don’t want to be kicked out of my family (my family loves meat!)

4. Has anyone asked you “but where will you get your protein?” yet?

One of the first questions I got.  Amazing, isn’t it?  Like there isn’t any protein other than meat.  I told this person, “why yes, I am!”  I love raw nuts, greens, legumes, cheese, dairy, nut butters, seafood, eggs.  So many ways to get healthy sources of real protein without going to meat or “fake meat”.

5. What do you think will be your biggest challenge in this experiment?

I love to cook for other people.  I think I will have to be creative when doing that and maybe even cook meat meals for them, which isn’t a problem.  Also, eating with my family.  My brother grills a good steak and we love bbq.  But, for this year, I’ll have to be prepared and have salmon when they have steak.  All those healthy fats and vitamins! 🙂

Any last words?

Happy food journey – whatever you eat.

Thanks, Kim! I look forward to following you on your journey and can’t wait to see what all you experience throughout. I hope you will do a follow-up for us at the end of the year!

Is anyone else out there going meat free this year? Want to write about it?

Why today is great

It’s true, I am one of those weird people who loves Mondays. To me, the beginning of the week is akin to a fresh start. It’s the start of a new week to focus on goals, accomplish tasks and get back to “regular life” after a busy weekend.

Since I am finding myself extra inspired on this particular Monday, I thought I would share with you how I already know today is a great day!

For starters, today is my best friend Courtney’s 31st birthday!

She’s gonna kill me for this one! 🙂

So happy we got to celebrate with her last night at a karaoke party! I’m no great singer but she has definitely inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and just have fun. One of the many reasons I am grateful to have her in my life 🙂

Speaking of parties, I had a rather indulgent weekend of birthday parties, baby showers, lots of cooking and no exercising. So much fun and totally worth it! And yet, when I got dressed this morning, I put on my smallest pair of pants and they still fit comfortably. Another reason that today is great! 🙂

Tonight, Josh and I are having dinner with friends whom we don’t get to spend enough time with these days. It is sure to be a rockin’ good time!

This picture is from 2007, that should tell us something, ha ha!

It will be great to catch up and fellowship with our friends over a nice meal. I will be making a very delicious spinach tomato & cucumber salad to take with us tonight. I just had to mention food since I declared this a food blog the other day, oops.

Lastly, it is quite possible that we are going to get snowed in at some point tomorrow. I am normally not a big fan of winter, but this year I have been learning how to take in all the seasons, not just the ones I prefer (read: every season BUT winter, ha).

It’s definitely an adjustment but it certainly makes the bitter cold and dark gloomy days more bearable. I’ve also caught myself observing the beauty of winter in nature and not just seeing the dead trees with no leaves.

Taken in our back yard

But just when I think I cannot take another freezing winter day, I remember that Spring and Summer will be here before we know it! Life is good 🙂

Now you tell me, why is today a great day for you?

Blogging in 2011

Happy New Year!

I’m sure many of you would agree that it is good to have a new year to make some positive changes and to refocus on our life goals that we are working toward. I did not make any resolutions per se, but I am hoping to move away from some things I have been indulging in and move toward a few that would make my life more enjoyable. Think: Less TV/internet, more reading! 🙂

I’m also sure you’ve noticed I have not been blogging much lately. Things got kind of crazy over the summer and I just reached a point where maintaining a “normal” blogging schedule just wasn’t possible for me, mentally. While I have done a few posts here and there, I had started to wonder if I even wanted to do this anymore and if so, why? Thankfully, I do want to come back but things are going to change.

As I stated in my “blog evolution” post back in October, I don’t want to talk about my weight as much anymore. I lost 70 lbs in 2007 and have been able to maintain most of that. I know the journey is different for everyone but for me, maintenance has been harder than the initial loss. I go up 10 lbs or so every year and then get it back down eventually. So while I am working toward keeping my weight “regular” and maybe even losing a bit more, I don’t feel the need to discuss that here.

Also, like many fellow food bloggers have stated recently, the “food journal” type of posting is just not working for me. It is a chore to write those type of posts and that is not how it should be. Also, taking pictures of Clif bar wrappers over and over again is just not my idea of fun these days! I also have to admit that I don’t like reading these super long, wordy (or picture heavy) posts much either (unless I love you, and you know who you are, ha ha).

What I do want to share are my cooking experiences. Losing weight and gradually evolving my diet helped me see food in a new way and cooking has become fun for me. I am NOT a chef and not even that great of a cook but I can follow a recipe like no one’s business. I just need practice and more experimenting with new methods and ingredients in order to improve. I’m hoping the blog (and another opportunity I’ve been given recently) will inspire me to keep at it!

I also want to keep reviewing Louisville restaurants (or others I visit out of town) and post product reviews when I try something new. I may occasionally talk about veganism too as I learn more and experience new things in that area of my life.

I’m not sure how often I will be posting but most likely just when I get inspired or have the time to report on a new recipe I tried, or a new restaurant or product. Hopefully I will be posting at least once a week, but we will just have to wait and see.

But this is a FOOD BLOG. Not a weight loss blog, not a food journal. No routine, no schedule. Just food. 🙂

Thanks for the support!

Even if no one reads…

My best friend Courtney recently started a new blog and I hope she doesn’t mind me mentioning it here. But it has really inspired me.

It’s called “Even if it doesn’t pay…” and she discusses a lot of things going on in her life but mostly how all of this has inspired her to start writing again…even if it doesn’t pay. She’s very talented!

It got me thinking about my own blogging and how I have days where I think absolutely no one cares about or reads my blogs. I even feel silly sometimes putting all this out there.

But I know that’s not true. Sometimes it’s hard though, to see how well others blogs are doing and how even though I have been blogging for almost 2 years now, mine just hasn’t taken off the way I’d hoped it would.

But this brought me back down to Earth. Numbers of page hits, readers, and stats are not why I blog. I blog because I love it!

I blog about food because I love to cook and eat, especially now that I have a healthy relationship with food again. Especially now that I’m vegan!

I love to blog about exercise because I love it! I love to run, I love to sweat, and I love the Zen that comes from practicing yoga.

I love the way my body, mind and spirit feel because of the way I live now.

And I love all of you who stop by, leave me sweet comments, and make me feel like what I do matters to someone other than myself.

So, in the spirit of my dear friend, I’m going to keep it up, with a positive focus, and have fun.

Even if no one reads it.

🙂

Number 1,000

THIS IS MY 1,000TH POST!!

I can’t believe I have been blogging long enough for there to be 1,000 posts on my blog!

Now for another BIG ANNOUNCEMENT 🙂

I have started another blog!

054

After lots of thinking and inspiration from a friend, I have decided that I want to separately blog about food and fitness.

For See Sarah Eat, this means more posts about meals, recipes and new product finds. Finally, clear things to focus on!

My other blog, River City Fitness, will be all about my exercise program, including my running, yoga, and whatever else I get myself into. I’m sure this will expand as the blog develops.

I appreciate all the support you all have given me here and I hope that will continue and go to my other blog as well 🙂

Happy MLK Day!