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Happy Herbivore’s Vegan Corndogs

When I first decided to go vegan, I was not very creative when it came to my meals and I worried I would get bored from eating the same things all the time or relying too much on frozen meals.

Thankfully, it wasn’t long after I started my journey that I found the Happy Herbivore blog and her incredibly easy and tasty recipes!

Last night, I made her Baked Vegan Corndogs for the girls to take to our Wednesday Night Potluck.

I only had to buy a couple ingredients, including the dogs, dry mustard and onion powder.

And finally, after 7 months of vegan eating, I purchased my first box of Ener-G Egg replacer!

The box costs about $5, but there are 113 servings in the box! This is equivalent to 113 eggs!! It’s CHEAPER THAN EGGS! This box should last me a while 🙂

I followed the recipe exactly, which I rarely do. But, I still had a hard time getting the batter to coat the Smart Dogs, so it took a little effort and getting my hands dirty.

I also got the batter to cover 8 dogs, instead of the 6 called for by the recipe.

While they were cooking in the oven, I couldn’t believe how much my apartment smelled like “real” corndogs! I knew we were in for a treat.

When the corndogs came out, the coating wasn’t the prettiest and it had cracked in a few places.

But, I am pleased to say that these tasted very good. I tasted one first to make sure they were edible 😉

I never doubted it! Every recipe from Happy Herbivore I have tried has been great. I can’t wait for her cookbook to come out next year, I will be purchasing it for sure 🙂

To go with our “dogs” we had sweet potato fries, mixed vegetables…

and white wine.

Then for dessert, “sparkling” pink wine and a Tofutti mini ice cream sandwich.

Rewind

On my way home from work I was hungry (and thirsty!) so I stopped at Whole Foods and picked up a snack 🙂

This tea was okay, but not as “refreshing” as I had hoped for. I think next time I’ll just get a venti iced green tea from Starbucks 😉

Recipe: Chickpea Burgers with Guacamole

Doesn’t that sound like a strange combination?

007The original recipe on which this was based was called Chickpea Burgers & Tahini Sauce but as I was preparing to make the main dish for girl’s night potluck last Wednesday (St. Patrick’s Day), I realized “I need something GREEN!”

Guacamole was an easy choice and I have used it on black bean burgers before so I was sure it would be just fine on these too.

But first, I had to make the burgers! I changed a few things from the original recipe but I’m still “quoting” it.
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Ingredients:

    • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
    • 4 scallions (aka green onions), trimmed and sliced
    • 1 Flax “egg” (1 tbsp ground flax seed + 1/4 cup water)
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon ground cilantro
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • Whole wheat pita pockets

Directions:

Place chickpeas, scallions, flax mixture, flour, cilantro, cumin and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor or blender.

Pulse, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides, until a coarse, moist mixture forms that holds together when pressed. Form into 4 patties.

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Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray then add patties and cook until golden and beginning to crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.

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Carefully flip and cook until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes more.

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I was so afraid these were going to be soggy and not hold together very well, but I was pleasantly surprised!

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I tallied up my version of this recipe and each burger was 150 calories. Love it!

We enjoyed these burgers in pitas with guacamole (yum!) and some lovely fries and ketchup.

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I love girl’s night!

These burgers were so delicious! I think I have another recipe to work into my rotation. I love how this was a non-vegan recipe but with a few small changes, I made it so 🙂

New phone!

Hey guys, it’s official…I finally got a new phone 🙂

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On the left is my old slide phone with absolutely nothing to it except making phone calls and text messaging (which didn’t know half the words of the English language) and liked to turn itself off randomly.

On the right is my new Blackberry, woo hoo!

It was so worth waiting for. I can do so much more with this new phone, plus it’s my favorite color 😉

Anyway, let’s talk about food, shall we?

I had another Breakfast and Dinner day as far as pictures go.

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Pumpkin oats 🙂

Somehow snacks and lunch escaped. But that’s okay. For those of you interested in my fitness program, I had an awesome run yesterday too.

If it’s Wednesday, there must be wine!

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I could not find Cycles Gladiator on my nifty vegan alcohol website, but honestly, I did not care for it too much so I likely wouldn’t buy it myself.

It just didn’t have much flavor. Plus I’m more of a red girl.

For dinner, Margie made this DELICIOUS veggie soup which I am very proud to say she got the recipe from one of my favorite vegan blogs Cooking for a Vegan Lover!

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Croissants on the side, a la Aleta!

For dessert, we had the awesome vegan brownies.

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Another awesome girls night.

I have the main dish next week, so I’m going to have to start looking at recipes!

Do you have a regular girl’s night?

I highly recommend them 😉

Ladies and the ’80s

Last night, our regular Wednesday girl’s night took a road trip 🙂

Our mission : to find some awesome ’80s attire and accessories to wear for my friend Courtney’s 30th birthday party on Saturday! I’d say we were pretty successful in our quest. I can’t wait for the party and to post pictures of it afterwards!

When we finally got back it was late for dinner, so I had to break my 9:00 rule. Hey, rules are meant to be broken once in a while, right?

While dinner was heating up, I enjoyed a class of Ravens Wood Zinfandel, my very first one!

I really liked it. Usually I prefer red wines that aren’t quite this dry but it still had a really good taste. Unfortunately, here again I found another brand that is not vegan friendly. I had no idea that so many animal products were used in making wine, did you all? I’m going to print out a list of the ones that ARE, I’m sure it’s rather short in comparison, but maybe not.

Dinner was taco soup (yum), bread and some tortilla chips too (not pictured).


Confession : I am still struggling with getting some of these last remaining non-vegan products out of my life (such as the wine and bread above). I guess since I started this whole thing for health reasons, I didn’t see the need to be so strict. But as I am learning more and really experiencing began vegan, my health is improving and my heart is changing so I am feeling more inclined to get rid of everything containing animal products. But it’s been a process as you’ve seen. I’m not perfect by any means, nor do I think I ever will be. But I’m trying my best!

First potluck of 2010

For those of you fairly new to my blog, you might not know that every Wednesday, my girlfriends and I have a Girl’s Night Potluck, where we take turns bringing different dishes (main course, side or dessert) and spend time together usually watching movies but sometimes doing other things like playing Wii and whatnot.

This week was the first potluck of 2010…when I wrote out the title I nearly put 2009! Guess I’m still not used to the new year yet 😉

For our main course this week, Beth made Garlic Linguine with tomatoes. She made a few adjustments to the original recipe (added sea salt and more EVOO) and it was delicious! It was also nice to just have a little pasta on my plate with other things and not a big heaping bowl of it. My stomach thanked me too 🙂

On the side, we had some mixed steamed veggies (pretty much my favorite) and some Italian bread (I ate another unpictured piece). I also made a side salad with balsamic vinaigrette (Market Pantry brand from Target — appears to be vegan, far as I can tell).

In lieu of dessert (non-vegan Key Lime pie), I had a nice glass of white wine, which went great with the Italian theme to me (I’m not a professional wine pairer, ha ha).

This was the Beringer Pinot Grigio and it was quite good. I checked the handy Barnivore site and Beringer is listed as not vegan friendly. But that is something I am still working on and trying to figure out if I’m going to follow. I think for now, I won’t worry if it’s something someone else bought (in this case) but perhaps at home, I’ll make more of an effort to get vegan friendly wines.

I also kept up with my 9:00 “stopping” time to give my stomach adequate time to settle before I go to bed. This has also helped tremendously with nighttime/mindless snacking. Three days strong!

We ended up watching the People’s Choice Awards and had lots of laughs. We are really blessed that we can get together every week. Girl’s nights are the best!

Do you do anything special with your girlfriends on a regular basis?

Vegan potato soup

I had main course at our girl’s night potluck this week and since I had a lot of potatoes to use up, I decided potato soup would be an awesome meal!

But since I had never tried making it before, I went immediately to google to find “Vegan Potato Soup.” After scrolling through a few recipes, I finally found one that sounded easy enough and which I had most ingredients for already (which is my criteria when searching recipes by the way).

Behold, the Vegan Potato Soup recipe from Daily Veggie with my own modifications.

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Ingredients

  • 5 medium sized, washed, peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1/2 medium-sized onion, diced
  • A few green onions, chopped
  • 2 tsps pre-minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 cups of light plain soy milk
  • 2 tbsps whole wheat flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This was the first time I could remember using my vegetable peeler to peel potatoes and it worked quite well!

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Directions

Start my sauteeing oil, onions and garlic in the pot.

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After a few minutes, add the potatoes, salt + pepper and water.

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Let it cook for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes become soft. Then add the soy milk and flour, stirring well so that they mix. Let simmer for another 15-20 minutes, until the soup appears “creamy” and ready to eat. Add more salt and pepper if desired.

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I thought this soup tasted pretty good. It had a great consistency and the potatoes were chunky and soft. My only complaint is that it was a bit on the bland side, so I’d like to see what spices or seasonings I could add to this to improve upon that.

I think everyone liked it though…no leftovers!

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Day 21.2: Self revelation #1

This may sound silly to some of you, but ever since I started eating a vegan diet, I feel like I have been more in tune with myself and it has helped me really dig in deep and find out what makes me tick and what drives me mad. I’ve had a lot of self revelations lately, so hope you don’t mind if I start sharing them with you! But this is still a food blog too, so let’s do it.

Lunch yesterday was leftover vegan meatloaf and some broccoli.

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Then for a mid-afternoon snack eaten in two parts, I had a PB cookie Larabar. I think I want to try the PB&J again because I might actually like it better. I apologize for the really old, recycled picture since I didn’t have my camera during the day yesterday 😦

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This snack must’ve had an extra boost of motivation, because after work yesterday, I met up with Farrah and ran 4.15 miles!

I don’t know our exact time, but I think we were around 40 minutes. The neat thing is, I ran all of it, no walking breaks, and it was the longest distance I have ran in…a while. I honestly couldn’t tell you the last time. And the neat thing is, I wasn’t tired at all. And I felt GREAT.

Self Revelation #1 – I AM A RUNNER!

I go back and forth with this a lot because there are days and weeks where I don’t run at all and I think it’s just not for me anymore. Then I have runs like the one yesterday that make me wink at myself in the mirror and say “Yeah kid, you still got it.” I sometimes forget that I trained my butt off from September 2007-April 2008 to run a half-marathon and in the mean time have completed a number of 5ks, 10ks, 10-milers, etc. Check out my running page if you are interested in seeing more.

After all that training and trying to keep up with running, I hit a few roadblocks. Sometimes I just couldn’t physically run, sometimes I had mental blocks that told me any more than 3 miles would kill me. I was addicted to sugar from thinking I had to get all the “energy” possible to finish a race. I had gained weight. You name it. So I had resigned myself to the fact that I liked to run every once in a while, but it wasn’t a big part of my life (or workout routine) anymore.

But I think the difference is, I just did it for fun yesterday. Farrah is always a little bit ahead of me and I just follow her. Sometimes I yell ahead that I need to take a break but yesterday I just kept on going. I didn’t have a watch on, the weather was 110% perfect, and I just looked around me and took it in. Why not do that more often? I’m not trying to win any races, I just want to have fun. I want to hold onto that feeling I had after that run yesterday.

So we’ll see what happens 😉

Girl’s Night Potluck was another huge success in my book. I am a big fan of tortilla chips, so that’s how we got the night started (with some medium salsa that was SPICY)!

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These were the Kroger brand white corn tortilla chips with sea salt. They were amazing! Not quite as salty as some other tortilla chips. I loved them (a little too much, ha ha)!

For our main course, Courtney made her famous taco soup with lots o’ beans and veggies (for which I am grateful).

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With more chips & salsa and some steamed green beans on the side. I went back for a little more soup and chips later on.

For dessert, Beth so graciously found these little So Delicious mini ice cream sandwiches.

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They were pretty good and one was definitely enough to satisfy me (plus I was full of chips).

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Beth said she had a hard time finding a dessert that I could eat and that she couldn’t make a planned recipe because she couldn’t find any decent soy yogurt at her store. I felt bad because the last thing I want is for anyone to be inconvenienced…this way of eating is my choice and I can choose whether or not to eat something and no one should have to worry about excluding me from anything.

I have dessert next week though so I hope to share a great dessert recipe with my friends that isn’t soy ice cream, ha ha. I think they are helping keep the So Delicious people in business 😉

Yesterday was a great day and I don’t know how I could possibly make today any better, but I’m going to try!

Day 14, pt. 2: Ladies night

After those awesome Pumpkin Pie pancakes that I had for breakfast yesterday, I knew the rest of the day was going to have a hard time measuring up 🙂

For a snack mid-morning, I had some peanuts. I’ll admit…nuts are starting to get old. I need some new snack ideas!

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For lunch, I had another amazing leftover enchilada. I really enjoying making this recipe and I will definitely use it again.

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I also took the opportunity to review my Exercise Science flashcards one last time before the exam.

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I think I did okay on the test. I was definitely more prepared than the last time but there were some really tricky questions on there. In the cases where I think more than one answer could be right, I just use my initial instincts. Hope that pays off!

I had some Silk yogurt later in the afternoon. I think I’m ready to re-try another brand, no offense Silk.

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After work, I met Farrah for a treadmill workout. We alternated walking at 3.5 with running at 6.0 for a quarter-mile each. We did about 3.2’ish miles in 45 minutes. It was a great workout! We also discussed changing up our routine a bit to keep things fresh.

So, starting today, we are going to be running 2 miles (or 20 minutes) before weight training and our workouts are going to focus on more repetitions with lighter weights (we’ve been using heavy weights and doing 12 reps mostly). On the days we only run, we are going to move up to 4 miles instead of 2-3. Should be interesting to have this new challenge!

When I got home from work, I was STARVING, so I snacked on some more peanuts.

Since it’s Wednesday, that means it’s Girl’s Night Potluck dinner time 🙂 Unfortunately, the evening had many hitches. We didn’t get started until rather late, so I had a couple pieces of bread before dinner was even served.

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Olive oil with sun dried tomato seasoning for dipping, yum!

When we finally did eat, I just had a bowl of spaghetti with sauce. I’m thankful my friend Beth separated them into proper portion sizes because I hate having to guess at that stuff, especially when I’m so hungry 🙂

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And a couple more pieces of bread!

I was pretty full when I was done, so I stopped, drank lots of water and skipped dessert. I know it’s silly but I always feel like I should pat myself on the back when I don’t completely overdo it because there have been so many times in my life when that wasn’t the case at all. So here I go, pat pat.

It was a little hard to sleep last night because Josh has been coughing (poor guy) so he slept on the couch (I did last night) and I had a lot of my mind last night. Nothing bad really, just stuff.  But I did fall asleep eventually and slept pretty good considering it was only 5’ish hours. I need to get to bed early tonight!

Happy Thursday, weekend is almost here 🙂

Day 8: Marching on

I have to admit to you guys that I was a little bummed yesterday. I think I had unknowingly put a lot of pressure on myself, so I was really disappointed not only when I made the mistake with the soup mix, but also letting my eating habits get a bit out of control again. But thanks to your sweet comments and my affirmations about what makes us eat when we aren’t hungry, I ended the day on a major high note 🙂

Even though it wasn’t totally vegan, last night’s dinner was really good. The soup tasted great and the bread that Courtney bought was amazing!

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It is the Viennese (?) all natural freshly baked bread from Meijer. I checked the ingredients and what do you know…it is all natural and vegan to boot. That made me happy 🙂 I ate a couple more pieces than what you see there.

Also, for dessert, my sweet friend Margie brought some So Delicious non-dairy “ice cream” in Chocolate Velvet. Which is EXACTLY what it tasted like.

So yummy. I would definitely eat this again but I have a feeling it would be dangerous in my house 😉 It also didn’t “mess” with my stomach the way dairy ice cream used to.

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For our entertainment of the evening, we watched the movie “Amelie” which I had NEVER seen and it came out in 2001 I think. Anyway, I love the French language and culture so I thoroughly enjoyed it. I took several semesters of French in college but have sort of “lost” it over the years. But last night I decided I could probably “get it back” just by watching lots of French movies.

Any recommendations?

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This morning, I started the day off with some PB&J oats, which I had been thinking about doing for a while but the final push came after seeing them featured on Eating Bender.

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I liked the taste but I think I used way too much Simply Fruit and perhaps would leave out the banana next time. But still a good, filling breakfast 🙂

Right now, I am snacking on some nuts and trying to get more work done today. I’m definitely feeling more motivated than yesterday!

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For lunch today, I have leftover soup and bread…YUM! And my legs are still hurting so I am thankful that today I planned a weight training workout. Let’s work on the upper body and abs only please!

Cool things to read today:

Have a great Thursday…it’s almost Friday! 🙂

Day 7: I’m not hungry, I…

Hello friends!

After my last post, I did a lot of pondering and my head is overflowing with thoughts right now. I find that is the best time to put them on the blog 🙂

So, let’s talk about today’s eats so far.

This morning, I had a great green monster made with 1 cup Almond Breeze, 1 sliced banana, 1 tbsp wheat germ, 1 tbsp peanut butter, a few handfuls of spinach and a few handfuls of ice. It was tasty!

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But it made me soooo cold. I’m going to watch the weather forecasts but I’m afraid I may have to retire green monsters for the Fall/Winter. However, I want to make it a personal challenge to sneak some greens in by using other methods (like Heather’s green oats, for example). I’m all about following the seasons.

For a snack, I had…you guessed it…more nuts.

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After this snack, I got up a did a 15-minute walk. It is on my “schedule” to run today but that’s not going to happen. I am too sore from yesterday’s workout, so I think two short walks and perhaps some yoga when I get home are good enough for today. Yep.

Lunch was something I should never do. I learned a long time ago that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches do not fill me up. However, I’m a girl on a budget this month so I thought I’d give them another try.

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With some mixed veggies, I felt pretty satisfied after I ate. But two hours later when I got back from class, I was more than ready for my snack!

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I also had some hot chamomile tea.

After this, I really got to thinking about hunger cues and realized it was time to check in with myself again. Me and myself had sort of gotten out of synch when I got sick last week.

A little while after enjoying my snack, I thought “Great. I’m hungry again. Time to go to the bookstore and get a snack.” It had almost become an automatic response. So I waited a while and thought it through. Am I really hungry? Or is there something else going on?

After some water, another 15-minute walk, and lots of talking to myself, I came to these conclusions (for today):

  1. I am not hungry, I am bored. Bored with work today (need to get focused) and bored with my food. PB&J as good as it is, doesn’t fill me up and is rather boring. Especially when I ate it for part of my dinner last night. Bored could also be replaced with dissatisfied.
  2. I am not hungry, I have a sore throat. Sometimes I can mistake thirst for hunger. I have been experiencing a sore throat the past few days due to the ever-changing temperatures in the Ohio Valley. So I think I am mistaking a need for more fluids as hunger. I’m looking forward to grabbing a throat drop and some more tea when I get home!
  3. I am not hungry because I am not feeling anything. When I am truly hungry my stomach will growl. That is not happening at all right now. It’s true that there are times when we need to eat even when we are not completely hungry, but sitting at your desk for two more hours before you get off work is not one of those times.
  4. I am not hungry, I’m addicted. When I got sick last week, water tasted like absolute crap to me, so I downed lots of fizzy beverages which have been known to be a culprit when it comes to “faux hunger” in my case. Artificial sweeteners trick my brain into thinking it needs more food. So I’m kicking them to the curb, yet again. Yes, today is the first day so it obviously carried on beyond my sickness.
  5. I am not hungry, I’m tired/sore/etc. There are a million other things going on in my life that sometimes make me want to eat. That is why it is so important to be in touch with yourself, at all times. Today, I am feeling tired and sore. Another day, I could be happy and energetic. All of those feelings are not hunger. It’s easy to get it all confused.

What about you? Are there times when you know you aren’t hungry, even though all you can think about is eating something? What do you do?

For our Girls Night Potluck dinner tonight, I am making minestrone soup. I made it this morning, using a pre-packaged mix…something I will NEVER do again. Live and learn, right? Hope so.

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This package looks innocent enough, in fact, I made this back in September 2008 and thought nothing of it (other than it was good and convenient, as we had experienced a bad wind storm earlier in the week). That was because I was not eating a vegan diet then.

I’m a bit disappointed in myself because while at the store over the weekend, I had all the ingredients to make Courtney’s taco soup, but I chose to save money and get this soup mix, which was on sale for $2.99. Not much less than the ingredients for the other soup, but still less. Unfortunately, I compromised more than I knew. I even glanced at the ingredients looking for certain offenders. I must’ve been blind that day.

**How could I have missed chicken fat and beef stock?!**

Don’t just assume because a soup has no meat in it that it doesn’t have animal products. Lesson learned. Going to take and eat the soup anyway, but I’ll be more careful from now on.

I’ve sort of had to compare this transition into vegan eating to transitioning into a healthy lifestyle. I didn’t do it overnight. Lord knows I made a ton of mistakes along the way. Lots of ups and downs. I’m not perfect. But I’m learning! 🙂