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Meat free: One year later

Wow, a year has flown by!

Prior to September 2009, the vegetarian (and later vegan) diet was becoming more appealing to me for a number of reasons. I started to notice more how I felt when I ate meat and when I didn’t. I had been an “accidental” vegetarian off and on because when I just ate what came naturally, I was usually not putting meat in my meals.

But, nothing was ever official until September of last year when I decided to take a “gradual” approach to refining my diet (read: “To vegan or not to vegan”).

You may also remember this post, on September 10th, when I ate at Shane’s Rib Shack for my Dad’s birthday. It was the last time I ever ate meat!

A few days later, after a fun trip to Chicago to see U2, I realized that this was going to be a great change for me and I wanted to go a step further to eliminate all animal products from my diet. It was just going to take time and baby steps in order to get it right.

I did not go vegan until October 1st, but I am definitely celebrating my year of meatlessness today. I wasn’t sure at first if this would be a permanent change or just an experiment, but after feeling as great as I do, learning things I have learned and living healthy and happy for one year without meat, I know this is the way for me. I don’t need meat and I don’t want it.

I also recently read a quote that my friend Carrie posted on Facebook that made me happy too:

“As a vegan, you personally save the lives of approximately eighty-three animals a year, reduce your carbon output by an average of 3,000 pounds, and conserve 1.4 million gallons of water a year.” – Jolinda Hackett

Today is once again my Dad’s birthday (hooray for another year of life) only this time we are having dinner somewhere other than Shane’s Rib Shack, which still remains a family favorite.

At least I can fondly remember that place for the time when one chapter of my life ended and another began. 🙂

On the road

Hey guys! We are about to leave for Chicago as soon as Josh gets home! Going to make this one quick 🙂

Thursday, I used up the last of my oat bran 😦

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So delicious though. But I have a new hot cereal that I tried this morning so I will tell you all about that later.

Mid morning I snacked on the other half of the banana and some more almond butter. I didn’t get a walk in due to a meeting. It’s alright though because I drove to work that day so I got to walk the just over a mile from my car to my building before work!

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For lunch, I tried another Amy’s Kitchen Burrito!

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This one was vegan, made with beans and rice and contained no cheese or dairy products.

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Score! This one was great and it did not dry out or anything in the microwave. It reminded me a lot of a Mexican-style bean burrito only much healthier 😉 I would so get this one again.

Had some veggies too 🙂

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I had some more tea and dark chocolate after lunch.

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Apparently I like the Kroger Private Selection brand sometimes!

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My real afternoon snack was more carrots and hummus 🙂

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After work, I met up with Farrah for a 1-mile run and a very challenging weight routine. We have decided shorter and harder is more effective! My muscles were shaking when we got done. And then I walked the 1+ mile to my car 🙂

When I got home, I was starving and we were meeting my dad for dinner on his birthday. So I snacked on the last of the Stacy’s!

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For dinner, we went to Shane’s Rib Shack, which my family apparently loves because this is at least the third or fourth time they have been mentioned on the blog. But since I decided to try vegan it was nearly impossible to find anything that sounded good for dinner.

I reluctantly ordered the grilled chicken salad. It tasted okay but as usual the meat got stuck in my teeth and afterward I did not feel very full. That’s another “beef” I have with meat…it doesn’t fill me up the way grains and veggies do!

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When we got home, I was still hungry so I drank some water and then made myself a little snack 🙂

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I almost went for the Cheerios but the more I thought about it, this was what I really wanted. A whole wheat pita pocket with almond butter and chocolate chips (vegan).

I loved it, it satisfied me perfectly and I had a cup of chamomile tea while packing and hit the hay at a decent hour to get up early this morning and get some errands done and drop Suzie off with my parents. I’m so going to miss her this weekend 😦

But she’s in good hands!

Oops, gotta go now, “see” you guys later!

Squats

Happy Friday everyone! Whew, thank goodness it’s the weekend 😉 I can’t wait to get it started!

You are probably wondering about the title of this post.

After yesterday’s short bursts of walking challenge that led to me completing 99 minutes of walking in one day, I wondered how well I could do that with other aspects of fitness.

So today…I tried squats.

But first, for breakfast, I had a smoothie made with skim milk, a banana and a packet of this Jay Robb whey protein powder:

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When I bought this, I had wanted to get the brown rice protein because I had seen it recommended by so many other bloggers, like Jess, but my Whole Foods only had this and the egg white protein.

Here’s how it looked after the blend!

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I was not that impressed…this tasted mostly like banana and not very chocolatey at all – not like Carnation Instant Breakfast. Man, I wish this tasted like that or that CIB didn’t contain Splenda. Bummer.

Anyway, it still filled me up and got me going for the day. I just won’t buy that again. Not when I’m expecting chocolate anyway.

While I was in the shower, I did 10 squats. Then when I was brushing my teeth, I did 10 more!

Mid morning at work, I snacked on some Fage 2% with almond butter. Seriously good. Maybe better with peanut butter, but certainly not bad 😉

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I also went back to drinking my coffee black today. I ran out of creamer a while ago and I’m coming down to the end of my milk stash with no plans to replace it (except for maybe some rice milk, I like to alternate). So I had it straight up, which is just fine by me. I’m one of those who likes the taste of coffee 🙂

At work, I set a goal – every time I go to the bathroom, I would do 10 squats. We have a semi-private restroom at work, so this was no problem. And since I drink water all day long, don’t you know, I did 60 squats at work!

For lunch, I had a smorgasbord of a chik’n patty with spicy mustard, carrots and cucumbers with cilantro hummus and a La Croix.

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I also walked some today. I walked over a mile from the car, took both of my 15 minute breaks and got out for 30 minutes again at lunch time.

Mid afternoon, I drank some chamomile tea and ate a cheese snack.

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But then I got hungry again, like majorly, so I took my second break and walked to the bookstore for a snack.

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The choices were limited of course, but I got this bar because it only has 6 grams of sugar and contains 4g fiber and 6 protein! I also tried a new drink:

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SoBe Lifewater 0 – Acai fruit punch. I think I’ve tried almost all of these now and this one if MY FAVORITE! I loved it. But I don’t want to drink these too much because, naturally sweetened or not, I don’t want my body to get hooked on sweet-tasting stuff again. But it worked for today.

On the way back to my car this afternoon, I took a longer way to the lot, which had me walk about a mile and a half.

So, in total, I’ve walked 101 minutes and so far, I’ve done 90 squats. I never changed my clothes, I never walked into a gym. I feel great! I’m going to do 10 more before the night is over…might as well hit an even 100 🙂

For dinner, Josh and I went to Shane’s Rib Shack, which we had been to before when my family was in town from Texas. I got pretty much the same thing, only my sides were different.

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Chopped BBQ chicken with potato salad and green beans. It was good, especially for someone who doesn’t love BBQ, but I’m completely satisfied. I gave Josh my Texas toast.

I didn’t do it this time but Josh said something about me photographing his food to show how differently we eat from each other. Would you want to see that every once in a while? It would be interesting for some of you I’m sure. We are VERY different 🙂

Well, I’d better go, we’re about to watch “I Love You, Man” which Courtney has declared a classic. She and I have similar tastes, so I trust her. Hope you all have fun, good night!

p.s. I’m eating ice cream soon, just so you know 😉 Once it’s outta my house though, it’s on hiatus.

Random eats

Yesterday for lunch, I had leftover Tofu Lasagna with garlic bread, which was even better the next day. I’m really pleased with how this recipe turned out and I hope to make it again with some other changes (like whole grain pasta and less cheese perhaps).

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We had dinner with the whole family at Shane’s Rib Shack, which is pretty good, unless you are a vegetarian. I am not, but I like to eat that way a lot of the time, so I was surprised to see there were pretty much no options except side dishes and a garden salad.

I think this is Shane?

I think this is Shane?

I didn’t take pics of my meal but I ended up getting the Chopped BBQ Chicken plate with french fries and baked beans. I gave away my slice of Texas toast because it was very white and very buttery, which I knew would not sit well with me. I finished the chicken and most of the fries and beans but not all. I also had one mozzarella cheese stick that my husband ordered. It was okay, but I’m just not a big BBQ person and I’d rather go somewhere with more healthier choices (other than a grilled chicken salad), though they do have a gluten free menu 😉

Breakfast this morning was a scrambled egg inside of a pita pocket with a slice of 2% cheese and a squirt of ketchup. Cherries on the side…

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I’ve got a busy day ahead of me so time to get to it!