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Noelle’s “Natural Products Expo Prize Pack Giveaway”

Didn’t win the Happy Herbivore cookbook but looking for another great giveaway?

Head on over to Opera Singer in the Kitchen where Noelle is hosting a giveaway of some really amazing vegan items from the Natural Products Expo that took place in Anaheim, California.

By entering the giveaway, ONE lucky reader can feel like they went to Expo because So Delicious will send them some products including $25 worth of So Delicious treats, a months worth of vegan Popchips (worth $30) and some other fun goodies!

This is only open to US readers. Go to the giveaway post and get commenting, plenty of ways to enter 🙂

Latest new product finds

I’ve tried quite a few new products this past week, thanks to a Whole Foods gift card, so I figured it’s high time I share them with you all!

I had been eye the So Delicious coconut milk yogurt for months but it was always too expensive for me. Since I had a gift card and it was on sale (for $1.50, gasp!) I went ahead and picked up a couple.

While I did appreciate that it wasn’t as sweet as normal non-dairy yogurts, I have to say it just didn’t do it for me. But I have another flavor to try later, so we’ll see!

I had been hearing such good things about Gardein from some other vegan bloggers, so I was thrilled to find one of their products on sale as well.

I try not to use “faux meat” products too often but this one had an ingredients list I was very comfortable with: all things I was familiar with and could pronounce!

This tasted great! And believe it or not, even though it’s what some people might be looking for, this did not taste like chicken to me and I was happy with that. I was also happy with the 21 grams of protein and no sugar!

I can’t wait to try some other Gardein products in the future 🙂

Finally, I tried some kombucha, which I have heard you either love or you hate.

I will admit that it sounds disgusting and the vinegary smell is a bit unsettling at first, but I thought this particular “flavor” (grape) tasted great!

I was not as impressed with the Mystic Mango flavor, which surprised me since I love mango of everything else! But I guess it’s hit or miss when you are dealing with fermented, raw tea, no?

What new products have you tried recently?

New and improved

As I sit here at the close of this day, I feel so happy. It’s like a whole new me!

I have been so touched by your all’s comments over the past couple of days. To have this support system is truly amazing.

I also feel great and I have a sound mind about everything that I ate today. It feels good to get back to the basics.

I started the day off with a green monster, of course.

021 This combo was not my favorite, but it got the job done: 1 cup vanilla soymilk, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1 cup frozen strawberries, and a few cups of spinach.

022 My blender gave me a really hard time with this smoothie, so I have a feeling I’ll be in the market for a new one soon. I’d love to have a VitaMix, perhaps I’ll get a second job this summer, ha ha.

Mid-morning, I enjoyed some coffee with So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer (French Vanilla) and some mixed nuts.

014For lunch, I had a very green salad with cucumbers, shredded carrot and a Morningstar Farms vegan burger with vinaigrette dressing.


Plus a juicy apple!


For a snack, I had some Stonyfield O’Soy yogurt. I really like this brand but I would like it even more if it didn’t have 25 grams of sugar. I also had cup of coffee #2.

025 Before I left work to go for a run, I got a really strong sense of hunger so I got the healthiest thing out of the vending machine I could find.


I ate half the bag and then saved the rest for a future snack emergency. I felt better immediately and had a pretty great run considering I’m rusty!

For dinner, I knew I wanted some tofu.

027 I was going to stir fry it but something really made me want tofu scramble, so I just went with it.


I enjoyed half the box of tofu (sprinkled with turmeric, chili powder and garlic powder) with some steamed asparagus and brown rice.

028After dinner, I managed to do some laundry, the dishes, change the bed sheets, take a shower and now here I am blogging. It feels good to have days like this again.

For a snack, I had a banana with a tablespoon of Dark Chocolate Dreams 🙂


I’m going to have a cup of tea and go to bed. It’s been an amazing day, I’ll just leave it at that.

Good night!

I’m back again!

Thank you so much for all the supportive comments on my last post. I’m really grateful to have such kind readers.

Hope you are ready for a full day’s worth!

For breakfast this morning, I had THE BEST green(ish) smoothie ever 🙂


I think what made this one special was a new protein powder I picked up at Amazing Grace, a local health food store (this packet cost me less than $1).


This smoothie contained 1 cup Silk vanilla soy milk, the NutriBiotic chocolate rice protein powder (which I will be buying again), 1 frozen banana, a few handfuls of spinach and a tablespoon of natural almond butter.

It sort of ended up with a split pea soup tint, huh?

043 It was so delicious and so filling! I did not eat my mid-morning snack until after noon 🙂

But I think this might also have had something to do with it:

044I was so excited when FINALLY this showed up on Whole Foods shelves here in Louisville. It’s as good as it looks!

045When I finally did break into my snack, I enjoyed some delicious almonds. Ever since I read on Gina’s blog that almonds were a good source of calcium, I have been trying to include them more in my diet.

018 Lunch was so good (or I was so hungry) that it managed to escape my camera entirely!

I tried the Black Bean Mango chili from Health Valley. It was good but not the best I’ve ever had.

Later in the afternoon, I enjoyed some Peeled Snacks!

047I was contacted by this company last week and they sent me some free samples to review for the blog.

Today, I tried the Pine-4-Pineapple since dried pineapple is one of my favorite dried fruits.

048This dried fruit is unlike any other I have had. I’m used to dried fruit that is really sweet, almost candy-like and I always eat too much of it.

The Peeled Snacks actually looks like the “real” fruit, they are organic and taste much less processed with no added anything.

The bags are also portion controlled which is great for someone like me who needs help in that area 🙂

You can find these snacks at most Starbucks locations, but I didn’t look to see how much they are. But if you are a fan of dried fruit I suggest you check them out.

After enjoying this snack, I went on an amazing 4 mile run!

For dinner, I had my usual Monday pasta only this time I had Barilla whole grain penne with 365 brand organic pasta sauce, cauliflower and Gimme Lean “sausage” for some protein.

049 I also had a slice of whole wheat toast with Smart Balance Light and a Zevia soda (reviews coming soon).

050 For dessert, I had a small cup of oatmeal (1/4 cup) with almond butter and a couple pieces of Green & Black’s bittersweet dark chocolate. Holy heck it was good!

051Once it melted, I stirred it up and dove in with my spoon 🙂


Great day of eats, all tracked and accounted for. The 9:00 rule holding steady. Awesome run. Everything is good!

Man it feels good to be blogging again. I think I might finally be getting out of this funk!

I’m going out of town later in the week and I’m setting up some really great guest posts for you guys.

Hopefully I’ll be able to check in a little bit while I’m gone too.

Thanks for always being so kind to me. “See” you tomorrow 🙂

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 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 27.2: Bookends

Hey guys!

Well, as I mentioned in my last post, I left my camera at home today so all I have for you is the meals I had at home today…breakfast and dinner. The beginning and the end 🙂


I tried a new dish for breakfast today. I took a page from Mama Pea’s book and microwaved a chopped apple for 1 minute. Then I added 1/2 cup of Ezekiel golden flax cereal, 1/2 cup rice milk and 1/2 tbsp peanut butter.

It was pretty tasty but for some reason this did not hold me over very well. And by some reason, I mean the fact that it isn’t oatmeal. This would be good on a smaller scale for a snack though maybe.

The rest of the day was not much to write home about except for the massive amount of tortilla chips I ate at work! I swear, if there is one food I am defenseless against, it is those salty crunchy buggers.

After work, I hit the gym for a 2 mile run (indoors, boo rain) and some upper body weights and abs. I was less than motivated earlier in the day but once I got started and finished the workout, I felt GREAT.

For dinner, I made an old favorite: Chickpea Curry!


I used water this time instead of soy milk and I added 1 cup chopped frozen (thawed) spinach and 1/4 white onion chopped. Plus some garlic and of course, a massive amount of curry paste!

When I got home, I had snacked on some bread already, so when it came time to eat dinner, I wasn’t as hungry, so I had a small portion with the rest of the bread. I can’t believe Josh and I finished off the loaf in one day (it was mostly me I’m sure)!




For dessert, I had a So Delicious “ice cream” sandwich. It was even better than last Wednesday, I think because I let it thaw a bit 😉


Confession Time…I HATE DISHES!

I mean, look at the how terrible I let things get before I break down and do them.


Wow, that is embarrassing!

I’m posting that picture to shame myself into keeping up with the dishes. Perhaps that can be a November goal?

Josh, for his part, empties the dishwasher every day so there really is no excuse (other than I hate it). I tried to make it more exciting for myself by getting this natural dish soap!


What household chore do you hate?

I also took some time out yesterday to enjoy the flowers 🙂 This pic came in handy on a nasty rainy day like today!


Good night!

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 23.3: Second chances?

Well, even though at the end of my last post, I was filled with much optimism, I was a bit disappointed in our dinner at Spinelli’s tonight.

We went to the new location in the East End, which is much closer to where we live and perhaps that’s where we went wrong. We have both been to the other location in the Highlands numerous times.

First of all, the place is tiny with literally only four chairs to sit in. Apparently, even though they are open, they aren’t completely done with the building yet and anticipate having more places to sit in the future.

They did have some neat decor in the form of graffiti!



I got the veggie stromboli with no cheese and the guy wrote “vegan” on the ticket, so that made me a little happy. 😉

This dish itself, was just okay though. Basically, just veggies and bread. Not much flavor other than the pizza sauce I doused it with.

It was also $9.00 which I thought was a little steep until I saw the size of this thing! Apparently though, it’s still $2 more than at the other location!


The edges of the crust were nice and chewy so that was enjoyable. The veggies on the inside were rather plain but they tasted pretty fresh.


I only ate two of the pieces and I’m saving the third for a meal tomorrow though I’m sure I’ll have to have something else with it!

Josh warmed up his stomach with a huge slice of pepperoni pizza.


Then he enjoyed one of his favorite cheese steaks in the city. By the way, I find it hilarious that Josh loves Philly cheese steaks considering he is a big New York fan 😉


You can hardly see the cheese on there but it is under the meat. I think Josh really enjoyed his meal, so I feel kind of bad that I was less than impressed.

Did I mention how we had to pay $1.50 to share a bottled water? What restaurant doesn’t have free water? I was kind of disappointed.

However, I’m willing to give a place a second chance (unless they were horrible) and since this location hasn’t fully opened yet perhaps things will improve. But I won’t go back to this one specifically because of their higher prices.

What about you? Do you give places a second chance if the first impression was not that great?

I don’t think I would order the stromboli again but I think my only other options are french fries and house salad. So I may just have to leave Josh and Spinelli’s to a night out with his friends. Sorry babe, I tried!

When I got home, I still felt a little hungry so I had some dessert.


At least I knew what I was getting into with that. So Delicious peanut butter zig zag, you never disappoint me 😉

Time to make a grocery list for tomorrow! I’m going out first thing in the morning after a good breakfast. I wonder if I have the ingredients for more pancakes…

Good night!

Day 22.2: In need of rest

For lunch today, I had leftover Vegan Red Beans & Rice, the last serving (sniff, sniff). I can’t wait to make this dish again and perhaps make some modifications (or perhaps get that Adobo seasoning)!


For my afternoon snack, I unintentionally had 2 tbsp peanut butter. It just sounded better than peanuts and it was already there 😉


I was scheduled to work out with Farrah today to do a short run and some weights but something came up on both our ends, so I decided to go home early and enjoy a night of relaxation 🙂

Self-realization #2 – I love to cook!

I have yet to make up my own recipes but I love trying out what others have created and sometimes putting my own twist on them. Especially when I have the time to just take it easy and prepare a good meal…there’s nothing quite like it.

Tonight, I tried another Happy Herbivore selection…Vegan Refried Bean Cakes!

I used just regular vegetarian refried beans and I substituted oats for the bread crumbs, like I did with the vegan meatloaf.


I also finished off the wine from Tuesday night while cooking, that’s a good way to relax too 🙂


And here are the little cakes when they came out of the oven.


I was really hungry by the time dinner was done, so I piled a few on my plate and went back for seconds later. I actually nibbled at the veggies before the cakes were done so there were more there originally 😉


There are still enough left for another serving or two, yay!

For dessert, I had some So Delicious peanut butter zig zag. It’s my favorite, officially.


I usually don’t eat dessert this much but thanks to my friends, I have a freezer full of So Delicious treats. I think they should just make a container of peanut butter So Delicious now that I think of it. Can they get on that?

I’ve been sitting on the couch most of the night and I think I will do a load of dishes and laundry before the Jeff Dunham show comes on, then after that hit the hay.

It was nice to take a day off from exercise. I love it and it is a big part of my life but sometimes we need a break.

I don’t want to overdo it and miss out on good workouts like my run yesterday. My hips are still kind of sore. But I should be good to go tomorrow!

And put my alarm clock across the room before I go to sleep! See how sneaky the dog is then…

028 (2)

Good night!