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Day 6: Happy Birthday to me!

Hey guys! Sorry I am so behind on my updates, this week has been crazy and today is no better! Luckily things are about to slow down 😉

Thursday was my birthday and it was a happy one indeed!

For breakfast, I had oats with banana and peanut butter. I forgot to photograph it, so here is a “recycled” photo.

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Mid-morning, I snacked on more grapes. I’m loving these!

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Lunch was leftover spaghetti squash with the veggie chickpea sauce I made on Tuesday night 🙂

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And an orange!

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Then later in the afternoon, I finished off this bag of edamame before heading to the gym to lift weights, using the same routine I did on Tuesday.

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For dinner, we went to Ramsi’s Cafe on the World, which is one of my favorite vegan-friendly places here in Louisville.

Mom treated me to a glass of Chardonnay which was great, I hadn’t had any in a while!

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Then we ordered the hummus appetizer, which I was so pleased that many of my relatives tried…and liked! 🙂

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For my dinner, I had the Roasted Vegetable Masala. I divided this huge portion in half and took the rest home to have for lunch the next day!

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It was delicious! I loved the sweet potato, carrots and all the other veggies inside, plus it was just a little spicy. Almost as good as going to an Indian restaurant.

Everyone else really enjoyed their food too and we had excellent service. I’m so glad everything worked out so well 🙂

We skipped dessert at the restaurant, but later on at home I wanted something else, so I made myself a little birthday treat!

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How cute is that? 🙂

I had a great birthday and I know that 28 is going to be the best age yet!

Day 4: Oops!

Sorry for the short lapse in posting! I promise, I’m not having another meltdown. In fact, life has been so good this week that I’ve just been enjoying it too much to keep up with blogging 🙂

Today is my 28th birthday and I feel absolutely fabulous!

But let’s back up…I have a lot to catch you all up on.

For breakfast on Tuesday, I had oats in a jar!


Well, technically it was oat bran in a jar, but you know what I mean.

I cooked 1/2 cup oat bran with 1/2 cup almond milk and 1/4 cup of water, then threw it in the PB jar with a sliced banana and enjoyed the beautiful creation.


On Tuesday, I ended up drinking two cups of coffee at work, but I am glad to say that I have not had a diet soda since May 1st! And now that a few days have passed, I don’t even miss them 🙂

For a snack, I had some grapes. So refreshing and juicy!


Lunch was leftover beans & tomatoes on top of salad greens. I love making leftovers salads!

And an orange. I’m really loving fruit these days!

I mentioned my two cups of coffee already but I also had some decaf peppermint tea to help warm me up. I love tea and I’m actually kind of glad it’s been cold at work because otherwise I’d be too warm to drink any!

Later in the afternoon, I snacked on some edamame before my workout at the gym.

Then when I got home, I refueled with a special dinner…spaghetti squash!

I wrote an Examiner article on spaghetti squash a while back and I’m so glad to have it back in my life and remember why I loved it so much! I actually prefer spaghetti squash to pasta now, which is especially great for this 30 day challenge.

It’s just so easy to make, just cut it in half and bake in the oven at 375* for 35 minutes. It’s also so cheap (usually around $1/lb and I just buy the smallest one I can find) and a great way to get in more veggies!

I decided to step my sauce up a notch, using these ingredients.

I drained an rinsed the beans and threw half the can, with half the jar of sauce, into a pot. Then I chopped up 1/2 a green pepper and 1/2 an onion and stirred those in, simmering on med-low heat for about 20 minutes, while the spaghetti squash cooled.

Et voila!

This was so flavorful and amazingly delicious. The eggplant sauce combined well with the peppers and onion. There is something so satisfying about preparing a meal like this yourself and so much healthier than eating anything out of a box. Even though I used already-made sauce, I still feel like this meal was so fresh and whole 🙂

I’m so excited, I get to eat the leftovers for lunch today 😉

For “dessert” I had a small cup of oats with raisins and natural peanut butter. I’m obsessed! I’m pretty sure I could live off of oats and peanut butter, at least for a little while…

I can’t believe we are almost a week into this challenge already! I’ve noticed a big difference in my energy levels and I feel good about removing certain junk from my life that was weighing me down.

But, for dinner and dessert last night, I relaxed some of the “rules” and I really enjoyed myself. It was my birthday celebration with the girls at our Wednesday night potluck. I learned a valuable lesson too — there’s just something about making certain foods be for special occasions only makes them so much more enjoyable than if I ate them every day. Don’t you agree?

Stay tuned to find out what…

Spaghetti squash, round 2

I’m still not back to taking photos of all my eats, but I thought there were a few things worth remarking about today.

Like this giant carrot!

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Yeah, ignore the Diet Pepsi, it was a moment of weakness and I found it to be rather nasty, so I won’t be doing that again for a while. I wish it had at least been a Coke Zero.

I also had an AWESOME run today. We did 4.32 miles in about 45 minutes, including stopping for a red light.

It is amazing how good I feel after a run these days. I’m seriously considering keeping it up, perhaps running in some races next year. Like the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini-marathon?

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I ran it in 2008 and then walked in it this year, so I think perhaps it’s time to run it again. I had decided earlier this year to stick to running shorter distances and that has worked for a while, but I think I’m up for the challenge again.

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Check out my running page for more. I’m sure it’ll be updated soon 😉

My biggest concern with running this much is that it makes me insanely HUNGRY. I didn’t gain any weight while training for the mini-marathon in 2008, but what was hard for me was transitioning between eating that way and eating like a person who doesn’t run 20+ miles a week.

But I think if I do this again, it will be different this time. I’ve learned so much more about food in a year and a half than I ever thought I could. And I knew a lot then!

I know more about what foods my body reacts to (good and bad) and what foods are best for recovery. Plus it will be fun to see how sticking to a vegan diet works into training.

What do you guys think? Should I do it?

For dinner, I decided to try spaghetti squash again.

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I made it the exact same way as last time. Oh, and I started off with some lovely wine.

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By the time it was done cooking, I was so hungry that I just threw a little bit of spaghetti sauce and garlic on top of the “spaghetti” and stirred. Sorry, I got lazy!

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Simple, yet delicious.

I also had some leftovers. Not bad, 3 meals for $2.25!

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I need to experiment with more toppings and see if I can’t come up with a great recipe 🙂 I seriously doubt I’ll eat spaghetti again, this is so much better!

I’ve already had some cinnamon toast for dessert, so I think some peppermint tea is next. Then to bed early!

I took the day off tomorrow but I still have quite a bit going on so a good night’s sleep is definitely necessary.

Good night!

My throat hurts

For breakfast this morning, I broke out some Great Harvest bread that I bought on Saturday. This one is vegan 🙂

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I toasted up two slices with pumpkin butter and peanut butter. Plus an apple on the side for some fruitiness.

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On the way to work, Mom treated me to a soy chai tea latte, which really hit the spot on my still, very sore and achy throat. If it doesn’t clear up by Wednesday, I am going to the doctor!

Mid morning I snacked on some more plantain chips, love these things.

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Good thing I only bought one bag 😉

For lunch, I had some leftover spaghetti squash from Saturday. It was really good again today! I’m so glad I finally tried it.

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Speaking of spaghetti squash check out my latest Examiner article: Swap your spaghetti for squash

I sipped on some hot tea during class today which also seemed to soothe my throat. Class was also interesting today as we learned more about weight training!

I snacked on some mixed nuts later in the afternoon.

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When I got home, I immediately knew what I was going to make for dinner. EGGPLANT!

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I sliced up a medium eggplant, then put some hemp milk and corn meal in separate bowls, dipping each piece of eggplant in the milk then meal.

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Then I cooked them in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Voila!

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On the side I made some couscous, which I have been craving for a while!

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I’m a simple girl. This plain couscous was AWESOME. All together now…

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I really enjoyed my dinner 🙂 The eggplant slices came out kind of crunchy like chips!

After I ate, I did a lot of housework that sort of got left by the wayside this weekend while I wasn’t feeling good and out of town yesterday. I decided to use that as my activity! But I do have a work out scheduled for tomorrow, depending on how I feel.

For a snack a little while ago, I had some Honey Sunshine Kashi cereal with hemp milk. I’m getting used to the hemp milk and I was pleased to see it contains Omega 3’s.

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I may or may not have had some blood orange Dots too 😉 Ahh, my throat is so sore. I’m off to gargle some salt water and go to bed!

Good night 🙂

p.s. Don’t forget to enter my amazing coupon giveaway before this Friday!

Day 31: Not the end

Happy Halloween everyone! Did you get scared yet today?

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For breakfast this morning, I had a very Halloween-appropriate bowl of pumpkin oats 🙂

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I finally figured out what was missing from my previous attempts at re-creating the pumpkin oats that I loved so much last year…raisins!

I also took a lot of people’s advice and used vanilla extract and cinnamon 🙂

Even though I’m still not feeling too hot today, I went for a walk this morning. I felt good for a while but then I started getting chills again and have basically had a headache and sore throat for two or three days now. So maybe it wasn’t such a good idea!

Today is also Day 31, the last day of the Vegan Mofo III. I have been vegan, officially for 31 days. Even though I have had a few bumps in the road, for the most part, it has been really easy and enjoyable.

I love the foods I am eating now more than I ever have. So I won’t be ending this anytime soon. I will, however, be ending the use of “Days” on my titles, thank goodness 😉

Tomorrow is World Vegan Day! I’m also planning some more mini-challenges for November that I can’t wait to get started on, in addition to Pile on the Miles.

After my walk, I snacked on some plantain chips that I found at a local health food store here in town called Amazing Grace. I saw a lot of other cool stuff there that I wanted to get but I’m going to have to save for another trip.

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These were so good (and addicting) and reminded me of the ones I got in Nicaragua last summer 🙂

For lunch, my mom treated me to some Great Harvest. I got the veggie sandwich on Nine Grain bread with Sun Chips on the side. I couldn’t get a good picture so I just said forget it.

Note: the Nine Grain bread contains honey, which is not vegan, but since I am vegan mainly for health reasons, I did not sweat it so much. However, I did purchase some unsweetened whole wheat bread to take home with me which does not contain honey 🙂

I had to stop at the store to get Josh a lock for the new gym he is going to starting on Monday (hooray) and I picked up some Halloween candy while I was there (oops).

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Oh my these are good! I like them better than regular Dots flavors and I’m glad I only bought this one box and that they are seasonal 😉 I just had one serving. Josh got pumpkin cremes (they look like candy corn only pumpkins).

I feel bad that I didn’t buy any candy for the kiddos but I just couldn’t find anything I felt okay about handing out. Considering I was an overweight kid, and I got a lot of cavities, it’s a sensitive issue for me. I’m thinking next year I’ll get some “healthy” candy or maybe some stickers?

Later in the afternoon, I got hungry so I snacked on some Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal with some new hemp milk I got.

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It was different. I’m not sure what to think about it yet but I will keep trying it. It’s definitely lower in sugar than most milk alternatives. I might use it in some recipes too.

Yes, I ate honey again. I got this box of cereal for free because Kashi sent me a coupon. I probably won’t buy it again because keeping cereal in my house has proven dangerous before. But like I said before, since I am eating vegan for health, it’s not a deal-breaker for me right now. It is something though that I want to think about for the future (of my vegan life).

Anyway…for dinner I got to try another new thing.

Spaghetti Squash!

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I remembered reading about how to cook a spaghetti squash on Tina’s blog earlier this year and luckily it was easy to find it again.

I followed her instructions exactly and found picking out the seeds to be the most time consuming part!

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But once it was done and ready to eat, I knew I had something great!

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I love the fact that I’m eating a vegetable instead of pasta! There’s nothing wrong with spaghetti but it’s one of those things I don’t eat too often because it sits so heavily on my stomach.

I heated up a cup of Emeril’s pasta sauce with some chopped spinach.

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I found this sauce to be a little watery but I think it was the spinach. Then I put it all together.

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It was a bit of a different taste than spaghetti but it was still very tasty! It’s definitely a good substitute. I think I have been converted!

There was also enough for another meal, which I saved in the fridge.

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Two meals and the squash only cost me $1.18!

I just snacked on some more Dots and plantain chips. I’d better go brush my teeth and go to bed soon 😉

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It stinks to be at home on Halloween but I need my rest because tomorrow I AM SEEING RENT!

We are heading up to Cincinnati in the morning to see the matinee performance featuring two of the original cast members. Not bad for my first time seeing it, eh?

I’ve already picked out an awesome place to have dinner after doing some research and consulting with some awesome vegan friends on Twitter. Hopefully I will be feeling better too.

Good night, blog friends. Hope you have a safe and happy Halloween! And be sure to check out my Major Coupon Giveaway – just 6 more days to get in 🙂