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Brrrr…

It has been beyond cold here the past couple of days. Which stinks because now the snow can’t melt! Oh well, this coming week will be in the 30’s and 40’s…HEAT WAVE!!

This morning I had two mini bagels with peanut butter and jelly, plus some delicious Jasmine tea.

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I think I have a new favorite 😉

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Then I finally went to the grocery store. I used up a lot of stuff around the house this week but I’ve still got a lot more to go so I didn’t have to get too much.

I picked up something for lunch while I was out 🙂

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I love being able to pick something up that says Vegan on the front. And you all know how much I love Dr. McDougall’s!

I had this soup with a pita pocket (with just a touch of Smart Balance Light) and an applesauce.

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The soup was really tasty! It had lots of flavor and I loved the sweetness of the fruited pilaf. I’ve been craving Indian food since yesterday so this worked. Although I still want to visit an Indian restaurant very soon!

I have another flavor of soup to try later this week 😉

Tomorrow is my best friend’s 30th birthday so tonight we’re going out to do karaoke!

Got any fun plans this weekend?

Don’t forget to enter my Musselman’s Giveaway, only one more day!

Smoothies in winter?

Even though I woke up to 12 degrees outside this morning, I made a smoothie for breakfast!

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This smoothie contained 1 cup of rice milk, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple and 1 tbsp Sun Warrior protein powder. Unfortunately it was not very good but it’s all about figuring out the right combo.

The mini bagel with White Chocolate Wonderful was just lovely 🙂

Mid-morning, I snacked on some carrots and salsa. Can you tell I’m trying to use stuff up at home?

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I didn’t take photos of lunch again because like yesterday, it’s just boring and today’s lunch was a carbon copy of last night’s dinner.

Before our run today, I snacked on a Larabar that happened to be the same color as the shirt I was wearing today 😉

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After our run and on the way to a meeting, I knew it would be a while before I ate again so I tried these Luna snacks from my pantry.

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These were not that good! I really like the pomegranate flavor but I just ate these for the calories. I will not get this flavor again.

After our half marathon training meeting, I came home to a new frozen pizza to try. No cheese!

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It seemed a little skimpy on the veggies at first.

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But looking at these pictures makes it seem like there was more on there than I initially noticed.

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While I waited for the pizza to cool off, I started on a nice glass of iced tea. Summer, are you here yet?

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For dinner, I had two slices of pizza with some broccoli and Smart Balance Light.

This meal hit the spot! I loved the crunchy crust of the pizza (I cooked mine an additional 2 minutes than the box said to do).

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Take a good look…this is tomorrow’s lunch, ha ha ha.

It’s almost bedtime over here so I’d better sign off. Hope you had a great day, GOOD NIGHT 🙂

Decisions, decisions

Happy National Hug a Vegetarian Day! If you have a veggie friend, give ’em a nice squeeze today and if you are a veggie, ask for them 🙂

I’m still feeling a bit under the weather today but not too bad. I’m taking the day off from exercise, staying hydrated and also drinking some really great herbal tea called Gypsy Cold Care from Traditional Medicinals. I swear that brand is the best stuff ever. It was what made me realize back in August of 2008 (the last time I was sick!) that I didn’t benefit from cold medicine at all (it actually makes me feel worse) and that lots of hot tea and vitamin C were what worked for me (for a cold anyway). So, I’m hoping if this is just a cold trying to come on, it will be true again.

So onto what this post is REALLY about.

Today I made an official decision…I am going to, officially, 100% start eating a vegan diet on October 1st. This is not going to be a one month challenge as September sort of has been. I’m hoping to keep it this way for good. I’ve been told by some that I “will never go back” once I really start and I can see how that would be true.

I mean, really…I don’t like meat and it makes me constipated and feeling run down. But I thought I had to eat it for protein. Dairy makes me bloated and gives me gas. But I thought I had to eat and drink it for calcium and Vitamin D. Eggs never fill me up when I eat them for breakfast which is rare anyway. So really, this is not a hard sacrifice to make. It makes so much sense, I can’t believe I never fully realized it before. Now that I have the knowledge and the tools, I can do this the right way.

I know many people make this decision based on animal cruelty and unethical practices of the various industries, and I totally appreciate that. While it is not my #1 motivation, I am glad that by choosing this diet, I’ll be aiding somehow in that fight as well.

What will be a challenge and a sacrifice is continuing to check labels and research products and restaurants to make sure they can accomodate me. I’m actually having dinner at Taco Bell tonight, which in the past would’ve sounded completely gross to me and I’ve turned my nose up at it to my husband several times (sorry honey). But, I recently read the “Food Facts” (under the Our Food tab) statements on the Taco Bell website and also found some options on this Vegan Eating Out website too.

I’ll also have to let my girls in on the news so we can plan our Wednesday night potlucks accordingly. I don’t expect everyone to change everything for me, so I know there may be times when I have to peel the cheese off or skip dessert and that is okay with me. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone. Luckily, our friend Margie is a vegetarian so our meals are always meat free 🙂

Anyway, this is my decision and I know why I am doing it. This way of eating is not for everyone. What matters is that you find what works best for you and not to settle for anything you think you “have” to do.

Happy Friday 🙂

Take me to Santa Fe

Happy Monday blog peeps!

It was a good day…went by fast and I got a lot accomplished. Plus some good eats too 🙂 Have I mentioned before that I don’t mind Mondays, ha ha.

I drove to work today since I was meeting friends for dinner so I parked in the same lot and walked just over a mile into work. Great way to start a beautiful day!

Breakfast this morning was the 5 grain cereal I told you about last week, topped with some blueberries and almond butter. I’m going through this AB too fast, I may have to slow down a bit before it’s all gone!

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I drank some coffee with non-dairy (supposedly right) creamer which must’ve kept me full because I completely skipped over a morning snack. But I still took my 15 minute break walk!

For lunch, I had another vegan Kashi meal. I’ve had this one before and I still like it, but Mayan Harvest Bake is still my fave 😉

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I need some recipes stat. Gotta stop relying on these convenience foods. But they are okay once in a while.

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After lunch, I enjoyed some English Breakfast tea with a piece of real dark chocolate. And a calcium supplement!

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I had class today and once again, I started nodding off. I don’t know what this is but I’m trying to figure it out so I can fix it. I think the room is just too warm, rather than it being something I’m eating 😉

I ended up eating both of my snacks over the course of the afternoon.

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The last of my popcorn!

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And my last mini Larabar 😦

After work I walked the 1+ mile back to my car and got ready to meet my friends for dinner, which I also walked too (just 5 minutes from the car). We went to this little place right near work that we heard had cheap Mexican food that was better than Q’Doba.

Santa Fe Mexican Grill

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And I mean it’s a small place 🙂

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We all shared some of the chips and salsa.

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The chips were good but not the best I’ve ever had. But I had a good portion of them with some salsa.

For my entree, I had a Vegetal (veggie) burrito Mexican style.

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It contained guacamole, beans, rice, onion and cilantro. I asked for no cheese 🙂

The burrito was so good! The guac was tasty and the thing was just stuffed with goodness. I love having beans and rice together. It was huge when it came out to the table so I cut it in half to keep me from eating it all. It worked too!

I can’t wait to have the leftovers. My bill? A whopping $5.30! I left a good tip since the food was so cheap.

When I got home, I enjoyed some more tea and another piece of dark chocolate.

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Just FYI, I don’t count a piece of dark chocolate as “dessert” as you know I’ve limited that to just one day a week (Wednesday most of the time).

To me, desserts are things like cookies, cupcakes, ice cream, etc. Things that need to be kept in moderation for sure, in my case.

I’m excited that on the day I chose to take the vegan thing easy, I did it…rather easily! I think. Not sure about that creamer earlier today, haha.

Hope you all had a great day! It’s time for me to catch some z’s.

Later y’all!

p.s. RIP Patrick Swayze 😦

Challenges, changes, etc.

All of my challenges are still going strong!

No calorie counting, mucho meal (well, dinner) planning, moderate and steady caffeine reduction and best of all NO WEIGHING! Thanks everyone who responded both on my post about no longer weighing myself and the Melissa Joan Hart story. I appreciate all of your responses 🙂

I love giving myself a new thing to focus on each week. I find that taking things one small step at a time is the best way to make them permanent changes. If I had in that first week, at the beginning of May, said to myself “Starting today, I’m going to not count calories, plan every meal, stop drinking caffeine and not weigh myself” all at once, I would’ve freaked out and been very unsuccessful at most of those things.

On the caffeine front, I have been alternating coffee with tea (both caffeinated) in the mornings. Yesterday morning, I had coffee with milk and this morning, I had Earl Grey tea. Then the rest of the day is caffeine free tea like peppermint or chamomile (my favorites). I have a lot of new brands and flavors to try so the possibilities are endless. I haven’t had any dark chocolate and have had exactly two sodas (ew, I know!) since the caffeine challenge began 10 days ago.

I have still cut back quite a bit from my original intake and I’m not having any weird withdrawal symptoms. I will continue the every other day approach for a while, then gradually switch to every 2 days and then gradually make my way into half caff or decaf coffee land. Because I really do love the TASTE of coffee and couldn’t give it up completely, no way.

Here’s another interesting development…I know I have touched on this once or twice before. But, I have not had a single bite of meat since last Thursday?! That’s a whole week! I have just found myself not wanting it at all. I haven’t avoided it or chosen junky foods in order to not eat it. I’ve just been eating lots of veggies, fruits, grains, nuts, beans, etc. and haven’t had the need for it. I’ve often called myself “The Accidental Vegetarian” and I believe I have become her again for a while. But you know what’s funny, I feel great! I might have to keep this up.

Since I’m still in Beatles mode, here is a random pic of Paul McCartney related to the subject…

Here’s the neat thing about blogs. It was almost exactly this same time last year (it was June 14th) that I wasn’t eating meat and noticed. Hmm…

My husband hates it when I do that because meat to him is like peanut butter to me, can’t live without it. But I’ve noticed that I can live without it, plus it saves money because meat by far is the most expensive thing we buy at the grocery store. And, even though I don’t do it for ethical reasons alone, there’s always that to think about too. So, why not? We’ll see.

I’m also trying to get out of that “I have to have this with that” mentality which is how I end up eating meat in the first place. I thought for a long time that you had to have meat with dinner. Well, heck, if I’m in the mood for it, I could have cereal for dinner! Its all about balance and every day does not have to be perfect.

This morning, I had a green monster and then packed my lunch which contained no vegetables. Oh well, I thought, at least I’ll get them in at dinner, totally forgetting I’d already had some with breakfast. Its important to get the appropriate number of servings for each food group but not necessary to force yourself to add something to a meal that you really don’t want to eat. So my lunch remained veggie free!

Hope you all are enjoying this short week! I still have lots to share with you (I’m so behind) so stick with me 😉