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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 🙂

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!

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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.

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I got my favorite dish there, which I loved before I went vegan, Stir Fried Eggplant (right). Josh got Cantonese Chow Fun (left).

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I had the entire dish over half the container of brown rice (Josh had the rest). It was delicious!

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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!!!

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Day 30.2: Suzie’s checkup

I just realized how funny it is that yesterday I got my blood work and everything done and today Suzie got hers (and some shots, which I thankfully did not have to do)!

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Of course, she did great and everything is perfect. She’s a happy healthy doggie, I’m so lucky 🙂

When we got home from the vet, Suzie took a nap and I snacked on some peanuts.

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I decided that since I already have the day off, I might as well run some errands today that I usually do on Saturdays. Which means grocery shopping time!

I ended up going to Meijer and Kroger because Meijer had some great sales going on and Kroger is just right down the street so I saved some gas.

I kind of chuckled a bit at Meijer because they played the “X Files” theme song and music from “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” I can’t believe tomorrow is Halloween, it really snuck up on me this year.

Anyway, I got all this stuff for $50!

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Lots of new stuff to try this week, I can’t wait. Kept Josh’s stuff in the picture just for fun 😉 Don’t you love how I sat the ground beef on top of the tofu? Ha ha.

When I got everything put away, I was majorly hungry so I heated up my leftovers for lunch, which was the exact same meal I had for dinner last night.

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I took Suzie for a short walk and checked the mail where I found this awesome package from my favorite vegan, Carrie 🙂

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I m so excited to try some vegan-friendly beauty products, especially that soap because now I can stop using Josh’s. Oops!

I feel laundry dishes a nap coming on, so I’m going to sign off for now. Hoping to find somewhere good for Josh and me to have dinner tonight that won’t break the bank.

Don’t forget to enter my awesome coupon giveaway before next Friday!

Have an awesome Friday!

Day 30: Get up and give away

Happy Friday!

Actually, yesterday was like my Friday since I am off today. Unfortunately, I’ve still got an icky throat and my nose is running. But at least I’m not at work 🙂

I took off today to take Suzie to the vet, so I’m sure it will be a more exciting day for her than me! If the fact that she woke me up at 6 is any indication…

For breakfast this morning, I used up the rest of the pancake batter from my Spiced Banana Pancakes only this time I turned them into waffles!

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This batter was really tricky both as pancakes and waffles and I think next time I will tweak it a bit to see if that doesn’t help. They look messy but they sure do taste good 🙂

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I covered my waffles in peanut butter and light syrup. Speaking of peanut butter, check out my latest Examiner article on the subject.

Now for the other part of this post…GIVEAWAY TIME!

Need some coupons?

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Now that I eat vegan, there are a lot of coupons in my stash for products I will not purchase in the near future, so I thought they might as well get to someone who will use them!

This stash includes coupons to Whole Foods, Horizon organic dairy products, Stonyfield and a ton of manufacturer coupons that have been in the Sunday paper the past two weeks.

To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me your best money saving tip for grocery shopping!

To receive additional entries:

  1. Re-post this giveaway on your blog (and leave another comment with the link to your blog).
  2. Re-tweet about the giveaway on Twitter (and leave another comment telling me you did so).

Entries will be accepted until midnight next Friday, November 6th! I will announce the winner in my first Friday post.

Lots of the agenda today, better get to it!

Day 27: Hooray for giveaways!

I have left my camera at home again today, so instead of boring you with talking about my food and no pictures, I wanted to take the chance to share some awesome giveaways with you!

First up, check out Dinner at Christina’s for a great dairy-free (“Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living by Alisa Fleming of GoDairyFree.org) and vegan cookbook (My Sweet Vegan: passionate about dessert by Hannah Kaminsky) giveaway!

Also, check out Cooking For a Vegan Lover, where you have a chance to win some awesome goods from Pacific Natural Foods, including Almond or Oat milk, an Ice Tea, and a coupon for 1 Free Pacific Natural Foods item!!

So what are you waiting for? Check out the blogs, re-post, Facebook it and Twitter away 🙂

Happy Tuesday!

Day 26: Making adjustments

I just realized that today is exactly ONE MONTH UNTIL THANKSGIVING!

This has made me realize that I have been indulging in some things lately that I don’t usually and it’s time to make some adjustments before we get into the holiday season.

To start the day off, I had some healthy, filling oatmeal with apples, cinnamon and peanut butter for breakfast.

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I decided to give the Pumpkin Spice Silk another try so I heated up about 1/2 cup and then poured coffee on top of it.

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BINGO! This tasted great and what a more affordable (and vegan) way to enjoy pumpkin in my coffee 🙂 Next I’m going to have to try Mama Pea’s version!

Snacked on some peanuts for the first time in a while (for me).

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Then for lunch,  I had leftover Vegan Refried Bean cakes which I turned into a sandwich with some spicy mustard!

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I also had some carrots and a new type of hummus on the side.

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I picked this up at Whole Foods over the weekend. Once again, it was just okay. I’m going back to the good stuff after this 😉

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After lunch,  I went to class and tried not to fall asleep. I managed but I still yawned quite a bit. Exercise Science is an interesting field to me but we’re still making our way through all the body systems and I’m finding it rather dull.

Later in the afternoon, I snacked on some soy yogurt.

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This stuff was way too sweet and made me realize that I have been consuming more sugar lately than I am used to. There’s one adjustment I’d like to make. I need to find a good brand that has lower sugar. Some are better than others. And I definitely need to stick to plain and put my own stuff in it.

After work, I went for a 4 mile walk. I had it on my “agenda” to run tonight but it was one of those days where I walk just sounded like a better idea. I really enjoyed it and my legs are definitely still tired!

For dinner, I was having a major bread craving, so I made this ciabatta loaf I picked up at Kroger (take and heat):

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I also made a nice salad of Italian style greens and a drizzle of Italian dressing.

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Then I heated up some leftover Hot Tamale Vegetable Pie with a side of bread 🙂

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All together now…

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I’m so glad I took the time to figure out what I wanted and made a healthy and enjoyable dinner. The only thing missing was some good wine, but that is another thing I am trying to keep to a minimum. I am secretly hoping somebody brings some on Wednesday at Girl’s Night 🙂

With just one month until Thanksgiving, what goals are you hoping to work on?

I’ve also decided to join Caitlin, Bobbi, and many others in the Pile on the Miles challenge that begins on November 1st!

While I have no goal of winning this thing, since there are some really dedicated runners in this group, I do want to make it a goal for myself to get in lots of miles, either through walking or running, between now and Thanksgiving.

This is why I love Mondays, ends of months, and beginnings of new ones. Let’s get to it!

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.

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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.

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Throwing it all together was pretty easy! First veggies…

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Then adding the tofu-flour-seasonings mixture.

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Going into the oven, I was impressed at how easy this was to make and hoping it would turn out well.

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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.

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I tried a slice with some salsa on top to test it out.

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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 🙂

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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 😉

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Off to finish the movie!

If you are a fan of horror films, what are some of your favorites?

Day 25: The Final Stretch

So here we are, 25 days into the Vegan MoFo III challenge!

Just a few short weeks ago, I made the decision to adopt a vegan diet and while there have been a few challenges overall it’s been very easy and fun.

Now that I am in the final stretch, I’ve had a lot going through my head about what I want to continue after the end of this month. But we’ve still got 6 more days, so let’s wait on that!

Breakfast this morning was more banana pancakes 🙂 They kept sticking to the pan which is why some of them are a little messy looking but it certainly didn’t impact the taste.

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Plus I got to try something new I picked up yesterday.

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I have to say…as excited as I was about this when I bought it yesterday, I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

I couldn’t really taste the pumpkin spice at all. I think I need to use more next time or save it for an in between meals drink because it was competing with a lot of other flavors in this meal.

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For lunch, we went with my parents and in-laws to Applebee’s which immediately made me nervous because I could never remember them having anything veggie-friendly.

As I paged through the menu, I couldn’t believe that every single dish contained meat and/or dairy. Literally! The only things without meat were some of the appetizers and soup.

I ended up getting the Crispy Orange Chicken bowl minus the chicken.

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It contained almond rice pilaf and a tasty mix of mushrooms, broccoli, red peppers, sugar snap peas and shredded carrots and topped with toasted almonds and crispy noodles, all in an sweet and spicy orange glaze. I stole the red onion from Josh’s plate 🙂

This dish was really good! I know it couldn’t be vegan or it would’ve been listed on the website but I felt I did pretty well considering the lack of options. My big complaint though is that I had to pick out a couple tiny pieces of chicken that I found in there!

The waiter had brought the chicken out on a separate plate because I “was going to pay for it anyway, so someone might as well eat it.” So what they had done is made the salad as is and then took the chicken off the top before it came out.

I found this a little weird and it’s good ethical animal issues isn’t my primary motivation. I could see where this would rub someone else the wrong way. I remember one time when Court was still a vegetarian, she found a piece of chicken in something and flipped out!

But I didn’t say anything because we were with family and my dad was paying. But I’m thinking about sending an email or a letter just to show my concern.

After lunch, I embarked on some house cleaning and then got hungry for a snack. I had been thinking about the pumpkin butter I bought yesterday all day long so it was time 🙂

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So good! I can’t wait to throw it in oatmeal. The other slice had a little bit of peanut butter on it 😉

I’m currently working on dinner, so I’d better get back to it. Hope you all are enjoying your weekend!

Day 24: Nigella and Banana pancakes

I love Nigella Lawson!

I could just listen to her talk (I’m a sucker for accents) and make chocolate all day.

She’s so gorgeous and even though I eat vegan now, I still like watching her cook. I only catch her show if I’m up early on a Saturday, like today!

I did my own cooking this morning, thanks to another great recipe from Vegan Planet…Spiced Banana Pancakes!

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I accidentally blended all the bananas instead of half, so I didn’t have any huge banana pieces in them, oh well.

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Instead of making the entire batch this morning, I decided to make what I wanted and then put the rest of the batter in the fridge for tomorrow (plus another day too I’m sure)!

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I also tried a new product for my coffee today. I got this sample from Mimic Creme a while back but had yet to try it.

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I had originally wanted to try it because I thought it was a coffee creamer but when I saw everything on the box it came in, I was thinking I must’ve been wrong.

But then I saw a couple other bloggers use it as a coffee creamer, so I said what the heck 🙂

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A lot like soy milk, it sort of “separates” so I had to stir it again about half way through drinking it. It doesn’t have much flavor but it does make my coffee “creamier” so I will have to experiment with some flavors now.

Breakfast was delicious!

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These were so moist and dense (I used half whole wheat flour) and I gasp when I say “I liked these better than the pumpkin pie pancakes!” They are that good.

Suzie is watching TV while I blog. She’s still a little sleepy.

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I can’t wait to get this day started. First, I’m off to the grocery store(s) but I’m not sure which ones yet. I kind of want to go to Whole Foods just to do some price comparing. So I think I will start there.

Then after lunch, Court and I are going Halloween “shopping” as I’m not really dressing up this year but it is fun to look at all the crazy stuff at the stores and try on wigs and hats.

She’s been going through a rough time lately, so our goal for the day is just to relax and be silly! Expect lots of pics later.

Then tonight is the UFC pay per view. So it’s going to be a loooong night at Buffalo Wild Wings. As many of you know, they have NO vegan options (boo) so I will have to eat before I leave home (and sneak a snack in my purse perhaps).

We are currently researching other places to go watch it in the future.

Hope you have an excellent Saturday!

Day 23.2: LLRR

Apparently, you Ladies Love Ryan Reynolds! 🙂

This morning, I snacked on some peanuts but totally forgot to take a picture because I waited until I was really hungry to eat them.

Then for lunch, I had my last (free) Five Star Foodies artichoke burger. I’m going to be buying some soon. Thanks again Valerie!

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On an Ezekiel muffin. Those two were made for each other. Well, I think Ezekiel muffins were just made for everything actually. I still need to try the bread, waiting for a sale though. I also had some mixed veggies on the side. I think I declared my undying love for those last week but now, I’m ready to move on. What can I say, I get bored (with food) easily.

After lunch, I had another killer workout with my good friend/trainer Farrah.

Today is technically a running day but since we missed yesterday, we decided to do a short run (2 miles) and then do some upper body weight training + abs instead. We did each move for 1 minute (about 25-30 reps), then went partially back through the routine a second time. The moves in italics got done twice.

  • Chest presses
  • Seated row machine
  • Upright rows
  • Tricep dips
  • Bicep curls
  • Military (shoulder) press
  • Lateral raises
  • Front raises
  • Lots o’ abs – we save abs until the end to really fatigue the muscles and it works!

After that workout, I was starving, so I came back to my banana and peanut butter snack, woo hoo 🙂

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I’m really enjoying the Jif Natural. It has a couple more ingredients than most natural PB’s but the taste is good and it was on sale for $1.88 at Target last week, which I could not pass up.

So, I have a lot to be excited about today. For one, it is FRIDAY, hallelujah! Can I get an amen?

Also, I am having dinner with my husband tonight at Spinelli’s, which is pretty much one of his favorite places in Louisville because they have pizza and cheesesteaks. Luckily, after consulting with my fabulous “Vegan Yoda” Ms. Carrie, I found out that I can get the veggie stromboli without cheese because the dough and sauce are vegan, woo hoo! It is always a blessing to find a place where we can both eat and be happy 🙂

You may remember me mentioning that Josh joined a gym back in August or September that wasn’t open yet. Well, it is on schedule to open on Halloween, which is next Saturday! I cannot wait for my hubby to get started on his workouts, so he can start feeling better and improve his health for the long-term.

He is usually so tired in the evenings after a long day at work but he believes (because I have told him) that getting some exercise will actually give him more energy 🙂

He’s going to rock it, I can’t wait. He also says he is going to go “hardcore” with healthy eating, which is good too because they do go hand in hand. While it is totally fine with me either way, in case you were wondering, Josh says that he will “Never, ever, be a vegan.”

LOL. Yeah…we’ll see…