Warmth

It’s been unseasonably warm lately and I’ve been loving it.  I hate winter and I’m happy that this year it hasn’t been that cold.  It also reminds me of my desire to eventually move somewhere like Arizona or southern California.  🙂

In between life, I’ve been cooking delicious new vegan dishes,

trying new snacks,

and today I finished up the Whole Foods 28 Day Healthy Eating Challenge.

The menu.  No chicken for me, but I’m definitely going to attempt making the cilantro-spinach dressing that was on it over a salad or maybe some pasta.  We got a mini-booklet of recipes!  Some tea

Free bag that I won during the raffle at the end.

I unfortunately forgot my camera at home, so had to take the Whole Foods pics on my iPhone.  Even though I didn’t feel like I really needed the Challenge since I already eat plant-based, it was still fun to be a part of the experience and meet so many great people that saw positive changes as a result of modifying their diets.  It was also thanks to the Challenge that I met my chiropractor and was able to finally figure out the cause of my never-ending headaches.  But more on that probably tomorrow.

My mom also bought me a beautiful pair of shoes because I told her I’d finally lost a pound. Despite eating the way I eat and taking care of myself, I struggle with my weight due to my PCOS.  So a pound gone is like a milestone!  I can definitely feel myself getting smaller though as a result of my workouts.

Goodnight!  🙂

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Meal Planning

I don’t know what it is about meal planning, but I always get a block when it comes to actually sitting down and figuring out what I want to eat for the week.  I love looking up recipes, eating food, and going out to eat, but when it comes to actually doing it for myself, I struggle.

I think part of is it because so many cookbooks include recipes that are big enough to feed an army.  Sometimes it’s nice having leftovers so I don’t have to worry about what to cook, but I get tired of eating leftovers, and cooking for one can be tough, especially when I buy ingredients that I don’t ever end up using.

Which brings me to my second “problem.”  I wish I was one of those people that could buy a variety of ingredients and know exactly what to do with them.  Whenever I have leftover vegetables, I’m still clueless as to what to do with them.  It comes so easily to some people and my goal is to get better at creating amazing recipes that actually taste good and that I’ll want to re-create.

And it’s not like I lack a variety of resources…

Plus I’ve discovered so many amazing vegan blogs, it’s not like I don’t know where to look.  😉

Now I’m off to attempt meal planning.  How do you plan for your week?

 

Eating Gluten-Free

I have a confession to make.  In addition to being vegan, I eat a gluten-free diet.  I started eating gluten-free and vegan at the same time and since then, have very rarely indulged in gluten, with minor consequences.

Today at lunch, they brought us delicious warm bread, which usually I’m fine without.  I could easily live without bread.  This looked so good though, that I went ahead and indulged.

Katy was asking me about eating gluten-free and whether I feel any differences when I eat it or not.  I told her that I hadn’t noticed any major differences the few times that I’ve eaten gluten.  I choose to eat this way because I feel that it’s better overall for the human race in general, since our bodies weren’t made to digest all those processed gluten laden products that are so prevalent in our society today.

I also have enough digestive issues as it is, without giving my body the extra burden of having to process gluten, and I don’t find it difficult to eat gluten-free at all.

This image perfectly sums up my way of eating.  So what happened today when I ate gluten? My stomach became extremely upset shortly thereafter.  Now several hours later, I’m fulling the full effects of it.  I’m sluggish, my brain is foggy, and the headaches that I normally suffer from became stronger.  I have no energy, which shouldn’t be the case because I got enough sleep last night and I worked out twice today.  I’m just feeling blah.  All I can say is, after today, I won’t ever feel tempted to indulge in a gluten laden product ever again.

Glowing from the Inside and Out

It’s only mid-afternoon and it’s already been an amazing day!  I was up at 8 am, ready to take on Vinyasa Yoga at 9:30 with Katy.  In case you’re wondering how Vinyasa Yoga compares to other forms of yoga, check out this video:

Poses vary from class to class, but this is similar to what we did today.

Katy and I had already decided that we were going to do something after class, but we weren’t sure what exactly.  So we pulled out our smartphones in search of amazing, healthy food.  There weren’t any good salad places around, but we were both thinking something Mediterranean-ish, so decided upon Lebanese Taverna.

Since it was only 11 and they didn’t open until 12, we decided to go hang out at Teavana and then Bare Escentuals.   They both fit in perfectly with the theme of our day, which was all about relaxation and having fun, while doing things that helped us to be “glowing from the inside and out,” as Katy put it 🙂  (ok the wording wasn’t exactly like this, she worded it even better, but we’d both forgotten the exact phrase by the time our time together was over).

The Buddha.  Perfect for after yoga!

The amazing chai tea that we got to sample.

Katy’s favorite!  I also didn’t know this, but elephants are the perfect symbol for yoga because of the way that they breathe in and out, with long slow inhalations & exhalations, which is what we should try to emulate always, but most especially with yogic breath.

I tried to take more pictures, but I got caught and was told that no pictures were allowed to be taken inside the store.  Whoops!

Teavana was such an amazing place and we both could see ourselves spending a fortune in there with all of the amazing teas, teapots, and other stuff they offered!

Bare Escentuals didn’t help my budget much.  I’ve been thinking of finding a new makeup remover facial cleanser, because right now I’m using baby wipes, which is most definitely not the best thing for my skin.  I found a great one that I can’t wait to try and also ended up buying a kit that includes new makeup brushes, warmth blush, a facial brush cleanser, mineral veil to help seal in my makeup, & some new mineral foundation.  I was tempted to buy their mascara too, but had to stop myself and decided to save it for another time.  The best part was getting a hot pink bag that I can use for grocery shopping or even better yet, a yoga gym bag!  Yay!

Then we were finally ready to head to lunch, where we each ordered some amazing lentil soup, eggplant salad, and had some amazing conversation.  It reminded me of the value of true friendship and how important it is to have great friends around you.

Now I’m headed to Whole Foods to stock up on my vegan essentials: Pure Bars, goji berries, coconut water, dates, plant based milk, and whatever else I may encounter!  Enjoy your Saturday!

Breakfast for Lunch

The weekend’s finally here!  I’m so ready to relax, sleep, take it easy, and plan some amazing meals!

Breakfast today was the green smoothie I made last night with my brand new Vitamix.  Since I wasn’t in the mood to cook and some days I just don’t feel like eating “real food,” I had breakfast for lunch.

Oats soaked overnight with soy milk (though you could also use hemp, almond, rice – whatever works for you), raisins, goji berries, and cinnamon.  I would’ve added dates too if I hadn’t gobbled up the entire bag earlier this week.

Seriously, do NOT waste your calories on a blueberry muffin, which is full of saturated fat and ingredients that are less than stellar for your health.  Buy a Blueberry Pure Bar instead. The second I bite into one of these, I feel like I’m biting straight into a blueberry muffin.  Save yourself the calories and unhealthy factor for this instead!

WILD BLUEBERRY PURE BAR INGREDIENTSOrganic dates, organic wild blueberries (organic wild blueberries, organic apple juice concentrate, organic sunflower oil), organic cashews, organic agave nectar, organic walnuts, organic brown rice Protein, organic almonds, organic unsweetened lemon juice concentrate.

I rest my case.  🙂

When I came home after getting my nails done, I was so excited to see that my latest shipment of Shakeology had arrived!  I was out of this for nearly a week and was going through serious withdrawal symptoms.  If you want to know more about it, contact me, I’d be happy to share!  I will say that I felt like I was losing inches like crazy while I was on it and wasn’t working out that much.  Now that I’m working out a lot to TurboFire AND using this, I’m sure the results will be nothing less than amazing!

I knew I was going to be too lazy to cook, so I followed the advice of a friend and headed to my favorite place to grab a quick meal, Chipotle, for my dinner.

Enjoy the weekend!

Fruits & Veggies Rock

Think eating vegan is expensive?  Think again.  Check out all the fruits & veggies I bought tonight.

The grand total?  I was estimating somewhere between $10 – $15.  I only spent

And I have enough to make several green smoothies and eat snacks!

Speaking of which, I used my Vitamix tonight to make my very first green smoothie.  I’m in love with the Vitamix!!!

Tomorrow’s Friday!!!

 

Japanese – Vegan Style

I’ve been wanting to blog for days now, but my job has been so busy that I’ve barely had time to eat my food, let alone start taking pictures of it.  I also haven’t been eating any stellar meals – just been grabbing whatever I have in the fridge and making a healthy meal out of it.

Things will hopefully be changing on that front because I received my Vitamix today!!!

I haven’t had the chance to use it yet, mainly because I had a chiropractor appointment, chose to do TurboFire this afternoon since I didn’t do it this morning, then had to get ready to go out to eat for my brother’s birthday.  I also need to buy some more fruit so I can make amazing green smoothies because I’m lacking in ingredients!

We went out to eat at a Japanese sushi restaurant.  What does a vegan eat at a Japanese sushi restaurant?!

Plenty!

Miso Soup

A Japanese veggie dish whose name I couldn’t even pronounce!

and avocado rolls!

It’s easy to eat plant-based pretty much anywhere you go.  🙂

Now I’m off to bed – I hardly got any sleep last night due to my debilitating migraines, am getting up at 6 am tomorrow to work out, and am finally getting 2 MRI’s done on my spine and brain tomorrow night to see if they can finally figure out why my headaches won’t go away.  Wish me luck!

Why Love One and Eat the Other?

Powerful, compassionate campaign. If you truly care about animals and their well-being, I urge you to watch this. It’s my why.

Surprises

I LOVE surprises and today was a great day for them.

This morning my co-worker Laura brought our team some drinks from Caribou.  She brought me a soy chai, one of my favorite drinks (thanks Laura! 🙂 ).

My Blood Type A: Food, Beverage and Supplement Lists from Eat Right for Your Type showed up (and I ordered it last night).

And right next to that package was the package for the sparkly pink Toms that I ordered last weekend.

As if all of that weren’t enough, my friend Andrea posted on my Facebook page that QVC was having an amazing deal on the 64 oz Vitamix.  I’d already ordered a different Vitamix model at the end of December, but it’s 48 oz and has a smaller motor than the 64 oz one.  Not to mention that it’s on the waitlist.  I figured out the price difference and it was only about $40 extra for the 64 oz Vitamix.

What I love about QVC is that they are the ONLY place that I know of where you can order the Vitamix and pay for it in installments, instead of shelling out over $400 at once. I was able to cancel my previous order, get the newer model, and it should be here by next week. So excited!

Can’t wait to do yoga, relax, and sleep this weekend!  What are your plans?!

Beachbody and Goji Berries Rule

Today was a great day.  I was up at 6 am to do my TurboFire workout, and despite wishing that I could’ve stayed in bed sleeping for another hour, it was nice knowing that my workout was complete by 7 am.  It also made me feel great and I can still feel the lasting effects of that extra energy that working out gives you.

I tried the apple pie LÄRABAR, which tasted just like apple pie:

Managed to make dinner before going to yoga at 6 pm with 2 of my great friends, Monica and Diana:

My mom brought me home my favorite Vietnamese fried rice, thanks to the owner of our favorite Vietnamese restaurant (thanks Lisa!)

Checked the mail and there was a letter waiting for me from the CEO of Beachbody, Carl Daikeler, telling me that I was officially an Active Beachbody Coach (and I got this cute little pin too):

And I’m ending my day by enjoying a homemade chai tea latte.  Tip for the day: don’t use sweeteners in your tea!  If you really must add something in order to give it a sweet flavor, try Goji Berries.  They’re one of nature’s amazing superfoods and give the tea the perfect amount of sweetness!

I can’t wait to get up tomorrow and see what sort of workout Chalene Johnson’s got waiting for me.  TurboFire rocks!