Amped Up Oats & Wrap Lovin’

Hey hey hey! Happy hump day! It is Wednesday, right? I swear, ever since I’ve been training, I have to go back and check what day it is like three times per day. LOL Not sure what it is, but it sure get a little confusing in this brain of mine.

I’m thinking it was the right decision to take yesterday as another complete rest day, because I woke up this morning feeling stellar! I’d venture on saying wide-eyed and bushy tailed, but I aim to be positive on the blog, not delusional;) Alas, I did arise without too much trouble when my alarm went off, made a kettle of French Press, and headed to the gym closest to my casa and…

Ran a 40 minute tempo run

  • 5 minutes (warm up) – 5.8-6.0
  • 5 minutes – 6.1-6.2
  • 5 minutes – 6.3-6.4
  • 5 minutes – 6.4-6.5
  • 5 minutes – 6.5-6.6
  • 5 minutes – 6.6-6.6 (ew. Too many 6’s. But my body just didn’t want to do 6.7 yet!)
  • 5 minutes – 6.7-6.8
  • 5 minutes (cool down) – 6.0-5.8

Winded and red-faced, I hopped off, and hit the weight room. Since I inevitably got to the gym 10 minutes later than intended, I only had 20 minutes for weights. In these 20 minutes, I got in…

  • Overhead press w/ 20 lb barbell – 3×10
  • Tricep dips w/ body weight – 3×10
  • Chest press w/ 30 lb barbell – 1×10
  • Incline chest press w/ 30 lb barbell – 2×10

Quickie but a goodie…not even gonna say it 😉

Came home and was STARVED! After showering and dressing, I sat down to this beautiful sight:

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Amped Up Overnight Oats! Why amped up, you say?

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Jay Robb Rice Protein powder was added to the mix!

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Slight confession: in my last vegetarianism checkpoint post, I mentioned how I became veg for ethical reasons, but the health benefits I’ve been feeling have been endless. Well, except one. I’m not losing muscle tone, per say, but ever since I’ve cut meat and a lot of dairy oat, I don’t notice as big of strength gains from lifting as I did before. I’ve been researching organic/low heat/vegan protein powders lately, and last week ordered me some Jay. I’ll probably only use it on lifting days, because I feel like I get enough protein otherwise. However, for someone who lift weights regularly, a bit more protein may be necessary. /End explanation.

A few four hours later (those oats held me over for a long time!) I had a savory snack of carrots and black bean salsa:

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Lunch was supposed to be leftovers from last night’s dinner, but all I had were plastic containers to microwave it in, and I got a scary email from my mom about an article linking micro waved plastic to cancer.

Flat Out to the rescue!

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I simply stuffed it all (asparagus, acorn squash, black beans, tempeh) into a whole wheat wrap, and ate it cold.

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It was a little different, but ultimately tasty, nonetheless. MUCH better than I was anticipating. I used the same sauce as I did last night – apple cider vinegar, tamari, grapeseed oil, and maple syrup.

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And thanks to Caitlin’s tip about putting the filling on one side instead of the middle before rolling up, it rolled up perfectly! 😀

Throughout the day I nibbled on about ¾’s of this cookiemuffin:

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Aaaand then I ate the rest of it right before leaving the office:

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Darn two servings in one wrapper gimmick.

I’ve never tried this flavor, but I really liked it! It was one of the cookies my girl Kim gave me for me birthday! Thanks, Kim:D

Right after work, I had to book it to the gym to train a client, and then I was bound and determined to spend some outside time on this b-e-a-utiful day we’re having here in Central Illinois! If I had to be inside one more minute, I just might have imploded. I knew Niko was thinking the same thing, so I packed her in the car and took her to the dog park.

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It’s been ages since she’s been there, and we both had such a blast. She’s a little bossy, but she loves mingling with the other pups. However, after only about 10 minutes, all she wanted to do was sit on my lap.

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She wanted nothing else. Anti-social mama’s girl.

I had no plans to cook, so for dinner I headed over to the Coffeehouse, a vegan café here in town (that I tried for the first time on Friday!) to grab some grub.

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So I’m a wrap lover. What of it?

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It’s official. I’m addicted.

Got the hummus and veggie this time. And it did NOT disappoint. Paid a hard-earned $3.83 for this dinner. Too good to be true! How, how, HOW did I not know about this little vegan slice of heaven cafe sooner?

After scarfing it down, I had the obligatory birthday cake (yes…I was obliged) for some dessert.

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The smallest piece I could slice, and it was still a monstrosity.

Well boys and girls, I’ve got a date with the hubski for some tube and cuddling – finally! 😀

 

Where do you live and how is the weather there? It seems to be very nice in most parts of the country. I hope it stays this way!!

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A Quarter of a Century Old

Hi guys! Welp, I’ve officially joined the quarter of a century club. The big 2-5 was yesterday.
Sorry I skipped on posting yesterday, but I was busy celebratin-g!

Speaking of celebrating, I have LOTS of shenanigans to tell ya’ll about. Grab a snack and your kombucha of choice, because I got a lot of writing ahead.

It started on Friday when I was done with work (which was a looong afternoon!) I grabbed the hubski and we headed out to meet some friends at Gill St. Bar:

 

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It was one of my friend’s birthday, too. So we celebrated with a beer with her. But we didn’t stay long, because we had some plans…

Like going to the (only!) vegan restaurant in town!

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The Coffeehouse!
This is in the Uptown section of town, very close to the university.

I used to walk down this street ALL the time to go to different shops (and perhaps a few pubs ;)) when at ISU. Memories…

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However, for some crazy reason, I’d never been the Coffeehouse – this was my first time!
It’s very eclectic, and had such a variety of patrons. I felt I could be very much myself here.
We found a quaint little table in the back and looked at the menu.

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It was SO hard for me to choose, but I ended up going with the…

Falafel pita:

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and a hummus plate…

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and oven fries…

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ok well we shared those two 😉
The hubski got some vegan chili:

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And EVERYTHING was delicious. They also had vegan baked goods:

 

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But that’s for another trip 😉 I wanted to go back for lunch yesterday LOL. Oh but I will be back, for sure. The prices are amazing and so is the food!

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Perfect birthday Eve dinner 😀

Came home and it was relaxation time. I almost decided to had a glass of wine, but I had my 10 (!!) mile run planned the next day, so I went with some tea instead. Yes, I ran 10 miles on my birthday. It sounded good up until the night before. Then, I thought, why? why would I plan a 10 mile run on my birthday?!

The Looming 10 Mile Run

I woke up feeling the same way, but there was no way out of it. It was mid forties and sunny, but windy, and damnit I was gonna do it.
Cooked up some breakfast for a little fuelage:

 

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Banana oats w/ raw almond butter and organic jam!

And a few hours later, I was getting ready to head out to the trail.
This little guy helped me get some motivation:

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One of Shane’s birthday presents to me:D
And while we’re on the subject, he also got me a BOSU trainer:

 

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and a (pink!!) golf bag!

 

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However, I think the golf bag and set is partly a present to him. He’s been asking me to play golf with him forever. I guess this is the summer! haha We’re not an active couple or anything… 😉

I was so excited to use my CamelBak on my run. I filled it with about a liter of water, and also stowed some Clif shot bloks and my car key in it:

 

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Ready, Set, GO!

I ran on the trail because I knew the trees would help block out the wind. And boy I’m glad I did, because the wind was a-howwwling! The first couple miles I was kind of a downer and the number 10 just kept intimidating me. But by mile 3, I had gotten past my 2-mile-hump and had a good groove going. And around mile 5, I saw a sign for the David Davis Mansion (the house Abe Lincoln lived in when he lived in Bloomington) so I ran around the circle drive of the mansion. It was super cool – I had never been there before either. I wish I would have brought my camera. Next time I’ll remember to do so 🙂 Around mile 6, I remembered why I saved my 10 miler for my birthday (or it just so happened to be on my birthday, but I digress..) I was elated! Breaking a record and enjoying nature. Love, love, love it.
Around mile 7, I got a really bad cramp in my right calf, and stopped to stretch, ate three shot bloks, and then kept on going. Though the cramp didn’t go away, it faded a little. However it’s definitely painin’ today. I had a 4.5 mile recovery run planned for today, but I think I’m going to take it easy. Plus, I may or may not have a slight hangover, as well. What? You can’t judge a girl for having a few brewski’s on her birthday! More on that below… 😉

Ended up finishing in 1:37:03 with an average pace on 9:42

My Splits:

Mile 1: 9:44
Mile 2: 9:44
Mile 3: 9:53
Mile 4: 10:00
Mile 5: 9:57
Mile 6: 9:14
Mile 7: 9:47
Mile 8: 9:41
Mile 9: 9:41
Mile 10: 9:23

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10 miles, baby!!!

Phew! I was glad I kept my average pace under 10 minutes, but I wasn’t as speedy as last week’s long run. Next week is 10 again, so we’ll see if the pace changes then.

Directly after showering, dressing, and green monstering:

 

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1/2 banana, ice, almond milk, Amazing Grass, frozen cherries, hemp protein powder
I headed out with the hubski to get some THAI food!!! Can you believe I’ve never had Thai food either? We were first going to go to Flavors of India, our fave Indian restaurant, but apparently they’re closed for renovations :-/

Not to fear, we decided to hit up a Thai place:

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Shane got a sampler, but it was all meat-based, so I sat there while my stomach ate my back bone for an appetizer.

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And THEN came the grub:

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I got the tofu pad thai and it was out of this world delicious. I love Thai food!!!


Somehow the afternoon FLEW by, and it was already time to head into Peoria to meet some friends for dinner and drinks.

note: shortly before I wrote this post, ALL of my pictures from last night got deleted somehow. I started freaking OUT, and then remembered my husbands a technology genius. He was able to recover MOST from last night. The rest I’ll steal from the other people who had cameras 😉


A big group of friends got together for mine, and my girl Mel’s birthday for dinner at Granite City.

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These are seriously some of my favorite people in the world, and it means so much to me that they all came out to help me celebrate 😀

Before dinner, I had some sort of fruity drink. It had chambord in it, so I was sold 😀 I had one, and then switched to some water with dinner…which was:

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A portabella melt with some grilled asparagus. It was aight. Not stellar, but I definitely ate it all :D   

My girl Kim, who you’ve met during my cruise posts, and who now has her own blog, Sunny State of Mind (check it out! She’s just started a new Gluten Free diet/lifestyle and she’s writing about it, her fitness, eats, and fun 🙂 ) got me THREE Alternative Baking Co. cookies:

 

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And a shirt from Destin that says "Peace, Love, and Sandy Feet" which is SO me. I have awesome friends. Just sayin’.

After dinner we all headed out to a bar for some more shenanigans!

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Gah. Love these girls!

I probably only had three beers (only?) but I also had some birthday shots. I’m typically not a shot girl, so I’m not feeling the hottest as I write this post 😉

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For some reason, we say “prune” instead of “cheese” after a few drinks 😀 hahah

The mens..including the hubski who was my wonderful DD for the night:D         

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I couldn’t resist eating half err a third of one of my birthday cookies on the way home 😉

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I have a couple new clients tomorrow, so I’m off to Borders to get some paper work and plans done! Later on, my mom, dad, brother, and SIL are coming to visit and go out to dinner 😀 The celebration continues!!

Hope you’re having an absolutely fabo weekend!!

Hi, My Name’s Niko

Hiya Friday friends!

Super pumped it’s the weekend and I know I’m not alone 😀

Sorry I left ya hangin’ last night. I went straight from work to the gym to meet my friend for some cardio and an amazing power yoga class. Then right after that, we met a few other girlfriends over at Flat Top for dinner. It was a fabulous time involving TONS of chit chat and even some Shenanigans:

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I wrote my name as Niko instead of Paige, just to be cute. I didn’t know our waitress, so she would never know 🙂 Little did I know, our waitress wouldn’t be bringing our food out! My ex-boss works there now apparently, and brought it out. When she called out Niko and I grabbed my plate she was like, “Um, your name isn’t Niko.” bahaha. You know, the usual 😉

Anyway, I didn’t get home until around 9:00, so I pretty much showered and went straight to bed. When I went to bed, I set my alarm for 4:45, planning to wake up and go to the gym before work, but I didn’t fully commit myself to whether I was going or not. Sometimes when the ol’ body doesn’t get a full 24 hrs between workouts, it rebels against. However this time, I woke up and felt wide awake, so I rolled with it. Goal was to run a 3 mile run at 5k pace, but needless to say, the leggies weren’t up for that, so it ended up being about a 9:20 pace.

Showered and dressed and it was time for a delicious Green Monster:

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One frozen banana, handful of ice, almond milk, Amazing Grass Superfood, two mongo handfuls of spinach

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Sipped on this until I finished getting ready, and then had a more substantial breakfast:

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One egg + one egg white w/ a dash of sea salt and one piece of toasted rice flour bread w/ organic jam and coconut buttah

IMG_5881Tastes buds were lovin’ it. Fellow coconut butter loves – is it just me, or does coconut butter keep you hunger at bay for hours? Must be that healthy fat 🙂 Gotta lurve it!

Work was pretty slow, so I ended up taking off a few hours early to run some errands. I had to get a birthday gift for tonight (Bunco night!! Woot!!) a library card, and grab some groceries for my food contribution for the get together tonight.

My contribution:

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Balls!! One side are Averie’s chocolate chip cookie dough balls, and the other side were my improvised peanut butter balls, which I based off of the former balls. Wow. I don’t think I’ve said balls that many times in one sentence ever! 🙂 Anyway, there are a couple girls who gave up chocolate for lent (I know…crazy, right?!) so I made the peanut butter version. Averie has a peanut butter ball recipe of her own, but I didn’t have the ingredients on hand to make hers, so I improvised:)

To make the peanut butter balls, I simply followed the directions for the choc. chip ones, and made some adaptations.

  • 3/4 c. raw cashews
  • 1/3 c. oats
  • 1/3 c. PB2
  • 2 T. agave nectar
  • 1 T. Maple syrup
  • 1 T. vanilla extract

Just put the first three ingredients in the food processor/blender and pulse a few seconds. Then add the rest of the ingredients, one at a time, and slowly add the vanilla extract while its processing. After a ball forms/consistency is thick and dough-like, make one big ball out of the dough, and then form little balls from the dough!

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Gah. I LOVED this dough!!! So glad it turned out excellently!

I munched on some blueberries while I was “unbaking” so I didn’t munch on dough 😉

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And was feeling very sleepy, so did something I never do, and put a kettle of coffee on at nearly 4:00!

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Gave me the pick-me-up I needed, plus got rid of the headache I’d had all day (ohhh, addiction.)

Well, I’ve gotta get going! Got some bunco to play, some wine to drink, and some birthdays to celebrate!! :D           

Sushi Place, Euchre Face

Hi guys!

Having an awesome Sunday so far? I sure hope so 🙂

Yesterday morning I met my friend, Missy, at her gym for a 4.5 mile run and some legs. I was pretty happy I was easily able to finish the run, because I haven’t really been doing many runs over 3.5 miles lately. However, my training schedule for the half marathon starts calling for long runs every Saturday, so I better get used to that again 🙂

Around 11:00, I met another friend out for coffee, chit chat, and a little shopping, per our usual weekend tradition. I got there a little early, so I munched on half of a vegan oatmeal raisin cookie:

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Which was consumed in its entirety by the day’s end. Yum!

Got home, cleaned, and just piddled around the house until it was time for some lunch 😀

 

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Just a simple lunch of TJ’s Organic tomato soup and some kale chips

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Mmm crunchy goodness.

Did a wee bit of laundry, and then when the hubski announced it was happy hour time, I certainly didn’t oblige.

 

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It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, baby! Ok…maybe it was 5 o’clock here 😉

We had plans to go out to eat and play some euchre with another couple tonight, so when they got to our house, we all went out to Hyashi – a Japanese/sushi restaurant here in town.

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I started out with some Plum wine, while everyone else ordered Japanese beer.

 

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And for dinner, I got…

 

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Seaweed salad!… which was all right..

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Miso soup, which was bomb, and a mushroom vegetable roll, which was also bomb!

Also had a second glass of plum while I watched the chef grill it up for the men at the table:IMG_1594

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Bunk volcano..which apparently turns into a choo choo train when it moves? Choo choo!!

They also served us each a complimentary dessert of coffee ice cream, which was delicious!

It was around 9 or so when we got back to the crib, so we got out euchre faces on. The girls let the boys win (poor boy egos ;)) and it was tons of fun! Another couple ended up coming over to join in the fun, too. We stayed up past 2:00, so I needed another meal. Clearly.

I destroyed this new-that-day salsa and some organic blue chips.

 

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Best salsa EVER, by the way 🙂

So glad I only had one drink when we got back to the house, though. I knew I didn’t want to be hungover today, so I sipped on water the rest of the night. Good call!

Kim and Jason stayed the night, and after some reminiscing and chattin’ it up, it was time for some breakfast! My stomach was a-growlin’ and I knew just what to give it:

 

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Oats and coffee! If there ever were a perfect pair…

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The ushe – banana blueberry flax oats.

Now I’m on my second cup of coffee since the husband didn’t want any, and am about to go hit up the gym. Arms today! Then hopefully convincing the husband or some friends to go see Avatar. I still haven’t seen it and really just want to know what it’s all about.

If you stay up later than usual, do you typically feel the need to have a big snack or 4th meal? (whether accompanied by drinking or not;)) If I’ve been drinking, I’ll typically have a junky food (aka chips and salsa) before I go to bed, but if there’s no drinking involved, that fourth meal tends to be in the form of  a dessert 🙂

Have you seen Avatar? What’dya think?

Pseudo Sweetness

Hola Blogerinos!

Yesterday I had a scare. As you may know, I use soft paws on my kitty, Clarabelle, because we chose not to declaw her. Well, yesterday I was knocked off of my proud high horse.

I noticed she had shed one of the soft paws, because I saw a red nail cap on the floor. Soft Paw (are supposed) to work like this: trim kitty’s nails, glue on soft paw, let kitty shed soft paw, repeat. That worked fine and dandy until Sunday night.

I saw she had shed a cap, so I went to go replaced it, and found that one of her nails didn’t shed properly and it had curled around and down back into her paw pad. I was horrified, and about called the emergency vet, until Shane calmed me down. Clarabelle didn’t really exhibit any signs of pain, so I called first this morning and got her in:

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The doctor simply clipped all of her toenails (front and back – and really short – I was scared it was too short) and gave her some topical antibiotic for the bad toe and we were on our way. Oh, and he also recommended we discontinue Soft Paw use, which I already had planned. She doesn’t really scratch anything besides the rugs, and those are replaceable, so I think this is doable for sure.

Thankfully, the trip was much cheaper and much less painful than I expected. We now have a happy and healing kitty 🙂 Well, happy for Clarabelle lol

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I was able to go back to work since it didn’t take as long as I anticipated either, and then dropped by the gym to get in a 30 minute run, and then some leg, glutes, and ab work. Feeling fabulous and famished, I came straight home to make a recipe from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan for din.

Cocoa-Coco Chili

I wasn’t sure what to think before I started making it. Chocolate and coconut in chili? Hmmm… However, it did come out of this holy grail of a book, so I knew I was in good hands;)

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But I started chopping the veggies and making it anyway.

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and sauteeing them:

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Everyone in the hot tub:

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While everyone was sweatin’ it out, I was either going to eat my hand or grab a snack. Since I’m typing this post, you can assume I chose the latter:

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I followed the directions exactly besides adding some Meatless Gourmet to mine and ground beef to the husband’s portion. I forgot to take a picture of the meatless gourmet (actually, I thought I did, but it’s not on my camera.)

It turned out phenomenally!!

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The taste combination worked perfectly together, and I couldn’t even really detect the meatless gourmet (looks like ground beef) in the chili. It was sweet, savory, and warmed me up on this cold, rainy, icky day. Today looks to be the same way, so I’m glad I saved some for lunch leftovers:)

Pseudo Sweetness

In personal training class the other night, we started talking about diet soda, which led to talking about artificial sweeteners and how they, well, aren’t so good for the bod. My instructor had a couple articles on the topic, and I thought it was great information to share with you all.

One of the articles, from the journal, Behavioral Neuroscience, says artificial sweeteners may be hazardous to one’s weight loss attempts. Researches had given saccharin to rats, and found that those rats who consumed it gained more weight and fat than the rats who were just fed glucose. The researchers concluded “using artificial sweeteners in rats resulted in increased caloric intake, increased body weight and increased adiposity, as well as diminished calorie consumption.”

Basically, regardless of the decreased calories, the artificial sweeteners still caused weight gain. The article says the reason for this is the sweetener interferes with fundamental homeostatic, physiological processes. Pretty crazy, huh?

The second article was from  IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 5, Number 8, and while artificial sweeteners are helpful for diabetics, we must be picky with how we use them them. Just because these substances lower the overall calories from a food otherwise using sugar, definitely doesn’t mean increased nutritious benefits. The FDA, however sees them as “generally recognized as safe.” Ok, FDA… This article focuses on moderation while using these products.

Just thought you’d enjoy those little tidbits! I know I have a couple friends who are obsessed with the stuff and put it in and on everything, and I’m always a little leery of it.

Vegan for a Day!

I decided I’m going to join several bloggers out there who are going vegan for a day!Vegan 4 a Day is part of a Vegan 4 a Week challenge, and the Vegan 4 a Day is supposed to be this Thursday, however I’m going out for lunch, and have a busy day that day, so I’m doing it today! I’ll just have to not eat any yogurt, which will be hard for me.

I already had to dump out my coffee with half and half, and although dumping out animal products seems not very productive either, for the sake of the challenge, I did just that, and replaced it with this one made with almond milk instead:

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With a vegan breakfast?

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   Check! This badass breakfast cookie contains: oats, golden raisins, carob chips, hemp powder, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin puree, pecans, and a squirt of agave. And it’s glorious.

I’ll recap tomorrow of how the day went, and any problems I encountered! Do you want to go vegan for a day with me?

 

Do you use artificial sweeteners? I use stevia in my coffee, and I’m even still a little leery of that, just because it hasn’t been out for very long!