You look like a ginger, but you have brown hair. We'll call you cinnamon.

You look like a ginger, but you have brown hair. We'll call you cinnamon.
You look like a ginger, but you have brown hair. We'll call you cinnEMon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"It's unbelievable how good I feel"

-Tony Gonzalez

"It's unbelievable how good I feel," Gonzalez said. "Seriously, my recovery is so much better than it's ever been, and my endurance is tremendous. The best part is that during games I really don't get tired. I have more focus, too. I'm even staying awake in meetings."

With my Fantasy Football Draft looming ahead of me, and all the excitement of a new NFL season, I wanted to dedicate a blog to Tony Gonzalez. The (almost) vegan football player. He's a vegan football player, breaking records for his position as a tight end for touchdowns and career interceptions.

I have to agree with his quote above. In the past 24 days I feel more energetic, my work outs last longer and stronger, and I am able to stay more focused and alert at work. I've always known that my body does better on a plant based diet, and these past 24 days have proved that. I don't need dairy or meat for protein,  I don't need to eat cheese on my salad. I can do things and eat a vegan diet and not miss out.

If a professional football player can rock a vegan diet, why can't you? I almost feel lighter on my feet when doing cardio. I don't feel sluggish during workouts. I really feel healthier and stronger all around. I've been getting plenty of protein. Yes, I do have brown rice protein powder in my oat bran in the morning for extra protein, but yesterday, I was 20+ grams over my "recommended" amount of protein, so I didn't need that protein powder to hit that amount.

Do you know of any other vegan athletes? Have they said any comments about being a vegan athlete that you can relate to?


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mama Peas Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Mama Peas Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I made Mama Peas Chocolate Chip Banana Bread to bring in for my co-workers this morning. Everyone LOOOOVED the bread, and it disappeared faster than LuLu could sing a song about pickles.

In my attempt to Earth Balance aka Butter everyone up before our Fantasy Football Draft this week I decided to bring in some vegan baked goods. I also wanted to show my co-workers how delicious vegan baked goods can be. Win-win!!

I learned that meat eaters see/hear the word vegan and assume it tastes gross. If you wait to tell them it is vegan after they say how delicious it is they are shocked that it was vegan, and instantly impressed. I didn't tell anyone it was vegan until after they raved about how good it was. I had mentioned the other day I was going to bake some vegan banana bread, and they all said they thought it would be gross, and to make "normal" banana bread. Yet they all could not stop talking about how good it was. Point proven, vegan is delicious.

Also, one of my friends commented on a picture I put on Facebook. She said, "Yuck, that sounds gross". Yet I know she likes chocolate, and I know she likes banana bread. I talked to her about it and she said it was because it was vegan, so it must be gross. I'm going to bring her some this weekend and prove her wrong, too.

Do you have friends, family, co-workers who assume a food is gross because it is vegan? What are their reactions to trying it?


Thursday, August 18, 2011

"A good friend is cheaper than therapy."

~Author Unknown

Right? Right! Right?

I have one friend in particular that I can literally tell everything, too. Her and I have a special bond, we both deal with some of the same mental hurdles. She is someone I tell things to, that I would never, ever, in a million years tell anyone else. Not only can I tell her these things, but we can have a serious discussion about the topic at hand. Sharing stories, sharing difficulties, struggles, and more importantly, how we overcame them.

We are able to have this discussion, about things we would be embarrassed to share with the world, but with no judgment, only sympathy. Having her has made a world of difference. I need that outlet to talk to someone. I need to talk to someone that knows exactly how I feel. Sometimes, just calling her in a time of need, I won’t even need to discuss what is bothering me, but she understand and is able to talk about something to get me to laugh.

Sometimes, I think she just knows when I need her. Yesterday for example, I was tired all day, I was going home to an empty house because my roommates were gone for the evening, usually this leads to a bad evening. I hadn’t really thought about it. But it was lingering in the back of my mind. At lunch time, I saw I had a text from her. Let’s meet at 8:30 for tea tonight. After I got home from work, I was sitting on the couch eating dinner, and I texted her to say I was going to stay home, this was at about 7:45. Just 15 minutes later I was like no, I need to see her,  if not, tonight is going to suck. As I texted her to say never mind I am coming, she texted me to ask me again to go. So I went, we gossiped, and laughed, and talked serious for a few minutes. Then I went home, and went to bed happy. It was just what I needed.

Do you have a good friend that you have “therapy” sessions with? Someone that just seems to know when you need them, or what to hear?


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


-David Bowie

One of my goals is to start making small changes each day. As all these little changes add up, and become habit, I know I will be healthier all around. It is easier to make a bunch of little changes and have them all add up, than it is to make one drastic change. The easier it is, the likelier it is to stick. Some of the changes that I have begun to make over the past few weeks are really starting to add up, but it isn’t a burden, because I am only changing one or two things at a time.

In the past 17 days I have made the following small changes from where I was on July 31:

-Went from vegetarian to giving up dairy (eggs, cheese, milk, etc)
-Continued on the quest to vegan, checking ingredients for “animal” ingredients, avoiding those products
-Added more yoga during the week, 2 to 4 classes, instead of 0-1
-Tracking what food/beverages consumed, and workouts
-Making an effort to drink more water
-Brought back morning, instead of evening workouts, which is leading to earlier bed times

Things I am starting to work on this month:

-Cutting out chemicals (sometimes I put Splenda in my tea, and I consider this a chemical, not any sort of food)
-Cut out added sugar
-Cut out non-real ingredients
-Reading about and researching veganism

Things I plan to work on in the next couple months:

-Strength training. I recently purchased the New Rules of Lifting for Women, I need a plan. When I do strength train, it is always the same things.
-Getting better at meal planning/packing variety of lunches. I pack breakfast and lunch every night. But I want to do more prep for packed meals, and for dinners at home.

If I had tried to make all these changes in one day, or one week, I do not think they all would have stuck. It would have been too much to handle. The way I have broken it down, I am able to make the change, make it a habit, and then make another change. It seems to be working for me.

What are some changes you have made, or want to make for your health? Do you slowly bring changes into your life, or do it all at once? Any advice on the changes I am currently working on?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"Water is the only drink for a wise man."

-Henry David Thoreau

I need to drink more water. Plain and simple. I know I need to, I know it’s good for me. I carry around a 32 oz Nalgene around with me at all times with clean water in it. Yet, I know I am still not drinking enough. Yesterday, even though I worked out in the morning and was a sweaty beast, I still did not drink any water while at work. I did drink about 36 oz of Allegro Afternoon Lift tea, but no straight up water. After work I only drank about 16 oz of sparkling water. I used to drink about 100 oz of water a day, plus a couple cups of tea.

I am going to commit myself to drinking more. My goals are to drink 64 oz of water while at work, I work from about 7:30 to 5:30 every day, and 32 oz after work. I will also still be drinking a couple cups of tea a day, and possibly more water while working out.

I know that drinking more water makes me feel better. I know that sometimes I have been thirsty, but confused it with hunger, which led to eating more than I needed, which made me feel uncomfortably full. Hydration is important, so I am going to make sure to hop back on the healthy bandwagon and drink up.

Lately, I cannot say I am proud of my water consumption. Although, I can pride myself on the fact that I do not consume soda, diet soda, or any other unnatural beverage. Occasionally I will have a glass of beer, wine, or liquor (visit to see if you are drinking vegan friendly choices). Sometimes I may have fresh juice, like the other day when my friend hosted brunch in her home and used her juicer to make us apple, lemon, ginger juice. I may drink coconut water every once in awhile, and on a daily basis I do consume my beverage weakness of hot tea or coffee, sans any add ins of sweetener or milk/milk alternatives.

For the most part I agree with Henry David Thoreau, that “Water is the only drink for a wise man”, but I do think that some of my other beverage choices are acceptable as long as enough water is also consumed. Water is definitely the most wise drink choice, but a mug or tea of tea throughout the day also has its benefits. The occasional fresh juice, even if the whole fruit is more nutritional, is an enjoyable but still healthy choice. And an occasional glass of wine won’t kill me.

What are your hydration tips? How much water do you consume each day? Do you drink only water, or what are your beverage choices?


Monday, August 15, 2011

"Make it Work"

-Tim Gunn

The other day I escaped the city with a couple of my girlfriends to go stay with another friend and her family on the cape. The two girls I was driving down with are vegetarian, and I am dabbling in veganism. The family we were visiting is neither vegan or vegetarian. Perfectly acceptable. I went prepared. I knew we would only be there for about 24 hours. I packed some protein powder, oat bran, peanut butter, nuts, and Larabars. I knew there would be a bounty of fruits, veggies, and other whole grains for me to work with there.

I ate my staple breakfast at home. Oat bran, Vega chai, banana and peanut butter. Lunch went smooth. We had a “snack” lunch. Lots of fruit was consumed, as well as veggies, hummus, and vegan pita chips. Breakfast and lunch were basically same the next day as well. Happy belly, happy taste buds, all animal free.

We decided to go out to dinner. Our friend mentioned the restaurants would have limited vegetarian options, and very limited vegan. I told her not to worry, I could make it work. In fact, I feel like I have been saying that a lot lately when friends are concerned with dinner plans, or baby showers. “What will you eat?” “Can you eat this?” To me, I do not want to be an inconvenience, and don’t expect them to go out of their way to provide an option for just me. I tell them, “I’ll make it work.” And I do. Purse snacks are key for someone with dietary restrictions in a world that doesn’t provide us the options we desire.

At dinner I had a glass of red wine, thanks to and my smart phone for confirming it was a vegan friendly choice. I passed on the bruschetta appetizer, although I did steal some of the tomatoes from the side of the plate. I was hungry, they were red and juicy. They may have touched cheese, but I didn’t eat the cheese, I feel like that is fair. I made it work. I browsed the menu, fish, steak, chicken…oh wait, portabella mushroom….contains butter and cheese, never mind. I talked with the waitress, who was wonderful. Friendly and completely understanding. I asked if she had any suggestions. She said she could do steamed veggies without butter, and maybe they could alter one of the salads. I ordered a mango, walnut, goat cheese salad, hold the goat cheese, dressing on the side and a side of steamed veggies, no butter.

My salad came out, bib lettuce and three thin slices of mango. The side of veggies was bountiful with broccoli, carrots, green beans, no butter. The waitress informed me that the walnuts were candied and contained butter and sugar. I was a little bummed, but really pleased with the service she provided. Luckily I keep my purse snacks with me at all times. I pulled out some natural walnuts and almonds and plopped those on the salad. I added my veggies to the top. Ignored the dressing on the side. And voila, a delicious “make it work” vegan salad.

The food consumed was not what made this a special night though. The time with my girlfriends, laughing, talking, having a great time, was way more important than any of the food or drink that was or was not consumed. It was a successful evening all around. I would much rather go out, eat a “make it work” dinner and having special time with my friends than stay at home alone and make a 5 star vegan meal.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Why don't you forget them and do something for yourself?

-Uptown Girls

Every once in awhile you need to do something for yourself. I'm the kind of person that aims to please others. All of my actions are based on what I think other people expect or want from me. Ask me to come into work early, I'll be there, ask me to work late, I'll stay...for no overtime pay. Expect me to attend a get together on a Friday night after a 70 hour work week when all I want to do is go home and go to bed, I'll be there with a fruit platter.

Every once in awhile you need to do something for yourself. Today I am doing something for myself.I am forgetting everyone today, forgetting their expectations, or at least trying to, and doing something for myself today. My friends had to encourage me to do it, so maybe I am doing it to fulfill their expectations.At least I am forgetting the others today.

Do something for yourself today.

Namaste, have a great day.