Because I'm Terrible at Scrapbooks
Veganism

Sunday

Eh so our boys lost and it was quite a heart breaker.

In fact, I don’t even want to talk about it.

Is that okay?

I will, however, share some pictures of the day- all taken when we thought we were going to kick butt, hence the smiles.

Game boy Boz

Lucy Bug

Sooner Babies

Waiting to start

Brr! OU ND

OU ND

Okay, let’s move on!

My extended weekend is already over.

Sad.

I never used to hate Sunday nights, but over the last couple of months I have found myself dreading them and feeling sadness about the week ahead!

Unfortunately, I think that makes me among the norm.

Today has been good. We got home so late last night that we slept in, which means we will end up having to watch church online to stay up with our series.

Will has been sick this weekend, so I have been playing nurse in hopes to get him functional for tomorrow.

I love nurturing people, but sadly my interpretation of nurture and Will’s interpretation are a little different.

I want to make Will healthy smoothies with all sorts of antioxidants and feel good food.

Will wants comfort food.

I want to make him tea and honey,

Will wants diet coke.

I think you see the conflict here.

I already promised today would be a splurge meal for me, so I followed through on the cheese fries.

You know, because nothing nurses a husband back to health like seasoned fries smothered in cheese, bacon, jalepenos, and ranch dressing.

...

I made myself a cleaner, vegan option that I really enjoyed. I cut a sweet potato into chunks and baked for about an hour and then topped with scallions, salsa, and the Daiya cheese I brought Friday.

This was my first try of vegan shredded cheese, and I was really pleased with the taste and melt! It was a little pricey, but I’m glad to know I have an enjoyable option anytime I want to have cheese with my meal instead of just going without.

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I ended up going to the gym this afternoon instead of this morning, which I generally don’t like to do.

I am best in the morning, free of competing demands and without much food in my stomach.

Today, however I ended up getting caught up in a few things around the house and did not go until well after lunch.

I ended up making my lunch for the week and doing a few loads of laundry (which I have yet to put away...). I also ironed my clothes for the week. I hate doing it on Sundays, but come Wednesday, when I want to sleep longer, I always thank myself.

Then I headed to the gym and worked my shoulders, which I love doing.

Shoulders are a great muscle group you can easily work at home, so I would be glad to share some ideas of things to do around the house.

After shoulder suicide, I walked on treadmill, incline between 11.0 and 13.0 for 30 minutes. I was pretty sweaty afterward!

Now I am home and avoiding laundry.

Shock.

Tomorrow is Monday Goal Day! I hope you have surprised yourself.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

No Work Friday Fun Day

Hi Hello!

I was battling use or lose time, so I gladly took today off.

I cannot convey to you how wonderfully necessary it was.

I feel so good, so much better!

If only I could actually do what I wanted to instead of what I have to do every day, right? Ha.

I got up super early as usual and saw Will off.

I went straight to the gym and worked my chest and triceps.

Today I focused on 12-15 reps per set and made them really slow and controlled, mindfully squeezing with each contraction. I felt really good about today’s workout.

After the weights, I did the Insanity Pure Cardio workout.

Excellent way to start the morning.

I followed up my workout with a protein smoothie complete with protein, almond milk, broccoli stems, celery, spinach, cilantro, frozen mixed fruit, and cayenne.

Basically every veggie I had lying around haha.

I vacuumed the house, cleaned part of the bathroom, and then got ready for the day.

I had lunch, then if was off to shop!

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Can I tell you how wonderful Walmart is on Friday mornings?

Wow.

I shop every Saturday, along with every other person in Oklahoma.

To shop on a week day?

I cannot convey how peaceful it was.

It was like seeing the store for the first time.

Did you know they sell individual travel packets of groud flax? Brilliant!

I noticed so much more than I usually do, simply because I was not jammed up against some granny and her giant riding cart of breakfast meats or three teenagers riding their carts up and down the aisle.

Heavenly.

Plus I did not have my dear Will rushing me.

He doesn’t love shopping like I do, and boy did I enjoy it today.

After shopping, it was time for more shopping!

My mom and I were out to make something she saw on Pinterest.

Before shopping for craft “stuff,” we first went to the health food store by Hobby Lobby.

Here’s a fun fact- I have NEVER stepped foot in a health food store.

Nope.

I think a common misconception about transitioning to a vegan lifestyle is that you have to do all sorts of special shopping.

Not true.

I have been able to get everything I’ve needed for my diet from Walmart with the exception of chia seeds and my protein- which I never bought from Walmart anyway. Vegan chocolate is probably the only “must” they don’t carry.

Obviously I would love to go to a health center all the time, but I’m pretty sure that would require Will and I getting second jobs. Why are those places so darned expensive?

I was like a kid in a freaking candy store. I could have spent hours there walking up and down the aisles, but I stuck to my list and got chia, nutritional yeast, and vegan cheese.

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I use the nutritional yeast in a lot of my veggie dishes. It makes a delicious cheesy sauce when mixed with milk. Will wanted me to have a splurge meal with him during Sunday football, so I am making him cheese fries, complete with all the fatty gunk like bacon, cheese, and ranch dressing.

I got myself a sweet potato and am going to roast it and top it with the Daiya cheese so Will and I can “share” in eating a splurge meal.

After the health food store, it was craft time!

My mom saw this idea where you decoupage scrapbook paper over various canvases for a multi-picture wall hanging.

The pictures she showed me were cute!

So off we went.

My mom looking for paint.

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I snapped a picture of us at the store, but I did it so fast my mom had her eyes closed and I didn’t notice until I got home. Bummer. So no pic of us shopping.

Here are some craft pictures though!
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The project was fun, but it was a total bust!

Sad face.

Air bubbles were everywhere and impossible to get out. So- it was fun, but nothing I would hang on the walls of my house. One is trash, the other I will take to my cube.

Trash! Look at those bubbles!

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Taking to the cube.

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Will is sick (which is bad guys, especially since our big OU game is tomorow), so I made him a totally trashy dessert of deliciousness in hopes it would perk him up a bit.

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To keep me out of it, I made myself a yummy vegan peanut butter pie. Totally natural, and only 5 ingredients- dates, walnuts, peanut butter, almond milk, and vanilla. I didn’t press the crust in enough, so it sort of crumbled on the side when I pulled out the yummy piece I just enjoyed. smile

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Now it’s time to relax on the couch with Will. Big game day tomorrow!

B-Love Family Meals & Goal Assessment

Here’s what’s on the B-Love family menu this week.

This week I’m starting the morning with my protein smoothie complete with almond milk, chocolate protein powder, spinach, cilantro, chia, flax, and half a cup of frozen berries. I might even throw in a celery stick if I’m feeling crazy.

Breakfast is a diced apple with 1/3 cup rolled oats. I eat this at work.

Lunch is a delicious quinoa salad I made Sunday, so it saves be a bunch of time during the week. It is a combination of a recipe I found online as well as tossing in some stuff I had on hand. It’s loaded with the following:

Quinoa
1 can black beans
1 small can of corn (1/2 a cup)
Tomato
2 peppers
1 cup chickpeas (these were leftovers)
Mango
Onion
Cilantro

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I add spinach and tofu to it, and it’s a great salad that lasts all week.

I’m having celery with vinaigrette in the early afternoon, followed by a cup of carrots and four Oh She Glows Rolos .

When I get home from work I’m usually hungry, so I will probably have a few carrots or celery while I’m cooking supper to keep me from overdoing it.

Dinner for Monday and Tuesday is this mushroom stroganoff, slightly modified to make it vegan.

I took a shot while cooking it last night. It was sort of fun to cook.
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I get bored of the same dinner routine over and over, so I like to find new things and change it up. Will, however, isn’t big into “changing it up.” He thought it was “okay,” but I definitely liked it better.

Dinner for Wednesday and Thursday is good old fashioned tacos. I’m making chicken in the crockpot for Will and will shred it up for his tacos, and then I’ll cook up some “beef” crumbles for myself. I’m not sure whether I will have mine with a wheat tortilla or on spinach as a salad. All meals will also have a veggie on the side.

Each night before bed is a protein shake. Will has his Reese’s bars, and if I really want something sweet I will have my Rolos.

What are you eating?

*****
Day One of my goals went okay, but not as great as I had hoped, what about you?

I am going to use every Monday to do a re-focus on the goals: how I did, what my plan for that week is, tips, meals, etc. I want to carry this through the new year and then perhaps revamp with a New Year-New Spring-New Me sort of goal to further my efforts.

So that’s the plan right now- Monday Goal Day.

Now- back to our discussion!

I had an optometrist appointment yesterday afternoon. They dilated my pupils so I ended up staying home the rest of the afternoon. Check out my giant pupil!

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So there I was, stuck at home.

Home.

Alone.

With Will’s Reese’s bars.

Talk about temptation!!!

Remember the scene in The Notebook when Noah and Allie are getting off the boat,

and it’s pouring down rain,

and she’s yelling at him for never writing her,

and he’s all, “I wrote you every day!”

And you literally hold your breath as you watch it because you can feel the sexual tension and know that any second he is going to grab her and kiss her?

Yeah… that’s basically what those ridiculous bars do to me.

Three bites later and I was utterly mad at myself for breaking my goal in one day! However, since this is my blog and I want to be transparent, I have to fess up.

There’s no way I could work from home! I hadn’t planned for the temptation of sitting at home all afternoon- obviously.

So here was my corrective action plan-

I immediately cut the bars up and put them in baggies.

One went in Will’s lunch today,

and the other two were for his dessert tonight.

Done.

No “evening out” rows that way.

That’s what always gets me- “evening out rows.” Can you believe me!?

Anyhow, I failed in one mere day and really beat myself up about it for a couple hours last night.

I don’t like food guilt and refuse to live with it anymore, especially because I eat like a freaking saint. So- I recognized I enjoyed a few bites of Will’s treat, and that’s okay, but acknowledged it wasn’t a “planned” cheat, which is where I veered off track.

I put a plan in place, and executed.

It happens. We’re human. Back on track today and it felt good. It felt right.

As for working out, I generally take Mondays off from the gym, so I stuck to my usual schedule. Today was my back and biceps day, so I did that.

I really focused on my motions today and really concentrated on feeling the muscle contraction.

It felt good to be back to my usual routine after my recovery week!

I made extra time to walk on the treadmill on a 9.0 incline today too. My plan is to work on getting my incline up, and then work on increasing the speed.

I also took a walk during lunch today which made me happy! The weather is great, and I enjoyed being outside.

Feels good and I hope you do too!

Let’s Get Our Butts in Gear

I am not sure I can accurately put into words just how excited I felt to head back to the weight room yesterday.

I liken the intensity to that of a child experiencing something visually stimulating, like a video game, for the very first time.

Overwhelming!! Where do I start? AHHHH!!!

It’s like you have all this pent up energy and don’t know what to do with it!

Thankfully, however, I focused and harnessed all this crazy power my working my quads in a meaningful and punishing way.

I always find that one mere week away from weights always brings me back slightly weaker. In reading articles on recovery, I have found it has different affects on different people. For some, they come back stronger, some stay the same, and some get weaker.

They beauty, however, is that regardless of how you are when you return, it is a new baseline. Something that completely shocks your muscles and forces them to respond. Without dulling you to sleep- it is a good thing! smile

I didn’t go too crazy, I kept it simple with leg presses, squats, leg extensions, and step-ups. I also worked in a few inner thigh exercises and abs in between sets.

Afterward, I did 15 treadmill minutes on 9.0 incline..

I read an interesting article in my Oxygen magazine yesterday on the way to the OU game that talked about GLUTES.

Which means that even if you hate working out, you want to read this.

More muscle= more calories burned, even when sitting on our rumps doing nothing.

Yay! Who doesn’t love that?

The article talked about how our butts are made to sustain a lot- so it takes a lot to get them to freaking shape up.

As if we did not already know this! smile

Since our glutes help us stand, walk, etc. they are primed and up to the challenge for sustaining themselves without much trouble- and without much hard work. Running long distances on a flat surface? Our butt says bring it on.

However, adjust the incline or run up a hill, and all of a sudden your glutes actually have to work!

The key to shaping glutes is to target those slow twitch muscles with things like walking/running on an incline, step-ups on benches, etc. things that force them to wake up already and work!

Like many women, my legs are my absolutely weakest area.

Unfortunately, I was genetically “blessed” with lots of junk in the trunk.

The article went on to say that the shape of your bum is as much as 30-50% genetic (Yikes!), however it also stressed that does not mean we are stuck with a flabby or flatty derriere.

Which should be encouraging to all of us!

Our butt is what we make it.

And I have pretty much just sort of ignored it.

Haha

How I can ignore a Mini Cooper hanging from my back, I have no idea- but I do! smile

Since it is a lagging and genetically weakened spot for me, I’ve given myself a “pass” when working this area.

I mean, I work it, twice a week in fact, but I have never really focused solely on my bum like I do my shoulders, abs, or biceps.

Probably because those are parts of my body that freaking do what I tell it to and respond well.

Sorry for the pun, but why are our butts such stubborn pains in the ass!?

It goes back to the genetics and slow twitch stuff we talked about.

And let’s not forget the importance of eating. Do you know how easily crap like sugar and caffeine can derail your butt?

Oh geez. The odds are sure against us, right?

But that doesn’t mean they have to be.

So here’s the deal.

We are coming upon the hibernation months.

You know- where we can cloak ourselves in big, warm, fuzzy sweaters and various other layers that hide our shape.

Oh- and let’s not forget Thanksgiving and Christmas are knocking on our door.

We are entering the most challenging time of the year- and our bums are sitting in their laziness waiting for the next piece of pecan pie that comes its way.

I am taking the challenge during this hibernation period NOT to fall into a rut. I committed last year and am committing again this year too. My plan is to use this time to work on my body even more, and to carve what I want it to be for the spring that will be here before we know it.

Because it will- you know that, right?

So look-

I do not care where you are in your health journey.

Whether you are a marathoner that never hits the weights,

a big meathead like me (haha),

someone that considers walking to the mailbox a workout,

or somewhere in between.

Let’s get our butts in gear and take care of ourselves and the life God gave us.

That means proper nutrition, rest, and exercise.

It doesn’t mean Rome will be built in a day. By no means do I plan on running the high school bleachers every single day of the week.

But I sure am going to start incorporating similar training into my workouts and really start to take hold of the fact that I am in control of my body and health and how I can and want to look.

I have always felt that way, with the exception of some of those lagging body parts that make be especially self-conscious. Instead of ignoring the fact that the cellulite exists, why not do what I can to help reduce it? I do it with everything else in my life, so why do my insecurities get a pass, right?

They shouldn’t.

So I am going to do this and I encourage you to do the same. I will be here along the way with my weekly meals, workout ideas for home and the gym, and encouragement. Next week I’ll map out the week ahead and some helpful pointers.

As for this week, start with one thing this week with food, such as having at lesst one veggie with each meal, as well as one thing with fitness, such as a walk around the block.

This week I am going to stay out of Will’s Reese’s bars (so so so hard not to have a tiny bite here and there).

For fitness, I am going to stick to my normal workout routine but am going to walk around my building during lunch at least twice this week. I am also going to take two brisk walks on the treadmill on a steep incline.

That’s my challenge and its on my blog so I gotta do it! Obviously I will keep you apprised of my progress.

Here’s to a healthy and productive week full of good choices.

Now quick sitting there reading this and get your butt in gear! What changes are you going to make?

“Sinful” Sabbath

The morning started with dessert.

Because, really, there is no better way to start the morning than that, right?

I find I am least tempted to consume a roll of cookie dough in the morning.

Therefore, it is safest for me to make any kind of trashy delicious dessert for Will under the influence of a morning stupor.

Make the exact same dessert at 2 in the afternoon? And I’m liable not to make it at all because I’ve eaten half the ingredients.

I made Will these.

Here’s a shot halfway through the process-

Trashy deliciousness

Oh, and let me be completely transparent.

I am a warm-blooded hormonal woman, so naturally I had to try some of this “chemical crap storm.”

And, being transparent again, it was freaking wonderful.

With that sort of temptation around I knew even my daily DONT EAT A BROWNIE reminder was not going to work.

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So I opted to make myself something to ensure I only enjoyed a taste of his dessert today and not half the pan in two hours.

So I made these!

They are Rolo knockoffs using dates, natural peanut butter, and dark chocolate. The only bummer is that I did not go to the health food store this weekend to get vegan chocolate and just got “regular” dark chocolate from Walmart instead. So… not vegan.  Boo.

Rolos!

Nonetheless, they are delicious and just what I needed to STAY THE HECK OUT OF THE AMAZING REECES CONCOCTION.

Sorry for the yelling…

After my chocolate-y morning it was time to break the recovery week streak!

Then home to prep my food for the week and do chores… and finally put away the four loads of accumulating laundry.

Seriously!? How do two people generate so much- and why do I wait until the weekend to do it all?

Silliness.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I am about to make these for dinner (I’ll try to remember to take a picture. They are delicious!) and rest up for a long week.

More to come! 

Friday in Pictures

Hi Friends!

Without further ado, here is my day in pictures!

I would take a picture of just how thrilled I am to wake up early, but since that’s a lie, I opted to take one of my Halloweenies instead!

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Let’s feed the babies!!

Rocky moved his face when I took the picture, hence the crazy scary smear.

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And the littles:

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Yummy breakfast!

Then I help get Will put the door. I make his lunch-

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Very nutritious (haha)!

Don’t forget the chips.

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And his drink.

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And then the babies and I say goodbye to Will.

Typically I go to the gym afterward, but since this is a recovery week I opted to do the Insanity Max Recovery workout.

Say hi to Shaun T!

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Afterward I drink my shake.

Protein, almond milk, spinach, frozen fruit, chia, and flax. So so good.

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Then I read my Bible. I feel like my day goes so much better when I give it to God.

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Then I get ready!

It’s exfoliation Friday! I exfoliate weekly from head to toe to keep my skin soft.

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Yay for casual Fridays! We can wear jeans on Fridays, and during football and Thunder season there’s more leeway for allowing team shirts too, so I opted to take full advantage of it!

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Then I pack up my food (check out my huge mug!),

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Put the babies in their kennel,

Check to make sure I unplugged my straightener

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And go!

On the way to work this morning some lady passed me on a double lined country road (to which of course, I honked since it was dangerous) and she gave me the bird!

I would have captured this mean silver Nissan lady with my camera, but obviously I was driving and couldn’t do so.

What is it with people flipping me off that totally hurts my feelings?!

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Work…

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Breakfast. As I mentioned earlier this week, I am cleaning out the cabinets and getting rid of all our food. That means today’s meals were not excatly usual.
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More work…

Lunch!

I usually stay at work for lunch, but today I went home to see P and Layla! Best Friday lunch decision.

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My cleaning out the cabinet lunch consisted of spinach, chickpeas, edamame, and tofu.

Back to work, very reluctantly this time. I loved seeing my Layla bug!

Snack!

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More work…

Snack! 100 calorie popcorn. I found these at the back of the cabinet and as luck would have it, they expire this month. Ha good thing we did a clean the pantry overhaul.

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With my second cup of green tea of the day.
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Finally going home time! YAY it is Friday and we made it!

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First order of business? Two tablespoons of peanut butter straight from the jar.

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Hello baby ones! Here’s Bozzy without his cone.

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After Will and I got home we took the doggies in a ride in the car, which they love.

Pups

Will and I usually go out on Fridays, but this morning we decided to keep it low key since we have literally over a dozen things on the DVR we need to clear! So-

We went to KFC and got Will dinner, then headed to Subway and I got a veggie sub.

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We watched some TV,

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I snuggled my Bug,

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And spent time with Will.

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My Friday was not too shabby. I am looking forward to the weekend and going grocery shopping among everything else! smile

Recover week ends too. Woo hoo! I can’t wait to hit the gym.

Game Day Recap

Hello all!
I hope you had a wonderful weekend and your Monday was bearable (hey, sometimes that’s all you can ask for, right?).

My weekend was wonderful, and much needed. It was rough coming in today, even with just taking one day off.

Plus last night ended with the below which left me feeling really gross and sick to my stomach.

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Yes- that is a M&M wrapper AND a peanut butter Snickers wrapper.

Perhaps I should back up a little.

Saturday was so fun. Victories are always fun, and then when it’s a total butt-kicking? All the more fun. Here are a few pics from the day:

Corny Dog Time!
Corny dog time

Will was thrilled I took this one:

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Pre Game
Pre game

Unhook Em!
Unhook Em

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Victory!
Victory

I stuck to my plan all day Saturday with the exception of half an order of curly fries at the fair to spend the last of our tickets. Will indulged in not one, but two corny dogs and also got some fried cheese and overpriced beer.  We did not stick around to try anything “weird,” though I did see a sign for chicken fried bacon?

What does that even mean?

Anyway, I did not really count the fries as my weekend “splurge.”

After the game we went to On The Border for dinner. They totally changed their menu, which bummed me out. Apparently the one we went to was a test store or something like that, and they were trying out their new menu there, and I was not very impressed. They took off the vegetable fajitas, though I’m sure they would have been fine with making them if I had asked. Instead I opted to go with another vegan option.

I got their vegetable tacos (I forget the exact name). It was their sautéed veggies in two corn tortillas with black beans. It was fine, but next time I will definitely ask for the vegetable fajitas.

After dinner we went back to the hotel and Will fell asleep and I went down to the gym and worked my shoulders.

So I’m pretty sure my weights back home are slightly lighter than the weights I used at the hotel gym. I know you think I am crazy, but hear me out.

My gym is going downhill (which is a whole other story). For two weeks this past July, the height of summer, the AC was broken in the gym and the dumb bells started to sort of melt and stick to the
rack. Take a look at the 85 pounders:
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See? Not crazy. In fact, the 85s actually melted and goop pooled underneath one of them.

I did not really think the integrity of some of the lighter weight had been compromised

Can we please just stop for a second and laugh at the above sentence? Who even talks like that?

Stupid.

Anyway, I did not really think the integrity of some of the lighter weight had been compromised (haha).

Apparently it had. I am able to shoulder press 35 pounds without much trouble. In fact, I was so excited (YES EXCITED! THRILLED! STOKED! JAZZED! Wait. Not jazzed. I need to remove that from my vocabulary. It sounds so…old) because Saturday night was the night I was going to move up to 40 pound dumb bell presses.

Only I thought I was going to die.

The 35 pounders were way tougher than they usually were, too! So that pretty much confirmed reconfirmed my gym sucks and as soon as my membership comes up for renewal, in a freaking YEAR, I am going to switch.

After my workout I showered and hit the hay. Before 10. Wild and crazy over here.

Yesterday we headed out around 9, along with all the other Oklahomans on their way home too. There was lots of moving traffic the whole way back.

I ate more than I would have liked throughout the day, but all healthy food so I cut myself a little slack. I got home and unpacked and did a few loads of laundry- and even put all but one and a half of the loads away. Success! Haha

I made a quick trip to the store and grabbed a whopping 7 things for the entire week. That alone is a huge feat for me. I was very tempted to buy my normal stuff, but I figured this week would be a good one to “clean out the coffers” and eat up some of the stuff we need to use.

After that I took a nice walk with P and enjoyed the beautiful day.

And then came home to my cheat(s) of the weekend- which consisted of the previously discussed chocolate extravaganza.

Not really sure what prompted the second splurge, considering the first was plenty, but hey, it happened.

So this week it is Cleaning The Coffers October Week!

Here’s what’s on the menu:

-Green Monster protein shakes for breakfast (I picked up spinach and almond milk yesterday, and had frozen fruit and protein already on hand)

-The last of my apples w/1/3 cup oats for my mid-morning snack

-Tofu w/various frozen veggies I’ve had in the back of my freezer for a few days weeks now

-Carrots and smashed avocado for afternoon snack

-Almonds for another afternoon snack

And then dinner… tonight Will had McDonald’s to play Monopoly one last time.

Yeah, I don’t get it either.

And I had broccoli with a homemade “cheese” sauce using nutritional yeast and almond milk as well as some marinated tofu.

We’ve had some frozen burgers Will has needed to use for a while now, so tomorrow we are going to grill those as well as my veggie burgers, so that will last us through Wednesday. Then Thursday? Hopefully by then my coffers will be empty, and at that point I have no idea what we will do because I am not going to go to the store until Saturday morning, darn it! No deviations from the weekly schedule!

So there you have it. We are all caught up on the weekend! More to come tomorrow!

Game Day Morning Chat

Good morning friends!!

It is game day and fair day!!

We have a loooong train ride to the fair so I hope to post again to pass the time, but just incase I don’t, I know you are reeling to know all about my exciting morning, yes? Haha

Yesterday went as planned which always makes me happy. I ate my premade lunch, snacked on what I brought and ended the night with a delicious dinner at Ruth’s Chris. I ended up getting the vegetable plate and had their broiled tomatoes, asparagus, and steamed spinach. They were all so tasty! I was pleased with my selections. 

I love when I stick to my plan. What was NOT planned (yet somehow inevitable when I am responsible for directions) was the argument down to Dallas. Largely due to the fact that I got us lost. Multiple times. What?

Thankfully we made it, largely (read: totally) impart to Will. We are happily married but I’m positive we would kill each other on the Amazing Race.

Thank God marriage success isn’t measured by road trips.

Or is it? wink

No workout this morning, which was planned. I pre made my green monsters for Saturday and Sunday so I had one of those and will have a couple teeny apples before we get to the fair. I also brought a a couple more tiny apples, a package of carrots, almonds, and 8 mini homemade protein oatmeal bites. My plan if at all possible is not to eat at the fair unless there’s something I really want to enjoy, like their super delicious non vegan cinnamon rolls. I would prefer, though, to hold out for something else later. So hopefully my snacks will keep me going until we are done.

In the past I would typically maul old grannies and yell at cute curly haired babies in order to push my way though the giant corny dog line (yep, at the Texas state fair they are not just corn dogs, they are corn-y dogs). However, this year the thought of eating a corny dog downright freaks me out a little.

I will take lots of pictures and hopefully we will be smiling in them because of a victory!

More to come soon!!

Boomer!

The Health Evolution Part Three: Herbivore… or Something Like It

It has been a while since I settled in and shared some more about how I moved from gym junkie that make a few changes and started to eat less crap, to gym junkie that continued to make changes to my diet, and finally to where I am today. I thought now was a good time to get back to it and share a little more.

Last year I was buying 66 eggs a week.

66 eggs a week people

How INSANE does that sound, right!?!

Pretty much every week the person checking us out at the store would make a joke about the eggs.

BECAUSE REALLY, WHO IN THE WORLD IS BUYING 4 CARTONS OF EGGS UNLESS THEY ARE THE DUGGAR FAMILY?!

I would have five scrambled egg whites for breakfast as well as one whole egg. So I was averaging about 42 eggs a week just for breakfast. That did not count any other eggs I would consume cooking, if I ate them hard boiled, etc. So on a weekly basis I was eating at least 42 eggs- at least.

I was also going through ridiculous amounts of canned tuna and various other types of protein.

But can we please go back to the fact that every freaking week for a year I would buy 62 eggs?!

Looking back now I feel sort of embarrassed typing that.

Not that it’s “bad” I guess… but it just seems so...crazy.

I had my head so deep in the sand, and all I could think about was protein, protein, protein.

Oh geez… this post could easily be broken into about ten separate ones, but I realize that would probably make you all want to drown yourselves in egg yolks! For that reason we will power through and sort of glaze over some of the deep details for now. I’m sure at some point we will revisit these topics again one day. No need to try to cram everything into one post. Besides, my mind is going in a million directions as I recall last year, so I am most certain to miss something.

Anyway, in my part two post I mentioned I got totally serious about my diet last year. I had the working out part down pat, however to see results so much of it comes down to diet. And I was tired of putting in the work and not seeing any results, so I committed to the diet part in 2011.

And it was a good year.

While I do think I probably harmed my body in some ways during that time, I am most definitely thankful for the time too in some ways. For one, it totally confirmed how important what you eat plays into how you look. And two, it taught me discipline, how to indulge with grace (something I plan to talk about later in a later post), and how to plan my meals and prepare then in advance to avoid pitfalls.

For that I am thankful.

However the amount of fat and cholesterol and protein I was getting was way too much for my body to handle, looking back.

Protein is rough to digest, and it can really take its toll on the body if you are overdoing it. I felt sluggish- but I looked good!

How silly.

I did still have somewhat of a balance, I suppose… but not nearly the balance I should have. I cut out most fruit in my diet and limited a lot of my carbs. I would still eat slow digesting healthy carbs sometimes, but they were much more limited than they are now.I found myself always craving carbs. I wanted them badly, and when I would indulge it was always bread related. I remember on at least two occasions last year literally buying an entire loaf of Orowheat Delightful Bread and consuming the entire loaf- THE ENTIRE LOAF- on a Sunday.

That is not normal! Even for a “cheat meal.”

I felt so embarrassed and did not want Will to know I had done it, because I realized how utterly “bad” I had just eaten. I hated living with food guilt.Especially binge food guilt.

How did I not see how much I was depriving myself?

I am being a little too hard on myself, I suppose. I really did clean up my diet so very much and did eat so much healthier than I ever did before. However, as you can see, some pretty big gaps existed.

Last Christmas Will and I took another trip to our beloved Minneapolis and Green Bay, where we spent past holidays as we flew in from Kuwait on route home. During the trip, I managed to eat clean almost the entire time, being sure to enjoy certain treats I really wanted. For example, on the last day of vacation not only did I have my own piece of Perkins’ peanut butter pie, but I also got one of their giant pumpkin muffins with some sort of delicious frosting and had it soon thereafter!

It was that day, as we flew back home, that I purchased a copy of Skinny Bitch. Yeah, yeah, I know. Rude title, but hey- that’s the name of the book and it really did have an instrumental role in changing what I ate.

I had no idea what the book was about when I bought it. I just knew it was a best seller and that many women were talking about it.

I’m sure you can imagine my surprise when I opened it up to see it was a book about not eating meat! And not only that- but not eating any animal products!

A vegan lifestyle. Are you granola eating hippies kidding me!?!

When I got to the “decomposing rotting flesh diet” chapter I totally rolled my eyes. While I am most definitely not an advocate of Atkins, I think we all know my hands were not clean on the mass protein consumption topic, yes?

The book seriously opened my eyes to so much. How little the government does to protect us from what we put in our mouths and in our family’s mouths, especially when it comes to animal products. How rampant disease and pesticides and chemical crap storms are in the majority of what we eat. Let’s not even get into the whole sugar and artificial sweeteners discussion! Americans eat some pretty scary stuff, people, and the FDA and big business could care less.Not only that, but some of the stories I read of how animals are treated were downright horrifying, even to the most carnivorous carnivores.

While there were certain elements of the book I did not agree with, overall I really appreciated the perspective they offered. Yes, even a carnivore like me appreciated the book. In fact, I appreciated it so much that I decided to take a 30 day vegan challenge.

Yes, on January 1st I parted ways with all my 62 eggs. And I have not purchased a single carton since (unless I needed some for Will- and as you can imagine, I only bought a dozen as opposed to three million).

I know a lot of people that slowly transition into a vegan diet. There are many people that are vegetarians for years before they take the plunge into veganism. However, for the most part I dived right in. The only thing I did not part ways with (and still have not yet parted ways with… which maybe we will discuss down the road) is my protein powder. Yeah, yeah I know- how can I justify having that in my diet but no other products? Yeah I hear you. But I’m not a granola eating hippie, I am a health conscious person that made the decision to eliminate most animal products from my diet. Plus I do not have to justify what I eat to anyone, so there! haha

The 30 day challenge came so easily for me. By now I was a pro at meal planning, so I mapped out a vegan friendly meal plan. The 30 days came and went and it was not much of a challenge at all.

So I decided to take another 30 day challenge. Sixty days of no meat or animal products! I also began to read and research more and really open my eyes to the pros and cons of any decision I would make. I also purchased Food Revolution, another instrumental book in further confirming my decision to make the transition to a primarily plant-based diet.

And at the end of my 60 days, I just continued onward and at that point I had begun to really embrace a primarily vegan diet. It came so easy.

I began to eat again. Like really eat. To enjoy food and not to stress about getting enough protein or whether I “could” or “couldn’t” have that piece of fruit, of if something was “bad.” I just ate. And was filled, and felt so much better. So much more satisfied. So much healthier. Trust me, I still had slip-ups along the way, and I always make sure I take time to indulge so I don’t go crazy. However, I noticed my days of eating entire loaves of bread or half a pan of brownies in an afternoon were vastly minimized. I was eating real food, eating it often, and satisfying my desires in a much healthier way. My food guilt was virtually nonexistent.

I finally realized I am not Ava Cowan or Nicole Wilkins or so many of the other beautiful, strong women I look up to who devote their entire lives to training for bodybuilding competitions. While I could certainly use those girls for inspiration, I could not use them as my benchmark. I had to use myself as the measuring stick. 

I have absolutely never been a fan of the scale. I never, ever weigh myself. Ever. No really guys- EVER. I know the scale is a polarizing topic. So many women weigh regularly, while others never do. I just had to decide a long time ago that weight is a number. I am most certainly heavier than I was numbers wise than the day I got married. However I am still the same clothing size. See? Just a number. There is so much more that goes into body composition than just a number on the scale.

We are so much more than that, and are worth so much more than that.

I never weighed myself before I made the transition to veganism (though I sure would have loved to have taken my cholesterol!), but I do know my clothes started to fit better and that I had more energy than I ever did eating a million eggs a week (and yes, I realize that was extreme and that most people do not do that).

While I can’t believe the whole freaking loaf of bread incident didn’t lead me to this conclusion, I also realized I am a volume eater. I like having lots to eat, plus I am hungry a lot because of intense workouts. This lifestyle is a great fit for me because I can fill up on copious amounts of low calorie, water and fiber rich foods for so much less than other snacks. I finally allowed myself to just freaking eat. And to enjoy it, and not to stress about what was “bad” and “good.”

I do, however, still count my calories. However I do not have to get to a certain number each day. I count to make sure I do not overdo it, and as a volume eater that can be easy sometimes! The beautiful thing about this change is that I feel so much more satiated. Three hundred calories of berries or fiber-rich veggies go so much farther than a three hundred calorie coffee shop muffin (if you can even find one for that).

I think what I find the most interesting was that I was able to maintain my same muscle throughout the process. yes, I realize the whey is a contributing factor, but it is not the only factor. That was the biggest concern for me when I decided to adopt this lifestyle- how would it fit into my weight lifting passion?

And the answer is, totally fine.

In fact, in most ways it has been better because it has allowed me to eat more for less.I am sure I will discuss weight training and a vegan diet at some point down the road, but not today.

I just feel a lot more liberty in my decision. I have more freedom to eat what I want, and have found it works really well for me. Yes, I realize a primarily vegan diet may not be the ideal choice for everyone, but it is a good one for me.

So if you are wondering how Will has fared? Will has been super supportive, mainly because I have not forced this decision on him. He is supportive of me and where we go out to eat, for example, because they may offer a healthier option. He is also supportive of me when family has asked why I have decided to follow this path, always complimenting my dedication and commitment to health. I do hope in time Will is more open to making healthier food choices, but he is just not there yet.

One good thing, however, is that he has been eating much healthier dinners since I cook for both of us. I still make us the same meals, only once or twice a week I will add meat to whatever Will has, while I will go meatless. That was a compromise we struck, and Will has been fine with the meatless meals a few times a week.

I am still trying to modify recipes and try different things in hopes that he will like them better, but let’s be honest- a lot of time “fake food” does taste better to someone that is not used to a palate of wholesome foods. For example, yesterday I made a cleaned up version of peanut butter pie that had no added sugars, and Will absolutely hated it. Baby steps I suppose! I have, however, continued to make him his usual favorite indulgences but substitute the oil and eggs for other healthier options. That alone is a bit of a victory! I realize not everyone is going to be as passionate about health as I am, and so I am fine with the small steps Will has agreed to in tolerance of my lifestyle.

I think I am going to knock his socks off in a couple weeks, though! He is convinced there is no such thing as a good vegan baked good item. So I am going to treat him to Green Goodies to give him hope that they do in fact exist. smile

I will be sure to let you all know how it goes.

So there, that’s how I got to where I am today. I would challenge each of you to make a tiny change and just do a Meatless Monday meal each week. I bet you won’t even miss the meat for that one meal. And if you do? There are some pretty great fake meat options out there now that help alleviate the need to have meat at each meal.

Thanks for listening. It felt good to get this out there and admit that food has been a struggle in my life and how good it feels not to have it power over me.

If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them!

Alright, that’s all for now (haha, as if I wrote just a few paragraphs). Now I have to plan my Texas Fair survival guide!

Have a good rest of the weekend.

And Boomer! smile

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About

brittny I'm B-Love. Lover of God, my husband Will, my doggies, OU football, weight training, plyometrics healthy eating (mostly!), peanut butter, and all things health related. Buckle up and get ready for my constant embarrassing moments, health and fitness tips,and my effort to rely on Christ while living life in the real world. Follow me on Feedly! Sign up for monthly emails at blove@theblovelife.com!


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