Thursday, February 28, 2013

25 Things About Me!

 25 Things About Myself.....

1. I love vegetables, especially when roasted.
2. I bite my nails and cuticles when I'm anxious.
3. I have a puggle puppy named Bulmer. He's nuts and outta control about 75% of the time. I really cherish the 25% of cuddling that I get with him.
4. Winter is my favorite season. I love the coziness that it brings, the style, and the sports. I'm an avid skier and sledder.
5. I love to bake, especially for other people. I especially like to take recipes and make them healthier because I like the challenge.
6. Whether it be chocolate, dried fruit, or cinnamon toast, I always have to have something sweet after dinner.
7. I love watching football, but in recent years have lost interest because my Philadelphia Eagles have been doing so poorly.
8. I own all 10 seasons of Friends and can quote almost every episode.
9. I have been a vegetarian since February 2012 and I have for about 2.5 weeks
10. I Irish danced competitively for ten years of my life. I then taught for 4 years.
11. I am the fifth generation of my family to attend Villanova University. My great-grandfather graduated in 1917.
12. I graduated with a BA in Psychology and with four minors: Business, Cognitive Science, Latin American Studies, and Spanish.
13. I have had the opportunity to take part in two mission trips during college. One to Peru where we worked in an orphanage, and one to Guatemala where we built a home for a family in 2 1/2 days.
14. I hope to travel South America one day, skiing in Chile, experiencing the culture of Brazil, serving the community in Nicaragua, and taking a rest on the beach in Costa Rica.
15. I am a cinnamon addict, always putting it in and on everything sweet.
16. I collect shot glasses. I purchase one in every new city, state, or country that I visit. My friends and family have started bringing back shot glasses from their trips, as well, to add to my collection. I'm obsessed with it :)
17. I just made my first adult big purchase... I bought a car!! I'm in love with my brand new Jeep Patriot.
18. I grew up going to Sea Isle City, NJ every summer and can't picture a summer without at least one trip down the shore.
19. I really want a tattoo, but I'm too afraid to actually get one. Read: I'm afraid I would be disowned, and I'm afraid I'm going to hate it in a year.
20. If I were to get a tattoo, I would want it to say Slán abhaile, which means safe home in Gaelic. My grandmother used to say it every time we headed home from her house.
21. I have struggled with different weight and body image issues through college and up until this point in my life. It is still something I work on everyday.
22. I'm a talker. I need to talk things through. I like to express myself and let my opinions be known.
23. That being said, I do not avoid confrontation. If something is bothering me, I will face the issue or the person, head on.
24. I love a good comedy. I like movies that make me laugh and make me feel good inside.
25. I like to make people laugh. I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WIAW: Rabbit Eats

Well not quite rabbit food.... but it IS all vegan :) If you missed my post yesterday, I have officially decided to become vegan. After watching both Forks Over Knives and Vegucated in the same night, there was no going back to my dairy eating/drinking days. FISH ARE FRIENDS, NOT FOOD. (....though I've been allergic to fish my whole life so they've never been food... but you get the point.) Anywho. Happy WIAW friends. As always thank you to the lovely (and officially prego!) Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting the bloggy party.
 Peas and Crayons
For this WIAW, I decided to map out two typical days for me during the work week, this past Monday and Tuesday. I eat differently on the days that I go to the gym after work. I don't get home until around 8:30/9pm on these days, so I don't have the energy or time to make a nice dinner. I'm also, usually, not all that hungry, since it's so late at night. When I don't go to the gym, however, I am able to take the time to prepare a full dinner. It just all depends on the day!

Breakfast- Nature's Path Organic Flax Plus Raisin Bran mixed with Organic Corn Flakes (though Kashi Heart to Heart is pictured above instead of the Corn Flakes.... I make a variation of this just about every morning) topped with sliced banana, chia seeds, and soy milk.
Lunch- A homemade taco blend of lentils, black beans, and kidney beans topped with organic salsa. carrots, homemade guac, and organic tortilla chips on the side. Simple and filling.

....gym after work!....

Dinner- Protein smoothie! I am loving any variation of these. My favorite so far has been a combo of soy milk, frozen wild blueberries, ice, Spiru-Tein protein powder, oats, cinnamon, vanilla, truvia, and chia seeds. Perfect post workout dinner. I usually have a little something on the side like a piece of toast or black bean tortilla chips depending on what's in the cupboard.
Dessert- A big mug of Sugar Cookie tea with a splash of soy milk along with a few dried apricots and a square or two of dairy free dark chocolate. I love the calming feeling of snuggling up on the coach with a mug of hot tea.

Breakfast- Same tupperware of cereal as Monday.... and Friday, Thursday, ednesday, etc. I know it's not recommended to eat the same thing for breakfast everyday but I just can't get enough of this cereal combo! I mix in the corn flakes because the flax plus cereal is kind of pricey, and the corn flakes add a different texture to the bowl. Chia seeds for omega 3s! I pour the milk on the cereal before I leave for my 45 minute commute. I don't wind up eating breakfast until about 30 minutes or so after that. Yes, I LOVE my cereal soggy. I used to pour the milk on at work and wait for it to get soggy, but who has time for that?
Lunch- Hearty Minestrone Soup from Trader Joe's with a piece of Quinoa Bread from Trader Joe's and some carrots on the side. This soup was perfect. Filled to the gills with delicious and nutritious veggies. I loved it! Definitely will purchase again. After lunch, I had the orange pictured above.
Dinner-  My current obsession and the ultimate comfort food. Trader Joe's Radiatore Pasta topped with sauteed Savory Tofu from Trader Joe's, roasted garlicky collard greens, and olive oil. AMAZING. This was the first way that I tried making tofu, and it's literally so easy and delicious that I make it about 2 or 3 times a week. I originally made this dish using roasted kale instead, but I accidentally bought collard greens this week.... hey I made it work, and I almost like it better!!

Dessert- Chai Tea with a splash of soy milk and some dried apricots and a square of dark chocolate.

So there you have it! Two full days of yummy vegan eats. I'm loving it, could you?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

That Time That I Didn't Blog For Weeks....

Welp it's been ages since I've blogged. Life has gotten NUTS. Been working all day, then working super late (Read: 7pm and later), going to the gym after work (except these past few days womp womppp), eating dinner at 9pm, and going to bed at 11pm. and then doing it allll over again the next day. This real life person thing is tough. Who knew working for a living would be so exhausting. (when I say things like that my dad always says "welcome to the next 40 years of your life" and all I have to say to that is WOOF.) I like being busy though. It gives me purpose and drive. And though I hate eating dinner so late, I am much more motivated to find a healthy and light option, so I am not stuffed to the gills when I go to bed a few hours later. Smoothies have been rocking my world, but more on that later.
Since I last posted, I wouldn't say a lot has changed...but some stuff definitely has. For one, I feel that, besides this past weekend (weekends are always tough though aren't they?),  I have been making healthier choices. I celebrated ONE WHOLE YEAR of being a VEGETARIAN!!! :) I was super excited about it and decided I wanted to do something bigger and more challenging in the weeks going forward.. sooo I am going full on VEGAN. 
Yessss I know I tried this before. Buttttt, this time I actually went to a nutritionist to find out what I need to be eating to keep my diet balanced and to stay healthy. I found out a lot of awesome info that I hadn't come across in my research. I have really just been focussing on getting in a ton of protein as a vegetarian, so that was my biggest concern  in adapting a plant based diet. What will replace the protein I get from Greek yogurt or cottage cheese? Turns out, it's pretty easy to get a large amount of protein from the products that are plant based that I had already been consuming. It was the vitamins that I was lacking! Something I definitely had not thought about even once. Calcium, sure...Iron, maybe.... but not Vitamin b12 or zinc or iodine. It was an eye opening appointment, and it was so helpful to know where I can get these essential vitamins and minerals as I move forward with a plant based diet. I want to do a thorough post with more research next week, so stay tuned!

I actually wrote this post on Feb 6th, but never got around to posting. I have been a vegan for 3 weeks now and have been loving every minute of it :)