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lots of veggies, overcoming fear and more exciting news!!

Exciting things going on here at the CSM house!  But before I get to that, let’s see some eats, shall we?

The last two days have actually been almost identical up until lunch.  If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right?!

Green monsters for breakfast, of course.  For the last two days, I have actually managed to get up and get a workout in before work – shocking, I know.  I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been pleasant or easy getting up at 4:45 am, but it has been so worth it.  To make it quick, I’ve been doing Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred.  I started off with level two, and it totally kicked my butt!  If you have never tried her workouts, you should definitely give them a go – they’re the only workout I’ve ever found that really pushes me with minimal equipment (just hand weights) and minimal time.  Sometimes I really want to punch her in the face, though.  If you’ve done it, you know what I’m sayin’.

Jon and I have also added in a 3 mile run the past two days after work as well.  I miss having really great workouts so much.  Ever since starting my new job last August and my hour commute, my workouts have really suffered.  But with the end of school fast approaching, I’m starting to get antsy to get back into it, and I figure I can push myself to do anything for four weeks.  So, double workouts it is!

Anyway, back to the point.  After a tough workout, I’ve been wanting nothing but green smoothies for breakfast…so refreshing and energizing!  You guys have all seen my smoothies a million times, though, so no pics today.

Lunch for the past two days has been salads!

salad numero uno = spring mix, corn, black beans, chick peas, chia seeds, chopped carrots, avocado and balsamic vinegar

salad numero dos = spring mix, corn, black beans, avocado, chia seeds, balsamic vinegar and…….egg.  Yes, egg.

I’ve made a tentative decision to start incorporating an occasional egg into my diet.  I’m honestly not sure how it’s going to go.  In my salad it was just fine, but when I tried to eat a plain boiled on yesterday for a snack, I got a little queasy.  Honestly, I’ve just been looking for new ways to incorporate protein into my diet.  I don’t believe I need a lot of protein, but I do try to have a protein source at most of my mini meals throughout the day.  Since switching to a mostly vegan diet, my complete protein sources for on-the-go meals and snacks (I pack most of my food everyday) have been based on nuts, nut butter and beans.  I just have been wishing for another option, and I feel like organic, free range eggs are a decent choice. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start eating many animal products anytime soon, but as long as the chickens are raised appropriately, I don’t have an ethical problem with eating eggs.

So, anyway, you may see the occasional egg on here in the future.  Just FYI:)  Even though it was a bit challenging to down the boiled egg on Tuesday, the healthy fat and protein sure held me over for a looong time. shrug.  But if they don’t become a bit more appetizing soon, I’ll def. be nixing them.

Onto dinner from last night.  As you will probably notice, I have been craving veggies.  So, I roasted some parsnips, brussels, sweet potatoes and tempeh.  With a side of natural ketchup for dipping:)

And tonight – same story.  Except I switched it up by having roasted kale chips, roasted squash and a slice of Ezekiel toast with Sabra spinach and artichoke hummus.  I sprinkled nutritional yeast, ground red pepper and garlic powder over the veggies.  Perfect.  It totally hit the spot.

I’m currently finishing off half a soy yogurt with a sprinkle of granola and frozen cherries for dessert!

Okay, now onto the exciting news.  I have officially ordered my materials through ACE to become a certified personal trainer!

I’m am stoked.  I’ve been considering it for months now, but fear has been holding me back.  Well, I’m not going to let fear rule my life anymore, so I’m going for it.  I felt so empowered last night as I clicked “submit order.”  I was watching a video of Kris Carr the other day.  She was being interviewed by Oprah, and she said “many people wait around for someone to give them permission to live.  Well, no one is going to give you that, you just have to go for it.”  I’ve been struggling with overcoming fear all my life, and especially lately I’ve been praying that God would give me the strength to overcome fear and not let it hold me back from doing what I’m passionate about.  I’ve decided I’m going to stop waiting around for that “permission” and just go after what I want.

So, I’ll definitely be spending a lot of time studying in the coming months, but I’m so excited about all that I’m going to learn and I’m looking forward to sharing some of it through CSM as well.

Do you find that fear sometimes holds you back from taking risks or trying something new?
If you’re vegan, what kinds of things do you eat for a quick protein fix?

Well, I’m off to bed, so I can meet back up with Jillian bright and early!  Hope you all are having a great week so far!

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party’in it up!

sidenote:  I wrote this post Saturday afternoon, but it didn’t publish.  So, I’m actually posting it Sunday night instead.  Can’t let a post go to waste!! Recap of the rest of the weekend to come on Monday.

I have been having a serious itch to go biking lately.  The problem is that I don’t own a bike.  boo!  So, I opted for the next best thing this morning and went to an 8am spin class.  It was not fun dragging myself out of bed on the one morning I get to sleep in a little, but it was so worth it!  I knew it would be – it always is, right?  Anyway, I realy enjoyed spinning, and I’m definitely planning on hitting up another class this week.  If you’ve never been before, I have to warn you – it is tough stuff!  I went to my first spin class soon after we ran our marathon last year, and I thought it’d be a piece of cake.  Boy, was I in for a suprise!

Speaking of our marathon, this weekend is the one year anniversary.  I cannot believe it has been that long!  My little cousin is running it this year, and we’re contemplating going to see him tomorrow.  As you know, we have friends staying with us this weekend, though, so I’m not sure if we’ll be able to make it!

Ironically, the friends who stayed with us last night are the same friends that ran the half marathon last year.  We met up with them before the race.

before the race last year

After spin this morning, we had a green monster partay!

The goods.  You’ve gotta give people options!  Everyone ended up going with my recommendation: cocoa bliss and frozen cherries…with the other usual staples of course.  I loved getting to make gms for everyone…so fun!

Spreading the GM love totally made my day:)

Our friends, Jason and Emily, and their baby Kate are coming in this afternoon as well.  We’ll be spending time with them this afternoon, and then we’re all slated to go to a friend’s wedding tonight.  It’s an outdoor wedding on our university campus, so it should be fun!

I hope you all are having a great Saturday!

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earth day fun

I slowly come to consiousness as a faint glint of light peeks through my bedroom window.  I think to myself that something just doesn’t seem right.  Rubbing my eyes, I sit up and look over at the clock.  The moment of panic hits me like a ton of bricks…it’s 6:21am.  I was supposed to leave for work 21 minutes ago.  Whoopsie!

Needless to say my morning was a little crazy!  I got ready in record time (15 minutes) and only ended being about 15 minutes late for work.  On the way, I nervously gulped down my newest version of a green smoothie.

1 cup almond milk
1 scoop Amazing Grass
15 frozen cherries
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 big handfuls of spinach
1 tbsp Artisana cocoa bliss coconut butter – the star of the show!

Yesterday Jon even crumbled up a tiny bit of coconut butter and sprinkled it on top.  As I sipped away, I would get an occasional chunk through my straw.  They don’t call it cocoa bliss for nothing!

Lunch today was leftover chili, Ryvita crackers and a pear.

On my way home from work I snacked on this Clif bar, while listening to a Jillian Michaels podcast.  I had heard about her podcasts for awhile, but had yet to listen to one.  It was ironically appropriate for the things that are going on in my life right now.  She talked about how being empowered means you have to have a dream, then overcome your fears to make that dream your reality.  Usually the fear is rooted in being afraid of failure.  Also in order to reach you dreams, you must first believe that you can actually do it.  Sounds cliche, but it’s so true.

After I got home from work, I decided to “kill two birds with one stone” by getting in a mowing workout.  Our yard was in serious need of a trim, and I knew that Jon had a million things on his to do list for this evening, so it was me versus the yard.  I just barely won:)  I have a feeling I’m going to be quite sore tomorrow, and to be honest I think I pulled something in my left leg.  Hopefully it’s all in my imagination and will be back to normal by the morning.  We’ll see. While cleaning up our front porch, we decided it was high time we take care of this:

A few weeks ago we noticed that a bird had made its nest in the wreath on our front door.  It was quite dangerous, really, because there were many times that I or Jon almost got decapitated by the mama as we tried to go in or out of our front door.  Unfortunately, she must have given up on this little one, because we have not seen her in days.  So, sadly, we decided that because it was past due time to switch from our Christmas wreath to our Spring wreath, we had to do away with the little nest as well.  I know this seems tragic, especially considering it’s Earth Day and all, but the mother had abandoned it anyway, so it really had no chance:(

After finishing up with the yard, we headed out to get a quick bite to eat, run an errand and race back home to get some cleaning done.  As I mentioned yesterday, we’ve got company coming for the next few days, so the house needed some major work.  First, we had a second round of this

In the interest of the blog, I have to apologize for getting the same exact sandwich I got last Saturday.  I tried to convince myself to switch it up, but I just couldn’t do it.  It was too good!  However, surprise! this time it came with cheese on it, which I happily removed.  The other slight tweak from last Saturday’s meal:

I do realize this is not the healthiest choice, but by gosh, I just had to do it tonight!  When we went to this restaurant on Saturday, I lusted after this guy, so I decided I’d just cure my lusting by indulging a little bit tonight.  It was ice cold and  worth every sip!

We’ve spent the rest of the evening cleaning like mad.  Bring on the company!

I better get to bed if I want to avoid another incident like this morning.  Can you believe it’s already Friday again??  I’m so glad!

Have a great night, and Happy Earth Day!

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off to the market…

Sorry I’ve been MIA all day!  I’ve just had a lot going on…trying to make decisions and work on some things.  Hopefully I’ll be able to share more about them sometime soon. In the meantime, let’s get to the good stuff – food!

Unfortunately, I came out seriously lacking in the veggie department today.  I did start off well, though!  Jon and I slept in, then got up and went for a 3.5 mile run.  Upon arriving back home, Jon made me an awesome green smoothie.  That’s not all, though:)  Check this out:

Green Smoothie: 1 cup almond milk, 1 scoop Amazing Grass, 1 tbsp almond butter, 2 big handfuls of spinach, 1/2 frozen banana and ice

+

2 shots of espresso

=

Cafe Green Smoothie…yahoo!

Jon and I are lucky to have the best barista in the world as one of our good friends.  Ginger owns one of the local coffee shops in town, The Daily Grind.  Jon worked there for about 5 years, thoughout the course of college, and we still love to stop by and visit and get our coffee fix whenever we can.  Ginger was a bit skeptical when I showed up with my smoothie, requesting that she add espresso to it, but she gave it a whirl too and loved it!  It as pretty tasty, if I say so myself:)

After leaving the coffe shop, we decided to hit up the little Farmer’s Market in our town.  I LOVE the Farmer’s Market, but unfortunately I don’t get to go too often.  We had a great time!  Here’s our loot:

Locally made peanut butter dog treats!

Pepperjack goat cheese – I’ve been wanting to try goat cheese for a long time.  As you guys know, I aim to eat 90% vegan.  I feel better when I don’t eat meat or dairy, plus I have a serious problem with the way dairy is produced in our country.  However, I know that Goat’s milk is easier to digest as well as lower in fat than cow’s milk.  If I’m going to eat cheese, I definitely want it to be produced locally.  So, I got really excited when I found this, and I was so excited to try it.

On a Ryvita cracker.  It was quite tasty.  I probably won’t be buying any kind of cheese on a regular basis, but if I ever eat any it would defnitely be goat cheese.  Huge fan!

Fresh salsa made by this friendly man:

Not a great pic, but I love photographing people!  Especially real people in their everday lives:)

Fresh eggs for Jon

Lunch wasn’t quite as fresh unfortunately.  I finished off leftover cheeseless pizza from the other night.  It was pretty tasty, but I was a bit disappointed with the lack of veggies, and I honestly didn’t feel to great afterwards.  o’well.  I’ll get ‘em next time;)

Midafternoon snack was this fruit strip.  These are all natural with no added sugar, and you can pick them up at your local Walmart.  They’re a nice sweet treat to have on hand.

Do you go to a local Farmer’s Market?  Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or whatever, how do you feel about buying non local food products?  Do you feel strongly about trying to buy local?

We spent the rest of the day working on projects and cleaning the house.  I can’t believe that Saturday is already over…it has seriously flown by.  I’m off to bed, so I can get up for early service in the morning!  We haven’t been to church in several weeks because we’ve been out of town etc., so I’m really looking forward to it.  G’night ya’ll:)

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eatin’ cheap

Happy (end of) Monday everyone!  While Monday’s aren’t my favorite, it feels nice to have one day down and only four to go.  I’m not going to lie – work today was a bit on the stressful side.  It’s just hard getting back into the groove of things after sleeping in and doing only things I love for an entire week.  It’ll get easier, though, at least it better!!

I started off this morning with a green monster per the usual.  I am seriously addicted to my morning GM.  Unfortunately, I am almost out of Amazing Grass.  Jon and I are trying to really buckle down with our budget for the rest of the month, so I may have to go without my grass for awhile (gasp!).

These pics are actually from yesterday.  I only wish I left for work late enough to take pictures in the natural light.  Yea for Sundays!  Besides,  I wore the same outfit, so it’s basically like I took it today:)

Lunch today was leftover Veggie-tel and an apple.

Later I munched on some baby carrots for a snack and then followed that up with Whole soy yogurt and a mix of sliced almonds and Back to Nature granola for toppings on my commute home.  This granola will definitely be up for a review soon because it’s really one of my faves.

I planned on making it to the gym today, but work got in the way.  The teacher I plan with called while I was driving, and we proceeded to try and work out some school stuff for the next hour.  I was sad to miss my workout, but Jon and I made up for it by taking a nice nap when we got home!    Hey, the first day back is hard, ya know?

Tonight we took a trip to the grocery store to get a few things that will last us the next week and a half.  I planned out four meals that are pretty economical, and they don’t taste too bad either!  I’ll be sharing them throughout the week. I’m not always the best at economical grocery shopping (i.e. nut butters), but we are really trying to make some changes around here, so I’m going to be focusing a bit more on how to eat cheap and healthy!

First up for tomorrow will be a recipe I call Mexican Fiesta Pasta.  If you like Mexican food, you’ll love this!  It’s cheap, it’s easy, but it’s clean!  Here’s a teaser;)

Have a great night everyone – on to Tuesday!

You may be only one brave decision away from the most important turn in your life.” – Beth Moore

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