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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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two for the price of one (but not really;)

Hey hey everyone!

I am loving the weather right now!  It’s that perfect temperature where there is a slight breeze, but the sun is warm enough that you can ditch the jacket and cruise with the windows down.  Ahhh.

I started off this morning with this beauty

Cheers!  These were my drinks for the morning.  I always take this water bottle (BPA free!) with me to work and fill it up throughout the day.  I’ve actually been slacking a bit on my water consumption, and I think it may be to blame for the headaches I’ve been getting.  Gotta hydrate!

Lunch was nice and simple – 2 brown rice cakes with 1.5 tbsp almond butter.  I also had an unpictured 1/2 banana on the side.

By 4 hours later I was famished!  I couldn’t tear into my yogurt with almonds and cranberries fast enough! I definitely let myself get too hungry.  Do you ever get to the point where you are shaky from being hungry?  Not a good place to be…take my word for it.  My snack was just enough to fuel me for a good weight training workout.  I did 6 different leg machines today plus some planks.  I love planks – they are seriously addicting.  I can just feel my core getting tighter and stronger.

After hanging with Jon for a little bit, I started not one, but two dinners; he was craving Mexican casserole, which might as well be called ground turkey casserole because that’s the main ingredient.  This is a meal my mom has made for years and it’s a favorite of our family.  I haven’t had it since before I became a vegetarian almost a year and a half ago.  Crazy!

I have to be honest and say that I really don’t enjoy cooking meat.  In fact, the other night in the grocery store, I found myself avoiding the meat department and sending Jon off on his own to get his goods.  I’ll do anything for my husband, so I always gracefully “handle” his meat, touching it as litle as possible of course.  I’m not trying to be dramatic…it’s just the longer I go without eating it, the less appealing it is.  Make sense?

Anyway, here is my meal

In the works…

buckwheat (soba) noodles…

Veggies!!  asparagus, squash, carrots, bell pepper, and the star of the show: mushrooms.  I also added some chick peas for protein and some garlic powder, ground red pepper and bragg’s for flavor and spice:)

In the end I topped if all off with a bit of nutritional yeast.  Perfect.

A little while later we ran over Jon dragged me to Orange Leaf to get some yogurt.  Excuse the poor quality photo – I’m still learning how to use my DSLR.

Dairy free pinapple yogurt, cocoa covered almonds, a few choco chips, kiwi and strawberries!

Heather is encouraging everyone to take part in GE’s campaign “Pledge for Better Health.”  If you haven’t stopped by there to pledge, you should!  I think it’s a great idea.  I pledged to increase my workouts to 6 times a week – not just to look better, but primarily for better health.  Too often I get so focused on outward appearance in relation to working out, and while there is nothing wrong with that, I want to get my focus back to health!  I’m going to be posting more of my workouts on the little bloggie to help keep myself accountable.

What is your primary motivation to workout?  Or is it a combination of things?  Do you find yourself more focused on how your body will look or how it will feel?

Hope you have a fantastic night!!!

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weekend highlights…

…minus Valentine’s Day.  I’m saving it for the next post.  I think it deserves it’s very own:)

Saturday Jon and I got up and got to work cleaning the house.  It always takes forever to deep clean the entire house, but it’s so worth it because we both feel so great when it’s done!!  After that I packed up all of my school stuff, and we went up to his office to work.  Jon is in his busiest season at work, and my job in general is busy season because I’m a 1st year teacher.  So, we knew we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the rest of the weekend unless we knocked out some of our work.

Here are some food highlights from the weekend:

Lunch on Friday (because I took off to stay home and work) was a Joseph’s Protein pita filled with avocado, spinach, zucchini, squash, pickles and nutritional yeast.  I had it with a side of hummus for dipping and a sliced pear with sprinkled cinnamon!  So fresh and so delicious, yet so simple!

Friday afternoon I headed to the coffee shop to have a change of scenery while I graded.  I took along an AB banana roll up – a Joseph’s pita (should there be a limit on these things?) smeared with almond butter and sliced banana, all rolled up!  Transportable and tasty!

This was today’s snack on the way home from work.  It was the most beautiful apple I’ve ever eaten.  I picked this baby up from a certain store that Jon took me to on Valentine’s Day.  That’s just a little teaser for tomorrow’s V-day post.  I also had a certain kind of nut butter smeared on it that I’ve been wanting to try for ages.  It may also have come from this certain store.

Apologies for the picture quality…this bowl was so much better than it looks.  I often borrow a camera that takes beautiful pictures from Jon’s work, but lately I haven’t had it so the iPhone has had to suffice.  boo.

And finally, tonight’s dinner.  I was having a serious craving for a giant bowl of veggies, and that’s exactly what I got.  A little too big perhaps:)  I tossed together cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, squash, onions, carrots, mushrooms and spinach.  I sprayed it a few times with Braggs, and dumped in a small handful of raw cashews.  I also added a few pieces of Tempeh that I picked up the other day as well (more to come on that).  This was the second time I’ve ever had Tempeh, and the first time I made it I did not care for it at all!  I’m so glad I gave it a second chance, though.  It was really good in this stir fry with just a bit of Braggs sprayed on.  I’ll definitely be highlighting it again in the future once I decide on another way to cook it.

Well, that’s it for the highlights.  Unfortunately, I have got to go do some serious grading.  Blah.  I’ll be back tomorrow, though, with a fun post on what we did and where we went for Valentine’s Day!  Hope everyone is having a great President’s Day!

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short and sweet

This post is going to be short and sweet.  My students turned in their research papers today (blah), so I’ve got a pile of grading a mile high that I’ve been attempting to sort through.  Plus, tonight has just gone by really fast, and this girl has got to hit the sack!

If there is one thing besides clean eating and exercise that I find imperative it’s sleep.  Getting up at 5am every morning, it’s nearly impossible to get 8 hours, which would be my dream (no pun intended:).  I do strive to get at least 7, though, and it’s going to be pushing it at this point.

I made a fun little run to the health food store after work today.  Most people would think I am crazy considering how excited I get at the health food store, but I just love browsing and seeing all the different foods, and of course picking up a couple of special treats while I’m at it.  And of course you of all people probably can identify.  Here is a picture of my loot.

I’m not going to go into detail about it all tonight, but definitely expect some reviews coming soon because several of these items are new to my repetoire, and so far they have totally blown me away.  And with that I present to you dinner:

a little less than an ounce of soba noodles
brussels
broccoli
cauliflower
onion
garlic
turnip greens
mushrooms

First, I sauteed the onions and garlic in a little bit of evoo for a few minutes.  Then I tossed in all the other vegetables besides the mushrooms and turnip greens.  As I sauteed them, I sprayed Braggs on intermittently.  As soon as those veggies were done, I added the mushrooms and turnip greens just for about a minute.  Once they were done I mixed them in a bowl with the cooked soba noodles, and then sprinkled nutritional yeast all over it (my favorite part!).

Wow.  That’s all I have to say.  The veggies played the starring role in this meal, and the nutritional yeast was like the icing on the cake.  The soba noodles have probably become my favorite noodle (haha), but I like to say I had some soba noodles on my vegetables rather than the other way around.  This was just such a great combo that I could probably have every night.  I promise I won’t bore you, though. Definitely expect the nutritional yeast to make a second appearance tomorrow, though!

Okay, that’s all for tonight.  I hope everyone had a great day…and here’s to a great Thursday as well:)

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almond sauce stir fry

Hi!  I had the best dinner tonight!  I was actually going to talk about my green monster from this morning first, but I’m so happy about how dinner turned out that I just can’t wait.

After work today, I headed straight to the gym to do some lifting.  When I got back, I was already starving, but Jon had to head back to work for about 30 minutes for a meeting, and I wanted to wait on him to eat.  So, I threw a great combo of cucumber, carrot, apple and lemon into the juicer – it turned out pretty good.  I’ve only used my juicer a handful of times since I got it at Christmas (review to come!), and I still haven’t figured out my favorite combination yet.  Any fun suggestions?

Anyway, so I sipped on my juice and started chopping up some veggies while I waited.  I seriously was craving a huge plate of vegetables….but, I’ve been really focusing on getting more protein into each meal, so I decided to try something new by incorporating protein and healthy fat into my “sauce.”  I tossed cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, onions and mushrooms in my big skillet and began sautéing them in just a bit of EVOO.  Using Thai peanut sauce as my inspiration, I put in a tablespoon of almond butter and a splash of tamari and mixed and heated it through.  I did have to add just a touch more EVOO as well to eliminate dryness.  When it was all done, and hubby was home of course, I laid the vegetable mixture on a bed of quinoa (more protein!) and tadaa!  It was time to eat!

Let me tell you, this meal was so good.  It had a bit of an Asian flavor with just the right amount of AB and tamari…and a sprinkle of seeds of course!  I could seriously have this meal every night…but I won’t.  Gotta keep things interesting!

Before I go, let me tell you really quickly the best thing that happened this morning.  I’ve been drinking green monster, thanks to Angela, for about a year now.  My sweet hubby gets up to make it for me before I leave at 6am.  Ever since school started back up, there has just been something…off…about the texture.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I had switched from soy to almond milk in an effort to limit my soy consumption a bit, so I thought that may be the problem, but we switched back and saw no improvement!  So, I suggested that this morning he should try adding a little more milk and leaving out the flaxseed…and it worked!  You have no idea what a happy girl I am to have my beloved monster back to normal…it’s my livelihood at 6am!  Yea!!

That’s it for now.  I am so looking forward to the weekend already, and it’s only Tuesday!  Have a great night☺

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