vegan

Please, excuse my absence…

It has been a while!  I guess that is what happens when you are busy having fun 🙂

I will do a quick recap of what life has been handing me, using mostly photos:

Image

Classically AWESOME!

I can’t even remember where I left off, so we will just start with this awesome car that we stumbled upon outside of Home Depot one Saturday when my bestie, Julie, was in town.  That whole weekend was fun, complete with shopping, drinks in the sun, waffles at the City Market, just good times had by all.

Image

Julie, being cute and stylish 🙂

Paul and I have been cooking up a storm:

Image

Vegan Pot Stickers and Orange Chicken (Gardein brand… not a fan of imitation meat, but we went for it)

Image

Kale-Quinoa Salad, compliments of Runners World magazine

Image

Tempeh Sloppy Joes… I had forgotten all about this childhood favorite

Image

Baked apple chips: because only a fool doesn’t like snacks

There was a cool benefit in a barn with beer and music!

Image

It was a double date with my Uncle Tom and Aunt Janice

 

ImageI took a tour of the magnificent Michigan Capitol, and it was AWESOME!

Image

The dome

Took a day trip to the Upper Peninsula for work allowing me to cross something off of my bucket list:  hiring my brother to fly me somewhere 🙂

Image

Big bro doing is thing 🙂 So proud of him!

Image

Leaving Escanaba, flying over Lake Michigan, heading back to the lower peninsula

I took a moment after a meeting to stop and appreciate the world:

Image

Red Cedar River on Michigan State’s campus

Received over 90 pokes for my allergy test… and am allergic to everything! (and should also never get an upper arm tattoo:

Image

I guess this is the mark of my tribe…?

Loved on my kids:

ImageWent to a Detroit Tiger’s game with our best friends, and my true boyfriend:

Image

This was his first pop ever! We had to keep reminding him to call it “root beer” and not just beer

Image

We stopped in Greek Town for some pre-game food:

Image

From some angles, Detroit doesn’t seem so bad

Then headed to the game where we witnessed a Tiger’s loss, but still had a great time:

ImageImageLife has been busy, but things are good!  I am excited that summer is finally here!

This weekend, we are going camping, so cross your fingers that it goes well.

What have you all been up to? 

Image

Tuesday meeting at the Capitol

Carbo loading across the U.P.

Let’s talk about the challenge of being vegan in northern Michigan…. and by northern, I mean the “Upper Peninsula.”

If you are at all familiar with, or are from Michigan, than you know that the U.P. is a completely different world.  Life slows down up here, the cities are quaint (the largest being Marquette with a population of just over 21,000), and it is the closest you can probably come to finding people who live off of the land.  A.k.a. not very vegan friendly.   If it is a hunt-able animal, you better believe they have made a jerky out of it.  Upon coming into town last night, there were more people out on the lake ice-fishing than there were in the town.

It is hard being vegetarian up here, much less vegan.  So, eating has been a bit of a challenge (nothing but carbs for the most part).  As I type, I am enjoying a lettuce and mustard sandwich.  But hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

The great thing about the U.P., though, is the people.  You will not meet nicer, more accommodating, salt of the earth people.   We pulled into town late last night (skated in basically), and could not find an open place to eat.  We did find a bar (thank God), and after telling us they didn’t serve food, gave us the numbers of places that might be open, and even places that would deliver to us right there!  So we ordered in to the bar.

If you ever get a chance, Michigan’s U.P. is a beautiful place to visit (just pack snacks if you are a vegan).

 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

 

Tempeh cooking experiment

20130202-091327.jpg

I have introduced tempeh into my kitchen in an attempt to up my protein intake. This first experiment went amazing!

I call it, “tempeh breakfast mash”, because frankly, I don’t like to use the word “stir fry” before noon.

I simply browned soy tempeh in a frying pan, adding garlic pepper, followed by broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, marinara sauce, and peanuts just for some crunch. So good! Great flavor, good texture, filling, and tons of protein 🙂

I am excited to include tempeh in more meals, like the spaghetti I have slated for tonight’s dinner.

Off for a seven miler. Hope you all are having a great weekend!

And it’s hump day:

I had a pretty lousy run last night, but I will make up for it with a 4 miler tonight. I am running with my friend who is going to run the Cleveland Marathon with me, which always helps make a run better. After that, I am heading to the gym for some strength training.

Life has been good though, other than getting over being sick (yet again). I have officially started studying for the GRE, work is going well, and things in general are just good. I feel great about my decision to return to veganism, and have had a great time doing some experimenting in the kitchen, and I will post any fun recipes I find.

I can’t help but stop and think sometimes, “is life supposed to be this fun?”…. OF COURSE IT IS! I am so blessed because I go to bed every night laughing and smiling with Paul, and we just ALWAYS have fun. I know it won’t always be perfect, and we have our bumps, but dear lord I am lucky. It feels good to find happiness. I still have an uphill battle with my weight and my fitness, but I feel like I’m in a better mindset about it. I have fewer days where I hate myself, and it is more about acceptance. As long as I feel good about the steps I am taking, I feel like that is not a bad place to be.

Happy Wednesday, and I hope you are all in a good place too 🙂

Paul and me making dinner. Vegan burgers (which are not a very tasty brand) loaded with caramelized onions, spinach, and guac with b. sprouts on the side.

I was going to start the ten day master cleanse today, but then I got thinking: 1. It’s flu season, I need all the nutrition earth can give me to stay healthy. 2. I’m officially training now, I can’t make it through a 7 mile run on just cayenne pepper and lemon juice. And 3. It is way too easy for me to slide back into old bad habits of getting excited about not eating for days on end. It just isn’t a healthy mindset to put myself in.

So, clean eating it is 🙂

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!