Food Fight!

Dear Erin,

I have another food movie for you to add to your netflix queue: “Food Fight”. Thanks for recommending so many inspiring movies to me in the past year or two. I think you will really like this one. Its about the local food movement. It was really fun to realize I have been a small part of that local food movement, shopping at the many local farmers markets we have in RI, and frequenting a restaurant we have in North Providence called the Locals. They opened up just a year or two ago, and serve foods that are locally sourced and also delicious. As a bonus, when I went on Friday night, I was able to get a local meal that was also vegan and quite tasty.

Its been two weeks since I started my vegan whole foods only eating. I had two meals now when I chose to incorporate some non-vegan or fried items into my diet. Overall, they convinced me (especially the fried foods) that my body really likes eating whole foods. I feel healthier. I plan to continue to definitely cook whole foods at home, perhaps incorporating a small amount of lean protein back into my diet. And maybe eggs. I didn’t realize how much I like eggs til they went away these past couple of weeks. This next weekend, I will be attending several birthday celebrations for me and two of my friends, and I plan to consume some alcohols and refined sugars. Cross your fingers for me to make other healthy choices to go along with those indulgences.

In the meantime, I continue to visit the gym 3 days per week for cardio and strength training, training with Kenya once a week, and to bust my butt with yard work and gardening for additional exercise. (I moved over 900 pounds of crushed stone around my gardens this weekend.) With family coming in from out of town on Wednesday, I am still planning to make all my gym appointments, but won’t be back to the blog til next week.

Have a fabulous holiday weekend (yes, I know I’m early). I hope you are having an easy time getting back on track.

Next week – revisiting those goals after posting them 2 months ago!



Welcome back sunshine!

Dear Erin,

After I ran to Lowes and did some planting in the garden (hot peppers and rhubarb today) this morning, Murph and I celebrated the return of the sunshine with a quick walk to the beach.

Last night’s training session was brutal. My trainer decided since I’m getting stronger on all the exercises, she would increase the intensity of ALL the exercises at once.  It was fun, and difficult, and at the end, I debated whether or not I would really be able to walk back downstairs to the locker room without falling down them. Perfect.

Afterwards I went to the dinner. The food was terrible (seriously restaurant, get some BETTER salad mix), but the company was fun. And I definitely didn’t go for the food. I had a great time visiting with friends, and even won a couple of books as door prizes.

This weekend, more gardening, and hopefully we fit in a hike!



Mac and Chreese, Please!

Dear Erin,

That’s not a typo, its Mac and Chreese. (You can buy it on Amazon, where I borrowed the pic from, thanks Amazon.)
It a pretty not-gross alternative to kraft a quick lunch. (I had mine plain, since I planned to have a BUNCH of veggies for dinner. It would have been better with a salad.)

Today, I am off to Northampton for my first dining-out experience where I am totally vegan.

Tomorrow, I am going to make some veggie sushi for lunch.

Working out and playing outside in the garden as much as possible, continues on. Murph is quite pleased about the second.


Time Flys!


Dear Erin,

Time has really gotten away from me. I have a lot to report, but I will stick to the basics.

1) I had my second personal training session last Wednesday, and it created a lot less pain than the first. I continue to go to the gym 3 days per week to do both cardio and strength training. Murphy is desperately hoping I will get my act together to get us on a walk every morning too, but the weather was pretty crappy last week, so I wasn’t very motivated.

2) There is much progress on my garden. (My annuals bed is pictured above, pics of the veggie part on to come once i finish the landscaping.)  Which is great because I am enjoying beautifying my yard, and prepping to plant some healthy and delish veggies. PLUS, gardening is great exercise.

3) I have decided to commit to two weeks of vegan “clean eating”. Pictured below is my first attempt from the Engine 2 Cookbook (they have a website too), Sweet Potato Lasagna. It was tasty, and filling, although not very lasagna-y. I will report back on how I feel after I am a few days in, since this is only day 2. I have to say, right from the start, clean eating is a great way to cut back your calories, because even when you add in some treats, its pretty hard to get too many calories if you are mostly eating veggies and whole grains!


PS I already miss cheese. (Those are ground cashews on top.)


We walked to the beach!

Dear Erin,

Murph and I walked to the harbor this morning – just a couple of miles, but we didn’t have a lot of time, and it was lovely weather.

Next scheduled gym time…tomorrow morning.
Murph won’t mind because he likes to sleep in on Saturdays.

Today’s lunchtime mission, get those bike tired filled up!!
Weekend frowny-face, it looks like it is going to rain a lot, so no gardening time (I have to draw the line at mud).

I want to hear all about the Y-fit…post soon!



April 17, 2012 - murph
Dear Erin,

I feel super guilty when my schedule makes it so the only time I can get to the gym is before work.
The Murph looked so disappointed in me when I left the house without him this morning.
He does not give me the same look when I run out to the store or the chiropractor before work, as I am not wearing exercise clothes.
Smart dog.

I went anyway. Yay for being home from the gym and showered for my day before 7:30 am!


PS This picture is from our walk on Tuesday.

Bonus Post

Dear Erin,

Here is a bonus post for you today.
I received my recently ordered my new/old Kid Rock CD (thank you for having so many used CD’s for $1).
When I opened it up to add it to my computer, and put it on the gym playlist, I saw this:

Thanks Kid Rock. Thanks Amazon. Cause that’s just how I was feeling today.
And now I can go to the gym after work, and rock it in STYLE!


Weekend Report From Sarah

Dear Erin,

I wanted to report on my weekend.

As you know, I have been having some back problems that have been preventing me from my full normal activities.
This weekend, as I am unable to sit still for long periods of time, they prevented me from traveling down to Maryland to help my sister’s family out (and play with my nephews), which was sad.

BUT, I turned it around a little bit, and was not just wandering around my house moaning over the pain.
Before I tell about the weekend, I should say that walking helps stretch out the sore muscles in my back, and generally makes me feel a lot better.

Saturday morning, I went walking at the gym, then shopped for healthy local foods at the farmers market with some friends, and then even managed to do a couple of hours of back-friendly (careful) cleaning before I got together with friends for a meal we cooked with some of that farmers market food and a game night.

Sunday I spent several hours on an urban hike in Providence with a couple of friends. We walked along the Blackstone Boulevard Path, did a little shopping on Hope Street, and had lunch out at Not Just Snacks, where I made a really healthy lunch choice. I recommend their Lentil Soup served with Naan. It was great day, weather and otherwise, and I really meant to take some pictures of the lovely houses we were walking past along the path, but I forgot. (I guess I’ll have to go walk along that path again soon.)

No pictures today. Everyone’s favorite kind of blog-post.


Brownie/Cookie Hybrid

Dear Erin,

I know I still owe you a post about playlists. Its coming.
I am happy the second job is starting out well for you.
I am so jealous of your gardening yesterday. Because it was gross here, and it would have been so cool to be outside.
I LOVE that picture of your baby in the garden!! Think if you send him up here, the novelty of being in RI would be enough to convince him to weed again?

This post is in honor of your fast food eating. I think you will enjoy it.
Sorry about the title.  It even sounds good. And it is. My aunt makes these really cool treats. They are kind of like a brownie, baked in a muffin tin, with a chocolate chip cookie baked on top.  Not really your every day snack, but DAMN, they are tasty.  She recently made a batch and sent one to me via my sister.

As you know, I’m not really on any kind of a “deprivation” diet. Just trying to stick mostly to the healthy stuff, and counting all my calories.

Well, when I looked at that brownie/cookie, I knew I had to have some.  I also knew I didn’t know how many calories it was, but I still had 545 calories left to eat for the day, and that was before I even visited the gym.  SO, I ate half of the treat.  Actually, I savored half of it, in tiny bites, and it WAS really tasty. I put the other half away for later, and decided to have a plain salad for dinner after the gym, and go on with my day.

About half an hour later, a funny thing happened.  I got the WORST heartburn EVER. I am not someone prone to heartburn (luckily for me, since a lot of my family is), and at first I didn’t even realize what was going on.  But as I walked the treadmill, I paid for that brownie for the first 35 minutes of my 45 minute walk.

Its weird how even after a short period of time, things your body used to be fine with get rejected.  Mine is like that about soda now too.  Some things just aren’t worth it. I hope my body continues to remind me of that. I threw the other half of the brownie/cookie out when I got home.


PS I’m not getting super righteous about clean eating – I had a five guys burger for dinner one night this week. After being pretty exclusively vegetarian and completely low fat for the whole week, it was great. (I just counted the calories.)