Eating For Energy

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunflower Seeds - A Great Snack

With every shop I am consciously aware of our options now. I want to check the back of every packaged good. From canned good items, to pre-packaged meals bought at Trader Joes our new found favorite market.
We are a family of 5 and so I shop where the deals are. I was shopping for some school supplies for Skylar's field day on Friday as well as some new office supplies for my new desk at Prudential.  It's great when you can go to a store like the Dollar Store and find great finds and pay that $1.00 each and every time!!
As I was strolling through each isle looking for what I came in for as well as any cool finds needed; I came across the "junk food isle" as I have affectionally named it! I am looking at fried this and pork that and my stomach is silently turning as I read all these nasty labels! I am saying a silent prayer for all who buy these items and wishing them and their stomachs a safe recovery after indulging themselves in this nasty production of junk. Surprisingly I also came across big bags of Sunflower Seeds!
My Mom is a huge lover of Sunflower seeds and introduced them to me as a kid.  I forgot how nice they taste. I thought this would be a good snack "on the go". I looked on the back of the bag and sure enough the Protein section is in bold! About 1/4 cup of Sunflower Seeds is about 8 grams of Protein! No Cholesterol, no trans-fat, sodium is low with 90 mg, dietary fiber is 2 g and there is less than 1 g of sugar. The total fat is 13 g but compared to most things we eat that's nothing! So I happily bought a bag to enjoy an old time favorite.
As I've been munching on them in the car, I have to admit they are quite tasty. I am really enjoying a natural, organic snack provided by nature! Sealed up in a convenient bag made by DAVID Sunflower Seeds.

Any of you enjoying sunflower seeds or any easy quick all natural snack you can suggest?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Introducing RAW FOODS

You can feel the cool air coming; you can sense summer is winding down! It's wonderful!! I love summer, one of my favorite seasons but living in North Carolina it gets so incredibly HOT!! I mean over 105 degrees plus = HOT, HOT, HOT!!

With the anticipation of fall coming, I am opting for more warm foods as well as introducing RAW FOODS into our diet.

Today I started with breakfast which consisted of oatmeal with apple and peach slices! So yummy and warm and comforting!! The kids are really coming around to oatmeal and it's a great start to our day!  For lunch we had LUNCH BUNCH at the office; which is all agents that are available to attend a lunch date on Tuesday at the end of every month. It's really nice; we get to mingle, get to know agents who we haven't met before or get to know agents on a more personal level!  We went to a restaurant called Pie Birds. It's a gorgeous restaurant down town and the ambience is wonderful. Original brick to the building is exposed; they have cool but funky furnishing. It reminds me of a hippie place. But very sophisticated as well.

Of course everything on the menu is pies! Tomatoes with basil pie, curry vegetable pie, chicken curry pie etc. For sides; butternut squash, sweet potatoes fries, sweet potatoes soup and so on. Absolutely delicious. Unfortunately there wasn't anything truly vegan and I've learned a lesson from this lunch date today. Check out the menu in advance and depending on the menu is whether or not I'll go in future. I ended up selecting the vegetable curry pie with a side of butternut squash. The pies, were very small and called "hand held pies". The squash came in the tiniest side dish I've ever since in my life. It looked as if it belonged to a little girls tea party set!  I had asked if the pie came with any creams or milk products etc. (obviously the crust must have egg and milk) but I really had no other choices.  The waitress informed me there wasn't and once my pie arrived, right in the middle was sour cream on top! So that didn't make me too happy but I took pity on the waitress as I am waitressing now and you could see she was very much overwhelmed by our big number of agents.  I ate it and the vegetable curry pie as delicious minus the sour cream part; which I scraped off. The squash was sooo good I wanted to have a bowl of it!  One of our agents who attended had her birthday today! The majority of everyone ordered dessert and I had great will power and declined.  I wasn't going to add insult to injury with adding more milk, egg and sugar to my system! I must admit all the pie's looked gorgeous!! From honey and sea salt, banana pajama's, chocolate, coconut, and there was a key lime in there as well. I was actually asked if I had ordered the "will power pie!” Very cute! No just being as strict in my new Vegan diet as possible. I just informed the table I was full and don't normally eat desserts and that is true to the most part. I didn't want to cause a "21 questions" with them all by informing them all that I was vegan. This happened the last month with "LUNCH BUNCH".

Trevor is out of state in Texas right now and so I am in charge of dinner yet again. I have been trying to keep our diner's light, filling and as vegan as possible. So tonight I added raw food in there to mix it up a bit. We ate, brown rice, steamed corn on cob and broccoli, raw cucumbers and carrots and for dessert left over fruit salad from the other day made by Britain!  The kids ate it all and Luke even asked for a sliced up apple as well! The kids are really enjoying our choices of foods. I just need to whip out some vegan cook books on the weekend and really start making some amazing homemade soups, casseroles, pasta dishes, pies, etc. I really want the kids to feel like I am putting the effort into our new diet. Much easier said than done but I am determined to have our new Vegan lifestyle to a fine system come a year's time!  I felt today compared to the almost 2 months has been a great effort into "Going Vegan" for 3 full meals!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Can't I upload that!

Hello All!  Did you all survive Hurrican Irene! Wow, what a week in preparation for this horrible Hurrican that came to pass thankfully!! Well on top of hearing about Hurrican Irene and what precautions, North Carlolina should take, I've also been feeling very frustrated! I love being Vegan, have no complaints accept one. I do not have the "Betty Croker or Julia Childs" feel to just whipping up a Vegan meal, having all the ingredients and know how! That's my biggest frustration! I also feel like time just passes us all by so quickly and to learn something new is such a struggle. I was crying to Trevor yesterday saying " how much I want this new life, how I know with every being of me, that this is the right way to go, I know in the long run we'll have no problems with whipping up great meals for any occasion". But right now, as I am in my new career as a realtor, just got a 2nd job as a waitress, will be working 60 hours a week, raising 3 kids, homework, dentist, doctors, vacations, house projects, fun time, family time, alone time. Time, Time, Time is the big problem really!! There isn't any more that we can have. I wish sometimes there was 3 or more of me to do it all and be all to everyone and myself!   I wish I had a software program that I could upload like Matrix and know everything there is to know about being Vegan! I also wish I had all the ingredients, spices, herbs, everything there is to just do it with ease! But unfortunately I don't!  I am just like you all with the same amount of time and the same stresses of making a living, raising happy, healthy kids, making sure I have a happy, healthy marriage and overall happy healthy bodies too!

So much to do, learn and be, if only we could upload! I know we as a family will get there soon! I just am so very impatient and the cook books make it look so very easy!  Any other "Going Vegan's" out there? Any helpful suggestions? We are still so new to this, could use any help! Thanks, Kerri ;)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Out of the loop

It's hard to believe it’s been almost a week since I last blogged. My goal is to blog every day and inform you on our entire journey with "Going Vegan". We have had many forks in the road this past week which has not allowed me much time to blog.

On August 18th on Luke's actual 7th birthday, we had a birthday celebration with McD's. As well as a forever farewell to McD's food for us all. We promised them they could have "forever farewells" from their favorite fast food restaurants as they wean off our old food habits and learn new Vegan food habits.

Friday was the start of Luke's 7th birthday party weekend. Luke was invited to his friends 6th birthday party that night; that meant sugar, cake, pizza. All the old food choices we would have allowed. Since he is only 7 and is learning all about becoming a vegan, it's truly unfair to take all of his "normal food habits" away from him cold turkey. So we allowed him to go to his friend’s birthday party and sleep over. Our girls had friends sleep over our house. The good thing is the girls are older and more acceptable to us creating vegan foods and actually eating it. Their friends know we are vegans now, don’t' really understand what that means. I just don't explain much as it can get confusing for them or too much information type deal and I do not wish to upset them or their parents while in our care. So I just make what we would make for us and have the kids try it. I've found it refreshing to notice our kids friends are happy with veggie burgers or veggie sausages and steamed veg and our brown rice for dinner. Our daughter Britain's friend said felt like she was having a mini thanksgiving meal. Which I thought was cute, since it was just our typical vegan dinner we eat most nights.  We had a double sleep over party; meaning not only did we have 2 extra kids Friday, we then had 4 extra kids on Saturday night and let Sky sleep over her friend’s house.  Again we had to come up with a meal that would be pleasing to all but keep it vegan. We decided on wheat spaghetti and marinara sauce. All the kids wolfed it down! That was nice to see. Homemade popcorn for movie night watching "Robots" a classic in our house was a huge hit as well. Breakfast for sleep over parties in my house is always homemade pancakes. It's a quick meal, its filling and I know the kids will be satisfied and full till their parents come get them before lunch time. I like pancakes because it means if I feed them this meal an hour or so after they get up, I can guarantee I can clean up once and not have to make them another meal due ot the filling brunch I just served! With 3 kids it's a lot of clean up and adding 4 or however many more is just more than double the work. I try to plan accordingly and make my life as easy as possible.

So now it's Saturday, August 20th and we have Luke's 7th birthday party at Jelly Beans. It's a roller skating rink. This means plenty of sugar will be had with ice-cream cups, fun dips, pizza and soda. I wish I could veganize this day, make it healthier for my kids and the others. But this is not practical in the real world with small kids. We had a total of 14 kids and thank goodness we booked the party out of the house this year as our lives have been pretty busy and it was one less thing to deal with. Luke, his sisters and friends had a wonderful time! We all did!! I'll be adding several new postings from last weekend as well as pictures and videos.    Friday and Saturday was a blur! So much fun, nonstop taking care of the kiddies and the house got destroyed. The irony there is we wanted Luke's party to be out of the house to ensure no mess and then had an unexpected sleep over party with 4 additional kids and it looked like we had the party at home regardless! Well many fun memories made, so that's what really counts right!  Come Sunday we all wanted to stay home, tidy up the house and get it back in order and get ready for the week ahead. We didn't have time because I had booked a BBQ at my dear friends house for that afternoon. By the time the kids had been picked up, I got a couple of loads on, and put some away it was time to go!

So needless to say this weekend is going to be less hectic, more time to focus on the house and most importantly create a Veganized menu for this coming week. Oh on top of all that I decided it was time I got a 2nd job to help out with the bills and so now I am truly a full time working Momma. I am now waiting at a really nice restaurant down the street from my house. Takes about 4 minutes to get there. My day consists of working out from 5 am, getting kids up at 6 am, getting kids to school  and out the door by 7 am. Getting to my Real Estate office by 8 or 8:30 am. Work there till 2 pm. Then get into the car to pick up Sky from her school by 2:50 onward. Rush home to try and be home before Britain and Luke get off the bus by 3:15 and then have about an hour and half with them for homework, snacks and find out how their day was. I then get ready for my 2nd job waiting from 5 pm to close and have to leave the house no later than 4:45 pm. I don't see my gorgeous husband until I hit the sheets from 10 pm onward and he's typically asleep! So how crazy is it to change our entire eating lifestyle, raise 3 kids, build a real estate career, work a 2nd job and get up and do it again the next day!! I thankfully make sure I have Sunday's off to spend with my family or be available for open houses!! I know we can do it all as long as we plan and organize our lives accordingly!! Please look out for our new video's from last weekend and photos too. Thank you for all the support we have received from family and friends with our new food lifestyle adventure!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Celebration and Farewell

7 years ago today; I gave birth to a gorgeous, healthy 7lb 15 oz., 10 fingers, 10 toes, baby boy named Luke Ian Gardner!! Since the minute I was able to feel him move inside me we nicked named him a monkey. He used to roll from one side of my tummy to the other and I christened the action "the armadillo roll!"

He's been a bundle of energy and constantly on the go! That is why; with all our children I am such an advocate now for Veganism.  We truly are what we eat and what we put into our mouths/bodies today will affect how long we live, how healthy we live, what dis-ease might occur in our bodies, the condition of our brains, heart, veins, muscles etc. Trevor and my plan are to live to 100 yrs or longer! I mean how you can you make your millions and drop dead right! You need to become a multi-millionaire and live long enough to enjoy it right! Pass it down to your family, help out friends, and make this planet a better place for all!

We are fortunate we have such great kids who understand from the information we have told them; that it is seriously very important to "Go Vegan"!  They are on board, they are learning as we do and they are replacing meals with vegan meals as much as we can without shoving the food down their throats! The only request they asked of us was to allow them to have their favorite "fast food" one last time. Since today was a very special day for Luke turning 7, we said sure and Luke picked McD's! Not my favorite place at all. I do make an exception for their Sweet Ice Tea! So good, but rots your teeth out!

So off to McD's we went for Luke's 7th birthday dinner. Luke ordered a happy meal with chicken nuggets, fries and apple juice. Britain ordered the same but with a small Sprite. Skylar our "meat eater" was very excited to say hello and goodbye to a Big Mac, fries and Dr. Pepper. Trevor was torn as he is dead serious about being Vegan as much as I am. After a few minutes of contemplating he decided to say "Goodbye" to his ultimate favorite Big Mac, large fry and large drink. I was adamant not to cave, not to want to say goodbye since I mentally gave up McD’s for ages now, only to stop for sweet tea. I ordered an Asian Salad with no chicken.  I then caved a little and ordered a $1.00 hamburger!

We all sat, said Happy 7th Birthday to Luke and tucked in. I have to say my "goodbye" burger tasted so yummy. As I chew I knew how bad our stomachs are going to suffer for the next several days!! I think it's not the smartest of ideas but if you plan on "Going Vegan" for the rest of your life, I think it wasn't a bad thing to do!

We did start the morning off right for Luke's birthday breakfast and we served Morning Star veggie sausages and apple slices with apple juice for the kids. Luke had 2 candles in his; one to blow out and one to make a wish. There was no way we could fit 7 candles and 1 extra for a wish. We tried this last year with waffles for Luke and we burnt the plate from the candle flame!

Video and pictures are attached. Hope you enjoy our special moment for our beautiful boy Luke!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Are you Tofurkying to me?

Godfather! What a great film!!  Definitely classics! We have the entire collection. Not so thrilled with all the blood shed but it wouldn't be a gangster/mob movie without it!

Now I do believe one of the most known lines is "Are you talking to me!"  This is a classic line! This line sounds like what we used for lunch tomorrow. TOFURKY!!  Basically a combo of Tofu and Turkey.  Of course it's all tofu but boy does it taste like Turkey! Turkey will always be a favorite of mine; regardless that I will never eat it again. I remember the taste, smell and texture! My most favorite part of the Turkey was the dark meat (worst part for you but so good!).

Now a day's we are experimenting with a lot of different products in the Vegan section of Whole Foods, Trader Joe's etc. One of those vegan products is Deli Slices of Tofurky. This particular Tofurky is flavored "Hickory Smoked".  Believe it or not, it tastes just like that! I really enjoy it!! I have made a very delicious Tofurky sandwich on whole wheat bread with romaine lettuce, tomato slices and mustard! It's beyond delicious! Trevor has not tried it yet but will do tomorrow for lunch! An additional bonus is there are Tofurky Hickory Smoked recipes on the back of the box.

Here are the recipes:

Tofurky Roll-Ups
1 package of Tofurky Hickory Smoked Deli Slices
8 oz. vegan or dairy cream cheese
1/4 chopped red onion
1-2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
4 oz. chopped olives (optional)
Wheat tortillas

Mix cream cheese, onion, jalapenos and olives. Spread on tortillas. Cover with Tofurky Hickory Smoked Deli Slices. Roll tortillas into tube shape and cut into 1 inch pieces. Enjoy!


Tofurky Club Sandwich
Layer Tofurky Hickory Smoked Deli Slices, sliced avocado, sliced tomato, sliced red onion, sprouts, lettuce, mustard, vegan mayo  (veganaise), vegan cheese and 2 slices soy bacon on 2 pieces of toasted, whole grain bread. Enjoy!

These recipes sounds amazing and I have not tried them as of yet but if you like the Tofurky as I do; these will be just as delicious as a basic Tofurky sandwich!

Have you ever eaten Tofurky? Thoughts?

Monday, August 15, 2011


About 14 yrs ago I lived in England with my then boyfriend Trevor.  How cool was it to be young, single, in love, living and working in a new country!  I was definitely the "foreigner". My so called accent from "Norton, Massachusetts" was picked up on very quickly. The closest anyone could figure out where I was from was telling all I was from Boston.  Well I went to college in Boston so close enough.
I got to hear all the different British accents, eat new foods, hang at new pubs, try the local brews, drive on the "wrong side of the road" and overall just learn a new way of life in general. One of my most favorite new find was hanging out at the local pub, drinking cider and hanging out with Trevor and his friends We’d sometimes finish the evening off after all the Pubs would close with a gorgeous, piping hot Kebab!! Never had one in my life until I was 21. The kebab was so moist, so delicious, and stuffed in beautiful pita bread. With a heaping side of chips!! No wonder I gained 10 pounds in my first year living there!!

Well those animal eating days are gone, so we wanted to try and create our own Vegan Kebab!! And I think we pulled it off! We bought wheat and regular pita breads, fresh Romaine lettuce, fresh tomatoes, seedless cucumbers and a box of Morning Star veggie burgers. The kids are more partial to the Morning Star veggie sausages. I pan cooked the burgers and sausages. Sliced up the cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce. Added some Italian seasoning dressing for a little extra kick (Trevor prefers lemon juice) and well ah!! Gorgeous Vegan Kebabs!

The best part, the kids wolfed them down too. It was nice to start the dinner eager to eat and to finish with empty plates!!  We'll be making this meal quite often!! A new favorite for our kiddies as well! Hooray, we are on to a good start this week with our vegan menu


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Spaghetti Tacos!

Ask the kids what they want to eat and you'll definitely get the junk list!!

It's definitely going to take a full year to have our kids really realize we are no longer going to eat what we "used to"!  We have to remind them it's all about "Going Vegan" now and that they are in "wean mode" and that is ok.

So we explained to the kids their vegan choices and they are complaining a bit but thankfully have loved most of the Morning Star products we've bought. As well as the wheat spaghetti, brown rice pasta. They are crazy in love with hashbrowns and other easy quick type of meals.

This is all well and good but we need to still make "meals". Trevor and I still feel we are "at the wall" stage. We are reading, looking up recipes on the internet, taking books out from the Library to research. We also are "just going with it" and trying our own recipes revamping old favorites with vegan substitutes. 

One of the kids favorite meal is "Spaghetti Tacos". They got this off an episode of  "I Carly" from Nickelodeon.   I have to admit this was a fun episode and I've enjoyed it as well!! We've made this several times over with turkey mince and turkey meatballs. Well we've just varied it a bit. 

We are now cooking only brown rice pasta or wheat pasta. We found in BJ's an 8 pack of wheat spaghetti. We also are using the Meatless-meatballs from Trader Joe's. Which I really love, they are my favorite.  The kids are on the fence, but are slowing getting there.  We only now use Earthly Balance for the butter spread effect. Has absolutely no diary, gluten etc.

Absolutely easy to make, boil your pasta, heat up your sauce, throw in some meatballs or not. Heat up several or in our case 12 or 15 plus corn taco's!!Fill them up with the spaghetti with or without meatballs and what your kids devourer!! They couldn't get enough of this meal!! Which made Trevor and I very happy.

Any other easy, Vegan friendly meals you think our kids will go crazy over?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Biking for Mushrooms!

Can you envision it! Family of 5 riding bikes for a nice Saturday afternoon! The sun is out, the wind is in your hair, everyone is smiling, laughing, and really enjoying the moment and memories being made!  What BS!  This is my “Hallmark Fantasy” and I’ve envisioned many different type of scenario’s for the past 12 yrs of raising kids!! This never ever happens; you would think I would grow up and realize that after all this time, my fantasies of happy making memory moments do not ever go to plan. That’s ok too; they typically turn out to be just fine and enjoyable. But when you specifically make plans to do an activity like biking; you think this is simple enough to make it happen!
Well I told Trevor I wanted to do something every Saturday/Sunday morning with the kids nice and early so we can have our time with them early and then have more time for what we want to do for the rest of the day!
We got up at 8:30 am and I said to Trevor “let’s go bike riding with the kids around the neighborhood first and work up an appetite for our traditionally Saturday Brunch”. He said “we need mushrooms to make our Saturday brunch”. I said “well lets then combine the two; let’s go for a bike ride to Food Lion and buy mushrooms, bike back and then cook brunch.” Well Trevor winced at this as he knows this is a recipe for disaster. He winced because he can foresee complaining kids! The complaints will be “I’m hot, my legs are killing me, I don’t want to ride anymore, can you ride for me (this one always kills me as we are all riding bikes and are you serious?). Or my absolute favorite “R we there yet!” 
So with my “Hallmark Fantasy” glowing in my head, off Sky, Britain, Trevor and I pedaled to Food Lion figuring 30 mins each way. Luke was not interested and stayed playing outside with our neighbors. As we pedaled we saw our dear friends/neighbors who we haven’t seen in forever and stopped to chat/catch up.  Proceeded to bike again and hit an unforeseen in my “Hallmark Fantasy” a billion and one hills on the way to Food Lion!  I mean come on! How many friggin hills can one subdivision have! Is this San Francisco!
After a grueling 40 min bike ride up hills, hyperventilating, complaints coming at a dozen from the kids (thankfully Luke wasn't there to add his own or stop riding all together!) Sweating pouring down our fronts and backs, red faces and the worst part! Our asses were about to be torn in two from the bike seats! We finally made it to Food Lion to buy our mushrooms!! The next dilemma was now we had to ride home!  Needless to say we made it home safe and sound about an hour and 45 mins later!! Made our Saturday Brunch. Kids were so exhausted they ate in the play room with movie and Trevor and I ended up having a quiet brunch on the back deck!  Pictures are attached! 
And how was your Saturday! ;0)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Vegan Pizza Disaster!!

Thought we'd make our homemade favorite cheese pizza and add a new twist!! Make homemade Vegan Cheese Pizza.  With vegan crust, vegan friendly cheese and regular non meat marinara sauce.

Well this picture will show you how awful it looked, the smell coming from the pizza was not very inviting and overall the presentation of this pizza was not worthy of even a taste! It felt like an episode of "Survivor" taking a bite, trying to chew and swallow!!

All of us tasted it ;(

It's back to the drawing board as to how to make VEGAN FRIENDLY PIZZA!!

We gave this pizza a very quick send off into the trash bin and wished it well! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What's in your snacks?

We as kids are suckers for commercials!! We are drawn to the TV like a dog is to a bone or whistle!! We get excited to see “what's the new next best thing”. From cars, toys, clothes, movies to food!!  Today at the office, we had a representative from a Condo Subdivision come by with a bag of goodies. The goodies consisted of Snyder's Of Hanover pretzels, Chex Mix, Cheetos, Doritos, blow pops, Tootsie roll pops, and peanut butter cheese crackers.

I walked over to have a look and finger through as everyone else did. I was curious of the ingredients and wanted to make sure if I chose something it would be "truly vegan". I read each of the ingredients on each snack.  Without fail, there was high corn syrup, acidic something, fructose this and unpronounceable that!  The only true healthy choices were Chex Mix and Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzel Sticks.  The others had milk or cheese in them.  So not a good "vegan choice" and after cheating yesterday I was not about to cheat again!

It just made me think how we are "programmed" by commercials to think how incredibly healthy all of the snacks they advertise. When in truth most of them are saturated with corn syrup, artificial flavoring and coloring. Full of ingredients you just cannot pronounce or understand what they are in the first place. We also cave as parents to just "shut the kids up" if we say no a million times and hear whining about "my friend does this or their Mom lets them do that...". I've done it, not proud of that either but since "Going Vegan" we are so much more aware of what we are putting in our bodies and our kids bodies. What will the consequences be in the long run of not eating healthy. Compared to really making good healthy choices, looking at the back of products for the ingredients and not giving in to the pressures of whining children. 
Do you read the back of the box, bag, or bar?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cheated today not proud of me!

Every Tuesday at our Prudential office we have a Realtor's meeting and a speaker who brings in goodies for after the meeting.  The goodies provided today were from North Carolina's famous "Chic Fil A" one of the best family franchises based on "chicken goodness". When I would eat chicken regularly Chic Fil A would be the "not really fast food" take out restaurant we'd make sure to visit when we wanted to treat the kids. 

Well I've been "Going Vegan" for over a month and 8 days! With not one bite of meat in my body I am proud  to say. Today I made the decision not to cheat!! Sitting watching everyone eat this old time favorite mini chicken nugget sandwich and smelling it's beyond goodness (I know it's not good for me) led me to make the over ruling decision to CHEAT!!  This took me 30 plus minutes to comtemplage, cave in and cheated!!

I ate 4 mini chicken nugget sandwiches and felt really awful right there after. The 4 mini chicken nugget sandwiches are nestled together like a brick in my stomach right now! Not feeling so great, naucious actually as I type this.  I really thought this would make a great, official good bye to Chick Fil A. It so wasn't worth it as they were not as moist as I had hoped and remembered. 

I will make sure not to tell my kids as they will be really mad at me for "having what they cannot have" and the fact that Chic Fil A will always be one of our favorite restaurants of all time!! This will remain true even though we will not be visiting it again if only to purchase their gorgeous and famous waffle fries!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lake of sleep = Stir Fry with Beef-less beef by Trader Joe's

Isn't it the most fun to wake up at 2:30 am from your own body creating the most amazing hot flashes and then followed by cold!! Or how about hearing your wonderful hubby who you adore but cannot stand the noise from  his mouth/nose!! His constant snoring; you think if I've heard it for 16 yrs I'd be more used to it!! But no, the most annoying noise ever that wakes me up every time! Or is it better to hear the snoring, feel the hot and then cold flashes and then your brain is awake and starts to think of a million and 10 things that needs to be done, wants to be done etc.

I certainly do not have a particular favorite but that was me 2:30 am this morning!!! I proceeded to lay there waiting for any hint of sleep that might return!! After 10 mins or so I gave up all hope and decided to hit the office and start working.  Out of this bad nights sleep it's the only positive thing I can think to do this early in the morning.

Fast forward 16 hours later of several errands that consisted of  visiting our car dealerships to fix car/change oil, make office calls, send emails, pay bills, review real estate information and on and on. Then car pool, interview for a part time job, pick up the other 2 (Britain and Luke) from neighbor to do homework and make snacks. All of this needing to be done and I am about to fall asleep standing!! I am so exhausted so very exhausted that I just cannot do one more thing!

The best part to being married to Trevor is Trevor! He's such a wonderful, caring person and always wants to make me and the kids happy! When I called him earlier today I asked what I should fix for dinner tonight. We came up with "let's make a stir fry and use the Beef-less beef by Trader Joe's".

The best part of this conversation was he finished the sentence with "I'll cook once I get home!".  All I had to do was do the prep work and then the couch and I had a meeting of relaxation.  

What a great way to finish this day with a delicious home cooked meal and it only takes minutes to do. We all enjoyed it!!

Just incase you are wondering, the stir fry got darker in color with the soy sauce.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Left Over's!!

This day and age we are all running around with our heads cut off! Even our children seem to be too busy most days; from what is scheduled at school to increasing activity in their social lives! Having 3 kids makes this family very busy!!

For example, not only did we have 1 sleep over party Friday night with 4 additional kids; we had another one Saturday night with only 2 additional kids. 

Breakfast is always in the bag as I make our traditional Betty Crocker pancakes but now Vegan style with substituting eggs with either apple sauce or banana's and milk with Almond milk. So delicious!

But dinner, is another matter. Luckily for us the all the kids love pasta and sauce! So we made a big batch of brown rice pasta and spaghetti sauce!  They all loved it and it filled them up. 

Trevor and I have been making "Mexican dinner's" for 16 yrs every Friday and Saturday nights! Friday was taco's, with Trader Joe's beef -less beef!! So good and Saturday we were in the mood for Chili!  The best part is you can make a lot of each of anything and have left overs during a busy weekend or week. Heating up left overs for me is such a wonderful thing to do for many reasons. It helps saves on buying take out, it helps save on cooking, reheating is so much easier and it's saves on our budget by eating all we bought in the first place!

What is your favorite left over? 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Better Crocker Pancakes - Vegan Style!!

7 kids is a lot to have over in one setting but we are so used to our house being a revolving door. With 3 kids it's always "busy" in this house at all times!

Last night we had our dearest friends kids and nieces over for a fun sleep over party!! This morning we had 7 hungry kids! It's a tradition in our house to serve up yummy pancakes for breakfast or depending on the wake up time, brunch.

I've owned my first and only Betty Crocker book since I was 22 and first married. I've had this book which I've had to tape up very used pages for 15 yrs  now. I've decided not to give it up since "Going Vegan" because the cool thing is there is always many substitutions for egg, dairy etc.  With the pancake recipe we substitute eggs with banana's and cow's milk with almond milk.  We also just added chocolate chips from Enjoy Life. Enjoy Life chocolate chips are dairy, soy and nut free.

I made double the batch for all these hungry kids and served up some very delicious pancakes. What was really cool is the kids wolfed them all down. They loved the pancakes and it didn't seem to bother them in the least they they didn't have cow's milk, chocolate from Hershey's or eggs in it. In fact I gave them 3 choices of syrup to put on the pancakes. Agave, Myple Syrup and Brown Rice Syrup.  The kids were great and tried each; accept for my two pickiest kids Britain and Luke. But 5 out of 7 kids liking the syrups was a huge success for me!

What recipes have you veganized? Please share as we are learning and would love to try it!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Getting the hang of things!

Trevor and I feel we are getting into a good rhythm with our vegan food purchases. We are constantly thinking of new ways to change up recipes "vegan style" that we used to create before. We are enjoying the new vegan recipes we've found or been introduced to. It's still a learning curve but so far so good!

Today I felt in my own element in Trader Joe's;  buying some Tempeh,  Trader Joe's Tofurky (which is delicious and tastes like hickory smoked). Sausage-less sausages, Beef-less beef (which we use for our Tacos).  This is so delicious!! 

My ultimate favorite snack...dried seaweed snacks!

Got 5 packets of them!!

I'm feeling great, Trevor is feeling great and the kids are coming around to tasting more and more vegan recipes!!

Where do you shop for your vegan goodies? Any favorites that must be added weekly to your pantry, fridge or freezer?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ask and you shall receive your Vegan lunch!

Bueller, Bueller!

Did any of you all see the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"? It's a great movie! I've remembered it  today after all these years. The reason I bring it up is I had a very informative but very boring Real Estate Seminar today. I kept envisioning  Ferris not being in class and having his teacher repeatedly call his name. I dozed off and on throughout the day due to the monotone voices.

My saving grace was lunch! I asked a staff member what type of lunch was being delivered today and was informed lunch would consist of bag of chips, soda, sandwich and a cookie. There was several types of sandwiches; turkey, ham, roast beef, egg salad, tuna salad and the very last choice was Veggie.

Of course I chose veggie. I made it vegan by removing the two types of cheeses and it was just a gorgeous, veggie full sandwich on wheat bun. It was light, refreshing and totally hit the spot. The new improved Vegan Sandwich gave me so much energy I was able to finish the 2 hours left of the seminar awake!!

Any amazing vegan sandwiches you would recommend?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beer Night and Blogging

Tonight is a fun night for both my husband and I. Once per month he attends our neighborhoods Beer Club. It’s in our local Rec Center and he has a great time walking up to the Rec Center to meet up with friends old and new. Trevor gets to socialize and tastes some newly brewed beer! It’s a wonderful way for a guy to have a GNO (guys night out!). The best part its’ literally a 15 min walk to the Rec Center and after a few beer tastings he can walk it off; literally coming home.
For me it means I have the kids in bed and I can focus on what I want to do. I am caught up writing this blog but I am not caught up posting it! So tonight I plan on posting the rest of my blogs to today’s date and announcing it to my Facebook friends and emailing it to my family and friends. I'd also love for Alicia Silvestone to introduce our blog on her The Kind Life website/blog. 
I am loving the changes, the learning curve to become a "pro" at being  a vegan. It’s a journey not a destination and it’s been very cool and adventurous so far! I will love reading my blog in a year compared to us “Going Vegan” and through the motions to eating right and balanced as vegans and see how our kids have experienced this journey as well!  This weekend we plan on adding Video and pictures to the blog. So please come back and check it out! We'll be introducing us via video. We also plan on videoing the kids cooking "vegan dishes" as well we Trevor and I. We have a lot fantastic ideas for our blog and we hope you have enjoyed reading and taking what you need to help you and  your family "Go Vegan".
Remember our kids read the blog daily.  So please be kind ;)
Do you have your own blog about being a Vegan? Do you check out other Vegan blogs? Any great suggestions?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Time Management; not always easy!

What a great feeling it is to actually use your time wisely! Got a good amount accomplished at the office and picked up Skylar from school right on time.  Met the bus just as the kids got off!! Planned snack and dinner to the T. Then you have a lax in judgement. Just when you feel all is ready to be dished out for dinner, the kids beg you to go outside to play for a bit longer! 

Well I made homemade gorgeous black eyed peas burritos for us all. The kids would have none seasoned as they are finicky with spices/herbs and we’d have it as the recipe instructed.

So yummy, so gorgeous.  Of course in my head all is enjoying this meal I creatively timed and planned the day before. Now all I am receiving is “this is yucky!” from Luke!! God bless the girls they could see I was getting frustrated and just tried it!  Kudos for me; they liked it!! Of course I decided to wait till “Daddy” got home so we all could eat as a family. Big mistake.  It was one of those days that even though you plan a healthy meal, plan the snacks and homework, plan it all to a T; all hell can break lose anyway and no one is happy. Especially "Daddy!" Who came home in a bad mood and ruined the flow of energy I was working with till that very moment! What a day!!

Any days start and end like this for you? Any meal plans you thought all would enjoy to be told they don’t! What are your "just getting started/learning" Vegan meal planning frustrations like mine?

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Kind Life Website/Blog by Alicia Silverstone

Every day I look forward to a daily email from Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Life website/blog.
I have been informed of so many Vegan facts, products, wonderful inspiring  stories of other people, Kind Sponsors and such. It’s been so wonderful to feel a part of a Vegan online community that will inform and help support. I’ve also taken the time to join a few “Vegan meet up” groups that are local and sound amazing!!

Any on line Vegan support groups you are apart of? Any local  Vegan groups in your town you have joined and met new friends?