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Day in Photos: 2/4/11

Friday, February 04, 2011

Happy Chinese New Years! emoticon emoticon

Officially the moon has gone through another cycle, hence, let the celebrations begin! Lunar New Years is an Asian tradition, one that we celebrate in our household too each year. Whether you call it Setsubun or Chinese New Years, it is still the same thing. Its great fun and who doesnít want to celebrate New years twice a year?

The day started off with getting the household prepared for the evening. Basically this involved cleaning the house. Thatís what I did, clean and work a little out of my office at home. It took all up until about an hour before I had planned to go to the gym. Thatís where a wall hit me Ė so to speak. The sunshine was gorgeous, especially since we hadnít seen the sun for a few months! The cat and I laid down doing a little something on the computer together in the sunshine Ė both of us were sunbathing. I have to admit, it was such a nice feeling the sun beam down on our fur/skin that it delayed me about ten minutes. Well worth it! The cat stated put while I sluggishly jumped out the door to walk to the gym in negative degrees weather. BrrrÖ

My workout went really well and I was feeling pretty good about the pace I was running at which was just over 10 min/mile. Yes, itís slower than I generally liked to go at the end of last year but Iím still trying to get back into it. I ran 5 miles and then walked a few after that Ė a total of about 2 hours on the treadmill.

Breakfast: The husband had a hankering for oatmeal loaded full with dried fruit and nuts. I obliged and sent him off with a Taiwanese Pastry, protein smoothie and oatmeal. For me, I didnít want oatmeal once again so I went for a vegetable melody topped on top of homemade vegan polenta. It was the perfect, filling breakfast to last the entire morning. Before I made the polenta breakfast, I had a blood orange and part of a kiwi. (325 cals)

Snack: None since I was full still and too busy.

Lunch: Veggies from the fridge were calling my name but I knew that I had to get some protein into my diet since I was going to need it in my system while at the gym. I found three vegan hot dogs (all natural ingredients, no preservatives) and threw it together with some veggies. It was perfect! (302 cals)

Snack: I had a papaya bun from Taiwan. It was a natural, bakery baked bun. Normally when I have this small, sweet dessert it is sweet bean from Japan but this was a Chinese one filled with papaya paste. It was good but Iím not sure I would purchase it again.

Dinner: Since I was running late to go to the gym, I didnít get the change to prep anything for dinner. This was my mistake Ė oops! After two hours in the gym, I took an hour and a half to make an entire Chinese New Years celebration. Boy was I tired afterward but it was well worth the work. Following tradition, we had an even number of dishes for good luck. We had fried tofu, baby bok choy slightly steamed, bamboo shoot mixture (my own creation) upon my husbandsí request, vegan udon with Chinese plain noodles (no egg), sliced cucumbers and vegetable dumplings with a sauce I whipped up. (589 cals)

Snack: For dessert we had these cute bunny steamed buns filled with sweet beans. They were small but delicious! We drank Korean Jujube and honey tea. Although we are vegan, we still do eat honey since we are that type of vegans. (138 cals)

Total Calories Eaten: 1,354 (54 cals over my range but itís ok because of workout)
Total Calories Burnt According to Treadmill: 762 calories
Total Burnt According to SP: 382 cals (diff of 380!!! Thatís huge!)
Total Miles: 5 running & 2.64 slower jog/walk pace with incline

Total Burned 1,939
Differential -585
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CASJ57 2/5/2011 10:55AM

    Love those steamed buns!

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BABYBY2012 2/4/2011 4:02PM

    Everything looks good!

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MARGARITTM 2/4/2011 12:51PM

    OK I'm starving now! Love the bunnnies!

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NATPLUMMER 2/4/2011 12:05PM

    Everything looks fabulous! Those bunnies are so cute!!!!
I would wager you burned more than SP says.
Happy new year!!!

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NEELIXNKES 2/4/2011 11:53AM

    Happy New Year! Every think looks delish. emoticon

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KELLY40222 2/4/2011 11:28AM

    Everything looks so tasty!

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Day in Photos: 2/3/11

Thursday, February 03, 2011

It snowed, rained, sleeted and then we got a day off work! Iím still trying to remember the last time I got off from work or school; I believe it was back in college when campus closed for one day for students that lived off-campus. The years preceding this closing, I had lived off campus and had to drive almost an hour to get to my early morning classes with not one cancellation. Then once I moved on campus (Yeah, I did it backwards, first two years off and last two years onÖ) they cancelled but only for students that were off campus were excused. *enter sad, sad music*

After yesterday though, I am no longer sadden by this tragic, tragic memory because work was called off! Yes, some bosses actually do cancel work since they care about the safety of ones employees. Hooray! So, my husband and I were able to spend the entire glorious day-off together. *enter happy, sparkling music*

The roads were icy and dangerous, so I did feel sorry for the people that had to drive to work yesterday; I hope you all made it okay to work and back home if you were one of them. Unfortunately the bad news was that we were not able to get to the gym since we couldnít drive there Ė and mostly because we didnít want to leave the warm house. Okay, so maybe it was more the second reason than the first oneÖbut still, we did play the wii for a while. We played tennis, yoga, Pilates, strength training and so on.

On another note, I was able to clean the house more for the Chinese New Years. Additionally, I had time to crochet a dishcloth, which Iím so proud of that I donít want to get dirty. Thatís just the craziness my husband has to deal with daily. ☺

Food for the Day:
Brekkie: Leftover Carrot Cake Pancakes from the wonderfully talented Isa Chandra. The night before, I was finishing up the organization of all our paperwork from the last year so that I can do our taxes. So, I didnít have time to cook anything else besides these delicious pancakes. We had some leftovers which we ate happily. Additionally we had a half of grapefruit each and a Deva Vegan Tiny multivitamin and mineral. (294 cals)

Snack: We were full from breakfast so we couldnít be bothered with anything for a snack Ė besides the coffee that we drank merrily.

Lunch: Seeing that it was a special day of relaxation, I went ahead and got the boxed vegan approved mac n cheese. I sliced up two potatoes and threw them in the oven with some dried rosemary on half and Cajun seasoning on the other half for French fries! Then I made the boxed mac n cheese for a yummy, gooey treat. I added some nutritional yeast and also some vegan cheddar cheese to the mixture to make it extra tasty. It was a hit among the two of us. Mmmmmm (487 cals)

Snack: Lollipop. We went to the store the other day and we found a lollipop with bubble gum in the middle. Itís been ages since we had one (mainly since they are bad for the teeth seeing that it is composed of just sugar and more sugar) so we had to get some. This was our snack. Had a blood orange while making dinner.

Dinner: This was another special recipe that I had found online Ė thankfully! It is called Split Pea Cilantro Dumplings in a Coconut Curry. Thanks Lisa! It was amazing! I made it vegan so that we could eat it without feeling guilty. I made a few different changes to fit what we had in the household but it was wonderful. I made the entire dish and then added some wild rice instead of white. Additionally, I subtracted the second can of light coconut milk to reduce calories and fat content. If you like spicy things, it is highly suggested! (254 cals)
*Natplummer - so funny we had the same thing in mind for dinner!

Snack: Herbal Tea and some Josephís sugar free almond cookies that are 95 calories for four small cookies. They are a bit of a strange texture and crunchy but you can get past that fast. The ingredients: ďUnbleached Wheat Flour, Maltitol, Natural Almond Slices, Canola Oil, Almond Flavor, Baking Soda, Baking PowderĒ. Not really that happy that it contains Maltitol but this one bag will be good to eat. Husband had Taro Mochi (108cals per mochi! Yikes!) (260 cals)

Total Calories Eaten: 1,295 (Note: I'm very short so my cals range is 1200-1300)
Good on all accounts of nutrition!!!
(Fats: 19%; Carbs 70.9%; Protein 9.8%)
Exercise: About an hour of Wii
Total Burned 1,557
Daily Calorie Differential: -1,232 (without wii exercise added in)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTBIRDY 2/4/2011 2:39PM

    We have that mochi every once in awhile, but it's deadly and addicting.

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NEELIXNKES 2/4/2011 11:37AM

    Ooo I was going to ask about the pancake recipe and the dumpling recipe so glad I saw the think. Sounds like a nice relaxing unexpected day off! Have a nice weekend!

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BREW99 2/4/2011 11:01AM

    You can get the recipes at:

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NATPLUMMER 2/3/2011 12:56PM

    YAY for a day off with the husband!!!
At least you got some Wii in. That is definitely better than no exercise.
Everything looks super tasty, as always.
But nobody actually made the mapo tofu. I actually have some in the freezer that's leftover from the last time I made it. I may break it out for dinner.

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CASJ57 2/3/2011 12:18PM

    Wow, those split pea dumplings sound tasty. I must search for that recipe.


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Day in Photos 2/1/2011

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

January has come and gone, whew! The first month of the year is always the hardest for me since it right after the long holiday season. With the start of February, Groundhog Phil will look for his famous shadow on February 2nd and then Chinese New Years will be here! So much fun!

My husband and I are looking forward to Chinese New Years! We love celebrating different cultures, especially Asian ones. I have two university degrees based on Asia, so itís close to home for me to celebrate Asian holidays. So, this week is all Asian inspired foods that I love. You will notice this weekís food is not only Asian but also vegan!

Iíve been reading The Thrive written by Brendan Brazier, a professional Ironman triathlete. Even though Iím not sure about following his meal plan entirely, my breakfast this morning was inspired by his book. I took oatmeal, chia seeds, flax seeds and a little organic blue agave nectar. Additionally I had half a grapefruit and some Michigan Cherry coffee. Perfect until lunchtime! (259 cals)

Snack: Rather full so I just ate a kiwi.

Lunch: Leftover Chickenless stir-fry on a bed of organic mixed greens. On the side I had a Clementine. (253 cals)

Snack: I needed a carbohydrate before going to the gym. I had a gluten-free ďrice krispieĒ by called EnviroKidz Organic Peanut Rice Treat. Ours states that it is vegan- the link here states that it contains honey so Iím not sure which is correct. Iím a vegan that doesnít mind having honey though so Iím good to go. Caution though, check your ingredients list before buying. At the gym I love to drink Zico coconut water to increase my electrolytes after sweating. I drink half a container each time I go. Additionally, I snacked on a few waffle pretzels while cooking. (329 cals)

Dinner: Prepared before I left for the gym, I just had to come home and throw everything together for dinner. I find that if I just take a little time to make my ďmise en placeĒ before going to the gym, it is much faster when I get home. (I feel so professional donít I? Donít let me trick you, I just watch too many cooking shows.) On the menu: Chinese Chinese Cabbage With Red Chili from the book Why the Chinese Donít Count Calories. I found that I should use less oil though than the recipe suggests. I usually make a side dish I learned while living in Japan that was used without oil Ė I prefer that recipe I think. Next side dish was Japanese styled burdock root (Gobo) with carrots. Third side dish was sliced organic English cucumbers with baby organic heirloom tomatoes. The main course was Vegan Mabo Tofu inspired by the recipe from Soy Chick. We have been making this recipe for a few years and amazingly it tastes different each time. Wonderful! (373 cals)

Snack: Blood Orange and a Clementine shared with my husband. The hungry man also had a serving of Organic Premium Soy Delicious Cookies and Creme Ice Cream. We have tried many different types of ice cream but prefer to have coconut ice cream. Unfortunately, this one has very little flavor and the cookies are soggy. Have you tried it? What are you thoughts?

Walked to the gym in 9 degrees. Ran for about 3.5 miles and then I decided that I had a good workout and decided I would walk with an incline for the last .68 or so. I burnt off around 350 calories in total according to my NikePlus and 407 on the treadmill.

Total Calories Eaten: 1,214
All nutrients perfect except 19 carbs too low
Total Burned 1,897
Differential -683 calories

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 2/3/2011 8:20AM

    Love the Nike chart! And cherry coffee? Hm...

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ELISA322 2/1/2011 8:28PM

    Wow how far is the gym from your house for you to walk in 9 degree weather?! I got gas yesterday and I thought my legs were going to get frostbite, it was so cold.

Funny, I know what mise en place means too since I am a big fan of Top Chef! Love when they have the mise en place challenges.

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TITALADY 2/1/2011 1:51PM

    Do you eat enough to support your exercise? You seem to burn so much! I love burdock root. I've taken to eating raw Kimchi (bought at the Farmer's market around the corner, organic and local and RAW!) and it makes me feel delightful! I should make my own, when the weather gets warmer. :) emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 2/1/2011 11:08AM

    As always, it looks super tasty. OOOOohh, I love mapo tofu!!! I have made it vegan for me, but my husband likes to have a little pork or turkey in it.
We've had to SoDelicious ice cream sandwiches and like those ones, especially the coconut. Yes, it is light on the coconut flavor but still tasty.

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HEIDIB2935 2/1/2011 10:10AM

    Fun post!

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Weekend in Photos 1/28-1/30

Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekend has come and gone, but the memories are still here forever. Iím so blessed to have a wonderful husband that keeps me positive and going throughout the week. On the weekend, I am thankful to be able to spoil my husband with proper food and love. When I first started my adventure here on SP, I only thought that I would regain my confidence and lose the weight that was needed to be healthy. What I didnít know was that I would regain not only my confidence but increase my level of love for the things around me. When you change your life drastically, such as we have done, you learn to love everything that you do have already and in the future. If you have been here for a while, Iím sure you are seeing the same effect in your life too. If you are a newbie, it is something to look forward to in the future.

Iím thankful for weekends and being able to spend those special moments with my husband. So what did we do that was so special? Well, to tell you the truth, nothing at all. Haha Sounds funny, I know. But itís the truth! It was well below the temperature that would even want to tempt us to go outside. Our solution is to just stay inside and get comfy. It may sound like a lazy plan but it is the best since it really revives the mind and body. After this weekend, we both were happier than before and ready to get to the gym this next week.

Weekend in photos:
Saturday Breakfast: Homemade Banana Bread that was 100% veganÖ It contains 5 bananas, so it just reaped benefits for the body and mind. My recipe was from:
5 I changed the recipe though to mirror our tastebuds.

Sunday Breakfast: I woke up early so that I could make the handsome sweet man snoozing in bed a plate of gooey pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Again, I changed the recipe quiet a lot. The original recipe was from
798. They were full of sugar (which we usually donít have in our household) but they were so amazing! It is a once every few months sweet breakfast. We ate a healthy lunch and dinner to balance the sweet cinnamon rolls. The cuddly man was more than thankful to be served in the entertainment room as he was reading and drinking crŤme brulee coffee.

Saturday Dinner: While celebrating Vegan Pizza Day, we made vegan pizzas. Yum! We made a fougasse-style pizza. Unlike normal, we used a Yves Vegan pepperoni and also Vegan Cheddar Cheese from Love Your Heart (Casein free).

Sunday Dinner: So full from our breakfast still, we decided to go along with a smaller dinner. I took some Ďchickenlessí strips and made a nice, healthy stir-fry. Iíll have my recipe on my website it you would like it. It was more bland than what we generally prefer but it was the first time we tried these Ďchickenlessí strips from Trader Joeís.

Exercise: Not really that much exercise happened this weekend besides taking a small walk outside when it was warm on Sunday, along with Wii Fit Plus exercise routines. It was a relaxing time to regenerate our muscles and bodies for the next week. Mission Accomplished.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEELIXNKES 1/31/2011 11:37AM

    Sounds like a relaxing and healthy weekend. I may just have to make those cinnamon rolls for my DH, they look so yummy.

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SUGIRL06 1/31/2011 11:17AM

    I had such a crazy weekend! I am looking forward to a similar weekend in this week! As always, love the food pics!
PS. My coworker does "Meat Free Mondays" so in honor, I have mung beans with quinoa, peppers, and celery today. A little bland but no big deal! I'm not the amazing vegan chef like you ;) I just grabbed what was available in the fridge!

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CONTENTANDFIT 1/31/2011 10:32AM

    Just dropping in via the Eco-Friendly Sparker member blog reading challenge.

I thought I'd pass along a creative commons eBook link (Creative Commons means the writer allows people to download it free) for Tasty Vegan Holiday Recipes from

The link leads to a creative commons page that has a link to the ePub file which you can download and to read or convert to another sort of file depending on your eReader.


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NATPLUMMER 1/31/2011 10:30AM

    As always, it looks super tasty. I do love banana bread. I've even got a few bananas saved in the freezer so I'm ready anytime I want some.
Wii Fit Plus is exercise. Just not as intense as you'd get a the gym. Sometimes that's the perfect amount.
Have a great week!!!

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JLEMUS1 1/31/2011 9:24AM

    That all looks sooooo good!!! Congrats!!! I never thought of vegan food as exciting, I will have to try some of those recipe's especially the pizza weakness!! Thanks so much and keep on being STRONG!!

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Healthy CocoPops!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Most amazing machine ever! We went shopping last night at a local Whole Foods Market and they had this machine setup to entertain and bring in customers. It is a new machine that is done by a company called Coco Pops. It is a machine that uses only natural ingredients such as corn, rice and wheat to make this amazing tasting rice cracker. The crackers are not only vegan but taste amazing. They had warm samples right off the press and boy was it a big thrill!

The rice crackers are about as big as my head and only have 20 calories each! The company states that you can make sandwiches out of it and use as a "chip" to dip. So cool! We bought a whole package of the whole wheat.

Here's a video on youtube.

Company website: (photo above from main site)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BREW99 2/6/2011 2:55PM

    I've gone to the main site and apparently it states that the machine is for rent. I'm thinking maybe our Whole Foods only has the machine because they rented it out? Anyone else seen it in theirs?

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NURSEA32 2/2/2011 9:54AM

    My mom brought them for my kids..they love them! I didn'tthink about making sandwiches outof them though..great idea!

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CASJ57 1/31/2011 12:20AM

    I must investigate these - thanks for the heads up!


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CONTENTANDFIT 1/30/2011 1:02PM

    How interesting. I wonder if they are at all Whole Foods locations.

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ELISA322 1/30/2011 10:15AM

    LOL Cheryl, I have to admit that I thought it was Coco Puffs too.

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CHERWHOAH 1/30/2011 12:20AM

    i got excited to read this but then saw the picture and thought, "darn it, she wasn't talking about the delicious chocolate puff cereal" coco puffs, coco pops, too close LOL ;P

That would be an interesting sandwich if they're crispy. but 20 cals is amazing!

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ELISA322 1/29/2011 11:33PM

    I want to try that! Can't wait to see your next blog to see what you do with them.

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NATPLUMMER 1/29/2011 5:10PM

    Cool. I'll have to check them out next time I go to Whole Foods!

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