It has arrived…

As a vegetarian my main staple food was egg sandwiches. Every day I ate an egg sandwich and I CRAVED them when I was pregnant with my daughter! When I heard this company was FINALLY releasing an egg substitute in the UK I jumped for joy ? I never thought it eould hit shelves in tge US this soon!

I have tried every egg substitute on the market but none have ever really hit the spot. Either the taste was off (not “eggy” enough for me) or texture was off (who eats gritty eggs?!). But this company makes my FAVORITE mayo and I just know in my little vegan heart that it’s going to be awesome!!! Scrambled “eggs” are on the breakfast menu tomorrow, baby!!!

Has anyone tried these yet? Are they as delicious as I’ve dreamed?? Would you be interested in me doing a follow-up review? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Aldi’s Find! Vegan Cream Cheese ?

In case you haven’t heard, Aldi’s has launched a new vegan line and I have been slowly working my way through the entire thing ? This week’s find was vegan cream cheese!! Now usually I’m a Tofutti cream cheese kind of girl and, most recently, I became acquainted with Miyoko’s cashew cream cheese (oh my God, DELICIOUS) but both cost about two to three times as much as this baby so I figured it was definitely worth a whirl! Let me tell you friends, it’s FANTASTIC! $2 gets you a nondairy cream cheese that is creamy, rich, and doesn’t have an overtly “soy flavor”. If I had to rate it against the other two options I would pick Miyoko’s first if I’m feeling splurge-y (that’s totally a word, right?) but this would definitely be my first choice for everyday use!

I’m curious- of the nondairy versions out there, what’s your favorite brand?

Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Back in 2013, roughly two months before my baby boy turned 1, I finished my first half marathon. I can’t really say “ran” as I injured myself and had to walk/run it, and I suffered with injuries for about a year afterwards. I have always wanted to do it again and see if I could actually RUN a half marathon but I’ve been so scared of what failure might look like…Well, after keeping my commitment to work out every day last month, I finally decided that I was ready to risk again and signed up for another half marathon ? Just 2 days after my 36th birthday, and 5 days before Lyra’s first birthday, I will complete another half marathon! And this time, God willing, I will RUN!!

Any tips you might have on training, or (even better) on running as an asthmatic athlete, would be VERY welcome! As always, thanks for the support, friends! It means more than you’ll ever know.

Keeping it kind AND frugal!

My son, mother-in-law and mom all share a birthday in November, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and there is already a countdown to Christmas at the local department store ? With all this on the horizon, it’s time to tighten the belt a little and get creative with budgeting!

On Monday nights my kiddo plays mini mite hockey so that’s the night we usually have to throw something together in a hurry and hope it doesn’t break the bank OR cause me heart palpitations as I try to work, prep dinner and throw kids in the car simultaneously…it’s definitely a challenge!! Tonight, we decided to pack veggie burgers in tin foil, fill a Thermos with tea and treat ourselves to french fries from the concession stand ? No one said HEALTHIER! I mean…we are watching hockey!

Overall, I’d give it a 8 out of 10 on the satisfying/frugal scale! Love that it was easy and warm and you can’t beat Gardein!! I just need to swap out the fries next time ?

Anyone else have to pack dinner on the fly to squeeze in family events? What’s your go-to meal?

Meal Plan 11/4 – 11/10

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m dealing with a LOT of produce this week so my grocery shopping/meal planning was pretty light today! Here are the meals we decided on:

Sunday: Asparagus Toast and vegan “bacon”

Monday: Gardein Veggie Burgers and Fries

Tuesday: Tempeh Meatballs (recipe from “Isa Does It”) and Spaghetti with Salad

Wednesday: Tofu Veggie Stirfry and Rice

Thursday: BBQ Seitan with Mashed Potatoes and Corn

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Leftovers

Now I just have to figure out what to do with all the extra squash in my fridge…? Any ideas?

Veggies first- a different approach to meal planning

These days I’m approaching meal planning a little differently than I used to in the past. We get a weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share and I want to make sure we use every single veggie our farmers lovingly provide us. In order to accomplish this goal, I’ve started meal planning by making an inventory of my produce FIRST and then building meals around those veggies.

You can see from the picture that we got a lot of beautiful veggies this week and we’re still working through some from last week! I’ve got some ideas for meals already but I’d like to spend a little time with my cookbooks too, just to keep it fun ?

Come back tomorrow and I’ll show you what cookbook I’ll be cooking from this week, along with what my meal plans look like! And if you have any ideas for meals I can cook using the produce I have on hand, please share in the comments below!!

Vegan trick-or-treating

A pretty common question I get as a vegan mama is how we handle food-based holidays like Halloween. Do we let our son go trick-or-treating? What do we do when someone gives him non-vegan candy?

The answer is YES, I happen to LOVE trick-or-treating and can’t imagine NOT trick-or-treating!! That said, it can be tough to bring our kiddo around, knowing all the non-vegan junk we’re going to come home with. I can’t offer a perfect solution but I can tell you how we handle it!

First of all, our son knows every kind of vegan candy out there (seriously. EVERY kind) and has always made it a point to ask people for vegan candy if there is a choice. We still get a TON of non-vegan stuff so when we come home I sort it and do one of two things:

1. We swap candy with a neighbor who has two kiddos of her own

2. I “buy” the non-vegan candy from my little man and swap it for something else he wants (Target has AMAZING prices on organic vegan candy the day after Halloween- just saying).

This year we’re donating our goodies to a local restaurant who will be sending it overseas to our troops ?

So now I’m curious- what do YOU do with an excess of Halloween candy? Do you keep it? Take it to work? Donate it? Do tell!! ???

It’s World Vegan Month!!

I may have missed VeganMoFo (Vegan Month of Food) but that doesn’t mean I have to miss out on World Vegan Month!! This month I’m challenging myself to talking to you beautiful people EVERY DAY! That may mean blogging, making a video, or even trying my hand at a podcast (we can all dream, right?) but no matter the form I am here to help walk with you on this plant-based journey! So tell me- what would you most like to hear about this month? Meal planning? Eating healthy on a budget? Fun vegan treats? Feeding vegan kids? You name it and I’ll line it up! So excited to be back with all of you! Keep it kind, friends!

Going back to the mat

My fitness practice has been…challenging…over the past few months. Those who know me, know I go pretty hard at fitness. I love to challenge myself and go for the rush of endorphins that comes by completing something hard. This wasn’t always the case, but it has become my habit over the past 2 years. So when I found out I was pregnant, I became paralyzed with fear. I looked around and was overwhelmed by everything that I loved and COULDN’T do any more. No more heavy lifting, no more MMA, no more kickboxing, no more Insanity…I realized that I had filled my life with practices I loved, but that were not SO great for my current state. Don’t get me wrong- people continue some of these activities throughout their pregnancy and they’re happy and healthy and it’s a beautiful thing. But me? I was SCARED. I didn’t want to risk hurting my baby for ANY program. So I did the only thing I knew how to do- I stopped working out. I kept active- taking the stairs, walking, etc. but I stopped following any kind of fitness program. Before I knew it, I was spiraling. I was depressed and anxious, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t seem to stick to any form of healthy eating, I just couldn’t keep my shit together. Mind you, some of this is just the hormones of the first trimester (paired with some big life changes) but some of it…some of it was just feeling what it was like to live in fear of my body. Constant fear that I wasn’t strong enough. That I was going to hurt myself. That I was going to hurt my baby. I’ve had to spend a few weeks in the spiritual gym to push through that and really come to a place where I’m ready to begin again.

So today, I went back to the yoga mat. Today, I began a NEW fitness practice. One that is challenging (I AM prepping for birth in 6 months) but gentle. One that focuses on my CURRENT body and honors how it is changing. And one that will connect me to my precious little babe and remind me WHY I’m letting go of my death-grip on the Pop Tarts and picking up a smoothie.

If anyone would be interested in joining me in this, I’d absolutely adore your company! New beginnings aren’t easy, and they’re always better with friends ❤️

Ready or not…

Well, it has DEFINITELY been an eventful year! Since last October I have found myself in a new career, Judah was laid off and is now beginning down the path of his dreams, we have moved across the street from some of our dearest friends, and NOW we are OVERJOYED to share that we will be expanding our little family!!! Coming April 2018 our next big adventure begins ? #Grimlock #ThisIsWhatHappensWhenYour4YearOldNicknamesTheBaby