Category Archives: vegan

One week ago

This time last Saturday,  your friendly neighborhood Sherrie walked her first 5K.

The original plan was to walk/run, but the joints were not having it.

I arrived late and started after everyone was gone.  Adele was singing her heart out in my ears and I was near tears myself.   But I kept going.  Besides, Charleston needed to see me repping for #TeamVegan.  I had someone ask about my shirt and plant-based living, which is what I’d hoped.

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And this band was my mantra.  I was there to compete with the Sherrie from a few months ago.  The Sherrie who wouldn’t have pushed the crowd out of her head and just walked.

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But I did it!  Black Girls Run Charleston,  Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness community, Official Team Green, Vegan N3rd Squad,  and my Facebook fitness families and running clubs, thank you.  To my family,  thanks.   To Sherrie from a few months ago,  see what you did?  We’ve got this!

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On to the next one!

 

 

Healing by any means

No, this is not another ‘no longer vegan,’ posts.  It’s just a commentary on trying work around meds and supplements that aren’t exactly veg-friendly. 

It’s a struggle,  y’all.  Not sticking to my way of eating, but trying to find vegan supplements and meds.  I’ve found many that work, but not all are veg-friendly.   Does it make me less compassionate?   No.  It means I’m one of the many dealing with this.

If you choose to judge me based on this mindset, so be it. Step into  body on a high pain day(well, week)  and talk to me afterward.  I’m doing what needs to be done while I find the optimal balance.

Does it mean veg-friendly instead of certified vegan supplements?   If the veg-friendly products work best, yes.  Does it mean dealing with meds that have no vegan alternative?   Yes, unfortunately.   Does it make me sad?  Yes.

I need to keep it together while on the journey.   On days like today, that means healing by any means necessary.

Eating for real

Let’s be real for a minute. We know it’s better to eat at the table so you can put your focus squarely on your meal, but that isn’t always how things go. We eat at our desks, in the car, and while watching tv.  While protein shakes and smoothies are a great option for mobile meals, those don’t always do the trick.  My question is this:  what kinds of things do you reach for when you need something more but don’t always have both hands available?

When I need to eat at my desk, easy-to-eat fruit and nuts is one of my favorite combos.  Apple slices or strawberries with a serving of mixed nuts on the side makes me happy.

apples n nuts
Give me a Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Ambrosia, or Granny Smith and I’m a happy woman. 

When fruit isn’t what I’m feeling at that  moment, muffins make me smile.  Blueberry, oatmeal, apple spice, pumpkin or sweet potato muffins are blissful one-handed goodies that don’t always leave a mess on my clothes or keyboard.

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These Blueberry Yogurt muffins from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean and delicious, guilt-free, and quick.  Happy Herbivore photo.

You can never go wrong with a good old fashioned sandwich.  I make sure it’s not made with messy fillings so I don’t have to worry as much about a gloopy keyboard or stains on my tops.

sandwich
Nothing like a sammy full of holiday leftovers.

What are you favorite meals or snacks when you eat on the go or in the office?

Semi-wordless Wednesday: Flexible Dieting for Vegans

flex dieting
Get this e-book! I followed the directions, calculated my macros, ate with them in mind, and lost 7 pounds in one week. Thank you, Dani Taylor!

Get your copy for $24.99 from Vegan Proteins.   While you’re there, pick up some other goodies, too.

Semi-wordless Wednesday: Books

You know I have a cookbook problem.

SAMSUNG
A few of my favorites, including books from authors I have a girl crush on. HInt – all of them.
al fresco
I reviewed this book and still pull ideas and recipes from it from time to time.
ice cream sandwiches
Don’t think any commentary is necessary.
Supercharged-Juices-Smoothies
Because your friendly neighborhood Sherrie does not fear the green,
meal plan bb
Meal planning was in full effect here.

 

Raw or cooked, plant-based comfort food rules!
Raw or cooked, plant-based comfort food rules! Noms!
A classic.
A classic.
One of my go-to's for healthy vegan eats.
One of my go-to’s for healthy vegan eats.
HappyHerbivoreLight-2526Lean_FrontCover
I’m digging the recipes here. They help me stick to my eating plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t matter if the books are from the library or part of my personal collection.  I have one within reach daily.

By the way, if you’re in or near Charleston, SC, you can meet Happy Herbivore herself, Lindsay Nixon at the College of Charleston on Thursday!  I missed her back in 2012, but will be there this time.  Hope you can make it, too!

Make your own non-dairy milk

Note: I received the Victoos Nut Milk Bag free of charge in exchange for my honest review. Anything I say is not influenced by the product. My views are my own and I will not recommend anything I don’t believe in.

I used to just kind of like milk. I had it over cereal and used it in recipes, but as far as drinking it straight, I wasn’t a fan. I found out later in life that milk did not like me. At all. It smiled in my face and kicked me in the back. Hard. Milk gave me gas, made me bloated, and gave me headaches. Any milk or milk product had the safe effect. As much as I loved my yogurt, cheese, and ice cream, dairy had to go. While that made me a little sad, it sent me on a mission to find delicious non-dairy alternatives that like me as much as I like them.

Non-dairy milk was first on my list. While I can find soy, nut, rice, hemp, flax, and coconut milks on store shelves, my budget does not always appreciate the hit when they’re not on sale or when I go on a baking binge. Learning to make my own was not difficult at all. For quick soymilk or cream, I add water and to a package of silken tofu and whip it until I get the consistency I want. Sometimes I want to mix it up. When I want nut, seed, or grain-based milk, I blend the item with water and go. while I get a smooth consistency, the milk usually isn’t as smooth as a store-bought product. This is where a nut milk bag comes in.

The Victoos Nut Milk Bag is a lightweight nylon bag designed for straining.  Just blend your nut, seed, or grain milk, pour into the bag, and strain.  Squeezing the bag will strain out all of the liquid and leave pulp I use in smoothies, oats, or in baking.  I haven’t tried drying the pulp out to use as flour yet, but that’s on the list of things to try later.

Cleaning the bag is a breeze.  I give it a good rinse if I need it again right away and toss it in the wash with kitchen towels if I don’t.  By the way, a nut bag is excellent for people who want to juice but don’t have a juicer.  Just blend the juice ingredients and strain through the bag.  If you want a Victoos Nut Milk Bag, snag one on Amazon while it’s a great price – just $8.95.

What non-dairy milk will I make next?  I’m thinking a coconut-flax milk might be lovely.  Why that blend?  Because I’m obsessed with making tofu mousse and yogurt and saving my silken tofu for those uses.

This goodie is inspired by an older recipe from Happy Herbivore.  I added blueberries to the ‘yogurt’ recipe to snack on as-is or on top of fruit salad for breakfast.  Want some?

Which non-dairy goodies are your favorites?

Flare week two

Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie isn’t feeling very friendly.   The frustration,  anger, sadness, and grump are strong in this one.

Frustration stems from an inability to control pain when it’s in an uncontrollable state.  My daily routine, relaxation,  and even meds only aggravate the pain sensors and make me stabby.

Anger comes from the same place as frustration,  but is magnified by the limited mobility, lack of meaningful exercise,  and fear of the flare continuing past week two.

Cue the sadness.  Once fear comes around,  the tears are sure to follow.  I’m only 46.  If this is what 46 feels like, what will 56 bring?   If I need assistance to stand now, I might need more assistance later.  And what if the degeneration speed increases with time?  How am I supposed to train when I can barely stand?  

Yes, it gets that bad sometimes.  It’s hard to tell when people see me smiling and pushing through.

Once anger passes, the general grump sets in.  Why are people calling me?  Why do I need to cook?  These dogs need to feed themselves.   Bah, humbug.

The longer the flare, the longer this cycle lasts.  I know flares are temporary,  but while living through one, logical thinking flies out the window.  And laughs at me.

Why do I share?  Because it helps keep me sane.  And to let anyone reading this know that the feelings are real and you’re not crazy.  Or alone.  Chronic conditions can do a number on your body, mind, and spirit.

If you need me, give me an hour or so.  I’m riding out the flare from my bedside workstation.   Thank you, flexible scheduling!

Peace.

See ya, January! Happy February!

I’m glad to see January 2015 go. It was a craptacular month and I don’t think I could easily handle a second month of it. An annoying reason I hated the month is the setback. Grr, the setback. But, January is over and February is here. I’m ready for it.

I tried to post this yesterday, but the January Kick Ass continued for an extra day. My saved pots disappeared three times.  I was not amused.

My goals this month are to get my eating back on track and learn more about what ails me. Research might drive some people crazy, but it helps me feel like I have more control. The Fibromyalgia quirks and tummy issues don’t bother me as much since I have an idea what to expect. I hope that makes sense. I wonder sometimes if it does. If it doesn’t, I blame Fibro Brain. :-)

And speaking of research, I picked up this goodie a few days ago. candida

Ricki Heller‘s blog is one of my favorite stops and I know the advice in this book in my hands will make a huge difference.  I’ll share more about the book and recipes here and in my Examiner column.  If you need sugar-free, gut-healing whole food recipes, take a look.

I was advised to consider the possibility of candida overgrowth a little over a year ago.  I took the assessment and scored in the top range before I completed the whole thing.  Oy.  Overachiever, I am.  These recipes work with my eating plan.  I just have to tweak things here and there.

For fitness, I’m starting another round of 21 Day Fix starting on February 8.  21 Day Fix Extreme drops today, but I am not ready for that one.  Both 21DF and 21DFX are designed to get you on track with 30 minute workouts (yes), an easy clean eating plan, and quick results.  All moves include a modifier front and center and only minimum equipment is required.  I’ll use resistance bands and my favorite exercise mat.  If you’d like more information on either program, give me a shout or visit my store.

21 day fix dvd
30 minutes a day, clean eats, and modified moves that even I can do. Love it!

 

Do you have specific plans or goals for February? If you need or want support and encouragement, give me a shout.  If you’re following a different program, it’s all good. This is all about support for whatever your goals are. Swing by Facebook and say hi.

Until next time, be good to yourself.  Remember that you are not alone and that you are your competition.

Peace!

 

Review: Number One Nutrition’s Advanced Probiotic

nin adv probiotics

 

I’ve learned a lot in this past few years about the importance of a happy and healthy gut. Probiotics play a huge role in the process. I treat my body like a lab at times. One experiment involved cutting the use of a probiotic for 30 days. That was a huge mistake. The bloating and, um, irregularity were painful. Use of the wrong probiotic wasn’t good for me, either. My gut is pretty wrecked after years of antibiotics and other medications along with previously unknown food sensitivities. Limited peanut butter, coffee, and wheat, and no more dairy, period. The peanut butter and coffee hurt the most, but that’s another story for another day.

I noticed that my daily dose of nutrition in a glass wasn’t giving me enough gut protection, so I went back to a separate probiotic. Number One Nutrition’s Advanced Probiotic fit the bill. It’s vegetarian-friendly and dairy-free!

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I gave Advanced Probiotic a try and it made a big difference. It worked as well as more expensive brands I’ve tried and I felt the difference almost immediately when I ran out for a few days. Finding a good probiotic without dairy is huge when dairy is an issue. I picked up a bottle of a different brand for comparison and will go back to Advanced Probiotic as soon as I finish this jar. When I find something that works, I stick with it.

Give Advanced Probiotics and other products from Number One Nutrition a look. You might find the supplement you body’s looking for.  Pick it up directly from Number One Nutrition or on Amazon.com.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

How not to go vegetarian

Switching from an omni to vegetarian way of life can be easy, but if you want to keep it healthy, don’t do what I did. Let my mistakes be your guide.

When I first made the switch, I replaced all meat with additional bread, cheese, and fat. I thought I could eat anything I wanted in large quantities because I wasn’t eating meat. Unless the cheese is made with vegetable rennet, it might as well be meat. And those calories add up. I lost weight because I was working out five days a week. The minute things slowed down, the weight came on.

Another big mistake I made was not eating more vegetables. I ate the same handful of veggies I’d always eaten, but most of them were either starchy or smothered in cheese or butter or both.

And don’t get me started on the sweets. I feel into the ‘woah, this is vegan?’ trap and tried everything. Lots of everything. I still try lots of vegan sweets, but not all at once.

If you have any questions about my missteps, feel free to ask.

Until next time, peace and good eats!