Sunday, March 16, 2014


A short break during class yesterday led to two separate, isolated conversations with students about health. I'm continually amazed at the increasing awareness of health and the negative effects of dairy, eggs, and meat. Yes, I'm in an educational setting, but this is becoming quite a popular topic.

One conversation was about the powers of advertising from the meat and dairy industries, the environmental impacts of these industries, and how calcium is lost when consuming milk on a regular basis. I mentioned calcium loss here. Calcium is released from the bones to help neutralize the acid from animal products.

The second conversation I had among a few students in my class was about veganism. One girl mentioned she was vegan for two years in her late teens/early twenties, but she became skinny, pale, sick, and had sunken eyes. I, of course, chimed in and said I've been vegan for over a year and I'm "plump"! I suggested she probably wasn't eating enough, which she confirmed and attributed her health issues to her ex-boyfriend, problems with friends, and a few other events in her life at the time. I just wanted to say, "well, don't tell people you were sick from being vegan!" But I didn't. A few others started asking me questions. It seems the topic of veganism initially came up because one of the girls just switched to vegetarianism after being vegan for quite some time. A girl a few seats down told me she's been vegetarian for 17 years, but can't go vegan because she won't give up cheese. I understand, but if you really want to be vegan, then know that your taste buds will quickly change and you will very quickly forget about cheese (or you can try healthy nut-based cheeses). At least that was the case for me and other vegans I know and read about. So, two conversations within about 15 minutes about health, the environment, and veganism. I was happily surprised to see so much interest.

After two busy days in the classroom this weekend, I was finally free to enjoy some sunshine and go grab some food at Slice of Life in Sebastopol. I was craving some healthy mexican-inspired food, so I ordered the tofu tacos. These were SO good. The corn tortillas were perfect - thin and not falling apart. The tacos had a small amount of tofu, plenty of organic greens and sprouts, salsa, guacamole, and a little vegan sour cream on top. A few drops of hot sauce made these babies perfect.

Blackberries and mangoes have been on sale recently, so I've been eating plenty of fruit. I've also been making salads or stopping by the organic salad bar at Oliver's or Whole Foods. I still drink my banana cacao smoothie in the mornings, but without the cold-brewed coffee now. I blend together one cup of almond milk, one frozen banana, 1 tbsp peanut or almond butter, 1 tsp cacao powder, 1 tsp maca powder, 2 tsp chia seeds, and a dash of cinnamon. I look forward to my morning smoothie every day!

I stopped by Gaia's Garden this weekend for a huge salad and their popular lentil soup. Sorry, no picture, but it was very pretty and so good!!

I briefly mentioned in my "Veganniversay" post that I stopped off at Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley a few weeks ago before heading to a raw chocolate event. Here is a picture of our food at Cafe Gratitude from that night. I've nearly driven back twice just for dinner, but I stopped myself each time because it's an hour away! Cafe Gratitude is definitely worth checking out. Try the "I am Bueno" (butternut squash tacos with rice, beans, salsa, cashew cheese and salad)!

My good friend, Tony, finally started his own website after many people (including me) have encouraged him to do so. He has quite the following now and has helped numerous people on their health journey. Tony has been posting amazing health tips on his Facebook page for months, but these tips are now easily accessible and easy to reference at Check it out!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Gym Update

Today was day 6 at the gym! I feel like I've been going much longer than that. Everything is becoming quite normal and routine. I have yet to venture off the treadmill and onto the elliptical or any other machine, but I'm trying to take it one step at a time. I typically walk on an incline for about 45 minutes to an hour.

I walked on the treadmill tonight and then went to the POOL! I half battled with myself while getting ready. I changed my top, then changed out of it, then back into the rest of my swimsuit. What do I have to lose? When my health and well-being (and my love of swimming!) are on my mind, caring about what others think goes right out the window. I'm at the gym for me. The pool was great, but a little too salty!! I don't think a pool should be salty... And considering all the pool chemicals, I shouldn't go too often. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the swimming. I forgot my flip flops, so I need to keep a pair in my gym bag. The pool was quiet, but there were plenty of men in and out of the hot tub and sauna next to me.

I've been using an app called "My Fitness Pal" to track my food and exercise. I don't entirely agree with the daily nutrition guidelines, but I can easily track what I'm consuming. I'm so glad I started using the app. I was having a hard time with food for a week or two before signing up for the gym membership. Not only was I over-eating, but I was eating salty and sweet foods. Who knows what was going on, but I'm back on track and "My Fitness Pal" is helping so much!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Gym Membership

I survived my first real gym experience and I'm actually looking forward to going back!! That's incredible for me. I've always hated gyms. I joined the gym with one of my friends. Time was flying by on the treadmill tonight. I hope I will feel as comfortable even if I'm there alone. I just need to stick to it because it's vital for my health! This particular gym has a large pool with plenty of lanes, too. Hopefully I will feel comfortable enough to get in my swimsuit soon because I LOVE to swim. I'm definitely on a new adventure here and I'm excited!