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What if I make a comeback?


It feels so weird to be writing here right now, but it also feels like I’m home. I honestly never thought I’d be back here. I didn’t even know the blog was still here, and then when I found it I wasn’t sure I’d be able to log back in. I lost all of the content I moved over to my new blog site that was linked to my personal chef website, but still have all of this, and that makes me surprisingly happy.

So where have I been? What have I been doing? Why am I back here?

Such good questions. I don’t even know where to begin. I had a baby and then I got involved in direct sales and totally fell in love with it, then I had another baby. During all of that I lost my passion for eating healthy and I also thought I lost my passion for cooking. People would ask me about it and I would just brush it off. That was my “old” life. This is my new life. I’m a work-from-home mom of two amazing kids and I’m so busy building my empire that I don’t have time for cooking and blogging or being healthy.

Doesn’t that just sound completely crazy? That’s really how I felt though. I was so passionate about cooking and being healthy and I wanted so badly to turn that into my “job,” and when it didn’t happen the way I wanted it to I just slowly got more and more discouraged, and then I couldn’t imagine how I could possibly continue pursuing it while being a full-time working mom. I just didn’t have the mental capacity for ALL the things, and direct sales was making me more money than cooking ever had. I felt like that was a sign, so I stopped.

Don’t you just love the journey that life takes you on? If you had asked me at any point in my life, even right now, “Five years ago, is this what you imagined your life would be like today?” The answer is always no. Always. I imagine I’m not alone in realizing that I spend so much time planning for and worrying about the future, and no matter how much I plan or worry it never turns out like I think it’s going to.

Sometimes I get really sad when I compare my life to other people’s. People who waited to have kids until they were older, who saved their money better, and who got to spend years traveling and doing exciting things. It’s easy to think that other people’s lives are so much more exciting. When I look back on my life and what I’ve done so far, even though I haven’t accomplished any of the big things I thought I would have liked to by the time I turned 33, I’m still really proud of all the things I have done and accomplished. I’ve gotten into a really bad habit of thinking that I’m not good enough and it’s fucking exhausting.

So I’m back here. I don’t really have a plan, it just felt like it was time to come back. I love the journey I’ve been on and where life has taken me, but I really kind of miss the girl I was. I’d like to try and find her again.

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MY BLOG HAS MOVED!


Hey guys!

Just want to remind you that as of October 1st, 2013 my blog has moved to a new web address.

http://www.myhealthychef.net/blog

Any emails you have received in the past with links to posts at this address will continue to work since I’m not deleting anything from over here, however, I will no longer be posting new content to this site. All of my old posts have been copied over to my new site as well so you can continue to find old recipes and other posts over at the new address.

If you are subscribed to receive my blog via email please head over to the new site and subscribe there so you can continue to receive all my posts.

I just published a new post about my honeymoon in Hawaii this morning so click here and go check it out!!

Thanks for reading!   :)

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TRIFECT TRIATHLON RACE RECAP


Oh my goodness, I have had the worst time trying to get this post written and up for y’all! I wrote most of it on Thursday and had planned to finish it up on Friday. That didn’t happen, between running 12 miles before work, not getting home from work until 7:30 pm and then packing and getting everything ready for Hawaii. Then, Saturday morning I worked on the post in the Austin airport AND in the L.A. airport and all of my changes were lost both times. AARRRGG!

Now, here we are and it’s 6:15 pm on Sunday (Hawaii time, 11:15 pm Austin time) and I am just now getting this thing finished and up for you to read. I put off writing it right away because I really wanted to wait until I had some good pictures to go with the post, and then I needed to make time to actually write the post. I wish I written it sooner (when it was all still fresh in my mind) and just waited to post it until I had some good pictures. Be prepared, there are a lot of pictures.

01

This race was at Possum Kingdom Lake in Graford, Texas. Ross and I are used to taking long car trips to Dallas or Rockport so it was really nice driving for over 3.5 hours and looking at scenery that we weren’t used to seeing.

Once we arrived in Graford we had a really hard time finding the venue for the race. There were lots of signs that said Trifecta Triathlon with arrows, so of course we followed them. Apparently these signs took you to one of the transition areas for the race but not to where the race start was, which is where our packet pickup and pre-race athletes meeting was. Luckily we were running early (you know, as opposed to running late) because it took us about 30 minutes of driving around before we finally found where we were supposed to be.

After Ross and I sat through the athletes meeting and got the low-down on what was going to happen the following day Matt and Lynn arrived and we all got checked into our hotel. I was lucky to find us a place that was only a couple of miles from the venue and literally involved one turn to get there. The woman who worked at the hotel could not have been nicer and we were all really impressed with how big our room was. Most hotel rooms that have two queen sized beds don’t leave a lot of walking room but this had a nice big open area at the end of the beds. Lots of room for activities. :)

Once we got settled into our room we headed back to the race venue for dinner with the other athletes. I already talked about this dinner in a post I wrote shortly after the race, but I don’t expect you to remember so I’ll tell you about it again.

Our options for dinner were several varieties of white pasta or lasagna with meat. I opted for a small portion of angel hair (the only noodles that weren’t slathered in butter) and some marinara, plus a bread stick. Over at the salad bar they had greens with Italian dressing and some fresh fruit.

The salad was smothered in dressing and waaaay too oily for me, so I only had about 2 bites before I passed it on to Ross (who only had about 3 bites). While I was eating my fruit (grapes, apples, cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon) I noticed that the fruit had pepper on it. Ross looked over and asked, “Does it also have oil on it?”

I took a couple more bites and realized YES, my chopped fresh fruit had oil and pepper on it. It tasted fine but I wasn’t really happy about it being covered in oil. So weird. I still went back for 3 huge helpings of the fruit. This was my last official day of eating nothing but raw fruits and veggies for 28 days and I wanted to stick to it as much as possible, but I did have 5 small bites of my pasta and 3/4 of the bread stick. I was okay with that decision.

After dinner we walked down by the lake to stick our feet in and some men with cameras approached us while we were down there. They turned out to be the photographer and filmographer (is that a word? no, I think it’s probably videographer) for the Trifecta website and they asked us if we wanted to be in the video for next years race. HELL YES!

He clipped a little microphone on me and started asking us questions about the race, our team, and our training. He did say that there’s a chance we won’t make the cut for the final video since they’ll end up getting so much footage over the course of the weekend but I was still really excited he asked us and I’m pumped to see the video anyway!

After that we decided to check out the race run course. I knew that the first 3 miles of the course would be on a trail and then the race would end on a road and I was pretty excited about the trail portion of it. We’ve got some trails by our house that I love to run on but I haven’t raced on trails before. We probably walked about a mile of the course before turning around and heading back. Based on what we saw (and what they told us in the athletes meeting earlier that day) I knew that I was going to really have to slow my pace down for the race. There were lots of rocks and roots and it’s definitely better to be safe and slow than bloody and fast (in my opinion).

01a

After we finished checking out the the trail we headed back to our room to shower and get some rest. I took out my contacts around 8:00 and closed my eyes. I didn’t fall asleep until around 9:00 because Matt and Ross were still watching a movie but I figured it was still good for me to be resting with my eyes closed, right? Once I did finally fall asleep I did not sleep very well at all. I think I’m just really used to our bed and my pillow. I always mean to bring my pillow with me when we travel but I never remember and I always regret it. I know I can’t bring my pillow to Hawaii with us so I’m really hoping the hotel pillows are nice. (spoiler: now that I’m posting this from Hawaii I can tell you that the pillows here suck.)

The next morning we were up around 5:45 to eat breakfast and stumble around trying to get ready. I brought my citrus juicer with me so I could have some fresh orange juice before the race, plus some mangos and bananas.

02

Once we arrived at the race we had to get our bodies marked with our relay team number (381) then the three of us had to part ways. The way that this race was set up (due to the geography of the area) the swim took place right there at the lake (clearly), then the biker left from there and rode 25 miles and ended the ride in a different location than they started. This meant that instead of only having one transition area and all getting to hang out there while waiting on each other there were two transition areas, so I had to be waiting at T2 when Ross finished the biked ride. This meant that I wasn’t able to be there to see Lynn swim or see Ross start his ride because they bused the runners over to T2 before the race even began. I was really sad that I didn’t get to see them and that I had to hang out with people I didn’t know (the other relay runners) for two hours before I began my run.

09

Luckily it was really pretty while I was waiting by myself, so I didn’t complain too much.

04

We did get one picture as a group before the race started. Unfortunately, the man who took the picture didn’t tell me there was a huge light behind us and that we should face the other direction. Oh well.

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The professionals and the people doing the full triathlon themselves started the swim before the relay teams.

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While they were swimming I was just sitting in the transition area with everyone’s bags of running gear. A little lonely.

08

Finally, Lynn was able to start her swim. I really wish I had been there to cheer her on and see her get out of the water!

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She was the first relay swimmer out of the water! She texted me when Ross got on his bike and told me that we were in first place!! I knew we’d still be in first place by the time Ross got to me on his bike because he is an amazing cyclist and there was no way any relayers were going to pass him on the course.

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Look at him go! He looks so intense.

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When Ross finally got the the transition area to give me the race chip he said, “We’re in first place. GO! GO! GO!” So, I was off.

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The first three miles of the run was on a trail which was really nice. Well… sort of. The first mile had some SERIOUS hills. The sprint distance run course was 5 miles and the Olympic distance (which we were doing) was 6.2 miles. We were running basically the same course but they had to add in some extra miles for the Olympic distance, so they had us make an extra turn that went straight up a steep, steep hill and then back down. Seriously, it was so steep that every runner I saw was walking up it and I was no exception.

I loved that the trail was shaded and peaceful but running on a trail really is a lot harder than running on pavement. Yes, it’s easier on your joints and what not but it’s a lot more difficult because of the rocks and roots. Plus, there were several points in the trail that were so steep and rocky that again all of the runners were forced to walk. They even had volunteers standing at a few points to help people up if needed. Still, difficult as it was physically I really did enjoy that it was so different from every other race I’ve ever done.

By the time I finished the trail portion of the run I was exhausted and I still had 3.2 more miles to go.

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I think the look on my face says it all. I was HOT and miserable. Just like in the last race I was starting to question why the hell I had let Ross and Lynn talk me in to racing in the summer. I hate that the run portion of a triathlon is always the last leg because that means I get to run in the worst weather conditions.The next three miles were in the direct sunlight and even though the course was technically easier now that it was on the road and not on trails, I still saw a lot more walking than I normally do in a race of this distance. Again, I was no exception to this.

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As I got closer to the end I thought to myself, “I have nothing else to give. There’s no way I can pick up the pace for a sprint across the finish line.” Ladies and gentlemen, do not underestimate what a cheering crowd can do for you. I honestly don’t know where I got the energy but I found a little something, plastered a smile on my face that wasn’t really genuine, and made my happy jaunt across the finish line.

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Look at that, it actually looks like I enjoyed that race, doesn’t it? Fooled ya!

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Right after I crossed the finish line they gave me our finisher’s medal, took my timing chip off my ankle, and handed me a wet towel that was ice cold from a cooler. I don’t think anything has ever made me happier than that towel made me. Seriously, I was so hot and miserable after my run and that freezing cold, wet towel made all the difference in the world!

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After I cooled off a little and drank some water we made our way over to where the post-race food was being served. There were lots of people working a grill and I could see a sign that said, “Hamburgers and Cheeseburgers.”

“Great,” I thought. I bet I’m going to get stuck eating green bananas and a bag of chips. I was pretty sure that the answer was going to be no but I went ahead and asked someone if by chance they had any veggie burgers. I was stunned when they told me yes, and even more surprised when they checked the ingredients and told me that the burgers were vegan! WHAT?!?

It was a black bean burger with corn and I topped it with lettuce, tomato, and onion and it was absolutely perfect! I am so used to not having vegan options after a race so I was incredibly grateful that I had something good, tasty and warm to eat.

We had to wait around for about an hour and a half before the awards ceremony started after the race, which we didn’t really mind doing since we were pretty sure our team placed. We checked the race stats online every 10 minutes or so waiting for them to update our final times and we were THRILLED when the results finally came up and we saw that our team had officially come in first place!!

51We were even happier when we realized that all three of us would get a first place plaque and we wouldn’t just be receiving one as a team that we’d have to share!

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All the winners had their pictures taken in groups – first, second, and third place for each age group all took their pictures together, and so the first, second, and third place relay teams took their picture together too.

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Overall, this was not my most enjoyable race (that would be the first triathlon we did) and it definitely wasn’t my fastest, but the course was actually one of my favorites and I do think I would run this race again. Even though running on trails was harder and made me run slower (and I almost fell on my face at one point) it was really beautiful and I loved that it was shaded and peaceful for the first three miles. There were some KILLER hills and the second half of the race was brutal due to the lack of shade, but somehow I still think it’s a race I’d like to do again. I’ll just have to practice my trail running between now and then!

Next up: Half Ironman?? :)

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Join My DietBet Game!


You guys already know that I really enjoyed participating in the DietBet earlier this month and was really considering signing up for another one right away. I successfully lost almost 8 pounds playing the game and I made a profit of $13.03 (in addition to winning back the $30 I paid to play).

Ultimately I decided that I didn’t want to go on my honeymoon and be worrying about trying to lose weight. I do, however, want to challenge myself again and lose a little bit more weight so I created my own DietBet game that will start the Monday after I return from Hawaii.

I’ve explained before how the DietBet works but here’s a little 2 minute video they created that explains it way better than I do.

If you’re interested in getting paid to lose weight then click here and join my DietBet!

My favorite part of the game was the wall where we could all post pictures, comments, etc. It was great to be encouraging other people and have the other players cheer me on too!

My DietBet game doesn’t officially begin until October 7th so you’ve got 12 days before you have to get started. It’s an open game so that means you can invite your friends to play too, and they can invite their friends if they want. The more players we have the bigger the money pot!

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FOOD AND FITNESS DIARY – Entry 1


veganMoFo2013

Welcome back to Vegan MoFo! In case you missed any of my earlier posts, you can check them out here:

Today’s Fruitarian Friday post is my first entry in my Food and Fitness Diary Series. One of the things that I really enjoyed about being a part of the DietBet was being held accountable for what I was eating and my workouts. No one told me that I had to post that info to my blog but I wanted to share my progress with you and it really helped keep me on track.

I want to keep up with posting about my food/workouts/general life as it affects my health/fitness/well-being so on Fridays and Mondays I am going to share my food and fitness diary with y’all. Maybe you’ll find it all incredibly boring or maybe some of you will get a little inspiration from it!

While I was doing the DietBet I was following a low-fat raw vegan diet, which is sometimes called 80/10/10 or referred to as being a Fruitarian.

The 80/10/10 Diet book by Dr. Douglas N. Graham

The gist of it is that I was eating only fresh, raw fruits throughout the day and then lots of raw veggies for dinner. It took a little getting used to at first but once I had been doing it for a few days I found that I really enjoyed it.

Eating monomeals of fruit during the day was so simple and delicious (and satisfying!) and eating only raw vegetables for dinner was really fun. I found that most of the time I was making much less of a mess in the kitchen at dinner time (which is always nice) and I never went to bed hungry. If you’re curious about what a monomeal is you can read more about that here.

Even though I really enjoyed sticking to raw 80/10/10 100% of the time during the DietBet (28 days) I am not sure if I’m quite ready to make that my full-time way of eating. A couple of weeks ago I went to a fruitarian pool party and met someone else who follows raw 80/10/10 and he’s actually met Dr. Doug Graham (the guy who wrote the book above). Dr. Graham said that it usually takes about 8 years for people to really commit to following 80/10/10 full-time. 

This was such a relief to me. Even though I know that eating this way is doable and that it makes me feel awesome, emotionally I’m just not quite ready to give up all my cooked foods. I don’t think that it will take me 8 years to come around to doing it full-time but I would like to ease into it a bit.

I’ve decided I want to commit following the 80/10/10 low-fat raw vegan way of eating 6 days a week, allowing myself to eat cooked food if I want to Friday night through Saturday night. Of course this is my life and I’m in charge so if for some reason I want some cooked food on a Tuesday then I’m going to eat it, but since I really do enjoy following 80/10/10 I would like to commit to it 6 days a week. I feel like overall this is the diet/way of eating that is going to bring me the most happiness.

Now, let’s get into what I’ve been up to this past week!

Monday 9/16/13

After eating so much cooked food on Sunday I was actually really excited to get back to eating raw on Monday.

What I ate: 
Breakfast: Green smoothie with 2.5 frozen bananas, 2 mangos, and some greens.
Snack: 2 pink lady apples with some PB2. I know that PB2 isn’t raw but it is lower fat than regular peanut butter so I’m okay with it for now.
Lunch: 2 pounds of grapes
Dinner: Cucumber, corn, and red onion salad, some stuffed tomatoes, and a bowl of homemade miso soup with raw carrots, daikon, and green onions.
TOTAL calories: 1,815

cucumber, corn, and red onion salad with cilantro, lime juice, and balsamic vinegar

tomatoes stuffed with cucumber, corn, and red onion salad with cilantro, lime juice, and balsamic vinegar

Ross saw me making these fun little stuffed tomatoes and actually said, “Those look really good. Can I have some?” This shocked the shit out of me because he never wants to eat what I’m making, even when it’s food he likes. I was more than happy to share with him! :)

Exercise: None. Monday is my rest day because I go grocery shopping and it makes me grumpy.

Cheats: I did have 1/2 of a slice of whole grain bread with some apple butter on it. Bread is my biggest weakness. I. Love. Bread.

Tuesday 9/17/13

What I ate:
Breakfast: Green smoothie with 2 frozen bananas, 2 peaches, and some greens.
Lunch: Uh oh. I was at Whole Foods today and I sampled some bread and bought a little bit of tofu from the salad bar. I have been dreaming about tofu for 28 days… I had to. I don’t even feel guilty. I also ate 2 pounds of grapes.
Dinner: Giant salad with my vegan Caesar salad dressing and carrots
Dessert: 1/2 a slice of bread with apple butter. Again, I couldn’t resist and I don’t feel guilty. Someone had to eat the other half of the slice from yesterday, so I volunteered.
TOTAL calories: 1,684

vegan Caesar salad dressing

Exercise: Speed work! I went to the indoor track at the gym and ran 6 x 800 with the goal of completing each 800 meters in 4:21. It takes 5 laps on the indoor track to make 800 meters so my goal was 53 seconds per lap. Here’s what my workout looked like:

key1

Wednesday 9/18/13

What I ate:
Breakfast:  green smoothie – 2 mangos, 1/4 of a pineapple, some raw broccoli, ginger, and vanilla
Snack: 2 bananas
Lunch: 1 mango and 3 apples
Dinner: corn, tomato, cucumber, and red onion salad, plus a giant green salad
Dessert: Banana ice cream with PB2 and vegan vanilla protein powder. I only used the protein powder because I didn’t want chocolate ice cream and I have this vegan protein powder that I need to finish up, so it was simply used for flavoring.
TOTAL calories: 1,931

green smoothie - 2 mangos, 1/4 of a pineapple, some raw broccoli, ginger, and vanilla

corn, tomato, cucumber, and red onion salad with lime juice, cilantro, and balsamic vinegar

Exercise: Today was a cross-training day. I did 33 minutes on the rowing machine – 5 minutes easy, 10 minutes hard, 3 minutes easy, 10 minutes hard, 5 minutes easy followed by 3 sets of 12 push-ups.

Thursday 9/19/13

What I ate:
Breakfast: 2 large bananas before I left the house followed up by a small cantaloupe when I got to work
Snack: 3 bananas
Lunch: 2 pounds of grapes
Dinner: Spiralized zucchini and kelp noodles topped with a peanut sesame sauce
Dessert: Chocolate peanut butter ice cream
TOTAL calories: 2,110

Exercise: Today was a tempo run! Ross was home when I got home from work but had to go back to the gym to train one more client at 7:00. I went with him so I could do my tempo run on the treadmill and we could just take one car, plus that would guarantee we’d be done at the same time. I did 5 miles total: 1.5 miles easy, 3 miles tempo, and 0.5 miles easy. The easy miles were done a 12:30 min/mile pace and the tempo was done at 9:31 min/mile pace.

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When I woke up this morning it was raining and I could not be happier about it! We’ve been in a drought here in Austin for over two years so I am giddy every time it rains, even though it guarantees that I will be late to work. So worth it.

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FRESH FRUIT AND VEGGIE JUICE RECIPES


Vegan Month of Food 2013

Welcome back to Vegan MoFo! We’re 19 days in and I’m still going strong – this is post number 15. In case you missed any of my earlier posts, you can check them out here:

A couple of weeks ago I posted about my 9 favorite vegetables to drink as part of my Thirsty Thursday series. Last week I gave you a couple of smoothie recipes for these veggies and today I want to give you some juice recipes.

All 9 of the vegetables I listed in my previous post are great for juicing!

  • leafy greens that still have their stems
  • carrots
  • beets
  • cucumber
  • zucchini
  • ginger
  • fennel
  • broccoli
  • sweet potatoes

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Amazingly Unbeatable Beet Juice

  • 1 large beet, peeled
  • 1 apple, cored
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 zucchini

Carrot Apple Ginger Juice

  • 3 carrots
  • 2 apples
  • 1″ piece of ginger

Refreshing Fennel Pear

  • 2 pears
  • 1 bulb of fennel

Glorious Sunset Juice

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red bell pepper (I always leave it out because I hate them)
  • 2 beets
  • 2 apples
  • 1 orange

Floret Power

  • 2 pears
  • 3 cups of broccoli stems

Green Lemon Drop

  • 2 green apples
  • 1.5 cups spinach
  • 6 kale leaves with stems
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1/2 a lemon, peeled

CAB Juice (Carrot, Apple, Beet)

  • 2 apples
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 beets
  • 6 leaves Swiss chard with stems
  • 1″ piece of ginger

These are just some recipes ideas to get your creative juices flowing (no pun intended). Honestly, when I make juice at home I don’t usually follow a recipe. I have a huge juicing book that I consult sometimes, but most of the time I’m just using whatever produce I have on hand.

Don’t be afraid to try something new! If it doesn’t taste good, just add more fruit! :)

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Final DietBet Update: Days 26-28 (I’m a WINNER!)


In case you missed my any of my updates on my DietBet, you can check them out here:

Guess what guys!?! I’m a winner!!

DietBet Winner

Do you see how big that pot is – $12,480!! I don’t know how much of it I get to keep because not everyone has done their final weigh-in but I’m pretty freaking excited!

So, I’ve been saying in my DietBet update posts that my starting weight was 143.6, which is kind of a lie. When I did my official weigh-in for the game the scale said 146.2 pounds, which just about made me cry. I knew I was really bloated that day and when I weighed myself the next day it said 143.6.

I had already submitted my official weigh-in photo for the game so I had to stick with 146.2 but I knew my real starting weight was closer to the 143. I met my goal either way with a final weight of 136 pounds even!

DietBet 1 - Before and After scale

If you ignore the bloat weight then you can see that I still lost 4% of my weight and am a legitimate winner!

Starting Weight: 143.6 pounds
Goal Weight of 4% lost: 137.8 pounds
Current Weight: 136 pounds
Total Weight Lost: 7.6 pounds

DietBet 1 - Before and After clothes

You may not care, but if you click on the picture above to make it bigger then you can see that my thighs got smaller! I knew that I had lost inches because my clothes fit me differently (my favorite shorts are now too big) but it’s hard to really tell when looking in the mirror. Before and after pictures are really great.

Not only did I make it through the DietBet as I winner but I also made it 28 days eating nothing but raw fruits and vegetables! I am so happy to report that I felt GREAT the whole time! It wasn’t always easy but I really wanted to see if I could do it and how I would feel so I stuck with it.

Here are what my last few days of the DietBet looked like, and what my first days back to cooked food looked like.

Friday

What I ate: 
Breakfast: Pineapple, peach, and green smoothie
Lunch: 3 bananas and some grapes
Snack: 2 or 3 mangos
Dinner: Giant salad topped with corn and cherry tomatoes and my taco salad dressing
Dessert: Peanut butter banana ice cream
TOTAL calories: 1,956

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Exercise: 40 minutes of spinning – 10 min easy warm up, 3 x 5 minutes hard with 5 minutes easy between, 5 minute cool down

Sleep: Ross and I had date night at home so we could watch a scary movie (it was Friday the 13th!) and still get to bed at a decent time. We had our race this weekend so we didn’t want to go into it more sleep deprived than we already were.

Saturday

What I ate: 
Breakfast: Orange juice and some kind of melon I got at the Asian market last weekend
Lunch: about 2 pounds of grapes in the car, plus a couple of bananas
Snack: 2 mangos
Dinner: Lots of fresh fruit, 2 bites of salad, 5 bites of spaghetti, and 3/4 of a bread stick.

We left at 10:00 on Saturday morning to drive to Possum Kingdom Lake for our Triathlon. I made sure to eat lots of fresh fruit throughout the day and bring plenty with me because I wasn’t really sure what my food options would be when we got there.

We signed up and paid to eat a prerace dinner with the other athletes which ended up being pasta. I opted for a small portion of angel hair (the only noodles that weren’t slathered in butter) and some marinara, plus a bread stick. Over at the salad bar they had greens with itialian dressing and some fresh fruit.

The salad was smothered in dressing and way too oily for me, so I only had about 2 bites before I passed it on to Ross (who only had about 3 bites). While I was eating my fruit (grapes, apples, cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon) I commented that the fruit had pepper on it. Ross looked over and asked, “Does it also have oil on it?”

I took a couple more bites and realized YES, my chopped fresh fruit had oil and pepper on it. It tasted good but I wasn’t really happy about it being covered in oil. So weird. I still went back for 3 huge helpings of the fruit and I did also have 5 small bites of my pasta and 3/4 of the bread stick. I was okay with that decision.

Exercise: none. Off day to let my legs rest before our race.

Sleep: Great! I took out my contacts around 8:00 and laid there while Matt (Lynn’s husband) and Ross watched a movie, and probably fell asleep around 9:30 or so. I didn’t actually sleep very well that night but I was proud of myself for going to bed so early since our alarms went off at 5:45 the next morning.

Sunday

What I ate:
Breakfast: fresh OJ, 2 mangos, and 3 or so bananas
Post-race: Veggie burger, chips, and a banana
Lunch: Veggie delight from Subway with 1/2 a bag of chips and some grapes
Dinner: Baked sweet potato topped with black beans and salsa
Dessert: 3 pieces of toast

Exercise: 6.2 mile run as part of our relay triathlon

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I cannot even tell you how excited I was that they had veggie burgers after the race! The sign at the grill said they were offering hamburgers or cheese burgers and I fully expected them to tell me no when I asked if they had veggie burgers. One of the ladies volunteering even checked the box for me to see if they were vegan. They were!!

If I hadn’t eaten the burger then my post-race options would have been semi-green bananas and some oranges. I happily scarfed the burger and even ate a bag of Lays potato chips. I’m not really proud of the chips but it is what it is.

On our drive back home we stopped at Subway and I got a veggie delight sandwich and we shared a bag of BBQ chips. And since I had already eaten so much cooked food that day I decided to treat myself to a cooked dinner as well.

I baked a sweet potato when we got home, added a little vegan butter, some black beans, and some salsa and was so excited to sit down and eat. Then I dropped it on the floor, face down. Womp womp.

I heated up some more beans and got some more salsa and ate it anyway. It was delicious. Since I’ve been craving bread (and tofu) the most while eating raw I decided to go all out and have some toast for dessert. I went back twice for more and ended up eating 3 slices total.

I was a little worried when I went to bed because the next morning was supposed to be my final weigh-in for the DietBet. I knew I had eaten too much for the day and while I wasn’t ashamed of any of it, I was questioning whether or not it was a smart end to the DietBet.

Luckily they didn’t email me the code word for my final weigh-in until I was already at work the next morning so  that meant I had one more day to sort of make amends for my Sunday eating.

Final Thoughts

I am so excited that the DietBet went so well, that I lost the weight I needed to, and that I’m a WINNER!

Overall the process was really easy for me. Since I was training for our triathlon and am working towards a marathon in November it wasn’t really hard for my to stick to exercising. It was just part of my training that I had already committed to so I just stuck with it.

Eating a low-fat raw vegan diet for 28 days really wasn’t that hard either. I have to say I think it was easier because I did practice for two weeks Monday through Friday before committing to the full 28 days. I did have a few moments of temptation, but overall the process was fun and easy for me. Sharing my progress with you guys and experimenting with new raw recipes in the kitchen helped to keep it fun and exciting.

I never felt hungry or deprived. If I did start to feel hungry I would just eat more fruit. There was no guilt or feeling like I shouldn’t be eating because I was on a diet. Instead of focusing on the fact that I couldn’t eat cooked food I just made a commitment to eat tons of fruit throughout the day and lots of yummy veggies for dinner. I was actually surprised at how happy I felt throughout the whole process.

What Now?

Now that I’ve successfully come out the other side of the DietBet and 80/10/10 experiment I’m trying to decide what’s next for me.

As far as eating goes, I think I’m going to keep with the low-fat raw vegan for the most part. Yesterday I ate 100% raw again and I loved it. I think what is realistic for me at this point is to keep eating raw during the week and at home, but eat cooked vegan food if I go out to eat or someone invites me over to eat. If I see a cooked food recipe that I really want to try then I might do it too. I’m not going to hold myself to anything, I’m just going to eat the way that makes me happy and makes me feel the best. Right now that’s mostly raw foods.

As far as weight goes, I am thinking of joining another DietBet. Ross and I talked about it and the weight that we both think would look the best on me and allow me to perform my best athletically is 130 pounds. Remember, Ross is a certified personal trainer with a master’s degree in exercise science, so his opinion isn’t something he just pulled out of his ass. I don’t think I’m fat in anyway and neither does he, but I think I would like to try and get down to 130 and see how I feel — see if it’s maintainable for me.

If I were to join another DietBet and commit to losing 4% of my body weight again that’s 5.4 pounds, which would put me at 130.6 pounds. I think the DietBet is an awesome way to keep yourself accountable. I knew I had $30 on the line if I didn’t lose the weight so that simply wasn’t an option to me.

My only concern is that the DietBet I want to join starts on Thursday of this week and last for the next four weeks. We’re going to be in Hawaii for one of those weeks. Do I want to be participating in a DietBet while I’m in Hawaii?

On one hand, it would encourage me to stay active while we’re in Hawaii rather than laying on the beach all day every day drinking copious amounts of alcohol. On the other hand, I want to be able to eat what I want when I want and not be concerned if I’ve had too many calories for the day.

Realistically, I think I’ll burn more calories in Hawaii than I do at home because at home I sit at a desk for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week and barely move. In Hawaii I’ll be swimming, walking on the beach, checking out the local farmer’s markets, running on the beach, hiking, exploring, etc. I also think I’ll eat pretty healthy while we’re there because that’s what keeps me feeling my best, and because I’m going to eat tons of raw fruit while we’re there. So I’m really leaning towards doing it again.

I CANNOT WAIT FOR HAWAII!!

If you have not already unsubscribed from this blog and subscribed to my new one, please do that now.
Here is the new blog site: http://myhealthychef.net/blog/.
I will not be posting to this site at all after Vegan MoFo is over. You will still be able to come here to access all my old posts and if you’ve saved emails from posts from the past those links will still be good, but all my new content will be posted over at the new blog. My old posts have been moved over there already so it’s fully functioning and ready for you to join!

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DietBet Update #8: Day 23-25


I can’t believe that there’s only three days left in the DietBet. It just doesn’t feel like I’ve already been doing it for over three weeks!

In case you missed my first few updates on how my DietBet is going, you can check them out here:

Starting Weight: 143.6 pounds
Goal Weight: 137.8 pounds
Current Weight: 135.8 pounds
Total Weight Lost: 7.8 pounds

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Monday

What I ate:
Breakfast: one whole honeydew
Lunch: a two pound bag of grapes, which I should have washed first because my fingers were incredibly dirty after eating them
Snack: yellow cherry tomatoes!
Dinner: salad with 10 oz of greens, some shredded carrot, and my green mango dressing
TOTAL calories: 1,800

Exercise: None. I’m on a schedule where I’m running 3 days a week, cross-training 2 days a week, and strength training 2 days a week. Even though I took both Sunday and Monday off from working out I’m still on track to get all my workouts in this week.

workouts

I’ve got to complete all three blue days and at least two pink days, and of course the green day must not be forgotten.  :)

Monday’s is my usual off day from working out of any kind because that’s the day that I go grocery shopping and I’m in such a bad mood when I get home that all I want to do is eat dinner and sit on my ass.

Sleep: My bedtime is slowly getting later and later but my wake up time is still the same

Water: Decent

Tuesday

What I ate:
Breakfast: A Taste of Tropical smoothie
Snack: two peaches
Lunch: 5 bananas
Post-workout snack: another banana
Dinner: cucumber balsamic salad and a huge taco salad
TOTAL calories: 2,200

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Exercise: Tuesday I was scheduled to do some speed work. I was prescribed to do:

  • 2 x 1200 meters with each 1200 completed in 6:37 (with a 200 meter walk between each)
  • 4 x 800 meters with each 800 completed in 4:21 (with a 200 meter walk between each)

To do speed work it’s recommended that you use a track since the workouts are prescribed in meters. For some reason I have a very irrational fear of going to a high school track to do my speed work, like the students that are there after school are going to wonder what this weird woman is doing running on their track, or the serious runners who do speed work there often are going to wonder what this slow lady is doing getting in their way.

So instead I’ve opted to do my speed work on my gym’s indoor track. The indoor track is 1/10 of a mile instead of 400 meters, so I had to spend some time doing math to figure out how many laps I’d need to do in order to get my 1200 meters and 800 meters done.

1200 meters is seven and a half laps and 800 meters is five laps. Then I had to do the math to figure out what my pace needed to be per lap so that I could make sure I was on track (ha) to hit my target paces. It turns out it’s the same pace per lap for both distances, which is 53 seconds. Here’s how it all panned out:

key run1

My pace still needs a little more work but this is the first run that I’ve ever done where I was really trying to maintain a target pace so I was happy with the results. I felt really good during these intervals and was in a great mood when I finished!

Sleep: Still not going that great. I just keep not going to bed and doing silly things like reading and playing Pet Rescue Sage.

Water: Could be better but it’s still not bad

Wednesday

What I ate:
Breakfast: Peachy Keen smoothie
Snack: four bananas
Lunch: two giant apples
Dinner: raw stuffed mushrooms. These babies were so good! I marinated them and then stuffed them with raw vegan chili and I was blown away by how good they were! I had seven of them. The recipe is coming soon!
Dessert: chocolate peanut butter banana ice cream
TOTAL calories: 1,878

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Exercise: 25 minutes of rowing and then strength training with Lynn.

Sleep: Ugh… It was like 11:15 when I turned off the light, and for no good reason.

Water: Probably not enough. I always forget to drink water when I’m at home.

My Thoughts

I am so excited with how things are going! I’m happy that I’ve lost the weight I needed to for the DietBet and I’m happy with how easy it’s been for me to follow a fully-raw diet for these past four weeks.

I am a little worried about this weekend because we’re going out of town for our relay triathlon. We’ve signed up to eat dinner with the other athletes on Saturday night and I know there’s a vegetarian option for the dinner but I have no idea what it is. It may not even be vegan (like cheese enchiladas) and I know it sure as hell won’t be raw.

I’m trying to decide if I’m going to eat it even though it’s cooked food and I committed to do this through Sunday (I won’t if it’s not vegan) or if I’m just going to kiss that $7 goodbye and bring fruit with me to eat instead.

My initial thought is that 27 days really is close enough to 28 days for this commitment and I won’t feel bad in the least if I decide to eat cooked food. My next thought is that I’ve been eating incredibly healthy, raw foods for the last four weeks — is it really a good idea to eat my first fully cooked meal the night before a race? How is my body going to handle that? Do I want to risk it? I think I’m going to bring lots of fruit with us and just play it by ear. I will definitely let you know how it all goes.

Wish me luck because I’m definitely nervous! I have no goal for this race because I have no idea how hot it’s going to be when I run. I do not do well running in the heat and I’m afraid that this run will just as bad as our last race. I know that fitness wise I could potentially PR in this race, but realistically I know that it’s unlikely given the time of day I will be running and what the heat does to me. We’ll see how it goes.

REMINDER: I am moving my blog over to a new site. If you’re currently subscribed to my blog and want to keep getting my posts emailed to you, please unsubscribe from this one and head over to www.myhealthychef.net/blog and subscribe to that one, add it to your RSS feed, or whatever else it is you do to make sure you get notifications of my latest posts.

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GRAPE TOMATOES! CHERRY TOMATOES!


Vegan Month of Food 2013

Welcome back to Vegan MoFo! In case you missed any of my earlier posts, you can check them out here:

Today is Tomato Tuesday again and I want to share with you my LOVE for grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes!

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I normally buy the red grape tomatoes from HEB because you can get the big container for just like $4.50 or something, but yesterday when I was at Costco I saw these babies for $5 and I couldn’t resist. I think the yellow ones have so much more flavor but they’re usually out of my price range.

I can eat grape and cherry tomatoes like they’re candy and I often do. I’m sitting at the house in the evening, bored and waiting for Ross to get home from work and want to just mindlessly eat — I grab the tomatoes!

I love these tomatoes not just for easy snacking but also because they add a lot of flavor to dishes. Here are a couple of ways that you can use these tiny treasures.

Corn and Tomato Salad

  • 2 ears of fresh corn
  • 1 cup of grape or cherry tomatoes
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • optional: 1/2 an avocado, chopped

1. Peel the corn and use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cob. You can easily do this by taking a large mixing bowl and a smaller bowl, turn the smaller bowl upside down inside the larger bowl and set the corn on it while you cut. This allows the large bowl to catch all the kernels as you cut.

2. Cut the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl of corn.

3. Add the chopped cilantro and lime juice (and avocado if you’d like), stir well and enjoy! It actually tastes best if you let it sit for about 20-30 minutes in the fridge to let the lime juice really soak in, but you can eat it right away if you’re impatient!

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This recipe is also what I sometimes use to spoon atop my Vitamix Tortilla Soup.

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Balsamic Cucumber Salad

  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 a red onion, diced
  • balsamic vinegar to taste

This salad is super simple and has great flavor. Simply chop all the ingredients and mix in a bowl with some balsamic vinegar, as much as you think tastes good. Start with a few tablespoons, taste it, and add more if needed.

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I usually make this with red tomatoes but yellow is what I had on hand it and tasted fantastic! There isn’t any red onion in this one because I forgot to buy it at the store, but it definitely adds something great to the recipe so don’t leave it out!

I also like to just chop up these little fellas and put them on things, like salads or raw zucchini pasta.

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Do you have a great recipes that calls for grape or cherry tomatoes? I would love to try some new ones!

QUICK REMINDER: I am moving my blog over to a new site. If you’re currently subscribed to my blog and want to keep getting my posts emailed to you, please unsubscribe from this one and head over to www.myhealthychef.net/blog and subscribe to that one, add it to your RSS feed, or whatever else it is you do to make sure you get notifications of my latest posts.

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DietBet Update #7: Days 20-22


If you’re just tuning in, I’m currently taking part in a DietBet. I paid $30 and vowed to lose 4% of my body weight in four weeks. There are over 400 people participating in my game and the pot is over $12,000. If I don’t lose 4% then I forfeit my money. If I do lose 4% then I win my money back, plus a share of the money from the other players who didn’t lose their weight. Make sense?

In case you missed my first few updates on how my DietBet is going, you can check them out here:

Starting Weight: 143.6 pounds
Goal Weight: 137.8 pounds
Current Weight: 136.8 pounds
Total Weight Lost: 6.8 pounds

2013-09-08 09.53.20

Friday:

What I ate:
Breakfast: Pretty In Pink Smoothie (recipe coming on this week’s Thirsty Thursday!)
Lunch: 5 plums
Snack: 3 bananas and an apple
Dinner: Salad
Dessert: chocolate banana ice cream and 2 whiskey and cokes

Friday night is our date night and we went to a place called Saladworks, which is kind of like Subway for salads. They also have sandwiches with meat (and vegan chili!) so Ross was happy to go there and get a half-sandwich and a pasta salad with lots of meat on top.

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After dinner we met up with Ross’ sister Meghan and her boyfriend Rusty. We went to a place here in Austin called Main Event and did a little bowling and played some shuffle board. It was a lot of fun and so nice to get to hang out with them! We’re terrible at letting life get in the way and not hanging out with our in-town family enough.

I admit that I did have two whiskey and cokes while we were there. I honestly never drink soda unless it’s mixed with whiskey (somehow that makes it okay), and even that rarely happens. I feel slightly guilty, like as someone who’s participating in a DietBet I shouldn’t be drinking alcohol, but only slightly guilty. I enjoyed it.

Exercise: After work I headed straight to the gym to do my workout and was really glad that I got it in before going out for the night.

Sleep: Awful. I didn’t get in bed until around 1:30 in the morning and then was up at 7:00 on Saturday morning to do my long run. I did make sure I drank lots of water while we were out though!

Saturday:

What I ate:
Pre-run/during run: 2 bananas and 5 dates
Breakfast: 3 pounds of watermelon
Lunch: 4 peaches and 12oz freah orange juice
Dinner: lots and lots of cucumber and beet bites, various fresh fruit, one whiskey and coke

Exercise: I ran 13 miles and it was totally exhausting! I am sure it had to do with my lack of sleep the night before.

Saturday evening we went to a friends’ pool party and were instructed to bring a dish to share. I was pretty sure that there would be some fruit there so I wanted to bring a dish that I knew I could eat and that other would be likely to eat too, that wasn’t fruit.

I thought ahead for this one and started sprouting some chickpeas earlier in the week so I could make some raw hummus on Saturday. I’ve already posted my recipe for raw hummus (check it out here) and I just added some kale and fresh basil to it for some extra flavor and the green look.

sprouted hummus2

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My plan was to make these cute little beet rolls with the hummus inside, but that didn’t really go like I had planned. I had to cut the beets to exactly the right thickness to be able to roll them up and more often that not it didn’t work. So, I improvised and made this instead:

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I also managed to cut my finger while using my mandolin slicer so I had blood and beet juice all over my hands. It was a huge mess and incredibly painful, but I promise I did not get any blood on the food!

Sunday:

What I ate: 
Breakfast: fresh squeezed orange juice (I’m a little obsessed right now) and 2 plums
Lunch: 3 bananas and some grape tomatoes
Snack: Fruit at the potluck
Dinner: zucchini and sweet potato pasta with my cheezy walnut sauce

Sunday was my off-day from working out — no running, no strength training, and no cross training. It was nice to just sit back and enjoy the day!

This Sunday was the first Sunday of football season so Ross got up early to ride his bike (and let me sleep in, in the middle of the bed!) so he would be back in time to monitor his fantasy teams (yes, teams plural) and watch foot ball from noon until 10:30 pm. I wish I was kidding…

To help take away some of the sting of feeling like a football widow for five months (did you know there are games on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday?? I’m lucky he doesn’t watch college football or I’d lose him on Saturday also) I also have a fantasy football team.

We don’t play in the same league as each other because I don’t think that kind of competition would be good for us. I came in first place in my league last year and I know NOTHING about football. Ross was incredibly happy for me since he wasn’t playing against me but I don’t think that would have been the case if I’d beat him personally.

Anyway, Ross watched football ALL DAY on Sunday, and even though I also have a fantasy team I have to manage, I like to do so without actually watching any football. So I puttered around the house doing things like making fresh squeezed orange juice and frozen kale cubes to add to smoothies.

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So, the frozen kale cubes are more like frozen kale cupcakes, but whatever. I took the beet greens that were attached to the beets I bought for Saturdays dish and blended them with an entire bag of chopped kale, added just enough water to make it all blend down, and froze them. Now I can just toss a frozen cube or two into my smoothies when I want to add greens, and my fridge isn’t completely taken over by greens!

If you want to do this yourself and you don’t have a high speed blender then I would recommend using an ice cube tray instead of cupcake liners, to make it a little easier on your blender.

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Later I called Hannah up and asked her to go with me to a pool party/fruitarian potluck that I was invited to. We ended up having a fun afternoon and I even tried durian for the first time (other than in a smoothie) and it was… interesting. I think it’s one of those fruits that has to grow on you. After we left the pool party we went to the Asian grocery store in my neighborhood (I live right by Austin’s Chinatown we we actually have several large Asian grocery stores near my house) and had fun just browsing and picking out a few things.

After that we went back to my house and I made us some raw pasta with cheezy walnut sauce and we watched an old episode of Gilmore Girls (the one where Lorelai finds out that Luke has a daughter). It was perfectly simple girl time and I loved it.

Overall it was a really great weekend. It was a little challenging being at a potluck where I was very limited in what I could eat so it was nice to go to one the next day where the only foods that people brought were fruit! It was also lovely to get to hang out with some like-minded people as far as diet goes. I do pretty well at eating before hand and bringing things with me when I go places, but it’s still nice to not feel like the odd man out every now and then!

QUICK REMINDER: I am moving my blog over to a new site. If you’re currently subscribed to my blog and want to keep getting my posts emailed to you, please unsubscribe from this one and head over to www.myhealthychef.net/blog and subscribe to that one, add it to your RSS feed, or whatever else it is you do to make sure you get notifications of my latest posts.