Epic Friday.

I’m totally ready to bust out into Bone Thugs ‘n Harmony’s, 1st of The Month:

“Wake up, wake up, wake up it’s the 1st of the month
To get up, get up, get up so cash your checks and get up”

I know it’s not the first of the month, but it’s close and it’s my first PAYDAY in over two years!!!  Hooray for money! I’ve already done a little shopping:

Smart Phone! It's about time!

I got a smart phone–finally! I’m still trying to figure it out because the dang thing is smarter than I am!! {But notice it didn’t take me long at all to make Ben Roethlisberger my screen saver and the Steelers Fight Song as my ringer, haa–priorities!} I’m also trying to figure out how I lived without it for so long. There’s a gazillion health & fitness apps I want to add but haven’t yet. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

This thing also takes pretty bad ass pictures. It has 8 megapixels so I shouldn’t have any more blurry cell phone pics when I use this camera as opposed to my camera-camera. I’ll get to the pics in a sec…

Today is also epic because I’m going out with my coworkers for drinks tonight! I haven’t done that in about 3 years. And the best thing? They’re down to earth guys. I was having a discussion with my hubby about this–no offense to my fellow ladies out there–but I 99.9999% of the time prefer to work with men. They’re just easier. No menstrual cycles syncing up, no catfights, no jealousy, no dramarama. I do have to deal with them scratching and adjusting and well, just being men, but yeah, this is more my style.

We’ll be bonding and shooting the shit at Buffalo Wild Wings. I heart this place. I’m still eating a vegetarian diet {what, almost two months now I guess?} so there will be no wild wings for me. I may have to partake in some of those sour cream potato wedges, though. I swear I dream of them sometimes. And beer. Oh happy, golden delicious beer.

Now before you’re like, “Oh my, Cherie, that sounds like quite the calorie laden fesitvus,” let me assure you that I have burned about 85 bazillion calories in the past three weeks. When I am a personal trainer, I’m going to suggest that my clients work at Dick’s and open new stores. The calorie burn will be crazy high. The sweating will be intense. And the sizes will be dropping.

A SMALL?!! This tag is from a shirt I bought yesterday. Yup, I actually fit a small in something now. This is ridiculous but I’ll take it!  That’s what happens when I work out for 8+ hours a day. Seriously, look at the before and after pics of my section of the store:

Before... {3 wks ago}

And now!

Guess who put all those weights on that rack? --> THIS GIRL!!!

My coworker {and NFL player!} Stafford posing with the weights. I told him I wanted to sell this pic on Ebay when he's famous.

Yoga, pilates and Thrive wall!

Ellipticals and treadmills. Put together by hand!!!!!

See the yellow arrow I drew on there? Talk to the Certified Fitness Trainer--hey that's me! :-)

So YES, as you can see, this store set up took A LOT of time and energy–it was a total body workout every day! And the awesome part was yesterday while I ran on the treadmills for the last 20 minutes of my shift to test them out. I was like, “Hey, I’m getting PAID to exercise right now!” So then you also you can see why I’ve worked up such a ravenous appetite and need to feed it with beer and potato wedges and get “white-boy wasted“, haha {their term, not mine, but it’s pretty damn awesome–and the group is mostly white guys so they’ve confirmed that’s a correct term!}. Oh and yeah–good pics with the phone, right?! Love that thing!

So yes, my Friday shall be epic and Sunday will be awesome as I’m off that day too. The getting up at 6am on Saturday for work after night of epic Friday will not be so awesome. Anyhow, what are your plans this weekend?

“Even as a vegetarian, you should still eat chicken.”

Howdy! Real quick–because now it’s starting to be old news but I keep forgetting to mention it–take a look at my guest blogger post on I Swear My Legs are on Auto-Pilot…! Courtenay asked me to be her September Guest Blogger and I happily obliged! It’s now seven days old, but if you haven’t seen it–check, check, check it out. If you’re a new reader to Cherie Runs This, it will give you an overview all about where I’ve been and where I’m going! :-)

Okay let’s start this post….I originally wanted it to be a What I Ate Wednesday, but now it’s after midnight and I’m late. What I Ate Thursday just doesn’t  have as nice of a ring to it, you know? But shucks, I still will mention some foodie things before I get into what I REALLY want to umm, rant er, pop-off no, bitch chat about.

After hot yoga, I made a pitstop at Whole Foods before making the commute home. I know I’m dripping with sweat, gross and smell pretty ripe at this point, but I also live about 25 minutes out of town. No way am I going all the way back to the country to shower to drive way back into town just to run in for a few groceries!! Sorry Chapel Hill Trophy Wife-shopping-in-the-late-morning-on-a-Wednesday-while-your-husband-is-working-at-the-office-and-you’re-standing-in-the-aisle-talking-to-another-Trophy Wife-about-how-a-$300-a-night-hotel-room-is-a-steal, I know I stink as I reach in between you to grab some Earth Balance but you’re just going to have to deal. I’ve been working {out}. No need to gasp at the mere smell sight of me.

Anyhooooo, I went there to grab these few items to make these:

that I saw on Savoring the Thyme’s blog. They are basically a healthier, more colorful version of the wonderful Rice Krispie Treat. I couldn’t purchase the natural food coloring {it was $19.99!!!!!} and I got a different brown rice cereal. I thought, “How much different will they turn out?” I’m sure they’ll be fine, just not colored. I’ll add some Sunny Seeds and they’ll be fine. Plus, I’ll try to veganize them as much as possible. Again, they’ll be fine.

Haha, mine look NOTHING like hers. :-(  I was so famished when I got home from Whole Foods that I didn’t bother to give myself the proper amount of cooking time. Before the Earth Balance/Rice Mellow mixture cooled a bit, I added the cereal. OOOPS. That like, immediately makes the cereal go all stale-like. No bueno. At that point they weren’t even palatable. Sadness.

This guacamole I created totally made up for my bad rice treats, though. It was amazing! I used 2 avacados, 1/8 cup of diced red onion, 1/4 cup of diced tomato, 1/2 tablespoon of lime juice, 1/8 cup of chopped cilantro and coarse sea salt to taste. YUMMM!

Back to another fail, though–this pizza. It was homemade and all of the ingredients were awesome–the Whole Foods doughball, the sauce, the basil leaves, the portabellos, the vegan pepperoni–everything but this nasty mozzarella cheese. Uggh, never again. I tried to not get the Daiya mozza as I heard that was bad, but this is crazy awful. It totally messed up my pizza!!! :-( The other vegan cheeses I’ve had from them were good, but yeah, mental note: No more of this mozza. I’ll try the Daiya next and if that’s bad then I may just have to eat regular skim mozza. Boooooo. So much for attempting a vegan meal.

Okay, so that reminds me. Here’s what I have to say:

As I stated in my post the other day, I am beginning the transformation to a vegetarian, plant-based way of eating. I was originally planning to do it for the month of October to celebrate Vegetarian Awareness Month and as a test of myself just to see if I could do it. But the more I learn about it and study nutrition, I’m seeing more and more reasons why I should just do it now and for as long as I can.

To help myself acclimate to the vegetarian lifestyle, I’ve tried to eat a vegan diet as of late. I figure, if I can eat vegan, I can SURELY eat vegetarian! Surprising, I’m actually liking the vegan food too! It’s a smidge difficult at times, but for the most part it’s not that rough. {Aside from the cheese snafu today, of course. Haha.}

Now the problem I’m having–though, it’s not ME having it, it’s OTHERS having it with me–is that everyone who still eats meat must tell me why I shouldn’t do this, why I can’t do it, why I’m crazy, why I don’t know the difference between vegetarian and vegan, why I should still eat chicken as a vegetarian, why I should just go back to my carnivorous ways, why they still eat meat and why I should do what they’re doing, etc, ETC, ETCETERA!!!!

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!!!!! Even when I was scarfing down my three meals of meat a day, I never once told a vegetarian or vegan {and yes I know the effin’ difference} what they should or should not do. It wasn’t my business. Why oh why must people stick their meaty paws in where they don’t belong?

Unless I’m asking you for money to purchase it, or you’re buying me my food {which, duh, I’m not and you’re not}, kindly stop, stop, stop. Sure, tell me what you’re eating, go right ahead, that’s fine. I love hearing your comments about what works for YOU. Conversation & dialogue is awesome. But for the love of Pete {who for all we know, could be a vegan}, don’t tell me what to or to not eat!!!

I’ll gladly write another post about the number one, winner-take-all reason why I’ve changed my eating ways. But not today. You’ve listened to me rant enough. Sorry I had to take it there, but yeah, some of y’all made me take it there. :-) I’ll return tomorrow as my usual, funny, easy-going, inspiring blogging tomorrow.

Do you ever encounter hostility stemming from the way you eat?

Veggie cooking frenzy!

I’m having a delightfully relaxing Sunday which is the beginning of my last week of non-employment. YAY! I thinnnk–I’m pretty sure I begin my new job next Sunday, but I suppose I’d better check on that for certainty, huh?! Don’t want to miss my first day! :-)

Anyhooooo, I woke up and made waffles for the hubs and me. I swear, getting a little $10 waffle maker from Walmart was magical. No more frozen Eggos or Kashi for me–I can make my own which are soooo much tastier! I put in a tablespoon of chocolate chips just because I felt like it today. I’ll either stick with plain or wild blueberries most times!

And that’s NOT a sausage pattie, for anyone who is checking on my “not eating meat” thing. It’s a Morningstar Farms Veggie Sausage Pattie, thank you. 😉

After breakfast settled {I’m NOT one of those that can workout on an empty stomach}, I went for an incline power walk on the treadmill. I would’ve loved to have gone outside on the trail at the lake today, but was not in the mood to drive anywhere. I even got in a little run near the end of the two miles and my stress fracture didn’t bother me! Good thing because this is Week 16 of it, lol!!

I wanted to keep on running, but I need to slooooowly get back to it. With all this time off from running, I’ve had a lot of time to read my Runner’s Worlds  and study up on injury prevention! Luckily, a new issue just came yesterday and I plan to catch some almost-Autumnal rays later this afternoon and read through it.

Collards cooking on the stove in a HUGE pot

Speaking of yesterday, I made the most amaaaazing veggie foods!!!! After h0t yoga in the morning, I stopped by Weaver Street Market to pick up some organic vegetable broth so I could make Vegetarian Southern-style Collard Greens as seen on the Food Network.

Collards done--They are sooo good! {I skipped the tomatoes.}

While I was in the store, they were giving out samples of Lemon Cilantro Quinoa Salad. I was skeptical, because every time I’ve made quinoa it’s never turned out good. The sample was sooooo yummy, though! I had to make it.

Lemon Cilantro Quinoa Salad recipe

I grabbed the recipe and some of the ingredients I needed to make it.

I also picked up this vegan cheese that I hear is the bomb diggity. {Not for the quinoa salad, though!}

I figured out why my quinoa never turns out tasty–I’d been using water instead of broth to cook it! This quinoa ended up being amazing and even hubby can’t stop eating it!

I ended my cooking frenzy by making more kale chips {thank you SarahSnacks}!!! I am IN LOVE with them. Who knew they were so yummy? I was never a big fan of kale, but add olive oil, a little salt, bake ’em up and ooooh-it’s-so-good! I find myself reaching for them over any other type of snack right now. Me loving veggies?! I’m thrilled!!

Organic kale chips!

Okay, must go study and then reward myself with some laid-back magazine reading and hydrating. Hot yoga again in the morning!! 😀

Do you do your cooking for the week ahead on Sundays? What are you making?

Quitting cold tofurkey.

A few weeks ago, it dawned on me–I eat a lot of meat. I mean, I REALLY eat a lot of meat. A quick scan through my food journal and it was evident that I would every day often have meat for all three meals and sometimes my snacks too. I’d gobble it down, fill my belly and be proud of my protein intake–“Yay, my muscles are gonna pop soon!”

What was really going to pop was my stomach. I felt so full. Too full. Bloated. Burpy. Gassy. {Real attractive, right?} And then I’d immediately have to go to the bathroom, sometime as soon as I swallowed my last bite. Ugh. This wasn’t fun. But it tasted good in my mouth and going down, so I put up with the crampy tummy and the other end result.

Why do I continue to eat meat if these are 99.9999% of the time the consequences after I consume it?  {I do love meat, but not necessarily everything I love is always good for me…} It is worth all of that just to enjoy it in my mouth for a quick few minutes? Why can’t I eat foods that not only taste good in my mouth but also won’t send me racing to the bathroom, doubled over in pain, burping and tooting the whole way there? {Sorry for the mental picture}

So I decided to try a little experiment with myself. I decided that since October 1st is World Vegetarian Day I would abstain from all meat products to celebrate. Then I realized that going one day without meat , although I rarely did it, wasn’t going to make much of an impact on my system. But since October is Vegetarian Awareness Month I figured I would plan to go for the whole 31 days as a veggie eater. One, to prove to myself that I could succeed at it and two, to make my body feel better inside.

A few years ago, I almost made it an entire month when I tried to go veggie as a test. But this Cherie is world’s apart from that one. I’m confident I can make it now. I actually really love vegetarian and vegan foods and have been practicing for about three weeks so far to get ready. {I have had seafood here and there to help me through as needed.} And get this–I have absolutely loved the foods I’ve had!

Yesterday, I made kale chips!

And a grilled cheese with non-dairy “cheese”!

And don’t forget about my search in DC last weekend for those vegan cupcakes from Sticky Fingers Bakery:

If the food tastes good, I realize that I don’t actually miss the meat and/or sometimes the dairy. And this way of eating is helping to align with things I’m learning and believing as I study more about yoga. I also finally picked up and began reading The Kind Diet. It’s mindblowing! It’s like, how could I dare to not eat this way?! As if! 😉

I was also excited to take another roadtrip back to DC later this month to attend the DC VegFest to pick up some tips, learn more and sample tasty food. But now that I’ll be working I’m not able to go. {It’s actually nice to say ‘I’ll be working’ so I won’t complain!!}

Anyhow, this is my experiment to try something new that could potentially have great results for my body inside and out. Lately I’ve been attempting many things I’ve never done before and I’ve been liking my newfound behavior! I amaze myself more and more each day so I might as well give this a shot too. But I don’t seem to wean myself off of anything well though; I’m best when jumping in cold turkey tofurkey.  And jumped I have–so far so good! Check back in with me to see how it’s going. 😀

Are you a vegetarian or a vegan? How did the transfer over go for you? When did you do it?