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Small Change: The Lunchtime Walk

16 Sep

I am a desk worker.  I sit for hours at a time (when I am not perching at my computer).

Though I live and work in the DFW, I actually have ready access to a beautifully wooded area near my office.  I have been biding my time for the perfect moment when I could go for a lunchtime walk. 

The weather yesterday was perfect!

My work environment is very casual, so I can totally get away with wearing tennis shoes into the office.  I took advantage of that and came ready for a jaunt through the wilderness trees.

That is some fancy photo work… yeah, I got lucky.

I spent some time on the beaten path.  Ok, that is a road.

The sky was an incredible blue, and the clouds were little puffs.  I ventured down some lesser used paths as well.  Since I was alone, I did stick to the trails, but have plans to go on adventure soon with a co-worker!

I was a happy girl.  Just me and the woods.

But, soon my walk had to end.  Thirty minutes flew by!  I was just starting to get too warm for my light jacket.  I look forward to doing it again.

Taking a lunchtime walk is just one small change that I can make to keep my metabolism up, my legs loose, and burn a few extra calories!

Being rather busy these days, I tend to have a lot on my mind, which has been interfering with my regular sleeping pattern.  That has caused some excess tiredness.

I pretty much wanted to do anything except run after work, but I knew that I had a full rest day on Friday.  I completely advocate resting if your body genuinely needs it, but I could tell that I had one more solid workout in me before a full day of rest.

It really is the runs that are completed out of sheer will that are the most rewarding!

After running, I rarely want real food.  Usually a smoothie is my first line of defense against post-run tummy grumbles. So a smoothie it was for dinner!

This smoothie was delicious… 1/2 c water, 2/3 c, almond milk. 1/2 banana, 1 c frozen fruit (mango, pineapple, and papaya), 1 scoop Raw Protein, 2 handfuls of spinach, 2 cups of ice. 

I would eat drink this again tomorrow, if I had not finished off all of the spinach and the bananas too.

Quick shower and change of clothes, because I had a friend in town from Ohio.

We met at White Rhino Coffee in Cedar Hill.  (Seriously, you never know which ‘burb I will show up in next. )

White Rhino is a small coffee house that is owned by a local business man.  I am all about going to businesses owned by actual people, versus companies.

I am not all about drive thrus, but White Rhino does have a drive up that you could use if that’s your thing.

I just got the bottomless cup of coffee, which I had to put a bottom on, because they did not have out any decaf.  I had two cups of caffeinated coffee at 8pm, which is why I was able to stay there until 12 and chat with some friends from college that came along.

Late night, but sometimes it is a good thing to just be a normal (occassionally irresponisble) 26 year old.

  •  What small changes have you made to better your health?
  • Do you prefer privately or corporately owned businesses?  What determines where you go (cost, proximity, etc)?

Labor Day Living

7 Sep

After 68 days of 100 degree temperatures in Dallas this summer, the heat seems to have finally broken.  I can’t say I am happy about it either.  Only one more day, and we would have tied the 1980 record of 69 days.  Two more days and the record would be OURS!

Saturday was noticeably cooler, but somewhat windy.

Sunday was much nicer and terribly windy.  I road my bike anyway and experienced the grace of a merciful tailwind and the unforgiveness of a hearty headwind.  Even still, I road 16.5 miles, which is the farthest I have ever ridden.

Monday held an unscheduled run, that I dubbed a fun run.  I looked forward to it, knowing there was’t any pressure to accomplish a certain distance or time. I ended up battling the wind for 4.75 miles before calling it a day. It was relaxing.

The rest of the day was spent with family.  I drank coffee on a patio with Christina and Jesse.  I talked with Michele.

Then we all met up for lunch at a restaurant on Joe Pool Lake.

The Oasis is a very American restaurant that burnt down only a couple of years ago, but was rebuilt.

Our goal was to eat outside… the location was not as important.

The only vegetarian options were salads that had cheese on them and dressing… no thanks. I am too good at making salads to pay for a crappy restaurant salad.

I opted for side dishes, and purposely did not ask what they were cooked in, because I really did not want to know.  I got wild rice (pretty sure it was cooked in chicken broth), sauteed squash (butter?), and sweet potatoes (brown sugar).

I left hungry and felt like I wasted money… but I was with my family and that made it worth it.

Our other goal was to take Leila to feed the ducks and fish at the lake.

Her Daddy showed her the boats.

The water at the lake is insanely low.

The water was in no way deep.  Lake water is nasty looking.

Leila was a little more interested in eating the bread than feeding the animals.

This duck even had a mohawk.

Such a sweet girl…


How did you spend your labor day?

Did you spend time with friends or family?  

Did you make a special meal?  If so, what did you make?


A Little Backwards, A Lot Hot

28 Aug

Friday night was very relaxing, as all I did was have dinner with Clare at Kalachandji’s and then go back to my sister’s house to hang out.  I stay at her house most Friday nights because I like running in her neighborhood.  I have measured routes and it is well lit for those before-the-sun-would-dare-raise-it’s-head runs. But the guest room was occupied, so I slept on the couch.  Luckily it is a really comfortable couch.

Iron Jess and his brother left the house at 3am to head to Hotter Than Hell, a 100 mile bike ride, with 2 of their other brothers and  their dad.  They were super quiet in the kitchen, but I still woke up.  I could not fall back asleep until 4:30, so my 5:30 alarm was greeted with my pointer finger turning it off and a grunt.

I ended up waking up at 6:30 and headed out on a 6 mile run.

I felt incredible the first couple miles, and then it started to get hotter as the sun rose.  I walked 3 times, for about a minute each time. In the end I still covered over 6 miles.

It still amazes me that I can run that far! I may not be fast, but I will get it done!

Lunch looked a little something like this…

Well, I started lunch with frozen yogurt with Christina.  We have our priorities. Then we met Michele and Leila for fajitas.

The three of us shared these fajitas from On the Border.  I was actually really impressed that they have vegetable fajitas on their menu. We ordered chicken, so the meat eaters could eat meat.  They had 3 vegetable options that came with the meat, and I chose the one that included squash and zucchini, red pepper, and onion.  I asked the waiter to put the meat beside the vegetables, and he obliged. Thanks waiter!

Happy vegetarian!  Guacamole, black beans, vegetables, and salsa on a very fresh tortilla.  I had one fajita with some chips and salsa.  I ate the chips slowly and intentionally.

By the end of lunch the lack of sleep + sugar caught up to me and I was ready to crash hard, so I skipped the trip to Target and went home for a 45 minute nap.

After my nap I made myself appear presentable enough to sit outside for hours and sweat… in other words, I put on clothes… and packed my cooler for a Ranger’s game.

We are having a drought in Texas, but you wouldn’t know it from their grass (or the grass in my front yard).  This was my first game of the season. Sad but true.  I used to frequent the ballpark all throughout the summer.  Life is busy these days!

There was good company.

Lots of sun.

Zero wind, as you can tell by the flags.

And lots of real food in my cooler. The last of the Whole Foods jalapeno hummus, chickpeas (redundant), red pepper, carrots, and tomotos (that may as well be candy).

To combat the heat, I brought a bowl of watermelon. This is what summer is about – baseball and watermelon.

The Ranger’s lost.

School starts Monday morning after my final Body Pump in who knows how long.

Do you like going to outdoor sporting events?  

Do you pack your own food or try to find something to eat at the stadium?  I will be honest, I can not handle paying that much for mediocre food. even when I was a meat eater I took my own food.

No Spoons

19 Aug


I’m completely, 100% all about bringing my lunch to work. I work very hard to make sure it is a balanced meal, with foods that will keep me feeling full and yet satisfied.

Lunch yesterday was a particularly yummy one. My mom found these mini pitas, which are about 2.5 inches in diameter. A serving size is 5 pieces for around 140 calories. I usually eat 3 or 4 though.

My lunch yesterday consisted of 4 (one of those little guys was consumed with a quickness) pitas, 4 cuc slices, lettuce, sprouts, Whole Foods jalapeno hummus, and red onion. I made mini little pit pockets and gobbled those little suckers up!

Yesterday was a big day, because I put in my 2 weeks notice at my part time job! Yay! I put it off long enough but there really wasn’t an option. It was a necessity.

BUT THE PROBLEM IS… I never told you guys this, but I actually worked at a gym, which meant free membership. That is why I had such a hard time resigning. Giving up my employment means giving up my membership. Paying for a membership is just not something I want to do right now. So, I’ll be holding a week of mourning at the loss of Body Pump in my life.

But, I already have a tentative plan. I do have a treadmill and my bike trainer at home and Iron Jess is going to hook me up with a strength plan. But, I’m still going to miss Body Pump 😦

After work last night (job 1 and 2), I went with some friends to Thai Suwan and got the green tofu curry. I had the yellow curry the last time I was there and actually liked it better. But, the green curry was good too.

Just as our food was coming out of the kitchen ALL of the power on the street went out. We were left sitting in the dark. My food was on a tray on the table next to us and I was desperate to get to it.

After a minute they brought us a candle and we dined by candlelight. It was fun!


The lights did return eventually. Thai food consumed. Hunger satisfied!

Now, if I’m honest, and I try so hard to be. I had 3 little pitas with hummus for lunch today and I brought this big salad too…


Hummus and pita consumed, but I’m not too interested in the rest of the salad. I may have picked out all the carrots to dip in hummus.

This hummus is good enough to eat on a spoon.

Luckily I only have a fork.

Spiraling Into Dinner

16 Aug

Today was a whirl wind of a day!

I started with a little spin on my trainer.  I felt pretty unmotivated.  I have really got to hook up the TV in my room that has been unplugged for about 3 months.  I just don’t have time for TV right now.

After 15 minutes I hopped off the bike and put this little diddy in the oven. Then I hoped back on the bike to finish my sweaty work out.

Ashley’s Blueberry Strawberry Coconut Cream Buckwheat Bake

Do you see that cream inside?  That is what happens when you mix coconut flour with almond milk.

I put the strawberries on top of the cream, instead of mixing it in the buckwheat batter.   It was a good choice.  All the sweet goodness was right in the middle!

All day long I had an amazing dinner to look forward to.

Clare from Fitting It All In recently moved to Dallas, and I emailed her a couple weeks ago to see if she would want to have dinner.

We went to one of my favorite restaurants, Spiral Diner.   I love being able to open up a menu and order ANYTHING!

I was really nervous, because this was my very first blogger meet up.  I know from Clare’s blog that she and I both love nutrition.  But, I get so nervous when I meet new people.

Clare was so easy to talk to!  We chatted and ate wonderful vegan food!

I had the blue plate special…

The Fig and Fennel Sandwich

Roasted fennel with grilled red bell peppers, red onions, artichoke hearts and tomatoes served on ciabatta bread with fig preserves and mayo.

The only appropriate way to let it all hang out. 🙂

I would have eaten the bread and fig preserves alone.  This was delicious. Sweet and savory all at the same time on warm ciabatta. Juicy watermelon on the side.

But the conversation was the best of all!  Clare has a beautiful story of her journey to a healthy relationship with food. She’s a graduate of Notre Dame, that is working toward becoming a life coach.  She is also working full time as a retail store manager.  She knows what it means to juggle!  (We have that in common!)

It was so great to spend time with someone who feels just as passionately about food, health, nutrition, and blogging as I do.

I am looking forward to introducing Clare to more of Dallas’ vegetarian/vegan cuisine!

I have to get a move on and pack my lunch and dinner, because I have a long day tomorrow.

My bed is calling me… “You have intervals in the morning… you have to be up at 4:45… you need to sleep.”

Lubbock – Part 3… The last part, I promise

8 Aug

Hello from work! I hauled my computer to work with me today… I act like it weighs a ton. I thought I would round out this Lubbock recap… only 1 week too late. Sorry about that!

Before going to bed Saturday night I checked the Einstein’s Bagels website for options I would actually eat.  While they had a couple bagel thin options that will not shock you with their calorie content I also  saw that there bagels contain high fructose corn syrup, which is lame and unnecessary.  So, I opted for overnight oats, made in the morning while I got ready. I never get tired of them!

I did get a decaf coffee, which I was able to take to church with me.  I love churches that let you drink coffee in the sanctuary.  This church actually provides coffee in the sanctuary.  I am a much better listener with coffee in hand! It is a fact!

For lunch we visited a restaurant called Home Cafe.  I did look at the website, which lists a portion of their menu.  But, they base their menu daily on what fresh ingredients that can get that day.  I can appreciate that!

I can also appreciate that they serve their drinks in Mason jars… made me feel at home, because we have a couple of those in our cabinets to this day.

I was nervous though, because I knew they were going to have “down home” options and I do not eat so many these days.  I was surprised though to find a few good options.  A few things tempted me… pancakes, eggs, jalapeno biscuits, pizza…  they looked amazing!

I ended up ordering a side salad with lemon vinaigrette… and the jalapeno cheese grits.

OH MY GRITS! These were incredible!  The salad was light and fresh.  The vinaigrette tangy… such a good meal.

I did nab a piece of pizza off of Libby’s plate for good cheesy measure.  I have been wanting pizza and that homeade, garlicky, cheesy pizza hit the spot.  And, seems to have satisfied the pizza want that I had.

A 5 hour drive home for me and Alyssa rounded out the weekend.  We both had to be ready to hit the ground running on Monday. We each had out prospective bars on the way home… mine a Lemon Larabar.  Lots of water for me!  And there was a restroom stop at a shady joint that looked nice from the outside. Looks can be deceiving!

I love Lubbock, but mostly because of the people that live there.  I am confident that it would be tough to eat out plant based in Lubbock.  I am blessed that Dallas has a lot of options for me to choose from. Like Spiral Diner, Sweet Tomatoes, Fadi’s.  Those restaurants make it hard for me to choose because the food is all so good!

In the end it is the people that make anyplace truly significant.

It is always hard to say goodbye to a wonderful friend like Staci, but easier when you know when you will see each other again!

See ya soon  Staz!

Lubbock Part 2

6 Aug

One night Staci text Alyssa and I and said that she had just gotten an email about a 5k that would be taking place while we were in Lubbock.  I was planning to run on Saturday anyway, so I was game.

The race took place on the campus of Texas Tech.  It started right outside the football stadium and wound through the campus.

The race was extremely small.  I would say that about 70 people participated. It did not start until 8:15, which was 15 minutes late, so the sun was beaming and the temperature rising.

I run on Saturdays before the sun comes up, so I carried a bottle of water with me.  Boy am I glad I did, because they did not have a single water station.  I know it was only 3 miles, but I usually want something to drink by mile 2.

I used my new Garmin to watch my pace and wanted to stay around 11 minute miles.  I felt really comfortable there, so when I would start slacking a little I would pull myself back up to speed.

Alyssa and I ended up crossing the 3.1 mile mark at 33:23… 1:09 faster than my time at the Firecracker 5000!

I was really proud of us, because it was hot! The course actually measure longer than a 5k to me and a couple other Garmin wearers, so I went with the time and distance of my Garmin.

After the race we headed to J&B Coffee Co… again. I am telling you I love this place!  If it were near my home I would be in trouble! Chain restaurants and coffee shops hold little appeal to me.  I would much rather support a person than a corporation.

I was going to get a scone, until I saw these “cookies”.  I read the ingredients, and they were all REAL FOOD! And, it was made in Texas! Once again, supporting a small business and my very own state!

The entire “cookie” was actually 2 servings, but I about the right number of calories for a breakfast that will keep me full for a while. So I ate the whole thing along side a decaf iced coffee with soy.

We did a little shopping and then met some of Staci’s family for lunch at Sugar Baker’s.  It is a small bakery/restaurant that had one veg friendly option… a pb and j. The jelly was Bama, so I skipped that.  I just had the p on rye bread.

On the side I had the fruit cup, which was doused in cream.  Yes, it tasted good.  No, the cream was not necessary.  I wish it would not have been there.  Fruit is sweet enough without adding anything to it.

After lunch we got into our bathing suits and headed for the pool.  I actually fell asleep for a while in the sweltering heat.  I get sleepy when I get too warm.  I actually never got in the water. The sun felt good, though I lay there and sweat for almost 2 hours.

Dinner was my choice, and I will admit it was kind of a bust.  I found a restaurant online called Manara Cafe, which had Mediterranean food.  I was disappointed that their ovens were not working, so our options were limited.

We devoured the hummus, which was so-so and the tabouli which was pretty good.  The falafel was actually wonderful… very dill-y. I love dill! The pita was obviously store bought and disappointing. Luckily, we did not pay much for the meal.

After eating we met Staci’s friend Libby to walk in a park because the evening was actually cool enough to be outside.  They took us to a beautiful new neighborhood with an incredible park in the center.



The ladies lounged. I took pictures.  I tried sitting… I am just not good at it.

The sunset was beautiful and the clouds put on quite a show for us.

Eventually we left and went to a little ice cream shop.  I kind of wanted frozen yogurt, but really did not want to eat dairy again.  So I opted for italian ice, which really really disappointed!  I should have just thrown it away.  It was not worth eating, but it is really hard for me to throw away food that I pay for.

The night ended at Libby’s, where we my Cooper, her mammoth of a sweet dog.  Though he is over 100 lbs, he was gentle and kind.  I am not really a dog person, so I let Alyssa handle all the petting, but I appreciated how well behaved he was.  He is a good boy.

Another late night… followed by an early morning.



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