Monthly Archives: February 2016

No Added Sugar Challenge days 9 and 10

Day 9 was pretty uneventful. Except for the fact that I was craving sugar like mad. Last night I went to a party at a friend’s house. In the past when going to their parties I always ended up eating way too many of their snacks: pita chips with hummus, chocolates, and cheese and crackers. Now that I’m vegan I knew the chocolate and cheese were going to be out but I was worried I would mindlessly eat tortilla and pita chips.

I had a satisfying dinner before going of pasta and tomato-mushroom sauce and a salad. Being full when getting there definitely helped. Despite that, as soon as I arrived I saw they had a plate of red grapes instead of their usual assortment of chocolate. I almost ate one, I even touched it but I had a glass of water instead. I don’t really drink alcohol anymore unless it’s a really special occasion (wedding anniversary, milestone birthdays, etc). I just stayed away from the snack table, hanging around in conversation on the other side of the room. As the party was dying down however it became a little difficult to stay far from the snack table because all of the people who were left were hovering around it. I managed though. I had brushed my teeth before I went and I just thought about how I had brushed my teeth before going there and if I ate something I’d have to brush again. That was enough for me not to eat anything.

So I survived my first party with snacks galore. I’m 1/3 of the way through 30 days. I was doing some reading the other day, because I am still eating carbs like crazy, and I’ve decided to cut down on the carbs a little. Not a completely low carb diet, because I always have way too little energy on those kinds of diet, but less carbs than I have been eating. That should help with my cravings a bit.

Tonight I have a dinner party to go to. I just have to pace myself when eating, and not get seconds immediately.


No Added Sugar Challenge days 7 and 8

Have not updated in the last two days because I’ve been pretty busy. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the last few days at the animal shelter volunteering.

If you have enough volunteer hours you can take a dog home for a sleepover which is what I did on Tuesday night. He was a small shy chihuahua. Very cute and very sweet but very afraid of the shelter environment. I really feel for those little dogs that are just so scared to be there.

Too bad we aren’t in a position to adopt more dogs. I think we’d end up with like 5 dogs though. 🙂

Anyway, back to the no added sugar challenge. Still going strong! Definitely had some intense cravings. I got my period two days ago too and I was relieved. Now I can go back to eating a more normal amount of food. I am happy I’ve made it to day 9 so far. You can do anything for 30 days! I think after 30 days I may incorporate one cheat day per week. We’ll see.


Casa de Luz – Walnut Lemon Dill Dressing

There is a place here in Austin, TX called Casa de Luz. It is a non-profit community center. It has a school, you can take classes like yoga, nutrition, and dog training to name a few. It also has a restaurant where you can get a plant based vegan and gluten free meal. It’s pretty awesome. If you want to feel healthy, I definitely recommend going to Casa de Luz. I’m actually a big fan of the place. Here is a picture of a meal I had there one time:

IMG_20151224_130936 (1).jpg


That day they were serving tamales. My husband and I are big fans of their sauces and we had been gifted a Casa de Luz gift card so we bought their cookbook with it. Yesterday I finally tried out their walnut lemon dill dressing recipe, which according to the book is a house favorite. I love their salads and salad dressings.


These are the ingredients, although I forgot to include the garlic and salt.


You end up blending.


It looks like that after blending. More on the thick side. salad6.jpg

And added to my salad! The recipe made enough for a few days worth of salad, which is great! I’ve been meaning to eat more salads in my life and now I definitely will. I love this recipe. I’m excited to try their almond dressing too soon.

If anyone is reading this and lives in Austin I recommend checking Casa de Luz out. It’s not everyone’s thing, I know that. I have some friends who think it’s bland and others who think it’s amazing. Definitely, worth a shot though.

No Added Sugar Challenge Day 6

Nearly a week down. Today I finally didn’t overdo it with calories but it’s probably mostly because I kept myself so busy all day long. I forgot to take pictures of all my meals so I will try again tomorrow. I ate like a normal human being today though. I went grocery shopping and while at the store I definitely did crave some sweet stuff. There were some chocolate samples out but I didn’t take any.

So the key seems to be: stay busy! Which is good, because it’s good to be productive.

No Added Sugar Challenge Day 5

Today was really hard. I know what my trigger is. BOREDOM.

So, I need to do a much better job of keeping myself occupied. I can’t see eating as an activity. Eating while watching a TV show is a habit I need to break. I didn’t have any sugar/added sugar today but once again I was way over calories. This is like 4 days out of 5 where I’ve done that and it needs to stop or I will start putting on weight.

I think I’m going to start posting pictures of my meals. I think that will help keep me accountable.

I need to do groceries tomorrow so I need to do a bit of meal planning for the next few days. I think I’m going to try and make the lentil chili recipe from the instant pot recipe booklet and also buy a bag of salad mix and make some dressing to go with it. I will be blogging about that tomorrow.

Other than that, I got a decent amount of exercise today. Obviously not enough to undo the amount I ate. Can’t outrun a bad diet as they say.

No Added Sugar Challenge Day 4

Another day down. Yay!

Kind of had a lot of calories today again. Not a full on binge or anything, just large portions at my meals. At least I’m sticking to the no added sugar thing.

Today I ate: oatmeal with fruit, 2 slices of toast, lentil soup, biscuits with vegan butter (a lot of them), and a little but of apple sauce. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it was.

Well, that’s all I have to say for today I guess.

Lentil Soup – The Joy of Cooking

The very first cookbook my husband and I bought together was the Joy of Cooking, pictured below.


This is our actual book. We’ve had it for about 7 years now. It’s moved with us to three different cities (soon four), and two countries. Despite that, I wasn’t much of a cook before we went vegan. I have only made a handful of the recipes in this book. A lot of the recipes are not vegan, but some of them can be made vegan. Of the recipes we have tried all of them have been excellent.

Today I made lentil soup, since we ran out of black bean soup and we had some dry lentils in the cupboard.



Ingredients! Mostly fresh ingredients. Greek yogurt tub has lentils in it.



I love the smell of carrot, onion, celery and garlic cooking in olive oil.


I was a little short on lentils.



Has to simmer for 35-45 minutes. I let it simmer for 40 minutes.



After simmering, the final steps include adding spinach and some seasoning.


And that was my lunch today! Normally the soup is a little heartier than pictured but I did not have enough lentils. It was still really tasty though.

Lentils are a really great source of protein and are also REALLY cheap. This meal is cheap y’all. Great winter staple. Going vegan does not have to be expensive.

Recipe source:

Joy of Cooking