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Life’s Curveballs

Happy Wednesday to all. How’s 2020 going for all of you. I have committed to blogging and being consistent with my goals and happiness, and I’m on it in regards to my clean eating, budget food haul and meal prep. A little curveball has come my way in the form of an injured knee. It’s swollen and has been bothering me for weeks. That photo is from 2013 when I began this blog. It was days before I was in the Richard Simmons video and I got sick. I started my blog and had to rest for a few days before resuming it full force. Similar to reinventing my blog today. I start and all of a sudden my knee is giving me a hard time. 

I took today off from work to continue to apply rice; rest, ice, compression and elevation. I’m also going to buy new work shoes for now and order better ones online. Today the swelling doesn’t seem as bad as it was. This is a curveball in my plan for sure, but life throws you curveballs. It’s how you react to them. I’m listening to my body and my mindset is positive, I will heal. I do believe eating very little salt and sodium and tons of plants will help me in the process of healing and getting rid of inflammation.  The money I saved from my food budget is going to work shoes and one bill, even though I’m losing one day of work I’m still getting somewhat ahead. I’m proud to say today is my day three transitioning to eating a whole foods plant based lifestyle. I’m vegan for the animals and environment, and wfpb for my heath. This is not saying I’m against processed food and all the delicious vegan options out there, but for me those are rare and occasional treats. I love a good splurge meal but they have to be occasional treats. It’s too easy to slip. I’m eating very low salt, sugar and oil but I’m not 100% completely free of them. When I say very low that means almost none, but I won’t worry if some slips into my food. I’m trying to be healthy and balanced.

Happiness, health, wellness/weight loss and chasing goals takes a lot of work; but it also takes perseverance when things do not go your way. Those curveballs fly in the direction of your well thought out plans and goals. It’s ok if they do, just don’t let them knock you down or crush your dreams and goals. Remember, this month will build the foundation for the year. , that’s how I’m approaching January. Don’t give up when life throws you curveballs. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last.

For the time being I’m listening to my body and reading inspirational words while I cannot workout. I’m eating clean vegan, no salt, very little oils and sugar. Soon I will be healed and resuming my workout plans and goals. In the meantime I rest and show gratitude for my health even if my knee is temporarily injured.Today the swelling in my knee has gone down a bit, hoping I heal quickly so I can begin moving my body daily. One of the secrets to happiness for me is exercise. Have a wonderful mid week.
Love and light to all. Rose

 

How to eat vegan on a budget

Happy Monday to all. Let’s crush some goals so we worry less and spread joy more. We are happiness gurus today, not tomorrow or next week. For me it begins with two of my categories I need to work on, bills and my healthy vegan food budget. I’m getting healthy now, and my husband James is on board. To eat clean vegan doesn’t take a lot of cash. This week I’m doing it for $80.00.

These are two categories that are important in my life to be happy, getting on top of bills and debt and health. Beginning on Mondays I set the foundation for my week. I set my intentions for my day, and I honor those intentions. Here’s my food haul from last night. One more haul tonight and I’m done and then I decide which bills to tackle first, this plan is a proactive plan. To be happy you need to stop procrastinating, and find money somewhere to take care of issues. No more vegan junk means money to pay off things. I will reserve vegan junk for occasional splurges. Don’t get me wrong, I love vegan junk, only once in a while and definitely not daily. Eating clean vegan will help me on my path to weight loss/and vegan wellness.

If you want to eat clean on a budget I suggest you stick to fruits, vegetables frozen and fresh. I look around for deals first, and then I make my choices. I do the same with veggies and greens, and I buy a lot because this is the bulk of our meals. I look for seeds that may be on sale, I found chia seeds for $5.99. I buy only one bread, Ezekiel. One loaf should last a week. I have whole grain rice and a big container of oats at home, including oat flour, dark vegan chocolate chips for occasional homemade treats. At home I also have spices, nutritional yeast, and apple sauce. I have coconut oil and olive oil but we will rarely use oil. Applesauce is great for baking. We have nut butters, all natural with no salt or oil. Canned beans no salt, dry legumes like split peas and lentils. I do buy some condiments to help my hubby transition to clean vegan. Vegan mayo, vegan butter, and vegan sour cream. I will use sparingly.

Tonight at Trader Joe’s I’m finishing my haul. I will post in another blog what we are eating with this $80.00 vegan food budget. Oh, and there’s always coffee. I think it’s going to be easy to stick to this plan. After the holidays and all the salt I know eating this way will help me in three ways, losing weight, get rid of water retention from all the sodium, and save money to pay bills. It’s a win-win. Now doesn’t beginning your week this way make you happy?

One more thing, we are making a donation for Australia. I can take a little extra cash to show my support. It’s heartbreaking for all the people and animals. I can’t even look at the images, I just cry. If you can, donate a dollar or two. If we all did that imagine how much relief they can get. Part of being a happiness guru is being kind and giving. Love and light to all and prayers for our neighbors down under. Rose

10 Categories To Happiness

Happy Sunday to all. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on happiness and what it takes to be happy. We all tend to look at the big things we think we need to be happy. We need to get in shape and lose weight, go on grand trips, accomplish all of our personal goals. The lists go on. In reality we need to start at the bottom with the hard work. It takes some willpower, and sacrifice to begin and work from the ground up. The journey is even more important than the destination. You need to put in the work to get results, there’s no way around this. Above are the 10 categories I plan to tackle and work on over the course of the year for my happiness journey.

So beginning my reinvention of my blog and tackling the 10 categories I’m starting January with a theme. It’s healing and hard work. What does that mean? A lot of times our problems are a result of not taking care of issues. We procrastinate, we put off what we should be doing to better ourselves in mind/body and spirit. If you put off moving your body and eating clean you will see later issues will come up. Same with financial procrastination, and the lists go on. So January is my month of healing, setting the ground work of the categories I plan to work on in the year of 2020. Remember I’m working on my whole life, which includes my vegan weight loss/fitness and more. My life is so whole package, not just the wrapping.

Today I’m setting my intentions for Monday, the week and the month. This month of healing is going to be a month of clean vegan eating. Getting my home in order, tackling financial problems I’ve put off. This month I’m going to move more, do yoga and workout. I’m starting with daily simple walking because I have a knee injury that is lingering. Monday’s intentions are to toss any vegan junk I have left from the holidays, and grocery shop on a limited budget. I’m going to post all about how much I’m spending and what my vegan grocery haul consists of. This small intention will lead me to my next January intention, paying off bills and debts. Less money wasted on unhealthy food will be money to go to bills. Here’s a poll for you guys. How much money does a couple need to spend weekly on healthy vegan food?  I say 50 and my hubby says 100.

A quick recap, tonight I write out my intentions for Monday, the week and the month. I follow through with my Monday intentions. Each night I write intentions for the following day and so on. January is healing, my mind/body/ which includes things that are bothering me like financial burdens and getting my home in order. I bought white lights to replace the Christmas lights so my space will feel illuminated and lovely. January is setting the ground work for the categories I’m working on to be happy.

Are you happy? Let’s be happiness gurus together. Maybe you can write your own list of 2020 categories. Happy Sunday to all.  So much love and light. 

 

 

Decade Review

I cannot believe we are at the end of the decade. Before I begin my 2020 clear vision journey of being my own happiness guru, I must look back at the magnificent and sometimes sad decade. My husband James and I experienced a lot of change, travel, adventure, new opportunities, love and loss. It really began in 2010 with the intentions to leave NYC for a warmer climate. It was the winter of 2010 and a frigid one at that. We were ready to go, but at that moment we had no idea where.  

Here’s my quick recap of my decade.  A blizzard ushered in winter that year in 2010. I spent time with family in Cleveland, Ohio and we took a family portrait. I got to visit my best friend Melissa in Pittsburgh in the spring, and be in her wedding in the fall. We adopted our Siamese cat Rascal before we left NYC ( had wonderful moments with my dearest friends before the move) and we moved to West Hollywood CA.  We met new friends in California and traveled often, loving our new home in LA.  In 2013 we lost our beloved cat Stormy, adopted Spanky and I started this blog. I danced with  Richard Simmons in his video, and became friends with the family that was Slimmons. I wrote an essay about the remarkable Huell Howser, and because of that essay in December 2013 we had the best birthday dinner at the iconic Musso and Frank’s in Hollywood.  2014  we traveled a lot. I ran my first 10k and later that year we moved to San Francisco, and saw the beauty of Northern California, meeting new friends in the Bay Area.  My first book was published that year. I ran the Golden Gate Bridge and had dear friends visit. I also ran the Rock and Roll 5k in San Jose.  We saw the iconic sights of San Francisco.  I continued to write for magazines, online and print as we moved back to West Hollywood in 2016. We lived there for a year and I worked at the famous Canter’s Deli, writing about my experience in West Hollywood Magazine.  Before a move to Houston, TX. that summer,  my mother passed away  and after we lost Rascal. 2017 was a rough year so we began 2018 with a rejuvenating cruise to Jamaica, Cozumel and The Cayman Islands and I became Vegan. That year another loss, James’ Aunt Jan. We adopted our Siamese Max as well. 2019 was a bit unmemorable, except for ending it with another loss of my Mother’s sister Aunt Elaine. The decade really was an adventure of travel, live, loss and opportunities.

We met so many wonderful people who became dear friends and family. As I reflect on beginning this blog to be more self development centered with happiness and goal setting just as important as health and vegan weight loss, I remember we had one hell of a decade. Here’s to new beginnings and the gratitude and love for the foundation that brought us to where we are today. To our tribe who taught us so many wonderful lessons. To the good days, the bad days and the just ok days. The love the loss and the fact we are still standing, wiping our eyes with the clear vision of 2020 eyesight. Clear the dance floor and let’s dance into this brand new decade. Happy New Year to all, near and far. Thank you for being a part of my tribe. It’s a beautiful journey as long as we do it in togetherness, love and light.

 

 

 

 

 

WEIGH IN WEDNESDAY


It is Weigh In Wednesday and a few days before my Birthday, and a week before Christmas. I fell off the wagon the weeks after Thanksgiving, so I decided to start WW Green plan, which is the former weight watchers smart points plan revamped. For future reference WW is the former Weight Watchers, and they have three plans. The three plans are green, blue and purple. Green plan you count everything but most fruits and veggies, blue has free lean protein options added, and purple allows free grains and whole grain pasta. I’ve chosen green because it’s easier for me to be in control when I track everything, and tracking makes me less likely to binge and gain. I did that after Thanksgiving, my weight went up to 179 lbs.

Today I weighed in at 176 lbs, after being on green for one full week. My next weigh in day is Christmas, and I hope I can get through the holiday week with another loss. Going forward it’s all green for me, it just seems much easier to manage my life this way.

Speaking of life, in January 2020 I’m making some changes on this blog. I’m still going to be documenting my vegan weight loss and my fitness journey, and I plan to still be into philanthropy. I’m adding more categories though, things I feel are needed to better my life. I will post a blog how I got inspired to make this change. My blog will still be what it has been, but much more. I guess you can say it’s going to be a self development/lifestyle/wellness blog. I’m really enthusiastic about the change. At first I wanted to start a new blog and continue as us with this, but I decided to combine my ideas. I’m also planning a Youtube channel in the future.

All brand new for the new Roaring Twenties. In the meantime it’s Christmas, and I’m pulling myself out of a long melancholic mood and starting over by choosing joy. Happy Wednesday to all.
Let’s share sunshine and be happiness gurus together. Rose 

Chick Pea Salad Sandwiches

Happy Friday to all. I cannot believe it’s December 6, 2019. Time is truly flying by. I’m totally inspired for 2020 and my goal for the holidays is to try my best to lose but still enjoy some vegan holiday food. This time of year is the hardest time to try to get back on track,  but here I am. I convinced my hubby James to eat clean Whole Foods plant based in January. We will be eating clean vegan six days of the week with one day with vegan fun foods (within reason). As someone who had eating disorders this gives me the balanced and healthy lifestyle I’ve been striving for. I usually eat this way but my hubby does not as often. After the holidays we will be on the same page. Through the holiday season I will be posting some vegan fun holiday recipes as well as the healthy meals I eat most of the time.

Chick Pea Salad Sandwiches are a staple in my house, and so easy to make. We eat them on Food For Life Ezekiel Toast or whole grain crackers. They are delicious served in an avocado or over leafy greens. This is my version of the popular recipe.


You will need three cans of no salt Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed and mashed with a potato masher. I cup chopped celery, one large yellow onion chopped or a handful of scallions chopped. Two tablespoons of Dijon mustard. Two tablespoons of dill relish. Ground pepper. Paprika. Three tablespoons of vegan mayo. Mix all ingredients together and Pepper and add paprika to taste. You can switch up the vegan mayo with vegan yogurt and or mashed avocado. I am generous with my paprika. We like to build our sandwiches with leafy greens and big slices of beefsteak tomatoes. Sometimes we use roasted rep peppers, and add kalamata olives to the mixture.

You can really personalize these sandwiches. They are delicious on crackers with a bit of vegan cream cheese for a pate like appetizer. A wonderful meal and completely budget friendly. I’m on WW blue plan. I thought I could change to the purple plan but I feel blue works for me. I may change back. If you do WW and count points the garbanzo beans are free on blue and purple plans. Count the vegan mayo and the Ezekiel bread through the app. All the vegetables are free except the avocado. Crackers and vegan cream cheese must all be counted on the app.

Let me know if you try the sandwiches. Oh, fun fact, our cat Max was meowing like crazy when I made these sandwiches, apparently he thought I was making tuna sandwiches. Happy Plant Based Eating.

Happy Weekend to all. Love and light, Rose

 

NON SCALE VICTORIES

Happy Friday. I’m celebrating small nsv’s, that means non-scale victories. It’s week three of my #benderfitness workouts and I’m going strong and getting stronger. I’m working out 5-6 days a week, and I can see improvement in my strength. My push ups are a little bit lower, I’m holding my planks a little bit longer. My lunges are not as scary or as difficult. My flexibility is improving and my joints are no longer aching. A body in motion stays in motion, a body at rest stays at rest. Newton’s law. I’m doing these workouts for either six weeks or 12 weeks, and later I will switch it up.

To me this is the beginning of success, the little improvements and the commitment to put in the hard work day after day, despite the struggles and disappointments of life. As humans we tend to only view success in the grand accomplishments. Money, cars, awards, followers; material gains and huge accolades are often looked upon as more important than the non material and smaller wins. We tend to congratulate someone without knowing the background of the blood, sweat and tears that got them there. It takes hard work to accomplish dreams and goals, but that hard work in the beginning should never be looked upon as insignificant. When someone who’s never exercised in their life finally walks a block, that’s success to me. It’s getting the guts to get up and go, to jump hurdles and leap over anything that gets in your way; and a lot of time we are tripping over our own two feet. Our insecurities hold us back, our perception of what others think holds us back. Don’t do that.

My life right now has issues, but I’m not letting that hold me back, and I understand that’s life for all of us. There is fear, uncertainty and some sadness; but through it all I’m a survivor who loves life and is grateful for another day. So each day, no matter what’s going on I will commit to my small daily goals because that’s how I’m getting to where I’m going. Small goals one day will become big accomplishments. No one is clapping when I hold my plank 1 minute at 1 am in the morning, but I’m giving my commitment to making it happen a standing ovation. That’s all the accolades I need, the satisfaction of showing up and getting it done despite what comes my way. In one year I will look back at this moment with immense pride because I refused to give up.

Do you believe in coming back after failure? Do you believe in second and third chances to get something right after falling on your face multiples times? I find it really inspiring when someone makes a come back after failure after failure. After all failure is just a word we created, and we don’t have to let that word define us. Every brand new day is a chance to try again, and get it right. Let’s get it right, let’s work hard and show ourselves we can and will do it. Let’s define and rewrite our definition of success. Most important point to remember is to remember to make time for others when you are out in the world trying to make a name for yourself. No one is an island. Kindness and giving should always be a given in the sequence of chasing success. We all are here for one another. Let’s chase success together and rise each other up. Everyone who tries deserves thunderous applause. Show up and give yourself a standing ovation. 

Love and light,
 Rose 

 

 

 

 

NOVEMBER ALREADY

Happy November, is it really November already? Today is also World Vegan Day. Let me start out this post by saying going vegan is my most proud thing I’ve done, I’m living my most authentic life. Happy World Vegan.

Are you team Thanksgiving or are you the type to fast track to Christmas? I’m a little of both, we love the whole time from October to January, it’s so festive. The weather here is a little cooler which adds to the ambience.

The Holiday season is not the easiest time to make a weight loss journey a success, but I’m going to get through it working out daily and with weight loss. Yesterday was Halloween, so I enjoyed a little treat within reason. Like I mentioned a few weeks ago when I began blogging on the regular again that I would be balanced in my approach. No more craziness and unhealthy ways to lose. That’s disordered eating and not part of my plan.

I began my day with avocado toast, topped with nuts, cherry tomatoes and Siracha sauce. In the past if I knew I was having a vegan splurge I would have skipped all meals, but not anymore. I know how important nutrition is, so no skipping for this gal.

My splurge was a lettuce and tomato sub, topped with Tofurky, vegan provolone and potato chips. I chose to drink sparkling water and I had a bit of dark chocolate. A lot of people would say that’s not a splurge, but for me it is. I’m eating cleaner whole plant based foods with minimum sodium, and the vegan turkey and cheese is high in sodium which makes it a occasional treat for me. We had a great Halloween and I don’t feel like my Journey has been derailed. I’m in this for the long haul.

My next splurge will be Thanksgiving. Tonight I work late and after work I will do my #benderfitness workout. The late night workouts are really working out for my schedule. I didn’t meal plan enough which makes my weekend a challenge but I will get through it. I realized I really love the convenience of vegan protein bars with my coffee. I’m a complete zombie when I awaken. Maybe I should make protein balls to have with my coffee. Well I’m off for the day, coffee is calling and I’m going to have quiet time before work with some kitty cuddles. Perhaps a sneak peak at the Hallmark Channel. 

Happy November, let’s crush some goals during this holiday season, and do it with gratitude.
Love and light, Rose

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY WISDOM

Happy Wednesday to all. I am here to say I have not missed a workout since I started brand new last week, and my food is on point. Last night my hubby James and I went to a movie and when we got home he decided he was taking a rest day. It was tempting to blow off one workout, but I declined and followed through with my commitment. That’s the theme of this new journey, following through with commitments.

I took before photos last week and I’m thinking about when I should take my next round of photos to chart progress. I’m thinking three months. That would be the end of January. What do you think? Do you feel three months can show progress?

Tomorrow is Halloween and I’m having a vegan cheat meal, a Tofurky sub and some potato chips. It’s my first cheat meal in two weeks, but I’m not going to call it a cheat meal any longer; it’s a splurge. I’m using my extra WW points so I’m not going off track, it’s just not completely clean vegan and that’s ok with me. I’m going to enjoy my vegan sub and chips, and have a little dark chocolate too.

I’m living life happy as I lose weight and get fit. It’s all about achieving a healthy mind, body and spirit. To get that you need balance. I will post a photo of my sub on Halloween. I’m eating fun foods and spending the day with my hubby, but I’m not skipping my Thursday workout. Back to the importance of commitments and building a solid routine, keeping that momentum going strong.

Do you love Halloween? We love the time between September and January, it really is festive. We hung orange lights and everything at home is illuminated. Yesterday our building had trick or treaters, it was so cute to leave out candy and see the smiles on the kiddies faces!!  No matter what you are going through, making others smile is definitely healing.

Off to work for the day, my food is packed for tonight I’m doing my Wednesday #benderfitness workout after I get home. No more excuses. Please give me your thoughts about the next time I should take full body photos to chart my progress. Have a wonderful Halloween Eve.
With Gratitude, Rose

TACO TUESDAY

It’s Taco Tuesday again, and ever since I found these cute mini corn/wheat tortillas on sale  I’ve been making vegan tacos.
It’s a perfect food to meal prep and take to work. 
Last week I roasted vegetables, tofu and sweet potato with thyme and a teaspoon of olive oil. I used a little vegan mayo and a little vegan sour cream mixed with Trader Joe’s Siracha to make a sauce.

I also made tacos from Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils. I bought a big container of pre-cut veggies from Trader Joe’s and sautéed them in very little olive oil. I added the Steamed Lentils and Siracha Sauce. Two mini tacos was my serving with the sauce I made and steamed spinach. Pretty delicious if I must say, easy and high protein and low in WW points. It’s so easy to take leftovers to work. Instead of skipping dinner and eating super late night I eat at work so I have fuel for my after work #benderfitness workouts. 

I’m late to the Taco Tuesday party because up until now I admit I just wasn’t a taco fan. Now I have two vegan taco recipes in rotation. What will I come up with next week? Hmmm stay tuned!!

Gracias, Rose