Monday, August 7

What I Eat In A Day As A Vegan

One of the most common questions that I get asked as a vegan is, "What do you eat?"

I always find the question a bit funny because the answer is so simple. I eat food! Pasta, tacos, pancakes, I eat the same things as everyone else, just veganized. But I remember before I was vegan how the idea of eating a vegan diet seemed so foreign and challenging. I really couldn't imagine much more than fruit and salads being on a vegan's typical menu. I used to obsess over vegan "What I Eat In A Day" videos and collages. I found it fascinating to learn what vegans actually did eat and to see that the food looked pretty darn good! So I figured I'd put together my own to provide a little inspiration to anyone wondering what a typical day and week in the life of vegan eating looks like.

The following shows one week of vegan eating (minus a few chocolate bars that I snuck and didn't photograph!).

Monday:

On this first day of "What I Eat In A Day" I had no food in the house... which definitely would have made this challenge a bit more challenging (you can't photograph your meals if you have no food to eat!). So to start off my husband and I went to a local cafe for breakfast. If you're ever in the Beloit, Wisconsin area I highly recommend it. It's called Bagels & More. They have several vegan meal choices as well as vegan pastries and drinks. It's a really great place! So I got a tofu scramble breakfast burrito from there for breakfast with a side of fruit. Then we went grocery shopping for the rest of the week's food!

We usually shop at Aldi as it's the closest grocery store to our house (aside from Walmart). The prices are fantastic there and I actually like the the options aren't too overwhelming. It's a pretty simple, no frills kind of store. We usually go to Walmart or some other grocery (a 20-30 minute drive depending on which one we choose) to get specialty foods like vegan creamer, mock meats, and tofu. But for basic produce, beans, bread, etc. Aldi gets the job down for a low price! I highly recommend their chocolate too. It's so delicious! The orange almond flavor is the best.

So for lunch I had a chipotle black bean burger and cantloupe and dinner was veggie fajitas with refried beans and guacamole. I got a bottle of fajita dressing from Aldi and made what felt like a lifetime supply of fajita veggies. By the end of the week I would be sick of those veggies!

One of the questions I get asked most often about being vegan is, "What do you eat?" Easy answer, FOOD!!!!! 🍴 Haha But to get a bit more in depth I'm going to make an effort to photograph and collage my daily meals to give vegan-curious people an idea of what life (and food) is like as a vegan. 😎 So without further ado, here's what I ate today! . Breakfast: We had zero food in the house this morning so we went for brunch at a local cafe! 😋 I got the tofu scramble breakfast burrito. It had tofu, potatoes, and all kinds of veggies in it with a side of fruit. I also got a chai tea with almond milk. Yum!! . Lunch: Chipotle black bean veggie burger with cantaloupe. . Dinner: Veggie fajitas with refried beans and guacamole. . Snack/Dessert: I had two pieces of this delicious chocolate from #aldi. One mint flavored and one orange almond flavor. The hubs and I are addicted to this stuff! 🍫 #whatveganseat #veganfood
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Tuesday:

On Tuesday I had toast with blackberry jam and cookie butter with a side of berries for breakfast. This was my first time ever trying cookie butter (I found it at Aldi the week prior, sadly it wasn't there when we went shopping on Monday to restock) and it was delicious!! The name brand stuff is made out of Speculoos cookies which are delicious spiced shortbread-like cookie. They're vegan and so is their "butter". I highly recommend trying it out, it's also a great excuse for having a dessert-like food with your breakfast.

Lunch was leftover fajitas and then we headed over to Starbucks for my beloved mocha frappuchino. I always get mine with coconut milk and no whip. Sometimes I'll add in a pump of hazelnut syrup to make a "nutella" frapp. It's delicious!

Dinner was pasta with veggies topped with nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is one of the most beloved seasonings of most vegans. It's got a delicious nutty flavor and makes a great substitute for cheese. It doesn't actually taste like cheese, thank goodness as I hate cheese, but it provides a similar savory flavor and is thus great as a replacement for sprinkling cheese on pasta or pizza or even in cheese sauces! It's also a good source of vitamin B12.



Wednesday:

For breakfast on Wednesday I had whole wheat shredded cereal with berries and coconut milk. Lunch was more of those veggie fajitas (this was the point when I started getting sick of them!). For a snack I had carrots and hummus with a pickle. I had Aldi's red pepper hummus which is so delicious. I get their quartet hummus packs that come with classic, garlic, red pepper, and cilantro jalapeno hummuses. It's enough hummus to last two weeks usually and I love having a variety to choose from.

Dinner was veggie stir fry. I went veggie crazy with this stir fry. It had broccoli, carrots, cabbage, jalapeno, zucchini, yellow squash, green onion, and probably one or two more things that I can't remember. It was quite tasty! I flavored it with Korean Bulgogi dressing that I found at Aldi a few weeks back. I love how Aldi always has random dressings and condiments, and they're always changing. So I always make sure to pick up a bottle of anything that looks interesting when they have it cause chances are it won't be there the next time I go.



Thursday:

For breakfast on Thursday my husband made blueberry pancakes! He's a great pancake maker so I love mornings when I can convince him to take on the task. Lunch was leftover stir fry from Wednesday with veggie spring rolls that I had forgotten were in the freezer from an Aldi trip a few weeks back (another one of those things they don't carry all the time so you better grab it when you see it - I know some people dislike this about Aldi but for me it makes shopping there a bit of a scavenger hunt and keeps it interesting!). I had a bar of chili chocolate for a snack, I love this stuff.

Dinner was a chickpea salad sandwich with cantaloupe. This chickpea salad was super easy to make and delicious. It was just one can of chickpeas lightly mashed, one tablespoon of hummus, one tablespoon of vegan mayo, a splash of pickle juice, and salt and pepper to taste. That's it! It was probably my favorite chickpea salad I've made to date. I think the pickle juice really brought it to the next level for me, but then I really love pickles!



Friday:

For breakfast on Friday I had toast with peanut butter and banana, one of my classic stand-bys. Lunch was the last of the veggie fajitas (finally!). For a snack I had hummus and Marmite on bread with a side of sauerkraut. An odd snack indeed but I was just craving something different and had seen someone else try Marmite with hummus (usually it's eaten with vegan butter). Honestly, I didn't care for the combo one bit and won't try it again. Instead I'll stick to Marmite with vegan butter!

Dinner was pasta salad. For my pasta salad I always do cannelini beans and then a variety of veggies. This time I did cucumber, tomato, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and lettuce. I flavored it with olive oil, red wine vinegar, nutritional yeast, salad, and pepper. This is one of my favorite meals to make when I don't really feel like dealing with cooking with a bunch of pots and pans. You just make a bit of pasta and the rest is all just chopping up raw veggies! Too easy.



Saturday:

For breakfast on Saturday I had tofu scramble and hashbrowns - my favorite breakfast to have! In my opinion, the key to a good tofu scramble is lots of nutritional yeast! It's just not the same with out. I flavor mine with nooch (nutritional yeast), salt, pepper, turmeric (mainly for coloring as it makes the tofu yellow like eggs), garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin. Yum! This one had green onions and mushrooms in it but I'll just use whatever veggies I have on hand or none at all. It's also really great topped with salsa!

Lunch was a veggie burgers with fries made in the air fryer and fry sauce. My fry sauce is equal parts ketchup and vegan mayo with seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder). For a snack I had a bowl of cantaloupe and dinner was zucchini pasta. Zucchini pasta was actually one of the first vegetarian meals I learned to make back when I was about 14 or 15. I became a vegetarian when I was 14 1/2 and my mom helped me to learn to cook some vegetarian meals for myself. So whenever I make this it brings back fond memories!



Sunday:

For breakfast on Sunday I had peanut butter banana ice cream! One of the benefits of being vegan is that our banana ice cream is super healthy and you can totally eat it for breakfast guilt-free. This was 3 1/2 bananas worth of ice cream so it was very filling. Lunch was black beans and quinoa with guacamole. Dinner was chili mac which is pasta with really basic chili, in this case just a can of fire roasted tomatoes, a can of kidney beans, and seasoning. I was feeling pretty sick to my stomach this day so I kept my cooking very simple and didn't have any snacks or dessert. So instead I took a picture of my coconut chai tea with coconut milk, it was so good!






So there you have it, one full week of vegan eating. On this particular week I didn't eat much in the way of mock meats (just veggie burgers) but on some weeks I do eat more of those. I love Gardein and everything they offer! The crabless patties, turk'y cutlets with gravy, and fishless fillets are absolutely delicious. This is a pretty normal week for me but sometimes I like to break out the cookbooks and make more exotic or interesting cuisine. Really the sky is the limit with vegan food. You can make it as simple or fancy, cheap or expensive, basic or exotic as you want!

Let me know if you'd like to see more of my vegan meals in the future or if you have any questions about any of the food I ate this week.

Sunday, August 6

July Book Report

I didn't read a whole lot during the month of July, mainly because one of the books I was reading was a real chore and took me much longer to read than it's three-hundred-and-something pages ought to have taken. But that not withstanding, here are the three books that I read during the month of July and what I thought of them.

Above by Isla Morley

I loved this book! Above is about a sixteen year old girl from small-town Kansas who gets kidnapped by a survivalist and kept in an old missile silo. The man who kidnapped her is convinced that the end of the world is coming and that the two of them will "seed" the new world.

In some ways I found the book difficult to read because there were some graphic scenes, such as what you might expect a creepy middle-aged man to do to a girl that he kidnaps and hides underground. But I really appreciated how raw it was in reading the difficulty with which Blythe had accepting her new life.

But the real reason I loved it was the twist that came with part two. I won't spoil it for you but I wasn't expecting it at all and it really changed this book from being simply an abduction story.





The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger by Stephen King

No sugar coating it, I did not like this book. I think the only reason I actually finished it was I read it on Kindle so I got to watch the countdown to how much time was left to read it and four more hours didn't seem like that much of an investment left. But it took me much longer than to read than expected because I could only manage a few pages at a time. I've had to come to terms with the fact that I'm just not a Stephen King fan. I've read Salem's Lot and didn't really like it and I attempted to read It but barely got into it before I gave it up. He's great at coming up with imaginative worlds and stories but I just don't enjoy his writing style, despite really wanting to!

With that being said The Gunslinger follows Roland as he follows the man in black across deserts and mountains in hopes of discovering how to find the Dark Tower. Throughout the book Roland recounts past events of his life in this post-apocalyptic world that is reminiscent of a Western. Some of his memories were very interesting and others were quite boring. I didn't feel there was a lot of continuity in the book. It was very short but I wouldn't have wanted it to be any longer because I really just didn't enjoy it. Not selling it very well, am I? But that's just my personal opinion. I know several people who absolutely loved this book, including my father-in-law. If you're a fan of King or love Westerns with a fantasy twist then you probably will enjoy this book as many people do.

Even though I really didn't like the book I am looking forward to seeing the movie. Hopefully it'll help tie up some lose ends and explains things that I really didn't understand in the story a bit better.





Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser

I've actually been chipping away at this book little by little for the past few months new. It's a really interesting read about the history of fast food in America and the impact it's had on food culture, businesses, the economy, even politics. It's all much more involved than I ever would have expected and really it just makes me never want to eat fast food again. Not that I do often as it is.

Fast Food Nation tells about many different fast food companies over the course of many decades but one story which stuck with me the most was about the McDonald brothers and Ray Kroc. Their story was really a bit sad with regards to how Kroc took over McDonalds and changed it into something completely different from what they had started and wanted. That being said, he was definitely an amazingly successful business man! If you want to learn more about Kroc and the McDonalds without reading this book, or in addition to it, check out the movie "The Founder" on Netflix. It's not a documentary, it's a retelling of the beginnings of McDonalds. I watched it this morning and thoroughly enjoyed it.





That's all for July! I'm hoping to have more than three books to report on for August. Currently I'm reading When The Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi and am really loving it. What are you reading right now?



*Disclaimer - this post includes affiliate links. Purchasing through these links comes at no extra cost to you but it does help me continue to run this site. Thank you for supporting me!





Wednesday, August 2

My Favorite Board Games

I've enjoyed board games (which here refers to card games, tabletop games, basically all games which are not digital) my entire life. They're a great way to spend quality time with people you love and my family played them a ton when I was growing up as a kid. One of our family favorites was "The Stupid Marble Game", aka Aggravation. It was always a special treat to play it when we visited my Grams' house.

Then when I married my husband my love of board games went to the next level, because he is obsessed with them! Board games, tabletop games, card games, doesn't matter, he plays them all and we've got quite a collection going now. Some of them we love and others are simply collecting dust.

Here are our current favorites that we just can't get enough of right now.

Zombiecide

Zombiecide is our current obsession and has had a fixed place on our gaming table for the past month now. It's a cooperative game for 1-6 players. Players work together using six survivors to kill the zombies and complete campaigns. The campaigns range from easy to hard, and the hard campaigns are really hard! Expect to lose at this game fairly often, especially when you're starting out and learning. It takes strategy and cooperation and that's a big part of why we love Zombiecide so much. I tend to be very competitive so it's nice to play a game where we're working together rather than against each other.

Each of the survivors has skill trees that you build up as you level them up and you can find various weapons to use so how you use each survivor can vary from game to game. There are also many expansions available to add new layers to the game. We have the Wulfsburg expansion which adds werewolves and extra survivors as well as extra abominations (i.e. zombies on steroids) and special survivors. There are so many extras that you can get to add to this game that you'll really never get bored of it. But even if you just stick to the base game it's interesting and challenging. 

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Ticket To Ride

Okay, so maybe my husband has had enough of this one. But not me! This has been my favorite game for probably the past five years or so and I love it. I could play it over and over and never get bored. Ticket To Ride is a game for 2-5 players where you use miniature train pieces to complete railway routes. This game is easy to learn, great for families, and very appropriate for children to play. With maps for the U.S., Europe, Africa, Asia, India, and more, it can also help you to brush up on your geography a bit! Some of the maps are expansions to the game and others are stand alone games with various tweaks from the original (such as tunnels in the Europe edition) which keep the game fresh. You can also purchase different card decks, such as the 1910 expansion, to use the same map but get different routes for different periods of history!

Machi Koro

Machi Koro is a city building dice and card game from Japan for 2-4 players. I have yet to meet someone who doesn't love this game. It's easy to learn, fast-paced, and involves the perfect combo of strategy and luck. In Machi Koro you purchase cards to build up your city; things like bakeries, cheese factories, and wineries. If the dice roll on the right numbers you get money! If they don't then you may be sitting there for a while watching your friends get rich and build a bigger city. The first person to finish developing their city first wins. There are a few expansions to Machi Koro such as the Harbor Expansion and Millionares Row Expansion which help keep the game new and interesting!

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Mahjong

Mahjong is nothing like the tile game you've played on your computer! This game involves a ton of strategy and has quite a learning curve. It's a tile based game originating from China for 3-4 players. In order to play you need a score card for each player. These score cards have tile combinations for you to attempt to achieve during the course of the game and new official score cards come out each year (you can use old ones, but each player needs to have score cards from the same year!). In my opinion, Mahjong is one of the most difficult games I've ever tried to learn and I probably never would have learned it were it not for the help of my husband's aunt. But once you know how to play it's highly addicting! If you know someone who plays ask them to teach you, chances are they'd love to have new people to play with. (P.S. Be sure to get an American tile set! We have an American travel set as well as a fancy World of Warcraft Chinese set. Unfortunately, since the Chinese set doesn't have numbers on it, only Chinese figures, we aren't able to play with it unless and until we learn a bit of Chinese!)


Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens is a hilarious, fast-paced card game for 2-5 players (or up to 9 if you combine multiple card decks). If you like cats and have a good sense of humor then there's a good chance you'll enjoy this game. The unique artwork adds an extra layer of fun to the game and the rules are very simple to learn. The goal of the game is to NOT explode, so you use various combinations of cards to prevent yourself from getting the exploding kitten cards. The last person standing wins! There's also a NFSW adult-only version that has quite hideous and explicit artwork (as opposed to the funny and cute artwork of the normal version). It's still pretty funny though but it's definitely not for everyone. This game is widely popular and is the most backed game ever on Kickstarter! It now has an expansion called Imploding Kittens which can add new layers of fun once you've conquered the main game.




There you have it, the five games we're currently obsessing over! Have you played any of them? What are your favorite games? Comment below and let me know. We're always looking for new suggestions.




*Disclaimer - this post includes affiliate links. Purchasing through these links comes at no extra cost to you but it does help me continue to run this site. Thank you for supporting me!

Tuesday, August 1

Jamberry August Specials and New Releases

A new month means lots of new and exciting things from Jamberry! This month we have our first round of our expanded Colour Pop line, tons of our favorites are retiring, and we have a whole new product category. Read on to learn more.

Going... Going... GONE!!

First up, it's always bittersweet to say goodbye. In order to make room for all the new things that are here and those that are coming, dozens of your favorite wraps, lacquers, and gels will be retiring at the end of August! These retiring products are only available through August 31st while supplies last. They will not be restocked so once they sell out they will be gone FOREVER! Make sure to snag your favorites before they're gone. Shop the Going, Going, Gone collection here.

A sampling of the retiring designs. Get them while you still can!

ColourCure



The most exciting new nail product since nail wraps is hereUnlike ANYTHING on the market ColourCure wears like a GEL removes like a Lacquer! Testers are getting 7-10 days of wear chip free! With NO base or TOP coat needed!!! Did I get your attention?!



ColourCure is the perfect blending of lacquer and gel, it's a curable gel. ColourCure allows the durability and look of gel with the ease and speed of lacquer. It's vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and like all of Jamberry's products it's 8-free (meaning it doesn't have the 8 most common toxins found in many nail products).

I got to try out this awesome new product during JamCon back in June and I loved it. It's been so hard keeping it under wraps until now. It applies just like a lacquer, with no base of top coat need, and cures likes a gel with a special UV/LED lamp. Once cured it's as durable as a gel with no fear of smudging (which always seems to happen to me when I use lacquer!) and yet it removes just like a lacquer! No fear of nail damage.


The ColourCure lamp is a UV/LED combo which uses the lowest levels of UV possible to get the perfect cure. It's motion-activated and automatically turns off once the lacquer is done curing. It's big enough for your entire hand to fit in so you can cure all four fingers and your thumb in one go. It also has a removable metal bottom so you can remove the base and use the lamp for your pedicures too!


ColourCure is a total game changer for lacquer and gel lovers! I'll be sharing more information about this exciting new product line in a future post.

August Colour Pop!

A new month means a new Colour Pop and this month is the first month of our new, expanded Colour Pop line! August's Colour Pop is a gorgeous neon - yes, I said NEON - coral gel color called 'Tropic Like It's Hot'. This is the perfect color to wear for summer's last hurrah.

Pair it with our first Colour Pop wrap 'Tropic Nights'. This tropical clear wrap can be layered over your favorite gel or lacquer color or worn over naked nails. I think this wrap would look gorgeous over a green lacquer like 'Dragon'!

'Tropic Nights' layered over and paired with 'Tropic Like It's Hot'.
These two Colour Pops are only available while supplies last.


#JamSquad











Each month there is a new #JamSquad incentive for new Jamberry consultants to earn. This month it's an adorable, exclusive nail wrap album! With all of our different finishes; metallics, mattes, lusters, satins, sparkles, etc., and so many stunning designs to choose from, it’s easy to develop a healthy collection of nail wraps in no time! But once you have them, how do you keep everything arranged? The August #JamSquad reward will help you answer that very question!

You'll automatically earn this incentive if you order the Style Essentials Starter Kit or after reaching $200 in sales after ordering the Business Builder Starter Kit. Learn more about these starter kits and this amazing opportunity to starter your own business here


August Hostess Exclusive

August’s Host Exclusive wrap is here! With a traditional glossy finish, this design features a floral arrangement that will allow you to show off your feminine side. This wrap will pair beautifully with “Country Club Matte”, “Ever Game” and/or “Going Dotty” or will look great all on it's own! You can only get this wrap by hosting a qualifying party in August and best of all, it's FREE!! Sign up to have your own express Facebook party in August here


Disney Collection by Jamberry Special

This is a Promo to Make Your Disney Collection by Jamberry Dreams Come True!




Have you been wishing you could get some of your favorite wraps from previous Disney Collection by Jamberry Volumes which have retired? We're making dreams come true for people just like you with a special promotion! When you purchase 3 wraps from either one of the current Disney Collection by Jamberry Volumes (Volume 5 and 6), you can select your FREE wrap from a curated list of 8 of our best-selling Disney Collection wraps from Volumes 1 - 4! These wraps include designs from 'The Nightmare Before Christmas', 'The Little Mermaid', and more. The eight wraps are available only while supplies last or until the stroke of midnight on August 7 at 11:59 p.m. MT, when this offer ends and they scurry back to the vault. Make sure to get them before they do.






There you have it! Lots of new things happening for August and that's not even all of it. We still have Throwback Thursday going on and a bonus pool for consultants in August (i.e. bonus CASH!!). If you want to stay in the know about all things Jamberry come on over to my VIP group. I'd love to get to know you and answer any questions you may have about Jamberry!