Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Half Marathon #4 is done and vegan Thanksgiving feast!

This past weekend I went to Walt Disney World for the first time and also completed my fourth half marathon. Disney World was really fun, surprisingly accommodating to me with my vegan diet and also a bit overwhelming at times. Here are some photos from our trip as well as the two medals I received for completing the race and completing a race in Disneyland and Disney World.

Here's us at Hollywood Studios

Here's us at the Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon Expo

Here's me before the Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon

Here's the two medals I received after the race - 1 for completing the half marathon and a second medal for completing two races at both Walt Disney World & Disneyland in the same year

  Here's a yummy falafel veggie burger I ate at Downtown Disney World

 Here are some delish vegan carrot cake cupcakes from Babycakes NYC in Downtown Disney World


Below is the vegan Thanksgiving feast me and Den had made by Chef Joy at Viva La Vegan grocery in Rancho Cucamonga. We ended up flying to see my family in Alabama for Thanksgiving and it was fun seeing them after a year and after having lost so much weight.

If you'd like to see more photos, you can visit my flickr page by going to flickr and typing the name bamalibrarylady and go to the Destination Disney World set.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Getting my run on and other changes

It's been forever since I've written on this blog but I have tons of news to write about. Since May, I've done two races, 6.2 miles at the Totally Awesome 80's Run at the Rose Bowl and 3.1 miles at the Girls on the Go run in San Dimas. Here are photos of the medal from both races.
Totally Awesome 80's Run medal

Me wearing Girls on the Go medal

In other news, after going vegan, exercising daily and running in races, I am happy to report that I am now officially 100 pounds lighter!!! The picture below shows me at my highest weight of 298 pounds and me at my current weight of 198 pounds.
Me at my heaviest and me 100 lbs. lighter
I think that the only thing that makes this better is the wider selection of clothing I can wear now. The picture below shows me wearing a small shirt for the first time;how awesome is that! In addition to this, I am excited because I'll be running at the Wine & Dine half marathon at Disney World in Florida next month I'm also going to be starting Insanity in the next complete of weeks. Wish me luck!
Me rocking a small shirt

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Half marathon #3 done and getting some love at LBVE

This past Saturday, I completed my third half marathon at Marathon Mania in Long Beach. I was really stoked to participate because it was a smaller race (less than 30 people participating), the race had no time limit and it was my first time doing a running event on the beach. Not only was it a blast to do but I also achieved a personal record of 2:45! Here's photos of me after the race and my medal that was specially made in honor of Mother's Day.

After I finished doing the half marathon in Long Beach, me and Den decided to go try the food at Long Beach Vegan Eatery. Although it's gotten mixed reviews online, I felt I owed it to them to give the place a try. I think my biggest issues with the online reviews is that they complain the you have to bus your own table and that it's not the healthiest vegan food. The irony with this is that the restaurant plainly states on its menu that their goal is to make vegan comfort food that is tasty yet cruelty free.
Long Beach Vegan Eatery-Long Beach, CA
The restaurant was nice and big and the owners were very friendly. After reading the menu, I decided to try their LBV Beefless and Cheese sandwich, Den ordered the Mock Meatball Sub and we got a vegan grilled cheeze with fries to go along with a vegan rice crispy treat for Den's dessert and a whoopie pie for me.

LBV Beefless and Cheese Sandwich

This sandwich was pretty good but I asked for a side of veganaise because it was a little dry to me. I loved that the sandwich was pile high with vegan beef strips, onions, green peppers and mushrooms. Although you can't tell from this photo, there's cheese under the beef  as well. I enjoyed the sandwich and would definitely order it again.

Mock Meatball Sub with Sweet Potato Tots

Den ordered the mock meatball sub (made with TVP) with a side of sweet potato tots. The meatballs were smothered in marinara sauce and although the sauce wasn't bland, it also wan't earth shattering taste wise either. The meatballs were dense and tasty and the sweet potato tots were the perfect accompaniment to the massive sub.  

Vegan grilled cheeze with french fries
 Since we were full after eating the sandwiches yet wanted to try something else on the menu, we decided to order the vegan grilled cheeze off the kids menu. I'm not sure what cheeze they use for this sandwich but it's interesting.....not good or bad but different. The slices don't melt completely like but it does have a good amount of chewiness. I also like the wheat bread that they use for this sandwich-quite delish!

Vegan Rice Crispy Treat
For dessert, Den got a gluten free vegan rice crispy treat. It was simple but really good. Here's a photo of Den enjoying his dessert.

Den enjoying vegan rice crispy treat
Vegan whopie pie
Last but certainly not least was the vegan whoopie pie. It was so tasty I may go back there and just order this. It was two slices of chocolaty vegan cakes hugging a mount of thick sweet vanilla creme. When I took my first bite, I thought I died and went to vegan dessert heaven;yes, it's that good. Our trip to the Long Beach Vegan Eatery was tasty, fun, and filling; we're definitely gonna go back whenever we're in town.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

New menu items at Veggie Grill!

Me and Den went to Veggie Grille in El Segundo for my birthday and was pleasantly surprised by some of their new menu items. The first new menu item we tried was the cauli-mashed potatoes; although I liked them just fine, Den wasn't a fan and said they tasted too much like cauliflower and not enough like potatoes.

Den decided to try the new buffalo bomber sandwich which consisted of  a crispy chickin' breast tossed in buffalo sauce, tomato, red onion, lettuce, ranch dressing and after talking to a Veggie Grill employee, he decided to add avocado to his bomber. He said the said was pretty good but not nearly as good as his favorite sandwich, the Santa Fe Crispy Chickin'.

For my new menu item choice, I picked the urban plate which contained a blackened tempeh-carmelized onion-portobello mushroom stack, steamin' kale, a sliced tomato salad and chipotle ranch. I liked that it was gluten free so my sister in law could eat it if she wanted to and I was also really impressed by the way the food was presented on the plate. It looked upscale and tasted good as well.
We love veggie grill and you can best believe that we'll be back to try some more of their new menu items soon.

Second half marathon done!

I completed my second half marathon on the day before my 33rd birthday. It was the Hollywood Half Marathon and I was happy that I finished and I did so in 3:18 which was slightly faster than my finish time for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon that I did in January.
The day before the race, me and Dennis went to the Health & Fitness Expo at the Hilton in Universal Studios. Here's a picture of me and Marilyn Monroe and me posing with my racing bib.

The next morning I was nervous and excited about running this race. How would I do? Would I finish it in a decent time? Could I manage to complete the race without falling? Here's a photo of me at the starting line for the Hollywood Half Marathon.

I was super stoked to meet one of my favorite podcasters, Wendy from the Yell at Your Fat podcast as well as a member from the Black Girls Run L.A. Chapter. Of course I had to take photos:-)

The rest of the race was pretty uneventful although there was a point where my left foot was hurting so badly I had to stop my running/walking plan at mile 8 but even with that happening, I was still able to finish under 3 and a half hours so yay me! Here's photos of the medal and me wearing the Hollywood Half Marathon shirt.

I plan to run a couple of more half marathons before the end of the year and the next one will by the Wine and Dine at Disney World in Florida followed by one in October and a Holiday Half in December. Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cheezy Pizza Review 2

Recently Den and I went to our favorite local pizza place Cheezy's Pizza in Colton, California.The food was so super tasty,  I just had to share photos of their yummy vegan chicken alfredo pizza and their ginormous vegan calzone.

Vegan Chicken Alfredo Pizza

The vegan chicken alfredo pizza was topped with soy chicken, spinach, mushrooms, alfredo sauce and daiya cheese.

Vegan Calzone

Inside the vegan calzone
The ridiculously large vegan calzone was filled with onions, olives, artichoke hearts, and soy sausage. Both items were very good and I can't wait to go back to Cheezy's to try something else new.

Oasis Vegetarian Cafe' Restaurant Review

It's hard to find a good vegan breakfast if you live in Southern California but you live past Los Angeles; thankfully Oasis Vegetarian Cafe' in Riverside, California does an awesome job of providing tasty and healthy food at reasonable prices. Me and Den go to Oasis at least a couple of times a month and we're always surprised each time we try something new there. I like that the menu is diverse, the staff is friendly and you can either eat inside at the La Sierra Market or outside in an area in from of Oasis. 

The restaurant staff makes its own veggie steak using gluten which they add to their menu items;you can also buy the veggie steak by the pound and create your own meals at home if you want to. 

Vegan breakfast burrito with vegan steak 
 The breakfast burrito was made with scrambled tofu,onions, tomato, and veggie steak all wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.

Vegan club sandwich
 The vegan club sandwich was piled high with veggie chicken and veggie ham, lettuce, tomato, onion and their homemade tofu mayo on three slices of bread. I thought I wasn't going to be able to finish this but I took my time and enjoyed every bite.

Fiesta  Bowl
The Fiesta Bowl was also really good and contains rice, black beans, pico de gallo, homemade vegan creme and topped with the homemade veggie steak.

If you ever find yourself in Southern California and are desperately looking for some vegan food, look for Oasis Vegetarian Cafe';your stomach will thank you for it. 

Vegan Creme Eggs = yum

As a kid, I used to love Easter for two reasons: first I was guaranteed to get a new Easter dress and shoes and second, I would get a bag filled with tons of Easter candy. Although I loved the jelly beans and other candies, my favorite East treat was the Cadbury Creme Egg which definitely became a no go after I became vegan. Imagine my surprise when I was just goofing around online and saw that I could get a vegan creme egg (similar to Cadbury) from various places online-I definitely had to try one of these out. I got in touch with Queenbalch who makes Vegan Creme Eggs in Oregon and two weeks later, the vegan creme eggs were mine. I really enjoyed them;they were just like I remember the Cadbury ones tasting and I can't wait to order some more in the future. Below are some pics of what they looked like.

Vegan Creme Egg from Queenbalch
Wrapped vegan creme egg

Admiring the flower design 

Love at first bite

Halfway there

The last tasy bite

Happy early Easter!

I met the Happy Herbivore!

I was really excited when I read online that the author of the Happy Herbivore cookbooks, Lindsay Nixon, was coming to San Diego to speak at the Great American Meat Out Celebration being held at Evolution Fast Foods!We've been to Evolution before but it was great going back again for this event and to meet Lindsay. Lindsay was really friendly, funny and down to earth during her presentation.Me and Den went and had an awesome time meeting her, getting some burgers and vegan chicken tenders and getting her to autograph her cookbooks for me.

Author Lindsay Nixon speaking at Evolution Fast Foods-San Diego, CA

Den taking a photo of Lindsay Nixon

Lindsay signing copies of her cookbooks

Me, Lindsay and her two cookbooks, The Happy Herbivore Cookbook and Everyday Happy Herbivore

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Completing my first half marathon

I completed my first half marathon (Tinkerbell Half Marathon) on Sunday! Although my finishing time was 3:19 (with a time limit of 3:50), I'm proud of myself for completing a exercise goal I set for myself. I woke up at 3:00 am Sunday morning got dressed and then went online for a minute to calm my nerves about the race. Around 3:30 am, I woke Den up so he could dressed and we could walk down to the hotel and catch the shuttle to Disneyland. Disneyland is a magical place during the day but early in the morning with no one there, its kind of surreal. Once we got there, it was amazing to see so many people there dressed as Tinkerbell, Peter Pan and other Disney characters as well as people dressed like regular people going out for a run. I took the opportunity to take a photo next to the mile 4 marker since we still had time before the race began. 
 Soon we arrived at the entrance and I took a photo with some pirates before heading to the main event stage and then carroll D where I'd be starting the race from. 

 I run the race using a combination of running for 4 minutes then walking for 1 minute.....in the beginning. Eventually, I began to walk more and run less because my foot started to hurt. Around mile 8, I fell while stepping up on a curb and scratched up my right elbow and knee. After some nice fellow runners helped me up, I brushed myself off and kept on going until the end. While a little part of me felt I should get my injuries checked out at the medical tent area, I decided I'd worry about that at the finish line. 

I know my form wasn't pretty and I didn't look like a runner but darn it I was going to get my Tinkerbell medal! After the race, I was so happy it was over and was super stoked to get my medal and finally wear my reward for completing the race-a "I completed the Tinkerbell Half Marathon" shirt. Although the race was hard and trying at times, I enjoyed the camaraderie I felt with the other runners and I loved the sense of pride I felt by having earned a medal rather than just being given something for participating. 

I am planning to resume my half marathon training schedule once I'm healed up since I signed up for the Hollywood Half Marathon in April. I'm also really considering doing another Disney run in October (Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon) so I could get two medals;a medal for the Wine and Dine and a medal for running a Disney race on the East and West Coast.

Celebrating 12 years of marriage!

It seems like only yesterday that my and my hubby got marriage, not twelve years ago. This past Sunday, we celebrated 12 years of marriage ...