Well, I am now finishing up Week 5 on Dr. Fuhrman’s 6-week program and it has not been a pretty sight.  The good news is, I am pretty sure I eat better now than I have in the past.  I have gone almost completely vegetarian (with a slip up here and there) and I eat a lot more fruits and vegetables than I used to.  However, I started to slide off of the program toward the end of week 2.  I try to motivate myself by reading success stories on Dr. Fuhrman’s blog and also by going back and reading parts of the book.  The biggest problem I ran into, though, was not planning meals in advance.  I do have a busy schedule being a first year teacher, so my day starts at 5:30am (when I wake up) and I don’t get home from school until around 4:30pm.  At that time, I’m exhausted, especially after a 30-40 minute drive home.  I try to motivate myself to go exercise right away, but when I eat lunch at 11:30am, I’m pretty much ready to eat dinner when I get home since I do not snack.  If I do not have a dinner meal planned, it’s not a pretty sight.  I find myself eating snacks or throwing random things together and calling it a meal when it doesn’t meet my nutritional needs.  If I do have a meal planned, I usually decide to use the time when I get home to start cooking right away.  I am not the quickest cooker, so it usually takes about an hour to prepare a meal.  After eating, I usually have a large amount of dishes to do.  Then I have to make the decision of going to exercise.  If I do go exercise, then I would have to come home, shower, and go to bed so that I can get enough rest before getting up again at 5:30am.  I have been struggling with planning out a good schedule for my life.  There are always things that come up, too.  Holidays, birthdays, get-togethers.  I really enjoy socializing, so I tend to break my schedule for such events.

On top of those issues, I ran into some new road blocks in my life.  Apparently being a teacher is the best job (or worst) if you have a sweet tooth.  It is always a child’s birthday (with cupcakes and all!) and there is always something to celebrate with desserts, snacks, and delicious-tasting foods.  I do not like wasting food and I will take a free meal when I can get one (bills since I moved have been a bit of a struggle for me).  I will have my good days when I can resist the temptations, but if I am tired, low on energy, and really hungry, I will cave.

Eating out has not been as big of a struggle for me.  I generally tend to eat healthfully when I eat out anyway (except our weekly trips to Old Chicago – pizza is my downfall).  In fact, Tyler and I took a brief weekend trip to Boulder, Colorado this past weekend and I was able to find a restaurant that was friendly to my new ways of eating!  It is called Julia’s Kitchen.  The menu was a little foreign to Tyler, so he did not plan to eat anything when we went there.  I loved what I read about it and we ate there on our last morning in Colorado.  The restaurant was not placed well, in my opinion, as it was squeezed between buildings and a little difficult to notice.  However, this quaint little restaurant was just what I needed to remind myself of how delicious healthy foods can be.  I was overwhelmed with their menu selections.  I wanted to try one of everything!  I decided on their sprouted buckwheat and millet crepes with banana freeze filling, topped with a fruit sauce.

To drink I ordered a Chai latte with sprouted almond milk and lightly sweetened with dates.

To snack on while I was waiting for my food, I had a sweet, raw almond and seed treat.  I don’t remember exactly what it was called, but I think it may have been called an “Almond Adoba.”  It was rather tasty!  Actually, EVERYTHING was tasty!  I immediately wished we had a cafe like this in Kansas City!  Tyler even tried a raw carrot cake muffin.   He said it was really good, especially for being raw.  I tried a bite of it.  It was so warm and fluffy!  There didn’t seem to be much business going in and out of this little place, but I would probably visit there every weekend if we had one in Kansas City.

I love where I live and I have noticed we are beginning to get more raw and vegan restaurants in our city, but I wish there was one here like Julia’s Kitchen.  The one cafe that I really enjoy in Kansas City is Mud Pie.  They come the closest to what I really like.  I am so big on breakfast that I would prefer we had more cafes that catered to raw and vegan appetites.

As I have fallen off the “wagon” more than one time in the past 5 weeks, I still intend to continue to try and eat healthfully and hopefully work myself into a good schedule where I get plenty of exercise weekly.  I had intended to keep posting weekly about my adventures with eating to live, but with my busy schedule, I only get to post when I have the time.  I will try to post some of the recipes of meals that I have been successful with.  You can also check out my good friend, Amber Shea Crawley’s blog to hear about how we have been able to work with each other and support one another.

Happy Fall!

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Wisconsin Travels

August 4, 2010

I have heard it over and over again.  “You’re going to Wisconsin for vacation?!  What’s in Wisconsin?  Cows?”  To me, it’s a great vacation spot.  The weather is beautiful, especially in July and August.  The temperature is about perfect!  And there is a LOT to do there!  This time I went I had to take my boyfriend with me to share it with him.  🙂

The first place I wanted to take him was Lambeau Field.  I am a big Packers fan, and as he may be a Broncos fan, who can resist to see Lambeau Field?!  Our first attempt was a fail since it was Stockholders Day.  All the tours were booked.  So we decided to try another day.  That same evening we went to an event called Waterfest in Oshkosh, WI.  Every Thursday during the summer they have an outdoor concert on the river.  The bands aren’t always amazing, but it’s still a great time.  There was a great band this year called Boogie and the YoYozz (http://www.yoyoz.com/home.asp).  I always enjoy to sit out in the grass listening to music and drinking a beer in 80 degree weather with very little humidity (the only thing I had to worry about were the mosquito’s).

I wanted to add that we did stop for a snack at Waverly Beach that day and I got a Miller Light in a can…this was the strangest can I’ve ever drunken out of!  It was pretty good!

The next day we had to get up a little early to head to Milwaukee to hit up the Miller Brewery.  😀  Oh boy, was I excited, even though I went there last summer.  Half way to Milwaukee, we stopped for breakfast at a little family restaurant called Faros . I really wish I had a picture of what I ate to share with you.   I’m not usually a big cheese person, but when I’m on vacation, my health sometimes flies out the window and I tend to try things I don’t normally eat.  And cheese is definitely something you try in Wisconsin!  I ordered myself a four cheese omelet.  It had American, Swiss, Mozzorella, and Cheddar cheeses in it and it was the cheesiest omelet I have ever had!  Along with my omelet I had hash browns, wheat toast, and coffee.  And no, I most definitely could not finish this meal.  🙂

After the brewery tour, we sat down and had first a large sample of Miller Light.  It was quite tasty.  (Below is my boyfriend, Tyler, and I excited to have our first sample.)

We were allowed two other samples after that, which I chose what I believe was called Batch 99 Lager for my second and Leininkugl’s Classic Amber (a new brew for Leininkugl’s), which is pictured below.  They were both rather tasty.  I really like Lagers, so Batch 99 was a hit with me.

After the brewery, it was pretty late in the afternoon and we had planned on eating an early dinner, so on the way back to Oshkosh, we stopped at a restaurant called Went’s.  This is the best known restaurant for fish in Oshkosh and other small cities in that area.  Since the EAA airshow was going on that week, we decided to get there early, around 4pm, in order to beat the rush.  It is usally so packed in this restaurant by 5pm that you are standing “buddy-buddy”-close next to other guests at the bar.  Now, I am not a fish person.  The only type of fish you will ever see me eat is tuna.  (Ironically enough, that was on my first post.)  But my favorite thing about this restaurant is that they make the best Brandy Old-fashioned’s.  If you are not familiar with this drink, it’s native to the North, so very few bartenders in Kansas know how to make it.  It is brandy, bitters, sugar, a splash of coke, and a cherry and orange to garnish.  The next best thing?  They were $3, tax included!  Now, this is the only place I have tried fried fish.  And again, I wish I had taken a picture of it to show you.  Some people say “everything is good fried.”  Well…I did not like the fish.  I ate about a piece of it and was done.  Thank goodness we had ordered fried white cheddar cheese curds as an appetizer (No, I do not always eat fried food – I generally try to stay away from it, but I was on vacation  😉  ).

Since we had an early dinner, we made a stop later in the evening at Ardy and Ed’s (http://www.ardyandeds.com/).  It’s an old drive-in from the  1950s and the best place to get a root beer float.  Maybe it’s just drinking root beer out of the thick glass mugs, but they seem to have the best root beer.

The following day was a day for rest.  🙂  However, we did have to make a run to the Cheese Factory (http://www.unionstarcheese.com/cart/home.php) and the Breadsmith (http://www.breadsmith.com/).  At the Cheese Factory they make their cheese fresh everyday, so I HAD to get some o their fresh mozzarella.  I also usually get some jalapeno cheddar when I am up there, but they did not have it this time.  But what they did have that sounded very good was some Tomato Basil Cheddar!  I have not yet decided what I am going to make with it!  I happened to see that they had honey and jams as well.  I saw they had Creamed Honey.  I have never had it, nor have I heard of it!  I went ahead and bought some and decided I will find something to use it with later.  I am more interested in just trying it (I may have to open it and take a spoon to it  😀  ).  My family likes the cheese curds, however I am not a fan of them.  They call it “squeaky cheese” because when it’s fresh, it squeaks when you chew it.

The next stop was the Breadsmith (http://www.breadsmith.com/).  We had been there a couple days earlier because my father wanted to get some cinnamon bread and I had seen they had Garlic Basil flat bread.  We had to go back so I could get some flat bread.  🙂  It is amazing.  It is good by itself, with olive oil (and basil and garlic salt), I’m pretty sure it would be good with marinara dipping sauce, but I decided to make Indian Spice Hummus (http://almostveganblog.com/2009/03/23/indian-spice-hummus/) to go with it!

The last full day we were there, we made it to Lambeau Field!

I couldn’t leave without bringing something back with me.  So as much coffee and tea as I drink and as little shots that I take, I decided to get myself a coffee mug and a shot glass.  Think I’m a Packers fan?  😉

(You will notice my cat, Karma, trying to sneak her way into the picture.  She’s such a princess.)

I had a great time in Wisconsin and cannot wait to go back next summer!