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Author: Jess

What’s New?!

What’s New?!

Ok, just saw that it’s been awhile since I’ve updated the blog! Oop’s! So what has been going on? Let’s see… I’m still eating 100% vegan, just passed my first full week (on day 9 today) and feeling awesome!! I did a weekly update post on my other blog all about what has happened in the first week here.

As some of you know, I joined in on a Dietbet that my friend was hosting on the 1st and I wanted to update how I was doing! The goal is to lose 4% of my Dietbet starting weight by the end of the month, which was 9.3 lbs. Since the 1st I have lost 5.4 lbs… 4.2 of those lbs were since the 4th when I went vegan! I have 3.9 lbs left to lose on this Dietbet and I’m starting to see that I may just reach that goal! I was bouncing back and forth for a few months and since changing my eating the weight is now dripping off me.

I have been eating mainly whole food plant-based (WFPB) and feel fantastic! Other than that, I did both weight training sessions this week and have only two more weeks of the gym until summer break starts and I will be using the home gym so I’m trying to work my butt off in these last few weeks lol!

I’ll admit, I don’t think I will be updating this blog as often once summer starts unless I get my running mojo back. After my knee became sore several weeks ago, I fell off track with running despite my knee feeling better. I know my running mojo will return so I’m not worried at all or forcing it, just focusing on weight training, bike riding (which I’ve been slacking on), and my eating. Last year when I fell off the running wagon I fell off with my eating too and gained those 20+ lbs, so when I did get back to running… it was rough! This time I am not falling off track with eating thanks to eating vegan! I stopped tracking calories about 2 days into this vegan adventure and eat a ton, the weight is still dropping off daily… I know I will plateau eventually though like with any weight loss.

I will, however, be updating my vegan adventure blog (Jess Uprooted) a lot this summer. I’m treating it more like a journal so I’ve been posting everything from grocery stores hauls, food reviews, what I’m eating, etc. I may eventually combine both blogs but for now I’m keeping them separate. Again, you can follow that blog over at! I do have a handful of virtual runs to do this summer, I purposely saved these so I have some focus when I get my running mojo back…. I can feel my mojo slowly returning though!

Pure Joy and Happiness

Pure Joy and Happiness

First off, I feel so bad that I haven’t been updating the blog as much as I normally do lol! I haven’t been running this week or biking, my knee’s have been iffy so I’m trying to take it easy on them. I saw my last post was on the 3rd and some things have changed since that post! As of May 4th, I have gone full vegan with my eating (today marks 3 days) and I feel better than I ever have. I’ve been lactose-intolerant for over 20 years but never got off dairy, since getting off dairy fully now I have had zero issues with my stomach, bloating, or daily cramping!! Why I didn’t do this sooner, who knows. I have always been a massive cheese and sour cream lover, so I never thought in a million billion years I could get off it.

Since I lost my password and sign on for the small side blog I was doing on my vegetarian (now vegan) adventures, I did set up a new one through Blogspot. If you are interested, you can check it out here – Jess Uprooted.

This week I may not have ran (except Monday) but I did get both my weight training sessions in on Tuesday and Thursday! Kicked some major butt! I mentioned that I joined in on a DietBet that a friend is hosting and when I signed up I thought for sure this would be really hard to lose 4% in 30 days… I am now feeling very confident in this challenge! I am down 3.6 lbs since May 1st and 2.5 lbs of that was lost after I switched to vegan on the 4th! It’s literally melting off me! Not only am I eating cruelty free, but I’m helping the environment (which is very dear to me), losing weight, and eating a ton more. What a great combo lol! I have never eaten so many calories in my life while still losing weight. I used to average about 1,300-1,500 a day… right now I average about 1,700-1,900 calories a day. I’m eating a lot more so I meet my daily nutrient goals, I have been eating very clean and a lot of raw foods.

7 Days Vegetarian

7 Days Vegetarian

First off, I’m a dork… I started my other small blog on my vegetarian adventures, then reset my MacBook yesterday and have no idea what email or password I set up for it. So, I won’t be updating that blog now lol! I have tried everything and nothing works, so I’m taking that as a sign to keep it all on this blog. After all, this adventure is health related so it fits here on the blog.

My foods have been awesome this past week! I’m on day 7 of vegetarian, which has swayed now to more vegan… I would say full time vegetarian – part time vegan right now. After today I can officially say I have been at this a full week! I can’t remember what I said on this blog or the other, but I decided to start transitioning more towards vegan and use the rest of this year to transition if all goes well. I tried in the past to go vegan and failed due to lack of knowledge on preparation… I have also tried to go vegetarian in the past and failed after a day or two, again due to lack of knowledge and preparation. This time, it has been insanely easy for me. Maybe I’m just ready? Who knows, all I know is that I am loving it! While I am still eating dairy, I have been limiting it a lot and have already switched my coffee creamer to an almond vegan creamer that I love (Califia Farms Pecan Caramel almond creamer – but want to try the vanilla next) and found a ranch that I like (Daiya Ranch). So those two switches were easy after I found a substitute. Cheese is next to find! I heard Chao and Miyoko have great ones, so I’ll be trying those soon.

Two things I have learned so far
Food is fuel – I’m understanding that choosing what to eat based on nutrients is key
Live in the moment – There is no use worrying about what I will eat down the road at a restaurant or something. Focusing on what I have now has helped me focus on the now and not the past or future.

My approach right now is to slowly switch over to 100% vegan (food) and replace non-vegan items in the kitchen as we run out, no use wasting what we already have. Once I get the food part down and am eating vegan fully, I will start working on other aspects like household products, makeup, etc. I’m trying to really make this an easy switch and not one that will overwhelm me.

I’m a massive picky eater so trying new foods is like giving me a spoon of poison, I freak out, no lie. The past few days I have actually opened up to trying more foods starting to look forward to it! I’ve always had this irrational food fear of Larabar’s since they contain dates… I’ve never had dates, so naturally as a picky eater I feared them and swore they were gross before ever trying one… well, I had a Larabar today and what do you know, I LOVED it! (It was the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, so good, I have others in the pantry to try too)

Tonight I am cooking for once, Bob usually does the booking, and I found a stir fry “mix and match” recipe so I’m making a sweet & sour sauce with sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrots, onion, green onion, and garlic over basmati rice topped with cashews. I was going to pick up the Beyond Meat grilled “chicken” to add to it but I’m not ready to try faux meats yet lol! Baby steps!

Another thing, I’m down 1.2 lbs! Woot!

I have been reading two books and a million websites for info! The books I’m currently reading are Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and The 30-Day Vegan Challenge by Colleen Patrick-Goudrea. Both books are fantastic so far, I’m halfway done with Eating Animals and just started the other. I’m looking forward to adding more cookbooks to my collection and other vegan books full of info!

A few people have asked me if I’m finding it hard to get protein in and at first I was nervous about that part but now I’m not worried at all. But, I am still eating greek yogurt in the morning so once I find ways to add in more protein I will be swapping that to almond milk (which I just bought, Califia Farms… what can I say, I’m a sucker for this brand and their packaging lol). But right now, I’m not worried at all. I’m currently taking a supplement for B12 and iron, but I was taking that before I started this whole transition. I do want to get blood work done before I get too far into this change so I can compare later on!

Anyways, I just wanted to do a quick update on the blog here about what I’m doing! Feel free to ask me any questions, I’m an open book!

Running Again!

Running Again!

It’s been nearly two weeks since I ran last and I finally got on the treadmill this morning! I changed my wake up alarm to 4:30 for this week (and the month) so I could get in a run or walk before I take a shower and start my day. It worked out perfectly! I got up, had my coffee and then hopped on the treadmill at 5:15 for 30 minutes. I had about 15 minutes to cool down after my run before taking a shower… I hate jumping in the shower directly after sweating, I always feel so humid after I shower no matter what lol

I took it slow with a 60:90 sec run/walk and it felt great. I’m trying not to focus on my pace since I’m about a minute slower on the treadmill vs. on the pavement. So my focus with running right now is just to run and enjoy every second of it.

After I got home I took my bike out for an 11 mile ride. I was very hesitant on taking my bike out since nearly getting hit by a car last week and almost took my bike to a local park to ride, but I decided that I needed to face my fear and go back out on my canal trail. I took my time at the crosswalks and also didn’t go out till after 9am, I noticed the roads were way less busy so I plan to go out at this time for now on. I was going out before 9am and I think I was hitting a lot of the crazy “off to work” traffic.

I ran by the store and picked up a few snacks! I also grabbed Daiya ranch dressing to try and Vital Gluten to try making seitan this weekend with my husband. I started a small little blog for writing about my adventures in vegetarianism, if you are interested it’s called Jess Uprooted. I’m not sure how often I’ll update it so we’ll see! I’m a blog-a -holic so creating another blog was a no brainer lol!

Goodbye April!

Goodbye April!

Happy Sunday! Spent some time in the backyard with Bob working on the garden, we finally planted the Goji berry in the ground in the perfect spot (up on our mini hill). I’m now relaxing and thinking about the new week ahead! Not sure if I mentioned or not, but I joined in on my friends DietBet that is starting on Monday and I think this motivation is just what I needed. I’m excited for May, I have a weight goal to work for with this bet. My 4% goal is to lose 9.3 lbs, eep! I haven’t lost 9-10 lbs in one month in ages so this will be interesting lol!

I’m on day 4 of vegetarian and going strong, I feel fantastic and loving this change! Last time I tried go vegetarian I quit after like day 2, and I noticed on day 2 recently I had the urge to throw in the towel but I didn’t… I caught myself in the same mindset “maybe I should just switch to vegan right now” and that led to panic on what I’ll eat right now, and worry about what to eat the next day… so I stopped myself right there before I got overwhelmed. I’m keeping my focus on vegetarian (lacto – so no meat but I am keeping dairy right now). I don’t like eggs, so that is an easy thing to cut out but I’m not focusing on cutting things out that have eggs in them right now, I will cut that out down the road. Keeping my mindset on just cutting out meat is getting rid of the overwhelming feeling that I got. I’ve learned that baby steps are key for me and have proved so when I cut out soda several years ago, then red meat, the pork, etc. So little by little it sticks better, some can switch overnight and I applaud them big time, I wish I could do that!

I think I’m going to stop talking vegetarian on each post though and either post a weekly review on the blog or move my vegetarian adventures on to a smaller blog and just link it here once in a while. Not sure yet!

Back to the DietBet! I did my initial weigh in and pictures yesterday, not the most flattering either since I didn’t do my hair yet or anything lol! My plan of attack for May… or my goals, I should say are:

✖︎ Get back to running – aiming for 3 days a week with just 30-45 min
✖︎ Walk 30 min per day (unless it’s a run day)
✖︎ Weight Training – stick to my two days a week 
✖︎ Biking – 3-5 days per week with 10-15 mile rides
✖︎ Focus on food – sticking with vegetarian

I’m excited to see what switching to vegetarian does for the month of May, I’m trying not to snack on junk and make sure it’s nutrient dense. I don’t want to just live off potatoes and pasta, so I’m currently trying new-to-me foods… yesterday I tried sweet peppers and sugar snap peas (raw) and loved them! Texture if my biggest issue with being a picky eater so I’m determined to beat this picky eating, it’s exhausting to be a picky eater. I want more variety and more plant based protein options, so beans are next on my list to try (I’ve never had beans before, not even refried).

Ready for a new week and new month! Let’s do this!

Is it Friday yet?

Is it Friday yet?

I had no idea that I didn’t post much this week on the blog! It’s been a long week for sure and I’m ready for the weekend to get here already. I’ll admit, I skipped the gym this week and said I was working on “self care” but in reality that meant that I was having massive “body image issues”. My face has broken out due to Aunt Flo knocking yesterday and I felt like a hippo in a wetsuit so I decided to take this week off and rest fully…. like really, rest my body, muscles, and mind. I have to say, I was feeling really guilty this morning after I skipped the gym but writing this now… I don’t feel guilty at all. I feel ready for a fresh perspective next week and I’m actually looking forward to it.

This week had zero running, barely any walks, and not as much bike rides… but that’s ok! This morning was actually a rough ride on my bike as I nearly got hit by some idiot who ran a red. Long story short, he ran the red when I was halfway across the crosswalk (I had the right away with the crosswalk light)… he decided to stop after the crosswalk but not run the red completely. He was still for a while and I had to get out of the street so I decided to ride to the other side but when I get behind him, he gunned it in reverse! I managed to get out of the way since I was already on high alert… but the worst wasn’t even that, the worst was hearing a woman in another car yell “He’s going to hit her!”… most would assume that was yelled out in fear of seeing someone get hit by a car… no, not this woman. She then burst out in laughter and started clapping her hands while throwing her head back in what looked like enjoyment. That was the worst part. I left my faith in humanity on the curb and rode home shaking, cut my 10 mile ride short (did 8 miles). I don’t understand what enjoyment people have seeing others almost get injured or worse, get injured! I’ll never understand.

Anyways, I’m fine and I’ll ride again but I think I’ll be going elsewhere to ride… even though I ride on a paved canal trail meant for bikes, runners, and such.

After the incident, I actually had a great day! My new glasses arrived so I went to pick them up, yay! My others were very old and falling apart pretty bad, the right lens was so scratched and scuffed that it felt like I was looking through dirty windows all the time.

Since it’s a long post, I’ll go to note that I am attempting the vegetarian transition once again, today is day one and it went great! I’m trying not to stress about it or think too hard this time around, I tend to put way too much pressure on myself every time I attempt to drop meat (which is only chicken/turkey now). So if I mess up, it’s ok, just need to keep going and keep making a conscious effort. Here were most of my foods from today, minus dinner… phone is dead so I didn’t snap a pic but I had a huge salad with corn on the cob. I noticed one big change today, I ate more fruit and veggies than I normally do and that’s a good thing! I’m trying to be creative with getting more protein in so I don’t have to worry about it much so like today I used 3 tbsp of hemp hearts in my morning smoothie, on top of the peanut butter and 4 oz of greek yogurt (I’m not cutting out dairy right now) – that gave my smoothie 28g of protein right there. I am picking up nuts and such tomorrow for snacks here and there.

I told myself that if I really want to switch to this lifestyle that I really need to open up more and try new things. I’m a massive picky eater and I have a massive texture issue with foods to top it off. I don’t like squishy wet foods like tomato’s, I prefer foods to have more of a crunch or “bite” to them, hard to explain. Faux meats gross me out for some reason but I am willing to try tofu (if it’s thin and “crispy”) and seitan (I heard it’s better than tempeh… which grosses me out anyways). I was going to start a new blog just to journal about my adventures in vegetarian but I may just do a weekly recap on the blog here instead, we’ll see!

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday! Today has been going great! I started today with a PB & J smoothie with hemp hearts and have stuck with my eating, just finished lunch. I really need to focus on my eating, big time! Let’s be honest… my food focus has been horrible the past few weeks month. Getting in activity has been super easy despite not running much lately, I’ve been on my bike daily. My right knee is still a little eh, going to rest one more day today and go for a 30 min run tomorrow morning to see how it feels. There is a chance I may have to sit out Sunday’s race… really don’t want to, so we’ll see!

One thing I did this weekend that I never thought I would do was join a DietBet! It’s for May and my friend Tamara is hosting it so I figured… why not?! I need something to help motivate me to get back on track, maybe money will do it, who knows! I’m a little nervous about it, won’t lie lol! The goal is to lose 4% of your starting weight in 4 weeks, seems easy enough but that will be around 9 lbs lol! I used to lose 10-12 lbs per month in the beginning, but after losing over 90 lbs it has slowed down a lot so I will do my best and work my butt off, then see what happens! I really don’t want to focus on weight loss right now but I need focus on my eating so that is a bonus to eating better… weight loss.

This morning I got in a 12 mile bike ride, had a great time! There was some wind heading south that was felt… oh, was it felt! Looking at my heart rate on the ride… it was for sure noticed lol! I’m really anxious to try out some new trails, love the one I go on but it’s getting old lol! So maybe I’ll get the courage to load my bike on the car rack this week and head to Tempe for a ride.

This weekend we killed it in the backyard! We got so much work done, tree’s planted, and cleaned. Almost two years ago we had a vision and started working on the small space food forest for our home, it was hard to see the outcome on most days, some days I regretted even starting this whole project… but now, we are so thrilled with the changes!

Between the two pics we have pulled up about 2-3 rows of brick to enlarge the grow space a bit. Had all the bougainvillea removed, then slowly started to plant in trees little by little. If you have planted fruit trees before then you know how pricey some trees can be! So we did it over the course of a year and a half or so. Our yard is far from done but it’s finally starting to look less like a project, which I love haha!

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!

This morning I was really hoping to run but my right knee is still on the fritz so tonight and this weekend I plan to ice, ice, and more ice! This makes me glad I have my bike to ride now, I’m still getting in activity and I had no idea you could burn some great calories while riding! Who knew?! Holy leg workout too!

I managed to install the new bike rack on my car this morning and did a couple test drives around (sans bike) to check and see how secure it was in general… it’s solid as a rock! Will add the bike to it this weekend and drive around in the neighborhood to test that next… this part makes me nervous lol!

After I did the whole morning school drop off shenanigans I got in a 13 mile bike ride before lunch. I talked myself out of Taco Bell and made a healthy plate instead, go me! Now I’m fully glad I stuck to my guns, it’s been a rough couple of weeks with eating but I managed to lose 2 lbs this week. I’m at 45 miles this week on my bike! Woot!

I’m beat this week! Tomorrow I plan to rest and ice my knee, also work on a little bike maintenance and plant tree’s in the backyard with Bob. I have no idea how many tree’s need to go in the ground or be repotted, I’ve lost count haha!! He already started cutting out the Texas Sage in the front yard, now it just needs the roots dug out before we can plant our Cherry Plum… I can’t wait to see that tree every time I pull up to the house! It’s my favorite type of tree ever and it makes me so happy anytime I see them around town.

Yesterday was gym day for my weight training… I really didn’t feel like going but I know I have goals to reach so I went anyways! Naturally, I’m glad I went when I was done and I kicked some serious ass lifting lol! After the gym, I took Metta out for a ride and it was my longest distance yet! Creeping up on the distance, I did 12.19 miles and I was aiming for 10 so I decided to keep going since I felt really good.

There are so many ways that biking has changed my life for me in just the past weeks. I got my bike on the 7th and have since ridden her almost 55 miles (10 days). While I know many other riders do like 20+ miles in a day, I’m happy with my mileage! I would love to get longer distances though, just need to take her out to some new trails.

Drink CLICK Review

Drink CLICK Review

A couple weeks ago I wanted to try out this protein powder mix called CLICK! They sent me a free container of the CLICK Active to try out in the flavor of my choosing… I went with mocha since I kept hearing it was the favorite. I’ve been trying this out here and there depending on how much activity I did that day. Like after I had a killer weight training session or after a hard run.

First off, what it is! CLICK is a protein powder base drink mix, like other protein powders except there is an extra ingredient…. espresso! So it’s a coffee + protein mix! Now can you see why it appealed to me?! lol! Each serving has the equivalent of a double shot of espresso.

The carb to protein ratio is pretty good – 7g carb : 25g protein

I have tried this drink in two ways and still want to try it other ways… so far I had it in a shaker bottle mixed with water, wasn’t my favorite, I won’t lie. Then I tried it in my morning PB & J smoothie, I loved this a lot more! It does have a bit of that protein powder chalky taste, but it didn’t bother me in a smoothie at all. I want to try it in a smoothie by itself with almond or regular milk, I may actually do that this morning after my bike ride!

If you like coffee and are looking for protein, I recommend this! You can check out CLICK here. If you want to try it but don’t want to buy a whole container, I saw they have samples to purchase in the “special offers” section of the shop!

** Please Note: I was not paid to review this, I was given a free product to try (per my request) and was asked if I would do an honest review of it

Gnarly Mail + Riding

Gnarly Mail + Riding

Today was a no run day due to my knee still being wonky and swollen, but I did manage to get in a bike ride! I was planning to head to Tempe Town Lake to ride but after hearing that my husband located a Donut Peach tree at Lowe’s near us, I changed my plans to go pick that up (along with a dwarf pomegranate and dwarf lemon). I couldn’t wait to get this tree home, a Donut Peach has been very high on our wishlist.

I got in my bike ride after lunch and it was about 90º out, luckily it doesn’t feel that warm when riding… I mean, I get warm, but nothing like running or walking in that temp. We are supposed to reach 100º on Sunday and Monday, ack! I’m so not ready for the hotter temps yet… it’s only April?! I will be swimming on Sunday though for sure. Anyways, I planned to do just a short ride for 30 minutes and wanted to get in at least 5 miles, I did just that!

This week has been fun with the mail! I got a few new things in the mail today – the book You are a Bad Ass, a cycle cap for my helmet, a phone holder for my bike, and a few other things!

Love the cycle hat, I figure if I’m going to wear a helmet I had better at least make it fun, so I bought a zombie cap. I also needed a visor for my helmet so this was a perfect! I started the book this afternoon but haven’t gotten very far at all… though so far I love it! Love the authors writing style, feels like we are sitting at Sbux having coffee and she is telling me to wake the F up with a slap to the face lol!! I will have to review this book when I finish it! Speaking of reviews, I will be doing a review of CLICK drink soon (it’s a protein powder mix). I will try to have that posted by Friday!