Monthly Archives: January 2014

Fresh “New” Reading

LOVE books and reading. I have many on my iBooks and many in paper, too, because there is something classic about an actual book in you hands.

I did a bit of research this morning on a few books I’d like to get. First, I check if they are available on iBooks (because books are usually around 50% cheaper on iBooks than in paper). Second, I ventured to the used book store to search for the books and to see if they would be more affordable than on iBooks.

The first book I wanted to find was Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman. Unfortunately the used book store did not have a copy (that I could find), so I opted for this one on iBooks. Plus, it was only $7.99.

Eat to Live

I’m very interested to read this book and possibly follow the meal plans as what I’ve read is positive and most people did see the changes in their weight/health in 6 weeks.

The second book I was looking for was Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn. I’ve read about this book many times over the past year and a bit but haven’t actively looked for it. On iBooks it was $11.99 but at the used book store it was only $10.00 … so paper it is!

Engine 2 Diet

The third book I was on the hunt for was Skinny Bitch in the Kitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. I already have the paper-version of Skinny Bitch but have read that this “Kitch” book if FULL of great recipes. I found it at the used book store for only $8.00 instead of the $15.99 on iBooks. So again – paper it is!

Skinny Bitch

One of the first things I do when I get a new cookbook is to go through and flag the recipes that I want to try.

The amount of flags that are currently sticking out of Skinny Bitch in the Kitch is quite impressive! I would estimate maybe 75% of the recipes have now been flagged! Can’t wait to give it a try!

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Small Steps

Can you believe it? I know I can’t believe it. But some how it is still true.

There are only 6 days left in the month of January!

Recap of my January 2014 Challenges:

  1. Take the stairs at my condo
    • Yeah … this fell to the side extremely fast …
  2. No added sugar/candy
    • I broke this challenge this week … and I’m back to believing “everything in moderation”
  3. No alcohol
    • I also broke this challenge this week … again “everything in moderation”
  4. Maximum 4 take-out meals
    • I think I actually managed to keep this challenge!

So on to February we move …

The days are getting longer. Hopefully the days will start to get warmer too! My work days will start to get longer … right now I work 7 ½ hour days and we move up to 8 hour days in February. But since I work in accounting, an 8 hour day is a short day! I normally work an average of 500 hours total in March & April, so we’ll see if February will show regular days or longer days.

February 2014 Challenges

  • Drink 4 bottle of water daily (my water bottle holds just shy of 3 cups)
  • Juice 1 meal per day
  • Hit the gym for cardio 3 days per week
  • Hit the gym for strength 2 days per week
  • Lose 4 pounds (starting weight to be determined on January 31st)

Instead of writing down all my challenges on my calendar and “cluttering” up the space, I’ll wait until the end of each day and simply mark:

  • W = 1 bottle of water consumed
  • J = 1 meal of juice
  • C## = cardio & time completed
  • S = strength completed

As for the weight aspect, I’ll make that note on February 28th.


Breaking a Challenge

Today was work and a planned visit to the doctor. I am due for my Depo shot and it’s a great time to see my doctor because of the anxiety attacks I’ve been having … including today.

Seriously I am SICK of having anxiety attacks!!!

My doctor thinks I have S.A.D. I’ve been off my anti-depressants for 7 months now and wondered if my anxiety attacks were because my body was finally rid of the medication … he didn’t say yes or no.

I used to take Welbutrin at 300 mg per day. He has suggested I go back on at 150 mg per day at least until the weather picks up and gets happier. While I do have the prescription, I haven’t fully decided if I’ll actually fill it yet. I like having no added drugs/hormones in my body!

He did suggest, the obvious, exercise. I know I need to hit the gym more often … it really DOES do a body good!

Now to my “Breaking a Challenge” title.

One of my challenges for January 2014 was to abstain from alcohol.

Now, I’m not an alcoholic by any means … but tonight just felt like I’d waited long enough. I’ve been to the breaking point of “OMG I NEED A DRINK” to calm myself so many times over the past 2 weeks. But I’ve abstained.

Until tonight. I bought a 6-pack of Kokanee and boy, let me tell you – it tastes DELICIOUS!!!

Some friends and I are planning on going to a local venue to check out a band, Malibu Knights, this Friday night. It’ll be something new for us and I’m very excited to get out of the house!


1st Countdown of 2014

I find that I respond really well to countdowns.

Like, when I am going on vacation, I start counting down pretty much when I book the trip.

The 1st countdown of 2014 relates to a concert. Back before Christmas, a couple of coworkers and I decided to buy tickets to Florida Georgia Line for their concert here in Penticton on April 10, 2014. Starting today, the countdown is 81 days (and this does not include the day of the concert) … so just over 11 weeks.

The last concert I went to was also with coworkers and we went to see Brad Paisley here in Penticton last August. The concert was AWESOME but my dad’s girlfriend commented to me on a picture of us at the concert and said “we couldn’t believe how much weight you had gained!” … ouch.

Ouch because I hadn’t actually gained any weight, nor had I lost any.

So when we bought the tickets to FGL, I decided I wanted to drop a few pounds and feel better about myself. Now, we are 19 days into January and I’ve been to the gym a total that can be counted on 1 hand. My weight has slightly crept up (not drastic, but enough that I don’t like it more that I didn’t like it before) but I’ve got 81 days to make a dent.

The weather in the valley has been foggy and “cold” (maybe about 2 – 4 degrees celsius for a high) so I’ve been reluctant to leave my condo other than to go to work and get groceries. But with 81 days until the concert, I’ve got to get moving.

The plan today is to start fresh. And by “fresh” I mean with a juice – freshly juiced in-house:


Fresh produce all washed and chopped – ready for the juicer. This amount of produce (a lot, honestly!) made just over 1 ½ shaker cups. I would estimate this to be around 500 – 700 calories and it keeps me content until lunch … maybe longer because I normally have breakfast around 7:00 am and today I had it around 9:30 am.

I also plan on walking to Rona to buy a new fluorescent light bulb for the light above my sink and a new filter for my range hood. The walk to Rona is about 30+ minutes each way.

I would also like to step it up and go to the gym for more cardio and possibly some strength training – but we’ll see how time goes. I want to watch the Seattle Seahawks football game – which I could watch at the gym while doing cardio.

So I guess there is NO EXCUSE not to go!

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No Good Title …

Mentally, I’m finally feeling nearer to 100% than I was a week or even 2 days ago.

Mom came over for tea this afternoon and we had a nice visit.

I went for groceries this morning and was concerned because I only have $60 for 2 weeks worth of food … I was able to load up on fresh produce and spent my full $60 … except I only expect this produce to last 1 week, not 2 weeks!

Oh well – I’ll see how I can manage. Maybe I’ll find a vehicle to use and take back my empty bottles for some extra coinage!


Juice – Work – Gym

I started my day with a wonderful fresh juice made of kale, spinach, cucumber, carrot, celery, apple and ginger. Man – I really like my fresh juices!

I had some leftover stuffed manicotti for lunch, along with sliced cucumber and pomegranate seeds. My snack in the morning was an apple which then left me with NOTHING for afternoon snack! Oh well – water and tea it is!

I went to the gym after work and did my 45 minutes of cardio and enjoyed a hot tub afterwards.

Now I’m home and starving! I’ve put on some sprouted rice and quinoa in my rice cooker … but I’m still undecided what to have with it.

That’s my day.

Juice – Work – Gym … perfect!


Housework, Netflix and Mental Stability

It’s been a restful weekend for me. I’ve ventured out to get groceries on Saturday … and “ventured” out to take out the garbage and recycling on Sunday. Otherwise I’ve cleaned the condo, did laundry and watched Netflix. It has not been a weekend of exercise, however. That’s ok because the original plan was to workout during the week anyways.

I had planned on making some recipes this weekend but I’ve been so lazy that I’ve only made Stuffed Manicotti. The recipe made enough for 3 small meals, so I had dinner tonight and will put the other 2 servings into containers for lunch and/or dinner this week.

I am also going to seed a few pomegranates as I’ve been slightly addicted to them and can eat the seeds of a pomegranate every day – easily! Since it takes a little time to seed a pomegranate, I plan on seeding 3 or 4 at one time so that I can save that time during my morning routine.

My mental state is much better today that it was Thursday and Friday. I am looking forward to work tomorrow even though my “office” is starting to get boxed in … literally with boxes! I just need to focus and get this file off my desk – that will make me feel awesome! Especially since I’ve had it at my desk since probably May 2013!

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Online Famous

Today was another blah day – damn, I need to kick this lousy attitude!!!

However, I did become Online Famous today!!!

My other blog Gona Be Vegan received a link to a post by! They linked to my Spinach Artichoke Dip and mentioned me (Shannon) and my blog (Gona Be Vegan) by name!!!

Finished the day by going for a drink (just tea for me since I’m not consuming alcohol this month) and a free veggie burger with my parents at a local pub.


Anxiety & Clutter


The name of a song by the Black Eyed Peas – and a good song at that!

However, today anxiety is exactly what I felt at work. Not a good feeling at ALL!  I remember growing up having a ton of anxiety attacks and also a few in my young adult life. However, since changing to a vegan diet I have experienced a drastic reduction in the amount of anxiety attacks that overcome me … even after stopping my anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication in June 2013.

Today was different. Something about the file I am working on created a huge amount of anxiety by day’s end. I felt the heavy pressure on my chest and was slightly hyperventilating on my walk home. Not a feeling I enjoy.

I want to stay home and be a hermit … I just want to avoid work. Something is feeling … off. I haven’t had this feeling about my job for a long while. I actually LOVE my job and LOVE going in every day.

My roll usually slows down in the fall but I was given a lot of extra responsibilities this year … which clearly resulted in no slow time for me. It can be nice because most days fly by. But today – gosh … I don’t know. Something was off.

I came home and walked into my kitchen. And a MESSY kitchen it was! Oh my – this kitchen needed to be cleaned. Something about a clean kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and house as a whole helps clear ones mind and allows for positive energy.

Here is my MESSY kitchen:


It may be a little difficult to see but the counters are cluttered and my stove is covered in dirty pots & pans. I have a side board behind my love seat that acts as an extra counter and it is also extremely cluttered.


After some good tunes and about 30 minutes, it’s clean! I LOVE a clean kitchen! It allows me to embrace my creative chef’s side to it’s fullest!

Tomorrow is Friday. Only 7 ½ hours of work until it’s the weekend. I am going to take the weekend and decompress my mind, body and soul.

Due to this horrible anxiety attack, I forwent the gym today. And I have to work until 5:00 pm tomorrow (instead of 4:30 pm) because the receptionist is off and I will cover the front desk. But I will bring my gym gear and make my way for some much needed and DESERVED cardio and a hot tub after work tomorrow!

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Listen Here, You Stubborn Son Of A …

Hot relaxing shower + lots of water consumed + 8 ½ hours dedicated sleep time = still lingering headache!


I couldn’t find a sleeping position to make my head stop aching (my neck, really) … normally with this type of headache, I will find a spot laying on my back with my head directly between my two pillows so that my neck is straight and not tilted up or down … and that normally works.

Not this time!!!

Finally around 5 am I was able to make one of my pillows fit into the crook of my neck and it felt better … for an hour until my alarm went off.

Great – time to get up. That’s ok … I did what I could to avoid taking any Tylenol. But the time has come. Down the hatch went some pretty red pills.

And like always, around 30 minutes later, headache is gone (or masked enough that I don’t notice it). Guess I’m going to finish getting ready for work and get on with my life!

Happy Wednesday!!!