Ditching The Disconnect

Sometimes when life gives you lemons, it can be tempting to create a disconnect; to put up some walls and mentally withdraw from your life. You manage to go through the daily motions and on the outside everything appears to be okay but inside you feel passionless and empty to the point of complete boredom. And if you’re not careful, you can become lost in a sea of monotony.

If this sounds at all familiar, you may be in a rut of displeasure. But don’t fret; there is a way out!

List Your Passions
A good place to start lifting your way from boredom to invigoration is to consider what you were passionate about before the lemons turned sour. What was it that really got your blood boiling; a specific cause, art, family, health, the outdoors, anything that ‘turned you on.’

A Few of Your Favorite Things

“When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad”

Julie Andrews said it right; think about all your favorite things and find a way to combine a few. Listening to your favorite music while eating your favorite foods and talking on the phone with your favorite person can give you such a mood boost. As long as you’re making healthy choices and paying attention to what makes you happy it will be difficult to stay in that mindless state.

Make Connections Happen
Face it: connections aren’t made on their own. In order to reconnect with your life you will have to do the work. Try looking for local meet ups, groups or activities that are in line with your passions. The more involved you are in the makings of your own life the better you’re going to feel in your soul.

Gather Friends
Surround yourself with people who inspire you, and you will succeed. Who we associate with can have a large impact on our state of mind. Humans are impressionable creatures and moods are relatively contagious so the more positive and forward thinking your social scene is the more successful you will be. While you don’t have to cut negative people out of your life completely, realize how much energy that mindset sucks out of you and try to limit exposure where you can.

Try Something New
Maybe you’ve outgrown your passions and reconnecting with them just isn’t working for you. That’s okay! Try doing something new that excites you to think about or maybe something that you never thought you would do before. Facing your fears and stepping out of your personal bubble can be invigorating to the spirit and leave you feel empowered.

Whatever it is you do, don’t sit around on your rump waiting for change to happen. Take control of your life and add some (vegan) sugar to those sour lemons… lemonade is only a few hard squeezes away.
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“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things.

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad.”

The Sound Of Music – My Favorite Things (maria) Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

Little Food Haul

It’s grocery shopping day! If you saw the last food haul post you will know that it was big! So big in fact that I still have a lot of produce and other items left, allowing me to do a smaller grocery haul this week.

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So in this food haul from two different stores, I was able to cash in on some sales from last week with rain checks. Here’s what I got:

Blueberries (as a treat for my son)
Avocados
Bananas
Grapes
1 Onion
Tomatoes
Brussel Sprouts
Tortilla Wraps
Bread (x2)
Bagels
Frozen Strawberries (x2 on sale)
Almond Milk (x2 on sale)
Clif Bars (x2 boxes on sale)
Root Beer (natural, my treat)
Rice noodles (x2)
Daiya “Cheese” (x2)

Also, three itty bitty bite sized chocolates; one for myself, my Dad who was with us and my son.
The grand total came to $85.63 – Just over $14 under budget!

Vegan Kids Lunches – 1

What do vegan kids eat for lunch?

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Tomorrow my kids will be taking left over vegan pizza (I love pizza night, lunches made easy!) and a bowl of strawberries and grapes. The bars are a blueberry fig bar and MADEGOOD chocolate chip granola bar. I love these because they have vegetables such as beats and carrots in them too, and my kids don’t seem to know the difference.

I try to pack foods that are similar to those that their friends eat because at the tender ages of six and eight, they have already complained about their lunch looking different than every one else. I’ve even noticed some resentment from my oldest, and so it’s about compromise and understanding that each child has their own life path no matter what we want for them. I keep it vegan, but sometimes my son will eat all of his lunch as fast as he can so that he can pick something from the bin at school, usually a non-vegan, dairy item like cheese strings. So as a parent, I can only do my best!

Every Wednesday at school kids can get pizza orders, so we have pizza night on Tuesday and always make a bit extra for Wednesday lunch. Vegan doesn’t have to be difficult or different. 🙂

Let’s Talk Kale Chips

Call me crazy, but I’ve never been into kale chips. The taste was something like that between fish food flakes and bitter greens, or so bland that I might as well just grab a fresh bunch of kale and start munching.

In my food haul post, you will have seen that I did buy some kale chips. A new brand of kale chips is being sold at our health food store and my official review is: Edible!

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Solar Raw Food Ultimate Kale Chips in the Red Peppercorn Ranch flavor is all they had. The packaging is bright and fun, and (bonus!) they’re made in Canada!
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While the cashews make these a little high in fat, these kale chips pack a nutritional punch. Vitamin A alone is at 70%.. most of the ingredients are “sustainably grown without herbicides or pesticides.” Everything is air dried below 118F (47C), preserving the nutrients with minimal loss. They definitely pack a ranch punch of flavor, and occasionally you get a rare treat of some whole cashews in the mix. The chips themselves are also very pretty!
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Overall, these are the best kale chips I have tried thus far. I would love to try some other flavors though, such as “Better than Cheddar,” “Spicy Curry Lime,” and especially “Hemp Cream and Chive.”

Large Food Haul

Note to self: do not make impulse purchases at the local health food store!!

Today I decided I would show you what a large grocery haul looks like for us. We’ve been short of money for a couple weeks and really had to limit what we were buying, but it’s pay week so it was time to stock up and go a little crazy! Keep in mind, this is for a family of four; one very fussy eight year old, a healthy food loving six year old, a snacky three year old, and my trying to get healthy self.

The first store is our cheaper grocery store, where they sometimes have discounted produce and are always out of the advertised sales. Yes, the three main things I went there to buy were sold out. That leaves me with three very limited rain checks. But, we did get a lot of other good stuff.

*Sorry about the picture quality, this is my first haul post and one of these days I’ll work up the courage to do a video haul!*

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Here we have two packages of romaine lettuce, two bags of chopped kale, about 8 tomatoes, one butternut squash (for soup!), one anise/fennel bulb, a big watermelon, about ten red bell peppers, 2lb bag of baby carrots, two bunches of celery, a container of strawberries, bag of grapes, a small eggplant, 3 onions.. cut out of the pic is a bag of four grapefruits and package of sliced mushrooms.. (cont’d)
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One bag of avocados, three limes and three lemons, three bunches of green onions, one cucumber, head of cauliflower, five bunches of bananas… (cont’d)
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Four cartons of organic vegetable broth (a lot of recipes that call for veggie broth), a box of Rice Krispies cereal, two boxes of Cap’N Crunch, and one box of Jordan’s Morning Crisp (chocolate curls), grape juice, organic apple juice, pasta sauce, two jars of olives, a jar of hot pepper rings, two loaves of bread.. (cont’d)

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Kettle salted popcorn, blue corn chips (organic), two packages of tortilla wraps, one package of small pita’s. The total for this store was $148.90.

Because they didn’t have our almond milk that was on sale, we had to make a trip to Wal-Mart. Here’s how that went:
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I knew that they had ataulfo mangoes on sale – the whole box of 20 mangoes cost under $10! These are my favorite mangoes. Also I was looking for original rice cakes for the kids and none of the stores I’ve been two these past few weeks had them! So naturally, I grabbed a bag here. Then I picked up some Kettle chips for our snack/movie night; sea salt, salt and vinegar and salt & pepper. And of course, two cartons of almond milk. The total here was 32.03.

By the time we headed to third store I was getting really hungry! This was at our local health food store, and I repeat: Bad place for impulse purchases!!
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Tonight is pizza night, so we needed to pick up some things like cheese, and the kids love taking wraps and sandwiches in their lunches with tofurky slices and cheese slices! The clif bar was my snack for all the hard work it takes to go grocery shopping 😉 Hey, it’s exhausting stuff! The gum was for my daughter who is a little gum obsessed these days, and the tooth brush is for my son who tends to walk around the house with his brush and lose it behind his bed or other weird places. So here’s a break down of what you see here.. Kale chips, organic bamboo wipes, made good chocolate chip granola bars, daiya cheese slices, tofurky slices, coconut clif bar, toothpaste for the kids, two bags of daiya cheese (shredded), a tooth brush, a bag of gum and a small package for me.
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My fussy eater loves blueberry fig bars, so I got enough for each kid to have one each day in their lunches (which clearly, works out to three boxes). Two packages of garlic naan bread for pizza night, a smoothie for the little guy and a root beer for me, and the largest impulse purchases; two new nail polishes that came in at $10 each! Almost everything from this store was roughly $5 per item. The grand total? $112.34!

I know that adds up to a lot from all three stores. Some of the purchases won’t be used until next week, others next weekend, and some will last into the week beyond that. So while it is a lot, I consider this to be two weeks worth of groceries plus some unnecessary items.

If you like this post, please leave a comment below and I’ll do more food haul posts that are much more practical, along with money saving tips when it comes to vegan food! This is not what a typical week of groceries usually looks like for us, and I would love to share with you what we buy on a more regular basis.