New Glasses and My First Century Ride!

Hiii guys! It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote a blog post. I haven’t gotten much time to myself so finding peace and quiet to write is difficult. I have been trying to video record big events, so this post will be supported a bit by those videos :)

I recently shared my new eyeglasses! I was a little hesitant to try them out, but I’ve really been wanting clear glasses frames so I figured I’d give it a go. I like to get my eyeglasses online from because they don’t require a prescription to be forwarded to them, as long as you know your prescription. Which I do! I also love this site since they have so many options and they always have some sort of sale going on. I figure – if I don’t like a set, I don’t really lose much and can try again since frames can be as cheap as $13!! They also don’t feel cheap and I haven’t had any break. It’s great. I saw right now they have a BOGO sale with code “BSGOGO” – that’s when I like to get two pairs at once! I’m not sure how long it lasts though. I think they code “GSHOT50” will always give 50% off a pair without the sale ending. I know they also have prescription sunglasses, but I haven’t tried any of them out before.

Take a look at the pair I got on Youtube here :) I feel fanccyyyy. I got the pair called “Alice Oval – Crystal” if you want to get these! I like getting new glasses because I feel like it’s always the start of a new era hahaha. Just me or?

If you watch the second half of that video, I recorded that right before my first century bike ride! 100 miles :o I sit here now, the day after the century, sore all over with a foggy brain. I apologize for any crazy typos or grammar. I’m sure this is riddled with them from my brain fog. I think the weirdest thing I could’ve never even anticipated feeling after the ride is…my esophagus is sore??? Not going to lie, I am mildly concerned about it. It hurts to swallow and kind of feels like something lodged in my airway. But I’ll see what happens with time. I’m assuming its just from exerting energy for 8 hours straight with a minimum heart rate of 160. Check out this video for all my immediate post-ride thoughts. Glorious robe, wet hair, and all.

It feels amazing to set out and do a goal I made a year ago. Ride a 100 mile century bike ride. It was brutal, hot, my whole body was on fire by mile 60, and I felt every.single.mile.after. At 96 miles, a combination of direct sun (I’m dealing with the extreme burn today!) and constant hills cut my ride short; I began to black out. I did everything in my power; I just couldn’t keep my heart rate or body temperature down. I’m not kidding when I say I couldn’t EVER get my heart rate below 160. Not good at all – the goal was to maintain around 130. Ironic enough I pulled over at a church graveyard hahah. Whether I made the 100 mile marker or not, I was washed over by extreme emotion at the end. I couldn’t hold back tears. I always think back to my younger self, who was embarrassed to run the mile in middle school because she couldn’t make the 16 minute cut off. So unhealthy, self-conscious, and self-defeating. I still can’t believe what I pushed myself to achieve, all while managing my fibromyalgia in recent years. I’m going to try again next year  NOT in the smack dab middle of the Georgia summer and with less hills.

I think this was a great learning experience. You have to start somewhere, right? Considering my longest ride before this day was 55 miles…in shade…less hills…I’m so proud. I never could’ve imagined doing something like this. I feel like challenges like these are mostly mindset, and that, I for sure conquered. The self-defeating second nature I was born with was not going to take over. While that tries to slip up in my day to day, challenges like these remind me that it’s all about what you believe you can do, then doing it. You can do anything. Unless…the sun physically puts you in a dangerous place. But I sure as heck tried. And I did the best I could with the circumstances. I was giggling to myself during the ride because from my 23 and me results, I am scientifically made better for sprints and short bursts of energy as opposed to marathons or long durations of exercise. So I was giggling like…why did I choose to do this ahahah. I’m not MADE for this. But it’s just so fun :p

I’m…going back into recovery mode of just laying around for the rest of the day until work tomorrow. People keep telling me to spin out today and it’ll help the soreness be diminished in the following days but I don’t knowwww.. I’m still having muscle spasms and locking joints, so I just need to return to baseline I think. Here’s a photo drop!

Food that I packed. I thought it would be perfect or one packet too many…but it wasn’t. I found some fruits + pickles for sodium + pretzels at the rest stops I was able to snag (a lot of the supplied foods weren’t vegan :/) but even that extra fruit wasn’t enough. Really awful cramps from lack of electrolytes.

Immediately after stopping at 96 and sitting incase I dropped to the ground unconscious. You can see the dehydration in my face.

After sitting a bit and my mom arriving to rescue me hahaha. I felt happy, sad, loopy, and just overwhelmed by emotions and senses.

My number. I feel like 1s, 3s, and 0s follow me so I thought it was freaky I got 131. The salt crystals on my face are cool. #science

Walking into the post-ride restaurant, the sun burn set in. No wonder I was overheated.

Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.

All Eyes On… [9]

All Eyes On: where apparently this time I just really really want chickpeas.

these mini lemon rosemary cakes. so moist!

this layered mocha cake. ugh gimme.

these Korean braised lotus roots. perfection.

creamy lemon pepper chickpeas. interesting!

these general tso’s chickpeas. genius.

this Moroccan chickpea quinoa power salad. looks so fresh

this mushroom and chickpea marsala. i have a chickpea problem.

these copycat Cinnamon Snail donuts. infamous.

this vegan sweetened condensed milk. im so impressed.

this cashew-based vegan alfredo sauce. she thiqq.

or this nut-free vegan alfredo. i can’t pick just one.

[ this is everything I currently have my eyes on. leave any links you’re currently loving, below! ]

Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.

Slow Cooker Thai Red Curry (v, gf)

You know those days when you just canNOT be bothered to think about food, cooking food, finding food, anything essential? Because other things come first? yesyesyesyesys you know what I mean. When you’re wanting to just order junk food and go hard on something less-than-healthy. This slow cooker thai red curry will save the day. This recipe just requires tossing everything in a slow cooker and FORGETTING about it until dinner time. It is so simple, gluten free, healthy, and vegan!

This recipe came in so vital during a busy weekend. I can’t believe how flavorful it ended up being, by doing nothing?? It seemed even better the day after since the curry thickened more overnight in the fridge.

What’s your favorite type of curry? When I go to a thai restaurant, I love getting massaman curry or yellow curry, but to be honest all curries are my favorite curry. Any and every. My only reservation with eating at thai restaurants is although they can be easily vegan-izable, a lot will still use a chicken broth instead of a veggie broth…and I have trust issues. So mastering it at home is fantastic. :)

Try out this slow cooker thai red curry and see for yourself how simple and healthy it is!

Slow Cooker Thai Red Curry

Serves: 4

  • 1/2 cup dry chickpeas, hydrated (or use 1 can chickpeas, drained)
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes (drain out liquid first)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup thai red curry paste (I used this)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger
  • dash of salt
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup rice, dry

Toss everything except for the spinach and rice into the slow cooker. Set to slow cook for 4-5 hours. Right before serving, stir in spinach.

Cook 1 cup of rice and serve the curry over the rice. Enjoy!!

Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.

Vegan Cheezy Taco Pasta

I’ve done it. I’ve evolved into my final form: mad scientist vegan chef, lvl 96. This is what I’m going to call…#vegan Hamburger Helper, cheezy taco version. Aka nacho taco pasta bake? I’m not entirely sure but you get it. And like…I know hamburger helper is the crappiest crap to ever exist. BUT IT’S SO GOOD. AND THIS IS SO GOOD. AND BASICALLY life is amazing. I’m just sitting here in awe wondering how it’s totally vegan and dairy free.

Life has been calming down a bit now and it feels good. :) Getting into a rhythm at the new house and finding the new normal. Now that things are settling, I’m shifting all my focus towards training for my century bike ride in a few months. I’m struggling since I don’t have a “go-to” group of cycling friends anymore…and it’s a little frustrating that my training depends on other people’s free time. But Nick has been a champ and picking up riding AND riding the same distances as me right away. Things can’t always be as high volume as I’d like…but that’s fine. This weekend, I had zeroooo long ride….which is kind of a bummer. But I think my brain needed it for mental health to just chill for a weekend.

Has anyone ever done a century? I heard that this one is relatively flat, so I’m trying not to worry too much. But I know 1 of 2 things is going to do me in. 1) any hills or 2) forgetting to EAT ENOUGH. I keep getting advice to remember to eat during the ride even when you don’t feel hungry. I alwayssss forget that. I’m also mildly worried that I won’t have anyone to draft off of…but I’m hoping I can just leech off someone random hahaha..ahah….ha….forreal.

So, FOOD!! I made this vegan cheezy taco pasta after a long ride with Nick for us to chow down on. We went innnnnn. It was just right – protein, carbs, comfort fooooodd… Try it out and let me know what you think! Nick said it’s sure to fool any meat eater that they’re eating beef pasta, even though it’s vegan. I love this so much. Enjoy!

vegan taco pasta

Vegan Cheezy Taco Pasta

Serves: 6

First, cook the pasta according to directions on the package. In a large skillet, add the onion, mushrooms, vegan butter, and beefless crumbles. Cook on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until the veggies are softened, then add the taco seasoning, salsa, enchilada sauce, vegan nacho cheese, nutritional yeast, and the cooked pasta. Mix to incorporate.

Essentially you’re donezo but you can top with a little shredded vegan cheese if you’d like, then put in the oven at 375F an extra 5-10 mins to melt the cheese on top. Enjoy!!

Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.

I tried a Barre Class!

I’ve gone to a lot of group fitness classes before…but it’s been a long time. And I’ve certainly never tried a Barre class!!! I had such a great experience this weekend trying out Barre for the first time!

When I first got into healthy living and trying to lose weight, I found it easiest and most efficient for me to attend group classes. I used to attend classes at my school gym or I’d go to classes at LA Fitness. But currently, I am not a member of a gym. After I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I’ve stuck to riding my bike since it’s low impact. I have light weights at home; I tell myself I’ll do home workouts for strength but….I never do. I just can’t get the motivation to do strength stuff at home. But I neeeeeed to. Working on full-body fitness is so important.

I found this website called CourseHorse where you can search for and book classes local to your city. This is anything from professional courses, gardening courses, acting classes, and more. The wide array is amazing! They are currently still in beta mode for Atlanta and are adding more classes often, but I was still able to hunt down a ton of fitness classes in Atlanta.

I knew if I was going to sign up for a class, I wanted to try something new and out of my comfort zone. I saw things like spin classes and boot camps, but I’m used to things like that and really wanted to branch out. One class that caught my eye was Cardio Barre at the Body Bar Group Fitness Studio. I have neeeever tried barre. I honestly had no idea what to expect! When I search online, I see everything from ladies in ballet uniforms to people in shorts doing planks. I figured I’d take the leap and just find out in person.

The class was SO much fun! If you haven’t tried a barre class, you should!! When I showed up, I quickly realized shorts were a bad idea. Everyone else had on yoga pants (not ballet clothes at least ahah)…since a lot of what we did was a mix of core moves, yoga, and barre. My shorts could be revealing at times, but whatever. Now I know, ha. The instructor as well as the other people in the class were so nice and welcoming. We did circuits of moves like squats, pulse lunges, planks, and muscle-tightening moves like tricep kickback pulses. When you think of the phrase “sculpt and tone”…this is what those moves cater to. The bar part of the class was the hardest! It had me soo sore the next day and I’m honestly surprised I was challenged so much. We like….Stood on our tip toes, squatted down, and clenched a soft ball in between our thighs. Then pulsed. TALK ABOUT BURN. I never think my legs can get tired since I cycle so much, but this hit all the tiny muscles that don’t get used. I will be returning!

CourseHorse has so many unique classes for low drop-in prices that I want to try out. Pilates would be fun to try, and I am super interested in a glass blowing class I found on the site.

Have you ever done barre?! I will definitely be returning and hopefully getting back that strength I lost from my worst peak of fibromyalgia over a year ago! :D So happy I found it.

Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.

Vegan Green Chile Cornbread (gf)

Ain’t nothin’ quite like some southern comfort food. This vegan green chile cornbread fills you with happiness and warmth. Perfect for an event or get together, this recipe is dairy free, simple to make, and can be made gluten free!

vegan green chile cornbread

Memorial Day weekend just happened! We don’t do anything huge and celebratory in my family, but we do get together, grill, and just hangout. It’s relaxed fun in the sun. This year was a bit different though than the usual going to my mom’s house and laying by the pool. Last week, I moved in with Nick :) so our mommies came over to hangout while we grilled. I showed off the place to my mom because it looks drastically different from when she helped me move in the week before. Nick and I hustled (I put him through hell, whoops, love you) to unpack all the boxes and organize everything because I just cannot function with boxes and clutter. But now I’m all settled and feeling good!

We had wayyyyy too much food for memorial day. I made this AMAZING vegan cornbread (really just an excuse for me to eat half of it myself) and Nick grilled up a bunch of veggies for me. He did burgers & wings for everyone else and a vegan patty for me. We also had vegan creamy onion dip my mom makes (it’s heaven), guac, veggies, chips, baked beans, roasted potatoes….So much goodness. My favorite was definitely this cornbread though. I baked it in the skillet that Nick had, but it can be made in a regular baking dish as well!

This was absolutely simple to make, and so surprisingly delicious. It’s got a moist butter-y center, it’s light and fluffy, and it’s just so comforting. I love the bits of green chiles sprinkled throughout to give it a subtle kick. You could choose to use jalepenos instead, but I have a personal vendetta with jalepenos and much prefer the green chiles.

Try this out and let me know what you think. :) It’d be great for a group event; it’s a sure crowd-pleaser!

Vegan Green Chile Cornbread

Makes: 16 pieces

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2.25 cups fine ground cornmeal
  • 1.25 cups all-purpose flour (use gluten free, if needed)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup melted vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1, 4 oz can of diced green chiles (drained and patted dry)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine the almond milk and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl and whisk together. Set to the side.
  3. In a second medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients (cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt) and stir until well combined.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar. Pour into the almond milk mixture and whisk vigorously for 2-3 minutes.
  5. While stirring, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients bowl. Mix until well combined. Fold in the diced green chiles.
  6. Pour the batter into a well-greased 12 inch skillet or a 9×13 baking dish.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 28-33 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and top with a couple dabs of vegan butter (optional). Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Slice and serve!

Learn healthy, plant-based eating in 6 weeks from me.