Don’t be a chicken

Weekends always tend to be a little more …indulgent than weekdays for me and this weekend was no different!

Pad Thai, burgers (from organic beef and made at  home!), chips and guac, blueberry waffles, a “French breakfast,” and a chicken bacon wrap were just some of my splurges from Friday to Sunday.

The worst offender (based on my Veg Voyage standards) being the chicken bacon wrap that I had for lunch on Sunday. Mike and I ate at a restaurant we frequent often, Aqui, and I usually get a veg option (even before I started on my voyage) but yesterday, I was seriously craving MEAT! Like, I hadn’t even been satisfied all weekend from the Pad Thai w/prawns or the ridiculous amount of comforting carbohydrates I had with my French breakfast. I needed animal style protein and I needed it then! So, I ate meat. Again. Granted, Aqui does do a pretty good job at incorporating natural ingredients into their menu and says they use free-range chicken, they don’t guarantee it is used in everything…

My French Breakfast on Saturday was one third of a fresh baguette with butter and jam (and an Americano)

I’ll just say it now: this voyage is harder than I thought it was going to be.

When I got home, I was actually considering cutting it short and adding it to the (long) list of ideas I had far too much enthusiasm for and too little follow through. Besides, at this point, I haven’t actually shared The Veg Voyage with anyone…

Then I saw this video and knew my voyage was not done yet! I decided not to chicken out, write this post about my slip up, and carry on.

I still have a lot more learning to do about commonly used words/phrases in order to decipher what they actually mean and how animals are actually treated; and I need to figure out more interesting things to post about (because, really, who just wants to read about my slip-ups and weekend splurges?) but, I’m going to continue documenting my efforts for a more compassionate diet.

Stay tuned and eat your greens.

** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe **

Meatless Meals at Home

So, my first step on the Veg Voyage is to only eat meat at home (or when I know where it is from) to ensure it is organic, grass fed, and preferably locally sourced. Admittedly, I have been a little shaky on the exact guidelines here (I ate meat that wasn’t organic but was locally sourced on a vacation to Tahoe and threw all caution with the wind with my hot chicken in Nashville) but I figure… it’s a process.

More often than not, I have eliminated meat when dining out.

But what about at home? Before I started this I wondered if I would go absolutely meat crazy at home because I couldn’t really eat it anywhere else. So far, that hasn’t been the case at all. I still do buy meat but typically we only have a ‘meat dinner’ once or twice during the week. Below I’ve shared 2 incredibly delicious veggie meals I’ve made this week.

**Disclaimer: I rarely actually use a recipe to make anything. Instead, I scroll through a couple different recipes for what I have in mind and alter them here and there to my liking.

Indian Lentils with Naan 


I’ve had these green lentils in my cabinet for months so it was nice to finally use the rest of them up in this recipe!

I chopped 1/2 an onion, a full red bell pepper, and 3 cloves on garlic, sautéed them in some olive oil and then blended them almost into a paste.

I added the ‘paste’ to a one can of fire roasted tomatoes, 2/3 c. coconut milk*, and 1 Tsp of Trader Joe’s curry powder, brought to a boil and added 1 1/2 c. of green lentils

I let this simmer for about 30 minutes and added a chopped up zucchini for the last 15. Then I served about a bit of brown rice and a side of naan. So good and pretty easy!

*I froze the rest of the coconut milk in ice cube trays for smoothies later

Cream of Mushroom Soup


This soup was so easy with only 6 ingredients!

I roughly sliced 1/2 yellow onion and 3 c. of mushrooms, sauteed them in a bit of butter and then blended them until smooth.

I added the mushroom puree to 3 c. veggie broth mixed with about 5 Tsp of whole wheat flour and brought to a boil and then added 1 c. of half and half, let it simmer for 15 minutes and viola! Lunch for the rest of the week!

Both of these recipes are vegetarian, hearty and satisfying. I hope you enjoy them!

Stay tuned and eat your greens.

** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe **

Nashville, TN

This past weekend I went to visit my friend Leslie, who is attending business school in Nashville. Honestly, I was a little nervous about trying not to eat meat in the south. Was it going to be possible?

To my surprise, it was very possible! Read on about what I ate during my southern adventure.

My soup and salad during my layover

My trip started off rocky with a canceled flight and then a four hour layover in Saint Louis. I had a banana, a poppy seed muffin, and earl gray tea while still in San Francisco. While in Saint Louis, I found a California Pizza Kitchen in the airport and ordered the split pea soup and a $9 salad with mixed greens, two slices of onions and like, 5 cranberries. Ugh! Luckily, my soup was nom and was so filling that I was able to save my salad for dinner when I (finally) arrived at Leslie’s house. For dinner, I added some organic chicken (because Leslie is also a health nut) to my salad and paired it with a tortilla and hummus. Carbo loading before the bars is a must, people!

Bar bathroom mirror pics! #basic

The next morning we got brunch and coffee. I ordered a breakfast wrap without the sausage and the best latte I’ve had in a while. (I think milk in my coffee would be the hardest thing to give up if I ever try veganism….)

One of the best lattes I’ve ever had!

For dinner, we went to a place called Adele’s to celebrate a birthday! Leslie and I split the salmon, risotto with shrimp, and a side of sauteed spinach. A lot of food before a night out at the Honky Tonks!

After some barhopping, we ended the night with slices of veggie pizza (at 3:30am, which is later than I’ve stayed out for at least 2 years).

The next morning we went for another coffee run at The Frothy Monkey and then headed to The Loveless Cafe for a seriously southern breakfast. The Loveless Cafe is a major tourist spot with a wait of TWO HOURS! This was my last day in Nashville and we had places to be and things to see (!) so we ordered our food to go and ate cheese grits and biscuits and gravy in Les’ car. (Pure class!) Disclaimer: I’m pretty sure the gravy was not vegetarian. Oops!

The Loveless Cafe. Nashville, TN

And then it was time for dinner and HOT CHICKEN, which Nashville is famous for. Being from California, I sufficiently embarrassed Leslie and ordered my chicken grilled instead of fried…!

Les and her HOT CHICKEN

Overall, Nashville was an all around good time filled with good music, good food (even if it wasn’t all vegetarian…), and the best company!

Added bonus: if you’re a fan of the show Nashville, like I am, the Blue Bird Cafe is just like it is shown of the show. …Expect a lot smaller and right next to a McDonald’s…

A must see in Nashville!

Stay tuned and eat your greens.

** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe **

Veggie Vacay

This past weekend my guy and I went on a mini weekend get away to one of our favorite spots in Tahoe, Resort at Squaw Creek. This was the first time I vacationed with my new vegetarian lifestyle change and it was a bit of an adjustment but also offered some good learning lessons!

We stopped at Panera for dinner on the drive there and my options were plentiful here …if all I wanted was a salad. Which is normally fine except it was dinner and I was going to be in a car for the next 4 -5 hours so I wanted a little more. I settled on cheese tortellini and a chocolate chip cookie. Hello to all of the carbs and ZERO veggies…

I did better as the weekend progressed, I promise.

The next day we went to Chili’s for lunch. I’m not usually the biggest fan of chain restaurants but I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised with lunch. I ordered the black bean burger (open faced) and it was amazing! There is a possibility my taste buds were swayed because I was still having some major guac cravings, which were satisfied on top of my BBburger, but most likely, it was just really good. And guacamole counts as a vegetable(fruit?) serving, right?!

Dinner was a little more difficult simply because the restaurant we went to in the resort didn’t have many vegetarian options. I think my only option was a portobello wrap and portobello is one mushroom I just cannot get behind…

Soooooo I turned to sides! (Side note: side dishes are my secret weapons when it comes to menus. Pair 2 or 3 together and you have yourself a meal when nothing on the menu looks good or you have dietary restrictions.) I ordered a side of veggies (I told you I got better;) and mini pretzels with a side of jalapeno cheese dip. This was not only a pretty delicious vegetarian dinner for me but also a learning lesson on portion control

Honestly, when my tiny bowl of veggies and like, 6 mini pretzels came out, in my head I quit right there. I was HUNGRY and this was all I got to eat for DINNER?! Oh, well. I thought, at there is always potato chips…? But, it turns out, I wasn’t hungry after I ate my food (and a few bites of Mike’s mash potatoes….). I was completely satisfied and didn’t overeat simply because there happened to be more food on my plate. Most of the time, serving sizes are out of control at restaurants but it’s what we get used to.

The next 2 days were a little different because, well, I ate meat. But this wasn’t like the nachos incident. I ate meat because Squaw Valley is this awesome place that only uses locally sourced meat. And while the lines and definitions for things like locally sourced and organic fed can be blurry, I still had half of a steak on Saturday night and had bacon in my salad on Sunday. (BTW, bacon is not MY LIFE like most carnivores so my salad was just a salad with some bacon on it. Sorry bacon lovers!)

Overall, I learned the following things on my first Veg Voyage vacation:

  1. There are vegetarian options almost everywhere – even if they don’t seem apparent at first (sides! remember?)
  2. Meat does not have to be the default. A black bean burger at Chili’s is as good and satisfying as a cow burger.
  3. It is possible to be satisfied on a lot less food than I am used to.
  4. I still have A LOT to learn about compassionate eating and what things like locally sourced actually mean…

Stay tuned and eat your greens.

PS. I will actually take pictures of my veg noms on my next vacation… This weekend in Nashville!

** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe **

A rocky start to my meatless March

It is March 2nd and my goal for being a public vegetarian has already been shattered. Why? Two words: carnitas nachos.

Growing up and living in California, delicious Mexican food has always been available to me. I am obsessed with all things beans, cheese, and tortilla. Enchiladas, tacos, burritos, quesadillas. Let’s.go.

And nachos? NACHOS! I can’t resist them even if I tried… the light and perfect-crunch fried tortilla chips smothered with melted cheese and beans? the creamy avocado and flavorful pico de gallo sprinkled on top? I CAN’T SAY NO! With or without a side of animal on top okay!?

So, today, when a friend/co-worker asked if I wanted the rest of her carnitas nachos (key word: NACHOS), I grabbed some of her napkins and didn’t breathe again until all of the ooey gooey goodness was gone. Granted, I probably only ate about 5 chips with meat on them, I still ate meat. I still failed.

Hopefully this is my only slip up for the month week but we’ll see… Did I mention I’m going Nashville in 2 weeks? Is it possible to survive in the south without meat…?

Stay tuned and eat your greens.

** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe **