Day 32: Health IS Wealth

day 32

Though it seems more expensive these days to eat healthy – it really does seem worth spending a little extra to eat food that makes you feel better!  Over time, my body is so much happier if I spend a little more for organic veggies, fresh juice and gluten-free breads than I ever did trying to eat on a budget in college…

“it is health that is real wealth, not pieces of gold & silver” – mahatma gandhi


Day 8: Tempeh Lettuce Wraps (Recipe)

day 8

This is a super easy recipe, and tastes great whether you use more or less of any of the ingredients.  This is one recipe I’ve made for many non-vegans and many gluten-eaters and everyone has just loved it!

For a gluten-free version of  the instant noodles, I usually use instant soba noodles (you can usually find them in the refrigerated section of specialty grocery stores)

See the original recipe here.

Waking Up (Literally!)


I remember fighting to keep my eyes open in math class every day in high school… it was 4th period, the class after lunch. And it wasn’t because I hated math (ok, I’ll admit, I didn’t love it either!), I just always found myself completely lethargic, exhausted and unable to keep my eyes open during that hour. I thought it was normal. Everyone always talked about getting bored in class… but sleepy, unable to stay awake every day at the same time? I guess not. And I cannot believe I never put it together. I hate to admit, but I was kind of like my dog eating kleenex – I would continually eat things that were bad for me, soon after that my body would tell me it didn’t like those foods, and the wires would never connect – I never related what I ate for lunch with how I felt an hour later! So I kept on doing it, because that was all I knew.

Throughout high school, college, and the years after I searched for solutions – vitamins or minerals that I might be devoid of, a rare disease to explain this constant exhaustion, or maybe it really was normal to be tired and foggy all the time. I tried iron pills, B12 vitamins, drinking more coffee, exercising at different times of the day, even becoming a vegetarian – but nothing quite solved the problem.

Finally, after hearing about “gluten-free” a couple times, I began reading some books on the gluten-intolerance, then began to devour blogs, watching countless videos on youtube, and anything I could get my hands on to learn more about the possible effects of gluten intolerance. And I finally tried it – but wow it was hard! Gluten is in everything! Pasta, beer, bread, chips… the list goes on I wasn’t a huge donut or cake fan, so that wasn’t a big issue – but sandwiches, wraps and veggie burgers? I quickly realized that eating at restaurants was worthless – I had to ask for a separate “gluten free” menu! And even then, some restaurants would only have their salads and state that you could get any burger or sandwich they had – without the bun.

It only took me about a week, and I noticed a change – I wasn’t tired in the middle of the afternoon anymore! The fogginess clouding my mind my entire life seemed to lift, and (yes, it sounds cheesy) the sky was brighter, colors were brighter, and I began to notice the beauty around me. I have since dabbled with gluten a few times, and my body tells me instantly if something has gluten in it. The signs are different for everyone, but I know when my eyes begin to dry up.

This past spring, I decided I would try a beer again – it’d been a year since I’d had gluten, and I was feeling a bit invincible – and it was definitely a mistake! My throat got sore, and I lost my voice for a week! So, while it’s easy to say “yes” in the moment, it’s easy to remind myself that it’s just not worth it in the long run.

It’s a tough road, but it’s worth it.

Vegan and Gluten Free for 13 months!


This week marks 13 months that I have been living vegan and gluten free. While it’s been difficult at times (especially in the cold Minnesota winter!), it’s definitely been a very eye-opening experience. I was a vegetarian for 3 years before deciding to take the dairy out of my diet, and by learning and reading more about gluten, I removed that around the same time as well. I will elaborate more on each of those changes in upcoming posts, for now, it’s time to celebrate this accomplishment!

Through these past 13 months, I’ve come to notice the incredible effect that food has on mood, health and my general lifestyle. I’ve learned that to be the best person I can be for myself, for my family and friends, and for my job, eating right and exercising (especially yoga!) is something that has to come first and foremost. Not because it’s selfish, but because I respect and love myself for who I am. After 13 months, I want to shout it from the rooftops, “I love me! I am fabulous!” And my life’s goal is to spread that word through inspiring others making healthy life choices – I want others to join me on that fabulous rooftop!