Friday Food and Favorites: Keeping In Touch, Guilt Free Pasta, and Feeling Great

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hey everyone, can you believe it's Friday already? I have lots of thoughts today, so hang on and hear me out. First of all, to all my blogger friends out there, I have a question. Do you have a hard time keeping up with responding to comments, and answering emails? I seem to be having a hard time keeping up with all of these blogging tasks! I guess it's a good thing because that means more people are reaching out and interacting on my blog, but help...I can't keep up.

I've noticed that certain very popular bloggers do not visit other blogs and leave comments, but I find that connecting with my readers and other blogger friends is a most crucial part of blogging and extremely rewarding. I'd love to hear your thoughts and maybe some possible solutions for keeping up with keeping in touch.

Regardless, please always continue to comment here. Even if I don't get to answer you, I truly read every single comment and appreciate them!

Now let's talk about food. I have such a passionate relationship with food! I love eating and need to enjoy my food. But at the same time I battle with the desire to feel healthy and feed my body correctly vs. just making myself feel better at the moment. (I recently received a message from a fan expressing her concern with my posts about food and diets. She said there are many young girls who read my blog who struggle with eating disorders and I should not be portraying a message that being thin through unhealthy means is a positive goal. And by all means, my quest for the proper 'diet', meaning way of eating, is only about keeping my body healthy and feeling at its best. Arriving at a healthy weight will ultimately be a positive side effect of these positive behaviors done out of self respect.)

That being said, I've been (mostly) vegan for about a month now. And I've had some exciting discussions on Facebook and with other friends about what and why I'm doing this, so as per several requests, I'm sharing with you why and how I'm eating a vegan diet. (Note: I am not saying this is right for everyone, I'm only sharing my own thoughts and experiences.)

I had been struggling with feeling sluggish and always being hungry. I was always starving! I assumed I ate healthy because since I attended Weight Watchers in my 30's I basically avoided all the 'white' foods: white flour, sugar, potatoes...etc. But of course I cheated plenty. I tried low carb, Dukan, no carb, Suzanne Sommers, Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers, the OA diet name it. I'm not going to say they didn't work. But I got tired tired tired of feeling deprived, and ultimately always binged out, felt horrible, and could never maintain my loss.

Now hear me out. I know I'm far from fat. But when you have to struggle to maintain; when you're always feeling like you're climbing this huge mountain or else you'll gain weight, then something is wrong. I needed to rethink what I was putting in my body and how it was affecting me.

One day I picked up the book "Skinny Bitch" in Barnes and Noble and started laughing my head off. I bought the book and was actually surprised when I reached the juicy parts about the authors' staunch anti-animal cruelty opinion. This was not what I had thought it would be. But I listened to some of the ideas from a nutritional standpoint and loving a challenge, I decided to try it.

The first thing I did was get off artificial sweetener. Well, within one day, my insane hunger was gone. My intense cravings and crankiness before coffee were tamed. I missed needing my coffee like any addict would, but the freedom was too good to be true. Coffee became my treat instead of my drug.

But here's the real reason why I love being vegan. It's very simple. I feel good. I have more energy, I'm never starving, I get to eat tons of carbs, and I never feel deprived. And guess what? Besides for dairy* I don't miss animal products. Not one bit. I promised myself that if I go out to dinner and I want a juicy steak, I'll have it. But it never happened. (I went out plenty but I always wanted the salad or soup or veggie sushi or a thick whole wheat veggie wrap.)

At 44 years old I NEED to feel good. And this works. It's really nice for the animals and all that, but that's not why I'm doing it. If you're wondering what the heck I'm eating, I'll give you a sample day of my food. It's beyond heaven. My taste buds are finally alive and happy. And so am I.

Sample Day Menu:

1 slice of Ezekial sprouted bread toasted with 1/2 avocado and tomato sprinkled with sea salt.
Coffee with stevia or sugar in the raw and *almond milk

Starbucks *soy mocha

Big salad with whatever I feel like. It could include: avocado, walnuts, chickpeas, sweet potato, beans, quinoi, sauteed veggies, olive oil and any other veggies. Sometimes when I'm really hungry I'll wrap it up in a whole grain wrap.

Almonds and a banana

Beans, brown rice and broccoli sauteed with coconut or olive oil and soy sauce
Brown rice pasta with sauteed veggies and organic marinara sauce (see recipe below).

Glass of red wine

See? It's really good!

(And when all else fails there's always peanut butter and dark chocolate!)

*Note: Ideally, pure vegans don't eat dairy. I find that the hardest food group to void and I still haven't been able to be completely dairy free. But like anything else, it's about the process and the balance.

Here is an instagram of my shopping cart today!

Here's my homemade recipe for guilt free pasta. I had this last night for dinner and after tasting this, my daughter told me I should open a vegan restaurant!
(photo is not of actual recipe)


Start with: Any brown rice pasta boiled and rinsed as per directions.

Saute chopped fresh asparagus, fresh organic spinache leaves and 1cut up zuccini in 1 tbl. of olive or coconut oil. Add sea salt and garlic powder.

Add cooked pasta to sauteed veggies in the pan and add Eden Organic pizza/pasta sauce.

Simmer for a few minutes until sauce thickens.

Optional: granish with fresh basil and olives.

So what were my favorites for this week? Well this week I had the pleasure of spending some amazing quality time with my married daughter in Chicago, who is 'glowing' for a reason other than what she is eating. And that truly was my favorite part of this week.
Follow me on instagram HERE.

But wait!

When a friend saw this picture on Facebook and told me that whatever I'm eating is working, well I'd have to say that was pretty nice too! (Although it could also be the new Mary Kay Timewise Repair Products I've been using that I received from Mary Kay makeup consultant Chani Weinberg. But we'll talk about that in the future post. Meanwhile, sign up for a free makeup and skincare consultant with her HERE.)

To enter to win this PurseN Gold Roller Duffle Bag filled with some surprise goodies from Secret Me Lingerie, PLUS a makeover (valued at $100) and $100 worth of products from Meira Joselet, Certified Makeup Artist click HERE!

Have a good Shabbos and a beautiful weekend,

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  1. You look gorgeous, I love the expression on your face at the counter, so sweet :) I love snacks, though I try not to have too many, but they are lovely :) Sometimes it can take me a moment to keep up with everyone, I try to visit the ones that comment regularly first and then I go to the others. I think it's important to keep in touch with the ones that give you their time as they live busy lives too. But, the ones that only ask for things or go on about comments to their posts, I put second as it just makes visiting blogs tiring & this is meant to be fun :))) I hope you have a great Shabbos & weekend doll xx

  2. You indeed look gorgeous and love the way you dress up too!!!
    The sample day menu you've put up looks interesting. Can't work much for me though, coz I eat heavy!!! :)
    Glad to know you read all comments too! Waiting to hear from you on my blog! :)

  3. Great post and love the pictures! You're gorgeous! Keeping up with emails and comments is something I struggle with too. Sometimes instead of posting something new, I am working behind the scenes visiting other blogs, commenting and responding to emails. Nonetheless, it still gets overwhelming at times... Happy weekend to you. XX

  4. I don't think I could ever go vegan, I'm too much of a hard core foodie. I can't believe you have a married daughter, you look so incredibly young. I guess your diet regimen really does work!

  5. Hi dear, thanks for this very informative and interesting post, I've learnt so ugh from you regarding food and diets. I've been mostly vegetarian for the past 14 years (since school) and its really worked for me. I also cannot believe your age or that you have a grown up daughter, I always thought you were in your very early thirties! You look incredible!

  6. this all sounds so good it made me hungry just reading about it!!

  7. one of my new year resolution is to get back in shape and get healthy too! thanks for the tips here:)
    would you like to follow each other?

  8. one of my new year resolution is to get back in shape and get healthy too! thanks for the tips here:)
    would you like to follow each other?

  9. Eating healthy is just good for you all around!! It gives you more energy and def makes you feel better :)


  10. First of all, PUT ME IN FOR THAT GIVEAWAY!

    Then my dear and GORGEOUS friend,

    I truly believe it has proven FULFILLING to try my best to return comments and emails because of the relationships that can develop. It IS DIFFICULT to keep up; for example, I am now substitute teaching. I go in when I want and since September, I have been OFF more than working so blogging has been easier. But now that I take jobs, my mornings are tough to use to the fullest to get to each comment. For four years straight of blogging while I was working full-time, I was getting up at 3:30am just to make sure I got to everyone that I could. I know you are conscientious about this and I just want to tell you how much I appreciate your visits!

    Secondly, I so agree with you about food. I am now going to be 55, and taking care of my body AND mind is of the utmost importance. I love all your ideas here and have you EVER seen those Asian noodles that have no calories? Try to find this link:

    or if that does not work, Google SHIRATAKI noodles. They are totally calorie free and there is a tofu version that is very low in calories. I love pasta too and can eat LOADS of it, but these noodles, especially when covered with Marinara, taste pretty wonderful.

    Staying at a comfortable body weight is of the utmost important if we want to get the most out of a busy and active life. KEEP GOING! Anita

  11. You got coconut oil! :D
    Xo Megan,

  12. You look fabulous! I too have been eating predominantly vegan these day ever since I saw the documentary (Forks Over Knives! )"It was a real eye opener!
    I love all the food picks, I think Ill hit the health store today!
    xo Karolyn

  13. Hi lovely Sharon. Loved this post (I love ALL your posts). Okay, first, YES, it is very difficult to get back to everyone that leaves a comment on my blog. My illustration schedule is very, very busy and sometimes it takes me days (like this week) to get back to everyone, but I so appreciate the time they took from their schedule to come to see me and truly want to find the time to stop by and let them know I so appreciate it and see what is new in their world. When I first started blogging, I also went to a lot of blogs other than the ones that dropped by mine .. I would do this each Monday .. but I have had to give that up, as there just isn't the time, unfortunately.

    Okay, on to your diet ... I've never tried vegan (like you, it's not something that I'd thought seriously about doing since I love meat) but I know how good it feels when you're eating healthy and your diet sounds wonderful. I've always wondered how vegans are sure they are getting enough protein? How do you figure that out? You look absolutely gorgeous, by the way, as your daughter does! I've been eating healthier since the new year too and exercising several times each week and I can't believe how quickly you can feel a difference in the way you feel. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend, Sharon!! Till later! xox ~S

    SANDY M Illustration

  14. Sounds healthy and glad you feel great! Deep down I do think vegetarianism is the "answer" and I actually prefer foods that are not animal based; however, I could never give up chicken soup...(veggie stock just isn't the same)

    Wonderful you got to be with your daughter at this special time :-)
    shavua tov!!

  15. Sharon you DO look great! Your daughter as well!! Too cute.

    The idea is though to feel better, have more energy etc. I may just have to give this a try.

    Oh and yes, it is very difficult to visit all of my blog friends, and sometimes I just cannot. Going in for another surgery may make it tougher, I will try my best though.

    2013 Artists Series

  16. I have been vegan for over a year now. I lost weight without trying!
    Check this blog out. So much good information about why to eat vegan

    Love reading your blog!


  17. You look stunning, just keep it up but also, I have realized that food, and red wine, is one of my faves in life, those little indulgenses that makes the weekend perfect, so I'm sticking to that and will try not to have guilt about it. Also, I don't get paid to have a superbody like models so I can afford not to be that skinny:) great post as always! xo Caroline

  18. It's good to hear a balanced view on this bc so many are evangelical and single minded. It's refreshing to hear if you want a steak you will have it. Every body is si different I just go on routines and splurge intermittently. But I must say you look like your daughters sister!!! Fab x

  19. Hi Sharon, love this post, as I do all your post. Cant wait to open my mailbox and get updates from you. You look so great, wow, 44!! I've started eating vegan a few weeks ago too. My family thinks I am crazy giving up animal products, but I really dont miss it at all. I feel so much better, have more energy and sleep so much better! thanks for inspiring us to live healthier! xoxo

  20. You are stunning! So much inspiration on your lovely place, thanks so much for stopping by - I'm glad to have found your space too. Gladly following.

  21. Sharon, I owe you a huge thanks. Freezing cold day today and wanted to make a nice warm lunch but didn't want to run out. Luckily, I had most of the ingredients at home so I made the pasta for me and my husband. It wasn't Va Bene but man was it good! It was cheap and easy and I even used gluten free pasta. I don't think I could ever go completely Vegan especially on shabbos but with recipes like those I might consider 5 days a week. Thanks again. Simone