Rockin’ Roasted Red Pepper Mac n Cheese

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With all this cold weather lately, anything cheesy sounds more desirable and I’m kind of sick of soup (I’m lying). And it’s amazing that Matthew is such a fan of my mac n cheese especially after the holiday’s when I made him and his coworkers a batch with bacon in it. So on the random day of the week when I ask if he has any requests for the week (yea, we do that in our house) he blurts out: MAC N CHEESE! Now, don’t even get me started on the amazingness of mac and cheese. There is something not only comforting but just absolutely warming about slurping down this cheesy dish. And who I am to deny myself this delightful opportunity to explore a healthier way to satisfy my craving?!

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Simple Sexy Stromboli

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Last year at a company Christmas party potluck my beloved intern Jillian brought in this ooey gooey cheese fest hidden in layers of crunchy, doughy heaven. It was reminiscent of pizza but made me feel like I was indulging in a calzone (but not the ones from the pizza shop, I’m talking about the HUGE ones from college that were bigger than the size of my face) minus the ricotta.

There is something comforting about cheese. For the past 2 years I was completely convinced that being fully vegan (and probably being a stank b*tch about it) was the right way to go. But after some serious soul-searching and letting go of self judgment, I decided cheese is actually okay. I fully believe in the power of treats. By allowing ourselves a judgment free treat (I said “a treat” not multiple treats or a smorgasboard of treats) we are really allowing our souls to feel completely nourished. Why, you may ask? Well, simple. Our souls don’t like to be restricted. Unless you want to feel like a crazed, self judging, self loathing person, allowing yourself that small piece of chocolate, a macaron, a mani-pedi, or something that makes you feel uplifted and joyful is such a wonderful thing.

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Vegan Challenge…Completed. Or is it?

3 weeks have come and gone and I can’t believe I survived my personal vegan challenge. Honestly, at first I anticipated that I was going to die without cheese and yogurt. Like, come on, I’m the biggest lover of buffalo mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Snacking on yogurt and cheese was my THING!

The first week was definitely the most difficult. I was already slowly cutting down my intake of cheese. I started limiting how much cheese I would eat to once or twice a week. I admit, I felt like an addict. I felt the urge to eat cheesy, gooey, melty, salty goodness. I have always known I am sensitive to dairy. I stopped drinking cows milk in the 6th grade and swapped to soy milk. Recently I have swapped soy milk for almond/coconut milk.

After week one I started to feel lighter, less bloated and clear headed. I started to slowly find vegan versions of my favorite things and veganized my kitchen. Week one came and went. Before I knew it, my three week challenge was over. I survived!

I am now mid-week 4 and feel amazing. I am the healthiest I have ever been. I am completely comfortable with my body and am a weight I feel my best at. I truly am enjoying this decision I have made for myself. I still get odd questions, stares and even the rolling of the eyes. I am happy, content, light, free and I’m doing something for the environment.

Well readers, that’s all for now!

Peace, love, no cheese and NO beef!