Thursday, March 29, 2012

Two Oat Bar Recipes

This past Sunday I invited one of my former neighbors over to do a little baking. She is very interested in making vegan foods and I love making vegan foods so we decided that we would make a strawberry oat bar from Angela Lidden's ohsheglows vegan food blog and a blueberry oat bar from Susan K's fatfreevegan food blog. I regularly make recipes or am inspired by recipes created by these amazing chefs. They may not think themselves chefs but I am pretty the fact that they earn a living creating recipes and cooking food qualifies them as chefs.

My neighbor friend made the strawberry bars and I the blueberry. Although each recipe was similar (oats, fruit, sugar) the difference really made each bars appropriate for a meal or dessert. For example the blueberry bar used applesauce instead of oil, maple syrup and oatmeal; while the strawberry bar used earth balance, chia seed "egg", brown sugar, and wheat flour. These differences truly made the strawberry bar the decadent and almost dessert bar. In comparison the blueberry bar was more suited for breakfast because the sugar content was lower as was the fat content. Depending on your lifestyle it may behoove you to have a higher fat breakfast especially if you are a very active individual.
blueberry oat bar
blueberry oat bar
strawberry oat bar

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why did I become a Vegan?

When I was a little girl I was acutely aware that killing animals and eating them was "mean". I use mean instead of cruel because my younger self did not understand how factory farming worked. I remember watching Babe and thinking most if not all farms were similar to that. The reality is just the opposite because hundreds of thousands of animals are treated with unbelievable amounts of cruelty so that people can eat them. No living being deserves what is happening everyday to the cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys. But that mind frame came later for me after i became aware.

I tried unsuccessfully throughout my childhood to become a vegetarian. I still more often than not was the typical American meat and potatoes consumer; although I also ate what I thought was a lot of vegetables at the time. My longest stint as a vegetarian was while I was taking Anatomy and Physiology in college. Dissecting my cat (the cat I had selected had been run over so I would not feel guilty for having a euthanized cat) I became overwhelmed with the realization that the muscles of the cat looked eerily like chicken muscle. I stopped eating most animal products except for eggs which I thought I truly needed to eat for the vitamin B12. When I got back home for breaks, especially the holiday ones I reverted back to my typical meat eater diet. I was introduced to tofu at the time and I enjoyed eating only marinated firm tofu.

Fast forward three years to me becoming a brand new mom. This is when my desire for eating a vegetarian diet and than a vegan diet became backed up with knowledge and conviction. After watching movies like Food Inc.; Food Matters; Fat, Sick,and Nearly Dead; and later Fork Over Knives, and reading Dr. Joel Fuhrman's books Eat to Live/Eat for Health and Dr. Neal Bernard's Breaking the Food Seduction I realized that if I wanted my actions to be in-align with my thoughts on how animals should not be slaughtered (no matter how humane). On January 2, 2012 I sighed up for The 21-Day Vegan Kickstart which is sponsored by The Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine. Dr. Neal Bernard is a part of this organization. Since then I have been eating a animal and cruelty free diet. I am happy that I have made this decision for myself.

On April 2, 2012, PCRM is starting another 21 day vegan Kickstart cycle, if you are interested please take a look at their website. Http://

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A bicep comparison: January and March

My upper body is cut! Well it is much more defined than it was just two months ago and I have the pictures to show it. My bicep has not popped the way I want yet but I am still curling and doing (assisted) pull ups to facilitate the bicep head to make its grand entrance. Overall still very happy with the progress I have made so far.

Took my measurements on Thursday and I have lost an inch off my hips and 1/2 an inch from my waist. ((two thumbs up for me)). My lower body still lags behind my upper in terms of cut and body fat, but as a pear shape I know it will take a while until I can see my leg and glute muscles.

Sometimes I would like to increase my cardio to two times a day and that may happen once the semester ends, but at the time I really only have time for the one workout.

As usual on a Sunday night I look forward to my Monday workout.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Inspiration Board

Take a look at my new inspiration board I just put together! This is obviously my fitness inspiration board oppose to my travel or bucket list inspiration board. The woman that are on my board are fit, muscular, and athletic. I will use this board as an additional visual motivation to stay active and healthy.

More important than active and healthy is listening to my body so that I only strengthen it and not accidentally injure it by over training. Overtraining is something that I will probably not fall victim to because I have learned to take rest days when I feel that I truely need the time to recover from an especially vigorous. Tomorrow I am planning to run/walk 5 miles. And before I forget I have to find a 5k to run in April and a 10k to run in May.

By the way all the women on my board have been fitness models for Oxygen Magazine and most if not all are Pro Bodybuilders.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Update on My Body Transformation with Pictures!

A month in a half ago one of my fellow gym-goers commented on how much weight I had lost since returning to the gym in August 2011 since giving birth to Rocket. It was not until that moment that I realized that my dedication and consistency in working out was obvious to more than just me! Here are a couple of pictures that really show that consistency in quality workouts (3-6 times a week) and a healthy, micronutrient-dense vegan diet can really transform an overweight and unhealthy body into a healthy and nearly athletic body.

The first picture was taken May 9, 2011 and the second today, March 12, 2012. I weighed 183lbs back in May and 138lbs today. Do you like how the last two numbers are switched because I do!

Back before January I was not completely transitioned from a flexitarian diet to the vegan diet that I currently and cannot possibly imagine eating another way.

My workout was super intense today and I am looking forward to a 5 mile run tomorrow.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Time not well spent

I, Alexandria Florence am an over planner! It has been said that first step in problem solving is first to identify the problem. My problem is that I micro manage. I am bursting forth with one idea after another idea so much that I often feel overwhelmed at the sheer thought of accomplishing all my ideas that I end up not getting anything done. (I would usually give numerous examples but this post is meant to be brief and my public proclamation to my problem). By identifying what it is that that is keeping me from accomplishing my goals I am looking forward to breaking my micromanaging ways and living in the present.

Each day, each moment is the present and the present is all that we ever have. I am going to begin to be more aware in the present moment because that is always time well spent.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How I am spending my Spring Break

Sigh of relief because this is my mid-semester break. A brief hiatus from driving to and from UNCP. More importantly I am using this time to spend quality time with Rocket. I have also been cleaning: that special kind of cleaning that I barely have time for during the normal week.

I will leave you with some pictures of what I made for dinner: tempeh 'old bay' cakes, vegetable stir fry (broccoli, carrots, bok choy, baby bella mushrooms, onion, and garlic), quinoa/brown rice. Completely delicious and especially nutritious.

My 24th birthday and when Rocket turns 14th months old was on the 7th. Lee's birthday is the 10th so I may have to make a chocolate silk pie for us using a recipe that I found on This vegan food blog is one of my new favorites!

Looking forward to running tomorrow. (My back and bum are sore from my Monday workout).

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Quality Runs

This has been my week for running and I am loving it!

Two 3+ mile runs
One 2.5 mile track workout
One 1.5 mile fast-as-I-can run planned tomorrow after my short total body circuit of compound upper and lower body exercises

The beginning of February was my attempt to do planned 1 hour long muscle builder workouts. This worked only for me when I did not have a lot of school work to deal with. But since that best case scenario happens only once or twice a month I need to be able to adapt quickly to workouts that are short, yet incredibly effective.

This is a learning process for me more so now that I am a mother and a student. Well that is my post for the week unless I am inspired to discuss more of my fitness and mommy dilemmas or insights.