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I have a confession to make.

This weekend has not been a very good “Eating In” week/weekend. I have failed in this arena. (But then again I feel like that’s almost every weekend – anybody agree with me on this one?) Anyway, here is the first part of my ‘Not Eating In’ series, showcasing my eats from my dining out streak.

1. Healthy Steps Healthy U

At my company all employees have the opportunity to take part in a benefits wellness program called Healthy Steps. I just started my job this past September but I didn’t join the program until the beginning of January. Essentially if you part take in any physical activity – this includes work outs, riding your bike to work or any organized race or event – you have the opportunity to earn points. Once an employee reaches up to 1200 points they will receive $200 benefits dollars to their paycheck at the end of the year. Pretty awesome deal, no?!

My Healthy Steps Activity Log

My Healthy Steps Activity Log

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So I know it’s not Tuesday but I wanted to share how my first Vegan Tuesday went yesterday.

My first Vegan Tuesday lunch!

I realized that being vegan on Tuesday wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be. At home for breakfast I had organic whole grain cereal with soy milk and a sliced up banana. As for lunch, the wonderful café right next to my office offers vegan soups 4 out of 5 days a week. They are simply delicious. This Tuesday’s soup was Vegan Tomato Black bean – it tasted very similar to a minestrone soup. The café offers a wonderful combo deal where you can get an 8 oz soup and 12 oz build-your-own salad for $4.95. Such a steal!

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Last week I announced my pledge to keep Mondays Meatless (this also includes eliminating fish). This week I’m deciding to test out Vegan Tuesdays. I myself am neither vegan nor vegetarian, nor do I claim to be, but I don’t eat meat or poultry but occasionally eat fish.

Homegrown Smoker

A few days ago for lunch, a friend, who is vegan, and I decided to venture out of our regular soup and salad routine and try out one of Portland’s famous food carts. We were browsing through Stumptown Vegans restaurant reviews and came upon their review of a vegan food cart called Homegrown Smoker. She had also heard of this place and its raving reviews. I was intrigued. We looked at the pictures and our mouths began to water. We were sold!

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Although I have given up meat well over 6 months ago I decided I would officially pledge to have meatless Mondays.

Ever since dabbling in vegetarianism 7 months ago, I have quit meat altogether. I added back fish four months ago but I definitely do not consume as much as I used to. I don’t want to call myself a pescatarian or a vegetarian wannabe.  I don’t really like to label myself, so I won’t.

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This past summer I was casually walking through Powell’s Bookstore in the food section skimming the endless number of titles on the ceiling-to-floor shelves. While exploring what kind of books are out there, even though I don’t ever buy cookbooks, I came upon a section full of food memoirs. Filled with curiosity, I picked up a book called “The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love The Stove” by Cathy Erway. Quickly flipping through it I saw that at the end of each chapter were a couple of recipes. Interesting, I thought. A memoir and a mini cook book.

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