Seventy-Nine Dollars

This week’s grocery bill.

Not bad ‘eh? Considering we used to spend $130 each week before switching to plant-based eating. And yes, that was just for the two of us! We were quite the carnivores buying 5 pounds of meat and 7 dozen eggs per week + yogurt and cheese. Yikes!

Lower Grocery Bill – just one of the many perks of plant-based eating.

Where do we shop? The 99 Cent Only Store and Sprouts [we live in Southern California]. You can get ah-mazing deals at the 99 Cent Only Store and they are seriously everywhere!

Store #1: I bought all of this for just $13.23. Everything you see here is $1. Seriously? SCORE!

99 Cent Only Stores Haul -$13.23
99 Cent Only Stores -$13.23

Hard to believe, but you can find name brand, organic, and non-GMO food here.

My best finds this week:

  • Kashi Waffles (non-GMO)
  • Muir Glen Organic Pasta Sauce
  • Organic Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Beanitos (non-GMO) – [love these and normally $3.50]
  • Organic Jasmine Green Tea

Other Finds: roasted sunflower seeds, dried kidney beans, raisins, bagels, baby carrots, lettuce shreds, and broccoli slaw.

Just FYI, my current philosophy on organic and non-GMO food – whenever possible, I buy organic produce for those listed on the Dirty Dozen. For all other food, I buy organic or non-GMO whenever the price is reasonable and it makes sense. Overall, I strive for a whole food, plant-based eating pattern. And for me, that works.

Store #2: I bought all of this for $65.27. Strayed a bit from my list, but I love to try at least 1 new item each week. Pumped for green smoothies with mango and dried figs.

Sprouts - $65.27
Sprouts – $65.27

Produce: organic baby spinach, fresh basil, butternut squash, lemons, bananas, zucchini, jalapeño, avocados [duh – 4 per week, every week], onion, organic green pepper, oranges, cantaloupe [$0.98 this week!], purple sweet potatoes [haven’t had these since Hawaii], frozen mangos, and frozen shelled edamame.

Other: eggs, organic soy milk [protein baby…7 g/cup], OJ, chocolate almond milk, sprouted grain bread [my favorite], diced tomatoes, PB, dried figs, dark chocolate, veggie bouillon, brown rice, oats, flax seeds, and chia seeds.

PS: The eggs are for the hubs. I am #veganforlent. And I don’t do juice, his as well.

I hope this post inspires you to try at least 1 plant-based meal this week. There are many reasons to eat more plants, but if nothing else save yourself some money and then treat yourself to a mani/pedi!

In the comments, let me know how much you spend on groceries.

~Katie J.

To Try or Not to Try: Recipe Edition

Jam and Hummus and Granola Bars! Oh, My!

Just a few of the recipes I trialed on this #homemadeisbestmade Saturday. Read: the hubs was doing homework alllll day, so I got crafty in the kitchen. I’ll share worthy recipes in the future. Pinky Promise.

Saturday's Lunch - Smokey Black Bean Burgers
Saturday’s Late Lunch – Smokey Black Bean Burgers

Trying a new recipe is both exciting and scary. I know, how dramatic! But seriously, it’s a real commitment. Maybe you replace a weekly favorite. Or buy new or exotic ingredients. Or make it for friends or family. So you want it need it to be a WINNER.

Well, you are in luck! Because I am sharing my new favorite plant-based recipes. I have tried these, devoured these, and will make these again.

Smokey Black Bean Burgers Pictured above. Delicious. A bit time and labor intensive – save for the weekend.

Zucchini Spaghetti w/ Lentil Marinara 1. quick 2. easy 3. cheap. My favorite qualities for a weeknight meal! Add red pepper flakes for a little kick. Top w/ parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast, if vegan.

Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas Very tasty, but again, a little time and labor intensive for a weeknight.

Spicy Potato Curry I had a feeling about this one – so I made a double batch. I was not wrong. The aroma for this meal was unreal (in a good way)!

Roasted Beet Hummus LOVE LOVE LOVE. So freaking gorgeous and aesthetic. Hands down, my favorite {new} recipe!

Roasted Beet Hummus
Roasted Beet Hummus for Ladies Wine Night

Give these recipes a try and let me know what you think!

And send me your favorite {plant-based} recipes, too!

Strawberry Banana Icecream
Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

With that, I am off to make some {just fruit} Ice Cream. Because I want to. And it’s Saturday night. Treat yourself!

Comment if you’d like the ice cream recipe.

~Katie J.

Leg Work: Home Edition

Do you like going to the gym on the weekends?

I used to. But these days, I prefer to hit the gym a few [week] nights/week. And then on the weekends, I’d rather be active outside. San Diego is gorgeous -> high-60’s and sunny all weekend! Talk about “perfect” weather.

So I’d rather be…

  • Hiking with the hubs
  • Walking to the store or to meet friends
  • Taking our dog on a long walk.


Hampton does North Park

What a sweetie! How could I pass up spending time with her, doing her favorite things? Walking. Smelling. Peeing on EVERYTHING. Adorbs.

Although last (last) Sunday, after spending the morning at the dog park, I felt inspired to do an at-home workout. Confession: this doesn’t happen as much as it could/should seeing that I have an arsenal of dumbbells and a smidge of training experience. (Certified Personal Trainer * lifting for 3+ years * former bodybuilding competitor). Admittedly, I doubted the potential intensity of an at-home [leg] workout. I thought I was taking the easy way out by not going to the gym. Boy, was I WRONG.

  1. Afterwards, I nearly puked
  2. Soreness set in by the next AM.

What doesn’t challenge us doesn’t change us. The soreness confirmed this workout as a success and deemed it as a worthy share.

This workout can be modified by:

  1. decreasing the weight
  2. decreasing the reps/sets
  3. increasing the rest time.

Alternatively, you can definitely increase the intensity/difficulty of this workout – if you dare…

At-home Leg Workout ~40 minutes

Round Numero Uno
15 x Squats (held two 25# DB’s)
15 x Dumbell Step Up (bodyweight)
15 x Stiff Leg Deadlifts (held two 25# DB’s)
15 x One Leg Glute Bridges (placed one 8# DB on hips)
*Repeat 3x, then take 30-60 seconds rest before starting next round.

Round Numero Dos
15 x Sissy Squats (held two 25# DB’s)
15 x Jump Sumo Squats (held one 8# DB)
15 x Lying Leg Curl w/ DB (held one 8# DB w/ feet)
15 x Donkey Kicks w/ DB (held one 8# DB w/ crook of knee)
*Repeat 3x, then take 30-60 seconds rest before starting next round.

Round Numero Tres
15 x Kneeling Squats (held one 25# DB)
24 x Walking Lunges (bodyweight)
15 x Plie Squats (held one 25# DB)
15 x Calf Raises (bodyweight)
*Repeat 3x, then celebrate – you’re done!

Your future, shorts-wearing self will thank you for doing this workout. Summer is just around the corner! Let me know in the comments if you try this workout. Happy Monday friends/family.

-Katie J.

Throw Back - last year's photos for article
Throw Back – last year’s photos for article

My Big Fat Vegan Brunch

Waking up in a house that’s nearly out of food is the WORST. Especially on a Saturday morning AND especially after a late night. Midnight is late for you all too, right?! So I grabbed my grocery list, and the hubs and I set off to replenish the fridge and pantry. While it was worth the wait, we didn’t have breakfast brunch until nearly noon – the reason for its name sake – My Big Fat Vegan Brunch.

Saturday Breakfast
Saturday Brunch – 2/27/16

What I ate:

  • Cafe au Lait made w/ soy milk
  • Mexican bolillo roll from Panchita’s Bakery half w/ avocado & tomato and half w/ Earth Balance butter
  • Vegan Ube Taro Coconut Donut from Nomad Donuts
  • Kiwi.

And yes, I ate it ALL. During the week, I eat pretty healthy, but on the weekends I like to enjoy myself. Yah, feel me?

More about what/how I eat…

Since transitioning to a more plant-based eating style and now veganism for Lent, I get a lot of questions from family, friends, and even other Dietitians about what exactly I eat. For starters, since being newish to plant-based eating (last November), I hunt for delicious and inspiring vegetarian/vegan recipes to try each week. Two of my favorite blogs are Minimalist Baker and Budget Bytes (not all plant-based). I also watch a lot of youtube videos for ideas on staple meals and food items. Here’s what’s on the menu at my house this week:

Smoky Black Bean Burgers – Just bought 2# of dried black beans – SO much cheaper and tastier than canned beans. We will have beansss for days, luckily they freeze well!

Zucchini Spaghetti w/ Lentil Marinara – I finally bought a spiralizer and can. not. wait. to make zoodles!

African Peanut Stew – I’ve made this twice and just love it – definitely doubling the recipe!

Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas – We got a butternut squash in our CSA last week, and so with all the beans we will have, this recipe perfectly fits the bill.

In addition to these recipes, we ALWAYS have Mexican on Sunday nights. About once a month, I take 2# of dried pinto beans and make Frijoles de Olla in the crock pot. Add rice, tortillas/chips, and lots of fixings and you got yourself a quick, easy (vegan) Mexican meal at home. This week, I will also make a batch of black raspberry chia seed jam and Roasted Beet Hummus.

As you can see from my breakfast, vegetarian/vegan food can be delicious and satisfying. And, hopefully this post gives you an idea of what/how we eat and inspires you to try something new!

~Katie J.


Welcome to Healthy Foot Forward!

Starting this blog – Healthy Foot Forward – has been an idea in the making for literally years. I am not kidding. I have wanted to write a blog / be a “blogger” since like 2010 – six damn years ago! But, I was afraid. Of what, I don’t know? But this year – 2016 – I am doing it, starting with this post.

Why now, you ask? Well, for the past several years, I poured a majority of my heart and soul into switching careers. Best. Decision. Of. My. Life. At 25, I went back to college full-time at the University of Hawaii – gosh the weather there sucked, HA! After graduating, I paid (yes, paid) to intern full-time for free (yes, free). That was fun. Not. Then, lastly, I studied my little heart out for a big test and earned the right to use two little letters behind my name. RD. Registered Dietitian. Okay, where was I going with this? Ah yes, why now? Well, now that I have almost survived my first year of working (again) – I am ready to retire. Working is for the birds.

Kidding. I am actually having fun working again. Or, is it because I am making money again? Hmm. Either way, my passion for healthy living is as strong as ever. Now that I have the time and guts – I want to share more of that passion with my family and friends. And should someone else besides them and my hubs read this blog – that would be okay with me too.

Alright, already – what the hell are you going to be blogging about? Healthy Living. I don’t believe there is much on the blogosphere regarding this topic yet. Kidding. Do I have to say kidding, every time I try to be funny? But, yes, I plan to blog about healthy living with a focus on food and nutrition with a dash of fitness. Duh, I did tell you earlier that I am an RD. Read: food obsessed. And a Certified Personal Trainer – training only myself (for now). On a serious note, I promised myself to take this blog slow and allow the topics to develop naturally. I will be sharing what I eat/how I eat/why I eat this way on a weekly basis.

~Katie J.