Returned my Garmin, Thrify Bananas, Coming Clean & Being Honest About Things


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Hi Friends!  How did your Monday shape up?  I felt so busy all day!  Monday are my heaviest email traffic day.  I’m not sure why, but my inbox always overflows on Mondays with everything from blog-related emails to life’s details.  A couple hundred, or more, on Mondays.  In between fielding emails and holding down the fort while Scott’s away on another business trip, I went to the gym and then Skylar and I went to a park.

 I had thought about going to the beach, but it’s not quite warm enough.  It’s only about 72F here and at the short with the wind, not even bikini weather for me.   Plus, frankly, I didn’t want to deal with the Shady Aftermath Sandy Aftermath.

I also swung by the UPS Store to drop off my Garmin.  

Package ready to be shipped

Sad but true, I sent it backWhy?  Well you may remember that I posted about the chest strap being too big even on the tightest setting.   Everyone’s tips were great, but it kept slipping and no matter how I tried to jimmy it underneath my sports bra and position it differently, it was simply too big on me.  All the slipping caused no readings or inaccurate readings, not to mention, highly annoying having that thing move around while I was running or lifting.  I am a 34 ribcage in bras, so not ultra small or anything, just not a good fit on me.  

Garmin in package
And for $300 on Amazon (or $385 on Garmin’s website), that thing needed to fit like a glove.  And be perfect right out of the box.  And clean my house and give me a back massage, too…hah!  For that kind of money, really, it just has to be a home run and this wasn’t even first base for me so I returned it.
However, now I need to replace the Garmin with something else.  I was talking to my girls Katie, Kelly, April, Alyson, Jessica, and Erica about my dilemma.   Yes, I consulted have the ‘sphere for their input.  Everyone mentioned loving either their Polar F4 or F6.  
I am really leaning towards this Polar F6  because it’s small, lightweight, stores my data, gives me basic info about my heartrate and calories burned, and that’s that.  Oh, and it’s cute, too.  Cuteness matters.  Seriously.  

I went to Best Buy and tried on the Chest Strap that comes with another Polar Model and let me just say, night and day difference between the Garmin chest strap (big, hard plastic, cumbersome) and the Polar chest strap (lightweight, snugs down to fit me, much more “flimsy” feeling which in this situation, is a good thing.  Who wants hard plastic underneath your boobs?).  Goodbye Garmin, Hello Polar!  Yes, I am giving up GPS which is not great, but I’d rather just have something basic for a hundred bucks that fits me that I can use than try to have every single bell and whistle out there.

I still haven’t ordered it yet but if anyone has any insight about the F4 or F6 or other Polar experiences, let me know!  

After the Gym, Best Buy, and the Park, we came home for a snack

Young girl sitting at table eating a snack
Cheesing it, Hard, for the camera
Young girl pinching cheek and smiling


Snacked on some Chocolate Cheezy Popcorn


Chocolate Cheezy Popcorn
Close up of Chocolate Cheezy Popcorn

From Yesterday’s Post….
Wow, thank you to everyone who chimed in!  Tons of great comments!  First, let’s talk about the Sweet & Sour Honey Lemon Tofu.  Glad you liked the looks of it.

Stacked Sweet & Sour Honey Lemon Tofu
Close up of Sweet & Sour Honey Lemon Tofu

And then there was a big discussion about Honey.  Is it Vegan or Not?  Do you Eat it, Why or Why Not?

My general consensus from the comments is that most people eat some honey, but not tons, it’s just not something they “reach for”.  Most people have nothing against the flavor of honey, but many use agave more frequently or just use something else.  Sometimes because local/raw honey is too expensive or not readily available or they just don’t think about using honey.

Those of you who do like honey seem to prefer and source local/raw/organic honey, which is great.  This is the kind of honey that has benefit.  The other honey, that really cheap stuff, i.e. a gallon of it for 5 bucks at a warehouse store, that kind of honey has all the good stuff pasteurized right out of it.  If you’re eating it for flavor, fine.  But if you’re consuming it for micronutrients or antimicrobial properties, it’s not going to do much, if anything, for you.  

As to the question if Vegans eat honey, most of the vegans said they do eat some, here and there, and don’t have an issue with it.   There were some vegans who are opposed to it, as I knew there would be, and thank you to all for playing nicely in the sandbox.  I know vegan issues can bring up some heated discussion sometimes and I was grateful there were none of those.

As I said yesterday, for me it’s about not labeling myself into such a very tiny box that once a year or when ever the spirit moves me, I can’t have honey.  Is there a double standard about honey compared to other animal products for me and many other vegans?  Yes, possibly.

I eat honey, but I don’t eat fish, shellfish, chicken, eggs, turkey, cheese, or milk.  Those are foods that vegans or vegetarians or flexitarians can be “flexible” about sometimes.  I hate to use the word “cheat foods” because I don’t like that connotation.  No food is cheating; it’s just food.   But you know what I mean.  I don’t “cheat” with those foods.  I have no desire to consume them.

So why do I consume honey?  Not sure other than I just like it sometimes.  And in my mind, I still consider it plant-based even though it’s a by-product of an insect so I know it’s not really plant-based.  So yes, that’s my vegan double-standard but apparently many other vegans feel the same way.

Finally, there was Jeans Shopping and your Suggestions!  Most of you dread jeans shopping, every woman is picky, very rarely do we ever find that Perfect Pair of Jeans, but these were the suggestions:

GAP Jeans apparently have gotten “good again” and about 10 people suggested them.

Express Jeans – For the price, very decent jeans (as an aside, their Editor pant for $79 will stand up to any high end designer $300 pair of suit pants.  In my former life at one point, I wore a lot of suits and owned tons of suit pants, Express and Dior alike)

Levi’s – Good for tall, lean people according to about 5 of you who told me this.

Nordstrom Rack/Saks Off 5th – Can find great deals (about $100 not $200) on True Religion, Rock and Republic, Paige, etc.

Abercrombie – Heard this about 5 times, check them out

Designer Jean Faves = True Religion, Rock & Republic, Citizens, Seven, Frankie B, Paper Denim Cloth, Paige, Hudson

Read the comments if you want to talk Jeans and get some Tips from your Peers!

Moving On…
Dessert is with these very Thrifty Bananas I found.  If you missed my post on Thrift Store Shopping and Vintage/One-of-Kind Shopping, Check this one out for the cute TShirts I scored for 3 bucks!

Bunch of bananas
Side view of bunch of bananas
Apparently the bananas were getting past the point when normal shoppers (not softserve-loving food bloogers) would want them so they were value-priced: 8 bananas for $1.04.  Nice! 
Close up of Valued Price band around bananas

Guess what I made? Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Softserve

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Softserve in blender
Bowl of Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Softserve
Close up of Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Softserve

Tip: Do not be afraid to add sugar to your desserts.  It will still have far less sugar than conventionally made ice cream and in order to truly “mask the taste” of the bananas, a little sugar will go a long way.  So will the mint.  Be careful not to overdo mint extract, it’s potent stuff!

Or you could make Dairy-Free Sundaes, too!
Softserve Sunday in bowl with spoon
Close up of softserve sundae in bowl
Close up of sundae in bowl

Gym & Weights Workout Today From This Tab: Day 2 – Back/Abs

Yoga Today is Lolasana (Scale Pose)

Woman doing Lolasana yoga pose 
Picture is 8 months old

Tip of the Day:  Did you check and see who the Lucky Two Winners are for the Galaxy Granola Give Away?

Click Here to See Who Won!

1. Back to the Heart Rate Monitor Recommendations….what do you own?  What do you want to own?  And if you’re low tech and not into them, I completely understand.  I have spent most of my life that way.
For now, I am leaning toward the Polar F6 because I’d rather have light, compact, and fairly inexpensive compared to anything with GPS because the bulky factor is scaring me off.  Plus, I am thinking Polar is going to fit me better than Garmin, but your anecdotes and your experiences please!

2. Have you ever found “sale” produce?  If so, what?  And Where did you find it?
I have never found any sale produce in the grocery store before the bananas.  Most other produce when over-ripe or beat up isn’t something I’d want, even on sale. 

But when leaving the farmer’s market, if you get there right at closing time, sometimes strawberry vendors for instance will sell you tons of strawberries for next to nothing that you can freeze for making smoothies or other recipes.    

Any produce scratch-and-dent sales for you?

3. Last nice thing you witnessed?
I saw a homeless man today who was pushing a shopping cart and could hardly walk and get across the street.  I saw another man, not homeless, help the homeless guy get his cart safely across the street before the traffic signal changed.  I thought that was nice because I would not touch a homeless man’s cart, sorry, just being honest.

4. I know many vegans who “cheat”, I know some “healthy living” bloggers eat HFCS, I know many people who eat things or do things that they don’t ever blog about.  Why?  Are they afraid of being judged?  Are they afraid that someone will send them anonymous hate mailClearly, I get my fair share.   Are they afraid that admitting it to others will make other people think less of them?  Why?   I bet we all do it or have done it or thought it, at some point!

So let’s get to know each other a little better and reveal some things and admit some things and come clean and be honest together.  Here’s my 5:

1. I use Splenda.  

Large bag of Splenda
Front view of large bag of Splenda
I do use stevia as evidenced from This Post, but I haven’t given up Splenda altogether. 

2. I don’t park on the proper level of my gym’s parking garage because I hate wasting time and gas to drive 3 floors underground while getting the spins from all those turns, so I take the first spot I can which is usually on the first floor.  Such a rule breaker.

3. I wear the same outfit to the gym, nearly daily.  I wash it every day, but it’s the same thing.  People probably think I only own one outfit.  Oh well, it’s comfy.

4. When tourists ask for directions because I live in an urban area and people are always needing to know where the Zoo, Sea World, or Balboa Park is, I tell them I don’t live here and don’t know.  Sorry, I don’t want to break my “zone” and give directions.  That’s what maps are for.  I get asked at least daily for directions, and being a Direction Giver could turn into a full-time job for me.  Oh well, I’m sure they’ve found their way by now…haha!  Plus, I must have a look about me that people just want to ask me things…I get asked in stores where things are, for directions, for help with random stuff.  I just get asked upon, frequently, and usually I oblige, but not while I’m working out. 

5. I let Skylar have multiple free samples from Whole Foods, TJ’s, or where ever she can score a sample.  And she goes back multiple times.  I never buy what they are sampling, either.  

What Five Things Do you Want To Come Clean About?

Stay Tuned For Vegan Crepes…

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.