{Vegan Eats} Holiday Menu

Vegan Holiday Menu - Janelle Runs

Brown Rice and Cashew Loaf + Mashed Potato & Cauliflower + Gravy 

With Christmas only a week away it’s time to start planning the perfect holiday menu. Traditionally, this is a time for delicious food, eating too much and packing on the pounds. Well, I say its time to let go of some tradition and usher healthier ones in:) So to celebrate the holiday season I have a few healthy and yummy dishes for you to add to your holiday menu: Brown Rice and Cashew Loaf + Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes + Vegetarian Gravy (+ a bonus dish – mini cheesecakes). Simply keep scrolling to find recipes and links. Feel free to pin, save, and share:)

 Recipe Card

(Recipe from Silver Hills Bakery)

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

(Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows)

And for gravy I simply took this recipe and substituted in vegetable broth and vegan butter:) I would also suggest this awesome vegan cheesecake recipe as the perfect dessert option! These recipes were perfect on their own as a meal or can be adding to a larger holiday feast

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Oh Christmas Tree…

Hello Christmas

Christmas Sweaters

Yay for an excuse to buy wonderfully delightful holiday sweaters!! These two beauties are my prized Black Friday steals from JCP:)

Christmas Tree 2014

To kick off the Christmas season, Kyle and I headed over to one of the local Christmas tree farms to cut down a tree.

Kyle cutting the Tree Down

There were so many adorable trees to choose from but finally after some very cold wandering we finally the perfect tree!

Janelle - Christmas Tree 2014


Thank you, Frosty’s for another memorable tree cutting experience:) Now it’s time to decorate…


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Give Thanks. Be Happy.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

I love Thanksgiving! Family, football, food, parades, shopping…what more could you want (or need) in a day:) Of the many wonderful Thanksgiving traditions, my favorite is when we go around the table and share our feelings of thanksgiving. It is a beautiful opportunity for guards to be let down and love to flow freely. Whenever I take part in this tradition (or in any act of gratitude) something amazing happens to those expressing and experiencing gratitude. It moves and touches people deep within the soul! Did you know it is so powerful that psychologist suggest that simple expressions and thoughts of gratitude have the ability to boost individual well being and could be the answer to one of life’s greatest questions, what is the key to happiness?

Give Thanks. Be Happy. Janelle Runs

Seriously! I know it sounds a little to good to be true but I promise that being thankful will make you feel genuine happiness. Recently, I wrote a paper for my grad class about the impact of being gratitude on personal well-being. Instead of posting the paper and boring you with the details, I thought I’d share this heart warming video that spells out everything I researched and wrote about:

In sum, gratitude is associated with components essential to survival and curial to individual well-being including happiness and life satisfaction, decrease of depression symptoms, quality of life and strengthening of social bonds (Toussaint & Friedman, 2009; Froh, Bono, & Emmons, 2010; Toepfer, Cichy, and Peters, 2011). Still a skeptic? Why not give it a try. Here are a few easy ways to express gratitude:

1) Write letters of gratitude

 Step 1) Take a moment to think of someone who has profoundly impacted your life and write down your feelings of thanksgiving in a letter (card, note, email, Facebook message, etc…). Step 2) Deliver the letters!

“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”
Henry Ward Beecher

2) Write three things you are grateful each day

This is another easy exercise. All you have to do is take a few minutes each day to write down three to five things for which you are thankful. You can write it in a journal, type it on your computer, or log it on your phone. The daily practice of focusing on the what you are grateful for will have a deep impact on your overall happiness and your mood.

“Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.”
Hansa Proverb

3) Choose to be grateful

This exercise is all about turning negativity into positive thoughts. Here’s what you do. Next time you catch yourself complaining, feeling jealous, or just in an overall negative mood, stop for a moment and focus your gratitude list (#2). Focus on the things you are grateful for and let the positive feelings transform your mood.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero

They are simple, yet incredibly powerful. Why not take a few moments to give one a try, I promise you won’t regret it!

  • Froh, J. J., Bono, G., & Emmons, R. (2010). Being Grateful Is Beyond Good Manners: Gratitude And Motivation To Contribute To Society Among Early Adolescents. Motivation and Emotion, 34(2), 144-157.
  • Toepfer, S. M., Cichy, K., & Peters, P. (2011). Letters of Gratitude: Further Evidence for Author Benefits. Journal of Happiness Studies, 13(1), 187-201.
  • Toussaint, L., & Friedman, P. (2009). Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Well-Being: The Mediating Role of Affect and Beliefs. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10(6), 635-654.
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Meal Planning + Shopping List

Merry Monday, Everyone!!!

We just got home from another eventful weekend of chaperoning a volleyball tournament. Since we did not get back until late last night I am doing my meal planning today. I know it has been awhile since I posted about meal planning but I am now back in the game! This week’s plan and shopping list is going to be a little short since I am going home to Texas on Thursday! The plan is to make double batches of some yummy dishes so Kyle can just reheat dinner while I am gone.

Oh She Glows Creamy Pasta


Recipe: Indian Lentil-Cauliflower Soup {Pg. 133 Oh She Glows Cookbook}

Shopping List: Nothing, last week I was planning to do a big meal swap and was going to make this recipe but I did not have time. So now I have triple the ingredients:)


Recipe: Veggie Burgers {1 package of veggie ground beef, one package of firm tofu, once diced onion, 2 cups of quick oats, 2 packs of seasoning broth (I use George Washington Golden Brother), 1/4 cup of flour, 1/4 cup of bread crumbs, 1 TBSP of Braggs Liquid Aminos, 2 TBSP of Vegenaise (or regular mayo)}

Shopping List: Package of veggie ground beef (my fav is Trader Joe’s but I don’t think I will make it to Bellingham today) + bag of oats + burger toppings – I have everything else.


Recipe: Luxurious 7-Vegetable and “Cheese” Soup ***New Recipe for the Kay Household***

Shopping List: Bag of carrots, 2 bunches of broccoli, and a squash


 I’ll also try to make a few snacks for my flight and have some ingredients for some of our go to favorite recipes.

Snacks: Present Glo Bar {Oh She Glows Cookbook, Pg. 217}

Super Simple Recipes: Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese +  Creamy Avocado Pasta

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{Race Recap} Victoria Marathon


Hello Strangers! We just passed the four week mark since my cousin, Erin (in the blue), friend, Marie (in the black), and I finished the Victoria Marathon. I finally told myself I have to sit down and write this race recap while the pain and suffering memories are still fresh in my mind. So here it goes…

Victoria 26.2 from c0achkay on Vimeo.

Traveling to Victoria

Let’s start with our experience getting to Victoria from Abbotsford. For those of you unfamiliar with Victoria it is on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and since we live on the Lower Mainland, BC we have to take a ferry to get to Victoria. We decided to save on hotel costs and just go over on Saturday and come back on Sunday after the race. Pretty much our Saturday morning went like this: we drove an hour+ to the ferry, sat on the ferry for two hours, took the bus (#70) from Swartz Bay into Victoria, and took a stroll to our hotel. By the time we were in our hotel I believe we had been traveling for over five hours – definitely not something I would recommend for only a day in Victoria.

Abbotsford to Victoria

The Expo + Lunch at Hernande’z 

Our hotel’s location was perfect (thanks, Erin!), we were a block from the expo and a few blocks from the starting line (made for the perfect pre-race warm up). After settling into our hotel we headed to the race expo. The last few expos I have been do were so-so or just straight bad (Ironman Cabo), so my expectations for this one were pretty low. However, this one ended up being a bit nicer than the others. After picking our packet and commemorative jacket and of course, took a photo by our name on the banner. We wandered through vendors offering free samples or demonstrating their product.

Once our wondering was complete, we headed out for food. The last time Kyle and I were in Victoria we had the most amazing tacos and Kyle was determined eat those tacos again. Thankfully, a couple overhead us talking about the tacos on the ferry and gave us the address. So when it came time to eat, there was only one option, Hernande’z. And let me tell you, it was just as delicious as we remembered from four years ago. The time and anticipation did not cause any disappointment.


Our post meal walk back to the hotel included an obligatory shot in front of the Empress Hotel and a look at the lovely Victoria Harbor. Although not quite as stunning at Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor, it’s still a fun place to visit:)

Pre-Race Dinner

We had quite to low-key evening, consisting of take out and Netflix. Our hotel was conveniently  located a few steps away from an Old Spaghetti Factory, so deciding what to eat for dinner was a no-brainer. Although there was a plethora of delicious looking restaurant surrounding us in the downtown area, we opted for the save digestive choice.

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 10.23.12 PM

Race Day!

Different from any other race I’ve run, this marathon did not start until 8:45 am. Meaning we did not have to wake up early or dress in trash bags to stay warm. We hung out at the hotel and walked over to the starting line just a few minutes before race began. I have to say I really did not enjoy the race starting this late, I would much prefer to wake up at 4am and start at 6am! Marathoners did have the option of starting two hours early but that was only for the runners who were going to finish over 5.5 hours. However, for those of use aiming to finish between 4:30-5:00 that put our finishing time quite late into the day.

Victoria Marathon }| Nike Plus

The Race

Now to the good stuff (I say good loosely because my race was anything but good). Erin had been faithful with training was hoping to finish around the 4 hour mark (she has a half PR under a two hours) so we parted ways at the starting line and hoped to cross paths as we got closer to the turn around point. Marie and I had a bit more of a rocky training schedule…Marie decided to run a month before the race and my training was simply terrible. I ran almost of my long runs as planned in this post, however, I neglected to run as outlined in my training plan during the we. Plus, I got sick after both my 20 and 14 miler runs. So I went into this race with low expectations, I knew I would finish but I did not know how ugly it might get.


Nathan, the ultimate cheerleader!!!

Miles 1 – 16

The first 16 miles were good. Marie and I were running a mile and then walking a minute. We had settled into a nice pace and I was feeling confident. Kyle and Nathan both brought their bikes, so they were able to find us every few KMs. It was like having our own video and support team! We kind of felt like rock stars:) However, I must have hit the wall at mile 16 because a change in my energy level came almost instantly. I had been fueling with Shot Bloks and taking in liquid at each station but I still seemed to be completely depleted. I also started to get this sharp pain in my side (Kyle even texted a photo to my PT school brother for advice….He said to just keep going). It was also at this time that I realized just how many rolling hills were on the course. There were no giant mountains like in San Fran last year but the hills were nonstop! The combination of my lack of training, pain in my side (probably a direct result of not properly training), and the hills made the race kind of brutal. However, it was a different torture than last year’s Nike Women’s. Going into NWM I had high expectations. I had trained well, very well, so I was devastated when it did not go as plan. Whereas in Victoria, I knew doom was mostly likely coming for me:)

IMG_6090 2

Sorry for the blurry picture of Erin but it was the only one I was able to snap.

Miles 16-26.2

No way around it, these were some hard miles! This is where I started to feel the pain of my insufficient training. Marie keep me going. At one point I let her drop me but a few seconds later I realized I needed to be mentally tougher and I fought to catch up to her. After that moment, we stayed together the rest of the race. As we got closer to the finish Nathan rode ahead to the finish line (Kyle left much earlier to try to catch Erin finishing). I wish I could say those last few KMs flew by but they seemed to drag on fooooooorrrrreeeeevvvvveeeeeerrrrrr. But finally we started seeing the “800/600/400 meters to go” signs and I just had to visualize running around our local track. And then it was there, the finish line….and just like that the pain was gone and the glory of finishing began to sink it:)

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 6.57.08 PM

Yay another 26.2 in the books!!!

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 6.56.28 PM


Almost as soon as I crossed the finish line last year in San Fran I told myself I wasn’t going to do another marathon until I was finished with grad school. Well fast forward a few months and in the emotion of Jordan’s Ironman, I signed up for Victoria. Although I successfully crossed the finish line, the race was no where near what I had hope it would be when I signed up last May. Moral of the story, don’t sign up for a marathon during the emotional high of an Ironman.



Now that Victoria has come and gone, I have my eyes and heart set on one city, New York, New York! I promise the next marathon I ran will be the NYC marathon! Let’s just pray I get chosen in the lottery in the next few years:)

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