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A Birthday and A Breakfast

May 16, 2009

Last night, we celebrated my brother’s birthday:

Happy Birthday Scott!

Happy Birthday Scott!

My mom travels for her job, and couldn’t be here for the party, but my dad made it:

Me & my Papa. Mom, we missed you!

Me & my Papa. Mom, we missed you!

The menu consisted of salad (baby romaine, blueberries, walnuts, crumbled goat cheese), steamed vegetables, basil & sun dried tomato burgers, & sweet potato fries.  I made myself a Sunshine Burger and piled my plate high with steamed broccoli. I used to feel weird about making myself something different, but I don’t care anymore.  I’m feeling soooo much better without dairy in my life, and I just haven’t been wanting red meat these days.  No more apologies – I’m going to eat what makes me feel my best, even if it means having my own little Heather meal.

Dessert…VeggieGirl’s blondies served with chocolate ice-cream:

Chocolate chip walnut blondies topped with coconut.

Chocolate chip walnut blondies topped with coconut.

The blondies were a hit.  I was a bit nervous about them as I subbed avocado for the canola oil, but everyone loved them. However, I think the fam enjoyed the store bought chocolate peanut butter filled pretzel ice-cream even more. Can you blame them? 🙂 I sat down to a big bowl of vanilla Rice Dream…it made me happy.

Me with my favorite boys:

Scott, me, & CD

Scott, me, & CD

I woke up early this morning with one hungry belly.  Honestly, I haven’t really had much of an appetite the past few days, and I think it’s finally caught up with me.  No colorful oats this morning.  I went with an old standby:

Oat bran with chia seeds and crunchy peanut butter.

Oat bran blended with chia seeds and rice protein powder, topped with crunchy peanut butter.

Truth be told, I wasn’t really feeling this breakfast at all, and I’m not even sure why I made it.  I was really just wanting a plain bowl of cooked oat bran with no add-ins, no blending, etc.  Well, actually what I truly wanted was to just stand in the kitchen and eat the peanut butter straight from the jar, but that was a very dangerous idea with the  way my stomach was growling.  Should have just gone with plain oat bran and globs of peanut butter.  Oh well, maybe I’ll have that for lunch. 🙂

I have a busy day ahead.  Clients, a house showing, and hopefully some yoga this afternoon.  It’s raining again in Nashville.  So missing that Arizona sunshine!

CD’s Random Comment of the Day:

No Saturday morning cartoons today. 😦 

For Chris, Saturday morning cartoons = VeggieGirl TV.  We hope you’re having a blast in Vegas VeggieGirl!!!!

56 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2009 7:34 am

    heather, such cute family photos! and i’m glad you have no apologies for your special heather meal — you need to do what makes you feel healthy and happy.

    that chocolate pb-filled pretzel ice cream sounds amaaaazing. i had something similar once — maybe chubby hubby from B&J? — and i thought it was the best thing i had ever tasted. but the veggiegirl blondies would probably make me adjust that ranking 😛

    good luck with everything today!

  2. May 16, 2009 7:38 am

    cute family pictures!! love it 🙂 you’re so adorable.

    i totally feel you in the separate food department– i used to think it was embarrassing or rude to eat something different than everyone else, but i’m OVER IT! it’s my body, i’ll eat what i want! plus, you definitely got the better end of the stick with the sunshine burger 🙂 i’d eat those at every meal if i could.

  3. May 16, 2009 8:05 am

    Happy birthday to Scottie! Heather, I want more pics or notes of what you eat outside of the breakfast oats realm — I’m so curious! 😀 I love that you have no apologies for eating Heather-tailored meals! That is something I too have just come to grips with. Do you and CD often eat different meals?
    The blondies look AMAZING! No one could tell you used avocado?!

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  4. May 16, 2009 8:10 am

    Hooray for birthdays! You are so pretty, and I love that streak of pink hair! Good for you for just eating what makes you feel your best. I think that’s mainly what motivates me to eat how I do…if I know I’m going to feel crappy after eating something, I’d just rather not eat it. It’s made my life a lot happier, for sure.

    Aww, poor CD. I miss my “Saturday morning cartoons,” too, but I’m sure VeggieGirl is having a blast!

    I can’t wait to eat my next Mayan Spice Wild Bar. It’s so good, and I’ll be sad when it’s gone. 🙂

  5. May 16, 2009 8:10 am

    love you HEABS!

    I agree 100%. Make your meal that makes you happy. A Heather meal is a HAPPY MEAL. (minus the fries and the kid toy 😉 No need to apologize, as you are with your family, you LOVE them and being together is the point! My family is used to Polly’s plate looking a bit weird, I don’t mind a bit. I still get teased, but shoot. Builds character. 🙂

    Love you so much, oatbran sis! Mine was my old standby today… green and glorious. 🙂 Happy Saturday, and you and your 3 boys… beautiful! You shine, sweetie. XOXO

  6. May 16, 2009 8:18 am

    I’m not very good at baking, but I have to try making Veggie Girl’s blondies soon. I’ve been wanting to make them forever…

    I’m glad you are feeling good about eating what you want and don’t feel the need to apologize anymore. It’s something I’m working on, but I’m still struggling at times… 🙂

  7. May 16, 2009 8:31 am

    Your family is so gorgeous! Very photogenic 😉 VeggieGirl’s blondies look fantastic, especially with the ice cream!

    I’m the only vegetarian in my family and I used to feel weird at cookouts making my own meal but I don’t care any more. It’s what I want so why should I do anything different? Glad you’re making your situation work for you!!

    Standing in the kitchen eating PB from the jar sounds pretty good to me! Good luck with your busy day!!

  8. May 16, 2009 8:36 am

    I love the family photos! Sometimes I feel bad avoiding dairy, meat, etc at family gatherings, but then I realize people don’t mind and understand (for the most part!) that everyone has different tastes & a lifestyle. I don’t feel offended if people don’t eat the veg dish I bring etc, so I’m hoping they’re okay if I don’t eat theirs.

  9. May 16, 2009 8:37 am

    Looks like a fun celebration! Cute family photos… for a split second, I thought your dad was wearing a red Barney Butter t-shirt. My second thought was “wow, I’ve been reading too many blogs”. Just kidding, no such thing as too much blog rreading!

  10. May 16, 2009 8:47 am

    That reminds me that I need to try those blondies… I got hooked when VG sent me some, and they’re like, ALL i’ve wanted since! Happy birthday to the HEAB bro 🙂

  11. May 16, 2009 8:49 am

    Cute pictures! The birthday boy looks quite happy with his birthday hat on.

    I’ve always eaten meals that were different from what my family/friends were eating. I stopped caring after a while though. They’d probably find it more strange now if I WAS eating the same foods as them.

    Peanut butter straight out of the jar is heaven! I don’t allow myself to do this either though. I just know it wouldn’t end well.

  12. May 16, 2009 9:00 am

    It looks like you guys had a lot of fun! 😀

    That’s great to hear that you’re eating what works best for you, even if it means having to make something different from what others are having. It’s important to do what’s best for you 🙂

    That dessert looks incredible! I’m glad to hear they were a hit!

  13. May 16, 2009 9:03 am

    What a fun birthday, and those family pics are adorable!

  14. peanutbutterandjenny permalink
    May 16, 2009 9:06 am

    how fun! and what a precious family you have.

    p.s. your brother is stylin’ in that argyl sweater – thats my favorite print 🙂

  15. May 16, 2009 9:26 am

    Aww, happy birthday to your brother!!

    My family always gives me a hard time when I don’t eat what they’re making. Even if it’s food that upsets my sensitive belly! Sheesh!

  16. May 16, 2009 9:39 am

    hee, your brother’s a cutie! all the McD family has got the good-looking genes, I see! Happy birthday to your bro!
    I’m glad you’ve found out what’s best for your body and what makes you feel best 🙂

  17. Nicole permalink
    May 16, 2009 10:10 am

    Fun party!!! All the food looks delicious.

  18. May 16, 2009 10:12 am

    Ha, I do the same thing when I eat with friends/family. My meal is completely different and I always seem to be the only picky one when ordering at restaurants. Oh well, I feel and look good so I don’t care what people think.

    Those blondies look incredible and subbing avocado for canola oil? BRILLLIANT!

    I have a random question for you, from what I can tell your hair is naturally wavy, correct? Mine is a random mess of curls and straight pieces which I generally straighten daily. This takes an entire hour and I’m looking for something easier. Do you have any tips for wavy hair w/o a lot of product?

  19. May 16, 2009 10:18 am

    Happy Birthday Scott! Great photos 🙂

  20. May 16, 2009 10:25 am

    Hi really like your Blog, what are you thoughts on hatha yoga? I also found this really good guide on yoga that I think I might get, do you know any one that has got it and if it is any good? Here is the link

  21. Jen permalink
    May 16, 2009 10:26 am

    I still feel weird making myself something different for dinner. 😦 I know that it’s worth any social discomfort to eat what makes me feel good though.

    VG birthday blondies, YUM. (Even though I wouldn’t say no to chocolate PB pretzel ice cream… That sounds AMAZING too.)

    I’m sorry the breakfast didn’t work out. 😦 Usually, if I’m tempted to eat out of the PB jar, I’ll make my meal to include PB, and then add some extra PB to it. 😉 That way, I get my PB fix in a more balanced way and feel like I indulged a little because the serving was so big!

  22. May 16, 2009 10:45 am

    First off, you are just beautiful! I love your earrings. Your bro is adorable too.

    Way to go for making your own personalized happy tummy meal. I have to do this all the time as well and I know the awkward looks you get, but it’s worth not being sick in the end!

    Saw your comment about the coconut bliss flavors being all gone except the plain… good choice on skipping it for now. My review today is on the plain and while I like it, if you don’t want to shell out the extra cash for it, I would definitely wait and try a different flavor other than plain!! The rice dream sounds good… I want to try it. What flavors do you get?

    Have a fantastic weekend!!!

  23. May 16, 2009 11:26 am

    Happy Birthday Scott!

    I still can’t get over how cute those pink streaks in your hair are. Love them!

    I’m glad you made your own special Heather meal. Eat what you love and what feels best for you girl.

    I need to make VeggieGirl blondies! It’s been wayy too long since I’ve last had some. PB pretzel ice cream?!?! I. would. die.

    Do you think it’s possible to OD on oatmeal? I’ve had these days where that’s all I wanted breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I wonder what would happen =/ haha

  24. May 16, 2009 12:01 pm

    Looks like a wonderful birthday!! I think I may have to make some Veggiegirl blondies…tomorrow is my mom’s birthday, and I’m going to be all pouty if I don’t have some kind of dessert for me 🙂

  25. May 16, 2009 12:07 pm


    You totally have your daddy’s eyes! I could pick him off the street in a moment. SO special!

    Looks like your bro had a great birthday. How could he not with such an inredible sister?

    With Love,


  26. May 16, 2009 12:24 pm

    everyone looks so gorgeous!

  27. homegirlcaneat permalink
    May 16, 2009 1:06 pm

    YAY for family events! Those blondies looks amazing..espec with coconut on it! I’ve found that avocado added into anything makes it super creamy and delish!

  28. May 16, 2009 2:27 pm

    fabulous idea for the avocado sub! i stashed some in the freezer with just that idea 🙂 now what to bake…

  29. May 16, 2009 2:59 pm

    Yes! I haven’t been feeling guilty or ashamed about eating my own special thing recently either. I used to be really self-conscious, but I don’t mind now. Reading your blog helps 🙂

    I say go for the oat bran and PB for lunch. That’s my idea of a perfect meal.

    Thanks for your comment the other day about the yoga – I definitely can do the shorter podcasts at home, and Polly’s videos are great. I think I need to go to the studio for the longer classes. Unfortunately my budget doesn’t really let me do that right now =/ But I’m content with walking and yoga stretching, so it’s all good.

    Enjoy your yoga!

  30. May 16, 2009 3:32 pm

    I think it’s so important to eat what will make YOU feel YOUR best. That’s what its all about. I’ve been feeling a little self conscious about that lately but thanks for reminding me IT’S OK 🙂

  31. May 16, 2009 3:55 pm

    Wow! Heather, might I say, your brother is a hot piece of man! WOW! Happy birthday! How cute is your fam?! Too bad Moms couldn’t be there 😦
    I’m so glad you’re more comfortable with eating the way you need to for your body and mind. I do that too and I’m very comfortable with it now, which I think puts other people at ease!
    We are having the same appetite “problem”! I can’t figure out what I want in the morning lately so I’ve just been waiting to see if I think of something which I usually don’t. But I always want a Kombucha! 😉
    Have a great wknd beautiful woman!

  32. May 16, 2009 3:56 pm

    Love your earring Heather! I’m really into turquoise lately.

  33. May 16, 2009 4:21 pm

    hurray for Veggie Girl baking!!!

    that dessert looks mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm good.

    I thought about your oatbran bowl pictures on the way to coaching today. As in on the car ride. As in just me picturing melty nut butter on a car ride. How raaaaaaaandom? and delicious. GET OUT OF MY HEAD HEATHER!!! just kidding. I loves it.

    happpppppppy weekend Mama citaaaaaaaa!

  34. May 16, 2009 5:55 pm

    cute photos! looks like a good time. i am on the hunt for chia this weekend. it’s chia or bust. that ice cream+blondie photo got me excited.

  35. jacobcarrigan permalink
    May 16, 2009 6:00 pm

    Yeah, what a lovely day… if you are a duck..

    I’m looking foward to the change in weather this week, all sunny!!

    Cool, all that sounds yummy! I’m sure it was better than ocharleys!- That doesn’t take much regardless….ehh

    So did the boy on your left bring home some strawberrys from portland along with some $$ this morning?

    My 6 races in a row winning streak came to an end this morning! a little under 18..
    I’m suprised i did as well as i did though, gave blood on thursday for the second time in my life.. still got 1st in age grp.
    I normally just do the plasma donation, and drink some gatoraide, and i’m all better..
    Well they noticed my type “O” blood, and that is good evidently, and i got talked out of my red blood cells instead of plasma…I need my blood!! ;-p Legs feel heavy.. boooo
    Well, hopefully it helped somebody..

    Is scott a runner?

    Cheers, J

  36. jacobcarrigan permalink
    May 16, 2009 6:08 pm

    OH, I almost forgot to mention, i had pink oatmeal this morning with my hotchocolate and chemical stick (powerbar)..

    I got some homemade strawberry preserves from one of my dad’s church members (he is pastor)… to die for, and makes great strawberry oatmeal!! I couldn’t help but think of you when i saw those pink oats!!haha

  37. May 16, 2009 6:24 pm

    I love the picture of Scott with the hat on! Happy birthday to him! The blondies look delicious. I think its great that you consistently eat YOUR food and what makes you feel good, rather than ‘giving in’ because of some social pressure.

    I had plain oat bran with almond butter today – sometimes you just want to keep it simple!

  38. May 16, 2009 7:37 pm

    …you mean it’s a bad idea to eat a jar of nut butter for breakfast? Well crap. (I’ve been lurking for ~3 months now, but…Hi! Love the blog. Love the hair. =) )

  39. May 16, 2009 8:06 pm

    Adorable pictures 🙂 Glad you had fun and love your dinner and the dinner menu. The dessert sounds fabulous! Love your breakfast–sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much though!
    ❤ jess

  40. broccolihut permalink
    May 16, 2009 10:08 pm

    Sounds like a great celebration–love your bro’s rockin’ party hat.

  41. May 17, 2009 12:06 am

    You are so cute, sandwiched between yo fine lookin’ men.

    Tell CD that VG just texted me from the Playboy club. I’m NOT kidding.

  42. yogiclarebear permalink
    May 17, 2009 12:23 am

    hey! happy bday to your brother! your fam is adorable. i attended a wedding today, and ive been nervous for months about it, because of the food. ive got some issues and i dont “eat out.” long story short, i brought my own lunchbox and put my giant roasted veggie and chicken salad on a plate and put my own dressing on it and ate it right there and i WASN’T ashamed. it was my choice and i owned it! i got a few “funny” looks, but smiled big and crunched my lettuce. i also got a few “oh i wish i could have that instead!” comments. anyways, just relating to your “making something different” than the group. it was hard to get over with my family at first too, but now i just own it. its OK!! 🙂 🙂

    sorry to make this comment so long, but i must continue. i tried chia seeds in my oatbran last night. i, i, i, don’t even know what to say! I LOVED THEM. so THICK and just a slight taste. i put 65g oat bran and 10g chia in my tiny crock pot, 2 cups water, 1 apple, few tablespoons of dried cranberries and raisins, stevia, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg…then let it cook and topped with blobs of alm butter and almond milk and some maple granola.

    right now im dying and going to heaven over oatbran, strawberries, strawberry jam, almond butter and milk and chia seeds.

    can i go on? i wont. but thank you. thank you heather.

  43. May 17, 2009 5:42 am

    random comment back to cd….maybe his wife should take a “test” based on the way her stomach has been feeling 🙂

  44. May 17, 2009 7:51 am

    happy birthday to your bro! looks like a fun time.

    and house showing?!? exciting!

  45. May 17, 2009 9:43 am

    yeah!! happy birthday to your bro. cant go wrong with veggie girl’s blondies…definitely the way to go.

  46. May 17, 2009 10:49 am

    I love the picture of you and your pops! You are too cute. I just loves your hair.

    Happy Birthday to HEAB’s Bro!

    That is very reassuring that you feel comfortable making your own meal at gatherings. I still feel very self-conscious about making my own food, mostly because of comments that will be made (by friends…my family knows to just roll with it). I agree completely – we have to do what’s best for us, and if that’s making a separate meal, then go for it. 🙂

    Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

  47. May 17, 2009 12:26 pm

    Hey Heather!!

    Gosh, I have so much I want to say from the past week. Your final pictures from Arizona made me miss it so much. Loved that you went to BluBurger – we will definitely need to go there next time we are both in the Valley of the Sun!

    I loved how you put your purple oats in the nut butter container. I would definitely have licked the jar clean, too. Oh, and so glad you like Justin’s. It is my new favorite because it keeps me from going back and taking spoonfuls from the nut butter jar throughout the day! But yes, I do have to squeeze every last drop out of those packets!

    “No more apologies – I’m going to eat what makes me feel my best, even if it means having my own little Heather meal.” – Amen to that, sista! I still feel the discomfort, but I know now that it’s way too important to make sure I feel good after a meal than to try to please everyone.

    Gosh, I love your pink highlights so much. You are so gorgeous! The birthday sounds like a blast and the VeggieGirl-style blondies look sensational!

    Have a lovely Sunday, Heather!!

  48. May 17, 2009 1:26 pm

    I love the family photos…you look so adorable with your brother and CD!
    I am so glad you made your own meal and enjoyed it. I am doing that more and more whenI need to with no apologies. People never mind as much as I fear they will! We all need to do what works for us, right?
    Thank you for your last comment…so thoughtful as always.
    Your hair looks fabulous and you are glowing! Maybe there IS something to these magic chia seeds after all?!

  49. May 17, 2009 1:56 pm

    I use to feel weird about making me a different meal too and now its SO the norm 🙂 My bely also feels so much better! Its heaven sent! Love the celebration you put on for your bro- so sweet! What a great veggie girl treat

  50. May 17, 2009 2:36 pm

    Happy birthday to your brother!

    It’s always best to do what works for you and makes you feel optimal. I’ve stuck to my usual foods and lifestyle 100% on this trip, and I feel amazing and grateful that I have. It’s nice to develop that confidence, no?


  51. Mandy A permalink
    May 17, 2009 2:54 pm

    Such a gorgeous family! Glad everyone had a great time and enjoyed all the goodies!

  52. May 17, 2009 4:25 pm

    I totally make my own meals all the time when I have people over…I used to feel bad as well, but why should my tummy have to suffer? It is fun to make other people food that you can’t enjoy yourself anyways! Glad to hear you’re feeling better off of dairy, and the meal/birthday looks like it was a hit!

  53. lissa10279 permalink
    May 18, 2009 1:30 pm

    Hi Heather, I’m sad you didn’t make a dessert you can enjoy, too! It looks like you prepared a beautiful spread and didn’t enjoy any of it. I can understand wanting to eat what you’re comfortable with or if you’re vegetarian and no one else is, and I’ve done it myself, made something different … but my concern is that making your own meals and taking them to events or eating something different than everyone else fuels disordered eating behavior … at least to me it does.

    I dunno, I guess I’m at a place where I’m learning not to be so darn controlling about food; it makes me difficult and unpleasant to dine with and no matter where I go out to eat, I can get a dry chicken breast and salad. It’s boring, but I’ll take it vs. bringing my own meal. I have no problem being specific with waiters!!

    But if I’m at a dinner party or a wedding (like this past Sat.) I just eat a little of what’s in front of me and if I’m at someone’s house, I usually bring something to share with the crowd that is healthy and fill my plate with mostly that. I think being in these situations where I don’t have a choice establishes a healthier relationship with food. But again, that’s just me and I’ve been on both sides of the aisle.

  54. lissa10279 permalink
    May 18, 2009 1:38 pm

    PS–I loved the pics, sooo cute!!


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