Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Am I Officially a Vegetarian??!!

I can't remember the last time I ate meat. I know it's been months (maybe six or so) since I have cooked meat at home. I think that might make me an official vegetarian.

If you would have told me when Liam was born that I would be a vegetarian, I would have laughed while I ate some really bad, processed food. Our diet a few years ago was horrible. I mean, it's not perfect now but back then, it was a lot of processed, nutrient deficient foods. Once I got pregnant with Asher, I started slowly making changes to our diet. I started adding more fruits and vegetables while cutting out a lot of the processed foods and GMOs. Now, we eat a lot of organic foods and I try to limit the amount of GMOs we consume.

Now I know that vegetarianism isn't for everyone. I'm not here to preach to anyone. I made the choice to stop eating meat when I started watching a lot of food documentaries on NetFlix (like Food, Inc. and Vegucated). It actually wasn't hard to stop eating meat at home...I just stopped buying it and cooking it. Now, going out to eat or getting takeout is a different story. Will still eats meat when we order food and so do the boys. When I first stopped cooking meat, I would eat the meat that we ordered. Well, that changed somewhere down the road and I started looking for vegetarian options and making sure that Will ordered those for me as well. I'll have to do a post soon showing the different vegetarian options I've found at local restaurants (they have all been delicious).

Here are a few of our favorite vegetarian snacks:

Beet, carrot, apple and spinach juice

Beet, carrot, apple and pineapple juice

Organic yogurt topped with strawberries, chia seeds, cacao nibs and whole wheat berry flakes

Egg scramble with red peppers, potatoes, vegan Italian sausage and Sriracha and the best organic grapes ever

Asher's absolute favourite snack: Air popped popcorn, vegan butter, nutritional yeast and pink salt

From Garmisch to the Baltic Sea: Our Road Trip from Southern to Northern Germany

Before I dive into the details of this trip, I must admit that this was truly a "road trip". We didn't stop to see the sights. We spent most of the time in the car because we had a limited amount of time and hours of driving to do.
We had two main destinations for this trip: Garmisch and Rostock/Lichtenhagen.

We headed to Garmisch for a marriage retreat through Will's unit chaplain. We'd previously done a couple's activity through the chaplain's office (a rope course which was a blast) and were told that we would be put on the list for the next retreat but for some reason, we weren't selected.

I was the only wife to finish the course!

Thanks to my friend Ja'vail for the pictures!

Well, when the opportunity came around again, I put our names on the list and this time, we were one of the families selected to attend. We'd planned to take a free bus there but decided at the last minute to just drive. Garmisch was a couple hours away from home but we were able to get a late start since we weren't able to check in until 1400. We packed the car, gave the boys Will's laptop full of movies and headed out.

I'm going to take a moment to brag on my boys right now. They did great! Our Nissan Rogue is not the biggest vehicle and we had to improvise a bit to get the laptop in a good position. Even with the tighter space back there, they didn't complain much and were in good spirits (despite Asher's face in the picture above).

As I mentioned above, we didn't stop to see the sights. We didn't want to push our luck and honestly, I really wanted to get to Garmisch. Once we got closer, the boys were able to get their first glimpses of mountains.

Our stay at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort was awesome. The resort is lovely and surrounded by mountains. I wish I would have taken more pictures but we weren't really there on vacation. We decided that we definitely want to go again before we leave Germany. It would be a different experience to be there for leisure.

Once our marriage retreat was over (we were there for two nights), we hopped back in the car and headed home before starting the next part of our journey. We got home, relaxed and did the same routine over again the next morning.

So, our trip to Rostock/Lichtenhagen was not a leisure trip either. We drove over six hours to pick up our new family member: Ms. Betty White.

She looks small but she'll be HUGE!
We have wanted a Giant Schnauzer for awhile and since we're in Germany and they're German dogs, we figured it would be really neat to get one while we were here. I prefer rescuing dogs but when it came to getting a Giant Schnauzer, I knew we would end up going to a breeder. After researching and talking to a few locals, I found a breeder that I trusted. Betty comes from an amazing line and that was really important to us when picking a breeder.

We'd originally planned to drive to northern Germany and stay the night in a hotel. Well, things fell through with our hotel reservations so we ended up driving there, going to the Baltic Sea, picking up Betty and getting right back on the highway. I must give Will lots of credit here since he did all of the driving for this trip (and the one to and from Garmisch). We spent a lot of time in the car but getting to see mountains and the Baltic Sea alone were worth it (oh, and getting a new puppy too).

Liam was in rock throwing heaven.

Although it was super chilly and windy, I loved seeing the Baltic Sea. It's crazy to realise that we've seen places that many people have not. We're definitely lucky and another (warmer) trip to the Baltic Sea would be awesome as well.

I wish I would have taken more pictures but I'm glad that I got to experience this trip in the moment. It wasn't the ideal sight-seeing trip but it was a great experience for our little family.