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Hello my dear Genki Friends!  Today was a race to find some Vietnamese phở as I have been craving it since we arrived in Michigan.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being on vacation but our direct location is very remote in a farming community and there is not much for cultural diversity.  It is a quintessential small town that lives back in the 1980’s and keeps to the traditional American way of living.  All is fine here but when one lives in a larger city full of opportunities and is surrounded around a melting pot of ethnicity it is hard to give up some of the things one loves.  I’m a large city gal at heart.  So today I had a craving for Asian food so strong I had to search all over for an Asian store.  Thankfully I found two stores available, one was supposed to hold more than the other so we chose the larger of the two.  You can see what we purchased down below in the photos.  Additionally we were able to get out in the cool morning breezes and walk Genki Pup for about two miles.  Then in the afternoon Genki Husband and I went out for our new vacation running route that is only about 3.67 miles.  It’s a nice run outside, especially when you wear too many layers and the sunshine comes out to play. It was a hard run but we were so thankful to be able to get out and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.  So all in all, we enjoyed our day out adventure and running in the sunshine.  So for now, enjoy my day in photos:

Sweetwater’s Donut Mill in Kalamazoo, Michigan. We have no idea if these are vegan as there is not information and it was seriously busy in the morning. Thankfully a lot of donuts are vegan due to the ingredients being cheaper than animal-derived products. If you watch what you are buying you can find vegan options usually – it was the only breakfast place we could find open when we were out. Our normal donut shop was closed for some reason so we had to make a quick adjustment and there were no other stores around. Praying it was vegan.

Sweetwater’s Donuts. No we didn’t eat all of these… The filled ones were filled with ‘frosting’ instead of custard so that vegetable shortening was used instead of butter and cream. These donuts were okay but we have no idea of the ingredients and the taste was rather bland… We wouldn’t chose to go here again but it seems to be very busy so other people must really love them. Remember: You can have donuts as long as you keep active and you don’t go overboard in one day. Moderate your eating the rest of the day and you are okay.

Starbucks to work on the blog today. Yum! Café americano yes please! We had quiet the adventure this morning. We went to two donut shops (one was closed) and then two Starbucks (one had no tables left).

The outside of Starbucks. It is surrounded by a bunch of car dealerships and that’s about it.

Pacific Rim Asian Foods store in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They had an assortment of Vietnamese (small), South Korean, Japanese & Chinese (small). It may look small on the outside but it’s bigger inside. They have refrigerated and dried items. There are not many choices but do carry enough to survive. The worker was very nice and polite. We will go here again.

Grocery Haul from the Asian store. We really didn’t have that much to purchase but I knew these items are not available in the main stream stores here. After living in Japan, I can not eat American rice – sorry, it’s not the same. Additionally bean sprouts are very expensive and usually old in the other stores so Asian stores usually have it fresh. Tip: Look for no moisture in the bean sprout bag and look that the sprouts do not have dark green leaves. This assures freshness.

I’ve only made my own Vietnamese phở a hand full of times so I’m not an expert. Normally we go to a large Korea store called Lotte in the Washington D.C. Area where we live and they sell cubes of broth that is vegan. This box was the only option at the Michigan store. It smelled delicious though – almost as if it were tea. One bag holds up to 4 liters of broth.

Making Vietnamese phở right when we got home. It smelled just like tea. We weren’t sure how to make the broth but tried following the recipe as close as possible. The original recipe on the box said to saute meat and then add spice package. We weren’t doing meat of course so just did the packet. Unfortunately it didn’t have much flavor so we added some soy sauce and also some vegan chicken-free broth. It was better after the addition but still lacked something. Anyone use this while making vegan phở?

I wanted to eat this so bad that when we returned I had to make it right away for lunch. We didn’t have many things to toss in it since we really need to get to the grocery store but this is what we had… Kale, cilantro, green onions, bean sprouts, and the noodles and spice packet.  We didn’t even have carrots! haha  Note to others- go to the store to get proper ingredients before making this as it will taste better…

Vietnamese phở- homemade version made vegan. Not traditional but it worked out. Unfortunately I’m still craving the real thing.. 😦 But at least I can look forward to having it again after our vacation.

Garmin GPS watches – yep, this is how we get our GPS satellites when it’s cold and we don’t want to stand outside. haha You can also place them in your blinds if you have them too.

A smoothie for Genki Husband after a hard sunshine filled run outside. Normally I make him a smoothie and I drink water or nothing since I have a sensitive stomach after a workout. I wish I could have a protein smoothie as it helps recover faster but unfortunately my stomach doesn’t allow it. I used 3/4 banana, 1/2 mango, 1 scoop vega protein smoothie powder, and 1 cup unsweetened almond milk. By the way, Meijer’s almond milk isn’t bad – very comparable to Silk and cheaper in their stores. I have found Meijer’s does raise their almond milk by $1 though than other stores.

Even though I have a sensitive stomach post run, I never go without food. Tip: always eat something after a run because your body needs it to recover faster and not go into starvation mode. I had 1/2 fresh mango and 1/4 a banana (Genki Husband ate other 1/2 – no waste here).

Dinner: Large romaine lettuce salad with mixed black bean salad on top. Side dish of Vietnamese phở and an apple with peanut butter. Genki Husband and I shared the apple and pb.

Leftover Lentil Soup with a side salad of romaine lettuce and black bean salad. This is what Genki Husband ate.

The sun is setting much later now and this was our view as we ate dinner at around 8P.M. (Very late tonight) At first I thought it was going to not be gorgeous but then…

then this happened! The colors didn’t come out as much tonight but it was a bright purple and pink.  The sun was bright orange.  So pretty!

Then this transformed.

The view from our window at night. How can anyone ignore this amazing art right outside the window every night?

Question of the Day:  Did you get your fitness in today?  If so, what did you enjoy today?