Vedged Out Turns One, Gets a Sweet Book Deal and More Awesomeness!

Howdy beloved readers! It’s Vedged Out’s One Year Blogiversary today and I’m taking you on a tour through the highlights and lowlights of the year:

chocolate layer cakeInsane Chocolate Layer Cake

It’s been an amazing year! Some highlights included Forks Over Knives featuring my health transformation testimonial and featuring me on their health page.


Then we’ve had two very. awesome. Virtual Vegan Potlucks.  

macadamia nut brie en crouteSpooky Macadamia Nut Brie En Croute 

um, I’m still dreaming about that one

vegan-blt-slidersMini Jackfruit and Kimchi BLT Slider Bites 

Two words. Jackfruit. Bacon.

The top viewed post on my site this year:pizzaIndividual Vegan Margherita Pizzas with Homemade Fresh Moxarella

people go crazy when homemade vegan cheese is tastier, easier, healthier and cheaper than running to your local Whole Foods for another bag of Daiya.

The least viewed post on my site this year:maple lima beansBaked Maple Dijon Baby Lima Beans

Yeah, can’t blame my readers, doesn’t look like the most appetizing dish, does it? I swear they were good!

The cookie bars that took over Pinterest by storm:cookie barHealthied Up Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

who doesn’t love an easy to put together ooey gooey dessert?

This ALL VEGAN Thanksgiving Menu shared with beloved friends and family, including Annie at An Unrefined Veganvegan thanksgiving

Then we had that low point, with that injury (currently still injured, I’ll have another healing series coming up soon).goodbye-runningGoodbye Running, I still miss you like crazy.

But when one door closes another one opens! And now I’ve also got some awesome news, I’ve signed a book contract with Vegan Heritage Press! I couldn’t be more proud to be working with such an amazing and compassionate publishing house. You’ll have to wait for all the juicy details, but it’s official. I’m an author!

vegan heritage press

The Vegan Heritage Press family all ready includes some Vegan Superstars: the amazing and talented raw vegan chef Amber Shea Crawley, prolific vegan cookbook author and goddess Robin Robertson, recipe developer extraordinaire Bryanna Clark Grogan, vegan baking fool Tamasin Noyes, national recipe competition winner Betsy DiJulio and several new faces that I can’t wait to become acquainted with!


Oh, and I’ve all ready been a recipe contributor for Sunwarrior for some time, but now I’m joining their expert ambassador team as well! Yeah, just gotta submit that Bio. They’ve truly got the best vegan vitamins and supplements on the planet. Pure love.

Thanks for all the love and support along the way. Can’t wait to see what this next year brings!

good-clean-foodAmanda, Somer (holding Amanda’s juicy baby), Carolyn and Erika

If you want to start at the very beginning, see my very first post on Vedged Out here: 20 Reasons Why Going Vegan Sucks.

Love, Somer


Reinventing Somer. Healing Series I

goodbye runningGoodbye for now, running. I miss you like crazy.

I’m here to clear up some myths, as well as find a way to ease some of my angst. If you don’t feel like getting personal, come back and visit in a couple days, I have some great food coming on the blog again on Friday.

“Every night you cry yourself to sleep. Thinking: “Why does this happen to me? Why does every moment have to be so hard?” Hard to believe.” -Maroon 5

I am not the perfect picture of health right now. In January of this year, I had an accident. I fell on black ice. I hit my head, my elbow and my lower hip/(hamstring) area. At the time, I just thought I had very (very) painful watermelon sized bruising. It hurt like hell, but I’m stubborn and didn’t go to the doctor. I just thought it would heal and that I would be fine. It wasn’t until 3 months later, while I was still in pain all the time and couldn’t make it up my stairs without cringing that I decided it was time to go in. My sports medicine doctor gave me a cortisone shot, a frown and a referral for emotional therapy (I didn’t go).

“You gotta cry without weeping, talk without speaking, Scream without raising your voice” -U2

The other solution? Physical Therapy, and lots of it. I’ve been going now for over a month and a half. My sessions consist of some sweet torture with these archaic looking Graston Therapy Technique Tools followed by soft tissue massage.

graston technique

The physical therapists work me with the various tools from my hip to my knee, trying to break down the muscle tissue fibers that have healed wrong. The treatment is supposed to realign the scar tissue and get it to heal properly. The therapy causes ripe bruises to bloom nearly each time I visit. The result is that my dent in my leg where my hamstring muscle perforated is somewhat smoother, but the truth is, I probably waited too long before seeking treatment. My scar tissue is like a crazy big lump and it isn’t really going anywhere. I can’t sit or stand comfortably for more than 20 minutes at a time. I’m always feeling some level of pain, even on my good days it’s nice and dull and present. Stairs are getting easier, but if I have to bolt up them, I’m quickly reminded to slow the heck down so I don’t hurt myself. Any repetitive motion exercises are out. Walking two blocks is a chore. Don’t even ask me about pushing a grocery cart or rolling over in bed to sleep on my left side.

Pain is Weakness

Even harder though is that I’ve felt like the injury crushed my soul just as much as it crushed my leg. I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with how something that happened in a flash could alter me so completely. Running not only provided a fitness outlet for me, it was also my stress relief, my internal therapy and something that I felt like was a huge part of my identity. Sure, I’ve taken a running break now and again, but now that I’m unable to run, I feel like I’ve lost a huge piece of myself. I’ve been in mourning. Tears come too easily most days. But I’m learning that running doesn’t define me, just like the number on the scale (a bit higher) doesn’t make me any less awesome. I’ve found strength in turning to my spiritual side. I’m also trying to re-direct my focus onto what I can do. 

“What else should I be? All apologies.” -Kurt Cobain

I’m doing pilates like exercises with stretchy bands to strengthen my legs, which have pretty much atrophied from disuse. Sometimes I get crazy and do the recumbent bike or elliptical for a few minutes. (Ow and ow). Last week I tried running on the treadmill at physical therapy with an anti-gravity harness on for 10 minutes. It was way too soon, and I’m paying for it big time.

“Aim high, but do not aim so high that you totally miss the target” -Gordon B. Hinckley

The waffle makerGoodbye Ragnar Relay and the Beautiful well earned Waffle Breakfast. This would have been our sixth year together. I think I miss you the most of all the races.

No more breakfastGoodbye fit legs. I hope we can be friends again someday.

So, I’m not exactly sure what comes next. I’ve bought a fancy prancy gym membership with a Restorative Yoga Class and a pool for me to get my pool running on with this awesome pool belt.

the hand offI’m passing the baton and teaching some running skills vicariously to someone new who asked for my help. I’m sure they’ll love it as much as I did in time.

“Well, I’ve been afraid of changing, ‘Cause I built my life around you” -Stevie Nicks

somer luckyFor now, I’m happy to spend a good portion of my day cuddling with my dog and snoozing on the couch (he’s been glued to my side ever since I got hurt). I’ll let you know how things are going. Hopefully, someday soon, I’ll be up and running again.

“Every step I take, every move I make. Every single day, every time I pray. Ill be missing you” -Sean Combs, riffing on The Police

Celebrating 100 Posts!

It’s a good day all around, this post marks my 100th post since I started this blog in September 2012. I’m feeling all kinds of love and support! Thanks to all of you. Today I got twitter follows from Forks Over Knives, Dr. McDougall and a Hospital!?! I also got featured on the brand new site, Choose Veg. Feeling happy and blessed. Here’s a look back at 99 posts, in no particular order.

Scott Jurek’s Eat & Run. Review and Giveaway

eat and run 1

I don’t do a whole lot of hero worship, but ever since I started running I’ve been completely fascinated with Scott Jurek. Back then I couldn’t understand how anyone, let alone someone who eats an entirely plant-based diet could run 100 miles or more, and run it fast…  Here are just a few of his winning feats:

Hardrock 100 victory, a brutal mountain race with close to 68,000 feet in elevation change. The local Silverton, Colorado E.R. Room is usually full to the brim following the race.

Fall down seven times, get up eight -Japanese Proverb. After nearly keeling over halfway through the race at mile 70 with vomiting, dehydration and exhaustion induced visions, Scott picked himself up to win the 135 mile Badwater UltramarathonBadwater is run in the one of the world’s hottest and most desolate places, the aptly named Death Valley.  Temperatures can reach over 130° F (54° C) even in the shade. Rumor has it you have to run on the white painted line on the side of the road just so your shoes don’t melt off during the race.

He’s also won the 153 mile Greek Spartathalon 3 times, and the Western States 100 mile, 7 years in a row (an unbroken record), he hold’s the US 24 hour record, and that’s just a short list of his accomplishments. Runner’s World lists him near the top of the greatest runners of all time.

scott jurek

I own the hardcover of Eat & Run so when the publisher offered to send me a paperback copy to review, I asked if they would send the paperback copy to one of my readers instead. They agreed! So instead of just a review today, you get a giveaway too. The book is more than just Scott running races fueled by a vegan diet, though there certainly is a lot of that, it’s also a heartfelt and personal glimpse into Scott’s failed marriage, the stark health decline and eventual death of his mother, the disapproval of his father and the loss of a great friendship. I read the book cover to cover in less than 3 days and was riveted. Perhaps one of my favorite things in the book is how Scott busts the blood type diet (a diet with no scientific evidence behind it). He’s type O, which is supposed to be a full on Carnivore according the the blood type diet peeps, but when he went vegan, his health and running performance shot through the roof, he even experienced far faster and better recovery times. Radical.

There’s also some of Scott’s favorite recipes scattered throughout, I’ve made most and haven’t been disappointed. I’m still enjoying the hemp milk and Scott’s Smoky Chipotle Refried Beans are literally the best I’ve ever had, but you’ve really got to try Scott’s Lentil Mushroom Burger, the link to the recipe is here, and it’s nothing short of fantastic.

scott & jennyScott and his partner, Jenny, cooking up Veggie Burgers

You can read the full Runner’s World article regarding Eat & Run here. It’s the reason I ended up buying the book for myself. For more Jurek awesomeness, check out Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, one of my favorite books of all time.

Here’s his most recent thoughts on the Boston Marathon tragedy:

ScottJurek “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” –Anonymous#run4boston today.

ScottJurek Looking forward to running in honor of Boston victims with all you @Garmin @OzMarathonon Sat. Also at expo & dinner:

I’m running for Boston today too.

Click on the link below to enter the GiveawaySorry, only open only to entrants in the USA. You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Sunday the  21st to enter!  I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 22nd. GO!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

scott runningScott Jurek and Arnulfo Quimare of the Tarahumara. Christopher McDougall said watching them run was like watching a couple of graceful gazelles.

Oh, and let Scott teach you how to finally beat blisters while running once and for all.

The Bear 100 – Curtis #823

Okay, I know I promised you I wouldn’t post until Monday, but my brother Curtis is running an ultramarathon today, one that is 100 miles long with an insanely difficult mountain course. It will likely take him more than 30 hours to complete, The Bear 100.

Curtis and Somer, Ragnar Relay Wastach Back  2011

I’ll have you know that although he seems superhuman, Curtis only started running 4 years ago. He started running shorter distances like a 5k, then a half marathon, then a marathon.

Curtis at the finish of the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Marathon in 2008, looking really tuckered out.

I think it’s an amazing testament to the human spirit and what we are capable of. Curtis eats an extremely healthy whole foods diet. He’s taught me a thing or two about nutrition, indeed, I had my first “chia indoctrination” while running with him a couple of years ago. This is not his first Ultra, Curtis has run the 50 mile Buffalo Run on Antelope Island, multiple times. Last year he ran like 35 miles at the Ragnar Relay Wastach Back on an Ultra team. He has run the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim in a day.

But this is his first attempt at the 100 miler. Join me in showing him a little love and support.

Avon Pass, Curtis and Dan discuss the fine art of creek jumping.

If you comment below, I’ll forward your comments to him! Best of luck Curtis! Love- your sister, Somer

p.s. if you care to track Curtis, click here. His bib number is 823

Update: He did it! He finished the race in 33 hours and 50 minutes!!! WOOHOO!!!

Comment from Curtis Post Finish: Wow! I am very thankful to Somer and the rest of you for your support. Quick update…recovery has gone much better than expected. After getting about 10 hours of sleep I was able to get up and move around with very little residual soreness.