How do you do Vegan at Red Robins?

Dear clients, friends and family,

I hope you had a fabulous weekend. Here’s the report for the day.

Pre-run: 1/2 a grapefruit

Breakfast: Organic granola and almond cereal with rice milk & Organic banana.

Snack: 1/2 a bagel with tofu cream cheese

Lunch at Red Robins: This was the biggest obstacle to see if I am really able to commit to this Vegan challenge for a whole month. I love a Red Robin Hamburger so I was definitely tempted but I really wanted to stick with it. So I ordered a salad with Italian dressing & a BOCA Veggie Burger. While it wasn’t as good as the normal burger, it definitely provided the same type of sensation of eating a burger and was a great substitute. It was actually a little spicy for me – my mouth was on fire for a while but I’m a little sensitive to spicy foods. I’m not sure if it was the Burger itself or something they put on it. I left Red Robin’s feeling pretty successful – especially because I didn’t even have one Red Robin fry. Now that is quite the accomplishment!

Dinner: Surprisingly I was still full at dinner time from the Veggie burger so I didn’t feel like eating anything substantial. So I ate 2 vegan chocolate/coconut cookies and that satisfied me for the rest of the night. Wasn’t the healthiest dinner but I just wasn’t hungry which is really weird for me.

Exercise: 30 minute run

Monday is the start of a new week. Plan to be successful with whatever your goal is!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Negative Comments about a Vegan Diet

Dear clients, friends & family:

In the spirit of transparency, I wanted you to all know that not everyone believes a Vegan diet is the healthiest choice. I’ve received a few emails from people who have reported that they have tried a Vegan diet and suffered issues to their skin, hair etc.

The email below from one of our clients expresses this type of concern. Fortunately, I agree with Erica. I think you have to know your body and try different things to figure out what makes you look and feel your best. That’s what I’m doing with the Vegan challenge – trying it out for 30 days and seeing how my body responds and providing tips, resources and reporting my findings to all of you. I’ve done this in the past with various nutrition approaches. I enjoy reading the material and experimenting – I think of it as part of my nutrition education. For example, the South Beach Nutrition plan is very popular. I tried it and although I lost 15 pounds in 2 weeks, I felt horrible with such a low carb approach to my nutrition. I had no energy for my intense workouts and was dragging my butt so it wasn’t the approach for me. But there are numerous other people who swear by this nutrition plan. I’m starting to believe that there isn’t a One-Size-Fits-All approach to Nutrition. A Vegan Diet may not be for you or me, but trying it out for 30 days will provide a good assessment of how your body responds to this approach. I’ve received about 50 emails from people who have told me that a Vegan diet significantly improved their health. Vegans are very passionate about their approach to nutrition and have shared lots of great tips that I will pass on to you.

It’s interesting to note that Food Inc. the documentary that started our internal challenge does not promote a Vegan Diet – just a local, organic diet as Erica mentions below.

So I will continue to record my progress with the Vegan Diet – both positives and negatives. So far, I’ve lost 2 pounds and I feel exactly the same as before which is great because I want to keep my energy high. It’s been a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. I’m definitely eating a lot more vegetables and beans which has to be a good thing. Whether I will continue after the 30 days – well the jury is still out on that one.

Here’s Erica’s comments. By the way, I love how Erica can express her opinions and concerns in such a loving and respectful way. Thanks for being such a wonderful woman Erica!

Please don’t send me anymore information about vegan diets. I don’t feel that you should be sending them to anyone unless they expressly ask for it. The way things are today, telling people about your diet is like telling people about your religion. It’s fine to believe what you believe and practice what you practice, but it’s not for everyone, and it’s best to wait until you’re asked to start preaching. As for what doctors have to say about nutrition, I encourage you to visit the website below and see what this nutritional therapist/neurofeedback specialist has to say about the matter.

I have my degree in food service & minored in nutrition, and I know very well the implications of a vegan diet. It works for some people, and it can be disastrous for others. Sending out this information as a blanket statement to all people could very well guilt people who need meat to stay healthy into a diet that depletes them of energy and necessary nutrients. As for environmental impacts, the way so many vegans & vegetarians over compensate for the lack of protein with soy & starchy grains is having a crushing effect on the economy, the environment and indigenous cultures who’ve seen their lands bulldozed for as much for soy & grains as for pastured animals. I know your heart is in the right place, and I work every single day to make conscious choices and reduce my negative impacts on the environment & enhance my health & quality of life. Unfortunately, I am at this point mildly miffed that I turn to your business for improved health, and I’m getting advice that luckily I am smart enough not to take.

I mean no disrespect, I love your gym, and I’m about to have yet a third friend join because I rave about the life changes I’ve experienced there. Thank you for everything you’ve done to make it what it is. I just can’t handle being challenged to eat a way that goes against everything my body, my naturopath, and my evolutionary history (that I share with you and every woman at the gym) tells me: Eat lots of local plants and local animals that ate the plants they were designed to eat. It’s simple enough for me, and that’s how I live.

Sincerely & with love,


Erica, thank you so much for your feedback and insight. It gives everyone something to think about. I’m sure there’s lot of people cheering you on!

In honor of sticking to the challenge, here was my food intake for the day. To clarify, I’m not suggesting you follow my meal plan for the day. Just giving you an idea of how I’m approaching this…

Breakfast: 2 organic Flax Waffles and an orange

Snack: Apple and Banana

Lunch: Veggies, Chips & Hummus, Dried Fruit

Dinner: Salad, piece of Bread, Gnocci & Tomato Sauce, Vegan cookie (A huge thank you to Derrick’s wife for this delicious treat!)

Exercise: 30 minutes of IndoRowing

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps. Snowshoeing is next Sunday January 17th. Join us if you can. Call 360.574.7292 to reserve your space. We are going to have so much fun!

What’s the first thing to put into your body every morning?

Day 5 of the Vegan Challenge

Last night, many of our clients watched Food Inc. and then had a discussion with Alison Ozgur, our registered dietitian and Derrick deLay, one of our trainers. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s quite eye-opening and definitely makes you really think about what you put into your body.

Since starting this Vegan Challenge, I’ve had many people share various tips and recipes for Vegan dishes that I will share with you over the month. I’ve had a few clients email me about something called “Toby’s Tofu Pate”, a great alternative to Egg salad. It can be found in the health food section of Fred Meyers, New Seasons, and Whole Foods and is a great quick lunch option. I think I’ll pick some up this weekend and try it out.

Here’s my Vegan Meal plan for the day:

One thing I wanted to mention is that every morning before I eat anything, I drink between 16-32 ounces of water. It always makes me feel better and feels like a good flush before I start eating anything.

Breakfast: Orange & Bagel with Tofu Cream Cheese (this was my first time trying the Tofu Cream Cheese – and I swear you can’t tell the difference)

Lunch: Bean, Rice and Veggie Burrito

Dinner: Veggie Nachos – Nacho chips, organic beans, peppers, tomatoes and Tofu shredded cheese

Exercise: 1 hour Step Cardio + 1 hour Pilates/Yoga

Have a great weekend!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

What does Dr. Dean Ornish say about a Vegan Diet?

Day 4 of the Vegan Challenge:

Derrick deLay, one of our Vegan Trainers, sent me the following information from Dr. Dean Ornish, one of the world’s leading medical doctors specializing in health, fitness, nutrition and the positive effects on cardiovascular disease. He provides some fabulous tips and two yummy recipes for Vegetarian Chili and Pancakes. Enjoy!

Here’s my meal plan for Day 4:

Breakfast: Oatmeal, Organic Banana, Strawberries

Snack: Organic Apple

Lunch: Veggies, 2 Rice Cakes, Red Tortilla chips

Snack: Tortilla chips and Soy Cheese

Dinner: Vegetarian Chili – Yummy and very filling!

I’m not hungry so that’s the most important component for me. I need my energy! The only thing I’ve got to figure out is how to get more protein in my lunches but so far, things are feeling great.

Exercise: 40 minute run

Living Life to the Fullest,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you’re local, join us for our Snowshoeing event next Sunday January 17th. Click on the link for more details.

I messed up and it’s only Day 3

Day 3 of the Vegan Challenge

Breakfast – Organic granola and almond cereal, organic banana, strawberries and organic rice milk. Yep, the exact same thing as the last 2 days! Creature of habit.

Snack – Organic Pear

Lunch – Yakisoba noodles and vegetables. This is where I messed up. I was so pleased that I didn’t have the chicken and it still tasted so delicious. I was thinking this Vegan thing was pretty easy. Then I found out Yakisoba noodles are made with eggs. Oops! Well, it was an honest mistake. I can’t believe I messed up though and it’s only Day 3! Next time, I’ll opt for the brown rice.

Dinner – Tomato soup with baked pita chips crumbled up in the soup to give it some consistency (The brand was Imagine and the soup was awesome and non-dairy based) Yummy! Then I had 2 “Enjoy Life” soft chocolate cookies which have no dairy, egg, soy or any other common allergens. They weren’t my sisters’ cookies but they weren’t bad and definitely satisfied the sweet tooth.

Exercise: 50 minute run with a Girlfriend and then a 90 minute Hot Yoga class with a few other girlfriends. Definitely got my girlfriend estrogen fix today which is actually a really important part of a healthy, balanced life!

One of our clients Kim Hash, sent me a link to a number of vegetarian recipes. This would be a great additional resource for those of you who like to be in the kitchen and need a little more variety in your diet.

Hope this is all helping. Whether you go Vegan or not, I think you’ll be able to get some ideas to help you live your best life!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Day 2 – Important tips regarding Dairy

Okay, you’re going to learn a little bit about me during this month challenge…

I’m super predictable – and when it comes to food some may think super boring! icon smile Day 2   Important tips regarding Dairy It’s interesting to note that I never met my biological dad but I’ve been told by those who knew him that every morning he would work out, then go to the same restaurant, sit in the same booth and order the same breakfast everyday for years! I’m sorta like that. Perhaps there is a predictability gene?!

So what did my Day 2 of the Vegan challenge look like? Well, read yesterday’s blog and today’s meal plan was pretty much identical! I guess if I like something, I stick with it for a while!

So instead of re-reporting exactly what I did yesterday, instead I’ll share some interesting points of information with you.

Those who have issues with eating dairy point to the information in the following link to support their non-dairy stance. It may provide some validation for you. So far I’ve been successful with avoiding dairy by using various substitutes. At the very least, go for organic dairy.

Oh yes, and of course most importantly, I moved my body for 1.5 hours today. There’s nothing like exercise to make you feel amazing!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you’re local, remember to come to our studio this Thursday night from 7:00-9:00pm for Movie Night. Food Inc is playing and it’s FREE!

pps. Call us at 503.287.0655 or 360.574.7292 if you’d like personal coaching to help with your nutrition and/or exercise plan and provide you with the accountability that most people need to stick with a plan long enough to experience fabulous results.

Here is Today’s Meal Plan

Dear clients, friends and family.

My intent for the next 30 days is to share my Meal plan and provide tips that will help you look and feel your absolute best. Feel free to follow along with the Vegan challenge or just take the tips that best appeal to you.

Day 1 of the Vegan Challenge was a success. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. Here’s the meal plan for the day.

8:00am: Organic Granola & Almond Cereal with strawberries, organic banana & Organic Rice Milk

10:30am: Organic pear

2:00pm: For lunch, I brought one of those single size vegetable trays with the veggies already cut and washed. There were carrots, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower. The hardest part of the day was not dipping my veggies in the Ranch dip but it wasn’t too bad. I ate the veggies with a Rice cake and some Tortilla chips.

5:30pm: I am so impressed with this part of my day. For those of you who know me well, you know I don’t cook. Well, the dinner I made tonight was pretty awesome. I almost wanted to take a photo and send to you all because I was so pleased with myself. I started with some Organic Red Tortilla Chips, then placed some Organic Black Beans over top. Then I melted some Tofu Shredded cheese over top – seriously, I could not tell the difference between this and regular cheese. Then I added some cut up orange peppers and organic tomatoes. Totally delicious – and quick and easy which is critical for me.

6:30pm: Soy Chocolate pudding. Oh my goodness – this was a highlight of the day. I can’t believe how yummy this chocolate pudding was. Completely satisfied any craving for something sweet!

Exercise – 1 hour Muscle and Cardio

On a side note, I did a Guest appearance on KOIN Local 6 today discussing how to stick to your health and fitness plan long enough to experience great results. There may be some tips in here to really help you as you launch into your New Years Fitness program.

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

The Vegan Challenge Begins – Here are some tips.

Dear clients, friends and family,

Today is the official start day of the Vegan challenge – a chance to flush our system and eat really clean and fresh for a whole month.

Here are some guidelines, courtesy of Derrick deLay, one of our trainers and the author of, to make vegan/vegetarian month easier for you. Please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might benefit from a diet rich in fruits, veggies and whole grains.

1. Focus on being Vegan one day at a time.
2. Plan, Prepare and Pack your food so you don’t fall back into old habits
3. Instead of looking at this month as giving up something (like cheese), look at it as an opportunity to try new foods.
4. Do your best to eat whole foods. Fake meats and cheeses and overly processed foods are OK every now and then, but the bulk of your diet should be whole foods. (Note, I didn’t follow this guideline. If I was going to have even a remote chance of succeeding at this challenge, I needed some cheese substitutes. So I purchased some Tofu cream cheese, Tofu sour cream, Tofu Shredded Cheese and some soy-based Yogurt. I made Burritos last night with the Tofu shredded cheese and seriously couldn’t tell the difference and my kids ate them up like crazy!)

Here’s a shopping list to help you.

Rolled oats
Loaf of bread (Whole-grain)
Brown rice
Whole wheat pasta

Milk - Try Soy, rice, almond, or plant-milk of choice

Black, Pinto & Garbanzo beans (canned or dried)
Dried green lentils

Berries (fresh or frozen)

Broccoli (fresh or frozen)
Spinach (fresh or frozen)
Canned tomatoes
Marinara sauce

Did you know that going vegan for this month reduces your impact on the environment as much as taking your car off the road for 1160 miles! That is the equivalent of not driving your car for the entire month!

Last but not least – remember exercise and moving your body has to part of any health and wellness program. I don’t care how healthy you eat – if you’re not moving your body, you’re not as healthy as you could be!

Every night (okay, I won’t promise every night), I will blog what I ate for the day to give you ideas. Together, we can do this! It will be interesting to see how our bodies respond.

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps. Our 10 week Fat Loss program would be a very nice compliment to this challenge. You can get more details at

Okay, here’s the plan to completely Transform your Body & Change your Whole Life!

Dear Clients, Friends and Family,

It has been my honor to provide resources, guidance and support on your quest to be your Personal Best throughout 2009 and I look forward to continuing with you on your journey throughout 2010.

I mentioned in my last blog that I was starting to ramp up my nutrition in preparation for a more aggressive nutrition plan to launch in 2010. Let me explain how this started. First, two of our trainers Derrick deLay and Ted Schatz are strict Vegans and have challenged the rest of us to a Vegan diet for one month. So I’ve been seriously considering and prepping for that. The dairy will be the hard part for me so I haven’t made the mental commitment to that yet but we’ll see… Secondly, I watched the documentary “Food Inc” this weekend and that furthered my motivation to try this lifestyle and see how my body responds. If you haven’t watched the documentary yet, I would encourage you do – maybe even this weekend – and let it be part of your 2010 nutrition and fitness plan launch (ps. You can watch it “On Demand”). If you’re local, join us on January 7th at our Vancouver studio when we will show the documentary and then lead a discussion and Q & A afterwards. Call us at 360.574.7292 to reserve your space now.

If you decide to attempt a Vegan diet (or any spectrum of vegetarianism), follow along with my blog where I will post my eating plan and various tidbits to help us along the path.

Another great resource to provide excellent tips on implementing a more vegetarian diet and fabulous recipes is Derrick’s website ‘Vibrant Vegan’. You can visit his site at

Finally, one of our instructors Karle Wagner sent me the following list and I thought it would be wonderful to share as we ring in the New Year. Here’s to the best year ever!


1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray and/or meditate.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.


11. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree…

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

32. Do the right thing! (It’s the hard thing)
33. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. God/the Universe heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come..
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank God/the Universe for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least:
40. Please Forward this to everyone you care about.

I love you all and wish you the very best new year – full of lots of love, happiness, laughter, peace and your best health ever!

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you are local and would like a little extra guidance, our trainers and nutritionist are here to help you personally. Many people often need a coach overseeing your specific plan and progress. We’re also hosting a 10 Week Fat Loss program starting mid January which will provide you extra motivation and tools to ensure you really transform your body and change your whole life! You can get more details at

It’s time for a flush of the system…

Dear clients, friends and family.

I hope you enjoyed a fabulous holiday and are ready to focus on your health and fitness. You’re not out of the woods yet – you’ve still got New Years to enjoy!

But if you’re like me, you’re ready to start a little flush of the system. Probably lots of toxins and junk in your system so time to get rid of it!

This week, I’m ramping up my water, fruit and vegetable intake. That will help a lot!

Next week, I’m starting a more aggressive nutrition challenge – I’ll tell you more about it later. Maybe you’ll want to join along with me.

So even though it’s not January 1st yet, start taking some healthy action steps today so you’ll have the momentum going by next week.

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan