Friday, February 26, 2010

Wading into the deep end of the (thought) pool

So tonight's post will have to be super-quick, and I apologize in advance for not reading and commenting on anybody tonight.  Other demands unavoidably occupied my evening.

Vegan Thursday this week became a Vegan Wednesday.  You saw my breakfast smoothie yesterday. I also ate a salad pita with spinach, broccoli, carrots, and hummus for lunch.  Snackies were grapes and blueberries.  It was delish and made my tummy happy!  Irish made dinner for us last night.  He made his famous (to me) veggie fajitas with brown rice, black beans, black eyed peas, corn, and other goodies.  To my knowledge they are vegan, but I get to relax while he makes them so I can't be positive.  That pampering makes my heart happy :)

I started taking just a B-12 pill this morning instead of my usual B-complex this morning  thanks to a little info I learned from Candid RD.  Between the B-complex and my regular multi, I was getting dangerously close to the upper limit for folate before I even popped any food in my mouth!  Vegans already have a hard time with B-12 deficiency, and I'd say I eat around 90% vegan at this point.  Too much folate can cause B-12 deficiency among other issues, which can cause a nasty anemia problem, so I figure I better set things straight!

Sleep won over exercise again this morning because the no-longer sore muscles felt so divine resting peacefully in bed.  Not a good excuse, but it sure sounded good as I rolled over and grabbed another few zzz's.  So instead of an exercise update, I have a little food for thought:
People fail because they trade what they want the most for what they want right now.
This profound thought came to me this evening in the form of a misplaced post-it note.  Obviously I needed to get this message badly!  I often get a bad case of choice-itis when I have to make really big decisions and a "right answer" isn't clear to me.  That was my sentiment when I found this note.  Now if only I could get clear on what I want the most in this situation that's causing the mental struggle.

What do you want the most?  Do you consciously keep it at the top of your priority list to avoid trading it for the right now?  Do you find this contradicts or unites with the concept of living in the moment?  Do you wish I'd ask an easier question?  What does your loved one do to help you feel loved and appreciated?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Liquid gold

So for the past couple weeks, I've been making a breakfast smoothie every morning.  I had fallen off the green monster wagon awhile back because it was a bit labor intensive.  I made all 5 work-week monsters in advance and refrigerated them.  It meant that my Sunday evenings were spent whipping these puppies up, and for some reason it took about 45 minutes.  So I wouldn't always have them ready in time.  Monday rolled around without a monster, but I'd have good intentions to make 4 that night... on and on kept the good intentions until Saturday morning and the leisure to do what I wanted for breakfast.

I've been getting better and better about getting up earlier to work out before work, prep my own homemade lunches (they're delish!), and whip up a breakfast.  It's a protein smoothie to help my burning muscles, but it also has some health thrown into it.  We had a surprise working lunch yesterday, so I kept my lunch at work.  That gave me the time to snap a few pics of my breakfast for you!

Chocolate PB Nanner Smoothie

(You read that right... the holy trinity of vegan foodie bloggers all in one luscious breakfast, and it's all MINE! Well, and now yours too.)
  • 8 oz nondairy milk (almond milk was my choice)
  • serving of the protein powder of your choice
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • large glop of nut butter (I still use plain ol' PB because it's affordable)
  • 1+ tsp cocoa powder to taste (omit if using chocolate protein powder)
  • 1 banana
  • ~6 ice cubes
  • Optional: add spinach or other healthy foods for that extra "pat on the back" for all your smart choices

[whir whir blend blend toil and trouble]


Doesn't that look delicious?!?!  Almost like chocolate milk.  It was so smooth and creamy.  Since I am not cool enough to have a Vita, I start it on "stir" to get the initial kick of the motor warmed up, then boost up to liquefy.  Irish had a sip and also gave it a thumbs up.

I am debating whether to try making it with an orange instead of a banana.  (Remember those chocolate oranges where you "whack and crack" them to get the wedges apart?)

Popeye Time

Today was a rest day from working out.  I had very achy muscles from the weekend trip we took thanks to the bed that didn't sleep like ours.  I worked out Monday, despite still feeling sore.  Tuesday I worked out "to my edge" as Averie calls it.  I stretched to the point where I used controlled breathing to make myself not hold my breath through it.  I followed that with strengthening.  I felt great afterward and loved the protein smoothie even more that morning for helping me repair my sore muscles.

By last night, I asked Irish to buy some old lady salve Icy Hot to help.  This morning I woke up smelling like old lady, picking butterscotch wrappers out of my hair from the raging early bird party at the local pancake house, and figured the best thing for today were some light stretches.  

I worked out the sore muscles this morning, stretched them past the ache to where they relaxed into the stretch and felt better.  Then I cheered for the protein smoothie again as I fantasized about the protein paratroopers dropping into the war torn muscle world in my body.  With any luck, I'll be back to it with stronger muscles tomorrow after they win the war over the burn!

How do you soothe sore muscles?  When you have to decide between extra sleep or a workout, which do you pick?  What's your fave protein smoothie mixture?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tomato Basil Soup

What's a crazy cockamamie plan?  How about deciding to make your own recipe for tomato basil soup when you've never eaten it before?  Sound crazy enough for you?  Good, 'cause that was the plan for dinner tonight! 

Before I scare you off from reading, the results were delicious.  It really was very tasty.  I did check online recipes to get a sense of what went into it (besides tomato and basil), then greatly tweaked it to be my own and to the ingredients on hand.


So without further ado, here is the recipe:

Tomato basil soup

  • 2 roma tomatoes, pureed whole
  • 7 oz coconut milk
  • plenty of vegan butter (guesstimate is 3 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp basil
  • 1 tsp dried minced onion
(Serves one)

    Puree the tomatoes, then place on medium heat.


    Throw in generous amounts of vegan butter.  Toss it all in at once, or make a few passes through with the buttah.  

    Next, throw lots of basil into the mix.  The 2 tbsp is a starting point, feel free to add or subtract to your tastes. Also add the coconut milk and optional minced onion.  The cool thing with the dried onion is that it rehydrates as it's chillin' in the mix, so you end up getting tiny little pieces like regular onion with a long shelf life.

    On medium heat, cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so nothing burns to the bottom of the pan.


    Like I said, this soup was delicious!  And I would like to point out, very proudly, that this soup has absolutely NO SALT ADDED TO IT!!!!  That is truly a rarity for a soup.  I never add salt to recipes and do not miss it one bit.  It was wonderful to finish a soup and not feel icky from the sodium.



    In other news, I am continuing to successfully navigate all kinds of social situations with a veggie attitude.  I think initially my hangup was that people would feel they had to cater to me or treat me differently than the former me.  But my eating habits are not meant to be a judgment on anybody else's eating habits.  I do it for me.  It is exciting to me, I am passionate about it, I adore the changes that I am taking to make myself and my health better, and even more so love the results.  

    I am met with varying responses and reactions.  I think I tend toward the sensitive side if I'm not careful, so I am consciously trying not to read anything into people's responses.  At the end of the day, this is the most important thing for me (and probably anybody else with alternative eating habits) to remember if and when faced with criticism: What I choose as fuel to nourish my body doesn't affect that person, and they shouldn't act like it does.  I don't judge what they eat, they have no business judging what I eat.  I mention that because of two people in particular who act like I became a loony tunes hippy dippy socialist nazi for cutting out the meat.  I stressed for about 5 minutes before coming to that conclusion, then I blew it off.  It's their hangup not mine.

    Soooooo.... after that long-winded tangent, let's get to some questions and finishing this sucker up already!

    How do you handle criticism? Do you think of the perfect response 5 minutes after the fact?  Have you ever made the crazy decision to revamp a recipe for a food you've never even had before?  Did you ever get flack for your eating choices; if so how did you handle it?

    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    Weekend recap

    So I learned a few things over this weekend.

    1) Some hotels that offer free wi-fi turn it off some time in the middle of the night, probably to minimize risk from hackers.

    2) When you reunite with old friends, you can fall into old habits.  But on the other hand, friends are the greatest gifts and truly the family that you choose for yourself.

    3) Packing a gazillion snacks to take with you on a trip really helps with eating healthy, avoiding gas station foods, and saving money.

    4) Eating healthy may very well help you handle alcoholic beverages better.

    5) It isn't high maintenance to pack all the items that help you feel your best when you take a trip.  Packing light and feeling like crap isn't a good trade off.

    6) Getting used to waking up early really helps when hanging out with early risers.

    7) Packing my yoga mat was a godsend, especially when I woke up feeling like I was a contortionist overnight.  Before long I was feeling back to my normal self again.

    8) If you've got the guts to get up and dance, who cares what it looks like!  And if you're dancing with a wine glass, you're even safer.

    9) Google, bless their heart, cannot get directions right to save their lives in certain downtown metropolises. Thank God for friends, cell phones, and text messaging.

    10) Sometimes what you really need is a weekend away from all your responsibilities where you're required to relax, have fun, and leave your worries behind.

    Bonus: 11) When eating healthy is a choice you make, you won't miss the other foods.  While others stressed over whether to go for the cheese fries, bacon cheeseburger, extra slabs of bacon and sausage or to stick with their resolutions, I happily ordered my healthy foods and loved every bite of them.  The fruits were  divine and the veggies were amazing.

    How was your weekend? Did you learn any lessons or have any revelations?

    Saturday, February 20, 2010

    Zippity Quick!

    We're out of town for the day.  Will try to post once we get back to the hotel for the night.  xoxo

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Smart choices

    It's another Vegan Thursday today.  It was a big accomplishment for me.  I had lunch out with new people and at a place that had a pre-set menu.  Everything was meat-centric, but I still was able to request veggies only.  So soup, salad, and side dishes later, I had successfully navigated yet another tough situation.

    I did NOT whip out the camera in front of these strangers, since I was sharing the table with a bunch of new faces.  It was wonderful, though.  Plus I had choices besides having to rely on pasta to get through the meal.  Like I said, this felt like a big accomplishment to me, and I felt good through the rest of the day.  I have a feeling that pasta for lunch is too draining for me to have on a workday.  Today went much better without any pasta.

    Another big accomplishment for me?  I already got my lunch packed and ready for tomorrow and it will also be vegan!  A salad wrap with hummus is in store for Friday Me with lots of sweet and savory fruit and veggie snack options to accompany it. 

    It will look a lot like this:

    But wrapped in this:


    And slathered in this:


    See why I can't wait?!  Yum!

    I'm still successfully increasing my stretches, muscles, and meditation.  I'm so happy with the smart choices that I'm making!

    What are the smartest health choices that you make/made?  What choices help you feel your best?

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    Take 2's

    So a few days ago I enjoyed guacamole and then a mole burrito, but not simultaneously.  Well, I think we allllll know where this is going.  Obviously, no self-respecting mexican food lover could enjoy a delicious guacamole, an amazing burrito, have the ingredients on hand to make both and not combine them.

    I changed up the guacamole recipe from the last time.  I forgot to add the tomato this time, but I kinda think it turned out better this way.  Fluffy avocado is so heavenly!

    Guacamole of the Gods

    • 1/2 large avocado
    • onion powder to taste (I used 3 pinches)
    • dark chile powder to taste (I used 1 generous pinch)
    • cayenne pepper powder to taste (I used 1 pinch)
    • garlic pepper to taste (I used 2 strong shakes)
    Fluff it all together with a fork until it's creamy and fluffy.

    Gorgeous!  It was sooo delicious that I kept sampling as I fixed the burritos.

    Mole burrito with guacamole

    So I made the same burrito recipe as before.  So easy: spinach tortillas, brown rice, black beans, and vegan cocoa mole sauce.  Before rolling it together and stuffing your face, add the guacamole.  Be generous with it because it's pretty darn tasty!


    We also tried what we thought was a vegan almond cheese.

    Looks good right?  I was shocked because it actually had cassein from milk in it.  We're vegetarian but I eat as vegan as I can.  Before this, though, I would have never looked at purchasing an almond cheese, so I just assumed they were all created FOR vegans.  I mean really, who would eat almond cheese if they weren't trying to eat vegetarian/vegan??  It's much pricier and doesn't melt as well.

    Ok, veering back onto the beaten path here.  So all this was to say that we tried the almond cheese in the burrito despite it's less-than-vegan status.

    Beautiful and delicious burrito.  Just 6 ingredients now, but just as quick to make.  I fell in love with this meal.  We promptly planned for the next time this week that we would fix it again.  Play it again, Sam, it's a good'un!
    Oh, and here was the ringing endorsement from Irish for the guacamole.  He doesn't like guacamole, but he really liked this one.  He said that he would eat guacamole now if I fixed it and revised his "I hate guacamole" stance to say that he doesn't like any restaurant produced guacamole.  My simplistic guac beats the award winning restuarant recipes?!  Wow, I will cherish that compliment for sure!


    I'm still trying to stretch every day and that seems to be helping me feel better.  I don't feel like the stretches toward the splits are getting any deeper, but maybe they are one teensy bit at a time.  This was day 2 of meditating.  I feel like I'm doing a little better at it this time around.  I've heard lots of the tricks for it so I'm trying to see what works.  This morning I focused myself on the word "love" and then changed to focus on my breathing when I realized my brain split into 2 sections-- the one claiming to focus on the word and the other that was worlds away.  I did much better focusing on my breath.  I breathe shallowly much of the time and it was a good reminder to consciously breathe deeply.  I'm sure that will help with the stress levels too.

    What are your best meditation and focus techniques?  What's the best cooking compliment you've received? 

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Never cook alone

    I'm a social person, so I don't do a whole lot alone. I don't drink alone, and I don't cook alone. Sometimes that means fixing a little pre-meal to eat while cooking so I don't get bored and give up.  Sometimes that means cooking with the one I love.  Last night I did both. 

    The Pre-Meal:

    Remember how I bought the hemp protein powder to try?


    I reached a level of clarity and focus on what to throw together for the test.  Funny how all of a sudden you just know.  So here was my concoction:

    Hemp protein powder shake

    • 1 pkg plain hemp protein powder
    • 8 oz almond milk
    • 1 banana
    • 1 handful of blueberries
    • 1 tsp flaxseeds
    • 1/2 a large avocado (probably equal to 1 small avocado)
    • 4 ice cubes

    Toss it all in the blender and mix it up.

    Hmm, this stuff looks pretty hippie...

    That looks a little more promising...

    Aaaand back to a little more intimidating.  But we all know the only way to check the results is to man up and taste it.  It turned out pretty tasty actually.  Irish thought it was good but asked me to please not let him know what was in it.  I'd take that as high praise.  As for me, I would have it again!

    Meditation Mediation

    After considering the post yesterday where I admitted that I tend to let stress get the best of me, I'm trying to add a few minutes of meditation to my day.  I am probably the world's worst meditator because my thoughts can derail me so quickly and I don't even realize it.  I think I live in my head quite a bit.  At any rate, I figure being the world's worst meditator and trying to do it is still much better than being the world's worst meditator who doesn't even try.

    For now, though, the WWM is going to get ready for bed and spend a few minutes with without my thoughts.

    Sunday, February 14, 2010

    Stress 'n' love

    Hi, my name is Trail, and I am a stress addict.

    I started panicking this morning about all the stuff that needs to get done.  The reality about life is that the stress never ends, the to do lists never end, our jobs never finish until we take our last breath.  You can never clean and be done forever, cook and be done forever, get healthy and be done forever...  Everything requires doing and redoing.  I think sometimes I let my brain get carried away and overwhelm me.  I think I sometimes allow the stress to overtake and squeeze out any down time to relax and recoup.  I am publicly acknowledging this in hopes that I can learn to do better. 

    This segues into my Valentine's Day.


    We shopped for jeans and struck out, we shopped for a good water filter for the shower and struck out (can you tell we are SUPER practical?!).  We'll keep looking and find what we want later.  No biggie.  We considered a dinner and movie night, but opted instead to tackle a couple items on the to do list to reduce the stress level instead.  Sometimes the best thing you can give somebody you love is a feeling of relaxation.  Who can beat that?!

    Irish is never one to go totally giftless for a holiday.  I got a gorgeous simplistic bouquet.  He knows my tastes well :) :)  I loves him! :)  (Sorry, I'll keep the mush under control now!)



    Aren't they beeeutiful?  I <3 Irish!  Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Hope it was a great one!  Lots of love to all of you; I love my bloggie friends! 

    What are your best techniques to handle stress?  What helps you slow your roll and take things as they come?

    Saturday, February 13, 2010

    VT recap

    I have a dream.

    My dream is a humble one with much less lofty goals that Mr. Martin Luther King, Jr. My dream is to have energy once again.  To de-stress.  To not fall asleep on the couch every night.  To stick to my workout plan. To get the house clean!  To eat healthy.  To relegate work to 8 hrs of my day because 1/3 of my life spent at work is more than enough!  This is my dream.

    Sometimes I do much better than others.  I found a new love this past Vegan Thursday.  Healthy, full of protein and nutrients, zingy tastes to entertain my buds, and vegan!

    Black Bean and Rice Burrito with Mole Sauce


    To make them, you take: 

    •  Spinach tortillas

    • Brown rice

    (The simplest one is minute rice.  It's fast and has negligible sodium.)

    • Black beans


    Yes, these have salt in them, more than I would like.  But sometimes ease of prep time trumps 1hr in the kitchen waiting on a single ingredient to be ready.  I would have eaten my own hand by then.

    And the crowning jewel...
    • Cocoa chile mole sauce (or another mole sauce of your choosing)


    I know it's not the best pic of the ingredients label, but there was nothing animal-ish about it.  This was the instigator to the entire meal.  I couldn't wait to try the sauce and needed a meal for the job.

    This was a fabulous party in my mouth!  If I hadn't downed the entire bowl of guac the other night, it would have been a nice addition, but this was so good I didn't even miss it.

    I also love that you can fully customize the meal amount.  Irish wasn't home Thursday night, so this was a meal for one.  I cooked up 1/2 cup rice, the full can of beans (washed and drained to reduce sodium), a little bit of mole sauce (probably a couple Tbsp worth) and heated up 2 tortillas.  Plenty to eat for me, and with leftover beans in the fridge to recreate this meal again when Irish can try it.  Plus it's a puny little 4 ingredients!

    So easy and delicious! 

    Hopefully today will hold more of the same.  Good eats and an energizing workout.  That's my goal for today.

    What's your best technique to get more energy (copious caffeine doesn't count!)?  What is one of your fave quick go-to recipes?

    Kristen's got a delish sounding oat bar giveaway!

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    Doldrums continue

    So I think I mentioned a week or two ago that I was seriously lacking in energy.  This week has continued that trend.  I have consistently reached a point each evening where I crashed on the couch.  I would blink and not reopen my eyes.  Without going into any details, times have been stressful, which I think often zaps my energy.  Or maybe I whittle away all my energy into the stress.  Either way, I think that's what has caused me to be so exhausted.  I'm committed to getting back on track this weekend so I can feel more myself.  I do have a vegan thursday post in the works for tonight with a muy delicioso dinner.

    Just wanted to reassure that I'm still here, I'm still committed to this, I'm still ok.  If you're interested in any details, you can feel free to email.  xoxo Still nothin' but love!

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    Look I fixed it!

    Not afraid of fats.

    So I know a few girls who are not afraid of fats.  Embrace it baby!  Dinner also had a hole theme (don't get dirty here!).  Thus the title

    A friend gave me an adorable mini bundt cake, and I had an avocado that was calling my name from the fridge.


    Yes folks, I am the reason that parents don't allow their small children to pick what's for dinner.  Sadly, I never outgrew it.  When Irish isn't here to share dinner with me, I have some whacked out eats.


    I have one issue with avocados.  If they aren't the perfect ripeness, I get tired of eating them partway through.  So what does a gal do?  Make guacamole!


    It's so beautiful!  And was just as tasty.  I ate it all.  I don't have an official recipe for this.  And you'd probably cringe at the techniques used.  I wouldn't pass a sanitation class on this one, that's for sure.  But it was just for me and I eat my own germs all the time.


    So here's the basic "recipe"
    • About 2/3 of large avocado
    • 1/2 a roma tomato without the innards
    • Pinches to taste of ground cayenne pepper, ground dark chile, onion powder, garlic pepper
    • 1-2 splashes of lime juice

    Tips to fix it as dirty as I did.  Use the same fork that you were using to eat the avocado raw.  Bite the inside out of the 1/2 tomato like you just shot tequila and need a chaser.  Lick fingers and fork repeatedly as you fix it.  The actual important tip is to mash the avocado at each step so it's light and fluffy by the time you're done with it.  Toss the tomato in last so you don't get them mushy from the fluffing.


    It's so gorgeous it could be a screensaver!  Except then you'd have to invest in a squeegee to wipe down all the drool.  And you'd have to peel your coworkers off your desk.
    Oh yes, and the bundt was good too.  Cream cheese icing is divine for the non-vegan and was their solution to "fixing" the hole.  I don't see the purpose for all the red food dye, but it sure does taste good!

    Now there's another chance to get a little more fat.  Averie is hosting a giveaway for some deeeeelicious coconut oil!  Mmm, can't wait!

    Sunday, February 7, 2010

    Foo la la la la!


    I feel like my blog looks so low-tech compared to some of the pretty ones out there.  I should buy my own domain name already, but I want a plan for transitioning people over to it so I don't lose readers.  Any suggestions for that? 

    I need to see if I have all the necessary documents to do our taxes yet.  A mind-numbing but necessary evil.  Actually, I really can't even consider it an evil because at the end of it, they will tell me that I get some of my mula back from that grinchy little Uncle of ours.

    I'm craving something delicious, but I haven't figured out yet what it is.  I did slurp down half a pita with tikka masala sauce and the other half with hummus.  Sometimes it's hard to decide what your taste buds want.  I think I may try some hot chocolate to see if that satisfies my ol' buds.


    Ahh, that's better!
    So I'd love to take some suggestions.  What would make my blog better? What content makes you want to come back, and what makes you feel ho hum?  Do you mind when I have lapses because of the craziness of life?

    Abs and splits are still to come as promised.

    (You can just ignore this part: JZYFYC5PYBWX )

    Saturday, February 6, 2010

    A day fit for a queen

    A day fit for a queen


    A workout fit for a warrior

    I fell asleep early last night and slept in late this morning.  Well, not straight through, but it was late by the time I finally rolled out of bed and showered.  I was a little bassackwards about my game plan.  I knew the shower would wake me up fast, in addition to the coffee my hubby had ready and waiting for me post-shower.  (That's love to me!)  But as I calculated in my head the amount of time before I had to leave, I realized there was plenty of time to work out, too.  Since it was in the 60s in our living room (who else hates vaulted ceilings?!), I figured I could remain pretty stink-free during my workout.

    I stretched for several minutes to warm up.  Since Averie gave her challenge words of encouragement, this is day 2 of me holding as close to the splits as I can.  If I remember tomorrow, I plan to get pics of my day 3 splits so we can compare as I go along to see if I really make any progress.  I also did the typical stretches for the legs, arms, and my required DFD-- my day is off kilter without a downward facing dog.

    I then did about 17 minutes of strength workouts.  Considering I try to do big bang for your buck strength moves as it is, this was an impressive amount of time.  I did several WMM2 moves because my quest for sexy abs was way less disciplined that Miss Angela's and, therefore, did not end on 1/31.  I can see myself continuing many of the moves even when my abs reach their sexiest, though, just for maintenance sake.  A strong core is so important.  I also lifted weights for my arms.  I love seeing my arms flex in the mirror as I get ready in the mornings because I've always had puny little arms.  Muscle is hot!

    I really felt the need for punishment, because I topped all of that off with 30 min of cardio.
    Confession time:
    1. I hate cardio.  
    2. I'm a wimp in the winter and don't like going out in the cold.  
    3. I don't like going on long walks or runs on my own and Irish's motivation got lost several months ago, so I have to get creative with cardio within 4 walls without a treadmill, elliptical, spin bike, or stair climber (or even stairs!). 
    4. I could REALLY use ideas on how to do cardio within those constraints! 
    So my solution was to mix some jogging in place, jumping jacks, and jump rope moves, and kickboxing (with a DVD) together for a half hour.  It worked well, but either my endurance for cardio has gone down the toilet or I had ramped the level up higher than I anticipated.  I cooled down quickly, but we'll see what the verdict is when I try to get out of bed tomorrow morning.  For today, I feel good.

    A breakfast fit for a CCV

    So after my exercise, I was very ready for a good breakfast.  Lots and lots of water and then the delish coffee were my first rewards post-workout.

    Initially I thought that I would test out my hemp protein with a frozen banana and an apple.  I double-checked the stats and decided that I wasn't brave enough to have 14g fiber from the protein powder (plus some additional from the fruit) and then head out for a girlie outing.  I don't exactly know what 14g fiber will do to my body, and that wasn't how I wanted to find it out! 

    So my challenge was to have a delicious breakfast that would satisfy my protein requirements.  I munched on some raw almonds as I perused the pantry.  Here's what I came up with.  Truly, a CCV-inspired smorgasbord:

    Cocoa-flavored coffee, my chocolate PB ants at the picnic banana hammock, cocoa roasted almonds (I'd already eaten a big handful of raw almonds as I prepared the rest), and 3 squares of Green & Black's 85% cocoa dark chocolate.  

    Very chocolatey, but also packed about as much protein as the protein shake would have, and without the anxiety-inducing amounts of fiber.  (Yes, I know that fiber is a very important part of our diets, but I know it needs to be added gradually or the side effects can be quite uncomfortable and embarrassing.)  

    I'm sure I don't have to tell you how delicious, chocolatey, and divine this breakfast tasted.  It was delightful!

    An afternoon fit for a girlie girl

    After this fantastic breakfast, it was time to get ready for my girlie outing.  Since I don't have any family that lives nearby anymore, one of my dearest friends' mom's offered to be my "adoptive" mom.  She invited me to come with her and a bunch of friends to a yummy girlie restaurant nearby.  I got all dolled up and bravely wore heels after that intense A.M. workout.  Despite my left butt cheek falling asleep on the hard chair, I had a lot of fun.  It was great to have some girlie bonding time and nab a few hugs from my faux mom.

    An early evening fit for a neat freak

    I came home and cleaned up the closet, folded some laundry, went through the mail, dusted, and organized.  I tackled a few things that were loafing in the back of the closet because I hadn't felt like dealing with them up until now.  With the bold attitude that it was "now or never," I found a home for all of it (mostly in the trash).  I love how satisfying it feels to get something cleaned!

    A dinner fit for a veggie

    Dinner included the leftovers from lunch, a big bowl of Kabocha Apple Soup, and veggies with hummus.  I decided to try a spicy version of the soup tonight.  It was a little bit of an adjustment for my brain to have the thick creamy texture of something soothing with the big bold kick of spices.  I added a savory salt-free blend, garlic pepper, dry minced onion flakes, and vindaloo masala curry.  It was actually a very good blend!

    An evening fit for a blogger

    That brings us up to now.  Blogging on the couch with my puppy in tow.  Ahhh, what a great day!  With any luck, I'll wake up tomorrow morning feeling rested and ready for more fun.  So far, this is shaping up to be a great weekend!  How about you?

    Anybody have suggestions on getting cardio indoors?  Do you try to consciously get a mix of workout elements (stretch, strength, cardio, endurance, etc)?  What was the best Saturday you've had lately?

    P.S. Katie's giving away a stash of stevia!  It's been on my wish list, but since I haven't been baking all that often, I haven't been able to justify the purchase yet.  Cross your fingers that I win!

    Sneak peek

    I thought I would have the time to post before I have to run to an event, but time ran out.  It's a breakfast with alternative means to get some protein besides a protein shake.  And a kick butt workout!  See you back here later today!

    Friday, February 5, 2010

    Vegan Thursday snackeroos

    Vegan Thursday

    So today, despite all the craziness of work, I ate a vegan lunch in honor of VT.  It was also partly because I never got the time to eat my actual lunch.  Sad I know, but hopefully these hectic couple days will pass soon.

    I was well prepared today with lots of yummy snacks!  As I mentioned early this morning, I've been lagging on energy.  I figure it was because of work, but to be safe, I also packed surplus snacks so I could munch through the day to add in extra cals too.  I do feel better tonight than last night, so I think it helped.

    I enjoyed whole grain pita with hummus, blueberries, blackberries, carrots, almonds, a clementine, and dates.  It was quite the tasty smorgasbord.

    Ok, in the interest of full disclosure, I then got stressed and frustrated late in the day and busted out cheap chocolate because it was available and comforting.  One step at a time!

    Kabocha Recap

    So sorry I don't have an exciting concoction, recipe, or food picture to share today.  Oh, but I told Kristen I would report back about the Kabocha Apple Soup with sweet potato.  I tried it both ways last night-- adding sweet potato into the soup, and drizzling some soup onto the sweet potato.  Both tasted wonderful!  I liked the extra sweetness and texture that was added to the soup, and the super creaminess of the sweet potato with the soup over it was awesome too.  It turned out to be a great healthy potato topping, and that doesn't happen every day!

    So it's another night's sleep for me now and one final day of work this week.  Wahoo!

    Thursday, February 4, 2010


    I have none.

    This week, I have been w-i-p-e-d.  I just want to know why!  Is this a wall that you hit after cutting down/out animal protein that you have to fight past?  Maybe I need to adjust the calories out/calories in ratio (not that I've ever counted calories).  Maybe it's just work.

    If anybody has ideas or suggestions, PLEASE let me know!!

    Tuesday, February 2, 2010


    So I'm completely wiped out; this has been a rough week at work so far, so I'm keeping it short and sweet.

    Lunch today brought a whole new meaning to "power lunch"-- starbucks and wheat thins.  This would be an important time to remember that vegetarian doesn't always equate healthy.  More on that a little further down.

    [Insert a mental picture of the empty Wheat Thins box standing next to a drained SB cup on a shiny desk. I was too swamped to take an actual picture, but I trust you can all visualize this power couple of caffeine and carbs for yourself.]

    For dinner tonight, I plan to undo the sugary carby goodness badness.  Leftover veggie & rice thai dish from dinner with my bestie on Sunday, leftover kabocha apple soup, and some grabby little munchies-- carrots, broccoli, blueberries, blackberries.  Delicious, quick, and hassle free!

    In case you care to know, soft squishy tofu dumplings are much more edible the second time around.

    Quick link

    A quickie helper for people who may be interested...

    I stumbled across this site and thought others might find it helpful, too.

    PETA maintains this I Can't Believe It's Vegan site for a whole range of foods that are either purposefully or accidentally vegan.  While I'm sure the list is not exhaustive, it may help for some of those head scratcher foods where it's hard to decipher if it is or is not vegan.

    Fun Factoids: 

    The Cap'n protects animals with his Peanut Butter Crunch cereal.  The Trix bunny may get malnourished by those darn kids, but we have confirmation that he was never included in the cereal.  Another vegan loving bunny flavors your almond milk with Nesquik.  (Actually important to note: Ghirardelli has several vegan hot chocolates.)  You can keep your wings and stay vegan with Red Bull.  Dum Dums are no dummies.  The Keebler elves respect their forest friends with several vegan offerings.  Their animal cookies are homages to our friends; they do NOT include any actual animals.  My awesome lunch (whole box o' Wheat Thins) was vegan.  Betty Crocker's Bac-o's are great big fake-o's.  The little old ladies with their lint-covered Brach's are taking a stance against animal cruelty.  (You know they say the biggest voting population is the older generation... right down to their lozenges!)  Manwich sauce proves you can be manly and vegan all at once.

    Important Points: 

    Ghirardelli has several vegan hot chocolates and a vegan dark chocolate bar. Smuckers has a marshmallow topping that is vegan.  Hershey's syrup is vegan so you can continue to chocolate-ize... everything.  Several brownie, biscuit, and bread mixes are vegan, so you can sub appropriately to make it fully vegan.  Jello pudding mixes are also vegan-- easy peasy to sub out dairy milk.

    Hope you enjoy all your new options!

    What's your favorite "accidentally vegan" food?  What's your super quick go-to dinner when your battery is drained?