Vaca Recap, Juicing Madness, and Happy Times!!!

I love just about everything about travelling.  I love the excitement of getting there, the thrill of wherever it is I am, and even the trip back home.  The only thing difficult about this last trip was the food.  Normally I don’t have an issue if I’m travelling alone, but considering this trip was with my 7 year old – who is not a vegan and also has severe nut allergies – our dining options were a wee bit uninspired.
Breakfasts for me were mostly fruit, and lunches and dinners typically some variation of a salad of some sort.  I missed my food at home; fresh juices, soups, grains, etc.
I will say, though, that I do love the food at Epcot.  Since the biggest draw for me is the World Showcase, it’s always fun to see the food/beverages/shopping/cultural highlights of each nation represented.  Really – who on earth would want to get the hot dogs and hamburgers from America, when you can get stir fry, falafel, empanadas, tacos, sushi, crepes, etc from all of the other nations?
R and I got home Sunday afternoon, and D went out to the grocery to pick up some essentials for me.  There were no fresh fruits in the house, and very little veggies.  I was craving anything wholesome, so he went and raided the produce section for me!  He thought after my sunny vacation, I might like tropical fresh juices, so in addition to the regular staples of apples, bananas, strawberries, bell peppers, and spinach, he also brought me a fresh pineapple, mango, and papaya!
Needless to say….Monday morning’s fresh juice was tropical indeed!
strawberry, pineapple, apple, mango, and papaya

fresh from the juicer, and so yummy
For lunch, I made a rice cooker meal of brown basmati rice, coconut milk, chickpeas, ginger, and a citrus spice blend in the kit from my Dad.  Very tasty with a slight spice to it.  It’s a favorite recipe of mine from Love, Veggies, and Yoga.  I use this as a base recipe all the time and usually throw in tons of veggies.  This time, I just followed the recipe and it was delicious.
I got a present from my husband – an upgraded juicer!  I’m so excited.  It’s super powerful and pretty.  I made an awesome juice this morning of carrots, ginger, apple, orange, and celery.  It was a bright orange and yummy.  I also have to say that I felt pretty amazing all morning too!  Later in the morning, I munched on a banana while planning my next juice.

After working out, I was craving yet another juice – but this time a spicy vegetable one.  Since I don’t want my Vitamix to feel left out, I made this juice a whole foods juice instead.  This recipe actually came with my blender and it’s a favorite of mine – The Garden Cocktail.  2 organic tomatoes, a handful of spinach, big chunks of red bell pepper, onion, and carrot.  I also put in vegan Worcestershire sauce and some habanero hot sauce.  Sometimes I add lemon or lime or avocado depending on what I have and what sounds good.

Lunch today was an addicting sweet potato and bean burrito!  I’m not exactly sure where I got the recipe (magazine or cookbook), but I’ve had it for a few years.  It’s pretty simple, and very good.
Highly Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos
2 baked sweet potatoes
1 can kidney beans, mashed (I use dark red and ‘mashed’ them in the food processor)
1/2 onion chopped
2 gloves minced garlic
1.5 tbsp chili powder (I used the Hot Chili Powder from my Dad)
1 tsp cumin
1.5 tbsp soy sauce
pinch of mustard (I used dry this time)
1 cup water
10 tortilla shells of any type (I had regular flour ones on hand from our recent Quesadilla obsessions)
Saute the onion and garlic until tender.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until heated through.
Put about 1/2 cup of filling on each tortilla, wrap up into a burrito, and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
My workouts all week while I was gone were either in our resort or hoofing it at multiple theme parks.  I am on the lookout for my next race though.  Not sure what it’ll be (a run or a tri), but I’m looking forward to working towards it!
I do have to give a mention to my friend AT who ran in the Boston Marathon yesterday!!  Woo hoo – she did amazing.  Definitely something to celebrate when she gets back to town.
Today I went for a nice run in the middle of the sunshine, and it felt great (if not hot!).  The kids stayed home (they’re on spring break) and cleaned the house.  R asked before I left if I’d take her running when I got back (and was cooled off).  I said yes, and when I got home, this is what I saw!  Not sure where she got the 80’s headband thing from though. Can’t say no to that 🙂
Life the past week has been very nice.  R and I had a great time on our trip.  To recap a bit since my last post….
Friday we went to Epcot.  While there are some fun things for kids (and it’s all geared more towards being educational), I think Epcot is more for adults.  That became apparent pretty early after we entered the World Showcase area.  R was getting bored, and I could tell.  Enter Kim Possible!  The park has this cool interactive crime solving “game” that the kids do in several countries.  They’re issued special cell phones, and are sent on missions.  Each mission takes about a half hour, and lead the “spies” through a series of clues to defeat each bad guy.  Trust me, my description is not doing it justice.  We’d get a clue to find a case with a map of Mexico in Mexico, get there, push a button on the cell phone, and then something cool would happen – like a talking guitar coming out of the wall to give us instructions to the next clue.  R was getting SO into it, and it was wonderful and fun, and made Epcot a place as fun for a kid as it is an adult.  We had to hide from henchmen and monkey ninjas, uncover clues in hidden places, and ultimately save the world from things like “The Procrastinator Ray” in France, the missile launch in Mexico, the mind control pretzels in Germany….you get the idea.
hiding from the monkey ninjas while getting instructions on the next clue
Epcot is having their annual flower and garden festival, and it’s pretty amazing.  All the Disney characters come to life in plant form!  We took a ton of pictures, but here is just a sample.
Each country had a full blown garden that was indicative of that culture.  That was really wonderful.  I liked the one in America since it wasn’t just flowers, but really focused on the growing of food.  R wanted me to take a picture of her pointing at some growing bell peppers since we have some planted at home.  I also really liked one particular sign that was on display as well!

Saturday was R’s choice, and she picked going back to Seaworld.  Really, the only reason was to make us go on the Journey to Atlantis 5 more times.  And to feed the sting rays again.  After that she declared herself “ready to go” and we hit the road to come home.
We stopped for the night in Florence, SC.  We could have gone farther, but there were some freakishly bad storms in NC and VA right in our path.  It’s a good thing we stopped too.  Not an hour from where we were, parts of NC were just destroyed.  We drove through Benson, NC on the way home, and we could see devastation everywhere.  At home in VA there were a few tornadoes as well, though D and the kids were safe and just dealing with high winds and flickering power.  We were lucky. 
Sunday evening was a lazy day.  Monday I took the kids to play mini golf.  D was going to take A and M out of town over the weekend, but with the weather and some work he had to finish, they didn’t get to.  I didn’t want the older kids to be disappointed in not getting to do something fun while R and I were away, so golfing we went! 

Today has been spent mostly cleaning.  The kids are having friends over to do backyard movie night, and I’m making Indian food!
While our little vacation was absolutely wonderful….it’s really nice to be home.

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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