Tag Archives: coconut milk

Golf, School, and a Hurricane (and not the yummy NOLA drinks either!)

FOOD

Not as many pictures as normal, but there are a few!  I was out of town for work to support a project, so didn’t always get my green smoothies – but I did typically have a breakfast salad from the Whole Foods bar on my way into work in the mornings!

Green smoothie (of course!)  This was actually a lunchtime one.

Green smoothie (of course!) This was actually a lunchtime one.

my dinner with E on Saturday night

my dinner with E on Saturday night

my morning juice when traveling

my morning juice when traveling

breakfast BAS

breakfast BAS

and another

and another

white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant

white bean vegan chili from my hotel restaurant

Tofu green curry.  Not the best I've ever had...

Tofu green curry. Not the best I’ve ever had…

yummy java from Shenandoah Joe's!

yummy java from Shenandoah Joe’s!

a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms

a toasty tofurky sammich with a side of grilled broccoli and mushrooms

last night's dinner!  RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!).  Didn't take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all...

last night’s dinner! RM made an amazing vegan chili (and had vegan sour cream too!). Didn’t take a pic of the mushroom appetizer because I ate them all…

roasted garlic!  Just because it's awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)

roasted garlic! Just because it’s awesome in a lot of things (and this is destined for a winter squash alfredo)

One quick recipe for a simple mid-exam meal!  When I’m really low on free time, I have to admit that I get even more grateful for having pretty much every kitchen appliance out there.  This one was a simple rice cooker dish.  Throw it all in and then eat when it’s done!

  • 1 cup rice (doesn’t matter the type – I wanted brown, but am apparently out and used Arborio instead)
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger root
  • 2 tbsp. red Thai curry powder (here’s the one I use)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3-4 cups whatever frozen veg you have (today, I used peas and green beans)
  • 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
it's got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome

it’s got kick from the Thai spice, and is creamy and filling and awesome

FITNESS

I went for a few runs, a bike ride, an online yoga class in my hotel room, and golf!

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Yes – it was the once a year charity golf event!  Both D and I want to actually play regularly, but I need to graduate first.  There’s so little free time as it is, so starting something new just isn’t in the cards for me.  Still – we had a blast (playing with our usual couple!) and I was literally sore for days!

at least we can DRESS like golfers!

at least we can DRESS like golfers!

LIFE

Big surprise – it’s been a wild week and a half!

First off, it’s Term 4 (of 6) exam time from Oct 7-22, so if possible, I’m even more head down and buried in my studies.  This also means I only have 2 terms left!!  WOO.  I have 5 courses per term, and each course typically has a 5 hr. exam.  There was an exception with one being a bit shorter.

Last Friday was golf, so that was an all day event.  Saturday morning I hit the road for work.  I got to see JN twice and have dinner with EA the night I arrived!  They’re both classmates.

me an EA!

me an EA!

Work took up all day every day until I went home.

Oh – and there was that pesky hurricane.  D’s car got water in the engine and my entire neighborhood was flooded.  D and the kids handled it all very well while I was dry up in the mountains.

that's my driveway and front yard!

that’s my driveway and front yard!

dude kayaking through the street

dude kayaking through the street

view from my front yard

view from my front yard

blackmail photo for later.  The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.

blackmail photo for later. The storm was so crazy on Saturday night and R was a bit freaked out by the trees blowing outside her window, that she crawled in with D on my side of the bed.

Friday night (last night) was working on a group submission for one final (which also incorporated a significant amount of French wine, puppies, and a fire pit).

Today I took 10 hours worth of exams.  I’m surprisingly NOT as brain dead as I thought I would – though I am going to head to bed soon!

Tomorrow I’m taking what I think may be my toughest exam.  I doubt I’ll sit for more than one, so I will take my remaining final Monday night.  It gets me done 5 days early (which is nice so I can start to prep for next term), but mainly my goal is to not have any exams hanging over my head come my birthday on Wednesday,

Other than that – typical pics of cats, Kuma, the Morning Pictures, and any other random pics snapped!

Ginny jumped in my briefcase

Ginny jumped in my briefcase

and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy.  Shocker.

and then decided that sleeping on my study materials was more comfy. Shocker.

I took Kuma shopping!  We needed cat and dog food.  And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section...

I took Kuma shopping! We needed cat and dog food. And of course like any shopping trip with a toddler, we ended up in the toy section…

Spooky Puppy Toy!  It lights up in the ball when thrown.

Spooky Puppy Toy! It lights up in the ball when thrown.

spooky bone.  New kong.  Spoiled pups.

spooky bone. New kong. Spoiled pups.

that tongue...

that tongue…

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Gin knocking over the basket of laundry

Gin knocking over the basket of laundry

the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday

the many shots of Kuma napping on or by me when studying yesterday

no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.

no clue what was happening here, other than D was cleaning the garage once the water receded.

hanging in a box of stuff I'm sending to my niece

hanging in a box of stuff I’m sending to my niece

Morning Pictures

with big bro!  D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her :)

with big bro! D and I had to be to the golf course, so M took her 🙂

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Kuma tagging along

Kuma tagging along

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Random shots

picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!

picked up new shoes at the Converse store at the outlet mall!

silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away

silly good morning pic sent to D while I was away

me, JG and RM last night

me, JG and RM last night

 

 

Veganism, Activism, Food, and Having a Famous Daughter

FOOD

I believe I warned you all in my post yesterday.  I have food pics.  Lot’s of food pics.  Mainly because I’ve had lots of great food!

I admit that the food gluttony didn’t start until later in the day yesterday than planned.  After my run, I grabbed a banana at the hotel, and had intentions of grabbing a light lunch in the University of Texas – Austin area (which is where I’m staying).  Long story, but that didn’t happen.

BUT…that’s not to say I starved all day.  In fact….this happened…

I hit up Whole Foods to grab a bite.  Sadly, the pho was flavorless (no pic), but this...this was brilliant.

I hit up Whole Foods to grab a bite. Sadly, the pho was flavorless (no pic), but this…this was brilliant.

there were several food trucks at the Vida Vegan Con Bazaar.  I didn't get anything, but I was tempted by the vegan corn dog!

there were several food trucks at the Vida Vegan Con Bazaar. I didn’t get anything, but I was tempted by the vegan corn dog!

Arlo's - which I also didn't partake of, but heard was awesome.

Arlo’s – which I also didn’t partake of, but heard was awesome.

yet another food truck that I didn't get anything from....but it sounded great.

yet another food truck that I didn’t get anything from….but it sounded great.

I DID, however, eat here!  The Vegan Nom is a very vegan-famous taco place here in Austin, and I just had to have one.  This is the Jalisco.  I could eat it every day!

I DID, however, eat here! The Vegan Nom is a very vegan-famous taco place here in Austin, and I just had to have one. This is the Jalisco. I could eat it every day!

And then there was today!  Both breakfast and lunch were buffets as the conference – but make no mistake.  I hear “buffet”, and I picture Golden Corral or some cafeteria type place.  These buffets were ridiculous.  And I mean that in the best possible way.

this was my plate - though I wish I had snapped a shot of the spread.  Breakfast taco with chorizo, tofu, black beans, and yummy toppings.  And potatoes and a slice of toast with Earth Balance coconut spread and a slice of vegan cheese.

this was my plate – though I wish I had snapped a shot of the spread. Breakfast taco with chorizo, tofu, black beans, and yummy toppings. And potatoes and a slice of toast with Earth Balance coconut spread and a slice of vegan cheese.

lunch was this crazy deconstructed bowl line - can't even describe all the ingredients, but mine had kale, spinach, brown rice, quinoa, kale chips, roasted chickpeas, roasted cauliflowers, and a creamy ranch sauce.  my most epic BAS in a long time. I also double fisted the desserts.  Coconut panna cotta with toasted quinoa and spicy pineapple, and a blood orange tapioca with crispy ginger.  Freaking ridiculous.

lunch was this crazy deconstructed bowl line – can’t even describe all the ingredients, but mine had kale, spinach, brown rice, quinoa, kale chips, roasted chickpeas, roasted cauliflowers, coconut bacon, and a creamy ranch sauce. my most epic BAS in a long time. I also double fisted the desserts. Coconut panna cotta with toasted quinoa and spicy pineapple, and a blood orange tapioca with crispy ginger. Freaking ridiculous.

I’m going to dedicate a separate post to dinner tonight since I’m going to a supper club hosted by Chef Chad Sarno and his brother.  Should be pretty freaking amazing.  Or freaking ridiculous, since that appears to be the word of the day.

FITNESS

After my run yesterday, I showered and cleaned up, and it was still too early for lunch.  So…I decided to go for a walk around the University and kill time.  Then I decided I wanted to walk to Whole Foods.

In the end, I walked 8 miles AFTER my morning run.  Yeah, no guilt in that last taco I ate 🙂

random sighting on my walk.

random sighting on my walk.

This morning when I woke up my hips and calf muscles were tight – I’m assuming from the hills!  I opted for a half hour of yoga in my hotel room before getting ready for the day.

LIFE

I learned that Whole Foods originated right here in Austin, TX, so I just HAD to go see the mother ship!  She was beautiful.

seriously, there were multiple restaurants and bar areas INSIDE.  I want one...

seriously, there were multiple restaurants and bar areas INSIDE. I want one…

Then it was off to the Marchesa Hall & Theater for the Vegan Bazaar.  It was open to the public, which was really awesome.  There were the food tucks, of course, but also vendors galore as well as tables for various animal activist groups.  It was awesome (aka, ridiculous).  I personally picked up a t-shirt from the Compassion Co, a tank from Herbivore Clothing, a mason jar smoothie thing from Meaningful Paws, some stickers and buttons (I LOVE buttons), and this gorgeous bag for my daughter A from Cykochik.

one of the vendor tables!

one of the vendor tables!

my new t's!

my new t’s and smoothie/juice jar!

bag for A!  It's called Love Bunnies.

bag for A! It’s called Love Bunnies.

There were also many great speakers and demos, including a great one from Fran Costigan that I really enjoyed.

As for today – today was the first full official day, and it was amazing (or ridiculous!).  Both yesterday and today, I got to connect with new and familiar faces alike.  I’m planning to do a recap post with links to all these great people, so I encourage you to check them out when I do.

the selfie I sent to D since I can't see him today.  Clearly excited, right?!

the selfie I sent to D since I can’t see him today. Clearly excited, right?!

the conference Swag Bag of Wonder!  Conferences where you get tons of free food and fun stuff is excellent.

the conference Swag Bag of Wonder! Conferences where you get tons of free food and fun stuff is excellent.

Breakfast was with Amey from Vegan Eats & Treats, and her wonderful mom!  Her mom and I had a long and delightful conversation about healthcare.  She’s been in women’s health her whole career, and is heavily involved in the Santa Cruz community.  She shared some amazing programs they have launched, and it was just an amazing time.

I had a similar conversation with Jessica from Sprouts & Chocolate.  Totally delightful.

These conversations were revolutionary to me.  In vegan circles there is certainly a LOT of conversations about health.  Typically those I’ve heard or been involved with are related to personal health.  My personal passion (other than veganism of course!) is in global health – and I loved finding and talking to so many people who were interested or engaged in the state of healthcare affairs in their communities – who are interested in making a difference on the policy side as much as within their own lives.

I took a break and sat outside to type out some of my session notes!

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In order to not write a total novel, I will recap the sessions in future posts after I’ve had a chance to distill some of the messages and what they mean to me – and not just ramble on and on.

So summarize this post, it’s been another remarkable, enlightening, and inspiring day at Vida Vegan Con Austin!

And of course on the home front…pictures!

All weekend long, I’ve had people come up to me and tell me how much they love the morning pictures – how it’s the first thing they see in the morning.  Amey told her mom how much R smiles now that she has braces and how adorable they are.  How the love they have just shines through each picture.  I told R today that she’s famous, and that everyone looks forward to her and her dad’s pics every day.  Then I told D that I needed a morning pic, even though it was a weekend.  I didn’t want to fend off a mob of people looking for one!

So, here’s today’s morningpic!  Right after R woke up.

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And a selfie of D in the pool!

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And my first harvest!  A radish – that grew this big from a seed 6 weeks ago!  Caterpillars have decimated the leaves, so D pulled one.  Said it was spicy and awesome!  Can’t wait to get home and eat these bad boys.

V__6D1C

 

 

 

Candles & Cats Don’t Mix

FOOD

I start every morning with a cup of black coffee. And despite many people's claims that to truly get healthy one must kick the habit…not going to happen. One cup of coffee isn't going to suck my body into acidic hell. So it stays. And that will make me and everyone around me (especially in the morning!) very happy!

That said….

Breakfast yesterday was a green smoothie, lunch was a quick spicy tofu soup, I had a post-run snack of a baked potato with refried pinto beans and hot sauce, and dinner was a soup and salad.

my standard recipe of onion, garlic, tomatoes, and sriracha. This version was also cabbage and asparagus.

Breakfast today was a green juice (used up the last of my kale and cucumber!), morning snack was a green smoothie (and used the last of the pineapple), lunch was spicy hummus and gluten-free seed crackers (not pleased with this choice…truth be told…but found myself hungry after yoga, really sweaty, and no easy meal in site), a PM snack of Allegro hot chocolate in unsweetened coconut milk, and dinner was a butternut squash and black bean soup served over quinoa.

I've been loving making juices almost every day the past two weeks. I hope to get these in at least 3 days per week once I go back to work. It's also a great way to use up produce that's not going to last much longer!
threw in a scoop of Vega Vanilla Smoothie powder for some extra staying power
holy crap, this was good. Whole family loved it. D and M each had two servings.

FITNESS

Yesterday – shortly after writing my “come clean” post – I went for a run. I am on W2D2 (week 2, day 2) of the 10K app, and the run was just under 2.5 miles. I will be honest – it's a bit frustrating. The app includes walk breaks – and the goal is to build up the endurance – and I really just want to blow through them sometimes, especially when I'm feeling strong, but I also know that overduing it is dumb.

Today I went to a hot yoga class, and I have a new favorite instructor! I took his class earlier in the week, and he's just awesome. Great instruction, walks through the class to be sure everyone is in the right alignment, and has a great and playful energy. I have a feeling I'll be specifically seeking out his classes in the future.

LIFE

The past two days have been blissfully simple. Today was my last day off, and this time away from work has been quite lovely. We're gearing up for a busy year, so I'm glad to come into it after a week and a half off!

D is feeling great and is allowed to have fiber again. No raw broccoli or anything, but he's back to his green smoothies, is putting weight back on, and looks awesome. Kids have mostly been big lumps and enjoying their vacations too!

In this morning's meditation session, Ginny joined me…like she always does. This time, she decided to check out my candle a little too closely and ended up with a singed whisker! She was fine, but the room smelled awful, so I cut my meditation short (only 4 minutes in!).

I have a confession to make. I totally love the Biggest Loser. While I disagree with some of what they do (losing 15 lbs in a week…no matter how big you are…can't possibly be good for the long term), I do still find the show fun and inspiring. I can relate to people who want to change their lives, regain their health, and need help doing it. Thing is, I haven't watched it much the past few years and completely forgot about it. Until this week. And in between reading, cleaning, relaxing, and hanging out with my family….I've been binge watching the heck out of Season 16 on Hulu.

my Biggest Loser companion…though she clearly fails to see the value of the show!

 

GOAL CHECK IN

I know it's only been two days, but here's how I stand with it:

  • 100% gluten free
  • worked out both days
  • no wine
  • the crackers today – while GF, were still a processed food. I was really disappointed in that. I haven't bulk cooked, and when I got home from yoga, the kids were in the kitchen making lunches for themselves (tofurky sammiches!), and so I didn't have the room to make something. Truth is…I could have picked something better. Even a banana to get me through a half hour until I could reclaim the kitchen.
  • meditated yesterday for 8 minutes and today for 4. Yesterday's was bad…mind kept wandering…but that's part of the process. Today was great until the smell…
  • my goal is to be around 1200 calories per day. Nailed it today….was under yesterday (which is NOT good). I think it was partially because I slept in yesterday and also went to bed fairly early last night, so there really weren't enough hours in the day. And while I've been tracking my calories for years…there's a shift when I'm not drinking any!

 

 

No, Kim Kardashian’s Butt Isn’t the Topic of This Post

FOOD

The past couple of days have been very simple on the food front. I like that about FitOrbit – simple and clean meals. I didn't do 100% of their meals, but when I subbed something of my own, it was with similar nutritional breakdown.

Take for example my mornings. They are hectic and I certainly don't have time on a week day to make a tempeh scramble! My go to's are smoothies, and now (when I make a big batch in advance on Sunday), the quinoa/berry/coconut milk yogurt breakfast. I'll save the time-consuming dishes for the weekends (maybe).

So naturally I've had smoothies or quinoa the past two days! I did pick up a new raw vegan protein powder by Garden of Life called Raw Fit. It's high in protein and low in sugar, so exactly what I was looking for. I love my Vega too, but wanted to try something new. So far (and I've only made two smoothies with it!), I'm a fan.

My smoothie is 1 cup vanilla coconut milk, 1 banana, 1 cup pineapple, 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 2-3 cups greens (spinach or kale or both!), and 1 scoop of powder. It's tasty and very filling.

Snacks have been veggies mostly (like cherry tomatoes and red bell pepper strips), popcorn, wasabi chickpeas, and…admittedly…a piece of much needed dark chocolate (it had cinnamon and pepper oil – CRAZY hot and strangely tasty).

I had a slow cooker veggie chili for two days in a row. I'm not complaining at all because it was good and I love leftovers!

FITNESS

Yesterday I hit up a hot yoga class after work. It was an awesome class. I love this instructor – she gives such great verbal cues that not only has me verifying my alignment in each pose, but she articulates it in a way that not only explains exactly what my body is doing, but what benefits it's getting too. Pretty much all of the instructors at this studio are like that, and I love it.

Today was cycling, an exercise band workout, and a quick (but killer) ab workout. Abs before work, cycling and strength after. I keep thinking it would be great to be a morning exerciser…but I hate mornings almost as much as I hate being cold (and those that know me, know that I hate that a LOT). Mornings are a necessary evil, but purposely getting up an hour or two before I absolutely have to seems insane.

LIFE

It's been a good two days. I don't have any late nights again for over a week, and I'm definitely taking advantage of that! I took R to her swim team practice on Wednesday (something I don't get to do often). I love watching her swim. It's hard for me to fathom that she's a competitive swimmer at 10 (and has been for nearly 2 years!). With my hectic schedule I don't get to take her often, but definitely love it when I do.

Last night I went to yoga before going home. Since dinner was in a crockpot, it worked out perfectly. Chili and Almost Human, and we were all quite happy!

On the happy news front (because news isn't usually a happy topic), a US Congresswoman from my very own state of Virginia has proposed legislation to ban animal testing for cosmetics! I know in a climate where everyone is worried about the economy, jobs, healthcare, unrest in the Ukraine and Venezuela, and Kim Kardashian's butt size, I think it's great that this is coming forward. I honestly think that if people understood the extreme torture that cosmetic animal testing causes – for NO REASON (non-animal testing has proven to be more reliable, less expensive, and obviously cruelty-free), that this bill should be a no-brainer. Then again, I've thought that about many other proposed laws before….please don't let us down (again) Congress!

I almost forgot, I got a special delivery at work yesterday! I get back to my office and found this on my desk! Inside were two bags full of specific fruit, veggie, and herb goodies with two recipe cards. I had no clue who it was from, but was quite excited anyway 🙂

With that said….THE WEEKEND IS HERE! On my agenda is a group hike with R at the botanical gardens tomorrow, my eldest coming home from university, a family movie, grocery shopping, running, yoga, and (heaven help me) lots of sleep.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!

 

 

Gonna Go All Exorcist Now….

FOOD

Nope, this exorcist post has nothing to do with pea soup – that was a couple months ago here 🙂

Breakfast was another green smoothie. Coconut milk, banana, spinach, frozen mixed fruit, and a cut up pear. Like yesterdays, it was really filling. I wonder if it's the loaded fiber of the pear that's doing that….anyway, it's a keeper.

I was at a work-sponsored leadership conference at work all day. 1700 people, and nothing I could eat for lunch. I usually assume that'll be the case (I mean really, probably not a lot of vegan's in the group), but I had thrown a banana and a clif bar in my purse before heading to the convention center, so I wasn't in danger of starving or anything.

Dinner was very simple. An oven-baked sweet potato with pepper, and a small salad with onion, avocado, and salsa.

FITNESS

I did end up going to a hot yoga class after the conference. I was seriously considering skipping it – I was exhausted – but D told me I'd feel so much better if I went, so I did.

And he was right! I was almost falling asleep lying on my mat before class started, but it ended up being amazing. I had killer focus and managed to get deeper into two postures than I ever had before. So yay!

I will say, that's one of the things I love about yoga. My brain swirls constantly – I have no idea how to “shut it off”, and I always envy people who can totally veg out and not “think” about anything. Not me….it's constant head chatter in my melon. Problem solving, list making, worrying about something, making plans for something, figuring out something I forgot to do, etc. All the time – except with yoga. For that 60-90 minutes, my brain doesn't focus on anything other than what I'm doing at that exact moment. I don't think about earlier or later, but right then.

However – according to the crack pot running for Lt. Governor of my wonderful Virginia – yoga will turn me into some demon/devil kind of thing. No shit. So many people I know are screwed….

An excerpt of his wildly ridiculous interview is below. Link to article also included in case you want to laugh and be horrified, all at the same time…

….”E.W. Jackson, the Virginia GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, suggested that yoga could open individuals to Satan, according to a report…

“When one hears the word meditation, it conjures an image of Maharishi Yoga talking about finding a mantra and striving for nirvana. … The purpose of such meditation is to empty oneself. … [Satan] is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it. That is why people serve Satan without ever knowing it or deciding to

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/ew-jackson-virginia-lieutenant-governor-yoga-satan-92321.html#ixzz2jFlPuUhA

So watch out…I may go all exorcist any day now….

LIFE

Today was our annual leadership conference for work. While all the State of the Unions, updates, and presentations are generally nice, my favorite part is seeing people I don't get to see very often – sometimes only at this meeting. That was certainly true today!

After work was yoga, then making dinner, pumpkin carving, and now it's time to pick up the house and head in the direction of bed. Happy Hump Day!!!

 

 

Growing With Something (a product review #VegaOneStart)

FOOD REVIEW

Okay, so it's seriously groovy to “grow up” with a product and see how much we've both matured over the years! I became a vegan nearly 7 years ago (day after Thanksgiving, 2006), and one of the first products I used was Vega whole foods powder.

I read a lot, and it was a product that was often mentioned in Vegetarian Times magazine, but not something I could find on the shelves. So, after being impressed by what a complete nutritional package it was, I bit the bullet, and ordered a bin online. Admittedly, it was NOT cheap, but, at the time, I was worried about things like protein and fiber (and who isn't, right – I mean especially when we've all been raised to think you can only get enough protein from animal products, and no one eating a Standard American Diet gets enough fiber!), and I thought this would be a sure way to keep my diet balanced.

Well fast forward, and Vega has really grown! They revamped their formula to be easier to blend, came out with new and fun flavors, launched several different lines including a sports line, raw bars, are available on the shelves of Whole Foods, and the founder Brendan Brazier (an amazing world champ triathlete) has even published a few books (that I am the proud owner of). So when Vega asked me to do a review of their new starter pack, I was very happy to!

What's fun about the starter pack is there is little commitment involved. The big tubs are still quite pricy (but worth it when you can get 30+ smoothies out of it), and these little packs means you can try them, decide if they're worth it to you, and also give you a little variety in flavors.

kit arrived in the mail!  The only thing I didn't like was the Styrofoam peanuts.  I would like to see vegan companies also embrace environmentalism, and use a biodegradable alternative to Styrofoam.

kit arrived in the mail! The only thing I didn't like was the Styrofoam peanuts. I would like to see vegan companies also embrace environmentalism, and use a biodegradable alternative to Styrofoam.

two chocolate, two chai vanilla, and one berry pack, plus a coupon and little recipe booklet

two chocolate, two chai vanilla, and one berry pack, plus a coupon and little recipe booklet

I drink smoothies most days, and when I know it's going to be my only meal for awhile, I ALWAYS use Vega (which I've certainly blogged about before). What's fun, is that you aren't limited to just making smoothies with them. The vanilla chai is a particularly yummy stirred in to a bowl of oatmeal for some added punch and flavor, for example. I've also tossed some into homemade granola bars. And while I'm not a big chocolate eater, the combo of the chocolate pack, coconut milk, and frozen banana is one of my all-time favorites.

Vega also has a very active online community where people share their favorite ways to use it. If you're starting out in the smoothie world, exploring more plant-based meals, or just want to up your nutrition, it's a good place to connect. check out My Vega and Thrive Forward for more info.

I want to leave this review with a few fun facts about one pack (or scoop) of Vega powder, just in case you weren't sure how awesome it is for you…

• 50% daily intake of vitamins and minerals
• 15g protein
• 6 g fiber
• 1.5g Omega-3
• 3 servings of greens
• Antioxidants
• Probiotics

And don't let all that healthiness scare you away. If it wasn't good, believe me, I wouldn't eat/drink it. And if you're looking for a way to build some more goodness into your diet, vegan or not, this is a great way to start. So my advice? Pick up a starter pack, give it a go, and then let me know what you think!

I was given this product free by the company, though the views expressed here are not influenced in any way by that fact. I've been a Vega fan for years, and was happy to check out a new offering in their product line.

 

I’m a Google-Diagnosis Rock Star

FOOD

The past two days have been green smoothies for breakfast. They were both pretty much the same, except the greens. Water, banana, mixed frozen fruit, and kale yesterday, and subbed in Romaine today. This morning I made a double batch to take to work in case I got hungry at the office mid-afternoon!  I ended up drinking the leftovers after getting home from work.

I didn’t eat lunch yesterday because it was too hot to eat. I snacked on frozen fruit (while trying to find a way to shove myself into the freezer), and had the rest of my spicy tofu soup for dinner.

I also made a batch of banana bread. My bananas were about to turn and it was either peel and freeze them or make bread. I chose to bake the bread – but used the toaster oven so I didn’t add to the already oppressive heat of the house by turning the oven on!

For lunch today I made another big batch of cucumber gazpacho from Going Raw. This has quickly become my new favorite raw soup.  Judita Wignall is brilliant, and if you’re on Twitter, follow her @judita

I whipped up a quick Indian meal for dinner tonight. It was a long day and I forgot to pre-plan dinner, so after taking a look around, ended up with the below. It was quite tasty!

Ingredients

*1/2 block pressed tofu, cubed

*1/4 chopped onion

*1/2 tbsp. minced garlic

*1 tbsp. Rogan Josh season

*1 can lite coconut milk

*about 1/4 – 1/3 head cauliflower, chopped into bite size pieces

*2 handfuls kale (so scientific right?! But you know exactly what I mean!)

Directions

*heat a non-stick pan on medium-high. When hot, add tofu and onion and sauté for a few minutes.

*add the garlic and sauté for several more minutes. You don’t want the tofu dark brown, but a nice light stir-fry.

*add the seasoning, stir well.

*add coconut milk and cauliflower. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover, and cook until your desired degree of mushiness of the cauliflower.

*add the kale, recover, and cook another 5 minutes.

*salt to taste and eat it!

So really the basics of this recipe are the onion, garlic, and coconut milk. The spice blend can be as varied as you want. I have my hippie spice box (I am a spice snob) and it’s fun to just see what I have and what might taste good together. I went with the Rogan Josh, but almost did the Bangkok or Tandoori blends.

FITNESS

Yeah, I got nothing on this yesterday or today. Yesterday I was home dealing with maintenance people and, with it 90 degrees IN the house, I did enough sweating.

Today was just a really long day and my plan of going for a run was killed by rain storms.

LIFE

Well, I will say life is better than it was two days ago. And I’m a Google-diagnosis GODDESS. Yes…I was dead on with what was wrong. Bad motor. It finally got fixed in the late afternoon yesterday. The house really didn’t get well cooled down until sometime in the middle of the night, but hey…it’s fixed and that’s pretty much all that matters.

With that said….Tuesday night was pretty horrific. I didn’t end up sleeping outside, though it was tempting. R slept on my bedroom floor because my room has more windows and more likely to have some type of breeze. Not sure it did, but we didn’t care if she crashed on our floor.

As rough as our night was, I felt the worst for A. She spiked a fever late that evening and had no relief at all. She stayed downstairs on the couch all night since the living room was the coolest in the house – relatively speaking. She mostly watched TV and alternated lying on the couch and on the wood floor where it was a little cooler. Poor baby.

I stayed home yesterday (A ran a fever all day, even with alternating Tylenol and Motrin every 4 hours), but it broke just before bed. She slept in my room a bit while the AC guy was tromping around the house, but was mostly just miserable. I’m happy to report that the only thing she has today is a sore throat and an insufferable case of boredom.

The tree guy “might” fit us in this weekend. The plumber called and I have to call him back to make an appt. to fix the upstairs shower (forgot to mention that one), and the guy to fix the moisture barrier and do the treatment called today and we’re playing phone tag. D is taking the plumber, I’m taking the fungal treatment, and we’ll collectively figure out tree-guy. Whew!

I went to my new office today! All my stuff was there (except a printer) and I managed to unpack, get a ton of work done, and had a very good day. The commute sucks – especially in the evening – so instead of a 10-15 minute commute, it’s 45-60.

As usual D took R to day camp and snapped morning pics both days (I love that – it’s been almost 2 yrs that he’s done that with her every day).

Now, I’m going to go make lunches for R and I (not D since he has offsite meetings all day tomorrow and won’t be in the office), and prep all the ingredients for tomorrow’s dinner (slow cooker red beans and rice), and then drag my happy a$$ off to bed.

G’night peeps.

D!ET Is a Four Letter Word

FOOD

So, before I get to what I ate or drank…I want to talk a bit about diet. I read diet books – I won't lie. I just reread Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet over the weekend. Hell, it was the book A Diet for a New America by John Robbins that first turned me vegetarian when I was 15 (by the way, it's about animal rights and not weight loss). I think like most people who've struggled weight wise (keeping it off or on!), we look for a guidebook or roadmap to follow to get to that “perfect” size. I admit that while I carried Kris Carr's book around all weekend, I wanted to cover up the title because it says “diet”. I didn't want people to judge me for reading a diet book when I clearly have a few pounds I could stand to lose. I'm drawn to that book to fight an autoimmune condition, but that's besides the point. I'd take the weight loss too in a heart beat!

When is it that the word “diet” became a curse word of sorts? A 4-letter word right up there sh!t, and f***? The definition of diet is “the usual food and drink of a person or animal”. All the word means is “what I eat and drink”. Since the 80's (or earlier, I'm sure!), “diet” has mean something different. Sinister.

So I'm taking back the damed word. I eat a vegan diet. I follow a lot of advice I've read in diet books! My diet is what it is…sometimes it's stellar, sometimes it's deep fried and covered in wine. So what. It's MY diet. You have your diet. And diet should NOT be a four letter word. Don't be afraid of it.

Okay….on to what I actually consumed in my DIET the past few days….

Both Sunday and Monday mornings began with a green juice. I absolutely love starting my day that way. The more I juice, the more adventurous I get in what I throw in there. My go-to base seems to be a head of romaine, an apple, and a lemon. From there, it's whatever I have lying around in my crisper or shelf.

Sunday's green juice also saw about 2 cups of green grapes (they don't have much shelf life left), celery, and 1/2 of an English cucumber. Later that morning I had a giant green smoothie of plain coconut milk, pineapple, spinach, strawberries, and frozen banana.

 

Monday's green juice was the same as Sunday's, but with slightly less grapes. While I love fruit, I tend to like my smoothies more “green” than fruity.

Before work on Monday, I packed a heck of a travel cooler. My juice (didn't have time to drink it at home), a really big green smoothie – the same as Sunday's, a BAS, spicy sunflower seeds, and raw lemon “cookies”. I definitely felt ready for the day.

 

Monday night dinner was some yummy lentil tacos from Happy Herbivore Abroad. It's a family favorite and easy peasy to whip up. Served over some simple garlic rice, it was wonderful on some corn tortillas with hot sauce, avocado, and tomato.

 

Today's breakfast was a green juice and lunch was a BAS with leftover grilled tofu, onion, tomato, brown rice, and an oil-free sundried tomato vinaigrette. Yummy!

 

I wasn't overly hungry around dinner, so I roasted up a few onions with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Simple, but something I really love.

FITNESS

Sunday I did backyard hot yoga again for about a half hour. This time it was a guided podcast session on my iPod. I'd rather do a streaming video class, but that's just too hard when I'm outside.

Monday I hit the gym after work for some elliptical fun (I say “fun” in jest…I don't really like working out in place). I'm more focused than ever to be able to run again.

Today was a fitness DVD. I know I typically mock those, but I have a feeling that they're going to become a positive thing for me. I'd rather be outside running, and going to the gym isn't always something I have time for. That means streaming online classes (which shake things up), or getting over my annoyance with repetitive workout videos. I will admit that today's was fun (it was a Hip Hop Abs Fat Burning Cardio disc). I wore a HR monitor, and I burned as much as I typically do spinning. So yay for that!

LIFE

I really can't complain. Life is chaotic and wonderful. Work is busy, as always, but I love it. And my life in general is pretty groovy.

Sunday D and I went down to the Oceanfront. Our intent was to just wander around, but as it happens, there was a festival going on, complete with an air show. We walked around while watching planes do fun and crazy stuff, and eventually found our way to a little place for a drink. It was really hot out and really wonderful. I did get some sunburn (ugh, you'd think I'd have learned by now), but it was still a really great day.

 

Monday was a normal day. Up early, round up the masses, get them all out the door, and head to work. The evening was spent hanging out and enjoying family time.

Today was much of a repeat, except I was up early so I worked out. Then work, home, dinner, chill. We're heading out on vacation on the 20th, and I booked our couple days at Cedar Point in Ohio at the tail end of our trip.

Other than that, I leave you with some picture of Bumble figuring out that she loves being outside…even if she rarely leaves the patio deck!

 

 

 

Greenalicious…Green Lantern…Lizard Woman….You Get The Idea…

FOOD

Green.  The color of the day, and the predominant color of my food.  I’m craving them like nobody’s business!  My youngest had a couple of books a few years ago.  One was called Pinkalicious, and one was Purplelicious.  There are more in the series now, but R is too old.  If you have a 4-6 yr old little girl in your life, I’d suggest picking these up though!  In each, she ate foods of predominantly that color, and her skin and hair turned to match.  That’s going to be me.  Greenalicious!

Breakfast yesterday was a green smoothie.  Unsweetened coconut milk (So Delicious brand as always), many handfuls of spinach, half of a banana, and some frozen pineapple.

Lunch was a turkish red lentil soup and a kale and beet salad from Pasha’s (and a glass of malbec).  The waitress knew what I wanted before I even ordered, which is just funny.

I forgot my camera, so D took a pic of my food with his phone. Clearly my skin isn't green. Yet.

my pretty (and pretty amazing) kale and beet salad

and because he was being cute...he took a picture of HIS food. Turkish french toast. No syrup or anything, but he said it was incredible

For a mid-day snack, I made some kale chips.  I also whipped up a kale salad, and a smokey tempeh and greens stew with….KALE.   I will admit that I was too full to eat dinner (kale must expand 100 fold in my belly), so the salad and stews were left for today!

SO simple. Olive oil, sherry, and then sprinkled with sea salt when they come out after roasting 35 min at 300 degrees. Heaven pretending to be a green chip thingy

This morning I had coffee and fruit for breakfast.  Lunch was the kale salad I made last night (steamed a ton of kale for 10 minutes, then coated in a lemon juice/garlic/olive oil dressing).  I threw in some chopped beets that I picked up yesterday (cheating by using the canned kind, but was still awesome!).

okay, not nearly as pretty as the kale salad from Pashas, but it was good. I steamed the kale too long and used a bit too much garlic, but I'm more than willing to experiment on myself with future versions of this salad

I roasted a big bunch of beets (regular and golden ones) for use in a wild rice and orange salad for dinner tonight, as well as roasted a butternut squash to make a coconut/squash/rice dish.  Oh, and will be serving with some homemade baked falafel.  I guess you’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s post to find out how THAT went 🙂

individually wrapped baby beets, heading into the oven for a long roast

I love winter squash! I actually like it more than summer squash...

FITNESS

This morning was another 5am strength training session!  Only 4 of us showed up (out of the 6 in the class), but we had one heck of a workout.  I’m seriously considering signing up for the next class when this 6 weeks are up.  Thanks to my sister, I track my workouts in a website/application called My Fitness Pal.  Since I already wrote it there this morning, I figured I’d cut and paste it.  Here’s the workout I did this morning, at least when I remembered of it:

Strength Training Sets Reps/Sets Weight/Set
Lat Pulldown 3 15 60 Ico_delete
Bench (Chest) Press, Machine 3 15 30 Ico_delete
Biceps Curl 2 15 20 Ico_delete
Seated Row, Floor, Machine 2 12 60 Ico_delete
Front Raises, Straight Arm 2 12 5 Ico_delete
Abdominal Crunches 3 15 Ico_delete
Deadlift, Straight Leg 2 15 30 Ico_delete
Reverse Crunch 3 15 Ico_delete
Russian Twist 3 20 Ico_delete
Plank 3 1 Ico_delete
Flat Dumbbell Fly 3 12 75 Ico_delete
Push Ups (push-ups) 3 12 Ico_delete
Walking Lunges w Leg Lift 2 30 Ico_delete
Sumo Squat 2 15 40 Ico_delete
Squat w Side Leg Raise 2 10 Ico_delete
Box Jump 2 15 Ico_delete
Barbell Row, Bent-over 2 15 30 Ico_delete
Dips 2 15 Ico_delete

Afterwards, I did a quick half hour on the treadmill.  It was 22 degrees out.  No way I was running outside in that, and until my ear ache is fully gone, I’m avoiding the pool.

LIFE

Yesterday was a pretty good day.  After church, D and I went out to lunch at Pasha’s (one of my favorite local places in Norfolk).  Since he’s agnostic (I’m Catholic), we just met up after I was done at mass.  Pasha’s has a jazz brunch thing on Sunday’s, so it was quite cute, just the two of us.

After lunch, we dropped the Bug off at the dealership and went home.  Then I did our weekly meal planning, and headed off to the grocery.

The rest of the evening was spent in the kitchen, and then watching Facebook for updates on the Green Bay Packer’s game.  When no one I knew….my sister, my cousins, or my friends who are diehard Packer friends weren’t posting about ANYTHING, I knew it wasn’t good news.  Alas, GB lost, and the season is over for us.

Today is a federal holiday, so my kids are off of school.  Since we’re down a vehicle, I stayed home while my husband took mine to work.  I had only one meeting, so was able to knock a lot more off my to-do list.  While wearing workout clothes and no makeup.  I love days like today!