Portland, Baby!

I know I typically have a standard format for my blog, but today I’m going to shake it up a bit and ditch the normal layout.

I’m in Portland, Oregon for the second ever Vida Vegan Con vegan bloggers conference. Imagine hundreds of vegans. In one place. It’s a beautiful sight to behold for sure! Food kicks butt too.

I arrived around 1130 am yesterday, and took the train downtown to my hotel. It’s so wonderful staying in a town with a great mass transit system. Trains, trolleys, and busses get you from one end to the other with ease, and I’m jealous.

There was an Unofficial VVC meet and great at the White Owl Social Club, and I had a chance to “meet” several people I’ve “known” through blogging, etc, for some time. It was lovely. After was dinner at Portabello’s all vegan awesomeness, where we split several dishes. Then for me, it was off to bed. I was beat!

Conference started today with check-in, including a Swag Bag O Wonder stocked full of amazing foods, recipes, and coupons. Then it was vendor samples, and the sessions began.

Gena from Choosing Raw did a great talk about blog writing. She walked us through some common blogging mistakes (as a former Editor, she definitely knew what she was talking about!) I also realized that I do a LOT of the blunders she mentioned, so I’m going to have to think on that.

There’s much more to see, learn, and do, and I’m looking forward to it all. I’ll leave you all with some pics from the last 2 days. Hope you’re all having as amazing of a weekend as I am! If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, you can find tons of great updates and pics with #VVC2013

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Will the Real Bootcamp Please Stand Up?

FOOD

So first of all, the raw granola bars turned out amazingly.  I really have to make a big batch of these before all my spring and summer travels start (hell0…they start in less than 3 days!).  Besides, my oldest keeps taking them all and I’m almost out…

Breakfast Sunday morning was a cup of coffee and a green juice.  Celery, apple, lemon, parsley, and kale.  Lunch was a BAS from Whole Foods that I picked up after yoga (sorry, no picture of either!).  Dinner is a raw pizza!  The crust is a zucchini/buckwheat/oat recipe (slightly modified) from Chef Amber Shea.  The sauce is a raw marinara, and topped with onion, pineapple, garlic, fresh basil (that I’m growing!), and bell pepper.  After starting the crust in the dehydrator around 10am, I flipped it, dried it a few more hours, then topped with my toppings and put back in for an hour to warm up a bit.  Very, very yummy!

after making the dough in the Vitamix (a combo of fresh made oat flour - also in the Vita, zucchini, spices, and buckwheat among a few ingredients)...I spread out a large crust on the dehydrator and popped that sucker in.
after making the dough in the Vitamix (a combo of fresh made oat flour – also in the Vita, zucchini, spices, and buckwheat among a few ingredients)…I spread out a large crust on the dehydrator and popped that sucker in.
fresh tomato marinara ingredients going into the Vitamix to make my pizza sauce
fresh tomato marinara ingredients going into the Vitamix to make my pizza sauce
bell pepper, onion, pineapple, and fresh basil for my pizza toppings!
bell pepper, onion, pineapple, and fresh basil for my pizza toppings!
not the prettiest, but for my first attempt at a raw pizza, it was very good and I'll definitely make it again.
not the prettiest, but for my first attempt at a raw pizza, it was very good and I’ll definitely make it again.

I also made some sweet potato hummus and a few salads to keep for the week.

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This morning was a green juice for breakfast (I actually made this one instead of buying it!), and a snack of Suzie’s quinoa cakes topped with the sweet potato hummus and pickles!

romaine, collard leaves, apples, lemon, cucumber, and ginger
romaine, collard leaves, apples, lemon, cucumber, and ginger

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FITNESS

I actually slept in yesterday (930 am!), so I really missed any opportunity to hit up a Bikram yoga class.  After checking out local yoga and YMCA classes, I decided to go to a Hot Vinyasa yoga class.

It’s been awhile since I’ve worn a HR monitor to one of those, but since I want to compare it to Bikram, I did.

I want to start off by saying this was a tough class.  It was 60 minutes, but for those who don’t know what vinyasa is, it’s a constant flow from one posture to another.  I had a few moments where I felt I was pushing past my comfort zone, and struggled for about 5 minutes where I took a few child’s pose breaks.

I was shocked (and disappointed) to see my HR monitor only register 247 calories in an hour.  I really felt I worked even harder than I did at the Bikram class, but just a portion of the burn.  Wow.  I did take the watch off for a bit, but put it next to my mat, so I’m guessing the monitor around my chest was still transmitting.

hot vinyasa class.  I think I got robbed on this....
hot vinyasa class. I think I got robbed on this….

This morning I hit up a Boot Camp class at the Y.  I figure I have this membership, right…may as well use it to check out group classes other than spin.

I will say that, having been in the military personally, my idea of boot camp is FAR different from the suburbanites I was in class with.  Quite frankly, it wasn’t my thing.  I was disappointed in the class, and while I got a pretty good burn (368 cal in 45 min), I didn’t feel very “worked out” by the end.  I’ll check out a few others with different instructors to see if I take to them any better.

sorry for the dark pic....it was still sort of dark-ish and overcast out
sorry for the dark pic….it was still sort of dark-ish and overcast out

LIFE

Life was quiet this past weekend.  D was feeling a bit under the weather, so we really all stayed home.  A had volunteering Saturday and Sunday and worked Saturday night, so other than that, it was grocery shopping, farmer’s market hopping, laundry, and kitchen fun.

R swam with her new perspective team again tonight, and it’s so very different.  She seems to like it more, so we’ll see if she tries out and makes the switch!

T minus 2 1/2 days to Portland and Vida Vegan Con 2013!!!

Life is Better with Fancy Bananas!

FOOD

It’s been some awesome food the past few days.  Wraps, salads, soups, and smoothies galore!  Here, for your viewing pleasure, are some highlights!

Sunday's dinner.  Basically a BAS in a gluten-free brown rice tortilla.
Sunday’s dinner. Basically a BAS in a gluten-free brown rice tortilla.
Monday morning juice ingredients
Monday morning juice ingredients
so pretty, and I think a new favorite.  Romaine, cuc, celery, lemon, lime, and beet.
so pretty, and I think a new favorite. Romaine, cuc, celery, lemon, lime, and beet.
lunch (I'm on a wrap kick!).  Pinto beans, lettuce, tomato, onion, cuc, avocado, and wicked hot sauce.
lunch (I’m on a wrap kick!). Pinto beans, lettuce, tomato, onion, cuc, avocado, and wicked hot sauce.
one of my snacks.  Fancy bananas!  Sliced, a small amount of agave, and cinnamon
one of my snacks. Fancy bananas! Sliced, a small amount of agave, and cinnamon.  Sometimes a girl just gets plain sick and tired of normal bananas.
another wrap.  Can't get enough!
another wrap. Can’t get enough!
veggie packed lentil soup
veggie packed lentil soup
mint chocolate vanilla smoothie.  In a champagne glass because I'm special
mint chocolate vanilla smoothie. In a champagne glass because I’m special

FITNESS

Monday I did a strength training workout.  Using mostly bands and a balance ball, I was amazed at how sore my muscles were yesterday!

My workout consisted of planks (ouch), T push-ups (ouch), several different moves that involved squats (ouch), stability exercises, and a little bit of light dumbbell work.  Due to the whole joint thing, I am working with someone to tailor workouts that are challenging, yet still low impact and won’t exacerbate swelling in my key areas of hands/wrists and knees.  Other than the muscle soreness yesterday, I had no associated joint pain, so that’s awesome!

Tonight I’m either going to hit up a Zumba class or a hot yoga one.  I haven’t decided, and I’m prepared in my gym bag for either depending on which mood strikes me come 7pm.

I have another strength training session scheduled for tomorrow too, so it looks like it’ll be another fun active week of building workouts without running.

LIFE

I am very grateful that Sunday was such a chill day.  While I did my Sunday fun stuff, D went out to the Botanical Gardens for a day of hiking and photography.  A went to the beach with friends, and the younger two and I just mainly hung out.  Perfect ending to a wonderful weekend.

These are D’s pics, not mine.

 

we have about 20 or so different mermaid statues spread about the city.
we have about 20 or so different mermaid statues spread about the city.

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As usual, lots of late nights this week.  It’s not surprising at all and I usually don’t mind it.    This weekend my daughter has her swim meet championships down at one of our local universities, so we’re very much looking forward to that!

Oh, and I booked my trip to Portland!!  End of May is the next Vida Vegan Conference, and the past few months I’d contemplated not going.  My family has a LOT coming up (HS graduation for A, going home to WI to celebrate that with extended family, a month-long camp for M and packing A off for college!), so I thought it would be more economical to just skip the trip.  Sunday night D very sternly told me I needed to go.  Veganism and blogging are two things I’m passionate about, I’ve “met” some amazing people in the past nearly 4 yrs. of this, and it would be a travesty if I didn’t go.  So….I slept on it, and when I woke in the morning and he said he’d book it if I didn’t, I gave him a big kiss, smiled, and ran to the computer to plan and book my trip.

So Portland, here I come (again).  Watch out!