Monthly Archives: August 2010

Time to Get Saucy

Today was another beautiful day 🙂 I slept in (until 8 – what a rebel, I know) and decided to take a rest day from 5K training and go to yoga instead. As usual, yoga was a perfect start to my day, stretching out my running muscles that have been working so hard! I’m proud of them.

My morning fuel was a plum, a papaya, and a champagne-strawberry apple (that’s actually what it’s called! so sweet and delicious 🙂 ) paired with my favorite creamy buckwheat cereal con blackberries and some strawbs:

After yoga, I was starvin’! I came home to my Happiest, Healthiest Vegan Mac and Cheese, Beet Still My Heart Farmer’s Market Salad, sauteed broccoli, daikon, and carrots, and a farmer’s market dill pickle 🙂 Happy tummy? Oh, yes.

After lunch, Rebecca and I baked some of what I like to call Lemon Poppyn Lock it Seed Bread (recipe to follow) and watched some of The Little Mermaid 2. Awe, don’t you love Disney movies? Reminds me of being a little kid again 🙂

And, I enjoyed some of my homemade kombucha during the baking process…

Lemon Poppyn Lock it Seed Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup natural, unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup NuStevia Baking Blend (or other sugar substitute)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla non-dairy milk (I roll with Tempt hempmilk 🙂 )
  • 4 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract (I didn’t have any, but would definitely use next time – or lemon zest)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup spelt flour (or any kind of flour, totaling 2 cups)
  • 1.5 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and grease a standard loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine applesauce, stevia (or other sugar), non-dairy milk, and lemon juice/extract.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine flour, poppy seeds, baking soda, nutmeg, and sea salt.
  4. Mix dry into the large bowl, adding more non-dairy milk for moisture if necessary.
  5. Pour into your loaf pan and pop in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Slice and enjoy! 🙂

This was great on its own, but would be even better with…

  • A lemon glaze – combine 1/2 cup NuStevia Baking Blend (or other sugar) with enough lemon juice to moisten (3 or 4 tbsp.) and heat in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring continuously. Drizzle over warm bread just before serving 🙂
  • Some Earth Balance – is this stuff ever not good?
  • Some homemade lemonade! (that rhymes)
  • Your favorite jam or fresh fruit

For dinner, I felt like gettin’ saucy – Italian style! After having the Spinach and Chickpea Delight last night, I realized my true love for all things marinara-sauced – so it was time to get saucy.

I whipped up some Italian Mushroom Savory Buckwheat, roasted asparagus and zucchini topped with marinara sauce, Spinach and Chickpea Delight, and salads con avocado (mmm 🙂 ). It was certainly savory, if I ever tasted it.

Italian Mushroom Savory Buckwheat

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked buckwheat (hulled)
  • EVOO (about 3 tbsp.)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup diced/pureed/crushed tomatoes
  • thyme and oregano
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil and then add buckwheat. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15-20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat EVOO over medium heat and sauté onion until translucent and fragrant. Add mushrooms and continue to saute until reduced.
  3. Add tomatoes and heat until hot.
  4. Add sauce to buckwheat, stir well, and serve! 🙂

This was to die for! The entire meal was a huge hit in my books, and received many happy smiles from the fam 🙂 I will definitely be making this combo again soon!

Note: Add marinara to just about anything and it instantly becomes a million times better – try it out!

For dessert, of course, was the Lemon Poppyn Lock It Seed Bread. No meal is complete without some dessert! 🙂

Question of the day: What’s your favorite savory meal? Favorite variety of bread?

Lasagna, Spinach Pie, and tonight’s meal would have to be at the top of my “savory” list – and for breads? Chocolate-chip banana bread all the way 🙂 Tonight’s is definitely close, but no bread can beat banana in my books.

I’m out to go read some Chi Running and Beowulf (thanks, AP Lit!), then I’m hittin’ the sack early – time to get back to 5K training! Goodnight lovlies 🙂

xoxox,

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Filed under Recipes, Tips and Tricks, Vegan

Beet Still My Heart

I am speechless. Today has been a beyond beautiful day (hit 90 degrees! finally, it feels like summer again), with beyond beautiful things – I woke up before the sun (ahhh, thank you alarm clocks!) to get up and run before work, and I logged the farthest I’ve ran since I started running again – 3.85 miles! (you can see my workouts here)

I’ve been using the Jeff Galloway method of run-walking, and it’s been a success so far! I feel better and can run longer, plus, it’s great for training for my 5K 🙂 (a week from today…ahh! so nervous) Which, by the way, my daddy has decided to run with me! Awe, I love CK Dad. Such a great father, and has also run numerous marathons, including the Boston Marathon (twice!). Am I a lucky daughter or what?

Question: Ever since I started running again, I’ve noticed my legs looking normal when I wake up, but then swelling throughout the day – is this normal for when I’m building endurance/training? It’s so strange! Maybe I’m bulking up 🙂

Please let me know if you have any experience with that or know what’s going on, because the rest of me would like to know! Oh, the joys of race training.

BREAKFAST:

After my morning butt-whooping of a workout, I needed some serious fuel. I whipped up a variation of my favorite brekkie, complete with half a grapefruit, bluebs, blackberries, with the main event, a chopped up Apple Pie Katebar (as usual, mixed in just as the buckwheat is finishing cooking). Oh, gooey goodness, you should be illegal.

You can see the Katebar peeking out! All warm and mixed 🙂

LUNCH:

Lunch was the Happiest, Healthiest Vegan Mac and Cheese from last night (midnight snack? I think yes) along with a kale salad mixed with sliced heirloom tomaters and some sautéed broccoli from last night, topped with a generous helping of Bragg’s. It is very rare you will ever see one of my salads sans some of that dressing – it’s just too good.

The day at work was so fun (as usual) – I am such a dork for loving work, but I don’t mind 🙂 I’ll be working maximum hours from now on, thank goodness! I’ll be super busy, but it means some money in my pocket, some happy customers, and me, a happy camper 🙂

DINNER:

Dinner tonight was to die for. I think my stomach applauded me after each bite, saying “Thank you! You’re the best eater ever!” – well, if stomachs could talk, that’s what mine would have said.

On the menu tonight was a Spinach and Chickpea Delight inspired by OhSheGlows, a Beet Still My Heart Farmer’s Market Salad, Amy’s California Burgers (oh. my. god. if you have not had these, you must run to your grocery store and get some! my lifelong favorite), and sautéed daikon and carrots from a night or so ago.

Since today was a scorcher, I didn’t want to have too much of a hot dinner, so everything was nice and cool for din din except for the burgers. My tummy was very happy 🙂

Spinach and Chickpea Delight

Ingredients:

  • 2 (15.5-oz) cans, or 3 cups cooked, chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • EVOO (about 2 tbsp.)
  • 4 large handfuls fresh, baby spinach (about 4 to 5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup marinara or tomato sauce (I used Amy’s Low Sodium Marinara – it’s my favorite!)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 red onion, diced (only if there isn’t some in your sauce)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t need any because of the marinara)

Directions:

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, combine EVOO, marinara sauce, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Turn on the burner to medium heat and then add chickpeas and spinach. Stir continuously until coated, and then let cook until spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
  3. Serve and enjoy! 🙂

This dish was just absolutely divine. There is no two ways around it – I tasted it and I’m pretty sure my mind exploded (not to toot my own horn, but…toot toot! 🙂 ). I will be making this again. (and again, and again..)

It was super simple and beyond delicious, a killer combo. It would also be good with some diced heirloom tomatoes or some crusty bread – mmm 🙂

Oh, be still my heart – this recipe is too simple to be true! But, oh, it is so much more than that.

Chock-full of beta-carotene among other health benefits, beets are sweet, delicious, and awfully refreshing. Even better when paired with some farmer’s market heirloom tomatoes!

Beet Still My Heart Farmer’s Market Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs. beets, with stems removed and scrubbed
  • 1 lb. heirloom tomatoes, chopped (or if smaller, quartered)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Wrap each beet individually with aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour.
  3. Allow to cool and then peel each beet using a paper towel – the skins should come off easily.
  4. Chop beets into 1/2-inch chunks and toss in a large bowl with tomatoes.
  5. Serve and enjoy! 🙂

My plate:

Of course, my California burger was sans a bun. I love these things plain (with some marinara or OrganicVille Agave-Sweetened ketchup) – no other way to enjoy something so delicious!

And for dessert, I had to try out the Tempt Hempmilk ice cream I picked up earlier today – I’ve been itching to buy it for awhile, but for some reason never did.

I think I can describe this ice cream by this statement: I am never going back to soy ice cream! (gasp!) Seriously. This stuff is so creamy, and healthy to boot – hempmilk is loaded with healthy fats, and this baby isn’t filled with refined sugars, saturated fats, and a giant list of ingredients. It was amazing paired with some fresh bluebs and strawberries (none of which made it into a picture – I couldn’t help myself).

Not too shabby!

Alongside my giant stock of fruit: pomegranates, papaya, organic pink lady apples, peaches and plums 🙂

I don’t mess around with my fruit.

In other news, I’ve been getting excited/nervous/starting to dread the first day of fall semester. Excited because of all of the great classes I’ll be taking (with the best teachers! I am too lucky), nervous because I’ll have such a crazy schedule, and starting to dread it because I know what my workload/lack of sleep will look like – I’m thinkin’ lots of Kombucha to keep me energized!

I’ve been brewing my own, and have been drinking some every couple of days – it is so perfect and fizzy, sweet and sour at the same time. I’ll be posting pictures and my method of brewing soon 🙂

What are your thoughts on the start of school? Are you in college or high school, and how has it been, or do you think it will be, different to start college after high school?

That’s all for tonight lovlies! All around, today was wonderful – I hope your day was too! Enjoy the rest of your evening 🙂 Aka, the Emmys!

xoxox,

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Filed under Recipes, Vegan, Workouts

Kick the Blue Box Blues – Mac and Cheese :)

Lately we’ve been having some less-than sunny weather..but today it decided to perk up! I awoke to sunshine and a climbing temperature (thank goodness), giving me some precious vitamin D and an opportunity to read my VegNews on the patio 🙂 It’s supposed to reach 90 degrees next week – talk about a huge turnaround! Today, my boss was playfully complaining about how the apple crops would be ruined by the weather changes – oh, Bill. He’s a keeper.

Nature’s way of saying “Good morning!”

Today’s To-Do List:

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to run today – my muscles had been feelin’ it from my workouts the past couple of days, so I thought, hey, time for a rest day! The sunshine made that easy 🙂

But, my workout clothes were waiting for me – sorry kiddos, not until tomorrow!

Update: My first 5K is now a week away! I’m not gonna lie, I’m getting nervous. My goal is just to finish, no expectations – slow and steady wins the race, right?

MAC AND CHEESE:

When I think of Mac and Cheese I can’t help but smile. It reminds me of childhood bowls piled high with creamy, cheesy noodles that make a slurp! sound when you stir it. Warm, full bellies and big smiles. Ahhh, isn’t it wonderful how food brings back such good memories?

Since I had failed previously to find a good vegan mac and cheese recipe (usually resulting in my “this is icky” face – mature, I know), I was slightly skeptical when I decided to adapt some to make one without boatloads of margarine and soymilk. I stumbled upon a recipe at Oh She Glows and modified to make the perfect recipe – healthy, tasty, and packed with nutrition. My tummy was very happy 🙂

Happiest, Healthiest Vegan Mac and Cheese

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni (whole wheat, gluten free, and quinoa varieties are great – I rolled with whole wheat)
  • 1 1/4 cup water (or reserved cooking liquid)
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (plain)
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp., or 2 cloves, minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. tumeric
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • peppa to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, then drain in a colander and rinse immediately with cold water.
  2. In the pot where your pasta was, whisk remaining ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add pasta back into the pot and simmer on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until sauce is thickened to your liking, stirring continuously.
  4. Serve generously (with a big spoon!) and enjoy! 🙂

I am so stuffed. I definitely ate too much! I paired dinner with some sautéed broccoli (always goes perfectly with mac and cheese), Great Northern Beans with Mushrooms, and leftover sautéed daikon and carrots. Overall, very happy tummies!

In other news, I have fallen in love with Toms. So much, in fact, that my first real paycheck is going to buy me this beautiful pair of shoes! Size 5, please and thank you 🙂 (I have baby feet, it’s totally fine)

That’s all for tonight, lovlies! Time for me to read some of my summer reading Eat, Pray, Love. Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far, and see you in the morning 🙂

xoxox,

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Filed under Recipes, Vegan

My Life in Food

Good morning lovlies! Sorry for the lack of posting lately – busy busy! I’ve been catching up with friends, work, and getting ready for school starting next week. Oh boy.

I’ve had a yummy past few days of meals. Let’s have a look  🙂

A snacky snack. Isn't hummus the greatest?

Lunch a few days ago! Tons of raw veggies (I had a tummyache) and leftover Spaghetti Squash Primavera 🙂 Oh, and VegNews for dessert.

Like my big girl lunchbox? Me too 🙂

My other favorite tea mug 🙂

Possibly the greatest heirloom tomater I've ever seen.

A friend of mine was coming for din din a couple of nights ago, so of course I had to make my famous Spinach Pie! I paired it with some Black Jimaca Rice from Lundberg Farms and Brussels Sprouts – my killer combo.

Mmmm 🙂

And of course, there was a little left for lunch! I saved some for today, too. I know, I’m a sneakster.

Then for din din, I whipped up some Great Northern Beans with Mushrooms, some Parsnip Fries, sauteed daikon and carrots, and leftover black jimaca rice. It was a sweet night 🙂 The poor parsnips got a little overdone (thank you, 3 things on the stove at once!), but they were delicious despite their charred appearance. Next time I’ll be paying more attention to the fries, and less to the stove!

Parsnip Fries

Ingredients:

  • Parsnips, amount depending on how many fries you want (I used about 3)
  • EVOO
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper to taste (I don’t like peppa, so I didn’t use any)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Slice parsnips in half lengthwise, then slice into fry-like sticks about 1/4-1/2 inch wide.
  3. Place on a baking sheet and toss and coat with about 2 tbsp. EVOO and sprinkled with sea salt.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown, tossing halfway through and checking every 5 minutes or so for the last 15.

The fries were so good, and perfectly sweet. I may have snuck a few a few handfuls after dinner…

I will definitely be trying squash, sweet potato, and carrot fries in the near future (yes, carrot fries!). Ahh vegetables, so versatile 🙂

Great Northern Beans with Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • EVOO
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, diced
  • about 6 baby bella mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 2 handfuls TVP
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1.5 cups great northern beans
  • a pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat about 2 tbsp. EVOO over medium heat and then add diced onion. Sauté until transparent, and then add mushrooms and sauté until reduced.
  2. Add water and TVP and allow to cook for about 2 minutes, then add beans and a pinch of sea salt. Cook until thoroughly heated and flavors have been absorbed.
  3. Serve and enjoy! 🙂

This dish was perfect for the cool night we were having, and filled me right up. This was my first time trying and cooking with TVP (textured vegetable protein), and I liked it – slightly meaty texture but without the meat! Vegans and non-vegans alike would enjoy this good source of protein. Plus, beans are unrivaled in the protein ring, and ‘shrooms are my favorite 🙂

KATEBARS:

I also had some time to make some more Katebars…but this time, Apple Pie!

Apple Pie Katebars

Makes 5

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 + half of 1/3 cup almonds
  • half of 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup dried apple
  • 1/8 cup raisins
  • cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, pulse nuts until no whole nuts are left.
  2. Add dates, dried apple, raisins, and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon (don’t be shy!). Pulse until no whole dates are left and it is beginning to form a ball.
  3. Place in a bowl and knead it with your hands (the fun part 🙂 ) until it’s all totally combined. Place on a wax sheet of paper and flatten, then divide into 5 bars.
  4. Using your hands, make the bars look very bar-like and then wrap in saran wrap or wax paper.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to eat, and then eat alone, in your hot cereal, or crumbled on anything else. Enjoy! 🙂

As usual, this morning the Katebar went straight into my favorite brekkie:

Mmmm, gooey cinnamon morning bliss 🙂 With a new friend – a fresh papaya on the side! I’ve never had non-dried papaya before, so this was a treat. I love my tropical fruits!

That’s all for now, lovlies! I’m off to work. Today’s a rest day, so I’ll be reading some VegNews and indulging in some vegan desserts 🙂

What’s your favorite part of rest days? Do you believe in “active” rest or just relaxing?

xoxox,

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Mother Nature and the Tao of Breakfast

MOTHER NATURE:

Us girls (sorry fellas, this is not quite tailored to you) have the joy of receiving Mother Nature’s monthly “gift” on a regular, much-dreaded basis. My gift got dropped off a couple of days ago (I apologize for the potential TMI), and I’m feeling the brunt of it. We’re talking bloaty, swollen, and tired. Wooo! The one part of nature I wish I could do away with.

So, I’ve been getting my sleep and exercising regularly to keep the crampies away – success! One thing that I’ve noticed really helps are herbal teas with cinnamonlicorice, and ginger (Yogi Tea brand‘s detox tea is great for this!). They help to de-puff and de-bloat, making you and your jeans a little happier. Hallelujah for herbs!

Also, healthy fats (such as those from avocados and nuts) really help to ward off mood swings, fatigue, and cramps. A little extra sleep never hurt, either 🙂

Don’t be tempted to reach for the pain reliever – your body doesn’t need chemicals messing with it. Instead, reach for herbs, your workout clothes, and use your opportunity to have some extra avocado on your salad. Work with nature to keep it from interfering in your life – don’t fight back with sissy pills!

DINNER:

Anywho, onto food! I’ve been super busy and oddly fatigued (hmm, Mother Nature, did you have something to do with that?), so you will be seeing 4 meals1 brekkie, 1 lunch, and 2 dinners. Hooray!

Wednesday night, I had some leftover quinoa (but not enough for the whole fam), so I decided to experiment and make my own burgers. They turned out delish, and were super healthy to boot! Loaded with protein-packed quinoa and lentils, these suckers filled me right up and kept me full through the night. The fam didn’t think they were too shabby, either 🙂

Slight camera fail - does not do them justice

Lentil-Quinoa Burgers

Makes 6

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups cooked lentils
  • 1.5 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • nutmeg
  • sea salt + pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste or ketchup (I roll with tomato paste)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until no whole lentils are left.
  3. Using your hands, shape into burger-like patties and place on a lightly EVOO’d baking sheet.
  4. Place in the oven for about 40 minutes, carefully flipping burgers every 10 minutes and spraying a little EVOO on the sheet (or drizzle a tiny bit).
  5. Once they are browned, allow them to firm up for about half an hour and then reheat in a skillet with some EVOO over medium heat, flipping every 2 minutes until warmed thoroughly and crispy.
  6. Serve alone or on a bun with some baby spinach, tomato, some vegan mayo, ketchup, and enjoy! 🙂
THE TAO OF BREAKFAST:

Now, onto breakfast! After my butt-kicking workout, it was exactly what I needed. This breakfast was delicious, A. Because it had a plum, and I LOVE plums! and B. Because it had almond butter in it. Period. Actually, almond buttah should probably get the prime “A” spot, just because nothing beats almond buttah. Nothing.

Creamy Buckwheat with a plum, bluebs, and blackberries. Oh, and a giant jar of almond buttah!

All mixed up 🙂

Oh, and a giant dollop of almond buttah.

If you’re skeptical as to what kind of crazy person would put almond butter (or any nut butter for that matter) on her breakfast, think again. Healthy fats first thing in the morning are exactly what your body needs to burn fat throughout the day, speed up your metabolism, and keep you full (EDIT: You can read more about healthy fats here). Don’t believe me? Check out this site. This lady is the greatest. She hit the importance of breakfast right on the nose; so well, in fact, I’ll have to quote her:

YOU AND BREAKFAST!

Ever skip breakfast, secretly hoping you’ll fit into your jeans better if you do?

It’s a natural thought. Less food in your belly means more room in your waistband, right? Think again. New research shows that skirting the ritual of a morning meal can totally sabotage your waistline by setting you up for minimal calorie burn and a bigger appetite throughout the day.

How many days within the past week did you eat breakfast? Here are some fun facts for you:

Over 90% of people agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and 75% believe eating breakfast will give them more energy, but fewer than 50% fit it in seven days a week. What is the deal?(Source: Cynthia Sass, Registered Dietitian)

Eating breakfast every day is vital for a number of reasons. Breakfast skippers are four and a half times more likely to be overweight, and studies show that people who eat breakfast naturally eat fewer calories all day. Plus not only does our body need fuel but so does our brain.

Many people say they are just not hungry first thing in the morning or they just have not time.   I will never understand how someone is not hungry in the morning!  If this is you, it is a big clue that you have a slower metabolism and I am here to help.  If you struggle with breakfast barriers, here are my suggestions for knocking them down.

  • Step one: Try to stop eating late at night.
  • If you’re not hungry in the am: re-train your body. Start by eating or drinking something small, like a handful size serving of nuts or a piece of fruit.
  • After about a week, add something else, like your choice of milk or a smoothie.
  • The following week, add a third item, like a banana.
  • Within a month’s time, strive for a balanced breakfast that contains four parts:
  1. A whole grain (oatmeal, whole grain cereal or whole grain bread)
  2. A lean protein (nonfat yogurt, low-fat cheese, an egg or egg whites, organic skim, soy, rice, or almond milk)
  3. Produce (veggies in your omelet/egg sandwich, a smoothie, or fruit in your oatmeal)
  4. A healthy fat (nuts or seeds, natural nut butter, avocado or extra virgin olive oil).

If you really are still struggling with the idea of a full meal at this point, you can split it up into two smaller meals. Eat half at home before you leave, then one to two hours later, enjoy the other half.

In no time you will not only feel more energized but you will have created a faster metabolism. If you start the day off right, you will most likely make better choices throughout. Give it a try!

Not convinced? Try it out for two weeks and see if there’s a difference. I guarantee you’ll feel a million times better – how do I know this? Because I’m living proof. As someone who used to eat only fruit for breakfast (and not until I was starving), I’ve felt my vitality go from zero to hero in a matter of days. Morning workouts are easier, especially with the promise of a nourishing breakfast awaiting me, as well as having more energy throughout the day. Now, doesn’t that sound dandy?

That’s all for tonight, more pictures and recipes in the morning! It’s time for me to go read some VegNews 🙂

xoxox,

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On Facing Judgement

Good afternoon lovlies!

Today has been a very relaxing day. I slept in again (oopsie!), missing my morning run and waking up plenty hungry! So, I whipped up a variation of my favorite brekkie: an organic farmer’s market champagne strawberry apple (I’m not joking, that’s the name!) and my known favorite, Bob’s Red Mill Creamy Buckwheat cereal with half a chopped up Cinnamon Bun Katebar mixed in while it was still cooking 🙂 Mmm, gooey cinnamon goodness! Of course, topped with some fresh bluebs:

Before becoming melty goodness 🙂

Since I missed my morning run and immediately got a call to pick up my Driver’s Ed forms, I decided to have an active rest day and walk to the school and back. I ended up walking it about 4 times over! I chatted with some neighbors for a bit (love my neighbors. such sweet people! 🙂 ), caught up with my school counselor (here’s a shout out to you Mrs. Bourne! love you!), and stopped at the library for a bit to pick up some mags since my VegNews has yet to arrive! I can’t wait for it to come 🙂

On my walking journey today, I also ran into a couple girls from school that I haven’t seen all summer and one of them promptly exclaimed, “Wow, you’re looking skinny!”

Now, I get this comment all the time when I see people that I haven’t seen in awhile – aka, since before I went vegan. Usually they’re enthusiastic and supportive and want to know more, but instead I got a “Really, vegan? And you’re still a vegan…?” I responded with, “Yeah! It’s so great and not hard at all, all of the food is so good!” …no response.

Well! Now I have had my first encounter with an awfully judgy omnivore.

Mind you, this girl is super nice and we’ve always gotten along really well, so this is in no way attempting to make her look like a bad person.

The only part about these kinds of responses to veganism is that I always end up thinking to myself, “How can this person be so unaware?” And by unaware, I mean not only of the health benefits, but also the kindness it shows to animals and the Earth. I try to never judge anyone else’s choices in food, and I suppose I just expect the same in return.

Have you ever had an experience with having your eating habits being judged?

Also on my journey, I saw something that made me smile: a Smartcar with the license plate “ITSMYSUV“.

Haha 🙂

You like the irony? Me too.

Time to go catch up on my summer reading and get ready for dinner-making! See you after dinner 🙂

xoxox,

p.s. You may have noticed that I didn’t document any lunch today – never fear, lovlies! I don’t skip meals. Since I didn’t work out and had my breakfast around 11:30 (aka, Breakfast for Brunch), I am just getting hunger pangs now. Time for a snackypoo!

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Puppy Love

Some may call it puppy love – but I know I’m in it for the long haul.

I’ve fallen in love with running.

Yes, that activity that used to plague me with a wave of utter dread and anxiety – it has become something that makes me excited to wake up in the morning.

As the girl who used to push herself to the extremes just to burn 100 more calories, do just one more mile, sweat just a bit more…I’ve learned to take each day with a grain of salt.

Every day I feel better, lighter, stronger, more energized, and one step closer to my inner peace. With every step of my feet, I feel the ground lifting me up and propelling me forward, clearing my mind and giving energy to every fiber of my being, from my toes to the top of my head. It’s as though everything around me stops for a moment to allow me to be in myself, spend some time for some me time. There are no deadlines, to-do lists, or responsibilities when I’m running – it’s just me, my mind, and the ground below me.

I’ve learned to be more in tune with my body. I’ve learned to listen to my body; when it tells me I’m hungry, or when I’m not hungry; the importance of knowing when to take a rest day, and when to do a tough workout. It’s all a matter of inner harmony – when you treat your body well, your mind and your body don’t disagree. You begin to work like a perfectly-functioning machine, your body and mind completely in sync because you’re giving your body what it needs. And what your body needs is good treatment: quality nourishment and balanced exercise.

I may not be a marathon-runner or a triathlete, but every day my body is becoming stronger and building its endurance to take me to where I want to go. I’m certainly taking baby steps, but every day I feel the difference. It’s all in the balance.

What are your thoughts? Do you have something that has taught you about inner peace?

WORKOUT:

Today’s workout was a bit harder than yesterday’s; I decided to up the time running since 30 seconds longer didn’t seem to difficult. Plus, I had just gotten a lot of sleep, so I was up for a challenge! My workout looked like this:

  • Treadmill workout: 5 minute warmup at 5.5, then 3 minutes running at 5.5 followed by 1 minute walking at 4.0 repeated 4 times; last rep, 4:40 at 5.6 then 5 minute cooldown at 3.5. Totals: 3 miles, 36 minutes, 455 calories (accuracy = negligible).
  • Stretching
  • Abs: 50 crunches, 30 with legs in the air, 50 with legs almost flat, 50 legs left/legs right, 1 minute traditional plank.
  • Arms: 20 bicep curls, 5 lbs. each arm. 15 lateral raises, 5 lbs. each arm. 30 tricep extensions, 10 lbs.

I felt so good through the whole thing, and even started singing in my head and dancing along – I don’t like listening to music when I run, but sometimes the rhythm reminds me of a good song. Today it reminded me of Imma Be, so I was rockin’ out for one rep – don’t judge :).

By the end, I was plenty sweaty and so proud of myself. It was nearly impossible to wipe that grin off of my face – I had done 3 miles! This is the first time I’ve been able to do 3 miles at once since my pre-vegan days (more on that another time).

One small step for Katelyn, one giant leap towards my 5K! The days are slowly approaching…as of today, I have 11 more days left to train before my first race. Ahh! 🙂 I am so excited.

Anywho, after my run I was plenty hungry, and since I had slept in, my whole morning was pushed forward. I didn’t have my favorite brekkie today, but instead I had Lunch for Brunch. You see, it was still early enough to be brunch (about noon), but I didn’t have anything breakfast-y at all – so it was Lunch, but for Brunch.

LUNCH FOR BRUNCH:

My mouth was watering like crazy by the time I reached the kitchen, so I pulled out the last piece of ‘Shroom Pizza along with some brussels sprouts, the last of the Sweet Potater, and Garlicky Beans.

Popped the pizza in the handy-dandy toaster oven and the nuked the rest (even though I hate microwaves), then dug in with hardly any mercy.

It was such a sunny, perfect day – can you tell? 🙂

After Lunch for Brunch, I showered and then got to the tasks at hand.

You may be wondering, “What’s the Hoodie Pile?”. Well, you should see for yourself.

Yes, that beautiful mountain has been sitting in the middle of my room for the past few days week. And I finally decided to clear out the top shelf of my closet to place them on, and in the process found a ton of old journals (dating back to when I was 8 years old..aww!) and a box of dried roses from when I was confirmed. I love going through old things.

What do you have in your “treasure trove”?

DINNER:

Then, it was time to make dinner! I was in the mood for squash (I love my orange vegetables), so tonight I made Spaghetti Squash Primavera with some asparagus, salads con avocado, and Quinoa.

Now, mind you, the Primavera was not very asthetically pleasing in the serving bowl, but on my plate it looked just like spaghetti! Tasted a million times better though, due to the fact that virtually any kind of squash will make my tummy happy.

Spaghetti Squash Primavera

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • EVOO
  • 8-10 baby bella mushrooms, quartered or sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 1 large tomato, diced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Place spaghetti squash on a baking sheet/casserole dish (anything really works as long as its big enough) and cook whole in the oven for 50-60 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, sauté garlic over medium heat in about 2 tbsp. EVOO for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté until they have reduced and mushroom liquid has seeped out. Cover and remove from heat.
  4. Using an oven mitt, hold the squash with one hand and cut squash in half with a long, sharp, toothed knife – do not cut it bread-style, be a daredevil and stick it straight in! It cuts easiest this way.
  5. Use a spoon to spoon out the seeds, then use a fork to coax out the “spaghetti”. Only the shells should be left when you are done.
  6. Return the skillet to medium heat and add “spaghetti”, spinach, and tomatoes. Toss and cover, stirring every few minutes until the “pasta” has reduced slightly and has moistened up and cooked more.
  7. After cooking and tossing for about 15 minutes, top with some vegan parmesan cheese, then serve and enjoy! 🙂

There’s really no way to go wrong with veggies in this recipe, so use whatever you have – broccoli, zukes, cukes, bell peppers, onions, anything! It would also be good with some marinara sauce, a bit of EVOO and salt ‘n peppa, or even some lemon juice. Let me know what you try! 🙂

DESSERT:

No meal is complete without dessert. Tonight, we finished the last few Chocolate Chip Cookie Cakes (sad face 😦 ), which were nuked (with love) for 1 minute and then devoured promptly (with care).

I love my ooey gooey goodness 🙂

Is your mouth watering yet? …You’re welcome! 🙂

Ahhh, time to go work on my summer reading! I got a giant wake-up call today when I got my schedule in the mail – and yes, I got every teacher I wanted with a perfect schedule of frees. I have 5th and 8th period free every day, giving me the best lunch period and the opportunity to leave school early or even go to work earlier every day (meaning coming home earlier!). Plus, on day 5 I don’t have class until noon. Oh, the joys of senior year 🙂

That’s all for tonight! See you in the morning lovlies 🙂

xoxox,

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Filed under Recipes, Vegan, Workouts