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a lovely breakfast

5 Aug

Thank you all so much for the sweet responses to my post from Monday.  I couldn’t have asked for more encouragement and understanding than what you all showed me.  It was a difficult post to write, but once I put it out there I felt immense relief.  It felt really good to be open about everything, and your words brightened my spirit.

On Monday afternoon I had another doctor’s appointment, and the news was not what I wanted to hear.  For certain reasons, my doctor feels it’s best to hold off from doing another treatment this month and instead give my body a month to rest.  It’s hard to feel like I’m just sitting back, making no progress.  But I trust my doctor one hundred percent, so I’m trying to just distract myself and not dwell on it.  One thing I’ve learned more times than I would have liked is that it is not a good idea to put timelines on this process.  I get ideas in my head about when I want things to happen by, and so far I’ve been let down every time.  I’m working on letting go of any plan I have and just focusing on other things in life instead.  Easier said than done, right?

In other news, I’ve been trying out some awesome vegan recipes as of late.  My new kitchen was calling my name from the second we moved in, and I have seriously been in heaven since I started cooking again!

One of my favorites from the last couple of weeks is one I snagged from Vegan with a Vengeance.  I’m telling you – if you don’t have this cookbook yet, you must pick up a copy.  Everything single recipe I have made from it has been awesome (see here, here and here)…and this was no different.

The husband and I woke up late last Saturday morning…okay, he woke up late, and I woke up even later.  And when I dragged myself into the kitchen, he had all the ingredients laid out for a lovely little breakfast of pumpkin waffles.  After some intense discussion, we decided to nix the waffles and try out this scone recipe from VwaV.

He made chocolate chip.

And I went with blueberry (his were better).

But they were both delicious.  I think I ate about 4 scones in the following 12 hours.

A lovely Saturday indeed:)

I hope you all have had a great week, and are looking forward to an even better weekend.

What is your favorite cookbook – vegan or non-vegan?

Mine is a tie between VwaV and Eat Drink and Be Vegan.  Couldn’t live without those two!

great books and other stuff

1 Apr

Despite the fact that it’s Friday and the weather has made vast improvements, I am dragging today!  The culprit?

This book.

Yesterday I was killing a little bit of time before picking the husband up from work, so I ran across the street to Border’s because they’re having a huge closing sale.  After wondering around for awhile, my eyes landed on the cover of Euna Lee’s memoire.  I am a big fan of memoirs; I just recently finished two different ones, Thin is the New Happy by Valerie Frankel and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls – two books that could not be more different, but were equally engaging and wonderful.  I highly recommend both, but to give you fair warning, The Glass Castle is very harsh and somewhat disturbing at times…like when you see something so devastating that you want to look away, but you just can’t.  But in the end it shoots straight to your heart as it speaks of redemption and the ability to rise above any situation, and I walked away feeling inspired and more aware of the world.

But back to the book of last night.  I read a few pages right after I bought it and knew right away that it would be hard to put down.  After running a couple of errands and making the trek back home, I picked it back up; three hours and 275 pages later I stumbled into bed.  Lee’s account of her time in captivity in North Korea took me on a journey that ended in a renewed thankfulness for the most important things in life and a new perspective of how God leads us through the toughest of times.  Thought provoking and emotional, at times I felt I was right there with her as she agonized over missing her baby and having no certainty over her future – and upon her arrival back home where she embraced gratefulness, safety and those she loved most.  I loved it.

This morning I had plans to get some work done at Starbucks, but I just had to finish the last 15 pages or so.  This is my problem with books – if they’re riveting enough to keep me flipping the page, then I simply cannot walk away from them.  Gets me every time.  Having rushed out of the house in a blur of bags, laptops and keys this morning, I didn’t have time to eat breakfast, but Starbucks perfect oatmeal to the rescue once again!  The best option for breakfasts on the run.

topped with dried fruit and nuts

I also wanted to toss in one my favorite easy lunches that I had yesterday.  I’ve made a version of this before with just black beans, but the spices in this one had me over the moon.

Baked sweet potato with leftover Amy’s Chili poured over top. And a side of kale chips.

This could even be a portable snack to take to the office (which I’ll be needing soon!) if you have a microwave.  Maybe subbing out the kale chips for a bag of steamable broccoli?   I just love little meals that are warm and homemade tasting, but take minutes to prepare.

I’m so happy it’s Friday (duh), and I’m so excited because the husband and I are going to the OKC home show this weekend.  We’ve got some serious house decisions to make in the next week, so hopefully we’ll come away with some direction and inspiration.

Have a lovely weekend!

What is your favorite book you’ve ever read?
If I had to choose one, I’d probably say Barbara Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible – read it while we lived in Thailand, and could read it a thousand more times.  Side note – the other day I was re-listening to My Sister’s Keeper in the car, and I had this sudden realization that books can take on a whole new meaning and impact with each time you read them.  There are different things going on in my life right now that cause me to read it in a completely different way than last time.  Love that about books.

catching up: job news, running, food

31 Mar

How is it already Thursday???

It seems like we were just chillin’ in Tulsa yesterday, and it’s already been almost a week.  While I kind of feel like my head is spinning, I really wouldn’t mind if all of the next 12 weeks (until our house is done) go just as fast.

This morning I woke up in serious need of a run.  I was just itching to get out there!  It was a welcome change from yesterday’s wake up after which I did not want to go out in the freezing cold and run.   I also was on a deadline with a job application and having some stomach problems, so I didn’t go.  I wonder if maybe the break was just what I needed.  Anyway, I sailed through five miles, happy as a lark (seriously).

Upon arriving back home I did some stretching and downed half a coconut water.  Hydration, hydration.  And a yogurt bowl.

plain greek yogurt, blueberries, 1/2 banana, raw oats and chia seeds

Catching up….our weekend in Tulsa was just as glorious as expected.  Really, one for the books.  While I truly thought there would be a lot of exploring of Tulsa going on…we actually explored very little.  Much of our time was blissfully spent at the house eating, reading by the fire, watching Lost, and sleeping.  We were so happy to have little O by our side – and she was the sweetest little thing all weekend; our family was complete again for 2 whole days.

We weren’t completely lazy the entire time, though.  On Saturday we tried a new restaurant called Cafe Samana that the husband discovered while perfecting his Googling skills.  A little hole in the wall nestled in the center of a plaza on Peoria Street, this restaurant was our match made in Heaven.  We walked in to find that everything in the store was recycled or recyclable – from the papery thin tablecloths to the mismatched vintage glasses.

The vegetarian/vegan options were nearly endless, and everything on the menu sounded delicious.  I ordered the day’s special – the Falafel Sally.

A crisp bed of lettuce served as a base for carrots, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, spicy sprouts, and feta with a cucumber dill dressing, hummus, pita crisps and the star of the show – seasoned chickpea balls.

A last minute mango Kombucha rounded out my meal perfectly.  Meals like this make me happy, from the quaint atmosphere to the eclectic mix of people dining there….it was all good.  And the food was really really delicious.  If we went back I’d actually have a really hard time not getting the same thing again.

Our other non lazy activity was our seven mile run by the river on Sunday morning; I absolutely adored this running path.  We started on a park trail which soon transitioned to the path that runs down Riverside and ends on a two lane road, leading to our weekend home.  Little traffic, nice trail, light breeze, cold temps.  Perfect formula for a successful run.

Lately I’ve been concerned about the husband because his training has been a bit….sketchy.  With his work transition, plus carrying two jobs on the side, he just hasn’t had the time to put in the weekly mileage.  On Sunday, about a mile in, I was trying to think of a way to entertain him, which I’m sure he really appreciated (sarcasm).  So I just started talking.  Telling stories of my youth – from riding my mini bike in the woods beside our old house to how many Accelerated Reader (do you remember this?) points I got in the 5th grade.  What can I say?  I’m an interesting gal.

Anyway, once I started chatting I couldn’t shut up, and I ended up talking his ear off the entire 7 miles.  It was like a dam was broken and I couldn’t hold back the flood of words. heh.  Turns out the husband had an insanely happy run, finishing it out at a sprint (yeah husband!).  I’m pretty sure it was because of my mad entertaining skills.  Either way we finished 7 miles in about an hour and 15 minutes including walk breaks.  Not a time we’d qualify for Boston with by any means, but we were satisfied.

This week has been pretty crazy.  I’ve still been filling out applications like it’s my job, and I got two interviews this week!  Both interviews were for the same position just at different places.  Same job responsibilities, same hours…but a decent amount of difference in pay and 20 minutes apart in location.  For both I would be teaching English classes to international students, which I am so thrilled about; you know how I am about international students.  One of them is a stone’s throw away from the husband’s office, which would be a huge plus (meet for lunch, ride to work together etc), but it’s also the one that pays about $350 a month less.  The other one is about 20 minutes from his office, but only about 10-15 minutes away from our new house.  I’m supposed to go in this afternoon to talk to the latter one a little bit more and meet some of the other instructors.  I’m pretty excited!  I was afraid I’d have to get a random job like Gap or something that I don’t really care about, so I’m just happy to have the chance to do something I love.

We’re also busy this week trying to get our Mini fixed (from getting rear-ended) and back on the market to sell, which is harder than one might think. Blah.  Crazy times, crazy times.  People keep telling me that one day I’ll look back on this time and miss the craziness.  People love to say things like that when your life is turned upside down.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll have some more good (and more definite) news to report on the job front later today.  I hope you’re all having a fanstastic week!

Do you have spring weather where you are?
Our weather seems to be confused, thinking this is November instead of March – it’s freezing!

when in doubt…

23 Mar

Last Friday I got an email from my sweet friend, Amber saying that there would be live music at one of the quaintest little coffee shops in town located in Full Circle Bookstore.  I didn’t know what our evening plans were yet, but the husband and I are always down for live music!  We arrived about an hour late and finally found a seat in the far back corner.  And when I say a seat I really mean a seat.  We shared it.  I never mind having an excuse to get a little closer to the husband anyway 😉

I was so excited to meet Amber for the first time!  She was exactly like I had pictured her, which I think is such a great thing.  I love it when people are so real on their blogs that when you meet them IRL they are exactly as you imagined them.  Amber also had her two cute kiddos and her husband with her, and I loved getting to meet the whole family.  Sadly, the picture of us must have been eaten by my camera because it is no where to be found.

The music was great too – a group of violinists called The Stringents who covered all kinds of old and new songs.  We love groups like that!  Anyway, I got so caught up in talking about our time with Olive over the weekend, and I totally forgot to mention our epic Friday night!

——————–

This morning the husband and I got our mojo back by heading out for our four miler before the sun had even shown its face.  We both had a great run despite the hills, crazy strong wind and a short bout of stomach troubles for me.  It sure felt good to have a great workout already done by 7am.  Love it when we drag ourselves out of bed that early!

After sending the husband off to work and taking a quick shower, I decided to make some breakfast.  After browsing a few recipes online, I finally settled on Angela’s spelt pancake recipe.

It was super easy – just a matter of mixing the dry ingredients and then adding milk!  I actually had to add in more milk after mixing it up because it was a little too thick; other than that I followed the recipe exactly.

plus

equals

These were pretty tasty.  They were maybe a little too dense for my “loving”, but overall not bad.

Also making its debut in my kitchen this morning: coconut butter.  For the last couple of weeks I have not been able to get the smooth, tropical white goodness out of my head.  Last spring I bought my first and only jar because it was on sale at our local health food store.  It was Artisana Cacao Bliss Raw Chocolate Coconut Butter, and it was divine.  Considering I really didn’t want to go spend $10+ on a jar today, I decided to try my hand at making my own.

Unfortunately it turned out to be a little bit harder than I thought, and I ended up looking like this:

Coconut in my hair.  coconut in my eyelashes.  coconut everywhere really.  I didn’t even know it was there until about an hour later, too.  Glad I work from home currently.

Anyway.  I started out by adding 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut to the Vitamix and setting it on variable speed at about 5 or 6.

It seemed to work at first, but then I couldn’t get it to stop sticking to the sides, and I began to feel like I wasn’t making any progress at all.  So I added another 1/2 cup, thinking that it might help to have more, but also hoping I wasn’t just wasting even more of my precious shredded coconut.  This helped for another minute or so, but then the same thing kept happening.

At this point I was getting really frustrated (read: hungry) , so I just slathered some of the coconut chunks (and apple butter!) on my piping hot pancakes and called it breakfast.

But a little while later, I was back at it.  At this point, I was just so mad that it wasn’t working that I probably would have done just about anything to salvage it…so I added more coconut.  One whole cup more.  Desperate times people….

Hallelujah, it worked!  In fact, it worked amazingly well.  Within minutes the mess in my Vitamix had turned into a creamy pool of white just ready to be poured out in one smooth stream.  Beauty.

Lesson learned.  When in doubt, add more coconut. I think that might become my life motto actually…kind of has a nice ring to it.

Now I’m ready to start practicing with add-ins, namely cocoa.  Perfect in a green monster, on an Ezekiel english muffin, as an oatmeal topper and much more!

I definitely think this would also work in a regular food processor as well.

I’m off to work on more job applications.  I’m quickly learning that applying for jobs could be it’s own full-time job, and honestly I wouldn’t really mind it.  Does that exist?

What’s your dream job?  If you could restart at age 18 and do anything you wanted to, what would it be?
I would either go to school for a combination of nutrition and writing or just a degree in writing – like journalism maybe.  With an English Education degree I was somewhat close to that, but it seems maybe not quite close enough.

running + coconut lemon cranberry bars

16 Mar

Hello!

This morning I got up and headed to the park to get my training run in.  I’m still putting in 3.5 miles twice during the week and then a longer run on the weekend.  I have to say, my runs have been going so well.  I really think it is the yoga I’ve been doing.  In my past races I wasn’t doing yoga yet, and I think it’s making a significant difference.   I’ve also really been pushing myself to get my pace down, and I can tell a significant improvement in my long run endurance.  It feels so great to see so much improvement, and I’m getting so excited about the race!

After my run I came home and did a half hour of yoga before getting ready to head to the city.  My best friend from high school lives in OKC, and I am so excited to finally be in the same town as her for the first time in almost ten years. We met in 2nd grade and were practically inseparable from then until graduation.  It was so so good to catch up today!

I have spent so much time in the city this week doing all kinds of stuff.  When we decided to take this new job and move from Stillwater, we got so excited to live in OKC.  Then we moved to my hometown.  Which is not quite the city.  It’s about a 40 minute drive, so it’s not too bad…but not a short drive either.  So pretty much every day I’ve found some reason to go there – gotta meet the husband for lunch, gotta take something back to the store, gotta grocery shop – and usually I just pack my laptop, books, and anything else I need to work and set up camp at Starbucks for the remainder of the afternoon.

Obviously spending hours at a time away from home means there must be snacks packed.  I try not to leave myself at the mercy of the Starbuck’s pastry case or a drive through, so I found myself needing ideas for portable, non refrigerated snacks to take along.  Enter Angela’s Coconut Lemon Cranberry bars (click for full recipe)Moist on the inside, flaky on the outside, with a medley of sweet and citrus – tastes like a sunny day at the beach. Sign me up.

First, juice and zest your lemons!

Make a chia egg by combining lemon juice with chia seeds and allowing it to gel for about 10 minutes.

Next, turn 1 cup of oats into oat flour in a blender or food processor.  It’s so fun to watch the whirling blades transform oats into flour in about 10 seconds flat.  I really shouldn’t say stuff like that out loud.

Add all the dry ingredients together.  Combine the wet. Then mix them all together and press into a baking dish before dusting the top with shredded coconut and chia seeds.

Bake until the edges are brown and the top springs back when you touch it.

Allow to cool, and then enjoy as you close your eyes – envisioning the crashing waves and the smell of suntan lotion and lemonade.

These bars have been the perfect on-the-go treat this week as I’ve been out and about around the city.  I think they’d also make great pre-workout fuel or a dessert treat before bed.

Anyway, today I’m going to start the day off with some yoga and then spend the day shopping with my mom and aunt who are on spring break.  Even though I haven’t exactly earned a spring break, I’m kind of pretending I’m on it anyway because next week I start my new job of substitute teaching.  I hope you can tell how excited I am.  Really.

Are you on Spring Break this week?  What is your favorite SB memory?
Mine is from 2005 when I went to Thailand for tsunami relief.  A life changing experience I’ll never forget.  I never really was a beach person, so SB beach vacations never really appealed to me.  I know. I’m crazy.

greens are back!

22 Feb

Hello!

This morning I started the day off with a trip to the gym for a run.  I ended up knocking out 3.6 miles before doing some stretching and push-ups, and then heading home.  For the last couple of months my workouts have been pretty irregular, so I’ve been trying to get back into some sort of routine.  Which is comical because the word routine really doesn’t have a place in my life right now.

Something else I’ve come back to after a 5 day hiatus is green smoothies!

I had to start taking some medication last week, and it completely robbed me of my appetite!  There were certain things I could tolerate to eat, but one food group in particular was OUT.  And that would be vegetables.  A tragedy.

But now they’re back in full swing praise the Lord.

As predicted, this past weekend was so sweet despite the busyness.  On Friday night we met with our house superintendent and our builder to finalize the house plans.  We went through every single area of the house – inside and out – deciding on everything from doorway arches to outlets.  It was a really fun meeting, and we’re hoping to be able to get our foundation poured in the next week.  Fingers crossed!

We had been warned that our superintendent was….a little rough around the edges.  One of those “shoot it to you straight” kind of guys.  And he was.  But I really liked him.  His best line of the night said when the husband asked him what is normal as far as matching exterior colors: “Don’t even ask me about normal.  Nothing about this house is normal, so let’s not even go there.”

The husband and I tend to like sort of a unique style…and I don’t think Doug is used to working with our type.  It’ll be good for him though. hah.

After out meeting we celebrated by eating out some mexican food and then went shopping for some birthday shoes for the husband.  His big 2-8 is coming up this weekend, on moving day nonetheless. Poor husband.

Saturday morning we enjoyed the beautiful weather by going for a drive…taking the long way to our favorite bagel shop.

And after filling up with an everything bagel + Tofutti cream cheese, we set out on a walk to campus.  I really needed the fresh air, sunshine and endorphins, and it felt so good to just get out of the house after all the cold weather as of late. Olive had a banner day, obviously.

less than thrilled to have his picture taken

Later in the morning my mother-in-law came into  town to help us pack, and thank the heavens she did.  She cracked down on us and our procrastination, and we all three packed for about 10 hours total between Saturday and Sunday.  We were so productive and got so much done, but it really made me realize how much we have left to do!  I’m so glad she came because otherwise I’d be in a bad place at this point.

update: I decided for the time being I am growing my hair out, but the resulting poofiness is about to send me running to the salon

Sunday we stayed home from church in lieu of maximizing time packing with MIL, but the husband and I did rise early and go for a 4 mile run. Aside from the 30 mile an hour gusts of wind, the run wasn’t half bad.  You know how you just have on days and off days?  Well, this was an on day for me.  No amount of wind could have kept me from rocking that run.  I love days like that!  By about hour four of packing, my legs were really feeling it, though.

This week will be a bit sparse as far as good food because I currently am finishing packing up my entire kitchen.  Last night I made vegan enchiladas for dinner, and I made enough to have leftovers one night this week. Other than that we’ll probably be eating veggie wraps, Amy’s, or cereal for the rest of our meals.  It’s only for a week though!  I just keep reminding myself of that.

In other news, I still need to share a couple of tasty raw (ish) meals I made last week before the aversion to veggies took over.  I initially found both of these in Crazy Sexy Diet, and they’re so good they’re even husband approved!  Typically I don’t have a hard time keeping it raw until lunch, but when dinner comes this girl needs some cooked (read: hot!) food.  This is an example of a meal I had for dinner a couple of times.

I filled a plate up with a massaged kale avocado salad.

With it I had a smaller portion of quinoa with slightly stir-fried veggies.

For the salad, I tore up a whole bunch of kale into bite sized pieces.  Then I added about 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 small avocado, and I got my hands in there and massaged away.  The dressing turned into a creamy coating over all the leaves that softened the kale, both texture and flavor wise.  The husband commented that it tasted quite similar to a ceasar salad, and I would have to agree!

Next, I very lightly sauteed various veggies (zucchini, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, onions etc) in a wok and then sprayed them with Braggs several times.  Just before it was done, I added the chick peas and stir friend until they were heated through.  Meanwhile, I had a pot of quinoa cooking on the stove, and when it was all done I poured the veggies over the quinoa, plated it, and that was it!

This meal was so easy and delicious!  I had the salad again the next day for lunch, and still had leftovers after that.  So if you’re eating alone, you may want to half the recipe.

I’m getting in some extra tutoring hours with my students this week as they all have some really important events coming up.  Works out for me too because I’ve got some important events coming up that need some money!  Otherwise, the husband and I are just trying to keep our heads above water with work and packing.  It’s a crazy time for sure!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

hello, spring

17 Feb

Hey!

What a beautiful week it has been so far – I am loving this weather.  Do you have great weather where you are?  Sorry to rub it in if not.

Yesterday it was so nice that I got a sunburn!  Hello, spring.  I had a break between tutoring appointments, so I decided to sit out on the lawn of our campus library to eat lunch.  Forty-five minutes later my chest was red – glad I had on long sleeves. I’m not sure why campus looks deserted in these pictures, there were people all around me.

greens topped with leftover stir-fry veggies/chickpeas + quinoa + lightly steamed brussel sprouts + tahini dressing

I got to feeling a bit nostalgic sitting there – I’ve spent many days on library lawn from walking to classes in college to long walks with the husband and Olive.  So many good memories. I even buried a baby chicken on that lawn during my freshman year of college.  Don’t ask.

I also got up this morning and went for a 3 mile run outside.  In a tank top and shorts!  I was planning on wearing a jacket, but when I stepped outside I realized it was way too warm for a jacket, so off I went.  It definitely felt like spring and almost like summer.  There was also a nice strong wind, which made for a tough run.  But I made it through with the addition of a few walk breaks.  It was so much more refreshing than the treadmill – my vitamin D levels must be sky high after yesterday and today!

I’m going to have to keep this post short, but I’ll be back soon with a couple of tasty raw meals I’ve been enjoying the last couple of days.  I made them for dinner a couple of nights ago, and even the husband was a huge fan.  Score.  Also coming up soon is another product review!  I love trying out new cooking (or not! – hint) tools, so I’m excited to work with CSN again.  Remember when I reviewed the spiralizer last fall? This time will be similar, but with a new and just as fun product.  If you haven’t checked out CSN sites yet, head over there if you get the chance.  They really do have every item you can imagine…everything from swing sets to…well, spiralizers.  You can’t get much more widespread than that!

With that I’m off to a tutoring appointment – I’ll see you later!

Hope your having a lovely Thursday…only one more day ’till the weekend!

What’s your favorite nice weather activity?
I think mine is just sitting in the sun, feeling the breeze and soaking it all up!

let's talk raw – juices and smoothies

16 Feb

Yesterday was a big day for green smoothies in our house.   The husband drank his first one.

While he’s had sips of mine before, he didn’t really like it and has never shown any real interest in drinking them himself.  For starters he doesn’t like banana, and since that’s the main ingredient in mine every day, it’s no wonder he sort of turned his nose up at them.  But in the spirit of wanting to up the health factor in his diet, he decided to give them a go. And he’s actually really liking them!  He obviously knows the way to my heart:)

Unfortunately I didn’t get a pic, but I ended up buying a bag of mixed fruit – peaches, pineapple and strawberries – and using that for sweetness instead of banana.  I also added a big handful of spinach, soymilk, 1/2 scoop of Amazing Grass and ice.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m currently reading Kris Carr’s new book, Crazy Sexy Diet, and I’m loving it.  As a wellness warrior, she advocates eating only raw food, preferably liquids (juices or smoothies) until lunch.

According to Kris that means “green juice, green smoothies, purified water, and teas.”  But this doesn’t mean that you have to starve as you can have as many servings of them as you need.  And “if that’s not enough for you, no worries, solid foods are definitely an option.”   I’m not one to jump on unrealistic fad diets, but as I’m learning more about the benefits of raw food, juices and smoothies, I am becoming more and more of a believer that the more raw foods you can incorporate into your diet the better. I feel overwhelmed (in a good way) by all the information I’ve absorbed, and while I want to share it all right here right now there’s just too much!

For now, I will say that one of the best things about starting the day off with green juice or a green smoothie (after a big glass of purified water with lemon of course) is that it gives the body an instant shot of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, protein and oxygen, plus a major hydration boost.  And the body barely has to do anything to digest it!  Little work + lots of healthy stuff = pure energy and vibrance.

One thing to remember though is that when our bodies are used to digesting and storing more acidic foods, it will take a sort of short detox phase to adjust as the body gets rid of toxins.   During that time you may in fact feel less energetic…but just give it a few days to a week and you’ll be so glad you did.  It took about 3 days for me, and this morning I felt noticeably more energetic than previous days.

There was a time when I didn’t understand how juicing was so good for you.  Doesn’t it remove all the good fiber?  Won’t it raise my blood sugar if the fiber isn’t there to balance out the natural sugar in fruit?  While it may raise blood sugar a bit, it won’t be a big deal as long as the overall ratio of veggies to fruit is about 3:1, as fruit has more natural sugars.  And make sure they are vegetables that are low on the GI scale – like cucumber instead of carrots.  A great one to start off with is 1 whole organic (or peeled if it’s not organic) cucumber, several stalks of organic celery and a small apple.  But have fun playing around with different combinations!

Coming full-circle now, let’s talk smoothies again.  Smoothies are almost just as amazing for the body as juices…and they also keep you full longer. The body does have to work a bit to digest them, but still not nearly as much as with solid food, and the fiber provides longer lasting fullness and energy.  Plus, they’re easier to make.

As Kris explains, “the difference between a juice and a smoothie is that a smoothie leaves no pulp behind – it contains all the fantastic fiber of the ingredients.  The tough cellulose structure of the produce is broken into tiny pieces that are easy for your body to digest and assimilate.  Think of it as a pre-chewed blast of optimum nutrition.”

My green smoothie was just a smidge different than usual this morning. In an effort to keep it 100% raw, I subbed in water for my usual almond milk.  I was kind of concerned that it would loose it’s delicious creamy factor, but I could hardly tell a difference!

2 big handfuls of organic spinach + 1 banana + 1 cup water + 1 scoop of Amazing Grass (with a side of folded towels:)

As I talk more about raw/vegan food, I want to make it clear (as always) that whatever each individual can do that improves their health and quality of life is like gold.  If that means introducing green juice or green smoothies once a week or eating three raw meals a week, then that’s great!  The fact is that no one is perfect and the more we put pressure on ourselves to be perfect – in any area of our lives- the more we’re setting ourselves up to fail. I’m currently trying to eliminate sugar from my diet as much as possible, but yesterday afternoon I got a serious craving and nothing but the vegan peanut butter cookies I’d made for the husband would do.  So I ate one.  And it was delicious.  It didn’t lessen the healthiness of my morning and I can definitely tell you it improved the healthiness of my mind because it reminded me that perfection is overrated and food is to be enjoyed.  The thing I’m realizing though, is that the more I use food to take care of my body and promote energy and vitality, the more I do enjoy it.

Amen?

This morning I’m spending some time going through my yoga class for tonight.  I only have two classes left!  I’m really going to miss teaching and am hoping I can get a new position asap.  Also on the schedule for today is three tutoring appointments and of course…packing.  I probably don’t even have to say that anymore, huh?  It’s kind of a given that there will be packing going on here during any down time for the next week and a half.  Crazy times.

Hope you all have a great Wednesday – the week is almost halfway over!

*Note that I’m only talking about food intake up until noon.  Kris doesn’t necessarily advocate eating a 100% raw diet.
**I also want to add that while I am really enjoying Crazy Sexy Diet, and I feel like I’m learning a lot of valuable information, Kris writing style is very forward.  At times she uses language that could be a bit offensive to some, and while I personally don’t like it, I choose to look past it because for me the information is worth it.  Just an FYI if you’re considering reading the book.

valentine's day + the weekend

15 Feb

Hello!

Happy late Valentine’s Day to all my lovely readers!  I took Sunday and yesterday off from the internet to love on the husband and pack.  In that order.

But today I’m back at it…and I’ve got lots to catch up on.

On Saturday we met the husband’s parents in the city to show them our lot and take them through a house that has our floor plan.  I don’t think I’d ever get tired of driving over to see our little piece of land, although if signs of an actual house don’t start to appear soon I may change my tune. Ha.  We should be breaking ground any day now, though, so it won’t be long!

Also on Saturday, we stopped by Jonathan’s new office to check it out.  Got to enjoy a pretty sunset while we were at it!

The husband surprised me with Valentine’s Day plans on Sunday.  Our weekdays are just impossible now between Jon commuting to the city and back and working two extra jobs in the evening.  Add on packing and we basically have no life outside of it all.

So our little celebratory day started off at a quaint little coffee shop in downtown where we shared some dessert and sipped on dark French press coffee.  We enjoyed the atmosphere almost as much as the food, lounging back on a modern couch with the sun streaming in the windows.  Love coffee shops.  And good conversation.

Afterwards, we set out in the Mini to explore around town a little bit – what we do best.  With the weather a nice 70 degrees, we cruised around with the sunroof down, admiring big old houses and taking pictures of color schemes that called out to us.  We drove and drove and drove.  A perfect sunny afternoon, just the two of us.  And of course, before it was all over we ended up sitting in front of our lot daydreaming.

Jonathan had made reservations for us for dinner, so after a few hours had passed and our hunger had returned, we headed to the restaurant.  It had a modern and somewhat eclectic décor that made us smile the minute we walked in.

We started off with the vegan nachos – cashew cheese (first time for this!), black beans and roasted veggies.   I’ve been wanting to try cashew cheese for ages, and it was just as tasty as I expected.  I got so excited about the vegan items on the menu as it’s a rarity here in OK.  So nice to just order something and not have to make a million changes and then be disappointed when it comes out wrong.

We then moved on to the main course – chicken sandwich for him and veggie burger with sweet potato fries for m.e  This was my first time to have sweet potato fries at a restaurant, and I was stoked.  They were so delicious, and the veggie burger did not disappoint.

While dessert looked very tempting, we were quite full already so we passed on ordering anything.  But it wasn’t just a few minutes and out came our server with a bowl full of cotton candy.

sorry  – kind of creepy

One of the most random things I’ve ever seen in a restaurant – so unexpected as it didn’t really match the feel of everything else.  But also so fun!  I love little randomocities like that.  I don’t even like cotton candy, but it was really fun to look at and play with.  And I didn’t take a few courtesy bites, so our server wouldn’t think us to be too high maintenance.  Sadly, my camera battery died right in the middle of dinner, so the rest of the night I had to use the iPhone.

By the time we chatted over the cotton candy for another half hour or so, we decided to head out.  There was still one last place on the list for the night.

105 Degrees.


One of the coolest places in OKC, at least for a health foodie.  I’ve wanted to go there for so long, but somehow had never made it.  105 Degrees is a raw restaurant, shop, juice/smoothie bar and raw culinary academy all in one.  It has a great, quirky modern vibe, and the service and food were excellent.

We sat at the bar and ordered dessert – one green smoothie and one green juice, yes please!

the Thai Green – mango, lime, young coconut, Thai chili, lemon grass, spirulina

Best green smoothie and juice I’ve ever had, hands down.  I don’t know how they did it, but it was divine.  We hung around, chatting with the bar tender for quite awhile and exploring the little shop there before deciding to head back home.

I’ll be so happy the day that we don’t have to drive an hour to get back home from the city.  It was well worth it, though.  A great night to celebrate our fifth Valentine’s Day as husband and wife – couldn’t have been better.  I know a lot of people think Valentine’s Day is silly and too hyped up, and I somewhat agree.  But there’s no way I can complain about an entire afternoon and evening being set aside for just us.  No distractions, no talk about work (well, almost)…just sweet time hanging out.

What was your Valentine’s like?  Did you celebrate?  What was the best part of your weekend?

This week I’ll be back to talk about some of the raw/mostly raw meals I’ve been enjoying (thanks, Kris Carr) and how I’m feeling as a result!

ice cream and oats – a perfect combination

11 Feb

Happy Friday, friends!

This week has flown by so fast…and leaves us with only two weeks until we move.  Two!!  And I’m probably about one one-hundreth of the way through packing.  I’m in trouble.

So, I realize I’ve been writing some heavy posts lately, and while I usually like to keep things light on a Friday, I’m going to shamelessly bombard you with more deep thoughts.  Because that’s how I roll these days, folks.

I think all this uprooting and moving business has gotten me all worked up over what I’m doing with my life.  I’ve caught myself trying to plan so many years into the future I might as well have my grand-children’s names picked out (exaggeration).  I feel like I have all these ideas, aspirations and concerns that in turn leave me with endless confusing decisions; every outcome affects other decisions and those outcomes affect more…and so on.  You see what I mean?

So the other day as I was pondering what my next steps should be, I had an epiphany.  Are you ready for this?

I do not have to plan out my future or know exactly where I want to be in x number of years.

I do not have to know how my next job will affect my future children or how it will look on my resume in 20 years.

I do not.  I do not.  I do not.


While I know it’s good/responsible to plan for the future as much as is reasonable, I also know that there are things that will happen in my future that are unplanned or that I have no control over. If you had told me when I was a freshman in college that four years later I’d be living in Thailand, I would have called you crazy and laughed in your face.  And I certainly did not plan that the husband and I would be moving out of Stillwater right now.  As I’ve said many times before, God’s plans for me don’t necessarily match up with the plans I have for myself.  And when it comes down to it, that’s what makes life so fun and interesting.  Embracing the unknown and being willing to change directions at the drop of a hat if that’s where my heart is leading me.

We must focus on making the best decision we can in the present moment…with the information we have.  And then make the most of it.  Each turn we take in life is a stepping stone to the next place.  And I truly believe that as long as we’re willing to take risks and step out into the unknown, we will achieve our goals…they may not pan out exactly how we imagined them, but they’ll be even better because they’re real.  And because we made difficult choices each day based on our own intuition, desires and guidance found through prayer.  What can be better than that?

So, here’s to not putting pressure on ourselves to have everything figured out.  Here’s to embracing the unknown and living in the present moment!

Thoughts?  I’d love to hear your input on this topic.

Aside from spending waaay too much time thinking (if you’re like me it’s very difficult to shut down your mind – hello savasana), I’ve also been dying over this amazing breakfast the last two mornings.

I think the idea of overnight oats mixed with banana soft serve was originally Angela’s, but I could be wrong.

First, mix together 1/3 cup of raw oats and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with just under a cup of water.  Set it aside in the fridge for overnight (preferably) or at least a half hour.

After it has set, place one frozen banana (cut into half at least, if not slices) in your food processor or blender and blend until it achieves a creamy, soft serve like consistency.  You may have to stop it a couple times and scrape down the sides.  After it is about half way done blending, add one tablespoon of natural peanut butter and blend until smooth.

Now pour your creamy, cold peanut butter banana soft serve over the (still cold) oats, admire it for several seconds and then mix it all up!

The absolute best part of this breakfast, in my humble opinion, is how the textures work together.  The creamy cold oats weave together with the frozen banana “ice cream” so with each bite you get a combination of smooth oats with a little bit of icy cold peanut buttery goodness.

Now, let’s just say (hypothetically of course) that when you reached into the fridge to pull out your oats, an entire container of salsa fell out and busted on the floor, throwing bits of tomato all over the floors and walls.  Well, in that case you might just need a little added craziness in the form of chocolaty indulgence.  Go ahead and add crumbles from the leftover chocolate brownies that are wrapped in foil on the counter.  There, that’s even better.

Now be prepared because your husband or your roommate might look at you like you’ve lost your mind, mixing cold oatmeal with blended frozen bananas…but it will all be worth it.  In fact, my sweet husband commented that he “couldn’t think of any worse combination.”  Now honey, that simply can’t be true.  Let’s not be crazy.

This morning I taught an earlyish PiYo class and then tutored Hye kyoung.  I’ll be spending the rest of the day trying to make our house appear as though humans live her and not animals…and desperately trying to avoid laying down for a nap.  I was up late last night busy having epiphany’s about planning out my future…and my eyes are paying the consequences.  So tired.  All the more reason to celebrate the fact that it’s Friday!

Any big plans for the weekend ya’ll?  Will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day or just laying low?
The husband has some plan up his sleeve for Sunday…but he won’t tell me what it is.