Long Slow Week

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Why does this week seem to be crawling by? Probably because I’m tired and crabby…or maybe I’m tired and crabby *because* the week is crawling by, IDK.

Tuesday started off with me thinking it was Wednesday (hate when that happens). I’ve been feeling bored with my food lately and thus not eating very well or very often. A few days last week I had nothing but coffee and tea and water until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Not a good habit to get into. So this week I’m trying to concentrate on making/creating food with new flavors as well as with flavors I already love.

Obviously I didn’t create this, but it’s something I don’t eat very often. I do not love yogurt, but I do love mango, so I gave this a shot mixed with Gorilla Munch and some crushed raw almonds. I liked it. I can’t say I’ll be eating it regularly but it was good for a change.

This contained mixed frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries, marionberries) which I buy in this bag from Costco…

…along with a frozen banana, 1 cup of almond milk, and a blob of Justin’s Maple Almond Butter. Again, not bad. Not something I would make every day, but definitely different than my usual breakfast of coffee. Perhaps this illustrates why I would never refer to myself as a healthy living blogger?

I just realized I never actually ate lunch yesterday. Dinner was great, though.

Cubed Yukon Gold potatoes roasted with minced garlic, olive oil, a bit of lemon zest, salt and pepper. When they were crispy around the edges I pulled them out of the oven and hit them with some chopped parsley and crumbled feta. So good.

This salad was my favorite part of dinner. I’m not much of a recipe poster because I never measure anything (I don’t even own measuring spoons – never have) but I can tell you what went into this:

Half a head of green cabbage
One heirloom tomato, chopped
Half of a red onion, chopped
The fresh/raw kernels from four ears of corn
One red bell pepper, chopped
One fresh jalapeno, minced
One 15 ounce can of black beans
A handful of chopped cilantro

For the dressing I used one large garlic clove minced, the juice of two limes, around 2/3 cup olive oil, some cumin, a dash of hot sauce, salt and pepper.

I combined everything and let it sit and marinate for about an hour before dinner. Everyone loved it. It was devoured and definitely will be made again. The boys had BBQ chicken on their plates along with the potatoes and the salad. I wasn’t in the mood and didn’t bother taking a picture of the chicken. It was grilled and had BBQ sauce on it. I’m sure you’re familiar.

Kettlebell workout was accomplished. Simple swings (200) and snatches (100). Nothing fancy but it gets the job done. That’s what I love about kettlebells. Even when you’re crunched for time you can get a very effective workout done in about 15 minutes.

Almost done with my post about Manuka honey. Later today if I’m not buried by work.

Weekend In Pictures

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I’ve been fighting the worst case of sinusitis known to man (drama queen much?), and I finally kicked it over the weekend with lots of rest and a super-secret concoction that I will tell you about tomorrow. No mainstream medicine is involved. I’m a weirdo who always tries to treat mild illnesses naturally before succumbing to the doctor’s office and the inevitable round of antibiotics. So stay tuned for that. Meanwhile, my weekend was less than exciting, but at least I’m healed…

Look What I Got!


Mama Pea’s book! I’ve been anxiously awaiting this book for what seems like an eternity (patience is not a trait I possess). I’ve been a reader/fan of her blog for a while now, and when my middle kid went vegan a little over a year ago I wasn’t worried about feeding her because I knew I could turn to Mama Pea’s blog for tasty healthy vegan recipes. I was so excited for MP when she got the book deal, and I pre-ordered as soon as pre-ordering was possible. Yesterday it finally arrived, all pretty and new in my mailbox. And after flipping through and reading a few stories (in case you’re not aware, Mama Pea is one of the funniest people in the blogosphere) the boy and I got to work. First on the agenda:

Mama Pea’s balls. Or rather, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls. These are hands down the best vegan cookies I have ever tasted. They are made of awesome, and you need to bake some ASAP.  The recipe is on her blog, just in case you don’t have the book yet.

Yum. I ate three.

The cookies turned out so well, we decided to roll with another “recipea” for dinner.

Better Than Ever Black Bean Burgers. These were a snap to make and they taste amazing. Everyone loved them, even the non-vegans (which is everyone except E). Mama Pea has a great black bean burger recipe on her blog as well, but the one in the book, as the title suggests, is even better after some tasty additions to the basic formula.

I want to eat dinner all over again.

I really love this book (can you tell?). There are tons of great recipes, hilarious stories (the garbage eating dog story made me laugh out loud), and beautiful photography by Ashley of The Edible Perspective. Best cookbook purchase I’ve made in a while.

Is it tomorrow yet?

The high temperature tomorrow is supposed to be low 90s. I never thought I’d think of low 90s as cooler, but after today’s heat index of 119°? Yeah.

My appetite returned today. I took my last prednisone pill (corticosteroid used to treat asthma short term) and am breathing at least 75% better. I called the doctor and made an appointment for Monday afternoon and told the office I need to switch out my inhaler. I’ve been on the same inhaler regimen for around 10-12 years, and it works really well for me. But last month on the day before we left for vacation I had to go to the ER because I had an asthma attack I couldn’t get under control. My own fault, I ate gluten two days in a row. Stupid move. Anyway, ER doc decided I should try a *new* (read: $85) combination inhaler instead of the two I was using. Long story short, it’s been a month and I hate the new inhaler. It gives me a headache and heartburn I have not seen the likes of since my third pregnancy when I only gained 13 pounds because I couldn’t eat. Worse than that it hasn’t made a bit of difference in my ability to breathe. So Monday I’m getting back on what works.

That salad I had for breakfast? I had another one a couple of hours later because I was starving and salad was the only thing that appealed.

Around 2:00 I got hungry and wanted some protein, so I scrambled a couple of eggs with some goat cheese and salsa and ate it alongside leftover potatoes from last night.

So good.

For dinner we had brown rice pasta from Trader Joe’s with ground turkey, onion, zucchini, marinara, some shredded goat cheese, fresh basil, and a shot of heavy cream.

Does it look like slop? Because it tasted incredible. I love, love, love TJ’s brown rice pasta. It honestly tastes exactly like regular pasta, but no gluten. Score. I had my favorite soda in the world along side my dinner. B was sweet enough to buy me some on his way home from work.

Grapefruit Izze = Love of my life.

I was starving and almost didn’t want to wait long enough to snap the picture before I dug in.

Lola agrees.

Over the Hump

I hate the term “Hump Day.” My teachers in school used to use that term and it made me twitchy. Plus, my least favorite day of the week is Tuesday. It’s just kind of there; a barrier to the hump that is Wednesday. Nothing special about Tuesday. Once I get past Tuesday, I’m good.

In true HD fashion, today was a bit of a drag. We’re in the middle of a crushing heat wave (along with everyone else in the middle of the country) and with a heat index of 111° and 87% humidity, it makes breathing really difficult. Oh, BTW, I have asthma. So yeah, today wasn’t great for me. I didn’t eat much until dinner and I didn’t work out save for some light yoga and meditation. I love summer, but I really hope this heat takes a hike soon.

Here’s what I did manage to eat:

Coffee. Required. Always.

Farmer’s market peach. The peach guy we buy from is a little old Greek man. I want to adopt him, to be honest. Sweetest peaches on earth.

That was pretty much all I managed food-wise yesterday. Until dinner, that is. Bloggers to the rescue.

Holy schnikes, was this dinner ever good. That’s orange roughy with Mama Pea’s famous Mmmm Sauce. OMG, that sauce is amazing. I mean, I expected it to be good because everything I’ve ever made from her blog has been delicious, but wow.

The roasted potatoes are from Jessica at How Sweet It Is. Potatoes are my favorite food, so there’s no going wrong with them, but the flavors in this recipe are beyond words. Bacon, gorgonzola, onion, cilantro. Speechless over these.

Greek salad rounded it out. My kid made the salad dressing from lemon juice, a crushed garlic clove, a hit of dijon mustard, EV olive oil, s&p. Delish. Perfect heat wave food.

After dinner I got to relax on the deck with some tea and my new book:

(for about five minutes, and then I was sweltering and sweating and came inside).

I’m a bit of a cookbook junkie and this one is really nice. Beautiful pictures and semi-fancy food, most of which I will probably never manage to make, but there are also some recipes I can see myself making regularly. The book I’m REALLY waiting on is Mama Pea’s. It’s been pre-ordered and now I just have to be patient. I’m really bad at being patient.

The heat is not expected to let up for a few days yet, so I’ll probably be hibernating in the AC and wondering how people without AC are surviving.

I am so lucky to have the option.

Heat Wave

The mercury currently reads 95 degrees with a heat index of 108. I asked for summer and I got it. Full force. Not complaining.

My appetite has been crazy today. Crazy as in I want to eat everything I see. And I have.

I have eaten 3-4 slices of leftover cold pizza today. I hate cold pizza. I never eat cold pizza. Except for today. Rooibos in the mug. My gray AE sweats in the reflection of the tea kettle, along with paint, scraped and spackled and sanded walls and supplies as we’re repainting the exterior of our house. Remind me never to do that again for as long as I live, k? Thanks.

Other things that have crossed my palate today:

Note the half-empty bag. These are spicy and tangy and salty and everything I love most in a snack. TJs never fails me.

Ruby red grapefruit.  We bought these from Whole Foods over the weekend and they’re super sweet.

Mason jar full of water, ice, and lemon and lime slices x 32903893048 cause it’s hotter than hell.

Fitnessista Banana Bread

Bad blurry picture of The Fitnessista’s Banana Bread. I was working against a hungry Pug. I always take food pics outside on the deck. The neighbors already think I’m crazy, so no harm done. Please excuse B’s work boots and the paint shards and other paraphernalia we left lying around after our latest scraping/spackling/sanding session. This house is never going to actually get painted. Prepping to paint takes FOR. FREAKING. EVER.

The bread is gluten free and vegan, and that almost never happens. Not to mention it tastes fantastic! I had to feed some to PP (PP = Princess Pug) after I finished snapping pictures. Don’t worry, I picked out the chocolate chips first.

I am really full now, so I kind of doubt dinner is going to happen for me. I still have to feed the crew, however, so if it’s anything worth talking about I’ll be back.

Yoga for Breakfast

Hey, hey. I’m spending my day buried in work. Woo! I have such a love-hate relationship with my job. I love the fact that I can work from home (ideal when you have kids) but the job just isn’t enjoyable at all. In fact, it’s mind-numbingly boring and tedious. But with the way things are with the economy these days and so many people out of work, I am mostly just thankful to be employed at all, so I try not to complain because in the grand scheme of things my problems are miniscule.

I had a great yoga session this morning. Since I work from home and have kids, studio classes are mostly a thing of the past and/or a luxury. The logistics and the cost, etc, become more of a problem when you’re juggling a family, a house, a job, and all of the other kajillion things we have to accomplish during the day. So yoga DVDs are the perfect solution in my world.

I have a few.

That is *most* of my Ravi & Ana collection. Yes. Most. I have a problem, obviously.

Kundalini = Savior of my Sanity

This morning’s workout was Solar Power.

Description:  Shine like the sun, energize, stretch, and transform your life! Experience an all-in-one Kundalini Yoga workout you will love for life! Here is the best of the ancient and new: traditional yoga’s spiritual depth and knowledge of body and mind, with the newest innovations in body mechanics and effective fitness. This flowing, fun workout will help you make great gains on all levels. Ana & Ravi have popularized Kundalini Yoga, the “Jewel in the Crown,” of yoga systems and the perfect practice for achieving optimum health and energy. Featuring the design your own workout Matrix menu option, this DVD features techniques which target the all-important solar plexus, for balance on all levels, energy, and the ability to live in the rhythm and flow of life. From yoga newbie to expert, this DVD is the yoga experience you’ve been waiting for.

Kundalini, as I said above, is my favorite yoga discipline. It leaves me feeling calm and centered and peaceful and blissed out, ready to take on my day. And with that, I’m off to tackle some typing. Happy Tuesday!

I hate you, Tracy Anderson

(and you too, Gwyneth)

Good God, my legs, my arms, my everything. You know how you’re going along, thinking you’re in great shape, minding your own business, and then something happens that knocks you on your ass and makes you want to cry? That thing that knocked me on my ass and made me want to cry is named Tracy. I’m like nine inches taller than her and probably outweigh her by 40 pounds, but she beat the hell out of me. And I liked it.

I love the Mat Workout, and was gifted over the weekend with her new Metamorphosis DVDs (the Omnicentric set) by a friend who tried it and was turned off by Tracy’s instruction, or lack thereof. I’ve been doing barre workouts/classes for a long time so I’m familiar with proper form and her lack of cueing and proper alignment isn’t a big deal to me. For someone who isn’t as familiar I’d recommend something with better instruction and form correction tips first to help prevent strains, etc. But overall I love Tracy’s method. It’s tough. Even though you might preview it and think that flailing your arms around for 15 minutes cannot be that difficult, trust me. You will be feeling it by the end.

So I did the day one workout today. The whole program is something like 14 weeks. I doubt my attention span will hold out that long, but we shall see.

If you do check out Tracy’s Meta program understand that I do not in any way recommend her eating plan. I am a NO DIETING girl, and if I tried to follow the eating plan that comes with Metamorphosis I’d be ready to gnaw my own arm off by day three. Seriously. After seeing the amounts and types of food she recommends, it’s no wonder to me that her celebrity clients are so tiny.

I eat WAY more than she recommends and that will not be changing. I like food.

Breakfast:

Exciting, I know. I am just not a big fan of food in the AM.

Lunch was far more interesting, and much tastier. I will pretty much eat anything that contains avocado, and I eat minimum two avocados a week. It’s a lot, I know. I don’t really have a sweet tooth, I have a fat tooth so avocados are like my chocolate.

Udi’s GF multigrain toasted (bread must be toasted), avocado, heirloom tomato, roasted chicken breast, FSTG sweet potato chips, a peach, and more rooibos tea (fave).

Dinner was GF pizza with homemade pesto, heirloom tomatoes, and another one with garlic oil, kalamata olives, red onion, mozzarella, and feta.

That’s the garlic oil, kalamata, red onion, mozz, and feta pizza. Heavenly.