Back to Basics & Some Results

Hey everyone! Hope you are all well. Very excited that there is just one work day until Thanksgiving! Do you all have plans or are you going to be mellow. We are all going to my brother’s house (although my mom and I do most of the cooking, ha) and it’s going to be fun I’m sure :)

So before I get into any food I have a mini update from my Dr. appointment yesterday. There was so good news and some bad/annoying news. The good news first is that she seems confident that I do not have Lupus, which was what we’ve been testing for and I’ve been completely stressed about this whole time. However, I still have absolutely zero answers as to what the hell is wrong with me. I’m getting very frustrated because they have been testing and re-testing the same thing over and over. And I still have no answers. From what I understand, my vitamin D was very low (and I did ask why it could be since I’m outside all summer so she is just re-testing that too which is kind of silly), I have a slightly elevated ANA (which can be a marker for autoimmune disease and why I was referred to a rheumatologist in the first place) and a VERY elevated ESR which is a nonspecific marker for inflammation. The high end of it tends to be around 20 and my level was a 55. I am in limbo right now because my next appointment isn’t for 4 weeks but when they call with my new vitamin d results I’m going to see if I should come in earlier because I’m really tired of waiting. I’m really frustrated by the whole thing and I’m sure that isn’t helping anything at all. So I guess I’ll have to wait and see what she says.

Now onto the fun stuff, here’s some food!

For breakfast I combined all of these ingredients together and made…

my favorite Cherry Chocolate smoothie! I’ve noticed that the cherries I get frozen from the store don’t taste anywhere near as good as the cherries I froze over the summer. I’m so bummed that the 3 servings I had left had to get thrown out because of the power outage :( Sad business.

For lunch I brought some of my yummy Chunky Veggie Soup. It was really filling and very delicious. They flavor got even better as time goes on :)

And finally for dinner I had my new favorite meal ;) A layer of 1/2 cup of Alter Eco pearl quinoa topped with a layer of 1/3 cup of corn and then topped with a generous portion of my Cheesy Cauliflower Mash. So good!

And speaking of Alter Eco, just when I thought this company was at the height of awesomeness, they went ahead and topped themselves. They are holding a Thanksgiving Challenge with the goal of giving thanks to those around you. Check it out, it’s a great way to start thinking about how you can give thanks and create awareness :)

That’s all for today! Hope you all have a great night! I’m exhausted so hopefully I’ll get to sleep early tonight.

Cupcakes!!

Hey everyone! Hope you are all doing well. It has been a crazy couple of days with some baking disasters which were saved and eventually came out with great results!

As I mentioned before, today is Delilah’s 2nd birthday :) My sister in law asked me to bake some cupcakes for her class for tomorrow since a few of the kids have milk allergies. I was debating between the chocolate chip cookie sandwiches and some cupcakes. I decided on the chocolate chip sandwich cookies but then had a mini disaster and ended up with the best of both worlds in the end!

Look at these beauties! You wouldn’t believe what an ordeal these turned into. I made my cookies but since they were smaller than the original time I made them (I wanted to make mini ones this time) they weren’t as chewy and I didn’t think they would make good sandwiches. So, I decided to scrap that and make some cupcakes.

I had to skip the almond milk because nuts are a no no too so I subbed rice milk instead because I didn’t know if soy was ok. Wouldn’t you know the rice milk doesn’t curdle when mixed with apple cider vinegar. I didn’t know if that made a difference but I didn’t want to risk it and have another disaster on my hand so I double checked that soy was ok and used that instead.

I didn’t want to waste the cookies so I thought it would be cute to decorate the cupcakes with them! I cut some in half and topped the cupcakes with them and I love the way they turned out!! I used the vanilla cupcake and frosting recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and I used this cookie recipe.

I’m really happy with how these came out! I hope the kids like their treats :) It was fun to get into the kitchen and bake again, even though it took the course of two days from start to finish with work in between. It was a bit tiring but it was totally worth it!

And now I just wanted to show you my lunch from today!

This was one of those meals that surprised me with just how tasty it was! After putting the cupcakes together at 6:45 am and having to shower, eat breakfast, make lunch and get to work by 9, I didn’t have much time to think. I grabbed some stuff from the fridge, put it together in fun layers and waited for lunch time. The bottom layer is some Alter Eco quinoa, then I put some corn and on top was my leftover cheesy cauliflower patties. When I heated it up the patties got warm and soft and gooey from the cheese and I mixed it all up and chowed down. And it was SO FREAKING GOOD. The whole bowl got creamy from the cheesy cauliflower mash and it was a really delicious, surprising meal. I love when meals that are thrown together turn out to be one of my favorite meals of the week!

That’s all for today! I’m not sure if I’ll be posting tomorrow but if I end up eating anything fun or shareworthy I will try to get back on! My throat has been feeling a bit funky and I’ve been coughing a lot so hopefully I won’t end up getting sick. I think I kind of want to make a big pot of soup this weekend… just in case ;)

Have a great night my friends!

Typical Tuesday

Hey everyone! This is going to be a quick post since I have to finish getting ready for work! Pretty good food day today :) Crappy photos though. Don’t know what happened! Sorry!

For breakfast this morning I had a proper bowl of my Raw Buckwheat Cereal! It was SOOOO good and the milk tasted amazing too. I added a bit too much milk but it was all good ;) Can’t wait to try it in new ways too!
Lunch was a delicious Mexican Quinoa Bowl. Mixed in the salsa already but left the guac on top because it looks like a hot mess when it’s all mixed in. Took the photo in the window, better lighting. 
Afternoon snack will be a pear and some strawberries!
A big chopped salad for dinner! Greens, cucumber, carrot, sun dried tomatoes, and sugar snap peas.
That’s all for now! Hope you all had a great day! Sorry so quick!

Crazy Sexy Diet Cleanse Take 2: Day 15

Hey everyone! I was going to skip this post because it is more of the same with the blasphemous use of recycled pics but I decided to do it anyway. My phone is charging for the long day and my equipment is packed so I had to use some photos I’ve already taken of meals I’ve already eaten. This will be a quick post ;)

Woke up early and was at the gym by 8. I decided not to do impact running because I have a long day of being on my feet so I did 45 minutes of intervals on the arc trainer and 10 minutes on the rowing machine. Very light rowing but I figured it would be different!

This is what I’m guaranteed to be eating today:

Post workout I had a Blueberry Banana smoothie. It’s very similar to one of the recovery puddings in Thrive by Brendan Brazier so I figured it was a good choice.

For lunch I’m going to have a Mexican Quinoa Bowl. I figure the high protein and some added healthy fats will stay with me for a while and fuel me through the first part of this long day.

VaVaBar as a snack. Again the dates are a great way to re-energize and the nuts give it some staying power :)
Cocktail hour is around 7 I think so it will be perfect and hopefully I’ll be able to feast on some raw treats there. I’ve worked at this hall before and know how the vendor meals work so I won’t be eating dinner so I’ll make sure to fuel up at the cocktail hour :)
As a side note, I saw on Twitter that “Team Vega,” a bunch of hardcore employees at Vega are training for Tough Mudder and have been posting videos on Youtube! I’m definitely going to be following!
Sorry for the boring post but I guess that’s what the day calls for. Tomorrow should hopefully be far more exciting! Less than a week left of this cleanse, I’m in the home stretch! Feeling great!
Have a great Saturday!

Crazy Sexy Diet Cleanse Take 2: Day 10

Hey everyone! I’ve hit the double digits in this cleanse! I’m so happy to say that I’m feeling great and definitely noticed some differences yesterday during my 12 hour work day (which I’ll get into in a minute!). I was really happy that I was able to keep up with my cleanse at work as I was concerned that I would be limited at the catering hall but I ate a Larabar as a snack while we were running around during the day and was able to load up on raw foods at the cocktail hour. The place was nice enough to make me a plate of veggies as my dinner too! I was happy that I was able to stick with it in a less than ideal situation. Staying hydrated really helped too and I’m usually bad at that on the job but I was mindful of it yesterday :)

I have to say that I had a really great day yesterday despite being at work! I was pretty bummed because my family was having a Memorial Day get together with some of our family friends yesterday and I was missing out on the festivities but I’m kind of used to it. I miss a lot of events during the summer because of work which sucks but it’s all part of having a job that fluctuates with the seasons. Yesterday we spent a lot of time at a little beach community that has an 11 block radius. I loved it there. It made me want to move to the beach really badly actually. Everyone was riding around on their cruisers and I was so jealous! This is what I saw in front of the church!

A whole row of bikes! I love that people actually rode their bikes to church. I was obsessed with the orange one in front. I think my new dream is to move to the beach :) We shot their portraits on the beach and I was enjoying every moment in the cool ocean breeze, got a nice little tan on my face and soaked up the vitamin D. I also realized how much my change in eating has affected my thinking when I found myself thinking, “yum, that looks so good!” every time I saw bright green seaweed washed up on the beach. Ha!
Anyway, as I was saying before, I noticed how the cleanse has positively affected me in relation to work. 10 hours is a long day to be on your feet, constantly moving and carrying about 40 lbs of equipment. The photographer I work with a lot once made a joke about how I “turn” during cocktail hour. Meaning I go into bitch mode. I used to get really cranky before the reception because of a lack of energy, lack of food and what was an apparent caffeine crash! I didn’t realize how much the crash would effect me! Last night I had energy and was in a great mood. I really truly believe it is because of how I’ve been treating my body.
Anyway, this morning I woke up feeling a bit tired but not anywhere near as bad as I usually feel the day after a wedding. I went out to do some Memorial day shopping with my mom and look what I got!!

A DEHYDRATOR!!! Finally! It’s not an excalibur or anything but it’ll do for now! I’m so excited to try it! And I also got a little $10 mandolin slicer to help cut down my prep time since it seems to have gone up quite a bit since eating more raw food. I’m so excited about the dehydrator and I have plans for it! I’m hoping to get to the store on Thursday and start dehydrating on Friday!
OK this post is already long and I haven’t even gotten to the food yet from today so I’ll make it quick!
It’s been more of a snacky day but I think it has been fine and my dinner certainly added some bulk to the day :)
Breakfast was not so shockingly another smoothie. The same as the other day, frozen banana and strawberries, almond milk, Chocolate Vega and spinach.

Some watermelon and a few more strawberries as a snack when I got home from shopping.
A little while later I ate a roasted sweet potato with some organic, all natural ketchup. So good!
Then a little while after that I ate some unpictured seaweed snacks. Because I was craving them from yesterday ;)
For dinner I made a new quinoa bowl. It had quinoa, shredded carrot and zucchini and some lightly steamed broccoli. I topped it with some hummus as my seasoning and to make it a little creamy. It was very delicious but I think I added a bit too much hummus so I only ate 2/3 of it because it was kind of rich (if that makes sense?). Super delicious though!
So there you have it. I’m about halfway into my cleanse and feeling great. I have added some variety into my diet in terms of the meals I’m eating and I’m trying new things. I looked through Ani Phyo’s cookbooks today and found some things I’d definitely like to make so that’ll be good too. I saw a raw corn chowder that I’m dying to make! I’ll wait until we get further into corn season though :) Oh and if anyone has any really great dehydrator recipes that I must try please pass them along! I can’t wait to play!
I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend! Back to the grind tomorrow, including my running. Enjoy the rest of your night!

Crazy Sexy Diet Cleanse Take 2: Day 8

Hey everyone! I’m officially in my second week of this cleanse! I think I’m further in this time than last time? I don’t remember how long it was before I got sick with bronchitis but I know it wasn’t long. I’m so happy I did it again because I feel so much better and more successful this time around. Tomorrow will be a challenge though as I’m working a wedding but I’m going to make sure to pack plenty of raw snacks and I will definitely be hitting up the raw fruits and veggies at cocktail hour (that’s usually my best bet for getting fed on a long day).

I’ve also began my running for Tough Mudder. Today and yesterday I did 2 miles worth of intervals. I did 2 minutes jogging 2 minutes brisk walking. I’m going to start with 2 weeks of intervals then start going for distance. I’m also starting a new training schedule with my trainer in June where one day is still devoted to my fight training and one is devoted to running and strength training. Then I’ll continue to run on my own as well as strength train and train on the heavy bag on my own time. Baby steps. That’s the only way I’ll get through it!

Anyway, I had some great food today!

Breakfast was not surprisingly another smoothie. This one is frozen banana and strawberries, almond milk, Vega Choc-a-lot Shake & Go powder and spinach.

Mango for snack!

Check out this yummy salad! Spinach, roasted portobello mushroom, 1/2 of an avocado and 1 tbsp of raw sunflower seeds. Balsamic vinaigrette. So delicious!

Dinner was another Mexican Quinoa Bowl. I took a proper photo with a real camera this time. Just as good this time around!
I won’t be posting tomorrow since I’ll be out for about 12 hours but I assure you it’ll be more of the same. I’m very excited to have Monday off though! Of course my family is getting together tomorrow. Go figure. It’ll be nice to relax though.
I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend! I’ll be back on Monday with more clean eats!

Crazy Sexy Diet Cleanse Take 2: Day 6

Hey friends! Hope all has been well with you! I’m feeling so much better. I have much more energy, less muscle soreness and fatigue, and no headaches. My training session was really good too so I think I’m definitely starting to feel the benefits of this cleanse!

I also had a chance to get to Whole Foods to stock up a bit on some yummy foods so I photographed my haul too! Today is also an Instagram edition because I was in a major rush to get out of the house this morning so I photographed my breakfast, lunch, snack and workout beverage on my phone and figured I’d keep it consistent. I also just used the same effect on all of them (Lomo-fi if you are wondering ;]).

Check out the haul and the grub! Lots of photos today :)

Produce: broccoli, huge ass container of spinach, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potato, avocado.

2 Pineapple Vita Cocos, almond milk, organic strawberries (forgot to put them in the produce pic! they looked too good to pass up), Vega Recovery Accelerator (figured I’d give it a shot if I’m eventually going to be working out twice a day), millet (in the container), Braggs Liquid Aminos (worth a try!), stuffed grape leaves.

Breakfast was the same smoothie as yesterday.

Lunch was most of the salad that I didn’t get to yesterday :X

Pre workout snack was a VaVaBar. So good!

During my workout I had a Peach & Mango Vita Coco. Not a huge fan of this flavor, I’ll stick to Pineapple.

And this, my friends, is THE BEST MEAL I’VE EVER HAD. I’m not even kidding you. It puts Chipotle to shame and it was the easiest thing I’ve ever put together. I was inspired by Sophie’s Homemade Chipotle Bowl and decided to make my own version. I was STARVING by the time I got home from grocery shopping so I need a fast, filling, protein packed meal and this was perfect. I just heated 1/2 cup of quinoa with 1/2 cup of organic black beans on the stove and topped with organic medium salsa and 1/2 of an avocado that was mashed and seasoned with black pepper and garlic. I took the photo and could hardly wait to mix it all up and dig in. So delicious! The salsa is the perfect seasoning. I wish I would have taken a photo on my regular camera but my tummy was calling the shots but I have a feeling this will be a staple meal and I will have plenty more opportunities!
I hope that you have all had a great day! I’m finally settled in my pjs and relaxing. I have work for a few hours tomorrow and Saturday and a wedding on Sunday but I’ll have Monday off. Can’t wait!
Have a great night!

Crazy Sexy Diet Cleanse Take 2: Day 4

Hey everyone! I’m so happy to report that I woke up today feeling much better. I have more energy, feel less cloudy, I’m more alert and am in a better mood. My shoulders are still sore but maybe down the road they’ll start to feel better? Last night was really rough, it took forever to fall asleep even though I was exhausted. I never got my appetite back after feeling sick at the gym so I never ended up eating my Buddha Bowl but managed to get down a Vega Protein Bar instead. Day Three of the cleanse is where you hit the wall according to Kris Carr and there you have it! I can’t believe I hit it that hard but I guess I had more toxins to get rid of than I thought.

I’ve been doing  everything I can do to be as healthy as possible. I dug out my Vitamin B complex and Vitamin D supplements and will be taking those daily. I also took a little extra Vitamin C since that is supposed to help seasonal allergies. Even though I was sore from yesterday (my trainer mangled my legs!) I still did my 45 minutes on the rebounder. For the record, it is incredibly boring but I’m glad I did it.

I’m also eating some great food today! Check it!

I woke up pretty late this morning so I got a late start on my meals. I drank half of this smoothie before my workout and half after. It has frozen banana and blueberries, almond milk, Vanilla Vega Shake & Go Powder, and spinach. Brendan Brazier says blueberries and bananas are good for post workout recovery so it was perfect! I wanted to get some calories in before since I had eaten so little after my workout last night. I love the photo too. The reflection of the ridges on the lid make it look all wavy :)
For lunch I had a big spinach salad (later drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette)…

…and the other half of my zucchini boat. It was so good and I love how it makes the house smell like pizza! I had to blot a little bit because the Daiya got a bit greasy but it was still good.

My afternoon snack will be a Orange Coconut VaVaBar. Yum!

For dinner I’ll eat last night’s Buddha Bowl at room temp (no microwave folks!). I’m looking forward to this meal!
I’m glad that I’m starting to feel better. It was making me anxious to be feeling so poorly which doesn’t help! Hopefully I’ll feel better every day! 
Hope you all have a great day!

Crazy Sexy Diet Cleanse Take 2: Day 3

Hey everyone! I think I’m hitting my stride here with this cleanse. I took some time to plan last night and I have my meals planned through Wednesday which definitely helps. I made another batch of VaVaBars and some quinoa for the week and I feel like I’m ready to go. The next step is to start a shopping list for my next trip to Whole Foods :)

Basically today is more of the same. I woke up and my entire body hurt, I keep getting headaches on and off throughout the day, I’m exhausted and I literally look like I got punched in the face. I look like I have two black eyes, it is crazy! I researched foods to help fight inflammation and found a bunch of links including this and this. I feel like I already eat these foods and began to get frustrated again. My next step is to see if I can get allergy testing done. Turns out these symptoms are often overlooked symptoms of food allergies, and I wonder if I’ve been eating foods that have been causing me to feel like crap for years. I don’t really know how to go about doing this but I’ll figure it out.

I’ve been trying to increase my exercise as well. I did 30 minutes of cardio and then my 45 minute training session. I had a tough time during my session and then right before the very last stretch I felt really dizzy and nauseous and like I was going to pass out. It was horrible.

That aside, at least I had some really good meals today. I’m really glad I decided to try the cleanse again. It’s a lot easier now that I don’t have to deal with the caffeine withdrawals :X I’m so glad I never went back to coffee, it is one of the best things I’ve done for myself! Anyway, here’s the grub!

My goal of greens for breakfast was accomplished this morning :) As I mentioned, I had planned my meals last night and by coincidence I planned the same smoothie that Maud had posted over at Food Feud! I made mine a bit differently but it was the same idea. I was happy to read the post and see that it had gone over well and I was definitely looking forward to breakfast this morning! I made mine with a frozen banana, 4 fresh strawberries, 3/4 cup almond milk, Vega Choc-a-lot Shake & Go powder and lots of spinach. So delicious.

Late morning I enjoyed the other half of my mango from yesterday’s breakfast.

For lunch I had lots and lots of green! A big S&M salad with lots of spinach, dulse, hemp seeds and avocado. So delicious. This is a nutrition powerhouse and Brendan Brazier talks about the benefits of all of the ingredients in Thrive. I felt so virtuous eating this salad!

For snack I made Mexican Chocolate Chia Pudding! I halved the recipe in Crazy Sexy Diet when I made it over the weekend and it still made a ton. Like I said it was a bit sweet so for my snack today I used 1/3 cup of the pudding and mixed it with 1/2 tsp of cocoa powder! It made it rich and chocolatey, cut the sweetness and combined perfectly with the cinnamon already in it. So good!
I drank a Pineapple Vita Coco Coconut Water when I got home from my workout to try and restore my electrolytes and get my blood sugar up.

For dinner I made my version of a Buddha Bowl from CSD. I could have sworn I bought broccoli but didn’t see any in the fridge so I used the rest of my roasted cauliflower. There is also chickpeas, carrots and sun dried tomatoes and it is seasoned with garlic, pepper and I sprinkled the top with nooch. I also used quinoa instead of rice to get in some extra protein. I haven’t eaten it yet because I’m still not feeling great after my workout.
I’m happy with my meals today. I achieved my goals that I set yesterday, was full all day and enjoyed every meal (that I’ve eaten so far). I really need to figure out what’s going on because feeling sick is really exhausting.
Goals for tomorrow: 45-60 minute run on rebounder.

Hump Day Eats

Hey everyone! It’s another gloomy day here in NY. I think I hear rain which kind of sucks. Can’t bring myself to look out the window yet even though I have to leave in a half hour. Oh well, I guess it’ll be a surprise?

Anyway, I got all of my errands done yesterday. Earrings successfully switched out, lots of fun crafting stuff from Michael’s (the canvases were on sale, I got 4 for $8!) AND I perused a fun health food specialty store. It happens to be next to the tattoo shop I go to and I’ve been in there before so I figured I’d go peruse. Well they have made some major changes and it is awesome! They have tons of cool stuff, lots of gluten free and raw foods AND a cafe attached! Fresh juices and smoothies and organic eats. It’s not strictly veg but it is super vegan friendly. In fact, I grabbed a menu and figured I’d scan it for you just to show you why I’m so stoked :)

If you click on it you should be able to read it! The cafe and store have great stuff but it is a bit pricey so I didn’t really partake in anything just yet, but when I hopefully get a little more work over the summer I’m going to splurge on a few fun treats!
Anyway, lets move on to today’s eats. Today is a really good representation of the pantry challenge because I used a lot of pantry items I’m trying to finish up AND the scraps of my produce. I REALLY need to go grocery shopping, hopefully tomorrow evening. Check it out!
For breakfast I had a bowl of warming oats and added some walnuts, raisins and coconut. Cinnamon too, as always :) It was sooooooo good!
Midmorning snack will be an unpictured orange.
Lunch is a chopped salad. Spinach, cucumber, carrot, half an ear of not so great corn (found out too late), sun dried tomatoes and roasted chickpeas. Mmmm.

Afternoon snack is going to be a Lemon Coconut Hemp Seed Bite and probably some coconut water.
Dinner is going to be some Quinoa Edamame salad and some yummy pickles! Look at the little baby one :) I halved the recipe because I feel like a cup of quinoa is a lot. 
This should definitely keep me going on my long day! I need to write up a grocery list too, I’ll have to sneak that in :) I hope you are all having a good week and Happy Hump Day! It’s easy peasy after today.
I am not sure if I’ll be able to post tomorrow because I’ll be rushed in the morning because of my 7:30 AM MRI appointment but maybe I’ll be able to share a grocery haul if I can get there. If not I’ll see you Friday!