Giveaway Winner and Holiday Fun!

Hey guys! Happy (?) Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend! I wanted to pop in last night but my day ended up being really long and exhausting so I didn’t get a chance to say hi. I’m really excited with how the maternity shoot came out and I’ll share some of those with you a little further down the road. Delilah was all over the place but I got a few cute ones to share :)

Before I get to that we have some business to attend to! Using the Random Number Generator, I’m happy to announce that the winner of my giveaway is entry #2, Amy! Congrats Amy! Please send me an email (xvavaveganx@yahoo.com) with your address and please include any allergies that I should be aware of!

Thank you all so much for entering! If you didn’t win no worries, I have more fun stuff coming up for you in the near future! ;)

So as the holidays approach I decided to buy myself a gift. My family and some of my friends and I have come to the agreement that we won’t be doing large gifts anymore which made me really happy. I love this time of year but get a little bummed out when the stress and pressure of buying gifts overwhelms the spirit of the season. I feel a lot more relaxed this year. And I decided that I would give myself some gifts because I deserve it dammit!

Basically, I decided to give myself the gift of good health. This year has been really hard for me in terms of health. I have felt really sick for months and have been in pain for years. I don’t really feel any closer to having an answer so I’m taking my health into my own hands. Check out what I purchased!

First up we have Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen Cookbook! I felt my best after doing the Crazy Sexy Diet 21 day cleanse and I’m ready to kick the gluten for good and to cut the sugar dramatically. This book will definitely help me get back on track to feeling better! If you’ve wanted to check out this book I’d suggest checking it out now because it appears to be discounted :)

The second book I decided to FINALLY order for myself is Amber’s book Practically Raw. I’ve been a big fan of her site for a while now and have heard amazing things about her book. I’ve had it on my Amazon wishlist for a while but decided that it’s time for me to spring for it! A whole chapter devoted to kale chips?! I’m in! I’m hoping to definitely eat more raw foods so I’m really excited about this book. I also really like that she offers cooked options for her recipes too. While I want to eat more raw, the cold winters get rough so it’s nice to have that cooked option! Can’t wait until this is delivered!

Finally, I ordered Rodney Yee’s Daily Yoga DVD. I’ve really wanted to get back into yoga to help stretch and move and center myself and decided to start with this DVD. He also has a Yoga For Flexibility DVD that I’d like to try so I’ll see how I like this one before I order it :)

I can’t wait to show you what I make out of these books! I’m also going to be baking over the next week or so and I’ll have some fun things to show you from that!

For Shen, who is a big fan of Delilah’s fashion sense ;)

This may be the cutest outfit ever!

A rare moment where she’s sitting still! So sweet :)

Snowballs!!

So that’s what I’ve got for you today! I’ll be back with some food tomorrow! Sorry, I know it’s been a while but my appetite is still off. Working on it though! Had x-rays this morning (what a waste of time, there’s no injury but whatever) and I’m going back to my rheumatologist next Monday. I guess we’ll see what happens!

I hope you all have a great night!

Mother’s Day and One Lucky Duck!

Hey everyone! Happy Mother’s Day! I hope that you are all having a lovely day with your kids (fur or human) and/or your mothers! We’ve had a great day so far!

We woke up early and headed into the city to go walk around Chelsea Market for a bit. I was really excited about it because I was finally going to be able to try some treats from One Lucky Duck! It was the usual crew: me, my mom, my brother, my sister in law and Delilah. My dad works on Sundays so he couldn’t come but we’ll have dinner together.

Everyone else enjoyed all of the bakeries and bread shops and whatnot but my radar was on One Lucky Duck. I found it and headed right over. It was so hard to decide what to get! I snapped a few photos on my phone. They didn’t come out great but I figured I’d show you anyway.

The fridge full of raw goodies including juices, salads, cheese, raw cookies and sweets (mallomars! and fig bars, etc.) and toppings (like rawmesan cheese).

Wall of treats including crackers, cookies, macaroons, rawtella, raw nut butters, cocoa nibs, cacao powder, chia seeds, books, oils and so much more. It was so hard to decide!

I started off my day with the Banana Nut smoothie which has banana, cashew milk, vanilla and cinnamon. It was so delicious! I definitely can’t wait to try another smoothie from them.
I also got these cuties! They are Orange Chocolate Pecan cookies. Don’t they sound delicious?! I can’t wait to try them… and eventually when I get a dehydrator try and recreate them :) There are 6 cookies in there so they will last a while!

I also got the cheese-y quackers. I splurged a bit but I figured that I rarely get to enjoy treats like this since I’m rarely in the city, I figured it was worth it. Plus I worked hard yesterday, I deserve it ;)
After we left the city we re-grouped at my brother’s house and went for a late brunch sitting. I enjoyed lots of fruit and some potatoes, some green tea and lots of water. It was very good. Sorry no pic but I felt weird. I felt weird at One Lucky Duck too but I figured they were more used to it!

Check out Delilah rocking Grandma’s funky shades. I love that dress she’s wearing. She is too cute. She has so much energy!
I hope you all had/are having a really lovely Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day to everyone and especially my amazing mom. She is the best :)

Happy Easter and Passover!

Hey everyone! Seems like we a knee deep in holidays today :) Happy Easter/Passover to all of my blogger buddies, I hope that you have all been enjoying a beautiful weekend. I had a lovely day with the family yesterday and had an Easter brunch at my brother’s house today. My sister in law celebrates Easter and since she has joined our family we’ve been celebrating all of the holidays :) It was a fun time, got to hang out with Delilah all weekend. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous all weekend too which has made it that much better.

So, while I haven’t been eating any grains or indulging in any yummy candy, I have had some blogworthy meals. Lets check em out.

Breakfast was a banana with all natural peanut butter, raisins and cinnamon. So delicious and filling.

I made this tofu scramble to bring for our lunch/brunch. I tried using Vegg for the first time and had some problems with it. I mixed the powder with water and when I added it to the scramble it was all liquid. I turned the heat all the way up and cooked out the water, but in the process the veggies got way overcooked and everything was soggy. And now just looking at the site to link it I saw it was 1/4 cup of water I was supposed to use, not 1 cup. Oops. OK so I will post a real review when I make it correctly, which will probably be tomorrow because I’m curious! Anyway, I ate this scramble with some fruit and it was good. 
Now I couldn’t rightfully hang out with Delilah and not show you some photos. Here she is in her pretty Easter dress all perplexed by some matzah. I know Delilah, it is perplexing to all of us.
Here she is all comfy in her play clothes trying out her new trampoline! She’s so precious :) And she has so much energy! 
I hope you all had a very happy Easter! Back to the grind tomorrow, wah! Have a good night!

Weekend Wrap Up

Hey everyone! I hope you had a great weekend! It’s been all kinds of crazy over here but I finally had a chance to relax today. Yesterday was busy but a great day!

I started the day off at the gym bright and early. I got there by 8am and decided to do 45 minutes of cardio. It felt great! I went home and showered and had some avocado toast for breakfast. I ran a few errands and then decided to take the trip out to the raw restaurant I found a week or two ago. It takes me about 30 minutes to get there from my house but the drive is really nice and scenic and actually not stressful. The weather was beautiful and I had the windows down and I enjoyed that 30 minutes to myself.

Now, I hate what I’m about to say but it would be unfair for me to not tell the truth… I was a little disappointed with the cafe. I love the fact that it exists and the girl that helped me was super sweet but it just wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. I had checked out the menu before and picked out a few items that I was really interested in trying. When I got there, none of those items were available. I ordered a drink, which she prepared while I decided what to get from the available options.

I decided on the “Morning Glory” drink. It has oranges, strawberries and acai. I loved the flavor combination but the texture was a bit odd to me. It was very very pulpy and I guess bits of maybe orange seeds that didn’t pulverize completely in the vitamix? I found myself chewing quite a bit. I’m used to and prefer a thick, creamy, icy smoothie and this was chunky and pulpy and not super cold. I love the flavor combo but I’m going to try and recreate it with a texture that is more to my liking.
A lot of the choices they had were fake meat products like burgers and sausages and meatloaf…all raw obviously. It just wasn’t as beautiful and vibrant as I expected I guess? I decided to go with the pad thai. It was ok, it has a curry sauce which I didn’t realize until I got it home because I didn’t check the description when I chose it. I’m not a huge fan of curry sauces and was expecting a nutty sauce so it was just ok.
I feel so bad giving a lukewarm review but I was a little bummed out when I got there. I have to say that I at least enjoyed the ride out there and the ride home. It is a bit out of the way so I probably won’t head back out there soon but maybe one day I’ll try calling ahead to see what they have and maybe if they have a dish that I wanted to try I’d give it another shot.
A little while after that I went over to my brother’s house for a BBQ he was having. A close family friend was visiting from North Carolina (she’s from here and just moved there in November) with her baby so my whole family was there along with other family friends. It was a nice big group with 3 babies so it was a bit chaotic but it was so fun and the babies are adorable. And since Shen requested it…
Here’s Delilah! Didn’t she get so big?! She’s growing up so fast. She’s a funny kid, she makes me laugh a lot :) I tried to get more photos but she is always on the run so her being in the wagon was my chance to get a shot! Love this girl!
I woke up early today and hit up Trader Joe’s for a few things. Nothing crazy. After I went back to my bro’s house to help him watch the babies (Delilah and our friend’s son, Vinny). I got home around 2:30 and have been relaxing ever since. I’m exhausted but I’ve had a great weekend!
Here she is this morning. She’s a little bit of a mess :)
The only meal worth photographing today. For dinner I had a delicious quesadilla with fat free spicy refried beans, spinach and avocado. So good!
I hope that you’ve all had a great weekend! This week is going to be a long one. I have to cover for my coworker on Tuesday so I’ll be working 11-9 Tuesday and Wednesday plus my regular hours the rest of the week and a few hours on Saturday.  I’m going to get a lot of quality rest time in tonight :)
Have a great night!

Wish Lists Becoming Reality

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a lovely and happy holiday whichever you may celebrate :) It was nice to spend quality time with family, and as I said before I’m spending the week pet sitting for my bro so updates will be sporadic for this week. I did, however, want to show you some of the amazing things that my generous family gave me mostly because I think they will look familiar to you!

MY NINJABREAD MEN COOKIE CUTTERS!!! I’m not gonna lie I’m pretty much the most excited about these. It is kinda sad but they make me smile :) I also got the cupcake kitchen timer and the chopsticks for dummies :)
For my skull and crossbones obsession…skull spatulas, my skull and crossbones ice cube tray and skull key covers :)
My gorgeous measuring bowls from Anthropologie. 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 and 1 cup bowls. Keep an eye out for these in future photos!
An individual blender to make my quick protein shakes since I broke my other one. I don’t have a good track record with blenders… I broke my friend’s blender when I was visiting him in Florida. Oops! Hopefully this one will make it longer than the other ones :X
I am very fortunate to have a very generous family. I hope that you all had a lovely holiday and that you were able to enjoy those around you. Delilah is off visiting her other grandparents in Texas but she says hi as well :)
I’ll hopefully be back sometime this week to show you some food. Things will definitely get back to normal for me on here after the new year.
Oh and my decision for my hair… I think that for now I’m going to keep some length and get some shape and style in there for now…lots of layers most likely. Then in the spring I will do a pretty big chop and get rid of quite a few inches :) I’ll keep you posted on it and I’ll definitely post pics when I get it done. 
Ciao for now!

A Meal, A Workout, And A Baby :)

Hey everyone! Sorry for the brief hiatus. It was kind of unintended but once in a while I just kind of feel like I need a break from the computer. I didn’t even turn it on yesterday. So as an apology I’m bringing you a yummy meal, a great workout and some cute pictures of Delilah.

First, the workout. On Saturday I went to the gym before work and had a pretty good workout that I came up with myself using exercises I typically do with my trainer. Here’s what I did:

20 minute warm-up on Arc Trainer
5-1 minute rounds of jump rope
5x up and down stairs with ankle weights on (3 sets – so 15x up and down stairs altogether)
walking lunges across gym with curls into an overheard press (3x across gym)
2 sets 12 weighted squats (60 lbs – on machine)
10 minutes on elliptical

My calves are still on fire for tonight’s training session. Oops!

I ate pretty standard fare this weekend. Yesterday I knew I was going to be at my brother’s house all day helping everyone wrap holiday gifts so I had a delicious brunch to hold me until dinner.

This was intended to be a breakfast burrito but it turned into a quesadilla. The tortilla was a but delicate and I knew it would never wrap so I just layered a think layer of spicy refried beans, some browned tofu with nooch (which turned out to be more than I thought it would) and a half of an avocado. It was SO delicious and super duper filling. Some of the tofu escaped from the tortilla and ended up on the plate…where it stayed. Definitely going to use much less next time.

As promised, some of the holiday portraits I took of Delilah!

I am the only one that feels this way but this is my favorite shot. She isn’t looking but she looks so sweet and innocent. Love it.

I love that she decided to cross her feet in this one. So funny and so cute.
On another note, I missed like a day and a half of comments and I felt so far behind! Yikes, I’ll have to make sure I stay on top of that!
Hope you are all having a great Monday. Training session tonight which I’m looking forward to :)

Thanksgiving Recap!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I was totally unprepared for it this year so my Thanksgiving meal was basically a continuation of my every day diet which is kind of fine for me. I had a nice day and my meals were tasty, though not exactly traditional Thanksgiving fare. We went to my brother’s house so it was my family and the animals :)

For breakfast I had a bowl of oats with banana, walnuts and cinnamon.
I snacked throughout the day on carrots with hummus and clementines.
I cooked up my favorite side dish for the family. Roasted brussels sprouts with caramelized onions. This batch came out amazing!
For my main dish I just whipped up some brown rice with roasted cauliflower and roasted chickpeas. Boring but still delicious.
My brother found out that there is a vegan restaurant around the corner from his office and sent me the link (this was totally unrelated to Thanksgiving). I checked out the link and made a comment about how I would go there for blueberry coconut cake alone. Wouldn’t you know it he went there and got me some blueberry coconut cake! We surprised each other with treats! I had a small piece of it and it was delicious! No pic though, sorry :(
Delilah says hi!

She was a happy girl!
Stretching out in her PJs!

Jack decided to climb their tree. You can’t tell because this is a close up but she got up almost to the top! I’ll post a full length tomorrow for you to see.
I hope you all had an amazing holiday! I’m thankful for so much :)
OK I’m gonna go catch up on blogs and ice my thumb because I totally busted it during my training session today. Direct elbow impact :( Ouch!
Have a great night everyone and yay for the weekend (I worked a bit today but have Saturday and Sunday off)!

No Food, Just A Cute Baby :)

Hey everyone! I don’t have anything interesting meal-wise to show you today but I want to show you a few shots I got of Delilah yesterday. It was a combination of her 1st birthday party and Christening. Yes, I’m Jewish, but my sister-in-law is not. We are not super religious and it was something that my sister-in-law wanted so my brother went with it.  And yes, I know it is VERY late to do a Christening, but that’s how they roll ;)

Not much else to say, I kind of have a case of the Mondays. Finally had a training session and it felt great.

Check out the cuteness!

I love this picture so much. She is so young but she is so expressive and has so much personality!

Lol I can’t deal with how cute she is! She was gnawing on a chocolate covered pretzel. The birthday girl can eat a treat if she wants!!
Love my girl :) Can’t say it enough!
Have a great night!

Detox Week 3 and a Birthday!

Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well. Been feeling pretty good until I started to get really bad back spasms this evening. It’s kind of a bummer but I’m starting to just kind of get used to it…so I deal with it and then move on. It kind of stinks because it can get really painful but you just have to power through I guess.

I only have pics of 2 of my meals today.

For breakfast I had some more oatmeal. I cooked 1/3 cup of oats in 1 and 1/3 cups of water (the good ol’ volume trick! look at how much it cooks up!) and mixed it with ground flaxseeds, cinnamon, banana and walnuts. I read somewhere that the way you cook your oats determines the texture. I usually add my oats to boiling water and it tends to come out clumpy and dry. I like creamy oatmeal and I could never figure out why mine never cooked up creamy. Then I read that if you add your oats to the water first then bring them to a boil together it’ll end up creamy. I tried it today and it was amazing! Super creamy and delicious, this is the way I’m definitely going to cook my oats from now on! I wish I could credit the person that wrote about it, but I don’t remember who it was!
For lunch I had a small container of rice and beans and veggies from the deli next door.
I went to my brother’s house today to celebrate my niece’s first birthday. I can’t believe it has been a year :) They all ate pizza and I ended up with some split pea soup (I found vegan at the deli near his house where I get my chopped salads!) and a little tangy cucumber salad. Very delicious.
So I want to introduce you to my gorgeous niece :) Her name is Delilah.
I can’t even deal with how cute she is. We thought it would be hilarious if we put the giant cupcake in front of her and it definitely was :X I’m the only vegan in the family so the cake was not vegan but it was just so cute I had to show this to you!

This was the aftermath of the cupcake massacre of 2011. She’s the best little peanut. Love this kid :D

Last Night’s Dinner and Today’s meals (so far)!

I know it has been a long time since I’ve been able to post a full day’s worth of meals so to make up for it I figured I’d post a full day’s worth of meals PLUS a bonus dinner from last night!

My friends were in town from Rhode Island and we decided to try somewhere new for dinner so we ended up at The Oneness-Fountain-Heart in Flushing.  The place was really nice and bright and based on the teachings of Sri Chinmoy.

I had the Souvlaki Fountainopolis which is Grilled, spiced vegetarian beef served with brown rice and greek salad. It was SO GOOD, the “beef” was delicious, it had an unexpected hint of cinnamon that I loved because as you know, I’m a cinnamon freak!  The entire menu looked amazing and it was difficult to choose…they had a few strictly vegan options and a bunch of options that were easily veganized (my meal comes with feta and tzatziki but if you ask for the vegan option they will gladly leave these ingredients off).  I will definitely go back to try some of the other dishes. The only thing that was slightly off-putting was that it took a REALLY long time to have our order taken and our food come out. I’ll still go back though :)
Today’s Breakfast: Coffee and a Gluten Free brown rice english muffin with tomato and avocado, sea salt and pepper. It was amazing!
Lunch: Hot and sour soup and some un-pictured raw veggies.
Not sure what is happening for dinner yet, but chances are it will be a chopped salad :)
Hope you all had a great weekend so far!
P.S Tyler says hi!!