New Year’s Grocery Haul

Hey everyone! Looks like I made it back for one last post in 2012 :) I was just so excited about my grocery haul that I had to share it with you! As I’ve been mentioning in my last few posts, I’m hoping to take my health into my own hands since the drs haven’t been doing much to move the process along. I’m going to do so by getting back into my cardio routine (which I’ve been doing and it feels great!) and by cleaning up my diet.

I’ve been debating how I would get back into that and finally decided that for the first 3 weeks of 2013 I’d do Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet Cleanse. I’ve done it before and love the way I felt after and now that I don’t have to cut out the caffeine the detox should hopefully be slightly less unpleasant. Once I’ve restored my alkaline pH I’ll cut the sugar dramatically (which I plan on doing with the cleanse anyway) and only allow one piece of fruit in a juice per day. Then I’ll cut the fruit completely and work on maintaining an Anti Cadida Diet for a little while to see if that helps me further. My overall goals are to restore my alkalinity, detox gluten, cut the sugars and reduce inflammation. I like my plan because I think that it will be more realistic for me to follow through if I cut everything out gradually. I’m really excited!!

I am going to start the cleanse tomorrow… not even necessarily because it the New Year but more so because I needed to go grocery shopping! Check out the haul!!

Carrots, celery, romaine, 2 heads of kale, oranges (for juicing and snacking, yum!), zucchini.

Cauliflower, broccoli, granny smith apples, avocado and lots of cucumbers. Lots of juice planned :)

Just a few groceries since I’m going to try and use lots of pantry items to balance out the cost of the produce I plan on consuming :) Some gluten free tortillas, raw cashews, firm tofu, 2 large cans of organic crushed tomatoes and a bag of cheddar daiya that was on sale (and allowed on the cleanse in moderation!).

Thank you to everyone that commented on my last post with feedback! I really appreciate it and it made me so happy to know that you’ve been happy with what I’ve been posting. I am going to get back to posting about my daily meals as requested and would still love suggestions for specific recipes/dishes/restaurant meals you’d like for me to make vegan and/or healthy! I only have a handful of ideas so anything you can add would be so helpful!

That’s all for today! I hope you all have a very Happy New Year!! Be safe and have a great night and I’m wishing you all happiness, health and success in the new year :) Thank you all again for being amazing!

What Would YOU Like To See?

Hey friends! Same old here, just sitting tight, getting through this crazy season with at least a little bit of my sanity ;) I’m also working on getting back on track. I guess I was feeling like a lazy piece of crap since I had to put a hold on my training to figure out what was wrong. I’ve been back at the gym on my own now though and it feels great that I’ve been making the effort to work through feeling like crap to at least get some cardio in. Hopefully I’ll be back to training soon!! And I’m hoping that cleaning up my eating will help speed that process along.

Anyway, today’s post is actually a question for YOU, my friends. I’d like to know what you’d like to see on my blog in 2013. What would you like to see more of, and if there is anything you’d like to see less of please let me know!! Your feedback means a lot to me and it will help me to plan my posts better :)

I have also been toying with the idea of adding a new page called “Veganize It!” Throughout the past few years of blogging there have been challenges posed for veganizing recipes that I’ve just forgotten or never got to. I think it would be fun to keep a running list and as I create the recipes I can link to the post. I also thought it could include recipes that I could try and make healthier? And restaurant recreations since I had a great time doing that for Vegan MoFo! Please let me know what you think and also please let me know what recipes you’d like to see me veganize, healthify (not a word but I’m over it), or recreate.

That’s all for me! I appreciate all of your feedback in advance and I’m looking forward to another year of blogging! This break has been really great for me since I’ve come up with some new ideas and I’m working on a fun project with my friend which has me so excited and inspired!! More on that later!!

I hope you have have a Very Happy New Year!! Thank you all so much for all of your continued support. Your friendship and kindness mean the world to me. This feeling of community was exactly what I hoped for when I started my blog and I couldn’t be happier about the friendships I’ve made. You are all amazing!!

Merry Christmas Eve!

Hello my friends! I apologize again for not being around much lately. I haven’t been eating a lot because I haven’t been feeling great and it just hasn’t been all that interesting here so I decided it was time for a little break. To be honest, posts will probably be sporadic through the end of the year but I’ll do my best to get back to regular posting. Today I’ll just fill you in on some stuff that’s been happening here.

First, something SUPER exciting!! Check out what my boss got me! A FUCKING JUICER!!!!! Sorry for the language but times like this kind of warrant a little bit of potty mouth! I am SO EXCITED about my juicer! Apparently he purchased it off my Amazon wishlist… which I never really tell anyone about since I just use it to bookmark things I want for myself. You can imagine my surprise and gratitude upon opening it! I haven’t used it yet but I’m looking forward to making my green juice with it!!

I hung out with my friend and she gifted me with Party Vegan! I am actually going to go through it after I post this but while flipping through it I saw a recipe for hot and sour soup… my favorite! Very excited!

I’d also like to say a big thank you to Laura!! She sent me a sampling of this amazing Vegan Fudge that she made recently. She is so sweet and generous, thank you so much! This stuff is rich and delicious :) A little goes a long way which is probably better for the waistline!

Finally, I made up some gluten free, vegan (duh) mac and cheese for our festivities tomorrow. I have another small (mini loaf sized) pan of it for dinner tonight. My sister in law was excited to try it so hopefully she likes it! I used this recipe which I’ve made before and it was good so I’m looking forward to it!

So that’s pretty much all that’s been happening. I’m planning on getting rid of sugar and gluten after the holidays so I’ll be back showing you where my kitchen adventures lead me. I’m planning on drinking green juice almost every morning and I’ll be trying to adhere to the anti-Candida diet again. Hopefully this time will work out better because I’m hoping that it may be the solution for the health problems. More on that later!

Hope you all have a really great Christmas eve and Christmas Day!! I’ll be back when I have something interesting to post ;) Hope you’ve all been well!

2012 Holiday Baking Extravaganza Part 3

Hello friends! Quick post today because I’m completely exhausted. Did some running around after work and I’m spent. So I’ll keep the chit chat short and just show you some pretty treats that came out of my kitchen.

The last baked treat to come out of my oven is also from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. These are the Caramel Pecan Bars to which I added a little chocolate to the top ;) Everything is better with chocolate, right?

They came out great! These are super sweet so a little goes a long way. Another great recipe!

In total contrast to that gooey, sweet, decadent dessert, here is the raw treat I made from Practically Raw. I couldn’t wait to try the kale chips and the Sour Cream and Onion flavor jumped out at me right off the bat!

Here they are all packed up in my paper bag :) They stayed pretty well! A little soggy but not too bad! The flavor is phenomenal! A little tangy, a little punch from the shallot. Definitely a winning recipe! Very excited about this one!

That’s all for tonight! Off to rest! Hope you all have a great night!

2012 Holiday Baking Extravaganza Part 2

Good evening friends :) How are you all doing today? I’m exhausted but doing well since I had some more successes in the kitchen. After my fails a little while ago it feels good to have everything come out ok. Especially since it is crunch time and I have to get these packages out soon!

Here’s what came out of the oven today:

Up first is another winning recipe from Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar! Oh man, aren’t they gorgeous?

These beauties are the Blueberry Spice Crumb Bars :) I wanted to add something fruity to the mix since I’ve been making a lot of chocolate and what a great choice! These would be great during the summer for a beautiful dessert featuring fresh berries (ooooh or cherries!!). I highly recommend this recipe!

Check out these Chocolate Chip Surprise Cookies!! What’s the surprise? Well, I subbed out half of the chocolate chips for crushed Candy Cane Joe Joe’s! Oh man, it’s very subtle but definitely adds a nice holiday flavor.

Aren’t they pretty? I used this chocolate chip cookie recipe and used 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and a 1/2 cup of crushed Candy Cane Joe Joe’s. It’s as easy as that!

There are actually two more treats that I made today that I have yet to photograph. Stay tuned for part 3 coming up tomorrow or Wednesday… whenever I can get back on here. There’s one more sweet recipe as well as the second recipe I’m trying from Practically Raw. It’s still in the dehydrator right now but I can’t wait!

Oh, as for the Dr. more of the same nothing. We are re-re-re-testing the results I’ve gotten in the past for inflammation and Vitamin D and whatever else was elevated (or deficient in the case of Vitamin D) to see where I stand. She also wants me to get a CT scan of my sinuses… a very isolated small part of a large problem but whatever, I guess I’ll see what happens after the blood results. When they call with the results I’m going to ask about the possibility of Celiac disease again. I’ve read you can still have it even with negative blood work so I’m going to see if that is still something we should explore considering nothing else is really panning out.

That’s all for today! I hope that you are all well. I’ll be back soon with the last installment of my kitchen adventures from the past two days. For now, I’m completely exhausted and I’m just going to relax :) Have a great night!

2012 Holiday Baking Extravaganza Part 1

Hey guys! Hope you are all enjoying your Sunday. I woke up today and stayed in bed for a while and that felt GREAT. It was nice to be able to relax this morning, especially because I knew I’d be doing a lot of baking today. I can’t believe how quickly Christmas has crept up this year. I’m hoping to do all of my baking between today and tomorrow, so far I’m doing pretty well!

Let’s check out what came out of my kitchen today :)

Gingerbread Biscotti from Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar!! Aren’t the pretty?!!

They came out absolutely amazing! I left out the crystalized ginger because I don’t like super overwhelming ginger flavor but these were subtle but still spicy. Such a great recipe!

Peppermint Cookie’s n Cream Bark!¬†I packed up this box for my friend who LOVES this stuff. It’s always a hit so it’s a great choice and it comes together really quick. All you do is melt some vegan chocolate at mix in some crushed Candy Cane Joe Joe’s, spread on a cookie sheet and place in the fridge to harden. So quick and easy!

Finally, I made these Chocolate Pumpkin Loaves from the PPK! I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for a long time and I’m so glad I did!

I mixed up one recipe’s worth of batter and split it between a few mini loaf pans. It made 3 regular sized ones and one runt ;)

Obviously I couldn’t give these away without trying them first! ;) I cut off a small piece of the runt loaf and tried it and it was delicious! Oh and I forgot to say I made them gluten free by using oat flour instead of all-purpose flour and the taste and texture were still great! Definitely a great recipe!

So that’s what I made today :) I have another day of baking planned for tomorrow after my appointment with the Dr. I also will be making another recipe from Amber’s book! Lots of great stuff happening so hopefully I’ll be able to post a little more than I have been. For now, I’m going to relax in bed and listen to some podcasts and drink some tea.

Hope you all have a great Sunday! It’s definitely lazy day weather around here so I’m going to take advantage of that while I can :)

Baklava Nut Medley!

Hey everyone! Super quick post tonight, just wanted to show you the first recipe I made from Amber’s Practically Raw! One of my favorite desserts of all time is baklava and naturally I haven’t eaten it in years. You can imagine how excited I was to see the recipe for (raw) baklava nut medley in this book!

Look how pretty!! It’s a mixture of walnuts, pistachios and almonds… all of the nuts you may find in a baklava :)

The nuts are tossed in the most amazing, sweet, cinnamon-y syrup and dehydrated.

Check out how gorgeous they are! They have the most amazing glaze and it really tastes just like baklava! The medley is sticky and sweet and absolutely perfect! It was the best possible choice for my first recipe from this book! I am so excited to try more!

On a more serious note, I don’t even have words to describe to horrific events that occured in CT today. I’m so horrified and saddened by the events and no words will ever be good enough to describe what a tragedy it was. So I’m going to leave it at that.

 

Such a Tease!

Hey guys! Happy Thursday! I hope you are all doing well :) Is it me or have things just be really crazy lately? I feel like time has flown by since the hurricane and I feel really scattered! Is it just the time of the year? A break in the routine? The fact that I’ve been feeling sick? Who knows but I can’t believe the year is almost over! Are you guys feeling the same or am I just crazy?

Anyway, enough of that! I just have two pictures to share with you today.

Sorry the photo is so bad but I took this in hiding at work ;) If you remember during MoFo I recreated Uncle Bacala’s Insalati di Asparagus. Well someone gifted the studio with a gift card to Uncle Bacala’s so we ordered lunch and I got my salad as usual! I t was nice because it was nowhere near as oily as the salads in the past! Oh and this was actually the leftovers from yesterday. It held up pretty well but the potatoes were all gone when I took the pic :)

When I got home from work today I decided to try a recipe from Amber’s Practically Raw! I seriously couldn’t wait and it’s dehydrating now so I’m going to show you just a little tease!

Told you it was just a tease ;) I was SO EXCITED when I saw this recipe because it is the snack version of my absolutely favorite dessert (which I haven’t eaten in years, wah!). Can’t wait to taste the finished treat! I’ll show you more tomorrow when they are done!

That’s all for today! Just have two more days of work then it’s my weekend! Another Dr. appointment on Monday with my rheumatologist. We’ll see how much of a waste of time this one turns out to be.

I hope you all have a wonderful evening! I’m going to relax and watch the season premiere of Impractical Jokers! Do you guys watch that show? It’s freaking hilarious, I’m so stoked about it! Have a great night!

 

Grocery Haul!

Hey guys! I hope you are all doing well :) I received my holiday gift to myself and couldn’t wait to go through them! I haven’t read through them from cover to cover yet but I flipped through the recipes and I’M SO FREAKING PUMPED!! These books are absolutely gorgeous and the recipes look divine. I’ve already selected a few to make and they are reflected in my grocery haul ;) It’s a small haul but it’ll do the job!

Produce haul: Lemons, oranges, 2 bunches of kale (can you guess what’s happening with these?! I’m sure you can!), baby spinach, 1 shallot and some vine tomatoes.

Go Big Oat chocolate hazelnut cookie, big ol’ bag of walnuts, firm tofu, cheddar and mozzarelle Daiya for the freezer (they don’t always have it so when I see it I grab some… especially because now I have Mac n Cheese on the mind… thanks Shen!), and in the little bag some raw shelled pistachios.

Ok so I have some questions for you my friends. First, how do you guys store your kale chips to keep them crispy? I’ve stored in tupperware and in plastic baggies before and they still get soggy. Maybe I just don’t dehydrate them enough? Also, has anyone found cardamom for a relatively low price? The only one I saw at Whole Foods was $7 and that’s just not happening.

So that’s it for today! I’m so excited to start cleaning it up again because my body is craving these foods :) I’m going to jump right back into the raw foods but I’m going to drop the sugar slowly… it is the holiday season after all :) My goal is to eventually get to the point where I limit my “sweets” to breakfast (fruit) with a raw dessert-y treat once in a while. There are too many awesome raw desserts in these books to cut them completely :)

Have a great day my friends!

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!