A Mini Update

Hey everyone! I know I’ve been gone a while. I wasn’t even going to post tonight because I haven’t taken pics of anything but I hear the rumblings so I figured I’d pop in and do a quick update.

Well the long and short of it is that I’ve been feeling SICK. Nauseous after every meal pretty much so I’ve been eating pretty light, repetitive meals. I’ve contacted a new Rheumatologist to get a second opinion since the one I had been going to has pretty much given up it seems.

I’m going to be using recycled pics so sorry but here’s kind of what I’ve been eating.

Lots of smoothies like this one. Strawberries, banana and pineapple. It’s really delicious and my favorite combo by far. It’s also easy on my tummy.

Chopped salads like this one. Usually the same contents: Greens, carrots, sun dried tomatoes, portobellos, and cucumber. Usually with a balsamic vinaigrette.

I’ve been snacking on light things as well. I don’t know what’s wrong but it’s been a tough week. Hopefully it’ll start to ease up soon. Until it does I’ll keep drinking my smoothies. It’s all I seem to want anymore!!

A few more updates!

I had a playdate with Delilah! We went to the park :) She LOVES the swings. As a side note, the jacket she is wearing makes me laugh so hard. It’s so big on her but she loves it and when she walks around she looks like the brother from A Christmas Story with the coat that’s so big he can’t put his arms down. She’s so funny! Can you believe how big she’s gotten?

Health news:

After I saw this preview post on Amber’s blog about her gorgeous new book Practically Raw Desserts, I knew I HAD to pre-order it! Everything looks so beautiful and sounds so delicious that I knew I needed it in my collection :) It comes out in a few weeks and I should have my copy in late April!!

Also, I decided that I deserve a splurge :) I am planning on splurging on some superfoods I’ve been dying to try from Navitas Naturals! I’m planning on ordering some Mulberries, Lucuma Powder, Mesquite Powder and MAYBE some Maca. It should be happening within the next few weeks and I’ll definitely keep you updated!

OK that’s all I have for you now. Sorry for the absence, just been a blah week. I’m hoping to get something up this weekend… hopefully something new and different! Hope you are all well and having a good night!


Some Food, A Gift and A Giveaway Winner!

Hey everyone! I’m back again with a whole ton of stuff to show you. Some meals I’ve been eating (low appetite again but I know the cause and it should go away in a few days if you catch my drift, ha!), a beautiful, thoughtful gift I received and it’s time to announce the giveaway winner!

First up, I’m happy to announce that Jessie is the winner of the Vegan Delish app from Carrie! Jessie, please e-mail me (xvavaveganx at yahoo dot com) so I can forward it to Carrie who will send you the code!

Now some food!

I have been craving smoothies like crazy lately. Especially my favorite strawberry, banana and pineapple smoothie. I wish I could take credit for the beautiful one above but I actually grabbed this on the road. It was SOOOOOO good. I want one now actually.

Ezekiel toast with almond butter and banana. I’m not sold on the Ezekiel bread yet. I don’t know if it’s because I am not used to eating this kind of bread anymore or if it’s just the flavor I am not sold on but I’m going to try it with different toppings as well. We shall see I suppose.

Had this meal a few times over the past few days. Giant half sour pickle with stuffed grape leaves and carrots. Really simple but really good meal.

And check out this AMAZING gift I received from the incredibly sweet and thoughtful Shen! You can imagine my surprise and delight when I opened the box and found this:

Check out this beautiful Vegan Dish plate!! It is such a pretty green and I LOVE the little heart at the top! It is so cute! I can’t wait to use it, it’s so perfect. Thank you so much Shen, it was so sweet of you!

That’s all I have today! I hope you’ve all had a great week. Just relaxing tonight and listening to some podcasts. Hope you all have a great night!

Grocery Haul

Hey everyone! Hope you are all staying warm and dry. It warmed up here for a minute and it’s back to being freezing with random snow. It’s actually snowing now.. or like a wintery mix kind of thing. Very strange lately!

I actually took this picture last Saturday when it randomly started snowing like crazy. It is what I see when I go to the studio door and look left lol. I thought it looked kind of cool :)

So anyway, today I woke up and made a very early trip to the grocery store. However, I decided to go to forego Whole Foods this week and make a trip to Fairway instead. Partially because it’s closer and partially because I thought a change of scenery would be nice. I love Whole Foods but I thought I’d change it up this week :)

Some half sour pickles, frozen pineapple chunks (I’ve been craving a Good Morning, Sunshine Smoothie like crazy!), broccoli, sliced shiitake mushrooms, a head of garlic (hidden) and some zucchinis.

Fresh almond butter, maple sugar (first place I’ve seen it, had to get it!), brown rice pasta, Ezekiel Bread (thought I’d give it a try to see how my body reacts to it), stuffed grape leaves (!!! been a while!) and some brown rice tortillas.

I went to my dentist today and he told me that he doesn’t feel I need a root canal just yet. He said that the cavity was deep and there is a pinpoint sized exposure of the nerve, but since I’m not in pain except for once in a while when I bite down the wrong way he thinks that it will heal up on it’s own. He said that it has only been a week and it may still just be irritated so that is pretty great news!

If you haven’t already done so, check out the Vegan Delish Giveaway I’m hosting! You have until Wednesday to enter :)

That’s all for today! I’ll be back tomorrow with some food. You better believe it’ll include some stuffed grape leaves and pickles ;)

Have a great night my friends!

Vegan Delish Review & Giveaway!

Hey everyone! Hope you are all enjoying your weekend and having a happy St. Paddy’s Day! I’m definitely enjoying a nice relaxing Sunday.

Today I’m going to talk about an amazing app available for iPhones and iPads. It’s called Vegan Delish and was created by the beautiful Carrie from Carrie on Vegan. It makes eating a healthy vegan diet accessible, easy and delicious!

iPhone Screen Shot

This app has a lot of different features that make it really special and in my opinion, one of the best vegan apps out there! First, Carrie provides beautiful recipes that are nutritious, easy and quick. Each recipe is paired with a gorgeous, colorful photo that really brings the recipe to life.

iPad Screen Shot

Check out the beautiful Chocolate Cherry Bomb smoothie pictured above. Recipes include a California Kale Salad, Easiest Slow Cooker Applesauce, Pumpkin Spice Muffins, and Butternut Harvest Stew. She includes quick recipes like a Four Ingredient Hummus and Fast Food Greens. I personally can’t wait to try the No-cook Apple Oatmeal, Tropical Watermelon Slushy and Almond Carob Wafer Cookies. Yum!

My favorite feature of this app is the shopping list! Each recipe gives you a list of ingredients that you will need and the option to add the ingredient directly to a shopping list. All of your ingredients are organized into one list to help you plan your trip to the grocery store and ensure that you don’t forget anything. It is pretty genius if you ask me ;)

Another bonus? You can purchase this app for only $1.99. That’s a pretty small price for this really great app. These healthy-improving recipes (with free updates included in the price, I may add) are worth it alone, but you’ll also get the option of printing and/or emailing the recipes, sharing on Twitter or Facebook, the option to rate and review each recipe (and read reviews by others), reference pages, a kitchen timer function, recipe scaling and the app is ad free!

Carrie was sweet enough to offer me the opportunity to do a Giveaway for a free download of her beautiful app! All you have to do is comment on this post with your favorite health promoting ingredients and I will pick the lucky winner on Wednesday, March 20!

Have a great Sunday everyone! If you are partaking in St. Paddy’s Day festivities please be safe! Enjoy!

A Few Meals And A Toothache

Well my friends, I suspect that a root canal is in my near future. I bit down today and holy shit. Horrible pain. Luckily it doesn’t last but I suspect if biting down is a major problem it’s best not to let it go for too long. I learned my lesson a few years ago when I got a toothache so bad I couldn’t eat, sleep or drink for 3 days. It was horrible so I’m not letting it get to that point.

So I did the best I could with meals so far. Check out what I’ve eaten:

For breakfast I had a banana with a handful of Blueberry Almond Granola and some almond milk. It was so good and believe it or not this is not the meal that caused the problem.

Lunch was a delicious grilled veggie salad! I asked for extra grilled veggies and they really packed it in there. I didn’t even finish it (though I did power down most of it) and I was uncomfortably full for hours. It was soooooo good though. And the broccoli was the culprit in the tooth drama.

Haven’t had dinner yet because I’m not hungry and I’m still a little concerned about the tooth so I’m going to wait and see how I feel. Hope you all have a great night!

Living the Stereotype ;)

Hello friends! Two days in a row, look at that! Maybe I’m getting back into the groove? Only time will tell I suppose. I had my dentist appointment this morning and the filling went fine… just a little concerned that a root canal may follow. Apparently a pin point sized exposure of the nerve is there and my dentist tried something that will work some of the time to prevent having to go in for a root canal. I’ll know by the end of the week depending on how I feel so keep your fingers crossed that this worked! Not because I’m afraid of a root canal (I have a pretty high pain tolerance) but mostly because root canals are EXPENSIVE and not really an expense I can take on right now. I have to avoid extremely hot food/liquids and ice cold food/liquids for a few days so my smoothie didn’t happen today.

However, some fun things did happen in the kitchen today. That’s where the title of today’s post comes from. As a true stereotypical vegan, I made some home made granola and cooked up some kale.

Here is a pan of fresh baked Blueberry Almond Granola straight out of the oven. Blueberry Almond is my favorite combination for granola. Whole Foods has a really delicious version of it that I ate all the time before I was vegan… but alas it has honey in it.

I used this recipe by Small Kitchen Chronicles and cut it in half. It still made a TON of granola! I left out the sugar and used a little more maple syrup (than the halved amount). I have a tendency to burn granola but this batch came out perfectly golden brown.

I am not exaggerating when I say this is the best granola I’ve ever eaten. It’s so simple and has great ingredients. I will definitely be eating this for breakfast and I’ll also eat it as a snack. Sooooooo good and it made the whole house smell amazing!

After I finished making the granola I set my sights on a head of Lacinato Kale that I picked up from Whole Foods yesterday. I had never heard of Lacinato kale but noticed it was more tender than the regular curly kale that I get so I decided to give it a try. One of my favorite meals when I go to an Italian restaurant (which is rare since I don’t eat a lot of Italian food to begin with) is escarole sauteed with olive oil, garlic and cannellini beans so I decided to recreate this dish using kale.

I think it came out pretty great! I basically just sauteed some garlic in olive oil then added the kale. I added a little water and covered it to steam for a few minutes. I seasoned it with some salt and pepper and added the cannellini beans. Here is the final result! A big batch of greens and beans for the week :)

That’s what I’ve got for you today. The novacaine wore off finally and so far I’m feeling ok. I’m taking some time to rest before a make up training session (snowy Friday last week). I see some Weather Channel in my future. Have you ever seen the show Storm Stories? Can’t get enough of it :)

Hope you all are having a great Monday!

Weekend Wrap Up

Hello my friends! Thank you all so much for your kind and supportive comments on my last post. It always means so much to me :) I feel better now that I’m supplementing my raw veggies with some cooked grains and veggies and I added fruit back which has been great for my soul. That first orange was pretty magical, ha!

Anyway, there is no major theme for this post, just a little bit of everything. Let’s check out some stuff.

First up is a small grocery haul. Got some carrots, bananas, maple syrup (the only sweetener I’ll be using), gf low sodium tamari, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, brown rice cakes, kale and sweet potatoes.

A salad I forgot to show you in my raw haze. A raw taco salad with romaine, guac, tomato and raw walnut taco “meat.” It was good!

Been drinking lots of yummy spearmint tea. It is my absolute favorite. Switching it off with herbal teas so not to deal with too much caffeine. Always in my favorite mug :)

I received the newest issue of Marmalade Umlaut in the mail!! Read it the day I received it and absolutely loved it! Maud is so incredibly talented, thank you so much for sending it Maud!

And my favorite part of this weekend so far has been babysitting this handsome fellow! Definitely enjoyed the cuddles from this sweet pup.

And that’s it for now. I’m planning on showing you a full day of eats tomorrow. There will be a liquid lunch since I’ll be getting a cavity filled but I have a good one planned.

Hope you’ve all had a great weekend! Enjoy your night!

Soooooooo, This Sucks…

Hey everyone. I know it’s been forever since I’ve posted, mostly because I’ve just been incredibly busy. I ended up getting called in for Jury Duty yesterday and it turned into a 13 hour day since I went to work after I got out. It was boring but it’s done but I had a little bit of a traumatic experience at the tail end of my lunch break. I was leaning into the trunk of my car to grab an umbrella just in case and a giant gust of wind blew my trunk door down and straight onto my back. The piece that sticks out to catch the lock went right into my back so hard I felt like I had been stabbed (but it didn’t break the skin thankfully!). My back and neck are so sore now and it was just really weird and scary since I already have neck and back problems.

Other than that I’ve been dealing with side projects and of course my most time consuming venture, a 100% raw diet. And I’m going to be honest with you. I feel like shit and I am really not happy with it. I am not getting enough calories, my energy is really low and I just don’t have the time to make new and exciting meals. There are some people that thrive on completely raw diets and I just don’t think I’m one of them. I’ve tried them before and felt the same way. I told my trainer and he said that he meant just eating mostly raw veggies and not actually eating 100% raw lol. Even if he did mean 100% raw I would have still come to the same conclusion. Which is…

No. More. 100% Raw. Ever. It’s just not for me. If I felt great then I would consider it but it isn’t working now and it has never worked before. I feel way too restricted. And to be honest, if this had been even just yesterday I would have felt guilty and like a total failure because I’m “giving up” way before I wanted to. But after thinking about it I realized that keeping this up because I said I would on my blog isn’t going to help me feel better. Oatmeal isn’t going to kill me. Steamed brown rice isn’t going to kill me. Cooking my cauliflower, brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes won’t kill me. So I’m going to introduce gluten free, clean cooked grains back into my diet. I’m going to eat fruit. I’m going to eat SOME cooked veggies. I’m also going to keep a bunch of raw veggies in my diet. Mostly raw veggies in fact. I’m not going to eat processed food, gluten or added sugars. It’s about balance and that is my goal. And it feels good to know that I am going to wake up tomorrow knowing that I’m going to eat a hot bowl of oats after shoveling snow and it isn’t going to be a problem.

So that’s been my life for the past week. A lot of work, a little injury and mostly some soul searching. And some Internet searching, LOL. I’ve been doing a lot of research based on conversations I’ve had with various people and found some interesting information. Turns out my blood type is one of the most susceptible ones to autoimmune diseases. The fact that I’m Rh- also makes me susceptible to autoimmune diseases. All of the signs are pointing to autoimmune disease, we are just having a hard time pinpointing it. Could take years. Until then, all I can do is live a balanced, healthy lifestyle. This includes lowering my stress, working out as much as my body will allow and cutting myself a break.

So, that’s all for tonight. Just had to get it off my chest. I also want to be clear that I’m not in any way knocking a 100% raw diet. I know it works really well for some people. I’m just not one of those people. I hope that everyone is staying safe, dry and warm if you are getting snow and that you have a great Friday! It’s almost the weekend!

Have a great night!

Dehydrator Snacks

Hey everyone! I don’t know if it’s the calm before the storm but the weather is AMAZING here today. It’s sunny and warmer than it has been and generally pleasant. I have the windows open and I’m getting stuff done and it feels pretty good to be productive.

Part of this burst of productivity includes not one but two dehydrator snacks!

First up I made some salt and vinegar kale chips! I wanted kale chips, I’ve been on an apple cider vinegar kick, and I didn’t want to put THAT much effort into making them so the stars aligned and these Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips are ready to be eaten ;)

Since there wasn’t a thick coating on these kale chips they only took about 3 hours to dehydrate! The seasoning is easy… one tbsp olive oil, two tbsp raw apple cider vinegar and sea salt. Easy as that!

I also figured now was a great time to FINALLY try Gabby’s Raw Wheat Thins Crackers. I’ve been dying to try these since she posted them and now is finally the time :) These take much longer to make so they are still in the dehydrator. They smell great, I can’t wait to try them!

I had to gently cut mine into squares since my dehydrator is a circle but I was impressed that they stayed together. They look soooooo good!

I have another half a tray along with these and I have a feeling they are going to go quick. Yum!

Other than these treats it’s business as usual today. Fingers crossed I can avoid getting called in for jury duty for as long as possible this week.

That’s all for today! Hope all is well with you and I’ll be back with some green food soon :)

Some Photography

Hey guys! I know I said I’d be back with a meal but instead I bring you something (or someone) MUCH cuter! As I mentioned yesterday I did a baby shoot today and I thought I’d show you a couple of shots! Baby shoots are not my strength so I am posting the best shots I got. There aren’t a lot but these few came out pretty cute :)

Isn’t he absolutely adorable?! He is such a sweetie, it was definitely nice to finally meet and photography him :)

That’s all for today! Short and sweet post :) I’ll be back tomorrow with some food… I am planning on giving my dehydrator a workout! Have a great night!