I’m BEET!

Hey everyone! I woke up a wee bit late this morning, so this post is going to be rather speedy.

Last night for dinner, I dreamed up some wild combinations in my head. Some came from recipes mixed in with my own ingredients, and some came purely from my brain. Scary, huh? 😉

The stars in the show of dinner:

  • squash
  • red beans
  • golden beets
  • brussells sprouts

These stars scared the husband a little too much, so I ended up cooking him one of his faves – chicken and noodles in the slow cooker.

Jicama was also going to star last night, but then I figured I was getting a little ahead of myself, and I ixnayed it until tonight or tomorrow.

Anyway, I was doing about a million things at once for this dinner, since there were so many elements, but I started with the beets and the squash.

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I sliced up the acorn squashie, and cut the stems off of the beats, and popped them in the oven for 50 minutes at 375º. At this point, I knew I’d need a little help with dinner, and luckily, help was available:

 

IMG_2415 While the beets and squash were cooking, I got started on the sauces:

– a sweet and spicy dark brown sauce for the squash and beans (which I adpated from ED & BV)

– a sweet and spicy sauce + almond butter for the sprouts

– a savory caper sauce for the beets (adapted from one of  this months Clean Eating recipes)

Next, I sauteed up the beets in said sauce, and then it was about time for everything to be done! Somehow I had perfect timing. This nevah happens! And surprisingly, everything turned out excellently!

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Actually, the brussell sprouts were a little too crunchy, so I stuck em in the microwave with a couple tpbs of water, and then they turned out excellently.

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After dinner, I finally got to tear into the mystery box that was taunting me the whole time I was cooking!

IMG_2420 I was like a pirate looking for her buried treasure

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Found it!

 

IMG_2422 Since I won Katy and Michelle’s Vegan for a Day challenge, Vega sent me some goodies! Whoop Whoop!

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Clarabelle found some goodies herself.

IMG_2426 Cats and their packing peanuts…

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Gotta go! Have a fabulous day everyone!

A Bitter Sweet Kind of Day

The first thing I heard upon waking up yesterday morning was Niko barking. This meant one of two things: it was in the middle of the night and there was an intruder in the house or she was barking to go outside because I overslept and it was past her morning potty time. After looking at the clock and seeing it was 5:45, I quickly realized it was the latter, and shot up straight out of bed, realizing that I would inevitably be late to work. However   …this was kinda bitter sweet because scored an extra hour of sleep, which is pretty sweet since I didn’t get to sleep until midnight. 😉

Since I participated in Vegan for a Day yesterday, I planned on starting it off right with a Green Monster. Since time, time, time was not on my side, I had the next best thing:

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Kombucha! I actually enjoyed drinking this first thing in the a.m. 😀

Vegan Meals for Vegan for a Day

A little later, I forgoed (is that a word?) my breakfast cookie I’ve been eating lately, and went with a breakfast wrap in a Flat Out!

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Inside this blanket of goodness was a mashed nanner, blueberries (random, but such a good addition,) flax meal, maranatha’s raw almond butter, and hempseed powder. It was as glorious as it sounds 😀

Some other vegan snacks:

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(Thank you, husband for bringing my veggie chips to my desk! <3)

And lunch was an easy choice – leftovers from the night before! I had the cashew lemon pesto from ED & BV with ziti and some meatless gourmet.

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It tasted about 1,000 x’s better than it looks. I promise.

After consuming lunch, I jetted across the street to my hair salon. I had to get a much needed bang trim and brow wax. I’m so glad I was able to sneak in over my lunch break, because I have zero free time this weekend! Not so glad I came back to work with red marks on my face from the wax (no reaction, my skin just always does this.)

I had the best vegan dinner planned in my mind on my way home from work. I had the perfect idea – Mama Pea’s pumpkin spice roasted chick peas! I followed her recipe to a T and then stuck em in the hot box:

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While they were getting nice and toasty, I jetted upstairs to the workout room where I got in a super quick workout:

  • 32 minutes on the elliptisizer
  • 2 sets of 10 stability ball core roll outs
  • 2 sets of 10 deadlifts w/ 15 lb. dumbbells
  • 2 sets of 10 squats w/ 15 lb. dumbbells
  • planks, planks, and more planks – I got a cruise comin’ up, darnit!

The chickpeas were done roasting and cooling when I was done, and I couldn’t wait to inhale eat them. Not knowing what to eat them on or with, I decided to go the no fail route and use them as a salad topper. They were accompanied by some spinach, avocado, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, a few slivered almonds, and some red bell pepper:

 

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Which does not belong? I’ll tell you: the bell pepper! All the other flavors got along well together, but the bell pepper just did not want to play. So I ate those separately and then consumed the delicious salad. As I said, the salad was delicious, however, all the chickpeas scurried down to the bottom of the bowl, which led to not so balanced bites 😦

Fortunately, I reached them at the bottom, threw in some more avocado, and continued to go to town:

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On the side, I had some mango with blueberries:

 

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If you guys are like me, you can’t just cut up a mango and leave the core alone. Oh no. You must eat around the core with an apple. SO good. However, I spent the rest of the night picking mango shreds out of my teeth. Not so good.

After dinner I was off to my last personal training class 😦 This was definitely bittersweet. I was happy, because now I get my nights back for a while, but I wasn’t ready for it to end! Each class provided a wealth of knowledge, our instructor was wonderful, and I met some really awesome people in the class. *Sigh*

But I left with a certificate!

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Booyah! Now I can save yo life and get you fit! Well, after I pass the ACE exam  🙂

There were several bittersweet moments throughout the class, but one that was most notable. The instructor baked oatbran peanut butter cookies for our last class, and because we had all pitched in and gotten her a Target gift card. Poor girl was a little upset, because somehow the cookies turned out drier than she hoped for, but she still thought they tasted good. Without thinking – at all – I popped one in my mouth…chewed…swallowed…opened eyes really wide when she mentioned there might be too much egg or butter. CRAP! I totally blew Vegan for a Day! Ay ay ay. Let’s just pretend she was talking about flax eggs and Earth Balance spread, kapeesh? Kapeesh 😉

I didn’t let the blip in day long veganism throw me off. Instead of blowing it again when I got home, I searched the house for a vegan snack (Annie’s Bunny Friends aren’t vegan…*sniff*) and finally decided on Puffins and Almond milk:

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Bittersweet days aren’t so bad afterall. You take the bad and the good, and move on! At least it wasn’t just a bitter day 🙂

Today is just going to be a plain crazy day! After work, I’m rushing to the gym to get in a speedy workout, making some healthy treats for my parents, then heading to my mom’s house for the night. She and I plan on doing a little baking (I plan on teaching her how to make Angela’s balls) and getting a pedicure. After that, it’s girl’s night! Girl’s night! Girl’s night! This will include wine and food and non stop chitchat. And if my persuasive techniques have any power against my lovely friends, it will also include Edward, Bella, Jacob, and the gang.

I hope everyone has an awesome day!! What are your plans?? Did any of you see New Moon yet? What’dya think?

I Can Save Your Life

Morning bloggies! You’re looking at a newly certified CPR/AED…er!

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I can save yo life. More on that later 😀

Today is my last of the crazy days I have this week, that goes from 6:30 in the morning until 9:00 at night. I don’t know what I’ll do next week when I get home from work/gym and don’t have to go anywhere else! I have to say, as much as I wine, I don’t mind being busy, and I kind of work best in that environment. (I know I’ll come to regret that statement, btw ;))

Surprised at the ease of being Vegan for a Day on Tuesday, I was a little apprehensive about delving right back into dairy yesterday. Alas, the apprehension didn’t last, and I consumed some half and half in my coffee and this little gem of a cottage cheese snack:

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Then blamed my cough/runny nose on it. Heh. The cottage cheese was actually very delicious! It didn’t have too much sweetness to it at all – a bonus in my opinion.

After chipping away at some work I need to have done by Thanksgiving, Shane and I went out for lunch to one of my favorite local restaurants for lunch, Skewers:

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Skewers has amazing food at great prices, and is only about 5 minutes away from work.

We each started with a salad. Pretty good for a restaurant salad – not too much nutritionally devoid lettuce, so that’s a bonus. The house dressing was super yummy to boot!

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For the entrée, I went with my ush – the avocado veggie burger. Mmm. They make it with fresh veggies and beans, and it’s the best veggie burger I’ve tasted probably.

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The husband decided on a po boy sandwich. He cannot resist any type of po boy sandwich ever. Look how pretty it came out!

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We got in and out and back to work in less than an hour, which was nice. However, whenever I go out for lunch, it’s always SO hard to make it back to work. Luckily, I didn’t stuff myself, so at least I had that advantage.

After work, I made a quick trip to el Fresh Market and Naturally Yours to pick up some essentials:

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Plus some crackbucha, and some dinner

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Brown rice sushi that about knocks my head off = a good way to take the edge off of a long Wednesday, because, directly after consuming, I jetted over to a local health care facility to take CPR/AED training!

Thankfully, there were two other girls who have very fun personalities at the class. Oh, and per husbands rules, I “didn’t go CPR-ing any mens (such a cheese)” and walked out certified for CPR/AED. Holla! I actually enjoyed the class, and take very seriously the concept of saving someone’s life through CPR. The class actually ended an hour short, which was fine with me because I had someone special waiting for me!!!!

I raced home, because my bestie, Destiny was there waiting for me!! Her train came in from Chicago around 7:30, and because I have an alright husband, he agreed to pick her up for me and take her to our house. I immediately opened a bottle of red to drink as we caught up:

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Cheers to girlfriends!

 I love this girl! Do you want to know why she’s a bestie? Well, THIS is why:

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OK, and other reasons, like waking up at the ass-crack of dawn to watch me run my first 10K. She knows Shane and I are OBSESSED (as is she) with this TJ’s soup, so she brought some down from Chicago for us. She knows thy way to my heart. Haha..and I was just saying yesterday at work how awesome it’d be if she happened to bring some with her.

Destiny has also recently gotten into yoga a lot lately (she actually was the one who inspired me to pick it back up) and she gets yoga journals and mags, and brought me one 😀

             IMG_2191 Thanks, love! Sadly, she was only able to stay for a short time before she had to head to her ma’s. No worries, though, a full-fledged girls’ night with her and another bestie, Kim, is being held on Friday 😀 And I can’t wait.

Other bloggie news:

  • Tomorrow is Vegan for a Day day!! For more information, visit Michelle or Katy’s blog. I am going to go ahead and do it again, because as I said, it was easier than I thought! Although, I’m not sure how easy it would be to be vegan every day, I’ll definitely give another day a go! It would take some hard work, dedication, and creativity – that’s for sure!

 

  • Katie, from Vita-Mix, emailed me about a contest Vita-Mix is hosting, called “Pitch Me!”image001

Pitch me is “a national video competition to discover the next great Vita-Mix TV demonstration star. The winner, voted on by the public and chosen by Vita-Mix, receives a Grand Prize of $10,000 and may star in upcoming Vita-Mix television commercials and web-based videos.Vita-Mix will air highly-rated submissions on national commercials, to drum up support for the leading videos and further publicize the contest. Vita-Mix is offering over $20,000 in total prizes including the single Grand Prize of $10,000 cash.”

          And for readers who don’t own a vita-mix, I asked Katie what options there were: As part of the promotion, you can do a no-risk 30 day trial of the Vita-mix 5200 to use to create and submit your video! For more     details on the contest, click here.

 

 

 

Are you more productive when you have a packed-to-the-max schedule? Or do you thrive in a calmer environment with more free time?

Vegan For a Day #1

 

Yesterday I spent the day as if I were vegan. I ate no foods containing animal products (meat, eggs, dairy, what have you) at all. I’ve teetered on the idea of veganism ever since deciding to become a vegetarian,as I have a hard time justifying why I won’t eat tortured animals, but I’ll eat products that contain their byproducts (unfortunately, almond mnm’s are not vegan. hmph.) So I thought I’d jump on board with the other bloggers who are taking up the challenge of going Vegan for a Week and Vegan for a Day.

So it goes…

As you know from yesterday’s post, it started out kinda shaky when I poured out my first cup of coffee I made with half and half. I have an excuse though! My brains don’t work until you insert coffee!!

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While sipping on coffee and catching up with your lovely bloggies, I dug into my delicious (and favorite) breakfast cookie. So glad the fitnessista introduced these to my world! 😀

Before leaving for work, I organized my vegan snacks for the day:

 

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Luckily, I was able to come home over lunch, because I saw that there was honey in my Clif bar! And while it was organic, supposedly honey is not vegan. Note: if I ever go vegan, honey will beee an exception. I don’t care for bees.

While home, I warmed up some of the chili from Monday night’s meal from ED & BV:

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Chili is so good on its second day. So good, and so filling. On the side I had some almond butter and a nanner on Ezekiel. At first, I grabbed for the Naturally More Peanut butter, but then saw it contains egg whites (!) which is a little bit more blatantly non-vegan than the Clif Bar. So instead, I reached for the old’ faithful:

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Pure, vegan, raw, goodness. And since I was home, I traded out my Clif Bar (which I will devour today, mind you ;-)) out for some veggies and hummus:

 

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Ahh perfect combination. Not so perfect crunching noise in a quiet office, however. Regardless, I chomped away anyway.

Last night was my second to last night of personal training class, and I have to admit, I’m pretty darn sad about it 😦 I really like the group of people and the instructor in the class, and it’s just so fascinating to learn about the body and fitness in my opinion. I did, however, learn that the cost of the class covers the cost of the exam. Baller 🙂

Before class, I was able to sneak in a quick ab routine. I was torn on whether to play with Niko or workout, so I tried to compromise:

 

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by bringing my stability ball from our workout room to the living room! As you can see, Clarabelle was intrigued, but all Niko did was growl. Apparently it threw off the feng shui for her or something in her dog land brain. Alas, I did my workout upstairs: ab roll out on ball, plank, side plank, crunches on ball.

Then I got to work on dinner:

Pumpkin Spice Roasted Veggies and Lemony Cashew Basil Pesto Pasta

Phew – that was a mouthfull. Anyway, first I chopped up a sweet potato and two large carrots, and tossed them with:

  • 1 T rice wine vinegar
  • 1 T apple cider
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1.5 T coconut oil
  • 1 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 t sea salt

 

 

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And roasted at 350 º for about 35 minutes

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   Meanwhile, I whipped up the pesto, which came from…you guessed it, ‘>Eat Drink and Be Vegan, and boiled some water for the pasta:

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Seriously, can Dreena do no wrong?!IMG_2169 The veggies turned out gloriously as well.

IMG_2170 And some candy TJ’s dried mango for dessert:

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Class went swimmingly, and we gave our instructor a gift card to Target at the end for being such a kickass instructor! She really is awesome – energetic, fun, and very knowledgeable.

After class, I came home to dessert #2, which was a glass of vino, chocolate, and a side of the Hills.

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Scrrrrumptious.

Wow, now if that wasn’t a food post, I don’t know what is! All in all, I was surprised by the ease of eating all vegan foods for the day. I didn’t feel extremely limited or frustrated like I thought I would. The Vegan for a Day challenge is supposed to be on Thursday of this week. Originally, I was just going to try it out for today, as my Thursday is a little more hectic, but what the heck, I’ll just consider today a practice or warm up day for Thursday! :-D  I doubt I will become vegan anytime soon, however, today let me know there’s hope that is could eventually be a possibility for me!

Do you ever feel guilty for leaving your pet to workout? I do all the time! It’s hard to evade those sad puppy eyes 😦