Archive for April, 2010

Pita and Guilty Puppies!

Let’s hear it for 2 great days in a row!  Maybe it’s that school is ending, but I’ve just had such a great time lately.

Last week my P303 Corrections professor (who is writing me a rec letter and loves me) asked me to come early to his 9:30 am class, the last “real” class of the semester, so I could administer the professor evaluations.  Of course, I woke up at 9:15 this morning.  Ugh. I freaked out.  What an awful start.  I bolted out of bed, left for class, then decided I was going to be too late for what he wanted me to do anyway.  So I turned around, went home and took a shower.  Then I went to class (walked in just as it ended) to say hi to Prof. Oliver, apologize, and tell him how much I’ve enjoyed the 2 classes I’ve taken with him.  He was totally cool with it, wished me luck and told me to keep in touch.  It was an awesome beginning.  I love that man.

Walking through campus with such beautiful weather (and a great hair day) made me so happy.  Something I heard a while ago: Regret is such a useless emotion. After feeling awful this morning about sleeping in, I decided “What’s done is done, just go to class and apologize.”  And it ended up not being a big deal.  So basically I decided to have a good day.  And now I have. Then I read an article in a magazine that “Happiness is a state of mind, not what happens to you in a day.” It’s so true!  Today could have been awful, but I decided to have a good day and be happy, and I am.  🙂

I got home (after awful traffic – another thing that couldn’t faze my mood!) and decided to get some Vitamin D.  Yeah!  I lay out for 25 minutes on our pool deck.  I definitely am not a “sunbather” and I am careful with my skin in the summer, but lately I’ve been feeling sun-deprived.  So I listened to my body and spent some time outside.

It’s not very pretty right now since we haven’t opened it yet for the season.  But it was so nice being in the sun.  And the Indiana woods behind – pretty, green, and shady.

Lunch was delicious and fast.

Pita w/red pepper hummus and red onion, 1/2 cucumber, stalk of celery, slice of tomato w/salt & pepper, 3 large strawberries.  Afterward I had a scoop of chocolate coconut snowballs.

Tonight I went to dinner with 3 of my best friends, all of whom I went to high school with.  We had a great time and ate at McAlister’s.  A new person was taking our orders, so it took forever for him to get them right.  I felt kind of bad for him, especially since I was asking for so many changes (no meat, no cheese, no bell pepper, on sourdough, etc.)  He actually got it wrong anyway, but I wasn’t going to send it back.  I like pita, anyway.

So I basically had the same thing for dinner that I had for lunch.  No biggie, I love my pita + hummus!  I didn’t want to dip the sandwich in the ranch they serve with it so I brought two tupperware containers with me – one with hummus, one with baba ganoush.  Delicious!

I got home to find my 11 year-old puppy had gotten into my trash.  I can always tell cause he slinks forward to greet me, and then has a guilty look on his face until he knows I’ve forgiven him.

Who couldn’t forgive that face?!?

I hope everyone had as good of a day as I did!  🙂

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Fantastic Wednesday

I have dubbed yesterday Fantastic Wednesday.

Honestly, it shouldn’t have been a good day.  Nothing happened that made it good.  I had my receptive final in ASL, work was not good (all the construction is awful and noisy and smelly – we had to wear masks on the 2nd floor) and everyone who called on the phones had a huge problem and fines to deal with.  Too much drama.

And yet….I had such a wonderful day.  First of all, I’ll say that I’ve started running.  Outside.  I’ve never been a runner, and when I do it is on a treadmill.  But some friends have inspired me to start, so I am trying.  I’ve never imagined myself as a runner, but it does make me feel really good afterwards.  I went home after ASL for lunch ~11 am.  I had to be in class at 1:25 pm, so I had to get in & out fast.  I took a 15 minute run around my neighborhood.  I’m starting off easy; if it’s too hard in the beginning I’ll never want to do it again.  So for a non-runner – that was good!  I broke a sweat and it was hard.

After my quick run, I made lunch.  3 small slices of toast, 1 with avocado, 2 with tomato slices w/salt & pepper (notice a theme here?  When I find something I like I tend to eat it a lot.

I had a banana at work with a hunk of chocolate coconut snowballs.  Banana + chocolate = delicious!

I was in such a good mood when I got home that I managed to get our cat on Doug’s back, just for fun, without either of them getting too annoyed at me. 😉

Before I ate I wanted to get some greens in.  I blended about 2 1/2 cups of green lettuce with 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries.

For a little additional sweetness I added a spoonful of Arizona Farms Cactus Honey Powder.

I picked this up on a whim in my local asian market.  As far as I can tell in my research on this, some say it is honey from bees, and others say it’s a misnomer and is actually basically dehydrated agave nectar. ???  I don’t really know what I think about it – it’s a good sweetener when I don’t want to use regular sugar (always) and don’t want to use liquid agave.  Anyway, it added just a touch of sweetness to my liquid salad, and twas good.  🙂

For dinner I had a 100 calorie Arnold Wheat Thin.  I had one slice with tomato slices, and spread red pepper hummus on the other.  I love these because they are thin enough to eat both with lots of toppings without stuffing myself.  Sometimes regular bread is too thick.  For dessert (already on the plate!) I had another scoop of chocolate coconut snowball.  Yum.


Seen here with my personalized Tervis tumbler. 🙂  I love that too.  It’s usually my water glass at night.  It doesn’t sweat, and they have a lifetime guarantee.

Yay for happy days!  I am loving feeling so happy, relatively consistently, since the last 2 years I have had such trouble, feeling down all the time and struggling with it.  I just wish I could tell everyone who’s feeling awful and depressed for one reason or another that It WILL get better!  Life goes on and you can be happy! My mom told me this, and I never truly understood until I got past that dark time.  I am happy to say that I have learned a lot from these experiences, even though it was a painful lesson.

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Little 500, Vegan-for-a-day

Little 500 was on this past weekend here in Bloomington.  IU gets crazy and there are so many cops and people and noise. Wow.  Well, up until now I’ve never been out for Little 5, since a) I’m from Bloomington, so it’s kind of an eh thing – happens every year and b) I only turned 21 this last year.

But, surprise, surprise!  I actually participated in some partying!  Not that I’m proud of partying (of course I love dancing and whatnot) but it was a lot of fun getting out and seeing everyone around, and of course I love my best girls. 🙂  We were going to dance on Saturday night, but the Root Cellar was not hopping, and so we went to The Vid, pretty much our favorite bar in B-town.  It was a good night, not too crazy but of course we were out til quite late. 😉

Two of my very favoritest girls ever!!  Ignore the creepsters in the background.  😛

And a highlight from last week, my little brother loving his big sister’s attention tolerating me. 🙂

“I am the walrus, I am am the eggman!

The funny thing about this is that Doug hates carrots unless they’ve been cooked into oblivion/mush.  He can’t swallow them for some reason (so of course I had to make him a vampire/walrus).  He’ll chew and chew and chew, and then he just can’t get them down.  Weird!  I have another friend with the same problem.  Oh, texture.  How we curse you.

Skip forward to today – I’ve eaten vegan all day, practically without trying!

Being vegan is not my goal at this point, but I do think it is a very healthy lifestyle choice if you can make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need. I’ve become a vegetarian, and I may take to thinking of myself as an “accidental vegan.”  Just based on my emphasis on Raw living foods, I’ve become more aware of where my food comes from, and am more willing to just not put butter on some toast.

Breakfast:

1 banana for breakfast (rushing to class)

Lunch:

1 slice whole wheat bread
1/2 avocado w/salt
Blended: 2 cups greens + 1 cup frozen blueberries
1 ice cream scoop of Averie’s chocolate coconut snowballs (delicious!)
1 cup almond milk

Snack:

1 banana w/almond butter at work

Dinner:

2 slices whole wheat bread
1 with 1/2 an avocado
1 with 3 slices of tomato with salt & pepper (fantastic)
Blended: 1/2 cucumber + 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 ice cream scoop of Averie’s chocolate coconut snowballs (seriously – worth making, and it takes 5 minutes)

This was dinner.  The cucumber + blueberries was a little weird, even for the cucumber aficionado that I am.  It was too much.  But I got it all down, and I feel really good about today.  🙂  I even went to the grocery store after work, and most of the things I passed I didn’t even want.  My body literally just did not feel like having Cheetos or Doritos or Diet Coke.  I had very little temptation to pick those up, and I went straight to produce and picked up green leaf lettuce, 2 avocados, 2 pears, 2 cucumbers, 1 red onion, and 2 mangoes.

I feel so good.  And that’s worth everything.

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Roots, Part Deux

So Thursday afternoon my mom and I went to Roots for lunch.  I am graduating from college in (gasp!) 2 weeks, and we went shopping for my graduation presents!

I love having “dates” with my mom.  Seriously, my mom is awesome.  I’m sure many people think that about their own moms, but I always like to say it.

We shared all our food – it was a “trying something new” day!  Mom got the sampler platter.  Which was good, although everything on it was basically fried.  Not ideal, but it was fun to try.

Sweet  potato fries, seitan nuggets, curry puffs, falafel, fried tofu, spring rolls. Three dipping sauces, including plum sauce.

To make up for it I got the garden wraps with plum sauce which were so refreshing and light – we both loved them.  I’m planning on replicating this at home.

I also got a cup of sweet potato curry soup.  All I can say is – wow.  I am so trying this at home.  I rarely have the courage to try new soups in restaurants (I almost got the tomato instead) but I’m so glad I didn’t.  This soup was light while still filling, tasted fantastic, and had a bit of a spicy kick that was wonderful.

The bread was pretty fantastic, too.

All in all, a great lunch.  And as for my graduation presents – I’ll detail those in another post.  Suffice it to say – I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT THEM!  😀

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Roots!

So last Friday two friends and I went out to eat at a local restaurant that I had never been to.  And I can’t believe I waited until now!  I really enjoyed it.  Roots has gotten some mixed reviews online, but the food I got was quite good, the service was friendly (but not extremely fast) and that atmosphere is awesome.  The carved roots and wooden tables and furniture gave it a very cozy feel, and it was very nice to sit and wait for food while chatting with friends.

They don’t have a website, but here is their online menu.  The food philosophy is wonderful.  They are a vegetarian restaurant with vegan options, and all the food is from organic sources.  The prices, while not cheap, weren’t as expensive as I thought they would be.

To start off with, I got a wheatgrass shot.  I’d never had one before, and although it was a bit of a splurge, I thought, what the heck.

I actually really liked it!  It didn’t tast good, per say, but it wasn’t bad and I would definitely drink more of these…if I could afford it.

For dinner one friend and I both got the black bean burger with sweet potato fries.

It was delicious, with lots of greens, onions, tomatoes, and my favorite, veganaise.  The sweet potato fries were good – I only wish there had been more of them.

My other friend got the pad thai which she thought was good if a little sweeter than she usually liked.  I had a taste and thought it was good (although pad thai’s not usually my thing).  It was presented beautifully:

We all splurged and got smoothies.  I make fruit smoothies so often at home that I decided to go for the chocolate wizbang.

Chocolate soy ice cream, espresso, chocolate soymilk.

I usually avoid soymilk (preferring to use almond milk at home), but that was their base, so I went with it.  It was good!  I’m going to have to find a way to add espresso/coffee flavor to my chocolate smoothies at home.

All in all, a very good experience.  I can’t wait to try the other items on the menu.  My mom and I are having lunch there tomorrow before we go shopping, so I’ll have to try something new and share it here!

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The Village Deli, Juicing, and Failing at Rice

Thursday was kind of a weird day for me.  I had my normal smoothie in the morning, as well as 1/2 a blueberry waffle (made with coconut oil).

After a test, I found out my 2nd class of the day was cancelled, so I went to the grocery store and picked up some fun stuff!

This is a picture of a random swan/goose decal on an old truck in the parking lot.  Sort of bizarre and cool.

I got organic garlic powder (love garlic!) in an awesome glass container that I fully intend to reuse for homemade spices, etc.  They had extra virgin olive oil in those big steel drums, so I got some in a “honey bear” container.  Some organic yellow mustard, coconut milk, an avocado, and a young Thai coconut (not pictured – getting cold in the fridge!).  I told my mom how much I loved the coconut, and so I wanted to have one with her.  I got it at a local asian foods market, and I bought the last one they had!  I wish there had been more, I would have gotten them!  Oh well, we’ll share.  🙂

I also got some nutritional yeast.  I’ve heard a bunch about it, and I’m excited to see what I can do with it.

I called a friend I don’t  see often and asked him out to lunch, since I was unexpectedly free.  We ate at The Village Deli, a local downtown hotspot that I sometimes CRAVE.  It’s really nice in the summer when all the students have gone home.  Sometimes the line is out the door (not fun).  They have really nice outdoor eating area with bright picnic tables.  We sat inside.  I had the Veggie Village Delight with fries.  I rarely eat fries, so I tend to indulge there, because I love them.  Yum.  Not doing very well on Raw and healthy, right?  Well, it’s a work in progress…


Cucumber, onion, sprouts, tomatoes, and dusseldorf mustard.  I got mine with extra onion.

I was so full afterward I didn’t have to eat for hours.  I probably definitely overate.  I’ve been working on listening to my body, but…woops.

Skip forward 7 hours, when I finally realize that I am hungry.  I decided to make carrot curry, which I actually didn’t end up eating then.  I felt that lunch had been a little “heavy” so I juiced.


My ingredients: carrots, 1 apple, ~4 chard leaves (plus some grapes I threw in at the last minute)

I was going to a movie with friends, so I needed a little more than juice to tide me over.  I blended my juice with a frozen banana.  It really filled me up!  I wouldn’t put so much chard in next time – it was kind of spicy.  I took the picture next to our old-timey radio in the kitchen.  I love that thing.

I got home late, and hungry.  I wanted to make rice for the curry.  Rice intimidates me.  It shouldn’t be hard, but somehow…  I did it the way my mom told me, but after the timer went off it was still too wet.  I was starving, so I turned up the heat, and was just generally impatient and abusive with my rice.  It ended up way too sticky on the outside and a little undercooked on the inside.  I ate it anyway.  I’ll try again soon, hopefully with better results.

Friday afternoon I had a snack of velvet pumpkin peanut soup and raspberry kombucha, both from Bloomingfoods.


Friday night a couple friends and I went out for our usual Friday night dinner.  We ate at an awesome local restaurant that I definitely will have to write about soon.  But for now, I’m going to go make some hummus and watch the X-Files.  Yay for Saturdays!  🙂

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Coconuts, Bloomingfoods, and Spring

Soooo, last night I finally had the courage to try and open the young Thai coconut that has been languishing in my fridge after watching Kristen Suzanne of Kristen’s Raw show how to do it easily here.  By the way, she’s absolutely awesome.  Need some encouragement and ideas?  Hit Kristen Suzanne up.  I can spend hours reading her posts.

Anyway, I forgot to take pictures of the coconut before & after, and the coconut water, but let me tell you…awesome. I loved hacking it open, I loved scooping it out, and I loved drinking the water.  Absolutely delicious, and cold from the fridge.  I always thought I didn’t like coconuts, because the meat was so hard and not especially flavorful.  That was because I had never had a young Thai coconut!  The meat is much softer, tastier, and easier to get out.  I ate about 3/4 of the meat last night, and I put the last bit in my smoothie this morning!  And the coconut water was pure deliciousness + I felt so much better after drinking it!  Lots of energy.  🙂

I had a blueberry/spinach/coconut/mango smoothie for breakfast.  I have mixed feelings about mango, and my smoothie wasn’t fantastic, but it was okay.  I also wasn’t feeling too well this morning, so…maybe that’s why.

After a healthy breakfast, I did something I’ve been doing the past couple days on campus.  I had a Jimmy John’s vegetarian sandwich.  I love these sandwiches, and while I’m sure they are not healthy in the slightest, I haven’t given them up…yet.  After that I had a coffee and a large banana chocolate chip cookie.  Oof.

On to this afternoon, where I so enjoyed the weather after class.  Everything was so green.  Walking through the woods on campus:

And I stopped to smell these beautiful flowers.  They smelled fantastic!

So many people passed me, probably giving me strange looks, but I couldn’t stop smelling them!

For dinner at work I had leftover ratatouille (I made it myself!) and sesame cashew noodles from Bloomingfoods.

Ingredients: wheat noodles, cilantro, roasted cashews, sesame oil, tamari, rice vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, sugar

They’re spicy, earthy, a little oily (in a good way most of the time), and delicious.  The noodles melt in your mouth.  I’m sure there’s quite a bit of fat content from the cashews and oil, as it’s very filling, but sometimes it just hits the spot.  Definitely not Raw, but I can’t resist!

At work after dinner I had a snack:

Raw Rev 100 calorie Organic Live Food Bar
Ingredients: cashew, dates, agave nectar, coconut, cocoa powder processed with alkali, almond, sprouted flax – certified organic

I tried this cute little bar from Bloomingfoods our awesome local co-op.  I adore Bloomingfoods and you’ll see me mention it a lot.  The downtown location is a block away from my workplace, and it’s a great place to grocery shop, or just pick up a snack.  I tried the chocolate & coconut flavor and it reminded me of a Larabar.  I’ve never tried their chocolate & coconut flavor but it’s probably similar.

Wednesdays are my longest day of the week, so I try to make relatively good choices throughout my day.  I feel pretty good about today, though with a little more planning (and less craving Jimmy John’s!) I’ll get through just fine.

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