Busy weekend!

This weekend has been crazy busy! It started Friday night when I had dinner with Misha and our friend Jes at the Steeping Room here in Austin. This place is great, huge selection of tea and a wonderful menu that is veggie and vegan friendly. I had some tea sandwiches and nappa rolls while we talked  girl stuff and real estate. But Jes wanted ice cream so of course we had to head over to Amy’s Ice Cream! Ok Misha and i both cheated a bit here. It’s Amy’s…which is a wonderful establishment but yeah they use white sugar and milk and all that

But how can you pass up Honey Habanero ice cream? Turns out, we should have. Don’t get me wrong, it was tasty…for the first 5 bites. But after that it was a little much. It’s a bit like eating sweet icy hot…you take a nice cold spoonful and then the burning begins, so you take another cold spoonful and the burning intensifies, rinse and repeat!
Fun! But I didn’t even eat half of my tiny.

Saturday I got to do one of my favorite things in the world, though, massage! 90 minutes of deep tissue wonder! If you’ve never had a deep tissue massage, I highly suggest it but be warned, you will not want to do anything after. It’s like a workout and you can feel just as sore after but it’s a good thing. It was overdue for me though, I’m pretty sure I pulled my hamstring. Movement has been difficult since Thursday.

Anyway!! I took my friend James to Beet’s! He had the burger and I had the ELT! It was delicious stuff and he really enjoyed it, including the banana walnut ice-scream, so yay!!

We followed up later that evening at Galaxy cafe where I snagged some polenta (delicious!)and a strawberry shortcake (pass it up)

PHOTO DUMP!

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photo (3)

Today, though, I got to try another recipes from engine 2 and my order from greenling.

Vegan spinach and mushroom enchilada stack! Overall, it’s good, even without cheese. The spices are great and it was super simple. photo(3)The recipe instructions are pretty much: mix spices with tomato, layer everything and stick in the oven. This isn’t bad but I think next time I’ll caramelize the onions with the mushrooms before layering since neither have time to really cook down in the oven. Still, tasty and vibrant

It’s two servings and the whole recipe is about 550 calories so you really can’t beat it. I’ve been really impressed with the recipe kits from greenling so far. Tomorrow I think I’m going to make the mac and cash, vegan mac and cheese!

Ugh…so full. I think i’ve spent most of this weekend eating lol

awesome.

Ravenous!

Oh man, guys, it feels like spring and I’ve been eating like a maniac the past couple of days!

But first, you remember how i mentioned Rogue Republic doing a giveaway? well it ends tomorrow!

The special is as follows:

Active NOW through 9AM EST tomorrow:
25% off EVERYTHING in our store, including sample packs and the Valentine’s Day special. NO CODE needed; discount taken automatically at checkout.

EVERY order of any amount will also receive a free 3-pack of samples chosen at random (but we will be sure not to repeat pigments in your order).

We thank you.

25% off AND a free sample pack! I mean c’mon! Live a little!

Alright, now on to some product review:

Tanka Bars:003

Rating: 2/10

This is perhaps one of the worst things I’ve put in my mouth in months. I hate to be mean about it but OMG WTF.

It’s all natural and supposed to be free of all chemicals and whatnot but it tastes about as real as a Slim Jim…a sweet Slim Jim.

I bought it because I was intrigued by the combination of buffalo and cranberry. I thought, surely if someone thought that was a tasty enough combo to make  a series of bars with then it has to be good!

WRONG.

Want to experience it without the $3 price tag? Get a slim jim and some craisins.

Sorry guys. I didn’t finish it, I actually spit it out.

Now for happier fare!

Spinach mushroom enchilada casserole. Unf! 002I know this box doesn’t look absolutely fabulous but it is. Kale and beet salad (i’m working so hard to like kale), steamed veggies and spinach and mushroom enchiladas. There wasn’t much sauce involved here, it was more like corn tortillas, mushrooms, spinach and cheese. I will be replicating this for sure!

I’ve been really into cheese lately. It’s been my only dairy and actually until tonight it’s been my only animal product aside from two instances of sashimi this year. I’ve been really conscious about my animal product intake since going raw. I’m a little  surprised to say that I’ve become a vegan sympathizer.

I generally don’t like vegans and vegan philosophy for a couple of reasons:

1) I believe you can be an ethical omnivore. It takes work but it’s possible. Eggs and milk and fiber especially. Eggs might be the easiest as it’s very easy to even get a hen for yourself and she’ll lay any and everywhere. She’s a pet, a companion, and she produces breakfast while being adorable. Same with wool or milk, etc.

2) Too many people equate vegan diets (not the philosophy) with being uber healthy. Sad to say, this isn’t necessarily true. It is certainly VERY possible to be vegan and amazingly healthy, but inherently there are issues when going vegan and supplements are often required. B-12, for instance. But more to the point here’s a list of foods that are vegan and way unhealthy:

Tofu dogs. They’re maybe not just as bad as your Oscar Meyer frank but they’re close!

Potato chips!

Oreos!

Crisco

Most commercial premade icings/frostings including the majority of the icing used in grocery stores. The ‘butter cream’ is actually “Better cream” and it’s a liquid that is made from veg oil (crisco) and is whipped until spreadable. I know because I used to have to make HUGE batches of the stuff.

Actually a lot of junk food is vegan because veg oil is cheaper than animal product oil.

Want a good list of aptly named Accidentally Vegan products? ask PETA!

See, you can be vegan and not be plant based. You can be a normal American and suffer from all the American health problems even if you switch that steak with seitan.

But still, I’ve become more sympathetic and have made the choice to be plant based, to have only the occasional ethically sourced animal product.

Greenling and Whole Foods provide that. Funny, I sent out several emails to restaurants I frequent about their animal sourcing. No one has gotten back to me…yet.

SPEAKING of Greenling.com

I got my boxes! Boxes? YES! They had to use two lol and they were filled with wonder and happiness

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As you can see, my meal packs were bundled and portioned already and I started off by making the breakfast casserole I ordered.

Southwestern Polenta Casserole

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The whole pan is about 1000 calories! That’s it! and that’s a 9×9 cake pan!

Its a very nice flavor, hearty but not heavy and it tastes southwestern without being spicy. Now I love spicy so I added in a little red pepper after but really, all together a very nice flavor! Can’t wait to eat more of it in the morning!

Ravenous as I’ve been, I’ve been sticking to things I’ve previously enjoyed lately. Thunderbird, kombucha, mean green and citrus sunrise juices, etc, so I’m really glad I’ll now get to try some recipes I’d otherwise have never gotten around to. Excited!019

But I haven’t just been eating! It’s been very warm here this week so I got the bug to do some planting. Fresh herbs are now in pots and will hopefully flourish as much as my catnip and mint has. I’ve had to transplant my mint four times now because it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. I’ve decided on a variety of herbs this year since last year I had difficulty with veg and fruits, but I’ve still got a couple for funsies.

So far I’ve got:

-Chives

-Purple basil

-lavendar

-thyme

-parsely

-strawberries

-a beet. just one. lol

-ginger

-violets

-aloe

-mint

-catnip

I’ll be adding more soon, I just have to find starts for some things since I’m rubbish with starting from seed. BUT i’ve plopped down a few chickpeas ;p we’ll see

I love growing things. There’s something peaceful about it, and something so nice about walking outside and smelling all the herbs and growing things. Sigh. I need a garden!

The home stretch

So sorry no post yesterday. I spent the majority of my time at home without power yesterday due to a downed power liner. Awesome, right?

Well no, it made me incredibly grumpy. I therefore spent a good portion of that time being grumpy and shoving clementines in my mouth.

As my friend James rightly pointed out though, at least I didn’t have to worry about cooking anything!

Today was much better though and it ended with a nice sashimi dinner with my friends Amy and Dan. I haven’t gotten to see them in a few years! They’ve both been deployed in Afghanistan and well, that can put a damper on home visits.

AH! I missed them! So now I’m in a fabulous mood of course 🙂

Only a few more days committed to 100% raw. It’s been a good experience overall, I think. It’s been a little more socially isolated  that I’d have liked to be but I have to ask myself if that’s such a bad thing or if maybe I should have made more of an effort to bring others into the experience.

Friday I have a lunch date with my co-workers at Beet’s, and I’m hoping that they like it. A few are skeptical and only one has expressed excitement and he’s the last place I would have expected it from.

Eating healthy, not eating flesh at every meal, and ENJOYING fresh raw vegetables shouldn’t be seen as weird, unlikely or somehow shameful. It shouldn’t feel like you’re doing something wrong because you’re not being ‘normal’ but I’ve encountered that a lot. “oh…it’s vegan?” , “wait, there’s no meat?”, “what do you mean? salad isn’t a meal” etc

I love meat, I love poultry, I love (some) fish. Eggs, cheese, milk! Delicious sure but wow there really is a whole world out there full of flavorful and delicious things that aren’t from animals or tofu for that matter.

Nuts, dear nuts! I’ve never been a big fan before. I don’t know why really. I don’t like them in baked goods and I’ve never really liked trail mixes and all that but I love them in raw recipes. Cashews! I NEVER ate cashews before, but now I see them as incredibly versatile. Same goes for seeds, it’s incredible. Flaxers! Flax seed crackers! Sturdy and delicious and perfect for thick dips.

There is an incredibly flavorful and vibrant world outside of salted processed microwaved crap that we call ‘normal food’ and the best part is? It just happens to be good for you too.

There are def some products and styles I will adopt forever because they taste so much better than the conventional counter parts. Isn’t that crazy? ‘Health food’ that is better than the so called ‘real thing’ (Hail Merry’s tarts, I’m looking at you!).

Madness, I know.

That being said here’s how the next few days are going to go down:

Friday I have lunch set up with co-workers as my last ‘raw meal’ on this experiment and that night I’m getting myself PANCAKES from Kerbey, remember those cinnamon roll pancakes? Awww yeah. But then for the next three days (maybe longer we’ll see) I will be back on the juice before I begin my proper mix of raw and clean.

Clean will hopefully be less expensive lol.

I’ve spent way way way more than i ever planned on this, but my health is worth it 🙂

 

 

…and btw Beet’s superfood clusters are insanely addictive and delicious and omg i ate three of them this afternoon all at once. AH so good

Dates are delicious!

Tonight I tried to recreate some healthy raw date balls from a vegan cooking class me and Misha took last year.  They’ve turned out quite nicely for estimating!photo

RECIPE!

Ingredients:

1 oz caco nibs or some coco powder if you prefer.

1 cup raw almonds

1 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons honey, raw

13 dates, whole but seeded

Food processor

Method:

Step 1! (skip if you use powdered coco/cacao)

Toss those nibs in your processor and powder! Once they’ve been good and pulverized put them in a bowl for later swirling

Step 2!

Take your nuts! Put them in the food processor and spin it until they’re nicely chopped, don’t go so far as to make almond butter though of course, you’ll be processing these for a while yet

Step 3!

Add in the coconut flakes and pulverize a little more!

Step 4!

The wet stuff

Now add the dates and  tahini and make sure everything is nicely blended before adding the last bit, the honey and give it a few pulses until things are nicely sticky

Step 5!

Transfer all that goodness into another bowl where you can pick off bits and roll them in your hands into little balls. As you make them you should roll them in that cacao powder until they’re coated and place them on a plate

VIOLA!

I made 28 of them and this is the breakdown for the whole recipe:

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So about 55 cals for each. 🙂

Meanwhile, today was kind of miserable at work because I sorta kinda forgot to bring enough food and they sort of kind of CATERED IN BREAKFAST TACOS AGAIN.

But they also brought in fruit, which I had a lot of. It was delicious.

But still, I was cranky.

I’m finding raw to be very socially isolating from some people. Going out for drinking and eating at crappy restaurants  is just not an option for me and I feel a bit judged for it.

But my health isn’t worth some weird guilt or peer pressure.

period.

On another note, there’s a series on Netflix called Feeding Time and it’s literally documentaries of animals eating. Just adorable animals eating. Meercats, pandas, giraffes, monkies, bears etc. It’s the cutest tv ever made. SO FLUFFLY!

 

Viva la Rawvolution!

Wow, 20 days without the following:

Beef

Poultry

Goat/lamb

Wheat/Gluten

Various grains

Soy

Salt

Eggs

Alcohol

Artificial coloring

Artificial flavoring

Preservatives

White sugar

a microwave

That is momentous.

I’m two steps from being vegan and that has been literally three instances in the past 20 days: saag paneer (see when I caved), sashimi dinner, and my raw cheddar made from local whole unpasteurized milk.

Crazy, right?

What I have eaten in abundance?

Chocolate!! Wow chocolate!

Aside from the most wonderous Rox Chox I’ve also had my own cacoa nibs for munching and blending in almond milk and the super food clusters from Beet’s cafe that are amazing!

I’ve had so many desserts, Merry’s tarts, super cookies, raw macaroons and fruit all kinds of fruit!

I have never eaten so many nuts and seeds in my life combined as I have this past 20 days.

Flax, chia, almonds, cashews, macadamia, brazil, hazel, pine and more! Delicious guys, delicious.

It’s kind of awesome.

Now, I know this isn’t for everyone but I’d like to challenge everyone to have one raw day, or even maybe a weekend and try it. See how it is.

Now I have to warn you, if you’ve been on the conventional American/Western diet you might experience some discomfort at first. I didn’t. I don’t know if that’s because I started with a juice fast but I’ve seen some people struggle to suddenly digest that much fiber and plant matter at once.

So Challenge! maybe a juice fast day, maybe a raw day, maybe a weekend, try it.

Here’s how easy a raw day can be:

Breakfast: Fruits! either all chopped up or maybe just whole one at a time. A banana, orange, apple, whatevs, as much as you’d like

morning snack: try flax snax or super cookies or chopped veggies like cucumber or carrot or Go Raw’s products are available in even HEB and ship easily

Lunch: big salad! spinach and tomatoes with onions and cucumbers and whatever your little heart desires. Dressing? oil and vinegar, maybe balsamic? or I like to use stone ground mustard and apple cider vinegar, or you can even use avocado as a creamy dressing and if you’re super cool, toss on some chia seeds

dinner? Easy peasy go for some sashimi or if you want to stay vegan whip up some raw alfredo (it’s ridiculously easy) and zucchini noodles or use sea tangle kelp noodles

dessert? Uh…ROX CHOX  ;p But if you’re not feeling chocolate and don’t have access to Merry’s tarts try any of the dessert recipes from Rawmazing

or, great idea– get out your blender or food processor, get some almonds, some dates, a little honey, dried coconut flakes, and blend it all, then take that and roll out little balls in cacoa powder. BOOM delicious.

See? Ridiculously easy. Not a whole lot of prep, that alfredo? The longest part of it is soaking the cashews if you so choose. You don’t actually have to but it makes it smoother. Super easy.

Yeah sure you can complicate things with your dehydrator and sprouting and all that but you don’t have to.  And I bet if you look locally you can find a raw restaurant or a grocery/farmer’s market that has prepped raw products. My friend James even sent me a txt today that there’s now a raw restaurant in Denton, Texas. DENTON!

viva la Rawvolution!

Raw-mazing!

First off–Today I weighed in at my lowest weight in a LONG time!  BIG honesty coming!

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So from day one til now this is where I stand so far. Not bad eh?

BUT from my work weigh in I am down a total of, drum roll plz:

FIFTEEN POINT EIGHT

15.8l

bs. Yup. So I’m hoping for another 15 by March? That’d be cool. But more realistically, a total of 20-25 I think would make me a contender for my work competition.

Anyway! Today I had an awesome experience at Beet’s Cafe!

Picture avalanche is a coming! I went with my dear Misha, her husband and my friend Megan for some good gourmet raw delights and wow! It was really great. I’ll let the pictures do the talking now, although I TOTALLY forgot to get a shot of my own burger before chowing it hahaha I have no idea how I managed to do that, but it was delicious!

 

Spinach guacamole with corn chips

Spinach guacamole with corn chips

Nori rolls with mock tuna

Nori rolls with mock tuna

Tim's tacos with wild rice and sprouted beans.

Tim’s tacos with wild rice and sprouted beans.

Pizza rustica and ceaser salad

Pizza rustica and ceaser salad

Raw reuben, veggie chips and beets

Raw reuben, veggie chips and beets

Orange vanilla cheesecake

Orange vanilla cheesecake

chocolate cheesecake

chocolate cheesecake

super food chocolate cluster. Not photogenic but DELICIOUS

super food chocolate cluster. Not photogenic but DELICIOUS

 

I tasted everything! And it was all delicious. I decided on the tacos for takeaway for tomorrow’s lunch and they were quite helpful giving me a broken down takeaway box

some assembly required

some assembly required

So thanks Beets for an awesome lunch! Not a single thing was less than awesome.

Did I mention that aside from being raw, Beets is also vegan? You know what’s awesome about this place? My Meg is a real meat and potato kind of girl. She was a little wary of this place at first, opting for a salad before we talked her into a Ruben that she ended up enjoying quite a bit. But this was her and the cheese free cheesecake

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I think she liked it.

( I had to nibble off Misha’s slice, Meg’s was spoken for ;p)

Beets, you’re my new favorite spot!

 

Back on the wagon

photo (4)Today’s lunch was much much better in the way of rawness. Cabbage crunch, fresh fruit and most amazingly a wonderful kale salad. It was amazing! Kale, cranberry, pears and a wonderful honey dressing.

UGH so tasty! I will totally be scoping this one out again, or making it if I can. Seriously, who would have thought kale and cranberry? But there you go! Thank you Whole Foods, for being awesome!

But I do have to say, I’ve had a return of hunger that I have been missing for the last week and a half or so. I have been experiencing genuine hunger as well as boredom cravings… you know that feeling that you just want to be eating even though you’ve no real need of it. The neat thing is that I’ve now become able to distinguish between the two and really the cravings I’ve had have not been for nutrients like I’ve known before but just for tastes.

It’s hard to describe but previously I would fixate on a food. I needed a certain food and BADLY, couldn’t think of anything else except for it until I had it. As soon as I got it, I felt perfect.

A bit like this:

 

actually, exactly like that. Hello Doctor! WE ARE ONE!

But, I don’t know…maybe my mean green and chia seeds are my fish fingers and custard

…that being said, fish fingers are pretty delicious. I look forward to making a clean version soon…and maybe some custard.

 

ps tomorrow’s update might be combined with saturday’s as I’ve got a date with me beebs! annnnnnd as such may or may not have my laptop with me! ❤

 

Chocolate and makeup

It was a gloomy day today. It’s been unseasonably warm the past two days, which I love, but it’s been accompanied by dense clouds and dreary damp days. I took the opportunity to clean house but that least to a lot of nibbling through the day including on some raw cheddar, which is fabulous! It’s very sharp and quite nice for nibbles. 002I think it’ll last me a while because of that, and because I’d like to limit my dairy and animal intake for a while. I don’t really miss either to be honest. That’s odd because previously I have LOVED meat and cheese and poultry and all that, but lately I’ve not really wanted it. It’s weird. I don’t want grains either, except the occasional desire for some quinoa.

I tell you what though, I think I’m done with dairy milk for cereal and cooking and the like. To be honest, almond milk tastes awesome and with added vanilla it’ll be great with things like grapenuts (I’ve always liked grapenuts. I don’t know why, I know only like 90 y/o women like grapenuts but there you are). 011

I’m also really amazed that I haven’t wanted eggs lately either. I haven’t even thought about them. That’s weird to me. I used to eat eggs day and night but right now I’m a bit repulsed by them. Weird.

But what I did enjoy today was the most wonderful kelp noodles and raw alfredo with a bit of pepper and added basil. Seriously, delicious. The texture of kelp noodles is weird though. You cannot expect it to be like pasta. It’s much more like very very firm bean sprouts, they snap when you bite them. But the best part of them is they’re SUPER low cal (like the whole bag is 18 cals and thats 3 servings) but they’re loaded with minerals. Kelp is pretty cool like that. They might become a staple for me since they’re so versatile. When I make clean pho, I will def be using these.

Anyway, something that is AMAZING came in the mail. I ordered a case of my favorite Rox Chox in the square size and awww Rochelle and River are so sweet, they threw in an extra bar!008I really love supporting small business and this is exactly why. Every receipt I’ve gotten has included a handwritten thanks and a goodie, and I know that’s a small thing but in this age of faceless customer service it’s so AWESOME to know that a real human fulfilled a request I made.

So now I’m set up on chocolate for a bit, which is good because I was almost out! >.<

PS gals, speaking of small business with awesome service, if y’all are looking for vegan, natural, makeup in awesome pigments you should check out Rogue Republic Cosmetics by my friend Allison. I love her products and have been using them since she began testing. They are awesome! And you cannot go wrong with getting a sample pack while they build up inventory and opens the store up.  The majority of my makeup is now RRC and I love every bit of it!

Yay entrepreneurship!