more than I bargained for

Hi everyone!  How did your day go?  Mine has been pretty good so far.  We had another snow day today. We haven’t had classes since last Wednesday. If you read the day before yesterday’s post, you can probably tell that the shock factor of being out of school has worn off.  I have to say I was initially shocked when I found out last night, but I’m honestly starting to get kind of used to this whole stay at home and work thing.  I’m kinda liking it;)  Unfortunately, I’ve already received an email today saying that school will be back in session tomorrow, so the fun’s over for now.

This morning was a little more eventful than expected.  Jon had to work today, so we got up and went to the gym to get some cardio in before he had to leave.  There was also a Pilates class at the gym at 8:15 that I really wanted to go to, so I came home and helped Jon get out the door for work, and then I drove back to the gym to do pilates.  I’ve done Pilates several times before and really enjoyed it.  While I enjoyed it today, it was HARD!  We started off working abs and continued working abs for the first half hour of class, then we worked obliques, arms and legs.  By the time it was all over, my body was seriously over it.  It did not want to move.  So, I stumbled out into the cold, pulled myself up into my husband’s Explorer (he drove my car today), turned the key, and….nothing.  Nothing happened but this annoying little clicking noise.

Plan B consisted of walking home because Jon was in an important meeting, and I couldn’t think of anyone else to come and get me.  The good news is that we only live a couple of miles from the gym.  The bad news is that while the streets are mostly clear of ice and snow, the sidewalks have not been attended to AT All.  Also bad news was that all I had on was my spandex capris and a tank top with a light jacket.  I figured I didn’t need to bundle up just for the little jaunt between the car and the gym.  Either way, I definitely got more than I bargained for as far as exercise today.

My eats today were pretty basic, and unfortunately I didn’t have the camera so all my pictures were taken with the iPhone, and they are not pretty.  O’well, you’ll get the idea I suppose.

I started off the day with a toned down version of my usual green monster.  When I got back from exercise round one I was really hungry, but just wanted something light and energizing to get me through Pilates.  So, I tossed the following into the blender:

2 handfuls spinach
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soymilk
1 scoop Amazing Grass
protein powder

I was a bit concerned about how this was going to taste because I left out my usual 1/2 banana and the other 1/2 cup of soymilk I usually add.  It was pretty tasty, though! I never realized that I didn’t need the banana.  I’m happy happy though because sometimes I’m looking for just a little pick me up that isn’t overloaded with carbs (not that I have anything against carbs:) and is lower in calories.  This was the perfect solution, and it had plenty of protein.

By the time I got home from exercise round 2 and 3, all I could think about was sprinting to the hot shower to thaw out from the frostbite that had taken over my fingers and toes.  The pain of the cold had masked my hunger, but man, once I got all warm, my stomach did not hesitate to let me know that it was HUNGRY!  So, I made a yogurt bowl.

1 container blueberry O’soy yogurt
2 tbsp sliced almonds
3 tbsp clean granola
small chunks of frozen peaches that I found in the freezer
1 tbsp chia seeds

Yum!  Yogurt bowls are seriously one of my favorites!!  I love the mixture of crunchiness and yogurt.  I don’t know why I don’t have this more often.  It’s hard to give equal time to all my favorite things, though;)  I’m sure you guys can identify.

Since I was housebound with no car, I spent the morning working on school stuff.  Not that I would have done any differently had I had a car…I’m just a workaholic.  Seriously, it’s sort of a problem, but a problem for another time and another post.  Jon swung by during his lunch hour and picked me up, and we went and jumped the car.  Turns out a dead battery was it’s only ailment…thank goodness.  Afterwards I decided to treat myself to some Pita Pit.

This baby had the works (the pic does NOT do it justice…don’t be fooled)!

whole wheat pita
bell pepper
hot sauce!

Love this meal!!

Also had this little pick-me-up a few minutes ago – fuji with cinnamon sprinkle and the rest of our soymilk with another half scoop of Grass.

Well, I’m off to go to the grocery store and then it’s back home to make dinner (tbd), cuddle up on the couch and watch LOST!  Any LOST fans out there??  We’ve been waiting months for this season to begin, and I can’t believe it’s finally here!

Have a great night!

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a happy weekend:)

Okay, so I’m off work AGAIN tomorrow.  I just got the call that we are taking another snow day tomorrow because the roads are still not clear.  This has turned into a 5 day weekend…crazy!  It’s not that I mind having another day to stay at home and not have to commute, but I’ve got my classes on a planned schedule, and this is really cramping my style!   I’m going to have to spend a few hours tomorrow working and rescheduling some things.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’ll be back in session on Tuesday.  As of today we’ve exceeded our built in snow days so we’ll be adding on a day in May.  Blah.  O’well, I’m just going to try to enjoy being home and get ahead a little bit with planning.  I know I can’t complain about having a day off work!

Anyway!  These last couple of days have been so nice!  Jon and I have just been workin’ away on projects around the house.

First this:

This picture doesn’t even do it justice.  I’m a little embarrassed to post the before pic because it was so bad.  It feels so good to have that task done finally!

Then this:

What can we say?  We love quirkiness;)

We’ve been needing curtains for our bedroom since we moved in last May.  A few months ago we were at Wall’s Bargain Center and it just so happend that they had gotten a shipment of Anthropologie items in.  We scored several things including this cool fabric.  I knew immediately that I wanted to use it to make curtains for our bedroom.  I’m so glad we finally made them, and we’re really happy with the outcome!  What do you think?

And because I mentioned in a post about 3 weeks ago that we got a new bed and pictures were coming…

I also made a little blanket for my friend whose baby shower is next weekend.  It’s a tag blanket, and the baby can chew/suck on the ribbons.  I promise that moms really use these – any moms out there who’ve heard of a tag blanket??

Now for a list of tasty highlights from the last couple of days -

I made tofu for the first time!  It turned out okay, but was a little tough.  I need to find a different recipe to make the next batch.  My problem is that most recipes I find for tofu marinade include high sodium sauces, which I try to steer clear of.  Any ideas out there of low sodium sauces/marinades to use with tofu?  Also, do you marinate your tofu before or after you cook it?  My recipe said to marinate after cooking, but that just seemed weird to me.  Here’s what I did for this meal:

  • sauteed brussels, broccoli, mushrooms and zucchini
  • added in some asian sesame salad dressing found in the fridge
  • heated up some pre-made brown rice
  • cut tofu into one inch slices and pressed between towels with books on top for one hour
  • threw the tofu into the pan with the veggies and pressed it with a spatula until brown on both sides
  • added the rice and a little more sauce and mixed it all together and heated through
  • garnished with sliced almonds

Overall this meal was really good, but I definitely need to work on my tofu making skills (or lack thereof:)!

Next highlight was dessert!

Banana soft serve with vegan chocolate chips/carob chips.  Banana soft serve has floated around the blog world for a long time.  I’m not sure who the original credit really goes to, but please let me know if you have any idea!

Breakfast this morning was oats of course!

I added:

  • sliced banana
  • dollop of soy raspberry yogurt
  • almond butter
  • sprinkle of Kashi Go Lean cereal – Kashi is my husband’s favorite cereal.  I thought a small bit would complement my oats quite well – and I was right!

And last…today’s lunch.  I had cooked up a batch of whole wheat couscous, but hadn’t yet figured out what to do with it.  So, I ravaged the fridge and just threw in some things I had on hand.

  • leftover steamed green beans
  • steamed spinach
  • chick peas
  • black beans
  • corn
  • tiny bit of salsa
  • seasonings

This was pretty tasty.  I love throwing together grain and veggie concoctions!  I’ve been doing different variations for a long time, and you really can’t go wrong.  If you make up the grain ahead of time and have veggies on hand, it’s super fast too!

What do you do for a quick go to meal?  Sometimes I let myself get a little too hungry, and I just want something fast and easy, but healthy/vegan of course.  I’d love to get some ideas from you guys!

Well, I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I’m so excited that January is over, and February is raring to go:)

Oh, and tonight is the last chance to order Jay Robb Protein powder and get 10% off from Heather’s site.  I just ordered mine, and I’m so excited to try it.  I’ve been looking for a good protein powder.

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let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Hi all!  How’s it going?  We have had a pretty low key but fun day around here.  We got up fairly early this morning because Jon had a conference call for work, and neither one of us could go back to sleep!  So we did a short ab workout to start the day off.  It was so peaceful to be at home because it just snowed…and snowed…and snowed.  I think we ended up getting about an inch of ice yesterday and about 4 or so inches of snow today.  I just loved watching it out the window as we worked!  Totally the highlight of my day.

This was our first time to get snowed in since moving into our house.
Aside from the couple of hours of work I did for school, we spent the rest of the day cleaning up our guest room and doing some more decorating around the house.  I love working on projects together…it feels so good to get things done and see what we can accomplish.

For some reason, I can’t get my iPhone to email the before and after pics, so I’ll post ‘em tomorrow.  I’m actually kind of embarrassed to post the before picture.  Ever since Christmas, our guest room has just become the catch all, and recently it has gotten out of control!  We finally took care of it though, and I feel so much better.  So, feel free to give us a ring of you’re swinging through good ‘ole Oklahoma ‘cause we’ve got you covered!  I definitely wouldn’t recommend swinging though anytime soon, though, because you might not make it out☺

Shall we move on to today’s eats?  For breakfast, I had a nice and toasty bowl of oats.

“Gee, wonder how I can get my paws on some of mom’s oats?”

1/3 cup oats
¾ cup water
spoonful of soy yogurt
½ scoop chias
2 tbsp sliced almonds
sprinkle of granola

Because breakfast was not until about 9am, I didn’t eat again until lunch, at which point I had my favorite monster salad.  This salad was so huge, and good to the very last bite.

2 big handfuls of organic field greens
2 artichoke hearts, chopped
¼ cup black beans, rinsed
¼ cup chick peas, rinsed
¼ cup corn (no salt/no sugar added)
chopped baby carrots
¼ avocado, chopped
a few tbsp balsamic vinegar

This held me over for several hours.  I cannot get over this salad – it’s so filling and so tasty…I could definitely eat it several times a week for lunch, and sometimes I do!

A few hours later, I had a snack of the rest of my soy yogurt from breakfast (about ½ cup) with more almonds.
That’s it for meals – nothing too terribly exciting today.  I haven’t even mentioned dinner because it was one of our comfort food staples, which we probably eat a little too often – spinach enchiladas.  Dessert was a pear, sprinkled with cinnamon, and a teeny tiny bit of soy dream ice cream on the side.  Yum!

One question I want to ask you all before I sign off for the night is how you feel about the price of healthy food.  I have become addicted to certain “health” foods, namely chia seeds, amazing grass, almond butter etc., and they are majorly depleting our budget.  I’ve decided I’m going to have to start cutting back on some of these items, but it’s so hard now that I’m used to having them.  I figured up the other day that my green monster costs me around $4 a pop!  Crazy, I know.

Have you had any struggles with affording certain foods that are a part of your healthy lifestyle?  I know that I can eat healthy without buying “specialty foods,” and trust me, I love simple, clean food such as produce.  But I just love the fun of trying new foods and having foods on hand that I know are really an investment in my health.  I really do think of it as an investment, however, it’s got to end somewhere.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?  The more time I spend in the blog world, the more it seems that maybe I’m the only one with this problem, but I know that can’t be true…right?  I’d love to hear your insight☺

I hope everyone has a truly amazing start to the weekend!

“I love that man that can smile in trouble, can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.” – Thomas Paine

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home sweet home

Hi lovely blogging friends!  Today has been quite a lazy day for me, but I did get to spend some fun time reading blogs that I don’t always get to read because of lack of time.  We had a big ice storm here today, and it’s supposed to last until tomorrow.  I’m off work tomorrow as well so I’m looking forward to a four day weekend!  Of course I’ll have to put in some hours working on planning, but that is SO much better than having to commute and be at school all day.  Yea!  There is something about being “snowed in” that I like – at least for a period of time.  Especially if it’s with my favorite person.  We aren’t absolutely sure that he’ll be off tomorrow, but we’re thinking he probably will.  Fingers crossed!

Anyway, so being home today was especially nice on the food front because I didn’t have to eat transportable things.  Yea!  Unfortunately Jon took the camera to his office today, so my pictures from early in the day were taken with my iPhone.

I was up, showered, made up and about to walk out the door this morning before we found out that school was closed.  And, Jon had already made my green monster.  Usually if I’m home for breakfast I like to eat something “chewable,” if you will.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my gm’s.  But, since I have them every weekeday, I just like to mix it up if I’m home.  Since he had already it, though, I went ahead and had it for breakfast as soon as we got back from the gym.  It was nice to go to the gym in the morning.  I’m really a morning workout person, but our gym opens at the same time that I have to leave for work, so I usually have to go in the afternoon.  It was a really refreshing way to start the day!

By a couple of hours after my monster, I was already ready for a snack!  I think my body isn’t used to burning so much fuel first thing in the morning, and it wanted food ALL day, which was fine by me:)  My snack was a brown rice cake with a smear of AB and half a sliced banana.   This is one of my absolute favorite snack…I love the crunchiness of the rice cake combined with the irresistible mix of nut butter and banana.  Oh yeah.  With a side of Mandarin Orange Spice tea made in the Keurig.

A few hours later Jon got home and we threw together some lunch.  I had this tasty pita filled with all kinds of goodness:)

After lunch,  I seriously laid down and took a two hour nap.  I usually have a hard time taking naps because I just can’t relax, but we just got a new comforter and between that and the sound of the rain and ice outside, I was lulled to sleep quite easily.  It felt so good to just rest.

As soon as I woke up, my body was telling me it was time to eat…again!  So, I had some O’soy vanilla yogurt with a sprinkle of Kashi U walnut and black currant cereal.  I love the combination of yogurt and cereal…you just can’t beat it. This Kashi U is awesome tasting, and the ingredients aren’t too bad either.  There are few cereals that I really feel good about eating, and this is definitely one of them.  It even comes packaged in a recycled box;)

The following is from the Kashi website:

The tasty combination of toasted Seven Whole Grain flakes, tangy black currants, crunchy walnuts, and acai oat clusters is packed full of nutrition:

  • Cardio Nourishment – 350mg ALA omega 3 from walnuts and 100% of vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid
  • Immunity Boost – 50% of your daily value for vitamins A, C and E as well as zinc and antioxidant super fruits black currant and acai
  • Strengthen Support – More calcium & vitamin D than half a glass of milk* plus zinc to support bone health
  • Thrive Inside – 7g of fiber and prebiotics to help the good bacteria grow
  • Mental Sustenance – Over half of the daily recommended amount of whole grains

And now for din din.  I decided to try something new that I’d seen other people do before – a portabello mushroom burger.  So, I threw a giant portabello mushroom cap in some evoo and grilled it with some garlic powder, red pepper and balsamic vinegar.  I also tossed in some brussels and steamed some green beans in the microwave for a side.

I also added:

  • hummus (round two!)
  • pickes
  • onion
  • tomato
  • spring mix

If you haven’t tried this before, you must!  The balsamic and seasonings soaked into the mushroom and made it so juicy and flavorful!  Interesting fact about me: until about a couple of months ago, you couldn’t pay me to touch any kind of mushroom.  Then, suddenly I just started craving them.  Random, I know.  I’ve been eating them on everything, though!

A couple of hours later, I topped off dinner with a small piece of Averie’s vegan peanut buttter chocolate chip protein bars that I made a few nights ago.  These bars are seriously to die for.  They are the best vegan dessert I’ve ever made by far!  I just have trouble stopping at just one;)

So, that’s a wrap on my day.  I think we may watch this week’s precursor for Lost season 6 that we DVR’d the other night.  We cannot wait until next Tuesday!  Any other Lost lovers out there?

Have a fantastic night everyone!

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about me…

If you happen to stumble by my humble little blog today, take a second to check out my long overdue “about” page.  I’m still working on my food philosophy – progress, people…progress:)
Hope you’re having a fantastic evening!  I’m hoping and praying for the snow storm that’s predicted for Thursday and Friday to cancel school so I can stay home and work blog all day.  Fingers crossed;)

Oh, and I promise the vegan blondie recipe is still on its way!  And because I can’t stand the thought of a post without a pic, here is another of Olive – for your viewing pleasure:)  How can you not love that sweet face??

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