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eats!

Hi!  How was everyone’s Monday?  I like Averie’s line from her post today “hopefully your day has been going along nicely and that you’re at least savoring some memories from the weekend.”  I feel like I’m heavier on the savoring from the weekend part.  O’well, can’t win ‘em all:)  Really, though, today hasn’t been half bad.  The school where I teach is having their yearly fundraising week.  The students choose a charity to raise money for, and I won’t even go into all the millions of ways they raise it.  Let’s just say anything from selling cupcakes to having paid assemblies for the students to attend.  Their goal is $200,000 by the end of the week. Amazing, huh?  Anyway, so there is an assembly every single day, and the kids all dress up and what not.  It’s a fun time, but the kids just don’t understand why they have to do schoolwork in the midst of all the festivities (insert sarcasm).

Anyway, onto some eats from the past couple of days.

Crappy picture, excellent meal.  I threw in about 3/4 cup plain soy yogurt, sliced almonds, clean granola, cinammon and blues!  I love yogurt messes…I have a toned down version (just soy yogurt, a smidge granola and almonds)  almost every afternoon for a snack.  I always forget to snap a pic, but I just can’t get over how great they are.

Jon and I almost always grab something to eat after church on Sundays.  One of my go-to’s is Pita Pit.  Also, our librarian at school’s son owns Pita Pit so he delivers pitas for the teachers every Wednesday.  It’s really one of the only places that I’ll really eat out at.  It’s def. not easy to find clean eats at restaurants here in small town Oklahoma. All this tasty goodness included: whole wheat pita, spinach, bell pepper, onion, mushroom, sprouts, tomatoes, pineapple, babaganoush and a tad bit of hot sauce.  So good!!!

Dinner last night was kind of a random assortment, but nevertheless everything I was craving.  Baked sweet potato rounds, roasted carrot chips, steamed green beans and a slice of Ezekiel toast spread with hummus.  All with a side of unsweetened ketchup.  I gave up ketchup a long time ago, even though I loved it, because it had sugar in it.  Well, I happened to find this version at Whole Foods last weekend, which has only tomatos and salt.  I can’t bring myself to even think about complaining about the salt;)  It totally made this meal, though.  That and the hummus of course.

And, lastly, lunch for work.  Jon snapped this photo while I was still in the mixing stage, and I forgot to get a final shot.  This salad is one of my favorites, and I’ve recreated it time and again – spring mix, 1/4 cup chick peas, 1/4 cup black beans, 1/4 cup corn, chopped artichoke hearts, sliced almonds, chia seeds, chopped onions and balsamic for dressing.  What can I say?  I like my salads extra large!  The only thing I forgot was avocado…how could I?

Well, I’m off to read up on some of you fine people’s blogs and not possibly grade some research papers.  Hope everyone has a great night!

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a “re-epiphany”

First things first, people.  As I mentioned yesterday, I made Averie’s Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars.  They are TO DIE FOR.  So good!  They are gooey and soft, and for me the bitterness of the carob is the perfect compliment to the sweetness of the dried cranberries.  All of the flavors mix together in just the right way.  Her recipe is pretty flexible, so lemme tell you what I put in them.

- one ripe banana
- 1.5 cup oats
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup carob chips
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup natural pb

- 1 scoop of the only protein powder (soy) I had on hand
- 3 tbsp sliced almonds
- 2 tbsp milled flaxseed – Walmart didn’t have whole flaxseeds.  I think whole would do much better.
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

I mixed it up just like Averie suggested.  If you notice, I omitted the coconut, which may have made my bars more gooey – not that that’s a bad thing!  I certainly have not skipped a beat in slicing off a piece each night;)  Definitely try these out if you’re looking for a healthy, vegan sweet treat!

Today I had an epiphany.  Funny thing is, this isn’t the first time I’ve had this epiphany.  I’ve realized, though, that sometimes in my life I have to learn things over and over.  Bad habits tend to come back randomly, and I have to relearn my new, good habits.  Here’s the story:

Usually when I come home from work, I run in the house, change clothes as fast as possible and race to the gym.  I like to get my workout in and get back home before Jon’s been home from work for too long.  Today, as I was driving home I was realizing that my body…and mind, for that matter…were just not feeling a workout.  Now, for me there is a difference between just not wanting to get on the treadmill or weights and me really needing a rest day.  I could feel it in my bones muscles, and I knew that I needed to take a day off.  Plus, I was completely mentally drained.  This week has just been extra busy and strenuous, and I haven’t given myself a chance to recoup.  So, I was going back and forth in my mind between two things: burn calories and get a good cardio workout in OR give myself a mental and physical break.

I started feeling guilty at the thought of not going to the gym.  I was telling myself that I needed to go to the gym no matter what because I needed to burn those calories.  Then Jon called.  He was headed home early from work and would be home any second.  Talk about making a hard situation harder for me.  Now I wanted to stay home to be with him, really wanted to rest, but the guilt was warring inside my head.  I haven’t done this to myself in a long time.  I honestly thought I was past the point of feeling guilty over working out and focusing way more on calorie burning than mental, emotional and relational (when I’m feeling guilty it affects my entire attitude, even toward Jon) health.

So, to make an already long story a little shorter, Jon coaxed me into staying home and resting, but not without a lot of whining and “bad mood” from me.  Because of him, I went to lie down for a bit.  I started thinking about the whole situation with a little more clarity.

Our physical health is not more important than our mental or emotional health.  Sometimes I make the mistake of putting more emphasis on my physical health because it’s outwardly evident.  If I gain five pounds, other people will notice and my jeans won’t fit quite as well, however, if I completely exhaust myself, other people don’t have to know.  It’s a lot easier to ignore.  So, I decided I’m making a commitment to start focusing equally on each area of my life.  I’m always striving to find that balance, and while I did have a setback today, I also took several steps toward becoming more balanced.

Do you ever have trouble finding balance between everything that is important in your life?  Do you often feel that you don’t have time to take care of every part of your life?  How do you try to maintain balance?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Well, it’s about time for me to skidaddle (sp?:) to bed.  Jon is trying to coerce me into staying up late with him, but I’m not sure how long I’m going to make it!  See you tomorrow for a review of the homemade vegan black bean burgers we made tonight.  Good night!

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goodbye wednesday…helloooo thursday!

Happy Wednesday night everyone!  I, for one, am so glad Wednesday is over.  It’s my least favorite day of the week, and today it went so slowwww.  That is, it went slow until I got home and had a million things I wanted to do.  Of course!

I didn’t get to go to the gym today because I had a hair appointment at 4.  So, I had to race home from school just to make it ten minutes late.  Honestly, I just haven’t felt very good today.  I’m not really sure why, but by the time I got home, I was starving and just really needed some comfort food.  Enter vegetarian quesadillas made by the hubs and Averie’s Raw Vegan Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding.

The quesadillas consisted of a protein pita (more on this in a sec), veggie shreds cheese, and bell peppers and onion.  Simple and comforting.  Not the most nutrient dense meal I’ve ever had, but hey, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.  And it was tasty.

While I’m on the subject, I want to put a plug in for these awesome pitas I discovered on the shelf at Walmart (believe it or not). Now, I have to say I usually like to buy things with a few less ingredients, but overall these are pretty clean.  They are Joseph’s brand flax, oat bran, and whole wheat flour.  They are a great source of Omega 3s and are “super soft!” – as stated on the package:)  These boast 60 calories, 8 carbs, 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.  I seriously love them, and every time I go to Walmart I fear that they’ll be gone.  Does this happen to you guys?  I’ll just discover or start loving something, and the next time I go POOF it’s gone.  Either way, check ‘em out if you get the chance.

Well, I’m off to have a bit of down time before I go to bed.  Tonight has been extra busy because I had to do some work on school stuff.  Need more time!  Need more time!

Have a fantastic night!  Oh, and more to come tomorrow on Averie’s pudding  plus our new bed that should be arriving!  Stay tuned…

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