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exciting news

Jon and I are going shopping for a new camera next week!!  I am so stoked.  I have been taking all my blog pics with my iPhone, and it’s become so uninspiring.  I’m sure you feel the same way;)  We have wanted a new one for awhile, and since Jon’s side business has really taken off we’ve finally come to a point where we can get one.  Now the problem is just deciding which one to get.  Neither of us knows much about them, so we’re going to have to learn a lot…not only to buy it but to figure out how to use it!

Does anybody have an recommendations?  I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Canon Rebel, but aside from that I don’t have much to go on.  I’d love any suggestions you guys might have!

These past few days have been CRAZY.  On Saturday, my mom, step dad and sister came up to visit for the afternoon/evening.  I love hanging out with family.  My mom and I cooked dinner together while my stepdad and Jon went to Lowe’s to get a deadbolt for our front door.  Awhile later my sister got here, and we spent the rest of the night eating and just hanging out.  It is not often that my mom, sister and I all get to spend time together, and it was definitely the highlight of my week.  I wish we could do it more often.

Sunday also involved family, but was not nearly as pleasant.  My grandma recently found out she has pancreatic cancer, and her health is declining quite rapidly.  She doesn’t have much longer, so we drove to my hometown on Sunday, picked up my sister and went to visit her.  While I’m so glad we went, it was really hard to see her in the state that she’s in.  Needless to say these last couple of days have been a bit dismal feeling.

I do have some random pics of some eats from the last couple of days.  I promise that once we get our new camera (and figure out how to use it;) food pics will be much more exciting.  I can’t wait!

Regardless…

One of my favorites as of recent – stir fried carrots, zucchini, spinahc and brussels with soba noodles, doused in nutritional yeast obvs.

This is the kombucha that I brought home from Whole Foods when we went there on Valentine’s Day.  I saved it ever since then and finally broke it out after our 5 miler on Saturday.  It was totally worth the wait!!  Now I just need to figure out how to get another one…

This has become my current favorite way to eat oats – cooked in water and topped with soy yogurt on one side and almond butter on the other.  Sprinkled with a bit of Bob’s Red Mill cinnamon apple granola.  This is addicting.  I am so addicted to the combination of yogurt and granola.  I may have to add that to my challenge list.  haha! yeah right.

And last but not least, dinner tonight.  I kept it simple because Jon wasn’t home to eat with me, and I just didn’t feel like spending much time on dinner.

Avocado and hummus sandwiched between ezekiel bread.  Exactly what I was craving.  It totally hit the spot.  I love simple meals like this.  Obvs. this meal was lacking a bit in the veggie department, but I’m never low on veggies so I didn’t worry about it too much!

I hope everyone is having a great start to the week.  Only four more days and I’ll be on Spring Break when I get to spend every waking moment with the Mr.  It seems like a dream right now.

G’night!!

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“breakfasty” things and some thoughts…

Wow, this week has been so busy!  I’ve missed blogging so much.  School has just been completely overwhelming, and I haven’t been able to spend the time posting or reading that I would like to.  I know there are always going to be those times, but in the spirit of honestly, I am feeling a little “down-in-the-dumps” today.  I’ve never really had the drive to be a career focused woman.  I’m much more interested in being a wife and homemaker, but I’ve found myself in a job that takes up so much of my time, even outside of actual work hours.  It’s really hard to find time to do anything else.  So, I apologize for being a slacker this week.  It wasn’t because I didn’t have plenty to say or because I didn’t miss blogging.  It was simply a matter or no time!  This coming week is not looking much better, but I’m going to try my best to carve out more time for other things, and, just as a side note, three weeks from now is Spring Break…yea!!

So, here are couple of things I want to share from the last few days:

A great oat combo!

1/3 cup oats
1 cup water
1 spoonful of canned pumpkin
cinnamon

Toppings:

almond butter
sprinkle of kashi go lean crunch
dollop of soy yogurt
blues!

This was a serious bowl of oats, lemme tell ya.  I had high ambitions because Jon and I laid in bed for awhile after we woke up this morning; so by the time we got up, got dressed, went for an hour walk with Olive and then came back home,  I was famished!  This concoction definitely took care of my hunger.

Next up – my favorite breakfast from this week:

So sorry for the crappy pictures.  Here’s the deal – I always borrow Jon’s camera from work to take my blog shots, but lately he hasn’t been able to bring it home, so I’ve been shooting with the iPhone – not ideal.  We are working toward getting a camera of our own in the next few months, and I cannot wait.  Until then, this will have to suffice at times.

This is an Ezekiel cinnamon raisin english muffin, topped with a spread of almond butter or cashew butter and sliced banana.  So easy.  So transportable.  And delish. Love it.

Last…and certainly not least – is something new I tried this week for a midafternoon snack.  The coconut milk yogurt that I got from Whole Foods last Sunday.

I topped this vanilla flavored coconut yogurt with some granola and sliced almonds.   I did NOT like it.  The texture and the flavor were just not working for me.  The texture was very gel like, and the flavor just seemed off.  I’ve seen a lot of coconut yogurt around the blog world, and I’ve been itching to try it.  I’m glad I finally did, but I definitely won’t be buying it again.  I tried to finish this one, but I just couldn’t do it.  It’s very rare for me to try a new health food that I don’t like, but it happens.  o’well…this stuff is not cheap and not available in Stillwater, so it kind of works out.  I’ll stick to my Whole Soy, thank you very much.

Last thing before I sign off for the night.  I have been struggling this past week or so with snacking.  I try to stick to 5 small meals a day, with no random eating in between, and it totally works for me.  The snacking I’ve been doing has not been out of hunger, and that’s why I have a problem with it.  I am still working toward my goal of losing 20 lbs.  I’ve lost about 8 lbs. so far, and while my goal was March 22nd, there’s no way I’m going to make that date.  And I’m totally fine with that.  I’d actually be happy for it to take a little longer, and for me to be able to enjoy life a lot more along the way!  This is a lifelong lifestyle for me, so there really is no hurry.

BUT, I do still want to continue making progress.  So, I’m really going to be working on cutting out the mindless/stress eating.  It negatively impacts the way I feel, mentally and physically.  I feel disappointed in myself and my body doesn’t take to it very well.  Eating too much throughout the day makes me feel sluggish and heavy, with very little energy.  One way I’m going to try to combat it is to think of something else specific that I can do when I feel the urge coming on.  Some ideas include lighting a candle and laying down to rest for 15 minutes or so, taking deep breaths and thinking of the progress I’ve made and how I want to treat my body like the temple that it is, calling someone (hi mom!) and talking out how I’m feeling, or hopping on one of my favorite inspirational blogs to get motivation.

Questions of the day:  do you ever eat due to stress or mindlessness?  What kind of things do you do other than eating when you need something to just calm you down?

I hope you all are having a great weekend and getting some rest and relaxation in!  See ya later!

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on a scale of 1 to 10…

Hello!

Tonight is going to have to be a quick post because I’ve spent way too much of my time watching The Biggest Loser and grading projects for my sophomores, and I’ve got to head to bed!

I started my day off with overnight oats, primarily because we are out of soy milk, so I couldn’t make my usual green monster.  Last night I mixed up 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup soy yogurt, 1/3 cup water, a heaping spoonful of canned pumpkin and cinnamon.  I set it in the fridge overnight, and then this morning hubby added in sliced almonds and some blueberries.  Yummo!  I always love having overnight oats!  I usually really enjoy them cold, straight out of the fridge, but it was so cold outside this morning that I decided to heat them up.  They kept me warm all the way to work!!

*good oats…bad, bad pic

Dinner tonight was our usual Tuesday night enchiladas, aka “our addiction.”  We LOVE this meal.  Jon and I honestly just cannot get enough of Mexican food, so obvs. we have to healthify it.  I like our version just as good or better as the restaurant version we used to get so often.  I feel a heck of a lot better after eating this one though!

* this pic is so bad I almost didn’t post it.  Don’t judge the ‘lada because of the sad iPhone pic.

1 Stacy’s whole wheat tortilla (more on these later)
2 slices of portabello mushroom
sauteed spinach
chopped onion
diced green chilis
nutritional yeast (protein)
green enchilada sauce

Wrap it all up and pop it in the over for about 10 minutes, and you’ve got yourself a gooey, smokin’ hot enchilada.  Add a big scoop of homemade, healthy guac and a small side of refrien beans – perfection.  If you love Mexican food, you would love this meal, promise.

Question for tonight: do you have levels of healthiness when you think about the food you eat?

Let me explain.  Even though all the food I eat is clean, I still put it in levels in my mind for some reason.  For instance, sauteed veggies over spaghetti squash would be about a 10 on the scale of healthiness, whereas my vegan enchilada meal is about a 5 or 6.  In reality, neither meal is “not clean” or unhealthy in any way, but I still put these “labels” on my food sometimes.  Does anybody else do this?  I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing, but it’s kind of curious.  Just wondered if I’m the only crazy person food labeler out there.

That’s it for now, friends.  I’ve got to get to bed – I’ve got a busy day ahead involving a english department meeting over lunch, meeting with my principal during my planning period and a workout + hair appointment after school.  Gotta decide whether to grow it out or keep it short.  Ahh, decisions decisions!!

Night!

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Pumpkin Protein Waffles

Happy Saturday blog friends! How is the weekend going so far?  Mine is going way too fast.  Today, Jon and I went to OKC so I could go to a baby shower for my friend.  He dropped me off and went to hang out at Barnes and Noble, and I got to hang out with my girlfriends from college!  It was so nice to see them…it had been way too long.

Since I didn’t get a post up yesterday, I want to catch up by highlighting a couple of meals from the last 2 days.

First up is this:

I finally got my Jay Robb!  I’ve been wanting to try this protein powder for so long, and it finally came in the mail.  The morning after I got it, I decided to try it in my green monster.  That was one of the main reasons why I wanted to order it.  So, into the blender went:

1 cup soymilk
2 big handfuls of spinach
1/2 a banana
chia seeds
2 tbsp Jay Robb

Okay, I have to admit that I didn’t love Jay Robb.  I know, I know. It sounds crazy, but I really didn’t like it much.

Pros
24 grams of protein
short ingredient list- whole grain sprouted brown rice protein, natural flavor, stevia
eco-friendly packaging

Cons
a bit chalky
expensive if you have to order it online
flavor seems off

I just did not like the way this protein powder tasted.  I very rarely sweeten things these days, so I think that may have something to do with it.  If you are a person who really likes stevia or uses it a lot, you may like the taste of Jay Robb much better.  I’m not much of a fan, though.  I was a very sad girl, missing my usual green monster all the way to work.

Now, let’s move on from to the more positive side of things.  I vowed to never use this protein powder in my morning smoothie again, BUT that doesn’t mean I’m unwilling to use it in other things.  And with that I present to you my crazy good breakfast from this morning…

Check out the thickness!

Pumpkin Protein Waffles

1 cup oats
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 heaping tablespoon of Jay Robb

adapted from original recipe from onefitfoodie.com

I threw all the ingredients into the blender and switched it on for about a minute.  Then,  I poured it into the waffle maker and let it cook for the normal amount of time (until the light went off). The batter was so thick I had to scrape it out of the blender with a spatula.  I wondered how the thickness would affect the final product, but it just made it thick and hearty!  The pumpkin flavor was subtle and it mixed so well with the almond butter and banana.  Also, I didn’t miss syrup at all!  The texture of the banana was enough to counter any dryness.  Basically, this was just a warm, thick, soft plate of heaven!   I topped mine with almond butter and sliced banana, but there are endless possibilities!  It was so, so good!  And it held me over for a good four hours or so.  You’ve got to try this recipe.  It will definitely be a good way to still use the Jay Robb because I couldn’t even taste it in the waffles, but it added some much needed protein.

And I’ll leave you with a picture of dinner tonight from Pei Wei.  Pei Wei is one of my favorite restaurants to eat out at.  It’s pretty clean if you choose the right thing, and it’s so delicious!  I ordered the Spicy Korean with vegetables and tofu and brown rice.

I ate about half of this and brought the rest home for leftovers.  The only negative about this meal is the high sodium content, but it’s certainly worth it on occasion!!  Otherwise, the nutrition stats are pretty good.

I hope everyone has a wonderful night!  Until tomorrow…

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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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