Saturday, May 26, 2012

Our Food at Home

After I got home from Hawaii, Tim decided to join me on the Engine 2 Plant Strong lifestyle and it has been so great. In a nutshell, the plan is plant based no added oil. We have been enjoying so many great nutrient dense meals together and I am trying to teach him how to cook some of our favorites which gives me a little break.
We have a couple staples here at home starting with morning oats and it is hard to get through a day now without them. Here is a photo gallery of oats for your viewing pleasure. 
From top to bottom: Thanksgiving Oats (pumpkin, cranberries, sultanas and pecans), Banana Walnut, Monkey Dream (banana cooked in, walnut, peanut butter), Good Ole Summertime (bananas cooked in, raisins, strawberries, almonds, coconut), Blueberry Bliss (blueberries cooked in, toasted almonds, almond butter).

Another thing we love are these burgers...
Basic Burgers are made of the following (recipe from Jeff Novick):
  • 1 Can of Kidney Beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Rice (cooked -we use frozen, thawed)
  • 1/2 Cup Oats (we use gluten free)
  • 2 Tbls Liquid of your choice 
  • Herbs and Spices
Mash beans with masher (roughy, not super mashed), add other ingredients and form into patties. Put the patties on a plate and let them rest in the fridge uncovered for 10 minutes and then cook on a super hot pan until golden brown and heated through. If your pan is hot enough you do not need to add oil.  You can add other beans, but just make sure half is kidney beans, there is something magic about them that hold these together.

We add beans and greens to almost everything like tomato soup (add cannellini beans and frozen spinach), spaghetti sauce (add kale and cannellini beans), salad and anything else where we can add them in. I recently grilled some polenta on my grill pan and topped with prepared puttanesca sauce (no anchovies, no oil) that we added beans and greens to with some grilled zucchini spears on the side. Deeeelish and so easy and quick! Again, no oil needed, make the pan screamin' hot and you are good to go.
Anyway, just wanted to give a snapshot of what is going on in our kitchen since a lot of people have asked "what do you eat?" and truth be told, we have so many options it is at times overwhelming - just think of how many fruits, veggies, nuts and grains there are out there. I never run out of ideas, however we do have our staples that are quick and easy. I just wish I didn't have a gluten allergy so I could have some whole grain bread or pasta once in a while. Tim still eats gluten because he can and that makes things easier for him while he is out and about.
Happy Eating!

Things I Have Learned Recently...

I know, I have been missing in action. I have been busy living my life, doing my job, cooking good meals and learning the following lessons:
  • When one blog flourishes, another suffers (sadly)
  • Sometimes I miss a Manic Monday post
  • I need about 8 more hours in each day (don't we all?)
  • Patience and perseverance pay off
  • Be careful what you wish for (you might just get it)
  • If you learn how to control your mind, you can do amazing things
  • Moisturizer is a must
  • A weekend away is priceless
  • United Healthcare is a giant pain in the ass
  • If you need to take a break and stay home, take a break and stay home
  • People aren't always who you think they are
  • Singing loud in the car can do wonders
  • My acupuncturist knows best (trust me)
  • The Mall is sensory overload
  • Ask for what you want otherwise you might not get it (even if its uncomfortable)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...
Spring Printed Pants

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Week in the Life

Off the Grid in the Mission last Saturday.

Taking time for tea.

Fun while walking Korra in the park.

Napping, not me, I am working or cooking, but they are napping and it's cute.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Animals at Home

I recently got the Special Edition of Domino magazine and this was on the last page - I had to scan it and post it because I love it so much!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Manic Monday

If I had the closet of my dreams, this is what I would be wearing today...
Simple Summertime

Sunday, May 06, 2012


Little did I know, coconuts would fall on this trip and hit me right in the heart.
This post is way over due for many reasons.
One being, I have been super busy since I got back.
Two being, I didn't want to actually type some of this because it makes it more real.
I will start with the fact that I work at one of the best places ever and feel completely blessed that I was sent to Hawaii to attend the Engine 2 diet immersion. I have been GFV (gluten free vegan) since mid-January but this got me reinvigorated and I learned a lot as well.  The entire time was filled with lectures, exercise, great meals and relaxation.

Our average day looked like this:
6:15 AM - 7:15 AM = Exercise - Yoga, Cross Fit or Walking
7:45 AM - 8:45 AM = Breakfast - all meals were vegan, hot cereal, steamed greens, fruits and nuts
Walk to lecture hall (about 1/3 mile from dining lanai.
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM = Lectures, Cooking Classes, etc.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM = Lunch - salad bar, soup, wraps
1:15 PM - 3:30 PM = Lectures and fun
3:30 PM - 6:00 PM = Free time, daily excursions, beach, pool, rest.
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM = Cooking demo
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM = Dinner and dessert (always a fun dessert)

Some nights after dinner we were done and went to bed, others we had things to do like; bonfire on the ocean, fire dancing entertainers, movie, talent show (yes, of course I was in it).
It was basically like camp for adults. I loved that I did not have to think about where to be, what to eat, what to do, etc. It was all done for us.

I arrived in Hawaii a day early as not to miss anything and stayed in Hilo at an ocean front hotel. I stayed there from Sunday night until Monday at 3 PM.  On the plane I started a book that I could not put down so it was nice to be able to sit out on my lanai and read in the sun until I had to go back to the airport and be picked up by the van to head to the retreat center.
When I got the airport I met some great people from all over the US and Canada that all work for Whole Foods Market.  5 of us got into a van with Dr. Cadwell Esselstyn Jr. who is super nice and an amazingly knowledgeable Doctor who entertained us on our hour ride to the retreat center. When we arrived we realized this was not the beach side Hawaii most people think of, this was rain forest, hippy run, clothing optional (but not the week we were there), huge bugs and lizards jungle Hawaii and I loved it! Our accommodations were very rustic but ok for the most part. No A/C just fans and it was hot and sticky but I kind of liked it.  Reminded me of MidWest summers. The day after we arrived we were all very tired and took it easy but on Wednesday everything was mandatory and we were pretty tired after the morning workout.

Wednesday was the worst day. It all began with my phone missing calls during the morning and it was Tim calling. Well, Tim never calls like this so I knew something was happening and I had a bad feeling in my stomach.  Then he texted me that Gidget bolted as they were getting ready for a walk and he chased her for a couple blocks and then lost her.  Shortly after that text I got voicemail so I ran about 1/2 mile to where I could get phone reception (yes, I ran!) and the message was from the Peninsula SPCA telling me they had my dog and she was hit by a car. My head was spinning, I couldn't get Tim on the phone and when I finally did, it was a mess. He was very upset and was headed to go and see Gidget and find out what was going on. Well, it wasn't good. I had to wait most of the day without any news. I had trouble paying attention that afternoon and I couldn't wait until free time so I could call Tim. Gidget was very hurt and Tim had to make the decision to put her down. I don't want to share the details as they are too horrible. It was very hard for me to be away, but I was literally in the middle of nowhere and knew I needed to stay. It was probably for the best as Tim had his time to heal without me at home and I had time as well to heal a little, but coming home was not easy.  With each passing day, the pain started to decrease but I was still pretty sad. I decided I had to make the best of the trip though and couldn't sink into my own sadness, that just isn't my style.
The remainder of the trip was good. I exercised each day, I sweat out a lot of water that normally would have went to tears and made the best of every moment.  There was a group of us that sat together each day "the peanut gallery" and we all had a great time together and made each other laugh for which I am so grateful for to this day.

Sunday was the last day and we all went on a trip to Hawaii National Volcano's Park, it was amazing!  Sunday evening we all boarded the same flight (practically all of us) and headed to LA and made our connections home from there.  It was sad to leave my new friends who became so close over just a week's time but I know we will see each other again some day.
Monday morning I arrived at SFO and Tim picked me up. I knew I had to deal with Gidg not being at home and it hit me like a ton of bricks when we walked into the house. I cried as much as I could and let it happen when it wanted to, and still do. Don't think I didn't cry typing this because I did.

Tim decided after I got home to go on a plant based diet as well and together we have been making meals together, deciding what we can order when we go out and having fun with the entire thing.

Two weeks after I got home we rescued another dog...more on that in another post. She kind of deserves her own post.

Things are looking up.
Out of ruin comes repair.
For some reason through all of this, I have kept a level head, tried to stay in the moment and feel really great strange as that may sound.
I feel a change in me that I have never felt before.
Gratitude, Strength and Patience are now a huge part of my daily life. I am truly blessed.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Tea for Two

Wednesday I had a tea date with my friend Amy at Lovejoy's Tea Room in Noe Valley. I love it there. I have been many times but this time was different since I my diet is pretty limited and you know what? They were super accommodating! They have a healthy tea with salad, hummus, veggies and gluten free crackers and rice cakes! It was hard, I have to admit because I swear this place as the best English scones with double devon cream and jam this side of the pond. I could totally get used to tea each afternoon that is for sure. If you have not been to Lovejoy's yet, what are you waiting for? There is a pot of hot tea with your name on it.

After tea we walked to Omnivore Books down the street which is an all cookbook store AKA Danger Zone. I love cookbooks. I love reading them like novels and imagining what every recipe tastes like. We walked in and were immediately sucked in. They have vintage books and new books. Its a pretty amazing place and the woman behind the counter was super patient, we never felt rushed and took our time looking around and thumbing though many cookbooks. Since I was in the tea moment, I got a great book called The Vintage Tea Party - it has amazing illustrations and great ideas inside. Here, take a peak...

I fell in love with another book, but decided to stick with one and I am so happy with it. I am inspired and feel the need to host a tea at my house in the near future.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

May Day!

Happy May Day!
I have never celebrated before but I may have to start.
I got the cutest little gift on my desk today from my friend Amy - what a nice surprise and a great welcome to Spring!
Super cute right?
Clockwise from top center:
Notebook, tea light holder that hangs (super cute), magnetic note pad (I love a good list), small pen (perfect size), flower stickers (super fun!), scrubbie sponge (hello spring cleaning), plant a daisy kit (love it, so tiny!).
Please excuse my dirty kitchen floor, looks like it could use a scrub from that cute sponge, eh?
Thanks Amy - what a nice welcome back to the office after being out for a while.

I owe a post on my Hawaii experience...I am a bit behind.


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