Monthly Archives: May 2010

Marvelous Monday

Happy Monday!  🙂

That’s something you probably never thought you’d hear me say, huh?!  But how can you not be happy on a three day weekend!?! 😉

Yesterday was an awesome day– complete with a vegan BLT sandwich and some serious pool time.

I’ll start with the vegan BLT.

While perusing Ellwood Thompson’s a few days ago, I discovered that they carried Fakin’ Bacon.  Fakin’ Bacon strips are smoky flavored tempeh. 

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In the past, I have not had much luck with tempeh.  To me it has always tasted like feet, and although I am not a picky eater, feet tasting food kind of crosses the line.

However, I thought I’d give it a chance since I have read so much about it in the past few months on other blogs and in several vegan/vegetarian cookbooks. 

I am so glad I did!

This tempeh did NOT taste like feet at all!  It was marinated (which must be the key to tasty tempeh), and it really almost tasted like real bacon!  Larry didn’t necessarily agree, but he loves his real pork bacon, so he is quite biased!

First, I toasted some Ezekiel bread and slathered on some Nayonaise Vegan Mayo.

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Then came the “bacon,” lettuce (spinach), and tomato.

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Pretty face rockin’ if you ask me!

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After stuffing our faces, we headed over to the pool, which was incredible!

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I have to admit I was a little nervous about joining this pool.  We paid a pretty hefty price for a membership before we ever even saw the pool set up and running.  But I must say this pool is very, very nice. 

They have a made to order snack bar, plenty of chairs, clean bathrooms, working grills, water coolers, horseshoe pits, ping pong tables, basketball courts, XM radio playing in the background, volleyball nets, and these totally awesome slides :)  They even had baskets in the bathroom of emergency supplies and toiletries.

I say it was money well spent!

Today I got my car washed and started some laundry.  When Larry gets home (he did not get a three day weekend 😦 ) we may head back to the pool for some more fun in the sun (slathered in sunscreen of course!).  I’m thinking tonight’s dinner will be something served from the grill!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and don’t forget the sunscreen! 😉

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Dirty Little Vegan

Let me just say that this Memorial Day weekend has started off strong!

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(Doesn’t this picture just take your breath away?)

No, we didn’t pack up the dogs and head to the beach or river.  We didn’t even go out of town. 

But that is the beauty of it. 

We stayed in town and are enjoying a nice, relaxing weekend at home together.  I can’t even tell you the last time we did that… or the next time we’ll get to do it again!

Yesterday, after blogging and catching up on some reading, I spent some down time on the couch.  I watched the movie Precious, which I must say I did not enjoy.  A little too sad and slow.  I then watched a good 2 hours of the Food Network!  I learned how to make Braised Red Cabbage (which I will be making after my next trip to the Farmer’s Market), Apricot Oat Bars, and Stone-Ground Grits with Gruyere.  I decided I’d had enough of the boob tube when I saw Duff Goldman and Geoffrey Manthorne from Ace Of Cakes eat Rocky Mountain oysters.

I then went for a treacherous 6.6 mile run in the blistering sun.  It was the toughest run I’ve had in a long while.  It really didn’t feel that hot when I left the house, but the heat was intensified by my black pavement running path.  It took me 1 hour and 1 minute to run including two walking breaks, and a stop at the Cultural Arts center for water.  That’s an average of 9:24 minute miles, which isn’t too bad considering I thought I could literally to burst into flames during 5 out of the 6 miles! 

Boy was I glad I ran those miles when Larry and I feasted on these babies as an appetizer at dinner!

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After lounging by the pool for a couple of hours, we headed to Sticky Rice for dinner. 

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And yes.  We ate half a bucket of tater tots dipped in a spicy ranch type dressing.  They were melt in your mouth good, and I do not regret one single bite 😉

For dinner, Larry had sushi, and I ordered the Dirty Vegan Noodle bowl.  I was ecstatic to find so many vegan meals on the menu!  That is just not something you ever find in the suburbs. 

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This description simply does not do this dish justice.  It was chock full of tofu, veggies, edamame, cilantro, and sprouts served over udon noodles.  A little spicy, a little nutty, and a tad bit sweet.  Perfection in a bowl.

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It was seriously the best dinner I’ve had while dinning out in a LONG time.  I could only finish about a quarter of the bowl (the tots may have had something to do with this!), and I can NOT wait to have the leftovers for lunch this afternoon.  🙂

Today Larry and I are planning on heading to the pool until it is time to come home and get ready for our friends’ little girl’s first birthday party.  I plan on swimming laps for cardio and then doing some serious poolside reading 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Weather, Work and Politics

Happy Memorial Day weekend everybody!

The weather looks a whole lot better than what they were calling for today. 

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I’m starting to think that being a meteorologist is the way to go.  You get paid to guess at the weather, and you don’t even have to be right! ;)  Thursday they were calling for it to be 73 degrees with scattered showers.  Last night they were saying it would be cloudy and raining on and off all day.  Now:

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Hopefully it will stay this way and Larry and I can go to our new pool for the first time!  ;)  We went running by it the other day and watched the swim team practice.  I can’t wait!

I want to take a minute to explain why I haven’t been posting every day the past few weeks.  At first I wanted to apologize, but then I realized that a simple explanation might do

I love to write this blog.  It has brought me so much happiness.  I have a more positive outlook in life and feel less stressed (most of the time!).  It  has been therapeutic for me.

This being said, there are some days, after a long day of work and daily to-dos, that posting would just be stretching myself too thin. On those days, I have to make a choice.  Some of those days I choose to write, and I feel myself relax, and I’m happy I did it.  However, on others, I choose to relax with Larry and take a day off.  That feels pretty good, too!

This week was SOL testing week, and work was pretty crazy.  Have you ever tried to keep a class of 22 eight  year olds silent for 3 hours, five days a week???  Talk about exhausting! 

Thank goodness testing is over now, and we can go back to a somewhat normal routine.  My goal is to get the kids outside as much as possible.  We are going to do a lot of Project Learning Tree lessons.  These kids need to be outside in nature, moving and being active.  Not stuck in a classroom, being silent, and filling in tiny little bubbles for hours on end.  I could go on and on about the demise of public education in America, but I won’t bore you with politics today 😉

Today I plan on going for a 5 mile run, followed by a thorough house cleaning, Target trip, and possibly a little Memorial Day sale perusing at the mall.  When Larry gets home we are going to the pool and then out to get some sushi :) 

Anyone know of any great sales happening this weekend? 

Happy Saturday!  Drink Responsibly and Wear Sunscreen!!! 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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E-I-E-I-O

Old MacDonald had a farm. 

And I visited his market yesterday.  The Bryan Park Farmer’s Market.

I got a few goods, 🙂

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which I turned into a rather tasty dinner.

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Sautéed cabbage, lentils, and a toasted sandwich round topped with Earth Balance “butter.” 

The cabbage was the very first thing I noticed as I walked up to the vegetable stand.  I have never made cabbage before, so this was unusual for me.  As soon as I saw it, I had to have it. 

Maybe this is what they mean by intuitive eating. 

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This dinner definitely made me happy. 

To sauté the cabbage, I sprayed a large pan with olive oil spray and heated it over medium.  I sliced the cabbage into tiny sliver pieces and chopped 3 carrots into matchstick sized pieces.  I added the carrots first, because I knew they would take longer to cook.  I then added the cabbage and cooked until it was slightly caramelized.

Delish!

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Larry, who hates cabbage, said it was the best cabbage he’s ever had.  I think that’s a compliment.  😉

There was something about eating a cabbage that was pulled from the ground yesterday that made this meal extra spectacular. 

Tonight we’re having sautéed kale and mung beans (yes, I said mung!).  Larry is having reduced fat kielbasa and I’m having Tofurkey vegan kielbasa.   We may also be having not-so-very-healthy Jiffy Corn Bread 😉

Have a great night! :) 

Peace!

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Flirting with a Salad

Look at this beautiful salad!

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All of the beautiful colors and textures

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The lentil and white bean salads (Anyone have a good recipe for either?)

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The fruit

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Yum!

Whoever said salads are boring, clearly never had one 😉

And I have discovered a completely decadent, luxurious, and rich dessert.  I can not believe I have lived so long without it.

In my attempts to reduce the amount of dairy (more on this later), I researched vegan ice cream and came across rave reviews for Turtle Mountain’s Purely Decadent Made with Coconut Milk

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There are simply no words.

This dessert was so decadent I only ate one ice cream scoop and ate slow, small bites.  It was pure heaven.

My desire to reduce dairy has come from reading and reflecting on Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet. She makes some really good points about how humans were not meant to drink milk other than our mother’s, how animal  milk is full of saturated fat, and how it has been linked to breast cancer since milking cows are pumped full of estrogen to keep them lactating.  One of the things that stood out to me most was when she pointed out the fact that cow’s milk is used to turn a baby calf into a 400 pound cow.  Since mothers produce just the right milk for their babies’ needs, it doesn’t make since that we would ingest milk made for baby cows!

In her book, she asks people to try flirting with a vegan diet.  To simply try it out for a month and see how you feel.  I’m willing to try anything for a month, but I think this is going to be way harder than going vegetarian.  Chocolate and cheese are two of my favorite things and they surround me constantly

Yesterday, I did pretty good at eating dairy free foods.  Today I did alright and only had a little feta in my pasta salad at lunch.  However, once lunch was over I had a HUGE craving for chocolate, so I ate a TLC Fruit & Grain Bar: Dark Chocolate Coconut.  Once I got home I was starving and the only snack food I could find in the fridge was cheese slices and crackers.  I broke

I’m thinking that if I truly want to dedicate myself to flirting with this diet, I am going to have to replace the dairy cheese and chocolate with nondairy cheese and chocolate. This flirting is going to take some serious planning.  And I’m not completely sure I want to cut it out of my diet completely.  Perhaps I will simply reduce the amount I eat and take note of how I feel when I eat it verses when I do not.

Anyone ever flirted with a vegan diet or read The Kind DietI would really love to hear your opinions on this matter 🙂

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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A Lazy Sunday

Remember those old college Sundays, when after a weekend full of parties and fun, you lounged around in your PJs all day watching chick flicks, eating Pizza Hut single pan pizzas, and guzzling any non-alcoholic beverages you could get your hands on for hydration???

Well, those lazy Sundays have long been a thing of the past for me.  That is until today minus the personal pan pizza 🙂

Today I have lounged around watching Time Traveler’s Wife, working out, and reading.  It has been so wonderful.  I really needed a day to just rest and relax without any outings or long to-do lists.  It’s been way too long

Here’s a great post about the importance of giving yourself one day of rest

Larry and I woke up pretty early considering we had a late night last night.  And by late, I mean just a little past midnight.  We’re getting old 😉

I don’t have many pictures from last night, because I forgot to take some!!!!  I got the camera out and then laid it down and never picked it back up :(  I did get some pics of the food table and some cheesy Dollar Tree decorations.

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Did you spot the Gone in 60 Seconds Punch in the background????

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I did not even manage to get a picture of the bride and groom :(  Guess I’ll just have to throw them another party, so I can take some pictures!

Today I skipped breakfast (oops!) and ate an early lunch…  party leftovers.

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Reheated vegetarian baked beans, a MorningStar Spicy Black Bean Burger topped with tomato and avocado slices, and some pasta salad. 

I then did 3 circuits of the Yvonne Strahovski workout from Shape Magazine.  It took me exactly an hour to do the strength moves with five minutes of cardio between.  For cardio, I did 1 minute of running in place, 1 minute of jumping jacks, 1 minute of high knees, 1 minute of jab, cross, hook, uppercuts, and 1 minute of front and side kicks.  I really love this workout.  It works your whole body and you work up a sweat without having to run in place on a treadmill.  Oh, and you can watch TV while you do it, so time really flies!!!  🙂

Tonight for dinner, Larry and I are making a Martin’s run to the salad bar.  We both feel that we may have overindulged a little too much last night 🙂

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that you feel rested and rejuvenated for the week ahead. 

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Breakfast of Champions

Hello!  Happy Saturday! 

I hope you had a wonderful Friday night, and that you’ve taken some time to rest, relax and rejuvenate on this lovely Saturday.

This morning I woke up and watched Thursday’s Season Finale of Grey’s Anatomy.  It was crazy intense!  Anyone else catch it??? 

After a gripping two hours, I was in the mood for some breakfast.  But I wasn’t in the mood for eggs, or cereal, or oatmeal.  I wanted something filling, but light. 

I did a little food blogging research and decided on Protein Pancakes. 

I modified The Fitnessista’s recipe for Perfect Protein Pancakes.  And because I’ve decided to cut back on my dairy consumption, I decided to replace an egg white with Angela’s Vegan Egg White

Ingredients:

-1/2 scoop protein

-1 chia seed vegan egg white

-1/4 C almond milk

-2 T whole wheat flour

-1/2 tsp cinnamon

-1/2 tsp vanilla

-1/2 tsp packed brown sugar

This breakfast was super easy and quick.

First, I made the “egg white.”  I was a little skeptical, but I must say this is ah-mazing! 

I took 1 tsp of chia seeds and soaked them in 1/8 cup of water.  After about 3 minutes, they were seriously the consistency of an egg white!  I couldn’t believe it!

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I mean look at this!  Chia seeds are my new favorite super food.

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I then mixed all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.

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Once the pan was good and hot, I added the batter and did some fancy unpictured flipping 😉

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I topped them with a little Earth Balance, maple syrup, and sliced strawberries.

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Who said the Breakfast of Champions had to be Wheaties???  These kept me full for more than 4 hours today!

Well, I’m off to do Yvonne Strahovski’s workout from Shape magazine and finish getting ready for the party. 

Have a great night!

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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