Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Good eats today :)

Hey everyone. Woke up early and dragged my butt to the gym. It felt good because I've felt really lazy lately. I'm trying to get back in the habit of working hard and the motivation is certainly there :) Came home and did some laundry so I feel pretty productive today... all before I even go to work!

I'm getting ready to go to work at two and I've already got my dinner set to bring with me so here is what I'm eating/have eaten today!

Before the gym I had two clementines to put something in my tummy and for a bit of a sugar boost :)

When I got home I made a protein shake. It was as disgusting as it looks. I broke my small smoothie blender and didn't feel like bringing out the big blender so I attempted to hand mix it. So gross, it had clumps of protein powder. I just chugged it down and chased it with a yummy banana :)

Lunch totally made up for it though! I had some golden sesame tofu from Whole foods along with some brown rice/edamame/red onion dish from the prepared section too. I added some leftover brussels sprouts with caramelized onions and it was such a delicious meal.

When I get to work I'll have a small coffee. Haven't had any yet, I can definitely use the jolt!

For dinner I'm bringing a gorgeous salad to eat with a little balsamic vinaigrette. This is going to be so good, it has organic greens, carrots, cucumber, sun-dried tomatoes and portabello mushrooms.

Hope you all have a great day! Definitely going to relax when I get home tonight :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Cyber Monday?

Hey all! So, I tried to find the cyber Monday deals but I lost patience early on and decided to ditch the effort. It's all good, I am still going to be able to avoid stores for the season I think so that will be a victory in itself! I just need to stop shopping for myself and start shopping for others! :X I may (definitely) have ordered The Happy Herbivore Cookbook from Amazon today while ordering another gift. I think I have a vegan cookbook addiction.

Had a great training session today. I can definitely feel the improvement in my technique and form which makes me happy!

Check out the grub so far.

For breakfast I indulged my clementine addiction and peeled up 4 :X Then I had a banana as a midmorning snack with a small coffee.

I get out of work early on Mondays so I made this amazing lunch when I got home. It is a brown rice (GF) tortilla from Trader Joes' with 1/2 cup fat free spicy refried beans spread over half and folded over. I toasted it all up on a pan and then topped with 1/2 of a mashed avocado and some diced tomato. So delicious and comforting and a fairly healthy version of this dish. It was inspired by Shen's tostadas!

I had a protein shake after the gym so I'm working up to dinner. I think I'll just have some Sesame Tofu I picked up from Whole Foods yesterday with some leftover roasted brussels sprouts.

Hope you all had a good Monday! Have a good night!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Keeping Promises & A HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY!

Good afternoon everyone :) I hope you are all enjoying this gorgeous Sunday. It has been unseasonably warm the past few days, I feel like it is spring! So beautiful.

I woke up super early this morning. I was at Whole Foods when they opened and I accomplished a lot before most people even crack their eyes open. I decided that I would finally fulfill a promise I made a while ago.

I love baking. My biggest problem with this business is that I have a hard time accepting payment for the things I bake. A tradition I have is that I'll bake my friends and family treats to suit their taste on their birthdays. In March I made Alicia Silverstone's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups from The Kind Diet. The birthday boy was kind enough to share with some other friends and they were a big hit. So much so that I get asked to make them on a regular basis by one of my other friends that tried it. I kept promising I would make them, the latest time was that I'd make them for him for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving came and went and still no peanut butter cups. I felt guilty so I made it my project for today.

I made them minis by using a mini muffin tin. They made A LOT. Like 3 dozen a lot. I gave him most of them but kept some to give out to a few others. 

I packed them up in this holiday tin because it was the only one I had :X They are 3 deep, I think I got 22 in here. 

I ran them over to him and he was so surprised and happy! It felt good to follow through on a promise. I can't wait for the holidays! I love spoiling people with yummy vegan treats! :)

Speaking of which, I've decided to host another GIVEAWAY of yummy vegan baked goods! I'll put together an assortment of treats that I'm baking this year for one lucky winner! All you have to do is comment on this post and tell me your favorite holiday treat! I'll choose the winner on December 4 using the random number generator thing. When I bake my treats mid December I'll send over an array of goodies, so the winner will have to sit tight, but trust me, it will be worth the wait! Good luck!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Breakfast and a Great Deal!

Hi everyone! Today's post is gonna be short because I'm exhausted but here is the rundown :)

I woke up early and was at the gym by 8am. I did an hour of cardio to start off my day. After the gym I had this breakfast...

A breakfast banana split with almond butter, cinnamon, raisins and a little granola. So delicious and the crunch the granola adds is so great!

Later on I went shopping in Astoria with my mom, sister in law and niece. We went into all these bargain jewelry stores that typically has cheap looking crap but then I found this...

I LOVE it so much! I think it is really different and it was ONLY $2!!! Seriously, 2 bucks. It was a little big when I tried it on but not too bad. Then as it got colder it got to be really big so I'll have to wear it on my middle finger instead of my ring finger. It is still big but totally manageable.

Hope you all had a lovely Saturday! I had a big lunch with my family before we ventured out so I didn't get to enjoy some yummy greek food there but I'm sure we'll head back! I at the veggies out of a veggie wrap for lunch by the way. No pics, sorry!

See ya tomorrow!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I was totally unprepared for it this year so my Thanksgiving meal was basically a continuation of my every day diet which is kind of fine for me. I had a nice day and my meals were tasty, though not exactly traditional Thanksgiving fare. We went to my brother's house so it was my family and the animals :)

For breakfast I had a bowl of oats with banana, walnuts and cinnamon.

I snacked throughout the day on carrots with hummus and clementines.

I cooked up my favorite side dish for the family. Roasted brussels sprouts with caramelized onions. This batch came out amazing!

For my main dish I just whipped up some brown rice with roasted cauliflower and roasted chickpeas. Boring but still delicious.

My brother found out that there is a vegan restaurant around the corner from his office and sent me the link (this was totally unrelated to Thanksgiving). I checked out the link and made a comment about how I would go there for blueberry coconut cake alone. Wouldn't you know it he went there and got me some blueberry coconut cake! We surprised each other with treats! I had a small piece of it and it was delicious! No pic though, sorry :(

Delilah says hi!

She was a happy girl!

Stretching out in her PJs!

Jack decided to climb their tree. You can't tell because this is a close up but she got up almost to the top! I'll post a full length tomorrow for you to see.

I hope you all had an amazing holiday! I'm thankful for so much :)

OK I'm gonna go catch up on blogs and ice my thumb because I totally busted it during my training session today. Direct elbow impact :( Ouch!

Have a great night everyone and yay for the weekend (I worked a bit today but have Saturday and Sunday off)!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Getting Ready For Thanksgiving!

Hi everyone! Hope everyone is having a lovely (short) week so far! I had such a fun morning today :) I started to get ready for Thanksgiving today and I love being able to get into the kitchen and blast a fun poppy playlist and have a little dance party while I work. And that is exactly what I did. It was so fun!

I decided to make a fun little surprise for my brother. He tried chocolate covered potato chips at the Chocolate Trade Show a few weeks ago and loved them. I decided to surprise him by dipping some chips to bring on Thanksgiving. He does a lot for me so I thought it would be a fun treat for him. Can't wait to surprise him!

Check out how awesome they look!

I hope he likes them! I'm sure Delilah will have to taste them too ;)

I had a little extra chocolate melted so rather than waste it I dipped a few of my Candy Cane Joe Joe's in it. They are now in my freezer for safe keeping ;)

All I wanted for breakfast was clementines so I peeled up 4 and had a pile of citrus awesomeness. So good, exactly what I wanted!

For lunch I am currently working on a plate of roasted brussels sprouts, roasted cauliflower, some stuffed grape leaves and a pickle. SO good!

For dinner I'm bringing this spinach salad I bought from Trader Joe's. It is a spinach salad with quinoa, carrots, dried cranberries (which I'll pick out because it is all sweetened and sugary), chickpeas, edamame, pumpkin seeds and grape tomatoes. It comes with a carrot, ginger dressing. There is a little sugar in it but I really think the amount in negligible so I'm debating if I'll bring my own dressing or not.

I decided that Thanksgiving will be the end of my cleanse. I'm going to continue to eat clean, but a little added sweeteners (like maple syrup or agave) are fine in small amounts. I'm really happy with how I did and I feel great and I plan on continuing to eat this way, but I don't want to start (or re-start really) a pattern of being obsessive about things like maple syrup in every bite of food I eat. This is meant to make me healthier as a person, and also to help me have a healthy relationship with food. Time will tell I guess.

Hope you all have a great day! Can't wait til Thursday.

Monday, November 21, 2011

No Food, Just A Cute Baby :)

Hey everyone! I don't have anything interesting meal-wise to show you today but I want to show you a few shots I got of Delilah yesterday. It was a combination of her 1st birthday party and Christening. Yes, I'm Jewish, but my sister-in-law is not. We are not super religious and it was something that my sister-in-law wanted so my brother went with it.  And yes, I know it is VERY late to do a Christening, but that's how they roll ;)

Not much else to say, I kind of have a case of the Mondays. Finally had a training session and it felt great.

Check out the cuteness!

I love this picture so much. She is so young but she is so expressive and has so much personality!

Lol I can't deal with how cute she is! She was gnawing on a chocolate covered pretzel. The birthday girl can eat a treat if she wants!!

Love my girl :) Can't say it enough!

Have a great night!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Just Breakfast

Hey everyone! I was out all day today so all I have to show you is breakfast.  Sorry!

I had some Raisin and Walnut baked oatmeal (it stayed together this time!) with the other half of the banana that I used in the oatmeal. So delicious, I love this meal.

I ate some grilled veggies at my niece's big first birthday party but didn't take a pic. I'll probably snack on something later since I barely ate anything today.

Sorry so short but I'm exhausted. So bummed the weekend is over already!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Eating Clean on the Weekend

Good evening everyone and Happy Saturday! I went in to the studio for a few hours this morning to get some editing done and then ran a few errands and spend a good part of the afternoon relaxing. It feels so good :) I finally got my car back which is great and I've been watching UFC Unleashed for the past few hours. This is shaping up to be a pretty great day!

Today's grub has been pretty great too. Check it out!

Breakfast is my "breakfast banana split."I just split open a banana and added 1 tbsp of almond butter, some raisins and some cinnamon. It was so delicious.

I ate lunch between work and running errands so I didn't grab a picture of it but I just ate a bowl of veggie soup. Warmed me right up!

For dinner I had some brown rice with steamed tofu, broccoli and eggplant. I just drizzled about 1 tbsp of a garlic sauce over the top for a little flavor but avoided the heaviness that comes from drowning it in sauce. Such a simple but satisfying meal.

For some reason I was having a hungry day so I ended up snacking quite a bit. All of my snacks were nutritious, clean foods so I don't feel guilty about it. I ate a lot of frozen grapes, a few stuffed grape leaves, and a key lime pie larabar. Mmm. My belly is satisfied. I'll probably have some spearmint tea a little later on.

Enjoy your Saturday night everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Still Eating Clean - Grains In, Added Sweetener Still Out!

Hey everyone. Quick car update, I'm lucky to have an amazing mother that let me borrow her car (I drove her to work this morning and my dad is picking her up) so I'd have a car to get to work and the gym since mine is still dead. I also finally had a chance to get to Whole Foods after the gym which was SO necessary because I really needed to stock up!

I've been loving my iPhone since I got it, especially all the great apps that make life easier. I tend to have random thoughts come to me so I downloaded a great Grocery List app so I can add things anytime I think of them. I've also been using a great app called Lose It! and I love it. It allows you to figure out how many calories you are eating a day and also how many you burn through exercise.  It's nice to be aware of this and it also helps you figure out how many calories you should be eating to reach a specific goal.  It's got a huge database of foods and even has restaurants in there so you can easily calculate how many calories are in your meal from popular chains.

My detox is still going well with the grains added back and the sweeteners and processed foods still out. I had some really great meals today!

Breakfast was another bowl of amazing oats. I added raisins and walnuts (and cinnamon) to this bowl. So delicious and warming. It was SO COLD today!

Midmorning snack was an apple.

I still didn't have groceries for lunch so I grabbed a burrito bowl from Chipotle on the way home from work. I had my usual combo of brown rice, black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, and lettuce. So good.
And I discovered thanks to my Lose It! app that this meal only has 425 calories. Not bad for takeout, and is pretty darn nutritious.  The only thing is that I bet it has a lot of salt but I'm not really sensitive to salt and I don't add salt to my own cooked meals so I'm not concerned :)

I had a small handful of about 15 almonds for a little energy before the gym. My trainer had to cancel again so I still went in for cardio. Kind of a bummer but nothing I can do.

For dinner I had some sesame tofu with roasted butternut squash and roasted brussels sprouts Very delicious!

Hope you all had a great day! My car should hopefully be fixed by tomorrow. Yay! Happy weekending everyone!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Business Cards and Busted Cars

Today has turned out to be the strangest day. I woke up with an evening packed with activity and places to be...and I ended up home. My training appointment got canceled (wah, total bummer) and I was supposed to do headshots for a friend of mine and her mother for their business cards. She canceled as well. It was fine though because I had SO MUCH to do so I was happy for the free time.

First some happy news! I finally ordered business cards for my small vegan baking venture and they showed up today! There is a great company called MOO that does custom printing. What sets them apart is that you can upload different photos for every business card (up to 50 I believe). I was going to do the cheap standard cards but I think it is important for customers to see the product so I chose some of my favorite pics and decided to just go for it. They came out AMAZING. I'm so happy, the card stock quality is amazing and the print quality is gorgeous. Check them out!

The back of the cards is simple with all of my info. These are worth every penny.

So after I got home it was about 5pm. I decided to run to Whole Foods because I haven't been there in like a week and a half and I'm living off scraps here. That's part of the reason I have no food to post for you lately! So I go and the traffic is so horrible I turned around after about a half mile. I decided to do my laundry then I'd go. Wrong. I get into my car and it is totally dead. Not a stutter, no blinking light, just total stillness. Sigh. Can't catch a break.  

Oh well, it is what it is. It'll get fixed and life will go on. I'm just glad it didn't happen while I was AT Whole Foods! I'll just have to piece together some meals and be boring and eat the  same thing for a few more days.

It's almost Friday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Detox Week 3 and a Birthday!

Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well. Been feeling pretty good until I started to get really bad back spasms this evening. It's kind of a bummer but I'm starting to just kind of get used to it...so I deal with it and then move on. It kind of stinks because it can get really painful but you just have to power through I guess.

I only have pics of 2 of my meals today.

For breakfast I had some more oatmeal. I cooked 1/3 cup of oats in 1 and 1/3 cups of water (the good ol' volume trick! look at how much it cooks up!) and mixed it with ground flaxseeds, cinnamon, banana and walnuts. I read somewhere that the way you cook your oats determines the texture. I usually add my oats to boiling water and it tends to come out clumpy and dry. I like creamy oatmeal and I could never figure out why mine never cooked up creamy. Then I read that if you add your oats to the water first then bring them to a boil together it'll end up creamy. I tried it today and it was amazing! Super creamy and delicious, this is the way I'm definitely going to cook my oats from now on! I wish I could credit the person that wrote about it, but I don't remember who it was!

For lunch I had a small container of rice and beans and veggies from the deli next door.

I went to my brother's house today to celebrate my niece's first birthday. I can't believe it has been a year :) They all ate pizza and I ended up with some split pea soup (I found vegan at the deli near his house where I get my chopped salads!) and a little tangy cucumber salad. Very delicious.

So I want to introduce you to my gorgeous niece :) Her name is Delilah.

I can't even deal with how cute she is. We thought it would be hilarious if we put the giant cupcake in front of her and it definitely was :X I'm the only vegan in the family so the cake was not vegan but it was just so cute I had to show this to you!

This was the aftermath of the cupcake massacre of 2011. She's the best little peanut. Love this kid :D

Monday, November 14, 2011

Welcome back grains!!

Hey everyone. Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. Saturday was a really long, tough day for me. I left my house at 10:30 am and didn't walk in the door again until 2:30 am. The wedding was really long and the hall was far so it just took forever. By the middle of the day I was completely drained of energy and by the end of the day my shoulder and back were killing me.  Crawling into bed was the best feeling in the world.

It didn't last long though. I woke up at 8am after about 5 hours of sleep. My body was totally shot, every inch of me hurt and I was exhausted.  My brother wanted to take my mom to the Chocolate Trade Show in NYC because he thought she'd like it so we all decided to head in early and surprise her with tickets. It was cool, she was super surprised and had a great time. Go figure one of the first tables we saw was a company that boasts certified vegan, all natural treats. I struggled a little with whether or not I should taste anything because of my cleanse, but I decided that the amount I would be eating would not affect it and you don't get to sample these treats all that often so I indulged in a little chocolate. I had a sip of vegan chocolate mint hot chocolate with an almond milk base, a small sample shard (best way I can describe it) of AMAZING 82% dark chocolate, a small shard of 71% dark chocolate and a small shard of dark chocolate infused with chili. I've always wanted to try it and it was so good. The heat snuck up on you and it was awesome because I love spice.

I walked out of the show with these two bars to try after my cleanse. It is from the vegan booth and it is all organic, with all natural sweeteners like agave. They had the awesome mint hot chocolate I tried. They wholesale local to me actually and I can't wait to try! I got an almond bar and a crispy brown rice bar :)

I haven't had a lot of energy and I've been really sore since Saturday so I decided to have a hearty and energizing bowl of oats for breakfast. I added my grains back a day early but I felt it was necessary and I'm glad I did it.

Had some chopped salad for lunch after I got home from work.

I snacked on some frozen grapes before my workout. I'm totally obsessed with these. Check out the little frost crystals. :)

For dinner I had a random plate of veggies and hummus. Great as usual. I need to go get some stuffed grape leaves. Been craving them!

I've been looking for recommendations on things my omni friends want to see me try and veganize. Kind of like a little challenge for the winter when I have more time to get in the kitchen and do some serious cooking. So far my friend asked to see some real Greek style spinach pie (why yes, he IS greek, go figure ;]). Is there anything you guys want to see me make this winter? I'm making a little list so all suggestions are welcome!

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend. Looking forward to not rushing out of bed tomorrow. It is also my niece's first birthday tomorrow! She is such a cutie and she has such a funny personality, she is the best. I'm hoping to get out of work a little early to join in the festivities :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sassy Treats and Cookie Bracket Winners!

Hey everyone! In the spirit of Friday and because I've only been showing you super clean food, I decided today's post was going to be dedicated to sharing the super cute treats I made for a friend's party I'll be going to tonight. It is for women and will have jewelry and make-up and fashion so I thought sassy mini cupcakes would be perfect for the occasion!

I just got finished baking and frosting 4 dozen mini cupcakes. Look at how cute they are!

I decided to go mini because they are all cute and dainty. I wanted to do bold colors and went for the pink, blue and purple!

I started baking BEFORE I realized I didn't have the right sized liners. I figured that since they are going to be eaten tonight it isn't a big deal. My poor naked little cuppies.

I hope everyone likes them!

And finally, the winners of the Holiday Baking Bracket!!

Magical Coconut Bars and Almond Joy Cookies! I'll be making both of these treats, plus a few other before the holidays. Lots of coconut this holiday season ;) Stay tuned, I'm going to announce a giveaway after Thanksgiving! Yay! Thank you all so much for voting, hope you all had as much fun with it as I did!

Also, I decided to sign up for Twitter. I don't know why, I guess I thought it would be fun. If you are on Twitter and want to follow me you can click the follow button above my blog followers list. Or find me, @xvavaveganx. Comment with your Twitter name if you'd like!

I hope you all have a great Friday night. I know for sure I won't be posting tomorrow because I will be working from 11am until about 1:30 am. Yeah, that's a long day. I'll see you Sunday though!

P.S. No I haven't strayed from my cleanse, I did not and will not be partaking in the cupcakes. Wah!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Detox Day 10

Hey everyone! Sorry no post yesterday, things have been crazy around here. Not much to catch up on so I'll make this a quick one.

Everyone was making me wish I had gotten the coconut date rolls so I got all smart and took my almond date roll and rolled it around in coconut...so I had the best of both worlds! I spread the paste on an apple with some cinnamon.

Chopped salad.

Quick stir fry of frozen broccoli, frozen peas and carrots and some tofu.

Sorry so brief! I'll be back tomorrow with some awesome treats that are definitely not part of this cleanse (none for me no worries!)...and the winner of the cookie bracket! Stay tuned, yay for Friday!