Tuesday, November 8, 2011

busy tuesday

Tuesdays are busy for us.  After I pick the boys up from school at 3:30 we head over for my oldest son's piano lessons.  I've decided we can't come home before hand because we're usually late for the lesson.  So we take our time walking across campus looking at the squirrels and chipmunks.  We find pretty leaves or pinecones.   But today it was pouring rain, so instead we ran across the wet sidewalks, I was trying to swerve my youngest around the puddles.  You know boys are drawn to puddles, right?  Actually, I think all kids are drawn to puddles.

I wasn't really in the mood for a full day like today.  The boys have been getting up early because of the time change...they have yet to adjust.  As a result they've been a bit on the cranky and irritable side...not so fun.  But, one of these mornings they won't get up at 5:30.  Hopefully tomorrow is that morning.

It was a rainy day, a day I would have just rather come home, stoked up the fire in the fireplace and snuggled with my boys on the floor.  But I knew if I cancelled piano, my oldest would have taken that ball and run with it.  Anytime he wasn't up for a lesson, he would want to cancel.  So we went.  And all was well.  He played, the other boys and I explored the building like we usually do, savoring our time in the stairwell.  They like to hide under the stairs.  There are plenty of students who like seeing a 6 year old and 2 year old in the halls.  They're all away from their families and I think it helps them remember their families back home.

On our way home I had that let down feeling.  The kind of feeling you get when you've had a marathon-type of day and it was finally over.  The feeling that lets you know you can take a deep breath and relax.  The vibe was good in the car, we heard some of our favorite songs, and we knew that we were headed home.

It's a good feeling.


Onto the meals for the day...

I was sad to see I was out of Cheerios this morning.  But it was a good day for a bowl of oatmeal.  I had mine with a touch of natural sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and pecans.  And don't forget my favorite chai tea! 

We had a coffee date with some other new moms from the boys school.  Nickel got a cup of fruit and a muffin and I finished my chai.  It was nice to talk with the moms and my boy did much better than I expected, given the cranky morning he had.

He makes for a pretty cute lunch date though.

Now, on to lunch.  I had my favorite salad as big as my head.  I took two pictures so you could get a feel for the size of this monstrosity.

I made this one with one head of romaine, a handful of spinach, some sesame seeds, one avocado, 6 button mushrooms, 8 asparagus spears and dressed with a pomegranate vinaigrette.  I sauteed the mushrooms and asparagus in a little EVOO.  I like the contrast of the warm sauteed veggies with the cool crisp romaine.  Delicious!

I finally made more cookies today too.  I had 2...since I hadn't had any dessert since Saturday.  That put me over the top though, and I wasn't hungry for dinner when the boys were eating.  My dinner came after their bedtime and I ended up having a big bowl of Cheerios topped with banana and raspberries.

So that's it.  I'm heading to bed for an earlier bedtime.  I'm sooooo hoping these boys can adjust so they can be happier.

Until tomorrow.

Monday, November 7, 2011

give a green smoothie a chance

I kept to my diet over the weekend.  It's getting easier saying no to the things I used to say yes to, like soft drinks, sweets, processed foods.  We ate lunch out and I skipped the soft drink, opting for water instead.  Saturday's breakfast was my famous bowl of Cheerios heaped with fresh fruit and my ever faithful cup of chai tea.  Lunch was Qdoba tacos, veggie style, minus the cheese and sour cream but heaped with pico and lettuce.  Yum!  Dinner was leftover vegan lasagna...so creamy and still delicious!  I finished the chocolate chip cookies, so there was an emergency on hand.  Baking was definitely on the agenda for Sunday.

Sunday's breakfast was a favorite for me and my youngest:  steel cut oats with blueberries and cinnamon.  My 2 year old an I eat 3 servings of this easily!  It's so warm and delicious, it almost tastes like a blueberry pie.

Lunch was a simple PBJ with pickles and apples.

And dinner was a favorite, Spaghetti No's with Mini Lentil Meatballs.  I don't have a picture, but Isa's photo is great.  I'm working on getting approval from Ms Moskowitz to link to her site.  Once I hear back, I'll add in the link. 

I noticed I ran out of popcorn, and my pumpkin seeds were long gone, so I was starting to panic...what was I going to snack on?!?  Nuts and dried fruit to the rescue!  Cashews, brazil nuts, dried cherries and apricots did the trick.

I did some baking, chocolate marble banana bread...heavenly.  And, as of Monday night, it's gone.  I'll have to make another loaf because everyone loved it.  I didn't have everything I needed to make the cookies I wanted, so that went on the back burner.  Chocolate banana bread stood in well as dessert Sunday night.


Today's breakfast was a vibrant green smoothie with toast topped with pumpkin butter.  I'm loving my green smoothies.  I admit, I was a little scared at first.  But, if you add enough fruit, and most of it should be frozen, then you can't taste the greens.  I like to use kale partly because I still have some in my garden, but mostly because they have a great amount of absorb-able iron.  And, I tend to be iron deficient.  I used kale, pineapple, cantaloupe, pear, flax oil, and hemp seed.  You can add flax seed in place of the oil and hemp seed.  I just used what I had on hand.  If you want it to stay that pretty green color, be sure not to add anything purple or red.  Blueberries taste delicious, but they do turn it into a dark purple color, just an FYI.

 Today's lunch was a big salad.  And, I forgot to take a picture!  Crazy!  Not to worry, I'll be having another one tomorrow.  More details tomorrow on what I like to put in it too.

Dinner was leftover lentil meatballs with velvety cheesy sauce.  You gotta try that recipe, I'm just sayin'.

Now, on to the fun stuff.  The boys have been raking leaves all weekend.  They've been disappointed that my extremely efficient husband has been, up until now, munching up the leaves before they've had a chance to play in them.  So, we had a talk and asked Daddy to please leave the leaves so they could get their fill.

 Daniel is saving some leaves by keeping them on the deck.  My two year old was then jumping off the deck box into the leaf pile.  sigh

 Fall is in full swing.  It gets dark now as we're eating dinner and the first forecast for snow is in on its way for Wednesday night.  We could quite possibly wake up to snow on Thursday.  Hooray!

Until tomorrow, enjoy your evening.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I've been vegetarian for 5 years and vegan for almost 1 year.  However, I cheat from time to time, eating dairy (cheese, ice cream) and eggs from time to time.  But, I have an extreme addiction to sugar.  I envy those who pass up dessert, wishing I could do the same.  I can't.  So that's why I thought I could use a good challenge.

I decided to give up refined sugar and flour.  gasp!  I know...what is a girl to do, the week before Halloween and I give up sugar?!?  Argh!!!  But, I have done it before.  I gave up refined flour and sugar once before, about eight years ago.  Boy, that's a long time ago.  And, I'd given up candy once just in time for Halloween, but that was, and I'd be guessing, about 1991 or 1992.  Sheesh!  It's about time for me to start giving that junk up!

So I'm talking on the phone with my sister the other day and she asks, "What do you eat?"

That gave me the idea to share some of the things I'm eating.

This was my breakfast this morning.  A big bowl of Cheerios topped with fresh raspberries, bananas, and unsweetened almond milk.  I also had a nice big cup of chai tea with agave nectar and vanilla almond milk.  

My youngest and I had music class this morning, so I brought some cantaloup to snack on.

For lunch I bought a vegan sandwich from our local Coop with some pears, and pickles.  You gotta have pickles with your sandwich, right?

 This afternoon I snacked on some pumpkin seeds.

Then, dinner was a yummy vegan lasagna with asparagus, mushrooms, cashew cheese (courtesy of the fabulous Dreena Burton), and topped with Daiya cheese.

I have some vegan, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies that I'd made earlier in the week.  You can find the recipe here.  You may wonder how they could be good if they are vegan.  Try them, I ask you, and then tell me that they don't taste like mama's home made cookies.  So, I have them been happily eating them for dessert.  

It can be done!  And, I made it through the day without any Halloween candy or ice cream!  Hooray for me!

I'm curious to hear about anyway you like to challenge yourself.  I encourage you to try to make one healthier meal a week.  There is a site called Meatless Monday that might give you a place to start.  Another easy way to start eating healthier is to substitute unsweetened almond milk for your cows milk on your cereal.  You may notice a slight difference in taste, but you will only notice it the first time.

Happy eating!