Monday, June 27, 2011

Free at Last!! Back from camp.

So I am back from summer camp. One week as a camp counselor for 11 girls was mad!!! Here are a few of my crazy-babies:
in the cabin
exercising by the lake
this is the girls practicing their dance.

It was so hard. It was the longest week I have had in a while. But I was really proud that I stuck it out and kept a good attitude to support the girls. The day I left camp I had lunch then slept for 5.5 hours, woke up to eat dinner, and then slept for 12 more hours!!

The eating at camp was rough for me. It was a health and fitness camp, so the food was "healthy" according to most standards, but it was still not as healthy as I feel like I should eat. They didn't have a  very big variety of fruits and veggies, and most of the veggies were canned. I didn't want to be a brat or a diva and since they didn't have enough variety to meet my nutritional needs... I just ate what they ate, only less meat and dairy. However, I felt the difference in my body very quickly. But it was nice to not have people look at me crazy for eating differently. Most of them didn't even know I was a plant-eater. ((Some of the folks closer to me are still struggling with what to do with me and my "alternative lifestyle."))

So today I rewarded myself for surviving camp by going to my happy place. Grocery Shopping!!!!
For the first time I brought my own bag to the grocery store.

I got some FRESH, crunchy, delicious veggies and treats like fig Newman's. I hit those fig newman's the minute I got home. lol I also found some hazelnut butter. I had seen these little packets on other blogs and am so excited to try it...maybe with some bananas?

So dinner was some simply amazing veggie soft tacos. I am not ashamed to admit, I had 3. haha.
The avocados in it were like butter!! yummmmmmmm!

look at those colors

So happy to be back with my veggies, and my Ry, and my favorite blog people (YOU!)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

coming out & starting a nudist camp

I had some seriously great tacos last night for father's day. Get a load of this!

These were so good that even my dad liked them!!! He is a major meat&potatoes kinda cat, so they must be good!

I found the recipe on You can check out the official version there. But basically we just through together:
*1 can rinsed black beans
*1 can of rinsed corn (you can eliminate sooo much of the excess sodium by rinsing 4 times.)
*2 tomatoes
*1/3 cup chopped cilantro
*2 zucchini squash
*very finely chopped onions
*1.5 avocados cubed

*Juice of 2 limes
*one chopped orange bell pepper

We topped it with some guacamole and some homemade pico de gayo and it was great! This is another recipe where you can modify pretty much however you like and it still be great!
Also, yesterday I kindof threw myself a small coming out party and cooked tofu for the first time.
I know you are probably cringing or laughing. I would have too only a short month ago. It was a tofu scramble (as in scrambled eggs) and believe it or not, it tasted fine. The texture was a bit odd for me because it was like really soft scrambled eggs and I like(d) for my eggs to be firm. I won't include the recipe this time, because I seriously doubt anyone is interested in it. lol But as far as "coming out"...

I am officially now a plant eater.

I know we all saw this coming this last month. So what does that mean? Well, I guess that I eat similar to a vegan without having the vegan belief system. I don't eat meat or basically, I don't eat animal products. I am not sure where my boundaries lie within grey areas such as veggies that have been cooked with a smidgen of animal product when there is nothing else to eat. But I will figure those details out later. How long is this going to last? I can't promise forever...but for a while.
I am doing this because I feel that is is a matter of design. I believe that pre-fall we were created to walk around naked in a paradise garden eating yummy plants all day. I understand that we now live post-fall world, but after extensive research I know that it would be soooo much healthier for my system to eat in a way that it doesn't have to just "make do." I believe that my health will be able to thrive on a plant based diet. Also, I am now starting a nudest camp in a beautiful garden to continue the idea of getting back to the way we were created. Applications will be posted shortly. ;)
So... now you know. I don't believe that everyone should do it my way and I am not going to be a vegangelical. It is a very personal decision that should be made with much thought and research investment. So lets just make a deal that I will respect your food choices if you respect mine.

 Even though we probably think differently on some subjects, Please still check my blog out for fun ideas on healthy eating. Maybe you can find a yummy side to your meat that will help you get some fruits and veggies in. There will still be some great information here, plus pictures of winston. :)

 I wanted to let you know that I will be off the air for at least a week. I am going to summer camp!!! (camp counselor)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rae's Salad dressing

Today I wanted to share this recipe for a salad dressing from my old pal Raelene. Isn't she just a doll?

and I am including this second picture because you can trust a lady who can rock a floppy hat. Now that we have established her credibility, here is her recipe:

"Ok, because I always make different amounts, my measurements are a little sketchy- But play around with it. I'll actually make a batch of it today and record the measurements I use for you.
It's my mom's famous dressing, and people ask her to bottle it- that good.
Ingredients are:
*Extra light flavored Olive Oil (about 8oz)
*Fresh squeezed lemon juice from about 2-3 lemons (about 3oz)
*Fresh pressed garlic (I use about 6-8 cloves- don't worry, it's not too much!)
*I like to add a little fresh rosemary (finely chop sprigs from 1 small stalk)- but it's optional.
*Sea Salt - (couple of tsp to taste)
*Fresh ground Black Pepper - (couple of tsp to taste)

Putting it together:
I use a 26oz pitcher and a small liquid blender that fits down inside of it- I call it my "whir-whir" machine- It blends it all up perfectly. And when blended right, the olive oil and lemon juice almost "whips" into a thick creamy blend- so it turns into a sort of Garlic Ranch dressing. But it is completely natural and SO good for you. If it's too strong for you, tone it down with some water, or more olive oil.

**Oh, and it's important to use the Extra Light Flavored Olive Oil- otherwise the mixture doesn't "whip". If you're using regular olive oil, the mixture will remain oily. Still tasty though!**"

I made this the other day. It was so easy! And yes, surprisingly yummy. The best part is you can alter the amount of the ingredients depending on what you like. I found that it was neither too lemon-y or too garlic-y. It was great.

After I ate this on some salad I used the leftovers as a marinade. I put it in a Ziploc bag with 2 portobello mushroom caps and let it sit overnight in the fridge. With one of the caps I made a burger by just sauteing it till it was nice and warm and soft. I put it on some bread with a few fresh tomato slices and it was delic. Unfortunately, it was so good that I ate it before I got a picture. I totally scarfed it!

For the second mushroom cap:
I dumped the rest of the marinade from the Ziploc into a big pot. I chopped up 1.2 and onion, a couple leaves of kale, and the mushroom cap and cooked them on low heat in the marinade until the onions were soft. Then I put that on top of some wheat rounds (sandwich bread) that were toasted extra crisp. It made a very yummy open face sandwich...I had quite a few of them.
This marinade gave the veggies so much flavor! I highly recommend it. Thanks Rae-rae for sharing! love you!

If any one else has some plant based recipes they would like to share with me, facebook them to me. I am always on the lookout for yummy food.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Get ready. I got a lot of pics for this one. ^_^ p.s. I found my camera that my sweet little Jordan got me. As soon as I can find a USB cord for it, we will have some better quality pics.

Firstly, last night I got to go on an amazing date with my Ryan. I had SO much fun...also I had so much sake. Are the two related? I will let you determine. I had a wonderful plant based meal with a few non-vegan exceptions. like this one:
P.F. Chang's Chicken Noodle soup. This is one order! Me and Ryan shared it as an appetizer. I picked out the few bits of chicken and put them in his bowl. It kinda had a flavor like hot-n-sour soup. Yum.

I ordered a "vegetarian" dish. Buddha's Feast. The flavor was amazing! It was not a compromise to eat it! And I had a side of spicy green beans which were also epic!
We polished it off with some cake with a berry syrup. I know it probably has eggs in it. But since I haven't set my food boundry lines yet, I figured what the hey!
The cake was good, but after those rockin' veggies, its just had no chance of amazing me.

*I seriously recommend P.F. Chang's for plant eaters. What I had was mind-blowingly delicious & the veggie options are half as expensive as the meat portions so you can order alot! (or sake.) And you will have great leftovers for the next day.
And my sweetie got me flowers. ((blush))

So I decided I need to get back in the swing of working out now that I am settled in. >>I have spent the last week reading nutrition books, laying out by the pool, cooking great, new recipes, and watching Hulu.<< So I decided to take a jog around my beautiful neighborhood to get acquainted.
The mistake I made was bringing winston. He was so scared of traffic. (poor muffin) And I ended up just literally dragging him. It was a nice little 14.8 pounds of resistance. I finally decided to give him a break and try later by myself. we accomplished the grand distance of 1.1 miles. lol
When we got back into our complex, I took his leash off so he could just walk behind me.
"can you believe this bull?"
So instead of prancing behind me like normal, he wouldn't bend his legs! He was just ever so slowly placing one stiff leg in front of the other. Needless to say, we didn't cover much ground fast. But his protest did add some extra time outside. Oh dear.

I am working on a post with a new recipe, I promise. I am cooking it up now. I just didn't want to give ya'll too long of a post. Coming up next is a salad dressing recipe and some fun stuff you can do with it. xoxo

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

welcome home!

I thought I would give you a tour of the new place. This is  my living room.
Here is where the magic happens, my charming little desk. If you look close you can see my sweet little streamer with paper doilies at the top.
here is the kitchen

and my bedroom: my friends all know I can't live somewhere without putting up my deer head. Say hello deer!
Tacky, unmatching, pink, 80's pillow cases...what can I say? They made me smile.

and some pictures on the wall.
The bathroom is pretty standard, so I didn't bother. It was so small I couldn't get inside AND take a good pic. Just come visit me and I will let you see it and use it if your lucky. :)

And here I am getting happy with my almond milk latte. I made a pot of coffee and put the leftovers in the fridge. Now for easy iced coffee any time I want, I mix half coffee and half sweetened vanilla almond milk. Does a body good!
I have a great recipe to share with you next time, compliments of my pal Rae-Rae! Come back!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Eating Out

So as I have been busy researching the benefits a of plant based diet, by sweet lil man, Ryan, has been busy at his new job. Isn't business Ryan cute?
So I finally cornered into going on a date with me. Something that he had been unsure about since my new "alternative lifestyle." lol He had no clue where he could take me. So I decided to take him out and show him it was not so scary.  I looked online in advance and checked out some Conway restaurant menus. We ended up going to Market Place. They had a few options of things that could be modified to be completely plant based meals. I ended up getting a portobello burger with sweet potato fries. I had to get some honey mustard to replace the mayo that came with it and I had to get our butter on the side instead of on the bread. But with those little fixes, dinner went off without a problem.

Yesterday we took a little road trip to go to Blanchard springs cave. He was just going to skip lunch since, once again, he had no idea where to go to feed me. I insisted that even if I just ate some old french fries, I WAS GOING TO EAT! {Bad idea to withhold food from this woman!} We stopped at a little burger shack in Marshall Arkansas called Daisy Queen. It was one of like the 3 restaurants in this TINY town. AND lo and behold, after much drama...They had a veggie burger! I chalk this up to manna from heaven. There is NO other explanation for a veggie burger in the middle of no-where!

Lesson learned: Be open minded when eating out. If you ask nicely, you can get meals modified to meet a healthier diet. And don't be afraid to ask if they have something that is not on the menu. The worst that they can say is "no." My veggie burger was not on the menu but it was in the freezer. ;)

Here is my lunch today. It was perfect after a particular trying time at the grocery store.
Onions, portobello mushrooms, a tiny bit of fresh garlic and a few red bell peppers.
brown "boil-in-a-bag rice" that I microwaved then sauteed in some olive oil.
I topped it off with some of my favorite things marinated carrots, some soy sauce and teriyaki sauce.
I really should go find something useful to do now! Like work on my financial aid for school. *gag*

Friday, June 10, 2011

welcome to the salad cult

Today has been super! I applied for a job as a clinical dietetic assistant at Conway Regional. I am a bit nervous about that because I am not sure if I can make all A's, hold office in 3 out of 4 clubs and work all weekend long. But it is in God's hands. When am I ever gonna see poor little Ryan once school starts?

Also, I finished settling in to my apartment. There are still some empty boxes I need to find a place for and a few loose ends, BUT overall everything has found it's place, so I am gonna say that I am settled. I might post some pics of the place later.

Then to make matters best! My sister came to visit and study. ((girl after my own heart.)) She brought some salad stuff and I had a few fresh veggies. We through them all together and made the best salads. See for yourself. Mine: you can't even see all the good stuff cause it is covered in chickpeas and walnuts!
Hers: topped with crispy perfect baked kale chips!
They hit the spot perfectly!!
My sister has been so sweet and supportive about my crazy new eating habits and unorthodox research on a plant based, whole food diet. Thank goodness for the certain people who have been gentle with me during this process. Some days I feel like my considering not eating meat is like telling people I am considering joining a cult. (Chuckle) They don't like it. But I try to be understanding and not give any details that people don't request.
Until next time!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I'm back!!

I moved into my new apartment this last weekend. (yay!) And I just got my internet installed. (finally!) As you can see, Winston approves of his new home. (I know, why does every post have to include a picture of the dog!?)
Mostly, I have been unpacking and settling in these last several days. But I have still found a bit of time to continue my research on healthy eating and lifestyle. Here is my newest book. My 3rd one in a row on my quest for knowledge. (on top of Internet research and TV documentary)
I am really digging this book. It is about nutrition research done showing a DIRECT correlation between diet and disease. It is very fact based and backed up by many scientist and sources. I really enjoy that the author explains the parameters of the study, shows how it was properly conducted and approved (cause I am always suspicious if they adjust the findings to support their pre-conceived ideas), and states the results.  I am not so much interested in someones opinion on healthy eating, I want research and fact. Nutrition/disease is what I hope to study one day when I graduate, so I am in heaven with this book.
Also, these last couple of days I have been eating. lol I have been in the mood to cook and have been trying out some new recipes that are exclusively plant based. Cooking is not my strong point, but I do enjoy it. And if I am gonna kick out some unhealthy foods, I need to replace them with equally delicious meals.  Here is some of my grub from the last couple days:
*My first attempt at homemade oatmeal. includes peaches, almond milk, and honey.
*Salsa Burger! Boca burger (which is surprisingly flavorful), salsa, spinach, avocado, and bell peppers

*mushroom gravy with spinach, red peppers, and fresh garlic over farm grown mashed red potatoes
*Veggie pizza! I didn't make this. I got it at Old Chicago. I ordered a large so I would have a lot of leftovers. It has red peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, artichoke hearts, spinach, and broccoli. ...with no cheese. {{Stay Calm}} Yes, I said no cheese. I know, I had the same question, "Is it even a pizza?!" This was my first no-cheese pizza and it was surprisingly good. When there is a variety of fresh vegetables, good crust and sauce it makes for a very flavorful pizza. You don't even notice the lack of cheese, really. And I am saying that as an avid cheese worshiper!!
Thoughts are welcome. ^_^ Love to all!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

reseaching the crazy vegans

I have the pleasure of a day to myself and decided to spend it researching and reading. ((heaven)) So after sleeping in with the poodle (please pay homage to his cuteness below. What a dear!), I had a breakfast of fresh pineapple and headed to the bookstore to research...(deep breath)...Veganism.
Not anything I EVER thought I would pursue information on. Before you start throwing rocks (or bacon) at me, I am not even vegetarian. But while putting in some well-earned couch time I stumbled upon a documentary on Vegan eating and wanted to see what these crazy people had to say for themselves. And there was some interesting stuff there, some of it I agreed with.

Basically: I totally agree that fresh fruits,vegs, and whole grains are amazing and delicious and can save your life. So I want to learn how to eat more of them. We eat an excess of the other food groups (meat&dairy) and not enough of the groups that our body needs in larger portions. This backwards eating is making us sick.

Honestly, I couldn't finish reading the information on animal cruelty. It is so hard to wrap my mind around how cruel some people can be just for fun. It made my stomach lurch to read what some of the employees at some meat plants would do to animals for fun. Things that did not involve killing or processing. I think it is fine to kill an animal to eat, but I do not think it is okay to torture and animal to watch it suffer. I don't know that I am ready to jump on a bandwagon and believe that everyone in that industry is a sadist, but some of this information has made me think. To really come to my own conclusion I will need to do some more research.

I know the subject of animal cruelty is somewhat contraversial. How much should we care? Is it right to invest so much energy into an animals rights when people around the world are treated just as cruely all over the world with no advocate? What are your thoughts on the matter?

I took a break from my reading to try out some healthy food and make a fresh, nutritious lunch. Here's what I came up with.
 Garlic+baby spinach+sliced portobello mushrooms+drizzled with some balsamic vinagrette.
*Finished Product*
The recipe needs a little tweaking. (maybe some extra balsamic...) It wasn't a flavor explosion. But maybe my tastebuds and mind need alittle retraining in what is "good."