Day 10: A world of possibilities

So many people think that becoming a vegan, even just cutting out meat from ones diet, drastically reduces the amount of options that you have when choosing what you are going to eat.   I think that this is a terrible misconception.  The truth is that there are so many fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, roots, and other whole foods that you and I have never even heard of.  The abundance of natural food on earth is incredible!  In becoming vegan, Danielle and I have exercised our creativity when it comes to cooking and thus diversified what we are consuming.  The variety of food that we’re eating has increased so dramatically!  We are having so much fun exploring all of these wonderful foods that we only dabbled in or did not even know existed before.

So yesterday we ate Oatmeal Cranberry pancakes again.  If you have been following our blogs then you have already seen that recipe.  We already told you how good they taste. Our eating them again is testament too that.

For Lunch and dinner we ate my new favorite dish.  I had a feeling it was going to be fantastic, so when Danielle was putting the recipe together she said I’ll just double it for 4 servings.  I said why don’t we quadruple that sucker!  Thats just what we did!

Whole-Wheat Macaroni & Sweet Potato Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked noodles (according to package instructions)
  • 1/2 baked sweet potato
  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast and 1/2 tbsp of olive oil for crust

In a medium-sized bowl combine the sweet potato half, juice of half a lemon, mustard, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Fold 1 cup of cooked noodles into the sweet potato “cheese”.

Place the mixture into a serving-size baking dish.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast over the dish and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. This will allow the top to crisp while cooking.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, or until the top begins to brown. Serve and enjoy!

It tasted like normal Macaroni and cheese, but with way more distinct flavors.  If I were to eat as much regular Mac n cheese as I did this, I would have had to sit on the couch for an hour afterwards.  Danielle and I both felt great!   I heated up some today and it was just as marvelous!

We found out today that our apartment managers are going to release us from the lease early because of all of the issues that we have had.  I am not going to get into all of that, but this definitely means that we will commence on our expedition across the country in about 10 days!  We are getting so excited!  It will include but is not limited to…

Big Sur

Santa Cruz

San Francisco

Wine tasting in Napa

Yosemite if the weather permits

Hiking in Utah

Josh Garrels concert in Boulder Colorado

honky tonk with Paul Secord

we are bringing our Vitamix and our juicer!

Stay tuned!

We will absolutely keep you guys posted on that!

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Day 7: Nutritarian has a nice ring to it!

Travis and I have gotten through 7 days of this VEGAN  CHALLENGE! We are feeling really good and very optimistic about it! I was sent the following and I wanted to share: It’s from Dr. Fuhrman’s website (he is an amazing nutritionalist that was in the movie Fat, Sick , and nearly dead: we watched it tonight!)

What is a Nutritarian?

Simply put, a nutritarian is a person who strives for more micronutrients per calorie in their diet-style. A nutritarian understands that food has powerful disease-protecting and therapeutic effects and seeks to consume a broad array of micronutrients via their food choices. It is not sufficient to merely avoid fats, consume foods with a low glycemic index, lower the intake of animal products, or eat a diet of mostly raw foods. A truly healthy diet must be micronutrient rich and the micronutrient richness must be adjusted to meet individual needs. The foods with the highest micronutrient per calorie scores are green vegetables, colorful vegetables, and fresh fruits. For optimal health and to combat disease, it is necessary to consume enough of these foods that deliver the highest concentration of nutrients.

A nutritarian is a person whose food choices are influenced by nutritional quality.

Now this sounds like something we really like! Why not evaluate what types of foods you are putting into your body?! I want to live a long and healthy life and eating healthy is a HUGE step towards that goal.

So, we woke up really early for an appointment we had. Travis threw together a fast Acai Bowl that was ASTONISHING! I sure love my husband so much and I’m super impressed with his skills in the kitchen! Here is his Acai Bowl Recipe:

Travis’ Acai Bowl Recipe:

2 Packets of Organic Sambazon Acai Berry and Guarana Smoothie Packets(run them under warm water for a couple minutes, if frozen, to loosen)

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup of organic apple juice

1/2 cup of frozen strawberries (blueberries are the best, but we were out of them)

1 tablespoon of honey

Organic Granola.

He threw it all in the Vitamix and hit the frozen smoothie setting… then we put the granola on top. Words can’t even describe how delicious this was! Acai berry is so high in antioxidants and the taste is wonderful.

We knew we would be gone for awhile, so I grabbed some of my homemade trail mix (see recipe below) and an apple for the road.

Danielle’s Homemade Trail Mix:

3 cups of roasted almonds

1 cup of dried organic cranberries

1 cup of semi-sweet vegan chocolates

1/2-1 cup of organic sunflower seeds

Toss together. SO GOOD!

After our errands, we came home and I was super hungry. I threw together a pasta, spinach, garlic, and tomato sauce dish. It was very simple, but very tasty!

Travis and I decided to make dinner together, so I worked on the butternut squash and he worked on the Jalapeno and Cilantro Hummus.

Since we made hummus the other day and it turned out so amazing, I suggested he use the Tahini paste that we have so much of. So he did, and it turned out horrible. I guess the Tahini paste wasn’t called for in this recipe. I felt a bit guilty for suggesting it, but Travis is always so sweet and just kept trying to make it better. Needless to say, I won’t post that recipe until we perfect it! It’s all about working towards the same goal: eating healthy and tasty food, right? I decided to make a butternut squash bake and it turned out great!

Danielle’s Butternut Squash Bake:

3 cups of chopped butternut squash (large chunks)

4 tablespoons of water

2-3 tablespoons of honey

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the squash in a 8×8 dish and add the water.

Once the oven is preheated, put the dish in for 20 minutes (uncovered)

Remove and add the honey, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Put back in the oven for 20 more minutes.

*Make sure to check every 10 minutes throughout cooking and stir the squash to ensure they are getting fully cooked.

THIS WAS WONDERFUL! Sweet, but hearty and healthy!

Travis and I were pretty bummed out about the turnout of the hummus, but he still ate some with corn chips. I tried, but couldn’t stomach it… so we threw together a quick green smoothie with Basil! The basil was Travis’ idea and it turned out DELISH! Here is the recipe:

Travis and Danielle’s Basil and Spinach Smoothie Treat:

1/2 cup organic basil

2 cups of organic spinach

4 clementines

1 orange

1 tablespoon of organic orange juice concentrate

We just put the Frozen Smoothie setting on the VITAMIX and let that bad boy do the job! It was VERY basil-ish, but after the first few sips, it was so good. Travis loved it!

Since we have been so into documentaries lately, we wanted to watch the one many people have been talking about: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. If you haven’t seen it, DO IT! It is truly an amazing story and some really good points and statistics. Travis and Bella looked so cute cuddling on the couch, I had to take a picture…

 

After the movie, we ended up falling to sleep pretty early because this is the first Friday night that we didn’t have to run our hot dog cart company, since we sold it on Weds.  I have noticed that we have been sleeping a lot better and I don’t feel nearly as bloated as I use to, while eating meats and dairy. I know for a fact this has to do with our new challenge of eating Vegan. I can’t wait to see what the days ahead bring. We are leaving for our up the coast and cross country trip in 2 weeks! I think it will be very interesting to see how well we do with traveling and trying to eat this healthy. We are always up for new challenges and look forward to it!

Thank you for reading.

Day 5: Bring on the challenge!!

Wow! Day 5 of this Vegan Fast is a lot more intense than expected. Well, I say that, but we did expect it somewhat. Travis has had a HORRIBLE headache today and we have both been quite moody. We can still power through this though! Drinking a lot of water and staying as positive as possible has been helping us through. For breakfast Travis made a “Tropic Tango Smoothie” and some toast with almond butter. The Smoothie can be found on Vitamix’s website. Very delish!!

We have a lot going on, workwise, recently. So we ran a lot of errands and did a lot of things today, then Travis got super hungry and came home to eat with a headache and very frustrated. Trader Joe’s Veggie Chili and rice was the answer to our hunger and a quick thing to heat up over the stove for a fast lunch. It was very yummy, but I missed sour cream and cheese SO BAD!!!! Then I made the same smoothie I came up with yesterday for a taste after the Chili. I feel like the feelings of missing cheese and sour cream goes away quick when we are gulping down a fresh green smoothie. Mmm!

Travis had a little bit of a breakdown this evening. He said that he needs to eat a burrito and some steak. Now, if you know my husband, you would know that he does not love steak. He never has really… he enjoys it, but never craves it. Well today, he craved a CARNE ASADA Burrito, cheese, quesadilla’s, nacho cheese, goat cheese, gouda cheese, etc. I told him he sounded like Bubba from Forrest Gump, except not with shrimp… with cheese! “Cheese cocktail, nacho cheese, burrito cheese, mexican cheese…” haha. Anyways, I told him to calm down and I would make him a yummy dinner, while he relaxed in bed to get rid of his headache. I also read online that fresh grape juice helps with migraines, so I made some for him and brought it to him in bed. For dinner I was feeling very creative! So I made a Black Bean, Olive, Temph, Mushroom, Onion, Rice, and Cilantro dish. It turned out very good! I sauteed all of it together and just kind of through stuff in as it felt right! Wow… it was tasty and I think Travis’ headache is gone! I also added some nutritional yeast into the dish, to help with vitamin B12 ( thanks Rene!!:) )

I don’t have any pictures to post this evening because we are in a huge rush to get out the door, but I wanted to make sure I did the blog and put down our symptoms. It has been a challenging day, but what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?

Tomorrow is a new day : )

Day 3: “Don’t live to eat, eat to live”

Good Evening Everyone! Hope you are having a wonderful day! Our day was FABULOUS! We are now at day 3 and feeling just great!  Woke up feeling good and Travis made homemade Oatmeal Cranberry Pancakes! UNBELIEVABLE! I couldn’t believe how tasty these things were! The best thing is.. they are 100% VEGAN. Travis is the pancake maker in the family, so I am happy he took charge of this recipe. He had a hard time finding the baking soda and baking powder in the fridge, but I assured him it was in there and he finally found it. Haha. Anyways… they were amazing! I couldn’t believe they turned out green in the middle though? I have no idea why, there was not anything green in the ingredients. Maybe someone can answer that for me? Strange. Anyways! Here is the recipe… I HIGHLY SUGGEST IT! Oh and instead of syrup… we used organic honey on top! WAY BETTER and WAY HEALTHIER!

Oatmeal Cranberry Pancakes

Dietary Interest:  no added sugarlow cholesterolvegetarian

Yield:

10 medium pancakes

Difficulty:

Intermediate

Total Time:

25 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) soy milk
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) flaxseed meal
  • 3/4 cup (115 g) uncooked rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons (20 g) sunflower seeds

Directions

  1. Place first six ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 20 seconds. Turn machine off and remove the lid.
  5. Add oats, cranberries and sunflower seeds and replace the lid.
  6. Select Variable 1.
  7. Turn machine on and blend for 15 seconds, using the tamper if necessary to press the ingredients into the blades.
  8. Let batter sit for 5–10 minutes before cooking to yield best texture and flavor.

After a delicious breakfast, we decided to go for a hike at our favorite spot in San Diego, CA…Blacks Beach. Now Blacks Beach is known for its nude beach, but we don’t go there for that reason. Haha. We go for the amazing views… Bella came along for the day, which she is not allowed to, but we figured since she is a 6 pound yorkiepoo-WHO CARES! (We can hide her if need be) Here are some of the gorgeous pictures from our hiking adventure…

Bella loves hiking! She did good and really enjoys the sand and dirt!


Travis says there use to be a waterfall here, but it dries up a lot. I still thought it would be a great place for a picture! So gorgeous!

This is such a great place! We made it down to the beach and walked around for awhile and then made our way back up, which is MUCH harder than going down. The weather was 72 degrees and just beautiful. We feel so blessed to have an opportunity to live out here.

Now on to lunch! Since we worked out pretty hard, while hiking, I decided to make a yummy green smoothie for an “after workout treat”. I was feeling very creative, so I decided to make my own recipe! It turned out FANTASTIC! The taste of leafs are sure appeasing now a days! We also had the leftover roasted red pepper hummus from yesterday. I chopped up some carrots and it was super yummy. Here is the recipe for the Green drink I created…

Danielle’s “after workout green treat”:

2 cups of organic spinach

1/2 cup of organic kale

2 slices of organic pineapple (about 1 cup)

4-5 organic green grapes

4-5 ice cubes

SUPER TASTY!

We had a meeting for work from 3-6:30 and met at a local restaurant, 976. I got super dizzy all of a sudden so we decided to order something. So we ordered one of the wonderful ALL ORGANIC VEGAN COOKIES! Travis and I split one… it was a Devil’s Food Chocolate cookie…. PHENOMENAL! We can’t resist sweets and especially if its part of our fast!

For dinner we decided to make organic whole wheat pasta and some marinara sauce. I also sauteed some organic squash to throw in there. Figured it would help with the taste and also substitute the heartiness of meat… IT WAS WONDERFUL! Now I am finishing the evening off with some Chamomile Tea and enjoying it very much.

Today I realized a saying that is really starting to sink in more and more as we experience this fast… “Don’t live to eat… eat to live.” I thank God so much for putting this passion in us to really eat to live. It means so much when you really sit back and think about it. What we put into our bodies literally BECOMES part of us.

I hope you had a wonderful day and I am so happy you took the time to read this blog. Thank you.