Where did she go?

I know I have been gone from WordPress for a very long time.

I have been updating several times daily on Twitter and Instagram:

Twitter: @iusedtobefatter

Instagram: @cteck9

Photos and thoughts on nature and food mostly, in many different aspects.

 

I’ve found myself in this transitional phase of life where this blog hasn’t been my priority. Things are going well and I’m quickly finding a rhythm of life and dealing with my food addictions and depression. Mostly, I’ve finally been able to spend a lot of time outside and I’ve been doing a lot of reading and writing, which is also fantastic for my mental health.

I have starting to find my niche in a community of people, both via the internet and in person, that I can relate to and that my end goals in life, and even in what I want to accomplish daily, seem to resonate the same. People with a passion for clean eating (whether that be vegan or not), respecting the earth, appreciating nature, and living simply. So, beginning July 1, I am giving up my apartment and going on the road. Between camping and couch-surfing, I plan to spend 3 months traveling New England. I will use this time to further my education in the things I am passionate about. I feel like I have 20 years to catch up on, as many of the things that I am passionate about now were not necessarily things that were accessible or instilled in me growing up. I don’t mean values, because my parents did a fantastic job at that. I mean, learning about the woods, plant life, growing and sustaining food, etc. There is so much more that I want to know, and while I have this opportunity to do so, I feel eager to get on the road and connect with nature and clear my head before I finally delve into something else (a job, what have you.) I do plan to see how I can make a living by repurposing trash furniture and items that are found free on Craigslist, and also, clothing at Saver’s. I used to make cute deconstructed t-shirts, dresses, and skirts from oversized used T’s. I am going to learn to do these things. This summer is going to be great. But I probably won’t update this blog very often, since I’ll be mostly living outside. I do have a SmartPhone so I can update Instagram and Twitter very easily.

So follow me on there, and follow my adventures and occasional rantings. 🙂

I’ll leave you with some photos from my most recent camping trip at Wompatuck State Park in Hingham, MA.

 

 

I hope everyone takes care and has a fantastic and safe summer. ❤


Flex and you’ll survive the storm.

I wrote this a while ago, after Hurricane Irene… I felt inspired by the young, fresh trees that survived and the older, harder trees that were uprooted. Strength is useless without flexiblity. Sometimes we build strength and try to prepare for any situation. But life is unpredictable, so we have to be ready to bend.

 

 

 

Let this be a reminder that we are hardly as in tune with our bodies as we would like to think we are.

We are not synced with nature.

Mother Nature needs no man.

We try to bully her.

We want to leave her with two black eyes, begging for a painless death.

We think we are the force of the Earth. The only.

We have arrogantly claimed this Earth as our own.

Mother Nature as an unwilling servant to man.

And even though we have abused and desecrated her, she lets us remain.

The truth is, we secretly tremble in Mother’s ominous shadows.

Inevitably, She crushes us.

We try to mirror Her intensity, Her form, Her courage.

Her brutal passion and commitment leave us weak and in awe.

Helpless but hopeful.

We panic in premature despair and anticipate an ironic destructive beauty.

We long for a softer mother to cradle us.

But Mother is fierce.

We imagine Her blood in our veins.

Feeling the heartbeat of the Earth beneath our toes.

Her sweat and tears flooding us with feelings of heaven and hell.

We can only attempt to emulate Her instinctive perfection.

Perfection through flaws and conflict and err.

But She thrives and we fail and we must learn from Her.

It is not only imperative for our survival but for our success.

For our future.

We must take Her message into our bones.

Pure strength as a victor, as an undefeatable foe?

Never.

Stiff thin bones would snap and crush under our forlorn awkward weight.

Flexibility is key!

Soft, strong, pliable.

Like Mother.

We must learn to bend and curve and sway with the everchanging winds.

Winds of hurricane strength.

We must learn to look at the contrary point of view for guidance, and for completion of truth.

We cannot rely only on what is known to us as fact.

We must flex.

We must trust Mother.

Only the sturdiest trees with shallow roots and little room for breathing will snap under terrible pressure.

Too steadfast in your ways and you will uproot and break someday too.

Flex and you’ll breathe free.

Flex and you’ll survive the storm.


Catching up, starting over

(Sorry that this is kind of a ‘messy’ entry… I started writing a few days ago and never finished, so I started rushing through the end to get this posted and move on. It’s just a part of me reorganizing myself.)

Well, then, where has the past week gone? Time is flying by incredibly quickly. I’ll admit that the past week has held its share of challenges for me, and I have had some tougher days. Tuesday through Friday were good days, and I worked on continuing to enjoy the weather. I find that a fantastic motivator to eat well and be active, but then I do find I don’t spend enough time working on the blog and cookbook research. I need to find the balance between the two and then I’ll be good. After all, on the sunny days last week, I was just spending 5-6 hours a day walking. Oops!

My Vibram FiveFingers from last year have finally had it. I have walked hundreds of miles in them…. Honestly maybe even over a thousand. I did a lot of hiking last summer in these ones as well as my commuting. They are just fantastic. I ordered a new pair, and decided to go with the cuter, more feminine mary-jane style instead of the clunkier more athletic ones. Thanks to REI membership… I had 20% off, plus it was free shipping, plus I had dividends so they were only like $50 down from $100ish. But, I hated the style when it came in. It reminds me of pool floaties and may be just fine and as durable, but I think that for the type of walking I do, the closed-in style is better. So I got these ones:

I was a little iffy on the coral color, but now as I relook at them… I’m excited! These are actually pretty awesome. And I’m even more (extremely) excited for the feel of a new pair that’s more sturdy and fresh. Like I said, the ones I have have been through a lot, both on city streets and in the woods. They’ve been in rivers and on rocks. And the walking that I’ve done this year so far has led to nothing but huge painful blisters on the BOTTOM of my feet. Not calluses, but water filled blisters in the bend of my toes where my toes meet my foot (the armpit of your toes, if you will.) I think it’s because of the way I walk that it only happened on my right foot… I think I mentioned before that I have a numbness/tightness to the outside of my right thigh. Well, recently, after switching between the Vibrams and a regular pair of sneakers, I noticed that when wearing regular shoes, I walk on the outside of my foot. Only on the right side. The muscle in my thigh is less engaged which causes my leg to bow out, just a bit. So when in the Vibrams, the stride is corrected and all the right muscles are engaged. This is why that muscle was so sore after walking. I just need to get it stronger. (At least this is all just my deductive reasoning anyway. I recently decided that I’m perfectly tuned in with my body and mind. I do a great job of reading when something changes and what’s different. The only problem is that I’m like, watching the Spanish channel because even though I see the picture, I can’t understand any of it! So now, I’m working on figuring out the “why” behind the way my body … and especially, my mind… work. I think if I know the “why” it can help me understand how easy it is to be in control of it.)

I did okay with food the past week, I really only feel like I overate on Saturday. And even then, it was probably about 25% of the food that my “binge” would have been in the past. Although, throughout the week, I didn’t eat quite as healthy as I would have liked. I did end up getting food on the go a few times. I have to do a bit better planning next week. I’m realizing in the past that I just have no idea how to shop to feed one. I mean, I do, obviously. But I get so stressed out after getting food on the go for a few days and wasting calories, nutrition, and money $$$, I clear out the fridge and go back and stock up! What I need to do, cooking just for myself, is take one to two days at a time and respond to what’s on sale and what’s already at home. Plan just a couple meals at a time. Because then if things do change, much less will go to waste. Its fairly obvious. Especially since the market is only 3/4 mile walk away. And besides, if I’m only planning for a day or two, it’ll be so much easier to carry home while climbing up that hill. 🙂

I did get plenty of exercise in the past week. I did a ton of walking. I think I’m ready to move up to a morning jog/walk combination and then a longer walk in the afternoon. I didn’t do enough yoga though and I am feeling stiff as hell to be quite honest. I think tonight I will spend just slowly stretching out the kinks. It’s a bit windy to wander around town and I’m taking the day to catch up mentally to where I should be with work.

There were a few days that weren’t so good either though… I’ve been dealing with some things that have thrown me for a bit of a loop, and found myself overwhelmed, panicking, and slipping off track in a lot of different ways. Food, alcohol, emotions… I actually smoked cigarettes too. Awful! I’m not a smoker, or was I ever really considered one, but I’ll have a cigarette every now and again socially. I got the American Spirit Organic Mellow… and even those are a little harsh, ha. I think I got that out of my system though, I don’t know what came over me.

Anyway, at this point, the most important thing I’m trying to do is get a firm dig on my heels into the earth so I don’t slip any further. It’s taking a lot of effort. I wish it didn’t have to always be this hard. But at least I’m finding and using my tools. I dipped pretty low Sunday through Tuesday, but now I’m getting back on track. I find that even though I’m moving at a snail’s speed in rebuilding myself to functioning again, I think I’m doing it in a very healthy way. It’s the same as with weight loss. Slow and steady for permanent healthy change. I think I might actually be ready to sit down and accomplish some serious stuff next week in the way of my self-education and really getting started with Sprout Out Loud. It’s so embarrassing that it has taken me six months since stepping down from my full-time job to get to this place. But it’s done, so now, I just move forward positively.

Today I have been working on reorganizing and regrouping myself, putting a plan in place to really tackle stuff next week. I’m trying to regrasp some of the motivation and organization I used to have when I worked the busiest job ever as a marketing manager and I used to somehow cram 14 hours a day of work into 8 hours. One big thing I did was have several lists going at all times so I could just squeeze in and accomplish things on those lists. I would also set time limits for certain projects or map out my day on how long I should put towards each one. One big thing I need to do is work on my obsessive compulsive tendencies when it comes to cleaning. Some days, I spend 4 hours cleaning before I can even get started on my work, and it’s not necessary! A few minutes each day and then a weekly detailed cleaning is plenty. Balance – isn’t that the absolute bottom line?

I’m also going to be changing my approach to blogging. Currently, I’ve been going for more of a timeline kind of thing, but that’s not what I’m really trying to accomplish… what I’ve ended up doing is having days where there’s nothing really enough to constitute an entry, but then I don’t write at all. Instead, I’m going to start writing on specific topics and making sure something gets posted every day as I begin to expand my mind and really through myself into the work on sprouting and the work on myself. I think this will help reinforce the knowledge and growth and it will make for a better and more interesting (and more consistently updated!) blog.

My focus moving forward will be on living foods (sprouted, raw, etc). I should be clear that as I am working on this blog and these recipes, that I’m doing everything from scratch (almost). I have general understanding but I’m looking to delve much deeper into the benefits on a physiological level, mental connection with food, and most importantly to me – how to keep up this lifestyle while sticking to some kind of a budget. I am ridiculously terrible at budgeting, and when it comes to food expenses, I’ve far from nailed it down as I mentioned earlier. So while I delve deeper, I’m also going to be looking for ways to save money. And lots of meal planning!

I’m just going to end this entry with a few photos…. Cut ties and move on and start fresh with this on Monday!

 

Picnic table in my backyard, with purple wisteria vine canopy!! This has smelled so good over the past week and the cute bumblebees have been super aflutter.

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The archway into the second half of the backyard.

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My cinderblock raised veggie garden… I have okra, spinach, broccoli, carrots, radishes, chard, beans, and cucumbers attempting to grow. I got kind of a late start in planting, but not too bad. As of this morning (1 week after planting), I’ve got a few radish sprouts peeking through! I’m going to give it a couple weeks and if nothing really takes, I might just work on growing flowers this year instead. Even if they’re edible flowers and herbs only, I hear those are easier to grow and I’m a first-timer. It was nice to see the sunlight exposure this area was getting though.

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I found this other spot to sit in in my backyard near this cinderblock garden that’s very comfortable, secluded, and gets great sunlight. It’s also blocked from most of the wind so I have a feeling I’ll set up camp sometimes out here during the day for reading and meditating. 🙂

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Fiddleheads at Borderlands State Park in Easton, MA! I did the disc golf course in completion with my friend Hal last Friday. It was beautiful and sunny and a great workout to hike through the woods for a few hours. There were beautiful wild fiddlehead ferns growing everywhere, which is making me hungry to eat some!

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I FINALLY got a Vitamix!…and “You are what you eat.”

On Friday morning, I was feeling blah and bored and was going to spend the morning doing a whole lot of nothing since I’d be meeting up with my friend in the early afternoon to go out for a walk anyway. But then – I checked the mail and *BOOM!* My Vitamix was sitting there, in all its glory on my front porch, and I felt this crazy burst of energy. I literally jumped up and down and clapped and squealed. It’s been my dream to own one since I started using one at my old job and experienced the quality foods that are produced in the Vitamix. Yes, it’s crazy expensive for a countertop kitchen appliance – but it’s worth every penny in quality, time-saving, health, and longevity.

Already since Friday, I’ve had a greens smoothie with protein powder every day, and made homemade salad dressing with no refined oils.

My first smoothie was frozen blueberry, banana, spinach, almond milk and protein powder. I use the Lifetime Basics Vanilla flavored, it’s made from hemp, chia, pea, and brown rice protein. It’s got Stevia in it, which I’m not crazy about the flavor. (Amazon.com now offers the unsweetened vanilla, which I placed on order today. It’s about half price as it as at Whole Foods, and you get free shipping with the “Subscribe & Save” feature, which automatically sends it every month!)

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My old blender would have taken 20 minutes of cycling on and off and opening and stirring to blend everything down. And even then, it would have been chunky and full of seeds. The biggest, nicest difference about a smoothie like this from the Vitamix is that it keeps its smooth consistency. In a normal jar of smoothie or juice, I have to stop and shake it up over and over and the smoothness is hard to find. Separation is inevitable and ruins the smoothie. But this one was smooth as ever and I drank it over a couple hours.

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My goal has been to eat a nice big salad every day, and to help the transition, I’ve decided to start making nice homemade dressings in the Vitamix using nuts or avocado to add a filling, healthy fat. I’ll also be adding a warm protein to every salad. My first try was an avocado/orange/cilantro dressing.

Orange Avocado Dressing

  • 1 avocado
  • juice of 2 oranges
  • 3/4 cup cilantro
  • 1-2 tsp garlic

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. I like the dressing very thick, but if you want it thinner, add more orange juice (will create stronger orange flavor), water, or unsweetened milk substitute to get to desired consistency.

I didn’t take a photo of the dressing on its own, but it was absolutely delicious. Of course, lime would be a great substitute in this for the orange juice too. I pan seared some sprouted tofu that I had marinaded in Braggs’, rice vinegar, cumin and chili powder. The salad was spinach, spring mix, green bell pepper, plum tomato, the tofu, and the dressing. Delicious and crazy filling! One thing I’m learning about eating salads every day is that a huge salad is okay, duh! Use a huge mixing bowl to toss the salad first and then compact it into a regular size bowl to eat. You’ll feel like you’re eating forever and the different textures and flavors will be spread throughout the salad, making sure you’re not left with half a salad that’s nothing but lettuce in the bottom of your bowl. Oh, and the neat thing is that since the orange juice contains natural acid, it prevents the avocado from oxidizing and the dressing stays a nice bright green even days later. In fact, I’d recommend preparing the dressing a day or two ahead of time because the flavors really melded and the dressing was more “full” flavored when I finished it a couple days later.

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Until maybe two weeks ago, cilantro was never an ingredient I sought out. Then I saw “Hungry for Change,” in which they mentioned that cilantro and parsley are extremely cleansing. So, I decided to try and work on incorporating it in. The taste is still very odd to me, I’m on the fence if I like it. But I can’t stop craving it now! I don’t know if it’s subconscious because of what I learned, or what, but every time I eat it, I like it more and more and I crave it more and more. Perhaps it’s got a specific vitamin, mineral, or antioxidant that I am in low supply of and my body just keeps saying, “MORE!” I noticed an increase in my cilantro cravings at the same time as I started to incorporate parsley into my daily juices. They must go hand in hand. Either way, I’m excited to have them more into my diet.

Don’t forget when storing parsley or cilantro, a clean paper towel dampened with some filtered water and rubber banded to the bottom will make a HUGE difference in keeping them fresh and crisp for longer.

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So Friday ended up being a pretty good day for food overall. I had the smoothie, the salad, a peanut butter and jelly whole wheat tortilla wrap, and some veggie bee bong and veggie nime chow. For takeout, both good options, as there are much more fresh ingredients than fried anything or even pad thai. We did drink some wine and other alcohol, so there were some calories there.

Saturday morning, for breakfast: pumpkin chocolate chunk pancakes! Mmmm…. I know it’s not fall, and we’re not really in pumpkin-flavored-season, but it was the only thing on hand that can sub in for oil/egg. And it’s delicious and nutritious anyway. I make pancakes without any refined oils or sugars, even though I still top with Earth Balance and 100% organic maple syrup. It decreases unwanted fat/sugar/calories in the dish overall because either way, those pancakes are getting butter and syrup! 😀

As we’re gathering the ingredients, I asked my boyfriend what he had for milk substitute. He usually has hemp milk, and he has made fresh almond milk a couple times since purchasing his new Hurom juicer, but I haven’t tried any and certainly didn’t think there was time or ingredients to make some that morning. I thought for sure we’d be using boxed milk, but he pulled out almonds soaking from the fridge and whipped up a batch of raw almond milk in minutes. *SWOON* I don’t know what’s more adorable – the fact that he made raw almond milk for our pancakes, or the fact that HE was so excited about it. 🙂 We threw in a couple dates to add just a hint of natural sweetness. The amazing thing about this fresh, raw almond milk was the FLAVOR. Holy cow – it tasted divine. Such a clean, crisp almond flavor. I really have to make some in the Vitamix now and compare the two. And in general, I need to have more raw almond milk on hand. I priced it out and it’s cheaper or equivalent to purchasing it in a box and you’re gaining an incredible amount of nutrition by not using cooked almonds. Hurrah!

Vegan Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pancakes (found here, and slightly adapted to as follows)

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • scant 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp raw agave nectar or 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • coconut oil, for preventing sticking to pan

Mix everything together. Preheat pan until water drops dance on top. Use just a tiny bit of coconut oil on the pan to non-stick-ify it. A very little goes a long way! Whole wheat pancakes tend to cook better if you’re patient since they are so dense.

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Oh yea, and while I was making the pancakes, Bryan made fresh green juice. I don’t know what he put in it, but I know for sure that was red kale because he was exclaiming how he liked the dark red/purple color the juice came out. I’m sooo jealous of his juicer!

We spent a good amount of the rest of the day on Saturday doing some heavy duty cleaning, about 4-5 hours which adds up to some calories burned.

We had leftover takeout for dinner, and had a few drinks afterwards too. I actually drank some coffee, which I haven’t had in FOREVER. It was delicious, but I got ahead of myself and drank too much black coffee and got extremely jittery and shaky and felt terrible. It subsided in an okay amount of time, I just focused the energy into knitting. (If this ever happens and you have Theanine on hand, it cuts the jitters immediately! He has some, but it was in a gelatin capsule so I didn’t take any and just waited it out.) I had a good conversation about food and health and weight loss with his roommate. She and her boyfriend have recently gone gluten-free, which is something I’m considering (not entirely right away, but working towards it and beginning to substitute other flours and ingredients for gluten.) I don’t necessarily have a problem with eating wheat, but after the juice fast, I definitely notice that I’m not as crazy about it as I used to be. When I do eat it, it feels heavy and hard to digest. I’ll be trying out alternatives soon as I begin my sprouting adventure and work on making all my own homemade sprouted baking flours!

Sunday, I started the day with another huge protein/greens smoothie exactly like the one above. Then I used the leftover dressing to make another salad. The same, again, but if it’s not broke don’t fix it! That’s the biggest challenge with eating healthy is finding things that actually satisfy all your cravings. The tofu particularly in the salad is nice and dense, and the marinade makes it salty. The sprouted tofu has a firmer texture that holds together and crisps up nicely. I’ll definitely be getting it again and using it on the regular.

My goal right now is to increase protein to increase energy and the potential of building muscle and recovering from workouts. On Sunday, it worked because after the protein smoothie and the salad, I felt extremely energized and went out for a speed walk. I walked for about an hour, and absolutely loved it. This time of year, the key is to go out late afternoon. Sure, there’s only a couple hours that you can actually feel the sun, but those couple of hours just feel so good. Once I feel the warmth of the sun, I don’t care what I’m doing, all my other troubles go away and I just feel happy, positive, charged, and ready to go. So, I’ll be restructuring my exercise to the afternoons instead of trying to go out in the morning. I’ll give the sun a chance to warm up the world first. 😉

After the walk, I still felt like I wanted more activity, so I worked out while watching TV for about 3 hours! I did some really deep stretching, focusing on my right hip and quad which have been having weakness/stiffness. I lifted hand weights, did some calisthenics, and also did 2 segments on 10 Minute Target Toning on Netflix Watch Instantly. I even held the hand weights while I did the workout, which adds a degree of difficulty and engages more muscle across the whole body. For the first time in a while, I got that really good feeling of your heart pumping fast and sweat pouring down. It’s been a while since I got that much of a workout going, and it felt FANTASTIC. The endorphins were surely raging. The feeling of drinking down water in between gasping for breaths – I forgot how much I missed it.

Bottom line, and what I need to remember: you are what you eat. Over the past few days (thanks to the Vitamix and a little planning), I’ve increased my raw greens and protein intake substantially. What I’ve already noticed is a decrease in my cravings, and a HUGE increase in my energy (but not just mental, physical energy, strength, and stamina). Smoothies especially are my number one favorite thing, so much nutrition and so easily absorbed. I definitely think adding the protein powder back into my diet has done wonders in just a few days.

Today, I ordered more mason jars for working on my sprouting projects, a new knife set, cutting board, and dry erase labels for the jars. My roomate is probably going to wonder what the hell all the packages are coming into the house. Haha, price I pay for not having a car. Luckily, you can find almost anything online these days for the same prices as in stores, and its easy to find free shipping too.

It’s actually been a very accomplishing day overall. I woke up at 5:15 a.m. for no reason (OR because of my increase in nutrition!) didn’t feel tired after only about 4 hours of sleep. So I watched a little Netflix, and then actually got up and out of bed and walked to do my errands. Total I walked about 5 miles. On the way back from the supermarket, I took the way home that had a bigger hill to climb just to burn more calories. When I got home, I weighed the groceries – 30 pounds! I hadn’t even really gotten winded going up the hill. I used to climb the same hill at 265 pounds and would be so defeated afterwards that I would literally collapse on the couch and be too tired to even go get a cold beer. Now, it was hardly anything. It’s hard to imagine I used to carry around all that weight. I would have had to have two backpacks on to equate to what I used to weigh. And now, my muscles are stronger and more able. Particularly, my heart feels stronger and can handle the strain of an additional bag like that.

After errands, I started in on the rest of the spring cleaning: the walk-in pantry and the bathroom! Total, all the cleaning took about 5 hours, burning a nice chunk of calories as well. I bet you’re wondering where all this cleaning has come from. Well, I’m doing the whole, empty every shelf and wipe off every food item and actually account for what’s there and what I need. Making those decisions to let go of food that you haven’t even thought of or craved, or half empty bags that have been open for months and months. Condensing. Cleaning. Starting fresh.

I watered the soil in the garden bed I’m construction, giving it a thorough soak and stirring the soil/produce scraps quite thoroughly. I then mixed in some dry leaves and twigs to aid in the composting process. I plan on planting next week, I’ll be going to check out the Farmer’s Market on Saturday to pick up some local seeds and seedlings. Overall, I got through almost all of this crazy to-do list I made for myself throughout the weekend. I expected it to take a few days to gradually chip away at, but there are only two big things left to do: organize & back up computer files, and then setup my new printer & work on vision board. Once those last things are done, my time can all be focused on researching, cooking, blogging, sprouting, and all those fun things. I put some things on to sprout, too. I’ll be posting photos and more information as I go and as I start using them in recipes. Right now, I have kidney beans, sunflower seeds, and brown rice sprouting. Follow my progress on Facebook.

Phew! What a day and what a post! I think I might just go to sleep now… oh, but wait! I got a new disc of The Sopranos in the mail today. Time to unwind…


My first blog award (and passing on the nominations!)

Wow, I’m so excited to have gotten an award just a couple months into my blogging experience. I was presented this fun, neat award by This is my Everest – who also has a fantastic, motivating blog that you should probably check out (what a great name too!) Thank you so much!

Liebster is German and translates into English as “dearest” or ”favorite”. A Liebster Blog Award is given to talented bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, in a way the award not only recognizes these bloggers as amazingly gifted in their own right but also as your very own personal favorites.”

How to participate

  • Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  • Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
  • Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
  • Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed. (Some say just 3 or more blogs of less than 200 followers each)
  • Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.

This is such a cool little award to pass around, recognizing and helping other dedicated bloggers get their story out to more eyes.

I would like to nominate the following blogs for the Liebster Blog Award. (Sorry if you have 200+ followers – I did not research this!) Good luck on your blogging journeys!

Raw Girl in a Toxic World

Onion in my Hair

Tofu Party

Health +50

Clean. Green. Eat. Repeat.


No microwave = better food habits?

Just an observation about microwaves.

They are mostly used for unhealthy, overprocessed convenience foods.

And since we’ve moved on October 1, we have not had a microwave!

A kitchen without a microwave becomes a different experience. Food can no longer be as quick and processed and just ‘ready to eat and heat.’ What’s really in that food anyway? How can food come from a box and be ready in ninety seconds? It seems weirder and weirder to me as time goes on. The weirdest part is that, growing up, everything we had came from a box or a can or a package. Now, it couldn’t be the opposite!

My food choices have changed since there’s been no microwave. Most of the time lately, I have been choosing meals that can be made in one pan or one pot and will last a while. (Chili, lasagna, enchiladas, pasta and veggies.) Then I have leftovers! And the beautiful part about leftovers without a microwave is that you’re forced to reheat it ‘properly’ in the oven and not with a quick burst of radiation. The food comes out tasting freshly made EVERY TIME. It’s unbelievable. There’s no soggy or dried out or partially frozen or burnt edges. It’s just delicious home cooked food.

That’s been my M.O. lately. Big one pot meals that I can eat leftovers for a couple days and then freeze the leftover leftovers in individual serving size containers. I’m building up a complete menu of foods in my freezer, which will be great for busy or lazy days. Just throw it in some Pyrex and reheat for a wholesome tastes-like-its-fresh-from-the-oven-and-it-actually-really-is meal. 🙂