Going back to the mat

My fitness practice has been…challenging…over the past few months. Those who know me, know I go pretty hard at fitness. I love to challenge myself and go for the rush of endorphins that comes by completing something hard. This wasn’t always the case, but it has become my habit over the past 2 years. So when I found out I was pregnant, I became paralyzed with fear. I looked around and was overwhelmed by everything that I loved and COULDN’T do any more. No more heavy lifting, no more MMA, no more kickboxing, no more Insanity…I realized that I had filled my life with practices I loved, but that were not SO great for my current state. Don’t get me wrong- people continue some of these activities throughout their pregnancy and they’re happy and healthy and it’s a beautiful thing. But me? I was SCARED. I didn’t want to risk hurting my baby for ANY program. So I did the only thing I knew how to do- I stopped working out. I kept active- taking the stairs, walking, etc. but I stopped following any kind of fitness program. Before I knew it, I was spiraling. I was depressed and anxious, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t seem to stick to any form of healthy eating, I just couldn’t keep my shit together. Mind you, some of this is just the hormones of the first trimester (paired with some big life changes) but some of it…some of it was just feeling what it was like to live in fear of my body. Constant fear that I wasn’t strong enough. That I was going to hurt myself. That I was going to hurt my baby. I’ve had to spend a few weeks in the spiritual gym to push through that and really come to a place where I’m ready to begin again.

So today, I went back to the yoga mat. Today, I began a NEW fitness practice. One that is challenging (I AM prepping for birth in 6 months) but gentle. One that focuses on my CURRENT body and honors how it is changing. And one that will connect me to my precious little babe and remind me WHY I’m letting go of my death-grip on the Pop Tarts and picking up a smoothie.

If anyone would be interested in joining me in this, I’d absolutely adore your company! New beginnings aren’t easy, and they’re always better with friends ❤️

Check that one off the bucket list!

I just found out that I was selected to be a test cook for the Once a Month Meals website!!! So. Cool. I LOVE their website and am constantly in search of easy recipes that freeze well so helping to develop vegan/vegetarian meal plans for them is a dream come true 😍 Anyone else love freezer cooking? 

Meal Plan #2

00051Well, we succeeded in our first official week of meal planning! Coming in under $125 for the week with lots of yummy food in our bellies (and in our freezer), I came into this week feeling pretty optimistic! Hell, I even added another sweet potato meal! For me, this is a huge thing. Am I the only person alive that doesn’t love sweet potatoes?!

I should note that I expect this week to be a bit on the pricier side. My husband’s birthday is on Tuesday and I do love to shower those I love in culinary treats…We shall see!

Here’s the plan for the week of May 5, 2013: Continue reading “Meal Plan #2”

My go-to diner breakfast

AvocadoFor me, breakfast at a restaurant was always one of the toughest situations to find myself in. Everything I used to enjoy eating: omelettes, egg sandwiches, pancakes, french toast, etc. was off the list of options and without a new list of what to look for, I found myself hungry and frustrated.

I found that the best way to handle dining out was to come up with a list of consistently vegan options I could look for at every restaurant I went to. Not the fancy vegan breakfast joints (yes, they do exist!), but your typical mom-and-pop type establishments. This is what I look for: Continue reading “My go-to diner breakfast”

Cranberry Pancakes with Orange-Infused Maple Syrup

I was craving breakfast foods this morning and I was inspired to make cranberry-orange pancakes (tomorrow is shopping day so that happens to be the only fruit left in the house). With a little improvisation, and a whole lot of love, this is what I came up with!

Orange-Infused Maple Syrup
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup chopped orange (or small orange segments left whole)
1 tablespoon vegan margarine

Add all the ingredients together in a small saucepan and stir together over low heat. Keep warm.

Cranberry Pancakes
Makes about 8 to 10 pancakes

1/2 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
1/3 cup water (reserve the water from re-hydrated cranberries)
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or canola oil)
1 cup plain rice milk (or soy milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons agave nectar (or maple syrup)

Pour the dried cranberries into a bowl and fill with hot water. Set aside to re-hydrate for about 10 minutes.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl. In a separate bowl, combine rice milk, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil. After the cranberries have finished re-hydrating (you’ll know when they plump up), drain them, reserving 1/3 cup of the water to add to the rest of the wet ingredients.

Adding wet ingredients to dry, mix until just combined (a few lumps are okay). Fold the cranberries into the mixture and you’re ready to go!

Cook pancakes until they’re slightly browned on the bottom and bubbles have formed on the top (about 3 to 4 minutes should do). Turn the pancakes over and cook for about 1 minute longer. Transfer to warm plates and top with orange-infused maple syrup.



Welcome!

Where do I start? One day I came home from work and announced to my husband of approximately 2 months that I had been thinking and I’d decided to go vegetarian. His response was “I guess that means we should throw out all the meat in our freezer.” Which we promptly did. (Isn’t he amazing?) We had both been going back and forth on the vegetarian thing for a long time but this time the decision stuck for both of us.

From that day forward we’ve been on a mission to live a life according to our values. When my husband came home one day, about 2 years later, and announced he was going vegan I decided it was only fair to go along for the ride (though I have to admit I did drag my feet a bit at the beginning). Going vegan has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I’m addicted to cookbooks, and cooking, which I devote myself to when I’m not drowning in graduate school work. This is an insight into my world and my passion for food.

Let the eating begin.