Wednesday, February 29, 2012

M's Birthday

 Cookie cake, accessorized by Amanda Michael

 M's friends waiting for him to blow out the candle.

 The amazing gift wrapping options you can find at your local dollar store.

Celebrating with an aged bottle of Dogfish Head's Bitches Brew.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

our homebrewed peanut butter cup porter

 After weeks of fermenting, and even more weeks conditioning in the bottle, our homebrewed peanut butter cup porter was finally ready to taste!

 Pouring it out, if definitely looked like a far so good!

The verdict: looks like a porter, and tastes like a porter with a hint of peanut butter and chocolate. I'd call it a success, but M is a little more critical, and calls it so-so. I wish I could send a bottle to all of you to try!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Dear Crazy Sexy Cleanse,
You have changed my life forever. Thank you.

Dear Long Weekend,
I'm looking forward to using my floating holidays to get shizz done around here. I'm so thankful to have you!

Dear Green Tea,
Cinnamon, Almond Milk, and Agave make you amazing. I love you.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Crazy Sexy Cleanse - Week 3

Day 15 - February 15
The weight loss has dropped off. I've read that if you include a lot of avocado and nut butters in the cleanse diet that this can maintain your weight instead of encouraging weight loss. The first two weeks there were a lot of both in my diet. Time to focus on more exercise! Today at work we all went to Pizza Hut for the lunch buffet, but I still kept to the cleanse and ate only from the salad bar - iceburg lettuce, cucmbers, tomato, seeds, oil and vinegar. Cheap and kinda delicious. When we got back to the office I ate my regular spinach and tofu eggless salad.

Day 16 - February 16
Today was a late-shift day at work, which I love because it allows me plenty of time to prep meals mid-week for the next few days. Last night M tasted my Thai "peanut" sauce veggies & quinoa from the Crazy Sexy Diet recipe and requested that I make some for him. So today I made two batches, enough to feed us both for the next few days. I'm so glad that we are in this healthy eating journey together.

Day 17 - February 17
Today was an office birthday. Luckily the birthday girl requested gluten free cupcakes that were also vegan, so I had one. Not raw, but still cleanse friendly. It's been 17 days since I've had something with that much sugar, and they were honestly almost too sweet. It's amazing how much your taste buds can change in such a short period of time! We also had Beer Club night, where friends come over and bring different beers to try. Being on the cleanse means no gluten and no no beer! I made sure we were stocked up with healthy cleanse friendly snacks to munch on to make my tall glasses of water not seem so boring. I was fine, I didn't even care that I wasn't drinking beer with everyone else.

Day 18 - February 18
I decided to start a cycle of Insanity again. I'm a bit afraid of how this will effect my appetite. But it's got me thinking of taking up jogging / running.

Day 19 - February 19
Tried another recipe from the Crazy Sexy Diet book - Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers. They taste great, but they aren't so much burgers as piles of mush. I couldn't get them to keep their shape. Maybe in the future I'll just keep it as mush instead of going through the trouble to try making burgers. I also found that my appetite greatly increased by starting Insanity again. Time to stock up on nuts and veggies!

Day 20 - February 20
With tomorrow being the last "official" day of the cleanse, I find myself thinking about eating post cleanse. I want to keep up with eating vegan, but I may cut back on the juicing to save my budget. I must say, I am definitely looking forward to replacing my breakfast juice with a bowl of Steel Cut Oats, Banana, Blueberries, and Agave. Yum! I also went to the grocery store today and officially switched from standard shampoo and conditioner to a brand that is 70% organic and contains no sulfates. Small steps to a big change. I've found that I am starving with this extra exercise from Insanity.

I made it through the entire 21 day cleanse, and it was SO easy! I feel fantastic, and I'm thinking about doing things I never ever thought I would because of all the energy this new way of eating has given me. If you read my last post, you know that specifically, I'm talking about taking up running. If you would have told me 2 years ago that I WANTED to start running, I would have laughed in your face! This experience has been amazing for me and totally changed the way that I look at food. I'm excited to make veganism and gluten free eating a permanent part of my life. I'm also going to try eating raw as often as possible, hopefully maintaining a 75-80% raw diet.

Have you done this cleanse or any other cleanse?
Are you vegan / raw / gluten free?
I'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

on running...

Attn Runners and Joggers:

If one who has never run in their life decides they would like to take it up at 30...what advice would you give?


Monday, February 20, 2012


Obsessing over:  
Our road trip this spring! DC, Florida, New Orleans, Memphis, Chicago and Cleveland here we come!

Working on: 
Saving up money to start renovating our house. We made a list of all the things that need to be done....we have a lot of saving to do!

Thinking about: 
Doing Insanity again for the month of March. The healthy eating is making me feel great, getting in better shape would be the icing on the cake!

Seeing our friends. It's been over two years since we've seen our friends in New Orleans and Memphis. We can't wait to hang out with them again!!

Listening to:  
I have SiriusXM in my car, and the station is always on NPR or SiriusXMU, which is the indie rock/college radio station. At home I usually listen to The Clash station on Pandora. At work I have a list of all time favorite tracks on Spotify that I keep on shuffle when I need some headphone time. But mostly, I'm usually listening to Emmett snoring.

Vegan, gluten free, and about 80% raw. Still going strong with the cleanse and excited to try a bunch of tasty gluten free raw vegan recipes I've found online.

We had all the money in the world to renovate our house and make it really nice. I'm thankful for what we have, but we also have a lot of work to do and limited funds to do it with.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Dear February,
I can't believe you are almost over already!  We're getting so close to our road trip, it's hard to contain the excitement!

Dear Winter 2012,
I've realized how much you've been spoiling us with the 40 degree temps when you snuck in a 20 degree day on Sunday. No offense, but I can't wait until you take a hike and make way for spring!

Dear New Dresses,
It's torture seeing you in my closet and knowing I have to wait for warmer temperatures until I can wear you!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Crazy Sexy Cleanse Week 2

Day 8 - February 8
I weighed myself this morning to see where one week of cleanse has put me, and I was happily surprised to see that I am 4 pounds lighter than I was when I started one week ago! A couple of co-workers have also commented that my skin in glowing and looking really healthy! I spent the day looking up more vegan / raw / gluten free recipes and pinning them to my Pinterest board. I'm really excited about this new way of looking at food. I'm even considering making this change permanent. I feel so much more healthy and have so much more energy!

Day 9 - February 9 (aka a trip to the local Co-Op)
Today I had to night shift for work, so I was able to leisurely juice in the morning, then spend the rest of the afternoon preparing more cleanse friendly dishes to get me through the next few days. I took a trip to the Co-op in Albany in order to procure some ingredients not found in "normal" grocery stores (oh, hi nutritional yeast and raw pumpkin seeds). This trip reminded me of why I normally don't shop at the Co-op. Their selection is amazing, especially the bulk goods, but every time I go in there I feel like the staff is staring me down judgmentally. This was the first time I had been back in a few years and the place had expanded and changed a lot. So I strolled around looking at the new additions. I finally made my way to the register with 3 items: Nayonaise, Nutritional Yeast, and Raw Pumpkin Seeds. The cashier looked down her nose at me, and was not friendly at all. There were no employee - customer pleasantries exchanged, and she really made me feel like I didn't belong in her store because I'm not a member of the Co-Op...apparently aka, part of the "cool kids club".... But, right now they are the only place in town where I can find what I need. So I'll have to suck it up and let their attitudes roll off my back.

Day 10 - February 10
Day 10 was a typical day, I've gotten into this routine so easily, that I can see this being a permanent change. Being a Friday, there was temptation when M and I went out to see a friend DJ. It was very tempting to say "what the hell, get me a vodka tonic." But I'm super committed to finishing this without clipping and cheating. So I sipped on ice water, and felt very proud for overcoming the temptation.

Day 11 - February 11
I tried the Buddha Bowl recipe from the book, substituting quinoa for brown rice. I think that I would really like this dish except for the fact that it is made with oil cured olives. I had never tried oil cured olives before, but I like black olives so I thought it would probably be tasty. I found out that I am DEFINITELY not a fan of oil cured olives. At. All.

Day 12 - February 12
Day 12 was a Sunday, traditionally the day that M & I would go out to brunch at a local diner. Our weekly date / treat. Today we didn't do that, and it really bummed me out and had me thinking about giving up on vegan eating. It also didn't help that I weighed myself this morning and saw no change from the measurement taken on Wednesday. I was expecting this number to be at least slightly lower. So after having my mini breakdown over these two things, I was thinking a little more clearly. I remembered how much better my body feels eating this way and reminded myself that the number on the scale is not the important thing here. Time to assess the fridge and go stock up on healthy, cleanse friendly groceries for the week ahead.

Day 13 - February 13
Prepped dinner for the next 4 days today. I love having the day off to prepare for the week ahead and be sure that I have healthy, cleanse friendly meals ready for when the week gets hectic and I get lazy ;)

Day 14 - February 14
Valentine's Day! Luckily, I have a husband who is supportive of my health goals and won't be buying me candy or decadent desserts. There was candy out at work, but it was all confined to the kitchen, so avoiding temptation was as simple as staying at my desk all day and avoiding the kitchen island full of chocolates. To reward myself for being so strong willed against my favorite unhealthy candies, I plan to treat myself to a cleanse friendly dessert after dinner: banana "soft serve" with dark cocoa powder and cinnamon.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thai Veggies with "Peanut" Sauce

This is my favorite entree recipe that I've made so far on the cleanse. It's fairly quick to make, and ridiculously easy.

Chop up your veggies and throw them into a large mixing bowl.

Throw your "peanut" sauce ingredients in the blender and blend well. Add up to 1/3 cup water until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.

Once the sauce is done, pour over your veggies and hand toss until your veggies are coated. Spoon out a serving of quinoa into your bowl, and pour your sauced veggies on top.

Thai Veggies and Quinoa with "Peanut Sauce"
(makes 4 servings)

1 cup Quinoa
2 cups water

2 Carrots, julienne
2 Zucchini, cut into half moons
1 head of broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
3 cups snow peas

Thai "Peanut" Sauce:
1/2 cup Almond Butter
1 tbsp fresh chopped ginger
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tbsp agave
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp sea salt
1/3 cup water   

PS: Happy Valentine's Day!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Goodbye Miss Albany

Our beloved Miss Albany Diner closed for business on Friday February 10, ans we didn't get a chance to make it back one last time. The owners sold the building because they wanted to retire from running the diner, but they kept the rights to the name and the recipes, so unless they decide to open up somewhere else, it's gone for good. And even if they did open somewhere else, it wouldn't be the same if it wasn't in that old diner car on Broadway.  We hadn't had a chance to go back in a while, I guess we kind of figured it would always be there. We were wrong. Congratulations, Jack's. You're now number one in our books.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Dear Siesta Key Beach,
I'm counting down the days until we will be walking down you again!

Dear Emmett,
Can you please, please, PLEASE learn to be more civil with the cats? They can't take the rough way you like to play with other dogs. They are delicate and temperamental. Be nice, please.

Dear Animal Products,
I ain't missing you at all.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Crazy Sexy Cleanse Week 1

Day 1 - Feb 1
The day started with a warm glass of water with a dash of cayenne and a squeeze of lemon followed by a pint of Green Juice. I used the Crazy Sexy recipe instead of the recipe we used for our previous juice fast, and I must say this recipe is much more palatable. The one part of this cleanse I was not looking forward to was the Green Juice every morning, but now I don't mind it at all! Lunch was a delicious spinach, avocado and tofu "egg(less) salad" bowl. In the afternoon I snacked on a pear with some almond butter. Dinner was a mix of raw veggies in a almond butter based thai sauce that I made in the blender. For an evening snack I had some fresh strawberries and a one inch square of 72% cacao dark chocolate. Throughout the day I sipped green tea with cinnamon, almond milk, and a touch of agave. Not bad, right? I found that at the end of the day I still had a ton of energy, where as I am usually ready to drop dead by 11pm. Day one completed, and I'm still psyched for the next 20 days (and beyond!)

Day 2 - Feb 2
Again had the cayenne/lemon water and green juice in the morning. By 10:30 I was fairly hungry, though it is suggested not to eat until after noon, so I sipped on green tea all morning. Being at work and smelling the bagels my co-workers were toasting and enjoying was a bit difficult, but I'm committed! Also, today was community lunch day at work where we all eat a catered lunch together at a round table. I had lots of questions to field as to why I was eating raw veggies and quinoa instead of the delicious smelling mexican food. I found that I didn't even crave the Mexican and was MORE than happy with my delicious home made lunch! Day 2 was also the day that Emmett got neutered, so I left work a little early to pick him up. By the time I got home around 5:30 I was starving because I had skipped an afternoon snack. My dinner of spinach, avocado, and tofu "egg(less)" salad hit the spot. I rounded out the night with some green tea and a snack of a sliced pear and almond butter. So far, so good!

Day 3 - Feb 3
Reflecting a lot on some of the negative feedback I've been getting for doing this cleanse. Most people are supportive and I'm really starting to believe that those who are not supportive may just be ignorant and closed minded. I'm still holding strong and loving it! However, I did have a dream last night that I ate a piece of toast with butter, and I woke up so upset with myself for ruining the cleanse. Then I realized that it was just a dream!

Day 4 - Feb 4
Still going strong and feeling great! In Kris Carr's book, Crazy Sexy Diet, where this cleanse is outlined, she offers supportive affirmations for each day. Today's affirmations are all about dealing with the naysayers and the judgement of others. I have to say, her words of encouragement on this topic came at the best time. I'm not doing this to make anyone else happy. This is for me. If you have an opinion of the choices I've made, you can keep them to yourself. I don't need them.

Day 5 - Feb 5
Sunday mornings are usually my time to weigh in for the week. I toyed with the idea of holding off until completing an entire week of the cleanse, but curiosity got the best of me. I was pleasantly surprised to find that weight loss was indeed one of the many health benefits of this cleanse. I lost 2 pounds in the first 4 days, not bad! Now I have to muster up the will to go to the grocery store on super bowl Sunday so that I can prep my lunches and dinners for the week!

Day 6 - Feb 6
Getting into the routine of this! Bought a bunch of Lara Bars to try - vegan, gluten free, raw, and delicious! The only thing I still crave daily 6 days in: frozen yogurt!

Day 7 - Feb 7
The TRUE test of will. Today was an office birthday. And the office catered lunch. I happily munched on my spinach and egg-less salad while all of my co workers enjoyed macaroni and cheese, chicken pot pie, cookies, brownies, and eventually birthday cake. I was expecting the desserts to be the hardest thing to turn an eye too, but honestly, I didn't even really want any. I was craving the Blueberry Pie Larabar that was waiting in my purse for a mid afternoon snack. This is a MAJOR deal. Usually sweets, and especially chocolate, are impossible for me to resist. Go cleanse!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mock Egg Salad

 This is one of my favorite cleanse-friendly recipes so far. I like it so much that I've been eating it for lunch every day!

 Crumble two blocks of tofu in a large mixing bowl.

 Add the rest of the ingredients, and dig in with your bare hands to mix it together. I haven't had this much fun cooking since I was a little kid.

 This recipe makes SIX servings!!

 You can spread on some Ezekiel bread, but I prefer to eat mine with a couple handfuls of spinach and a sliced avocado.

I also mix well before eating, to get all flavors combined nicely for each bite!

Tofu Eggless Salad

2 blocks of firm tofu
1 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/3 cup parsley
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Dear Self,
So you've reached Day Two of the cleanse. You're doing great, don't give up! Please remember that the choices you are making right now are helping you to be stronger and healthier. You are going to feel so much better when you make it through this month a healthier person!

Dear Emmett,
Today you are un-becoming a man. Sorry, dude.

Dear Friends,
I am so excited to see you all on our road trip, I don't think that I can wait until April gets here!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Crazy Sexy Cleanse

Today is February 1, also known as Day 1 of my 21 Crazy Sexy Cleanse. As you may know, M and I tried a juice fast about a month ago and lasted 48 hours. After posting about this juice fast, a few people recommend I check out Kris Carr's story. I was so inspired that I bought the book, Crazy Sexy Diet right away and read it cover to cover in a matter of days, resolved to change the way I look at food and how I eat for good.

While reading this book, I also watched a documentary on Netflix called The Beautiful Truth that was even more eye opening. If you know anyone struggling with Cancer, Diabetes, or another chronic disease, I highly recommend that you watch this documentary with them. I'll admit that the narration can be a bit ...hard to take at times. But all of the information you can get from this film makes it worth enduring. Some people dismiss this film as "quackery," but on the heels of reading about Kris Carr, the ideas in this film make perfect sense to me. 

Adopting these diets may not be for everyone, and obviously I'm not a trained medical professional, but I do believe that eating a more plant based diet and incorporating juicing is the key to my own personal health.

Today is Day One of my 21 day vegan, gluten free, Crazy Sexy Cleanse. I can't wait to share my experience with you all. It's going to be quite a month!