Archive for June, 2012
June 29, 2012
Tropical Storm Debby has finally made her way past Orlando. Goodbye Debby, hellooooooo running outside with Roadie again!
I spent a short morning at the barre, then came home around 9 a.m. and took advantage of the opportunity to run before the heat set in. After four days of clouds, rain and being bored inside, Roadie was a wee bit excited to get outdoors.
I give the guy credit for keeping up on a later morning run in the Florida heat. I made sure it wasn’t past 80 before we headed out, and I managed to find a good bit of shade for the majority of the run.
I try to be really careful when taking Roadie with me for runs in the heat and always provide rest time by his favorite spots.
We knocked out 2.5 miles in 24 minutes and someone was zonked after.
When I’m by myself I try to push myself to climb the eight flights of stairs. With Roadie, I just can’t put him through much more that running. Clearly.
Yes or No Person
While driving to work Wednesday morning, I turned to a popular morning radio show in Orlando called Johnny’s House. The subject they were debating back and forth really interested me, and I was tempted to actually call in to the show to give an opinion on this one.
Johnny posed the question, “Are you a Yes or No Person?” basically asking how you respond to people asking you for favors or to commit to doing something. Whether they are a close friend, a family member or an acquaintance, do you generally agree to do things for people, even if you don’t really care to do it?
Here is how the radio show responded, straight off of their Live Blog:
Johnny spoke up first and laid it all out there saying he has no problem saying no. If he isn’t into helping at that particular moment, or think he might be at the bottom of the list of people the person asking has called, he says no and doesn’t think twice about it.
Brian said he often pulls the “I didn’t see the call at 2 a.m.” excuse, saying if he doesn’t respond, he doesn’t have to say yes or no. Both Laura and Claire hate saying no and often get drug into situations or favors they admittedly don’t want to be a part of.
Is this a female vs. male perspective situation? Both men said they can say no without feeling guilty, while both women said they can get hung up on saying no for days after.
They then went on to explain who gets a yes or no. Johnny said if the person is just an acquaintance, he has no issue telling them he can’t do something, but if it is a close friend or family member asking he is more likely to say yes. The women shared the complete opposite saying if they don’t know the person that well, they feel bad for letting them down, while close friends and family would understand.
Interesting! They took complete opposite sides and started to get me thinking…
I am probably closest to Laura – I have finally gotten to the point where I can tell someone no, but it’s not as often as I would like. I have a guilty conscious and if I let someone down, it used haunt me for days.
Realizing I had become a bit of a push over, I started telling people no more frequently and just told myself to get over it. As I get older, it is easier for me to realize what really matters to say yes to and what doesn’t.
• Parties/Showers: If I am close enough to you to attend, of course I’ll go. If I’m not, I’ll go if I am available and want to.
• Birthdays/Going Out: If it is a really close friend or family member I will, but if I’m really tired or don’t want to spend a lot of money, I’ll skip it. Most people know this is nothing personal – just me getting a backbone.
• Helping Out a Friend: If you are a true friend in need of my personal assistance, of course I will help you. If you are a co-worker or an acquaintance trying to take advantage of the fact that I “say yes,” then I am sorry, but no. Been there, done that, done.
After thinking about it and realizing I have come a long way with my ability to say no, it makes me wonder how everyone else thinks.
Questions of the Day
Are you a Yes or No person – do you say yes just to avoid guilt, or say no without thinking twice?
Do you think people who say yes to everything are “push-overs” or just good people?
June 28, 2012
I pitched the idea of doing a high bun video tutorial in my second Glamour Randoms post. It got great feedback, so here I am!
Before we get goin’, you should know I wear this hairstyle A-LOT. Since I teach a fitness class, I like to have my hair up and out of my face for a good portion of the day. Each morning I sport the high bun, it literally takes me two minutes to do.
The video is a bit longer because I stop to explain tricks and steps. Enjoy!
The High Bun
What You Need
*I meant bobbypins, not boby.
Let’s get a high bun!
Get the Products
Good Teasing Comb Options
Questions of the Day
Any fans of the high bun out there?
What other varieties of the bun do you wear as a hairstyle?
I love a low side bun. Would you like to see a video tutorial on that too?
June 27, 2012
I spent a lot of my weekend with a friend named Amanda. She came to my jewelry party, then I stayed over at her house the next night and we enjoyed cooking breakfast and watching our church service streamed online.
Hey, it is okay to go to church in your pajamas every now and then… right?
Breakfast was wonderful. I have been trying to make protein, or oatmeal and egg pancakes for quite some time now. Until this time, I had not been successful. With Amanda’s help, I finally figured out a vital step of mixing everything in a small bowl before hand, to get the right texture going. Hellooooo, Captain Obvious <- me.
My mouth drools every time I see someone post a photo of a healthy pancake concoction, especially Kasey from Powercakes. She is an inspiring healthy food and fitness blogger to follow, and I plan to try out a handful of her powercakes in the future. While we were cooking our cakes, I couldn’t help but wonder if ours would turn out half as good as hers look.
They did! These oatmeal and egg cakes topped with pumpkin goodness hit the spot. And then some.
Scroll for the recipe… but first we interupt this post with a quick message from the weather channel, er from me at my computer desk.
Tropical Storm Debby
If you live anywhere near Florida, you have experienced typical Florida rainy weather for a solid four days. Of course, this time it is to an extreme and it is not fun.
Well, maybe it is if you are there.
She has lessened into a Tropical Depression, but the threat of flooding is still very much real possibility from Debby.
As thankful as I am that our place and area is safe, I have to admit I am just about over the wind, rain and stormy weather. My evening run on Sunday quickly turned into treadmill intervals at the gym downstairs in our condo, which was fine, but I am ready to get outdoors again.
I’m not sure if it is because Scott is out of town, or because the weather is so bad, but our pets have been incredibly needy lately. Roadie has been under my feet, on my lap or snuggled up against me at all times. He just lays down, lets out a big sigh and continuously stares outside, hopeless.
Yesterday was the first time since Saturday that I could take him outside for more than thirty seconds at a time. Before that, we sprinted to the grassy area by the pool, I encouraged him to do his business (which worked about half of the time), and we ran back upstairs – drenched.
Thirty seconds in pouring down rain and wind equals one wet pup, over and over again.
As for the other one in the photo, Aspen keeps popping up everywhere. She is literally laying next to the keyboard as I type and keeps giving me the “hi I’m here, adore me” look.
Not like that’s different from the one she gave me earlier…
Do you want to go outside too or something?
Cali is in her own world, sleeping the days away. With all of this rainy day feeling in the air, it’s hard to fight the urge to lounge on my downtime.
Oops. You caught me. I too have been affected by the rainy day blues.
I can’t control the rain, but I can share a very basic recipe to start what I hope to expand on with different varieties and recipes to come. Using a few key ingredients, you can get creative when making your own healthy pancakes, and this time Amanda and I chose to give it a pumpkin and applesauce topping.
Healthy Oatmeal and Egg Pancakes – for one
1/2 cup oats
1 real egg (can substitute egg whites and/or add more)
splash of milk (also try almond milk)
pumpkin pie spice
vanilla extract (all to taste)
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup applesauce
pumpkin pie spice (to taste)
cinnamon (to taste)
agave nectar (to drizzle on top)
Combine your cake ingredients of choice in a small mixing bowl. Add enough milk to liquify, but not enough to make it runny. Mix well.
In a small skillet, spread mixture into a pancake-like shape on stove top on low-medium heat.
Cook all the way through by flipping once or twice. This process should take less than five minutes and while you’re waiting mix up the topping.
You can then remove the cake from the heat or spread the topping on while it’s still in the skillet. We chose to the latter to warm up the pumpkin.
Spread evenly and remove from heat when ready.
Drizzle with agave nectar or honey for extra sweetness.
Voila! You now have a power oats and eggs healthy pancake breakfast.
Question of the Day
Have you ever made a power or protein pancake?
The next one I want to try will incorporate protein powder and cocoa powder. YUM.
June 26, 2012
Since Scott is out of the country, I had more time than usual to spend with the girls this weekend. Friday night started with a Jewelry Party and turned into a sleepover with my friend Amanda. Since we were both husband-less for the weekend, I decided to stay at her place Saturday night for another one.
When I got to Amanda’s Saturday, she was just finishing up dinner after cooking with a friend. Stephanie introduced her and I to a book called Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health.
After watching the video documentary, Stephanie and her husband purchased the book and have vowed to live the lifestyle the book suggests. I see this lifestyle as mostly vegan, and this instantly intrigued me.
Forks Over Knives advocates a plant-based diet using whole foods. The diet is meant to follow on a a consistent, every day basis, using minimally processed plants, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, tubers, and legumes. Animal-based foods such as meat (including poultry and fish), dairy, and eggs are excluded or minimized as well as refined foods such as bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil – forksoverknives.com.
After spending some time on the website, I now know I need to see this film. I like to think I live a healthy lifestyle, but what exactly defines healthy?
I know I am on the right track, but knowing the facts behind where our food comes from is another story. Here is a trailer for the video documentary to help explain further:
I substitute egg-whites for whole eggs, use low and reduced-fat dairy products, but I know I am not fully aware of what chemicals or harmful substances come along with my substitutions. Does low-fat instantly mean healthy? If it is full of artificial flavor and sugars, then no.
I recently made a switch from using Splenda to Stevia. I know, I know – it’s about time I figured that one out. But you know, not everyone is there yet. Still confused? Here is an informative article about artificial sweeteners, by Marcelle Pack, OB/GYN NP.
*Cliff Notes version: To avoid harmful chemicals such as sucralose, aspartame and saccharin, use natural alternatives to artificial sweeteners; i.e. Stevia.
There are articles upon articles about foods and products I should and should not be buying. Dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle, I am on a journey to discover new things and implement as much knowledge as I can into my every day diet.
My biggest challenge, as many of you probably encounter, is the price of organic, raw, whole foods. I understand the importance of shopping this way, but I am still struggling to get Scott there with me. After sending this article his way, I am happy to say I have the green light to purchase organic milk from here on out, which is a start.
But according to Forks Over Knives, I don’t even need it.
It’s all about what works best for you in your everyday life. For me, I am just not ready to give up dairy products. I enjoy a tall glass of organic skim milk and an array of yogurts and cheeses on a daily basis. My end goal is not to go completely vegan, but fall into a eating routine I can stay constant with that works the best for me.
I am not a huge meat fan, but enjoy it every now and then. I often make vegetable or vegan substitutions, but do not consider myself of either of those diets.
Forks and Knives Recipes
The dinner Amanda and Stephanie were finishing up when I came over included three recipes, straight from the book. I missed the cooking portion of the evening, but had no problem enjoying the taste testing part of the evening.
The first recipe is adapted from the original Mushroom Au Gratin recipe. Modifications include using purple potatoes, portabello mushrooms, kale, and green onion. They stuck to the same sauce, and even made a little extra.
4-5 large Yukon potatoes, sliced thinly
8 large white or crimini mushrooms, sliced thinly 1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 bunch chard
½ bunch fresh basil (about 20 leaves), roughly chopped
1/3 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
½ cup non-dairy milk
½ cup parsley leaves
2 green onions, diced
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1. In a high-speed blender, grind the cashews by themselves first; then add the water, soy milk, parsley, green onions and garlic powder and blend thoroughly. Set aside.
2. To prepare the vegetables, using a mandolin slicer with the thin slicing blade (as if you were making potato chips), slice the potatoes, mushrooms and onion, and set aside in separate bowls.
3. Remove the thickest stems from the chard leaves, and rough chop the basil. Wash both and set aside.
4. In a 13”x9” rectangular glass baking dish, layer vegetables in this order, starting with a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the dish (you do not need to oil or prepare the pan): potatoes, mushrooms, onions, basil, chard, sauce.
5. Add a second layer of vegetables and sauce, then finish with a final layer of potatoes, pouring the last bit of sauce over the top.
6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.
7. Remove the foil and cook an additional 15 minutes until lightly browned (optional: grind some cashews on top first).
8. Remove and let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Split Pea Soup
1 onion chopped
1 ½ cups split peas
2 large carrots, shredded
10 cups water
2 table spoons vegetable powder
Salt and black pepper optional
Fresh parsley, optional
1. Sauté the onion in a large pot with a little water until yellow.
2. Add the split peas, carrots and water and bring to a boil.
3. Add the vegetable powder and reduce heat.
4. Simmer for about 1 hour.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Serve warm, garnished with a little chopped parsley.
Raw Vegan Carrot Cake
1 cup organic raisins
1 large or 2 medium carrots, finely grated
2 cups whole walnuts, chopped finely
1/2 cup organic shredded coconut
1 tablespoon tahini
1/4 cup maple syrup (or less – usually just a splash will do)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cloves
1 cup cashews
juice from 1 lemon
1/8 to 1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. For the “cream cheese” icing: Puree the cashews, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and a splash of water in a blender at high speed to create a smooth, creamy, thick consistency.
2. For the cake: Soak the raisins in spring water until plump, then rinse and finely chop.
3. Put into a large bowl and add the carrots, walnuts, coconut, tahini, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
4. Mix well, then press the mixture firmly into a small round pan or glass pie dish.
5. Let sit for at least an hour. Frost with “cream cheese” icing and serve.
Food For Thought
I had never really tried any kind of raw, no-bake dessert before. I often see pictures pop up on blogs and articles, but have never really dug into fresh, raw ingredients that I am used to tasting warm.
The first bite was different, but after that I knew what to expect and thoroughly enjoyed the taste. I didn’t miss the warm, baked goodness I normally expect with a carrot cake and actually enjoyed tasting every ingredient.
Whenever I see a meal that has “(quote) what it is supposed to resemble” around it, I try to keep an open mind and appreciate the food for what it is, not what it isn’t. I think many of us are quick to judge healthier alternatives too quickly. If a vegetarian “black bean burger” doesn’t taste like a grilled burger, we easily dismiss the idea of using vegetable or vegan replacements for meat in the future.
My best advice to try to incorporate healthy alternatives into an every day diet is to keep your mind and palate open. Do not go into trying a new food or recipe with high expectations. Give credit to the food for what it is, and enjoy the “veggie burger” taste over a burger.
I repeatedly tell this to Scott and I am proud of him for trying more and more every day. Now if I could only get him on board with tofu…
Questions of the Day
Have you ever heard of this documentary/cookbook?
What are your thoughts on living off of a plant-based, whole foods diet?