Happy Easter everyone! I decided to take a week off of blogging to catch up and start writing some blog drafts that I started so long ago. I haven’t done that. I just managed to not work on anything this week. I ended up being so much more busy than I expected. I ended up visiting my Mother who badly hurt her hip, my sister from New York came down and we got drinks (at V Street and The Franklin Mortgage & Investing Co. if you were curious) Now I am finding myself using this weekend making Carrot Cake Truffles (after my carrot cake broke into pieces) and catching up on blog posts.
I am always hesitant to make raw desserts since they use lots of cacao butter and coconut flesh. But these peanut butter bars look super easy!
I love Angela’s post about if she will raise her daughter vegan, and I am sad to hear that she got some negative feedback. I have to agree with her point of view, and that you can only do so much to raise a child vegan. Think about if you are a catholic, you can bring your child to church, make them practice lent, etc etc. But ultimately you don’t have control over if they continue to practice. What about if a jewish child follows a kosher diet, I am sure they have eaten non-kosher foods when eating at a friends house. When people ask “will you raise your child vegan” I find it a little annoying. If veganism is what you think is morally best for the world, then you will teach that to you children and hope they follow.
There are calling for a boycott on Indiana.
A great photo essay about Swedish fathers using their maternity leave.
I am loving these photos from Kanaho’s blog.
Kaylah wrote a cool post about different goals for her biking. I am loving this post and it makes me wonder what goals I want to set for myself.
I found this video SUPER awesome. So some vegans don’t consider bivalves to be off limits. And I get that since there is evidence that plants might have some form of pain, and at very least have electrical currents to move. So it is interesting to watch this video talking about whether or not a Portuguese man o’ war is multicellular organism or a colony.
There are so many great facts about pigs in this video, many I would say are arguments to not eat pigs. Which is funny since the video is suppose to raise money for staff porkchop party fund.
Day 87: We went to Long Island to visit my Grandmother and family. My nieces ended up going on an Easter egg hunt inside since it was actually snowing.
Day 88: Leftovers for Saturday night.
Day 89: I got a mild stomach bug (hello slightly rotten jackfruit) and spent most of the day napping
Day 90: Went to Delaware to visit my Mom and we worked on making a purse together.
Day 91: Framed my new wombat print by Kirbee Lawler
Day 92: Took a quick photo of Toulouse before heading out for drinks with my sisters.
Day 93: Went out for dinner with the hubz and there was a really cool fog when driving home. I tried really hard to run and get my camera and took the world’s worst photos. Womp, womp. Learned my lesson, ALWAYS bring your camera, that way you get every ounce of light, and you don’t miss the fog.
I went to my Grandmother’s on Saturday for the family Easter get together. I talked about the trip last year, which is a grueling trip to Amityville Long Island. Things worth noting? My outfit was pretty much the same- same shoes, same skirt, different shirt and tights. ha. Yes, it is Amityville as in the Amityville Horror, I really need to pick up that book. And Alec Baldwin and De La Soul are from Amityville, I wonder if they know my Grandma? Oh and most importantly Alien Ant Farm will be performing in a bar there in April. Betcha you didn’t know they still kept making music after Smooth Criminal. Neither did I.
Sidenote, I finally bought two bags of Vega protein powder. The more frequently I run, the more I want a quick shake. So I finally got the vanilla and berry smoothie powders and they have already been a huge lifesaver. I made a shake with the berry powder, a banana, and strawberries. Perfect. Today I had a mango blended up with kale, water, and the vanilla powder. Perfection!
This is giving me inspiration for the beets I get from my CSA…. months from now.
Gotta make these mole roasted chickpeas. She uses Kevita cinnamon tonic, so maybe I will make a special cinnamon kombucha for this.
Emily is making me drool with this strawberry cashew cream cake… hey I just got really cheap strawberries. Maybe I should be making this.
I am not the type of person who likes cutesy holiday themed sweets, but I am stealing this idea for my second Easter get together (uggg… married life)
New York Times talks about the myth of a high-protein diet. People are misinformed about when protein is important.
I loved this article since I have this debate often with my Mother in Law. We never get very far because we don’t actually know which would be more harmful for the environment- animal products or fake leathers.
This article gave me hope that working conditions can improve in restaurants. Working in the food industry sucks, and it is hard to point the blame on a person. Most of the time it is just being misinformed.
Coloring clubs for grown ass adults? I need to start my own chapter!
And OMG OMG OMG OMG I need this shoe! Too bad they don’t have my size T_T
What is going to happen in the frozen sequal? Experts give their predictions! Probably gonna be everyone’s birthday.
Alexa needs to come and visit me soon so we can walk around the gaybourhood and cross the street like we are fucking unicorns.
National Geographic talks about bioluminous life. Note: there are cool photos and a video on the left side when you are done reading the article.
Every year SXSW keeps getting cooler and cooler acts. Last year it was Glen Check, this year it is PERFUME! Apparently they released a stellar live video (meaning a video you create/edit in real time) that has been described as being from the future.
Day 80: Jon asked if I wanted to go for a walk, then started to refill the window wash in the cars. I photograph him to kill the time.
Day 81: Jon suggests another walk and proceeds to waste time by checking out the cars before heading out.
Day 82: This was not a very tasty shake, but it sure looked cool with the marbling effect.
Day 83: My work got some special “congrats on your new location flowers”
Day 84: My back was hurting so I left work early and I got some Sweet Freedom snacks to cheer me up.
Day 85: Took some photos of the abandoned bowling alley before heading to work.
Day 86: Made a huge pan of lasagna- so much that I needed 4 lbs of tofu.
I have an unspoken rule that I try to avoid chains when talking about restaurants on this site. There are many blogs that give vegan ordering hacks at major chains like Chipotle and Panera. But I make excepts for budding businesses, or chains that vary drastically for the menu, like Loving Hut.
The other day I was trying to find a good vegan friendly restaurant near by that would be good for a lunch, maybe a smoothie. And I stumbled on the website for b.good foods. They opened a location in Medford in a shopping plaza known for their higher end shopping, including a Mac store, Anthropology, LLBean, and Pottery Barn Kids.
The chain’s goals are pretty simple- fresh and local foods. It is hard to promise that with a chain, even when it is still fairly small. But they don’t kid around. When entering the store there is a big chalk board with local farmers and bakers that they get their food from. Although it seems like all stores have the same core menu, each location does have some specialized foods. There were even some baked goods to buy from Wild Flour Bakery inside, even with a vegan option.
Although they boast healthy food, I would say it is hit or miss on how healthy your meal can be. There are lots of combo options, which can quickly add up in calories. But if you keep it simple, a burger, salad, or bowl, you are looking for a reasonable meal- ranging on average from 400-600 calories. The lowest calories is in a salad, 284 calories, and the highest calories is in a burger, 710 calories. Neither are vegan so who cares?
So if the menu isn’t 100% vegan, what can you get? Answer: A Lot.
The menu had cute little v’s written next to vegan items. But realistically, almost anything can be made vegan. Most the salads and the kale and quinoa bowls are vegetarian and have cheese added which can be taken out (lemon-caesar ving, lemon-mint ving, jalapeno ranch, and croutons not vegan though). They have a vegan burger pattie and vegan buns! Again, you might have to ask for some modifications for their specialty burgers, like no cheese or bacon. So you can come into the store craving a light salad, protein packed kale & quinoa bowl, or super filling burger, with options in each category.
Some of the sides are vegan, though these change the most during seasons so always ask if they are vegan. But even in this category you have a lot to choose from, including fries, veggie chips, and some smoothies. I am sure you could request modifications to make a non-vegan smoothies to be vegan as the only non-vegan ingredients are honey and yogurt. There are no soy options for milk shakes though, bummer.
So hows the food? Well I got a acai berry smoothie to drink right away and the spicy avocado and lime kale and quinoa bowl to take home. I wasn’t blown away by acai berry smoothie, but this might just be a reflection of my changing opinions on smoothies. This one wasn’t too sweet which I liked, but was really icy thick. It was so thick that it probably prevented it from blending all the way. Truthfully, I don’t think smoothies are their main focus since most people don’t get smoothies to accompany their meals.
After about an hour of running errands I got home and dug into my bowl. Even sitting around for an hour it still tasted great. Because let’s face it guys, if you are taking out your lunch or dinner, you might not get to it right away. Everything tasted fresh and flavorful, I could tell the corn and green beans weren’t frozen, and cherry tomatoes tasted like they weren’t refrigerated. Just to point out, the spicy avocado and lime kale and quinoa bowl technically isn’t vegan, I asked for it to not come with cheese.
I am a little bummed that I didn’t grab a burger during my visit, but before visiting I did my research. The website said that the local bakery they used didn’t make vegan buns for the burgers. Bummed out I emailed the company to share my disappointment. Guess what? After I got home with my food, I got an email back saying they changed the recipe to be vegan awhile ago and never updated the site! How awesome is that? I am not putting it against them that they didn’t update their website since they are trying to keep track of several different locations. It is hard to have each and every ingredient correct for so many different foods with several locations. But one of biggest pet peeves is when restaurants have vegan burgers but no vegan buns. No Zinburger, I don’t want a salad, if I wanted to ’86’ the bun I would of been reading the salad section. End rant. Point is this place has great customer service and has lots of options for vegans.
Overall this is a nice place to dine with a vegan or non-vegan friend. There is something for everyone. And if you aren’t vegan a lot of the salads and kale & quinoa bowls can have chicken added to it for an additional price. There are also lots of sauces and vinaigrettes that are dairy and egg free which is a plus for vegans and allergy sensitive people.
Hubby and I went for a walk together last Sunday and I noticed a sad little hole in my favorite pair of shoes. I am not very kind to my shoes, I only own a few pairs and I wear them to death. It probably doesn’t help that I rarely pay more than $20 for a pair of shoes either. Realistically I’ll probably check out shoes at a thrift shop and try and jazz them up. But for now, I can check the internet and make a vegan shoe dream list.
Who Could Be Saddle Shoes byPinup Couture ($39.99) | Confetti Cork Oxford Shoes by Golden Ponies ($42) | Carefree Choreography Flat in Cognac at Modcloth ($34.99) | Holographic Oxford Shoes by Golden Ponies ($42)
I’ve been noticing that I am feeling more and more comfortable in shoes with a slight heel to them. I think this because when I am in flats I kind-of walk like I am running, on the balls of my feet. Either that or my walnut crushing bunz are so HUGE that I walk funny. But I like when shoes have a pretty traditional style but are pretty quirky, like those holographic oxford shoes. Yes please!
I love heels, but realisticly, they are the only shoes that I don’t wear to death (they can actually get donated to charities!) Which makes me wonder why I bother buying them new. Then they make cute heels with metalic turquoise bows and foxes on them. Ugggg! Life’s not fair! And I am weirdly realistic in my shoe fantasies and still put some flats in there. I keep eyeing up some leopard print flats, which is probably a sign I should bite the bullet and buy a pair.
Bikila EVO WP by Vibram ($150)
Oh and I am starting to think I’ll need to replace my running shoes soon. I am loving this bright pink and orange sole. It will be my own little fun running secret. Right?
Anyone has some dream shoes they been pining over?
A while ago I made my own massaman curry from Connoisseurus Veg and it made a large amount. Not sure how long it would last, I froze the whole jar which has such a large fat content, it is still pliable. This makes it easy to save, and easy to use in a flash. You can just scoop and use right out of the freezer.
So I wanted a super quick dinner to make with the leftover curry paste. I wanted a recipe that used up staples I always have around carrots and lentils. Prep work is easy since everything is being blended together. And if possible, grab a loaf a bread to dunk in.
I know many people are starting to get sick of soup, since it is becoming spring, but I say this soup is perfect for the spring. Some days you are going to have hot days, and some days will be really cold. And that is when you make this soup. For those spur of the moment cold days.
As for the massaman curry, you can use homemade or store bought. I used the recipe from Connoisseurus Veg. There are many different brands on amazon that you can buy but maesri is the only brand I can verify as vegan. I would recommend checking out different brands in store so you can read the labels to make sure there aren’t fish sauce or shrimp paste in the curry.
Happy spring everyone! A lot of people in the Northeast had a fairly large snowstorm on the first day of spring. I enjoyed it, I ran a little during the beginning of the snow, but had to cut it short since the snowflakes kept getting stuck in my lashes. I guess what made the snow enjoyable (for me) was knowing that it was just going to melt the next day. No shoveling. Although driving home sucked, it should of only been 20 minutes, and it took a whole friggin hour!
Other things that are going on? Let’s talk about my exploding fridge! I got some food for our Easter dinner (which is being celebrated with my family this weekend) and I am making lasagna. Oh man, it just felt crazy buying 2 frozen bags of spinach, 1 lb mushrooms, 3 cartons of tofu, and I think I am going to double the recipe.. so I am going to make another trip to the store. I am also going to make a berry crumble and maples syrup sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts. What are you guys planning on making for Easter dinner?
I don’t even understand how special yeast would do this, but apparently it could make a hangover free wine? Being a fermenting connoisseur I find this really interesting.
The Kitchn finally clears up the confusion between spring onions, scallions, and green onions.
And there is a race to make a whole test tube chicken.
I love New York Times article that shows how much 2000 calories look like when eating out. What I find funny about it is that none of the “meals” would be something I eat (you know ignoring the meat aspect) I mean, a sub with chips AND a cookie AND soda? It can’t be too far fetched since it is something that is offered on the menu.
I love Jezebel’s interesting and long article about the evolution of Harlequin books. I remember seeing SO many romance novels at library book sales from them, and seeing how they went from innocent love stories to more butt-plug-ish.
Tyrannosaurus Lexxx lays down the truth about pigeons. Yeah, their dirty, gross, and pee in public, but so do drunks, and we don’t hate them… or at least try to kicked them.
Ga-in released her newest songs, Apple and Paradise Lost. I love her music since she brings a lot of taboo topics about sex to the front lines. Bloom featured female masturbation, Fxxxk You featured date rape, and it seems that these two title tracks have biblical references. Paradise Lost featuring snakes, and song titled apple, Adam and Eve everyone. But I am happy they are putting translated lyrics, as Paradise Lost seems to be about separating guilt with sex. I also have to point out that these videos are coming from a very prudish country, one where kissing and holding hands in public is a no-no, where performers are constantly having to cover up bare legs in order to perform for TV shows.
Day 73: Jon stated taxes, and I loved how Toulouse looks like she is managing Jon. Making sure he is staying on top of his work.
Day 74: I don’t think this is a particularly good shot, but I love the drastic change in color. The yellow from the lamp, red-orange from the couch, green walls.
Day 75: Made a recipe from Ani’s Raw Food Asia and I am always amazed at how “cooked” some raw food look.
Day 76: Soap Suds.
Day 77: A nice warm day. I can’t wait till the tree start turning green.
Day 78: Great outtake from my photo shoot for the CrossFit post.
Day 79: And then on the first day of spring it snowed! It was, in my opinion, a great surprise. I went for a run in the early morning snow and it was wonderful. It made me think about how and why I love running. It is quick to start up, no driving, cheap, etc. But I like it for a similar reason why I like to hike, you are just out there, taking whatever weather nature hands you.
The other week I drove up north and visited Alexa. Although Alexa hasn’t mentioned on the blog (she is on a mini hiatus from writing while she gets some things in order) but she has been taken up CrossFit. She has been very devoted to it, taking hour long classes 3 to 5 times a week! She is now working out more than me! As person who works out at home, I thought it would be fun to take a class, and to see why CrossFit has such a cult like status.
Pro: Guy and Girls
There is something empowering about being a class full of girls and guys, as if, as a female, you are doing just as much work as a male. I know I had gym class with boys and girls, so when I take a class and it is filled with all women, it seems like I am taking an easier modified workout. I think this is a similar reason why I like running, I can talk about running with someone regardless of their sex. But if I try to talk about barre workouts or yoga? There are some males, but not many.
I know this point can be said about almost any type of certified fitness class. I first started with taking fitness classes with the YMCA. I can’t remember the actual price, but in my mind it was something like $10 a class. With some research, many local yoga studios are $17 for a drop in class. The location we went to is $25 for a single class. I know this is a “warped” view since most CrossFit offer a free first class and want you to pay monthly passes. So for Alexa, who pays for a monthly fee, she is probably more commonly averaging $6-8 a class.
As mentioned, I do most working out on my own. I do a lot of videos, light weight training, and running before heading into work. It fits my budget and I don’t have to add on travel time. What I wasn’t prepared for was how friendly everyone was in the class. Previous classes I’ve taken were half filled with sociable people, and half with people who kept to themselves. It was nice hearing everyone help each other out, and praise each other.
Con: I can see where common criticism comes from
There are two common criticism I read about CrossFit- people are prone to overexertion and that people are taught poor form. I can kind-of see how some people can come to that conclusion from my one class. Let me state that I don’t lift often, so I can’t say I was taught “the wrong way” to lift a barbell in class. But having so many people in a class, I can see how bad habits can form. That being said, unless you have a personal trainer, it would be worse to self teach yourself how to lift at a gym. That leaves only you to research and self correct.
I’ve read a few articles about CrossFiter getting injured badly from overexertion. My class wasn’t being “over pushed,” no one got “yelled at” for not doing something, or forced to something over again until completed in full. But I can see where people overexert themselves, if they have an incredibly competitive spirit. No, stats are being compared in class, but if you find yourself outdoing others with out being prompted, then you might ignore signs from your body in order to break records. But I don’t think this is an issue for like 99.9% of the population
This might only apply to the fact that I work mostly alone, but it was nice having a person come up to me and say I was doing a good job. It was also nice to get direct feedback, as most classes the instructor gives vague instructions on how to correct form, as to not single anyone out. So it was nice to get a little extra attention about how to lift. At the end of the class the instructor gave a “good job summery” making note of some of the achievements for the class for the day. I liked that.
Pro & Con: Commitment
I mentioned before that the best way to get your “moneys worth” is to do a monthly membership. And that might not be a possibility for everyone. I find it hard to fit in working out, but I do it because it makes me feel happier and healthier. So trying to fit in my schedule an three different hour long workouts during the week, that would probably need an extra 30-40 minutes for travel and prep time would be hard. Which is why I like the idea of studios with open classes, that have cheaper individual classes so I can maybe take one a week, or less. I find this problematic as well since I like doing lots of different things, some days I like the major burn of a barre workout, some days I just want cardio, sometimes I want to lift. CrossFit seems to only have room for CrossFit.
BUT this can be a pro. Because of this, I think some beginners are much more committed than they would be. If you sign up and can’t make it to many classes, you might feel more motivated to get your moneys worth and go to more classes. You start working out a schedule and you will be taking classes with the same people, you make friends, and you have even more motivation to go.
Overall View: CrossFit is Good
Putting all the pieces together, I can see why CrossFit has such devoted members. It does a great balance of cardio and weight training and builds a great community to surround yourself with. It can be great for a beginner to get just get the ball rolling. The biggest downside for me, is that it is easy to get stuck only doing CrossFit.