Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Peak into an Eagle's Nest

I recently discovered this amazing website that lets you take a very close look into a bald eagle's nest.  Seconds before I wrote this, I saw the mother eagle feed her two little baby eagles (one and two days old).  It was awesome!  The camera is set up in a neighboring tree.  It is a live, 24 hour feed.  There is one egg left to hatch.  Check it out here: Duke Farms Eagle Cam.  The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey is working with Duke Farms to make sure the birds do not get disturbed by the camera.  So cool!  Check it out!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Great Vegan Haircare Product Line, Jane Carter Solution

A little while back, I was sent a travel kit filled with some of Jane Carter Solution's greatest hits.  Since I haven't been traveling lately, this kit has been sitting patiently on my bathroom shelf.  Spring cleaning this weekend led me to rediscover the amazing contents of this kit.  Travel or not, I decided it was time to try some of these vegan and natural products.  

I have color treated hair that I'm semi obsessed with keeping shiny.  These products totally fit the bill.  After washing with Moisture Nourishing Shampoo, I conditioned with Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner and Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner.  I was really impressed with the fresh, natural and clean scent of these products.  The smell isn't overpowering, it's really pretty without being perfume-y (which I love!).  

These products left my hair soft and ready for the damaging heat of the blow dryer.  After blow drying, I usually like to add something to tame frizz and fight fly-aways.  Jane Carter Solution Nourish & Shine works fantastically for this with these natural ingredients: Shea butter, Kokum butter, Illippe butter, Mango butter, Vitamins A, D, & E, pear and grapefruit essential oils.  You can also add a few drops of Hair Nourishing Serum to Nourish & Shine for extra hair strengthening.  The ingredients for Hair Nourishing Serum? Perfectly vegan and natural: Pure essential oils of lemon, ylang ylang, grapefruit, tangerine, rosemary, geranium vitamins A,D,E.  

I'm loving the result!  My hair is soft, silky, and shiny.  I can't stop smelling my hair...the scent is fantastic!  It doesn't feel waxy or heavy like other natural products.  I'm so excited that this product line is vegan and natural.  Take a look at this statement from Jane Carter Solution:

Our products do not contain any petro chemicals, alcohols, parabens or silicones. We use certified organic essential oils to fragrance our products. Our products contain no animal by products nor do they contain any ingredients that have been tested on animals. We use plant derived ingredients and natural oils and butters.  Our products are vegan safe and kid friendly, they are also kind to the planet and great for your skin. 

I can't believe I waited to try these products out!  I'll be looking for full size versions of these products when I run out of the travel sizes.  You can find Jane Carter Solution products in Whole Foods and Target or through their website

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cute Vegan Shoes for Spring

I love the 70's vibe that's happening this spring.  A wish list...
olsenHaus from, $219.95

 olsenHaus from, $265

Beyond Skin from, $250
Forever 21, $14.80
Forever 21, $24.80
Forever 21, $34.80
Payless, $24.99, also in denim
Lulu's, $20
Lulu's, $32, I love that coral!
Alternative Outfitters, $38
Eco-friendly Simple shoes from Alternative Outfitters, $55
Neuaura, $135

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meal Plan Monday with a Kris Carr Influence

I took a much needed internet break for a while, but here I am again with a week's worth of meals and a grocery list.  

I've been reading Crazy Sexy Diet, and I want to try starting my day with green juice instead of protein smoothies on some days this week.  Apparently, greens help alkalize your body and contain massive amounts of chlorophyll, which is super fab for you.  I'm thinking of trying this smoothie in addition to some recipes from Kris Carr:
      I've also come to love this juice combination:
  • some kale
  • half an organic cucumber, with the skin
  • 2 green apples
  • a peeled lemon
  • ginger root
I found this deep blue sea smoothie recipe that I'm dying to try as well.

Kris Carr and many other health experts recommend a lot of raw food in the diet because of the enzyme content, among other things.  Your body has to work less at digesting food which frees up energy for other crucial things.  She recommends an 80/20 or 60/40 goal ratio of raw to cooked.  I've been going close to 100% raw for lunch with salads for months now, so I'll continue that.  I like an organic salad made up of mixed greens, romaine, chickpeas, cucumbers, carrots, avocados, walnuts, and berries or chopped apples.  I like to sprinkle my salads with nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper.  My dressing of choice lately has been olive oil and balsamic or sesame oil and apple cider vinegar.

I'm thinking Buddha Bowls.  Grains, greens, and beans with a yummy dressing.  I bought one of those Amy's frozen vegan pizzas on sale recently, which I like to cover with vegan cheese like Follow Your Heart Monterrey Jack or Daiya Mozzarella shreds (not very raw, but whatev!).  I found this lentil walnut loaf recipe that I want to try.  It's also been cold recently, so I think some soup would be perfect this week.

Here the shopping list:
  •  almond milk
  •  organic, raw almonds
  •  bananas
  •  organic mixed greens
  •  organic romaine
  •  organic kale
  •  avocado
  • organic, raw walnuts
  • organic cucumbers
  • organic celery
  • organic broccoli
  • organic green apples
  • lemon
  • ginger root
  • organic cauliflower
  • organic spinach
  • organic red onions
  • organic scallions
  • garlic
  • mushrooms
I'll probably get some of the produce today, some a few days from now.  I think it's better than way because the veggies are fresher.  In addition to that:
  • lentils
  • millet
  • quinoa
  • black beans
  • tofu
  • tempeh
  • chickpeas
  • vegan cheese
  • spirulina
  • Amazing Grass Chocolate Green SuperFood
I like my sweets and desserts,  so I'll most likely pick up a dark chocolate bar or two for a little after dinner treat.  I'd like to try Vanilla Chia Tapioca Pudding from Crazy Sexy Diet too.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse with Raw Vanilla Sauce

I have yet to try a raw dessert that I didn't like.  I usually find that they're on the expensive side at restaurants, so I thought I'd try making my own.  This raw chocolate mousse was super rich, crazy chocolate-y, and so easy to make!  
The accompanying vanilla sauce was a nice complement that balanced out the intensity of the mousse.  I got these recipes from Raw Food Made Easy for One or Two People, which has consistently surprised me with easy, raw, vegan, and insanely flavorful food.  Seriously, this is the best chocolate mousse I've ever had.  It's that good!  Wondering how to get that amazing mousse like consistency?  Avocados!  I was a bit skeptical when I put all the ingredients in the blender, but what came out was heaven!  Check out the mousse tart video on Jennifer Cornbleet's webpage for the recipe and the how-to on making this amazing raw dessert.
What is your favorite raw dessert?  I'm looking for more raw vegan cookbooks, so any recommendations would be most appreciated!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Green Pasta

Recently, I was super hungry and short on time.  I had originally bought spinach fettuccine and organic edamame for something from Appetite for Reduction, but I didn't have the patience to follow a recipe on this particular evening.  Instead, I quickly cooked the pasta and defrosted the frozen edamame in boiling water.  I think the original recipe I was going to follow called for pesto, which would have been great, but I opted for some earth balance, olive oil, and salt instead.  So not low fat, but so simple and sooooo good.  There was a nice salty buttery-ness coating everything, which is so perfect with pasta.  The edamame was fun and saved this dinner from being too carb-tastic.  I'll definitely make this quickie again!  And, I still want to try the Appetite recipe I originally bought these ingredients for too.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mac and Trees and Buffalo Tempeh

Here's my latest Appetite for Reduction meal.  I used brown rice pasta, which I'm really loving lately, and the suggested vegan cheese sauce.  I topped off the Mac and Trees with the super spicy Buffalo Tempeh.  I didn't quite follow the recipe for the wings exactly.  I didn't have a cayenne based hot sauce so I used Sriracha instead.  Holy hotness!  It was almost too hot, but still really fun on top of the mild Mac and Trees.  Adding broccoli to the standard macaroni was a really good idea.  It just goes well.  The only part that I didn't love was the cheese.  I replaced the all purpose flour in the recipe with whole wheat pastry flour, so that might be the reason.  It's supposed to be low fat, and I suspect that might be another reason why it didn't quite work out as well as I'd hoped.  

As far as vegan cheese sauces go, I love a similar flour-based cheese sauce from How it all Vegan.  It only has one tablespoon of oil, no granulated garlic or onion flakes, and less flour.  The only time I usually make this version of cheese sauce is when I make the accompanying Faux Eggs Benny recipe, but I might use this recipe the next time I make mac and trees.  Come to think of it, it's been a while so I think I might bring it back the Faux Eggs Benny into the breakfast rotation.

My old standby mac and cheese recipe is also from a Sarah Kramer book, this time The Garden of Vegan.  It's a bit tangy from a bit of apple cider vingar (which I love), it's got protein from the tofu, and I think it's pretty low in fat besides.  Next time I make mac and trees, I'll try another cheese sauce to go with it.  I think it might be worth finding a cayenne based hot sauce for the next time I want to make tempeh wings too.

Next post, a fast and yummy all green pasta dinner.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Peanut Butter Waffles

The other day I wrote about the return of pancakes to my breakfast plate.  Today, it's all about the waffles.  Peanut butter waffles from Vegan Brunch, that is.  I haven't eaten cakey, dessert like breakfasts in months.  I was a little worried that I'd get a blood sugar spike and then crash after eating like this, but that so didn't happen.  This recipe is easy and the resulting waffles are perfect if you're a peanut butter fan like me.  I topped this bad boy with some Earth Balance and a little drizzle of maple syrup.  It filled me up for hours and I felt great!  This won't be an every morning type of breakfast for me, but it sure will make an appearance more often on the weekends. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Orange and Red for Breakfast

It's been a while since I've had pancakes for breakfast.  I've mostly been having smoothies for breakfast during the week and oatmeal on the weekends.  I was flipping through Vegan Brunch the other day and decided I needed more pancakes in my life.  I went with the delicious pumpkin pancakes.  I subbed whole wheat pastry flour for all-purpose flour.  They took a while to firm up on the pan, but once they did...oh, man.  So worth the wait.  I slathered on some Earth Balance and drizzled a bit of maple syrup on top for a dessert-worthy breakfast.  To health it up a bit, a had some bright red and organic beet, apple, carrot, and ginger juice on the side.  
Next post, Vegan Brunch peanut butter waffles!

Monday, February 21, 2011

A (Mostly) Good Run

A view from my run.
We had some fantastically warm days last week, and I took advantage fully by running on the boardwalk.  Finally, after months of snow and ice covering my favorite running spot, it's clear!  The sky was overcast, which I sort of like.  There was practically no one around, mostly just me and the sea gulls.  I was perfectly warm in shorts, a long sleeve shirt, and a windbreaker.  It's been so long since I ran this route, it felt amazing!  In fact, I pushed myself a little too far to cover my usual route too quickly.  Weirdly, my hip started to get a little pinch to it when I was almost home.  I didn't really think too much of it, because I was almost done and it wasn't too bad.  The thing is, it got worse as the day went on.  I've never experienced a hip injury, and as you can imagine, it sucks.  I've been icing and resting it, and I keep hoping it will heal up so I can get back out there.  There is nothing quite like the soft ocean breeze, the sound of the waves and the boards, and the feeling that warm spring weather is coming soon.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Green Bean Cafe

A selection of vegan and raw treats from the Green Bean Cafe
I rarely ever have a reason to venture to the Upper East Side of Manhattan, but I did end up there last weekend.  Totally by chance, I happened to walk by a great little vegan cafe on York Ave between 75th and 76th.  I had an amazing coconut smoothie made with fresh coconuts and a raw tiramisu.  The smoothie selection is amazing, I grabbed a take out menu so that I could replicate some of these at home.  If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend checking out the Green Bean Cafe!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Starting the Day with Sun Salutations

As soon as I wake up, I like to start the day with a few Astanga yoga sun salutations. They stretch and strengthen, get the blood flowin', and help me wake up. There's a specific kind of breathing you do in Astanga that sort of sounds like waves at the beach.  I did a LOT of these before I learned how to surf to build core and arm strength.  Here's a great demonstration of Surya Namaskara A and B (Sun Salutation A and B) I found on YouTube.  

The person in this video does some amazing transitions that sort of look like she's almost doing a handstand.  My transitions don't look quite like this, but it is actually easier than it looks.  Traditionally, you do Sun Salutation A about 5 times, then move onto about 5 Sun Salutation B's.  Once completed, you move onto the Primary Series of Astanga Yoga.  Since I'm often pressed for time in the morning, I usually just do a few A's and B's, then some of my favorite postures from the Primary Series.

I love Astanga!  I've been practicing it for years, but the biggest challenge for me is finding the time for my practice.  Waking up to sun salutations is my way of fitting some Astanga in every day.  Do you practice yoga?  Do you have a morning practice?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Photo: Oceania Island Living
There's a tiny part of the gigantic Great Barrier Reef where the coral polyps have shaped themselves into a heart. The only way to see it is by air.  I am lucky enough to have gone diving and snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, and I can say it was one of the coolest things I've ever done.  For more information about seeing this reef, which I didn't actually see when I was there, check out this website:  Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Finally Running Outside Again

Though I love living where I do, winter is definitely not my favorite season.  I'm super jealous of those of you that have been running in 75 degree sunny bliss.  Here's what the sidewalks look like by me:

The snow and ice starting melting into slush, the streets were wet but not icy.  I had a small window of opportunity for an outside run.  I kept a gloriously slow but steady pace on wet streets in the rain.  It was 34 degrees, but I was warm and the rain felt great!
My usual running spot is on the boardwalk, but as you can see it still has some melting to do.  As long as we don't get more snow and ice, I'll keep to the empty beach parking spots by the boardwalk.  I can't wait to be back on the boards!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tofu Chimichurri, Cauliflower Chickpea Soup, and Baked Onion Rings

Last week, I tried the Tofu Chimichurri and Caulipots recipes from Appetite for Reduction.  Caulipots are basically healthier mashed potatoes.  There's some boiled cauliflower mashed in with the potatoes.  I didn't totally follow the recipe since I prepared it with unsweetened almond milk and Earth Balance.  It was really good!  I wouldn't know there was cauliflower in this meal at all if I didn't make it.  The Tofu Chimichurri wasn't quite what I was expecting, but it was still good and I'll make it again.
This is blended cauliflower, veggie broth, and chickpea soup with some nutritional yeast generously sprinkled on top.  This recipe is based on something I saw in a magazine, it ended up being a winner!  The nutritional yeast brought it to the next level.
The OMG Oven Baked Onion Rings from Appetite for Reduction were really fun!  I haven't had onion rings in a while, I generally don't like the deep-fried greasiness.  These bad boys were pretty easy to prepare with a fast cooking time.  They weren't oily at all, just soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.

I'll be trying out more from Appetite this week, I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

I'm copying Shellyfish's Meal Plan Monday blogging idea.  I plan out most of my meals every weekend.  When I go food shopping, I mostly stick to the list.  It makes grocery shopping and dinner making so much easier when it's all planned out ahead of time.  I pretty much use up everything I buy by the end of the week, so there's not a lot that goes to waste.  The time I spend planning on the weekend really helps me eat well during my hectic and busy work week.

This week, I plan on making:

Breakfast smoothies- I'm feeling organic frozen strawberries and coconut milk this week.  There's also a pear ginger smoothie recipe in Thrive that I want to try.  I have hemp protein, flax seeds, and chia seeds on hand, so no need to buy my smoothie staples.

Salad for lunch-I'm on a Romaine kick lately.  I have some brown rice, quinoa, and some beans I can add to it.  I will be buying random veggies that catch my eye to spice it up a bit, and I already have dressing.

Monday-Clean Mac and Cheese with Kale Chips
I made this last week and loved it!  Really, it's just brown rice pasta with kale, kale chips following this recipe, and tahini dressing from Vegan with a Vengeance.  I call it Clean Mac and Cheese because it's something I could eat during the Clean detox and it has a mac and cheese consistency.  The balsamic and garlic tahini paired with the crispy, nutritional yeast covered kale chips are amazing.

Tuesday-Apple Miso Tofu with Scallion Potato Pancakes from Appetite for Reduction (most of this week's dinners will be from this book)

Wednesday-Hummus and Curry Lentil Crackers from Thrive

Thursday-Spinach Linguine with Edamame Pesto from Appetite for Reduction

Friday- Buffalo Tempeh with Mac and Trees from Appetite for Reduction

Appetite for Reduction and Thrive are my newest cookbooks, I'm having some fun trying out new recipes!  Most of them have been amazing so far.  I'll share some of my favorites on Wednesday.

Friday, February 4, 2011

My New Weekday Morning Routine

Coffee Update, four hours after last post:
Ugh...crashing...hard.  Hard to concentrate.  Tired, fuzzy brain.  Thoughts are scattered, bad mood, cranky, snippy.  I didn't expect such a strong reaction, and I don't like it at all.

Reflection, today:
Though I couldn't wait to go back to coffee during Clean, this reaction left me feeling the worst I've felt in a month.  I could go back to my old ways, but why would I when it makes me feel like this?  The effect of caffeine was so strong!  I'm not saying I'll never drink coffee again, but I've definitely experienced a shift.  I felt horrible! As a former coffee junkie, I can see that I'm officially rehabbed.  What?!  Yes!  I'm no longer a coffee fanatic.  

Instead of the coffee maker, my new kitchen appliance of choice in the morning has become my blender.  During Clean, I made sure to add a full scoop of hemp protein to each smoothie.  It has a taste that can be a little overpowering.  Since I mostly avoided any sweetener during Clean, I decided to try a new smoothie recipe with bananas and dates to see if it would make the hemp taste mellow out a bit.

The chocolate almond smoothie from Thrive was a great inspiration.  I mostly followed the recipe.  I didn't use quite as much water, added a little almond milk, and used cocoa, not carob.  I think I used more than the tablespoon he recommended too.  This smoothie is sweetened with a banana and two organic dates, I used a little less hemp than I used on Clean, and it was perfect.  It gave me a sustained energy and left me full all the way 'til lunch.

I love the taste of coffee, so I will definitely have it again (probably on the weekends, and in moderation).  During the week, it looks like it will be protein smoothies for me.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Coffee, Straight Up

Wow, my first cup in like a month (no caffeine on the Clean Program)!

Can you just smell those beans?

Starting small, don't want to be a crazed maniac.

Oh yeah...there it is.  That's the good stuff.  Straight up, no sweetener, no milk.

How does it feel?  Fantastic!  Though my thoughts are a little scattered and I keep shaking my foot.  Woo hoo!  Coffee!!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Vegan Clean Program, I'm Done!

Twenty-one days ago, I started following a veganized version of Dr. Alejandro Junger's Clean Program.  I drank a healthy organic smoothie for breakfast, had a whole foods lunch, and a soup for dinner.  I snacked on yummy things like organic kale chips and raw organic cashews, and sometimes I had a juice for dessert.
Blended curried split pea soup from Vegan With a Vengeance
Overall, I feel really good.  Three weeks later and no complaints here.  I've lost two pounds and a teeny bit of body fat, and my clothes fit better.  Weight loss wasn't one of my goals, I followed the Clean Program because I wanted to press restart after too many sugar cookies over the holidays.  I wanted to pick up some more healthy habits, and maybe make a difference in the way I react to certain allergens.
I discovered the deliciousness of kale chips while on Clean!
The verdict? I'm really happy that I saw this through.  It wasn't always easy, especially with my busy schedule.  I went without sugar for the longest time I can remember.  I mean, I had fruit and a bit of agave here and there, but I'm talking about straight up sugar.  I feel good about that.  We installed a water filter on the tap in our kitchen.  I thought it would be expensive or a pain, but it was like $20 at Target and really easy to install.  I drank filtered water with organic lemon throughout the day.  I started skin brushing regularly.  I left a 12 hour window between my last meal of the day and my first.  I started my day with a healthy smoothie and usually ended it with a healthy juice.  These are habits I could easily continue.

I have allergies to cats, and on Day 20, I spent some time at a house with a cat.  I love kitties, and they love me.  They always end up rubbing on me, and I always end up petting them (it's hard not to!).  Usually, this ends with hives, fatigue, and a stuffy nose.  On Day 20 and reaction.  I couldn't believe it!  Could it be that simple changes in my diet made this happen?  I've been getting allergy shots for almost a year now, but this is the first time I haven't had a reaction in what seems like forever.  The weird thing is, I was getting hives during Clean, so at one point during the 21 days I came to the conclusion that the Detox wasn't fixing my allergies.  The fact that I didn't react to the cat was really awesome and surprising!

It wasn't all smooth sailin' on Clean, though.  There were definite moments of frustration and hunger.  If I got hungry during the day, I'd snack on a Clean approved food.  I found I had the hardest time on Friday nights, after dinner.  It's hard to find the resolve to say no to seemingly healthy food like popcorn while watching a movie.  I would make some tea and move on, and I found my craving would pass without any drama.

Now that it's done, I look forward to sneaking in a little coffee back in my life.  It's been a almost a month!  The only strong cravings I had were for coffee, so I'm going to bring it back. After Clean, you're supposed to bring certain foods and drinks on the "no" list back gradually to see how you react.  Since my diet was healthy to begin with, I don't think I'll see too much of a problem.  It will be interesting to see how my allergies go.  After coffee, I'm bringing back peanut butter, bananas, soy, then gluten.  I'll definitely post updates on how it goes!

Have you ever given up coffee?  How did it go?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hop Like a Marsupial

I saw kangaroos in Australia.  Lots and lots of them.  They are amazing animals!  I took these photos at an animal sanctuary where we got to walk around with them.  It was one of the coolest things ever!!!
About to hop!
Aaaaawwww....sleepy joey and mommy 'roo.
I am in awe of their body structure.  So cool!
Wallaby in the sun.
I love to watch them go!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kale Chips!

Wow, do I love kale chips!  I am a huge fan of kale in general, but this is my first time making them into chips.  The finished product is delicate and crispy.  It has a potato chip crunch, and it's so good for you!

There are tons of recipes for kale chips on the internet, but I decided to use this recipe that included nutritional yeast, sesame oil, and apple cider vinegar.  It also calls for tamari, but I can't do soy during the Clean Program.  Here is what I did.

-a bunch of organic kale
-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
-1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon sesame oil
-about 1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Take a large bowl and mix together the nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, salt, and sesame oil.  Add small pieces (about 2 inches) of ripped kale, avoiding large stems.  Mix it all together with your hands.  Take the time to rub in the nutritional yeast mixture to make sure it's really evenly coated.  
Put it on a baking sheet that has parchment paper on it.  Bake for about 15 minutes.  The end result should be crispy, you can put it in for 5 more minutes if it's not totally crisp.
I like this mixture raw too!  In fact, I think it will be the basis for most of my salads this week. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Clean Program, Week 2

Week Two is over, and I officially have seven days left on the Clean Program.  Today, I feel well rested, strong, and healthy.  I feel good! 

This week was a really busy one for me.  I got home late, I stayed up late, I woke up late, I barely had enough time to get dressed in time for my commute let alone make a smoothie.  I found myself randomly getting a strong urge for some coffee while at work, but other than that, it was pretty smooth sailing.
I skipped the breakfast smoothie on Day 11.  I made up for it on Day 12 with a frozen organic raspberry, cocoa, almond milk smoothie with hemp powder and chia seeds.  On most other days this week, the base of my breakfast smoothie was coconut milk, almond milk, hemp powder, chia seeds, and ground flaxseeds.  I added frozen organic fruit like peaches and blueberries.  They are super filling!  I found that I like cold, thick drinks in the winter.  I am so surprised by that!  There's snow on the ground, yet I like my cold smoothie.   Here's a particularly thick version, in a coffee mug.
For most of the week, lunch was not exciting since I have to cook it the night before and bring it to work, and I haven't had the time to do this important Clean meal any justice.  I tried to make a lovely millet and artichoke risotto from the Clean website that was supposed to be nurtured with frequent stirring but ended up being rushed.  The result was pretty blah.  I repeated the quinoa, lentil, spinach mixture from last week.  One definite winner this week was this meal made of balsamic glazed portabella mushrooms from Vegan With a Vengeance and saffron brown rice from Veganomicon
This weekend I made crabless cakes, a Clean recipe from their website.  It was made up of cashews, coconut flakes, celery, carrots, onion, sea salt, pepper, and kelp powder.  It was suggested to serve it with mustard and sauerkraut, but I would have preferred it with Vegenaise.  I'll probably make it again after the detox.
I eventually had time to heat up the artichoke millet risotto with more veggie broth, and it came out so much better.  Here it is with some kale and crabless cakes.
In addition to organic honeycrisp apples, hummus and carrots, raw cashews, and raw almonds, I made kale chips to snack on.  They are so amazing!  I'll post the recipe I used later this week.

Dinner during week 2 was either white bean and roasted garlic soup from my last Clean post or some green juice.  Here's spinach, celery, green apple, ginger, and lemon juice.
An exciting update on my allergies is when I got my allergy shots, the injection site didn't swell up like crazy like it normally does.  Weird, huh?  It will be interesting to see if this continues.  Does this mean that coffee and gluten make me more sensitive to allergens?  I hope not!  After week 3, I'm supposed to incorporate the foods I wasn't supposed to eat gradually into my diet and see how I react.  I'll have to think about what food on the Clean "no" list will make an appearance first.  Soy? Gluten?  Coffee?  Nightshades like potatoes?  Bananas?  I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Brisbane Picture Walk

When I was in Brisbane, we explored the city under clear blue skies and sunshine.  Brisbane has a special place in my heart.  I met friendly and down to earth people, had delicious soy lattes, found an amazing book store, and generally wandered around and saw cool things while dodging the occasional flying fox and sidestepping around a massive cane toad.  Brisbane was our home base while we explored the magnificent natural attractions nearby (more on that soon!).

Watching Brisbane on the news recently, seeing some of my favorite places completely covered in muddy water, just made me so sad.  My heart goes out to Brisbane.  In honor of this awesome city, here is a little photo journey of my time there.
After flying in from Cairns, we checked in to our hotel and explored the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, which was nearby.  
The mangrove boardwalk was really cool.  It was the kind of day that was just the perfect temperature for walking.
Model shoot!  This was in the background.
These birds were like the pigeons of Brisbane, they were roaming around anywhere people ate food outside.  I'm used to pigeons, but these guys are huge!  And their beaks!  I looked it up, they're Australian White Ibis.  We also saw two kookaburra right in the same spot.
We wandered over a cool pedestrian bridge and ended up in a little park that led to an amazing sculptural path covered in vines with bright pink flowers.
It seems like the perfect city for running!
Ultimately, the cool little path led us to a somewhat disappointing food court area.  I ate something unmemorable, and watched in quiet horror as these giant birds jumped onto tables and tried to eat people's scraps.  They're HUGE!  Just as annoying as pigeons but MASSIVE!  It was crazy, but this guy totally brought it onto himself because he was feeding them.  Yikes.
I was almost tempted to check out the views on the Ferris wheel, but my height tolerance met it's limit for the entire stay in Brisbane because of the fact that our hotel room had an open balcony on the 30-something floor.  I could barely sleep without dreaming about being on the very edge of a great height, so I had to pass.
Of course, we ate delicious vegan food there too.  After working up an appetite one night, we wandered to the Queen Street Mall and passed a Japanese restaurant.  We checked it out and ended up eating there.  Right when you walked in, there was an autographed photo of Willem Dafoe.  We were so hungry, and though we were a little out of our element (it was pretty fancy), I thought I remembered he was vegan, so we went for it.  I didn't take pictures of the avocado rolls I got, but I did take these.
I don't even remember what this was, but we were assured that they were vegan.  Sono is located at 202 Edward Street. 
Located at 124 Boundary Street in West End, The Forest is Brisbane's answer to the organic hippie vegan establishment.  Though we're not hippies in the slightest, we were more in our element in this downtown, casual place.  It was more in our price range too.  I didn't take food pics there because we met up with friends and I got a little shy.  I had an organic and really good burger and salad.  I loved being able to order absolutely anything on the menu!
This tofu and veggie combo was budget-friendly and most welcome. 
We ate at City Wok on 99 Elizabeth Street a few times.  They had meat dishes and vegetarian dishes, the setting was very basic, and the staff was very friendly and helpful.
Brisbane at night felt safe and was really fun.  This is the outside of the casino. 

Here is more information about the impact of the flood on Brisbane.