Pumpkins Pumpkins Pumpkins

Gooooood Morning! I hope you had a good week.  I’m still trying to get over a miserable head cold.  I fought and fought and it finally got me.  I took a few days and rested as much as I could and ate well, so already feel on the mend.  I’ll be good to go soon.  I have another morning pumpkin recipe for you today.  In case you missed it, I also posted a Pumpkin Smoothie recipe here.  Now you have choices.

Pumpkins & Cinnamon & Nutmeg, oh my!

While I wasn’t feeling well, one of the things I wanted was something warm, soothing, and tasty.  What my brain was really screaming for was one of those sugary, spicy lattes that come packed with the aromas of fall.  I really think they pump in the scent to make you feel good, because it doesn’t really “taste” like pumpkin.  My brain may have been screaming for it, but my body knew otherwise.  Well, I concocted something you just might like.

IMG_1648I must tell you that I don’t make coffee at home.  Instead I use a coffee alternative, Teeccino, to satisfy my craving for a warm, creamy drink.  The flavor, to me, is similar to that of coffee and has no caffeine, never had it, so it’s  not a decaffeinated product, it’s a never-had-caffeine product.  I like that.  It’s made with chicory, barley, carob, nuts and other whole-food ingredients — all roasted and finely ground just like coffee, so you can brew it just as you normally would.  I love it.  Have I said that already?  So anyway, how do you make a Pumpkin Spice Latte at home?  Click the picture above to be taken to the recipe. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!  At least, I hope so.  With no sugar or artificial sweeteners and REAL pumpkin, this drink is one you can indulge in every day if you’d like.  Enjoy!

1185823_10201287733909070_1710381676_nWhich one will you choose today?

Wrap Up:

I feel like I’ve hopped on the crazy pumpkin train and every time I turn around I’m thinking of recipes to create using pumpkin.  What will it be next?  I think over the weekend I’ll work on a pumpkin scone.  What do you think of that?  Well, that’s if I have time in between a 5k and all the other stuff I have planned.  The sun is promising an appearance so I might also get a chance to plant some fall flowers in the boxes on the deck.  We’ll just have to check the enthusiasm level.

I hope you have a great weekend and get a chance to get out and enjoy our fall weather.  For those of you in warmer climates, I’m jealous!

Make it a healthy one.

Toodles 😀

Advertisements

♪ ♫ Monday Monday ♫ ♪

♪ Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin’ all of the time ♫

That cold I was fighting all last week I think has grabbed on and is hanging on tightly to my sinuses! Yowza. That was weird. I was great Friday and Saturday and then Sunday decided to go on a shopping spree.  I guess that will teach me!

Wild Weekend Weather:
Wow! Fall came blustering in this weekend sort of like how Dorothy and Toto end up in Munchkinland.  Although there were no small, falsetto-speaking men peering through the bushes in my yard.  Well, maybe there were, but I wasn’t about to go out and check.

Chilly, windy, rainy weather usually prompts me to get in the mood for soups and baking. So I did just that and combined the two.  I made a huge pot of my favorite chili recipe.  It cooked all day long, filling the house with aromas of cumin and peppers.  It really hit the spot Sunday after the Seahawk win!  Accompanied with a huge salad and some veganized cornbread, I was stuffed afterwards, but not too stuffed for a warm, cozy apple dessert.  I will perfect the dessert a little bit over the next few weeks and get back to you with that one.  For now, I’ll share my cornbread muffin recipe.  Feast your eyes on these puppies:

IMG_1637

Click the picture to get the recipe!

More Baking:

I’m sort of going in reverse here, but Sunday morning-ish I found myself longing for something warm and baked, like a pastry of sorts.  I came across this recipe by Dr. Fuhrman’s daughter, Talia Fuhrman, for Goji berry almond butter scones.  They were easy to mix up and bake and even easier to enjoy!  I might have had four too many, but knowing that they’re made of all healthy ingredients (no oil, sugar or salt) and are full of nutrients, made me feel a little better about my indulging.  I hope you’ll give them a try.  I think I’ll be putting them in my regular rotation of breakfast foods.  I think they’d even work as a dessert or a take-along to brunch or coffee with a friend.  If you haven’t ever read Talia’s blog, you might give it a chance.  She’s got a lot of good insight into a healthy, plant-based diet and she’s been eating healthy since she was in the womb!  She is the Eat to Live poster child, if you ask me.  Even if you’re not into her blog, try out some of her recipes.  She’s got some good ones!

IMG_1644

Wrap Up:

Well, another week is upon us and I see busyness in my future.  I’m hoping to be feeling well enough to run another 5k Saturday.  I’ve decided to try to get one in each month to motivate me to keep training.  This week, however, it looks like my training will be indoors!

Until Friday…

Toodles

Freaky Friday!

Happy Friday. I’m not sure why I titled this post as freaky, maybe I’m starting to get in the mood for Halloween? IDK.  Maybe this cold that I’ve been fighting off for the better part of the week has finally got me in its clutches.  Let’s hope not.  I’m feeding my body with nutrients (but not too many) in hopes to win the war on germs.

Germs:

And speaking of germs… Not that I’m a super hyper germaphobe, but I do tend to wash my hands when I get home from work or the store, and I wash before eating, and anytime I’ve been out and about in my building… okay, I’m beginning to sound like a true germaphobe now, huh?  Along those lines, I read an article recently online about different objects that were tested and contained high levels of germs, including e-coli (ick!).  I wasn’t surprised, actually.  Condiment dispensers.  You know, squeeze some ketchup from the table-top bottle onto your (veggie) burger and then pick up said burger and munch away, all while ingesting lots of little bugs.  How about the lemon slice that you ask to be added to your water? Ewwww!  And when was the last time your favorite restaurant wiped down their menus? Hmmm… Then there’s the ones we commonly think of… bathroom door handles, soap dispensers (but we’re washing our hands, right, so why worry?) shopping carts, airplanes, the doctor’s office.  Now, have you thought about this one — how about the utensils at the salad bar or the Mongolian grill?  How many people have gone before you?  Another reason to carry a little hand sanitizer wherever you go!  I once observed a lady at a salad bar put a little dab of dressing on her plate, dunk her finger in for a taste, and then, using the same hand, continue to load up her salad.  No, thanks.  I’ll pass on the rest of the buffet from here on out!

Recipe:

Eating at home has so many benefits, one of which is avoiding germs apparently.  But, really, the real reason is to eat as healthfully as you can.  Avoiding oils, sugars, and salt is important when having a scrumptious meal and sometimes that is tough when you’re eating out.  I try to reproduce some of my favorite meals in the Glaze Family Test Kitchen.  I think I hit this one pretty well.

First, I made a salad from different cabbages, a shredded carrot and some green & red pepper and then mixed in the dressing.  I topped it with some cilantro & toasted sesame seeds.

IMG_1620

IMG_1618

I had a creamy sesame ginger salad dressing at Whole Foods.  It’s made by Health Starts Here, which consulted with Dr. Fuhrman when it came to healthy, nutritionally dense recipes.  I really liked the dressing, looked at the ingredient label and made up my own at home.  I suggest adding onion to your salad (we can’t eat onions in our house) or adding in a scallion or two to the dressing for a little extra pop.  But this satisfied my desire for a good Asian slaw-type salad.  Enjoy!

Wrap Up:
This was sort of a weird week.  Alex and Doug took off Monday for Colorado & Doug arrived back on Thursday, leaving Alex to find his way to his new home and make himself comfortable there — as comfortable as you can be in an Army barracks.  I took this picture the night before he left.

IMG_1627

And then the morning he left:

IMG_1629

I think he’d had enough of smiling for the camera by the time Monday came around and this is what I got of him while he was preparing to hit the road.

I have begun to think about a trip south for a visit, but in the meantime, I’ve got some bottles of hand sanitizer to fill!  Have a great weekend and I’ll be back here on Monday.  Who knows… there just might be a new pumpkin recipe for you.

Toodles…

A Colorful Weekend and Dinner Guests

Ah-ha!  It’s Monday.  Fall blew in like a storm this weekend. Wow!  Sunday was one of those days that is best spent inside just hanging out.  Maybe a little housework.  Some time in the kitchen.  Maybe even curled up with something warm and watching football.  (Nahhh, no football for me.)

It was a rainbow of a day!

Saturday my girlfriend and I, along with my son, ran the Tacoma Color Run 5k.  Woo-hoo!  We had so much fun.  Alex came in 4th over all.  Even though there’s no timing involved and it’s not a race, with today’s technology, you kinda know how you do.  It was a good run with lots of color in the air.  Julie & I didn’t get too colored up and all we had were before pictures.  I think you get the idea, though.

IMG_1601 IMG_1607

So what do you serve for dinner when SAD eaters are coming?  Let me explain.  SAD stands for “Standard American Diet.”  Some people refer to it as MAD, or “Modern American Diet.”  Either way, it’s the typical diet that most people eat, not the weird, whack-o whole-foods, plant-based diet like we eat.  Anyway, what do you fix?  You don’t want to divert too much from your own dietstyle but you want your guests to be happy and fulfilled when they leave the table.  I usually rely on my TexMex heritage (insert laughter) and serve a taco bar.  So that’s what I did.  My dad and his wife came for dinner, as well as our “other son” for a last hurrah before Alex left.  I did saute some chicken breasts for the meat eaters, and there was a sighting of cheese on the buffet.  For those plant eaters, I made up some lentils worthy of stuffing into corn tortillas.  We had a few leftovers, but that’s only because I always make too much food.  Everybody seemed happy and satisfied.  Even the Nectarine & Plum Crumble was a hit!

Aren’t these the faces of happy eaters?

IMG_1611 IMG_1616

A good time was had by all and the goodbye wasn’t too tearful.

This morning I said my “see ya later” as Alex and H³ squeezed themselves into the little Subaru, aptly named the “half-a-ru” because it’s much smaller than mine, and headed southeast to Colorado!  I’m so excited for Alex’s next adventure that it was hard to be sad.  I just hope that he’s careful, safe, responsible, kind, humble, prays, eats well, gets enough sleep, remembers to call, and always wears clean underwear!  I’m sure the fact that he will be gone for nearly five years will hit me later… oh, say, around Christmastime!

WrapUp:

So there you have it, my weekend boiled down to just a few paragraphs.  I hope you have a good week and I’ll be back here on Friday with a recipe that I think you’ll be pleased with (maybe even two).  Don’t forget to check it out!  Until then, you can find me over on Facebook on the Healthy Vegan Challenge.  Stop in and check us out.

Toodles…

It’s a pumpkin extravaganza!

Another one bites the dust… workweek, that is.  It’s going to be an emotional weekend for me, I’m afraid.  My son is headed to his first assignment with the Army.  He’s moving to Colorado to do what he’s been trained to do, protect & serve.  I’m so proud of him.  On the other hand I’m a little freaked out nervous for him to be doing all the big-boy stuff on his own.  He’s got to find his way to the base after dropping off Dad at the airport, figure out where to go and what to do.  And ohmygoodness he’s going to be living on his own!  Cooking (hopefully with lots of vegetables), cleaning and all that other stuff.  Okay, I know.  He is 20 years old and has been away from home for months at a time before.  He is all grown up now and can take care of himself.  <enter mommy sob here>  I’m good with it.  I am already starting to think about travel plans!  Woo-hoo!  I love Colorado.  It’s such a beautiful place.  Do you think they have a lot of fresh fruits and veggies there?

Pumpkin galore:

Have you noticed lately all the pumpkin “things”?  Donuts.  Lattes.  Ice Cream.  Cakes.  Coffee beans.  Breads.  Pies.  Muffins.  Cookies.  Pancakes.  The list goes on.  You name it, they make it.  Pumpkin everything.  I wonder how many of those tempting foods actually contain pumpkin.  Have you thought about that?  I used to love to indulge this time of year in a pumpkin spice latte (PSL) at that worldwide coffee place whose cups are decorated in green.  I noticed the other day they’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of the PSL.  Wow!  I think I drank them for nine of those ten years.  I had my last one last year.  (Too much sugar)  Because there are so many pumpkin flavored options out there, I thought to myself, “Self, let’s make a pumpkin spice smoothie.”  Bam! Hello?  So I got busy this week.  This one DOES contain real pumpkin.  I took my pumpkin from a can, but if you’ve got fresh, that would make it even better (or maybe even a sweet potato would work).

1185823_10201287733909070_1710381676_n

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
Click the pic to go to the recipe

Next, I’m thinking a caramel pumpkin ice “dream” is in order. What do you think? Oh, yessss!

Age is just a number:

I ran into an older gentleman at work the other day whom I hadn’t seen for a number of years.  He mentioned to me he’d been doing his job for 53 years & I complimented him on how great he looked.  He told me he was 82 years old!  I was amazed.  He quoted the great Satchel Paige, saying, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”  This man exclaimed he was 51.  I told him I was still 23 (I’m actually twice that).  I celebrated my birthday this week, and I am not ashamed to admit I am now in my late 40s.  Look out, 50!  It’s gonna be one heck of a decade!

Check out the “cake” my co-worker’s wife made for me to celebrate at the office.  I am so grateful that my boss and co-worker support my healthy lifestyle.

Cake 1

Wrap Up:

What are your plans for the weekend?  Saturday morning I’m running in a Color Run.  Have you heard of those?  I’ve never done one, so it should be interesting.  I will post pictures of our tie-dyed look next week.  Enjoy whatever it is that you’ve got planned and I’ll try not to cry too much during the goodbyes.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go stock up on some tissues…

Toodles…

Crazy Busy Weekend & Healthy Eating While Traveling

Not since my whirlwind trip to Missouri have I had such a busy few days.  I hope your weekend was just what you wanted it to be.  I started off with celebrating my OLDER brother’s 50th birthday.  Okay.  Okay.  I only have one brother and he’s older than me, so I can call him my older brother, right?  I guess one day I, too, will be 50, so I should be nice.  It was a fun evening and I saw some people I haven’t seen in years!

Saturday morning I was up bright and early and headed 60 miles north to see my good friend and fellow blogger, Carrie from Carrie on Vegan.  She was in town with her husband to visit family.  Carrie is such an inspiration for me.  Not only is she a wonderful person and a dedicated Nutritarian, she’s a cancer survivor.  We spent the day toodling around the area.  We found some great things at the Edmonds Farmer’s Market.  I bought NO food there, but I did score a few pair of artisan earrings that I love!  From there we zipped over to Capital Hill in Seattle, met up with another Nutritarian who was on her lunch break and then we hoofed it down the street a couple of blocks to Healeo, a great little spot for some uber yummy food.  I had the spicy black bean bowl:

IMG_1577

We parted ways after our delicious and filling meal and I caught up with a friend in Tacoma to walk the Color Run route that we are running this weekend.  Cross your fingers for some good weather.

Sunday I headed back north to meet up with Carrie and her husband again for lunch at Whole Foods before we had to say our final goodbye.  I just love being in the presence of those two.  I’m hoping to make a visit to their place in the Land of Warm sometime midwinter when I just can’t take the cold and grey skies any longer.  My lunch at Whole Foods was a GIANT salad:

IMG_1580

I was excited to hear the Whole Foods carries a line of yummy foods in which Dr. Fuhrman was consulted for the creation.  The salad dressing is his Sesame Ginger with no oil and no refined sugar.  I think I must have chewed for two hours on that bowl of veggies!

IMG_1578

Nutritarian Sisters

Sunday afternoon after saying goodbye, I zipped even further north to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  It was fun.  She’s a healthy eater too, so I was happy to be able to indulge a bit in some dessert.  Oh, plus I got to play with my adorable God daughter while there.  Can’t wait to see them again!

Eating while traveling:

So how do you eat while you’re traveling?  Do you just let your healthy eating go out the window when you’re on vacation because it’s too hard to plan?  Or do you look for the best available foods out there?  Besides eating at the buffet at Whole Foods what can you do?  On my recent trip to Missouri, I stopped at WalMart and bought things to make my TexMex Salad.  Eating healthy is possible when away from home.  When we travel we try to either rent a cabin/house or condo that is fully equipped with a kitchen.  If that is not available, we get a hotel with a kitchenette.  At a minimum a microwave and fridge, but a stovetop is a bonus.
But who likes to cook while you’re on vacation?  Sometimes you just like to get out and be served, right?  So look for places that can accommodate your special diet (which I don’t think is all that special anymore).  Steakhouses are great because they always have side dishes that will work.  Ask for them with no oil and no seasoning.   Order a double salad with no dressing, cheese or croutons.  You can either bring your own dressing or just squeeze a little lemon juice over the greens.

Saturday after my journey north then south, I was a little tuckered out when I got home and didn’t really feel like being creative in the kitchen so we decided to try a new pizza place near us.  How can pizza be healthy, you say?  Well, check this out:
IMG_1579

No sauce and no cheese.  It’s all veggies and a little pineapple.  The crust was very thin and crispy.  So besides the white flour used in the crust, I felt happy with my choice.  The restaurant, however, was sooooo loud, I don’t think I’ll be going back.  The concept was a good one, you walk through a line telling them what you want on your pie and then they make and cook it to order.  If only they could figure out a way to chill out the ruckus a bit.

Wrap Up:

So that’s it.  Next time you find yourself away from home, challenge yourself to eat the same way you do now.  I think you’ll find that restaurants will accommodate you and you’ll be full of energy for sticking to your plan!

Until Friday…

Toodles

TGIF!

We’ve made it through another week! Phewf.  I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted.  It was my first week back to work after being off for three whole weeks.  It’s amazing how mentally draining work can be.  I don’t have a physical job (as a matter of fact, I sit ALL day!) but the mental gymnastics that I do wear me out more than the most rigorous workouts I do.

Working Out:
Speaking of working out, this week I started working with my husband’s trainer on a regular basis.  You can read about my trial experience here.  I call my sessions “Fun with Frank,” and it truly is fun.  The workouts are full body and always different.  You use muscles doing things that you wouldn’t normally use in a traditional workout in a gym.  Frank calls this style of workout MixFit.  It’s like CrossFit, but not quite as grueling.  It works well for us old folk.  I think it is important to find a workout style that you enjoy.  It’s a whole lot easier to stick with it.  I like routine, but I can’t stand monotony.  I prefer to run a few days a week, ride the bike, walk & do weight training in addition to my new-found Fun with Frank.

What’s in Store for the Weekend:

What weekend plans do you have?  I’m meeting up with friend and fellow blogger Carrie and her husband this weekend.  They’re in town to see family and I couldn’t ignore them when they’re only about 50 miles away so we’ve got a couple things planned.  I’ll write about the fun things we do on Monday.  Let’s just hope our beautiful weather cooperates.  Or shall we show them what it’s really like in Washington?

Family Member Returns:

So y’all know that our son, Alex, has returned from Basic Training and MP school, right?  You can read about my little excursion to Missouri here if you don’t know what’s going on.  It has been such a joy to hear about his experiences over the past five months and then to hear more about what he’s doing working locally for a couple of weeks.  With him trying to see his friends and spend time with his wonderful girlfriend before he heads out, we haven’t seen much of him, but that’s okay.  I think it’s a conditioning for what is to come.  He will be stationed in Colorado for, most likely, his entire enlistment.  It looks like we’ll be traveling a bit.  Does anybody know of any good nutritarian style restaurants in Colorado Springs?

I’m not sure if you have experienced an empty nest and then a child moving back home.  It’s not easy.  I’m trying very, very hard to not be too motherly.  I’m feeling like I’m failing at the moment.  This “kid” has grown up so much in the last five months.  He doesn’t need me to remind him of simple things.  Amazingly, he’s getting himself up early enough each morning to get in a good workout, a meal AND get to work early.  I’m so proud of him.  It’s nice to see that the Army was able to train him in most of the things I’ve been trying diligently for the last seven or eight years.  Go Army!  I guess they do leave the potty training up to Mom & Dad. 😀

Toodles:

Well, I guess that’s it.  A short post for me on this happy Friday.  It was a busy week with work and then evening activities.  We ate fairly simply.  One evening I did make Carrie’s Cauliflower Indian Stew.  It’s always a good, hearty dish.  Alex liked it so much, he took leftovers to his girlfriend.  If you haven’t tried it, you might give it a go.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.  I have to say, though, that the coconut milk and lime juice are a must.  Don’t forget to add them in at the very end.  I just thought of something else.  Indian food many times includes raisins.  I think I’ll add some in the next time I make it.  Yummm!

Well, here’s to a happy, healthy weekend.  Enjoy the last days of summer.  It’s not going to last forever!

Cheers!