Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One. Busy. Day.

We all have coping is one of mine.

Luckily for me, healthy food and exercise is also one of mine.  But unfortunately for me, little of that was included in this very, very busy day.

Today was the start of registration for the Fall 2011 season of Girls on the Run.  I had lots on the to-do list and most of that was driving.  Driving=Hate.  I am a self-professed terrible driver, which means I have to work extra hard to focus and be safe.  Remembering turn signals, driving the speed limit, and just saying NO to my beeping phone are all difficult tasks for me. 

Saying YES to a random stop to snap a photo of a Giant Milk Carton however, well that was easy!
If you look close enough I think it says Soy Milk!

I needed super fuel to get me through this long morning, even if there was no workout in sight for the day.
It started innocent enough with a blueberry bagel that Forbes brought home last night.  But then I got a little wild.  The puree resembling baby food is actually a mix of peanut butter and mashed banana (on the left) and peanut butter and jelly (on the right).  I have heard of folks mixing PB&J before topping their bread, and let's face it, they are right--it is much better!  But even better was mixing my peanut butter and banana for the other half.  Perhaps its not for everyone, but I loved it!
While we are on the subject of puree's:
We'll skip right ahead to my afternoon snack of Rice Cakes loaded with Tomato Tahini Sauce and a small apple. 

What's with the baby food today, you ask?  I am wondering the same thing!

Going with the "no solid food" theme for today, lunch was TCBY.  Yes, occasionally TCBY becomes a meal for me.  Don't judge. 
At least I made sure to top it with all fresh berries and fruits!  This was a great break in my day, and I got to share this wonderful lunch with an amazing friend!
I cannot praise Jill's parenting skills enough.  Her children are so beautiful and well behaved.  And she is such a calm and caring mom!
The laughter was good medicine for this busy day!
Flowers from Forbes
Finally around 4:30pm I settled in at my home office for some last minute tweaks to our registration system.  I had been out of the house/office since 7am and it was time for some much needed work.  On my way into the driveway I said outloud to myself: "I want a present."  (Seriously.  And this being a present outside the flowers Forbes bought for me yesterday and the clothes I picked up at Old Navy earlier today...hey, we all have our own coping mechanisms-I thought we already established that!)

Half expecting my self-prophecy to come true I glanced on my porch hoping for a package of any sort to make me happy. No package, no luck!

By the time dinner was a go, it was also time for a much needed beverage!
I moved the office to my coffee table, so I would seem less of a lush, drinking on the job, and more like a normal person having a glass with dinner. 

I had two requests for dinner tonight: veggies and takeout.

Forbes delivered.
Rice fun with little sauce (otherwise they flood your dish and your veggies drown!)
This meal went perfectly with registration.  The phone rings, take a bite.  Emails go off, take another bite.  It may have taken me close to an hour, but I polished off those veggies!
Then I took a break from the registration chaos and went for a walk.  A quick stop by the mailbox delivered that present I was hoping for!
A new, amazingly soft t-shirt sent by Recipage!  Thanks Emily!  I love it already!  I can't decide which shirt is softer, this one from American Apparel or the HLS shirt from Five Bamboo!  Either way, this was the perfect present and was much needed today!

And speaking of presents, check out this Old Navy find for just $11!
Can't wait to work this weekend so I can wear it!

Ok, the day is done!  We already have over 200 girls registered!  And I think I am going to find some more pureed foods to eat for dessert.  Any guesses? 

How do you cope with busy days?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Forbes and I like to do "pop-ins"
Not usually in funny glasses...but you get the point!

Pop-ins are random visits to check in on our friends.  Sometimes for a walk in the evening we will knock on Pat or Joe's door, and sometimes on the way home from dinner we will swing through and say hey to someone we haven't seen in a while.

Today you are getting a pop-in!  I don't have much time this week...what with my new job starting tonight (What new job, you ask!?) and being in the middle of registration week for Girls on The Run.  Nonetheless, I wanted to stop by to say hi!  I don't want to neglect my blog friends, and pop-ins are all about nurturing relationships.

Have a wonderful Tuesday, and see you back here tomorrow.  Maybe I'll even bring some more Africa photos with me!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday is a Winner

Hello Monday!

While hectic and much fun!  I didn't even mind the 6am wake up call knowing how much was in store for the day.

Truth be told, adjusting to this new schedule has been difficult.  Instead of a 7am (er...7:30, 7:45, 8:00am, finally turn the snooze off and roll out of bed) alarm, we are now abiding by our fall schedule and getting up at 6.  After our usual liter of water, bible study and breakfast, Forbes is out the door and I'm in the office by 7am.  I miss having him around during the day but already my productivity levels are raging!

Today I worked all morning before taking a coffee break with a long, lost blogger friend.
You may know Brittany from such blogs as A Healthy Slice of Life or my previous posts about this wonderful mommy-to-be!  Today I treated her to a refreshing cup of iced DECAF coffee.  She asked me to be sure to include the decaf bit.

We chatted about blogs, HLS (which she unfortunately couldn't attend), jobs, hubby's and of course the impending arrival of Baby D! 

It was a welcome break from my busy schedule, but before I knew it it was time for lunch and I had to high-tail it out for a quick bite before afternoon meetings.

After completing my work day, I got my sweat on at Holly's Total Body class...rough explains it all.  Then I had big plans for dinner and a recipe for the blog...
...and while it looks mighty tasty, this curry dish needs a few tweaks.  Hint: don't add okra to your stew.  Bad choice.  I like okra, but the gooey texture was all wrong.  We managed to choke it down.  The flavor was spot on, but next time I will include cauliflower or tomatoes instead.

Instead of a recipe, I have a winner for you!  Remember my Share the Love Giveaway from Friday?  Well thank you to everyone who commented.  I used a random number generator and number 9 is my winner!  That would be you Hannah Bowman!  I am getting ready to jump in the kitchen now to whip up a batch of those delectable cookies, so email me your address and you will get some love this week! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Makin' Memories

It's "Africa Sunday" and you know what that means around here...we're cooking up a storm in the kitchen and some unsuspecting folks will receive a knock on the door in just a few short hours.  I'll tell you, we made Banana Millet Muffins and Beg-Worthy Banana Bread from Peas and Thank You, and now I know you are hoping we will be at your door!

It has been a busy weekend around here.  Here is the short...and the long of it!
It began with a celebration on Friday.  Just me and Forbes...celebrating the week.  New students, new school year and the first two days of teaching done and done.
We visited our favorite attraction for a winery tour and a free wine tasting. 
And of course my beloved oyster crackers.
Daveste Vineyards offers free wine tastings to their "members" and we fall into that category for buying a case of wine for Forbes' birthday party. 
This was our first tour of the vineyard and wine-making facilities.  It is a very small operation, but they produce some of the best wine!
After my tasting, I lost my will power and caved to the temptation.
Those would be hushpuppies from Cook Out.  Hush...don't tell anyone! 
At least I paired them with a really healthy dinner of steamed bok choy, baked sweet potato and red quinoa!

We had such a fun evening on Friday, I hardly expected Saturday to live up to it!  Nevertheless, I had a few really fun events scheduled.  I was up early (5:30am-WHOA!) for a walk with my bestie who I hardly see anymore.  When you are squeezing in a walk before 7am you know you are desperate for quality time together! 

At 8am I had a date with these ladies.
What a delightful and fun group of women!
We had so much fun and I am very confident that they will be awesome, wonderful and amazing coaches for Girls on the Run. 

Saturday evening was another exciting event.  If you follow me on Facebook you know I was baking a batch of donuts and recreating the Roasted Tomato and Bread Toss for an event last night. 
This special dinner was in honor of Julie and Warren's 25th Wedding Anniversary!
What an amazing milestone!  Certainly a reason to celebrate!  I can only hope and pray that in 22 more years I will be as happy and in love as these two! 
Wine was consumed and food was devoured.
You know I had about 6 of these small plates!  There were 3 different kinds of hummus.  It was heaven!
Forbes and I kept saying all night and this morning how much fun we had!
We are coming to love this group of friends as family and I do not know how we would survive without them!  I wish I snapped photos of everyone at the party, but I suppose this post is already so laden with photographs, I'll cut you a break just this once! 

Well our muffins and breads are now cooled, and its time to head out!  I hope your weekend was as memorable as mine!  (And I haven't even shared with you about the beautiful 15 mile ride this morning or the dynamic worship service we attended! My, what an exciting weekend!)

What have you been up to?!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"F" Words


I had a rough start to the week, feeling unmotivated and a little under the weather.  Nevertheless, I kept it consistent and powered through the end of the week!

Sunday- Together Counts 5k 
Monday- 3 mile (sweaty) run and lifting
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- Rest (again)
Thursday- (finally back up and at 'em) 18 mile bike ride/1:20minutes
Friday- 1600m swim
Saturday- long walk with my bestie!


Although the Vegan Brownies were a winner, this week was all about the smoothies.  You have to try cucumber in yours if you haven't already!

Check out my "Why Faith" page if you are new to the site and would like to know more about my walk with Christ and how I came to faith.

I trained more than 30 new coaches for Girls on the Run this week!  I am so excited for the fresh, new faces and another amazing season!

Gotta love the self-portrait shots straight out of the pool...not to mention the lifeguard behind me who is probably wondering what this crazy lady is up to!  I am so excited I made it to the pool yesterday, "Make An Effort, Not Excuses!"

I hope you had as great of a week as I did!  And thanks for all the entries into my giveaway!  I will be drawing a name on Monday.  Good luck!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Smoothie Take Two

I knew exactly what I wanted for lunch before I was even home from the pool.  I desperately wanted to eat the rest of the leftovers from Pea Daddy's Jambalaya but I knew there wasn't much.  I would require something a little bit more.  I quickly formulated a plan for a smoothie out of the non-existent smoothie ingredients I had on hand.

Banana. Cucumber.

But you know, I love cucumber in my smoothie and I knew I could make it work.

I searched the pantry for something else to include and stumbled upon some swag I didn't realize I had.
I was also grateful when I realized the only non-dairy milk we had on hand was coconut milk.  I knew it would add some fun flavor to this mix.
This was my first taste of Silk's Pure Coconut and I was shocked by the coconutty flavor.  For some reason I thought it would be more mild.  It was good, don't get me wrong.  It is perfect for a smoothie.  I'm just not sure I would love it in my oatmeal or over my cereal every day.

Today's Smoothie

A blend of unsuspecting ingredients into a smoothie form a delicious drink.

Serves 1 large, or 2 small smoothies

Prep time: ~5 minutes

Print Recipe


1 medium cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
1 banana, peeled (duh!)
1/2 cup Silk Pure Coconut Milk
1 packet Amazing Grass The Amazing Trio
2 cups ice cubes


Pile ingredients as listed into blender.  Blend for 2 or 3 minutes, scraping down the sides if necessary.

Pour and enjoy!

Lunch altogether now:
Delicious, satisfying and filling!

The smoothie was fresh, and not over powering.  It was light and creamy and totally sippable! Over look the fact that there are at least 4 servings of veggies in this monster, including a full cucumber...and just dive right in!

I Am A Triathlete

Hot! I know!

It is easy for me not to think of myself as an athlete.  I brush my workouts away thinking--anybody can do what I do. Then today as I pushed myself through a 1600m swim I thought to myself--I am an athlete!  This week alone I ran, biked and swam!  Not only am I an athlete, but that sounds like a triathlete to me!  Now if only I could get myself together and train for an actual triathlon.  That would be awesome!

I usually prefer morning workouts.  I want to get it done and over with so it doesn't plague me throughout my day.  That sounds funny, even to me, because many days my workout is my favorite part of the day.  So why do I allow it to hang like a dark cloud over my head? 

Anyhow, this morning my schedule was a bit off.  I had to hustle out the door bright and early to host a pep-rally for Girls on the Run.  That pushed my workout way back, and all the way home at 10am I drove myself crazy planning my workout, what and when.  I kept making excuses for why I should or shouldn't do certain things.   

I can't swim, I am still recovering for what felt like an ear infection.  Maybe I'll just wait until Forbes gets home from school.  It's too hot to run.  I have no one to workout with.

Finally I declared outloud: "Make an effort, not excuses!"  This action mantra pulled me through the rest of my drive, all the way home, into my swimsuit, back out of the house, to the gym, and even has I jumped into the icy pool.  (No worries, I wore ear plugs to keep the water out of my bad ear.)  "Make an effort, not excuses!" "Make an effort, not excuses!"  I repeated it over and over and over, until I found myself half way through my swim and no longer needed the motivation.  I was already doing it!

Action Mantras can help motivate you in any situation in life.  Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet, taught us about Action Mantras at HLS this week-end.  Every action is proceeded by a thought, and if we can control that thought process we can also control our actions.  Here are some great Action Mantras for you to try out: 
  • Make An Effort, Not Excuses. (written by the lovely Stephanie at Food and Fitness 4 Real)
  • Social Sweets Only (this one is already working for me!)
  • Table-Plate-Chair (I suck at this!)
  • No Free Food (the samples always get me!)
  • Meal By Meal (written by Tina at Faith Fitness Fun)
  • One Add On Only (at a restaurant you only get one in addition to your meal: appetizer, cocktail, dessert)
Those are just a few that are working for me right now?  Do you have action mantras that motivate you, whether its at work, with food or exercise?
These new flip flops motivated me to swim as well.  Quaker graciously handed them over at the summit this weekend and I have given them the great task of my new "shower shoes"!  Love them already!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Share the Love

Since I returned home from the Healthy Living Summit several awesome things have happened:

First, I have had tons of delicious food stocking my pantry.  Thank you Swag!
Second, Girls on the Run is starting up and work has been challenging and fun all week.  Tonight I have a coaches training with 20 new coaches!  How awesome is that?!
Lastly, Vegan Faith has many new readers! 

This last one excites me the most and I have been driving my brain all week to figure out how to thank you for stumbling upon my blog and sticking around (because of course I want you to stick around!)  So what better way to show you how much I care than to share the love!  Love Grown Granola that is!

Recently I won a contest online and received several bags of this delicious granola.  Of course I have already plowed right through my own is that good!  Because I love it so much, I am going to send one lucky reader a large bag of Cocoa Goodness!  But that's not all!

I am also going to throw in a batch of my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies just to show you how much I care!  (And how awesome my baking really is!)
Whatdya think? Doesn't that sound nice?

It's simple to enter: just leave a comment below introducing yourself-- I gotta get to know my readers-- by Friday, August 26 at midnight.  I will use a random number generator to choose a winner and announce on Monday morning! 

Would you like extra entries?  Just "like" us on facebook or "follow" me on twitter and leave a separate comment letting me know.  I even added new buttons at the top of the web page to make it easier for you to connect!

All entries must be in the United States!  Sorry to my International readers! 

While there can only be one winner, I love you all!  Today we are sharing the love!