Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Year Later, A Better Update

Hi to anyone who may still read or come across this blog!

Just wanted to re-direct you to Frugal Vegan Mom , which I just created, not really as a mom, but as a mom-to-be..... around Feb. 19th, 2011!


Friday, September 4, 2009

Hi everyone

There are 2 pretty big excuses for the lack of posting, and the abandonment of the Green Smoothie Challenge (for now):

1. We just moved into our new house this week, stressful and overwhelming, but we're getting settled...

2. I accepted a position to write a column for, a newer site for info on all kinds of topics divided by city. So I'm the new Minneapolis Vegan Examiner.

I haven't done too much with my site yet, but eventually plan to have a Raw Wednesday weekly series, so if you have any recipes you'd like to share, raw or cooked vegan, or if you want to be added to my links list, please e-mail me!



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 8 - Sick of Green Smoothies

It's not that I don't like them, I really do. But, I already eat a lot of fruit and greens separately and don't think it's such a huge benefit to combine them all in the morning. I'm never very hungry in the morning and just plain whole fruit is more satisfying to me than taking it in liquid form. Also, I'm still wary of Green Smoothie Breath.

This isn't to say I'm giving up though! For me, this challenge was not about drinking a green smoothie every day, but to cut back on my partying and eating late at night, get on a more normal schedule.

But that wasn't really accomplished on day 8....we were out allll night running errands for the upcoming move into our house this weekend. Got home at 10:00, was eating egg sandwiches and with a screwdriver at 11.

(Side note - first I tried mixing vodka with my leftover green smoothie from the morning - I figured it'd be like fruit juice and vodka right? No! It was nasty! So bad that I poured my concoction down the drain even though there was good liquor left in it!)

I'm blaming the egg sandwiches on Nathan and his mom, she sent us home with these delicious little green peppers and tomatoes from her garden, and they were just begging to be put into an omelet, which Nathan made.

Ok ok I'm making excuses. But I feel fine today so whatever.

Here, so there is something useful to read in this post - a yummy raw carrot salad I made the other day. It could be a side on its own, but I put it over some baby spinach.


1 pound carrots, coarsely grated (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup vegetable oil or extra-virgin olive oil
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
2 to 4 cloves garlic, mashed or minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
Pinch of salt
About 1/2 teaspoon harissa (Northwest African chili paste), 1 tablespoon minced green chilies, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

My version was a bit simpler, because grating carrots sucks - just threw everything in the food processor, leaving out the paprika, harissa, and cayenne.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Days 6 & 7 - Weekend Recap

Friday: I did end up being pretty productive, and rewarded myself with cocktails & toast before bed. Since I got plenty of sleep I woke up feeling great on Sat. though. No smoothie Friday, because I was finishing off a bottle of carrot juice from Trader Joe's. That place rocks. Bottle of organic carrot juice for $2.99 goes a long way - I mixed it with orange juice, then diluted with water, very bright orange and delicious!

Sat: Did many chores in preparation for the bachelorette party, plus squeezed in an hour long bike ride along the Mississippi River path - gorgeous. Since my "breakfast" takes place at about 2 p.m. on the weekends, I didn't have room for a smoothie before the girls came for party setup at 4:30, and then drinking and snacking commenced!

Some Pics:

The Bridesmaids
The Cake, complete with Man In Speedo:

Speedo Man tucked securely in my bra, getting his toes sucked.

Saturday night turned into a big pile of ick complete with too much food, cake, liquor, topped off with white castle at the end of the night.

Sun: Felt like a$$. Oh well what's to be expected after a party like this? Finally felt good enough to eat around dinnertime and then it was a banana, salad, and toast. We zoned out and rented I Love You Man from redbox - not highly recommended - the first half was funny enough, but really got old by the end. Has anyone seen this? Is it just me or was the relationship between Paul Rudd and his fiancee completely unrealistic? Bleh...
But, feeling great now, Monday in the cube has gone fast and relatively painless so that's about as good as I can ask for here....


Friday, August 21, 2009

Days 4 & 5

I'll roll these into one post and say I hope both days will be a success, even though today's only half over, but Nathan's going out of town tonight with our home laptop and I usually avoid the computer at home on weekends anyway.

Yesterday I made my smoothie (apple, frozen pineapple, frozen blueberries, collard greens - good combo), ate decently throughout the day, not too much close to bed, and got a decent night's sleep.

While Friday nights are usually party nights, Nath will be heading up north for a bachelor party while I get ready to host the bachelorette's party at our apt. tomorrow night. So tonight: Packing, Cleaning & Productivity. Hopefully. Unless I get lonely and meet my friends out at the bar, which very well could happen….

As of now, my only plans are to get out of this cubicle as quickly as possible.

Happy Weekend!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 3 - Doing Better & My Food History

Yesterday went a lot better than the first two days. Had my smoothie, had a healthy light dinner (carrot and collard green soup from the other night, salad, and some PB toast) and drank only chammomile tea before bed. The sleeping part was not so much a success though, because Nathan returned home after 4 a.m. because he was spraying our ceilings at the new house…and it's hard to sleep without him! I'm feeling fine today though…

So, Nichole (Pure and Simple Home), who's also doing the Green Smoothie Challenge, just asked me how I got into the whole raw food thing, and I figured I'd share here for everyone to read.

I grew up eating a very standard american diet. My mom cooked, not usually totally from scratch, we ate a lot of pasta with ground beef and tomato sauce from the jar, baked potatoes, iceberg lettuce salads with ranch dressing, pillsbury rolls from the can, and there were always ice cream and cookies in the house. We were all generally healthy and thin too though.

Around age 17, having never given a thought to my weight, I started realizing my (already skin tight teeny bopper) clothes were becoming too tight for me. Maybe it was the fact that I didn't exercise, ate s'mores pop tarts for breakfast, and little debbie nutty bars for lunch.
I started paying attention to calories and diet foods and how much I ate. I remember nibbling on little bags of special K cereal to keep me full in high school.

College came and I still didn't know much about "real" foods. I ate from the dorm cafeteria and lots of pre-packaged foods in my room, and of course, drank a lot of alcohol. I gained who knows how much, maybe 15 pounds over the next couple years, but lost it my junior year when I studied abroad in Budapest.

There, I remember eating lots of apples, bread, and frozen veggies. I didn't know how to cook and they didn't have much pre-packaged, and also I walked constantly.

By the time I graduated after 5 1/2 years of college, I was back to about 20 lbs. heavier than my comfortable weight. My final semester I lived in a co-op with 17 people where we rotated dinner duty for the weeknights - there was a strict budget and mandatory vegetarian option and I crushed a garlic bulb for the first time in my life.

After college I started learning how to cook more, I'd never had a strong taste for meat but thought it was especially repulsive to handle raw so never bought it. When I met Nathan 3 years ago we started cooking more together and since then I've just gradually become more aware about how crappy processed food is for your body and how horribly animals are usually treated in the meat and dairy industries. Eventually all my extra weight came off, helped by the fact that I joined a gym and started doing some yoga, which I didn't in college.

I'm not strictly vegan but just naturally avoid most animal products. I love fruits, veggies, beans, lentils, nuts, whole grains, etc. I do still eat eggs about once a week, mostly as an after bar alcohol absorbing snack, but try to ease my conscience by buying organic cage free, as unregulated as those claims might be.

A good friend of mine started telling me about raw foods about a year ago, and as I started reading more I was really intrigued - people claimed to have amazing health benefits. Last Feb., feeling very in need of a detox from a rough winter, plus being stuck in a rut and bored, Nathan and I decided to do a 1 month raw experiment. We weren't incredibly strict about it and didn't feel any crazy bursts of energy as others have described, but we also were pretty uneducated as to how to go about it…. Nathan did lose 15 pounds though, which he was pretty happy about!

Since then I've continued reading a lot of raw/vegan blogs and trying new recipes, and also giving a lot of thought to how screwed up our food industry is. It makes me sad to think so many people are stuck back where I was in college, spending money on overpriced "reduced fat" cookies, "light" yogurt (with artificial sweeteners), cereals, breads, and frozen dinners that claim to be nutritious but are loaded with chemicals…. All while passing through the produce section clueless about how to prepare a lot of those amazing veggies. So I keep up this blog in hopes to spread the love of good healthy food, even if it's to only a few people. And because I'm bored at work and it's a great way to log recipes =).

Cheers, K

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 2 - I suck at this.

Yesterday I was fine most of the day, recovering from Day 1, made my green smoothie when I got home from work so I wouldn't be starving by the time we went out to eat: Apple, frozen pineapple & mango, kale - good combo!

But, then our guests came for dinner and we broke out the Surly for them to try - you can only buy it in MN and sometimes in surrounding states. I was actually alternating sips of beer and smoothie (which they thought looked disgusting and declined to try!)

We couldn't get into the Red Stag because it was too busy, so ended up nearby on the patio at Brasa instead. They specialize in rotisserie meats from local farms (at least that part is nice), so I ate mostly cabbage salad, collard greens, and yams, plus some white wine sangria. Don't know if it was the cabbage or what, but both Nathan and I had the worst gas after. At home around 10 p.m, I decided a piece of toast and whiskey would be just the thing to settle my stomach. (I really do believe in the curative properties of whiskey). It worked too, but all that plus mooching off some of the pasta and green beans with peanut sauce that Nathan heated up at about 11:30, left me in exactly the state I've been trying to avoid in the morning….bloated and bleary eyed.

But, yay, the (work) day is almost over, I survived a tornado touching down just about a mile away here in downtown, and I have a bowl full of leftover green smoothie waiting for me at home.

Cheers, K