Friday, February 14, 2014

Moving past your Comfort Zone

"Life Begins at the end of your comfort zone."-Neale Donald Walsch
After four years of being a vegan, I have pretty much developed my vegan comfort zone. I know what vegan clothes, restaurants, and makeup I like. I know how to read ingredients, and I know where to shop, and I have my vegan ideas made up. So with the theme of 2014 being getting outside of my comfort zone, I decided to start with food.
One day I was walking around my neighborhood trying to decided where to eat lunch, I came across a new Indian restaurant that was having a lunch special. There was a long line of people and I love Indian food so I walked in to check out the menu. As the door closed behind me, my comfort zone alarm went off. "What if the food is not good", "What if it costs more then the special said?", "What if there are not vegan options?", "Do I feel like trying something new today?", "Maybe I should just go to my favorite restaurant." After leaving the restaurant without trying anything and almost walking a block away I stopped myself. Isn't this experience exactly what I had promised myself to try this year. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Try something new. Move past comfort?
I turned myself around, walked right into that resultant, ordered one of their few vegan options, and sat down to eat. The food was ok (I have better Indian food) but the point was I did not listen to those voices that told me new is not good. Now I know eating at a new restaurant is not the bravest most outrageous thing that you could do, but a small step towards a new adventure is still a step.
Each day I seek out the thing the things that make me nervous and I pushed myself to do them. Whether is talking to a new person, taking a class, speaking up, getting rid of people or ideas that no longer serve me, or just doing something as simple as walking a different way to work. Each thing move me out of my comfort zone and into a new life.
How have you moved outside of your comfort zone today?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What’s for Dinner: Heaven!!

Last year for Thanksgiving I decided to do something different. I took my son out and I ate my first vegan dinner in a restaurant with one of my good friends. We decided to dine at Native Foods Café which serves a Thanksgiving meal that is only offered at select restaurants. The food that they cook during this meal is only available during Thanksgiving and is served buffet style so you are able to eat until you explode on vegan goodness.

They served mushroom shallot gravy, mashed potatoes, native stuffing, green bean casserole (excuse me…the BEST green bean Casserole EVER), green salad, polenta butternut squash terrine, Waldorf salad, cornbread, pumpkin cheese cake and pie! The food was so good, the people (the employees and the other customers) were so friendly and the mood was perfect for a great Thanksgiving meal.

Please always ask me what food do I miss the most? The answer is none. With great vegan food like this what’s to miss?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Time!!


Our First Vegan Thanksgiving
When you become a parent Christmas takes on a different meaning. Instead of looking forward to all of the gifts that you will be receiving, you begin to look forward  to the look on your child's face as they open up their presents.

My family's Christmas tradition is to read the story of the birth of Jesus, open up all of the presents, and then spend all day watching Christmas movies on TV. My son was sick this holiday so although we were not able to do all of the Christmas activities that I has planned, I did enjoy watching The Thomas the Train Christmas movie three times in a row (!), making vegan chocolate chip cookies with my baby, and  playing with his train set.

As I reflect on this past year I have to say that I am really blessed to have such great family, friends and health. I am looking forward to growing in 2014 physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally and passing on positive lessons onto my son so that he can grow into a well rounded positive man.

I hope that you all have had a joyous Christmas and I look forward to speaking with you more in the new year!!!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Food Glorious Food!!!

The best day of the week has surely got to be grocery day. The day when all the planning, budgeting, and deal hunting is done. When you can finally drag your reusable bags up the stairs, put all of the groceries away, open up your fridge and stock it with food.

My grocery shopping is basically done in three stages. I first look to see what food I have left. I then plan a weeks worth of menus around what I currently have. Finally I do my shopping at just two stores Food 4 Less and Whole Foods. Food 4 Less carries more reasonably priced items and Whole Foods of course for my vegan staples (such as nutritional yeast and vegan ice cream). I currently do not have a car, so although I would enjoy adding variety to my store its not really as feasible on public transportation.

Lucky for me a Trader Joe's is opening up in my neighborhood this week (right next to my local Whole Foods) so I can add that to the mix. One place I regretfully do not shop at enough are my local farmers markets. My neighborhood has one every Saturday and Wednesday morning. They are both great farmers markets and I love being able to actually speak with and ask questions of the people who grown my food, but my Saturday mornings are usually reserved for Arbonne trainings and cartoons with my son. This is one area that I am going to make a change in.

Where are your favorite places to shop for vegan goodies?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Vegan on the Cheap: Blushing Alfredo Fettuccine

When was the last time that you licked your plate clean? When was the last time that you ate something so good you went back for seconds and thirds? When was last time that you enjoyed a dish so much you made it again for two weeks in a row?

Well my friends the last time for me was when I made my favorite recipe from the cookbook Vegan on the Cheap "Blushing Alfredo Fettuccine. OMG!!! This dish looks and tastes very similar to its non-vegan counterpart and at ~$1.50 per serving your pockets will love it to. The sauce it made with raw cashews, soy milk (I used almond milk), silken tofu, and nutritional yeast. I paired mine with tempheh to make the ultimate dinner.

This recipe alone is worth buying the book, it's a must try, and yes in case you were wondering I did lick the plate clean!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Book:Vegan on the Cheap

I have been so busy lately (good things to come!!) that unfortunately my habit of cooking good, healthy, vegan foods has been slacking. I have started to feel the effects as I have not felt as energetic and light as I usually do and I been bored with my meals which is a big no no :-)

So I went to my favorite place (the public library!!) and picked up a new cookbook to try called Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson. The premise of this book is "delicious vegan food that costs no more than $2 per serving". Vegan, good, and cheap?! Sounds good to me! I skimmed through the book and saw some really great recipes that I will be trying over the next couple of weeks.

The first recipe: Cheapamole

Since avocado can be expensive Robin made a recipe that looks like guacamole and has a great taste, but is less expensive, has less fat, and more protein. The secret: she replaces the avocados with peas and white beans. So tasty!!! The best part is that is did not take long to make. All you basically had to do was put the ingredients in a blender and you're done :-)

I am really excited to get back into the kitchen and try some new recipes. As I work my way through the book I'll post pictures and give my let you know how I liked them.

Have you tried the recipes in this book? What are you're favorites?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Today's Quote

“I don't understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open and put them on cholesterol lowering drugs for the rest of their lives.”
Dean Ornish