Tag Archives: apple

The Swing of Things

I’m starting to get into the swing of things as my new role as student.

And, really, my lunches are not that different from my days as a working woman. Aside from the fact that I no longer have an overflowing snack drawer available (which is, admittedly, a loss), I eat my usual.

Who knew? 

Before I share this week’s lunch post, breakfast. I kept things simple and delicious with a good ole’ Hippie Smoothie with kale.

A lovely start to the day. Easily digestible plant-based protein, lots of fruit, antioxidants, dark, leafy greens…you can’t go wrong!

In fact, this has been my breakfast almost every morning this week. I usually make it the night before and store it in the fridge because I don’t have the time or energy in the A.M. to use (read: clean) my food processor.

Grab and go.

And now on to my last week in lunches. Which is really my lunches from two weeks ago, as I missed posting last Monday. And this Monday. Ha.

Better late than never, right?


Tofu-Avocado wrap (original recipe here) on a whole wheat tortilla with alfalfa sprouts.

Nothing new here, but tasty as always.

I also whipped up some back-to-school special no-bake granola bars, based on Gena’s Five Minute, No-Bake Sunflower Seed Oat Bars

As much as I love Larabars, I like to keep my bar consumption to a minimum for a couple of reasons: 1) I prefer to eat real food where possible and 2) I like to keep my wallet in tact.

So I gave these bars a whirl–with a few changes of my own.

Back-to-School No-Bake Granola Bars

Adapted from Gena’s Five Minute, No-Bake Sunflower Seed and Oat Bars

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnut baking pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup raw cacoa nibs (can replace with carob/chocolate chips)
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • a couple grinds of sea salt
  • 1/3 cup cashew butter (any nut/seed butter would do)
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed butter (any nut/seed butter would do)
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • generous 1/3 cup brown rice syrup

If this ingredients list seems slightly overwhelming, check out Gena’s version which is even simpler! And feel free to make the recipe your own; you can go a lot of directions with these bars.


Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix nut butter(s) and sweeteners, then stir into dry ingredients until well-combined. Press mixture down into a baking dish. Cover with saran wrap to really push down evenly without getting your fingers sticky. Refrigerate for at least four hours before cutting into squares and wrapping individually.

They are totally delicious. My only complaint is that they are a bit sweet for my taste–but it’s hard to get around this as the sweetener is necessary to hold the bars together. So they are a total treat.I store them in the freezer and by the time lunch (or snack time) rolls around, these are ready to enjoy! Yum.


Half a sprouted grain tortilla with Creamy Hummus (recipe here). Salad with greens, white beans, cucumber, chopped kale, artichoke hearts, leftover millet, avocado, toasted sunflower seeds–dressed with Gena’s hemp pesto mixed with a bit of olive oil and a balsamic vinegar. No-bake granola bar. Apple.


Veggie pasta salad. Apple.

The pasta salad was made from leftover whole wheat penne and veggies from the night before–with broccoli, onion, garlic, peas, and carrots. In the morning, I added white beans, toasted sunflower seeds, and dressed it with a bit of olive oil and balsamic.

Delicious–and such an easy lunch!

Dessert was a no-bake granola bar.

Yep, these are yummy.


Apple. Salad with greens, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, white beans, garbanzo beans, leftover millet, chopped kale–dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, s + p. Half a sprouted grain wrap with peanut butter and banana slices.

This salad was simple–but so good. Sometimes everything comes together so well.

Here’s an inside look at the wrap. Love.


TJ’s roasted seaweed snack. Almond butter and banana sandwich on Ezekiel sprouted grain bread. Apple.

I went with the AB&J sandwich because I was out of groceries–but it ended up hitting the spot.

A great note to end on.

What’s your favorite on-the-go snack to pack in your lunch lately?  

(Or am I the only one that gets super excited about snacks?! Feel free to sound the nerd alert. ;) )


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And So It Continues

Although I will be blogging less often, I do still eat lunch. Almost every day. True story. ;)

So when I have the time (like today), I will continue to share my lunch posts.

Which begin with breakfast. And because it was so delicious, I’ll share yesterday’s breakfast.

Yes, it was from a jar.

But that’s not what made it delicious. I attribute the yummy factor to the oats, chocolate, peanut butter, and banana combo. What can I say–it’s my comfort food. I had to write a paper (yes, already!), so it was a must.

It all began with a mixture of 1 ripe banana with 2 Tbs peanut butter, set aside.

In a separate bowl, I added 1/3 cup oats, 1 Tbs chia seeds, 2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder, and 1 heaping Tbs cocoa powder. I let that gel up for 20 minutes or so.

Finally, I layered the pb/banana mixture alternating with the chocolate/chia seed mixture into a jar, then topped with raw cacoa nibs. I refrigerated the concoction overnight to enjoy in the morning.

Normally, I’m the type to prefer my nut butter on top where I can see it. That way I can have a little bit with each bite. However, this jar was brimming with peanut butter so it worked.

Moving on to my last week in lunches:


A big ole’ salad. In the mix: greens, carrot, cucumber, onion, artichoke hearts, adzuki beans, toasted sunflower seeds, fresh basil–dressed with a mix of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Gena’s amazing hemp pesto.

It was delicious. I also snacked on carrots and TJ’s edamame hummus.

I am a huge edamame fan, so naturally I’ve been loving this hummus.


Pink Lady. And another salad beast! In the mix this time: greens, white beans, alfalfa sprouts, carrot, cucumber, chopped dinosaur kale, toasted sunflower seeds–all with the same hemp-o-licious pesto dressing as Monday.

For a snack/dessert, I enjoyed two dates stuffed with peanut butter. Normally a pre-workout treat, but it turns out it’s also delicious post-lunch. ;)

And in between classes I grabbed a green juice–with celery, spinach, parsley, ginger, pineapple…and I can’t remember what else. But it was green. I mean good

My veggie quota for the entire week may or may not have been filled on Tuesday.


If the week before was the week of wraps, this week is shaping up to be the week of salads. Another salad the size of my head.

In the mix: greens, white beans, avocado, cucumber, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, chopped up dinosaur kale, some leftover sundried tomato marinara, and toasted sunflower seeds with yet another pesto dressing. Have I told you it’s delicious?

I also had some Creamy Hummus (recipe here) on half an Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla.

Delicious–and oh-so-creamy.

In the afternoon, I snacked on an apple with cinnamon.



Apple. And the wrap is back: Tofu-Avocado Wrap (recipe here)–this time on a sprouted grain tortilla and with the addition of alfalfa sprouts. Sprouts and avocado were made for each other, were they not?

I also packed snacks for later. Creamy Hummus, carrot sticks, and whole grain crackersThis held me over perfectly.


Anddd the “Week of Salads” would not be complete without…another salad. In the mix: greens, chopped dinosaur kale, alfalfa sprouts, carrot, cucumber, avocado, toasted sunflower seeds, leftover quinoa, white beans, and my usual dressing (see Monday through Wednesday).

This also happened.

And I ended on a sweet note–with a slice of my homemade banana bread. Recipe to come. Get excited. ;)

Happy Monday Tuesday! (Is it Tuesday already? I love long weekends!)


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Lunch Post: 22nd Edition

For lack of a better title. Apparently my creative juices are running low! Ha.

Needless to say, it’s lunch post time.

Which usually begins with breakfast–the best I’ve had in a while.

Another protein cereal a la Gabriela.

In the mix: Weetabix, Nature’s Path Millet Rice Flakes cereal, chocolate protein powder, and almond milk. I topped with banana slices, blackberries, and a bit of sunflower seed butter. So delicious. I love mixing my cereals!

Onto lunch!


I was flying back to New York on Monday, so lunch was sort of on-the-go. I’m not a huge fan of processed, over-salted airplane food, so I opted instead for a hummus, avocado, and veggie sandwich, which I purchased in the airport from Eat. It was perfect.

I also had a banana with a Justin’s Maple Almond Butter packet.

One of my favorite nut butters ever.

All with a side of British gossip!Entertaining, but the books I brought were a bit more sustaining. It didn’t help that I didn’t know who 90% of the celebrities in question were. ;)

Speaking of airplane eats, on my red eye flight to London, I enjoyed this delicious snack.

Homemade cinnamon-raisin peanut butter on an Ezekiel sprouted tortilla. Hearty, tasty, and filling.

And I slept right through the meal, which was fine by me!

Back to New York…


Apple. Obviously, I hadn’t gone grocery shopping for the week yet.

Pret to the rescue! This time I tried the Farmer’s Market Salad with spinach, lentil salad, avocado, cherry tomatoes, garbanzo beans, pine nuts, carrot + beet, roasted red pepper, and black pepper–dressed with lemon shallot vinaigrette.

This picture does not do the salad justice, but it was out of this world. So many great flavors and textures–amazing.

I mopped up everything with a whole wheat rollMmmm carbs.


Apple. Sandwich on Ezekiel sprouted grain bread with hummus, an eggplant sesame spread, romaine, tomatoes, cucumber, and toasted sunflower seeds. And the tiniest spring panzanella salad ever. See, Tom had made Smitten Kitchen’s Spring Panzanella the night before (sans cheese, of course)–and it was so good, I couldn’t throw away the leftovers. Hence, the tiny taste.

Worth it. ;)

And the sandwich? Delicious.

The eggplant sesame spread was another treat from London.

It’s so tasty. It got a little lost in this sandwich, though, so I’ll have to find other ways to highlight its flavor.

Still, the sandwich was a winner.

I generally prefer wraps, but sometimes a sandwich is just what I want.


This is a pretty classic lunch of mine. Apple. Tofu-Avocado Wrap on a sprouted grain tortilla (original recipe here). Sweet and Salty Trail Mix with peanut butter filled pretzels, raw cashews, dried tart cherries, and carob chips.

If it works, it works…


Whole wheat wrap with garlic hummus, romaine, tomato, lemon vinaigrette tempeh (recipe below), and toasted sunflower seeds. Apple. 

The tempeh was delicious.

Here’s how I did it.

Lemon Vinaigrette Tempeh

  • 8 oz. tempeh (I used Lightlife organic garden veggie tempeh)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs brown spicy mustard
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


1. Bring water to a boil and add tempeh. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. (This apparently cuts the bitterness.)

2. Meanwhile, put the rest of the ingredients in a plastic bag to create the marinade.

3. When the tempeh has cooled, slice (however you wish) and place in the marinade. Refrigerate overnight.

4. When ready to use, saute until golden brown on both sides.

5. Enjoy!

This tempeh also went really well atop a massaged kale salad…

On Friday, I also enjoyed another sweet and salty trail mix.

And with that, the weekend began…

Happy Monday!


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Sabra in London

Before I get into a few highlights from my weekend, I have an overdue lunch post to share, which ends (as the title of this post suggests) with two of my favorite things: Sabra hummus in London.

Here goes my last week in lunches…


Wrap with avocado, s+p, romaine, red cabbage, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, beets, toasted sunflower seeds. Apple.

For the wrap, I used Ezekiel sprouted grain tortillas

These tortillas are delicious and nutritious–but they don’t hold together well so you need be very gentle when wrapping.

I use tin foil to wrap which protects the tortilla and keeps it from falling apart.

I also packed my breakfast Monday because I wasn’t hungry when I woke up. This rarely happens and is slightly sad when it does (I love my breakfast!), but I made it work with a hippie smoothie enjoyed at my desk.

Smoothies aren’t usually enough of a breakfast for me–no matter how protein-packed they are–but this was the perfect meal.


Apple. Salad with romaine, lettuce, red cabbage, cucumber, carrot, cherry tomatoes, olives, toasted sunflower seeds, and avocado–dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, s+p. Sprouted grain tortilla topped with Rustic White Bean Spread.

Here’s a spread of the spread.

And for a morning snack, I packed a banana oat muffin and Artisana walnut butter. 



Apple. Sprouted Grain Tofu-Avocado Wrap.

Nothing new with this wrap; it’s a favorite of mine. I start with a bit of Veganaise and mashed avocado, topped with red pepper flakes and s+p. 

Then add TJ’s savory tofu, romaine, red cabbage, and toasted sunflower seeds.

Such a perfect combination. I heart this wrap!

And my morning snack was another banana oat muffin.

This was thoroughly enjoyed with my tea.


Thursday’s lunch was a bit of double take. Apple. Sprouted Grain Tofu-Avocado Wrap. Almond-Coconut Oat Ball (recipe here).

I usually like to have something a little different every day, but I needed to use up the tofu before my trip to London and, well, it was a lunch worth repeating!


By Friday, I was lunching in London! Tom’s mom had stocked the fridge with hummus.

And not just any hummus–Sabra.

The packaging was different but the taste was oh-so-heavenly.

Naturally, my lunch revolved around the Sabra. I also busted out this tasty olive and sundried tomato tapenade.

And in some sliced mushrooms and some seedy bread and lunch was served.

So. Good.

Of course, accompanied by an apple. An apple a day…

A great end to the week!

Do you eat something different for lunch every day, or do you often have the same lunch a few days in a row? I usually try to switch things up–even if only slightly–so I don’t get bored.


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Twin City Take-Aways

As most of you know, I was in Minneapolis for my sister’s graduation this past weekend.

While the graduates were clearly the most learned among us…

…I did leave with a few take-aways from the weekend myself.

Take-away #1: It is possible to get sunburnt in the Midwest in May. While attending an indoor graduation.

Who knew?

We were only in the sun for the photo shoot.

And my chest was fried…


Can’t tell my chest is bright red?

Yeah, I couldn’t either. Until later, that is.

I should have known, as my skin burns just thinking about the sun. But did I wear sunscreen? Nope.

There wasn’t even a beach involved! #notcool

Take-away #2: Vegan options exist in Minneapolis!

As we headed to Pizza Luce, I was envisioning trying to finagle a cheese-free portion of a pie. But to my surprise and delight, the restaurant was vegan (and even gluten-free!) friendly. I know.

They even welcomed gluten-free vegans and vegetarians with a message:

I was blown away, as normally vegans don’t get an entre option, let alone special recognition.

Vegan menu options include a vegan hoagie, vegan muffeletta, and chocolate peanut bars. AND most of their pizzas are vegan-upon-request; you can replace the cheese with either Follow Your Heart vegan cheese or a “rincotta” sauce made with cashews and tofu. Mmmm.


The Lil’ Gracie pizza even includes veggie sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, green and black olives, garlic, and roasted red peppers. I’m not big into immitation meat myself, but impressive nonetheless.

We ended up ordering some starters for the table, including a few different salads.

And we got two large pizzas to share.

The vegan pie got all my camera’s love….

Pretty, eh?

We ordered the Pizza Athena with fresh spinach, fresh tomatoes, calamata, artichoke hearts, red onions, Greek oregano, and toasted garlic, and–instead of feta cheese–the vegan “rincotta.”

Holy flavorful amazingness! Loved this.

It had a lot of textures and flavors going on–and even a little kick.

Delicious. And I’m not just saying that; my brother was almost converted to veganism from this pizza. True story.

We also had a feast our first night at Chino Latino–specializing in “street food from the hot zones,” or cuisine from countries near the equator, which inevitably meant a very exotic menu.

I went with sushi–although last time I checked Japan isn’t exactly close to the equator, so not sure how it fits into the restaurant’s theme. But we won’t over think it. ;)

Because the point is, it was tasty.

The sushi role was “The Weed Eater”–and it was way more appetizing than it sounds! It had cucumber and shiitake mushrooms layered with avocado and toasted sesame. Mmmm.

Everyone else was pleased and full after shared plates ranging from curry to jerk chicken to tostadas. Plus, the ambiance was very modern and swanky. All in all, it was a winner. :)

Take-away #3: Sometimes, vegan options don’t exist.

I wish I had all happy vegan tales to share, but not every restaurant had a special message welcoming vegans with open arms and special dishes.

Unfortunately, the very cool Townhall Brewery did not pull through on the vegan front, so I went into default mode and ordered a salad.

The good news is, I love salad.

Sure, I usualy prefer my salads a bit more tricked out–and to include a protein source such as nuts or seeds–but as long as the ingredients are fresh, you can’t go wrong.

I may have been *wishing* the black bean burger on the menu (served with fresh guac!) was a vegan patty, but you can’t win ‘em all.

And the mango beer was refreshing.

A taste of summer.

Speaking of which…

Take-away #4: Summit Beer is brewed in Minneapolis. And it’s reallly delicious.

99 bottles of beer on the wall

Unfortunately, this was about all I learned from our Summit brewery tour–which I highly recommend, by the way.

The taste test was my favorite part.

It’s pretty delcious while you bowl, too.

Yes, my family went bowling; that’s how we roll. Terrible pun intended. :)

our team, "striking" a pose--again, terrible pun intended. I can't help it!

And it’s pretty good out of a tower as well.

my cousin Mike and the beer tower

Who needs pitchers?

Take-away #5: Minneapolis is beautiful in the spring. The river shaping the city, the blossoming trees, the greenery….

Yes, nature is neat. ;)

[If you haven't laughed yet today, watch this. I would embed the video into my post, but I'm not sure everyone will think it's as hilarious as me. If you're like my family, you'll love it.]

Take-away #6: Snacks are essential while traveling in any situation. Okay, obviously this isn’t a take-away so much as it’s a tenet I live by. Ha.

I’ll leave you with some highlights.

Banana bread breakfast.

Delicious flavor.

Raw energy to power through the graduation ceremony…

Two Moms in the Raw bars are amazing.

Apple on the airplane.

With delicious Artisana almond butter.

Kale chips along side a clementine and H2O–30,000 feet in the air.

Kale does a body good. :)

And, finally, on the last day, my mom and I hit up the hotel’s complimentary breakfast, and lo and behold, there was a big pot of fresh oatmeal with toppings galore!

It was a dream come true.

I topped my bowl with sliced almonds, strawberries, sliced banana, shredded coconut, and of course, a Justin’s peanut butter packet I smuggled in. Because what’s oatmeal without nut butter? I mean, let’s be real.

This was perfect–but the lighting was not great. My mom probably thought I was nuts as I took about six different angles. 

Lovely way to start my day of travel back to New York. And it goes to show that carrying around packets of nut butter does come in handy from time to time.

And I’ll leave you with that little take-away. ;)


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Full Circle

Last week, I didn’t share my usual lunch post. Between my days off and traveling, I didn’t have many lunches to share. Can’t complain. ;)

This week, I’m back with my last week in lunches–which began and ended with a smoothie.

I think you can guess what I had for breakfast this morning, so let’s get right to lunch…


Monday I had the day off and enjoyed a big ole’ I-Swear-You-Can’t-Taste-the-Broccoli smoothie for lunch. Mmmm.

I had had a hearty oatmeal breakfast, so a smoothie was all I needed.

breakfast: apples and peanut butter oatmeal

Don’t you just love that first bowl of oatmeal after you haven’t had it in a few days? I stuck with peanut butter toast during my weekend away–which I love, but I did miss my oats.

travel staple

Anyway, moving on; this post is about lunch, not breakfast.


TJ’s seaweed snack. PB&J on Ezekiel sprouted bread. Orange slices.

Whenever I’m low on groceries, I turn to peanut butter and banana sandwiches. When I’m really low on groceries, it’s PB&Js. The PB&J sandwich is my default lunch setting; it’s automatic. And it never steers me wrong!

The seaweed snack turned out to be a great way to get some greens without fresh produce on hand. Plus, it’s so tasty.


Trail mix with peanut butter pretzels, cashews, dried cherries, and carob chips. Hummus wrap on a whole wheat tortilla with a generous spread of hummus, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, mushroom, and cucumber. Apple.

It’s the return of Wrap Wednesday–and peanut butter pretzels! 


Simple but delicious.


Apple slices with cinnamon. Same trail mix as above. Salad with mixed greens, grape tomatoes, mushroom, cucumber, TJ’s savory tofu–dressed with a bit of olive oil and ume plum vinegar and a little dollop of hummus.

And last but not least…


TJ’s seaweed snack. Apple. Green Blue monster (same smoothie as Monday’s). Same trail mix as above (apparently I missed this snack!).

And with the delicious smoothie, the week comes full circle. :)

What are your lunch staples (packed eats you always turn to)?

Currently mine are wraps (or PB&Js if I’m in default mode) and apples.

An apple a day…


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Prepared Much?

As I’ve mentioned, I’m headed to New Orleans today–right after work. I couldn’t be more excited.

Because NOLA cuisine is not exactly known for its vegan options, I’ve come prepared.

Like, really prepared.

I’m bringing several Larabars.

Peanut butter & Jelly, blueberry muffin, banana bread, and coconut cream pie for a tropical twist.

I’ve also packed some more dessert-y flavors for when lent is (finally) over.

Chocolate chip brownie and chocolate chip cookie dough.

Now I realize that I probably won’t get to all these bars–especially over the course of a long weekend. BUT I’d rather have too many than not enough. And it’s hard to gauge what I’ll need! I plan on having them around as potential airplane snacks. I also want to have them around in case I end getting a plate of veggies when we’re out to dinner that isn’t quite enough for me.

Admittedly, dining out is not always my favorite part of being a vegan. More and more restaurants are offering up vegan options these days, but it’s certainly not standard. And I’m a bit spoiled in NYC–which is why, as I venture outside of the city, I’m packing snacks. Just in case.

Don’t get me wrong–we’re going to very nice restaurants that are willing and able to accommodate my needs. But that doesn’t necessarily translate to a balanced, filling vegan meal. And if I go in with somewhat lower expectations, I’ll end up pleasantly surprised. :) That’s my logic anyway.

I very well could be overthinking things. I tend to do that.

Anyway. Back to the snacks–because there are more!

I’m also bringing a Two Moms in the Raw blueberry granola bar. Totally raw, totally amazing. And so, so filling! These babies actually take a while to chew/eat. There are a few Starbucks locations that carry these (go Starbucks!) and once in a while I splurge on the raw goodness.

If the mood strikes for something a little crunchier than a Larabar, I’ll go for this.

I also grabbed a couple roasted salty almonds snack packs. Also filling and deliciously addictive. If I have a salty, savory craving, my bases are covered.

And some fresh fruit along with adorable little peanut butter and almond butter packs from Justin’s nut butters.

How freakin’ cute are these? I figure I can put them on fruit, bagels, crackers–whatever. Again, I may or may not bust them out, but I don’t want to be struck with a nut butter craving with no nut butter in sight. You know?

On that note, don’t you hate it when bagel places don’t offer peanut butter? Or hummus for that matter! It’s always the chains that fail in this regard, only serving cream cheese. You want variety? Try vegetable cream cheese.

No, everybody does not run on Dunkin’. ;)

With peanut butter packets, my problem is solved. Ha I am such a nerd! But you already knew that. I do love my peanut butter bagels, though. Case in point: my breakfast this morning:

Whole wheat bagel with crunchy pb, sliced banana, and chia seeds.

Finally, I packed a little meal very similar to Tuesday’s lunch for dinner at the airport–portable and filling.

Oh, and a suitcase.

I think it’s safe to say I’m ready over prepared. I could probably survive off my snacks alone for longer than this vacay haha. I don’t hate it.

I’ll be back next week!

And do check back this weekend for a some festive grub. ;)


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Reminiscing: The Story of Ricky

My day off yesterday was a busy one. And by busy I mean, not at all. ;)

I had an appointment with my couch and the Food Network.

I tried a new veggie burger.

I’d seen Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers on Clare’s blog and finally tried them. I placed one on Ezekiel sprouted bread, with garlic hummus, greens, radishes, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes.

The verdict? Loved it! The ingredients list is so clean. I mean, look how colorful the burger is–it clearly contains a lot of veggies. Its texture is a bit soft/mushy, but I’m a fan.


I managed to fit in a snack, too.

And I kicked off the day with my first run since I got injured–a 4-miler–followed by a Jillian workout. I thought I was pretty much healed, but I still felt pain during the run. Sigh. It’s definitely better, but not gone. I’m not sure if I should start running again or continue to take it easy. Decisions, decisions.

Naturally, this called for a lot of stretching and a new recovery pudding (much like a thick smoothie in a bowl). Like my last version, this was adapted from Brendan Brazier’s recovery pudding in Thrive.

Pumpkin Recovery Pudding

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/8 cup almonds
  • 1/8 cup walnuts
  • 1 Tbs flaxseed
  • 1 Tbs hemp seed
  • 1/2 scoop Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer Vanilla Chai
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • sea salt
DIRECTIONS: Process ingredients in a food process until well-combined.

Very tasty–plus packed with nutrition and easy to digest! Such a great post-workout meal.

I also did a lot of packing for my rendezvous in NOLA this coming weekend with my girls from college.

Can’t wait to see you girls! :)

all of us...except for Marah :(

As I was packing, I got to thinking about our college house in Ann Arbor. It was an old seven-bedroom house near campus.

I can’t think of this house without thinking of Ricky.

See, during our senior year, we attained an (unwanted) eighth roommate. His name was Ricky. And he was a raccoon.

I really wish I were kidding.

Ricky the Raccoon was even bigger than this guy


He’d pop up from the basement (where he was presumably living) from time to time to say hello scare the sh*t out of us. He was even caught in our kitchen the first couple times we discovered him. I know! That was bad, as there are some serious health/sanitation issues with sharing a kitchen with a raccoon. Luckily, we were able to contain him to our basement and the back door entryway.

I’ll never forget coming back from class, opening our back door, and staring Ricky in the face. It turns out that raccoons are massive animals. I would take a mouse in the house over a raccoon any day. Confronted with Ricky, I screamed and slammed the door shut, while he scurried back down the basement stairs. In retrospect, I should have lured him out the door, but I was in no state to think logically.

We called our landlord about Ricky, and shortly thereafter our maintenance man, Lou, showed up–with a shotgun.

Uh, really, Lou? A shotgun??

Again, I wish I were kidding.

Luckily, he couldn’t find Ricky (we wanted him out, not dead!), and animal control was brought in with a trap.

Still, no Ricky.

In the end, Ricky was never found. After we moved out, our house was torn down and the new place built was burnt down in a fire. So, it is thought that Ricky perished along with our big, old house.

I’m not sure there’s a moral to this story. Avoid having raccoons in your home? I would hope that goes without saying. ;)

I guess, for me, Ricky keeps things in perspective. If I find myself complaining about our small New York kitchen, or the fact that we have no dishwasher, I just think back to that house and am happy that at least we don’t have a raccoon for a roommate. Ha.

Have you ever had any unwanted house guests? 


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First Things First

Chocolate for breakfast.

A fabulous way to start the week.

I had picked up a single serving of Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer Chocolate a while back, so I added it to my overnight oats.

And this is what happened.

Mmmmm. A whole new Peanut Butter Cup bowl! (It’s been done, but it never gets old!)

In the mix: 1 ripe banana, mashed, 1/2 cup oats, 1 packet of chocolate Vega, 1/2 cup hemp milk. Stir, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Top with peanut butter.

Okay, now that chocolate is in my system, we can talk lunch. ;)

Here is my last week in lunches…


Apple slices with cinnamon. Leftover Azuki Bean-Brown Rice Salad with Kabocha Squash (recipe here), topped with avocado and sesame seeds. Gotta love leftovers!


Orange slices. Tofu-Avocado Wrap. Ironwoman trail mix (recipe here).

I spruced up my favorite wrap recipe this time with radishes and cucumbers.

Extra crunch! 


Apple slices with cinnamon. Salad with mixed greens, more Azuki Bean-Brown Rice Salad with Kabocha Squash, avocado, radishes, toasted sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. AND a peanut butter banana pretzel ball (recipe here).

I guess wrap Wednesday didn’t happen this week!


Sliced apples with cinnamon. Wrap on a whole wheat tortilla with garlic hummus, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, radishes, edamame, and toasted sunflower seeds. Pretzels. 

Let’s get a look inside that wrap.



Apple. Garlic hummus topped with edamame and hemp seeds. Broccoli. Radishes. Whole wheat pita. 

It’s not easy to estimate the ratio of hummus to dippers. My rule of thumb: When in doubt, bring a LOT of hummus.

For shits and giggles, which day of the week looks best to you? 


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Bright And Early

Good morning!

I am up and at ‘em early today as I have another physical therapy session at 8am (whose bright idea was that?).

I am so not a morning person (though I really really wish I was; it would make my life so much easier!), so I created an OOIAJ breakfast that I could pack and eat at work.

There’s almond butter somewhere in there, I promise. Also in the mix: half a ripe banana, 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup hemp milk, spoonful of hemp seeds, spoonful of flaxseed, cinnamon, pepitas, almonds, and raisins.

Before I left the house, OOIAJ in tow, I had this to tide me over.

A Peanut Butter Banana Pretzel Ball. Mmmm. And half a banana. I can’t commute without a lil somethingsomething in my stomach!

Now to my lunch eats, because that is what Mondays are all about. To catch up on former lunch posts, click here; to see where it all began, check out this post.

Here is my last week in lunches…


Apple slices with cinnamon. Yellow and orange peppers. Cilantro jalapeño hummus. Whole Wheat mini pitas.

This lunch was all about dippage. Crunchy veggies, hearty pitas, delicious hummus. Simple, but great.


Apple slices with cinnamon and a coconut peanut butter concoction. Salad with mixed greens, leftover beer-braised brussels sprouts, quinoa, black beans, toasted sunflower seeds–dressed with vegan ceasar dressing.

Tuesday called for an afternoon snack so I obliged: dry roasted cashews.

Terrible photo, but tasty snack! :)


Kicking off Wrap Wednesday with a Black Bean Hummus-Sweet Potato Wrap. Apple slices with cinnamon.

The wrap was simple. Start with a generous dollop of black bean hummus on a whole wheat tortilla. Add leftover baked sweet potato and mixed greens.

Wrap and enjoy.


Newman’s unsalted pretzels. I-Swear-You-Can’t-Taste-the-Broccoli Smoothie (recipe here). Apple.

I put the smoothie in an old peanut butter jar and stored it in the mini fridge in our office.

I wasn’t sure if a smoothie for lunch would hold me over, but it was actually really filling–and so delicious! I may have gotten some weird looks from drinking blue/green stuff from a peanut butter jar, but it was totally worth it. ;)


Apple slices with cinnamon. Salad with mixed greens, spinach, grape tomatoes, cucumber, TJ’s savory tofu, a broken up Livin’ Spoonful Coconut Curry Raw Cracker, TJ’s raw seaweed snack, toasted sunflower seeds–dressed wtih olive oil, ume plum vinager, and a bit of vegan ceasar dressing. Half a whole wheat pocketless pita with chunky black bean hummus.

This was my first time trying this seaweed snack and it was really good. Crisp and flavorful.

A lot of different textures means a great salad.


I ended up saving my apple for later as this was a filling meal.

And another one week bites the dust. :)

Are you a morning person?


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