i survived Whole 30® (& lived to tell about it)


I finished up Whole 30® last week, and gave myself a few days to recover before writing about it. Mostly b/c an earlier post might have included all the swear words, and my Mom gets cranky with me over that. Thoughts from the other side...

  • I have little tolerance/patience for people who don't do the work. I wandered about the online forum on the official site, and joined a Whole 30® Facebook group, and was constantly irritated by people who clearly hadn't read a single free PDF about the program. Why would you attempt a program that you clearly know nothing about?? Sigh. I was SO relieved when my friend Melanie added me to a private FB group of Whole 30® folks. They were informed, supportive, and doing the work.
  • I found very few obstacles with eating in restaurants. Calling ahead, asking questions, and being willing to compromise created pleasant experiences with business dinners and travel. 
  • I fast-tracked adding eggs back in, primarily due to travel. As I mentioned in a previous post, my naturopath had recommended eliminating eggs for 6 weeks based on food intolerance results. Not particularly surprising, given that I had an intolerance to eggs as a child. After facing down breakfast in the Concierge Lounge...I chose to add eggs back in. I've certainly reduced the amount that I'm eating, and haven't had any issues.
  • I'm not being systematic about reintroduction, but I am being mindful. Corn is not my friend. Rice is fine (thank god! I would miss sushi!). I haven't added dairy (other than butter). I've had some gluten, but not enough to really determine if it's an issue. 
  • Final results? I lost a few lbs (literally only a few), likely lost some inches through a combo of Whole 30® & weight lifting, started sleeping more soundly, and definitely turned the corner on some digestive annoyances. 

So, what now? 

  • I'm basically adopting an 80/20 Paleo approach. 
  • I'm continuing with weight lifting, adding intervals, and plan to get back to a regular yoga practice. 
  • I'm going back to practicing intermittent fasting b/c I feel good when I do it.
  • I'll continue to take collagen, probiotics, L-glutamin, and digestive enzymes. I'm sporadic about all of them except collagen. 

Thank you to all who texted/emailed, cheered me on, and were understanding throughout this experience. I appreciate you!!


the taco cleanse : prevent or reverse taco deficiency!

While most of the world was kicking off their NY resolutions to eat healthier, Dan & I were in Mexico enjoying all the eating & drinking, courtesy of our all-inclusive resort. Now that we're back to "real" life, we're returning to our salad & fish habits...with infrequent episodes of eating chocolate chips out of the bag, and finishing a bottle of wine on a Tuesday. Hey, we never said we were perfect. Perhaps it's time for some discipline in our lives?

Enter The Taco Cleanse.

This cookbook makes me smile. It's irreverent. It's kitschy. It's vegan. And it's about tacos. What more can you ask for? The authors write...

The Taco Cleanse is cheap, easy, and delicious. Its recipes are authentically Austin, and are sometimes even inspired by Mexico, where the taco was first created. Everything tastes better folded (exactly once) into a tortilla. Just eat one or more tacos at every meal, adding margaritas as necessary. It's that simple.

I'm partial to the Wake & Shake Scramble, the High Vibration Kale Chips, and the Tater Tot-cho Tacos. (book note...looks like Amazon is temporarily out of stock, which is super cool for the authors...so y'all might have to wait a bit to start your taco cleanse!)

I rec'd a copy of this book for review from The Experiment Publishing. No other compensation was rec'd, and opinions expressed are my own.

a modern way to eat : anna jones


I definitely have a thing for cookbooks. This one might be my new favorite. Here's why...

1. It's GORGEOUS. Stunning photography. 

2. It's huge. 352 pages. 200+ recipes. 

3. It's more than a cookbook - it's inspiration to eat well.

4. It's vegetarian. Like, duh. 

5. It's real food. Full-of-greens fritters. Springtime wild garlic and lemon risotto. Food that you can make on a weeknight. 

6. It's creative. Vegetarian food is NOT boring. 

A Modern Way to Eat  is my kind of food - it's foodie, but approachable. It's a little fancy, but it's fun. 

I received this book through the Blogging for Books program. I was not compensated for this review, and all opinions expressed are my own.

#cookingcure : breakfast.


My friends & I are playing a bit (okay, a lot) of catch-up on The Kitchn's Cooking Cure. It's a particularly interesting challenge for this group - we all love food (like, duh), but we all bring distinctly different preferences & challenges to the table. We've got a vegetarian, a pescetarian, some family allergies, little ones, travel schedules, and a general sense of food fatigue. Complicated much?

I should start by saying that breakfast is pretty important to me. I rarely skip it. I have vivid memories of breakfast being a diet coke on the walk to the bus stop....so I make sure that Austin (and Hope, when she was at home) have a "real" breakfast. 

Day 1 asked for a listing of the past week's breakfasts. Mine: egg & cheese burrito, a homemade trail mix of almonds, dried pineapple & dark chocolate, scrambled eggs + cheese + green onion, egg & avocado burrito, fried eggs + avocado toast, smoothie made with almond milk, banana, peanut butter, and Tera's Whey

Day 2 asked 3 questions about breakfast habits

1. What am I tired of eating? Flour tortillas + egg + cheese. This version of a breakfast burrito is super boring. 

2. What do I love eating? Kale (no, seriously), hearty slices of toast, interesting cheeses, eggs, green smoothies, waffles. 

3. What would I like to eat more often? Breakfast scrambles with a combo of veggies, interesting grains, toast with goat cheese & jam, waffles. 

Then, the #cookingcure tasks you to develop some goals from this reflection. My goals: 1)add veggies 2) sit down at the kitchen table for breakfast 3) make ahead grains to use for breakfast. 

Day 3- find 5 new breakfast recipes. I chose Killer Granola (eaten atop coconut greek yogurt), Greens & Grains Scramble from Whole Grain Mornings, a spin of a Zen Quinoa Bowl, a Superfood Sunshine Smoothie, and a Scramble with Hash Browns & Peppers. 

Day 4 and 5 - shop for the recipes, and then make breakfast & plan for the week. Done and done. (I did run into a slight hiccup when grocery shopping - no good avocados. Drat.

I will admit that on Monday, I ended up eating breakfast at my desk after I got to work - but at least I was eating homemade granola and greek yogurt, right? 

What do you eat for breakfast?


what does the vegetarian eat?

Thanksgiving menu card

Pretty sure that this question is right up there with "what does the Fox say?"....what do vegetarians eat on Thanksgiving? The menu for my house is above. Believe it or not, it IS possible to give thanks without turkey. Austin's Dad will join us, and weather permitting, my brother will arrive at some point during the day. What's on your menu?

*digital word art from Digital Design Essentials

weekly eats : august 4-10


I've fallen off the meal-planning wagon a bit (lot) lately, and it has resulted in far too many nights of "what's for dinner?" scrambling. That's quite possibly my LEAST FAVORITE THING EVER, mostly b/c it's so easily avoidable. And yes, I realize that the pic above is a breakfast food, and it's from a cafe in NYC, and please stop judging me.

Sunday - vegetarian lentil & sweet potato empandas + kale salad

Monday - broccolini salad (tossing in field roast apple sage veg sausage)

Tuesday - grilled cheese w/avocado + sweet potato fries (super quick b/c I have a 6pm photo shoot)

Wednesday - leek & spinach frittata 

Thursday & Friday - Travel for me, so the kids will fend for themselves (or, go to their Dad's and order a pizza).

Saturday - roasted radish flatbread with ricotta & honey

Oh, and the pic above is totally relevant b/c I am going to make granola today, and try to get up a wee bit (lot) earlier this week to allow for actual breakfast time. As opposed to "what can I eat while driving." (at least I'm not texting! hi Mom!) 

sunday supper : roasted veggie pot pies

RoastedveggiepotpieI posted this pic on Instagram (y'know, b/c it's nice to share), and soon Chris & Emily both commented that they wanted the recipe. The thing is...there really isn't one. I'm sure that I had a recipe at one time, but this is one of those family faves that has just evolved into it's own thing. It's SUPER easy, and can accomodate basically any veggie that you've got. In my pre-veg days, I often added roasted chicken also. Here's the non-recipe...

1. Roast some veggies. I'm a big fan of roasting veggies that I don't really know how to cook...like celeriac. It was in my CSA share last week, and I was a little stumped by it. Solution? Cut it up, toss with olive oil, and roast at 425° for about 20 minutes. Tonight's selection also included carrots, onions, and broccoli. 

2. Bake some Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry. I use the puff pastry shells if it's just me & the kids. If I'm cooking for more people, I use the sheets...just cut into squares before baking. 

3. Make the sauce/soup/base. Warning: these are really rough measurements that served 2 of us. I just kinda wing it. Melt 3tbls of butter in a saucepan. Whisk in 3tbls of flour. Stir/whisk in veggie broth - I used just under 2 cups. Once that thickens a bit, whisk in about 1/2 cup of milk. (If the sauce isn't as thick as you'd like, you can thicken with cornstarch - simply take a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce out, and mix with a (roughly) equal amount of cornstarch, then stir back in.) I firmly believe that cheese makes everything better, so I toss in some grated sharp cheddar. I don't measure cheese. The more, the cheesier. 

4. Now, you assemble! Stir the roasted veggies into the sauce/soup/base. You might want to add a bit of sea salt and/or a dash of pepper. Arrange the puff pastry on plates, and pour the veg/sauce mixture over. 

5. (optional) Instagram...and (required) enjoy! 

ventage tuesdays : no soup for you!

First, a quick explanation for Cindy and anyone else wondering what "ventage tuesdays" is all about. Angie, Barb, Steph, Em, and I started calling ourselves the Ventage Girls b/c 1) our lengthy daily email threads often involve venting (and sometimes ranting & raving) and 2) to make ourselves seem more sophisticated, we decided to rhyme ventage with fromage (very sophisticated, right? if that doesn't work for you, just note that we all love cheese). We decided to have a weekly shared question/blog topic to help us all stay on track with blogging - and to share how alike & different the five of us are. 

Okay, so today's topic - soup! Timely post b/c I just threw myself a little birthday shindig and declared it a soup night. I made 3 kinds of soup, and served them with several cheeses, sourdough bread, and lots of wine. Yum....

1. Cheesy Vegetable Chowder - I've made this one twice in the past few weeks. Really easy, and so good. I sub vegetable broth, so mine isn't quite as pretty (veggie broth tends to be much darker than chicken broth). 

2. Roasted Cauliflower & Aged White Cheddar - I've made it once with milk, and once with cream - and I prefered the milk version. 

3. Creamy Slow Cooker Spinach & Tortellini Soup - I like the sound of this soup, but I'd have to make some adjustments. What the heck is white sauce mix? White sauce is soooo simple to make - why would you need a mix?? I also think that I'd swap the consdensed milk for cream. Something about condensed milk in soup just grosses me out. 

4. Broccoli Edamame Soup - delish....and high in protein!

5. The BEST Clam Chowder EVER - not a recipe. Just click on the order button, justify the shipping by realizing that it will STILL be cheaper than going out, and then anxiously await for the the Fedex delivery. The first time that I ordered Splash chowder to be delivered across the country, I took a pic and texted it to a friend who went to school in SLO. He texted back "oh...I just got a tear in my eye." It's that good.

Check out the links above to see what the other Ventage Girls are slurping. :) 

eat : kale panzanella salad

Eat_header_edited-1This is my "friday night salad." It's the salad that I most often toss together on a Friday night while catching up on Parenthood, Grey's, or Scandal. This salad makes me ridiculously happy. It's possible that you can hear me saying "this is sooo good" to myself every time that I eat it. 

Kalepanzanella   (love this graphic - turquoise edition extra elements)

Super simple instructions - 

*toss cubes of bread (day old works well) with olive oil & saute until lightly browned

*add cut-up tempeh to the same skillet, and lightly brown (you meat eaters could use bacon)

*tear kale into bite-sized bits (discard the stems) and toss into the skillet - you might want an extra drizzle of olive oil at this point - heat just until kale turns bright green (I don't like to let it wilt)

*toss with avocado, feta, and sea salt

*enjoy (talking to yourself is optional)

**ps. I keep intending to make this with cubed sweet potato or butternut squash...but I get impatient. Someday!

**pps. You should use the word "toss" as much as possible when talking about salad.

when life gives you lemons...

LemonmintMake mint lemonade. That's not a euphemism. I actually mean...make mint lemonade! My mint plants are really thriving, so I need to start finding stuff to add mint to. My basil, on the other hand, is struggling this year. Not sure what that's about. 

So, the long weekend is over. Many of us trudged back to work today, bemoaning the fact that three day weekends are really a giant tease...a brief glimpse of "look what it would be like if you didn't have a day job! Alarm clock? What alarm clock?" I started my morning off by crossing off the two things that I accomplished on my nine point weekend to-do list. Two. That's it. Now, to be fair (to myself) - the list didn't include normal stuff like grocery shopping, menu planning, and cleaning the living room. Instead of being incredibly productive, I napped. I took Hope for a pedicure. I bought flowers at the farmstand. I took Hope to a yoga class. It's possible that I'm starting to learn to listen when my body & mind say "hey, that's ENOUGH." And so...I rested. 

I also planned this week's menus. Backtracking a bit first...Sunday was, uhm, I have no idea. We must have just fended for ourselves. Monday - peppery brown sugar salmon & Grilled Artichokes. Tuesday - orange pan glazed tempeh, quinoa, & steamed broccoli. Wednesday - black bean & sweet potato tacos with swiss chard pesto. Thursday or Friday (depending on which night I'm home) - green pea risotto with fresh pea shoots (actually taken from this cookbook). Saturday - no idea! Trying a few new salads for lunch this week. Hope and I both get in a bit of a rut with our lunch. So adding in this detox salad and maybe this looksamazing salad

I just looked back at my twelve practices and realized that I probably should have worked in a reading practice. I have a few full-on reviews to write. I finished The Firestarter Sessions (which was FABULOUS) and started Broken Open.

Two random questions for you...

1. what is your favorite non-dairy ice cream? 

2. what is the last non-fiction book that you read?