Couch 2 5k

If you’ve bee following me at any point on Instagram you probably know I have a love/hate relationship with physical activity. 

I love the way I feel after I’m done, but I hate the actual process of “doing it.”
So a friend has coerced me into joining, quite possibly, the worst exercise programs of them all: Couch to 5K. 

The truth is, I’ve always wanted to complete a 5k. In fact, it’s on my bucket list of things to do before I die, but the actual thought of running, actual running, gives me hives. (Don’t judge)

So how, pray tell, do you think I will scratch a 5k off my list? You guessed it… I finally took a big ole swig out of the “suck it up buttercup” cup and washed it down with a side of “quitcherbitchin” soup. 

And if I can be honest, it’s going pretty good! I’m on week two of the C25k app program and I’m happy to report, I have not died!  What’s more impressive to me is that after the initial 20 minutes, I actual enjoy it. (Insert large gasp here) 

Now, I’ve been nursing a sinus infection for (going on three weeks now) so it’s made it a tad bit difficult to wrap up week two with good timing due to the infection spreading into my actual lungs, however, I’m excited about actually completing the program!

after the shots
Obligatory doc offfice photo

If you’re not impressed yet, try this on for size… I, CG,  am making plans to sign Shorty and I up for a 5k that we can run together! (which is a request she’s been making for about a year) 

So yay for CG for putting an end to her procrastination and wishful thinking and putting her dreams in motion. 

Illness or not, I will complete this program, and when I do… There will be a HUGE celebration, and quite possibly vegan donuts. ūüĎŹūüŹĺ#staytuned 

C25K : week two

Sunday morning I woke to a very sad sight…ripened bananas.¬† In my mind I was about to enjoy one of those bad boys slathered in almond butter and chia seeds, (don’t knock it til you try it,) unfortunately mother nature had different plans.

Initially I unpeeled them to freeze for smoothies at a later date, but that did not solve my initial dilemma: what was I gonna eat for breakfast?!

So, I logged into Pinterest, searched banana recipes, and banana bread recipes flooded my front page.¬† Did I mention I LOVE banana bread?!¬† But I had to keep searching for a specific recipe.¬† You see, Tiny has several food allergies including: fish, egg and wheat, and I try to make things friendly for her when I make them from scratch…so the search continued.

As you can imagine I found several recipes for vegan banana bread, and several recipes for gluten free bread, but not many that were both vegan AND gluten free.¬† Not only that…I found my gluten free pantry stash was getting pretty low, so that meant I had to get a little creative.

By now, I’m hungry AND determined, so I did what any good parent would do…I dug into my cabinets, and started pulling out ingredients…

Here’s what I came up with:

Vegan/Gluten Free Banana Muffins

1tbsp baking powder
1  1/4 c  gluten free flour4 ripened bananas
1/3 c coconut flour
1/4 c chia seed gel
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp coconut oil (optional)

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

This recipe was surprisingly good.¬† The edges were a little crisp, and the inside was plenty moist.¬† One thing I might consider changing for future recipes is the amount of sugar.¬† Because my bananas were fairly ripe, I found the coconut sugar almost made it overwhelmingly sweet…and that is a major no-no when it comes to banana bread!

banana

All in all, I’ll admit this¬† was a pretty good start for CG’s return to Tiny-friendly baking.¬† Now, that I’m on a roll, let’s see what else I can scrounge up as CG’s cooking adventures continue.

Until next time…
#HappyBaking

#Day5

 

 

A few weeks ago I made an impulse purchase—and grabbed picked up a pack of green lentil’s at Aldi. Lentils frequently come up in the vegan database when trying to find protein, so I figured, it couldn’t be too bad.

So I took my package home and did what any confused mom looking to feed her brood would do: I went to Google.
The first thing that popped into my search was a vegan chili recipe.  Pinned it, made it and loved it.

vegan chili
Vegan Lentil Chili featuring cilantro & avocado slices

But there’s only so much chili one person can stand.¬† So the search continued.

That’s when I ran across multiple recipes for Lentil Sloppy Joe’s.¬† What you say now?!¬† I LOVE Sloppy Joes!

Growing up, Sloppy Joe’s were a staple.

Everyone has their own way…some prefer Manwich, other slather their meat of choice with BBQ sauce.

I’m a part of the latter camp, so if BBQ sauce isn’t your idea of a good time—stop reading now!

This recipe makes four servings.¬† You can always double it if you’d like.

1 c of green lentils
1/2 c of brown rice3 1/2 c of water
1/4 c nutritional yeast
2 tbsp garlic salt
3 tbsp of any Masterpiece Grilling Seasoning (I’ve made this recipe using to variations thus far, but I prefer the chicken.)

Boil brown rice in 1 1/2 c of water in a separate boiler.
Wait 15-20 minutes and put the remaining ingredients into a separate boiler.¬† Once tender in both pots combine.¬† Can be eaten as a side item, if you’d like, but if you came for the main event, add some Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce (as much as you like) and slap that bad boy on a bun, and call it a night!

While this probably goes without saying, I’ll mention it here:¬† this recipe is a great meal for lunch or dinner, but if you choose to try this for breakfast one morning (you know, cause you like leftovers, or are really lazy like myself) be warned, the chicken grill masterpiece seasoning has kick, and it could be a bit much for your morning fare.
You’ve been warned.
Now, unfortunately I did not grab any pictures of the finished product this time, I suspect this will become a pretty regular staple, so stay tuned for pics of that.

Until next time!

The truth hurts…DAY 3

When you think of summer you think of fresh fruit, swimming pools and barbeque!

We grilled a little for Memorial: nothing fancy, some hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken wings.  While I enjoyed the meaty fare I started longing for the days of vegan eats and veggie based treats.

Truth be told, I’ve doubled back on this journey multiple times.¬† I was initially ashamed at my lack of discipline.¬† I mean, at home I was fine, but I found that as I ventured out, things became a little hairy.¬† Add that with being on the go, promoting my new photography venture, and it spelled DISASTER.

But then, I ran across other vegan bloggers.¬† The more I read, the more at peace I became with my wavering. Some promoted going cold turkey.¬† Others suggest a slow ease into the lifestyle. The common theme that stood out in each of them was to “go at your own pace.”

This is no one’s journey but your own.¬† Take it however fast or slow as you can handle.¬† With that being said, I’ve decided to do a little bit of both—by phasing out.¬† I’ll switch between meat and vegan fare until I phase meat out completely.

The good news is most fruits and vegetables are fairly cheap, especially right now with many of them being in season.
The bad news I’m sorta stuck when it comes to vegan food preparation.¬† As I mentioned in a previous post, many vegetarian/vegan recipes I find online are fairly complicated, using a million and one ingredients (many of whom are not on the budget friendly list).

So I’ll use this time to find vegan/budget friendly meals you and your whole family can enjoy.

First up on the menu: Meatless sloppy Joe’s

#happycooking

The first 30 days

Three weeks: 21 days…that’s the magic number scientists once thought it took to create a new habit.¬† For years I heard people share this age old addage, and think to myself “I must be broken.”¬† The only thing I seem to be able to accomplish in three weeks is anticipation of when it’s over: don’t judge.

30 days from now, the first half of 2016 will be complete.¬† Let that sink in for a moment.¬† By July 1st, 2016 will be barreling toward “Back to school” sales, Halloween costumes, and of course Yuletide joy.

I’ve accomplished alot in the first half.¬† I quit my job, and started my own business.¬† I taught Shorty how to swim, with Tiny currently learning.¬† I bought a new car, and learned how to properly hem pants.¬† All in all I’m feeling pretty confident about the direction by professional life is taking.

My personal life, on the other hand is a whole other story.

My main New Year’s Resolution was to become a better spouse to Captain.¬† While I’m not a horrible wife, I most definitely am not a winner winner chicken dinner 100% of the time.¬† Heck, I’d wager it’s more like 75% and that’s being gracious. (if you’re reading this, sorry Captain)

I also resolved to become a healthier me.  While I have certainly moved a lot more this year (due in part to not having to work overnight and keep odd hours) I most certainly have not secured the spot for being the best me I can be, ya dig?

So, starting today I’m taking some of these bigger resolutions and breaking them down into monthly installments.

I’ll journal my progress here, so get ready.

Month 1 obective: A healthier me
Focus: Nutrition

 

 

As a mom I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, doing mom things like: helping with homework, cleaning the never ending pile of dishes, and of course, cooking the family dinner.

By choosing to go #vegan, my dinner options have become a little, ahem, mundane.

Most things I prepare for the personally, are often rinsed, chopped and consumed…which is both good, and bad.¬† Namely because I find myself eating much of the same thing over and over again…despite the growing database of vegan entrees and websites popping up all across the interwebz.

I’ve perused a few of those sites, but honestly I find many of the dishes overwhelming and often require a plethora of ingredients, some of which I do not have on hand.

While I can admit there have been several strikes, there’s at least one dish in rotation right now that I’d like to give a worth an honorable mention: a burrito created by yours truly.

The base of the burrito, is of course the tortilla.

Followed by quinoa (rinsed and cooked in cilantro seasoning).

Add a few black olives, an avocado, top it with some¬† cilantro sprinkled with a little bit of cumin, and voila…dinner is served!

burrito
I’ve scarfed this down for breakfast, lunch and dinner!¬† And unlike some of the other things I’ve tried these past few weeks, this burrito¬† has staying power.

So, let’s hear it…three cheers for CG’s Vegan Burrito!

Hip, hip, horray!!!

I love vegetables as much as the next gal, but let me tell you something….when everything you eat involves foods of the “rooted” variety, that love can quickly fade.

I know you’re thinking, CG it’s only been one day!

While I appreciate your observance,¬† the reality is, I’m finding this to be a bit more difficult, than I originally planned.

It’s not all bad.¬† In fact, I rather enjoy many of the homemade recipes I’ve found online…

Unfortunately, when it comes to eating on the run, the options narrow, considerably.

Today, Captain and I took Tiny to the zoo.  I pre-packed a few healthy snacks like apples and bananas. (Yay me!)

Unfortunately after a few hours of walking around, I was ready to throw all caution to the wind and  eat everything in sight!

elephant & us1
Gray Manor Photography

Thankfully I did not succumb to my need for instant gratification, and yummy nachos?

We packed up our party, and headed back toward town.  There ee scoured around until we found a local Chinese restaurant, where I ordered a white rice and vegetable meal: crisis averted, at least, for now.

#Day2
#winning

 

epic-win-meme_133614103669

But the reality is, this lifestyle is something I need to research a little more to see how sustainable it will be in the long run.
If you have any tips or tricks, I’m all ears.Just drop a line below.CG

If you’re like me, vowing to make a major change can sometimes come with a bit of trepidation.

What you say: I want a new job!
What you feel: What if I fail?

What you say: I’m ready to be a better parent/lover/friend!
What you feel: What if my advancements aren’t well received/rejected?

You may see where I’m going with this, but stick around and let me unpack this a bit.

Last month I made a heck of a confession in regards to my overall digestive health.  At that time I vowed to spend some time eliminating what I thought were the sources of the problem, dairy and meat, from my diet.

The truth is I’ve cut down quite a bit, but I haven’t gone 100%. Just the thought of being vegetarian, or even (gulp) vegan is really intimidating.

Unfortunately, so was the physical and mental aspect of act of going cold turkey from them both at the same time.¬† So this time I’ve devised a multi-step plan.¬† First on the chopping block is my beloved dairy.

My Truth about Dairy

I don’t consume much, anyway.¬† I don’t eat much cheese, I drink almond milk instead of regular milk, and stopped eating yogurt some time last year.¬† But there are a few milk-based vices that I had a hard time letting go of: namely¬† ice cream, cream cheese and heavy whipping cream.

Why whipping cream you may ask—the answer is quite simple: I use whipping cream as creamer for my coffee.¬† I little goes a long way, and it makes my java sing!

Death_to_stock_Marzocco_Coffee_8
Credit: Death to Stock Photo

Unfortunately, of the three things I still consume, this one is the sole culprit of my¬† GI issues. ¬† I know this, and I have for quite some time.¬† This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to give it up.¬† I’ve tried everything, including a number of dairy alternatives like:¬† powdered non-dairy creamers and non-dairy milk and neither won me over.

  • Powdered creamers—the list of ingredients make me want to drop the canister off at a science lab instead of in my coffee.
  • Non-dairy alternatives—leaves the coffee¬† flat and unappealing.

The other two, ice cream and cream cheese don’t have as much of an impact on my personal digestion, but if you know like I know, they can be gateways to other yummy dairy foods.

For instance, cream cheese isn’t a problem for me per se,¬† but when you whip it up with¬† butter and powdered sugar, you have the makings of some great tasting cream cheese icing.¬† Ice cream is pretty self- explanatory, don’t you think?¬† Chocked full of yummy creamy goodness full of nuts and the best of them feature caramel. #yum

But the fact of the matter is, all good things must come to an end.

Moving Forward

So for the next few weeks I’ll be making a slow march toward veganism, one dairy free meal at a time.

Up next—Meat

dun

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