April 13, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Where has the time gone? I can’t believe my last post was in January! I knew it had been a while but not THAT long…
Life has changed drastically for me since that post. We welcomed our baby girl on March 16, 2013 – she was a tiny little little thing at 5 lbs. 12 oz. but super strong! Everyone in the hospital kept commenting on how healthy and alert she was. I’m convinced my vegan diet had a lot to do with it. More on being vegan and pregnant later…
For now, I want to share this amazing superfood frosty. I’ve only got a few moments so this will be a quickie. Time flies when you’re nursing around the clock
I had virtually no cravings throughout my pregnancy. Chocolate chip cookies were the only thing. But, when I had a few weeks left of my pregnancy I suddenly got the strongest craving for a chocolate milkshake! Finding a vegan milkshake was impossible and I wasn’t about to go through a drive thru. Luckily for me, my doula – aka wonder woman, more on her in another post! – came over and prepared her vegan frosty for us. OMG!!!!! It was so good. It was just like the milkshake I’d been craving. Here’s my version of her amazing frosty – I loaded it up with some extra super foods to try and get as much nutrition is as possible. She encouraged me to load up on the raw cacao since it is great for muscles – and the uterus is a muscle and mine was getting ready for the biggest job of it’s life! I ate this every day at the end of my pregnancy to get in tip top shape for the big adventure. I’m only slightly embarassed to say I eat this EVERY SINGLE DAY – even though delivery has come and gone . But since it is truly loaded with amazing nutrients – I don’t think it hurts. At least that’s what I’m telling myself!
This makes a very large frosty. It can yield two smaller frosties which you could share with someone – but be warned, you won’t want to. I don’t have fancy ice cream glasses so I serve mine in a chilled beer glass Items marked with an asterisk are not essential for the taste – they are just extra goodness for your body! As with any recipe, give this version a try and then adjust to your taste as needed.
Vegan Superfood Chocolate Frosty
- 1 cup almond or coconut milk (I always buy unsweetened vanilla)
- 3 tbsp raw cacao
- 2 tsp maca
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar (raw is even better!)
- a few dashes of cinnamon, salt, and vanilla to taste
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1 tbsp coconut oil*
- 1 tbsp chia seeds*
- 1/2 tbsp goji berries*
- 1/2 tsp black sesame seeds*
- 10 ice cubes
Cheers to your health and a daily dose of chocolate!
January 2, 2013 § 5 Comments
Hello friends! I meant to write on New Years Eve and then again on New Years Day – I was hoping to write some encouraging words to inspire you to start a vegan challenge if you haven’t already done so. But with the emotions I was feeling, I couldn’t focus on a vegan challenge and neither day could I find the words to express what I wanted to say. So I hope you’ll bear with me here. The words are still hard to come by as I have a whole mixture of emotions saying goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013. Mostly I guess I am relived…
It seems like both yesterday and forever ago that we were in that cold, too-bright waiting room at the hospital. Waiting to learn my Dad’s fate. I remember leaving and barely being able to make it through that first night. I laid in bed at my parent’s home wondering how on earth we’d manage – literally reminding myself to breathe in and out and just make it through the night. Minutes turned to hours which turned to days and before I knew it, Daddy was buried – and gone forever.
As the weeks wore on I counted the days endlessly. Day 25…Day 78…Day 123… I remember wondering how long the counting would go on for – at what point would I stop? And then, out of nowhere, I did stop.
Just as I had counted those days – I remember wondering how we’d possibly make it through our “Year of Firsts”. We had many…
My first birthday without him – and then my Mom’s and sister’s and husband’s.
Our first fourth of July BBQ without him – where he would have been manning the grill and playing host.
My parent’s wedding anniversary – what would have been their 32nd.
Mother’s Day… Father’s Day… Halloween – his favorite holiday of all… Thanksgiving.
Then there were the real tough ones. His birthday on 12/21. He would have been 62. And then of course there was Christmas.
So needless to say with all these firsts, and hard ones at that, I didn’t expect to be totally knocked out by New Years. In fact I’d been looking forward to it. I even ordered New Years cards! Something I’ve never done. I was ready for 2013. Ready to give 2012 a big kick and watch it tumble away.
But when push came to shove, saying goodbye to 2012 wasn’t so easy. Welcoming 2013 – welcoming a year in which my Dad will have never lived – never smiled, never laughed, never sat on his back patio reading his iPad – welcoming this year meant he was gone and he wasn’t coming back. I so wanted to welcome 2013 with open arms – but I just couldn’t. I really truly wanted to make resolutions and goals and be excited – to watch the ball drop with anticipation and joy. But I couldn’t. And that was alright.
I didn’t jump up and down at New Years. I reflected. I peacefully said goodbye to 2012 with a light wave and looked toward the New Year. And as if nature knew I was going to be needing a little help – today marks 28 weeks of our pregnancy. Magically it seems the 12 week countdown begins and I need to get into “game-mode” and focus on finalizing all the details to welcome my precious little girl. Knowing I’ll be a mother soon has literally lit up my world. I’m awaiting my baby girl with open arms – ready to receive her and give her my entire life. Life is funny like that. It’s totally messy, but thank goodness for the mess. It’s what keeps us going.
Thanks for bearing with me as I’ve likely shared too much over the past 8 months and possibly today. But sharing here whether anyone is reading or not has been very helpful.
I wish you all a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013. And I will be back to hopefully inspire some of you to understake that 30 day vegan challenge! We will be starting the inspiration with…drumroll please…pancakes! Yes, pancakes so light and fluffy you may never make them with dairy or eggs again!
September 16, 2012 § 1 Comment
Happy Sunday! I wish I had an exciting recipe to share with you today. I do have a big project cooking through – something I hope to share here soon and one that has kept me ever so occupied! In the meantime, Sarah over at A Gutsy Girl was nice enough to ask me to participate in her “Gutsy Girl” series. Head on over and check out my guest post. She’s doing a phenomenal job with the 101 days of blogging challenge, whipping up all kinds of inspirational posts – definitely worth following along!
August 16, 2012 § 1 Comment
I should be writing about something healthy. I should be better at keeping up with the 101 days of blogging challenge I signed up for. But truth be told, health hasn’t been top of mind the past few weeks, well not in the way of this challenge that is. More on that to come later…
Today all I can think about is my dad. I’m in Las Vegas visiting my grandmother. I was a bundle of nerves before coming here. I knew it was going to be hard to retrace the steps I so often took with my dad. We lived here for a while and I would come back and visit with him. Being in the same industry, there were always events here and sometimes we’d overlap on ones we went to. We’d go to those and tack on family time. Trips to Vegas always included a drive through Red Rock which my gram and I did today. It was bittersweet to say the least.
I love driving through Red Rock. It has to be one of my top 3 favorite things. I love feeling away from it all – escaped. It’s a place I’ve turned to over the years after hard times. I remember driving through here with my grandmother in college during a rough time. I distinctly remember how safe and free I felt. Like nothing in the world could harm me there. That’s the feeling I long for and why I return to Red Rock.
It was just February when my dad, mom, sister, and I took our last ride through here. It was after my grandfather’s funeral. Who would have ever thought nearly 90 days later we’d be at my dad’s funeral. Just craziness.
I’ve been waiting to feel my dad’s presence. Waiting for him to come to my dreams. But he hasn’t. Winding our way through the desert today, I wondered if he was looking down on us.
There’s not much purpose to this post other than to say, today is day 103 and the feeling just doesn’t seem to change. I wonder when things will be “normal”. I wonder when I won’t awake sad, missing my dad so much. I wonder when I’ll want to be in the kitchen again, when I’ll want to dream again, to be inspired. Only time will tell. I will say we get through our days better – that’s a given. But it’s a strange numbness that can’t be explained.
In the meantime, I’ll continue retracing our steps this week. I’m determined to make it back out to those mountains because one visit just isn’t enough…
(While the top two photos are taken with instagram, this one has no filter. That’s pure mother nature right there in all her stunning glory!)
July 22, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I wrote the other day about protecting your juju and today’s revolutionary act in the 101 days of blogging challenge is similar.
“Be proactive: If you feel a cold, flu or nasty headache coming on, take evasive maneuvers. Rest. Refuel. Reconnect. Rebuild your immunity and vitality. There’s no heroism in ignoring your body’s needs.”
I’ve always been pretty good about being proactive when it comes to being sick. Having spent much of my childhood and teen years sick, I learned to take precautionary measures. However, like many, this involved lots and lots of antibiotics to the point that I’m pretty sure my body couldn’t fight much on its own.
Since going vegan a year ago, I really haven’t been sick. I got sick once the week my dad died which I’m sure was due to stress. I’ve felt the stress lately effect my health and have been feeling really run down. I’ve been trying to keep today’s wise words top of mind and take a few extra moments for myself: sleep a bit longer, chill out, relax. It’s important to take a few moments and decompress. Doing so is as important as eating healthy and exercising, but often we don’t focus as much on relaxing as we do what we eat and how many crunches we’ve done.
Remember to take all aspects of your health seriously – not just calories in and out but the intangibles too.
July 17, 2012 § 2 Comments
I’m continuing with the 101 days of blogging challenge and today’s act is “Minimize Symptom Suppression: Make whole-person vitality, well-being and resilience your goal. Partner with healthcare pros who understand and support your desire to be fully healthy with a minimum of medical intervention.”
I don’t want to understate the importance of finding the right healthcare professionals to guide you, but help isn’t limited to pros like doctors. My journey was propelled by my massage therapist. She has been instrumental in my shift to a vegan diet, informing me, guiding me, and cheerleading along the way. I truly believe she has changed the course of my life by informing me of the benefits of a vegan diet.
But even with her support, it can get lonely. I don’t want to say it is hard to eat vegan, because it isn’t. It can just be hard sometimes when you are different. I’m not saying this for sympathy or for anyone to say “well that is what you’ve chosen.” I’m saying it because it is a reality.
But, I’m so excited I joined FitFluencial’s #FitVegan Twitter Chat last night. It was just the motivation I needed to keep me going and energized. Finding others that are on the same path is so important to keep your motivation up. Now with social media, that’s easier than ever. With one hour I found dozens of vegans I’d never met that I can now turn to for advice and support. It felt great.
The group was diverse. Not everyone was vegan – but there were a number of vegans present that made it look easy and attainable, as it should be.
As a constant traveler, I’m impressed to learn some new tips from this group. The tip about bringing protein to Starbucks in my favorite.
And lastly, I learned about all these great new resources, many of which I’ve never heard of before.
So get committed to getting healthy. Find a pro to help guide you, not by supressing symptoms but by getting to the root of the cause. And don’t underestimate the many others that can help you along your way and the important role they will play in your journey.
June 17, 2012 § 5 Comments
Today was as could be expected – pretty brutal, but we managed to power through. I knew this week was going to flat out suck. There’s just no other way to put it. Thursday would have been mom and dad’s 32nd wedding anniversary. While they were fortunate enough to share 32 years together, they deserved and thought they had at least 20 more. They were a couple that was made for the long run. For my mom to be a widow at 54 is simply unreal.
And then there was the matter of today – father’s day. A day that I regret to say was never taken very seriously by me. I always bought dad a card and some sort of gift, but I’m not sure I ever put too much heart into it.
I recall last year, my dad was nominated as one of three Central Florida “Fathers of the Year” by the American Diabetes Association. My dad called me a few hours prior to the dinner and said “You just need to go up and say a few words about me.” He didn’t make it sound like a big deal, so I was prepared to walk up and say something about my dad. Nothing fancy, just talk. Well wouldn’t you know that everyone had speeches prepared! Speeches that involved the entire family, stories, and jokes. I sat there listening – I was last of course – and just kept glancing at my dad giving him the “are you kidding me?” look. I couldn’t believe he didn’t tell me to prepare better! I went up and was honest. What I said was my dad didn’t need this nomination. He was father of the year every year at our house. And that’s how I felt about father’s day. I never took it too seriously because I felt like every day was father’s day. I loved my dad deeply. I did what he said. Where he led, I followed. And I thought he would be around forever. I just never saw the future without him.
Knowing this week was going to be tough, we arranged for a little surprise for my mom. We took her to the Grand Cypress resort this weekend for a quick little getaway. I still remember the first trip there with my family nearly 25 years ago. This was a place we came to over and over throughout the years. We took her to her favorite restaurant last night, Hemingway’s. I distinctly remember my 12th birthday spent there when my dad gave me an emerald ring. This was just one special occasion there – there were countless birthdays, mother’s days, Easters, and more spent in that restaurant. While there was a distinct longing for a fifth seat, we made the best of it and enjoyed the evening.
But today, I wish things were different. I wish my dad were alive. I wish I could have gone over to his house this morning and made him these pancakes which he loved. I wish I could wrap my arms around him tightly and not let go. I wish I could hold his hand and tell him how much I love him. I wish I could hear his boisterous laugh which I can’t believe after only 44 days is hard to hear in my heard.
I love you and miss you daddy, today and every day…
January 2, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Good morning! 2012 is upon us. My how things have changed since last New Year’s. I accomplished a lot both personally and professionally and I want to make sure I keep that momentum going. The biggest change came in the summer when I took on a 30 day vegan challenge. That challenge stuck and now I eat a predominantly vegan diet.
I want to keep that momentum going in 2012 which is why I’ve set the following 5 challenges for myself. And I’ll be blogging about them here as that’s what kept me on track when I tried going vegan. If I didn’t make myself accountable to sticking with my vegan challenge in a public manner, I know I would have thrown in the towel.
Now, my goal is to get through these five challenges. I don’t anticipate sticking with them all long-term. I just want to do it and see how I feel. I’m not sure when I’m going to do them all yet, certainly not all at the same time, but I know by the end of 2012 I want to have done them all. So, here they are.
My Five Health Challenges for 2012
1. 30 Day Yoga Challenge
I used to be big into yoga – before I got married, I was at yoga usually 5 times a week and I was in the best shape of my life. My power vinyasa flow class usually consisted of an hour and a half hard core workout including intense physical and mental challenges. I miss the way I used to leave those classes – open, vibrant, alive. Due to a cyst in my wrist I had to cut back on yoga, and eventually cut it out completely. But I’m determined to find a way to make it work. I want to at some point this year do 30 days straight of yoga. It can be in my home, at a studio, or the gym. I want to challenge myself and see if maybe all these years, I can return to it.
2. Complete a 15 Minute Run Without Stopping
I hate to run but I love the idea of it. I’m super envious of people that go running for fun and do marathons. I myself, can’t run more than a minute. Yup that’s right, about a minute. OK, maybe two – maybe. So I want to be able to complete a 15 minute run at some point this year without stopping. Runners delight: here I come (hopefully).
3. Two Weeks Caffeine-Free
This is going to be a tough one. I read Crazy, Sexy, Diet in September and tried to do the recommended 21 day detox in October. I found a group to do it with and everything. The detox was rough – no caffeine, no alcohol, no sugar. After 3 days with a pounding migraine I called the quits. I think the triple whammy is what did me in. It was too much at once. So I’m trying all three, but at different times. And I chose two weeks as this is going to be really tough! As I’ve already mostly cut out sodas from my life, this will mostly be coffee (note my lovely coffee in the picture above) - but that will be hard enough.
4. Two Weeks Without Sugar
It is said that sugar is one of the most addictive substances out there which is why I chose to go with a two week detox challenge. To be honest, I’m not sure what to expect with this one. I think it will be hard, but I’m not sure it will be impossible. We will see. For me the challenge will be in the form of breads and chips. I’ll also cut out any alcohol during this time as it basically turns right into sugar.
5. 30 Day Whole Foods Challenge
I think this one may be the hardest challenge of them all – maybe not so much because of cravings but because of convenience – although the cravings will be hard too. I may do the sugar challenge with this one but not sure yet. The goal here is to go 30 days eating only whole foods – nothing with an ingredient list. As I write this, I’m starting to think I may be insane to think I can go a whole month like this. We’ll see.
So that’s it. Those are my five health challenges for the year. What are yours? If you’re thinking of making a change and maybe even trying out veganism for a change, check out my 10 tips for completing a 30 day vegan challenge.
Happy New Year!
December 21, 2010 § 1 Comment
I’ve been thinking of starting this blog for about a year now but the usual suspects thwarted my initiation:
- Too many food blogs out there (wonderful food blogs I may add)
- Who will read it?
- What if it isn’t interesting?
- I don’t have time
And then, a friend of mine was in town a few months ago and over a bottle of wine I told her how I’d been toying with this idea and she was extremely supportive. We kicked around a few names and landed on Cooking con Sal, a solid name I thought. But as of a few days ago, still no blog and my husband asked, when are you going to start it?
So many times in life we are scared to just go for “it”. I know that sounds kind of deep related to a food blog, but the past few years of my life have been about taking risks and in the end, they’ve all paid off beautifully. So I figured, now is a good a time as any to go for it – it’s almost a New Year and frankly sometimes you just have to stop making excuses and just “do”.