Saturday, November 26, 2011

Vegan Thanksgiving

I know, it's already Nov 27 and maybe you're getting out your Christmas decorations and dominated some Black Friday shopping and you're thinking, "What? Just now you're posting a Thanksgiving meal? That was ages ago."

And to that I say, fair question, and yes, I'm just now getting to it. I've been deeply immersed with my family in many games of Bananagrams and I am very okay with it. For Thanksgiving we had my immediate family (Mom, Dad, Sisters x3) plus my Dad's parents, and Aunt Karen, Uncle Bruce and their two little boys. It was great to spend it all together.

See? Family.






Thanksgiving Food

So when you're the only vegan at Thanksgiving, what do you eat? I think it varies by the person. Some of you in carnivorous households are probably stuck with salad and a potato you baked yourself, but my family's a blessing and I had a feast like nothing else. Almost everything on the table had a little vegan version for me.

Vegan Stuffing Balls - made with a flax egg instead of real. They were more crumbly than usual, but tasted great.

Mashed potatoes.

The whole wheat ones are from Great Harvest, they're vegan. 

Sweet potatoes with orange, lemon, sugar and cinnamon, made with Earth Balance instead of butter. 

Corn casserole with coconut milk. Cheese-topped except for the little close corner there for me. 

Veggies. Naturally vegan.

And don't forget the sparkly.

My actual plate: Roll, corn casserole, potato, stuffing ball, salad and sweet potatoes. I ate at least 3x that sweet potato amount and 2x the stuffing during cooking. 

Nicola: "Look! I'm on a roll."

Mom, Uncle Bruce, G-rents. 

My precious sisters.

Cute faces run in the family it seems. 

And dessert? 

Vegan versions of both Apple and Pumpkin Pie. With coconut milk vanilla ice cream. 

Left: Vegan. Right: Regular. You can tell that it doesn't hold together quite as well without egg, but it tasted great.

My dessert plate. Okay, I had like 3x this. I don't mess around with Thanksgiving. 

Happy [late] Thanksgiving all. 

How did you celebrate Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday: Einkorn Pasta

As always a big thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons!

I'm not intentionally absent I swear. I've taken piles of pictures, OB/Gyn is just a really busy rotation so I haven't had much chance to write. Coming up though:
A 5K recap.
Chili Recipe.
Cookie Recipe Reviews (x3!)
Health Information Post
And that weight post I've been meaning to write.

In the meantime though, happy What I Ate Wednesday!

Today I'm "Nurse for a Day" where we spend a shift doing nursing duties instead of regular medical student duties. I think it's a great idea to make us more understanding. I don't really think my class is rude to nurses - we're known as the super-friendly ones, but it'll still be an interesting day I think.

It starts at 7 am, so before that,

Breakfast: Oatmeal. What else?

Lunch: PBJ Sandwich and a Banana. 

Pretty sure I used this picture last week. :/

Snack: Chocolate Brownie Mini Clif Bar. I bought a box of 18 (3 flavors) at Target recently. Also Luna bars. OB/Gyn is one of those rotations where I might not eat if I can't carry it in my pocket. Hence the frequent PBJ as well. 

Dinner: Einkorn Pasta. I got a coupon for this at the 5K this weekend and decided to try it. 

This is a type of wheat that has a nutritional profile with a little extra protein, like Farro (9 g per serving). It also has lutein and B vitamins. It tastes just like whole wheat pasta. Also, if someone tries to take it from you, you can say, "No! Minekorn!."

I served it up with garlic peas, marinara and nooch. 

Now it's off to be a nurse today.

Have a good day friends!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Quick Like a Bunny Update

Medical: I'm surviving OB/Gyn - night float last week. It was weird to be up all night and asleep most of the day. I delivered a couple babies. It was great. Also 2 placentas. Not as great. Actually terrifying.

Exercise: I'm running my first 5K tomorrow. It's the scene of my first half-marathon a year ago, but I've been swamped and haven't kept up more than a 6 mile-at-a-time base, so I decided to forego the all-out distance. I'm excited actually - it'll be the shortest race distance I've done. My (very reasonable) goal is under 29:27 - a 9:30 min/mile pace. My stoked-if-I-get-it goal is 27:54 - a 9:00 min/mile pace. Confession: I've spent the past several minutes doing those calculations and am not entirely certain they're correct, but I'll work with them. Catch babies? Check. Simple arithmetic? Still elusive.

Food: I made 3 different types of cookies today. I also made a chili with kale. I've been eating well and snapping pics and just haven't been writing. I promise I'm eating. Stay tuned.

Personal: Eh. Doing all right. Wedding planning progresses - pretty much done with our registry. I've missed writing because I think it helps me feel settled, but it's been ages and I'm frazzled.

Goal: I only had that one November goal. 10 minutes a day of quiet time. I'm actually failing it pretty awfully. I may need to rethink the timing and try to do it more first-thing.

And since I mentioned bunnies...

All right. Quick like a bunny! Back to your lives!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thrilling Friday Night

When my alarm goes off in the morning, there are two possibilities. I may jump out of bed without resetting the alarm and go about my morning, or I may reset it, reset it again, rationalize away my workout and drag myself out of bed a couple hours later. The thing is, when I don't get up right away, I'm never as rested even if I did spend extra time in bed. I try hard to just get up when I intended to, but today it just didn't happen.

However, it was a gorgeous rainy morning (the first rain in ages) and I felt much better than usual about staying in bed a little extra. I also painted my nails.

DIY French mani. Yeah those are sticky rhinestones on my little finger. I'm 14. 

Today was my last day on my eating disorder psychiatry elective. I attended for approximately 2 hours. I've really liked being there, but there were some comments made yesterday by one of the therapists that maybe our presence as students was overwhelming for the patients in therapy. I took that as an appropriate reason to be there less. I'm pretty okay with it. 

For breakfast I had homemade slow cooker pumpkin butter (made by Roomie Katie) on an english muffin with banana. It was awesome. I'm not sure what recipe she used, but it was spicy, sweet and made me feel like winter. 

I met up with my friend Tiffany in the afternoon for some mall-walking, coffee and catching up. She and I attended college and church together and she'll be in my wedding next summer, but she lives far away in Boston now and I miss her lots. Here's a classic photo from 2008: 

And in the evening? I sat in my house and waited for the UPS guy. I AM a party rocker. The important point here is why I was waiting for UPS. 


I've had the iphone 3G for over 2 years, without a software update and I can't even believe the difference. One of the first things I did was sort my apps into categories. All on 1 page:

Once I had it all set up I asked Siri to call my Fiance. It totally worked. I also asked her to turn off all my alarms for tomorrow. Also successful. I'm enjoying my weekend because Monday I start OB/Gyn with night float. 

Did you do something rocking with your Friday night?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November Goals

Hey all. First off, I just updated my Food Philosophy page. It's clearer, more detailed, better organized and gives a better picture of why I eat vegan. Also it's a lot of words. I'm a talker. I feel like I had all these poorly articulated ideas partially on the page before and it's hopefully better. 

So I meant to write a November Goals post on the 1st, because that's the "Calendar Day" to start things like this, and I really like milestones like that. But, eh, it didn't happen. It may seem obvious to you, but I literally have to remind myself that today is as good a day as any to start something. I'm a pretty big sucker for New Year's, new months, even new weeks, so I'm breaking out a little bit trying to set some goals on a Thursday. On the third of the month. Get crazy.

I'm a pretty big fan of The Shu Box and Sarah made the wise observation in setting her November goal that one change at a time works better. 

I love my enormous lists of areas I'd like to work on: my spiritual life, flexibility, sleep, studying, eating, exercise, reading, relationships with friends, relationships with family, my romantical relationship, managing my anxiety so this doesn't happen as often, etc. However, I'd like to try the strategy of just one goal this month.

But if there's only one, I want it to be significant. Something really worth sticking to and turning into a habit. 

Goal: Spend 10 minutes each day reading a verse/praying/listening/sitting quietly.
God and I haven't been hanging out much lately, and I don't think that's helping me be a calm, trusting or kind person.

I plan to set a timer each day to make sure it's actually 10 minutes. Most likely it'll be in the evening on work days because OB mornings start way early and I don't really see myself staying awake if I try to do it in the morning. 

And to make it a real goal, let's fit it into some SMART criteria:

Specific: Read 1 verse, pray, listen, be mindful for 10 minutes each day.

Measurable: I'll move slowly through a Bible section, I'm thinking Psalms. It'll be hard to measure my "mindfulness" level, but I expect practice will help. I'll continue through the month and hope that it becomes something I want to make more permanent.

Attainable: 10 minutes a day is very reasonable. I don't even know what I do to make time vanish the way it does but I wouldn't be surprised if this makes me feel like I have more time, because I'll be spending it better.

Relevant: There's nothing more relevant than God.

Time-bound: As above, 10 minutes a day for the month.

Happy November!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

WIAW: Pumpkin Pie [Makeover] for Dinner

After a great Vegan Month of Food, we return to our regularly scheduled programming with What I Ate Wednesday. As always a big thanks to Jenn at Peas and Crayons.

Guess what I did today? Finally got my engagement ring insured. I feel like an adult. I also know Fiance John is going to sleep a little easier knowing I'm no longer wearing a ticking time bomb of immense monetary loss on my irresponsible finger. 

I'm nearing my final days on the Eating Disorder Psychiatry elective and that means OB/Gyn starts Monday. I'm cherishing these days when my schedule has a few more free time hours to get productive business-hour type things done. Like insurance. 

Breakfast: Overnight Pumpkin Oats. Pumpkin puree, chia seeds, hemp milk, agave, oats, pinch salt, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice.

Lunch: Almond Butter & Jelly Sandwich. Apple. 

Snack: Banana. You know what it looks like. 

Dinner: Something brand new.

When I was little one of my favorite dinners was Rice Krispie Treats. Every once in a while we'd abandon our usual super-healthy meal rotation and on a Saturday night it was that warm mix of crispy rice, margarine and marshmallows. Mom would make them with peanut butter for "some redeeming value" and we had to eat fruits or vegetables before we were allowed to enter a wild sugar high by way of rice krispies.

Tonight's dinner reminds me of those days of "dessert for dinner" except this one would be acceptable every day of the week. Go ahead, have some Pumpkin Pie for dinner:

Pumpkin Pie Makeover
(or Roasted Pumpkin with Sweet Brown Rice)
Makes 2 servings.

1 small pumpkin (or any sweet winter squash - acorn, kabocha etc.)
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp brown sugar, divided
1 tbsp non-dairy butter (like Earth Balance)
Pumpkin Pie spice
(Other optional additions might include a bit of molasses, nuts or other dried fruit)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and rub or spray each side with oil.
3. Roast face-down for 35-45 minutes, or until your pumpkin is fork-test soft.
4. While the pumpkin is roasting, mix the rice, non-dairy butter, a pinch of salt, a handful of raisins and 1 tbsp brown sugar together and heat through - a few minutes in the microwave. OR if you don't have cooked brown rice, just stir the additions in at the end of cooking the rice. Add other things like nuts in this step as well. Taste and adjust salt, sugar or spice.
5. Remove the pumpkin from the oven. Using a spatula, flip each half onto a plate carefully - they may be soft. Sprinkle a pinch of salt, a dash of pumpkin pie spice and 1 tsp brown sugar evenly on each half. 
6. Fill each half with the rice mixture and go to town on that sucker. 

Don't forget to tell your Mom you're having pumpkin pie for dinner.

Do you have a favorite dessert you'd like to see made-over-healthy enough for dinner?