Category Archives: adventures

Adventures in Whole Foods!

No, not the store, but actual whole foods! A few months ago I came to the harsh realization that although I eat lots of healthy foods I also eat lots of process junk foods. And just because they are vegan junk foods does not make them healthy! Anyone that follows me on Twitter knows how much I ADORE nachos. Like, LOVE them. OBSESSED with them. I always have tortilla chips in the pantry. I eat a variation of nachos at least once a week if not more often. Yes, I usually make my own vegan queso that is low fat and relatively healthy, and I sometimes put veggies on top of the chips and queso, but still. I am eating full fat, fried, processed, not even always organic tortilla chips! This needs to stop (not entirely (gawd forbid) – but just not as a regular habit).

And even more recently I realized that I have become addicted to sugar. In the afternoons, sitting at my desk, I get an overwhelming urge to eat something sweet and if I don’t get it I get all panicky! (umm, sugar-holics anonymous much?) And then, if I do eat something sugary, I get that terrible crash later and feel like I’m going to pass out at my desk! No Bueno.

So I’m embarking on some changes around JenoJoon-land. I’m focusing on whole foods and primarily on fruits, veggies, and beans. With a little bit of nuts and seeds thrown in and the occasional serving of a cooked grain or sprouted bread or pasta.

I’m taking parts of a few philosophies that work for me and combining them into an eating-habit revamp. This isn’t a cleanse or anything like that. I need to make some permanent changes. However, I was definitely inspired by Bianca of Vegan Crunk, who does a cleanse each January, and I decided to give The Crazy Sexy Diet another read. I’m incorporating green juice most mornings because I know how good it makes me feel. I’m also using the little ph sticks to test my alkaline/acid balance in my body. So far today I’ve been nice and balanced!

I’m reading Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat To Live so I’m also incorporating lots of raw fruits and veggies (also recommended by The Crazy Sexy Diet). As well as some cooked veggies, lots of beans, and moderate amounts of nuts and seeds.

So, with all that being said, here’s what I’ve eaten today:

Before I left for work I sipped eight ounces of fresh green juice. I juiced what I had on hand that needed using up so I did collards, bok choy, rainbow chard, romaine, a little carrot, a couple apples, half a lemon and a couple oranges. (this made enough juice for four servings) This made for a pretty spicy green juice but very tasty.

Then I ate some chia seed pudding that I’d made last night- just chia seeds, some organic soymilk, and a bit of stevia. It ‘gelled’ overnight and tasted like vanilla tapioca pudding. I also had a small cup of coffee with soymilk. I’m not giving up coffee. It brings me joy and I don’t think the 6 ounces I drink each day is going to hurt me…

chia seed pudding

Then I had a big fruit salad with a combo of fresh and frozen fruits: Frozen peaches and strawberries and a fresh orange and banana. Dr. Fuhrman recommends at least four fruits a day, so that was my breakfast.

fruit salad

I was definitely feeling hungry around 10am but I need to remind myself that it is ok to feel a little hungry between meals. My body needs down time. If I’m constantly eating, I’m constantly digesting! Dr. Fuhrman recommends not snacking between meals.

So I waited until lunch time to eat my next meal. I had some juice pulp crackers that I dehydrated (more about this tomorrow when I tell you about my raw NACHOS! See? Told you I wasn’t giving them up!), and two dishes that my mom gave me. She gets food delivered from a vegan food service sometimes and I always get to try some of the items. This week she gave me a lentil pistachio salad and green beans with leeks and fennel! So delicious. I’ll do a post on the food delivery service soon too.

lentil salad, green beans, and raw crackers

I guess this wasn’t all that different from a typical day for me, but it was what I DIDN’T eat instead of what I did eat that was so different. There was no snacking, no afternoon cookie gorging, and the only processed thing I had was the soymilk in my chia pudding and coffee. I had to make a concerted effort not to snack before dinner too. But I knew that I’d had plenty of food and plenty of nutrients throughout the day and also that I had an awesome raw dinner to look forward to!

I felt clear and energetic all day. Which was nice.

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Weekend Adventures: Birthday Monster Cookies!

I have one nephew and his name is Jake. He is a rad kid- super athletic and handsome- but more importantly, he is a good person. He is fun and friendly and polite. We just love him to pieces, of course!

Jake’s birthday is right after Christmas so everyone in the family is careful to make sure we make a big deal about his special day so that it doesn’t get overshadowed by the holiday. This birthday Jake turned 9, his last single digit bday!

Jake chose to get a video game console instead of having a party with his friends so we had a little family gathering for cake and ice cream (well, actually, per his request, it was an ice cream cake) and opening presents. And he showed all of us old fogies how to play video games!

I’d been carrying around a picture of some super adorable monster cookies for months waiting to make them for Jake’s birthday. I got the idea from this cute blog, which is one of my favorites. Aren’t they great?

I used my standard sugar cookie recipe which I adapted from this one, and had fun decorating with green frosting and candies. My only regret is that the Tic Tacs are nearly identical in color to the frosting. Next time I’ll switch it up a little more. I wanted to surprise Jake with the cookies, but these would be super-duper fun to make with little kids and let them go crazy with the decorations.

this one was my favorite!

  • Sugar Cookies– oven 425 degrees- yields 12 giant cookies

Cream together:
1 cup vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
1 cup sugar

Add to that and mix till combined:
the equivalent of 3 eggs made from Ener-G egg replacer (mix according to package directions)
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together and then add to the sugar mixture:
3 cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda

Roll dough on lightly floured surface to about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. I used a wide-mouth mason jar lid as a cookie cutter.

Bake about 7-10 minutes. My oven seems to run hot so 7 minutes is perfect for these for me.

  • Frosting- frosts 12 giant cookies

I really just eye-balled this but I mixed about a 1/2 cup Earth Balance with a cup of powdered sugar and a bit of soymilk. I used a hand-held electric beater and just kept messing with the ratios until it made a thin, smooth spreading consistency. Then I added green food coloring until I got the shade I wanted.

  • A little tube of black frosting for the mouth
  • Various candies for making facial features. I used Jr. Mints, Lemonheads and Tic Tacs, and some nonpareils.
Once the cookies are completely cooled make the frosting and then start frosting and work quickly. Frost one cookie and then decorate it so that the candies will stick to the wet frosting, before moving on to the next cookie.

all the lil monsters!

Do Stuff: Run a 5K!

I want to run here!

My friend Hillary Libby took this pic. She is a great source of inspiration for me as she trail runs and posts fabulous photos like this!

One of my goals for a long time has been to run a 5k race. I’m not a natural runner but I love the idea of running and the freedom that comes with it. When I see people running effortlessly around town I always think it looks so fun.

Last spring I started the Couch 2 5k training outlined on this site and was really enjoying it until I was sidelined by a yoga-induced heal injury. I had to stop all physical activity and undergo physical therapy for a while. I didn’t get back into running after I was given the go ahead to start exercising again. I had kinda moved on to other things, but it was still there in my mind and on my goal lists.

The Couch 2 5k training is a nine week program that gets you from not running (‘couch’ potato) to running a 5k within that timeframe. I know lots of people who have used the program to get started and are now avid and regular runners. I would love to be among that crowd!

Last week (first week of the new year) I started running again. I’m using the Get Running iPhone app. It costs $2.99 and is totally worth it in my opinion. It guides you through each run- three times a week. You can listen to music while using the app and pause the program if needed and it tracks your runs. I really like it and it is keeping me motivated. Each workout is about 30 minutes- five minute warm up- walk/run for the allotted time- and then a five minute cool down.

Currently I’m running three times a week in addition to doing Turbo Fire six days a week. The runs are short enough and not overly intense that they are a nice addition to my cardio and stretching with the Turbo Fire program. It is a time commitment, but something I really enjoy (physically as well as mentally).

I’m planning to run a 5k in March. I may just do one race and scratch it off my ‘bucket list’ or it may become a ‘soulmate’ workout. I’m excited to see what happens!

Here’s the playlist I created for my training. I like to listen on random because this list is random! BUT, all the songs give me tons of energy. :)

2011- A Year in Cell Phone Photos

I take lots of pics on my phone- who doesn’t, right? So I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane via phone photos! I tried not to overload you on FOOD pics and CAT pics… ;) Here we go:

In January I made vegan waffles!

in February we adopted Nathan!

in March I went to Washington, DC with two of my besties! this is bestie Joe

and this is bestie Anna- that's the White House behind us

In April we went on THE BEST vacay evarr! this is Joe and David in Philly!

in May we got new bicycles! mine has a basket, cup holder, and a bell!

In June I went to Denver for a really great conference. I love Denver!

in July it was HOT!

also in July, we went to a Dodger game on a beautiful Saturday afternoon

in August I made 'sundried' tomatoes in the dehydrator- one of my better ideas!

in September I flew to Vegas for PhotoShop World in a private jet!! it ruled.

in October I blogged about vegan nachos for Vegan MOFO- it was a delicious month!

also in October, David and I were scary Halloween Clowns!!!!!

also in October I made pumpkin chocolate spider cupcakes!

aaaaaand in October I made these cute pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies!

in November I hosted the 2nd Annual Punkin' Partay! All pumpkin treats and drinks!

also in November David and I got new glasses and had beachy adventures!

in December these puppies escaped from the neighbor's yard and frolicked in my yard!

also in December I made these super cute (I mean scary) MONSTER cookies for my nephew's bday!

my nephew Jake turned NINE in December!

we lost our precious Bas in December but Nathan and Pepper are keeping his memory alive. here they are snuggling in Bas' tuffy bed

So there’s my year in review. It was hard to pick just one or two pics for each month. Looking back, I had a REALLY great year for the most part. It ended on a sad note with the loss of our kitty friend Bas, but it was nice to reflect on all the positive that did happen throughout the year.

Here’s to a wonderful 2012 with all kinds of fun adventures on the horizon! Cheers!

Weekend Adventures: Redondo Beach Pier


The Wednesday before Thanksgiving was a vacation day for me and David worked a half day. We were heading south to see a band play that evening in Torrance, CA, but knew we needed to leave pretty early to bypass some of the holiday traffic in Los Angeles.

We got very lucky with the traffic most of the way and took surface streets once we were deep in the heart of LA. We almost always take surface streets because it is so much more fun! There’s always stuff to look at and if you see a little shop or something interesting you can just pull over and go in!

We got to Torrance with a few hours to kill before the show and we headed to the Redondo Beach Pier. Neither of us had ever been there that we could recall. It was dark out and there were lots of neat lights and lighted signs around. There was a creepy 80s style arcade with this fun/creepy clown mural out front that I made David pose in front of in his best gangsta fashion:

fun? factory ;)

We saw some cool boats, neat birds and some seals (my favorite!). The beach surrounding the wharf area was very pretty. But my favorite thing was this awesome sign with lighted balls for Tony’s! It was a restaurant/bar that I’m sure has been on this pier forever (there was even this sign telling us that- Old Tony’s!)

I imagine this pier is packed with kids and families and strolling lovers during the day, but it was really fun to be here the night before a holiday when it was mostly deserted. We wandered around for a long time just looking at stuff. It was a really fun way to start our super long holiday weekend.

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