Author Archive: Elise

About Elise

I’m a nurse. An exercise lover. A whole foods connoisseur. A health enthusiast. And I have IBS. No need to cue the sappy violin music yet... I’ve found that eating a mostly plant-based diet has allowed me to continue to live and love life to the fullest. Although moderation isn’t something I do well, I’m 100% devoted to giving my body pure, wholesome, quality food. Nutritious and delicious, all the time. Hungry Hungry Hippie is a way for me to share my daily dealings with food, fitness, and everything in between.

We ate out at a restaurant!

As a FOURSOME!  Meaning all four of us ordered from the menu and ate the food that was prepared in a restaurant kitchen and I didn’t pack up ANYTHING to bring!! Weeee! It was a big moment.

We went to Pushkin’s Restaurant (again) because it’s entirely gluten and dairy free, and remains one of the best brunches we’ve ever had.  They have a vegan menu too, although P wanted bacon and eggs so we didn’t regard that menu this time.

They don’t even have (cow) butter on the premises!  They make everything – hollandaise, baked goods, etc. – ALL with vegan butter!!  Basically this restaurant is my dietary dream.

Kyle got a BLT.

V got waffles.

I got avocado toast.

P got two eggs, with hashbrowns, greens, and bacon.

We also got a side of eggs and bacon for the rest of us to share.

I let him order his own meal, which he loved.  He said “I want the bacon one with no peanuts or cow milk”.  Ha.  I clarified his order, but as you can see, his priority was the bacon.

For the record, the night before, we told him we were going to the restaurant and I was asking him if he knew what he wanted.  He thought about it for a bit and then later said “mama, let’s get a plan before we go to the restaurant tomorrow”.  I asked if he wanted to look at the menu in advance to see what they had and he immediately nodded and said “yeah, let’s look at the menu and you can read me all the options and I can pick out what I want…do they have bacon?”.  HE IS SOOOOO MY CHILD!!!

The waffles were sooo good.  I stole a few bites from V and I think they were the best thing any of us got.  They came with maple syrup and vegan butter.  Delish.

Kyle’s BLT came with fries, which he managed to leave alone.  It WAS 8:30 am after all.  He said is was awesome.  And we both still think it’s maybe the best brunch in town.

I swiped some eggs too because they were cooked perrrrrfectly.

Here’s what I got!  It was a huge portion – each of those halves are like mini baguettes.  I ate half and saved the rest for later…I didn’t want to push my stomach since I was still recovering from my GI bug and I was also stealing bites of the bacon and egg sides we got.

Buddies.

I gave him his dose after the meal and then we packed up the leftovers to bring home.  I also got a strawberry rosemary scone to take home…because why not??

Leftovers for lunch.  I offered the fries to the kids but P didn’t want any (?!?!).  V, however, was thrilled at the offer and ate every last one.

The week before the bug hit

I thought I was better…alas…I am not.  So while I wait out this GI fiasco, I’ll slowly try to get caught up on older posts.

I am almost living off kombucha at this point, so it’s good I have food from long ago to share.

PS I got a 6 pack of this kevita brand at Costco because it was a good deal…I usually don’t stray from GT’s, but for under $2 a bottle I made an exception.  I like it fine, but I prefer GT’s.  I’d probably still buy it again (because I’m frugal), but I’d be wishing it were trilogy or gingerberry the whole time.

Park date with my monkeys.  She initiated the forward facing sliding, and I was shocked when you know who followed suit.  He’s much more cautious, but is gaining confidence by leaps and bounds lately.  I was texting pics to Kyle (he was out of town) and he hardly believed me that P went down on his belly too.

I brought Larabars for them to snack on, but then P asked if I had the home-made kind anymore. I felt a little bad I hadn’t made any in a few months, so I got to work on it that night.

And now they are both very happy with their afternoon snack situation.

I have no clue where my dinner pics went.  Maybe we ate leftovers and I thought it was too boring to photograph?  In any event, I captured dessert.

This is the fudge from Catalina that I risked missing the ferry to get. I got six different flavors and I’m not sure I’ve picked an outstanding favorite thus far.  They are all really good, but none have totally blown me away.  The cake shaped chocolate is from one of my sister’s 7000 showers. I took some extras home because some women are scared of chocolate and I am not about to let them go unclaimed.

Spaz number two greeted me at the bottom of the stairs like so.  She put that bracelet on her ankle and thought she was the most cool and clever thing that ever was.  It’s from swimming, but somehow made it home with us and because it happens to match Pacman’s allerbling she wears it as often as she can. Because let’s face it, she wants to be like him soooooo badly.

Lunch on this fine Wednesday was roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, and strawberries.  Both my kids cannot get enough broccoli.  I should just make it every week, although then they may get sick of it.  I think that happened a little with green beans.  We are on a green bean break…until our garden starts producing heaps and I change my tune.

I got a taste of this flavor kettle chips in Catalina and may be addicted.

They are perfect for adding some textural crunch in salads.

Another pizza dinner at market.

Since we ate there we didn’t do much for dinner once we got home.  I think they may have each had one more slice while I roasted zucchini for myself.

Obvs I chose this because Kyle was still out of town.

I had some Sir Kensington’s special sauce on the side for dipping.  Aaaaand I ate the whole tray all by myself.

A new kindof fudge (butterfinger?) and See’s and another cake shaped chocolate.

Farmer’s market loot.  Plus strawberries from the garden.

Ever since I went on that kitchen tour with my family, I realized my fruit basket situation could be easily improved upon.

Breakkie for the babes (they had more pancakes).

Breakkie for mama.  This strawberry banana concoction had frozen coconut milk cubes, collagen peptides, cashews, and chia seeds.  Despite it’s appearance in the crap photo, it was frosty bliss.

Standard.

Dinner was this amaaaazing Mexican inspired bowl.  I got the idea from Tracy’s IG and immediately added it to the next week’s menu when I saw it.  

I made crock pot salsa chicken which shredded in 5 seconds flat because it was slow cooked to perfection.

I made tomato rice too.  Also in the bowl was chopped romaine, cilantro, avocado, and then a new Brainna’s dressing that I grabbed on sale last week.

How good does this dressing sound!?!?!

As you can see, the ingredients don’t list any dairy, but the label still warns that it contains milk.  I emailed them to ask if it was lactic acid (which shouldn’t have dairy at all since it is just bacteria fermented on some carb and has nothing to do with milk).  They wrote back and told me the dairy was in the “spices” ingredient on the label and was from dried sour cream.  Glad I checked!!!  So no dressing for P.

As amazing as this meal was, it’s still a little hard to look at because the next day was, well, you know, lots of yuck.

Oof.  Salsa does not feel good coming back up.  Sorry if that was TMI.

This dessert was good too.

Alas, my next day was spent in bed.

This photo is from the best 1 hour stretch of the day, during which I managed to eat half a GF bagel with Earth Balance.  I also started a new Bravo series, Southern Charm, which was totally terrible and yet, was exactly what I needed.  I slept 90% of the day.  In agony.  And I really don’t need to write anymore about it.  It was a horrible illness and that’s enough.

Catching up

I came down with a stomach bug (norovirus?) on Friday and was 100% out of commission.  I’m not exaggerating when I say it was worse than child birth.  It was the most terrible 24 hours I can recall going through.  Ever.  So glad that Kyle was not traveling and was able to take the day off because I was hardly able to muster the strength to get to the bathroom.  So I am now way behind in blogging (and the rest of life).  Let’s back up to two weeks ago…before I went to Catalina for my sister’s bachelorette.

Kyle is THE BEST husband of all time.  He bought me this nutribullet as a surprise the day before he left town.  Just because!  I had been kinda thinking my magic bullet was pooping out and then I went to my parents’ house and used their new nutribullet and realized I was definitely missing out. So he got me one!  And I’ve used it every single day since.  Sometimes 2-3 times a day.

It’s like a mini vitamix, to be honest.  Very powerful and yet super easy to clean and put away.  It’s way bigger than the magic bullet too.  Now I can make smoothies for us all at once.

And I am alllll about smoothies for breakfast lately.  The kids usually try to steal some of mine too, even though I eat RIGHT AFTER they have finished eating!!!!  Little food thieves.

Frozen banana, frozen berries, collagen peptides, vega protein powder, almond milk, and ice.

Runny nose babe was all about this berry banana combo.

We had dentist appointments that morning and we ran into one of our besties in the waiting room! Perks of being in a small town.

Could he BE any more comfortable??

I finally got more mac nuts!  Phew!

We have squash taking over…maybe I’ll actually grow some zucchini this year!?!?!  I’m trying not to get my hopes up…

The strawberries are also killing it and the carrots are coming along too!  We have some tomatoes and basil popping up that are from last year’s (or the year before’s?) seeds that surprised us. I like those kinds of surprises.

My water babies like helping me water the garden with the pool water once they are done.  It occupies a decent amount of time refilling pails of water and bringing them all over the yard. Win win!

Look at these little snack faces grubbing on grapes and sliced cucumbers.  Can you tell I was trying to make sure they stayed hydrated?  We hit the mid 100s that week.

I made the easiest dinner ever since Kyle was out of town.  These are GF chicken nuggets and tenders (both applegate farms) with a variety of leftover sauces and dips that I seem to have accumulated in the fridge because I am a hoarder and can’t throw anything away.  Food waste is non existent in our house.  I was starving when we sat down so I ate the entire tray of tenders myself and had no room for dessert.  Who’da thunk I could do that!?

I spend the night doing food prep…like wrapping dates in bacon and such.  🙂

Morning muffins with my side kick after dropping P off at school.  She is getting quite good at magna tiles.

She thinks to owns the library.  To be fair, we are there A LOT.

Lunching it up with cherries, black beans, and shredded turkey.

Ever since I bought that pitter my life has been…a bowl of cherries, literally.

I wasn’t in the mood for salad, so I assembled a little plate of goodies for myself, including but not limited to, smoked salmon, carrots, Green Valley organic lactose free cream cheese, and Simple Mills rosemary and sea salt almond flour crackers.

These crackers and cream cheese together!!! OMG.  Mega mouth happy dances all lunch long.

Afternoon fun at the splash park with SO MUCH watermelon.

They had a blast, per usual, and then we did a quick change and hit up the library the library’s evening spanish program.

I have been going to the smaller school branch on Tuesday nights for the spanish program which is great because it’s much smaller.  They do a craft at the end, just like the other one, which is super cute.  This lessen my guilt about missing the Friday one we used to attend but can’t anymore due to OIT.

They both L O V E it.  And really, is there anything cuter than seeing toddlers sing in another language??

Leftover skirt steak for dinner.  They had it with some other leftovers that I can’t recall, I had mine over salad.

Then I dipped into this bad boy.  Because skipping chocolate two nights in a row is not an option.

Baking while the kids zzzz…

Green eggs and ham for breakfast!  They thought this was a brilliant idea and who am I tot turn down the chance to put kale in their eggs?  They loved it at first and then suddenly they were so over it.  It was the most annoying 180 I’ve ever seen a toddler do.

I saved the rest to make into a fried rice dish.

See?  I made this later that night.

If you’re wondering about the excessive prep, it’s because I knew I was going out of town for Thursday through Monday and wanted Kyle to be totally equipped to feed the babes.  I made a nice little check list and planned out all their meals and slowly over the course of the week knocked them out one by one.

Because I want to be Gwyneth, I made a smoothie with goji berries I’d been soaking for a few days. Combined with kite hill almond yogurt, walnuts, chia seeds, and almond milk, it was stellar.

It looks a weird color, but made me fall for goji berries in a smoothie big time. I’ve only ever had them in oats before, so I didn’t really know what else to do with them.  Gwyneth knows!

Lunch.

Are you sensing a trend with my dinners while Kyle is out of town??  Operation: make things easy for yourself by feeding the kids all their dream foods.

Pizza!!!

I brought it to market and they happily munched away while dancing to the music.

I used vicolo crusts and TJs vegan mozzarella cheese.  I made an extra for, you guessed it, the weekend while I was gone.

Dessert platter du jour.

This smoothie had strawberries (from our garden!), frozen bananas, walnuts, chia seeds, almond milk yogurt, and ice.  I nixed the vega one, opting for the yogurt instead.

The combo of strawberries and nuts/seeds is one of the best smoothie combos of all time. I’m really into walnuts at the mo.

Creepy pic on the left, I know.  I put chicken in the crock pot overnight so I could make chicken salad for dinner.  It got way too over cooked, so it basically disintegrated when I mixed in the mayo, pecans, celery, and grapes, but oh well.

I was thinking of doing lettuce cups but then I saw THESE at the co-op and knew I had to try them.

I’ve been seeing Siete products alll over the interwebs and I’ve been super jealous of the people able to get their hands on them.  I thought they were exclusively at WF!  I asked about them at the Fremont WF last month but they didn’t carry them.  So I forgot about it.  Then I saw them in the freezer section of the Co-op and threw a mini party right there in the aisle.  It took me a week before I went back to get them because I needed to plan them into the menu, and now here they are in my life.  🙂

I don’t know how they make pliable, non-cracking tortillas out of so few (real food!) ingredients, but alas, they found a way!!  And there are so many more flavors to try!  These will last a while but I’m eager to get the chia ones next.  And they make chips too!

First things first, we had to finish off the tee ball season.  We came straight from soccer and played at the park until game time, at which point he decided he was too exhausted to play.  Truth be told I didn’t blame him or care if he played, and luckily the league is soooo relaxed it hardly even matters.  One of our friends got her game time wrong and showed up at our field so we just let her join our team for the day!  And V stepped in for P for half the game too.  Whatever.

Kyle arrived straight from the plane/train/uber commute home from Mexico at the game and was able to join us for dinner.  Hooray!  And then as soon as I was done eating I got my things all packed up into the car and hit the road for the bachelorette weekend!  Talk about a hand off!

 

Blended coffee

The idea of putting something hot into a blender?  Ummm…side eye…orrrr…not?

To be honest, the reason I never looked into the whole bulletproof coffee thing (and all the iterations of recipes that have been born since that one was trademarked) wasn’t because I thought butter and coffee shouldn’t mix (I don’t, nor do I think it’s an adequate replacement for breakfast, but that’s not the main issue), but because I feared whizzing steaming coffee would end in some kind of disastrous burn.

Turns out, it’s not as scary as I thought.  Not at all.  But!  Ever since doing it, I’ve come up with a short cut that others with similar steamy blender aversions may appreciate.  So I thought I should share.

First things first, I don’t do dairy, so coconut oil is my fat of choice.  And I’ve fallen in LOVEEEE with Sports Research’s products.  Remember how I’m using their collagen peptides in my smoothies?  Their products are top quality.  So now I’m all into the MCT oil.  It’s made from organic coconuts!  And unlike other supplements I’ve taken in the past, it doesn’t have any fishy stink, whatsoever.  It’s pure MCT oil sourced from non GMO coconuts (in a BPA free container too), so of course it’s vegan and gluten free.

For me, 1 tsp of oil is plenty, since I’m not looking at this drink as a meal replacement. Much more than that can lead to some GI effects anyway (anyone who eats coconut oil regularly knows what I’m talking about). From a supplemental standpoint, coconut oil has soooo many awesome health benefits.  And that has a lot to do with the oh so popular medium chain triglycerides, aka MCTs.  Man are these guys getting their moment in the spotlight!  I’m having flashbacks to my college bio classes thinking about their glycerol backbone and three fatty acid chains. I won’t go into any more nitty gritty chemical details, but suffice it to say, they are a decent source of energy, are reasonably easy to metabolize, and potentially promote fat oxidation (there are mixed studies). All good stuff!  And when sourced from quality places (ie coconuts), there’s really no downside to including them in your diet.

Ok, the next thing I use is almond milk.  But you don’t need much because it gets frothy in the blender and Somehow tastes like creamy magic without, well, cream.

And finally, liquid chocolate stevia.  You could do plain stevia, obviously, but I like the mocha thang this does.

Here’s the thing.  I use room temp coffee.  If you make your coffee fresh every morning, you can easily do this with hot coffee (in a blender with a vent) OR you could do what I do and use your (leftover) coffee from the day before.  I don’t even keep it in the fridge (although making this with iced coffee is probably just as amazing).  I leave it on the pot and just pour it in the blender when I’m ready for a cup.  It’s weirdly perfect at that temp.  And I’m saying this as a hot coffee loverrrrr. Maybe it’s the summer heat.  Or maybe I’m on to something with this combo.  But whatever it is, this drink is bomb.

  • 1 cup room temp / chilled coffee
  • 1 tsp MCT oil (this one is made from coconut oil)
  • 2-3 tbsp almond milk
  • 3 drops liquid stevia (this chocolate is the best!)

It gets so foamy and delicious you guys HAVE to try it!  It’s definitely something I look forward to every morning…it tastes great and it’s healthy 🙂

Catalina

What happens on the island stays on the island.  😉

…because it was my sister’s bachelorette!  Breakfast of champions on board our 8 am flight!!

Breakfast number two was actual food (salmon plate at George’s Greek Cafe)…so that was nice.

Ferry ride…

We were nervous about the overcast skies when we arrived, but it blew off by the afternoon and was ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS for the rest of the weekend.

‘Gramming while driving (our rental house came with a golf cart).  Not super wise, but this was also maybe the only time we were sober the whole trip.  So there’s that.

I have been to Catalina a few times before, but nobody else had, so it was a nice little hidden gem that everyone was thrilled to discover.

Friday afternoon was essentially a pub crawl of sorts until we went to dinner.   And waiting more and more people’s arrival.

Shots!  Wicky wackers!  Shots!  Chips and guac!  Shots!  Fireball!  Sushi!  Yay!

Early morning view.

We went to the same spot every morning for breakfast because it was legit.  Organic avocado and eggs and bacon on a GF tortilla.

We got a cabana at Descanso Beach Club.

I tried almost half the menu (shameful head in hands emoji) and took a pic to recreate some at home.

Non stop.

Like I’m a 20 something.

FOOD.

Side of fries all. for. me.

Later that night.

First prime rib of ma life.

NO PICS AFTER DARK 😉

Recovery.

More recovery. And then stand up paddle boarding with my sis.

Fried food is always a good idea.

Night two…

We had a late dinner at Waterfront Grill, which was stellar.  I ate my weight in house-made potato chips.  But again, NO PICS AFTER DARK.

A yawn is a silent scream for coffee.

Hiked up to the Wrigley Mansion (which is now a B&B).

Post hike sustenance (I got GF bread instead of a tortilla this time because I got skimped on avo the second day I got the tortilla – only this time they forgot my bacon!).

Guess who was last to board the ferry back to Long Beach??

The fudge I almost missed our ferry to get.

WORTH. IT.

Back home.

With my baby.

Kyle had a 4 am flight to catch so we are once again passing the kids off with mere hours of overlap.  P woke up way too early but fell back asleep with me once I brought him into our bed. <3

Detox time.

Feeling better, slowly but surely.

Discovered these on the trip, but I’m glad to report they aren’t as addicting as the salt and pepper.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll just be eating all the veggies I can get my hands on until my sister’s wedding in June.

PS I am about to go bust into that fudge.  Balance.