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.

nursing in the desert

I really think the temp on unit today was almost in the 90’s.  I don’t really know why…but everyone who came to our floor commented about the sauna-like environment so I KNOW it wasn’t just me.  So, it’s safe to say I was sweating BULLETS all day long. 

Ok, but let’s get down to business with the grub…


NEW kind of tofu!!!  I baked TJs tofu yesterday for the weeks worth of lunches…


While the kcals were a bit more than the Lite brand I usually get (Nasoya silken firm), it turned golden brown WAY better.


Purrty, no?


And it makes a pretty bomb addition to my daily sando, too :)  (Alvarado street bread, greek yog, mostaza, smart deli “turkey” and 2 slabs of baked tofu)


The rest of the lunch is pictured above, featuring sando, odwalla bar, apple, and dried fruit assortment of pineapple ring, HUMONGOUS papaya spear, and carob covered raisins – LOVE!!!!

And guess what happened today at work?!  One of my patients finally gave me a food gift I could (and would) eat 🙂

How many apples are in a bushel?

I love getting gifts from patients and their families, not so much for the gifts (since they are usually non-vegan treats), but because it means I’m making a positive impact on their lives (and who doesn’t like being appreciated)…So I smile, thank them, accept the butter/cream loaded gifts, and then leave them in the break room for others to enjoy…which is why today ROCKED.  My patient gave me 7 apples!!!!  Consider my February made.


When I got home I threw some seitan in a skillet…and steamed up some veggies.


I am in love with seitan.  Reeeeeeeally in love.  It’s so easy and tasty, everyone should try it (and if you don’t like it, send your leftovers to me).


For dessert I had some apple slices (this is actually apple #4 for the day)!!!


My dessert’s dessert (aka dessert #2) was carob covered raisins and a few figs.  I’m in SUCH a phase right now, I literally can’t get enough carob and figs…

I got to thinking today.  How many hours of sleep do you think you get?  How many do you think you need?  After talking to others and reading blogs, I’m starting to think my sleep patterns aren’t too healthy.  When I work I get v. little sleep.  Since I get home late, I eat dinner late, and often don’t get to bed until 1 am (12 pm is my typical bedtime though)…before bed I have to make my lunch, pack my bag, and lay out all my clothes for the next day (which is like 45 different layers in winter).  Also, since I don’t exactly hit the ground running in the AM, I have to wake up at 5 am to give myself time to become human.  I know everyone is different, but 4 hours of sleep?  Is that bad?

Does washing dishes count?

As exercise?  Because that’s the only physical activity I did all day.  No I’m only kidding, but it was a pretty mellow day, fitness wise.  I’m still pretty sore, but that’s not really a good excuse because my legs are fine, it’s just my back/neck that’s the issue.


I started the day with some silky coffee, obvi.  I told you I was lazy – I couldn’t even muster up the energy to make froth!


Brekkie “quesadilla” with soynut butter and chopped up dates.  I was inspired by Erin’s wrap 🙂


Plus a few more dates on the side.

Dates + nut butter = HEAVEN

For lunch I put together a bomb ass sando (GN veggie burger with greek yog on an english muffin)…on the side I had the curry sweet potatoes leftover from last week.


This hit the SPOT!  Lovin’ the curry 🙂

After I had some time to digest, I headed to the gym for a mediocre workout.  I was not feelin’ it AT ALL.  Blah.  Anyways, I did a bit of errands on the way home (lugging groceries back to the apt was probably more exercise than I got at the gym).  


Post gym snackeroos: coconut date rolls (4ish total)

Then I continued cooking and baking – food preppin’ for the week, yo!


For a while now I’ve been meaning to make some non-meat “meatballs” so last time I was at TJs I picked up this package of LightLife vegan ground “sausage.”  Upon opening it, I was a little nervous (it looks like something that might come out of some of my patients).


Fortunately, I got over it once I started rolling it into little balls with some steamed spinach.



“Meatballs” (above) pre-oven, (below) after 30 minutes baking


I popped one in my mouth just to test…and, YUM!  These were really good, a little on the chewy side, but definitely a product I’ll get again.  Keep in mind, I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a real meatball, so my basis for comparison is not what others’ might be, but I really liked this fake sausage.


There were 12 in total – aren’t they just the most perfect looking balls, browned to perfection with a little golden crisp from being baked in the oven.


For dinner I made several bowls of spaghetti with “meatballs” vegan style with shirataki noodles and my hot-out-of-the-oven balls (wink wink). 




Yes, I polished off ALL 12 meatballs!!!  (Insert all “taking in a lot of meat”/”that’s what she said” jokes here)

Oh, and going with the Italian themed dinner, I made a non-vegan lasag for my K love.


Dessert was an easy choice – I’ve missed my dried figs!!!  I had 6 papaya spears and 10 figs…you kids are lucky I even managed to snap a photo of these before I downed them all!!


And a WHOLE lotta my fave tea 🙂


In terms of beverages, I am totally addicted to tea…it’s not a completely recent thing, but lately I have found myself pounding it down (granted I stick to non-caffeinated teas, so I’m not buzzing out of my mind).  What are other peeps’ favorite drinks? I don’t drink soda, and I like juice, but I drink it SO much all day at work, that I never want it when I’m home.  Other than tea, I like getting the propel powder packets because it’s very GREEN (and let’s face it, I embrace being a hippie)…I just add those to water usually after I get home from the gym (no bottles required).  For those who have tried POM, what’s it like?  It’s so $$$, so I’ve never bought it for myself.  Just looking for something new, ya know?


We slept in a bit on Sunday, but were still up and at em at 8 AND…OH.MY.GAH!   I was SO SO sore.  I literally couldn’t get out of bed my entire back/neck was so stiff I was frozen – it looked like I was in a brace because my range of motion was so limited.  WOW.  I spent the first few minutes of the morning just stretching, which helped a teeny bit.  I was prepared to be a little sore because that’s generally what happens with any new activity (and I haven’t been skiing in such a long time).  Plus, my legs were already feeling like jello by the last few runs on Sat after the full day of skiing, but I guess I was in shape enough from my normal exercising because my legs weren’t sore at all.  Instead, it’s like a bazillion muscles that I never knew I had in the middle of my back and neck suddenly were throbbing with every movement.  Dude, it took me an hour just to get dressed.

Anyways, we spent the AM getting all our shiz packed and cleaning the place so there were no signs of our having been there (since K’s boss was the owner and all). 


Started the day with the same coffee and silk combo. 

I also packed some treats for the car, including an odwalla bar, dried fruit mix, apple, and some crackers.


The drive home wasn’t too bad, but the fact that we were all so ridiculously sore didn’t help.  As if I wasn’t stiff enough already, add in sitting in a car for 5 hours…I dozed off for a bit after lunch (food coma), but mostly stuck to my co-pilot responsibilities (DJ, directions, entertaining the driver).  Back in Manhattan we dropped off the other couple on the upper east side and then went to drop off our luggage at our apt before heading downtown to take the car back.

After dropping the rental car off, we walked to Whole Foods to pick up dinner. 


Hot bar treats: baked tofu, falafel, soytein with spinach, dried cranberries, peas, all on a bed of fancy lettuce


I swear there is WAY more soytein than this picture shows.


I’m a little ashamed to say this, considering how obsessed I am with chickpeas and hummus, but this is the first time I’ve had falafel.  It was great (a little dry), but very tasty.


I was pretty satisfied with this salad bar/hot bar combo. 


Still, I am really glad I anticipated my insatiable hunger while shopping at WF.  Dessert, yes plzzz.

Vegan cake!  OMG…this is why I love Whole Foods.  Where else can you make an impulse decision to have a massive piece of chocolate cake and have a vegan option at your fingertips.










That was a big freakin’ piece of cake kiddos – I’m stuffed and ready to hit the hay.  I have a feeling Feb is going to be a very chocolate month…and I’m not really into the whole Valentine’s thing either.  What are other peeps’ past V day activities, single or otherwise?  Back in our college days, my bestie and I used to get tubs of frosting and eat them with a spoon while planted in front of the tv watched movies like clueless and bridget jones’ diary on repeat.  She was a personal trainer though, so the next day she kicked both our asses at the gym!!!

Vermont weekender

Hi bloggies!!  I’m BACK in the big apple now, after a SUPER fun weekend in Vermont.  It’s so nice to get out of the craziness that is NYC every once in a while – and the ‘burbs of Vermont were just the place to relax and unwind.  It’s so small town.

So, back tracking a bit to Friday…Kyle’s boss generously let us use his cabin (which sleeps 13) so we decided to head up to Vermont for the weekend for a fun little skiing getaway with another couple.  Hooray! SO FUN!  But, very very cold.

I couldn’t get pics of everything since I was with peeps who don’t know about the blog (and I was obvi not going to bring my camera out on the slopes)…

Starting with Friday:

I hit the gym early in the AM, made a pot of coffee, and then we were off!  I made myself a BIG ‘ol thermos of coffee for the road.  Ok, I may have glossed over a few points there.  At the car rental place, we were faced with a bit of a predicament, my license is out of state, and Kyle is under 25 years old, soooo (apparently) because of that combination we couldn’t get the 4×4.  Picture all 4 people, skis, poles and luggage smashed in a Kia Rondo.  It was a bit on the cramped side to say the least…And yes, to answer the obvious question, I am the only over 25 year old (cradle robber, holla!).  Anyways, eventually we got the car sitch settled and smashed everything in (barely) and hit the road.  The early technical difficulties aside, the drive was pretty easy.  We stopped a few times for gas, food, and bathroom breaks, but we made great time and arrived by 4 pm. 

Kyle actually ended up driving (well worth the extra $$$ for underage drivers) – you would understand if you knew:  A)  how I used to drive back in my So Cal commuting days,  B)  that I haven’t been behind the wheel in a few years, and  C)  that they DON’T have STARBUCKS in Vermont (whaaaaa)!!!!  I seriously found that last one hard to believe, so if there are any VT readers out there who can defend this horrible situation, please speak up – otherwise Starbeezies, get your SHIZ together?! 

Back to the weekend food…some odwalla bars and an apple for the road.


Check out my red lacoste snow boots (I feel like rainbow brite in them).


Sabra roasted red pepper hummus with pretzels.


And some veggies for the rest of the hummus not used on the pretz. UNPICTURED: coffee, water, apple, a bag of dried edamame, and a bag of dried pineapples.

The cabin is AWESOME.  Seriously, I can’t wait to be a grown up and have money to get vacation homes (yes, plural, I’m dreaming big).


After unpacking, we went vegged out and had some wine and then went into town to eat.  We went to dinner at a place called Sam’s Steakhouse.  Yeah, the name was a bit daunting to me, since clearly I’m not carnivorous.  But the boys were in a meat eating kind of mood…so Sam’s was the place.  Fortunately, it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  They had a salad bar, so I was in the clear.


Above is salad bar plate #1, which has chickpeas, marinated ‘shrooms, grape tomatoes, baby corn, yellow couscous salad, cukes, etc. 

Below is slice #1 of 3 of the most fresh and deliciously moist bread ever.  It was hot and straight out of the oven, and because they let you slice your own mine were pretty obscenely large.  I literally could have made a meal of this bread alone.  To DIE for good.


I also had a side order of BN squash, which came pureed in a big dish, so I was kinda freaking out that it was made with lots of butter.  To ease my mind I sucked it up and asked the waitress and she assured me it wasn’t made with any dairy (apparently several others have had similar concerns because she was very educated on the cooking process).  We also mamanged to guzzle down a few bottles of vino.

Back at the cabin we started a fire and continued the drinking…


Don’t worry, we got to bed at a decent hour…after all we had a big day on the slopes ahead of us.



AM coffee with sugar in the raw (not my first choice, but whatevs) and plain silk.  Mmmm…the perfect fuel for a whole lotta skiing. 

I love love love skiing.  Such a fun day. 

We breaked at 1 for lunch and I had a mediocre veggie burger on a kaiser roll and an apple.  The lodge was packed so it was really a matter of getting in and out, definitely not about the dining experience.  After lunch we were back on the slopes until the lifts closed at 4.  We literally skied home since the cabin is merely yards from the base of the mountain.  Just another one of the 4 million amazing things about the cabin. 


After hanging up our skis and taking off our boots, we walked down the road to a bar called the Loft for some beers.  I got a Vermont microbrew and even though it wasn’t my fave, the cold and frosty flavor was so refreshing I pounded it. 

Once back at the cabin we started another fire and busted out the rest of the groceries and booze

…cue Elise’s carbo loading sesh.  It was like I was eating my last meal!  Clearly a day on the slopes left me famished.  I couldn’t get the food in fast enough.


I had a few hundred plates of these babies, along with a pound of garlic hummus with any and every thing I could dip into it.  Multiple kinds of crackers, pita chips, whole wheat tortilla chips, and french bread. 


I actually KNOW I single handedly ate the bag of pita chips. 


I was in a zone, grubbing by the fire, and nothing could have been better after a long day of freezing my butt off on the mountains. 


These also helped 🙂

We chilled out watching tv, playing cards, drinking and munching for hours (we were pretty exhausted).  Finally we decided to get dinner under way.  I took on the role of head chef :)  We made a big salad with baby arugula, tomato, bell pepper, red onion, and avo, to which I added these morning star “chik’n starters.”


We also had french bread (the others had cheese tortellini with pesto) and a lot more wine.

We played couple vs couple Catch Phrase…Kyle and I were SO in sync, we seriously dominated, not that I’m biased. 

More Vermont Weekender cont. later

It’s too cold for a clever title

Today was a totally snack-y day.  I didn’t even really do meals, I was just grazing all day long.  That’s the bad part about about having days off when the weather is only 15 degrees outside.  I broke the fast with a HUGE glass of chocolate soymilk followed by a CHOCOLATE loaded coffee. 


This stuff is THICK and sooooo good.  I am normally a silk soymilk girl, but this was on sale so I decided to give it a shot.  Man, was I in heaven.  It took all self control to not chug the entire carton on the spot.  I think I’ll be getting a lot more of this.


I did some research for this weekend while sipping my coffee.


Brekkie = 2 pieces of Alvarado street bread toasted to perfection with chunky delish soynut butter


LOVE this stuff.  The entire jar may be gone by tomorrow.

My apple for the day.  Crunch.


Vanilla o’soy yogurt plus chocolate soy milk and chopped up figs.  I think the figs all ducked for cover, but I guess I would too if I were submerged in chocolate and vanilla love 🙂




Later I got my act together and actually prepared some food for a late lunch. 


Alvarado street bread, greek yog, egg beaters and smart deli “turkey.” 


I was pretty full, so I finished some errands around the apartment and then headed to the gym to get my sweat on.  Considering I hadn’t been for a couple days, I wanted to make sure I had a good work out sesh. 

I’m always so aware of when my last work out was and whether or not it was a good one, I don’t know if it’s normal or not, really.  I love variety, so it doesn’t bother me that my routines are different throughout the week, but it makes me feel good when I do consecutive days of exercise, so it’s hard for me to justify days off.  I have finally gotten to the point where I have accepted (albeit somewhat reluctantly) that I just cannot go to the gym on the days I work.  Plain and simple. 

Back when I was in school, my body used to be able to do serious exercise sessions at the gym EVERY DAY.  But now, even though I think my sleep schedule is pretty much the same, my body refuses to cooperate.  When I first started my job, I pushed through it, determined to get in the exercise I wanted for myself.  But as my shifts got harder and longer and the pressures of being new at my job stressed me out, I realized my post-work exercising wasn’t even productive.  Lemme just say, after 12+ hour shifts, the motivation to get on a treadmill just doesn’t exist.  I was having horrible workouts and getting less sleep because I wasn’t even getting home from the gym until after 9, so I was eating dinner around 10, and that’s when I finally realized I had to make a change.  It took me 6 months of working AND going to the gym 7 days a week to finally give in to this.  But now I think my routine is healthier and more effective, which is the entire goal anyway. 

So sorry for the tangent, but I just wanted to say that THAT is why my work outs on my days off are SO precious to me.  Not in a creepy-possessive-gullom-from-Lord-of-the-Rings sort of way, just in a I-love-fitness kind of way.


After the gym I had some roasted BN squash with melty yummy Earth Balance drizzled on top.  When I said “drizzled” on top, I actually meant GOBBED on. 


Exhibit A: above photo with equal ratio of “butter” to squash

I did a bit more of mindless dried fruit snacking (papaya spears) while reading and burning cds for the car ride to VT. 


Look at the SIZE of these papaya spears.  The photo hardly does them justice, but I tried to put my bberry there for the sake of comparison.  I had about 5 or 6 of these.

For dinner I was trying to use up stuff in the fridge/apartment that would go bad while we were away for the weekend.  First, I polished off the lime flavored chips and salsa.


Then I baked some curry sweet potatoes, inspired by LovIN My Tummy’s fry challenge recipe from yesterday.


Curry does make everything better.


Since the amount of greens consumed thus far today has been pretty pathetic…I had a big ‘ol salad, too. 


Lettuce, brocc slaw, edamame, and baked tofu.

While sipping tea and meal planning for next week I watched this week’s ep of OC housewives.  I really like Jeanna.  She’s hilarious – making fun of the others in a clever way that’s maybe a little mean but comical enough to enjoy without feeling too guilty about it (hey, sometimes they are asking for it, right?). 


I’m on my THIRD box of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea, you guys!!!


For dessert I polished off the rest of the coconut date rolls (don’t worry I already got another box) – hehe   🙂

I LOVE these!!!  I can’t believe how freezing today was, I’m really in for a shock this weekend, because it’s supposed to be even MORE BRRR in Vermont.  I’m kinda nervous, but I’m packing 8 million layers and the cabin DOES have a fireplace 🙂

As for the projected forecast…

Weather for Ludlow, VT

Mostly Sunny
20°F | 4°F

Mostly Sunny
36°F | 25°F

Chance of Snow Showers
40°F | 7°F

Looks like it’ll be a chilly one!!