My highlights: week 6


My little boy is no longer a baby.   Happy first birthday patty-cakes.  You are the biggest source of joy I have ever known. 


Obviously the boxes and wrapping were more exciting than the actual presents.


We had a little party with our closest family and friends.  It was pretty perfect.


Pacman muffin. 🙂

I had the same breakfast 4 days this week thanks to these GF lemon streusel muffins by Udi’s. 


Sorry for the hyperbole, but they are SOOO good.  I don’t usually go gaga for lemon things, but they actually aren’t mega lemon-y.  Nor is the streusel mega sweet.  It’s pretty much the perfect muffin. 

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Their fluffiest flavor by far!

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The one day I deviated from the muffin extravaganza was for these failed pancakes.  The good news is that as a chia pudding it was awesome.

It had chia seeds, mashed banana, desiccated coconut, coconut milk, cinnamon and stevia.  I ate the scrambled “pancakes” warm and the rest of the “batter” cold.  Good both ways!


Not mom jeans.


Rain rain go away.

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Pent up energy…and crappy weather…means chasing balls all over the house.  Kinda like baby Jillian Michaels routines.


Our neighbor dropped these off on P’s birthday!!  How sweet!

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Afternoon smoothie obsession going STRONG.  This one had frozen bananas, frozen pumpkin (from a huge one I baked in Fall), coconut milk, Vega One french vanilla mix and ice.  No extra sweetener needed thanks to the super ripe banana and stevia in the vega mix. 


Took advantage of the break in the rain to go on a morning jog. 


My bestie came to town for Pacman’s birthday and we grabbed lunch at Crepeville.  Our $ allowance only includes one (non-dinner) meal out per week, so this was a great one.  🙂

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Packing up Kyle’s lunch.  This sando had salmon salad on one half (canned salmon mixed with celery, mayo, mustard, S+P) with smoked hummus on the other half.  Do you guys miss my work meal posts?  I do.  If you want me to share what I make for Kyle every once in a while let me know. 


Because mine all look like this.  And sometimes they aren’t even plated!  Oh carrots, how I love thee.


If life gets better than this, I can’t even imagine it. 


Trying different things

I ate something different for breakfast every day this week!  That’s so unlike me!

Monday: two fried eggs + aged goat milk cheddar + avocado


Tuesday: open faced GF toast + aged goat milk cheddar + avocado


Wednesday: banana baked oatmeal + peanut butter + protein powder


Thursday: oatmeal + almond milk + raisins + peanut butter

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Friday: Udi’s GF bagel + peanut butter + fried egg


Kinda been tweaking my morning routine to try and get more protein in on the days when I eat oats and toast.  Adding protein powder to peanut butter was okay, but I just ordered more peanut flour from amazon so I’m thinking I may use that too.  Eggs are great if I’m in a savory mood, but if I feel like a sweeter breakfast I want to make sure it has adequate protein too.  Otherwise it doesn’t cut it, and by 10 am I’m hungry again.  Nursing.  I tell ya!

Mex for all


You’d think after a week of breakfast burritos Kyle wouldn’t be stoked for Mexican night, but you’d be wrong.  [The above is a burrito I made for him with Boca veggie chik’n burgers, salsa, & cheddar]


For both of us, I made this huge thing of brown rice, pinto beans, and salsa because it allows for flexible meal creation.

brown rice –> 2 cups in the rice maker
pinto beans –> 1 cup in the rice maker
salsa –> 1/2 cup of Sabra’s mango peach salsa (!!!)

Super easy.


For vegan options: serve with avocado & Daiya cheese, in a burrito for breakfast, lunch or dinner; or over a bed of lettuce; or nacho-style over tortilla chips.

For vegetarian options: serve with avocado & cheddar or jack cheese, with similar options as mentioned above.

For high protein options: Add an egg or scrambled tofu.

For gluten free options: Serve on a GF tortilla (like Udi’s) or over lettuce or GF chips.


Ummm yeah, did you know that Sabra makes bruschetta???   We’ve plowed through two in the last week.  In addition to the fruity salsa. 


This is a vegan and gluten free burrito, with Daiya cheese (cheddar and mozzarella), with lentils, guacamole, and salsa on an Udi’s tortilla. 

As you can see, it’s become an obsession.


There’s no such thing as too much Mexican food. 🙂

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For the record, my gut was NOT pleased with this meal.  Sometimes convenience wins.  Especially when you’re trying to let the little things go (an ongoing battle for this type A working mom). 

Big picture:

  • there’s nutritious food on the table
  • the flavors rock my face off
  • I didn’t have to do much to prepare it

I can only be so strong in resisting my taste buds.  They beckon, oh how they beckon!  Denying myself certain FODMAPs blows. 

The next day I sucked it up and went super squeaky clean FODMAPs free (a la elimination phase).  And within 24 hours I was pretty much back to normal. 

Merry marry 1st birthday weekend

Parties all around this weekend!  And lots of driving to get to them all!


This was the only thing I took a picture of on Thursday.  Clearly it was the highlight of my eating day (the highlight in the non-food realm was Peyton Manning scoring a million points for my fantasy team). 

Dove dark chocolate is crazy good.  My mom gave us two bars as a part of a wedding anniversary present and I had been saving them…for what I don’t know.  I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did though.  Not that I’m a chocolate snob, but I usually buy the fancy stuff at the Co-op or Whole Foods.  Dove is better.  Sorry scharffen berger, valrhona, and green & black’s. 

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for Thurs.  We woke up early early on Friday to hit the road by 6 am.


Poor patty-cakes was very confused when we roused him from his slumber at 5 am.  No sunlight?  What gives?

Kyle went to the Bucks while I nursed him (decafs for us both) and then we were off! 

Here are the breakfast sandos I packed us.


His: egg, cheddar, and avocado on Dave’s Killer Bread
Hers: egg and avocado on Udi’s GF plain bagel

In case you were wondering other car snacks included:

  • trail mix
  • banana chips
  • ALT peanut butter bar
  • banana
  • apple
  • sahale crunchers
  • chocolate

By noon we arrived in Paso Robles, where we picked up Kyle’s parents (who had taken the train up from the OC for a night of wine tasting). 

After that we were off to San Luis Obispo (our final destination) for the wedding later that night.


Because it was already 1 pm, we didn’t bother going to the hotel first, and instead went straight to downtown SLO for lunch.

Natural Cafe is a so cal chain.  I’ve been to the one in Santa Barbara several times, so I was already familiar with the menu.


Banana for this guy.


Black bean enchiladas.


Salmon Caesar.


Tempeh tacos.


My parents and sister met us for lunch too.  All the fam bam!  Happy full bellies all around. 🙂


After lunch we checked into the hotel and basically lounged around for the next hour until it was time to get ready for the wedding.  Kyle took the shuttle from the hotel to the venue with my family while I stayed back to put P down.  Once he was bathed and fed and semi-asleep, I got dressed and met up with the wedding gang to par-tay.  Lucky us, we had Kyle’s parents to babysit our little man and a shuttle ride home, so Kyle and I could get our drink on.  Pour the champs!


I don’t have much in the way of photos from the wedding.  I stole these pics from my mom.  [Please note the flip flop situation going on above]

My sister and the bride are besties (since elementary school), so I’ve known Lar and her family for all of eternity.


Dancing shoes.




Mom & Dad.


The barn had lights strung across the lofted ceiling.  There was home-made cookies and ice cream for dessert.  And the bride and groom were beaming all night long.


It was definitely a fun fun night.


The next morning we swung by my sister’s hotel so she could get more time with the little one. 


The rest of the girlies joined to shower P with kisses.  What a ladies man.  Pimpin from such a young age. 


He could hardly contain his excitement with all the long hair to pull. 

Side note: It is SO COOL that my son will know these girls from his infancy since I’ve known them my whole life.  They’re basically my little sisters.  And now they’ll be Aunties to my kiddo.

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For brunch we walked a block over to a place called Bliss Cafe.

I ordered a carob date shake for me and Kyle but neither of us was super into it.  It was made with coconut milk, banana, carob, maca, dates, and vanilla.

My entree, on the other hand, was deeeelicious. 


I got the green energy bowl which had rice with grilled strips of seitan, white cabbage, nori, shredded carrots, beets, cilantro & an almond/nutritional yeast sauce.  It sounded on the simple side and yet it made my mouth so so happy.  The almond nooch sauce was bomb and I was so stoked to get seitan since I haven’t had it in forever.  Mmmmm… 

I like yellow rice!  I should remember to make it more often.  Same with seitan.  I haven’t bought vital wheat gluten since moving to Davis so I need to re-stock my pantry to remedy that asap. 

I usually don’t order such non-traditionally savory things for breakfast.  I mean eggs and potatoes, sure.  But unless you’ve been up since 4 am, salad is a not 10 am fare (in my opinion). 


Kyle got the baja chipotle burger, which had a seitan patty with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, chipotle dressing & veganaise on a multi grain bun. With a side of split pea soup.

He said it was good, and since he’s a harsh honest critic of veg places (he won’t go to raw restaurants with me anymore), I feel confident recommending Bliss to others. 


Kyle’s parents both got the bhakti bowl with rice, curry vegetables & chutney.  Seemed to be a winner as well.  Kyle took his mom’s leftovers for the car ride home.


Oh car rides.  How fun you are.  [Not]

P used to sleep through them, but he’s definitely past that newborn phase.  He’s now way too curious and inquisitive to sleep through foreign travel/environments. 

As you can see, we had to get creative with the entertainment, hence the tupperware of candied ginger (aka baby rattle).


This is another gem. 

Five + hours later we were home.  Bath time.  Story time.  Bed time.  Unpacking.  Laundry. 



Two fried eggs, carrots, goat’s milk camellia cheese, and ketchup for the baked potato fries.


I had an already baked potato leftover in the fridge (I made a bunch in the crock pot last week) so I cut it into wedges and to bake while I showered, broiling them for the last few minutes.


For dessert I had more Dove chocolate and figs.  More than shown for the record.  The chocolate is gone.

Sunday morning I did Jillian Michaels’ 30 day shred.  I definitely love/hate her.  Oof.  So sore.


I made breakfast after nursing P.  Then it was football time 🙂


Breakfast was the above fried egg with Udi’s GF bagel toasted and topped in peanut butter.  I’m not super impressed with the new Costco brand that replaced the previous brand I bought.  It doesn’t have salt so I end up adding salt to it.  And sometimes sugar and cinnamon too.  😛


We meant to leave for Chico by 10, but didn’t end up getting out the door til 11.  It’s slow moving with a kiddo, but it’s all good.  By the time we got there the party was just getting going.  Happy first birthday Kev! 

I don’t have pics of the food, but I had lots of figs and goat cheese.  Patty-cakes tried figs for the first time and practically sucked them down whole!  Guess he likes them! 


Sadly the time it took to drive to and from was longer than the actual party.

I wish we could have spent more time hanging out with our friends, but the stupid work week is freakin’ always breathing down my neck.  Sheesh.

So guess what we had to do on the way home?  Ugh.  Costco.  I hate grocery shopping nowadays, but I’m heading into a crazy stretch of shifts…and we kinda need food.  Why do I hate something I used to love?  I think it all comes down to the fact that shopping for food is no longer a leisurely activity.  It’s a time crunch.  And thanks to P, it has to happen between certain hours (that are shockingly narrow) and both adults are needed (great, let’s add more filters).  Now you see why Costco trips are such a pain.  I cannot wait til he can sit in the front of a grocery cart (so sooooon) so I can go by myself because we won’t need the stroller.  No stroller equals both hands on the cart!  So until then, I’ll continue to drag the whole family with me to Costco and the Co-op.  Anyway, we got a ton of stuff so even though it sucked in the moment, it’s done and we are set for a while.

Due to the side trip, we didn’t get home til after P’s usual bedtime.  But because he’d been in the car so much we didn’t want to put him right down right away (I feel guilty when he’s strapped down for so much time) so we played with him and made sure he got plenty of stimulation that didn’t involve peek-a-boo with the sun shade. 

I don’t have pics of any of the rest of my food.  I had a Clif bar in the car before shopping.  A big salad for dinner with veggie chips on the side.  And a couple of home-made cookies for dessert.  And tea. 

Labor Day weekend

Saturday and Sunday were weekend warrior status for me (boo).  I work every 3rd weekend at the hospital which is a nice change from my previous jobs that were every other.  I guess that’s one of the big differences between full time and part time.  But it was still a bummer since the rest of the world had long weekend.

Anyway, my holiday pay started at midnight on Sunday (I think?) so even though I didn’t work on Monday I still got a little somethin somethin for ruining my 3 day off getaway potential.


Food thief! 

Here’s a run down of the random meals I ate (and took pictures of) over the past 72 hours (during which I slept 1 hour and 45 minutes – yes, you read that correctly):


Saturday’s night shift snacks.  I only had the cocomo joe bar because there was snack food in the break room (kettlepop kettle corn and Costco trail mix).


Sunday’s night shift snacks included roasted salted nuts, dried coconut meat (above), and banana chips.

I also allow myself to have 2 cups of weak (caffeinated!) coffee over the 12 hours.  The first is usually at 10 pm and the second is usually between 2-4 am.  No later than 4 am though.  Don’t want the java getting into my breast milk for my 8 am nursing sesh with P.


After I get home, shower, and feed P, I make myself decaf coffee and breakfast.

Saturday I had 2 fried eggs and Udi’s cinnamon raisin toast with almond butter.


Sunday’s breakfast was another fried egg and a mocha quinoa bake.

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Sorry, no official recipe. But I will tell you what was in it: (leftover) quinoa, (leftover) coffee, cocoa, oat flour, coconut cream, stevia, and an egg.  Baked in the oven until it was set.

I had it in two portions.  Only separated by an hour.  I’m ravenous when I do night shifts. 


Saturday’s lunch was a trifecta of open faced deliciousness.  I really tapped into the sweet & savory combo with this guy!  Udi’s cinnamon raisin bread, topped with avocado, daiya provolone (vegan) cheese, and smoked salmon.

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I followed it up with an (unpictured) bowl of roasted mixed nuts.  And candied ginger. 


Sunday’s lunch was pretty similar.  Only this time I used goat’s cheese (Redwood Hill’s california crottin) instead of the daiya cheese.  Accompanied by  carrots, not nuts. 

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Rather than nap (which I realllllllly should be doing for my own health and safety), I played with P and cooked dinner.

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(a) My little man has a kung fu grip and is quite the grabber.  Cooking around him is…work.  But I love it.  He’s a young foodie in the making. 

(b) He’s probably going to walk before he crawls.  He is light years away from crawling.  Standing, on the other hand, is something he’s not only good at, but improves at by the second.


First fantasy football draft for Patty-cakes.  I think he helped Kyle quite a bit!


Saturday’s dinner was a quickie salad that I threw together in the spinach bin.  It had spinach, carrots, avocado, and Hodo Soy Beanery’s chinese 5 spice tofu.  It was a Costco purchase that I will definitely keep buying.  Hodo Soy is a local company (Oakland!) with an awesome mission.  I like them and I like their products.  The yuba noodles are really good too, for the record.


Sunday’s dinner was inspired by a dish that my mom made all the time when we were growing up (from leftovers).  Cold pasta + cold salmon + veggies + an herb-y tangy olive oil dressing = salmon summer pasta.


Mine was with GF noodles but Kyle’s was wheat pasta.  Both were Costco finds.  We have been buying the organic garofalo for ages, so that’s nothing new.  But the truRoots penne was a first try.  A risky one too, considering I’m pretty iffy on GF pasta (some are okay, some suck).  The trick is bringing water to a rolling boil before adding gluten free pasta and then draining it and rinsing it with cold water immediately once it’s soft and cooked.

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I baked the salmon plain, no seasoning, no oil, no nada.  20 minutes on 375 degrees F.  Then I let it cool and refrigerated it until it was time for dinner.

Actually that’s a lie, I gave some to P first.


It was a bit dry, so I added some zucchini to it (which he loooooves).  All good!

Back to our dinner.  The dressing had garlic infused olive oil, apple cider vinegar, basil, parsley, salt & pepper.  Whirled in the food processor until it was a green oily mess. 


Go heavy on the olive oil.  It’s the best part.


His had green beans and cherry tomatoes.  Kyle’s veggies were different than mine (because mine included cucumbers which he won’t touch).  Mine had cherry tomatoes too though.  From our garden.  🙂


After letting it cool and tossing it all in dressing, I added the flaked cold salmon. 

Super awesome dish.  I really didn’t mean to eat the whole thing, but…yeah…I did.  Oops! 

Needless to say, I didn’t need much in the way of snacks once I got to work. 



As much as I love my job, I was beyond thrilled when Monday finally arrived because YAYYYYY my sister is in town!!!

She’s visiting for a whole month too.  So excited :)  She’s only met Pacman once, during her quickie trip to the states a couple of months ago, so I’m sure she wanted to get her auntie snuggle time in.


As soon as I got home after work on Monday morning we hit the road…heading to my parents’ house for the day.  Nothing much on the agenda.  Just hanging out.  I was contemplating stealing a nap, since I had been awake for-eh-ver at that point, but I didn’t.  I’m going to die of sleep deprivation. 

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My little sis came over too so then we all took a stroll to Metro for lunch.

Apps to start:


Grilled organic Frog Hollow Farm peach bruschetta with goat cheese, caramelized onions & hazelnuts.  Winner.


Maine Peekytoe crab cakes with “bouillabaisse” broth & saffron aioli.  Favorite!


Spicy raw ahi tuna poke on cucumber salad with sesame crisp.  Definitely spicy. 

For my main dish, I got the shrimp salad with romaine lettuce, watercress, avocado & green goddess dressing. 


It was okay, but nothing fabulous.  I would have liked the shrimp to be marinated or grilled or cooked with some kind of rub but oh well.  The biggest problem was the watery dressing.  I added a ton of salt which helped, but it still wasn’t worth re-ordering. 

I took the leftovers home along with half of the tuna poke, which I had later that day.  Good thing the ahi had a serious spicy kick because that’s really the only thing that saved it as leftovers.

Kyle got the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale battered fish & chips with tartar sauce & lemon.  Looked amaze.  Sorry I didn’t take a pic.  🙁

I did, however, take a pic of Chris’ (my sister’s bf) dish. 



For the record, he got the organic diced summer vegetable salad with avocado, dijon vinaigrette & parmesan.  I want to order this next time.


Everyone say hi to Chris so he can feel like he’s famous for appearing on the blog.  🙂

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We played for a bit once we got back to my parents’ house but then it was time to head back to Davis.  I was still nap free (aka barely hanging on) so Kyle drove home.  Had P not been extremely vocal I would have dozed off.  Instead, I did lots of head nodding and eye drooping. 

The camera died before I could take pics of dinner, and since I was in such a delirious state I can’t even tell you what I had. 

After we put P down for the night, a storm hit and the lightning did something to a local electrical whatever so our power went out.  I took it as a sign and just went to bed.  So.  Zonked.  I have GOT to figure out a plan for these night shifts that doesn’t involve staying awake all day because it’s just not working out for me.  That said, I can’t bear to miss out on the action!  Especially when it comes to seeing family and playing with my son.