WF tofu

Weekend of thanks 2012

I know Thanksgiving was ages ago, but I’m only just getting around to uploading photos and such because my week/end was SO packed I couldn’t be bothered to worry about blogging in a timely manner. 

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Shorts and a tank top in late November…must be Southern California…

For the first time in as long as I can remember ever (!!) I got the holiday – PLUS it’s surrounding days – off of work. 

Kyle and I took full advantage, and drove down to his parents’ house in San Clemente on Wednesday afternoon, to stay through Sunday.  Mini vacay!

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He had a half day of work, so I took the opportunity to fill my morning with last minute errands and food prep.

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I made a pumpkin cheesecake (above) for my family’s Thanksgiving and roasted nuts (below) for a kale salad I was going to make for Kyle’s family’s Thanksgiving. 

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Recipes coming.

I had pumpkin butter & cream cheese oatmeal for breakfast, which was as brilliant and delish as it sounds.

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But since I went to such great lengths to use up every last (perishable) food before we headed out of town, our fridge was completely bare by Wednesday afternoon.  Which meant I had to go to Whole Foods for lunch.  Such a sacrifice.

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This is my new favorite thing. 

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Made to order sandwich with gluten free bread, field roast loaf, avocado, mustard, vegenaise, lettuce & tomato.

I ate it in the car while Kyle was trying to navigate through the most intense LA traffic ever and naturally spilled on my belly.  Twice.  Washed it all down with a gingerberry kombucha.

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For dessert I had a few tangerines.  I’m obsessed with citrus at the moment, and these are on sale at WF for cheap cheap cheap.  They’re almost easy enough to peel that your hands don’t get all sticky.  Almost.

It took us a rather miserable 2+ hours to get to San Clemente.  [A trip that should be an hour long. Max.]

After we decompressed a bit, Kyle’s dad fired up the BBQ and we threw together a quick dinner.  Nothing like a low key meal before the big day.

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I had two Field Roast sausages with all the toppings, but no bun.  I was saving my (wheat) FODMAPs for Thanksgiving the next day.

I never took a picture of dessert, but we had vanilla coconut ice cream.

The next day was the big day.  Evidently I didn’t photograph my breakfast either, but it was my preggo standard – two fried eggs with toast and a pound of Earth Balance.

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I made a lunch out of appetizers – with hummus & guac aplenty on corn chips and carrots (I still dodged the wheat).

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On the left: Kyle reading his mom the directions to make vegan gravy.  On the right: the full spread.

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I think 50% of my plate was kale salad.  The rest was vegan mashed potatoes with vegan gravy (yum!), vegan cassoulet, and cranberry jelly (from the can, obvs).  I had seconds of kale salad, but otherwise didn’t really stuff myself.  Even my normal portions make me so uncomfortable, it’s really miserable feeling packed to the gills while pregnant.  Pre-pregnancy I thought the holidays would be so awesome – eating heaps and heaps with the excuse that you’re “eating for two”.  What a load of crap.  I think I ate less this holiday season than any other.

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Anyway.  After dinner we played cards until it was time for dessert.  Kyle had apple pie a la mode, while I had a vegan carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (made by Whole Foods).

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I had to pick around the walnuts, but otherwise it was fantastic.

The next day was one of recovery.  I slothed it up in the morning, reading my book, watching football, and just being a lazy bum.  I had the eggs & toast (again) for breakfast.  And by noon I was ready for something more active, so Kyle and I went for a walk around the neighb.

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Lunch was, of course, leftovers.

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Including the green beans that I somehow missed the previous night.

Later on Kyle and I headed to Newport Beach to my G-ma’s house (where my family was spending the weekend). 

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How many people does it take to arrange a table for nine?

TACO NIGHT!!!!

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Even though this was supposed to be a mellow night (before Thanksgiving #2 on Saturday), it turned into quite the elaborate production. 

With both corn (fried and un-fried) and flour tortillas, black and refried beans, grilled peppers and grilled fish, regular cheddar and daiya, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and salsa.  And probably other stuff I’m forgetting.

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G-ma, Auntie Wendy, & mom.

We all sang happy birthday to Laura and then dug in.

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Yum.  I was way too ambitious with this plate and ended up saving half of my second taco for the car ride back to San Clemente. 

Kyle had coffee once we got back to his parents’ house, but I crashed almost right away.

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Another relaxing morning by the fire with eggs & toast.

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Then we headed back to Newport Beach for Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family.

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This time the pita chips lured me in.  🙂

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Finn discovered Kyle’s inability to say no and exploited it the rest of the day requesting him as a play buddy.

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Ivy was more easily entertained.  With tupperware, pots and pans.  My cousin’s kids are too cute for words.

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We took a lot of family photos, but this is really the only one worth showing.  I mean, it says it all, doesn’t it?  Holy crap, we’re going to be parents?!?!?

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On the left: Murphy Goode merlot mocking me.  On the right: dad carving the turkey.

In total, I think there were about 20 people to serve.  So we had a TON of food.

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[Cool] Kids table on the right.  🙂

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The food…where oh where to begin…

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Cranberry jelly. Rolls.

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Vegan mashed potatoes (there were reg ones too).  Spinach salad.

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Jello.  Vegetarian (turkey-less) stuffing.

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Roasted veggies.  Green bean & pea cheese casserole.

And so much more.  I’m even finding things in these photos that I somehow missed on Saturday!?! 

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My mom and Aunt were responsible for cooking almost everything.  Seriously.

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So much to be thankful for this year.

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Can you believe it – this measly plate left me feeling stuffed to the brim.

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I didn’t even have room for dessert (including my own pumpkin cheesecake).

After helping clean up (while getting heaps of leftovers “forced” upon us [gladly accepted]), Kyle and I headed back to San Clemente.

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I managed to find room for dessert after all.  :)  Kyle and I watched Home Alone with his parents and enjoyed some of his dad’s home-made coconut ice cream. 

For some reason I took a photo of my breakfast the next morning.

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This is probably because I tweaked my routine (ever so slightly) by switching out toast for waffles.  And not just any waffles.  These are Vans vegan and gluten free blueberry waffles.  Two thumbs up, by the way.

After breakfast Kyle and I hit the road (yet again).

This time we were headed down to San Diego for the Chargers vs. Ravens game.  Being a huge football fan, it may seem surprising that I’ve never been to an NFL game, but this was my first, and to say I was excited would be a huge understatement. 

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I did some research on Qualcomm stadium and since you’re allowed to bring in your own food, we decided to stop at the Escondido Whole Foods on the way.

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Because I never turn down the chance to explore a new Whole Foods. 🙂

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Does this look familiar?  I wasn’t joking when I said this is my new favorite.

The traffic getting off the freeway and into the stadium was obnooooooxious.  And by the time we made it to our seats we were both ready to dig into our lunches.

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I took my last bite just in time for kickoff.

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Kyle got us tickets as my 30th birthday present and it was such an exciting game.  It went into OT and was basically the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

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And now I can cross it off my fake thirty by thirty list. 

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Even though I snacked on dark chocolate covered almonds throughout the game, I was still ravenous by the time we left.  And thanks to the horrendous traffic and disorganized exit situation, we weren’t actually on the road until nearly 6 pm. 

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So we went back to WF again.  Underneath the baked tofu and roasted butternut squash is emerald kale salad and vegan mashed potatoes (which I topped with nooch).  I think it’s safe to say I got enough Thanksgiving food this weekend!

After a quick pit-stop at Kyle’s parents’ house, where we packed everything back into the car, we were back on the road, heading home to Santa Monica.

What a holiday!

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And somehow I wound up with enough leftovers from all the Thursday through Sunday meals that our previously empty fridge is now packed.

Time to get ready for Christmas…

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PS It’s hard to believe, but I’m a couple days shy of 30 weeks! 

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Parties & Dates

After a long work week, Kyle and I soaked up the weekend like two sponges.  And of course, I’m only just now getting around to blogging about it.  So pathetic.  But let’s just pretend this is timely and the weekend was yesterday, okay?

Starting with a Friday date night at Whole Foods.

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He got off work before I did so he walked from our apt and met me there once I peaced out of the hospital.

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I had salad bar ADD, but eventually got myself squared away with a monster salad – complete with BBQ tofu, croutons and Caesar salad dressing. 

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Under there is a whole lotta spinach, kale, peas, carrots, and I don’t even know what else.  Kyle called it a Buffalo Caesar.  Works for me.

He went the Indian route.  A bunch of vegan yumminess that looked real good.

Back at the casa we watched Olympics until we were both too tired to keep our eyes open any longer.  And yet, for some reason, we both woke up way too early the next morning.  Bummer.

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I had two fried eggs with cornbread (and Earth Balance).  And almond milky iced tea.

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I read and watched the Olympics while Kyle had an ironing party in the living room. 

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He really does call these ironing parties, by the way.  He schedules them into our his calendar (I don’t use the calendar).  I think it’s hilarious.

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Half way through!

I kept him company and munched on grapes.  Then we ran some errands together, including picking up groceries for a dinner party later that night.  More on that later. 

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Yes, I got a veg juice while at WF.  It had quite a bit of ginger and was spicyyyy.  🙂

Once back, I had a real lunch. 

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Fumi tofu salad from the previous night’s trip to WF.  Wow, I just realized that was two visits to Whole Foods in like 12 hours.  No comment.

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Anyway, I had three times this bowl and added soy sauce and picked out the almond slivers.  I wasn’t in the mood for them.

Post digestion, I went for a quick run (it was approximately 150 million degrees outside).  Then it was time to get ready for our friends to come over.

Menu:

  • crackers with brie & hummus (apps)
  • salmon
  • kale salad
  • fresh bread

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We went to Santa Monica Seafood (the best of the best) for the fish.  Since we needed 6 filets, they got a massive fish to cut to our specification.  Fresh and wild.

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I wanted a million other things there, but we managed to stick to just the fish (okay, that’s a lie, we got the cheese there too).

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For the fish, we made a sweet smoky spicy rub using this recipe.

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I was intrigued by the cocoa powder.  For the 6 filets we 1 1/2-ed the recipe.

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Rubbed it all in and set it the fridge until grilling time.

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Then I made candied walnuts for the salad using this recipe.  Followed by a simple sweet lemon vinaigrette (I’m not sure why it’s green).

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The recipe is in my ebook.

Lastly, I threw together the apps.  Nothing super fancy – Sabra hummus, fancy brie and WF entertainment crackers.

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After chatting and catching up, Kyle got to grilling and I made the salad.

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Look at that! 

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Sourdough & olive bread.  And of course, the kale salad.

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My first portion is below (minus the Earth Balance).

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After dinner we played games (like adult Uno) and before I knew it, I was yawning and it was midnight.  Snooooze.

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Another snacktastic morning.

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Leftover candied walnuts. 🙂

And the weekend dates continued!

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My uncle was in town and joined us for br/lunch at Rose Cafe in Venice.  It’s absolutely unacceptable that this was my first visit to this place.  I’ve heard people sing it’s praises for years! 

I’m happy to say it lived up to the hype.

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My uncle and I both got Arnold Palmers and the tofu scramble.  His had fruit on the side, mine had potatoes.  Both the scramble and the potatoes were delish.

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Kyle got a spinach & tomato benedict with potatoes.  He also got avo on the side and shared some with me.

I’m definitely going back…there was a veggie burger on the menu that sounded pretty awesome. 

We hung out with my uncle for a bit after lunch and eventually he headed back to his hotel and Kyle and I went for a walk (slash grocery run).

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On the menu for our Sunday night family dinner: tortilla espanola and a tomato salad.  With OUR tomatoes.

I picked so many the previous day!

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Weee!

Kyle’s the tortilla master…I showered and by the time I came back downstairs he was almost done and it smelled awesome! 

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All I did to the cherry tomatoes was drizzle balsamic, olive oil, salt & pepper on top.

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I wish this picture actually showed how amazing this was.  Simple.  But perfect.  Actually, spanish tortilla is pretty much the same.  It’s only really two ingredients. 

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Kyle’s so good at it.

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I cut it into quarters, thinking we’d each have half and the rest would be leftovers.  Wishful thinking Elise. 

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This was my first plate.

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So good!

I was going to have a smaller sliver for my second portion, but Kyle called us both out.  I believe he said “let’s not kid ourselves and just finish it off.”  Which we did.

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I had candied ginger and dark chocolate for dessert.  Twice.

And that was our date filled weekend.

A three-fer

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Not meatballs.

I should have made a bigger batch of these coconut macaroon things because Kyle ate half of them before I even tried one.

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Work food.  Banana.  Carrots.  Macaroons.

It would probably blow your mind to know how many carrots we go through in our little hippie household.  I eat half a pound a day, minimum.  If our fridge were bigger it would be packed with orange.  As it is, we have one crisper drawer solely devoted to those two pound bags (plural).

Almond milk is another thing we seem to restock at a insane rate – three or four cartons a week!  I’m telling you guys, we are keeping Blue Diamond in business.  I’m curious about the new Silk almond milk with 35 calories (per serving).  Anyone tried it?  I loved the older Silk almond milk, but the nutritional stats on Almond Breeze’s unsweetened vanilla almond milk are better (0 g sugar vs 15 g sugar).

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A break from my breakfast routine!  Not oats!!  I didn’t stray too far – I swapped brown rice for oats, which I mashed with greek yogurt and vanilla almond milk.  Then I added (home-made) no-grain-ola and fresh strawberries.

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Yum!

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It was really really good.  Held me over until lunch. 

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Spinach, brown rice, General Tso’s soy chicken (from Whole Foods). 

This is the meal I enjoyed in the gorgeous sunshine.

Unpictured dessert: the best chocolate ever.  Stay tuned.

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I got home and threw together my go-to combo of seitan, quinoa, and carrots. 

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I swore I was going to stop taking pictures of this combo since it is something I eat at least once a week (which makes for highly repetitive blog material), but I seem to have an influx of new readers lately (hi!), so I felt like showing a classic hippie bowl.

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For dessert I had a few slices of warm banana bread.

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There’s no need to share a recipe here since I made it while I was on the phone with my sister (in Australia) and didn’t measure anything.  Not only was I hardly paying attention to the baking process, but I forgot to use an egg/“egg” substitute.  Accordingly, it turned out pretty dense.  Kinda like banana pancakes.

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But whatever, it tasted good. 

I had some on the way to work the next morning too.

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If you’re thinking this pre-packed collection looks a little sparse it’s because I have a confession.

I have become addicted to the french toast from our hospital cafeteria.  I’m sure it’s made with the most nutrient void white bread, but it’s so fluffy and yummy.  For a variety of reasons, I never buy anything from the cafeteria.  First off, they don’t really have much that interests me.  Second, it’s more economical to pack my own stuff.  Third, running downstairs to get food is almost always impossible with the work load and patient care.  And finally, it’s a gamble eating things that I didn’t make since I can’t account for the exact ingredients or cross-contamination (which is a real gamble given my GI sensitivities).

All that considered, I bought french toast both days this weekend.  I think my co-workers almost fainted in shock.  I dunked each bite in real maple syrup and it was delicious. 

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For lunch I had the same thing as the previous day but with quinoa instead of brown rice.

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And because my appetite was still thriving, I had my packed breakfast parfait as an afternoon snack.  It had berries, greek yogurt, & home-made no-grain-ola.

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I snacked on Cocomo Joe CocomoCorn on the way home from work.  Oh my gosh this stuff is good.  Really really good.  I had no idea how they were going to replicate the flavors of caramel corn with healthy ingredients, but they definitely did.

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It’s sweetened with coconut nectar and coconut sugar so it’s both vegan and FODMAPs friendly. 

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Now I’m reallllly excited to try the rest of the goodies they sent me 🙂

All of them are vegan, gluten free, organic, and paleo (I’m not following a paleo diet, but I know tons of people are – and as an aside, I’ve noticed many overlaps in the paleo diet and the low FODMAPs diet).  Many of the Cocomo Joe products are raw too. 

I wasn’t that hungry when I got home from work, so I made a quick scramble with eggs, seitan, and spinach.

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I had a piece of Rudi’s GF bread on the side. 

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Taste-wise it’s really good (reminds me of a brioche-like egg bread).  However it tends to crumble more than gluten breads, which means it’s not great for mopping up leftover stir-fry seitan juice or runny egg yolks. 

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When it comes to sandwiches, it’s better to toast the bread first.  I’ve found that helps it hold together better.

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As far as gluten free breads go, it replicates the fluffy sandwich bread quality of wheat bread pretty well.  It’s a far cry from the dense Food For Life millet bread (or my brick-like home-made attempts).

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And it’s soy free and gluten free.  I bet it would be excellent for french toast…just sayin 😉

Instead of dessert I had hot cocoa (Chatfield’s cocoa + NuNatural stevia + almond milk + water) with one massive home-made marshmallow

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Since I was extremely exhausted and Kyle was out at bars with friends, I went to bed almost immediately after eating.  My shift was so insane, I just wanted to collapse in my pillow.  So I did. 

Then I woke up and started the entire routine again.

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I brought three pieces of banana bread to snack on over the day. 

And a AB&J sammie.  I brought it as a back-up knowing full well I was really going to buy french toast again (if I could find the time to get to the caf).

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Un-processed through and through.  From the home-made almond butter to my mom’s home-made plum jam to the home-made wheat bread.

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But I definitely got the cafeteria french toast again.  I’m considering it my weekend treat.  I have to have something to look forward to when I’m at the hospital and everyone else Kyle is off. 

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I’m happy to report, my Sunday shift was MUCH better than my Saturday shift.  Generally speaking, the pace of weekend shifts is slower.  But that was not the case on Saturday.  Not one bit.  Which is why I didn’t know what I was going to come back to on Sunday.  But even after completely chaotic shifts (playing that never-ending catch up game), at least by the next day you know the patients and are already familiar with their plans of care, their meds, their tests, etc.  So I hit the ground running.  As a result, the day went much more smoothly.  What can I say, I like routine just as much as the next person.

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Check out my bomb lunch. 

Kyle drove over to the hospital to meet up with me on my break.  It was awesome.  He knows my lunch “spot” in the village so he was there waiting for me. 

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This tofu dish was another leftover Whole Foods dish.  I added it to a massive portion of brown rice (which you can’t see from this photo).  The sauce was sticky savory perfection and coated the rice so nicely.  I ate all the rice but mostly just picked out the tofu.

Kyle finished off the leftover onions and peppers that I didn’t eat.

We walked to TJ’s to grab some necessities before I headed back to work.

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This is what I mean by necessities.  I almost didn’t want to share this for fear that my curse would result.  I’m going to go back to Trader Joe’s and buy the entire stock just in case. 

I came home to BBQ leftovers. 

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Zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Pus tofurky Italian sausage.  And brown rice in the cooker.  Can you believe this is the fare chosen by three boys?  What a time-saver not having to make a separate meal for myself (I hope this trend means plant based eats are gaining popularity among the carnivorous). 

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I started with a moderate serving, but once I discovered how spicy the vegan sausage was I added another two scoops of rice and zucchini to help my taste buds out. 

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I had another chunk of the dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt for dessert.  Plus more marshmallow-ed hot cocoa.

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Since I know I’ll get some questions about it, no the chocolate is not vegan (the caramel has small amounts of dairy), but eaten in moderation it’s not enough to kill me.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, being low FODMAPs means I’m able to enjoy certain amounts of things I previously completely avoided (because I didn’t understand the pattern of why/when they would cause GI symptoms).  Now that I know how to eat to keep the FODMAPs load on my gut low over the course of the day, it’s allowed me to savor these small things (like pieces of chocolate). 

DC: Identity Crisis

Let me first start out by saying, I’m not usually a good liar.  In fact, I have a pretty hard time holding a secret for longer than a minute.  Kyle has learned this the hard way, and as a result, he rarely shares top secret stuff with me (friends’ impending engagements, etc.).  I’m not a gossip, I just like sharing information!  Let that be a lesson to everyone. 

So.  Backing up to Thursday. 

Our flight was set to take off around 1 pm, so Kyle and I woke up early, ate breakfast, finished some last minute packing and headed to the bus stop.

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Kyle and I are both the kind of people who account for tons of extra time should anything go wrong in transit.  Since we were trying to precisely time a meet-up with Kyle’s mom and grandma at the curbside to help with luggage/wheelchair/parking coordination, we arrived at the airport extra early.  In other words, we had more than enough time to check in, etc. 

I stood guard with the bags we weren’t checking while Kyle took his mom’s car to long term parking.  He then had to bus back to the airport at which point we flagged down the handicapped helpers.  75 minutes later we were in business.  Wheelchair ready, boarding passes in hand, off we went!  Not so fast…

As everyone (else) got their IDs out, I quickly realized I didn’t have mine.  You know that feeling?  As you frantically tear through your purse hoping that your gut isn’t right, but really you know it is.  My suspicions were right.  No wallet.  SH!T. 

At this point, all our “extra” time had been used up, and the chances of going back home and returning in time were nil.

While Kyle gave me a death glare, Kyle’s mom and I started scheming solutions.  I’m the kind of person you want on your team in an emergency.  I don’t panic.  I think it’s because I am eternally an optimist.  Never once did I think I wasn’t getting on that flight.  Beverly is also a master manipulator, so I knew between the two of us, I’d get through security someway or another. 

At first, I wasn’t planning on being shady about it, but when we asked an information person for advice, she almost suggested we take the (less legal) shortcut.  First, she asked how old I was, which led me to believe maybe I could actually pull off being 17.  Then she pointed out that we had the same last name and it was uncommon to travel with your parent without an ID.  So it was decided.  We split ways from Kyle and his grandma and I channeled my immature baby face as best as I could.

We approached the podium, Beverly handed her ID and boarding pass to the security person, then I gave my pass.  And we were through!  No questions!  Nothing*!!

On the other side, we reunited with the rest of the fam and headed to the gate.  Kyle was both mortified (that he was married to a minor) and relieved (that I made it through). 

And no, the thought never occurred to me to take off my wedding ring.  Both my mom and Kyle’s grandma pointed that out afterwards.  Oops!  With a little time on our hands before boarding, we found our way to a bar for a pre-flight lunch.  My focus during the meal was finding a form of ID on my iPhone (for drinking purposes over the weekend…and the flight back home). 

Kyle has sugarsync on his iPhone/iPad so we had access to all our files.  Between that and my email archives, I really thought it was a mission I could conquer.  And if nothing else, maybe facebook would work?  Challenge extended. 

I could have sworn I had scanned a copy of my passport prior to travelling to Argentina, but we couldn’t find it on our iPhones. 

Then I remembered post-name change, I had photographed my new ID and sent it to my parents and in-laws as proof.  And after several different attempts I finally found the email.

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Score! 

Turns out, being a blogger (and having my camera around to photograph everything) really came through for me in this case.  I never ended up using it over the course of the weekend, so I don’t know if it would have worked but now I am way more prepared. 

If you learn anything from this post, let it be this, always have a backup form of ID.  Go scan your passport or driver’s license right now and email it to yourself.  Then archive the email and you’ll be set in the future when you leave your wallet somewhere. 

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The flight wasn’t bad.  I snacked on my fave bars, dozed off a bit, ate some sushi, read mags, and took photos of Kyle sleeping drooling (he wasn’t pleased). 

At long last, we arrived at our hotel.

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Kyle’s dad was already at the hotel and had totally hooked us up in the grocery department!!! 

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He lugged all this back from Whole Foods, which wasn’t exactly around the corner.  [Izze soda, fresh bread, Earth Balance, berries, wine (x4), tofu and veg stir-fry, curry cauliflower salad, General Tso’s vegan chik’n]

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But my sweet tooth was the one that needed to be fed. 

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I had a vegan carrot cake from LPQ first, and then once the chocolate was unloaded I had some with nuts for dessert.

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These Blue Diamond roasted nuts are out of control salty.  I felt like I should have taken them with a gallon of water and lasix.  Dear blood pressure, I’m sorry.  Love, Elise.  And then it was time to get our beauty rest for a packed day of sightseeing.

*While this check in process was easy peasy, the returning security charade was horrible and involved excessive questioning water boarding and probably took a year off my life.  Beverly is convinced I have gotten her added to the TSA no-fly-list.  I don’t recommend following in my footsteps.

Self fulfilling prophecy

I got 5 pounds of oats from Tropical Traditions and I’m working my way through it pretty damn quickly. 

Aside from my daily – sometimes double – dose of oatmeal, I have been baking quite a bit too. 

Since I had bananas with more brown than yellow sitting on the counter, I knew time was ticking until they would be freezer bound.  But I already have plenty of frozen nanners!  Must. Use. ASAP.

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I was winging it as I went with this recipe, but it came out great, so I will share.

Peanut Banana Oatmeal Bars (v, gf)

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup peanut flour
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • add-ins of choice (carob chips, raisins, dried cranberries, cinnamon, almonds, etc.)  [I used cacao nibs and shredded coconut]

Directions:

Add bananas, oats and peanut flour to a mixing bowl and mash up a bit.

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Add boiling water and continue mashing until mixture is thick and uniform.

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Add chia seeds and whatever other add-ins you want.  Seriously, go crazy!  There’s no such thing as too much dried fruit, right?

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If you want to eat the batter as is, I won’t judge you.  That’s the benefit of vegan baking right?  No risk of being poisoned with salmonella from ingesting raw eggs.  Oh, and that whole no cholesterol thing/heart health…

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If you are anything like me, you’ve been hoarding your discontinued Trader Joe’s peanut flour, saving it for only the most special occasions. 

Well Gollum, this is the time to let go of your precious.  Peanut flour makes these treats crazy healthy (and by that I mean containing fewer calories and fat than normal peanut butter bars).

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Pre-heat the oven to 350. 

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Pour the batter into a square baking pan with non-stick spray.

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Bake for 20 minutes.

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And…voila!

I had two squares for breakfast last Thursday, and then headed off to work.

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They held me over for hours (although to be honest, work was so freakin’ busy I couldn’t even find a spare moment to eat my second breakfast; oh, and I also didn’t exercise before work either).  But still, I wasn’t chewing my arm off when my lunch break rolled around, so that must mean something. 

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They are definitely “healthy” tasting – meaning not as sugary as a dessert brownie (but that’s because I didn’t use any sweetener).  So if you’re into a sweeter bar, I’d suggest adding maple syrup, agave nectar, turbinado sugar, stevia, or whatever you prefer.  Or maybe just toss in some chocolate chips and/or dried fruit as add-ins.  Personally, I was fine with just the bananas to sweeten them up. 

Work wasn’t so great.  Like I alluded to above, I was very very busy.  Head spinning, no time to breathe, crazy swamped with my poor unstable patients.  At least they were all nice people.  But my assignment load was too much, and I was still not feeling entirely healthy (I knew I should’ve called in sick!), and my neck and back were acting up (again), and…well, the list goes on and on…

Self-fulfilling prophecy.  I went into the shift with the wrong mindset and I think I just let the day play out as such.  Or maybe it was just a genuinely sh!tty day.  These things happen.  It’s normal.  It’s allowed. 

At one point I actually teared up, but (thank goodness) I held it together.  I didn’t leave the unit until 8 pm.  Normally such a delayed departure from the hospital doesn’t matter, but I had plans with my girlfriends.  So that sucked.  But in a way, it’s good that I was meeting up with them. 

Rather than wallow in self-pity for the rest of the night, they cheered me right up and it was like the entire shift was erased as soon as I saw them. 

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We got WF take-away, went back to my apartment, and stayed up late doing our nail and having pillow fights talking about girly things.  Funk over.

Do you find that when things don’t go your way, the rest of the day starts to steam roll in the same direction?  Or do you actively try to reverse the negativity?  I’m usually better at steering my day back on coarse, but this time I was overwhelmed.  Self-fulfilling prophecies annoy me.  I refuse to rig my future and set myself up to be disappointed.