Hungry Hungry Hippie

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BWE (part 1)

Could stand for several things…best weekend ever, perhaps?  Or Bachelorette Wino Elaine? 

I don’t even know where to start after such a fun filled weekend.  Friday was my friend Elaine’s bridal shower followed by a weekend getaway in Calistoga for her bachelorette party.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few.  If you have no interest in the commentary, scroll away.

After lunch on Friday I collected my energy and hit the road for a 1/4 marathon.  It was way more uphill running than I anticipated but I finished in 50 minutes.  Note to self: chai tea + coffee NOT a great pre-run decision…I stopped twice around the reservoir for very necessary bathroom breaks which totally killed my stride.  Good thing I had Flo Rida on repeat to get me going!  I think I’m going to OD on that song by Wed at the rate I’m listening to it.  Anyone else do that with songs?  Play them to death on repeat til you become so sick of them you have a violent reaction upon hearing the first few seconds. 

Anyways, after my run I got all cleaned up and my mom cut my hair (since it was free, I’ll consider myself even from the $$$ taxi fare to the airport)…then off to the bridal shower I went.

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The bride to be, Elaine (left), and me (right).

It was SO great to see all my friends from high school.  We played cute games and ate and got all caught up on each others’ lives.  Elaine, the bride-to-be, happens to be my most loyal and dedicated reader.  In fact, she was the only one who even knew about my blog for a few months, so in honor of her and her upcoming nuptials, here’s some photos, so you can see JUST how gorgeous she is (and how lucky her fiancé is).

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Elaine, over-reflective bling, me, and Lauren.  You may remember my besties from this previous post. 

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Chocolate-tinis!!  I only had a half sip to taste it (they were WAY too strong and full of dairy)…so I moved on to wine

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Other vegan apps included home-made hummus with veggies and crackers. 

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For dinner we started with a fancy salad (avocado, dried cranberries, walnuts, topped in a vinaigrette) – clearly the nuts were pushed aside by moi.  For the main course there was bread, asparagus, and chicken.  But then the hostess completely surprised me and brought out tofu that was just for me!!!!!!!!!!!  Umm…could she have been any more thoughtful! (no)  This was a total surprise and the sweetest thing.  I was floored with how good it was too, considering the hostess was a virgin in the vegan cooking department.  I was MORE than touched that they were so accommodating. 

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After dinner we opened presents and then got the chocolate fountain flowing!

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On the side to dip in the chocolate love: pineapple, bananas, strawberries, wafer cookies, etc. (there was cake, too!)  NOM.

After some more pictures, we all headed home to get to bed…because Saturday morning we were off for a fun, relaxing bachelorette weekend getaway in Calistoga!!!!!

…to be continued…

Homeward bound

I got a car at 4 am to Newark airport.  Nothing like being awake when it’s still pitch black out.  Btw, my ride to the airport cost $87!!!  Normally, I’m a public transportation girl all the way, but I called a car the night before (since it was so early and I wasn’t about to try to hail a cab to take me to New Jersey at the godly hour I was awake)…they could pave the road in gold charging fees like that!!  I’m still in shock.

I brought these Raw Revolution samples on the flight with me. Picture 037

I only had the chocolate coconut, and in a word, meh.  I’ll do proper product reviews later, though.

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These were my other plane snacks, although I only ate the apple.  Lately I’ve been really scared of flying, which has never been an issue for me before.  And all the latest news about New York’s airports doesn’t help…anyways, I arrived home safe and sound.

My parents are stocked with TJ products, so I was a happy girl 🙂

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I couldn’t fight the urge, so I made a classic fave.

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HLT (hummus, lettuce, tomato) with an apple on the side

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Mid-bite there is a knock on the door and a flower delivery guy presents this!  Absence makes the heart grow fonder?  True dat!

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Is my boyfriend the SWEETEST or what?  He sent me this monster bouquet here at my parents house just because he missed me (since he’s returned from China he’s been pulling some super late nights in the office).  Don’t be jealous, girls, he’s mine.

Shopping time!  Living in Manhattan makes me miss the dumbest things.  Just driving in a car was so nice.  We spent some serious time at the mall buying gifts for birthdays, bridal showers, and bachelorette parties (oh my).  I didn’t get anything for myself because I’m on a budget.  Ok, that’s a lie, I got a coffee at Starbeezies, and a package of vital wheat gluten at a health foods store on the way home (can’t find it in NYC anywhere). 

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PM snack: Oikos vanilla geek yog with POM seeds sprinkled on top

I’m going to have to disagree with Caitlin on this one…I was not a fan!  The consistency of the yogurt was the only good part (it was nice and thick).  But I didn’t like the vanilla flavor at all.  I definitely prefer Chobz’ fruit flavors.  I know you hear me K?!  I think vanilla should be left to regular yogurt, not Greek yogurt.  Too bad because I really like Stonyfield’s o’soy yogurt, especially the vanilla.  Oh well, can’t win ‘em all…

I snuck in a mini run to my elementary school before getting to work on dinner.  I was so exhausted though, so it’s hardly worth mentioning. 

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For dinner I had stir fry with MorningStar’s chik’n meal starters (my parents had chicken) and white rice (gasp!) because my parents were out of brown rice.  Veggies included: eggplant, zucch, yellow squash, onion, edamame, brocc, orange bell pepps, ‘shrooms, snow peas, water sprouts, and fresh ginger I feel like I’m forgetting some, but whatever).  I love fresh veggies!

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We all shared a bottle of red, too.

I had another plate for “dessert” later in the evening (while watching Sense & Sensibility).  I know what you’re thinking…I didn’t have carob raisins!!!  I did miss them (tear)…but life goes on (I’ve heard).

This morning I made a strong ass brew of coffee to get the day going right…you know how I like it.

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Someone stole my seat while I was making the coffee…

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She moved once she discovered I had no problems sitting on her…

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And then lounged in the sun while I did the crossword (slash got a nice caffeine buzz going).

I had an early lunch since the day was looking like it was going to get busy…

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I threw some spinach and MorningStar chik’n starters in the skillet…

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Toasted and hummus-ed the bread (end piece!)…

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Now that’s a sando!

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TJs spiced chai tea + an apple…

And I’m off to do errands before the bridal/bachelorette weekend officially begins! 

I love coming home!  CA, sunshine, fam/friends, it’s all good!

bright lights, long nights

…party ‘til the sun is rising, high rise, overtime, working ‘til the morning shine.  I feel on TOP OF THE WORLD!  Top of the world! 🙂

In addition to making me feel like a true New Yorker, that song pumps me up (as most PCD song do)!  Guilty pleasure, fasho.

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AM coffee. 

BTW, before I forget, thank SO MUCH for all the feedback on my last post.  You guys are the sweetest and the most thoughtful and it really makes my day when I get flooded with comments of support.  It’s so nice to know that I can share my thoughts with you all without being judged (hooray for blogger love).  Ok, but before you cue the violins, let’s get back to the food.

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Soynut buttah in my oats.  Luurrrve it!  Plus, this shiz gives me mega energy fer days.

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Before I headed out to kick my butt in the gym, I had to get some sugar in my system (no worries Bender, it’s au natural).  This was my first peach Chobz and it was love at first bite.  I think this flavor just hijacked the top spot (formerly occupied by strawberry).

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Fresh berries and frozen grapes only added to the deliciousness. 

Sugar high rocking, don’t come a knocking!  (I honestly have NO clue what that means) – basically, I went to the gym.

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I was starving when I got home…like, chew your arm off, starving.  So rather than go the auto-carnivorous route eat my own arm off, I decided to have a snack to tide me over until dinner.  Vanilla o’soy yogurt and a coconut cream pie Lara did just the trick.

Sure enough, a couple hours later, my stomach was ready for dindin!  Kyle got off work a little early to join me at Cafe Viva

I was so excited to try out this vegan pizza place I recently discovered.  I don’t know how I didn’t know about it, considering it’s RIGHT down the street!  When we walked in the door the most amazing aroma EVER greeted me, so I knew it was going to be a good meal!  Mmmmmm…warm dough.

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I really think some of the best finds in the city are the hidden ones.  Cafe Viva is a little hole-in-the-wall place, and trust me, it’s a gem.  They have such variety!  Spelt, wheat, corn, or regular crusts.  Vegan (soy) and regular cheeses.  They even have tofu and seitan as toppings!  We each ordered a slice and brought it home to enjoy.

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Kyle got the #25 Azteca (left) with onions, sweet peppers, corn & mozzarella on a corn crust.  I ordered the #24 Vegetarian (vegan) which had organic tomato sauce, onions, mushroom, broccoli, plum-tomatoes & soy cheese.  It took MAY-JAH self control to carry that hot box of goodness all the way home (all 4 blocks) without ripping into it on the way…

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As you can see I added more vegan parm (upper right corner) to my slice. 

First of all, the size of this slice was massive.  I mean honestly, it’s the size of the entire plate!  As for the whole wheat crust…SO so good.  Not too thick, not too thin, and the texture was nice and grainy (I guess that’s the whole wheat).  I could tell it was freshly made too, it was crispy on the outside and warm and soft when I bit into it.  Also, the amount of soy cheese was perfect.  It was subtle and not too dominant, which was also true about the tomato sauce.  There was just a thin layer but then, in addition, there were tomato slices (who doesn’t prefer actual produce anyways?).  The broccoli was also fresh and cooked the perfect amount so it still crunched (no limp frozen greens at Cafe Viva)!

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Food porn, anyone?  I had been craving veggies all day, so I steamed more brocc for a side dish, which I also dumped vegan parm all over.

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Kyle continued working (from the apt) after his dinner break (this China deal is quite time consuming) while I tried to restore my music collection on iTunes drove him crazy playing 10 second snippets of a million songs.

Clearly I had dried fruit for dessert (and SCSR tea).

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Ok, time to pack and get ready for my 6 AM flight.

Going HOME tomorrow!!!!!!!  Woo hoo 🙂

PS Head over to Heather’s blog to win some coconut love!  Or Bender’s to win some Quaker love!

States and Traits

“Traits don’t change, states of mind do”

I read this in my book today and it really makes sense, especially when applied to health/fitness…naturally I felt like sharing this with all of you in the blogging world. 

I’ve always been very passionate about health, which I would consider one of my personal traits, but my state of mind has definitely changed (and continues to change) over time.  Sometimes something as little as eating poorly for a few days or skipping the gym can mess with my head and my state of mind.  Even though I know (on an intellectual level) that it is impossible for such temporary actions to have any serious or lasting effects, I still can’t help but get annoyed with myself.  All that ends up doing is frustrating me, making me judge myself and analyze myself WAY more harshly than normal.  The irony in that, is that an overly-critical state of mind is about as unhealthy as it gets, when all along I was just trying to be healthy

How could my state of mind change in such a short amount of time?  And yet, my desire to be fit and in shape is still the constant underlying trait that drives me to feel that way.  I realize these are completely contradictory sentiments.  Some days I look in the mirror and I’m thrilled, and other days I think blah – and since these can be consecutive days, obviously nothing has really changed aside from my own state of mind!? 

Fortunately, I have all of your amazing blogs out there to remind me that I’m not alone in this.  Also, I have learned that ignoring the negative thoughts is the most helpful and productive way of getting back to a positive state of mind.

Here’s a quote I love.

“Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could.  Some absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day.  You shall begin it serenely and with…high a spirit.”

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And if that didn’t make you smile, have you seen this commercial?  It’s hilarious!  They shot it in the train station in London, and the general public had no idea what was going on.

Good morning upper west siders

Yeah, too bad I don’t live on the East side…then I’d be a true gossip girl.  Riiiiight.

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I was in a barista kind of mood this morning 😀

Froth machine + silk + truvia + cinn = the best coffee EVER!

Even better?  I had the day off, AGAIN!  Plus I am going home on Thursday for a girlfriend’s bridal shower/bachelorette weekend, so I’m beyond excited.  California sunshine here I come…

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PB Puffins and an apple to get the day off right.  Somehow I wound up talking on the phone (mostly with my mom) for hours, and the next time I looked at the clock it was 3 pm!  What!?  So I made myself a really late lunch.

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Soynut butter quesadilla, blueberry Chobz, and dried figs.

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And a tall glass of home-made iced coffee (heavy on the silk).

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And off to the gym I went…tread mill, elliptical, AND spinning (sweet!!)  I came home to quite a nice surprise too…

PACKAGE!!!!!!!!

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I ordered sugar cookie sleigh ride tea last week, so I was like a second semester senior checking the mail every day for big packages.  Remember those days?  I don’t miss that phase of life!

So now I’ve got six glorious boxes of my fave tea…oh, happy day. 

As if the day could get any better, I had a dinner date with my girlfriend at Nanoosh (hummus bar heaven).  Me and Jess are both Upper West Siders, so I’m pretty sure Nanoosh took us into consideration when they were deciding where to start their business (obvi)!! 

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I ordered a hummus wrap, which had spinach, cukes, tomatoes, bell pepps, quinoa and HUMMUS all in a whole wheat wrap. 

Oh. My. Goodness.  I wish my wraps tasted this good.  The freshness and crunch of the cucumber with the creamy smooth hummus was delish beyond words.  I’m going to have to start adding that to mine!  Genius!  On the side I had a quinoa salad with organic quinoa, red pepps, red onion, roasted walnuts and raisins.  I avoided the walnuts like the plague, of course, but the rest of the salad was SO good. 

Jess got the hummus with sun dried tomato pesto, and a side of carrots.  I’ll let you read her description of the whole wheat pitas, trust me, it’s accurate.

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After dinner we decided to take a trip to my local health foods store (aka my idea of life support), so I could introduce Jess to the shelf that would single handedly rock her world lead to her ultimate demise.  I’m talking about the vegan dessert fridgeHow in the world Jess missed this key area in the store, is BEYOND me, but hey, that’s what she’s got me for!!  ***On a side note – I was also the first person to get her trashed in college too.  I’m noticing a theme of corruption!!!  Mwahahaha (evil laugh).  Erin can vouch for me, I’m not lying, “addicting” doesn’t even describe how amazing carob raisins are…

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For dessert, I polished off this bag no prob and then moved on to figs and coconut date rolls.  Kyle was working late, so I may have had a bit more.

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Oh SCSR, how I’ve missed you…let’s never fight again.