Social Light

This weekend was a reminder of why Kyle and I moved back to the West Coast.  No offense NYC, but when it comes to the weather and the social scene, California is where the party’s at! 

I may be well out of college, but that doesn’t mean I’m an old fart (yet).  This weekend I was drawn to keg parties and tailgates like a moth to a flame. 

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I don’t mind a seedy bar once in a while either.

But before I get to the brew-fueled festivities, let me back up to Friday.

You like my new pink Wifey mug?  It was a gift from my husband ;) 

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I had mega frothy coffee while making headway in my job search.  Keep your fingers crossed for me! 

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I decided to break the fast with a bang.  Pancakes are a rare craving because I don’t wake up with an appetite.  But there are always exceptions when my stomach is involved, and on Friday that meant pancakes.

Vegan Whole Wheat Banana Vanilla Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 banana (mashed up)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup So Delicious coconut milk French Vanilla “creamer”

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Check out the banana inside.  Yummm…

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After such a hearty breakfast (I’m usually into lighter fare in the AM), noon came and went and I still wasn’t hungry for lunch.  Since I had a date with a friend in the early afternoon, I headed out with an apple as back-up (hanger management, if you will). 

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In-apple-propriate crotch shot.

We did some hospital stalking (job research at it’s finest) and then I came home to make a real meal.

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For lunch I finally got a taste of the hottest ticket in town, DAIYA

I was scared to purchase the entire $5.99 bag (that’s a big expense if – heaven forbid – I didn’t like it).  Fortunately, for economical people like myself, Whole Foods sells it in smaller containers at a fraction of the price.

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I started with the cheddar flavor. 

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Vegan grilled “cheese” with a Zevia cola on the side.  Have you entered my Zevia giveaway yet?

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Now I know what all the hype was about!  It does melt.  Win for me.  Loss for my poor bank account.

Later on I hit the road for a quickie 3 mile run and my daily Vitamin D dose, and then came home to shower and make dinner. 

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All I wanted was more Daiya, so I threw together a recipe that is definitely delicious enough to share.

Cheezy White Bean Dip

  • 1/2 can cannellini beans
  • 1/2 can garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 cup “ bean juice” from can
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegan cheddar “cheese”

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Whoa.

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I had it with veggies first…and after licking the plate clean of every last drop, I decided to make it into a second course, too.

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Sweet tater with cheezy bean dip.  Can you believe how long it had been since my last sweet potato!?!  Criminal.

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Winner winner faux cheese dinner. 

The night could have ended there and I would’ve considered it a success, but it continued on…

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Let the good times roll…

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Isn’t it amazing how pouring a can into a glass instantly makes Bud Light a classy beverage?  Or maybe that’s just my opinion. 

I was one beer deep before doing my hair and make-up to go out (poor decision), and two beers deep as we headed off to a friend’s place for some good old fashioned Friday night shenanigans. 

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Sweet photog skills. :P  Let me fill you in on a little secret I recently discovered…grad students know how to party.  Why didn’t I choose a career in which happy hours were justified as networking opportunities?  I was just trying to hold my own.

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PM snackage went down.  The above photo needs no further explaining. 

Saturday morning was a bit rough as a result, which made a double dose of java almost as necessary as air.  I probably could’ve used an IV to rehydrate myself, but coffee is much more practical. 

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Recovery was the name of the game on Saturday morning, but by the PM we were off to Main Street to get our race day packets.

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Oh, did I forget to mention Kyle signed us up for a 10K while we were on our honeymoon?  The couple that runs together…who knows. 

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Lunch was a new creation, involving a revamped sammie of my favorite ingreds.

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Avo. Chickpeas.  Daiya.

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I hand-mashed the chickpeas so they would be a bit chunky, but still stick together and then added them atop a bed of melted Daiya “cheese.”  They were on the same slice of bread, which made the cheddar fairly elusive in the above photo, but a little queso goes a long way.  Smooshed into the other slice was half an avocado.  All together now…

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Trio to be repeated. 

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Like I said before, Kyle and I had to pick up our race packets with our bibs and goodies on Saturday afternoon, so I grabbed an apple for the road and off we went!

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We stopped on the way home to get sweat bands, and I just had to take a photo with my girlfriend role model.

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Hi Jillian!  Thanks for introducing me to strength training – I had no idea what I was missing out on!  Soon my abs and arms will look just like yours ;)

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The walk back home took a bit longer because I was side tracked by Santa Monica’s community garden.

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Note to self: work out green thumb soon. 

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We also made a trip to The ‘Bucks for two iced soy mistos…and swung by WF for some essentials (bread)…and stopped into a sports bar to check up on the Federer match… 

After all the detours on our walk back to the casa we finally made it home…but it was a short lived layover in the hippie household.  No rest for the weary social.

Where were we off to, you ask?

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Here’s a hint: it involved 75 minutes of traffic…and pre-packed eats.

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Sure, the Rose Bowl is legendary in the sports world, but in the food world it is seriously lacking.  Vegans consider this your warning (unless you are willing to make a meal out of kettle corn).  Fortunately I smuggled in the above eats (minus the PranaBar which met it’s fate in the looooong car ride to Pasadena). 

PranaBar = My new favorite company.  Period, end of sentence.  I prefer real food to bars, but each and every flavor is perfection.  I could go on and on (consistency, size, texture, ingreds – nothing I would change).

18 Rabbits Bar – Of all the flavors, the Belle Bananas Foster was the last left on my shelf.  It was good, but not one I’d buy again.  It tasted exactly (and I mean exactly) like a bowl of oats with bananas and walnuts on top.  I don’t like walnuts, but if you do, this is the bar for you!

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Tailgating at the Rose Bowl really takes me back.  Too bad not much has changed since I was an undergrad…drunk frat boys, long bathroom lines, and a losing team. 

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Still, I love it all.  We left early enough to get home before midnight since we had such an early wake up call the following day.

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True enough, Sunday morning Kyle and I got a bright and early start to the day with the Lexus 5000 Santa Monica 10K.  I look deceptively chipper for 6:30 am. 

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We rarely run races together, but this was a nice route and I really enjoyed having a partner.  You like our new sweat bands?  Kyle wanted one for his head, so I was the lucky recipient of the unclaimed wrist band.

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It was a chilly morning in Santa Monica, but the commute to the starting line wasn’t too bad.  We took the bus and arrived 8 minutes before the horn went off, which was perfect timing (in my opinion).  No need to shiver myself silly 30 minutes before it’s even go-time. 

I’m not sure what kind of turnout I was expecting, but there were way fewer runners as compared to the past races I’ve done in NYC.  I’m not accustomed to having so much space! 

The course was a slow and steady uphill for the first 4 miles, which was a bit tough, but it was all worth it once we hit the last two miles.  Downhill to freedom!  Weeeee!

I finished in 47 minutes (not too bad considering my honeymoon exercise consisted of…stretching eating). 

And now I’m officially a Santa Monica runner.  Watch out, a half marathon may be calling my name in the near future…

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After a scalding shower, I warmed up even more with a few cups of joe.  It’s weird but I always feel freezing after morning runs.  The walk home was fine because my muscles were still warm from the race, but once I got home and stretched out, my body cooled down and I was left feeling pretty brrrrrr…weird. 

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If it aint broke.

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This batch of banana vanilla pancakes was topped with cinnamon.

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I polished off the entire stack.  Happy belly.  Happy hippie.

If you know me, you know what the rest of the day was devoted to.

I know I’m a nerd, but I love love love Fantasy Football.  Kyle and I went to a friends house to watch games.  He has a 63 inch TV.  Do you have any idea how big that is?  It’s ridiculous. 

This post is getting mighty lengthy, so I’ll wrap it up with my gorgeous PM snack. 

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Tropical frozen fruit + So Delicious coconut “creamer” + ice ice bay-bay

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Not too bad for our first weekend after the honeymoon.  Seriously, who needs a job when you have such a rockin’ social life? 

Don’t forget, you have until Tuesday afternoon to enter my Zevia giveaway.

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12 thoughts on “Social Light

  1. Courtney

    47 minutes?! On an up-hill course?! You are my running hero :-) Seriously–congrats! That is awesome.

    Courtney

  2. Alison

    So Delicious coconut milk creamer and Daiya cheddar cheese are two of the tastiest vegan foods to ever hit the market! I am so going to try those banana pancakes and Daiya, chickpeas and avocado sandwich!

  3. Pingback: To gym or not to gym « hungry hungry hippie

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