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Category Archives: My Favorite Things

Things I’m Digging Right Now

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So it’s Monday… Yup, the beginning of  a new work week, so I thought I’d kick it off with a list of Things I’m Digging right now.  I may bring this back every so often as I discover new things, or re-discover oldies but goodies!  🙂

1. Frankie!! This is my current Theme Song (I tend to attach theme songs to whatever is currently going on in my life, and this one is, as always, dead on!)

2. Rich Roll! This man is a beast! And my current role model.  He is a plant based ultra athlete.  He has a book which I just read on vacation and I highly suggest you go get it and read it yourself!  It’s super inspiring and a great fast read 🙂

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3. Raw Brownies!  As I have been transitioning back into full veganism and converting over to a completely whole foods based diet (aka no more protein bars and processed foods!) I’m playing around again with making raw foods.  I strayed from this for a while during my temporary housing situations over the past year.  But I’m back!  I found a great recipe over at My New Roots it’s pretty amazing!  Just be sure to not over process, I made that mistake and the oils from the walnuts come FLOODING out.   If the mixture is blended for too long, this apparently happens.  Oops! Rookie mistake :-/

rawbrownie

4. Sun Warrior Protein powder.  I add this to my daily smoothie for an extra protein kick!  It’s a clean, raw, sprouted whole grain protein.  Which means it breaks down very easily in your body and it’s hypo-allergenic. It’s also got all essential and non essential amino acids!  There are no added chemicals, it’s simple, and tastes delicious!

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5.  Etsy Home and Living section.  Oh.My.GOD!!!! Having just moved into my new apartment, I’m obsessed with all the ideas they have!!! I am such a nester, and love setting up my personal living space to be completely and totally reflective of myself and my personality.   Currently I am aiming to set my place up in a very simplistic and zen style.  I have a studio, so maximizing my space and not having it appear cluttered is really important.  If the space appears to look overwhelmed, then that will transition to my mood.  So therefore having a clean and tranquil environment is crucial!  I suggest you check it out too, so many beautiful vintage and zen ideas!

Oh and in addition to that… one word. Terrariums.  Obsessed!

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So that is all for today!  What are you currently into these days?

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Cookie Dough Lara Balls and More Rain….

Well it’s raining again… at least the rain is a warm rain, but not quite enough to get me jazzed enough to go dance in it…

Thankfully I’ve got my sweet rain boots to keep me fashionable and dry in this rain!

I’m also starting to think I need more rain gear workout clothes or something as we head more into fall and winter!  hmmm…..

Anywayzzzz… onto the good stuff!!

So, I am totally obsessed with Lara Bars, but they can be a bit pricey when you are trying to keep on a tight budget.  Thankfully, they are super easy to replicate, not to mention more wallet friendly!!

These lil guys are perfect for right before or after a workout, to take on the go as a quick snack to keep you satiated until lunch or dinner… you name it!

Cookie Dough Lara Balls

1 Cup Raw Cashews

12 Medjool Dates

1/4 cup Carob Chips

Pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt

– Process cashews until they are ground up into small pieces, but not a powder

– Add in the dates and sea salt, and process until almost incorporated

– Add in the carob chips and process until it starts to look clumpy

– Use a spoon and scoop out enough to fit in palm of your hand and form into a ball.  You can wet your hands to keep from sticking too much to your hands

Enjoy! and keep dry!

Question of the day:  What do you do when you can’t workout outdoors??

Vegan Road Trippin

Nervous, excited and car packed to the top, off I go to the sunny west coast!!

As I mentioned before I am now living in Northern California, having just moved here from the East Coast.  I drove across country by myself and enjoyed (almost) every minute of it.  Lol there were quite a few long stretches of drive that were extremely boring, with no sights to see.

However, as promised back in February when I announced my decision to move to California, I planned as much of my trip as I could to stop at some vegan places!!  It wasn’t quite as many as I had hoped but I didn’t have as much time as I wanted and I had to also be a bit frugal.

First awesome vegan stop was Chicago.  

I stopped at Karyns Fresh Corner  which was amazing!  It’s an all raw vegan cafe/restaurant.  It was so tiny but filled with amazing food.  A bit pricey, but I had planned accordingly, so I loaded up on raw food and packed it into my cooler to last me for the next 2 days.

Next up was nothing quite as special, but I stopped at Whole Foods in Nebraska to reload on snacks until I got to Boulder, CO.

In Boulder, CO I met up with a friend who I had not seen since High School!  We went to a pizza place called Boulder Organic Pizza which was some amazingly fresh tasting!  They didn’t have vegan cheese but for those of you who are vegan well know, pizza doesn’t even need cheese to taste amazing if you have the right toppings.


Next up was Reno, NV of all places!  I stopped at Freeman’s Natural Hot Dogs, which is both vegan and non vegan.  It was a quick dinner though since I had a ways to go still.  But it totally hit the spot!  It was such a cute little place, totally unsuspecting, but delicious.  I loaded that baby up with all kinds of awesomeness, vegan cheese, onions, vegan aioli sauce…. drool….

And unfortunately that was it!! I wish I could have stopped at more places but time and money did not play in my favor on this trip.  Plus I had planned accordingly and had a whole bag full of Justin’s Almond Butter packets to go with my apples in my cooler, as well as Lara Bars and ProBars meal replacement bars for those long stretches where I knew there wouldn’t be anything but truck stops.


That’s one thing that I love about being vegan and health conscious, it has taught me to pre-plan my meals and think about the fact that there would indeed be nothing but truck stops for a majority of the way unless I went out of my way to find the vegan spots.  And most of them were not necessarily right along the exit stops.

Next road trip across the country, as I’m sure I will be doing it again next year at some point to move the rest of my stuff out here, I will definitely take more time, and perhaps take the southern route like I had originally wanted.  🙂

  I’d love to know how you all pre-plan your meals!  Do share!

Vegan Eats around the DC Metro Area

About a month ago I got my very first fan mail!!! It was so exciting! and it totally made my day.  The person was saying how they had just had their 1 year anniversary of being vegan, and how they stumbled across my blog and noticed how I had not posted anything in a long while (this was of course during my lack of a computer period 😦  so very sad)  and was hoping that I would start up again soon.  They then asked if at some point I could post a blog about my favorite vegan restaurants in the area.  So here it is!!! My review of what I feel are the best places to get some fine vegan grub in and around the DC metro area.

1) Sticky Fingers Bakery (they are finally updating their website!!)

Ahhh I remember when they were just a tiny little hole in the wall back on 18th street near Adams Morgan.  *sigh*

This place will always hold a special place in my heart, as it was the very first place I discovered when I first became a vegan.  It brought me such great joy to find a place that served delicious vegan sweets!  And they have totally and completely expanded!  They serve sandwiches, brunch on weekends, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies… they even have a cupcake happy hour on the first wednesday of every month!! They have adult flavored cupcakes which rotate (can we say fuzzy navel cupcake?? yummmm or chocolate stout cupcake anyone?? anyone? Bueller? Bueller? anyone?)

2) Cafe Green/Java Green

Java Green was the first place to open and it’s more of a work day place to go for lunch, in terms of their hours (though I haven’t checked their hours recently, they may have extended them) because of their location, in the heart of DC work area.

Cafe Green is by the same people who opened Java Green and they recently opened in 2010.  These two places are awesome as they serve a blend of Vegan and Raw foods.  They are a bit pricey but oh so delicious.

3) Elizabeth’s Gone Raw

I recently discovered this place when I went to go see Kris Carr speak at her book signing.  When you walk in it feels as though you have stepped into Marie Antoinette land!! So very chiq and vintage and cozy.  It is not yet opened on a daily basis.  So far it is only open for events that they hold on a fairly regular basis and if you would like to host events.  It is an all raw restaurant and the food is amazing!!  This place would be perfect for graduation parties, wedding receptions, anniversary parties etc…

4) Bus Boys and Poets

This place is perfect for going to with your friends who are not vegan.  They serve both vegan and non vegan food.  It also is a very hip and cool place to hang out, sip coffee, have cocktails hear live music, poetry readings, watching documentary’s and shopping at a fair trade books store!! It is quite the boho chiq poetry slam dive kinda place to be.  And they’re vegan desserts are from my faaaaaaaaaaavorite place ever Vegan Treats I guarantee if you give your non vegan friends a bite of your vegan cheesecake, they won’t be able to tell the difference, in fact they may even think it’s better then the real thing!

They also have several locations in DC and one in VA

5) Great Sage

Another fantastic place to go for parties or celebrations.   I went  here to celebrate my finally graduating from college.  It is a bit far, but oh so very worth it.  The ambiance is also quite breathtaking.  I’d recommend going when the weather is nice so you can sit out on the gorgeous patio and take in the nice green scenery.  The inside decor is very modern and Asian styled.  The food not only is incredible but they also plate each dish very stylishly it almost makes you not want to eat it because its so beautiful!! **I’d recommend taking a picture of it so you can continue to salivate over it all the way home**

6) Toscana Green

Another great place to go with friends who may not be vegan.  They serve vegan, raw and non vegan food.  They also hold monthly events for vegan singles with music and dancing.

7) La Pain Quotidien

This place isn’t vegan per-se, however they do have vegan options.  It is a wonderful place to go and grab some coffee with a friend or go for a nice light lunch or dinner.  It is an all organic french bakery/restaurant.  It is a green run restaurant and their meals are all proportioned correctly!  They don’t use any processed stuff and you never leave feeling stuffed or weighed down.  I love going there for brunches with friends.  And another plus, they have them all over the world! So when traveling you can scout out if there is one near where you are going to be!

8.) Pizza Paradiso

Pizza!!! I got two places on here for this.  This place is a bit more upscale the Z-Pizza.  It’s more of the “go out with friends for pizza” type of place.  They have vegan options for cheese! And there are several locations around the DC metro area.

9) Z Pizza

Consider this your “Dominos” or “Pizza Hut” of ordering out for pizza options.  They use all organic ingredients and have vegan cheese and “meat”.  They do have tables where you can dine in as well.  They also serve salad, sandwiches and pasta.  My fav sandwich is the veggie sandwich on whole wheat baguette and of course I tweak it to my liking…. as I tend to do with most things Lol

10) Asylum

Punk dive bar!!! woohoo!!!  I got two of these on here also!

Located in Adams Morgan, this place is so awesome.  They serve vegan brunch (as well as non vegan) on weekends.  They also offer vegan bar food.  They have live music on occasion, and downstairs they have all kinds of regular bar games like pool, darts etc…  It’s your typical grunge bar where you can chill, relax and enjoy non popped collars and boat shoes Lol aka you can be yourself!!

11) Galaxy Hut

A place where you can go and “everybody knows your name…” no seriously… it’s that tiny.  I love this place, it’s right in my neighborhood, they have a rather large assortment of beers and ciders, its about as big as a living room and every friday (or just about) they host local small bands (which makes the audience space even smaller, but somehow they make it work).  They offer a few vegan options like their “pulled pork” sandwich and a few other options.  But more than that, the atmosphere is awesome, total dive bar where you can just relax and enjoy a nice cold beer with friends.

I hope you enjoyed my reviews! and I hope it helps you to spread your vegan wings and check out some sweet ass places to go with friends and eat some kick ass vegan grub!!

Have a great weekend 🙂

Inspiration Boards

Anyone else love arts and crafts time as much as I do??  I’m going to assume that there is a unanimous rise of hands, I mean why wouldn’t you love arts and crafts?!

Something I love to do when I am feeling out of sorts is to get out all of my arts stuff and make some art.  Whether it be painting furniture, making collages,  making new cool clothing out of old t-shirts etc… etc…    Well a few weeks ago I was feeling particularly out of sorts and decided to do some fall cleaning and organizing (another thing that makes me feel good, I know total nerd alert) with all of my magazines that I had.  I like to keep magazines that have all kinds of nutrition info or new and different fitness exercises.   Anyway, so I decided I wanted to go through them all and cut out all sorts of positive messages throughout them all and make a collage of them to hang in my room.  This way when I wake up every morning I see all these positive messages and it will give me motivation to keep going.

I made it body image and fitness oriented.  Words that help me to accept and love the body that I have been given and to be strong and fuel my body properly so that I can reach my fitness goals of running my first half marathon in a few months.

So this is what it looks like:

I also made this one:

I had a blast making them, as I do with most artsy projects.  I could spend hours doing them!!

I think it is so important to do things that you love doing that isn’t your main job.  To keep that kid inside you.  Things I love to do in my free time, which I have A LOT of these days,  are dancing, artsy things, organizing, baking, reading up on nutrition related things and anything health related and watching movies!

I love being creative, although lately I feel like its more of a nuisance… meaning, my head won’t stop coming up with awesome ideas for what I want to do in life and how I can combine all of my passions into a job.  You’re probably thinking “that’s awesome how can that be a bad thing?”  Well when you don’t have the capital to start up your own business, or the experience it starts becoming depressing.  Eventually, say ten years from now, I plan to open my own business, but until then I’ll just keep planning, patience is not something I do very well… *sigh*

Do you have any special or fun things you like to do to draw inspiration or motivation for yourself? If so what?

And if you have your own inspiration boards share them with me, I’d love to see how you create yours!


My Favorite Things

Sing it with me now “Brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things….”  such a great movie.  But that’s not what I’m talking about today.

I would like to share with you my top 4 favorite things that I am slightly, or majorly obsessed with right now.  I tend to go through phases of being totally and completely obsessed with things, and they generally revolve around food products.  I love food! more importantly, I love healthy good for you foods! Lately I have been discovering a whole new world of vegan/raw foods which involve tons of amazing superfoods!! As you can tell, I get REALLY excited about this stuff.  I just find it so amazing how so many different natural foods can do so many amazing things for your body.  Now I could really go on for days about that and the correlation that food and nutrition have with health, and the fact that we as a society can reduce the amount of medications one takes with simply changing up their daily diet………… but I’ll save that for another day.

Onto my favorite things!!

1) Navitas Naturals – Specifically the following:

a) Maca

b) Chia Seeds

c) Yacon

d) Mesquite

e) Lucuma

f) Sweet Tooth

2) Amazing Grass – “Amazing Meal” – Specifically the Chocolate and Vanilla Chai flavors

3) Artisana Organic Coconut Butter – While this is definitely a treat since it is so expensive, I guarantee it is so worth it.  You can spread it on toast topped with cacao nibs for a nice afternoon snack or mix it into smoothies (making sure you warm it a bit so it doesn’t clump) or add it into recipes instead of regular nut butter for a nice change up in taste!

4) Coconut Water – I love how when you get back from a run and you drink a glass, you can literally feel yourself becoming re-hydrated as it goes down!! Amazing!

I will be sure to post more new and exciting things as I discover them.  But for right now, those are definitely my top 4.

Do you have any interesting or exciting foods or superfoods that you like? If so, share them!