This is my cookcabulary


A new venture …

From baking, to baking and blogging, to crazy weight lifting routines, to getting pregnant and embracing motherhood, to crazy raw vegan diets … I have started a new venture. Want to see?

www.facebook.com/babyix

Headbands! I know it’s not a completely original idea, but I am having so much fun! I started making them way back when Cambria was firs -born. I’d shop around for headbands and thought they looks too traditional or overpriced. So, I just bought some needle, thread, and fabric and began experimenting on my own! I’ve read so many fabric flower making blogs and have truly been inspired to make more unique, fun, hip, colorful headbands.

When I finally made the decision to stay home full-time, I thought I would need something to “fill my extra time”. First off, that thought was way off base – taking care of the household duties and a child leaves little room for extra time. But now that her naps are longer than 40 minutes, and she’s asleep for the night by 8 – I do find time to get that needle out.

I started the Facebook page to get word out of my new business venture and get a pulse on how receptive people would be. I’ve already learned I need to keep more stock of everything, which I guess I knew. But I didn’t want to throw down a lot of money, make a 100 headbands, and have no one buy them. But now I think that’s what I need to do.

Take a change and believe in myself.

So, the Facebook page is to help build fans and my goal is to open and Etsy shop sometime this summer. That is when I am sure the chaos that is BabyIX will ensue. :)

So, come – be a fan, spread the word and help my little business grow. And be sure to check back often. I’ve got a logo coming and 6 new designs that were professionally photographed! I can’t wait to share it all!


Post cleanse

Its been a week and one day since the cleanse officially ended and I think things are going well. I haven’t gained any of the weight back, so any concerns about that are now gone, but I do wonder if that’s due to nursing? I won’t be able to determine that until September when we start to wean Cambria.

My food for the last week started out super simple. Lots of fruit, pure bars, smoothies, salads and cooked veggies. The only meat we ate was chicken and it surprisingly didn’t bother my body – aka digestive track ;). It was fun cooking again! And i enjoyed thinking of new things to make like stuffed peppers or sauteed kale (which is delicious)! What did bother me were candied pecans and croutons on my spinich salad I had Wednesday. I went out to eat with some friends and didn’t think too much of it. I think the sugar and butter is what made me feel sick. It passed rather quickly, but the few minutes of cramping and nausea weren’t enjoyable. As the week went on I was more brave with my food selections. I tried those chocolate chip muffins I had in the freezer, they didn’t even taste all that good to me and made me feel gross! Amazing how my taste buds have changed.

So what have I discovered? Meat is agreeing with my body (have yet to introduce fish and red meat), but processed foods aren’t.  And I’m defaulting to vegetarian tendencies throughout the day until dinner. But going to the grocery store has me confused. Once I get all my fresh produce I really begin to read labels and bypass a lot of food I used to eat! Its like I’m lost in a place I used to feel so at home in. I know I’m just adjusting to all this new food knowledge but I really need to get my grocery game back!

The real test for us was this past  weekend – mother’s day. I had everyone over to my house for a BBQ. We made kosher hot dogs for those that wanted them, but the main dish was chicken skewers.  I loaded up bell peppers, red onions and chicken in a wonderful spicy rub and threw it all on the grill. I also grilled some asparugus and broccoli in a little balsamic vinegar. My mom brought fruit salad and my sister in law shared her coleslaw. The coleslaw was so good! Probably because of all the sugar, ha, but I only had a little. ;) For dessert I made a super simple gluten and dairy free strawberry shortcake. Instead of sugar I used honey, and substituted in almond milk and a soy based buttery spread. They weren’t delicious…the gluten free flour was a bit heavy, but served with strawberries and vegan ice cream it was tolerable! What was hard for me was portion control. Everything tastes so much better to me now that I want more more more! But I remember how little we ate at each meal on the cleanse and that helps me.

Then yesterday we went to Stir Crazy, Asian food. I did the market fresh bar where you pick your own veggies and sauce then they cook it on woks right in front of you. I also got free dessert for being a mother – which I couldn’t pass up! Ice cream rolled in fortune cookies and deep fried. Haha, pure gluttony right there! I ate everything, and after I realized how obsurd the portions in America are! During the cleanse there weren’t many days I needed to snack out of starvation (I did have a few tough days) and it amazed me this past week how unsatisfied I’ve been after eating. Once again, I’m in awe at how well my body adapted and used all the nutrients in the raw food to fuel me.

To sum it all up – I feel, overall, worse than I felt during those 21 days. I will continue to refrain from sugar and overly processed foods and hope to find a good balance to keep me satisfied, healthy, and in control.

Off to make our meatless Monday meal!

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DAY 21 IS HERE!

We did it, 21 days of being a raw vegan!

Ok, maybe we weren’t as strict the last two days, but we did it. 3 weeks of juicing, cutting and peeling more oranges than I care to count, peeing excessively, gagging, and eating foods that I would never think to eat in the combinations we did. I realize saying it that way makes it sounds like it was 3 weeks of torture, but it wasnt. I cleansed my body, focused on ways to eat right, developed new habits, gained energy, lost weight, and accomplished something that most wouldn’t dare have the guts to attempt! But, I assure you doubters out there that if I can do this so can you – it’s what I keep saying! It does take determination, and I would recommend having a buddy to help you through those tough moments when you want to just quit. I ended up losing 9lbs and a couple of inches around my waist, and thighs. My husband ended up losing 17! My gf that mentioned this cleanse to me had lost 13 lbs by day 7 I think, so know that results are attainable. I have now lost 55 lbs. since giving birth to my amazing baby girl on September 26th and only have 5 more to go. Was this diet worth it? ABSOLUTELY! Even through those moments that I hated it, I knew I was bettering myself!

So how did we end the cleanse? Once again we steered away from the preplanned menu, and did our own thing but only for breakfast and lunch. This morning we started the day with a banana, OJ, and romaine lettuce smoothie.  I couldn’t even taste the romaine, so it was an easy way to sneak in some nutrients. Lunch was hummus with veggie sticks, and a Pure bar.

Lets digress for a moment. Before lunch I headed to the grocery store as I always do the first weekend of the month. I decided I was going to buy as much fresh produce as possible, nothing overly processed with gobs of fat and calories, and no dairy. I actually think I did well! I got more kale to saute, lots of veggies and fruit, some green tea, hummus, and an entire box of apple cinnamon Pure bars (haha). I did get something I’ve been wanting to try for a while. Have you seen those veggie sticks? You get them in the chip isle. The bag contains potato, tomato, and spinach flavors. The ingredients are limited and mostly natural, but they seems to be a better choice than potato chips! I thought they would be good to dip in the hummus. And they are! They almost taste like french fries, which we all know I love!!! But overall I think I made better choices than previous vegan cleanse!

For dinner we made the recommended ‘ice cream’, but we wanted a little more. The weather was nice, so we fired up the grill and threw on some chicken and asparagus. I then sliced it all up and put it on a bed of lettuce and finished it off with a balsamic vinaigrette. Sam had a raspberry vinaigrette which was equally delicious.  Although to some it may seem a light meal, it was so satisfying! We enjoyed every.single.bite! I think Sam was just excited to get meat/poultry back into his system!!  After our much-needed transitional meal I made the ice cream. It was frozen fruit with a little orange juice; bananas, pineapple, strawberries and a little OJ. It was more of a sorbet, but SO good! We gave Cambria a few bites and she loved it as well! A small amount of fruit goes a long way so we saved some of it for another time.

And that’s it. That was our last day

What am I going to do tomorrow? Well, I’m not sure. I have nothing planned other than I will most likely make fresh squeezed OJ for breakfast and then, I don’t know, wing it. This week is packed with a few festivities that will involve food – and not vegan food. So, I am anxious to see what cravings I have, what I am able to say no to (no sugar for a long time, but no eggs or red meat for a little while longer), and what symptoms return (if any) before doing the cleanse. I want to snack on veggies and fruit as much as possible and keep my animal product intake to a minimum until my body is ready … or I guess until I am ready. I will eat it all again, but it will be in my time. I’ve really enjoyed the way I have felt the last few weeks, but I just need to find the right foods that satisfy me – and don’t make me gag.

Thanks again for reading along and joining me on my journey. I hope that if you’ve been thinking of going vegetarian, vegan, or just incorporating more natural organic raw food into your diet, that this blog can inspire you to know that you CAN. Just try it. I think you might be surprised at what your body can handle, but more importantly, what you can do when you apply yourself.
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Day 20

One more day, although today probably doesn’t count to some of you lol.

I started the day off with a Pure bar.  Sam and I are thinking of buying them by the box, we love them! Definitely a new staple in our diet.  I was headed to the shower I mentioned yesterday and assumed I could eat more fruit and veggies. Lesson learned, never assume. All that was available to eat was potato cassarole (probably had cream soup in it), muffins, deviled eggs, and a Waldorf salad of sorts. I ended up eating a spoonful of the salad since it was fruit, but I had no idea what was in the dressing so I didn’t want to eat much.  There wasnt any cake or sweets so that was good! Once the shower was over Sam picked me up with fruit and Pure bars in hand. Knight and shining armor he is! A few hours later when we headed home we got a salad. We loaded it with veggies and put Italian dressing on it. We waited to eat until we got home, but when I took that first bite….

…it was heaven.

Real dressing makes all the difference! Oh! So good! Later for dinner Sam and I just COULD NOT take it any more. Tonight I was going to cook!!! We want to remain vegan so I made tomato sauce from scratch. My oh my did it feel good to turn on the stove, pour oil on the pan, sauteé some onions and cook something! My house finally smelled of warm comforting food! After simmering a couple hours we put it on spaghetti. I ate every bite with an entirely different attitude. I smelled every bite, I tasted each herb flavor, I chewed slower … I treasured my food! We may have taken a left turn the last two days of my cleanse and I couldn’t be happier!

Wonder what the scale will say tomorrow though. Ha! One more day and I’ll share my final stats!

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Day 19

I had a sweet one liner to open my blog tonight … but I totally forgot it! Bummer.

The raw cleanse wanted me to eat ambrosia for breakfast (macadamia nuts, dates, strawberries, coconut juice and a few other things I’m forgetting). It actually sounded good to me but I never bought macadamias! Then lunch was a cucumber dill salad (we all know how I feel about that). And dinner was almond milk, which I did. 

My menu today was a banana and pure bar for breakfast. I snacked on hummus and vegetable crackers (organic and dairy free) mid afternoon.

The crackers were.so.good. Yum.

Lunch was an avocado salad,  I know. Shocking. I sent Sam a text, “Why am I willingly eating avocado”?  Guess I realize how good it us for me.  Snacked later on a bit more hummus and another pure bar. And dinner was the almond milk like I mentioned. Good day.

Have I told you about dance central?! My gym is closed for renovations this week, so every day I’ve been dancing for like 40+ minutes. Serious workout friends. Yesterday I got a legendary status on Rihanna’s Pon de Replay. That’s 5/5 stars and 97% accuracy. Sure it was on easy, but I did it! I average about 75% accuracy, so I’m a bit of a big deal. ;) Battle me anytime playa! Good workout though, in all seriousness.

Tomorrow I have my sister in laws bridal shower. I will not be eating any sugar, and will remain vegan, but I’m sure it will be a challenge. However, I can tell my sweet tooth is diminishing.  I can feel myself have enough will power to say no, which is great! Its been awhile since I’ve felt that!

See ya tomorrow!

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Day 18

Thursday. Day 18.

Breakfast – fruit salad of a banana and apple.

Lunch – Banana cream pie. Delish! A combination of banana, dried coconut, honey, lemon juice, and oil. The only problem was that it wasn’t enough food! I was hungry all afternoon. I thought I wouldn’t like this dish because of the coconut but its flavor wasn’t strong so it didn’t bother me – yay! I’d totally make this on the nights that you need something a little sweet post dinner. Great healthy alternative too.  To curb my growling stomach I had a Pure bar and humus later this afternoon. 

And for dinner – an alternate meal. Strawberry banana smoothie. The menu wanted us to have sushi nut rolls. But I was not about to eat seaweed…lol

With that said I think tomorrow is our last raw vegan day. Were finding we keep changing the menu and with my milk supply freak out Monday night I really want to get back to where I was prior to the cleanse. So, we will stay vegan through Sunday, but allowing non-raw food. For example, I’d really enjoy pita bread or something other than celery to dip in my garlic humus. There is something about carbohydrates and humus that seems perfect for my taste buds, but I want to stay dairy free for a bit, so I’ll figure it out. We also have leftover kale, maybe I will sauté that and see what it tastes like.

I think it will be good for us to have the weekend to transition into a more regular diet. We’ve both had amazing results and I feel like I’ve gotten exactly what I wanted out of this cleanse. Its stretched me outside my box, and for that I am thankful – my sweet tooth can now be safely put in control, not having sugar for 3 weeks will do it to ya! I’ve lost weight. I’ve eaten food I wouldn’t have normally tried. I’ve felt the effects of truly energizing food and feeling clean and well. I’ve also gagged more times than I can count, wanted to cheat, wanted to give up – but through it all remained strong. And it was for no other reason then to prove to myself I could take on this challenge. And really, isn’t that all that matters, acknowledging and achieving my success!?

Thanks everyone for the support, comments, and reading my blog so far! Know that if I can do this cleanse, and if my steak and potato loving husband can do this cleanse, anyone can!!
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Day 17

For those that keep asking for info on the cleanse – you can sign up on www.thegardendiet.com.  If I was greedy I’d let you pay me half and I would send you the info, but I am pretty sure that’s illegal some way or another. Check it out though! :)

Today was a good day! I had a sliced banana with raspberries for breakfast, followed by one of the Pure bars I shared with you all yesterday.

Lunch was supposed to be “Tacos” … FAR FROM IT! There we like 13 ingredients and 9 steps and Sam and I were just not down with the process. So we made the green smoothie. I got a second chance! This time I DID add the extra 16 oz. of OJ and it made a huge difference. You could actually drink it, not slurp it like a thick mud. I think I could actually get really used to green smoothies. The banana really covers the taste of the Kale rather well! It fills me up, and gives me energy!  Only, I leave out the romaine lettuce. I should probably try it with the lettuce, for comparison, but with all the Kale, I really don’t think I need more nutrients! Plus the Kale helps with my lactation. You wanted to know that hu? :)

Dinner was also another substitute of sorts. Kale subs were on the menu for this evening, but I just can’t eat Kale raw. It’s too … I don’t know, thick and bitter? I substituted iceberg lettuce which has like zero nutritional content. Kale is so much better as far as that goes, but the taste is just no fun for me! I chopped up tomato (super tiny so I could eat it), avocado and sprinkled cilantro and italian seasoning into the lettuce wraps. Light, healthy, and not too shabby! As I’ve been mentioning, I’m pretty used to the avocado but am still chasing it with water. I know, real mature.  Later I ate some pistachios and another Pure bar.

Overall, Sam and I are really, just – over – the cleanse. He’s lost 14 lbs, I’ve lost 8 so far. Which … lets digress for a moment … is so much less than I thought I would lose. When I started this cleanse I only wanted to lose 10, but feared I would lose more due to the limited calorie intake. So, the first week I lose 6, which I was stoked about, but worried I was going to lose too much to fast, affecting my milk supply. And here I am now, losing the same pound over and over. I honestly think its because I am eating so many nuts. The salt is probably making me retain water weight or something. My bad. I wanted to lose a lot, but I didn’t because of nursing – it was a fence I was walking.  But, I do have to say – those 8 pounds have brought me back down to a weight I am usually in. I think it’s a bit heavy for me, personally, but normal none the less. I can fit into all my clothes, and my post pregnancy muffin top is losing its muffin. Yea! I need to do a lot of toning on the midsection, but the pounds I’ve lost in the last 17 days have really made me feel like I can get my body back.

But where were we? Oh yea, being over the cleanse. Yea. Sam and I are just tired of it. I think, surprisingly, the cravings have leveled and it’s really not about wanting meat anymore.  Im tired of it because the food prep is long, the cost is high (touch on that in a sec), and I’m getting bored with the dinners. Sorry but its the truth!  I will reflect more on the diet when I post my last blog on day 21 but I am definitely counting down the days for day 21.

So now that I am a SAHM (stay at home mom) there have been a few sacrifices we’ve made and we are budget budget budget people! This diet, for those that want to try it and can be prepared, is costing an upwards of $150/week for two people. For some of you that’s not a big deal, but for Sam and I that’s our monthly allowance for the entire month, just about anyway. Being this cleanse started on day 11 of the month, I had already spent some cash to get us through to the 11th. Soooo, its been fun seeing our budget just go out the window this month…sike. However, I thought of it this way. First, its only 21 days. That wont bankrupt anyone. Second, you have meals for 21 days; that’s snacks, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Which is great, because on top of our monthly allowance for groceries, we still spend money on lunches or dinners that we have out of the house. I’m not really sure where I am going with this (why Im spilling my financials online beats me) … but I think my point is that I am ready to get back on track with our budget and stop freaking out every time I run to Costco (which is like every 4 days) to get oranges, almonds, and avocados in bulk.  

Thats probably enough for tonight. Tomorrow for lunch we are having a lemon pie. Can’t wait to try it.

PS. Love how the diet creator titles the meals…so misleading!
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Day 16

Were continuing the diet! I will not quit!

I woke up this morning totally bummed out. I made my banana OJ smoothie and figured I’d be eating a potato or something by dinner. When I arrived at support group, we played a while and then I took C to weigh-in. 14lbs 13.1oz! That is a 10 oz. weight gain from last week!! For those that don’t have children – that is what we call a growth spurt! :) Sooooo, she was getting enough food all week. This is where us mamas sigh a huge sigh of relief and reflect, for one moment, on our hard work. Its instant gratification! I then nursed Cambria and weighed her again to see how much she had eaten – close to  4 oz. Which is good again! I was feeling confident all my worries last night were just that, worries. So I talked to my lactation consultant and she told me I just need to up my protein. Thats all. She mentioned kale, tahini, beans, nuts and even protein bars … all things I knew and was familiar with. After group I headed to Meijer to see what I could find. And guess what – I found Raw Vegan protein bars! Score! Oh, we also went to lunch in the cafeteria right after class and I snagged some Garlic humus.

Needless to say, I was and am a happy camper. However … I will be honest. I TOTALLY cheated. The humus came with cute little pretzel crackers and I just couldn’t resist. I had about 4 dipped in humus. I was puuuure heaven! I realized I was going own a slippery slope though and quickly grabbed some lettuce out of the fridge (all my veggies are gone!) So, I ate some lettuce leaves and humus and then tried my Apple Cinnamon bar. It was d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. You know when I type words in that way I’m serious! So good! I have a blueberry, chocolate brownie, and an orange cranberry flavor. I might eat them all day they’re so good. At $1.69 a piece, I think I found a new guilty pleasure! Love it!

So, in addition to my smoothie this morning, humus, and bar, I also drank my almond milk. Tonight’s dinner is a celery and avocado soup, but … the celery went bad so I’m not sure what we will do. Sam is off to the doc (well currently he is trying to save our neighbors house from flooding – they sprung a leak) so I hope he can swing by the store to pick up a few items before it gets to be too late. Dinner is that whole puree issue again. I would really just rather eat avocado slices on celery sticks, but I’m sure the pureeing helps it digest easier. So, I’m not sure HOW we will eat it, but we will eat it.

So, the diet will go on as planned through Sunday. I will most likely break the raw rule and eat some of the canned beans I have in the pantry, but I WILL remain VEGAN!  I just remembered we have a whole bag of beans to make 7 bean soup. Off to google land to figure that one out – I think I can just soak them!  I’m so glad I didn’t throw the towel in last night and ruin any chance of going on.

The countdown continues – 5 more days!
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Day 15

Its the last week, and I don’t know if I’m going to make it. Without going in to too much detail, I fear my milk supply is being affected … and not in a good way.

Those of you that nurse know the time, dedication, and commitment it takes. Losing a few more pounds is not worth the benefits my daughter receives from the best food available to her. I’ve made a few changes to my activities to help stimulate more Lactation, but I worry its purely a nutritional lack. Tomorrow I go to my weekly breastfeeding support group so I can talk with my lactation consultant then. I really want to finish this challenge I set out to do, but again, it’s not worth this price. I will have made my decision by tomorrow on if I will continue or not.

I know… sad face.

But let me tell you what was on deck for food today.

Breakfast was a small, but satisfying, fruit salad.

Lunch was to be a tomato soup. It consisted of tomatoes, honey, apple cider vinegar, oregano, olive oil and chives all pureed together. Sam refused to eat it so I tried what he made. Verrrry tomato-y!! I could taste the honey and vinegar and thought that if I liked tomatoes this would be delicious! But alas, it was grosssss!

The diet creator emails us everyday and told us to use our knowledge if we chose not to eat the predetetmined meals. Feeling the freedom, I ate something else. It wasn’t creative, but its what was fresh. I chose a red pepper, carrots, banana, and some peanuts. Eaten separately of course!

Dinner was interesting. I couldn’t find coconuts or seaweed at the store when I went, so we had to leave those ingredients out. But we processed broccoli and cauliflower to make a cous cous like consistency, added olive oil and lemon juice, then finished with avocado. I’ve learned to tolerate the avocado, but I do not enjoy cauliflower! The dish seemed dry … I think the coconut and seaweed would’ve helped the texture. But overall it wasn’t bad at all.

Soooo, I’m feeling a bit down. Thoughts are racing through my mind on what to do. I’m sure I could just do the diet again when I wean Cambria, but knowing the will power it takes to get through these last 15 days is a bit daunting. Sam and I are also concerned about introducing animal product back into our bodies – how sick are we going to feel!? Its a bit of a double edged sword right now. This experience has been something I’ll never forget, but the fat lady ain’t sung yet!! I’ll be here another day… at least!

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Day 14

I survived Easter! It was tough, like really really tough, but I did it! Amongst the delicious ham, succulent turkey, cheesy potatoes, and cooked veggies – we had our smoothies.  And not fruit smoothies, our kale smoothies.  Which I made wrong – again!!

Remember last night when we added oranges when we weren’t supposed to, today I omitted them by accident! Seriously?! Our green smoothie today was a banana, a peeled orange, and kale. Those were the first ingredients on my menu. But I forgot to flip the page and read ’16oz’ (which is 5 whole oranges).  The smoothie tasted fine, for a kale smoothie, but would have been soooo much better with all that orange juice! Last night my mess up benefitted me, today it did NOT benefit me. Point for being a winner…

But back to the fact that I remained a vegan for an entire day during a holiday. Sam and I got up and ate our very large, very filling, fruit salad. We went to church and then headed to my parents. I asked Sam in the car if we were going to cheat.  He said no, but then at my parent’s house he was all about it! We kept smelling and inhaling all the wonderful food. We even put steamed broccoli on our plates. But, I didn’t eat it. I passed on rolls, I passed on deviled eggs. It was seriously excruciating! I wanted to eat it all. I haven’t even had a piece of Easter candy! (Yea, go me!) But when the table was clear, and the smoothies were long gone, I came across the leftover asparagus.

And I took one and ate it.

Did you gasp?!

Why the asparagus over the ham, I’m not sure. But I ate it. I suppose it was because it was a vegan choice.  I ate it, I tasted it, and I loved it. No guilt. I just did it! Then 10 minutes later, I’m not kidding you, I had a stomach ache! Karma? Gas from breakfast? I’ll never know… but it was delicious and I loved it.

Am I dissapointed I cheated and ate something cooked? No, I’m not. I have been raw vegan for 14 days for no other reason but to stretch myself and I felt like it. LoL.  That sounds almost childish outloud but that’s ok. Its done and over with.

All I know is I have 7 days left and I want to make the best of it. However, Sam made the tomato soup to take to work and he is already refusing to eat it. Something about he’d rather cut off a limb?? Dramatic.

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