Corina Nielsen is just plain amazing. Do I know her personally? No…we have never met, we have never spoken, but I do know how much she has inspired me and those in the fitness community…Another “mom” trying to live her best/healthiest life and one who has been so REAL throughout her journey. She tells it like it is.
Corina went from the picture of health to fighting for her health in a matter of weeks. She went from working out for 1.5-2 hours a day and managing the life of a busy working mom, to just hoping for the chance of a somewhat normal life. Corina has been diagnosed with an extremely rare cyst condition on her spine called a TARLOV CYST.
Her only hope for that somewhat normal life now is treatment from a doctor out of her Kaiser network. Corina’s husband is in law enforcement and I have a special place in my heart for that because I grew-up with the most amazing father who is also a police officer.
The surgery that will provide Corina and her family with the best chance of a normal life is $50,000-$60,000. Surely this #fitfam community and all those who have been inspired by Corina can band together and help them give Corina the help she needs and deserves.
I put my money where my mouth is and have donated the first $100. Please donate what you can. To read more about Corina’s current struggle click HERE.
We had a fun weekend and explored the Western Idaho Fair…It’s just too bad we are all breathing in so much smoke from these awful fires. While at the Fair we dined on a HUGE Polish Sausage along with an even bigger chicken Kebab…seriously…it was enough for me, my husband, and our daughter. It is possible to eat somewhat healthfully at the Fair!
I also tried my muscle at the Marine Corps booth an managed to hang long enough to snag my kids a poster and Marine backpack.
Attached you will find my version of Jamie Eason Middleton’s From Flat to All That weeks 9 and 10 Free Workout Log. Click HERE to download my version.
My family and I had a wonderful holiday and I hope you did as well. We were able to have a laid-back Christmas at home and then left the next day to visit my sister and her family in the mountains for a white post-Christmas and New Years celebration. Good people, good times.
I was motivated to not stray from healthy eating by the fact that I had a Swimspot.com2013 swimsuit trendsvideo shoot on January 8th (at a gorgeous private home on the water side of PCH in Laguna Beach…spectacular view!). Let’s just say that cookies and candies don’t look as appealing when you know you will be on display wearing a slew of swimsuits shortly after the holidays.
In preparation for the shoot I ate my fill of fruits and veggies and stayed away from processed foods, grains, and legumes. I ate a ton of roasted mushrooms because quickly add substance and heft to meals. It was my habit to make a huge batch at the beginning of the week and it usually lasted me 5 days or so.
One of my favorite meals lately has been a water saute of onions and cabbage over roasted kabocha squash topped with roasted mushrooms and low sodium tamari or a spicy Asian sauce…yum!
2 24oz packs mushrooms (I bought mine at Coscto and used one pack of baby bellas & one pack of criminis)
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup reduced sodium tamari
Wash mushrooms to remove dirt and shake off excess water
Place the washed mushrooms in a bag along with the red wine and reduced sodium tamari
Marinate in the fridge for 2-4 hours
Preheat the overn to 350 degrees
Place the drained marinated mushrooms on a baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes (stirring a few times along the way) until all of the liquid has baked off (be careful not to burn).
In September of 2011 I posted about Kristin Lajeunesse and her quest to go on a year-long roadtrip traveling across the US eating at all of the vegan restaurants. Kristin’s dream became a reality and she set off on her “Will Travel For Vegan Food” roadtrip aprroximately 14 months ago with plans to continue through May of next year.
While the roadtrip was still in the planning stages I contacted Kristin and offered to take her to lunch when she arrived in my neck of the woods. Last week Kristin got in touch and we made lunch plans.
On Tuesday I had the pleasure of meeting her for lunch at The Wheel of Life in Irvine. I had never even heard of the restaurant and was happy to give it a try. At lunch I had such a great time chatting her up about the roadtrip, veganism, our families, and life in general. Kristin is a sweetheart. I enjoyed her company so much that I contacted my parents and forwarded their information to Kristin so she can look them up when she makes her way to Santa Cruz. Please consider reaching out to Kristin if you are interested in joining her for a meal when she arrives in your town (click HERE to contact her).
We ordered a noddle dish (they made it GFree for me, but it ended-up being a bit salty), spring rolls (which typically include faux meat…they were very accommodating in that they made 1/2 of them without faux meat for me), and a spicy curry which was REALLY tasty. I was happy to learn that we were able to choose between white and brown rice (we opted for brown). Overall the food was good. Just typing about the curry is making me want more of it!
For those of you interested in learning more about Kristin, there are plans in the works for me to interview her on my other site, Chic Vegan.
If you would like to learn more about where Kristin has eaten and where she plans on eating, click HERE.
I was able to put together a Vegan Gift Basket to donate to the auction and was bowled-over by the generosity of the companies I contacted to donate. The response was overwhelming and humbling…I feel honored to work with so many wonderful vegan friendly companies!
A few weekends ago my husband was slated to be out of town and I wanted to do something fun and out of the ordinary with the kids. I teased them about it all week telling them that I was planning something special for Friday night. Every day they asked me for clues, but I was like a vault and wouldn’t cave.
I grew-up camping with my family most weekends. I can’t even count the number of times I was dropped off at school on a Monday morning on the way home from a camping trip…trailer in tow. I loved camping as a kid, minus the HUGE fear of wild animals that I still carry with me (snakes top the list and my fear of mountain lions keeps me from “off the beaten path” trails). Camping as a child instilled in me a massive appreciation of and for nature. While I now prefer a cabin to a tent (showers and comfy beds rule!), I will ALWAYS love the great outdoors.
My daughter has been begging to go camping and my son loves all things camping, dirt biking, and “manly,” so I knew he would love what I had in store for them. I spent all morning Friday preparing for indoor camping. The kids were thrilled to come home from school and see my son’s tent set-up in the living room along with all the fixings for gluten-free smores.
The kids roasted dinner on a stick and then after going on a “hike” around the neighborhood (purely to distract them from the smores for a little bit…didn’t work…the whole hike they asked when we could turn around and go home to roast the mallows), we went home and finally roasted those marshmallows. Since we did not have any gluten-free graham crackers on hand and also because I generally don’t like the GF version you can buy in stores (they are too crumbly and more importantly too processed), I made my Chewy Chocolate Brownie Cakes (click HERE for the recipe) and made them about 1/3 of the normal thickness. Next time I am going to try and make them even thinner…more like the thickness of a true graham cracker. They were an absolute hit.
On our way back home to roast the mallows we also got a call from my husband letting us know that work commitments were keeping him home. Yay for us that we got to have our daddy home too!
The night was capped-off with a viewing of Ghostbusters II in the tent and then sleeping in the tent for my son and I. My daughter prefers sleeping alone, so we set-up her little sleeping bag on a special camping bed I made right outside the tent.
What fun surprises do you plan for your little ones? I’d love to hear your ideas because this time together is so precious…
My friend Anita sent me information about this new 4 part series about the health of our nation. HBO will be airing this series to subscribers at no charge. Check out the trailer and the fascinating infographics I downloaded from the main website.
Kudos to Kaiser for attempting to right this issue. Between my dad’s double knee replacement and my mother’s hip replacement surgeries, I have spent a decent amount of time at the Santa Clara Kaiser recently and was impressed with their efforts to promote heath. I feared the cafeteria food, but was pleasantly surprised to discover that I definitely had healthy vegan options within their cafeteria; the salad bar was wonderful and one day I even got vegan pho noodle soup (There were definitely unhealthy options there for those who wanted them though…I saw a LOT of fries making their way past the cashiers)! Kaiser also had Farmer’s Markets in their courtyard while we were there and had nutritionists walking around the cafeteria talking to people about nutrition. I see the effort they are making and only hope that they begin to lean even more toward plant-based diet recommendations.
I am sure most of you are familiar with Brendan Brazier’s Vega products (if not, click HERE to learn more). At the recent Natural Products Expo West I had the opportunity to try Vega’s newly improved Vega One all-in-one Nutritional Shake.
I really like this product. I am thoroughly impressed by how creamy it tastes when mixed with water (that’s a tall order for a vegan protein shake!). The new formulation has:
SaviSeed protein (in addition to pea, hemp, and sprouted brown rice protein)
More servings per tub
Lower total per tub price
Vega One is also dairy, gluten & soy free in addition to being sugar free.
I spent the better part of this past weekend sampling oodles upon oodles of vegan products and boy am I full! Natural Products Expo West is always a fun, yet overwhelming event (over 70,000 people attended with over 2,000 booths), but this year it was very special to me…. A few months ago So Delicious contacted me and asked me if they could feature my Vegan Chocolate Mousse recipe on the recipe cards they would be giving away at their Natural Products Expo West booth. Of course I jumped at the chance to have my recipe featured by a company that I love so much.
It was so much fun to finally meet Gail Davis of So Delicious (aka The Hungry Vegan)! Over the last year we have become friends and to finally meet in person was fantastic. Everyone at So Delicious was so warm and welcoming. At the booth I had the chance to try the new almond milk Greek yogurt and I loved it…nice and thick, smooth, and tangy. I haven’t had Greek yogurt in years and once the stores around me start stocking it I will be buying it for sure (hint, hint SoCal Mother’s and Whole Foods!!!).
After meeting everyone and sampling their wonderful products I headed over to the sound stage where Drew and Brittany Brees (now pregnant with their 3rd child) were being interviewed about their multiple food allergies. Since they are such fans of the products, the Brees family is now working with So Delicious. So many of their concerns echoed the concerns I face as the mother in a family with multiple and varied allergies. Drew spoke about how he noticed an improvement in his performance since addressing his food allergies.
After spending the ENTIRE day on the showroom floor, my husband met me for a wonderful event So Delicious graciously invited us to. We were invited to attend their red carpet premier of Vegucated which we watched while enjoying the wonderful vegan dinner that they provided (along with a vegan open bar…my husband was happy). Marisa Miller Wolfson was at the event and made herself available after the screening for a Q and A session. The viewing was followed by a vegan dessert bar and capped off a wonderful day at the Expo.
I can’t wait to tell you all about my new favorite products and companies…stay tuned!
"The diet that helps to reduce weight in the short run needs to be the same diet that creates and maintains health in the long run."
~T. Colin Campbell
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