Tag Archives: green monster

“Are you a vegetarian now?!”

I got that (sort of desperate) email from my good friend Tara the other day.  (Fun facts about Tara: she has been committed to a vegetarian diet for the past few months and she is currently living in Galway, Ireland!  and I miss her.)  I was a vegetarian for about five years, for animal rights reasons, until I started college and my roommate Jocelyn and our good friend Kelsey began to force feed me wings every so often 😉  We managed to keep it a secret until I felt too guilty and had to come clean.   Plus, after watching Food, Inc. I realized that it was not just the American meat industry that I didn’t agree with, it was the entire American food system!

So for the past year, I’ve tried to live as closely to a “thoughtfultarian” diet (as Kath described) as I could.  This means eating wholesome (organic, local, karma-free) foods whenever possible, wile not restricting myself AND sticking to my college-gal budget.

But I must be honest: I haven’t been happy or satisfied with that diet.  I still truly believe that animals can serve a much greater purpose in life than our dinner (just look at Heifer International).  My response to the veg question lately has been, “I have vegetarian sympathies,” though personally, I still identify myself as a vegetarian.  In fact lately, I’ve been even more closely identifying myself as a vegan.

  • I am trying to avoid dairy because of my skin issue and a slight lactose-intolerance I tend to suffer from.
  • I am trying to avoid meat because I believe in the life-changing potential of all animals
  • I am trying to avoid all animal products because of the cruelty they suffer and because I wish to eat karma-free
  • I may never be able to give up fish because of the strong fishing culture of my family and its unparalleled health benefits
  • I am trying to eat produce that is local, organic, and in-season for the sake of our depleting family-farm values, our environment, and its nutritional value

But at the end of the day, I’m not going to kid myself.  I know that right now I cannot commit to this diet because of money and my frequent traveling.   Though inside my little head I believe I am a “vegan,” I can’t publicly identify myself as such because I don’t want to offend those who do live a committed vegan diet.  But I can commit to awareness. I can commit to eating a wholesome, healthy, balanced diet, and that is the most important eating philosophy of all.

So what did I eat today, you may ask?  Before my run, I had a piece of wholemeal toast with crunchy peanut butter.  Best fuel ever.  On my way home, I stopped at The Juicery for a Green Monster!  My yoga friend, who owns the place, asked me if I was out “Sporty Spice-ing” lol!!

As I power-walked the rest of the way home, I enjoyed an ice-cold blend of leafy greens, apple juice, pineapple, banana, almonds, and sesame seeds (and I added chia seeds!).

Yay a new sticker for the collection!  For lunch, I had some very eggy French Toast.

Two slices of wholmeal bread dipped in an eggy mixture (eggs, cinnamon, a dash of oat milk) then grilled crispy-perfection

and loaded with mixed berries and banana!

On the way to class, I had one of my homemade oat bars:

It wasn’t enough 😦  I have class from 2-7:30ish every Wednesday.  Class is held in the Marae, a sacred Maori building in which you cannot eat or drink.  This is proving to be very challenging for me.  By the time class is over, I’m totally out of it with a headache and ravenous hunger.

(Class was very interesting today, despite my fatigue.  In Maori society, we learned about the mysterious discovery of New Zealand.  Maori tradition and Western beliefs clash!  In Leadership, we talked about the importance of being proactive.  We learned about the first female Maori Queen who was a pretty cool chick!  More on that later, I have to write a paper on it.)

Dinner was very replenishing and satisfying: lettuce wraps!

While I babysat the quinoa as it cooked on our ghetto stove,

Hannah cut some tomatoes, carrots, and zucchini.

I ❤ balls falafel balls

I love when I eat something that is also an activity, I had so much fun building my wraps!

I also enjoyed an Isaac’s Pear Cider.  SO refreshing!

The rest of the brownies were eaten for dessert.  I’m sad to see them go 😦  But maybe my next dessert rotation will be vegan!

What kind of diet to you try and follow?




Filed under Fitness, Food, Life, New Zealand, School


My big brother Dave with Justin Bieber (well, a cardboard cut-out of him)

I just saw Justin Bieber‘s movie Never Say Never with my little sister Sam, and Usher makes him drink a greens-packed smoothie when he has a sore throat.  He didn’t care for it much.  Called it “dinosaur pee“.  I guess Usher needs a new recipe!  Maybe I will concoct an extra-tasty recipe in his honor….

I think it’ll just be a mint chocolate chip smoothie with spinach, milk, and chocolate protein powder.  I shall call it “Dinosaur Pee to Tame Your Bieber Fever.”

We all LOVED the movie.  But the best part….the snacks!  (Ok, it wasn’t the best part.  Bieber was definitely the best part.)  I absolutely cannot survive a trip to the movies with candy AND popcorn AND soda.  So, I made my famous air-popped popcorn and I added Old Bay! I was Sam’s idea 🙂 She’s so smart.

Yummmmmmmm.  I also packed some of those dark chocolate chips to tame my candy craving.

I looked in two stores for my favorite soda substitute, Polar Vanilla Seltzer, with no luck.  I was so disappointed because it’s only 99 cents for a liter and super tasty!!!!  My friend Trisha turned me on to it.  I made fun of her at first (I thought it sounded gross), but it tastes like a light cream soda!! Plus it’s 0 calories and made with natural flavors.  I sure wish I’d had some!

So this morning it was 10 degrees outside when I went to the gym.  Brrrr. I was all ready to warm up on the treadmill, and get back into running, but my legs still protested!! They weren’t sore so much as tired.  I mostly walked with a few running intervals, but then I just decided to bag it. The body wasn’t into it this morning.

I still wanted some activity, though, and luckily there was a yoga class scheduled to start in 15 minutes.  A nice restorative yoga class would be perfect!!  I got a nice, sunny spot by the mirror and enjoyed the gentle yet empowering class.

The best part of the class was the stuff for the soul, though.  Our instructor, Sandy, tells us at the beginning of each class, “remember that this is YOUR practice.  Listen to YOUR body and do what’s right for YOU.” I always have such big plans for my health about what I think I need, that I sometimes forget to think about the signals my body is sending me.  I need to remember to honor my body: a big part of maintaining fitness is nurturing your body. Similarly, at the end of class, Sandy told us to “say something nice” to ourselves.  Instinctively, I thought a simple, “I love you.” I was like, oh yeah! I forgot about that…. 🙂

We have to live in your bodies every day!  So we need to make sure we do what we can to ensure that it’s in perfect working order.  And I’m constantly discovering what that means for me.  But as long as I have self-love, I know I’ll do the right thing.


❤    ❤   ❤


1 Comment

Filed under Food

Kill a Green Monster and Kiss Your Knees

Today, we woke up to a world encrusted in ice.  Mother Nature can be such a drama queen….

But I decided to embrace some of that Earthy power…..

I know what you are thinking (“gross!”) but I assure you that this Green Monster is delicious!  A Green Monster is a smoothie packed with fruits AND vegetables.  It’s the easiest, quickest way to get several servings of fruits and veggies and give you incredible energy.   Here is what I put in mine today:

a generous handful of spinach and arugula leaves from a container of mixed greens

a container of favorite yogurt: Chobani 0% Raspberry Greek Yogurt

one whole, peeled, and separated orange (I tried to remove as much of the bitter peel as I could)

one whole, peeled banana

It all goes into the blender and 30 seconds later……

Ta-Da!  Drink up!  I would suggest freezing the peeled banana and orange, and the yogurt overnight to create a better smoothie texture.  Despite the strong arugula, this mostly tasted like a banana smoothie with just a pleasant hint of, well, green flavor.  It’s fabulous!

Glamor shot 😉  With 2 servings of fruits, 2 servings of vegetables, and 1 minute of prep time, this is such a quick and nutritious breakfast that can be enjoyed on the go.  Most importantly, feels so good to kill one of these Green Monsters in the morning.  Packed with nutrients, you know you are starting off the day right.  It’s the real breakfast of champions.

You know what’s simply the best? Your knees!  They carry you around all day, and just try to imagine how awkward life would be without them! Not only would you have to waddle everywhere, but you would have to sit in chairs with your legs sticking straight out in front of you!  lol.  Knees are one of the most importnat body parts to take care of since they get so much use and they are pretty darn fragile!  You can strengthen your knees by spinning or running, doing lunges or squats.  But did you also know that you need to stretch your knees? It keeps them nimble and the flexibility will prevent injury and pain.  I’d like to share a series of yogic stretches to help gain some flexibility for the cherished joints.

Sit up straight with your legs straight out in front of you.  Bend your right knee and press the bottom of your right foot against your inner left thigh.

Inhale and sit up even straighter, then exhale as you reach for your toes.  Hold this for 5 breaths.  Give your knees a loving kiss if you can.

Switch sides and repeat.

This time, as you bend your right knee, place the outer edge of your right foot into the crease of your left hip. This is called Half Lotus.

Inhale and straighten up, then exhale as you reach for your toes and smooch your knee (seriously! When was the last time you gave your knees a kiss?  They definitely deserve it!).

Hold for 5 breaths, switch sides, and repeat.

This next stretch is tricky to get into (and just as tricky to explain!), but so good for your knees.  As you bend your right knee, twist your right foot around so that the bottom of your right foot presses into your inner left thigh, except this time, your toes are on the floor and your heel is near the crease of your left hip.

Looks like this from the front:

Inhale straighten up, exhale reach your toes.  **kissy kissy!**

Hold for 5 breaths, switch sides, and repeat.

The final posture requires the most knee flexibility.  Lotus posture!  Bend your right knee, placing the outer edge of your right foot into the crease of your left hip.  From there, bend the left knee, placing the outer edge of your left foot into the crease of your right hip.  I’m gettin there, lol!

I forgot to mention that adorable socks are a requirement for some restorative yoga. My lil sis gave me these cuties for Christmas!

Also, don’t forget to smile!  Be thankful for those lovely joints.

Honor thy knees!



Filed under Fitness, Food, Recipes, Yoga