Stuffsoup – a little blog with a lot of "stuff"

For Whom the Kettlebell Tolls

Posted in Uncategorized by stuffsoup on February 28, 2010

Today, the gym had a kettlebell demo and I’d always been a bit curious about them (particularly because they are locked up and you are not allowed to touch them without supervision – oooo). I always loved the medicine ball, but the fun stuff is more for partners, so this seemed kind of like medicine ball for one.

Matt cut right to it. We were each assigned a kettlebell (mine was 20 pounds!) and Matt showed us how to do “lifts” by swinging it up to shoulder height and then squatting and swinging it down between our legs. Then we were off… do 30 lifts and then drop and do 10 pushups (“if you can do them on your toes, more power to ya,” he said). Repeat 5 times! It was less of a demo and more of a do, which I love! And, guess what… I figured I’d start the pushups on my toes and then drop to my knees when I needed to, but I did them all – that’s right, 50 pushups – on my toes! I have no idea what came over me today and I’m sure I’ll pay tomorrow, but it felt so good!

Day 9 – a bit nutty

Breakfast – smoothie with mixed berries, almond milk, and “sprinkles” (hemp protein, dried beet greens, and a pinch of fiber)

After-workout snack – handful of almonds

Lunch – Spanish “egg” scramble ala Ani Phyo and a handful of grapes

Snack – slice of watermelon

Dinner – veggie burger, fries dipped in Nasoya veggie-based sandwich spread (Nayonaise), and broccoli

The good. Saying that I had a burger and fries for dinner is amusing to me. The burger was a Dr. Praeger’s tex mex veggie burger with no bun. It had some “zip” and so it got a wee bit of the Nayonaise too. The fries were homegrown, fresh potatoes cut into strips, given a bit of extra-virgin olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and fresh-ground pepper, and then baked.

The better. The “egg” really tasted like egg yolk to me. It was so surprising and kind of fun. Here’s the recipe.

Spanish Breakfast Scramble

1 c almonds soaked overnight and dried, 1/2 c raw sunflower seeds soaked overnight and dried, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp tumeric, and about 1/2 c water blended in a food processor. That is the “egg” part. Then, you can mix the “egg” in a bowl with 1/4 c cilantro, 1/2 c diced tomato, and 2 Tbsp scallions and serve it over spinach leaves with a dash of pepper. That is the Spanish part.

I used frozen cilantro and red onion and I put them straight in with the “egg” ingredients then served it with the diced tomato in Boston lettuce leaves.

The best. I did 50 pushups – on my toes!

Sometimes we become like the fleas of the flea circus. We get used to what we think we can do even if a barrier is removed. It is so nice to mix things up sometimes to just “check in” with what we might be capable of doing. Maybe a barrier we thought was there actually no longer is.


Quinoa – Yer Soaking It

Posted in Uncategorized by stuffsoup on February 27, 2010

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN wah – which I didn’t know until recently, but now love to say) is a grain that is sometimes used as a substitute for rice or couscous. I bought some awhile back, made it, hated it, and gave the rest away and I had pretty much given up on it. But then, I kept finding these dishes that I thought were tasty and when I’d ask, I’d find out it was quinoa. So, in the spirit of keeping an open mind and trying to broaden my options for the 30-day vegan cleanse (and beyond), I thought I’d give quinoa another try.

I went to dig up what I could for information and found this at… “Soak the quinoa for 15 min – 1/2 hour [which] helps quinoa to cook evenly, and loosens up the outer coating of saponin, which can give a bitter taste if not removed. If you don’t have time for a longer soaking, use hot water and soak for five minutes.” Could that have been my previous trouble? not soaking? or was it just a different brand? Well, today I didn’t want to take any chances and so I soaked it and I have to say; the quinoa, even plain, tasted pretty darned good. I now understand how you could substitute this as a side, have it as part of a main dish, or even eat it for breakfast.

Day 8 – new dinner

Breakfast – 1/2 cup oatmeal with strawberries and almond milk

Snack – 2 rice cakes with hummus and scant handful of raw sunflower seeds

Lunch – corn and black-bean lettuce bundles (recipe in previous post)

Snack – gs apple with peanut butter and a taste of the quinoa (to make sure it was edible before dinner in case I had to whip up some brown rice instead ;))

Dinner – veggie and lentil soup over quinoa and the smallest bowl of ice cream ever (Good Karma organic rice divine, it follows the rules)

The good. I was not fond of the lentil soup I made, which is a bummer because the whole family ate some. Why is that good, you ask? Well, now I have less of it to eat to finish it off. [sorry, family :/]

The better. I’m glad to have quinoa as an option and I don’t plan to give my bag away this time. Plus, I made it in my rice cooker – slick.

The best. I got all the laundry done today so I can do some more cookin’ tomorrow. Here’s a hint… nuts have been soaked and are now drying.

I guess the moral of today’s lesson is to always give something another chance. Try not to write it off permanently. Who knows, with the right preparation, you might find a new favorite.

“How Are You Feeling?”

Posted in Uncategorized by stuffsoup on February 26, 2010

I’ve been getting asked about how I’m feeling quite a bit. I feel bad about the short answer which is “about the same”. That doesn’t much convey my enthusiasm for continuing. I’m a week into this 30-day vegan cleanse and I can tell you there have been a few side effects, but none so dramatic or even different than things I’d feel from time to time anyway. The second day, I had a headache off and on throughout the day, but 2 ibuprofen took care of it. A day or two after that, I was, er, um, constipated. And, another day I realized I was kind of bloated. But that has pretty much been it.

The positive effects haven’t been dramatic either. Feeling better is hard to measure and I cannot specifically credit only the cleanse for that. I have lost weight this week, 1.6% of my weight which doesn’t seem very dramatic either, but it is still a good thing. I have a check in with a trainer next Friday and I am very curious to see any changes there. (I’ll have to keep you posted.)

Day 8 – in color

Breakfast – gs apple with peanut butter (less what the kids ate of it) and hot water with lemon

After-workout snack – handful of almonds and a small bag of freeze-dried asian pear from Brothers-All-Natural fruit crisps

Lunch – corn and black bean lettuce bundles (see recipe below)

Snack – carrot sticks and hummus

Dinner – leftovers of black bean chili and cornbread

The good. A quick nap whilst helping my daughter fall asleep (she doesn’t normally nap, but really needed it today and I guess I did a bit too).

The better. I felt strong at my CRT (cardio resistance training) workout class today and happy to be moving down the scale.

The best. In case you missed the recipe in the comments section from an earlier post, here is the “burrito” recipe.

Corn and Black-Bean Lettuce Bundles

19-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 scallions, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 T lime juice
2 t olive oil
1 t ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t salt
1 head Boston lettuce, cleaned and separated into leaves

Combine all ingredients except lettuce in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Spoon about 1/3 cup of bean mixture onto lettuce leaf and fold like a taco or burrito. Note: I think Boston lettuce is butter lettuce.

Seems I’m always modifying, but my beans were only 15 ounces, I used a bit more corn and more red pepper, I used red onion instead of scallions, I used frozen cilantro, and I used lemon juice instead of lime (perhaps you can tell that I bought a lot of lemons and no limes as this has been a repeated theme — perhaps I should have done it the other way around). Anyway, this was really yummy and very colorful – thank you, Kim!

I think it is important to remember that all change, no matter the size, in the right direction is still good change. Remember what they say about the longest journey…

Newbie in Familiar Territory

Posted in Uncategorized by stuffsoup on February 25, 2010

I went to yoga again today. I’ve been having a hard time making peace with the fact that I don’t know this body that I am in very well. It is different, and not necessarily in a good way (see, that’s not making peace). The changes came from babies and other things like treats and lack of sleep and exercise and they came at a time that I wasn’t paying so much attention (I had babies to look at instead).

Yoga was in a different studio than usual, one with windows – and there was SUN. I hope I didn’t throw off the chi in the room too much, but I put my mat right in the sun beam, a bit askew from everyone else (maybe aligning with the sun improved the chi). I am not as strong, nor am I as flexible as I once was. That is hard for me. Yoga was familiar territory and I was making such progress, oh those years ago. I feel like I am starting over, a total newbie, but it feels worse because I know what I “should” be able to do. I know I’ll get through this, but it is hard.

Day 7 – old and new

Breakfast – 1/2 cup of oatmeal with agave and almond milk and hot water with lemon

After-workout snack – handful of almonds

Late lunch – hummus with carrot sticks, red pepper sticks, and 2 Trader Joe’s lightly salted rice cakes (nothing but brown rice and sea salt and these were really good!)

Dinner – leftover black bean chili (see recipe from day 3) with modified cornbread (also really good, see recipe below)

The good. Those rice cakes were not the way I remembered them from the 80s. They were so good spread with hummus.

The better. The cornbread turned out really tasty. The texture was a bit different, but I guess that is partly the way cornbread is. Here’s the recipe with my modifications in parentheses and I only made a half recipe.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Cornbread

One package of 365 Everyday Value Gluten Free Cornbread & Muffin Mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill’s version because that was what the store had), 1/4 cup agave nectar, 1 and 1/3 cups almond milk, 1/2 can unsweetened pumpkin or 1/2 very ripe banana smashed (I used banana), 6 T melted lactose, gluten-free butter (I used original earth balance natural buttery spread and it was really yummy and smelled just like butter), 1/2 t apple cider vinegar (I used plain), (I also added a bit of whole kernel corn for fun)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly grease a small pan or muffin pan. Add vinegar to the almond milk and set aside to curdle (not really noticeable). Add agave to pumpkin or banana and mix. Stir in melted butter, milk mixture, then the box of cornbread mix and stir to moisten. Pour into pan (My batter didn’t really pour and I think it is because Bob’s has enough mix for a 9 by 9 pan and 365 might be for an 8 by 8 pan). Bake until brown, 25 minutes for a square pan and 15-17 minutes for 12 muffins. Serve warm.

The best. During one of the many downward dog poses that I was having trouble holding, the yoga instructor came over and pulled back my hips. I am sure this is hard to imagine if you aren’t familiar with yoga poses. Suffice it to say, what she did relieved pressure on my wrists and arms and helped my legs get a glorious stretch.

I thanked the yoga instructor after class and asked if she would just follow me around whenever I did that pose and help out. She said that she was glad it helped and that she was glad I came. Just the right thing to say to keep me coming back. Oh, and there was one other thing I noticed about my body in yoga today… so if you’ll excuse me, I need to go remove some chipped toe-nail polish. 😉

Hooray, ooray

Posted in Uncategorized by stuffsoup on February 24, 2010

I recommend ECFE (early childhood family education) or its equivalent to any new parent. It is an amazingly helpful way to share experiences and learn about all things “parent”. I have met incredible people (mostly moms since that is generally who is there) with whom I have shared so much more than just an hour and a half per week; there have been births, deaths, successes, failures, gains, losses, and more.

I joke often about my theory of this closeness… that trauma brings people together. In times of crisis (such as learning how to deal with new creatures in your life no matter how cute they are or how much you love them), I think people can form tighter bonds. So, while the kids are having a great time making art projects and going to the “motor room”, the parents are experiencing their own humanity and better preparing to help their children experience theirs.

Day 6 – more whole

Breakfast – granny smith apple with peanut butter and hot water with lemon

Snack – 3 cuties and a Lara Bar in lemon

Lunch – a plum, a third of an avocado, and some black bean salsa on corn chips

Snack – snack bag of carrots

Dinner – last of the garbanzo pasta sauce over brown-rice penne noodles

The good. I was glad cutie oranges were a snack option today… it helped me resist the chocolate chip cookie that was giving me that “come hither” look.

The better. The garbanzo pasta sauce recipe passed my “must be good as leftovers” test tonight, and so here is the basic recipe. A note of caution: you must like chick peas (garbanzo beans) to enjoy this recipe.

Garbanzo Pasta Sauce

18 ounce jar of marinara sauce, 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans drained and rinsed, sliced black olives, chopped mushrooms, and half a tube of Hooray Puree ( in spinach all warmed in a pan and poured over prepared pasta of your choice.

The best. My son awoke a little cranky this morning and was less than cooperative when getting dressed. All I had to do to change his mood and his willingness to cooperate was to say the magic words, “today is your school day” to which he replied, “ooray! my school day” and he couldn’t wait to get going (and neither could I).

I know quite a lot gets said some times about it “taking a village”, but I think the “village” really can make a difference even if it is only for moral support. I know I am more of a people person than some, but I really do feel like being together makes us more human.

A Spoonful of Good Karma

Posted in Uncategorized by stuffsoup on February 23, 2010

This morning, my daughter saw a cardiologist, an endocrinologist, and the litany of support staff from both of those offices, as well as the lab. It was a long morning; a few tears were shed, a few protests were voiced, blood was given. Ultimately though, there were also hugs, stickers, and good news.

My daughter was diagnosed as hypothyroid at 6 months of age. It was only even checked because she has Down syndrome and thus it is more common. She has been on a very low dose of medication for it and after today’s checkup at endocrinology, the dose increases ever so slightly, but all is well.

The cardiologist wanted to check up on her previously diagnosed atrial septal defect or ASD (basically a little hole in her heart between the left and right atria) and her cleft mitral valve (basically a valve that doesn’t seal quite right). She had to do an echocardiogram to get a good picture, but they found that the valve problem is still very minor (no murmur or anything) AND the hole is closed! Ah, it’s good to exhale.

Day 5 – clean up

Breakfast – granny smith apple with peanut butter and hot water with lemon

Snack – Lara Bar in cherry pie, carrots, and my new favorite rice milk all on its own

Lunch – the last of the yummy pad thai and more carrots

Snack – corn chips dipped in the last of the black bean and brown rice from the tostadas mixed with more salsa

Dinner – brown rice pasta with tomato marinara, chick peas, black olives, dried spinach, frozen spinach puree (love the Hooray Puree!), and mushrooms

One last thing – a spoonful of Good Karma Organic Rice Divine in very vanilla (I just really wanted something sweet and it was!)

The good. It was so good to have a sweet spoonful tonight.

The better. Dinner was divine. I hadn’t realized how much I miss chick peas (they are not a favorite in the house) and the whole mixture was so hearty and good.

The best. This just can’t be about food today…. my daughter no longer has a hole in her heart. It’s closed!

Today I am proud of how good my daughter was with all she had to do. She made so many people smile today even as she worried what they were going to do to her next. I am proud of my son for being his patient-est while tagging along for the doctor visits. And, I am proud of me for only having a spoonful of Good Karma.

Some Things Stay the Same

Posted in Uncategorized by stuffsoup on February 22, 2010

Today was a regular day; busy, and regular. It started by getting 3 people ready – fed breakfast, cleaned and brushed, dressed, food packed, snow clothes and school stuff packed, after-workout clothes packed, etc. then out the door. The idea of routines is not new and I embrace routines like never before. A positive routine is a thing of beauty – what you need to do gets done and it feels much more effortless and smooth when you don’t have to “think” about it so much.

The other day, my son and I went to a grocery store that we go to sometimes. I got the cart like I always do, put my son in it like I always do, grabbed the ad like I always do, and started in the door and to the left like I always do. Suddenly, I stopped. What was on the right? Hmm. I thought I knew and I thought I must not need it. But since I’d been checking other products on other shelves in other stores to find other food for this vegan cleanse, I said to my son, “you know, we always go left, let’s go see what there is on the right.” And, even though routines can be very good, sometimes it is also good to shake things up or at least look around some. My son smiled, so did I, and we checked things out on the right.

Day 4 – been there

Breakfast – 1/2 cup of oatmeal with agave and almond milk and hot water with lemon

After-workout snack – handful of almonds, snack bag of carrots, and rice milk with hemp protein

Late lunch – granny smith apple with peanut butter

Dinner – yummy pad thai

The good. I was glad to get a good weightlifting workout in today. I think I’ll be a bit sore tomorrow, but that is good too.

The better. A nap. I napped longer than my son did today and it was good.

The best. I really liked how natural it felt this morning to boil water for oatmeal and heat water to put in a cup with lemon. It already felt like a comfortable, old routine.

Everything seems to come back to balance… routine and novel. Doing the things you know make you feel good and the things that just need doing and within that framework, still searching and learning and growing and exploring and trying. Now, I must go as I have some more things that “just need doing” to do.

Some plans come together

Posted in Uncategorized by stuffsoup on February 21, 2010

When I first agreed to do this 30-day-vegan cleanse, I thought I could just try to eat granny smith apples and carrots for 30 days. (Apparently granny smith apples have less sugar than other apples and therefore are the favored ones for the cleanse.) Then, I spent hours in a couple of “good” grocery stores and thought there really are so many things I’d like to try and this seemed like a good excuse to do it. So, I hit the recipes and started grabbing things off of the shelves.

It is all fine to have good ingredients, but at some point they have to get together and be tasted. Today was a day for some of that. This morning while doing loads of laundry and keeping the kids entertained, I cooked what turned out to be a yummy black bean and sweet potato chili (recipe below) for dinner. It went well enough that I decided to try another recipe at lunchtime – yummy pad thai (recipe below). Since dinner was set for me, after the little one’s nap, the kids and I got to go play at Target free day at the Minnesota Children’s Museum with thousands of our newest best friends (I found out from a volunteer there that February and March are by far the busiest months).

Day 3 – recipe success

Breakfast – half cup of oatmeal with agave and almond milk (which is becoming a favorite)

Snack – granny smith apple and peanut butter (still a go-to item)

Lunch (after half an hour on the treadmill – bonus) – fabulous pad thai

Snack – half of a go.raw live “granola” bar and a few almonds

Dinner – black bean and sweet potato chili over brown rice

The good. The recipes, and here they are. (Note that big T means tablespoon and little t means teaspoon.)

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili

2 T olive oil, 1 chopped red pepper, 1 medium diced onion, 4 cloves minced garlic, 2t sea salt, 1 large garnet yam cut into half inch cubes, zest and juice from 1 lime, 28 ounce can of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, 3 cans of black beans, 1T cumin, 1T chili powder, 1t cocoa powder, and 1 cup chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

In large pot, heat oil over medium heat and saute garlic, onion, red pepper and sea salt until soft (4-5 minutes). Add cumin and chili powder and stir to combine. Add chopped sweet potato and zest, cooking for about 10 minutes more stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, black beans, lime juice, and cocoa powder. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Top with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime, if desired. Serve over brown rice or corn bread.

[My modifications included adding the bit of extra peppers I had on hand along with the red pepper, using less salt and adding it late, using lemon instead of lime, and not waiting 10 minutes to cook the sweet potato before adding the other ingredients so they were just a bit firm and that was all good too.]

Pad Thai

Kelp, mung bean, or rice noodles (I used rice sticks from Trader Joe’s) prepared as directed. Then, in a magic bullet mixer (or Cooks mixer which is what I have) add 1/3 cup water, 2T almond butter (or I used peanut butter), 1/3 cup coconut oil, 1T Bragg or other soy sauce, 1t coriander, 1/2 of a red jalapeno pepper or less green (I just threw in some of the red pepper I had – not as hot, but still good), and 2t lemon juice. Mix until blended and pour over noodles when done. Then add in 1/2 cup fresh basil (which I skipped because I didn’t have any) and 1/2 cup of fresh greens and toss all together.

The bad. I was not fond of the go.raw “granola” bar which is why I only ate half. I’ll finish it because I hate to waste and it wasn’t horrible or anything, but not my favorite.

The ugly. To be honest, I am not sure if it is the cleanse or not, but when my daughter woke at 4:37am, I still had a headache that had been coming and going throughout the day, so at 5:00am, I took a couple of ibuprofen and eventually went back to sleep. I awoke later with no headache, so all is well.

I have to say that I am grateful to all the cooks that experiment with putting ingredients together until they get something wonderful. I may not always follow to the letter and I do my own substitutions and twists, but I so appreciate the “backbone” from which to start. It was good to have a plan and some good recipes to put together today and I’m glad it left time for fun.

You know it’s coming

Posted in Uncategorized by stuffsoup on February 20, 2010

There is one person I was “waiting” to share my 30-day-vegan-cleanse experience with. I was hoping to get to day 20 or so before having to explain much, but I know now that is not realistic. Last night the question… why are there 2 pans for tacos? Answer: one has black beans and doesn’t have meat. Tonight the question… why waffles? Answer: gluten, they are gluten-free. At that point, I knew enough to look away, but I forgot to plug my ears. I knew it was coming, but that still doesn’t make it fun. The big {{sigh}}. There should be a good way to type that sound… kind of a tsk-uuuh. Because I wasn’t looking, I can pretend there was no rolling of the eyes to accompany that sound – and hey, maybe there wasn’t.

And, it’s ok. Really, it is. I know I can be exasperating… I live with me too. Different people have different comfort levels with extremes. I went to a Parent Fair today and in one of the sessions about discipline, the speaker was trying to make the point about how important it is to have a plan. She said, “You have to know where you want to go. Who here would get on an airplane if they didn’t know where it was flying to?”. Inside, I was screaming, “Ooo, me, me!”. See, I don’t care so much about where the plane is going – I like adventure. Not everyone does and that has to be ok. It can be nice to have someone waiting when you land even if they don’t like jumping on “random” planes with you.

Day 2 – cookie swap

Breakfast – juice glass of rice milk, then granny smith apple wedges with organic peanut butter eaten in the car on the way to the Parent Fair (I promise the kids ate sitting down which gave me the time to get stuff together.)

Snack – at the Parent Fair, the snack choices were cookies from Great Harvest Bakery (which are so good!), bananas, and apples… so, I chose an apple, but it was too mushy to finish, so I was glad I had my back up Lara Bar in peanut butter cookie (so I kind of got my cookie anyway)

Lunch – leftover tostada (black bean, brown rice, tomato, lettuce, corn tortilla) and a handful of carrot

Snack – handful of cashews and carrots

Dinner – 2 gluten-free waffles, drizzle of agave, and pile of berries with a cup of chocolate almond milk

The good. The berries I used were whole frozen and I put them in the microwave for a bit to thaw and that drew out some of the juice which worked great on the waffles. I didn’t even need the agave.

The bad. I was hoping to partake of some snack at the Parent Fair, but that apple was just too mushy.

The ugly. There were a lot of temptations today. I wanted to eat cookies – or at least just stick my nose over that plate and inhale deeply. Thankfully, I was able to refrain from doing that! I also made one of the best lookin’ batches of pancakes ever (that was the family’s request for dinner tonight) and they were hard to pass up.

Knowing that I made it through at least part of the discussion I was not looking forward to and knowing that I made it past some yummy-looking temptations has given me hope for tomorrow… now I better go plan some more. Keep the ideas and comments coming!

Extreme Learning

Posted in Uncategorized by stuffsoup on February 19, 2010

I’ve decided my food needs an overhaul. I turned 40. My metabolism seems to be slowing. My 2 and 4 year olds don’t leave much time for extra workouts. It just needs help.  I shouldn’t really be surprised that I thought the best way to go about a food shift might be to join a small group of women doing a 30-day vegan cleanse… no caffeine, no alcohol, no sugar, no animal products, and no gluten. Hmm.

Perhaps a little background would help. When I was young, I recall having skates strapped to my feet and being pushed out onto a frozen pond to learn to skate. I also recall at least a couple of swimming “lessons” thusly done. I’ve done it to myself too. As a kid, I’d twist my legs into lotus position and move around trying to learn what it might be like if my legs had been amputated at the knee. Or, I’d close or cover my eyes to experience what it might be like to lose my sight. I signed up for a marathon so I would have to learn how to run. Now, I don’t pretend to know what it is truly like to be blind or amputated and I’m only a fair skater, swimmer, or runner but I did learn a bit.

As I talked with friends and family about this vegan cleanse, the reactions were pretty much the same… REALLY?? WHY? and finally GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. But, many, if not most, of them wanted me to keep them posted as I went. They were curious after all, even if they were never going to try this themselves or particularly because they were never going to try this themselves. I do sometimes need to jump in and “get dirty” to learn – and I do get pretty dirty at times.

That brings me to this blog. I’ve never blogged before and I don’t know what I’m doing, but since I seem to like extreme learning… here we go.

Day 1 – so far so good

Breakfast – 1/2 cup oatmeal with almond milk and agave (and it was good!) plus 1 lonely strawberry (the kids ate the rest) and samples of almond and rice milk

After workout – handful of almonds and rice milk with hemp protein (I can hardly believe I just said that)

Late lunch – 3/4 granny smith apple (one of the kids again) with peanut butter and a small bowl of naked air-popped popcorn and a small piece of watermelon

Dinner – black bean, brown rice, tomato tostada with lettuce and a handful of fresh carrot on the side

The good. I was happy with how much I liked drinking the rice milk (Trader Joe’s organic, original, unsweetened) on its own and the almond milk was lovely in the oatmeal.

The bad. I have to admit, I wasn’t very fond of the hemp protein, but the rice milk only had 1 g of protein and I had been doing an organic chocolate milk after workouts which had 9 g, so I thought it might be good to at least add half a serving from the hemp (2T). The stuff just didn’t stir in well.

The (almost) ugly. I almost finished off my daughter’s string cheese after lunch, but caught myself. And, what I had today probably isn’t going to be enough food, so I have to find more to eat!

So, does anybody have any good vegan crock-pot recipes?? or have any good ideas for snacks (besides the obvious fruit or veggies)?? I may be attempting some extreme learning here, but I’ll take all the help I can get!