Tuesday, November 20, 2012

pandora gold moments

Don't you just love when you are listening to Pandora on the way to work and it just keeps firing pure gold nuggets at you?  Here's a little taste of what I had going on in my car this morning...hope you enjoy these tracks as much as I do!! (Elvis Costello Pandora Station)


Friday, February 3, 2012

"Almost Vegan" Month One

I never thought I could be a vegan. 

I've been a vegetarian since the summer of 1994.  The World Cup was being hosted in the US and I was at a soccer tournament in Utah.  My dad had been laying it on thick about how I should feel bad for the poor little cows and yadda yadda...I was served a hamburger with blood leaking out of it and that was it.  Like that (snaps fingers) I was over it.  I was 13 at the time.  I didn't know (or care) what eating healthy looked like.  French Fries were vegetarian...I was all set!  My mom was pissed.  Lara had become a vegetarian a little before me so my mom suddenly had two little vegetarians on her hands with no idea what to feed us (not to mention the fact that both of us were pretty picky!).  The only thing we would eat was chili (just the beans...no meat)/cheese fries!  A mountain of it every night for about a year if I recall correctly! Yikes!  I remember sitting on the couch in the living room watching the Fresh Prince and waiting for my mom to searve me my plate of delightfully greasy (we had an electric deep frier) chili/cheese fries with onions.  Mmmm!

Obviously I have learned healthier eating habits since then.  I had some serious fry fat to loose so I went on Weight Watchers when I was about 19.  There I found a way to bring some nutritional balance to my veggie lifestyle.  I stopped drinking ranch dressing from a bowl as a parlor trick and instead started eating more fruits and veggies...for awhile.  I go back and forth between my eating healthy and not so healthy habits...but all the while remaining a vegetarian. I never thought I could be a vegan because I never thought I would be able to give up cheese.  Gardenburger-put cheese on it! Sandwich-put cheese on it! Cheese-put cheese on it! I love cheese...but I realized that if I tried to give up cheese then I would cut out a lot of the junk I end up falling out of balance for (such as pizza or grilled cheese...with fries!).  So I made a spur of the moment decision (inspired by Lara who was telling me of her new plan to try going vegan in the new year), stocked my pantry with necessary spices and cooking ingredients for vegan recipes from Happy Herbivore (see http://www.happyherbivore.com/ ) and became a "mostly vegan."  Like I mentioned in my previous post "mostly vegan" is a psycological title for my new way of living because I feel like it's not so much a thing of "I'm not ALLOWED to have cheese" as a choice I am making to choose foods that are healthier for me than cheese.  I have only caved once so far when I was at Mary's house for a little homemade Mac n' Cheese made from scratch with quinoa pasta and gouda + every other kind of good cheese...how could I resist really?  BUT...something else magical happened that night at Mary's!  Something that has changed the way I will live the rest of my life!  I tried (and LOVED) brussel sprouts!!!  She cut them in half, tossed them in some olive oil and garlic and baked them for a half an hour in the oven!  It was awesome and we couldn't get enough.  She had to make more after we started eating the leftover crisped brussel sprout leaves that were strewn about on the baking pan! hahah!  So good!  So thank you Mary!  You have changed my life in a wonderful new way and I (and my newfound regularity) can't thank you enough! haha! 

It's been a month and I have lost (according to the scale this morning) 8 pounds since January 3rd.  I'm feeling good, making most meals at home, and I am loving every minute of it! 

I feel almost as good as Brazil did on that sunny Los Angeles afternoon!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Birthday, Booze, BAM!

I turned 31 on Saturday. Eh. 31 is a lame age hardly worth noting...but I managed to  have an excellent day with some most excellent people that is worth noting!  Friday night I celebrated with Mary at 118 degrees (a raw vegan restaurant in Costa Mesa at The Camp).  I bet some of you think of "RAW VEGAN" with a crinkled nose thinking "ew...a restaurant where I'm served a plate of disgusting raw vegetables" or something along those lines...but this place was AMAZING!  Some of you will never believe me because you are haters...but for those of you who have an open mind and love DELICIOUS food, please do yourself a favor and enjoy this restaurant sometime!  There was so much flavor in every bite...I dare say it dazzled my taste buds! haha.  Mary is always wonderful company so it was nice to have some special one-on-one time with her (sometimes life gets so hectic and time does not permit such luxuries...but it's always a treat when we do get the time!)!  After dinner I went over to Alicia's for a little while to celebrate her birthday (damn January babies! haha!).  I wish I could have stayed for longer but I left early so I could wake up early Saturday morning and go for a hike...or so I thought? 
The road to hell is paved with good intentions...but when you are confronted with a road block such as...say...MIMOSAS and some of the best company southern California...no...the United States....no...the world...no...the UNIVERSE has to offer...you kinda just want to sit around drinking, watching the kiddies play around with the plethora of toys the Nuckles household (aka Becca's daycare center) has to offer, and talking about anal sex...RIGHT?  hahaha!  It was a wonderful birthday hike-turned all day mimosa fest extravaganza and I thank you all for knowing how to show an old gal like me such a good time!  Thank you Rebecca, Evan, Ellie, Sandra, Rufino, Allison, Avery, Mikaila, Amelia (sorry about the mouth rape), Joe, Emily and Atticus (I know you were there somewhere) for a wonderful time!
It didn't end there people!  Oh yes...there is MORE!  When we had drunk the last drop of the 8th bottle of champagne we headed out to go home and get ready for the evening portion of my birthday celebrations.  Dinner and comedy (Kevin Smith and Ralph Garmen's podcast at the Jon Luvitz comedy club-Universal City Walk)!  We dropped Emily off at Joe's parents and Lara and Luis picked us up and took us out for a night on the town.  I continued with the drinking theme by ordering a Sangria with dinner and a bucket of beers to share with Luis at the comedy club.  Needless to say I was spent by the end of the night. 
My birthday carried over into Sunday with family celebrations and a delicious vegan chocolate cake made by Lara...and we still had Monday off!  Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012! BAM?

So we're a few days into 2012 already...I haven't even had a chance to catch my breath from the last couple of weeks of 2011 and already so much is happening in 2012!  I don't really believe in resolutions because I feel they only set me up for failure...so this year I have some general ideas about what I should do in 2012 that could make me feel (hopefully) a little less like I'm in constant "emergency" mode or in "total denial of emergency" mode.  2012 should be about facing my (our) bills and actually trying to pay them instead of leaving them in the mailbox (because if we don't check the mail the bill doesn't really exist...right?).  This means that the Solis family might be at home a little more instead of dropping money we don't have movin' and a-shakin' with all our friends.  I hope you will all be understanding of our situation and please know that it isn't because we don't want to be involved in all the 2012 events...but we really have some serious situations we need to correct and if we get it right this year...maybe we will be able to breath a little better in 2013!  Maybe it sounds boring...but it's better than losing our house and living out of a cardboard box (which would be less than boring but not the kind of "adventure" I feel I would enjoy).  Threats of foreclosure are so 2011! 
Another thing I have an idea about for 2012 is to become Vegan....ISH.  I don't think I'm ready to commit to being a full-on Vegan.  I'm not too good with extremes...or putting more than minimal effort into things....so for now I will say I am "mostly vegan" and if I have some slip-ups with my most beloved cheese I won't feel the need to beat myself up about it.  Also...if I'm not so strict on myself I turn things into a little game like "Well...I CAN eat cheese...but let me see how long I can go without it."  Funny old mind and the tricks I play on it...or it plays on me? 
Anyway...those are the two major ideas I have floating around in my head for now. 

Happy New Year Everyone!