Fruit King

Today was Fruit King day! For those of you who don’t already know, The Fruit King is like a giant garage sale for fruits and veggies!! If you live in Corpus Christi consider making a trip here part of your regular week’s schedule…seriously! We’ve found that it can be hit or miss…as JR would say, “It’s either a grand slam or a strike-out!” I’ve had WAY more grand slams than strike-outs, for sure….and I’ve decided that it’s totally worth the trip to find out since the prices are INSANE! Check out some of the awesome deals we found today in the photos!

I thought it was high time to introduce Rebekah, my sister (whose living with us here in Corpus now…whoo-hoo!), to the Fruit King…needless to say, she was blown away.  In her words, “It was like finding out a secret!”  We each came home with a ton of awesomeness for a fraction of what we would’ve spent at HEB…don’t worry, HEB, I still love you too! To sum it up: 2 cucumbers, 4 apples, 2 red onions, 3 white onions, 2 yellow onions, 2 red bell peppers, 4 jalapenos, 2 grapefruit, 2 oranges, 5 garlic, 5 lbs of bananas, 2 giant bags of giant carrots (I’ve seriously never seen carrots this big!), 1 bag of green beens, 1 bag of spinach, 5 little avocados, 5 containers of red and yellow cherry tomatoes, and 2 lbs of tomatoes ALL for a measly $19.70!!!! 

This wasn’t supposed to be an advertisement, but it turned into one, so what the heck….Visit any one of three Fruit King locations..4702 Ayers Street, 3401 Morgan Avenue, or 1607 Morgan Avenue to find the pot ‘o gold!!!

P.S. I didn’t know there were 3 locations til just now!! Could my life get any better?!

More crazy days…

It’s already been over a week since I last blogged! Just when I feel like I’m getting in a routine, life gets crazy again! Well, I have news about our “raw month journey”…it’s over. Yes, it’s true, we decided to break our “one exception raw food commitment”. Honestly, I didn’t plan well.  In my excitement over getting healthy and trying something new, I didn’t take into account what it might do to our bodies…let’s just say, going raw, good idea…going raw cold turkey, bad idea!

What we loved about being raw for one week: Eating fresh, raw foods is, in my opinion, the best way to detox! Both John Ryan and I felt so good after just the first day! I actually lost 4 lbs and started to really feel thinner (you ladies know what I mean) We love knowing that what we’re eating is good for our bodies!

What was difficult about eating raw: For me, it was a little consuming..it seemed I was always either preparing food, shopping for food, or thinking and planning our meals…Also, because we continued to workout regularly, we were having a hard time replenishing our calories…we both began to lack energy…

What we learned in one week: Don’t try to be so hardcore!! Our bodies need to be warned…I think if we had begun to gradually take cooked foods out of our diet we would have been much more successful…cutting everything out all at once was what hurt us!

Our plan now is to eat at least 50% raw. All that means is that I’m conscious of including raw foods in all of our meals and our snacks are raw…it’s going well…this new plan is much more realistic and doable for us! Obviously, we’ve had good day and bad days, but overall…I think this is the way to go for us!! What’s so insane to me is that it seemed so intense, yet we had two exception meals in those 7 days!!

Needless to say, we definitely found our favorite detox plan for the next time we need one!

Another exception already…really?

John Ryan and I spent most of yesterday anticipating a very special event!! Some of our favorite two people got married..finally!!!  Stephen and Sara are like our “fun all the time” friends…you know how some people can make any place or activity seem like the coolest thing ever? Well, that’s them, and we love spending time with them!! We knew their wedding would be an event to remember..and it was!! We were mostly excited about the dance party…

Those of you who weren’t at our wedding may not know how exciting dance parties are to JR and I…I mean, we were thinking about it pretty much all day! Our expectations for S & S’s wedding were met and exceeded! All the best dance songs were played and it seemed like everyone participated…which is what makes it so fun! We were SOAKED by the second song and stayed that way until almost 11PM when the festivities were over!! Amazing couple, amazing wedding!!

I was asked to help my dear friend, Avery, with her hair for the wedding (she was a bridesmaid) and while I was there, I managed to do 3 other up-dos! Hair – pretty much my favorite pastime. Who knows, maybe I’ll start up my own business one day…Big Day Stylists…one day.

Now to food….

On Saturday, we made a green smoohie for breakfast…had a yummy salad for lunch…snacked on some nuts…and found ourselves starving by the time the wedding was over…so, we made another exception…I KNOW, but it gets worse!! Not only did we have the coconut curry rice along with the grilled veggies…we also had CAKE!! I just couldn’t pass it up! I’ve seriously been craving chocolate cake since birth and no amount seems to satiate the desire…I saw it, I wanted it, I took it!! I’m pretty sure I could write a Bible study on the dangers of that mentality…but I won’t!!! And it wasn’t just me either, John Ryan had carrot cake…which sounds healthier, but we all know the truth! We could definitely never be completely raw for life, but the changes we have made are still improving our health, so that makes me happy!

Today, Sunday, we had bananas and raw peanut butter for breakfast and another yummy salad, this time with oranges, avocados, and nuts, for lunch….mmmm! Our afternoon snack: broccoli, dried bananas, green beans, and strawberries.  For dinner we enjoyed more snacking: a carrot, green beans, sugar snap peas, broccoli, and an orange!

On Sunday nights, John Ryan an I are leading a super cool group of high schoolers through a book study this summer. The book is Gospel in Life:Grace Changes Everything by Tim Keller. If you haven’t gone through this study yet, make plans to do it soon! It’s an amazingly fresh look at how all things are redeemed through grace and it walks you through what our role, as Christians, truly is within our cities and communities. We’re so excited about doing this study…especially, with THIS group of kids!!

I plan to start posting pictures again soon, once we get some tech things figured out…I promise!!

 

3rd day and exception #1….

This morning was a busy one for me…mentally. Time and mental energy for food preparation may prove to be my greatest challenge in this “raw” business! I find that once I get started on a kick, it has the potential to consume my thoughts entirely! I’m constantly thinking about what I can make next and if I’m not on my cute little laptop (thank you, JR!) looking at raw food blogs and recipes then I’m longing to be!! I may have spent 2.5 hours looking up recipes this afternoon…this may be an illness, I’m not sure…

Breakfast- fresh pineapple slices, strawberry slices, banana slices, and a few blackberries!

Lunch- Jr and I didn’t get to have lunch together today, but I sent him to work with 1 orange, 1 apple, cucumber pieces, green beens, sugar snap peas, 1 carrot, and some sea salted sunflower seeds to snacks on….As for me, I enjoyed green beans, some broccoli, a few strawberries, cashews, and a couple of prunes.

Dinner- Today we had dinner with some friends, Peter & Lisa, so it was our 1st exception day…I know what you’re thinking…”you’re only three days in!!”…I know, but that’s how the cookie crumbled this go ’round…Oooo, cookies!! Note to self: Find awesome raw cookie recipe! Anyway, for dinner we had Mediterranean lentil soup over rice with a beautiful salad and homemade salad dressing! Scrumptious!! We had a wonderful time visiting…they are such fun peeps!!

Dessert- There is an amazing restaurant here in Corpus called Yin Yang Fandango & The Tango Tea Room…I know it’s a mouthful, but it’s seriously one of our favorite places to eat mostly because of their awesome variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes…not to mention desserts!  One of these desserts has become my all-time fave and I think I have a slice pretty much every time we go in! It’s a chocolate avocado pie!!! You would not believe how yummy it is!! SOOO, I attempted to recreate it for dessert tonight…I used this recipe and just tweaked it a little until I was satisfied with the flavor. I seriously could not stop tasting it, AND I spent like 5 whole minutes licking every utensil and bowl afterwards!! It was amazing!! Peter & Lisa thought it was great, their daughter (age 5…hmm, or 6?), on the other hand, could sense something was off about the pie…a major disappointment for her, I think…she asked me if it even had sugar in it!! Hilarious…

Random side-note: Tonight, Redbox, our kitty baby, got chased up a tree in our front yard by an ugly black cat…John Ryan rescued her! Yay, for heros!!

 

Day 2…..

I was hungry ALL day!! Jr was too! I don’t know how much of this is mental, but I felt like I was never full no matter how many nuts, raisins, and fruit I ate!! Well, the good thing is, we’re shrinking our stomachs and getting a ton of nutrients all at the same time…it’s pretty much awesome!

Here’s what we ate today:

We each 1 banana before our 10 mile bike ride (beautiful morning + amazingly handsome tandem pilot = the best form of exercise EVER…almost;)

Breakfast- green smoothie (1 banana, 1 pear, 2 handfuls of frozen peaches, 1 handful of collard greens, 2 handfuls of spinach, hemp protein, ground flaxseed, almond milk, and water!)

Snacking included: Cashews, prunes, raisins, an orange, and, not to mention, tons of water!!

Lunch- Giant green salad (spring greens, red bell pepper, green onion, sunflower seeds, cherry tomatoes, red onion, fresh garlic, kale, green beans, cucumber, salt, pepper, lemon juice, ev olive oil, and apple cider vinegar….phew!!!)

Dinner- Jimaca Rice ( blended jimaca root, red and green bell peppers, cilantro, lemon juice, sea salt & pepper, sunflower seeds, and chopped shallots….with a side of delicious broccoli)

Dessert (that’s right, we’re going all out!)- cashew cream with chocolate sauce and strawberries! Amazing!!

 

Why not try a little raw action?

As most of you know, John Ryan and I have been doing the vegetarian thing since January 1st of this year….the first month was a little challenging (I had to experiment with things I’d never worked with before!), but so far I can honestly say we have LOVED it! We both feel great and the jury’s still out on whether we’ll ever go back to being carnivores again!!

We decided to 86 meat on the grounds of forming a more natural diet to enhance our overall health…well, we’ve decided to take it one step further for the same reason! June has officially become our “raw” month! Yes, that means no cooked foods for an entire month! I realize that it sounds a little crazy, and believe me, when the thought first came to my mind I thought that too…but after realizing how quickly good eating habits can take form I’m ready for the plunge. I don’t usually have to spend any time convincing JR to jump in with me when it comes to making healthier choices…cause half the time he’s the one initiating it! He challenged me with the idea of nixing meat for a year, so one step further just made him that much more excited!!

This is our plan: We will eat only raw foods for the entire month of June with the exception of dinner with friends…we don’t want to be “those people” that can’t even eat with friends because they don’t want to eat what everyone else is eating. That just makes everyone awkward…so, that’s our exception!

Today was day 1.  We made it through alive and well! We started this morning with a really delicious green smoothie (my new favorite discovery..check out a few recipes here!) 1 fresh mango, 1 fresh banana, a handful of frozen peaches and pineapple chunks, 2 Tbsp of hemp protein, a couple handfuls of fresh spinach, and water!

Lunch included a spring mix salad with sprouts, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper, green onion, nutritional yeast flakes, fresh lemon juice, ev olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt and pepper…we also had almonds and green grapes!!!

For dinner, we each had a plate of strawberries, orange slices, green beens, carrots, and pistachio meats.  We enjoyed apple slices with raw peanut butter for an after-dinner snack! All-in-all, this was an awesome day 1…can’t wait to see what’s on tomorrow’s menu!

1st Half Marathon!

It’s done! I did it! If you would’ve asked me one year ago if I ever thought I would run any kind of race with the word “marathon” in it, I would have laughed and said something sarcastic like, “Oh, yeah, of course, I’m all over that!” Yet here I am, a new woman, doing new things!

The race was crazy! John Ryan and I drove up to Bastrop, TX on Friday for packet pick-up….we entered the Hyatt Resort at Lost PInes and found ourselves in rolling hills! Steep hills…like, steep! We were admiring the amazing green trees and landscaping, when we noticed a little white sign that read, “4 MILES”….we both looked at each other and I began to freak out a little….about 2 minutes later, another sign, “5 MILES”….it was true!! We were driving the race course…all that was heard in the car for the next 30 seconds was, “NO WAY!!”, “UH-UH”, “IS THIS A JOKE?”!!! I instantly realized that this race was gonna be the most challenging thing I had ever put myself up to! First of all, because of a crazy last few weeks, I had only gotten up to 8 miles in my training…Secondly, I live in Corpus Christi, we don’t have hills!! Um…I take that back, we do have ONE….but let’s be honest, I avoid it if I can…who wants to suffer through that?!! So, needless to say, I was severely unprepared for what was about to happen!!

We stayed with Melissa and Tristan in Austin that night and had an awesome time being with them!! We have so much fun when we are all together!!

I got a good nights sleep, thankfully, until the part where I woke up at 3AM and couldn’t go back to sleep because of my crazy nerves! My dreams were full of miles and miles of long, high, rolling hills….really steep ones!! Eventually, 5:15 did come and after pulling myself together…I woke John Ryan up and we were off!! The race started at 7:30AM and my amazingly supportive husband and I arrived with only a few minutes to spare…so by the time we had shuttled to the Start Line I only had time for a quick port-o-potty run before the National Anthem was sounding and it was time to start running!

ZOOMA is a women’s race series so there were women everywhere…and a few brave men participated as well! I have honestly never seen so many fit people in one place!! It was inspiring!

The first few miles were honestly a breeze…I had settled into a good pace and my gate felt comfy…I was good to go….then mile 4 came…remember mile 4 from earlier? Yeah, I was anticipating the torture…and then I arrived.  I’m always amazed at how God designed our bodies…the adrenaline kicked in and I began to push my way up and over those hills…all of a sudden, they weren’t so bad…and by the time I had figured that out, they were gone!! I can’t even remember most of it…I must have been in a major zone!

I, surprisingly didn’t hit my wall until mile 11….the reason? Well, at the 11th mile we entered a beautifully landscaped golf course…the problem was that the course zig-zagged tightly for the last 2 miles….I could see the runners at the end and they were so small!! I just thought, “How am I gonna get to that point?!”….I decided to focus on the path immediately ahead of me and push through…it worked!

What really helped me get to the end was the fuel!! I had awesome little fruit bites and chewable energy!! I needed every one of those little suckers!! And JR bought me the coolest little belt that holds fun stuff like that!! I had the best set-up ever!!

Special thanks to Tristan Summers for (unknowingly) letting me borrow head phones for my music! I forgot to grab mine and I never could have finished the race without David Crowder singing to me the whole way!

STATS:

Distance- 13.1 miles
Time- 2:10:34

546th of 1,390, Overall
451st of 1,239, Female
93rd of 236, 25-29 Age Bracket

You can watch me cross the Finish Line here

Here I am smiling at all the wonderful Facebook comments I received during the race!

Catch up post #1

So much has happened since our last post…which is why we haven’t posted in SEVERAL weeks! Our dilema: With more exciting events comes less time to blog while the need for blogging becomes greater!! Well, let’s catch up!

Food- I have two ideas to share with you all….fun, delicious, super easy meals!! I have pictures to post, but getting them on here is another long story….so for now, just words!! First, my favorite default (and most often craved) meal: Hummus & Veggies! Some of you may be thinking, “That’s not a meal, it’s an appetizer!” Well, you will be pleasantly surprised at how full a dish of hummus and a plate of assorted veggies will make you. I often make hummus with chickpeas (the traditional way), but there are all kinds of different hummus recipes out there! What’s so awesome about hummus is that ALL vegetables taste great along with it!! A good time to try this is when it’s time to clean out the fridge of things that may be pushing their expiration dates! Veggies that we use most often are bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and celery..(I realize not all of these are vegetables;)! It’s also great with pita chips!! This time, I chose to make a black bean hummus…..amazing!!! Basic ingredients: Black beans, tahini (sesame seed paste), garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt, lemon juice, cumin, paprika…all to taste!!

Another idea for emptying out your fridge is whipping up a frittata!! I originally wanted to make a quiche for dinner, so I searched for recipes without crusts…my mother-in-law informed me that quiches without crusts are called “frittatas”…who knew? I like the whole “you learn something new every day” thing… I never know what to put down when it’s time to write the recipe since I usually changed so much about the original. So, I’ve decided to include basic ingredients and you can search on your own for the rest!! Basic ingredients: Eggs, spinach, mushrooms, green onions, white onion, red bell pepper, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, cream cheese, and anything else you may want to add in your’s!!

Training update!

As most of you know, one of my goals for 2011 is to run my first half marathon. Well, I have officially registered for one on April 16th in Austin, TX!!

Growing up I played pretty much any sport, if there was opportunity…officially, I only played softball and basketball…but I would have called myself “hardcore” at the time. I ran a lot, but mostly sprints. Long distance running was never something I even attempted. In college, I was awaken to the world of “exercise”…running for the sake of overall health and fitness, not just stamina.

About a year before John Ryan and I got married, I decided to push myself a little harder, to see my potential…I got up to about 3 miles a day and then plateaued…I had zero knowledge concerning what my body really needed to accelerate. Now, mind you, it was great exercise and I was actually loosing weight as well, but what I didn’t know then was that that’s not the best approach for keeping my body fit and free from injury. John Ryan came into my life and everything changed, contextually and literally!

This past year and a half has been a major learning curve for me with figuring out how to listen to my body and staying on top of a specific workout program, but it has been wonderful! I can honestly say I have never felt better!! AND I don’t suffer from random injuries as often as I used to…I mean, heck, I haven’t been to see a chiropractor once this year!

All that to say…John Ryan and I are a part of this brand new running group called the Sol Runners…Our first run was New Year’s Day…it was a 5K (that’s 3.1 miles)…what’s so great about this group is that we get together to run every 1st saturday of every month absolutely FREE! Also, this month they offered a 10K (6.2 miles), which I am proud to say I participated in! My first 10K!!! The group was much smaller and there were several walkers…but I felt as if I’d really accomplished something awesome!! 

This is the furthest I have run to date…and I finished it in 1 hour and 3 minutes…. I might be well on my way to ripping that half marathon to shreds!!

Homemade Toothpaste!

What we didn’t know about becoming vegetarians, is that Bethany and I would become more and more health conscious than we have ever been. Becoming vegetarians has opened our minds to the benefits of raw foods, healthy living AND the dangers of processed foods, chemicals, and pesticides. If I can eliminate a chemical from my life, I will.

About a month ago I heard a friend say that floride  kills a bacteria on our teeth that helps them rebuild themselves naturally. He said he had a cavity and someone told him to stop using fluorinated toothpaste. He stopped using fluorinated toothpaste and his cavity went away.

I was intrigued. I had to look this up. So I went to Wikipedia. Just kidding, I use Goggle scholar. As I searched though scientific journals and abstracts I found that floride is highly debated and the majority consensus is that it isn’t safe and can cause cancer. According to the IAOMT (International Academy of  Oral Medicine and Toxicology) floride in only effective in tooth decay at high, cancer causing, levels.

Because of this, I took time to make some awesome natural toothpaste. Here is the link to the directions.

We have been using this toothpaste for a month now and I can say that this toothpaste is awesome. I feel cleaner and fresher.

Next post I write will be about the importance of flossing.

A Seaman Storybook