Thursday, May 31, 2012

Whole Foods Visit #3

Click on the links in case you missed store #1 (the biggest) and /or store #2 (the smallest).

This particular Whole Foods has been around since the mid-nineties, is centrally located, and is always busy.  I went in the this morning after my jog, arriving a few minutes after 8:00am.  The people who work there were in nearly every aisle, and shoppers were already in full force.  Let's start with the produce section:
 (As mentioned, the employees were stocking the shelves - please pardon the boxes above.)
 I could send some of these beets (below) to Maud! :)
 So pretty!

Oh look, another employee.  Bulk Bin aisle.
 Not much for raw food treats / bars.
 The tofu / tempeh / seitan / dairy free product case.
This location also gets a large lunch crowd, so their prepared item cases are extensive (I am also one of the prepared meal buyers - but not necessary at lunch).
The vegan options on display today:
 Above: Cherry Almond Herb Salad.  Below: Balsamic Roasted Tofu.  
 Near the tamales, we have the taquitos I tried on Cinco de Mayo.
In addition to the salad bar, they also have a large olive bar - this one is for Shen.  :)
Lastly, the hot bar.  It was breakfast time, and other than quinoa or oatmeal - this is all there was for vegans:
(Tofu Scramble, Potatoes O'Brien).

This particular Whole Foods rarely has much variety for vegans on the hot bar.  So, why do I shop here most often?  Proximity and convenience, I suppose.

That's it - you've seen all three stores in my area! As the other two have been dubbed the biggest, and the smallest, this one shall be called the busiest.  For my next series, I'm thinking of taking you along to the three (how ironic!) Farmer's Markets I go to during the summer.  Unless that would be terribly boring.  Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tame Tuesday

I switched Friday's rest day with today's 1.5 miles.  Why? I needed to have a few knots worked out.
 Coffee and two bran muffins from yesterday upon return home.  It won't be all rainbows and unicorns this summer, as I have 9 and a half days of training for my new position.  The half day training happens tomorrow morning.

Late morning: most of these fresh grapes (then my summertime trick: two huge vines rinsed and placed in the freezer - it's like bite sized popsicles!)
 Lunch: Homemade Cuban Black Beans
Dinner: part one - spinach, strawberry, kiwi, sliced almonds, raspberry vinaigrette
 Part two: boiled corn x 2.

Have a great evening, everyone!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Plans

You know it's summer when all of your meals involve no utensils, only the occasional straw.

I made Vegan Oat Bran Muffins this morning.  Coffee while they were in the oven.
 It's a good use for the molasses in my cupboard, and finally finishing off the unsweetened applesauce that's been in the fridge for two years (seriously).

Two mile walk with Remy.

Upon return, I felt the need to add some greens to my day - and I think I'll do this mid-morning from here on out.  As I make the majority of my green smoothies with water, they tend to be in 150 calorie range which is not really sustaining for a breakfast.  On the days that I use overnight oats and / or nut milks, that will suffice for breakfast.  Below: one frozen banana, quarter cup of fresh blueberries, handful of spinach, 2/3 cup water.
Lunch: Dr.Praeger's Italian Veggie Burger, Daiya slice, ketchup, flatout.  Sad looking pickle.
 Late afternoon I had a hankering for something sweet, so decided to have my first Soy Mocha Frappuccino. (I haven't had a frap in probably two years, and not soy). Hit the spot!
Dinner: for my last utensils-free meal, I decided to welcome my summer break with corn on the cob. Twice.  Also, homemade kale chips (my first time - and I'm hooked).  Lightly Misto sprayed with olive oil, nooch, pinch of sea salt.  Naked corn.
 Now, to make this post even longer - I give you my summer list (in no particular order):

1. Visit and document vegan friendly restaurants
2. WWI Picture Project*
3. Closet and cabinet clean out
4. Crafts (painting, jewelry, et al)
5.  Workout in the morning (preferably first thing)**
6. Complete 5k training program (again - it's been a while)***

*My great grandfather documented his WWI campaign in photo.  I have 50 or so ninety year old pictures that need to be sorted and placed into chronological order.  I also have access to a book that documents the same campaign, so I need to align the photos and write about each one.
**This is for my new schedule starting in August.  I am hoping to start CrossFit but there are some philosophical and financial concerns - more on that later.
***Started today with a longer, faster walk listed after breakfast.

There will also be farmers markets, festivals / fairs, museums, and activities during the summer - but that normally happens, and doesn't demand a list.  See you tomorrow - less reading involved on your part, I promise! :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Last Day

I'm a day late with this one, so you'll have to forgive me! As expected, there was a lot going on.  Friday morning's weather accurately reflected my mood (sad to not see the faces of coworkers who have become close friends, on a daily basis; happy to be moving forward in my life).
 No picture for breakfast, but I picked up an onion bagel (dry, but toasted) and a coffee - I've been good about not having bagels, and decided to treat myself.

Lunch was from Thursday night's Whole Food's run.  Good!

 After I had taken FOUR trips to my car, loading it with my teaching life - I took a moment to stand in my empty classroom and say goodbye, before turning in my keys for the last time.
 I made sure not to take anything for my allergies, that I might imbibe a little with my work friends and acquaintances.  A discussion had taken place for my affection of vodka lemonade, and someone made it happen - I had two strong drinks, and lots of socializing. (Pink lemonade, Svedka vodka - I'll make homemade lemonade soon).
About two hours after my second drink, I headed home but stopped by Chipotle for a burrito bowl.  I was so tired and now had an allergy and vodka headache - so I ate half, and forgot to take a picture.  We all know what they look like, right? I'm excused?

Thank you for taking the time to read my last week! I have about eight weeks off, sprinkled with nine days of training for the new position, and new school.  I've already met many of my new co-workers, and actually there are three teachers from this school (who I all know pretty well) moving with me.  In the meantime, I'm going to soak up some summer! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 2

It's starting to hit me - end of the school year, end of my time in this building.

Breakfast while cleaning during electives: strawberry, banana, spinach, water. (Sinus headache still rocking this morning, forgot a straw at home  - luckily, I did not pour it down the front of my shirt).
 Ibuprofen kicking in, allowing the "brow bone to teeth sinus radiation" to lessen.  Too bad I didn't bother to make anything to eat for lunch last night (in bed by 8pm).  This morning I quickly mashed a small avocado and added green chile - rice crackers for scooping.
 Obviously continuing to feel better, as my appetite picked up.  Quick afternoon stop by Whole Foods (also picked up lunch for tomorrow, still don't feel like cooking too much).  Snack: 2 tofu spring rolls with peanut sauce.
 To wash it all down - an impulse buy.
 Dinner: 2 baby red potatoes, Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, broccoli (boiled in a mix of low sodium veggie broth and water).

Getting closer to ending this allergy attack, and so close to summer break! I'm going to try my best to really be present tomorrow, soak it all in before closing the door.  :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 3

I've just completed my last "long Wednesday".  Instead of a traditional after school faculty meeting, it was a farewell gathering.  Those of us leaving were honored with a parting gift, mine is below:
(Peace Lily)

My allergies have continued (read: I'm miserable), and I have to cut the rest of this post short.  No breakfast picture, but I do have lunch and dinner.

Thai Peanut Baked Tofu, noodles, broccoli, peanut sauce.
The best sick (and anytime) meal: Pho.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 4

94 degrees + dry, windy conditions = allergies.

Or it could be all the dust in the classroom as I clear out and pack up.  Either way, three days to go.

Last week I tried the Orange Dreamsicle flavor, today I tried the Chocolate:
 Knowing it would be sweet, I added two frozen bananas and sunflower milk.  It was like drinking a milkshake for breakfast.  Absolutely will repurchase for the chocolate craving days.
 Lunch: spinach, carrots, artichokes, broccoli, mushrooms.  Served with Annie's Lite Goddess dressing.
 Also included with lunch, a quarter cup of pistachios (shelled at home the night before).
 Plenty of water and plenty of plain popcorn in the afternoon.

Dinner: I've been curious about this product, so I purchased it this weekend ($5 investment).
 I tried it atop a Dr. Praeger's Italian Veggie Burger, ketchup and flatbread.  Obligatory pickle.  Really good!
Have a great night!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 5

Four more school days to go, still not quite believing it! It is my intention to write a post each day this week, documenting the end of this life chapter.

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie: overnight oats, almond milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, frozen banana, fresh blueberries (accounting for the blue flecks shown below - apparently that happens when not using frozen)
 Two part lunch: avocado and salsa kale salad. . .
 And fresh strawberries.
Hour long dog walk, accompanied by one of my closest friends (who also has a dog).  Good times had by all.  Tamari roasted pumpkin seeds and lots of water upon arrival.

Dinner: the return of the tostada.  Followed by more water, I suppose I'm adjusting to the increasing temperatures outside.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Vegan Van

I had heard of the Denver Vegan Van, but didn't move very quickly in terms of checking it out.  With some gentle reminders from Shen, I tracked down the van today for lunch.
 Amie (the owner) lists her locations on the Vegan Van website, and today she was parked in front of Neat Market, a one day pop-up vegan marketplace. I wish I'd been prepared, and taken time to look inside the building to see other vendors - but I was on a mission.  I also wish I had known that wait time would be 40 minutes (and it would have been longer, had two sets of people not walked away).  I chatted with others who were waiting in line, and a lot came to Neat Market for the Vegan Van.  Today's menu (click image to enlarge):
 I asked Amie what I should have, and she asked me if I like spicy food - to which I replied, "absolutely!".  Thus, I had the Planet Rock (spicy tofuffalo with slaw) and subbed salad (it's the same as Rock Steady) for popcorn.  All items are made to order.
 Coconut bacon and almond parm, are you effing kidding me?!?! Between that and the "caesar" dressing, you forget that you're eating a super greens salad mix.
 The buffalo sauce on the tofu was phenomenal! Still warm after the drive home.
 I will absolutely return to scope out Neat Market properly, and will be visiting the Vegan Van again!

Other destinations on my list: Sweet Action Ice Cream (flavors change daily, hoping to pop in when they have Vegan Ginger Ice Cream!), The Rebellion, and Sputnik.