Hi Bloggies!  Well, it’s Monday and the weekend flew by for me.  Wow.  And I didn’t even drive anywhere.  Correct, I did not use my car, I used my legs.  It’s nice not to drive around and fight traffic and crowds sometimes, and this was one of those weekends where it just worked out that way, so I guess I score an eco-brownie point for that.  What did you do over the weekend?

Today I took Skylar to the park, worked on a new recipe that I plan to post soon, did real life stuff like phone calls and housework, Target to return a couple things, and bam, it’s blogging time.  I always blog when Skylar naps.  She stays up til midnight or 1am so she always takes a nice 3 hour midday nap, thank God.  I am not one of these parents who really cares when she sleeps, just that she does sleep, and she gets her 12 hours a day or so in, and that’s all I care about. 

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, on Saturday morning there was as Easter Egg hunt and Petting Zoo for the kids in our development.  As promised, here’s the details our day with some deeper thoughts at the end of the post. 


We arrived at 9:07am on Saturday morning Be there with your stroller or be square.  It was packed with soccer moms.  I don’t actually consider myself a soccer mom…haha!

Crowd of people at Easter Egg Hunt

9:20am the 5000 plastic eggs had all been found.  Really, in 15 minutes, 5000 eggs were hunted.  Some children had basket fulls.   

Child holding basket full of Easter eggs

My child got 2.  But didn’t seem to really care.  And I was grateful to not incur any more plastic.

Young girl holding green and orange Easter eggs

Then we took pics with the Giant Stuffed Bunny

Young girl standing next to Easter Bunny
Young girl dancing with Easter Bunny

She was so excited and enamored with him that she kept running back up to him to hug himShe’s a total little lovebug!

Young girl facing Easter Bunny watching him
Young girl hugging Easter Bunny

Here we are looking straight into the morning sun and I kid you not, about a 30mph wind. 

Woman crouching with child sitting on her knee

It was so incredibly windy and bright.  Madeline put up a PR in her 10k (go girl!) in this vicious wind we had Saturday morning and she’s from the land of tornadoes (Kansas) and agreed, it was hella windy!  She also said her seasonal allergies are totally whack.  So are mine.  As in, I never really had them til I moved here.  But I’m keeping Kleenex in business lately!

Woman crouching with chilling sitting on her knee smiling

Petting Zoo time 
As a sidebar and info for my new readers, I am a vegan for health reasons, first.  See This Post about Why Veganism Chose Me, I Didn’t Chose It.  Although I am an animal lover, I never embarked upon this path with the animals and animal rights as my primary motivation.

But every time I see animals like this, it reinforces I could never eat an animal.  And it reinforces that petting zoos and circuses make me feel very uneasy, but I pushed those thoughts aside so that Skylar could do a “kiddie event”.  But it’s given me plenty to think about…

It was super crowded in the petting zoo area.  A little too crowded.

Crowd of children at petting zoo

 Cute Little llamas, sheep, a little black mini potbellied pig, a donkey, roosters….

Close up of animals at petting zoo
Various animals eating at petting zooGoats at petting zoo

…And The “One & Only” White Easter Bunny!

Sheep next to bunny
Rabbit on grass
Skylar really wanted to pet the bunny but he was not having it.  I don’t blame him!

All in all, she loved our morning!

Young girl looking at animals

On our way out, we handily bypassed the boxes and boxes of donuts-to-go.  After all that stimulation between pictures with a stuffed bunny, an Egg Hunt, and a Petting Zoo, kids don’t need sugar.  I promise!

Covered sitting area outsideLandscape picture of blue sky and greenery

So that was our Saturday morning and more of my thoughts at the bottom of the post, but glad you all enjoyed the Highlights and Recap Post from Yesterday.  Commenting system freak outs and all. 

Everything from A Recipe of Mine Being Published 
No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bars and they’re on the Tropical Traditions Site
No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bar

Close up of peanut butter swirls in No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Protein Bar

To Lots of New Coffee

S'mores Coffee with grounds in filter

 

Kona Blend and Fudge Brownie Coffee Bags

To My Goal of likely Embarking upon a Fitness Competition

 To Take This Yoga Body to the Next Level
Woman doing yoga pose
I want to be like these ladies when I grow up!
Arnold Amateur Bikini Winners
If you don’t “get this” that’s ok.  I understand this is not for everyone, and that’s totally fine!  I feel empowered to think about doing this, to show off my athleticism and dedication to a healthy lifestyle, and if I felt in any way less than positive about possibly embarking on this goal, I wouldn’t do it. I have my head screwed on very straight and if it’s ever not feeling right to me, I will stop.  Simple as that.

And there were hot topics to recap:  What do you think is the proper way to give someone credit for a recipe?  Should someone even be credited for a recipe you use?  Or is any recipe on the internet “Fair Game” to use as your own with no need to link it or cite the original author?

Thank you all so much for your kind words about my new layout The commenting system has been causing me some issues.  It kept reverting back to Blogger’s system rather than holding the Intense Debate system.  I prefer the later because I can respond to people privately in email (Blogger conceals your email address but I.D. does not).  And I don’t want Discus, not my thing.  Right now half my commenters were getting the Blogger system and the other half on I.D.  It’s so random but I had Emily the Blog Fairy work on it for me, and I think we’re all set now, whew!  Thank you for bearing with me for all my Test Posts!!!!!!!

Recently I received a couple Attune Foods Probiotic Chocolate Bars in the mail.  I love the foil packaging to keep them cold.  Unfortunately they were sitting outdoors and although not melted, not refrigeration cold, either.  So, even if the probiotic strains died from the lack of refrigeration, I still have chocolate bars.  Not a horrible problem by any means! 

Attune Foods packagingTwo Attune Foods Probiotic Chocolate Bars

Coffee Bean & Dark Chocolate Flavors

Dark Chocolate Attune Foods Probiotic Bar
 
Coffee Bean Dark Chocolate
Coffee Bean Dark Chocolate Attune Foods Probiotic Bar
 Nutritional Info.  The Dark Chocolate is vegan and GF, according to their site
Nutritional label on back of one bar
Thanks, Attune, and I can’t wait to give these a whirl!

For all of you who ask me about probiotics, the one I take is This One.
It’s enteric coated meaning the acid of your stomach won’t eat it and the good bacteria will make it to your lower GI Tract, where they can do their work.   

**I get it from iHerb.com and if you use my code: AVE630 you can save $5 off your First Order!**

In the past, I have posted about Probiotics and why they are so good for you.  Healthy bacteria colonize your gut properly.  When your gut is properly colonized, everything is going to work better; from your immune system to your digestive system.  For more on this, See This Post


Another great way to increase the healthy bacteria in your system is to consume fermented foods like komboucha or kefir.   And you can make my homemade coconut milk vegan kefir on your coutertop
(kefir=a fermented food.  Fermented foods = full of replenishing and “good” bacteria that our bodies need)
(and for those of you concerned with needing a truly dairy-free starter or water grains, check out this post for info

Homemade coconut milk vegan kefir in jar
Ingredients needed to make homemade coconut milk vegan kefir
Recipe Link Here

Seriously, you take 3 ingredients, put it on your countertop, wait 12-24 hours, and drink.  Foolproof!  

Ounce for ounce, homemade kefir costs far less than storebought kefir and you can be certain what you make at home is living; not dead, as most comercially-bought kefirs and yogurts have been shown to be dead, i.e. no living or helpful bacteria present.  Live or “Active Yogurt Cultures”?  Yes, 3 months ago at the plant, but not by the time you’re consuming it.


I mixed up a container of Ovenight  Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats
With additional Tips Here

Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats ingredients in clear container
Close up of Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats ingredients


18 Hours later, here’s what the overnight Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats looked like

Overhead of Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats in clear containerClose up of Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats

I usually store it in the freezer because it makes it almost like a frozen “treat” then, rather than just another way to eat oatmeal and protein.  Either fridge or freezer, whatever works for you, and if you opt for the freezer, within 10 minutes it comes up to room temp so no worries.  It’s so nice to have this Chocolate Breakfast waiting for me.

Close up of Chocolate Brownie Protein Oats

Green Food was Mixed Greens, Sugar Snap Peas, Asparagus, Brussels, Tomatoes, Cukes

 Salad with vegetables drizzled with mustard
 Close up of Salad with vegetables drizzled with mustard

With some Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing and Yellow Mustard.  Sweet-n-tangy meets Mustard.  For the reader who asked me about mustard and sodium, I try to purchase no-salt added brands such as Westbrae but if that’s not available, the quantity of mustard I use doesn’t bother me from a sodium perspective as I am very sodium-sensitive, indeed. 

Overhead of jar of Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing
Lidded Jar of Vegan Slaw Dressing
Salad drizzled with mustard

For Dessert I munched on some Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate

Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate
Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate diced up in bowl

And I also nibbled on Some Chocolate Inspirations Vegan Cinnamon Toast English Toffee with Almonds that I review in This Post

Vegan Cinnamon Toast English Toffee with Almonds in package
 I don’t know how they make it taste faintly like cinnamon toast, but it sure was good!

Yoga Today is Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Woman doing Warrior II yoga pose

Tip of the Day: My French Press and Tazo Tea Gift Set Give Away!!!!!

Various Tazo products on countertop
Three bottles of Tazo Teas
Have You Entered Yet? 
Yes, I know I have Two Commenting Systems Going so if you’ve entered, I’ve got it and am keeping track of all the entries.
French Press 
You can Press Tea, also.  Not just coffee!
Thanks, Tazo
Two boxes of Tazo Tea
Click Here to Get Your Entries In!!!!!!

Questions
1. Best Thing You Ate, Drank, Did, or Experienced This Weekend?
Me = Updating my bloggie layout and look!  It needed it, and I am glad to have it done.  Fingers crossed commenting system is glitch-free once I hit publish!  And my New Fudge Brownie Coffee definitely ranks up there, as does spending time with Scott and Skylar and a glorious back massage from Scott.  Heavenly!

2. Let me preface this by saying that I do not judge what others eat, I really don’t care as long as your choices are well researched and made conscientiously and with mindfulness.  I have posted about why I refuse to defend or “explain myself” and my choices and what to say or how to deal with the naysayers regarding your dietary path.  That’s covered in This Post.

Next, I always say that I am a vegan for health reasons,  first.  See This Post about Why Veganism Chose Me, I Didn’t Chose It.  Meaning, that I did not embark on the vegan path first and foremost as a way to promote animal right’s or preserve their lives.   It’s great that in the process my vegan path spares the animals, but in no way was that the driving force behind my path and choices.   Food allergies were.  Gena has very eloquently told her story as well and I suggest you read it if you haven’t.  She gives an amazing account of how her veganism for health reasons has shifted to veganism for compassion.  I am now firmly in the same boat.  After a very small little neighborhood petting zoo experience.  But it was very profound for me and it goes to show you, you never know when or where you can have big revelations.

Onto My Key Thoughts 
In an effort to promote brevity for once in my life…ha! these are the things that stand out:
1.  There were way too many animals in too close quarters in the petting zoo pen.
2. There were way too many excitable children and loud parents paying more attention to their cameras than if their child was pulling the donkey’s ears.
3. I could never eat animal flesh again after seeing those cute, innocent, furry animals.  They were too cute to eat.  As are all animals too cute to eat for me.  Cows, chickens, fish, they are all beautiful and I cannot eat them.  I used to be able to eat chicken and fish when I was younger and ate salmon while pregnant, but I have not had read meat or pork since I was a small child by choice, but at this point in life, seeing these animals this weekend reinforced my vegan path, but in a whole new way for me: I am a vegan for compassion, too.

4. Bitt of Raw reminded me that she worries about bunnies this time of year, as do I.  They are given as pets and are cute for about 3 days, til they require work and upkeep, and then what happens to them?
5. Circuses and petting zoos.  Although I have very fond memories of them as a child, I do not feel good about supporting them as a mindful, choosing, thinking, conscientious parent.  There is nothing ethical about confining animals and trotting them around merely for our pleasure.  We’ve all heard the horror stories about circus animals and although the animals this weekend at the little petting zoo were being impeccably cared for, the principle of it all just doesn’t sit well with me.   
My questions for you are if you eat animals, do you ever give pause and wonder if it’s the right thing?  Even if it’s organic, grassfed, pastured, insert fancy label, it’s still an animal that you’ve eaten.

Now, please everyone, I am not judging you if you eat animal flesh, I am simply wondering how you reconcile it?  I know some of you eat animal flesh because for your particular dietary or medical path, you believe it is the best thing for you to promote healing and health.  

And I know many of you who do eat meat buy the best available and highest quality and most ethically raised meat you can find, but do you ever think twice?  That as ethically raised as it is, it’s still one of these or a barnyard cousin so to speak?

Various animals in petting zoo

I have never really posted much about animal rights and activism and I am by no means trying to stir anything up.  Really, I have a very full life and don’t need or ever intend to make my blog a place of controversy and drama.  So, I hope I have not come off like “I am a vegan and I’m all that.”  No, quite the contrary.  I used to eat animals and as recently as when I was pregnant I ate salmon because it’s what my body, and the baby, asked for.  Now, my body asks for a life without animal flesh.  And more recently, so does my intellectual and emotional body, too.

What about you?  What does your body ask for?  Do you ever have thoughts or feelings about what you “should” be choosing based on what other people think or are doing?  I know that some of you who eat meat feel like in the ‘sphere it’s somehow frowned upon to admit to eating meat.  Does that happen?  What makes you feel that way?  I certainly don’t care if you eat meat, it’s just not for me.  What do you think about all of this in general? 

Stay Tuned For Blogger Meetup Details & Pics & a Lighter Post…

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