Has Hump Day been treating you alright?  It’s been fine by me and I am so happy that the weather is finally getting warmer here!  I know it sounds crazy, but the winter in Phoenix was brutal for me!  For the past 10 years I have lived on the ocean:  either the Carolina Coast or San Diego.  This was the first winter I was landlocked and living in a desert.  And my goodness, I froze!  And I am not a wimp; well maybe I am now, but I grew up in MN and Chicago so I understand real winters!  That said, winter seems to be over and it’s glorious here.   

Highway with various trees
 Not a cloud in the sky, 80F, not too hot, just perfect.   We will probably have 7 days of this perfect weather before it’s 114F or something crazy!   

But in the meantime, it was great going for a 20 minute run this morning in a sports bra and shorts.   I run because I love to feel the breeze in my hair and the freedom that running gives me; more the mental break that no one “needs me” for those 20 minutes and I am all alone except for my trusty companion in the stroller of course, but I can just let my thoughts drift without too much interruption. 

Young girl in stroller squinting with sun in her eyes
 “Mommy, it’s so bright out!

 

Young girl in stroller smiling

It’s a great feeling for me to just be outside, whether I run or walk, it doesn’t matter so much but the act of being outside really helps to shut my brain off a little bit or at least lower the gears a bit!

Later on in the morning, I had a couple appointments, phone calls, and a trip to the grocery store I had to reload the produce stash.

Sugar Snap Peas, Brock, Romaine, Apples, Organic Carrots, Vine-Ripe Tomatoes, Cucumber, Grape

 
 
 
ugar Snap Peas, Brock, Romaine, Apples, Organic Carrots, Vine-Ripe Tomatoes, Cucumber, Grapes

Sugar Snap Peas, Brock, Romaine

Sugar Snap Peas, Broccoli, Romaine

Red Pepper, Pears, Cuke

Red Pepper, Pears, Cucumber

Tomatoes, Carrots, & Grapes

Tomatoes, Carrots, & Grapes

Bananas & Apples

Bananas & Apples
 This should keep us in business til Saturday…I hope!
Various groceries on countertop

Skylar snacked on some Honey Wheat Mini Pretzels from Newman’s Own Organics that I reviewed in This Post, while I unpacked and cleaned all that produce.  Fun times at the kitchen sink, you can imagine.

Newman's Own Honey Wheat Mini PretzelsHand holding pretzels

I am thankful that she prefers seasonal fresh produce to processed carbs.  It’s nice to know maybe I have spawned another future high raw vegan.  Right now she’s 3 and is a moderately raw vegetarian, as if 3 yr olds need labels…haha!

Thanks for the feedback on my post yesterday about everything from Crazy Condiment Uses 
Like Mustard on My Salad!

Salad drizzled with mustard

To Your Sweet Words About my Blogger Meetup with Alyson at WF’s
With Bulk Bins and Nut Butters Galore

Young girl with two woman in booth
Bulk Bins at grocery storeShelves of various nut butters

And glad the my Thoughts & Info about These Bars were Helpful

Jokerz BarInside on Jokerz Bar
Luna Cookie Dough Bars
Inside one Cookie Dough Bar

And the Bodybuilding Topic and Whether It’s a Turn On or a Turn Off when women (or men) get sculpt their bodies and get pretty big.  Thanks for telling me your opinions and where you draw the line, i.e. unnatural methods (steroids) for achieving certain physiques.  As I said in The Post, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it was interesting to hear your diverse perspectives in the CommentsThere seemed to be many of you who are just “not into” bodybuilding and that you really don’t “get it” and are pretty turned off by it, but most of you seemed to be able to appreciate the effort and work required, even if you wouldn’t personally want to look like a bodybuilder.  Thanks everyone who chimed in!

In the mail today, I received these Lunch Bags and Plastic Storage Containers from Easy Lunch Boxes

Lunch Bags and Plastic Storage ContainersEasy Lunch Boxes Plastic Storage Containers

 

This is perfect for Scott’s work lunches
Containers in lunch bagClose up of plastic containers
And it’s also going to come in really handy for Skylar’s snacks when we go everywhere from the Park to Blogger Meetups

As a mom I never leave the house without snacks, preferably raw, plant-based, natural, or homemade ones, i.e. cut up fruit and veggies, and this system is a Green Way to cut down on plastic baggies.  Not to mention, it will keep the food from getting squished!  Thanks Easy Lunch Boxes!

Label for Easy Lunch Boxes

The Mustard Craze Continued…
Dinner was Romaine, Asparagus, Brussels, Sugar Snaps Peas, Tomatoes, and Cukes and Yellow Mustard everywhere.  From the last post, it sounds like you all are some condiment lovers, too!

Green salad with vegetables drizzled with mustardClose up of salad drizzled with mustard

With some Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing that I added too.  Sweet-n-tangy meets Mustard. 

Overhead of jar of Vegan Slaw Dressing
Lidded Jar of Vegan Slaw Dressing
Salad Drizzled With Mustard

For Dessert I tore into this:
It’s like a chocolate roll-up with a coconut-cashew-agave-sweetened center!  Think Almond Joy Center but wayyyy better!

Hand holding Coco Joy Bar

 It’s a Coco Joy from Blue Mountain Organics & Their Raw Bakery

Coco Joy in packaging with note from companyClose up of Coco Joy package

And the ingredients are definitely stellar: Coconut, Cashews, Dates, Almonds, Agave, Cacao, Vanilla.  It’s like a chocolate roll-up with a coconut-cashew-agave-sweetened center. 

Nutrition facts on back of Coco Joy package

The Taste Verdict:  Amazingly good!   Raw un-baked goodness at it’s finest.  When you put quality ingredients in, you get quality product out.  Not to mention, there’s plenty of TLC involved in making any kind of raw goodies!

Hand holding Coco Joy showing the center of barClose up of center of bar

However, the Coco Joy‘s are about the width of my hand and about as fat as my thumb, so we’re talking 3 bites and they are $5.60 each, plus shipping & handlingSo, unfortunately these are not something that could become a day-to-day thing for me, but for a treat, sign me up or if you want to impress a non-raw non-vegan that “health food” can taste amazing, this is your ticket!!! 

Hand holding Coco Joy

After my Coco Joy it was time for Popcorn!
If you missed my Microwave Popcorn Trick for a Super Fast, Easy, Healthy, No-Junk Added, way to Make Popcorn

Nutritional Yeast Popcorn in bowl with ingredients to make it

And Check This Post for the Health Benefits of Maca!

Sawdust Maca Powder
Close up of Maca Powder on popcorn

 

 
Popcorn with chocolate chipsClose up of popcorn with chocolate chips

Lately, in addition to the Maca, & Nooch and Coconut Oil Spray, I’ve been dropping on a few blobs of Coconut Oil.

Jar of coconut oil
Side of jar of coconut oil
Inside jar of coconut oil

It doesn’t always melt so well, so the spray is handy til the weather warms up and Coconut Oil liquefies in my cupboards…

Coconut Oil Spray!  From This Post
Coconut Spray Oil
Nutritional Facts on Coconut Spray Oil
Company information on Coconut Oil Spray

It’s Refined and if you missed the Difference between Refined and Un-Refined Coconut Oil, Click Here.

Remind Coconut Oil
 But biting into little blobs of coconut oil, nooch, cinnamon, maca, well, I’m not complaining!
Close up of consistency of coconut oil in jarConsistency of coconut oil in jar

I’ve also been adding a few drops of NuNaturals Cocoa Bean Extract Liquid Stevia Drops to the Popcorn Mix.  I was wondering how I was going to use this stuff and I have my answer: popcorn!

 
Squirt it on top of the Popcorn!  And add chocolate chips, of course.
 
Nutritional Yeast Popcorn with chocolate chips

Everything except the kitchen sink goes on My Popcorn Recipe:
2 Tbsp Popcorn Kernels, Brown Paper Bag, Microwave for 90 seconds, and then I add….

Coconut Oil Spray (do this before adding the dry toppings so you don’t have maca or cinnamon dust blowing all over!)
Coconut Oil
Nooch
Maca
Cinnamon
Stevia Powder and/or Cocoa Bean Extract Stevia
Chocolate Chips
And yes, it’s so good and I devour it like mad and it’s worth the time it takes to add a little of this and a little of that because all the add’ins and flavors seem to compliment each other! 

Yoga Today is Bakasana (Crane Pose)
You must lean way forward in bakasana after you’ve made a little shelf with your elbows and triceps.  You need to feel like you’re about to face-plant and then, only then, will you know you’re far enough forward.  If you don’t have that feeling, it means that your butt will weigh you down and you’ll never lift off.  Your center of gravity needs to be forward to get your butt and hips airborne.  The only way to accomplish that is to keep leaning forward.  The worst thing that can happen?  You fall.  All of 6 inches or so.  No biggie, you get up and try again!

Woman doing Bakasana yoga pose

**LAST CHANCE** Winner Announced Thursday, March 18, 2010!!!!
Tip of the Day: My Raw Vegan Cook Book Give Away!!!!

These Books are the Ones I Reach For in my Own Kitchen All The Time and I hope you’re as Excited About This Give Away as I am!!!   

 

This is Your Chance to Score an Awesome Book! Click Here to Enter Now and Have fun everyone! 



Thoughts and Questions
1. There are two phenomena in the ‘sphere right now that I don’t get.  One is Formspring and the other is OpenSky

Regarding Formspring, call me old school, but if someone has to ask a question anonymously or under the cloak of the secret nature of Formspring, then they probably shouldn’t be asking the blog author the question in the first place.  That adage, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all comes to mind

I won’t be installing a formspring.  If someone has something to ask me, then just ask!  I don’t bite and anyone who has ever written me knows that I reply to 99% of all the emails I receive, and usually within 24 hours.  That said, please don’t blow up my inbox because I’m going to be outside enjoying the weather, not at my computer!  And definitely don’t write to me asking anything you wouldn’t ask me to my face.  But regarding recipe and yoga questions, I write back and since that is largely what this blog is about, I don’t expect to receive questions that deviate too far from either of those two topics.  So Why is there this Formspring Craze in the Sphere?  What is so burning that everyone needs to know about their fave blog author?  What kinds of things are interesting? Sorry if I am a little dense on this one.

Regarding OpenSkyand I truly wish all my friends who have jumped on the ‘Sky Wagon the best of luck with their stores and if I thought that I could make a buck at it, I’m not too proud to say that I would try! 

But why would a reader buy from my store when you can buy from Amazon or another online source, either in a one-stop shopping setup like Amazon or perhaps something like Ebay for cheaper prices?  Basically, what would entice you to buy from me and not just get your item from somewhere else?  It seems like for the Shop Keeper, it would be an awful lot of work for a few sales with little margin.  If for some reason I am dense or have this all wrong, someone explain this to me because this yoga teacher (read: underpaid fitness worker) is not to proud to make some cash-ola!

That said, here’s a way for you all to save some money: My iHerb.com Discount Code

*Enter the code AVE630, you’ll save $5 on your first order!*

I get my protein powder (Sun Warrior), my probiotics (Jarrow), my supplements and natural food (Navitas Naturals), and my natural body care products (Jason) or my Stevia (NuNaturals or Wisdom)….well, iHerb.com is your One Stop Shop for it all!!!

The Code Again to Save $5 Bucks is AVE630

1. So Fill me in on your FormSpring and OpenSky Thoughts!

2. What’s your fave thing to do when the weather warms up and spring is definitely in the air?  
Afternoons and days like these pre-Skylar, Scott would cut his workday short, we’d go belly up to a beach bar somewhere, and we’d eat greasy appetizers for dinner and wash it all down with copious amounts of liquor, got plenty tipsy, and just laughed and had a ball and savored the warm weather!  Now, I’d be happy to settle for 10 uninterrupted minutes of conversation that doesn’t revolve around potty-learning…haha!
Any St. Paddy’s Day Plans?  That’s another one for me that back in the day, oh yeah, but not anymore. 

Stay Tuned For The Give Away Winner Announcement…

And I have a Guest Post Up on the Pure2Raw Girls Lori & Michelle’s Blog!

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