Hi Bloggie Friends!  I hope your weekend is off to a good start!  Scott came home from his business trip and we are going to spend some quality family time together and I am excited about that!  A walk through Balboa Park is in order just as soon as I hit Publish.  Even though it’s a little cloudy at the moment, I can’t wait to unplug and enjoy the fresh air and be with my family!  There are only so many summer weekends and I really try to live them all to the fullest!

This week I’ve gotten a few things in the mail that I wanted to show you.

I received these two books:
1. The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East

The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of the East book
Close up of cover of The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of the East book

2. the Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook

The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook
Cover of book stating 125 Easy & Delicious Recipes

Both of these books were sent to me by Perseus Book Groups.  That’s who publishes Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Essentials that I reviewed here.   Thanks, Perseus, you guys are awesome!

Ani Phyo's Raw Food Essentials book
I read her book nightly like a novel.  And I am not kidding.  I read it chapter by chapter, making sure not to miss anything!

I love it so much!  So until I finish my “novel”, I won’t have time to start on these new books but I’ll keep you all posted.   Here’s my thoughts about Ani’s Book.

And I have reviewed many other cookbooks…

See This Post for a Massive Cookbook Review
Shelf full of cookbooks

Also in the mail, Attune Foods sent me some of their new Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice with Mixed Berries Cereal

Box of Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice with Mixed Berries Cereal
Box of Cereal saying Gluten FreeNutrition Facts on Box of Cereal
More Stats Here
  • 0g Trans Fat
  • 100% Natural
  • 100% Whole Grain
  • Gluten Free
  • Kosher
  • Low Fat
  • Low Sodium
  • Made with Organic Ingredients
  • No Artificial Colors, Flavors, or Preservatives
  • No Cane Sweeteners
  • No Dairy Ingredients
  • Wheat Free

How does it taste?   It’s good.  It’s like a healthy brown rice version of Rice Krispies meets lightly flavored berry patch.   Thanks for thinking of me Attune Foods!

And lastly, I won Keri’s Give Away for Mary’s Crackers.  Those buggers aren’t cheap and this was a great win, thank you so much, Keri!

Box full of Mary's Gone Crackers with note on top
Close up of box full of Mary's Gone Crackers
Close up of Sea Salt and Curry crackers
Mary's Gone Crackers Cookies in Chocolate Chip and N'Oatmeal Raisin
 New to Me Cookies.  Can’t wait to break into these!

Keri sent me the most touching note and some stickers that she has had for Twenty Years in a sticker album for Skylar to have and play with. 

Five pages of various stickers

Skylar loves the stickers!  Thank you so much, Keri, for unloading your treasured stickers on us!

Close up of child smiling

20 years later I feel like I shouldn’t even let Skylar play with them since they will qualify as collector’s items, soon…haha!  Thanks for your friendship, the note, the crackers, and the stickers, Keri!

From my Last Post…
So many of you were in agreement with me about Grocery Store Pet Peeves and that one of the biggest peeves I read over and over is the same as mine: checkers who are careless with your perfectly-selected produce and baggers who bag it improperly causing your beloved, hand-picked-slaved-over-finding-the-perfect-one produce to be squished, bruised, and beatup when you get home.  
Hand holding vine from tomatoes
Kinda like my tomatoes that were de-vined due to careless bagging.   
I used to bag my own groceries, by choice, but try to manage a 3 year old with all that candy and gum in the checkout aisle.  Not to mention well-intended adults who want to give suckers, stickers, balloons, and the kitchen sink out.  No, Thank You.  We don’t need to “reward” every single trip to the market with candy and stickers.  Sometimes we just go.  Without a million “rewards” at the end.  Gosh, I must be old school. 
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about if you think blog reading has changed you.  Most of you said that you are your own person, and that it’s fun to read blogs and that you have learned lots, and some things have been fun to put into practice in your own life, but that you are not “changed” because of blog reading.  You can still think for yourself and stand firm in your own beliefs and who you are and pick and choose what works for you from food to exercise choices.  I think this is great!  
I love reading, learning, growing, expanding my horizons and I admit to jumping on some Xanthum Gum and Nutritional Yeast bandwagons.  Some of the things I’ve tried have worked for me, some haven’t, and going forward, dare I say I am a bit more selective in what I do jump into full force, just because as I’ve said before, I’ve found what works for me.  It’s a Groove, not a rut 
However, I love reading blogs, ahem like 50 a day, because I am inspired by my peers and others around me.  That’s the beauty of the internet and blogs…you can learn so much, so fast, and if you don’t like it or it doesn’t work for you or a particular blog doesn’t resonate with you, fine, there’s no shortage of blogs to choose from, click off and find one that does.  It sounds like most of you employ the use what you can, forget about the rest, approach too.  Thanks for such great comments about blog reading, trends, what you’ve tried, if you’ve been changed and how…great feedback!
Finally, there was my Home Gym Plans!  
Empty space in garage for Home Gym
I cleared a space in the garage all by myself.  Putting those muscles to good use just re-arranging everything!
I am even more overwhelmed now that I have half a clue what I want in a home gym machine when I am reading Craigslist, but considering some of the home gyms I’ve been pondering are less than the price of the Garmin I returned, I am going to try to not belabor this decision too much. 

Onto some Food…

Remember my Tofu Disaster when I almost burned the house down?
Well, I froze and thawed a new block of tofu (using Danielle and Heather‘s methods).  Then I pressed it for 12 hours, and made a fabulous batch of Mango Ginger Maple Tofu
Tofu Press
Block of tofu
Flat and dry as a pancake, love it!


Slice & Marinate the ‘fu
Sliced up tofu in marinade


Mango Ginger Maple Tofu on foil lined sheet
Close up of Mango Ginger Maple Tofu on foil lined baking sheet


Stacked Mango Ginger Maple Tofu in clear container
Close up of sliced Mango Ginger Maple Tofu
Close up of sliced and stacked Mango Ginger Maple Tofu in container
Or see my Sweet & Sour Honey Lemon Tofu for something similar

Green Food:  Edamame Salad with Stevia leaves from the Stevia Plant I bought.

Edamame Salad with Stevia leaves from the Stevia Plant behind bowl
Close up of Edamame Salad with Stevia leaves


For my Thoughts on Stevia Plants and What the Leaves Taste Like, Click Here


Dressed With Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing using Reduced Fat Veganaise
Vegan Slaw Dressing with ingredients in background
Edamame salad with Vegan Slaw Dressing
 I’ve been eating an Edamame Salad per day, lately.  I remind myself it’s a Groove, not a rut.
I topped this green bowl with the Tofu once it cooled down and it was great!
Slices of Mango Ginger Maple Tofu

No post is complete without some Chocolate….
Remember the other day I posted about the Chocolate Coconut Princess Shake?  Here’s another one, no Princess cups actually required.

Chocolate Coconut Princess Shake in blender
Skylar now begs me for Chocolate ShapesNot Shakes.  Hey at least she’s got numbers and shapes on the brain rather than shakes.  There are worse things.
Chocolate Coconut Princess Shake in princess cup
Overhead of Chocolate Coconut Princess Shake in princess cup

Scott begs me for Tempt Hemp Milk Ice cream that I got as part of the Hemp Jackpot

Tempt Products on countertop
Tempt Hemp Milk Ice cream


My Dessert: High Raw All Vegan Sugar Cookie Dough Balls

3 Ingredients & 5 Minutes later, these little Sugar Cookies will hit the spot!
High Raw All Vegan Sugar Cookie Dough Balls
Once you pop, you can’t stop!
Close up of High Raw All Vegan Sugar Cookie Dough Balls

Yoga Today is Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose)  I’m flying away like a firefly.

Woman doing Tittibhasana yoga pose

Gym & Weights Workout Today From This Tab: Chest/Shoulders

Tip of the Day:  My Ani Phyo Raw Essentials Cookbook Give Away!

This is quite possibly My Favorite Cookbook, ever. 


Click Here for your Chance to Enter & Win It!

1. What’s on your agenda for this weekend?  Best thing you’ve done or ate, so far?
Me = I think the muffins I am about to make are going to rank right up there.  So is my family walk on a sunny morning. 

2. If you ever have a child, you know that once you get pregnant, every magazine publication under the sun that caters to parents, subscribes you and you receive free, unsolicited magazines, and these subscriptions seem to live on forever.  Skylar is 3.5 years old and I am still getting these magazines!  I was never a “Parents” girl.  A little too mainstream for me.  Click Here to see my Parenting Choices and what works, for us. 

Parents Magazine
Article in magazine titled 5 Healthy (Veggie Free) Recipes for Picky Eaters

Anyway, catering to Picky Eaters who don’t eat their veggies and trying to create recipes that exclude veggies, in my opinion, sets up a lifetime of unhealthy eating habits.  I don’t believe any dietary path that excludes plants is healthy.   

I also don’t believe as parents we should have to “sneak” veggies into our kids diets, i.e. pureeing spinach and incorporating that into homemade marinara sauce or sneaking beans into brownies.  As an additional way to get veggies or healthy foods into your child, your partner, yourself, great.  But I don’t believe that the sneak attack, long term, is appropriate.  Supplemental, fine.  But not the “only” method.

Which brings me back to a question that many parents write to me about.  How do I get Skylar to eat her veggies?  Well, easy.  That’s what’s served in a plant-based household so if you don’t like broccoli at 10am, maybe you’ll like carrots.  And if you don’t like broccoli at noon, that’s fine, I have cucumbers.  And since 80% of our meals are raw/vegan, there is no shortage of everything from squash to tomatoes to cucumbers to sugar snap peas to kale.   If you don’t like veggies in this house, you may indeed starve.   haha!  Kidding! 

Seriously though, as a parent it’s my job to make sure my child is eating well, and that includes veggies!  If your child is not eating boat loads of calories from crappy foods, they will be hungry when it comes to meal time, and meal time includes veggies.  This is not rocket science for me.  And as long as you provide an appetizing array of veggies to choose from, throughout the day, every day, your child will eat plants.  You just cannot sabotage your own efforts by also providing things like chips and candy!

Did your parents “enforce” vegetable eating?  If so, how did they do it?  Gently and just woven into your diet as a whole or sitting alone at the table for 2 hours while you stared down those peas you just weren’t going to eat?

3.  Do you believe that any dietary path the excludes veggies, or for that matter any dietary path that excludes large categories of foods, from carb-exclusion and copious amounts of protein to no fruit to no veggies to the fat-free craze, is any of that ok with you? 

Personally I think that broad brushstroke exclusion of food groups is fanatical and I am a moderation girl.  However, since I have food allergies and have chosen a plant-based path, I have written off gluten-containing foods, dairy, and animal products.  I guess some could see this as extreme, but for me, it’s not. 

What I see as extreme are people who have arbitrary “rules” such as they can’t eat more than x grams of carbs or cannot eat after y time of day.   Or are on a high protein diet at the exclusion of veggies! 
Do you think that diets that exclude categories of food are healthy?  Or balanced?  Or are using good judgment for the long term?

4. Weekend Traditions?  Anything you love to do on the weekends that you really look forward to?
Me = long power walks with the family and making recipes that take me a little too long to tackle during the week but on the weekends, no problem!   Like the 20 minutes I am going to spend making muffins right now…and that’s hardly a “long time”, but ya know…

Ok kids, I am going to get a batch of Vegan Gluten Free Blueberry Struesel Muffins in the Oven.

Vegan Gluten Free Blueberry Struesel Muffins in paper liner
Vegan Gluten Free Blueberry Struesel Muffin on plate
3 Bites of Goodness
Saturday morning + warm muffins = just goes together.  
Close up of Vegan Gluten Free Blueberry Struesel Muffins on plate

Have a great weekend! Soak up the great weather and happy times with your friends and family and unplug a little.  I plan to do just that!   

Stay Tuned For The Weekend Recap…

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