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We pet baby chicks, NOT eat them!

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At a lovely afternoon adventure at my Godmother’s house, we discovered her 15 new baby chicks! They were SO cute. Bryan and I named this one Pablo. After getting to spend some quality time with Pablo, it breaks my heart to think about all the baby chicks and chickens that are suffering so much at food mills. Kept in tiny cages with no room to fly around and be free. It’s little moments like today with Pablo that remind me why I’ve been a Vegetarian my whole life.

Choose free-range chicken eggs at the store, or even better; buy your food from local farmers markets.

Proud vegetarian for 24 years!!! Pablo power 🙂

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My yorkie thinks she’s a parrot

Locket and I are on the way back from a long run around the San Diego bay (such a relaxing way to exercise), and on the way home she decided she was a parrot. By the look of that tongue, it might be time for some all-natural doggie cookies when we get home!

I’m hungry too, I can already hear that summer sweet salad I made calling my name 🙂

Locket Parrot

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Crispy Fresh Sweet Potato Burgers! A sweet spin on a vegetarian patty

Veg Sweet Potato Burgers

Now that my pallet is expanding, I’m tasting/combining ALL kinds of new ingredients! After I fell head-over-heels in love with sweet potatoes, the possibilities that I can make with them seem to be endless.

This is by far my favorite recipe that I’ve created so far, 100% Vegetarian of course 🙂

Since sweet potatoes are PACKED with iron and tons of vitamins, this is a deliciously healthy meal too! I don’t know about you, but guilt-free burgers sound like heaven to me.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can of white beans (I used cannellini beans)
  • 1/2 sweet potato (baked, peeled and mashed) *it comes out to about 1 cup
  • 1 Tbsp real maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Tahini
  • 1/2 tsp of Cajun seasoning
  • 1/8 cup of wheat flour  (regular flour can be used as well, however wheat flour is a bit healthier)
  • Panko Crumbs
  • Whole Wheat Buns

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Easy Steps:

  1. Bake (or boil) your potatoes. Then peel them and mash them up into a dough-like consistency.
  2. Drain your cannellini beans, add them to your bowl of sweet potatoes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, excluding the Panko crumbs.
  4. Form your mixture into patty shapes, and coat in Panko Crumbs.
  5. Cook your patties in a light coat of olive oil until golden brown on both sides.
  6. Serve between your whole wheat buns and add your toppings and dressings of choice!

I used Avocado slices, tomatoes and spinach with home made zesty thousand island dressing.

If you double the recipe, you can pre-prepare enough for the whole week. You know how I love pre-preparing food since I’m so busy. Try it out, it’s an excellent time and money saver!

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I found a Fitness Center in the mountains!!

WOAH!

Just when I thought this road trip up to a small town in Julian couldn’t get any more awesome- I FOUND A FITNESS CENTER IN THE MOUNTAINS!

Julian is a tiny town in the mountains with a population of less then 1,000 people. Needless to say, I was impressed to see their dedication to fitness among such a small community.

My best friend Allie gladly snapped a Picture of Locket and I strutting our muscular poses in front of the fitness center haha. As you can see, Locket seemed more interested in lady bugs and daisies on the ground then treadmills.

If I can find a fitness center in the mountains, YOU can find a gym near you! No excuses, get your butt up and exercise today! If I had brought a pair of tennis shoes with me, you can BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR that I would be kicking some butt on the bicycle in there.

Julian Fitness

… We also found a jail… just incase I tried to steal a shopping cart full of Apple Pecan salad dressing from my last post (They must have known I was coming Hahahah)

Jail fabulous

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Unhealthy period food- Nutella Croissants

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Yes, before you judge me for posting sugar-packed-buttery-croissants on my health blog… All I have to say is I don’t care. For 5 days out of the month, I’m a crampy-chocolate-craving-DIVA who watches Sex and the City for hours; and punches anything that comes near me with male genitalia.

For the remaining 25 days I’m a healthy salad & smoothie loving Princess.

So, as I cram shovelfulls of Nutella into my guilt-free mouth… I’ll end this period post by saying- I’m real, I’m honest, and it’s okay to have an off day… Or 5.

In T-minus 4 days, I’ll be back to my healthy loving self. Until then, there better be a Godiva Chocolate store within walking distance.

Sincerely,
Crampy-Chocolate-Craving-DIVA…Brittany

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Learning how to sautĂ©: caramelized honey-mushrooms

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As I take more and more steps towards learning to cook, I’m discovering new ways to prepare food! Last month, my wonderful Boyfriend Bryan introduced me to the world of mushrooms and I fell in love.

Sautéing and caramelizing the Portabella mushrooms is by far my favorite way to eat them.

These caramelized baby “Bellas” are perfect to add to any sandwich, pizza or pasta dish!

How to:

  1. Slice up your mushrooms into relatively even slices. Make sure not to slice them too thick (because they take much longer to sauté.)
  2. Add a teaspoon of olive oil (or any oil of choice, I like olive oil because it’s healthier and more flavorful in the mushrooms.) TIP** Start out with less oil then you think you need. A little oil goes a long way, you can always add more. You’ll look pretty silly soaking up extra oil with a napkin, trying to prevent your mushrooms from getting too soggy. (I did that on my first attempt, and I’ll make a post soon about the do’s and don’ts of sautĂ©ing veggies.)
  3. Add the mushrooms to the warm oil, and flip in about 3-5 mins (when they look golden brown.)
  4. Drizzle some organic honey over your mushrooms on the last few minutes and let them get sweet and caramelized.
  5. Set them on a paper towel! I like to get as much oil out of those babies as I can before I eat them.

Put them on a pizza, add them to a summer salad, or even add them to a Fettuccini pasta or your favorite panini sandwich. You can get creative with this too, and add some of your favorite spices to the mushrooms before you take them off the heat. I add a bit of pepper.

YUM!

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Summer Challenge: 2 new Recipes a week! **New Recipe Submission**

Two Recipes a Week logo

Healthy Soup

Extra Vegetable Soup!

This is a DELICIOUS adaptation of regular vegetable soup submitted to me by another one of my fabulous followers! Her step-by-step instructions and beautiful pictures make this recipe one I won’t be able to pass up. To top it off, it’s vegetarian! Great Job girly 🙂 Can’t wait to see your second recipe you make this week!

Click here to learn more about my Summer Challenge: 2 Recipes a week! Add your name to the growing list of awesome challengers, and have a blast making 2 new recipes a week through the end of summer 🙂

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How much protein should you be eating every day?

I worked at Warp Tour in San Diego yesterday (the big music concert) and I was so excited when I found a vegetarian/vegan booth!

I’m pretty sure I spent at least 30 mins talking to the booth owners about some new fabulous vegetarian recipes. What I can I say, I love every minute of being a life-long vegetarian! Anyway, in the midst of our savory conversation, we stumbled upon the subject of daily protein intake.

Then the question arose: How much protein should I be eating every day?

The vegetarian/vegan booth owner Megan, jumped at the chance to hand me this awesome sheet about our daily protein needs. Check it out! Vegetarians, Vegans AND meat-eaters should get familiar with how much protein their bodies need.

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To calculate your daily protein needs in grams, use this equation above that I highlighted in pink above!

Body weight x 0.36

Here’s mine-
100 x. 036= 36 grams of protein

Now let’s break this down even more; what does 36 grams of protein look like in food form?

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As you can see,  Seitan (not sure what this is, but I’m going to Google it) has the highest protein value of the group, followed by tofu.  Unfortunately, my avocado obsession didn’t make the list. A medium avocado only has 4 grams of protein. That means I’d have to eat 9 avocados to get my daily protein need fulfilled. Ok ok ok… I may be an avocado fanatic, however I’m sure that obsession would end pretty quick with 9 avocados a day!

Take a minute to figure out your own daily protein needs. Test out those dusty math skills from high-school, that you never thought you’d use again. Don’t worry, I made sure to leave out the dreaded “F” word out of this equation (NO FRACTIONS ALLOWED ON THIS HEALTH BLOG!)

Put 2 tbsp of peanut butter on a piece of wheat toast tomorrow morning, and begin your day with a healthy protein smile 🙂

 

P.S on a side note, one of my best friends Sarai (who is also a vegetarian, yay) and I had a BLAST in the photo booth that was in our tent!

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Adventures with a Dragon Fruit

After 2 years of searching, I finally found my very own Dragon Fruit!!!

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Getting my little hands on this beautiful-pink-exotic fruit has been on my “Food Bucket List” for quite some time now. When I saw a basket full of pink Dragon Fruits at the grocery store, I could hardly believe my eyes. The moment I spotted the dragon fruit, I began to run towards it at full speed (which wasn’t very fast considering I was wearing heels as usual) as I pinched myself along the way to make sure I wasn’t dreaming! My blonde hair flowing in the wind, dodging housewives, kids and grandmas right and left (insert dramatic music here.) In my imagination, I pictured myself fighting off hundreds of housewives to get my hands on one of these… but the other people in the store seemed to care less that there was a Dragon Fruit in their presence. Obviously they didn’t know what they were missing.

Finally, when I got my hands on one of these precious gems, it was if the heavens opened up the grocery store ceiling, and the angels started singing! I grabbed my phone, and asked the nearest housewife to snap a picture of me kissing it, yes right in the middle of the store. I have no shame… and proud of it!

 

Brittany Dragon Fruit

My first instinct was to FILL MY WHOLE SHOPPING CART with Dragon fruits, but after laying eyes on the $5.99 price tag, that instinct flew right out of the hole in the ceiling that the singing angels made.

After texting all my best friends a picture of my juicy pink victory, I went right home and cut it open with my boyfriend.

This is what they look like inside-

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Unfortunately, after 2 years of searching… I didn’t like the taste. It tasted like the green part of a watermelon that’s left over after you’ve eaten all the sweet pink parts. Perhaps it hadn’t been ripened yet, but I wasn’t about to spend another $5.99 to find out. Next time, I’m going to try and make a smoothie out of a Dragon Fruit, maybe I’ll like that better.

That concludes my adventures with a Dragon Fruit, now time to find another exotic fruit to add to my Food Bucket List!

 

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Ballet stretching!

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Getting my stretch on, in my private ballet lesson!

It has been so long since I took a serious ballet class, and believe it or not, I’m not NEARLY as flexible as I used to be. However as they say, “Once a ballerina, always a ballerina…” because this photo was taken after not having stretched in 2 years. Needless to say, I’ve passionately missed dance.

Good news! Since I’ve received a BUNCH of requests for “How-To” tutorials on improving your flexibility, I have some ideas in the making. Keep an eye out for those posts coming soon 🙂