Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Beyond Burger at the Young Avenue Deli!

Great news, Memphis! The Young Avenue Deli now carries the Beyond Burger! And it's fairly cheap. We had our Vegan Drinks meetup there last night, and a bunch of us ordered this awesome, super-protein-rich veggie patty.

I got a burger, side of fries, and a beer (Memphis Made Orange Drewlious -- an orange stout) for less than $15. The burger itself was only around $9. And when you consider that a package of Beyond Burger in the store can run almost $9 for two patties, that's a pretty good deal in a restaurant. Plus, I think they taste better when prepared by someone else in a restaurant.

When I called ahead to make sure they would have plenty of burgers for 10-15 vegans, they assured me that they keep the Beyond Burger in stock because "it's been pretty popular," according to the guy who answered the phone. Yay!

By the way, if you haven't tried these patties yet, they're hands-down the most beefy vegan burgers I've had. They're made with soy and pea protein, and they have the texture of ground beef burgers. That grosses some vegans out (like my friend Melissa), but I say "the meatier, the better." I always loved the taste and texture of meat, but I gave it up because I didn't want anyone to die for my dinner. This way, animals are spared, and I can still have my meat. This was an excellent treat, post-Reclaim and Revolt, by the way.

I've also seen the Beyond Burger on special at RP Tracks, but I'm not sure if they still have it (call ahead). Imagine Vegan Cafe carries it on special from time to time, though they use Gardein for their regular patty.

And — get this, folks — The Liquor Store on Broad now carries the Impossible Burger! But I haven't had a chance to stop in and try it out. Expect more on that very soon!

If you're at the Deli and not in the mood for a burger (which makes no sense, but hey, to each their own), they also have fried tofu that they'll add to the veggie pita or hummus pita. And their vegetarian chili is vegan. Plus, the fries are always an excellent choice!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Goddess Provisions: Creative Vision Box

I've been so busy journaling about my Reclaim & Revolt experience over the past month that I've not had a chance to share my January Goddess Provisions box! This monthly box of oils, chocolate, teas, candles, crystals, and more arrived much earlier this month, and I've been getting plenty of use out of its contents.

The theme for January was Creative Vision, and everything is designed to get your creative juices flowing! Here's what was in box.

There's an awesome drinking jar, Numi Vision herbal tea, Addictive Wellness Focus raw chocolate, Hippie Homesteader Motivate oil blend, Pacifica Dark Circle Rehab concealer, a journal, and a dalmation jasper.

The drinking jar is my favorite item! Goddess Provisions sent this same design as a large sticker a few months back, and I placed the sticker on a mirror in my house. But now I can be reminded to raise my vibration with love and gratitude daily as I enjoy my smoothies and kombucha. This morning, I had an Oatmeal Cookie Protein Smoothie in it (oats, almond milk, dates, cinnamon, protein powder, and baby spinach).

I've been drinking the Vision tea blend before my morning meditation (in my color-changing unicorn mug!!). It's supposed to help you focus and bring about inspiration. I didn't photograph the chocolates, but these raw cacao cups are infused with herbs (like cordyceps, ginseng, lucuma, and lion's mane) that help improve focus. They've been helping me with that afternoon pick-me-up at work.

The Motivate oil blend is a mix of lime, rosemary, pine, and peppermint that gives me that much-needed energy boost in the mornings.

I love, love, love the Denik journal. I've started journaling daily (back in December), so I need to fill up my current journal before I start writing in this new one. But I can't wait to fill these pages!

The dalmation jasper is really cool. It's a stone used for calming and grounding but also inspiring a playful spirit, which, in turn, helps with creativity. 

One of the most useful products for me is the Dark Circle Rehab concealer palette, which helps cover those dark circles after long nights up creating art (or so the Goddess Provisions' reasoning goes for including this in the Creative Vision box!). I've long used elf concealer, and it's done the trick okay, but this stuff is designed so that certain colors cover the undesired colors on your face. I haven't found a use for the blue one yet (supposed to cover yellow tones), but the two beige colors have been covering my dark circles well.

By the way, I'm a Goddess Provisions ambassador, which means I make a couple bucks if anyone signs up using this link. I don't get my boxes free though, just to be clear. I subscribe and pay the $33 a month, and it's totally worth it. It's a great deal, and the boxes are so much fun!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Back on the Bagel Wagon

Soooooo, remember yesterday when I said Reclaim & Revolt was over? JK! Turns out, Kelsey, Erin, and Lacy still have lessons for us in these last three days of January. For some reason, I was thinking it was a 28-day program. But I'm happy it's actually 31. Tonight, Kelsey is sending us some great info on Wednesday's Blue Moon (the second full moon this month!).

But since I decided at the beginning of January that I was eating R&R recipes for 28 days, I'm sticking with that. Besides, I had bagel plans today, and nothing could stop them. Throughout R&R, I avoided cutting out any food or drink entirely because I didn't want to feel deprived. But I naturally limited gluten since Lacy's recipes are gluten-free. I also find that when I'm eating gluten-free, I tend to eat more wholesome foods, like quinoa and rice.

I've been missing bagels though — specifically Dave's Bagels (our local bagel purveyor!). I grabbed some Whole Wheat Bagels at the farmer's market and froze them just for today. So this morning, I slept in (Monday is rest day from workouts) and had this lovely Bagel Breakfast Sandwich before work. It has tofu egg (made with tofu fried in some Vegg yolk mix), wilted spinach, and Lulu's Baked Unsalted Vegan Butter. Perfection.

I still want to eat nourishing foods though! And I felt this breakfast was missing an important component — fruit! So I grabbed a bowl of pre-cut fruit from Curb Market when I got to work at Crosstown Concourse.

For lunch, I went home and had another bowl that was somewhat Lacy-inspired. This had sauteed tofu, blackeyed peas, steamed kale, quinoa, kraut, Straight from the Root sweet potatoes (more on those in a future review post), pumpkin seeds, and peanut sauce (leftover from last week's Macro Bowl).

I can't say that I've really missed sugar that much since I've allowed myself to have some every now and then throughout January. But I was still excited to eat some Halo Top Sea Salt Caramel Dairy-Free Ice Cream when I got home from work. Pre-dinner dessert is always my fave.

For dinner, I wanted to really treat myself. But I have a planned outing tomorrow that involves vegan burgers, fries, and beer. So I figured the real party could wait, and tonight, I went for something a little more wholesome, than say, pizza and Oreos (but still a treat!). Paul and I had dinner at City Silo, and I got the Foxy BBQ Sandwich with added buffalo tempeh. The BBQ in this sandwich is made with spaghetti squash, and it's super-yummy. Plus, it comes with salad.

After dinner, I made some digestive bitters using a formula Hannae shared with us last week. Mine have hops, mugwort, lemon, and black pepper in a base of vodka and agave. They have to infuse for several weeks, but I'm excited to try them when they're ready. I also drank a nettles infusion with lemon after dinner, another Hannae recipe from two weeks ago. 

Glad I have a couple more days of content, even if I'm not eating quite as well this week. This week, I'll be back with regularly scheduled posts (and some reviews that have been put on the back burner over these past 28 days).

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Reclaim & Revolt, Days 26-28

Today was the last day of Reclaim & Revolt! And I'm pretty bummed to see it go. I'll miss the daily lessons in tarot, astrology, fitness, intuitive eating, herbalism, and fermentation. The food — all recipes provided by Lacy Davis — has been amazing (so much tahini!). I learned how to make kraut and fire cider from Hannae. Erin has taught me so much about the major and minor arcana of the tarot. And thanks to Kelsey, I now know I'm a Gemini Rising (my Sun Sign is Libra) with an elemental constitution made up mostly of Air and Earth and very little Water or Fire (no surprise there!).

Here's how I spent my last weekend on this awesome January reset. I woke up early on Friday, had a no-bake oat bar, and drove to the gym for bootcamp. Then I came home and made Lacy's Raspberry Dream Smoothie (it was really "strawberry dream," but I only had frozen raspberries). This is the super creamiest, dreamiest smoothie, thanks to raw cashews and avocado. Plus, frozen berries, hemp seeds, dates, and maca. It's really great! Even better in my awesome new Goddess Provisions drinking jar.

Morning snack at work was a small portion of Lentils with curry powder and onion salt.

I went home for lunch and heated up some more of Lacy's Moroccan Veggie Stew from Thursday night (pictured in my last post). That held me over until dinner, which was a fantastic Macro Bowl (one of Lacy's recipes from last year's Reset & Restore). This had brown rice, blackeyed peas, steamed kale, tempeh bacon, homemade kraut, avocado, peanut sauce, and hemp seeds. So good!

Crosstown Arts, where I work as the communications coordinator, had four art openings in Crosstown Concourse Friday night, so I went back to work to hang out! My friends Andy, Tyler, and Mike met me there, but they were running a little late. So I got a Yazoo Sue beer from French Truck Coffee (downstairs from Crosstown Arts) while I waited. This is one of my favorite beers — a high-gravity smoked porter from Nashville.

I also had a glass of red wine during the art show. Check out this magical crystal sculpture by artist Emily C. Thomas, one of the artists featured in the exhibitions. The show is up through March 11, and I have a feeling I'll be spending a lot of time in the galleries absorbing its energy.

After the show, we'd planned to hit up Atomic Tiki, my new neighborhood tiki bar. But it was the first night they were open, and they were packed. So we went to Midtown Crossing instead. I actually didn't want anything else to drink, so I got some Vegetable Spring Rolls to snack on. These are stuffed with napa cabbage, basil, pickled carrots, and pecans and come with a wasabi dipping sauce.

On Saturday morning, I had some Oatmeal with Bee-Free Honee, Chocolate PB2, and Banana.  

Then I headed out to hit up the Cooper-Young Community Farmer's Market, so I could score some treats from my friend Don at Lulu's Baked. Afterward, I went back home and did Lacy's last R&R workout — a Tabata interval workout involving squats, burpees, and abs. 

I had more Moroccan Veggie Stew for lunch, alongside one of Lulu's Baked Cashew Cheddar & Carrot Bacon Buns. I've had limited gluten over this reset, and it was a super-treat to have this bready bun. If I've missed anything during these 28 days, it's bread! Even though I haven't made rules that I can't have it, I've just been naturally avoiding it since Lacy's recipes are gluten-free. 

But that's not the only treat I scored from Lulu's Baked! I also picked up one of Don's Meyer Lemon Cookies. He always has samples of the cookies available, and I took a bite. And then I had to have one. Don makes the best cookies in town, hands down. I shared a few bites with Paul, but I kept most of this for myself! I also snacked on some baby carrots and garlic hummus in the afternoon on Saturday. Oh, and I spent some time hanging out with my friend Susan!

Dinner was another Macro Bowl. And then Paul and I had a relaxing movie night at home (we watched Mother, which I liked and he didn't like). I snacked on some coconut oil-popped popcorn during the movie.

On Sunday morning, I woke up to another bowl of oats. This time, I had Blueberry Oats with Agave, Sunbutter, & Coconut. I had a trail race and a long run today, and I knew I needed lots of carbs for energy and fat to keep me satisfied until after my race/run.

The trail race was race #2 in the Memphis Runners Track Club Winter Off-Road Series — the Stanky Creek 5K. This was only my second trail race ever! But I also had a 10-mile long run planned for today, so I drove out to Bartlett and parked at the course way early. I had a banana in the car, and then I took off for a 5-mile pre-race warmup on the sidewalks around Bartlett and Raleigh.

The race was on new-to-me trail at Nesbit Park (also known as Stanky Creek), and it was VERY muddy. People were losing shoes in the mud, and there were a number of puddles that we had to splash through. At the end, we had to maneuver down a muddy gully and use a rope to help us up the muddy hill on the other side. Lots of fun! But next time, I'm packing extra shoes and socks. I still had to run 2 more miles post-race to reach my 10-mile goal, and I did so in muddy, wet shoes.

On the 20-minute drive back to Midtown, I had a No Cow Chocolate Fudge Brownie protein bar in the car.

My very last meal on R&R was — drumroll please — a salad! Ha! Yes, boring. But delicious. After a day of all grains, fruit, and protein bars, I was craving veggies. This had romaine, carrot, bell pepper, radish, scallion, tofu, chickpeas, dried cranberries, nooch, toasted sunflower seeds, green olives, and tahini dressing. And I made it huge so I ate it out of a mixing bowl.

Going forward, I plan to keep eating very wholesome meals most of the time, but I'll be bringing in dessert more often. And bread! Bagels are on the menu for breakfast Monday morning, and I'm stoked. I'll check back in tomorrow with a recap of my first day off R&R. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Reclaim & Revolt, Day 25

It was cake day today! But more on that in a few. This morning, I woke up, had another no-bake oat bar, and ran 4 miles. It was warmer today, and the run was lovely. After my run, I had this awesome bowl of Warm Oats & Nice Cream — banana soft serve with chocolate hemp protein powder topped with oats (sweetened with maple), chocolate PB2 sauce, and cacao nibs. The PB2 sauce and nice cream were the same color, so you can't really see the sauce. I love how the hot oats made the soft serve all melty.

My morning snack was Black Beans with Nooch & Homemade Kraut.

Today was our monthly catered staff lunch meeting at work. It's always vegan-friendly, and this time, the meal was almost entirely vegan! They had food catered from Mama Gaia — the vegetarian, organic cafe in Crosstown Concourse. I chose a Veggie Burger Slider, Mini Asian Tofu Pita, Hummus with Veggies, a couple Baked Fries, a Raw Brownie Bite, and (not pictured) a Raw Carrot Cake Date Ball.

That was more bread than I've had in awhile since the recipes on Reclaim & Revolt are mostly gluten-free. I personally have no issue with gluten, but I've naturally been eating that way since I've been cooking all my meals using Lacy's recipes. I do love bread though, and this was awesome!

Every month, when we have these meetings, we celebrate the birthdays of the staffers who had birthdays throughout the month. Sometimes, we have vegan cake, and today was one of those days. There was Vanilla Cake with Buttercream from Muddy's Bake Shop. And I COULD NOT RESIST! Cake is awesome!

I will say that I did feel kinda gross later in the day. I haven't had much sugar (a little ice cream here and there) this month, and this was a bunch of sugar. Left me feeling a little sluggish. But no regrets. It was delicious going down.

Dinner balanced me out quite a bit. I made a Moroccan Veggie Stew using Lacy's recipes. This has eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, chickpeas, and kalamata olives. It's topped with cashew cream. Those olives really made this soup shine! I had my bowl with a piece of Sprouted Grain Pita on the side (more bread!).

Today's Reclaim & Revolt lesson was THE LAST ONE! :-( It's a 28-day program, but the lessons only come Monday through Thursday. So sad to see this program go. I'm a little behind on my lessons, so I have the weekend to catch up. Today's came from Hannae — more on herbs for digestion!

I'll check back in on Sunday with the last R&R weekend recap!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Reclaim & Revolt, Day 24

Today was Tarot Day on Reclaim & Revolt, and Erin Aquarian sent us some info on using the Court Cards in each suit (King, Queen, Knight, and Page/Princess) to effect mastery in our lives. I haven't had time to read the lesson yet, but I've been loving her Wednesday Tarot lessons. I'm learning so much!

This morning started with another homemade No Bake Oat Bar (see yesterday's post for a pic!) followed by a 3-mile run. And then I had this standard Kale-Banana-Berry Protein Smoothie with flax seed and almond cashew milk. The berries were raspberry and blueberry, and I used Coconut Almond Vega One protein powder. Simple and filling.

My morning snack was Radishes, Baby Carrots, & Bell Pepper with Garlic Hummus. 

I had a lunch meeting with some folks from another office in my building, Crosstown Concourse. All of the businesses and nonprofits in Concourse try to work together and help each other out, so it was nice getting to know some new people. We met at Next Door, a farm-to-table-style restaurant in our building, and I had the Roasted Veggie Bowl (my fave thing there!). It has red quinoa, broccolini, cauliflower, asparagus, bell pepper, sunflower seeds, and tahini sauce. 

In the afternoon, I started craving chocolate so I had a square of Endangered Species chocolate (with almonds and cranberries). 

Dinner was a big ole Salad with Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing. Can y'all tell I love tahini??? This also has green olives, hemp hearts, dried cranberries, cucumber, bell pepper, radish, carrot, and romaine.

And then I met my friend Misti and my former Memphis Flyer co-workers at the annual 20 Under 30 Party honoring local, awesome young people (we're not young — we were just there for the drinks!). I had two cocktails — the Berry Fly (strawberry limeade with honeybell vodka — it's not made with honey but rather honeybell oranges) and the Whiskey Mintness (hot toddy whiskey with pear-infused sweet tea). Both excellent!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Reclaim & Revolt, Day 23

Only a few days left on Reclaim & Revolt. I'm usually eagerly awaiting the end of my January reset, but this time, I'll be very sad to see it go! I'm loving this wellness program, and I don't feel deprived at all because I'm making the choice to eat wholesome foods and I'm not denying myself treats when I want them.

This morning, I woke up at 5 am for my 4-mile interval training run. First, I had one of Lacy's No-Bake Oat Bars, which I made last night. These have oats, puffed rice, brown rice syrup, lots of seeds, raisins, soynut butter, and coconut. They're loaded with carbs, making them perfect for pre-workout snacks. The recipe called for puffed brown rice, and I couldn't find any plain stuff. So I bought some Love Grown Comet Crispies (cocoa brown rice & bean-based krispies). 

After my run, I had some Blueberry Lemon Overnight Oats (another Lacy R&R recipe) that I added a scoop of vanilla protein powder to. I made this awesome mixture last night and let it set up in the fridge overnight. It has lots of lemon zest and lemon juice, fresh berries, chia seeds, oats, and almond milk. Very good! I topped my bowl with tiger nuts and walnuts.

My morning snack wasn't very pretty, but it was filling and tasty. It was part of a leftover Japanese Yam with Lentils, plus some homemade sauerkraut.

Lunch was more tester items for our new plant-based cafe at Crosstown Arts, where I work. Our new chef has been trying out dishes on us, and I'm more than happy to be a tester. I didn't take pics since we're not sure if they'll be on the menu yet. But rest assured, the items were delicious and would have my vote!

In the afternoon, I had a bit of Addictive Wellness Raw Focus Chocolate with herbs to help tighten focus. I've been pretty slammed at work this week after last week's holiday and the previous week's snow day, so I really needed to hunker down and get stuff done. This helped me through that afternoon slump.

After I got home from work, I snacked on an Organic Fuji Apple while I tidied up the house.

Dinner was more leftover Kung Pao Tofu from yesterday.

Today's R&R lesson from Lacy was on keeping mealtime sacred, which is something I tend to do as often as I can. I NEVER, EVER skip a meal. There are times when I eat lunch at my desk while working, but I try to run home and clock out for lunch when I can. I always sit down for breakfast and dinner no matter how busy I am. And I try not to multitask while eating. I usually read a magazine or book for pleasure or, on weekends, I love to eat dinner while watching Netflix. Tonight, I read my former co-worker Frank Murtaugh's new book, Trey's Company (a coming-of-age story about a boy growing up in small-town Tennessee).

Lacy also included a Tabata interval workout that I hope to fit in somewhere this week! Maybe Saturday morning!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Reclaim & Revolt, Day 22

This morning was my first Monday rest day from working out! In the past, my rest days have been Sundays because I would do my long run on Saturdays. But with my new winter trail race schedule (they're all on Sundays), it makes more sense for me to do Sunday long runs after these shorter races. So that meant I got to sleep in until 6:45 am! I'm usually up by 5 am, so that extra almost-two hours was pretty nice. (okay, technically last Monday was my first Monday rest day, but I was off work for MLK Day, so I didn't fully appreciate the benefits of sleeping in on a work day).

My breakfast was Lacy's Loaded Sweet Potato recipe that was included in the recipes she sent at the beginning of this 28-day Reclaim & Revolt wellness program. It was topped with homemade cashew sour cream, black beans, corn, salsa, black olives, and scallions. I love a good savory breakfast.

Morning snack was Baby Carrots with Garlic Hummus at my desk.

And lunch was more leftover Hasselback Japanese Yam, Lentils, and Broccoli leftover from last night. My potato today wasn't as pretty as last night's, but still delish. I love all the nooch and tahini on this plate! Everything should be covered with nooch and tahini. This turned out to be way too much food for a lunch portion, so I saved some for my snacks this week. By the way, even though I planned my meals out, I didn't realize I was having essentially two sweet potatoes in one day until lunch as I was re-heating my leftovers. Maybe that's not enough variety, but I love sweet potatoes, and I'm okay with that.

To help with digestion, I've been trying to remember to take in fermented foods everyday. I make my own kombucha, so that's typically how I get my probiotics, but I'm in between batches right now. I've been taking a small shot of Hannae's fire cider daily too (and eating some homemade kraut!). But today, I got my probiotics from this Lemon Benefizz, a locally brewed probiotic drink, which I picked up at Curb Market in Concourse on my way home from work. It's made with kefir grains.

Dinner was Lacy's Kung Pao Tofu, which she included in this year's R&R recipes and also in last year's Reset & Restore. I really enjoyed it last year and was excited to eat it again. The tofu and veggies are cooked in a spicy sauce and served over brown rice. The recipe called for zucchini, but Kroger was out. They had yellow squash though. It also has kale and sunflower sprouts (not in the recipe, but I had some left from Saturday's farmer's market).

I finished out the evening with a glass of merlot and some Reclaim & Revolt reading on Jupiter in Scorpio since Monday's are astrology days!