As I mentioned, last week I celebrated three entire years dating the coolest dude I’ve ever met. For those of you who don’t know Jim Kettner (affectionately known as Kettnerd or Kett) is an amazing artist, and an all around excellent human being, and the apple of my eye. I want to go on every vacation ever with him.
I wish I could say I captured a picture of the pillow-y vegan chocolate chip cookies placed on our bedside table upon our arrival, but instead we jumped up and down on the bed (very adult, right?) and hung on the deck until it was almost dinnertime.
We had a reservation at 6:00, and when we arrived I was super stoked to see that not only was the dining room full of windows and gorgeous, we were also basically the first people there. We were happy… and then the eating begin! First, of all, the first thing out of the waitress’ mouth was “would you like some complimentary gluten-free bread with your meal?”I wanted to scream “YES, BREAD ANGEL I WOULD LOVE SOME COMPLIMENTARY GLUTEN FREE BREAD”, but I think I just politely nodded. In addition to the bread, we were served a super thin slice of tiny radish with a dollop of sweet and spicy red pepper sauce and creamy kale sauce. It was refreshing, light, and delicious. Then came our second round of appetizers. We split a Caesar salad with gluten-free garlic crostini and glazed tofu. There are no words for how good this was. The lettuce was perfectly fresh (from the garden at The Stanford Inn, in fact), the dressing was creamy, the crostini was crunchy and bursting with garlic flavor. The tofu was tangy and warm and a perfect compliment. My entree was a Cauliflower Napoleon with fingerling potato wedges. it was prepared in a stack with grilled tomatoes, onion, and zucchini, nut cheese, and a balsamic reduction. It was IN-credible, although at this point I was really slowin’ down in the stomach space department. I set most of the potatoes aside, because I knew if a vegan and gluten free dessert came a-knockin, I was gonna answer the door. (Oh yeah, Kett had the BBQ plate which included cornbread, BBQ’d portobello, potato salad, baked beans, and coleslaw. He enjoyed it very much.) Now, my friends, I would like to introduce you to the most beautiful thing I have ever seen Vegan and gluten free shortbread cookie. stack of carmelized pecans. scoop of maple ice cream on top. *DIES* This dessert was perfect. I wish I could have its taste tattoo’d on my taste buds, that I could live out this life recalling the whole thing in extreme detail. DAMN, PECAN TOWER. YOU ARE THE BEST. There could not have been a more perfect meal to celebrate the deep and awesome connection I have with this man that I’ve chosen to spend all this time with. We were happy! Very, very happy. Post dinner, we went to the solarium (!!!), hung out in a sauna, got toasty in a hot tub, and swam some laps in the pool. Once we got back to the room, we tried to build a fire, which I caught in the five minutes that it was actually going well. (we were fire failures.) After we gave up on the fire we read The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman out loud to eachother (gross, I know ) and passed the eff out. What a great day.
In the morning, I lounged in the hotel robe while Kett swam laps, because that’s how I do. I also captured a few vignettes of our beautiful room. And then of course there was breakfast, which was INCLUDED in the price of our room. Man, The Stanford Inn sure knows how to make a couple of vegans feel rad. Kett got a chickpea omelet with grilled sweet potatoes, a glass of orange juice and coffee. I got the tofu rancheros, with grilled veggies (again, from the garden), corn tortillas, homemade pico de gallo and a side of sweet potatoes. To be honest, I was still pretty damn full from the night before but hey! Sometimes a celebration fills more than your heart. The Stanford Inn and Ravens Restaurant were perfect in every way. I loved seeing the garden, I loved that that the coordinator of their wellness program/nutritionist introduced himself to every single table (Hi Sid!), I loved smelling the ocean and eating the food and for goodness sakes, wearing the robe. (This review was not paid for, and I didn’t receive anything to write it! I just havn’t heard many vegans mention this place before, and I want to share the love)
Lately, my life has been moving very quickly. Between seeing clients, making meal plans, recipe testing, writing, keeping myself healthy with awesome food and exercise and blogging, I feel like days are gone in the blink of an eye. I’m definitely not complaining- things are actually straight up amazing- but I am making an effort to slow myself down. Inspired by the weekly love lists on Bonzai Aphrodite, I have started bringing my camera out a bit more, stopping a little more often to try to smell the proverbial (and literal) roses around me.
Like Ferris Bueller says: “life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”
I have been vegan for most of the past sixteen years, but it wasn’t until I listened to Rich Roll podcast #93 with Sharon Palmer, RD that I actually decided that maybe it was time to get a B-12 supplement. Feel free to message me if you wonder why I think it is important.
I baked a cake, it tasted like heaven and included vegetables.
Prepping for that post workout life, courtesy of Vega Sport in chocolate. Peanut butter, because duh.
Meal plan recipe testing! Plantain flap jacks, roasted red pepper soup, roasted garlic and coconut quinoa, kale salad with toasted almonds and shaved cashew parmesan, creamy olive oil mashed cauliflower, and miso glazed eggplant.Until next time!
I am in a great mood. Why? Because social health, that’s why. My friends are great and I love when I see them.
This week was my good friend Brian’s birthday. His awesome partner pulled together a little surprise party for him and asked me to make him a vegan, gluten free, healthy-ish cake. “SURE!” I said. “Of course!”
As I have mentioned in other forms of social media (Facebook, Instagram), Brian has been working with Super Strength Health for awhile now and he has been positively CRUSHING it with his results. A year ago he regularly drank almost a fifth of whiskey in a night, smoked at least a pack a day, and didn’t care what he ate. Now he runs a 6 minute mile, is aware of what he puts in his body, and is seeing his abs come in. He is working out most days, eating green smoothies and salads and his attitude is significantly more stoked. He credits Super Strength Health with this, which is about the biggest honor I could ask for.
I wanted to mark these stellar accomplishments with the most awesome cake I could think of. Then I found this:
This recipe was positively fantastic. It was on the healthier side (beets! avocados! hand milled flours! No refined sugar!) and was moist, fudgey and decadent. A lot of the time I make things that I think taste A-mazing, and others find them to be more health flavored, but that was not the case with this cake. It was 100% party approved!
After filling my belly with both a huge slice of this cake and a giant vat of salad, I joined in on a party wide-game of basketball. I was BAD people, very bad. And it was so, so fun. I found myself saying “Night time hangouts! So fun! I’d like to do this more often!” We shall see if that proclamation comes true. Like I said in my links list last week, it takes a damn special thing to get me out of the house post 7:00PM.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRIANNNNN!
Yeah, I am including in interview with myself on my Sunday Links List, because YOLO, you know? I am a total Fit and Feminist fangirl, and I love that Caitlin took time out of her busy schedule to interview me. This interview discusses health coaching, my eating disorder recovery, veganism, weight lifting, etc. (You know-the usual!) Check it out!
When I was 13 years old I asked my mom for 75 cents to take the bus and she called me a “never ending money vacuum”. This is one of my most prominent memories of adolescence, and is a perfect metaphor for my entire relationship with money, which is to say I don’t actually want very much in the scheme of things, but I have a deep rooted belief that it is too much to ask for. HELLO! That’s a vulnerable thing to admit in a light and funny Sunday links list.
So, I have been doing some affirmation work around money (I am worth what I ask for, I am worth what I ask for) and also trying to let money flow in and out a little more freely. (My car’s breaks have squeaked for oh, I dunno, three years or so. This morning I woke up and decided I am going to pay to fix them). I have been letting those who are close to me know about the work I am doing around money and my friend Kelly sent me this article in response. DAMN, money stuff is intense. Just reading this made me tear up, made me afraid, gave me hope. Definitely worth checking out.
In case you didn’t know, when you are vegan anyone and everyone suddenly wants to know where you get your protein. It’s a part of the diet I have learned to live with (A flippant answer like “I get it from all the dirt I eat!” always works) but this article is actually an excellent, articulate, sources-sited piece that comprehensively explains why vegans are not dying from lack of Protein. An excellent resource!
This mix included some old favorite artists, some stuff I have never heard, and about 1000% fist pumping excitement. Listen and smile.