Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Week On the Beach

I'm baaaaack!

Seven days of sunshine and sand in Mexico have done this body good. I feel very blessed that my in-laws are members of a time share thus affording Mr. BB30 and I to get rad discounts for trips like this (I've mentioned before that I have been working hard on my savings). Otherwise, I would still be one very pale girl and my bikinis would still be in my dresser.

It actually took me a couple of days to relax and let the real world wash off of me, but I told myself that certain people, situations, and projects were not invited on my trip, and soon I was a vactioning pro.

We started out on a early flight out. I was intrigued by the individual movie/tv situation on the plane and had to give it a try. For some ridiculous reason I thought My Sister's Keeper was a good choice. Dumb move. I call the following picture: Why Am I Watching A Cancer Movie on Vacation?

I hate spoilers, so I don't want to ruin it for anyone else. Please private message me if you read this book and also saw the movie. I did and I have things to say!

Finally we arrived and were greeted with a hibiscus drink.

My best guess at the formula was one part flower and one thousand parts sugar. Holy Diabetes Batman! I enjoyed a couple of sips, but that was good enough for me.

C'mon BB30, get to the food! Did you starve to death?

Our room had a small kitchen in it and a little grocery store in the complex so this was our first stop after dropping our bags off in our room. Not only was the situation great for my wallet, but it was great for my health! Magically, they had my high protein/high fiber Kashi cereal AND almond milk. I was actually very surprised. We tended to make a bigger breakfast and have a snack in the afternoon, so my morning meal mostly consisted of cereal, a corn tortilla with vegetarian refriend beans and a cup of cinnamon coffee.

We didn't realize this was cinnamon coffee when we bought it, but it turned out be a delicious treat!

Much to our dismay, the we learned that the trip we booked did not include use of the fitness center without extra fees. Yipes! Extra fees? I'm on a budget people! When we went to this resort for our honeymoon we had nailed down a great routine of working in a midday trip to the gym to work off all of our guacamole y cervezas. It was great and we didn't return home feeling tubby. However we didn't let this get us down and committed to finding fitness alternatives. So each day (some times a couple off times a day) we went for a walk on the beach. We would walk for a few miles in the ocean and let the water work as resistance and turn around and make our way back. We would play in the ocean, read, rest, snack (usually the aforementioned guacamole), walk, hit the pool for laps and order some half price happy hour drinks and walk some more. Basically we adhered to the rule that if we ate or drank then got up and moved afterward. One day we decided to rent bikes (super cheap) and rode all over the resort's country club. It was so great to be getting exercise and fresh air and getting an up close and personal look at some of the gorgeous modern Mexican architecture.

You: So you just ate cereal, torillas, beans, guac and booze the whole time?
Me: Heck no!

One day we ventured into downtown Puerto Vallarta (we were staying in sort of a suburb where a string of resorts are). We stopped for lunch at a little open air restaurant and of course nothing was immediately animal product free. I talked to our nice waiter and asked if I could have some pasta and vegetables sauteed with oil (not butter) and he happily obliged. It was a delight! I call this picture: Suuure, Vegans Can't Eat Anything Good.
I kept myself in check (it was pasta after all) and took about 2/3rds of it back with me. We returned to our home base, took a walk and soaked up the rest of the day's sun, and Mr. BB30 suggested we stay in and cook up a vegan feast. I was so thrilled and touched that he wanted to share a vegan meal with me (we typically cook side by side and eat different things). We added a little extra pasta and more vegetables (carrots, zucchini, onions, mushrooms) to my leftover lunch and the result was muy delicioso!

Other great dinners I had were vegetable fajitas (para no queso) and a yummy lighter take on a veggie burrito that was full of meaty grilled eggplant and bell peppers. Super flavorful even without cheese. But speakingof cheese, oh how tempting was all the fresh cheese Mr.BB30 got at the grocery store!

All the cheese was so tempting but I stayed strong. One night I had a few bites of mussel that were underwhelming. I thought maybe the protein would do me good and I reasoned that they don't think or really feel. Blech. No thanks, I'll stick to how I am doing things.

On our bike riding adventure we stopped off at a little roadside restaurant we enjoyed last time we were there so Mr. BB30 could enjoy some tacos.
I really thought I wouldn't be able to get anything, but when I asked if there was a taco they could make me the man asked if I would like portabellos and spinach and onions sauteed in olive oil on a corn tortilla. Si, por favor! Was I really at a roadside eatery? Behold:
These were small little guys, only about six inches across and a few bites each so it made for a perfect little lunch and fueled us for the rest of our bike ride. So well seasoned and so well appreciated! Oh wait, I am not done. They brought out some freshly concocted salsa/relish hybrids. I must create these on my own!
This one was sort of a pickled relish and salsa combo with marinated cucumbers, sunflower seeds, bell peppers, whole peppercorns, onions, and crack.

This one was a pineapple salsa with onions and hot orange peppers, onions, and magic.

I could have taken a fork to these two condiment bowls and been happy. The flavor was just ridiculous and everything was so fresh!

We returned our bikes and spent the rest of the afternoon swimming and sunning. We decided to cook another dinner in our room. I volunteered to be the chef so Mr. BB30 could relax.

I chopped some potatoes, onions, garlic, and pablano pepper to sautee...
...thinly sliced some zucchini to pan fry/grill....
..and steamed carrots and mixed them with black beans. Voila! A hearty vegan feast!
Yep, that's chips and guac. I was on vacation!

Oh...and I wore a bikini everyday!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh Blogger

Dear Blogspot,

Really, why oh why must you make posting pictures so difficult now? I have spent hours trying to deal with you and get my vacation post up. Please go back to normal so I do not have to move to another blog server.


Friday, November 12, 2010


Soon I will embark on my trip where I will wear a bikini every day and all of my hard work will be fully realized. While I feel like I am constantly working my way toward my best body and self, it will be scary and exciting and hopefully supremely rewarding to walk a warm beach in a bikini for the first time. I got a little warm up this summer for a few minutes on Lake Michigan, but soon, THE BIG TIME.

I'll be sure to share pics when I return!

Love to you all!



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thanksgiving Test Drive

Blogger was on the fritz yesterday and unable to load pictures, so I was sad not to get to share this yesterday. It's back now, so here we go! Drumroll........One of my Thanksgiving dishes has been solidified!

Sunday night after arriving home an hour later than expected (grr), I got to work on Fast, Fresh & Green's Vanilla and Cardamom Glazed Acorn Squash Rings.

1 small acorn squash (1 to 1.25 lbs)
2 T. unsalted butter, plus 2 t. more if needed (I used Earth Balance)
2 t. pure maple syrup (I used a Trader Joe's Maple Syrup/Agave blend)
1.5 t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. ground cardamom (I didn't want to spend $15 on something I would only use 1/8 teaspoon of, so I googled alternatives and used cinnamon)
Kosher salt (I used sea salt)

1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Line a large (18x13x1-inch) heavy-duty rimmed sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper.

2. With a sharp chef's knife, cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise (though both the stem end and the pointy end). Scrape out the seeds and fibers with a spoon.
2. Put each half, cut side down, on a cutting board. Slice off about 3/4-inch from each end, and discard. Slice the squash crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick half-rings. If you want, you can trim away any remaining fibers from the rings by running a paring knife around the inside of each. Put the half-rings on the parchment paper.
3. In a small sauce pan, melt the 2 tablespoons butter over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the maple syrup, vanilla, and cardamom. Stir well. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the squash pieces with a little less than half of the mixture. Season the pieces very lightly with salt and turn them over. Brush this side with more of the mixture, but reserve about 1 tablespoon for brushing on after cooking. (If using a larger squash and you wind up with less than 1 tablespoon of liquid, add 1 to 2 teaspoons more butter to the saucepan). Season the tops very lightly with salt.
4. Roast the squash for 12 minutes. Use tongs to flip the pieces over. Continue to roast until they are nicely browned (the bottoms with be browner than the tops) and tender when pierced with a paring knife, 10 to 12 minutes. Flip the piecces over again when they come out of the oven so that the browner side is up.

The squash was in the oven for only a few minutes before the essence of fall filled my kitchen and livingroom. It was heavenly!

5. Reheat the butter mixture briefly over low heat if necessary (or to melt the additional butter). Brush the butter mixture over the squash slices and serve.....and submit to the mind numbing goodness....
I think next time I make this I will trim the skin. It softens up and is edible, but it was a tad weird texture wise so I peeled it off. This squash is so delicious it's criminal! Plus, it so easy and fast to make and now that I have my agave/maple blend this dish will only cost me a few dollars to make each time depending on how much squash is going for. Right now at most groceries stores it very inexpensive. Tis the the season for hard squash. I think the glaze would be brilliant on other veggies as well like carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash.

When the amazing smell hit the air the uncontrollable urge to have stuffing took over. So, I used this recipe from Savvy Vegetarian as a guide, cut it down and made a little stuffing using a leftover baguette I had.

Sautee basic onions, celery, and garlic.
Tear up baguette in awesome 1970s tupperware.
 Mix cooked veggies together with bread using your trusty Princess spatula.
 Add veggie broth, let it soak into mixture, bake, and voila!
Fall Sunday supper!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Recap of My Week

I present to you my week:

Leave home 7:45am
Day Job (a long offsite event)
Day Job evening team building event
Arrive home at 10pm

Leave home 7:30am
Day Job (another long offsite event)
Rush home for a snack and changing clothes
Bikram Yoga Class
Arrive home at 8:30pm

Leave home 7:45am
Day Job
Day Job After Hours Event
Attend play and pre-show gathering
Go to grocery store
Arrive home at 10:45pm

Leave home 8:15am
Site visit for 100 person work function I am planning
Day Job
Rush home for snack, pick up Mr. BB30, pet dog
Career Job-Performance
Attend cocktail gathering for our friends getting married on Saturday
Arrive home at 11:15pm

Leave home 7:45am
Day Job
Rush home for snack, pick up Mr. BB30, pet dog
Career Job-Performance
Attend closing weekend party
Go to Grocery store
Give friends rides home
Arrive home 1:15am

Make breakfast
Give my dog lots of love
Get dressed for wedding
Leave house at 12pm
Attend monthly women’s meditation seminar (dressed for a wedding)
Attend wedding ceremony
Leave wedding festivities and high tail it to show
Career Job-Performance
Return to wedding reception
Grab a drink with after party-ers
Arrive home 2am

zzzzzzzzzzzzz, love dog
Make breakfast
Leave house 11am
Grocery shop
Return home for shower and snack, blogging
Career Job-Final Performance
Go to drugstore
Arrive home aprox 5pm
Clean apartment
Make lunches for the week
Cook Dinner/Thanksgiving Test Drive

I am tired just reading that. Yes, there is only one day of Bikram in there. Bbut hey, with my schedule, that's pretty darn good. I realize that there are many fun things on my agenda from the past week, but really, there are just too many things. It's always bittersweet to close a show, but it's time to put this baby to bed and get some more personal time back. I'll be test driving some Thanksgiving contenders this week so I'll be excited to share that. Then..VACATION!