Crushing On:

1. NPR’s Invisibilia Podcast. One word: OBSESSED. “Invisibilia (Latin for “all the invisible things”) explores the intangible forces that shape human behavior – things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions.” Totally up my alley. I’ve been loving streaming it while Sienna sleeps and I’m attempting to cook, work or clean. That or I’m just streaming it while I’m laying on our bed snuggling with Charlie.

2. Suja Juices. I know, I know… the whole juicing “thing”. A trend that I definitely have been partaking in. At least it’s a healthy trend no? Sprouts has been having these sales where they are 5.99 instead of the usual 9.99 so every time I go grocery shopping I’m like… Well, I should get at least two right?  This one is delicious if you like beets and celery (which I know half of the populations probably doesn’t):

3. The Body Shop’s Coconut Lip Butter. I’ve never been a lipstick kind of girl. I actually do love red lipstick but it never goes that well. People end up telling me it’s on my teeth – half an hour after I put it on. Thanks. Not to mention chapped lips after using lipstick. I realized I couldn’t be buying Lip Smackers forever as I am trying to achieve a more grown up look (John and I joke about how I only own cartoon or beer t-shirts) – so I am totally into this balm right now.

4. Ergo 360 Front Facing Carry. We got the Ergo 360 a couple of months ago after using the regular Ergo. We wanted to be able to carry her front facing and she’s been loving it. It’s makes trips to the dog park so much easier and Sienna loves exploring and looking around when we go out walking. The back support is also pretty legit.

5. Amanda Pete in Togetherness. I started watching this show a couple of weeks ago and her character is awesome. As if I didn’t already have a girl crush on her. She plays this girl named Tina who is a total go getter. I’ve always been a planner so I’m secretly jealous of people who can be spontaneous all the time. The show is pretty funny too. And real. It deals with relatable issues. My type of series.

6. Father John Misty’s new single Chateau Lobby #4. John and I are so excited for his new album coming out in February. I was a big fan of his last album so I am looking forward to listening to his new songs. He’s such a sick romantic. I love it. Also we are going to his show in April at the North Park Theatre. Boo-yah!

7. This article on The Motherhood Days We Don’t Talk About That Much That We Should. If you’re a mom just read it. That’s all.

9. My friend Kristin recommended I check out the Minimalist Baker blog and it’s so neat! It’s written by a couple living in Portland that create recipes with a minimal number of ingredients. YES! Also, beautiful photography.

10. Pretty much everything on the OEUFNYC website for baby girls. More specifically these crowns. Are you kidding me? As if I was not already super into Sienna’s headband game. Adorbs.

Happy Weekend Friends!

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Poblano Power Bowl

I love cooking vegan food for non vegan friends who have an open mind about it. John has always been willing to try anything I cook and he’s always honest with his feedback, so I’m never concerned about cooking vegan at home. It’s a win win considering it helps us keep a clean and healthy lifestyle during the week… On weekends we enjoy a little indulging :).

Our friend Derrik came over for dinner the other night. Not only was a cooking vegan for a non vegan friend, I was also cooking Mexican for an American who is probably more Mexican than myself. If you know Derrik you know what I’m talking about.

As we were chatting and eating away, I stopped to ask him if he was enjoying the food. “I’m happy” – he said.

I’ll take that.

All three bowls were emptied.

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(Excuse my photo that was taken in the dark.)

This meal works as both dinner and lunch. The enchilada sauce is a bit acidic due to the tomatillos but it’s nicely balanced with the heartiness and sweetness of the cooked vegetables. Also, roasted poblanos taste good on anything… Just saying.

Poblano Tomatillo Tofu Bowls – Yields 4 – Gluten Free – Vegan

Ingredients:

1 pack of extra firm pressed tofu – cubed
1 zucchini – sliced
1 head of broccoli – chopped
1 poblano pepper – charred and diced
1 large russet potato – cubed
1 avocado – cubed
1 green bell pepper – diced
1/2 sweet onion
1/2 cup of veggie broth
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 green enchilada salsa (I bought this one)

Directions:

Turn the stove on medium high and place the poblano pepper on top of the burner for charring. Turn it as it starts charring so that all sides are cooking evenly.

Place the poblano in a plastic bag and tie a knot on the bag- this will help you remove the skin later.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the onions. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until onions are soft.

Add the potatoes and all of the spices. Cook for 7 – 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add the broccoli, bell pepper, zucchini, tofu and enchilada sauce.

Cook for 10 minutes, lower heat a bit if it starts to boil.

Remove the poblano from the plastic bag and take the skin off, it should pee off easily. Dice.

Lastly, add the diced poblano to the pot and cook for another 10 – 15 minutes.

Adjust seasonings to taste.

Serve in bowls and add avocado cubes on top.

Enjoy!

Eating That Ice Cream Cone

Perfectionism and the need for control are things that I have struggled with for years. I’m learning to live in that “grey” area of life as I’m more used to the “all or nothing” type of living which is, frankly, quite unrealistic.

Two years ago when I checked into an outpatient program at an eating disorder treatment facility; I told myself that I would be the perfect patient. I would learn the tools that I needed to learn to get rid of this monster and finally get better. Easy peasy. .

It took me a while to even accept that I needed help. In my mind, I was never sick enough. I wasn’t skinny enough to where people were worried, I was a functional person with a life that wasn’t falling to pieces (clearly on the way though). I always thought there were sicker people, that I didn’t even deserve to go to a place like a recovery center as it wasn’t that bad for me. I was so sick and out of love with myself that I didn’t even think that I deserved to get help.

So, like at school, I quickly became the perfect student during therapy. I did all of the exercises, I read all of the material. Easy peasy.

When I finished treatment it was definitely an adjustment. I left this place where everyone understood what I was talking about, a place where my meals were portioned (they promised me I wouldn’t gain weight if I just learned to eat my portions), a place where I didn’t feel alone in my madness. And although I had all the support in the world from my loved ones, deep down I still felt so ashamed. I always thought that I had an amazing life, so why did I even get sick? Why couldn’t I just be grateful for what I had and stopped doing all these stupid things to myself? Shame is the worst feeling.

Because I felt so bad about this still, I wanted to have a perfect recovery. I can’t afford to need help again – I would think. I can’t afford to hurt my family again. So I of course pretended like I was 100% cured and was doing perfectly fine again.

Recovery is not a straight line. It’s hard and it sucks. The eating disorder beast is hard to tame and if I’ve learned something this entire time is to just keep moving forward. Recovery from an eating disorder has a lot of definitions – it’s not like recovering from alcoholism where you completely go sober. You need food to live so you can’t “sober” yourself from it. So for some people recovery means simply eating, for others it means not eating compulsively, not weighing themselves… but it never means that you will automatically abstain from all disordered food behaviors because that is impossible. This was very hard for me to accept as any time I had a behavior (ie. overeating, restricting or using food to numb feelings) after being at the treatment center I felt SO guilty. I’ve always been hard with myself so I got so angry every time I had a “slip”… why can’t you just be RECOVERED? You know what to do, why don’t you just do it.?

I think that after all of the life changes that I’ve had recently with having a baby and such, I finally arrived at my own definition of recovery and I am at peace with it.

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Recovery to me means working each day on listening to my body. It means recognizing those patterns in my behavior when I am more prone to engage in an eating disorder conduct and why I react in a certain way. There is always a feeling behind that eating disorder impulse – and my goal is to identify it so that I learn how to deal with it instead of numbing it. Recovery means forgiving yourself after having a bad day in which you overate due to anxiety… it means knowing that although it happened, you are still walking in the right direction. Recovery means listening to the voice inside my head that tells me to -restrict  because I am not good enough- and telling it to shut up instead of making it my “truth”.  Recovery means living in that grey area, being patient, eating that ice cream cone. Recovery means telling myself out loud that I love myself so that my baby daughter can hear it.

Recovery to me means Eating Intuitively, this takes times and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! I’ve been trying to abide to these principles (sharing them with you below as I think they’re a good reminder to everyone) as much as possible and although I am not 100% there yet, I know I’m on the way. After all, slow and steady wins the race 🙂

10 Principles of Intuitive Eating via intuitiveeating.com  

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality
  2. Honor Your Hunger
  3. Make Peace with Food
  4. Challenge the Food Police (crazy voice in your mind telling you food is “bad”)
  5. Respect Your Fullness
  6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor
  7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food
  8. Respect Your Body
  9. Exercise (not obsessively but just being active vs sedentary)
  10. Honor Your Health

PS:  Since this post is about food and fueling our bodies, I wanted to end this post by sharing this with you guys: The Definite Guide To Healthy Eating. I love Sarah’s blog and this made me laugh.

Shopping Spree

Moving to San Diego has expanded my palate immensely. Before living here, I always thought that I had already tasted a lot of different flavors of the world…. I was clearly in the wrong.

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John and I spend a good amount of our paychecks (mostly his paycheck nowadays) on food and restaurants. I remember when I first moved in with him. We looked at our bank statement and realized that we needed to adjust our budget. We had spent a ridiculous amount of money on going out to eat. I’m pretty sure that this had to do with the fact that I had an ongoing list of restaurants that I wanted to try. So it was kind of my doing… Restaurants are my weakness though, how can you not love just trying new food and sharing experiences with good company? Going out to a new restaurant is my equivalent of a shopping spree.

I also fell more in love with John through this “expense” – he was dying to take me to Convoy street to try Korean BBQ. I remember him ordering like a pro, even asking the server for some lettuce leaves which aren’t even offered on then menu. It was an adventure and I tried flavors that I had never been exposed to before. We tried Ethiopian, French, Indian, Vietnamese…

Thai food has become one of our favorites. We probably eat it once a week. One of our dear friends (Hi Kira!) is a girl from Thailand who is the best at cooking traditional Thai meals so she’s given us a lesson or two. I made Pad Thai for the first time with her and she filled me in on all the ingredients that we probably needed to get at an Asian market (99 cent ranch market for the win).

Now that we’ve gone out to restaurants a lot and I’ve been exposed to all of these spices and combinations, I am at a place where I’m attempting to recreate some dishes we’ve had and learn how to cook dishes from other cultures. Going out is still something that I very much enjoy, I’m always on the lookout for new places. However, I’ve been equally enjoying cooking at home for my loved ones and friends. It’s cheaper, healthier and definitely a little more intimate as you welcome people into your home.

Som tum has a special place in my heart, John and I probably had it every day during our honeymoon in Thailand. So good!

I made som tum and red curry this past weekend. I think the curry could use some changes so I won’t hurry and share that recipe with you just yet. The som tum was delicious, super fresh, crisp and with the right amount of spice and sweetness.

Som Tum – Yields 6 cups – Gluten Free – Vegan

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of shredded green papaya
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup of green beans cut into one inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup of roasted peanuts
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 4 tablespoons of thai palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of Tamara
  • 2 thai chilies
  • Juice of 3 large limes

Directions:

In a large bowl, pound the garlic clove and the chilies until you form a smooth paste.

Add the palm sugar and pound it into the paste as well.

Add 1/4 cup of peanuts and pound into small pieces, don’t allow them to form a thick paste though.

Add the green beans and pound them until they are slightly bruised and opened.

Add the tomatoes and pound then lightly, just enough to get the juices out of them and into the mix.

Add the papaya, carrots and remaining 1/4 cup of peanuts. Mix well.

Add the juice of the limes and the soy sauce. Use two large wooden spoons to mix until the ingredients are all coated with juices.

Serve in bowls or small side dishes.

Note: I like papaya salad chilled so I had our bowl sit in the fridge for about an hour before serving.

Weekend Spice

Weekends have a very different meaning for me these days. I started working at restaurants when I was in my last year of college. My days would consist of doubles – a shift at school followed by a shift at work. I remember loving the hectic-ness of those days. My first serving job was at a restaurant called Moshi Moshi in Guadalajara. I got hired close to the date of the grand opening so the place was SLAMMED. We would be having our staff meetings right before opening for lunch and we could see the line of people waiting outside. I loved the thrill. I was working at the trendiest sushi place Guadalajara and I learned so much. They taught us about fish, sake, origami & Japanese traditions. I was tired but I didn’t care. I worked weekends but I didn’t care. I loved the rush of having a busy section. I loved the cash tips, and I think what I loved the most was the feeling of actually killing it. I was a knowledgeable server who made her guests happy and this was the best thing for me… realizing that my career decision had been accurate. That I chose the right  major. That this was my passion. And of course I learned here the thousands of things that I didn’t learn at school. The chef (older Japanese man) started calling me Odette San… I respected him so much and in return he was doing the same.

Since then, to me, nothing has compared to the feeling of working at a restaurant. However, there was definitely a point in my life years when working weekends started to take an emotional toll on me. John would have to attend to events on his own during weekends as I was always working, and although he always supported me I started to feel torn. I started to miss the weekends now that I had someone to actually share them with. I started to feel like I wanted to be the one sitting on the table being served. We made it work though, we would have date nights on weekdays and I could squeeze in some requests off on weekends here and there. So I got the best of both worlds.

Now that we have Sienna, I haven’t worked weekends in a while. And although I am currently not planning on going back to work at a restaurant in the near future, I know that I’ll be back someday. For now, I am 100% enjoying the liberty of actually having weekends to plan and look forward to with my little family. I no longer feel torn… I’m spending weekends right where I’m supposed to be.

Lemon Jalapeño Margarita – Yields 2

Ingredients:

  • juice of 2 lemons
  • juice of 1 lime
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons of preserved lemon syrup – I bought ours at Pigment
  • 1/2 cup of tequila of choice
  • 1/4 jalapeño – sliced
  • ice

Directions:

Add all ingredients into your mixer. Shake , serve on your glass of choice. I used Tajin to garnish the rim.

Note: Make sure to take it easy on the jalapeño if it’s too spicy, I almost killed John last night as he was testing my first batch :).

Cheers!

Soup Weather

There’s certain dishes that I only crave when it’s chilly outside: ramen, pho.. pretty much anything soup(y). San Diego doesn’t really grant us with long periods of “soup weather” (we are spoiled here) so whenever I notice that the temperature is going to be in the 50’s then it’s time to make soup. The other day while Sienna was napping I thought of getting in the kitchen, and considering this year has been ranked the hottest year EVER… I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity.

Roasting vegetables is also a go-to during winter months. Once it starts getting hot then turning the oven on is not an option around here. So I am roasting away every vegetable I can find these days (specially squashes since they’re almost gone).

This soup can be considered an entrée. The tofu adds heartiness to it and makes it feel like an actual meal instead of a side dish. The roasting of the vegetables really intensifies their natural flavor so their taste really POPS at you. Also,  plenty of leftovers… Boo-Yah!

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Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower Soup with Baked Tofu

– Yields  about 10 cups – Gluten Free – Vegan

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower – chopped
  • 1 large head of broccoli – chopped
  • 1 medium sweet onion – diced
  • 1 jalapeño – diced
  • 1 pack of extra firm tofu – pressed and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
  • 5 cups of boiling water
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt + sprinkle for baking veggies
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper + sprinkle for baking veggies
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika + sprinkle for garnish
  • pepita seeds for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F and line one large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chopped broccoli, cauliflower and tofu onto the baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons (ish) of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Place in the oven and set timer for 35 minutes.

In a large pot, add remaining olive oil over medium heat. Stir in onions, jalapeño, salt, pepper and paprika and cook until the onions soften, just for a few minutes. Reduce heat if necessary so you don’t burn the onions.

Add the boiled water + bouillon cube. Bring to a boil, dial down the heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Once the broccoli, cauliflower and tofu are ready – separate tofu squares from the pan and place on a plate to cool down.

Blend the broccoli and cauliflower with the broth that you made. I had to do this in parts as my blender isn’t big enough for everything to go in all at once. Place mixture back in the large pot and add the nutritional yeast. Stir and let simmer for about 10 minutes.Adjust seasonings if necessary.

Scoop into bowls or cups, and serve each with tofu cubes and pepita seeds. We like things spicy over here so I also used some sriracha for garnishing.

TIP: We have this Tofu Press and it’s the best. I tried pressing tofu with books in the past and although it works, this press really squeezes everything out and allows tofu to bake into a crispy texture.

Buen provecho!

Virtual Coffee Date

I’ve been following Jenna over at Eat, Live, Run for over two years. She started out blogging about recipes (which are all yum!), health and fitness. She now has a baby boy so her blog has evolved into more of a family + lifestyle site. She’s genuine in her posts and I really enjoy reading her so I highly recommend you guys check her site out. She writes these posts sporadically called “Virtual Coffee Dates” where she has a chat with her readers as if they were sitting in the same room, sharing a cup of coffee. I’m borrowing her idea and doing something similar over here at Bare Wanderings… So here we go:

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If we were having coffee today I’d tell you that 4 month sleep regression is real and kicking my butt! It’s funny how your personal dictionary adds a number of terms to it that you would never even think existed when it comes to raising a baby: growth spurt, overtired, overstimulated, sleep regression, nap time schedule, baby led weaning… the list goes on and it is serious! None of these are to be taken lightly. Sienna gifted us with good chunks asleep since she was born and was already sleeping through the night at two months. Lately though, it’s getting cray cray at night again. It’s a battle of keeping her pacifier in so she can soothe herself back to sleep. That or I can just hear her on the monitor cooing to herself and babbling (which is pretty freaking adorable). She’s so much fun lately though, which I guess makes up for the lack of sleep.

I’d tell you that one of my favorite beers in San Diego right now is Modern Times’s Universal Friend. If you’re into craft beer, you.must.try.it. It’s a saison that has been made with grape must. I liked the Chardonnay version but yesterday I tried the Merlot one and oh em gee. It was perfect. So light and crisp.

I’d tell you that my motivation for running has been lacking and I’m hoping it gets better. Running has become such an important part of my life in the past 5 years. Nothing compares to the feeling of crossing the finish line during a race, specially when growing up you sucked at running and thought that you’d never be able to do it “properly” – whatever that means. I’m training for the Rock’N’Roll Half coming up on May 31st. It’s a race I’ve always wanted to run so I hope that I am just going through a weird funk. It’s definitely more challenging now that I have Sienna, I am more tired throughout the day but I just have to make sure I make time to work out. It sounds counter intuitive but it really does help me rest better and I release a good amount of stress. I need a running buddy. Who’s in?

I’d tell you that Andie Mitchell’s book “It Was Me All Along” blew my mind. I literally finished it in two days. The book is a memoir and story of her weight loss journey & recovery from an eating disorder. She is so honest and open about something that so many people battle with. The book isn’t exclusively catered to people who have suffered from an eating disorder. She talks about things that most of us deal with in our lives like anxiety, social pressure and dysfunctional families…So I am pretty sure everyone can relate at some point. Kudos to you Andie, you are definitely my #wcw.

Lastly, I would tell you that I am very excited about our next family trip to Mexico. Going back home in December was stressful but I think it will be better this time around. It was great seeing everyone and I love going home for Christmas as ALL of my family gets together, we’re scattered in different countries so it’s always so nice to reconnect with everyone. However, it was Sienna’s first trip and I am a major control freak (working on it) so from getting on a plane to dealing with putting her on her schedule down there, my anxiety level was through the roof. I’m sure it will be different now that I know what to expect. We are attending my cousin’s wedding and traveling to Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende. John has never been there and it’s been a while since I have visited those two cities so I can’t wait.

See you next coffee date!