We haven’t blogged in a few days… We’re still alive

Hey, so we finished The Abundance Diet as you all know and it seems as if we’ve gone on a hiatus.  While not really intentional we kind of have.  We’ve been slammed with activities the last few days.  I’m not complaining about it at all because it really was a whole lot of fun.

Tuesday night we went to Wolf Trap (A national park, which is an outdoor theatre venue, very cool), to see a concert with Colony House, Drew Holcombe and the Neighbors, Switchfoot and NeedToBreathe.  It was a really great show, we enjoyed it a lot.  Colony House was my favorite, but all the bands were very talented and fun to hear.  Jackie and I weren’t really familiar with NeedToBreathe so it wasn’t as exciting and it was still going strong at 10:30 when we had decided to take off.  I’m just not the late night person I used to be.  We got this great shot before the show where God showed us the reminder of his promise that he’s never going to flood the earth again.  Totally beautiful.
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Wednesday we were back at Wolf Trap again to see Jim Gaffigan.  Oh my gosh, he’s so funny.  He had an opening act by Ted Alexandro.  Ted was also really great.  I’m so impressed by comedians, I can’t come up with one funny joke let alone a whole routine.  I will never think of music class, summer, Netflix or donuts in the same way.  If you get a chance to see them you should, you’ll get a good ab workout with all the laughter.   Untitled

Today I took of from work at around 1.  It was really nice to be able to spend an afternoon hanging out with Jacks.  We took Olive out to the Village at Leesburg to hit up the Bean Bar.  Totally our favorite coffee shop.  It is literally the coolest coffee shop atmosphere.  It also helps that they have great coffee and beers/wine.  They also do up some really good food, but not a whole lot of the vegan variety.  Afterwards we went to the Farmstead at Willowsford Farm here in Ashburn.  I LOVE the place, its such a wonderful little family run place in a planned community.  The best thing about today.  We found organic SWEET CORN.  That is such a hard thing to do these days.  It was incredible.
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So you may be asking how we’re doing now that we’re 4 days removed from the Abundance Diet plan.  I’d say we’re doing pretty good.  We’re doing our best to stick to whole foods.  We packed a picnic for the concert that was oil free hummus with veggies.  We had some crackers and a bit of chao cheese with that.  Finished it off with some grapes and some yummy brown rice syrup crispy treats.  So while we did have dessert we really made a conscious effort to not use refined sugar and we kept the portion size reasonable.  I’ll say this, now that we don’t have the actual plan in front of us, there is a lot more temptation to have other stuff.  It all really goes back to the thought that moderation is key and you have put thought into what you eat.  If you have junk around the house then you’re going to be eating junk food.  There are definitely no regrets, it’s just very interesting where the mind goes.  We’ve also pretty much stuck to gluten free.  We’ve had a bit of wheat here and there, but I’ve been concerned that if I go back to having a big load of wheat that I’ll overload my gut.  Hope you’re all doing well, would love to have more interaction with you all.  We’ll do our best to keep up with the posts.  🙂 I’ll leave you all with this picture of the meal I put together for Monday night and an eat and repeat this evening… Delicious.  Soy Curls, Homemade baked beans, green beans and coleslaw.   Untitled

Day 26… Yup, that’s right, oh so close

Well we’ve made it almost all the way through to the end.  Today was basically an eat and repeat of Day 23.  We did a bit of modification on the day.  For example, Jackie ended up doing her smoothie with strawberries instead of mangoes.  I ended up doing a completely different smoothie.  I went with the Tropical Paradise smoothie.  As you can see below both Olive and I loved that smoothie.  The coconut water was a great addition for the liquid, it gave a little acidic and sweet bit and kept the smoothie really nice and green for the entire time I was drinking it.

Olive and smoothieAs to the other reason I said basically a repeat, we ended up having the curried brown rice salad while we were at the National Zoo, and we didn’t have the soup today.  It was a perfect day to go explore a bit of the city.  I love that all the museums here in DC are free, or very low cost.  For instance the zoo does charge for parking, but we found parking out on the street.  Being vegans, we’re a bit conflicted as to how we feel about zoos.  We absolutely love seeing the animals, and I really do know that the zoo keepers tend to love the animals.  But it really isn’t their natural habitat, and you can tell that some of them are just so bored.  In general we don’t go to them any more, but like I said, I love animals so much that sometimes I just want to see them. Jackie even got to pet a burro.  Seeing that it was only about 80 degrees and cloudy out today, nearly all the animals were out and about and just enjoying the day.  How do all of you feel about zoo’s? Goats!

After getting home we popped the lasagna back in the oven.  It was good, but we both avoided the eggplant.  The texture there was just off.  Then we ended up taking Olive for a walk, got a decaf soy latte and planned out a bit of a long weekend plan for later in September and talked about some goals and dreams.  Then we came home and deviated really for the first time, but I don’t feel bad.  We just made up a quick batch of nice cream, kinda chunky money like.  No sugar and the majority being frozen banana there simply isn’t any guilt.

All in all it was a really fantastic day.  I hope you all enjoy your weekend.

Day Twenty-Five! (Week four, day 4)

Seriously… Are you all sick of hearing us talk about this event yet?  I might be sick of reading the same type of posts for 28 days.  I’ve really enjoyed reading Jackie’s posts though so I’m sure you’ve all enjoyed all of them.  That being said there are only so many ways that we can tell you that we’re feeling great and all that.  And sometimes we get sick and tired of hearing about other people on Facebook tout about going sugar free for a certain amount of time.  I do think it boils down to whether people are complaining or if they’re just doing it to get sympathy.  Its much like fasting, just make your life be normal and happy in general circumstances otherwise your motives aren’t really pure.  I think for those of you that have been following along though, probably want the honest opinion as to how we feel.

Today I personally have been hungry ever since lunch… Perhaps the problem there is that I didn’t have my soup until 1:30.  It screwed up my metabolism’s normal processing of food.  I would also just like to have a cookie bite that we had back in week 1.  I know that wouldn’t ruin anything and we could totally do it, but we’re trying to stick it out to the end.  Overall this week has not been our favorite.  Its felt like the main’s have all pretty much been one texture.  We’ve really needed more of the crunch.  All that being said, today was a repeat of Day 21, the salad is simply incredible.  It was even better with the two extra ingredients that we left out.  I really should have taken a picture because it was beautiful as well.

Jacks and I both tried the variation on the smoothie that included cacao.  As you can see pictured below.  I loved it as did Jacks.  We didn’t add the cayenne, but hey, it doesn’t matter.
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So back to my main thought that we’re really are kind of ready to move back to a little more variety. Our main thoughts to this point are that this way of thinking about food is going to be pervasive in our path forward. As long as the majority of our food grocery list is produce and beans/nuts than we’re winning. As Jackie said yesterday, I put together a menu for next week that actually stays pretty true to the ideas that Sommer put together. We’re excited for customizing and doing our own thing. We wouldn’t change anything though about following the plan and trying out all the really tasty food that is in The Abundance Diet. Looking forward to continuing to share our journeys with you. Hey if any of you all have some suggestions, please don’t hesitate to share.

Day 21 – The last week is upon us

Sundays are always such an interesting day of feelings for me.  I’m so happy that it’s the day we get to worship our Lord, but it’s also the day that the weekend ends.  I don’t dread going to work, not even in the slightest, it’s just that I really enjoy my time that I get to spend at home with Jacks.  I know that she loves it just as much as I do.  We’ve certainly got into a bit of a routine with The Abundance Diet going on.  Sunday is our day to relax, hang around the kitchen and make up a bunch of great food for the week ahead of us.  After we get done making it all we head off to night church at Bridge Community Church here in Loudoun county.  We’ve really settled into loving the the timing of church.  I particularly enjoy how it sets my mind in the right place, I’ve been able to enjoy a whole weekend, so when I get to church I really am able to focus on worshiping Jesus.  Tonight really hit me hard as we were talking about community and reaching out and loving your neighbor.  We haven’t done the best job of that here in Virginia yet.  I’ve found that people really tend to get home and go into their house and don’t leave.  Or they’re off and so busy with activities and traffic that you never see them.  In any case, I think Jacks and I need to cook up a bunch of cookies or something and go out and try to get some conversations started.  I don’t want you all to think we’re talking crazy evangelist conversations… I mean I just would like to know my neighbors as friends.

Today was a eat and repeat of Day 18 and Day 15.  Being that it was the weekend we added in a breakfast and dessert.  Today’s breakfast was a Banana’s Foster pancake.  I don’t know if I’ve blogged on pancakes before this meal plan we’ve been following, but I LOVE pancakes.  I find them to be my dream of breakfast foods.  A nice fluffy pancake with “butter” and maple syrup just does it for me.  But it’s never very filling.  These pancakes hit the spot.

Abundance Diet day 21

The way you make these is by putting the banana into the batter after it’s cooked for 30 seconds. I don’t know why I’ve never considered that before. They were great, when you flip them the banana caramelizes wonderfully. The only thing I would change is dicing the banana to get more coverage in the pancake. They’ll be part of the rotation though, you can guarantee. (I definitely felt better about eating them then my favorite version that Isa has a recipe for.)

Dessert tonight was Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Soft-Serve. Abundance Diet day 21

This is a nice cream made from frozen bananas with two of my favorite flavors. Chocolate and Peanut Butter. Who doesn’t love that combo (Well my dad for one, but that’s a story for another day, poor guy ate too much PB once.) I really enjoyed it, the chocolate was very pronounced, but I didn’t really get much of the PB flavor. I was really hoping for that flavor as you’ve all heard me talk about how I’ve missed it. That’s alright though, it really did add an additional creaminess to the dessert. Another guilt free dessert that is super easy to make is something that you can never go wrong with.

Thoughts for the day.  So far so good.  I’m still enjoying what we’re doing, though I am somewhat excited for it to be the last week.  I want to get back to a bit more variety.  The flavors have been top notch, and I like prepping and not having to do everything during the week, but sometimes a person just wants to change it all up a bit.  And frankly we really just miss grabbing something while being out and about.  Those happen to be the times that we tend to make the worst decisions though.  Hope that you are all doing well out there.  If there is any question you’ve got about the plan, please let us know and we’ll try to answer them over the course of the week.  Hope you all have a great week.