December 31, 2011

2011's Last 12K

Today marked a sweet day.
A day of:
  • Beautiful morning skies
  • God's Word filling me more than I had imagined it would at 8:00am
  • Breaking my personal best by three minutes (!!!) during a 12K run with my hubby at my side
  • A delicious smoothie for breakfast
  • A green juice for lunch
  • Us finally purchasing our own suitcases after 3 years of marriage and 2 trips to Mexico, one to Las Vegas and a dozen to random places around the U.S. while my husband embarked on business trips and the like
  • The movie A Bronx Tale
  • My first seed-pate on toasted Nori (sushi, friends!) 
  • A slice of almost-raw, deliciously vegan pumpkin pie - straight from the freezer. 
Let's enjoy the run, shall we? 
Two Saturday's ago 12K: 1:09:51
Last Saturday's 12K:        1:09:02
This morning's 12K:          1:06:50
I felt like I was flying.

my love bug. in other words: my pacer, my champion.
started with: 1 cup water, 15 almonds, 1 date, 1/4 cup oats: soaked for 15 minutes.
blended with: 2 bananas, 4 frozen strawberries, 1 handful frozen blueberries, 1 tsp vanilla
sprinkled with: puffed amaranth from Mexico!
cheezy sauce & sunflower seed pate from Gena @ Choosing Raw!
Running has never been easy for me. It has been fun, laid back, challenging, a test, unknown, slightly painful, sometimes emotional, "but-whyyyy?!?!" activity that I just can't seem to get enough of. I am, above all, so very thankful for the ability to move me' legs and share this with my hubby. I know that if God hadn't placed him in my life on May 21, 2006, I wouldn't have run my first 5K in February back in 2009, or even thought to tackle the big 13.1 twice and keep going even after having to stop my training because of two different running injuries. So, I'm just thankful for each kilometer, whether I break last week's time or not. I take each run step by step (truly) and am fully aware that anything is possible, good or bad, and I'll handle it when it gets to me. But for now? I'm going to gear up when hubby does, turn my Garmin on, and start. 

2012, your in God's hands, not mine. And it's PERFECT that way!

but the Helper, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in My name,
He will teach you all things and bring 
to your remembrance all that I have said 
to you. Peace I leave with you;
My peace I give to you.  
Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your hearts be troubled
neither let them be afraid.
John 14:16-17

that's Jesus' promise to us. Accept it.  

December 30, 2011

When Juicers and Blenders Unite

The once-a-day, every single day drink!

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 lemon, peeled and seeds removed
  • 1 orange, peeled and ends removed
  • 1 apple
  • 5 kale leaves (or as many as you can fit in your blender)
  • 1 handful fresh parsley with stems
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 handful ice cubes
  • BLEND and drink as soon as humanly possible (ie: within 5 seconds)
On December 23, 2011, my hubby Eduardo and I made a very, very fascinating purchase. We had been thinking about making this buy for quite a while, especially after more than just a handful of incidents at home that told us it was very, very necessary. Yes, my friends. We bought ourselves a high-speed blender. His name is Joseph. No, it's not - we have yet to name our new friend, but it truly deserves a nice name. 
This thing blends, it juices, it food-processes!
Why have 3 appliances on your kitchen counter when you can have just one?! Why sit and wait 5 minutes for your baby-powered blender to cut into four frozen strawberries when you can wait 15 seconds? Costco gave it to us for less than Amazon would have, and our wallets seemed to smirk. We are very happy to announce that today is its one week birthday, and we have already used the fella 22 times. Strangely enough, it does have a digit counter on it that tells you how many times you have used it - but that is simply Blentec's sneaky way of finding out if you hit 10,000 or so hits and thus, voiding the warranty (hooray!) but I just see it as a challenge: reach 10,000 as soon as humanly possible. How are we doing this, you ask?
I'm drinking my daily fruit and downing my daily vegetables through a straw, every single day. I found a few recipes on Natalia KW's website - a raw foodie whose recipes leave you in love, refreshing and joyous, and tweaked them based on what I had in my fridge.
I also found a kale lemonade juice that consisted of: fresh lemon, peeled and de-seeded, h2o, kale, an orange and some celery and it was the most light, powerful drink I have ever tasted!!! In short: I am hooked on whole juices (no juicer pushing the pulp aside here!) and continue with my daily fruity smoothie. "Life is fantastico!" says my taste buds.
Kale LEMONADE joy! lemon, apple, celery, kale, ginger - but mainly lemon. fresh, fresh, fresh.
Now go out and look into buying yourself one of these guys or his cousins (see: Vitamix, Waring Xtreme... look on Amazon!) and gift your body with the ease of drinking your greens.

PS: happy Friday.
& happy encouragement:

But I have trusted in Your mercy;
my heart with rejoice in Your salvation.
Psalm 13:5

December 29, 2011

Oh My Pumpkin Pie

This was probably the most beautiful Christmas I have ever experienced! The conversations were fun, the photo-taking from beginning to end - which I loveee, and the food was wonderful. Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, my Savior and constant Companion, is best celebrated surrounded by family, there is no doubt it my mind! It's amazing how He was sent by the Creator of this world, God himself, to live the life of a servant and tell everyone about His Father's promise of eternal life - it's amazing!! I'm so thankful to be blessed with such a loving family, a loving God, and this lovely life.
Now, let's get into a little pumpkin pie, shall we? Yes. Yes we shall.

Almost-Rawlicious Pumpkin Pie
recipe adapted from Gena at Choosing Raw & Nathalie at The Raw Foods Witch
makes 1 delightful pie

Ingredients for the crust:
  • 2 cup walnuts (can use almost any nut!)
  • 1/2 cup dates  *soaked for a few hours
  • dash of sea salt
Blend ingredients in high speed blender or food processor. Press into a pie pan (I used an aluminum one for easy removal for cutting)

Ingredients for pie gooey love:
  • 2 cups pumpkin, canned or freshly baked, or butternut squash, sweet potato (or, in my case: 1 small golden acorn squash and 1 cup canned pumpkin) ***this is the only part of the pie that you cook. you can also peel, de-seed and dice up some pumpkin, dehydrate it and soak it for a 100% raw version of this pie!!!***
  • 1 cup soaked dates
  • 1/2 cup soaked & washed Irish Moss (I couldn't get a hold of any so I used a handful of soaked cashews and it tasted wonderfully!)
  • 1/2 cup nut milk of choice for blending
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 dash of vanilla
Throw everything in a blender. Pour over pie crust and freeze until ready to be served! I also paired it with a cashew whipped cream that consisted of soaked cashews, dates and vanilla - but it tasted more like a thick cashew butter than a whipped cream - I'm going to work on tweeking the recipe until it it's more "whippy" and then I'll share its sweetness with the world! Take the pie out of the freezer about 10-15 minutes before serving, then remove mainly-frozen pie from pie pan and slice. Best served pretty much frozen! It tastes like pumpkin pie ice cream and I enjoyed it so much more than the completely defrosted version. Trust me!

My beautiful family on Christmas night!
My aunt and uncle with their DIY Christmas gifts

brother & his gf - they left before the group shot so I had to post this awesome photo of them!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow, He deserves all praise, glory and honor for all that He does, the love that He gives and the people He purposely places in our lives at just the right time. This season filled me with so much joy, thank You Lord!

And Christ died for all,
that those who live might no longer
live for themselves but for HIM,
who for their sake died and was raised.
2 Corinthians 5:15

December 28, 2011

Butternut Squash Mac

Oh my goodness gracious, I can't believe I didn't post this recipe the first second I tasted it a few months ago. I had seen dozens of Butternut Squash Mac recipes floating around the blog world over the past year, and I agreed it was a clever idea, but... to make it myself? To attempt such a thing? I couldn't imagine. It wasn't until an issue of Family Circle magazine appeared at the clinic I work at with a large photo of macaroni and cheese on the cover, a photo that makes the viewer drool almost instantly. It had bacon, it had cheese gooey and ooey-ing all over the bowl, but when you looked at the recipe, the first thing that catches your eye is the secret ingredient: butternut squash. My mom, a head-over-heels cheese & bacon fan felt quite turned off by this squashy ingredient and said something along the lines of, "why would they ruin my macaroni and cheese with that?" in a joking manner. But I took it as a challenge, a goal, I saw a glance into the future that is: Housewarming party, our home, our food, my butternut squash macaroni. I researched, found Oh She Glow's simple recipe, and went to the grocery store a little while later.
Veganlicious Butternut Squash Macaroni
adapted by Oh She Glows
serves about 4

  • 1 fresh butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened nut milk
  • 1 tbsp or cornstarch
  • 6-8 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard (I used regular mustard & a hint of chili powder)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • a pinch of salt & pepper, to taste
  • 4 servings brown rice noodles     
  1. Preheat oven to 400*
  2. Cut your butternut squash in half, place open side down in a glass dish and fill with 1" water, cover with foil and bake for about an hour, or until cooked through
  3. Cook brown rice pasta according to boxes instructions (usually a good 8 minute boil, then rinse with cold water to stop cooking, set aside)
  4. Remove butternut squash from glass dish, let cool and remove seeds with large spoon.
  5. Bring a large pot to medium heat, drizzle with a bit of olive oil
  6. Scoop out butternut squash flesh, discarding the skin, drop flesh into olive-oil coated pot.
  7. Add remaining ingredients, whisk to combine and *optional* let simmer until it thickens.
  8. Pour cooked rice pasta into cheesy goodness, stir to coat noodles.
  9. Sprinkle with paprika and serve. Or, alternatively: bake with paprika on top for about 15 minutes at 375* for a casserole-like crunchy top. Serve family style and enjoy!
How excellent is Your loving kindness,
O God! Therefore the children of men
put their trust under the shadow of
Your wings.
Psalm 36:7

December 27, 2011

Growing Onions

 Can  I just express how excited I am about this? Thanks to the addicting webpage that is Pinterest, I have grown something all by my wee-self. For the first time, in my entire life (that baby plant our teacher guided us to grow in elementary school just doesn't count for me) and I have to share it with the world!

We eat green onions on a pretty-close-to daily basis here in the Carrillo household. Diced up, it adds a delicious flavor to Mexican chili, quinoa stir fries, tacos, casseroles, tabbouleh's, pinto burgers and even a fine lentil loaf. And for a gal who went and married a man that doesn't fancy ye ol' onion flavor, these guys are perfectly subtle burst o' love to our meals.
the steps.
  1. buy green onion
  2. use green onion
  3. leave about 2 inches of the whites, with a little knob of green
  4. place roots in water (only a couple inches is fine)
  5. watch them grow!
  6. snip tops as needed
  7. enjoy fresh green onions.
Apart from my world in the kitchen, I have been really enjoying scripture and God's promises lately. Sometimes I hear the same bible verses again and again and it's as if they stop registering inside of me. I forget about their meaning, all I see are words and nothing more. But recently? I have been left in awe. All I can do is read, re-read, thank Christ for all that He is, and sit in wonder. John 15:5 put me in that place this morning before work. How is it possible that God loves us so much that He sent His only Son to live as a servant for us? And upon confessing that Christ Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells IN us? This is amazing to me! He, the Creator of the universe lives in me and guides me, and loves me dearly, more than I could ever imagine. I'm completely fulfilled and satisfied in His presence. Oh God, I am in truly in awe.

"I am the Vine, you are the branches: he that stays in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Hope you can experience Jesus' peace, comfort, and real, live presence today. Give everything to Him, depend on Him fully, and He will never leave your side.

December 26, 2011

Quiet Time

I mentioned once before how "Jesus Calling" made its way into my life. I pull verses from it that inspire, motivate, comfort and guide, hoping to help someone get through at least one more day in this crazy world, believers of Christ and non-believers alike. I love setting aside a moment to be 100% focused on my Savior, meditating on His Word and journaling my prayers.

I've come to find how much I truly rely on my quiet time with Jesus to get me through the day. If I skip out and dive into other activities, ignoring God, depending on myself and looking to this world for joy and happiness, I end up completely broken. I turn into a sensitive, angry, quiet, out-of-control human being with a very temporary smile, and no real sense of security or peace.

from our bedroom window. I can't get enough of these early morning sights!
 But Christ is always present, He sees me go through these rough patches and waits for me to re-focus on Him, pushing a pause on life for a minute, remembering what truly matters in this life: our personal relationships with our Him, Creator. I seriously feel like He's speaking to me in a still, quiet voice when I open up the devotional to today's date and finding bible verses like Jude 20-25. An open, honest, loving, personal relationship:

Build yourselves up in the most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by flesh. Now to Christ who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ out Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Love, love, love.

Merry day-after-Christmas!

December 25, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

Merry Christmas!

I'll be back to love oats soon.
I can't stop thinking about this blog, I must say.
So I'll return shortly!

For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

December 1, 2011

Rainbow Pizza

I truly cannot get enough of this devotional. Dive in, my friends.

"Walk peacefully with Jesus Christ through this day. We wonder how we will cope with all that is expected of us. We must take today one step at a time. Instead of mentally rehearing how we will do this or that, keep your mind on Christ's presence and on taking the next step. God designed us for deep dependence on our King, challenging times wake us up and amplify our awareness of needing His help. Trust that God knows exactly what He's doing, be ready to follow His lead. He will strengthen us and give us complete peace."

Jesus Calling, November 4th.
I love you, Fall skies at 7:30am, you take my breath away.

Here in the Carrillo home, we tend to really enjoy our pizza. Each weekend, every weekend, I mix, dice, slice, fry, chop and knead the ingredients for a half vegan/half cheesy turkey pizza pie, and we indulge in the little fella while watching a movie. We feel strange when we go a weekend without this delightful routine, so we do everything we can to make pizza Saturday and/or Sunday (okay, we've only done 2 pizzas in 1 weekend twice!) a priority. For example, I started making 2 batches of dough every other weekend, splitting the big ball right down the middle and letting each one rise before I toss one in the freezer for the following weekend. I also have, at times, put the entire pie together and thrown it in the fridge, simply so we can come home after a long day of "to-do's" and all I need to do is preheat the oven and pop dinner in the oven. Pizza weekend in very important. Don't mess with us and our pizza, or we might get indigestion.

The usual suspects:  
  • Muir Glen organic pasta sauce
  • 1 entire fresh pineapple (we usually snack on whatever can't fit on the pizza!)
  • 3/4 of one bell pepper
  • 3 Serrano chili peppers
  • 1 small summer squash or zucchini
  • 1 tomato, a bunch of cabbage
  • fresh mozzarella
  • turkey breast with italian seasoning sprinkled right on top. 

Dough recipe here and how we cut our pineapple (but no, that is not us cutting into our pineapple) can be seen on this video. Ah, I'm telling you, this is what keeps a family sane. Pizza does have the power to make the world of my taste buds go round and round, and when you pair a few (3) vegetable loaded slices with a side of more vegetables *with kelp granules sprinkled on top!* and or beans you are set for a wonderful meal. Edu and I are also huge fanatics of kale, so we gobble down a nice-sized salad right before I put in the pizza (which takes 30 minutes to cook @ 400* F) in order to hold our tummies over and leave plenty of room for this creation. Oh, and red pepper flakes are a must, even with the 3 chili peppers. You're not really enjoying a pizza if your eyes aren't watering and your nose isn't running from how spicy it is! 

and... back to Jesus:

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing to His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen!

Hebrews 13:20-21

The Lord will give strength to His people.
The Lord will bless His people with peace.
Psalm 29:11

Happy Thursday, Happy December.

November 25, 2011

Sprouted Bean Trio

Since we got ourselves a nice casa, we have had the great pleasure of sharing it with friends and family. This means we had not only one, but THREE house-warming parties (work friends, family time, friends from all over) and that translates to: sharing food, receiving food as a gift, and eating incredible food together. It has been so much fun, and I have been stepping out of my comfort zone in throwing together brand new recipes for the masses.

Costco and my uncle. are amazing.

One of the gifts received, was a bag o' beans. But not just any type of bean's-in-a-bag, a very special bag. Costco has been turning into quite the Whole Foods wannabe with their selection - and making it a zillion times for affordable (and tempting!). So the temptation monster seemed to have grabbed the wrist of my uncle when he was strolling through the huge warehouse the other day, when he found himself buying a bag (or two?) or these:

Incredible, really. I mean, do you read that? SPROUTED BEANS! Many, many different beans (okay, three) and they cook in... drum roll... like two seconds! Correction: bring water to boil (x minutes long) then throw in your beans (boil for 5 minutes) then remove from heat and let them sit (15 mins) then EAT! Where else are you going to find such a treasure? Don't get canned beans, my friends, find yourself a bag o' the sprouts and dive into a bowl of proteins. To make things even more incredible: these babies were not only sprouted, but the makers then decided to dehydrate the sweet powerhouses, holding all of those delicious nutrients inside each bite! Gah, I just about lost it when I found these (in my hands). Sweet cheeks. on to the recipe!
1 cup sprouted bean trio
plus 3 cups h2o
plus a boiling water business, and a cooking, and a "let it sit for 15"
drain the water (nutrients?)
copy recipe from the back of the bag
Sprouted Bean Trio Salad
adapted from truRoots
serves 4 as a side
  • 1 cup sprouted bean trio business
  • 3 cups water
  • 2/3 cup freshly chopped parsley*
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber, cut into mini-cubes
  • 2 green onions, chopped into bits
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon (or lime) juice
  • 1 pinch of cumin or chili powder
  1. Cook then beans (bowl them with h2o for 5 minutes on high heat, uncovered. Remove from heat and let them sit for 15 minutes.) 
  2. Drain and cool to room temperature
  3. Combine the beans with the rest of the ingredients and toss to coat
  4. Sprinkle with a hint of salt n' pepper
  5. Eat that delicious bowl cold, with a piece of toast and a huge massaged kale salad.

Oh delights. All bean-talk aside, here's what's been truly satisfying me recently:

Put more energy into trusting Jesus and enjoying His presence. Connect your joy to His precious promises:

"I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  
Romans 8:38-39

Behold, I am with you and will keep your wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.  
Genesis 28:15

And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
 Philippians 4:19"

November 19, 2011

Running Through Leaves

Oh my leaves. It doesn't get a whole lot better than a run like this one. Happy cold, windy, gray-skied, sometimes blue-skied, rainy, sometimes sunny, orange, red, yellow, green November! God makes seasons pretty special.


run. enjoy leaves. gift yourself with a smoothie.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.
Psalm 34:8