September 28, 2011

Agua Fresca

One of God's wonderful gifts to mankind: water. It hydrates, quenches our thirst, refreshes and restores our bodies. It's cleansing and delicious, crisp and satisfying. It was almost all I could think about after my run last Saturday. You'd think that the second day of Fall wouldn't necessarily be the warmest, the most humid or sticky. You'd also think that deciding to run your first 10K (6 miles) since last Spring, when you were training hard for a half marathon and got injured, wouldn't be such a bad idea.
And it wasn't, really. It was just a whole lot bigger of a challenge than I thought. But, oh man oh man, it was a crazy, sweaty, beautiful challenge! Running is such a blessing from God, all exercise is, actually. It feels so good to strengthen them bones, muscles, heart, feel the blood flow. I don't know how I could have ever taken it all for granted. Yet, I did, many times.
 
 
 
I feel so much more grounded in my faith than I have been over the years. My Savior teaches me something new every day, opens my eyes to what I've been so blind to, and guides my steps. I am so human in that I often turn my gaze away from Him, I lose sight and I try to fill my needs with worldly things (yes, even running) but I am never truly satisfied until I open up the Bible and meditate on His healing words. It feels so good, nothing compares.

Hubby finishing up his long run, looking sharp as always!
Happy Wednesday, I hope you can give it all up to Jesus today and not go crazy - even though this world tends to distract us, sending us all down the crazy path. And, again on the water: watch this video. Pray hard.
"You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness and joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:8

September 27, 2011

She Milks Almonds

I once thought that making almond milk would be hard, I would be wasting almonds, it wouldn't taste very good, yet it's too expensive to buy at the store every week. So we tried soy milk, then rice milk, hemp milk, coconut milk. All were pretty pricey from the local grocery store, since we bought individual half-gallon fellas. So what did we do? We discovered Costco, Costco discovered unsweetened rice milk, we discovered this rice milk's price and we ended up drinking a whole lot of carbohydrates.
 

Eduardo and I love our rice milk. We have been purchasing it from Costco for years now, and will never get tired of how much non-dairy milk we are getting for such a nifty price. But every once in a while, we splurge on almond milk at the grocery store. And we love every creamy sip. But after reading so many posts on homemade almond milk, I just had to try it. I couldn't watch so many YouTube videos and not join them. I had to act. I had to soak some nuts, blend them in water, and finally open up that cheese cloth I bought over a year ago (true story). It was time.

I had so much stinkin' fun with this I can hardly contain myself! I used Gena's recipe (hello, beautiful raw blog) and soaked the almonds in water for about 6 hours, mainly because I couldn't wait to make the milk and didn't feel like waiting a whole night before I got to taste this rich stuff. So here it is, lo and behold, almond milk is born. And a happy couple along with that.

 Pure Almond Milk
  • 1 cup almonds, soaked 8-12 hours (or overnight)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 dates, soaked 4 hours or so
  • 1 tsp vanilla, to taste 
  1. Blend. Strain. Enjoy.

And, with the almond pulp? I made some nutty bars (recipe? lost into the deep, dark abyss that is google search) with almond meal, cinnamon, raisins, nutmeg, applesauce, vanilla, sunflower seeds, almond butter + an oven. I am a happy camper. Now, where can I find 50 pounds of raw almonds for less than our entire month's income? To drink this stuff daily would be a delicious blessing. Maybe I should try hemp milk next time.

September 26, 2011

Dreamy Smoothies

"The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe." Proverbs 29:25

I love feeling secure in my Savior's presence. My life is in His hands completely, I have a constant guide and companion. This world is always trying to shake my trust in God, throwing challenges at me and distracting me from His peace. But the moment I open the bible I feel safe again, my path is made visible for me and I am no longer blind. Thank You, my Jesus! How I love Your Word on a Monday morning.  

 
I've been on a smoothie kick for over 7 days (for breakfast! Although I dream of making them my lunch, dinner, desserts, second desserts...etc), and I simply just can't get enough. Their sweet, rich, nutrient-packed, simple to make and filling. It's a delicious way to fuel up and recover after a hard workout, and a fantastic way to start the day. Grab a straw and slurp away, friends. 
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 8 oz water*
  • 2 handfuls kale
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 3 frozen strawberries
  • 2 tbsp wheat germ
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp extra dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
*can also use coconut water (adds more potassium!), almond milk, rice milk or any liquid of choice 

Step 1: Blend
Step 2: Drink
Alternatives:
  • frozen honeydew melon + strawberries + banana
  • pitted dates, carob powder, double bananas
  • chocolate chia pudding, half block of tofu, spinach
Toppings I choose:
  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • grapes
  • sunflower seeds, almonds
  • chocolate chia pudding
  • chia seeds, raisins
oh breakfast! Would you come over more often, please? 
 
 


September 19, 2011

Organics Vegetables in a Box

It all started with a Groupon. No, it all started with someone telling me about how Groupon offers crazy wonderful coupons every day to dozens of things in your city. Vegetables? In a box? You just... bring them to me? and... you pick them for me? Wrap them up in an organic fashion? How much do I spend? Only $34 for $78 of seasonal vegetables and fruits? Sign me up. I did it. I was happily satisfied!
It seems too good to be true, to be honest. So, naturally, we are going to compare the price of these beautiful, seasonal, organic goods to the prices of the produce at our local grocery store. Will we save money? Even ten cents? We'll see! I'm just stoked for eating cutting a cantaloupe for the first time in about 5 years! And, well, for pluots and plums!

September 18, 2011

Waffle Sunday

waffles.
As a kid they would often be found on a plate, covered with saran wrap, on the kitchen counter. They were leftovers, calling to be nibbled on at any waking hour of the day. When served fresh, I'd make sure to fill each square with a hint (or a few large hints) of butter, maple syrup (also needed to fill each and every square). The batter came from a box, the syrup was probably sweetened with corn, and the butter was endless.
waffles 2011.

Once I discovered so many delicious food blogs and their diverse ways of doing breakfast, things changed. I attempted waffles many times, but always wanted to make a change or two to the original recipe. This resulted in many waffle messes, broken bits, over-full waffle makers, and me turning to pancakes instead. The first time I made Jessica's recipe I was hooked - I followed it tablespoon to tablespoon. But I, once again, wanted to change things a bit. I tried to calculate the dry\wet ingredient ratio so I could use any flour, any seed, any non-dairy milk, which only leaded to more un-cooked waffles and more messes.
banana, unsweetened cocoa powder, h2o = syrup.

I learned my lesson. So what did I do? I didn't make waffles for over 6 months. Too hard, complicated. I wanted simplicity. It wasn't until two weekends ago that I realized something: this recipe was close to flawless. In order to end up with a plate of almost-perfect waffles, I needed to follow the recipe. So I did. And I have. And that is how Waffle Sunday came about.

Endulge. And don't change a thing:
Dry:
  • 1/4 c. oats
  • 1/2 c. puffed grain cereal
  • 1 T. wheat bran
  • 1 T. (heaping) flour
  • 1 T. wheat germ
  • 1 T. chia seeds
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • cinnamon

Wet:

  • 1 flax egg (1 T. milled flax + 3 T. water, stirred and let sit)
  • 1 T. applesauce
  • 1 1/2 T. greek yogurt (coconut yogurt!)
  • 1/4 c. almond milk
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
all credit goes to Jessica for her waffle recipe!!

oh, and pizza? always follows Waffle Sundays.

September 17, 2011

Falling for Salads

No, not just any salad. Not iceberg and ranch with shredded carrots. I mean. Killer, we-be-so-full-of-amazing-nutrients-you-can-hardly-believe-how-delicious-we-taste salads. They're beasts. They're wonderful. I've only made two, and I am hooked.

oh greens.
I have never been a salad girl, unless you count iceberg lettuce with shredded carrot bits swimming in half a gallon of Hidden Valley ranch or covered in mayonnaise-drenched tuna, but just enough mayo tuna to hide ever bit of green. Which, in my book, does not count - not even in the slightest!

Once I started to clean up my eating habits, I ate one salad and one only: romaine or spinach, red wine vinegar, olive oil, croutons, bacon bits and Parmesan cheese. It was delicious, but I needed the cheese, bacon bits and the croutons if you wanted to see me take a bite.

But one joyous day in March 2010, I was lucky enough to quickly stumble upon Green Monster Smoothies. Spinach and frozen fruit in a blender? But why? Why, you ask? Because you get to eat your greens and ice cream at the same time! It was perfect, everything I needed. I also tried it with kale and beet greens - both successful and tasty. I was happy as a peach. And I still am to this day, just give me a blender.
But, a salad? You mean a bowl of greens with... Vegetables on them? ...Will there be ranch involved? Croutons? I need both, or so I thought. Recently my family had a get-together at my uncles house, and they were to supply the meat while everyone was invited to bring a side. I had to do something fruity and sweet, I thought, but I also want to bring some healthy greens. I Youtubed: massaged kale salad. It was all I could think of after the Woman's Cook Off our church put together last Spring. A gal had created the most vibrant massaged kale salad with mango bits and a light vinegar/oil dressing. It was set.

Only, I'm hanging out North of Seattle, Washington, wondering: where the blast am I going to find fresh, ripe, super sweet and decadent mango 'round here? Too hard. Too much time. Must change the plan. Google brought me to a couple of recipes, I printed four and messed around with the ingredients based on what I had in my kitchen. The end result? Oh goodness. Oh yes. Oh, it was a life-changer.

Massaged Kale Salad with apple bits, sunflower seeds, raisins and an apple cider vinegar dressing. Divine. Round two was only a few days later: massaged kale salad with tomato, red cabbage and a miso, sesame oil dressing. Oooh incredible!!
Anyway. In the end I have officially decided to incorporate large amounts of salads in my future. Right now, the only green I really want to have fun with is kale. It's texture is just too good to pass up, and the possibilities of dressings/toppings are endless! So, go on, don't be shy, massage yourself some kale in the PM, and smile from ear to ear.

Eat plants.
Eat these recipes (Massage Kale + Apples) (Massaged Kale + Miso Dressing).

September 16, 2011

Full of Flavor Friday

Happy Friday!! I had to make this post all about the food, I just had to. A fruit smoothie (including tofu and dinosaur kale!) with a side of steel cut oats and strawberries. Sushi made last night consisting of brown rice and all the veggies in my fridge. Fruits on the side, a perfect combo of colorful veggies with lime juice and cilantro, a side of black beans from a nearby Mexican restaurant. A sweet evening including carob powder, dates, raisins, blueberries sunflower seeds, banana pieces and a crispy apple. Oh gosh, le sigh.


take it all in. now, sleep.

September 15, 2011

Cook. Run. Repeat.

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

God never stops working in my life, He never stops teaching me, providing rest when I am weak, strengthening my spirit on this life journey, opening my eyes to how amazing it is to be still in His presence.
Giving up all control,

depending completely on my Heavenly Father, casting away every care I have to Him, asking Him to carry my burdens when my back can no longer bear the weight. He is my guide, my source of complete peace and joy, my Friend, my comfort.

It's so great to have Jesus in my life, and my prayer is that He would give me a boldness to speak His name to every I know, so that they would come to know Him as their Savior and Redeemer, as they begin to
feel His hand working in their life,
taking away all their stress and fatigue. God is so good, He will satisfy your needs completely and hold you close when life gets rocky. Give your life to Him, ask Him to come into your heart and live in you!

Ah. The power of the bible. I get lost in just a sentence or two. Love. Love. Love.

Here's what life has been like in September for the Carrillo family of two! We run, I try a bit of High Intensity Interval Training with the help of internet videos, we eat, we read, I watch countless YouTube videos for recipe ideas, then I cook, cook, clean, rest. Repeat.

run.

stretch.
cook. a lot.
run. more.oh, let's cook.
run!
run in the dark.
it may look like the same-ol' routine for us, but it's a beautiful routine and we enjoy every minute of it (even the "I have NO idea what to cook today!!!!!!" minutes).

peace.