Sunday, November 24, 2013

Vegan Journey

For the last couple years, since reading Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet book, I've been tossing the idea around about eliminating animal products from my diet. Healthier foods, reducing the impact on the environment, and reading about the treatment of animals (which would soon be on my plate) really weighed heavily on my mind. I wasn't much of a meat eater to begin with and didn't think eliminating meat would be that much of a challenge. It's been four weeks since I ate any type of meat and I don't miss it at all. Cheese. That's going to be the tough one. Eventually, I plan on removing it too.

Over the last month, I've been excited about trying new recipes. While searching for a new veggie burger recipe, I came across Angela's blog, Oh She Glows. Not only did I check out several of her recipes, but I also read her series titled "Vegan How To". This confirmed that not only was this something that I wanted to do, it  was also a goal that I could achieve!

I found amazing recipes and much needed encouragement. Thanks, Angela! So begins my vegan journey. Eating healthier had been a goal mentioned in my In a Slump? post. It's the one that I've been good at keeping this month!

I've tried several new recipes and enjoyed every one of them. Below are a few pics from last week's meals.

Italian Bean Balls that were placed on top of spaghetti squash
and cover with marinara sauce. One of my favorites!

Luxurious 7-Vegetable and "Cheese" Soup...wow. It was amazing! 

Without a doubt, her new book (due out in March of 2014), The Oh She Glows Cookbook, is on my Christmas wish list!

Another great blog I've been reading lately is The No Meat Athlete. I wanted to learn more about how a plant based diet could improve my running performance and in general help me feel more energetic. So, I bought Matt Frazier's book, The No Meat Athlete. Today I made my first recipe from it...Hearty Chickpea and Pasta Soup. It was perfect for a somewhat snowy and extremely chilly day! We liked it so much that we also ate it for dinner!


MMMM....after this meal I had a fantastic 70 minute run!
I'm excited to try some additional new recipes this week! (And also get back on track with my goals for this month...maybe I should have started with just one??)





Sunday, November 17, 2013

Life Book Lesson with Rachelle Panagarry


Several weeks ago, the Life Book 2013 lesson was taught by Rachelle Panagarry. As with each week, I'm always learning something new. This time....using mulberry paper. It was very cool! Below are a few pics of the process from start to finish.



Facial Sketch

Background


Before mulberry paper

Mulberry paper + more paint + stamping = finished journal page!

Once I get caught up with a few more lessons, I'd love to go back and try another page using this technique. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed using this technique. To see other beautiful student work, visit Rachelle's page at www.arteyecandy.com.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Works in Progress


I've been trying to incorporate more creative activities into my days lately, and have recently started two new journal pages. I had originally started the face below to submit for the Cloth, Paper, Scissors colorful faces challenge. I had it completely drawn and then remembered the requirement for using colored pencils and markers. Since I had drawn it on watercolor paper (oops!), I didn't like the texture for this project. I did like the face, so I decided to use watercolors and continue working on the page. You can't tell by looking at the photo, but it's small. Just a 4 x 4.



In case you missed it in my previous post, the face below is what I submitted for the challenge.  I used mixed media paper, Prismacolor pencils, and neon Sharpie markers! I love how the colors turned out. I even used the neon Sharpie markers to address my envelope. 


The other work in progress is a journal page that I am creating for my sister. A few weeks back, I shared with her a Halloween page that I had created with a cat. She wanted one, but requested a dog instead. My sister is not only a dog lover (she has five of her own), but also rescues dogs, and finds many of them new homes. She's awesome like that! So, I started the page below for her. 




Have you created anything this week? Please share! I look forward to looking at everyone's work. 


“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” ~Thoreau

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Colorful Run



"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
-Albert Camu


Every year I look forward to the autumn season. It's my favorite! The changing colors of the leaves, pumpkins on the porch, and best of all....COOL air (refreshing after the hot, steamy summer).

This time of year, I love being outside whenever possible...especially going for a run. This past weekend, I laced up my running shoes, grabbed my iPhone, and headed for a nearby trail. About a half mile from our home are two short trails, one newly built around Oklahoma Christian University and another near the dog park.

The lower  loop off the dog park trail. Wow! Check out those leaves. 

One of my favorite places along the Oklahoma Christian trail....the loop around the pond.

 These vibrant yellow leaves caught my eye and I had to stop and take a pic!

I had an amazing run and enjoyed the beauty of nature along the way. Being outdoors can lift your mood and brighten your day. I hope each of you will get outside and enjoy the beautiful surroundings in your area!


"Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind."
-Amit Ray






Friday, November 1, 2013

In a Slump?

Lately I've been in a slump. A big one. Exercise...eating....creating...I just hadn't been feeling like doing anything. It all started with a running injury a few weeks ago, after the Tulsa Zoo Run. I couldn't run, then I became lazy with my eating habits, and eventually quit doing the things I love. I was allowing myself to get into a bummed state of being. It's taken me about a week to work myself back to some "normalcy," if there actually is such a thing!

Last weekend, I had a choice to make....continue in my miserable slump, or kick myself out of it. I needed to get moving in a different direction, so I decided on the later....a good kick in the pants. My husband and some friends were going to Tulsa (yes, again!) to participate in a 15K, the Tulsa Run.  My leg was on the mend, so I decided instead of sleeping in that morning, I would get up and go. The plan was to take it slow and easy, have fun, and finish the run. If I could do that then it was a total success.

Before the run, getting ready to head to the start line.

The weather could not have been more perfect! Not only did I enjoy my run, but it helped me get back on track this week. Feeling great, I have been able to run all week.

The next step....start making some healthy meals. I'd been reading an AMAZING blog, Oh She Glows, the last week or so and drooling over the recipes. Set on making a veggie burger, I tried the recipe HERE. WOW!! It was love at first bite. Definitely one of the best veggie burgers I've ever made! It was even "husband approved." I also made the spaghetti squash recipe HERE. Two great recipes in one week! It made me feel good to be eating better once again. 

YUM!

I'm looking forward to purchasing her book when it comes out next year. Next week I will be trying more recipes from the blog. Possibly the Raw Pecan Pumpkin Butter? Mmmmm. I think YES. I'm already looking forward to it!

Finally, I had been seriously neglecting any creative endeavors. A month or so ago, I had thought about participating in the Colorful Faces Challenge in Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine. I decided I had nothing to lose, and started creating a colorful face. I mailed it today! 

Mixed Media paper, Prismacolor pencils and neon Sharpie markers

I am feeling much better having set a few goals and worked towards achieving them. It's easy to get in a slump at times, but by setting goals, I was able to get back on track. To make sure I stay on track, I've set a few more goals. I'm starting with three....I want to be successful, not overwhelmed. My goals for November include:

1. EXERCISE: Resume half marathon training by running 4-5 days a week and staying healthy.
    
2. EATING: Try a new, healthy recipe at least once a week. Add in more fruits and veggies. 

3. CREATIVE LIVING: Blog at least TWICE a week. This has been a huge weakness for me lately. Seems like I'm always being sidetracked, so my goal is to post on Sundays and Wednesdays throughout the month of November. Hopefully this will become a habit! Also, create something every week (painting, art journaling, watercolor...anything!)

I'll keep you posted on how it goes throughout this month!