Easing back into this


We’ve mentioned in some previous posts that after our spring and summer blogging hiatus, we’ve made our triumphant return.  This also means easing back into our blogging routine that has already sparked some interesting dialogue around who’s “turn” it is to post.  Typically these conversations happen later in the evening when the thought of writing is pretty much an afterthought.  It’s these conversations and current lack of motivation that instead of posting, I decided to share this interesting video. This short clip is sure to make you feel grateful that your eat a whole, plant based diet, or make you start to second guess those juicy burgers or your affinity for Greek yogurt.

A life changing cleanse that actually leaves you happy

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rawjuvenate

Let me start by saying that I’m not a huge fan of cleansing, at least not in the ‘miracle product’ or ‘depravation’ cleansing in the traditional way. I will try anything twice, but I’d like to think I have enough sense to know that grapefruit with cayenne pepper will do nothing to benefit your body or your soul and, while I respect those that dig colonics, pooping through a tube in front of a stranger is not the shit I’m into…no pun intended. That being said, I totally get the desire to cleanse – and while I’m not usually a fan of paying for something that a week of eating plant-based and/or raw can accomplish, I am totally a fan of fresh starts. Putting down some cash for a cleanse meant I now have skin in the game, and just the thought of opening a box containing products that promise to “cleanse the body to promote optimal beauty and improved general health” filled my entire being with a warming joy that only blind optimism, falling in love, and the first bite of a late night drunk taco can provide.

Endorse is not a strong enough word for how I feel about Rawjuvenate. For reals you guys, this stuff is life changing. I had no idea what to expect, but this was my experiences during that first month:

  • As a person who already has a smoothie for breakfast each morning, I literally didn’t have to change anything else in my diet. No limiting myself, no starving or writing down food or reporting to a website or ingesting weird concoctions. Just add the protein and greens to the smoothie and take pills once a day. *I’m sure if your eating straight up junk, processed foods, or too much of anything that results may vary. I eat around 1200-1600 calories a day mainly of plant-based food and drink in moderation 1-2 days a week
  • Within days I felt lighter – and that’s probably because I was going to the bathroom within an hour after every meal. That may sound inconvenient or scary, but it didn’t feel like an unusual experience, more like I was just digesting my food more efficiently with the help of the plant-based fiber in the system.
  •  I slept like a baby within a week of using the program and woke up refreshed. I would only caution to eat lighter dinners or eat early when possible because that digestion is happening folks and it will wake you up to get the doings done. Same thing with exercise – be prepared to run what I affectionately call a ‘poop loop’ if you’re going out for a long run. A “poop loop” is a route looping back to a bathroom sanctuary to accommodate movement. Seriously though guys, this isn’t like taking a laxative – it’s controllable.
  • I lost 2 pounds a week and the lightness helped me feel energized and feeling energized helped me to get motivated to be better and accomplish more and accomplishing more gave me energy…you see the cycle.

I’m so happy taking this I can’t recommend enough that everyone gives it a shot. After the first month I contacted the company, Raw Green Organics, to see if it’s healthy to continue taking it. Of course consult a doctor with real questions or concerns, but they did share that since it’s a product made entirely of plants that it’s totally healthy to take on a continuous basis if desired (they recommend once every 3 months). If you have specific questions don’t hesitate to reach out and we would love to hear your thoughts and experiences if you give it a shot. Happy cleansing! (who knew there was such a thing?)

Tuesday News-day


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Since team EPL is getting back into the swing of thangs when it comes to the blogging on the internets, we figured we’d just ease back into our daily posting rhythm.  With that, I give you some exciting news from one of our favorite authors and plant-based athletes Brendan Brazier and the folks from Thrive Forward.

We promise that we have lots of awesome recipes, pictures, stories, and randomness just waiting to grace the pages of WordPress.  Stick around for Vegan Mofo 2013.

Fart Patio


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Labor Day 2013 has been a massive success. How do two adult children with too much time and very little motivation spend this free, labor-free day?

1. Recover from hangover with giant Chipotle burrito. Being on the West coast has it’s perks and the braised tofu sofrita option is a huge one – nothing like mexican food to absorb an evening of frivolity and regret.

2. Do laundry. And by ‘do laundry’ I mean put a load in and forget to move it to the dryer until it’s to that questionable point where you hover over the washer deeply inhaling the wet clothes and deciding between another wash or 5 additional dryer sheets is the solution to masking the mildew scent

3. Re-watch 4 of the 6 episodes of BBC’s Sherlock and both decide that if Benedict Cumberbatch professed his love to either of us, the moral and logical thing to do is to break up. Then of course comes the conversation around how we would divide our shit (I hope that never happens – I have no use for so many towels and growlers).

4. Watch Star Trek to get hyped up for Star Trek Into Darkness (Amazon early purchase option bitches). Again, Benedict Cumberbatch – noms. Evan decided if Benedict chose him as his mate he would want to call their son Quinn, that way he could be called Q. Cumberbatch. Get it? Yeah – stupid.

5. FOOD!!! Buffalo Jackfruit and grilled corn with homemade vegan ranch dressing. Recipe coming soon.

What a glorious day. Yet there is always a cost to fun, and in this case 2 days of alcohol and long training runs and vegetables our house sounds like an orchestra of trumpets and smells like a garbage pail kid. In tribute to that, let’s call it a “sensory experience” at the Schmidtman residence we give you this gem by our friends at Portlandia.

We’re back! Vegan Mofo 2013!

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Wow.  We’ve taken a bit of a hiatus, but have so much to share with our fans!  We tend to need some kind of inspiration to move us forward, and what better time than Vegan Mofo 2013.   I’m sitting next to Hayley as I post this, and although we have discussed the future of our blog, she has no idea that I am committing to a month’s worth of blog posts in hopes that our propensity for blogging is rekindled.  We have chatted several times about the direction, theme, and mood of our blog.  Why not plunge right into what we do best:  posting what we think, feel, and love about our amazing life that involves vegan food, amazing friends, delicious wine, and dick jokes.

I would apologize for not posting sooner, but honestly, life has been so zany we kind of neglected this obligation.   I do appreciate all the comments and all the feedback, and look forward to all we have to offer during September and Vegan Mofo.

Sit back, relax, cook up some fine BBQ jackfruit, pour yourself a delicious libation, and get ready for the Vegan Mofo your life has been yearning for.

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Superpowers or David Foster Wallace? Why everything just works out for me


I called my mom today and broke the news that I’m very likely an X-Man.

After explaining to her who the X-Men are…

(let’s face it – when the whole ‘Ma, Wolverine and Storm ma’ was crickets, I was successful with “they are GMO superheros and villains”. Luckily I’m fluent at speaking three languages: Affluent Trader Joe’s hippie, sassy hearing impaired elderly, and sarcasm – I will not share which of those is my mother. But she knows.)

…I shared that everything that I think about lately is just manifesting into my life experience. I’m not ready for a meeting…BOOM, it gets cancelled. I’m thinking of calling a friend I haven’t talked to in years…BOOM, they call me. I want to fly back to my hometown in Iowa but it’s crazy expensive…BOOM, work trip to Iowa in two weeks paid for BY work. I’ve been wanting to have a legit chance at writing something to get published…BOOM, my lovely friend writes me and offers me that chance. It’s like The Secret ya’ll – the better it gets, the better it gets!

Mom of course reminded me of the Law of Attraction – that I’ve been beating the drum of joy and gratitude these last few months, singin’ in the rain and viewing all my ‘negative’ emotions as taps on the shoulder from the universe that there is something important to learn NOW. Her loving words to support me through tough times with tough people are, “It’s not them honey, it’s YOUR shit to work through.” So, even on days where I’m handed a sandwich that is 95% shit and 5% Tofurky, I’m calling that shit a Tofurky sandwich and enjoying every bite. Noms Mom. Noms.

Sakyong Mipham talks in his book ‘Ruling Your World: Ancient Strategies for Modern Life’ about “being a student of cause and effect”.  When I trace back the lines of time to when the supernatural goodness began, I stop at many platforms/causes along the way like learning about the Law of Attraction and giving up my addictions for healthy food and movement.  In recent history things really began to click after listening to this one speech by the infallible David Foster Wallace. I’m confident the message in this speech was thee ah-ha moment that put us back on the killer path of awareness and optimism, of relishing in the nuggets of joy that exist in the present moment, of practicing allowing not tolerance, and that ultimately ignited the not so coincidental coincidences over the past month.

The only thing that’s rocking my boat at the moment is I don’t know how to use Photoshop to mark up the badass picture in my mind of my signature X-Man look. If I had one word to describe this fantasy look it would be guns. If I had two words, they would be finger guns. Yep, I need two words.

Enjoy!

Memorial Day Metamorphosis OR Braless Circuit training OR The Hitchcock Dilemma


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Today I have made the unrequited transition from a youngster to a full-blown woman.

Certain rights of passage go unspoken by our forefathers and mothers as growth manifests in the recognition of approaching a defining moment as it is in the moment itself. Those who reared us, instilled value and stood by to help raise us up in times of darkness, acknowledge we are all tapped on the shoulder to face a moment of greatness and, when our time comes, their guidance may give us the strength to answer with grace and greatness. So here I was – alone over this long weekend facing one of these terrifying, raw, defining moments. And, alone, I stood against the right of passage I was unprepared to face.

A mf’ing bird got trapped in my garage.

Like an innocent victim in a horror movie, I was casually going out to get a diet ginger ale from the beverage fridge when I was dive bombed by a menacing squawk that sent me simultaneously screaming and tiptoeing into the house. (Ladies – why is it when something grosses/freaks us out do we tiptoe? Can I get a what what?!) It took all of 10 seconds for me to dismiss 50 years of tireless work by the women’s liberation movement and text all the men (2) that I know in the area for help. No response. I begged for help from Evan, who is in Oklahoma for work, and his reassuring guidance was “tell the bird he’s an asshole.” I knew then I was on my own.

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It’s unclear what part of my hostage negotiations the guests of the neighbor’s garden party overheard that caused alarm enough for the patron males to check out the situation through the cracks in the fence, but this is likely what they saw. A young, frantic, braless, and disheveled woman in a grey tank top, daisy dukes, and floral gardening gloves wielding a large bucket and a broomstick prancing around her garage yelling at seemingly nothing. If they stood listening for long, they would have heard sorrowful pleads of “please, stop being such a f***ing asshole” or the frustrated rationalization of “I left all the doors and windows open, you don’t have to make this harder than it is” to a Tourette’s-style rant reminiscent of the 5-stages of grief:

1. Denial: “Nope. This isn’t happening. You got in here, you find your own way out. This isn’t my problem bird, it’s yours.”

2. Anger: “You’re being a dick bird! I spend nearly a decade of my life not eating your family and this is how I’m repaid?! I want to love you I really do but you are making me hate birds! Yep, I said it – I hate birds now. Are you happy?!”

3. Bargaining: “I take it back bird, I love you and I swear I can hear your family out there looking for you so if you just make this easy on me I will return you and there will be no hard feelings, okay?”

4. Depression: “This bird is going to die of panic and starvation and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m slowly killing this bird by being a total pussy and not having the courage to just take action.” Followed by sitting on the floor feet from the bird and crying.

5. Acceptance: 10 minutes of braless circuit training and positive affirmation, I was ready.

“Yes sir, everything is fine. Just taking care of a situation in my garage – I’m sorry to interrupt.”
“Did you want me to come over and help.”
“No thanks sir. I got this.”

Like Joan of Arc readying for battle, I lowered my protective eyewear/snowboarding goggles over my eyes and compassionately lunged at the bird.

I kind of blacked out for about 10 minutes from fear, but I do remember flashes of moments where I elegantly used the broom to guide the bird into the Tupperware then slid the lid under the Tupperware then relocated the bird to the neighbor’s lawn. I know “grace and greatness” is the goal in defining moments, but I’m pretty sure I was screaming and swearing the whole time AND likely solidifying my already strong reputation as the Eagle Point Golf Course Community wildcard.

Since the time I was a little girl, I always wanted to make a difference in the world. It was the reason that I was obsessed about the feelings of my stuffed animals and that I wanted to be a psychiatrist just like my dad and why I joined the Army as a medic in 2002 and why I have been a vegetarian for 9 years and a vegan for almost 3 years. I expected to spend my Memorial Day in deep reflection for all the lives that are impacted and lost, all the sacrifices made and the love left on the battlefields so we can experience love, laughter, and freedom to express whatever we believe now. Aww yes, the freedom bird as I will now call him was an unexpected detour from this calm, reflective day – but that bird had me facing some real shit and who knew I could feel so accomplished, so proud, so much like I made a difference in action out of such an unexpected event.

That is the point of life thought isn’t it? To recognize these defining moments, to recognize that it’s not in the large acts of grandeur that make heroes out of men and women, it’s the little acts of kindness and laughter that give life it’s thrill and it’s purpose. Even after everything I’ve been through, that tiny bird had me on my knees in tears and having to dig deep for the courage to act compassionately, not literally beat the problem with a stick. I’m so grateful for the lesson freedom bird taught me today – and, yes Evan, he was also a bit of an asshole.

Happy Memorial Day to my battle buddies on all the fields of my life. Especially to you reader whose moments to read my nonsense allows me to live my dream of giving my love away in words.

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The Beetlejuice Dilemma


Actual conversation had on the way back from hiking today: 

ME: I think we should figure out where we are going to meet up if we both die.

EVAN:  Why don’t we just meet at the house, that way I can haunt the shit out of you.

ME: (appalled face)

EVAN: No, it will be the best kind of haunting.

ME: Naw, I don’t want to put ourselves in a Beetlejuice situation.

EVAN: Well that’s easy, just don’t say Beetlejuice three times and we’re good.

ME: No seriously, what if people move into the house and they start messing with our vibe and we are stuck hanging out in the upstairs away from the fridge.

EVAN: That’s exactly when you would say Beetlejuice babe. That’s what he’s there for.

ME: I guess.

 

Yet another conversation where we couldn’t come up with a solution to an unrealistic problem that we made up.

Redefining Freedom as we Grow Up


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The last few months we’ve been in this crazy warped universe of not following through on the things we said we were going to do (i.e. post on the blog everyday) and busy crossing items off the “things we will NEVER do” list. First and the most time consuming, mind blowing, most unpredictable to our friends and family NEVER do is buy a house in the suburbs. When I say suburbs ya’ll I mean off a golf course and sandwiched between retirees on the outskirts of a ‘city’ that is already considered on the outskirts of Oregon. This means we also bought a lawnmower (lawn care: never-do #13), purchased several area rugs (buy more then we can fit in our cars: never-do #8), and pined over whether or not the tablecloth pulled together the formal dining room (have our stuff own us/cause stress: never-do #11). These NEVER do’s were written to keep us in a place of feeling freedom, allowing us to do, be, have, seek out, experience all life has to offer without feeling like we had chains on our ankles. So when the conversation came up about buying a house, we were both quick to list all the reasons this be counterproductive to freedom, which just left us feeling like arrogent, close minded prats. SO – we set out to make a new list that defined the current version of what freedom really means to us…

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…and this is what we came up with:

  • Finding the humor and light-heartedness in all the mundane, frustrating, confusing, unjust, painful, ridiculous shit that happens in life and not taking ourselves so seriously 
  • Our stuff tells a story that is uniquely ours *we threw away everything that felt arbitrary or that didn’t bring us joy when we passed it and filled our home with our voice – yes, some people might not understand our strange infatuation with kitschy animal art but I’m not putting up a stock photo from Ikea just because it matches well with the paint
  • Accepting ourselves and appreciating others with SUPER intentionality (this one takes some deliberate work)…
  • then never shutting up about everything we appreciate, beating the drum of all that is going well – the more we believe what we do is meaningful, the more meaningful it becomes
A fancy house needs a little bit of alleyway art - but these birds make me laugh a little every day

A fancy house needs a little bit of alleyway art – but these birds make me laugh a little every day

What really feels free and amazing is setting a literal and proverbial fire to that damn never do list – then spending time re-writing the very short ALWAYS-do list which includes:

  • Find happiness now 
  • Appreciate others
  • Be your own best friend and ally

We LOVE this house! We love the way the light finds a new resting place each day, how the kitchen already smells like garlic and has great acoustics for music and laughter, that we are surrounded by books and pictures in every room, how we are finally sitting at the base of a mountain and that people here are easy to smile and say hello. Life is soooo good!

*Thanks for hanging in with us during this long break – much more to come of food, observations, and inappropriate language over the coming days, weeks, months, and years. 

With the nook in full view

With the nook in full view

 

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Not pictured - sweet firefly lights that warm up the porch at night and the smell of lilac

Not pictured – sweet firefly lights that warm up the porch at night and the smell of lilac

 

First piece of refinished furniture. Let's just say it looks really good*  *from a distance

First piece of refinished furniture. Let’s just say it looks really good*
*from a distance

 

Vegan Super Bowl Menu

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For the most part, I enjoy having a food blog (‘food blog’ is used in the most liberal sense considering there are more links to 90′s hip-hop music videos, lists of my favorite ways to be lazy, and my social commentary on shameful behavior than actual recipes). But there are some elements of maintaining a food blog that are not talked about enough and go against my pragmatic sense of how a life should be lived and documented, unless of course you are a professional food blogger who gets paid to do shit like stage pictures in perfect 3:00 PM lighting and lay awake at night thinking up new ways to reinvent the donut.

For example, tomorrow is the Super Bowl and there is nothing more I want to do then share with you our amazing menu and sell you in tantalizing words and mouthwatering pictures that demonstrate the fact that veganizing food-centric events/holidays doesn’t always have to include chickpeas, quinoa, beets, or raw lettuce.  But here’s the non-sequitur of this whole food blogging racket – I can’t hype you up in pictures because I’m not making this epic meal until tomorrow, thus not giving you enough time to hype yourself up via purchasing ingredients and bragging to friends about your spread. It’s bullcrap, I know – but I’m saying screw it and at least sharing our menu with link and old pics from other times we prepared said menu items.

Anyway, we may have just found out who was playing in the Super Bowl a few days ago and I may have thought the 49ers were a baseball team, but I was raised right to leverage every event possible into a good excuse to overeat food and hang out with my friends. If our menu isn’t doing it for you, check out these 19 Delicious Vegan Superbowl Recipes.

SOUP – The Best Ever Chili 

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DIP – Guacamole

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SANDWICH - BBQ Jackfruit 

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SIDE - Vegan Buffalo Wings

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with a side of vegan ranch

TREATS

Ultimate Brownies 

Peanut Butter Popcorn Fudge