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Friday, April 18, 2014

A spring that just can't get going and food I CAN eat.

For those of you who don't know we are having the worst winter ever in Maine (in my personal experience).

I was hoping by April to not need to write such things.  I mean,  here we are nearly a month into "spring" and we still have some snow on the ground and the wood stove is going.  We have fleetingly nice days where we think we are out of the snowy woods and... then 2 days ago it happened.  April snow- 2 inches of that stuff that has begun to ruin everyone's good mood, and certainly my floundering spring buzz, ON TOP of the old dirty snow banks we still have remaining.  

Sandi and I were up before dawn and when she turned the outside light on to leave she said, "Have you looked outside?"

I said, "If there is snow I don't want to know about it."

She said, "No really.  You need to go look outside."

I said, "No.  Really I don't."

Just 4 days ago I went for a bike ride in SHORTS.  Remember those guys?

As if my extensive, expensive and very painful dental appointment wasn't enough, I had just cleaned out our cars and gotten Sandi's snow tires off.  I had put away the snow shovels for rakes, was nearly out of pellets and had already worn open toed shoes for an afternoon.   There are at least 3 shoots of green grass on the lawn and my tulips are showing me that they survived the brutal winter.

On Saturday it was so nice we went with Ange and Emilie to Field's Pond (now a well-established spring tradition) and Maya was mad that Sandi wouldn't let her pack her swimsuit.  

I tell you, we Mainers are READY FOR SPRING.

I mean, we are out on bikes with snow still on the ground.

The increased intensity of the April sun means lots more  playing outside even if you do still need mittens and request hot cocoa when you come in.  Our girls are having a blast with the neighbor kids, moving as a pack to and from each other's yards and driveways to play.  It is the cutest thing ever.  We always wondered how old our kids would need to be to do this.  I guess now we know.  
The kids made a "city" out of chalk.

Reese, age 1, displaying her brilliance.

Our field's pond trip had the kids climbing the same tree they always climb and tolerating the moms taking their picture.  Except Reed kept tossing his baseball into my frame.

It actually turned into kind of a cool picture.

In other news, I want to report that I am handing the food thing with more grace and patience than I knew I was capable of.   Thank goodness that there are so many vegan foodies out there!  I have found ideas for methods and combinations I would never have conceived of.   I am so grateful for the many food blogs and Pinterest so I am actually having fun finding new things to eat.  Man, I did not realize what a major food rut I was in.

How can you complain when lunch is this beautiful?

Perhaps one of my more amazing finds is the whole banana ice cream thing.  If you look for this on Pinterest you will see the options are rather endless.  In short, you slice up ripe bananas and freeze them. Then you put them in a food processor and puree them until smooth.  This is your "ice cream" base.  You now add any combination of ingredients to get the flavor you want.  I found one for chunky monkey that has you put in chopped chocolate and walnuts with either peanut butter or Nutella.  There is pumpkin pie with pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and a little almond butter.

I went with the chocolate/peanut butter theme since it is likely my favorite combination of all time.  Except since I can't have peanuts, I used almond butter.

So simple: about 6 or 7 chopped bananas (frozen and then semi-softened), almond butter and cocoa powder. I also added some maple syrup for some extra kick.
I must say that while there has been little to no pity- partying happening over here, it was nice to sit down with a small bowl of "ice cream" when my family all did.  I even warmed up a little almond butter and drizzled it over the top.  It was so delicious.

Here is a link for 29 different dairy free ice cream recipes!  There is vegan summer fun to be had.

I am also finding a deep and abiding love of the chia seed.  I made chia seed pudding and a chia breakfast bowl  both of which were actually delicious. 

I also felt like push was coming to shove in not being able to find one energy/granola bar that did not have either oats or dairy in it (except Lara bars and they get so smooshy in any sort of bag) so I made up my own.  I basically combined all the things I COULD eat (Rice Krispies, chia seeds, ground flax, cranberries, chopped vegan chocolate, cocoa powder, almond butter and brown rice syrup) rolled the mixture into cute little balls that taste rather amazing.  Once they had hardened in the fridge I put them in the freezer in a Ziploc and can grab a couple when I head out on my bike.  

But what I really have to tell you is that my body just feels so GOOD.  It feels light and humming and I am totally free of any sort of cravings.  The perpetual bags under my eyes have reduced dramatically (to me anyway) and it makes me look, if not younger, than at least less old.  Balanced thyroid or not, that has to account for something.

Happy, hopeful spring everybody!  Here's to Easter dresses and not Easter snowsuits!

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