Happy Hallowe’en!

I’m sitting by the door waiting for kids to come trick-or-treating. I have a nice treat basket filled with random samples of things that I’ve gotten (thanks, Whole Foods!), YummyEarth lollipops, Reese’s cups (my favorite), and “Grape Coconut Jelly” (interesting Asian candy things that Bobby gets). (Don’t forget about the YummyEarth discount – good until November 15th.)

32 halloween candy

We didn’t get any kiddies last year, and I don’t know if we will this year either. Do you get trick-or-treaters?

Earlier today Bobby joked, “Maybe the reason Americans are becoming obese is that we focus on candy for every holiday and on Halloween we buy too much so we have extra left over. I bet other countries don’t do this.” But he’s right. Trick-or-treating is a very North American thing (Canadians do it too). It’s done in the US, the UK, Canada, parts of Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Ireland. Apparently it’s been introduced in Italy and New Zealand (because of American culture infiltrating the media), but it’s been pretty controversial. Stuffing your face with candy seems to be a uniquely American thing to do.

As a kid I loved halloween. I don’t think I cared too much about the candy, to be honest. I did love dressing up. My mom always helped me and made elaborate costumes. I’ve been everything from a witch, to a pumpkin, to a bag of jelly beans (so cute), to a little Dutch girl with clogs, to a witch again, to a hippie… Well, you get the idea.

pumpkin sleeping

Of course I ate my candy – who wouldn’t? But I remember saving it for ages (I always “save” things for the “best” time) and ending up throwing most of it away after it went bad a few months later. This is the same way I treat most nice things I own; I save them for opportune times, but often the opportune time never comes and I regret saving whatever it is. Living in the moment is probably a better idea, anyway. And who wants to save something like calories? That shouldn’t doesn’t make sense.

But back to Halloween – it’s a shame that we can’t give out candied apples or homemade cookies anymore. I think that would be the best way to celebrate.

[Aside: we just got a kid! A little alligator! So cute.]

Am I being too cynical? Should I just accept that (most) Americans glorify unhealthiness because it’s “the land of the free” and we can pretty much do what and eat what we want without thinking of the consequences? I think I’m getting too pensive for a Saturday night, so I’ll stop there. Hope you all enjoyed your Halloweens.

Recipe: Raw Zucchini Hummus

This is the other recipe that Jill and I got to try at the raw foods demo at Whole Foods. It was served with raw flax crackers (yum). You just need a good blender to make it (which I don’t have, but I will try with my food processor). The recipe is raw, vegan, and vegetarian.

Raw Zucchini Hummus

31 raw hummus


  • 2 zucchini
  • 3/4 cup tahini (raw)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (cold pressed, if you want it to be truly raw)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2.5 teaspoons salt (I would cut down on this)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin


Chop the zucchini and blend everything in the blender. Add the lemon juice and garlic (and salt) a little bit at a time to get the flavor that you want.

I thought this was really yummy. I might use a little less garlic and salt. I few other substitution ideas might be…

  • nut butter instead of tahini (like a yummy Thai peanut sauce)
  • experiment with other oils – sesame oil would give it a nice Asian flavor
  • other spices instead (or in addition to) cumin – chili powder, Asian 5-spice, cinnamon
  • add in some herbs – oregano, basil, dill, etc…
  • vinegar in place of lemon juice
  • add some Bragg’s liquid aminos (cut out salt, cut down on lemon juice)

Of course you could do beans instead of the tahini, but then it would be a more standard hummus.

What’s your favorite hummus? I really like Tribe’s Olive Hummus. So good. I know Sabra is a popular one as well. I love putting hummus on crispy fruit like apples. I don’t know if that’s common or not…

HERE is my recipe for simple homemade hummus.

Recipe: Raw Energy Balls (coconut, carob)

Today Jill and I went to another demo at our Whole Foods. Catra (our fitness instructor and a raw foodist) did a short presentation on the raw foods diet and gave out samples of 2 raw food recipes. First was Catra’s…

Raw Energy Balls

30 energy balls raw


  • 1/2 cup carob powder
  • 3 cups shredded unsweetened raw coconut
  • 3/4 cup coconut butter/oil
  • 1/2 cup raw agave nectar


Mush everything together by hand. Shape into balls and freeze before eating.

Substitution ideas (not all raw)

  • honey or maple syrup in place of agave
  • oatmeal in place of some shredded coconut
  • nut butter in place of coconut butter/oil
  • cut down on oil; add more sweetener
  • replace half the oil with a super-ripe mashed banana
  • cocoa powder in place of carob powder
  • ground flax in place of some shredded coconut

These were good, but a little bit too heavy for me. I find that many raw food desserts do not sit well with my temperamental stomach. The recipes with a lot of oil or sweet ingredients are especially tough for me to eat. These were really delicious though, and I would make them with a few modifications. I would cut down on the oil and Jill suggested maybe subbing some of the coconut for oatmeal (like no-bake cookies).

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I watched The Biggest Loser last night. I’ve been enjoying this season (“Second Chances”) mainly due to the fact that Jillian is digging up the contestants’ issues and forcing them (the contestants) to deal with the issues head on instead of hiding them as the contestants get healthy. The theme with all of the contestants is self-forgiveness. We can all relate to this on some level; I certainly have (more than) one experience in my life that I just can’t seem to let go of. Watching the contestants grow and change and evolve into these new and inspiring people is motivating. I suppose that’s why the show is so popular.

While I’m on the topic of growth and change, I wanted to say again how excited I am to be moving (to New York) in less than 2 short weeks. Thank you for your ideas and positive comments. I can’t wait to begin this next phase of my life. It’s bittersweet to be packing up my things and making preparations to move back “home”. I will certainly miss some of the people I’ve met here and I’ll always remember the fun times I had in California. Now I think it’s time to let it go and move on.

My high school reunion (5 years) is at the end of November. I’m going to go since I’ll be back in the area. Did you go to your high school reunion?

Let’s all go to muffin land

There is something inherently wrong with eating a big fat muffin while watching Biggest Loser. I’m going to pretend it’s okay. At least it’s a bran muffin.

I did have a yummy dinner before my muffin (thanks for the treat, Jill!). I made a hugh jass stir fry with random veggies from my freezer plus sliced burdock. I topped it with smoked mozzarella cheese. So simple, so delicious.

29 stir fry cheese

I also had a heart-healthy (3/4 cup) serving of protein powder oat bran (oat bran, protein powder, cinnamon, salt, vanilla). I topped it with lowfat milk and real maple syrup. And sesame seeds.

28 oat bran

Then the muffin. It was a very satisfying dinner.

I did Get Fit With Catra again tonight with Jill, and it was fun. Our workout was…

  • 1 lap around the park
  • 25 sit ups
  • 25 jumps (onto a 2 foot high wall)
  • 25 jumping jacks

Repeat circuit 3 times. We also walked to and from the park. When I got home I did 25 minutes of yoga – mostly Eoin Finn’s Yoga Quickie, but I did my own thing at the end.

I’m off to snuggle with my sweetie. My dad left this morning and I’m sad… but happy that I will see him in 2 weeks 🙂 We are moving in less than two weeks and I’m so excited!

Do you have any tips for moving? I’ve done it a lot, but I’m always game for more pointers.

Pancake Circus

Today we went up to Sacramento (California’s capital). We visited the capital building, which was really cool. We’re pretty sure Arnold was in his office; there was an armed guard and lots of important-looking people going in and out. We tried to wait around to see if we’d catch a glimpse of him, but no luck.

After the capital building we got lunch at a local diner-ey place. It was called Pancake Circus. It was on a top 50 list of things to do in Sacramento. I love diner food, so I’m really glad we went.

27 pancake circus

My camera managed to eat the one picture I got of my awesome meal – a belgian pancake topped with tons of whipped cream and a large fruit salad. So freakin’ good.

24 menu

Bobby got a breakfast-y dish – eggs, hash browns, ham, 2 big pancakes (unpictured), and a biscuit (unpictured).

25 bobby's meal

My dad got the lunch special – a “chicken parmesan” sandwich (which was not what you’d think – it was just chicken and bacon on bread grilled with parm) and sweet potato fries.

26 dad's meal

I so wish that I had a picture of the waffle – you couldn’t even see it because there was so much whipped cream (which I finished).

Tonight we got Sweet Tomatoes for dinner – my favorite. I’m super stuffed, but happy.

Off to watch 30 Rock with my dad… tonight is his last night 🙁

Happy Tuesday! (Or Monday night, if you’re up late.)