Back to Basics


Kashi Heart-to-Heart cereal with banana, blueberries, & soy milk

Spinach with maple balsamic dressing

Mango greek yogurt with an apple

Caprese salad with tomatoes, mozzerella, and basil

Mint chocolate chip ice cream


Peace and Pie


Ok, so the U.S. of A just killed a major terrorist leader. Am I the only one who feels a little saddened at the jubilation of our country’s citizens over it?

Maybe it’s because I live in a small-liberal-arts-college bubble.

Ok, that’s most definitely why.

My neighbors at the Air Force Academy are having lots of fun celebrating. Amazing how we’re in the same city, but it feels like worlds away! Their celebrations have been a little tamer than other colleges, at least…


But honestly? I don’t like death. In any, any case. Not even in the name of justice. Call me a peace-loving hippie, but in my ideal world, everyone guilty of a crime would be locked away in a box somewhere,  put through some kind of living-purgatory-type-experience (I’m thinking LOST as a model), and released into existence again when they’re truly sorry for what they did.

Small liberal arts college. I did warn you.

But just because my college is full of liberal tree-huggers doesn’t mean we won’t turn this into an excuse to party on a Monday night. My school is in “8th block,” a.k.a. the last quarter of the semester. I still can’t get the glitter out of my hair from this shindig:

Good news: my red jacket is now flour-free and ready to wear again.

Tonight, however, I need to catch up on sleep, so I will leave you with my food-related hopes and dreams! Ready?

In my ideal world, everyone would realize how delicious the combo of sprouts, avocado, & hummus is, and I’d be able to let animals roam free without fear of humans eating them.

Whole-wheat tortilla with hummus, sprouts, spinach, & avocado, + carrots

In my ideal world, everyone I love would stop to partake in Sunday brunch.

Veggie skewers, spinach & egg pizza, cherry blintz, agua fresca

In my ideal world, I would have the option to go back to my pre-paid campus dining hall whenever I didn’t feel like scrounging in my fridge.

BBQ tofu, salad, green beans, white beans, agua frescaThere would be fewer last-resort sources of protein.

Tuna, broccoli, green peppers & onions

There would be more salads. Period.

Spinach, black beans, avocado, goat cheese & maple balsamic dressing

There would be lots of sprouts, because for some reason, when I eat them I feel like I’m channeling the Buddha. (where did I make that association, I wonder?)

Sprouts, carrots, broccoli & hummus

I would know the Chobani company personally, just to make sure they’re treating their dairy cows right. (Because if it wasn’t for greek yogurt, I’d easily be vegan all the time!)

Plain greek yogurt with cinnamon and....apples? Somewhere?

Plain greek yogurt with chia seeds, 1/2 a mango, & 1 clementine

I would make the whole world see that green monster smoothies are absolutely delicious.

(I might have forced this down the throats of several of my teammates one pre-rugby-game morning. No one gagged, that’s a start!)

The morning special: green monster smoothie + coffee with almond milk & cinnamon.

One of my favorite cereals of all time, combined with the more new-age almond milk.

And…my roomie would surprise me with wonderful baked goods every night! (It’s a wonder what an unexpected pie can do for a student on the verge of a breakdown!)

Homemade blueberry pie/island of crust floating in blueberry yum sauce.

And similar to bad criminals, bad weather would go into hiding, think about what it’s done to the hearts and minds of sun-loving girls like me, and only come back out for holiday festivities and the occasional ski trip.

Mountains? Uh…Marco?

More of this, please.

Little sister not necessary. Just the sunshine, please!

Thoughts on politics?

Favorite trees to hug?

Sharing is caring!

<3 Erica




Ain’t No Sunshine


I’ve been in a funk lately. Blame it on the weather.

I think spending most of the past 3 years at college in Colorado has made me dependent on sunshine, completely slave to its connotations of optimism and happiness. Regardless of the fact that my fair shoulders are still sporting sunburn lines from 2 months ago, I am itching for the impending (hopefully soon) days where I will require more SPF than the 15 included in my still-too-dark-for-me tinted moisturizer. Month of May, I’m counting on you.

Alas, hurumph. Seeing as the past week has looked like this at school…

Mountains? Hello? Are you there?

And this at my grandparent’s cabin, where I stayed for Easter:

Where is the horizon?

A few peeks of sunshine here and there, but no consistent beacons of light from the heavens. Being Easter weekend and all, I was craving warm weather like my Christian upbringing should have taught me to crave the coming of Jesus. Too far? Ok.

Thank God for the arrival of my mom and sister, who nourished me with good food!

Fancy brunch with fruit and waffles. Fruit > Waffles, at least lately.

Cafe au lait (with rice milk and a laughing sister)

Shrimp salad! Pescatarianism is nice now and then.

Chocolate covered expresso beans. What? I had a paper to write.

Sister cleavage and other in-your-face-sexy things at happy hour.

Pear-drenched Brie

Spinach-Artichoke Dip.

Mussels. You know what they say, when dining on a parent's tab...

Butternut squash burger. Surprisingly not my fave!

More shrimp. There's tilapia in there too, but I think I just have to accept that it is not the fish for me.

Oats with strawberries, cinnamon, and chia seeds!

Spinach salad, sweet potato, and some crazy blend of Mexican leftovers. Mmm.

Peach-pear-apricot smoothie from a coffee shop. I think I simply prefer green monsters!

Awesome salad for Easter brunch at a vegetarian restaurant in Denver!

Lil sis and Mom also lovin' vegetarian Easter. Who needs ham?

(The x’s on her hands add to her naive charm, no?)

Topped off with vegan carrot cake. The best carrot cake I've ever had in my life, in fact.

Obligatory Easter candy, with a random and wonderful inclusion of Burt's Bee's lotion. Thanks Aunt Julie!

 The sun did come out sometimes, and those times seemed to call for a beverage with rice milk. Funny how that happens!

Mate latte with rice milk. Mom with her unsweetened iced tea, an obsession that my sweet tooth will perhaps never understand.

Iced cafe au lait with rice milk, which the barista oddly termed a "Rolait."

What are your thoughts on…

Rain?

Until last week, when this precipitation marathon commenced, it had rained all of 3 times that semester, and I had loved that. There’s only so much tea-sipping and novel-reading I can do before I get antsy.

Milk in your coffee?

I usually roll with soy, but I like to switch it up and get other alternatives when they’re offered. I still need to try hemp milk!


Napping & Other Bandits of Time.


What up bloggies! Sorry I’ve been so m.i.a. this week. I have some excuses prepared! The truth is, it’s not that I’m (purposely) neglecting the blog world. It’s just that I’m a busy, busy college student with a grueling schedule. For elaboration on my school’s weirdo philosophy, see here. I have definitely stretched myself thin this semester. Oy! So in my free time, this what I can be found doing:

  • Napping, napping, napping! I can’t seem to get to bed until after midnight nowadays, and since I teach at a high school in the early mornings (which requires getting up at 6:45), I seem to be always in need of more sleep. This is especially essential before rugby practices.

    The essentials for the walk: scarf, iPod, greek yogurt.

  • Smiling over random happenings in my day, like getting a text from my roommate Dicky saying, “Erica thank you so much. Your salad is soooo good” (I didn’t take a picture, but I layered spinach, roasted brussels sprouts, black beans, corn/peas/carrots, & avocado. He was skeptical, but ended up loving it.) In return, this Taiwanese boy taught me the proper technique for making pancakes, which I was totally unaware of (you have to wait for the bubbles to stop bubbling? really? It’s a testament to the instant-gratification culture of the USA, really, that me, this American girl who should be able to make pancakes like it’s her job, had been too impatient to wait for them to fully cook before flipping.)
  • Spinach with roasted brussels sprouts and nutritional yeast.

    •  Attempting to fit “legit” cooking into my life. I can’t remember the last time I actually planned out a dinner! Usually I’ll just sautee lots of veggies, add some protein, nutritional yeast or goat cheese, and put it on a huge pile of spinach. Or I just use my dining dollars and eat the yummy (most of the time) food my school has to offer.
  • Reveling in life’s funny coincidences. I discovered that a male acquaintance of mine will be living in the house next to me next school year! I can’t remember if this before or after we made out. Regardless, I’m thrilled about it.
  • Socializing with the guests that appear in my 6-person apartment. It does wonders for expanding my circle of friends! (see above. hehe!)
  • Rachel just wrote an article on the best music for getting it on. Coincidentally, much of that music is what we play in our apartment on a regular basis.

  • Im so glad my college doesnt have high standards for showering, or my post-rugby stench might be considered rude.

  • Chatting with far-away friends about our crazy iives, and how we survive them. Sample quote from me: “I can’t believe he abandoned you during your first rave on ectasy! He should have stayed in a jail a little bit longer.”
  • Miss you! Dont do anything stupid.

  • Playing rugby, loving my ruggers, and simultaneously being reminded of just how dangerous the sport is. Our team has just been rocked by the recent death of the University of Texas Women’s Rugby captain. It’s a shocking wake-up call for college rugby, and especially for our team since some of our players were playing when that injury occurred.
  • Looks epic, but that is me making a not-so-low (aka not-so-safe) tackle two years ago, when I was a rookie rugger!

Then again, the danger is what makes the rugby bond so strong.

Luckily, all I usually get are bruises.

  •  Listening to the Smokey Robinson channel on Pandora Radio. It’ll turn your frown upside-down and heal your soul.
  • Oh, and eating! Yes. How could i forget?

Salad with mixed greens, roasted brussels sprouts, black beans, & nutritional yeast.

Brown-speckled banana, just the way I like them.

Vegan sampler of salad & lentils!

Breaking the vegan streak with yogurt.

Did I devour that already? Oops. It was yummy.

A Mocha Blast from the school coffee shop. Note the cute eco-friendly cups! Theyre compostable.

You knew it was only a matter of time! Green monster smoothie with spinach, orange, vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, & coconut on top!

More salad. How lovely these brussels sprouts look!

Plain greek yogurt with cinnamon & a pear.

Yellow cake ice cream. Nom nom!!

Well that’s all I’ve got for now.My weekend is sure to be full of paper-writing, partying, & rugby playing; I’m hoping for sunshine to accompany them all!

Questions:

Do you like the rain?

We got a thunderstorm the other night, and it was so refreshing because it NEVER rains in Colorado!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten lately?

My college’s dining hall has started serving gluten-free pancakes at its midnight breakfasts, so even the gluten-free drunk kids can get their drunchies on! They’re actually quite tasty, and I enjoyed some last night. Clarification: Not drunk. :)


Feeling Foggy


Have you ever had days where your mind feels more than a smidgen awry, and you think, “Who the hell am I?”

Of course, I could be feeling foggy for many reasons. Shall I count the ways?

  • My head’s a little shaken from my rugby game this afternoon. We were missing a couple of key players, so it was rough and everyone got considerably banged up.
  • I was drunk on Friday night. Not that unusual for a college student, but I don’t drink often, and I didn’t plan for it while eating dinner (read: did not eat bread to soak up the alcohol!) so 2 shots and I was done for.
  • I pulled an all-nighter to write a paper on Thursday night. In my defense, I had dance rehearsals & performances every night that week, and I didn’t start the paper until 1 a.m. Ok, that’s a pitiful defense.
  • I’ve been listening to Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman on my iPod. Ergo, my head is spinning with dreams of my own real-life romance with a cowboy.
  • My mom and my sister are coming to visit in a week, so I need to finish my final paper for class before they arrive. Good thing analyzing Ramakrishna’s mystio-erotic spirtuality through the lens of Hindu masculinity will be an exciting paper to write!

Who the hell am I?

School-produced vegetarian goodness! That blue dot conveys how local the ingredients are; I think the blue is the closest?

The dinner that was not sufficient to withstand alcohol a couple hours later. Being a lightweight is both a gift and a curse!

Not just an egg..

An egg on top of a spinach, onion, mushroom, & chickpea salad. It was lovely.

And yes, it was really sunny that day! Hence the summery, east-coast-y dress. Topped with a J.Crew sweater, no less. You can take the girl outta Connecticut...

Pear & PB oats. I stirred in a spoonful of plain greek yogurt at the end that made them really gooey!

Golden delicious.

Orange. It tasted amazing when I was very slightly hungover.

Roasted brussels sprouts! It's been too long.

Post-rugby spinach with chickpeas, brussels sprouts, & nutritional yeast.

Despite the fog, here’s what’s making me happy at the moment:

My roomate did not pick up ORGANIC spinach like I asked, but for the first time I'm having Popeye-mascot-branded spinach!! How cute!

On that note, the apartment fridge is STOCKED. Can you spot the questionable purchases?

Not only did I roast brussels sprouts today, but I prepped my smoothie for tomorrow morning!

I enjoy creeping on my roommates playing frisbee. The mountain background is irresistably epic!

And last but not least…

I can't wait to keep listening to this on my way to school tomorrow! Yum.

Questions:

Anything not-so-nice about your weekend worth ranting about?

What is your opinion on frisbee?

 


(Random) Food & Facts


I didn’t come up with anything creative to say today. I felt like a frustrated, angsty teenager.

So I decided to go with it, and take a myspage-worthy survey instead.

Oh, and to scatter it around food. Enjoy!

Instant oats with apples, cinnamon, & PB

Regret Something You Did In The Past? (Who starts with that question??)
Yes, but why worry about what you can’t change?

Green monster smoothie with banana, spinach, vanilla protein powder, soy milk, & cinnamon

Country You Wanna Visit
New Zealand, Thailand, Denmark…

A brown green monster with strawberries, spinach, vanilla protein powder, soy milk, & cinnamon.

Way You Wanna Die:
After a long and very fulfilling life.

Like Thunderstorms?
They don’t happen often in Colorado, so any type of rain brings back a whole bunch of memories. Yes, I enjoy them.

Greek yogurt with apples, oats, & cinnamon

Get Along W/ Your Parents?
Yes. So well that they probably know too much about my life at this point.

Greek yogurt with banana, cereal, soy milk, honey, cinnamon

R U A Health Freak?
One could say that :)

Spinach with chickpeas, onions, & goat cheese

U Think Ur Attractive?
Why yes, I do. And so should you, whatever high school girl you are who wrote this!

Salad, quinoa, potatoes

Do You Believe In Yourself?
All day, erryday. All I do is win.

Spinach with bell pepper

Wanna Get Married?
Eventually, and hopefully just once.

Vegetarian lettuce wrap from Jimmy John’s

Wanna Go To College?
I do, now let’s hope I graduate with my dignity intact.

Spinach with red bell pepper, almonds, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, ginger dressing

Shower Daily?
Not always. Oops.

(Vegan) African Peanut Soup, green beans, agua fresca

Want Kids?
One day, but not at all soon!

A brown green monster with strawberries, spinach, vanilla protein powder, soy milk, & cinnamon. Side of Hinduism reading!

When Do U Wanna Lose Your Virginity?
Oh man, that ship has sailed…

PB & J with a fortune tucked in there by a mischievious teammate ;)

Do U Hate Anyone?
I can honestly say I do not, and that’s a great feeling. Even if I did, I wouldn’t make a fuss about it.

(Nighttime) Green monster smoothie with banana, spinach, vanilla protein powder, soy milk, & cinnamon

Can You Unwrap A Starburst W/ Your Tongue?
I’ve never even tried. Should I?

Do You Think You Can Sing?
Not to toot my own horn, but I have a lovely first soprano voice. I’m not in a choir anymore, so it hardly gets used.

Soft serve & cobbler. Mmm.

Can You Open You Eyes Underwater?
So well that I never bother to close them. Ha!


Eat Whatever And Not Worry?
Hah! Good one. No, and that’s a reason why I have this blog. But I’m almost thankful for that!

Coconut layer bar.

Can You Whistle?
No, but it’s not really on my list of priorities. I can’t snap my fingers, either!

Can You Walk In High Heels?
I can even run in them! Sometimes. If I’m sober.

Do You Sleep With The Light On?
No more than a desk lamp, when I’m waiting for my roomie to get home.

Watching rugby on a sunny day is a legit way to get sunburned.

Do You Like Super Spicy Foods?
I can’t even handle “medium” salsa! I wish my taste buds were stronger.

I live with REALLY hungry boys.

Can You Multitask?
Oh yes. I like to think that my generation is particularly skilled at it.

My toenail is bruised.

Touch Your Nose With Your Tongue?
Nah.

What do you do with a huge box of bouncy balls??

Can You Fit In Your Locker?
I could in high school, but I haven’t had the urge to try that lately.

You stay sunny, Colorado.

Do You Spit?
If I’m feeling particularly phlegmy on a run. And only if no one is looking!

Can You Taste The Difference Between Pepsi And Coke?
No.

If You Could Wish 4 Anything…What Would You Wish?
World Peace! Really. Let’s get on that. And better animal rights.

What Kind Of Perfume Or Colone Do You Wear?
Marc Jacobs Daisy, which I’ve had for years. It takes forever for me to go through perfume!

What Kind Of Soap Do You Use?
I think I’m washing with a cheapo Softsoap scrub nowadays. But it smells nice!

What’s Your Favorite Scent?
Campfires. No competition. (I don’t think they bottle that scent, though.)

Would You Choose To Live Forever If You Could?
Probably not, but if I could benefit the world somehow by being immortal, I would.

A concluding myspace mirror shot, obvi!

Answer me a question, would ya?

Have a wonderful day!


Free-soloing.


Maybe it’s because Colorado is experiencing some freakish weather right now.

Maybe it’s because I’m ashamed that I haven’t learned to rock climb yet.

Maybe it’s because I climbed the mountain in this video too long ago (not even 2 years!) and that was without being on the constant verge of a 1000 ft vertical drop.

For whatever reason, I’m obsessed with this gem of a clip about a female rock climber named Steph Davis. I think I’ve played it at least 10 times now:


Watch it. You’ll get dizzy, but it’ll be great. Trust me.

The Youtube channel it’s on is chock full of amazing feats of outdoor adventurers. I think it was just what I needed for a little kick in the butt to start the week!

On this manic Monday, I started with the (really) lazy girl’s version of overnight oats: about-an-hour oats :)

1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt, 1/3 cup soy milk, cinnamon, apples

Meaning that I mixed these together, walked to my hour of student teaching at the high school, and then devoured them on the way back to campus. Not too shabby!

But as I arrived on campus, my mind (body? same thing) realized how early I had gotten up, and wanted caffeine.

I’ll say one thing: coffee is a powerful, powerful force.

Looks gigantic, but it just fits a "tall" size.

I stayed awake through class, but my heart would.not.stop.thumping afterwards. Can’t complain, though; I wasn’t really hungry, so I got ahead on some of the night’s reading and ended up munching a red bell pepper for lunch:

Strangely enough, it was enough!

Know what else is a powerful thing? Planning ahead. I knew I’d be starving after ballet and gym, so I pressed and marinated a block of tofu in balsamic vinegar & garlic powder before I left, popped the pieces in a 375 degree oven when I got home at 5:15, and took them out in time for 6:00 dance rehearsal in the form of a beautiful, fulfilling salad.

Complete with nutritional yeast, sauteed onions, and spinach.

Mmmm, portable goodness.

Now my reading’s all done, and it’s not even 9 pm yet. I could get used to this ;)

It’s no free-soloing the Diamond face of Longs Peak, but it’s been a day of achievement.

What are you proud of doing today?


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