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2014 in review

December 29, 2014

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Focused on Success 30 Day Challenge – Day 31, Everyday Babywearing Challenge – Day 4

July 16, 2014

I goofed. The “Focused on Success”challenge is a month long, not 30 days. Today I ate well. I had my regular cereal for breakfast. Lunch was sushi and a gluten free vegan pizza. Dinner was quinoa pasta with a homemade sauce. A snack was an Italian ice, and desert was some gluten free vegan coconut cookie dough ice cream and fresh cherries. I had four or five bottles of water. I didn’t do my stretches, but we went on a family walk that’s longer than my usual walk by about four times. I have blisters on my feet.

What your of shoes are most comfortable for you to walk in?

I wore Baby C at the grocery store in a short cross carry tied at the shoulder with a slip knot. Later when we walked, first Hubby, then my father in law, carried him in the mei tai. Hubby wore him on his front, then his father wore the baby on his back. He fell asleep on Grandpa’s back! I also wore him in a ruck tied in front for his morning nap.

Who else will wear your baby?

(I also goofed on this one. It was supposed to start Monday, but I started Sunday. I’ll continue through Monday anyway. #onlyneedone carrier!)

Focused on Success 30 Day Challenge – Day 14

June 29, 2014

Breakfast: usual cereal. Lunch: before wrap in lettuce, lemonade, French fries. Dinner: Indian food. Water: I lost track at 8 bottles worth. Exercise: tons of walking carrying Baby C. Blisters on my feet.

Focused on Success 30 Day Challenge – Day 10

June 25, 2014

Today was a good day. I did my stretches in the morning, then before dinner did my time on the health walker. I still broke a sweat, which is great since it has been moved inside and the air conditioning has been on. I was afraid I had only been sweating because of the heat in the garage.

My food was pretty good. Breakfast was usual. I had a “graze” snack while I waited for hubby to come home. (If you’re interested, use code AMYM3Q3NP to get your first box free, and then your fifth box as well!)  Lunch was the same as dinner last night (lentil & rice pilaf with peas & avocado.) Dinner was a baked sweet potato. Hubby brought home frozen coconut milk almond covered bars (think vegan Klondike on a stick,) so I had one for desert. I don’t usually eat desert, so that was a treat.  (I meant to have more of the never ending coleslaw with dinner, but I forgot, and since hubby plated my meal while I nursed the baby, I ate what was in front of me.)
I also did something that I really don’t do too often (and especially since weight loss isn’t my primary goal) but I got on the scale after my shower this evening and I was 155! I’ve been in the 158-162 range and that’s first thing in the morning, naked and empty (which I most definitely wasn’t when I weighed myself today!) I won’t complain about that at all. (And now I’m super curious to see what I am first thing in the morning…150 was my “official” pre-pregnancy weight, 135 is my “usual” weight (I’d gained a bit testing some food intolerances,) and 115-120 is my ideal. I won’t complain about losing weight, as long as my milk production stays up (and so far it’s been pretty good!) so…yay!

Editing from bed to add my water intake (6 or 7 bottles at 16 ounces each.) Today was good despite Baby C only thing a total of 60 minutes of nap throughout the day. At bedtime the reason became clear…or rather, white. We have tooth!

What good decisions did you make for your health today?

Focused on Success 30 Day Challenge – Day 9

June 24, 2014

I’m pretty pleased with how today went. I had my usual breakfast, almost tripped up for lunch but remembered the never ending coleslaw, then dinner was a lentil and rice pilaf with peas and spices that I topped with diced avocado. It wasn’t a recipe, it was a box that’s been in the pantry. It was “Near East” brand, and seems to be good as far as ingredients go. The only outright negative is that it’s not whole grain rice. I’m thinking I need to learn to par-cook brown rice, then I can make my own quicker cooking rice and lentils. I could mix the rice, lentils, and various freeze dried veggies and spices to make my own version of this $3 per box staple.

I managed to drink at least 96 ounces of water today. I might have had 112 ounces but I lost track of my refills. I know that I’ve been dehydrated, (and getting over being sick,) because I have a cold sore. There’s a kick in the face to drink more water!

It’s been over 100° so my activity consists of pacing or bouncing the baby to sleep, and time on the Health Walker in the garage. For now I think that’s fine…but our garage isn’t air conditioned. I may have to find a way to move that inside, or find space inside to do a DVD workout. I have an idea or two.

What good decisions did you make for your health today?

Focused on Success 30 Day Challenge – Day 6

June 21, 2014

Today was a flop. I woke up with an upset stomach, and as the day went on a headache got worse. I am also dizzy and have body aches. I took my temperature because I was freezing. I have a low grade fever. I ate rice cereal and quinoa pasta to have something in me. I drank water as I could, and I slept in between. I mostly woke up to go to the bathroom, drink water, and nurse the baby. I need to figure out how to not let the cabbage salad go to waste.

How was your Sabbath?

Before and After Having a Baby (1)

April 24, 2014

Since becoming a mommy, there are some random things that I’ve noticed that no one mentions about having children. I’ll be posting about these things now and then.

The first one I noticed has to do with baby wearing. It has been my intent all along to have the baby in a carrier, on me, in order to get things done throughout the day. When he was a bitty baby it was also one of the best ways to get him to nap. This means he was in the carrier a good portion of daylight hours. If you aren’t familiar with baby wearing, especially infant baby wearing, picture a baby shoved down the front of your shirt with his head sticking out…his forehead just about at your chin level.

Now…since he’s there most of the day, that means if you want to eat, you’ll be eating over his head. What no one told me, was that you’d need to avoid dropping crumbs on the baby’s head. (This also applies to eating while nursing the baby…since this is how he spends a lot of the time that he’s not sleeping.) So many foods that we think of as “easy” suddenly AREN’T.

  • Soup, Stew, and Chili – easy to make, easy to reheat, not easy to eat without dripping onto the baby…unless it’s a “drinkable” soup…but that’s not how I like my soup!
  • Salad – requires no cooking, but fluffy leaves don’t get onto forks well when you can’t brace the bowl with your other hand (when nursing) and like to pop off the fork anyway. Dressing also likes to drip off the leaves.
  • Chips (of any sort) – aren’t exactly the healthiest food choice, but when you’re desperate! I remember how I used to like to find the largest chips that were whole. Now, those large chips mean I have to break the chip to get it into my mouth…which means crureciperecipembs on the baby. The small , broken chips are now my friends.
  • Sandwiches – unless you cut them into bite sized pieces (that fit all at once in your mouth) you’re dealing with crumbs again!
  • Cereal – cold cereal is drippy, hot cereal is hot and blobby.
  • Tacos – Forget it!

So…I’ve learned to eat mostly acceptable foods with low dripping or crumbling rates. Like what? Anything that can be popped into your mouth in one bite without dripping.

  • Almond Bites – frozen yumminess without drips. Perfect! What do you mean they aren’t nutritious? They are made from almonds…it’s right in their name!
  • Tater Tots – baked bites of potato goodness. Of course they’re so processed they have almost no fiber or nutrition left in them, but they taste good alone, or to be gourmet, dipped in almost any condiment!
  • A “cereal” that I’ve concocted that is so thick it stays on the spoon. (Recipe below.)
  • Fruits and veggies that either are already bite sized (like grapes and mandarin orange segments,) or that I’ve found time to chop into bite sized pieces. Bonus if I have something to dip them in! (Usually hummus…for veggies anyway.)
  • Homemade granola bars made bite sized.
  • You’ll get used to eating this way, and then when you get to eat without the baby being in the drip and crumb zone…with both hands…and utensils…you’ll think it’s wonderful! (Even if it’s just quinoa pasta with tomato sauce.)

    Amy’s Cereal
    For a single serving use tablespoons as the measurement, but I usually use cups as the measure, then about one cup of the mixture is a serving. I use all raw ingredients, but I didn’t see why toasted wouldn’t also work if that’s what you have or prefer.

  • 2 parts pepitas
  • 2 parts hemp seed
  • 2 parts chia seed
  • 2 parts ground flax seed
  • 2 parts ground sesame seed
  • 2 parts shredded coconut
  • 5 parts gluten free oats (Optional. If omitted, use 2/3 cup total as a serving.)
  • Directions
    Combine all ingredients. To serve, combine 1 cup or one serving of the cereal mixture with 1 cup of water. (If omitting the oats use 3/4 cup water.) Let soak for 10-20 minutes, or longer. Add sweetener, fruit, or other toppings you like. I like to add raisins and freeze dried fruit. The longer it sits, the thicker it gets. Feel free to add more water if it ends up thicker than you like. (You can also use any other thin liquid such as rice milk or apple juice. Whatever you like!) I usually store the dry mix in the fridge because the seeds, especially flax, can go rancid so easily.


Easy Vegan Falafel, Soy & Gluten free (easily oil free also!)

April 9, 2014

The other day I was going through what I had in the fridge that needed to be used. I’d made a large pot of garbanzo beans over the weekend and used some for curry and some more for chili, but there were still almost 2 jars left. I thought about freezing them, but I really needed to make something easy to eat for the next couple of days. (Caring for an infant and trying to work part time from home makes it hard to find time to cook for every meal!) I thought about what would be easy to eat, and decided to make falafel.

I checked out a few recipes on line, but most of them used ingredients I didn’t have on hand, started with the dry garbanzos, or used ingredients I’m avoiding. Most of them are also pan fried in oil. I realized that it was really just a matter of mixing cooked garbanzos with spices, a binder, and cooking them. This is what I ended up with, and they came out quite good if I do say so myself. (Hubby agrees!)

Easy Vegan Falafel


  • 3 cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained and rinsed (or about 6 cups of cooked dry garbanzo beans.)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 T tahini
  • 6T ground flax seed
  • 1 7/8 t baking powder (just under 2 t)
  • 3/8 cup dehydrated onion flakes (fresh diced onion would probably work too, but might require a bit more flour later)
  • 3/8 cup dried cilantro (again, if using fresh you might need more flour later.)
  • 3t cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped (about 3t)
  • 3t coriander
  • 3t chili powder
  • 3/4t salt
  • 3t lemon juice
  • 6 drops doTERRA lemon essential oil (or 6T lemon zest, but again…you may need more flour later.)
  • 3/4 cup gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix because I had some that I had no plans for, but any type should work.) (You may need slightly more or slightly less depending on the moisture of your ingredients and how humid it is.)
  • Olive oil (for greasing the pan and brushing on top.)


  • Preheat the oven to 450*F
  • Place all of the ingredients, except for the flour and oil, into your vitamix with the garbanzos on the bottom. (If you don’t have a vitamix, a food processor or stick blender would probably do an adequate job.)
  • Blend or process the ingredients until they’re combined and a bit pasty. You don’t want a puree, so make sure you leave some chunks! Scrape down the sides or use your tamper often.
  • Scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl
  • Add the flour a little bit at a time until the mixture is somewhat dry (when you make a ball and flatten it the edges should crack a little bit.) If your mixture was already quite dry you may not need all of this. (I only needed 1/2 cup when using all of the drier ingredient options.)
You can see that it's pretty dry.

You can see that it’s pretty dry.

  • Form patties from the dough. I didn’t measure each patty, but I’d say each used about 2-3T of dough…a small handful. Roll each portion into a ball and flatten slightly to make a thick patty.
  • Liberally oil a baking sheet (this could be skipped if you are avoiding oil, but make sure to use parchment paper or another method of avoiding food sticking to the pan.)
  • Place the patties on the baking sheet, making sure they aren’t touching.
  • Brush a little bit of oil over the tops of the patties.
Falafel patties ready to be baked. (This is a toaster oven pan...they aren't huge!)

Falafel patties ready to be baked. (This is a toaster oven pan…they aren’t huge!)

  • Bake for 25 minutes, flipping over halfway through
  • Serve on its own, over a salad, or in a wrap (I prefer over a salad with the sauce/dressing I’ve shared below.)
  • Makes 5 servings of 6 patties each
The ones to the back/left were pan fried (hubby though he'd prefer them that way, but he didn't!)

The ones to the back/left were pan fried (hubby though he’d prefer them that way, but he didn’t!)


Vegan Falafel Sauce  


  • 1 cup soy free veganaise
  • 3/4 cup relish
  • 3t lemon juice
  • 1 1/2t chopped garlic
  • 3/8t black pepper
  • 3/8t celery seed


  • Stir all ingredients together in a bowl with a fork.
  • Serve over Falafel.


Yummy! (Ignore the shriveled tomatoes...I told you I was cleaning out the fridge!)

Yummy! (Ignore the shriveled tomatoes…I told you I was cleaning out the fridge!)

These were yummy fresh from the oven, and cold the next day as well. If you want them warm as leftovers, I recommend waiting to bake them until the day you want to eat them. Being heated twice dries them out a bit (but they’re still yummy!) This was a quick nutritious meal I could eat one handed while holding the baby, and beyond the intial (pretty fast) prep, doesn’t take much time to get ready to eat.

Thinking about making a change…

March 26, 2014

A quick note about a thought…this blog is “Vegan Without.” It has so far been solely recipes. I want to expand into posting other aspects of life, including parenting without animal products, and other lifestyle issues (like finding shoes!) I just wanted to give everyone a heads up, and maybe see what other sorts of things you’d like to see. (Yes, I know I haven’t even posted recipes in ages…I do have some that I need to make again to get pictures, but they will come!)

Thanks for understanding!

2013 in review

December 31, 2013

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.