Today is the first day of Fall. What? How is that possible. I remember celebrating my son’s second birthday in April and that seemed like yesterday. Although the weather doesn’t indicate it is Fall, I am so ready for cooler weather and (if I dare say it) some rain. So how was your summer? How are you handling covid 2.0? What are your plans for Fall 2021? What are you most looking forward to? Well I wanted to jump on here to do a little recap of life this summer, and to set some intentions for this fall. Baby is napping, so I’ll make this brief.
How was my Summer? I went to Gilroy Gardens three times. We went to the beach about twice. We went camping to Mt. Madonna with my parents and my niece. We bought a truck- finally! I’m excited for future outdoor activities in it. We sold our condo in downtown SJ. We swapped it for a rental property in Los Banos. We spent most of our remaining summer renovating a part of the house to convert it into an in-law unit. I went to Sonoma for a friend’s bachelorette. We visited family in Granite Bay, beautiful place. We went to southern California to attend a wedding in Crestline. We took that opportunity to visit my sister Sandra and her family, who I had not seen since March. My summer also went by super fast because I was working more than usual. I had a case that was set for trial November 1st, so I was swamped with discovery. I’m happy to report that the last wave of work (June- September) has calmed down and I can breathe again. No joke, I was so stressed out.
What am I looking forward to this Fall? Time off. Okay, I’ll settle for a weekend getaway. Maybe Pismo again? Finishing the renovations and landscaping in October is at the top of my Fall list. As for more colorful events I’m excited about, I’m looking forward to my niece’s birthday party this weekend. It’s a birthday party at a farm in half moon bay. My 2.5 year old toddler will love it! He’s been reading all about farm animals. I’m also looking forward to attending a family Halloween birthday party. Naturally, I’m excited for the pumpkin patch and for Halloween as well. I’ve already decided on our costumes. It’s a DIY situation. We also have a Fall wedding in October. It’s a western themed wedding. I don’t own cowboy boots, but I got Vinni the cutest boots today. The wedding is near Reno, so that should be a fun get together. Last but not least, I’m looking forward to Fall cooking. I really want to get back in the kitchen like I used to. I’ve been resorting to pre-prepped costco meals. I’m looking forward to pumpkin curries, or deep flavored stews. My goal is to post two new recipes this Fall. What should I make? What are you cooking these days?
That’s it for now. I’ll come back in a few weeks, hopefully to provide you some updates.
Here’s a picture of Vinni and I at our first pumpkin patch.
E: Let’s talk about salads today. I’m sitting here in my living room watching “Defenders” on Netflix on an early Saturday morning. It kind of reminds me of the days I used to wake up early as a child to watch x-men. I love superhero movies, don’t you? Anyways.. it’s going to be a beautiful sunny day. We are going to my nephew’s birthday party today. It’s middle of August and summer is almost over! So sad… I didn’t even go to the beach one time. Sigh. Actually, wait, I just remembered we went to southern California to Newport Beach in early May. We went to Balboa Island- such a cute place! Anyways, what I wanted to say was that although summer is almost over, my vegetable garden is still kind of just starting out! Weird right. I have an abundance of cherry tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. This is one of my favorite combinations of a salads. It has sweetness from the corn and grapes, crunch from the cucumbers and pumpkin seeds, and a burst of tangy sweet juice from the cherry tomatoes. Salads are so easy to prep and I’m trying to get my fill before summer ends, because then I crave hearty warm food. I’ll have to see how I adjust to eating raw/vegan once the season changes. Wish me luck!
E: How good does this crunchy and tangy salad look? I’m on day 9 of my eating raw journey. I am still trying to follow the recommended plan from the Rawvitalize book, shown below, but I haven’t gone grocery shopping and still have so much left over produce from the first week’s plan so I’ve been using what I have to eat raw. I find that when I buy purple cabbage, recipes usually only call for about 1/4 cup or so, and you end up throwing the rest away because it goes bad. I have another recipe on the blog that I like for purple cabbage and broccoli, but I don’t current have broccoli… hmmmm. Anyways, today I browsed through the book and came across this cabbage salad. I had mostly all the ingredients, except I ran out of granny smith apples. I used the remainder of an apple and supplemented it with organic homegrown pears. I recently received a gift of three varieties of organic, home grown, baby pears. They are so delicious, and still very crispy. They are sweeter and less tangy than the apple, but they fit in nicely with this salad. You would think that I would have apples, and not beets, but nope! This year I planted beets. It’s a good thing I did because so far- I’ve found that the beets grow at a good pace, I don’t need to eat all of them at once. I can pick one or two if a recipe calls for it. I also use beets for juicing. Almost every time I think of making pressed juice at home, I will always have beets, carrots, and celery (I grow that too) as a base. Sooo long story short, I made this salad.
E: Have you heard of adaptogens? I recently started doing more research into how to reduce my “stress.” I’ve been told several times that stress may be a reason why my skin breaks out and why I can’t seem to shake off that weight around my tummy. People tell me, “just relax!,” or “don’t stress.” Thinking about not stressing out, stresses me out! Isn’t that usually the case, when someone tells you “don’t eat ice cream,” the first thing you want to do is go to Baskin Robbins.
Using adaptogens wasn’t something that I looked for as the only way to reduce stress, that would be unrealistic. I don’t believe in cure all gimmicks. I’ve recently changed my work outs, have made a stronger commitment to eating healthy (mostly raw/vegan), am trying to meditate in the mornings (download the “headspace” app) and recently switched to a less stressful job (bye bye non-profit world). I discovered adaptogens as I was surfing the web doing research on how adrenals regulate your hormones. I came across information on how natural herbs can help. Several studies show that detoxification of the liver helps detox adrenals which in turn helps regulate cortisol and our hormones. I came across a video by Dr. Josh Axe on his you tube channel on cleansing the adrenal system, and starting snooping on his channel. Adaptogens are something he and his partner talk about frequently in several videos: on reducing stress, on losing weight, on improving acne, etc.. What I enjoy reading and listening to (as I’m working out in the mornings- I watch you tube videos sometimes) is that there are many ways to help our body improve its function with natural herbs, essential oils, and “ancient medicine.” I much rather address the root or cause of my problem than to take antibiotics or topical creams for acne that will only disrupt my body more! I highly recommend doing your own research, but I wanted to share the links below and share the products I’m trying. So far I’ve noticed a slight change and feel in a better mood overall. I’ll have to update you more the further along I get into using these products.
E: We resurrected this salad recipe from a few months ago. This was before I stopped eating dairy products and meat. I would still make this salad, but I would add some walnuts, and maybe some stonefruit like nectarines and maybe some apples, and a tiny bit of thinly sliced red onions. That’s the beauty about salads, you can add whatever you like.
E: My sweet parents visited a few weeks ago. My mom made this side salad which also has jicama and cucumber in it. You’ll see from the picture of my mother that we had the jicama,cucumber next to the salad bowl. We didn’t mix it in because my husband doesn’t like jicama or cucumber. Weirdo. But let me tell you, the jicama was crunchy and sweet. The tomatoes, cilantro and avocado were perfect for the tacos we were eating too. Enjoy.
Soo… my sister Sandy is a big advocate of raw foods. She wanted to embark on the 21-day Raw-vitalize plan and needed our moral support (by way of my sis Maggie and I doing the 21-day revitalize plan with her). So naturally, being super into healthy foods, and having major FOMO, we all decided to start it together. I have no idea how she heard of this book, but so far (from reading and glancing at the recipes) we love it. We started the plan today. JJJJJJJJOIN US! The awesome thing about IG, is that you can hashtag everything and I found a few other people #rawvitalize -ing too. We are all one big community of health nuts, I love it.
I’ll report back on how things are going, and also at the end let you know how we both did. So far Sandy likes the recipes, because they are kid friendly (she has two kids, a 4 year old and a 1 year old.) The three of us have high hopes this is do-able and a lifestyle change we can get on board with. If you’ve been following my health journey, you know that I went from the standard american diet, to paleo diet, to mostly vegan during the week, and now trying the raw lifestyle. I do see how it can be easier to do it progressively, because your tastebuds gets accustomed to the natural flavors of organic fruits and vegetables.
If you want to join us, download the book from our shop page link and follow me on IG stories (thencomescooking). I’ll be posting my journey there for the next 21 days. Do it, do it, do it! Everyone is doing it.
I haven’t blogged on this site for over a year. Last year was extremely busy for me. I had my first trial, and afterwards it seemed it took me the rest of the year to recover. I’ve switched jobs, and my sister’s had a baby. We’ve been enjoying life, and cooking, but we somehow haven’t made it on this blog. I still greatly enjoy cooking as a hobby, and if you follow us on instagram at (thencomescooking) then you know! Anyways, I’ll try to come on here more and post a few recipes that you guys are more interested in. Thanks for reading and checking in with us.
I’ve been into smoothies lately. This one is a very basic smoothie that will help you keep balanced hormones, will help you keep a regular digestive tract, keep you feeling full, and will provide a large amount of protein. The avocado adds vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin E. The protein powder I use is soy-free, plant based, and provides several amino acids, on top of 20 grams of protein. Enjoy.
E: I love having ceviche on hot summer days. All you need are some healthy crackers, and some hot sauce like tapatio and you are good to go. Yum! Aside from the wonderful taste of ceviche, I like making it because it is a meal I can make ahead of time and can be made without dirtying up the stove or pans. It’s a one-pot meal so to speak. The only caveat is that the fish cooks by way of acidity from the lemon so it needs time for the cells to be denatured. The smaller you cut the fish, the quicker it will cook. However, I’m a big fan of ahi-tuna and sushi so I don’t mind the big chunks of fish, and don’t mind if they are slightly undercooked.
E: This is my mom’s recipe for birria. It’s super easy. Birria is slowly cooked meat with chile sauce. I made it here with beef, some people use chivo (goat) or borrego (lamb). Birria is usually served at weddings, quinceaneras, birthday parties, etc.. I rarely make it but I don’t know why. Weirdly enough, it wasn’t until my mother-in-law started asking for my mom’s recipe that I started making it myself. They encouraged me to “get the recipes, write it all down.” “I’m trying,” I said. So here it is.