Saturday, July 13, 2013

NOT a FAD... Veggies are here to STAY

Everybody always asks me how I can possibly still be a Vegan?  What does that even mean?  I guess some thought it would be my 15 minute fad... But Nooooo... I am officially 3 months in & I am not giving up or giving in!  I LOVE BEING A VEGAN.  I can't even remember how I used to eat any other way?  Dairy, Meat, Animals -- these are things that have disappeared from my diet & I don't miss them one bit.  So bring on the healthy, the organic, the vegetables, the beans, the lentils, the soups, the green smoothies & the cookies, cakes & muffins made with applesauce & coconut oil.  Because this chick ain't eating animals... I'm only petting them! 

My typical "weekend" breakfast.  As you know, I eat green smoothies filled with veggies, 5 days a week before I go to work.  But on my days off, I like to eat toasted Ezekiel bread with almond butter OR steel-cut Irish oatmeal with cinnamon, blueberries, bananas & a touch of honey.  Antioxidants galore - this breakfast will keep your tummy satisfied for a few hours.
PS Coffee with Almond Milk is a MUST... Although lately I have been drinking Decaf.  We will see how that works out for me & I will keep you updated.  Jury is still out on a decaffeinated Jacey?!

But if I want to splurge & eat some junk food, (the best time to eat sweets is in the morning because then you have all day to burn off the calories - at least that's what I tell myself!) this is what I go for!  Organic, gluten-free, low-fat, flax seed waffles with honey & strawberries!  

And this is a quick-cook that can be made as a sandwich for lunch or as the "meaty" part of your dinner.  Big Portobello caps can be grilled or sautéed quickly & put inside bread or lettuce to eat like a "burger" or you can just slice them up & eat them with some broccoli & quinoa.  I get my organic portobello caps at Costco, in a package of 4 for $4.00

But when I don't want to cook or prepare dinner, I'm happy to leave the dirty work to the professionals.  And the guys behind the 'Green Wave Cafe' in Plantation are really the experts on Raw, Organic, Gluten-Free, Vegan specialties!  Shout-Out to Owner Raoul Valle who knew I would love their famous "cheeseburger" & he was right!  A raw vegan patty with a "cheesy" sauce, romaine lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes on onion or almond bread.  It's the best burger I have ever had!

And how about the Super Nachos?  Raw & refried bean pâté with cashew cheese, fresh guacamole & salsa on flax seed crisps.  I inhaled these!  Packed with multi-layers of flavor, these little guys just burst with energy in your mouth.  I can't wait to go back & order more raw yumminess! 

And let's not forget about the hummus & crackers -- this is an appetizer you can never feel guilty ordering.  Everything on this plate is natural & good for you.  Eating here makes you feel like you are splurging because everything is such a decadent treat, but the entire menu is heart, mind & body healthy.  The owner opened the restaurant after fighting off Stage 4 Prostate Cancer with a natural-raw-vegan diet & lifestyle change.  Still skeptical?  Take my recommendation & try it yourself!

Alright enough eating - time to get back to work!  Don't you love when it's your Friday & you just want to make it though the day & start your weekend & your assignment for the day is to go to the mall??  Yeah that's my greatest version of TGIF too!  I got to be a VIP at my favorite department store & interview Heat players & yes, it was awesome!!

This day at work wasn't as great :(
I stayed on this story for 2 days straight as we worked to find the owner who abandoned these horses with no food or water for months.  Bad News: the horses were severely malnourished, emaciated, dehydrated, covered in sores & infections & they will have a long road ahead in gaining back their weight, strength & health.  Good News: the bad guy was caught & slapped with criminal animal cruelty charges & the horses are both recovering really well.  The animal abuser goes to jail & the horses get to live a long, healthy & happy life -- that's my ideal day at work!  

This is my "weekend-look" since I anchor the Saturday & Sunday evening newscasts.  But these days, so few female anchors ever actually wear suits to work anymore.  We're much more casual & modern now with dresses, shirts, sweaters & such.  But I launched a little throw-back last weekend & brought the suit out of the back of the closet & to the anchor desk.  I gotta pay a little respect to my news queen & dress a little Diane Sawyer every once in awhile... don't you agree?!

Ha ha he he ;)
Till next time... See ya blog readers!

Veggie or Not... Here we Come!

I was barely off the plane, back home from my Aspen trip, when it was time to go back to work & celebrate the Miami Heat winning the NBA Championship... For the 2nd year in a row!

Congrats to King James & the rest of the boys... What an amazing end to the Finals!

We were at full-staff at Local 10 to cover the big celebration parade.  My photographer, Frank Debesa, & I were at the Brickell Bridge so we had the BEST view of ALL the basketball players as they came by on the double-decker buses.  

Ok, from the celebration for the Heat, to the celebration of one of my all-time favorite bands... JOURNEY!!! Don't stop believing that the wheel in the sky keeps on turning and is forever yours faithfully!  This is the 4th time I have seen these guys in concert & I never get tired of it!  I LOVE the classic Journey tunes from my youth!

I brought my girlfriend & favorite spin instructor, Marcy Mock, because she is a concert-loving girl & just soooooo much fun.  We dressed in our best 80's gear to pay respect to the Journey boys ;)

Afterwards, it was time for 'Tatu' - one of my favorite sushi places at the Hardrock in Hollywood.  I ordered veggie rolls & edamame & I don't care what Marcy says, she definitely liked my rolls better than her fishy ones! Ha ha he he. But we both agree that the cotton candy desert is the perfect way to end our sushi & sake meal!

And if you ever want to burn off dinner or desert, you have to go try one of Marcy's spin classes!  Just visit LA Fitness in North Miami on Wednesday or Friday at 4:30pm or Tuesday at 9:45am.  But don't say I didn't warn you... She will kick your butt!!

As long as we are talking about my favorite boys... This one holds the number 1 spot!  My nephew Kenji owns my heart & he's not sharing it with anyone else anytime soon!

No better smooch in the world!  Kenji kisses are the BEST!!

That's the look I got from Jagger when he heard I said Kenji owned my heart & that my nephew was my favorite boy!  I don't want to get in trouble with the chihuahua boys, so I gotta give them love too.

They are the coolest dogs in the world... Just ask my Dad!

They have their grandfather's handsome good looks & his charm too!

But there is no better way to end a long work day, then to crawl in a backyard hammock with your 2 little munchkins for cuddles & doggie kisses!  Now if only I could train them to cook me a vegan dinner...

Mountains of Veggies


This is the face I make after 12 hours of travel!  Not fun!  But the eye-mask & noise-canceling headphones help.  However, the aches & pains of travel ease a bit when you find this place in the airport concourse of your connection.

Woo-hoo!  I got to eat tofu chili & steamed veggies in the Dallas airport (while waiting for my 2nd delayed flight) while everyone else was stuck with McDonalds!  Healthy food makes my tummy very happy!  But for those of you dying for fries... go to this place because they bake the fries instead of frying them... genius right?!  Check them out in Concourse B at DFW

The healthy food may make my tummy happy but this view makes my heart happy!  

Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh... now that is why I put up with all the ridiculous late flights & broken planes.  This was my welcome-wagon view of the Colorado mountains as I landed in Aspen for the 2nd time in 2 months.  I'm falling in love with this place & I am a Miami-girl through & through... so for the Rocky Mountains to be pulling at my heartstrings... that says something!

But this is the real reason that I am in the Centennial State... my BFF Sasha Andrade & her handsome groom Avi Tryson, came to tie the knot in this gorgeous, show-stopping, wedding-worthy, postcard-looking location with these stunning mountains as the backdrop.  If I wasn't there, I would not have believed that the landscape was real, that's how perfect it looked!

We had to ride a gondola to make the trip up to the mountain summit.  Quite a different outfit for this June climate, than when I was out here 2 months ago skiing my butt off on a very snow-covered Ajax mountain!  The April temperatures required more layers!

But I digress... Back to the Bride!  Sasha was stunning & the intimate ceremony was so gorgeous & special, I was honored to be a part of such a love-filled day!

But once the champagne started flowing...

We went from love & romance to party animals!

Sasha & Avi win 1st place in 3 distinct categories:
1. Most Beautiful Wedding I have ever attended
2. Best Post-Wedding Pub Crawl ALL over Aspen
3. They took good care of the Vegan

This was my meal at the "Meatball Shack" during the rehearsal dinner!  I was so impressed & touched by how the newlyweds treated their favorite vegan!  Arugula, tomatoes & zucchini... Yay!

It is VERY easy to eat Vegan in Aspen.  For the second time in 2 months, I had no problem.  Breakfast was a delicious coffee with almond milk & a sunrise eye-opener breakfast bar made with all organic oats & fruits & veggies & nuts - of course non-dairy & with just a smidge of agave.  Great way to start the day!

Lunch was even better!  Homemade gazpacho with local organic tomatoes & onions along with a quinoa salad topped with mango & watermelon.  That was the most perfect meal to get me revved up for my 20 mile bike ride along the Rio Grande Trail!

I spin about 3-4 times a week but NOTHING in a gym compares to the view I enjoyed of the river, the mountains, the wildlife, the flowers, the plants & the fresh air!  WOW!  What a way to live... I'm genuinely jealous of all Coloradans right now!  And speaking of wildlife, guess what I saw while hiking the Maroon Bells???

A baby deer!  This fawn was right in our path!  I could not believe it!  I never see anything like this in Miami!  What a treat!  She just let us watch her for a few minutes & then ran off to join her Mommy.  I loved my day outdoors, taking advantage of the sunny sights, while hiking & biking my way all over Aspen.  But all that exercise works up a hefty appetite & I was ecstatic to sit down & eat CARBS!

The chef at 'Above the Salt' made me a special meal (not on the menu) and I ate every darn bite! Actually, if I wasn't out in public, I might have licked the plate, it was that good!  Pappardelle with mushrooms, leeks, spinach & onions in a light vegetable broth.  I died & went to pasta heaven!

My view at the restaurant.  I'm one of those weird people who has no problem eating alone.  I love to talk to my server, people-watch, sip & enjoy my wine & really savor my food.  I also like making people wonder, "Why is that poor girl eating alone?"  Ha ha he he

Until next time Aspen... Because you KNOW I will be back... I love this place!