Genki Pup Smells Daffodils

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Caught Genki Pup smelling the flowers when I wasn’t looking. She’s so cute, she loves to smell most flowers. She is so delicate with them though, she doesn’t eat them.

Today was a fun day of various weather changes in Michigan.  Michiganders call this “layer weather” since the weather changes by the minute.  It basically just means you have to wear many different layers from your swimming suit to winter jacket.  Every second the weather changes you will find yourself removing or adding a layer throughout the entire day without rhyme or reason.  We had fun outside though with Genki Pup.  She has had a difficult time moving out of our Virginia house and switching things up for the move to our new house.  So we tend to spend a lot of fun time with her so she doesn’t notice her favorite things are in a storage unit waiting to move.  Today we were outside playing and she found some flowers.  At first she acted as if flowers were a normal thing but then after I turned around from taking a photo of something else I found her sneaking this sniff.  She is just so cute!  As for the rest of the day, we found ourselves inside again since the weather turned gloomy grey and the wind was similar to one in a winter storm in an old Hollywood film.  Thankfully we were nestled inside with the heat turned up and our furry babies next to our sides as we worked on our computers for the day.  Sometimes we all need these days of rest.

Genki pup sitting next to the gorgeous spring daffodils. There is just so much cuteness in this photo it’s hard to contain myself as a proud furry-baby mum.  She was very happy with her find as you can tell.

Barry the Koala meets Michigan spring flowers for the first time

Who’s tired of oatmeal? I’m in a rut but that’s okay because there are a lot of healthy things to put into oatmeal that will make it taste different. Today I chose a basic cinnamon and sugar dish. Side of Soy Blueberry Yogurt. Pretty soon when the weather warms I will switch to cold oats instead with chiaseeds, can’t wait!

Morning walk with Genki Husband and Genki Pup.  It was very windy but the sun was out for various moments of the day.  It was really not the calmest of walks today but at least we got out there for a nice 1 mile walk, while all bundled up.  Michigan for those of you unaware is a large agricultural state.  This is leftover corn stalks from last years’ crop.

More spring flowers have sprung up this week! Hyacinths-purple.

Found this cute vintage straw in my mother-in-law’s cabinet and couldn’t resist. It’s my favorite now. I told her she might find it missing when we leave. haha Octopus straw is a definite plus in my mid-morning iced coffee drink.

Another vegan dessert that I absolutely love – ripe bananas. Mmmm Yes, the brown spots mean it is ripe. (Green is not) Genki Husband and I have this fight all the time. haha  Okay so maybe this one was a little too ripe but still…

Leftover lunch with easy put together soup. Genki Husband and I shared these two bowls of leftovers.  This is leftover pasta from our leftover dinner last night.  Additionally I made this tomato soup with a little pasta so that we had enough for two people.  My stomach has been hurting the whole day so the soup was rather nice on it.

Vegan jyajyamyun (yep, Korean Black Bean Noodles like in Korean dramas) homemade and eaten by Genki Husband. I used these noodlesI used this recipe.

Who said vegans can’t have cereal for dinner? These are grapenuts with unsweetened almond milk. On the side I had Ezekiel bread (flourless & low-sodium) with Strawberry/Rhubarb Jam. My stomach was still giving me issues so I ate this along with some mixed raw nuts from Trader Joe’s. Grape nuts has low sugar with high fiber.

New tea to test out -Ginger Peach by Republic of Tea. These always confuse me since the price is very high but the taste is very little. I’m not a fan but I assume others like this brand. I’d rather spend the money on Teavana I think or any other loose-leaf tea.

We ended the evening with a lovely orange/red sunset while watching Newhart Show on YouTube once again.

How was Earth Day for all of you?  Anything special happen?  Did you get outside and enjoy it?

A Kayak Kind of Monday…

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Hello Genki Friends!  Sorry this is a bit late but I have been working on something very exciting for this blog – look forward to it coming in the next day or so.  Hooray! I love surprises, don’t you?  Today started off on a different foot than normal for us lately.  Firstly we had to take our family car into the repair shop today get fixed.  Did I mention my mother-in-law hit our car while it was parked on the opposite side of the large driveway? Yep ladies and gentlemen our driving instructors were correct in telling us to look in our mirrors and pay attention to things around the car.  Just before we took in the car for the week, my in-laws left for vacation.  They are taking a one-week vacation (as they do every year) to visit my brother-in-law.  We volunteered to watch their house and furry baby while they were gone.  Our vacation here is filled with helping out our family members such as this since we almost never get to assist in this manner since we live hundreds of miles away.  This is our one chance to help everyone out and we are loving it.  Not that we would want to stay here forever just helping out family members… oh no, no, no.  We would go broke and crazy, ha-ha.  So here’s a look at my day in photos:

Waking up on the lake is such a wonderful opportunity. It will be so hard to leave the lake- it will be bittersweet.

Vegan breakfast oatmeal- cinnamon agave nectar sweetness. Mmmm  Perfect amount of sweetness that doesn’t spike the sugar in the blood.

Michigan is truly amazing with the sky show. This is what our morning looked like on a slightly cloudy day. This is my first view from the kayak on the lake.

This is the light show I keep talking about on the lake in Michigan. First you have gloomy grey then two seconds later there is purple pouring out of the sky. Truly inspiring – just what Genki Husband and I need.

After purple sets in over the Michigan lake it tends to turn pink.

After the grey, purple & pink the lake finally turns to a combination of all three. If you have never been to Michigan, I highly recommend it in the spring, summer or autumn. Okay, maybe winter too but only if you like cold temperatures and snow. (I am definitely not one of those people.) The sky show is just pure and true, it warms the heart and calms the mind.

Finally the sunshine has come through for the day and the color show has been completed. There is nothing better than kayaking in the morning on a Michigan lake in the spring. Sometimes we just go out to the middle of the lake and watch the sky show – then kayak around parts of the lake exploring the calm waters.

Genki Kitty kayaking on the middle of the lake on a very early morning kayak trip to watch the sun rise.  No makeup is allowed this early in the morning, so viewer be warned. haha  I’m not sure I even brushed my hair this morning…  LOL

The best dessert in the world in early spring- seedless grapes!!!! We love these chilled in the morning. In the summer we love to freeze them and eat as a cold dessert after a long run. Note: Grapes are a “dirty dozen” fruit so if you can, buy organic! Unfortunately our store does not have a large selection of organic items. I’m a dirty person at heart though, I eat them straight out of the bag because I can’t wait… I know, I know…

Danish Pastry with mixed frozen berries. This was leftovers and oh my goodness it was just as good as it was straight from the oven!  Did I post this breakfast when I made it for the entire family on Good Friday? Maybe I will have to post the entire recipe since it is so amazing!  Mmmm

1/2 lemon in this 16oz Starbucks cooler cup with water. Yum! This is perfect on a sunny, warm day. This is a Starbucks cup that I purchased in Australia. So cute! I haven’t seen it in America just yet. I’m guessing there are different ones for different countries.

Leftovers tossed together to make this delicious pasta dish. I’m a firm believer in taking leftovers and making them into a new dish. Simply delicious! This contained leftover cooked pasta, taco filling, peas, fresh avocado, sliced onions and sliced garlic. I tossed in cumin and turmeric also to add a bit of flavor. It was so delicious I want it again!

Genki Husband and I were still hungry after dinner so we shared this bowl of vanilla ceral with a little granola in it. Sometimes something little goes a long way for a dessert. We ate this while watching Newhart Show on YouTube. Anyone else seen this show? I used to watch the reruns while in high school so now I am passing this old show on to my husband.

Hopefully all of you are enjoying the “what I ate” series on the blog lately with all the photos.  It is a lot of work but I don’t mind if all of you enjoy it.  If you are missing anything in my blogs or want more information please let me know by email or in the comment section of each blog entry.  You can find all contact information on my “about me” page. I’d love to hear from each and everyone of you.  For now I wish all of you a happy, healthy day!

Easter Weekend in Review

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Hello Everyone!  Many of you probably noticed this weekend I was absent and that was because it was Easter!  Happy Belated Easter to all of you!  He has risen!  Easter is one of our most treasured holidays since it is a time to be together with family and rejoice in the forgiveness of our sins.  Whether you are a Christian or not, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and hopefully got out to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air.

Genki Husband and I were able to enjoy gorgeous Michigan weather, quite uncommon for this time of the year.  That’s not a complaint by any means, just so no one gets confused.  So, here’s our gorgeous Spring Easter weekend in photos:

There was a lot of eating these delicious vegan hot cross buns. I make mine so they are not only vegan but also fat free! You can have your yummy traditional foods while also losing weight! No need for starvation – just eat smart.

Vegan Easter Cookies - perfect recipe from England! Love these cookies. They are so simple to put together my in-laws were asking what the fantastic smell was and when we were going to start making the cookies. Yep, they were already done.

Here were the finished Easter Vegan Cookies. The recipe does not make a large batch so if you have a large crowd to please, I would almost triple the recipe. It is so easy with few ingredients though, it is not a problem. Genki Husband, my mother-in-law and I ate this entire batch this weekend together. (Father-in-law wouldn’t touch them, he ate old cookies from a few weeks ago instead… still trying… haha)

Vegan Italian Easter Bread – such a wonderful family tradition in Italy and so thankful I can make it vegan to enjoy over the holidays. We have made this for years and couldn’t be any more happy. It’s tasty, healthy and also is colorful for the season with a reason. You can make this recipe any time of the year – not just Easter but it is gorgeous for this special day.

Italian Easter Bread – made vegan. This is a light bread made with sun-dried fruit and topped with a drizzle of frosting. So perfect for any season, just change the coloring and sprinkles (jimmies).

This is the recipe from Engine 2 Diet but instead of collard leaves as I made last time I steamed some kale. It was so tasty, I ate this entire bowl myself. Thankfully it is very low calorie and low fat.  We ate this on Saturday morning to balance out our breakfast from Friday morning and the future Sunday morning.  It’s all about balancing and moderation.

We had this for a lunch this weekend when we were Easter baking and did not want to cook anything too special. We mixed a 14oz can diced tomatoes, 1 can mushroom, 2 tsp cumin, bag frozen mixed veggies and 1/4 cup rice into a pot and simmered for about 20-30 minutes. Done! Simple, inexpensive and we even had leftovers we were so full.

After a hard day of yard work it was so easy to put together a hardy vegan mac n chez meal with green peas. So delicious we fought over the leftovers!

Easter Lunch of foods from the bible. (1st Course) We ate right next to the lake- so quiet and peaceful. We had raw nuts, sun-dried figs from Jordan (thanks Nida for bringing them back), dried Medjool dates, and fresh grapes.

Vegan lunch out by the lake. (2nd course) This was vegan taco filling (lentils from bible) and tortillas. We really love this recipe for a filling of tacos. We shared this bowl.

Gardein vegan ‘hamburger’ topped with grilled onions, minus the bun since I’m not a fan unless eating outside. Homemade American biscuit and a kale salad. We also had Das Dutchman Essenhaus jam- so tasty! Side dish of pineapple, apple, and strawberries to share with everyone.

Yard work this weekend for a whole day in the sunshine. I took all the weeds and leaves out of the flowerbeds and around the bushes to get them prepped for Spring flowers for my mother-in-law.

Genki Husband and I are Episcopalians so we took ourselves to church again on Sunday for a special Easter service. This church is very small but you feel cozy inside it. We love that it is associated with an Abbey nearby and it is filled with monks on certain occasions. We were early so I wasn’t taking photos during the service.

Genki Pup on Easter with her present from the Easter Bunny in 2014.

Sunsets were gorgeous this weekend with the warm spring evenings.

Good Morning Easter Sunday- it’s always a color show for the eyes.

 

Genki Husband, Genki Furry babies and I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend! 

Das Dutchman Essenhaus, Indiana & Spring

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Das Dutchman Essenhaus- outside, this is only about 1/2 of the main restaurant.

Lately Genki Husband and I have been feeling a bit cooped up so we decided instead of stay inside another cold day we would go on an adventure to one of our old favorite restaurants, Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury, Indiana.  It’s an Amish restaurant that serves family style meals in large proportions.  If being stuffed to the length one has to unbutton ones’ pants, there is a separated section of the main restaurant building for menu style ordering.  Eating at this section does come with a warning though you may be mocked on your way inside (just kidding).  As this is a Amish style restaurant (German and Dutch), the food is 100% not vegan so we did not delight in the eating process but went for the entertainment of shopping.  Our intentions for the entire trip was to purchase Amish apple butter and Amish Fruit Spread- it is just like my grandmothers’ recipe and it doesn’t mess up my kitchen.  It’s something special only when we come to Michigan.  If you are in the area, I highly suggest this restaurant!  While there we also entertain ourselves by walking through the other village shops and look at knickknacks available for sale.  Once my mother and a family friend took a quilting class on the Essenhaus premises which was great fun, so if you plan it out right there are certain traditional classes available too for signup.   One can truly spend a day just in this one area, which might be necessary if you can’t move after eating a family-style meal.  Anyways I can babble on for hours about this place since it’s a family tradition to go here for food and entertainment.  So, on to the rest of the day through photos.

This is seriously how I found Genki Pup this morning in our bed as I returned to make it after Genki Husband got out of it. She is usually the last to get out of bed. Please don’t judge on the mismatched sheets we are on vacation. :)

Grape Nuts with Unsweetened Almond Milk and a little brown sugar.

Cardinal Checking us out through the window.

Spring flowers in a large batch. This will be gorgeous in about a week!  We found this large batch on a nice pup walk in the cool morning breeze.

We use these kids pouches for traveling to assure we get enough food and fruit. Today I used it for my hot cross buns recipe and it worked wonders since we don’t buy applesauce but make our own. This was used in a pinch and did a great job! No more buying large jars of applesauce anymore – just use one of these!

Vegan Hot Cross Buns Recipe. Non-vegan and Vegans alike will love it!  Genki Husband and I made these together for the first time -normally I make them alone but it was nice to have someone to do it with this time around.  

Lunch leftovers: homemade vegan american biscuit, tofurky deli slices and a large bunch of peas. Mmmm I’m thinking the biscuits should be a bit larger next time though. haha

Barry goes to Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury, Indiana. This is an Amish restaurant with stores alongside.

The shops – there is about 4 stores which are mostly connected so you can enjoy them on a cold day or a snowy one.

Inside the bakery at Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury, Indiana. It changes all the time.

Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury, Indiana. You can climb inside the silo. There’s not much to see though, we did it for fun anyways.

The jam, butter and fruit spreads section! mmmmm These are all handmade. We bought one that was Rhubarb and Strawberry!

Banana Butter? Haven’t noticed this before until after we came back from Australia and this was popular. So funny how ones’ eyes are opened after going overseas. Someone is going to get this in her next box for sure!

Had to stop from buying all of these!

Amish country in Indiana. This is very common to see going down the roads.

We found these at the store this last week – I love pretzels! Unfortunately these spoon shaped ones are not as good. :(  This was leftover pb and I ate it as the perfect snack. mmmmm

Sunset tonight after dinner. We had a nice vegan Gardein burger and some leftover rice pilaf. Mmmm

 

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies {Recipe}

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Some of you have been wondering what recipe I used for my Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies the other day. If you ever want a recipe or now my secret to making any recipe featured on my daily blogs, please let me know and I will write it up to share with all of you. If one person questions, I will answer since each and every one of you are important to me. I’m so thankful we can share recipes and tips to making our lives healthy and a bit easier.

My favorite chocolate chip recipe (with flour) comes from Alien’s Day Out (Please go visit her website, she is an amazing blogger in South Korea) that owns a cute vegan restaurant called PLANT in Itaewon, Seoul. Mipa (the blog owner) writes about her daily adventures in Seoul and her restaurant. She also has some wonderful recipes that are simple and inexpensive to put together without tarnishing the taste of the traditional recipe from which hers are inspired. Can you tell I’m a big fan? Ha-ha If you have never heard of this site or Mipa I highly encourage you to check out her website or check out a review/introduction video on Eat Your Kimchi (English Speaking YouTube Bloggers in South Korea).

So on to the recipe (which I don’t follow exactly but who does right?): Original Recipe

1 c unbleached flour
1 c oatmeal (Just don’t use 1 minute instant wonder oats)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 c vegan chocolate chips
3/4 c light brown sugar
1/2 c canola oil (or ½ c applesauce or 1 banana)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c water
 
1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
3. Add chocolate chips, mix well.
4. Use two spoons to scoop out normal sized cookies just like normal onto a prepared cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Cool or just eat and complain they are hot… (That’s what we do at least…ha-ha)

 

Tuesday Blues & Lentil Soup

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We woke up to this view this morning – a little snow covering on the ground. At least it was warm inside.

Oh Tuesday how you did slightly disappoint me.  We woke up this morning to snow, yes spring snow.  Where did you come from snow flurries?  It was just a slightly covering on the ground but it was a bit of a shock considering it is spring now, we are supposed to be filled with color instead of white powder.  After the first few hours, the sun was shining down upon us again and if we didn’t go outside it was nice and warm.  Does it appear I am always obsessed with the weather?  ha-ha  Not much going on today besides more telecommuting via internet and going to the grocery store.  Space is sparse here so our grocery shopping has to be minimalistic so there really was nothing really to share besides what you will see in our food recipes coming up this next week.  It’s just a lot of fresh vegetables and lentils.  Some weeks are just like this, not too much excitement I’m afraid.  Maybe some of you will find it more exciting than me though, who knows… :)  Exercise was done inside today, just some basic yoga since it was too cold to do much of anything outside.  We did manage to get about a five minute pup walk in but other than that we just worked on thawing our frozen ears the rest of the afternoon.  Today might have been another off day but at least we have tomorrow.  Never let one day ruin the rest – each day is an entirely new adventure and you can choose how each one goes.  So dream big!

Vegan Breakfast Ezekiel Sprouted (no flour) bread with pineapple slices and a Black Cherry Silk Soy Yogurt.

Some pistachios I ate before making breakfast in the morning. Actually I was making Bananas Elysian for Genki Husband and stole these nuts… hehe

Trader Joe’s Mixed Raw Nuts and Cranberries. These are ‘raw’ so they do not contain salt or preservatives. I ate this small batch for a snack which provides energy and essential fats for the rest of the day. Nom nom nom Never underestimate the power of nuts!

Leftovers make a lovely lunch time special when you have a few options. This is vegan mac n chez and cranberry apricot pecan rice pilaf. Actually we had two options today and Genki Husband and I had to agree to share both since we were fighting over the mac n chez since it is sooooo delicious!

Leftover Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – oh yum! You haven’t had banana bread until you have experienced this one. nom nom nom When we go on our way to our new destination, remind me of this banana bread when I see I have gained too much weight. haha Then I will be okay with having to work it off again. (Kidding, I haven’t gained any weight.)

These are licorice pieces and soooooo tasty! I grew up on the stuff and love every piece I can get my hands onto… Homemade is best but store bought comes in a good second. (I had three servings like this – so delicious! Perfect for all the walking we did around the grocery store x3)

Kale Sweet Potato Lentil Soup for dinner. It made enough to feed the entire country for less than $5. Perfect!  My intention of making this soup was to entice my in-laws into eating something healthy and vegan.  They love sweet potatoes, soup, tomatoes and supposedly lentils.  Unfortunately my father in law said “oh, I smell something” when he came in the door with a positive tone.  Looked in the pot and said “oh that looks interesting.  Is it lentils? I love lentil soup by my wife never makes it for me. I am going to definitely have some of that tonight!”  I was so excited that I might have enticed him into trying it.  Then dinner time came around and he warmed up a plate of leftovers in the microwave and turned his nose up to the soup.  He wouldn’t even eat one piece of a homemade American biscuit that I had again made knowing he loved them.  So another day, another failure at trying to get them to eat my cooking.  I’m starting to think it’s not my food but me… My quest continues…

American Style Biscuits that can be made in under 20 minutes. It’s so easy to whip together before dinner that you won’t even think of those other canned kinds in the store. I made these to go along with the soup above and for the next morning at breakfast. I made a full batch instead of 1/2 so there are a lot of leftovers now. Come on over if you love biscuits!

Spring flowers today – love the hyacinth coming up in our yard. It’s exciting to watch them grow each and every day.

Furry babies sitting in the sunshine. Love my two babies. Who said cat and dog could not love each other?

Sunset tonight as I finally got to watch a half hour of TV! (First time since we got here I could use the remote.) Sadly there was nothing on which is probably why I got to watch something and everyone else was off doing something else. ha-ha But still a score.

 

Did any of you manage to get outside to workout today?

Vegan Mac N Chez Monday?

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Happy Monday! It was such a nice and relaxing weekend it was hard to come into the work week but that’s okay because the weekend will live on in memory.  Did all of you have a wonderful weekend too?  What about fitness, did any of you get out there and enjoy some fresh air?  Genki Husband and I got together with Genki Pup and did about a hundred walks outside in the sunshine.  It was so gorgeous we even had our flip flops out so our toes got to come out and breathe.  Hooray!  This morning when we woke up it was warm still but there were very cold breezes.  Thankfully we got outside for a nice pup walk before the cold weather came – aka snow flurries.  There’s something different about snow flurries in Michigan in the spring though compared to winter, maybe it is due to knowing it will melt the next day.  So yeah, we just stayed inside and did some work the entire day.  It was a bit of an emotionally draining day so I decided to end the day with a nice Dr. Teal’s Eucalyptus salt bath to remove some of the strain.  If you haven’t tried this kind, go for it, it’s amazing!

Lake in Michigan in Spring on a rainy, cold day.  Not as gorgeous to wake up to this but it’s still pretty to watch the waves.  We joked this morning we would go learn how to surf since the waves were very big at times.

Breakfast:  Did not take a photo for whatever reason. I had a bowl of oatmeal with agave nectar and some homemade Chocolate Chip Banana bread leftover from the other day.  Mmmm…  Anyone try this recipe yet?

Snack:  Genki Husband and I shared some oreo’s with each other.  We finally finished off the Birthday Cake Oreo’s – and did not buy any more this week. ha-ha  We find we eat them way too often when we have them in the house for too long- it’s good for a few days but then we start to overdo it with the sugar.  Sugar is an addiction so we want to make sure we don’t buy them all the time.

Leftover Cranberry, Apricot, Pecan Rice Pilaf from the other night. It is just as delicious as the night before – Genki Husband said he couldn’t tell the different so score for leftovers!

Snack:  Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Pretzels.  We find we snack more here in Michigan but that might be due to the fact we are trapped inside and can’t go outside for long.  Hopefully that changes though as the weather is going to warm up again starting this weekend.

Genki Husband made dinner tonight to get away from his work computer (can I say workaholic). Normally we make Vegan Mac n Chez on Fridays’ but we missed this last week so we made our comfort food tonight. Yum! Side dish of Wegman’s Chicken-less Nuggets which are so tasty! You probably get tired of me talking about them but they are just like real chicken nuggets minus the cholesterol, fat, calories and guilt for eating an animal. Mmmm I could eat them every night!

Pure Camomile Tea- no other ingredients. This helps me sleep on stressful days when I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep. I have issues relaxing the mind at night (that makes me smart right? ha-ha) so sometimes I reach towards a natural alternative instead of any medicines or chemicals that others use.

What do you do to sleep at night when you have a stressful day?

 

The Liebster Award!

Hooray! I’m so thrilled to have received the Liebster Award! To be nominated for the Liebster Award is an honor – I love the idea of spreading the love between fellow bloggers and for being appreciated for the things I share with all of you. Thankfully I just fit into the required categories, so I am going to go ahead and start the sharing with all of you.

Just so you know, ‘Liebster’ is a German word that stands for the English term “sweetheart” or “dear friend”. And since all of you are my friends, (Du bist ein lieber Freund.) I wish to share all of my answers with all of you…

1. What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written? Wow! Start off with a hard one right off the bat. I love sharing everything with all of you but I most importantly love to share any information that gives you inspiration to live a healthy, fit lifestyle full of happiness. Blogs that spread information of this type of lifestyle would have to be my favorite of all the rest. Additionally, I love the recipes from my childhood to share with all of you such as my Japanese One-Pot Dish and my Grandmothers’ homemade dishes like Genki Goulash Soup. Maybe all of you can tell me what you like best, which might be easier…

2.  Where do you get your inspiration from? My inspiration is from my own life experience, I went through a major lifestyle change after I returned from my living in Japan. I lost more than ½ my body weight through natural methods (not starvation, no pills, or anything drastic) such as healthy amounts of exercise and eating healthy every day. My life mentally and physically has changed throughout my entire process of changing so I pray I can share the wealth of my experience with all of you to inspire you each and every one of you to live a happy, healthy life.

3. What does your name mean? My name, Genki Kitty, derives from my love of Hello Kitty and my love of a healthy lifestyle. The Japanese term “Genki” can be translated into English as health, energy and/or spirit. Genki encircles around the three main aspects to the lifestyle I want to live and share with all of you. The term “Kitty” comes from “Hello Kitty” or as in the old phrase “one cool cat”.

4. Do you prefer the gym or the great outdoors for exercise? The weather really determines my mood for whether I want to workout indoors or outdoors. Cold weather is not my friend most days in the winter so I prefer to go indoors. All other days I prefer to stay outdoors and run, hike, bike, walk and swim. There is so much more to do outdoors so I never get bored- which is important to a healthy lifestyle.

5. If you could go on any reality TV show, which one would you choose and why? I have been asked to go on a few talk television shows before however it is not in my interest zone. There are people that want and appreciate the attention but I am in the point of my life that I do not need external attention. I merely want to share my experience and daily life with all of you to inspire you all to live the life you want to live. Each and every one of you is worth it.

6. What was your worst date ever? Thankfully I never had to really date since I was best friends with Genki Husband before getting engaged and getting married. Genki Husband was the man that took me to my Senior Prom in high school and on that date, we knew it was meant to be and never stopped. Our intention before prom was never to date but to continue being friends but fate caught hold and took us down a different path. God always has plans, even if they go against your own.

7. What is your drink of choice? Normally I am a plain water type of gal, nothing special I know. If I had a choice among any drink though, I would go for real coconut water which I love on especially hot days when I run outside. Cracking up a Thai coconut is much easier than you probably think. Mmmmm

8. Who is your fashion/style icon? Fashion and style? Oh this one is hard because I am terrible at fashion and style. Have you ever noticed I never do any OOTD’s? Ha-ha Sadly, I think I need an intervention or a full makeover because I have not changed my appearance since around high school which was quite a few years ago.

9. If you could try or take up something new (and had the time and financial means to do it), what would it be? It financial means were not an issue I would continue on with my personal pilot lessons that I started in High School. Or I might take private Spanish lessons since so many people speak Spanish in America and I love talking to people in their own language. Ohhh or Australian surfing so that I can learn to surf and return to Australia. Two for one! Ha-ha

10. If you could live one day over again, what would it be? Not one day in my past is a day I would want to live again; I love everyday for what it was and what it had been in the past. I love to look towards the future and not the past since our future is where we will be…

11. What’s the favorite thing about the stage of life you’re in right now? Right now we are in a vacation stage between jobs for my husband so we can spend some time with our families before moving far away. We love our families (although would never want to live too close by) so a few weeks before we move was a great option for us seeing we have the financial means to take a few weeks off and work telecommuting. It is something I believe we will treasure for a long time to come when we are living a great distance away and not able to come home every holiday.

Instead of tagging 11 bloggers, I am going to tag ALL of you! Pick one of the questions above and answer it in the comments.

Or go ahead and try all of them out on your own personal blog.  I just ask you put a link to my website in your blog post.  Then, I will add your link to this blog post for others to read.  It’s so much fun to get to know each other!

Bloggers that I nominate for this award are: (These are all blogs I subscribe to that I love and also mean the requirements.  I can’t wait to hear everyone’s responses!

tacokittens.wordpress.com
Vegetate
Little Vegan Bear
Natural Fuel
Memoirs of a Yo-Yo Dieter

Original Liebster Award was from Bump & Run- check them out – you will love these two ladies!

Palm Sunday

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Palm Sunday!  This is one of my favorite weeks in the Christian calendar since it is the week that one can really look deep into our faith and meditate on what happened while Christ was on earth.  Genki Husband and I started out the day with a positive note.  We were going to make Pax cakes but I really wanted to make something extra special for my in-laws to try out and enjoy.  My in-laws do not understand the vegan lifestyle (even though we have been vegan for years) so I am trying to get them to understand it is not about eating just salads but also delicious items everyone can enjoy together.  Food is not about nourishment of the body but also a cultural piece that brings people together.  My father-in-law is not impressed with the idea of vegan eating and turns up his nose to all my food so I am trying to go the extra distance to bring food to the table he will enjoy.  I will not be defeated!  ha-ha  This morning I got up just before 6A.M. to make this banana chocolate chip bread for everyone before church.  The house smelled so amazing!  Unfortunately my father-in-law decided to make his own instant oatmeal instead of trying my bread but at least my husband and mother-in-law (tiny slice= tiny victory) enjoyed this for breakfast.  Then we were off to church and settling in to a day of relaxation.  After church we just relaxed since it was the first day since getting here we did not have work to do or coursework.  Such a nice relaxing day at the lake.  For exercise we did manage to take it easy and go for three pup walks since it was warm.

P This morning I wanted to make something super delicious for my in-laws. My father-in-law does not like the idea of ‘vegan food’ so he won’t eat anything I make. So I thought this coconut chocolate chip banana bread might do the trick. Who can resist this great smelling bread baking at 6A.M.? My father-in-law I guess. ha-ha This was delicious though, highly suggest it but not too often since it does contain a lot of sugar. mmmm

This was my slice along with another slice. So delicious!

I don’t think I have shared with you our Michigan church. My aunt and uncle attend this church and I used to attend every Sunday while in High School and college with them. I used to play trumpet in this church so it was very special to me. It is relaxed and full of fun-loving people that are more like family than strangers.

Lunch:  Forgot to take a photo but it was leftovers again- a ton of them since we wanted to finish them off.

Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Pretzels are the best snack when hungry. If you don’t want to eat the entire bag, don’t open them! LOL We ate these as a snack before dinner since my in-laws eat around 8PM and we like to eat around 5PM.

Love seeing the robins out playing in the grass. They are a wonderful attraction to Michigan, especially in the spring.

Unfortunately my in-laws live on the wrong side of the lake in Michigan. Look at this crowd, so dangerous. haha

These diving ducks are hilarious to watch going in and out of the water. They are so graceful and entertaining at the same time. We watched them for about an hour or so together while chatting with family.

Time for dinner. Again I tried to get my in-laws to eat something vegan (no luck again for father-in-law) with this Cranberry, Apricot, Pecan Rice Pilaf dish. This was almost creamy thanks to the vegan vegetable broth. I highly suggest it as a side dish or full meal.

Cranberry, Apricot, Pecan Rice Pilaf with vegan chicken-less nuggets from Wegman’s Grocery Store. (which you all should know by now is my favorite vegan chicken-less nuggets.)

After dinner we watched the sunset over the lake again and just delighted in the warm air outside and good company.

 

Sunshine as Medicine: What I Ate Saturday

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Saturday has sprung upon us and oh my it did not disappoint.  Not only was the sun shining down upon us but the temperatures were in the perfect 70′s range.  Genki Husband and I were off of Grandma watch duties so we were free for the day.  Unfortunately I had about 3/4 of a week left of coursework to do by Sunday night so time was limited for outdoor enjoyment.  Thankfully Genki Husband and I got into the sunshine for a nice pup walk in the morning, afternoon and evening.  It was the first evening we were able to have all the windows open in the house and sit outside for a picnic dinner for two- such a delight after a long winter.  Our spirits were lifted by the sunbathing outside, warm pup walks and a grande picnic outside with just the two of us.  Sometimes sunshine is the best medicine for just about any illness.

Traditional oatmeal with a drizzle of agave nectar with a few ‘accidentally vegan’ chocolate chips. On the side a homemade bagel with vegan earth balance butter and a nice hot cuppa.

Berry Almond Amaretto Herbal Tea by Teavana. This is the perfect tea for a day you want a cuppa that is light in fruitiness but does not just taste like water. It smells amazing – if you have a teavana nearby just go smell it, you will want to buy it.

We had homemade vegan cookies for breakfast but this was all that we had time to take a photo of… oops… all gone before the camera could come out. 1.5 each person. mmmm

Lunch time with leftovers: 1/2 tofurky sandwich with organic mixed greens on top and hummus; bowl of Genki Goulash Soup and 1/2 pink lady apple.

My parents have an exchange student again this year and she is from Colombia. She had these at the house and who can pass up figs? mmm Maybe not vegan though, no idea. This is a fig with non-traditional caramel inside. Delicious! It is very sweet though and I had to eat one piece in two different sittings.

View of the fig with caramel piece. It has plastic wrap around it so it has a strange appearance to the top. The dark piece was the fig.

Coon Hollow Preserve in Michigan. This is a small preserve but it is very pretty any time of the year. There are snakes on sunny days though in the spring, we learned this after a few clouds moved and the sunshine filled around us.  Yep, I moved out of that preserve pretty fast into the car. ha-ha  We went here after lunch for a little touring.

Spring flowers peeking through the grass and leaves.

A little too much time at the preserve and we started to get a little crazy… started to hug all the trees.

Then we cried over fallen trees… poor trees.

We did some bird watching.

We found these cute sprouts coming up through the ground too. I love sprouts, they are adorable almost like mini umbrellas.

Finally on our way back up the trail again. It’s short but pleasant hour trip.

Carrot, Dill, & White Bean Salad. This was really good but our white bean fell apart so it wasn’t as attractive as the original.  Our only change would be to use 2 tsp brown sugar (or none) instead of 2 tbsp.  It was really sugary.  This would be nice as a side dish more than a main dish even though it has the protein in it.

Genki Husband and I sat and watched the sun set together while outside on our picnic table. It was gorgeous even though there were clouds. Nice calm, warm evening in Michigan.

Then we sat eating homemade popcorn with coconut oil and salt. We also had a glass of Virginia Cooper Vineyards wine as we watched “How’s it Made?” on television. This was actually the first time we watched television since getting here.  There’s just something about sitting on the floor that makes watching television more romantic. 

 

 

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