Friday, July 30, 2010

Breakfast Guests!!

Thursday was a leftover day. I was running out of steam so I had no energy to make lunch or dinner. So I ate leftovers!! Ryan made his own dinner (his fav tacos)

I took Bella (puppy) on a hike in the Los Gatos Hills!! It got too hot for the black dog so we had to turn around sooner than I hoped. When I returned from my hike there was a message on my phone saying that my TWIN sister, Christy, and her husband, Mike, would be on there way sooner than they thought! (Christy, 8 months pregnant, has a baby-shower this weekend in Santa Cruz. Her and my almost 8 month pregnant cousin Jamie are having a dual shower. How fun!)

They were going to be to my house late but were staying the night so I was excited to make breakfast in the AM!

I decided to do something simple and make oatmeal. Oatmeal and I don't always get along so well. I went through a period in my life that I ate WAY to much of it, so it's taken quite a while to get myself back to the point where I enjoy eating it. This morning...I absolutely loved it. We put bananas, berries, walnuts, and coconut butter as toppings. DELISH! I guess all the tasty toppings changed my mind about this gooey substance.

* I would've never thought to put coconut butter as a topping on my oatmeal. I got this idea from an amazing food blog Kath Eats Real Food. She has a whole page dedicated to oatmeal!! The pics are to die for.

So it's Friday. I am spending the weekend in Santa Cruz for the baby shower festivities. I will stick to this cleanse. It will be tricky...being surrounded by amazing food, desserts, and drinks!! Yikes.

I'll let you know how it goes in a couple of days....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Is it the weekend yet?

A recap of yesterday...

After work I laced up the running shoes to conquer my 4-mile run. It was great being outside after being stuck inside all day! Let’s just say 4 miles felt like 12…not that I have ever ran 12 miles before (my longest distance is 8 miles).

I should share that I am training for a ½ marathon in October. I was training prior to my wedding however the wedding and stress that came with it seemed to get in the way!! So I’m starting all over again. One question I ask of you marathoners out there…does the pain ever go away?? I didn’t think so.

Lunch was leftover rice noodles with watered down soup (remember it was to salty for my liking). Around 4pm I realized I was a bit hungry so I made my Kale Smoothie. I put about a TSP of the Coconut Butter (still I forgot to take a pic) in it with the mangos and bananas and it tasted like tropical heaven.

Dinner was my go to Quinoa w/ Chicken Salad with Balsamic Garlic Dressing. One of my favorites yet its so simple. Ingredients are (but not limited to):




-Any other veggies you want!

-Quinoa (I made mine in my rice cooker. Same as rice. 2:1 ratio)

-8-10oz of chicken (for two people. I sautee mine in pan with a bit of EVOO and S&P)


-1/4cup ish of balsamic vinegar

-1/8 cup ish of EVOO

-2-4 cloves of crushed garlic (I put a lot in!)

-Salt and pepper to taste

I wanted to mention real quick about the COFFEE I have been drinking. Typically during cleanses it is not recommend you drink any coffee at all. However, if that were the case I know I would fail. There's just something about the routine of drinking a hot cup of coffee every morning and tea just does not cut it! (at least for the first few days).

Decaf can be processed in a few different ways to get rid of the caffeine. To make the explanation short, the most common process uses chemicals to extract the caffeine. However, the is another process called the Swiss Water Decaffeination Process, which essentially filters caffeine out of the beans as they are soaked in water. I would highly recommend if you were going to drink decaf coffee to buy some that has been decaffeinated this way.

I thought “Organic” would cut it, but my amazingly smart friend Andrea sent me some information on the Decaf Process and I quickly ran out to whole foods and bought some new coffee!

Off to go make my morning smoothie!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The soup was a complete...

Success!! It was oh-so-fabulous.

One thing I want to make a note of; be careful with how much soy sauce, "better than bouillon" goolosh and fish sauce you put in. The are all very high in sodium which isn't the best for you. I woke up feeling like a puff fish. And you don't need much. The flavors of the fresh veggies, garlic and ginger are enough to overwhelm you palate.

Thai Inspired Soup:
(this is a rough estimate)
-2 quarts of water (1quart=4 cups)
-3ish scoops of the Organic Better Than Bouillon
*I put in more and it was way too salty for my liking. I would recommend tasting it as you put each scoop in.
-2 TBSP of Light Soy Sauce
-1-2 TBSP of Thai Fish Sauce
-Thai thin rice noodles (follow directions on box. These must be boiled first then rinsed in cold water)
-2 TBSP of fresh ginger
-2 TBSP of fresh garlic
-2 cups of shrimpies
-Lots of veggies!! I used about 2 cups of rainbow swiss chard, 1 cup of shiitake mushrooms, 1/2 of a yellow bell pepper, 1/2 red bell pepper, 1/2 cup of green onions, 1 cup Mung Beans,
-Cilantro, limes and Sriracha to garnish

The soup only needs to boil for about 8-10 minutes....I would put the garlic and ginger in towards the end. Andrea did this by mistake (great mistake) but we loved it so much because the flavors were so much stronger!

This morning I woke up with no headache!! Such a relief. I was however craving something sweet so I spiced up the coffee a bit...with fresh nutmeg and Light Agave Syrup (agave is one of my "cheat" foods. You only need a drizzle!!)

It reminds me a bit of Christmas :)

Long day today! Busy work day and my goal is to go for a 4 mile run after. I'll let you know how that goes...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


What better to remind you that you are doing a cleanse then a pounding headache and grogginess upon waking up in the morning!! Ughhh. I forgot to mention in my previous blogs, so I apologize for the lack of disclaimer… I usually feel great the first day, but the second day absolutely sucks. Usually the third day sucks just as much. This is your body adjusting to no caffeine and getting rid of the “junk”, or at least that’s how I view it.

I started my Day 2 exactly the same as yesterday (a lot of my mornings are pretty similar). I had some (disgusting) decaf coffee (regular taste so much better!!! I was really crabby this morning…) with coconut milk creamer and then my smoothie!!

I was having a bit of a stressful day. When I stress I snack! But I chose healthy snacks.

I had about a ¼ cup of cashews and organic dried cranberries before lunch.

(lunch was left over fish and spinach salad…not so good the next day)

I had to stop by my parent’s house where I found this delicious pear hiding out in their fruit basket.Everytime I eat pears it reminds me of the scene in City of Angels where Meg Ryan's character describes what a pear tastes (feels) like to Nicholas I weird?

And then a snack before my workout. I had a rice cake with this amazing coconut butter (YUMO!) I don’t have a picture of it, so I will eat it again tomorrow so I can snap a pic!!

Currently I am staring at a pot of soup simmering on my stovetop. While up in Portland for work this past weekend I went over to my friends Andrea and Len's house (btw, they own an fabulous eco friendly clothing store). Andrea threw together a Thai inspired soup. I thought “this will be perfect for my cleanse next week!”. And, here I am making it.

My headache and grogginess never left me today so I did a short yoga workout (On Demand Jillian Michaels YOGA MELT DOWN.) But before that I had to prep the dinner. Look at all the freshness!! One ingredient missing in the picture that Andrea taught me about was the fish sauce. It is a secret, or not so secret, ingredient in many Thai dishes.

I'll get back to you tomorrow on how it turned out...

So please headache...go away and don't come back tomorrow!

Monday, July 26, 2010

End of Day 1!!!

I feel like this day started a 1,000 hours ago...LONG DAY!!! Ryan and I are still getting settled into our new place so it feels like there is always a list of to-do's around the house. I'm afraid though that won't ever go away...

After work and doing a few chores I managed to squeeze in a 3.5 mile run with Bella. The weather was pretty cool for a summer evening in Los Gatos so I was able to bring the pup along!! I have to say, there were a couple crabby crab bikers on the Los Gatos Trail today...not cool.

The one good thing...and there is only one...about Ryan not getting home from work until late is that it gives me time to get all my stuff done before he's there. Including cook dinner!!

Tonight for dinner I set out to try 3 new recipes. Jerk-Spiced Tilapia (it can be found on, coconut rice and a warm spinach salad (I found this recipe on

I typically wouldn't eat coconut rice during a cleanse because you have to use white rice, but that was Ryan's only request. To have coconut rice this week. So of course I got the most natural healthy sushi rice available (from the bulk isle at Whole Foods). I couldn't find a recipe online for sushi coconut rice in a rice cooker so I just made it up! And it turned out pretty good.

1 1/2 cup rice (rinse well)
1 1/4 cup water
3/4 cup coconut milk

The dinner turned out pretty yummy. The only thing I would change is a lot less oil in the vinaigrette for the salad. The jerk-seasoning was interesting, but I think I want to play around with it some more. There was something about it that I didn't quite fall in love with. Ryan's quote for the evening "I think I like this...I mean I have never in my life tasted something like this." Compliment?? I'm not sure.

I made a mocktail this evening since Ryan was drinking wine. I like to call it Green Tea Splash.

I brewed some green tea last night (my favorite at the moment is Choice Organic Green Tea with Toasted Brown Rice) and put it in the fridge. I poured this into a martini glass and put a SPLASH of Natural Lemonade. And I mean a splash!!! Just enough to give it a little flavor. Lastly a lime wedge!! I love limes :)

I found Bella snuggling with my newly cleaned and folded towels. I guess that's what I get for leaving them on the floor!

She is too cute!!

Day One....

Ahhh Monday morning....considering I didn't go to bed until about 1am (and for those who know me, I am NOT an night owl) this morning was a little rough. To top it off, the thought of not being able to have my cup of CAFFEINE made me want to crawl under my sheets and continue to hit snooze all day long.

But no!! I had to face the day. Because I have done cleanses before, I was well equipped to face the first challenge. How do I give up my cup of coffee with 1/2 and 1/2 every morning? I drink decaf. I find a dark roast decaf bean, grind it to coarse, and put it in my French press...and wa-lla. Coffee!! For cream I have tried many substitutes (some of which taste like flavored water), but my absolute favorite is SO DELICIOUS COCONUT MILK CREAMER

As I mentioned yesterday I typically begin my cleanse mornings with a smoothie. Today was no exception! This morning I made one of my favorites: Kale, Banana, Mango with Almond milk smoothie. Because of the frozen bananas and mangoes this smoothie has a very thick consistency which I love. It kept me full until lunch!

1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup water
1 frozen banana
a few frozen mango chunks
1 TBSP of ground flax seed (for fiber!!)
1 handful of raw KALE (you can barely taste it, I promise!)
1 pint glass (these make the best smoothie cup)

Speaking of for lunch I made a Tuna Salad and ate it on top of a rice cake. And for "dessert" (i hate when people say they eat fruit for dessert...but I always like something sweet after lunch!!) a 1/2 of a peach.

The Tuna Salad consisted of:

1 small can of TUNA (I use the whole can so I will have leftovers)
1/4 cup diced cucumbers
a few diced green onions
1/4 cup diced black olives
2 TBP's of Hummus
pepper to taste

Lunch break is over...back to work.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Not So Terrible Cleanse

Because of the craziness of my wedding and everything that surrounded it, my healthy lifestyle took a back seat for a few months. That’s why I am so unbelievably excited to be writing my first blog entry on CLEANSING. Don’t worry, this isn’t your crazy filtered water with chili pepper and maple syrup diet. A cleanse to me is getting back on track and eating healthy fresh foods that nourish our bodies. Of course there is a list of DO NOT EAT THESE FOODS during the cleanse, but there are still so many foods that you can eat. Follow me for the next two weeks and I will share with you my cleansing secrets including what I eliminate from my diet, the amazing delicious recipes I make, my “cheat” foods and way’s to cope with missing your evening adult beverage.


Here I go.

Typically I aim to cleanse for at least two weeks. I feel this is enough time to get my body and mind back on track. However, after cleansing I still eat very similar to what I eat during a cleanse. I just allow myself to indulge a bit more: breads, chocolate, red wine. You get the gist.

What I Eliminate:

Dairy (cheese, milk, sour cream, ½ and ½ , yogurt), wheat (I avoid breads,and anything with flour in it, but this isn’t a strict gluten free diet), sugar (natural sugars are ok occasionally) , caffeine (coffee is something I am obsessed with so I will drink decaf with coconut milk creamer if I absolutely need my morning cup), and lastly alcohol…yes that includes your fermented grape juice :)

What I will be eating:

WHOLE foods! Natural, mostly organic, non-processed foods. Veggies,fruits, grains, homemade salad dressings, grass feed meats, wild fish, grains such as quinoa and bulgur, tofu…and so much more deliciousness. Don’t fear if you don’t know what quinoa is, if you’ve never made a homemade salad dressing, or if every time you’ve made tofu it breaks apart and sticks to the bottom of the pan. When I prepare my meals I will share with you about each ingredient and how to prepare it!!

Besides grocery shopping tonight, I didn’t have much “Prep” time like slicing and dicing the veggies...

But I did have time for bananas. There's ALWAYS time for bananas!!I just slice them up and put them in the freezer. Frozen bananas give smoothies an irresistible so much healthier to use the fruit for great texture than frozen yogurt or ice cream.

Off to bed for an early rise to start my week! (Though it never ended because I worked all weekend!)

Who I Am

Hi! My name is Allyson Vaughan. My name hasn’t always been Allyson Vaughan... In fact I recently got married, July 3rd 2010.

That crazy journey we call “Wedding Planning” is a big factor that lead to the birth of my new baby blog. One, because I learned what it was like to not live healthfully (10 month long party), and secondly, because wedding planning is like a full time job and I have found myself with a little bit of free time. But let’s not digress.

Simply put; I LOVE food. I have always loved food. But it wasn’t until recently that I fell in love with the food I was eating and not just the obsession of eating it. There are only a couple other things in life that I love as much as food. My amazing husband Ryan...

And my snuggle bug Bella Boosh

During high school I was a LEAN mean teenage machine. I played water polo and swam competitively so I had the appetite of a GIANT with a metabolism to match. Upon graduation of high school, I went straight to college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where I set out on my 4 year adventure of getting my BS in Nutrition (which turned into 4 ¼ years because I lived in Australia for 6 months which I would recommend to everyone.) College is a big change in a person’s life. Looking back, the most notable changes were; I was no longer an athlete, I entered into a love hate relationship with campus dining (I loved to eat the food, so many choices. But we always joked it was like a race back to the dorm bathrooms…gross). I still ate like a GIANT and beer and vodka crans became regular beverages of choice.

Ironic how I was getting my degree in nutrition and was slowly becoming more and more unhealthy. And to top it off I was definitely packing on the LB’s!! By the time I left San Luis Obispo in 2006 I had gained (and lost and then gained back) at the most 20lbs since I graduated from high school. What happened to the freshman 15!?!?!

To make a really long story short, these past few years have been amazing. I work in an industry where I am surrounded by integrative and holistic health care practitioners. I have learned so much through the years, but something that has changed my life forever is learning how to eat REAL FOOD and what it means to have a healthy relationship with food.

Our society has spent the past few decades coming out with product after product that is apparently the next best thing, when at the end of the day it’s just a mix of processed crap that’s probably going to be “bad” for us in a few years time. Whole foods, organic foods, and meals you make from scratch taste better and are better for you than anything else out there. And it can be easy too…and that’s where I come in.

I want to share with you the changes I have made, epiphanies that have happened in my life, challenges I have faced, and ways that I have adjusted my lifestyle so I could become a healthier individual inside and out. Though I am not completely there, I am getting closer to finding a balance between food, fitness and FUN!!