“What I” Wednesday: Second Prize

December 14th, 2011 - filed under: The Food » Food Styles

This WIAW was supposed to be extra awesome. A deviation from my normal weekday offerings, I was all set to show you guys my glorious, gluttonous Sunday. See, I don’t *always* eat super-clean. Always vegan? Yes. But always healthy? Well . . . I guess that depends on your definition! Anyway, I’d intended to showcase Sunday, which started with a beautiful buffet brunch:

And ended with this most perfect pairing:

Alas, all of the photos that happened between those two pics, are just, well . . . they’re BAD. Crap set-up, poor lighting, uninspired images. Frankly, I don’t want them on the site!

And so I scrambled to catalogue my Tuesday instead. Sorry! You get another weekday filled with lovely, delicious, nutritious foods. Something tells me you’ll survive.

It looked like this:

Coffee and Breakfast

French roast, stevia, homemade almond milk, and a happy little man. That’s a good morning!

With coffee secured I began to make Waits’s breakfast, while Waits began to make mischief.

Oatmeal (cooked in fortified almond milk) with goji berries, and a side sippy of more almond milk.

Unfortunately, he only took a few bites of this before turning his nose up. That’s okay – I just stole it for myself and gave him a bowl of pomegranate seeds (they’re actually called arils, did you know?) instead.

After a busy morning of cleaning, playing, and a loooong cold dog walk to the bank, secondhand children’s store, and grocers, we arrived home exhausted. I usually make us a green smoothie and then we take a bath, but not today. It was straight into bed for this little guy, and before long . . .

And so I scurried downstairs.


After my morning taste of oatmeal, and after that icy walk, I just wanted a big warm bowl of gooey goodness. And since we’d skipped the smoothie, I thought I’d add some protein powder into the mix. I’ve seen “protein oatmeal” all over the blog world so I figured I’d give it a try.

Um. It’s not so great? I mean, it’s not horrible or anything, but since oatmeal already has protein (and complete protein at that), I don’t think I’ll be doing this again. Anyway, I added a spoonful of roasted almond butter, a dollop of apricot jam, and a splash of almond milk, and it was pretty damn tasty. Served alongside an iced nettle/mint yerba mate tea, because I can’t have a meal without something green!

Baby Lunch

Waits woke up and I plopped him in his chair with the last of the pomegranate and some leftover Italian-style seitan. I go back on forth on seitan: on the one hand, it’s super high in protein and also, you know, really delicious. Relatively unprocessed when you make it at home. On the other hand, I’m not sure how I feel about wheat in general, and if it’s a food that I really want to include much in our diets (Waits no longer reacts, so it’s not an intolerance thing, just a general healthfulness thing). Thoughts?

He nibbled while I juiced:

And then we both enjoyed:

Afternoon/Evening Coffee

After juice we had our bath, then our whole get-the-baby dressed routine, don’t ask me why since the day was almost over, and by the time we were done with all that, I was a tired mama and it was coffee-thirty. I enjoyed my afternoon cup and we both grazed the last bits of seitan. Waits also ate an entire banana out of the blue – it was gone before I could even get a picture of it.

I parted ways with my boys just as they were setting out for Trader Joe’s, to forage for their dinner (kidney beans for Waits – his favorite – and chili + ciabatta for Damian). Tuesday night is my night off, and I had a date with a dear mama friend.

Soup! Coconut cauliflower curry, and it’s soooo good. Also, only one piece of bread is shown but I actually had three (two multigrain and one gluten-free made with teff).

And salad bar! Everything but the kitchen sink.

It was such a nice dinner, simple but perfect with a heaping side of great conversation. Going out like a grown up is such a treat these days!

And then later that night, when the house was asleep and I was working, I enjoyed a glass of very cheap wine (the Valdiguie, and you know? it ain’t bad! cheap + vegan = win!) and a very (wonderfully) tart orange. Such a sweet little night capper.


Aw man, I *really* wanted to get an outfit photo from yesterday, because not only was the get-up pretty cute, but DUDE, I was wearing lipstick even. For like, the first time in YEARS.

Alas, Damian was super late and I had to scoot along as soon as he got home. I took a few snaps of myself, but of course it’s not the same. Wah Wah Wah.

Ancient scarf, hand-me-down cardigan, Sock Dreams socks, oh you know how it goes!

Do you wear lipstick? HOW DO YOU KEEP FROM BEING TOTALLY SELF CONSCIOUS ALL THE TIME? Don’t you worry that lipstick is all over your face and teeth and everything else around you? What is the secret???

  • http://almostveganchef.com/ Amber Shea @Almost Vegan

    I have the SAME feelings/questions about seitan, even though I make my own and have never had a bad reaction to it…I don’t yet know what exactly I should think/do about it.

  • Morgan Gates

    Which socks are those from sock dreams? I never know which are going to scrunch above the knee just right and those look perfect!

    Also, here’s a little post I did about lipstick. Red in particular, but the ideas work for any color really!

  • http://callofthe-wild.blogspot.com Francine

    I only wear chapstick. My face is like 90% teeth so wearing lipstick is just not an option for me, hahaha. What was in that colorful juice you made?

  • Melisa

    Thanx for the lipstick tips. I NEVER wear lipstick, am super pale, and really want to try RED. :)

  • Natalia

    i’m with you on the lipstick! i feel more self conscious with makeup on than without cuz im constantly worrying something has gone wrong with it! i stick to my tinted lip balm!

    i tend to deal with wheat and soy in the same way: every once in a while isn’t terrible, but if there are choices besides them available i will chose the alternates to save the wheat and soy for a time when there are no other alternates. so like i’ll chose to make burgers out of black beans instead of eating soy based burgers to “save” my soy intake for my lattes at Starbucks :D and ill chose corn tortillas if available instead of flour so i can nosh on some yummy lavash bread another day ;) in my head it all works out haha. have a great evening!

  • Christy

    I have the same problem with lipstick. What I find odd is that I used to wear it every day, 10 years ago. Now when I put it on, I look like an alien, my husband looks aghast , and I wipe it off as quickly as possible. Where do you find that yummy looking vegan brunch in Portland?

  • Lisa

    My hair always gets into my lipstick so I stopped wearing it or anything that doesn’t COMPLETELY dry on my lips. Most of those end up drying my lips though so I only wear it occasionally.

  • Rebecca

    I am so jealous of your sleeping baby! Today was a looooong babysitting day. Let me start by saying I absolutely adore children—but my patience was definitely tested today. My afternoon went something like this: Put 3-year old down to nap. Was surprised he went down as easily as he did (usually takes him at LEAST 30 minutes to “talk” himself to sleep). Heard some noise a half hour later and went in the bedroom to find the little guy had gotten ahold of a tissue box and taken them all out one by one—leaving a room COMPLETELY filled with “tissue snow” along with his socks, pants, stuffy, pillow and blanket. ARGHHH! Trust me, this was not as cute as it sounds. Then, following parents orders to include protein in the 7-year old’s snack, I asked him if he wanted cheese or yogurt (please no judging—this is the family’s protocol). Well, he opted for cheese and when there was a different kind of cheese (yet one that tasted EXACTLY the same) he proceeded to cry, freak, and whatever else for—wait for it…OVER 30 MINUTES! Dude! It’s just cheese. Really.

    Anyhoo…I am SO with you on the seitan thing. I went to school in the same place where Susie’s Setian was made (awesomely delicious! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Susies-Seitan/196334728384). Yet I feel strange having so much wheat. And, more so, using wheat as a replacement for meat. If meat is what you are going for, wheat is not at all the same nutritionally. Of course, some people are eating seitan just ’cause it tastes dang good! But as a replacement? And seitan on a regular basis? Not for me!

    Lipstick? Seems so old fashioned doesn’t it?? I love deep red for super-fancy occasions though. My usual go-to is either a tinted lip balm (although they usually come in odd colors—you definitely have to play around) or my ABSOLUTE fave: lip stain! My favorite (which went missing in the Philippines ) is lip stain by Benefit. I NEVER ever ever ever buy expensive makeup but this stuff lasted me YEARS (I got it for free and it lasted me years. Talk about a bargain!)

    I HIGHLY recommend it. Plus, you can use it for a bit of a color pick-me-up on your cheeks. It is also super-natural looking which I love!

  • Andrea

    I always use some of these products: https://store.drhauschka.com/b2c/ecom/ecomEnduser/items/items-3-S1-lV1SKIN-lV2DECO-lV3declips.aspx?store= , when I have put some make up on ;) but otherwise my daily cosmetics are just home-made soap and lip balm (I even tried to add some cocoa powder to get a nice shade of brown but you have to be careful cos too much could cause dry lips effect).

  • http://twitter.com/keephealthstyle Laura Agar Wilson

    I know what you mean about seitan, I always make my own (we don’t have much choice in the UK!) but a eat it on occasion and don’t eat a lot of other products with wheat and gluten in them – for me I guess its all about a bit of balance :-) Haha, I hardly ever wear lipstick either – when I do I go all out bright red to make the most of it!

  • Christine

    The lipstick thing… I’m with you! Every time I put some on I end up self-consciously rubbing it off as I’m leaving. I always feel like a clown, but then I’ll see someone really rocking a bold color and wonder how they do it!

  • Serenity

    When I add my homemade nut milk to coffee it curdles. What is your secret?

  • http://brokencookiesdontcount.wordpress.com/ Fran@BCDC

    I’m able to keep my lipstick in it’s place with lip liner. No not that disgusting pinched butt look, just a color that is almost the same as my lipstick. I wear pretty much 2 colors that are both very similar to the lip liner. It keeps it ON my lips and as it wears off there’s still a hint of the liner so it looks like I’m a bit made up. Keeping it off my teeth…not a clue!

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com Monika {windycityvegan}

    The *only* makeup I wear on a daily basis is lip balm or stain, and my absolute favorite is Benefit! I also use it on my cheeks sometimes in the winter. Also, how can you not love the rose scent of that stuff? It’s better than any actual perfume.

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com Monika {windycityvegan}

    These tips are great! Before I had a kid I did the multi-step lipstick routine, but now I just stick to a lip stain.

  • Sam

    I just love these posts. And your blog. And your whole approach to life and eating. My toddler also loves pomegranates, but it is so difficult to get the seeds out! Any tips? Thank you!

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com Monika {windycityvegan}

    So glad you tried protein in your oatmeal first so that I don’t have to.

    Oh, seitan – I miss it, but at the same time I’m glad I can’t have it since I was always worried about eating too much. It sort of freaks out the husband, and the only meat analogs Nina will eat are Field Roast apple sage sausages and TJ’s meatless meatballs, so I just monitor their intake of those items to once a week, twice if I’m feeling especially nice (or lazy). I always have gf cutlets in the fridge – they make great balls, too, btw – so we just stick to those most of the time.

    Now tofu and tempeh – those are two items I have to make an effort to limit. Nina would eat uncooked tofu every day if I let her, and I’ve been craving mock quiche lately . . . thank goodness it’s soup season! That coconut cauliflower curry looks pretty amazing, may have to give that a whirl this weekend.

  • http://www.mynaturallyfrugalfamily.blogspot.com Rachel@MyNaturallyFrugalFamily

    I rarely wear lipstick or any type of makeup…I don’t know why really I guess I just prefer to be as natural as possible.
    My kids have been loving pomegranates…and no I didn’t know they were called arils (thanks for the intel).

  • Court

    as for lipstick: you just wear it and don’t give a f*ck. it takes practice, but you can do it! plus, ladies ALWAYS tell you when you have it on your teeth. which isn’t a problem, just a quick swipe of the tongue and presto! it tastes like whole foods store!

  • Chelibw

    you have a night off once a week? nice! very nice. good for you. what do you do? do you always hang out w people? do you work?
    do you also go out w damian on a regular basis?
    i m glad you enjoyed your time out
    as for lipstick… lipstick!?!? i dont even buy shoes w laces anymore. only zippers.

  • http://shesgotaknife.blogspot.com ~L~

    As probably your only non-vegan reader (but I learn tons here), I’m thinking, “LIPSTICK! Finally something I know about.” (3 of my 4 parents were beauticians…Adoption, lol) Lipstick is easy…First, use a liner that is one shade darker than your lipstick…It will blend when you blot and make a gorgeous fade without that weird mouth-ring look you get when you go 3 or 4 shades darker. Liner keeps it from running outward, so there goes that worry. For the teeth thing, you’ll feel awesomely stupid doing this (totally part of the fun), but after you apply lipstick, put your finger in your mouth and close it around your finger like you would a straw. That transfers just about all the lipstick in teeth-jumping areas to your finger and then you have nothing to worry about! And don’t forget to blot, that removes a lot of excess, and its that excess that usually ends up somewhere you don’t want it. :) I never have lipstick problems with those steps and I always wear bright red! Hope that helps! ^.^

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    They’re the O-Marled and they are PERFECT for scrunching. I just picked them up this weekend and I am in love. =)

    And thank you so much for the lipstick link!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Ooh I forgot to post juice ingredients, whoops! It was carrot, celery, parsley, a few kale stems, and a whole lemon. Delicious!

  • Sarah

    Totally know what you mean re the lipstick-self-consciousness – but when it makes you look so outrageously film-noir gorgeous (that colour with your waves looks fab), it’s worth it!! Touch-ups are the only answer, it’s high-maintenance…

    Tip for not getting it over your teeth though: Once you’ve applied your lippie, put your finger in your mouth and pull it out through pursed lips. Sounds raunch, but works like a charm.


  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I tend to have the same approach to wheat and soy as you (for now at least, haha). I need to get some of this tinted balm that everybody is talking baout!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Sweetpea bakery, it’s only on Sunday morning!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yes! hair on lips = little red tracks all over my face. I’m just such a lipstick FAIL, haha.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Oh man, I SO feel you on the babysitting nightmare! Sounds like a typical toddler day, haha.

    Thanks for the lip stain tip, I’ll have to look into that!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks for the link!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Balance is key. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    YES! That’s exactly what I do – rub it off before I’m out the door. Every. Single. Time.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    That’s from the acid, so your coffee is too acidic (too acidic for the milk, not necessarily “too acidic” in a greater sense, know what I mean?). I’ve found that darker roasts (like French, my fave!) are less likely to cause curdling.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I think I need to work on lip liner plus blotting techniques, hmm . . .

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yes I have tips! =D

    Cut the pom into quarters and then put it in a big bowl full of cold water. Let it hang out for 10-20 minutes. Then, using your hands but keeping everything submerged, pop the seeds out. The cold water loosens them up plus all that white stuff floats to the top whereas the seeds sink. Easy peasy!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Haha, always glad to be your test tube, m’dear! ;-)

    I missed seitan a lot too, which is probably why I’ve been eating it more in these few weeks back on gluten. I actually didn’t eat it much at all before I went g-f!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I think you’re right, it definitely feels like something I could get used to with some practice.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yup, once a week for me and once a week for Damian. Very necessary! I don’t always go out with someone. Actually I usually spend the time by myself – also very necessary! I like to hit the Whole Foods hot bar and eat my dinner while surfing their WiFi doing NOTHING IMPORTANT on the internet, haha.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Oh, and as for me and Damian, we try to go out to eat together on the weekends, but always with Waits. We’ve only had a handful of alone dates since Waits was born but in 2012 we’re really going to work on that.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks for the tip! And you’re not alone, I actually think the great majority of my readers are non-vegan! =D

  • http://twitter.com/saraandcompany Sara Howie

    -invest in a nude-coloured lipliner. Some people fill their whole lip in with lipliner that is the same colour as the lipstick but I am too lazy (and cheap), so I just line with lipliner that is the same colour as my lips and then put on the lipstick.
    -Don’t press your lips together when you apply a dark colour because it’s going to get everywhere.
    -When you apply the lipstick, stick your finger in your mouth and purse your lips around the finger, and then pull the finger out of your mouth. I’m not really sure how to describe that motion. Anyways it keeps the lipstick from getting on your teeth.
    -Lipstains at the best because they stay on forever and they don’t budge. Apply these to DRY LIPS and let the stain dry AND THEN apply chapstick. I use the ones from Lise Watier but I think it’s a Canadian-only company. Stila has a good one too but I don’t know if it’s vegan… I only apply it on customers.
    -Lipgloss sticks are also great because they stay on forever.
    -Remember that when you apply lipstick your hotness factor increases by 500% (this is backed up by science) and there is really no reason to feel self conscious, because the only thing that makes lipstick not look great is you thinking that you don’t look great.

    Love from Sara. Also, that Waits! Ugh so cute.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    THANK YOU LADY! This is spectacular. What I have learned from all these comments:

    1. give my finger a good time

    2. invest in a lip stain!

  • Andrea

    Maybe the reason is the differences between the temperature of both, or if coffee is too hot it could cause milk protein, or just protein in general to curdle (is similar to what is happening when you boil an eggs, it’s cooked because their proteins are becoming more compact on elevated temperature). My suggestion: mix them when they are both going to be cool enough. You can still ask yourself why this is not happening with cow’s milk…well, nuts weren’t evolutionarilly designed to be milked :D so they don’t contain such chemical compound that is termally stable or at least of same chemical efficiency as an emulsifier on different temperatures! :)

  • http://mania.lunsh.net/ Becky

    Lovely photos! I love getting new ideas for meals. I am with you on the lipstick thing – looks so pretty but I am totally self conscious about it. I usually put it on, look in the mirror, become satisfied, look again, get nervous, get scared, wipe it off, then go out. :)

    I think the wheat thing is a scare, nothing more. It’s “cool” to be against wheat, just like it’s cool to not eat soy, despite the fact that it’s safe to eat, especially in moderation. I wouldn’t worry so much. Too many other things more worth your time to worry about!

  • Rebecca

    Non-vegan #1 here! As Sayward mentioned, I am sure there are plenty of us non-vegan Bonzai readers!

  • Rebecca

    Ha ha! Meant to write #2…can you tell I was at the DMV at like 6am today?

  • http://www.myperfectlyimbalancedlife.wordpress.com Lexie

    I really, really, really, adore your blog. You have a unique voice, gorgeous photography, mind-blowingly cute subjects (your boy is just so adorable I can’t get over it) and your food also looks incredible. I know this is most likely an annoying comment which you must get all the time; but I wanted to say it anyway. I love this blog. Thank you!

  • Joselle Palacios

    From research I found when writing a paper on veganism and pregnancy for nursing school:

    “The quality of proteins from plans vary. Protein quality is determined by the protein digestibility corrected amino acid score. Wheat protein eaten alone may be 50% less useable than animal protein, whereas isolated soy protein can meet protein needs as effectively as animal protein. Therefore, protein needs might be higher than the RDA in vegetarians whose dietary protein sources are mainly those that are less well digested like cereals and legumes.”

    Source: Miller, K.G., & Penney, D.S. (2008). Nutritional counseling for vegetarians during pregnancy and lactation. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health. 53(1), 37-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2007.07.003

    I know that’s not necessarily the evidence you want to hear because isolated soy proteins are often villified in vegan/health circles but there it is. Definitely something worth looking into further. I don’t think it means seitan is bad. It just means we don’t get as much protein from it as listed on the nutrition facts label. Still, the amount listed is so high that it’s still a great vegan source of protein. And it’s delicious.

    I eat seitan the way I used to eat steak: on special occasions and mostly when eating out. First, prepared seitan is costly and I don’t really care to make it. Secondly, restaurants make it taste even better than I do. I’ve thought about giving up wheat mostly because it’s talked about so much. Never ever been diagnosed with any allergies and never can think of any problem I can link to wheat other than all the media talk it gets lately. It’s the latest demon, just like fat once was.

    I think you can find something wrong with nearly any food or diet if you look hard enough. I don’t think veganism is the best nutrition-wise (although certainly better than the SAD). If it weren’t for animals, I wouldn’t do it. I don’t think the health claims a lot of vegans make are backed up by data. The ADA statement on vegetarian and vegan diets is based mostly on studies of lacto-ovo vegetarian diets. That’s why I was excited to look at what the data actually says about vegan diets. We need more research done on it! I think the claims of health are probably true but we need better evidence. We just do.

  • Joselle Palacios

    That first sentence should say plants, not plans! “The quality of proteins from plants vary.”

  • Sarah C

    Seitan – I love it but I haven’t given it to my 2-year-old yet. She throws back tofu like it’s candy, and I’d like to vary her sources of concentrated protein….but I worry that it’ll be too much for her tiny system. Does Waits do ok with it, then?

    Lipstick – I actually tried to find one the other day (I had given away the one I had to my mom because I decided it was stupid color on me – not that I ever wore it) but it was nearly impossible. Then when I tried them on I felt like a clown (I tried concealer for my tired toddler-mama under-eyes too, but that just made me look old and wrinkled). I am a makeup fail.

  • Morgan Gates

    Yeah I tend to be pretty lazy with my own, but even taking one or two extra steps (usually for me it’s the lipstick-off-the-teeth-finger) helps. Lipstick always brightens the day! I have too many friends who were scared of it, and it’s been so wonderful to see them post pictures of them wearing reds now! Makeup should be empowering, not scary! : )