Every time I visit California I come home on a health kick. It might actually be my brother's fault. Healthy eating and living is in his blood. You'd think it'd be in my blood too, but you would be wrong. And yes, we are biological siblings. And no, I don't know why I didn't get that gene. (And while we're talking about it, I'm also annoyed that he got my mom's "great legs gene" and I didn't. I got my dad's "athletic but still somewhat stocky legs gene". Thanks dad! I'm not bitter.)
But back to wanting to be healthy and actually change the things I do have control over (as opposed to my leg shape). The first morning we were in California, Brent made a smoothie in his Vitamix, which is now on the top of my birthday present wish-list. What did he put in the smoothie? Oh you know, the typical: banana, blueberry, acai, lettuce, carrots, celery, avocado, dates, onion, spinach and he may have even thrown in some nuts. And it was AMAZING. (Admittedly in that I know this is healthy for me and it's surprisingly good amazing kind of way.) Mr. Cob could only taste the onion, which I had no idea was even in there until he told me. I thought the celery stood out, but not in a bad way. And the real proof that it was tasty: my 3 year old nephew drank it up AND Lukas took a sip and then asked for more! I now need a Vitamix, pronto. Talk about getting your fruits & veggies in first thing in the morning!
We also went to an outdoor farmer's market that sold all sorts of organic fruits and veggies, smoothies, flavored almonds, breads and other delicious goodness. It was a fun morning adventure and Lukas loved tasting the blood oranges, avocado and olives (he's on an olive kick). Mr. Cob was excited because he finally found a satsuma, which was the one thing he wanted to eat in Cali. (Although, I didn't think it was anything to write home about.) My favorite thing was The Morningstar Ranch's Green Drink - made from rainbow chard, collard greens, kale, wild spinach, grapefruit juice, apples, yerba mate, raw agave nectar and flax seeds - and it really was delicious!
And to top off our healthy eating in Encinitas, our last morning we enjoyed breakfast at the Acai Cafe with acai bowls. I tried the PB and Acai Bowl made of a pack or two of Sambazon Original Açaí, banana, peanut butter, a splash of milk (I think almond milk) and topped with sliced bananas (or was it strawberries - it might've been both) and granola. Now this I can, and will make at home! You can buy the acai packets from the Dekalb Farmer's Market here in Atlanta.
Aside from healthy eating, the weather in California was also beautiful and is conducive to outdoor fun. We all went for a 3 mile jog along the coast one morning. I had no idea we'd ran that far because I enjoyed the run and the view of the ocean the entire time. I had hoped to fit stand-up paddle boarding into our trip, but it wasn't meant to be this time. I think it would be easier to convince myself to get outside and exercise if the weather was always 65 degrees and I had the ocean as my backdrop, but I need to stop making excuses and just get outside and do it. At least now we have the extra hour of daylight to get outside after work.
With the combination of being around Brent, the perfect Southern California weather for outdoor activities and healthy food at your fingertips, California makes me want to be a healthier person. I'd move there if I could bring all my friends, family and job, but that's not going to happen. So I need to take what I can from Cali's healthiness and start living a healthier life here in Georgia. And so for whatever reason, this time around that's evolved into "Vegetarian Week" in the Swan household. The thought is that by eliminating meat (which in all honesty, I love), I'll be forced to cook with more vegetables and fruits. I know that not all vegetarians are "healthy", but we're going to give it a whirl for a week. Mr. Cob is even on board - at least for dinners, since I'm cooking them and he has no other option. And thanks to pinterest, I have found tons of vegetarian recipes.
Last night we kicked off Vegetarian Week with Crispy Quinoa Burgers with Flax Seed from Oscar's Sandwich blog. They were DELICIOUS, and I mean delicious, not just healthy delicious. (I know you may not believe me given my positive reviews of green smoothies. But seriously, these were good. My meat eating husband even loved them!) The rest of the week's menu includes sundried-tomato pesto pasta, black bean and sweet potato enchiladas, tortilla soup in the crockpot and twice baked spagehetti squash. Stay tuned to see how it goes!