Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Smoothies & Date Night

 I made it! I worked four night shifts in a row (don't worry, none of it was overtime because the week starts over on Sunday) and survived! I also did not drink a drop of caffeine at all! Sometimes during 3 am I started to feel tired but I just let myself feel tired and yawn. I knew it would be worth it once I got home and was able to sleep soundly. Now that I'm not drinking any caffeine anymore, I realize how much the caffeine I used to drink really affected me. I would think "Oh, it's only midnight, I can drink a cup of coffee and still fall asleep by 9 am" but it really did affect me to the point where I had a fit-full sleep and woke up earlier than I would have liked in the daytime. You may be drinking coffee and thinking that it doesn't affect you in the 24-hour scheme, but I promise it does. Once I was completely detoxed from coffee and I looked back at the times I was drinking coffee, it's clear how different it made me feel around the clock, not just for the hour or two I drank it. 

 So I made it through my four night shifts and planned on coming home yesterday morning and making a big breakfast. We were going to have hashbrown casserole and scrambled tofu. However, I went straight to bed and didn't wake up until 4 pm! Oops. We are planning to have "breakfast for dinner" tonight, so I'll probably post about that tomorrow.
When I woke up I was craving a green smoothie, so I made one. I've been making the strawberry banana flavor lately and loving it. I've also been putting it in a bowl so it takes longer to eat with a spoon instead of sucking it down with a straw in two minutes flat.

Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie
 handful of frozen strawberries
one banana
two teaspoons chia seeds
one cup of coconut milk (or almond milk)
blenderful of spinach

 Before I blended it looked like this: coconut milk, strawberries, banana and seeds on the bottom and the rest of the blender filled with spinach
 and then once I started blending and the blades got hold of the strawberries it turned a pretty shade of pink:
However, once the spinach got tumbled up in the mix it turned a pretty shade of brown, and ended up looking like this: 

I know that may not look appetizing, but it was really delicious. The flavor was, of course, strawberry-banana and you can't even taste the spinach. I usually use almond milk in my smoothies, but coconut milk is a good thing to sub in every once in awhile. Like I mentioned before, coconut milk has 50% of our daily dose of vitamin B12, and it adds a sweet almost desert-like flavor to the smoothies. It was creamy and thick, and I ate it with a spoon. Filling, too! The Boyfriend kept wandering over and asking for bites of it. 
 The smoothie bowl energized me enough to go to the gym, so I lifted weights and stretched my legs out with a mile and a half run. Then I came home and got ready for date night, which was a spur of the moment thing, but whatever. I have been wanting to go back to The Mellow Mushroom ever since I saw someone's post about their grilled tempeh salad. I'm trying to find the blog post now and can't remember who's site I saw it on. If you are reading this and you've been to the mellow mushroom lately and had a grilled tempeh salad, it looked delicious and you inspired me to go back! So thank you. 

 It was so warm out that we drove Uptown with the top down. I love night rides with the top down!

 When we got to the Mellow Mushroom we discovered they were having trivia night. I love trivia! We had a lot of fun guessing the answers and the other teams were pretty funny to watch, too. 
 We started with pretzels for an appetizer. The waitress knows we are vegan and informed us that the butter and parm cheese topping can be left off, so we chose to do that. The pretzels were dipped in stadium-style mustard, which was delish of course.
The main entree was a calzone we designed and split. Mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, kalamata olives, and cheese. The cheese they use is daiya cheese, and it is so sinfully delicious it's not even right! This calzone looks like it was cooked a bit longer than usual, but it was still soft, doughy, and melty on the inside.

I noticed the napkins had this printed on them: Recycled paper, bleach free, post-consumer grade material, and printed with soy ink.

 Mellow Mushroom, you are so forward! Way to use vegan cheese, offer salads, hoagies, calzones and pizzas that appeal to vegans, and use recycled paper napkins. To top it off, you have great beer specials and trivia on Monday nights! (Don't worry, I've already emailed the store to thank them for all these things)  ;) 
After dinner we walked around the area a little bit. I love the area because it's well-lit and has pretty condos to look at. We talked about where life may lead us in the next year and enjoyed the cool summer air. Working four in a row is hard, but it makes me thoroughly enjoy the nights I have off work! 


Lauren said...

Congratulations on getting through those 4 shifts! It must feel really good to be finished :)

Your smoothie looks so good! I love trying to see how much spinach will fit into my blender. Go green smoothies!

Dalai Lina said...

I drink decaf coffee occasionally and I accidentally got a regular cup one time - I was shaking like a leaf! It just shows you how much it does effect our body. Our bodies may get used to it, but the slow adrenal burn out is still happening! Good job! I hear nurses are notorious for being some of the UNHEALTHIEST. I bet you are an inspiration to your peers!