July in Review

Ephermal James 4-14

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
James 4:14

Gosh, is it really the first of August?! I really need to slap myself in the face – so many things to do, so little time, so many things left undone. Looking back at July 2013, I am proud to say that it was an incredibly fulfilling and accomplished month.

On the cooking front
Experimented with new flavors The Japanese miso marinade is now a favorite staple; I’ve been using it for fish, as well as tempeh. Armed with a new bottle of tamari, I’ve also made Vietnamese nuoc cham for rainbow summer rolls and other salads.

Raw desserts. I don’t know why it took me so long but I’m glad I’d finally jump onto the raw desserts bandwagon. Sure, they usually contain a lot of calorie-dense ingredients like nuts, coconut and dates, but I’ve learn to appreciate that these are healthy fats and natural sugars and are good for you. As a beginner, I stuck to the classics: a raw carrot cake and a raw strawberry cheesecake. The two cakes couldn’t have a more different flavor profile. The former, full of warm spices, is literally heartwarming, while the latter is bright, tart and zesty. Both are exceedingly delicious, and I daresay, better than any of their regular counterparts.

Getting more creative with oatmeals. I got to know Brittany through The Oatmeal Artist, and was totally blown away by her oatmeal designs and challenged me to be more creative, to serve oatmeals according to themes. My best yet is the melon oatmeal lotus bowl that I spent about half hour carving out! The photo can be found on my Instagram feed. Another more memorable, and time-consuming, oatmeal this month was the tiramisu oatmeal, thanks to Lauren @ The Oatmeal Artist for the recipe!

On the blog scene
Getting published on FindingVegan, not one but three posts! But behind this success hides even more failures; five submission to FoodGawker were met with five declines, reasons ranging from composition to food styling. I understand FG has a more stringent quality; it would really be awesome to get published there! Have you ever tried submitting to FoodGawker? How many times did you try before your photo was accepted?

I created my Instagram account (@plantpassionate) in May but it was only in July that I became more active. Although currently my follower stadning is humble at 49, it has been great to meet new people and be inspired by their creations. Hopefully my creations can inspire you as well!

Exercise *NEW*
I finally stopped my procrastination and excuses and got my butt moving, literally. On 20 July, I made a return to the track and started running 3x weekly, +/-2.4 km (1.5 miles) each time. I daresay it has turned into a habit because I feel weird if I miss the running sessions. I’m starting to like the sore sensation in my muscles after each run. On alternate days I practice Strength training. Nothing to strenuous by most standards, just lifting weights, push-ups, sit-ups and squats.

Personal & spiritual growth
I stepped out of my skin and attended the meeting to mark International Raw Food Day (IFRD). I must thank Sheryl @ eatgreencake, and also an accomplished raw desserts chef at The Living Cafe, for introducing me to the event. It has been quite life-changing, as I now actively try my best to pursue a more compassionate lifestyle (see below).

Jounrey towards veganism. My new routine is to have vegan salads for lunch. In other words, I hope to be at least 2/3 vegan (breakfast + lunch). It is more difficult at dinner since Chinese soups are usually made with animal bones, and fish, in particular salmon and cod, are really difficult to give up. That said, I’ve noticed a change. I don’t really desire for sashimi or the flaky, oily texture of fish as much as before. Give me tempeh any day:)I also feel happier and in a better mood with my new diet. Any similar experience anyone?

In addition to regular Sunday Church services, I’ve attended several Discipleship & Nurture talks to learn tips for growing spiritually. I’ve also started to attend Precept upon Precept, thanks to Sharon who brought me to class.

Good habits. I started to return to good habits of drinking about 1 L water daily (I know the recommended is 2 L) and brushing teeth before bed (I know you skip that sometimes, don’t you?).

Professional growth
Ok I’m really lagging in this. I’ve graduated, applied for multiple jobs, went for one interview and am still unemployed. I’ve another interview tomorrow. May this be a success. Also I’ve made the decision to apply to medical school but am still procrastinating on the essays.

August Goals

  • Get started and complete medical school application
  • Consistently and fervently do Bible Study. (Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied – Matthew 5:6)
  • Continue with more (raw) salads and vegan as much as possible.
  • Make more challenging raw desserts (see Fragrant Vanilla Cake). I would also really love to create a vegan mooncake!
  • Try to get published on FoodGawker
  • Interesting foods to try: kombucha, maca powder, pili nuts, hemp protein powder. These are really expensive though.

Sorry if I bored you with this wordy post; it was more of a personal reflection. What was memorable for you in July and anything you look forward to/goals for August?

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  • Liz - I am totally impressed by your progress. You have achieved a lot, by the look of things. I love the 3x a week run (i have been running in my mind since the year began), and thanks for educating me about Food gawker, I never knew you had to submit things, like a scientific journal. I’ll probably never publish on FG then! Have a lovely weekend!ReplyCancel

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