There's this funny thing about photos. I've been taking a lot of them for a few years now, and since I finally have a smartphone, I'm taking even more. It seems like the more you take, the more you want to take. They suck you in, and often, away from whatever's happening around you, even if it's the subject of your photography. You can't completely engage with people while you're taking pictures. But the thing that drives you is the lure of some elusive image, a moment of pure magic or beauty, contrast or surprise. Sometimes the moment truly was magical and the photo is telling the truth. Other times, the camera creates something that was never there in reality, that exists only in the image. It's strange.
Nettie is a little obsessed with photos right now. Her favorite pictures are of herself of course, but she'll settle for looking at any picture if it's on a phone. Every time she hears the little shutter click, she comes running, begging to see. When I photograph her, she can barely stay in frame long enough to get the shot she's so anxious to get to the camera and see the picture. But I understand her eagerness. No matter how many thousands I take, there's always a little anticipation when I go through the images, wondering if there are any really good ones.
Recently I joined the Instagram community, and so far, it's kind of nice. I have a learning curve to get comfortable and figure out exactly how it works, but I've been unhappy with the Facebook platform for a long time, to the point of not using it for the last year, so I'm hoping Instagram will give me a way to share what's happening and connect with people in a more consistent, enjoyable way.
For now, I'll continue to share weekly on Facebook, but I'm looking to use Instagram to share new blog posts and website content, as well as things that don't make it onto the blog. Expect a lot of skyscapes and nature photos too, some felting and other creative projects, and probably a decent amount of what I'm eating. I've found, as a vegan, that it's helpful to get ideas from other people, otherwise I can land in a rut and just eat the same thing for weeks. So sharing plant-based meals will have a place, too. If you're an instagrammer and that sounds up your alley, I'd be happy to have you follow this "rabbitinreallife." If you're not into Instagram, you can still view some of the photos from my account on the "Rabbit Life" page of this website.
The rest of this post is about vegan health food, so if that's not what you're into, read no further. Thanks for stopping by; I'll have more of the usual kinds of posts in the future.
If you're still reading, cool! Welcome to my kitchen! I'm not trying to proselytize veganism, just thought I'd share a few things I've been eating lately that make my body and mind feel better. And I credit them with keeping my immunity up. Because I'll admit: I've been stressed and working a lot the past few weeks, not getting great sleep, and fretting quite a bit, and some days it's tempting to skip all the prep and eat something easy, but not-so-nutritionally-terrific. I know that most of you are not committed herbivores, but there's no rule that you have to eat animal products at every meal! So maybe you'll want to try one of these. I'm not sharing recipes, remember; just general ideas for inspiration.
The first is what I call "I'm not eff-ing around today golden beet smoothie." Because if you drink this smoothie, you will not eff around. You will DO things! Think of it as a righteous hippy version of Mountain Dew, full of anti-inflammatory, immunity-boosting ingredients. I use one medium golden beetroot, RAW and sliced thin; one or two stalks of sliced celery; flesh of two oranges; one chopped persimmon or apple; chia seeds; a tablespoon of fresh ginger root; 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric; coarsely ground black pepper; water and/or nut/flax/hemp mylk. You will need a high speed blender or Ninja or Bullet to process the beetroot well. The black pepper helps release the curcumin in the turmeric so you get all the benefits, and I don't notice it. An added benefit of the raw beetroot: it will keep things moving, if you know what I mean. I told you this smoothie meant business.
Next is an easier one, if the beets are scaring you off. It's a "sunshine smoothie bowl." Meaning it's golden colored and you can stomach it first thing in the morning. It's great for workout recovery, since it's got lots of good carbs. And it's also a great snack. Nettie is a fan.
This is just banana and mango (frozen or not, your preference), plant-based mylk, a quarter teaspoon of turmeric, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and some chia seeds. If I'm making it for me, I add a little fresh ginger. Blend it all up. Top with whatever yummy things you have around.
Last is my go-to favorite green salad. It covers all the bases and besides being packed with vitamins and nutrients, it leaves me full for hours. I'm not kidding. I KNOW it's a salad, and I'm telling you from a lot of years of eating crummy excuses for salads with chicken and eggs and cheese in them, this one is the real deal. It really will feel like a meal.
Start with loads of fresh romaine or butter lettuce, add in some kale or cabbage if you have it. I usually go heavy on herbs, as you can see - parsley, cilantro, dill, basil - whatever you can get your hands on; celery; purple onion or scallions. Chop everything up and place in a serving bowl, because you're going to massage on the dressing. I like to massage most of my salads for a couple reasons: one is that it shrinks down and you can eat more volume of greens that way; the other is that it makes things like kale and cabbage easier to digest. Once everything's in the bowl, I add 1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado, the juice of 1/2 a lime or lemon, a nice squirt of good German mustard, a quarter teaspoon of ground kelp powder (for iodine and a little fishy flavor), a teaspoon or two of nutritional yeast (for B vitamins and tangy flavor), a sprinkle of salt, black pepper, and any other seasonings I feel like that day. Then I massage the heck out of it and let it sit at least 5 minutes. Any kind of white bean goes well with this salad, and will make it more substantial. Steamed broccoli and cauliflower are nice additions, too. Or tofu, if you like it. And of course you can use your favorite dressing in place of my health concoction.
Wishing you a week of inspiration and beauty wherever you can find it.