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Raw Vegan Brownie Review & Vegan Chocolate Recipes, Gym Review, Gay Pride

Posted Jun 13 2010 9:29am
How's everyone doing?  How has your weekend been so far?  Yesterday was My Birthday Thank you to everyone who emailed, commented on my blog, wrote on my Facebook wall, texted, and sent their warm birthday wishes.  Thank you so much!  It made me feel so special to feel everyone's good vibes and happy thoughts for me!  

I mentioned in my last post on Friday that I didn't want to reveal my age in that particular post (I've revealed it plenty and I don't conceal it on Facebook) because I wanted you to guess my age or tell me how old you thought I looked There were lots of detectives trying to put together the bits and pieces of my life and years here and time spent there and the stories I've told about my life.  It was fun to read your guesses

I actually turned 34 on Saturday for those of you who didn't know.  I appreciate anyone who told me I look younger.  I mean, feel free to butter me up, any time....haha!  And as predicted, I did absolutely nothing special for the day other than going to my new gym for the first time.  My inaugural visit there was "special", for me at least because of my newfound love of lifting!   We ate dinner at home, went on a family walk, I read a few blogs, did household projects, nothing "exciting" but I've had enough excitement the past week to last me awhile!  Thanks to those of you who chimed in about your most memorable birthdays and how you like to celebrate yours.

I mentioned that I used to like This a whole lot...
And that maybe we would Break into It on the Fireplace Balcony ...

But, water and an Edamame Salad Veggie Bowl was more my speed.
Dressed With Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing using Reduced Fat Veganaise

Purple Cabbage is so Pretty!

And being that I didn't have time or energy or frankly, desire, to make my own raw vegan birthday cake, this came in handy
Recently I received a Cacao Walnut Brownie from Blue Mountain Organics & Their Raw Bakery
 Ingredients: Dates, Agave, Cacao Powder, Walnut, Golden Flax

Palm-sized Brownie
Taste is awesome.  Dense, chewy, flavorful, not overly sweet.  A true raw vegan treat.  Price is $4.80 each plus shipping and taxes.  Thanks Blue Mountain Organics & Raw Bakery!

If you missed my previous review on their Coco Joy Bar, Click Here

And if you don't have Raw Bakery Goodies to nibble on and you're in the mood for chocolate, make your own:

Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownies

Vegan Fudge-10 Minute No-Bake Recipe, Gluten/Soy/Tree-Nut Free

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse -4 Servings 

Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Fudge Balls

Gym Today: Going to my New Gym for the First Time Today!

My Thoughts of it:
The machines are adequate but not "Deluxe".    A little bit of WD-40 or grease and a tiny bit of TLC would do some of those  machines some good!   They were also not the cleanest, but I didn't have high expectations on that.

The machines and the free weights felt lighter here than at my old gym.  70 pounds on a seated row machine here felt about the same here as 50 pounds did at my old gym.  The 20 pound dumbbells here feel like the 15 lb ones at my old gym.  Weird.  I don't think I got 20% stronger in 3 days either.  CalibrationI wonder which gym is "right"?

It was crowded.   Very Crowded.  I was there at 10am on Saturday morning and so I expected it to be crowded.  But it was one of those situations where if you leave your bench or a machine for 10 seconds, someone else is on it.  Being able to be creative in your workout and not "married" to the idea of "having to" do a particular exercise or do certain exercises in a particular order is key.  Otherwise, a 45 minute workout would take 3 hours if you had to wait to do things "in order".  For some people this would drive them nuts, but I just made the best of it.  Going forward, weekday mornings at 10am it will not be so crowded.  The early morning before work people will already be done and at work and the lunchtimers won't be there yet.

They have childcareAgain, key for me.

On the "social aspect" of the gym (because atmosphere, "vibe", and ambiance do matter) I will say that I loved being the only woman in the free weights area, amidst hoards of gay men.  Eye candy aplenty!  I felt like I was eavesdropping on their private conversations.  They were talking about who wore what to which party last night, who was there, and what happened.   I admit, I loved every gossipy second.   This may get old in time, but it's much preferred to the soccer moms who were griping about their husbands I listened to at my old gym.  (For the record, I love gay men.  And gay bars.  Back in the day, I used to hang out in gay bars as they were "safe" from weirdos hitting on me.  Plus, the drinks are stronger in gay bars.  For real, they know how to pour 'em good!  Oh I have some stories but I'll save em for a rainy day...)

Overall, the gym would get about 6/10 from me.  But, when you factor in the reasonable membership fee (including childcare) and the location/convenience factor with free underground parking, I give it a 7 or 8/10.   And the conversation/clientele gets a 10/10...haha!

1.  Have you ever made any raw desserts?  Or No-Bake Desserts?  What was it and how did you like it?

2. Are you a "Chewing" Dessert Fan (cookies, cakes, bars, crumbles, candy) or a "Squishy" Dessert Fan (mousse, ice cream, sorbet, puddings, brulee)?
I prefer to chew rather than slurp.  But, I do love coffee and some days, I swear, I could just slurp all day...haha!

3. Best thing you've Eaten or Done so far this weekend?
Me = Having my Birthday and being with my family!  

4. If you belong to a gym, what do you like about it?  What don't you like about it?  If you belong to a gym chain, do you find there is quite a variance in quality from location to location?   I can say yes to the last part.  Urban vs. suburban gyms are very different 'round here.

5. Gay Pride!  Everyone's favorite topic, right!
I am so excited for Pride Parade this year in San Diego!  The annual San Diego LGBT Pride Parade is the 5th largest in the United States attracting 150,000 cheering spectators and significant media participation.  And last year, we lived on the route.  And this year, we're back just in time, living on the route again.  Being back in my eclectic, diverse, vibrant neighborhood feels so wonderful!

Here's a few pictures from last year's Pride Parade.  Skylar was 2.5  Now she's almost 3.5.  Time flies...
Rock the shades, babe.

Good, clean, family-fun.  haha!

These Ladies were about 7 feet tall in heels.  I kid you not.  I am 5'11" and they were wayyyy taller than me.

We had an awesome time.  Skylar still talks about the Parade!

Have you ever been to a Gay Bar or a Pride Parade or Festival?  Did you have a ball?  If you haven't been, any particular reason?  I think it goes without saying but I will.  I believe that all people, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, sexual preference, color, creed, race, religion, dietary path, parenting path, you name it...should be treated with compassion, respect, tolerance, and love.  Period.  It's 2010.  Is this even a big deal anymore?  I hope not.  Have you embraced the Gay Community in any sense?

Have a fabulous rest of your weekend!  I am off to "milk" my birthday weekend for all it's worth, enjoy the sunny perfect (not too hot) weather, and deal with the plumber that's banging around in the bathroom fixing the loud toilet!  
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