Move to Puyallup, WA

Like I mentioned in my "Confessions" post yesterday, Kevin and I moved to Puyallup, WA a little over a month ago.  We had been living in Spokane Valley, WA where I grew up.  This last spring, my husband finished his Masters in Secondary Education and had been looking for a permanent teaching position to start his career.  Little did we know, finding a teaching position as a new graduate without experience was not an easy feat.

July came and he had a few interviews here and there in the "middle-of-nowhere" central Washington, but nothing seemed promising.  Then, Kevin landed an interview with a new type of alternative high school that was opening on the west side of the state.  He was offered a job to start training the very next week!  We were ecstatic that he found something he was familiar with through his student teaching experiences, and for the same pay he would expect as a teacher in a traditional high school.

But what the heck was I going to do in Puyallup?!  As luck would have it, my company has several offices in the region, and the office closest to Puyallup in Tacoma (Fife) was looking for an Office Administrator.  This was a position I could easily move in to from being a Project Coordinator, but would involve less project work and more office responsibilities.  I talked to my supervisor and it was made official... I would be transferring to be able to start at the end of July!

The very next day after Kevin accepted the offer (Thursday), we made the drive across the state to Puyallup to start looking for an apartment that would be between our work locations and in a nice enough area.  On Friday, after a full LONG day of apartment hunting, we settled on a nice place between Puyallup, Summit/Waller, and Frederickson.  We drove back home that same day (Friday), woke the next morning to pack up our Spokane apartment (Saturday), then hauled everything across state on Sunday.

My wonderful WONDERFUL parents helped us the whole way with packing, hauling, and unpacking, as well as a few of Kevin's family meeting us at our new place to unpack.  I left Kevin in Puyallup to start work the next day, and drove back with my parents to Spokane to finish one more week of work in the Spokane/Coeur d'Alene offices.  The week was spent working and cleaning the old apartment, along with seeing my adorable nephews who were visiting my parents that weekend.

That Thursday came and I was off to Puyallup to join Kevin and help him finish unpacking everything.  I quite literally told him: "Don't you touch my kitchen!  I get to decide where everything goes!"  Since moving, we have settled into our new place and new jobs.  We have had a wonderful time exploring the new area we live in.

Here are some of our adventures: 

The first weekend we were here, we went on an overnight camping trip near the south end of Mt. Rainier, which is only an hour drive away.  We went on a beautiful (but challenging) hike to see some waterfalls.  This was Kevin and my first time camping together, and I have a feeling it will become a fun summertime hobby for us in the future.

The next weekend we went to the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma.  From there we headed to Sequim to stay with Kevin's family and hike Storm King, which was even harder than the previous weekend's hike!  At the top we had a wonderful view of Lake Crescent!

We went hiking again the next weekend, this time to Mt. St. Helens with Kevin's parents, which was a 2.5 hour drive from where we live.  During the weekend, we got to explore some of Mt. St. Helens' lava caves and canyons.  We felt quite adventurous indeed!

Another weekend we went to a Mariner's game in Seattle.  We were able to take the light rail from Tukwila to downtown Seattle, which was lots of fun.  Unfortunately, they lost that evening, but we did get to enjoy some fireworks set to Seattle Music, which was spectacular.

This last weekend, my parents visited on Friday night.  We had a delicious dinner at home of curried pumpkin soup and Indian spiced sauteed veggies (recipe to come), and went to the Puyallup Farmer's Market in the morning.  After they headed to the rest of their trip in Vancouver, Canada, we met some friends in Auburn for a mini beer festival called Hops and Crops.

I am so delighted to be busy with so many fun things, but I have to keep diligent on making healthy homemade meals.  Tomorrow I will be sharing with you a recipe I have already made twice this last week: Indian-Spiced Sauteed Veggies!

Health and Happiness,



Confessions Before Continuing

Hello to all of my readers!  Are any of you still there?  I realize it has been a long time since my last post (over a month), but a lot of changes have been happening in my life.  Over the last month I have been working through where I want this blog to go and if I even want to continue it.  I realized that what has been keeping me away, besides the hectic-ness of a move across state (more about that in another post), was guilt.

While I love creating recipes and sharing them with you, I feel that I have strayed from the true name of my blog: "Amy's NUTRITARIAN Kitchen".  Some of the recipes I have provided over the last few months or so are indeed vegan and even whole food based, but they miss the mark when it comes to eating for nutrient-density, a.k.a. a Nutritarian lifestyle.  Recipes like this one... and this one...  Not to say they aren't delicious and can be utilized for special occasions when you have reached your optimum weight, but they don't belong on a blog that is centered to help others (and me) focus on increasing their intake of fruits, vegetables, beans, etc.

Not only have the recipes I've been making for the blog not Nutritarian-perfect, my day-to-day eating and lifestyle was beginning to look more like the SAD (Standard American Diet) than a diet consisting of healthful, healing plant foods.  Here are my confessions I wanted to get out in the open so I/we can move past them.  Over the last few months....
  • I went days, weeks even,without having a big salad.
  • I allowed white flour and breads back into my diet.
  • I went for fried foods and oily/fatty dips when eating out at restaurants.
  • I had meat more than occasionally, and some of the worse kinds (deli meats, BBQ'd meats, sausages, fried chicken wings).
  • I indulged on sweets too often, usually eating too much, being unable to stop myself.
  • I spent too many nights on the couch, finding every excuse in the book not to exercise.
  • I allowed myself to have a social routine that involved drinking beer most nights of the week.
  • Too often, I opted to get some vegetarian unhealthy fast foods, rather than making healthy meals at home.

Now that I have all of my confessions out in the open, here is where the blog is headed...

I have spent hours and HOURS over the last 3-4 years researching nutrition and plant-based diets.  I have spent EVEN MORE HOURS in the kitchen making foods to fit what I have learned and what I want for my health.  While I am by no means and expert, I know my way around a Nutritarian diet. 

That being said and going along with my confessions above, I am not a "perfect bill of health".  I have have weight, self-esteem, anxiety, acne, and other minor health problems just like many of you do.  But I believe the important step I am taking now is that I truly want to fix what I can of those things.  

When I first found ETL in January 2011 and followed it to an absolute tee; I had goals to lose weight and nothing else.  What I found happened along with losing weight was a boost in self confidence, a calming of my stress and nerves, an improvement in my athleticism, and a reduction in my acne, among other things.  

Now that I have strayed from ETL over the years, I have found myself falling into un-wellness.  I have gained weight above when I first started ETL, and many of my negative health symptoms have come back.  This time around, losing weight is not my main goal.  My main goal is to gain control over my health for life.

As always, I am delighted to hear from my readers, and if you ever write with questions, I will be happy to give you advice or point you in the right direction of an answer you are looking for.  That being said, I am going to blog honestly about my experiences and successes and missteps.  I am going to share with you my progress as well as inspiration and recipes I find along the way.  I am not and will never be perfect, but I hope you continue to join me on this journey.

Health and Happiness,



Favorite Pins of the Week (4)

Pinterest - Follow Amy!

Pasta with Broccoli and Beans
This broccoli and bean pasta from Holy Cow Vegan looks amazing!
There isn't a single ingredient in this recipe Kevin wouldn't like.
 I'll have to give this one a try sometime soon. 

These beautiful white glass cabinets matched with blue floral planters
are literally something taken out of my dream kitchen.
I have a whole set of blue plates, bowls, and figurines that my grandma left to me.
Maybe my next kitchen (yay apartment living right?)
will have lighter cabinets that will go well with the blue ceramics.
(unknown source)

Creamy (vegan!) butternut squash linguine with fried sage - cookieandkate.com
This Creamy (vegan) Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage
from Cookie and Kate caught my eye last week.
 I ended up making it for a friend who came over for dinner last Wednesday.
The sauce was so yummy that I thinned the leftovers with
 low-sodium vegetable broth and had as a soup later in the week.

bringing the outdoors in
Another piece of my dream kitchen.  Look at that apron sink and the huge windows!
(unknown source)

"Easy Style - Maxi Dress" by getsnazzy on Polyvore maxi dress #anna7891 #style for women #womenfashionwww.2dayslook.com
I love this outfit.  I have a dress that is super similar to this one in style and colors.
Now all I need is a good jean jacket to go with it.

Happy Pinning to all!