The Reason For The Season

Or really, more accurately, why I had to join a gym and also Thrive in 30 in the same day (but more on that later.)

Let me first say that I'm baaaaack! And this time, kids, it's fo' real. No more trips planned in this country or that, no more tears or jet lag or anything else, this is the real deal. So what have I been up to after the road trip? Well, The Boyfriend and I moved in together! I guess that's big news, huh?


Is that better? Yes, much more appropriate, if I do say so myself. This month (July 2011) marks our 6th anniversary (although I haven't forthelifeofme any idea what day exactly that is, I just know it's sometime this month. I'm like that with birthdays too, if you are lucky enough to be my friend on Facebook, then you will get a Happy Birthday from me, if not, oh well, then maybejustmaybe I'll remember it's in October. Or whatever. Happy Birthday! Now I'm good for the year, right?

This month is also this little blog's anniversary, Happy 2nd Birthday, Living and Loving in L.A.!

Now that we have all of that calendar-y stuff over with, I can say that it feels good to be home. But that's not to say that I didn't have thebesttimeever visiting my Grammie and my Aunt Susie and my cousins and entire family et al. They are amazing and I know that there will be a day in the near future when I can't just up and leave and go hang out at our beach house for a week. So I did it now, you know, never one to miss an opportunity.

Speaking of which, that is exactly what I'm now looking for. Opportunities. For work. But in no particular hurry or order or rushing and all that stuff, I'm going to take my time and find a really good fit. I'm sure someone out there needs a Chinese-speaking blonde to handle the care and feeding of their little multi-million dollar fashion empire. So if that's you, call me. Or even better, come drag me off that spin bike at the gym, because goodgollymissmolly I'm addicted.

A few weeks ago, my friends at Vega contacted me about this really cool new program they are doing, called Thrive in 30. I noticed that this program would teach me the following:
  • How to combat stress using whole, plant-based foods and
    high net-gain nutrition
  • The whole food truth about protein, fats and carbs—
    and how balancing your diet will help you build a younger body
  • How you can alkalize your body’s pH to combat disease,
    improve sleep and lose weight
  • What superfoods to use to balance hormones,
    detoxify body or lower cholesterol
  • How to identify common foods that cause unexplained, mystery illnesses
  • How to use nutrition to strategically fuel your body so you’ll have greater endurance, maximize the return from your workouts and recover faster
  • Why nutrition, exercise and sleep are the secret
    to empowered mental health
  • Long-term strategies that will help you transform your health for life

Umm...YES PLEASE! I need these things!

To go along with my new plan (you can join me here, it's FREE!) I joined a new fancy-schmancy gym. And this morning, I rode the bike in Spin class channeling Brendan Brazier himself in all his Ironman glory. And it was tough, and I was dripping in sweat, and I loved every minute of it. Which was necessary, considering I ate my weight in Swedish Coffee Bread and Blueberries last week. Not that blueberries are bad for you at all, but I ate 7.5 pounds of them. In one week. I have issues with moderation, and I'm not afraid to admit it. I had a huge bowl of blueberries for breakfast, lunch and dinner in addition to all of the other delicious foods Grammie gave me. And I only stopped eating this many blueberries yesterday after realizing that I might turn into Violet  Beauregard.

This post is kind of schizophrenic isn't it? Oh well, that's probably because my guts are clogged with this deliciousness:

And you know me, I'm the sharingiscaring type. So here is my Great-great-grandmother's recipe for Swedish Coffee Bread, with photos illustrated by my Grandma.

Swedish Coffee Bread
Makes 3 Loaves
Time Commitment: 8 HOURS

1 - 1 1/2 Packets of Yeast
disolved in 1/4 C. Warm (110*) water with an added
1/2 t. Sugar to help activate

2 C. 1/2-1% Milk, Scalded and then cooled, mixed with
1/2 C. (1 Stick) Margarine and
1 C. Sugar

2 Eggs well-beaten

6 C. Flour mixed with
1/2 t. Salt

2 C. Flour

1/2 t. Ground Cardamon

1/2 C. Milk

2 T. Sugar mixed with
1/2 t. Cinnamon


Add 2 C. milk to pan and bring to almost-boil (this is scalding). Dissolve sugar and margarine in milk. Cool to room temperature (I placed the pan in the fridge for about 1 hour.)

Dissolve yeast in warm water, adding sugar to help activate.

Beat eggs well.

After it has doubled in size, as yeast to the cooled milk mixture. Add 6 C. of flour and salt to the liquid mixture.

Mix by hand until all ingredients are well incorporated, and add cardamon.

Place dough on board and mix in remaining 2 C. flour by hand. Place dough in a large, non-reactive (preferably ceramic) bowl that has been greased well. Turn dough to coat. Cover and place in a warm spot (this should be easy with the heatwave!) to rest until doubled, about 2-3 hours, depending on the intensity of your air-conditioning.

Place dough back on board, and knead for 5-15 minutes. Gather into a nice little pile and place the bowl back on top, covering the dough. Let it rest for 15 more minutes.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces, and each of those pieces into 4 pieces. Roll each of the 4 pieces into 12" long ropes. Gather the 4 ropes and make a 4-strand braid. (If you don't know how to do this, I suppose a 3-strand braid would work just as well.)

Place 3 braided loaves into a greased 12" x 18" x 3" pan, like this one Grammie is holding:

Get your milk, and a pastry brush, and liberally coat each of the loaves with the milk.

Mix up the remaining 2 T. sugar with the 1/2 t. cinnamon, and sprinkle generously on the loaves, using about half of the mixture.

Cover and allow to double again, about 2-3 more hours. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar.

Bake loaves in the pan at 350* for 25 minutes.

Makes 3 delicious loaves, that freeze well, and taste amazing spread liberally with Earthy B and sprinkled with even more sugar.

Hope you are all having a great week!



  1. Congrats on the big step in the relationship! Living together is definitely a whole new adventure! Enjoy! Don't forget about the little things you used to do before you moved in!!!

    Happy 2nd anniversary!!!

  2. congrats on moving in together! this way if/when ya'll get married, the transition is so much easier!!

    umm.. and the bread....i think i could eat the whole thing. looks delicious.

  3. yay! can't wait to hear more when i see you :)

  4. Congrats on the move in AND the veganism. So excited for you!!!


  5. Congrats on the big move!
    That bread looks equally dangerous and delicious! Yummo!

  6. First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on moving in together!

    Secondly, if you speak Chinese and can't find a job in L.A., I'll eat my car. ; )

    Thirdly, your grammie is adorable!

  7. Yay on moving in together!!!!!! :D

    Sorry been so MIA...will be back hopefully next week. :D

  8. Congrats on the move-in! So exciting!!!

    Also happy 2 years, babe! I remember the first time I read your blog... you'd just posted about a 20 mile run and I remember thinking you were so badass!

  9. Congrats on moving in! that's wonderful, Erin!! So happy for you and thanks for saying hi...life gets so busy for all of us. Thanks for checking in :)

  10. Yum yum yum! I have a sweet cardamom bread recipe that seems really similar. I can't wait to try this!


Thanks for your comments! Hope you stop by again soon! XO!