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It’s Time Time To Move On…

to a new site!

That’s right, I’m ready to make the move to a NEW DOMAIN!

I purchased it back in April and haven’t had the time to fix it up until this past month. I’ve been slaving away (quite happily actually…I love it!) at my computer in order to get the site in tip top shape for it’s grand release. While it’s still by no means perfect (or complete), I think it’s good enough to finally be released to the public.

But a brief background is first necessary. I chose the name “Perfect Paradox World” for a variety of reasons. Generally speaking, it signifies my main philosophy (belief?) of life that in order to achieve balance there is no one consistent and perfect way to get there. Life is full of contradictions and paradoxes, and it is more than ok to live in a way that “seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.” All opposites have a way of working together in harmony to balance each other, leading to internal and external peace and harmony. Ultimately, what matters is that you live life trusting yourself, following your own personal truths, and believing that all extremes work in harmony to your own benefit. It’s your life…your world that matters to you.

Thus came the Perfect Paradox World- a seemingly contradictory statement (can there really be a perfect paradox? Isn’t that a paradox in itself?) that perfectly defines my own way of life- my world.

Confused? Many times I am too. Join me on my journey to figure it all out!

Click below to enter my thoughts, my site, my world…my Perfect Paradox World.

www.perfectparadoxworld.com

As always,
~From Russia With Love~

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Saying Goodbye

Last night Max and I said our sad goodbyes at the Philadelphia airport.

Funny story- I was upset at Max for making me leave late (in my opinion) to the airport, and as a joke he said to me “If there is any karma in the world, your flight will be delayed like four hours for all of the complaining you did about not having enough time to wander the airport.” And guess what?

MY FLIGHT WAS FREAKING DELAYED! Not by four hours but by one. Still shocking though right?!? I almost passed out from amazement. Creepy!!!

Anyway, I had a fantastic time hanging out with Max and exploring the city. He waited for me to do all of the site-seeing so we had a lot of fun together. I’m so sad to leave him…I wish I could just pack him up in my suitcase!

Oh well…I’ll be seeing him soon enough! July 23rd to be exact :)

Now on to our final days (hours!) together.

We spent our Forth of July holiday being lazy. Fireworks were shockingly not part of the plan as we were both not only drained from tons of walking (and my 6-miler earlier that morning) but tired of fireworks in general. Instead, we made some naughty patriotic smoothies. Why naughty, you may ask? Well, let me just say that there wasn’t only fruit in there ;)

Ingredients were (not limited to): bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and coconut water

So refreshing!

We also snacked on some watermelon. I’ve been craving it like crazy…it’s like candy!

Summer’s natural dessert right here!

After a short walk around the neighborhood, we called it a night.

I had the entire next day to myself as Max had to work all day.

Post-breakfast I headed to my new fav place…the Green Line Cafe! I’ve been itching to try their sweet potato burrito, and overtime I would go there it would be sold out!

Hmmm looks like it was my lucky day because I finally got my hands on one of those bad boys.

The ingredient list was fantastic- baked and seasoned sweet potato, black bean and corn salsa, chipotle vegan aioli, spinach and brown rice (source). Delicious and vegan! The woman at the counter even heated it up for me using a panini/grill type thing.

To.Die.Amazing.

I am so re-creating this ASAP. This may seriously become my breakfast/lunch/dinner of choice. I have obsessive tendencies, I know.

Speaking of obsessions, vegan cookies were on my lunch menu as well.

Couldn’t resist! Hey, at least I saved some for Max…

I also plan on re-creating these, but the top spot still belongs to my precious (take a wild guess…hint= scroll up).

I spent the next couple of hours working on a very special project. I won’t hold back for too long I promise!

We left to the airport as soon as Max came home from work. Being the (occasionally) obnoxious spoiled girl that I am, I insisted on taking a taxi but Max made us take the train.

Ultimately not a bad idea considering all of the rush hour traffic we avoided (shh don’t tell him that I admitted that :))

Wandering around airports is something that I love to do, and thanks to the hour delay in my flight I had plenty of time to go airport exploring.

Food was on my mind, as usual.

I finally settled on the make-your-own-salad option at Au Bon Pain.

My glorious creation:

Spinach, roasted red peppers, artichokes, olives, grated carrot, tomatoes, snap peas, cilantro and sesame seeds with a whole grain baguette on the side.

I savored every.last.bite.

I’ve been craving greens like crazy since my main food of choice has primarily been extremely carb-heavy.

A meal wouldn’t be complete without some tea to go along with it.

Regardless of the weather, us Russians love drinking tea year-round!

With a good book in my hands (The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown) and a happy belly, I was ready for the ~2 hour flight.

I changed my seat at the last minute and, without realizing it, I ended up in the exit row. The perk of that?

LOTS of leg room!

Time flew by and now I’m back in Chi city…the greatest city ever! 

And I miss Max already :(

This morning I consoled myself with some french-pressed coffee…

…and juice! Oh how I missed my beautiful juice maker.

In the mix: celery, carrots, beets, ginger, tomatoes and cucumbers.

I’m off to tackle the day’s chores…have a good one!

“If you unconsciously live a conscious life, you can never be poor”

~From Russia With Love~

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Happy Red White & Blue!

Good afternoon ladies and gents!

Hopefully your 4th of July celebration has started off with a bang! We all know it will conclude with a bang bang pop once the fireworks begin, but the celebration should go on all day :)

I’m looking forward to spending the holiday in the very city where the Constitution was signed. It feels authentic and exciting…I can’t wait for the festivities to begin!

The day has definitely started off with a bang for me…I ran 6 miles!!! That’s right…it’s the most I have ever run in.my.life. BAM

My Garmin has been a little loopy here in Philly (maybe it’s all of the trees?) so I’m a bit worried that the final distance is slightly off, but regardless I’m still proud!!! It felt ah-maiz-ing.

Since I can’t make my scrumptious green smoothies here, I bought a green drink from Trader Joe’s to fill the void:

Check out that green drank!

Although it was waaaaaay too sweet for my liking, it still helped replenish necessary nutrients post-run.

Breakfast consisted of some red white and blue oats! I’m so original, I know…

Pretty and patriotic!

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It’s time for a vacation update! I’ll show you what I’ve been up to lately….

First off, two days ago Max and I had our 3 year anniversary 

Remember those shoes I lugged in my suitcase? Well luckily I don’t have to drag them back with me!

He loved his gift!

We celebrated by going out to eat at a fancy Indian restaurant called Bindi. It was a BYOB so we brought a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio.

The food was fantastic! Sorry…I was too starving to take pics.

Afterwards, we aimlessly wandered around the city and enjoyed all of the sights.

 The end!

Yesterday was a new day and it consisted of shopping, walking and siting.

Sadly I didn’t buy anything :(

Dinner was fun fun fun…I always think hummus is fun…it’s the ideal meal!

Eating at a restaurant called Hummus was an added perk:

Of course, my eyes are MUCH bigger than my stomach so the quantity of food ordered was a bit ridiculous. I got the portabella mushroom sandwich and Max got the falafel sandwich (not pictured). We also got a salad platter with hummus, Israeli salad, baba ganoush, and cabbage.

Four words: I ate too much. 

So that’s a brief vacation update…more to come later!

Have a fun and safe holiday!

“Trust the wisdom of the heart”

~From Russia With Love~

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Vacation Recap: Part II

So I completely forgot to post the second half of my vacation recap for you all!

Sorry :/ I’ll just continue where I left off

As I mentioned in the first recap, my sister and I wanted to cleanse our bodies during the vacation, so we brought along 6 bottles of Kombucha, a juicemaker, and plenty of healthy foods. Thank goodness we took our minivan :)

We started off our day with a glass of Kombucha:

This one exploded on me!

My mom would then make us all a delicious breakfast. On some days we ate potatoes and eggs and other days we ate whole wheat pancakes.

It was truly awesome to have the luxury eating such a healthy and filling breakfast with my family every morning. A beach-front balcony made it even better :)

Th next 5 hours or so were dedicated to the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.

I’m usually not a big fan of swimming in the ocean since I have a ridiculously low tolerance for cold, but I faced my fear and didn’t regret it in the slightest.

How could I miss out on the incredibly powerful and healing sea water? Good for the body, good for the mind, good for the soul.

On the last two days of the vacation the ocean was acting up a bit and sending HUGE waves our way. If there’s one thing I absolutely cannot resist about the ocean it’s ridiculously large and overpowering waves. Ever since I was little (true story), I would revolve my mood solely on the size of the waves in the ocean while vacationing. I’m honestly not sure why I adore being knocked around by the ocean. but I simply cannot resist it.

Little did I know about the dangers of strong waves!

On Friday my sister and I barely left the water. We were having waaaaay too much fun jumping the massive and endless waves. At one point we were swimming and all of a sudden my sister screamed my name, telling me that I was too deep into the ocean. It was at that instant that, as I immediately tried swimming back, I felt the powerful current pulling me backwards.

Two words: instant.panic.

I cannot even describe the thoughts and feelings that flooded my mind. I felt drained and terrified for my life. There were 4 other guys about my age and two teenage girls who were in the same situation as my sister and I. I saw overwhelming fear splattered on everyone’s face and I knew they felt as I did.

Somehow I managed to swim towards shore and only when I was able to feel the ocean floor and actually stand on my two feet did I feel relief. I grabbed my sister’s hand and we made it out to shore together.

My knees were shaking and I could barely walk. One of the guys who had also just made it onto shore collapsed on the sand from exhaustion. The entire occurrence was unlike anything I had ever experienced.

So what happened? We all got caught in a rip current. It truly is a miracle that none of us had to be rescued. The lifeguard was standing at water’s edge ready to dive in after us, but somehow we all made it out.

Looking back, I cannot recall a moment in my life when I felt such intense fear. The occurrence tormented me all night and literally drained all the energy from my body.

Wow.

Needless to say, my sis and I avoided the water for the remainder of the day.

Our afternoons consisted of relaxing and snacking before dinner. We brought our juice maker along so we made fresh juice daily!

The main add-ins were cucumbers, celery, carrots, tomatoes and ginger. The result was phenomenal!

Dinner was always some sort of freshly-caught seafood (except one day when we ate Italian randomly).

Seafood buffet:

The Crab Shack:

To be completely honest, many times I felt completely disgusted by seeing the seafood and even contemplated turning completely vegetarian. We’ll see…

My family and I would finish off our nights with a stroll along the boardwalk.

It was a beautiful and relaxing vacation :)

“if you don’t love where you come from, you can’t love where you are going”

~From Russia With Love~

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Touristy

Good afternoon and happy Friday! 

The days of the week don’t mean too much to me nowadays since every day is like a weekend (be jealous but not too jealous…it gets old I promise).

But not every day feels like a vacation, however. Today definitely did though! I acted like a tourist and explored Philadelphia all day.

I was originally planning on waking up at the same time as Max (~7:30am) to go running while he heads off to work, but I had an insomniac night and was exhausted in the a.m. So I chose to sleep in instead :) I’ve been meaning to condition my body to acclimate to early morning runs but training myself to wake up early has been ridiculously (and pathetically) difficult.

Instead of running when I later woke up at 9:30, I headed out to get some breakfast.

The Green Line Cafe was my intended destination and I already knew what I wanted.

Coffee+ a Vegan Chicken Sandwich (tempeh & Veganaise on a whole wheat bun)= YUM!

Post breakfast I felt the need to go exploring (and visit Trader Joe’s…it’s an addiction I know…shhh!) so I made the ~2 mile walk to the main part of the city.

There was plenty to see along the way! I mainly walked through the University of Pennsylvania campus but I also visited part of Drexel University.

It was hot hot hot out! Rehydration was crucial :)

Iced Passion Tea from Starbucks= one of my fav cold drinks eva!

The walk was filled with luscious greenery as well…definitely a perk in my book!

Soon I crossed the bridge into the main part of Philadelphia.

Now I was a full-blown tourist taking pics left and right non-stop.

I just couldn’t resist!

The Comcast Center was the tallest building in the entire city.

Maybe I’m a bit bias but in my mind nothing and no other city even comes close to comparing to my beautiful Chicago ♥

Philadelphia is still a gorgeous city though! Very homey :)

Soon enough I reached my destination:

♥♥♥

Crazy I know right.

Groceries:
yogurt
green protein drink
electrolyte water
coconut water
strawberries
blueberries
2 apples
dark chocolate

Afterwards, I briefly met up with Max (he works a couple of blocks away) and handed the bag off to him so that I wouldn’t have to lug it the 2.5 miles back home.

Food was on my mind once again so when I passed by a vegetarian/meditterranean food cart I knew I had to stop.

Lunch was half of a whole wheat pita with some freshly made hummus and a garden veggie salad.

Strawberries for dessert :)

Oh and I also found LOVE on the walk back home!

Yes, it’s been a perfect touristy day indeed :)

“Grace brings contentment”

~From Russia With Love~

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Hello From…

Philadelphia!

That’s right…just a mere 2 hours ago I flew into Pennsylvania. Why, you may ask? Well, I’m paying Max a little visit! He has a 5-week long summer job here in Philly and I simply couldn’t resist not visiting. I’ve never been here before so it’s even more exiting :)

This was also my first time ever flying alone! Man oh man was I excited…I slept so poorly last night! Everything went quickly and smoothly. Hmm I think flying alone is my ideal method of travel…I loved it!

Packing last night was quite a chore though. I had to fit in Max’s gift (the shoebox) for our upcoming 3 year anniversary (!!!). I bought him a pair of gorgeous blue suede Kenneth Cole shoes, I just hope he likes them! Otherwise back to Chicago with me they go :(

In the end I was incredibly proud of my packing job:

I’m getting good at this!

My pre-flight fuel was none other than a buckwheat bake. I’ve been getting creative with them and I added in some oats into the mix for added chewiness. The result was fantastic!

Strawbery-rhubabrb buckwheat bake with cacao nibs:

FYI- putting cacao nibs into these makes them rock x10. Try.it.now.

It kept me full for a good 3 hours.

Upon arrival I was starving, so after settling in I used my magical phone to research some nearby restaurants and came upon an ideal contender only a block away: Green Line Cafe. They offered plenty of vegetarian sandwiches which was exactly what I was craving.

The options were limited (many were already sold out) and my #1 choice was MIA so I chose the next best thing:

A veggie sandwich filled with cucumbers, green peppers, tomato and spinach with hummus on rye bread.

Obviously I couldn’t resist trying the vegan cookies! This was my first time ever eating a vegan dessert.

Apparently today is a day of firsts!

The sandwich was pretty standard and even a bit plain but the cool bread made it much better.

The cookies were fantastic! I’m not sure what flavor they were but one appeared to be cranberry-oatmeal and the other was a mix between a sugar cookie and a chocolate chip cookie.

Somehow I managed to restrain myself from eating both cookies so that I could leave some for Max. Awww

Okkaaayyy I’m off to take a quick nap while I wait for Max to get off work.

“Open up to infinity and you become infinity”

~From Russia With Love~

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Detox Recap

I survived my detox week!!!

Melodramatic much? In all honesty it didn’t feel like a detox at all. I ate how I typically eat and only avoided coffee, meat (fish), and sugary foods. I also avoided alcohol all week but yesterday I went out for a drink with some friends after seeing Bad Teacher (horrible!) and caved for a glass of red wine. Oops. I just considered it my celebratory I-survived-my-“detox”-week reward :)

But lets back up a couple of days.

Saturday was fantastic! The sun was lacking but the air was warm and summery. I started the day off with a buckwheat bake (shocker). I really should call it “microwaved buckwheat breakfast pie” or something like hat since I never actually tried to bake it. One day, folks, one day.

This MBBP (haha!) was unique though! I felt experimental and adventurous so I opted for a strawberry-rhubarb flavor. I first made a quick stawb-rhub jam by boiling farmer’s market strawberries and rhubarb together with honey for about 15 minutes.

The final product was out.of.this.world. I’ve always been obsessed with sourness and this definitely hit the spot. Sweet+sour= heaven.

I mixed it into my MBBP nuked it for 3.5 minutes. Meanwhile, I mixed together some of the jam with my homemade Nutella as an added scrumptious topping.

The topping may not have an appealing color but trust me, it was fantastic.

Good to the very last bite!

A few hours after breakfast my fab running partner and I hit the streets for our long run.

Once again I surprised myself by busting out 5 miles!!!

Oh it was glorious! I couldn’t be more proud of myself :)

As expected post-run, starvation hit me like a pile of bricks and I raced drove home to create this hydrating green beauty:

In the mix:
Spinach
Kale
Almond milk
Flax seed (ground)
Banana
Blueberries

It held off my hunger for ~2 hours until our planned barbecue dinner!

On the menu? Hamburgers (for the parentals), grilled portabella mushrooms and grilled pizza!!!

I used the whole-wheat pizza dough I created and froze a couple of weeks ago and it was still fantastic!

I stuffed my face with an open-faced portobella burger and plenty of slices (5!) of pizza.

Slightly altered version of a pizza margherita:

Vegan pizza with grilled onions, spinach, tomato sauce and avocado:

I wobbled away with a full belly and a happy heart 

On Sunday the weather was much improved. I celebrated by buying myself a new pair of shoes (kidding…kind of). Breakfast was not too shabby either: scottish oats with strawberry-rhubarb jam and organic blueberries. Hmm it’s been a while!

As I mentioned earlier, I also met up with some friends for movies and drinks. Thus came the glass of wine. No more words needed.

Overall my detox week was not too bad! I drank Kombucha every morning and avoided what I declared for the most part (dark chocolate also snuck into my meals :/). I have been having minor cravings for coffee all week but today I woke up and just wasn’t feeling it at all.

But what I “surprisingly” was feeling was a nice buckwheat bake…or should I say MBBP?

Today’s flavor of choice was cherry (one of my favs!) topped with remaining strawberry-rhubarb jam.

I adore cherries…yumyumyummy!

My other dessert for the day?

Banana-cherry softserve with dark chocolate. I was obviously on a cherry kick all day.

Ok kiddos I’m off to go and continue to be lazy…have a great night!

“Always be pure, simple and honest”

~From Russia With Love~

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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