Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fueled Up and Ready to Run

Dashing through four-hour-long-dress rehearsals and attempting to run a 3-miler all in the same day (while running on little to no sleep) requires quite a bit of fueling.... Enter OO! Or, Overnight Oats!

Mix oatmeal with yogurt, milk, protein powder- refrigerate overnight and you get a powerhouse of protein that tastes like a Blizzard in the morning! Only, you know, so much better because it's not chockful of sugar or saturated fat....not that I'm completely against Blizzards... ;)

Today also calls for TWO Green Monsters or otherwise known as spinach smoothies.

I know, it sounds revolting, but I promise you can't taste it! The secret is the banana! This one is topped with granola and cacoa nibs.

I'd love some coffee today but I'm not sure if that is going to happen. Starbucks, why must you be so expensive?!?? Right now I'm running on adrenaline, so we'll see.

Cheerio! Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hurts So Good

I'm in pain as I type this, but it's the pain that hurts in a good way! I'm still sore from the gym class and some gentle but challenging stretching/yoga today.

Rewind to yesterday!

I wanted a cold lunch that I could whip up quickly. Enter pb banana smoothie! I love these and I used to make them all the time, but I haven't had one in a while.

Recipe: (for Ariel - hope you're reading, girl! ;) )
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp. chia seeds (flaxseeds are great too)
2 T. Peanut Butter Co. pb
1 small banana

It reminded me of a light version of a Pb Blizzard or Frosty! I had an orange on the side but I threw it away after the first bite - it was sour! :P

I met up with Ariel and Kilah, two dear friends, for a costume meeting for Romeo and Juliet, followed by a girls' night at Bekah's, another friend! We all brought something edible and tasty. I brought a quinoa spinach salad with cranberries, feta cheese, mushrooms, and bell peppers as well as cucumber slices. Bekah also had hot dogs as the main dinner, but because I don't eat meat on Fridays (I'm Catholic), I had baked beans, salad, a plum, apple slices, cuc, bell peppers with hummus, and a pb chex mix that Ariel's mom made.

After we swam in Bekah's pool, giggled, talked, and stayed up til 4:30 watching movies, we awoke to make smoothies for breakfast. Bekah's mom dubbed me the Smoothie Queen and Bekah insisted I make smoothies for everyone, which I was happy to oblige! Some of the ones I whipped up were: blueberry-peach, chocolate banana pb, strawberry chocolate, and a raspberry blueberry strawberry. Lots of lovely different, bright colors! :)

Mine was a green monster with peaches, blueberries, and strawberries, although there wasn't enough spinach to make it green! It came out a periwinkle violet that looked nasty but tasted wonderful! I topped it with Galaxy Granola (which I adore) and a travel pack of Peanut Butter & Co. ; the toppings sunk to the bottom but they were there and delicious!

After I got home, I ran around doing last minute packing, ironing, and mending/sewing for our vacation. I made a small mozzarella and tomato grilled cheese sammie on La Madeleine bread and slapped the inside with hummus. Finger-lickin' good! I couldn't stop "Mmmmm"ing, even though it was a little burnt.

I wasn't too hungry because I had breakfast late, but I knew I needed something to sustain me during my work shift - I worked 12-4:30.

I got home a little before 5 , retreated to my room, put on the P&P soundtrack, dimmed the lights and did a solid hour of yoga. It felt so good but I know more would be even better - my muscles are still tight but I do feel a little more loose. :)

Dinna was cuc + eggplant with hummus, leftover quinoa salad, corn and fish.

I love this's very fresh and light but packed with protein from the quinoa and feta cheese!

I drizzled the fish - flounder- with a wee bit of olive oil, pepper, garlic, onion powder and cumin, wrapped it in foil and baked it at 350 for 17 minutes.

A scrumptious summery dinner. :) Afterward, I had a piece of toast with homemade blackberry jelly (that I helped make!), put my feet up, and read some blogs. Bliss....

I had grand plans to be in bed with lights out at 9, but then my mom called and informed me we were departing at 4 in the morning so of course I had to run to the grocery store to stock up. I am packing TONS of food to take to Disney World. I'm not sure what the selection (read: theme park food) will be, but something tells me it will be interesting. I definitely want to come prepared with my healthy options rather then be forced to choose between things that I really don't want to eat....So, now I'm fully stocked, packed and ready to go - er, at least my food is. I still need to zip the suitcase containing my clothes shut. And figure out what shoes I'm wearing, 'cause flip flops are fine for Disney World, right?


Oh dear. My poor feet. You have no idea the pain that awaits you.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Feeling French

Today started out calmly at home and then took off in the afternoon. I'm just now catching my breath!

Did some school earlier, then grabbed a quick (for me!) hodgepodge lunch. I threw together a La Madeleine-inspired spinach salad with mushrooms, bell peppers, and strawberries. I added feta cheese and a homemade herb-ish dressing that was delicious!

1/3 cup of Dijon or stone ground mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 T. red vinegar
pepper to taste - you could also add salt but it was excellent without it. It had a delightfully earthy taste that was tangy without being overwhelming; this would probably be great for an Italian garden salad.

I had some cuc with hummus on the side, and cottage cheese with chia seeds and butterscotch chips for some sweetness, as well as the last of the chocolate Silk soymilk. Trying to clear out the fridge before we head to Disney World this weekend! Did I mention we were going on our family vacation? ;)

I had a slice of La Madeleine's 7-Grain bread, toasted and spread with tahini (sesame seed nut butter) and agave nectar to cut the bitterness.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon at our homeschool yearbook signing which was hectic but terribly was so nice to see everyone again. Went straight from that to an insane class at the gym - lunges, squats, mountain climbs, push-ups, weights, and abs. I left, cherry-faced and happily drenched with sweat, but feeling on top of the world. I know I'm going to feel it tomorrow during ab class! I love intense workouts...I may look, sound, and feel like I'm going to die during them, but I love 'em! :)

Came home from the gym and wanted something quick, nutritious, and filling. Enter the quintessential French omelet. :) I felt so deliciously European... Oh eggs, I love you so. Why have I ignored you? You are so versatile, protein-packed, and cooked in a matter of minutes. Cage-free, grain fed egg omelet with field greens, mushrooms, and soy cheese inside, spread with hummus and hot sauce. If there's one thing I learned from Jenna, it's that hummus (and hot sauce!) go with everything. ;)

I had some fresh veg on the side because I was craving it and trying to finish off my produce.

To complete my meal, I broke into this bad boy that I picked up at the vitamart today with my mom: Cacao nibs!! A Mayan superfood that I've heard and seen so much about in the blog world.

I made a small Green Monster with almond milk, kale, banana, cinnamon, vanilla, and topped it with some nibs and Galaxy Granola which I also loved and have been waiting to try. Added some gums to make it ice cream-y. Hit. The. Spot.

In my pjs and happily heading to bed - I've got Southwest on the mind for breakfast...hi ho, Silver!

Wrong Side Up

Hey, everyone! Hope you all are having a pleasant morning...mine is going great so far. I rolled out of bed and had breakfast ready in less than five minutes!

(I can't figure out how to flip it right side up - sorry!)

Behold overnight oats, known as "OO" - just oatmeal soaked in yogurt and milk overnight and magically ready the next morning. These were classic Jenna oats - 1/4 cup oats, an Okios Greek yogurt with honey, 1/2 cup soymilk. I added chia seeds, golden raisins, and a handful of dried blueberries. Stirred it all together, mixed in a chopped banana this morning and dusted the whole thing with cinnamon, applesauce, and White Chocolate pb. Mmmmmmm...I could eat this every morning.

Trying to say farewell to cold breakfasts before fall gets here - I can't wait! :)

Have a great day!
What do you usually eat for breakfast? What's your favorite thing to make/eat for bfast? Always looking for new ideas! ;)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Swirl Me Some Mexican

Yes, finally a post in weeks! My younger brother, Michael, had my baby (camera) during his two-week trek in Virginia for Boy Scouts Jamboree, so I've been Mira-less for nearly a month - or at least, that what it feels like!

Yes, I've named my camera Mira...I was lying in bed last night thinking that I should name my camera, seeing as how I have a bronze bunny bookend named Goya (after the painter). Mira just popped into my head, so now that's her name! ;)

I've taken killer workout classes two days in a row and tonight was supposed to be a third but my mom really wanted to stay home this evening so I was fine with that and just ran 2 miles on the Wii Fit. I finished whipping up some cupcakes for Mary and Bekah, two sisters who are amazing friends and happen to work with me at Chick-fil-A - today was Mary's last day because she's heading back to college, so I baked them cupcakes!

Golden beauties with raspberry preserves in the middle, and creamy Nutella as frosting with a sprinkle of cinnamon; I topped theirs with white chocolate chips. They were so adorable and smelled divine. It looked like a cute, petite French dessert!

Dinna was simple and delish: my mom's chicken enchiladas with picante sauce and Okios Greek yogurt on top, peppered corn, and a spinach side salad with veggies, hummus, and avocado.

I also had half a slice of watermelon on the side sliced into half again.

Perfect, and just enough to make me long for green chili, tamales, and fajitas..."Mexico/Texas, my heart adores thee.."

And then I went and finished things off with this little bowl of heaven.

That would be Starbucks Hot Chocolate ice cream with the top half of a golden Nutella cupcake. Holy yum.

Off to read more River of Secrets by Shannon Hale and dream of all things ice cream... I have a problem - I'm obsessed with fro-yo (frozen yogurt)! I can't get the silky, insanely creaminess out of my mind! Haha, I made my stomach rumble last night dreaming up various frozen/sweet creations. Oh, yes, a heavy price to pay. ;)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July! :D I really tried to relax, enjoy the moment and not stress about a schedule - and it worked!!

We all had a great night's sleep and slept in. I woke up and had breakfast alone, then the fam got up a little later and had red, white, and blue pancakes (strawberry, banana, blueberry).

Brekkifast was all about our country's colors! Red, White + Blue yogurt bowl!

~ 1/2 Oikos Greek yogurt
~ a handful of organic blueberries
~ 2-3 strawberries
~ handful of raspberries
~ T. Maranatha Almond butter
~ 1 t. flaxseed
~ 1 t. wheat germ
~ pinch of shredded coconut

I also had a slice of my whole wheat Blueberry Banana Bread on the side.

Later on we made hot dogs and felt chilly and rainy, so I heated up my leftover Amy's pea soup, and had a salad with baby spinach, peppers, squash, cuc, tomato, Feta cheese + hummus.

I had my chili and hot dog chopped up in my salad.

I tried a bite of stuffed eggplant that I cooked for tomorrow. Looks nasty but it was tasty, thanks to the Cajun sausage included!

I enjoyed a pear + glass of Silk milk after lunch. I nibbled on some of Angela's raw vegan cookie dough but was too full to finish.

I read Breaking Dawn with my Aunt Anabelle - she's finishing it and loving it! - I stopped to see where she was at first, then I ended up sitting on the couch next to her and reading over her shoulder.

Aunt Anabelle and my littlest sister, Hope!

My baby sisters, Fey + Hopie - although they're not babies anymore! :(

My mom convinced my Aunt Doreenie to watch Twilight because she hasn't seen any of the films, so my mom, Aunt Doreenie, and the kids watched Bella and Edward while Aunt Anabelle + I read Bella and Edward! ;)

We ended up missing the fireworks by accident- they started earlier then we thought, so we made our own firework show!! My dad pulled out a bunch of crackers/poppers and we went to down in the dark outside in our driveway. The kids had a blast. It was so much fun throwing them around and watching little sparks pop. Then we all trouped inside and sat down to a feast! aunts, my mom, and my Uncle K had spent hours slaving away on the dishes. My other uncle, Uncle R - just back from deployment -, mixed drinks for the adults. I stuck to sparkling water. ;)

I didn't take a picture of the spread...I completely forgot but I snapped a pic of my plate which had a little bit of everything!

Bbq chicken, Cajun sausage, Aunt Doreen's homemade potato salad, my quinoa veggie salad, cornbread pie, and my Uncle K's mashed potatoes which I was in charge of and put my own spin on.

I brought out the dessert afterward: chocolate brownie torte with chocolate sauce, dusted with sugar and powdered sugar + brownie cake with Cool Whip topping, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and also dusted with powdered sugar.

The Cool Whip brownie cake held together firmly while the chocolate torte was moist, crumbly, and molten-lava-like...

Uncle Rich was excited about dessert!

Mmmmmhhhhhh. We were all in heaven. I had two small slices -one of each.

I ate the perfect amount of food and felt great + satisfied, not stuffed. I had a few morsels of the Cool Whip cake + a second sliver of cornbread pie.


I'm off to bed now...absurdly five hours past my bedtime but I was determined to blog tonight, Hehehe...the kids, Aunt Doreen, and my mom are all up too - watching New Moon! We're just on a Twilight saga roll here. Good night and happy July!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Girl

God is really good...that's about all I have to say concerning the past few days. No matter how sticky life gets, out of the blue He just surprises me (and you!) with some beautiful days. Now, the past two days weren't perfect, mind you. I got mad quite a few times and snappy, there were groans uttered, things to-do put off, and time lost.

But the past two days were also really, really good! I found my new fav paor of exercise pants from Tarjay, had glorious oats after a sad, long hiatus, tasted hummus again, opened a jar of my beloved MaraNatha ab + Arrowhead Mills pb, made an awesome recipe last night, ate some raw vegan cookie dough, consumed yogurt and a chocochipbn muffin with Nutella, sweated bullets (and buckets) in step class today, and had a yummy nibble of a dish from the past. Oh, and I'm about to roll into bed by 9.

Yep, 'tis swheet. ;)

I had an apricot 2x yesterday before lunch to hold me over.

Lunch yesterday was awesome, but unfortunately I had to gulp it down because I had to rush to a docter's appointment. It involved a grill (chicken) in a whole wheat pita pocket with hummus + mustard, lettuce, tomato, and Swiss cheese. I had fruit on the side and carrot fries!! Holy yum, I love these like life itself. Tutorial coming soon!

Dinner was amazing as well - I steamed tilapia in foil with lime juice, seasonings, and EVOO (as Rachel Ray calls it). I was hit with a lightning bolt of inspiration, partly from all of Emily's mouthwatering cold salads she's been throwing together, and created a quinoa salad!

I started off the morning with a bowl of yogurt(1/2 cup?), hot blueberries, cranberry granoler, banana, strawberries and nut buttar.

- I've got to call it quits so 'nite!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Yogurt Fuel + Owl Night = Happy Morning


Egads, have I really not updated since April? Sheesh....I apologize for falling off the blosphere. The main reason has really been that my camera won't download pictures on our desktop, and they won't show up in my posts on the laptop! So here we go again...let's try this one more time.

As you can imagine, I have a TON of pictures for you that have been slowly building up over the past few months!! So what I think I'll do is just do a few posts (in between regular ones) that cover one subject with lots of pictures. For example: I'll do one on smoothies, one on oats, another on salads, etc. How does that sound? Let me know if there's anything special you'd like to see, like work-out fuel, veggie sides, yummy healthy treats or something else!

I'll be back with a Father's Day recap at lunch, but for now here's b-fast.

I also thought about titling this post "Taste the Rainbow" but "Yogurt Fuel" is more accurate! ;)
So, breakfast was, of course, yogurt. I rolled out of bed with my stomach rumbling and craving oats like you wouldn't believe. I was trembling just thinking about it. You know that famous line, "Be still my beating heart"? That was written by someone who was gazing upon a steaming bowl of that heavenly goodness. But *sniff* I'm out of rolled oats, and so far steel-cut oatmeal just aren't the same; plus, it does take about 15-20 minutes, and I didn't want to wait that long. I threw some in a pot anyway for bfast tomorrow. We'll see how they taste.

Anyhoo, my beloved Oikos Greek yogurt was frozen (!!) from being in the back of the fridge - fridge burn?? Anyone else had that happen before? My body was really thirsty and the idea of cool, creamy yogurt and luscious fruit sounded like a excellent second option. I grabbed the only other yogurt in the fridge: the last of my yogurt trio I'd picked up at Whole Foods (Yes, I found one!) in New Orleans last week.

The Greek Gods' Greek Yogurt...sounds intriguing, no? ;) This flavor was Pomegranate, but it was just like the Siggi's I had also gotten in that there was no fruit actually in the yogurt; the yogurt was fruit-flavored.

The Greek Gods' yogurt was fun opening up because it was a pale lavender-pink color (try picturing that!), and it looked like raspberry mousse.

In the mix:
  • raisin granola
  • 1/4 of a bananer
  • watermelon
  • frozen peaches + cherries that I defrosted in the microwave
  • 1/4 of my homemade whole wheat chocolate chip banana muffin
  • cinnamon

The pomegranate flavor slightly overwhelmed the rest of the fruit; I couldn't properly taste the bowl as a whole overall because the yogurt was competing with the other flavors. I wasn't that crazy about the flavor either, and I was shocked when I looked at the back of the carton: 230 calories! While I am not a calorie counter, I don't care for high-calorie items unless they are really good. As part of my meal I wasn't that happy with the amount of calories in the Greek Gods'...I guess I've been spoiled by my Oikos Greek yogurt which is only 130 calories for 1 cup of yogurt!

It wasn't too bad, though; I was appeased by the toppings which were fantastic. I will definitely being using more frozen/heated-up fruit in my breakfasts!

A little bit after bfast, I spent nearly an entire hour trying to get these pictures uploaded and into this post -which was written yesterday- and then gave up and decided to head outside for my workout. I started Gina's Summer Shape Up last week and really enjoyed it despite not knowing all of the different exercises she listed...I figured out I REALLY wasn't doing it right when she mentioned her friend had just started it and was sore all over. Ooops! I was ready for Week 2 though; so much so that I braved the early afternoon sun to do her Day 1: Speed! After slathering on copious amounts of sunscreen and slapping on a visor, I grabbed an ice-cold water bottle and a large hand towel. I had a sneaking suspicion I would need every inch of it.
I. Was. Right.

Oh my holy moly guacamole.
I was definitely not doing it right last week! It was unbelievable: I thought I was in shape but Gina totally kicked my butt yesterday. I thought I was going to throw up....and I did, just a little bit! Near the end, I sprawled on my driveway and just lay there for 5 minutes before I pep-talked myself into getting up. I usually love my workouts and I haven't "wanted" to stop in the middle too often, but I seriously contemplated not finishing and just going inside. I saw the whole thing through though, and I'm so glad I did! I'm very proud of my accomplishment. I may have moved like a caterpillar during the last 15 minutes, but I finished it!

Today is a Stretch day which I'm so psyched about - I love that Gina's alternating days of speed, strength, and stretch - also, I didn't stretch afterward yesterday (I know, I'm crazy), so everything's tight today. I'm ready for some yoga + and walking to loosen me up!

A proud, beet-red me, post SSU:
Go Chick-fil-A! ;) I was about to say something about how my braces looked but then I caught myself: I was about to Fat Talk myself! Caitlin, who has made it her mission to end Fat Talk, describes it as, "negative self-talk or 'Fat Talk'."

So here's my new statement: Wow, I look so happy and proud - I still can't believe I did it! :)

Lunch was a chocolate protein smoothie and a slice of whole wheat toast with pb.

My smoothie had:
1/2 cup of Silk soymilk
1 tsp. flaxseed and wheat germ
1 serving whey and soy protein powder
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 tsp. xanthanx gum - which ended up making my smoothie so light and fluffy it had no substance! It was like chocolate foam in a cup... :( I think I'll stick with my homemade version of Starbucks's Chocolate Banana Vivanno smoothie, which was what I was really craving.

I balanced my smoothie (protein) with the toast (carbs) for a good work-out recovery meal...I ended up getting what I thought was a protein headache. It felt like I hadn't had enough protein/food so I grabbed another piece with half pb and half hummus.

Then, some very random nibbling occurred and I snacked on some melon + strawberries, two spoonfuls of pb, and 1/4 grilled chicken breast from Chick-fil-A. The headache (which my mom thought was from hunger) continued and worsened, so I laid down and conked in and out of consciousness for a few hours. I got back up around 5:30 and felt much better; my headache had disappeared, so I meandered in the kitchen and got started on dinner.

I made chicken and rice with mushrooms.

I also fixed myself a side salad with radicchio, romaine, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, shredded carrots, red cabbage, a few cubes of apples and 1/4 of a strawberry. The last two were leftover from my mom's Chargrilled and Fruit Salad from CHick-fil-A so I just tossed those in. To my surprise, they added a subtle sweetness and crunch to my salad - try tossing some fruit in with your veggies for a nice variation! I topped my salad off with Sabra's Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. Mmmm, I love using it as salad dressing so much I always crave it when I order salads at restaurants!

The chicken and rice, which is my mom's recipe (going in my cookbook!), was mouthwatering as always. I suggested it for dinner because I was craving it for some reason earlier before I fell asleep and could not get it out of my head!

I headed off to bed, but couldn't fall asleep. My nap was possibly to blame for this. ;) Around 10:30, my mom came and asked me how to make hot cocoa with almond milk, a little recipe I had thrown together. Since I was already awake, I decided to make it for her. Once I was in the kitchen and stirring the milk over the stove, I decided to try something I remembered from books I read when I was little. A great way to make you sleepy: a warm glass of milk. It sounded delicious, so I concocted this baby.

I call it "Cinnamon Soy Latte"! It's coffee free, but still has that "latte" feel to it. It calmed me down, slipping down my throat with a lovely ease.

I was about to sit on the living room rug and muse when my mom, who was watching a movie with my dad, suggested I work on my cookbook. Feeling the call of inspiration at the night-owl hour, I quickly agreed. I haven't stayed up on purpose or had any late-night writing bouts in ages - it was so fun! Not something I want to do every night but it was a special treat. I grabbed a pencil, my Julia Child-esque cooking notebook and spent a glorious 15-20 minutes planning out the structure of my cookbook. I've got all the sections down, so now comes the fun part: developing/polishing/tasting recipes! I have some great ideas for desserts that I can't wait to experiment with...I also need to bulk up the fruit and veggie side recipes.

Despite my late night, I awoke to my alarm playing belly dancing music at 4:45, 5:00, and 6:00 a.m. I got up at six, and feasted on the oats I'd made the day before.

OIAJ - Oats In A Jar!!!

That would be 1/4 cup of steel-cut oats, 1/2 cup soy milk, 1/4 cup water, 1 tsp. flaxseed and wheat germ, and 1/4 of a banana. Toppins': 1/6 crumbles of wh. wh. banner choc-chip muffin, 1.5 T ab left in the jar and 1 tsp. pb with a drizzle of agave necter.

Not quite the same as my beloved rolled oats but good enough! Mmm, it was hot, gooey and nut buttery...I loved the remainder of the muffin with the chocolate chips. :D I made another Cinnamon Soy Latte, but I felt perfectly content with my OIAJ, so I'm going to pop in the fridge and enjoy later.

Wow...huge post, but it's been a long time coming! In the words of Porgy, "Well, that's all (for now), folks!"