February 2012 archive
To end the month of February, this week’s What I Ate Wednesday post is all about VEGGIES! I’ve been making an extra effort to include even more fresh veggies as the majority of what I’m eating lately. Surprisingly, I went 5 days last week without much meat or dairy. No, I’m not going vegan, but yes, all the veggies made me feel great!
So here you go, a day in the life of my veggie-filled plates:
Breakfast: Green smoothie, COFFEE with almond milk, and a blueberry oatmeal muffin. The muffins were a great addition to my usual breakfast and kept me full for longer.
Lunch: Broccoli, leftover brussel sprouts, and lentils. This worked well to bring to work and I just heated it up a bit before I ate it. It was super filling.
Snack: Carrot juice and an apple. Wondering about the carrot juice? I thought it was blah….frankly, it tasted like carrots and they are better to chew than sip.
Dinner: Back to my beloved Whole Foods. I was in a rush again tonight and had to grab dinner before an event. It’s become an expensive habit lately, but oh well. This wasn’t my usual Whole Foods so the salad bar had different choices. I chose a zucchini slaw thing and some tofu with a yummy peanut sauce (which became sorta a salad dressing). Yum!
Nighttime Snack: I ate a bowl of raw oats with almond milk and a spoonful of peanut butter. No picture. whoops!
So, how about you: Do you feel noticeable better when you eat more veggies?
I’m usually a creature of habit (ahem, green smoothie addiction), but have been making an effort to try new products.
A few new-to-me things have been showing up in my kitchen and belly lately and I thought I’d share them with you.
1) Icelandic butter.
How do you think this is pronounced?
I usually buy Irish butter or Earth Balance, but Whole Foods just started carrying Icelandic butter and I thought I’d give it a try. It’s a bit pricey ($3.99) but so is EB and Irish butter, so oh well. Iceland lets their cows graze in a pure, natural, completely unpolluted environment yearound. Accordingly, their butter is very pure, creamy, and spreads really well.
My verdict?: I bought the unsalted version and wish I tried the salted. I think I prefer Irish butter, but was glad to give this a try.
2) Carrot juice. Ingredients: Organic Carrots.
Sadly, I don’t have a juicer of my own so have to rely on the storebought versions if I want veggie juice. I saw this at Trader Joes and thought it would be something different to try for a weekday afternoon snack.
Verdict?: It tasted like, well……carrots. Carrots are naturally sweet, so the juice was sweet as well, but I think I generally prefer to eat my carrots instead of sipping them.
3) Himalyan Sea Salt.
Himalayan sea salt is naturally pink and has many nutritional benefits. The salt has 84 minerals, is high in electrolytes, and the nutrition is more easily absorbable and much more use-able by our bodies than any sea salt. I’m low in electrolytes (per my doc), so thought this would be a good product for me.
My verdict?: I’m a bit weary that my $2 trader joes salt is really as beneficial as some of the more expensive ones, but all in all, this salt does have a different flavor than regular sea salt. I love the nutritional properties and will continue to use it in addition to my regular sea salt.
*** Weird thing though– see how it is packed in Pakistan, then shipped all the way to South Africa, and then brought to the U.S.? That is so weird and huge carbon-footprint-ish to me. Sorta wonder what the purpose is– just cheap labor?
4) Peppermint Whipped Cream
This one, I can’t take credit for. Jared bought it and I am so glad he did (also glad that it was buy one get one free….so we will be eating this for quite a while). This isn’t healthy in the least and is full of chemicals, but it is so good! Peppermint is a great combo with whipped cream.
Verdict?: Try this!
5) Red Champagne
Okay, well this technically isn’t in my kitchen…..but a girl in my book club got engaged last weekend so we celebrated with a glass. It was my first time drinking red champagne (actually, I had never heard of it before!) so thought I’d share with you.
It was a dark, red color and tasted sweeter than regular champagne, which I liked– reg champ is a little dry for me. I couldn’t find much info about it, except that it’s Ukrainian and made from cab and merlot grapes. I don’t think there are many brands at all.
Verdict?: Try it! Esp if you don’t care for regular champagne, this is sweeter and still fun & bubbly.
So…while I didn’t love all my new things, they were all fun to try.
Even adorable pugs try new things sometimes!
OK, YOUR TURN!!
Have you tried any of these products?
What’s new in your kitchens lately?
Good morning! Want a muffin?
How about one with big, juicy blueberries just waiting to be bitten into?
Sorry, too late. I already ate them all.
Just kidding….I was good, I shared.
My best friend had a baby last week (an adorable little boy!) so I wanted to bake for them. I brought over Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins.
Yes, I saved 2 for me (I had to taste test). But these were so easy and muffins are some a nice part of breakfast (or a snack) that I will def be making them again. My first batch was a bit dry, so I adjusted the recipe accordingly.
BLUBERRY OATMEAL MUFFINS
Makes about 12 muffins (or 24 mini muffins)
* 1-1/2 cups flour
* 3/4 cup oats
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 beaten egg
* 3/4 cup milk
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar plus 1 tablespoon
* 1/3 cup plain yogurt
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen)
Instructions– really simple.
1. Grease a muffin pan (I just sprayed it with cooking spray) and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In your larger bowl, stir flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk, brown sugar, yogurt, and vanilla.
4. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just moistened, but still lumpy.
5. Fold blueberries into the batter.
6. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each three-quarters full.
4. Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 15-17 minutes
Blueberries give you your antioxidents
Oats are full of fiber (magnesium and selenium too!)
These muffins are not too sweet, so add jam (blueberry would be my pick) or honey if you’d like.
I enjoyed mine with a little icelandic butter and lemon curd- for a treat.
When was the last time you BAKED or ATE a muffin? And what kind was it?
This weekend has been filled with veggies and sunshine so far! The perfect combo, if you ask me.
We were going to go to Tahoe, but decided at the very last minute Friday night to skip it (too much driving and going next weekend anyways). Instead, it’s been great to have a weekend with little planned.
Saturday was spent at the park, on a picnic, and then at the Disney Family Museum (so cool! Go if you come to SF).
It’s full of the history of the Disney family and the story of how everything started. Interesting- Walt failed sooo many times in the beginning, people didn’t like his work and he even went bankrupt. It just proves that success comes to this who work hard, believe in themselves and keep trying.
Lots of good healthy food this weekend too.
Veggie friendly dinner- lentils, chard, and sweet potato with peanut butter. Yum.
Sunday morning breakfast- Pancake with a cup of blueberries. Kudos to the handsome chef.
Veggie filled lunch
And now time for more puppy park time before going to a housewarming party.
Any guesses for what’s going to win the Oscar? I’m betting on the Artist….even though I admittedly haven’t seen it yet. Can’t wait to see the celebs’ dresses- love that part!
And what’s your favorite Disneyland/world ride? Mine are Peter pan and big thunder mountain railroad
Lately, this is what I crave all morning long……waiting
impatiently for lunchtime
Brussel sprouts, peas, avocado, nutritional yeast, and Himalayan seat salt.
So simple, yet so so good.
It combines my two obsessions (as of late):
Avocados (of course)
And brussel sprouts (something I DESPISED as a kid)
And with the nutritional yeast and other added goodies, it becomes a warm bowl of filling fibor-ous mid-day yum.
Did you like brussel sprouts as a kid?
What’s your lunch or veggie of the moment?
busy, boring workday today so for today’s post, I thought I’d rewind a few days…..
On President’s Day, we celebrated with a hike.
Charlie led the way
Through the Cali woods, up the hills
Hiding in the woods
And all the way back to sea level.
Then, someone bought me a boat! Great surprise.
For me? Awwwww, you shouldn't have.
I wish Maybe they’ll let me go for a ride sometime.
Anyways, having a green smoothie morning and then off to a work seminar.
I am a creature of habit
Have a good one!
If you owned a boat, what kind would it be? Ski boat, speed boat, canoe, pedal boat, yacht???? I’d own a sailboat. Most definitely.
Happy Wednesday! Weeks after a long weekends are always so great- love that it’s already the middle of the week.
And can you believe it’s the end of Feb already? Still trying to get my veggies in for Jenn’s Feb challenge.
These are my eats from yesterday (Tuesday). It was kinda a crazy day and I ate out a bit, which was nice (on my tummy, not my wallet).
7:45AM- Breakfast. After a light 30 minute workout, I came home to a Green Smoothie. I eat way too many of these lately (or is that possible?). Can’t help it, still obsessed. It was the usual spinach, banana, blueberries, water, almond milk, and a tiny bit of pb (new addition). It made a massive amount, a cup and a half. Yum!
10am- Mid-morning snack. An orange. Plus a cup of tea. (Notice the no-coffee in the morning? was trying for less caffeine, but as you’ll see in the afternoon that didn’t work so well…..)
Sweet and delish
12- Lunch. Whole foods salad bar, lucky me. Tofu and Kale & Seaweed salad. Have you had that salad yet, it’s amazing.
Scenes from the salad bar.....and my shoe peeking out in the background
2pm- Snack. Almonds, 2 dates, and a Guava Kombucha (that I picked up at Whole Foods too). Around 3, I had an (unpictured) cup of coffee too. I tried to go without it today, but no such luck.
And good zen advice from the kombucha
7:30 pm- Dinner! I was Hungry with a capital H by then. Jared and I went across the Bay to meet a friend of his for dinner, which meant a long commute night.
We went to a little Peruvian place that had JUST opened that night at 5pm. So fun to be with them on their first night!
We split a bunch of dishes– Roasted chicken, Hanger Steak over Rice, Sweet Potato Fries, and a really yummy veggie salad with beets, carrots, avocado and who knows what else.
I also tried a sip of a purple corn drink– it tasted like cinnamon applesauce. But it’s a special Peruvian fermented soft drink. Yum.
NOW– Things I want to know from YOU:
How many times/month do you eat at the Whole Foods Salad Bar? I’m prob twice per month.
Have you been to Peru?
I’ve spent a lot of time in the Peruvian airport on my way other places, but never been outside of it. Machu Piccu would be amazing to see.
Tried any other cuisines lately? I haven’t, but I’ve been wanting to try Ethiopian food for a while now, need to schedule that
I am really feeling overwhelmed these days. And honestly, I’m not exactly sure why. I’m technically less busy than I’ve been in the past, but I still feel like I’m unable to focus and spend way too much time multi-tasking…which equals less productivity.
I also think that while I might have less things on my plate at the moment, many of the things I do have also take more concentration and brain power. Busy work is fine, but real, focused work take more time. Thus the overwhelming-ness.
I also think that I’ve become MUCH more disorganized lately. Case in point, my desk at work.
I don’t even want to show you my closet
One of the worst parts of all of this is that I keep losing things. Jewelry (really bummed about this one and still trying to find it), clothes (sooo many socks and random things), papers, and more. It sucks. I spend less time at home lately and feel like I’m always “packing up” so things get lost in the transport. Plus, I tend to be exhausted when I do finally get home and just drop things on the floor for “later.” And when “later” comes, I don’t feel like doing it then either and try to spend as little time as possible– which usually makes things disorganized and scattered.
I need hard deadlines or I end up procrastinating unnecessarily. It’s a vicious cycle.
So anyways, I am so sick of this and decided adamentally, I need to make changes now.
Here are some things I’ve noticed about myself:
- I thrive on lists. Paper lists, not the ones I make on my computer calendar. The act of writing things down is part of the mental process for me and I just don’t get the same effect from typing. I’m going to start a special “list” notebook and use it to write things down daily.
- I also thrive on schedules. When I was running and training for my half-marathon, I loved knowing exactly how far I was supposed to run every day. I liked having the entire 8-week plan in front of me. Now, I am in such an ambiguous zone. I workout, but I always feel like I can do more. So it never feels like enough or fully satisfying (and I’ve been slacking w/ exercise lately, so it really hasn’t been enough, but I think with a schedule that would be MUCH more likely to happen and for me to feel good about it).
- I need very specific goals. Things I need to accomplish by a certain date. Goes with the other two. I have goals of course, but I need to give myself self-imposed deadlines.
- I need to streamline my life a little bit. One grocery store visit a week makes much more sense than 4 per week. Leaving clothes at my bf’s instead of packing and unpacking every day makes sense too.
- Make the most of my downtime. I’m usually exhausted and that’s fair, but just 15 minutes of organization before rest/tv time can do wonders.
- Think positive. When I get overwhelmed, I tend to freeze a little bit and not be able to get anything done. Maybe a little anxiety? More yoga would be good for me.
Okay, that’s it.
My to-do list for today (it’s 4pm, so not much time left, but c’est la vie) and tomorrow:
CLEAN OUT CAR.
Make a work to-do list for the week.
Schedule my day for tomorrow– (aka, 6:45am-workout, 7:45-breakfast, 8:15- leave for work, 9-10am- answer emails, 11-12noon- work on grant proposal, 12-2- meeting, 2-2:30pm- walk around the lake, 2:30-3:30 answer emails, 3:30-5- meeting out of office. 5-6-commute. 6-6:30- grocery shop, 7- make dinner, 7:30- exercise, 8:30-10- clean up, mop floors, pay bills, and watch an episode of grays anatomy.) Sounds like such a boring day! I was supposed to go to an after-work event tomorrow but think I’m going to skip it.
Good news is I just found out that I have 113 hours of vacation saved up. That’s 13 days. Time to plan a vacation?!
Anyways, what do you do when you get overwhelmed and unproductive? What works for you? Are there times during the year when you are more productive than others?
Happy President’s Day! Everyone have the day off?
I don’t normally photograph all my weekend eats, but I did this weekend and enjoyed it. I ate out a lot, which made it easier (usually I do 3 smaller meals plus a couple snacks so it’s more to photograph).
So here you go:
Green Smoothie. Gotta start the weekend off right.
Met friends for lunch. We sat outside at a cute cafe. I got a chicken salad and an iced tea. The conversation got a little intense though, so I only ended up eating half.
A few hours later, my stomach started growling. I felt like I needed a treat, so got a fro yo that I ate while on a long dog walk.
Had time for a late afternoon swim, which I really needed.
We met friends for dinner at Beretta, a really cool pizza place that I’ve been wanting to try for ages. They also have a famous drink menu and a bunch of great antipastas.
Photo from their website
The lighting was low and I only had my phone camera, so no good pics, unfortunately. Here’s the only one I got– of the slice of pizza (had arugela and proscuitto) I ate. I also had some antipasta (eggplant, beets, sardines (yes, sardines.) and salad).
Woke up super early, weirdly. We had brunch plans, but to hold me until then, I had a banana. Ate it while watching friends and doing some yoga/stretching.
We tried to go to a “famous” brunch place, but the line was literally down the block and AT LEAST 2 hours, so we aborted that mission and went back across town. I was starved by the time we ordered and was feeling more like lunch than brunch. Ordered a club sandwich. It was huge and I ate a little more than half.
Lunch held me until dinner and I actually had a stomach ache (ugh, hate that), but I grabbed something quick at the Whole Foods hot bar (rice, chicken, guac, salmon, and a vegan wrap thing).
Then went to see the Vow with a friend. Have you seen it? Thoughts? I was sorta disappointed. My friend got fro yo before the movie, I didn’t want any, but did have a few samples of cookies & cream flavor- yum.
Time for a hike. Love 3-day weekends. Try any new restaurants this weekend?
It’s a good day when my fruit bowl makes me smile. Thank you Chiquita.