goals and basil

Warning: My day was completely random.  This post will follow suit.  :mrgreen:

I love new months!!  Who cares if it’s August 4th, and I’m just now getting to this topic?  Not me!  I don’t think it’s ever too late to reflect on past goals, while also making new ones. 

July’s Goals

  • no tv for the month
  • incorporate strength training into my daily routine and learn to love it!

Results???

 

(source)

It was hard.  Really, really hard.  For the first week, I experienced serious withdrawals from not watching tv (sad, but true.)  But then it became easier.  And then—gasp—I actually enjoyed it.

Not watching tv felt almost liberating.  Freeing.  Satisfying.  Rejuvinating, even.  I felt alive, like it didn’t matter if I was back by 8 o’clock on Tuesday night to watch Jillian Michaels.  It didn’t matter.  I said yes to going out at night, even if it meant simply taking a walk or hitting the mall.  The night seemed longer and way more fulfilling.

And, I read.  A lot.  Seven books in one month is unheard of for me, but it was completely possible when I wasn’t being entertained by the tube.

 

That’s not to say I won’t ever watch tv again.  I like flipping it on during the weekends, and I love watching a great movie now and then.  But this was such an eye opener for me! 

The strength training goal?  Well…urm.  That could use some work.  I think I need to be more specific with my goals, which is what I plan on doing for the month of August.  I’ll reveal the official goals tomorrow. 😉

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If a guy ever brings me a boquet of flowers, let it be basil.

 

Roses smell pretty, daisies make me smile, but basil makes me swoon. 

I was sent home with a ton—an absolute TON—of red and green basil today.  Jessica, a fellow nutrition major and foodie, told me that I could have as much of it as I liked since it was rapidly flowering and she had to compost a lot of it before it went to seed.  I was more then happy to take it off her hands. 😉

Basil.  So.  Much.  Basil.

Tonight, I quickly transformed a large bunch of it into my homemade basil hummus.  It was the perfect accompaniment to my salad and kashi crackers.

 And cheese.

I’m obsessied with this Drunken Goat’s Cheese from Whole Foods.  The rind is soaked in red wine, which gives it the outer red color.  None of the flavor is absorbed though.  You’re left with a clean, mild goat cheese flavor, which melts at the touch of a finger.  It’s delicious. 

Goals.  Basil.  Cheese.

Sorry for such a random post.  My day felt random, and it seems that my post turned out that way too.  Sometimes you just have to roll with it. 😉 

Question: What is your favorite way to use basil?  I’m excited to have a ton of basil because it’s my favorite herb.  But since I have so much, I need some serious inspiration! 😀

chopsticks

I wrote out an entire post, only to have it completely eaten by WordPress.  Which means, that the post will wait until tonight and I’ll leave you with a short little blurp. :mrgreen:

Have you ever eaten with chopsticks? 

It is an experience. 

A little while back, the Broccoli Hut made a post on eating with chopsticks, and how it adds to the entire dining experience.  It slows you down.  Makes you notice that you’re eating.  I completely agreed.

I am a self-proclaimed inhaler of food.  Not when I’m eating out with friends and family or at a fancy schmancy restaurant.  But at home?  Yes.  I inhale.

Which is where chopsticks come in.  Now, let’s face it, not every meal can be eaten at a slow, leisurely pace.  There are times when I’ll need to wolf down a lunch in five minutes flat, and times when dinner is something that must be fit in—somehow, some way—despite being in a rush.  But there are also times when it’s important to slow down and enjoy the food that we’re eating.  Life is too busy.  It’s important to take time out and enjoy the day, whether by ourselves or with friends and family.

I’m convinced that part of the reason why people who consume the Mediterranean Diet are so healthy, is due not only to the foods that they eat, but also due to the fact that they eat. so. slowly.  A drink of wine here.  A laugh with a friend there.  A small bite every other conversation.  It’s so relaxed. 

Chopsticks, chopsticks, chopsticks (not that people on the Mediterranean Diet eat with chopsticks, but I’ve found it’s one of the easiest ways to slow the entire dining process down :mrgreen: )

So my challenge to you is to try using chopsticks.  For a meal.  Or a day (although eating oats with chopsticks may prove to be kind of challenging 😉 ).  Most grocery stores carry the free wooden kind that you can simply pick up and mess around with before investing in a pair.  They’re super simple to use once you get the hang of it.

The How-To of chopsticks

Don’t be intimidated.  And don’t be put off by the fact that you may drop food on your shirt at first.  True Story: I have olive oil stains on my t-shirt too.  But as everyone who uses chopsticks will attest to, it gets easier with time.  You’ll be a pro before you know it. 😀

Question: Have you ever used chopsticks?

tacklin’ the homework

I didn’t want to wake up this morning.  The sun was just beginning to scatter its light through the blinds of my window, my fan was making a hypnotic ‘mmrrrrr’ sound, and I was in that comfy spot.  But then I smelled coffee.  And heard people talking.  I lifted one eye to take a peak at the alarm clock sitting on my bed.

6:00am

It felt too early to function, but I got up anyways.  May as well get a good head start on the internship homework.

But nobody said I had to be creative with breakfast.  So I kind of wasn’t.  But it still tasted amazing. :mrgreen:

“Un”Overnight Oats—mix together directly before eating

  • 1/2 c. raw oatmeal
  • 6-oz. plain yogurt mixed with 2 T. crushed flax
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • scoop of almond butter

 

 Mornin’ Snack: an unpictured orange

Do you know how long it’s been since I did any sort of yoga?  I have no idea.  In other words, it’s been a long, long while. 

I spent a good 20 minutes entering into sun salutations, planks, side planks, crow poses, tree poses, you name it.  And then I entered into a downward dog.  I can’t believe I used to be able to plant both feet flat on the ground.  Pssshhh.  You should have seen me this morning.  My calves were as tight as a t-shirt that’s two sizes too small.  Not pretty.

It’s okay though.  This is ground zero, and there’s no place to go but forward.  It’s one of the things that I love most about yoga. 😀

Lunch

Leftover Lentil Curry from yesterday.  Two slices of whole wheat toasts for dipping ‘n’ dunking.  Sliced cucumber from the garden.  Raw carrots.  Crunchin’, munchin’!!  Love these kinds of lunches. 😀

 

+ a chunk of 85% dark 

Afternoon Snack: Kiwis and almonds

 

 I knocked off a lot of homework this afternoon and my brain is still filled with things like enteral tube feedings and hypertension.  Which is good.  One thing I’m noticing about the nutrition field, is that nothing really sunk in the first time around.  But after 4 years of college, the information is finally starting to linger.  I can only imagine what I’ll know after the internship.  *Sigh*.  Can you tell I’m excited?

Dinner

Summer in a bowl. 

Mixed greens.  Cucumbers.  Carrots.  Broccoli.  Fresh corn on (off?) the cob.  Black Bean Chipotle Gardenburger.  Extra virgin olive oil & balsamic vinegar.

It was so fresh.  So crunchy.  So flavorful.  So summery. 

 

For dessert, I pulled the other half of my whole wheat chocolate chip banan bread out from the freezer.  This is by far my favorite banana bread ever.  It’s so moist.  So sweet.  So rich.  Nobody will ever know it’s made with all whole wheat flour.  Trust me. 😀

I need to finish up the grocery list for tomorrow.  Any healthy recipes that you think I absolutely must make?  Even if I don’t get to them this week, I’m always looking for new recipes to try in the future. 😀

Question: Favorite summer meal?

Home

Home.  There are definitely a few things on the agenda, after a week of vacationing.

First, I wanted green. 

Breakfast

  • 1/2 banana, frozen
  • 1 c. blueberries, frozen
  • 1 large handful of red kale
  • 1 packet of Amazing Grass SuperFood
  • 1 c. soymilk

On top, I sprinkled some Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola.  Honestly, I don’t know if I would ever buy Amazing Grass.  I kind of liked the taste of this one (grassy meets peppermint) but only because it felt right.  Psychologically healthy.  I wouldn’t put stock in it as being a “super food” and I’d much rather eat the real food then pay extra money for the powder form.  But it’s still fun. :mrgreen:

 

 On the side, I had a whole wheat toast with peanut butter.

 

 This was the most perfect post-vacation breakfast.  I was beginning to have some serious smoothie withdrawals while on vacation.  I hope that’s normal. 😉

 Next on the agenda: some sort of sweat session.  Biking sounded like the perfect option.  I pedaled my way through fields, past horse stables, over highways, near farm stands.  Eleven miles of sweaty summer fun.  Bliss.  Kicking myself out the door and onto my bike is a battle, but once I’m out there, I love every bit of it.  Even those insane hills that threaten to slow me down.  I feel so victorious when I conquer them.  :mrgreen:

Lunch

I couldn’t decide what I wanted for lunch, so I had a bit of everything.  Mostly, I wanted green.  Lots and lots of green.

A large salad became the building block for a trio of flavors.  Spicy = salsa.  Salty = 1% cottage cheese.  Savory = Basil Hummus.  A slice of jarlsberg cheese and a whole wheat tortilla were thrown in for good measure. 

After lunch, I took a run (not literally) to Dicks Sporting Goods for some new sneaks.  With my running schedule all out of wack, I’m not exactly sure how many miles I’ve been logging.  But since I use my Asics for walking and running and biking, I decided to just go with the ol’ 5 month rule of determining when to replace them. 

The new ones (right) feel so cushiony and light.  I love them.  And so do my knees. 😀

 

 Afternoon Snack: 6-oz. plain yogurt, 2 T. crushed flax, 1/2 banana, about 2 T. Galaxy Granola

 

 It feels so good to be eating normal snacks, normal meals, at normal times.  It does wonders for keeping me energized. 😀 

Dinner

Pizza can make for such a nutritious dinner.  Whole wheat crust.  Veggies.  Lots of veggies.  Your imagination—and the size of your pizza pan—is really the only limit.

I pulled a batch of frozen, uncooked, homemade whole wheat pizza dough from the freezer last night in order to be used for tonight’s dinner.  Easy Peasy.  It’s nice not having to put too much thought into cooking dinner once in a while. 😉

For the sauce, I combined a can of diced tomatoes (drained) with garlic powder, basil and oregano.  I then proceeded to clean out the veggie drawer and used up the last green pepper, some fresh mushrooms and a vidalia onion.  Plus some reduced fat sargento 4-cheese italian blend.  Ooey gooey deliciousness.

 

I think I could live on pizza, if there weren’t so many other foods out there, just waiting to be tried.  And, if it just so happened to make a completely balanced lifestyle choice.  Which it doesn’t.  A girl can dream, though. 😉

Question: If you could theoretically live on any one food item or meal, what would it be?