a typical day.

If you have the chance, check out my guest post at Ashlei’s blog (aka, the Vegster.)  Ashlei was nice enough to ask me to write a guest post on anything that I wanted, so I decided to put up together little ‘photography post.’ 😀

Good Morning! 😀

Tea and oats were eaten in standard form this morning, while sitting in front of  the Christmas tree.  I had exactly 15 minutes to eat, but it still felt incredibly enjoyable with the dazzling drama and glitz of a few colorful lightbulbs. 😀

But I still think it would have been useful to have just a bit more than 15 minutes to clear away any early morning brain-fog.

Look how I almost walked out the door!!

Not that I didn’t mind spending more time in a warm pair of Uggs and striped fleece pants, but…

…phew.  That was a close one. 😉

I managed to get myself out the door in one piece—and wearing a work-appropriate outfit—with a fun, smart lunch packed away in my backpack.

Homemade Baked Beans!

And a raw kale salad!

  • a couple handfuls of raw kale, shredded with hands
  • 1/2 carrot, grated
  • thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a few splashes of fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Snacks included a red orange…

…honey roasted peanuts…

…and an apple, crackers and a cheesestick.

Plenty of snacks.  I’m finding this works best with my internship schedule, since I never quite know when I’ll have the chance for a “quick” bite.  Normally, I can’t go longer than 3 hrs without feeling tired and/or hungry, so having a little something to eat on hand is an absolute must.

Packed last night. 

Ready to-go this morning. 

Munched on throughout the day.

The 9 hrs. at work f-l-e-w by today!

This week’s internship rotation is going to be at a Long Term Care facility.  Today I visited a local nursing home, and I really, really liked it.  I grew up volunteering in nursing homes and working as a food service worker in an assisted living facility as a high school student, so I tend to feel at home in places like this.  And I love talking with the patients.  Their life stories are so fascinating!  Where else would you hear about living in Holland?  Or being born on a ship while having a father in the navy? 

I love it.

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Dinner; kept simple!

I’m on such a scrambled egg kick lately.  Usually I’ll opt for a veggie-styled omelet, but tonight I wanted straight up—pure and simple—fluffy eggs.  Nothing but a touch of salt and a splash of soymilk.

Crisp veggies were saved for the side, with a dollop of artichoke hummus.

And then I blasted the radio, flicked on the Christmas lights and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d my way through tree poses, downward dogs and plenty of planks.  A delicious end to a typical day. 😀

Time to catch the final show of the Biggest Loser!!

Question:  What is the most enjoyable way that you stay active?  I change my opinion all the time.  Obviously, my true love is running.  But I also love a good long walk or a deep, energizing yoga session.  These days, I’m even enjoying strength training, which is competely new for me! 😀

‘3’ vs. ‘6’

My alarm clock seemed extra loud this morning.  Loud and extra, extra, extra obnoxious.

It woke me with a jolt, as I literally made a flying leap through the air in order to shut the alarm off.  Somehow I even managed to hit the off button while air-borne.  I thought this was pretty cool until I realized that I had flung myself further than I actually needed to, resulting in a loud thud as my head hit the wall.  Whomp.

Apparently, it’s Thursday, because after my initial daze, I simply laughed.  :mrgreen:  If it was Monday, there may have been (very) different consequences. 😉

Thursdays are usually my strength training slash yoga day.  But a walk sounded so appealing, that I just ate my breakfast and went.  I think it’s the unusual warm weather that’s making me want to spend extra time outdoors.  It is the official first full day of fall, after all.  The chilly weather will be permanently here before we know it.

Breakfast: whole wheat bagel with almond butter and a banana

A big ol’ fresh salad for lunch!  Complete with all my favorite mix-ins…

  • mesculin greens
  • cucumbers
  • tomatoes
  • garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas)
  • black olives, sliced
  • olive oil
  • feta cheese

Yogurt In A Jar!

I layered some orange slices on the bottom, plopped on some plain yogurt, and sandwiched the yogurt in with a sliced kiwi.  The fruit juices dispersed throughout the yogurt, creating a naturally sweetened morning snack.

There was also an apple and some whole wheat bunny crackers to accompany the salad. 😀

There was a recent research article done, looking at whether “grazing” throughout the day (in this case, referring to 6 mini meals) or eating 3 square meals a day was more beneficial in controlling appetite.  The study revealed that the 3 square meals was actually more beneficial in the long run than the grazing method. 

However, that being said, I would have to look at more of the details in the study.  Personally, I find that having a morning and an afternoon snack keeps hunger at bay and prevents any gorging at the next meal.  Especially when the snacks involve a good source of protein and some fiber.  And flavor.  Which is equally important. 😉

But really, keeping blood sugar levels stable can make all the difference in how you feel by the end of the day.  Eating every 3-4 hrs. is an important aspect of any healthy diet.  

Afternoon Snack: Raisin bran with milk

I’ve been making a lot of appetizers these past few days.

There’s something about having a lil’ something to tease the palate before the main meal.

Tonight I had a ramekin filled with homemade Onion Soup (recipe to follow.)  The onions cook down, down, down.  Into a state of absolute, caramelized bliss.  It’s a beautiful thing.  It also makes the perfect appetizer soup.

But before you think I’m getting too snooty or that I might possibly have too much time on my hands, you should know that Onion Soup is possibly the easiest soup you will ever make.  You should also know that my main entree did not revolve around filet mignon or leg of lamb. 😉

Yes.  It is totally okay to precede your dinner with a bowl of Onion Soup, winning you looks of admiration across the table.  (Nobody has to know that it took you a mere 30 minutes from start to finish.)

And it’s totally okay to call a bowl of “un”overnight oats your dinner.   Absolutely a-okay.

“Un”overnight Oats:

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 6-oz. plain yogurt
  • cinnamon, nutmeg
  • mixed, lightly salted nuts

I added in a side of steamed broccoli to squeak in some greens as well. 😉

I can’t believe that I actually have a day off tomorrow!  It’s been go, go, go lately.  Constantly.  I am so looking forward to having a day to just catch up.  Especially since I have a busy (but fun!) weekend planned.

Question: Do you tend to eat 3 square meals a day or do you aim for more of a 6 meal a day approach?  What works better for you and why?

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Onion Soup
taken from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbok (and tweaked just a lil’)

  • 2 T. butter
  • 4 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp thyme
  • 4 c. hot water
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • black pepper
  1. Melt butter in a kettle or Dutch oven.  Add onions and salt and cook over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add mustard and thyme; stir and cover.  Cook on low for about 15 more minutes.
  3. Add hot water, soy sauce and pepper.  Simmer at least 10 more minutes.
  4. ENJOY! 😀

focused

Perfect.  There’s really no other way to explain my morning.

I had time for a morning bowl of hot oats (such a luxury these days!)

I had time for a morning 3-mile run.  Which, by the way was probably my favorite run of the past couple months.  I headed out into some hardcore rain, with the sound of distant thunder cracks in the background.  I didn’t surrender. :mrgreen: On the way home, however, the sun peaked out through the clouds, and the sky turned into this gorgeous array of colors.  Orange intermingled with blues and white puffy clouds off to the side.  It was gorgeous.  Stunning! 

Somehow I managed to sneak hot oats and a morning run into my routine, while still waking up at the same time.  I really don’t know if I could do this again if I tried. :mrgreen:

Lunch was quick ‘n’ easy to pack today!

On Monday, I baked an extra sweet potato and threw it in the fridge to be used as a lunch for sometime this week.  Last night, I wanted something easy to throw together, so I slathered on some peanut butter between the potato.  Voila!  Lunch was on! 

Along for the ride: kashi crackers and cheese, pineapple and watermelon fruit cup, and diced red & green bell peppers for some extra veggies and crunch.

Afternoon Snack: plain yogurt with Kashi Cinnamon Harvest and raisins with a drizzle of maple syrup

My focused morning kept me going today.  For real.

Little things that normally would have really got to me, just didn’t phase me in the slightest.  Not even a coffee stain on my shirt or a wet car seat (due to leaving the windows open last night…haha) could bog my good mood.  I felt completely energized and ready.

These morning runs during my “work week” really need to happen more often. 😉

I kept dinner simple, since I was dining solo.  A nice big garden salad with fresh cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, black olives, kidney beans, and olive oil & sea salt.  Twas delicious as ever. 😀

+ an orange spiced bran muffin on the side (LOVE these!)  They’re soft, moist, and filled with a rich citrus zing.  Super easy to bake too.

I am so ready to unwind and relax.  I spent most of my day sitting in front of my computer screen, working hard at finishing the Job Tasks Lists that my Food Service Preceptor would like to have done.  Phew.  It’s time consuming!  But the end is in sight. 😀

Happy HUMPDAY!

Question: Favorite type of muffin?

All the Whey

Busy, busy day!

I needed a yummy, filling morning meal (i.e., oats of course! :mrgreen: )

  • 1/4 c. each oatmeal and oatbran
  • 1 c. milk + 3/4 c. water
  • 1/2 banana, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 c. wheat bran (stirred in for last couple of minutes)
  • granola
  • scoop of cashew butter

The first time that I tried cashew butter, I honestly wasn’t a fan.  Now I’m in love.  It’s so rich, creamy, buttery.  And it melts right into a hot bowl of oats.  Mmm…

 I have a confession to make.  I’m notorious for dumping out the liquid sitting on top of plain yogurt as a way to make it thicker (i.e., more Greek-like!)  But that clear liquid is actually whey, a protein found in milk products.  No more dumping off the liquid! :mrgreen:

With my yogurt (all the yogurt, whey and all 😉 ), I mixed in 1 T. crushed flax and topped it off with 1/2 a banana and a small handful of granola.

This morning was too gorgeous out to head to the gym, so I went out for a 4-mile walk with mom.  The birds were singing, the sun was shining, the temperature was rising above 40, and I felt so absolutely full with spring.  😀 

Lunch was a hodgepodge of leftovers, which I packed to bring with me to classes. 

  • about 1 c. leftover brown rice
  • about 1 c. peas
  • 1/2 c. garbanzo beans
  • salsa

For being such a simple lunch, it was actually pretty yummy.  It could have used a little more protein though, to add some more “filling power.”  It did, however, hold me over for a good 3 hours. 😀

+ a pear, an apple, and a KIND Fruit and Nut Delight bar for an afternoon snack.

Mom made a delicious dinner tonight since she had the day off.  Meatloaf (from Cooks Illustrated Light,) mashed red potatoes, steamed carrots and mashed turnips.  I was starving when I came home from a long day, so it was nice seeing a hearty meal on the table. 😀  The meatloaf had a sweet tomato style glaze on top.  It’s going to make an awesome sandwich. 😉

I went to a sports store today to pick up some knee sleeves, but I honestly can’t decide if I want to wear them or not (or even if they feel normal in how tight they are.)  Does anyone have any experience with these?  Part of me just wants to work on strengthening my quads and hamstrings rather then wearing too much support.  Need to do my research!

Question: Do you normally pour off the liquid sitting on top of your yogurt, or do you mix it all together?  I used to always dump it off until I asked myself what it was that I was dumping and realized it was the whey protein.  Always learning something new! :mrgreen: