Running and Roasting

Not watching tv last night was a little like getting my teeth pulled.  Slightly unbearable but completely irreversible.  Once I set my mind to something, there’s absolutely no going back.  Unfortunately, however, that old adage of “you want what you can’t have” is very, very true.  Which is why, by the way, you should never set any food as “off-limits.”  You’ll just crave it.  A lot.  Trust me.

Anyways, I survived my very first day of strength training and no tv.  And aside from a little bit of dramatization and agony, I lived to tell the story. 

Breakfast

Supposedly today is the last day of 60 degree temperatures, and so I decided to once again take advantage of it with some warmth, in the form of a big ol’ bowl of oatbran.

  • 1/4 c. oat bran
  • 1/4 c. wheat bran
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1 c. milk + 3/4 c. water
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • toppings: 1 tsp chia seeds, 2 T. Galaxy Granola and a scoop of Teddy peanut butter

Morning Snack: Cantaloupe!!!!

I broke away from homework for a little while in order to fit in a morning run.  And I’m so glad I did.  My legs felt wonderful, my knees were pain free, and I was completely, 100%, totally enjoying myself.  I found myself running up a hill (which my dad and I call “Victory Hill”) which I haven’t run since before my knee injury in February.  I celebrated with a little Rocky dance at the top.  :mrgreen:

That being said, I still plan on continuing with cross-training.  Biking has been great for my running performance and knee problems, and I’d like to keep at it.  Once the warmer weather comes around, maybe I’ll throw some swimming in there too!

Lunch

Two whole wheat toasts with butter.  Raw vegetables.  One whole egg and one extra egg white.

I almost always crave fried eggs after a morning run. 

Afternoon Snack: 6-oz. plain yogurt + 2 T. crushed flax, 2 T. Galaxy Granola Maple Pecan Quinoa, and a scoop of PB&Company Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter…

…I think I’m addicted!

Dinner

When it comes to cooking beets, roasting is where it’s at.  Some people prefer them bottled in vinegar.  Some people eat them raw.  Some people puree them into a smoothie or a soup.  I’ll eat them any which way, but if given the choice, I will always—always, always—opt for the roasted beet. 

Simply preheat the oven to 425 degrees F., and cook the diced beets (which I toss with a little olive oil and sea salt) for about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.  Voila.  Roasted, caramelized, sweet perfection.  It will make even the most simplest of salads seem gourmet.

The Salad

  • mixed greens
  • cucumbers
  • tomato slices
  • roasted carrots and beets (I chopped the carrots onto the same baking pan as the beets)
  • 2 T. each of walnuts and feta cheese
  • 1 tsp olive oil, drizzled on top

+ 2 slices of toasted, homemade whole wheat bread. 

+ dessert!

I’ve been hanging on to the last of my Coconut Bliss coupons for a while now, and finally decided to pick up the Dark Chocolate Dreams this week.  Honestly, I can’t decide which flavor was my favorite, but this one is definitely high up on the list.  It was intensely dark and creamy.  And we all know how much I love my dark chocolate. 😉 

Off to chillax with a snack and a good book!  I’m moving on to “sarah’s key” now, which I’m really excited to start.   

Happy FRIDAY!

Question: Have you ever tried roasting your vegetables, and if so, what is your favorite vegetable to roast?  Definitely beets.  And brussels sprouts.  😀

how convenient

Two busy bumblebees.

One rainbow.

One leaf falling.

Four birds flying.

Let’s just say that looking up at the sky while in a side plank position is way more exciting when done outdoors versus looking up at the ceiling of my basement.  Tack it on to the ever growing list of why I love summer so much.

Followed by my morning workout which included fifteen minutes of arms and fifteen minutes of legs, I set out to make a hot, steamy bowl of oatbran.  Leave it to me to crave such a breakfast on one of the hottest days of the year (although, I know for a fact that I’m not alone in this 😉 ).

  • 1/4 c. oatbran
  • 1/4 c. wheatbran
  • 1 c. milk + 3/4 c. water
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 c. fresh strawberries
  • toppings: 1 tsp chia seeds, 1 T. Galaxy Granola, 1 scoop of peanut butter

It made for one delicious breakfast.

Morning Snack: a juicy orange

By noon today, it was 85 degrees and humid—I had one thing on the brain: salads.  I can not get enough of these big bowls of produce.  And for one reason or another, this bowl of green was particularly interesting today. 

Full of f-r-e-s-h. 

Full of c-r-u-n-c-h. 

Full of carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, mushrooms, sliced bell peppers and white beans. 

I’m really into simple dressings lately.  This salad was drizzled with a small amount of olive oil (about 1 tsp) and followed with a bit of sea salt.  So simple.  So delicious. 

+ kashis and a slice of swiss

+ some after-lunch sweetness in the form of my favorite kind of berry

 Afternoon Snack: 6-oz. plain yogurt + 2 T. crushed flax + 2 T. Galaxy Granola Hint of Honey

When it comes to dinner, who doesn’t like a bit of convenience now and then?  I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes when life gets hectic, dinner needs to be simple.  And quick.

I was tempted to pick up a box of veggie burgers for tonight’s dinner, even though it wasn’t on my shopping list (okay, $4 wouldn’t exactly break the bank, but I’m trying to be good here.)  I sighed and placed them back into the freezer as I scrambled to think of something that would be just as quick and easy.  Then it occurred to me…duh!  I could make my own!

I had successfully made homemade black bean burgers in the past (using KERF for inspiration!,) and I also happened to remember that they were super easy to prepare.  Cheap and convenient?  Sign me up!

Black Bean Burgers

  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 2 T. worcestershire sauce
  • lots of garlic powder (lots, lots, lots)
  • cayenne to taste (remember that this stuff is hot)
  1. Just mash everything together really well.  It takes some good strong effort.  Don’t be afraid to show those beans who’s the boss!
  2. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or longer.
  3. Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray, heat to medium and cook 4 patties until browned on one side.  Flip over and cook until browned to preference.  About 10-12 minutes total.

The first time I made these, I undercooked them.  This time I remained patient and let them crisp and brown up nicely.

Served with side salads, sweet potato fries, a whole wheat bun and some Trader Joe’s catsup.  They were just as delicious as I remembered them to be.  Yum!

Off to make a snack and read some of Eat, Pray, Love.  I’d like to finish the book before the movie comes out. 😀

Question: It’s late.  You’re hungry.  Food needs to be placed on the table as quickly as possible.  What do you do/make/buy?  First I grab a carrot stick or a handful of almonds to prevent myself from chewing off my arm.  And some of the easiest meals that I’ve made in a hurry include sweet potatoes with black beans&salsa, or scrambled veggie omelets.  In a pinch, cereal isn’t such a bad option either.  😉

Frugal or not?

Ever think about how much you pay for each week of food?  I’m not talking grocery bills.  I mean, the actual food consumption on a weekly basis.  One of my classes required that we write down exactly how much we spent for a week based on what we ate.  Mine came out to $45.00.  But the most interesting part of this experiment was that it really pinpointed where I spend the most.  Things like organic spinach and cottage cheese were the post expensive, along with yogurts too.  Obviously I would never give some of my favorite foods up, but it’s interesting to see where the money goes. 😉  The good news is that even with choosing healthier fare, my lunches were still cheaper then a typical fastfood meal.  That made me happy. :mrgreen:

Do you think you spend a lot or a little on your food consumption, and where does most of that money go?

For breakfast I had a very frugal bowl of oats.

  • 1/2 c. oatmeal
  • 1/2 c. milk + 1/2 c. water
  • cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
  • 1/2 banana
  • 6-oz. plain yogurt with 1 T. flax (stirred in after oats were cooked)
  • toppings: 1/2 whole wheat pumpkin muffin, peanut butter sauce (1 T. peanut butter + 1 T. milk, heated—KERF idea!) and a sprinklin’ of coconu

At first I didn’t know what to think of the yogurt & oatmeal mix.  Not quite hot, not quite cold.  But then as I ate my way through it, I started to really enjoy it.  It was very reminiscent of both regular oats and overnight oats—the best of both worlds. 😀

 For a quick morning snack, I snagged a handful of pistachios and an orange.

I was really excited for today’s workout.  Along with my foot pains, I haven’t been able to indulge in my normal weekend long runs.  In a moment of thinking outside the box, I decided to embrace both running and biking for one fun workout. 

I decided to start with the 4-mile run so that my legs would be nice and fresh.  Then I hopped on my bike for a fast-paced, hilly 6-mile loop.  I’m trying to slowly reintroduce myself to biking, since it always takes me a while to fall in love with it.  Once the warm weather rolls around though, I’d like to lengthen my bike rides and shorten my weekly running mileage.  There are some great loops that I’d love to check out! 😀

After my bike ride, I snacked on an end peice of whole wheat sourdough bread with a pat of cashew butter.

I felt very “spring-ish” after spending my morning outside in 40 degree weather.  A big ol’ salad was exactly what I was craving: greens, cucumbers, carrots, garbanzos, black & green olives, green bell peppers and my favoritest dressing mix: tsp each of olive oil, balsamic, orange juice and a dash of garlic powder and mustard.

+ whole wheat bunnies which are always fun to eat!

These next couple of weeks are going to be insane with homework for me!  I have my presentation on coconuts for Wednesday, two exams on Tuesday, a Cancer presentation coming up, and multiple other assignments (including the Haitian Diet paper, which I promise to turn into a special posting very soon!! 😀 )  I love feeling busy and productive though.  And despite feeling nervous for the presentations, I have to say I’m kind of looking forward to the extra practice.  Besides, talking about coconuts is going to be really interesting. 😀

I had an insatiable appetite this afternoon and made an early snack of Doctor Kracker’s Seeded Spelt crisps (yum, yum, yum!!!) with some vegetable hummus and a laughing cow wedge and an apple on the side. 

Look at this handsome man! 😀

My sister and her husband were having internet problems, so my dad went over to work on it.  I stopped by to chat with Nicole and see my two favorite nephews (aka, Highstreet and Stitch.)  Stitch is such a ham for getting his picture taken.

Everyone was home for dinner tonight, and eggs were on the menu (which, by the way, are another super cheap protein choice!) for a quick and easy meal.  I turned mine into French toast and topped it with peanut butter and homemade blueberry jam.  Veggies on the side were slightly unconventional but still fun to crunch on. 😀

The finale of my meal took place with an oatmeal raisin cookie. 

My mom “won” a few cookies from work, as she met a certain goal.  She passed on this cookie to me, and I opened it up tonight.  So doughy and chewy and perfect! :mrgreen:  I love my oatmeal raisin cookies to be slightly undercooked, chewy with oats and studded with raisins.  This one was so rich and buttery. 

I think I’ll get back to studying for a bit, and then I plan on making a snack and relaxing! 

Question of the Day: Do you think you spend a lot or a little, and where does most of your monetary food bills go?  I think I spend about average, considering where I live.  Some of my costs are definitely a little higher with eating healthy, in regards to organic spinach and low fat dairy products (gotta have my yogurt!)  But I try to cut costs in other areas to make up for it too. 😉

No pumpkin, no problem!

Carrot Top Oats

  • 1/4 c. each oatmeal and oatbran
  • 1 c. soymilk + 1/2 c. water
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and a splash of vanilla
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1 medium carrot!!! shredded finely
  • 1 T. raisins
  • toppings: 1/2 a pumpkin muffin and 1 T. Teddy’s peanut butter

The soymilk added some sweetness, but so did the carrot!  It also plumped up the volume and offered pizzazz to the whole bowl.  Loved it! 😀  I think the secret is to grate the carrot very finely.

This morning I was plopped on the couch, with my books in hand.  It was torture making myself get through another full-fledge homework day after yesterday’s marathon of studying…but then the phone rang.  Nicole was heading to Target, and asked me to tag along…it was all the coaxing that I needed!!! :mrgreen:  It was so nice to have a morning out and about, which included a tall vanilla latte.

These cute Starbucks Christmas cups are still here!! 😀 

Of course, once again, I forgot to ask for decaf.  I think it has to do with my subconscious desire for an afternoon caffeine boost. 😉  No better time then now to workout!

I decided to take the risk of freezing, and headed out for a 6-mile bike ride.  My legs were burning up the hills, it was such a great workout.  It’s been about a year since I biked last, so it’s definitely going to take some time to get myself adjusted again. 😉  Once I pedaled into the driveway, I started walking out my legs on a flat spot of the road.  Then I kept walking.  And then–then!!I started trotting.  Very slowly at first, bumping up and down at a turtle pace.  There was an inkling of pain, and I told myself that if it progressed, I would stop immediately.  But it stayed the same, and I found myself running/walking 2 miles.  It was exhilerating, refreshing and absolutely amazing.  Mind you, my legs were not used to running at all and even the 2 miles seemed rough.  But I ran.  Without pain.  I didn’t push it, and I don’t plan on introducing a regular running pattern for a while.  But I did love every second of every single step. :mrgreen:

When I came home, I took an ice bath.  😯

And yes, it’s as painful as it sounds. 😉  If I hadn’t alread put together this salad beforehand, I probably would have opted for a warm bowl of soup instead.  But my legs did feel very relaxed after the icing.

Salad

  • mesculin mix
  • carrot, sliced
  • cucumber slices
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • a few green and black olives
  • 1/2 c. kidney beans
  • splash of balsamic and orange juice

+ a toasted slice of whole wheat and walnut bread with a slather of almond butter

This afternoon I made a favorite yogurt combo: plain dannon yogurt, 2 T. crushed flax and some granola on top. 

Dinner.  Was.  Amazing.

This dinner easily wins my favorite meal of the week. 😀  I made some vegetarian sushi with brown rice, avocado, carrots and cucumbers.  Check out my sushi tutorial for more info on the how-to’s of sushi. 😀

I think the real winner of this meal, however, was my dad’s veggie stir-fry.  When my mom asked him where he got the recipe, he simply stated that he threw a bunch of veggies together, added some seasonings, and that was that!  He kept the wok on a really high temperature too, which caramelized the vegetables and shrimp.  Total yumminess!!  Here’s what went in:

  • 1/2 cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 package of shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 lb. shrimp
  • baby corn
  • water chestnuts
  • bean sprouts
  • sauce: 1 T. soysauce, crushed red pepper, 1 T. sesame oil

We were all mmm’ing our way through the meal. 😀 

Loved all your opinions on ketchup, by the way…I think it’s unanimous that ketchup does not count as a vegetable serving. :mrgreen:

I’ve decided to do one of my presentations on coconut fat.  I’ll be researching a ton of nutrition journals to put the presentation together.  Since coconut fat is mainly saturated, it has been on the “bad” list for fats.  However, there are some other research articles showing that the type of saturated fat in coconuts is different.  Most of the saturated fat is in a form called “lauric acid.”  Lauric acid is a “medium chain triglyceride,” which means your body can more easily break it down and use it.  The current study that I’m looking at from a journal on Lipids shows that it may even improve cholesterol levels, although there is not enough evidence to prove this fact.  So in other words, don’t start gorging on coconuts.  😉  More research is needed, but I think it’s an interesting topic to look at!

What are your thoughts on coconut??