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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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! 😀

in the groove

And so it’s back to work I go.

Slowly but surely, I’m finding my morning groove. 

30 minutes for breakfast
30 minutes for working out/yoga
15 minutes for showering
15 minutes for getting dressed, throwing on a bit of makeup, and grabbing my coffee to go

Breakfast and working out are not to be messed with.  They do wonders for tuning my day to the right note. 😀   

“Un”overnight oats became my quickie breakfast of choice this morning.  With the nice addition of chia seeds and a scoop of almond butter.  Delicious.

Last night I threw together a random rice, veggie and tempeh concoction for today’s lunch.  It turned out quite yummy, although garlic would have made this stuff shine.  Unfortunetly, chewing gum is not allowed in the food service.  So, well, garlic was thrown out of the picture.  😉

  • 1 c. brown rice
  • 1/2 block of tempeh mixed with 2 tsp. lite soy sauce
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • pepper, cumin and cayenne to taste (ADD garlic if you can!! :mrgreen: )

Snacks: apple, orange slices and almonds

I’m close to finishing up the job descriptions.  I never realized how much work goes into doing these things until now.  Especially when the Union is involved.  Everything needs to be clearly marked and job oriented.  Otherwise, people get in trouble and things can get pretty ugly.  😉

On the non-business-related front, I’ve also been taking a peak at the monthly menus for the school.  They stay pretty similair month by month, with the occasional change in fruit options, lunch options, etc.  Apparently, chicken is the big selling point for the school.  Whether found as a breaded chicken patty or chicken nuggets, these things s-e-l-l.  I wonder what it would be like to introduce a completely new meal.  Healthified.  Delicious.  Kid-approved.  What would that take?  I would love to find out. 😀

Afternoon Snack: yogurt with flax, bananas and granola

Have you ever roasted a chickpea?

For dinner, I roasted 1/2 a cauliflower with some diced, fresh beets together at 425 degreesF, for 10 minutes.  I then added some salt, pepper and 1/2 c. chickpeas.  Ten more minutes and voila!  Bursting chickpeas that popped when you bit into them.  They grew tougher.  Meatier.  And I liked them.  A lot.  😀

The rest of my salad was kept pretty standard.  Olive oil with sea salt.  Bell peppers.  Avocado.  And a slice of deliciously chewy, whole grain bread.

Time. To. Relax.

First with a 4-mile walk.  And finished with some journaling and chocolate mint tea.  Mmmm….

Question: What was your favorite (healthy) meal to eat as a kid?  I’m looking for ideas. 😉

hanging in the caf’

Good Monday Morning!

I ate breakfast with the sun this morning. 

I was showered, dressed and ready by 6:30, which gave me exactly 30 minutes to eat a bowl of “un”overnight oats while sipping on a warm mug of coffee.  It was lovely.  😀

Today was my official first day of Food Service, which is also my first rotation for the dietetic internship.  I was excited, anxious, nervous.  But the employees are all so great and very friendly—they put up with my endless questions. 😉  I spent the day at the elementary school, learning the lay of the land in that particular kitchen.  Everything became a little busy by lunch time, and so I helped out with dishes, serving pizza & salads to the kids, and transitioning foods from kitchen to warmer to oven, etc.

There is sooo much to cover in this particular rotation, that I’m thinking I may have to meet with my preceptor and see if we can figure out a way to break everything down.  There are only 10 weeks of this rotation, 3 days a week, with 36 particular items that need to get done.  Thats a lot!

Anyways, the kids were absolutely adorable.  A couple little boys tried to trick me into giving them two lunches instead of just the one that the National School Lunch Program allows. 😉  And one little girl took a good 5 minutes trying to make up her mind, if she wanted pizza or the burger.  At first she didn’t want the accompanying salad, but I convinced her to try it out because it “goes really, really well with that pizza that you’re eating.” 

They were so cute! :mrgreen:

I didn’t eat lunch until I rolled in the driveway around 2 o’clock, but I had brought along some snacks so lunch was all ready for my grumbling stomach.

These almond and peanut butter jars are coming in handy!

  • almonds
  • a pink lady apple, an orange and a sprinkle of lemon juice to prevent browning!
  • carrot and green bell pepper sticks

I also packed along some basil hummus (from the other day), garden fresh cherry tomatoes, some crackers for dunkage, and a cheesestick—just because. 😉

I was still hungry, half hour after eating.  My afternoon snack became more of a dessert, and—at last—I was comfortably full.

  • yogurt
  • flax
  • granola
  • peanut butter

This whole not eating until way past the lunch hour thing is not good for a person.  It just isn’t.  Two hours after eating, I was again ravenous to the point where I could have inhaled anything you placed in front of me. 

Enter in the chopsticks.

They were needed—absolutely, 100%, needed—in order to slow. me. down.  Especially since dinner was so yummy. 

Sausage and Broccoli Penne

I ate it alongside a heapin’ bowl of fresh tomatoes, summer squash, celery, cucumbers and beet greens!

Dressed in olive oil and sea salt.

I finished the night off with a 4-mile walk and 30 minutes worth of refreshing yoga.  I love the way yoga leaves me feeling so energized. 😀

My Type A personality wants me to get organized, so I’m off to rearrange my folder and figure out what I need to talk to my preceptor about tomorrow.  So much to do, so little time!

Have a great night!

Question: What is your favorite way to unwind after a busy day?

b-b-b-usy morning

Back in the day when life consisted of early morning classes, too little time, lack of sleep, and biochemistry exams, I became good friends with the breakfast cookie.

(check out my ‘breakfasts’ section on the right for the easy peazy recipe!)

Quick.

Easy.

Nutritious and filling.

Perfect.  It’s my breakfast of choice on those mornings when even drying my hair is an unrealistic option.  😉

Someday soon, I will tell you all how tired I am of salads.  How ready I am for warm, winter soups.  How, if I see one—just one!—more cucumber or tomato, I will not be able to withold a scream.

But until then, I’ll keep on munchin’.  My lunch time salads have been continually hitting all those right spots.  Mmm…summer produce makes me wonder how I could ever grow tired of a crisp, tender salad.

  • mixed greens
  • cucumber and tomato from the garden
  • carrot
  • kidney beans
  • olive oil
  • sea salt

+ kashis’.

+ dessert.

I love packed lunches.

Also brought along an apple, some almonds and a homemade granola bar for those hunger attacks in the morning and afternoon.

I never quite know what to call a dinner like this.  Scrambled eggs?  Veggie scramble?  Scrambled eggs with veggies?

  • about 1.5 c. worth of organic frozen spinach, dethawed and drained
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • diced tomato (seeds removed)
  • garlic powder
  • 1 whole egg + 2 egg whites, whisked together with salt, pepper and a splash of milk

I sauteed all the veggies together in a nonstick pan coated with cooking spray for a good 3-4 minutes before adding the egg mixture.  I love combos like this.  Only mushrooms would have improved it.  And maybe black olives. 😉

I also had a cheese quesadilla on the side because—yes—I am hopelessly addicted.  There’s something about a crispy whole wheat wrap and the melty x-sharp cheddar cheese.  Addicting.

Post dinner, I indulged in 30 minutes of yoga which felt ah-mazing on my tight back and legs.  I also indulged in a couple of medjool dates and a bowl of cereal for a night time snack, which is something I always have.  Eating a little bowl of cereal with milk at night helps me sleep while also giving me some extra pep for a morning run. 😀

Today was my last day of Preclinical Training, but instead of jumping right into the clinical rotation, I’ll be spending 2 months at a high school in food service.  And the orientation for that starts tomorrow!  I’m excited—nervous—and so ready for the ball to get rolling. 😀

Question: What is your favorite “busy morning” breakfast?

lucky leftovers

(appropriate title for Friday the 13th?)

I opted to delay breakfast for an hour this morning, after deciding that a full meal at 5:30 would leave me starving by 8.  I don’t mind throwing in a snack here and there to tide me over, but I don’t want to be scarfing down lunch by 10. 😉

I snagged a date, guzzled some water, and carried on with every other morning ritual.  By the time I was finished, there was a good 30 minutes left for me to enjoy breakfast.  This worked out so perfect.  I’d much rather be eating breakfast at 6:30 vs. 5:30. 😉

Another beet green smoothie in a bowl!!  This time I added in 1/2 a frozen banana and topped it off with a sprinkle of Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola.  Delish. 😀

On the side, a whole wheat english muffin smeared with Teddy pb.

Natural lighting is so much nicer, but unfortunately, it was still pitch dark out this morning due to the cloudy overcast, so breakfast was eaten indoors. 😉

A packed morning snack: peach and almonds

Thank you all so much for all the great tips and advice for helping me become more green when it comes to packing my lunches!  I think I need to plan a shopping trip to Target soon, and stock up on some tupperware containers, in a variety of sizes.

Today, I didn’t use one plastic bag for packing lunch, and I was pretty proud of that fact.  I’m well on my way to becoming an earth friendly lunch-packer. :mrgreen:

Salads are my favorite go-to lunch choice.  They always taste so fresh, crunchy, delicious.  Very refreshing.  Today’s combo included all the basics (tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, mushrooms) plus some garbanzo beans, a drizzle of EVOO and a sprinkle of sea salt.  On the side I had some kashis, which fit perfectly in my little canning jar. 😀

Dessert!!

Notice anything missing?

Yes, that would be a fork.  I completely forgot to pack along a fork for my salad, which resulted in my running to a local cafe to ask (or…beg) if they would please let me have a fork.  I think the girl felt sorry for me, and she was kind enough to send me away with two. 😉

Last day of orientation today!!

These three days have absolutely flown by.  The preclinical training begins on Monday, and I have a massive amount of organizing and homework to do over the weekend.  I’m actually really excited for it all.  It feels good to be back into a routine, and I love filling in a new planner and organizer. 

On the way home, I decided to make a pit stop at Starbucks for a grande iced soy misto.  For money purposes, I can’t let this starbucks thing become a habit, by the way.  But it was definitely a fabulous treat for the 2 hr. drive home. 😀

Leftover pizza should never be microwaved.  Ever. 

If you think that’s a bold statement or happen to feel offended, don’t be.  I’ve been known to throw leftover pizza into the microwave too.  Or eat it cold, which is a pleasure in and of itself.  But, really, if you want to experience leftover pizza as if it was just freshly made that night, you need to heat it on a pan.

Like so:

I simply place the slices on a nonstick pan at medium heat, cover it, and let it heat up for a good 5-10 minutes. 

Crispy.  The crust is so, so, so crispy.  And the cheese melts right into the dough.  It’s perfect.  And that is why it’s the only way that leftover pizza should ever be reheated. 

I added some spinach to my pizza for some extra flavor and veggies.  Simply dethaw the spinach in the microwave, drain the liquid and chop it up a bit with a knife.  Then—voila!  Spinach pizza. 

I followed my dinner with a brisk 2.5 mile walk and 20 minutes of yoga.  After sitting down all day, it felt absolutely delicious to s-t-r-e-t-c-h and walk.  Delicious!

So excited for the upcoming weekend!  Tomorrow I’m going over Nicole’s house for a cookout/bbq with friends, and I offered to make a dessert and bring some hummus & veggies.  Any brilliant dessert recipes?? 😀

Question: What is your favorite way to eat leftover pizza? 

going green

Eating outdoors pretty much rocked my morning.  I love summer. 😀

 

 Into this bowl, went:

  • 1/2 c. raw, uncooked oats
  • 6-oz. yogurt mixed with 2 T. crushed flax
  • 1 orange, peeled and diced
  • small handful of raisins
  • cinnamon & nutmeg

I never would have thought of adding oranges and raisins to my “un”overnight oats.  But since it was the very last fruit in the fruit bowl, I decided to throw it in. 

It was good!!

 

 Morning Snack: Slice of homemade whole wheat banana bread and a cup of milk

 

 I pumped out 4 miles of running today.  I felt really good, and that’s partially due to the fact that I took yesterday as an “off” day.  Yes, I still did some yoga.  But I left my running sneakers (and bike) alone.  Rest days are a big part of staying healthy, injury free, and strong, despite being one of the more overlooked components to training!!

Lunch

There was a packet of this sitting in the back of my pantry…

Front:

Back:

 

 I’ve had mixed emotions about Amazing Grass.  Some of their products have left me wanting more, while others have made my mouth feel like a big peice of chalk.  But this one in particular, I kind of liked (although not as much as the original blend, surprisingly.)  If you really want to try them out, I’d recommend you pick up a couple of different flavors and see which one you like.  That being said, I still feel that eating the real food is always your best bet, for both nutrition and flavor.  😉

Into the blender:

  • 1 c. frozen blueberries
  • 2 c. beet greens (from the garden!!)
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 packet of Amazing Grass
  • 2 prunes
  • toppings: 1/2 c. raw oatmeal, dollop of almond butter (kind of similair to breakfast, no?)

The prune didn’t blend in with everything else, and I was surprised with two chewy prunes at the bottom. :mrgreen: 

I’d say, if you’re used to eating green smoothies, try beet greens!!  But if you’re a newbie, just wanting to test the waters, spinach is probably still your best bet.  You can taste the beets in this. 😉

 

 Afternoon Snack: kashi heart to heart, raisins, coconut, milk

 

 Dinner

I don’t know what came over me.  What is it that possessed me to turn on the oven in the summer?  I’ll tell you what.  It was the thought of a roasted, caramelized tomato soaked in balsamic vinegar.  Brussels sprouts, roasted until golden and crisp.  Mushrooms, all wrinkled, shriveled, and puckered up.

It’s enough to make a girl swoon.

If you think I’m getting a little carried away, you’re probably right.  But I’ve been deprived from roasted vegetables for a while now, and this is the result.  I needed to have my fill.  And that is why I turned the oven on.  In the middle of summer. 

Totally necessary!

 

 Into a 425 degree oven (this was all split between two people) for 10 minutes:

  • 1 package of brussels sprouts, halved and tough stem removed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Once the 10 minutes was up, I added the following to the same cookie sheet and cooked for 10 more minutes:

  • 4 mushrooms, sliced thickly
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced thin
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 c. kidney beans
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar

And topped with feta.  Voila.  Dinner was on!

The lettuce got all wilty from the hot vegetables which I loved!!  But if you’re not really into that kind of thing, the roasted veggies taste amazing chilled as well.  Heat up some extra and you’ll have lunch for the next day as well (this is great on top of rice, quinoa, flat wraps, etc.)

Dessert: cherries and strawberries

Off to chillax with a new book: Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

I finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle last week.  Even though I loved the journey through the book, I was so, so, so disappointed by the ending.  Seriously.  I almost threw the book across the room in frustration.  If you read it, you probably know what I’m talking about. 😉  I’m hoping Vanishing Acts has a slightly better ending to it, but Jodi Picoult definitely knows how to spring surprises on her readers as well.

Question: Have you ever tried adding greens to your smoothie?  What kind?  Did you like it? 

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?

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.  😉