Thursday, June 30, 2011

quick chick

I wanted to write more because I had a GREAT run yesterday... but more on that in my next entry I think. I didn't post yesterday because I felt too exhausted when I got the time to post and instead went to bed and now I have to run because its getting trafficy. Got a ton done today before work, including a 30 minute swim which was DESPERATELY needed as I need to kick into triathlon mode. First training swim in awhile and man did it show. I need to get to two a week. The nice thing is now I get to swim outside, as shown by the one piece tan line I got today. Ah joy of summer :)

more "ice cream" smoothie in a bowl for breakfast

and for dinner...

avocado on whole wheat toast and Zucchini and Carrot Ribbons with Quick Chickpea Sauce

Quick Chick Peas Sauce 
1 cup chick peas 
2 cloves garlic (crushed) 
1 can low sodium. organic diced tomatoes
Handful of fresh basil and oregano
Salt, pepper, crush red pepper
Splash of balsamic vinegar

1) Heat olive oil in pan. Toss in garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook for 30 seconds. Add chickpeas. Cook for two minutes. 
2) Add can of tomatoes (with juice), balsamic vinegar, and a bit of water (1/4 -1/2 cup) and simmer. 
3) Allow sauce to cook down until thick. Only about 5-10 minutes. Add fresh herbs and cook for another 2-3 minutes. 
4) Serve!

Sauce is great tossed with zucchini and carrot ribbons or pasta...

 Now I'm off to work... iced coffee in hand. Have a great night!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

dirty dozen

I made the mistake of going to Trader Joe's for my weekly shop without a list on Sunday. I stayed within budget, but I bought wayyy too much produce! Oh well... there are worse things to buy too much of. All this produce has forced the whole post-vacation self control on me whether I like it or not.
Don't believe I overdid it? This week I bought ORGANIC raspberries, green bell peppers, sweet potatoes, baby greens, baby spinach, fresh strawberries, frozen strawberries, zucchini, carrots, oranges and bananas. I also bought CONVENTIONAL eggplant, whole fresh pineapple, avocado, frozen pineapple, mushrooms, and frozen white corn.

Why the CAPITAL distinction between conventional and organic? Because just a few weeks ago the Environmental Working Group released their Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce which focuses on the"Clean 15" and "Dirty Dozen." The EWG looks at pesticide levels in produce after being washed and releases these lists to help guide consumers. Those foods on the "Dirty Dozen" should be purchased organic if AT ALL possible due to their high pesticide levels. On the other hand, when trying to be frugal, purchase the "Clean 15" as conventional produce... especially if there is a great price difference. I highly suggest taking a look and printing the list. Keep it in your car, reusable shopping bags, or wallet- wherever you know you'll be able to find it when you go grocery shopping.

Breakfast this morning kept in the produce theme- 2 egg, 4 egg white frittata with baby spinach, roasted red peppers, a slic of bacon (for flava), garlic and 1 oz Havarti. Half for breakfast today and half for tomorrow. ( I have to admit... I was starving when I got home and I had a pice of a leftover cheeseburger... who DOES that at 9 am?)

And my most creative use of produce this week showed up at dinner time with those Zucchini Carrot Ribbons

Tonight I also threw together a salad of baby greens and green pepper (and wheatberries!) to keep the produce coming and tossed it with TJ's light champagne vinaigrette.

As for my work lunches this week, I roasted tofu, sweet potatoes, and white mushrooms in TJ's Island Soyaki marinade and tossed them with quinoa (1 cup uncooked... prepared according to the box) and 1/2 cup cooked wheatberries (for texture). To flavor the dish I added more Island Soyaki, chopped parley and mint (from the garden), and a few pieces of diced pineapple. Simple and nutrient packed. Never would have expected to miss tofu, but after a week away I did!

Now it is off to work... I may have to toast a piece of bread and slather on some Babganoush. I made a batch with the eggplant in order to cut down on the intimidation factor of so many veggies! Used the same recipe as last time but took of the skin. I liked the skin off, but still think the garlic would be better roasted. I was lazy and used fresh garlic again and the bite is just too much for me. Anyone need a full time experimental chef? If I was getting paid I wouldn't skip details such as roasting garlic. :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

in the swing

I let myself sleep in until 10 am today, which means I missed kickboxing. Definitely worth it though since I have a 4 day work week + CPR class this week and will likely end with a sleep deficit. 

I woke up and enjoyed a smoothie in a bowl with frozen strawberries, frozen mango, frozen banana, fresh orange, and yogurt with some coconut, sunflower butter, granola, and flax to top it off. 

My belly appreciated this nutritious and light breakfast after the eggs, bread, and cereal I've been eating the last week!

After breakfast I cooked for awhile to prep for the week, then I hit the treadmill despite wanting to just head to bed. I skipped working out yesterday and know that with work there will be at least two more days of missed workouts this week so I knew a 5K run was necessary. Since I went at 2 it was too warm to go outside. While I don't like working out on the treadmill usually, once in awhile it's fun especially today when I got to watch The Next Food Network Star. <3

I got this Whole Living magazine his week in the mail. Not sure why, so I should probably make sure it's not a scam where I get charged. Flipped through the mag and liked what I saw... especially on the cover.

On the front is a raw food recipe for zucchini spaghetti. I had zucchini in the fridge so I decided dinner this week should be based off zucchini spaghetti...

Mine isn't quite raw and has different ingredients than the magazine recipe.

Zucchini and Carrot Ribbons
(serves 1)

1/2 organic zucchini 
1 organic carrot 
1/2 cup chick peas (I cooked mine from dry) 
2 tsp EVOO 
1 clove garlic (crushed) 
hot pepper flakes

1) Using a vegetable peeler, press firmly and peel the carrot and zucchini into long ribbons.
2) In a pan, heat EVOO, pepper flakes (to taste), and garlic. Once hot, add chickpeas. Cook for 2 minutes.
3) Turn off heat and toss zucchini and carrots into pan for 1 - 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4) Serve with Parmesan cheese. Dish will be warm but not hot and vegetables will be warm, not cooked.

YUM. This was such a simple, tasty, and fresh dinner.... not to mention a great detox after a week of overindulging.

Off to work now with a nice homemade lunch for the week. More on the lunch to come!

duck duck goose

Turns out I didn't even make an effort to find technology in order to blog while away at the Outerbanks in Duck, North Carolina. 

Had an awesome week of...

beach fronting,




wild horse watching,


wine-ing (and beer-ing)

ocean swimming, 

pool partying,



and... of course... eating.

Had a great week in the sun with everyone. Definitely ate well and plenty but that's what vacations are for! Made it out for two runs, four bike rides (3 eight milers, 1 twelve miler), and a jump rope training session with Haley by our "trainer" Zac. I tried to work on the transition to running after biking a few times. The first attempt was a joke- I was laughing because I was so shocked at how impossible it was- I made it ONE driveway but walked a bit just to keep the legs working. The next time I ran mile and probably could have gone further if the beach wasn't calling my name. Will continue to work on it!

Back to the real world (aka WORK) tonight. Already back in the cooking swing but will post on that later... 

Missing the beach and the people who made it fun already!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

pre-vacation celebration

Kicked the day off with my summer classic smoothie minus the frozen strawberries + an orange. I missed the strawbs more than expected! I also skipped the sunflower butter and stuck to granola + coconut. 

After breakfast I packed for vacation which we leave for in a few short hours! I also ran to the library because I finally got off of the wait list for Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma. I also downloaded Born to Run from the library, which I was also on the wait list for. I read about half on my Nook a month ago and LOVED it so far, but then my loan ran out so I had to wait list again. I already had three books out to read so Omnivore will have to stay home while I attempt to tackle the other four!

I made it to 11 am kickboxing.... wearing my Five Fingers of course! My feet felt great today, and my calves had a new soreness to them that felt good ( I love sore muscles when you know its from working out). It was a new sensation and I can definitely attribute it to my new shoes.  In class today we ended up running around the building and doing a few sets of sprints which I wasn't expecting. Will see how the feet fared with that tomorrow but during the activity they felt great. It was a totally new sensation when I was running but I like the barefoot feeling so far.  The only thing that I am worried about is that the bottom of my big toes are a little sore from rubbing against the bottom. Hoping that is just an adjustment thing.

New shoes aside, I have to say kickboxing today was the best one I've been to. She worked us HARD. Lots of running, endurance, planks, and jumping. The kicker was when we walked outside just before the end and did sets of tricep dips and push ups in the baking sun. BRUTAL but just what I needed before vacation!

Lunch was well deserved... a slice of whole wheat bread topped with TJ's red pepper and eggplant spread, 1 oz Havarti cheese, and a fried egg + egg white. Yellow peppers added some more veg to the plate. AMAZING. I really wanted to make another one, but knew I was headed to a BBQ shortly... unbelievably tempting though.

After finishing up packing and lunch I headed to my neighbor's house for a beer-b-q. It was started as a small reunion of neighborhood "kids" who aren't really kids anymore! A cheeseburger, some sangria OK more than some), and a few beers rounded out the day of catching up and hanging by the  pool.  A great way to start vacation a day early.

Just had a piece of whole wheat bread topped with more red pepper spread and Havarti... I couldn't help it I was thinking about my lunch all day.  I also made a snack bag for the car- Chobani pomegranate yogurt, organic blueberries ($1.99/ pint at WF yesterday!), organic strawberries, lemon-basil hummus (which I doctored up yesterday with EVOO and tastes so great now), organic cucumbers, organic carrots, and some Terra brand sweet potato  + beet chips. Its a big snack bag with plenty to share around the car.

Off to bed now- the plan is to leave by 5 AM! Yikes! I will post as I can over vacation which may be frequently or not at all. Depends if I can borrow a computer and whether I find the time. Enjoy the week!

Friday, June 17, 2011

special purchase

Yesterday I wanted to write but ended up waking up at 5:40 (oops) which meant I had enough time to make a quick smoothie and then off to kickboxing. After that it was super fast dinner then out- so blogging wasn't in the mix. Works out fine though, because I am in vacation food mode which means my meals from today looked pretty similar to yesterday's meals anyway! 

I got home really late last night so 9:30 CKO wasn't in the cards... especially since I slept right through about five alarms until noon! Brunch was yet another smoothie. I'm pretty sure back in April I said I wasn't that into smoothies.... I'm not a liar, I just didn't know how good they would taste when summer rolled around! Unfortunately our blender broke... so I have been using the food processor which is fine but it tends to leave a few big chunks of frozen banana. Oh well! 

Smoothie in a bowl with the usual toppings of coconut, granola, and sunflower butter. I am missing my Hemp Plus granola since I have to get through this box from TJ's so I added some fla xseeds for more texture. Getting crazy now, I know.

Once I got my butt moving I went and invested in something for vacation... Vibram Five Fingers! I have been debating over these for months. But, after researching and stopping random people I see wearing them, I decided to give them a shot. I bought the KSO model, which is good for everything- running, walking, trekking, even water. I wanted the cuter pink ones but they were really only for running so I forced myself to be practical. Maybe if I like the barefoot thing I can get those next!

boy do i need a tan

I will write more about these funky shoes tomorrow, as I am tight on time. If you are curious about whether they are worth it, keep checking back. I will review as I wear. Seeing as I don't make a lick of money off of this blog there is no incentive for me to lie!

I had a Italian spin on a BLT for lunch- roasted red pepper + eggplant spread, basil, tomato, and prosciutto (which I fried in a dry pan) with a sprinkle of balsamic on whole wheat. So tasty...  but maybe not the best fuel for kickboxing.

 Despite the less than light lunch, I made it through kickboxing fine. Jackie does the Friday night class and she's awesome. By awesome I mean she is really tough. She doesn't schedule in any breaks, which really pushes me because the most I stop is for a sip of water.  We did a ton of squat-thrust-push up-jump repeats, which sound as tiring as they are.  Jackie actually wears Five Fingers so I knew it would be a good class to wear them to for my first time!

 Just ate a quick dinner (made by my DAD... this is a rare occasion). Four ravioli with spicy crab marinara...

and of course more of that vat of purple slaw I made earlier in the week!

I am late for a Red Mango fro yo date with Liz now... more tomorrow.

Outer Banks on Sunday! Yay!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

snack attack

why is it that as soon as I have a good reason to eat super healthy (ahem.. beach vacation on Sunday!) I fall right off the band wagon? tragic. i have been picking at junk all week despite the healthy lunch i packed! and my stomach is feeling it too. self control please!

i even made a tasty, mildly indulgent, yet healthy meal this week to help curb the outside snacking...

sandwich of crusty whole wheat bread, TJ roasted red pepper and eggplant dip, fresh basil, tomato, parmesan, and proscuitto

with kale chips yesterday...

and purple slaw today...

there's no reason I should be snacking and tempted by junk when dinner is this good!

goal tonight: stick to the lunch box.

off to shift #3 of 3 and then... VACATION!!!!!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

purple crunch

When I got up yesterday, I knew I needed to take some initiative and get out of the tasty-but-not-so-healthy track of food I enjoyed the last two days, so I headed for the farmer's market. Everything was so green at the market- I guess that's what's in season. It was greens galore with snap peas, herbs, and cucumbers also making frequent appearances.As far as the color green I bought two heads of lettuce, kale, cucumbers, and scallions. To add color I bought tomatoes, summer squash, and red cabbage. Everything was organic (some certified, some not- always ask because often farms are organic but can't afford the certification process). Got all the goodies pictured for just about $15. Not bad at all PLUS it supported local farms. 

I needed a few items that were not at the farmer's market, so TJ's it was. Tofu, yogurts, Island Soyaki marinade, bananas, frozen mango chunks, and organic carrots- all came to about $15 as well. On a roll in the budget department for this shorter week before vacation!

I used the red cabbage and baby carrots to make a Citrus Purple Slaw. I am getting sick of the baby spinach and a crunchy slaw sounded appetizing as summer hits. Here's the recipe (as always, the dressing measurements are estimates). Its a tangy slaw made with Greek yogurt to cut the amount of mayo used. Use more sweetness or spice to balance the tang if it's too much for you.

Citrus Purple Slaw


4 scallions (white +green parts, chopped)
generous handful of cilantro (chopped)
2/3 cup Greek yogurt (I used 2% because the fat free can be very sour)
1/3 cup good, real mayonnaise
drizzle of agave or honey
1 lime (juiced) 
1 lemon (juiced)
salt, pepper (to taste) 
cayenne or paprika (to taste)


4 carrots (shredded) 
1 head purple cabbage (shredded)

Cabbage is easy to shred using a sharp knife to slice thinly. To shred carrots, a shredding blade on the food processor is easiest. You could also use a bag of pre-shredded carrots. For dressing, simply whisk together all ingredients. Taste before adding to cabbage and carrot mixture. Adjust salt, pepper, hot spices, and sweetness to desired taste. Go slow when you adjust- you can always add more but you can't take away! Toss cabbage and carrots with dressing and allow to sit for a few hours at minimum or overnight if possible.

I plan to make some sandwiches for dinner before work this week, and the slaw will be a good side. As for lunch at work, I figured I'd enjoy the lettuce from the farmer's market to make a salad. For toppings, I packed up half a cup of leftover rice salad from the party (brown rice, peppers, onions, citrus sauce... recipe to follow another day!) and grilled some tofu and summer squash. I marinated the squash and tofu in TJ's Island Soyaki- a teriyaki marinade with sesame seeds and citrus flavors. I used sprouted tofu this go around which has a bit more of an earthy taste than traditional tofu- not sure I'll stick with it. Luckily, the marinade is so good I don't mind too much.

I had basil form my garden that I had to use... I cooked some dried chickpeas and made some lemon-basil hummus. Still working on that creamy consistency I love in hummus. Mine is too dry. I think I have a fear of adding too much oil. Recipe to come when I feel my hummus is worth sharing!

For lunch all week it'll be salad, hummus, carrots, cukes, Food Should Taste Good Jalapeno chips, mango, and yogurt.

After all my cooking yesterday, I didn't really feel like running but hit the road anyway. Made it four and a half miles and felt like I could keep going! For the first time in a long time I didn't feel tight or stiff in my muscles. Wish I could say its from doing a lot of stretching but I'd be lying. Not sure if my body is having some sort of rebound effect after stopping hot yoga for awhile or if I'm just more aware of my body and my muscles were always this stiff/fatigued feeling when I ran.

Figured I'd take a running break and headed to kickboxing this morning, fueled by yet another smoothie of frozen banana, strawberries, and mango with yogurt and almond milk and topped with coconut, granola, and sunflower butter. Is it just me or does it look like I had an ice cream sundae for breakfast?

Now I'm off to an early nap before the GOTR final celebration. Thinking I'll have to break into my last bit of gazpacho first though...