What I’ve Been Reading….

Some posts I have enjoyed recently….

Helpful, honest and/or informative posts:

Sweet Tater: On Binge Eating – in this post, Katie lays down the facts about binge eating in such a clear and informative way and discusses how she personally deals with the issue. I love how blunt, honest, and hilarious she is in general (I always look forward to reading her posts), and I personally loved how she delved into this topic in such a relatable, open way.  Check it out if you haven’t already!

For the Love of Kale: Dissassociating my Veganism from my Eating Disorder: I have mentioned Heather/her blog on here a few times already, but I must say, her blog is one of my new favorites. I love when blogs are authentic and real and when you can tell that the person behind the page really has a passion for what they are writing about. Heather’s blog is just that, and I love the positive energy she exudes through her writing. She also  talks about topics in such a well-rounded and helpful way.  

Une Vie Saine: Lately: I have been reading Gabriela’s blog for quite a while now, and I have loved watching it evolve. I think our 20’s can be such a confusing time, and I appreciate how Gabriela has let her blog evolve with her life and how she is so open and real about her feelings.  I love how brutally honest she is in this post. It was very refreshing to read.   

You can’t fake authenticity and passion, and I love finding blogs (and posts) that are honest and real (these are the blogs  that keep me coming back for more!). It is not easy to whip out informative/thought-provoking/well-written content on a consistent basis, so I have huge respect for people who are able to write openly and honestly about their thoughts/experiences/feelings. Check out these blogs!

On the food/recipe front:

Accidentially Delish: Chocolate Banana Hummus – I have no words. This is such a good idea! I need to buy some chickpeas stat.

Healthy Happy Life: Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers –  I heard that these are delicious and I reallllly want to make them.

Gluten Free Goddess: Kale Salad with Quinoa, Tangerines and Roasted Almonds – I am always on the lookout for new uses for kale and this one seems right up my alley…

Recipe Success

Peanut Butter Fingers: Savory Salmon Oatmeal Hash – I made this for dinner the other week and LOVED it! While I have made savory oats before, this was a new spin on the concept. You couldn’t even tell that oatmeal was used as the grain! This was really easy to make and was sooooo delicious. I basically stuck to Julie’s recipe only making the following modifications:

  • I replaced the cauliflower with asparagus and broccoli 
  • I seasoned my oatmeal hash with some dijon mustard and pepper (that I mixed in at the end of cooking) and topped my bowl off with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice  (instead of seasoning with dill)

Any posts you have loved recently?

Any recipes you want to make/have made and want to share?

….feel free to link!

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WIAW #4 (February 15, 2012)

Hi there, Happy Wednesday! One day closer to weekend….

And also time for another What I ate Wednesday!

This WIAW post documents everything I ate yesterday (2/14). I was going to show you Monday’s meals this week, but I figured my Valentine’s Day-inspired meals were a bit more exciting to share….

Breakfast: 6:15 AM

For breakfast yesterday, I decided to get in the Valentine’s day spirit by having a chocolate inspired breakfast (that I previously showed in yesterday’s post). I had a Fitnessista-inspired breakfast cookie made with the following:

  • 1/2  oats
  • 1 tbsp pb
  • 1 tbsp Hershey’s Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 banana
  • splash soy milk
  • topped with 2 chopped strawberries + strawberry jelly

I LOVE breakfast cookies as a quick, delicious oatmeal alternative in the morning, but I go through phases where I forget about them.  I might need to start bringing them back into a normal rotation in the mornings. They are super easy to throw together the night before, and it’s so nice to have breakfast waiting for you in the morning. I especially enjoyed the chocolate addition in yesterday’s breakfast.

Snack: 9:45 am

I got a little hungry before a meeting I was scheduled to have at 10 am yesterday, so I snacked on a  little trail mix/cereal mixture that contained:

  • Kashi Honey Sunshine (about 1/2 c)
  • raisins + golden raisins
  • walnuts + almonds

Lunch: 12:15 pm

I usually eat lunch around 12, but I was pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call from the front desk at work  saying that a package had been delivered to me:

My boyfriend, Jon, sent me flowers! I was so surprised (I have never had anything sent to me at work before)! I had no idea he was doing it… and am quite impressed with his sneakiness. He’s the best.

For lunch I had a tempeh, cheddar, spinach and jelly sandwich on a whole wheat sandwich thin (a combo I have been meaning to try out for a while!), with some carrot sticks, celery and snap peas on the side.

This particular sandwich  combo ended up being really good! I loved the sweet jelly mixed with the salty/savory tempeh and cheddar cheese. I love eating tempeh in sandwiches, and I am just loving the sweet/salty combo these days…. (side note, if you’ve never tried tempeh or need some new ideas check out Meghann’s post… she has a lot of great suggestions!). I also had  a Fugi apple with lunch as well.

Snack: 1:30 pm

My coworker, Amanda, was so sweet and baked/brought in some Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies for the office yesterday in order to celebrate Valentine’s Day . She found the recipe on Pinterest (we bound over our mutual love of the site), and I must say, these brownies were pretty delicious. It served as the perfect afternoon Valentine’s Day snack.

Dinner: 7:00 pm

we were extra classy and put our seltzer and pepsi in wine glasses....

Jon and I decided to made dinner together yesterday to “celebrate.” We made Sautéed Citrus Salmon with roasted potatoes (tossed with basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, thyme and garlic) and garlic green beans (we sautéed them with minced garlic, salt and pepper).

This meal ended up being pretty simple to make (fish-making always intimidates me a little and I don’t know why… it’s easy), and the salmon turned out so well. It was really good. I found the recipe on Pinterest (notice a theme here….), and I would highly recommend it.  The lemon peel and lemon juice added a really nice flavor to the fish and it had plenty of crispy edge pieces (my favorite part!). I am pretty sure this is one the best meals Jon and I have made together. It’s one of those meals you want to go back and eat again (or have dreams about eating… anyone else have this happen to them? I can’t be the only one that thinks about delicious food all.the.time.).

Dessert: 8:00 pm

For dessert we had some chocolate mousse that I made on Monday, topped with some whipped cream and strawberries. I can’t even describe to you how good this stuff is. I wish I could swim in it… I even debated having another glass full of it when I finished the glass above. It is so chocolatey and delicious. I am totally making this whenever I  have a dinner party (since I do that so often?…one day) or want to “impress” guests (it is so “fancy,” but so easy to make). Go make this. You won’t regret it.

Overall, I must say that I had a great day of eating yesterday.  Everything I ate was amazing…. I don’t think I could even choose what the best meal of the day was, I enjoyed them all.

What was the best thing you ate yesterday?

Easy (and healthy!) ways to get your V-day chocolate fix

Happy Valentine’s Day! Are you celebrating today?

While I know many people are hater’s of this particular holiday,  I am on the more neutral end of the spectrum. I, more times than not, have not had a “valentine” on Valentine’s day, but I  feel like the day should focus less on whether or not you are in a relationship and should be more about celebrating those that you love in general. I know when I was growing up my dad would always buy my sister’s and I mini Russel Stover chocolate boxes, and when I went to college,  my mom started a tradition of sending me an edible arrangement every year.  I never felt like I needed a valentine to take part in the day.

 The holiday doesn’t have to be bitter, it should be about celebrating love…. and having an excuse to eat chocolate all day, anyone with me?

Speaking of chocolate, does Valentine’s day make anyone else crave it like crazy (the big chocolate hearts in every supermarket and drugstore probably don’t help)? I feel like it is mandatory to eat something chocolately and delicious today. While I like to eat big pieces of chocolate cake, chocolate bars and heart-shaped boxes of candy as much as the next girl, I believe there are healthier ways to enjoy it as well. If done the right way, it is possible to enjoy “indulgent” treats all day and not end up feeling lethargic with a sugar coma.

To celebrate, I thought I’d suggest some healthy ways to incorporate some chocolately goodness into your life today.

Breakfast ideas:

  • Chocolate breakfast cookie – This was my breakfast of choice this morning…

I made mine with:

-1/2 c oats
-1 tbsp pb
-1 tbsp Hershey’s dark cocoa powder
-1/2 banana
-splash soy milk
-topped with: 2 chopped strawberries + strawberry jelly

1/2 c oatmeal with added cocoa powder (doesn't look appetizing but is SO good

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal – Mama Pea has a delicious recipe for this that I recommend (which my sister made this morning….)

Snack Ideas:

  • Chocolate-inspired trail mix (mix chocolate chips with some almonds, dried cranberries, and cereal….)
  • Warm a Chocolate Brownie Clif Z bar or any type of chocolate/oat based granola bar in the microwave for 3o seconds for an instant cake-like snack

  • 1 tbsp of Nutella or Justin’s chocolate Hazelnut butter/Chocolate Almond Butter with a chopped apple

Dessert Ideas:

  • “Apple sundae” – chop an apple into bite size chunks and place into a mug or small bowl. Top with a a few tsp chocolate sauce and a sprinkle of granola/sprinkles/raisins/small spoonful pb (the options are endless)…. my sister and I used to do this all the time. It’s rather tasty.
  • Healthified “chocolate mousse” – Mix  plain greek yogurt or cottage cheese with a few tsp of cocoa powder and honey or some chocolate pudding mix (a trick I learned from Julie!). Add some mini chocolate chips and chopped strawberries on top to make it extra delicious.
  • “Chocolate-covered” strawberries – chop some strawberries and top with  a few tablespoons of chocolate sauce –  my friend Mary is a big fan of this one… so simple but so good

(source: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/11/06/one-minute-chocolate-cake)

Annd if all else fails and you really want something decadent, make this chocolate mousse. I made some last night to have as a Valentine’s day dessert  for later and it is SO GOOD. It’s not exactly healthy, but there is always room for a little treat here and there, right? I won’t lie, I licked the mixing bowl clean… I can’t wait to have some later.

I hope you have a great day!

What are your favorite ways to incorporate chocolate into your life? Any healthy breakfast/snack ideas??

Built-in Self-Control

Hi there! Happy Monday… who’s ready for a new week?

I was a little tired when I woke up this morning (probably stayed up a bit too late watching the Grammys…), but I had a delicious oatmeal combo in my head that helped to peel me away from my warm bed… Pb&J oatmeal! (I am pretty sure breakfast might be the only effective way to get me up on chilly mornings….).

I had this idea after my sister Sami and I bought both strawberries and strawberry jelly at the store yesterday. Given that I just read that  it supposedly was also National PB&J day yesterday, I deemed it necessary that I should celebrate. Not that I don’t eat peanut butter every other day of my life…. (Did you know that the average American consumes more than six pounds of peanuts and peanut butter products each year?)

My oatmeal contained:

  • 1/2 c oats
  • 1/2 c soy milk, 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 strawberries
  • 1 scoop peanut butter + 1 tsp(?) strawberry jelly
  • sprinkle of ground flax

This was so good. Jelly + oatmeal is a combo I don’t eat enough of…

Self-Control and Dessert

One more thing I wanted to discuss this morning is dessert eating/self-control/your preferred way of eating the sweeter stuff. You see, while I tend to believe I exert self-control on most occasions when it comes to food, when it comes to certain things (like desserts), the control can be a bit more challenging (carrot cake – I am talking about you…). I bring this topic up because last night Sami and I ate some delicious mini cupcakes from the Pink Champagne Cupcakery.

Sami’s boyfriend brought a dozen mini cupcakes over for her this weekend and last night, we decided to try some out. There were a lot of delicious sounding flavors to try including caramel macchiato, hot chocolate, blueberry strudel, blue velvet and vanilla. They all sounded so delicious and all looked so delicious, we couldn’t choose which to eat. Given that Sami and I are both quite indecisive when it comes to making certain decisions about food (especially desserts), we put our sharing powers to work and tried all of them (1/2 of each type):

We added in the blue velvet about 5 mintues later when we decided it was necessary to try them all

This ended up being a great way to try all the delicious flavors, (my favorite was the blueberry strudel…. it had blueberry filling!, while Sami preferred the caramel macchiato) without going into a sugar coma or feeling sick (something that tends to happen when I have a box of delicious cupcakes or desserts staring me in the face). I love having variety and picking and choosing what to taste (which probably explains my love of salads and multiple oatmeal toppings quite well…), so this was the perfect way to try everything at once.

I think I am a new fan of mini desserts… You have an excuse to eat more than one flavor/type of something yet don’t have to commit to a whole piece. That’s a win-win in my book.

How do you exert self-control when it comes to desserts? Are there certain types of dessert that are more difficult for you to say no to? I have a definite weakness for carrot cake and cream cheese frosted anything, but I can usually cut myself a (big) slice and be content.

Did you celebrate National PB&J day?

An oatmeal transportation issue….

At work, every time we hire a new employee, we have a “welcome potluck” for him/her.  About a month ago, we had a new employee join our staff, so we had the official breakfast potluck for her this morning.

When the sign-up sheet was being passed around last week, there was a group consensus that we bring alternate options other than the “normal” breakfast foods like donuts and pastries. (I work with mostly women and the New Years resolutions are still in full swing…).

I, of course, was on board with this idea since I, first of all, don’t understand the concept of donuts for breakfast (a sugary baked good first thing in the morning is good in theory, but the sugar crash that accompanies it is not appreciated), and secondly, I know that there are so many other delicious breakfast foods out there to enjoy (yogurt, oatmeal, fruit, granola…)!

My first thought was to bring oatmeal in a crock pot (since our office has no kitchen… or windows) and bring fun mix-ins like peanut butter, dried fruit, bananas…(I think I have some kind of subconscious desire to show people how delicious oatmeal can be), but then I remembered:

1. It would be ridiculously heavy to transport

2 I ride a city bus to work… that is extremely crowded during morning rush hour

3. I am one of the clumsiest people alive and most likely should not be trusted with a crock pot full of oatmeal

So I had to come up with a Plan B.  Sticking with the oatmeal theme, I decided that oatmeal-based granola bars would be a close enough replacement and would also be a bit easier to transport. Plus, since granola bars usually have so many unnecessary ingredients and tend to be loaded with sugar, I thought this would stick with the healthy breakfast potluck theme quite nicely.

picture from original recipe

I ended up making these, after drooling over all of my options on Food Gawker (that site is SO addicting), and they turned out great! I followed the recipe exactly (I used pecans, walnuts, dried cranberries and dried apricots as my mix-ins), and was pleasantly surprised with how delicious they turned out to be.

If you are looking for an easy, delicious granola bar recipe, I highly recommend these.

Have a great Tuesday!