Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cook away the Stress and Pounds

Why do I forget how much I love cooking and how much it relaxes me?

One of the major stressors in many of our lives is that we don't have complete control over situations affecting us

How can you cook away the pounds?

Well, the act of chopping and cooking is a calorie burning activity. And if you are like me and store things in tha basement pantry you add stair climbing to the act of prepping and cooking a meal. And if you are cooking on the fly like I usually do you will have to climb the stairs multiple times to get more ingredients from said pantry.

So, what did i make? I know you are simply dying to know...

I made a stir fry of fresh napa cabbage, fresh mushrooms, quinoa, and frozen onions. The cabbage and mushrooms i purchased at Soergels....I a m officially in love with Napa cabbage! Its smell is a lot more subtle but the flavor just as delicious as regular cabage. Very delicious!

Also, cannelini beans with sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach..summery delicious with a complex flavor note.

Last but not least...Lentils with spinach and a shitake mushrooom gravy... savory creamy and delicious protein packed dish.

Hey I just typed that up in the order I cooked it too. How ironical.

June 28 Tuesday
B: *Dates and PB
*2 raw peaches

L: *white kidney beans with sundried tomatoes

D: *lentils with mushrooms gravy
* hummus chips
* 1 sundried tomato (2 halves)
* 2 t peanut butter

June 29 Wednesday

* Dates and PB
* strawberry fruit leather (purchased with Groupon from Naturally Soergels)

L: Lentils with mushroom gravy

D: * Cabbage and quinoa with mushrooms
* canneloni and sundried tomatoes
* hummus chips
* mango

Monday, June 27, 2011

Beat Stress with a yogurt covered Stick!

An important thing to keep in mind when you are trying to eat healthfully or lose weight is that stress plays a major role in how quickly you can acheive your goal.

When under stress the body creates this gnarly substance called cortisol, which does all kinds of terrible things to your body like suppresing your immune system and trapping fat cells. (Ask Mr. Google if you dare!)

To counteract the effects of Cortisol on your immune system you can adjust your diet to include antioxidant rich fruits and veggies (think brightly colored ones in the orange red and citrus families like oranges and pomegranates).

Stress tends to make us want to rush through things, so slow down if you feel yourself rushing and take a few deep breaths.

Especially when eating!

Chew your food fully! Your stomach will thank you. Chewing your food until its mush aids in the digestive process.

Do you ever feel excessively sluggish after eating? If you didnt fully chew your food your digestive system is stealing your energy trying to process your food the rest of the way.

Also, add yogurt into you daily routine. The probiotics in yogurt support a healthy immune system and digestive function.

Which leads me to an impromptu product review...

Oh boy was this stuff yummy!

This yogurt, though not very yogurty, was delicious!

It's flavor notes were more like a pudding than a yogurt as it was missing that characteristic tang.

If you are looking for a the benefits of probiotice but arent crazy about the tart tang of yogurt try this! An added bonus is it taste like pudding so you can trick your tastebuds into thinking you are indulging in somehthing naughty..

So, it kind of kills two birds with one stone. Cortisol causes craving for naughty food and messes with digestion but the almight not so yogurty yogurt does the job. Woo hoo!

Yogurt to the rescue!

June 24 Eats

B: Quinoa, cinnamon, agave, unsweetened vanilla almond milk

L1: quinoa and veggies

L2: *slice veggie pizza sprinkled with nutritional yeast
*peanut butter Larabar
*Gopal"s Power Wraps in Italian Flavor (these were delicious with the chewiness of jerky)(ingredients: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, sundried tomatoes, raw nori, nutritional yeast, lemon, spices, celtic sea salt) (see below)

D: *Orzo, garbanzo beans, kalamata olives, red pepper, asparagus, onion with fresh parsley on top
*spinach with nutritional yeast
*3 pieces Dark chocolate coffee crunch bar

June 25 Saturday
B: Quinoa unsweetened almond milk agave and cinamon

L: *Bobos oat bar (Soooo yum! Oats, brown rice syrup, earth balance, salt, pb, etc.(purchased from Naturally Soergel's with my groupon!)I need to figure out how to make these)
* raw peach
* hummus chips
* sundried tomatoes

D lentils and asian veg

June 26 Sunday
B:*dates and pb
*one fresh peach
*sundried tomatoes
*100 calorie raw revolution spirulina and cashew bar

L: *Wendys baked potato
*trail mix (sunflower seeds, raisins, cashew, almonds)
*fruit salad (cranberries, grapes, pineapple, peach, mango)
*dried cherries

D: *date and pb
* sundried tomatoes
* hummus chips

June 27 Monday
B: *Peanut butter and dates (yes im addicted)
* naked granny smith apple
* peach
* dried cherries

L: *Quinoa + mix veg
* CoCoVita Coconut Water with pineapple juice

* Dried cherries
*Trader JOes seaweed snack

D: * rice fried Quinoa (beans, yellow squash, zuchini, red pepper, napa cabbage (from Soergel's!) sundried tomatoes (from Soergel's!)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Beat the Heat with a (Sorbet Covered) Stick

I've been wanting to try this for ages, but I was waiting for it to go on sale. Well, guess what!

Currently on sale at Whole Foods. Woo hoo!

After a long hard day in the office the day before yesterday (Wednesday) I decided to stop delaying a trip to get some groceries. Knowing I would have to wait a few minutes for the bus home (and already feeling hunger sneaking up on me) I decided to get a cool treat to temporarily satiate, cool me off and not ruin a day of healthful eating.

For under a dollar, chock full of real ingredients, under 100 calories this tiny heavy weight really hit the spot.

It comes with an adorable spoon hidden under the lid. It's small, which definitely helps with pacing yourself while eating thus preventing brain freeze and gluttonous scarfing.

As with many sorbets it starts as a solid looking block of sorbet, but as it melts and you mix it with the spoon (or just scrape it) it gets wonderfully creamy.

Thurs June 23

B:*Quinoa with agave and cinnamon
*Champagne Mango
*Naked Apple

*McDougals Tortilla Soup (Only 200 calories...Im notoriously good at buying things for a meal that dont have enough calories to sustain me)

L2:*Guayaki Yerba Mate Pure Endurance Tea
*Cashew Cookie Larabar
*Snapea Crisps

S:Snapea Crisps

D: *Quinoa cinamon agave naked apple sliced in
* one square of Cofee Crunch Chocolate

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Social Eating aka Healthy Eating Sabotage!

Remember the other day when I said in my food journal that I had potato chips?

I was at a graduation party when I had said potato chips. Also, I helped to set up for the party (it was for a close friends daughter). I thought of them as a small treat for all the hard work I was putting in.

Bottom line: they made my stomach hurt. I have been off bad fats and junky junk food for a while now and my body is really rejecting them now. Yay! I consider this a real milestone.

But I realized that you might not be to that point yet. And a case of "social junk eating" could really stumble you on your path to healthful eating or even worse cause a relapse into bad eating habits.

So, here are a few tips for avoiding un-healthful foods at social gatherings:

- Bring a dish that follows the hosts theme (the host will love you and you will have a great and healthful option)

- Bring a healthful snack food (tortilla chips and salsa or guac instead of potato chips)

- Bring a dessert that is devoid of refined sugar and flour (make or buy or ask me to make it since you know I love to bake)

- Bring a salad chock full of veggies and don't forget the protein(This will fill you up and keep you from noshing on the bowls of junk sitting around)

- Eat something right before you go (this is a great option if you plan on eating whatever the host serves no matter what it is. If you go with a half full stomach there will be less room for the not so healthful foods you will be indulging in)

Wednesday June 22

B: *One bite of Sumi salad
*Black Bean Salad "Black beans, red onions, cilantro, red pepper, yellow pepper and sweet corn that i didn't eat)
*Peanut Butter Larabar
*Coconut Cream Larabar

L: *Sunflower Pesto Pasta (semolina pasta, organic baby spinach, basil, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, sunflower seeds, organic garlic, sea salt)

D: *Blood Orange Sorbet(more on this tomorrow)
*Chocolate Cashew Raw Food Bar
*1/2T Trader Joe's sun dried tomatoes
*Cheesy soup(1/2T sundried tomatoes nutritional yeast, olive oil, sea salt, water), *zucchini sauteed in olive oil with nutritional yeast sauce

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Food Crush...

Have you ever been obsesssed with a particular food?

Remember the kale and golden beet salad I had yesterday? It was so delicious! It had a very light creaminess to it that came from the addition of TAHINI to the recipe.

I started eating it and noticed the creaminess and half expected to find something gnarly (dairy and my stomach have been enemies ever since I stopped eating red meat) when i checked the ingredients, but lo and behold it was my old friend Tahini.

I have always had an unnatural affection for sesame seeds. Like eating them out of the jar, asking people for a few off of their bagel, eating a sesame bagel almost every morning for a year, buying a jar of sesame oil and then hoarding it until it expired type of affection.

And don't get me started on sesame bars, which are basically just honey, sesame seeds and corn syrup cooked down into a taffy of delicious tooth killing yumminess! Whew! I need a cold shower!

Well, fast forward a little over a decade to when I was introduced to Tahini by a Mr.Alladin Eatery (strange last name I know, but he's gorgeous and a great cook). Tahini is basically the end destination of a maturation of taste buds for a sesame obsessed youth. As if the Tahini wasn't decadent and addictive enough it was paired with another obsession worthy food: the falafel. Once you have tried falafel just reading or speaking the word will instantly give you cravings for them (sorry dear readers!!i'll go with you to get some as penance for uttering the sirens song of yummy).

On top of being really delicious sesame seeds qualify as a yummy coworker because of being a great source of calcium for someone as addicted as moi(in other words they are only beneficial as a source of calcium if you eat lots of the little guys)!

In case you've forgotten the Golden Beet and Kale Salad has a base of lacinto kale, golden beets, carrots, green onions and red bell pepper which is smothered in a dressing made of apple cider vinegar, tahini, tamari, garlic, oregano, basil and olive oil.

I asked Mr. Google to help me find the recipe and it turns out another co-op also sells this salad and has the recipe posted online. Sadly the recipe was for 10 lbs of the salad, but the very beautiful recipe converter helped me whittle it down to a more managable amount considering im not feeding an army of co-opians.

I can't wait to make this myself! Im thinking of visiting the farmers market on Monday to get the ingredients. Im hoping to get some Tahini at the Greek Store i have a living social deal for. I'll let you know how that goes. This is my first living Social experience. Ive used Groupon before, which reminds me that I have a Groupon for Soergel's Orchard. More yum!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What I've been eating... Repetitively...

Friday June 17
B: Quinoa with 21 seasoning blend

L: Quinoa, zucchini, tomato

D: Lentils and zucchini, tofu with balsamic, marinated zucchini

Saturday June 18

B: Quinoa, zucchini with olive oil and sea salt

L: Tofu with marinated zucchini

L2: Salad of lettuce tomato and red pepper, cauliflower and celery, side of potato chips (ick!I'm really over my potato chip obsession. Not eating them really takes away your enjoyment of them....and ...i think they gave me a tummy ache...)

D Tofu with marinated zucchini, almonds with agave, cinnamon and sea salt
unsweetened almond milk with cinnamon and agave

Sunday June 19

B:Lentils and Asian vegetables
Quinoa with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, cinnamon and agave

L: Lentils

D: (from Chili's) Lame house Salad and 2 bowls of chips and house salsa

DD: Dark chocolate with cherry and almonds + Dark chocolate with coffee chunks

Monday June 20

B:Quinoa unsweetened almond milk with Cinnamon and agave
a peeled raw apple

L: chickpeas with marinated zucchini(its sooo good)

D: white beans tomato spinach marinated zucchini

DD: chocolate with dried cherries and almonds
2T peanuts

Tuesday June 21

B: rest of the white bean tomato spinach zucchini yumminess
naked apple and 3T peanuts+ 3 T peanuts from a coworker

L: Thai Cucumber Salad(cucumber, red onion, bell pepper, cilantro, cane juice, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, jalapeno), Golden Beet Salad (lacinto kale, golden beets, carrots, green onions, bell pepper, apple cider ving, tahini, tamari, garlic, oregano, basil, olive oil), Peanut Butter Larabar, coconut Cream Larabar

D:Sumi Salad, Beet Salad, peanuts, chocolate

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Pretty much any photograph you take while you are in Hawaii ends up being a postcard. It's just that type of place.

It was raining so the above pic is a little dark. And yes I could have lightened it, but isn't it beautiful as is?

Three seconds after this pic it was sunny again, but I'll show you those pictures later.

This is the Pipeline on the North Coast of Oahu. I was there in the winter so the waves were dangerously strong. Beautiful!

We stopped at the Pipeline after we went to Matsumoto Shaved Ice and before we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Did I go swimming there? Well check this out:

I really only need one warning.

Whenever I think about Hawaii and what food I would use to represent my trip fresh fruit, especially pineapple, invariably comes to mind. If someone asked me to make them Hawaii to eat it would have to have fruit in it.

With the heavy Asian influence to the Island (and the fact that I ate at PF Chang's almost 5 times while there) this "Hawaii" recipe would include Tofu and a pineapple teriyaki sauce of some sort.

I'm still working on this recipe, but it's going to be great!

What I ate today:
B: 1/2 lemon and agave
head of lettuce and marinated mushrooms & zucchini (recipe to come!)
2 T peanuts

L:tofu loaf
spinach and salsa verde and olives

S:almond "cookie" (1/2 c raw almonds blended with 3T almond milk and drizzzle agave)
1 1/2 cup heated unsweetened coconut milk and unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2T peanuts

D: tofu loaf, spinach and salsa verde
almonds with agave and sea salt

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And what I've been eating....

Monday, June 13

B: 3 raw Larabars (blueberry muffin, coconut cream pie and peanut butter cookie)

L: tvp tuna salad, raw tomato sprinkled with herbs and sea salt

D: tofu loaf (walnuts, tofu, secret seasonings) sauteed with spinach served in lettuce leafs, raw tomato with herbs and sea salt

Tuesday, June 14

B: Tomato and lettuce, apricot date bar drizzled with agave (see pic at top)

L: tomato and lettuce, dried apricots

D: Spinach and salsa verde, tofu loaf, kalamata olives, apricot bar drizzled with agave (see pic above)

Wednesday, June 15

B: Apricot bar

L: beet salad(beet carrot onion)
raw sumi salad (cabbage almonds honey sesame seeds)
tofu salad (tof tomato garlic oo lemon juice basil)
raw banana,
coconut water with pulp

S: Pumpkin seeds

D: watermelon, cucumber cherry tomatoes mushrooms and hummus, pumkin seeds

Monday, June 13, 2011

Stalking Whole Foods

What do you do to beat the heat? While some people have the privilege of turning on the air conditioning as the thermometer rises, I'm not one of those people.

But I have my wits about me and love a challenge, so I just determine the best course of action for staying nourished and cool.

Go hide at an air conditioned location that allows noshing.

When it's so hot I can't concentrate or even fathom the idea of cooking I go hide at Whole Foods.

The have a great selection of fresh and prepared foods as well as a hot bar and salad bar.

Pictured above is a $1.50 cool down snack. Although Whole Foods is often blamed for emptying bank accounts, it is a great place for a bargain. You just have to look for it.

My go to meals are quick stove-top meals.

Below is pictured a delicious meal that incorporates canned, frozen and fresh whole foods, which makes this meal quick, filling and nourishing. It's a blend of sauteed fresh zucchini and baby Bella's with canned cannelloni beans and tomatoes and frozen spinach.

Another way to beat the heat: Ethnic Take Out

Greek food is an excellent choice. The Mediterranean diet has long been touted as an excellent choice for those wanting to fuel up with our getting fat/calorie overload.

Below is a sampling from Aladdin's Eatery my go to take out stop. Felafel's with hummus and tabbouleh.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

"What do you eat?"

That is probably the most common question I hear when people find out I don't eat meat.

And Im pretty tired of hearing it since the most obvious answer is "food". But I don't blame those who ask. The American culture dictates that meat is the only source of protein and if you dont eat meat you will shrivel up and die.

So Im going to start posting what I eat everyday. Even if I dont have a super awesome post and loads of pictures to go with it I will let you all know what Im noshing.

When someone asks what I eat I can just hand them my business card with this url and tell them to check it out.

And of course I don't want to be embaressed, so this also means I will have to eat regularly and everyday so that no one thinks Im slipping into an ED (does anyone else just not feel like eating sometimes?).

Slight caveat: I may not post my journal everday. I might have to do a catch up day every once in a while (like today: see below)

And most importantly: Food journaling is a wonderful tool when you are trying to be a healthful eater. It will help you spot holes in your diet (too much bread or pasta) and see where you might be missing key nutrients (not enough leafy greens).

If you are new to journaling I suggest a paper journal. Write in pen and then use a highliter of different colors to mark fruits, veggies, proteins and if you want to be really specific healthy carbs and fats as well.

Im working on eating 95% whole foods and as much raw as possible. And you know how I love to fiddle with existing recipes either because i want to invent something new or i just need to use up what i have before shopping for more things...Or because a substitute ingreient is way cheaper than whats called for (i love you mr. date, but sometimes mr. raisin is cheaper alternative).

Friday 6-10-11

B: one granny smith apple(skin removed b/c i cant digest it) , peanuts, tossed salad with 2 mini cucumbers and red pepper hummus as the dressing

L: canneloni(canned), tomato(canned), spinach(frozen), mushrooms(fresh) sauteed together
+ Raw Raisin (instead of date)Bar
(recipe coming soon!)

D: canneloni, tomato, spinach, mushrooms sauteed together
+ raising bar

Saturday 6-11-11

B: 2 servings Raisin Bar

L: Salad (mixed field greens, tomatoe, red onions), one bite of wheat bread
Xochil torilla Chips and Chichis restaurant style medium salsa, One mini cuke from Trader Joes and 1T red pepper hummus from Whole Foods

D: Italian veg sub (lettuce tomatoe olive onion mushroom)bbq sauce and salsa on a mini loaf
+ 1/2 peach (because it was not good and couldnt eat the other half. when will i learn to stick to organic?)

Sunday 6-12-11
B: one granny smith apple, blueberry smoothie (1 frozen banana,1 c frozen blueberries, 3/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk,1 T raisins), 2 T raisins

L: Quinoa, tomatoes, zuchini, baby portabellas

D: Loaded salad (mixed lettuce, garbanzoes, cherry tomatoes, cuke, baby carrots)and 3 pieces Italian bread and vegan "butta"(drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt(dont judge me..lol)) iced tea

DD: Rice Dream Mint Pie (2 oatmeal cookies with mint rice dream dipped in chocolate)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Random beauty

What is that? Some strangely patterned drips of water?

Not quite....

That's what your footprint looks like when you have hole in both of your shoes and its pouring rain and you accidentally step in a puddle.


Yeah I need some new shoes. Maybe next week.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mini MIssionary Trip: Seldom Worked Territory

Yes I realize I've been excessively M.I.A. but Ive been excessively swamped with surgeries and fatigue.

But isn't the above picture worth the wait? It is one of the many beautiful views we were privy to on our trip to help the Saxton Congregation with their territory.

We headed out at 6am so that we would arrive in time for their meeting for service at 9am. Before going to the meeting we stopped at McDonald's for breakfast. I brought a long a batch of strawberry muffins and a batch of blueberry muffins. That was my breakfast along with a free cup of coffee from Mr. McDonald's.

At lunch time we stopped at a park near the (man-made) lake. I brought a big salad and had some trail mix and i ate another muffin (tsk tsk tsk).

Below is a picture of the balancing rock. It was on of the features of our hike after our day of preaching. It was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the wonders of Jehovah's creation and get some physical activity in.