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Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Dinner last night was simple and satisfying. For some reason warm weather always makes me crave grilled items and fresh produce. I marinated a chicken breast in barbecue sauce and grilled it on my cast iron skillet. I wish I had access to a real grill but my make shift grill pan over an open flame is the next best thing! My chicken was perfectly moist and delicious. On the side I had a rather big salad of mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, button mushrooms, garbanzo beans, red bell pepper, grape tomatoes and feta cheese. I dressed this salad in a homemade mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and cracked black pepper. This dressing was so good that it caused an epiphany: If you have the time, MAKE YOUR OWN SALAD DRESSING! My dressing was the simple and the perfect consistency, really highlighting the crisp vegetables.

Once again, I had strawberries on my mind for dessert. I found a Jell-O pudding in the back of my fridge that I’m pretty sure was expired (gross, I know) but it looked okay so I decided to eat it anyways. I topped it with strawberries and whipped cream. NOTE TO SELF: BUY ICE CREAM ASAP!

I woke up this morning with an odd craving for cold cereal. I assembled a bowl of 1/2 cup Go Lean Crunch, 1/2 Cup Heart to Heart, 1 sliced banana, sliced strawberries, 1 TBS ground flax, cinnamon and 1 cup vanilla soy milk.
It was my first day at my internship so I was rather excited this morning. I debated bringing lunch because of my financial situation, however; because it was my first day I wanted to scope out the scene and try the cafeteria. I had a turkey, lettuce, red pepper and mayo sandwich on a whole wheat pita, a side salad with raspberry vinaigrette and an apple. It was pretty good and only set me back about $4 but I’ll probably pack a lunch from now on. It was another intern’s last day with the company and the department had a send-off for him after lunch. I was really excited because it was complete with CAKE! I had a small piece of dense yellow cake with white frosting (I made sure to get an edge piece for the extra frosting 🙂 )

After work I went to the gym. I knew that I wouldn’t be getting home for dinner until about 7pm, so I planned a head and packed a pre-gym snack and an easy dinner. I had a Tropical Fruit Tart Larabar around 4pm. It was such a nice treat for a hot summer afternoon and fueled my workout. I did about 40 minutes on the precor machine followed by crunches and arm weights. I always thought that I preferred morning workouts, but I really liked how it broke up my day. It was relaxing, and having dinner already prepared was KEY!

When I got home dinner was waiting for me. Last night I realized that I had a portabello mushroom cap to use so I created a stuffed portabello mushroom with couscous, spinach and feta cheese topped with grape tomatoes and more feta as the main component of my meal (I’m planning on some simple sides to accompany this dish but took this picture last night.). To prepare, I cleaned the exterior of the mushroom with a dry cloth (aka paper towel), discarded the stem and gills of the mushroom and brushed the outside with a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried basil and cracked black pepper. I then placed the mushroom cap side down on my cast iron grill pan, added the remaining vinaigrette mixture evenly into the belly, grilled it until tender and let it rest on a plate before adding the filling.

For the couscous, I placed 1/4 cup dry whole-wheat couscous in a bowl, added 1/2 cup of boiling water and let it sit about 5 minutes before fluffing and allowing it to cool. I added a handful of freshly chopped baby spinach, about 2 heaping TBS feta cheese and cracked black pepper into the couscous and mixed to combine. I placed this mixture in the mushroom cap and finished it with grape tomatoes and more feta cheese.

My internship is absolutely amazing! I feel so lucky to have found a position in the food industry incorporating aspects of social media and marketing. I am extremely passionate about food, family, healthy living and social media (obviously!) and can’t believe that I was able to find an involved internship composed of all these elements and more. I don’t want to go into details but today I was able to learn about and work on projects that dealt with iPhone apps, Twitter and blogging. Seriously, someone pinch me!

Working Girl,

Nora

What tips do you have for balancing work, exercising and healthy eating?

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If I have learned one thing in college it is that Two Finals + One Paper + Sore Throat = miserable finals week.

I really wanted to make something fun for breakfast this morning like pancakes or a big omelet but my body felt like it was in the early stages of a cold.  I’m rarely sick but when I am, I am unproductive….NOT a good state to be in during finals week. I knew that I needed something cool, substantial, refreshing and healthy for breakfast to counteract my pre-cold symptoms. My solution: loaded green monster in a wine glass (to keep it classy 🙂 )

Into my blender: 4 ice cubes, 1 frozen banana, 1 scoop GREEN Amazing Grass Superfood, 1 scoop Chocolate Whey Protein, 2 tsp Hershey’s Unsweetened Natural Cocoa, cinnamon, 1 TBS natural crunchy peanut butter, 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 bag of spinach.

It was extremely soothing and filling. I am never completely satisfied when I “drink” my breakfast so I usually top it with granola and eat it cereal-style, but this mix did the trick this morning. I had an apple shortly after, but I think adding the peanut butter made my smoothie more substantial and satisfying. I’m feeling energized and ready to tackle some major studying and this cold!

During finals week our school library is constantly packed with students. (Although, I’m pretty sure that this week is the first time that many of them have actually seen the library.) I won’t be able to find a space/computer outlet if I try to go, and I know that I can’t be as productive as I would like to be in the small confinement of my apartment so I’m off to a local book store. I have found the book store to be a great environment for me to do work with little distractions.

I’m being slightly frugal and packed a lunch to bring with me. I know that they don’t typically like you to bring food but hey, I’m a poor college kid and if I buy an over priced latte while I’m there that counts right? I call my lunch “cleaning out my fridge”. I packed a whole wheat and flax wrap (my last one!) with Cedar’s Original Hummus, turkey, Swiss cheese, spinach, sprouts, Roma tomato and cucumber with a side of watermelon and pineapple. I almost got the wrap closed this time! MY SKILLS ARE IMPROVING!

Getting The Study Party Started,

Nora

What types of food do you eat to help ward off a cold?

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Oatmeal and fuzzy slippers are my motivation to rise from my cozy bed and warm sheets each and every morning. I love these slippers. They are the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever owned and never fail to provide my feet with warmth.  As I ritually slid them on today I became a bit sentimental. It finally hit me–I am done with my undergraduate career. I purchased these slippers the summer before I began college and they have served me well.   I am uncertain what is going to come next (hopefully a career in food/wine/health!) but these shoes will remain with me as I take my next steps.

I was freezing when I woke up this morning, so I appreciated my slippers and oatmeal even more. I wanted something comforting and hearty. I thought about making something like my fruit cake oats, but as soon as I opened the refrigerator to grab my almond butter I spotted a can of fresh cleaned peaches. I am in the process of cleaning out my fridge before graduation (2 weeks from Sunday!!) and these looked like they would make a nice addition to my oats. I was also under the mentality that I might be able to channel the warm weather back by adding peaches to my breakfast…let’s hope this works :).

In the mix: 1/4 cup oat bran, 2 TBS rolled oats, 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/3 cup water, 1/2 sliced banana, 1.5 tsp chia seeds, 1.5 tsp ground flax, cinnamon, vanilla extract. Topped with clean peaches, blackberries, almond butter and cinnamon.

This was obviously “the best bowl of oatmeal I’ve ever made”–I always think that oatmeal is fantastic:)! I was a little heavy-handed with the almond milk today and added a few extra splashes as I measured out the 1/3 cup. This was certainly for the better because my oats were MUCH creamier and fluffier than usual. I basically scraped my almond butter jar for the last chunk so oats in a jar are coming soon! This is also exciting because I love opening a new jar of almond butter almost as much as I love licking them clean! I’m off for a day of review sessions, studying and day dreaming about new kitchen creations for “study breaks”. Two finals and one paper left until I’m out in the real world!

Happy Almost Weekend,

Nora

Are you a morning person?

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WHOA, busy day. It is 6pm, and this is the first time today that I have been able to sit and relax! I had a day full of appointments, errands and, the most significant happening, MY LAST COLLEGE CLASS EVER!!!!!!! WOOOOOOHH! Now all I have to do is pass 2 finals, finish 1 paper and get through Senior Week.

Today started at 7:45 am when I woke up to head to the gym. I typically don’t go to the gym in the morning, but since today was rather busy I wanted to wake up early to energize myself. Before going to the gym I tried the Chocolate Peanut Butter Luna Protein Bar. Hello lover 🙂 (okay…I’m obsessed with Sex in the City, and my “hello lover” phrase is stolen from the one and only Carrie Bradshaw.). This was my favorite of the three flavors by far! It isn’t overly sweet and has an awesome peanut butter and chocolate flavor. It has 12g of protein and 190 calories, which was perfect pre-gym fuel.

On Wednesdays I have been trying to incorporate some upper body weight training, so I usually start with a light cardio and then lift moderate weights. Since I was crunching time I cut my work out a bit short, but here it is:

20 minute run–2.2 miles

4 minute walk @ 4.0

3 x 10 bicep curls with a bar @ 40 lbs

3x 10 lateral raises @ 7.5 lbs

3×10 hammer curls @  20 lbs

3 x 10 side crunches @ 22.5 lbs
Consuming whey protein within an hour post work out is supposed to be great for rebuilding muscle so I decided to have breakfast number two: Green Monster, Granola and Raw Almonds. This contained: 1 scoop chocolate whey protein, 1 scoop Green Amazing Grass Superfood, a generous amount of cinnamon, 1 large frozen banana, 2/3 cup vanilla soy milk, 1/3 cup water, 2 handfuls of spinach and 2 ice cubes. I topped it off with 1/4 cup Nature’s Path Vanilla Almond Flax Granola and raw blanched almonds. When I was consuming this lovely bowl I had two revelations:

1) CINNAMON IS THE BEST SPICE EVER! I would and do put it on everything. It is so key for flavor the warm flavor of this bowl, I love it!

2) Raw blanched almonds really add a lot flavor/texture wise. They are buttery, smooth, and full of flavor. Roasted almonds have a bit more crunch but these little gems are phenomenal!

Workin’ it Out,

Nora

What is your ideal exercise/food to fuel it?

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AH! I feel like I have been away for ages! This weekend was a little NUTS and filled with a few too many NUTS.

I began my Saturday with a lovely breakfast with my roommate of Cinnamon Peaches and Cream Kodiak Cakes with sliced pineapple, watermelon, orange juice and coffee on the side. I love Kodiak Cakes. Unlike many whole wheat mixes I have tried, Kodiak cakes are fluffy, doughy and extremely easy to make. For a single serving all you have to do is add 1/3 cup mix with 1/3 cup water! I added cinnamon to the batter and topped it with sliced peaches, Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt and more cinnamon. My roommate always thinks it’s a bit odd when I take pictures of food (she doesn’t know about my blog) so I decided to forgo a picture and enjoy our breakfast together. There was a big event on campus so we headed over for a while to enjoy the nice weather, music and good company. Before I knew it, it was 4pm and I was so busy having fun that I had forgotten lunch! I’m a little embarrassed to post this (and almost didn’t), because the premise of my blog is “healthy living” and this definitely wasn’t the healthiest of days for me, skipping lunch and then going a bit overboard with my evening eats. But blunders are a part of life–living and learning

I was starving and slightly thirsty when I got back so  I decided to make myself a SUPER Green Monster topped with Granola and Raw Almonds. This monster was so big that I barely fit it into the bowl! It contained: 1 large frozen banana, 1 carrot, 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder, 1 scoop GREEN Amazing Grass Superfood, ~1 TBS peanut butter, 2/3 cup almond milk, 1/3 cup pumpkin, 1/3 cup water, 2 large handfuls of spinach and 3 ice cubes. I topped it off with 1/4 cup Nature’s Path Vanilla Almond Granola with Flax and raw almonds.

After a few bites, I thought I needed more substance so I added melted Dark Chocolate Almond Spread and Coconut Butter to my bowl. This was very tasty but I think I went a little over board with my nut butters! It was really filling, but I couldn’t consider it a full meal especially since I missed lunch. A little while later I had an apple, a large carrot and made  a plate with a serving  Dr. Crackers and Broccoli and topped it off with a copious amount melted Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese. I was beyond full and decided a nap was in order after such a long day. When I woke up, I wasn’t hungry but made a snack with the rest of my Chobani, Almond Butter ~2 TBS and cinnamon . I also made toast topped with almond butter, raspberry jam, chopped date and apple sauce (random but delicious!). I nearly emptied my almond butter jar so I think it’s safe to say that oats in a jar will be making an appearance this week. Everything I consumed was “healthy food” but the quantity was a bit much; my eyes were much bigger than my stomach! I love nut butters but they tend to be the type of food that I can get a bit carried away with. Between the peanut butter, almond butters and coconut butter I think I had something around 5-6 TBS in a very short period of time.

Needless to say my stomach was NOT feeling so hot after all of these random-mish-mashed foods. I was just looking for a quick fix and went a little overboard. Happens to the best of us.

I wasn’t hungry when I woke up this morning, and my stomach was still feeling uneasy from my food selections but each day is a new day for health. I decided to start today on a fresh foot with a bowl of sliced strawberries, blackberries, Nature’s Path Vanilla-Almond Flax Granola, and vanilla soy milk. I had an apple and cappuccino for a mid-afternoon snack and started to feel a bit more on track. I settled for an early dinner which was fresh and clean. A big spinach salad with 1/3 block tempeh, 1/2 of a roasted beet, 1 golden beet, cucumber, red pepper, tomato, mushrooms, 1 large carrot, clover sprouts in a red wine vinaigrette. I had a few Dr. Krackers on the side  and for dessert I had an ice cream sandwich.

I usually carry around granola bars and pack small snacks “in case of emergency”. I hate when I miss a meal or a snack and then try to compensate for it later in the day; it just leaves me feeling uncomfortably full and lethargic. Like I said before, each day is a new day for health so I just left my Saturday behind and started Sunday off with a fresh outlook. My mom always says, it’s better to be proactive then to dwell on things.

To Fresh Starts,

Nora

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Do you remember the “3 R’s” from elementary school? Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. These were pretty much engraved into my brain growing up, and Earth Day yesterday reminded me to get back into environmentally friendly habits.  I’m a recycling fanatic. I carry empty bottles around with me until I can find a recycle bin and when my friends put things in the trash that can be recycled, I tend to go “dumpster diving” and put them in their proper place. This morning I decided to dedicate myself to a better Earth and Reduced clean up, Reused my empty pumpkin butter jar, and Recycled the vessel when I was finished.

Last night as I was munching on my Dr.Kracker’s I knew that something was missing in my life, and that something was sunflower seeds. I use to put them on everything, and snack on the shelled version like a baseball player. I knew I was going to want the buttery seeds in the morning and thought it was a perfect occasion to use the empty pumpkin butter jar sitting in my fridge to make Overnight Muesli. Remember the Muesli I bought a while ago? I’ve only used it a grand total of….I think 3 times. I’m not sure why, it’s just not something I tend to crave in the morning. It is best used as overnight oats, and although I do sometimes think about my breakfast the night before this has never popped into my head. Last night, into my cute little jar went 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Muesli and  1/4 cup Greek yogurt. This morning I added cinnamon, 1 TBS chia seeds, 1/4 cup of almond milk and 1/2 sliced banana. I was surprised that I was able to fit this all into the jar but I did and it worked!

I loved the flavors. The raisins in the muesli get so plum overnight and the oats are the perfect soft consistency. I love the sunflower seeds and almond slices to give it a slight crunch. The pumpkin and banana flavors work perfectly with the mix. I especially like the contrast of pumpkin with the raisin. Pumpkin bread anyone? That is what it reminded me of.

Life Fun: I realize many times I am simply blogging about my food, so I decided to add a few little quips about my life. Not that I lead a very exciting life but every now and then I like to share, so here it goes. I have a nail polish collection. It’s almost as bad as my nut butter, jam, cereal and fun bowls/plates collection…almost. There was a time in my life that it would have been rare to see my naked nails because I was constantly changing colors. And by colors I mean variations of navy, dark purple, dark red, gray…I have fun colors too but nearly all of them are some color that resemble black upon first glance, although I do not actually own a black nail polish. I have been a little too busy to keep up with this habit, but I ALWAYS have my toes painted. Last night I decided it was necessary for a change. I went from Russian Navy to Mad As A Hatter. I actually picked up this new color yesterday because a) name sounded fun and b) I like shiny things.EW FEET! Well how else was I supposed to show you? The bottles are deceiving.

HAPPY WEEKEND,

Nora

What are your little “obsessions”?

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Happy Earth Day!

I wanted to start my day with a piece of earth aka a Green Monster and Granola. Into my blender went: 1 frozen banana, 2/3 scoop chocolate whey protein, 1 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfood, 1 handful of spinach (what was left in my bag), 2 tsp Hershey’s Unsweetened Cacao powder, 1/3 cup pumpkin, cinnamon, 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/3 cup water and 3 ice cubes. I’m not sure if it is the pumpkin or the cinnamon that makes this combination so delicious, but it is my favorite green monster concauction I have tried. The pumpkin makes it amazingly creamy and flavorful.

I recently ran out of my new favorite Galaxy Vanilla Almond granola, so I had to pick up another at the grocery store. My grocery store does not carry Galaxy (I bought it at a natural foods store) and I wasn’t in the mood to buy Bear Naked Vanilla Almond, so I decided to give the Nature’s Path version a try. I tried a bite straight from the box before topping my bowl and it had such a familiar taste that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. After brief deliberation, I decided that it tasted like a Rice Krispie Treat! It was good, but I think I prefer it as a snack because it is so light and airy. Galaxy granola still owns my heart for granola toppings because it has such amazing flavor and crunch up until the last bite!

This was such a refreshing and hearty breakfast. I grabbed an apple before running out the door to sooth my need for “crunch” and “juice”. I think I might be slightly dehydrated because I woke up with a bit of a headache. I’ll make it a point to have some more water today, I don’t think I drink enough.

Tangent– I am a granola girl. I have tried almost every granola on the shelves at my grocery store, and I buy homemade versions at the farmer’s market when I see something new. I’m always trying new varieties, and I have not found a better flavor and crunch than Galaxy.

Also, I forgot to add to my late night post the highlight of my day: $4.95 sale on Mangia Crunchy Almond Butter! This stuff is usually almost $10 and I’ve never tried it! It does look delicious and has a nice layer of oil and nut pieces floating on the top of the jar! My other jar is almost finished, and I can’t wait to try this!

Earth Friendly,

Nora

Are you doing anything special for earth day?

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