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Archive for the ‘Pumpkin’ Category

I live by the motto “never judge a book by its cover”; some of the best things in life come in unexpected forms. I always try to keep an open mind and will try anything once (within reason). It is with this mentality that I have discovered my love for things like escargot and raw fish. I was hesitant to try these things at first, but I’m so glad that I did.

For breakfast this morning I had a bowl of unconventional oats. I used 1/2 cup raw rolled oats, 1/3 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, 1/3 cup pumpkin, 1/2 of a large banana, ground flax, honey and cinnamon. With inspiration from Catlin, raw oatmeal is quickly becoming one of my favorite breakfast dishes. I did not think it sounded appealing at first, but after trying it I immediately fell in love. It has a better consistency than overnight oats and is far more substantive than granola or cereal. It keeps me full, satisfied and happy all morning long.

Lunch today is also “off the beaten path” so to speak. I packed my lunchbox with a sunflower seed butter, spinach and red bell pepper sandwich on whole wheat with two large carrots, an Empire apple and a super-charge me cookie. Allie sent me my very first jar of sunflower seed butter a few weeks ago and I have been dipping into it non-stop. I have added sunflower seed butter to everything from bread to yogurt, and found that some of my favorite surfaces have been vegetables. In fact, I think the best combination I tried was raw broccoli dipped in sunflower seed butter. Sounds odd, but it was so good. Remember my motto?

Hopefully my day will be as interesting as my food!

Happy Monday,

Nora

What is the best “odd” combination you have tried?

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I ran out of time to write a post this morning, however; the pictures were so beautiful that I wanted to share. Breakfast today was inspired by Caitlin and my new Farmer’s Market Honey, ‘Honey I Love You’. I love this name, it’s so clever!

In my bowl: 1/2 cup raw rolled oatmeal, 1/4 cup pumpkin, 1/2 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, ~1-2 TBS chopped walnuts, 1 banana, drizzle of honey and cinnamon.

This was a delicious hearty breakfast for a warm summer morning. I really liked the use of raw oats mixed with the yogurt and pumpkin, it gave off a granola-esque feel. As my flower bowl indicates, it’s bound to be a bright, bright sunshiny day! Enjoy!

And I’m Off,

Nora

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Today is going to be the LONGEST day of my life. I have been up since 6:45am and have my hardest final at 4pm. I have been studying for the past few hours, so thought a quick post was in order before making my way to the library. Yes, that’s right, no coffee shop for me today! I want to stay on campus studying until 3:50pm then casually make my way over to the exam room.

Today I woke up and needed an energy boost. I decided on a Loaded Green Monster for breakfast.I almost couldn’t fit the whole thing in my big wine glass! It was so refreshing and thick because I added some extra ice and frozen blueberries to the mix today. I’m doing extremely well with the whole “clean out my refrigerator/freezer” initiative. I just keep throwing random bits and pieces here and there, so I think I should be successful by the end of next week when I officially move out. Scary to think that one week from Sunday I will be out of here!

In my monster: 5 ice cubes, 1 large frozen banana, 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder, 1 scoop Green Amazing Grass Superfood, cinnamon, 1 TBS crunchy natural peanut butter, 2/3 cup vanilla almond milk, 1/3 cup water and 2 big handfuls of spinach.

It was so thick that I ended up eating it with a spoon. I should have added granola to it because shortly after I wanted something crunchy and had a Kashi Pumpkin Pie Bar with a cup of coffee.  I love pumpkin, and went through a serious pumpkin phase this fall where everything I ate had this flavor. I had pumpkin coffee, muffins, bread, yogurt, pie, ice cream, granola bars, custard…the list goes on, it was intense. I had two of these just sitting in my overflowing pantry and thought it would be a nice treat before starting some major studying.Lunch today will be out of my lunch box. First up, Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Sandwich with goat cheese, cinnamon (seriously, I put cinnamon on EVERYTHING!), Crofter’s North America Superfruit Spread, spinach, cucumber and turkey. As I said before, I’m doing extremely well with the whole fridge cleaning thing!Next up a variety of sides: Apple, Chobani with cinnamon and blackberries, almonds, 1 large carrot and 2 stalks of celery.I can already tell you that my apple will be devoured before lunch time. I get nervous when I am “crunch time” studying and apples are the perfect way to keep me focused. I ate a few extra almonds out of my jar while packing…what can I say, I need brain food :)!

I already have a little something-something planned for dinner after my exam. I planned it knowing that it would be a long and tedious day and wanted to come back to something exciting before I start studying for my second exam, which is tomorrow at 12:30pm. Looks like it’s going to be a long day and night :/ . Such is the life of a college student. 3. More. Days.

Working Bee,

Nora

What are your favorite work snacks?

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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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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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I had every intention on making a big beautiful bowl of oatmeal this morning but I was craving a green monster. When I woke up I felt extremely tired and my head was slightly pounding. I needed something that required minimal effort and that was cool and energizing to get me going. I decided to mix up my ingredients a bit and I’m so glad I did. This bowl was thicker and more flavorful! I loved it.

Into the blender:

1 large frozen banana

3 frozen strawberries

3 ice cubes

1/3 can pumpkin

1 scoop GREEN Amazing Grass Superfood

1/2 scoop Chocolate Whey Protein

~3/4 TBS Peanut Butter

Cinnamon (SO KEY!)

1/2 cup Almond Milk

1/2 Cup Water

2 handfuls of spinach

I really need a better blender. I find myself constantly shaking the blender and pushing everything down through the process. It takes me way longer to blend the ingredients than it should. I topped it with some Galaxy Vanilla Almond and had a big Jonagold on the side. I’m not sure if I actually wanted that apple but I wanted more crunch after I finished the bowl! The one downside about making smoothies for breakfast is that I always want something solid to go along with it, where as oatmeal fulfills  all of my meal texture/flavor requirements. Hopefully I’ll get back to the world’s greatest breakfast tomorrow!

My roommate and I are having a special dinner tonight and I can not wait. Hopefully I’ll be able to sneak a few photos!!

Green Machine,

Nora

Do you like certain foods when you aren’t feeling up to par (headache/illness/lethargic etc)?

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I am a planner. I have mile long to do lists with check marks on the sign, two calendars and every Sunday make a “plan of action” for the week noting what work/activities I have to do each day complete with a time line. Granted, you can’t always plan everything, but when I know I will be in a crunch for time I prepare my meals ahead of time….even breakfast.

Last night I had a late night with friends and knew that I would probably be sleeping in and not have time to make a proper breakfast. I am not one to grab a granola bar and fruit in the morning; it just doesn’t satisfy me. I also have an extremely busy day running around the bakery, so I needed something fast and filling. Last night I prepared: pumpkin overnight oats.

The Base:  1/4 cup rolled oats, 2 TBS oat bran, 1/3 cup Greek Yogurt, 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 TBS chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves.

Toppings: 1 sliced banana , 1 TBS almond butter, Crofter’s Europe Superfruit Spread (black currant and pomegranate) and Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola.

This bowl was so filling, and has prepared me for a full day at work. I love adding chia seeds to my oats. I forgot to add them yesterday and noticed a difference in heartiness and volume. They add crunch and a fluffy consistency to the bowl, and make it more satisfying. It is so easy to eat right, it just takes a bit of planning. 

I don’t have much time today to enjoy the beautiful weather we are having, but after work I am making my 1.5 hour drive home. I’ll be back just in time for dinner with my parents!! PERFECT way to end the day!

Enjoy The Sunshine,

Nora

What is your favorite way to spend time when the weather is nice?

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