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Posts Tagged ‘Fruit’

I’m the type of person who cannot be idle. I find that when I have down time I end up getting antsy and think of anything and everything I could be doing. That being stated, sometimes you just need a day where you can stop, smell the flowers and relish in the peacefulness of having nothing on your agenda. Today was one of those days.

After my short country side run this afternoon I took myself on a “garden tour” around our backyard. My mom is extremely devoted to her gardens. She takes such pride and pleasure in them, and spends the majority of her day carefully tending to them. I think her dedication is what makes the flowers so beautiful.After my garden adventure we went to my cousin’s house for their birthday barbecue. I had a plate of grilled chicken, fruit and a mixed green salad with pear slices in a lemon vinaigrette. It wouldn’t be a birthday with out cake so I had a slice of vanilla cake with chocolate frosting and a little mint chip ice cream (can never resist mint chip ūüôā )After the party, I went for a nice walk-and-talk with my mom. When we returned I headed into our back yard to do a cart-wheel,¬† just because I haven’t done one in ages, and proceeded to lay in the grass and stare at the sky for a while. Sometimes you just have to soak in the beauty.

It was such a nice day that we decided to sit outside and absorb the beauty over crackers, hummus, bread, cheese and a bit of Dr. Loosen Riesling.

Life is good.

Peaceful,

Nora

What are your favorite ways to spend down time?

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One more day until I have my Internet installed! I have felt so lost without it. Today has been one of those “on-the-go” days so my blog is being brought to you by iPhone.

I had an intern event from 8am-12:30pm and breakfast and lunch were provided. For breakfast I had a whole wheat blueberry muffin, a banana and coffee.

After a few speakers I was extremely excited for lunch. I had half of a whole wheat wrap with turkey, lettuce, tomato, provolone cheese and mayonnaise; a side salad with plump cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives and red peppers dressed in balsamic; and fresh fruit.

I was ravenous later in the afternoon (I’m thinking because I had such a small breakfast) and snacked on a Chocolate Cherry Luna Protein Bar and an apple before leaving work.

I was so happy that I packed snacks because I planned on going to the gym again after work and I hate working out when my energy levels are low. I did a medium level on the precor machine for about 40 minutes. It wasn’t a very intense workout but it felt good to unwind from the day.

Dinner is going to be a throw together because I didn’t plan anything last night . I think canned tuna might be involved.

Busy Bee,

Nora

What easy meals do you turn to when you are low on time?

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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 ever have days where you feel like you are constantly racing against the clock? It is either moving too fast or too slow, leaving you bored and idle or overwhelmingly busy. Today was one of those for me. After my morning classes I grabbed lunch at a campus eatery (loaded salad–mixed greens, spinach, water chestnuts, snow peas, chick peas, marinated portobello mushroom, artichoke hearts, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, tofu…and much more with a Granny Smith apple)¬† and still had time to kill so I went to Starbucks for no particular reason. I was bored so I got a grande hazelnut latte and a Berries GoMega Odwalla Bar. I know sugar-free lattes aren’t the best for me but I have a slight addiction. I don’t even want to know what chemicals are in it, it’s GOOD. Win some, lose some right? I really liked the Berries GoMega bar. I wasn’t particularly hungry for it but I ate the entire thing because it was SO delicious. I loved the pieces of dried fruit and the light sweetness of the bar.

After my afternoon class I came back to get ready for work. As I was packing up dinner I decided I needed a snack.¬† I ate a large carrot while I was packing my lunch box (not even sure what I threw in there…some tempeh, a banana, veggies, roasted beets, cheese, nuts…I was going full speed, I can’t even remember!)¬† followed by a Cranberry Kombucha,¬† 1 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt with Bear Naked Fruit and Nut and Blackberries. I only had about a 1/2 cup left of this granola (I put about 2 TBS into my yogurt), and to my COMPLETE sadness, it was all mushy and stale.¬† After a few bites, I added¬† a good amount Kashi GoLean Crunch and Kashi Mountain Medley Granola for crunch. I have had the Mountain Medley for a while and it isn’t my favorite granola so I sprinkled some on top to continue working on widdling down my stash.

I have to pause here for a moment and tell you about MY FIRST KOMBUCHA experience. All I really have to say is: “Hello Lover.” I have been wanting to try it for a while after hearing about health benefits, and seeing it in blogs. Lindsay from Cotter Crunch recommended Cranberry to me for a “first try” flavor. I’m a girl who likes beer, so the suprising beer-like flavor from the fermentation was appealing. It tasted like beer meets cranberry juice…beer-mopolitan?¬† Regardless, it was refreshing to drink and I will be going back for more. Thanks Lindsay!

Dinner was a mishmash at work followed by a bite of a pumpkin muffin and dark chocolate almonds. When I got home I continued my “rushed” state and finally settled down to a big bowl of Perry’s Peanut Butter Chip Frozen Yogurt. I didn’t take the time to get a picture of my bowl (er…well I went back for seconds, so of my two bowls.) but I wanted to show this AMAZING yogurt off. Just look at those peanut butter ripples. I love huge chunks of frozen peanut butter; they melt in your mouth! The chocolate chips are big squares and give it a nice crunch. Honestly, how can you go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate?

I felt like I was rushing all day long. My mind was moving a mile a minute, and I felt like I was incapable of doing everything that needed to be done/addressed in the course of my day. My stomach was actually a bit upset from the randomness/perhaps at times a¬† bit too large¬† quantity of food. It reminds me that life is never perfect OR easy. You can’t plan out every moment. You just have to go for the ride, let things happen and accept them for what they are. That being said, it is always nice to take a DEEP BREATH and SLOW DOWN when things seem to be getting out of control. When my world starts feeling off , I have to step back and get a healthy dose of perspective. Usually perspective comes from some self-reflection…and my mom.

Fun Facts:

1) I’m really, REALLY against wasting food. Even if I don’t really like the item I bought, I try to think of ways to use it all up. My Fruit and Nut granola was not worth saving. It was so mushy and stale :(. Instead of throwing it all out I saved the nuts from the bag….well..more like picked them out and ate them. I’m so thrifty.

2) Along with my “sugar-free” syrup love, I also really like a sparkling beverage produced by my grocery store that is chocked full of preservatives and aspartame. I try not to think about the list because it is so good! I’m not a huge soda drinker but these things are bubbly and refreshing!

To a Calm Tomorrow,

Nora

What are your “guilty pleasures”?

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When I have absolutely NO idea what to have for breakfast and need something quick, nutritious and filling, I turn to Greek yogurt, granola and fruit. I am hitting all of my nutritional bases with whole grains, protein and a serving of fruit. I try to pick a granola that is organic (Be careful when you buy granola, many of them have TONS of sugar and are highly processed.) and that has a bit of fat for staying power. I like using a lower fat granola for topping purposes, but when granola is the main component of my breakfast paired with a low-fat yogurt I like a heavier granola for satiety.

This morning I was NOT in the mood to make oatmeal (weird I know…I always am) and I wanted something cold, so toast was not an option. I received a package of Chobani Champions to sample yesterday, and it felt like the perfect opportunity to try another flavor. I am trying to widdle down my cereal/granola collection and I thought that my Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola would be the perfect addition to the Honeynana yogurt. I was extremely excited to try this flavor because I LOVED the Chobani non-fat Honey Greek Yogurt I tried a while back, and love the combination of honey, banana and nuts. I used 1/4 cup granola (almost didn’t fit in the cup!) and had a small Gala apple on the side to round my breakfast out.

I really like the flavor of this yogurt. I think the Champion line is a great product for people who have never tried Greek yogurt or for children. Both the chocolate and honeynana had a thinner consistency than other Chobani products, less protein and big flavor. I love Greek yogurt because of the tangy flavor and rich texture, but I have found that for many people it is an acquired taste. The Champion product is great because it is a bit more mild but still packs more protein than regular low-fat yogurt, has probiotic cultures and excellent nutrition! I love the diversity of Chobani’s products; there is something for everyone to enjoy!

I have one hour-long class this morning then it’s off to the gym for my upper body lifting committment! I’m sticking to this in hopes to gain some upper body strength by summer. I haven’t been sore after the past two sessions, so I think I am going to switch up my routine. I think it is important to work different muscles and “build” weights if you are looking to gain muscle, not simply tone-up. And of course I packed one of these:Chocolate Whey Protein Shake: 1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk, 1 scoop Organic Chocolate Whey. Is it weird that I actually like these? I just pack it up with some cold packs, shake and drink…tastes JUST like a chocolate milk shake! Lunch time is usually right after the gym, so I typically don’t have a “post gym” snack, however; since I am trying to build back muscle, I read that protein shakes are the best recovery because your body absorbs the nutrients faster than through a food source. I try to have this as soon as I am finished, and then head home for lunch about an hour later. I haven’t had this routine long enough to promote any results, but I am hoping it helps!

Happy Friday!

Nora

What are essential breakfast elements you have even when you are in a hurry?

How do you feel about protein shakes? Any experience/advice for strength exercises?

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How does it go from being 20 degrees to 60 degrees in a week? I don’t even need an answer to this question, I am LOVING this weather! After my Galaxy Vanilla Almond Granola experience yesterday morning, I needed more. I decided to update my favorite summer breakfast: 1 cup yogurt, mixed berries, bananas and granola, to a new mix: 1/2 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, 1/2 cup Vanilla Soy Milk, 1/2 TBS Chia seeds (let sit and combine ~10 min) handful of blueberries, 1 banana, cinnamon and 1/4 Galaxy Vanilla Almond Granola.

I loved the combination of soymilk, yogurt and chia seeds. It had the consistency of a smoothie; not as thick as Greek yogurt, but the toppings didn’t sink like they would in a thin milk. The chia seeds made a “jelly” like texture. I have to give another shout out to the people at Fruit Not Fat, for this granola. I love that it holds it’s crunch in every bite and has clusters, but does not clump. The flavor is outstanding, and I really think cooking it in apple sauce instead of oil makes it SO much better tasting and healthier! GOOD WORK!!

Warm Weather Eats,

Nora

Do your “favorite” meals change with the weather? Are there certain foods you only eat during the summer/winter?

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