Posts Tagged ‘Healthy Living’

I was on a bit of a chocolate kick late last night (you should see Mr. Chocolate Almond Bunny now….I forgot to take a picture but large chunks of my chocolate almond bunny were stuffed into dates and apricots in my snacky post dinner state yesterday! So good though!)  and thought it might be interesting to try some mocha oats.

I always read and admire Jess at Healthy Exposures amazing oat creations and instead of using half water half milk in her oats, she uses brewed coffee. I think this is genius, and gives the oats LOTS of favor, especially when you allow them to soak in the coffee. I made my oats overnight style and added: 1/2 mashed banana, 1/3 cup oat bran, 2 TBS rolled oats, 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/3 cup brewed coffee (while still hot!), 1/2 TBS chia seeds, 1 TBS Hershey’s Natural Cacao, cinnamon and vanilla extract to my bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning I added: 2 large sliced strawberries, Chobani Greek Yogurt and 1 TBS almond butter.

Traditionally overnight oats are made with a half milk, half yogurt mixture, but I opted to omit the yogurt last night and use it as a garnish in the morning. Last time I made overnight oats they were too thick and slightly chalky. I find that chia seeds generate so much volume in the bowl that it ends up being the perfect consistency without other thickening methods.

The mashed banana and strawberries added sweetness and when the bitter cacao and coffee oats were blended with the Greek yogurt, my bowl had a true rich mocha taste! Recently I have been LOVING oat bran. I think it is the perfect creamy base for fresh berries and fruit. I wasn’t sure if it would hold up as well as regular oats over night, but it was thick and delicious in the morning.

I am continuing my chocolate addiction mid-morning with a chocolate protein shake:I used 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder and 1 cup vanilla soy milk. I have to admit, that I am a bit skeptical of protein mixes, as they tend to have LONG ingredient lists, and I do not know THAT much about them. I use an organic whey protein mix that is my grocery store brand and selected whey for the muscle repair and building qualities. I have been trying to gain upper body strength, and decided  with guidance that post-lifting sessions (2-3 times a week) I would drink a protein shake. This is only day 2 of my lifting sequence so the true benefits are to be determined.

I’m so glad that it is finally Wednesday, but as each week nears it’s end, I grow more weary of my post-college future. I have expressed my desire to work in the food/wine industry before, and am continuing my search for possible career paths. It is so hard to find a career that you are passionate about and inspired by, especially in the state of  our current economy. I can only hope that whatever I find is something that I can wholly dedicate myself to and love.

Happy Hump Day,


What is the best job you have ever had (includes internships, voulenteer work etc)?

What career path you hope to follow, or currently have?

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I think Sundays are officially going to be my yoga and fresh juice days (except for next week because I will be home with my family for some yummy Easter eats!!). After an afternoon of work, I decided to wind down from my week with a Vinyasa class. The Sunday instructor is SO hard and I was basically DRENCHED in sweat by the end of the class! I was in need of some fresh juice to recover. I wanted the same “Lean ‘n Green” I ordered last week, but they ran out of celery so Beetnik it was. I actually LOVE this drink. The apple, carrot, beet combination is deliciously sweet and earthy; I think I finished it in about a minute flat. I find that there is a noticeable difference in the way I feel when I do and do not  have juice post yoga/activities. Drinking raw juice instantly restores my energy levels and my muscles feel less tired and shaky.

After yoga it was POURING rain outside, and I decided to do a little grocery shopping to stock up on some much-needed produce, and some ingredients for the Cooks Mission. To my surprise, they ran out of one of this week’s ingredients: celery root. Who would have guessed that celery root was such a hot item to cook with? I’ll have to find some time and try again tomorrow, because I would be disappointed if I couldn’t participate in such a fun activity.  I did manage to find my favorite  Mint Cookies ‘n Cream Fro-Yo, pumpkin and oat bran. Oh yea, you can look forward to some interesting oats this week!

It was nearly 7pm when I got home, and I had oddly been craving runny eggs all day. I can’t even remember the last time I had fried eggs, but hey, you have to feed your body what it wants!! I wilted a bed of spinach and topped it with, sautéed white mushrooms and spanish onion in balsamic, 1 sliced Roma tomato, 2 fried eggs, goat cheese, nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon and hot sauce. On the side I had 1 slice of Ezekiel’s 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread with Crofter’s North America Superfruit Spread. I love having breakfast for dinner. It was a simple and cozy meal for a rainy night.  For dessert I had a bowl of Mint Cookies and Cream topped with frozen raspberries. I’m not entirely sure where or why I came up with this combination, but it works!

Tomorrow is the start of another busy week. I have a long day of classes, projects and I am attending a very late (Almost 9pm!) dinner with a friend for Passover. I do not celebrate this holiday, but have a lot of interest in cultural/religious traditions, especially when they surround family, community and food. I am so excited that I am able to share this with her and can’t wait for the experience!  Hopefully I’ll be able to sneak a few photographs, but no promises since it is a religious ceremony.

NOW FOR SOME BIG BREAKING NEWS! A little less talk, a little more action……..I BOUGHT A JUICER! Hopefully it will be getting here in the next week or so!!! I cant wait to start making some fresh juices of my own! I decided on the Breville Multi-Speed Ikon Juicer. I can already tell I am going to have WAY too much fun with this!

To Another Week of Good Eats,


What is something you haven’t had in a while?

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Before I get into my snack bar reviews, lets start with my favorite meal of the day:  breakfast. Unless I have something in mind (Let’s be honest, I usually think about what I am going to have for breakfast before I go to bed!), my breakfast cravings tend to be non-existent in the morning; I have to debate with myself as I am getting ready about what I am “in the mood” for. Today was an exception to this, and I woke up thinking, “WARM SPICED APPLE, WARM SPICED APPLE.” I quickly entered the kitchen and made stove top oats with natural chunky apple sauce. In my mix: 1/3 cup natural apple sauce, 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/4 cup water, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1/2 TBS chia seeds, 1 TBS natural crunchy almond butter, Crofter’s North America Superfruit Spread, 1 TBS Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola. It was warm and delicious! I’ve never tried almond butter that is JUST ground almonds and was surprised by the runny consistency. I actually really liked it in my oats, but for spoonfuls of nut butter, I think I prefer the sweetness of MaraNatha Crunchy No-Stir.

I have a massive snack bar collection that I need to start cutting down on before graduation! I don’t even know how many Larabars, Kind Bars, Clif Bars, Luna Bars, Kashi Bars and other random bars I have in my apartment. WHOOPSIES, I’m a snack bar pack-rat. I was hungry slightly after breakfast this morning, and decided to try the Bumble Bar, that I purchased a few weeks ago.  It was somewhat bland but extremely hearty packed with sesame and flax seeds. I think I am more of a fruit/nut bar person, so this wasn’t my favorite but the toasted sesame flavor was on key.

Before heading back to school yesterday I had a photo-shoot with my princess-cat, Rose, and tried the Ginger Snap Larabar. This bar contains: Dates, Almonds, Pecans, Cinnamon, Ginger and Cloves. I am SO impressed with the flavor! It was spicy and warm; perfect with a cup of orange tea. I immediately ran to my mom’s spice cabinet to investigate the prominent flavor in this bar. The result: Ground Cloves. I love the cozy feeling of this spice, and think it might be making some appearances in my cooking soon!!

I’m having a bit of  cookers-block. I have been trying to think of new dishes I want to create but the more I search recipes etc for ideas the more confused I am about where my flavors are coming from, and the combination’s I want to try. This is semi-frustrating, but I know it will pass…well I hope it will pass because I plan to participate in this week’s Cook’s Mission!

I wish I could take after my Princess Rose and lay around all day. How nice it must be to live the life of a cat.

Warm Wishes,


What are your favorite spices and how do you use them?

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I love coming home to my mom’s pottery. I found this bunny dish (PERFECT for Easter!) and knew I had to have my oats in it this morning. I have a minor obsession with cups, bowls, plates and serving items. It is probably equally as bad as my obsession with nut butter, jams/spreads, granola and bars. I always have to restrain myself when I go shopping because I want to buy MORE and do not have the space. Even when I go clothes shopping I somehow always manage to make my way over to the home goods section and 9 times out of 10 buy a new cooking item rather than the clothes I intended to buy. We eat with our eyes, and having dishes to complement the food really does make for a better dining experience (plus the pictures are always a bit more fun!). My foodie collections are getting a bit out of control though. I recently decided that until I finish my 2 bags of granola, muesli, oatmeal and 2 boxes of cereal I WILL NOT BUY MORE! This also goes for my…lets just call it 7, jars of jam in my refrigerator.

It was a quiet, cold and sunny morning; perfect for a warm cup of copy and hearty bowl of oats. I searched the cabinets and cupboards and decided to make use of some soon-to-be overripe strawberries for my Banana Oats with Peanut Butter, Strawberries and Cream. I used 1/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk, 1/3 cup of Water, 1/2 sliced Banana, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Vanilla Extract, 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1/2 TBS Chia Seeds, 1 TBS Natural Creamy Peanut Butter, Greek Yogurt and 4 sliced Strawberries.

When it warms up a bit I plan on going for a run. I live in a pretty rural area and it is so peaceful to do a ~2 mile run down the street and absorb the natural beauty of older “farm” homes, birds, animals and trees. Coming home is like a mini getaway from the busyness of school and work. It reminds me that true happiness is not a result from success, but rather, derived from life’s simple pleasures: family, food and nature.

I’m heading back to school later, and as graduation nears, I am growing more anxious about what I am going to do next year. I know that my passions rest in the realm of food/wine/family/marketing but I have yet to find a job. I know that whatever I do in life, it has to be something that I can truly own, dedicate myself to and be happy with. A perfect career for me would never be about the money (although the way I eat, money is good to have to pay the grocery bills!), it would be about the personal success and satisfaction I get from knowing that I am making a difference.  Enough with that for now, something will come with time.

Enjoy The Little Things,


Do you have the tendency to over-buy certain items when you shop?

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Today has been one of those days where my food cravings have really gotten me through. You know, the type of day that nothing goes well and you cant wait to get home and make something to lift your spirits? I spent a little too long indulging in my carrot cake oats, and was barely ready to catch the 9:10am bus. I was really proud that I remembered my student-ID card, and had all of my books since I haven’t had to carry them around in a week, but the second I stepped out the door I realized I had forgotten my most important item…my glasses. I took them off to put make-up on and since I am accustomed to wearing contacts, it slipped my mind to put them back on. It was 9:09am, so I did not have time to turn around and get them. UGH. I was blind all day.

I have been taking a ballet class this semester from 9:40-10:55 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and today I could feel how out of shape I was. I haven’t done yoga or any form of stretching in a while and can already tell that I am going to be so sore tomorrow…super. After class I had a minor “WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY FUTURE?!” Moment, because a group of girls were discussing post graduation plans. No one really know’s what they are doing but it is a topic that has been on my mind for a while. I am majoring in Political Science and Health and Society with a Marketing Certificate, but I know that I want a career that I can be passionate about and makes me feel alive, aka something in the Food/Wine industry. I love this industry and promoting healthy lifestyles. Right now, I am thinking something along the lines of Food Marketing. But eventually have dreams of owning an organic juice bar and cafe. One can dream. I have been looking for jobs but am getting nervous as graduation draws near. (If anyone has ideas or people I could contact please let me know!!)

Even though I forgot my glasses, I managed to remember snacks. I decided to try my new Ruth’s Hemppower Cranberry Trail  Bar to get me through my 11:05-12:20 class (necessary to have a snack to keep focused… it’s a Political Philosophy class.). It was okay. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. It was a bit too seedy for me (I felt like I was eating bird seed). It was crunchy/airy and had a nutty flavor. My personal preference for snacking are fruit/nut bars or something a bit more dense.

After class, I went to they gym to PUMP IRON (just kidding…but I’m trying to regain my upper body strength, so I try to do weight exercises twice a week). It was interesting not being able to see anyone at the gym. I kept squinting to see if anyone I knew was there, and probably waved at a few strangers. After my body-building session, I went to a campus “grab-and-go” eatery to pick up lunch (indulging in carrot cake oats also prevented me from packing lunch). I had a veggie hummus wrap, with what I really hope was American Cheese, along with a pint of overdressed mixed veggie salad (baby carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower sopping in wayyyyyyy too much honey mustard vinaigrette…so oily, but I was hungry). It was okay, but this reminded why I pack a lunch when I don’t have time to sit down with friends.

For an afternoon snack I brought a big, juicy, wonderful Jonagold apple. It was dripping with juice and the tart flavor lifted my mood. I had to work from 3-6 so decided a trip to Starbucks was in order. I got…are you ready for my order: Grande, non-fat, decaf, cappuccino with cinnamon dolce flavor. YUM, sweet comfort! Usually my drinks are not that complicated, it was good thing the line wasn’t long because it took me 8 years to say all of that.

The weather was GORGEOUS when I got home, blue skies and sunshine just how I like it. The nice weather put me in the mood for fresh flavors and grilled chicken…well it was makeshift grilled chicken on my cast iron skillet. My mom makes this amazing recipe from Ina Garten called Tequilla Chicken and serves it with Ina’s Guacamole Salad. This is my version of it: Spicy Citrus Chicken with Mango Avocado Salsa.

I didn’t measure, but I whisked together a combination of: Lime Juice, Lemon Juice, Orange Juice, Cayanne Pepper and Honey. I made a large quantity to marinade the chicken in, and reserved some for the salsa. The Salsa: 1/2 small avocado, ~1/4 mango, ~1/4 red pepper, 1/2 Roma tomato and 1/2 tomitillo pepper tossed in the marinade and removed with a slotted spoon. I let the chicken rest and sliced it into strips, topping it with the salsa. I always mix big salads together, but wanted to show the entire plate in picture form before mixing. The remained of the plate is: a handful of mixed greens and spinach, sliced baby bella mushrooms (~5), 1/2 large carrot grated on the large side, 1/4 english cucumber sliced into paper-thin ribbons and roasted  sweet potato rounds. It took me forever to eat, but well worth it and just what I was craving!

Up next, dessert was another daily craving: Peanut Butter Cups and Frozen Banana Greek Yogurt with CinnamonI had one of the peanut butter cups, and realized that I needed something cold, tart and sweet. Peanut butter + chocolate + banana= YES PLEASE. I mashed 1/2 frozen banana and added ~1/2 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt and a dash of cinnamon. Perfection! I love Newmann’s Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and the tart banana mash was the  perfect accompaniment! Note: these photos were  taken on my Media and Culture book…dont worry, I have actually OPENED it since then.

To Nice Weather and Fresh Food,


What are you St.Patrick’s day plans? Anyone making Irish eats or GREEN food?

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