Let’s Make That Workout Happen

Posted on May 28, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Let’s face it: When you’re just out there running for fun, it’s a lot easier to get “bored” with running than if you’re motivated by a race, or weight loss, or have some crazy deal where you get paid per mile you run(If I had a deal like that, I’d be out there all day). The truth is it’s just hard to love a tough workout 100% of the time. Here is how I get workout-ready in my morning.

I always start the day with a big breakfast, workout or not. My perfect trifecta is oatmeal for fiberous carbs, peanut butter(cinnamon raisin swirl PB & Co. here) for healthy fat, and greek yogurt for protein. To be completely honest, I don’t love Greek yogurt here always; a lot of days I’d be happiest with 2 huge bowls of oatmeal and nut butter. But greek yogurt is a great source of probiotics and protein. And starting your day with protein has been shown to boost metabolism and curb you late-night hunger. I can certainly scoop some Fage for that.

When I know I’m about to run, I always steal some chocolate from my stash. Call it a bribe; it’s as natural as putting on my shoes. “Rituals” lie this can keep you on a regular exercising route.

Today, my workout motivation as music. I just downloaded Telephone(I know, I’m terribly behind) and Love On The Inside by Sugarland and made a big playlist out of them. I definitely couldn’t have gone so far without that energy pumping through me. For some, it’s music. Other times, it’s whatever’s on the TV at the gym. And, of course, there’s always the beautiful nature of the outdoors. Whatever it is, distractions can be some of the greatest ways to make a cardio workout enjoyable.

Afterwards, it’s important to hydrate. In fact, I plan this beforehand by sticking water and anything else I might want in the fridge and knowing just where it is to grab it to drink while doing stretches. Without stretches, the next workout might not be as enjoyable…

And, of course, you need to refuel. There was a lot of hype last Summer about chocolate milk being the “perfect drink”. Really, what you need is food. Drinking carbs is certainly one way to get energy back in to your system. That just doesn’t fit me, personally. For myself, I made a “dream salad”(as in, I dreamed this up all run long): Spinach, avocado with lemon juice, sauteed onions, and toasted cashews. If this doesn’t work for you, feel free to go back to the chocolate milk.

And it never hurts to have a little more running motivation. Sundae Friday, anyone?

No matter how difficult it is, there is nothing that tastes better than homemade ice cream. Can you see the vanilla bean specks and thick chunks of organic dark chocolate? Maybe I got hit by a car on my run and went to heaven and don’t know it yet.

Flash forward to 2 hours later when I hadn’t sat down at all and realized it was one of those 2-lunch days.  Now I’m relaxing with oatmeal and cashew butter and a pineapple Chobani. Glorious, no? I’ve been trying to churn up a real good dessert. It’s been a battle so far; we’ll see how it comes out tonight. We’ll see…

How do you stay motivated to work out?

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 14 so far )

Free Of Nothing; Full Of Nutrition

Posted on May 14, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Health, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I had a sobering thought on my run today. I hate “veganism”. “What? But I love all my vegan meals and recipes.” That was my next thought. But I kept going back and realizing I really do hate the label, “vegan”.

So then I asked myself “Why?”

Local Hereford Beef

Local Hereford Beef

*Note: I did not eat this today, or any meat. The only non-vegan things I had were a yogurt at breakfast and brownie made with eggs in the afternoon*

Frankly, I’ve known too many people going vegan or vegetarian to avoid certain things for “health”, things like cholesterol and animal fats. And then once a year–probably on their birthday–, they’d have a big juicy steak. “Once and a while won’t kill”. Well of course it’s not going to kill you; but no one can say the same for the cow.

I think there are a lot of ways you can be healthy without strapping on the vegetarian label and shunning things out of your life. That’s not why I eat vegan at the meals and times I do. Rather, it’s to bring certain nutrients in.

Black Beans, Daiya, Avocado, Salsa, And Spinach

Black Beans, Daiya, Avocado, Salsa, And Spinach

My lunch wasn’t healthy because of the absence of animal products; it was healthy because of the abundance of plant-based foods. That, to me, is what veganism is all about: The emphasis of a plant based diet. As much as I’d love to think that way 24/7, I’ll undoubtedly slip up sometime and look at something for being “dairy-free” or “free of animal by products”. What I really wish I could see 100% of the time is how something is free of nothing, but full of nutrition.

Gluten-Free Brownie With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Gluten-Free Brownie With Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Of course, allergens play a role in this, too. But I would count those as a separate case. A lactose-intolerant person would eat coconut milk ice cream for a very different reason than a vegan. I’m–well–I’m neither. But I love how this tastes and feels, and do try to avoid dairy to some extent for better digestion.

Willoughby's Local Gluten-Free Brownie

Willoughby's Local Gluten-Free Brownie

And the brownie was likewise free of dairy and gluten(an allergen I do take care to avoid).

Vegan Tiger Fudge

Vegan Tiger Fudge

Desserts in general, though, I would say get a pass on ever being “healthy”. No matter how you cut it(a fudge joke), my microwave vegan chocolate fudge and microwave vegan peanut butter fudge are full of sugar. That doesn’t mean they aren’t full of flavor, either, or that you shouldn’t make them 😉

9 Miles

9 Miles

That fueled me to run around my neighborhood 8 times for a total of 9 miles. Perhaps my legume love isn’t such a terribly beneficial thing since I needed to make a pit stop into the bathroom after lap 6. At least I was close to home and didn’t go on a road run like I was thinking.

Organic Fuji Apple

Organic Fuji Apple

Organic Baby Carrots

Organic Baby Carrots

Afterwards I refueled with my lunch posted earlier, and when that wasn’t enough I added an apple. Later on, at the grocery store, I grabbed a bag of baby carrots to eat in the car(or the walk out of the store). If you went through a list of the allergens raw fruits and veggies are “free of”, we’d be here all day; it’s better to think of all the nutrition they’re “full of” in my mind. And tonight was “full of” recipes:

Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized sweet potato
  • 2 teaspoons EVOO
  • salt to taste

Cut the ends off of a sweet potato. Slice all the way through horizontally. With the cut side down, make strips 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Cut those again lengthwise to make into “fry” shapes. Repeat with the other 1/2. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Add the fries and EVOO to the pan and massage with your hands until completely covered. Preheat an oven to 350 and bake for 60 minutes. Season to taste.

Vegan BBQ Bean Poutine

Ingredients

  • 1 serving sweet potato fries
  • 1/2 cup vegan BBQ beans
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella style Daiya
  • 2 strips tempeh bacon(optional)
  • 3 pieces fresh basil

Cook the sweet potato fries according to directions. Pile on a plate, and add on top the BBQ beans. Heat in the microwave through for about 2 minutes. Add on the Daiya and heat another 30 seconds to melt. If using, cook the tempeh bacon through until crispy according to manufacturer’s directions. Cut into small pieces and crumble on top. Garnish with basil.

Organic Pickles

Organic Pickles

Served with a side of organic pickles. Such a simple and delicious meal for one(I’m the only one home tonight). What are you full of today? I would have to say that I’m full of beans!! and also joy that I got so much on my to-do list done. The only thing I hope for this weekend to be “free of” is stress before my last final, because that’s been giving me plenty of that.

If you enjoyed my What Would You Do moment, the actual show is on at 9pm tonight on ABC so watch that!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 17 so far )

Ravenous

Posted on May 7, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m really happy that so many of you seem to love your fancy nut butters! Sounds like there’s going to be a lot of experimenting in the kitchen this weekend done(and a happy Friday to you, too!) And if you think you’ve seen a post like this recently, maybe it’s because me and Christy are on the same wavelength when it comes to being ravenous.

I kicked off my weekend the best way possible: Going to Whole Foods. Nothing is more relaxing than being at a grocery store even before the lunch crowd sets in. And I was tempted to buy anything and everything new I could find(like a new gelato Lauren introduced me to!). But in the spirit of Project Cleanout, I kept it nice and reserved.

Groceries

Groceries

Groceries

Groceries

That would be oatmeal and oatbran(running low), an organic sweet potato, canned goods, a candy bar(whoops. I had a coupon, though), prepared foods, and new kombucha that were on sale.

Lemon Ginger Honest Kombucha

Lemon Ginger Honest Kombucha

I couldn’t help breaking into one of the kombuchas when I got hungry for lunch really early thinking I was just hungry from boredom. This flavor was good, but a little too sweet and lemony. I probably wouldn’t buy it again even on sale. And besides, I was hungry for food.

Cashew Chicken, Steamed Broccoli, Roasted Cauliflower With Nutritional Yeast

Cashew Chicken, Steamed Broccoli, Roasted Cauliflower With Nutritional Yeast

Cashew Chicken, Roasted Cauliflower With Nutritional Yeast

Cashew Chicken, Roasted Cauliflower With Nutritional Yeast

The best thing about going to Whole Foods was getting a lunch so that I could just work on my final papers without thinking about lunch. Cashew chicken is definitely one of my favorite Asian foods, but the cashews here had no texture, and I’m pretty sure the gluten ingredient I didn’t think would bother my stomach did :-/ On the bright side, the cauliflower was so good. Please, Whole Foods, roast for me more often.

Sunspire Coconut Bar

Sunspire Coconut Bar

That filled me up for all of 30 minutes when I busted into my Cookie Friday treat: a Sunspire dark chocolate coconut bar.

Sunspire Coconut Bar

Sunspire Coconut Bar

I just love that companies are making more organic junk food! Wait… no, that’s what I meant to say. But…

Organic Cameo Apple

Organic Cameo Apple

I was still hungry and decided to eat the last organic apple I had. Uhhh, I’m pretty sure this was turning into apple cider vinegar in front of my eyes. Does that look appetizing? Because it wasn’t(I still ate it).

If there’s anything that gets my hunger going it’s rest days and doing serious school work. Not only did I not run today, but I finished two rough drafts of papers I have to write(hold your applause). It felt great to get those partially out of the way, but before I knew it I was making myself a huge Sundae Friday sundae.

Elan's Vanilla Frozen Yogurt With Dark Chocolate Pieces

Elan's Vanilla Frozen Yogurt With Dark Chocolate Pieces

This had Elan’s vanilla frozen yogurt with 3 squares Endangered Speciesorganic smooth dark chocolate. Even though j’adore this chocolate, it was not bangin’ in this combo; the fact that the ice cream is so sweet over-accentuated the bitterness of the chocolate. Or maybe my taste buds were just off because I was more hungry than usual. Speaking of unusual:

Whole Foods Canned Tuna

Whole Foods Canned Tuna

Since chocolate and ice cream and candy bars weren’t working(Gosh, I couldn’t imagine why), I decided to go down the protein route and have a can of tuna before dinner. Proof that I am not a smart cookie: It took me about 3 minutes of shopping to realize this was the same tuna I’ve been eating all year, they’ve just changed the packaging of it. You like? I’m not a fan(because it confused me). Anyway, this actually worked to keep me full until dinner.

Yukon Gold Potato Covered In Vegetarian Chili, Broccoli With Seasoned Tofu

Yukon Gold Potato Covered In Vegetarian Chili, Broccoli With Seasoned Tofu

I would definitely be guilty of taking the lazy way out due to finals because I cooked 0% of this. I covered roasted yukon gold potatoes from the dining hall with the remnants of a can of 365 vegetarian chili. On the side was broccoli and seasoned tofu(both also from the dining hall) and a can of Zevia because I realized that’s going to be easier to move out of the dorm if it’s empty…

Poll: Would you hurt a fly? I’m talking literally here. I try to be very conscious of animals at all times. I’m appreciative when I eat meat, and even fish like canned tuna fish(I don’t really buy the pescitarian thought that they’re any less conscious than cows). But the one creature I feel no remorse for are flies. They just bug me(pun intended) in a way like nothing else, and I had an epic battle with one for 30 minutes. Evan 1; flies 0

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 15 so far )

Can I Petition A Petition?

Posted on May 1, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update, Product Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy Saturday! I for one am more than happy to be closer to Summer and living at home with a full kitchen and refrigerator. Have you all seen this petition yet? Basically, it’s a petition for Obama and his family to become vegans for their influence. Uhhh, what?! I fully support those who are vegans, or vegetarians. But how on earth could anyone want to dictate how another person eats? Especially when some of those are just little girls?

If I posted this when I first heard about it, I’d have some not-so-choice words, but I think by now my minds mulled it over to speak better of it. If anything, we should be preaching tolerance–tolerance of those who have a different way of thinking or path in life. This petition shows no more tolerance than the intolerance you could find against vegetarianism in a Southern cattle farm community. More importantly, you can eat ethically and aware without being a vegan, which is part of what Michelle Obama has already done through her time in the White House. What do you think of this petition? Besides that it’s going nowhere, I think it’s a little rude. And–as always–I’m on a mission to show you can eat well and ethically without devoting yourself to any label.

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter

Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter

I had this little bowl of Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter and a scoop more before hitting the gym. What is it about almond butter that makes me just want to eat out of the jar?! It’s so delicious! Especially with a little vanilla. I felt extra fueled after that.

10 Miles In 88:59

10 Miles In 88:59

Fueled enough to runner a faster 10 miles as the last training run before my half-marathon. That feels weird to even think about. Enough, enough. Lunch!

Maple-Walnut Oil Salmon With Craisins And Golden Raisins, Baby Carrots, Hemp Oil Greens

Maple-Walnut Oil Salmon With Craisins And Golden Raisins, Baby Carrots, Hemp Oil Greens

Motivated by Kath, I’ve been getting in to canned salmon for extra omega-3’s without much fuss. I mixed mine with maple syrup and walnut oil for something packed with even more essential fats and tasty! Over the top was Tierra Farm‘s dried fruit and baby carrots, with salad dressed in Foods Alive hemp oil dressing.

Organic Red Delicious Apple

Organic Red Delicious Apple

An organic apple for dessert!

Trilogy Synergy Kombucha

Trilogy Synergy Kombucha

On my way back from my grocery trip, I picked up a trilogy kombucha at a cafe because I felt a little down about the whole trip :-/ A lot of it was on the store’s sale, which was good. But I probably could have saved more in coupons if I was better organized. At least I didn’t blow the project cleanout challenge too much. And you can’t say I don’t eat what I buy:

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae

Isn’t it dreamy? My whole point in going was to get some whipped cream to make a sundae. They didn’t even have regular–just non-fat sugar-free or Rice Whip, which is dairy and soy-free. The latter seemed less processed, so I went with that and made a sundae with So Delicious chocolate coconut milk ice cream. The fudge sauce was simply cocoa powder and agave nectar mixed together. Voila! OK–the Rice Whip tasted REALLY fake; if you’ve ever had rice milk, just imagine that in an airier form. Besides that, this Friday sundae was delicious and a perfect before-dinner treat 🙂

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Mozzarella Daiya

Grass-Fed Burger, Sweet Potato Fries With Mozzarella Daiya

If Obama wants to eat his beef and have his vegan cheese, too, I fully support that! I made a 1/3 a pounder hamburger but undercooked it far too much 😦 I really wanted to try the daiya so instead of eating it straight from the bag I made some sort of vegan cheese fries–YUM. This was better than mozarella cheese; it was crack. I’d be lying if I said I’m not planning on having it again today(maybe twice).

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

Endangered Species Dark Chocolate With Deep Forest Mint

I love mint. I could eat a salad made of mint leaves. This bar doesn’t have a great minty flavor like alter-eco’s mint bar. But it was what the Whole Foods I was at had, and I don’t terribly mind it.

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

Oatmeal With Chocolate Almond Butter And Coconut Milk

And some oatmeal with homemade chocolate almond butter because nowhere near me carries Justin :-/ Oh well, now that I’ve pinned down the secret to making good homemade chocolate nut butters, I’m less enthused to go out and pay $10 for someone to do it for me.

This morning I woke up nice and early to not run. Maybe it defeats the purpose of a rest day to keep yourself from sleep. But I want to be nice and tired tonight so I can go to bed early and sneak 8 hours in somewhere before the race.

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Oatmeal With Cookie Dough Peanut Butter

Cherry 2% Fage With Almonds

Cherry 2% Fage With Almonds

I love Fage, especially their cherry flavor. Unfortunately, it’s about expensive as they come around here. At least it’s on sale at Whole Foods this week. The cherry here tastes just like the cherry dips at Dairy Queen! Yum! Next time I’m trying full fat. The peanut butter–again, since I’ve figured out how to make cookie dough nut butter, I’m less enthused about paying someone to do it for me. Besides, this one seems really fake since half of it melts over oats and the other half is still solid :-/ Until it’s gone, though, I’ll live it up and enjoy it.

What are your thoughts on mint? I made my gluten free chocolate brownies with a lot of mint extract once and was told it was like mouthwash; hell, I thought they were great! The more mint, the better in my opinion. Even though it’s often paired with chocolate, I wouldn’t mind a dessert exclusively with mint as the flavor. Speaking of chocolate, here’s a Bubble Chocolate Giveaway. Now I get to go to my very first race expo! I hope it’s nifty.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 13 so far )

How To Be A Smart And Healthy Shopper

Posted on April 30, 2010. Filed under: Health | Tags: , , , , , |

Today I went grocery shopping. I did a lot right, but also some things wrong. I hope this post to be a reminder to both you and me for the ways of healthy shopping. *And if you never read my post on how to save at Whole Foods, here it is.

Do: How far is the store? I walked to my Whole Foods today, which is 1.2 miles away. If a store is nice and close, you can and should enjoy the walk for activity. Even if it’s not close, you might be able to get there through an alternative method like public transportation, especially if you live in a city. All this can be better for you and the environment.

Groceries

Groceries

Groceries

Groceries

Do: Have a mental list. I knew exactly what groceries I wanted.

Do: Shop where the healthy groceries are. Is trail mix and cereals your weakness? Don’t go to that section of the store. Keep yourself surrounded by fresh vegetables and that’s all you’ll have the chance to put in to your cart.

Don’t: Shop while you’re hungry. Not only can it lead to impulse buys, but those often won’t be the healthiest choices. If you do find yourself in this situation, do buy some fresh fruit and eat it as a snack while shopping.

Don’t: Go to the cashier without having your coupons ready. I did this and ended up not using any because I felt so disorganized. I still got all the benefits of store sales, but I could have saved at least an extra dollar or two if I had coupons ready.

Reusable Shopping Bag

Reusable Shopping Bag

Do: Bring reusable shopping bags. They both save waste from the environment and many stores these days will offer discounts to shoppers who use them.

Don’t: Forget to give your grocery bag to the bagger.

Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds

Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds

Don’t: Buy things without having a plan for them. I’ve been dying to try daiya soy-free, dairy-free vegan cheese. But I honestly have no clue how or when I’ll use it. I have no GF pizza crust, not tomato sauce, nothing my Italian side would know what to do with. I’m determined to eat it now that I have it, but I wish I had planned better.

Rice Whip

Rice Whip

Do: Look for the least processed items that fit your lifestyle. Ideally, I would love to buy local cream and whip it myself; that’s just not happening in a dorm room. The two options the store had was Non-fat, sugar-free 365 brand whipped cream or Rice Whip(they were out of regular whipped cream). The ingredient list of the Rice Whip was simpler and more recognizable, so I chose that.

Do: Pick your proteins right. I always make a point to buy hormone and nitrate-free poultry, as well as grass-fed beef. It’s slightly more expensive but it has less saturated fat and more omega-3’s, which to me is worth the extra money.

Are you a smart and healthy shopper? What are your tips and tricks? Share in the comments! And here’s a teaser from my eats today; happy Friday Sundae to me!

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 15 so far )

Sundae Friday At Ben & Jerry’s

Posted on April 9, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy Friday! I can’t get the lyrics “Everybody’s working for the weekend” out of my head; if that was true for you, well good news: it’s here! I have plenty of homework, though, and not much else on my mind for the time besides that; I hope you’ve something more enjoyable on your plate. Speaking of plates(or bowls)…

Maple Tofu And Coconut-Maple Chickpeas Over Spinach

Maple Tofu And Coconut-Maple Chickpeas Over Spinach

For lunch, I threw pre-cubed, firm tofu from the dining hall in the oven after a little maple syrup bath and had that on one side of the plate. On the other, I added a little coconut milk to the remainder of a can of chickpeas and drizzled maple syrup on top, sprinkled with some sea salt. I’m not sure what made me think to put maple syrup and coconut milk together but I’m so glad I did! Seriously, this combination was divine. I loved having this all over spinach, too, because that just soaked up the juices.

Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's

My afternoon was pretty tediously spent on assignments which I won’t bore you with. Around 3:30, I stepped out into the rain for a field trip to Ben & Jerry’s on Thayer St. Over the past 5-6 weeks, I’ve started a tradition of “Sundae Friday”. This Friday, I couldn’t have been more enthused for a sundae.

Brownie Sundae

Brownie Sundae

While there, I ordered a brownie sundae. First, they heated up a brownie from the display case. I chose Fair Trade Vanilla as my flavor and two small scoops were added on top. On top of that went a parade of hot fudge sauce, finished off with a coating of fresh whipped cream.

Warm Brownie, Fair Trader Vanilla Ice Cream, Fudge Sauce, Fresh Whipped Cream

Warm Brownie, Fair Trader Vanilla Ice Cream, Fudge Sauce, Fresh Whipped Cream

While I try to avoid gluten and dairy fat because of their difficult digestion, I can digest both. And today my longing for a sundae was beyond absurd, so Ben & Jerry’s it was!

Warm Brownie, Fair Trader Vanilla Ice Cream, Fudge Sauce, Fresh Whipped Cream

Warm Brownie, Fair Trader Vanilla Ice Cream, Fudge Sauce, Fresh Whipped Cream

And–again–while I don’t love the Ben & Jerry ice cream, I do love their company for their activism and awareness. By the end of 2010 they plan on using only cage-free eggs, and by 2012 have a completely fair trade ingredient list; the vanilla I had today was just the start of that movement. All their flavors already have all-natural ingredients. Even in their scoop shops, I was impressed with the quality of ingredients, certainly not the least of which being fresh whipped cream instead of something more convenient like Reddi Wip.

All Gone

All Gone

While it’s obviously important to eat well and exercise a moderate amount, it’s equally important to treat yourself. And there are other ways to “feel good” about what you eat besides it being healthy. For some, that’s having the 80-20 mindset, and for others that’s veganism; for me, it’s a natural and ethical ingredient list. Have you treated yourself lately? I hope so, or living would get tough! What mindset makes you “feel good”? Of course, at some point we all have to get back on the wagon…

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato, Maple Baked Tofu, Soy Sauce

Roasted Broccoli And Sweet Potato, Maple Baked Tofu, Soy Sauce

Besides the fact that I’m horribly monotonous, this was incredibly tasty. I still had a little maple tofu from Easter to eat up, so I roasted broccoli, sweet potato, and a little extra tofu; I think I made too much tofu in the end, because that dominated the bowl. Oh well, it’s my favorite ingredient, especially when it’s slightly soft and mushy on the inside 😀

As if the monotony couldn’t get worse, I realized 1 week ago today I had the same dinner, and my afternoon snack was 1/2 a vegan cupcake with ice cream, haha. With any luck, that’d mean I’m eating at Grezzo’s tomorrow and Easter’s on Sunday again; wouldn’t that be nice.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 8 so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...