A Lot of Meals To Share + Cooking Again

Let’s start today’s post with one of my favorite combinations – pizza and salad.

We went to Iavarone for lunch last week which happened as an alternative to The Shed, which was the original plan. The wait at The Shed is insane and they don’t take reservations.

salad
margariza

Sweet Green

I had two salads from Sweet Green since we last discussed food. Now that my gift card has run out, I won’t go as often because, as I said last week, I think it’s too pricey. I enjoy the premium toppings and they add up!

Of the two salads I had in last few days, I liked this combo below the best:

  • Romaine
  • Quinoa
  • Beets
  • Avocado
  • Pickled Carrots
  • Curry Cauliflower
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Green Goddess Ranch Dressing
sweet-green

Town Bagel

My son was happy to have lunch with me at Town Bagel the other day. Salads and bagels for both of us — and an iced coffee for him.

town-bagel

I bought a side of vegetable cream cheese and used some on the everything bialy in the above picture and brought the rest home.

The next day, I had the vegetable cream cheese on a toasted English muffin with an egg on top too — who am I to eat a few eggs a week suddenly?!

I like this as a brunch combination lately when I get home from the gym closer to lunchtime. This usually happens when I stay for yoga at Equonox — yoga is on the schedule a bit later in the morning.

egg-on-english-muffin

Cooking Again?

I’m slowly feeling a little more interested in cooking again now that I’m not working.

Don’t get too excited. I don’t ever cook anything elaborate.

However, I do find that I’m more interested in buying different vegetables and maybe roasting them in different ways to make new meal combinations.

My son is not too thrilled about this. He came home to me roasting vegetables and caught on right away.

Is this what you are going to do now that you don’t work? Smell up the house with roasted vegetables? Actually using the oven – what is going on?

He’s lucky I only roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms. I purposely left out the brussels sprouts so he didn’t yell at me….and he yelled at me anyway.

roasted-vegetables

I made this salad below using the roasted vegetables and sweet potatoes plus:

  • Romaine
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Chickpeas
  • Onion
  • Avocado
  • Feta Cheese
  • Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
salad

And look, I made wild salmon again for dinner.

On the side, Whole Foods 365 Organic Shoe String Fries and broccoli. I added feta cheese with the broccoli because it sounded like a good idea.

wild-salmon

I call cooking the Trader Joe’s lentil pasta, which literally takes like three minutes to cook, cooking.

All ingredients for the below lentil pasta quick dinner are from Trader Joe’s:

  • Frozen Cauliflower
  • Frozen Broccoli
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Based Bolognese Sauce
  • Lentil Pasta
  • Mozzarella Cheese
lentil-pasta

The other night I got more elaborate when cooking the lentil pasta for dinner.

I cooked broccoli, shaved brussels sprouts, onion, and cauliflower in a pan with olive oil, oregano, diced tomatoes, and some of Trader Joe’s low sodium roasted red pepper and tomato soup. Then added the lentil pasta once it was cooked.

lentil-pasta

And that’s it for today! I’m hoping to get a Friday Favorites up post at the end of the week.

The Foods I Haven’t Been Eating

 

Instead of discussing what I have been eating lately, how about we talk about what I haven’t been eating?

I came up with this idea because I thought it would make for a more interesting post than sharing the same salads over and over again. However, it actually took me a few minutes to really think about the foods I haven’t been eating since I am such a creature of habit!

Although, there have been a few minor tweaks to what I eat on a regular basis. Maybe not so much in the last little while, but certainly over the years since starting my blog in 2013.

If you are a long time reader, maybe you remember that my post-run oatmeal always included greek yogurt.

Plain greek yogurt (usually Stonyfield) mixed with oatmeal, berries, and peanut butter was my thing!

I totally stopped eating greek yogurt almost three years ago now. Wow, how time flies!

post run oatmeal

^ I also stopped eating the Trader Joe’s peanut butter with flax seeds that you see in this picture!  

Why I stopped eating greek yogurt:  I had a bad virus (summer 2015) which left me with stomach pain for a few weeks depending upon the foods that I ate. During that time, I gave up greek yogurt completely and then never went back.

Is it smart to skip greek yogurt when the protein, calcium, and probiotics are really healthy for me, especially as a meatless eater? Probably not but I dropped it and now lost my taste for it. I haven’t tried to eat greek yogurt in a while but the last time I made the attempt, I didn’t like it. I know that it would probably take me a few meals to adjust back to the taste and then I would be fine but bleh, I don’t want to bother.

Who remembers my peanut butter pantry stocked with PB2 and Peanut Butter and Co. peanut butter?

I went through my phases with PB2 over the last few years and right now, I’m totally off it. Not only is PB2 pricey, it’s not exactly as satisfying as real peanut butter.

Sure, PB2 has its benefits and I always liked it stirred into my pre-run bowl of oatmeal. It had a good texture for certain recipes and worked well in smoothies. However, I don’t need to spend the money on it. More often than not, because of the lack of fat content in the PB2, I was left unsatisfied and craving another serving. I do much better just eating real peanut butter and I think I save money too!

peanut-butter-pantry

Speaking of saving money, I stopped buying Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter over a year ago (or maybe two years ago?). It’s not that I didn’t like it, it’s that I couldn’t get it so easily or for a decent price on a regular basis. I switched over to Trader Joe’s Organic Crunchy (salted) peanut butter and really haven’t looked back.

Three-Ingredient Pancake:

Gosh how I LOVED my recipe for the three ingredient pancake! However, I can’t eat the pancake as often as I would like so now I don’t even think to eat it at all.

The three ingredient pancake involves eggs and eating eggs on a regular basis totally correlates with the months that I suffer from severe menstrual cramps. I realize this sounds crazy but as you may know, what you eat 100% relates to how you feel. Food can affect our hormone levels which definitely affects the menstrual cycle. There are even menstrual cycle diets to follow not only for cycle regulation but for pain management too!

three ingredient pancake

How good does this pancake look though? I loved it with blueberries and peanut butter on top.

While my cycle has always been more regular than a person on a pill (aside from when I dealt with amenorrhea) I did grow up experiencing horrendous menstrual cramps. The kind of pain (with vomiting and fainting) that would rule my life until after my son was born. Having a baby definitely helped to minimize how bad the pain was for me (as did switching to a meatless diet!) EXCEPT during the months that I ate eggs on a regular basis. It’s actually amazing how different my pain levels can be based upon what I eat. The pain I experienced during the months that I was eating more eggs was so recognizably different and bad that it’s just not worth it to me. There are plenty of other foods to eat that don’t make me feel bad!

Are there any foods that you used to eat but now realize you haven’t had in a while?

 

What I Ate Wednesday June 1, 2016

Oh hi June 1st, so nice to see you. 🙂

I have always loved the start of June. Mainly because my birthday is approaching but also because the weather is so nice, school is coming to an end and camp time is only a few weeks away.

I can’t tell you how happy I am each morning when I wake up. Even if I am a bit tired, just knowing the weather is warm and the sun is rising well before 6:00 am makes heading outside for my run so exciting. I feel like I am celebrating in those first steps outside in my running shoes each day simply for getting to this point in the year after what feels like I suffered through so many early morning dark and dreary winter runs.

Even with the sprinklers on these days which interfere with my running path, I think I am just happy to know that the sprinklers mean green grass which means Summer!

running path

Moving on to What I Ate Wednesday…Let’s take a look at what I ate yesterday!

Breakfast:

I have been having an extremely hard time taking pictures of the food I eat because I am usually too hungry too care what it looks like, I just care how it tastes and satisfies my appetite.

I am not a food blogger. I don’t cook to take pictures, I cook and prepare food to eat it. So, imagine my excitement when I was super hungry after my run and this post-run bowl of oatmeal with egg whites, Skoop B Strong, cinnamon and blueberries actually photographed decently!

Usually my oatmeal looks like mush in a bowl topped with cinnamon.

oatmeal

Lunch:

I hate to say that I feel myself slowly getting away from wanting to eat eggs. I have been on a roll lately with the eggs and I am still eating them because the protein serves me well but eh, I am not really in the egg mood.

I did make this spinach and onion omelette though with roasted Japanese sweet potatoes served with mashed avocado. And lots of salt. I need a lot of salt in my food in the summer to keep up with my sweaty runs.

omelette with roasted sweet potatoes

Dinner:

Salads are for dinner are becoming a routine thing around here.

In the mix: roasted brussels sprouts, onions and mushrooms, leftover Japanese sweet potatoes from lunch, feta cheese, avocado and tahini! The exclamation point is for the tahini!

I received two types of tahini from Sesame King (garlic tahini and honey tahini) which I have been playing with using over the last several days. More about the tahini maybe on Friday.

salad

Dessert:

The usual apple with some peanut butter, a sprinkle of Skoop and Trader Joe’s Midnight Moo.

apple with peanut butter and chocolate

Click here to check out what everyone else is eating today!

[bctt tweet=”what I ate Wednesday #wiaw #globalrunningday #salad #eggs #tahini #sesameking @healthyskoop” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Are you a fan of tahini? How do you like to use it?

Do you make salads at home often?

It’s Global Running Day! Will you be running today?

Recent Eats

 

I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s guest post regarding tune up races. Laura really is the greatest for explaining the running stuff.

If you don’t already read Laura’s blog, she actually shared a wonderful post last week about how she is making sure she eats enough during her marathon training. I think this is why I love her so much — she often talks about how to eat enough, rather than about how to run on as little food as possible.

While training with Laura for my upcoming half marathon, I have definitely looked to her as an example and reminder to eat even more than I usually do. My additions are often subtle but my body notices – larger sweet potatoes, extra oatmeal, more bananas plus eggs and extra slices of avocado — these foods have helped me to feel more satisfied while increasing the intensity of my mileage.

Some recent meals from the last few days….

Breakfast:

Oatmeal with egg whites, Skoop B-Strong, frozen blueberries and cinnamon.

oatmeal

I don’t go through peanut butter as often as I did so oats in a jar are a special occasion. Cold oatmeal mixed with Skoop B-Strong, blueberries and peanut butter. A splash of almond milk too.

oats in a jar

Skoop B-Strong (the best plant-based protein powder ever) is currently 25% off  — Use code STRONG25 at checkout (valid through April 30).

Lunch:

This egg sandwich is a favorite of mine. I cooked a quick spinach and onion omelette and placed it between super toasted cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread with mashed avocado.

egg sandwich

Same type of quick omelette as the above only this time with roasted sweet potato wedges and avocado on top.

omelette with roasted sweet potatoes

Dinner:

Even though I can make my own whole wheat vegetable pizza, I still like to go out to the pizza place. We love Villa Monte for their specialty pies including their incredible veggie-loaded whole wheat slice.

pizza

Giant greek salads from the Premier diner are my favorite. I ordered this greek salad with avocado.

greek salad

Surprisingly, I haven’t one picture of dessert. After last week’s need for a brownie sundae, I settled right back in to my usual night-time apple with some peanut butter. Wait — I did have my typical cup of Cold Stone Saturday night but I didn’t take a picture —which sort of makes it feel like it didn’t even happen.

Islanders playoff game tonight! Getting excited 🙂

[bctt tweet=”recent eats #wiaw #oatmeal #halfmarathontraining #runner #pizza @healthyskoop #fitlfuential” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

What have you been loving to eat lately? Anything different than usual?

What do you eat more of when you are training for a race?

 

What I Ate Wednesday 3.9.16

I have to say – having your race entry determined by a random drawing certainly ups the excitement! I don’t think I ever logged into my bank account (to see if I was charged for the race registration) so many times in one day, or even, one year. I am surprised the bank didn’t call to question fraudulent activity with the amount of log ins I made throughout the day yesterday!

So while I won’t be running the marathon this November (nope, didn’t get in but thanks for all of your wishes!), I am totally okay with it! I definitely believe everything happens for a reason and this year, for whatever reason, is not meant to be my marathon year.

In all honesty, I was (and always will be should I ever get in) in fear of the marathon coinciding with my time of the month. I swore off racing during my period ever since having a fainting scare a few years ago during the Fitness Magazine half and really would have had to make a decision come race day if the two collided.

I have always had a low blood pressure issue which has caused me to faint several times in my life, especially when exercising during my period (at the beginning and end of it so there’s no good day!) so I am sort of happy that I don’t have to think about it now for November.  You may remember this is the main reason why I don’t normally plan out my races all that far in advance – I like to know when I am due so I can avoid racing during that time of the month.

Anyway, back to the regularly scheduled What I Ate Wednesday programming!

what I ate wednesday

Breakfast:

The early morning, dimly lit usual pre-run breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. Please note that my travel coffee mug is ready and waiting for my second cup which I drink in the car as I drive down the block to take my son to school. I may not have his lunch made, but my coffee mug is prepared.

oatmeal and coffee

I really need a new name for my three-ingredient pancake because I have been making it a little differently these days.

Protein Pancake? Five-Ingredient Pancake? Whatever we call it, I really like it.

This pancake filled with blueberries, Skoop, some coconut flour, a little banana and egg whites, didn’t flip very well but that’s more because I didn’t care if it flipped well – I was hungry and rushing the process.

protein pancake

Lunch:

I made a quick spinach and onion omelette alongside roasted sweet potato wedges which had a hint of maple syrup drizzled on them as they cooked.  I also added some raspberry jelly and Earth Balance to the sweet potatoes when they came out of the oven because the idea sounded appealing. It was delicious.

eggs

Dinner:

When Trader Joe’s actually has their wild shrimp in stock, I become a pescatarian rather than vegetarian. I was so surprised to see the wild shrimp the other day – they really haven’t had it since easily last summer!

I was very happy to make a simple shrimp Stir Fry topped with avocado – it was so good. (Stir Fry recipe very similar to this one in case you are interested).

shrimp stir fry

Dessert:

I rediscovered the simple yet satisfying combination of strawberries with whipped cream. I also rediscovered Trader Joe’s Midnight Moo!

This bowl contains some diced up warmed apple plus strawberries, whipped cream and the Midnight Moo on top < – such a rich chocolate flavor unlike most chocolate syrups.

strawberries with whipped cream

Click here to see what everyone else is eating today 🙂

[bctt tweet=”What I Ate Wednesday #WIAW #running #marathon @healthyskoop #traderjoes #fitfluential”]

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Who got accepted to the marathon yesterday?!

Favorite pre-run and/or post-run meals?

What’s for dessert lately?

 

What I Ate Wednesday – 3.2.16

Before we get to the What I Ate Wednesday food fun, I wanted to thank you for your kind comments and emails regarding yesterday’s post. I know we all go through different experiences in life so I hope that by sharing a bit of my own stuff, I can help someone else, even if the situation is completely different.

Now on to the food!

Let’s take a look at what I ate on Monday instead of yesterday because yesterday I was in the city for event industry stuff so the only picture I managed to take was of a giant fruit bowl at a meeting. I shared it on Instagram if you care to see it 🙂

What I Ate Wednesday

Breakfast:

Pre-run early morning usual of coffee plus oatmeal with banana.

oatmeal-and-coffee

Post-run was a little different on Monday.

Remember I stopped eating greek yogurt? Well, I bought one container of the plain organic greek last week so I finally opened it and gave it another try, just like the good old days when I was eating it every morning.

I made a bit of parfait if you will, mixing the greek yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Granola and some dark chocolate chips. The same combo that I get at Red Mango, just with greek yogurt in place of frozen yogurt.

yogurt parfait

Do you like my bright green yogurt store spoon?! I have quite a stash.

Lunch:

Loving this egg sandwich combination lately – toasted cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread with avocado, eggs, plum tomato slices and some spinach.

egg sandwich

Who am I eating sandwiches? I don’t know either.

Dinner:

I could eat this plant-based plate every single night and probably never grow tired of it. Roasted sweet potato wedges with roasted broccoli and brussels sprouts with mashed avocado on top. Not a sign of protein on this plate because I just didn’t feel like quinoa, chick peas, lentils or whatever.

I know we need protein and I know I need to get my complete protein combinations but I am in no way a perfect eater (is anyone?) so let’s just call the yogurt and eggs from breakfast and lunch enough for today, okay?

plant based power bowl

What’s not seen here are the roasted potato wedges that I snagged from my son’s dinner plate. I kept waiting for him to be done with his hamburger because he usually leaves over a bunch of the roasted potatoes on the side (which I don’t understand but appreciate greatly).

Dessert:

So remember when I said I deal with food allergies in the form of Oral Allergy Syndrome? The other night I had a raw Pink Lady Apple and my allergies appeared in full force. My throat was tight and my chest was heavy for two hours which really doesn’t happen anymore. It was bad enough for me to take a Benadryl so I decided I need to stop eating raw apples, at least for a bit.

No problem – cooked, warm apple slices sprinkled with Skoop for a vanilla flavor (and hey, some protein!) with melted chocolate it is.

apples

Oral Allergy Syndrome really only applies to raw fruits and vegetables. Once you cook them, the pollen is altered which eliminates the allergy (not always, not in every case, but most of the time).

I have to say that I LOVE eating the apples this way. The Skoop blends itself in and the chocolate gets all melty. So, so good.

[bctt tweet=”What I Ate Wednesday Fun #WIAW #food #recenteats @healthyskoop #running #fitfluential”]

Click here to see what everyone else is eating today!

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Do you have food allergies?

Have you eaten something new or different this week?

What’s on the workout agenda for today?

What I Ate Wednesday 12.9.15

 

My son was home sick yesterday with what we will call a slight stomach virus. I am saying slight because for one, I am not one to dwell on illnesses and make them more than they are and two, I like to consider the slight stomach viruses as the kind I will hopefully not catch.

Anyway, let’s take a look at some recent meals on this What I Ate Wednesday! Half way through the week already 🙂

What I Ate Wednesday

Breakfast:

I have been alternating between bowls of oatmeal and the three ingredient pancake for over a week now. Don’t tell my oatmeal this but at the moment, I am preferring the pancake.

three ingredient pancake

For those mornings though when I run longer/harder, I definitely have oatmeal before my run and then follow my run up with the pancake.

oatmeal

It’s a nice compromise.

Look who is having a Happy Hanukkah…

starbucks mug

I absolutely love this Starbucks travel coffee cup that my son remembered I wanted! I take it with me in the morning when I drive him to school and even find myself using it in the house as well.

Lunch:

I went a good six months without eating eggs or egg whites unless they were baked inside of dessert and suddenly I find myself eating eggs at breakfast and then again at lunch. Hi, Creature of Habit over here.

I am enjoying this roasted sweet potato and egg combo for lunch lately and always add a spoonful of peanut butter to tie it all together.

eggs with sweet potatoes

I found this Cucumber hummus at ShopRite the other day when I was waiting on the line for latkes and really recommend it. It’s so interesting and good! I can’t really say if it’s cucumber I taste, it just has this addicting flavor and texture.

cucumber hummus

Dinner:

Instead of pizza last night, I made my Italian Style Power Bowl by adding quinoa to the below mix of sweet potatoes, broccoli, onions and brussels sprouts cooked in tomato sauce in my cast iron skillet.

Italian Style Power Bowl

Dessert:

I have been snacking on the leftover cookies I made from Sunday night’s dinner all week.

cookies

Flourless peanut butter chocolate chip, flourless oatmeal raisin chocolate chip and double chocolate.

Even though I was burned out from cooking on Sunday, I did find myself back in the kitchen by afternoon, whipping up cookies for the first night of Hanukkah.

Getting creative with cookie recipes will always come naturally to me. I made three quick batches without really thinking much about what I was doing which was my favorite part of the process.

I wasn’t at all focused on remembering the ingredients or taking any photos. I made the cookies simply for the intention of getting a nice mix of dessert on the table and for leftover cookie enjoyment.

Of course after the fact I was sorry because each cookie was better than the last so I wish I paid more attention in order to share my recipes with you but part of me needed the mental break from the “work” part of baking, you know what I mean?

[bctt tweet=”What I Ate Wednesday time #wiaw #recenteats #oatmeal #cookies #eggs #fitfluential”]

Don’t forget to check out what everyone else is eating today!

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What kind of hummus do you like best?

Do you ever feel like just cooking or just baking without documenting it?

Favorite night-time snack lately?

 

Do I Eat The Best Foods For Runners?

 

As runners, what we eat is a big deal.

Not only for our massive appetites and equally massive cravings but for our strength, endurance and recovery.

There are lots of foods recommended for runners but just because an article says we should eat it, doesn’t mean that we can or do.

As individuals, we are each unique.

Allergies, lifestyle choices, diet preferences, taste bud favorites and stubborn stomachs…

I thought it would be fun to take a look at the Runner’s World Best Foods For Runners article and break it down with you to see which foods from the article are currently in my diet on a regular basis.

Almonds

Nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that many runners fall short on because there are so few good food sources of it.

I do not eat almonds. I am allergic to them and most other raw nuts which means there’s no trail mix in my life, no fancy snack bars, no almond milk in my coffee or almond meal in my pantry.

But I can eat peanut butter. Lots of peanut butter. Everyday.

blueberries

My favorite snack lately and it’s so simple! Blueberries, banana slices and peanut butter.

Eggs

The protein in eggs contains all the crucial amino acids your hard-working muscles need to promote recovery.

I recently did a post on the health benefits of organic eggs so I know they offer terrific nutrition.

I don’t love eggs like oh my goodness EGGS and go through phases where I don’t eat them for weeks (or months) and then come back to them on a regular basis.

Last week it was all about the three-ingredient pancake for breakfast.

This week it’s been vegetable omelets for lunch served with roasted Brussels sprouts, brown rice and avocado over spinach.

omelette

Sweet Potatoes

A 100-calorie sweet potato supplies more than 250 percent of the DV for vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene and are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, iron, manganese and copper.

I’ve got this one down. Sweet potatoes are a staple in my daily diet.

sweet potatoes

Roasted sweet potato wedges with chick peas, stir fry vegetables and avocado – my favorite quick and easy dinner.

 

Whole Grain Cereal With Protein

Look for whole-grain cereals that offer at least five grams of fiber and at least eight grams of protein.

I prefer oatmeal over a bowl of cereal.

I do have this whole grain cereal in my pantry though, maybe I should start eating it?

heritage flakes

 

Oranges

Eat enough oranges and you may experience less muscle soreness after hard workouts such as downhill running.

When I can find the little cuties, I eat them. Otherwise, I do not eat oranges regularly at all.

Black Beans

One cup provides 30 percent of the DV for protein, almost 60 percent of the DV for fiber and 60 percent of the DV for folate, a B vitamin that plays a key role in heart health and circulation.

I eat a lot of beans but they aren’t always black.

organic beans

I get the most black beans into my diet when I am dining at The Cheesecake Factory or making my copy-cat version of my favorite salad at home.

Although I did finally try baking with black beans the other day!

black bean fudgy bites

Recipe soon! So fudgy…

Mixed Salad Greens

Choose mixed greens such as radicchio, butter leaf, curly endive, and mache. Each variety offers a unique blend of phytonutrients that research suggests may fend off age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. These phytonutrients also act as antioxidants, warding off muscle damage brought on by tough workouts.

Lately I buy spinach and that’s it. It’s easier on my stomach.

Salmon

Besides being an excellent source of high-quality protein, salmon is one of the best food sources of omega-3 fats.

I do not like salmon and rarely consume any fish of any kind.

I add chia seeds to my oatmeal every day for the omega-3 fats instead.

chia seeds

 

Whole Grain Bread

Runners need at least three to six one-ounce servings of whole grains per day, and eating 100 percent whole-grain bread (as opposed to just whole-grain bread, which may contain some refined grains and flours) is an easy way to meet this requirement since one slice equals one serving.

Oatmeal every day, just about. Bread? Not really.

But I do love Ezekiel Bread – especially the Cinnamon Raisin and always have it in the house.

ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread

Frozen Stir-Fry Vegetables

Research shows that eating a combination of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, may lessen muscle soreness after hard interval workouts by reducing the inflammation caused by free-radical damage.

My freezer is packed with frozen vegetables.

steamfresh

I love fresh vegetables but frozen are best in a pinch, don’t hurt my stomach and have a long shelf-life.

I stock up each week on a wide variety of frozen vegetables and often cook fresh and frozen together just to get the best of both worlds.

stir fry

Fresh roasted brussels sprouts – the rest of the veggies are frozen.

Whole Grain Pasta

Whole-grain versions are a must over refined pastas because they contain more fiber to fill you up, additional B vitamins that are crucial to energy metabolism, and disease-fighting compounds such as lignans.

I can’t recall the last time I ate pasta. I do buy whole grain though for my son.

Chicken

Along with protein, chicken contains selenium, a trace element that helps protect muscles from the free-radical damage that can occur during exercise, and niacin, a B vitamin that helps regulate fat burning during a run.

I do not eat chicken. I aim for protein from plant-based sources, dairy and eggs and add Nutritional Yeast to many foods for the B Vitamin thing.

nutritional yeast

 

Frozen Mixed Berries

Frozen berries are just as nutritious as fresh, but they keep far longer making it easier to always have them ready to eat.

I have learned to adore frozen berries and eat them every single morning with oatmeal, yogurt and sometimes blend them at night with bananas to make soft serve.

very cherry berry blend

 

Dark Chocolate

Research suggests that the chocolate flavonols ease inflammation and help prevent blood substances from becoming sticky, which lowers the risk of potential blood clots.

No problem here.

100 cal dark chocolate

Low-Fat Yogurt

Besides being a good source of protein and calcium, low-fat yogurt with live cultures provides the healthy bacteria your digestive tract needs to function optimally. This good bacteria may also have anti-inflammatory powers that can offer some relief to arthritis suffers.

There’s always greek yogurt in my post-run oatmeal (and frozen berries making it all so pretty pink).

oatmeal in a jar

But what I find so interesting about this description is where it says anti-inflammatory.

For some people, dairy IS an inflammatory so consuming those good bacterias via yogurt is not the greatest option.

This is the perfect example of eating what works for you, not necessarily what works for others, even if the others are runners.

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How many of these foods do you eat regularly?

Do you have food allergies?

Three things in your freezer right now?

 

WIAW- Peanut Butter Cup Apple Bowls

 

I spent Veteran’s Day re-organizing my son’s notebooks for school.

Like really, I don’t even understand how or why his binders are such a disaster.

I asked if he felt as though he was being raised in chaos and disorganization because his loose papers, missing pen caps, scattered pencil sharpening remnants and the need for reinforcements on EVERY SINGLE PAGE appears to the outside world as a reflection on his home environment which is just not accurate OR acceptable.

wiaw fall into good habits button (2)

When you run out of cereal (oatmeal) bowls because you didn’t turn on the dishwasher when you thought you did you make use of your ice cream bowls when preparing your oatmeal servings for the week.

oatmeal

In case you were wondering, this is what my first breakfast looks like in the dark and early predawn morning.

unnamed (66)

Small serving of oatmeal (steel-cut and old-fashioned oats cooked together with chia seeds if you forgot how I like it) mixed with mashed banana, cinnamon, some peanut butter and yeah, a Bob The Builder spoon because I like little spoons.

Linda asked on Monday what was so pink inside my postrun breakfast (#2) in a jar.

oatmeal in a jar

I have been using frozen berries in place of fresh so when I combine the usual cold cooked oats, plain greek yogurt and peanut butter, the colors from the berries melt all over the yogurt making it pretty in pink.

I am still obsessed with butternut squash by the way and I do not see it ending any time soon.

roasted butternut squash with brussels sprouts and apples

I roasted it up with brussels sprouts and diced honey crisp apples on Sunday thinking I would have a few servings.

Ha. That was funny.

roasted butternut squash bowl

I picked a bunch of it out from the oven while it was still cooking and placed it in a bowl in my attempt to make the snacking while cooking thing a bit more appropriate.

Some of the remaining butternut squash made it into a lunch time salad which is NOT topped with the usual chick pea/avocado mash.

salad

It’s a new recipe which I created myself, a little bit sweet and savory all at once, and I will share it with you hopefully on Friday.

Did you know that I can make a mean batch of home fries?

omelette with home fries

Eggs and home fries have become a weeknight dinner staple in our house lately which has something to do with satisfying the egg cravings.

So yeah. My home fries rule and not just in my opinion, according to people with other taste buds.

You know, those people who still eat too much processed junk so their taste buds are so distorted that healthy food registers as  flavorless, bland and not acceptable.

My home fries pass their taste bud test which means I am doing something right even though they are healthy. We should talk about my home fries recipe, shouldn’t we?

Adding it right now to my list of recipes I need to share.

For today however I want to quickly share my simple recipe (if we can even call it a recipe) for my favorite cold weather dessert which I termed last year as, Peanut Butter Cup Apples.

peanut butter cup apples

They may not look pretty but trust me, they are pretty tasty.

And really easy.

All you need to do is dice up an apple in a bowl, sprinkle some cinnamon, warm in the microwave and then mix in some peanut butter with a few dark chocolate chips for the peanut butter cup effect.

It is so simple and satisfying on a cold night. The peanut butter blends right in with the apple pie filling flavors and literally just a few chocolate chips are all you need to create the melted together taste of a truly decadent peanut butter cup dessert that might even be considered healthy.

I am not the best at sharing recipes because I don’t like to measure my ingredients all that often, especially peanut butter. Use as much or as little as you want. Obviously, the more peanut butter you use, the more peanut buttery it will taste. I will be honest though and admit that you really don’t need much to create the desired flavor and consistency.

If you have PB2, I do recommend using it for this recipe but I like it mixed with real peanut butter for the satisfying flavor and texture.

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Be sure to check out what everyone else is eating today!

Did you enter the Visa Gift Card Giveaway in yesterday’s post for Pete And Gerry’s Eggs? Click here if you missed it, my three ingredient butternut squash pancake recipe is included too!

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What have you been eating for breakfast lately?

Do you switch your night-time desserts according to the seasons?

Were you messy or organized as a kid when it came to your school supplies?

 

What’s On Your Organic Food Priority List?

 

How many items in your shopping cart last week were organic?

Are you as guilty as I am when it comes to not obeying the Dirty Dozen list?

wiawphotobutton

Even though Food Babe has a great case for always going organic along with an amazingly detailed post on how to eat organic on a budget,  I will admit that I don’t make organic a priority for all of my groceries.

I really want you to read her entire post so rather than summarize snippets of it for you, click here.

I will though share with you today her handy Organic Food Priority List:

organic shopping list

My giant containers of blueberries are never organic. And, some weeks I buy organic strawberries and some weeks I don’t.

berries

Most of the time, my apples are not organic.

On occasion I buy the organic romaine lettuce but last week? I did not.

I don’t think an organic cucumber has ever been to my house.

My coffee is only organic if that box of K-Cups is on sale.

Chocolate? I don’t discriminate when it comes to chocolate. I will eat last year’s Halloween candy if the craving needs to be satisfied.

I do buy organic eggs, meat and poultry almost every time or, at the very least, I make sure the package says vegetarian fed without added hormones and antibiotics.

Click here for THE BEST link ever which fully explains in detail how to decode the labels on the egg cartons in order to understand the difference between cage-free, certified organic, free range etc.

So lately I just wonder: If I am only obeying the organic rules some of the time, is there any point to it at all?

If my blueberries aren’t organic but the strawberries are, should I feel guilty?

Is it the sort of thing where we can say you do what you can because every little bit helps?

I just can’t afford a strictly organic diet, not to mention, the shelf-life expired yesterday.

I already live in the grocery stores; if I were to purchase all organic, I would need to buy an apple a day just to ensure that I don’t have a bushel of rotten apples sitting on my counter.

I do what I can and I try not to stress the whole pesticides on and in my food because as much as I could let it bother me, they do say that the health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables even if they aren’t organic still outweighs not eating them at all.

Want to see my most recent shopping trip at Trader Joe’s?

food-shop

Organic:

  • Chick Peas – because organic beans are only twenty cents more than non-organic
  • Ketchup – price was good
  • Diced tomatoes – cheap enough
  • Tomato Paste – cheap
  • Carrots – because they cost less than one dollar for a big bag and taste sweeter

Not organic:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Non-Fat Greek Yogurt – not organic but is not treated with antibiotics/hormones
  • Lite Shredded Mozzarella Cheese- not treated with antibiotics/hormones
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Frozen berries
  • Apples
  • Plum tomatoes
  • Strawberries – the organic selection this week didn’t look as good as last week

And because we don’t need to worry about organic when it comes to produce with a thick skin we aren’t eating:

  • Bananas
  • Avocado

Should I feel bad that my pretty bowl of oatmeal with yogurt is loaded with ingredients that aren’t organic except for the sprinkle of Nature’s Path Organic Heritage Flakes?

oatmeal-with-berries

I bet you are convinced I don’t own real silverware. I do, I just prefer my yogurt store spoons and my son’s little Bob The Builder spoon from when he was two because they are more fun.

I wish I could live only on Stonyfield Organic Greek but I can’t. It is just too pricey.

When I can’t get Stonyfield at a good price, I fill in with fat free greek  yogurt tub from Trader Joe’s (in above photo) or even Fage which I can often get on sale.

I don’t buy Chobani as often unless I am desperate because I find the taste of their original the least desirable of all brands.

Not to mention Whole Foods stopped carrying Chobani because they contain GMO’s but GMO’s are another post altogether.

I am glad that sweet potatoes are not part of the Dirty Dozen list which means that pesticides don’t seem to penetrate the outer skin.

I once bought the organic sweet potatoes and they went bad within like 72 hours which really isn’t acceptable to me.

salad with sweet potatoes and chick pea avocado mash

Love sweet potatoes in salads, even if the salad this week didn’t contain organic romaine lettuce.

And, you should know that I love roasting sweet potatoes with a drop of peanut butter although I think I love anything with a drop of peanut butter.

peanut butter & co. crunch time

My peanut butter is not organic but it has all sorts of other happy messages and symbols so maybe that negates its non-organic nature.

Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Vegan….

Even though I am a vegetarian, I still need to buy meat and poultry for my son.

ground turkey

I can’t always buy certified organic but I do ensure all meat and poultry is vegetarian fed as well as not treated with antibiotics or contain added hormones.

If I cannot locate the right packages in the store which will clearly tell me grass-fed, organic or free from added hormones and antibiotics, I won’t buy anything which actually happened to me this week when I went looking for another package of ground turkey.

I wanted to make more meatballs for my son like last week but Trader Joe’s was out of the right turkey, as was Whole Foods and Shop Rite.

Therefore, last night we used our organic beans to make Jen’s recipe (our WIAW Host!) for Mexican Veggie Burgers.

mexican veggie burgers

Just a few minor changes to the recipe to work with what I had on hand:

In place of lentils I used organic chick peas because I already had them opened and I added some cooked (organic!) quinoa to go along with the black beans, corn (organic!) and refried beans.

Oh, and I did half cup of oat bran with a half cup of oat flour instead of just one full cup of the ground up oats.

mexican veggie burgers

They came out really tasty and hearty with a few left over to freeze for another time.

 

mexican veggie burgers

Even if I bought strictly organic for the house, I wouldn’t be able to adhere to an organic diet when dining out because I refuse to give up my favorite restaurants and desserts.

national cheesecake day

I don’t love cheesecake but I am pretty sure if you go in today for a half price slice and ask for Linda’s Fudge cake instead, they will honor it.

My son actually had the Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake in the picture above the other night and I sampled around the cheesecake parts so it was really good.

Be sure to check out what everyone else is eating today!

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Do you have organic shopping rules you stick to every week?

Are you guilty of going by price rather than organic vs. non-organic?

Will you be going to The Cheesecake Factory later for your half-price slice?

 

 

 

 

 

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