December 21, 2007
Well, my plans changed a little bit when I arrived at my family’s house in Tampa this morning…it was 72 degrees outside and not a cloud in the sky so I decided to go for a run instead outside! It was wonderful! Before I went I ate the snack that I had brought with me in the car…a cut up kiwi and 1/4 cup of the flax granola I have been telling you guys about. It tasted really good 🙂 I did a slow 40 minute run because my leg has been injured and I was testing it out today…it still hurts a little bit but not as bad as it did before. For the first time in my life I ran without my ipod (i forgot it in orlando) and it really made the run a lot more satisfying. One of the central points of yoga is the breath and I think that’s what connects yoga and running but so often we drown out listening to our breath by blasting music. Today as I ran I concentrated on my breath and just the world around me and that brought my run to a whole new level.
When I got back I made one of my favorite light meals that I enjoyed in Paris so many times: an omelet. Now, I know what you are thinking….”but aren’t eggs bad??” NO. I don’t think so at all and when I eat eggs I always eat 2 whole eggs, yolk and all. People differ in their beliefs about this but from what I have read and researched, the yolk of the egg contains minerals and vitamins that our body needs. Here is some info from the Harvard Medicine Nutrition Source that I frequently go to for nutrition advice:
“Long vilified by well-meaning doctors and scientists for their high cholesterol content, eggs are now making a bit of a comeback. Recent research by Harvard investigators has shown that moderate egg consumption–up to one a day–does not increase heart disease risk in healthy individuals.(5) While it’s true that egg yolks have a lot of cholesterol–and, therefore may slightly affect blood cholesterol levels–eggs also contain nutrients that may help lower the risk for heart disease, including protein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, and folate.
So, when eaten in moderation, eggs can be part of a healthy diet. People with diabetes, though, should probably limit themselves to no more than two or three eggs a week, as the Nurses’ Health Study found that for such individuals, an egg a day might increase the risk for heart disease. Similarly, people who have difficulty controlling their blood cholesterol may also want to be cautious about eating egg yolks and choose foods made with egg whites instead.” http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fats.html
So, of course don’t go and eat 5 eggs a day, but I think that 2-4 eggs a week is totally fine and can benefit your body! When you just eat the egg white you are missing out on a valuable source of vitamins from the yolk! Anyways, I cooked my omelet in 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil for some good monounsaturated fats and sprinkled it with sea salt and pepper. I used to always had to have gooey cheese in my omelet, but then when I moved to France I started eating omelets the way the French do: with nothing in them except for the eggs themselves. I learned how to make a classical French omelet and now it is one of my favorite lunch or dinners. An omelet with a salad and a glass of red wine is a simple dinner I prepared many many times in my little Paris apartment last summer.
With my omelet I also had a cut up pear, 4 ounces of plain nonfat yogurt with a teaspoon of jam, a slice of sprouted grain toast and a small spinach salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar. This lunch was light (only about 414 calories) but that is just fine with me because this afternoon I plan to bake christmas cookies (gingerbread, my favorite!!!) and of course there will be licking of spoons, bowls, everything….haha 🙂 And then tonight I’m going out to dinner again! I will def. be having a snack later because dinner is not until around 8 probably.
I bought a new cookbook!!! Nigella Lawson’s “How To Eat”. I have been staring at it for awhile now and finally splurged and got it…..I’m so excited to read it cover to cover–I love her ideas and recipes and am so excited to try some out!
December 20, 2007
I made it!!!!!!!!! The practicals this morning were very difficult but it’s over and I swung by with a B in the class. Now I am officially done with Meat Fabrication forever and have a lovely little break ahead of me! I actually did really well on my chicken…I just worked very slow and carefully and managed to produce 2 (almost) perfect boneless skinless breasts and 2 boneless skinless thighs. But then the fish came. I don’t know why its so hard for me but it is and I cut my finger again today! I have never not cut my finger when filleting fish. Maybe that means I shouldn’t do it! The fillets turned out okay in the end though. Not my best and I could have done better but I got what I needed to to get a B in the class so I’m happy. 🙂 I got home earlier than usual and made a nice little lunch. I don’t have these often because I don’t like to eat a lot of processed food, but for a once in awhile thing, they are fine—the morningstar farms buffalo “chik’n” wings. I ate a ton of morningstar farms products when I was a vegetarian in college and still would choose them over real chicken tenders if I had the choice. They are so tasty! I had 5 of them (one serving) with about 1/2 tbsp honey mustard, a sliced pear, 4 ounces plain yogurt with jam and 10 kashi crackers. When I finished I was still sort of hungry because the meal wasn’t as calorie dense as my usual lunches so I ate 5 more kashi crackers, a tiny piece of dark chocolate and made some Candy Cane tea! Now I’m all set!
My lunch…note that I did add 5 more crackers! Total (with the small chocolate) it was about 535 calories
Thank you all so much for all the well wishes for my practicals! I just love hearing from you guys, it really makes my day!
As for the rest of the day…cleaning until my friend gets here! We are going out to dinner at Roy’s Restaurant, where I work, and I am so excited because the food is AMAZING! I’ve been trying to plan out what I’m going to order for days because everything is just so good. I thought you guys might like to see the menu for yourselves! Here’s link: the sushi is to die for!
I’m happy because dinner is early tonight (6:30) and I love early dinners because I just get so hungry around then….I’m sure there will be wine involved but I’m going to try to keep it in moderation 🙂
December 18, 2007
Today was fish day at school and we blackened snapper fillets and pan seared salmon…so I ate! I love seafood as many of you know! I also ate because I prepared everything myself…all the way from filleting the snapper when it looked like it was straight out of the water! We used a really good homemade blackening spice that Chef had prepared and I brought in the rest of my cornbread rolls from last night for everyone to try. The bad thing was that while I was filleting the snapper I cut my finger pretty bad through the gloves I had one. Now it’s all wrapped up :(. I’m doing some cleaning around here this afternoon then heading off to a 4:00 ashtanga yoga class. Then back here to make dinner and do homework–only two days of school left!
My lunch was incredibly light today because we were only given 3 ounces of salmon to sear and I only took about 1 1/2-2 ounces of blackened snapper on my plate. Those, with a cornbread roll, and an orange I ate when I got home only added up to be about 300 calories, which is much less than I like to eat at lunchtime.
This little guy right here turned into my lunch! (cutting my finger in the process)
So…I will be having a big snack before yoga in a few hours and I’m already a little hungry now! I’m not trying to skimp on any calories right now–I’m mindful of them of course—but I’m not lowering them or anything like that because for some odd reason my scale says that last week I lost 4 pounds! I’m not trying to lose weight and like to keep my weight up around 120-123 pounds…I think 116 is too low for me, which is what the scale said yesterday. Weird because I really have not been doing anything different with my eating and exercise! Maybe something was amiss with the scale. Very odd.
December 17, 2007
Well, today was wild game day at school!!
Carving the fat off an oxtail!!
That’s right…we cooked up some alligator, frog legs, pheasant, duck, quail, oxtails, rabbit…..not really my cup of tea but it was interesting! My team was in charge of the oxtails, which we braised and then cooked in the oven like short ribs. Rumor was that we also had to cook bear, but then Chef whipped out some bear-shaped christmas cookies instead! That had everyone laughing. I decided to fogo the cookie though because I plan to bake some here later and instead had my usual snack of fiber one + almonds around 9:30. My oatmeal from this morning held me over very well too—I just had the usual with banana, walnuts and natural peanut butter mixed in.
Quail wrapped in proscuitto
Needless to say, I did not eat at school today. Instead I came home and made a very filling and tasty lunch of a gardenburger with one slice of provolone cheese and some honey mustard between two slices of sprouted grain bread. On the side I had one tablespoon of hummus and 5 baby carrots to dip into it. I also had 4 ounces of plain nonfat yogurt with a little jam and some apple slices to dip into that! And if all that weren’t enough, I finished the meal with a small bite of dark chocolate. 🙂 All for about 525 calories!
It was delicious and I feel a lot better! I’m doing a lot of cooking/baking this afternoon…its freezing here-well, freezing for Orlando, that is…its in the 50’s! So I’m going to test out a new cornbread recipe along with cooking up a big bowl of homemade comforting soup for dinner tonight.
December 16, 2007
ah, I love Whole Foods! Seriously I just love shopping there; it makes me so happy for some reason and I have done some tests and determined I really don’t spend any more money shopping there as opposed to a regular grocery store because I usually by the 365 brand items, which are much less expensive than other things. Also, planning out what you are going to buy then sticking to the list cuts down on cost as well because you are prepared and know your limit! While I was shopping I stopped at the little cafe and got a 12 ounce skim milk latte with peppermint syrup in it to sip on. Yum!
For lunch today I reheated a bowl of the greek white bean soup I made last week. I also had a cut up apple, Stacey’s whole wheat bagel chips and 3 ounces of sliced bell peppers (not pictured, I decided to have this after I started to eat!). Plus, a tiny piece of dark chocolate :). It hit the spot and now I’m back to work on tons of recipes I have to copy for tomorrow before I head downtown for a yoga class at 2:00. I’m so excited about the dinner I have planned tonight! Hopefully it won’t disappoint!
My pretty pink grocery bag that I had to get in France because there they charge you if you want to use their grocery bags! Awesome! I think the U.S. should do this too because then more people would be forced to help the environment by not wasting so many plastic grocery bags. Piling all my groceries in this one big bag is so much easier than lugging 6 grocery bags up the stairs to my apartment anyways 🙂
December 15, 2007
Well, I’m already back here in Orlando! It was just a very quick trip home this time but I’m so glad that I was able to—as they say, it’s always good to go home. For lunch today I went to my favorite European bakery/cafe and got a blackened salmon sandwich with avocado and tomato on their homemade olive bread! It was amazing but HUGE and I ended up only eating half of the bread because it was so thick! I ate all of the salmon though from inside!
I also bought one of their gingerbread cookies for a little treat later tonight at work because I am obsessed with their gingerbread. There is just something about it that sets it apart from any other cookie I have ever tried (and gingerbread is my favorite type of cookie!)–I asked the chef there for the recipe but they wouldn’t give it to me 😦 They told me it was a secret! The cookie is huge too though and I like buying them when I can because they last me a couple days. I will eat half of it tonight at work and the other half tomorrow night at work! Yum!
On my drive back to Orlando I ate the other half of my orange from this morning and now I am just sipping on some herbal tea. That sandwich really filled me up at lunch so I don’t feel hungry enough for a big snack…and I have to eat dinner tonight at 5:30 because I have to be at work at 6:30!
Delicious blackened salmon sandwich! (note that it is MUCH bigger in real life!)
The biggest, most wonderful gingerbread cookie of all time!! (SO excited to eat it tonight and have already nibbled off a tiny tiny part… 😉
Christmas picture with Ryan in front of my parent’s tree this morning…
December 14, 2007
Happy Friday, everyone!
I hope your day is going well so far and you have something fun and relaxing planned for the weekend….I know what I’ll be doing—working! They have me scheduled to work tonight, tomorrow night and sunday night so hopefully I can bring in some more money so that I can keep affording to buy groceries! 🙂 My oatmeal was wonderful this morning (remember last night I made the overnight swiss oatmeal)? Well, it turned out sooo good and I think I’m going to play around with that recipe and be making it more often because it really held me over well this morning. I did eat my snack (fiber one + almonds, as usual) at 9:45 but only because I knew I wouldn’t be eating lunch til 1:30 and if I waited that long without having anything to eat I would starve!! I def. recommend you guys trying it out though…the yogurt made it all creamy and delicious..and of course the maple syrup added some spark!!!
For lunch today I made something quick and light because I’m going to be going running in about an hour. I toasted one of last night’s scottish oatmeal scones and slathered on 1 tbsp natural peanut butter and 1/2 tbsp raspberry preserves on top of it! SO GOOD!!! There’s just something about homemade baked goods that is really really wonderful..especially if you know they are healthy homemade baked goods!! I also had a pear and 4 ounces of 1% cottage cheese….and a tiny bit of dark chocolate ;). It filled me up but didn’t weigh me down…and was about 445 calories. This is significantly lower than what I usually eat for lunch, but again, I’m going to be running so I didn’t want anything too big! I’m also working tonight so I’ll have a little bit of a larger dinner to hold me over.
In school we made fried chicken wings, cornish hens stuffed with herb butter, seared and baked chicken breasts and some sauces to go along with them. I took a picture so you all would see what I could have eaten as my lunch! (not the smart choice though!)
Lunch we made at school….on the left those are potato wedges drenched in butter/drippings from the cornish hens, then going clockwise you have the fried chicken fingers and sauce and then the chicken breast.
My lunch….you can’t see it but there is a tablespoon of peanut butter on that scone. so good 🙂
another raw chicken picture…I’m sure you all love these! Here I was attempting to tie up the cornish hen for the oven after I stuffed it with a compound butter made from fresh chopped herbs and butter all blended up. Very messy!
**a special thank you to Danielle and Cathy who have been talking up my blog on Kath’s site. Thanks so much guys!!!
December 13, 2007
Hi everyone! Sorry this post is coming a little later than usual but class didnt end til later today then I had to run home, eat lunch and then run back out to the grocery store to grab one last ingredient for tonight’s dinner! (you will see that later though!)
For starters, I switched up my usual banana/walnut/peanut butter oatmeal this morning by adding a chopped apple instead as the fruit. It turned out pretty good- sort of like a big bowl of peanut butter on apples (one of my favorite snacks!) but I think I still prefer the creaminess of the banana with the oats more. I ate my usual snack around 9:30 then didn’t get to eat lunch until I got home at 1:30! I was so hungry! Today was chicken day at school and we had to de-skin and de-bone 2 whole chickens…I was up to my elbows in chicken goop for most of the morning, and let me tell you, it’s so much harder than they make it out to be when you have to take every single little bone out and make it look all pretty like the already packaged boneless, skinless breasts you buy at the grocery store! Next week for my final exam in that class I have to produce perfectly boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs out of a whole chicken, so today was just for practice. I cut myself with my boning knife also and that’s no fun….
but anyways, on to lunch!
I resisted the fried chicken fat (seriously!!) that the Chefs were frying up at school. They basically just took all our leftover chicken fat and fried it up so it looked like little pork cracklings! gross!!! We also made Chicken Breasts Chausseur (a classical style chicken dish with a rich reduction sauce and mushrooms) and stuffed chicken thighs. I tasted the sauce for the Chausseur and it was tasty, but very very rich!! of course!
When I got home I made my own lunch…I tried a new product today called “Yve’s Meatless Lettuce Wraps” because I saw them featured in a self magazine a while ago. I put 2/3’s cup of it on top of 1 cup of baby spinach and drizzled a little low fat organic salad dressing on top. I also had 2 tablespoons hummus (beginning to see a trend? hummus is one of my favorite foods!!) with about 6 baby carrots and 15 kashi crackers. I had 4 ounces of fage 0% yogurt with a bit of raspberry preserves in it on the side. In the picture you will see an orange but I actually swapped that out for a banana, bringing my entire lunch to about 528 calories. It was okay. I wouldn’t buy the meatless lettuce wraps again and I threw out the rest…I just don’t like processed things very much and thought this might be different but it wasn’t. Its just the texture that really bothers me I think. It was tasty, but I would rather have whole, natural foods! Oh, well.
I’m doing a bunch of cooking/baking here this afternoon as well as hitting the gym for the weight lifting later on. I have tons of recipes to write for school tomorrow and cleaning to do as well! There’s always something! Good thing I’m super excited about the dinner I’m making tonight…..I can’t wait to show you!!
Here are some pictures 🙂
huge pile of chickens my team “broke down” (de-boned, de-skinned..the works) today. I broke down 2 of these…cutting my finger while I was at it! yuck!
A heart attack waiting to happen….fried chicken skin. no thanks!
My lunch…note that I did swap out the orange for a banana at the last second 🙂 I love bananas!
December 12, 2007
Tons to do today! I have a very busy afternoon full of recipe writing, studying, running and cooking….and then I have to work tonight (I’m just a hostess at a restaurant here). For starters though, I ate another awesome oatmeal breakfast this morning before school. Peanut butter, walnuts and banana…my usual! So good and kept me going for about 3.5 hours till I had my fiber one + almond snack. We cooked lamb at school, so I didn’t eat lunch there. I just really don’t like the strong flavor of the meat, although the couscous I made smelled pretty good! (I had to taste it while I was cooking but I didn’t eat it for lunch).
I was very hungry at the end of school today and rushed home and made a fantastic lunch of my own here! I made a hummus plate (1/4 cup hummus) with 2 ounces of sliced bell peppers and 15 kashi crackers to dip as well as some roasted acorn squash that I roasted yesterday afternoon. I had one cup of Pacific brand Creamy Tomato Soup on the side and a sliced pear. All for about 500 calories. (plus a bite sized organic dark chocolate for dessert, of course!!) It was a very good, very filling lunch and I now feel prepared to tackle the rest of the afternoon! Its 85!!! degrees outside so I’m just going to do a 40 minute run on the treadmill in a couple hours. I have a great dinner coming up tonight that I can’t wait to share with you guys! Stay tuned 🙂
“breaking down” a lamb leg at school today…this was taken during Chef’s demo. My hands were frozen solid after about an hour of cutting frozen lamb meat!!! (not to mention my chef instructor keeps the classroom set at 62 degrees because we are dealing with raw meat all day—can’t wait till Baking class next!)
December 11, 2007
I had a busy morning at school today. It was pork day and we made pork cutlets, baby back ribs and pulled pork with four different types of bbq sauces. In the middle of the day we had to watch a video on pork slaughter houses, which I reallyyy did not like that much. As a former vegetarian, I really don’t like to watch the killing of animals. I eat them, but I don’t always like to see the process behind it all! Oh well, it’s culinary school and I really didn’t have a choice. I did end up eating lunch at school today just because I loove pulled pork and never really get to eat it unless I’m at a football tailgate or something. And, the bbq sauces turned out amazing! I also snacked on 7 almonds at around 9:30. A little smaller than my normal snack of almonds + fiber one cereal, but my oatmeal held me over pretty well and I knew I would be having a little more fattening of a lunch at 11:30.
So, here was my lunch:
I ate a little more than half of the bread (which I dotted with some homemade garlic butter…the rest of the class liberally poured it onto their pieces so I felt pretty healthy there), all of the pork and all of the pickles. One of the sauces there is an spicy/sweet Asian bbq sauce and the other is the one that I personally made, an apple cider based sauce. I liked the one that I made the best! It turned out perfect—sweet with a kick. I’m estimating that this lunch was about 400 calories or so…maybe a little more. Pulled pork usually is not that caloric per ounce—its usually only 90 calories per 2 ounce serving, but I’m guessing I ate more like 3 ounces. The pickles were not bad at all (about 6 cal. per pickle slice) and, well, the bread was a splurge because I never eat white bread….or garlic butter for that matter…but I didn’t eat the whole thing and I would rather have some sort of carb to balance out the meat on my plate. I’m going to eat some fresh fruit and maybe some yogurt later as a snack to balance things out. This is def. not my normal lunch though!!! But it was SO good!!!
Here’s some more photos of school this morning:
The kitchen that my Meat Fabrication class is in. This is all set up for the Chef’s demo.
Time line of what’s happening during the day. I wrote this when I got there this morning…I usually end up writing this every morning since I have the best handwriting out of most of the guys in my class 🙂
Haha…this is the large piece of pork each team was given to work with this morning. I used a saw to cut it into baby back ribs and cutlets. lovely, right?