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’ve only been home from dinner for about an hour but for some reason I am still so hungry!! I hate that–when I come home from eating dinner and dessert and yet I am still hungry! I listened to my body though and made exactly what I was craving…a slice of sprouted grain bread with a little jam. And now that I think back I really have not had as many grains today as I usually do so that’s why I was craving that so much! At dinner they give you soybeans instead of bread and I didn’t have any grains at all with my dinner. It’s funny how your body always tells you exactly what it needs—its your job to listen to it! I have no idea how many calories I ate at dinner tonight (its almost impossible to tell when at a restaurant) but I’m guessing around 600 because the portions were very small…and so was the dessert! After my toast I feel a lot better and ready for bed! (many nutritionists say that eating some grains before bed is supposed to help you sleep)
I hit the gym a little earlier for a quick strength training workout with some pushups and weights and then I came home and made the same delicious snack I had yesterday! But this time my camera didn’t fail me so I was able to photograph it! I had 4-ounces cottage cheese with 1/4 cup Nature’s Own Flax Plus Granola with Pumpkin Seeds for 150 calories. It really held me over til dinner last night and I just love the combo of crunchy sweet granola with the creamy cottage cheese. Its a very good combo of carbs, protein and omega 3’s and hopefully it will last me the next 3 hours til dinner!
Tomorrow I am going home to Tampa early in the morning (no school!) so I can make a 12:00 yoga class at my old yoga studio. Then, I have plans to bake christmas cookies in the afternoon before Ryan and I go out to dinner and celebrate our little christmas! Early because I have to work christmas eve 😦 Already excited!
December 19, 2007
I just made the best little afternoon snack! I combined 4 ounces 1% cottage cheese with 1/4 cup of Nature’s Path Organic Flax Plus granola with pumpkin seeds! SO good and about 150 calories! I have tried all of Nature’s Path granola (the peanut butter is my favorite!) and really like their product. They are much healthier than the competition granola and it tastes so good sprinkled on yogurt, cottage cheese, fruit….it adds the perfect crunch! I tried to take a picture of my little snack and while I was at it my camera died so I had to plug it in for awhile. My snack perfectly fueled me for the gym, which is where I am heading right now!
Forgot to add that I did have my almond + fiber-one snack this morning at school. It did its job of being tasty, portable and holding me over til lunch!
December 18, 2007
Mm…I just made a snack that I haven’t made from college and forgot how much I liked it! Oatmeal with yogurt and fruit! I heated up 1/4 cup oats in the microwave with 4 ounces water and 1/2 sliced pear. When it was done I mixed in 2 ounces of plain, nonfat yogurt, a teaspoon of jam and ate with the remaining pear slices! So good but a little runny so next time I may make the oats with only 2 ounces water instead of 4 ounces. In college I used to heat up those little kashi go lean oatmeal packets and eat them in the afternoon but this was better!
about 200 calories 🙂
December 17, 2007
Just had a quick snack before hitting the gym for a short & sweet cardio session today…I ate 10 kashi crackers before I went and once I was there I alternated between the elliptical machine and the treadmill for 25 minutes while watching Oprah. I didn’t work out hard today because 1.) I ran my butt off at school today and scrubbed the entire kitchen floor until my arms were quite sore! also, lifting heavy pots, washing dishes…it all burns calories! 2.) my leg hurts and I’m really supposed to be resting it this week because I overstressed it running. Its not my shin because its on the side of my lower leg..more like my ankle? Are there any other runners reading this that can help?? It hurts when I run so I don’t know yet if I will still be able to continue training for my half-marathon in february. 😦
I’ve got some homework to do, some cornbread to bake (it’s still rising right now–more on that later!) and some soup to make yet! See you in a little bit!
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
Ah..gotta love the restaurant business and all of its unreliability!! I ended up being called off tonight so I drove home to Tampa and now I am sitting at my parent’s house enjoying a tiny taste of red wine. I’m so glad that I was able to get here tonight because Ryan and I are going to go out to dinner (!!) and then go to his sister’s Christmas party. I have to drive back tomorrow for work tomorrow night but its still so nice just to be here and relax!
Today I went on a run for 40 minutes outside…I didn’t think it was that hot out til I started running and sweating all over the place. It must have been 85 degrees out there…not very Christmas-like, that’s for sure! I still mananged a pretty good run though, despite the heat, and when I got back I made myself a snack of a smoothie + 10 kashi crackers. I made the smoothie in my blender using 3.5 ounces Fage yogurt, 3 ounces skim milk, 5 frozen strawberries and one splenda for sweetness. My total snack including the crackers was about 193 calories. A bit bigger because my lunch was almost like a snack in itself and I didn’t know (and still don’t know) when dinner will be. It was really tasty after a hot run!
Yum! Healthy fruit smoothies and crackers
Small (only about 1 ounce or so) glass of wine
December 13, 2007
Oh my gosh, I made such a good dinner tonight! (and yes, its only 6:15 and I already ate. When I’m alone I like to eat early around 6:00 or so). Tonight for dinner I made Greek White Bean Soup and homemade scottish oatmeal scones that I had with a 4 ounce glass of red wine. It was perfect! Light, yet filling and I highly recommend trying this recipe that I found in my “12 Best Foods Cookbook”.
Here are the recipes:
Greek White Bean Soup
Serves 4 (I always make the entire recipe for soups and stews because they keep for awhile in the fridge or you can freeze them as well!)
1 cup dried large lima beans
1 large red onion, chopped
1 leek, white part only. chopped
2 cups organic vegetable broth
2 cups baby spinach
4 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Rinse the beans in a colander with cold water then put them in a large saucepot with about 3.5 cups water and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes then cover, take off the heat and let sit for one hour.
2. After the beans have soaked for an hour, drain them and put them back in the saucepot. Add the chopped onion, leek, broth and 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce for a simmer for one hour.
3. Season the soup with salt and pepper then puree half of it either in a blender (which is what I did) or using an immersian blender. Add the pureed soup back to the pot and mix everything together.
4. Bring the soup to a simmer then add the spinach, cooking until wilted..about 3 minutes.
5. Divide the soup among four bowls and add 1 tbsp feta cheese and 1 tsp olive oil to each bowl as garnish.
278 calories, 8 grams fat/serving
Scottish Oatmeal Scones
Makes 8 scones
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1 tbsp natural cane sugar (I used 1 tbsp like the recipe called for but thought it was a little too sweet)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup cold, unsalted butter
1/4 cup lowfat organic buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. In a bowl, combine the oats, flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Cut in the butter (cut butter into tiny pieces then mix it in with your hands until it looks like sand).
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and the egg. Pour over dry mixture and combine with hands. Form into a crumbly ball.
4. Use either parchment paper or a canola-oil spray on a baking sheet. Then dust an 8 inch circle with flour. Flatten the ball of dough out on the baking sheet on the flour circle to its about 1/2 inch thick. Score into 8 wedges. (see picture)
5. Bake for about 17 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. These will keep wrapped in foil for about a day or you can freeze them so they last longer.
164 calories, 7 grams of fat/scone
Scones on the baking sheet out of the oven
My dinner + a glass of wine not pictured 🙂 I brushed the scone with about a half teaspoon of promise light. Yum!
Oh, and before I forget! Before I went to the gym this afternoon I had the best new snack. They are called “Kind Bars” and they only have fruit and nuts in them. It was so good and I wish I would have bought more than one at the store but I wasn’t sure I would like it. I’m def. going to be buying more of these!
Today at the gym I did pushups and various arm machines along with some ab work. I stayed for 30 minutes because I was only doing strength training today…not cardio. 30 minutes of strength training works perfectly for me-I would get bored if I stayed any longer! 😉
December 12, 2007
I made one of my favorite dinners tonight. I like to call it “power salad” because of all the protein that’s packed into one bowl! I found this recipe a long time ago on the 101 cookbooks blog (www.101cookbooks.com) and have made it several times since when I need something quick, easy and rejuvenating to eat! If you have never tried quinoa before, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s FILLED with protein and is actually one of the only vegetarian foods that gives your body a complete protein…and, best of all, its very inexpensive! You can eat it for breakfast like oatmeal with walnuts and dried fruit, in soups, as salads, in baking goods…the list goes on and on. I think its wonderful with a chew and slightly nutty taste. It makes this salad very filling. All the ingredients in this salad are quite inexpensive…most you probably have already in your pantry. Give it a try! Here’s the recipe that I modified to serve one.
Lemon Scented Quinoa Salad with Garbanzo Beans
1/4 cup quinoa
1 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/2 smashed garlic clove
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 lemon, zested
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 tbsp small diced red onion
In a small saucepan, add the quinoa and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed into the quinoa. While that’s going, make the dressing.
Whisk together the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil. Set aside.
When the quinoa is done, remove from the heat and put in a bowl. Toss with the garbanzo beans, cilantro and red onion. Mix in the dressing and enjoy 🙂
520 calories, 18 grams of fat
*note: the fat in this recipe is the good type of fat that comes from olive oil and tahini. Your body needs this mono-unsaturated fat to keep on working and protect your heart. Its the same type of fat found in walnuts. So eat and enjoy!
Cooking in my kitchen
The finished, yummy salad bowl!
This afternoon I finished all my work I had to get done and made it to the gym for a 40 minute run on the treadmill. I felt soo much better after I ran! I came home and ate a quick snack of 4 ounces 1% cottage cheese and 1 kiwi while I made my oatmeal for tomorrow morning. Mmm..it’s amazing how good healthy food and exercise can make you feel!
I always try to eat a little bit more on days that I have to work at night because not only have been on my feet running all morning in the kitchen at school and have exercised, but also go to work for about 5 hours at night where all I do is run and seat guests for dinner! I always bring a snack with me to work thats about 100-150 calories and eat it midway through the night (around 8:15 for me) so that I don’t pass out!
No wine tonight because I’m off to work! I’m bringing an Erin Baker’s Mini Breakfast Cookie with me (100 calories- found them at the Fresh Market) to give me some fuel later on!
**adding onto last night….I ended up eating the 100 calorie whole grain cookie around 8:15 along with a small piece of organic dark chocolate I had stashed in my purse. When I got off work around 10:30 I tasted about 2 ounces of wine that was given to one of the servers by his table. It was from a 100 dollar bottle of red wine and was very good—I couldn’t say no when they offered me a tiny taste 😉