Saturday, March 30, 2013

Baked Banana Bread Oatmeal

Folks, I just made this baked oatmeal for breakfast this morning. It may not look like much, but it tasted amazing. I threw some frozen blueberries in the mix and spread some peanut butter on top after it was done cooking. Really solid b-fast.

Til next time, have fun being bad.


Friday, March 29, 2013

I'm alive.

Friends, it's been a crazy two weeks. I haven't lifted something heavy in a very long time. Last week, I thought I had the flu. I woke up and felt like roadkill. My joints were achy and my throat was scratchy and I just wanted to curl up and sleep all day. So I did.

I  drank about five Emergen-C packets and watched daytime television from underneath layers of sweats and a heavy blanket. When I went to the doctor the next day, I got a real diagnosis.

ear infection

An ear infection? What am I, 7? What adult gets an ear infection? Needless to say, I felt very silly. And I've been on antibiotics since. Two days later, I felt much better and went for a 9 mile run outside. 

And got sick again. 

So, I took the next FOUR DAYS off. And now I am finally getting back to normal. Whew. It's been a whirlwind.

I've been getting back to the usual eats after a few days of little to no appetite which, if you know me in real life, is a true indicator of how terrible I felt. I always have an appetite.

Remember I told you about these little banana peanut butter bites? Well, I munched on them before my long run last weekend and they were amazing.

Frozen peanut butter might be my new obsession. 

You should try it.

My mom made me this killer granola, so I've been mixing it with some yogurt and honey for breakfast and it does not disappoint.

I'll look into getting that recipe to share.

Dried blueberries and cherries...add those to my ever growing list of obsessions.

Berries are nutritional powerhouses, so I don't feel bad snacking on them when there are extras in our office.

For some reason, I haven't been all too fond of the blue-hued berries. Don't know why that is, but I just skip them and munch on the straw- and raspberries when they're available.

I found this cute little shot glass in our cupboards and pulled it out to measure a perfect serving of peanut butter!

It told me exactly where to stop for 2 tablespoons of my favorite treat, so I had this for breakfast last weekend with half a nanner and an apple.
I was out of town on Monday and Tuesday for the Jewish holiday and did not take any pictures of what I ate for two reasons:

1. I'm not so committed to blogging that I'm willing to be that crazy person taking pictures of my food in the middle of Passover seder.

2. I felt like death and most of my pictures would have had snot-filled kleenex in them, so I'm doing you a favor.

Once I got back to work on Wednesday, I had a hefty lunch of roasted chicken, broccoli, half a sweet tater, and some mango avocado salsa.

It felt good to be back.

After work on Wednesday, I met up with a friend at the Chobani shop in Soho.

It's like a frozen yogurt shop but with fresh, healthy yogurt.

I got one of the seasonal menu items: 2% yogurt, grapefruit, honey, and mint.

It was so delish and we got to keep the little cups that the yogurt comes in!

I will definitely be going back for more!

 Afterwards, we made the obligatory stop at Xocolatti for a few chocolates.

Left to right: Pineapple Habanero, Olive Oil Basil, Sake, and Rose Cardamom.

These were so tiny and delicious and were decorated so beautifully, it was difficult to eat them.

But, someone had to do it :)

I also bought some Blueberry Clusters and snacked on a few of those the next day...okay, I had more than a few.

Then I brought myself back to reality and had a real lunch: salmon, kale, and roasted veggies.

Mmm, getting back on track sure tastes delicious. I'm hoping that I don't want to die tomorrow during my 10 mile training run. Wish me luck and, as always, have fun being bad.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Eat food.

My friends often come to me with questions about health and nutrition.

Is [insert brand here] healthy? Will [insert food here] make me fat?

The truth is this: there are a lot of different versions of healthy. Some people think animal products are unhealthy, while others think fat is unhealthy. There are those who think carbs are the devil or who swear by diet frozen dinners.

There is not one universal truth when it comes to choosing healthy foods, unfortunately. While I will give you my personal opinion, keep in mind that it is just that -- opinion. I do not think that this way of eating works for everyone universally, nor do I think that anyone who disagrees with me is stupid, misinformed, or unhealthy. It is simply what makes most sense to me and aligns with my body and lifestyle. So here goes...

I tend to subscribe to Michael Pollan's Food Rules. His premise is basically summed up like this:

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

That's his line, not mine. The rest of his book goes on to explain this sentiment. But essentially, that's it. 

And friends, he's just saying it a different way, but the message is always the same. You want to get thinner? Eat and exercise right. You want to bulk up? Eat and exercise right. You "just want to tone"? Eat and exercise right. Want to just be healthier? Eat and exercise right. 

There's no secret or magic pill or supplement that you're missing out on. All the healthy people in the world aren't eating the new magic superfood that isn't available in your local grocery store which is the reason you're out of shape or unhealthy.

So, what is food? Meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and grains. If it was once alive or grew from a tree or the ground, it's food.

One of my favorite rules of his: If it grew on a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don't.

In terms of processed foods: milk, cheese, deli meats, cookies, pancakes, granola bars, cereal, bread, mixes, sauces, and anything else found in the center of the grocery store, I try to either make it myself or buy something with as few ingredients as possible. 

I don't [usually] buy sweets from the grocery store (this excludes chocolate, for some reason, but my addiction to that is waining), but bread, chips, tortillas, and sauces are all scrutinized for their ingredients. I aim to buy things with either less than five ingredients or all recognizable and desirable ingredients. Salsa, for example, usually has more than five ingredients, but they're usually ones I recognize: tomatoes, onions, spices, and peppers (I skip the ones with sugar added). I usually buy brown rice or corn tortillas over GF bread because of all the ingredients.

So, this is the standard that I try to live my life by. I do say TRY. Because it isn't always easy and I do veer from it. Like last night, when I made pizza on Udi's GF crust. Clearly, I don't strictly adhere to this way of eating, but it is my goal.

So, there you have it. That's my personal food philosophy. Feel free to reach out with questions and, as always, have fun being bad.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

This shit is bananas.

So, I realize that I haven't given you an update on some new recipes I've been trying. I've tried a few winners in the last few weeks. But, where there's a winner, there's always a loser. I'll be sharing those recipes, edits, and blunders too. Buckle up.

Bananas & PB

I got this idea from Pinterest & FitSugar, but I simplified the recipe significantly. What's all this about mashing bananas and yogurt together?


I just scooped some all-natural (no oil or sugar added) peanut butter on a few cut up nanners and froze them.

I had about five of these bites for part of my breakfast this morning. Peanut butter gets crunchy when its frozen and the nanners were perfect. It was a delightful start to my day. I made more in about five minutes to replace the ones I scarfed.

Chocolate Banana Protein Bars

I obviously had a ton of bananas left over from last week.

This recipe turned out pretty good. I tweaked a few things, per usual. I only have two types of protein powder: SFH Chocolate Protein Powder and Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer. Both have pros and cons, which I can talk about later if anyone's interested, but I used SFH this time since Vega powder is green and I feel weird cooking with it.

Also, I used Enjoy Life chocolate chips instead of carob chips because I ain't no vegan (anymore...that's a story for a different day).

They are pretty good, but nothing mind blowing. I'll venture out and use Vega next time as an experiement. Stay tuned.  

Cauliflower Pizza

Mine didn't turn out quite as good as this recipe made me think it would. I probably didn't get ALL the moisture out, so the center wasn't crispy at all. But, it was pretty good. 

Bless the folks who have the patience for this. Honestly, pizza isn't a craving of mine, so it's just not worth the work for me.

Next time (if there is a next time) I'll probably just buy the pre-made gluten free crust if I'm feeling naughty.

Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

 This recipe hails from PaleOMG, although she made hers with cherries.

I had bought some raspberries, but knew we wouldn't eat them in time, so I made these for a girls night and was in a little bit of a rush. So, I didn't cook them as long as I should have and they were a leetle moist. 

And by a leetle, I mean a lot.

But I think they tasted great and I love them and will be making them again VERY soon.

Vanilla Coconut Pancakes

 I snagged this recipe from The Food Lovers Kitchen.

There aren't many ingredients, which I love. But, I did replace two of the eggs with (4) egg whites to cut the calories and they were EXTREMELY dry.

I don't know if cutting the yolks is what did it, but I wasn't crazy about these.

But, they look pretty, don't they? 

Tina's recipe is still my fave. With hers, I just use oat flour, almond milk, and honey instead of flour, soy, and sugar. They taste like the real thing.

Crack Dip

This was a ridiculous find on Pinterest and I just had to try it.

It was incredibly easy and delish, but there was no way mister right and I were eating all of that. So, I brought it to girls' night and it disappeared almost instantly.

Definitely make this for your next gathering. Seeing people's faces light up as you tell them there is liquid chocolate buried underneath those roasted marshmallows is probably the best feeling ever.

Well, besides the feeling you get when dip a graham cracker in this and stuff it in your mouth. So really, it's the second best feeling ever.

There you have it. Some new recipes for you to try. Let me know how these turn out. 

I'm sorry, but I have no photos of lunchtime eats to share. But, I can tell you that it's been a combination of leftovers and fresh salad mixins. Monday was a workout day, so I started the day with a pre-workout apple and a post-workout raspberry oatmeal.

1/3C oats+1/3C water+1/3C egg whites+raspberries=yum
Lunch on Monday was a combo of fresh salad ingredients and my leftover chinese food (steamed chicken & veggies). Not a good combo. Water chestnuts and cherry tomatoes don't work together. It was way weird. Yesterday, I used regular grilled chicken and fresh veggies and it was way better.

Monday night was the Bachelor Finale viewing party. There was wine, chocolate, roses, and drama.

In other words, the perfect girls night.

Can we talk about the Bachelor for a second? I can't BELIEVE Sean picked Catherine! I really don't get it! I don't like her at all.

 But, I'm glad I was right about Desiree being the next Bachelorette. She's going to kill it and I am without a doubt tuning in.

On the menu for dinner tonight: marinated flank steak with roasted veggies. If you want to keep up with my menu, follow me on Pinterest. I generally browse there and pin things that look good and easy.

Until next time, have fun being bad.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Just call me Oprah

Do you know how many of you read my last blog post?

A lot. Thank you for stroking my ego.

A lot of bloggers do posts about their favorite things and Oprah has a whole show about it, so it's my turn.

my favorite things

1. Pinterest. This site saved me while I was online shopping for things for my new apartment. I created a board just for apartment ideas, pinned things I saw online, and went back later to show my mister right what I'd found.

2. Brooklyn. My new home base. So much to do there and we LOVE our new neighborhood!

Holler to this guy for the sick pic

3. Mexican food. I used to HATE Mexican food. All the gooey, cheesy enchiladas grossed me out and I felt like I couldn't ever find anything. My, how the times have changed. Now, I could eat Mexican and/or Spanish-influenced cuisine every day. I love soft (corn) tacos filled with glorious meats, chips and salsa, arepas, pupusas, rice and beans, and PLANTAINS. I. LOVE. PLANTAINS.

4. Jillian Michaels. I like her no-bullshit attitude on the biggest loser. Also, I like that she hasn't always been thin.

5. Apples. Over the last few months, I've eaten almost an apple a day. I can't get enough of them! Also, grapes are particularly delish too. Especially frozen ones.

6. Ian McEwan. He's the well-known author of Atonement (yes, it was a book before it was a movie). I'm reading one of his early novels and falling in love with his writing just as I did with Atonement. He's literally painting with words. I don't know how else to describe it. I plan on reading his most popular books chronologically. Starting with The Cement Garden.

7. Gold jewelry. I never liked gold. I was always silver all the way. But, I've officially crossed over. I'm loving my gold statement jewelry these days.

8. Kanye and Eminem. I don't love rap or hip hop. But, my mister right does and he has probably been the biggest influence of my growing love for Kanye. I really dig his jams. I do not, however, understand the obsession with his lady. Kim Kardashian's fame baffles me. 


My love for Eminem, on the other hand, existed way before that. I find that my love for Marshal Mathers increases depending on how much running I'm doing, since Lose Yourself is my all-time, hands-down favorite running song. Try it. AMAZZZZZING.

9. Warby Parker. I got new WP glassies for Christmas and I am loving them!!! Already shopping for my next pair.

10. Survivor. Yes, it's still on! I watched last season and was hooked! It helps me work out harder when I think about all we would have to endure if the Apocalypse were upon us. Survivors would be prepared. Hopefully I will be too.

Okay, enough of that. On to the important things: food. On workout days, breakfast is broken up into two parts for me: preworkout and postworkout. Below is a banana chocolate chip oatmeal protein bar (could that name be any longer?) I made and snacked on. Yum.

Lunch was leftover pad thai with beef, scrimps, and broccoli. Unfortunately, I used WAY too much noodles, so it's more noodles than produce, but I've learned that lesson for next time...

Dinner was from my new favorite spot, Hu Kitchen. Everything is real food and freshly made. I had roasted chicken with sauteed collard greens...

My sexy companion (you know who you are) had the roasted chicken with grilled pineapple...

I can't

Welp, that's all I have for today. Enjoy the weekend and, as always, have fun being bad. I sure will.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Breaking up is hard

So, I've realized why/how I can't get a photo of everything I eat. I eat it too fast.

My lunch today was a mishmosh of beef/shrimp pad thai and kale quinoa salad. Would you like to see a picture?

Too bad. I don't have one.

But, as usual, I have a few snapshots of half-eaten food that I'll share with you.

I'm beginning to veer from one of my frequent breakfasts: oats, strawberry jam or fresh strawberries, and chocolate protein powder.

I call it chocolate-covered strawberry oatmeal.

It is very tasty.

<--- pre choco

<--- post choco

This is the protein powder I've been adding to my oatmeal. It tastes delish. But, check out that laundry list of ingredients.

No thanks.

So, we decided to see other people and I'm trying to pawn this tasty, ingredient-dense powder on someone who doesn't care what the back of the package says.

Any takers?

Since I broke up with my powder, I bought liquid egg whites and I've put that in my oatmeal. Sound gross? It's not. It firms right up and I flavor it with some jam and berries and I'm ready to rock. Much better. All ingredients I recognize.

Here's my half eaten lunch from yesterday. Roasted chicken breast with a kale, quinoa, tangerine salad.

Snack from yesterday.

Don't think I need to explain this one...hopefully.

Just in case you're wondering what my typical grocery list looks like, here it is.

Staples that you will most likely ALWAYS find in my fridge or pantry:

Peanut butter
Eggs/egg whites
Coconut or almond milk
Rice or rice cakes

I've mentioned my peanut butter addiction before. But, just to reiterate, I buy my next jar of peanut butter before I finish the current jar because I never want to be without it. You may think that's obsessive, I think it's proactive.

And yes, I eat bacon.

Until next time, have fun being bad.