5 Dec

Food and Exercise Diary

9am – english muffin with butter and jam

12pm – green smoothie of the day: an orange, blueberries, kale, almond, coconut water and hemp protein (this was not as good as yesterday’s smoothies)

12:45pm – bodyrock.tv workout, with a 5 minute warm-up and stretching cool-down

2:15pm – a big ol’ piece of  Zuzana’s banana nut-cake (recipe below) and kombucha

Dinner-time to bedtime – green chile chicken enchiladas cooked by Jeremy, red wine, raw chocolate, and some popcorn…oh, and then a Pop-tart

So, not really my best day.  But there’s always tomorrow!

Zuzana’s Banana Nut-Cake

This recipe is adapted from Zuzana Light’s on bodyrock.tv.  The original post is here but she doesn’t write much out for us, so I’m writing what I did here.  It seems to be pretty high in protein and so I think of it as more of a Clif-type protein bar instead of traditional banana bread.

Ingredients:

– 1.5 cups lowfat cottage cheese

– 1 very ripe banana

– 1 egg

– 2 handfuls rolled oats

– 2 handfuls walnuts

– 1 handful raisins

– 2-3 servings vanilla protein powder

– 1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9×9 baking dish.  In a blender, blend cottage cheese, egg, and banana until creamy.  Food process the rest of the ingredients into a coarse flour.  Mix wet and dry ingredients together, spread in baking dish, and bake for 20-25 minutes.

* Note, my end result was not quite sweet enough for me and so I think that next time I might want to use 2 ripe bananas instead of one.  As you can see, it’s not as if this recipe is super-finicky anyway.

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Product Review: Yoplait Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt

4 Dec

Over the past few months, I have become a little obsessed with Greek yogurt.  The incredible creamy texture makes my mouth water and I consider it to be a passable substitute for another favorite of mine, ice cream.  Plus, it’s a great source of protein and probiotics.  So when I found the Yoplait version on sale, I was excited to give it a try.  A few bites later, my excitement was severely tempered.  It was bland and the texture was nothing like other Greek yogurt I have had, it was more gelatinous.  I checked the ingredients and, sure enough, there was definitely some gelatin in there.  I sincerely believe that if you have to throw gelatin in your yogurt then you’ve done something wrong and with that in mind, I threw the remainder away without finishing.

Next time I buy Greek yogurt at the grocery store, I’ll be going with The Greek Gods brand (except that I’ve had to ban myself from buying the big containers of their honey yogurt because I WILL try to eat it all in one sitting) or Chobani, which has a pretty good lowfat version made with 2% milk.

3 Dec

This morning I volunteered for a few hours at my local co-op.  This is something that I started doing when I went to part-time at work.  I knew that volunteers were often able to take home free surplus or slightly expired food and they offer an extra discount to working members.  Groceries are one of my biggest expenses (perhaps reflecting my slight food obsession!) and so I figured that anything I can do to save some money there would be worth my while.  Today was a good free food day at the co-op for me!  I got 3 bottles of kombucha, one small blackberry kefir, 4 pre-made wraps, gluten free cookies, a bar of white chocolate, and 2 raw chocolate products to try.

In other exciting news…I JUST GOT A VITAMIX BLENDER!!!!  It’s my Christmas gift from my parents and it came in the mail yesterday.  After 2 broken cheap blenders, I decided that Vitamix was the way to go.  I’m so excited for all the green smoothies and freshly ground grains in my future.

Supergreen Tropic Smoothie

-3 cups packed kale

-1 banana

– 2 Tbs coconut milk

– chlorella powder

– enough coconut water to get things moving

Blend it all together!

15 Oct

I was supposed to go out and see some music tonight but…sometimes you just need some quality time at home, right?  Plus, I’ve got a show marathon coming up tomorrow night with my boyfriend playing in a couple different bands: Light for Fire (download the free song, you’ll love it!) and Pete International Airport.  Between the two, I think we’ll be out pretty late and so I’ll pretend that it’s not lame at all that I chose to stay home and blog tonight instead of going out with a few friends.  🙂

Tonight for dinner, I had some amazing raw pasta that I made from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen cookbook.  I’ve been a little skeptical about the raw pasta thing for a while.  How could strips of uncooked zucchini ever cut it in the pasta world?  Well, the answer is that you pair them with an amazing tomato sauce.  I honestly think that I prefer her version to the traditional spaghetti and marinara that I’m used to.  The zucchini is such a mild flavor and the fetuccini-style noodles I made using a vegetable peeler had a soft and mildly crunchy texture.  The sauce is simply tomatoes, basic, garlic, lemon, olive oil and sundried tomatoes blended together.  The flavors are fresh and, I think, preferable to Classico marinara that I usually buy when I’m having pasta.

For dessert, I baked a delicata squash that I got on sale at the co-op (a peanut butter cookie served as dessert #2).  Delicata is my favorite type of squash because of how easy it is to make and serve.  All you need to do is preheat the oven to 400 degrees, cut the squash in half lengthwise, and bake the halves face-down for about a half hour.  Add some butter or coconut oil with brown sugar once they’re done and you have a perfect fall side-dish or, in this case, dessert.  The best part about this type of squash is that the skin is thin and soft enough to be eaten.  So you don’t even have to fuss with scooping out the “meat” before serving!

Since I’m rambling on in the “healthy lifestyle” vein here, I might as well mention a workout website I stumbled upon and took for a test-drive today.  Bodyrock seems to be a boot camp style website for the girls.  If I can get over feeling totally self-conscious by comparing myself Zuzana, the trainer, I think I might try to incorporate her routines into my workouts.  Today I tried the Burpee Burnout Workout, which is supposed to last 10 minutes but, in my case, went for about 3.  At least there’s plenty of room for improvement!

Listening to: “Gorilla Manor” by the Local Natives

Watching: Went and saw a great documentary called “Exit Through the Gift Shop” this weekend.  It was funny and thought-provoking, I loved it.

And here’s another photo from my 35mm, which I’m still learning to use.  Have a good night!

8 Oct

Today was one of those brutal, resolution-breaking kind of days.  It started out with a staff meeting at work featuring bagels and cream cheese, followed later by irresistible Pretzel M&M’s.  Seriously, what is better than chocolate and pretzels?  They appeared in our break room just in time for me to decide that some serious stress-eating was in order.  That kind of day.  On the bright side, I had some mostly raw tacos I made for lunch that were actually really delicious.  They had mushroom-almond “refried beans”, avocados, tomatoes, and lime.  The corn tortillas I served them in were not raw, but I’m saving up to buy a food dehydrator so I can make my own raw taco shells.  Jeremy took me out for a Caesar salad with tempeh at Laughing Planet for dinner and now I’m relaxing after a hot shower and getting ready to watch the Reservoir Dogs DVD I got from Netflix.  Guess it’s not such a bad day after all.

Listening to: Blur – “Badhead” from Parklife

Reading: Finished Geek Love, by Katherine Dunn.  Disturbing and wonderful all at the same time.  Highly recommended.

taken with our Nikon 35mm

Camping and Cheezecake

7 Oct

Jeremy and I decided that we needed to get out of town last weekend, before the gray Portland winter sets in.  I am a wuss and will probably refuse to step foot outside heated indoor environs unless absolutely necessary from November until March.

 


We had to put Jeremy's jacket on Dan to keep him from shivering in the tent.

 

Well, we still froze and I spent a good amount of time reminding myself of all the nights I have to look forward to in my warm bed instead of on a foggy, frigid mountainside. With that griping out of the way, I have to say that I was treated to some of the most amazing views of Mt. Hood that I have ever seen.  We stayed at the Cloud Cap Campground on the north face of Mt. Hood, where had some beautiful views of Elliot Glacier.

Recently, I’ve started taking an interest in raw foods.  It appears that there is a whole health movement around it with cookbooks and websites galore.  I’m certainly not interested in the %100 raw lifestyle, there are too many sacrifices I would need to make and I’m not convinced that cooked foods don’t offer some important health benefits.  Nonetheless, I think some of the basic principles are great and I’m sure I could benefit from including more raw food in my diet.  Today, I did my best to eat as much raw food as I could.  Here’s how it went:

-banana, spinach, hemp, cacao, and milk smoothie with chlorella supplement added

-raw walnuts

-vegetable and yogurt salad

-carrot, beet, and celery juice

-wheatberry salad (cooked)

-ham and cheese wrap from the freezer

-grapes

-raw lemon cheezecake

Overall, I did much better than usual when I’m trying to eat raw.  I wonder if I’ll notice a difference in my energy levels if I keep this up?  I may have to try it as an experiment.

At the Crossroads

10 Aug

One of my favorite things to do is to purge my closet of items that I haven’t worn at any time in recent memory.  I know that this might seem odd for someone who is trying to adapt to a more frugal lifestyle.  After all, there is a significant amount of truth in the adage “Waste Not, Want Not”.  But listen, I managed to transform a bag full of my unwanted items into $18 dollars of store credit at Crossroads.  Yes, they only took about 2 of my 10 items and it is always somewhat humiliating to let a fashionably dressed 21 year old rifle through my poor fashion purchases of yesteryear.  I decided not to repeat the experience at the Buffalo Exchange up the street, but it was a good reminder of just how many of today’s purchases could be tomorrow’s regrets.

There certainly are situations where one might want to hold onto something that has no immediate use or desirability.  Here are a couple of good rules to go by:

1.  If an article of clothing was cheaply made and you never feel like wearing it anymore, get rid of it.  Chances are good that if you magically start liking it again, it won’t look very good anyway.  Nicely made vintage clothes have better staying power, that stretched out T-Shirt you bought at Target is probably not worth your closet space.

2.  If you don’t feel comfortable in it (physically or emotionally), it’s time to say goodbye.  You won’t be any less prone to itchy material a year from now and if something makes you feel slutty/matronly/anything-else-you-don’t-consider-yourself-to-be you’re probably going to run into the same problem a year from now.

In order to avoid rashly getting rid of things that might later be of use, I like to first set them out of sight and out of mind for a few months.  Then, when I get the notion, I can trot back down to the basement and see if there is anything in my almost-thrown-out bag that I am sorely missing.  Usually there is not.  If I keep my closet clear of unwanted items, I’m usually less prone to feeling like I need a fashion “makeover” (a horrible use of money for those of us who are in a lower income bracket than we would like to be).  Instead, I just see things that I actually like smiling back at me.