What I Ate, Wednesday [Post]

13 Wed, 2011 § 4 Comments

Technically, this is “What I Ate” Tuesday.

My blogging preference is specific highlighted meals, recipes, thoughts & foods…rather than a run-down of a daily menu; a friend coaxed me into sharing a day’s worth of my eats though, so here you have it!

After an early morning HIIT workout, Dave treated me to another one of his amazing recovery drinks.

Hemp & Pumpkin Spiced Latte Smoothie

Interested in my short, intense workout?

It was a good one.

Each exercise or set equals 4 minutes before moving on to the next.

  • Scorpion Flips – 50 seconds max effort; 10 seconds rest (4 rounds)

Alternate between the following two exercises for 4 minutes with no rests, (6 rounds total):

  • Chatarunga plus alternate lifting each leg [20 seconds]
  • (Without using arms, roll onto back)
  • Alternating One-Leg Toe Touches [20 seconds]
  • Skater Lunges – 50 seconds max effort; 10 seconds rest (2 rounds each side, 4 rounds total)
  • One-Arm Side-Lying Tricep Press Ups [alternate doing 20 seconds each arm, no rests, 6 rounds — meaning each arm gets worked 6 times]

A couple hours later,

Kamut Berry Salad with flax seed oil, sea salt & a splash of champagne vinegar

curbed morning hunger.

I packed lime-squeezed jicama slices along with a little leftover sauteed escarole with caramelized shallots, chickpeas & currants, piled over mixed greens for a mid-day snack.

This was pretty light, so it was shortly followed by

two pieces of toasted  millet bread alongside roasted red beets from our CSA drizzled in balsamic & just a touch of honey.

I keep a water bottle with me at all times — except when I lose one, which I am infamous for doing — & try to stay hydrated; most days, all I drink is water, maybe tea.  Yesterday I only did so-so & should have refilled this guy a couple more times.  Good thing Natalie posted some tips!

To refuel after my jog to the climbing gym after work,

I enjoyed a local orange while I waited outside on the bench for Dave.

The cool, fresh air felt nice,

as did bouldering.

Post-climbing, I snacked on a lemon zest Luna bar, with chalky hands & all.

Luna bars were on a great sale & are like a treat for me sometimes, but most flavors are too sweet.  They are a better option than many bars, but I don’t like that they are processed & use evaporated cane juice.  I would like to find or make a better, whole-food alternative.  Any suggestions?  (other than Lara bars)

For dinner, we made Serrano Pepper & Shallot Fajitas on Ezekiel tortillas.

Portobellos & cashew cheese for me; steak cooked in red wine with fresh mozzarella for Dave.

Oh ~ & a small piece of homemade “raw” chocolate before bed…because I can. 😉

I told you, I like to eat often; I feel best when I eat a lot of small “meals” throughout the day.

Though my favorite blogs aren’t the “here is what I ate”-variety, sometimes it is fun to see what other active, health-minded people eat throughout the day & snag an idea or two — so let me know if you share your own “What I Ate” Wednesday  post!

Strawberry Smiles

7 Thu, 2011 § 5 Comments

By 7AM, Dave & I had both dropped the F-bomb.

Mine slipped out because Eisley was sick this morning.  She tried to make it outside but only got as far as the door: my fault for not realizing.  If only more of it had ended up on the linoleum instead of the carpet, maybe I would have kept my cool.  I try not to act mad at her; it’s not her fault…but it’s really really gross cleaning up dog…well, you know…first thing in the morning.  So I guess I thought I would feel better if I tried to push blame onto Dave:

“Why didn’t you tell me she was sick last night?”

“Uh, because she wasn’t sick last night.”

Oh.

Even after my immature blame-shifting, he still made me a morning smoothie.  He often spoils me with a protein shake & this was one of the best!  F-bomb-dropping worthy in fact.  Dave does not use the word often & never out of anger (something that is slooowly rubbing off onto me); so when he says “ready to have your world f*- in’ rocked?”, I know I am. 🙂

Dave’s Strawberry Smoothie

Strawberries can only make me happy, especially when served by the man I love.

He combined coconut water, banana, maca powder, strawberries, hemp protein powder & topped it off with about 1/4 cup vanilla soy milk before blending it to smooth & creamy perfection.

Strawberries are finally coming in season, so do yourself & someone you love a favor by brightening your day with the simple, fresh treat of these precious berries.

Thanks for brightening my morning, Dave.  You did, even if it was delayed onset. 😉

 

The Good Foam [Homemade Almond Milk]

9 Wed, 2011 § 7 Comments

We like the taste of almond milk & the convenience of buying it – heck, we like the fact we have the option of buying this.  What I am not enjoying is throwing the packaging out every week.

So…we started making our own again, which is actually more delicious.  It lives in a cute, glass carafe in the fridge & will keep ~5 – 7 days.  I like the taste of the stuff from the store just fine, but it still tastes a little processed.  Fresh tastes, well, fresh — & the foam —

oh the foam!

  • 1 C almonds, soaked overnight to germinate
  • 3 C water

Rinse & strain almonds & combine with water in a blender & blend.  Pour through a cheese cloth into a container & squeeze all excess liquid from the almond pulp using the cheese cloth.  You can leave it at that or combine pulp & liquid & blend again for thicker, creamier almond milk.  I make ours with a small magic bullet, so it is triple & quadruple blended! 😀

Save the pulp to sprinkle over salads, stir into cereal or morning porridge or try Dave’s favorite: bread chicken [or tofu or seitan I’m sure] with the shredded almond meal & pan fry.  Keep almond pulp in the fridge for ~5 days; it also freezes well if you are not going to use it within 5 days.

You can also add vanilla or cinnamon or cocoa, a sweetener, etc for more flavor, though I usually keep it plain.

I won’t lie.  Though worth it once made, Dave & I are both guilty of catching the lazy bug when it comes to grabbing soaked nuts from the fridge to whip up milk.  Some days it takes a couple lonely cookies to finally coax me into making a new batch.  I promise the thick & foamy result is worth the “hard work”.

~

What kind of milk do you drink?

NYE Mulling

3 Mon, 2011 § 5 Comments

I have never made New Year’s resolutions.

I think I have always just known, they don’t last.  One day doesn’t suddenly make the difference.  My friend, Ashley, tends to agree & made some really great points in her NYE post.  She gave me a lot to mull over on my snowy hike with Eisley on Friday [& another potential book to add to my ever-growing list].

How often do the “next-day” resolutions last?  When we say, “on New Year’s Day I will”  or “Monday starts a new week, I’ll do it then”, how often do we follow through?

“The day” often comes & goes by, & we realize we forgot to do what we had intended…or we make excuses & postpone it…or as soon as we mess up, we scrap it.

What changes do last?

Those that we start now.  The changes we are motivated to make the moment they hit us.

I appreciate setting goals & time-lines to keep us focused, but most important is what we are doing now to make these changes.  Specific occasions, like New Year’s, offer a good reminder to reflect on the person we are & how we might like to change.

What did I discover as I reflected during our walk?  Things feel off.  I have never been at this place before & know I am at risk of falling into old habits.  Intentions speak strongly to me & offer a tool I can use now.  [If you didn’t click on Ashley’s post, you really should go read it.]  I agree with Pico Iyer from the Wall Street Journal:

“The best resolution to make this New Year’s Day might be to open your eyes to everything around you—while also recalling that most of our lofty resolutions will ultimately come to naught.”

The last couple years my main intention has been focused toward opening my eyes & embracing the present.  I have realized the end [goal] does not justify a miserable path of pursuance.  I might die before tomorrow comes.  Am I happy with how I pursued today, especially concerning my interactions with others?  I can surely continue to improve my state of presence & seeing all things with a fresh perspective, & this is something I will always strive to develop.  It will help me face my situation now, to know “the only peace of mind I could find is from realizing how little I could bend circumstances to my will.” ~Pico Iyer

That is not quite enough right now though.  There is something else going on inside — the reason for feeling off — something I need to face & articulate.  It has been a constant, wavering reflection lately that I am having the most difficult time actually putting into a solid thought, let alone words.  Perhaps I am only avoiding it; I find myself unable to focus on it for long, but it is always there.

The closest I can come to articulating it is I need to acknowledge & appreciate my own worth & value & what I offer & am capable of doing.

The “how” is hazy like this photo, but the intention is there & has been for the last couple weeks.  I will nurture it every day into clarity, especially because I am surrounded by love & support of family & good friends [which includes you].  I am happy & doing well but can sense I am near the brink of a meltdown if I am not mindful & loving to myself.

2011 will be a happy year.  Today will be a happy day.

~

We rang in the new year rather quietly, bundled up inside, hiding from the cold with comedies & “gourmet” grilled cheese open-faced sandwiches [on my mind since Natalie’s Christmas party] of local artisan bread, sheep’s brie, oregano & braised artichoke hearts along with apple & fennel chutney over wilted greens.

The star of our night is in the glass to the right though.

The bottle of ’09 Opera Prima Tempranillo alone was ok.  Not especially dry & not too sweet, but it lacked the full-bodied flavor we normally like.  Once we heated & steeped it with some spices though…Yum.

Warm, Spicy Wine from The Kind Diet

It has been in the negative degrees here!  A warm drink was essential NYE.

I halved the recipe, used only 2 T of maple & combined all of the ingredients other than Madeira, which I believe is a Portuguese wine, & steeped it for ~2 hours before slowly heating it again, then straining.  I am not sure what we were missing out on by not having the added Madeira, but we certainly could not taste what it might have been lacking.  My fear was it would become too sweet, but the acidity of the oj may have been what balanced out the sweetness, & the spices were wonderful.  This is a holiday cold-weather-drink keeper!

~

How did you celebrate NYE?  Do you make resolutions?  Or are you a goals or intentions setter?

We Stole Your Children, Tried to Eradicate Your Culture & Homogenize Your People…We Said “We’re Sorry”, So Let’s Live & Let Live over Dirty Poms

14 Sun, 2010 § 7 Comments

When Rachel talks about coming early, I don’t even raise an eyebrow.  It’s Rachel after all, & we all know where she’s going.

Not this time.

She was talking about premature celebration — of a holiday of our own choosing that is.

What normally comes to mind when you think of holidays?

family. friends. culture. food. community. happiness.

These are beautiful aspects of life worth embracing & celebrating; sometimes though, it’s important to acknowledge the forces that strive to destroy all of these.

Dave [who lived in Australia for a time] shared one such story that really struck me & has stayed with me since.

For over 100 years — even into the late twentieth century — children of Aboriginal decent were removed from their families by the Australian government in an attempt to “breed out the color”.  These children became known as the “Stolen Generation”.

Some were whipped & beaten.  They were “educated” — many were trained as domestic staff — & not allowed to speak in their native tongue or celebrate their indigenous culture.  Children with more white characteristics were “adopted” out to white families [usually as a servant].

A moving & amazing true story about the courage & strong will of one young girl who was taken from her mother during this era is told through the movie Rabbit-Proof Fence.  The film follows three girls as they walk for nine weeks along 1,500 miles of the Australian rabbit-proof fence to return to their families.  It is one of my favorite movies.

National Sorry Day is held on May 26th to express regret over the historical mistreatment of these people.

It is a strange holiday to have come to mind, especially with all the current upcoming festivities lingering in the air.  What’s wrong with me?  Seriously, why couldn’t I talk about something more fun?

As Thanksgiving approaches, I can’t help but think of the atrocities that have occurred in my own nation & throughout the world.  These are mistakes of the past though, right?  People don’t behave this way now.

After listening — & re-listening — to the audio book Blink, I am enthralled by the author’s section on the subconscious biases, associations & prejudices most of us have.  We don’t even realize these effect the way we behave because we don’t realize they even exist.

Some prejudices are more obvious & pretty blatant.  Since moving to Arizona, I have really been taken aback by the obvious anti-immigration tone that exists here.  The irony seems to whisk by unnoticed: didn’t this land once occupy Mexican territory before they handed it over were chased out by the good ole settlers…uh, remember the Alamo?  Oh wait, I think I’m supposed to use that phrase to fire up your patriotism not acknowledge yet another human tragedy.

Yes, yes.  I’m an idealist.  “Imagine” by John Lennon always gets me, & it absolutely embodies my naive hope for the world.  My intention wasn’t to get so serious on you — & I know that’s not the point of Project Tasteless — but…

Sorry I’m not sorry.

My drink creations — that’s right, creation x 2 — are inspired by the simple Aboriginal flag [& one nation’s willingness to “own” & overcome its cruelty].

Black represents the dark-skinned man [or the night sky depending on interpretation] walking on the red earth beneath the yellow sun.

yellow. red. black.

Got it.

Licorice-Laced Pomegranate Cider

I just had to use pomegranate juice for my drink, but I wondered if I could make it warm like apple cider.  It had to be a little special too.

I hope you like black licorice.  Panda is my favorite brand.

  • 8 oz 100% pure Pomegranate juice
  • 1-inch piece of Panda black licorice, optional [but not really optional ;)]

Combine in a small pot & slowly bring to a simmer — don’t let it boil.

Carefully pour into a cup [or other drinking vessel — like my mason jar?], slide in a slice of lemon, add the rest of your licorice stick & sip this steaming cup of happiness.

The anise-flavor is only subtle but really does make it extra special.  The citrus adds a refreshing splash to your breakfast accompaniment.

I enjoyed mine with Baked Pumpkin French [Cranberry-Walnut]Toast.

[I still haven’t been able to talk Daving into make damper — traditional Australian fry bread for me. :(]

But this breakfast really hit it.

AND

This drink owns a pair of black stilettos & knows how to kick it up a notch.

I had big plans of layering inky black Luxardo Passione Nera Sambuca over Pomegranate juice — or over pomegranate Sambuca depending on the mood — & lighting it up [you know, the flame would represent the sun]…but Passione Nera was no where to be found. 😦

I decided to get dirty & turned to a more natural, earthy source for that black licorice punch.

Apparently adding intriguing texture by making dishes “dirty”  is all the rage among top chefs in the cooking world.  They are abandoning sauces & instead using fine powders, crumbles, dusts & dirts crafted from cookie crumbs, dried mushroom powder, dehydrated beets & anything else that can be dried, ground or crumbled.  Why couldn’t my drink be dirty?

  • ¼ tsp Anise seeds, ground
  • ~4 oz [½C] Pomegranate juice
  • vanilla Vodka
  • Panda licorice stick
  • 1 slice of Lemon

In an 8oz glass, pour pomegranate juice over your ground anise seeds.

Top the glass off with Vodka [to your liking].

When lighting it up doesn’t quite work

just “dress it” & get your drink sip on!

Quite tasty…that is of course supposing you are a fan of black licorice [which I’m discovering is rare — I don’t get it!].  However, even Dave who hates black licorice said it was “sweet enough I could forgive the licorice flavor.”

~

What holidays or “national days” really speak to you?

What are your favorite drink mixes?  Ever invent your own?

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