Back to Reality

Well, looks like we’re back to regularly scheduled programming. Unfortunately, we dropped my parents off at the airport yesterday afternoon. I can’t believe the week flew by so quickly but we really had a great time. In my mom’s words..

“It’s been food and drink and food and drink and WALKING! Lots of fun.”

San Francisco Giants Park Tour

And a little AT&T Park tour.

I’m not ready to go back to reality yet, but I guess that’s what happens when you grow up, huh? Nathan took the whole week off while they were here and we really treated it like a vacation for us too! We tried a bunch of new restaurants, visited some new places, and also showed off some of our faves. I mentioned last week that I fully expected their visit to be tough. Leading up to their visit, I hadn’t been feeling to awesome about the changes I’ve noticed in my body but I wanted to try to forget about that for the week. The first couple days it was on my mind, but honestly, I think making the deal with myself that I was just going to say screw it, enjoy every minute with them, and go back to my normal, healthier eating when they left made it so much easier. Ice cream again? Sure! Another beer sampler to share? Let’s do it! No need to justify my decisions to anyone because we were all about enjoying ourselves. You bet I had a couple of nights where I felt uncomfortably full but I’ll forget about that. What I won’t forget is seeing my parents try beer after beer after beer [they’re not big drinkers!]. I won’t forget watching my dad break up a cookie for a sundae before paying for it. I won’t forget sharing a lunch at Source with my mom and then discovering amazing gelato that we had to share too. I won’t forget watching my dad and Nathan play catch on the beach after our picnic. So today I resume my “normal” eating and I go back to working on getting back to feeling more comfortable in my skin. But only after having some chocolate coconut milk ice cream for dessert last night. Because ice cream is what we did. And last night was still “vacation” and damnit, I wanted some ice cream!

Food for Thought

Are you able to let go of your “crazy” sometimes? It was the best thing I could have done while they were here.

What I Ate Wednesday #75: We Did It Right

I think in the process of running my parents all around the bay area, we ran ourselves into the ground a little too. Unfortunately, they’re heading back home today and as much as I may need a little more sleep, I don’t want them to go. It has really felt so much more like home with them here. If I had my whole family with me, I wouldn’t think twice about where I was. Anywhere. I miss ’em already but Nathan and I both made sure we did it right!

There was some healthy food…
The Plant Cafe

Venus Breakfast Berkeley California

…some home cooked meals…
Sweet Potato Zucchini Red Pepper Frittata

Black rice bowl chipotle orange chicken Half Baked Harvest

Jerk shrimp fried plantain wheat berries Half Baked Harvest

…some brunching…
Challah French Toast Tomate Cafe

…a little pizza…
Zacharys Chicago Style Pizza

…more than one ice cream/gelato trip…
Olive Oil Dark Chocolate Chunk Gelato

Coffee Break Chocolate Peanut Butter Tuckers Ice Cream Alameda

…LOTS of Asian food…
Coffee Ribs Lai Hong Lounge

Eel Clay Pot Lai Hong Lounge

Pea Shoots Lai Hong Lounge

Sake Jime Salmon Iyasare

Iyasare Berkeley California

Drunken Noodles Spice I Am

Spicy Grilled Pork Bibimbop HRD Coffee Shop

Chisari Yojimbo Alameda

Sushi Yojimbo Alameda

…a few drinks all around…
Bear Republic Beer Sampler

Lagunitas Beer Sampler 2

Lagunitas Beer Sampler

Buena Vista Cafe Irish Coffee

21st Amendment

…and so many incredible memories.
Bear Republic Cheers

Buena Vista Cafe Irish Coffee Cheers

I absolutely cannot wait to see them again. It’s been such a great week. Cheers!

Food for Thought

Where is your favorite place to take out-of-town visitors?

Breaking Routine

People tell you to find a routine that works for you. One that you know you’ll stick to. That’s how you become successful, right? I found my routine. I was successful. And then I moved across the country and everything was thrown out the window.

San Francisco California CA

Oh hey, Cali πŸ™‚

I noticed that I was taking advantage of the hotel meals and drinks that I wouldn’t normally have and things were slowly creeping up on me. And when I say me, I mean my waistline. Not to mention, being in a new place and wanting to explore the areas and amazing restaurants proved to be irresistible. It stressed me out and I was seriously craving routine.

Ramen Shop Veggie Shoyu Meyer Lemon

Holy ramen!

I was afraid of what my scale would show after almost 9 weeks away from it. It’s crazy, I know. I figured I would unpack our boxes, push the scale aside, and wait a couple weeks until I felt more comfortable. I opened up the first box and there it was. Go freaking figure. But I did as I had hoped; I put it away and forgot about it. Honestly, I had too much crap around me to concern myself with a piece of plastic to stand on.

What’s great about routine is that when you break one, you can create a new one. As we were getting settled in our new place, I found my new routine. And after less than a week of getting back to my real oatmeal breakfasts, huge salads for lunch, and home-cooked dinners, I also found myself feeling much more comfortable in my skin again. I felt good and I wanted to get past the scale anxiety.

Kale Cabbage Sugar Snap Peas Tomatoes Carrots Roasted Corn Hemp Seed Sriracha Avocado Honey Mustard

Helloooooooo big salads!

Now, what’s funny about routine, is that sometimes you just need to break it. Everyone says you should shake it up a bit every now and then. I honestly believe that from spending almost 2 months of eating differently, my body completely readjusted. Less than a week of my old “norm” and my body went right back too. Hell of an idea, right? The number that I saw last Tuesday was the same number that I saw 2 months ago before I packed that baby up!

There’s been a lot of talk about not setting New Year’s resolutions, but having a word to set the tone for the year. I decided my word would be trust. I need to learn to trust myself more. I need to learn to listen to my body more. And if there is one thing that these past couple months have taught me, it’s that my body truly does know what’s best. Want a sandwich? Eat a sandwich. Want a couple fries? Steal them from Nathan’s plate πŸ˜‰ Craving some ice cream? Get. Some damn. Ice cream.

San Francisco Creamery Co Apple Pie

Worth it.

Knowing that I’m making healthy decisions everyday when I go to the gym, eat my protein oats, have a huge salad, and load up on veggies with my dinner makes it that much easier to enjoy a treat every now and then. I’ve been reading other blogs and people have been coming to this realization every single day. Everyone just need to make that realization in their own time and I’m glad my time found me.

Washington Square Park San Francisco California CA

Now excuse us as we enjoy the 70 degree weather πŸ˜‰

Food for Thought

Are you an intuitive eater or do you set a schedule or meal plan?

Foodie Friday: St. Patrick’s Day Recipe Round Up

What would a fun holiday be without a fun holiday recipe round up? I’m pretty sure you said “not fun” and I agree! And while I’ve never been big in partaking in the celebrations, I can certainly hop on board with the food- and drink-based excitement of it all.

Skinnytaste Eating Bird Food Brown Eyed Baker Gimme Some Oven Two Peas & Their Pod Coconut & Lime Closet Cooking St Patricks Day Recipe Round Up Barr & Table

[Breakfast]
Breakfast Reuben SandwichCloset Cooking
Corned Beef Hash with Carrots & ThymeCoconut & Lime
Green Monster Spinach SmoothieIowa Girl Eats

Alright, so the smoothie might not be a traditional St. Patty’s Day treat, but with all of the treats around, you might want to have this recipe on hand for the next day πŸ˜‰

[Snacks & Meals]
Honey Beer BreadGimme Some Oven
Reuben Rolls with Thousand Island Dip
Avocado Feta DipTwo Peas & Their Pod
Corned Beef & Cabbage SoupSkinnytaste

I love the twists on traditional fare, especially turning a heavier dish, like Corned Beef & Cabbage, into something lighter.

[Sweet Treats]
Minty Irish PowerballsBarr & Table
Creamy Lime & Avocado Tart (Vegan + Gluten Free)Eating Bird Food
Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice CreamBrown Eyed Baker
Irish Car Bomb CupcakesBrown Eyed Baker
Skinny(er) Shamrock ShakeSkinnytaste

A few indulgent options and a few healthier options as well. Take your pick! πŸ™‚

Food for Thought

How will you be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year?

What I Ate Wednesday #26 – Doing It Up Miami Style!

Have you entered my KIND Snacks giveaway? It ends tomorrow night.. don’t miss out!

Friday night, Nathan and I jet setted to Florida for a long weekend. I have family in the Ft. Lauderdale area so it’s always nice to be able to get away and go visit them, especially this time of year when it’s freezing at home! And since it’s not enough to just go to Florida, we planned a full day in Miami; completely revolving around food, of course!

We spent the day roaming South Beach with completely full stomachs. Seriously, this was not planned well. We had far too much food at every stop! But I guess if that’s my only complaint, it’s not so bad πŸ˜‰

[Brunch]
Yardbird

“A house of worship to farm-fresh ingredients, classic Southern cooking, culture and hospitality.”

This place is great! I loved the decor and all of the little touches, from the clever chalkboard drawings, right down to the paper napkin ring.

Yardbird Decor South Beach Miami Florida FL Jeff McInnis Top Chef

The staff was super friendly and really helped to make the experience so enjoyable and relaxing. I think my eyes lit up when we walked in and didn’t stop until we left. The kitchen was open to the restaurant and I loved being able to see everything being made and brought out. I definitely tried to scope everything out as it went by!

Yardbird Run Chicken Run South Beach Miami Florida FL Jeff McInnis Top Chef

Shares
Butter Lettuce and Grilled Mango salad with smoked pecans and benne seed vinaigrette.
Chilled Watermelon with cayenne pepper, lemon, and herbs.

His
Mama’s Chicken Biscuits with homemade pepper jelly and house-pickled cucumber, onion, and okra.
Coffee

Hers
Egg-white omelette with caramelized onions, muenster cheese, and smoked pork, topped with pimento cheese sauce. Buttermilk biscuit and fresh fruit on the side.
Coffee

Thoughts
The salad was tasty and I would recommend it if you’re looking for a light, refreshing salad. Next time, we would definitely look for something that packs a little more punch. Same idea goes for the watermelon; we like bold flavor!

Best biscuit ever? I think we both agreed on that one. It was light and flaky. Just the right consistency to peel layer by layer. The chicken was perfectly fried and the homemade pepper jelly was slightly sweet and spicy which was the perfect compliment. The omelette was chock full of mix-ins and flavor. I’d never had pimento cheese before but I think this may have converted me.

Overall, it was a great experience. I would definitely recommend a visit if you’re in South Beach and I’ll definitely be back again!

[Lunch/Snack]
Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs during brunch, but somehow we managed to put away all of that food. Which meant when lunch time rolled around, we weren’t hungry. Joe’s Stone Crabs were part of the original plan, but not being able to buy 1 or 2 for a little snack meant I skipped them all together.

Instead, we went over to the Hofbrauhaus.

Hofbrauhaus Hofbrau House Miami South Beach Florida FL

It had been a few hours and we’d done a few miles of walking so it was more-than-time for some beer. Or 1 liter each. And with all of that beer, clearly you need something to wash down!

Enter the meat and cheese platter with a side of soft-baked pretzel. Good thing we had the tiniest bit of room in our stomachs for this mound of deliciousness! We had no idea there would be so much food. But once again, we finished it. All of it.

And it’s worth noting, the people watching in Miami is second to none! You get a great view from the outdoor seating at this place.

[Pick-Me-Up]
Nathan has not stopped telling me about Aroma Coffee since he went to Israel 2 years ago. It’s the only coffee shop over there and they have the best coffee. So when he saw there was an Aroma Coffee in Miami, we had to stop in. And who doesn’t need a little iced cappuccino after a liter of beer?

Aroma Coffee Israel Miami South Beach Florida FL

[Dinner]
With no room left in our stomachs, we made our way over to Michael’s Genuine. It was featured on The Layover so we knew we had to check it out.

Michaels Genuine Food Drink Miami Beach Florida FL Anthony Bourdain

Unlike brunch, this time, we shared everything! We started with the Crispy Pig Ear. And if you can forget what you’re eating, it’s really delicious! They’re perfectly spiced and wonderfully crispy (just like the name!)

Next, we got the Crispy Sweet & Spicy Pork Belly with kimchi, crushed peanuts, and pea shoots. I love anything peanut so I was really digging the flavor and crunch on this.

Finally, for our meal we ordered the Grilled Leg of Lamb with salsa verde and the Wood-Roasted Brussel Sprouts with pancetta and lemon aioli. Unfortunately, I have to admit that this part of the meal fell flat. I was disappointed with the portion size of the lamb for the price, not to mention, it was cold when it came out. It wasn’t seasoned well and didn’t have tons of flavor. The brussel sprouts were good, but not anything really special.

In an attempt to make up for the lamb, we were comped a dessert of chocolate cake topped with ice cream and whipped cream. This happened to be the best part of the entire meal (and also the part that I didn’t photograph!)

With such a high price tag, I don’t think we would go back. The whole experience felt a bit over-hyped and even though we had a decent dinner, I’m sure we could have spent half as much and enjoyed ourselves much more elsewhere.

Overall, we had a great day in Miami. We were filled to the gills the entire time and couldn’t get enough of the sunshine and summery weather! Not exactly what you think of around the holidays, but a nice change of pace.

Food for Thought

Have you ever been to any of these restaurants? Have you ever gone to a restaurant that was recommended by someone famous and found that it didn’t live up to the hype?

What I Ate Wednesday #7 – Sunday Brunch

Sundays are definitely one of my favorite days. Morning yoga in the park, hitting up the farmers market, and on some special Sundays, we do brunch.

One thing you need to know about Nathan and me is that we love deals. Groupon and Living Social are my best friend. So much so, that people poke fun at me for work.. “Oh, you’re going out to eat? What kinda deal did you get?” I have no problem with this because as a foodie, trying new restaurants (for half price, mind you) is nothing less than awesome!

This past Sunday’s brunch was at Lebanese Taverna. It may not have been a new restaurant to try, but we absolutely love the food there, so when a deal popped up for brunch, we were on that like white on rice! Or hummus on pita.. you choose πŸ˜‰

I realized when I went to put this post together that I didn’t take pictures of any of my food from Sunday, except brunch sooo here’s a quick break down!

Breakfast
Cinnamon raisin protein oats & quinoa. This recipe is coming soon and you don’t want to miss it!

Brunch
Lebanese Taverna deliciousness!

Homemade Bread
This is important enough for it’s own line. Have you had their bread?! It is incredible.

Red Sangria
Pomegranate wine, triple sec, brandy, cinnamon, basil, apples, and plums. I would order that every time!

Barr & Table Lebanese Taverna Sunday Brunch Red Wine Sangria Apples Plums

Our Feast!
Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Lebanese Salad (cucumber, tomato, mint, & onion), Chicken Kabob, and Beef & Lamb Shwarma.

Barr & Table Lebanese Taverna Sunday Brunch Hummus Baba Ganoush Chicken Kabob Beef & Lamb Shwarma Cucumber Tomato Salad

Barr & Table Lebanese Taverna Sunday Brunch Hummus Baba Ganoush Chicken Kabob Beef & Lamb Shwarma Cucumber Tomato Salad

My favorite parts? The baba ganoush and beef & lamb shwarma. I could eat all of it. All day. Everyday.

Booza
An ice cream trio with Pistachio-Orange (my fave!), Vanilla Cardamom (Nathan’s fave!), and Honey (the overall crowd-pleaser.)

Barr & Table Lebanese Taverna Sunday Brunch Vanilla Cardamom Pistachio Honey Ice Cream Dessert

Clearly, it was too warm outside to let the ice cream pose for a picture, so naturally, we devoured it! Sorry. (Not really.)

Dinner
Leftover thai.. steamed bean thread noodles with fresh ginger, hu-nu, onions, carrots, baby corn, scallions,bean sprouts, pork, and bean sauce in a hot pot and a side of edamame. This comes from a place called Thai Arroy. It looks like a little whole-in-the-wall, but it is the best thai food in Baltimore!

Snack Time
Homemade peanut butter froyo. This is another recipe coming soon and definitely worth checking out! It’s so easy and much cheaper than going out πŸ™‚

Barr & Table Homemade Peanut Butter Key Lime Pie Froyo Frozen Yogurt Almonds Carob Chips Chocolate Peanut Butter Chips

Like I said.. I didn’t do such a great job of taking pictures on Sunday, so now you’re subjected to a bad Instagramed phone picture. For this, I truly apologize.

Speak Up!

What’s your favorite Sunday tradition? Are you a Sunday brunch-er?

And don’t miss my giveaway; you have until tomorrow night to enter! You could win a case of the delicious CalNaturale Svelte! Yum!