What I Ate Wednesday #122: The ‘V’ Word

A few days ago, I started a little experiment. I’m currently working with the nutritionist at Truve, Cyrus Khambatta, on testing a different kind of diet. So if I’m going to do it, why not go balls to the wall? We’re talking 2 weeks vegan. And not only that, but Cyrus is a big proponent of a 70/15/15 diet. Yup, 70% carbs. Fruit and veggie carbs, though, not grains. This is a really drastic change in my diet and I’m finding it very interesting to see the way my body is reacting to it. I’m only on day 4 right now, but I’m looking forward to doing a full update at the end. For now, this is how some of my meals and snacks have been looking.

Peas & Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

[Breakfast]

Banana Mango Papaya Chia Seeds Coffee Silk Cashew Milk

2 bananas, 1 mango, 1/2 papaya, cinnamon, & 2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in cashew milk

Bananas Strawberries Raisins Chia Seeds

2 bananas, 10 strawberries, 2 handfuls of raisins, and 2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in cashew milk

That’s a lot of fruit! Breakfast is, of course, my favorite meal of the day and while I’m missing my oats and melty peanut butter, these breakfasts have been delicious and surprisingly have held me over for 3-4.5 hours.

[Lunch]

Mediterranean Sweet Potato Olive Onion Bake

Sweet potatoes baked with olives, sun dried tomatoes, and onion

Kabocha Squash Fennel

Roasted kabocha squash and fennel

Anyone that tells me to eat a huge plate of sweet potatoes or kabocha is good in my book!

[Dinner]

Mushrooms Bell Pepper Onion

Mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion

Mushrooms Snow Peas Tomatoes

Mushrooms, snow peas, and tomato

Dinner has admittedly been my least favorite meal. It’s usually at this point that I feel like I’d like to sneak a couple bites of Nathan’s chicken. Or have some kind of sauce to make it all more exciting. I know typically if I were just doing vegan on my own, I could play with flavors a bit more but because I’m trying to really follow Cyrus’ plan, I’m sticking with his recipes.

[Snacks]

Gingerbread Larabar

Perfect because it’s just dates, nuts, and spices!

Holy moly. Those Blissful Eats bites are some of my new favorite snacks! I was lucky enough to win some samples but I have a feeling I’ll definitely be buying more in the [very near] future!

Also unpictured snacks have been chia pudding, apples, olives, and leftover kabocha squash.

Overall Feelings
So far, I feel like I’ve had ups and downs of feeling super full [hellooo kabocha!] and feeling downright ravenous. I’ve also noticed my energy levels being a bit low over the past couple of days. I’m interested to see if that turns around and if my body adjusts. I’m also curious to see if there are any changes in my body, though 2 weeks isn’t too long to see those changes.

It’s definitely an interesting experience thus far and I’m looking forward to seeing how the next week and a half goes, as well as if it changes my diet in the future.

Food for Thought

Have you ever tried eating vegan?
What are your thoughts on the 70/15/15 macro breakdown?

A Quiet Weekend for the Win

Have you entered my Athleta giveaway yet?

Good morning! Happy Monday! I hope you’re all feeling as rested up as I am. We had a really quiet weekend despite plans to get out and explore yesteday. Sometimes you just have to give into the tired feeling and spend some quality time with the sofa. Am I right?

Friday was a lot of running around, but definitely in a good way. I kicked off my morning with an awesome HIIT workout at Sweat with my friend, Melanie. This was my second time going to Sweat and I love it; these workouts make me push myself in ways that I don’t always when I workout on my own. And I definitely feel it the next day!

Sweat HIIT Melanie

After my workout and kicking other peoples butts in the gym, I met Nathan for happy hour. It was such a nice night [pretty much as always..], we opted to sit outside. I swear he was there too 😉
Barclays Beer Happy Hour

We hit up a new-to-us place for dinnerSummer Kitchen & Bake Shopwhich was good, but nothing to write home about. That said, after dinner, we shared a [freshly made] waffle cone of rosemary-pine nut-praline ice cream from our favorite shop, Ici. They have the most creative flavors and 9 times out of 10, they taste as incredible as they sound!

Saturday, the weather was supposed to be rainy so we planned on running errands. I guess if you’ve never seen rain before, you’d consider what we had to be terrible weather. It turned out to have drizzled some before we left the house and there were some clouds in the sky. Ugh, just the worst! Ha. California “weather” makes me laugh all the time! Our errands took us out to Tender Greens for lunch and it was wonderful! I had the albacore tuna plate with double roasted veggies. I love fall/winter veggies!
Tender Greens Albacore Tuna Roasted Sweet Potato Parsnips Butternut Squash Brussels Sprouts Bacon Jalapeno Cornbread

After lunch, we popped into World Market for the first time. There was a lot of fun stuff there but we made it out with only a couple single serving packets of Barney Butter. I’ve never had it before so obviously when I saw the Cocoa + Coconut and Vanilla Bean + Espresso squeezies, I had to get them. And because I can’t get enough nut butter, I decided Saturday night was the right time to make these protein brownies with almond butter swirl.
Protein Chocolate Almond Butter Brownies

I’ve never been one for brownie edges. I like the gooey middle pieces.. though I think I could have taken these guys out of the oven a minute or two earlier. Next time!

Yesterday was super quiet. It was a day for the gym, groceries, and cooking dinner together. It was a true team effort; I love when that happens!

Skirt Steak Roasted Garlic Kabocha Red Pepper Onion Mushrooms

We had plans to go for a hike, but we both pretty much decided that would be way too much effort for a Sunday! It’s nice to start the week feeling rested.

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday – Seared skirt steak with peppers, onions, mushrooms, and roasted kabocha
MondaySpicy BBQ Chickpea and Crispy Polenta Bowls with Asparagus + Ranch Hummus
TuesdayGreek Chicken Souvlaki with spiced roasted carrots
Wednesday – BBQ margarita chicken with mango slaw
Thursday – Leftovers
Friday – Out!
Saturday – Leftovers

Food for Thought

Are you a middle brownie fan or an edge/corner fan?
Did you do anything exciting over the weekend?

Foodie Friday: Skinny Spinach Basil Pesto

Have you entered my Peanut Butter & Co. giveaway?

For a couple of weeks I was on a serious cottage cheese kick. It started with my cottage cheese oats and didn’t stop there! It’s a great way to add extra protein to your favorite dishes and add a little extra creaminess too. I was really in the mood for a pesto-y kinda lunch but unfortunately it looked like the pesto in the fridge had seen better days. Whoops..  good thing we had everything I needed to whip up my own skinny-fied version.

Skinny Spinach Basil Pesto

Makes 1 serving

Skinny Spinach Basil Pesto

Ingredients
– 1/3 cup cottage cheese [I used low fat Daisy]
– 1/2 cup spinach
– 5-10 fresh basil leaves
– 2 tsp nutritional yeast*
– 1 tbsp lemon juice
– 1 tbsp pistachios
– 1 tsp McCormick Garlic Pepper Seasoning

Directions
Put all ingredients into a food processor and give it a whirl until smooth.

I tossed my pesto into a pan with zucchini noodles, roasted kabocha, and a filet of sole. Once it warmed up, the cottage cheese got extra creamy and melty. Just what I was looking for!

*Nutritional yeast can be found on iHerb.com. Use code ZAF482 to receive $5 off of your first order.

Nutritional Information
Per single serving of pesto

113 Calories  /  5g Fat  /  8g Carbs  /  3g Fiber  /  3g Sugar  /  11g Protein

This reminds me, I really need to make this again soon! And with that, it’s about time I get myself ready for a relaxing wine country getaway with my husband of almost 1 year. Can’t believe how quickly time flies.

image

Sprint 2 the Table

Food for Thought

Are you a pesto fan?
Do you have any big plans for the weekend?

What I Ate Wednesday #82: Passover Style

Have you entered my Bob’s Red Mill giveaway yet?

Back in the day I absolutely dreaded Passover. No pasta? Are you kidding me?!

These days it’s more “no legumes?!” There’s a lot less dread going into the holiday since my diet has changed but I do miss my peanut butter, green beans, peanut butter, sugar snap peas, peanut butter.. I mean, I don’t discriminate against other nut butters, but I always go back to the peanut. Before I get into my Passover eats, let me just say that I’m not super strict. I follow the gist of the holiday and many of the rules, but I don’t turn my life upside down and completely rid my house of anything that isn’t K for P.

Breakfast
Egg White Kabocha Banana Scramble Coconut Cashew Butter Blue Bottle Coffee
Probably my most difficult swap because I love my grains with breakfast, but I figured it out. I mashed half of a banana with 6 egg whites and cinnamon, scrambled that, and added some pre-roasted kabocha at the end. I topped it with my coconut cashew butter and called it breakfast! Like I said, I don’t discriminate against other nut butters.

Blue Bottle Coffee Guatemala Santa Ana

I also had a nice treat to go with my breakfast. At Seder, I found the Afikomen [yes, I’m extremely proud of myself] and this awesome coffee was my prize!

Lunch

Mixed Greens Jicama Kabocha Avocado Buffalo Chicken Craisins

I brought a salad to Seder with bell pepper, roasted kabocha, and craisins. I made a ton just in case and ended up bringing some home [darn] so I just used that for my lunch, added some jicama, grilled buffalo chicken, and avocado. Man, Passover is tough 😉

Snack

Kale Mango Smuice Live and Diet LA

Possibly my new favorite smoothie smuice. It’s chock full of veggies so it’s not too sweet [mom, are you reading?] but it also doesn’t taste too “green”.. know what I mean? I still used some protein powder in this even though it’s not necessarily K for P. I check the ingredient list and decided it was a go. I had half of the mix between lunch and dinner and threw the other half in the fridge.

And then I went back for more.. does that kind of defeat the purpose, Whitney?

Kale Mango Smuice

Also, I needed to show off my new cell phone case.

Dinner

Mediterranean Smothered Chicken Iowa Girl Eats

Oh hey there pasta! Sort of.. I had to adjust this recipe for Mediterranean Smothered Chicken to make it Passover-friendly so it pretty much ended up being a really tasty tomato sauce with chicken and zucchini noodles. Still a winner nonetheless.

Snack
Apple with coconut cashew butter.. because how could I say no to more nut butter?

I realized with all of the Passover recipe round-ups that I never did one, so here’s a quick list of some of my Passover-friendly recipes!

Food for Thought

If you keep kosher for Passover, what do you miss most?
If you don’t keep Passover, what would you miss most?

What I Ate Wednesday #80: How Bizarre

You’re welcome.

Apparently Nathan sent me this video last week and that’s why I’ve had it stuck in my head. And it totally applies to my food for the past few days too. You’re in for a real treat today! Haha I realized that I’ve been doing a lot of “roast and throw into a bowl” recently and while I often make it a point to make my plates look nice, it’s been pretty comical lately.

Day drinking on Sunday called for a random throw together dinner. Neither of us felt like cooking..

Kabocha Carrots Garlic Avocado Egg

Roasted kabocha with nutritional yeast, microwaved egg,
baby carrots, roasted garlic avocado spread.

Frozen bananas and leftover fresh mint made a delicious, but not so pretty dessert.

Mint Chocolate Chip Protein Ice Cream

Mint chocolate chip protein banana “ice cream”.

And a busy day running around with only time to throw more leftovers into the microwave for lunch looks a little something like this..

Spaghetti Squash Casserole Frittata

Spaghetti squash casserole, leftover frittata, peas, and sriracha.

And finally, last night’s dinner. Another crazy day and working late turned into buffalo kabocha and brussels.

Buffalo Kabocha Squash Brussels Sprouts Nutritional Yeast

Roasted kabocha and brussels with buffalo sauce and nutritional yeast.

I was going to make a joke about how nutritional yeast “really does taste like cheese!” It kind of drives me nuts when people substitute so many ingredients and say it tastes the same as the real deal [note the “ice cream” in quotes above] and then I realized that it honestly is a darn good substitute to make mac and cheese. Good deal for vegans 😉

Also, I’m wondering if it’s possible to roast a kabocha squash and not eat the entire thing in one day. Has anyone had such luck? I have not, but I’m kind of ok with it.

Food for Thought

What’s your favorite bizarre meal?
Any interest in the mint chocolate chip protein ice cream recipe?

Sometimes You Just Need to Rest

Hi friends, happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend and didn’t have too hard of a time staying awake during that rousing game last night. I also hope you’re not a Broncos fan.. eesh! Sorry about that..

We didn’t have much planned for the weekend, but ended up really relaxing. Friday I went to another awesome yoga session with the SweatGuru team.

Sweat Guru Rooftop Yoga

Rooftop yoga in the sunshine.
Source: Sweat Guru Facebook

Nathan and I went out for dinner and drinks. And despite the fact that I mentioned feeling “off”, I thought it was a good idea to have a couple beers with my smoked bbq tofu sandwich. Which was awesome.

Ben and Nicks Smoked Tofu Burger Avocado

They LOADED that bad boy up with avocado! Part of it fell off the other side 😉

Fast forward to Saturday morning, 4:30 am I decided I should be nice to Nathan and lay down on the sofa instead of continuing to toss and turn. Turns out that “off” feeling I had Friday night was me getting sick. Go figure. Luckily I had a rest day planned already but with my morning starting as early as it did, breakfast came at a whopping 6:45! Oats, of course. And coffee.. LOTS of coffee.

Banana Raisin Oatmeal Quinoa Granola

My fave.

A couple hours later, I saw a tweet from Nicole with this recipe. Holy cannoli I needed that in my life! I had to sub some ingredients, but it ended up being a darn tasty snack.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

And looking a lot like my breakfast.

Lunch time rolled around and Nathan had been dying to try the famous fried chicken sandwich from Bakesale Betty. I opted for a salad from The Mixing Bowl and I would definitely go back! Nathan, on the other hand, felt differently about his sandwich. Unfortunately it wasn’t a hit for him.

Asian Salad Baked Tofu Kabocha Squash The Mixing Bowl

The salad didn’t come with kabocha squash. I just saw it elsewhere on the menu.

My weekend excitement kind of ended there going out, but luckily the good food didn’t end. The rest of Saturday and pretty much all day Sunday was spent on my butt trying to beat this cold. Or flu. Or whatever it is. At least I got some fresh air on Saturday though!

We did make our pizza and wings for the game yesterday and it was awesome! The naan pizza worked out great and the wings were incredible. You’ve never seen such clean chicken bones.. the meat literally fell right off the bone. We demolished a good 2 lbs.. whoops! Haha can you blame us?

Korean BBQ Baked Chicken Wings

These wings could be famous. Seriously.

By last night I was feeling a lot better and I’m hoping that all that rest really helped me kick it. Two days off from workouts and I’m ready to kill it at the gym.

Weekly Meal Plan

Saturday – Leftover spaghetti squash casserole for me. Leftover mango beef stir fry for him.
SundayKorean BBQ chicken wings & naan pizza.
Monday – Grilled jerk chicken for him & mahi mahi for me with roasted asparagus and plantains.
TuesdayGreen chile turkey burgers with cajun roasted potatoes for him and zucchini noodles for me.
WednesdayVietnamese Bun Cha Gio’
Thursday Black rice salad bowl with chipotle orange chicken, cashews, & feta.
Friday – Going out!

By the way, the Move Nourish Believe Challenge with Fit Approach and Lorna Jane starts today! Have you joined yet?

Food for Thought

What did you do for the Superbowl?
What is your favorite comfort food when you’re not feeling well?

What I Ate Wednesday #36: It’s Really Real!

First things first, HUGEEEEE congratulations to our WIAW host, Jenn! If you didn’t see already, she spilled the beans the other day and I couldn’t be happier for her.

I’m less than 3 months away from my wedding and weekends have been completely taken over by plans. We have all of the big details done and now we’re just making all of the final decisions. It’s getting really real and Nathan keeps realizing he can’t back out anymore 😉 It’s already been over a year in the making and I can’t wait to see it all come to fruition. But really, I can’t wait to wear my dress, party, and go on my honeymoon. Hey, I’m just being honest!

And speaking of the dress, Saturday was my first fitting; it fits almost perfectly and I’m in love. But that’s all you’re gonna get from me 😉 Afterwards, I headed to a baby shower to spend some time with these lovely ladies..

Here Comes Baby V Shower

..and to celebrate the beautiful lady in the black flower dress. It was such a good time.. bellinis, good food, lots of chit chat, and most importantly, no games! Seriously, it was great!

Finally, I ended my day with a date night. Best part of all, other than the company, is that it was at Mr. Rain’s Funhouse; the restaurant at our wedding venue. It was a nice way to tie all of the crazy planning together to a nice, relaxing evening.

Barr & Table What I Ate Wednesday WIAW Peas and Crayons Mr Rains Funhouse American Visionary Art Museum Baltimore Maryland MD Carrots N Cake Sweet Breakfast Scramble

[Breakfast]
Slimmed down sweet scramble with fat free ricotta cheese instead of squash. A new spin I’ve been doing for a little extra kick of protein.

[Lunch]
Baby shower eats! Mini crustless quiches, bacon spirals, beet & pecan salad, artichoke crostinis, & a couple pear raspberry bellinis. I’m sorry I didn’t snap a few shots of the food, the hostess with the mostess did such a nice job.

[Dinner]
Started out with an incredible drink.. unfortunately I don’t remember exactly what was in it, but it involved rye, black tea, blood orange marmalade, bitters, and more. Completely out of the ordinary for me but so delicious and accented my entree perfectly.

I always appreciate freshly baked rolls to start a dinner, but even more, I love freshly baked pretzel bites! We also shared a charcuterie plate.. it’s kind of our thing. And there will be lots of charcuterie on the honeymoon!

Nathan got the burger and fries; it was cooked perfectly which is so rare to find these days. My entree choice was decided almost solely on the fact that it included kabocha squash which I’ve been dying to try but can’t find anywhere! The rest included roasted eggplant, bulgar wheat, olives, and lemon. It was so light and delicious!

[Snacks]
We skipped dessert after dinner because we shared a huge Levain Bakery style chocolate chip walnut cookie earlier in the day provided by the host of the baby shower. She really outdid herself with the food and it did not go unnoticed! And you should definitely make that cookie!

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie

Tempting, right? 😉

Food for Thought

What is your favorite cookie? Is it a homemade recipe or from your favorite bakery?