Chinatown Hops

Bar hopping is not a new concept, especially to this corner of the interwebs. Saturday, however, we did a little different kind of hopping; we hopped around Chinatown for some dim sum! But before we get into that, I got to spend a little extra time with Nathan on Friday. He worked from home so we took a little lunch break to try a new Mexican place.

Chile Jalapeno Pork Al Pastor Guacamole

Pork al pastor salad with extra guacamole!

It’s a good thing we got out when we did because I wasn’t feeling so hot later that night. All I wanted for dinner was a big bowl of mac and cheese [you know, the kind with the powdery cheese..] and some roasted brussels. Seeing as how we had none of the above [don’t worry, that was remedied on Saturday!], Nathan made me a delicious egg, cheese, pork, and ketchup bagel sandwich. And, of course, some chocolate chip cookies on the side. What a guy 😉

Laughing Cow Cheese Egg Bagel Pork NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

I can’t remember the last time I had a bagel before this.. YUM!

Thankfully, my bagel-wich did the trick and Saturday I was up and ready to go for some dim sum Chinatown hopping. First up was the finger food.

Baked Barbecue BBQ Pork Bun

The biggest baked pork bun I ever done seen!

Dim Sum Shumai Pork Chicken Shrimp Dumplings

Chicken & pork shumai + Shrimp & chive dumpling

That pork bun was ridiculous. We split one because they were so big! The dough was so soft and a little sweet, kind of brioche-y. Oh man, I could go for another right about now.. Anywho, then we went for some of the hot food.

Chinese Barbecue Chicken

Chinese BBQ chicken.. not the prettiest, but one of the tastiest!

Chinese Barbecue BBQ Pork Nathan

Chinese BBQ Pork.. I loved Nathan’s enthusiasm ha!

Alright, so maybe we hopped over for some beer after our Chinatown excitement.

Rogue Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout Pumpkin Patch Ale

Pumpkin beer + stout. It’s that time of year!

And then we went for a little walk to the water where I finished a half marathon.

San Francisco US Half Marathon

I WIN!!

Ha! I couldn’t believe they still had everything up from 2 weeks ago.. obviously I had to go for it.

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco SF California CA

Such a beautifully clear day.

Saturday was awesome; exciting but relaxing. I wish everyday could be like that. Yesterday was pretty darn relaxing too and after the gym I picked up a little treat that my mom sent out to me.. just a package of my favorite local Baltimore granola!

Micheles Granola Baltimore Apple Quinoa

Apple quinoa granola is just that exciting.

I have a feeling that bag isn’t going to last too long. But in the meantime, I should probably do something about the rest of my meals.

Weekly Meal Plan

SundayCrunchy stuffed buffalo chicken with ranch roasted potatoes & broccoli
MondayLemon tarragon turkey burgers with baked onion rings
Tuesday Pomegranate jalapeno chicken with bacon pomegranate brussels sprouts
Wednesday – Leftovers
Thursday – Honey balsamic chicken leg quarters with caprese stuffed portobellos
Friday – Out!
Saturday – Leftovers

Food for Thought

Have you ever tried dim sum before?
What’s your favorite comfort food?

What I Ate Wednesday #93: Feels So Good

I used to be in the school of thought that a cleanse of sorts, maybe a 5- or 7-day slim down, was the way to go after an extended period of over-indulgence. It worked out for me for a while but eventually it felt like I was forcing myself to eat things I didn’t want for faster results. Not to mention, I’d often end up hungry at the end of the day. That 5-day slim down quickly turned into 2 days and me feeling frustrated with myself.

These days, things are a little different. I’ve realized that because I do eat healthy 80-90% of the time, just going back to my regular eats is more than enough to get me feeling back to normal. Not to mention I’m actually feeling satisfied by eating what I want. Go figure..

[Breakfast]
Protein Egg White Oatmeal Almond Peanut Butter
I typically go back and forth between my favorite protein oats with nut butters and some variation on protein pancakes. I’m currently on an oatmeal kick and I’m loving it.

[Morning Snack]
I used to be pretty routine with my snacks and almost never missed an extra bite to eat in the morning. Over the past few months, I’ve noticed I haven’t been as hungry for a morning snack. I’m not sure if it’s because I tend to eat breakfast a little bit later now or my decrease in cardio. Yesterday, however, I needed more food!

PBJ Greek Yogurt Parfait Blueberry Blue Diamond Almonds
My PB&J yogurt parfait hit the spot. The blueberries here have been absolutely outrageous lately so I couldn’t pass em up. And the Blue Diamond blueberry almonds went surprisingly well with this too!

[Lunch]
I must have had a serious lack of vegetables over the past week or 2 because I’ve been craving salads like nobody’s business! People preach the importance of trusting and listening to your body; my veggie cravings really show the truth in that. I’m not forcing myself to eat a salad but it’s just so satisfying. Your body knows best!

Sweet Potato Baked Tofu Avocado Beets Salad Almond Butter Sriracha
The stars of this BAS [big ass salad] were definitely the roasted sweet potato and baked almond tofu. Again, the nut butters in every meal. No surprise here!

[Afternoon Snack]
When I was working a 9-5, my afternoon snacks would always be a bar of some sort; Think Thin, KIND, etc. Now that I have some afternoons at home, I like to take advantage of the opportunity to whip something up and leave the more processed foods for when I need the convenience.

Peanut Butter Mug Cake Vegan Kiss My Broccoli
My very favorite peanut butter mug cake was calling but we have the perfect number of eggs left for tomorrow’s breakfast [seriously, 18 eggs in 3 days over here!] so I made it vegan with a flax egg. The texture was a little different but just as wonderful! A little extra peanut butter and a crumbled [stale] dark chocolate pretzel never hurt anyone.

[Dinner]
Dinners this week are veggie- and lean protein chicken-heavy. I told Nathan to expect light meals all week so we can get ourselves back to normal. He’s been a good sport and we’ve both been happy to reap the benefits of light, healthy, home-cooked meals.

Dry Brasied Chicken and Green Beans
His request: dry-braised green beans. Lots of chicken for both of us and sauteed bok choy for me too. Quite possibly the healthiest Chinese dish ever ha!

[Evening Snack]
Often I go for an apple at night. I like the crunch, the little bit of sweetness, and if I haven’t quite had enough nut butter throughout the day, I’ll slice up my apple for dipping. Sometimes, however, I’m craving something a little bit more indulgent. The best desserts are those that taste indulgent but aren’t, right? Enter Forte Gelato..

Forte High Protein Gelato Micheles Granola

This protein gelato has only 160 calories and 2.5g fat, is packed with 15g protein, and most importantly is SO delicious! Of the 4 flavorsvanilla, chocolate, ginger, and espressoI’d have to say my top 2 are ginger and espresso. The ginger is similar to the vanilla but which a little extra spiciness and the espresso is similar to the chocolate but with an espresso punch.

Aside from the creamy texture and simple, clean flavors, I really appreciate the short ingredient list. It’s not something you’d expect from a product like this! If you’re an gelato/froyo/ice cream fan like I am, I’d definitely recommend getting yourself a delivery soon!

After just 3 days of getting my eating back to normal, I’m already feeling so much better [you know, despite the stomach bug..] It just goes to show how much food truly is fuel and can effect they way you feel. Besides, how many cleanses let you eat gelato? 😉

Food for Thought

Are you a cleanser or do you prefer to go back to your regular eats to feel normal again?
Have you or would you try a protein gelato?

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary shipment of Forte Gelato. All thoughts and opinions of the product are my own.

What I Ate Wednesday #61: A Day in the Life

Have you entered my thinkThin giveaway yet?

It’s been a while since I’ve gone through a full day’s worth of my eats as opposed to my fun dinners out so I figured now is a good time to do just that! Although these meals aren’t exactly the prettiest, I think they’ve been pretty darn tasty!

Breakfast

Protein TVP Oats Nut-tritious Foods Nut Butter Micheles Granola

Possibly the best ever.

My favorite protein TVP oats topped with some winnings! A couple months ago I won some amazing Nut-Tritious Foods nut butters from Kelsey. This batch of oats is topped with 1 tsp cashew butter, 1 tsp almond butter, and 1 tsp chocolate-hazelnut butter. And of course my apple quinoa granola from Michele’s!

Mid-Morning Snack
I made my own fruit on the bottom with frozen blueberries!

Homemade Blueberry Fruit on the Bottom Greek Yogurt

Frozen fruit on the bottom..

And then it froze some of my yogurt too.. ha. Whoops!

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Dark Chocolate Cherry Soyjoy

All mixed up and topped with a little dark chocolate cherry crumble!

It was quite good, though, once I mixed it up and crumbled a little dark chocolate cherry Soyjoy bar on top!

Lunch

Kale Buffalo Carrots Beets Avocado Dr Praegers California Veggie Burger Cucumber Tomato Caesar Crunchy Peas

This is the most attractive salad you’ve ever seen. I know.

I always thought frozen veggie burgers were gross until I actually tried some [go figure..]. This is a Dr. Praeger’s California veggie burger and I must say I love it! I also love those little crunchy peas on top.. way better than croutons, if you ask me [you did. I heard you.] The dressing combo was a little buffalo sauce and a drizzle of caesar. It was a good one!

Afternoon Snack

thinkThin Crunch Blueberry Mixed Nuts

Blueberry nutty goodness!

I love these crunchy bars! They have a pretty short list of ingredients and are just slightly sweet. They’re also good when I’m looking for something a little lighter and not totally packed with protein if I’m not working out at night.

Dinner

Jalapeno Sweet Potato Turkey Chili Asparagus Tomato

I swear, there’s chili under there!

You may recall I made this healthy jalapeno sweet potato chili a couple months ago. Well, it made A TON and I happily froze 3 containers of it. Now that we’re moving, I’ve been defrosting and eating this a lot. This was actually my last bowl of it, topped with some more of my favorite veggies [prepared by my loving husband.. love when he cooks!]

Evening Snack

Fuji Apple

Apples are my fave!

I think we’re getting to the end of apple season because my apples have been getting less and less crisp. I guess that means it’s time to bake with them! 😉

Food for Thought

Could you eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch, or dinner for days at a time?

What is your favorite fruit?

Slowing Down and Sweating It Out

Waking up at 7am on a Sunday to head over to the farmers’ market might not sound like your idea of slowing it down, but we’re early risers over here. And it was so nice to be at the market before it got crazy! Fall is definitely settling in, much to my dismay, so one of the first stops was to get some piping hot coffee. I also picked up a pound of one of my favorite blends for my parents.

Zekes Coffee Bad Birds of Baltimore Blend

Nathan grabbed his old go-to breakfast—a pit beef sandwich with bbq sauce [I don’t know how he eats that in the morning!]— and I got my smoked mushroom quinoa bowl with fresh feta and hot sauce. We got cozy on a little curb and enjoyed our breakfast and coffee. Mine is such a huge portion that I could only finish half.

We made our way over to our favorite veggie stand; it took us a little while but we finally found the winning stand. I got all of these veggies for only $10! Can’t beat that.

Baltimore Farmers Market Produce

White onions, sweet potatoes, zucchini, green beans, acorn squash, and carnival squash.

I also picked up some super crisp local fuji apples and some maple blueberry granola from Michele’s. They have the absolute best granola around and maple blueberry is the seasonal flavor. Today is the last day that they have it so I made sure to get some. They also had their next seasonal flavor out: apple quinoa. Oh my goodness, it’s amazing! I can’t wait to get that next!

When we got home, I headed down to the gym with one goal in mind: SWEAT! After fasting all day yesterday and filling up on some foods that were a little higher in salt than I’m used to, my rings were feeling a little tight today. I knew I needed to get a nice, steady-paced run in and just sweat it out.

Since I’m not a big-time runner and typically just keep it to once a week, I didn’t want to set a mileage, time, or calorie goal for today. I just wanted to feel it out as I went. My legs don’t always appreciate when I run but they were perfectly happy to oblige this morning. I ended up finishing a 10K in about 50 minutes and definitely hit my sweat goal! I started my run at a 7.0 speed and every 5 minutes bumped it up 0.1, finishing it off at 8.0. It felt so good.

Workout Treadmill Run 10K

Thank goodness for the leftovers from breakfast because I was needing some extra fuel after that run! Demolished! 😉 The rest of the day is all about spending time with the hubs, having some delicious food, and getting prepped for the week. Hope you enjoy your Sunday!

P.S. GO RAVENS!!

Food for Thought

What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?

Are you an early riser or do you sleep in?

Marvelous Weekend Recap and Monday Meet Up!

Monday already? The weekend always flies, but it was another good one. Yet again, I failed at taking many pictures, but I do have a little bit of a recap..

Marvelous is finishing off Friday with another no-grain maple chia cake from the awesome STUFT mama and a going away party for a friend at The Red Star. We’d never been there before, but they had some good happy hour special and the food was good. I, of course, went for a salad which was a bit small, but I should be used to that. Next time I’ll definitely go for one of their sandwiches or the awesome looking fish tacos!

STUFT mama No Grain Maple Chia Cake Peanut Fluff KIND Granola

No-Grain Maple Chia Cake a la STUFT mama

Marvelous is driving out to the burbs on Saturday to hang out by my parents’ house. Their A/C bit the dust while they were away and were able to get someone to come out and fix it on the weekend. I made a little day trip out of it and headed over to Target and Trader Joe’s.. wish we had those in the city! I finally found the new flips I’ve been looking for. They’re already gone.

Chobani Blueberry Power Flip

Blueberry yogurt with walnuts, hemp seeds, & chia seeds.

Marvelous is a Saturday night was spent with friends, grilling, drinking [too much] sangria, and playing games. The boys really enjoy video games.. especially Nathan.

Nathan Madden XBOX 360

Cute, right?

We also played Cards Against Humanity. If you’ve never played, you should definitely get on it.. it’s hilarious! And only made better by sangria 😉 I also made a killer guacamole with a secret ingredient which I’ll be sharing soon. That lasted about as long as the sangria.

Marvelous is Farmers’ Market Sundays. We got there bright and early before the crowd got too crazy and walked away with a nice haul! You have to know where to go and I found a stand where everything is $2. I got 6 zucchini, 8 beets, and a ton of green purple beans. I also picked up some beautiful swiss chard, HUGE blackberries, lemon pistachio granola from Michele’s, peaches and nectarines, and of course, Zeke’s coffee. Totally lucked out with the granola.. last week was supposed to be the final week for the lemon pistachio seasonal and we didn’t make it to the market. I was pretty psyched when I saw that they still had it!

Baltimore Farmers Market Blackberries Fuji Apples HIIT

Farmers’ Market haul, huge fruits, and a great run!

Marvelous is a great run after the market. I’ve been trying to do Sunday runday and yesterday I did 10 minutes run, 5 minute sprint HIIT, 5 minute recovery, three times through for 60 minutes. It felt good to switch it up. I also went to the store to stock up on a few more things for the week.. it must be the season for ginormous fruit because these apples were bigger than my hands!

Marvelous is the Orioles sweeping the Rangers. Or really, they can sweep any team and I’ll be happy! 🙂

Marvelous is meeting up with some fantastic Charm City Healthy Living Bloggers tonight. I’m so looking forward to it.. it’s about time I get to meet these ladies!

Food for Thought

Tell me what was marvelous about your weekend!

An Ode to Oatmeal: Protein-Packed TVP Oats

Have you entered my Chobani giveaway?

I’ve recently gotten a few requests for my go-to oatmeal recipe. I may be a bit obsessed [read: eat them every single day] but I just can’t stop! And frankly I see nothing wrong with that. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? 😉

Protein TVP Oats

Protein TVP Oats

Serves 1

Ingredients
– 2 egg whites
– 1/2 banana
– 1/2 cup almond milk + splash at the end
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/4 cup rolled oats
– 1/4 cup TVP* [If you don’t have TVP, just substitute another 1/4 cup of oats]
– Cinnamon. Lots of cinnamon!
– Your fave nut and/or seed butters [Optional.. but why wouldn’t you?!]
– Your fave granola [Optional.. see note above]

Directions
In a small pot, scramble your egg whites and put them off to the side. I add cinnamon to mine as they’re cooking, but you can just leave them plain.

Break up the banana into the pot and toss it with a sprinkle of cinnamon to coat. Add almond milk and water. Mash up the banana into the liquid until there are almost no chunks. Add the oats and TVP and bring to a light boil, then turn down to a simmer.

When the oats are almost finished cooking, add the egg whites back in with a splash of almond milk. This will make it creamier and help to incorporate the egg into the mix. When they’re done, top with 1 tbsp nut/seed butter [and another sprinkle of cinnamon!]

I can never decide which nut/seed butter to use so I typically split my tablespoon into 3 teaspoons of different ones.. it makes it that much more exciting 😉 I also throw a little granola on top for a some crunch! [Michele’s is the best!]

*You can purchase TVP from iHerb.com. Use discount code ZAF482 at checkout for up to $10 off your purchase!

Nutritional Information

Per serving, without optional toppings

254 Calories  /  4g Fat  /  31g Carbs  /  5g Fiber  /  11g Sugar  /  24g Protein

Food for Thought

What is your favorite breakfast? What’s your favorite way to dress up oatmeal?

What I Ate Wednesday #42: My Current Loves

When I suddenly realized that it was time for another edition of WIAW, I also realized that I have unfortunately not been doing a great job of taking pictures of my food and also of switching up what I’m eating. So because I’ve been eating so much of the same, I thought I’d share the favorites that continue to reoccur on my plate.

Barr & Table What I Ate Wednesday WIAW Micheles Granola Pistachio Lemon Seasonal Fresh Beet Juice Avocado Tomatillo Salsa Protein Oatmeal Proats

[Breakfast]
I’m on an oatmeal kick again and I just can’t shake it [not that I’m trying to..] Here’s my favorite recipe as of late..

– 2 egg whites
– 1/2 cup oats
– 1/2 cup lite coconut or almond milk
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/2 banana
– Cinnamon. All of it. I love cinnamon

Toppings
– 1 tbsp nut butters [I usually do 3 tsps of different nut butters!]
– Sprinkling of granola; my go-to right now is Michele’s Pistachio Lemon.. it’s a seasonal flavor and SO good!

Cook the egg whites separately with a sprinkle of cinnamon and set aside. Add milk, water, banana, and cinnamon to the pot and mash the banana until it melts in. Add oats and bring to a boil, then simmer until almost cooked through. Add egg whites back in and combine. Pour into a bowl and top with nut butter, granola, and a little more cinnamon. I told you, I love cinnamon!

[Lunch]
Spinach and cabbage salads with tons of fresh veggies, turkey quinoa burger

, and the easiest guacamole in the world. I take 1/4 avocado and mash it up with whatever salsa I have on hand. Right now I’m using tomatillo salsa and it’s crazy good!

[Dinner]
We’ve been crazy busy lately [oh, weddings..] so dinners have been out a lot. Or just the usual roasted vegetables and whatever protein I can get my hands on!

[Snacks]
Pink lady beet juice [out of old coconut oil jars.. it’s normal]
– Apples
– Yogurt [Chobani.. duh]
KIND bars

Food for Thought

What are you current go-to foods or meals?