What I Ate Wednesday #123: Vegan. Week 2.

Sunday I had a really serious conversation with my nutritionist, Cyrus. As you may recall, he has me experimenting with a high-carb [70% carb, 15% fat, 15% protein], vegan diet for 14 days. At the start of week 2, I met with him and told him my main concern—I’m not eating the right foods for lunch to hold me over; especially when I’m out of the house all day at work. I just ended up being completely exhausted by late afternoon. I’m just not packing enough. His solution? Eat more. And eat starchy! Lose the greens at lunch; they’re just taking up valuable real estate in my stomach that I need for energizing carbs.

This past week, I’ve made a few adjustments to my meals, in particular, eating more. Lots more! Yesterday was the big test; I was working 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. with just two 1-hour breaks in between hitting all 3 jobs. I knew it was important to pack a lot and really take into account what Cyrus had to say. And let me tell you, I found a way to just. keep. eating.

Peas & Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

[Breakfast]
I’ve tried a couple breakfasts from Cyrus’ plan but this one was my staple.
Bananas Blueberries Papaya Cinnamon Chia Seeds

  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 papaya
  • 1 mango OR a bunch of blueberries
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds + 2 tbsp hemp protein soaked 10+ mins in 1/2 cup almond milk

Adding in the protein powder definitely helped keep me full longer. And you’re welcome for snapping a picture pre-chia/protein mix.

[Morning Snack]
Garbanzo Beans Chickpeas
I went to barre after training my first client, but unfortunately could only stay for 30 minutes before heading onto my next job. That said, it was a killer 30 minutes! and I was famished. Chick peas. Because apparently that’s a normal snack? But clearly not enough to hold me over for too long.. Cashew Cookie Larabar to the rescue!
Cashew Cookie Larabar
Larabars have been great because they’re just fruit and nuts. No extra sweeteners, grains, etc.

[Lunch]
Sweet Potato
Admittedly, I’m still getting used to such a high starchy carb load, but eating a ton of sweet potatoes? I can’t really complain.. Seriously. Just straight roasted sweet potatoes. Twas delicious.

[Afternoon Snack……sssss]
Gingerbread Larabar
I had a hell of a time staying full. Must have been all of my running around! In between job 2 and 3, I snacked on an apple with 1 tbsp peanut butter. A couple hours later, my very last Gingerbread Larabar made an appearance. And finally, a blood orange. I told you, I was hungry!

[Dinner]
Collards Kale Spinach Mushrooms Lentils
A long day required an easy dinner. Same as the night before—mushrooms and lentils with mustard dressing over mixed greens.

[Evening Snack]
I must’ve really worked up an appetite because even after all of that, my stomach was still growling before bed. I reached for a banana.. might as well end the day in a similar fashion to how it started!

Damn. That’s a lot of carbs! Haha they are quite tasty, though, so it’s hard to argue. Just a few days left to finish off my 2 week experiment!

Food for Thought

Which meal would be your favorite?
Have you ever considered or tried a high carb diet?

Our Jewish Christmas

My family has never really been the typical Jewish “let’s have Chinese and go to the movies on Christmas” kind of family. But since Nathan had the day off and we have so much to explore, we figured we might as well take advantage! I had the whole day planned.. and when I say the whole day, I mean where we were eating 😉

First stop, Chinatown! Yelp is huge in San Francisco [maybe more of California too?] so I really looked to that to figure out where we wanted to go. When we visited last year, we went to Yank Sing for dim sum. It was our first dim sum experience and we both absolutely loved it but we wanted to try a new place. Thanks to Yelp, we ended up at Lai Hong Lounge.

Lai Hong Lounge San Francisco California CA

Not even half of the crowd that was there when we first arrived!

It was nuts! I had to fight the crowds to make my way up and get a number for a table. She told me it would be about a 2 hour wait.. good thing we weren’t hungry! I grabbed a ticket and we went for a walk; it was such a gorgeous day, we were happy to find a park.

Washington Square Park San Francisco California CA

Christmas day in sunny San Francisco!

As we explored, we grabbed a little appetizer of some coffee and a baked bbq pork puff and made our way to Washington Square Park. I have to say, the sun in California is definitely more intense than in Maryland. I actually took my jacket off and it was only in the 50s at that point.. that never happens! When we started to get antsy [and hungry], we made our way back in hopes that it was time to sit down! Only another 20 minutes or so went by before they called our number.

Time to feast!

Garlic Pea Shoots Lai Hong Lounge San Francisco California CA

Sauteed Garlic Pea Shoots

Baked BBQ Pork Bun Lai Hong Lounge San Francisco California CA

Baked BBQ Pork Buns

Baked BBQ Pork Buns Lai Hong Lounge San Francisco California CA

The delicious pork bun filling. YUM!

First to the table were the pea shoots and pork buns. They were both recommendations from Yelp-ers and they were fabulous! The pea shoots were crunchy with a nice, light garlic flavor and we were happy to find that they weren’t very oily. The pork buns were something special; we’ve only ever had steamed pork buns but these were baked which gave them a nice crunch on the outside. I also really enjoyed the ratio of filling to bun. I often find that there is too much bun for the amount of filling but this was perfect. Both were repeat dishes, for sure!

Pan Fried Mixed Mushroom Bun Lai Hong Lounge San Francisco California CA

Pan-Fried Mixed Mushroom Buns

Next up were the pan-fried mixed mushroom buns and the pork and mushroom noodle roll. Again, having only had steamed buns before, this was a nice change. The pan-fry with the sesame seeds on the bottom gave it an awesome crunchy texture and flavor; we’d get it again just for that crunch! Unfortunately my picture of the noodle roll was too blurry to share but we enjoyed it nonetheless. Although it might have been our least favorite of the dishes, it still had lots of flavor from the brown sauce and an added crunch from the noodles.

Peking Duck Lai Hong Lounge San Francisco California CA

Our Christmas [Peking] Duck

Peking Duck Bun Lai Hong Lounge San Francisco California CA

All made up and ready to devour!

The star of the meal was the peking duck. Nothing beats the crispy skin paired with a perfectly cooked duck and plum sauce all packed up with green onion in a little steamed bun. So many textures and flavors! This was another recommendation from Yelp and I’m so glad I saw it because it’s not on the menu! As soon as it came out, everyone was looking over at our table asking about ordering it.

Yelp was such a great tool to use for lunch and I’m thrilled that it worked out so well.. plus we have leftovers for dinner tonight! YES!

Post-dim sum-stuffing, we made our way back to East Bay and headed to the movie theater to see Anchorman 2. Honestly, this movie was just as ridiculous as expected. It definitely had its funny moments, but if you consider the first Anchorman movie and the cast, you should know what to expect. It was a fun way to break up the day but I could have waited until it came out on DVD to see it.

After the movie, we drove into Berkeley for another Yelp-recommended restaurant; Himalayan Flavors. I’m glad Lai Hong Lounge worked out so well or Nathan may never trust me to make a restaurant decision again! Unfortunately, dinner was a miss.

Himalayan Flavors Berkeley California CA

Clockwise from the top: Mixed tandoor, Buckwheat pancake w/ onion, herbs, & spices, Mushrooms & eggplant in onion tomato sauce w/ garlic & ginger, and Lentil soup

It took about 10 minutes to place our order and another 20 for me to get my glass of wine. The most flavorful dish that we had was the lentil soup and that comes complimentary with each entree. The food was cooked nicely but lacked any flavor. We also ordered the dishes medium hot and there was no heat at all. Each dish came with either basmati or brown rice so we ordered one of each but they only brought out basmati. Seeing as how it took over an hour for our food to come out, I didn’t bother asking for anything else.

Like I said, it’s a good thing lunch worked out! But the night ended on a high note when we got back and Nathan turned the TV on.

Mariah Carey Christmas Michael Buble

Best. Christmas song. Ever.

Mariah Carey saved the night with her duet with Michael Buble. All I Want for Christmas is You is obviously the best Christmas song out there and I made Nathan suffer through it. So maybe it ended on a high note for me 😉 Regardless, we’re going to have a fabulous dinner of dim sum leftovers tonight and I’m psyched!

I hope your holiday was just as wonderful as ours!

Food for Thought

Do you celebrate Christmas?
What was your favorite part of the day?

What I Ate Wednesday #18 – FitBloggin’ Eats!

This past weekend was spent at FitBloggin’ and it was a weekend full of fun workouts and delicious food. So delicious that I was often going back for seconds. But that’s ok because of all of the workouts, right? Right!

And you bet I tasted everything on the menu!

Weight Watchers Quinoa Strawberry Muesli Fruit Chicken Bean Salad Turkey Sandwich Pear Celery Root Puree PopChips Oatmeal Granola Salmon FitBloggin 2012 Baltimore Maryland MD

[Breakfast]

Friday – Sponsored by Weight Watchers Cheese

  • Hot breakfast quinoa
  • Cheese-stuffed turkey breakfast sausage
  • Cheesy quinoa frittata
  • Strawberry whipped cream cheese muesli [big time fave! I’ll be creating this one at home!]
  • Fresh fruit
  • Coffee

Saturday

  • Oatmeal and quinoa bar with fruit fixins
  • Hardboiled Egglands Best eggs
  • Coffee

[Lunch]

Friday

  • Puree of Celery Root Soup With Apple Mascarpone and Chive Oil
  • Mixed Green Salad With Sliced Almonds, Cranberries and Pears in a Lemon-Champagne Dressing
  • Five-Bean Salad With Chickpeas, Soybeans, Kidney Beans, Black Beans and Crisp Green Beans With Red Onion and Tomato in a Sherry Vinegar Dressing
  • 15-Spice Slow-Roasted Chicken
  • Prairie Grain Baguette with Roasted Turkey, Gouda, Butter Lettuce and Dill Aoli

Saturday

  • Mushroom Tea Soup
  • Local Greens With Shaved Fennel, Radish, Tomato Confit and Basil Dressing
  • Quinoa Salad With Cucumber, Bell Pepper, Red Onion and Cilantro
  • Broiled Salmon With Wilted Greens
  • Grilled Mediterranean Vegetables on Focaccia With Hummus and Sprouts

[Snacks]

There were so many snacks in between sessions and after workouts that I couldn’t keep track. But they were all delicious and included some of the following:

  • Hardboiled Egglands Best eggs
  • Bagel thins with The Laughing Cow cream cheeses [Cinnamon cream cheese people! I need to find it!]
  • SoyJoy bars
  • Popchips! Soooo many popchips!

[Dinner]

We were on our own for dinner, so Friday night I met up with Nathan and we headed over to our favorite bar, Max’s, for German Beer Fest (so FitBloggin’-appropriate, right?!) I essentially had a liter of beer for dinner because I didn’t like the way the food menu looked. NBD.

Maxs Taphouse Broadway Baltimore Maryland MD

P.S. Nathan did get another liter after his baby beer 😉

Saturday I went with a bunch of the lovely bloggers over to Blue Agave, a local restaurant with a Mexican-inspired flare, and had a house salad and a skinny girl margarita. Or 3. That gathering was followed by the FitBloggin’ reception, sponsored by Unilever. They passed some delicious bites, but my favorite was the orange-glazed turkey meatballs. They will definitely be making an appearance in my kitchen soon!

FitBloggin Baltimore Maryland MD Blue Agave Blogger Dinner Gathering

[Goals]
While my past few weeks goals have been fitness-oriented in pushing myself for a better time in future 5K races, this week I want to concentrate on food. I’ve definitely found myself falling off the healthy-eating wagon over the weekends (see the liter of beer for dinner above!), so I want to challenge everyone to a healthy weekend ahead! That’s not to say I won’t have a few drinks over the course of the weekend, but like the Tone It Up girls say, weekends make up almost half of the month. That’s a lot to fall off of the wagon! So let’s do this 🙂

Speak Up!

What are your goals this week? Do you have trouble staying on track over the weekends?