What I Ate Wednesday #132: Time For a Change

Heyooo! Look at me posting twice this week! Pretty exciting, huh? I’ve recently starting making a couple changes to my diet, so I figured a good WIAW post was in order.

I mentioned recently that I’ve had a bit of weight gain. Frustrating? You betcha! So I decided that I was going to make some changes to my workouts. I set a goal for myself; I wanted to lose 5 lbs by my anniversary. I know it’s not all about the number, but sometimes I find it helpful to have that goal.

I tried increasing my cardio, as that was what worked for me a couple years ago, but unfortunately, not this time. My next attempt was to go in the complete opposite direction. I started the 30 Day Kettlebell Challenge and while I’ve loved these workouts, I still haven’t seen the change I’m searching for.

30 Day Kettlebell Challenge Purely Twins

Next change is diet. I reached out to my good blogger friend, Lindsay Cotter, who happens to be a fitness nutrition specialist. She’s been so helpful and I’m looking forward to seeing how her suggestions work out for me.

Peas & Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

[Pre-Workout]
Half of a banana with almond butter and a cup of coffee is the perfect fuel for me these days. The workouts I’ve been doing are less than 30 minutes and this snack is just enough to tide me over.

[Breakfast]
Microwave Grain Free English Muffin Eggs Almond Butter Banana
Dude. Dude. You have to try these microwave grain-free english muffins! I don’t have any raisins, but these have been so good with some almond butter schmeer and have proven to be a great vessel for my sweet eggs. I also tried replacing half of the almond flour with protein powder on Tuesday and it turned out wonderfully!

[Morning Snack]
I had a busy morning so I wasn’t able to snap a picture of my smoothie, but it was lean, green, and protein-packed.. err mean? I used 1 scoop whey protein, 1 scoop Skoop Sweetgreens A Game, 10 cherries, 1 tbsp coconut oil, cucumber, ice, and a little almond milk to get things moving. The coconut oil in a smoothie was new for me but Lindsay said more fats, so I gave it a go and it was DEELISH.

[Lunch]
Kale Butternut Squash Avocado Chicken Heinz Ketchup Cherry Kombucha
I was starved by the time I got home from work so I threw some kale, chicken, frozen butternut squash, and sugar snap peas into a pan with a little buffalo sauce and topped with avocado and ketchup.

[Afternoon Snack]
More fats? You got it. I went for an over-medium egg, a few almonds, and a carrot. A little #StrangeButGood action. And definitely not photo-worthy. You’re welcome.

[Dinner]
Coconut Honey Lime Filipino Chicken Half Baked Harvest
Coconut honey lime Filipino chicken with roasted red pepper and zucchini. All the protein and nice and light. I devoured it in between my evening clients.

[Evening Snack]
Fuji Apple Almond Butter
Oh heyyy, almond butter! I was happy to see it multiple times throughout the day. And apples and nut butters go together like.. well, nut butters go with everything.

The biggest changes I have here are breakfast and snacks. I definitely thought I’d miss my daily bowl of oats a little more than I do. I’m still getting used to the snacks, though; I’ve never been a big smoothie drinker and tend to grab a bar for convenience, but you have to make changes to see changes, yes? So far, so good this week; I’ll report back!

Food for Thought

What are your favorite protein-packed, grain-free breakfasts and snacks?

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What I Ate Wednesday #131: White Chocolate Raspberry Protein Bars {Recipe ReDux}

Thank you all for your wonderful comments on Monday’s post. As I said, I’m working on figuring out my balance with jobs and life and blogging. I had to post today to share my new protein bar recipe. It’s just too good to keep to myself. So why not jump back on the What I Ate Wednesday bandwagon?

Peas & Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

[Pre-Workout]
It was 2 for Tuesday yesterday so rather than my usual energy bites, I whipped up a quick protein pancake with 1 scoop protein powder, 1/4 cup egg whites, and 1/4 cup cashew milk and spread a little almond butter on top. While it held me over pretty well for barre, I decided to pop 1/2 banana before I went over to the gym for some cardio.

[Breakfast]
Protein Oatmeal Egg White Oats Peanut Almond Butter Cinnamon Banana
I KNOW I said you don’t need to see another bowl of oatmeal. But this might have just been the best bowl of oatmeal ever. Or maybe I was just so hungry. Yep. Let’s go with the latter.

[Lunch]
Kale Carrots Beets Avocado Sugar Snap Peas Turkey Ketchup
I got the hugest bunches of kale and bag of carrots from the farmers’ market on Saturday. I sauteed a bunch of them up with some sugar snaps, turkey meatballs, and buffalo sauce, topped with avocado, quick-pickled beets, and ketchup. Legit. And so filling.

[Afternoon Snack]
No-Bake White Chocolate Raspberry Protein Bars -- Barr & Table
HOLY YUM! I’ve been trying to figure out a good recipe to replace my favorite Quest bars and this month’s Recipe ReDux helped to inspire my bars.

Go through your pantry, cupboards, freezer, or fridge; what ‘treasures’ have you found? Pick an ingredient/spice/condiment that’s been hanging out for a while and give it the attention it needs. Share a healthy recipe made using your new-found pantry prize.

We’re pretty much the worst at ever finishing a jar of preserves so why not throw it into a bar? These are just the right amount of sweet and the best part? No baking! That said, if you do decide to broil or bake these babies, they are pretty reminiscent of a Quest bar. Success!

No-Bake White Chocolate Raspberry Protein Bars

Makes 6 bars

Ingredients
– 1/4 cup nut butter [I used Peanut Butter Co. The Bee’s Knees]
– 4 scoops vanilla protein powder [I used Optimum Nutrition]
– 1/4 cup coconut flour
– 4-6 tbsp water
– 2 tbsp white chocolate chips
– 1-2 tbsp raspberry preserves

Directions
In a medium bowl, melt the nut butter. Mix in the protein powder, coconut flour, and water. The amount of water used will depend on your other ingredients so add slowly. Mix these ingredients until everything comes together and is slightly sticky. Add in the white chocolate chips and 1 tbsp raspberry preserves.

Line a loaf pan with saran wrap and press the mixture into the pan. Top the mix with a little more raspberry preserves and place in the freezer for about an hour. Remove from the freezer and cut into 6 equal bars. Wrap each bar separately in saran wrap and store in the freezer.

Nutritional Information
Per 1 bar
208 Calories / 9g Fat / 15g Carbs / 3g Fiber / 10g Sugar / 20g Protein

[Dinner]
Baked Buffalo Falafel Potatoes Ranch Tzatziki Half Baked Harvest
We can pretend that my dinner looked half as good as the real deal. In reality, I decided to not toss the balls in buffalo, skip the naan, and used cheddar instead of blue cheese. I think it would have turned out better if the falafel had been tossed in buffalo.. or if they were fried. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

[Evening Snack]
The apple and nut butter still live strong.

Sprint 2 the Table

Food for Thought

What treasure do you have in your pantry or fridge?

What I Ate Wednesday #130: Greens & Grains

It’s amazing how much I love eating at home when I know we have company coming into town. Especially company that has yet to experience all of the incredible food and drink the bay area has to offer! I’m making sure to get in all of my greens, whole grains, and lean proteins while I can because it’s not long until our craziness starts again. I even had the opportunity to eat most of my meals at home yesterday. Dinner was the only exception but hey, at least I had time to throw it all together before heading to work.

Peas & Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

[Breakfast]
Protein Oats Egg White Oatmeal Cashew Almond Peanut Butter Banana
I finally made sure I’m fully stocked on nut butters again! It’s practically torture only having 1 nut butter at my disposal [my life is so hard!], but now I’m back to cashew, almond, and peanut. Thank goodness!

[Morning Snack]
Food Faith Fitness Microwave Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes White Chocolate Chips
More of a breakfast #2.. post-barre I was pretty hungry and Taylor’s microwave peanut butter protein pancakes that I shared yesterday were just screaming my name! It was the right call, for sure.

[Lunch]
Lemon Moroccan Chicken Za'atar Roasted Cauliflower Salad Asparagus
Leftover Moroccan chicken, za’atar cauliflower, and asparagus from Monday’s dinner graced my salad. I think I could’ve just eaten a big bowl of the cauliflower and been perfectly happy! If only I roasted 2 heads of cauliflower..

[Dinner]
Cashew Chicken Ground Turkey Broccoli Sriracha
A late lunch held me over for a good while until I had dinner standing outside of the gym. When you’re working the evening shift, you do what you gotta do! Luckily I had time to throw together cashew chicken and broccoli.. except with ground turkey. I guess you’d call that cashew turkey?

[Evening Snack]
Pure Organic Ancient Grains Vanilla Almond Bar
I just won some of these Vanilla Almond Pure bars and they’re so good! It definitely helped to nip my sweet tooth in the bud after dinner and I love the chewy + crunchy texture from the nuts and grains. I’ve gotta get my hands on the Peanut Butter Chocolate and Chocolate Chunk Nut bars soon!

Food for Thought

Have you tried the new Pure Ancient Grains bars?

What I Ate Wednesday #129: Snacking the Day Away

Congrats to Danielle C. for winning my MealEnders giveaway!

Phew! These past few days have been exhausting and I am so looking forward to the weekend. Though, I said that on Sunday, too! Monday was a crazy bit of running around and when I went to pack up a lunch on Sunday, I realized I really didn’t have time to eat anything other than snacks. Luckily, we’re always stocked up on snacks and that was just what I did.

Peas & Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

[Breakfast]
Protein Oatmeal Egg White Oats Coconut Peanut Butter Coffee
The trusty egg white oatmeal breakfast. I knew I’d need something to hold me over and I can always count on my oats.

[Snack #1]
Love Grown Foods Power Os Daisy Cottage Cheese
An old picture, but essentially the idea. I mixed some Greek yogurt with a little chocolate peanut butter protein powder and chia seed, then topped it with Honey Power O’s. The honey is quite tasty but I really need to get my hands on some chocolate Power O’s again!

[Snack #2]
S'mores Quest Protein Bar
They just keep getting better! I’m in love with Quest bars and this was my first time trying the S’mores. I expected it to be similar to the Cookies N Cream bar but the little bits of graham cracker are SO good! And this bar was nice and chunky. MMMMM! I had limited time to get from Athleta to the train and get my butt into the city so this was the perfect treat.

[Snack #3]
Tender Green San Francisco Roasted Vegetables Quinoa
Once I got into SF, I had just enough time to stop at Tender Greens and get this delicious bowl of roasted veggies and quinoa. Literally just enough time to get it. And then throw it into my bag because I had no time to eat it until after my appointment. Well worth the wait, though.

[Snack #4]
Chicken Thigh Heinz Ketchup
Somehow I convinced myself to hit the gym after all of my running around. Probably because I knew it was best for my sanity this week! But after the rest of the snacks from earlier, I wasn’t too hungry post-workout so I ended up grabbing the last small chicken thigh and topping it with a little ketchup. I’ll call this one #strangebutgood. I also ended up having a few baby carrots while I was prepping dinner.

[Dinner]
Apricot Sage Lemon Pork Loin Cauliflower Kale
An actual meal! And a really tasty one at that. I used this sticky baked chicken recipe as a guide but made it with pork loin instead. I seared the pork in a skillet and tossed it into the oven, glazed it a few times, and then sliced and served. The side dish was inspired by this roasted cauliflower meuniere recipe but I decided to be lazy and nixed the egg and breadcrumbs. Oh yea, and the butter sauce. Sooo it was really roasted cauliflower with lemon-garlic sauteed kale with shallots. And it was something I’ll definitely make again!

[Snack #5]
Almond Butter
My apple was soon followed up with some almond butter scrapings. I left just enough to top my oatmeal yesterday but it was tough to leave that much in the jar!

Life might slow down at some point in the future, but in the meantime, I’m working on getting used to being a little more prepared to be less prepared.

Food for Thought

What’s your favorite snack?

What I Ate Wednesday #128: MealEnders Review & Giveaway

Lordy, how is it already Wednesday? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining that we’re already halfway to the weekend! Today is a long one for me; I’ll be opening Athleta at 9 a.m. and closing the gym at 9 p.m. But at least I have an hour break in between, right? Silver lining, my friend. And a silver lining for you is another giveaway today! Lets get to it, shall we?

Peas & Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

[Pre-Workout]
Chocolate Berry Super Power Bites | Barr & Table
Super power bites save the day! You should really make them if you haven’t yet.

[Breakfast]
Oatmeal Protein Egg White Oats Almond Coconut Peanut Butter Coffee Califia Farms Milk
Standard oatmeal, nut butters, and iced coffee. It totally gets me through my workouts 😉

[Snack Time]
Balance Caramel Nut Blast
I was in serious need of a snack at work and luckily I never leave home without a bar. A caramel nut blast Balance Bar held me over until I got home. Unfortunately, I had to go to the store before I could have lunch so I threw some yogurt, chocolate peanut butter protein powder, and peanuts into a bowl. Deeelish!

[Lunch]
Vietnamese Pork Bowl Salad Broccoli Avocado Sriracha
FINALLY lunch time! We’re still going through the pork and it made another awesome salad!

[Afternoon Snack]
MealEnders Signaling Lozenge
I got some awesome strawberries from the store so I grabbed a couple of those to snack on and followed it up with a MealEnders Lozenge. Taken directly from their website..

MealEnders Signaling Lozenges are a weight management product designed to help people avoid overeating and master portion control by clearing cravings from the mouth and mind. Each Signaling Lozenge consists of two flavorful layers, each playing a strategic role in weight loss. The sweet, outer coating provides a measured dose of “dessert”, habitually associated with the end of a meal. Avoiding the “no dessert” mindset prevents a sense of deprivation, which can thwart even the most earnest weight loss efforts. The tingling/cooling inner layer engages the trigeminal nerve, clears the palate and creates a 20-minute eating pause, enabling the brain to recognize the body’s natural transition from hungry to full. By the time the MealEnders experience is finished, the body’s natural signaling process of satiation has begun. With repeated use, users accept MealEnders’ sensations as a cue to stop eating, resulting in sustainable and healthy eating habits.

Sound interesting? When I first was presented the opportunity to review them, I was a bit skeptical. That said, I’m a big fan of the post-meal mint because I feel like it helps curb my sweet tooth, so why not give them a shot? First things first, the flavors are delicious! If I’m craving chocolate, I’ll reach for a Chocolate Mint or Mocha. The Mocha and Citrus are definitely my favorites, though. Once you get through the initial sweet layer, the extra tingly lozenge inside acts as my mint. I’ve definitely noticed that these little guys have helped to curb my sweet tooth after meals!

Want to give them a try for yourself? Click here to enter my giveaway!

Don’t worry if your name isn’t chosen. MealEnders wants to put an end to overeating and believes the more people its 15-calorie signaling lozenges can help, the better! So for two weeks, all “runners up” for the giveaway will be able to buy MealEnders at 30% off. Just enter coupon code WINNER-TOO at checkout. To place your order and learn more about the product, visit www.mealenders.com.

Giveaway Update:
Due to popular demand, the Chocolate Mint flavor is currently on back order. Because MealEnders wants to be sure to deliver the products as promised, the giveaway prize will be set to go out around mid-April when Chocolate Mint is back in stock.

[Dinner]
Crunchy Buffalo Chicken Roasted Ranch Potatoes Brussels Sprouts
Buffalo chicken is always a favorite in this house, so crunchy buffalo chicken is even better! And then adding roasted potatoes and brussels? We were quite happy.

[Evening Snack]
Apple + dark chocolate covered salted cashews = happy tummy.

Food for Thought

What tricks do you use to curb your sweet tooth?

What I Ate Wednesday #127: The Calm Before the Storm

Have you entered my giveaways? Enter my Peanut Butter & Co. giveaway here and my Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts giveaway here!

Yesterday was our last day of eating in before Nathan’s mom gets into town and we start all over again! I can’t complain, really. It is nice to have another few days off of cooking. Remind me I said that when I can’t wait for a home-cooked meal again! I’ve been killing it in the kitchen this week, though. Those restaurants will have a lot to compete with 😉

Peas & Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

[Pre-Workout]
Cotter Crunch Cranberry White Chocolate Pumpkin Bars
I’ve rationed these babies out pretty darn well! Once I sliced them up, I put them in the freezer and they’re the perfect size for a little pre-workout snack.

[Breakfast]
Protein Oatmeal Egg White Oats Banana Almond Cashew Butter Coffee Silk CashewMilk
It really doesn’t get any better in my eyes. And I’m finally back to having a minimum of 2 jars of homemade nut butters. That’s clutch.

[Lunch]
Vietnamese Pork Salad Bowl
Monday night I made 4 lbs worth of Vietnamese grilled pork butt. Most of the time when I’m cooking dinner, I’ll make enough for about 4 servings so we can have it for dinner and then lunches/leftover dinner. This pork, however, is one of Nathan’s favorite things that I make so now, I’m always making huge batches of it for all kinds of leftovers! Another item to go in the freezer for future snackage.

This salad was special though. I had to figure out a way to carefully scarf it down after getting 2 fillings. The entire right side of my face was still numb so I definitely considered eating to be a rather difficult [and messy] skill at the time. Ha!

[Afternoon Snack]
Chocolate Berry Super Power Bites | Barr & Table
Like I said, these super power bites aren’t going to last long in this house! I only grabbed one [this time] and supplemented the rest of my snack with some roasted russets and sweet potatoes that I cooked up early for dinner.

[Dinner]
Chicken Souvlaki Sweet Potato Roasted Brussels Sprouts Onions

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
I’m 3 for 3 with dinners this week! I’m always excited when Nathan takes a couple of bites and says “add this one to the list!” The chicken souvlaki was light and flavorful and if you ask me, brussels and sweet potatoes are the best sides of all time. Am I right?

And the brussels deserved their own picture. You bet your butt I snacked on those before and after dinner. None made it out alive.. that’s pretty normal over here though.

[Evening Snack]
The daily apple. Nuf said.

Food for Thought

Do you make lots of extra servings with dinner to have leftovers throughout the week?

What I Ate Wednesday #126: We Ate It All

No really, aside from breakfast, we haven’t eaten at home in a week. If there was food to be had, we had it! [And then some..] But don’t worry, we all got in our 10,000 steps pretty much daily. Plus, I dragged Mom to barre again. It was a tougher class this yesterday than it was last Thursday and I bet she’s cursing me right about now.

Barre TruveFit Truve HellaFit

Mom and Dad are heading home today and I’m bummed. I can’t believe a week went by so quickly and it was so nice having them here. Anytime I told people that all of our upcoming visitors would be staying with us, I got a “ohhhh, geeze!” But we loved it. It also didn’t hurt that my mom can’t sit still so she was always cleaning something up or putting something away! I’m so not ready to get back to real life but for their last day, we made sure to make it nice and relaxing.

Peas & Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

[Post-Barre Breakfast]
Mamas Royal Cafe Oakland Sweet Potato Kale Gruyere Omelette
Our first trip to Mama’s Royal Cafe on Broadway was delicious! They’re pretty well-known around here and now we know why. I got their special omelette, chock full of kale, sweet potato, and gruyere with a side of fruit, potatoes, ACME sour levain toast, and lots of coffee. We’ll definitely be heading back there for breakfast or lunch soon.

[Lunch]
Catos Alehouse Beer Drakes 21st Amendment Brewery
Oh. I did say lunch, right? Well, after hiking through Mountain View Cemetary in Oakland [sounds bizarre, but it really is a beautiful place.. and much of a hike!] we made our way back to Cato’s Ale House for a brew and late lunch. I had the roasted beet salad with feta, candied walnuts, and chicken. More importantly, however, the 21st Amendment Kilt by Wildfire Scotch Ale is deeeelicious!

[Dinner]
Ohgane Korean BBQ Banchan

Ohgane Korean BBQ Bulgogi
Late lunch calls for a late dinner. We’d planned on cooking, but that didn’t happen once over the course of the week. Instead, we walked down to Ohgane, a Korean BBQ restaurant, for dinner. My parents had never been to one and this was our first time trying this particular restaurant. We went through multiple rounds of the little banchan plates along with the Galbee [short rib], chicken, and shrimp. The charcoal grill at the table was fun and gave the meat such great charred flavor. Another repeat restaurant, for sure!

Like I said, I’m bummed that my parents are on their way home today but it’s been such a fun week full of amazing food, lots of walking, and just great quality time together. I can’t wait for them to come back again.

Mom Dad Nathan Brittany Golden Gate Bridge Baker Beach

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be doing hours of cardio and eating boiled chicken and asparagus for the rest of week 😉

Food for Thought

Do you go out to eat with visitors or prefer to cook at home?

What I Ate Wednesday #125: After Effects of Vegan

My Valentine’s Day dinner was the first time going back to meat and dairy after 2 weeks of eating completely vegan. To be honest, I haven’t looked back. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t like my experience or could never fathom having a vegan meal again, but I just really enjoy pretty much all things meat and dairy. Egg whites in my oatmeal, crispy bits of roast chicken, a nice bowl of yogurt with bananas and cinnamon. YUM!

My experiences have adjusted the way I’ve been eating, however, and I’ve really been enjoying these changes. If you recall, Cyrus had me on a 70/15/15 diet focusing on 70% carbs coming from fruits and vegetables. I’ve been using MyFitnessPal to track my macros and am doing my best to try to hit that 70/15/15 breakdown but in reality have been getting closer to a 60/20/20 split; certainly not the end of the world! And aside from my oatmeal, I’ve been sticking with the fruits and veggies source of carbs.

Peas & Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

[Breakfast]
Protein Oats Egg White Oatmeal Banana Peanut Butter

Protein Oats Egg White Oatmeal Mango Papaya Pineapple Peanut Butter
I seriously missed my oatmeal with melty nut butters! The basic idea of this breakfast has remained the same but I’ve added some extra fruit on top. I will typically mash up 1/2 of a banana into the oats and now slice up the other half on top. Or I grab some frozen mango/papaya/pineapple frozen mix when I’m out of bananas.

[Lunch]
Sweet Potato GTs Kombucha Multi Green Quinoa Beet Burger

Sweet Potato Tuna Fava Beans
Lunch has definitely seen the biggest change. I’ve swapped my daily big ass salad for a bunch of roasted sweet potatoes and some source of protein on the side like quinoa beet burgers, tuna, or shredded chicken.

Cyrus mentioned that lunch is the time to really load up on carbs in order to fuel the rest of your day, A salad, while obviously healthy, is typically a lower carb option full of ingredients that will essentially fill space in your stomach but not provide the source of energy that your body needs. I’m in loveee with sweet potatoes so this has not posed any issue for me at all.

[Dinner]
Half Baked Harvest Quinoa Crusted Chicken Tenders Roasted Potatoes Brussels Sprouts Sriracha BBQ Ketchup

Orange Sesame Chicken Breast Russet Potatoes Salad
Speaking of potatoes, we’ve basically been eating roasted russets every night with dinner. Nathan is certainly happy; variations on chicken and potatoes might be one of his favorite meals!

[Snacks]
Typical snacks throughout the day include bananas [sometimes up to 3 per day!], apples, and the occasional bar. I know bars aren’t always ideal and I definitely used to rely on them more than I do now. I didn’t want to have too much sugar, even the natural stuff, but since increasing my carbs, a banana is the perfect snack to take with me to work. And sometimes if I’m home, I’ll dip into a little nut butter too 😉

Any changes?
I was most curious to see if I’d notice any changes in my body, skin, weight, etc. by going vegan. In the first week, I lost 2 lbs and saw an increase in ab definition. I was also super crabby, low energy, having trouble getting through my workouts, and just generally exhausted by the end of the day. I wasn’t eating enough.

Cyrus explained to me that my RMR [Resting Metabolic Rate] is about 1600 calories per day and after adding in my workouts, active lifestyle, and simply the energy expended from my body digesting my food, I should be taking in about 3000 calories per day. I’m not sure I ever hit 3000 calories, but once I started eating more, the 2 lbs came back and the extra definition was lost. Was I bummed? A little. But at the same time, I actually had my energy back!

I plan on keeping up the increase in carbs, mostly because I love sweet potatoes and bananas. In terms of noticeable physical changes, I really don’t see a difference and I happen to be much happier not limiting myself in my diet. If I want a vegan meal, great! I’ll have one. If I want a huge cheesesteak [Nathan got one while I was eating vegan and said it was the best of his life], I’ll eat a huge cheesesteak! I just enjoy food and the experiences I have with Nathan trying new things entirely too much to give it up.

It was a great experiment and I’m glad I did it. I think it’s important for me to experience different diets, workouts, etc. to be able to speak to it if someone asks. I’m up for a challenge and I’d try another if the opportunity presents itself.

Food for Thought

What’s the most extreme change in diet you’ve tried before?

What I Ate Wednesday #124: Valentine’s Feasting

Valentine’s Day might be one of my favorite holidays. We don’t do the bouquet of roses, sappy cards, get dressed up for dinner kind of thing. We learned that wasn’t necessary many years ago. Not to mention, who wants to pay $200 for a dinner that takes HOURS to come out after ordering while 100 other people wait around you? Personally, I’m a fan of a quiet night at home, cooking together and drinking some good wine.

Peas & Crayons What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

We cheated a little bit this year and bought our main dish. Last year, we went all out and made a pistachio-crusted lamb which turned out wonderfully. This year, however, we went to the farmers’ market the week before Valentine’s Day and saw that Roli Roti has a new rotisserie duck l’orange. We already love their rotisserie chicken, brussels, and potatoes, so how could we say no? We woke up on Valentine’s Day and got to the market as soon as they opened to get our duck.

It was so nice to relax rather than having to work on the main dish. So we broke out a bottle of Black Zeppelin, a 2009 Syrah blend, that we got in 2012. We bought 2 bottles and had the first right away. This bottle was even better than we remembered!

Black Zeppelin Syrah Blend 2009

It was also gone pretty quickly!

Cabot Cheddar Cheese Dried Apricots Blue Diamond Almonds

I also made a cheesy [ha.. in both senses of the word] plate to snack on while the side dish was in the oven. Thank you very much, Cabot!

Kirkland Prosecco

And what goes better with cheese than prosecco? Only the finest bottle in our house..

Duck L'Orange Roasted Brussels Sprouts Potatoes Egg Yolk Porn

The main event.. it was better than I could have imagined! Did I mention that this was my first time eating meat in 2 weeks? Nathan’s idea for the dippy egg over top of the rosemary garlic roasted potatoes and brussels was killer. I was absolutely in heaven!

Blueberry Squares Smitten Kitchen Lush Tahitian Vanilla Gelato

And if that wasn’t enough, I made a “single serving” [which really turned out to be a double. So we nicely shared.] of Smitten Kitchen’s blueberry crumb bars. I’d only made them once before, a couple years ago, and Nathan has been talking about them ever since. I decided Valentine’s Day was the perfect day to break it out again. We also bought some Tahitian Vanilla gelato from our favorite place, Lush, right down the street. It was the perfect topping.

Dinner was fabulous, as always, and we were more than full. Or as we like to say, fat and happy.

Food for Thought

Did you do anything special for Valentine’s Day?

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?