Friday, May 29, 2009

A Two Banana (and mango) Day

It's Friiiiidaaaaay! I like Fridays for many reasons, one of which includes the fact I can wear jeans to work.
As promised, I began this day with a repeat of yesterday's breakfast.  1 cup of spelt, 1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt, 1 sliced banana, raw trail mix, and a spoonful of raw almond butter.  It did not disappoint.
For a morning snack, I sliced up a juicy mango and put it with about 1/2 cup of 1% cottage cheese.  I had never paired mango with cc before and it was as good as I had hoped.
The money shot!
For lunch, I took the easy way out and had some leftover spaghetti from last night.  It was so good (I almost prefer cold spaghetti to hot).  Thank God for portion control because I could have easily eaten twice this amount!
After lunch, I had my usual coffee.  We had a going away pizza party for a coworker at 2:30 pm.  This is past my lunch but before my usual break for a snack.  I just brought my coffee along to the party room and opted out of the pizza.  Honestly, I would have only gotten one stale slice of a plain mushroom pizza and that just didn't appeal to me.  I mean, it was pizza so of course it appealed to me, but if I am going to have pizza, I AM GOING TO HAVE PIZZA, y'know?  You know.

After the party, I returned to my desk and munched on this apple for a snack.  
I can't believe I opted for an apple over a slice of pizza.  Perhaps I'm unwell?  Or perhaps the world of food blogs has permanently infiltrated my brain!!!!!!!  

On my way home from work, I stopped at that "new to me" natural foods store near my home.  It was fabulous!  It was teeny tiny, but the lady working there was one of those beautiful aging hippies who was so kind and helpful.  The prices weren't too bad either.  I ended up with some ezekiel bread (!), some pecans, and some pepitas (I could just call them pumpkin seeds, but pepitas sounds more exotic).

Figuring out a satisfying dinner was a bit complex.  I was on my own tonight and knew I wanted a Green Monster and to somehow use the ezekiel bread, but I didn't want anything too heavy.  I ended up with a Green Monster made out of:
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana (second of the day!)
  • 1 mango (second of the day!)
  • 1 scoop of hemp protein powder
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
I also made a scramble with 1 egg + 2 egg whites, 3 stalks of asparagus, a few cherry tomatoes, and a bit of feta cheese.  I paired this with a couple of slices of ezekiel, a couple of spoonfuls of salsa, and called it a meal.
My Green Monster was a beautiful shade of green.  I actually placed this on the floor in the sunlight in order to capture the colour on (digital) film.  The cats just gave me weird looks.

Speaking of cats, something just doesn't seem right about this picture...

Oh well, a feline dining companion is better than no dining companion at all!

For a snack this evening, I had a Lindor chocolate and a spoonful of almond butter.  I tried to bake some ginger molasses cookies tonight, but I had an unfortunate incident involving my oven.  The incident involved burning.  That is all that I am willing to say right now.

Have a great weekend!  

Health Food Shopping

On my new commute home this week, I noticed that the bus passes by this cute little natural health foods shop at Victoria Park and Kingston Road. I think I may go check it out after work. It is always exciting to discover a new health food store! My love for them has only increased in the past few months. I always like to start in the Larabar aisle :)

There is, of course, the popular Whole Foods, which is a great (but expensive!) chain that is likely the reason natural foods has exploded in recent years! In Toronto, we are lucky enough to have The Big Carrot, a giant co-op that has an amazing selection on par with Whole Foods but with more reasonable prices. Noah's Natural Foods is a small chain of natural foods stores dispersed throughout the city. It's pricier than The Big Carrot but you can't beat their great locations. The shop I most frequent is the aptly named The Health Shoppe. It's close to my work so I like to pop in on lunch breaks and peruse the aisles. (That's normal, right?) I am also incredibly impressed with the natural foods section of Loblaw's and The Real Canadian Superstore. I can't imagine half of these products even being offered at a major grocery store 10 years ago. I remember when I first became a vegetarian (going on 9 years this August!) and finding a good tofu hot dog was like trying to finding a needle in a haystack. No lie. The times, they have changed for the better!

All of this talk makes me want to go check out some bulk bins, y'know?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Breakfast Redeemed!

After two days of less than stellar breakfasts, I was redeemed today with one of my new favourite concoctions. So simple and yet SO DELICIOUS.
I began this cold, rainy day with a bowl of magic. Magic = Spelt, didn't you get the memo?

This contained:
  • 1 cup of Spelt
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1 tiny mango
  • a few blackberries
  • some raw trail mix (almonds, pepitas, and dried cranberries)
  • a spoonful of raw almond butter
Heaven, heaven I tell you!  This will be making another appearance in tomorrow's journal entry.  This is a money back guarantee.

The good eating continued into the morning when I had a Cashew Larabar for a snack.  I split this bar in half and had one half around 9:30 am and the other around 10:30 am.  How's that for some intuitive eating?

For lunch, I had some salad with the usual spinach, tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, and broccoli but I topped this off with some leftover taco filling (soy ground round, black beans, taco seasoning, and some grated cheddar).  I thought I could get away with consuming this without using my usual balsamic vinaigrette, but I was wrong.

For an afternoon snack, I was reunited with my beloved Tall Bold with some half and half from Starbinski's.  I also had an apple.  

It was a cold and rainy commute home from work.  All day, my feet were soaked from my commute into work, so I really just wanted to get my feet into some fuzzy socks and call it a day, y'know?  I was so excited to arrive home to my hubs who had made spaghetti with marinara sauce for dinner.  With a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a glass of milk, this was highly satisfying.

I was craving something warm and comforting (to go with the now fuzzy-sock-adorned feet) and some hot chocolate sounded perfect.  This is Abuelita hot chocolate, which I picked up at Target in Florida in February.  I only have one packet left!  It's nice because it has a hint of cinnamon.  I suppose I could create my own Mexican hot chocolate, but it just wouldn't be the same!
I made some tea for the hubs and called it a night.

So I've been tracking my eating with this journal for over a week now and have really been making a concerted effort to eat well since May 7th or thereabouts.  I am starting to notice a few changes, mostly that my pants are now baggy and incredibly unflattering.  I was hoping to start wearing summer skirts to work but Mother Nature isn't cooperating with me in this pursuit.  Crazy lady!  With the rain and the cold and the baggy pants and frizzy hair, I've been feeling like a hot mess lately.  So I am really looking forward to some sunny days when I can start feeling happy about my outer appearance as well as my inner.  For now, I will just be thankful that my pants don't fit because they are too baggy, not too tight!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When good cookies go bad

I woke up this morning full of excitement because I instantly remembered what I had planned for breakfast today:  BREAKFAST COOKIE.  Mornings are bearable when there is a fresh cookie waiting for you!  However, I am sad to say that this wasn’t one of my favourites.  Three words:  TOO MUCH BANANA.  My bananas are starting to turn, so I thought I would use up a whole one in this concoction.  Mistake!  The consistency was just too mushy.  This cookie is made with 1/3 cup of quick oats, 1 banana, 1 tbsp of milk, 1 tbsp of peanut butter, a few raisins and some cinnamon smushed together and flattened onto a plate over night.  I really enjoyed the banana peanut butter combo (this would have greatly benefitted from the inclusion of chocolate chips as well!), but the mushiness really put a damper on things.  Oh well, you live, you learn! 

I also had this breakfast cookie with a combo of ¼ cup plain non-fat yogurt and ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce topped with some cinnamon.  Maybe it was the morning fog, but I thought that this would actually taste good.  No.  It didn’t.  I guess you could say that this breakfast was a gigantic FAIL.  Boo!

Redemption came with my morning snack.  I had about ½ cup of 1% cottage cheese topped with some organic wild blueberries (from frozen, I just let them thaw overnight in the fridge).  This turned out to be a big purple mess of deliciousness.

I had an early lunch due to a midday dentist appointment.  I had a leftover taco from the night before.  Objects in picture are tastier than they appear.

Having the earlier lunch really messed me up though!  So much for intuitive eating.  After lunch, I was craving some chocolate so I had four dark chocolate-covered almonds (stashed in my desk for EMERGENCY CHOCOLATE ATTACKS ONLY).  Then around 1:30, I had an apple (I didn’t want to dirty my shiny, newly cleaned teeth so I opted out of my Starbucks today.  Why do I do that to myself, I will never know).  Of course I was hungry at 2:30, so I had four more almonds and then nabbed some carrots and hummus from the staff fridge.  I think I had like 15 or 20 carrots and at least 3 heaping tablespoons of hummus.  I was starved!  Or maybe I was just bored.  Starved, bored…they go together like Hanz and Franz (We gonna pump *clap* you up)(Ok, did I just age myself like 10 years with that reference?).

For dinner, I wanted something heavy on the veggies!  I also utilized only one kitchen appliance.  I baked a potato, roasted some asparagus, and heated up an Amy’s Veggie Patty all in the same oven.  

This meal was economical AND environmental. 

I topped the potato and patty with some chipotle salsa.  I was also itching to eat some of my maranatha raw almond butter, so I had some on a slice of toasted whole wheat.  Perfection.

Right now, I am having some lemon green tea and digesting one of those Lindor chocolates for a snack.  It is one of those evenings where I think I could consume the entire contents of my fridge, but I am somehow abstaining.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sorry, the pictures are kind of wonky on this entry...

Today was my first day back at the old grind.  I had a new commute which wasn't too bad.  I say that now, but talk to me in the middle of January when I am waiting for the bus in minus 20 Celsius!  Oh well, for now I am thankful for being on a bus route...and for it being the beginning of spring.  Spring just makes life easier, y'know?

I started this day with a classic Green Monster for breakfast, except I have got to say that this was one of my least favourites.  It consisted of 1 banana, 2 cups of spinach, 1/2 cup of blueberries, 1 scoop of hemp protein powder, and 1 cup of 1% milk.  I think it needed a sweeter fruit addition because it was kind of bitter.  Boo!  And here I was on such a Green Monster roll.


Life is so much easier with frozen blueberries at one's disposal.


For a snack, I had some cottage cheese.  I know that it's high in sodium but you can't beat that protein!  And I really love cottage cheese, especially mixed with pineapple or strawberries.  I should try some jam on it next time...  I also had a second snack of Mary's Organic Crackers because, as I soon learned, a Green Monster does not a breakfast make!

The daily snack line-up, minus the apple:

For lunch, I had a classic salad.  The usual combo of vegetables and avocado with some blackberries and raw trail mix thrown on for flare.  In the staff room kitchen, I got two compliments on the look of my salad.  If people only knew how easy it is to make these, they'd never buy overpriced, pre-made salads again!


Of course I had a Tall Bold coffee from Starbs after lunch (my first in almost a week; it was a sweet, sweet day).  We had a birthday party at work, so I didn't have my apple for a snack.  Instead, I had a couple of strawberries, some grapes, and some baby carrots and hummus (luckily, there were healthy options!  Otherwise, it would have been chips and stale brownies).  I did not take a picture of this snack because I am just not quite at the point where I want to explain to my coworkers that I keep a blog of my food intake.  It's kind of hard to explain this concept, y'know?

For dinner, I arrived home to tacos in the making!  I usually have two but decided to have one with MORE cottage cheese (addicted!).  This taco is made with a tomato basil tortilla, veggie ground round mixed with black beans and taco seasoning, tomatoes, spinach, salsa, sour cream, fried mushrooms, onions and pepper, and grated cheddar.


For a snack, I will probably have some tea and a scone.  Maybe I will watch some Are You Being Served? rerun and pretend I am British.  Maybe not.

Monday, May 25, 2009

So much Internet, so little time!

A few days away from my beloved Macbook and I am trying to catch up on my favourite livejournals, health food blogs, and - out of pure necessity -  the celebrity gossip!  Without the Internet, cable, telephone or really even clocks around to tell the time, I've been able to keep productive and focussed.  I was up, dressed, had breakfast, swept the floor, and baked a batch of scones all before 10:30 am.  This is VERY out of character.  No worries, though, because now that I am re-connected to the outside world, I will be sure to stop productivity altogether!

Today was another "good" day, in terms of healthy eating.  Having the day off from work definitely helps with that.  For breakfast, I had 3/4 cup spelt flakes with 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt, one sliced banana, and some raw trail mix on top.  It was a very satisfying breakfast.  It was my first time trying spelt but not my last!  Oh no.  Not my last.

We had the cable/phone/Internet installed and then went out to run errands, so I didn't really have a proper lunch.  For my first snack, I had an apple and almond butter (polished off that jar, onto the next!)

For my second snack, I was stuck in a car so I was forced against my will to eat a delicious Larabar.  It had chili and cocoa in it.  I approve of this combination.

By the time I got home, it was almost 3:00 pm and I was STARVING (caps necessary).  I had one of the blueberry scones I baked earlier in the day.  I used my favourite scone recipe from the cookbook Vegan with a Vengeance but I attempted to health-ify the recipe.  I substituted 1.5 cups of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat, and subbed 1/6th of the oil with apple sauce.  They were pretty good for being health-ified!  I had one along with the last of the chickpea and olive salad.
I was still hungry, so I finished off some pasta salad too.  I probably didn't need this, but I wanted it.

For dinner, I tried out some new recipes.  Since I've forfeited the idea of kale in Green Monsters, I decided to cook it with some lemon and garlic.  I added too much lemon juice and it was SOUR.  I made this Greek Frittata from a recipe in a recent issue of Women's Health.  Only 206 calories per serving and I get to eat eggs and feta cheese?  Sign me up.  It was really delicious.  And, lastly, I had a simple baked sweet potato topped with some non-fat plain yogurt and cinnamon.  Triple deliciousness.

Now I am just drinking some lemon green tea and eagerly anticipating the premiere of Jon and Kate Plus 8.  Or should that be Jon Plus 4 and Kate Plus 4?  I have to admit, I am a sucker for other people's drama.  It is even better when it is televised.

Now where is my almond butter?

I am moved and settled! I am so happy to be here in my new home with everything unpacked. I can breathe a sigh of relief after a month of living amongst cardboard and garbage bags! It's been a busy few days. I can't say it's been the healthiest few days, but it's been productive! We had company over on Friday and Saturday, so I ate lots of pizza and champagne (our real estate agent brought it over in celebration, so how could I resist?  It was my first time having bona fide REAL champagne.  It was tasty, to say the least!). 

Yesterday, things calmed down a bit and I was able to get my eating back on track! I even made it to the grocery store and bought a few treats, like Mary's Oraganic Crackers and Hemp protein powder with maca (whatever the heck that is!).

I started my Sunday off with a Green Monster for breakfast (Ok, I am new to this blogspot thing and have no idea how to rotate photos!). The psychological benefits of one of these is worth it alone. I feel so great after consuming one! This one contained:
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of almond and dairy milk (mixed because I ran out of almond!)
  • 1/2 cup grapes
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 3 kale leaves
  • 1 scoop of hemp protein powder (60 calories and 7 grams of protein!)
I enjoyed it like always, but I think I am going to convert back to spinach for my Green Monsters.  I just can't seem to blend the kale up enough and they are WAY too chunky.  I also prefer the brighter shade of green provided by the spinach.  Call me vain if you will!

For a snack, I was itching to dig into these babies:
They were on sale for $3.50, which is much cheaper than usual.  I probably should have picked up many boxes, because they are so delicious.  I had one serving.

For lunch, I made a big salad with spinach, avocado, broccoli, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and some raw trail mix sprinkled on top with balsamic vinaigrette.  I also had some chickpea and olive salad and some pasta salad left over from the night before.  I love lunches like these.  You've got the healthy (veggies) mixed in with the not-so-healthy (oil-covered carbs).  It strikes a good balance.

I didn't have a snack and I have no idea why not.  I was at a little "welcome to the neighbourhood" party, and didn't eat a thing!  It was hot in the sun so I stuck to water.

For dinner, we kept it easy with roasted red pepper and tomato soup coupled with an egg salad sandwich, a leftover from the move on Friday.

For dessert, some mango and blackberries...

And one of these 60% dark chocolate Lindor chocolates for a snack:

It felt good to get my eating "back on track".  Now that we are out of an apartment and in a house, I am excited by the ability to buy staples on sale and store them in the basement.  I imagine myself hoarding boxes of Larabars and Mary's crackers in a corner by the furnace.  

I am so stoked to have the Internet back, I'll likely post tonight about what I ate today.  Can you handle the anticipation? ;)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Snack Attack Strikes Again!

I don't know if it was the packing, the excitement, or what, but last night I had another SNACK ATTACK.  It all began like so many snack attacks do...with a piece of chocolate.  One measly piece of chocolate turned into finishing the box of Kashi crackers, followed up by finishing off a can of peaches.  Almost immediately afterward, I felt sick to my stomach and then I got a headache.  I wonder if the headache was from the sodium of the crackers (exacerbated by the canned soup I had for dinner?).  No matter, it was not a pretty sight.  I felt like I had a hangover, but without the fun drunk part first.  

But the beauty of a failed snack attack is that tomorrow is another day, right? I began this day with a healthy, well-balanced, and very delicious breakfast of 1 egg plus 2 egg whites scrambled with asparagus and red pepper on top of a piece of whole grain toast, as well as a chopped banana and strawberry topped with the last of my plain non-fat yogurt, and finished off with a cup of coffee. Wow, that was one long, ungrammatical sentence! But tasty-sounding, no?

I won't be able to maintain this journal for the next few days, as I am currently existing in the middle of this!

The Internet is being shut off sometime today and i won't get it back until they install it at the new house on Monday (can't get here soon enough!). In the meantime, I hope to keep with my schedule (three meals and three snacks and NO snack attacks!), my habits (lots of whole, healthy foods), and my mentality (positivity, through and through!) until I can resume journalling again. Peace out, homies.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fridge Raid

The day before a move means that you are eating up the contents of your fridge and cupboard without caring too much about how all of the flavours configure. I think I didn't do too bad today. I used up lots of produce, including the involvement of avocado twice. It's been a good day.
For breakfast, I started out with yet another breakfast cookie. I smell an addiction on my hands! I made this one exactly like yesterday's, but had it with a side of peaches (1/2 cup) and a two spoonfuls of plain non-fat yogurt with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Breakfast isn't complete without a cup of coffee!

My morning snack was simple and delicious. Who can argue with fresh strawberries and a cheese string? All I needed was a glass of wine and I could have been French! (Something tells me that the French don't eat processed cheese strings.  This is just a hunch).
Lunch was a good old-fashioned sandwich, just like how mom used to make! Except mom never used hummus, now did she? This whole grain sandwich had homemade hummus, 1/2 an avocado, sliced tomato and baby spinach. The bread was very fresh. Always a bonus.
After my usual cup of Starbs coffee, I wasn't too hungry for my afternoon snack until 4:00 pm. I treated myself to a Pistachio Larabar. I hadn't tried this flavour. It was subtle, but very tasty.
I love that the ingredients are so basic and natural. 5 grams of protein, 4 grams of fibre, 10 grams of fat, and a WHOLE DANG LOT OF DELICIOUSNESS.
For dinner, I really went hog wild.  I had a can of Amy's Butternut Squash soup.  The hubs had some too, but was more interested in my leftover pizza from last night.  I made us some salads using up most of the contents of my crisper.  This salad included:
  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Green pepper
  • Avocado
  • Walnuts
  • Hummus
  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • God knows what else
  • Maple balsamic vinaigrette
I love a gigantic salad like this.  So satisfying!

The plan is to have some green tea for an evening snack.  I know that my eating will get kind of wacky these next few days, so I'm going to try to stay away from the kashi crackers and peanut butter jar tonight!