Tag Archives: Lunch

A day in the life: San Fran edition!

I am finally settling into a semi-regular routine here in the city, at least during the work week. I wake up and marvel at the amount of space I have. Compared to my old room, which was literally an oversized closet, my room is a yoga studio!

yes, my old Texas license plate was BJ5 6969. classy.

Before work, I have been making paleo-ified oatmeal for breakfast. Being the rebel that I am, I occasionally throw some oat bran in there. Many people say that the number one thing they miss when going paleo is their morning oatmeal… here is your solution!

Coconutmeal [Paleo Oatmeal]

Recipe: Serves 1 – low carb, paleo, grain, dairy and sugar free

  • 5 tbsp coconut flour (can substitute half oat bran if desired)
  • 2/3 cup water (can substitute in some coconut beverage)
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk or greek yogurt (I use yogurt for more protein)
  • 2 egg whites
  • optional: 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 2 tbsp nut butter of choice, or other toppings
  • salt, to taste

Directions – Mix the coconut flour and oat bran, if using, with the water and microwave for ~110 seconds. It will look dry when you remove it from the microwave.  Add the yogurt or coconut milk and stir. Add the two egg whites and stir until completely combined.

 Microwave for another 30 seconds. If adding protein powder, add and stir. Do not microwave again, simply add a bit of salt and stir. Top with nut butter and enjoy!

After breakfast, I commute to work using the Muni bus system, which I LOVE. With an iphone, it is super easy to navigate. You can use the directions to determine which bus to take and download MuniApp in order to know exactly when the bus is coming. You will meet every kind of person on the bus. My favorites are the sullen teenagers blocking out the world via plastic white ear buds and the extremely vocal senior citizens that have been taking the same bus for 20 years and know all the drivers.

 

really excited to get dressed for work…

At work, I am Quant coach to some of Dr. A’s patients. A Quant coach is essentially a life coach, so I aim to help people target things in their life they want to change and discover patterns that they can manipulate to bring about those changes. Since the work is only part time, I am also applying to an awesome gym to be a personal trainer and/or nutritionist. Fingers crossed!

For lunch, I have been bringing boring salads. I need to step up my game in the mornings because when it’s lunch time I get excited to chow down and then remember that I threw together a half-assed lunch. They appear even more lame when I have to go out and bring back the office deliciously expensive foie gras burgers, ahi salads, and lobster mac n’ cheese.

Today’s salad was romaine with shredded carrots, roasted squash, a tomato, and grilled chicken with blue cheese dressing. On the side I had a juicy, organic fuji apple and my fave Kind bar.

After work, I typically go to whichever gym I am trying out and either swim or do my usual stress-fractured-lifting routine.

Also, a few of you have asked how about me feetsies (how sweet of you!) and I am coming up on three months of recovery. On Friday the 28th, I have the doctor appointment that is supposed to give me the okay to begin lifting, running, and whatevering again. Toes crossed.

Post-workout I had a nasty protein shake. I ordered some personalized protein powder from True Nutrition and made the mistake of using the “double flavor” option. All I can taste is aspartame, with a hint of cake batter. I think that is what an aluminum cake would taste like.

After all that, I usually try to explore a bit and study for my personal training exam, which I am taking this week. Alternatively, today I spent an hour guarding a parking space for my car while waiting for my roomie to return home to help me.

Dinners have been very simple, healthy and tasty.

1 small sweet potato mashed with 2 Tbsp almond and peanut butter and topped with scrambled eggs, bacon, onions, and mushrooms

sauteed onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and kale scrambled with 3 egg whites and 2 whole eggs and topped with lots of mozzarella cheese (salsa and sour cream sometimes too!)

After dinner I always have some kind of yogurt bowl. I like to tell myself its to help heal my bones, but it’s really just to satiate my dairy urges. At least suboxone isn’t prescribed for that kind of addiction!

guns n’ ice cream  [Humphrey Slocombe peanut butter bacon brittle banana, to be specific]

And that was..

healthy low carb pizza!

Happy Friday!! My visit with my parents is almost over, I will be heading back to California tomorrow. Then, it will be crunch time to find a place to live in San Francisco. The goal is to move in the first week of September – eek! I am so excited though. I can’t wait to explore, begin my internship, and work out again! I have a sports medicine doc appointment on Monday, I am hoping that I get the okay to start lifting soon. It hasn’t felt short at all, but six weeks has finally passed. Fingers crossed!

I made this pizza recipe for lunch and it was very easy and made a huge portion. Those pizzas were both the size of my hand and made 1 serving!

Portobello Pizzas

Recipe: Serves 1 – low carb, high protein, gluten free

  • 5 oz lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • paprika
  • TJ’s African smoked pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 2 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 cup organic tomato sauce
  • basil
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • salt
  • rosemary
  • garlic
  • toppings: cheese, vegan cheese sauce, caramelized onions, veggies, bacon, etc

Directions – Mix the ground turkey with the salt, paprika, pepper, garlic, and onion. . Stir fry on the stove until just cooked through. With a hand held or conventional blender, blend the cooked turkey with an egg for just a second or two. Scrape the frilly filling out of the portabello mushroom caps. Fill the caps with the turkey mixture. 

 

In a deep pan on the stove, combine the tomato sauce, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, rosemary, and garlic. Bring to a simmer and let cook until reduced to a thick pizza sauce texture. Pour the sauce over the turkey and cook in the oven at 375 for 7-10 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the oven and top with cheese or toppings of choice, broil for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned.

 

Benefits:

Portobello * a great source of niacin, potassium, and selenium!

Onion * Contains quercitin, an antioxidant that halts the growth of tumors! Also, studies have linked regular onion consumption with lower cholesterol and reduced risk of colon cancer. A prime source of chromium.

Basil * Has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants called flavonoids. Flavonoids protect your cells from damage (and thus, in the long run, cancer).

Tomatoes * also contain a LOT of vitamin A and C. Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant that has been shown in studies to reduce the effects of smoking. This does not mean it is okay to smoke, but if you do, it is a VERY good idea to make sure are getting lots of vitamin A daily. Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, which has been proven to halt the growth of cancer cells!

Persistence and perserverance.

Gooood evening. I have so much to say, I don’t even know where to start.

I guess I will begin with the internship I alluded to a few posts ago.  I wanted to find a doctor that was familiar with the paleo diet and preferably had their own practice similar to what I would want to do. At first, I got all no’s and I-don’t-have-time’s, but it is amazing what a bit of persistence will do. You have to show people that you really care about what they are doing and demonstrate your skill set in some way. The doctor I will be working with is located in San Francisco, which means I will need to move there in September!! I am so excited. Hopefully I will have my NASM personal training certification done by then so I can personal train on the side. Without saying too much (since I don’t know what would constitute too much at this point), I will be teaching his patients how to use a technology to track various aspects of their life. The data will come from an assortment of gadgets, one being the BodyMedia. The BodyMedia is the armband I was wearing in the photo in my last post and it measures your heart rate, steps, calorie burn, etc. The other aspect of the job is to encourage patients to keep using the gadgets and software, as it can be a bit of a pain. I have been wearing the BodyMedia as well as the other devices so that I can get a feel for what I am supposed to be coaching and encouraging people to do.

At first, I was bummed about wearing the BodyMedia because it arrived right when I injured my foot. It would have been so cool to see the calorie burn and activity level when I was doing my crazy CrossFit workouts and two-a-day’s. However, it turns out that wearing the BodyMedia when I am extremely inactive has been eye opening.

On a day where I did not work out and was seated or supine about 95% of the day:

1739 calories is pretty good for a small female sitting all day long. The blue spikes are calories burned per minute, which increases as my heart rate increases. This information made me think that I may not have been fueling enough when I was super active. I had this issue when I was on the triathlon team at UCSB and I do not want to suffer those consequences again.

On a day where I did one of my 30 minute injury-safe workouts. Keep in mind, I do as little walking/moving as possible!

Again, 2,000 calories for being basically immobile plus a 30 minute limited-ability workout is not bad!

Once I am back on my feet, I cannot wait to show you guys the data from CrossFit workouts versus lifting versus cardio. My guess is that after high intensity (but short) workouts like CrossFit and HIIT, there will be an increase calorie burn for the rest of the day. With long, steady state cardio, I imagine there will be a greater calorie burn during the workout but less calories for the day total. Why? Because long, steady cardio does not increase your fat and calorie burn after your workout – but high intensity (AKA sprints, weight lifting, CrossFit) does!

The workout I did today burrnnneedddd! Instead of rotating through a bunch of body parts to avoid fatigue, I wanted to really stimulate those muscles and stay on them for long periods of time. I used this tabata timer, set to 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, 30 rounds.

Injury Friendly Workout # 3

  • 10 minutes of abs
  • 1 minute V-ups
  • 1 minute bicycles
  • 1 minute cross toe-touches
  • 1 minute sit ups
  • 1 minute leg raises
  • repeat
  • 10 minutes of booty
  • 2 minutes donkey kick back, left leg
  • 2 minutes donkey kick back, right leg
  • 2 minutes fire hydrant kicks, left leg
  • 2 minutes fire hydrant kicks, right leg
  • 1 minute donkey kick back, left leg
  • 1 minute donkey kick back, right leg
  • 10 minutes of chest and triceps
  • 1 minute push ups
  • 1 minute tricep dips
  • 1 minute of ab or booty work
  • repeat 3x + 1 more minute of whatever you feel like

On the recovery front, my foot is still being lame (ha…) but I have definitely continued to work through my goals list. I have been slow to start cooking more “real” meals again, but I’m getting there!

Breakfasts have been paleo waffles and protein pancakes.

The  lunch recipe I have for y’all today is so easy it’s not even a recipe, but it never fails to be delicious. It packs 40 grams of protein and can be as few as 400 calories or as many as you want, simply adjust the avocado and other fats to your needs.

Mini Paleo BLTs

fresh. saliva inducing. filling.

Recipe: Serves 1

  • 4 butter or Romaine lettuce leaves, washed
  • 1 tbsp paleo or regular mayo
  • slather of your favorite mustard
  • handful of baby tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 4+ slices of roasted turkey (nitrate free)
  • 2 slices of crispy bacon, split in halves (nitrate free)
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 of an avocado, sliced

Directions – Lay the lettuce on a large plate. Add a smear of mayo and mustard. Top each leaf with a slice of turkey. Arrange the tomatoes, bacon, avocado, and onion on each turkey slice. Add salt. Enjoy!

Best enjoyed eaten like a taco:

make this. you don’t have an excuse not to.

Dinners have been inspired by other blogs, but I will save those for my next post!

the paleo waffle. perfected.

Hey y’all! I hope everyone had a good weekend. Saturday night was my last Delta Gamma formal :(. I can’t believe I am about to graduate. Honestly, I don’t feel like my time is up! I wish I could have the two years I spent at UCSB back so I could re-live them here at UCD. But then again, if I had never gone to UCSB, I probably would never have gotten to compete at collegiate nationals in triathlon. That was truly the experience of a lifetime. So, I’ll just tell myself that those 3 hours were worth the two years of the insanity that is Isla Vista.  Saturday night was a blast, and if you have ever been to a sorority formal, you probably know they can be quite the sh!t show.

But not to worry, we kept it pretty classy!

Sunday was spent studying for a bio midterm, memorizing MCAT physics flash cards, and writing a 23 page lab report on the effects of parasympathetic and sympathetic input to the heart. You know, from that lab where I showed you the picture of frog. Some of y’all didn’t like that very much…

Also as tradition on Sundays, I made waffles to freeze for the upcoming week. I have been working on this recipe for over a month now and I have finally perfected

the paleo waffle.

all dolled up with nowhere to go – except inside my belly.

and here they are naked

And do not fret if you don’t have a waffle maker! I bet these can easily be made into perfect paleo pancakes.

Perfect Paleo Waffles

Recipe: Makes ~7 waffles or 3 1/2 servings

Ingredients -

  • Sorry – this recipe has been removed until further notice!

Options:

  • for a gingerbread waffle, add a 1/2 tsp ground ginger, a pinch of nutmeg, and 1/2 tbsp molasses
  • for a maple bacon waffle, substitute the coconut oil for bacon grease and add 1 tbsp of maple syrup. Bonus points for also crumbling in crispy bacon bits!

 

Another nudie pic…

Seriously, these waffles are awesome. They required over 5 rounds of tweaking, but they are finally moist, fluffy, lightly sweet, and not a weird eggy texture. And they are grain free, sugar free, dairy free, and every other type of free you could possibly be. 

I consider 2 waffles (plus toppings of course!) a meal because each waffle packs so much protein and fiber. Check it!

So two waffles is 20 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber! Slap on a few tablespoons of nut butter and youve got yourself a meal!

So, since it is technically

I will start with today’s breakfast.

two paleo waffles (surprise!) with birthday cake cashew butter and toasted coconut shreds on 1, and Barney’s almond butter on the other

And lunch was another bacon grease salad.

This one was such a winner. It had romaine, onions, tomatoes, carrots, and sprouts tossed with honey mustard bacon dressing and topped with a ton of turkey, two slices of crispy bacon, and blue cheese.

FYI: Blue cheese and bacon were made for each other. And beef.

Snacks included an apple and a Kind bar. And dinner was another tossed together salad before CrossFit. The WOD was uhhhmazing.

  • 1 minute L sit
  • 800 meter run
  • 30 squat clean  (75 lbs)
  • 100 double unders
  • 30 headstand pushups (I used a box)
  • 100 double unders

Post WOD I made my nightly snack that I have been hiding from you all for months. I seriously eat this almost every night before going to bed.

Coconut Dream Bowl

Recipe: Serves 1. Only.

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • couple drops of stevia
  • pinch salt
  • dash coconut beverage
  • a high fiber coconut muffin crumbled in (recipe to come!)
  • topped with: toasted coconut shreds, coconut macadamia nut butter, and/or sliced almonds

Directions – Mix together the yogurt, vanilla, stevia, salt and coconut beverage. Crumble in the muffin and top with toasted coconut shreds, nut butter, nuts, whatever!

Alright, I’m out. Have a wonderful day!

4 bacon grease salad recipes!

Happy hump day, yall!

To continue the story, I did end up going out on Saturday night, but only as the sober sista. I drove my friends downtown and hung out with them until about midnight (which was a riot) and then went home to bed. Sunday I was feeling better, but decided to keep resting and laying low. All in all, I took three days off from working out. While I did go a little stir crazy, I am glad I abstained. Working out definitely prolongs recovery from illness or injury. And bonus! I am no longer sore in any part of my body.

Actually thats a lie, because I hit the gym hard Monday and now my bum is sore. But now I know I can donkey kick two hundred and ten pounds. NBD.

Anyway, all my green monsters, cow livers, and kombuchas actually helped! I think three days is record timing for going from near death to feeling pretty good. If you’re sick, I definitely recommend choking down some liver. I had some leftovers today and as long as you only have a tiny bit at a time, it isn’t so bad. The after taste is bad though. Truly rank.

Lets cut to the chase food. For all of these delicious recipes below, I recommend you eat them with a good source of protein on the side. I usually top mine with shredded chicken breast or a crumbled burger. But eggs, turkey, or whatever on the side is fine too!

Each day you want to ideally aim for .7 – 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. 1 gram per pound is for people who exercise pretty hard and/or are trying to gain muscle. I go for at least 100 grams a day and typically eat 4 meals (or 3 meals and a large late night snack), so thats about 20-30 grams per meal. Many people will say this is too much protein but I don’t think so. From what I have learned in my biochemistry classes, physiology classes, and personal research, this is what I choose to go by. At least, it works for me. Everyone is different though, and we all have genetic and epigenetic differences. For example, I know some freakin’ ripped vegans that probably don’t get that much protein per day.

As promised, here is my great grandma’s recipe for bacon grease salad from the Depression era.

Wilted Red Leaf Lettuce with hot Bacon Dressing

 this picture is actually for the recipe after this one

Recipe: serves 1

  • 4 cups red leaf lettuce, shredded
  • handful baby tomatoes or veggies of choice, optional

for the dressing – 

  • 2 strips of bacon (nitrate free and organic if possible!)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (white is fine too)
  • 1/2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp purple onion

Directions – Place the bacon in a microwave safe bowl. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the bacon is very crispy and most of the fat has pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Remove the bacon from the bowl and let the extra grease fall into the bowl. Set the bacon aside on a paper towel. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, and onions to the grease and stir. Press the onions into the dressing with a fork. Taste and adjust to preference. Pour the hot dressing over the lettuce, so that it wilts. Top with the crispy bacon crumbles.

Microwave free option: Place the bacon and onions in a pan and cook on the stove top. Let the onions caramelize in the grease. Once the bacon is very crispy and as much grease as possible is in the pan, spoon out the bacon and set on a paper towel. Scrape the grease into a salad bowl. Add the sugar, vinegar, and caramelized onions and stir. Add the lettuce toss. Top with the crispy bacon, crumbled. Enjoy!

Tart Cherry, Apple, and Blue Cheese salad with Bacon dressing

Recipe: Serves 1

  • 4 cups Romain lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 apple, diced
  • 2 tbsp dried cherries
  • 2-3 tbsp blue cheese
  • crumbled bacon from the dressing
  • bacon dressing (above)

Oh and this next one is SO GOOD! And SO EASY! 4 ingredients. Get someeee. 

Bacon Honey Mustard Salad dressing

Recipe: Serves 1

  • 2 strips bacon (nitrate free and organic if possible!)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Directions – Place the bacon in a microwave safe bowl. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the bacon is very crispy and most of the fat has pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Remove the bacon from the bowl and let the extra grease fall into the bowl. Set the bacon aside on a paper towel. Add the mustard, honey, and vinegar to the bacon grease and stir. Taste and adjust as desired. Put onto ANY SALAD COMBO and it will taste amazing. Top with crumbled crispy bacon.  (You can also do the microwave free option above).

Maple Bacon dressing

Recipe: Serves 1

  • 2 strips bacon (nitrate free and organic if possible!)
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or white balsamic
  • pinch salt
  • you can also add a bit of mustard if you are feelin’ it

Directions – same as above!

Adios.

start saving yer bacon grease!

So, I am in a cooking rut.

After pinning and re-creating dozens of recipes, I’m all kitchened out. Lazy. Plus, the weather here has transitioned from windy and freezing to sunny and oppressively hot over the course of about a week. Because our hoursehold tries to minimize use of the heater and air conditioning, our house is often 78 degrees during the day. I turn on the AC at least at night, or else I pretty much dont have a shot at sleeping. [I am thankful I have the luxury of an air conditioner. :)] This rapid change in the weather hasn’t allowed my taste buds to catch up. I’m still in my hot waffle, hot soup or sandwich, and hot stir fry dinner mindset, and yet all of those things sound completely unappealing in this heat. Yes, even the waffle. I have resorted to thawing my waffles in open air instead of toasting them and eating them slightly cool (or half frozen…) and smothered in nut butter.

So, lunches are transitioning to cold salads and dinners have been whatever I have laying around. Most of which, has been lackluster – except last nights dinner! SO  GOOD and SO EASY. Also perfect for breakfast or lunch. You’ve got no excuse not to make this one! Oh, and its paleo ;)

Sweet potato, kale, and egg hash with salted avocado

whaddup 30 grams of protein!

sweet potato + bacon grease = <3

Recipe: Serves 1

  • 1/2-1 tbsp bacon grease (I keep mine in a jar) or the grease from one slice of cooked bacon (you can tear it up and add it to this recipe!)
  • 2 handfuls kale
  • 1/4 cup serrano pepper, diced
  • 1/3-1/2 sweet potato, grated
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 2 eggs + 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • iodized sea salt

Directions – Melt the bacon grease into a large pan on the stove on medium high heat. (Or, you can nuke a slice in a bowl in the microwave for about 2 minutes and pour the grease into the pan. This will also get the bacon to super crunchy bacon bit status for easy crumbling.) Add the pepper, onion, kale, and grated sweet potato. Let cook until everything has softened to your liking. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a bowl. Pour into the pan with the veggies. Sprinkle everything with salt. Once the eggs are cooked, scrape all of the contents of the pan into a bowl. Top with cubed avocado and a bit more salt. Enjoyyyyy the goodness.

Note: I recommend buying nitrate free bacon and pastured eggs. If you cant find pastured, try organic and free range. The onion, avocado, and potato don’t need to be organic, but it is ideal to buy peppers organic due to their thin skin. I also recommend buying iodized sea salt because you get the metabolism increasing benefits of iodine as well as the natural minerals from the sea.

Benefits:

Sweet potato * high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, and B6! The antioxidants in sweet potatoes work to eliminate free radicals (which damage the body) and are anti-inflammatory, so they can help alleviate symptoms of many conditions.

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

Kale * Extremely high levels of vitamins K, A, and C! Also has manganese, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants.

Bacon * I have a huge post that I want to write about saturated fats and how they aren’t the evil health destroyers that we think of them as. For now, suffice it to say that it is likely that most of the negative effects associated with eating bacon are not from the fat in bacon itself but from the nitrites and nitrates that bacon is usually treated with.

chocolate salad…

Happy Monday everyone! I hope your weekends were rejuvenating, fun, and family filled. I didn’t get to see my family since they live so many states away, but I did get to talk to them over the phone as well as receive a a beautiful bouquet of Easter-colored flowers from my mom and step pops.

I really like Mondays. I see them as an opportunity for a new start. It’s a fresh week, and you can be who you want to be, do what you want to do, and shake off any lingering stress or negativity from the week before. Thanks to this inspirational post from Lori, I started a gratitude journal last night. Just my single entry so far has lightened my mood and makes me smile every time I think of it. I swear I am getting cheesier with age. I used to be fairly cheesy, a pseudo cheese, like Kraft American singles. Not real cheese, but it’s trying. Then, in high school, I got a bit more sentimental and graduated to cheddar status. Now, as college comes to a close, I am full on French stinky cheese. The finest Gruyere, if you will.

Question: Do any of y’all keep gratitude journals or affirmation boards? Comment with any fresh ideas for  self reflection or something that you are grateful for!

In my last post. I said I would go over my Spring schedule and some purchases I am amped about.

My classes are Nutrition and Aging, BIOLOGY (and the lab -_-), and Neuro Physio biology lab. The nutrition course is a “joke” and “designed for seniors” according to my professor, so that’s awesome. [Note sarcasm.] It is nice that I won’t have to stress over it, but Im also a bit sad that he isn’t taking this opportunity to blow our minds with studies and knowledge on the zillions of topics he could go into with the class. The bio is a freshman/sophomore course, so I’m thinking it will be pretty easy, just very time consuming with the busy work, lab, and apparently memorizing the entire tree of life. And NPB 101L seems like it will be fascinating; our labs include dissecting a frog heart, stimulating frog leg muscles, peeing into a cup and analyzing it, measuring our VO2 max, and something with GI motility ;). I am scared shitless for the lab reports though. Word on the street is that they take 4 days to write and are an average of 25 pages. Awesome.

My MCAT course via Princeton Review is finally over –> Yay!! However, now that means its all on me. I sort of made a study plan… Once again, I am going to post my schedule to hold myself accountable… Behold.

Anality at its finest. That night time studying is pretty sketch. 

The purchases I mentioned are two new pairs of shoes that I got in Austin over Spring Break (THANK YOU MAMA!). One pair is a Vibram/New Balance hybrid that is perfect for lifting and CrossFitting.

 

I ADORE these. I can actually feel what I am doing so much more and my form has definitely benefitted from the lack of support. Squats and deadlifts are more through the heels and balanced. Box jumps feel safer in that I can actually feel myself landing on the box/plastic hollow board. The other pair has slightly more support and will be for running; my first pair of Sauconys. I feel bad betraying my beloved Brooks, but these shoes feel amazing. The Sauconys aren’t barefoot runners but they don’t have nearly as much support as what I am used to. I feel light as birdy. Nay. A butterfly.

Andddd finally, I have for you a salad that involves chocolate. I was skeptical at first, and yet intrigued when I first saw the recipe. As it turns out, cacao nibs are delicious and make an epic pair with citrus fruits. You must try this. I made it three days in a row, and only because I ran out of nibs.

Spinach & Citrus Salad with Cacao Nibs

Recipe: Serves 1

adapted from Not Without Salt

3-4 cups baby spinach

1/2 large orange, slices cut in half

a few slices grape fruit (optional)

handful cacao nibs

a twist of fresh ground pepper

for the dressing – 

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic

1 tbsp orange juice

pinch salt

Directions – Toss the spinach and citrus in the dressing. Top with cacao. Enjoy!

You know you truly love chocolate when you can appreciate the unadorned cacao nib.

not one, but two carrot + nut butter soup recipes.

Hello! It is only day 2 of Spring quarter and I am already feelin’ the heat! And by heat I mean pressure, not really the temperature. Unfortunately. Hopefully, the sun will come out to play and stay put soon! I am so much happier when it is warm and sunny :). Before the weather gets hot all around the country, I wanted to post these two awesome soup recipes. Both involve carrots and nut butter and each is delicious in its own way. The tahini soup is savory with a Middle Eastern flavor flare, and the peanut butter soup is perfect for all the PB addicts out there. Be warned though, they are so good you just want to keep eating it – but they are filling.

I will post again very soon with a look at Spring quarter classes and some new purchases that I am in LOVE with!

carrot tahini soup

only one photo because the two soups… looked the same

Recipe: Makes 4 servings

from Eats Well With Others

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 fat leek, excluding dark green area
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb carrots
  • 1 quart veg broth
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • fresh lemon juice, to taste

Directions – In a soup pot, over medium heat, pour in oil, then add leek and saute until translucent. about 4 minutes. Add garlic, salt, pepper, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne, and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots and stir to coat them with leek mixture.  Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, then add broth, thyme, and 2 cups water.  Bring to a simmer, partly cover, and cook until carrots are tender, about 25 minutes. When carrots are tender, remove thyme branches and stir in tahini.  Using an immersion blender (or transfer to a food processor/blender), puree soup until smooth.  Return to pot and reheat if necessary.  Taste and add lemon juice.  Add salt to taste.

roasted carrot & peanut butter soup

Recipe Makes ~3 servings

adapted from Katie Did

  • 1 lb. carrots (7-8 large)
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, salt and pepper all to taste
  • 2 cups chicken or veg broth
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4th cup peanut butter, any variety 
  • fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts to garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel, wash, and cut carrots into sticks. Dice onion. Toss carrots, onion, and two peeled cloves of garlic with melted coconut oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, salt, and pepper all to taste.

Let veggies roast for 30-40 minutes until beginning to brown. Transfer to a deep pot and add chicken broth and coconut milk. Cover, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and add peanut butter.

Transfer soup mixture in batches to a blender and blend until smooth.

Taste and adjust seasonings as desired!

Benefits:

Tahini * a good source of essential unsaturated fatty acids, copper, iron, calcium, fiber and B vitamins. Copper is good for treating some of the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Magnesium can help lower blood pressure and help women going through menopause maintain normal sleeping patterns.

Peanut butter * a great source of manganese, Vitamin E, tryptophan (calming!), niacin, folate, and copper! Peanuts also contain lots of healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants! They have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and have been shown to significantly lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer.

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Carrots * a prime source of vitamin A and antioxidants

one of the unexpected benefits of lifting + a recipe

Hello from the Texas hill country! It is blue bonnet season, and they are absolutely stunning. I think one of the coolest things that a First Lady has done is how Lady Bird Johnson planted millions wild flowers all along the highways in Texas. Now, every Spring, the sides of the roads are blanketed in wild flowers. There are blue bonnets, Indian paint brushes, and daisies.

Being home has been soothing. I can actually sleep here and I’m not quite the cracked out stress ball that I am at school.  My cousin, Kelly, is visiting my mom and Steve at the same time as I, so we have all been hanging out together constantly. Home cooked meals, laying out in the sun, working out, kind of studying MCAT… and watching movies. Kelly also does CrossFit, so today we did her gym’s WOD and it was awesome! And for a WOD, it was long – 37 minutes.

The WOD

45 seconds headstand, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds tricep dips, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds hollow rock, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds pistols, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds burpees, 45 seconds rest

repeat 5x

Me and Kelly! And Mom taking the photo because she wanted a “girl power photo” ;)

With my extra spare time here I have been thinking about a few things. One of them being reasons for why I lift. I realized that feeling physically strong makes me feel more emotionally strong. Its like, if I can lift this 150 pounds or whatever than I sure as hell am not going to let that comment or indiscretion knock me sideways. As I am writing this, I was going to go on about the empowerment of lifting and physical strength (which is true), but I began thinking about those who are not physically able. They are certainly emotionally strong – probably far more than your average person. So, I decided to do a little reading about how those with disabilities empower themselves, and I found this  article from Lillie Ammann. She suggests that people with disabilities empower themselves by getting out there and trying to not limit themselves from the activities that they enjoy. Also, to focus on the positives in life rather than what is lacking. Both of these recommendations easily apply to everyone. Like not letting fear keep us from going after our goals are doing what we want.

Ammann also wrote a few recommendations for those able bodies, like

  • Treat everyone you meet with respect and courtesy, and don’t ignore or exude pity to disabled people you meet.
  • Offer assistance without being condescending, but don’t be offended if it is declined.
  • Don’t occupy the facilities that are reserved for the handicapped.
That got rather off topic, but it is always good to get brought back to reality and count ze blessings! Another blessing of the week was the epic success that was this  lunch. We have fresh rosemary growing in our front yard and I wanted find a way to use it with chicken and black walnuts (my favee). 

rosemary walnut crusted chicken

Recipe: Serves 2

adapted from My Recipes

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat panko crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts, black if possible
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions – Preheat oven to 425°. Combine egg white and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to mixture, turning to coat. Combine panko, nuts, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from egg mixture; discard extra egg mixture. Dredge chicken in panko mixture. Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack. Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until chicken is done.

So delicious!! And this would definitely work for dinner too, perhaps with some kale or pasta and olive oil!

Benefits:

Walnuts * a fabulous source of 0mega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts have been found to decrease LDL cholesterol, decrease inflammation, improve endothelial cell function, and decrease risk of excessive blood clotting, all of which decrease heart disease risk. They may also help reduce metabolic syndrome symptoms and decrease tummy fat. They are rich in antioxidants and may help protect against some cancers.

Chicken * an excellent source of lean, complete protein as well as B vitamins.

roasted beet, goat cheese, and walnut salad with a classic vinagrette

Heyoo! I finished my two finals today and I AM SO STOKED FOR SPRING BREAK. Although I will be studying for the MCAT for (hopefully) several hours a day, I am still excited to go back home to Texasssss. While I do love Northern California, there truly is no place like Austin. The people are weird. The food is both cutting edge and down n’ dirty tasty. The city is intertwined with natural springs, lakes, mountains, and creeks. The shopping is bomb. And, for me, every nook and cranny of the city is associated with a memory, most good and some bad – but all a part of me :).

Anywho. Breakfast was at 7:30 am before my 8 am final. I had a belgian waffle  (duh) with freshly made cake batter cashew butter and it rocked my world. It may not have been the wisest idea to devote those extra 10 minutes to making fresh cashew butter instead of last minute studying – but it was worth it.

Cake Batter Cashew Butter Recipe

  • 1 cup roasted cashews
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (I used half regular, half sweetened ;) )
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • a couple drops stevia extract
  • dash salt, to taste (esp. if the cashews weren’t salted)
adapted from The First Kitchen
The first final, for Developmental Nutrition, went well. However, it was one of those exams that lasts the full two hours and you never stop writing and your hand cramps up and you have to shake it to the side of your desk and people look up at you and give you a dirty looks for distracting them with your spastic motions. 

For whatever reason, tests make me hungry. Maybe its the stress. Or maybe its the brain burning through all the glucose. Whatever it is, I couldn’t wait past 11:30am to get some grub into my belly. Lunch was an experiment that ended up going so right. I totally winged it, which often ends up being incredibly lackluster or a super-fail. It involved frying things in coconut oil. I am too lazy to upload the photos right now, so lets pretend I had this gorgeous ABSOLUTELY ADDICTIVE salad – which I actually had three times earlier this week because it is that good.

roasted beet, goat cheese, and walnut salad with a citrus balsamic vinaigrette

Recipe: Serves 1

inspired by alexandra cooks

for the dressing

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic
  • 1 tbsp or half a Cutie’s juice
  • 1 small shallot or 2 tbsp, chopped
  • fresh ground pepper + dash salt

for the salad

  • 4 cups baby greens
  • 1 roasted beet, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1 oz goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped walnuts (black if possible)

directions -

Ahead of time, rinse and roast 1 (or more!!) beets in the oven at 425 degrees for an hour, or until easily pierced. Place/store in the fridge to cool.

Chop the shallots and place in a bowl. Pour in the olive oil and press the shallots into the oil with a spoon. Add the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, a dash of salt and a few grinds of freshly ground pepper and stir.

Toss the greens, cuc, and beets with the dressing. Top with goat cheese and walnuts. Enjoy!!

Then I had my second final, GI physiology and that was fineeee. Some of the questions were epic.

“According to the professor, what is the best way to defecate?”

Answer = SQUATTING. Without a doubt. It aligns your sigmoid colon into a linear pathway for maximal evacuation with minimal effort.

“According to the professor in lecture, why should one never resisnt the urge to go use the bathroom?”

Answer = Because every time your contract your external anal sphincter to make the urge go away, you send it right back up there and the colon automatically reabsorbs more water from the feces, thus increasing the likelihood that you will get the dreaded const.

After that fun little exam, I passed out for a while and then went to the gym. I created a BEAST interval workout for you freaks out there that want to try it.

Beast Interval Workout

12 box jumps, as high as you are able

12 clean n’ jerks with 50 lb barbell

(watch it here, I was doing it in one fluid motion and didnt split my legs like she does in the video)

500 meter row

repeat 4x as hard and fast as you can

It is under 20 minutes but if you give it your all – it burnsogood. Have a fun friday night everyone!