Tag Archives: Quick

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..

a quick, healthy, and filling lunch

I hope everyone is having a leisurely Sunday. I woke up early, made coffee and breakfast, and perused recipe blogs to choose this weeks recipes. I have been way too excited to go grocery shopping; it’s pretty much my favorite de-stressing activity (besides lifting weights, I suppose). I hopped on over to Trader Joe’s to gather the ingredients – still goin’ strong as a Trader Joe’s Hoe. I can’t believe I used to spurn TJ’s! It is so cheap… And yet the quality seems to be quite high. The only thing that is a bit odd is the produce being suffocated by seran wrap. Why do they do that?  And some of their frozen meals are pretty crappy, but that doesn’t effect me too much!

For lunch, I just made this wonderful crab salad in a mere 5 minutes. It happens to be essentially carb free, high protein, and oozing mono and poly-unsaturated fats.

cilantro and lime crab salad in avocado

recipe: serves 1

from for the love of cooking

  • 1 can lump crab meat
  • 1 tbsp light mayo
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp red onion
  • 1-2 tsp jalapeno, diced
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • squeeze lime juice
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • big pinch cumin
  • 1 small or medium avocado

Directions – Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Drain the crab meat and place in a bowl. Mix in all the other ingredients. Scoop into the avocado halves and enjoy!


Crab * extremely high in protein and low in fat and carbohydrates. The fat that crab does contain is largely omega 3 unsaturated, which helps prevent heart disease. Also contains high amounts of selenium which is anti-carcinogenic and chromium which helps regulate blood sugar.

 Avocado * contains vitamins A, B, C, and E. Also contain phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, zinc, and iron. Their greatest asset is their monounsaturated fat content, which is linked to lower cholesterol levels, reduced risk of heart disease, weight loss, and even alleviating depression.

my current favorite breakfast

Black walnuts remind me of my paternal grandfather. He and the rest of my family lived in a precious house in a small town in Illinois. It was surrounded by corn fields, and like most midwestern homes, had a large basement. In the back corner of the basement was his nut cracking station. It was a wrap-around desk that had a large, stationary nut cracker, hand picks, a radio, a magnifying glass, and boxes and boxes of nuts. The family favorite was and still is black walnuts. They are more abundant and large in the midwest than in California. Here, they are tiny and don’t have much meat, so farmers don’t bother growing them because they don’t want to put in the effort to pick out the little bits of walnut from its hard shell. At the farmers market, I have been harrasing all the nut vendors about black walnuts. They all say the same thing, they aren’t worth it. Finally, one of them surprised me last weekend with a plastic baggy of 8 ounces of black walnuts. It was worth the 8$, easily. English or “Chandler” walnuts can’t hold a candle to the complex and deep flavor of black walnuts. Good luck trying to find them, but I guarantee they are worth the effort.

so filling and satisfying

Maple  bacon and whole grain waffles with cream cheese and black walnuts

Recipe: Serves 1

4 slices turkey bacon (I adore Trader Joes’)

two whole wheat frozen waffles

~3 tbsp full fat, whipped cream cheese

~2 tbsp black walnuts, chopped

maple syrup (I use Josephs sugar free)

Directions – Microwave the turkey bacon for 3.5 minutes, covered with a paper towel. Check it at the end and if you want it to be crispier, blot the grease and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Meanwhile, toast the waffles according to the package’s directions. Smother in cream cheese. Top with black walnuts. Drizzle the waffles and turkey bacon with maple syrup. Enjoy!


Turkey bacon * a great source of B vitamins and lean protein. Make sure you find a brand that has about 30 calories and 6 grams of protein per slice! NOT JENNY O.

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.


I went to a “What’s Your Fantasy” party last Thursday. Any guesses as to what my costume is?


I went to Foodbuzz Fest this weekend (recap soon) and was convinced by Bobby McCormick that I need a Twitter. I caved. If you want me to follow you, tell me your name! And if you want to hear me say minimal things that are hopefully but doubtfully entertaining, follow me…


[to die for] Lemon Basil & Honey Egg Salad

Good afternoon! I am blogging right now from school because we still don’t have interwebz in our new house. I took my Calculus final on Friday, which went really well! Afterwards, I met up with a new friend and went rock climbing for the first time. It was the perfect de-stressor and a surprisingly good workout! Two hours flew by. I didn’t feel exhausted until I tried to climb up the inverted wall. It is tilted towards you so it is much harder than a vertical wall, or a wall that is tilted away. My arms literally gave out as I struggled to cling to the little rocks. And I had only made it up a few feet… You really have to trust whoever you are attached to! I was mildly hesitant to let go of the wall off at 30 or 40 feet high, but I did and I alive to blog about it. Afterwards, I went home and packed for the big move. Saturday morning, Chelsea, her parents, Kristi, and I spent all  day packing up and moving to our new house. It is just down the street, but that doesn’t make it any less work! We cleaned the crap out of our old house. I seriously spent three hours on just my bathroom. I hadn’t cleaned it the entire year. At least, not really. I was down on my hands and knees scrubbing the grout and I practically had to sandblast the soap scum off my shower. Sorry. I now understand why some housewives get off to hardcore cleaning products. Works in 60 seconds never sounded so good.

All the hard work paid off though, and Zabace is forking over the entire deposit! Pretty sure we deserve a medal of some sort.  If you are a hardcore reader, you may remember that I painted my wall 6 months ago a royal blue. Since that is technically really not okay, I scrambled to paint it back to cream earlier in the week. During the final walk through, the landlord walked into my room and got a puzzled look on her face. She said “Oh…. I thought this wall was blue. I apologize. You must have thought I was crazy.” I guess she had heard from a repairman or gardener that I had painted my wall blue and was planning on nailing me for it. Not a trace of evidence remained, suckaz!

Since then, I have celebrated, organized my room, started Genetics, and made dinner with my dear friend Dina. She finally came home from Palestine after being gone for over a month. We had a precious date that included dinner, wine, and a trip to my favorite ice cream shop. Dinner was an Italian stir fry, which I have never done before. We sautéed zucchini, onions, snap peas, and chicken with olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, salt and pepper and added fresh mozzarella balls to the mix at the end so it was just melted. On the side we had basil-tomato-marinated mozzarella salad, Chilean red wine, and a slice of her mothers jam cake!

Okay. Down to the recipe that got me through one hell of a weekend. IT IS THE BEST EGG SALAD I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. I have eaten this sandwich for 2 of my 3 meals 2 days in a row and then some. It is that good. Don’t question the ingredients, just make it and love it.

Lemon Basil & Honey Egg Salad

Recipe: Makes 2 servings

6  hard-boiled eggs (using 2 or 3 of the 6 yolks)

2 tbsp mayo

fresh basil, shredded

1 tbsp honey

squeeze of fresh lemon juice

dash cinnamon

dash dill

dash salt

whole wheat bread

tomato, sliced


To prepare the eggs: Place eggs in a medium pot and cover with 1 inch (above) of cold water. Bring to boil on the stove. Once at a solid boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 12 minutes. Immediately transfer eggs to bowl of ice water and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Peel.

Combine eggs with basil, honey, lemon, mayo, dill, and cinnamon (the two spice are optional but add if you have them!). Toast whole grain bread and top with tomato slices and half of the egg salad. Save leftovers in the fridge!

Make this. Change your life.

Finals: Survival Mode

First of all, I just want to thank you all for the sweet comments on my last post. Y’all are truly the best.


You know that biochemistry lab I have been bitching about for the last 9 weeks? Well, it is finally over. Completely. No more labs. No more lab reports. No more mid-protein-assay break downs. No more quizzes. And no more final.

I had so much anxiety about the final that it caused me to stress eat. Stress eating is something that I think is very common amongst women (especially school-aged), and is even more prevalent around midterms and finals. However, I usually don’t have much of a problem with it. I’ve found that if you fill up on mostly balanced and nutritious foods during the day, you don’t really have all that much room to cram in froyo, cookies, and brownie bars. But this lab final bypassed all that logic and sensibility and had me scouring our kitchen for anything with a 6 carbon chain and a hydroxyl group on the end. (AKA sugaaaaaa.) After a day or two of that, enough was enough. I decided to make something that was sweet, but actually satisfying and healthy to boot. And thus, the personal blueberry pie was born.

Comfort food at its best

This little pie is sugar free, made from whole grains, and packs a punch of antioxidants. Sweet and delicious. Best of all, it can be made in under 5 minutes flat, if you want. The blubes burst in the microwave (or oven) and soak the granola and coconut in sweet blueberry juice. [Since it is sugar free, all you bloggers who are doing Alex’s sugar free challenge can feel free to imbibe in this lil’ beauty!]

5 ingredients – say whattt?!

Personal Vanilla Blueberry Pie

suga free and supa easy.

Recipe: Serves 1

3/4 cup blueberries (I am obsessed with Rhythm and Blueberries, if you’re local!)

2 tbsp plain greek yogurt

4-5 drops vanilla NuNaturals stevia (or regular stevia + a few drops vanilla extract)

2 tbsp Love Grown Granola + 2 tbsp high fiber cereal (I used Fiber One Honey Clusters)

1-2 tbsp unsweetened coconut shreds

pinch salt

Directions – In a bowl, combine the blueberries, greek yogurt, stevia, and salt. Mix well. Scrape into a small ramekin. Top with granola, cereal, and coconut. To cook, either microwave for 1 minute (or until the blueberries have burst) or bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes. Enjoy with a dollop of whipped cream!

my precious… 


Blueberries * have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of all fruits and veggies. Their anthocyanidins counteract free radicals, which damage cells and tissues. One study demonstrated that blueberries improve memory and learning capacity in aging animals. They also protect against all forms of cancer, especially colon and ovarian cancer.

Oats * A prime source of soluble fiber which has been proven to help lower total cholesterol levels. They also contain a unique antioxidant called avenanthramides which prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This is good because the oxidation of LDL cholesterol is part of the atherosclerosis process. Basically, oats help prevent heart disease. They also contain selenium, potassium, phosphorous, pantothenic acid, and magnesium.


I have been meaning to do a review of Love Grown Food’s granola for ages now. They kindly sent me two flavors: Raisin Almond Crunch and Sweet Cranberry Pecan. Honestly, both were so good that this was the only recipe I was able to make with them before my housemates polished it all off! I am not usually a big granola fan, but Love Grown’s texture is really different – in a great way. It is very crunchy and light. And they don’t skimp on the goods, which is both rare and awesome. There are giant coconut flakes in every bite and each flavor had plenty of cranberries, raisins, and nuts. To top it all off, they don’t add any artificial flavors, HFCS or hydrogenated fats (blech) to their products. Definitely a fabulous granola.

A new direction

The weekend has arrived! I couldn’t be more thankful. I have had some life drama concerning my future building for a while now and it all came to head this week when I went to see my academic advisor. As it turns out, my sophomore year of college was essentially for nothing. I don’t want to bore you with the details, but in short, I took organic chemistry, physics, calculus, and biology my sophomore year at UCSB.

My life looked like this:

All of those classes (minus calculus) have accompanying labs, but they are separate from lecture and I only took about half of them. This was partly due to a full schedule and partly due to the infamous budget cuts. At UC Davis, the labs and lecture are the same class, so by not completing all the labs at UCSB, its like I never took 2/3 a year of Ochem, 2/3 a year of physics, and 2/3 a year of biology. Kill me?

I feel ill just writing about it, so I’ll save the rest of that saga for later. Lucky you :).

Sarah, me, and Megan

On a super exciting note, the blogsky and I are featured on the Her Campus website for UC Davis! One of the writers, Megan Carlisle, interviewed me and wrote a lovely article about my story and how I got interested in health and nutrition. To any new readers, welcome! During the interview, she asked me why I have this blog and I have been thinking about my answer ever since. I think I am going to go in a slightly different direction with the blog from now on… Since I started about a year ago, I have been trying to post brand new recipes every few days. Lately, this has gotten more difficult and has seemed like more of a chore. Because my true purpose for having this blog is simply to show people that healthy food can be delicious and easy to make, I think I am going to start posting more of my daily meals, even if they are a bit repetitive or super simple. There are so many amazing blogs out there with fabulous, and often times complicated, recipes – and my blog will never top those. But since that isn’t my goal, I don’t see the point in trying to go in that direction!

I do, however, have a bombbb new recipe for you.

Tart Cherry & Roasted Pistachio Granola Bars

I do not really enjoy granola bars and I find these addictive. They are packed with flavor and high in fiber. Although there is essentially zero added sugar, they are still sweet from the coconut oil and dried cherries.

Recipe: Makes 6 bars

1/2 cup dried tart Montmorency cherries

1/2 cup pistachios, shelled (roasted and salted)

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp butter

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup oat bran

1/2 cup oats

couple shakes of salt

1/3 cup egg whites

drizzle of honey (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 350. Blend or pulse the cherries and pistachios in a blender until they are like a crunchy nut butter. If your blender struggles with this, you can add the melted butter or coconut oil.

2. Heat a pan on the stove to medium low heat and add the butter, coconut oil and pistachio-cherry mixture. Let them heat while you combine the oats, oat bran, and salt in a mixing bowl.

3. Use a spatula to transfer all of the pistachio-cherry mixture, butter, and coconut oil into the mixing bowl. Add the vanilla extract. Stir with the spatula. Add the egg whites and honey and stir more.

4. Press the batter into a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until desired doneness.


Perfect for on the go, too!


Cherries * are a great source of fiber and magnesium. In fact, too many cherries in one sitting –> too much magnesium –> RUN not walk to the bathroom! They also contain vitamins A and C, and bioflavonoids and anthocyanins which are antioxidants that can help slow aging and possibly prevent some cancers.

Pistachios * Contain monounsaturated fats which lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol levels which helps prevent cardiovascular disease. They are rich in antioxidants, copper, manganese, B6, and thiamin. Vitamin B6 is great for preventing and curing hangovers!

Oats * A prime source of fiber. Also contain potassium, phosphorous, pantothenic acid, and magnesium.

Coconut oil * 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. It is great to cook with because it is stable at high temperatures!

Puppy photo of the day…

Kenya and Nina

Two recipes from the sea

Yesterday was the last day of me trying to completely clean out my fridge and freezer. Somehow, this yielded me eating fancy schmancy seafood for both lunch and dinner. Not that Im complaining… Both of these recipes are quickies, but they stay classy.

Time to go to Whole Foods….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scallop Salad Sandwich

Warm scallop salad on a toasted whole wheat bun!

Recipe: Serves 1

6 scallops, thawed

1 whole wheat bun, toasted

few spinach leaves

1 tbsp mayo

1 tsp greek yogurt

1/2 tsp dill

pinch cayenne pepper

few drops lemon juice (optional)

sea salt

Directions – Coat a pan with grape seed oil. Cook the scallops on the stove on medium-low heat. Flip only once. They are done when they are white all the way through! Do not overcook them. Meanwhile, toast your bun and prepare the dressing. Mix the mayo, greek yogurt, cayenne pepper, dill, and sea salt in a bowl. When the scallops are done, transfer them to the bowl with the dressing. Slice them and toss in the dressing. Put the spinach and scallop salad in the bun and enjoy! Serve with a side salad.


This next recipe is insanely quick and delicious, but the picture doesn’t do it justice. I rarely blog dinner because it is virtually pointless when you don’t have compelling pictures to back it up. Without natural light, my pictures look flat and lackluster :(

Seared Salmon with Steamed Broccoli and Herbed Goat Cheese Dressing

I made this in less than 10 minutes. No joke.

Recipe: Serves 1

4 oz salmon

1/2 head broccoli

1 tbsp sour cream

1 tbsp goat cheese

1 tbsp greek yogurt

1 tsp fresh chives, chopped

1/2 tsp dill

squeeze of lemon juice

few drops Worcestershire

sea salt

fresh ground pepper

Directions – Lightly oil a pan with grape seed oil. Cook the salmon on the stove at medium heat, skin side down. Meanwhile, steam your broccoli. The lazy way is to chop it up and put it in a bowl with 1/2 tbsp of water. Cover it with a small plate and microwave it for 1 minute. Voila!

Prepare your sauce by simply combining the goat cheese, sour cream, yogurt, dill, chives, lemon juice, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper in a bowl and stirring. [Sauce adapted from the cookbook Nourish.]

When the salmon is about a third way cooked, flip and cover. When it is no longer bright pink, it is done. You can eat the skin or toss it.

Drain the broccoli and place on a plate. Top with salmon and goat cheese sauce. Enjoy! Feel free to serve with a grain of some sort. Or dessert…….;)


Scallops * are extremely high in protein (they are a MUSCLE, after all!) and a great source of B vitamins, which play a key role in metabolism and hangover prevention. They also contain several minerals and are a good source of omega 3′s! Omega 3s aid in lowering LDL and VLDL and raising HDL cholesterol.

Salmon * contain monounsaturated fats, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamins A, D, B6 and B2. The omega 3 fatty acids raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Also makes hair grow faster (from personal experience!) and your skin smoother.

Dill * aids in digestion, is a relaxant, can help ease insomnia, and contains the antioxidants monoterpenes, which protect against cancer!

Cayenne pepper * high in antioxidants and temporarily raises the metabolism!