A Fresh Dille

getting through it.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on July 14, 2010

It certainly can be challenging getting through these pre-production days. The uncertainty of each day’s tasks tends to be unsettling to my psyche. There are a few little things I have been as of late to make sure that I handle my days better. To be more efficient, we all know that morning workouts and packing snacks keeps on our toes, but that does not mean we always take part. After the massive Whole Foods shop, I am more prepared for these next few weeks. Things are still a work-in-progress until the crazy days of shooting and this explains why I am able to post around 12 p.m. on a Wednesday. While V is sleeping until his 6 p.m. call time (after getting home at 5 a.m.), I am up planning meals ahead and snacks I know will keep me energized. Instead of stowing my yoga mat in my car, where it has been stored while hoping to attend a nearby class, I am now leaving it rolled up below my bed. When I come up the spiral stairs I am more aware of its need to be rolled out and put to use. This is obviously for my own well-being, not just because of feeling bad about its neglected state.

Instead of sipping on multiple mugs of coffee (don’t you hate how one mug is really 2 + cups of coffee?), I’ve been drinking more of these.

V (if you watch True Blood you may get why I call him V since he used to work on the show)  is to blame for my shot addiction. While working on his last film, the caterer brought many of these Sencha and Oolong shot teas. We are constantly in search of filling our fridge with more, since they are the perfect size for traveling and offer an abundance of antioxidants. Of course they are quite pricey when you drink multiples a day (not me…), but we have found where they are cheapest in the area, and I try to limit to 1-2 per day. Maybe brewing my own tea and storing them in to-go cups would be more ideal, but I don’t always have time for those practicalities.

However, there are some things I do make time for.

Stovetop oat making is a process I truly enjoy most mornings. Like many other bloggers, I too prefer to wake up earlier to eat a more tasty breakfast. I am making the most of these prep days because I know that it is very rare I manage to make oats mornings before reaching set when I had only been off set for 8-10 hours (and sleep reigns supreme). Still fitting in 7-8 hours of sleep, I woke up yesterday to prepare steel-cut oats cooked with half a banana, cinnamon, vanilla, unsweetened almond milk, and a pinch of vivagave. When I told V to get a few peaches and avocados while at Whole Foods on Saturday, I realized a few meant 5 or more. This means there will be many days ahead of peach covered plated oats and I can’t say I mind it too much. The blueberry and peach combo is one I am such a fan of and the cinnamon vanilla frosting sunflower butter brought this breakfast to a whole new level. Bliss.

Have I told you that we don’t have cable? I don’t even miss TV watching when working, simply because time doesn’t allow moments for it. But…I have been needing a TV show fix recently, which has resulted in online watching. I know that one hour every few days is nothing crazy, but watching some mindless TV is another way of unwinding I have forgotten about these last few months. Often, when I am  not working, I get completely sick of TV/movies, but when I am working, I cherish the moments I can sit and watch. The last thing I watched was a new episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. I pretty much love that vegan-hater…and I am one.

It has been much too long since I’ve allowed myself adequate baking time, but I did finally get around to making some of Angela’s delicious Garlic Scape Pesto.

This lemon had more seeds than I thought possible, but the pesto didn’t disappoint.

My mini food processor didn’t do such a wonderful job with the large quantity of vegan parmesan, or the scapes and spinach actually, but the flavor was there. It will be great on the pizza crust we bought when time allows V and I to eat a meal together.

In the meantime, I’ve had it on many dishes made in a jiffy (may be the first time I’ve said that, but I have jiffy steamers on my mind thanks to work).

Last nights kale, mushroom, quinoa, and garlic scape pesto dinner was eaten at 10 p.m. I don’t believe in the “don’t eat past 8 p.m.” rule and quite frankly, it would never work with my work schedule. In October, I worked from 7 p.m. to around 8 a.m. for two weeks. That means “lunch” is at 1 a.m. It may not sound like much fun, but working without fuel is even less fun.

This mornings steel-cut oats were the same as yesterdays, with coconut butter substituting sunflower butter.

These oats are perched on top of the tank I preceded to put on after taking this photo.

Packing lunch for a hectic afternoon in the production office with tasks I have yet to know of is one way I am getting through today.

The brown rice tortilla is topped with red pepper hummus, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, sprouts, avocado, and sea salt. On the side I packed a new larabar and some broccoli, beets, and chickpeas. I never know what the veggie options will be when working, so why not bring my own while I still can, right?

Other things:

-How do you make it through your crazy days? Yoga, packing snacks and meals, allowing minutes to watch TV and unwind, drinking my antioxidants, and sometimes running seem to be helping calm my nerves these days. I do hope to add in more strength training because I have realized that I am somewhat weak recently while picking up boxes of racks, steamers, clothing, etc.

-When was the last time you had a pasta night? Any favorite mix ins? This pasta night post by Kathy has me craving some. Good thing I have much too much vegan parmesan these days. She also wrote about pizza after we just bought some crust…now I am even more excited to make some.

-Do you add any sweetener to your oats? What is your sweetener of choice? Have you read Gena’s post about Agave? I am usually a stevia girl (NuNaturals is preferred), but I have been known to also use maple or agave on occasion.

-Do you try to limit your coffee consumption? Do you drink lower caffeinated beverages or cut all caffeine? I skip coffee very rarely, but it is even more rare that I drink more than 1 or 2 cups a day. When filming all night though, I have had to use it to keep awake. I still think it is better than those who are gulping down the red bulls…but I could do better. Gena wrote another great post about coffee worth checking out.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week! I can’t believe there is less than a month until the Healthy Living Summit. Are you going?

stormy running thoughts

Posted in FITNESS, FOOD, RUNNING, VEGAN by clairedille on June 7, 2010

When driving home from work yesterday (no 9-5 type job here…probably ever) I saw a girl running a fast pace along the side of the wide six lane road. It was pouring pretty hard and the wipers were at full speed. At that moment, instead of feeling sorry for her for being caught in the rain, I wanted to be here. I wanted to be the one running what probably started as a hot run and finish it off with a nice refreshing downpour. I realized last night that I’ve been neglecting my inner-runner. There are so many times in my life I’ve been burnt out from over-training and injuries, mentally and physically. Sometimes I let those memories overshadow and I end up telling myself to be calm and not push it. When I talk of training for long races, such as a half or full marathon, to my boyfriend or family, they usually put in some words about it being a somewhat crazy thought considering I’ve chosen a career path where my schedule consists of 5-6 days a week of 14+ hours of running around. Those days are really physically challenging. However, they are not running challenging. Like most runs, each day I work is typically pretty different from the last. I’ve always known that my working life wouldn’t be one where I would be sitting at a desk too often, but that doesn’t mean that I should not honor my run cravings.

The blog world is a great one for so many to feel accountable, but I am not quite ready to put my new running goal out yet. For the first few weeks I’ve decided to see how my legs, feet, and mind feels about the two race options for the Fall and then will be open for posting about my personal training plan and goals. In the mean time, I want to share with you a few links that I have enjoyed recently involving one of my all-time loves, running.

-Lauren from Health on the Run wrote great words about how to master the treadmill. Like many, I prefer to run outside, but there are many occasions that require treadmill runs, like extreme heat or stormy days. Even the time of the day is a factor for me. Sometimes my call time can be before or around 6am. I know that if I am training for a race throughout the summer, I will have to run indoors because it is unsafe for me to run in Detroit (where my boyfriend lives) super early. In Part One, Lauren goes over many tips for your form, speed, and mental endurance while on the treadmill. Part Two is all about negative split running, my preferred type of treadmill run. She also gives many suggestions that I know work, such as covering the display and using music as an aid.

-Katie from Health for the Whole Self recently wrote two posts about running that I want to share. Although I have pretty much always been a runner, I realize that many haven’t and Katie gives 5 great tips for New Runners. These are things that I know definitely work because I have helped others begin running with emphasis on minutes ran over miles covered. When I have been injured in the past, I’ve had to start running with a walk/run method so that I don’t do too much too fast. That is a wonderful way for anyone interested in running to start.  In her own Exercise Story, she writes about how she has evolved as an athlete and how running became something she needed for mental clarity, not just fitness.

Hope you enjoy them.

Now, onto some simple yet delicious things I’ve eaten over the weekend…

Sitting on the loft ground is some rolled oats cooked with light coconut milk, flax, and half a frozen banana, sliced thin. Due to the lack of fresh berries, I topped it with organic wild blueberries and my favorite raw creamy almond butter (from Trader Joe’s).

Do you prefer wild blueberries over the bigger ones? I know I prefer the smaller ones. It may be too early, but I hope that I can find a few fresh ones growing along our dirt road on Martha’s Vineyard when we make it there in the next few days.

I made myself a wrap with the last of our grilled tempeh and local lettuce. Of course I had to add other favorites like hummus, avocado, carrots, and cherry tomatoes. This was eaten alongside a fresh juice of more carrot, cucumber, celery, lemon, and apple. It was too oddly colored for a photograph. My sister proclaimed that it looked “swampy.” Although it may not have looked so great, I felt completely energized for a visit to Best Buy to explore dSLR camera options.

I want to say a quick thank you to my photo guru, Jess (do you prefer Jessica) from Healthy Exposures, for being so amazing and sharing great camera advice. Her blog is inspiring for many reasons, not only her stellar photography, but also her foodie and horse love.

My sister headed back to Philadelphia yesterday, and we had to fit in one last tea time. We shared a snickerdoodle and oatmeal raisin. Both were delicious.

V and I went to Woodbridge pub one night over the weekend and played around with his vintage 35 mm camera while sharing a delicious organic Sauvignon blanc from Chile. I’ve said it before, but this is the one place I really enjoy in the Detroit area and I was even more impressed when the owner came outside to our table to talk to us. He asked us how everything tasted and told us that they will be having a new summer menu in the next week. V moved to his loft, just one block away from Woodbridge Pub a few months ago and we have been really satisfied by both the winter and spring menus. Luckily, every seasonal menu thus far has had this gem:

I really need to take some photos of the food soon but over the weekend, I had both of these dishes and loved them both.

Instead of our typical order of chips and seasonal salsa (roasted tomato in the winter and a tomatillo for the spring), we went for the grilled vegetable appetizer which was a great variety of fresh produce grilled to perfection. The grilled zucchini, fennel, and tomatoes were my favorite and the toasted baguette, well…delicious.

The Garrow Salad was another winner with the local greens (I spied some spinach!) and the apple and walnut combo. Growing up, I was not a fan of fennel, but recently I’ve really enjoyed its slight licorice-like flavor. The apricot dressing was truly delicious and paired wonderfully with the smokey roasted walnuts and slightly sour green apple.

Other things I ate over the weekend…

Organic kale that I steamed and then cooked with garlic, basil, and Whole Foods organic Roasted Vegetable Tomato Sauce. On the side I had made polenta and grilled eggplant. I forgot how much I love polenta and hope to enjoy it again soon.

Kale is such a favorite of mine. I could eat it throughout the week and tend to eat a bunch in a day or two.

Last night, after rushing home in the rain from work, I opted for a simple dinner on a sprouted wheat bagel. I wanted to buy the sprouted wheat, but it contained honey so I opted for the vegan vs the wheat-free. These Alvarado bagels have the same crunch as the delicious Food for life sprouted grain products, especially the english muffins. The toppings were random, yet delicious. On one side I had tofutti “better than cream cheese” with blueberry preserves because I will always love the cream cheese and jam combo. The other side was spread with some avocado and topped with an Amy’s bistro burger, one of my favorite vegan veggie burgers with an easy to read list of organic ingredients.

For the veg, I opted for local roasted asparagus, yum!

Chocolate had to be involved in this post somewhere and I am happy to report that I bought this lovely Endangered Species Smooth Dark Chocolate bar last night before driving home because chocolate had been absent from my weekend, and that just can’t happen.

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend and is ready for the week ahead.

Other things:

-Do you feel better about a restaurant when a chef or owner takes the opportunity to talk to you? Obviously it isn’t always possible for the head chef to come around to each table but I feel that when they get the chance, it is a great way to get some feedback and create a small relationship with the diners. I hosted at a very high-end restaurant in Boston during a summer in college and the chef and managers were very present. This is so important, in my opinion,  for a restaurant to obtain a loyal fan base. When young, we had a favorite Chinese restaurant in NY where the owners knew us well. When I feel like a relaxing night out, it is great to have a local place where those working know you.

-Are you a runner? Do you prefer other methods of exercise? The two most significant methods of exercise for me are running and yoga. I tend to favor them over strength training and other activities. I do love to walk with others in a beautiful place and will be sure to fit in some quality ones when we make our way east later in the week. Elliptical is my cross training choice most often, but would love to get more into biking and spinning.

Happy Monday everyone.

a walk down blueberry trail

Posted in TRAVEL by clairedille on October 9, 2008

An evening walk down the path known as “blueberry trail” is not one I will forgo when I make my way to the small island of Martha’s Vineyard. On the mile long dirt road where we live there are a few ways of making it to the sea. I cannot recall the year the man-made sandy path was converted into the supported platform walkway that exists today. All I do know is that this year I missed the blueberries but still convinced my Mother and Bessie (neither truly needed much convincing) to head out before sunset and the Dille family’s night festivities.

Here are a few (okay…many) shots for your viewing pleasure.

This sign has been there for as long as I can remember…shhh.

And here we go…

Where the blueberries generally hide.

Not too comfortable barefoot…

Bessie and my mother graciously waited for me as I finished taking photos although we were already running late for cocktail hour.

My father, sister, cousin, and I opted for the famous Black Dog Tavern’s pancakes the next morning. Knowing that the wait would be quite lengthy, I decided to prolong my hunger in order to truly savor the blueberry filled pancakes.

The menu’s copious assortment of pancakes weren’t going to sway me. The first time I had eaten non-vegan all summer was this breakfast of blueberry pancakes. Of course I imagined that these were fresh blueberries I picked and it made it all worth it. The next day I left the island to return to Boston and haven’t felt as at home as I did during that short break I spent with my family in August.

A blurry shot of my pancakes will be followed by my beautiful cousin Julia’s “George of the Jungle Pancakes”…

Next summer I will be venturing back to my old stomping grounds, The Black Dog Cafe, where my sister and I have often shared a gigantic muffin and sipped coffees…. truly scrumptious. Oh, and the sourdough bread is not bad either. My one exception to a nice grainy bread is a classic loaf of sourdough.

On another note, I finished Flaubert’s Madame Bovary today in the Boston Common and the fall leavcs were almost too distracting.

Goodnight…or good morning.

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