Before I go on to tell you about the nothing but stellar lunch we had today at Native Foods, I want to remind you that at 8:30 PM, Earth Hour starts. I urge you to turn off your lights for one hour to take a stand against climate change. I know it is getting down to the wire, but I encourage you to read more about it and take action.
Now, I must go on about some delicious eat’s at Native Foods…
V and I had no set plans for our Saturday, but wanted to get out of the house after a lazy morning and routine trips to each of our banks for the lovely deposit of our weekly paychecks (exciting stuff). If that isn’t treat-worthy, I don’t know what is. We both are overworked these days, and after week-days filled with eating wraps and veggie burgers en-shopping-route, I knew I wanted a special meal at one of my favorite places. Native Foods is much more a lunch place than dinner in my opinion, simply because you order at the counter, and then the food is delivered to your seat.
Last time we dined there it was quite a bit warmer, allowing us to dine al fresco. Although I didn’t bring the camera along, I want to share with you the description of these two dishes I fell in love with:
Asian Lettuce WRAPS: Lettuce cups filled with a stir fry of our Original Seitan, mushrooms, jicama, garlic and ginger, topped with crispy rice noodles. Spicy garlic soy sauce on the side.
Saigon Wrap: Braised lemongrass tofu, lightly pickled daikon and carrot twirls, brown and jasmine rice, cucumber strips, fresh cilantro and basil, tangy peanut sauce in an organic whole wheat wrap (see Quarry Girl’s photos and reviews).
Unfortunately, the Saigon Wrap must have been a seasonal specialty because it was no longer on the menu and I was a tad disappointed. But it could have been a good thing, because I had to go with something new instead of sticking with a favorite, as I often tend to do.
V is always a nacho lover, and although he didn’t fall in love with the Veggie Grill’s version, he was ready to give another vegan variety a go.
Nuevo Native Nachos: Homemade organic corn tortilla chips covered in black beans, Native Taco Meat, Native Chipotle Crema, Native Cheese, salsa fresca, and guacamole. Topped with organic corn, green onions, and cilantro.
Ok, now these were good, really good. We both were raving about the chipotle crema, native cheese, and taco “meat.” Of course the other toppings were wonderful as well, but the stars were the nut cheese, cream, and meat. They were all perfectly spiced and we left the plate clean.
For his main dish, V continued with the southwestern trend and ordered Baja Surf Tacos, their sea-friendly “fish taco”. Two soft grilled corn tortillas stuffed with crispy battered Tempeh, homemade surfer sauce, salsa fresca, shredded cabbage and guacamole. I was too into my own meal to taste his, but he made his way through them. I do know that he preferred the nachos more, devouring that portion of his food first. He mentioned that he “wished there was more filling, and less toppings.”
I opted for the Scorpion Burger, Chef Tanya’s original burger! Homemade Tempeh blackened with chipotle sauce, lettuce, carrots, avocado and onions. Later, I read on the menu that I could have went with caramelized onions (oooh, next time!), but I still really enjoyed this. As a tempeh lover, I was all about this chipotle seasoned tempeh. And Amen to avocado which I mashed evenly across my burger and doused with ketchup. The Native Sweet Potato Fries were my side, and like V, I demolished the dish in its entirety.
I couldn’t have imagined a more delectable lunch. We both were talking about it the whole walk to the car. Of course, it leaves me with a smile on my face when my omni boyfriend is just as happy as I with a great vegan meal.
And next time I will order dessert… I still have yet to try one and they are always on display, looking fantastic. Next time I would love to order a salad or bowl to leave room for dessert.
– Backyard Bill, another favorite blog, photographs one of my favorite designers, Isabel Marant in her workspace. I dream of having my own studio space one day. I not yet sure entirely what it would be for, but having a studio/loft work/art space in general is an inspiring thought, isn’t it?
– What are your thoughts on the Vegan Martha Stewart episode? Are you liking the vegan-hype brought on by Oprah?
Okay, I must go…turn off the lights. Dinner in the dark followed by a film. Go do it too.
It seems like there is a lot of catching up to do these days. I don’t just mean within the blog world, but also getting back to things I love. I have a pile of unread magazine issues that I am beginning to tackle. It is quite overwhelming.
This morning, I made scottish oats (always make these over steel-cut oats when I want to eat sooner rather than later) my usual way. Miss Mandiee asked me about my cooking method and it is really similar to the method of preparing my steel-cut oats.
First, I add one cup water and a sprinkling of salt to a small saucepan and cover it to boil on medium high heat. Once boiling, I add 1/4 cup scottish oats and lower the heat to very very low. Then I add in 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or another plant milk like coconut) and cover it for five minutes. Scottish oats take 20 minutes to cook compared to the thirty minutes it takes to prepare steel-cut. I add in thin slices of banana, chia seeds (1 Tablespoon), cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon), and a splash of vanilla extract throughout the twenty minutes. If I feel the oats thicken too much, I add up to 1/4 cup more of water. In the last five minutes of cooking on low heat, I chop the fruit of choice. Today I added 1/4 cup of pumpkin instead of water to my scottish oats and then added some stevia in the last few minutes of cooking. I then poured it into my bowl and topped it with strawberries, a chopped fig, and some raw almond butter. Honestly, oats really are the breakfast that keep me satisfied all morning. On days I go without for fun meals like pancakes and waffles, I become hungry much sooner. At least we can have a little excitement with all the add-ins to our morning bowl (cup, plate, mug) of oats.
I promise I don’t only eat bowls of oatmeal.
Falafel is one of my favorite foods, and I used an epicurious recipe earlier in the week to prepare a lot of mini falafel.
Although they may have baked a little too long, they were still delicious. In the last few days, I have eaten them both in wraps and topped on salads.
The shot above may give you a (big) hint to the movie that took over my man’s life all summer.
I made stuffed peppers utilizing a few leftovers, particularly butternut squash and whole wheat couscous.
One of my favorite blog ladies, miss Ashley at edible perspective has a great looking recipe here for stuffed peppers. I followed her method for the peppers and then stuffed them with cumin, coriander, cayenne spiced scallion couscous, red onion, butternut squash, and tomato paste.
Surprisingly, V doesn’t love peppers and I ate these alone. Even garnishing them with avocado, his favorite food, couldn’t get him to eat one. He did eat these though.
Kale chips are quite addicting and he has been known to eat a whole bunch himself with little to no help from myself. Notice the charming item in the background of that photo? Yes, that is movie “blood” on our table. We eat on a kitchen island in our apartment but the only place with light after 7 p.m. (other than the roof deck) is the table against the window that has been covered with all our work items.
Rather charming, eh? Really, “blood” is one of the main reasons I say our jobs are far from glamorous. Although I love working with clothing, covering them with blood is one of my least favorite parts. I just did three days as an additional costumer on a horror film and there was a little too much time spent in an incinerator room around “bloody body part” props for my liking.
Getting back to some savory eats…
Last night I made Kathy’s Smoky, Sticky, Sweet BBQ Sauce. This stuff was good, finger-lickin’ good. Although the sun had gone by the time we ate, I managed to shoot one photo of the covered tempeh.
On the side, we had Kathy’s Quick Sweet Potato Mash, switching in our chives for the onion. The cayenne added a lovely kick we both enjoyed. There was a simple salad consumed as well.
Since this is such a photo heavy post, I will show one last meal. Today I made a spinach salad topped with bbq tempeh, our tomatoes, avocado, mung sprouts, leftover butternut squash, and radishes from our neighbors garden.
This is a perfect example of a meal featuring local greens and veggies that will make me miss summer produce so much.
Oh, and one last shot of something I am getting back to…
My fashionable self has definitely gone to the wayside and a few new purchases have been made to make up for the lack of shopping for myself in the last few months. Shoes are definitely one of my fetishes and I apologize if you are not into feet. Wedges are ideal for days I want the height but don’t want the discomfort from wearing heels. I am limited to flat closed toe shoes when on set, so I tend to stray from my flat boots and vans when not working. Yesterday I hit up the mall in these and was felt 100% myself. I got a nice new blazer (by one of my favorite simple lines, T by Alexander Wang) to dress up jeans and my favorite skinny cargos.
Tomorrow I hope to be back after some baking therapy, now that I got in some good ole’ retail therapy.
After writing about my tendency to be uncomfortable in extreme heat yesterday, I was stuck in a thunderstorm in a Whole Foods parking lot when venturing out for Memorial Day Dinner ingredients. I didn’t mind though, because within a half an hour, the weather dropped ten degrees. The only thing that changed in the night’s festivities was that our feast was moved indoors. Everyone contributed to the preparation of the meal and it turned out to be a tremendously delicious, yet overly filling night.
A few weeks ago, I was sent some coupons for free chips from Food Should Taste Good. In the past, I’ve had the Multigrain variety and seriously loved them. They were the perfect balance of sweet and nuttiness from the sunflower seeds, flax, sesame seeds and other grains. Last night, we tried the new Blue Corn Chips and Jalapeño flavors. I preferred the Blue Corn Chips because they had a similar sweetness as the Multigrain, with the addition of the same seeds. I’ve always loved Blue Corn chips but have never had them with quinoa, brown rice, oat fiber, and seeds before. I could eat them daily. However, the Jalapeño were also very tasty and paired perfectly with the Corn Salsa my mom had made. Both would be great with Guacamole too. But what isn’t? In all honesty, I know that I will be buying these Food Should Taste Good chips again. I adore the nuttiness from the seeds and grains too much to not let myself enjoy them again soon.
A slightly messy & partially consumed corn salsa photo…
For our Memorial Day meal, I wanted to make a very simple salad focusing on two local ingredients.
My mother has said that she never has really enjoyed radishes fully. In hopes of changing her mind, I sliced them very thin (without a mandoline because of a horrible experience last summer) and tossed them on top of the local lettuce my parents also picked up at the farmers market.
Earlier in the day, I made Angela’s Better than Bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette that she had adapted from a Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan. Often, I make a simple balsamic dijon vinaigrette, but this dressing was knock-your-socks off good. Really, just make it. It may be the maple syrup that makes it incredible, and a little sweetness never hurt anybody.
My father had picked up the worlds largest rib eye steaks for the rest of the diners to feast on, but my sister decided to go the veg route and share some marinated grilled tempeh with me. The inspiration for the Tempeh was from Kathy’s Lunchbox Bunch blog, my latest obsession. She created a great compilation of her favorite bbq foods for the weekends festivities that will come in handy for the upcoming summer. We also had sweet potato fries, a staple in our home.
Notice the raindrops on the plate? I tried to snap these in the only remaining sunlight I can find, on our back steps…
A favorite seasonal dessert, a Martha Stewart recipe for Apple Berry Crumble, was made by my mother. I asked her to swap the butter for Earth Balance buttery sticks and she used whole wheat pastry flour in place of white. Although she was hesitant to make such changes, we all agreed that it tasted just as wonderful as before. The five of us devoured this spooned over So Delicious Vanilla Bean coconut milk ice cream.
Lets just say, we went to bed with full, happy bellies.
-Do you consider yourself a traditionalist when it comes to desserts? My father, the Brit, who called our dessert “pudding” wouldn’t allow oats to be added to the crumble topping tonight. We all knew it would be a great idea since oats could add the perfect crunch, but we decided not to because it was already veganized.
-Look how tasty this Gluten Free bread recipe looks on Aran’s Cannelle et Vanille blog. I haven’t ever made a yeast bread, and am unsure of what I am really afraid of. Unfortunately, most gluten-free baked items use an abundance of eggs. Maybe this will be a challenge for this week, a veganized gluten-free yeasted bread recipe. Do you bake your own bread?
-The No Meat Athlete’s post about The Vegetarian Diet for Athletes was tremendous. He also interviewed an inspiration of mine, Brendan Brazier, about All Things Energy. I love reading about other athletes who feel they can adequately fuel themselves with a plant-based diet. Of course, I am an advocate of finding whatever works best for the individual, as well.
I hope everyone is having a lovely week so far. I may be heading to one of my favorite spots next Tuesday with V. I really am wishing it works out as planned.
I really can’t start this post without saying a big thank you to everyone for understanding or trying to see where I was coming from when I wrote “tired of defending my choices.” Before posting, I was worried others would feel it was just a good whining session, but so many of you knew exactly where I was coming from and instead of fearing comments, I was full of joy reading each one over the last day.
Here are a few words/conclusions about the topic of having to defend or explain our food choices:
- Many of you have also had instances where you were criticized or even poked fun because of the way you choose to eat.
- When met with questions of curiosity concerning the way we eat, we are more than willing to answer and explain ourselves.
- If we feel criticized or attacked by our food choices, it is best to try to keep our responses simple and maybe, try to shrug or laugh it off if you can.
- Don’t feel like you have to explain yourself when others refuse to believe you are getting adequate protein, fat, and other nutrients. Many times, people are not aware that you make sure to take care of yourself and try your best to make your diet well-rounded, whether you are a vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, etc.
- Most importantly, as long as we feel personally satisfied and proud of the way we eat, there is no reason to be embarrassed by not eating what most would consider the “norm.” No one else needs to play a role in our personal food decisions.
As I mentioned before, I will be heading to Philadelphia this weekend for my younger sister’s fashion show and graduation. I knew I probably would be unable to post but when my camera starting acting up yesterday, I realized it might be close to impossible this weekend. I think it is time to think about purchasing myself a “real camera.”
Here are some of the delicious eats from yesterday:
I have tried Angela’s Vegan Overnight Oats before in Banana Split form, but I wanted to try them again after seeing them on Ashley’s blog with coconut milk kefir. Instead of the kefir, I used my So Delicious coconut milk yogurt that I purchased with a coupon. I love this stuff! The combination I used was:
- 1/3 cup oats
- 1/3 cup coconut milk plain yogurt (you could use other flavors, but I find them all too sweet for my taste buds)
- 2/3 cup almond milk
- T ground flaxseed
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t vanilla
- packet stevia (this was too sweet for me…I should have opted to forgo the sweetener)
Instead of whipping up some of Gena’s Banana Soft Serve, I decided for something a little warmer after seeing that it was another dreary day. On the stove top, I heated up half a thinly sliced banana with frozen black raspberries in a saucepan with a little maple syrup coconut oil, and almond milk. These compote toppings inspired by this one has seriously made me craving oats everyday. I love a nice berry and banana topper but when spring is nowhere to be seen, simmered fruit compotes are just what I desire. I layered the overnight oats and compote and then added a spoonful of Naturally Nutty vanilla almond butter to sweeten the deal. This was another satisfying and delicious way to start the day.
After trying to eat my breakfast outdoors, I quickly resorted to the warmth of my own kitchen to read up about healthy body fat percentages for women and runners.
A few things I learned about body fat percentages and runners:
-My body fat is on the low-end of the average athletes percentage
-All women need 10-12% essential body fat
-Female athletes tend to have 14-20% body fat
-Fit women should have 21-24% body fat
-Acceptable female body fat is 25-31%, anything over is considered obese
-Often, runners who cover the greatest distance in training have lower body fat levels. They also eat tend to eat more food than those who do less running.
-The low body fat content of female distance runners is particularly striking; values of less than 10-15% are commonly reported among elite performers, but are seldom seen in healthy women outside sport.
-Reducing fat levels will not automatically guarantee success and may even be counter-productive.
-A reduction in body fat may well boost running performance, but if you cut down your food intake drastically, not only will training quality suffer, but the risk of illness and injury also increases dramatically.
-Generally speaking, sprinters have powerfully developed musculature of the upper body and of the legs, while distance runners have low body mass, with smaller muscles and extremely low body fat levels.
-It is probably not sensible for women’s body fat to fall below about 10-15%.
-For female athletes, there are some very immediate consequences of a low body fat level, including especially a fall in circulating oestrogen levels. This in turn can lead to a loss of bone mass, causing problems for women in later life through an increased risk of bone fracture.
I am nowhere near an elite runner, therefore, it was very interesting to find that my body fat fits within this range. It has been a long time since I have competed in races, but I will be upping my mileage in hopes of finishing my first marathon in the fall. At the same time, I will be working with a trainer at my gym occasionally so that I can monitor my body fat in order stay healthy. More resistance training will also be added to my current weekly plan. It has always been hard for me to maintain strength workouts alone, therefore, I feel it may be best at this time to seek some assistance from a trainer (being pushed always helps me). I haven’t discussed my injuries over the years, but I was over-trained at a much too young age and left with many shin splints turned into stress fractures. I once ran on a broken foot without being aware it was broken for over a month. These next six months will be all about listening to my body as much as possible and striving for a distance goal over a time goal. Of course I will aim to train with times in mind, but I definitely think it is important for me to remember that I have never ran close to as far as a marathon distance, and this needs to show in my times, as well. It is hard as a former consistent 5K runner to learn to slow down. I wish I could find more people to run with but haven’t had luck in my area. This is just one reason I miss living in Boston and New York so much.
I hope that you found the body fat percentage information among runners just as interesting as I did. I am sure many other runners also seem to have lower than average body fat percentages that we should not necessarily worry about, but be aware of. I don’t talk about this often, but when I first went to college I had many symptoms of the female athlete triad develop from not properly fueling myself. If you are interested in reading about the Female Athlete Triad, here are some links:
Now back to the eats…
After a quick shop at Whole Foods for traveling goodies, I picked up another packet of the Brown Rice Tortillas when I saw they were on sale. When it was time for lunch, I spread one with hummus, homemade pesto, bbq tempeh, and sun-dried tomatoes and warmed it up a few minutes in the oven. On the side, I sautéed the remainder of the swiss chard with tamari, lemon, and ginger.
This is around the time that I realized things were not looking so great with my little fujifilm camera and started obsessively roaming amazon and ebay for a nice new DSLR. Maybe my wishes will come true in the next month. Canon or Nikon? Any suggestions? I want something with better photo quality, but it also needs to be easy to use considering I’ve never studied photography.
Here are some things I am packing for my road trip/long weekend in Philadelphia. I know it is a very veg-friendly city, but I was not in charge of choosing the restaurants and have already realized some may not be easy for me to be well-fed.
These photos are upsetting me but I thought you might like to see what I bought. The Whole Foods Coupons may have influenced me in some of the purchases (clif c bars & dagoba chocolate).
- Figs & Mulberries – dried fruit is one of my favorite oatmeal toppings
- Apples – road trip. enough said.
- Tea – always great for a pick me up when in a hotel room before going out or to relax after a long day
- Almond butter – another favorite oatmeal topping or in case I need some healthy fats to go with fruit. Justin’s packs really make me smile when I can’t fit in a jar for the weekend. I need to try the chocolate hazelnut butter soon.
- Vega & Hempshake – these are two of my favorite vegan protein powder sources. I am sure there will be a time when I feel protein deprived over the weekend. I have had times in the past where the only vegan option was a white bagel. These are always good to have on hand.
- Go Raw Spirulina Energy Bar – I’ve only had this flavor once before, but I loved the crunchy texture and banana flavor. The Banana Bread Flax bar is also pretty good for a chewy snack when you feel an energy crash.
- Clif C bars – I haven’t tried these yet but have heard good and bad things. The good thing is that they are all natural fruit and nut bars, so they can’t hurt.
- Larabars – I only pictured one because I later picked up two more at my boyfriends. The tropical fruit tart is not a favorite flavor but it will work when I need some fruit and nut nourishment. I am also bringing apple pie, peanut butter cookie, and cashew cookie.
For dinner, I reheated one of Angela’s “In a Jiffy Spelt Veggie Burgers” that I had made about a month ago. It was eaten with spinach and bbq sauce on a Rudi’s Bakery multigrain bagel that was in the freezer. I have been thinking of trying to stick to a wheat-free diet (vs. gluten-free) when I get back from Philadelphia because since reintroducing wheat into my days, I haven’t slept as well. In the meantime, it is best to eat what we have now before restocking the carbs. The bagel I had the day before made me crave another. There were days in high school in college cross-country season where I ate up to three bagels. I have a feeling that may happen as I start upping my running mileage. Maybe not three, but definitely one. I also have been missing the Ezekiel english muffins tremendously. Sprouted grains are so fulfilling and what I missed most during the gluten-free challenge week.
On the side I made a massaged kale salad like the one I often eat from Whole Foods, and that has been seen across the blog world. I simply mixed avocado, lemon, and red onion and massaged it for a few minutes before topping it with large daikon radish shreds (read about some benefits here).
Later, some Chocolate Mousse was eaten before heading out for the night. The lack of camera has really been upsetting today, but I hope to at least borrow one for some better photos over the weekend.
-Would you be interested in hearing more about the Female Athlete Triad? I have never opened up about it on the blog myself, but it is definitely something I would consider researching more or even talking about my own personal experiences.
-Do you like to pack snacks or meal components when traveling? Any favorites? I have made the mistake in the past of not bringing enough things to complement my meals on vacation. I tend to get cranky when not eating often enough and definitely always need breakfast to fuel the day.
Any Philly tips? I will have a limited amount of time to do anything straying from the graduation/fashion show schedule but would love to have some more ideas in mind.
Since the gluten-free recap, I haven’t had a chance to post some of the tasty things I have been eating in the last two days. I have been resorting to leftovers because in a few days I will be heading to Philadelphia for my sister’s fashion show and graduation. It is surreal. I feel as though I just graduated myself and now she is heading into the real world as well. At the same time, I am incredibly excited to see how things unravel for her in the next few months. She is one of the most creative and talented individuals I know. Every sketch she draws is stunning and every garment she designs is one I wish to wear. Food photography may be limited in those few days, but I will be sure to post about some vegan treats I plan on packing before we pack up a drive east for a long weekend.
Oh, and thank you so much for the kind words about me and my mother. I truly believe in embracing the fact that we “turn into our mothers” (for the most part). My parents have always told my siblings and I that we should do things that make us happy. That is what all parents should want for their children. As long as you work hard for your goals in life, things will fall into place. Focusing on perfection will not help us but only create barriers between the present and the future. It has taken me far too long to realize that living in the NOW will make me most happy. Sometimes parents feel that we aren’t listening to them, but some things we just have to learn on our own. Even if that means a little bit of suffering along the way.
Now, onto some things I’ve been devouring..
Sunday night, I cracked open the Candle Cafe cookbook again (after the Chocolate Mousse turned out so well) to make a Barbecue sauce with Chipotles. The ingredients were pretty simple, but the taste is phenomenal. For months now, I have been looking at Annie’s BBQ sauce at Whole Foods but have resisted because I am well aware that I can make my own with a few quality ingredients. The sauce was made up of the usuals in a good BBQ sauce: Molasses, tomato paste, mustard, agave, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and a few spices.
I brushed the sauce onto the sliced tempeh and baked at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes, I re-coated them with more sauce. Next time I think I will try a pan sautéing method instead because they were a little dry but had lots of flavor.
Earlier in the day I went to the smaller local farmer’s market in hopes of getting some kale. Unable to find them, I picked up a bag of chard and another of spinach from an organic farm stand I tend to favor. The chard was beautiful and knew it would be included in this dinner in some way.
Wanting to save most of the small bunch for another occasion, I took two big leaves and used them to wrap up the BBQ tempeh and raw spinach. I may have even added a little vegenaise in there (no shame). On the side I had half a huge sweet potato cooked low + slow (seen on Ashley & Kath‘ blogs) and two more pieces of the BBQ tempeh. More Chocolate Mousse Pie was served for dessert of course to round out the real mother’s day meal.
Let’s just say, the Chocolate Mousse Pie is not looking too great anymore. I was thinking that it may be best served in smaller ramekins if you are having a dinner party. Wouldn’t that be fun to eat your own little Chocolate Mousse Pie? I know I would be a fan…
Yesterday, I was back to the Scottish Oatmeal that I adore so much. The lack of fresh berries called from a topping of frozen black raspberries, maple syrup, and almond milk (inspired by this lady and her decadent toppings).
It did not disappoint. The base was cooked with chia seeds, almond milk, and thinly sliced banana per usual. Naturally Nutty vanilla almond butter made its way in there too.
I snacked my way through these two before a grueling run. It really was. Just curious, would you like to hear about my running more? I am just starting to get back to it after multiple injuries/overtraining but today I have an appointment (soon, gotta rush through this…) with a trainer at my gym who is evaluating my endurance, fitness, and more today that I would be more than willing to share.
I refueled with this plate of leftovers but felt snack-a-licious yet again a little while later and decided for some chia power. The leftover banana half from breakfast was sliced banana-split style and spread with peanut butter and covered with chia seeds. Surprisingly this kept me full for hours.
Later I had a quick dinner of a Sunshine Breakfast Patty, spinach, and avocado stuffed into my last Brown Rice Tortilla. It was definitely not pretty enough for a photo and I was off to watch a foreign film with one of my best friends who just returned from leading a Habitat for Humanity trip. She is such an amazing person inside and out, and I will be so sad when she leaves for Mongolia soon. It is hard to say goodbye to friends, isn’t it?
Looks like today may even be a two post day…off to get a scary fitness evaluation. Wish me and my little leggies luck!
Do your best friends live far from you? How often do you get to see them?
Interested in hearing more about the running/fitness part of my life?
Hectic is the perfect word to describe the last two days. However, I am determined to keep up with this blog. The little bit of time you give yourself to relax and do whatever you want is a wonderful way to keep your work ethic alive. No one can be inspired to work without time to let yourself vent. I have learned this over the last few years and cherish “me time.”
Yesterday, I was in an extreme hurry to fit in a run and because of the fact that I was rushed, I did not enjoy it as well as I normally would. Running is great sport because it is almost entirely mental. In high school, my coach once told us that distance running is 90% mental and 10% physical. It is obviously just an idea, but I do feel my best when I go out for a run with no expectations except to give it my all. Of course, this may be the reason why I have be injured so many times within my running career. I love to see what I am made of.
After my run, I was too tired to cook a meal so I stuck with some basics. The above photo is a simple stir fry with kale, peppers, baby bok choy, and broccoli with a touch of teriyaki sauce and garlic. I also had a veggie burger with vegan mozzarella. The meal really hit the spot at that time, although burgers and stir fries may not seem to go in unison.
Today, after I had worked all day on a magazine assignment, I knew if was time for some “me time.” I ran speed intervals in a grassy field by my apartment and it began raining on the way home. I will admit right now that I love rain, especially after a hard run. Rain smells incredibly fresh and clean. The lily flower above is a photo I took on the way home. Also, I really want one of these:
Actually, I would love a real Vespa in a cream or baby blue. I don’t know how good they are for the environment, but considering how much I walk around Boston, it is pretty ridiculous. Today, I must have walked at least 5 miles. I also saw a beautiful old yellow scwinn bike that reminded me of Amsterdam:
After running, I knew it was time to hit up Whole Foods. I do not know how anyone rushes through that place. I may be the slowest grocery shopper alive. Fruit-wise, I bought plums, lemons, limes, gala apples, bananas, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, avocado, and tomato. Vegetable-wise, I got zucchini, portobello mushrooms, red onion, a sweet potato, rainbow chard, and carrots. I already have a ton of frozen organic veggies from trader joes that I have been meaning to eat for too long (asparagus, butternut squash, broccoli, and edamame). All the produce I bought today was organic. I read something about trying to buy bananas that are organic because the pesticides still leak through the peel and I do not know about you, but I do not rinse actual bananas. I bought tempeh bacon, three different companies kinds of soy yogurt, whole wheat pastry flour, ezekiel wraps and english muffins, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, raisins, and peanuts.
For dinner I knew I should taste the swiss chard. The best part of the chard (other than the beautiful colors) was that it was from a local farm. I cut the stems and sautéed the chopped stems in some olive oil and garlic for two minutes and then added the chopped leaves and a tablespoon of vegetable broth. After 3 minutes, I plated the chard and topped it with some pine nuts. For another side, I decided to slice half a sweet potato really thin with my new mandolin from crate and barrel. They were baked for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
Then I made the tempeh wingz that I have been dying to make. I first saw the recipe on Celine’s blog, and they are originally found here. These were more tasty than I could describe. The mix of hot sauce and thyme, with a crisp from the panko whole wheat bread crumbs was delicious. I have many leftover as well, and they will definitely be included in my lunch tomorrow. I missed the step of slicing the tempeh in half but my big wingz were fabulous. Here they are:
Eating a fabulous meal is one thing, but I cannot believe this whole dinner was vegan. I loved every aspect of it. I cannot wait to create some other exciting things this week with all the fresh ingredients I bought.