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Archive for the ‘Peace of Mind’ Category

Hi guys,

Im going to start putting together a series every so often on “Things I’m Loving (Right Now)”- just things I am into at the moment, from food to books, to soaps, dog toys, etc. Anything and everything making my life better- and things you guys might be into as well.

So this Months List Includes the Following:

  • Dr. Bronner’s Miracle Soap in Lavender. It really does clean everything! I use it to clean out my tub, and then in my tub for a really relaxing soak. Lavender is the most calming sent to me.
  • Galaxy Granola. I was sent a few free samples a month ago and it is amazing! All natural, no added sugars, flavor baked in. It is super crunchy and has great flavor. My favorite was the Raspberry Granola with real pieces of dried raspberries in it. Yum! Try over cottage cheese for a great snack.
  • Little Bee, by Chris Cleave. A great read that really pulls you in from the first page about a refugee from Nigeria and an Englishwoman whose lives intersect. I’m really enjoying it- but its keeping me up every night!
  • The Good Fork Pork Dumplings, and the fact that they are now sold at a booth at the Brooklyn Flea every Saturday in Fort Greene. Hands down the BEST dumplings I have ever had- so juicy with amazing flavor, and this incredible sauce on top. I almost peed myself with happiness when I saw them at the Flea.
  • Pilates. I’m so into it right now! Its changing my whole body- strength, tone, flexibility, and helps you breathe better. Find a small group class near you with reformers (the machines) and go! You will love it- just shop around for a good, knowledgeable teacher. And start with a Beginner’s Class.
  • The Highline. I visited this Manhattan development this weekend for the first time- it was incredible. So cool! Old train tracks now covered in an amazing boardwalk type thing with seating, foot pools, and incredible gardens. Eventually it will run from downtown to mid-town. You must visit it when you are in NYC.

Hope that gives you all some inspiration/ ideas for the month. Feel free to add your own- I love hearing from you. ūüôā

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Well, things have been pretty normal ’round here, and I’ve been getting my fruits and veggies- or trying to. And probably too many doses of chocolate, but of course, those go undocumented!

Here are some of my latest culinary creations:

A big ol’ veggie sandwich… (basically an excuse to buy this really good mayo I bought the other day)…

YUM!

With lots of crunchy fruits and veggies on the side…

A yummy wrap for lunch with hummus, baba, and lots of fresh veggies…

YUM #2!

A lovely bowl of cereal with fresh fruit,

And black beans + sweet potato tacos, with a side of “okra fries”.

This was the first time ¬†I’ve made the “fries”, and they were delish! Spiced them and popped ’em in the oven at 400 for about 30 minutes.

Mmmmm, tacos!

Oh, yeah, and a dog!

Not to eat, of course, but to play with. We took the plunge and adopted a dog (i.e. I have been begging for a dog for 2 + years and on my birthday, Loren finally conceded to the inevitable) who I can partially blame for falling of the face of the blogosphere, because she is just too cute/ demands all my attention/ loves to cuddle/ needs lots of walks/ jumps on trees at the dog park and tries to destroy them/ my cats hate her so I have to spend my time breaking up potential dog/ cat fights.

Her name is Sya and I am in love. ūüôā

That is all for now- we will be back! ūüôā

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Hi guys!

Miss me? I took a much-needed break from the blog after realizing on my trip how glued I have been to the computer in my daily life. After lots of delays and snowstorms, we got back to New York on Sunday morning and I’ve taken a few days to think about where I want to go with the blog. I definitely missed writing and communicating with all of you — especially getting comments and feedback. But I didn’t miss the pressure of taking pictures and posting about every single meal. I think I’ve known this for a while, and I have hinted at it, but posting that way wasn’t working well for me- I don’t want this to be a diet blog — I never have. I want this to be a non-obsessive, happy, and positive celebration of food and health.¬†So I think I’m going to begin posting differently…

I will post about a ¬†great meal I have out or cook at home, an article that I read about women’s health, a fresh market that I visit, and so on. The idea of posting every day, three meals a day just isn’t appealing for me anymore. I really enjoyed my vacation. I tried to stay active by walking a lot and swimming where I could, but we definitely all ate a lot of delicious food and we all gained a pound or two.

Being away from the blog helped me realize how much pressure put on myself to eat perfectly and stay at a “perfect” ¬†weight… and it just doesn’t always happen. That’s life. So, in trying to do what’s best for me and become my healthiest self, I want to continue writing and being a part of this blog world that I love so much but without the kind of pressure that is unhealthy for me (I don’t judge anyone else who ¬†wants to post things in a different way…). I hope you guys will keep reading because I so enjoy communicating with you about one of my favorite topics: food!

Argentina was an amazing country to visit and I had so much fun with my family eating delicious food, hiking in the mountains, exploring the city, and drinking lots of delicious red wine! Here are some highlights of the trip:

FOOD!

We visited produce markets in Buenos Aires,

And bought lots of good fruit for snacks.

There was delicious smoked salmon everywhere!

And very hearty bread…

lots of fresh vegetables and great salami and cured meat

And amazing, soft, flavorful cheese.

The hearts of palm were incredible — have you ever seen one so big?! (it’s that big white thing on the plate)

Our hotel had delicious homemade yogurt and museli for breakfast… with lots of fresh fruit!

The coffee was really good — I’m told — I don’t touch the stuff!

Argentina is famous for its awesome Italian food — and it definitely lived up to expectations!

Mmmm… Eggplant Parmesan!

We even had delicious sushi and Japanese food in Buenos Aires, which I ¬†guest-posted about on Karin’s blog. I was impressed!

Seaweed salad,

Miso Salmon with veggies,

And a free dessert (some kind of custard)!

All in a very chic, simple, and beautiful Japanese restaurant.

The desert that we had for Christmas Eve dinner with the best thing I have ever tasted!

It was heaven: a thin crusted tart with vanilla custard, fresh blackberries, a raspberry purée, and vanilla ice cream. With a crunchy slice of apple on top.

Of course, yours truly found a juice bar with vegetarian wraps in Buenos Aires. Who knew? They were filled with humus and quinoa tabbouleh. Our vegetable juices were a crazy concoction made up of carrot juice and coconut milk. It was actually really good!

Of course, I also had plenty of good wine! This one was so spectacular that I had to take a picture.

Not only was it an amazing country to eat our way through, it was stunningly beautiful…

Lakes, mountains, and forests!

The city was also gorgeous…

As all tourists have to do, we saw an incredible tango show

It was steamy!

As usual, Loren and I were total dorks and went swimming everywhere we could. ¬†Don’t we look good? HAha.

It was a truly incredible trip and I had the time of my life.

Thank you, mom and dad for an incredible trip filled with beautiful moments that I will never forget!

And I will see you guys later for some (American) food recaps this week! Hope your holiday vacation was relaxing, fun, and, of course, DELISH!

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Good morning!

Yesterday was one of those days when I was tempted by lots of treats — a reality of the holiday season, of course. I was proud of the way it handled the day in contrast to the way I have in years before… but more on that in a bit.

I had to be up early to teach a class, so I skipped the gym.  I made a breakfast wrap with scrambled eggs, avocado, a little bit of cheese, and some apricot preserve.I had some tea and fresh berries on the  side.

Breakfast wraps are my failproof go-to for a morning when I need something quick and healthy — and filling!

When I got to work yesterday, a lot of the classes were having holiday parties which meant lots of food. ¬†I tried to make healthy decisions while still enjoying things I don’t usually get to eat.

I had a cup of smart food popcorn,

Two small chile rellenos for lunch (homemade ¬†by a student—- sooo good!)

( I think they were covered in egg and stuffed with chicken and vegetables).

And a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie.

In years past, I would have freaked out about eating a cookie and fried food for lunch- ¬†and not having gone to the gym. I probably would have thrown my hands up and thought, ¬†“Well, I’ve ruined my day/diet so I might as well eat whatever is in sight.” ¬†And then I would have, and then I would have felt like puking.

I don’t get much into my disordered eating past here, but I realize how far I have come on days like yesterday. I have a different relationship with myself, and, therefore, a different relationship with food. This blog also really helps to keep me sane, to keep me accountable, to keep things in perspective. Yesterday, as I felt old thought patterns coming back, I ¬†watched them and I didn’t beat myself up for having a few goodies. I ¬†just said, “No big deal”- because it really wasn’t. And because I didn’t beat myself up, I didn’t overindulge. I got back on the bandwagon ¬†before I could even fall off and had healthy eats for snacks and dinner — exactly what I was craving.

I snacked on a low-fat yogurt from Trader Joe’s.

And a green apple.

For dinner, I ate a big bowl of raw veggies with a little bit of dip.

And some shrimp gyoza ¬†from Trader Joe’s that I steamed and pan fried in olive oil. These were delicious!

I recently bought this great red chili teriyaki sauce and it went perfectly with the dumplings. I went back for two more!

I am usually really impressed with Trader Joe’s frozen foods, but these were especially impressive. They each had big bites of shrimp, lots of veggies, and a great consistency. They weren’t mushy or bland in the center at all — as many frozen dumplings are. They are also very healthy and full of protein, ¬†at ¬†about 50 calories per dumpling. I will definitely be buying them again and relying on them for a great midweek dinner.

I ended the day feeling satisfied but not stuffed- and my “bad eats” at lunch seemed like no big deal in the big picture. I finally feel that I am really moving into a new space with food, eating, with health, and with myself. I hope that it lasts into the new year and beyond. ¬†Thanks to you all for reading and for all your support. ¬†It makes a big difference to know you are there!

Hope you all have a great Friday! I am off on a big family vacation (more details to come) tomorrow night — if the weather permits! A snow storm is coming!

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Hey guys,

Sorry its been a few days since I’ve posted. To be honest, I have been feeling pretty down/ apathetic about things (seasonal depression, anyone?). Anyways, I am finally feeling more like myself today- and up to posting!¬† But I have a lot of eats to catch up on:

Wednesday breakfast: 1 egg, 1 egg white scrambled with spinach and feta, rolled up in a wrap. Topped with lots of salsa!

Wednesday lunch: Amy’s burrito and lots of snacks…

Wednesday’s “Lazy Kat dinner”: big salad, turkey hot dogs on a slice of Ezekial.

With some excellent McClure’s relish!

And a TJ’s mini ice cream cookie sandwich for dessert.

Thursday: breakfast on the go- a glass of Emergen-C, a banana, chocolate PURE bar.

Thursday lunch (unpictured) at work- turkey and cheese sammie on whole wheat bread, sliced pineapple.

Thursday dinner: “REALLY Lazy Kat dinner”: 2 chopped turkey hot dogs, leftover Angel Hair and Squash Pasta with Marinara Sauce, sliced veggies and humus.

When I was little, chopped hot dog and macaroni was my favorite meal in the world. Maybe this is why I am feeling better today? Comfort food does wonders for me!

Question: What do you do to avoid feeling down during the winter? Any tips? I am from South Florida, so I spent my entire life until the age of 18 outside every day- swimming, walking, running, staying active. Winter and¬†I¬†just don’t mix. But I live¬†in NYC¬†for now, so I need to do my best to stay happy. I have tried bundling up and taking more walks outside, even when it is freezing. I have also been forcing myself to keep exercising a bit every day so the endorphins keep pumping through my body. I have also given into way too many hot chocolates over the last few days (albeit skim) to boost my mood. What do you do?

I hope you all staying cozy and happy wherever you are!

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Hi guys! I’ve been a bad blogger this weekend… whoops! Sorry— I have missed you!

It was a busy and beautiful weekend and I spent as much time as I could outside, which meant a lot less time at the computer. It was a nice break, actually. I think after my Friday night pizza craze I needed a little break from food blogging. As much as I love it, I do think it puts a lot of pressure on me to eat perfectly and it hard not to think about body image when I am blogging all day. I guess it was a much-needed break.

Thank you all, though, for your very nice and supportive comments. I know we all go overboard sometimes, it just makes you feel a bit like a sham when you write a food & healthy living blog!

Since I have so much to catch you up on, I will do a quick weekend recap.

Saturday I did my best to eat cleanly and healthily, which for me means eating smaller portions, lots of fruits and veggies, and less carbs, cheese, and chocolate. When I woke up, I went straight to the gym. I was feeling uninspired and I saw that a Cardio Sculpt class was starting. I had never done one, but I am so glad I tried it! It was an hour of cardio- crazy moves that really got my heart rate up and had me sweating up a storm. We incorporated ¬†light weight into a lot of the moves and I love it! I will definitely be going again. I am still sore today (Monday) so it is clear that the class really woke my body up and used certain muscles that I don’t normally engage while exercising.

I wasn’t hungry at all until about noon on Saturday, when I made a smoothie for me and Loren using lots of frozen berries, mango, and almond butter. I used a mix of almond milk and water to add some liquid. Frozen fruit is the trick to a great smoothie because you then don’t have to add ice. The flavor isn’t watered down at all.

IMG_8913This hit the spot. I’ve been in the mood for smoothies ever since it got cold outside. How weird is that? I didn’t drink many this summer, but now I want them all the time!

Loren and I headed to Prospect Park where we had a really nice walk up hills and in the wooded areas (it’s a pretty wild park). Around 4, I was finally hungry for something substantial, so we stopped at a coffee shop that I love right by the park with great sandwiches.

Loren and I split a turkey, avocado, and arugula sandwich on whole wheat. I didn’t have my camera with me, but I did have my trusty blackberry!

IMG00224-20091107-1619

IMG00225-20091107-1620We walked all the way home (probably 2-3 miles) so we got some great exercise in… while having fun! It was a beautiful day out and all I wanted to do was stay in the sun. I wanted to make salmon for dinner, but when we got to the fish shop, they were out of wild salmon and only had farmed. So we went back home to see what we could put together. We decided to wait a little bit to eat dinner, so I munched on some veggies and a little bit of dip.

IMG_8915

We made a salad with lots of veggies, green apple and a sprinkle of goat’s milk feta. I made a honey mustard dressing using honey mustard, EVOO, balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar, and a little bit of maple syrup. I topped my bowl with some Applegate farms turkey bologna for protein. Not very pretty, but it tasted great!

We also split a baked sweet potato. I put a small dab of butter, cinnamon, salt and pepper on mine. Again, not very pretty, but tasty!

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Sunday I had two meals out with friends. I tried my best to select things that I would enjoy (i.e. not diet food) and that would be healthy as well. We had brunch around 12:30 and I had 2 poached eggs on an English muffin with smoked salmon. I asked for the Hollandaise sauce on the side, and didn’t really end up eating it. It was delicious without it. I ordered a side of fruit and I was impressed with the amount they gave me and the variety: apple, pear, figs, and mango. Instead of OJ, I got an iced tea.

IMG_8928They also brought out delicious mini apple muffins while we waited for our meal, so, of course, I had one of those.

IMG_8926When we got back to Brooklyn, we went back outside (another glorious day) for a long walk and a grocery shop. When we got back around 4, we had a snack. Another smoothie (pear, banana, almond butter, frozen berries) and we split my last Glo-bar! Sad. They were so good! I may have to order more.

IMG_8931IMG_8932It had Chia Seeds in it. Yum!

At 5, I went to a 90 minute yoga class. It was much-needed! I felt so much more relaxed and in the present when I left. I love yoga and I made a vow to do it once a week at the studio right by my house. Sunday is a great day for it because it starts my week off in the right tone.

Around 8, my friend Charlotte came all the way down to Brooklyn (thanks, Char!) to have dinner with moi. I have known Charlotte since we were little babies, so being with her is like hanging out with my sisters. We went to Buttermilk Channel, a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try for a while. The food is local, organic, fresh- all that good stuff! We split a squash appetizer but sadly the picture got deleted off of my camera! For dinner, I ordered the burger- which was home ground, local beef. I know that there have been a lot of beef scares lately (my TJ’s was having a beef recall yesterday), but I think you can eat beef, just be smart about it. Get a piece of beef and then ask for it to be ground, or order it at a restaurant like this one, where it is ground in-house. Then you know you are eating the meat of 1 cow, not 20. Much healthier! Here is a really informative article about hamburgers/ ground beef if you would like to read more on the topic.

The burger was great! It had pickles and onions on top. I asked for a salad instead of fries, which was a light contrast to the burger. I ate 1/2 of the bun and the whole patty- just didn’t need all of that bread.

IMG_8936It was a really nice way to end the weekend. Now that I am finished with law school applications, I have my free time back- and I don’t know what to do with all of it. For one, I am going outside to enjoy another beautiful day before heading to work. Have a great day!

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I’ve been thinking a lot about old friends today for some weird reason… ¬†In the last few years since, I have definitely seen some friends of mine go from being close confidants to perfect strangers… ¬†even though I tried. It’s weird how that happens- people just grow apart I guess- and sometimes I miss the closeness I had with them. And I think that facebook and all of the ways we have to “keep track” of people can sometimes make separation/ distance from people worse.¬†Oh well, its part of growing up I guess… life goes on.

Anyhow, sorry to be a Debbie Downer- onto food and health!

Don’t think I mentioned it in this morning’s post, but I went to the gym this morning for a 35 minute elliptical workout + 20 minutes of mat and weights. I did a lot of ab work and I am sore now! (in a good way) ūüôā Man, I love starting the day with exercising. There is nothing like it!

Today’s lunch was made up of last night’s leftovers- in a new form!

IMG_8830All wrapped up! The chili was even more flavorful today and made a great burrito filling. I had a chopped tomato with the burrito and some gorgeous Farmer’s Market carrots on the side.

IMG_8831And my boss had some extra Halloween candy that she kindly (and dangerously) brought i to work. Throughout the afternoon, I had three fun size crunch bars. Couldn’t resist chocolate today!

IMG_8833With about 30 calories per little bar, I guess it wasn’t so bad to indulge.

Snacks today included a skim chai tea (with some cinnamon/ cocoa powder sprinkled on top):

IMG_8834And a small serving of BBQ pop chips and humus.

IMG_8835Love this snack- so tasty and held me over so well.

When I got home around 6:30, I started making a simple dinner based on a bad of Thai vegetarian dumplings from Trader Joe’s. They have been sitting in the freezer for a while and I’ve been meaning to try them. So glad I did!

They were so simple to whip up… I just put a tiny bit of EVOO in a pan (and spread it around with a paper towel) on high heat, added the dumplings, sprinkled some water on top, and covered it all to cook up. I flipped the dumplings a few times. They literally only needed 5 minutes- so easy. This method is great, too, because they get cooked all the way through and are nice and crispy without being super oily and deep-fried.

On the side, I made a really easy “healthy coleslaw” with an organic Tj’s mix (yes, I am addicted).¬†¬†I used the good ol’ “taste as you go” method with no recipe in mind. I added:

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Rice wine vinegar (a good pour)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil Mayo
  • 1 tbsp¬†Honey Mustard
  • Golden raisins
  • Peanuts

The slaw turned out really well and went perfectly with the dumplings. I get so happy when dinner is quick, easy, and tasty!

IMG_8837

IMG_8839

I dipped my dumplings in some soy sauce and Siracha.

IMG_8841I went back for two more!

IMG_8842For “desert” tonight, I snacked on some more fresh papaya. I squeezed some lemon over it this morning so that it would stay fresh and tasty in the fridge.

IMG_8846Yup- still delish!

Alright guys, I’m off to bed soon. Just writing this post to my new “blog friends” has helped to ward off my melancholy/ nostalgic mood. Here’s to the future!

Goodnight!

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