No Rest for The Weary

Just in case you were wondering…I’m still alive! It’s been a while since my last post hasn’t it?

I spent the majority of the past couple days studying for finals and I’m ecstatic to say I’m officially DONE. Now I get a 2 week break before the fall semester starts up.

I took my last final yesterday afternoon and have been on the go since. After my final I headed home for lunch and a quick sesh with Jillian. I had just enough time to get in a workout before going to the airport to drop someone off.

This is a perfect workout when you’re short on time. It’s quick and you can make it as hard or as easy as you want.Less than 30 mins later I was drenched in sweat. I’m not sure if my house was too warm or if her workout was just that tough. Probably a combination of the both.

So after Jillian kicked my butt, I headed to the airport. Speaking of airports…Is anyone else fascinated by how airplanes work? As I was leaving the airport to head home an airplane flew right over me on the highway and landed on the runway to my right. I don’t know what it is, but I have this weird interest in watching them take off and land.

Anyways moving on…

I quickly showered after I got home so I could head out to meet up with some good friends of mine whom I’ve known since middle school! I’m always guaranteed a fun time when I see them 🙂 We had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants and then headed to…karaoke!

Needless to say, last night was a fun night! A great end to a full week of studying.

This morning started out the same as every other morning this past week. A big bowl filled with one Barbara’s shredded wheat, natures path heritage flakes, and fresh raspberries, blueberries, and diced white nectarine.

I kinda wish it was this:

or this:

But I wanted something quick and easy so cereal it was. Still delicious though!

I was a little more ambitious when it came to lunch. I actually went foraging for basil outside and broke out the food processor

to make this basil pesto.

I spread it on one half of my Ezekiel sprouted english muffin and topped the other half with an egg white flower sprinkled with pepper.

It may have been a bit messy, but that pesto made the sandwich. I love how creamy it was since it was made with navy beans in place of olive oil. Plus I’m a sucker for anything with basil in it.

And now you’re alllll caught up with me and my eats whether you wanted to be or not 😉

So what am I going to be doing with my two free weeks? Well this week I’m just going to take it easy and do whatever I please and then next week I’ll be heading to a place more tropical. I need to get away from this heat!

I’ve got something fun in store for tomorrow thanks to my friend Christi (hiii!), but until then I have a date with a vacuum and some cleaning staples because I’ve got some serious cleaning to do. I won’t rest easy until I get it all done!

Enjoy the remainder of your Sundays! 🙂

Any karaoke fans out there? – I’m as tone deaf as can be, but it definitely doesn’t stop me from belting out some old school songs. Thats part of the fun I guess 😉

Do you like homemade pesto? – This was actually my first time making pesto at home and I loved it!

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August Brings the Heat

I can’t believe July is already over…Happy first day of August!

I was up bright dark and early this morning at the unearthly hour of 4:30am. I spent almost an hour reading magazines and watching infomercials/trying to fall back asleep until finally I gave up on going back to sleep and switched over to a news station.

The weather happened to be on and apparently we’ve had 30 straight days of 100+ degree weather and today our heat advisory has officially been lifted and changed to an excessive heat warning. oy vey.

Doesn’t this look like fun? I’ll be spending most of my time indoors this week anyways since I’ll be studying for my finals, but I feel terrible for all those high school kids who start football and marching band practice this week.

With this August heat wave coming in, I kept this morning breakfast on the cooler side.

I would’ve liked to have a similar breakfast to yesterdays, but I didn’t really feel like turing the stove on.

A play off pb & jelly oats – Oats cooked with strawberries, then topped with blueberries, raspberries, and a drizzle of sunbutter mixed with almond milk.

Todays breakfast – Pre-workout

Nature Path’s Heritage flakes and lots of sweet blueberries

I usually don’t eat much before a workout, but since I was up way too early, my stomach was growling and I knew I had to feed it.

Breakfast part 2 – Post-workout

Double Chocolate Milktwice the chocolate, but none of all the added sugar in normal chocolate milk:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 serving chocolate protein powder
  • ~ 1 T dark cocoa powder
All blended together for about 20 seconds.

Since I had some loose ends to tie up when I returned home after my workout, I didn’t exactly get in a full post breakfast, but the chocolate milk pretty much tied me over til lunch.

_ _ _

So what’s the best way to cool off in this heat (other than an ice cold smoothie)?

Iced tea

quick fact: since I took my ice maker out of the freezer to clean, it took two full trays of ice cubes to make this cup of iced tea.

Ice makers > Ice cube trays

I’ve always been more of a coffee drinker than a tea drinker, just a few occasional cups every now and then, but during my time in Hong Kong I seem to have picked up quite the tea habit.

Since tea is such a popular drink in Asia and consumed with almost every meal (having been part of the british empire, afternoon tea is very popular in HK), I’ve just developed a stronger liking to it.

One of my absolute favorites is Hong Kong style milk tea. It’s basically just black or ceylon tea mixed with evaporated milk.

You can pretty much order it anywhere in HK, anytime of the day.

Although i do prefer drinking it hot, it’s just as good cold.

My second favorite tea is roasted tea, whether it be roasted brown rice tea, roasted green tea, or roasted barley tea. I just enjoyed that roasted taste in general.

This particular bag of roasted tea is my favorite. It’s a mix of matcha green tea with roasted brown rice.

But if nothing else is available, I always enjoy a nice cup of green tea.

Preferably iced though, and sometimes mixed with a tiny spoonful of manuka honey (i promise thats some good stuff – both health and taste-wise!).

I’ll most likely be drinking all sorts of variations of these over the next couple weeks. Guess I better get that ice maker goin!

Do you like tea? What’s you favorite kind?

What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods?

_ _ _

On another note, I just realized yesterday that some of my photos in my previous posts have gone missing. It may have been because I went through my media library and deleted photos thinking that once I had uploaded them into the post they no longer needed to remain in the media folder. Boy was I wrong. It’ll probably take me a while to re-load and replace them all, but eventually I’ll have all the photos back up!

Also, not that they already aren’t, but my posts may be a bit sparse this week as I’ve taken procrastination to the next level and fallen way behind on my studies. Gotta catch up and ace those finals 😉



Breakfast-ing

I’m loving life here in the Maldives!

I awoke this morning around 7am and spent 40 mins in bed watching Star Trek (it was on HBO and I couldn’t help but watch. SUCH a good movie!) then it was a quick face wash and tooth brushing and I was off to breakfast.

Breakfast here is just glorious.

Notice how everyone is barefoot? No shoes necessary at this resort 🙂 (They even have these cute green paddings that cover the bicycle pedals and make it comfortable for bare feet to peddle.)

It’s served in the main ‘house’ – about a 5 min bike ride from my villa.

Fresh Fruit

Choose any fruit you like and these guys will cut it up for you.

Bread and Jam

Cereal (in the wooden boxes) and toppings

They have all sorts of toppings, from dried fruits [dates, figs, apricots..] to roasted nuts [pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds…] and more.

Pastries

Hot Foods and Yogurts

Some of my breakfast eats:

Yesterday:

Mango, guava, and rambutan

Detox Juice – beets, celery, apple, ginger

Dragonfruit and Mangosteens


Cereal & a dried fig in soy milk

Wheat toast, pineapple, chocolate chip muffin, pancake (i couldn’t resist and had to get one 😉 ), and jellies

Today:

Passionfruit, plum, rambutan, and two fruits I don’t know the name of

This was my first time seeing that bean-shaped fruit on the right. It originally looks like this with its shell on.

It tastes kind of like a dried date.

Carrot and apple juice shooter

Toast with honey, lemon basil jelly, pineapple jelly, and coconut jelly (the best out of the three!) and a side of muesli.

Fresh squeezed pineapple juice with ginger and mint.

Cereal with pistachios and cashews, waffle with chocolate syrup, and papaya

Mango, dragonfruit, and rambutan

I’m loving all this fresh fruit! I promise I didn’t eat ALL of this alone, but I did eat the majority of it. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yeah?
I need all the energy I can get in order to bike around the island 🙂
I get to bike past this organic garden everyday.

Above the garden is a restaurant, Leaf, where I actually just had dinner tonight.

I also get to bike along this path that smells so good and forest-y.

I love that this resort is eco-friendly and serves mainly natural and organic foods including free range meats, all locally sourced.

Today’s been a looong day and I can barely keep my eyelids from drooping. Time for bed! Night 🙂


Multi-Tasker

My meals the past day and a half couldn’t be further from exciting.

This is about as electrifying as they’ve been.

Natures Path cereal with blueberries and chocolate almond milk.

It’s also partly due to the fact that my fridge is entirely empty and I’ve just about finished all the opened packages in the pantry.

I’m foodless.

But it’s okay because I’m leaving town today anyways.

I’m still in the process of cleaning up, finishing up some school stuff, and running last minute errands, but at least my suitcase went from empty to this!

Yeah, my box of cereal took up half my suitcase.

It’s okay though 🙂 I’m willing to sacrifice an outfit or two for some cereal.

I’ve also been working on my multi-tasking skills.  Last night I participated in an online class discussion while making cashew butter to take with me on my trip.

I may’ve been busy, but you bet I’ll make time to process some cashews! Plus it was super easy.  I just poured 1.5 cups of cashews into my food processor and turned it on.  While it was transforming itself in to creamy deliciousness, I participated in my class discussion. It was a win-win.

Now I’m off to finish up some last minute things before heading to the airport!


Chocolate Heaven

I’m glad you all enjoyed reading about my 5 ingredient crispies!

This morning I went to chocolate heaven.

All thanks to this little guy…

Into my blender went:

  • 1 packet of true vitality chocolate protein powder
  • ~ 1.25 cups unsweetened chocolate almond milk
  • 5 frozen unsweetened chocolate almond milk cubes
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 T espresso

It was SO chocolaty delicious I never wanted it to end. But then it did.

It’s okay, we’ll meet again tomorrow 🙂

On a not so chocolaty note…I have a confession.

I’ve been feeling a little guilty for neglecting Barbara lately, but I’ve recently found a new love.

Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes. They’re crunchy and have just the right amount of sweetness making them oh so perfect to munch on any time of the day.

I’m pretty sure you can tell I’m quite enamored with cereal, but did you know I used to never eat cereal?  As in, I didn’t eat a lick of it for a good 5 or so years.

I somehow had it engraved in my mind that ALL cereal was bad for you and shouldn’t be touched. And now I realize that is the wrong mindset. There are still many cereals out there that are loaded with sugar that I still wouldn’t touch, but there are also whole grain cereals that are packed with nutrients.

I’m not positive where I got that idea from, but I want to say it came from this:

This my friends, is a book I do not recommend reading.

I read it many years ago, and I actually don’t think I ever finished it, but the book puts ideas into your mind that I now believe to be quite untrue.

Not the entire book is bad, but it is a book that needs to be read with an open mind and absorbed sparingly.  He makes great points about how many peoples diets lack fruits and vegetables, but he also doesn’t tread lightly on certain matter such as oils and how they are ALL bad for us no matter what.

All in all, I just feel that this book may lead to unbalanced diets that are much too restrictive, which could in turn back fire in the long run.

How did I get from talking about neglecting Barbara to Joel Fuhrman?

Well, I’m just glad that cereals eventually found their way back into my life 🙂

What’s your favorite cereal?

Any good recommendations for health books?


Grab and Go Breakfasts – Part 1

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  And I’m not just saying that because I may be slightly obsessed with it.

In reality breakfast is really what fuels our bodies and prepares us for the rest the day.

Lets do a quick comparison:  Breakfasts vs. Cars.  Say what??

Well, if you have a car that needs 93 grade fuel and you give it 87 or 90, it’s obviously not going to function too well in the long run. It’s the same with breakfast.  If I’m feeding myself refined carbs and sugary foods like toaster strudels, pop-tarts, or fruit loops every morning, I’m pretty much asking to have some kind of energy crash before I even reach for my mid-morning snack. We have to fuel ourselves with 93 grade fuel real foods that will keep us full longer and give us energy in the long run.

So basically, what I’m trying to say is that we are all european sports cars 😉

I know everyone is a busy bee these days and sometimes don’t have much time to make or eat breakfast, making it easiest to just grab something quick and easy from the freezer, counter, drive thru, or just plain skip out on breakfast.

My question is…why would you skip breakfast when it’s the best meal of the day?  Alas, I understand that not everyone is obsessed like me, so I’ve come up with a few suggestions for you busy young professionals who don’t have that extra time for breakfast, as you’re busy trying to make this world a better place.  At least that’s what I’d like to think. ;)

So get your notepads iPads out and jot this down…

First, I highly recommend stocking up on whole grains such as steel-cut oats, rolled oats, whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat tortillas, and whole grain cereals.

Next up is the dairy. Low-fat or non-fat yogurt (if flavored, I recommend the ones sweetened with fruit juice rather than sugar and are under 10g of sugar), 2% or skim milk, low-fat cottage cheese, eggs.

Lastly, the extras.  In-season fruits, frozen fruits, nut butter, unsalted nuts, veggies.

These are all very convenient and easy to purchase foods that can be effortlessly interchanged throughout the week for an assortment of breakfasts.

Breakfast in under 5 mins:

Cereal

This is probably one of the easiest and most convenient breakfasts.  However, it is key to choose the right kind of cereal. One that is high in nutrients, fiber, whole grains, and relatively low in sugar.

Cereal F.A.C.T.S has a great fact sheet that summarizes and ranks cereals by their nutritional content.  Check it out!

My personal favorite is a mix of Barbara’s peanut butter & chocolate puffins, 1 Barbara’s shredded wheat, a generous serving of Nature Path’s kamut or brown rice puffs and a sprinkle of fresh or frozen fruit.  All topped off with some ice cold unsweetened almond milk.

My usual ratio of unsweetened to sweetened cereal is 2:1.  So 2 portions unsweetened (kamut puffs & shredded wheat) and 1 portion sweetened (puffins).

I’d follow suit Amanda‘s recommendation and take it up to a whole new level by adding some cottage cheese and/or nut butter for an additional protein boost!

Smoothies

This is a great go to, especially during the summer, and it’s super simple. All you need is a blender, milk, frozen bananas, other frozen fruit and all else is optional.  I prefer to add a scoop of protein powder for more staying power, my favorite brand being Green Foods True Vitality in vanilla or chocolate flavor.

A couple of my favorite blends: chocolate heaven, açaí bowl, and almond banana.

The real smoothie queen, however, is Julie over at Peanut Butter Fingers. One glance at her smoothies and I’m pretty sure you won’t be skipping breakfast. That’s how good they look.

Just blend em up and bring it along to consume during your commute to work.

Yogurt

(source)

This one is all up to personal preferences as there are so many different types of yogurts out there. My personal favorites are Siggi’s, Whole Foods brand non fat yogurt, and Strauss plain non-fat yogurt.

Just mix in some fresh or frozen fruit, top off with some cereal, granola, or nuts and you’re good to go.

I like greek yogurt because it has a higher amount of protein and hopefully keeps me full a little longer.

So there you have it! Now you busy professionals (*cough* yusi *cough*) have three less excuses for for not having enough time for a nutritious breakfast.  Keep an eye out for Grab and Go Breakfasts – Part Two coming on Saturday!  Tomorrow is saved for my weekly in & out.

Night!


Breakfast On The Go

Three days off from working out and my lungs were already unwilling to cooperate.  I think they enjoyed their time off a little too much. I was feelin it this morning at my cardio sculpt class and seemed to be quite lacking in the air department during the cardio bursts.  I felt like I had to work a lot harder and it took much longer to catch my breath afterwards.

It sure felt good to break a good sweat after a few days off.

I’ve come to realize my stamina is the first thing to go whenever I take time off from working out…be it 2 weeks or even just 3 days.  It took me a long time to build it up to where I am today , but it disappears so quickly.

Lifes just unfair sometimes.

But I’ll get over it 🙂

I finally had a little extra time this morning to make exactly what I wanted for breakfast.  After a couple days of NuGo and GreensPlus bars eaten on the go, I was ready for something more up my alley in terms of breakfast.

I was feeling both cereal and oats and being someone who’s not likely to deny my cravings, I had both.

My usual oatbran, egg whites, and cottage cheese blend on the bottom. Barbara’s peanut butter puffins, kamut puffs, unsweetened almond milk, and fruit on the top.  I literally just combined two of my usual breakfasts into one.

The verdict?  Satisfaction.  Both cravings were fulfilled and I was good to go.

Speaking of breakfasts good to go, I have a friend who came to me for some ideas for quick, simple, and nutritious breakfasts that she can eat on the go.  Her exact words I believe were…”for young busy unhealthy-eating professionals.”

I’m more of a sit and enjoy type of girl when it comes to breakfasts, but there are always those days where I’d much rather catch a few extra Z’s and eat on the go.

What are some of your favorite quick and nutritious breakfasts that can be eaten on the go?

I’d love to hear your favorites!  I have a few faves and I’m planning on putting them together in a post later this week.  I’d love to feature yours as well!