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.

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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?

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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 😉



Almond love

After a day of fun in the sun yesterday, it was time back to the normal grind…which today, was my dreaded operations management assignment.

Of course I didn’t start until I got my brain warmed up a bit with a nice hearty breakfast.

On the menu this morning: Oats

A nice big bowl topped with cooked apples and some homemade cashew butter.

I haven’t had oats in a very long time and this particular bowl was extra delicious.

I worked through the morning with a couple visits to the freezer where all the leftover 5 ingredient crispies I had made for yesterdays boat trip were hanging out.

Since I had made two batches and there was way too much food on that boat, there were quite a few leftover crispies. No worries though…just means more for me 🙂

Batch 1, I had made with cashew butter and batch 2 was made with crunchy barney butter. I love cashew, but the crunch of the almonds from the barney butter definitely gave those crispies a little extra somethin’ somthin’ which made them my instant favorite.

You know what else almonds gives a little extra somethin’ somthin’ to?

Black bean almond milk (and now that I think about it, just about everything else…)

Remember that batch of black bean milk I made about a week ago? I also blended up a black bean almond version recently, which I enjoyed even more.

I pretty much followed the same process as last time, except this time my 1/2 cup of soaked beans had been cooked for 20 mins in 2 cups of water.

After cooking them I had stored them in the refrigerator, along with the liquid, for a couple days until I decided to use them.

Black beans

Plus 1/2 cup roasted almonds & 4-6 cups of water

were placed in a blender with the strainer attachment.

(4-6 cups of water because it depends on whether you like it thick and creamy or more smooth and diluted)

2-5 mins in the blender and the black bean almond milk was ready!

Roasted almonds are key here! austiNuts has some of the best roasted almonds I’ve had and I think it’s really what gave the black bean milk its extra special taste.

I’ve got a couple other delicious almond treats up my sleeve, but that’s for another day 🙂

Any almond fans out there?


Photo Friday

Friday morning started out early with a fun strength workout followed up with an all-in-one type breakfast. I wanted to drink a chocolate protein shake, but I also wanted oats, and there was no way I could eat both a bowl of oats AND a large protein shake, so I just had them both at once.

I kept it on the cool side though, since it was hot hot hot outside yesterday.

Ok, so I just looked at the weather and it doesn’t seem like it’s that hot from the numbers, but I promise it felt way hotter. Perhaps because the humidity is 80%+ everyday.

I was out and about pretty much all day yesterday, and I realized that I really haven’t shown any photos of Hong Kong other than food, so I’ll show you my afternoon through photos…

Lunch in Soho

There are restaurants lining this hill and at every block it opens up left and right and there are MORE restaurants.

 You can pretty much always find shade somewhere here because of all the high rise buildings.

One thing most of these photos have in common? People. And a whole lotta them.

I took most of these photos in Central, more specifically Soho where a ton of restaurants are located. It’s a very international area where everyone speaks English.

The last two photos are in Mong Kok – you may remember me mentioning this is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, particularly on Saturdays.

I don’t have many plans today other than getting back on track with summer school, once again…but tomorrow (Sunday) I’m going on a boat trip!

Have a fabulous weekend!


Oat-session

So glad it’s finally saturday night!

That means two midterms done and just one project to go!

Then the cycle starts all over again in a couple weeks.  But until then, I’m gonna enjoy it.

Just like I enjoyed my dinner tonight.

Strawberry-banana oats – topped with some almond milk.

Right around dinner time I was conveniently overcome by a need to eat oats.

I know I have an obsession (oat-session?) when I crave hot oats for dinner even when I’m a sweaty mess and it’s 100 degrees outside.

I also know I have an obsession with oats when my mom buys me a pot just for cooking oats.

Yeah, you read that right.  I have a saucepan just for cooking single servings of oats.  Is that weird? 

Another obsession lately?

Yogurt bowls.

I go through cycles where I eat particular foods for weeks and then all of a sudden stop eating them for a while because I either found something new to eat or just kinda moved on.

I didn’t eat yogurt for a good while, but I guess the my yogurt cycle has come full circle and I’m back on board. [Anddd maybe I was a bit influenced (positively, of course ;)) by Amanda’s always delicious looking yogurt bowls]

Yesterday I had a strawberry-cashew yogurt bowl with cinnamon raisin toast and a side of operations management

And the day before I had yogurt topped with strawberries, papaya muffin, and shredded coconut.

I guess I need to continue the trend and eat a yogurt bowl tonight for dessert 🙂

But first, I think I’m going to make make a mess in the kitchen and do some baking or un-baking, since it may just be too hot to turn the oven on today.

Have a good night!



Blame it on the Bieber

Gah, I can’t keep my eyes open and there’s still plenty of daylight left and so much to do.

I blame my lack of sleep on Justin Bieber.

It probably wasn’t the best idea to stay up watching ‘Justin Bieber: Never Say Never’ on my redeye flight home last night/this morning. I wanted to sleep, but since it was playing on all the screens it was hard not to watch. Plus I’ve heard so many great things about it I had to see for myself. That is one talented kid, I tell you.

I finally got home around breakfast time and cooked up a bowl of oat bran topped with frozen strawberries and peaches and some tropical papaya muffins and jam.

Frozen fruits are perfect oat companions during the summer time because it’s wayy too hot to be eating a steaming hot bowl of oats.  I like the hot&cold contrast of the oats and fruit.  (And they also work because there was no sign of any fresh fruit at the casa this morning).

The papaya muffins were a nice addition to my usual bowl of fruity oats. I realized today that the papaya muffins have more of an cinnamon-y oat bran/carrot cake taste to it than actual papaya.  Maybe that’s why I like it so much??  I guess the papaya acts more as a moisture agent towards the muffins than giving it a full on papaya taste.

This week passed by way too quickly and I’m kinda sad I didn’t get to do everything I had intended to.  Especially one of my favorite things, stand-up paddling.  Guess I’ll be sure to make time for it in August when I go back.

And because it’s Friday

IN:

Tejas

As much as I’d still rather be in the Aloha state, I’m going to have to embrace TX and all its 100 degree heat.  But only for another week and a half!

Scuba Diving

I passed my test (!) and am officially certified to scuba dive in open water with or without an instructor.  I don’t think I’ll ever be diving without an instructor though. The underwater world is a whole different land and there’s no way I’m prepared to go without someone familiar with the water and area.

OUT:

Scenic Runs

This is part of the route I run whenever I’m in Hawaii.  It’s breezy, gorgeous, and so calming in the mornings. The closest I’ll be to any water these days are morning sprinklers.

Pinkberry

This was my pre-flight snack yesterday and so not what I had expected.  Is it just me or is Pinkberry’s fro-yo slightly chalky tasting. I’m more of a Red Mango fan.

I would say TGIF, but I’m really not all that glad it’s Friday today. It means I only have a day and a half left to get the majority of my assignments done before they’re due on Sunday. Thats what I get for slacking all week…

I attempted to get some work done this afternoon, but no such luck. I actually fell asleep for about 30 mins at my desk and woke up extremely groggy with a crick in my neck. Gotta blame it on the Bieber 😉

Have a great Friday 🙂


Papaya Overload

I’m back and I’m baking!

Today is my last day in Hawaii 😦 and what’s one to do when there is way too many local farm-fresh papayas left over and not enough time to eat it all??

Turn it into a baked good, of course!

I thought over a couple papaya-possibilities over some papaya and almond butter oats

I don’t think I’ll go around putting papaya into my oats all that often, but I needed to eat them and thought I’d give it a try.

With only have a limited amount of perishable ingredients left and time, all signs pointed to muffins. Quick and no scrub clean up.

I felt all Giada-esque (from Food Network’s ‘Giada at Home’) with the view I had as I was baking today in the kitchen.

Hot and fresh out of the oven

I wonder if my neighbors smelled my muffins baking because it smelled goooood in here.  I’ll be sure to bring a basket over before I leave this afternoon 🙂

Tropical Papaya Muffins

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted or softened)
  • heaping 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed papaya
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup diced papaya
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
Bowl 1: Mix together the two flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Set to side.

Bowl 2: Cream together coconut oil and sugar until combined.  Add eggs and mix until combined.  Mix in 1 cup papaya and coconut flakes.  Mix in bowl 1 until combined.  Fold in diced papaya and fill muffin tins.

Bake at 350 for 18-20 mins.

I got to use these cuties today.

Aren’t they adorable??  My sweet friend gave them to me and they make measuring so fun 🙂

These tropical papaya muffins turned out even better than I expected!  They’re soft, crumbly, and moist.  Plus the ingredient list is super simple and relatively clean.

A definite airplane companion this evening.

Time to clean up!

Do you like papaya? I can live with it and I can live without it.  It’s not my most favorite fruit, but its nice to include it every once in a while.  Can’t be playin favorites! 😉



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!