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?


Vacation and Nutrition

After yesterdays post it probably seems like the only thing I’ve been doing in the Maldives is…EAT. haha

I promise I’ve been doing other stuff! 🙂

I’ve been doing a lot of snorkeling in – I guess you might call it – my backyard?

All I have to do is hop off the deck and I can swim with the tropical fishies!

There’re a couple reefs about 100 yards out that are home to hundreds of small and medium sized fish, lobster, and sometimes wandering sea turtles. See those darker patches out there? That’s where I go to see gil, nemo, and dory from the movie ‘Finding Nemo‘. And LOTS of them. I also saw puffer fish and a whole bunch of others which I have no idea what they are named.

Yesterday I did some skindiving around the house reef in the main area of the resort.

That was the extent of my underwater photos. Somehow my waterproof camera became not so waterproof after I hosed it off with fresh water. When I took the battery out some water dripped out with it and it no longer turns on. oops.

Anyways, remember how I got my diving certification back in June? That was for this particular trip! And hopefully some future ones.

I went scuba diving yesterday afternoon and had so much fun looking at all the different kinds of fish and coral. I wish my camera worked so I could’ve taken some more photos. Maybe next time.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Moving on…

Lets talk vacation and nutrition.

I feel like I often have a hard time keeping with my normal diet whenever I go on vacation. Particularly green foods.

I know it depends on where I go and what time of the year, but from my experience, I have a much harder time eating fruits and veggies in Europe than in more tropical places like…say, Hawaii.

I know its because I mostly eat out whenever I travel, but I have come to find a couple ways to incorporate more colors into my diet as I travel.

(1) I always bring a couple of my favorite packable foods with me. I love to bring my favorite bars (NuGo bars), regular or instant oatmeal, nut butter packets or peanut flour, and other snacks.

(2) I locate the nearest grocery store or farmers market (even better!) and pick up a couple staples like apples, bananas, or whatever fruits are in season. Sometimes hotels have apples or pears in their lobby for guest to munch on. If I have a fridge I’ll even pick up some parisables like almond milk and/or yogurt.

(3) Restaurants always have some sort of veggies on hand. Ordering a plate to share with the table is also a great way to try some local veggies that I don’t always get to eat or may be new to me.

(4) I try to eat various colors throughout the day by making fruits the star of one meal, veggies the star of another, and whatever I want (local fare) for the third meal.

(5) When all else fails, I’ll just enjoy myself and eat whatever pleases ME. After all, I am on vacation 🙂

Sometimes all it takes is a little creativity and balance.

Since I’m eating so much at the breakfast buffets and 3 course dinners here, I don’t really need much for lunch so I’ll just eat a smaller, more snack-like, lunch.

Faux-Hot Dog, anyone?

Yesterday’s:

 Whole wheat bread, a baby banana, and some maple almond butter I brought from home.

Today’s:

Whole wheat toast, baby banana, berry jam, and the remainder of my Justin’s maple almond butter.

You can get whole grain bread just about anywhere nowadays and I just grabbed those bananas from breakfast.

Perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

I’ve been lucky here in the at this particular resort and getting plenty of veggies at dinner and lots of fruits and fresh squeezed juices in the morning.

Pomogranate

Dragonfruit, passionfruit, rambutan, mangosteen, and a bean shaped fruit

Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and spirulina

Hummus and Organic Veggies

Detoxifying Elixir – Made from plant extracts

That last one (the elixir) I didn’t enjoy so much. It’s supposed to be taken like a shot, but one taste of it and I decided to pass. It tasted like echinacea, which I despise.

Tonight is my last night here 😦

Next stop…

Singapore.

How do YOU usually eat on vacation?It really varies for me. I always try to eat well, but sometimes I do better than other times. Sometimes I just can’t help it…like the week I spent in Italy in March, where all I ate was pasta, pizza, and gelato. By the end of the week, all i wanted (craving has never been so strong!) was a massive salad.  So I guess, in the end, my body knows what it needs.


My First WIAW

As I mentioned earlier today, I’ve decided to partake in the WIAW fun 🙂

This morning started out with a date in between my PiYo and Cardio Strength classes.  No, not THAT kind of date…this kinda date

Dates are my energy booster and they never fail me.  Especially when they’re stuffed with some sort of nut butter.

After gym-time I went home for my real breakfast…

The usual…except this time it was ALL oatbran – 1/3 cup to be exact.  Topped off with almond butter & jelly and a sprinkle of summers finest…Raspberries.  I’ve been in a raspberry kinda mood lately.

I felt today was a special day being my first WIAW so I finished up breakfast with some cafe con leche unsweetened almond milk with 1 drop of liquid vanilla stevia.

I kept it more along the lines of a half-caf as you may remember what happens to me when I drink fully caffeinated coffee.

Much procrastination and some school stuff later, I made lunch.  Today’s star…Tofu!

Just a quick sear of the firm tofu on both sides in a dry skillet and I was ready to plate up.  On the right we have the more savory sandwich…ezeikel tortilla spread with cedars all natural sundried tomato & basil hommus topped with tofu and avocado.  On the left we have the sweeter sandwich…ezeikel toast spread with almond butter, tofu, and crofter’s strawberry jelly (a la Jess – minus the bbq sauce).  Both were delicious and I couldn’t decide which I liked more.

***I love this particular hummus because it’s tasty, oil free, and lower in calories.

I knoww…calories schmalories.  But i figured if there’s a lower fat content than I can have more of it 😛 ***

***Oh, and this was my first time trying Crofters jams and I’ve decided that when it comes to ‘just fruit spreads’ I prefer St. Dalfour***

To complement my jekyll & hyde sweet & savory sandwiches, I had some sweet sweet bell peppers with some more hummus.

And a mini handful of green tea pumpkin seeds.

Some time before dinner some quantities, quite large as a matter of fact, of rainier cherries and watermelon were consumed.

Am I the only strange-ling who prefers the watermelon closest to the rind?…I love sweets and all, but for some reason when it comes to watermelon, I prefer the less sweet parts by the rind.

Finally, it’s dinner time!

Grilled corn, grilled pumpkin, steamed-in-parchment-paper-on-the-grill black cod, cauliflower, and some unpictured brown rice.

I apologize for the unattractive photo.  I was kinda hungry and in a hurry to eat…

Dessert was some more close-to-the-rind watermelon, some homemade kale chips, and a block of of dark chocolate.

Lindt 90%…One of my absolute faves!  My other fave is Godiva 85%.

There!…My first official WIAW  🙂

I feel like my days, especially during the warmer months, are heavily laced with fruits.  What do you feel like you usually eat the most of everyday?  Or is your diet generally more balanced?