Switching It Up

The past few days I’ve been in a little big of a bloggy slump.  I’ve taken pictures of things, but sadly have been unmotivated to write anything.  Perhaps because I wrote a good sized term paper or maybe my current frustrations with health food blogs.  This morning, while watching CNN on the elliptical, I heard a ridiculous news story related to food/dieting.  I started formulating a post in my head and was pretty excited to share it, but then stopped myself.

Will I offend someone?  Might this hurt a reading struggling from an eating disorder?

I don’t want either of those things to be the case.  I want this to be fun, not stressful.

So I’ve decided, at least for now, to post my healthy meals and usual fatty treats that I pawn off to my friends and stop talking about health, weight, fitness, etc.

I like food.  I’m sticking to it.

So without further delay:

Today was rainy, which meant that something warm was in order.

Black Bean “Tamale” Pie

adapted from Eggs on Sunday’s Black Bean Tamale Pie

1-3 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 cup black beans, cooked
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes with liquid
A few shakes of cinnamon
A few shakes of Cayenne
few ounces of cheese (I used 1 or 2 oz)
1 cup cornmeal
2 1/2 cups water
salt to taste
1 egg beaten
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar

In a skilled heat the oil and cook the onions and garlic for a few minutes.  Add peppers, cook for a few more minutes.  Add spices, tomatoes, beans and corn.  Bring to a boil, transfer to baking dish and sprinkle with cheese.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium sauce pan, combine water, salt and cornmeal.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, keep stirring until cornmeal is thick (about 5 minutes).  Turn off heat.  Add beaten egg, baking powder and sugar.  Top the bean mixture with the cornmeal mixture and bake for about 40 minutes.

Pretty tasty.  The “tamale” part formed a weird crust that I wasn’t a fan of, but other than that it was delicious!  It sort of reminded me of the Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake that I’m obsessed with.  I bought a plantain that is taking far too long to ripen.  As soon as that puppy is black, I’m trying to conquer the Mayan Harvest Bake!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Taco Flavored Kisses

You’re probably all too refined to watch South Park, but my lunch reminded me of that episode.

Taco Salad!  (But way healthier and probably more delicious!)

Started with:

  • Romaine (~ 3 cups)
  • Red Pepper (1/4 of a pepper)
  • Black beans (1/2 cup)
  • Cheddar Cheese (about an ounce)
  • 1 Packet of Wholly Guacamole!

Then topped it with my amazing homemade creamy salsa dressing: 1/4 cup salsa + 1 tbsp greek yogurt! That’s it!

Doesn’t look that tasty but trust me, it is!

Delicious! I considered having it again for dinner but decided I should probably vary my daily nutrient consumption (not that soup and toast was a better option… but oh well).

After lunch, I couldn’t resist a cupcake.  So I had a huge cat mug of tea with a cupcake.

Delightful!

Stress Eating:

So yesterday and today, I’ve been stress eating a bit, okay maybe more than a bit.  Honestly, I’m trying not to worry about it too much.  Everything will be turned in and done by Thursday.  I figure if I overeat a little too much these days, it’s not going to kill me.  I’m not going to let a little bit of overeating stress me out even more.  There are more important things for me to stress about right now.  I’ve realized this month that once my stress levels drop, I eat significantly less.  So the moral of the story is, sometimes stress eating happens and while I do all I can to curb it, sometimes I just have to give in, get my work done and move on to maintain my sanity.  What are your thoughts?

Guess I should get back to paper writing since I won’t be watching Lost 😦

Lastly, here’s a link to a hilarious blog post from NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me where they try the KFC Double Down Sandwich. Have a great night!!

Let’s Talk About Weight

A few days ago, Gracie, wrote a post about being “healthyfully correct,” which I thought was really interesting and got me thinking about the “healthy living” blog world.  Then a few days later, Katie wrote a post about her frustration with women complaining about their bodies.

Let me start by saying that I love healthy living blogs.  For the most part, I find them interesting and inspiring.  I’ve read them for years now.

I have one issue: I feel like I can’t talk about weight.

It’s a taboo topic.  But why?

I was looking at the big, popular blogs (you know the ones…) most of them started as weight loss blogs AND most of them started with calorie counting.  However, now they’re maintaining their weight and seem to be against calorie counting.  But what if you need to lose weight?

I was looking around, and I weigh as much now as most of those blogger weighed when they thought they were overweight (I checked we’re about the same height) and needed to (and started to) lose weight.  Really, go look at some weight loss/about pages…

I’m not trying to compare myself to others, and I don’t think I’m fat, but I’m technically overweight (by about 4 lbs… not a big deal in my opinion).  To some extent though, it’s a question of health.  Yes, you can be healthy but overweight if you exercise and eat right… BMI isn’t everything… Muscle weighs more than fat…, but to another extent I wonder if it’s an excuse to stay slightly overweight?

I’m not saying I want to start complaining about my weight or telling you all everything that’s wrong with my body.  That’s not what I’m saying. I actually like myself, and I think that’s particularly unbecoming of someone to fat talk themselves and so I avoid it in real life as well.

I guess this is an issue for me because I’ve been overweight the majority of my life.  I’m taking large… As in, I probably weighed as much in the 6th grade as I do now… I would love to say that my weight doesn’t matter to me now, but it does. In the back of my mind, there’s always the fear that if I don’t watch what I eat I’ll be severely overweight again and that’s pretty scary.

Sometimes I want to express my frustration about weight (since it is my blog after all) but I feel like I can’t because someone will get angry/offended.

Should I even be worried about this?

What’s your take on the situation?

What are some other blog taboo topics?

Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing and Other Delicious Eats

I baked last night! I used Pioneer Woman‘s Recipe for Yellow Cupcakes with Sticky Chocolate Icing.

Oh

My

Goodness

These may be the best things I’ve ever made, solely based on the icing.  I messed it up a little and used too much sweetened condensed milk and not enough chocolate so it ended up a bit saucy.   Which meant it was perfect for drizzling on popcorn…

My roommate enjoyed!

Along with splitting one with me.  Need to make sure they’re safe to eat after all.

This morning after a rockin’ workout, I dug through the fridge looking for breakfast.  I wasn’t in the mood for oatmeal (gasp) since it was 71 degrees this morning!  Instead, I found some quinoa that needed to be consumed and decided to experiment:

Greek Yogurt + Banana + Quinoa + Ground Flax + Cinnamon = Delicious!

It was particularly amazing with sips of coffee, which leads me to believe it would be delicious to try this but cooking the quinoa in coffee to give it that flavor.  I’ll give that a try at some point and let you know how it goes.

Then I went to class and got my study on.  Remember my to do list from yesterday?  Here’s my progress:

  • Finish Reading Good Governance in the Tropics (self imposed deadline: today… hmm might not happen, 90 50 pgs left)
  • Reading for Urban Transformations in the Global South (need to be done tonight, 3 of 5 readings done so far… Africa makes me sad…)
  • Reading response for above mentioned readings (by tonight at midnight)
  • Readings for Urban Spatial Theory (err… might not get to these)
  • Term Paper on Good Governance book mentioned above (due Tuesday Thursday, no idea what to write about… good governance?)
  • Econ problem set due Thursday (luckily almost done)
  • Methods problem set (basically kicking my butt, spent 4 hours on it Sunday only to do 1.5 questions out of 5… meeting with study group tonight, due Monday)

4 out of 7 things done!  Woo!  Also my paper has been extended and is now due Thursday! Super excited!  I’m actually surprised at how much lower my stress level is now as compared to a month ago.  I guess the changes I’ve made in life have been really helpful!   How are you all holding up with stress?

Back to food…

I came home after class and was pretty much starving.  While this morning I had planned to make a peanut stew (a la stew in a jar), all I really wanted was a HUGE salad.  So I started with a layer of spinach and romaine mixed together, added some sliced cucumber, one piece of artichoke heart and some wheatberries and topped it with some dressing.

Then, the exciting part…

I added a poached egg, because let’s be realistic, everything tastes better with a good runny yolk.

My meal ended with another amazing combo: toast + cottage cheese + jam + flax

Aaaamazing!

Now I’m ready to read more, catch up on blogland (don’t think I’ve looked at the internet today!) and watch the episode of Lost that I missed last night!  Hope you all have a fab night!

P.S.  I was sent this NY Times Article about people who take pictures of food by at least 3 people today… I thought it was cute that some friends thought of me when they saw food photography.  Anyone else see this article and smile?

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

In the food blogging world, we’re all into the most exciting healthy, “real” foods.  A purple potato gives a sweet potato a run for its money.  A smoothie chalk full of spinach elicits a smile.  Kale is probably the most exciting things since sliced bread.  Outside the healthy food blog world, I don’t think this is particularly common…

This morning, I watched the first episode (or sneak peek, first episode premieres on Friday March 26th) of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.

I was really torn while watching this for one major reason: who is he to go into this town and tell people they need to change?  I don’t disagree that there needs to be a change, but can we really tell people that what they are doing is wrong?    I was so shocked when people in the town were so resistant to Jamie.  It made me question whether people can change.

In my field, we face similar issues all the time.  In all my classes, people spout out recommendations, and I’m always the first one to point out that you can’t change what people do.   Planners want people to live in high density areas, but I know that not everyone wants to do that.  Who am I to tell you that you can’t live in the suburbs?  Planners want people to use their car less, but I know that no everyone is going to take public transit, bike or walk. You can change people’s options, but you can’t make them do something they don’t want to do.

I value people’s right to choose how to live their lives, but obviously based on the field I’m in, I also want people to live better lives.  There’s a fine line between recommendation/suggestion and paternalism.

Is food the exception?  Should we be able to tell people that they are eating terribly because it is detrimental to their health and ultimately harming society?

Honestly, I feel like a little bit of a hypocrite saying food is the exception, but to some extent I see it as a life and death situation.  Although, I understand that for some sprawl and over use of cars is as well in terms of the environment.

Whether or not you’ve seen the show, what do you think is the best way to get people to change their eating habits?  Should we even bother?  Should we let those who choose to eat poorly (for whatever reason… economic, cultural, social, etc.) just eat what they want?  Should we be concerned about the health of others or is health a personal thing that we need not meddle in?

I’m interested to see the next episode this Friday.  It’s definitely a show that’s right up my alley.

Anyone else watch this or interested in watching this show?

Anyway, the fella is here so we’re spending some time together.  Blogging might be a little sparse this week.

Hope the weather is better where ever you are!  Have a great day!

Stew in a Jar

Food bloggers are weird.

We take pictures of food…

Have an unnatural obsession with strange health foods (I mean who else really eats Chia seeds…)

We get super excited about new jars of nut butter…

and even more excited when the jar is empty so we can have oats in a jar.

Now, you can have another reason to get excited about an empty jar of peanut butter: Stew in a Jar

Stew in a Jar

1 tsp coconut oil or olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced (or a small can of diced tomatoes)
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 sweet potato, diced
1/2 tsp curry powder
2 shakes of cinnamon
Cayenne to taste
3 shakes of paprika
1-2 cups water or vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 nearly empty jar of natural peanut butter (or just a spoonful of peanut butter)

Heat the oil, add all ingredients onions, garlic, celery and carrots.  Cook til onions are translucent, add tomatoes, sweet potato and spices and stir.  Add water or broth, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.  Spoon stew into nearly empty PB jar.  Stir and enjoy!  Serves 2-3.

Pretty delicious!  Definitely making this again!

I feel like I’m so close to the end!  Today I was in the library from 11:00am til 5:00pm with a short break for a 1 hr class (which I ended up cutting short…) and a 20 min nap.  Got a lot done though!

In the next hour, I hope to:
-Wrap up my econ paper: I’m doing an economic analysis of the Proposed NY State Beverage Tax!
-Finish 1/4 of a question and rewrite my econ take home midterm… I can draw a mean indifference curve!
-Do the dishes!

Wish me luck!

Have a good night!!

Pies Galore!

Happy Pi(e) day!

My department had a pie contest!  I made Peanut Butter Banana Cream pie!

Graham cracker crust.

Layer of dark chocolate.

Layer of Peanut Butter.

Layer of homemade vanilla custard mixed with fresh sliced bananas.

Topped with real whipped cream.

How can you go wrong with PB, Chocolate AND Banana all in one delicious pie!?!?!

I thought it was pretty darn delicious!  I think others liked it too!

I’m not sure who won 😦 I left early to work on my fitness (…Fergie style…), busted out 4 miles on the treadmill and 20mins (I think… short term memory loss I guess…) on the elliptical.  It was great!

Seriously folks, I am all sugared out.  I hadn’t really consumed any refined sugar all week and this weekend I had a ton.  I literally feel a bit ill. Cooling it on the sugar as usual!

So today I was procrastinating and looking at old posts and I realized that it probably seems like I eat a lot of junk.  Haha! I promise, I actually don’t!  Well, I eat a fair amount of sweets but I like to balance it out with vegetables and other healthy eats!

For example, for breakfast today I had a green monster and an egg white omelet:

4 egg whites… the custard in the pie required four egg yolks… No point in throwing the whites away!

For dinner, bok choy, leeks and scallions stir fried in some coconut oil and Ponzu with a Boca patty!  Sooooooo Soooo Soooooo good!  I wanted more! Also had a pear!

Just so you don’t think my hot bod comes from cookies alone… I eat vegetables 🙂  A lot actually!

Just thought I would clarify that!

Ugh tomorrow is Monday… but Thursday is the start of spring break with a class trip to NYC!  WOO!  Then a whole week off!!  And I’ll be seeing the lovely fella AGAIN!  We may or may not go on a mini road trip… any spring break plans for you?  Has spring break already passed for everyone??

Have a great night!

Chipotle Homefries

Hellooooo!  Today was another busy day!  My work day plan is working out pretty well.  I got home around 6:00pm and was ready for something quick and easy.

Last week, I baked a few potatoes to eat throughout the week.  Tonight I ended up using them.  The theme was Mexican Breakfast, because I had a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that needed to be used leftover from my Ginormous Chipotle Beans Extravaganza.  Here’s my creation:

Chipotle Homefries

2 potatoes, baked (or cooked in the microwave) and chopped into large chunks
1-2 tsp adobo sauce, from can of peppers
1 chipotle pepper finely chopped, optional or less if you want it less spicy
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix around to coat.  Add some oil (I used about a tsp of coconut oil) to a pan and heat.  Add the potatoes turning every few minutes and cook on medium/high heat til heated and crispy.

Serve with sour cream (or Greek Yogurt like I did) and eggs.

These were picante but delicious and much healthier than any homefries you would get at a restaurant! I bet these would be even better if you let them marinate in the stuff before stir frying.

Perfect meal enjoyed in front of the laptop, catching up on Lost!

I’ve been behind on the blog reading but hopefully I’ll catch up soon!  Hope you’re all having a great week!  It’s half way done!  Have a great night!!

Best Salad Ever

This morning, I did something I haven’t done in a LOOOOONNNGGG time…

Updated my ipod!

Check out the sweet new playlist:

This made my 3 mile treadmill jaunt AMAZING!  I wanted to keep going but had to leave to get ready for class!

New music always gets me excited about a work out.  My current obsession is Jay Sean’s “Do You Remember”
What’s your favorite work out song(s)??

As promised… Here is the Best Salad Ever!

That’s it!!  Just kidding….

Chop up some romaine.  If you’re eating at home, put it in a large bowl.  If you’re taking it to go, cool whip containers work… great conversation starter too!

Add your desired veggie toppings: cucumbers, carrot ribbons and artichoke hearts (ideally this would have tomatoes and bell peppers but I’m out of those)

Add your protein:  1 chopped up string cheese and 1 chopped up veggie patty

And finally… the best part… Barley!!

Remember my obsession with Annie’s Buttermilk Dressing?? I found a homemade replacement!  Prepare to be amazed…

Creamy Lemon Tahini Dressing

adapted from Culinate’s Lemon-Tahini Dressing

2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp water
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic, minced
3/4 cup greek yogurt (any fat should work, I used nonfat)
dash of cumin
few shakes of paprika
few shakes of cayenne
sea salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients and be prepared for deliciousness!  Play around with the spices til you find what tastes best to you!

I pack mine in an old garlic container.  No need for fancy tupperware here!

I almost wouldn’t call this a salad!  It’s just intense and delicious!

Well I’m off to class!  Have a fantastic day!  Eat a salad! They’re delicious! What’s the best salad you’ve ever had?

Carb-a-licious!

Hi everyone!  Happy Saturday!

I woke up this morning still full from last night!  That African food was dense!  After a Green Monster and some internet perusing, I headed to the gym where I ended up doing 4 miles on the treadmill.  My knees felt fine, probably because I did a run/walk combo (run 2 mins/walk 1 min).

I came home to try something new:

Barley!

I’ve realized that complex carbs keep me full for longer.  The past two days I’ve come home ravenous after a basically complex carb free lunch!  So I’m going to try to incorporate whole grains and other complex carbohydrates into my lunches to see if that helps keep me from wanting to gnaw my arms off around 4:30pm.

I made a delicious stir fry with a bit of coconut oil, garlic, zucchini, bok choy, scallions and Kikkoman Ponzu. On top of that, I added a chopped up Spicy Chik’n Patty and helping of barley!

Delicious!  Very filling!  Finished off the meal with two cuties and huge cup of green tea!

I basically did nothing today… I went to TJ Maxx to return the fantastic red heels that didn’t fit 😦 and to Target to pick up some cleaning essentials.

Later in the evening, I decided I wanted a labor intensive dinner, because reading wasn’t looking that good…

Pizza!  Using this dough recipe from Eating Well.

Toppings includes: sauce, a layer of finely chopped spinach, fresh mozzarella, chopped artichoke hearts, and grated romano cheese.

Artichokes make everything delicious!  What are your favorite homemade pizza toppings?


I also ventured and made Chocolate Chia Pudding

Sad to say this is the first bloggie recipe that I did not like.  I threw it away 😦  Oh well!  Can’t love them all!

Since today was full of slacking, tomorrow is a study day.  Dreading it already.  The Oscars are on tomorrow!  I can’t wait to see the dresses on the Red Carpet!

Have a fantastic night!!