Olive Oil Biscuits

Sometimes I just feel the need to bake.  Can’t help it.  It just needs to happen.

Obviously, I also had to break in my new (to me) oven!  My oven in my previous apartment was the size of an easy bake oven (okay so maybe I’m exaggerating).  This one is even smaller, and it only has ONE RACK!

For my first creation in my new mansion…

Olive Oil Biscuits

adapted from Care 2 Make a Difference

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup buttermilk (or 2 tsp of white vinegar + enough milk to make 3/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 500F.  Combine all the ingredients.  Turn dough onto a floured surface. Roll to 1/2 inch thick.  Using a biscuit cutter (or a cup like I did) but into 6 circles (or whatever shape you choose).

Bake 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Not gonna lie.  I ate 3 for lunch.  Not one of my finer moments but definitely healthier than eating 3 KFC biscuits, right?

I guess that should also tell you how tasty they are 🙂

Tomorrow, I’m going to Empire Farm Days for my internship.  Should be fun!  I hope I get to pet a goat or something.  Have a great night!

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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!!

Stressless March

This morning I woke up with a terrible headache and a sore throat.  Instead of moping around about it, I decided a trip to the gym would help make me feel better.  The whole time the lovely fella was here the past week, I only went to the gym twice.  Not a huge deal, but it was nice to go back.

Upon returning and the sore throat still going strong, I thought a green monster would be a good cold prevention device.

Breakfast: Green Monster with 3/4 banana+ 2 handfuls of spinach + 5 frozen strawberries + 2 ice cubes + cold water, toast + Naturally Nutty + 1/4 banana and coffee.

Delicious.  The only downside to Naturally Nutty is that it doesn’t really melt or spread that easily.  Most nut butters melt on oatmeal or hot toast, this really doesn’t.  Oh well.  Still delicious!

So I’ve decided to make March less stressful than February. Why March?  The last week of March is Spring Break, which should be the ultimate relaxation, but I also don’t want to get myself so frazzled in the time leading up to Spring Break that I’m too exhausted to enjoy it.  So I’m instating a 9-5 work day for myself.

Here’s the idea: since I’m a student, I lack a strict schedule.  I have classes at different times at on different days, and I’m sort of just all over the place.  So for this month (and beyond?) I’m testing out a “work day.”  I’ll leave the house and go to my 10:00am class then stay on campus until 5 or 6 or even 7 pm, 5 days a week.  In between classes, instead of coming home claiming to get reading done while actually fooling around on the internet, I will go to the library or computer lab to get things done, as I tend to be more productive there. That should give me ample time to get everything done.  Then I can come home and have minimal work to do.

This will take a little more planning with regard to meals but it’s totally do-able.  My hope is that with this schedule, I’ll be more productive and therefore less stressed.  I want home to be a place of relaxation, not frustration which leads to overeating.

So today is day one!

Lunch is packed (extra vitamin C since I feel a cold coming on!):

Cucumber slices and carrot sticks with hummus for dipping, sliced kiwi and a cutie!

A sweet potato baked earlier this week and a veggie patty.

All together, ready to go!

See you tonight!  (I’m hoping to finally get around to make an eggplant dish I bought ingredients for about a week ago! They’re starting to go bad!!)

Have a fantastic Wednesday!  2 days til Friday!

P.S. Don’t forget to go to Mara‘s blog and vote for my penguin olives for the Cuteiversary Contest!

Stop Stress Eating

I mentioned earlier this week that I’m under considerable amounts of stress.  No where else is this more evident than in my eating patterns.  I’ve been a Snacky McSnackerson literally to the point of feeling ill many times this week.  I want it to stop. Not only is it causing weight gain (I was down 5lbs on my new leaf challenge.  I don’t want to ruin that), but it’s just not healthy (physically or mentally).

There are some people who don’t eat when they’re stressed.  I wish I could be one of them.  I’m the exact opposite.  I can’t stop.  I’m not talking about an extra cookie here or there.  I’m talking about a lot of extra eating when I’m not even hungry.

Honestly, this is a little embarrassing for me to write, since so many people I know in person read this, but I keep reminding myself that I write this blog for myself, not for anyone else.  Lately, I haven’t been posting healthy recipes I like, because I simply haven’t made any.  I want that to change.

I was reading a few articles on stress eating and a lot of the problems/solutions don’t really apply to me.  I don’t keep junk food in the house.  Whole wheat toast, almond butter, peanut butter, cheese, fruit, granola bars, beans and green monsters aren’t unhealthy, but too much of anything is not good.  Sure, I have junk food occasionally but for the most part, I eat very healthy foods.  After reviewing many suggestions for reducing stress eating and finding solutions that don’t really meet my needs, I’ve decided to devise my own.

Here are a few problems and solutions I have in mind for how to stop stress eating:

  • Exercise: One common recommendation to reduce stress is to exercise.  Working out isn’t an issue for me.  I exercise 5-6 days a week, but I’m still stressed (and still stress eat).  I’m going to keep exercising but when I’m feeling very stressed, I’m going to try to do some yoga.  I’ve never gotten into yoga as it’s been terribly boring each time I’ve tried it but on Netflix watch instantly there are a few yoga DVDs.  Worth a try right?
  • Balanced Meals: A lot of people recommend eating 3 meals and 2 snacks throughout the day.  I think every person is different.  For some, 3 meals works best but not for others.  Recently, my snacking problem has been after lunch.  I come home and have a snack simply out of habit, even if I’m not necessarily hungry.  This results in me snacking the entire night and never actually eating a balanced dinner (today was a perfect example of that).  Instead I’m going to try to eat 3 meals a day and only have a snack if I’m really hungry.  Expect to see more healthy recipes I try!
  • Schedule: Being in grad school means I have a very irregular schedule.  While I start class everyday at the same time, there after, each day is different.  This makes it difficult to get in the rhythm of a schedule.  I need to have regular exercise, study, eating and relaxing times.  I want to re-form all the healthy habits that I used to have.  I’m working on devising a daily schedule for myself, which I can share if anyone is interested.
  • Obsession:  I admit it.  I’m obsessed with the scale.  This is just my personality.  I’m not very good at half assing things (except maybe math…).  Am I okay with it?  No.  Am I trying to fix it?  Yes.  I started counting calories again in January, as I had successfully done before.  This time it backfired.  The more stressed I got, the more I ate and the more guilty I felt.  I would eat very few calories one day (around 1200-1300) then I’d be ravenous the next day only to overeat!  The following day, I’d try to make up for it by eating very few calories again… see the cycle?  I lost weight but was terribly unhappy.  I still think calorie counting is an effective tool for weight loss, but obsession is not.  I need to check myself and reassess the deeper issue: stress.  So for now, I’m concentrating on eating 3 healthy, balanced meals a day while avoiding mindless snacking.  I’ll worry about weight loss and calories once I’ve gotten this one down.
  • Finding Alternatives: I’ve realized that a lot of times I eat to put off work.  Instead of eating, I need to find healthy substitutes.  I mentioned yoga above, but another one I’m going to try is cleaning.  Every time I feel like eating something when I’m not hungry, I’ll clean/organize something.  If I really want it by the time I’m done cleaning, I’ll have it.  Cleaning should be a good enough break 🙂

I’m writing this because I want to be healthy.  Not just physically healthy but mentally healthy.  I’m sure there are a ton of people out there who don’t struggle with this and simply don’t understand, some may even think this is flat out stupid.  But I also know there are a ton of people out there who face the same issues I do. I’m not going to let a stage of my life control my happiness. I’m going to take control, overcome it and succeed!

Do you have any other suggestions to put an end to stress eating or to manage stress?

I’ll keep you all posted on my progress.  Have a great, relaxing night!

Life

Right now, I am school.

My life is on hold so I can get a Master’s degree.

I live in a city county that revolves around the University.  The only people I know are those in my department.  The only place I go is campus.  When I wake up in the morning, the first thought I have it what I have left to read.

I am a ball of stress.

Honestly, I’m getting tired of it.

I’m tired of having a sore jaw in the mornings from clenching all night.  I’m tired of not having time to talk to my friends and family in California because I have to read.  I’m tired of sitting on my butt, reading for hours on end and feeling like I’m still not doing enough.

Yesterday was a terrible day.  Aside from the immense amount of work I had to do.  I was frustrated with my program, and I was frustrated with myself.  I’m tired of complaints.  At this point, I just want to be done.

I’m not sure what needs to change.  Do I need to just suck it up and stick it out?  A year and a half will fly by, right?

I’m not sure what I would do if I hadn’t started this blog.  My life pretty much would only be city planning, and I would crack. I never thought I would be one of those people that says how much blogging has changed their life, but I guess I am…

Sorry for the vent.  Today will be a better day.  The lovely fella will be here in a week!  Normal food bloggieness will continue tonight or tomorrow.

Thanks for reading (if you made it this far).

Finally Ready For Classes To Start

I’ve had enough.

I’m getting tired of sitting around and doing nothing.

I’m officially ready for classes to start again.

I know I’ll regret this tomorrow night when I start reading for my first classes but as of now, I’m over it.  I think I’ve been a little anxious all day because I’ve been very snacky, but I think I’ve kept it to an okay level.

One of my many snacks today was this:

What is that?

No, Stonyfield hasn’t started making Pumpkin Flavored Greek Yogurt (although they probably should).   Actually, it’s my version of Caitlin‘s Pumpkin Yogurt (her version uses equal parts yogurt and pumpkin).

Stonyfield sent me some coupons for yogurt samples so they were perfect to give pumpkin yogurt a try. Thanks Stonyfield!

I used a small 5.3oz container of Oikos non-fat greek yogurt mixed with 1/4 cup of canned pumpkin (not easy to come by these days as there as been a pumpkin shortage in upstate NY!) and 1 tablespoon of Agave nectar.  All that goodness for only 160 calories (80 for the yogurt + 20 for the pumpkin + 60 for the agave nectar!  Wonderful sweet treat!

Delish!  Give it a try!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy greek yogurt?

I’ve literally done nothing all day, and I’m starting to get restless so I think I’m going to go to the gym (even though I didn’t plan on exercising today) to get my mind off upcoming classes and basically just get my blood flowing.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Stress Eating

Yesterday, I came home from class, exhausted.  I had been pretty irritable all day and was seriously considering taking a nap but I was hungry so I decided to have an early dinner.  All was well.  I had some broccoli with some faux-“chicken” (aka morningstar chicken patyy) Parmesan.  I started working on my stats project then decided to give in to my day long craving: baked good.

I used this recipe (minus the frosting + peanut butter chips) and made some pretty tasty brownies.

I intended to have a piece then take the rest to school the next day.  However, by the next day, all that was left was this:

Between me and my roommate (aka two girls) we managed to eat all by what is left above.

I’m a stress eater.  I hate it, and I’m trying to deal with it.  I’m posting this because it may seem like I’m a healthy eater and I am 80% of the time.  But 20% of the time I freak out and overeat.

I read a lot of health/fitness/food blogs, most of the time when I read them I find myself thinking “These women are perfect, I wish I could have that amount of self control.”  It seems like they rarely overeat (and when they do, it’s a bowl of ice cream or 4 cookies and most of the time it doesn’t matter because they ran 5690 miles today anyway).  I’m not trying to criticize other food bloggers, but I want to make it clear that I’m not perfect.

As a blogger or a reader, do you ever feel pressure to be perfect from reading blogs?

I’ll end this sort of sad post with a more positive anecdote:

A friend walked up to me and my roommate, he looks at her and says “Thanks for getting me sick!”  She sort of laughs and says: “Karla didn’t get sick and she lives with me!” then she looks at me and says “it’s probably because of all the vegetables you eat and the fact that you exercise and sleep, so basically your overall healthy lifestyle”

I may not be perfect, I may eat half a pan of brownies in one night but overall I’m healthy.

Have a great day!